Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vacation Slides: Naples, FL

Last week, I traveled to Naples, FL to see my sister and her family, who were on vacation to celebrate her milestone birthday!  (Happy Birthday, Sis!)   My sister's children are pretty young, so Naples was a great quiet place to visit.  We stayed at a condo at the Vanderbilt Beach Resort.  Our room overlooked the bay and we just had to cross the street to hit the beach.  This is a great place to go if all you want to do is hang out at the beach.  Which was exactly my sister's birthday wish. It was wonderful to spend time with my family (especially my nephew and nieces - the beach is endlessly entertaining to children and adults alike!) and to enjoy some warmer weather, especially in January. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

4 Things

I've been lucky enough not have much snow this year in Baltimore.  (Lucky for me, since I'm not a fan of the winter.)  But I feel like winter is going full force in other parts of the country, thus the snowy picture. I'm also fortunate enough to be leaving the cold winter air and heading south to Florida for a few days.  Lucky me!  Nothing cures the winter blues more than a little sunshine!

Valentine's Day is on it's way.  Here are 10 Easy DIY Valentine's Ideas from Babble.

I love a good notebook.  How about this DIY Leather Notebook from Chesha in Motion?

I certainly do not think that I am an expert in any beauty topics, but I do have to mention a new product that I love.  The Clarisonic Mia.  I received one for Christmas from my sister and I LOVE it!  It has really cleared up my skin!  An investment, but worth it. 

We are getting a blast of cold weather here in the Mid-Atlantic.  That means we need to make soup.  My favorite type of soup is Enchilada Soup.  Here's a great recipe from Skinny Taste.

Friday, January 11, 2013

4 Things.

Hello!  Hope that January is treating everyone well.  If you happen to be feeling a little blue (winter does that to me), a certain You Tube video has been making me smile.  The Psy "Gangnam Style" popularity may have faded a bit, but have you seen the Psy and MC Hammer budding partnership?  Nothing excited this former pom pom girl more than seeing these two pair up with a Gangnam Style/2 Legit 2 Quit (or was it called "Hammer Time"?) medley.  I saw this on New Year's Eve, but apparently it was first performed on the American Music Awards.  At any rate, these guys can dance.  (MC Hammer, he still has it.)

And now on to this week's 4 Things...
Read:  I felt rather validated by NPR's 2012 In Review: 50 Wonderful Years from the Year in Pop Culture.  I do love pop culture and try to stay up on it.  It isn't hard really, you just have to read a lot, watch the real news as well as entertainment news.  This article mentioned several things that I loved from last year's TV watching:  Bunheads, The Roots appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Happy Endings.  All shows I highly suggest!!

Watch (theoretically):  In the same vein, this is a very interesting article about "the 2nd screen."  A whole new way to watch TV.  You'll never see reality TV the same way again. 

Eat:  Confession time.  I don't like salads.  I know.  My mother does not approve.  But it's true.  They are just too big and take too long to eat.  And did you know that they aren't always the best choice on the menu?  All of that stuff that restaurants add to salads that make them taste good are usually very high in calories.  And you might as well just order the cheeseburger like you wanted to in the first place. On the other hand, I really do try to eat well.  And could benefit from more salad in my diet. Especially if it is a salad that I make myself and know that it's low in calories and processed foods.  I made a salad out of the following ingredients for lunch this week:
Roasted Butternut Squash
Kalamata Olives
Feta Cheese
Mixed Lettuce Greens
-Drizzled with a very simple dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar. 
(Inspired from a Real Simple recipe that was in my January issue, but cannot be found on their website.)
It really wasn't bad.  I would recommend possibly adding some chicken, to increase the protein.  But overall, good for a salad.

Drink:  It's no secret that I love brunch.  And a good bloody mary.  Here's a new take on the old classic from A Beautiful Mess.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Handstamped Cloth Napkins.

Now that Christmas is over, I can post about a few handmade gifts I made. 
This one is pretty simple.  A friend of mine had been saying she wanted some cloth napkins.  And this idea popped into my head.  First, I came up with a list of synonyms for "Eat."  Like Dine, Munch, Bite, Chow...  I was going to sew the napkins, but then I was at Homegoods and saw how they could be even less expensively purchased. (When ink stamping fabrics, look for a natural fiber for best results.  The napkins I purchased were 100% Cotton.)

There aren't a lot of instructions needed.  First, wash, dry and press the napkins.  Then stamp on the words.  (Are you still with me??)

 I used this set of stamps, from The Curiosity Shoppe, from Target.  (Unfortunately, no longer available.)
I used this ink from VersaCraft.  It's important to pick an ink that's permanent and that can work on fabric. 

After the ink dried for a good week, I heat set it with a hot, dry iron.  It's important to iron over a pressing cloth, for about 2 minutes to each area.  For even best results, iron both sides of the fabric and let the fabric set for at least a week before washing.
Here's the end result!

4 Things.

Most bloggers are writing this week about their resolutions and reflecting on the past year.  I have a tough time with resolutions, let's be honest, they are tough to keep.  I do have some goals that will hopefully reveal themselves soon, but think I'll stay away from resolutions.  I do find myself being reflective at the beginning of this new year.  If there is one life lesson I have learned is that the years can go by quickly.  If there is one mistake we can make it's being complacent.  Don't just live your life. Figure out what you want.  Figure out a way to get it.  It will probably be hard, things really worth fighting for usually are.  But it will be worth it. 

“Life is short but it is wide.”
Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Due to the holidays, there hasn't been a lot of content to link to this week.  So, this week's "4 Things" will be a bit of a departure.  I LOVE quotes!  I have an entire pinterest board dedicated to them.  Here are 4 inspiring ones for the start of 2013!  Happy New Year!!

Source: tumblr.com via Emily on Pinterest