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friday: real simple recap, november issue!

TGIF and TGIRSRF! that means thank goodness its real simple recap friday. I’ve been trying to get this post up for 3 fridays now. Its quite the undertaking, but I love it!

Love this issue, as I do all of them. In the editors note, Kristin talks about to-do lists (my language, for sure), how crazy the holidays are and how crazed we get in preparing for them. She ended with encouragement to all of us to get to a point where we are comfortable tossing out the giant list, and concentrating on whats really important..family, and friends, and memory makin. I like Kristin.

Without further ado…

THOUGHT – page 14, from George Carlin. “on thanksgiving at our house we like variety. so we dont have turkey every year. last year we had a swan. it was nice; everyone got some neck. another year we had a seagull. delicious! its a little fishy, but at least theres no need to add salt…this year we’re expecting a few people over, so we’re having a flamingo. and im getting the leg that folds up. they say the meat is sweeter and more tender because the flamingo doesnt use it too much”

THE SIMPLE LIST – page 18. the approximate number of pairs of shoes that American women have in their closets? 2.9 billion. GIVE SOME AWAY LADIES.

FAVORITE DESIGN AD – page 20-21. Its always been a dream of mine to have a nautical theme decor in my bedroom. To me, its so serene and peaceful…i think of oceans and salt spray and rocking gently back and forth…This ad by Nautica is exactly how I would want that room.

QUOTE – page 23. “Delicious autumn! my very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” Beautifully said.

YOUR WORDS – page 44. Favorite cookbook? I’d like to get my hands on How to Cook Everything! it has over 2,000 recipes. I dont know about you ladies, but if I cook, its from a recipe…so this would be great.

TRENDS WORTH TRYING – page 52. I am usually not a huge bow fan…(ask my older sister. i cringe at the sight of little girl hair bows) but Im digging these Rocket Dog grosgrain ribbon flats. And Rocket Dog is in my budget, at just $39.

page 58 – Five Minute Wow eyes. I really like this look and it totally does awaken the eyes. Covergirl Liquilineblast eye liner for $8 in bunches of eye popping colors.

page 60 – 10 finds for $50 or less! this is probably my favorite page in every real simple mag. And I’m loving the cotton coasters, the TSA approved peel down perfume pencil, and the Mulberry for Target patent leather satchel.

SOLUTIONS – page 63. 6 new uses for a book…genius! I LOVE the Christmas tree fashioned out of open faced books! I’m totally doing this next year. (ya like that? next year?)

page 66 – 9 problem solvers of the month! 1.) he mini survival kit is so key! $12 and in such a small easily hide-able bag. 2.) love the champagne carrier! I actually saw these at Total Wine yesterday and they’re pretty sweet. I dont know about you, but I’d love to get champagne as a gift! its my favorite. and my personal fave..5.)The User Friendly apron! what a fabulous gift this is! especially for someone who cooks a lot and is ADD. Factoids on an apron – rules.

page 72 – I want to take a moment to throw out minted.com and promote the heck out of them. Not exactly cheap, but super amazing for holiday cards, invites, newsletters, etc. Unique designers and studios submit their designs for you to purchase and love and send out. Look at this one…fun, huh?

page 75 – Speed cleaning your pantry. I love these features, and they’re usually spot on in timing if you get all your “ingredients” and supplies ready ahead for time. Check out the “secret weapons” part of the page to see what you need to get started!

LIFE LESSONS – Good Read, page 78. Do your self a major favor and enjoy this read by Garrison Keillor, host of Prairie Home Companion. You’ll laugh your booty off. Favorite part of the article? “It isnt a party until you sing a few songs. Group singing is one more thing for which I am thankful. Its civility in its purest form.”

Expertise, page 94 – 5) Reiterate the other person’s argument. I could see this working, really..with my children..hopefully..someday…” Begin by stating his opinion, before adding your two cents…even if hes reluctant to concede the point, he’ll appreciate the fast that you listened to him in the first place.”

BEST AD – Maxwell House International, page 98. “There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Take at least 15 for yourself.” ANTHEM TO MOMS EVERYWHERE. Amen and Amen.

FASHION- The GUIDE, page 103. Rocket Dog does it again with super cute pumps at the bottom of the page, for $59. Affordable and with glitter? yes please.

page 104. I am completely in love with the earrings on this page, Sandy Hyun…black vintage glass and white Lucite, they make me feel royal looking at them.

page 106. If I had $100 to spend on a holiday dress, it’d be blue. And velvet or satin. Blue is holiday and royal and rich looking and this Limited Dress is just the perfect pick for everything I just said.

page 110. Loving this high waisted mid-thigh tweed and chiffon skirt from Ann Taylor Loft. I love anything high waisted. Wanna know why? I’ve had 2 babies. Done.

page 113. BOOTS. Boots. boots. I love Frye boots and i’ll never be able to afford them. Well, maybe in 10 years. Maybe. For now I’ll pine over these Ciao Bella leather boots for $159 from shoes.com.

page 118. How do I care for these boots…where can I find my size in cute styles…how do I stretch them..what do I do when my boots get wet…All answered on this page!

page 128. I know I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…as Clark Griswold would say, ” if anyones looking for any last minute gift ideas for me, I’ve got one…” . The Real Simple 869 New Uses for Old Things. I WANT THIS. Bad.

page 140. Here is an ad for that site minted.com!!! I adore adore adore the second card on the bottom.

THE GUIDE, Beauty – page 141-142. Road Tested Toothpastes! I am thinking about trying the Luster White 7 toothpaste..I need to find a good whitening toothpaste.

page 148. Great guide to finding a skin care regimen based upon your skin type. I think I’m in between oily and dry…if that makes any sense..but not exactly normal..So we will see if I can mix and match things I already have and some new items to make the perfect regimen. I say to myself every day, “rebekah, youve got to take care of your skin” and I never do. Well, I’m starting. January 1st, 2011.

THE GUIDE-Home, page 160. Jewel tone accents and colors…yes. I did a post about colored glass a few weeks back and this is so what I’m talking about and what I love. I’d be fine with white walls and neutral colors in furniture if I could jewel tone accent the rest of my house!

page 168. BENCHES. I love benches! they are very comforting to me for some reason. I’m on the hunt for one at thrift stores, something under $150 preferably, that has storage like the green bench on this page.

THE GUIDE, HEALTH – page 188. I asked Ben for one of these balls for christmas…well, I’m going to. (nothing like last minute..). And I aim to do this workout in my living room during jos’ nap times every day. A whole workout with one item? Sounds like a plan to me!

page 192- From sleep to oysters, read about some tips to keep you full of energy this holiday season. I’d like some of that sleep part please…

THE GUIDE, MONEY – page 201. the Top Five Rewards Cards. Such great info! Ben and I are trying to get out of debt and get rid of our credit cards that we have, in order to get one great rewards card that we can collect frequent flier miles on. With our job and the amount of travel we do, it just makes sense. This was great to read!

page 206. The amount of time the average woman spends shopping during her lifetime? 8 years. This is for real.

page 209. A cool thing AT&T is doing, a $12 charger that is universal and will work with any non AT&T phones. its biggest selling point is that it shuts itself off when its fully charged, “prolonging the life of the battery and avoiding so-called phantom power usage”. Pretty nifty.

REAL SIMPLE, FEATURES- page 213. Study this paragraph and read what is written. Pretty awesome, and I’d love to check out the book Home Stills once its out.

page 219 – Set, Eat, Love. Table settings for the holiday season! my favorite is on page 219, vintage mish-mash. I have a feeling when I finally do host a holiday dinner, that this is what you’ll find in my cabinets as opposed to matching sets…which is fine with me. Its me. I also love the blue and white china on page 223. Its comfortable.

Page 228, chunk knits – Love this image…its fresh and ethereal. And I am really digging this knit Ann Taylor Loft neck warmer for $34.50!

page 229. You all know my love for cardigans, and this one from Banana Republic is divine. $150 is a bit much, so I’d look for something similar for a little less chedda.

Page 236 – 4 Different Makeup Looks – These are my favorite types of articles. Before and Afters. The best! I love all three of these looks, and will be trying out the glamour girl look at my christmas party tomorrow night! I’ll take a pic and show you ladies in a post next week.

FOOD, Desserts – page 282. This looks so yummy. Pear and Apricot Tart, I’ve always wanted to make you. Maybe this holiday season I will get up the guts and maybe you will look as pretty as you do in this picture.

page 286. This Flourless chocolate cake can be made up to 2 days before your dinner party and refrigerated.  Simply bring the cake to room temperature before adding the powdered sugar on top and serving!

FOOD, Wine – page 294. Wines…whites! my favorite for sure. A great read to see what tastes suit you, and all under $20 a bottle.

FOOD, Weeknight Meals – page 307. 20 minute meal, Spiced Shrimp w/ green beans and lime, this will be on my dinner table soon! These 20 minute meals are so helpful for us hard workin ladies, eh?

REALSIMPLE.COM Tools – go to realsimple.com/holidaydecor for 30 decorating ideas. Realsimple.com/quicklooks gives you holiday hair and makeup tips!

Lastly, Dont forget to cut out the clipnsaves on the back page ladies. There is a goat cheese appetizer recipe on one of them! Yum!

 

thats it for this issue, hope you enjoyed! And seriously, if you’re not picking up an issue yourself and following along, you should!

 

TGIF!

 


wednesday: pic of the week, get your cheesecake on.

so its no secret i love sugar.

i could have cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast, a fruit salad for lunch, and cake for dinner. literally, this is my world and im a prisoner in it. i love me some sweets!

cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, doughnuts, candy, fruits, sugar of all kinds….

over thanksgiving we always head up to tennessee to spend the holiday with bens family. the women cook for hours and hours day of, but we have to split our time between two sides of the family and eat two thanksgiving dinners, so its hard for me to contribute to the cooking sometimes. this year, i was determined to make a contribution. something in me is screaming to be cooking and cleaning and home all the time…what the deuce…

am i becoming suzie homeaker? did i just make my husband leave for 4 hours and deep clean my house like i was gonna host the president for dinner tonight? YES. do i sometimes cook dinner for my family “just because”, and secretly desire to roll around on the floor all day with my kiddos? (that nice vacuumed, swept and mopped floor?) YES.

so anyways, my suzie homeaker desires kicked in and made me a bit sad i wasnt having a thanksgiving at my own house and being dubbed “hostess with the mostess”…so i thought, meh, why not make a baller cheesecake to throw in the thanksgiving food mix…its not really thanksgiving food, but hey maybe somebody will eat it and i wont be too embarrassed now that i have something to bring to the table.

enter real simple magazine, november. (the recap going up THIS FRIDAY ladies so stay tuned for full details…). gingersnap cherry cheesecake recipe? yes please. minus the cherries plus some strawberries. yes please.

check out the recipe here ladies, and ive copied and pasted it below. for the crust half and halfed gingersnap cookies with gingerbread graham crackers (makes a nicer consistency in the crust). and i also bought fresh strawberries, chopped them up and added a bit of sugar to them before i let them chill in the fridge for a while.

the result? i happened to find the last piece buried in the fridge the day after thanksgiving. it was devoured people, literally devoured. certain family members had multiple pieces. said it was the best cheesecake theyd ever had. better than their mommas…and their mommas mommas…

make it. eat it. love it. its a great holiday staple peeps! bens family has already made me promise to make it and bring it every year now!

p.s. i felt very good about this cheesecake because it was the first one that id ever made, and it didnt split down the middle or break or cook funny…it was delicious and beautiful, so ben made sure to take a pic of me with the very first yummy piece. enjoy!

Serves 12| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 5hr 00m

Ingredients

  • 3 cups ground gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and butter. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
  3. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
  5. Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.

friday: rad mom interview, sarah williams!

Hello ladies and TGIF!! this weekend is one ive been looking forward to for a while, PRAYING darby makes her appearance and its my last Friday without 2 kiddos. Get this girl out of me! Im finding myself scowling at everyone who’s NOT pregnant in sheer disgust at their gorgeous figure and lack of swollen lips.

So here we are, this Friday, with out rad mom interview-ee..Sarah Williams!

Such a small world. Sarah is someone I knew of while I was at FSU way back in the day…somewhere around 2001-2002. I heard her name a lot, saw her occasionally, but never got to know her. Then what do you know, I travel all the way from Tallahassee, Florida to Branson, Missouri to work a month at Kanakuk Kamps….and there is Sarah at K-Kountry. My kamp. The kamp where I met my wonderful Ben…my husband. And there was Sarah!

Again, never had the time at kamp to really get to know her because we worked in different areas and everything is crazy at kamp. Then one day years and years later we are magically friends on facebook. (gotta love facebook). She now lives in Missouri still…has a husband too…and THREE kids. WOW!

Then through keeping up with her facebook statuses, I find that she is moving to no other state but FLORIDA, no other town but Ft. Lauderdale!! Right in my neck of the woods! Literally 40 mins from me.

It’s destined that we are to know each other, and apparently intimately. Now that she is moved and settled in, we are trying to plan a dinner date for sometime after Darby is born and the Hood life calms down.

Sarah is a sweet girl but its obvious in the very little I know about her that she is STRONG. In everything. She is an advocate and a leader for her children and loves to be a mom…which is something I sometimes stink at being. So I look up to her…and I love to keep up with her blog, imraisingworldchangers. (thats her kids!!!)

You should read it too..its funny. Her kids are reallllly funny and she writes primarily about them and her hubby Brett and their blessed life. Enjoy her interview and give her a shout out on her blog!

INTRODUCING: Mrs Sarah Williams!

Rebekah: well hello. Tell us a bit about yourself!

Sarah: My name is Sarah Williams (I know, such a unique name).  I am a stay-at-home mom to three beautiful children: Caleb-4½, Chloe-3 (her birthday is today!), and Luke-7 months.  Marriage and parenting are my passions.  I truly believe marriage is supposed to be fun (though not perfect) and parenting should be a joy (though not easy).  I enjoy figuring out how to best do that.  My husband, Brett, is in full-time Christian ministry, so I help with that, as well.

Rebekah:  tell us about your blog or site. What do you do and why do you do it?

Sarah: I write a blog called ImRaisingWorldChangers.blogspot.com.  The blog is mostly, if not entirely, for me to keep a written record of my day-to-day life.  Among other things, I enjoy writing about the hilarious antics of my children. The name of the blog comes from my deep desire for my children to change the world in the unique ways God has created them.

Rebekah: When you’re not blogging, what takes up most of your time?

Sarah: Facebook.  Just kidding (sort of).  Investing in my family (both in my marriage and in my children) are my top priority, so that takes up most of my time.  As weird as this sounds, I love to clean and organize my house (though it only lasts until my kids wake up).  I am embarrassed to admit this on this blog because we all have seen Rebekah’s amazing photography, but I often photograph my family and wish I was really great at it.

Rebekah: If you could pick one dessert to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sarah:  I absolutely love cookies.  My favorite are peanut butter chocolate chip and Snickerdoodles.

Rebekah: Most of us are women, some of us are moms. So spill it, whats the most important lesson you’ve learned as a woman in the last year? Mommy related or not!

Sarah:  You have to make time for yourself to do what you love.  I am such a better wife and mom if I get out by myself.  I typically go shopping because I love to shop, but sometimes I will go to Starbucks and relax.  Whatever it is, I come back home refreshed!

Rebekah: Share with us your favorite recipe! (no rules here…)

Sarah: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Award-Winning-Soft-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies/Detail.aspx

I make 36 cookies, so cut the recipe in half.  Then, cut the butter in half.  I one cup milk chocolate chips plus one cup peanut butter chips (instead of what they recommend).  I told you I love cookies J.

Rebekah: I hate to cut things with scissors because of the scratchy feeling, and I cannot look at a car that’s not painted glossy for fear of thoughts of chalkboards and fingernails. Tell us about your weirdness…what are your quirks?

Sarah: Where do I even begin?  I have lots of weird quirks. I do not prefer to be barefoot, so I wear shoes most of the time.  I shower before bed (even if I have showered in the morning) because I like to be clean when I get into bed.

Rebekah: If you have kiddos & a hubby, or a soulmate/best friend, tell us what it is about them that you love soooo much.

Sarah:  I adore my husband.  The way he loves and lives for Jesus is incredible.  My favorite quality about him is how much he makes me laugh.  He is so funny.  He is also a really great dad, and that just makes me smile.

My children make my heart melt in different ways.  Caleb is so tender-hearted and kind, yet he is also all boy: tough and silly.  Chloe is our princess in every way, and she makes me laugh constantly.  Luke goes with the flow and smiles a lot; he is the easiest baby ever.

Rebekah: If your husband/significant other comes inside from working, and is sweaty and smelly and covered in dirt, do you embrace the manliness and give him a big smoocher or send him packing, straight to the shower with a fresh bar of irish spring? Whats the reason behind your choice?

Sarah: Embrace the manliness.  That would probably surprise most people.  I like to be clean, but it does not bother me if Brett isn’t.  However, he does not like to be touched when he is sweaty, so he’d head for the shower.

Rebekah: We obviously all love to blog stalk. Give us some of your favorite blogs that you keep up with.

Sarah: I prefer to read the blogs of people I know, so if you publicize your blog, I probably read it.

I recently found The Happy Home Fairy (http://glittermagic.wordpress.com/) and enjoy the inspiration that comes from Julie (whose husband was my friend in college, and I’ve recently connected with her).

My friend, Kirstin (troyerslovinglife.blogspot.com) inspires me in many ways.  She is so hospitable and wonderful.

I read a lot more blogs, but those are two great ones!

Rebekah: Whats the most important thing you’ve discovered since breaking into the blog world? A good tip, say, for those of us who are new to it!

Sarah:  Find your voice and stick to that (whether it’s personal, spiritual, political, comical, etc).  I write about my family and mostly nothing else.  I will never make money off of it or change someone’s life, and I am okay with that.  People may not be interested, but my kids will hopefully like to read it one day.

Rebekah: You can only download ONE album from itunes. Whos it gonna be?

Sarah: I love the Jesus Culture worship albums.  I do not listen to music much, so when I do, it has to count!

Rebekah: Ive said it before, im not a reader but I wanna be. Give me a book that has inspired you, romanced you, kept you hanging, or one you simply couldn’t put down?

Sarah: I do not read much, either, so I do not have a vast selection to choose from (though I did try to read Twilight and was unable to get through it).

The Love and Logic parenting book has been super helpful to me, as a mom.  How To Really Love Your Child was also a life-changing book.  I have read a vast array of parenting books, and these two are my top picks.

Rebekah: We’ve all got them; role models. Give us one or two of yours and tell us why you look up to them!

Sarah: I glean a lot from friends, and many have impacted my life tremendously.  The two people I most hope to emulate are Carol Lemley and Ty Shiver (neither blog, unfortunately).

My favorite thing about Ty is the way she loves her husband.  My marriage is so much greater because of what she has taught me.

Carol has six children and makes parenting look so fun and enjoyable.  I go to her with all of my parenting questions.

Rebekah: Besides blogging, what is one thing that you do every day without fail? Could be big or small.

Sarah: when tucking my kids in at night, I tell each of them: “I am so proud of you.  I am so lucky to be your mommy.  You are so beautiful/handsome.  I love you.”  Who wouldn’t want to hear that every day?

Rebekah: Who is your alma mater, and be honest…what was more important to you while in school; football, or studying?

Sarah:  Florida State!!!!!!!  Definitely football.  In fairness, Brett (my husband) played football at FSU, so it totally worked out for me in the end.  Though I definitely did not focus on studying, I did get my degree.

Rebekah: Saved the best two for last. One, how has God blessed you this week?

Sarah: I moved from Kansas City to south Florida in July.  Two weeks ago, I was having a particularly hard week.  I was very homesick and missing my life and friends back in Kansas.  Well, this past week, I had the BEST week.  I met some new friends, started going to two moms groups, and got to hang out with one of my best friends.  I went from feeling very down to feeling very blessed.  It was wonderful and totally God!

Rebekah: And two. What makes you rad? (OWN THIS)

Sarah:  Even though I have three kids, I invest in my appearance.  I wear high heels, blow dry my hair, and put on make-up (not everyday, but a couple of times a week).  Just because I am a mom doesn’t mean I have to look busted.  I find I feel better about myself when I put effort into my appearance.


thursday: LLP’s, PW Banana Bread

i’m not sure how many times in the coming years i will sing her praises, link to her homemade goodness, or pine away hoping she will somehow find me and be a guest on my blog someday…

but i have no shame. the pioneer woman is simply a goddess…a pillar of strength and femininity in a wishy-washy culture…and she can COOK. oh can she cook.

i think i will now buy bananas for the sole reason of letting them go brown just SO i can make her banana bread.

before i go any further..SO FUNNY, another blog i follow did a post about this banana bread on Monday! Amy Paul, i promise, this was on my weeks plan and i cannot believe we are telepathically linked and thought to blog about the exact same PW recipe in the exact same week…

(p.s. go follow amy! she has a fab etsy shop and simply blogs about life…gotta love it. http://amypaul.wordpress.com)

forgive me ladies, im lacking on photo goodness this post…i fully intended to take pictures as i made it but Fabolous was bumpin from my boombox and i honestly completely forgot….so as a peace offering, here’s a funny banana comic.

On to the recipe! Pioneer Woman’s Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1-½ cup + 2 TBLS Sugar
  • 3 whole Eggs
  • 1-½ cup Mashed Ripe Bananas
  • 4 cups + 2 TBLS Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1-½ cup Sour Cream

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour bundt pan.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition. Add mashed bananas and beat.

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients and sour cream alternately to the mixing bowl. Beat well until all combined.

Pour into bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Invert on a cooling rack and allow cake to cool slightly before slicing and serving with softened butter.

Seriously ladies, the sour cream makes it. It adds just the amount of flavor to offset “holy banana” mouth. Its perfection. And as with anything else out of the oven…it tastes the best just after pulling out. So attempt to eat it all in one evening…one sitting even, and hey…if anyone accomplishes this, I’ll personally make it my mission to let Ree know and maybe she’ll let you kiss her feet. (i totally would if given the opportunity)

Its much prettier on her blog, so be sure to check out the link above. Ree, Thanks for being superbly stellar. At all things banana.


friday: rad mom interview, sarah hearts!

i met sarah a long time ago in tallahassee, she is one of my sister allison’s dear dear friends.

sarah was in school at the time at FSU, and was making all sorts of handmade goodies like tote bags and get this, adorably disguised feminine product carrying cases. (YES, fabulous. i have one.)

she has now expanded her business, sarah hearts design studio, to make custom stationary and invitations and tons more. her designs are feminine and so whimsical, chic and modern..i love everything she puts out.  here are some of my favorites!

Sarah also has a great blog that is such a useful tool for brides to be, anyone looking for design ideas and inspiration, and those on the quest for a fabulous recipe. She posts everything from design boards, to the perfect waffles, color palettes, gown suggestions, and handmade accessories (she is a big fan of Twigs & Honey as am I!)

she is sweet and uber talented…introducing Sarah Hearts! please check out her blog and website and keep her on your list should you be looking for custom designs!

*photo credit divine light photography

Rebekah: well hello. Tell us a bit about yourself!

Sarah: My name is Sarah Khandjian and I’m a graphic designer who loves type, illustration, color and pattern. I own Sarah Hearts Design Studio, where I create custom stationery, illustrations and more.

Rebekah:  tell us about your blog or site. What do you do and why do you do it?

Sarah: Sarah Hearts is my passion. From an early age I knew I wanted to create. Now, I have the opportunity to create a unique solution for each of my clients. I believe beautiful things always point to my Creator and I want to share that with the world. I also recently started Sarah Hearts Blog where I blog five days a week about color, design, art, weddings, home decor and food.

Rebekah: When you’re not blogging, what takes up most of your time?

Sarah: Sewing, cooking, and painting! I absolutely love art, design, and craft. When I’m not at home doing on of those things, I’m at the barn riding or playing with my horse, Justin.

Rebekah: If you could pick one dessert to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sarah: Bakerella’s red velvet cake. I made it a few months ago and I was hooked! I even had it for breakfast the next day!

Rebekah: Most of us are women, some of us are moms. So spill it, whats the most important lesson you’ve learned as a woman in the last year? Mommy related or not!

Sarah: Work hard and be patient. We all have heard this time and time again but this year I am learning how true it is. Owning your own business is tough, but it also is so rewarding.

Rebekah: Share with us your favorite recipe! (no rules here…)

Sarah: I am a little obsessed with Everyday Food magazine. I started reading them 3 years ago and I never have made something that I didn’t love. One of my favorites is their grilled greek chicken kebabs with mint-feta sauce. The grilled veggies and mint-feta sauce is amazing.

Rebekah: I hate to cut things with scissors because of the scratchy feeling, and I cannot look at a car that’s not painted glossy for fear of thoughts of chalkboards and fingernails. Tell us about your weirdness…what are your quirks?

Sarah: I cringe when people eat sushi with their hands, my spice jars have to be alphabetized, and I crave something sweet immediately after every meal… even breakfast!

Rebekah: If you have kiddos & a hubby, or a soulmate/best friend, tell us what it is about them that you love soooo much.

Sarah: Kevin, my hubby, is extremely encouraging and absolutely hilarious. He always makes me smile. Also, he let me dedicate a room in our new home to my studio/workspace and fill the other closets with fabric.

Rebekah: If your husband/significant other comes inside from working, and is sweaty and smelly and covered in dirt, do you embrace the manliness and give him a big smoocher or send him packing, straight to the shower with a fresh bar of irish spring? Whats the reason behind your choice?

Sarah: A big smoocher! Kevin doesn’t mind giving me one when I come home all gross from horseback riding. However, we both agree that we need to shower before any cuddling happens.

Rebekah: We obviously all love to blog stalk. Give us some of your favorite blogs that you keep up with.

Sarah: There are so many! Right now my daily reads are, I So Love You, Making It Lovely, Design Work Life, and Young House Love.

Rebekah: Whats the most important thing you’ve discovered since breaking into the blog world? A good tip, say, for those of us who are new to it!

Sarah: Site all your sources! It’s so important to credit the photographers/designers. They are trying to make it too. Also, implement structure to your post, whether than be categories or weekly/daily topics.

Rebekah: You can only download ONE album from itunes. Whos it gonna be?

Sarah: Further Seems Forever: The Moon is Down. So, so good.

Rebekah: Ive said it before, im not a reader but I wanna be. Give me a book that has inspired you, romanced you, kept you hanging, or one you simply couldn’t put down!

Sarah: I’m currently reading Broken by Lisa Jones on my iPad (Yes, I’m an Apple geek!). It’s a great story of how horses and people relate to each other through the eyes of a non-horsey journalist

Rebekah: We’ve all got them; role models. Give us one or two of yours and tell us why you look up to them!

Sarah: My mom! She can do anything and always is giving. She is an inspiration is so many ways. Alena Hennessy, whom I interned with in college, has been a huge mentor to me as I started my own business.

Rebekah: Besides blogging, what is one thing that you do every day without fail? Could be big or small.

Sarah: Cooke a homemade meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s a must for me!

Rebekah: Who is your alma mater, and be honest…what was more important to you while in school; football, or studying?

Sarah: Florida State University! Go Noles! I was a bookworm, or rather studio worm. I lived in the BFA warehouse along with all my fellow art and design students. Our program was a bit longer than most majors and required quarterly reviews. It was intense but such a great experience too.

Rebekah: Saved the best two for last. One, how has God blessed you this week?

Sarah: I spent a couple of days with my immediate family in one of my favorite places ever, Asheville, North Carolina. No fuss or drama, just true fellowship. It was awesome.

Rebekah: And two. What makes you rad? (OWN THIS)

Sarah: Haha! I am truly passionate about art, design, and craft. I love details, typography, textures, patterns, and color. I’m inspired by nature, friends, family, and travel. And I think it is all visible in my work.


friday: rad mom interview, katie s.!

when i first met her im pretty sure it was because she was telling me how insanely adorable i looked and how my kid was so fat it was amazing and thats why she loved him and oh my gosh, you are such a fabulous photographer…

this is how she talks and i love it. katie schnack has a brilliant brain that runs 100 miles a second and she never skips a beat. shes a genius in the clothing department and yes, she did work in tv for a time. (famous, yes.). she and her hubby kyle just moved away from lovely west palm beach to be in austin texas, where kyle will be going to grad school for acting….and yes he will be in NYC on Broadway before we realize.

katie schnack is hilarious. such a trip. a person you see and say, “i MUST know her. stat.”

she is an incredible writer. her blog, Tales of a Palm Beach Waitress, will have you rolling on the floor laughing. it is spew-your-dr-pepper-out-your-nose funny. ofcourse, i never knew she wrote until the DAY BEFORE she moved away from me, when i took her and her hubby out for a fun “leaving west palm” photo shoot. when i discovered pbwaitress.wordpress.com….well i found my comic relief for daily life. (cream, sugar, or pee is the best read you’ll come across in a while. fab post)

id love to say that i begged and begged her to be a guest on my blog, and we had emails and texts and phone calls debating whether or not she actually would because she is THAT fabulous and it’d have been cool for there to have been more drama and pulling of teeth….but she said yes right away and i was uber flattered. so without further ado….

introducing, Mrs. Katie Schnack! (GO TO HER BLOG. you’ll become an instant follower)

Rebekah: well hello. Tell us a bit about yourself!

Katie:  I am just a confused 23 year old rolling around in the ocean of life’s uncertainties.  Wasn’t that dramatic?  Just moved to Austin, Texas with my awesome husband, and am waiting patiently on the Lord to tell me what my next move is.  And by patiently I mean with a lot of stifled anxiety and stressed out prayers.

Rebekah:  tell us about your blog or site. What do you do and why do you do it?

Katie: My blog is called ‘Tales of a Palm Beach Waitress”.  I was a waitress as The Breakers in Palm Beach for four years.  Working there is a whole different world than the life of a struggling college student.  I began being amazed at the things the wealthy would say, do, or how they would act.  Some absolutely ridiculous situations would occur, and I thought, these are wayyyy too insane for me to forget about in 5 years, so I began writing them all on the blog.  I got a really great response from a lot of people, so I kept up with it, and have since turned it all into a book.  Read the stories…they are all based on true events, and the crazier the situation, the more likely that it actually happened. Yes, pee was found in a coffee pot.  Also, I just love love love making people laugh.

Rebekah: When you’re not blogging, what takes up most of your time?

Katie:  As of now, job hunting!  Applying at magazines, newspapers, websites.  Thinking really hard about going back to grad school.  I got a baby kitten who likes to sit on my shoulder like a parrot, so he is fun.  Other than that, exploring my new city of Austin with my hunky husband, eating at delicious restaurants, biking, and trying to make friends.  Want to be my friend?  Oh, and I make espressos just like they do in Paris.  A lot.  I am obsessed with them. OBSESSED.

Rebekah: If you could pick one dessert to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Katie: White birthday cake with white frosting. Not just regular cake, but it has to have someone’s birthday attached to it.  That just makes the cake SO much better for some reason. Oh, and my dad’s pumpkin pie.  He makes it out of our jack-o-lanterns from Halloween, or at least he used to, when we were all home for Halloween and still carved pumpkins. Sad.

Rebekah: Most of us are women, some of us are moms. So spill it, whats the most important lesson you’ve learned as a woman in the last year? Mommy related or not!

Katie: I am not a mom, except to this new little kitten thing I adopted. (I like him even more than I like my espressos.)  However, I have been learning way more than I would care to over the past year.  When you leave college, a lot of stuff hits you square in the face that is not that exciting.  Like health insurance- what is with that crap anyways?  And paying your first water bill, and realizing that to keep your house clean, you actually…have to clean it. (Gross.)  I am just trying right now to process all of these new found responsibilities without losing the zest of my youth, and remaining inspired.  Also, a lesson a lot of my friends learned when we left college is that things just take time.  We all expect to graduate college, find the perfect job right away, go to work every day in high heels and cute business suits, and have lots of money.  However, the reality is most people don’t even figure out what they actually want to (or what God wants) them to do until they are at least 25.  We feel so old at 23, and get all panicky if it isn’t all working out just exactly as we had pictured, when the reality is our adult life is JUST getting started, and there are many great adventures to be had…they just take a while to brew!

Rebekah: Share with us your favorite recipe! (no rules here…)

Katie: I have invented this weird thai chicken recipe that involves the use of peanut butter.  I cut up a boneless skinless chicken breast, and brown it.  Then I add low sodium soy sauce, sweet thai chili sauce, garlic, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes.  Once that cooks for awhile, I add in a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables, mix it all around until it is all cooked. Then, a big spoonful of peanut butter, stir it in and SHA BAM- thai peanut chicken.  Delicious.  I serve it with rice, or noodles.

Rebekah: I hate to cut things with scissors because of the scratchy feeling, and I cannot look at a car that’s not painted glossy for fear of thoughts of chalkboards and fingernails. Tell us about your weirdness…what are your quirks?

Katie: The sound of pouring water makes me extremely uncomfortable.  I can’t watch my sister eat cereal without becoming extremely disturbed.  It annoys me when my husband sneezes, so I always feel guilty saying God bless you, when I am so inwardly annoyed.  Please note though, that I love my sister and husband very very much, but more so when there is no cereal involved and it is not allergy season.  P.S. Rebekah, I just laughed out loud that you can’t look at a glossy car.  That really is kinda weird! Bahah.

Rebekah: If you have kiddos & a hubby, or a soulmate/best friend, tell us what it is about them that you love soooo much.

Katie:  I don’t even know why I love my husband, I just know that I do and I am supposed to. I loved him right when I first saw him at age 12, but had no idea why I did.  But if I had to put this strange and beautiful feeling into words, I would say things I love most about him are the way he makes me laugh, calms me down, believes in me, never gets jealous. He doesn’t care that I am not good at keeping the house clean or folding shirts, slash if you say the word housewife around me I break out in hives. I also love that he is an artist, and we can have these deep discussions about the meaning of a play, or why he hates my paintings, and how he understands my desire to be a writer and to not EVER work an office job.  I also love that we both love the outdoors, and have hiked probably 400 miles together, and we both are obsessed with cats.  And that he is super hot.

But most of all, I love when he does completely absurd, out of nowhere, make me pee my pants laughing things like break out in a dance in the middle of our living room.  He is mentally insane, and I am obsessed.

Rebekah: If your husband/significant other comes inside from working, and is sweaty and smelly and covered in dirt, do you embrace the manliness and give him a big smoocher or send him packing, straight to the shower with a fresh bar of irish spring? Whats the reason behind your choice?

Katie: This is kind of a creepy question, but I will answer it with all honesty.  No, I will not send him to the showers because 1. Showers are overrated. 2. I like when he smells a little sweaty, I like when he smells clean, I like what he smells like when it is cold outside.  All of these smells remind me of some forgotten memory of growing up together, like Christmas time playing in the snow, or after football practice in high school.  He always smells good to me.  Well, mostly always.

Rebekah: We obviously all love to blog stalk. Give us some of your favorite blogs that you keep up with.

Katie: I swear I am not sucking up, but this blog is one of the two that I actually follow.  The only other one belongs to the beautiful creative blonde bombshell Kristin Bruce.  She writes about life, God and mostly the issue of human trafficking.  She just got back from a trip to Thailand- check it out! http://parakristin.tumblr.com/

Rebekah: Whats the most important thing you’ve discovered since breaking into the blog world? A good tip, say, for those of us who are new to it!

Katie: Ok, so this is really strange, but I have to admit that one thing that will bring traffic to your blog is writing about poodles.  Yes, I am serious.  I wrote a couple stories about huge poodles, and how I absolutely detest them. ( I love dogs, but not poodles.  They are not dogs.  They are hair covered French men with low IQ’s who walk on four legs.  Not a dog, and absolutely terrifying. ) Anyways, people kept coming to my blog when they would Google poodles.  I am not kidding, I got like 90 hits one day just by people searching for poodles.  Hopefully, they liked my blog too! Also, I hear writing every day no matter what is good, however I have failed in that area!

Rebekah: You can only download ONE album from itunes. Whos it gonna be?

Katie: Mumford and Sons.  Hands down.  My husband and I listen to them every day.  Brilliant.

Rebekah: Ive said it before, im not a reader but I wanna be. Give me a book that has inspired you, romanced you, kept you hanging, or one you simply couldn’t put down!

Katie: This year books have actually played a big part into me deciding to leave TV and pursue something that I am more passionate about.  My top for this past year:

Bird by Bird- Anne Lammott

The Happiness Project- Gretchen Rubin

Making Your Creative Dreams Real- SARK

Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper- SARK

I loved all of those.

Rebekah: We’ve all got them; role models. Give us one or two of yours and tell us why you look up to them!

Katie: My role model is anyone who doesn’t let fear hold them back from living a full, exciting, love and joy filled life and doing exactly what they love to do and doing it successfully, no matter how off the wall and impractical it may seem.  If you fit that criteria, I look up to you.

Rebekah: Besides blogging, what is one thing that you do every day without fail? Could be big or small.

Katie: Tell my husband I love him about 100 times, and drink coffee.

Rebekah: Who is your alma mater, and be honest…what was more important to you while in school; football, or studying?

Katie: Palm Beach Atlantic University– Go Sailfish!  And since we have no football team- studying I suppose.  At PBA it is not hip to display any amount of sailfish pride anyways. Mostly because the mascot…is a sailfish.

Rebekah: Saved the best two for last. One, how has God blessed you this week?

Katie: My baby kitty got super sick and we thought he was going to croak…but he survived!  Also, just allowing me to have so much time with my awesome husband.

Rebekah: And two. What makes you rad? (OWN THIS)

Katie: Why do questions like this make people feel uncomfortable?  If you instruct me to own this- I guess I will.

I have freckles and imperfect teeth.  I see the world in a mass amount of color, and then I paint it how I see it.  I have a ring in the shape of a buffalo head that I bought for $1 on top of a mountain in California, and I cherish it like it was made out of gold.  I have been a dancer my entire life and own 2 pairs of broken in point shoes. I have climbed a 10,000 ft mountain on 2 hours of sleep with no trail, walking on ridges two feet wide and clinging to unstable rock for dear life.  However, I was secretly terrified the entire time and will never climb again.  I can furnish and entire home on 75% thrift store furniture, and 25% Ikea furniture.  I always know exactly what I want, and refuse to settle for anything less.


thursday: LLP’s, Kool Beanz Cafe

i always loved julia roberts in my best friends wedding, because i thought it was so cool that she was a foodie. a foodie! ive always wanted to be a foodie. but i know nothing about food…literally, nothing.

last week ben and i were going to try this new restaurant at this fab resort on Palm Beach Island. i looked up the menu online and immediately became defensive at how stupid i felt…i could barely read about the food choices without being sure i was speaking in french; GNOCCHI CARBONARA , JAMÓN SERRANO, ENGLISH PEA? what? what on earth is that?

for years now ive tried to stay away from fancy names and restaurants that confuse me simply because i despise feeling dumber than i really am.

well last night i caved. ive forever wanted to try Kool Beanz Cafe in Tallahassee but was always afraid it was one of “those” places that would inevitably reveal my “wanna-be foodie” status. i convinced myself that id play it cool if i was confused and just let go and enjoy myself.

let me paint you the picture: two moms. starving for a good time. arrival at kool beanz is met with the smell of gasoline as we waited outside in the heat to get our table. the quick browse through the “tallahassee woman” magazine proves my “tallahassee is basically alabama” theory right (southern cheesy-ness). we finally get our table INSIDE praise the Lord, and promptly down our waters and begin to dissect the long menu, purposefully trying to avoid anything with a word i cannot understand. we decide on apps and salads, with the promise of amazing desserts to end the night.

I cannot tell you how happy we were with our foodie choices. and how proud i was that i ate and enjoyed them all, and never stumbled over words with our waiter.

This weeks LLP’s: Kool Beanz Cafe

p.s. we had something shrimp, something crab cakes, something spinach salad and something iceberg lettuce wedge….and key lime cheesecake and something chocolate cake with strawberry frosting and ganache center..? (im the worst foodie ever)