Monday, July 29, 2013

How To: the perfect beach wave

So here's the secret! 
To achieve the perfect beach wave,
go to the beach. play. swim. cruise top down in the jeep.

Well, actually there was more to it than that.

Step 1:

We actually did spend the morning at the beach playing 
in the waves.  So honestly that was my "base".
And let's face it there is nothing more authentic then actual BEACH waves.

Step 2:

I only wash my hair about every 4-5 days,
and I just washed it yesterday.
But to protect it from damage and dryness and to get the sand out
I gave it a really good scrub with a super moisturizing conditioner.
I am talking scalp, roots, ends. The works.
Using this:

My favorite, not only does it smell just like summer, 
it absolutely does the trick for this crazy mane.

Now to forewarn you. 
Not everyone can get away with this method.
My hair is very thick, wavy, and well frizz is an's more like Fro.
So in this South Florida humidity I need all the moisture and weight I can get.

While in the shower,
I used a pick to comb the conditioner through and actually part 
my hair and place it exactly where I wanted it to dry.
I waited a few minutes and then rinsed.

Step 3:

This is the important part, especially for you other fro-ed out counterparts.
What ever you do DO NOT wrap your hair up in a towel.
With your towel in hand (not on head) 
gently squeeze as much water as you can out of your hair.
(I have also been told to keep frizz down use paper towels instead,
but we barely use paper towels....such a waste.)

Step 4:

I then covered all my hair with 

This is a go to, everyday, must have for my hair.
The uses for this product are endless, and all of the essential oils 
not only smell amazing, but are so soothing on my normally 
sensitive scalp.

Then I emulsified about a nickel sized amount of this

in my hands.
Starting from the back of my hair,
I scrunched this into my waves very gently.
It's very important not to jostle them too much.

Step 5:

After not touching at all and letting my hair air dry
 for about 20 minutes,
the boy and I took a top down cruise in the Jeep.
Once it was dry it was pretty much fluff and go!

the perfect beach waves

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday

A few years back as I was catching up with an old college friend and his wife,
they kept telling me that they were now living simply.
It really seemed to be a main theme in our conversation,
but I have to honest; I wasn't really sure what they had meant.

Living Simply?
It really can mean so many things.
To me it's more than just de-cluttering our stuff and our minds.
It's more than using only what you need and reducing your waste.
It's really truly living gently.
It's living with intention, respect, and awareness.
It's showing gratitude to the Earth and those that also inhabit this beautiful place with us.

However the most important aspect of a simple life to me is
wrapping my head around what is right for me and my family and what is not.
Once we have chosen what is not right for us, for our home, for our lifestyle, for our belief system,
we simply put it aside without judgment or criticism.

For someone who decides that living a grateful and simple life,
the realization that not all people find happiness and satisfaction in the same things is 
the greatest enlightenment.
Let go of what is not for you.
Put it aside.
Do not judge.
Do not complain.
Just let it be.

My life and my theories are not perfect, but I am grateful for them all.
Be grateful & inspire.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Coffee Talks

"Touring potential office spaces. #likeaboss - Jess

"Gave myself a manicure today.
It's called the crafters special." - Erin

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I saw this on Pinterest: Yummy Balls

A few days ago I saw these adorable little 
cookie dough-ish looking balls with a recipe right under them.
It seemed to good/easy to be true.
It read:

2 ripe bananas, 1 cup quick oats, 

1/2 c choc chips, 1 heaping spoonful of natural peanut butter.. 

mix well, plop spoonfuls onto baking sheet, bake at 350 for 15 mins. 

Delicious! #healthy

So... I did what I do and I scavenged my cabinets to find
that I sort of had all the ingredients.
I used dates instead of chocolate chips, and almond butter instead of peanut,
and then for half of the batch I added in a tsp of dark cocoa powder.

The funny thing though is that they looked nothing like the picture I had Pinned.
Now I know that this is a common anomaly of Pinterest, 
and you can't believe everything you see on the internet, but I was still baffled. 

The good new though,they are delicious.
I had to hide them from the boy to keep him from eatting them all!

Well upon my confusion I decided to do a little more research into that 
original Pin to find that the recipe that was given
 was not at all what was pictured.
that you can find over at Averie Cooks.
So I guess that I am going to have to try those now too! Ha.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Apple Experiment

A few months ago,
my wonderful Mother-in-law bought me a dehydrator
at a yard sale.  She had purchased one for herself a little 
bit prior and knew that I would absolutely loved it!

I have always wanted a dehydrator.
I have always had the best memories of my childhood
best friends family.
One of those fantastic memories is how much their 
father loved his dehydrator. 
I can close my eyes and the smell of apples chips and jerky 
waft all around!

I decided that since I had never done this myself,
I should start with the basics....Apples.

But you know me....I can't JUST do apples.
AND even if I did... 
do you know how many different kinds of apples there are?

The Apple Experiment was born.
Round 1:
3 different types of apples, each done in 3 flavors.

So I did a little research on the art of dehydration.
I read and read many different blogs, recipes, and forums.
Did I mention that my machine was from a yard sale and it didn't come with 
a users manual?
I really had no clue were to start.

I found that there were many different recipes 
that included tossing and soaking.
So here's what I did:

Step 1:

So I started with 2 Gala, 2 Granny Smith, and 2 Pink Lady apples.
I peeled and sliced, but I purposefully 
left some skin and varied the width of the slices.
You know, just so that I could figure out how we liked them.

Step 2:

I kept each type of apple in their own separate piles,
and them spilt those piles into thirds.
For my flavors I chose just straight up original, a classic cinnamon, and 
a fun little punch of flavorful guava.

So the originals, we obviously I didn't do anything to those.
I tossed one handful in a bowl of cinnamon, and then
the rest I soaked in guava nectar for about 15 minutes.

Step 3:

I arranged each type of apple neatly on separate trays.
I made sure that they were all organized by flavor so that they would be easier to 
distinguish later.

All of the recipes that I read said to run the machine for 7 hours at a 
specific temperature, but my dehydrator does not have a temperature control, just an 
ON/OFF switch.
So at 6 hours I checked only to find that they were definitely not ready.
I kept an eye on them and ended up running them for a full 10 1/2 hours.

I let them sit in the dehydrator with it OFF for about and hour,
then put them into zip lock baggies.

Step 4:

It was time for the taste test.
The boy and I munched and compared, until we narrowed it down.
Really we loved them all.

The Results:

Like I said they were all amazing! 
But we had our preferences.
We found that the Gala's didn't get as crispy, and there was too much 
cinnamon on all of them.

But in the end.
He loved the Original Granny Smith and I loved the Guava Pink Ladies. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Pinterest Closet

When I saw this outfit on Pinterest I knew right away that I would be 
recreating as soon as possible.
Funny thing was I knew that I could easily pull this out of my closet.
The model above's outfit can be found here.

I on the other hand dawned one of my favorite tank tops...
featuring Spider Man of course.
I paired it with a vintage thrifted silk skirt.

And viola! 
Recreated in a sinch!
Sorry about the no ironing and no make-up look,
but it was a fantastically cute outfit for an incredibly lazy Sunday.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Project 52

Your curiosity and desire to explore our new town makes me so proud!
Never lose your wanderlust!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Welcome to the World Little Boy!

This beautiful woman finally had her baby today.
Little Dorian, who wasn't so little,
is here at last!

I can not wait to meet that sweet boy!
Congrats to you both Jordan and Christine!

I'm a walking TSA nightmare!

Upon my arrival home from North Carolina,
I opened my bag to find this lovely little note to inform
me that TSA had raided my bag.
Golly, I couldn't imagine what might have triggered that bag search.
(on a side note can we briefly think about the amounts of dirty underwear 
those poor people have to rummage through each day....yuck!)

On this summer vacation to the lake I promised 
myself (and the hubs) that I wouldn't spend money on souvenirs,
even though some of my favorite things come from up there!
Like my body oils from BeeGlobal and my tea mugs from Yellow Branch.
As a matter of fact we didn't even go to either of these places this year.
Which was probably best for my pocket book.

Instead I filled my camera with about a million amazing photographs,
and went the free-gan route and collected things from around the lake to take home.
Although I did have to shell out a small amount of dough for a pound of Appalachian honey! 

Here is what I came home with.

So what could have possibly set of TSA to search my bag?
I don't know? 

 There is the giant honey jar.
Or maybe it was the ziplock baggy full of moss (that I am sure looked like something else),
or maybe it was the fact that I just walked through security with an 
arm full of drift wood, completely ignoring the giant sign that read

Regardless, all my treasures made it home safely.
And all of my undies were in my suitcase right where I left them.
Happy travels and sorry Knoxville TSA for being a walking nightmare!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Coffee Talks

"This block misses you" - Jess

"This position all day. Get outta here headache!" - Erin

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Let's get happy

For my summer vacation read I picked up the best selling book
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
I felt a little silly a first reading it.
I am not much for the "self-helpy" books, but this had a different undertone to it.
It wasn't all woe is me. 
Instead I found myself totally relating to Gretchen's explaining of 
her quest to be more happy, not less miserable.
Now mind you I am not but only half way into the book, and I still have lots of reading to do.

But, after spending some amazing quality time with my 
family last week a certain thing about happiness occurred to me.
My Dad, Step Mom, and sisters all flocked to the lake.
Some of my sisters even brought some friends.
It was a week of lots of girls, 8 of them to be exact.
Eight women under one roof...
It was like a sorority house with a 30 year age gap.

When there are that many personalities in one cabin, 
and mother nature is playing the "rain on your vacation" game,
some truths about people start to really come out.

The passages I was reading kept making more and more sense.
Not everyone's happiness looks the same.
For me, in that moment, my happiness was being surrounded by 
my parents, my sisters, the serenity of the lake, the little 
details that I was capturing on our adventures and the big laughs we left along the way.
I found myself grabbing onto every single moment and then found 
myself dealing with a bit of sorrow when that moment was over.
I never want it to end.
While some found the greatest happiness in a drive alone through the country,
others found the most joy in the uncertainty of what tomorrow would bring. 

My point is this.
It is impossible to look at someone and know what makes them happy.
All we can do is be grateful that there are so many different kinds of people that make the 
huge happy place go round.
One can not define the terms of happiness,
but only recognize it when they see it.
So see it.  Look for it.  Share it.  Emote it.
The happier you are, the happier those around you will become.

Be Grateful & Inspire

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's all the Buzz?

I always seem to take so much pleasure in
capturing things that fly with my camera.
It take patients and a quick finger to get 
those pesky winged models in the exact frame that you want them.

Along with the thrill of capturing things that fly,
I have also just been down right obsessed with bugs lately.
I think that little boy of mine is starting to rub off on me.

p.s. I wish there was better scale to show just how huge that green moth was.
I just couldn't get close enough to it as it was hanging out in the eve of this barn.
Each of it's wings was easily the size of each hand.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

These Faces

Some how all of these faces never seem to make it into 
one picture all together.
Missing them all already!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Fungus Among Us.

Well it rained non-stop while we were in 
North Carolina.
All of my normal beautiful and sunny mountain surrounding
were replaced by soggy, muddy, grey days.

But I wasn't going to let a little rain ruin my vacation.
Instead I took a huge interest in all the sprouting mushrooms.

It became a theme of my photo missions.
I was blown away by the colors and shapes that all the fungus made.

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