June 30, 2009

A cool treat

Even if you don't have a vacation in store any time soon, this treat will transport you to island paradise in no time - at least for the time it takes you to eat it!

Coco Loco Banana Pops - Clean Eating magazine

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups natural coconut water (can be found at Whole Foods)
2 Tbsp agave nectar (honey would also work)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
*12 popsicle sticks and molds

Instructions:
Puree the bananas and coconut water until smooth. Add agave and vanilla and blend until combined. Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in coconut until combined. Pour mixture into molds, leaving a 1/4-inch space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing. Insert sticks into popsicles and put in freezer until firm, 4 to 6 hours.

Enjoy!

June 29, 2009

Words of wisdom

Hi everyone, I hope you all had great weekends! I saw Transformers on Friday night (not as good as the first one, but still liked it) and saw Natasha Bedingfield in concert at Universal on Saturday. It was awesome and it surprised me how many songs I actually knew. She sings my favorite song in the whole wide world - Unwritten. Love it!

I have been reading My Sister's Keeper and wanted to share this passage:
"Life sometimes gets so bogged down in the details, you forget you are living it. There is always another appointment to be met, another bill to pay, another symptom presenting, another uneventful day to be notched onto the wooden wall. We have synchronized our watches, studied our calendars, existed in minutes, and completely forgotten to step back and see what we've accomplished."

Lately, life has been so busy and work has been very challenging. I sometimes just keep moving forward as fast as I can to get through things when I should be taking the time to enjoy more and hold on to moments before they really do just fly on by. Sometimes it is important to step back and realize that you're doing great and all you need to do is take a big breath and put a smile on your face.

On that note, I'm off to relax and paint my toenails 4th of July red!

P.S. Are there any Orlando girls interested in checking out Junior League? There is a recruitment meeting at headquarters tomorrow night for you to find out what it's all about. I will be there! My first publications committee assignment is to write a story and take pictures for it. Let me know if you want info to attend!

June 26, 2009

Bring your dog to work day

Today is Bring your Dog to Work Day!! I love that my company participates in this. Once a year everyone brings their dog to work and it's so fun. We have a parade of the dogs, the dogs get awards and we have a pizza lunch together with doggie ice cream for the pups. It's so fun to walk around the building and see dogs hanging out in offices and cubicles. There are many different types and sizes! Sadly, I do not have a dog so I play with everyone else's and go around petting them all. Maybe next year my parent's dog can come with me so I don't have to resort to bringing a stuffed animal dog that looks like her :)

Below is Rory and she lives in Atlanta. She is a black lab and is named after Rory from the Gilmore Girls because it was always my mom and I's favorite show. She was a rescued dog and is so sweet and fun to play with. She loves to sing whenever the phone rings. It's so cute! She also has a major sweet tooth and once ate a whole bowl of icing. She is here with me in spirit on Bring your Dog to Work Day.

(P.S. This was taken a couple years ago and I'm not usually this tan. I had just gotten back from studying abroad in Barbados. I will prob never be this tan again ha.)

Does anyone else have bring your dog to work day in your office?

June 24, 2009

Beat the heat

I am back from vacation! Thanks for all the have fun wishes. My family and I had a wonderful trip! We spent most of our time relaxing on the beach, taking dips in the ocean, cooling off in the pool and eating yummy food. I wish I were still there! Although it was quite hot, more so than usual. And it's even hotter back in Orlando now. I am trying to stay cool and here are some things that keep me from melting like a popsicle in the sun.  

This is my favorite sunscreen: Banana Boat Ultra Defense. It goes on like a lotion and is less greasy than other kinds. It is also waterproof and has an extra defense in it to protect against the sun. The only problem was that it was so hot at the beach, it was sweating right off!


Smoothies are great for when it's too hot to eat a big meal. My favorite is the Leapin' Lizard at Planet Smoothie. It's made of peaches and strawberries. Yum! The name also reminds me of the musical Annie :)
A great pair of shades are also important to protect your eyes. Mine are Kate Spade (not the ones pictured) and I love them because they are polarized and the inside is pink!


A lightweight dress will keep you cool. I pretty much live in dresses in the summer because it's the only thing I feel like putting on. 

Anyone else have some great beat the heat tips?

June 17, 2009

Vacation!


Tomorrow afternoon I will be sitting in one of these chairs staring out at the beautiful white sand and clear turquoise water. I can't wait! My family goes to Sandestin every year and we just love it there. We've been going ever since I was little and have lots of fun memories from vacations past. Besides the gorgeous beach, there is a golf course, the Village of Baytowne Wharf, which has all kinds of fun shops (Barefoot Princess, the Lilly store!!) and restaurants, and even a new zip-line adventure. I may just have to try out the zip-line! My boyfriend and I are driving up tomorrow and meeting the rest of my family there. I can't wait to stick my toes in the sand and take a dip in the ocean. Let the fun in the sun begin!  

June 15, 2009

Delightful deals

Lately I've been scouring sales for different pieces I've seen throughout the season I've had my eye on. Lucky for me, it's worked out! And just in time for my beach trip, too. (I leave Thursday, can't wait!) The first top I picked up while home in Atlanta. I snatched it up quick because it was the last one. It looks great with white jean capris. The shorts were also the last pair left. The stars must have aligned for me! I just love the lavender and little zebras. The last two items I got at a store here in Orlando called The Pink Chalet. It is just an adorable store that was opened in December by a fellow Junior Leaguer. This month all Lilly Pulitzer items including shoes and accessories are 40 percent off. All Vineyard Vines is 25 percent off. I could hardly believe it! The skirt and McKim wedges will both be perfect for different beach outfits. So, that is my shopping deals as of late. I must limit the shopping now!

Lilly Pulitzer Lathan top - Beach Club Blue Oops I Spilled it Again
60 percent off!


J. Crew Chino critter shorts
40 percent off!


Vineyard Vines - Nautical Toss Flirt Skirt
25 percent off at The Pink Chalet!
Lilly Pulitzer McKim Wedges
40 percent off at The Pink Chalet!

What great deals have you found lately?

Pretty petals


I have my eyes on this dress. It is the Garden dress by J. Crew in shell, which is a very pretty light pink color. I love the petal detailing on the top. I can just picture a lovely stroll through a beautiful garden wearing it. Now, I just need this dress and maybe I'll take a trip to the Leu Gardens. They have a butterfly garden or maybe I'll make it a date night and bring a picnic to the movie night they host outside in the garden. They're showing Breakfast at Tiffany's next month. Oh, the possibilities are endless!  

June 12, 2009

Happy hair?

Ever since I moved to Florida (three years ago now, it's hard to believe!), I have had quite the trouble keeping my hair happy. Growing up I didn't really need a conditioner and didn't have any problems with tangles or frizz. I've always had to wash my hair every day though, because it is not very thick. My hair was very manageable and easy to style. 
     So, the trouble emerged when I became a resident of the sunshine state. Although it is humid in Atlanta, it is much much much more humid in Florida. My hair is constantly dry and not as smooth as it used to be, meaning after I dry it if I don't do something to it, well, it just has a bit of frizz. This is not the problem though, I can deal with that.   
     The problem is TANGLES!! My hair is just tangle city because of the humidity and water I believe. Over the past couple years I have tried everything. I've tried deep conditioners, I've tried not towel drying it before I use the hair dryer, I've tried brushing it out before I get in the shower—I've tried everything. I've tried many different shampoos and conditioners, which I'll tell you about, as well as detangling sprays. Recently I got a new hair dryer with a mouth that was wider and that has helped me at least be able to style while I dry. I also have found that taking a quick shower at night and just using conditioner (and not drying it) has helped for when I shower and dry my hair the next morning. I use a wide-tooth comb by Phyto to comb it out. Maybe I shouldn't towel dry it before combing it out? I don't know, but then I'd never get it dry.
     Does anyone else have this tangle problems or know any solutions? My poor hair is a lot thinner now. 
     Here are shampoos I've used:   


I do have highlights so I used to use Frederick Fekkai technician shampoo and conditioner to protect my color. I like the smell of it, but it has a sticky consistency that can cause tangles.

I've also tried a Phyto deep conditioner mask, but it wasn't any better than regular conditioner. I do like their comb though!


My favorite that I've tried is Origins Knot Free. It has a light peach scent and has been the most helpful in managing my tangles. Not totally, but the best I've found.


This is the Knot Free conditioning rinse that I leave on for a few minutes before rinsing out. It makes my hair feel soft. 

I had heard of some of you trying Organix in the coconut variety and I though I'd test it out. I tried the cucumber yogurt shampoo and conditioner and so far I like it. It doesn't have sulfates or any bad stuff so I might try it for a while and see how it goes. My hair seemed to like it almost as much as the Origins.

What are your favorite hair products?

June 10, 2009

JL excitement

I found out my placement for Junior League! I'm on publications on the marketing and communications council. I'm very excited about it and I can't wait to get started! I think this will be a good one for me to be on since I have a journalism background. The committee chair has a lot of great ideas for the things we'll be doing. Fun fun!

In honor of that, I'm sharing a recipe with you from the Junior League of Orlando's cookbook - Sunsational Encore. When they gave us our cookbooks they said we had to make the recipe on page 183 - Choco-Kahlua Pound Cake. It's the most well-known and popular recipe. I haven't made it yet, but will have to try it soon. Yum yum!

Choco-Kahlua Pound Cake
1 (2-layer) package pudding-recipe devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup Kahlua
3/4 cup double-strength black coffee
2 teaspoons baking cocoa
chocolate icing

Combine the cake mix, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, water, boubon, Kahlua, black coffee and baking cocoa in a large mixer bowl and mix well. Beat for 4 minutes. Spoon into a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Invert onto a cake plate. Pour the hot chocolate icing over the cake immediately.

Chocolate icing
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Bring the butter, sugar and evaporated milk to a boil in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate chips, stirring constantly until melted.

Go Magic!


Congrats to the Magic on their win last night! I am just so excited for them. After the Lakers won the first two games in the finals, the Magic really needed the win last night and they did it. My boyfriend and his brother got to go to the game and they said it was a blast. Everyone was given a blue or white shirt to wear and lots of fun lightup toys to cheer on the Magic. I hope they are able to pull off another win in the next game. Right now it's 2-1 with Lakers leading. But not for long!!



I'll be back later! 

June 8, 2009

Catching up

I'm back. Home was very busy, but lots of fun! The makeup went over well with the bride and she was happy with it so that made me happy. My mom was in charge of lunch for the bridesmaids and groomsmen and we put together really cute boxed lunches for them. My mom made really cute cookies and the boxes were adorable. We all had a great time at the wedding. There was a really yummy fondue station and there were multiple cake flavors. They had regular, chocolate, red velvet, tropical carrot cake and vanilla raspberry. I got to see a lot of people from my childhood so it was fun to catch up. We stayed later at that one and did not make it to the next. It would have been just too much driving. 
     The next day I went to a bridal shower at the Melting Pot. It was different having a shower there, but was very fun. We had lots of cheese and chocolate and it was great to see two of my friends from high school. Another bridesmaid and I are planning a more traditional shower later on. And now it is back to the grind and a big deadline at work.

Here I am with the bride. I decided to go with a Lilly dress :)


The cookies my mom made. The white one was for the bride and the chocolate chip for the boys. These went in their boxed lunches we put together. I wish I had a picture of those!

I owe you some dance pictures from our show:

Dance girls

I loved my butterflies on my top! We each wrote our favorite verses or quotes about hope on a patch that was attached to our tops. Mine said, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul." - Emily Dickinson





This was our sassy dance ;)

Feelin' Good - Michael Buble

June 4, 2009

Home is where the heart is


Tonight I am flying home to Atlanta. I can't wait! It is going to be one busy weekend. Tomorrow I am going to my favorite hair salon, shopping, lunch with mom and we're getting pedicures with my sister. I am also doing a trial makeup run on a bride. Oh goodness! 
     The reason I'm coming home is for weddings. That's right - two. On the same day. In different states. The first is a Saturday afternoon wedding in Atlanta of a family friend that my sister is a bridesmaid in. The bride begged me to do her makeup for it and I agreed. I hope it turns out ok - good thing I'm practicing tomorrow. Later Saturday night is my cousin's wedding in Birmingham. We are hoping we might make the 3-hour drive in time for the reception, but it may not work out. We shall see! I am wearing an Anthropologie dress, but couldn't find a picture of it online. It is very fun and girly! Sunday is my best friend from home's bridal shower. It will be fun to see old friends and celebrate her upcoming wedding!
     All in all, it will be a jam-packed weekend full of wedding festivities, but I can't wait to see my parents, pets and friends. Fun times! I'll be back Sunday night, hopefully with pictures. Have a good one!   

June 3, 2009

Beach towel bonanza

Summer is making itself known and with many of us heading to a beach vacation, tropical getaway or even to the pool, we all know that a good towel is key for time spent under the sun. Here are some fun and colorful choices because we all know a cute towel is just as important as a cute suit. Now catch some rays and don't forget the SPF!

Lilly Pulitzer - Pulitzer Pink

Ralph Lauren - Isle Capri Paisley

Tommy Hilfiger - Maui Pineapple

Lilly Pulitzer - Tini Green

Lacoste - Bayadere

Vera Bradley - Bali Gold

Martha Stewart - Tent
(A beach towel made for two!)

June 2, 2009

Tagged!

Beth Dunn at Social Climbers has tagged me for some summer fun. Thank you! Beth has a fun blog and also is the author of Social Climbers. Her book is on my must-read list for summer!   

The top five things I love about summer:
1. Popsicles, watermelon, cookouts and pool time.
2. Going to the beach! My family and I always go to Sandestin and I just love it there. White sand, clear turquoise water, and the village of Baytowne Wharf is just too cute.
3. Going boating or playing golf with my boyfriend on sunny Sunday afternoons.
4. Living in sundresses, flip flops, and cute bathing suits and coverups.
5. All the fabulous movies that come out during summertime. I can't wait to catch some good flicks!  
*I tag anyone who wants to play along.

A big thank you goes out to BLC at The Company She Keeps for the Lovely Award! Her blog is a treat to read — so cute and fun, and I love all the bright happy colors. Stop by and say hi! 


Also, thank you to all the bloggers who have recently passed on awards to me. I have missed a few lately, but just know they are still very much appreciated. Hugs to all of you!

June 1, 2009

Happy June 1st!

Thanks everyone for the good luck wishes. The performance went really well! I will track down some pictures to share with you. There were many great dance companies that did all types of dance and it was great that we raised money for the American Heart Association. I loved every minute of it!
     On a second note, I can't believe today is June 1st. Time is just flying by! In a couple weeks I'll be headed to the beach and I can't wait. This weekend I'll head home for weddings. 
     My sweet mom called today and told me that the ruffle cardigans are on sale at Ann Taylor Loft. She asked me which color I would like and I went with pink to go over my summer dresses. Thanks mom! These are a steal of a deal at $20 now and come in lots of fun colors. I just love a bit of ruffle detailing. Don't miss out — head to your ATL and pick one up, or two!   

 
Blog Design by Sweet Simplicity