Off to Europe I Go!

My love for adventure has led me me to Europe once again. This time, I'm off to visit a dear friend in Slovenia, and then hopping on a train to Budapest! I can't wait to share some of my favorite photos and memories when I return.

Anxious to get to seat 24A on the plane, this style of outfit is a common theme in my backpack. Fingers crossed for the sunny low 70's the weather people are promising, I'm keeping my wardrobe laid back, with the essential crossover purse (passport & money zipped up in the back pocket), a poppy accessory, and flat shoes.

Dessert Please

I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but I made my first QVC impulse purchase last Sunday. I fell for the sales pitch and bought an amazing vitamix, but I surely do not have buyers remorse. I have already made delicious soups and one of my all-time favorite desserts, primal approved, ice cream-anana.
You can also use any food processor or immersion blender to create this treat. All you need is a frozen banana and coconut cream or milk.

1. Freeze your naners without the peel, wrapped in tin foil. I always do this when they are starting to brown. It's better than tossing food! One banana equals one serving, so add the number of bananas desired to the blender.
2. Begin blending the frozen banana, adding cream to reach desired consistency.
3. Add flavors of choice like blueberries, cocoa nibs or cinnamon. In the photo above I used fresh basil. The banana takes on any flavor you add, so if banana is not your thing, switch it up.
4. Scoop into bowls and enjoy.

side note: bananas, while natural, do contain between 15 - 20g of sugar, so I still categorize this recipe under special treats.

Going Over the Edge

Last weekend, I was a part of something big, 16-story big.

Back in November, my favorite radio talk show, The Bert Show, spread the word about Over the Edge. This company travels all over the country to help raise money for various non-profits, where they set up events for participants to rappel down a large-scale building (how cool?!). This particular event supported The Special Olympics, and it fills me with a sense of reward and excitement to know that I contributed. The event raised over $180,000!

That little speck is me..
Coming down like a champ!
How It Works:
  1. All participants are assigned a minimum fundraising goal of $1,000
  2. Once goal is reached, choose a rappel time
  3. Go Over the Edge!
  4. Thank all of your friends for coming out to support you and your craziness....

Good Morning Mimosa

Nothing makes the weekend more relaxing than fresh mimosas, so why not have them at all your weekend get-togethers. Setting up a simple mimosa bar brings color to any party, whether you add fruit or take yours virgin, all are sure to enjoy.

To add class to my simple drink, I made sure I had enough champagne flutes for everyone, no dixie cups here. I also provided a variety of fruits to add a splash of color and flavor, making the mimosa customizable to each guests liking.

DIY Painted Mason Jars

This weekend, a few of my bridesmaids threw me a wedding shower. I'm sure you'll see all of the details of the mimosa bar and brunch setup in an upcoming post from Callie!

As my thank you hostess gifts, I gave each girl a flower arrangement in hand-painted mason jars, and a cute pair of earrings from one of my favorite boutiques, Francesca's.

DIY painted mason jars DIY painted mason jars

Mason Jar Recipe:
  • Wilton Icing Color (from Michael's w/ 40% coupon)
  • Modge Podge (find at any craft store)
  • Foam brush (from Mochael's)
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Natural Jute
  • Hot glue gun
DIY painted mason jars

Step 1: Mix icing color of choice and modge podge. Depending on what you want your jar to look like, color to modge podge ratio will differ. For mine, I used very little icing color. My suggestion would be to start out small, and you can always add more.

Step 2: Use your foam brush to paint your colored "paint" on the outside of your jar. Set to dry.

Step 3: Spray a clear adhesive over your painted mason jar to seal.

Step 4: Use your hot glue gun to attach your natural jute, or hemp along the top rim of your jar.

Step 5: Add flowers to your finished product!

More Pallet!

With the success of my DIY pallet bed, I decided to make a matching pallet coffee table. The low height and square shape give the table a modern touch, but the rustic paint and uneven finish keep with the cottage feel of our home. The pallet coffee table was a much easier project than the bed and can be completed in a day.

Step 1: 
Gather materials.

  • 1 pallet - look for a pallet with solid wood, thick slates and minor to no cracking
  • 4 4" wheels
  • 4 pieces of scrap wood cut to the size of the wheel to add height
  • 16 bolts
  • 16 nuts
  • 16 washers
  • paint if desired 


  • power drill
  • paint brush

Step 2:
Paint both the pallet and wood blocks

Step 3: 
Once the paint is dry, lay the top of the pallet on the floor and trace the holes from the wheels on desired location. Repeat tracing step on the blocks of wood.

Step 4: 
Drill holes in the pallet and the wood blocks.

Step 5: 
Assemble by placing the bolts thru the wheel, the wood block and the pallet. Add a washer and fasten with a bolt.

Step 6: 
Clean up, flip over and you're done! I love using the wheels because it makes the table very versatile. When friends are over, we load it up with snacks and pass the table around.

Color Block Beaded Necklace

I've been so busy cranking out orders for my etsy shop, I rarely have time to make something special for myself. My Europe trip is slowly approaching, and calls for some a new punchy accessory to take abroad.

When I received an email from Fusion Beads for 30% all wood beads, I jumped to the opportunity for a great deal (when do I not?!). Here is my piece - a chunky color block wood bead necklace. Let me know if anyone is interested in a full tutorial!

Total time to make: 1 hour
Total cost: $18.70
  • 2 strands 10mm greywood beads
  • 2 strands 10mm rosewood beads
  • 2 strands 10mm natural beads
  • 2 crimp beads (necessary to hold beads on string)
  • 6 closed jump rings
  • 6 open jump rings
  • large lobster clasp

Flowers To Fill

If you purchased Ally's planters from her post last week like I want to, you now need to fill them with flowers. Last year I went with a monochromatic red and white theme around my home. This year, my spring blooms have inspired me to use tons of color.
So off to Home Depot I went - they have the best prices on flowers in my area, even though Pikes has prettier blooms off the shelf, you can get your HD blooms looking just as good with some tlc.
I picked up some purple, pink and white begonias for my window boxes. They are hearty and can take lots of sunshine. I chose salvia for my flower beds mixed with marigolds, because they grow thick with tons of blooms. And then some amazing fuchsia plants to hang on my partly shaded trellis.

Planting is super simple. Pick out flowers based on the amount of sun they will receive in each location, sunny(6+ hours of sun), part-sun (4-6 hours of sun) and shade (less than 6 hours). Since counting the hours of the sun can sound daunting, if your yard gets sunshine, pick the flowers on the sunny isle.

Pick up a bag of potting soil to place in a pot. Carefully pull the flower and dirt from the plastic tray, separating the bottom of the root system by lightly pitching the roots apart.
Dig a small hole for the flower roots and firmly cover with dirt. Water, water, water all summer long. I planted my left overs in a few pots for the back porch. Mix and match and have fun.

Best of luck on your blooms!

My Favorite Spring Things

It's been a rainy April shower week, and I'm daydreaming of May flowers. Spring just puts me in a good mood, so while I'm getting ready for the new season, I'll share some of my favorite spring things with you!
  1. I cannot wait to get new planters to spruce up our curb appeal for our new house.
  2. Ever since I got hooked on, "The Mindy Project," I've been dieing to read her book.
  3. I found my new favorite pair of jeans (cuffed bf jeans) at Kohl's under Jennifer Lopez's line.. fit like a glove!
  4. You can find me breaking a sweat in my new UA tank.
  5. My toes have been hiding for months now, so after my first pedi of 2013, I'm adding a new pair of sandals to my shoe collection.
  6. Have you heard about emerald being the color of the season? Get some emerald accessories to stay up-to-date. All the cool kids are doing it.

A Happy Day

Off to dinner to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our engagement- well, that's not really why we are going to dinner, but it's fun to celebrate anyway.

I had no idea he was carrying a diamond ring in his camel-back, mountain biking all day, until he got down on one knee. He even took a pretty hard fall, but managed to keep it safe.

sweaty-smooshed-nose-happy-to-be-engaged photo
 I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Here is to more celebrations!


Pup's First Photoshoot

If you read about the most recent addition to the family, you've met Maci. Last weekend, we scored beautiful weather, and wasted no time to snap some new family photos. Since these have been taken, I'm floored at how much she has already grown. They are only this small once!

Being a preoccupied pup...
Hubs trying to calm her down...

She's got a little jelly in her belly!

FINALLY ran out of energy to sit still for one.