Pat Tillman Run 2014.

I didn’t get to participate in Tillman Run this year.  Yes, I was bummed.  You see, I stayed home with our new addition, Ms. Smokey.  Anyhow, I wore my bright yellow jersey at home and cheered “our” team on!  They did fabulous!  S’s time was great, really proud of him.  Next year, the plan is to run it with him (the entire thing).  

Did you live in the Valley of the Sun?  Did you participate?  Over 30,000 people participated this year!

{Me at last year’s Tillman Run 2013}

{Smokey “modeling” this year’s bright shirt}
{A “sea” of yellow}

NOTE:  all pictures in this post are the property of Heather Pranitis.  
Please give proper credit if you use them.  Thank you.



ASU Spring Football 2014.

{Me at last year’s Spring practice}

Well, the boys are back at it!  Back on the field that is.  S and I stayed did not attend the practice in-person this year.   We stayed home and watched it on the PAC-12 Network with Smokey.  Oh, and Smokey had on her ASU collar!  If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen Smokey’s ASU collar.  She was showing her team spirit!  We all were.  Haha.  Yep, at home all of us were dressed in maroon and gold, that’s us!  Yes, we are dorks.  Haha.

Anyhow, a friend who attended the actual scrimmage sent me some pics.  I was delighted to see them and surprised by the attendance.  Last year, 2013, hardly anyone attended.

S and I are excited for a new season of ASU football and looking forward to Camp T in August. We’ve already booked our hotel room and Ms. Smokey gets to go too!  Fun times await.

Oh, and we were excited to see that part of the stadium is coming down, thus, letting us know “construction” has started.  However, the plans have been changed a zillion times and not what we voted for. Anyhow, you’d think the Arizona Sun Devils would have a “covered” stadium…?!  Nope, we don’t and still won’t when construction is complete.

Anyhow, check out the pics.  Are you a college football fan?  Are you ready for the new season?

The boys are on the field!

The construction is happening!!! Yippee!!!
Although, the plans have changed several times.

Look at all those Sun Devil fans!!!
NOTE:  Please give proper credit if you use the pictures. Thank you.

Our Refrigerator Travel Bucket List…for 2014.

{OUR Travel List}

Yep, S and I have a “travel” bucket list.  It is on our refrigerator (see above).  We “point” to our next destination.  It’s funny, I know!

Sometime ago, when I was single (way back when…) I bought a chalkboard magnetic mirror and it works very nicely as our pointer!  Oh, and it’s my favorite color, orange.

You are probably wondering, when we made the list?  S created it a few months after we started dating, in early 2013.  We thought it would be fun to have a list we could “see” and “cross” things off as we do them. It’s dorky I know but, it is soooo us!

It’s not really a bucket list because it is realistic places we will go to and/or have already been too.  For example, San Francisco we’ve already been together – back in December 2012 (my Christmas present, we went to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, ASU played the Navy).  That was a GREAT trip!  So, much fun.  It’s funny we talked about going back while we were still on the trip in San Francisco!  Too funny, right?!

Monument Park is already complete, we did that on our way to Telluride, Colorado a few weeks ago. Don’t worry, I’ll share about that trip soon.

We area looking forward to the Sun Devils going back to the Rose Bowl.  Fingers crossed, they can do it this year!  It’s a new year…  Obviously, last year, they did not do it.  We were so bummed!  And yes, we have season tickets and are die-hard fans (well S is).  I’m a definite Sun Devil fan but, not absolutely die-hard.  But, it is pretty cool watching “my” school play!  I’m an ASU Alum.  

I’m looking forward to our next trip.  Not sure, when or where we will go or what we will do but, it’s always a blast!

Do you have a travel list?  If so, is it on your refrigerator?  Or better yet, do you have a map?!  Do tell.

NOTE:  Please give proper credit if you use my photo.  Thank you.

Date Night in a Red Blazer.

Friday is date night.  At least in my book it is.

Let’s just say this outfit screams me!  I was inspired to create this look from the Nicole Richie Look in the March 2014 Issue of Glamour.  A casual, yet comfy look and a bit of sex appeal.  Oh, and need I forget…I’ve added the “appropriate” accessories bling.

So, the question is, where would I wear this look…?  A hot and sexy dinner date with S or a couple date…the possibilities are endless.  I’d even where this look out with the parents.

What’s your plans for tonight?  What will you be wearing?

Date Night with a Red Blazer

Smokey Gave Me a Heart Attack and Her 1st Swim Lesson.

We’ve had Smokey for almost 2 weeks now.  It’s been an adjustment to say the least.  Haha!  S and I have both been doggy parents before, so, this isn’t the first go-round.  However, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a puppy!  Sleepless nights, potty training, crate training, biting and barking.  Fun times!  It’s a work-in-progress and involves a lot of patience.  A LOT!

So, a little story.  A scary, holy crap story.  Here we go…

First, let me just say that Smokey wakes up early!  Very early.

Anyhow, last Saturday morning Smokey woke up and needed to go out, ahhhh, roughly 5:15 a.m.  So, I take her out of her crate, downstairs and outside and we walk the yard together.  She follows me around. Well, someone decided she needed to sit down, take a break, and inspect her girlie parts.  Oh, did I mention she’s been checking out the pool since we brought her home, walks the perimeter, looks at the water but, hasn’t touched it yet…  Very inquisitive to say the least!  She’s a fearless lab, period.  She rocks too!

Anyhow, she decides to have her little “break” right at the edge of the pool… Yep.  Well, needless to say she got to close and fell backwards, head first, into the pool.  Backwards somersault.  My heart dropped.  I was right there.  I was 18 inches away from her and absolutely helpless.  In the matter of seconds that she fell in I had a million thoughts going through me head.  A million.  Do I jump in?  Do I wait?  What do I do?  Of course, I immediately lean hovered over the pool edge and see her go down a few feet and then watch her come back up…  Her little blue eyes came up, her tiny snout…then her paws.  Yep, she was using her paws to paddle!  I grabbed the back of her neck as she tried to reach the edge of the pool and pull herself up and out.  I pulled her straight up and out myself…and wrapped her in my terry cloth robe.  I was like oh my goodness!!!  Smokey didn’t whine, cry, or bark, nothing.  She cuddled into me and looked up at me and licked my chin.  Gosh, I was so very thankful to be right there and grab her.  Phew, she was safe and ok. I thought, it’s time for swimming lessons, immediately.

Well, that definitely woke us both up.  Needless to say we did not go back upstairs, I was W-I-D-E awake!!!  And my heart was beating about 100 miles a minute at that point.  I waited until S woke up to tell him that Smokey went swimming fell in the pool and explain what happen.  The look on his face was priceless.

The very next day, Sunday, S gave Smokey her first swimming lesson.  She did great!  He held her a few times and the very last time let her go and she swam all by herself.  She loves the water!  Obviously, natural instinct to move those little paws and swim.  We started her on the step.  She fell off the step and went completely under, S caught her and picked her up.  She was a little startled, no whining.  He took her out about 6 feet and let her paddle in and directed her towards the step, not me.  She wanted to swim towards me.  Well, we did that several times and she did great.  We were both pleasantly surprised.    More lessons next week.  We both feel slightly better than if a pool incident happens again and neither of us is right there she’ll know what to do.  Mission accomplished!  Side note:  typically, she’s not outside in that part of the yard by herself.

{Smokey swimming with Daddy!}

{looking up at Mom (me)}

{checking out the step and the whole pool}

{Smokey’s head is down checking out the water}
Just had to share my crazy early morning Smokey story!  First swimming lesson, complete.  Anyone else have crazy puppy stories to share?

Making a Statement with Hautelook.

So, I get these snazzy little emails from Hautelook…  They magically just appear!  Gheesh, I’m not really sure how they got my email…?!  I literally have no idea!

Just kidding.  Haha.  I signed up for them of course.  I’m sure many of you get them.

Also, I used to have the Hautelook iphone app on my phone but had to delete it.  Ummm, I was shopping too much.  Eeeek!  Yes, I admitted that.  Note:  I’m on a “shopping freeze” right now.

Well, I got one of these “emails” back in March for the Eye Candy sale.  Needless, to say I clicked on the link in my email and perused the eye candy…

…Oh, and let me just add that I have had a credit with Hautelook from last summer so, I thought let’s check this eye candy.  Plus, it’s been burning, ummm, shall we say a hole in my pocket.  Haha!  I just know it sits there, unused.  And it needs to be used!  You know what I mean?…

So, my thought process is this…  Every gal needs to spice things up.  Go out on a limb.  A step on the wild side.  And why not, make a statement!!

In my opinion, there is no better for a woman to make a statement than with a statement piece of jewelry. More specifically, a statement necklace, right?!  Earrings or a bracelet can be to heavy or get in the way, the necklace lays on your neck.  For me, the weight is less noticeable around my neck than my earlobes.  Catch my drift here…?

So, back to the eye candy sale…  I chose the Emerald my Neck Necklace with matching earrings, Blue my Neck and Multi Teal Necklace.  All the jewelry is set in gold as well.  What do you think?

{picture taken by Heather Pranitis (me);
please give proper credit back to …this & that…}

Transformation Tuesday: Turn 5 Everyday Clutter Items into Useful Storage & Decoration

Springtime is the universal cleaning and organization season. De-clutter and give your home or apartment an organized, fresh look with common items you already have. You can make use of common items cluttering up your home and turn them into useful storage solutions and decorations you might not have thought of.

Glass Jars: Most people have mason jars or other glass jars around the home. They just seem to be something people like to collect. Put them to good use for storage of small items. Use them to store office and craft supplies such as paperclips, pencils and pens, rubber bands, scissors, pins, ribbons, buttons, etc. For decoration, turn a glass jar into a vase to display fresh flowers. 

Shoe Boxes: Utilize shoe boxes for both storage and decoration by covering them with bright wrapping paper, craft paper or fabric. Shoe boxes are great for storing and organizing small items. They can easily be stacked and tucked away, or put out as a part of decoration.
If you have sturdy enough shoe boxes, you can turn them into shelves and shadow boxes, holding light weight items for wall decorations.
Children’s Art: Show your child how proud you are of their work while creating simple, inexpensive art. Collect and frame their hand-drawn pictures with inexpensive frames. Display clay sculptures and other 3D pieces on coffee tables and end tables.
Miscellaneous Dishes and Saucers: Mismatched dishes, vintage tea saucers, and other decorative dishes have many uses. Use saucers as soap dishes or jewelry holders. Keep small decorative dishes in the kitchen, on a side table or by the door to collect miscellaneous items. These provide quick, easy storage places and make it look like you put those miscellaneous things there on purpose. If you have a large and varied collection of dishes, consider hanging them on the wall for decoration.
Collection of Books or Magazines: Have a stack of books or magazines you couldn’t part with but have nowhere to store them? Place a small stack of books or magazines on a coffee table or end table with a vase of flowers or knickknack on top. It’ll look like it was meant to be.
These are just a few items you can reuse to your advantage. Take a look around your home. You’re sure to find things that can be turned ?into useful storage and decoration.
These tips are brought to you by Paige Norton, the Community Manager for the storage and organization experts at Monkey Bars of Phoenix

Motivation Monday: Good Energy is Contagious.

{via here}

On Monday’s, I always start the week in a positive way.  Always.  Period.  I’ts a new week, let alone a new day.  Last week has been wiped clean.  So, start fresh!  Every single week this happen.  So, make it a great one!

Try something a little different…

I make it a point to smile at everyone I encounter throughout the day, period.  Even people I don’t know.   Some of the time, I even say hello.

Oh, and if you are lucky enough to ride the elevator with me first thing in the morning or end of the day…you experience quite a treat!  I make it a point to tell the fellow passengers have a wonderful day or have a nice evening… You get the point!

Are you wondering why I regularly interact and banter with complete strangers?!  My mind thought is this… You know never who is having an unpleasant day, a really crappy day or just plain horrible day – an adding a little something positive, maybe motivational…  Better yet, that someone might just need a “pick-me-up”…so, why not smile at them and maybe add “have a wonderful day”!

What do you think?  Easy, peasy, right?  Yep, it sure is.

Smile, and make someone’s day!  It’s a “feel good” activity on this fine Monday.  Add some “cheer” to those around you and that complete stranger.

Make it a great one and smile!

Short and Sweet: Date Night Ideas.

It’s Friday night!  You know what that means…date night!  What’s your plans this evening…?!  Here’s a few ideas I found.  Even if it’s a “girlie date” with girl friends…check it out!

I plan on my usual Friday night fun “at home” with S and Smokey now too!  Check out next week for my “date night fun”!

{via here}

Oh, Fashion Fairy, I’d love a Louis Vuitton NN 14 PM Belle de nuit!

Oh, Fashion Fairy….come out, come out, wherever you are!  I have something I need you to see!

I’d love one of these absolutely scrumptious Louis Vuitton NN14 PM Belle de nuit bags!

{via here}

I simply died and went to heaven when I opened up my Glamour magazine and saw this bag!  As I turned the page, it literally jumped off the page. As Glamour puts it, it is definitely “one standout bag”! Oh, and it was designed by Marc Jacobs (his final collection for Louis Vuitton, it debuted at the Spring/Summer 2014 women’s fashion show).  And there was only a limited number made – duh!!!

I agree with Glamour it is a “showstopper”!  Not sure where, I’d where but, I’d find a somewhere and something to pair it with!  No worries here.

I’m in love with it first and foremost due to the feathers but it has just the “right amount” of leather, chain and bling…the precise amounts!  Yes, “some” might think it’s a little over the top but, I don’t care one single bit!  Nope, I don’t.  I’d wear it.  Proudly too, I might add!

Anyhow, I’d love for the Fashion Fairy to drop it in my closet!  Hehe.  I’m dreaming I know, but, then again, it’s nice to dream…

What’s your thoughts…would you like an NN14 PM Belle de nuit bag?  Hm mm…  I’m in love with it! Obsessed rather, can’t you tell?!

If you’d like me to add your name to the list for the Fashion Fairy to get it for you – leave a comment below and let me know.  If you are in a mad rush and simply cannot wait for the Fashion Fairy you can click here for the contact information to purchase.  Although, I’ve got a feeling though you’ll need to wait for the Fashion Fairy like me!

Wanderlust Wednesday: Let’s Escape!

{via here}

Today, let’s escape…

Let’s just float away and not think about anything.  Not one single thing.

The question is can we achieve this teeny, tiny task…?!  Hmmm…

Well, let’s try at least…it’s the least we can do!  So, here goes…

Imagine that you are at the beach…walking along in the surf as you search for that very perfect spot. BAM!  You find it!  What a relief.  Now, drop your bag, lay out your towel, grab your book and r-e-l-a-x!

Don’t forget to lather on that sunscreen and chapstick with SPF and keep your face shaded with your big floppy hat!

Enjoy!  Make it a great one.

{via here}

Introducing Smokey, our new addition!

If you noticed I was MIA this past Friday.  No post.  My apologies.  Normally, I have posts scheduled in advance.  However, BlondiesShop had me busy this past week working on a custom order.  So…I didn’t get Friday’s post done.

Anyhow, I was also off on Friday.  S and I had somewhere to be and someone special to pick-up.  We have a new addition to our family!  Yes, we do.

Without further ado…here’s Smokey!  She’s a 7 week old Silver Labrador.  I’m a doggy mommy!  OMG!!!

This is right after we picked her up, for the car ride home.  Daddy snapped a pic.
NOTE:  she cried the entire way home.  Well, almost.  It’ was a long ride home.  She was missing her 8 brothers.
All stretched out and getting comfy…she’s like…mom, really, more pictures, don’t you have enough…? !  
Smokey is completely tuckered out.  Actually, she takes a lot of  naps. 
Ms. Smokey does not like nor understand that “sometimes” she will be put in her pen, period.  She isn’t potty trained yet and we aren’t about to let her roam free…not gonna happen.  Sorry, Smokey but, you aren’t ready to be left alone, unsupervised.   As you can see by the above picture that doesn’t like it.  Not one bit!
S said Smokey needed a duck – after all she is a bird dog.

S and I are very excited to finally have Smokey home.  We’ve been waiting since last November.  She’s been keeping us busy.  She’s a very smart little doggy.  She started using the doggy door right away!  She can sit.  She can play catch and return the ball.  She loves the water (gave her a bath and no big deal mom)!!!  S and I are very excited about this!  She’s being crate trained and it’s going well.  However, someone, does not like being “penned” not one teeny, tiny, bit.  Well, she’s slowly but surely getting used to it.  It’s a process.  Also, potty training is quite the process.  Let’s just say that S and I have it down Smokey’s “tell” when she needs to go potty.  Haha.

Have a wonderful day and make it a great one!  And remember yesterday’s motivation: think positive!

Motivation Monday: Think Positive!

{via here}

When in doubt think positive.  It’s all you really can do.  There is no point in being negative in any-way-shape or form.  It’s just not worth it.  Actually it is really exhausting.  Trust me, I know.  

Clear that’s negative thoughts right out of your brain.  Press the “clear” button.  Be positive!  Every positive thought is a step in the right direction, period.  Enough said.

Make today a great Monday, a positive one!  Have an absolutely fabulous day.

DIY: Step-by-Step Easter and Spring Ribbon Tree.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen my fabulous Easter and Spring Ribbon Tree here.  I’ve made 2 other trees as well, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.  Now, I first posted about a “ribbon tree” back here.  OH, and since I’ve written this post I made “another” Easter tree, one more to go, for a total of 3!

Today’s post I’m finally going to share with you “how-to” make it!  Yippee!  You must be absolutely delighted and beside yourself.  I know, I am!  Trying to make you laugh this am!  Here goes…

What you’ll need…

  • 60 yards of Solid Grosgrain Ribbon in 5/8″ and 7/8″ width
  • 6″w x 6″h x 6″d container (Michaels)
  • foam block to fit container (purchase foamafter container (base) to determine correct size)
  • 12″ h foam cone (Amazon or Factory Direct Craft)
  • 4-6 1″ w foam balls in spring colors with glitter (check Michaels)
  • 1 bag of paper shred, pastel colored  (check Michaels, Easter section)
  • 3 chicks (small, yellow) (check Michaels)
  • 1 chicks (medium, pink) (check Michaels)
  • 750+/- flat head pins (Amazon or Manhattan Wardrobe Supply) OR
  • 750+/- IBC glass head 1-3/8″ silk pins super fine 0.5mm shaft with white head – 250/box (Amazon or Manhattan Wardrobe Supply)

 Tools you’ll need…

  • glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • pinking shears (must-have, the ends of the ribbon won’t fray)
  • newspaper (for glue gun and paper shred work area)

Solid Grosgrain Ribbon…

My ribbon vendor of choice is the awesome and fabulous Ribbon Retreat!  I have found that it is more cost-effective to order online.  The color choices are infinite and they’ll help you match up if need be as well.  The staff is truly wonderful to work with.  Note:  I am not being compensated in any way to state this in my post.

You can choose to 2 colors or use multiple colors as I did.

If you choose the 2 color option, here’s your list…

  • 22 yards of Solid Grosgrain in 5/8″ width
    • cut into (10) 11″ lengths NOTE:  you don’t have to do this, you can cut them all the same length if you choose…see my picture of finished tree (the white ribbons are 11″).
    • cut into (97) 6-1/2″ lengths)
  • 38 yards of Solid Grosgrain 7/8″ width (cut into 6-1/2″ lengths)

If you choose multiple colors, as I’ve made it (what’s pictured), here’s your list, you need a total of 60 yards…

I wanted a “spring” color scheme and purchased the following solid grosgrain ribbon (see above):

  • 5/8″ width white
  • 5/8″ width crème
  • 7/8″ width crème
  • 3/8″ width light pink
  • 5/8″ width pink passion
  • 7/8″ width pink passion
  • 5/8″ width lavender
  • 7/8″ width lavender
  • 5/8″ width dark orchid
  • 5/8″ width banana cream
  • 7/8″ width banana cream
  • 5/8″ width pure green
  • 3/8″ width apple green (bright color, that pops!)
  • 5/8″ width apple green
  • 5/8″ width creamsicle
  • 7/8″ width creamsicle

It’s important to note that you’ll need to pick colors and the amounts to mix-n-match to equal 60 yards.  Depending on how tight you place the ribbon knots you may or may not have any ribbon left over.

Instructions…

  1. Cut the ribbon with pinking shears to the desired lengths as mentioned above.  The purpose of using the pinking shears is so the ends don’t fray.  Trust me, you don’t want the ribbon to fray – I didn’t use the pinking shears on the first 2 trees, lesson learned.  You can buy pinking shears here, I prefer Fiskars brand.
  2. Take a break!
  3. Cut the foam cube to fit the 6″x6″ container.  I purchased a bigger block and cut it into 3 equal pieces.  I glued one cube on top of each other to meet the top of the container.
  4. Glue foam cone to cube.
  5. Glue 4-6 foam balls in various places on cone.  I felt it easier to glue them on first and then pin the ribbon knots in place.
  6. Place paper shed in base of container and at edge of foam cone.  This will help you place the ribbon accordingly on the bottom.
  7. Take a break!
  8. Tie the ribbon into ribbon knots.  Tie a knot in the middle of a ribbon length.
  9. Pin the knots to the foam.  Alternate colors accordingly.  You can use silver pins or white ones.  I prefer the white ones but, used both for this project.
  10. After all ribbon knots have been put on the tree, add the chicks.  Make sure the glue gun is “hot” and that you have a full glue stick in place.  You need to be quick when placing the chicks in place.  I stuck them in spaces throughout the tree, so that they are peeking out beneath the ribbons and at the base.

Estimated time to complete…

It will take roughly 4 to 6 hours to complete the entire ribbon tree.  In all honesty, I would complete this project over multiple days, like I did.  Day 1) cut ribbon.  Day 2) glue everything together (except chicks) and place paper shred in container. Day 3) make ribbon knots.  Day 4) pin all ribbon knots on tree and glue chicks on tree.  Note:  my estimated time of completion does not include ordering the ribbon at Ribbon Retreat or my trip to Michaels.



Happy DIY project time!!  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Also, I’ve listed the trees over at BlondiesShop for sale if you don’t have time to make one.  I can make custom ones too!

Happy Thursday!  Make it an absolutely fabulous day!

2 Must-Have Behind-the-Scene Fashion Items for Every Gal!

Each and every one of you gals reading this post needs the following 2 items, period!  No exceptions.  Trust me.  And any guy pals, boyfriends or husbands reading this post – these are great gifts for us!!!  Hint hint.

Every girl needs “behind-the-scenes” fashion items!  Here they are…

There is a time in every woman’s life where she needs fashion tape.  Yep, you guessed it.  It happens when you least expect it.  The time when you need to “tape” that piece of clothing into place and / or you need it to stay in place, and really, truly stay there.  Stay put!  Or better yet…you need to not be showing “that much” cleavage…or do you?!  They come in a cool little tin too!

Hollywood Fashion Tape

Wow!  Let me tell you about these fabulous little numbers!  I found nippies|skin on a quest for the fashion tape.  Last summer, I was in desperate need of a very magical item to keep my nipples from “popping-out” when wearing a maxi dress last summer.  You see, I wanted to wear the maxi without a strapless bra. Mission accomplished!  These babies are definitely worth it.  I’ve bought 3 pairs since then.  They last for quite some time, depending on how often you wear them.  You need to care for them; wash after each use and put back in the box.  Also, they work well underneath any bra too!  Oh, and they come in 3 different skin tones to choose from.
nippies|skin

I hope these 2 items help you immensely as they do me!  You can buy the Hollywood Fashion Tape here and the nippies|skin here.

For more must-haves visit my Pinterest page, A must for every girl…

Planners: My Top 3.

For a busy gal like me a planner is a must-have.  Let alone any of you reading this post too, gals or guys!

We’ve all been through are fair share of planners.  Typically, you find one that works but wish it was slightly different in one way or another.  In essence, the said planner only fits the bill half of the time.  Wouldn’t it be nice to “fit the bill” all the time…?!  YES, it would be!!!  

Here’s the skinny on the planners I’ve used.  Without further ado… The Planner Pad.  The Day Designer. The Brittany Fuson Planner.

The timeline.  I’ve used a Planner Pad for several years.  …I decided that 2014 was time for a change. Something different.  More structured organization.  In early January I treated myself to a Brittany Fuson planner and I love it.  The Brittany Fuson planner isn’t enough…lacking to-do list area without use of post-its.

Ok, last month, I saw a Whitney English Day Designer on Instagram (purely random, wasn’t looking for it) and thought, WOW, now that’s what I’ve been looking for…something with a little more structure. Needless to say, I’m struggling with the bulk of The Day Designer but, lacking the organization in the Brittany Fuson planner…currently, I’m using both…

…Pro’s and Con’s of each…

I used a Planner Pad for several years.  Love it!  Well, loved it.  Yes, past tense.  It wasn’t working anymore.  The appointments time slots weren’t big enough for me; for me to “write” in them (my handwriting).  But, there is plenty of other room for everything else though.  The monthly page is a good size and worked.  It’s really great for making lists across the top and categorize them as well.  I’m sort of bummed I’m not currently using it.  Wow, can’t believe I just said that.  Haha. You’ll understand why in a few minutes, as you read more…scroll down.  Oh, let me point out too that there are (3) different sizes to choose from:  Professional, Executive, Personal.  I’ve used the Executive and Personal sizes, I prefer the Personal size to fit in my purse.  The “size” feature made it a no-brainer for me.

{click here for more detailed explanation of “how it works”}

So, late December last year I saw Brittany Fuson on my Instagram feed (someone I follow shared a sketch they purchased and along with her planner) and was like, wow, I died and went to heaven.!  I just love her fashion drawings/sketches.  Love them!  Anyhow, someone shared one of her sketches on Instagram and I immediately went to her Instagram and then her website.  I wanted a smaller planner and just needed something to track my monthly bills, personal schedule and various to-do’s.  And then, when I decided to re-launch …this & that… I knew I needed an editorial calendar.  Side note: I’m currently, using Google Calendar (online) and Brittany Fuson Planner (paper) for that.  I’m leaning toward the “paper” calendar.  There’s just something about writing your “schedule” in pen on paper…  Anyhow, I use the monthly calendar, although, I wish it was a 2-page spread versus just one.  However, I love the weekly 2-page spread of the “week” and the lines are spaced far enough apart for my handwriting.  Love it!!!  Love, love,  love, love it!!!

{visit Brittany Fuson here}

{a little more detail of 2013’s planner, via here}

{this picture via here}

Do you notice a trend here with finding “planners” on Instragram purely by accident…?!

I love the back-story behind Whitney English’s Day Designer and her purpose for it’s use.  The Day Designer has a page for every day of the week.  Except for Saturday and Sunday, they share a page…?  I’d prefer they each have their own page.  I run a lot of errands and work on my shop and blog mainly on the weekends…a “to-do/task list” for both Saturday and Sunday is imperative.  This planner is lacking because they share a page.  Spacing is great for my handwriting.  The to-do list is phenomenal!!!  There is some tracking features along the top that I don’t use and probably won’t.  Well, maybe one day I will…  I just purchased it the middle of last month, so, I’m still “breaking it in”.  I definitely love the bottom portion of every day that’s a place just for you to write anything down and get it out of your brain.  All the sections are “labeled”.  It’s a very structured organizer and I do like that aspect.  However, with all the structure it’s bulky.  There’s no way around it, it is.

So, needless to say the verdict is still out…  What type of planner do you use? Online or paper?  What’s the pro’s and con’s of planning / organizing your life?  Do tell.

Motivation Monday: 6 Weeks to a Flatter Stomach…Give me a 12 week Commitment!

I’m on a mission!  A fitness mission that is!  I am committed to getting back on track with my work out regime.

Adding arms and (more) abs this week.  I think my stomach is pretty flat, however, let’s just say that they aren’t defined like they used to be…ahhh, let’s say about a 1-1/2 ago.  But, then again, that’s what happens when you don’t regularly workout.  I’m back on the cardio program.  I made a conscious decision that working out needs to happen regardless of my work commute, stress level or lack of desire to simply do so.  Period.

I like working out.  I enjoy how I feel during and after.  I like the endorphins.  The high.  And of course the obvious…change in the tone and definition of my body.

{via here}

I’ve been conscious of what I eat and my lack of exercise since January 1, 2014.  Well, before that…but, you get the “gist”…   My meal portions were more than they needed to be.  I was eating for comfort.  Still do, but, more in moderation now.  I’m more “aware” that I do it.  Since I’ve adjusted my portions I’ve noticed that a few pieces of clothing are no longer tight.  Kiddos to me!  So, the “portion control change” to my diet has worked.  Now, I’m going to step things up a notch.   Oh, and I stopped drinking my “fountain soda” for a few months and drink make an effort to drink more water.  I’ll admit though that I have had a soda or two in the last few weeks…stress level  has been a little elevated.  A weakness for me.  It happens…what are you gonna do?!  Right…

{my abs, courtesy of  hot yoga, cardio and weights, in July 2012}

As we age, metabolism “changes” and things like  it’s not as easy as it used to be.  Shaking your head in agreement aren’t you…?  This happens to.  Each of us needs to accept it and move forward.

Alright, its time…let’s do this!  Here’s the ab plan I’m going to follow (below).  I’ll share the arm plan next week.  It’s a 6 week plan.  I’m committing to 12 weeks.  I am determined to see this through!

And yes, I’ll take and share current “before” and “progress” photos.

Add caption

Are you on board?  These are relatively easy ab exercises to do.  If you are unsure of how to do them go to youtube or google them.  I bet Pinterest has some “how-to” explanation for them.

Happy Monday!  Let’s do this!

Recipe: Mini Quiche Florentine.

Someone special in my life likes little quiches.  The BF.  So, I found this snazzy recipe and make them periodically for him.  I make the mini quiche’s and freeze them in a large ziploc bag (wax paper between each layer of quiche) and later they are reheated in the microwave a few at a time!  Enjoy!

You’ll need about an hour to make these tasty little morsels.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pie crusts (refrigerated)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (16 ounces = 1 pint)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese (12 ounce block, shred little more than half)
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (10 ounce) package chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Pam Olive Spray

Must-have cooking utensils:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Lay out all of your ingredients
  3. Grate your Swiss cheese by hand (unfortunately, it doesn’t come grated, trust me, I’ve checked!)
  4. Cut and mince the scallions
  5. Roll out pie crust with rolling pin (keep refrigerated until ready to use)
  6. Use an individual ceramic mini quiche pan or small round cutter, to cut out individual discs
  7. Place individual disks into a greased mini quiche pan (Amazon link here)
  8. TIP:  I spray Pam Olive Oil Spray into each mold and use a paper towel to spread it around.
  9. In a bowl, whisk cream, eggs, and salt until well blended
  10. In a saucepan, melt the butter
  11. Add scallions, cook until tender
  12. Pour the scallions and melted butter into the cream mixture
  13. Sprinkle in pepper into the cream mix
  14. Stir in the cheese (use the whisk and fold it into the mixture)
  15. Mix in the spinach (again, use the whisk and fold it into the mixture)
  16. Put 1 tablespoon of mixture into individual mold
  17. Bake for 14-15 minutes (depending on your oven you’ll need to probably add a few minutes)
  18. Let cool for 3-5 minutes before serving and gobbling up!
The recipe will make 48 mini-quiches.
Happy cooking!  I hope you enjoy them as much as S and I do.
I kept waking S (the BF) up from a nap as I was making these to “take my photo”!
He’s making me laugh as I’m grating the cheese (trying not to cut myself).
It’s important to drain the water after the spinach as thawed.
I use a fork or my hands and squeeze/press the spinach in a metal strainer (see above).
I use a tablespoon because it fills just the “right” amount into the individual mold.

TIP:  Use a paper towel to wipe up the batter after you fill the molds.

All finished!  They look yummy, don’t they?!

The finished product all wrapped and ready to go in the freezer!

Let me know if you have any questions!  I hope you enjoy the recipe and the quiche.  I did!
PS – All pictures used in this post are of me and my kitchen and they are property of …this & that…  Please use proper credit and mention …this & that… if you use them.  Thank you!

Let’s continue the chat on aging…grab your cocktail!

Last week, Mr. Antonio and Mrs. P shared their thoughts regarding aging.

Now, it’s my turn.  Let’s get down to the skinny of it and my two-sense about aging! 

I’m sipping a glass of my favorite red wine, Coppola Pinot Noir.  (Wrote this post over the weekend, hehe, don’t want you to think I’m drinking wine at 5:30 a.m. when the post goes live.)

Are you ready?  Here we go…

Aging.  Ugh.  This is a sore subject for me lately.  Yep, I’ll admit it..  Not, normally though.  Typically, my attitude about age, is that “it is”  just a number.  Seriously, I mean, really, it is just a number!  However, now, all of a sudden, I see it.  I feel it.  I notice it.  And the simple fact is, I am getting older.  Life progression, right?  Anyone else, notice any of this…? 

This post isn’t a pitty-party by any means but, I’m definitely going to let it hang all out regarding aging…and then some.

A few weeks ago, I received the invitation to my 20-year high school reunion.  Eeeek!  It kind of just dawned on me “wow, where did the time go…?!” 

I don’t really feel old, nor, do I think I look old.  In all honesty, I think I look pretty damn good for 37!  Thank you very much!  However, I am fully aware of  a “few” small, teeny tiny, little wrinkles in the corner of my eyes and a line or two on my forehead.  No biggie, it’s normal, typical, a regular thing called a-g-I-n-g.  Duh!  Oh, and I definitely notice a difference with my metabolism, oh yes!  And from time-to-time I feel achy in my joints in the morning.  Yep, I sure am admitting all of this on here.  Hehe…  Oh, and I definitely don’t weigh 109 pounds anymore!  Too funny.

I’d like to think that I’ve treated my body pretty good over the years.  I think…?  I’m not a smoker.  I’m not a big drinker.  I treat my body good.  I drink plenty of water, try to, this is now that I’m older (hehe).  Typically, I exercise regularly – having a little “motivation” issue right now. Starting a new workout regime next week.  I wash my face every night (almost always, missing 5 nights a year is no big deal) and I’ve religiously used eye cream since the beginning of high school, over 20+ years and it’s definitely paid off!  Hehe!  Thank you Mary Kay!

Another aspect of aging is when I look at my friend’s kids and I’m like OMG!  Wow!  I feel old.  I see these kids grow up and I’m  like “wow” that means I’m that much older.  I love seeing my friends as parents – it’s a very cool thing to see.  I get to see Mrs. P (been friends for about 10 years), my childhood friend, Jason, my high school friends, Dena, Dana and Amy.  Oh, and Cathie too!  I can’t put it into words.  It’s just incredibly awesome!  And let’s just say it’s pretty cool to see their kids become these awesome little people with “the best aspects” of each of my friends and their spouses all rolled into one!  Hehehe.  I’m laughing here.  Being the “non-parent” of the bunch I’ve learned which “scream” requires my friends to get off the phone!  Haha.

Another aspect of “age” right now is…friends.  Which friends are still present?  Which aren’t?  Makes you think over the years, the differences and changes in this arena.  Whether you’re…in a committed relationship, married, divorced, or single.  Oh, and let’s not forget whether or not you have kids…! Friends notice this stuff. 

My Mom recently gave me some insightful advice…that sometimes you outgrow your friends.  Hmmm…?!  Wow, Mom!  I never ever thought of it that way…of “outgrowing” someone and their friendship.  Never, ever considered that.  Ever.  People change too and you grow apart or simply put – your life is just going a different way…  You know what I mean?! It’s not a bad thing, it just happens. You get married. You get divorced. You remain single (not necessarily by choice). You have kids. You move away. Life happens.

Side note, I’ll admit that all my married friends liked to hear about my “single gal life” out in the dating world…they wanted the skinny.  Too funny, right?!  They still want to hear about it!

Recap.  Aging.  I see it.  I feel it.  I notice it with friends and their kids.  I’m content with it.  I’m learning to embrace it.

I look back at my life as I write this post and think… Wow, I’ve made a lot of mistakes.  But, I’ve learned a whole hell of a lot.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got a “few” more mistakes to make and things to learn…  A little admission here,, I’ve even had to repeat a few of the same mistakes over just to get the lesson down right!  Apparently, I didn’t learn the lesson well enough the first time around.  Haha.  We’ve all been there, done that.  Right?!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on aging!  Do share.