Wednesday, March 28, 2012

exodus 35 creativity party #24

hi everyone! sorry for being kinda MIA for the past couple of weeks. actually, i'm not sorry! i was on vacation. and it was awesome! i'll tell you about it later.

as you might have noticed, i did not have my instagram party up this week. i have decided to discontinue it. when i started it, i seriously thought that no one else had done a party like that before! (how ignorant of me, huh?)

i wasn't getting a huge response, and also, i guess it was confusing to some people for me to have 2 parties going on at one time. lesson learned. but take this piece of advice: please do not link up to parties unless you know what the party is about. it looks really bad if you link up a cookie recipe to a party all about instagrams!! just remember your blog/party etiquette.

i will still be putting up my instagrams each week (on fridays now), and i will be linking up to other instagram link parties. to those few who loyally linked up to my small instagram party: thank you so much! i love you all. i feel like i know you better because of your instagrams! :) i will redirect you to some other instagram parties on friday.

ANYWAY, on to the creativity party. which has also been MIA for the past couple of weeks. AHH! but it's back, so no worries. here are my faves from two weeks ago:
1. check out this amazing remodeled and stenciled desk from little house in the big d.
2. such a great idea to make shelves out of pallets! see how at paint speckled pawprints.
3. this remodeled rolling cart from bella nest is so lovely!
4. i need to make these cute paper buntings from a winding road and put them everywhere!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

guest post: lynette from casa de luna

hello everyone!

i'm still having a fabulous time on my trip. today we toured and hiked all around petrified forest national park and the painted desert. (so beautiful, and a testament to the lord's awesome creation.) we just got into taos, and we are skiing tomorrow!

regretfully, i'm afraid i can't host my own party once again. but that's okay, because i have another wonderful guest post for you!/

take it away, lynette!


Hi there! My name is Lynette Moon and I blog over at Casa de Luna Creations. I started blogging last June when I was feeling discontented with my job. I began using Casa de Luna Creations to help me focus on the small things in life that make me happy.  After much consideration and a lot of support from my husband, I left my job in August. This fall I will be going to graduate school to become a physician’s assistant. In the mean time, I have been enjoying my sabbatical, crafting up a storm, volunteering and working at a flower shop. 

I get a lot of use out of my glass cake stand, but I was wanting some sort of porcelain pedestal that I could doodle on when displaying treats. I already had a plain white porcelain plate that did not match the rest of my dishes. I went to Goodwill in search of a sturdy base.

I envisioned using some sort of candle stand, but walked out with this $1 vase. After a few coats of mossy green spray paint, my base was ready.


I used hot glue to attach the vase to the plate. The hot glue may not hold up after several uses, but considering that this dessert stand only cost a dollar, I will be willing to whip out my hot glue gun again. 


Did  you know that you can write on most white porcelain with a Sharpie and it will wash off with soap and water? I have never had an issue with this trick, but you may want to start off using a cheap dish and testing in an inconspicuous spot.

I used my assortment of green Sharpies to scrawl a St. Patty’s greeting across the dessert stand.


Finally I adorned my new stand with some thin mint truffles. I used a recipe I found at Six Sisters’ Stuff. These truffles received six thumbs up from my sister, husband and me. 

I was not willing to sacrifice a precious, $4 box of Girl Scout Thin Mints, so I used Wal-Mart’s generic version of Keebler Grasshopper cookies. The truffles still taste delicious despite the cheap ingredients. 


I hope you had a very festive St. Patrick’s Day and found a way to bring a bit of green into your holiday!

- Lynette

Monday, March 19, 2012

my insta.week party #8

wow. this past week has been incredible. it seems like it has been wayyy longer than one week.

on our roadtrip, we've stopped in amarillo tx, albuquerque nm, and tucson az so far. we still have petrified national park az and taos nm to go. so excited!

here's a glimpse of what we've been doing this past week:
1. berry-infused tea. (this was before we left for our roadtrip.)
2. first stop: palo duro canyon in amarillo, tx. prettyyyy!
3. about 2/3 the way to albuquerque! :)
4. the cool ceiling in the house we stayed in while we were in albuquerque.

5. a new mexican lunch. fish of the day with jicama slaw and tomatillo vinaigrette. yum!
6. the cute entrance to our little room in the house we stayed in.
7. up on sandia peak, these were the only clouds we saw all day!
8. the city of albuquerque at night, from a mile up.

9. guess what we did in albuquerque!!
10. yup! the balloon ride was amazing!
11. searching for american indian petroglyphs at petroglyph national monument.
12. katniss was here? we found a petroglyph of her mockingjay pin! har har.

13. hiking the volcanoes at petroglyph national monument.
14. on the road again...to tucson!
15. this one's for my sis....we took a small detour to drive through silver city, new mexico! (we love the movie rat race.)
16. we made it to arizona!

17. i am in love with saguaros. they're huge!
18. st. patty's day. i didn't even mean to wear green. but green is my fave color, and that's why i love my green chacos!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

guest post: rebeca from little dash of life

hi everyone! how i have missed you! we're having such an amazing time here in albuquerque, and i can't wait to tell you about it.

but today we are headed to tucson, arizona for a few days, and since we are about to hit the road in just a few minutes, i don't have time to tell you about my adventures just yet. so i thought i would leave you with another guest post! hooray!

meet my friend, rebeca:

Hi there readers!

My name is Rebeca, the author over at Little Dash of Life.

Little Dash of Life is a mash up of my crazy life in Austin as an aspiring pastry chef with my crazy cat and goofy dog.



You'll find easy recipes (like these tasty lemon rosemary meatballs) and even a few series including one that follows local coffee shops. More recently are a few write ups for the Austin Food Bloggers Association.



Also, one of my favorite things to write about are my adventures in healthy living. Yoga, cycling, triathlon, they all help me keep my sweet tooth in balance and I love sharing those stories because I think that being active is the best thing we can do for our minds and bodies. I never thought I'd be one for sports but they have given me shown me the value and results of patience and hard work.



The recipe I have to share with y'all today is one that has been in the works for a while and I think it's hit perfection.

It's gluten free, only six ingredients, and oh so smooth and rich. The dark chocolate is delicious and the orange gives it an nice brightness. Don't be intimidated! This little guy is surprisingly easy, very impressive, and just plain tasty.



Bittersweet Chocolate and Orange Flourless Cake

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
7 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
pinch salt
zest of one orange

Preheat your oven to 350. Set the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Allow to melt completely. While you're waiting for it to melt, butter and cocoa powder dust a 9 inch springform pan and wrap with foil if you're concerned about it not being water tight.

Set a large pot of water to simmer.

In another bowl beat the eggs, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy. Pour in a small amount of the chocolate and butter mixture. Mix well and add a smidge more. (This allows the temperature of the eggs to rise slowly and not scramble.) Add the rest of your chocolate and mix well.

Scrape all of the batter into the prepared pan and set in a large roasting pan. Pour the simmering water to the roasting pan to create a water bath around the cake. Bake for around an hour or until it is just set and you can touch the center without the cake sticking to your finger.

Remove from water, allow to cool, and remove from pan. Chill and cut into 10 to 12 servings.

Enjoy!



Happy Eating!

-Beca

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

guest post: amy from love bug blog

hi everyone! i'm in new mexico right now on the first leg of our road trip. but before we head out to hike the mountains outside albuquerque, i wanted to give you an update!

i said on monday that i would still be having the creativity party up. well, that will not be the case. i am not getting great internet right now, so i am going to skip the party for this week. but instead of the creativity party, i have something better! a guest post!

meet my friend, amy!

Hello to all of Bailey's friends! My name is Amy, I'm so happy to be able to blog with you guys today from my little corner of the bloggy world, Love Bug. I come to you this week from Galveston, TX...the place we are enjoying our Spring Break, but also the place of many, many stories.


Back in 2008 when Hurricane Ike hit Galveston and Boliver, TX and completely wiped out communities and family homes, my parents decided they would support the city they had fallen in love with so many years ago by purchasing an historic home. Turns out, they bought the Thomas Henry Borden house, built in 1874.

You've heard of Borden milk right? Yeah, that's his brother. He actually was a member of Stephen F. Austin's "Old 300" and was the official surveyor for Austin's colony, surveying both the city of Galveston and Houston. His house, which my parent's bought survived not only the horrific storm of 1900, but several other hurricanes as well as Hurricane Ike.

The house was to be a project home, one my parents would remodel and turn back into the historic show house it used to be. But there was just one problem.

People kept hearing crazy things inside this house.

On many occasions, people heard a door slamming when they were in the house alone. Each time, they would think someone was in the house, only to walk downstairs to find out they were still the only one there.


A friend of my parents, Mary Lou, heard that same sound one day and it scared her out of her skin. The next time she came to the house alone, she struck up a conversation with what she believes were the "original owners" of the home. She told them, "It's fine. We're only here to turn this home around back to the way it used to be. We're going to take care of this place." And, believe it or not, no one has heard a door slam in this house ever since.

So my parents began their remodeling adventure and have since done some wonderful things with their house on Avenue P.


The house is becoming something reminiscent of Victorian times crossed with a Coastal Living Magazine. I love it here. It is so peaceful and so...like home. There's even a pirate ship out back for my son and his cousin to play on. And only eight blocks from the Seawall, the location can't be beat.


As far as the "original owners"...I'm not sure if they are around while we are there. I will say I have heard some noises that keep me up at night while I'm here. But my imagination is overactive in itself, so it could be discarded as just that. I've also seen several lights flickering while I was writing this...that is serious. No joke. But we can sure justify things away, can't we?

Who knows. Maybe Mr. Borden is just waiting to see if we are going to do right by his home, if we are going to fix it up to it's former 1800s glory. Just as long as I don't see him, I think all will be just fine. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy this home and all it's antique beauty and bask in it's amazing peace...it's the best place I've ever slept. By far. I never sleep so good as I do here at the Borden House. You take a nap here like you are dead. No pun intended.

Thanks so much guys, for having me here...and thank you Bailey for letting me guest post at Let Birds Fly! I do want to say, if you like the texture you see on my pictures, feel free to download some like it HERE, my bloggy friend over at Life N Reflection has some great textures that I use quite a bit.

Photobucket

Monday, March 12, 2012

my insta.week party #7

thanks for linking up your camera phone photos!

this past week has been cray-cray getting ready for our road trip. we leave tomorrow, and we will be gone for two weeks. TWO! we're so excited.

the trip will look like this: houston, tx > dallas, tx > amarillo, tx > albuquerque, nm > tucson, az > saguaro national park, az > petrified forest national park, az > taos, nm > dallas, tx > houston, tx. WHEW!

while i will have internet while i'm on my trip,  i will not be doing any posts except for the regular parties i have. but i WILL have some fantastic ladies that will be guest posting! i'm super excited about that.

here are my instagrams for the week:
1. his favorite late morning napping spot: right where the sun shines in through the window.
2. 5 o'clock traffic in this pretty city (houston).
3. bike riding with quinn is so much easier with our new hands-free leash.
4. a pretty park in a pretty city (hermann park and houston, respectively).

5. mark, quinn, and i on top of the one and only hill in houston. hehe.
6. what i wore! i love my red jeans and my big, soft, and comfy knitted sweater.
7. i am selfishly tired of the rain in houston, but i'm trying to be optimistic, 'cause i know we need it!
8. i wish i was smart enough to attend rice university. so pretty.

9. at the houston rodeo again, invited by my parents. you can tell because of how much better their seats were!
10. the hubs and i enjoying the rodeo, waiting to see zztop. hehe.
11. my backdoor. that's it.
12. quinn, protecting us from the predators.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

PROVINCETOWN, MASSACHUSETTS | CAPE COD

at the end of last summer, some of my family (mom, dad, sister, hubby) went to cape cod. my dad grew up in connecticut, and we were visiting family, but we just HAD to go to cape cod as well. have you ever been there? you should go.

though our bed and breakfast was located on a south shore town called falmouth, we decided to drive around the cape the first day we were there. we went to provincetown, which is at the tip of the cape cod peninsula. the town is so cute!

driving, we saw so many typical cape cod houses, with the shingles and white picket fences.
the one with the purple door is my fave. but i love the garden of the white house. i would SO live here!


when you get to downtown provincetown, you'll know. there are SO many tourists. we had fun being a few of those tourists. downtown, there are indie shops like crazy. a lot of artists reside in provincetown, and sell their prints in small galleries. my mom was close to buying so many of those prints and paintings.

my mom and dad (above) ogling at the paintings.

later, we went to a restaurant to eat lunch. carley (sis), mark (hubs), and i decided to try our first clams. this was us accepting the challenge:


my dad loves them already. how appetizing, eh?


to eat, you get them out of the shell, take off some sort of gross skin thing, dip them into water to clean them off, and then dip into melted butter for flavor. yum?


this was a big deal for carley. she's 22, and just now coming around to trying everything at least once. 3 years ago, she would have NEVER done this. she had to totally psych herself out to do it.

here is carley, first freaking out at what it looks like when you take off the gross skin part, then taking slow and controlled breaths, and then diving in!

not THAT bad. especially once the chewing part is over. :)  she even ate one more!


and here i am. not as funny as carley, but i'm still glad we have evidence that i tried it. :)

hah. doesn't it make you want some clams RIGHT NOW!? yeah. i thought so. we didn't capture mark's reaction. it was boring. he just kept on eating without a problem.

now, the harbor!

we walked down the pier and found a pirate museum! so fun. a guy that worked there told us a bunch of funny pirate jokes. none of which i remember, of course. :/

the harbor was so pretty:


and of course, mark partakes in some of his amazing parkour. hah!


we get to the end of the pier.... and take more photos! :)


we went back into town after taking pictures at the pier to look around some more. we found a salt water taffy store, and though i don't like taffy, it was fun to see all of the flavors and watch the taffy being made.


what i DID want was some fudge! good ole un-healthy fudge...how i love you! ;)


later in the day, the clouds finally went away, so we took one final trip to a provincetown harbor beach before we drove to falmouth. pretty!


wishing now for warmth and sunshine!

[All photos were taken in August 2011.]

Thursday, March 8, 2012

MAKE TOMATO SOUP USING A JUICER

i decided that yesterday would be the last day of my juice fast. that made it a 22-day juice fast.

our road trip starts on monday, and i really wanted to cook a few times before i don't get to for two more weeks. haha. i miss cooking! that was actually the hardest part of the juice fast. not necessarily eating the food that i make, but creating new recipes. it's my fave!

also, we are going to the rodeo again tonight, and i kinda want to have kettle corn or something bad for me. maybe dippin dots! :)

during the juice fast, there were times when i craved something savory instead of sweet. that's when you make an all-vegetable juice and add a pinch of salt, right? yes. but sometimes, i also wanted something hot. especially on those cold nights. so i decided to make soup using my juicer!

after days of drinking through a straw, it was good to just sip soup from a spoon again. :)


Juicing Tomato Soup
6-8 tomatoes
1/2 small onion (1/4 large)
1 celery stalk
1 medium carrot
1 bunch parsley
1 cup basil (optional)
pinch of sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. juice all ingredients (except salt and pepper), starting with the greens. (leafy greens get stuck easily, and other heavier veggies will help push them down.)
2. transfer juice to stockpot, turn heat to medium.
3. heat until warm, do NOT let come to boil. (the point of juicing is to consume as many nutrients as possible; we don't want to cook all of them out!)
4. add salt and pepper to taste, stir well.
5. transfer to soup bowls, whisk, and enjoy. (soup separates easily, so you will need to whisk often.)

enjoy!
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