Monday, February 27, 2012

what i should be doing...

today, there are many things that i should be doing.  i am behind on blog posts, i have a pile of laundry next to me, and i am pretty sure the dishes are not going to wash themselves. but all i want to do is snuggle on the sofa and stare at these little beauties!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wynwood Walls

if you happen to find yourself in miami and happen to be an art  fan i highly suggest that you seek out the Wynwood Art District.  nestled between downtown miami and the deep inner city ghetto is a few blocks of art galleries, awesome artsy shops, and some seriously impressive street art.  the epicenter of the whole district is the Wynwood Walls.  this gigantic outdoor gallery devoted to some of the graffiti greats features huge murals by artists like Ron English, Shepard Fairy, and Peter Tunney.  here are a few of my favorite pictures from the walls and walking the alley ways. enjoy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

thankful thursday

ok, here it is, i have skirted this issue for quiet some time now. for what reasons, i am not sure. it's no secret that i am not super religious, despite being raised in a traditional catholic family, you know church every sunday, sunday school on sunday and wednesday, and when i was staying with my grandmother....well she went to church everyday. needless to say, i spent a lot of my childhood trying to understand religion, not just understand all the rules and memorizing all the things that we had to memorize.... what i was trying to understand is why you 'had to be religious to be a good person'.

now i know that many of you at this point are wanting to stop reading, but let me reassure you that this is not a rant about religion being bad or good, or any of my personal beliefs. simply it is going to focus on one thing....gratitude.

in my recent research for my weekly "thankful thursday" i have found an overwhelming common denominator....God.  why is it that the majority of the quotes regarding gratitude have such a religious undertone?  while i have no problem and somewhat know the whole message of the bible thing, the problem that i have is the lack of non-religious material about giving thanks. where is the support from the other side? i'm feeling a bit out numbered here folks.

today's quote nailed it! "your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does".  i really couldn't have put it better myself.  so many people look at my husband and i and assume that we must be bad know all covered in tattoos, nose rings, and alternative appearances and lifestyles...but give us two minutes to actually get to know us and you will find that there is much more to us.  we are some of the most caring and gracious freaks out there! hehe.  our religious beliefs, or lack their of, do not determine how we treat people and the world around us.

as a society we need to get past 'giving thanks' being something that we only do at church (or on turkey day) but something that we live everyday, where ever we are. behave in a manor that others know you appreciate the things around you. and on the flip side of that....some of you bible thumpers need to take a good hard long look in the mirror and practice what you preach.

the moral of the story is this: be good to people, give thanks for what you have, share your gratitude with others. plain and simple, religion or not. living a gracious lifestyle will bring you to a better place.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

hollis gardens

we visited hollis gardens in lakeland this past weekend.
had to share this stunning picture i snapped.
hope you are all having a beautiful day. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

10 things i couldn't live without this week

1. the easiest grocery shopping trip i have had since the day the boy was born. this kid has a new fascination with my iphone. he actually asked if he could sit in the cart and play the pbs kids app.  which is a far different tune then his recent wanting to walk on his own and raise a ruckus at the store. so i went with it. and he was an angle!
2. we met up with our new friends, tracy and sinjin, at their hotel pool for a swim date. it's been a while since we have been in a pool and i have to say....i have missed it so so so much! we may be trying to get to the lake lytal pool soon if the weather stays this warm!
3. the hubs has been completely over worked this week (trying to insure that he get to take his vacation... un-interrupted) but can you believe that man of mine has still found time in his crazy morning routine to make me coffee before i get out of bed....did i mention that he doesn't drink coffee....he's so good to me.
4. and while i am on the topic....i love it when the hubs has my back. he totally went off on this girl for making fun of my "cliche" mustache tattoo. he verbally ripped her a new one, and shut her up real quick by commenting on her coy fish tattoo...."so, speaking of cliche, are you asian?" i love that man.  he's always go my back.
5. do you guys watch up all night? it's quickly becoming our new favorite show. the hubs and i want to meet the writers - we are pretty sure that they might be getting some of their material from us. watching that show is like looking in the mirror. sometimes the roles are reversed, but for the most part the relationship that christina applegate and will arnett share is just like me and the if i only had their house and her waredrobe! hehe
6. it's been a long time since we've had an at home play date, but we invited sinjin and tracy over to play in the sprinklers and drink coffee.  the boy has forgotten how to share his toys with others, so we are going to have to do these dates more often, but it was so much fun playing the yard.  they also brought a serious goodie bag full of birthday treats for me. i mean just too sweet! it was full of mustache paraphernalia and some really beautiful goodies for the house! all wrapped up in the coolest re-usable shopping bag - which i will most definitely be sporting as a purse!
7. i made one of my favorites this week for dinner - raw veggie pizza. it is really hands down one of the easiest most delicious meals! and i had too many chopped up veggies so i made veggie burritos the next day for lunch.....but the kicker this time was some {to die for} sweet corn relish made by my friend kelly hogrebe.  i seriously can't stop thinking about how good it is. it's taking a lot of will power to not eat the entire jar in one sitting! she should seriously quit her day job and start selling this full time!
8. the hubs vacation started saturday! we kicked off the week of adventures by making the trip to my mother in laws house. the hubs sister was in town from atlanta. we had a blast hanging out with her and his brother.
9. we dodged rain drops and made it over to hollis gardens and barnett park. the boy had such an awesome time. and i snapped instagram pics like it was my job. barnett park looks like it popped off the pages of a dr. seuss book. it's one of the coolest parks i have ever seen. the colors and shapes are just crazy. the boy loved it. and hollis park was breath taking. beautiful plants and flowers lined perfectly manicured lawns, and you would not believe the size of some of the produce that is landscaped into the mix. just stunning.
10. today we are up bright and very very very early! when the hubs asked me what i wanted to do for his vacation i knew that i wanted to take a trip to webster antique and flea market. so her were are, 5:30am ready to go find some treasures! needless to say, i didn't sleep a wink last night. i am so excited.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Red Velvet Cheese{Cup}Cake

my friend Mary made the most delicious cup cakes and promised to share the recipe with me, so that i could share it with you.  i have to go ahead and say that these are hands down the best cup cakes i have ever had.  she had so great tips for a perfectly cooked cupcake, and the best frosting. delicious!


2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
24 hersey's kisses (set aside)

1 box duncan hines red velvet cake mix
1 1/4 cup water
1/3 veggie oil
3 large eggs

step 1:
preheat oven to 350ºF. 
place paper baking cups into 24 tin muffin cups.
(tip: this way you don't need to use a muffin pan. 
you can just stand them up on a cookie sheet. this helps with 
cooking time and not having to bake separate batches.)

step 2:
make the filling - place cream cheese, sugar, eggs, 
vanilla, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. 
beat with an electric mixer on medium speed, 
until smooth and creamy (approx 2 minutes). set aside.

step 3:
make batter - prepare cake mix as described on box
 using the water, oil and eggs. 
fill each muffing cup about 2/3 full with batter. 

step 4:
drop unwrapped kisses into each cupcake. 
then drop about 2 tbsps of cream cheese filling 
into the center of the batter, covering the chocolate.

step 5:
bake in center of oven 22 - 25 minutes 
or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
cool 5 minutes, remove from pan. place on a wire rack, 
cool completely. store covered in refrigerator. 
garnish after refrigeration with powdered sugar if desired.

bake for the lowest time possible or until you start to smell the cupcakes. remove from oven but let cool on the pan, for atleast 10 minutes. the cupcakes will continue to cook in the tins.

Friday, February 17, 2012

presidents day sale

presidents day sale!
now through monday
20% off 
everything in the store!
enter coupon code:
at checkout

happy shopping!

homemade nutella ice cream

hi. my name is erin. and i am addicted to nutella. i have been clean for 2 and half years, well that is until i saw this recipe.

ok folks, here is the deal! if i could have a nutella IV and not turn into jabba the hut....i would.  after having the boy i craved nutty flavors and could eat an entire 5lb bag of trail mix in one sitting and would eat peanut butter by the spoonful. then i found out that the boy, who was breast feeding at the time, was having a really hard time digesting all that nutty goodness.

{peanuts+breast feeding = poo-splosions!} 

so i though i would replace the peanut butter with nutella (which i had never tried before).  i was hooked at first bite!  postpartum depression addiction! i would put it on everyting! i could seriously eat half a loaf of bread covered in nutella and it wouldn't even phase me. then it hit me....holy nutella hips! while i was packing down the nutella i was also packing on the lbs! and quick!

so in an effort to loose the baby weight, i went cold turkey. no more nutella. at first i couldn't even walk down that aisle at the grocery store. that sweet little brown jar would taunt me. call to me. sometimes try to jump in to my cart.  but my will was strong!

well, approximately 982 days latter, whose counting?  i found myself standing in "that aisle" staring at that gooey, chocolatey, nutty, evil jar.....the big jar too for pete's sake.  because after this long the little jar wasn't going to cut it.  quickly i grabbed the jar and through it into the cart like nothing had happened. i had myself fully convinced that i was strong enough to not tear into it and eat the entire tub before getting home. all for what? a simple recipe that contained more fruit than nutella. (therefore it must be good for me.....right?) **note: i am proud do admit that i have only dipped my finger in the jar one time, and have not spread nutella on anything since purchasing it....

1 cup nutella
6 bananas 
1 tbsp dark cocoa poweder (optional)

step 1:

chop up bananas.
combine all your ingredients in your blender.

step 2:

{my blender took the crap of death mid-blending so I had to switch to my mini food processor}
once smooth (i ended up with more banana chunks then i really wanted), transfer to a freezer safe container. i also made some popsicles for the boy.

step 3:

wait for it to freeze. and enjoy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

green {and purple} with envy

my friend mary has the most beautiful vegetable garden.  i snapped a few pictures from our recent stay with them and wanted to share some of the beautiful egg plant with you!

thankful thursday

go to the grocery store and find the sugar aisle.  now go ahead and take out your calculator because you are going to need it. start counting the endless amounts of artificial sweeteners. there are so many. fake. full of things that don't really exist.  all with one thing in common...they are all trying to make us happy.

now apply this to your life. think of all the fake thank you's, the empty mass "wishes", and half assed praises.  do any of these make us truly happy? gratitude is the purest of ingredients. it comes straight from the soul. share your graciousness with others and soon you will find yourself living the sweetest life. and always is not the happy people that are thankful, it is the thankful people that are happy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentine's day

finished making the boys valentine's goodies for his friends! 
hope you are having an amazing lovely valentine's.
and for all the haters....hope you have lots of 
chocolate ice cream!

Monday, February 13, 2012

inspiration lookbook

10 things i couldn't live without this week

1. we were stuck indoors for most of the week due to some freak tropical storm that came lingering through. well the boy and i had finally had it and i told him to get his rain boots and bathing suit on. we waited for a break in the rain and marched outside on a mission to stomp in every single puddle in the neighborhood. man was it fun!
2. my mother in law came into town for a few days this week. we had so much fun going out to dinner for my birthday. we went to the old key lime house. it was our first time there and instantly became a new family favorite! can't wait to go back!
3. the hubs and i got out of town for a night alone. well really the hubs had to work in orlando and i just tagged along for the ride. but we did squeeze in some alone time...i mean it's only been a whole year since we got to spend the entire night alone.
4. while in orlando i went to my absolute favorite salon of all time ever, alchemy! a super cute new hair cut. thanks for your brilliant work trish! i also had an entire afternoon to myself. all alone. it's weird being alone when you are so used to having a toddler sidekick. i wandered the streets of college park on my own time schedule. looked at every single article of clothing at a vintage/re-sale shop. ate lunch in silence. sat in a park and read.  and i hate to admit it, but i didn't get lonely once...not for one second. it was kinda the best afternoon i've had in a long time.
5. the hubs and i got to spend some time with his/our best friend as well, uncle boom (that's what the boy calls him). a.k.a dennis brought us to his favorite tattoo shop and the hubs and i got our ink fix. i did it. i finally got my finger mustache tattoo.
6. my dad and step mom got me a kindle fire for my birthday. i never knew how badly i wanted one until i had it. at first i was completely overwhelmed by the technology and afraid to let the boy touch it. but after playing with it non-stop for a few days i have finally warmed up to it. and the boy, well the boy loves it as well.
7. the hubs got me a my very first iphone for my birthday! let's just say i am obsessed!
8. so i never really understood why people were such angry bird geeks. it was only last week that i was telling the hubs that i just didn't get the draw. i didn't understand why every store that i went in was selling  angry bird plush toy, t shirts, coffee mugs, and any other paraphernalia that they could slap a triangle shaped bird onto.  this is where i hang my head in shame. the hubs and i have been playing it non-stop since getting the kindle. i swear they should call it crack birds. it really is like crack.
9. i got new plates for my birthday from the mother in law. while this may sound silly to some, i have been dying for plane bone white china for a long time. i had long grown tired of the plates that we received for wedding gifts. i mean white goes with everything, and i wanted something that i could mix and match with my few random pieces of fiesta ware. i am in plate love!
10. we went to a birthday party this weekend for tanner, one of the boys besties. it was a super fun party at twisters, a kids gymnastics place. it was so awesome to see the boy and his friends completely fearless and bouncing around. and i am not going to lie i got such a huge kick out of the red power ranger character that showed up, per tanners request. i almost peed myself laughing at the horror on kelly's face as she not only discovered that the power ranger was most definitely a woman, but that she admittedly couldn't really play with the kids because she "couldn't really see out of her costume"....her costume, might i add, was completely falling apart. if you know kelly, then you know that she doesn't half ass anything, especially when it comes to costumes....i could see her eye start to twitch as she thought about running to her car to get her glue gun and fix this power ranger up. this is one of the many reasons i love you kelly! moral of the story....tanner loved the power ranger and not one child mentioned the fact that he/she had boobs!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

today... me!

sorry it's been a few days, but i've been busy celebrating!
p.s. how adorable is this picture?
from my besties at ouraugust!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DIY: rubber stamps

So a few months ago i saw this diy rubber stamp on pinterest and new that i wanted to make one myself - who knew it would be so easy? pinterest is the best thing to happen to diy-ers and crafters since the invention of the glue gun! if you havn't joined yet....get on that! the problem with finding all these amazing ideas on pinterest is that there are so many crafts and so few hours in the day! so i really kinda forgot about the stamp until i started planning my birthday party. a mustache party that is. so scoured the house for a rubber stamp, busted out my xacto knife, and started carving. i was really surprised how easily the knife cut the eraser.  and here is how mine turned out...

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