Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Things: To Do List


Home
Touch up the freaking paint on my bedroom ceiling. This was on my spring to do list and didn't get done, so it's numero uno on this flipping list.
Keep flowers alive.

Health 
Follow fitness regimen I set up.
No sweets during the week unless I'm on vacation or it's a jolly holiday.
Finish the freaking squat challenge already.

Challenge
Go vegetarian for two weeks. Edited to add for no real reason, except that I LOVE MEAT. Meat is my life. I want to see if I can do it.

Entertainment
See one Saturday morning movie.

Cooking Things
Make sorbet.
Make french baguettes.

Celebrate
I know you're aware that Laura, Kim, and Kim are all engaged and getting married by next July.

Wednesday night one of my favorite people on earth, my brother Stephen, asked his fabulous long-time (11 years!) girlfriend Aubrey to marry him, and she said yes. Aubrey is already a part of our family and I love her like a sister, but it will be lovely to see them make it official and to enjoy the festivities that come along with it. Congratulations Stephen and Aubrey, I love you both!

Happy birthday eve to Kimmy Foo Foo too. Check back here on Wednesday for more from her.

What's on your summer bucket list?

Wear your sunscreen this weekend, kids.

Do you meal plan? Link your blog up on Tuesday with me and Nichole at Casa de Crews! If you don't have a blog, send me your info and pics if you have them and I'll feature you here! Check out Nichole's post on Casa de Crews for more info.











Linking up with

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A. Liz AdventuresThe Good LifeHello Happiness, and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chasing the years of my life


I'm fifteen for a moment
Caught in between ten and twenty
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are 
I'm twenty two for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars 


And on the song goes…thirty three for a moment; forty five for a moment; another blink of an eye sixty seven is gone; ninety nine for a moment…

When I’m with my girlfriends I’ve known since junior high and high school, I still feel 17 in my brain. I rarely physically feel 23 anymore, particularly after a night of drinking, but still, it seems like it was just yesterday. Wasn’t my 30th birthday last week? A few times recently I’ve gone to look for a photo in my snapfish online albums only to realize that event took place five years ago, not last year.

Everything goes so quickly, and sometimes that makes me feel melancholy. Mostly it serves as a reminder to open my eyes and look at the sky, to say screw the chores and finish the book instead, to linger over flowers instead of speed walking by them, to appreciate the places I find myself, and to focus on the people I’m sitting next to in those places. To be in the moment, to get off of my phone unless it’s to put something on Instagram (it’s called INSTA for a reason, you hear? Just kidding, not really). You know what I mean. To be there.

Source
Every once in a while I’m sort of startled by the fact that I’m 36, which prompts a gut check. An introspection session. How did I get here? What am I doing? Am I where I thought I would be?

The answer to that is no.

I was not ever interested in getting married, but it was important to a charming man who is important to me. I always thought I’d work on a college campus, and instead I’ve spent the past 14 years building a career in communications and marketing – a career full of great coworkers, bosses, opportunities, lessons, and successes – and I actually like what I do. In my early 20s I couldn't even make a good grilled cheese sandwich and didn’t care about anything domestic, and now I really love being in the kitchen and keeping a nice home. I never thought I’d have dogs that I treated like human family members. So many things are different than I thought they would be when I was 15, 18, even 21. I've taken roads I didn't think I'd take. When I took the wrong roads I beat a path through the underbrush and emerged onto another road with cuts and bruises from the journey. But I did emerge. 


So no, I’m not where I thought I’d be. I think I'm somewhere better than I imagined. My life is not even close to perfect. There are still a lot of changes to make in myself, in my relationships and in my environment. I am responsible for my own happiness. I will always be in a state of flux: constantly improving myself and my surroundings, inviting friends old and new to sit at my table, eradicating people and things that affect me negatively, tweaking my ways, learning, growing, changing, revising as I go. But most days, I truly like my life as it is. I'm grateful for everything. I could literally weep with joy at the quality of the people surrounding me. I'm proud of the life I've built for myself. And that is really a wonderful thing, to take stock of your life and to be content.


Toby's Tails

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do they still have Hungry Eyes?


Do Baby and Johnny end up together after Dirty Dancing?
Or was she just going slumming as Robbie the rat put it? Did Baby go on to college, ready to change the world and do work with the Peace Corps, Johnny Castle just a juicy summer memory she thought of every time she heard Cry to Me?
Or is this The Love for both of them? Does Baby go to college and head home on the weekends to be with Johnny? Does he work for a union shop and go back to Kellerman's in the summers? Does she go too?

Does anyone else think about this shit 26 years after this movie came out?

I want answers just like I want everyone to mind their own dance space. Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space, this is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine. You gotta hold the frame.

p.s. big hugs to Lori and Jack who had to put their lovely dog Darby down yesterday. See you on the other side, D.






Linking up for Random Wednesday and Whatever Wednesday

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

the memorial day weekend that was

F  R  I  D  A  Y
Homemade pizza: dough made in the bread maker on Thursday and kept overnight in the fridge; pizza sauce - 15 oz tomato sauce, 6 oz tomato paste, salt/pepper/garlic powder/oregano/basil to taste, heated on medium heat and stirred constantly until smooth; sliced mozzarella; grated cheddar; sliced baby bellas and black olives.

And Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter - very ridiculous, but I liked it. MFD fell asleep.
S  A  T  U  R  D  A  Y
Waking up to a sleeping Geege, lounging, hausfrauing the top floor, some closet reorganization.
MFD and I headed to the diner for lunch. What's better than a BLT sandwich? Not many things. We also encountered a hostess with some makeup more suited for 1 a.m. than 1 p.m. We did some shopping after that and I got my second sun hat of the season. In between everything, we watched eleventy billion episodes of Arrested Development.
Party at AJ & Kim's for Olivia's 8th birthday.
S  U  N  D  A  Y
Weekly food prep, morning coffee, and annual planting. The front is looking good!
I'm testing out the Pennington Smart Feed system from BzzAgent.

Frank & Amanda's for burgers, beers, fire, framily, and many laughs as always.
M  O  N  D  A  Y 
Lovely leisurely morning and early afternoon - laundry out on the line, coffee outside in pajamas like hobos, chocolate chip pancakes a la MFD, Mad Men and Behind the Candelabra on DVR.
Dinner: baked beans, grilled chicken, orzo salad with a dijon lemon vinaigrette, cucumber salad, potato salad, and corn on the cob.
Dog walk, homemade vanilla soft ice cream with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and Dirty Dancing. Perfect end to a long and lovely weekend.
Every weekend should be a three day weekend. You can get so much done but also have time to relax and spend time with your framily. I could while my life away on a lawn chair, watching the sky and reading.

Congrats to Ang for winning the beauty things giveaway! Your package is going out today!










Linking up with Sami's Shenanigans for Weekend Shenanigans.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day all! I hope you're enjoying your families and friends this weekend and appreciating the freedoms we have because of the sacrifices made by others.


Check back here tomorrow for The Memorial Day Weekend That Was.

Today I'm guest blogging over at The Sowell Life - go see five things I think you should always do on vacation.




Saturday, May 25, 2013

I Feel Like Madge - Palmolive® soft touch™ Review

I received two bottles of Palmolive® soft touch™ from Influenster for free to review. The products were free, the opinions in this post are my own.


I'm a Palmolive user. Palmolive's packaging appeals to me, it's what my Mom Mom used to use, and I loved their old ad lady Madge. Do you remember Madge?

Madge promised no dish pan hands, and by God your manicure would survive dishwashing to boot.

All these years later, is that still the case?


Palmolive® soft touch™ is new to me. While I always buy Palmolive for dish washing (I use Dawn when making my own cleaning products), I nomally pick what type I buy by scent.

So first, the sniff test. Don't be jealous of how I look on Saturday morning after I just woke up.
Both passed, but I liked the Coconut Butter better.

Now the wash test. I used the Vitamin E on the plate and the Coconut Butter on the knife. Hi YAH.
Nice amount of sudsing on both - enough to get the dishes squeaky clean, not too much that I was overwhelmed with bubbles.

And my hands? No chips in my manicure, and they were soft as a baby's butt. Madge would be proud. I'm going to keep a bottle and give a bottle away to share the joy of a good dish liquid.

I also have five $1 off coupons (exp 6/30) that I'm happy to mail out to the first five people who leave a comment or send me an email to lifeaccordingtosteph@gmail.com so you can try it for yourself.


Have a great Saturday!



Friday, May 24, 2013

Poised on the precipice of a three day weekend


Well, hopefully I'm actually poised on the precipice of a 3+ day weekend if we get a little early dismissal up in here, you know what I'm saying?

In the midst of the frolicking, day drinking, naps, yard work, being giddy about having Monday off, etc., please take a moment to think about the men and women who have died serving and protecting the citizens of the United States of America. This is the land of the free because of the brave, and unfortunately not all of the brave make it back to their friends and family. My favorite Memorial Day quote:

"And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave." — Joseph Rodman Drake

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the summer. Except the forecast for Philadelphia this weekend is not really summery.

Nevertheless, five of my favorite things about summer:

1. ALL THE SUN BLOCKING THINGS. Sunscreen: You need this ALL year, every day, even the gray days. But especially in the summer when your skin is exposed more. Sunglasses: I am rarely without them, and if I am, I am cursing up a freaking storm. Sun hats: I do not want to look like an old hag, so I own eleventy billion sun hats.
2. Summer foods. Iced coffee. It is one of my favorite things in life. Also crisp watermelon, corn fresh off the cob (if you're lucky your husband will entertain you by eating said corn like the barbarian Gengis Kahn), hotdogs/hamburgers/barbecued chicken on the grill, potato and macaroni salads (homemade only!), Kohr Bros. mint julep soft serve ice cream, peaches, plums.
3. Long weekends at the shore. June will find us in Ocean City, MD, to celebrate my brother's 30th birthday. July: girls' long weekend in Cape May. August: Strathmere with the Sannellis. September: North Wildwood for String Band Weekend.
4. Flip flip flip to the flops. They're all I wear in the summer, even though my aging body does not like what they're doing to my knees. It's that time of year where I whore myself out for Sanuk Yoga Mat flip flops. If you don't own a pair, you should. I own more than several. They are life altering. Better than Reefs.
5. Air conditioning and swimming pools. Humidity is an asshole straight from the depths of hell. Ain't nobody got time for that.

What are your favorite summer things?

Wednesday we took some dinner over to the Leslie abode and met baby Quinn. Welcome to our newest FRAMILY member!
I'm reviewing a product here tomorrow, so check back for that if you're around, otherwise see you on Tuesday for an elongated The Weekend That Was post. Catch me over the weekend on Facebook or Instagram.

AND! And and and. Nichole from Casa de Crews and I are going to do a weekly food prep link up on June 4. Do you prep some or all of your food on the weekend? Be it your breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners, some of it or all of it, join us!

Enjoy the shit out of this weekend, you guys. Be grateful for your freedom, don't leave your drinks unattended around strangers, have a designated driver, and apply sunscreen.









Linking up with
The Sowell Life - The Friday Five

Follow the Ruels for Friday Favorites

Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday

A. Liz Adventures, The Good Life, Hello Happiness, and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday








Thursday, May 23, 2013

What can I bring?

My personal code states that I can't go to a party without bringing something. I don't want to push food on someone who already has a menu planned out, so I always ask first. The first words out of my mouth when I accept an invitation are, "What can I bring?" If they say nothing, I tuck a bottle of wine in my big ass bag and I'm on my merry way.

If they do want something, I pray it's an appetizer. I love dip, and I love to share my love of dips with others. Gone are the high school and college days, when there was no food to be found in the house let alone set out for a party.

With Memorial Day Weekend ushering in the summer season, here are my top three go to cold dips to serve or bring somewhere. Everyone always loves them and they're easy like Sunday morning. We'll look at some hot dips this fall!

Hoagie Dip
1/2 lb cooked ham, 1/2 lb genoa salami, 3/4 lb american cheese, shredded lettuce, two tomatoes seeded and chopped, one onion chopped, oregano/S&P to taste, and 1-2 cups mayo

The key to good hoagie dip is to cut everything super small. I do the lunch meat and cheese in the food processor (thanks for the tip a few years ago Julie!). Mix it all together and serve with hoagie rolls cut into small pieces.

I usually do the prep the day before, store it all separately, and mix it on the day I'm serving it. 

Corn Dip
Two cans of mexicorn or fiesta corn (in mid-summer I use fresh), a small can of diced green chiles, a bunch of green onion, 2C of shredded cheddar, 1C mayo, 1C sour cream, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp garlic powder. Mix and chill before serving with tortilla chips.



Spinach Dip
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
16 oz sour cream
1C mayo
1 package Knorr Veggie soup, dip & recipe mix
A bunch of green onions, chopped

Combine all, cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Stir before serving with rye bread or Utz special dark pretzels. 

Are you attending or hosting any parties this weekend? What's on the menu? What's your go to dish to bring?




p.s.I miss Thursday Thoughts. I might bring it back.







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