Saturday, July 30, 2011

Show Your Hearts

When I heard the story of the Berry Children, it broke my heart.  Have you heard about this tragedy?  Joshua and Robin Berry were traveling with their children over the 4th of July weekend when their van was hit on a Texas highway killing both parents and injuring all three children.  Show Your Hearts is a movement that is sweeping the social networking community in an effort to raise funds for the Joshua and Robin Berry Children's Trust, to help provide for the needs of these now orphaned children.

Please take a minute to visit the site (click on the avatar above), and show your heart!

xoxo, Anita

Fill In The Blanks ~ Short and Sweet

1. My favorite color is   orange   .

2. My travel destination of choice is the beach  .

3. My favorite food is   cheese  .

4. My happy place is my home .

5. My favorite saying is "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.  To put our faces towards change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." ~ Helen Keller   .

6. My dirty little secret is that I don't have any secrets! I am willing to share information and/or insight on any subject, anytime   .

7. Something friends might say about me is that I        am happy!  .

So happy that that the weekend is here, friends!
xoxo, Anita

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vintage Fashion For {The Beach}

Early 1900's, Summertime, and the living is easy...

I am often inspired by the by both the beauty and the relative simplicity of the life I see depicted in pictures of times gone by.  Inspired to slow down and enjoy the moments, and to do it in really pretty clothing!  And I am also reminded how quickly time passes, and that someday this life that we all seem to take so seriously these days will be but inspiration for future generations.

I suddenly feel the need to put on something pretty myself and head to the beach!  But first, I'm heading over to Gussy Sews to see how images of the beach inspire others.  I hope you'll join us!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's {Embroidery Supplies} Giveaway Time!

Hello, readers!  You may already know this, but I love, love, LOVE to give things away!  Especially embroidery supplies, perhaps because of the creativity that (I hope) they inspire.

If you are visiting from Wild Olive you already know that I am participating in a group giveaway over there.  If you have not been there yet, head over! *** But please stick around long enough to register to win this giveaway first! ***  And this time the giveaways are different on each blog and you are eligible to win both.

Here is what the lucky winner will receive:

I am spreading some Sublime Stitching love this month.  Pictured above is one of their 'Most Awesome Tea Towels', one of their Demi Towels, the Krazy Kitchen pattern sheet, and 7 skeins of Prescia floss.  Also pictured (but not included) is the towel that I embroidered using the same pattern.  (The pattern sheet you are getting is brand new and unopened.)  And, true to there name, these are Awesome towels!

Here are the entry details, and they are as easy as can be!  Just leave me a comment, any comment at all, and you are in the running.  If you are a follower, leave me a second comment telling me whether you are a new follower or an existing one, and you are entered a second time.  This way, even if your reader is so full that you cannot possibly contemplate adding one-more-blog to it, you still get a chance at the prize. 

Good luck!

XO, Anita

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange ~ Christmas In July

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I participated in  the Craftaholics Handmade Gift Exchange, and my partner was Cris.  I shared the goodies she made just for me here.

I also told you that I would be back shortly with pictures of what I sent her.  But the pictures were lost in the great computer crash of 2011.  {You have probably guessed that there was nothing actually great about it!  Sadly, this crash is responsible for the derailment of my Challenge 365 Picture Project as well, but that is the subject for another post.}

Luckily, I had another set of the lovely napkins I embroidered for her, so I made a set for myself.  While these are not exactly what I made for Cris, you can get the idea. 

Don't they look pretty with my holiday dishes?  Looking at these makes me feel positively cool in the midst of this heat wave.

If you like the idea of participating in a Handmade Gift Exchange but missed this one, don't despair!  Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous will be hosting another one in the beginning of November.  I hope that you'll sign up; maybe we'll be partners!  I was thinking that since I did Christmas in July, maybe I will do something summer themed for the winter.  But I will be taking my cues from my partner, so I will have to wait patiently to be paired before deciding what to make.  In the meantime, luckily there is no shortage of things to work on in my craft space!

XO, Anita

Monday, July 25, 2011

All in a days work {from home}...

When I decided to try my hand at having a home based business, I had no idea what was involved.  It turns out that it is both crazier and more exhilarating than I ever could have imagined!  Always so much to do!  The hours fly by from the joy of it, and I find myself never quite finished at the end of the day.  No matter; just pick up in the morning where I left off the night before.

I decided to take a few moments to wander from room to room, camera in hand, to show you some of what is going on around here.

Work at the computer and in my journal from the kitchen table ~

caffeinated beverage close at hand!

wrapping and shipping pretties that have sold ~

getting goodies ready for two blog give aways later in the week ~

cleaning and pressing pretty dresses ~

for photos and editing ~

shoes, baubles and bags too! 

I hope that you've enjoyed this little peak inside my world.  I am grateful to all of the home business bloggers out there who taught me what little I know so far by their example, and their sharing.  Don't stop; I have a lot to learn!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Family Day Cooking ~ Italian ~ Light and Easy

Five Cheese Lasagna with Turkey and Spinach

In keeping with my commitment to prepare only healthy foods for us to eat, I modified an old family favorite, Lasagna, by using ground turkey in place of the traditional ground beef, adding spinach for a kick, and using reduced fat cheeses. 

And this weekend, I modified my recipe further by using a few prepared items (available at the neighborhood grocer!) to keep the heat down in the kitchen and to get this put together faster.

To make this you will need:

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 package of no cook lasagna noodles (I used Barilla brand)
3 jars of tomato basil pasta sauce (I used Newman's Own Bombolino)
large bunch of fresh spinach
one pound container of part skim ricotta cheese
8 ounces of 2% mozzarella cheese
8 slices of provolone cheese
Parmesan and Romano cheeses

Prepare the ingredients:

Wash the spinach well, trim the stems, and steam over a pot of boiling water.  Drain and set aside.

Brown the ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat.

Add about 2/3 of a jar of the sauce to the browned turkey and mix well.

Now you are ready to layer the ingredients in your (12 by 8) glass baking dish. 

This is also a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees!

Layer in this order:

2/3 jar sauce
ricotta cheese
2/3 jar sauce
meat sauce
2/3 jar sauce
provolone cheese slices
mozzarella cheese
remaining sauce
Parmesan and Romano Cheeses

There it is, ready for the oven!  Cover with foil and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes.  Lasagna is done when the cheese begins browning and the sauce is bubbly.

It will look like this:

Allow it to set for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


XO, Anita

Friday, July 22, 2011

TGI {Fill In The Blank} Friday

1. One of my happiest moments ever was    when Bob and I finally got together, so many years after we met and fell in love.  It is the greatest joy of my life to share it with my best friend; the person who possesses the other half of my soul   .

2. Summer is wedding season and weddings are    such happy events! I love watching two people commit themselves to each other with complete faith, love and trust.  And then to celebrate the union!   .

3. This summer the weather has been wonderful, except for this ridiculous heat wave!  I don't mind being hot; you get used to steamy summers in the mid Atlantic pretty quickly.  But this extreme heat is so dangerous that it's frightening  .

4. My summer food of choice has been   farm fresh fruit and vegetables.  And grilled (organic) turkey burgers.  Heaven on a bun!  .

5. My summer uniform has been     dresses. Vintage cotton sun dresses, indie made wraps, Diane von Furstenburg designs and pretties in white fill my summer closet  .

6. If I could spend the entire summer in one location I would choose       my family cottage in Northeast PA.  Which doesn't exist anymore, so any lakeside cottage that feels like home would be wonderful   .

7. My summer anthem is   "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess .
Now it's time to head over to the little things we do... to link up and read some of the fill in Friday posts.  Why don't you join us?!
Thanks for reading~
xoxo, Anita

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inspiration in Black and White

The list of what inspires me is long, very long.  It is also a topic I talk about frequently here on my blog, so you may be familiar with some of the things that spark my creativity; maybe we even share some things in common. 

But every once in a while I have one of those days when I am feeling incapable of being inspired.  Nothing sparks my creativity or my desire to make something pretty, or yummy, or shiny and happy.  Do you ever have one of those days?  What do you do? 

I head over to my DVD collection, pick out an old favorite, and sit down {with my two baby Maltese curled in my lap!} for a bit of classic movie magic. 

Black and white movies filled with beautiful people, scenery and styling are a passion of mine.  Here are a few that I love:

In 'Now, Voyager' Bette Davis plays Charlotte Vale, an overweight and unattractive spinster dominated by her mother.  She is transformed under the care of a kind doctor at his clinic, takes a cruise using someone else's identity and wearing their fabulous wardrobe (pretty much a dream come true!), meets a man and falls in love.  The ending isn't the happily ever after the viewer might be hoping for, but it is quite satisfactory none the less.  This movie inspires me by reminding me of one of my core philosophies; it is never too late to have a life, and never too late to change one.

My second pick also stars the great Bette Davis.  Are you sensing a theme here?  She is my all time favorite screen star!  This time she plays Judith Traherne, a young and spoiled socialite who only thinks of herself.  But her life takes a dramatic turn when she becomes ill, and she manages to find her heart and humanity with her doctor, whom she eventually marries.  Not a happy ending, but a beautiful one that always reminds me to find the joy in the moments and to try to be the best version of myself.

And while we are on the subject of Ms. Davis, let's talk about:

This movie held the record for the most academy award nominations until Titanic tied it in 1997.
It stars BD as Margo Channing, a brilliant but aging Broadway star, and Ann Baxter as Eve, the woman who appears to be sweet and loyal, but is actually only out for herself.

This movie has a bit of everything in it; drama at it's finest, costumes and settings to die for, and even a small part for a young Marilyn Monroe.  It always serves as a great reminder to me to not take myself quite so seriously, that good usually trumps evil in the end, and while we don't always get exactly what we want, what we get usually ends up being exactly what we need.

I love a good movie that renews my faith in the human race.  For me, feeling good equals seeing good equals doing good.  And that's inspiring!

What inspires YOU?  I am going to head over to the Gussy Sews linky party to see what some others have to say about it.  Join us, won't you?



Monday, July 18, 2011

An Annapolis Summer

Yesterday, the mister and I spend the afternoon and early evening in Annapolis, which is all of about five miles from our home.  We seem to spend so much time traveling to points further from home, rather than staying close.  We've resolved to change that for the remainder of the summer, making regular weekly jaunts into this beautiful city, each time to a different neighborhood or historical site.

We found ourselves Uptown, on the beautifully bricked West Street.

Do you see that Trolley coming down the street?  That is the free Navy Shuttle, which transports residents and visitors to and from key points all over the city.

We spent some time at an outside table at Stan and Joe's Saloon, enjoying afternoon cocktails and appetizers of rare sushi grade tuna. 

After all that wonderfulness, we went inside to watch the World Cup match.  Team USA handled their loss to Japan so graciously!  In the face of the horrible devastation from the Tsunami that they are still recovering from, the win must be a big morale booster.

After leaving Uptown, we stopped at a beautiful Memorial, just over the Navel Academy Bridge. 

There we spent some time enjoying the sites, and taking photos. 

Bob took some of me so that I could show off my pretty vintage dress~

~and I took some of him playing his guitar, for his blog

What a great day!  I am counting down the moments until the weekend, when we can do it again.

I am wearing a 1950's cotton sundress from Dear Golden and sunglasses from Vintage 50's Eyewear, both on Etsy.  Apepazza shoes are from Anthro, and can also be found on Zappos

Thanks for reading!

xoxo, Anita