Thursday, June 30, 2011

Come on over...

Today I'm guest posting over at So Wonderful, So Marvelous about why bloggers make the best friends.   Michelle was one of my very first bloggy friends and I am just thrilled to be filling in for a bit while she's bonding with her as yet unnamed baby girl.  If you haven't found Michelle yet, she is a must read.  She literally makes me laugh out loud with every post. 

For those of you popping by from Michelle's blog: WELCOME!  I'm so happy to have you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Next to Normal

Last Thursday Sean and I went to see Next to Normal, a broadway show that won about 8gajillion Tony's a few years ago.

With Sean being a counselor and me working with college students--a show about mental health was a great fit.  We both had stories to share and people we knew who dealt with serious mental health issues.  The show was amazing...hilarious and heart wrenching.  Plus the rock music was totally on point. 

I have seen a ton of musicals in my life (my dad was a theater buff), but this is absolutely at the top of my list.

Here are some high points:

Do you go to the theater?  What other ways do you infuse "culture" into your life?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Recap: Terrain

This weekend I took some of my work friends to Terrain at Styer's.  It is a GLORIOUS place where outdoor meets indoor in one fabulous package.  I pretty much want to snag one of their colorful throw pillows and just set up camp there.  Not to mention, the cafe has some of the best food that has graced my foodie lips and the fact that it's all locally sourced makes my inner green goddess smile. 

If you live anywhere near PA, you need to make a roadtrip.  Seriously. 

Here are a few pics--none of the food since my companions and I snarfed it all down before I could even focus the camera.

Sean and I also headed to the Taste of Philly where we had some YUMTASTIC noms, and enjoyed a gorgeous day down by the river. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Ramblings

Last night Sean and I had a date night. 
I love date nights!
We ate at Barbuzzo and my favorite part was dessert...omg was it amazing!  Unlike anything I've ever eaten!
Salted Caramel Budino from Barbuzzo

Then we saw Next to Normal.  Now I'm a gal who loves my musicals but this was fresh, unique, and realistic. It made me laugh, and cry, and want to see it again. 

I just joined Pinterest...any tips or suggestions as I add another time suck to my day?

It's hot and humid in Philly which means pony tails EVERY. DAY.

I joined a program called "Colorful Choices" at work, with the aim to eat more colorful produce.  It's really made me realize how few servings of produce I get a day and helping me eat more mindfully.

I need to have phone dates with several important people.  I miss them.

I'm hoping this weekend will be filled with sleep, workouts, and maybe a little shopping.  What are you up to?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dreaming of the beach...

It's been a long time since Sean and I took a REAL vacation--one where housekeeping made the beds and my mojito glass was bottomless.  We are saving up to go on an amazing getaway once Sean finishes his Master's degree--which God willing will be this time next year.

Until then, here are some images to inspire and dream about.





Wednesday, June 22, 2011


So as I sit here in my Ayesha Face Mask from Lush (love!), hoping no one can see in my windows for fear of embarrassment, I am reflecting on my week at the University of Georgia.  I was chosen to participate in an institute for professionals in the field of University Housing.  We learned about what it takes to be a Chief Housing Officer.  The majority of the institute involved planning my future and mapping out my professional development to achieve my goals.  This has left me very reflective and introspective, and so I thought I would share what's been rattling around in my head lately. 

I started The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz upon returning and am currently almost halfway through.  (This is also helping me with my 11 in '11).  Here are some things to ponder from the book:

"We are so afraid that somebody else will notice that we are not what we pretend to be.  We judge others according to our image of perfection as well, and naturally they fall short of our expectations." (p. 18)

"Every human mind is fertile, but only for those kinds of seeds it is prepared for.  What is important is to see which kind of seeds our mind is fertile for, and to prepare it to receive the seeds of love." (p. 28)

"Gossiping has become the main form of communication in human society." (p. 38)

These nuggets of wisdom made me reflect on myself and my actions.  Namely: how authentic am I, and how harshly do I judge others?  Truth: pretty harshly.  In reality all this does is cause stress and conflict.  I should focus on myself and doing good and let others worry about themselves.  This leads into the second two quotes.  If I let my mind be fertile for animosity or negativity I will absorb those traits.  By gossipping I am spreading those seeds to others and causing pain.  Does the fleeting joy of a juicy tidbit really warrant the possible negative consequences.  I'm going to go with no. 

So part of my professional development plan, is also to be personally better.  A better friend, a better colleague, and a better citizen overall. 

What have you reflected on recently?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesday: Dog Days of Summer

So being in Georgia last week was amazing!  I had a fantastic time and learned so much.  However, I desperately missed my little furball!  So in honor of the Lou-man, this week's Tickle me Tuesday post is devoted to him!

The poop bag holder is essential.  It never leaves the end of his leash because there is NOTHING I hate more than dog owners who don't clean up. Seriously folks, get it together!

The necklace is more for me, but isn't it to die for??  My birthday is in a few months people...make it happen.
dog stuff

If I get neck bling, I guess Louie should too.  Snazzy!

And of course some stylish toys make them less obtrusive when they inevitably become part of the decor.
What are your favorite pooch accessories?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guest Post: Advice for Bloggers

Meet Leslie from Fresh out of Lemons.  I love her blog and know you will too!

I was honored when Melissa asked me to be a guest blogger on her site.  I immediately thought, ‘What could I share with her bloggers?’  I began to reflect on all that I’ve learned since I began my site, Fresh Out of Lemons, last August.  I set-up my little space on the world wide web as a creative outlet; a place to share my life, projects, tips, and adventures.  I quickly discovered that the process is much more than simply writing and posting pretty pictures.  Blogging is a lot of work!

Marketing is the behind-the-scenes part of having a blog that you don't think about when you post your first piece.  Writing is a reward, but knowing that people are actually reading makes the process way more fun!  Numbers become almost as important as the words; how many visitors, how many Facebook fans, how many Google Friend Connect members, etc.  Each statistic represents who you’re reaching and how your blog is growing.  I’ve found that the easiest way to increase exposure is also the simplest— be an active fan and follower of other sites.  Bloggers support bloggers.  There’s a reciprocal rule; if I visit your site and leave a comment, the common courtesy is to drop by mine and do the same.  Our worldwide community is such a close knit network, which was another surprise to me….

Fellow bloggers begin to feel like friends.  When I hear something about Texas, I think about Haley over at Cardigan Junkie.  When I come across a gorgeous and ruffled frock, I usually send the image to Laura, who has expressed her love of such things on You Stir Me.  I’m enjoying following Julie’s wedding planning on Love, Julie.  My blogroll represents a list of super talented and creative people who share the fun, relatable, delicious, inspiring, etc. parts of life.  I often feel privileged to be allowed the access.

And I'm fascinated by the idea that my stories can be captured in this unique way for whoever comes across my little url.  However, the flipside is that anyone can come across it.  If you haven’t had your first mean comment, just wait; they’re unfortunate rites of passage.  You will be stung.  If you’re like me, you’ll feel nauseous and begin to question whether “exposure” is such a good thing.  I just don’t accept the idea that I should develop a thick skin.  What I do believe is that people have a choice— read if you like or forget my address if you don't.  Zero tolerance for bullies.  Who’s with me?!

The other part of blogging that makes me want to throw the laptop across the room— technical issues.  Beautiful blogs impress the heck out of me because I know the work that goes into them.  Coding feels like (dark arts) magic.  Luckily I have a pretty great host company, Squarespace, that makes the work a lot easier.  They also have super responsive customer service representatives who talk me through heart-attack inducing moments, like accidentally deleting my entire blogroll. 

My final bit of advice that envelops all of the above— have a supportive partner in your life.  My husband, Joey, was my first fan.  He reads everything that I post, and he puts up with all the hours that I spend on my site and others.  He also accommodates a camera in his face when he’s part of a project that I want to share, or the dinner delays when I’m trying to capture visual steps of a recipe.  He listens to my stories about my web friends as if they’re people with whom we might go out to dinner.  He keeps me creative and, despite all the extra work, that’s the most important part of blogging!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guest Post: Wine Slushies!

Hello everyone! My name is Lauren and I blog over at The Elephant's Trunk and I also have an Etsy shop of the same name. 

Today I'm here to tell you about my love for wine slushies! Recently I was in Arizona at a Craft Fair and some guy at a booth asked me if I'd like a sample of a wine slushie. Was he serious? Of course! I loved it! It was so refreshing and delicious. I then purchased the mixture so that I could make my own win slushies at home.

Frappe Vino is the name of the company that makes this genius drink! You can purchase Frappe Vino yourself via Amazon. (I'm not receiving compensation from Frappe Vino I just happen to love their product. If they are interested in compensating me for singing their praises that's fine with me though).

It is so simple to make this delicious concoction. All you need to do is buy a bottle of red wine and buy a cheaper bottle (you're not having a fine lobster dinner you are pairing it with, you're making a slushie here people). I used a Barefoot Merlot and this can be found at most super markets or liquor stores for a fair price. You dump your whole bottle of wine in a gallon size freezer bag, then fill your wine bottle up with water, add the water to the freezer bag and then mix in the Frappe Vino mixture. After all of this has been done give your gallon size bag a good shake (with the zipper sealed tight of course) and place the bag in the freezer for 24 hours.

After the 24 hours is up, remove your bag and scoop out the frozen slushie. Place in a glass and enjoy!

This is an amazing way to get your red wine fix in on a hot summer day. It would also be great to have a big pitcher of these slushies available at a party. What are you waiting for? Make your own slushie! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fun facts

Since I have several new followers, I thought it would be good to share some fun facts and deep dark secrets.  So first I'll share...then you share!

I have an Etsy addiction.  It's getting bad.  I am becoming a handmade snob.


I LOVE cucumbers in my water.  It makes it look and taste super fancy. 

I refuse to follow a blog only to enter a giveaway.  I will only click that button if I actually intend on reading the blog.  So if I'm one of your followers that means I really really love you!

Although, I have never won a giveaway so maybe I should reevaluate my technique. 

Pecans are my favorite nut.  Everyone should have a favorite nut.

I worked at an ice cream shop all through high school.  So not only do I have a mean right forearm, but I also know that you should always put mint on the bottom of the cone so you can taste all the other flavors first.  The mint makes your taste buds wonky. 

I have about a bajillion blank cards for all types of occasions.  1.) Because I always forget to buy cards and this way I always have them on hand and 2.) because I feel that handwritten sentiments are way better than whatever Hallmark has to say about it!

So tell me what your fun facts are!

Wednesday and Thursday are some super sweet guest posters.  Make sure to show them some love!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Georgia on my mind

I am leaving early tomorrow morning for The University of Georgia where I'll be participating in a professional institute.  I'm thrilled for the opportunity, and looking forward to meeting new friends and colleagues. 

The University is in Athens, GA and aside from driving through on Florida roadtrips, I've never actually visited the state so famous for its peaches and bulldogs

I've been told to expect lots of heat and humidity, with a heap of southern hospitality.

I've scheduled some posts, and have some great guest posts lined up so you won't need to cry at night from missing me.

Any of you been to Georgia?  I'd love to hear your travel tips. 

Have a lovely week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Ramblings: It's gettin' hot in hurr

Ok, folks.  It is friggen hot in Philadelphia. 

You'll remember that as a Resident Director, I live on a college a Residence Hall.  This usually means that my apartment is kept in tip top shape as far as maintenance since we have folks on call 24/7 to fix every leaky pipe, squeaky door, and clogged drain. 

However--my AC has been out since yesterday which means my apartment is a balmy 84 degrees.  Too hot to be in, too hot for my dog to stay in. 

As a result, yesterday and today Louie is in my office with me, allowing me to do exactly NO work when I have an end of year report due and two buildings to close.

My boss (who is the most awesome man alive) put me up in a hotel last night while Louie stayed with one of my colleagues. 

But seriously...I need one of these today...anyone wanna send me?  please?

In other news, I will be out of town most of next week at a conference that I'm super psyched about.  I'll be in Athens, GA so it's only going to get hotter.  Great. 

But!  I have some awesome guest posters for you all so stay tuned!

Is it hot where you are?  Ice packs, ice cream, iced tea, and really anything iced are welcome.  Send them here stat!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Food from Sean's Motherland

Recently, Sean and I were invited by some friends to try out Philly's Brauhaus Schmitz.  Since Sean's grandfather is from Germany, he grew up eating all kinds of yummy German foods and so we were totally game.  (An extensive beer list was also pretty inticing).

The outside and inner decor is charming, even if a little cheesy.  You really can't mistake it for anything besides a German beer hall but clearly that's working for them. 

We ordered a soft pretzel with THE most amazing horseradish mustard I've ever had--it will clear out your sinuses but you will be happy.

I had the Weiner Schnitzel with spaetzle and Sean had the Rouladen.  Both were YUMTASTIC!  Totally authentic (according to the hubs) and definitely passed my test of deliciosity.  So while it's a tad on the pricey side, I still say go for the food, stay for the beer!

The beer list was longer than the food menu, which made the hubs pretty happy.  I had a yummy brown ale, and Sean drank the boot.  This was only the baby boot...they had a bigger one.  Coming from someone who really isn't a beer drinker, I'd say you can bet on having a great pint at this place.

Das Boot
 We'll definitely be back. 

I've found that I'm partial to brown ales...since I'm new at this whole beer drinking thing I'd love to hear suggestions for your faves!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'll Never Break Your Heart...just take it Step By Step

I know you've all been waiting in suspense to hear how the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert went.  I have only one word:

The seats were seriously unbelievable...I don't remember the last time I sat on the ground level for a concert!  I could actually see the boys' faces without looking at the JumboTron.

They got the Right Stuff

They put on an awesome awesome show, and I definitely screamed like a little girl.  Don't worry--no bra throwing.  My badass friend Juliette (has a black belt and works for the FBI...yeah, badass) and her newly married sister, Charlene (remember them from this post) and I all had an awesome girls' night and lived out our teenage fantasies. 

Although the boys are getting old, they can still shake it and make me swoon.  I was really a Jordan and then a Nick Carter girl but I guess my tastes have changed.  Since, clearly, I have a type...what do you think?

AJ (Backstreet Boys)

slap some sunglasses on him and they could be twins, right?!
Too many sexy men in one post, you say?  I apologize to all your husbands, readers. 

So spill it--who was your teeenage crush?!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!  I wish I had enough to give to all of you!  I'm excited to have some of you as new friends and twitter followers, I have some great stuff coming up in the next few weeks for you!

Now, since you've been so patient with me all day...

Congratulations, Camille!  I will be emailing you later today with the details of your prize!  I can't wait to see how you like the necklace!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Giveaway Reminder!

Today is the last day to enter the fabulous GIVEAWAY!

So head on over and enter!  Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Ramblings

Wahoo!  The weekend is here again!

I can't fricken wait for the NKOTBSB concert!!  It's going to be epic.  EPIC, I tell you!
I hate spring/I wish we had a screen door.  I am constantly squealing for Sean to kill the bugs that the furball is playing with in the apartment.  I will try to capture one of those moments on video for you all...hilarity always ensues.
Since I'm a new Twitter addict...are we twitter pals yet?...I thought this news on the new photo sharing with twitter was AWESOME! 
I'm off to a staff retreat today...good thing I like the folks I work with!

Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY...only a few days left!

What are your weekend plans??

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Quit Playin' Games...I got the Right Stuff

So, by some lucky coincidence, I ended up with a ticket to this weekend's New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys Concert... (I'll pause to allow you to squeal).

Ok, now that you got that out of your system, can I just say that I am SO. FRICKEN. EXCITED. to go to this concert?!  I mean, I also feel a little old--I used to play with the NKOTB dolls as a kid since my Barbies definitely thought they were hotter than Ken.  However, I can't wait to scream like a 13 year old girl when they come on stage.  I promise not to shame this blog by throwing my bra or anything...but I have thought about it, just for the record. 

And so, I want to leave you all with this little gem... Don't worry, next week I'll have all the crappy stage pics my little cell phone can manage...and we can squeal together!

PS...The GIVEAWAY ends this weekend!  Go enter!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weekend Recap and a Recipe

So, it's still technically Wednesday right??

Before I bring you my fab Weekend Recap...don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!

Ok, so awesome recap and a recipe!

Sean's Grandpa turned 80! We named a Star for Him...Ozzie

Louie was cute and usual

We went strawberry picking...I ate as many as I picked!

Homemade strawberry shortcake mmmmm
So, the recipe is not for Strawberry Shortcake since, let's be honest, any store bought poundcake will do when covered with berries and whipped cream.  For me, the whipped cream is always the best part...and once you've made homemade whipped cream, you'll never go back to canned!

Whipped Cream Recipe:

1 pt. Heavy Cream
Powdered Sugar (1/4-1/2 c. or to taste)
1 Tbs. Vanilla Extract

  1. First, put a metal bowl into the freezer to get it chilled.  Even better if you put the beaters in with it.  I would put them in about half an hour before you want your whipped cream.
  2. When you're ready to beat it up, take the bowl and beaters out of the freezer and pour in your heavy cream.  Turn your beaters on High in the cream, and beat for about 2 minutes or until the cream is starting to fluff a bit.
  3. SLLLOOOWWWLLLYYY add the powdered sugar while continuing to beat on high.  This is a good time to taste your whipped cream (someone has to do this job, sadly), and add until it's sweetened to your liking.
  4. Add the Vanilla as the cream is beginning to form stiff peaks to get lots of vanilla flavor. 
  5. After 5-7 minutes, your whipped cream should be light and fluffy and ready to scoop on any dessert!
  6. ENJOY!
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