Tuesday, March 29, 2011

29 - Get Ready for the Royal Wedding

Spring time nuptials! Only one more month until the Royal Wedding, which will be the party of the century. All the details of the event can be found at The Telegraph or The Guardian .

(Photo via Brides from Press Association via AP Images)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

27 - Delve into a TV Series on DVD

Browse Netflix or IMDB for a Television Series to watch during a rainy weekend. There's also Planet Earth or LIFE dvds. Pop some popcorn and cozy up on a less than stellar spring day.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

26 - Have a Shrimp Boil

Have a Shrimp Boil!!

Food Network Shrimp Boil


* 2 lemons, halved, plus wedges for serving
* 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
* 8 cloves garlic, smashed
* 1 large red onion, quartered
* 6 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1 pound baby red potatoes
* 4 ears corn, husked and snapped in half
* 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, unpeeled
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* Hot sauce, for serving (optional)


Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and add the squeezed lemon halves. Add the Old Bay, garlic and onion. Tie the thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine

and add to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the pot and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, slice along the back of each shrimp through the shells; remove the veins and rinse the shrimp. Add to the pot, cover and cook until the shrimp curl and are just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the shrimp and vegetables with a slotted spoon or skimmer to a large bowl. Add the butter and about 1 cup broth to the bowl and toss until the butter is melted. Transfer the shrimp and vegetables to a platter. Serve with the remaining broth, lemon wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

(photo: Privatjokr)

Friday, March 25, 2011

25 - Visit a National Park

Find a park near you and plan a day trip or a weekend getaway!

For a guide to seven parks out west, visit Sunset's Travel Page where they showcase:

Glacier National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Olympic National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Zion National Park

You could also visit Bar Harbor, Maine to go to Acadia National Park where you can be the first to see the sunrise in the U.S.!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

24 - Pop open some vinho verde or rosé

Find a bottle of Portuguese Vinho Verde like Fâmega. Or peruse the picks from The Kitchn, which includes a variety. Find a crisp and refreshing Rosé to enjoy while toasting the arrival of spring!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

23 - Make a Caribbean Dinner

Make a colorful Caribbean dinner. Find recipes at Coastal Living, Sunset, or Food Network. A little flavor and spice will help get you in the mood for spring.

Paula Dean's Jerk Wontons with Caribbean Salsa

3 cups diced fresh pineapple
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 seedless cucumber, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Jerk-Seasoned Wonton Chips, recipe follows
In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, jalapenos, cucumber, bell peppers, and cilantro. In another bowl, combine the apple juice concentrate, oil, salt, and pepper. Add to the pineapple mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill for 4 hours. Serve with Jerk-Seasoned Wonton Chips.

Jerk-Seasoned Wonton Chips:
25 wonton wrappers, cut in half diagonally
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon Caribbean Jerk Seasoning, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the wonton wrappers in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle each evenly with jerk seasoning. Bake until lightly browned and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool completely on parchment paper. Serve immediately, or store chips in an airtight container up to 1 week.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

22 - Become A Patron of the Arts

Become a patron of the arts by purchasing a membership to a museum, symphony, or cultural society. Do you like art, photography, music?? Find an organization in your area where you can enjoy their offerings. You might find a perk to your membership is that it is valid at other places nationally, which is helpful when you travel.

Monday, March 21, 2011

21 - Tackle Home Improvement Projects

Make a list of the manageable home improvement projects you'd like to tackle. Do some research at HGTV, Martha Stewart, or DIY to get a list of resources you'll need then head to the home improvement and hardware store to get your goods.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

18 - Restaurant Week

Roast ~ Detroit, Michigan

Scoop out restaurant weeks in the cities nearest to you. The week provides an opportunity to eat at places typically outside your budget or outside your usual comfort zone.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

17 - March Madness!!

March Madness begins today. Find your team. Organize your brackets and start cheering!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Indulge in some green beer or some lovely Irish food.
Don't forget to watch "Waking Ned Devine" !!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

16 - Get Active

Get active this month. Find a new activity or exercise to get your booty moving. Take a walk outside, go for a hike, sign up for a class, start a workout group, join karate. Move that body!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

15 - Embrace Roman & Greek Mythology

Read "Julius Caesar" or find some Roman or Greek Mythology to entertain you for the Ides of March.

(image: Privatjokr)

Monday, March 14, 2011

14 - Celebrate Pi day with Pie

Celebrate Pi day by making a

"Glazed Blueberry Pie:

The combination of fresh and cooked blueberries gives this pie a unique, fresh flavor.

* 4 cups hulled fresh blueberries
* 1 cup sugar
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
* 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 9-inch baked pie shell

Crush 2 cups of berries and blend with the sugar and cornstarch, which have been mixed together. Cook over direct heat, stirring frequently, until thick and smooth (8 to 10 minutes). Add the lemon juice. Cool. Then fold the remaining fresh berries into the mixture.

Sprinkle the confectioners' sugar over the bottom of the pie shell and add the filling. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Serve topped with the whipped cream sweetened with the 1 tablespoon sugar."

(recipe from Yankee.com)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

13 - Spring into Action

Spring into action by finding a charity with whom to volunteer or a good cause to champion. This month, I'm making dresses for the sew-a-long which is posted in the left column of this blog. Find your cause and march into action.

Idealist.org is an excellent place to find organizations in need of your help.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

12 - Buy a Cake Print

Buy a beautiful 'Let Them Eat Cake' print from Paul Ferney

(image: Paul Ferney, www.paulferny.bigcartel.com)

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

10 - Do your taxes!

Do your taxes . Get them done so you can receive your refund early or so you have time to plan your payment. Either way, you'll be so relieved they are finished that your spring will be much more enjoyable.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

9 - Make some Mardi Gras food

In honor of Mardi Gras and New Orleans, why not make some Mardi Gras food??

Find some delicious inspiration here:

Epicurious Mardi Gras Guide

Rachael Ray's Mardi Gras Guide

Food + Wine New Orleans food party

Head to The Cooking Channel's website for cocktails & jambalaya or go to their blog, Devour for some gumbo hand pies.

Spice up your home menu in order to spice up your spring!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

8 - Get a Paczki

Get a Polish Paczki (doughnut like pastry) to celebrate Fat Tuesday!

(Image: freep.com, ANDRE J. JACKSON)

Monday, March 07, 2011

7 - Celebrate Carnival

Celebrate Carnival vicariously through Budget Travel Online. Be an arm chair traveler and head to Flickr to search for photos of your destination. Peruse Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure, or another travel website to read about your Carnival city. Exploring through your screen could be fun and might encourage you to plan a trip for next Carnival or Spring break.

Carnival in Quito, Ecuador 2008

Sunday, March 06, 2011

6 - Find a Shamrock plant to grow

Plant a shamrock! Head to your local gardening center to find a Oxalis, a.k.a. Shamrock, plant to grow so you'll have good luck year round.

Learn how to at: Martha Stewart or The Gardener's Rake".

Friday, March 04, 2011

4 - Combating Winter Blues

Combat your winter blues

Maybe spring hasn't sprung quite yet and you need help getting rid of the lingering winter blues. Find some ideas for battling your general malaise at The Kitchn.

You could also go get a Shamrock Shake...

(image: delish.com)

Or you can make make your own.

Spring Quotation

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

~ Charles Dickens

Thursday, March 03, 2011

3 - Stir Fry

Stir Fry

One of the best ways to use your spring vegetables is in a stir fry. Here's my latest concoction:

carrots, diced
celery, sliced
water chestnuts, diced
(any other vegetables you might have. these were the ones I had on hand.)
cooked chicken
cooked rice
toasted sesame oil (best stuff ever. I use Spectrum.)
sesame seeds
soy sauce
garlic, diced

Cook your rice according to the package. The sooner you cook it, the better. Leftover cold rice is best but not necessary.

I usually cook my chicken on medium in the sesame oil with garlic or use a rotisserie chicken tossed in the oil and garlic.

Heat a wok on medium and coat with sesame oil. It is important to use medium to low heat for this oil. Cook the carrots in the oil for about five minutes, until tender. Remove from the pan and set aside. Cook the celery and water chestnuts in the pan with the oil and some garlic about five minutes or until tender. Set aside with the carrots.

Add some more oil to the pan and add the cooked rice. Toss in the oil, add garlic and sesame seeds. Once coated, add the chicken and cook until warmed. Add the rest of the vegetables and toss the stir fry together. Season to your liking with soy sauce and pepper then serve warm.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

2 - Start a Garden

Start a garden!

Nothing says spring like starting a garden. Now is the time to pick your seeds and plan what you'll grow. Whether you have a patio, large plot of land, or a roof top, there is something for you in the new issue of Martha Stewart Living.

(image: Maineac)

Grab the March issue and grow something green!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

1 - new shorts

new shorts

Every spring I look for Ann Taylor LOFT's spring short line up. I've made it somewhat of a tradition to get their newest shorts, assuming they have a pattern I like. This year the options are:

Pansy Bloom Shorts


Shooting Star Shorts.

I like them both and plan to welcome spring with these two pairs.

Spring is in the air with March

For the fickle month of March, we have 31 days of spring and holiday celebrations. This year fat Tuesday falls on March 8th, which means something for Mardi Gras. We have St. Patrick's day for the lucky and the official day of spring for the hopeful. Daylight savings steals an hour from us but maybe we can overlook nature's theft with a planned excursion that will exhaust to the point of forgetfulness about the lost hour.

Happy March!

Monday, February 28, 2011

End of February

Today marks the end of February and the end of a month of loves. In addition to the things with which I am enamored, I believe this month should include the following:

Something chocolate, preferably molten like these cakes.

Something bubbly, such as Lambrusco or maybe a rose, or some cava, champagne or prosecco. Whatever suits your tastes.

Something pink, such as a Slice of Pink.

A fun project for the winter blues.

A good mystery book.

And lots of soup, such as Giada's tortellini soup. (or stew or chili so long as it's warm!)

twenty eight - my family

My family.

I couldn't get the picture to scan. Maybe another time.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

twenty five - my socks

Ann Taylor LOFT's socks

I didn't even like socks until I went to NYC for Christmas where the wind made me reconsider. I bought more socks there than I had in years. I am obsessed with and adore these fuzzy, cozy socks from the LOFT. I bought four pairs and would have acquired more had they not sold out. I will look for them next year as my feet have never felt so luxurious.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

twenty four - Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo

Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo

The smell is phenomenal. A candle in this scent would be heaven. Also, the shampoo is environmentally friendly; good for you and good for the planet. What isn't to love?
(image: kissmyface.com)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

twenty three - foreign languages

foreign languages

I acquire foreign languages like some acquire shoes. I speak three languages and am a beginner in five others. There is very little that's more exciting than using second language skills proficiently. Having the ability to communicate with others in their languages is one of my favorite personal accomplishments.

(images: amazon.com)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

twenty two - 'Walking Ned Devine'

'Walking Ned Devine'

(image: amazon.com)

I watch it every year on St. Patrick's day. It's my favorite movie.

Monday, February 21, 2011

twenty one - tea


Lots and lots, in all forms, and a plethora of flavors. I love tea.

our tea cupboard

I highly recommend TeaGschwendner's Indian Chai, which is currently our favorite, and the one featured in the blue tea jar.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

twenty - Scandinavia


(Credit: wikitravel.com)

I have a huge crush on Scandinavia and would love to have a little shop in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Oslo...or any of the region's lovely cities. Our adventure list includes exploration of this part of Europe. In the meantime, I've been studying Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

nineteen - basketball


(credit: villanova.com)

Especially college basketball; particularly Villanova basketball. To get more specific, Corey Fisher's three pointers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

eighteen - HGTV Dream Home Giveaway

HGTV's Dream Home giveaway

Every year they let you enter to win a dream home. This year, it's in Stowe, Vermont. The contest starts in January and ends in mid-February. I love to see where the next location is and what they've done with the homes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

sixteen - reading

staying up late to read a book

I read the "Twilight Saga" and "The Millennium Trilogy" in the wee hours of the morning. There is something so comforting about being engrossed in a story while everyone else is fast asleep.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Charitable Donations make the best gifts

Nothing says 'I love you' on Valentine's day quite like a charitable donation made in your name. This year, I got a blue footed booy and I LOVE IT. The World Wildlife Fund has 100's of animals you can adopt. We love this organization and its cause. P and I also make donations to our local Humane Society, which is where he adopted the cats. Spread the love and make a donation to the charity of your choice!

fifteen - car washes

getting the car washed

There is nothing more fabulous than when the car is filthy and you finally get it washed; it sparkles and you hardly recognize it's yours. Don't forget the undercarriage either!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

fourteen - Mark Twain

Mark Twain:

(Photo: The New York Times Photo Archives)

His Autobiography is fascinating! I highly recommend reading it.

Happy Valentine's Day

Nothing says 'I love you' like Hooter's wings and Canadian 'domestic' beer. Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

thirteen - sepia tone photos

sepia tone photos:

New York City, from an airplane - 12/22/2010

El Lechero, Ecuador - March 2008

Saturday, February 12, 2011

twelve - The Standard Baking

The Standard Baking in Portland, Maine is the best bakery ever, and I adore it insanely.

Friday, February 11, 2011

eleven - the power of people

the power of people
(a story about Egyptian Christians protecting their praying Muslim countrymen)

How amazing for the people of Egypt.

(source: economist.com)

I've been watching their celebration all day and it makes me so insanely humble and excited. Passionate and active people are such an inspiration.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

ten - CNN International

(from CNN.com)

CNN International - not regular old CNN, but the version you see outside the U.S. and possibly the version at airports but most definitely the kind you see in other countries. I still watch CNN, but I most definitely love, love, love the international version best.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Monday, February 07, 2011

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

two - my friends

my friends:

While this list includes a plethora of people I truly love, the photo pictured here was one I had handy. I still love the rest of you.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

one - my love

My love:

Welcome February

Aloha dear February. As stated before, I very much enjoy this pretty pink month. And in honor of the month of love and because I need something to do, there will be 28 days of things I love.