Tuesday, July 31, 2012

10 days of ME :) : 1 picture

day 10 of 10...of all about me...1 picture :)

1. this picture was taken in May of 2004...right after I graduated from college...I always thought it was a pretty good representation of myself...silly :)  I know that I don't always follow my own advice...but life should be fun...and even though work and life in general tend to get in the way...I hope I can still take pictures like this of myself when I'm 90 :)

*disclaimer* I think this might be the first time I ever wore a cowboy hat...being from NJ, and not ever being exposed to country music until I went to school in VA...but, it was not the last time I've worn one :)

Recipe Box- Granola Energy Bites

these are delicious little bites of granola, honey, peanut butter, chocolate, and coconut...and you don't even have to bake them!  these could not be any easier...and yuuuuuummmmmy!  great for a quick breakfast, or a snack...I suggest you try them :)

image from Smashed Peas & Carrots

click here for the recipe!

Monday, July 30, 2012

10 days of ME :) : 2 songs

day 9 of 10...of all about me...2 songs

as someone who grew up in a home with my parents...choosing just two songs is pretty much impossible..so I am choosing two songs that are inspiring to me right now

2. Don't Stop Beliving by Journey

print by No. 9 Images

1.  Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles

 print by The Tie Dye Jedi

I'm at somewhat of a career crossroads...even though I am 100% certain of what I want to do...a little inspirational music to dance around the kitchen to never hurt!

Monday Inspiration

I hope this quote is true...because sometimes I feel like I spend so much time researching and planning ideas, but not really going out and being inspired...recently we've been able to travel a lot, see friends and family- we even made it to the beach!  I am definitely enjoying the "living" part of life these days :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

10 days of ME :) : 3 films

day 8 of 10...of all about me...3 films

3.  Dirty Dancing...it's one of those movies I'll watch every single time it's on TV...even though I own the DVD...I even visited the place where the movie was shot in Virginia- it's only a short drive from Virginia Tech...it's a movie I saw at a friend's birthday party when I was younger, and I guess it just reminds me of that time...plus, I am a terrible dancer...and I think I always wanted to pretend that I could be like that...dancing around in front of all those people...ha, and maybe that someone could pick me up over their head effortlessly ;)

2.  Anchor Man...I love Will Ferrell...he just makes me laugh...goofy, ridiculous, laughter...this movie just has so many quotable lines...and B and I love to watch it over and over...he even dressed up as Ron Burgandy co-host, Brian Fantana (his celebrity doppelganger - Paul Rudd) for Halloween!  have to admit...he looked pretty funny with a mustache and 70's sideburns ;)


1.  It's a Wonderful Life...I have written about this movie before...it is our Christmas Eve tradition, and one of my very favorite movies...I know it's old, and very long...but I just love Jimmy Stewart, and his selfless ways...and the way their friends and family rallied around them in their time of need...the way it should be...people who do good things should have good things happen to them!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

10 days of ME :) : 4 books

day 7 of 10...of all about me...4 books

gosh...this is going to make me realize how few books I have read lately...but honestly, my favorite books have always been children's books...so maybe a few of them might make it in there ;)

4.  Shel Silverstien's books of poems were some of my favorites as a kid...and I still love them now...they are so kooky...and I don't think I really understood just how odd they were until I was older...but nonetheless, I still have them all, Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and can't wait to read the new one Everything On It :)

I love that he not only wrote these crazy, rhyming tales...but created illustrations to bring those words to life :)

3. Where the Wild Things Are...by Maurice Sendak...another favorite, another classic...what kid wouldn't want to travel to a magical world where they could be king of all the animals!?

2. The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head...I honestly don't remember much about this book, but it is a vivid memory I have from growing up...my Mom definitely borrowed it from the library more than once for me...I think I'll have to try and track it down so I can read it again :)

1.  Dr Seuss...it's no secret that it's my absolute favorite, first inspiration, and go-to set of stories...I'd love to have the whole collection one day...the colorful pictures and words just warm my heart :)  I can't even think of choosing a favorite...but one that I always loved, was the story of the Sneetches...I love that there is always a life lesson hiding cleverly inside each happy story

guess, in case this list or anything else hasn't clued you in, that I am definitely a kid at heart...am, was and always will be :)

Photo Saturday

whenever it gets really hot, I miss football season, and Virginia Tech even more...so today's photo is a throwback to 2005 :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Illustration Friday- CARRY

I was so productive, and ahead of the game, that I had drawn my Illustration Friday for this past week over the weekend...and then what happened?  I forgot to submit it!  sheesh!  oh well :)  I will just share it with you, my lovely readers :)

when I saw the theme of "carry,"  the first thing that popped into my head was the poem by e.e. cummings, so that's what I drew...in the car...in a notebook...not my sketchbook...not sure why I'm choosing to draw there recently...maybe it's because if I make a 'mistake'...it's not in my REAL sketchbook...I'm weird...I know ;)  someday I will make a more finished, and polished version of this drawing...but until then...enjoy!!

10 days of ME :) : 5 foods

day 6 of 10...of all about me...5 foods

5.  PIZZA!  hands down, the food I could eat all day everyday...there is a favorite, as I'm sure, if you've read other posts on my blog...the pizza from my hometown, Alfonsos, is by far my absolute favorite...I've found several substitutes that are okay...but nothing is quite as good...and I'm sure nothing ever will be ;)

4.  pickles...what do I even say about this...I usually have to restrain myself from eating an entire jar at a time...I'd love to learn how to make my own...I'd save a lot of money :)

3.  lasagna...our family Christmas Eve dinner tradition...and something that I take great pride in making...whether it's the traditional kind...or with a chicken spinach alfredo spin...or even zucchini lasagna with no noodles...I'll take it!

2.  appetizers...I know that is kind of vague...but I could survive solely on appetizers...finger foods, the kinds of snacky foods we'd make for New Years Eve, Superbowl Sunday and any BBQ growing up...veggies and dip, shrimp cocktail, bruschetta, deviled eggs, chili dip, buffalo chicken dip, mozzarella sticks...just to name a few :)

1.  dessert...can I just say dessert as a food?  I have a definite sweet tooth...so dessert of some kind is definitely a part of my every day...it might look like chocolate, or ice cream...but I always like to have a little something sweet at the end of my meal...to tell my stomach it's done ;)  usually it works...usually.

Friday Funny

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

10 days of ME :) : 6 places

day 5 of 10...of all about me...6 places

6.  New Jersey...for obvious reasons...where I grew up, where I will always be from...where most of my family lives...where I always hoped to go back someday...

5.  Blacksburg, VA...my home away from home...the best four years of my life for sure...it will always be my happy place :)

4.  New York, NY...no offense to other cities...but this one is best ;)

3.  Baltimore, MD...where I have lived for 8 years...who would have guessed that?!  it has totally grown on me...between the friends I have made, and the feel of city living on a smaller scale...and living a 5 minute walk from Camden Yards isn't bad either!

2.  Warren, VT...the family ski cabin...where we have spent many winter weekends and a few in the summer...it is a place of just pure joy and happiness for me...game nights, family dinners...I could live there!

1.  Hilton Head, SC...our family vacation spot for most of my childhood and my parents retirement home...it might be a little out of the way...but seeing how happy my Mom and Dad are living there...and that makes it even more special to me :)

throwback tv...Dawson's Creek!

holy moly!  I forgot how much I loved Dawson's Creek...as cheesy as it might have been...I just fell right back in love with it watching it for the second time through...I don't think I've seen an episode since it went off the air in 2002...but watching it again was like visiting old friends...so thank you Netflix for offering the entire series on your watch instantly selections!

I was surprised, because the theme song that was such an important part of the show, "I don't wanna wait" by Paula Cole, was replaced by another song, "Run Like Mad" by Jann Arden...it definitely was a little odd at first...and then when I came to the final episode, the series finale, the original song was playing...

I forgot just how much drama was involved with the characters...and how many times Joey would drift between Dawson and Pacey...and how much I wished real guys were like them :p

I think one of my most favorite moments in the show was when Pacey bought Joey the wall to paint...and that he wrote "ask me to stay" on it...ahh the grand romantic gestures of the Creek...

when we were in Wilmington for our friends wedding a few weeks ago, I was able to roam around a little to look for some of the landmarks from the show, since it was filmed there...but I didn't have as much time as I would have liked...I did find this dock, which is featured in many episodes, and I did find Joey's wall...even though it was behind some structures now...it's still there! 

there were a lot of actors who had parts on DC before they were big stars themselves...in Season 6, Eddie the bartender who works at Hell's Kitchen with Joey is played by Oliver Hudson and Natasha the actress on the movie Dawson is working on is played by Bianca Kajlich...who later are one of my favorite funny couples on Rules of Engagement...so weird how that worked out!!

 like reminiscing with old friends...it was fun to go back and re-watch...and to see how the cast really grew up on the show :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

10 days of ME :) : 7 wants

day 4 of 10...of all about me...7 things I want

*disclaimer...these things might seem a bit...well out of reach, or material...but when it comes down to it, a lot of the things I "want" are things I dream of for my future...so even thought they might seem a bit lofty...these are things that I'd love to have someday...if finances and all the other stars align...not that I wouldn't be perfectly happy without any of these things :)

7.  an awesome backyard, with a kick-ass pool...I grew up with a pool in my backyard, so I know I'm a little spoiled...but hey, a girl can dream, right?

6.  VW Eos...once a VW girl, always a VW girl

5.  a luxurious bathroom...right now it's hard to relax in our bathroom...stark white and plastic storage drawers...not that I can complain too much...at least I have one right?  haha...

4.  a cozy fireplace...I know that I'm the only one in my family who likes to have the fire place burning...pretty much when it is just the slightest bit chilly...so this outdoor fireplace is perfect!  it's just nice to have a place outside to sit and relax...drink coffee or wine with friends :)

3.  an organized walk in closet...doesn't have to be huge...actually I'd prefer it not be so I can't fill it ;)  but having it organized so everything fits and I can see it all...being the visual person I am, having clothes hiding in drawers, I tend to forget what I have

2.  a beautiful, casual, backyard wedding...sigh, isn't it beautiful?

1.  a ski cabin...see my love of snow...see my lack of fear of skiing...see good times with family and friends :)

DIY Wednesday: sparkly manicure!

okay, I know this is a bit of a reach...it's not really a DIY project...but after 5 consecutive weekends of traveling, I haven't had much time to be creative...

so I thought I'd share the manicure I got for the wedding we attended in North Carolina two weeks ago- I was really inspired by all the fun manicures I've been seeing on Pinterest, and I wanted to try something a little different...so I got a fun teal/green color, and just glitterized the ring fingers...and voila!

what do you think?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

chocolate chip cookie cake!

since I'm really serious about my new healthy eating kick...I thought I'd bake today :p

but honestly...a little bit of dessert every now and then is okay...and there's no way I can go cold turkey on my sweet tooth...so I wanted to try out this chocolate chip cookie cake...I LOVE soft chewy cookies...so the recipe I found on the Adventures in Cooking blog- the post can be found here!

I changed the recipe- she used M&M's, and I used chocolate chips...here is the final, delicious product!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
1cup + 1 tbs  All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter softened 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325
Cream butter and sugar
Add in egg and extract and blend
The combine flour and baking soda- mix until completely incorporated
Fold in the chocolate chips
Dump into a greased 9.5" pie pan and bake for 25-30 minutes
When a toothpick comes out clean it's done
Cool, cut into slices and enjoy!

10 days of ME: 8 fears

day 3 of 10...of all about me...8 things I'm afraid of...

8.  bees...I am 30 years old, and have never been stung by a bee...so I am terribly afraid of them...I've gone this long without that pain...not sure how I'd handle it

7.  falling...I am SUPER clumsy...so falling is a constant fear of mine...which is why it's taken me 7 years to learn how to ski...

6.  failing...at work, ruining a recipe, just being wrong in general...don't like it...stubborn, no?

5.  chaos...as much as I'd like to think that I am spontaneous...when there isn't a plan in place...enter fear :p

4. money....I know that might sound weird...that I'm afraid of money...but it has so much power over us, and somehow so many people relate it to self-worth...I know that I could be perfectly happy without lots of money...but not having the security of having enough money...that scares me

3.  losing the use of arms or legs...I know that people who are disabled are usually really motivational, and strong...but I think I would just lose it if I couldn't run around, or continue to draw or create art...see fear of falling...I really don't want to injure myself!

2.  guns...living in downtown Baltimore city, there are always sirens and what I tell myself are 'fireworks'...while I've never really felt in danger...I am definitely always aware of where I am...and extra cautious...I am definitely a suburban girl at heart ;)

1.  losing the people I love most...it's been a tough couple of months and it's made me realize just how important it is to tell the people you love just how you feel...you never know what can happen...and I have so many people that I can not imagine my life without

Recipe Box- Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

The summer of new recipes continues!  I will admit, I used to be pretty terrified of using my crock pot/slow cooker...the idea of leaving something "on" in my house all day while I was gone instilled enough fear in me to hardly ever use it besides on the weekends.  But my friends all assured me that crock pots were in fact designed for just such a use, and I had to give in a little...I mean...people wouldn't keep buying them if they burned houses down on the regular, right?

so anyway...this recipe is amazing!  I love chinese/japanese/thai food...anything with and Asian flair and I'll probably eat it :)  so this seemed like a great alternative (cheaper, healthier, etc) to getting take out...and it was a winner! We made some rice, and I sliced up some seedless cucumber to put with it...a perfect summer dinner!

I found the recipe via Pinterest, but you can get the original post here from the blog, Table for Two.

(I borrowed her photo, because I ate the dish too quickly!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

30 day ab challenge

since my knee is out of commission...which is unfortunate...because this would have been the first full week we have been home since mid-June...and I was so ready to be on my gym schedule, finally making it back into my regular routine...but enter sprained knee...and most of my gym classes require the use of said knee...

so I had found several workout routines on Pinterest...and I thought I'd give this one a try...for some reason I saw the 300 (which is the number of reps per workout) and in my head made it a 30...so I'm going to try and do this for 30 days...and see what the results are!

here's a photo from day 1...hoping that I can shrink my stomach...and I guess clean off my bathroom  mirror ;)

the great outdoors

I feel like I fit somewhere in between an outdoorsy girl, and an indoorsy one...I love being outside, but I'm not really into the whole exploring the wilderness...I do like our annual camping trip we take with B's hockey team every year though, and this year was no exception...

sitting by the fire at night, cooking dinner, eating s'mores, playing washers and throwing axes at a tree...yup, a good old time...

this year we added a new activity...white water rafting...was tons of fun, minus the falling out of the raft with the exception of my foot, which was caught under the cushion...so this is how I'll be spending the next few days:

10 days of ME :) : 9 loves

day 2 of 10...of all about me...9 things I love :)

I could go with the typical family and friends...but they all know how much I love them...so this list is 9 things, besides those people who are so important to me ;)  (just in case they were worried they didn't make the cut!)

9.  New York City...the City where I always thought I'd live...the lights...the people...the food...LOVE.

8.  Dr Pepper...my favorite drink hands down...

7.  black cats...we have three cats in our house..two are all black and one has cute white feet...they are our furry loves!

6.  the beach...if I'm going to be hot and sticky, I want to be at the beach...that is one place where the heat doesn't seem to bother me...I'd rather be cold on most days...but at the beach, it's all good

5.  thunderstorms...as long as I'm at home, I LOVE listening to the crash of the thunder and seeing the bolts of lightening...recently we've had a few really bad storms tear through Maryland but thankfully we haven't lost power!

4.  fine point markers...I love drawing and sketching with really fine point markers...I have a set of BIC markers...in 36 colors...that I carry with me every where

3.  glitter...this should be self explanatory if you've ever seen any of my work...I love the sparkle of glitter...and I know, I know...it gets everywhere, it never goes away...but it just makes me so happy :)

2.  snow...if it is snowing, and I can't sit somewhere and watch it fall...I'm not a happy camper...when it's winter, I want to see the ground covered in beautiful, white, fluffy goodness!  So you can imagine how much I loved the year of the many blizzards...I don't think I left my house for two weeks!

1.  CHRISTMAS!  it could be winter and the Christmas season 12 months a year and I'd be okay with that...not necessarily the day of Christmas, but just the feeling that goes with that time of year, gathering with family and friends, the decorations, the great food and drinks, the spirit of giving...

Monday Inspiration

this is a quote that a friend of mine from growing up always used to say...and she was/is totally right...being a first year teacher in such a discouraging area, with little to no support...has made me realize just how important it is to fight for what you want...

it also taught me that the things in life that are most rewarding are not always going to be easy, and not always going to be on the road you are used to traveling on...

hopefully this can be some words of inspiration on this Monday morning!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

10 days of ME :) : 10 Secrets

somewhere in the magic of the Interwebs I came across this 10 day challenge...all about you...or in this case me :)  I thought it might jump start my creative writing juices...so here goes...day 1 of 10...10 secrets about me :)

10.  it's not really a 'secret'...but there are a few occasions where I have opened, and eaten an entire jar of pickles in one sitting

9. I love organizing...but I spend so much time planning the organization, I usually run out of time to actually do the organizing.

8.  I call my family at least every other day...sometimes every day...sometimes more then once a day...I just love them so much, and because we don't live in the same state, I need as many phone calls as possible so I don't have to miss them so much :)

7.  Not that I should, by any means...but I can eat a whole pizza...when I was younger, and playing multiple sports, I had an enormous appetite...and now, 12 years out of High School, I still have the appetite...but not the metabolism for it...teaching myself how to eat less has been much tougher then I thought!

6.  My secret dream is to write and illustrate books for children...I'd love to be able to write and draw every day :D

5.  I love playing games...but I will admit...if I've played Words With Friends with you...I probably did a search online with my letters to see what my longest word options are...for shame :p

4.  My family is obsessed with the Peanuts...Charlie Brown and all his friends...we watch all the holiday specials every year, even though we've seen them every year...when I had a sick day in school, and even now as an adult...Charlie Brown Christmas is the first on my movie list to watch while I am sick :)

3.  Even though I live in Maryland, I am not really a fan of seafood...I didn't learn how to eat crabs until I was 24...and now I limit my seafood intake to crabs (and crabcakes) and shrimp...and even then not that often...

2.  I really like going to bed early- like 10ish- even on Friday...and getting up early...never was really a night owl...somehow I made it through college, but I'm back to my usual "hours" now that I live in the "real world"

1.  Going to Virginia Teach is one of the best decisions I ever made...the experience of going to a big school with such an enthusiastic population of students...football games that could convert anyone into a sports fan...and a group of friends I couldn't imagine my life without...including meeting a special someone ;)...the night before we got in the car to drive down for my freshman year, I had a total and complete meltdown...honestly I don't really remember why, mostly I think the shock of living 8 hours away from my family and with strangers probably finally hit me...but my wonderful parents knew just how to handle my freak out, and the next morning we were off...

so thanks again Mom & Dad :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Illustration Friday- Lost

When I first got the topic for this week's Illustration Friday, LOST, my mind immediately went to the show that infuriated me for 7 long seasons...but I wasn't quite sure how to illustrate it...

so I just saw down, with a spiral notebook no less, and just started sketching...and came up with this:

it reminded me how much I love just mindlessly sketching, and I need to do it more!

A-Z of me

I found this ABC's of me while I was browsing Ambrosia Clark's blog, People Say I'm a Dreamer...I think I got there via Pinterest...I'm sure many of you can relate to getting lost in the Internet and can't remember how you ended up on a certain site...but I liked her list, so I thought I'd give it a try!

A. Age: 30
B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore that you hate: vacuuming...always have, probably always will!

D. Dogs: love dogs!  always asked for a puppy for Christmas growing up

E. Essential start to your day: COFFEE!

F. Favorite color: Purple & Blue...not to be outdone by Maroon & Orange ;)

G. Gold or Silver: Silver

H. Height: 5'9"

I. Instruments you play: Piano

J. Job title:Art Teacher

K. Kids: 3 furry cat children...Eddie, Jack & Kevin

L. Live: Baltimore, MD

M. Mother’s name: Irene

N. Nicknames: Jersey, Laurs, Laur

O. Overnight hospital stays: Appendectomy in 2007

P. Pet peeves: people who drive without using their turn signal...or don't wave thank you when you let them in on the road...basically just general unfriendliness or unkindness

Q. Quote from a movie: "What is this?  A school for ants?!" -Zoolander

R. Right or left handed: Right for drawing...left for eating...I multitask :)

S. Siblings: Brother!  2 years younger, 8 inches taller

U. Underwear: not sure what this is asking...I have a whole drawer full though...

V. Vegetable you hate: mushrooms

W. What makes you run late: trying to finish one last 'to-do' before I leave the house...or looking for something I need to bring with me

X. X-Rays you’ve had: legs in High School, hip when I fell down the stairs in my house, back, and most recently lungs for when I had bronchitis

Y. Yummy food that you make: I make an awesome lasagna

Z. Zoo animal: penguins.  obv.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY Wednesday - spray painted votives

I love candles...and when I saw this tutorial on how to create striped pillar candles, I had to try it for myself...and when I was home in NJ with the family I had the most room to attempt this project...

I added my own little spin on it...instead of the frosted glass spray paint- which I do want to try next- I used a glitter spray paint!  yup, they make glitter spray paint! 

the tutorial from Polish the Stars is here...but here are a few of my notes :)

make sure you work outside, and I put the candles in a cardboard box so the spray paint didn't get everywhere...I got it all over my hands, but I think wearing gloves, or using something else to prop up the candles would eliminate that...and I had a hard time spraying too thick of a coat in some spots, and not enough on others..I'm not so skilled with the spray paint can...but I think I'd get better with practice.

here are some photos of the steps and the results: