YURTAKE

11.20.2013

A quick fix... from the kitchen

I needed a quick shine... 




I wanted a quick shoe shine today.. well because I wanted my boots to shine! No more shoe shine… then I remembered I saw this trick once online. Worked like a charm! Spray on, wipe off. Genius! 

11.06.2013

Need. To. Slow. Down.

That's right. Life and/or time just needs to slow down. Two months pass and I cannot find a decent excuse for two months absence, after all it was an exhilarating two months! On the other hand, where did two months go? 

Well, it went from weddings to dinners to runs to airplane rides. Fashion and tea following Irish culture to art, it was the smoothest sip of Jameson to my lips while taking in the rolling fields of green to my right and the Atlantic to my left. 

I designed the hand held bouquets and boutonnieres for my older sisters wedding. Gorgeous callas, the cream of the crop! A gorgeous venue with a stellar view..






(My nephew, the best man)



It is/was leaf peeping season! Her dress was to die for..a corseted back with floral appliques and embellishments. Sweetheart neckline.. Truly a beautiful bride. All the work and preparation felt like a blink.



(My beautiful niece Taylor)

Back to planning for two weeks. This felt more like a breath.. Maybe two. Before I knew it I was boarding a flight, destination Dublin. My younger sister is studying there for a semester, I envy her! My mothers first trip abroad went well. Even though her washcloths were not of custom, I think she enjoy all the natural and organic foods! Now all the walking that was entailed might be a different story. 

(Dublin Castle Architecture)


(Cliffs of Moher)

(The Liffey, Dublin)

(Kilkenny Castle Gardens)


(The oldest pub in Ireland)

(Shadows in Galway)

(Howth)



(This is Kea.. my little World traveler!)

(Official Whiskey Taster..HOLLAAAA)


Hope you have enjoyed a taste of two months time between New England and Ireland. I promise, I will not make this a habit.. Until we meet again, Cheers! 

9.10.2013

A touch of adventure over one month...

And a day. 

The time table of one month sure can show you just how busy you've been. Not until you sit back and take a close look at your past month do you realize you may have forgot to smell the flowers. Although you saw them! 

From baseball to football the seasons have changed. Phillies games were on the horizon with the Schmitter® and Summer Ales (despite the unfortunate team state...) and now all I see is crock-pots, pumpkins, cut off sweat-shirts and a leader from 'live free or die'. 



Recently LiveLovePhilly has kept me on my toes... with not enough time that I would like to give my calves a rest. This area has opened my eyes and experience in an area unknown. Along the way I have captured some interesting photography, met some fine individuals and keep asking myself where to next in this intriguing field?! 




New England called me home as I wrapped up some details for my sisters big day the end of this month. Cannot believe it's this month!!! A nice step away from the city lights to relax, soak in some sunshine, hang with the family and admire the star speckled night sky. I was happy to see the seeds I gave my mom from the Philadelphia Flower Show had started to bloom. A lone sunflower showed its young, yellow petals. 







A weekend goes by fast.


Philadelphia has many cuisines. What does your palette crave? You can find it! From burgers, seafood, vegan and italian you may be overwhelmed with the choices. MGB and myself particularly enjoy the dry rub wings at Devils Alley. Paired with a 'special' of $2 domestic canned beers.. pumpkin's been on my brain. Dry rub to burgers.. we indulged! 




More recently we enjoyed dining at Morimoto. A delectable plate with an exquisite decor. We like to share so we typically get several plates and share everything. I cannot say I had a bad dish. Each was platted and portioned perfectly. Cooked to perfection! This upstairs lounge area is quite superb!  



Wanderlust Festival was on Saturday at The Piazza in Northern Liberties. What an amazing community turn out. A one day, free yoga block party for all ages. Guided sessions by some of the most influential instructors created a wave of energy, encouragement and inspiration. After partaking in a long training run for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon this Sunday, a nice warm stretch was just the ticket. Looking forward to 13.1 on Sunday.. and maybe more for the carb overload on Saturday! 





Come out and cheer me on!... Bib #6620

8.09.2013

I've been here, there and everywhere...

Uhh, not so much. Just not enough hours in the day! Or my eyes cant stand looking at the screen for hours on end. So you know where to find me right?!

Here's a few hints...
1. Working for a cause to empower and inspire women in my community; Center City Philadelphia.



2. Exploring, researching and blogging on new homes, events, schools, neighborhoods, parks and more. Focusing on the areas of Society Hill, Queen Village, Dickinson Square West, Passyunk, The Gayborhood and few others.



Between blogging, volunteering and my most recent event coordinating gig... you may bump into me around town. Be sure to say hello.. and follow me through these city adventures.

7.24.2013

Creativity on a Dime

We're on a budget. We're on a deadline. Creativity needs to kick in about NOW!
This is where I excel. Under pressure, counting the minutes. Bring it on! Colors: dark purple, gold and ivory. 

Hobby Lobby. First trip and probably not the best place to explore when watching the clock. We find the candle glassware.
Nice surprise of 50% off the $1.00 price tag. We start loading two dozen into the cart. We find an pack of ivory colored non scented candles an stock up. Next I'm thinking shimmer, shine! I find some fine gold glitter and pick up some spray adhesive. Next I make my way to the floral department. Again find some vases 50% off their $3.00 price tag. I pick up some gold glass stones to fill the bottom half. 

Off for florals. I decide to check out stop and shop .. i figure this would help the budget rather than a private florist. I see they have some light purple 'blue moon' spray roses. I also notice that they are very open. Pretty much on their last couple days. I use this to my advantage. Since Im buying the remaining packages of what they will throw away in a day, I inquire if I can receive a discount. Absolutely can, 50% at that. 


Spray small candle jars with adhesive spray on the outside only. Roll in gold glitter. Dry. Place inside and watch the shimmer! 


Clean off tall vases. Drop a few stones into the vase. Place one-two stems per vase. I cleaned the stems and left a leaf or two. I also trimmed them down considerably. Once in the vase I dropped in a couple more stones. Waaalaaa! Three candles, one vase and you have your simple, yet chic centerpiece for an informal event. 


Excited to share where my creativity will take me next! 

7.23.2013

Taste Buds and Showers

Lately I've been experimenting with new recipes and on the spot, last minute creativity! A problem solver? Maybe, more so I just enjoy pushing the envelope . My first creation; home made granola. Since two years old I've had a peanut allergy. Oh, not only peanuts but almonds, cashews, pecans... Damn tree nuts! Do you know how hard it is to find granola without?! Now I realize you can, but the amount you spend for what you get drives me bonkers! Also, making my own food is rewarding while I know exactly what's in it making it how I want. 

My mission to Whole Foods was a success. Oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and soybeans. About 2 handfuls of each and $3 later, you can't beat it. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but after adding some wheat germ and dried fruit it's a plentiful amount. 

To start, I roasted the raw soybeans.
I first soaked them overnight (8-10 hours) in a large bowl, big enough so it can hold the beans when expanded. One cup raw soybeans expands to about two cups. 

After they have soaked, drain and rinse the soybeans. Dry them, whether with a fan or towel. Spread them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 15 and then flip them. Repeat this every 10 minutes for the next 20-25 minutes. Ovens vary so keep an eye on your beans! You want them golden brown.. Undercooking leaves them chewy. Once out of the oven I sprinkled some Cajun seasoning and olive oil while still hot. Let cool completely . 

Here's the ingredients I used for my home made granola
Rolled oats 
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds 
Roasted soybeans 
Wheat germ 
Cinnamon
Vanilla extract
Salt
Honey
Apple juice 
Brown sugar
Olive oil

Heat oil, honey, juice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla to a light boil. Pour this over the dried oats and seeds. I did not include the soybeans in this preparation. I added these in at the end. Spread on baking sheet and bake at 325 for approximately 35-40 minutes. After the first 20 minutes stir the granola. Cool completely before adding any dried fruits of preferred. This is where I added my roasted soybeans! 




The one thing I will say is do not coat or spray your pan.. I did and I feel it made the granola cook faster. Although I kind of enjoy the slightly darker bake taste. 

I looked to recipes on allrecipes.com for reference of measurements. I was working with a small amount (trial granola ) so I had to convert down. Really the amount of oats and seeds is up to you, you just want enough liquid mixture to cover and not saturate. 

Store in an air tight container. I eat it like cereal with soy milk, also add it to my fruit smoothies! Top it on yogurt or snack on it. Mmm mmmm mmm..

Recently I also experimented with another recipe, this one not for the taste buds... Although could be! A brown sugar body scrub from your kitchen cabinet. 

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon 

This does make a good amount of scrub so portion accordingly. 

Simple as that! Combine all ingredients and stir well. Use on body, hands, feet, face.. And enjoy the delicious aroma while exfoliating! Wait until you feel your skin after...

This would also make a great gifts for birthdays or holidays. 

Find more crafts on the way!!




6.24.2013

Our Energy

The past couple months I have been working with Career Wardrobe and bringing our audience the latest blog posts on Motivation, Volunteering and Shopping Savers. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays be sure to follow me through their blog. I love being a part of this area of news and inspiration for women in our Philadelphia community. Tune in, read on and enjoy the ride!




6.17.2013

Family Roots

I have spoke before about family values and how we often forget that our family is the largest root we have. I have spoke of friends, loved ones and acquaintances bringing us inspiration and confidence to push forward. I want to touch again on the importance of family and our heritage. We often take for granted the time spent with grandparents, parents and siblings. We often forget that these are the people that know us best. These are the individuals who have our back through thick and thin. We hear stories of history, how it used to be and how we came to be a family. Our roots are strong. They hold us tight and have us stand tall for the world. Times are forever changing and with the times we are growing stronger and more confident each day.

We often forget that our families may have struggled and fought for our independence and freedom. Our grandparents and parents may have traveled thousands of miles to provide a better life for us. They may have worked hard each day of their lives to provide warmth, food and a roof over our head. My grandfather was a Nebraska farmer his entire life. Family acres and property dating back to the 1880s, traveling with bricks and building materials by horse and buggy. He was the hardest worker I know. Through the hot summer days into the blizzards of winter, he awoke at 4am each day to feed his animals. He traveled thousands of miles through the fields to plant and harvest his crops. He provided for his family. He gave strength, love and wisdom to all he knew. This is motivation.

My great grandfather was a farmer, and so was his dad. By tradition passed down, my uncle and cousins have now taken his role. They are following his path, his routes, his miles. They cover these fields in his footsteps. Our family is the most important thing we have. Its a gift, a treasure, a pot of gold. Its the roots to our trunk. We have their eyes, we have their smile. We have their love and persistence. In the end, our family is there. Through long nights, long days, they support us when no one else does. They comfort us in our times of need. They pick us up when we fall. Their hard work and dedication motivates and inspires us to step forward, and stick up for what we believe in. Family is the most important thing we have. We were born with it. Inspiration to stand tall and let our branches touch the lives of others. I am thankful for such a loving and caring family. I am motivated by my grandfathers hard farming work, day in and day out. I am inspired by the strength our family, our roots give us.

In celebration of life, of family, of love, please don't forget to hug the ones closest to you. Never forget to tell them how much you love them and how much you appreciate their hard work for your freedom. Be inspired by your own family to do better for the world and for the family you create. In the end, its not about the dollar you made or the job you left behind, its about your values and your family. Its about being there, listening, understanding and learning from our past, our history.

6.07.2013

It has been waaaayyyy too long....

What have I been up to?! If you have been keeping tabs-- I have been blogging with Career Wardrobe. Well, a night out on the town and this is your event recap. Enjoy :) 
This past Wednesday Career Wardrobe put on their annual A Perfect Fit Event at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia. This event raised thousands of dollars to help benefit the women in need and transition in Philadelphia. This event wouldn't have been a success without your help. A big shout out to all the volunteers who participated as well as all the attendees. All of your hard work and helping hands played a crucial role in the success of this event. A shout out to all of the Career Wardrobe board representatives, what magnificent and inspiring women that made this possible.
Between the silent auction, raffle, fashion show and savory sweets, everyone seemed to be sharing a similar goal; to help others in our community succeed with a smile. Through the resources and networking opportunities that Career Wardrobe gives, these ladies had the chance to share their stories of their suit. They were motivated to share and inspire others that they too can be confident and successful to better their lives as well as their families.
Local celebrities walked the run-way to show their suits and share their story of how they landed their first job. Each women walking the run -way shared a cause. They are all donating the suit they wore to Career Wardrobe. Allowing another transitioning ladies to wear this power piece and land their dream job. Many of these local celebs have donated several pieces to Career Wardrobe and The Wardrobe Boutique already. They understand just how important a suit is. Your suit sells you!
A special woman in particular, Kathleen Wilkinson, was honored with the 2013 Fashioning Futures for Women Award. Kathleen shared a fascinating and motivating story of how she became the woman she is today. Through her family migrating to America, working her way through college, focusing on education and family, while pushing forward to become an attorney, Kathleen was moved by women in transition and knew she wanted to base her career on helping other women succeed. She found this possible through family support, dedication and hard work. She gained inspiration from her parents as well as films and fashion. With her motivation and confidence Kathleen is now one of six females to be named Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Way to go Kathleen!!!
Everyone played a part in making this night one to remember. A gorgeous venue with tables full of fruit, veggies, meats, cheeses and more. This set the stage to place your bids for the silent auction. From lunch dates, tea assortments, Phillies tickets and autographed hand bags, there was something to catch everyone's eye. Thank you to all the supporters who donated goods for our silent auction and thank you to all the generous bidders who came out and participated.
A very special guest appearance by Mayor Nutter was more than appreciated and expected. He realizes that this organization is what Philadelphia needs to inspire and touch these local women in transition. He understands the importance of Career Wardrobe and the vital role they play to help women get on their feet and better their families. Filled with information, goods and bites to eat, your opportunities are endless. Grab your goodie bag and take a look inside; find coupons, passes, magazines, journals, donation forms, lotion and more!
I am so pleased to have been part of this event and volunteer. I met some wonderful women who are all working for a common goal; to better others. There were smiles all around, hugs at each corner and women looking out for women. All the stories shared, so personal and touching, is real motivation to get out there and help one another. Career Wardrobe thanks you for participating and supporting us. With your generous donations you are helping other women learn, network and dress for success. We thank you for making an impact in our community. We ask you all to make the difference; DonateVolunteer. Impact.