Tuesday, August 27, 2013

5 Things.....

I saw this little exercise on Stephanie's Life-Unexpectedly and thought that it would be fun to do. So here we go.... in no particular order

5 Things I have a passion for:

  • family
  • music
  • lyrics
  • computers/gadgets/graphics (that's the geek in me)
  • cooking

5 Things I'd like to do before I die:

  • enter a dance competition (Tango all the way!)
  • learn another language - Italian or French --- or better yet, both
  • write a book and have it published
  • see my children grow up to be happy, responsible adults
  • learn how to really code & start my own web design company

5 Things I say lot:

  • Uh-huh....
  • Did you hear what I just said?
  • Hurry up!
  • Love you honey (this is from my Baltimore days)
  • I'm tired (because it's true)

5 Books I've recently read:

  • Inferno by Dan Brown 
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (yes...... I heart teen paranormal romance books)
  • The Host by Stephanie Meyer (better written than the Twilight series - I'm Team Edward!)
  • Defending Jacob by William Landay
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (hated the ending!)

5 Favorite Movies:

  • Under The Tuscan Sun (probably my all time favorite)
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Pretty Woman
  • Independence Day
  • Gladiator

5 Places I'd like to travel to:

  • Italy - Tuscany
  • Morocco
  • Croatia
  • Germany
  • France

5 Blogs I'll tag: Like Stephanie, I would like to open this fun little game to everyone....so let me know if you decide to partake. I would love to see some of your 5's!!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chillin in Cape May

So it's the middle of August and I'm just starting to relax. What have I been doing this whole time? Well, for some reason....during a brief moment of insanity, I agreed to be the President of PTA for my youngest daughters elementary school. 

Yup.... Sucker.

Honestly, I do enjoy it to some degree. I love working on the computer - making newsletters, finding new fonts, playing with photo images..... I actually just finished creating a brand new website for the PTA and I must say --- not too shabby.

Anyhow, here I am finally relaxing by the shore and I thought I would take this time to send out a post.

It's about 3pm right now and we've had a full day already....kite flying, shopping, arcade house, scooting, reading, eating and napping.

This is actually our fourth year vacationing in Cape May New Jersey ...and we love it. We've been coming here with my sister and her family (love my niece & nephew) and my mom & dad - its truly my favorite time of the year.

Here's my kid sister as we take a little respite at an organic coffee/ice cream shop called Bliss (cute little shop on one of the back streets of Cape May).

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Twist on Tabbouleh

I'm a foodie.

I absolutely love eating and trying cuisines from different parts of the world. In fact, this was one of the driving forces that brought my husband and I together - our taste buds were in sync.

Now, because I am a serious foodie.....who loves to cook and has an incurable obbession for cookbooks, I've decided to share my journey in the culinary world with you. I've already been sharing my cooking escapades on Facebook and Instagram for awhile now and it occurred to me --- why not share it on my blog.

So, here we go....open your mind and your palette....

The first recipe that I want to share with you calls for a bit of a twist on the traditional tabbouleh. Since I'm a huge fan of tabbouleh, I was immediately drawn to this recipe when I saw it.

What did I make? Quinoa Tabbouleh.

This refreshing take of a Middle Eastern classic had my mouth watering before I could get the ingredients out.

I paired it with Lemon Chicken (super moist - will share that recipe one day) and it was fantastic. The only thing I might do differently next time is to add a bit more cucumbers and cut the tomatoes up a little smaller.

Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh (from Bon Appetit 6/2012)

Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة‎ tabūlah; also tabouleh or tab(b)ouli) is a Levantine Arab salad traditionally made of bulgur, tomatoes, cucumbers, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion, and garlic and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, although there are various other variations such as using couscous instead of bulgur. (Taken from Wikipedia)
Quinoa (/ˈknwɑː/ , Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. (Taken from Wikipedia)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Bring quinoa, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 
Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. 
Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover remaining dressing and quinoa separately; chill. 
Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.

If you make this, let me know how it went....share your picture!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Three for Me

It's been awhile since I've posted a Three for Me piece, so here it goes.....

1. Sydney's Birthday - This was, of course the top of the list for my three favorite things this week. My little girl is now nine! It's her "last year in the single digits" as she put it. We spent her birthday at my parent's house in central Jersey and had a very delicious and fattening cake. Unfortunately, as a summer baby, she doesn't get that many parties, but I think this year we will try and do something special once school starts and all her friends are home. Happy Birthday Sweetie! We love you.

Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birthday to you....

2. My sister Jen - Now, my sis and I are about five years apart and we are very close. For awhile, she lived in the same town as me, but due to my brother-in-laws job, they relocated to Pennsylvania. I really miss having her near by...... Jen has always been there for me, no matter what. We laugh, goof off and try to hang out as much as possible. She and I may disagree, argue and get mad at each other (what siblings don't?), but I know that no matter what I do or say......she loves me and will always be there to support me and I feel the same towards her. By the way, Jen recently celebrated another birthday so....here's another shout-out to her: Happy Birthday Jen!!!!!

Took this at a Musikfest concert in between sets...we had a blast!

3. Aw-Shucks Roasted Corn - yes, I'm serious. This corn is on my favorite things this week. Why? Why?!!! The only thing I can say is join me at Musikfest next year and I will show you why. Hands down.....this is the best corn ever!!! I'm still dreaming about this.....yummmmmm

I took this right before I devoured it - Can I have one more please?

What are your three favorite things this week?

The Evolution of My Style

I'm not one to follow celebrities or talk about what the next trend is.....but, when it comes to fashion and clothing, I definitely have an opinion.

So, why am I even writing about this stuff? Well, I was surfing the web and decided to look up fashion blogs for 40 year olds. What did I find? A nice splattering of blogs, but nothing that spoke to me and my style....

Are you curious as to what my fashion picks would be for a mature woman who isn't dead and over the hill.....(yes, women over 40 do have a pulse and we can still turn heads.....in a good way)? Check out my Pinterest page and let me know your thoughts. 

I'm no fashion guru in any sense, but I have a pretty good sense on what looks good on me and how to pair my outfits with accessories to complete the look.

This, however, was not always the case.

Yup, I admit it, I've been around the block when it comes to fashion. I just couldn't find that perfect fit. I went from Punk to Preppy, from the Cuties look to Mommy Mode and still wasn't satisfied. It has taken me almost forty years on this planet to figure out my "style" (and still it's evolving everyday).

To put it simply, I would categorize myself as a Classic Modern Edge type of girl.

I love the boldness of the Punk era, the classic restraint of the Preppies, the freshness of the Cuties look and the comfort of the mommy attire. Put it all together and voila...... ME!

My day to day wear is pretty relaxed and simple, but whenever I get a chance to dress up and look nice....I'm jumping for joy!

Whether I'm heading to a Black Tie event or just an evening out with my friends, there are a few things that I run through my head to make sure all's good.

Here are a few things that are on my check list when it comes to dressing for an occasion.
  1. Outfit - This not only has to fit the occasion, but it has to make me smile. I will only buy an outfit if, when I put it on, it makes me smile and think - wow!
  2. Shoes - The type of footwear I choose, is of course, determined by the outfit and the occasion.... but, I usually opt for a beautiful pair of heels. Anyone who knows me, knows I love stilettos. (Once a year I will splurge and get myself a pair of classic heels that will last for seasons to come.)
  3. Jewelry - An outfit isn't quite complete without a little jewel to finish it off. This can range from a simple thin bracelet to a statement necklace.
  4. Clutch - To be honest, I usually skip this and throw everything into my husbands suit pocket, but when he isn't around, I will grab a bag/clutch/purse that compliments the overall feel and look I'm going for.
  5. Make-up - Hello! I'm forty-three....not looking as fresh as I once did. Still, I keep it simple and effortless.
  6. Perfume - Call my crazy, but I can't leave the house without my perfume on. This happened once and it drove me crazy. I also feel that it's important to have a signature scent.....it took me a whole year to find the perfect one for me.

This is my signature perfume....gotta love Vera Wang

Well, I'm off.....I need to get out of my pjs, which has recently been my daily attire....I've been stuck at home doing who knows what, but today I'm going out!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Project 52: Childhood Games

{childhood games}

These photos are submitted for Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Childhood Games".
To see more images click here.

Back in the Saddle Again.....

Yes....it's me. Not an illusion. Not some form of spam jamming your inbox, Facebook page or bloglovin feed....I'm finding my way back out of the abyss of life.

So, what could have possibly kept me away from my fledging of a blog? Well, to put it simply. Life.

yes, Life.

This four letter word has filled my world with happiness, sadness, disappointment, stress, love, hate & hope. In it's wake, I have found myself reeling from it's twists and turns, searching for a path that will sooth the turmoil within. Then, as Life will have it, I find myself elated and basking in the warmth of its glow.

One can truly go crazy trying to figure things out.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about Life that has helped me along the way. (These images are not mine. If you know who created them, please let me know so that I may credit them.)

Please share some of your favorite quotes on life. What sayings have helped you through events in your life?