Tarte Friends and Family Sale!

Hi everyone! I just got a great email from Tarte Cosmetics today! They are having a Friends and Family sale where everything on their website is 40% off, plus free shipping on any order over $60. Tarte is an eco-friendly company that is cruelty free and healthy. They are 100% free of parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and phthalates. This is a fantastic deal if you want to try some Tarte products or already have favorites you want to stock up on.

My personal favorite are the Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara; eyeshadow palettes; and Park Avenue Princess Bronzer.
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Heaven on two wheels

The glorious days of summer are upon us, and if you’re like me, you’re soaking up every bit of juicy sunshine, petal-scented wisps of breeze, and succulent fields of green grass. When you’re not a kid anymore and don’t have months of long summer days to relax free of work and school, it becomes a bit more of a challenge to enjoy the summer. Every year I whine about how fast my summer went and how I didn’t get to savor it as much as a wanted. This year, I promised myself to not let that happen. Wanna know my secret? It’s my new love……my new…….BIKE!

I saw this bike in a local store, and was drawn to it like moth to a flame. I ogled over the white leather embossed seat, wicker basket with floral fabric lining, painted fenders, red spokes, and handlebar tassels. It was love at first sight! I had been wanting to buy a beach cruiser because my sister has one and loves it, but I wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge due to the expense. So I walked away from the “Gypsy” (that’s the model name) and decided to think it over. After literally having dreams of riding around my neighborhood on the beautiful Gypsy, I decided to go back and buy it. As I pulled up to the store, a man was loading the same bike on the roof of his car and drove away with it. I went in and told the store manager, who remembered me from my previous visit, that I was back to buy my Gypsy. Much to my dismay, that was the last one he had in stock of this limited-edition bike, and it was going to be at least a month before he could order another one. I wasn’t about to let half my summer go by without having a bike to cruise around on, so I went on an endless hunt for this bike. To make a long story short, I drove over an hour to a specialty bike shop in another town, and I’m now the proud owner of my beloved Electra Gypsy. This bike makes me feel like a little kid and it’s my new addiction!

I just returned from a ride, and after ringing my little bell as I cruised right through a sprinkler that was misdirected at the sidewalk, I am in pure bliss. Summer is here, and my Gypsy is making it a great one!

Posted in bicycle, joy, simple pleasures, summer

Susan Branch’s Basil Limeade

I am a huge fan of Susan Branch. If you don’t know who she is, you need to check out her website. If anyone knows how to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, it’s her! She’s all about dreaming big and savoring all the gifts of everyday life. I’ve been a fan of Susan Branch since I started receiving her calendars as Christmas presents. Every year since we were in about middle school, my mom has bought me and my sisters a new calendar for Christmas. Was I was younger, I would get a horse or kitten calendar, but since around college, I’ve been getting the Susan Branch calendar. It’s full of cute hand-illustrated pictures, quotes, recipes, favorite things, and of course, simple pleasures! Susan is an amazingly talented artist, crafter, writer, and chef extraordinaire! Every month I’m excited to flip over the page to see what cute things are in store….these calendars are so beautiful, I don’t want to throw them away at the end of the year!

I’m also on Susan Branch’s email list. She sends out updates about her online store, her travels, her books, new recipes, etc. This woman knows how to squeeze every little bit of fun, beauty, and joy out of life! I love it!

In her most recent email, Susan included a recipe for Basil Limeade. Let me tell you, after seeing how excited she was to share this quick and easy recipe, I whipped up a batch immediately, and I’m in love! If you’re looking for a sweet, tart, refreshing, delightful summer beverage, you must try it!

This makes 1 1/2 quarts. You’ll need:
1/2 c. sugar + 1 c. water
4 whole fresh basil leaves
4 limes, quartered
1/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
fresh basil or mint for garnish
2 + 2 cups water (divided)

Put sugar and 1 cup water in small saucepan, bring to rolling boil. Remove from heat, stir in basil leaves, and chill. When it’s cold, pour the syrup into a blender; add quartered limes, condensed milk, and 2 c. cold water. Blend for a few (maybe four) seconds on high, just until limes are roughly chopped. Strain into pitcher. Put 2 more cups of cold water into blender, and then pour through strainer into pitcher, to get the rest of the juices from the limes. Serve over crushed ice, garnished with fresh basil spring or fresh mint. Makes 6 cups (1 1/2 qts.) Enjoy!

Posted in cooking, favorite things, food, home, recipes

Welcome to my Blog!

In addition to my YouTube channel of the same name, I wanted to create another space to share my thoughts, ideas, tips, discoveries, triumphs, and tribulations. I’m someone who has always savored the simple pleasures in life……like the sun shining in on my face in the morning, warm towels out of the dryer, a freshly made bed, the sound of birds chirping, hot chocolate with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg…..you get the picture (ahhh, I’m getting happy feelings just thinking about those things!). I find that I enjoy those little details far more than some of the other pleasures in life that you think would be more exciting (like buying a new car, spending a bunch of money on a shopping spree, etc.).

I first noticed my enthrallment with simple pleasures when I was reading my journal several years ago. I’ve kept a journal since I was a little girl, and it always gives me a good laugh to read my entries from years ago (things like “Mark and I are perfect for each other and I love him more than anything in this world”- Age 11). Too funny. But the most fascinating discovery is reading my own words from years ago, and it’s actually like my past self is talking to my present/future self. Although I like to think how much I’ve grown, matured, become wiser, (which I hope I have!) I’ve realized how much I’m the same person, with the same observations, worries, dreams, fears, and loves. Taking note of these common themes has helped me to really get to know myself and set myself on the right path. I’ve discovered what I’m interested in, what makes me tick, who I enjoy spending time with, and most importantly, what I value most.

So in this blog, I’ll attempt to share a bit of myself with you…..my everyday pleasures, fun memories, latest finds, beauty tips, money-saving ideas, and anything else that pops in my mind! I hope to keep it positive, interesting, informative, and maybe even a little bit funny!

I hope you enjoy a little peek into my world.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

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