Local Flavor Swap Show off!

localflavorswap

 

Yay for swaps!  This was the third Chaotic Goddess swap I participated in and I was so excited because I love to showcase Portland, Oregon!  I had such fun shopping for Paulina  from Color Me Brave, hailing to us from New Jersey!  Now just having spent the last three years in New York, NJ tends to get a bad rap as a nothing special place.  I need to disagree!  First of all, New Jersey is beautifully green!  Secondly, you have the Jersey shore–what’s more famous than that!?

But onto the fun goodies I got sent!

Local Flavor Swap   Local Flavor Swap

also were two big bags of M&M’s-plain and pretzel, yum!

Local Flavor SwapNothing more local than a scarf made by Paulina!  I can’t wait to use this as the weather turns colder–I love the colors and the pattern!  I need to learn to fancy knit!

 

 

Local Flavor Swap   Local Flavor Swap

 

I think the poppy is going to look awesome in the office I’m setting up for myself so I can’t wait to get that potted and paper is a much needed commodity in my office now!

She also wrote a super sweet note and spoke about all the infamous incidents that her town is known for–oh well, still a NJ lover here!

Thanks, Paulina for the goodies and make sure to check out Color Me Brave to see the awesome Oregon goodies!

Cara Box-August Reveal

 

 

CaraBoxButton_Black_zpsd13952de

This month has totally been off from start to finish but thankfully we are at August 28th and the month is almost over!

It started out pretty good, with my birthday but then I had a fender bender and ended up with thousands of dollars of damage to the front of my car–it was my fault, I rear ended someone and their hitch got caught under my car :(.

 

So, two weeks without a car, sudden gallbladder surgery, antibiotic reaction and now slowly getting back to a semblance normal.  Exciting things are happening–I have finally ironed out my fall schedule-I will be working three smaller jobs and am VERY excited about all of them!

I’m also finally seriously redesigning my blog!  I bought my new domain name and am working with an AWESOME designer, I’ll share more about that as soon as it’s unveiled.  If you follow me on other forms of social media, you can see I’ve changed my name and logo but I will do a fun reveal soon!

One of the things I did for the first time this month was get involved with Cara Box.   Cara Box is organized every month by Kaitlyn at Wifessionals and I’ve been reading about it for months but haven’t had the courage to sign up.  I am so glad that I finally did!  Every month there was a different theme and this month we were matched by ages and stages in life-so early thirties single ladies unite!

I was paired with two lovely ladies-Victoria from Lost in Boston, one of my favorite cities and now a place I want to go back and do Yoga at Harvard Yard!  You can head over to her site to see what I got her.  Sadly I did not get to actually shop in person as I was confined to my bed but Amazon is amazing in a pinch and I hope she enjoys!

I was sent items from the delightful Melissa from My Busy Life who recently just moved to Texas.  She sent the perfect recovery package and I’ve already been indulging!

Cara BoxNot only is this a perfect item for when you are recovering and need to drink plenty of fluids, but my glass water bottle broke the day before this came!  It’s small enough that I can throw it in my bag and carry it with me!

 

 

 

 

Cara Box   Cara Box   Cara Box

 

The headbands have already gotten lots of use!  The candle is open next to my bed and I LOVE that she sent me Dead Sea Mask!

Cara Box      Cara Box

 

I can’t wait to try the tea iced and I’ve been making the vanilla biscotti coffee every morning, yum!

Cara Box Love the card and the picture!!!

All in all, I am so happy that I participated in Cara Box this month!  It is now switching to quarterly but I can’t wait to meet some more fun bloggers from around the country!!!!

 

 

 

In the meantime, consistency will reign again with my blogging!  I’ve gotten organized and ordered a paper planner and set up a new office nook to work in as well as working on setting clear hours for this endeavor.

Thanks for your patience while I reset everything!

Go big or go home

I so thought I was on the mend last week. Ha was I wrong! In short, I was admitted to the hospital Thursday night and it turns out on top of the stomach bug, I had gallstones.

So Friday I got my gallbladder out and then promptly started having a reaction that was first diagnosed as an infection but turns out was a reaction to antibiotics. So I ended up in the hospital until Sunday and was back in the ER Tuesday night with this horrible reaction.

Now I look like a pariah, having never been one to have problems with my skin, I now somewhat understand teen acne except it is all over my body.

So I’m taking a breather until I get figured out.

Also I’m looking to redesign my blog, I have a new logo and a new name-let me know if you know an awesome blog designer! Thanks!

Valuable blogging lesson

A valuable blogging lesson has been leaned: editorial calendars are great! But it never hurts to pre-schedule posts.

I had a great editorial calendar for the month of August that just got thrown off track by a nasty stomach bug. Regular posting will resume Friday!

Foodie Fridays: My Birthday, Salt and Straw, Kugel!

I turned 31 last week, eek!  I’m trying to start my 31st birthday on a healthy kick. . . I am doing the C25K app with my mom three times a week and yoga an hour every day–feeling great!  I’m also trying to eliminate non-natural ingredients out of my beauty products and food-I’ll write more about that in a future post.

In the meantime, my birthday was a great time!  It was the first time in several years that I haven’t been working on my birthday–the life of a camp professional involves summer working :).  I started the day at my favorite massage place: Coldwater Creek Spa and had a 90 minute massage with scalp addition–heaven!  I had a $20 coupon for my birthday and they took that off the total of the treatment which was awesome!  Then I walked around the outdoor mall and went to The Loft where I had $15 to spend from a birthday coupon.  I found a cute shirt on the sales rack but it rang up full price.  The lady knew that I had found it on the clearance section so gave it to me for $15 which meant it was a free to me shirt!

Then I brought flowers to my mom, after all, she’s the one who did the hard work!  The biffle sent me flowers and balloons–non helium because I can’t stand those!

Birthday Balloons

The tradition in our house is either we pick a place to go eat or my mother will make dinner.  I decided since it had been years I wanted my mom to make me dinner.  So she made my favorite childhood dinner-one that I had for many birthdays: Marinated grilled salmon, sweet noodle kugel and salad with creamy french dressing (homemade).  Because the kugel is so amazing I am going to share the recipe at the end of the post.

Birthday DinnerSweet amazing food!

Then we went to Salt and Straw.  This is similar to Ample Creamery which I went to with the bestie in April or May.  We happened to get there right before the line was out the door and around the corner so we only waited about twenty minutes.  Well worth it!  Salt and Straw Ice Cream

I tried a bunch of them and they were great!  I tried the Pear and Blue Cheese and thought it was really good but wasn’t sure about a whole cup of it.  I ended up getting the Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and the Sea Salt Caramel.  I was not disappointed!

Salt and Straw

 

I loved the mugs!  The decor was very industrial which works for the neighborhood it was in.  I went with my mom, brother, grandmother and my Portland grandmother (not officially a grandmother but she has been since I was a year old!)

SaltStrawFam

My Portland grandma is on the top and my brother, mom and grandmother on the bottom.  She’s looking good for 90!

Now. . . kugel.  This recipe first came about at my Bat Mitzvah-the caterer made it for Saturday lunch and it has been a family favorite ever since.

Maxine’s Kugel

Ingredients:

4 eggs

8 ounces sour cream (I usually use non-fat)

5 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup margarine, melted

1 quart non-fat milk

6-7 ounces dry noodles

1/2 cup cornflakes

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Directions:  In 9×13 pan, place 6-7 ounces dry noodles.  Pour mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, sour cream and margarine and stir.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Mix cornflakes, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over kugel and bake one more hour.

That’s it!  Super easy and super tasty!  It works great with a bagel and lox brunch or as a side dish with fish, etc.

 

 

Local Flavor Swap!

localflavorswap

 

I am so super excited to be a part of another Chaotic Goddess Swap!  This one is all about local flavors!  Now that I live in Oregon and this is the state I grew up in, I can’t wait to share all the amazing goodies that exist here!

So if you want to participate, check out http://cgswaps.blogspot.com.

This is a great way to get involved with swaps!  They are super fun and you meet awesome people this way!!

Important Dates to Remember

  • Sign-Ups Close on August 9th, 2013
  • Partners Assigned on August 10th, 2013
  • Packages Ship between August 23rd and August 24th, 2013
  • Swap Show-Off Post/Linky goes life on August 27th!

July Birchbox

I know, I know, it’s August and I’m just now getting up my Birch Box up from July.  Let’s say I had a great birthday last week and continued the celebration :).

Sadly this was the last month that my mom was getting the Birch Box, I had given her a three month subscription for her birthday and mother’s day but she’s decided not to continue on.  Also, she got hers several days before I got mine so we had two separate openings.

Her box arrived first:

July Birch Box  July Birch Box

 

This month’s theme was Suits which I didn’t quite get but ok.

July Birch Box  July Birch Box

Cute hair clips!  Cute mom!  She also got a perfume sample which she liked the smell of.

July Birch Box

My birch box arrived later in the week.

I was excited that it didn’t include perfume samples because I don’t love those.  I also loved the fact that I got the same hair clips as my  mom–super cute and super useful!

July Birch Box  July Birch Box

 

Love the hair clips, not sure about the curl keeper.  I tried it and it didn’t seem to do much for my curls.

July Birch Box  July Birch Box

 

I haven’t had a chance to use the bright trio and I’m not a fan of CC creams so not sure what I’m going to do about that.

July Birch Box

 

I haven’t tried this yet.

So honestly, I started getting Ipsy bag (I’ll post about my first one soon) and I liked the items much better and for the same price, I might stop Birch Box for a bit.  I’m also trying out Brit + Co which is crafting stuff.  So I might change it up.

I purchase these every month.  If you are interested in Birch Box, please use my link so I can earn points!  Birch Box link 🙂