Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bath product addiction

I admit it! I have a bath product obsession.

My favorite and everyday-go-to-product is Philosophy's Amazing Grace shower gel and shampoo. It smells clean yet has a bit of girliness to it. Most days I will reach for this bottle. This fragrance and the other 2 listed below are my personal favorites because their scents are not overwhelming. I think I previously mentioned that I have a bloodhound sense of smell and most fragrances give me a headache.

Occasionally I will treat myself to a bottle of L'Occitane's Green Tea shower gel.
This is another clean scent and I love it.

If I want a little variety I go for Moonlight Path by Bath and Body Works. I layer the shower gel with the body lotion for longer lasting fragrance. This reminds of the Sunshine shower gel Bath and Body used to carry but discontinued many years ago. I loved that fragrance. Moonlight Path is a close second. I even have some wall plug ins with the Moonlight Path scent.

There you have it, my top 3 fragrances. Care to share your faves with me?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mosaic Monday- Winter, Goodbye to You!

1. Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, 2. Drummer, 3. Wakefield , 4. Shelter from the Storm, 5. Downtown Melrose this morning, 6. Midnight Velvet Cake, 7. January 2011 snowstorm , 8. January 2011 snowstorm , 9. January 2011 snowstorm

It's officially Spring, yeah! So where are the warmer temperatures? When I woke up this morning it was 29 degrees outside!

Here's my ode to Winter, goodbye to you! It was a brutal season, the snowiest I can remember in my lifetime. We had ice storms and snowstorms and thundersnow. It cost my little condo association loads of money. About $1000 in snowplowing bills, $400 to have the flat roof shoveled, and another $750 in roof repairs. At least, our roof didn't collapse.

Still, newly fallen snow is one of the most beautiful things in the world! But I've seen enough of that kind of beauty and I am looking forward to the warmth of Spring.

Check out Mosaic Monday at Little Red Schoolhouse and view other participants' mosaics.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chilling out on the weekend

Last week had been very stressful. Lots of stress, at work and home. So I just wanted to chill out over the weekend.

I started chilling on Friday night. Coffee with a friend at the local Starbucks. My friend Kim and I both wanted decaf drinks. Our barista, Julio, suggested something called a steamer. Just chocolate syrup and steamed milk and I think that's it. He said it was less caffeine than a mocha or a cocoa cappucino. I ordered it and he delivered this to my table. I love the flower he made for me. He is the best!

Jump to Sunday breakfast. Met my sister at our favorite haunt, Aroma Cafe in Reading. It's funny because neither one of us had said we would go there today. But we both showed up. And we both had the eggs in the hearts. So cute but a little blurry with my camera phone. I will master this phone camera someday!

Here's what Percy did this weekend! He's looking for trouble to get into.

Here's what Molly did on Saturday.

Here's what Molly did on Sunday!

Oscar relaxed this weekend too!

Saturday night, I went out to dinner with friends to Absolutely Fabulous in Melrose. I had won a $100 gift certificate to this restaurant. We split an appetizer, each of us had an entree, one person had wine and we split two desserts. My two friends paid the tax and tip. The food was excellent amid a nice atmosphere. It was fairly busy but we were not rushed. We would definitely go back.

So I had a nice weekend, how about you?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Social Media obsession

There's me! That's the photo you will find if you are looking for me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and it's also my blogger profile photo at the moment. I use FB for personal purposes, LinkedIn for business, and Twitter for both. My blog is just for personal use. I read that it's important to be consistent with Social Media, hence the same picture is used for each site.

I've been doing a lot of research on Social Media lately, mainly because I am going to need to ramp up my sales at work. You may know that I work for a bank but you may not know that I am a Residential Mortgage Lender. I have kept this private because lenders got a bad rap during the Mortgage meltdown and I did not want any negative comments about the mortgage crisis on my blog. I hear enough of it at work. Enough about my job.

My social media statistics should be better than they are but in my defense I totally neglected my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts until recently. I concentrated in the past two weeks on LinkedIn and I now have 91 connections and 3 recommendations. I read somewhere that it's imperative that you join groups on LinkedIn and I have to say it was a good idea. I have connected with a lot of people and learned so much from my groups.

I try to Tweet every day. I started to follow more people and now I follow 88 people and I have 51 followers. Some of the people who follow me on Twitter, well I just don't know why. They have nothing in common with me, personally or professionally.

I enjoy Facebook and I almost always upload photos with my post. My cats are a weekly occurrence on FB. I am also a FB admin for one of my community groups so I am on Facebook frequently. I have 62 friends but I know all of them! I don't need to grow that group but if my readers friend me I will friend back.

Of course, blogging is my favorite form of Social Media. I have the most freedom with blogging. This is my online diary. I post when I feel like it, no obligation and it is fun. Today I have 125 followers and I would love to build the traffic on my blog. It would be great to be a blogging superstar and have businesses pay me to place their ad on my blog. I feel this is light years away but we shall see.

Was there a point to this post? Oh yeah, I've told you my stats, now I want to know yours or at least tell me your feelings on Social Media. Are you Social Media obsessed? Which Social Media network do you like best? Do you use it for business or just personally? And lastly, did you get business from your efforts?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chatelaine Style

Hey look, I'm a designer! I just joined Olioboard and designed a bedroom. I'm calling it Chatelaine Style.

I know the scale is way off and the wallpaper print behind the bed is way too big but I think it came out ok. It's very gray with pink/rose accents. I even picked out the pillows on the bed! ( You can click the photo to enlarge)

Of course, there has to be at least one kitty in the bedroom. Even her bed is gray and pink! Can you tell I like gray and pink? Just look at my blog header!

I am really looking forward to exploring Olioboard and I hope you do too!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gloucester with the Girls

Today I went for a day trip to Gloucester with two of my friends from high school, Kim and Joan. I see my friend Kim all the time because she lives a couple of streets away from me. Joan I see maybe once or twice a year.

Yesterday was Kim's birthday. We don't exchange presents but we usually get together for breakfast or coffee. Today we did both!

We started at Sugar Magnolia's for breakfast. This place is one of Kim's favorites.

I opted for the cinnamon raisin french toast with homemade maple syrup. Kim had hash and Joan had eggs and pineapple fritters. We all shared in a fruit bowl with granola. I am glad I got the short stack of french toast anything more would have been too filling.

Our timing was perfect because shortly after we arrived it started to get very busy.

An interesting mix of artwork was displayed on the wall. I really liked the decor and feel of the place.

Wow, that man to the left looks intense. She sure has his full attention!

A mural adorned one of the walls.

I just had to take a photo of this poster that was in the ladies room. Audrey with a cat, how perfect!

One more look back at Sugar Magnolia's before we turned down the street. I really love this place. It is exactly the type of breakfast spot I like to frequent.

We headed next door to Gabriel's Antiques and this teapot caught my eye. I didn't need another teapot so I passed on it.

We liked this outfit outside of the Dress Code. They had very cool clothes and we spent quite a bit of time there. Kim tried this coat on but it was too big and of course one of a kind.

Before heading home, we decided to stop for coffee/tea at the Pleasant Street Tea Company.

This spot had quite the selection of teas and coffees. There were lunch items as well but we were still stuffed from breakfast. I just had a dark chocolate mocha.

Well, maybe I could have a little nibble.

I had orders not to take any photos of Kim and Joan for the blog. I didn't realize that they made it into the right hand corner of this shot. Ha, Ha! I don't think they will mind.

For this shot, I was aiming for the steam coming off the tea against the dark wall. But I did actually get some of Kim in this shot. She said it was ok. We loved just sitting and chatting in this quiet corner of the tea company. There were couches and chairs you could just sink into and sit in all day. And we did spend a long time there.

As I sit blogging about my lovely day with the girls, my boys are at my feet enjoying a little brotherly love. Sweet!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cape Ann daytrip plans

A friend called today to ask if I would like to go to Gloucester for breakfast on Saturday. Of course, I said sure! I love the Gloucester/Rockport area and I also love going out for breakfast.

By the way, Gloucester and Rockport are located on Cape Ann.

Another friend will join us on the excursion. I hope to see this handsome guy too. I haven't seen him in a year.

I took all the photos in this post one year ago. They were my first shots with my new Canon Rebel.

Let's pray for nice weather. Nice weather entails some sun and temps above 32 degrees Fahrenheit so I am not asking for much.

I'll post of our adventures soon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Impromptu Dessert Night

For Christmas, I bought a friend a new cookbook and an oven mitt from Anthropologie. As I thumbed through the cookbook the day I bought it, I thought I might like one for myself but I decided against buying one. At that time, my dollars needed to be spent on Christmas gifts for others.

Well, the other day I was at Barnes and Noble and I looked for the cookbook and found it. I had a members card so I saved a bit on it.

Mmm, "cinnamon, spice, & warm apple pie- comforting baked fruit desserts for chilly days", the very title makes me salivate. I couldn't wait to get started on my first dessert. I went to Whole Foods on my way home from Barnes & Noble. I sat in my car in the Whole Foods parking lot and looked through the recipes. I decided to start with the first recipe, apple and blackberry crumble. I just love blackberries!

Although I consider myself better at baking than cooking, I am certainly no expert. In fact my repertoire is pretty much limited to apple crisp, lemon squares, and brownies.

The recipe called for porridge oats and I couldn't find them at Whole Foods so I used what I had on hand, the regular rolled Quaker Oats. Later, one of my friends told me I should have used steel cut oats. Ok, good to know for next time.

I was hoping my apple and blackberry crumble would turn out just as nice as the one pictured in the book.

Here is MY apple and blackberry crumble. The recipe called for a variety of mixed apples so I used braeburn, granny smith, and one lady pink gala apple.

I thought it turned out well so I invited a few people over for an impromptu dessert. We sat in the living room and enjoyed our dessert and the fireplace. It was a chilly night so a warm apple dessert and a cup of tea was just the ticket!

Vanilla ice cream is the perfect topping for this dessert although whipped cream would also be nice!

I've decided to make every recipe in the book and blog about it a la Julie and Julia! Maybe they'll make a movie about me too!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A celebration

We had a little party for my friend Mary this evening. Actually, Mary likes to celebrate her birthday by making dinner for her friends. So we enjoyed salad, roast beef, roasted potatoes, corn, and rolls courtesy of Mary. We brought dessert. I found this cute candelabra candle yesterday. We put it in Mary's creme brulee.

My sister showed us this video in honor of Mary's birthday. We found it hilarious and I hope you enjoy it too!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Snippets of my home

I think it's been a while since I showed you some snippets of the condo.

The first photo shows where I blog. Yup, that's it right there. No office or elaborate desk, just 3 yard sale nesting tables and a laptop on the top of the largest table. I blog mostly in the living room in front of the television. When it's cold I use that little purple faux fur throw to keep me warm (it's at the left of the photo). I am very good at multi tasking. I often blog with the TV on.

I moved the bookcase to this corner of the livingroom after I got my new fireplace. I love the faux chandelier from Pier One and the candles and candlesticks are also from Pier One.

This is the second tea rack in my home. This one is from Home Goods and it hangs just outside of the kitchen. The teas I use the most are displayed on this rack.

And here is my ultimate favorite tea, Harrod's No. 42 or Earl Grey. I have to rely on friends who visit London to supply my addiction. Harrod's Tea is nearly impossible to buy in the States!

This etagere is in my dining room. I got it at a store closing. I like the scallop trim on the shelves. The candle is from Anthropologie.

I bought these two watercolors off Etsy at a two for the price of one sale. I had them matted and framed at a local frame shop. They're from Annechovie. Her etsy shop is here

I love the mat on this. It is a gray suede. The watercolor is an inspiration for the dining room I would like to have some day. I have been toying with painting my dining room purple. The walls are sort of a sage green now and I do love them. But it sure would be fun to have a purple dining room with white furniture. Oh the drama!

Here's the other watercolor. Doesn't that look like a fun room?

I have a large wall space over my sofa. I need to figure out what wall accents I want to choose for this area. I am thinking of a nice big clock, but, for now I've hung this vintage frame, one of a set of three from Barn House Marketplace. The ornament is from a gift store in Beverly called Sweetwater.

I hope you enjoyed the house tour. In a future post, I'll show the full rooms.


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