Thursday, September 6, 2012

portland, maybe?

Hi friends,
It has been a crazy couple of weeks filled with birthdays, wonderful friends, food adventures, summer bucket lists, completing summer bucket lists and a slight bit of unexpected car trouble. Actually, when is car trouble ever expected? Never. Somehow though, even the car trouble turned into an awesome weekend trip packed with lots of friends and fun.
A few of weekends ago, I went down to Port St. Lucie to visit my friend Carolyn. She had planned a weekend FULL of fun and checking things off the summer bucket list for my birthday. We went to a minor league baseball game, made a kite, flew a kite, rode bikes, swam in the pool, swam in the ocean, picked up shells, made popsicles, went vertiglow bowling and ate delicious food. Whew, it was awesome and consequently, I can’t wait to be retired and living at the beach. There I said it.
The next weekend was spent in Tallahassee visiting my brother, spending time with old friends and meeting a few new ones. There was also a trip to Krispy Kreme because the hot now light was on and well, it just had to be done.
During the past couple of weeks a really exciting thing happened too! I had two skype interviews and was hired as an intern at Sseko! I should mention that Sseko is located in Portland, Oregon. So my friends, on Saturday (!!!) I will be flying three thousand miles into the pacific time zone. 

I will be blogging about blog adventures in Portland on another blog called Plant by Water. You can find it [here]! The PSL will still be here but it may be on a slight hiatus until December. So come visit me over there!
Here are some pictures from my most recent adventures: 

ps. I'm moving to Portland.  
pps: Typing that felt crazy and kind of awesome. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A sassy song by Joss Stone to get you in through the rest of the week. You're awesome. Don't forget that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aside from the bedazzled pockets, this video is lame beyond comparison. So, I'm sorry for that. The YouTube choices were limited. The song is not however lame're welcome.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

free stuff? yes please.

Want to know the great thing about birthdays? Everybody has one! Which means this is for you.

Birthdays are awesome for a couple of other reasons too. One, you're alive & that is awesome. Two, you can eat a lot of cake & it is totally ok because it's your birthday. Three, you can get a lot of free stuff!  

Free stuff you ask? Yes. I mean free. Over the years, I have found more and more places that are willing to send you a pretty awesome gift just for being y-o-u. If you're willing to give out an email address or two, most of them will only take a few minutes to register. They are totally worth it!  

Here is a list of the ten free gifts you can receive for your birthday! I would advise against getting them all the same time or you may find yourself in need of a bigger pair of pants.

If you register your Starbucks card, you will receive a free drink coupon a few weeks before your day. This is my personal favorite.

Make your stomach smile with a free scoop of ice cream! 

Sign up and get a free medium drink and another when your birthday rolls around.

Birthday blizzard for joining the DQ club. This is a dangerous gift.

For this one you will receive a free medium sub but you have to bring your ID and show up on your actual day. 

Free bowl! So yummy!

Celebrate the smoothie lovers of the world.

Be real, who doesn't love free gift from Sephora?

Free burgers because you were born. Woop!

10. IHOP 
Join the pancake revolution & you'll receive a free Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity breakfast!  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You're going to like this one. I just know it. Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

foodagram. yup. i said it.

I have heard a few people say that pictures of food (specifically instagrams) are their least favorite pictures to look at. I think I speak for amateur foodies everywhere when I say seriously, get a life. Food involves so many colors and textures and intricate pieces that all have to work together to make it look as good as it tastes.  Here are some my recent documented food adventures:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

go world.

Are you excited about the 2012 London Olympic games starting tomorrow? If you are really really excited about it, you might be throwing an awesome party.  Really, if you think about it, we should absolutely be throwing a big party because this shindig only happens once every four years! We celebrate thanksgiving every year. Think about that & get inspired:  

  one // two & three // four 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I heard a tiny clip of this song on a Sam Adams commercial the other day and knew it was going to be a good listen when I got around to looking up the full version. It is in fact one of the sweetest songs I have ever heard. A note on the video: The amount of the times the girl appears in it will make you feel slightly awkward but when you find out that it is actually the girl he is singing about it becomes way less stalker(ish) & quite endearing. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

exciting news: the violet online.


I have kind of exciting news to bring to you today. Do you ever read The Violet? It's a wonderful online magazine that was started by some pretty great gals. I followed Ashlee Gadd and Camilla Leila's blogs before they launched The Violet and have since added one more quarterly reading to my Google Reader. The magazine is filled with great articles on food, fashion, crafts, parties and travel.

Before they release every issue they pose a question to their readers and ask them to respond. For the summer issue, they asked readers to tell them about one of the coolest places they had ever visited. As you might know, I had recently visited the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and thought it was pretty swell. I am well aware that of all the places in the world, it may not rank high on the list but it would definitely receive an honorable mention (at least in the state of Florida). Anyway, The Violet thought it was pretty neat and sent me a friendly email letting me know it would be in the summer issue! Naturally, I was pretty excited.

If you have an hour to check out the summer issues, you should definitely do that (and pay a special eye to page 88).

Have an excellent Thursday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

diy kitchen art.

Hey friends,

If you have fifteen minutes to spare and are looking for something to hang on a wall in your kitchen, might I suggest this little project.

You'll need:
-Modge Podge
-Any size canvas
-Solid color paper of your choice
-Acrylic pain

Cut out the paper you've chosen to fit your canvas. Apply a thin layer of modge podge to the canvas and place your paper on top. Seal the corners with the modge podge. Place the stickers in the lower right hand corner and and paint over them with the color you've chosen. After the paint dries completely, slowly peel off the stickers. There ya have it. Easy peee zeee.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

in the meantime, more twinkle lights.

Nora Ephron died a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t realize what an impact it made on me and just how truly great she really was until a few days later when I was watching my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail (as I do several times a week). Since then I have been reading about Nora Ephron’s life; the way her words impacted others, the things she wrote that inspired many and the very specific way she defended the fanciful side of life.
In the movie Kathleen Kelly, the owner of the Shop Around the Corner tells Joe Fox that when you read a book as a child become it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. If we were discussing movies that had this impact on our life, You’ve Got Mail would be that for me. Sometimes I wonder if Nora knew what she was doing when she set out to write You’ve Got Mail. Did she consider that little girls who were only nine years old when it came out would still be claiming it as their favorite movie fourteen years later? Surely she had an inkling.
There are things about this movie that have shaped the things I love most. It’s the enchanting way that Kathleen Kelly skips through the streets of New York thinking about bouquets of newly sharpened pencils. The way daisies are described as the friendliest flowers. The way the characters wonder about the insignificant things happening all around them; like the way the flour lingers in the air without ever touching the ground or how ordering a tall decaf cappuccino can give one a defining sense of self. And of course, the way New York is portrayed as a small town, like everyone knows each other, like they’re all friends and everyone is always welcome wherever they go.
What I love most about this movie though is the villain that doesn’t really exist. Joe Fox is the enemy but is also the person that Kathleen trusts. She can’t stand him but she defends him when he doesn’t come through for her and even better, her friends defend him too.  The ‘big bad Fox Books’ ultimately takes the win over the Shop Around the Corner but the victory of Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox seeing each other for the first time in front of the garden at River Side Park remains the brightest spot.
There are things in this life that make us feel right at home even when we are far from it. So thank you Nora Ephron for creating something that will always seem familiar to me. Thank you for writing quirky characters like Kathleen Kelly, who was a lone reed, who worried about being brave, but who was ultimately the heroine of her own life. Thank you for living a truly inspiring life yourself and for letting us be a part of it through your love of the written word.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

apple tart.

The fourth of July is not complete without apples. Specifically apples baked with lots of sugar, flour and butter. Last year, Carolyn and I made a delicious apple pie inspired by our lady Ina. Unfortunately this year we had to celebrate this fun holiday in different states. Thus, no apple pie collaboration. Separately, however, this is what I came up with: an apple tart that slightly resembles a chrysanthemum.Check out the recipe [here]. I might suggest using a smidge less cream cheese and a few more apples. Serve it up with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. It will make your tummy smile...even if it isn't on the fourth of July.

Monday, July 2, 2012

banana bread with nutella swirl.

My favorite way to enjoy a banana has always been in bread form. My grandmother used to make it for us all the time. It's one of the things that I distinctly remember about visiting her when I was younger. She still makes it now and then and it's just as delicious as ever.

So what could be better than a slice of warm banana bread with a square of butter melting on top, you ask? Oh yes, you're right, banana bread with nutella swirl! 

Consider yourself warned. You will eat more than one piece. Find some people to share this  

Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl
Adapted from Sugar Plum

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy and well combined - about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined. Divide 1/2 of of the batter into a medium bowl; stir in Nutella until combined.

Alternate spoonfuls of batter into loaf pan until all of the batter is used up. Swirl batter gently with a knife. Bake 1 hour or until well risen, deep golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

debbie can't hold us down.

In an effort to make the most of our summer, my friend Carolyn and I decided to pick a destination for our weekend and go explore. Our friend Miss. Wendy suggested that we check out the Postcard Inn in St. Petersburg. As soon as she began describing it to us, we knew we had to check it out. Unfortunately, a tropical storm named Deborah had been brewing in the gulf for a few days and is actually still pouring out buckets of water over central Florida. Instead of seeking shelter or watching You've Got Mail for the 100th time like we've been prone to do, Carolyn and I decided to brave the day like true Floridians. 

The Postcard Inn did not disappoint. When we arrived, we enjoyed an excellent lunch at the restaurant that was attached to the hotel. I'm going to make a bold claim that Beachwood BBQ & Burgers had the best sweet potato fries I've had...ever. After lunch, we explored in the rain.The retro modern style of the lobby of the hotel had us busy taking pictures for a while. I said to Carolyn at one point "what decade are we in?” Everything at the Inn was inspired by a hotel you might have stayed out in the late 60's. It was definitely postcard worthy.

We didn't stay the night but are planning to return in August for my birthday! Our high hopes of checking a few things off the summer bucket list didn't quite happen due to the heavy rain fall but we did get to one: visit a new place...check!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Oh hey there,

There has been a shortage of the world wide web in my life for the past month or so. I would love to tell you that it was totally intentional and that I did it so I could say something weird like "I feel so much more centered because I took the time to unplug" but that is not what is going on here. I moved and started a new job and my life became super busy when I least expected it. Which don't get me wrong, I'm super stoked about, but it has taken its toll on my ever growing to-do list. The hours to check them off seem few and far between and lets just face it, when life gets a little crazy and that to-do list is running laps in your little brain, you choose a nap. Tired people need naps. Facts are facts people. 

I think we can all agree that naps are sweet little gifts from above but I'm thinking we can all agree that giving yourself a good challenge can be be prettty sweet too. So here's what I'm telling myself "Be intentional with your time. Just do it.". 

A summer bucket list is what I'll be working on. Ya know, the fun kind of to-do's. Plus buckets and summer kind of go together like apple and pie, right? Nobody would be building castles on the beach if they weren't  first filling their buckets up with sand.

This isn't deep stuff. You want to make popsicles? Put it in the bucket. You want to drive to the beach to watch the sunset? Put it in the bucket. You want to write a letter to an old friend? Put in the bucket. The key to this is taking it out of the bucket. Don't forget that part. DO that part.

Maybe you can relate to this and maybe a summer bucket list would be a fine idea for you too. Just think about it.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

oh to be at the beach!

Now I know why people retire at the beach. Imagine if everyday you were just snoozin' away like the lady in the first photo. Really? What a life. The beach is also so full of color and there is no denying that bright colors make people happy. It's just a fact of life. And it's a fact I like.

I also included a picture of my mom texting on the beach because it made me laugh and because if you have a mom who texts, it might make you laugh too. If nothing else, I hope these pictures get you excited for the summer months ahead of us!

Friday, April 27, 2012

ringling museum of art. part two.

Good morning!

A few pictures of the beautiful secret garden, rose garden and banyan trees of the ringling museum of art. The Mable Ringling rose garden was incredible. I wouldn't say that roses are my favorite flower in the world (leave that to peonies, hydrangeas and daisies) but I'm definitely able to appreciate their beauty. They are really quite a marvel when you stop to look them closely. Their intricate petals are so delicate yet full of bold color. While I was walking through the garden I couldn't help but think of the splendor of God and the gift that nature is. I mean really, 1,200 roses filled this garden and not one was alike. That's kind of awesome.