Monthly Archives: July 2012
I love watching and taking pictures of birds. They are so beautiful to watch, and we can learn a thing or two from the birds. I have plenty of pictures to share, but for now I will add just a few.
I signed up for Influenster a couple months ago and sort of put it out of my mind until I got an e-mail letting me know I would get a VoxBox! For those who have never heard of Influenster (I only just recently heard about it from someone’s blog) let me fill you in. It is basically a website you sign-up for, answer simple questions about your likes and interests and you may be selected to receive a VoxBox. A VoxBox is a box of complimentary items sent to you in which you must test the products, review them, and spread the word. So here is what came in my Summer Beauty VoxBox and my thoughts on each item.
The word of the week is: Halcyon
1. calm; peaceful; tranquil (halcyon weather)
2. rich; wealthy; prosperous (halcyon times of peace)
3. happy; joyful; carefree (halcyon days of youth)
4. of or pertaining to the halcyon or kingfisher.
When I think of calm and peaceful, I envision sitting on the beach watching the beautiful sunset or sunrise and listening to the waves crash onto shore. The picture for this post was taken in Naples, FL during my mini vacation with my boyfriend last August. The noun defintion of halcyon (the mythical bird and kingfisher) also relates to the ocean which also makes this picture so fitting. May your day today be very halcyon! Here are a couple more pictures of the beach from that same trip below.
The other day I got a letter from Mental Floss asking for me to subscribe to their magazine. If you have never heard of them before, it is a magazine with random facts and information and is actually quite entertaining. I might take them up on their offer, but that’s besides the point. Inside was a little bookmark with some random facts including this one “Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.” I then wondered when the next one was, and noticed we had one this month. Even though today is Friday the 13th, it doesn’t make me uneasy or feel like something bad is going to happen. I have never been superstitious (ok maybe when I was very young and believed a watermelon would grow in my stomach if I swallowed a seed), but since then I have a different outlook on life.
Sometimes you want a simple snack that tastes good and doesn’t require too much time or ingredients. Well, here are 3 options you can choose from. Two are sweet and one is salty. And you can always make your own variation of each.
Peanut Butter & Granola Apples
I recently saw this recipe in RedBook magazine and decided to give it a try. I have seen people eat peanut butter and apples before, but never with granola. I didn’t have any granola on hand so I use some rolled oats I bought at Target. All you have to do is slice an apple, spread peanut butter on one side, and cover with granola or oats. The oats I used had cocoa powder, nuts and seeds as well, but no sugar.
Cinnamon Apple Toast
This is very easy and delicious. It is a great item for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Use a piece of whole-wheat bread and spread a little butter on it. Then add apple slices and a little sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. Broil in toaster oven for about 4 minutes, keep an eye on it as everyone likes their toast cooked a little different.
When there is not much in the house to eat or I just feel like some pizza, I usually make these mini pizzas. It requires the same ingredients as a regular pizza except you use Arnolds Whole Wheat sandwich thins for the crust. There are other brands of sandwich thins, but I like Arnolds the best.
In the picture, one pizza has tomato sauce, garlic powder, mozzarella and swiss cheese and fresh basil. The second pizza has tomato sauce with cheddar cheese and corn beef. The only reason I used corn beef was because we had some leftover and that was the only meat I had around. It tasted pretty good. Of course you can easily substitute pepperoni. I cooked mine in the toaster oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Make your pizza however you like. I usually like onions on mine.
Other snacks I like are mixed raw nuts, veggies and dip, cucumbers with tuna, and a small smoothie.
Do you have any favorite snack recipes? I would like to hear your unique creations, share them in the comment section below.
The word of the week is: Ephemeral
1. lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory: (such as the ephemeral joys of childhood)
Think about how a butterfly is on the Earth for such a short period of time, yet contributes so much. We don’t just need butterflies to pollinate flowers in order to continue the plant life cycle, but they also add beauty to our lives. They may not live very long (2-4 weeks) but they live their life with a purpose, which is how we should live ours. Time goes by fast, so live each moment intentionally and to the fullest. And when you have the chance to make someone else’s life a little more beautiful, take the opportunity and run with it.
photo above taken and edited by me. Quote said by Rabindranath Tagore.
Here are some photos I have taken with some quotes that I like. All the photos were taken by me and the quotes I have read somewhere at one point.
I found this recipe on the-girl-who-ate-everything.com and thought it looked interesting. I made this for 4th of July and it was so good!! It reminds me of a strawberry cheesecake. It is a little messy, but not too difficult to make. I wanted a dessert that was different, yet didn’t require too many ingredients. I’m a crust girl, to me the best part of the cheesecake is the crust (if it is done right that is). This pretzel crust is the perfect combination of salty and sweet and super yummy. Give this recipe a try if you like strawberry cheesecake.
What You Need
2 1/2 cups of finely crushed pretzels
3 Tablespoons of brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks of melted butter
1- 6 oz. package of strawberry instant jello
8 oz. fresh strawberries, sliced (the original recipe called for a whole pack of strawberries which is 16 oz. I only used about half, but if you want to add more go ahead)
1- 8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
8 oz. cool whip
How To Prepare
1. Make the Jello as directed on the box and add strawberries. Refrigerate until partially set. I used the fast process on the box (using half water half ice) and left my jello in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours. It may take longer if you just use water. Just make sure it is not too watery or it will make the crust soggy.
2. When jello is almost ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine the crushed pretzels, brown sugar and melted butter and press it in a greased 9 x 13 pan. I lined my pan with parchment paper instead of greasing it. If the crust is too dry and is not sticking well, you can add more melted butter.
4. Bake crust for 10 minutes.
5. Combine cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and beat with hand mixer until smooth. Then add cool whip and beat to combine fully.
6. Once the crust is cool, add the cream cheese layer on top of the crust and smooth it out. Make sure you smooth it out all the way to the corners.
7. Pour the jello on top over the cream cheese layer. I scooped my jello out with a spoon. Then place in fridge to cool.
8. It is best to wait a few hours for it to set before eating. I thought it tasted best the next day. You can add more fresh strawberries on top if you wish.