Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Favorites

#1 Event:  Sorority Initiation

This was by far the most exciting, life changing experience of the month, possibly the year. Although the entire process was not smooth sailing. In the end it all worked out and I could not be happier. I joined an amazing sisterhood!

#2 Song:  Hey Brother by Avicii

This song came on the radio while I was driving to school one morning and then again when I was headed home after classes.  Ever since I have been obsessed.

#3 Movie:  Tapped (on Netflix)

See previous blog post for more information!

#4 Fashion:  Poplin-Crepe Dress

I have already worn this dress 3 times and I have only had it for a few weeks.  I have worn it around the house and out on errands, on Easter Sunday, and yesterday to a tea party. Super comfortable and cute.
Available at Old Navy

#5 Product:  EOS Shave Cream

I purchased this on a whim when I was out of my usual shave gel.  It goes on like a lotion and allows for a super close shave.  This is the only product I have ever used that I do not have stubble within 12 hours.  Scent is amazing as well.
Available at Rite Aid

xoxo Gwen

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Water Bottles + Zero Water

Ello thrive Flora Glass Water Bottle 
20 oz.
Target $12.99
Leak proof, BPA free
container material: recycled glass
lid material: bamboo, silicone
dishwasher safe (top rack only)

Rubber maid Refill Reuse 4-pk Clear Chug Bottles
20 oz.
Target $12.19
container material: BPA free, copolyester
lid material: plastic

Eco Vessel Boulder Triple-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
(with screw cap)
Amazon $21.21-$39.99
The Grommet $24.95
BPA free
Removable mesh strainer
made of 100% recyclable stainless steel

ZeroWater Filtration Water Cooler
$57.79 Amazon
ZeroWater Dispenser
$35.97 Amazon

I personally use the ZeroWater Filtration system and I swear by it.

xoxo Gwen

Monday, April 28, 2014

Netflix: Tapped

"Filmmakers examine the financial and ecological impact of the bottled water industry, including the toxic byproducts of manufacturing plastic water bottles" (IMDb). 

I've been seriously watching documentaries for the last couple of years.  Yesterday I watched Tapped and had another eye opening experience.  I knew bottled water was an issue and I had a hunch they were trying to pull the wool over the consumers eye, but I had no idea how deep the rabbit hole really went with bottled water.  I encourage everyone to watch this documentary and then do their own research. Then switch to tap water, filter it yourself (it you want to), and carry around your own renewable bottle (glass & BPA free bottles work best).

This stat alone blew my mind!

This is what our beach sand could turn into

If you're determined to still buy and drink bottled water after watching Tapped....I encourage you, I beg you to please recycle your plastic bottles so they don't litter our beaches like the pictures above.

If you do not have Netflix you can watch the documentary for free here.

xoxo Gwen

Saturday, April 26, 2014

DIY Flower Crown

It's almost summer and festivals are popping up all over.  If you want to add a bohemian flair try making your own unique flower crown.  There are dozens of inspiring pictures on Pinterest and Etsy. If you wanted to take the easy route you can just buy one, but they can range from about $10 to $60 and even higher sometimes.




DIY version

- hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
- floral cloth stem wire (I picked up the dark brown at Jo-Ann for $2.99)
- some floral embellishments of your choice (I used some pink and white paper like flowers that I purchased awhile back at Michael s in the scrapbooking section!) 
Use anything you have on hand
Use some of these to make the circle crown
Then just lay out and space the flowers how you want them to look in the final product.
Do this before gluing the flower on

xoxo Gwen

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

I definitely love Mother Earth.  In fact I am featured on the tree huggers website.  Yes, if you Google images of me you will find one of me hugging a tiny tree that was posted back in 2005!  That seems like a lifetime ago.  Nonetheless I love trees, nature, recycling, and doing what I can to buy eco-friendly products.  I have shoes that have recycled tires for the bottoms and hemp for the main fabric and scrap ribbons for the laces.  They're from a brand called Simple, and I don't believe they are around anymore, but I'll never be able to give them up even if they do look a little ratty. They are super comfortable and so me. I also have a Sprout watch.  Their watches can range from hemp, organic cotton, to cork and bamboo. They feature some cute designs and colors too.

Think of ways you can reuse things you're about to throw in the trash.  I often keep cookie tins and egg cartons.  I also keep (and wash) meat trays and oatmeal containers.  Meat trays make great paint palettes.  I cover oatmeal containers and use them to store pens and pencils on my desk.  In fact I have two that I made sitting on my desk right now!

Use Pinterest to find interesting ways to reuse some of the things you have laying around your house. Earth will thank you!

xoxo Gwen

Monday, April 21, 2014

Asparagus Custard Tart

This Easter my fiance's mom cooked everything for Easter lunch/dinner.  All she asked was I contribute a vegetable dish.  Who better to point me in the right direction than Martha Stewart?  I decided to attempt the asparagus custard tart.  I love asparagus and I love flaky crusts so it sounded like a winning combo to me.  You can find Martha's recipe here.  I followed the recipe to a "T".  Same ingredients, same cheeses, then only difference was I added 5 minutes at the end to set the custard a bit more.  It turned out so good!  Seriously yummy!

Wonderful flaky crust

1/2 cup each Goat cheese & Gruyere cheese

Asparagus tips tossed in olive oil

Custard in first

Then cheeses and topped with the tips of asparagus

Finished Asparagus Custard Tart
It had a lovely green shade, perfect for spring. Again, it was so delicious!  I'm sure this would be a great addition to any brunch or spring holiday meal.  It might even become an Easter tradition for me.

xoxo Gwen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower

"It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle."

Seriously I've never been a fan of diets or the lifestyle of a diet. I have gone vegetarian a few times, I've fasted, and I have tried meat alternatives.  I always seem to fail because I usually go "all in". I don't take baby steps. I leap! Needless to say yes, I am a meat eater.  I feel like it's MEA (Meat Eaters Anonymous). I don't eat meat daily but it is in my diet.  Why? Because that's the way it's been my whole life (minus the few vegetarian stages I went through).  Needless to say I am trying to once again steer away from meat and picking up new, fresh recipes featuring fruits, vegetables, and spices in a different way.  In fact one of my sorority sisters made a veggie lasagna for initiation night and it was fabulous!  I'm so grateful she shared the recipe.  I can't wait to try making it.

I need easy and quick things too.  I am always on the go, have a very busy schedule and I have found that's been one of my greatest downfalls when trying to stick with it. Pinterest to the rescue!  Recently I found a recipe for Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower via The Snarky Chickpea Blogger.

Last night I made some and it was delicious.  All I did was cut up a head of cauliflower and tossed it with buffalo sauce.  Then I baked it in the oven for 25 mins on 425.  To check out the original recipe by The Snarky Chickpea just click on the link above.

xoxo Gwen

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sorority File: Initiation

I never expected in a million years I would be in a sorority.  My typical college years are well behind me and I never really knew any sorority women before.  I joined the Army straight out of high school and went straight into training, schooling, and then my first duty station.  I had little time to devote to anything else besides my duties as a soldier.  Fast forward a few....ok several years, and I'm officially a sorority woman.




Tidewater VA Alum

It was a great night!  Thanks to the sisters of Zeta Upsilon for sending the chapter register so I can follow in the footsteps of my BIG sister.

xoxo Gwen

Friday, April 11, 2014

Virginia Zoological Park

On Wednesday I took a break from all the hustle and bustle of school, homework, meetings, and work and went to the zoo.  As a college student (with ID) I get in free and I love animals and the sun was shining so off to the zoo I went.
I think I got more pictures of flowers than anything else.  I was so happy to see flowers actually blooming after that terribly long winter we had.


Other Animals

Guinea Fowl


Giraffe & his friend


Water Birds


Overall it was a great day to be in the sunshine enjoying the animals.  There were still quite a few animals not on display. The Barnyard animals got an extended vacation due to renovations.  Hopefully I'll be able to make at least one more trip to the zoo this season and see some of the animals I missed on this visit.

xoxo Gwen