Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Virginia Beach

Robert Orben once said that "a vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it." While, I am fully aware that Orben's statement can be true for some families, it surely was not true for my family this past week.

Last Monday my family and I vacationed at Virginia Beach. We only had a few days to do everything our little hearts desired, so our days were jam packed with activities. To ensure that everyone would have a great time I developed an itinerary - with everyone in mind - that included activities/destinations and estimated arrival times.

Our trip started with touring Norfolk's Botanical Garden; I knew my mother would enjoy it, however I was surprised by how much I reveled in it. Afterwards, I planned for us to go to the Nauticus, tour the Battleship Wisconsin, and see vintage boats at the Classic Craft: Bill Hoover Boat Collection nearby for my father. Also, we did a little shopping at the MacArthur Center for my sister, we visited the Chrysler Museum of Art as well as a little bead shop called The Bead Goes On  for the one and only - me - and of course we all enjoyed some sun at the beach. Our trip was loaded with activities and fun for everyone. Here I share with you a few pictures from my family vacation.

My sister & I standing with a Mermaid at Norfolk's Botanical Garden (NBG)/ Some flowers potted creatively in rain boots at NBG/ My mother sniffing a Magnolia flower at NBG.

More pictures taken at Norfolk's Botanical Garden. 

Me with a Mermaid near Nauticus.

Battleship Wisconsin (BW)/ Me with huge chains on the BW/ A beautiful site to see on the BW

More pictures of me along with a picture of my parents on the Battleship Wisconsin.

Beautiful Cameo vases at the Chrysler Museum/ A table of beads at the Bead Goes On/ A work of art by John Miller at the Chrysler Museum. 

Virginia Beach/ Inside a vintage boat at the Classic Craft exhibit/ An eel seen at the Nauticus. 

More art seen at the Chrysler Museum. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Rocky Ground

Me and Sallie Mae had a good thing going. When I needed her she was there willing and ready to help me. Now, it seems our friendship is deteriorating. She simply does not care anymore. Before, when I needed assistance with school tuition, Sallie was supportive - she had my back. Now, I am in need of patience, but  instead of supporting me she has turned her back on me. She no longer cares about me and my financial struggles. My lack of employment does not matter; all Sallie cares about is the money that I owe her. What a friend I found in Sallie? Yet, I remain hopeful. Maybe, when I obtain a job our friendship will improve, but as of now our relationship is on rocky ground. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Skinnytaste Ice Pop

Popsicle's are a great way to cool off during the hot summer months, but you must be careful. Popsicle's are often loaded with sugar and many contain artificial additives/coloring, which can be a health issue. However, Gina Homolka of the popular site Skinnytaste has developed a calorie friendly recipe for Cherry Lime Ice Pops that have little sugar content and no additives. Sounds perfect, right?   

1 lb cherries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp fresh lime juice

Stem the cherries and remove the pits.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cherries with the water, sugar, and lime juice, and cook until the cherries are very soft and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Puree the cherries and their liquid and put the mixture through a fine sieve.

Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.

Servings: 4  Serving Size: 1 popsicle • Calories: 122 • Fat: 0.2 g • Carbs: 31 g • Fiber: 2.4 g • Protein: 1.3 g • Sugar: 27 g • Sodium: 0.2 mg

Click here, to get other great 
    low-calorie recipes. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tough Dames & Femme Fatales


“Blow on, ye death fraught whirlwinds! blow,
Around the rocks, and rifted caves;
Ye demons of the gulf below!
I hear you, in the troubled waves.
High on this cliff, which darkness shrouds
In night's impenetrable clouds,
My solitary watch I keep,
And listen, while the turbid deep
Groans to the raging tempests, as they roll
Their desolating force, to thunder at the pole.

Eternal world of waters, hail!
Within thy caves my Lover lies;
And day and night alike shall fail
Ere slumber lock my streaming eyes.
Along this wild untrodden coast,
Heap'd by the gelid' hand of frost;
Thro' this unbounded waste of seas,
Where never sigh'd the vernal breeze;
Mine was the choice, in this terrific form,
To brave the icy surge, to shiver in the storm.

Yes! I am chang'd - My heart, my soul,
Retain no more their former glow.
Hence, ere the black'ning tempests roll,
I watch the bark, in murmurs low,
(While darker low'rs the thick'ning' gloom)
To lure the sailor to his doom;
Soft from some pile of frozen snow
I pour the syren-song of woe;
Like the sad mariner's expiring cry,
As, faint and worn with toil, he lays him down to die.

Then, while the dark and angry deep
Hangs his huge billows high in air ;
And the wild wind with awful sweep,
Howls in each fitful swell - beware!
Firm on the rent and crashing mast,
I lend new fury to the blast;
I mark each hardy cheek grow pale,
And the proud sons of courage fail;
Till the torn vessel drinks the surging waves,
Yawns the disparted main, and opes its shelving graves.

When Vengeance bears along the wave
The spell, which heav'n and earth appals;
Alone, by night, in darksome cave,
On me the gifted wizard calls.
Above the ocean's boiling flood
Thro' vapour glares the moon in blood:
Low sounds along the waters die,
And shrieks of anguish fill the' sky;
Convulsive powers the solid rocks divide,
While, o'er the heaving surge, the embodied spirits glide.

Thrice welcome to my weary sight,
Avenging ministers of Wrath!
Ye heard, amid the realms of night,
The spell that wakes the sleep of death.
Where Hecla's flames the snows dissolve,
Or storms, the polar skies involve;
Where, o'er the tempest-beaten wreck,
The raging winds and billows break;
On the sad earth, and in the stormy sea,
All, all shall shudd'ring own your potent agency.

To aid your toils, to scatter death,
Swift, as the sheeted lightning's force,
When the keen north-wind's freezing breath
Spreads desolation in its course,
My soul within this icy sea,
Fulfils her fearful destiny.
Thro' Time's long ages I shall wait
To lead the victims to their fate;
With callous heart, to hidden rocks decoy,
And lure, in seraph-strains, unpitying, to destroy.”

(Anne Bannerman, Mermaid

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Drink Up

"As nutrition myths go, the one about needing to drink eight glasses of water a day just might be the biggest. Nobody knows where that number came from or how it caught on, but it’s told as if it were a basic fact, like gravity. In truth, the amount of water we require varies widely, depending on the climate, whether you’re a man or a woman, and how active you are." (Krieger, April 29, 2011

Yet, drinking water is extremely important to one's functioning, especially during the summer months. Zongker and Todt of the Huffington Post reported today that the heat was to blame for several deaths throughout the United States - "A 4-month-old girl died and a 16-month-old girl was hospitalized in suburban Indianapolis after both were found trapped in cars during 105 degree heat" - they added that "the heat caused highways to buckle in Illinois and Wisconsin...In Maryland, investigators said heat likely caused rails to kink and led a commuter train to partially derail Friday." (July 8, 2012)
Although, the heat can be blamed for a number of accidents during the summer, only you can be blamed for your lack of hydration. We all know we need water to stay hydrated and to remain healthy, but in case you did not know water helps: prevent heat exhaustion, promote healthy skin, cleanse, boost energy levels, and it keeps the heart as well as the digestive system healthy. So, myth or not, drinking eight glasses of water a day does not seem to be a bad idea.

Despite, the apparent health benefits a lot of people neglect to drink enough water. A plausible reason why individuals do not drink enough water could be due to water's tendency to be boring.However, this summer water is becoming more attractive; the latest beverage trend of 2012 is fruit flavored water. Fruit flavored water is turning a plain glass of water into something tasteful and fun. Below are a few fruit flavored water combinations that are far from boring.

Oranges & Rosemary 

Strawberry & Basil  

Blueberry, Raspberry, & Rosemary

Other Recommendations:

Lemon & Thyme (or Rosemary)

Pineapple & Mint

Blackberry & Sage

Watermelon & Rosemary

Raspberry & Lime 

Oranges, Lemon, & Lime

Image Sources: The Yummy Life/ She Knows/ Dash of East/ A Cup of Jo 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stars & Stripes

Trend Alert: American Flag Shorts 
"Maybe it’s the upcoming Summer 2012 Olympic Games—or the fact that all-American designer Ralph Lauren has created the closing-ceremony uniforms for our athletes—but fashion is having a moment with all things red, white, and blue." (Benjou, June 7, 2012) The American flag can be seen printed in various forms this season from Jeffrey Campbell's popular Stars & Stripes Lita platforms (see here) to Balmain's controversial American flag tank (see here). However, the most catching form is the shorts form. The American flag shorts have been spotted on some of the most stylish celebrities and some of the most influential fashion bloggers. See for yourself!

Top Row: Kesha, Rihanna, Rihanna
Bottom Row: Solange Knowles, Mollie King, Kylie Jenner


Would you rock this trend?

If so, would you rock it throughout the summer or 
just on occasions like the 4th of July?

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