Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My 2011 Christmas

And what a very merry Christmas it was!
Hope your holiday was as happy as mine was!

And of course it a very Hello Kitty Christmas too!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

Presenting my first Christmas tree in the new house!

And when the lights are off.

Some of my ornaments:

Happy (early) Holidays Everyone!

Just LOVE these shoes

And they're all mine!

Merry Christmas to me!

Look at all the Glitz!

Special thanks to my coworker for giving me Awesomeness for Christmas!

Word of the Day 12/22/2011

Echelon (noun)

1: a steplike arrangement
2a : one of a series of levels or grades in an organization or field of activity b : the individuals at such a level

Examples: We heard stories of corruption in the higher echelons of the firm.

"The Horseheads school district is in the upper echelon of upstate school districts, according to a new list created by a Buffalo business publication." -- From an article by Jeff Murray in the Elmira Star-Gazette (New York), November 13, 2011

Did You Know?: "Echelon" is a useful word for anyone who is climbing the ladder of success. It traces back to "scala," a Late Latin word meaning "ladder" that was the ancestor of the Old French "eschelon," meaning "rung of a ladder." Over time, the French word (which is "échelon" in Modern French) came to mean "step," "grade," or "level." When it was first borrowed into English in the 18th century, "echelon" referred specifically to a steplike arrangement of troops, but it now usually refers to a level or category within an organization or group of people.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Word of the Day 12/20/2011

Subterfuge (noun)

1: deception by artifice or stratagem in order to conceal, escape, or evade
2: a deceptive device or stratagem

Examples: They obtained the documents through subterfuge.
"Staring into a series of mirrors, Philip Fletcher's Iago watches as his reflections come to life, in the form of two of Synetic's other first-rank actor-dancers, Alex Mills and Irina Tsikurishvili. Giving Iago an omnipresent shape helps an audience imagine the breathtaking scope of his subterfuge as he creates the circumstances in which a man might be falsely convinced that a loyal wife is straying." -- From a review by Peter Marks in The Washington Post, November 4, 2011

Did You Know?: Though "subterfuge" is a synonym of "deception," "fraud," "double-dealing," and "trickery," there’s nothing tricky about the word’s etymology. We borrowed the word and meaning from Late Latin "subterfugium." That word contains the Latin prefix "subter-," meaning "secretly," which derives from the adverb "subter," meaning "underneath." The "-fuge" portion comes from the Latin verb "fugere," which means "to flee" and which is also the source of words such as "fugitive" and "refuge," among others.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

"You are a Soul"

"People, even more than things..."

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who's That Girl? It's Jess!

Is anyone else obsessed with this show?!? Anyone!?!?!?!?!

Gawd I LOVE Fox's New Girl! Zooey Deschanel is simply (in Fox's one word) Adorkable!

This is one of my new favorite shows and the DVR loves it too. I'm a fan of her sister Emily Deschanel on Fox's Bones and I've listened to some of Zooey's music before, but then when this show came out, the Pilot episode was set for recording a week in advance. And I was so glad I did.

All the characters are written and played... adorkably!
Of course we all love Jess, but you also have to love model-man-eater Cece, playa-please Schmidt, athletic-win-it Wintson, and humble-flannel-loving Nick. You love them in their own way of course.

A new comedy series from executive producer and writer Liz Meriwether ("No Strings Attached"), NEW GIRL features a young ensemble cast that takes a fresh look at modern relationships.

After a bad break-up, JESS DAY (Zooey Deschanel) needs a new place to live. An online search leads her to a great loft...and three single guys she's never met before. But Jess moves in, and through her unique sense of self and the support of her new roommates, she learns to move on.

Of her three new male roommates, NICK (Jake Johnson) is the most grounded...and also the most jaded. A law school dropout, he spends most of his time hiding under his hoodie and tending bar. SCHMIDT (Max Greenfield) is a hustling young professional who's pretty proud of his own abs. WINSTON (Lamorne Morris), is an intensely competitive former athlete who doesn't know what to do next-but whatever he does, he wants to win it.

Rounding out the group is Jess' childhood best friend, CECE (Hannah Simone), a model with a killer deadpan. As their relationships progress, these five realize they need each other more than they thought they would and end up forming a charmingly dysfunctional - or strangely functional - family.

Iron Chef Zakarian

Ok, let me just say that I LOVE THIS SHOW!

Whew, glad I got that off my chest. See, most of America has American Idol, or the X Factor... Alex and I have Iron Chef America. And last night, the hunny and I watched the finale of Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. He wanted Alex Guarnaschelli (second from the left), and I wanted Anne Burrell (third from the left), but when it came down to just two chefs: Chef Elizabeth Falkner & Chef Geoffrey Zakarian... sorry Elizabeth, but Geoffrey had our vote.

Both Alex and I were very excited (I was probably more nervous though) for the finale. Sunday morning I woke up and announced "OMG Iron Chef finale is TONIGHT!!! Ahhhh!!!" That's how excited (and maybe a little nerdy) I was for the finale.

It's usually taped in the DVR so when we got home after dinner, put the baby to bed and off to bed we went to watch it. It was an amazing episode, no... an AMAZING episode! The DVR couldn't fast-forward fast enough during the commercials! Chef Falkner had awesome dishes, and I'll admit, she's pretty bad ass in the kitchen. But our Chef Zakarian ROCKED it with his overall meal.

And who do you think won? Why else would I be blogging about this if it wasn't...


When the Chairman proclaimed this Hello Kitty band-aid lover the next Iron Chef, Alex and I jumped up and down and was screaming happiness for our Chef Z! We were a tad excited that he won, just a tad *enter sarcasm*.

Don't believe me on the Hello Kitty? One of the many episode shots of him with many band-aids on (yet another reason I wanted him to win):

Congratulations Iron Chef Zakarian!

(can't wait for next Sunday's episode where he has his first battle as the newest Iron Chef!)

Word of the Day 12/19/2011

Ethereal (adjective)

1: of or relating to the heavens : heavenly
2: being light and airy : delicate

Examples: I had expected the spa to be one of those places where they burn aromatherapy candles and play ethereal music, but it wasn't like that at all.

"His compositions are ethereal, often enhanced by coloured lighting effects in performances, and draw inspiration from his Nordic homeland." -- From a review by Hannah Nepil in Time Out (UK), November 3, 2011

Did You Know?: If you're burning to know the history of "ethereal," you're in the right spirit to fully understand that word's etymology. The ancient Greeks believed that the Earth was composed of earth, air, fire, and water, but that the heavens and its denizens were made of a purer, less tangible substance known as either "ether" or "quintessence." Ether was often described as an invisible light or fire, and its name derives from the Greek "aithein," a verb meaning "to ignite" or "to blaze." When "ethereal," the adjective kin of "ether," debuted in English in the 1500s, it referred specifically to regions beyond the Earth, but it gradually came to refer to anything heavenly or airy.

Merriam-Webster Online

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Work It Wednesday: Energy Boosting Stretch

I was browsing the Pink.Dazzle.Gloss and came across her post about the Energy Boosting Stretch. Sounded like something I needed to do, seeing how I'm sure I pulled something when I was at rehearsal yesterday teaching dance. Thought I'd share for today: Energy Stretch!

Everyday stress can throw your entire system off kilter; your muscles tighten, your heart races, and your stomach starts acting up -- again. A simple seated forward bend can activate a reserve of sustaining energy that, according to Chinese medicine, rests between the kidneys. "It calms the nervous system, gets the organs fully functioning, and clears up obstructions in the kidneys and adrenal glands," explains Daniel Max, nutrition counselor, shiatsu practitioner, and yoga instructor with Max Sense of Self in Watertown, Massachusetts. Get your qi back in no time with this quick stretch.

What It Does:
Calms the mind; relieves stress; stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and back; stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands; improves digestion; and reduces fatigue.

How to Do It:1. Sit with your legs extended straight in front of you, feet parallel with toes pointing up. Press the back of your legs into the floor.

2. Inhale deeply and lift through the upper body. With your spine straight and shoulders back, pull the navel in slightly toward the spine, creating space in the abdomen. Exhale, release, and lean forward, bending from the hip, not the waist.

3. Fold forward only as far as you can (keep your knees bent if that's more comfortable). With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly; if you feel able to go further, release a little more fully into the bend on an exhale. Try not to crunch; maintain length through the spine.

4. Hold for a few breaths, allowing your body to open up. Direct your breath toward the kidneys, breathing deep into the lower back. Then inhale and sit up slowly, lifting your torso away from the thighs until your back is straight. Repeat 2 to 3 times.

You can read more on this and other great fitness ideas here!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Taste Buds: Apple Cider Snickerdoodle Cookies

So last weekend Erin over at the L&C hosted a lovely Christmas cookie exchange party, second annual btw. There were several types of cookies but this recipe caught my taste buds by surprise. I always enjoy a good snickerdoodle cookie, but *be still my heart* an APPLE CIDER one! Oh that I had to try one.... or five. The kick ass Miss Taryn at Pink.Dazzle.Gloss introduced me to a wonderful new holiday cookie and was so kind to give me the recipe (to share with you too of course!)


1 1/4 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for rolling
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped red and green crispy apple chips, plus whole chips for garnish
2 teaspoons apple pie spice (or a little extra cinnamon if you can't find the spice)


- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

- Heat the cider in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Continue to cook until syrupy and reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

- Whisk the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat the butter with 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and the light brown sugar in a separate bowl on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the reduced cider and the egg (the mixture may look slightly curdled). Stir in the flour mixture and 1/4 cup of the chopped apple chips until combined.

- Stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons of chopped apple chips and the apple pie spice in a small bowl. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls, using lightly moistened hands if the dough is too sticky, and then roll in the spiced sugar mixture. Place the dough balls 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and top with a few pieces of whole apple chips. Bake until the edges are just set but centers are still soft, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking time. Cool 2 to 3 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, December 5, 2011

#86 DZP: Go on a Gondola Ride

"When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore..."

Yes Dean, it was amore!
(and yes, we had too much wine hehe)

I got this deal from to go on a gondola ride from Sunset Gondola (at a discounted rate of course) and it just so happens to be walking distance from our old place. So I bought it, scheduled it, and we rode it! It was amazing! I've determined that everyone should go on a gondola ride, whether in Venice, Italy or here in California, you all need to go on one.

Sunset Gondola had just about everything you need to make your gondola ride a momentous one. They offer so many ways to celebrate too: for anniversaries, full moon outtings, sunset outtings, holiday light cruises, wine tastings, and *eh-hem* proposals. You bring your own beverage/food or order a package deal, they provide the cups, ice, opener, blankets. They'll even sing for you!

We toured the Huntington Harbour and got to see the early stages of people's Christmas lights and boats decorated as such too. It was beautiful, and not that cold for a December beach night!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hello December!

That's right! Winter comes full effect in December: holidays, shopping for gifts (unless you slack like me), candy-canes, putting lights up, snow days (for those of us who are not fortunate enough to have snow come to them) celebrating with friends and family... all the good stuff ya!

First comes my Mom's birthday, then getting the tree, putting icicles around the house, taking out the Christmas cookie cutters and other baking goodies, wrapping all the gifts up, Christmas Eve and the Day celebration, then my family's Japanese Mochitsuki (google it), and then New Years Eve!

This year will be extra special since it's Ryan's first December (and Christmas and such!) I can't wait to continue the traditions of baking Santa cookies, making a "I've been good" list, and leaving sugar cubes outside for his reindeer. Now I know he's very little and won't remember any of this, but I gotta start the kid of right!!

I love December, not as much as June but that's just because that's my birthday month... but I still love December nonetheless! And now let's celebrate and boogie our festive butts off.... and I leave you with the lovely Ryan Gosling being his festive-self. *drool*

Thirsty Thursday: Pineapple Vanilla Flirtini with Pomegranate Seeds

Came across this lovely cocktail when browsing through Jenny's website! She's AMAZING!

Every great cocktail party needs a festive flirtini cocktail. This not too sweet cocktail will be the hit of your Holiday party!

2 cups of Pineapple Juice
1/2 cup of Vanilla Vodka
2 cups of Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Pomegranate Seeds

Stir together Pineapple juice, vodka and champagne. Shake in ice before serving. Top with Pomegranate seeds.

Doesn't that look tasty!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh Sick Days....

My Dad likes to tease that I was as 'strong as an ox' when I was little, "had the best immune system ever", but something happened when I turned 14... and it all went down hill from there.

Now it seems I can't go through a month withOUT getting sick, some way or another: cold, flu, sinus pressure, stomach aches, you name the major illnesses and I'll tell you my over-the-counter drug of choice. Tylenol Cold, Sudafed, Robitussin, Mucinex, Halls Cough Drops, Coricidin, Theraflu, and of course NyQuil & DayQuil. NyQuil and I are best buds, missed it when I was pregnant but we've been reunited.

This time around I have been sick since Sunday night, ok Monday morning: woke up with a sore throat when I had to feed Ryan at 3am. Woke up for the gym at 5am with sore muscles (like my body knew it was gym-time...) and by the time I had to go to work, yup, my nose started running away.

Let's see if I've covered the basics...
Runny Nose
Nasal Congestion
Sinus Pain & Pressure (esp in the cheek bones)
Sore Throat
Body Ache
Hot & Cold Feelings

So the only thing missing seems to be the spiking 100 degree fever... well that's good at least.

I've taken drastic measures to get better FASTER!
Not only did I get new Kleenex's Cold Touch Tissues (AMAZING!!!!), switched my toothbrush, steamed my face with the wash cloth, and busted out my nonstop supply to NyQuil, Alex and I made some homemade chicken noodle soup. See Tasty Tuesday's Post here.

So hopefully I'll be feeling better *holds up shot of NyQuil* I'll drink to that and good night!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Taste Buds: Mom's Chicken Soup

My Mom’s Chicken Soup

Whenever I felt under the weather, my mother always made me chicken soup to make me feel better. Made from scratch and past down from her mother, this soup has always had a better effect than any cold medicine ever will on me! Just the smells from it can make you feel better!

Now that I’m older and my mother is not always there for me whenever I get sick, I have to make it for myself. Forever from her heart she past the soup’s recipe to me which I plan to give to my children (and to you too!) The ingredients she said ‘should be measured by senses’. No teaspoon or measuring cup could tell her how much was right for her soup. You make it to your liking.

There are so many different kinds of chicken soup, made from several grandmothers and mothers all over the world, yet whenever I start to sniffle, or I hear a cough, I grab my “mommy’s recipe” every time. Maybe that’s why I have a constant stock of chicken broth in my cupboard!

What you’ll need:

• 1 whole chicken
• 2 to 3 boxes of organic chicken broth
• “Better than Bullion” chicken (2 spoonfuls)
• Seasoning: poultry seasoning, thyme, 2 bay leaves, oregano, marjoram, pepper, and a little bit of salt.
• Vegetables: carrots, celery (keep leaves), 2 onions, potatoes
• 2 large cooking pots
• Strainer, Colander
• Optional: macaroni/egg noodles, rice


1. Wash chicken. Take out the gizzards, leftover feathers, and extra fat.

2. In one pot, add broth to cover the chicken. Add onions (cut one onion into fourths), and celery leaves.

3. Add seasoning and bullion
4. Bring to a boil, and then set to simmer. Cook till chicken comes off the bone.

5. In the other pot, place colander in to strain broth into it from the first pot. Let the chicken and vegetables cool down in strainer.

6. Tear off chicken meat and put into pot with the broth. Throw away bones, skin, and the old/used vegetables.

7. Cut carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes. Put into pot. Cook till vegetables are done.

Optional: Cook macaroni or egg noodles in other pot, then add to soup once cooked, or put soup over rice.

Monday, November 21, 2011

33 Ways to Stay CREATIVE

Breaking Dawn Part I

Now I have to start with saying "BEST TWILIGHT SAGA MOVIE YET!"

Okay, now that that's out of the way, Breaking Dawn, the book was my favorite of the 4. I will always like the beginning story of Edward and Bella from Twilight, the 1st book, but the 4th has soooo much more fantasy that I love!

Now not to *SPOIL* it for some people (so stop reading if you don't want to know ANYTHING about the movie), but between the wedding, to the honeymoon, to the birth of her baby girl... I never stopped loving Bella and her story. Sure I love the other characters like Edward, Jacob, Alice, and of course silly Charlie, but I like to think I was a little like Bella, especially with the birth of Renesmee... I teared up when she was born, both book and movie. I understood her fight for the baby and that she would do anything for her.... or him because she thought she was having a boy.

And maybe one day I'll have a wedding and a beautiful honeymoon like Bella did (maybe even in Rio too!) but till then I will envy her (haha) and watch the movie again! But I am glad a vampire didn't have to....umm.... help me give birth... yeah.

I was super, SUPER excited to see the movie and I would go see it again, and again! The movie was pretty close to the book, and yes, I do know because I was one of those crazy fans that read it 3 times... going on my 4th. Heck if Ryan understood what I was saying, then we're half way through it because I've been reading it to him on and off since he was born!

My favorite part of the movie: hard to say, there were so many! I loved the birth down to the silly wedding toasts from Charlie & Jessica. Jacob's imprinting to the wolves fight scenes. From Bella trying to walk in heels to the house keepers taking the broken bed out the house. There were so many!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Caramel Brulée Latte

Espresso and steamed milk flavored with caramel Brulée sauce, topped with sweetened whipped cream and caramel Brulée topping.

Now that the holidays are upon us, I've kept my tradition to drink Peppermint Mochas during this special season. However, I'm very tempted to try this bad boy! So due to the fact that Starbucks has a special:

Buy One, Get One Event!
Celebrate the season together. Buy one holiday drink, get one of equal or lesser value free.
November 17 - 20, 2 -5 p.m. at participating Starbucks locations.
Peppermint Mocha: Peppermint lovers rejoice! Your holiday favorite is back.
Caramel Brulée Latte: Warm up with sweet, caramel goodness.
Gingerbread Latte: Enjoy the flavor of freshly baked gingerbread.

Did you know?!? : Although this drink is new, the flavor is very traditional.
The first mention of crème brûlée dates back to 1691.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Garden And Sea Etsy Shop

Came across this shop while looking for crochet headbands, great for fall and winter!
Not only are there headbands, but she has ear warmers (like shown above), scarves, cowls, and these cute coffee cozies!

Angela (shop owner) is really talented and was awesome when I made my Christmas gift order. Check her store out & follow her on Twitter @agardenandsea.

Thanks again! I love my new fall accessory!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Find: Fisher Price Apptivity Case

 From Fisher Price

This sturdy case will protect your iPhone or iPod Touch from baby's messes and unwanted call making... or in my case unwanted texting. Busy beads and a mirror add baby-appropriate play. And free Laugh & Learn apps mean plenty of learning time!

Simply pop your smart phone inside this whimsical case to save it from drops, drools, and teething.

This sounds amazing for my little Ryster! He already turbo crawls toward my phone... should I be careless and leave it on the ground.

Now all they need to create is something for the iPads...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Finds: SodaCanShop on Etsy

I found this shop while searching for Hello Kitty through Etsy.

 Recycled Soda Can HK Necklace & Star Earrings -  Arizona Tea

Recycled Soda Can Bracelet

Recycled Soda Can Sparrow Bird Magnet Peach Arizona Tea

Now this lady doesn't just do Arizona soda cans, I just really like the colors from the cans personally. There are the mainstream favorites: Coca Cola, Pepsi, A&W, Sprite, Dr. Pepper... and then there are the energy drink favorites: Monster, Redbull, Rockstar, Starbucks, BTab, etc.
She makes necklaces, bracelets, earrings, magnets, ornaments, hair clips, and salt/pepper shakers! Plus the back side is backed with foam so no sharp edges!

Not only are there recycled soda can goods but there are also Scrabble pendants with adorable prints on them! Several nature, animal, and other miscellaneous art prints on the Scrabble blocks!

Scrabble Tile Pendant Necklace Eiffel Tower

Check it Out!

My Tumblrs :)

I have two Tumblr accounts... so far!
Check them out! Follow and enjoy!

On the Xmas List...

Someone hint to my boyfriend that the little blue box is on my Christmas list...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Blissinis!

Doesn't that just make your mouth water! I'm sure you would slip right into bliss as you sip on these!
Let's enjoy these while unwinding from holiday madness!

(Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis)


- 1 1/2 cups Prosecco, chilled
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice, chilled
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, chilled
- Mint leaves, for garnish

Directions: Combine the Prosecco, orange juice, and pomegranate juice and pour into 4 Champagne glasses. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Taste Buds: Pumpkin Pie Oh My!

It's October Pumpkin season and that means one thing for bakers: Pumpkin Pie!!!
I love me some Paula Dean and all her buttery goodness! She has this recipe on Food Network and I had to share it. I'm not one for pumpkin pie/cake/muffins/etc but this looks so good, especially with a dab of whip cream.
Eat up ya'll!

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
  • 1 piece pre-made pie dough
  • Whipped cream, for topping

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.
- For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday's in da Bag!


Did I get the song stuck in your head now?

Friday Find: No Carve Pumpkins!

Great idea Real Simple!

Want some tape but with attitude?! Washi paper tape is just like masking tape but available in tons of patterns and colors. "Ready, set, get stickin'!"

- Dry erase marker in a light color (avoid black)
- Scissors
- Washi tape, 

1. Using the dry erase marker, create your design, which will guide you when placing the tape. (The marker is great for this project because it lets you draw, rinse, and repeat!)

2. Once you’re set with your design, begin applying tape to the pumpkin's surface. Try using longer strips when possible, because piecing together too many short strips will look sloppy. For this design, begin at the stem and run your tape down the side of the pumpkin, erasing the markings as you adhere the strips to the surface. Finish at the bottom of the pumpkin. After all of the vertical stripes have been made, apply tape around the circumference of the pumpkin to complete your pattern. (If you'd rather stick with stripes, skip the final crisscross step.)

I love, Love, LOVE this idea! My good friend Erin posted a piece about happy tape on her blog way back when and now I see Real Simple has been bit with the washi-tap-love-bug too! Yeah they're a bit pricey compared to Scotch or any clear-taped brand... but can you really put a price on creative decorating? I think not! :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Word of the Day 10/6/2011

Mnemonic (adjective): assisting or designed to assist memory

Examples: To help remember the levels of biological classification, James taught his students the mnemonic sentence “King Philip Came Over For Good Spaghetti” (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species).
"Mnemonic devices can help, like mentally registering the name of a new acquaintance by picturing another friend with that moniker." -- From an article by Kate Zimmerman in the North Shore News (North Vancouver, B.C.), September 4, 2011

Did You Know?: The word "mnemonic" derives from Greek "mnēmōn" ("mindful"), which itself comes from the Greek word meaning "to remember." (In classical mythology, Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muses, is the goddess of memory.) As with many classical borrowings, we retained the double initial consonant, but not the pronunciation of both, since the combination doesn't occur naturally in English. ("Pneumonia" is a similar case.) "Mnemonic" can also be a noun meaning "a mnemonic device." If the spelling of this word strikes you as particularly fiendish to remember, try this mnemonic to get you started on the right track: keep in mind that although the pronunciation begins with an "n" sound, the spelling begins with an "m," as in "memory."

Thirsty-Thursday: Thyme & Lime Lemonade

- 10 fresh thyme sprigs, plus sprigs for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 cups store-bought lemonade or Classic Lemonade
- 3/4 cup vodka (optional, but worth it)

Directions: In a pitcher, using a wooden spoon, mash the thyme with the lime juice. Add the lemonade and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Add the vodka, if using. Serve over ice and garnish with the thyme sprigs.

Doesn't that just look delish! Thanks Real Simple!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Work-It Wednesday: Got 30 Minutes?

Now 30 minutes doesn't sound like a lot of time out of your 24 hours (1440 minutes/day, just sayin'), but I understand it's hard with work/school, family, little ones, etc... but there are numerous gyms all over the place now, or you can easily create a gym at your home... so what's stopping you?! Just take 30 minutes for your health BEFORE you go on the couch and watch your favorite TV show (mine right now is New Girl, so awesome!!), or do what I do and wake up earlier to go to the gym and start your day energized and ready to take whatever comes your way! (but I'm just crazy to wake up earlier, so I don't blame you if that's not your style.) As other health/exercise blogs/websites say: If you're new to exercise, over 40, have a health problem, or take regular medication, check with your doctor before starting a fitness program.

I got an email for and after looking at the 12 different exercises, it seems like a lot, but moves rather fast if you keep up a faster pace. Breakdown of the routine: squats, lunges, Romanian dead lift, the bridge, push ups, chest press, bent-over row, shoulder press, cable pull-down, bicycle crunches, side planks, and cardio. Do this every other day, or 2 days in a row is ok too because these workouts are not too strenuous so you don't need a whole lot of recovering.