Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The secret Language of Birthdays...

While at the beach, I was browsing the web, and found a very interesting site- The Secret Language of Birthdays.  And since it was my birthday, I thought I would look it up and see if the personality traits it would reveal, rung true.  Alas, it did was slightly comical how "not me" the descriptions were.  I have always been a toughie though.  I think I was supposed to be born a couple weeks earlier, because I am a Cancer inside and out.  My sister, whose birthday is six days after mine, is the embodiment of a Leo...and we have always joked that two people could not be more different than the two of us.  

Just for fun, I looked up a couple other birthdays- Jason's and Lori's, my sister, and they were spot on.  Kinda scarily so : )  If you have a few minutes, it is a fun site to check out.  There is also a Secret Language of Relationships on there- pretty funny.  Jason and I had a lot of fun assigning the "not so flattering" personality traits to one another : )

Let me know if your traits lined up...or if they were a complete bust.

(via Cup of Jo, image via Seven Spoons)

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fabulous Food: Frogmore Stew

Frogmore Stew has become one of the highlights of our annual beach trips.  I am one that has to enjoy fresh seafood while at the beach.  So, for six years now, I have made Frogmore Stew for my whole family- 20 people now, 19 if you are counting the ones who can eat solid food : )  The ingredients are simple, but this recipe is always a crowd pleaser.  Nothing is better than pouring a shrimp boil right down the center of the table...and everyone digging in.  Even though, I reserve this recipe for our trip to the beach, you can make it anywhere and anytime, and it will always be good. 

Ingredients: This recipe serves 8 people, adjust quantities accordingly.

  • 1/3 lb. shrimp per person de-veined with the shells on (some suggest 1/4 lb., but the shrimp is the highlight of the dish, so don't be stingy) 
  • 2 packages Hillshire Farm smoked sausage cut into 1/4" coins
  • 1 ear of corn per person (broken in half)
  • 3-4 medium sized red skin potatoes per person (scrubbed and quartered)
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • cocktail sauce
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • Hush puppies- I make mine from House Autry brand mix.  It is very good and very easy to make.


  1.  In a extra-large stockpot pour enough water to fill it half full.  Bring to a boil and add the Old Bay seasonimg.  I never measure how much I use...I personally don't think you could have too much.  Generally though, I pour in half of a 6 oz. container.
  2. Once the water is at a rolling boil, pour in your potatoes.  Let them cook for about 15 minutes, then drop in your corn.  Let it cook for additional 2 minutes, and then add your sausage and shrimp.  Cook for three minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink.  Drain off the water.
  3. Cover your table with a disposable plastic tablecloth and newspaper.  
  4. Cut your lemons into wedges and put them in bowls around the table.  Also have your cocktail sauce in bowls around the table.  
  5. Pour the Frogmore stew down the center of the table.  Serve with hush puppies and chow down. 

There is no need for plates...just a large roll of paper towels : )  After everyone is done,  just grab the ends of the tablecloth and bundle it up.  Absolutely no mess is left behind.  A perfect ending to a wonderfully messy and fun meal!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Back from the beach...

I had every intention to post from the beach...but the sun, and waves... and especially the great company...made me realize that taking a break for a while is exactly what I needed.  I hope you all had a great week.  We certainly did.  And I got to spend my 36th birthday with my very favorite people. 

I have got some wonderful things to share with you this week... a couple delicious recipes, some fun and adorable photos taken in the surf and sand, and some interesting birthday insights I have gained in this past week. 

As much as we enjoyed the vacation, I am glad to be back.  I have a lot I still want to accomplish during these last few weeks of summer, and now, I think I have the energy to get it all done : )

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Have you seen this?...Desk Safari Tumblr page

I came across this Tumblr page today and could not stop laughing.  I have heard of office shenanigans, but these people have broken through their cubicle walls to express themselves in the most creative and interesting way I have seen in a long time.  Desk Safari Tumblr page is dedicated to the combination of human body parts...more often than not, but not limited to...the human head, with the body of an animal. Most of the pictures are staged with a lot of precision...but every once in a while, you will see a photo and wonder "did this lady know she had just become the love child of a gorilla and human being?"  I kind of hope the answer is "No" : ) 

(all images via Desk Safari Tumblr page )

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Friday Five...

Usually, by the time Friday rolls around, my Friday Five is full.  This week, was a slight exception because all I could think about was the vacation that would begin on Saturday.  So, this Friday Five is more like a late Saturday Five. But after the week I have had leading up to this much needed break full of ocean waves and blue skies, I feel justified in holding off until today.  Here are my five...with hopefully, many more to come : ) 

* the sky was absolutely amazing during our drive to the beach.  The clouds were stacked for miles and miles *

* fun at the beach., followed by more fun in the pool., followed by more fun at the beach.  I can handle this : )  *

* buying fresh SC peaches on our way to the beach has become one of our favorite things.  Sooo goood! *

* Love these vintage oars decorating the doorway in the beach house- another thing I would love to have *

* Love the little rainbow colored row of houses neighboring us- makes for a very nice view *

What are Your Five?

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Friday, July 19, 2013

The Caffeinated Owl Chart...

I am about to crash from a week-long foray into proposal writing.  The proposal has just been  handed off to the powers that be and I feel as if I am 20-30 lbs lighter.  Thankfully, Jason had a coffee waiting for me when I walked through the door.  I was sipping away, when I came across the most brilliant chart you will ever see about the effects coffee can have.  Let me know if you agree : )

I'm thinking that "Irish coffee" may be the way to go.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pay It Forward #8: Love note journals...a great way to start the day

Do you ever have one of those days that you wish you could re-do? One of those days, where your voice is raised a bit more than you would have liked...and you sighed dramatically a few more times than "counted down" more times than you can count...and at the end of the day, you were exhausted, and ultimately disappointed because this day was not one you want your kids to remember you for.  

I have had a few of those lately : (  At the end of those days, I find myself in the girls' rooms, speaking softly as they sleep...saying everything to them I had wanted to say that day.  It made me realize that we can not determine what kind of day we will we have, and sometimes, we will not be the moms we want to be, but we can make sure the day starts off right.  

I decided to make love note journals for the girls...and one for Jason too.  I write in them nightly and then leave them on their pillows, so they can read my note as soon as they wake up. My hope is that no matter how the day goes, they already know how much I love them. 

I found these kraft paper journals in sets of three at Wal-Mart for $2.99.  Using some Martha Stewart eyelet note-cards, I printed a cover using a different font for each of their individual personalities- simple and clean for Jason, dramatic and artsy for Ava and quick and messy for my little tornado, Isabella. 

I then super-glued them down and started writing.  Isabella's came together quickly. 

She is 5 and reading well, but I make my notes to her short with lots of drawings.  She likes to write me back with drawings of people with enormous heads and of course her name on every page : )

Ava is a different story.  My notes to her began as a daily affirmation of how much I loved her, but then they quickly turned into imaginative stories incorporating her as the heroine of course : )

And in these stories, I am sure to point out all of the wonderful attributes God has given her.  Affirmations that can never come too early for a little girl. 

These love note journals have been a great way to start the day in our house.  Not only for the girls, but also for my hubby : )

Keep sharing the love : )

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Have you seen this?...Fly Geyser in Gerlach, Nevada

I don't know about you, but I had never heard of Fly Geyser before a few days ago.'s definitely on my bucket list for places to see in America.  Fly Geyser is a small geothermal geyser that was accidentally created during well-drilling in 1916.  What I think is incredible is the rainbow of color that looks as if it is pouring over the sides of the geyser.  I would have never thought that this incredible work of nature would reside in Nevada.  It truly is amazing!

(photos by Jared Ropelato, Inge Johnnson, Quang Lee Hong- pictures 3 and 4, Michael Flick and Dan Newton via My Modern Met)

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Can't Wait!!!..."Saving Mr. Banks"

Take a beloved series of children's books...which are turned into an iconic cinematic production... and then... years and years later...there comes a movie that tells you how both came to be.  I LOVE it already.  Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers- two of my favorite actors telling a story that I believe I have always wanted to know...even though I never knew that there was a story to hear. Strange how that happens : )

How about you? 

Are you curious to know how "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" came to be?

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Lee Jeffries

I am absolutely in love with these photographs.  Lee Jeffries is a self-taught photographer who is making us SEE and ACKNOWLEDGE the people that a lot of us look past AND through every day.  The same people who are hidden under newspapers, asleep on a park bench or sitting in the doorway of a vacant building...the same people that we find ourselves "extremely busy"...too busy to make eye contact with...when they are walking in our direction.  Lee Jeffries has taken pictures of homeless men and women in New York City, Las Vegas, London, Paris, Rome and Los Angeles.  He not only photographs them, he also interviews them and hears their stories.  You can not look at these photographs and not be moved.  LOVE, LOVE LOVE.

(all images via The Huffington Post)

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