My Spring Cleaning Schedule

Oh man! I know some people HATE cleaning but for me, I really enjoy it ESPECIALLY if it’s spring cleaning. To say I just “hate” winter would be an understatement. I absolutely loathe and at times have actual panic around the season. It’s miserable. Everything is dead and it’s so cold that while I don’t want to be stuck in my home, the idea of going out is not all that appealing either. If I’m not careful I can actually get depressed. I sleep longer, it’s harder to get out of bed, my goals can suffer, and it just sucks (sorry for those who love winter).

So the day that it’s warm enough that I can throw all the windows open, it’s like a spiritual experience. I am so in the moment when I feel that first, slightly chilly breeze run through the home. I make a real event of it. I’ll play upbeat music, and really take note of how happy my soul feels even if I know next week is going to bring a cold snap. That first “thawed out” day is as a reminder that better days are ahead, and that things don’t stay bad forever, every season has its end.

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Baileys Martini

I had good intentions. I went to the store to buy ingredients for last weeks Guinness, Jameson Whiskey and Baileys Irish Cream Recipe. The problem was, I didn’t exactly know how much Baileys to get, so faced with spending $40 on a massive bottle I wasn’t sure I’d ever use, I grabbed ten of those little airline bottles worth and brought them home. Needless to say, the cupcake recipe went really really well, but now I had Bailey’s leftovers, as well as one of the worst colds I’ve had in a very long time.

Considering this post is for St. Patricks day, it’s a fine time to try out a drink recipe! While hopped up on Dayquil and snooping around Pinterest I found a link that went to another link which eventually led to the Baileys website with a recipe on a basic Baileys Martini!

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Guinness, Whiskey and Irish Cream Cupcakes

Let’s be real here. Most holidays in America are celebrated with food, booze or both and St. Patricks Day is no exception. It’s really a big deal here in Boston too with a lot of people heading into the city with their “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts and green and gold colors to go pub hopping.

As I’ve said before, I don’t particularly enjoy crowds, especially drunk crazy people crowds so I usually stay home, play some wonderful Celtic music and watch Lord of the Dance or the first “Leprechaun” movie (don’t judge!) while I cook and fill my home with the wonderful smells of food.

Of course, I live on Pinterest, and while there I happened to find this absolutely amazing recipe for Guinness, Whiskey and Irish Cream Cupcakes. First, I have to say that I love cakes in miniature form. I don’t feel bad for eating an entire one, where I might if it was an entire cake. I also loved how it uses all of the Irish trademark alcohol classics. Needless to say, I made theseĀ Guinness cupcakes with a Jameson whiskey ganache center and Baileys Irish Cream frosting and gave them to my husband to pass out at work and they were a real success! I also think the addition of a cute little Chocolate coin on top and the green clover sprinkles really takes it to that next level.

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How to Shuck an Oyster, and My First YouTube Video!

I love oysters. Growing up my dad was paranoid about eating anything remotely not burnt to a crisp. He demonized everything from medium-rare steaks to sushi. So I wasn’t exposed to a lot of unique foods until I was on my own. After moving out I’ve tried several unique raw foods including sea urchin, and octopus, and one of my absolute favorites is Oysters.

The reason I’m featuring Oysters is that they’re also an aphrodisiac which makes them perfect for a romantic month like February. Now, to be honest, there is nothing available that can increase sexual desire in people and frankly from what I’ve seen on Travel Channel and Food Network, the more disgusting the food, the more it’s marketed as some sort of sexual enhancement so take this with a grain of salt.

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My Self-Love for Valentines

Valentines can be tough. There’s a huge focus on Love and being in a relationship. In my personal opinion, if you live in America it’s just another holiday that’s been ruined by companies pressuring you to buy stuff to be happy. I think we’ve really lost sight of love. To be honest, it’s so hard and so “Not Special” going to a restaurant on Valentines, that my husband and I have actually moved the date to the first weekend after.

I was not taught a lot about self-care or self-love…In fact, I’d venture to say that I haven’t really started learning about “myself” until very recently, and learning about yourself is different than loving yourself. You can learn about yourself and hate who you are.

Love is something that is cultivated over time, and I’d like to preface this post with saying that no matter how many bubble baths you take, no matter how many times you do your nails or have facials, it’s not going to matter unless you cultivate a real heart love for yourself and that will take time. That said, as you do these activities, remember to remind yourself over and over that you are deserving of these things, and that you are being kind to yourself because you deserve it!

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6 Dinner Ideas for Your Valentine!

February may be a cold month (at least for this ex-southerner) but it’s got a heartwarming holiday to look forward to! While a box of chocolates and a rose are great classic ideas, I’ve sifted through the internet to find some really special meals that are a little more out of the box. Hopefully, this inspires you to try something a little different for that special someone! If you do something cool that isn’t listed and you’d like me to check it out, please tell me about it in the comments!

There is nothing wrong with taking your sweetie out for something sweet to eat, but there’s something special about having your S/O cook for you. I usually cook at home, but when Amin cooks for me, especially if it’s something he knew I would like (seafood or pasta instead of chicken) it’s an easy way to make me swoon. I get to chill out and relax or just talk to him and watch him run around the kitchen (extra points if he cleans up the kitchen after). P.S. It doesn’t have to be valentines for this to happen…just sayn’ but if you’re low on ideas, here are some valentines themed recipes that look as good as they taste!

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My TOP Valentine Manicure Ideas!

I love to do my own nails which you probably already know if you’ve seen my “End of Summer Nails” and my “How to do a Manicure at Home” posts. I really try to make it a self-care ritual, by buffing, letting them soak, doing my own hand massage with some nice lotion and giving them a nice fresh coat of paint. Within the last year though, I have started investing in some nail stamps by a company called Mo-You London. Their stamps seem to work really well, and they’re reusable and can work with your own polish so long as it’s heavily pigmented like OPI’s stuff.

There are so many options for Valentines nails, but for me personally, I love how pink looks and considering how cold it is up here in Massachusetts during February I wanted to use the MoYou London Nail Stamp Called “Festive #06”. It has two really cure heart stamps that look like they should be on a sweater!

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How I Survive New England Winters

8 years ago my husband and I (with our two cats) all jammed into our car and made the long drive from Tampa Florida to Boston Massachusetts to start a new life. We arrived a week before Christmas and our Christmas tree was one of the first things we unpacked. Several days later we experienced our first Blizzard (the first of four that came by in a row). We were not very well prepared. I can remember shoveling our car in jeans and sneakers. I had grown up in Florida from the age of two and anything under 50 degrees seemed unbearably cold, so that first winter really put the fear of winter in me.

So, how am I doing 8 years later? Better. Much better. Here is what I do to Survive the New England Winters.

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Why Art and Fear Should Be Required Reading for All Artists!

I am a self-taught artist. My parents were both artists, but that doesn’t mean they were supportive. To be honest, they were only supportive if I was helping out my dad finish his commissions. While I’ve been drawing all my life, I didn’t really see it as anything to be invested in until I moved here to Massachusetts. I’ve come a long way since my first bottle of Acrylic craft paint from my local craft store. I’ve learned about perspective, lighting, and color theory, but there was something that isn’t really taught.

Being an artist is a highly emotional endeavor and if all you’ve been told over and over is “it’s not a real job” or that you’re going to be the proverbial “starving artist” then you’re going to feel fear despite enjoying your passion. I am no different.

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Bird Box and the Missing Hero

It seemed every time I got online I would see images of a blindfolded woman in the woods and the name of Bird Box popping up over and over. So I had to check it out…after all, that’s how I learned about Stranger Things and that was an awesome show, so I decided to watch it. What started off as watching a simple movie, turned into a much deeper lesson in how our culture views what being a hero is, and I think that on its own is pretty disturbing.

I guess this is a good time to say ***There may be spoilers in this post so proceed at your own risk***

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