Hey, guess what guys? I'm guest blogging at one of the funniest/wittiest/most enlightening/sure to make you smarter and/or wiser blogs around. Ya, that's right. I'm over at Savvy Pants talking about running, 16 year old angst and The Spice Girls. Be sure to leave some love and follow her blog if you, like me, can't get enough! In the mean time, here's a picture of a cute kitten in a sweater:
Happy Wednesday! It's time for another Wednesday Pick Me Up. As all of you know, I'm just a little bit obsessed with Noah and the Whale. I recently bought their new album Last Night on Earth and it's a totally different sound than their other album, Peaceful The World Lays Me Down. It's different, but good. Every song on their new album makes me feel like today is a new day. The album motivates me and helps me to persevere. I really love that. I recently started training for a 5K, and this song that I'm about to show you is my theme song for this new journey I'm undergoing. I now present you with "Life is Life."
I love the message of the song, the music itself, and I love the video, especially the colors. Whenever I doubt myself I find myself thinking, "Your life is your life. Gotta live like it's your life." So go live your life to the fullest on this Wednesday. Go get an ice cream cone on lunch, indulge yourself in a bubble bath tonight, tell someone you love them. Just remember, it's your life. Do what makes you happy. Every day is a new beginning.
On a side note, my brother and sister's dad passed away last night. I'm sure they'd really appreciate if you'd keep them and their step mom in your prayers. Thanks.
Hello again! I know it's Tuesday, and therefore I am late in this post, but I was watching my sister's kids for a couple of days and didn't have access to a computer. Forgive me? Haha. This weekend passed by so quickly. Karl and I didn't really do a whole lot, but it was a nice, leisurely time. Here's what we did:
-Okay, so not this weekend, but last week our niece, Ember turned one! She was adorable with her little cake.
-Karl's mom and sister were there and Lara really loved trying to look like that cupcake. Haha.
-Karl bought me flowers, just because. He's the best.
-On Saturday, we ran a bunch of errands and decided to treat ourselves to a loaf of Great Harvest Bread. We got a loaf of honey wheat and their famous pumpkin chocolate chip bread. For those of you who have never been to Great Harvest, you've definitely been missing out. It's the best bread. In the world. And they give you a generous free slice with every purchase! Cha-ching! Can you tell I'm in love with a bread store? Haha.
-Great Harvest also sells Nantucket Nectars. I love this juice so much. It's like a little taste of home. The lids always have interesting facts about Nantucket on them. And on the label there's a naked guy jumping off a roof. Haha. I tried to Google the story behind it and stumbled upon the blog of a nudist. Haha. My bad.
-On Sunday, Karl and I watched our niece and nephew, Grace and Oliver at my sister's. We slept over and it was a grand time, but it made me realize that I really really love my own bed.
See? Nothing too exciting! It was a good weekend and we jumped full force into the week with a run at 5A.M. because we're that insane. Haha. I hope you all had a great weekend and try to have a fantastic week!
It's another Friday and there has been a whole lot of awesomeness going on around the web this week. It's only right that I share my finds with all of you! I hope these gems help distract you while you're supposed to be working/studying/cleaning/doing yard work/(insert something tedious here).
1. Have you heard about Boxcycles? I really really want one.I could ride my bike to go grocery shopping! Awesome!
2. I loved Kyla's post on making your week full of simple happiness. Sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. This is a good reminder.
3. Have you heard of Hello Giggles? It's an entertainment site for women, co-founded by Zooey Deschanel. I especially love this article. So hilarious and so true.
9. What, you haven't heard of Jwets? They're only like, the newest thing in fashion... And by fashion, I mean sitting on the couch, watching trashy reality TV, and rubbing chip grease on yourself.
10. I did it guys! I went running at 5AM and am so overjoyed with myself. I really love this Up and Running Course. Don't mind my supremely happy tomato face! Also, I'm loving all the new friends from all over the world that I'm making in the forums of this course. :)
Today I have a surprise for all of you! Trissta from Living on the Chic graciously agreed to do a guest post for me! It's no secret that I love interior design. There's a reason pretty much all of my boards on Pinterest are pretty sparse, except for "Decorate" and "Workspaces I love." I love Trissta's blog because she demonstrates how to completely redo a space within a college student's budget. I'm working on decorating my own home and I find all of her tips incredibly useful! I love her blog, and I know you will too, so be sure to show her some love in the comments and by checking her out at Living on the Chic!
Well, I am just soooo flattered that Kristie asked me to do this post for her! So, first off, I'll do a little introduction of myself. I am a college student, just starting my Master's in Interior Design and just graduated with my Bachelor's in Landscape Architecture. I grew up in a family of six kids, so I learned to be frugal at a young age, but as I've gotten older, I've found my tastes have changed from hand-me-downs from my sisters and old furniture from anyone who needed a place to dump it, to something a little more... Chic. As a student, though, I didn't have the sophisticated budget that I needed to afford all the lovely little things I wanted, so I made it my goal to live my life chicly, while still doing it cheaply. I still accept those hand-me-downs, but I throw in thrift shopping, yard saleing, and investing in quality pieces to my design style. So, without further adieu, I am going to share some of my best tips for decorating on a budget!
1) Get your inspiration. Looking at examples of other spaces can help you find what kind of space you're looking for. Most times even do it at a lower cost that you could have imagined! Once you find a space you like, you can start looking for similar items, but at a fraction of the price from the magazines. I love Pinterest-- it's a great way to share designs you love and find new ones to help you along the way! Also, if you want a completely you design, look at nature and natural color palettes! Sunsets, leopard spots, flowers... you name it, it can inspire you!
2) Shop secondhand. Look at classifieds, go to yard sales. I made a list of all the places I love to find pieces and many times, they're higher quality than you would expect. Many of the pieces I have in my living room were purchased second hand-- Check out my grandma floral chair! Gorgeous, and I only paid $15 for it at a thrift store! Don't worry, if you don't find something on your first visit, simply go back a few days later! Thrift stores are constantly changing what they have as stuff comes in and out on a regular basis.
3) Paint. Rehab. Refurnish. Reuse. You can take items you find at sales that may have the perfect form you're looking for, but have absolutely horrible color, and paint them to match the color scheme you're looking for. Just make sure you prep the material before you go crazy with the paint. I made this great desk for under $10 with a little bit of hard work, sand paper, and paint! If I can do it, you can too!
4) Go big. When you're decorating a space, it's better to go big. When you use larger items to fill space, you use less of them. Instead of collecting a ton of small items, which make your space seem junky, go for larger items that fit the space. In my bed room, I don't have very much on my wall, simply because my headboard (which was made from old closet doors) is the dominate piece. The size of it is proportional to the size of the room and doesn't overwhelm it. I added a little bit of glam with the clear globes, which don't clutter the space because of their transparency, but that's it. No other pictures, a few pillows on the bed, but that's it. Simple and sweet.
5) Repurpose items you already have. I put a bookshelf in my closet to hold my shoes... you can come up with soooo many different uses for simple things like bookshelves, stools, and everything else. In my office, for example, I had some awful mirrored closet doors. You know, the ones that roll back and forth and everyone seems to hate? Well, I took them off the track and was going to throw them out... but then thought twice. I place one on either side of my desk and they've created a great, formal look that doubles the space of the room! (The saying goes one mirror, double the space and the light.)
6) Create your own art. Again in my living room.... I had a ton of my own art, pictures, and prints that I loved, they were just on a smaller scale that what I needed behind my couch. By framing them all in similar frames, they are pulled together to be seen as one large item-- and I already had them on hand. You can tear pages out of books, paint on a blank canvas, or even frame old memorabilia that is important to you.
You can even bring that art out into the room by using the same color palette-- in my living room, I brought out the Vintage Italian Firenze Print by pairing my neutral blues, browns, creams, blacks, etc with the bright red floor cushions-- they were originally used on patio furniture, but instead, I used them as extra seating for when I have little nieces and nephews around. That way they don't get stickies all over my cream sofa, and, if needed, I can take off the cushion covers and wash them. Simple and easy.
7) Go for the unexpected. You can add legs to low sitting furniture, add a pop of red to an otherwise cool color palette, or a super clean lined coffee table in an other wise traditional layout. In my kitchen, I have a bookshelf filled with boxes (spray painted shoe boxes, in fact!) and then my cookbooks up top. What did I use for bookends? Carved coconuts. Yes, they are margarita coconuts. Filled with rocks from my rock garden, so they don't move around so much. Another unexpected move? The chalkboard wall behind it. When friends come over, they love to write new messages or draw pictures and when the inspiration strikes-- I'll do a few myself.
8) Rugs. Use rugs!! You can use them on carpet, tile, hardwood. They can and will create a different feeling in the space with graphic pattern, pop of color, or texture. This rug in my bedroom is amazing. I'm so in love with it-- and you know, it only cost me $45 at the Salvation Army?! Totally transforms this space from country chic to more of a modern graphic feeling!
9) Create balance with symmetry. Repeat colors, items, textures, and form in your space. It'll tie everything together. Even just within my bookshelf, there are repeated colors, items, and pops of them, too. And remember the office? The mirrors on either side of the desk bring that symmetric and balance to the room that I adore!
10) Layer light. Use lamps, mirrors, reflective surfaces to help create more light in your room during different times of the day. Lamps in the evening when you want to create a more restful mood, overhead lighting when you need it bright, both when you have company over. Especially in areas where you have certain-- ahem-- activities could happen (Like napping!) you want lower light sources to create a softer mood or easier on the eyes if you're reading. In my living room, I have a floor lamp and two other lamps all placed in different areas of the room so they create different atmospheres! Sighhhh.
And there you have it! My design in a nutshell. Any questions? Visit my blog or shoot me an email at Trissta_bob(at)hotmail(dot)com!
I cannot get over those clear glass globes and that Salvation Army rug! What a steal! I'm a little sad I didn't get to it first! Haha. Thank you so much for visiting, Trissta!
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I've been saving this song for a while because I was just waiting for the right day. Today is that day. I can thank Sarah Von for introducing me to Avalanche City. I'm so glad she did. Also, this video is incredible. If you like penguins, or pirates, or zeppelins, or all of the above, you'll love this video. Without further adieu, I present you with "Love, Love, Love."
Now tell me you're not smiling from ear to ear. :)
Have a great day!
If you have any music that you'd like to share, I'm definitely interested. I'm always in need of more good music in my life.
I love those baking blogs where they take amazing photographs of what they're making and never seem to make any sort of mess. I love how even after mixing, and creaming, and folding in that the bowl is still pristine. How does that even happen? Every single time I bake, I make a giant mess. The counter gets covered in cocoa powder, there's sugar stuck to my feet, and end up unsuccessfully washing Crisco off my hands. I guess maybe part of it is that I don't have an electric mixer. It takes forever to mix things with a wooden spoon or to cream butter and sugar together, so I always end up using my freshly washed hands. I think it's probably a sign of my impatience. I also think I like to have fun when I bake. I kind of like getting my hands dirty, even if that means later I'll be scalding and scrubbing them relentlessly to get the grease off.
Anyways. I definitely got myself dirty for this recipe. Black Moons are a Forzese family favorite. You may know them as whoopie pies, but they've always just been Black Moons to me. Black Moons are my favorite dessert. My dad and I would constantly request them, but would seldom get them any time that wasn't a holiday. They are a lot of work and they make a giant mess, so now I understand my mom's Black Moon withholding. And my whole life, I thought she was just being cruel. Haha. I think I sufficiently paid her back by asking her and my dad (and my sister) to bake about a million Black Moons for my wedding. They did it graciously, and since my parents don't live out here, I got to keep all the ingredients including 4 jars of Fluff (my parents had a case of 16 shipped out to Utah), two Costco sized jars of cocoa powder, and a pool sized bag of baking soda. Needless to say, I could control a pool's pH levels AND bake a million more batches of Black Moons and still have baking soda to spare. Haha.
Okay, okay, I'll get to the point. Here's the recipe you've all been waiting for.
Forzese Family Black Moons
-1 Cup Crisco
-2 Cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar), sifted
-2 Cups Marshmallow Fluff of Jet Puff
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-A small splash of milk to get to creamy consistency
Brown Cookie Ingredients
-1/2 Cup Crisco
-1 Cup sugar
-1 Cup milk
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 Cups flour
-1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 Cup cocoa powder, sifted
-1/2 teaspoon salt
Brown Cookie Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. In a large bowl, cream together Crisco and sugar
3. Add egg, milk, and vanilla
4. Stir in dry ingredients
5. Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet
6. Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
7. Let cool on cookie sheet for ten minutes
1. In another large bowl, stir all ingredients together until somewhat creamy. This party will get messy.
2. Smooth dollups onto on one cookie and place another cookie on top.
3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
1. Do not put cookie part on a cooling rack. It won't solidify right and it'll crumble everywhere.
2. You don't want the filling to be too creamy. You still want a little stiffness.
3. Add food coloring to the white filling for holidays or just for fun! My favorite is neon pink!
4. This recipe makes about 10 large black moons.
5. These will stay good for 3-4 days if kept in the fridge. Good luck holding on to them for that long.
I hope you like them! They're really rich, so they're definitely not for everyone, but personally, I can't get enough of them.
Well, hello there! I hope you had a great Father's Day weekend. Did you do anything special to celebrate? None of our dads really live super close to Karl and I, so our weekend was pretty normal. This is what it looked like:
-Friday night I went to a little girl's night at my friend Lanea's house. It's been a really long time since I've had a chance to hang out with these ladies and I definitely missed them. We had a blast. What happens at Girl's Night, stays at Girl's Night.
-On Saturday, Karl and I decided to take a drive up through City Creek Canyon. I'd never been up it before, and it's breathtakingly beautiful. There were only two downsides: 1. Using the latrine thing that was covered in dried on pee droplets of varying color. Seriously people! Who doesn't wipe up their own pee! This is why I'm morally against latrines/porta potties/ honey buckets of any kind. 2. There were tons, I mean tons of inch worms hanging from the trees on webs. I didn't realize it until I was just about to run into a million of them. I was itchy all day.
-After our drive, we decided to go to Mrs. Backer's. It's this amazing pastry shop that Karl's Grandpa used to go to when he was a kid. Any bakery that's been around for over 70 years is pretty awesome in my book.
-Saturday night we laid low and relaxed.
-Sunday we both slept until 12:30. I never sleep that late. Ever. Then we made lunch and watched The Hot Chick, which Karl had never seen. Who hasn't seen The Hot Chick? It's a classic and one of my favorite movies to quote! "Ling Ling! You walk past Crazy Nail and no say hi me!" Hahah.
-We made sure to call our dads and say a quick "hello" and "I love you."
Well, that was about it for us. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Be sure to check back in tomorrow for one of my family's all-time favorite recipes!
Ya, I say Father's Day weird sometimes. Well, today is in fact, Father's Day and that picture above is in fact, a picture of my own father, Robert Forzese holding a micro-me. I love all the 80s-ness about this picture. I also love that this picture perfectly encompasses the love between father and daughter. My dad is a great dad. Here are somethings you may or may not know about Robert Forzese:
1. He's turning our basement into a sports room with Celtics on one wall, Red Sox on the other, then Patriots, then Bruins. It's a good decade to be a Boston fan. Good thing my dad has been one for like 1,000 decades.
2. He loves to referee high school basketball. I think it's just because he loves the power trip when he throws someone out. Haha.
3. He's a crazy good DIY-er. He's currently installing heated tile in the basement with my mom. Laying tile is hard enough, but making it heated? Forget about it. Also, he made our deck and installed all the windows in the house (with the help of my mom). That's pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.
4. He used to pretend he hated cats and would get furious when my mom would bring them home and hide them. Now, you might as well call him the crazy cat man. He loves them just as much as my mom does.
5. He has always had a crazy mustache. See picture above.
6. He is an amazing cook. Like seriously. I miss the food so much. Chicken Broccoli Ziti, Boiled dinner, and Lasagna, to name a few. YUM.
7. My dad's Italian and everyone knows it. His name is Robert Anthony Forzese. He's always throwing around his favorite Italian sayings, ie: Faget abaht it (forget about it) or Minga! (which is something like, "What the hell?" or "Ugh!" or "Idiot!" depending on the context. Haha.
8. We sleep the same exact way. We both curl up on our sides and put our right hands under our heads and sleep with our mouths open. My Nonno (grandfather) also sleeps that same way. It's pretty funny.
9. He's a great provider. Ever since I can remember my dad has always worked crazy hours and sometimes two jobs to support our family. He never complained about getting up at 5 every morning and working until 6 every night or waking up at 3 to deliver papers before his full time job. My family has always put a roof over our heads, food on our table, and clothes on our backs. My dad is the ultimate example of a hard worker and a provider. One of the things I love about Karl is that he has the same work ethic as my dad. I'm very grateful for that.
10. Family comes first for my dad. He loves all of his kids equally and his grandkids a little bit more. Haha. My dad loves to have the entire family (all 7 kids) together. He's all about love and family. I really love that.
There are so many things that cause me to think of my dad as my hero. There definitely have been mistakes and fights along the way (I was not a sweet teenager), but no matter what, I have always known that my dad loves me and I love him. So Dad, thank you. Thank you for loving me, for taking Clarissa and I out to McDonald's breakfast after our basketball games, whether we lost or won, for always cooking for me when I come home, and for being a wonderful father and an amazing best friend. I love you, dad!