Are Marimo’s the Next Big Thing?

Growing up, I spent $30 of my Christmas money, on a Bonsai. I loved it. It was so cute and it gave my “Asian Themed” bedroom (because I was really into martial arts at the time) the perfect touch. However, in Florida, we have these horrible little creatures called sugar ants that seem to find their way into homes every summer to escape the heat. They don’t sting like fire ants, but they are really annoying and seem to get into everything…which is exactly what they did to my poor Bonsai. Overnight it became infested with these little ants. I was young and didn’t know how else to handle an infestation of this manner except to spray my Bonsai quite heavily with an ant killer and it worked! er…kind of. While the ants did die, my Bonsai died too and that was my first introduction to having an indoor house plant.

Social media (like my Instagram) usually shows beautifully styled homes with lush green houseplants everywhere, but more often than not, I hear people complaining about them online. They die, they turn weird colors, remembering to water them seems to be a constant ongoing war and I’m left with the impression that perhaps a houseplant is something you give to someone like a frenemy. The idea seems nice at first, “Oh look at this cute little plant I got you!” but then GAWD FORBID they kill it, and then they’re “the ones who killed the pretty plant you gave them” and even if you don’t say anything, that plant will be hanging like an albatross from around their neck. Trust me, if I give you a houseplant, chances are I’m openly telling you that I don’t like you and I want to give you a really inconvenient gift that now you are responsible for keeping alive.

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Seven Layer Dip in Cups for Cinco De Mayo!!!

Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner!!!! I grew up in Tampa Florida which has a really strong Latino demographic. I had fantastic Cuban neighbors who taught me how to salsa dance, and would roast an actual pig on a spit! The longer the night went and the more drunk people got they’d dress up the head which they kept on a pike. My parents begrudgingly stayed since they weren’t really the partying types, but I LOVED IT! I was able to step into a world where the family ties were strong, and people knew how to really have a lot of fun. I still listen to Reggaeton Music when I’m feeling nostalgic. So while I don’t have any Latino heritage, I like to remember the role that those people played in some of the best memories of my childhood!

So for me, I like to celebrate Cinco De Mayo as a way to have fun like I did at that party.

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Ham and Split Pea Slow Cooker Soup Recipe

Growing up I LOVED Easter! It was so much fun! I remember all the cool candy I’d get in my Easter basket, but one thing I absolutely adored was the food. My mother would make egg sandwiches with the hardboiled eggs my sisters and I dyed and we would have an Easter ham. Now personally, I’m not a fan of having the same protein every day for a week, I remembered discovering how much I didn’t really like Turkey past Thanksgiving (and even then I was never really into poultry). My mother was a leftover mastermind though. She was one of those people who could pull random things out of the fridge and somehow reinvent it and it would 9 out of 10 be amazing. One thing I looked forward to was her split pea soup! Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe for what she made, BUT I found this recipe which tastes exactly the same AND it’s a crock pot recipes which means you can set it and forget it while you go about your day!

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My Top 5 Favorite Motivational YouTube Videos

Blogging can be tough. I’ll admit, when I started this, I was hyped up on all six seasons of Sex in the City and the movie Julie and Julia. I had these cute little images in my mind of sitting down at my computer and writing about whatever popped into my head over a coffee, or a glass of wine, and that I’d magically have people reading my blog, sending me stuff, and then before I knew it, I’d have a book deal and a movie out on how I made it all happen!…. I had no idea, how much effort it takes to actually do a blog well or exactly how many hats I’d be wearing.

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How to Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs

One of my favorite childhood memories was coloring Easter eggs with my sister in the backyard under our maple tree which was much smaller back then. I remember my mother setting up little-colored plastic cups, and filling them with water and vinegar and then we’d watch as the little fizzy color tabs would dye the water. I’d scribble flowers, hearts, and lines on my little egg and then pop it into one of the six colors. Eventually, though, all the eggs seemed to end up the same kind of greenish khaki color from being dipped in too many additional colors. We would then put stickers on them of bunnies, chicks, and flowers and present them proudly to our mother who would say how pretty they are. She would politely ignore multicolor dyed hands of her children in favor of our smiles, and she would dutifully clean up the mess of spilled dye and leftover sticker remnants on the little table outside. As an adult, the smell of vinegar still reminds me of those days.

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Penna Alla Vodka to make You Look like a Pro

My husband and I got a book called “The Gourmet Cookbook” by Ruth Reichl. We got it mostly for the really interesting (and expensive) recipes, because, well it’s fun to read about how to cook escargot.

In the pasta section, there was an affordable gem that Amin and I now make regularly. It’s called Penne Alla Vodka and I swear you’ll never go back to eating jarred pasta again once to see how crazy easy it is to make and how absolutely pro chef it tastes. Below, not only will I walk you through it, but I’ll give you a video to watch to see how it’s done first hand!

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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 these 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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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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