Wednesday, May 29

on welcoming swimsuit season

Exciting news-- summer is here, not officially, but since Memorial Day was last weekend, in my eyes, summer has arrived. As thrilled as I am that the pool season is upon us, I also have a love/hate relationship with it. I love laying pool side soaking in the sun rays. I hate putting on a swimsuit for the first time and realizing how pale I've become over the winter. I love floating around on a raft with my toes in the water. I hate swimsuit shopping. I know I'm not alone in this either. I think most women hate putting on a swimsuit. Because let's be honest, I'm not sure who they think is going to be wearing it, but ninety percent of suits I try on, sure aren't very flattering.

Body image is something I've struggled with my whole life. And I know there are lots of women (and men) who struggle with it, as well. It's such a viscous cycle and it always seems to rear its ugly head when swimsuit season comes around. And it's tough...yet, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to let it interfere with my summer. I have learned over the years, that it is more important to be healthy and joyful than it is to be thin. Now, I realize that everyone has a different definition of thin. I have often resented by athletic build. However, I have also learned that societies definition of thin isn't necessarily accurate. So wherever you find yourself today, I hope that you enjoy the swimsuit season, even if you aren't necessarily feelin' it. Put on your suit and jump in!

I am lovin' all these adorable one piece swimsuits that are coming into style. Here are a few of my faves.

via J.Crew
via shabby apple
via J.Crew
via shabby apple

Until next time...

Friday, May 24

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! Today I'm linking up with Carolina Charm for Five on Friday!


1. our kitchen table is graced by these beautiful peonies which I picked up this week. they're blooming and smell so wonderful. peonies are my favorite flowers and having fresh ones on the table makes every day better.


2. we have been eating entirely too much frozen yogurt in our house, but thankfully the meijer brand of fro-yo isn't as bad (calorie wise) as typical ice cream and it's delicious.

3. you can read more about this here, but i love finding new uses for something that you already have in hand. plus, it's much more budget friendly than buying a new pair of shorts.

4. on a recent trip to the book store, I spent the afternoon reading each page of this cookbook. I cannot wait to actually purchase it so I can have it on hand all the time.

5. this weekend-- I'm very excited for this holiday weekend. I actually have four days off and we're planning to spend the weekend with family and friends enjoying good food and cocktails and working on my tan poolside. It'll be a welcome weekend of relaxation for both of us.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you all!

Wednesday, May 22

what to do with an old pair of pants

I'm not sure what your weather has been like, but here in northern Indiana it seems like we went from winter to summer pretty quickly with only a few days that really felt like spring. We're had a stretch of days that felt summer like and it was great! With these warmer days, I've been pulling out my shorts earlier than normal. As, I was going through my drawers, I found some jeans that I just don't wear anymore. They still fit, but they're just not in my regular pant rotation (you know what I'm talking about). And if your like me, it's hard to throw away a good pair of pants. So, I decided to DIY some cut off shorts.

It's pretty simple-- no sewing required. All you need is a tape measure or ruler, a good pair of fabric scissors, some pins, your old pair of jeans and a favorite pair of shorts. I used my favorite pair of rolled hemmed shorts. They're a little longer and I like the rolled hem look.

Step 1: Gather your supplies and find a good space for working.

Step 2: Take the pair of your favorite shorts and measure the length of the inseam. Now, take your pair of pants and measure the same length inseam and pin at the desired length.

Step 3: Measure the length from the top of the waist line on your favorite shorts to the bottom of the hem line. Take that measurement and mark it on your pair of pants. Pin at the desired length. Next, measure the length of the outer seam on your favorite pair of shorts and then mark that length on your pair of pants. Pin at the desired length. You should now have three pins across your pair of pants. If the measurements are correct, the pins should be even across the leg of the pant. If not, adjust the measurements so they will be even.

Step 4: Cut just below the pins on the pair of pants. Be sure to make slow even cuts, so the cut lines are straight and not choppy. Once cut, check your measurements to make sure your lines are straight across. You can also eyeball this one. You can typically tell if the cut is straight. It doesn't have to be perfect. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the other pant leg.

Step 5: You're almost done...once you've got both legs cut to the desired length, try them on. If you are wanting to have a rolled hem, this is where you would roll it up once or twice, depending on your preferred look. I rolled mine twice. Now, since these pants have a tighter leg, it wasn't necessary for me to stitch the rolled hem. If you would like to you can sew a quick seam on the inside seam or use fabric glue to ensure it won't unroll. Typically though, a quick press with the iron will keep the hem in place

And that's it! A great no sew pair of cut off shorts. Now you can wear your formerly non-worn pair of pants and feel good about your DIY shorts. Plus, cut off shorts are coming back in style so you'll be right on trend for summer. Enjoy!

Friday, May 17

thoughts on a friday

My creative juices seems to be in short supply lately. Ok, maybe that's the wrong way of explaining it. They're just reallocated. I've been using them up more at work than ever before. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing. I've never been in a position where my creativity was being so utilized for work. I get to write regularly, which is part of where those creative juices are going. And I am loving it. I just find that I have less to offer here, in my own space.

When I created this blog, I used it as my primary form of creative outlet. I am a writer and I need to write. I need to get thoughts and words out of my head and into a tangible form. So I often hesitate when I am deciding on what to post on my blog. I don't want to post on just anything. I don't want this space to be used to just post something to say I did it. I want it to be about quality and creativity and my gift to the world because that is what writing is to me. It's what I can offer, it's my form of art.

So regardless of this topic-less blog post. Here is what I offer to you today. My lack of creative juices and just words and thoughts. Because that's all I've got for you today.

Plus, it's Friday and my day off. So maybe I'll store up my creativity for another day. I hope you find yourself surrounded by something beautiful today that inspires you and fills you. Happy Weekend.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 14

winnie turns two

I have turned into one of those people who celebrates their dogs birthday. I think birthday's are a big deal, even if you walk on four legs. It is the one day a year that celebrates a life, and it is important. Winnie turned two today! It feels like we've had her for a lot longer than two years but there has been a drastic amount of change in the two short years of her life.

this was soon after we picked her up
And just like any other birthday, it's not official unless you have cake! I looked around for different cake recipes and landed on this one which is easy and healthy for the dog. First, start out by adding the egg, oil, peanut butter and vanilla in a bowl. Mix those ingredients together.

Next, add the shredded carrots (actually shredding the carrots took longer than making the whole cake, so just be aware).

Then sift the flour and baking soda together and fold it into the mixture. Make sure all the ingredient are combined.

Then spoon it into the greased cake pan. I used a loaf pan because I ended up cutting it in half and making it a two layer cake, but you can used any size pan that you have available.

Cook it for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. I warmed up some peanut butter and spread it over the entire cake for the frosting. It's not the most beautiful thing I've ever made, but Winnie didn't care.

Our little birthday girl just LOVED it! She gobbled it right up. She also got a couple new toys which is always great. And yes, she's just a little bit spoiled.

Here is the full recipe:
1 egg 
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 6 cup ring mold.
  2. Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, and vanilla, in a large bowl; blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Until next time...

Friday, May 10

high five for friday

today i'm linking up with lauren over at lauren elizabeth

Here are my top five from this week.

1. we planted some herbs a few weeks ago and they are finally starting to grow. can't wait to have some fresh cilantro and basil.
2. i found some low-fat fro-yo at the grocery store and may or may not have ate it almost every night.
3. my brother-in-law graduated from college this past weekend and we had a great time celebrating his success. plus, we got to spend some extra time with family.
4. i spent some extra time at the boutique this week and i am really enjoying my work there.
5. we took walks every night this week because the weather was so beautiful.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, May 7

what i'm reading (or not)

Confession: I started reading Pride & Prejudice, because I had never done so, and I made it a couple chapters into the book and I just can't get into it. I feel like I'm spitting in the face of classic literature because I just am having such a hard time staying engaged. I really want to like it, but am not sure if I'm willing to continue reading just for the sake of saying I read it.

Agh, I feel better...sort of. I still feel bad. I feel like I should just dive right into it and be engaged, interested and excited to read the next page. I tried, but I'm just not that interested. I've read many books that I can't wait until the next time I read, but I'm not finding that with this one. Oh well, guess I'm just not as into the classics as I thought.

So I back to square one, trying to figure out what to read next. I'm currently book-less, which is rare. I usually have more than one book I'm reading at a time, but now I find myself without a book of interest. I recently finished Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Melton. I loved this book! I found myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions. While many of the topics are related to difficult topics, the way she delivers them are just funny. She is the writer of the blog Momastery, which is primarily related to parenting, but regardless of your life stage, it's a great read.

Now this is where you come in-- I'm looking for my next read (or two) so any recommendations of books you've recently finished would be greatly appreciated. So please share!

Until next time...

Thursday, May 2

winnie love

Winnie hasn't gotten much blog love recently so I figured since she is sportin' her new's time. We've had terrible luck, mostly due to me, finding a groomer that actually knows how to groom a Goldendoodle. Many people like to cut them like poodles, which not to knock the poodles but she is not one. She is a shaggy doodle and I prefer when she looks that way. I finally broke down and took her to PetsMart, which I swore I'd never do, and they did the best job so far. She still has the poodle poof on top but at least she is still cute.

With the weather being so beautiful the past few days, we've been spending a lot of our time outside, hanging out on the balcony and enjoying all the windows being open. I love the smell of springtime! Although...allergies much?!? They seem to be worse than usual, but I'll take it as long as we can keep this weather.

Can you tell I love my doodle?!? Until next time...