Avocado, Mozzarella and Tomato Salad!

I made this last night for dinner and was quite impressed with myself when Ryan said it was one of his favorite salads he's ever had! Hearing Ryan say salad and favorite in the same sentence was a feat in itself! The fact that I didn't even follow a recipe and it took less than 5 minutes to make made me smile and I will definetly be making this on a regular basis. We had some avocados, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella from a local Italian market in our fridge and I decided to combine these ingredients together for a light healthy salad. I chopped everything up and combined it with some basil, drizzle of olive oil, vinegar and seasoned with some seasalt and cracked pepper! It was so delicious, nutritious and easy! YUMMY!

* Mozzarella cheese is a lowfat cheese and is high in protein and calcium. Olive oil and avocado are great sources of the healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acids) which helps prevent heart disease, cancer, depression and arthritis. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been proven to help with concentration and energy levels!


Bold Patterns and Tie-Dye Trends!!

I'm all about classic style with punches of color and individual style. As I was watching some of the fashion 2010 runway shows I noticed that bright bold patterns and tie-dye are very popular this year. When you know what your doing when tie-dying it can be absolutely beautiful and so visually interesting. Fashion designers are using bright bold colors to make dresses a definite statement piece! Also, I noticed the bright bold floral patterns are a hit in the fashion industry!! My style philosophy is to dress for youself and no one else! If you feel confident in a somewhat funky outfit go for it! Life is short, express yourself through your fashion!


Wonderful Weekend!

After a very stressful couple weeks, my amazing husband decided to treat me to a weekend away and it was EXACTLY what I needed!! We went to the same hotel that he had proposed to me a couple years ago and it brought back so many wonderful exciting memories. Even driving up to the hotel brought a smile to my heart and will forever be one of the most memorable days of my life. It's amazing what a couple days can do to your soul to reassess what's truly important in life and clear your mind. I feel great, I feel refreshed, I feel loved and couldn't be more fortunate for having Ryan in my life to know that a weekend away with my best friend is exactly what I needed:) To a positive, stress-free week ahead! If your feeling worn out take some time for yourself, everyone deserves a break. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, it could be a day at the beach by yourself or your best friend or a hike to clear your thoughts!

"Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow."
-Douglas Pagels

"Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way."

"Before you agree to do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself: What is my truest intention? Give yourself time to let a yes resound within you. When it's right, I guarantee that your entire body will feel it."
-The GREAT Oprah Winfrey


Dance "Merry Happy" vs. "Never is a Promise"

There is a spring show at a local dance studio that I'm thinking of auditioning for. Lauren Vogel has become one of my favorite lyrical dancers. After learning "Nicest Thing" choreography from my dance teacher I have been following her style of dance and I love her control and emotion. I have to put together an audition routine and I'm in between "Merry Happy" or "Never is a Promise." I love them both and cant decide!


Truth in Shoes...

"Funny that a pair of really nice shoes makes us feel good in our heads — at the extreme opposite end of our bodies.” -Levende Waters

Of course all these shoes are at JCrew!


"It's the little things you do that can make a big difference. What are you attempting to accomplish? What little thing can you do today that will make you more effective? You are probably only one step away from greatness."


Paint Your Heart Out!

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary" -Pablo Picasso

I've had some time on my hands lately with Ryan studying for some upcoming exams so, I decided to pick up painting. I picked up some acrylic paint and canvases at the local craft store and cant get enough! Not only has it been extremely relaxing but another healthy creative outlet for me that I'm hooked on . I'm into bright vibrant colors that include nature such as flowers and next painting is probably gonna be some kind of bird before I move on in attempting to do some portraits which should be special:) Hope you enjoy!


Best Carrot Cupcake Recipe!!!!!!

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs.
Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
Frost cupcakes, and garnish with shredded coconut.


Fashion Icon

I really love Whitney Port's style. She seems to have the perfect balance of classic and casual and I respect that she is willing to take some style risks. She is beautiful, sweet and definitely one of my fashion icons. I would be lying if I didnt admit to asking myself, "what would whitney wear?" when in the dressing room shopping for clothes!


Ryan's amazing work in Haiti

Ryan spent the last couple weeks in Haiti inspecting houses that were left standing after the devastating earhtquakes to ensure that the homes were safe for living. Families have been so terrified that another earthquake will come that they have been living in tents the past 3 months crammed with little to no clothes and none of their personal belongings. Ryan and others were able to inspect hundreds of homes within their short time in Haiti and were able to place many families back in the comfort of their houses. People cried tears of joy as they were able to re-enter their homes without fear knowing that engineers gave them the thumbs up to move back in! I am so proud of Ryan's heart, hard work and love for helping others. He has described his experience as being life changing and for those who have the opportunity to do some volunteer work in Haiti please do. They are still needing plenty of help and every little bit truly makes an impact!


Carpe Diem

This is an email I received from my great friend Amy and was so touched by this that I automatically printed it and posted it in my cube at work:) As we get older we are reminded of the fact that life is a precious gift that can be taken away at any moment and often times too soon. The future is uncertain but what is certain is that you are in control of your own happiness and have the ability to live each day to the fullest! Always enjoy the moments of your day and never pass an opportunity to do something that will make you smile! Reconnect with old friends, forgive people who have troubled you in the past and love your family, spouses and friends for this is what life is all about. Your relationships and experiences in life are far more important than work, stress, and material objects. Please dont lose sight of what is important in your life and from there ensure that you get your priorities straight. Im committed to my husband, family and friends and this will forever be my greatest accomplishments in life.
"Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word "refrigeration" mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, "How about going to lunch in a half hour?" She would gas up and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain." And my personal favorite: "It's Monday." .She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit."

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, "We'll do it tomorrow." And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say "Hi"?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

"Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!"


Girls Night- Spring Fling!

I had some of my best friends over for dinner last night and had a blast! I saw these great napkins at Crate and Barrel and loved the funky unique prints which created a mixed matched feel that added some character to the table setting. I decided that flowers was gonna be the theme and made beautiful tissue paper flowers hanging from the doorway and lighting above the table which were super easy and fun to make. I bought some flowers from the local farmers market and put them in small vases to decorate the table. It was a memorable night and I loved getting everything together to celebrate yet another girls night!!