Monday, August 11, 2014

I'm Leaving Blogger

On December 11, 2013 I wrote my first official post. It featured yummy Candy Bar Pretzel Bites. Since that time I have written about a variety of things. Other recipes, yoga, theatre, my sorority stories, DIY ideas and everything in between have been featured within these pages. I can't exactly say why I started this blog other than I read other blogs, enjoy writing and figured why not.....
During my trip home to visit my parents at the beginning of the month my dad and I sat down and chatted about my blog and taking it to the next level. He suggested that we buy my very own URL and change things up a bit. At first I was very nervous, but after thinking about it and realizing I do want to take things further I decided to make the leap.
The content is the same, although I do have some ideas that I hope to be doing this Fall. The blog name is the same, all my old posts have been exported and I have been dressing it up a bit over the last few days. The only difference is the URL which I hope is easier to remember. Take a trip over to the new blog and subscribe.
Check me out at
Add me to your favorites, leave some comments, suggests, etc. I'd love to hear from you!

xoxo Gwen

Friday, August 8, 2014

6 Fall Shows I'm Excited For

1. Gotham

2. Utopia

3. Wayward Pines

4. The Whispers

5. Red Band Society

6. GracePoint
The Walking Dead - Season 5

Thinking about my schedule for the months of September through December is already causing a bit of anxiety. One thing I am excited for are these new shows. Hopefully none of them turn out to be flops, like Sleepy Hollow. I've read the first impression of Wayward Pines but I'm still excited for it. It reminds me slightly of Twin Peaks (which I still need to rent/buy/watch completely). And it has Juliette Lewis (OMG!!).

What Fall shows are you looking forward to?
xoxo Gwen

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Clothing Upcycle

With bleach pens, a bit of lace, or a dab of paint it's easy to turn something old and tired into something new. While it's great to donate used clothing, it's even better to refashion it so you get more use out of it. Or if you're like me and love thrift stores keep your eyes open for treasures that you can use for some of these fun DIY projects.

**All of these projects were found on Pinterest**


Idea from Etsy shop lillienoradrygoods


Boot socks from old sweaters
DIY American Flag Converse

xoxo Gwen

Monday, August 4, 2014

Road Trip Essentials & Tips

My summer semester is over and that means I finally get to go home and visit with my parents for a few days. Depending on construction, traffic, and how many stops we make along the way the trip can take from 4-6 hours by car. It would be such a luxury to fly or go by Amtrak but for our short stay a road trip is the most economical way to go. Sadly there are not too many fun pit stops to make, so when we stop it's to walk the dog or potty.

Every year I pack pretty much the same "Road Trip Essentials" that easily get us to our destination. Depending on the length of your trip, or if kids are along for the trip, I would definitely suggest adding some things to this list. This list is for 2 adults and one small dog:

Two Apps that you can download before your trip: iExit (FREE) and Roadside America ($2.99)

Carry less cash during the road trip: Top off your tank right before you hit the road and pick up a gas card or two. For tolls bring a roll or two or quarters and a few small bills. It's also a good idea to call your bank and credit card company to let them know you are going out of town.  Once you arrive at your destination you can stop at an ATM.

Food/Drink:  Water, water enhancers, sandwiches or wraps (without the spreads or sauces), travel size condiments (to go packets are perfect for this!), fruit snacks, crackers, peanut butter, veggies (pre-cut), chips, and a soda or 2.  **For a shorter trip save space and use a tote in place of a cooler, then when it is empty you can use it for souvenirs**

For the Car:  Fix-A-Flat, spare tire, flashlight

For the Dog:  small bed, favorite toy or ball, water, Ziploc baggie of food, water, leash, a few treats

Additional Items:  a trash bag, gum, music or an audio book, camera, sun block & sunglasses, maps, a pillow and blanket

Start early or leave late
Fill up your gas tank
Pack snacks
Stretch when you make pit stops

Happy Travels.
xoxo Gwen

Friday, August 1, 2014

July Hits & Misses

I don't exactly know where the month of July came and went so fast, I didn't have time to really try a bunch of new products. I did however finish out my summer semester at college and got to spend some time with a couple of my sorority sisters. It was a fun month, but much of it was a whirlwind with all the time I spent at the theatre. I logged a total of 47 hours volunteering on the Follies production at the Little Theatre of VA Beach. I helped extensively with the set and very happily accepted a position as a stage hand for tech week and the opening weekend and 2nd weekend. Now I have time off to be at home with my parents. Next weekend I will back at the theatre to finally see the show.

Chia Bars
At just 100 calories per bar they were the perfect snack or follow up to my salads. I purchased my Chia Bars at Marshalls, but they seem to have quite a selection on their website.

Honey Maid Grahamfuls {S'mores}
One would think with a flavor such as s'mores there's no way it couldn't be would be wrong......They were a disappointment.

xoxo Gwen

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Styling Kimono's For Fall

This summer we all fell in love with the kimono. Cut-offs, a crop top, and a kimono were the perfect summer outfit. Now as you evaluate your wardrobe for the Fall keep your kimono's at the ready. They will be the perfect outfit addition on cool days and can either add a pop of color, or anchor an outfit.

Summer Style
Summer styled kimono: crop top or a t-shirt with cut-offs and a kimono.

Fall Style

Fall styled kimono: t-shirt or a delicate camisole (for a dressed up version), skinny jeans, pants, or leggings, plus riding boots, booties, or even wedges. Statement jewelry and stacked bracelets are a plus.

xoxo Gwen

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Seasonal Eating

Most people assume if it's in the grocery store it must be fresh and delicious. Sadly this is not true. We've probably all witnessed the trend of certain fruits and vegetables being available during certain seasons. Watermelon in the summer and leeks in fall and winter. The thing is potatoes, apples, oranges, onions, and several other fruits and vegetables seem to be a mainstay in grocery stores year around.

There are benefits to seasonal eating: it's healthier, cheaper, better for the environment, and it tastes better. Why else does watermelon taste so heavenly on a hot summer day? While grocery stores seem to be carrying pretty much anything and everything these days you can pick up clues to what's in season by stopping by a farmers market or noticing displays of fruits and veggies at the grocery store that were not there the week before. You can also use the internet to simply do some research and make a list or chart.

Apples and blueberries are best July-Sept
Strawberries June-Aug
Asparagus - May and June
Potatoes - Oct, Nov
Lettuce May -Aug

To finish out the summer enjoy cucumbers, curly lettuce and cherries in July. For August start buying Romaine lettuce, raspberries and plums. Not only will your wallet thank you, but your body and the environment will too!

xoxo Gwen

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Perfect Lemonade

Another summertime staple is of course lemonade. The fast and easy way to make it is Country Time Lemonade of course. It comes in several different flavors and all you have to do is measure it out and add water. But what about the perfect lemonade? Doesn't it make your mouth water just thinking about it?

The Perfect Lemonade
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Zest of 2 lemons
2 cups simple syrup (recipe follows)
1/2 tsp salt
cold water

Simple Syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Bring ingredients to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Let cool.

Remove the zest from 2 lemons (avoiding the pith). Make the simple syrup, adding the lemon zest before heating. Let cool, then pour the syrup into an ice filled pitcher. Stir in the salt, 2 cups of lemon juice, and water. You can choose whether you would like to add lemon slice to the pitcher or to the glasses when served. **I prefer in the pitcher for the added tartness, and one slice in each glass when served**

Image via Google
xoxo Gwen

Friday, July 25, 2014

Easy Summer Side Dishes

The first recipe I recommend is one from Mary Kay Andrews. I prepared this easy summer side for 4th of July and it was a hit!

From the kitchen of bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews:
Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
"In Save The Date, the stepmother Patricia throws a fit when the caterer dares to substitute bacon for prosciutto in this recipe for the purposes of the pre-wedding tasting. While there's no need to get huffy, the prosciutto certainly does make a difference. This dish, which makes an excellent appetizer or side, is loaded with flavor and looks impressive despite the super simple preparation."

1 lb. asparagus, washed and stemmed
1 TBSP. olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
8 slices very thinly sliced prosciutto, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
After cutting course stems off asparagus, place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Roast about 15 minutes. Cool completely, then wrap each asparagus with half a slice of prosciutto, leaving the tip ends exposed.

**When I prepared this I used 3-4 stalks of asparagus per 1/2 slice prosciutto**

Some other quick and easy side dishes I have been making are yellow squash and zucchini.  For the yellow squash I just dice it up, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast it in the oven (400 degrees) for about 20ish mins. So delicious! For the zucchini I slice it in half length wise, then again in half (4 pieces per zucchini). Then I lay the pieces out on a baking sheet drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper on top and then arrange shaved Parmesan cheese on the top of each "wedge". Again 400 degrees about 20ish mins.
xoxo Gwen

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Elaine Stritch

If you happened to miss the news... Elaine Stritch passed away last Thursday. She was a great entertainer, well known for her voice and roles on Broadway. If you haven't already viewed her documentary entitled Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me on Netflix now is the time!

 February 2, 1925-July 17, 2014
RIP Elaine.