Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
I've tried a new way to exercise that avoids running, jumping, bouncing, and punching.
Barre exercise is a total body workout that uses small isometric movements to tone, and strengthen muscles, burn fat, increase flexibility. There is a quick flow to the movements that increases your heart rate.
No ballet experience needs for barre exercise as the barre is just a "prop" to hold onto for a deeper stretch. Other equipment is a mat, tubing, a small ball and some 1-3 lb. weights. The classes are taught in a mirrored studio to energetic music by capable instructors who challenge, encourage and kindly correct your movements.
My experience has been with Pure Barre. There are many other "brands" of barre exercise technique. This exercise technique can be as intense as you choose to make it. It is all about tucking and squeezing your abs and other muscles. The squeezing or contracting of the muscles results in tiny movements. Repetitions of these contractions will leave you shaking if you are giving it your all. The technique uses all of your muscle groups. You leave the studio feeling tired but standing taller and feeling longer.
Here is a link to Pure Barre. See if there is a studio near you. Perhaps your gym offers barre classes or there may be other kinds of barre studios nearby. Give this workout a try!
Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Looking stylish on a hot day can seem like a huge effort. These Pinterest picks exude seemingly effortless styling.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Cedar paper grilling wraps from Cedar House
Wrap your food in cedar paper for grilling to get a great cedar-smoke flavor. These sheets are made of real cedar wood.
Cedar Grilling Papers from Home Depot
Soak the cedar papers in water, wine or fruit juice for 5-10 minutes, then wrap up your food in the paper and tie with the included string. You can use these wraps on the grill or in a pan on the stove. The wrap will retain the juices of the food, creating natural steam for moist, flavorful food.
Keep your wine chilled to the perfect temperature. Add ice to the metal core in this carafe. The wine will stay the perfect temperature for 90 minutes even if the ambient temperature is 80 degrees.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
This studio needs a makeover and fast!
Is it no wonder I procrastinate going to my studio to make jewelry?
I went with my favorite color combination, coral and turquoise.
I made a visit to the Ikea "as is" room. I found these turquoise 'trash cans" with lids for $5.99. They are perfect for holding my crafty stuff like yarn.
I repurposed some terracotta yogurt containers I brought home from France to use a pencil and small tool holders. The wicker cutlery caddy was a mark down at Target about a year ago. I knew I'd find a good use for it. Now it holds my medium sized hand tools and scissors.
I found this Ikea stool that someone put out for trash pick up. I took it home and gave it the "dip dye" look by taking leftover wall paint and mixing it with some semi gloss white trim paint I had on hand.
Now I'm ready to get to work. The color is energizing and everything has a place.
Do you have a space that is just for you? Did you style it "just for you"?
Monday, July 23, 2012
A little mini bouquet from the cutting garden.
Hope you had a lovely weekend and got to do thing that make you happy. These are some things that gave me a most pleasant weekend.
A vase of fresh herbs
Some bright espadrilles that were a steal. J Crew
Gazpacho with veggies from our garden and the Farmers Market.
Grilled pesto pizza with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella from the Farmers Market. Pair the pizza with the gazpacho and you have a Meatless Monday meal to be excited about.
Friday, July 20, 2012
I am usually a wine drinker. I don't care for beer at all. However, in the summer, sometimes a cocktail is very appealing. The NY Times published an article with summer drinks and there is an interactive component that allows you to choose your favorite drink ingredients and they will supply a recipe for a cocktail.
I started with Campari, then selected gin and added cointreau. The result was Jasmine.
This drink had a very nice orange flavor that wasn't too sweet and very refreshing for a hot evening.
Click here to give the interactive generator a try. You may come up with a Negroni, a Hemingway daiquiri, or an Enchantress. Have fun and happy weekend.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Chances are that you are hanging around water this summer at a pool, beach or boating. Chances are you may drop your phone in the water. Chances are you'd like to take underwater photos.
You can waterproof your iPhone and take underwater photo by encasing your iPhone in a Scuba Suit. Check it out by clicking here.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Kinimatic custom bikini
No doubt you took some fabulous vacation photos with your camera or iphone. It is great to share photos on Facebook or other social networking sites but how about wearing your photos? You can with Kinimatic. The photo above is a preview of a design I made on the Kinimatic custom bikini site. I took some of my own photos and used them for the design of a bikini.
Not only can you design your own bikini, you can customize board shorts, shirts and yoga mats. How cool is that?
Monday, July 16, 2012
Renee's Kitchen Magic (egg, bacon, cheddar on sesame bagel) Zingerman's
After a leisurely dinner on Friday night on our deck with great friends, Saturday got off to a frenzied start. Hubby invited about 10 more guests for a backyard barbecue than I had expected! Yikes! With a menu in mind, we headed off to the Farmer's Market in Ann Arbor to stock up. Then a brief break for breakfast at our favorite Saturday morning spot, Zingerman's deli. Next stop was our garden where we harvested beans, herbs and greens for the evening meal.
I was still assembling appetizer trays as the first guests arrived. Hubby requested deviled eggs and they were a huge it. Everyone devoured. Who knew? I find the beverage dispensers from Pottery Barn to be indispensable for outdoor, summer entertaining. I use them for our Christmas party too. In one I floated mint, lime slices and blueberries in ice water. The other held a Campari/grapefruit cocktail.
I was so busy the entire evening that I never got to take more photos. I must say that I never had such disastrous luck with desserts. The peaches and plums from the Farmer's Market fell apart in my hands as I tried to cut them for a tart. I was lucky enough to get enough to add to the blueberries and raspberries I had on hand to make one tart. I used my last two eggs to makes some brownies to add to the World Peace cookies I made earlier. I thought that would be enough with the delicious home made vanilla ice cream, quietly churning behind the mudroom door. But alas, when I went for the ice cream, it was SOUP! The freezer bowl was not frozen and so the ice cream did not freeze. I quickly made up some whipped cream with the last of the cream in the refrigerator. No one was the wiser.
I guess the morale is, you can make due if you have a well stocked pantry and refrigerator. OR, a two day notice for a party is a very good idea.
Happy Birthday Betsy
Friday, July 13, 2012
Summer. Picnics. Pickles. They go together.
You can easily make your own bread and butter pickles this weekend. I was inspired by Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere. She said they were easy and delicious and she was correct.
Start with 1 1/2 lbs of pickling cucumbers. These are smaller than regular salad cucumbers and you can easily find them at Farmers Markets or grocery stores this time of year. Slice them fairly thin but not paper thin, you wan them to have some crunch. You can use a waffle cut if you have the tool. Place the slices in a bowl and mix them with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt. Chill for 1 1/2 hours and then rinse, the slices, drain well and return them to the bowl. Add 1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion to cucumber slices.
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup light brown sugar(packed) 1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, and 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric. Heat until sugar dissolves and then pour over cucumber and onion slices.
Let stand at room temperature 1 hour then cover and chill for 24 hours. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. * your pickles may be ready after only 4 hours or so. Here is the link to the recipe.
Did I say these pickles are good? They are not good...they are FANTASTIC!
YOU CAN DO THIS! This is a great weekend project.
Have a fantastic weekend filled with summer activities. I'm having guests on Friday and Saturday and my menus will be filled with Farmers Market finds and grilled goodies.
See you on Monday!