Monday, March 30, 2015

Over the Weekend: Camping

Whenever I tell people that I'm going camping they seem surprised. I guess I don't really give off the outdoors vibe??

I might even venture to call my version of camping GLAMPING. Mostly because it does include an air mattress, sheet set, pillow and multiple sleeping bags. 

We ventured to a local nature preserve for the weekend to camp. Highlights of the weekend included hiking with gorgeous views, a successful Pinterest campfire hobo meal and a chance to use M's new camping hammock. The not-so-great parts of the weekend included record cold temps (I'm talking 25 degrees Saturday night) and a forgotten spatula that thwarted our attempt for pancakes over the fire. I apologize if you've already seen these pictures on will see some of the same here today...

M testing out his new camping hammock. I was nervous to get in. 

Saturday morning. Freezing my lily-white butt off. 

I was trying to show how hilly our trails were even though we don't live in a normally hilly area. This was my best attempt. 

Hiking views of some of many coves.

Trees for days! 

One of the other coves we encountered while hiking. 

M wanted to try to fish a little while we were there. It was very cold to he opted to dress like a fancy burglar. 

Not sure what I was saying...or singing at this moment. 

This was pretty much one of the few times we could keep the tent open. It was too chilly.

M lowered the hammock a little and I tried it out. I was nervous about both the mount and dismount but I didn't fall or flip. Hooray! 

Linking up! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Think Zayn Might Be My Fault...My Bad

So, unless you live under a rock, you probably heard that Zayn Malik has decided to leave the boy band One Direction after 5 years of immense success.

Wait. Moment of silence for my dear friend Luis who not only loves the band, but is one of Zayn's biggest fans.


Okay, so, while I wouldn't call myself a huge 1D fan, I do like them. I also realized something this morning that almost caused me to spit out my Diet Dr. Pepper while driving...

It might be my fault that Zayn left 1D.

Why? Well, it's very simple. I have a tendency to like and be a fan of the one member of boy bands that eventually leave or quit the band. And I'm not even joking...

New Kids on the Block
My favorite one was Jonathan Knight, who left the band in 1994.

Backstreet Boys
My favorite one was Kevin Richardson, who left the band in 2006.

Though not as big of a fangirl with 1D as I was with the other two, I've always like Zayn and said he was (by far) the most attractive of them all. Zayn Malik left the band in 2015.

You see? I'm a curse when it comes to boy bands. I'm not even going to include that my favorite N'Stync (because I was a hardcore BSB fan) member was Lance Bass. Sigh.

So, for all of the 1D fans and, more specifically the Zayn fans, I'm sorry. This could be my fault. I promise to not have any more boy band favorites for as long as I live. This is my solemn vow.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top 5 Tuesday: Supermarket Flowers

Lately, I've been on a fresh flower kick. The only problem is, I don't think I'm really all that good at arranging them. I see beautiful pins of floral arrangements and think I could master something and then it ends up looking a little like a Pinterest fail. :)

Anywho, yesterday I found this blog that gives awesome instructions and tips for floral arrangements. If we weren't going out of town this weekend, I would have already tried some of these but I'll have to wait until next week so I can fully enjoy the fruits of my [floral] labor.

Reading the blog posts yesterday ignited my love for flowers and floral arrangements again and even gave me an ambitious sense of excitement...if that makes any sense. But I also am a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to flowers. I only buy them from the supermarket/grocery store or farmer's market. Often their selection is just as beautiful to me and it's much easier on the old wallet, you know? And since flowers usually only last a week or so, I just can't afford to drop $50 on something that dies in 6 days.

So, armed with my new floral arrangement knowledge, I'm sharing with you 5 of my favorite supermarket/grocery store flowers to use in home floral arrangements. These are flowers that are hardy and look great in arrangements. I'm a big fan of using any of these and my budget is too!

Row 1: Alstromeria - These come in a huge variety of colors and last forever! They look great by themselves or as filler flowers
Row 2: Chrysanthemums - Mums are beautiful standalone flowers. Spider mums look awesome in arrangements since they tend to stick out!
Row 3: Sunflowers - One of my all-time favorites.

Row 1: Flowering branches - Forsythia (left), Lily of the Valley (center) and Waxflower (right). These are great to add height and interest to arrangements.
Row 2: Spray roses - Though I'm not a huge fan of roses, I like that the spray roses are already bunched so they are great as filler flowers.

I left out some of the obvious supermarket flower contenders and I will explain why:
Lilies- they are beautiful but I'm highly allergic to them. I cannot use these in my home.
Carnations - just not a big fan
Daisies - see above
Roses (single stem) - also just not a big fan...and they tend to be pricey

It should be noted that some of my absolute favorite flowers are usually not found at supermarkets but at flower shops and florists. They are just a bit too unusual for the average grocery store to carry. However, if you find any grocery stores that carry poppies or ranunculus, let me know!

There are lots of great flower options at your local supermarket. If you are blessed to live near a Publix, they have some of the best flowers (and prices) I've seen grocery stores. Now, take your new floral arrangement tips and get to the store!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Goals

The lovely and hilarious Steph posted about her spring goals today on her blog, so I'm considering this a blessing from the gods of creativity and using it as a springboard for my own blog post today.

With it being the first day of spring or the "vernal equinox" if you will, it's important for me to set a few seasonal goals that I can achieve before spring is over.

Spring Goals:

1. Organize and clean out the laundry room. (Well the sock and towel graveyard that is currently situated in my laundry room.)
2. Hang our anniversary wreath on the door.
3. Perfect a recipe for healthy strawberry jam using my Memaw Pat's recipe.
4. Try another new vegetable. (I'm leaning towards parsnips...anyone have a good recipe?)
5. Try another way to cook a vegetable. (Leaning towards cauliflower mash...)
6. Go to the local farmers market for said vegetables.
7. Save more $$ for our house buying venture this summer.
8. Go to 2 of my local museums. I'm thinking this one and this one.
9. Go to the SC Strawberry Festival. I've never been!
10. Have a picnic at our favorite park.

What are your goals?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Warm Weather Foot Care PSA

Ladies and gentlemen, (yes guys, y'all are not at ALL excluded by today's PSA/blog post) warmer weather is upon us. (well, for most of the country, at least) Tomorrow is first day of spring and soon we will start to bare our little piggies for rest of the world.

Here's my PSA for the season: get those feet looking decent BEFORE you bare them.

27 ways to look better naked: Get a nude pedicure

As you start to wear flip flops, sandals, mandals and go barefoot, it's very important you put your best foot forward. (pun intended) Why? Because 1) no one wants to see your nasty, gross feet and 2) I will judge you. (really, the second is enough reason to do something about it...right? HA!) It's time to haul out the foot bath, clippers, polish, top coat/UV coat, lotion and pumice stone and start working on those layers of skin that have built up all winter.

Ladies, some of your get pedicures all winter long. (four for you) Some of you resort to doing it yourself because you don't like people touching your Some of you let the wild thing takeover in the winter because you shove your feet in snow boots until from October to April.

Whichever you are, when you let the piggies fly, make sure they look their best. Any healthcare professional will tell you that taking care of your feet is very important to your overall body health. By spending a couple of dollars (the equivalent of 3-4 Starbucks coffee drinks) to have someone exfoliate the dead skin, clean up your cuticles and to cut/shape and polish your nails is worth it. Even if you aren't a polish girl, you should still consider a UV clear coat as the summer rolls around to prevent the sun from discoloring your nails.

Men, most of you probably don't care about your feet...though there are some that go as far as getting a pedicure on the regular. You don't have to get your nails polished, but it's also important to have someone clean, trim and shape your nails to reduce the risk of ingrown toenails and other toe issues. It's also nice to have someone exfoliate your feet so that your feet don't rub off the finish on your hardwood floors. ;)

No matter which route you choose: professional foot grooming assistance or DIY...there are few things you'll want to avoid come foot-flash season.

1. Overgrown or too-long toenails.
This is one of my pet-peeves. Clip them and keep them clipped. The end.

2. Polish is all or nothing.
If you're going to do polish, do not let it sit on your feet half chipped off. Once it starts to grow out or chip off, either touch it up/repaint or remove completely.

3. Dry heels.
A little lotion at night goes a long way, believe. Thicker lotion on your heels with some cotton socks on at night will REALLY help. There are lots of DIY treatments for dry heels that work. Check out this one, this one and this one.

4. Toe rings. 
Why are these still a thing? WHYYYYYY?

5. Toe hair. 
Shave that mess off. They even make little handy shavers just for the tootsies. Okay?

What are your issues/peeves with feet in the summer?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Uses for Beer (Besides Drinking It)

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, friends! It's one of my favorite holidays...why? Well, because it's a day when we actually embrace and not shun those with pale skin and freckles....AND I look good in green. HEH.

But there's a slight downside to the customary St. Paddy's Day celebrations from my point of view. It has a lot to do with beer...and I don't drink beer. I just can't get behind the taste...and I've tried a lot of different kinds. I don't like it. And since St. Patrick's Day has evolved into a pretty big beer-drinking holiday, I figured I'd come up with a list of things you can do with beer BESIDES drink it for those of you who don't enjoy the taste of it either.

5 Uses for Beer (Besides Drinking It)

1. As a rinse for your hair.
Beer is great for really cleaning your hair and removing a lot of product build up. Simply pour a can or bottle on your freshly-washed hair in the shower and then rinse off thoroughly...lest you smell like you partied a little too hard the night before.

2. As a slug trap:
Pour a can of beer in a small plate or dish (or in my family's disposable pie plate) and place it out in your garden where you have slugs. In the morning you'll find some dead slugs and your slug problem will be gone. Just make sure you get rid of the slug trap before you let your dog out to do his business...this will spare you from seeing your dog slurping up leftover beer and coming inside with half a slug hanging from his mouth. Just saying.

3. As a gold jewelry cleaner:
Pour some in a dish and soak your jewelry. After it has soaked, rinse and dry thoroughly. Your jewels will sparkle like new!!

4. As a foot soak:
Pour half a bottle of beer in a container of warm water. Soak your feet for about 10 minutes and then remove and cover with lotion. Your feet will be soft!!

5. To cook and bake with:
Beer is wonderful as a meat tenderizer, a marinade, a broth or liquid that can be added to cheese dips, soups and stews. Beer is also excellent for baking and can be used in cakes, brownies, breads and more!

In what ways do you use beer? Happy St. Patrick's Day! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thoughts on Theodore (My Childhood Bear Friend)

Ladies and Germs, allow me to introduce you to Teddy.

Well, specifically, Theodore J. Geiger (He has chosen to not take my married name and keep his last name as an homage to his German/Swiss heritage.)

He's had quite a few reconstructive surgeries over the years to remove an old leaky (battery acid) music box and for a new nose and mouth (because as I child I chewed them off apparently) and his paws are kind of about to fall off. The stuffing has settled/clumped to give him a lopsided head and his eyes have glue residue from where I once put stickers on them. M thinks he is the scariest looking thing since the movie It.

To me, he just looks loved.

But here's my quasi-dilemma. He lives in my closet. He doesn't live on my bed and I don't sleep with him or use him at all. He's still there in my closet. I just can't find the heart to get rid of him. And besides, how would I even do that? I can't just throw him away. That recalls frightful memories of the Velveteen Rabbit story I heard as a child. But I'm not sure if I can just keep him around in my closet.

I love the quote by William Morris "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

Teddy is not useful and he is not beautiful (which I take to mean, he's not something I would want to display in my home). So what to do? He's also not the kind of toy that someone else would want to play with. I mean, he's over 30 years old! He's worn out and weird looking.

Do I just keep him around? Do I get rid of him? Do I have someone make him into something else to keep? Have any of you dealt with getting rid of a longtime childhood toy? What did you do with it or do you still have it?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Show Us Your Books: What I Read in February

I have a bad tendency to start a lot of books and then I get bored with them and don't finish OR I finish them and don't like them. Oh well. So, I'll spare you the total duds and review the ones I thought were noteworthy.

Life According to Steph

I really liked the plot of this book. I tend to guess the killers right away but I didn't in this one. Any book that deals with an old mental institution is one I'm a fan of. (I can't help it!) Also, this books sheds some interesting insight into the world of the wealthy and how "The Haves" have just as many problems as the "The Have Nots". Even though this is fiction, I kept thinking it might have been based on a true story. I definitely recommend this one! 

This is not a book about fairytale things...contrary to what the title may insinuate. It's a book about a damaged girl who gets noticed by a famous actor. It's also not AT ALL similar in plot to 50 Shades...even though it sounds like it. The plot was surprisingly good and had a lot of depth. The character development was good. I thought the main character Chloe was a bit moody but she is very strong-willed and courageous. Lots of interesting plot twists. It took me a long time to get through this one but I still enjoyed it. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Fashion Favorites

Gosh I love spring! It's the season for colors and pastels and Reese's eggs...and it's also the season for awesome fabrics like eyelet and linen. Honestly, spring is one of the best fashion seasons, in my opinion. It's time of rid ourselves of our winter dark color slump and bust out the colors! Here are some fresh and springy items from a few of my favorite stores.

The top row is Old Navy and the bottom row is Target. Links and commentary are below.

Old Navy 
Eyelet Lace Top | Wear to work with a cardigan and pants/skirt or wear casually with a skirt or jeans/shorts.
Navy Ponte Knit Tank Dress | Wear to work with a cardigan or blazer or wear casually with flats or a denim jacket.
Pink Ponte Knit Dress |  Same as the navy one. But this is fit a little differently so it comes across a bit more formal.
Reversible Tote | This is large enough to be functional as a tote and to carry things but could also serve as an everyday purse. 

Multi-colored Bib Necklace | Wear for all occasions! 
Trimmed Knit Shell Top | Wear to work under a cardigan/sweater/blazer or by itself for a casual look.
Patch Floral 3/4 Sleeve Dress | Wear by itself! Flats for work and flip flops/sandals for play.
Crochet Front Tank | Wear by itself for a casual look or pair with a denim jacket or cardigan.
Ponte Fit and Flare Dress | Wear by itself for work or play! 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Dream Job

My dream job is one that I've mentioned before and the older I get the fantasy of this being my job has never diminished. 

My dream job is...

A Namer

What is a namer, you may ask? It's simply a person who gets paid to name things: streets, cosmetics, zoo animals, paint colors, fragrances, neighborhoods, board/video games, etc. If it needs a name, I want to be the naming consultant. 

All of my life, I've enjoyed naming things. My mom says that from a very young age I gave other names to normal things like washcloths. So weird. I've always loved to name things. I've named my computers, my cars, my pets...even the names of the animals on my desk calendar (which is different pictures of baby goats).

This is one of those imaginary jobs that probably doesn't exist in real life. But if I could create a job as a naming consultant, I would totally do that. The idea of theme names in neighborhood or for new cosmetic lines fills me with inspiration and when they don't have good irritates me to no end. If I were a naming consultant I could make a living being creative and logical (taking things into account like local history and topography for neighborhood naming, for example). This job would require research (which I also love doing) it's really a great fit for my personality as well.

That's my dream job. What's yours?? Link up below! (Link party will be open until next Wednesday!!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Over the Weekend

The older I get, the more my weekends tend to be...well...a bit boring. Highlights move from parties and social events to coupon deals at the grocery store and errands. Oh well...that's the joy of being a grow up, right?

Hewitt (finally) went to the groomer this weekend. He got a haircut and bath and acts like he feels so much better. But  we do have to keep him wrapped up a bit around the house because the poor thing shivers. 

I got a Vegetti vegetable peeler at WalMart and tried it out this weekend with a bolognese sauce. It was really good! (I used zucchini this time.) I'm excited to try it on other vegetables soon!

I'm really loving this workout/strength training challenge for March. Would you join in?

Hewitt finally decided to snuggle with Cyrus, our sea lion pillow. #buddies What did you do over the weekend?

Don't forget to join me on Thursday for the Dream Job Link-up Party! I really hope to see you!!