Monday, May 30, 2011

strawberries

This weekend Sean and I went to Linvilla Orchards just outside of Philly to pick our own strawberries.  Linvilla Orchards is a great place with lots of pick your own options depending on the season, and they have a farmer's market with lots of fresh produce and an amazing bakery to boot.  We cut up our fresh berries, and made some shortcakes and whipped cream.  The whole day left me thinking about strawberries and how they just scream SUMMER to me. 

So, I came up with a board using Polyvore of strawberry themed items I'd love to have!  I'm linking up with Yes, Teacher for Tickle Me Tuesday .  I'll be back tomorrow with pics from the weekend, and a recipe!

strawberries

strawberries by ScarletCardinal featuring a pink shawl


Have you entered my GIVEAWAY yet?!

Best giveaway EVER!

Well, at least I think it's the best giveaway ever!! 

You'll remember this post where I talked about all of my gardening desires.  Well, when I told Jennifer from etsy shop GemSprouts that I had featured her on my blog, she was sweet enough to offer a giveaway for all of you!  But before we get to that, a little bit about Jennifer:

Tell a little about yourself, your life story in a nutshell.My name is Jennifer and I am a 28 year old computer geek living in central Florida with my boyfriend and two cats. I work at a software company during the day, go to school full time at night and in my spare time garden, work with animals, paint, and design web sites.

What inspires you?
Nature. I absolutely love nature and the beauty around us. It doesn't matter how good, or bad my day has been - just stepping outside into my garden seems to make everything a lot better. I work in a small space with no windows, so I surrounded myself with moss terrariums, and photos of forests and flowers, which is where my inspiration from GemSprouts came from... a small piece of nature that is with you no matter where you go.

What motivated you to start your own business?
I really wanted to get out of the corporate environment and do something that truly makes me happy. To be honest, I have created several other Etsy stores, which fell flat and didn't make it anywhere, It wasn't until I gave up trying to start my own business and just enjoy my hobbies that GemSprouts were born. I started making them out of different random plastic containers I found, and received so much positive feedback and suggestions, that I finally came up with an idea that stuck.

What advice would you give to someone starting their own creative business?
Don't do it for the money, and never give up. If you can find something that makes you happy, keep doing it, because there is an audience for everything, you just need to find them. And once the sales start coming in... give back. I donate a portion of all of my sales to Conversation International - an organization that helps with all kinds of great causes such as reforestation, helping animals, and feeding poverty stricken areas.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to go to England. I dream of the day I can visit the British country side and shop in London. I have become overly enamored with BBC travel shows and to actually visit the places I get to see on TV would be awesome.

Anything else you want to share?"Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy - your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself." -- Annie Leibovitz



For one of you lucky ducks, Jennifer is letting you pick any pendant from her shop!  With so many different shapes, sizes, and plants the options are endless. 

To enter the giveway, visit GemSprouts and leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite item is!
Extra Entries: (leave a comment for each)
  1. Become a follower of TheScarletCardinal, or let me know if you already are one
  2. "Like" TheScarletCardinal on Facebook
  3. Follow @ScarletCardinal on Twitter
  4. Tweet about the giveaway
  5. Blog about the giveaway
The giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday June 6th and a winner will be announced on Monday June 7th. 

GOOD LUCK!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Ramblings

TGIF folks, for realz. 

This has been a long week and I'm looking forward to three days of blissful relaxation!
Saturday is Sean's Grandpa's 80th Birthday!  So we're going up to New York to wish the old guy a Happy One. 
He is the man who has everything so we ended up naming a star for the birthday boy.  Yes, it's cheesy but I'm pretty sure he's going to love it.
We're hoping to stop by a friend's BBQ on the way home.  My college roommate Morgan is hosting and she's the best.  She's also a budding event planner so this is bound to be a great partay!
On Monday I will be announcing my giveaway!  WAHOO!  So if you're not a follower, you should totally get on that.
Confession: I keep bubbles in my office at all times.  I use them to relieve stress.  It's an awesome thing and you should try it...plus it's definitely a conversation starter. 
Therefore, this is on my wishlist:

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Cleaning is also on the agenda for the weekend...my Mother-in-Law is coming to visit and she probably wouldn't appreciate having to walk over heaps of clothes and dog toys to get to the bathroom.  Although an unexpected test of agility is great for keeping in shape. 
Happy long weekend everyone!  Hope it's filled with sunshine and picnics and bubbles!




Thursday, May 26, 2011

The R Word

I'm sure many of you have seen this video by now, especially if you caught the Season Finale of Glee!  However, just in case anyone missed it, I absolutely had to share.  The message is a little shocking, a lot powerful, and very relevant.  Working with college students I regularly pull my residents aside to have a conversation about an inappropriate word choice, and so I'm seriously considering putting this PSA on repeat in my building's lobby--it would definitely save me a lot of jabbering.

And so I'd love to know how this commercial made you feel.  Is there EVER an ok time to use these words?  Do you correct people when they use offensive language around you?  I love our discussions, so I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts!



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So I've been looking around forever for some prints for our kitchen.  I live in a dorm and although my apartment is pretty fly (like how I brought that terminology back?) there are a few things that aren't exactly aesthetically pleasing.  For example, the giant fusebox in the middle of my kitchen wall. 

And so I wanted to get some prints that would be fun, modern, and cover up that damn ugly box.  Plus any project that feeds my Etsy addiction is worthwhile, no?

And by George I think I've found them!

The first one will be in my shopping cart as soon as my paycheck hits the bank!  Sean and I love shopping our local Farmer's Markets (new Farm Share starts in June!!) and so this would be perfect for us!  I love the colors, the letterpress, the fact that it's repurposed....swooning over this badboy.

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Kim from Albie Designs has the most gorgeous city series of prints (among other amazingness in her shop).  She has a bunch of cities, including Chicago--my hometown!--but no Philly yet.  However, Kim has assured me that it's next on her list of creations, so I will be waiting hopelessly on my Etsy homepage until it's ready. 

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After this, the kitchen/living room area will be fully decorated!  You know, only about a year since we moved in.  No biggy. 

Do you have any favorite etsy items you're pining for lately?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homemade Doggie Treats: Tutorial

I love my pup, Louie.  He's pretty much like a kid for Sean and I, and he's one of the most spoiled pups I know.  So when Kami over at Searching For Serendipity needed guest posters while she's home with her new little bug, Louie was my inspiration!  Furbabies need love and attention too!

So head on over and check out my tutorial for Homemade Frozen Dog Treats!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Secret Single Girl Behavior

Did you ever see that Sex and the City episode where they talk about their "Secret Single Girl Behavior".  The stuff that you only do when your man isn't around...the stuff that once you start living with a dude, or God forbid get married, goes out the window along with any sense of portion control you once had.

Well Sean spent the night at one of his friend's on Friday night so they could get up at the crack of dawn to play golf.  So I got to be a single gal for the night which really got me thinking about all the things I used to do pre-Sean living with me...

In college my roommate and I would have "Bathrobe Time".  We'd each take a long shower, and then hang around in our cushy bathrobes the rest of the day.  This was usually accompanied by making some chilli cheese dip and wine for dinner and watching trashy tv.  Those days were GLORIOUS!!  Sean appreciates neither trashy tv nor my chilli cheese dip, although he'd probably go for the bathrobe thing.  Mostly because the odds of me shifting on the couch and accidentally flashing him would be pretty good.

Once I lived on my own I used to actually work out regularly (yeah yeah...I'm working on it, I swear!).  And a lot of the time I'd do a workout video in the living room.  Have you ever done an at home workout?  I LOVE them but you look INSANE and I'm not up for that kind of ridicule...plus living in a tiny apartment doesn't leave much room for anything but marching in place.  Thank you Leslie Sansom.

I also used to eat better.  To curb my ice cream cravings I'd keep some low fat Cool Whip (pronounced HWIP a la Stewie from the Family Guy) in the freezer and eat it right out of the container.  I'd add fruit/nuts/chocolate chips...it was delicious.  I could still probably do that but now the hubs makes homemade ice cream...and the whip just doesn't cut it.

And of course there's the trashy tv.  Usually in the form of wedding or baby shows.  On Friday night I cleared the tivo of all the baby shows I had recorded.  I laughed, I cried..it was epic.

So what are your Secret Single Girl Behaviors? 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Ramblings

It looks like we will finally have some sunshine after rain, fog, and thunderstorms all week.

I'm not complaining though...it seems as though the rain has knocked a lot of the pollen out which makes my sinuses super happy.

This weekend I have a big event with my staff, and then it's off to the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival.  Lot's of yummy food and of course, great people watching!

Although I've been fighting my cookie craving, Lauren over at The Elephant's Trunk posted a recipe so amazing sounding I absolutely need to try it.  So I will be doing that this weekend as well. (Hopefully the gym too....maybe...Bueller?)

I have a GIVEAWAY coming up!  Wooo!  I'm pretty psyched.  I'll give you a hint...it has to do with this post.

I got the exciting news that one of my friend is expecting a baby BOY!  Which makes me think of all the fun boy things there are...I love a baby in a tie!


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Here's hoping for good weather and fun times this weekend!  What are all of you up to?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gangs and Confederate Flags...I smell a soapbox

So I've been going back and forth about how to write this post since we got back from Florida.  Finally, I said to myself, "Self...just write it already!  You're overthinking!".  And so now I will get on my soapbox...who's with me?

When we were in Florida my cousin took us to Wekiva Island where we drank some beers, sat by the water and people watched, (my favorite sport of all time).  After laughing at some considerably NON MILF-Y women in shorty shorts, and some old men who were lobster-red, Sean commented on the "Regulations" sign posted near the bar/old wooden hut where alcohol was served.

Somewhere between the rule about no shirt, no shoes = a beer chuggin' good time, and the one about farmers' tans being a sign of virility, there was one that said something to the effect of, "No Colors to be Displayed"

Being silly urbanites from the eastcoast Sean and I asked if there were gang issues in that area (clearly Central Florida is a hotbed of gang activity). 

My cousin looked extremely confused and told us that no, he hadn't even considered that.  He assumed the sign was meant to say that no confederate flags should be displayed since people liked to show their "southern pride" in that way. 

Once I scooped my jaw up from the floor and stopped scream-whispering "confederate flags...are you KIDDING ME??!!" I actually stopped and thought about what my cousin had just said.   Now, to give you a bit of context, I work in Student Affairs.  Every day I capitalize on teachable moments to talk with my students about social justice, diversity, and acceptance.  I live and work in a bubble that does not accept behavior that isolates or alienates individuals or groups. So the thought that someone would need to put up a sign in a place where families congregate to let people know to  keep their racist paraphernalia at home please, is totally mind blowing for me.  I'm not saying I don't appreciate the sign--at least effort is being made to proclaim that certain behaviors are unacceptable.  It is the NEED for that sign that baffles me.  I will blame it on my ignorance of southern culture perhaps or lack of understanding of that symbol as "southern pride", it's possible that because of my work and education I am overly sensitive to issues such as this and I need to get off my high horse, or maybe I'm missing the boat entirely and you, my dear readers, can enlighten me!

I know that the world is not in a state of kumbaya, and that there is a lot of hate still apparent.  I know myself that I have biases against others which I actively work to understand every day.  I also know that relative to what is happening around the world, displaying an offensive flag may be small potatos.  But I feel like looking at the little things...the subtleties that add up to big, major, gigantic, ridiculous issues is how we make life a little better, and make our society a safe, welcoming place to be part of no matter who you are. 

It saddens me that although I feel like our country has come so far to combat racism and alienation, we still have so far to go.  What is it like where you live...what type of language do people use to describe those who are different?  Do you have a diverse group of friends and colleagues?  What are your views on this issue?

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesday: Gardening

Living in the city with a teeny tiny patio gives us limited options for gardening.  But I can't help but pine for a lush garden of my own!  We are  currently growing a few edibles in pots and baskets (yum, strawberries!) but it makes me wish for even more.  So I thought I'd share what's tickling my fancy today by sharing some things I'd like to bring into my urban space to green it up a bit. 

I would SO rock this pendant:
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A live plant to carry around with me all day?! Love!  Plus part of the proceeds go to help with reforestation. 


Our "balcony" is actually a glass wall and so this bird feeder would be perfect for viewing the surprisingly diverse population of feathered friends we have nearby.
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And how fricken cool are these?? I would love to cluster these on the wall with various succulents in them.  Such texture and so unexpected. 
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I'm linking up over at Yes, Teacher!.  What's tickling your fancy, today?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Munchies

HAPPY MONDAY, Everyone!!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

Late last week I was introduced to a snack that apparently the rest of the world knew about while I was left out of the loop.  One of the Resident Assistants on my staff brought the most yumtastic snack to our staff meeting.

Sliced Apples + Lemon Juice + Cinnamon = OMGIcan'tgetenough

Apparently the lemon juice keeps the apples from browning so it's a great snack to take with you to work/school/thecircus.  Since nothing is more disgusting than a brown mealy apple. 

So I've pretty much been eating them non-stop.  Healthy and amazing.  YUM! 

What's your go to snack?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Ramblings

Thank you tech gods over at blogger for saving the system!  We are back up and running for this weeks ramblings...and oh boy are they random.

Man, coming back from vacation sucks! 
Work has been a monster...hence the sporadic posting
Next week will be better.  So so much better
Did you read my post on Justin Bieber and his Death Metal premier?  Go now!
This weekend is the Italian Market Festival in Philly, aka my heaven. 
Kami over at Searching for Serendipity is having a heck of a time at the end of her pregnancy.  Thoughts and prayers are being sent her way!

I am going to an Amish Smorgasborg at 6am Saturday morning...I must really love my staff to get up that early!

How fun are these candlesticks?!

A link party is coming...right here...next week.  Be ready!

How was your week friends?  Any fun plans for the weekend?


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This Wordless Wednesday post is in no way the result of my drowning our camera on the first day of our trip forcing us to only take crappy cell phone pictures.  It is also not a result of my being swamped at work and therefore at a loss of what to write to all you lovely readers...

Hmm, I think I just defeated the whole "wordless" part of this post.  Anyhoo....here are some photos from our vacay.  It was lovely, by the way!


Baby Claire.  My cousin's little one.  Sweetest baby ever.


1 of 8bajillion lizards we saw...gross


My two favorite baldies


Mad...like a Hatter


Monday, May 9, 2011

The Biebs-Death Metal God?

My friend Aileen was here for a visit, and since she is a social media whiz as well as a fabulous musician, she shared some seriously amazing videos with us.  Sean is definitely a fan of metal and rock, where as I am generally a Top 40 kinda gal.  So when Aileen showed us Andy Rehfeldt's YouTube Channel it was the perfect mash up of our tastes.  Not to mention the jaw dropping amazingness...

Now, to be honest I'm not a huge fan of videos on blogs...but trust me when I tell you, these are worth the time to watch them.  A.MAZE.ING.

Let me know what you think!




Weekend Bloggy Reading

Friday, May 6, 2011

Head over to..

Searching for Serendipity to read my guest post on Goals!  I'm thrilled to be posting for Kami.  Her blog is just fantastic and she's expecting her first little one.  I hope you'll head over and show her some love!

Those of you popping over from Kami's blog, WELCOME!  Please make yourself at home!gue

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vacation

Sean and I are taking a much needed vacation. I will be enjoying some time with family, in a pool, drinking margaritas.  Overall...being treated like a princess... be back next week!


Interview with Stephanie Fizer

I am so pleased to feature my first interview today!  The lovely Stephanie Fizer, who did all the artwork for my blog, agreed to answer some questions about her creativity, and what it means to run your own business.  All the images are Stephanie's original work and can be found on Her Website.  Take it away, Stephanie!

What is your life story in a nutshell? 

Well, I work as a full time freelance illustrator and have for the past three years.  I run an Etsy shop, license my artwork on products, and do freelance illustration for children’s products so as you can see, I like to stay busy.  I live in a small college town, Huntington, WV with my husband, Seth, and our dog, Leia.  We live in a cute little house that was built in 1953 so it contributes to keeping me busy as well, I’ve always got a home improvement project in the works. 


How did you get started as an artist? 

 I actually only started drawing back in 2003.  I studied dance in college for three years and then ended up finishing my degree in history instead.  Being a bit lost after getting my BA, I spent a few years working a series of awful jobs, not quite sure where to go next.  A good friend gifted me a sketchbook and a book on drawing cartoons in 2003 and the rest was history.  I found the thing that I’m truly passionate about and I worked day and night at it until eventually it grew into a full fledged business and I no longer had to rely on those awful jobs I had been working!  I’m entirely self-taught, I’ve never actually taken an art class, but learned instead by drawing constantly, reading every art book I could get my hands on and studying the work of other artists and illustrators. 

Where do you find inspiration?

 I grew up in a rural area and still live in an area where I am surrounded by trees and flowers, so I’m often inspired by nature.  I also find inspiration in vintage children’s illustration and I am deeply drawn to patterns and bright colors, which definitely shows through in my work. 

What do you find most challenging about running your own business? 

 I love running my own business!  Having always had issues with authority in my old jobs, I find that being my own boss is the best situation for me.  And of course, I get to do what I love every day, which is just amazing.  The most challenging thing for me is drawing the line between my business and the rest of my life; it’s a tough line to draw when your work is also your hobby and passion.  My business requires me to work a lot, so for me drawing that line just means paying attention to the signs that I’m in need of  break.  It’s difficult sometimes because there is literally always something that I need to do or could be doing, so sometimes it’s hard to stop working.  But I’ve learned recently to accept that there is no such thing as being caught up on all of my work and that working myself to the point of being absolutely stressed out just ends up being counterproductive :)

Who is your role model? 

Tough question, but I’d have to say my mom is on that top of that list.  After working with my father in their business for 15 years, my mother had to return to the workforce.  My father started having heart problems and insurance was too expensive for their small business, so my mom went back to get a job to help out in that respect.  It was a tough decision for her and she truly had a hard time getting back into the swing of working for someone else, but she’s an incredibly strong woman so not only did she work through it but she excelled at her job and even gained a couple of promotions.  All my life, when something tough has gotten thrown at her, she’s just met it head on and won out in the end.  She’s truly amazing and I hope I can be half as awesome as she is!

If you could have any other job, what would it be? 

Truthfully?  I don’t want to be do anything else; I absolutely love being an illustrator and feel quite passionately that I’m doing exactly what I should be doing.  I’m already working my dream job! 


What's some advice for those who are starting out in pursuing their passions? 

 If you’re thinking of turning your passion into a career, make sure that you absolutely love it because to succeed in a creative business you’ll be working long hours!  I’d also say be patient and persistent, you may not succeed at first but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again and again.  And finally the piece of advice I always give is:  just be yourself, that’s really the most important thing! 

Anything else you'd like to share? 

You can check out more of my work at my website: http://stephaniefizercoleman.com/  or catch up with me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephaniefizer

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Best Cheesesteak in Philly

Like Chicago is known for its Deep Dish, New York for its Reubens, Philadelphia is home to the Cheesteak.  Whether you order it "wit whiz" or "witout" (and yes, folks...that means Cheez Whiz straight from the can) having a Cheesesteak is a must while in the city of Brotherly Love. And so after searching high and low...

I have found it.  The one.  Do not be fooled by tourist traps such as Pat's or Geno's.  Yes, I know that the flashy lights beckoning from South Philly might be appealing, but seriously, don't even bother with those sad excuses for a sandwich.


John's Roast Pork is a hole in the wall that is open until 3pm...or until they run out of rolls...and only during the week.  The wait is long, and the folks at the grill will yell if you don't order correctly, but it's TOTALLY worth it!

On Friday, we made the trek and got a cheesesteak and a roast pork sandwich and then split.  All I can say is YUMTASTIC!  The cheesesteak did not even need ketchup, people!  Cheesesteaks ALWAYS need ketchup.  The Roast Pork was super flavorful and with spinach on top I was basically in heaven.

This was, by far, the best sandwich experience in Philadelphia thus far.  So for all you Philly locals, and anyone who might be traveling to Philly in the near future, trust me on this, and head to John's.

What is your local food favorite?

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Historic Day

Although I had another post scheduled for this morning, something told me that posting about the best cheesesteak in Philly wasn't necessarily appropriate in light of current events.  (Don't worry--it'll be here tomorrow so you can get your nom on.)

Watching the newscasts last night as well as reading facebook and twitter updates  I couldn't help but feel conflicted over what was happening.  The death of a man who helped organize the death of many Americans, coming after 10 years of searching, certainly should be cause for celebration, no?  And of course on my campus...(I live on a college campus remember?)...there was chanting in the streets, fireworks, and I'm sure, no shortage of students skipping class today. 

For me, however, it just doesn't feel right to celebrate someone...anyone...being killed.  My good friend Aileen is here visiting for a couple of days and her sister, Maggie, put up a facebook status that genuinely sums up my feelings for the situation.

"Celebrate Justice, Not Death. 
God Bless America."

How do you feel...were you among those screaming our National Anthem when Obama announced the news?  As someone who is not overtly politically minded, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Comment away...
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