Thursday, March 29, 2012

What I Am Loving For Spring

{coconut oil//trader joes, candle//target, card//papyrus, nail polish}



Coconut oil has become my most favorite beauty product.  I put it on my face, body, and sometimes even my hair.  Plus it smells like your on a tropical island.

This is my new favorite candle.  It is calming mix of lavender and eucalyptus.  Plus the vintage label and the shade of green goes perfect in our apartment.

I stocked up on all things glitter recently and this papyrus card was one of them.  I also filled my desk drawers with custom made address labels (from vistaprint) and cute stamps from my local post office.  Can wait to send this card out to someone very special.

Turquoise is my new obsession.  I would buy everything in this color but I am trying to take it slow so I don't overdue it....hence starting with the nail polish.

What are you loving for spring?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Morning Thoughts


When I was almost 22 I found myself living 6,000 miles from home on an island, out of money, out of love, and a little down on my luck.  I would like to say that everyone has moments like these but I can't say for sure.  And the truth of the matter is I thought that life was going pretty good.  

Then God threw me a curve ball.  He has such a sense of humor.  
I thought I had everything pretty much figured out.  You know the usual stuff....what I wanted to be when I grew up, where I wanted to live, who I wanted to be, but most of all what kind of guy I would end up marrying (to be honest I never thought I would get married).   And God was laughing at me the whole time I am sure.  I had no idea what my future held and to be honest I still don't.  

Fast forward about 5 years and I am sitting in my kitchen in New England with my husband.  For those of you who don't know me I guess I should explain.  When I was in college I pictured myself single and driving through Africa helping children (or some version of this).  I never pictured myself married to someone like my husband (we are complete opposites...he has it totally together and I can never find my car keys) and living back in New England.  But I can say this....the life I am living is far, far better than any life I imagined.

As people we make plans...I think that is just our nature.  
We want control.  

If we get stuck in thinking that our past has the best of us then we are missing out on living the greatest life.  We can't simply imagine what tomorrow or the next day or the next ten years will bring us.  In my experience it will be better than anything we leave behind.  We just have to learn to go with the flow (excuse the cheesy line).

So to continue the story of being almost 22 and God throwing me a curve ball......I met Dan.  And we spent a phenomenal 4 weeks together and then he deployed for the next year.  
It was rough.  It was scary.  It was something I never expected to find.
Dan felt the same way (I think) so before he left I painted him a picture and on it I wrote
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind
I just knew there was something more to him and I than a brief time getting to know someone.    


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Is In the Air

So I am posting on a Saturday because instead of posting during the 80 degree weather this week, I was having cocktails.  We never have 80 degree weather in March in New England, so naturally I was ignoring all responsibility and soaking in the warm air.  Since I was spending my time outside with my hubby, drinking cocktails, and enjoying the nice weather I thought I would at the very least share with you my all time favorite martini.


This drink has been one of my favorites for years.  When I was living in Hawai'i lychee fruit was everywhere (literally at every farmer's market and grocery store), therefore the lychee martini was on every drink menu.  Fresh lychee make the best martinis but since we probably won't find that here on the East Coast I buy my canned lychee at Whole Foods.

What you need:

- Vodka
-Canned (or fresh) lychee
-Ice
-Cocktail shaker
-A glass

In a cocktail shaker add 3 ounces (2 shots) of lychee juice, 1 1/2 ounces (1 shot) of vodka, a few lychee fruits, and your ice.  Shake, shake, shake!  
Pour your wonderful drink into a glass and add a few lychee fruits as a garnish.  
A little secret.....the martini glasses we use are stemless martini glasses.  The ice goes in the round bottom and you place you martini glass on top of that.  This way your drink stays cold without getting watered down.  You can find the glasses here.

Another thing that goes great with cocktails and warm weather?  Chips, salsa, and or course guacamole!


Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Something Hot and Spicy

We made a whole crock pot full of this chili last week.  We have taken about 5 different recipes of chili we love and made our own. It is definitely hot and spicy so brace yourself. 


What you will need:

2 lbs. ground turkey (you could also use a meat substitute like tofu)
1/3 cup chili powder
2 large white onions, chopped
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 can of black beans
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of beer
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

You can also add 4 chopped and seeded jalapeno peppers, hot sauce, and/or red pepper flakes if you want it extra spicy.


In a skillet pan over medium heat cook 2 lbs. of ground turkey.  Once the meat has browned, drain the fat and add 1/3 cup of chili powder.  In a crock pot add ground turkey and the rest of the ingredients.  Cook chili on high for 2 hours and then enjoy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Inspiring...



Monday posts are usually full of what I did over the weekend.  And this weekend was just as  wonderful as the next...including a beach day on Sunday and food and drinks with some very dear friends on Saturday.

But I had to post the sign I saw in a restaurant in Portsmouth.  It was literally above my husband's head the whole time we were eating dinner.  So naturally I took a photo of it to share with you.  

An inspiring sentiment for a Monday.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bananas, and Broccoli, and Beets Oh My!

I had talked about Boston Organics here but I wanted to show what kind of produce we get.  Every Friday we get a glorious bin full of organic and locally grown produced delivered right to our doorstep.  This is what our stash looked like this week.



 This is a list of what we got:

1 lbs. apples
1.5 lbs. bananas
1 lbs. beets
1 bunch of broccoli
1 lbs. carrots
2 kiwis
1 lbs. onions
2 oranges
2 pears
3 tangelos
2 lbs. yams
1 head of romaine lettuce

All of this produce is very affordable ($24-$30) and you can get it delivered once a week or once every other week.  We have loved having the local and organic produce in our house and I would suggest participating in a similar program near you.  If you are thinking about signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture program check out this website.


My fruit bowl is overflowing just in time for the weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Middle of the Week Workout

For some reason this week has been dragging, maybe it is all this crazy weather.  Here in Boston the weather is starting to get warm....like 70 degrees warm.  And then today it was cold.  Of course I walked out of the house with my flip flops on and by the end of the work day when I had to put them back on it was 41 degrees.  

Naturally once I got home I didn't want to leave.  So I did a workout at home, which I do tend to do more of in the winter.  I used a new application on my phone for my home workout. 
It is the Nike Training Club application.



It has four different categories to choose from; Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, and Get Focused.  Under each cateragory you can choose from Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.  Each of those levels has seven different circuits ranging from 30-45 minutes each.  The best part is it shows you step by step how to do each exercise and you can set the whole workout to a playlist that plays while you are getting instruction on what to do.  I felt like I was taking a class at the gym. 

Try it out, I think you will enjoy it.  It kept me more motivated than the gym does sometimes.  And if I may lend you a little too much information...I am not a sweater (not the clothes kind of sweater, I am talking about perspiration people).  Even when I have had a hard workout I don't usually sweat very much but this workout got me sweating. 

Yup I just went there.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Roasted Vegetables

This was a recipe I got from my Mother in-law.  We had all these great vegetables from our last Boston Organics delivery.  This recipe took care of most of them.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut root vegetables into chunks and combine them in a bowl.  Mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. 


Arrange vegetables in a oven safe dish and cover with foil (shiny side down). 


Bake vegetables for 45 minutes.  After baking for 45 minutes remove foil and bake for another 45 minutes.



The recipe is really simple and really delicious!  You can either eat them alone or as a side dish.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Weekend










 So my weekend was pretty wonderful.  I spent the whole weekend in Maine with my mom.  No boys allowed.  Actually boys would have been allowed but my dad and Dan both had to work this weekend so it was just the girls.  Before I left I found Brody snuggling in my overnight bag....totally his way of saying please don't leave me (or just because he has an obsession with bags).

Saturday my mom made me a breakfast sandwich with a homemade healthy biscuit (recipe to come!).  It was delicious.  Then I got my haircut....finally.  Yes, I drive to Maine to get my haircut because I L.O.V.E the girl that does it....she also did my hair for my wedding.  Mom and I got coffee and went shopping.  Buying new stuff is so glorious!  I bought the jeans I have been wanting forever and talked about here.  Oh and of course ate some crab cakes. 

Sunday we made cafe curtains for my kitchen and then went to church.  It was a pretty great morning and it kept getting better and better.  It was so warm out that we made our way to the beach for a walk.  The beach!  March 10th and I was dipping my feet in the ocean!  
I brought over my wedding photos to my grandmother and had a nice visit before heading back home.
I forgot to mention I took an hour long bath in my parents big old jet bath tub.  It was relaxing to say the least. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and didn't forget to set your clocks ahead.




Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Taking A Little More Time and Staying Connected

Marriage has brought a new spin on life. Things I didn't really expect to change have.
One of the biggest?  
Well, that would be how much more relaxed life feels and how much I appreciate taking time.  I take time drinking my coffee in the morning, I take time doing the things I love, and most of all I take time for myself.  This year I made a promise to myself to slow down and appreciate all the things I have been blessed with in life. 

While Dan was deployed we wrote a lot of letters and we both kept every single one.  After we got married I went through and read every letter (love letter) he ever wrote me.  We had almost 5 years of deployments when all was said and done and reading those letters made me think.  We had to send letters because a lot of the time we couldn't talk, sometimes for weeks.  Those letters I hold dear to my heart.  They are memories that I can read over and over and some of the sweetest things my husband has ever said to me are in those letters.  

It is true what they say, distance does make the heart grow fonder.

So where am I going with all this taking a little more time and staying connected crap?  Well, I can't help but feel like we have lost a little with all this technology.  We have the ability to multitask our days away.  We can keep ourselves occupied all day with our phones, check emails 100 time a day if need be, and never have a real conversation with someone because we text them instead.  

That isn't real life. 

 My point is, that for right now I am making an effort to take time for me and for the people in my life.  I love getting a phone call from a friend, or a card or letter in the mail, and best of all a coffee date.   Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against sending a text or getting an email but sitting down and taking time out of your day to write a letter or make a phone call is something I don't want to lose.  In the bigger picture of life I think we all need to get less caught up in all the "I have to" and take sometime for ourselves and the people we love.   

If I Had My Life To Live Over

"I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
  I'd relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
  I would take fewer things seriously.
    I would take more chances.
  
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
  I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
  I would perhaps have more actual troubles, 
    but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
  
You see, I'm one of those people who live 
  sensibly and sanely hour after hour, 
    day after day.
   
Oh, I've had my moments,
  And if I had it to do over again, 
    I'd have more of them.
  In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
    Just moments, one after another,
  instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
 
I've been one of those people who never goes anywhere 
  without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat
    and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over,
  I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
      and stay that way later in the fall.
  I would go to more dances.
  I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
  I would pick more daisies."

Nadine Stair,
85 years old.


 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cat Photoshoot

These little buggers make me so happy.  I just had to show you their fuzzy little faces.  
Please excuse the slight obsession I have with my cats...




This is my absolute favorite.  
Don't worry, no cats were harmed during any of these photos...they just didn't want to be picked up. 





I can't say enough about having a fuzzy creature happy to see you when you get home or a snuggly love nugget that wants to sit in your lap.
Too much?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Time We Almost Ruined The Garbage Disposal

When we were looking for our first apartment together we had quite a few things on the list of what we wanted and didn't want.  Since Dan was deployed it was up to me to make sure most of our "I wants" were covered.  And I have to say I did pretty well.  
Along with the luxuries or our own washer and dyer, a dishwasher, a yard, a driveway, and a finished basement, there was also the added bonus of a garbage disposal.  I don't think either of us ever really had to deal with such a contraption.  But I was in love with it and would shove just about any food item down it.  Our garbage never smelled because everything went down the garbage disposal.  It was glorious!

What silly, naive newlyweds we were.

Eventuall things went wrong.  Like, everything was clogged kinda wrong.   The landlord called in the drain guy.  I was thinking the clogs were from old pipes, it was no fault of my own. 

Boy was I wrong.

The drain guy told Dan a few things we didn't know about our garbage disposal.  I am going to pass this knowledge on to you guys in case you ever run into the same problem.

Things you never throw into your garbage disposal:

- onion skins
-banana peels
- celery
- coffee grounds (I guess this is okay in small amounts)
- potato peelings
- egg shells
- artichokes
- corn cobbs or husks

How to maintain your garbage disposal:

- Run cold water while the garbage disposal is going because  the cold water it keeps the disposal from overheating
- Keep the water running for about a minute after the disposal is turned off to make sure everything has cleared the drain
- Throw and grind ice in the disposal occasionally and it will clean and break off debris that builds up on the blades
- Peels from citrus fruit will keep your disposal smelling fresh and sharpen the disposal blades

Hope that helps so that you never run into a weekend of clogged drains!