eShakti Shirt Review

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When eShakti contacted me and asked if I wanted to review one of their items, I was thrilled! I've seen their reviews from other bloggers and the idea of complete customization is very appealing. If you've never heard of them, eShakti is an Indian company that offers vintage and retro inspired clothing with the ability for you to customize the neckline, sleeves, length, pockets, and embroidery or other details. They offer mostly cotton skirts, dress, and tops that are completely made to order. You have the option to select a size or you can put in your own measurements and have the garment tailored completely to your specifications - which is what I did. 

The customization process was actually really simple. They have guides for all the measurements so if you're not an avid sewer who is familiar with using a tape measure to take your own measurement you'll know what they're asking for. Once you have the basic measurements in, you can select if you want sleeves, change the neckline, and decide on the length of the shirt (or dress if you would choose one). 

I decided to go with a button down shirt since those are always really hard for me to find. I'm short but have a long torso and some curves so I usually end up with the dreaded chest gap between the buttons. Not a good look. 

It took about 2 weeks once I placed the order to receive my shirt. Since the shirt is coming from India and is custom that seemed like an acceptable amount of time to wait. And the fit? No chest gap! Whoo! I was a little nervous about the fit since I've never actually had anything custom fit before, but it fit like a glove. The only thing that wasn't perfect was that it was a little long, but I think that was my own fault since there were 3 length options to choose from. 

Overall, I was really pleased with the shirt and would order from them again. If you'd like to check them out, they're offering a 10% discount for Neroli Blossoms readers, enter "neroliblossoms" in the promotional code box. Offer is good until 10/22/14.  And you can check them out on facebook, Pinterest, and twitter for updates for their current special offers. 

I received the above shirt in exchange for an honest review of the product. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.  

A Little DIY Duvet Love

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Here's something fun - my DIY Anthropologie inspired duvet tutorial is on Mashable along with other adorable Anthro crafts. Check out their 15 Clever DIY Anthropologie Hacks for Your Home!

Guide to Door County, WI - Egg Harbor

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Full disclosure here - I've spend the least amount of my time in Door County in Egg Harbor, we're normally north in Sister Bay or Ephraim. So if anyone has any favorite places here, I'd love to hear!


1. Shipwrecked Microbrewery & Restaurant - Fun casual restaurant and bar. Short walk to the beach, right downtown, and they have a great selection of their own beers.

2. Trio - Craving pasta? Trio has great Italian and French dishes. We don't get down to Egg Harbor that much, but I always try to stop here when we do.

3. The Bistro Bar & Grille - Another great casual place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It has a fun patio to sit outside and enjoy both the food and the weather.


1. Egg Harbor Beach and Marina - The great thing about Door County is that most of the towns are beach towns. Egg Harbor has a great beach for swimming and a fun marina to explore.

2. Wine Tasting
a) Harbor Ridge Winery and the Wisconsin Cheese Masters Shop - This is another one of my favorite stops in Door County because the wine shop and the cheese shop share the same parking lot. How much better can it get? Start at the Harbor Ridge Winery for some free wine tasting (their oaky Cab is amazing!) and the walk a few steps over to the Wisconsin Cheese Masters and take a cheese journey (No really, that's what the sign says) when you sample some of their many cheeses. So much goodness.
b) Door Peninsula Winery/Door County Distillery - The Door Peninsula Winery/Distillery has a special place in my heart. We used to come here when we were younger to taste the fudge and olive oil (while my parents tasted the wine) and in the last few years it opened a distillery in another part of the old schoolhouse building. They produce small batch gin, whiskey, vodka, and now brandy. This is my favorite gin ever. EVER.
c) Simon Creek Vineyard - This vineyard is inland a bit, but if you're in Egg Harbor it's not too far of a drive. Another winery that I'd recommend visiting.

3. Antiquing - Egg Harbor is near some great antique stores. Some of my favorites are Old Orchard Antique Mall which feels like it's miles long and full of fun and Bay Trading Company which has an entire room full of architectural discards such as shutters, mantels, doors and other goodness. If I had a house in Wisconsin I'm pretty sure half of the decor would come from that shop.

4. Kurtz Corral - If you want to ride horses through the countryside, this is the place to go. They're open all year, but summer and fall are my favorite times to explore the fields on horseback.

5. Various locations - cherry picking - Door County is known for their cherries. If you're up there while they're in season (late July to early August) definitely go cherry picking! There are numerous orchards and locations, so just find one that's close to you.

Guide to Door County, WI - Fish Creek

Thursday, September 4, 2014

1. Cooper's Corner - Fantastic food and a great environment. They have indoor and outdoor seating, but my favorite is their second story patio and bar where you can eat and watch the hustle and bustle of the main street below.

2. Bayside Tavern - This is your typical Wisconsin neighborhood corner bar, and it's fantastic. A favorite of locals and sailors, with pub grub (fantastic chowder!) drinks, and a relaxed casual atmosphere.

3. The Cookery - PIE!!! The cookery has great food - especially breakfast - but pie is the most important thing here. Door County cherry pie. If there's only one thing you do in Fish Creek, get some pie from here and eat it. You can thank me later. Growing up we used to stop here and get a cherry pie to go. We'd take it back to the condo and eat it all weekend. It was delicious and I miss it greatly.

4. Mr. Helsinki - This restaurant has been around for a while but I just discovered it this past year. Which is a shame, because it's incredible and I wish I would have gone there more. Its menu is a mix of crepes and Asian fusion - which sounds really weird but it works. You can get a variety of crepes for lunch, and all sorts of Thai inspired cuisine for dinner. It's also a wine bar with a great selection.

5. Not Licked Yet - This is a gnome themed frozen custard stand. Yes, you read that right. It's awesome. It's a mix of Scandinavian and gnome decor located right along a creek (I'm assuming it's Fish Creek). Also, if you're not a midwest native, frozen custard is a creamier and more delicious version of ice cream. I'm a fan of stopping by here for a scoop of ice cream - excuse me - custard, but they also serve burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. Worth visiting for the decor alone.

1. Fudge House/Door County Confectionary - I mentioned this before in the Sister Bay guide, but stop by either the Confectionary or the Fudge House for some free samples of fudge. They're right next to each other and are nestled in with a bunch of cute shops.

2. Shopping at all the cute independent shops - Fish Creek has probably the best selections of little independent shops in Door County. Everything from clothing to souvenirs to a grocery market and deli where you can get supplies for a trip into the state park or a lunch by the beach.

3. Alibi Marina - I don't think you can rent boats here, you'll have to hit up some of the other towns or Peninsula Park for that. But If you have a boat, you can rent slips and this is a great marina to wander around and take in the sites. There's a park right there so you can bring a picnic lunch and watch the boats go by.

4. Wine Tasting (more to come next week with Egg Harbor)
a. Orchard Country Wine and Market - I love the markets like this that are in Door County. They have everything you could ever want - salsas, mustards, preserves, baking mixes, dressings, oils, jams, etc. And usually there are free samples! They also have free wine tasting here. If you like sweet, fruity wines this is the place to go. They have all sorts of fruit/grape wines that are made on site. The wines here are a bit too sweet for my own taste (I like bolder, dryer wines) but I have many family members and friends who prefer their wines. Even if you're not into wines, check out their market!

b. Stone's Throw Winery - Don't like sweet fruit wines? Look no farther! Stone's Throw is probably the most "high end" winery in Door County. Their grapes are all brought in from California and if you're looking for your standard merlots, cabernets, and chardonnays to taste this is the place to go. They have really great wines and a very cool wine cellar-like atmosphere.  They're a bit east of Fish Creek, but it's definitely worth the quick drive!

5. Peninsula State Park (See Guide to Ephraim for specific activities) - The park is located between Fish Creek and Ephraim so not matter which town you're visiting, it's easy to access the park and all it's activities.

Healthy Raw "Cookie Dough" Snack Bites

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I'm going to admit something - I love raw cookie dough. Yes, I understand that supposedly it could be contaminated with salmonella from the raw eggs, but I just don't care. (Unless I get salmonella, then I'll probably kick myself for eating all that dough.) Once when I was in grade school, my best friend and I made cookie dough for the sole purpose of eating it raw. We took it upstairs with us, had a great sleepover, and left it out overnight so we could eat it for breakfast the next morning. Needless to say, my mother freaked out when she realized we were eating raw cookie dough which contained eggs and butter that had been sitting out all night. (We were fine, and it was delicious.) 

Unfortunately, consuming large amounts of unbaked cookie dough is probably really bad for you. Luckily, this recipe sort of gives the taste and texture of cookie dough, is really tasty, and is pretty healthy! 

These snack bites are made of ground nuts and oats, and sweetened with honey and cinnamon. Throw in a few chocolate chips and it's basically a healthy uncooked cookie!  I love taking a few of these to work with me and eating them during the afternoon lull where I'd normally fill up on chips or actual cookies. It tastes like you're filling up on junk food, except you're actually getting a protein boost from all the nuts. Much better than a bag of Cheetos (although I do love me some Cheetos). 

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix the almonds, walnuts, pecans, oats, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until ground to a meal. Add the honey and vanilla and pulse to combine. Add the chocolate chips and pulse again until just mixed together.

Drop a tablespoon of the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with freezer or parchment paper. Wetting your hands will help the dough not stick to you. Freeze for an hour to harden and then store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Note - I'm using the word "raw" in the generic uncooked way, not the specific Raw Diet way. I don't know much about the Raw Diet, but I'm sure this recipe could be altered to fit the requirements and become a raw Raw cookie dough snack.

Guide to Door County, WI - Ephraim

Monday, September 1, 2014

The next town on the list is Ephraim. This is probably the smallest of the four main tourist towns. It's quaint and artsy and it's quieter than it's southern neighbors of Fish Creek and Egg Harbor.

1. Old Post Office Restaurant - Right across the street from the lakeshore, this place has great breakfasts and daily fish boils in the evening.

2. Good Eggs - Great for omelet  wraps and quick breakfasts to get you on your way. Also across the street from the beach and conveniently located next to a Door County Confectionary so you can stuff your face with fudge after your delicious breakfast.

3. Wilsons - My favorite place for ice cream in all of Door County. Such a popular place that you take a number from a ticket dispenser and wait for them to take your order at the ice cream bar. They put a jelly bean in the bottom of your ice cream cone which makes it even better! The restaurant itself is pretty good too if you're interested in some food with your ice cream.


1. Skyway Drive In - Catch a movie at one of the few remaining drive in movie theaters. This is especially fun as a date night or to take the family. Usually the movies are PG-13 or lower.

2.  Peninsula State Park - nestled between Ephraim and Fish Creek there's enough to do in this state park to last you a week. There is a fee to get in, but it's less than $10 for a day pass or $25 for a yearly pass.  
a. Nicolet Bay Beach -  This is one of the main beaches and bays to hang out if you have a boat or want to swim and lay out on the beach. You can also rent kayaks, paddle boats, paddle boards, and other watercraft to explore the bay. 
b. American Folklore Theatre - Outdoor theater in the woods under the stars. They're apparently changing their name to Northern Sky Theater, but this group does fantastic comedy plays which includes titles such as "Packer Fans from Outer Space" and "Guys on Ice". Definitely worth checking out!
c. Camp - There are all sorts of campsites to stay the night for tents and trailers. No cabins though, so bring your own gear! 
d. Hiking trails and checking out the lighthouse. One of the best parts of the park is the abundance of hiking and biking trails. Definitely check out the lighthouse and the lookout tower for sweeping views of Green Bay.

3. South Shore Pier - If you don't want to go into the state park (which can get crowded) you can still rent boats, including jet skis, pontoons, and sail boats from Ephraim's small marina/pier. 

4. Visit the various art galleries. Ephraim is one of the more artistic towns in Door County and a number of artist studios and galleries dot the shoreline. They're definitely worth checking out if you're looking for local art and artists.

Design Loves - Round Mirrors

Thursday, August 28, 2014

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We've been talking a lot about books and travel on here lately, so as Monty Python would say - now for something completely different! We moved into our house over a year ago and I've been meaning to buy a mirror to put over my dresser. I still haven't gotten around to it, which means I have to walk into the bathroom whenever I need to put on my makeup or check if I have food stuck in my teeth. (Insert sarcastic "oh no, what a nightmare!") It's not a big deal except when my husband is using the bathroom and then...well I'd rather not. So I really would like to get a mirror. I've held off buying one partly because of laziness and partly because I just didn't know what I wanted. However, I'm sort of in love with these round mirrors. Slightly retro, slightly modern, and super simple. I think I might be on the lookout for one of these in the future.

Guide to Door County, WI - Sister Bay

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Door County, WI is one of my favorite places. The lakeside towns, marinas, independent shops and restaurants make for some happy memories. I've been going up there during the summers for as long as I can remember and after visiting it again last week I wanted to share some of my favorite places. There are tons of other shops and restaurants in Door County and there's no way I could name them all, but here are some of the places that I've discovered and loved over the years. I'll be covering the 4 largest towns - Sister Bay, Ephraim, Fish Creek, and Egg Harbor, though there are many more towns and villages to explore. First on our list - Sister Bay!

1. Al Johnsons - See the goats on the roof and eat a Swedish breakfast. Did I mention real goats? On the roof! It's a bit touristy and there's usually a wait, but it's a classic breakfast spot.

2. Husbys - great for pub grub and pizzas. Relaxed semi-tavern atmosphere but kid friendly. There's darts and game and a huge bar room with tvs if you want to watch the game.

3. Chop - Newer restaurant in Sister Bay, but great steaks and seafood.

4. Door County Creamery - This is possibly my most favorite place in the entire Door County peninsula. Dairy goat farmers opened up a little shop and offer lunch food, wine, and all the amazing goat cheese you could ever want. Even if you don't like goat cheese, they have one you'll like. Also fairly new to Sister Bay and definitely worth going to see.

5. Door County Ice Cream Factory - For dessert, ice cream is king! Eat it and be happy. If you want more than ice cream, they also offer sandwiches and pizza.

1. The Garage @ Husbys - Husby's chill outdoor patio. They offer drinks, appetizers, and live local music. Pretty much the perfect place to spend the evening relaxing outside under the bistro lights listening to music with a drink.

2. Bier Zot - Even though I harbor some resentment toward them for knocking down my favorite brunch restaurant ever and building this instead (goodbye Sister Bay Cafe, you will be missed!), I have to admit this is a fun place to grab a beer. It's right next to the beach and the marina and has a pretty great selection of beers. My husband was a big fan of this place. You can sit on the patio which is right on the main street and people watch to your heart's content.

3. Door County Creamery - Yes, this place again. They offer wines by the bottle and by the glass. You can even buy some cheese, a bottle of wine, and walk like 3 blocks to the beach to enjoy the sunset. Wine. Cheese. Yum.

4. JJs and La Puerta - Technically this is a restaurant, but it didn't make my Eat list because I don't love their food. The rest of my family, however, will tell you that I'm crazy and they make it a point to eat here every single time they go up to Door County. So to each their own, but this is MY list! But don't worry, JJ's opened up a patio that overlooks the marina and now you can sit and drink margaritas and eat chips and salsa while watching the boats go by, so they are ok with me!

1. Sister Bay Marina - I'm a big fan of walking around the marina and looking at the boats, but you can also rent all sorts and go out on the lake. (FYI Sister Bay faces Green Bay, not Lake Michigan so the waters are calmer and not as dangerous for beginners.) The marina also faces west and has some of the most spectacular sunsets in all of Wisconsin.

2. Pirates Cove and Johnson's Park - Play some mini golf at Pirates Cove or Johnson's Park. The later also has go karts, which is always a fun time. Again, great activities for date nights or family nights.

3. Go antique shopping, or shopping in general. There are so many cute little independent shops and antique stores all up and down the peninsula. I have a few favorites in other towns that I'll mention during their guide, but you really can't go wrong with picking a store and checking it out.

4. Door County Confectionary - If there is only one thing you do in Door County, please taste the fudge from the Door County Confectionary. It's incredible. There's one of these in each of the larger main towns so you can't miss it!

5. Door County Creamery - Haha one more time! (Can you tell this is one of my favorite places?) Sample wine and goat cheese pairings. That photo above is from this place. Goat cheese, wine, and bread drizzled with some sort of chili flavored olive oil which somehow went perfectly with the creamy goat cheese. I was dying from all the delicious flavors in my mouth. Also, I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just cannot stop talking about them! They should hire me to advertise for them. They could pay me in cheese. That would be my dream! They also have cute goats in front of their shop! This one wanted nothing to do with me though.

So there are some of my favorite places in Sister Bay, WI. I'm not affiliated with any of these places, I've just been going up to Door County for over 20 years and wanted to share some of my personal favorite old and new places. Do you have a favorite place in Sister Bay that you think I missed? Let me know!

Coming Up: Ephraim, Fish Creek, and Egg Harbor

We Come from the Land of Ice and Snow

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Aren't vacations just the best? I wish we could have stayed longer in Wisconsin and seen more of our friends and family. A few more days to relax in Door County wouldn't have hurt either.  

Regarding the title of this post, I think it's a Led Zeppelin song lyric? But all I can think of is that viking kitten youtube video. Either way, Wisconsin is definitely a land of ice and snow in winter, but summer is absolutely amazing. 

We spent our time visiting in the Milwaukee area then escaping up north for a few days. I found my old bike from when I was oh about 12. I think that's the last time I rode it too, hence my slightly terrified and hysteric face in the photo. They say it all comes back right? Luckily it did and we rode bikes into the little town of Sister Bay. Sadly, some of my favorite places were no longer there (goodbye Sister Bay Cafe! You will be greatly missed!) but we did find a few new favorites. I also read Harry Potter by the pool. It was glorious. (Book 3 if you want to know, one of my favorites.) We explored lighthouses and went to Peninsula State Park for some hiking. We watched the sun set over the harbor and stuff ourselves with amazing food. Then it was back to Milwaukee for more catching up with friends and back to Phoenix way too quickly. Not sure the next time I'll be back, but I'll sure miss it. 

Also, can we just talk about this picture for a moment? This was at the magazine stand at the grocery store. How much more Wisconsin can you get? Stay awesome, WI. And full of cheese. Definitely stay full of cheese because I will be back. 

Also, is "culture, the word on cheese" a national magazine or this this just a Wisconsin thing?? I must know! Now if you'll excuse me, I have a cat video to look up on youtube. 

Desert to Farmland

Monday, August 18, 2014

I hope everyone had a fantastic week and weekend. Kacey and I were up in Wisconsin visiting my family and taking a few days to rest and revive in Door County. I've been working through a guide to Door County in my head for the past year and I was finally able to get back up there and take some photos/check on all my favorite places. So expect that in a few weeks!

This last week was great. We saw some old friends, relaxed by the lake, saw some glorious sunsets, and ate a ton of food. Why can't vacations be longer?

Book Review: Money Advice Round Up

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I've been on a bit of a finance kick lately. I think it finally struck me that I'm almost 30 (ok, a year and a half to go, but still) and I have no idea if my finances are where they're supposed to be. I know that everyone's situation is different, but I figured I might as well smarten myself up a bit and see if I'm on the right path.

That being said, finance and finance books make me want to take a nap. I minored in business in college, and I still have no idea how I got through those classes because I didn't know what was going on half the time. So I've collected some books that are easy to understand, hilarious, or short to make the process easier.

I Will Teach You to be Rich - by Ramit Sethi
If you only ever read one finance related book, read this one. It's written for 20 and 30 year olds and is freaking hysterical. Better yet, listen to it as an audiobook. I got a copy from my library, and the audiobook is narrated by Ramit himself. I don't even know how to describe this book. It's brilliant, full of common sense that no one seems to listen to on their own, and he talks about punching stupid people in the face. He's like the male, Indian, more financially savvy version of myself, and it's phenomenal. He tells you exactly what you should do with your money, and none of this full budgeting or Starbucks deprivation. It's not so much teaching you to be rich as it is teaching good money management. And while this book is a few years old, the basics still apply today.

The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read - by Daniel R. Solin
Short, sweet, to the point. I know nothing about investing. This book teaches a tiny bit about investing. My favorite part about the book (one that I wish more books did) was the fact the author actually said go ahead and skip the next 5 chapters if you want to get to the good stuff. That's the kind of book I like,  one that tells you to skip the fluff and get right to the point.

The Richest Man in Babylon - by George S. Clason
I listened to this book on my commute and this is another one I would recommend as an audiobook. It gives financial advice in the form of tales from Babylon and ancient civilizations. Good advice on saving is still relevant, but I'm not sure if I would have been as interested in this book if I had been reading it. It was entertaining, but if I had to pick one book to read it would be I Will Teach You to be Rich.

The Millionaire Next Door - by Thomas J. Stanley
This was my least favorite of all the books. It just wasn't what I expected. It has very interesting information on the affluent in the country, they're not what you'd expect. While the information was interesting, the book was largely a collection of research data. While I didn't find it that helpful, my dad is a huge fan of this book. So to each their own.

So if you're looking to start reading some easy to understand financial books, hopefully this will help!

Literary Inspirations - BSC - Kristy's Great Idea - Stacey

Friday, August 1, 2014

BSC: Kristy's Great Idea - Stacy

"Stacy had on a pink sweatshirt with sequins and a large purple parrot on the front; short, tight-fitting jeans with zippers up the outsides of the legs; and pink plastic shoes."

Some things are so 80s that they should just be left there. Like a pink sweatshirt with sequins and purple parrots. And Stacey's supposed to be the grown up, boy crazy one.  Also, pink plastic shoes. Like jelly shoes? Because crocs weren't around back then and I'm blanking on what else that could mean.

Stacey was always way above me in coolness factors as a kid. I never wanted to be her because I couldn't identify with her, although I always thought she had some of the best clothes (after Claudia of course). However, I liked that she had diabetes (as weird as that sounds) because my aunt has it and it was something I could understand as a child. The boy crazy thing, not so much. I never could understand how Kristy's brother Sam, a freshman, was so into a seventh grader. But hey, Stacey was grown up. I'm pretty sure I was still playing with rocks in seventh grade.

Dogs Against Dinosaur Bullying

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I bought these guys from the dollar bin at Target for an upcoming project and took them outside to paint. Of course like any good fangirl, when I had 2 plastic dinosaurs and an open area I just had to re-enact the scene from Firefly. Because what else do you do with plastic dinosaurs?

This is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We will rule over this land, and we will call it...This Land.

I think we should call it...your grave! 
Ah! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! 

Hahaha! Mine is an evil laugh! Now Die! 

So I'm sitting there posing these dinosaurs, taking pictures, and laughing hysterically to myself because I'm a geek and this is funny, when Sitka comes out of nowhere and decides she's had enough of this dinosaur violence. 

It's particularly funny because my dog is a rescue who doesn't really know how to dog. She doesn't understand the concept of dog toys and doesn't chew on things. So the fact that she just wandered over and decided to take the evil dinosaur is random and pretty funny to watch.  

She took him back to her lair, to feast on him later. Or to completely ignore him after 20 seconds and instead give me her best "I am not amused" face. On another note, I was going to say "help I've fallen and I can't get up!" as a t-rex quote, but that got me thinking - how would a t-rex get up if he fell over and ended up on his side like this?? Thought provoking questions. 

I love this dog.

(No plastic dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this post. T-Rexy doesn't even have bite marks on him, because Sitka is a delicate lady.)

Office Space

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Since I've decided to wait to paint the kitchen cabinets until it's cooled to less than 110 degrees I've been trying to figure out what to work on instead. The easiest room to start changing is my future office/craft room, which is currently the junk room. Yeah, I'm really excited to get that cleaned up and actually functioning! I'm envisioning a calm retreat where I can go and hide when the rest of my house is a disaster. I'll probably have to invest in a lock though to keep Kacey and all his random stuff out of there (I kid!...sort of) I'm really liking the clean, modern look of these offices with just the right pretty feminine touches.

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Literary Inspirations - BSC - Kristy's Great Idea - Mary Anne

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"I glanced at Mary Anne. She and I were still in our school clothes....Mary Anne was wearing a skirt and saddle shoes. Mary Anne's hair was, of course, in braids."

Poor Mary Anne. Her crazy dad made her keep her hair in braids and wear little kid clothes because he had issues after his wife/her mother died. For the first couple of books Mary Anne gets the short end of the stick when it comes to fashion descriptions. In fact, I think they mostly gloss over her and her pleated skirts and saddle shoes. I live for the day where I get to that book where she chops her hair and goes to the mall and tries on all the clothes that "new Mary Anne" would look great in. (Also, how do I remember that?!?! I haven't read that book since 4th grade - I don't even know which one that is!) But for now, it's simple shirts, skirts, and braids. Hang in there girl!

Painting Oak Cabinets - Part 2: The Fall...maybe?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Remember back when I was so excited to paint the guest bathroom cabinets? It went so smoothly and within a few days I had practically brand new cabinets. On that high I jumped right in and decided to paint our master bathroom cabinets as well. And that's where the circle of insanity started. But first let's take a quick look at where we were a year ago.

Yuck yuck yuck. Brown walls, towel racks falling off the walls, and those oak cabinets. But then we painted! And it was infinitely better! But those cabinets still mocked me.

And they continued to mock me, even throughout the painting process.

It all started out fine, I even got Kacey to sand down everything for me (yay for Tom Sawer-ing out the work!). The cabinet base was primed and painted pretty quickly, but it all went downhill with the drawers and doors.

In the few weeks between painting the guest bathroom and the master bathroom the outside temperature decided to rise about 20 degrees. Full blown Phoenix summer was in full swing at 115 degrees at 6pm. I had been painting the doors in the garage, which now became a human sized oven a la Hansel and Gretel. But instead of being inside a delicious candy house, I was stuck painting as quickly as I could to try to prevent the paint from drying as soon as it touched the wood. Since I could only stand to be outside for 10 minutes at a time, this went on for days. It stretched into weeks. I wanted to break the doors in half from my fury, but that would have left me with no doors and a messy bathroom with nowhere to hide my stuff.

Eventually I put the last coat on the front of the doors and Kacey helped me screw in the hardware. Are the new cabinets amazing and make our bathroom look 1,000,000 times better? Yes. Was it worth it? Uhhhh, not sure yet, ask me in a few months when I've stopped cringing every time I go into the garage. (But yes, it was worth it, absolutely.) For now though, let's forget about those times and instead bask in the glow that is non orangey oak cabinets. I'm sort of giddy when I look at how far this bathroom has come!

Linking up with Inspire Me Please - Linky Party 

Literary Inspirations - BSC Kristy's Great Idea - Claudia

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Claudia answered it again, this time wearing a baggy yellow-and-black-checkered shirt, black pants, red jazz shoes, and a bracelet that looked like it was made from a telephone cord. Her earrings were dangling jointed skeletons that jumped around when she moved."

On to the fun outfits! We covered Kristy first last week in honor of her being president of the BSC, but Claudia is vp, so she's up next. As I said last time, Claudia is my favorite for a variety of reasons - mainly her sense of style and her affinity for junk food. My kind of girl. For some reason though, this outfit seems tame. I seem to remember really insane combos like mismatched shoes on purpose and stuff like paper mache snakes braided into her hair. Or something like that. Maybe in the next book...

Mexican Spiced Egg Muffins

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Do you ever not eat breakfast because you're running late for work and it's all you can do to make sure you have pants on, much less eat a wholesome breakfast? Is that just me?

After the third straight day of eating a bag of dry Cocoa Puffs in the car during my commute I figured it was time for a change. (Note, that change was not to stop buying Cocoa Puffs.) What started as an attempt to be an actual adult and eat more than sugar coated flour turned into one of my favorite grab and go breakfasts - the infamous egg muffin! Ok, so I have no idea what these are actually called, so I'm sticking with egg muffin. You basically make omelets in a muffin tin and then store those little buggers in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator and eat them all week long. A-freaking-mazing.

These ones have a Mexican flair to them with barbacoa, chili powder, garlic, and oregano and are lip smackingly tasty. I wish I had one right now, but alas, I made these last week and they're long gone. They're easy to make and extremely addictive.

First, whisk your eggs and milk together and add the spices.

I used prepackaged barbacoa (spiced shredded beef) from my grocery store, but you can use any shredded meat. Chop up the onions and kale.

  Then layer away! I start with the meat, then the onions, then the cheese, and lastly the kale.

Pour the egg mixture over everything. I find a soup ladle makes this much easier. 

Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes and eat them all!!!

These hold up very well in the fridge and are just as good the next day (and the next) after being heated in the microwave for 30 seconds. A much healthier alternative to Cocoa Puffs.

8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 TBS oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Barbacoa (or any shredded beef, pork, or chicken)
shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
1/2 onion
1 bunch kale
Optional - salsa for topping

- Preheat oven to 350
- Whisk eggs and milk together, add spices. Chop onion and kale - enough for each muffin cup to hold a few pieces
- Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray
- Layer meat, onion, cheese, and kale into each muffin cup
- Pour egg mixture on top of meat/veggies
- Optional - top each cup with a spoonful of salsa 
- Bake for 15-18 minutes
- Let cool slightly then remove from tin. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds
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