Friday, May 30, 2014

whatcha readin?

cozy
A few "what to read this summer" posts have shown up in my bloglovin' feed (mind you I've not actually read any of the posts...let alone the books) and its got me thinking about wrapping up my current book, The Fountainhead, and diving into another. I just don't know which one yet! I'll take a look at what the blogosphere recommends, but what I really want to know is what my friends are reading!

I tend to stick to the classics, with a few current ones thrown into the mix. (if The Hunger Games trilogy and Bossypants count as current...no, you say?). I got a Kindle from Justin a few years ago and I do really like it (not going to engage in a Kindle vs. paper book thing right now, nice try) I've found that most classic-type books are free from the Kindle Store, cool huh? So I went through a period where I devoured some of those, my most favorite being Sherlock Holmes. Though the classics were balanced out by a fair amount of re-reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (desperation and sleep-deprivation have a way of combining and rendering your memory kaputsky).

I'm really enjoying The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I've slowed down a bit on reading it, but only because I have the tendency to want to finish 'just this next chapter' and next thing you know its 4am. True story. It happened with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and again with The Hunger Games and I was about to repeat with Fountainhead, but told myself to back slowly away from the book. Once I have my next book selection all lined up, then I'll go back and give in to the binge-read. 

Disney really set the bar high for library expectations, amirught?!


And that's where you come in! Whats on your nightstand, or in your beach bag, or downloaded to your Kindle/Nook? I'd love to hear about all genres, though I tend to stay away from books where I know I'll cry (or ugly cry, lets be honest) or be so consumed by the sadness of it all that I can no longer function. 

til the paper cuts,
Em


ps. I just could not get the up-do to work for me. After cursing like a longshoreman and teasing (sorry, back-combing) my hair into oblivion, I just twisted it into a low bun and started shoving in squiggly-side-down bobby pins. And you know what? It worked. Fake it til you make it shall be my new hair-related mantra.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Ultimate Summer Style (thanks Pinterest!)

If I had an unlimited budget, free time to shop till I dropped and the eye to put together things like this I would have the best Summer Style (but thanks to Pinterest it's fun to build your imaginary summer wardrobe!)

Whether it’s lounging with friends on a summer night, hitting up a pool party, spending a day in the sun (at the beach or on a boat) or just hanging out – do it in style.


Here are some looks that I’m loving … 

 




Casually Cool




Summer Nights




Backyard BBQ


 


Breezy (for Boating or the Shore)

 














Sun Kissed Skin
  




  


What style(s) are you loving this summer? (leave your style favorites in the comments box below!) 

Wherever your headed this summer - do it in style & enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2014

go-to up-do?

Do you have one? Can you teach me how to do it? I need one, so badly. I think my problem lies with my inability to accurately use a bobby pin. Anyone else feel like they need a college course on it? Because the way that I do it just does not actually hold any hair for any length (ha) of time. I literally just found out, like 2 days ago, that I've been putting them in backwards. Apparently, the bumpy part goes against your scalp??

for realz?
I really thought the sock bun would fulfill my up-do needs, but no. I'm sure that I'm doing several things wrong, but it doesn't hold up with movement (i.e. busting a move on the dance floor). I always end up taking it out and just doing a messy bun so that I'm not spending precious floor-time worrying if my hair is going to crap out. I'm going to a black-tie-optional (ha! optional, like we'd ever miss a chance to be super fancy) wedding this weekend, for a super wonderful couple and I'm totally pumped to celebrate as long as possible. The kids will be with grandparents, so I might actually get to sleep later than 6:30 for the first time in way too long. So I need a nice up-do that will last as long as I do!

My most favorite up-do ever was my hair for my wedding. But it is 100% beyond my ability to re-create (I believe its called a "bouffant"?). Here it is:

just kidding
always shilling for Vavoom, even on my wedding day

I'm thinking about giving this low chignon a try (her hair is basically the greatest head of hair ever). The chignon has always been the epitome of classiness to me, I've been wanting to master it for some time now. I got some Vavoom (the best hairspray in the whole world, right Juls?), some good, sticky bobby pins and small, clear rubber bands, so from a supplies standpoint, I'm golden. Now for the skillz.

I will report back next week. In the meantime, whats your go-to? Curls? A twist of some sort? Braided? A salon?

til the hair sprays,
Em


ps. ever say/type a word so much that it starts to separate from its meaning, and you're just left with a word that seems so strange and nonsensical? Yeah, that's where I'm at with "up-do".

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Family Recipe From My Kitchen to Yours!

I’m going to let you in on a little family recipe that's always a crowd pleaser … It’s called chocolate chip applesauce cake and it’s been a family party staple for as long as I can remember.




I promise I will not steer you wrong with this one … and the best part is that it’s super simple to make. Throw all the ingredients into a bowl (in no particular order), mix with a wooden spoon, spray your baking dish, poor into the dish, bake and enjoy (told ya it was simple!)

 

Like I said, mix the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together. 

2 cups flour
1 stick of margarine
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. Baking soda
1 egg
1 (15 oz.) jar of applesauce
12 oz. bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

Poor mixture into a square, glass-baking dish.

This is optional but I sprinkle the top of the batter with mini semi sweet chocolate chips.

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes.

Some of my family likes their cake hot out of the oven, others at room temperature and some refrigerated so that it’s cold. I like mine served with a cold glass of milk or hot cup of coffee. However you like yours served, you're bound to be adding this one to the recipe book and having friends and family request you make it for their next party. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

just some stuff

(It was a homemade, hand-painted, bedazzled breakfast-in-bed tray, which we used for croissants (my francophile-self was so appreciative for my husband, who totally gets me). Could anything more perfect have been wrapped in such a package??)

We are on the road this weekend, in Yo-hio, as Sally has been adorably calling it. For a wedding (yay love!) and Sally has been telling everyone that she gets to wear a pink dress. If it was socially acceptable, I would be telling everyone about what I'm wearing, because I'm totally excited about it. Ever put together an outfit that you're so excited about, you'd wear to the grocery store, just have the chance to actually put it on?

Raise your hand if you would expect a veggie burger from Burger King to be more Weight Watchers points than a regular old cheeseburger. Not me! Oh well. Still a yummy road lunch. You live, you learn.

I recently realized that there's (relatively) lots of protein in egg noodles. I guess it makes sense thinking about it now, but I hadn't thought of it. Graham does not enjoy foods that are a source of protein, only foods that are a source of carbohydrates, or grapes. So after realizing there's good protein in egg noodles, and having found a whole grain version with lots of dietary fiber, I'm all "bring all the egg noodles in the land for my young squire!". I thought I'd share my findings in case you have someone in your life who needs some sneak-it-in-the-back-door protein. 

Sally has a dance recital coming up, and my little sweet 3.5 year old who picks her nose and then calls for me to grab a tissue because she got a "really big, long one", has to have an unshakable bun, and full stage makeup (like eyeliner and red lipstick). Really? Have they tried doing a ponytail and/or wiping dinner remnants off of a 3 year old?? And they expect her to hold still long enough for me to apply red lipstick, and have it stay on just her lips? This will be fun.

Any wriggly challenges coming your way? Any thought-you-were-being-healthy-but-you-actually-weren't moments? Have any new, non-dairy, uncharted protein sources for me? What stuff is going on with you??

til the cat nips,
Em



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ride, Shoot, Play … Get Dirty!

I’m not your typical girl as you might have read in my bio. I’m a major tomboy and there’s no sport or activity that I won’t try at least once. Sunday’s are meant for football, driveways for basketball nets, water for wave runners or surfing, mountains for snowboarding and deserts for ATVing!



 From an early age I’ve always been “one of the guys.” I’ve played soccer, basketball, t-ball, baseball, softball and that was all before I turned 18.


Believe me I clean up very well – but I’m much happier in comfy clothes over heels and a dress.


I love shooting guns, playing football on Thanksgiving with the guys, pool volleyball at a family pool party every year and going about 70 mph on a friends wave runner on the Chesapeake (such an adrenalin rush).


My pinkies have been jammed so many times in basketball that they’re not straight anymore and I’m not afraid to get a little dirt under my nails.


What it comes down to is that life is more fun when you’re going 70 miles an hour on a wave runner, standing up on your first wave of the day, or scoring the game winning touchdown.




Girls – don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and do something “tomboyish" - you might have fun!

 

Friday, May 9, 2014

bursting

I get to open this present sometime this weekend.


And that makes me just about the luckiest lady in the entire world. It came home from preschool on Thursday (such a wonderful teacher!!) and on the ride home, I got a full description of whats inside (clearly, we need to work on the concept of a surprise). And I get to have a picnic. My mommy heart is bursting.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My Mom, My Best Friend - Happy Mother's Day!


Mom, the person who births you, nurtures you, cares for you, guides you, teaches, you, encourages you, cheers you on, supports you, consoles you, make you laugh, and loves you unconditionally … at least my mom does!



Growing up my mom made sure she was more of a mom than a friend, but as I got older that all changed! 


I have some of the most fun with my mom when it’s just the two of us. We laugh our heads off, make fun of each other, share things with each other that we wouldn’t tell anyone else, confided in one another and just plain have fun!

 Whenever we’re out together we always get the “wow you look so much alike,” or “you can tell you two are related,” and my mom’s favorite “are you sisters?” But it’s true, the older I get the more and more I’m starting to look like my mom, but even scarier, the more I’m starting to act, say and do things she does. We’ve been known to say the same things at the same time, laugh the same way or finish each others sentences.

I could go on and on about my mom, but what I really want the world to know is what a wonderful person my mom truly is. She’s my rock, the woman I aspire to be like one day and hands down the best mom a girl could ask for. 

Her personality lights up a room, her positive attitude about life is inspiring and her undying devotion and love toward her family is immeasurable.


This Mother’s Day and I always I wish my mom a life full of happiness and good health so that we can continue to have fun together.


Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there!

I love you mom!


Friday, May 2, 2014

Raskog laptop station

Lately, I've been doing most of my computer work on one of the comfy chairs in our living room. I've also noticed how papers have taken over my life (anyone else with me on this?! - paper, paper everywhere). My "office" is down a level, and by the looks of the paper and the laptop sitting on the hearth, it would appear that I don't make it down there very frequently. 

The laptop needed a home, as did the papers and magazines. So I decided to set up a little satellite office on our main level (and I've been singing Satellite by Dave Matthews ever since. like all the time its in my head). I've been yearning for a reason to purchase the Raskog cart from Ikea. Et voila! The opportunity presented itself. My little guy and I ventured out to the nearest Ikea (a quick hop skip 100 miles away). I had amassed a shopping list over the last few months, so this was going to be a very productive and worthwhile trip (it better be, gosh darn it).

The goods acquired. The requisite stuffing of 4 door sedan commenced. Then on to pick up the oldest munchkin from a sleepover at Grandpa's. Upon stepping foot in our home, I set to work on getting everything set up (am I the only one who can't bear to wait any longer than humanly necessary?). Luckily it was nap time, so there was no child neglect. I realized a couple minutes into it that I needed a second pair of hands. Nope, can't wait. So I rigged up a little cereal box and books action to hold up the part that needed holding. See, I wanted to flip the top basket of the Raskog upside down, so the laptop could sit on a flat surface, thus allowing easy access to the cords, etc. 


So far, I lurve it! Do you have a Raskog? Did you get it in that gorgeous blue color? My neutral-loving soul just couldn't commit to that amount of color. What do you use it for? Where do you do your computer stuff - in front the TV, in bed? Do you have to plan months in advance before stepping foot in that labyrinth Ikea?

til the paper cuts,
Em