Monday, October 7, 2013


As it is quite obvious, I have not written or updated this blog in months.

Back in July I received my Peace Corps invitation to Ethiopia. I had about an hour of celebration before all the tasks in preparing for Ethiopia poured in. I received multiple handbooks and hundreds of pages to read about Peace Corps policies, how to mentally and physically prepare myself, what to expect, what not to expect, safety regulations, financial responsibilities, numerous major medical examinations and vaccines, the list goes on. It's been nearly three months since I began these tasks and I am still far from being complete. On top of all this preparation I have still had to continue on with my every day responsibilities - work, family, volunteer commitments. Needless to say, I have been quite overwhelmed.

So while I continue in the process of preparing myself for the Peace Corps I would like to take a break from my everyday blog (okay, I already started the break but now I'm informing all of you) and channel all my new excitement and anxiety into a new project. I have started a new blog called, "Ethiopia Catalog". This is what I will use for my creative outlet before and during my 27 months in Ethiopia. There are chances that I will occasionally update this blog with a DIY project or quite note, but for a while I'd like to focus on preparing for my new adventure.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mojitos & Free Slurpees!




July 7 is both "National Mojito Day" and 7-11's birthday. What a happy day! 

Mojitos are my favorite drink by far - hands down, no competition. Mojitos were one of my first alcoholic drinks entering 21 and it has been my go-to since. The combination of mint and rum makes it the perfect refreshing drink for warm weather. The only downsides of the drink are the fact that mint is seasonal and the time it takes to make - you can bet any bartender will shoot you a dirty look if you order a round of them during the Happy Hour rush. Give yourself a treat and pick up some ingredients on your way home from work (warning: if you're a mint lover you will be addicted).

Every year on July 7, 7-11 will hand out one free small Slurpee per person (you think they won't notice if you go through twice but oh they do). Make sure you go as early as possible because once they run out of those tiny cups they don't give out any more. As a kid I used to hop on my bike and hit every 7-11 possible to get my free small Slurpee - now that I'm an adult I can drive to even more! Check out and see if there's a store close to you: 7-11 Locator

Friday, June 21, 2013

North West, by Kim Kardashian

Kardashian-West Family Tree

News broke on Thursday that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their baby North West. No middle name. Please says she's trolling. I personally would have loved to see another "K" name. I would have even settled for the before-birth name the media called the baby, Kimye. But North West? The kid will already have all eyes on her due to the fact that her parents are some of the biggest media spotlights around, why add to it? The jokes are already rolling: Check them out here. My favorite is the comparison to Northwest Airlines. 

 In all honesty, North isn't the worst of names. But pairing it with West, come on. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DIY: Pennant Banner

Disclaimer: My banner is not actually the pennant shape. I had intended for it to be but went with the rectangular route.

A coworker's birthday was coming and I wanted to make her a hand-made gift to show that I appreciate her. I've been obsessed with Pennant Banners and decided to give one a go. I was actually really pleased with the process. The materials used are very common craft finds so finding the exact colors/patterns I wanted was a breeze. Assembly of the banner wasn't too difficult either. This is defiantly a good project for someone who feels they lack the crafting gene.

  • Card-stock or thicker material for base layer of banner flags
  • A second color paper for accent layer on base. I used vellum/translucent paper.
  • Glue/tape or some way to bind your two layers. I used push-pin brads.
  • Stick on letters (Or stencil and pens to fill)
  • Ribbon
  • Hole Punch
  • Paper Flower Stickers for accent


Measure and cut your layers for the flags. Make sure you use two different measurements - you'll want the base layer to be slightly larger than the accent layer so that both layers are visible. By using rectangular shapes measuring was quite easy and didn't have to be proportional. If you're using the traditional pennant shape you'll want to make sure you're keeping the same shape as the base layer, just reducing the size. Make sure to count out the number of flags you want on your banner.

Align your two layers and decide how you want to bind them. Secure all corners. I used push-pin brads molded as buttons because I didn't want glue or tape to be visible behind the translucent layer. To push the brads through I first punctured a whole with the end of a binding-paper clip to help reduce wrinkles on the paper from pushing the not-so-durable brads through. 

Apply or trace your letters. Do this step after handling any of the paper to avoid smudges. I used pre-cut glitter letters that already had adhesive on the back. You could also use stickers, stencils, or free-hand a design. Make sure to center!

Punch two holes and thread your ribbon. A hole punch is perfect if you're using ribbon because the ribbon will adjust to the hole size. If you choose to use twine or string, be sure to make a hole small enough so that that your flags will stay in place and not slip around. Thread your ribbon through the bottom side of the first hole so your ribbon will be visible over the top of your flag.

If you're giving your banner as a gift consider leaving extra length on the ends of the strings so they can adjust the distance between the flags, making as long or short as they please.

Add any final details or accents. I used paper-crafted flowers to give it more dimension.
This is probably one of my favorite crafts I have done. The cost was relatively low considering I can reuse the extra paper, ribbon, and letters. Honestly, a trip to the craft store could be avoided for this project. It was so easy to personalize it and tailor it to the person. There are so many directions you could go with it. It's great for indoors and could easily be adapted for outdoor use. Seeing as it's summer and that means it's time for BBQs and outdoor gatherings I think I'll give this a try with burlap as the base layer and maybe felt as the accent layer. 

There's always room for improvement so let me know in the comments if you've made a pennant banner or link one of your favorite.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Gluten Free Friday: Udi's Muffins

I walked into work on Monday and they're were four birthday cakes for a coworker's birthday. FOUR! They were just sitting there staring me in the face. And I couldn't eat a single one thanks to my lovely intolerance of gluten.

Tuesday we had another birthday and my wonderful coworker made sure to bring in something that I could eat as well (love her thoughtfulness!). So, behold Udi's Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Muffins. DELICIOUS!

They are in no way healthy for you, but still beat out chocolate cake. They have the consistency of chocolate cake, a little more dense than you would expect from a muffin. But they are no where as dense as gluten free bread. I surprisingly enjoyed the taste. I expected something overly chocolate but these were spot on. They weren't too sweet, a little more on the bitter side (which is how I like my chocolate). They are plenty filling. One muffin was more than enough and really half of one could have done the job. 

I definitely recommend these to anyone gluten free who is looking for a treat. Or even anyone who is looking for a way to ease into the taste and consistency of gluten free. I'm definitely adding these to my list of favorite products and hope to use them as model of perfecting homemade gluten free muffins.

Udi's is the most popular gluten free brand in my area markets. They're fairly priced for gluten free products considering how expensive the ingredients are. It's still cheaper than making your own gluten free products. Some smaller brands have been popping up but their prices are surprisingly even higher than Udi's.

As of 06/13/13 Udi's has a printable $1.00 off coupon. 
You can click below to be redirected to the special offers page.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Throwback Thursday with the 90's

90's Survey
I cannot believe people are starting to have 90's themed parties and dances. I mean, the 80's were always considered dress-up for my generation. It's hard to believe the 90's ended 14 years ago! 

I was lucky to be born in the late 80's and experience all 10 years of the 90's. I was comparing the 90's with a friend that grew up in England and was shocked at the differences. The British definitely missed out on some of the best trends.

 Favourite TV show
I could easily list 50 shows here
Nickelodeon was huge in my book. I was obsessed with the Rugrats, Doug, Eureek's Castle

& I think Full House is an absolute 90's staple

Favourite Toy: 

I was a Barbie girl through and through. They were my life. I had a Barbie house that was collapsible that I just loved. The rare times that I would get in trouble this was the one item that was taken away from me... and I just thought it was the end of the world. 

I was also a huge collector of Pogs. My brother and I had buckets of these things. The only downside is I was the only girl on the block and the neighbor boys never wanted to trade unicorn pogs.

Nsync or Backstreet boys:

Ohh neither. I was a Hanson fangirl 100%.

Weirdest fashion trend: 

Denim everrrrything. I think this trend contributed to my current lack of appreciation for the fabric. There was also the glitter trend, crazy color patterns, and cheap plastic jewelry. Looking back I definitely wasn't a huge fan of 90's fashion.

Favourite collectibles:

Holiday Barbies. I had one for every year and the Christmas ornament to match

I also had all these Wizard of Oz beauties

And of course Disney VHS Tapes

Favourite Beanie Baby:
Goochy. I didn't have many Beanie Babies but this guy was my favorite.
How many virtual pets did you go through?

This was my very first virtual pet. I would clip it to my jeans and think I was sooo cool.
Then I had a white frosted nano pet with pink buttons. I'm sure there were many to follow.

Fun fact! You can buy an app that brings you back to the good old days of virtual pets.

Favourite game console + game: 

Playstation 1, Crash Bandicoot 

Favourite Disney channel original movie? 

I think most of my favorite Disney movies came out very early 2000's but the 90's had some gems.
Halloweentown (1998)

Don't Look Under the Bed (1999)

And I don't think it was Disney but Wish Upon A Star (1996)

Favourite candy? 

Wax bottles. Honestly they're not even that great and there's more wax than juice. But I loved them so much growing up. 

Astropops. I had to look up the name of these but they were my absolute favorite. 

Dunkaroos. Not candy but by far the best 90's food product ever made. You can replicate the taste with graham crackers and Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip Frosting (but it's just not the same).

Favourite game (board game, school game, etc.)?

Pretty Pretty Princess. The game that requires absolutely no skill what-so-ever.


Favourite McDonald's Happy Meal toy? 

Whatever these are.

Favourite book? 


The Berenstain Bears Series

Favourite clothing store?

If I wasn't making my own money my mom bought my clothes.

What would you watch when you'd get home from school? 

Boy Meets World. This was my show.

If you do the survey feel free to leave a link in the comments <3