Vine Ripe Tomatoes and Salsa!

If you are like me, you know a lot of people who garden (or maybe you, yourself, have a little garden). And I would say that odds are pretty good that they've got more tomatoes on their hands than they can handle, well here is how you can help them out with this problem! Take a few and make some yummy salsa! 

Recipe below :)

3 medium size tomatoes
1 small white onion
1 tsp. of minced garlic
half bunch of fresh cilatro (the leafy parts, not the stems)
1-2 fresh jalapenos (seeded) (1 is mild, 1.5 is medium, ...you get the idea)
1 tbsp. of lime juice
season salt to taste

I put it all into a food processor/ chopper, but I put the jalapeno pieces in first alone to make sure those are finely chopped, and then I add everything else. Refrigerate for a few hours before you eat it for best results.

If you like SUPER HOT - I-can't-feel-my-tongue-anymore salsa, then experiment with adding the seeds from the jalapenos. I am a medium salsa girl so I try to buy the two smallest jalapenos at the store and add them both so I am not sitting around with a random half pepper in my kitchen.

Delicious with homemade baked tortilla chips as well!


Product Review | Victoria's Secret Fragrance - Bombshell

Grade: A
Cost: approx. 1.7 oz. - $45.00
Type pictured: Regular Bombshell Perfume (they also have Bombshell "Summer")
Buy at: Victoria's Secret Store or Online

So it appears that I am only inspired to do a Product Review when I absolutely love something, and this is my new perfume that I just ADORE! I am a creature of habit and have been wearing Ralph Lauren RALPH since college and I needed a change.

It takes me forever to pick out something new and I do a lot of research. This time, I sprayed two test strips with two different kind of perfume (one was Bombshell) and put one in either pocket so I could smell them throughout the day. I was leaning toward the other one, but something about the musk scent, or almost man scent of the Bombshell kept me coming back. It was very sexy - see description at the bottom.

When I got home and my husband hands down chose the Bombshell scent that sealed the deal. It really is all about his opinion in cases like these! I am a sucker for good smells. You can find me in the laundry aisle during most of my grocery shopping trips. :)

Description below:
The Fragrance is  "a combination of Purple Passion Fruit from the Brazilian rainforest and effervescent Moscato d’Asti grapes from Tuscany. Then they added exotic floralcy with Shangri-la Yellow Peonies discovered along the trail of the White Horse Snow Mountains in China and Vanilla Orchid, the beautiful bloom of the vanilla plant" but then  "Italian Sunstruck Pine, a stunning aromatic note of Ligurian Pine captured at the moment it’s warmed by the afternoon sun" was added to heat up the sexiness of this fruity-floral scent.


Modern Dollhouse!

How cute is this? Seriously, I can admit, I was into dollhouses when I was little, and not that little either, like I was building one even when I was in high school. OK, to my defense I was headed to architecture school, but still quite nerdy, I know.

I have never "custom-made" a dollhouse before and this one has me hoping I have a daughter someday because it is so inspiring! This is a set you can buy for about $300.00 if you just type in "Emerson Dollhouse" into Google Shopping... but how cool of a project would it be to not only build a dollhouse with your child, but also design it?

Think of the things they could learn and what you could learn! Patience probably being at the top of your list. :) Thank you to my sister Sarah for sending me this link! She knows me so well.


Happy Father's Day!

Dad, thank you for always being there for me. For teaching me how to stand on my own two feet and never settling for second best. I love you!


Career in Photography, Anyone?

I really should have thought about Photography as more of a career when I was younger. Ultimately, I knew I wanted to do something with design (eventually choosing Architecture), but modern day technology has changed photography so much that the photos themselves are a design.

These modern photos are becoming so popular to take of children and weddings and really any celebration and they have so much design inspiration in them! The colors, props, adorable outfits, all something I would love to get my hands on someday with my own children... plus I bet you get to meet some pretty amazing people.

The photo above is of my college friend's new daughter... how precious! It is my favorite photo of a whole album of photos taken by Indiana photographer Kerri Sparks, and she is quite the talented lady!

My friend from the design world in Charleston, Julie Livingston Carter, just recently launched her photography business and seems to be doing quite well! She is a talented designer but when the economy crashed she found herself living for her passion, something to be commended.

Photography, being a service based commodity, is purely based on talent, in my opinion. A good camera, great lighting, and some digital editing skills vastly improve your photos... but the photos are only as good as the shots that are taken.

Of course, I have to give a shout out to my favorite wedding photographer in Charleston, Virgil Bunao. He shot my wedding and his photos still capture my heart everyday. This post makes me want to go out and take some photos right now!


12 Days Straight...

I am on day 2 of a 12 day straight work/ study program... and I am already tired! Remember this post? Well, the time has come for this course and it runs this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday... and I just got the schedule - 12 HOUR DAYS!

I don't know how Professor Thaddeus does it. This man has been teaching structures since I was in diapers and if he has enough energy to put up with all of us and teach it then I sure as hell can sit through it.

I am looking forward to soaking in his knowledge for my Structural Systems Exam I am taking the week of the 27th, but I am a little nervous about this one exam since I have already failed it once. I feel like this one test will get me to the apex in terms of my architectural testing since I started with the hardest ones first, and I really hope I pass!

On another note... this is a map of the highest earthquake prone areas in the USA, and I live where the big red arrow is pointing. We also have some of the highest concentrated wind loads on the east coast. The things you learn when studying structural engineering!


Antique Aqua Convertibles

When my husband was in his 20s he restored cars with a company that actually supplied cars to the shooting of the movie, "The Notebook" here in Charleston. That is such a neat skill and lately I've been thinking about this skill and how I can put it to good use with getting me one of my dream convertibles above!

I am not really picky about the make, model, or year of the car, but love a medium size convertible especially in a light aqua color. This dream goes along with having a boat someday and can probably wait until retirement (the car, not the boat, I hope a boat comes in the next few years!)... but it is a wish that I hope some day comes true!


Another Sign I am Turning 30 this year...

When I got my new car I re-entered all of the pre-set radio stations... and NPR replaced one of my gangsta rap pre-sets. Here's to news, interviews, and classical music! :)


Design Idea: Wallpaper Your Stair Risers!

Not a huge fan of the animal print, but I could see some gorgeous pattern like the one below... even with a color accent! A fun way to bring some life to a maybe otherwise boring foyer. :)


Product Review | Neutrogena Deep Clean Shine Control Cleanser

Grade: B+
Cost: approx. $9.00
Type pictured: Cleanser Mask (left) Scrub (right)
Buy at: Walmart, Target, CVS

I have chronically oily skin and have tried everything from $2 to $30 cleanser and no matter what, my skin is still oily. I didn't give this product an A, because it didn't perform how I wanted it to perfectly and I am saving that 'A' for the product that one day keeps me shine free all day! However, I did like it and would recommend it for any skin type.

I used both the cleanser/ mask and the scrub (I use the scrub at night and the mask in the morning although I don't leave the mask on for the full time every time). The smell is very nice and it leaves you clean and fresh and relatively shine free for a few hours. It gives me at least enough time to get my makeup on and get to work, but then I get a little shiny by lunchtime.

Having washed my face twice a day consistently for almost 18 years (I had terrible acne as a child), I have used everything from Prescription washes to Premier products such as Arbonne, and now Neutrogena. I think for price reasons and performance so far, I am going to stick with the Neutrogena and see where it gets me.

It appears these days I am more concerned about wrinkles than Acne so I guess that is a sign I am turning 30! For this reason, I now pair my face washing with an Oil Absorbing Day Lotion with SPF 20 by Arbonne. I have not found a face lotion comparable and although I hate to spend the $40 dollar price tag, it lasts me about 6 months. (pictured below). The wash is also good, but not worth the $25 in my opinion.


Movie Review | Blue Valentine

Grade: D for Don't!
Date: June 3, 2011
Location: viewed in home
Notes: Unless you want to be reminded of fading love and passion in a relationship that doesn't end well... don't see this film.

Really? The whole point of watching movies, in my opinion, is to escape from everyday life to a fairy tale or to watch two sides of a love story simultaneously and then watch it magically come together, a good who done-it, or even a little bit of sci-fi/ fantasy (yes, you are reading a review from a self admitted Twi-Hard). This movie was none of those things...

I am not usually a fan of spoiling a movie, but since I don't want you to waste 2 hours of your life I figured this could be an exception.

First thing that happens in the movie is the main characters' dog gets hit by a car. Basically, the rest is watching a present day and 10 year past flipping back and forth of how this couple's, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, love is formed and then ultimately fades.

Just when you don't think it can get any worse, you find out their daughter isn't the father's biological daughter, you get to watch Michelle William's charater get an "almost" abortion, Ryan Gosling's character get the tar beat out of him, and then it ends in divorce, roll credits.

The icing on the cake though is how terrible Ryan Gosling's character looks through most of the movie! I get it, he is supposed to look balding and a little trashy... but really? A sweatshirt with a bald eagle on it and pedophile sunglasses? Come on, Michelle Williams just looked tired in comparison...


Happy Birthday, Mom!

You're the most amazing woman I know! Have a very happy birthday and I can't wait to see you for the 4th of July! I love you, mom!
From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)