Monday, June 27, 2011

makeover mondays!!!!!!'s that time of week again.  It's time to makeover your Monday!  With July 4th just around the corner, I am already anticipating the sparkle and razzle dazzle of fireworks.  So....what better theme for this weeks post than this... 

 6 Ways to RAZZLE DAZZLE Your Drab Monday!!

1.  Start your day by getting rid of the old and letting the new shine through!  One of the best ways to do that is to exfoliate.  I love Modern Friction body scrub from Origins.  My friend Jana got me hooked on it, and I actually just used the last of it over the weekend.  (waiting for an Origins sale or ebay deal before I replace it)  ;)  This stuff is amazing.  It leaves your skin feeling smooth and glowing (totally razzle dazzle).  If you're going to be spending a lot of time outside this summer, exfoliating should be on your list of things to do.  Just don't exfoliate right before or after sun exposure.  (major ouch)

2.  Add some razzle dazzle to your breakfast with these little berries.  Goji berries, that is.  They're cute, sweet, and PINK!  You can add them to your oatmeal, granola, cereal, yogurt, trail mix, fresh baked goods, or eat them by themselves.  (they're great in your salad at lunch time too)  To find the health benefits of the it.  haha!!  :)  I love these little guys and they've been listed as one of the 5 healthiest fruits you can eat - high in antioxidents.  Score!  I like to make a little trail mix with mine using almonds, goji berries, and little dark chocolate chips.  Super good combination!  Try some today!  

3.  Add some razzle dazzle to your morning makeup routine.  This lip gloss from Mary Kay totally pumps up the volume when it comes to shine and sparkle.  It's a beautiful shade of pink that looks good on just about everyone!  Even it's name is fun - Fancy Nancy.  Seriously...does it get much cuter?  Another product I love for adding some dazzle is Bare Escentuals Healthy Radiance.  It instantly adds a shimmer (not glitter) wherever you put it.  I use it over eye color, cheek color, or alone for a dewy look.  It's super versatile and a great product for summer. 

4.  Add a little bling to your ensemble.  Whether it's a chunky necklace, an over sized ring, a flower pin, feathers in your hair, a belt, etc....let your inner razzle dazzle shine through!  I love to see art in fashion  (tasteful art, that is - the smarter, the better) and it seems like there's a lot to choose from these days.  Style is subjective and we all have our own.  Whether we follow the trends or march to the beat of our own drum....we're all saying something with our style.  I shop on a budget and some of my favorite places to find fun things to razzle dazzle my wardrobe are local shops, consignment stores, and markets.  On our trip to Savannah, GA last year we found this cute little shop that was nestled in the art district and I found these pieces for just a little $.  It doesn't cost a fortune to sport a little dazzle.  :)

  (sorry the pic is blurry - foggy lens due to high GA humidity)  :)

 5.  Add some serious razzle dazzle to meal time with this little treat.  Black Truffle Sea Salt.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  BLACK TRUFFLE Sea Salt.  O my goodness gracious.  Hide your kids.  Shut the front door.  This stuff is legit.  It's made by the culinary geniuses over at s.a.l.t. sisters.  (I've mentioned their stuff on here before - it's seriously muy bueno)  Black truffle mushrooms are fragrant, rich, and highly valued in the culinary world.  This product is great on hot popcorn (my all time favorite snack and therefore first on this list), vegetables, steak, tossed in pasta with olive name it, it could only be made better by this product.   

Try this....
Grilled Asparagus with Black Truffle Sea Salt
Wash and prepare 2 bunches of fresh asparagus
Toss with olive oil, Black Truffle Sea Salt, and fresh cracked pepper
Grill for about 10-12 minutes or until you get great grill marks on all sides
Finish w/ a very light sprinkle of Black Truffle Sea Salt and a squeeze of lemon

We love our asparagus paired with grilled steak or chicken.  If you can't grill the asparagus, it can also be roasted in the oven @ 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until tender.  Enjoy!!

6.  Add some dazzle to your life by cultivating deep friendships.  There's a definite "wow factor" added to life through friends.  A razzle dazzle...if you will.  :)  I love how each of my friends mean something different to me.  Each one has a sparkle all her own.  I'm sure your friends do too.  Once you discover's something to treasure.  To find what makes a friend shine, you need to get to know her....what really makes her heart sing.  For some of my friends, it's quality time.  For some, it's gifts or little notes.  For some others, it's words of encouragement.  For my long distance friends, it's the phone calls, facebook messages, and emails.  Just recently I've been reminded how important true friendships are.  It's important to stay connected - to check in - to make the effort it takes to keep a relationship thriving - to be a razzle dazzler in the life of your friends!!  :)  So on a mundane Monday, take time to call a friend, invite her to share a cup of coffee or take a walk around the neighborhood.  Send someone a little treat or note.  Plan a pool day with some girlfriends.  The sky is the limit, people.  :)  Sometimes the littlest things mean the most and can razzle dazzle up an ordinary day in the life of a true friend.  

Shine on, razzle dazzlers!!     

Sunday, June 19, 2011

here's to you, dad

In honor Father's Day, here's a little something for mine - a little shout out on ye ole blog.  (dad, if you're reading this...consider this your gift)  ;)

Dear Dad, thank you for being you.  Thank you for always loving me no matter what.  Thanks for all the times you mowed the lawn in straight lines.  Thank you for the countless grilled meats, done to perfection.  Thank you for showing me the coolest way to rid the yard of gophers (remember the shotgun and milk jugs?  that was AWESOME!!!)  Thank you for your humor.  (I think)  :)  Thank you for taking us camping so often - I still love it to this day.  Thank you for buying me my first COOL pair of gym shorts (Umbro's) when mom wouldn't buy them for me.  (hee hee)  Thank you for cultivating my love of music.  (I still remember eating cheerios and drinking lemonade under church pews while listening to you practice)  Thank you for encouraging me in my musical endeavors when I was in school.  Thank you for the way you love mom.  Thank you for teaching me to keep my commitments.  Thank you for being handy.  Thank you for coming to my rescue at 2am to change my flat tire when I needed it.  Thank you for the curfews you gave me.  (now I know you really WERE giving them to me for my own good - even if I hated them then)  Thank you for exposing me to all kinds of sports - Go Hoosiers/Irish/Bears/Colts/Bulls/Cubs!!  (did I forget anybody?)  :)  Thank you for always directing me towards Truth.  Thank you for being an example of quiet strength.  Thank you for encouraging me in my present goals.  Thank you for all the $20's during my high school years when I was too busy with school to hold down a decent job.  :)  Thank you for all your wise advice.  Thank you for letting me be me.  Thank you for being the best dad I could ever need.  Today (and every day) I thank God for you.

I love you dad!

Monday, June 13, 2011

makeover mondays!!!

Hey bloggy peeps - it's that time of the week again!  Whew - it's been a busy couple of weeks!  Lots of life being lived here in our house right now.  Not all is perfect....but God is perfect, so it's all good.  :)  Life is about learning to trust Him in everything - even when it doesn't make sense.  It's a sweet thing!  Speaking of sweet....I thought that would be a great theme to this week's MM.  Without further adieu...

6 Ways To SWEETEN Up Your Monday

1.  Go raw...and local, honey!  ;)  Raw honey has so many health benefits (seriously, Google it) and buying local is even better.  Because the bees that make your local honey live in your environment...the honey they produce offers many immune boosting properties.  (or so I'm far I'm buying it)  I've been searching for some local fare and last week I found this sweetness at a local market.

It's phenomenal!  It's sweet, caramel-ish, and thick.  Haven't tried it on biscuits, but shut-the-front-door that would be good!!!  So...if you're in the market for some amazing honey....go local and raw!  Oh, and if you're ever in the Savannah, GA area, stop by the Savannah Bee Company and try these...they're my faves :

The Raw Acacia Honey is sweet and has fruity/floral notes.  The Winter White Honey has a creamy texture and can be spread on anything....mmmm....biscuits.  And the Raw Honeycomb is great on it's own or eaten with fruit and cheese.  Try this...

Core and slice one Granny Smith apple
Top each slice with shaved Gruyere cheese
Finish with a little Raw Honeycomb honey and honey drizzle
Serve and enjoy - makes a great appetizer!

2.  Leave a sweet fragrance behind!  I'm in serious like with Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf.  It's the perfect blend of fruity & floraly deliciousness.  It's perfect for summer!!  While I love the scent, the price point is a little less than this little gem is the one I'm using at the moment.  (I'm hoping a certain someone picks up my not-so-subtle hints I'm dropping...birthday is just around the corner...know what I'm saying?)  Try a sample at Sephora or wherever it's sold.

3.  Sweeten your day buy sweetening up someone else's day!!  I'm a huge fan of random acts of kindness.  It's amazing what a small gesture, smile, or word will do to change a person's day.  Recently my favorite and I were perusing a local farmer's market with our dog and an elderly lady approached us and wanted to love on our dog.  She was all alone and was easily engaged in conversation.  She even shared her lychee nuts with us that she had just purchased.  It was such a sweet conversation and I could tell she might have been a bit lonely.  It was nice to know that perhaps our encounter brightened her day in some small way.  It seems that I've had quite a few of these small encounters lately....or maybe they've always been there and my eyes are just open enough to see them.  Wherever you are or whatever your circumstance, you always have the ability to make a difference in someone's life around you.  Oh, and for those of you curious of what a lychee nut's a pic (they're actually pretty sweet themselves - I highly recommend)

4.  Make a sweet fashion statement!!  I love summer style.  It's easy.  It's breezy.  (no, this isn't a covergirl ad)  It's fun!  When I think of summer fashion, I think of dresses, sandals, tanks, skirts, shorts, delicate jewelry, and the likes.  I'm a product of the grunge era, so I love a good pair of ratty jeans or shorts and a tank or vintage tee.  It's my go-to outfit when I want to be comfortable.  But there's something about warm weather that makes me want to buy every dress and cute top I see.  Oh, and what's with all the cute summery sweatshirts and sweaters????  Oh my....they get me every time!!  How is it that my mind instantly tries to rationalize the purchase of a sweater in the middle of summer when it's 100+ degrees in the shade with 90% humidity??  Seriously.  I may need professional help.  Along with the 2 maxi dresses I snagged at a Forever 21 sale, here are a collection of (some of the) things I love for summer : 

 5.  Sweeten up meal or snack time with this sweet summery treat!!  Around here, we love our watermelon!  It's the epitome of summer, don't you think?  Right now these babies are bountiful and super sweet!  (I've been buying one a week at the local market)  So good!!

6.  Of of the best ways I know to sweeten my Monday is to get lost in worship.  Ahh...sweet worship in the One who made me.  Nothing sweetens my heart and soul like spending some quality time nurturing my relationship with the Father.  [I am a worshiper at heart.  We all are.  It's the way we were created to be.  I love that God created us to desire something more than what we can find in ourselves.]  Especially when I go through times when it seems that all else has failed me or even in times when it seems I've failed all things.....the love of Jesus never does.  His love never fails.  I am continually amazed at the way God orchestrates everything in my life.  I may not understand every circumstance or situation, but one thing is always true.  God is always with me and His love never fails.  His love and grace are two of His attributes that I stand firm on every day.  Reader, if you are going through a time in life where it seems like the sweetness in your life has turned sour....know I am praying for you.  You are loved by the God who created the heavens and the earth.  He is love and He is perfect.  He never fails.  Take a listen and get lost in the sweet message of this blessed.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails..."

1 Corinthians 13:1-8a