Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Cara Box Reveal: Going Green

Cara Box

This month to honor Earth Day the Cara Box swap theme was "Going Green" and I could not have gotten better partners!

I sent a box to Jackie @ Health, Love & The Pursuit of Happiness!
She's awesome, and has a really cute blog so go check it out!

The box that I received was from Ashley @ Wannabe Green and I couldn't have asked for a better partner if I tried.
It was great to get know Ashley, and I was able to share some of the "green" projects I wanted to take on with her.
She's educated on being green and has done many green projects herself so she was able to give me some tips, and information sites to reference.
Go check out her blog for some great green projects, crafts, recipes, and much more!

She sent me a great box with a good range of green items from garden items all the way to beauty!
Some of which can help me get some of my green projects rolling!

- Barnes & Noble e-gift card for my Nook!

-2 reusable bags
- garden gloves
- recycle green reflective stickers
- organic skin care items
- a little notebook made from recycled paper
- Daisy, Tomato, and Basil growing starter kits...
which I have already started.
Let's just pray they actually grow.

Thank you so much Ashley for all of my goodies!
I had a lot of fun getting to know you and look forward to getting to know you more in the future.

I have always had a great time doing the Cara Box swaps.
I've met some really great bloggers, and made some new friends!
I've learned new things from them and their blogs.
I've gotten some great packages with thoughtful gifts inside.
Go check it out for yourself, and join the fun!

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, April 29, 2013

April Music Mix-Up: Inspiration

Last month I found Kim's music mix-up swap and I knew that I had to be part of it. 
I love music, and I love me a good swap so what could be better?!

I'm constantly wanting to share some of my new favorite tunes with people and am researching what the latest, popular songs are.
I try to explore all types of music but lord knows I can't possible find all of the good songs out there
I was partnered with Kim too so I was excited to see what she would send my way.

We learned from the start that we have very similar music tastes, which made the swap both very easy and very difficult.
I knew she'd probably like any song I included on the CD, but at the same time I didn't want to include a bunch of songs she knew by heart.
Even though the swap was more about providing inspirational music but giving her songs that were overly popular defeated the purpose in my mind.

I did go into it knowing that I wanted to do a wide range of songs: old, new, alternative, top 40, and of course they had to be inspirational to me.
For some of the songs it was clear why they were inspirational, but others not so much.

Having said that it seems like Kim might have had the same logic in mind because I received a really good mix, with a good amount of variation.
She, like the smarty that she is, included a list of the songs with explanations as to why she found them inspirational.
Why I didn't think of that is beyond on me, but I loved that she did it.
I am so happy with the mix, and I've been listening to it frequently since it arrived.
I love it!

*1) People - AWOLNATION/
2) Walk - Foo Fighters
3) Put it Behind You - Keane
*4) On Top of the World - Imagine Dragons
5) Hotel Song - Regina Spektor
6) Carry On - Fun.
7) Anne Braden - Flobots
8) Otherside - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
9) Cassie - Flyleaf
10) Hallelujah - Jason Castro
*11) Million Faces - Paolo Nutini
12) Cookie Jar - Jack Johnson
13) Belief - John Mayer
14) The Cave - Mumford & Sons
15) Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
16) Little Victories - Matt Nathanson
* = top 3 favorites

Thank you so much Kim for the wonderful CD!
I truly have found some new inspiration :)

Happy Monday.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Nail Files & Backing it up...

Let's just get right to the good stuff shall we...
Nails & music!

I absolutely LOVE this combo.
I received the pink: Eva in my first Julep Maven box.
I've come to realize that this is probably my favorite shade of pink to wear.
I love this one and I've worn similar shades before so it must be!
And the glitter: Lovely Jubbly...
I really have no words because I love it so much!
I have a feeling it will be used quite a bit this summer.
It's fun, bright, and covers really well.
You don't need to worry about a base color underneath.

I finally feel like I found the perfect song to start linking up with Whitney for #backthatazzup Friday's!
I heard this bad boy yesterday for throw back Thursday on the radio.
It had me dancing around and on this nice Friday what could be better than a little desk dancing :)

Get Busy by Sean Paul on Grooveshark
Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thug Life, err...I mean...

I meant Thug Kitchen
So you guys may or may not have heard about this blog but I feel the need to share because it's awesome.
Anything that is funny and educational is something that I can get into, and this site my friends is just that!

First, let me say that if the site were a movie it'd be rated R, and for two very good reasons.
1) Strong language.
They cuss...a lot, and I'm sorry I'm not sorry about it.
We are all adults here, and since I can have a mouth like sailor myself it doesn't really bug me!
2) Because all of the best stuff is rated R.
Amiright, or amiright?

No further explanation is needed.
I'll let you guys read on for yourselves...

I am now in love with the word "cornvelopes"!

This,this is MY type of website.
A little rough around the edges, but worth getting to know.
The blog has all kinds of delicious looking recipes and information pictures.
The recipes range from drinks to main courses, and the pictures cover a variety of items too.
I haven't actually made any of the recipes myself yet, but I've come across a few folks that have and they've loved it! 

Go check it out!
Thug Kitchen

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting!

We are just going to get straight to the good stuff.

A backless maxi?
I'm in!

Lamb Barbacoa w/Avacados

I like this - curtains for privacy and sun block on your deck.

PF Chang's copycat Crispy Honey Chicken.



I love everything about this outfit!


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day help for my obsession...

I know I've been a bit  MIA...my bad.
I've been in a bit of a funk lately, which I think it understandable. 
When in said funk I cannot force myself to write.
Any writing that is done during my funks are not things that I want to share, for many reasons.
Mostly because they are just crappy posts...
I should be back into the swing of things over the next week.
Thanks for baring with me here a bit.

Moving on...

We all know what Earth Day is and most of us want to do what we can to help out the planet. 
We know that this means recycling, reusing, cleaning eat, etc. 
However, there is also something that I know most people don't think about, including myself, that I have become more aware of lately thanks to some house cleaning. 
That something is being aware and following the policy of properly disposing of items like paints, electronics, and beauty items.

While cleaning the garage Kev and I came across many cans of paint and other electronic items that we knew we couldn't just put in the trash but we really didn't know where to put it.
We researched and found a few places in the area that will take things like old paint and small applicances for disposal and recycling, and we also found out that if you can find a construction dumpster all of those materials are sorted through and will be disposed of in correct way.
We opted for the latter, found a dumpster and put everything in it. 
It made me feel better to know that even though it would have been easier just to put in our trash we took the extra effort and helped the environment.

Now, you're probably wondering why this helps with my obsession right?
As I mention make-up and beauty items can be included in the items you need to worry of disposing of properly.
Kinda freaky right?
However, I don't think any of us are naive to the fact that some beauty products are made with harmful chemicals that can hurt the environment or us if ingested.

Nail polish happens to be one of those beauty items.
I won't deny it, and we all know that I love nail polish!
A lot.
 I'm to the point where I have way too many and some are just old and I need to pitch them.
How I am getting rid of mine?
Well, Zoya is having an Earth Day event that will benefit us all!
 Here's the deal. 
You, as nail polish junkies like myself, can purchase some new polishes for 50% off.
This is any polish, excluding the Pixie Dust collection, and you can get up to 24!
In return Zoya is asking that you send them the same amount you purchase in old and/or unwanted polishes you currently have. 
These can be any brand (not just Zoya), any type (gel, matte, normal), and of course any color.
They'd like if you send up to at least 6.
So if you get 6 new polishes send them back 6 you don't want! 
Easy enough right?
*disclaimer: please speak to your mail person or research the best way to ship nail polish as they are considered "hazardous material" when shipping
Don't need you polish package to get to hot and blow up or something.
They will then dispose of all of the polishes so all of the toxins in nail polish doesn't spill into the Earth just sitting in a landfill.

Despite that fact that that is really a great deal, it is just to easy not to participcate in!
It may seem small, but it is important to realize that being environmentally friendly comes in all different ways, and every little bit helps.

I found a few facts (articles) that directly relates to the improper disposable to electronics and other harmful chemicals.
I think it's important to understand how this is affecting your family, because this is a problem we are having right now...

- E-waste (electronics) represents 2 percent of America's trash in landfills, but it equals 70 percent of overall toxic waste. The extreme amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys.

- Decomposing materials in landfills leach harmful chemicals such as chlorides and heavy metals into the soil. Rainwater picks them up and delivers them to the water table and drinking water of people and animals. According to the American Journal of Environmental Sciences, landfill leachate has been implicated in developmental anomalies, birth defects and surface and groundwater pollution worldwide. They define leachate as "the potentially polluting liquor that accumulates under a landfill site as a result of the infiltration and percolation of rainfall, groundwater, runoff, or flood water into and through existing or abandoned solid waste landfill sites."

- Wet garbage, including yard waste which is 50 to 70 % water, adds to the toxic stew of chemicals -- household cleaners, antiperspirants, nail polish, paint and so on -- that mix in a landfill. In old, unlined landfills, this leachate, diluted and made more mobile by rainwater, percolated down to the bottom of the fill. There, it would sink into the soil, spreading downwards and outwards in a characteristic brush-stroke shape known as a plume, contaminating soil and water as it moved. 

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How would you see yourself...

A friend of mine posted this the other day on Facebook and I really enjoyed the message.

It's important for everyone to know that you are more beautiful than you give yourself any credit for.
We are our own worst critics, but we should be our number one advocate.
Have confidence in what you have to offer the world - both in appearance and action.
You are beautiful.

Happy Thursday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Hard Time Understanding...

I am not the most religious of people but I do believe.
I believe in God, and right now I am having a very hard time understanding what he is doing.
I am not often one to seek guidance from God or really believe that he has your whole life planned for you but right now I am looking to him for an explanation.

Ya know the saying that God never gives anyone more than he thinks they can handle?
I'm  having a really hard time understanding and ultimately believing it's true.

You remember the post I wrote about Kev's cousin Chris passing away: here?
Well the family, and his immediate family specifically is suffering another tragedy.
Kev's uncle Phil (who is the husband of Chris's mom, Mary, and Chris's step dad) was in a terrible car accident.
So terrible he's been in the ICU in an induced coma for several days.
He broke his back and is paralized from the chest down so he is not able to breath on his own.
He's got many other complications and on top of it all he had a heart attack a couple weeks ago.
Due to all of these factors the doctors are unable to operate or help him without potentially making things even worse, or killing him.

Because of this the family has decided to let him go.
Mary (and her family) is going to have to say goodbye again to another person they deeply love with their whole being.

I am not sure I believe that God did have anything to do with what happened to Phil, or even Chris.
What is the purpose of putting Mary and the rest of the family through these tragedies?!
Why would he take such a young life, and then a life of someone who does so much good for his family and the community (he's a sheriff)?
 I'm starting to think that this was the devil, the devil made it happen but God is going to be there for us, the living, was there for Chris when he got to Heaven, and is with Phil now and will walk with him hand in hand into paradise.

Phil is a great man.
He's a family and community man through and through.
He's hard working and honest.
He was fun, you'd find him and Mary with friends and family everyday!
He never said much but you knew he was listening, observing, and when he did speak it was right.
Phil & Mary at Easter this year - just a couple weeks ago.

We don't know what is going to happen and even then part of me is torn.
I don't want him to give up fighting for his life because everyone wants and needs him here.
I don't want him to keep fighting though if he's suffering.

I hope that we all can get an understanding of why this happened sooner than later.
There is a lot of healing that needs to be done but so many questions with no answers.
I don't feel like I should be focusing on my feelings about it all now though, I just had to get it out.
For now my focus is on praying for Phil and supporting Mary.
For now we just need to make it through.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's Ok, There is a Giveaway!

Today is a gloomy Thursday here in O-H (I know I heard an I-O) and despite the fact the time seems to be going quick I woke up yesterday and today thinking it was a day later than what it really is.
Don't cha just love when your own mind tricks you?
Me either, that is not okay!
But I can tell ya what is...

Its Ok Thursdays

It's okay...

...That real life gets it the way of blogging. Like today and the last week or so.

...To want it to be nice out because it just simple puts me in a much better mood.

...To be obsessed with my dog♥
- it's mainly because he's one cool dude...don't ya think?

...That I have to wait and ensure that Mother Nature isn't going to throw a random snow storm at us or something before I even think about planting flowers and a garden.

...That I could wear a maxi every single day of my life and not think twice about it!
dress: Anthropologie/belt: Anthropologie/shoes: DSW

...To really really want to enter this giveaway being hosted by Lesley @By the Porchlight for her birthday!

...For you to enter!!! You know you want too...
seriously kiddos...check out the great stuff all of these lovely ladies are offering up for you to win :)

One very lucky winner will receive:

$45 Amazon
$15 Starbucks
$20 shop credit to Pretty Little Prints 
Choice of item from ThreeInchStitch Etsy shop 
$15 shop credit to Bamboo Blossom 
1 hr We Talk: You Write session
5 RedBox movie codes (US only, expires Aug 1/13)
A wedge ad space on Lipgloss & Crayons
A Big Tex ad space from Downhome Traveler
A large ad space from Mikaela Rae
A large ad space from Oh So Nifty
3 months ad space on Girl Booklet
Enter now! And thank you all for making my first year of blogging so much fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

OHP is Springy!

It's finally warm in Ohio.
It is finally starting to feel like spring and I finally feel like I can act like it is!
Everything spring is just drawing me in and really getting my creative juices flowing.
There are so many things I want to this spring and summer from outdoor projects to working on my fashion goals!
I've found some great springtime inspiration on Pinterest! So many pins, so little springtime!


 I love that it's grilling season again!
BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza on the Grill

{source: here & here}
 Some Spring Cleaning helpers!

I'm going to make some plant markers out of broken china!
Should be a good way to keep everything straight.



 I love pineapple on the grill so this year I am going try out some other fruits!
Peaches with honey glaze and mascarpone cheese



 Buried pot garden.
I think I am going to try this out with some of my herbs and maybe strawberries!


 A good spring drink!
Cucumber Mint Lime Mojito



Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Napa

Helene in Between

Remember the time I wrote a couple posts about Kev and I's one year anniversary trip to Cali?
Yeah I barely did either.
Welp, I've found the prefect way to follow up and show you the rest of the trip..if you missed the first few posts you can find them here, here & here!

Kev and I knew that we wanted to hit up Napa while we were out there but we needed to figure out the logistics of how to get from San Fran to Napa and back.

Well we found a tour (Wine Country Tour Shuttle) that picked us up the Ferry Building in San Francisco, drove us to Sonoma Valley/Napa, took us around to four different vineyards and then brought us back to San Fran via ferry through the bay!
The tour was great and if you ever head out that way I suggest you look them up!
They have two different tour options, we went with the Napa Experience with Ferry tour.

The four vineyards we went to were:
Franciscan Winery
It was the perfect set up and Kev and I had so much fun!

The Ferry Building in San Fran

San Fransisco Bay

We got to taste the grapes that made the wine.
Since we went in October pretty much all of the white wine grapes had already been picked so it was mostly reds for us :)

 This and the next two pictures are the different "behind the scenes" areas for the different vineyards!
 All of those white boxes are stuffed with grapes to be made into wine!

These are much bigger than they seem, you'll see a picture of Kev next to one later :)
Did you know the type of wood wine is stored in can greatly affect the taste of the wine?
The taste can also be highly impacted by how long they "toasted" the barrel for.

This was by far my favorite vineyard that we hit up!
They have a huge deli area with meats, cheeses, and other wine appropriate snacks.
We actually ordered a couple of Christmas presents for people from here and they loved it!
So if anyone needs a good gift I would suggest taking a look at their site.

All of the vineyards had a fee for their wine tasting. 
V Sattui's was supposed to be $20 for 8 tastings...
Well the woman that was serving us was very generous and I'm pretty sure we got closer to 15 tasting!
I had to step away from the table...not kidding lol.

Kev and I ended up getting a few bottles of wine for ourselves
One for our anniversary dinner the next night
A traveling FYI - All restaurants in San Fran allow/have to let patrons bring in their own wine if they want too. 
There is usually a small corking fee but well worth it if you want to drink some wine without buying the restaurant price for a glass! 
The one we are holding here we bought and are keeping to drink on our 5 year anniversary!
We thought it'd be fun to buy something like that for us to think back too!
The other two we took home...and drank very quickly!

Yes, this is owned by race car driving family Andretti and it is super cute.
I loved the charm of this place overall and I would have to say we learned the most about the wine making process and what goes into a vineyard here than any of the other places.

Kev getting wine for the "bunghole" 
I am not even joking when I say that...the hole in a wine barrel is called a bunghole.
I feel dirty just writing the word and it takes me right back to Beavis and Butthead...beh...not what you should think of when wine tasting in Napa right?!

The last winery was pretty small and looked more like a business store than a winery.
It was pretty though and probably the best place to end the tour because I think everyone was pretty tired, drunk, and needed the rest their little living room style tasting room provided. 

As I mentioned on the way home we got to take a Ferry across the bay and funny enough while crossing from the Napa side to the San Fran side you will pass by the San Quentin Prison!

Luckily these were the last views we got and not the prison! 

Needless to say I want go back to Napa, and I want to take friends!
I think it's a great place to have a friends trip!
So much wine, so little time!

Happy Tuesday friends!

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