Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's been another one of those weeks...

So, it's been another one of those weeks. You know if you've read my previous post (Hard Day's Night All Week). My husband has been working a different night job for another huge client and there's been a lot going on with my side of the family too.

Needless to say it's been a lot of sleepless nights and overly tired and emotional days, and not just the baby! She's got her own problems (currently working on a set of teeth).

Luckily, this week has been a little better than before. My husband hasn't been gone every night. Just a few and has been able to come home and sleep. On top of that, my little one has taken decently long afternoon naps the last two days. So mommy has been able to, gasp, nap too!

Catching up on sleep + snuggle time with the hubs + little one getting sleep = Epic wins all around!

Especially because now we have the baby sleeping only in her crib for naps. She's getting far too mobile and frankly, she doesn't allow us to sleep when she's laying in our bed. She's ready to go! I always laugh when I see the happy couples in advertisements with a peaceful baby sleeping away in between them.


image: dailymail.co.uk

Anyone who is pregnant with their first will probably get all excited at the hope of a blissful nights rest with their little one nestled quietly between them. *sigh* It's like something out of a paperback marked 30% off at Barnes and Noble.

When in reality once that baby is mobile it's more like this:


image: howtobeadad.com

Our little one will come in bed in the morning to get her first feeding and then she is up! She is all over the place making good use of the "Roundhouse Kick, Neck Scarf, Snow Angel, H is for Hell, Jazz Hands and the Stalker." She pretty much rotates between them every 2-3 seconds. We both "try" to pretend we are asleep hoping that she will fall back asleep. Never happens. She will actually lift her head up and put her face right up to yours and just smile at you as soon as you peek one eye open. She's kind of hard to resist after all.

 I guess we all end up with our own version of the "Happy Family" nestled in bed. 






Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The best way to clean your glass shower door!

The best way to clean your glass shower door


When my husband and I moved into our house last year, we were blessed to have an amazing updated Master Bath with all new "Kohler" fixtures and tile. I love our bathroom. The only thing I didn't love, the soap scum that came with it on the bottom of the glass shower door.

No matter what I used or how hard I scrubbed, there still was a cloudy soap scum appearance on the bottom of the glass door and it would drive me crazy! I tried everything...well not everything, yet.

Now, I don't know where I originally read this tip, I wish I could remember to link it up. But I figured it was worth a shot to try at least!

The best way to remove soap scum from your shower glass door is simple: Cut a lemon in half, dip the lemon half in a small bowl of salt (I used sea salt because of the big grain size). Using the salt on the lemon, scrub the glass door with the lemon (like a sponge) squeezing just a little to get the juices flowing. Keep dipping in the salt as needed to scrub the area. I made sure I was actually "in" my shower for easier clean up.

I was amazed to see the cloudy soap scum just disappearing away before my eyes! This actually works!  I scrubbed away in a few minutes what had so stubbornly refused to go away for over a year. I rinsed off the lemon residue and my shower was soap scum free at last.

I was so proud of myself, that I ran to get my husband to show him the shower! He looked at me kind of confused as to what I had just used to clean our shower, "a lemon and salt?" he asked curiously. "Well, whatever works!" he shrugged his shoulders and nodded in approval.

I wish I would've known this simple household trick a lot sooner, maybe I'm the only one who didn't know. However, just in case, I'm sharing it with you!

(Note: I tried to take before and after photos but due to the angle of our bathroom and my mediocre camera skills. It just wasn't happening.)

Have you tried cleaning with a lemon? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Make fun of Jesus? Then Win an Oscar? (*vent*)


image source: usatoday.com


Last night Christoph Waltz won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the movie "Django Unchained". First I have to admit, I have not seen Django Unchained. I've seen enough Quentin Tarantino movies to know I wouldn't be interested in the violence that is bound to ensue. So, whether or not his performance was Oscar-worthy. I can't be the judge of that. The performance I did happen to see however, was the week before and his depiction of "DJesus Uncrossed" on Saturday Night Live.

"DJesus Uncrossed" personally I believe, has to have been the most blasphemous sketch in SNL history and to top it off, it was during the week of Lent. This sketch which was supposed to have been a "hilarious" parody of the resurrection of Christ in the stylings of "Kill Bill" and "Django Unchained" in which, Christ is preaching "anything but forgiveness". It broke my heart as I watched the Jesus character, played by Christoph Waltz slaying Romans with Samurai swords and gunning them down with machine guns. The apostles lining up being ordered to kill "Ro-man" soldiers. All seeking their revenge for killing Jesus.

 *shaking my head in disgust*

I can't believe that SNL and year's Best Supporting Actor not only thought it would be funny, but had the gall to do  such an offensive sketch. As a believer, we know the pain and suffering that Christ had to pay for our sins so that we may have a life eternal with him. Christ willing laid down his life for us. It was out of his love for us, that he died. Which is nothing to be taken lightly, and certainly not to be made fun of. It's just sad that 2000+ years later our Lord is still being persecuted and mocked.

So, last night when we watched the Oscar's and they opened that envelope and called out the name "Christoph Waltz". My husband and I were both incredibly shocked.

"Well, look at that," he said sadly "Make fun of Jesus one week and then the next you win an Oscar."

What surprised you about the Oscar's last night? 


Friday, February 22, 2013

Lots of Love Link Up #3




Lots of Love Link Up
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Best Uses for Coconut Oil


beauty uses for coconut oil
image: trader joe's 


A while ago, I was introduced to coconut oil and some of it's many health benefits, since then I have recently discovered other amazing uses for coconut oil that are just too wonderful not to share.

Beauty

1. Coconut Oil for your Hair: 

I'd like to say I have pretty good hair. It's long and healthy, I take good care of it. I usually avoid a lot heat, products, and other things that are damaging. I get a lot of compliments on my hair, so I guess I'm doing something right so far! Recently, I heard about using coconut oil to help condition and add shine to your hair. I was a bit hesitant, because I don't have dry hair, so why "oil up" my hair? But, gave it a go, because I nothing too lose, and everything to gain!

How to use Coconut Oil for your Hair, is simple. I got my hair wet in the shower and got a scoop of coconut oil. I started small and added as I went. I used the heat of the shower to massage the oil into my hair and twisted it up into a loose bun and out of the way, while I showered up, allowing the heat of the shower to open up my hair follicles and the oil penetrate a bit.

Next, I rinsed out the oil and then washed my hair as usual. I didn't use conditioner because I wanted to see how my hair would "feel" without it. I was pleasantly surprised at the results. My hair didn't feel too dry or too oily. It felt smooth, light, shiny and healthy. I would highly recommend doing this! Although, I don't have the time to make this a daily routine, I am definitely adding it to my beauty regiment and doing it a least a few times a week!

2. Coconut Oil for your Face:

This is probably my all time favorite discovery and I'm sad I didn't find out about this sooner because it would've saved me tons of money! What the million dollar industry of skin care products doesn't want you to know is that: Coconut oil + Baking Soda = Clear smooth skin.

Again, I was a skeptic at trying this, but did my own experimenting to find out the truth. I did a whole week plus of washing my face with just a dab (maybe a teaspoon) of coconut oil and about of tablespoon of baking soda.

How to use it:
First, Wet your face. Let the coconut oil semi-melt in the palm of your hand and pour enough baking soda in your hand to make a "paste" by mixing it together with your fingers. Massage the paste on your face and scrub. The paste shouldn't been too oily (add more baking soda) or too crumbly (use less baking soda). Rinse and clean with a warm wash clothe. I did this during my "special time of the month" when I typically get those bad breakouts, and within two days I noticed a HUGE difference in my skin. My skin cleared up almost immediately. My pores looked smaller, my skin tone felt soft and even. I used no extra lotions or creams that week either.

Then, I did a week off just to make sure it wasn't just a fluke. As soon as I stopped using the coconut oil and baking soda, I started getting nasty breakouts again! Ugh! So, now I'm back on it and my face is looking great again! I swear, I will never buy those "name brand" face washes again! This really works! And if you are leery because you have oily skin- don't be. My skin is on the oily side and it did not make my skin more oil or feel oily at all. In fact, it felt even better!

3. Coconut Oil For your Skin or your Baby!

I should've know that coconut oil would've worked for my acne when I first heard about using it for Baby acne. Every new mom, knows that little newborns tend to have a little "baby acne" at some point. I used a dab of coconut oil on my little one and it cleared up her baby acne right away. It was also a great moisturizer for our baby.

My husband and I would laugh and joke we were basting a little turkey when we would rub coconut oil into our baby's skin after her bath. But hey, it's all natural! And she smells so good too! But it can be very slippery!

It's also great to use for your own skin as a moisturizer! I've used it on my hands (they get dry because I'm always washing them.)

Eats:

4.  Coconut Oil for Homemade Popcorn! 

I could/ sometimes do eat popcorn everyday. Do you love popcorn as much as I do? Even if you don't eat popcorn everyday. The easy, health(ier) way to get the delicious popcorn you get at the movies at your home is using a little coconut oil in your popcorn maker! It tastes so good! Just like movie theatre popcorn!


There are so many other great uses for Coconut Oil, some that I am still discovering myself, that I am sure I will have to do a Part II to this post!

What are some of your favorite uses for Coconut Oil?


Monday, February 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Drink Ideas





Are you, Looking for something besides just beer, beer, and more beer to serve on this St. Patrick's Day? 

Check out these fabulous drinks that will "WOW" you and guests with a little extra "Liquid Luck" this St. Patty's Day! 

Personally, I think the Sparkling Clover Charm and Magically Delicious Martini look pretty tasty! 
(But I am partial to Lucky Charm's and Champagne. Separately not together...though that makes me wonder...ha ha.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 



2 oz vodka, 3 oz light cream, 1 oz creme de menthe, 1 oz white creme de cacao

Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass and rim with fun lucky charm marshmallows!









2 oz. Basil Bourbon, 1/2 oz Creme de Menthe, 1 oz half and half. Garnish: mint sprig

Pour all into a highball glass with ice, and garnish. 



2 oz Irish whiskey, 1 tsp Green Creme de Menthe, 1 tsp Green Chartreuse

Shake with Ice and strain to martini glass. Garnish with an olive or lime. 








                                           Green Fin                                       Emerald Martini
                                    1 1/2 oz Vodka                                       1.75 oz Vodka
                                  1 oz green apple liqueur,                       3/4 oz Melon liqueur, 
                                      Green apple peel                             Splash of pineapple juice



                                           Green Magic                              Sparkling Clover Charm
                                         1.5 oz vodka                                  1 oz mango vodka 
                                         3 oz Orange Juice                              4 oz Champagne 
                       Serve on the side: 1 oz Blue Curacao              1/2 oz melon liqueur 








                                                           Non-Alcoholic St. Patty's Punch 
    1 container of Lime Sherbet
     1 can of pineapple juice
    2 liter of Ginger Ale










Friday, February 15, 2013

Lots of Love Link Up #2




Lots of Love Link Up
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!



I'm just stopping in on a what is already a crazy day here to say "Happy Valentine's Day!" to all my lovely readers! You all have been giving me lots of love lately and I appreciate each and everyone of you and every comment you leave!

Last night little miss Elsa decided she wanted to party late last night, so her Dad and I are so very tired today! It was a brutal night...the kind you want to just break down and cry because you are so tired, tired. It's tough because she wakes up with the cutest smile and gets all excited to see you and you are just wondering, why must it be at 3:30 am?! lol.

Needless to say, I think today is going to be a very-very low key evening. Lucky for me, the hubs wanted his favorite meal (Cantonese Dinner) which is a crock pot meal! Score one for me! And I've managed to shower thus far. My next accomplishment, besides this post (which I am typing as I breastfeed #multi-taskerstatus) will to hopefully do my hair and make up and then bake some Chocolate Chip Cookies! (His dessert request).

We also put a $5 limit on our valentine gifts this year which proved extremely challenging and motivated us to be creative. I'm not going to post mine today (just in case he reads this!) but I'm very interested in what he came up with! lol.

Hope you all have a great day with your loved ones! And feel free to comment and share your special plans!




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Biggest Loser - Southwest Loaded Sweet Potato

Biggest Loser Southwest Loaded Sweet Potato


I don't know if you have been watching The Biggest Loser this season, I usually try to catch up on Hulu.com but the other week they shared a recipe for a Southwest Loaded Sweet Potato. I thought it looked pretty tasty and intriguing, so I decided to give it a go. My husband was a little leery at the combination of the foods, but once he tried it, we were both amazed at how delicious it was!

This recipe is my revised version of what they made on the show:


Southwest Loaded Sweet Potato (Less than 250 Calories and only 6 weight watcher plus points)

Ingredients:

1-2 medium sweet potatoes per person (depending on how hungry you are!)
1 lb of Ground Lean Turkey - I added a pinch of taco seasoning to give it a little flavoring.
Mild Salsa (your favorite brand)
Non-fat plain Greek Yogurt

Bake your potato in the oven and then make a slice down the middle to open it up to make a "bowl" I used a fork to kinda "mash" the potato a little. Then I drizzled a little salsa over the potato. Added a few scoops of ground turkey.  Then topped with more salsa and added about a tablespoon of greek yogurt. Eat up and enjoy! It's so amazingly tasty!

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's been a hard days night (all week)


"It's been a hard days night
And I've been working like a dog
It's been a hard day's night
I should be sleeping like a log"

- Beatles "A Hard Day's Night"

This week has been an interesting one for the family! My husband has been managing a project for a client and the project has been at nights. Which is not his typical schedule at all. I realize there are probably a lot couples out there, military families or medical professionals, that have schedules that conflict and sacrifices that have to be made and I say "kudos, to you all!" Seriously, it's a challenge!

When you are used to a certain schedule and then suddenly things change, you tend to realize how much you really take for granted. Let me give you a quick run down of this week's hectic schedule so you understand where I'm coming from: 

Between 6-8 am: Baby wakes up (I get up with baby) at the same time Dad is coming home and going to bed. All day, I'm taking care of baby, running to store, laundry, the usual. 

     3-4 pm: Dad wakes up. "Goes to the office" literally or via phone. 

     4-5 pm: Starting dinner. 

     5-6 pm: Dating dinner. 

     7 ish pm: Clean up dinner. Get baby bathed and dressed ready for bed. 

     8 ish pm: Start nightly routine for baby. Bible Story and Nursing. 

     8:30 pm: Dad leaves for job site.

     9 pm: Baby is down for the night. Mom gets ready for bed (maybe blogs a little!)

     11 pm: Mom is asleep, hopefully.

     (1:30 am) Baby wakes up to feed! She usually sleeps through the night, but this week has been different. 

So as you can see, there is really no time to for us to connect and just have some "couple time". Especially with a baby who is so hands on at this point in her life.
There's been no real time to relax together and watch some TV or even have a good snuggle! (and you know I love a snuggle!)

I've really missed going to bed at the same because that is usually when we do our nightly Devotion together and get our quality face-to-face talking time. So this week, being able to just have a hug or a minute to snuggle has been huge. Seriously, huge. 

It has really made us realize how precious time together is, and how much for granted we can take it sometimes. Any little time we have had together has been us trying to soak up those precious moments with our daughter, Elsa. We will just lay on the carpet together and play with her or try and read her a story. (she usually tries to eat the book!)

Luckily this weekend, the project ended (early saturday morning) and we were able to spend some quality time and even get in some snuggles and a nap! I'm writing this as my husband catches up on some sleep and "little-little" sleeps too. And because I think I hear her stirring I will end with a quote from one of my favorite movies. 


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."- Ferris Bueller's Day Off

So, take a few extra moments this week to show your loved ones you care, you value your time with them, and appreciate the little things in life with them. They are the moments that are truly precious.






Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lots of Love Link Up! #1





Lots of Love Link Up
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The Ultra Detox Bath



Dr. Oz detox bath



Some of you may remember my previous post on the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox. While my husband and I did the detox, one of my main motivations was the detox bath. At first it was just because I wanted to take a nice, long, relaxing bath. (when your a new mom, those happen...well, never.) Then I realized how amazing a detox bath really could be! 

The Ultra Detox Bath is fairly simple and straight forward and has a lot of benefits for your body. 
         
       Step One: Fill your bath with hot water, 2 cups of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). You can find Epsom salt
       at any grocery or pharmacy. It's fairly inexpensive. The magnesium helps aid in replenishing magnesium 
       deficiencies and the sulfate flushes toxins from the body. 

       Step Two: I add a few drops of essential oils. Personally, I prefer lavender, because it's naturally soothing to
       my senses. 

       Step Three: Soak for at least 20-40 minutes in a hot bath for maximum benefits. 
       No less than 20 min. to work up a sweat to help aid in the detox. Really, the longer the better.

       Be careful getting out of the tub when your done! You may feel light headed as your body has been working 
       to detox. Drink a glass of water. 

       Enjoy a detox bath up to three times a week for maximum benefits.


There are lots of other times that a epsom salt bath is beneficial to your body too.
Occasionally, I will draw an Epsom Salt bath for my husband (minus the lavender!) if he is sore from working out or doing something physical. He grips and groans about taking a "bath". I guess it's not "manly" to have a soak in a tub. But afterwards he feels so much better, as it aids in relieving sore muscles.

Below are other facts about Epsom Salt that are beneficial to the body:


Researchers and physicians suggest these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:
  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.


All these benefits from taking a bath? I say hurry up and draw a bath now! It's not just a luxury, but a huge health boost to your body! So make the time, to relax and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Flourless, High Protein Breakfast Cookies

This recipe is from Tasty Kitchen. I originally wanted to try it because I can hardly ever get my husband to eat breakfast. He usually gets up and goes and doesn't eat a thing. So I was inspired to find something that was healthy, easy and ready to go for him to eat in the morning that would satisfy him with protein.

These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies are high in protein and have no processed ingredients! Plus, they are so yummy! My husband loves them!



What You'll need: (makes about 1.5 dozen)

- 2 Bananas, ripe and mashed.
- 1/3 cup of peanut butter, any kind
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup whey protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1-1/2 cup quick oatmeal oats
-1/4 cup chopped peanuts
-1/4 chocolate chips or carob chips, (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mash bananas and peanut butter until well combined. Next, mix in applesauce, protein powder, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add in oatmeal, nuts and chocolate chips. I chopped my peanuts in my "slap chop" and then combine. Let the dough set for 10 minutes.

Drop cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Unlike most cookies we eat, these will  not spread while baking. So gently even out the cookies into circles about 1/3" thick.

Bake for 30 mins. Let cool, then store in tupperware in fridge or freezer. `


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let's Talk Lighting Design...





Lighting is one of those things that I have just always LOVED to work with in design. It's certainly an art of its own.

However, it's also one of the most complicated, especially when you are working with lighting in a commercial project. Too much light or too little. Even getting the right amount of foot candles in a space can be tricky at times. So can designing architectural pieces that provide accent lighting that are meant to visually impact a space with the specific use of light. Having the right design knowledge of lighting can either make a master piece of your project or create an epic fail in your design. So here are a few "Lighting Design Tips" to get you started in the right direction.



First ask yourself, what is the purpose of my lighting? 

There are four basic types of lighting: accent, ambient, task, and decorative

     Accent lighting is meant to focus your attention on a piece of artwork or focal point. 

     Ambient lighting is the general lighting that fills a room. 

     Task lighting is usually brighter lighting used to illuminate a task area, such as reading or cooking. 

     Decorative lighting can be either of the first three, but usually is meant to draw attention to the
     lighting fixture itself. 

Once you know what your purpose is, whether your lighting is for function or form, can you determine how to best use lighting in your space. 

Typically, when designing the lighting of a space, whether at home or elsewhere, it's best work in layers. 

First layer, decide where you are going to need accent and task lighting within your space. Once you have that determined. You can fill in the rest of the space with general ambient lighting. The third layer would be adding any decorative lighting that you may want. 

When you fill your space using these steps, you ensure that you have focused your lighting in the right areas, and have the proper illuminate at your focal points and task areas and haven't filled the space with too much or too little ambient lighting. 

Things to consider:

There are also other considerations to make as well when designing lighting. Don't forget the use of natural lighting, and how the day time and night time will play an affect in your space. 

You can use too much or too little lighting in a space. Also, keep in mind that the use of the correct bulbs can make or break your space. 

Things like lamps shades of different colors and if a fixture has direct/indirect lighting are all things you need to consider with choosing your lighting. Also, don't just use accent lighting to fill your space with ambient lighting. Overhead lighting with dimmers are a great way to have adjustable ambient lighting within your space. 

Overall, have fun with it! Lighting can be an amazing architectural feature in your home.

Want more design tips? Questions, comments? I love to hear them!

*photos provided by weheartit and google images

Monday, February 4, 2013

Giveaway // The Gold Dahlia

To celebrate the opening of my Etsy shop, The Gold Dahlia and the month of LOVE, I'm spreading a little L.O.V.E. myself and giving away one pair of these awesome vintage style crown earrings!





Use the giveaway tool below to enter!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February iPhone Wallpaper


It's already February! The month of love comes and goes fast, so be sure to download this months iPhone wallpaper calendar now! Get the download Here






Friday, February 1, 2013

Big Bang Theory and the Evolution of How I Met My Husband. (sort of)


From time to time my hubs will be on a rerun of a show he's been on. This weekend is such a case. If you are a fan of the Big Bang Theory, or even if your not, check out the hubs as a nerded out "Best Buy" employee on the episode Peanut Reaction, airing Sat on TBS at 8:30. 

He's only got one line in that episode, but hey, that one line keeps those residual checks a-coming! Who-hoo!

For those of you who don't know, and most of you don't. I didn't meant my husband until after he moved back from LA, (he's originally from the Chicago area, as am I). But he spent about 9 years out there doing the acting thing and was apparently on quite a few commercials and TV shows. I will admit I was a bit nervous when we first started dating and I thought he was going to be one of those drama nerds (no offense!) but he wasn't. He was pretty awesome and cute, hence one of the many reasons I married him! But, it was super weird to find out that for the last 9 years I had been watching TV and my husband had been popping up everywhere for me to see and I didn't even realize it yet!! 

After we got more serious he showed me a lot of his work and it was creepy, yet funny to be like, "Oh my gosh, I remember that episode or that commercial! That was you!!!" I guess my point is, God can be a little hilarious sometimes. We as women tend to spend a lot of time imaging what our future husbands will look like, how our lives will be etc... but while we are day dreaming away, God might just have him right smack in front of our faces! In my case, literally!! But only He knows the best timing to bring two imperfect people together. :)