Sunday, April 29, 2012

SUNday Post #18


Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Best Friends Wedding!

It's here!  It's finally here!  My best friends wedding weekend has (almost) officially begun! 

Kathryn - I can't tell you how excited I am to see you walk down the aisle on Saturday, and I am so honored to stand by your side as you did mine.  I wish you and Luis a lifetime of love and happiness <3 
one of my favorite candids of us from my wedding...

All my love! xoxo

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our New House: Update #3

Today, we finally started framing!  :)  Yes, I know in my last update two weeks ago I said this would happen "any day now" but turns out, Ocean City was even slower than we thought and we just got our building permit on Friday (!!). 

And thennnn our framing crew didn't show up on Tuesday.  So, we're just getting started now!  Like I said before, timelines are more like rough estimates in construction! 

Anyways, since I don't have much or an update or many pictures to share right now, I thought I'd share a little bit about our decision to build.  (And you'll finally get a sneak peek at what our new house will look like!)

We made the decision when we bought our first house in Ocean City in November 2009, but building our own home has been a dream of ours since before we met.  So when we bought our first house, we bought it for its location (great street, right across from the bay) with the hopes that we would be fortunate enough to be able to knock it down in Spring 2012.  Ambitious? Yes.  But somewhat realistic? Yes! 
Our little beach cottage by the bay...

View from our kitchen / front porch

But when we started investigating the process to knock down our house last November / December, we quickly learned how crazy Ocean City zoning laws are...and found out our lot was unbuildable (without a variance, or 6+ additional months plus $$$ lawyer fees).  Basically even though all the new houses on our street are set back only 12 ft. from the curb (zoning varies by street in OC, so the general rule of thumb is to look at the newest house on your block), the zoning law stated our lot required 25 feet.  And with a lot size of only 65 ft, you do the math.

Disappointed, we began exploring our options.  We could go for the variance but that meant we wouldn't be able to start building until the fall... Or we could look for another lot or tear down opportunity in Ocean City.  So, we decided to explore both until we were ready to decide.

Luckily, and I really mean that because there aren't many vacant lots in Ocean City, there was a lot for sale 3 blocks away that we had been on the market for little while.  It was much bigger than the lot our current house sits on, which meant we could build an even bigger house.  Although we didn't love the street as much as our current one - our old house is on Pleasure Ave which is so beautiful and wide - the fact that we could buy the lot much cheaper than what we bought our our house for made our decision a little bit easier.  (More $$ for my construction budget, right Nate?!)  Plus this time we'd be one of the newer houses on the block, not the little beach shack!

We made an offer two days before Christmas and we were under contract by New Years.

Now, the funny / ironic part.  After all the years of talking and planning our dream beach home...our ONLY requirement was that it was not "barn style".  We wanted beach modern and hip roof lines.  But again, Ocean City Zoning is a funny beast.  After our first meeting with our architect we realized that the best way to maximize our square footage (mainly on our 3rd floor) would be to have that "barn style" roof line. 

It took some convincing not to sacrifice square footage over aesthetics, but we both eventually agreed this was the way to go.  And to be honest, it's really growing on me!  I am so excited for it!

Our NEW house!

(I'll tell you more about the floor plans as we continue with construction...  But this should be a good start as I start posting pictures of framing.)

Barn style and all, I can't tell you how many times we catch ourselves thanking God and each other for our blessings - we know this is a privilege and not something most people get to do in their lifetime.  And I now know this is something I could never undertake without Nate.

But our next house (because with my husband, I know this is not our last),  you bet your ass it won't look be this style!  :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Craft of the Week: Lilly Pulitzer Bangle Bracelets

This past weekend, my sister and I crafted, not exactly together, but together from afar.  It's the best we could do when we're in need of a craft fix and can't get together!!

Anyways, I had seen an idea for mod podge bangle bracelets on Pinterest and knew right away we could use our (dwindling) stash of Lilly Pulitzer cocktail napkins to make our own!  You know how much I love a good mod podge craft...(here) and (here)...and any accessory with a great Lilly print!

For mine, I used a tan acrylic bangle that I had laying around from an URBN sample sale (basically for free) since I wasn't exactly sure how it'd turn out...and was feeling a bit lazy with all the Sunday rain.  Em went to JoAnns and bought a silver bangle for $4.  And I think that is the way to go - while mine turned out great, I love how hers has a shine to it from the underlying metal, and I think the darker surface made her napkin colors look even brighter!!

(Emily's bracelet is featured above; mine is below using leftover Floaters print napkins from Kathryn's bridal shower).

So yes, I will be heading to JoAnns and my local Lilly store (for my napkins, of course!) this weekend because I'm dying to make more!  I think I have a few girlfriends who I would like one of these beauties!

Supplies Needed:
  • Bangle bracelet
  • Lilly Pulizter cocktail napkin (only need 1 in your favorite print!)
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Scissors 

1. Napkins typically have two (or three) layers - one with the print/color, and one (or two) white layers for added absorbency.  For this craft, you only need the printed layer so the first step is carefully to peel apart the napkin. 

2. Cut the napkin into into 3/4" x 3" strips. 

3. Once you have about 10-12 pieces ready, paint a section of your bracelet with mod podge using your foam brush.  Then carefully place the napkin on top of the glue at a diagonal - this helps prevent folds and bubbles in the napkin as it dries to the curve of the bracelet.  Fold ends inside and cut. 
As you repeat, remember you want as little overlap as possible, as even the smallest overlap will be amplified in color once you add your glue.
4. I glued the napkin strips onto about 80% of the bracelet and then applied a top layer of mod podge. Then, I let it completely dry before doing the remaining section.

Monday, April 23, 2012


With the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic last week and the 3-D version of the infamous movie now playing (for limited time) in the move theaters, I couldn't help but post this:

"There was plenty of room on the god damn door, Rose!"

I think it's pretty hysterical, don't you?!

P.S. People didn't know the Titanic was a true story?!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pump pump pump it up!

In February, I took my first ever yoga class at the Ocean City Community Center.  And since then, I've been going about once every two weeks (I know, I know, that's not very consistent..).

In the beginning I went much more frequently, but I quickly learned that the class and what you get our of it truly depends on your instructor.  And unfortunately, I only really enjoy the classes taught by one of the instructors at the gym - she teaches on Wednesday at 5pm (never make in home in time) and Saturday mornings (I go when we are actually home for the weekend).

One Wednesday, however, I worked from home and was able to make it to the Wednesday night yoga.  When it was over, people came pouring in for the next class, kickboxing, and I thought "what the hell I'll stay for this one too!" 

Side note: I've been trying to find a boxing club (with open hours) in Ocean City ever since we moved here to no avail.  I fell in love with boxing when I lived in New York City and spent 4-5 mornings a week before work getting my ass kicked at Trinity Boxing Club - one of the oldest boxing clubs in New York.  Membership was crazy expensive (in my opinion), but I won two free months for being the most improved in the club's Bootcamp and was hooked.  (Tyra Banks and Mark Consuelos are both regulars!).  For anyone looking to get in / back into shape in NYC, I HIGHLY recommend both boxing and the bootcamp...

Green Beret Eddie Lima yelling his head off...

the infamous boxing ring

But anyways, I fell in love with this (cardio) kickboxing class!  And not because it brought be back to my guts and grime days at Trinity...but because this lady's playlist had me rocking out (and working out) so hard that I think for I moment I though I was actually out dancing in a Las Vegas night club (a la summer 2011!)!  This completely shocked me (and Nate when I told him slash when he spied on me at the class last night), because I'm not typically one to enjoy the dance your heart out girly girl kind of work out (she sometimes adds a little step or Zumba, which to me is hysterical, depending on the class size)!  I prefer hitting things, and getting yelled at, and competing against the person working out next to me!  But I left this class all smiles (hello endorphins) and sweat!

This got me thinking though...that I never really paid much attention to my "workout playlist" before.  If I'm heading on a long run, I usually just put my iphone on shuffle and skip the songs that are too slow.  Or sometimes it's just a Taylor Swift or Kenny Chesney kind of day!  But I really think if I had some catchy dance / house music to listen (and sing along to), my workouts might seem a bit less dressed and a lot more fun!

So, I'm looking for some recommendations to build the perfect workout playlist.  And since I know NOTHING about music (and can't even begin to guess the names / artists of the songs she plays in the class), I'm turning to you, my friends, to help!! 

What song pumps you up when you're working out?!  I would appreciate any and all recommendations!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recipe: Baby Shower Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, I made these adorable cupcakes for a surprise baby shower we threw at work for a coworker expecting a baby boy in May. 

I can't take full credit for the idea - I saw them at a recent gender reveal baby shower I attended where I was told the inspiration came from Pinterest.  (Of course it did!)  :)

But anyways, they were a huge hit - and were super easy to make!  The cupcakes were funfetti (there is no better kind of cupcake...even homemade; follow directions on box); the eyes - mini-chocolate chips; and the pacifiers were 2 for 1 dollar store purchases (that went through my dish washer approx. 5 times before using...).

The best part was definitely pulling out the pacifier to lick off cake and icing!  Ahh to be a toddler again, even for just a few short seconds..!

P.S. Did you use a pacifier as a baby?  What did you call it?  Paci? Binky?  I think the names people give them are hilariously cute...  (I called mine "nippy" and when I wanted it I'd say "nother one nippy".)

P.P.S. I also got a lot of compliments at work / the party on my cupcake carrier, which I highly recommend if you're in the market (wedding registry, perhaps?).  It was a wedding gift from my cousin and his wife (along with a cupcake tree, cookbook and decorating supplies) and it is amazing - stores 24 cupcakes and the bottom tray is a baking tray!  You can buy the same one here!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Craft of the Week: Glitter Shoes!

It's been a little while since my last Craft of the Week post.  (Like I said, I've been channeling my creativity in other ways lately...)  But today I thought I'd share one of my favorite "pre-blog" crafts! 

DIY Glitter Shoes!

With sequins and sparkles literally everywhere this past winter / holiday season, I was dying to use some glitter to jazz up something old in my closet.  And after a trip to DSW, I decided I could totally save myself the $60 and make my own glitter shoes with old black pumps.  So, I recruited my sister, Emily (who is my lovely hand model in the below pictures!) and to the craft store we went!

The shoes, while messy to make, actually turned out to be a major success!  Emily wore hers to her sorority's winter formal and I wore mine to my work holiday party.  They were a huge hit (which means a lot coming from talented fashion designers)!  Best part?  While we may have left a little trail of glitter throughout our respective parties, the glitter actually stayed on!  No big patches missing, just a few flakes here or there!  I can't wait to break them out again next year (that is, after I wear the heck out of my flip flips and sandals all summer)!

Anyways, here's the tutorial!  And apologies in advance for the over-exposed pictures! Ooops!

Supplies Needed:
  • Old leather shoes (work better than suede)
  • Craft Glitter (in any color / size)
  • Tacky Glue
  • Spray adhesive glue (we used Elmer's, but the stronger the better!)
  • Foam brush
  • Cardboard / poster board
  • Paper towels / tissue paper

1. The key this craft is to add the glitter in sections..and be very liberal with both the glue and the glitter!  So first, a small area of the shoe with your foam brush and tacky glue.  Apply glitter - with hands or pouring from the bottle.

I'd highly recommend stuffing your shoes with paper towels / tissue paper to protect the insides from glue and glitter (especially in step 2).

If you accumulate excess glitter piles, we would occasionally funnel the leftover glitter back into the jar.  Like I said, be liberal when applying!

2. Once you've completed gluing/glittering the whole shoe, let it sit to dry for about 30 minutes.  Then, spray your shoes with the spray adhesive - keeping the spray about 6 inches above your shoe.  Leave out to dry for 24 hours before wearing!  (Store in a shoe box to prevent glitter from getting everywhere in your closet!)

Hmm, perhaps I need to spruce up a a pair or two of my summer sandals...!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Can I Keep You?

Last night, I decided I needed a night to be a complete and utter bum. 

(Did I mention I am still recovering from the weekend of Easter festivities?!)

So I came home from work (a little early) and promptly got in bed for a night of tv (and dinner in bed)!  :)

Of course, nothing good / new was on tv...  But after a series of flips through every channel imaginable trying to find something to entertain me, I struck gold!

CASPER, the 1995 hit-movie about the ghost of a boy who is "the friendliest ghost you know" (starring Christina Ricci and Devon Sawa) was on ABC Family.  Oh how it made me reminisce about my childhood, how it brought back those tingly teenage feelings of my first movie star crush!  Devon heart throb you!

I started watching, much to Nate's dismay (he called it a Halloween movie - 'tis not!), but promised we could turn it off as soon as we got to the infamous slow dance scene...  About an hour and 45 minutes later, I remembered it was the last scene of the movie...  Oops!

It was totally worth it.  

Unfortunately this clip leaves of the big kiss scene, and my favorite part when Casper turns back to a ghost and casually says "Boo!" and everyone runs out screaming! They don't make 'em like this anymore, kids!

What movies remind you of your childhood?  Little Giants anyone?  Now & Then? 

And who were your movie star crushes?!  I also lovvvvved JTT, but who didn't?! 

Who used to buy Bop and Tiger Beat magazines?! 

And yes, Casper (12 years old in the movie) / Devon Sawa (~16 years old when he made the movie), you can keep me any day! Great line, great line...

P.S. What Devon Sawa looks like now!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our New House: Update #2

I've had a number of people asking for another house update.  So, here we go!!

I left off a week and a half ago that we were just about ready to "dig the footings" and pour the concrete for the garage foundation.  And I am happy to report that we have completed this first phase of construction: the foundation. 

Friday, March 30 & Monday, April 2
Nate and some of his Brazilian friends dug the hole (with shovels!) for our foundation and cut down the pilings with chain saws.

The garage will be where that square hole is on the right

Close up of the hole they dug

Wednesday, April 4th & Thursday, April 5
Next, they laid the block work....

Friday, April 6
The concrete was poured inside the blocks to set the foundation.

All done!

We are still waiting on our final building permit (should be here any day now)...and once we get that, we'll start framing up the house!  Which means, lots of "big change" pictures to come!

In the meantime, Nate is removing dirt today with a Bobcat (sounds like a messy job to me) and the welder is there fabricating some of the steel beams (to help ensure our house doesn't fall down in high winds)!

It's been a relatively swift process so far - I am amazed that we're already ready to "start framing" - although I am slowly learning that timelines in construction are more like rough estimates.  (A week from Monday could mean next Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday).  I'm also a little surprised how long things seem to take with the Zoning & Construction offices - 3 weeks for a review?! 

However, in all honesty, we have been very lucky so far that we haven't encountered any major bumps or hiccups...and I 100% attribute to the fact that we have such a fantastic builder!  (Love you, Nay)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wedding Wine

Have you guys seen the adorable line of wedding wines from Swanson VineyardsI think they'd be perfect to serve your guests on the big night...or to give as a gift to a newly engaged / married couple!

Mmmm, wine! <3

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter!

(via Lilly Pulitzer)

Happy Easter (to those who celebrate)! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with family, friends, fun and sun!  :)  xoxo

Do or don't: Middle Part

2012 Peeps Diarama Contest

Hunger Games: Map of Panem

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Secret to Soft Skin?

I have a friend who has some serious soft skin. 

Her arms are smoother than a baby's bottom and her legs have this sexy sheen about them that makes it look as if she just got off the beach and had the most fabulous wax. (I'm not sure if fabulous and leg wax should really go together, because I'd imagine that'd hurt like hell, but I swear thats what it looks like!)

So when I saw her a few weeks ago (and had my usual "my skin feels like snake scales compared to yours" reaction), I finally had to ask what her secret was. 

Her answer?

Baby Oil.

My friend liberally applies baby oil to her damp bod, post-shower, right before she towlel dries, every day and has since she was a junior in high school.  Seriously, that's it?!  Talk about a routine thats working for ya!  And budget friendly!

So at my next visit to the drugstore, I ventured over to the baby aisle and picked up a small bottle of Johnson's Baby Oil.  I was shocked to see that the directions were exactly as she had described.

Use daily to help seal in moisture and to help prevent chafing. For best results, apply while skin is still damp from shower or bath for superior moisturization. Use daily to help skin stay soft and smooth.

I threw it in my cart and thought, what the hell, can't hurt to try! 

So it's been 2 weeks now since I added the baby oil to my shower routine, and I can honestly say I already feel the difference!  I don't feel at all "oily" and my skin is soft and glowing!  (Doesn't hurt that I think I smell pretty great too!)  Definitely something I'll keep up, especially as shorts / dress season is almost upon us!

(Warning: Nate has noticed that the shower is extra slippery be careful!)

Do you have any skin-so-soft beauty secrets to share?!

P.S. I have always looooved Johnson's Baby Lotion for quick dry skin fixes - it feels like butter when you put it on, and it's not offensively fragrant.  I keep a bottle in just about every purse / desk / cabinet!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Recipe: Easter Egg Treats!

Can you believe its already Easter?!  What are your plans?

Last year, Nate and I started the tradition of hosting Easter Saturday for the Rowley side of our family.  We made a big ham, scrambled and hard boiled eggs, potatoes, fruit salad, a big veggie platter and we had our own adult Easter egg hunt complete with a $10 golden egg!  My siblings gave us an early wedding present (an amazzzzing grill), and we took a long walk on the boardwalk after everyone ate way too much! It was a beautiful spring day, the first time most of my siblings had visited us in our new hometown...and it was my mom's last ever visit to Ocean City.

This year its supposed be another beautiful spring day, but only half the fam can make it down (we'll only be a party of 5, not 11).  So, we decided to switch things up a bit - we're having Easter on our boat heading out to lunch at a restuarant on the bay!

For me that means no cooking (!!), but I'm not going to let myself off that easy!  This afternoon I headed into the kitchen to prep my appetizers and try out a new and festive dessert!

What did I make?

These adorable chocolate dipped Rice Krispie treat Easter Eggs!


Ingredients Needed:
  • 3 tablespoons Margarine or Butter
  • 1 package (10 oz, about 40) regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellog's Rice Krispies Cereal
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Chocolate / Vanilla candy melts (variety of colors, I used Wilton brand)
  • Sprinkles (Targe had a cute 5 pack of Easter themed sprinkles)
  • Large plastic easter eggs (ya know, the ones you fill with candy)
  • Wax paper

1. Spray (liberally) plastic Easter eggs with pam cooking spray.

2. Melt margarine or butter in large saucepan over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat

3. Mix in Kellog's Rice Krispie cereal.  Stir until well coated.

4. Stuff the plastic Easter eggs with warm Rice Krispie mixture.  I found the best method is to use each half of the egg as a shovel and then squeeze the halfs together to close.  Let them sit for about 10 minutes.

5. Carefully open the Easter eggs and removie your egg shaped treats.  Place on wax paper.

Note: If the don't come out perfect, gently mold back into shape but try not to crush the cereal (I think that looks worse).  But if you have enough cooking spray inside, they will turn out great!

6. Melt your candy melts over low heat and dip bottom half of Rice Krispie treats into chocolate.

7. Before the chocolate dries, coat with sprinkles.  

8. Dry your treats on wax paper until chocolate hardens.  Store in cupcake carrier to keep fresh until ready to eat!

P.S. I don't know what it is, but I'm definitely on a Rice Krispie treat kick - I made these green shamrock treats for St. Paddy's day (and served them in the green leprechaun hat)! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

DIY Nursery Art by Emily!

Check out these adorable DIY nursery decor items my oh so talented sister, Emily made for our new niece!

I would love one of these with my own name!

And this looks straight out of a PB Kids catalog!

Very impressed, Emily!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Today I'm daydreaming of one of my favorite places in the entire world...


A small hilltop town about five miles northeast of Florence, Italy which offers the most breathtaking views of my beloved city.

I can't tell you how many amazingly sunny afternoons I spent there when I lived in Florence...  Or what I'd do to go back again right now...

If you could be anywhere today, where would you be?