Saturday, April 30, 2011

Frozen banana "ice cream"

I love ice cream. It's true. The smooth texture, the cool feeling in my mouth, the sweet and creamy deliciousness.

Oh so wonderful.

But do I love the calories? No. The sugar? Nope. The fat? Not so much.
Enter in the alternative: frozen bananas.

And no, I'm not going bananas. (Although, the "going bananas over you" stickers shown above are splendid. Thank you Twig and Thistle. If you'd like to see more of them, go here.)

Back to my point. I recently read an article about a healthy alternative to ice cream. And since I'm so obsessed with ice cream, I had to try it out. The idea is that you take two bananas and freeze them, then mix them in a blender until smooth and creamy like ice cream.

And get this: It worked.

Frozen bananas actually take on the consistency of ice cream. Amazing, right? My husband and I enjoyed a cup of said "ice cream" tonight, and it was delicious. Try it; I guarantee you'll be as amazed as I was.

A few notes after trying frozen banana ice cream:
1. Just because it takes on the consistency of ice cream, does not mean it tastes like ice cream. If you don't like banana-flavor, you probably won't like it.
2. Even if you do like banana, the flavor can still be strong. We added a spoonful of peanut butter to ours-- so much better!
3. I recommend freezing the bananas already peeled and in a plastic bag. Peeling frozen bananas may result in frost-bitten fingers and unnecessary frustration.

Let me know if you try it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Outfit inspiration

A perfect outfit for an afternoon of bookstore hopping and antique shopping. 

Followed by coffee and good conversation with a dear friend. Pure bliss. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meaningful Monday

To find out more about Meaningful Mondays, click here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth love

Who wouldn't want to celebrate, cherish and care for something this beautiful? 
Happy Earth Day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Colorful Memories

Have you ever come across a specific color and had it bring back floods of memories pertaining to a certain person, place or experience? Maybe I'm not in the norm, but this happens to me all the time.

Today I happened to notice the soft pink of my cat's nose against the gold of the bell on her collar. And for some reason, it reminded me of my beautiful grandma Dorothy. Specifically of her hands-- the rosy pink nail polishes she wears and the gold rings on her fingers.

My grandma is a lovely woman. She is always very put-together, with her jewelry, permed hair, and carefully painted and filed nails. Her favorite colors are turquoise and pink, as can be easily noted by the decor of her home and the clothes she wears. (Although, my grandpa always loved her in red, as he repeatedly vocalized-- isn't that sweet? I wonder what color my husband prefers me in...)

Here is a picture of her at my wedding last summer:

Isn't she beautiful? Her demeanor is the same as her appearance-- She is such a polite, sweet and classy woman. I've never heard her say a curse word in my life, nor does she talk negatively about other people. I guess you could say she takes the classic phrase to heart: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."  I truly admire my grandma for all that she is.

And back to the point of this post. Since certain colors always bring back so many memories, I've decided to start a "Colorful Memories" theme in which I share photos with colors that represent a memory of mine. The photos themselves are just for inspiration-- they don't actually represent the person, place or experience. It's the colors that bring on the memory.

As I type this, I can vividly see the pink polishes lined up behind the glass of her buffet cabinet; the long, turquoise couches in the living room; the gold hoop earrings she wears all the time. The colors of my grandma-- at least through my eyes.

Photos via We Heart It

Do any colors bring back certain memories for you? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book haven

Large, bright windows. A sliding ladder. Baby grand piano. Window seat in the sunshine. Comfy chairs, overstuffed pillows, fluffy rugs. House plants. A globe. An antique desk and hardwood floors.

And of course wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, built-in bookshelves. 

These are the elements of the library room I dream to call my own someday. A place to store all of my books respectfully-- unlike now, in which the majority of my books lie in boxes unseen and the rest are crammed into a single bookshelf or flopped down on my nightstand... or my keyboard... or the coffee table... You get the idea.

This room, via We Heart It, is most certainly perfect. 

Another element of my dream library would be this "Book Haven" sign, found in the window of a local antique shop. I've had my eye on it for, oh, the past five years. (Unfortunately, I don't think it's for sale. Maybe I'll have to create my own?)

Part of me realizes I'm expecting too much from my future library-- I mean, a sliding ladder, a baby grand and a window seat all in the same room?-- but at the same time, you may as well set your dreams high, right? :) 

I can't forget my favorite Alice in Wonderland quote:

'There's no use in trying,' said Alice. 'One cannot believe in impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.' 

And I guess if I never get my library, I can always go this route: 

Or not. :) 

Finally, I LOVE this print: 

Stay tuned for a glimpse inside my dream garden!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meaningful Monday

"Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness and prosperity to everyone you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past, and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry, and too noble for anger." 
Christian D. Larson

To find out more about Meaningful Mondays, click here

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pirate ships and nautical love + DIY

The view from Seal Rock

Last weekend, the hubby and I went to Newport beach with some friends. And let me tell you, I adore the beach. I could sit and watch the ocean for hours. Listening to the crashing of waves and looking out on the vastness of blue makes you realize how big the world really is (and how small and insignificant everyday worries can be).

There were so many starfish in so many colors. 
My friend Amy told me they are actually called sea stars-- I had no idea! 

Eventually we wandered over to the bayfront to peruse the shops and enjoy the sunshine (and taste the salt water taffy...) -- and THIS is what we happened across:

Pirate ships! Complete with American flags, pirate flags, and firing cannons! I only wish I could've gotten a closer look at the beauty in those ships. The stained wood and billowing canvas was gorgeous.

And of course, my trip to the beach inspired me to create something nautical:

I love stripes!

Another headband :) I seem to have a thing for headbands lately. (If you'd like to know how to make a pleated flower like this, go here)

My cat Ruby was a good sport in modeling it for me:

She probably hates me for this.

Now I dream of light summer breezes and wearing my nautical headband with the perfect carefree dress, like this seersucker one from EmersonMade that I am in love with:

How perfect are those brass buttons? If only it weren't (yikes!) 218 dollars... Guess I better start expanding my horizons with my sewing machine :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meaningful Monday

You may not know this about me, but I love quotes. Emphasis on the love. So much so, that I have two journals full of them. And I'm constantly adding to them. -- Know any good quotes? Let me know!--

Side note: Don't you just love the art of calligraphy? And the beautiful shape of calligraphy pens? 
If only my journals were so presentable... 

And these journals of mine aren't just filled with popular, well-known quotes (although there are plenty of those thrown in to the mix).

I've collected quotes from everything possibly imaginable: Parts of poems (Or whole poems if I deem them worthy), quotes from real conversations I've had with friends, passages from the Bible, quotes from famous people, entire passages from my most-loved books, song lyrics I find moving, fortune-cookie quotes, candy-wrapper quotes, simple everyday thoughts about life, magazine clippings, quotes from the Sunday Comics, pictures that I write my own quotes for, etc. The list goes on.

It's a little obsessive.

But you know what? Anytime I need inspiration, or a little pick-me-up, or a new way of looking at a situation I am facing, I turn to those journals. And they help so much. 
Here's a peak inside one of my journals:

The lovely bookmark was gifted to me from my mother-in-law. 

The black and white background isn't scrapbook paper; 
it's actually wrapping paper from a birthday gift I received last year-- thanks Jenn!

I've used my quotes in English essays, to provoke my creativity, to calm a stressful day. I've used them to remind myself to be positive, optimistic, joyful. I've used them to figure out where another person is coming from. I've used them in cards I write to friends, I've compared and contrasted different quotes on the same subject, I've loved and appreciated each and every thought that rises from reading those quotes.

Yes, I like to doodle around my quotes... 

And I like to include random pictures. Makes it a little more eye-catching, don't you think?

Quotes are a great way to deepen your thinking. To be more introspective. To see the bigger picture (or the smaller picture, whatever the case). To appreciate more-- to be more thankful. To explore new ideas. To learn. 

And now that I've opened the door to you about my quote obsession, I've decided to start a new "series" (or whatever you feel like calling it). It'll be my Quote of the Week series, aka "Meaningful Mondays" -- because quotes are so meaningful to me. Or it might end up being Thought-Provoking Tuesdays. What do you think?

On that note, I leave you with a quote:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. 
-- Melodie Beattie

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Little Golden Books gown

Do you remember enjoying the Little Golden Books series as a kid? I sure do! Apparently the first set of golden books was published in 1942, including such popular titles as Three Little Kittens, Mother Goose, and The Poky Little Puppy.

Some of my favorites included The Saggy Baggy Elephant, The Little Engine that Could, and of course my boxed set of Mickey and Minnie Mouse golden books that celebrated Mickey's 60th Birthday.

Now the book series itself is wonderful, and will always hold a soft spot in my heart. However, I now have appreciation for the collection in a whole new form: A Little Golden Books gown! Oh my goodness.

Combining books with fashion: That's my kind of style!

Boston-based artist Ryan Novelline -- Don't you just love that his last name has the word "novel" in it?! -- constructed the gown entirely out of recycled and discarded golden books. How amazing is that?

The skirt is made of the books' illustrations sewn together with metallic thread. The bodice is made of the signature gold bindings. I can't even begin to imagine the time and dedication it took to complete such a work of art. Not to mention how many books... Just check out the process pictures and you'll see what I mean!

Normally I wouldn't condone ruining so many perfectly good books, but the finished product is quite magnificent-- and at least he used old, recycled books. Better to use them as a piece of art than to throw them in a landfill, right? Quite clever, that Ryan Novelline.