Thursday, January 24, 2013

a valentine's day treat

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and it is a holiday for love notes.  And well, I have found the sweetest paper company, rifle paper co. and can't wait to send out my Valentine's Day treats to all my loves.  I still have a true love for actual written letters and cards in the mail.  Stamps, brand new pens, and licking an envelope all have a special place in my heart.  If I had more time I would catch up on my correspondence more often and all my letters would be on beautiful stationary.  Wouldn't that be nice?  But since spending my days writing letters isn't going to happen {maybe when I retire?} I will be sending my love through these Valentine's Day postcards. 

If your looking for something other than Valentine's Day cards rifle paper co. has plenty of other paper products.  All gorgeous.  Below are a few on my wishlist.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

after the holiday detox

This post is coming a little late, I should have done this closer to the holiday but better late than never.  Anyway, over the holiday and after a few to many girl's nights I came up with a sure fire way to detox and get back on track after overindulging.  Whether it is one too many glasses of wine, a little too much food, or a lack of sleep {my husband calls this too much birthday after the Berenstain Bears book} these tips will help you feeling yourself again in no time.

Drink lots and lots of water.  I know this seems like a no brainer but sometimes it is hard to down 8 cups of H2O when your not feeling 100%.  Making sure you drink a whole bunch of water will help flush out your body leaving you feeling refreshed.  And if you want to get an extra bit of detox try drinking a few cups of hot water with lemon in it.  Adding lemon to your water helps flush your system even faster plus it adds some vitamin C to boost your immune system. 

Make sure you get enough sleep.  This is a hard one for me because I like to wake up and get my day going but getting some shut eye after a long night makes a world of difference.  If I don't get to sleep in I try and take a nap during the day or at least get to bed early the next night.  Your whole body is able to recover while your sleeping so its pretty key to getting back on track.

Get yourself some antioxidants.  Along with drinking lots of water having a cup of green tea will boost your immune system and give you some energy.  I know coffee always seems like the best choice when your feeling run down but green tea is a lot gentler on your system.  Not a big tea drinker?  Well berries, especially blueberries, are high in antioxidants and adding these to your diet the day after a big old party will leave you feeling wonderful!

Fill up on greens.  Overloading your system with vitamins and nutrients found in green veggies will give your body just what it needs to revamp after you have decided to indulge with your party pants on.
If you have a juicer try making this green juice:
1 green apple
1 cucumber
2 stocks of celery
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of kale
1 carrot
1/2 of a lemon

No juicer?  Well steam yourself some veggies or make a huge salad.  Not only is it good for you your liver will thank you as well.

Take a detox bath.  Taking a bath is one of my favorite things and by adding a few ingredients to your tub you can make it part of your detox.  Fill your bathtub with hot water and add 1 cup of Epsom salts, 1/4 cup of sea salt, 1/4 cup of baking soda and a few drops of lavender essential oil.  This soak will pull out all kinds of toxins {especially after drinking}.  Plus it gives you some time to relax and catch up on a good book.

These few things I swear by when I find myself run down after a stressful week or one too many drinks.  I hope this helps you the next time you feel the need for a little detox.
Remember always take the time to take care of yourself. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

nutella-stuffed chocolate chip cookies

I posted a few weeks ago about my trials and tribulations on cookie baking.  Well it got a bit out of control and there were cookies everywhere.  My husband was in heaven.  Then New Years Eve rolled around and I got a little creative; I stuffed the chocolate chip cookies I had gotten so good at making with nutella.  

{I didn't take photos of the nutella-stuffed cookies...sorry!}

What to do:
I follow the Nestle Toll House recipe for my cookie dough.  I formed 1 1/2 " balls of dough and placed them on a greased cookie sheet.  I flattened each ball then placed a spoonful of refrigerated nutella {it works better if the nutella is refrigerated before} into the center of each cookie.  I began to fold the sides of each cookie up over the nutella.  This is a little tricky.  I had a few cookies that need a little extra dough on top to make sure the nutella wasn't exposed.  I place the cookies in the oven at 375 degrees for about 11 minutes.  Once they were done I let them cool on the cookie sheet to ensure that they wouldn't fall apart. 

They came out great and they were a hit at the party!  I haven't gotten all the cookie making out of my system so if you have any other great recipes out there please share.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

life lessons from my fuzzy friends

My husband and I are officially out numbered by the pets in our home.  We introduced Millie to our happy little household a month ago and it has been nothing less than exciting since.  I wont bore you with every single hilarious scenario between the cats and the pup, but trust me we have our hands full.  And since Dan and I aren't planning on having babies any time soon you get to hear about our fuzzy friends.

Millie has already turned my world upside down with the amount of bathroom breaks she needs and her bad habit of bringing me every single shoe she can find in our house.  Having a puppy is more frustrating than I thought it would be, but let me tell you one of the things I am working on is being more patient and she has definitely made me rise to the occasion.  I may have shed a tear or two when she stepped in her own poop and then ran through my house without letting me clean her paw or decided to pee {a lot} at the top of our stairs and it pretty much made a lovely yellow stream all the way down to the bottom a side note both of these instances were before I had to leave for work.  Patience.  It is a good thing to always be working on.

I am amazed at how much this dog enjoys every single second of her life.  I try and run with her a few times a week and it is the only time in my entire life that I am able to laugh and smile while running.  And she has gotten me to run a lot faster than I would if I set my own pace.  This little pup looks like she has a smile on her face every time she sees someone on a bicycle or a couple walking by chatting over coffee.  And if she finds a stick...oh well forget it, she is the happiest little creature on earth!

These sweet felines have been with me since I moved to Boston.  They have seen me through all Dan's long deployments and have rarely missed a night snuggled up with me before bed.  I have had them since they were teeny tiny.  Gosh they were so cute and they still are; especially when they snuggle on the couch and hold hands {see above}.  They always remind me to slow down and take a cat nap.  They tend to follow me around the house curious as to what I am doing but they get tired of my constant hustle and bustle and soon retire to the couch for a snooze.  They always remind to slow down and that its okay to stretch out in the sun every once in a while.

Yup these cats are pretty good at taking everything in stride.  And they always amaze me at how much snuggling they can endure.  They want to sit on your lap, curl up with you in bed, and be at your feet most of the time.  And I have to say I don't mind it at all. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013


A very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.
A great desire to travel and rove about

I have big dreams of traveling this world.  I can't help myself.  I save clippings from magazines of places I want to visit, I fill my desk drawers with paintings and postcards of far away countries, and I have placed books on my book shelf of places to see and stay.  Its a tease I guess but hopefully someday I will make it to most of those places.

I was blessed with being able to travel while I was in high school (oh so long ago) and college.  I have done a little since settling into real life but with the responsibility of paying bills and working, traveling to distant lands hasn't been at the top of my list.  Though it should be.  Plus I have a husband that has traveled to about 20 different countries in the past few years and loves the thought of keeping in low key in New England for a while.  But this new year has shed new light on the idea of traveling.  Whether it is in this fine country of ours or heading abroad, I want to make it more of a priority. 

California has been on my list for a while.  I have flown over California, I have even had a layover in LAX, but never have I visited.  This trip is already in the works with two of my best gals this spring and I am beyond excited!  There has been talk of winery hopping, drives along the coast, and maybe some camping.  

I have traveled to Central America twice before, Belize and Costa Rica but the next place I would love to step foot on is Nicaragua.  I wouldn't mind a little time by the sea and some laid back travel by bicycle.

Europe, Europe, Europe!  Especially France and Italy!  I backpacked through Europe when I was in college.  No money and a lot of hostels.  I would loved to go again with my handsome hubby and really do it right.

If you haven't read Amanda's blog you should.  Her and her husband just got back from New Zealand.  I can't help but drool over the pictures she posts and it makes me want to hop on a plane and head to a New Zealand winery.  

Just a few places I would love to visit.  Maybe someday. 
Do you all have your master list of places you want to travel?  Do tell, do tell!

Monday, January 7, 2013

my first really good cookies

Sad to say but there are two things that I am really not at good cooking.  Potatoes and chocolate chip cookies.  I know what your can the girl not cook potatoes?  I'm working on it.  But the chocolate chip cookies hurts me the most because they are by far my husband's favorite. Mine always come out flat, almost burnt, and they crumble as soon as you bite into one. 

The week before Christmas we had a bit of a family emergency {don't worry everyone is fine now} and while my husband was dealing everything, I of course got to baking.  It was therapy for me to get in the kitchen and bake instead of checking my phone every 5 minutes.  So I baked and baked.  A lot of love poured into those cookies and I figured no matter what happened that day, cookies {and good cookies for that matter} would only help the situation.  

Everything ended up just fine and when my husband got home that night he found four dozen of the most amazingly delicious chocolate chip cookies I have made to date.  I can't tell you what I did different.  Maybe it was the mixer I used?  Maybe I preheated the oven longer?  Maybe it was the tiny extra butter I used?  I will never know.  All I do know is that those cookies didn't last very long.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

a clean slate

A new year always feels like a clean slate.  This year was no different.  I woke up on New Years day with a little extra spring in my step.  Though I am not a real resolution maker {I leave those for my birthday}  New Years always gives me the push I need to take a good look at what I want my life to be.  That isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially if you're not where you thought you would be.  It happens.  No matter how my year has gone I only make one promise to myself at the start of a new year and that is to be a better person than I was the year before.  

 This was a year of first.  It was our first year of marriage, living with one another, and for lack of a better word it was normal.  We had been in a long distance relationship for so long that having each other around for a whole year was the most normal we have felt yet.  Here is to another year of no deployments for my handsome hubby.  2012 was definitely a year to take in and grow.  

I have a lot of hopes for the year to come; for both my marriage and for myself.  More adventures, more travel, more love, a lot more firsts, and more patience.  I want to use my time better, more yoga, be better at staying in touch, love more {yup said it again}, and I want to truly follow my heart.

I wish the happiest 2013 for all of you!