Thursday, May 30, 2013

Make Your Own Arrangements...

 Today I was minding my own business shopping at my local grocery store when I came along this little treasure.  It was a cart full of flowers that they were giving away for half price!  I thought it was to good to be true, so I picked up a bundle and examined each flower and to my surprise the flowers looked great. (no browning of the pettals)  So for $5 I took a bundle home with me and went to work.

Making your own bouquet is fairly simple.  First, I got two of my smaller vases and filled them with warm water.  Warm water is best so you don't shock the flowers when you transfer them from one place to another.  Second, I picked off any petals that I didn't like.  I also removed any foliage that would be left in my water.  This helps to keep the water clean and the flowers living longer.  Then I laid out the flowers and used a scissors to cut off the ends.   I like to hold the flowers up to the vase before I cut to have a better idea of how long to leave the stems.  Be careful not to cut to short, you can always cut more off if you need to.  Last, arrange them however you like!  The more you practice the better you will get.  Even if its your first time, flowers always look beautiful, so no worries if your arrangements are not perfect.

Try this for yourself and let me know how it goes.  Ask your local grocer if they have a certain day they put their old flowers on sale, then make an arrangement for yourself and a friend:)


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SURPRISE! Birthday Cake!

 Happy birthday to me!  This was taken a few weeks ago at my 33rd birthday party.  Yes, I am still a girl who loves to have a birthday party with a cake.  There is just something about getting to blow out the candles and make a wish that really brings a smile to my face.  My sister, Corina made me this beautiful creation with a little surprise in the middle.  Now, to give some background on her, she is smart, she is determined and I think she thinks Martha doesnt hold a candle to the things she can do:).  

The cake turned out WONDERFUL of course! Not only was it beautiful to look at, it also tasted AMAZING!   Everyone went back for seconds, and by the end of the night there was nothing left but the plate.
What I loved the most about this cake is what you see when you cut it open.
Beautiful,colorful balls that make you even more excited to get a piece.
 If you like the way the cake looks click here .  There are plenty more ideas where that came from.  Let me know if you try it out.  I would love to see the pictures:)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Runway Baby...

Yesterday, I helped a friend with her clothing line, showing it for the first time at Las Vegas Fashion Week.  The day started when I arrived at Bagatelle, in the Tropicana Hotel, at 11:00 am.  Sindy was already there with her clothes hanging on a rack waiting for the doors to open.  By 12:00 the doors of Bagatelle were opened and models, designers, hairstylist, and makeup artists filled the room.  I could not believe I was going to help in an actual fashion show.

 First thing we had to do was pick out the models to wear the  Petite Bourgeoisie line. The girls came in so many shapes and sizes, and just as you would imagine, clothes were flying everywhere.  Its was all so surreal!  I have had no history of working with models, and especially fitting them for a run way show, but I jumped right in and had a great time figuring it out.  All of the girls were sweet, and so excited to be picked to wear each piece.  After finding 14 girls for 14 looks Sindy looked at me and said "Your wearing my jacket down the runway right?"  I lost my breath for a moment and was like "really?!"  I was soooo excited that she was going to let me be in her show, and to top things off, I was going to be the first girl to start off her collection!  Well, off to hair and makeup!

I was fortunate to meet so many people yesterday and one of my favorites was Vanessa.  Of course she was the girl who did my makeup for the runway.  Vanessa has been a makeup and hair stylist in Las Vegas for many years and was super professional and super fun to talk to.  We talked about different projects she had worked on and she even gave me a little advice on my first cat walk. ;-)

About 15 minutes before I had to walk I really started to panic.  I went to the bathroom and saw some seasoned models hanging out, so I asked if they could give me some advice on walking.  They were all so happy to, so there I was, strutting my stuff in the bathroom hallways laughing as I was attempting my 'model' walk.  I probably tried it about fifteen times before I felt in control of what I needed to do.  They all said I was doing just fine, but I think they might just be trying to be nice.  The last thing I remembered was a girl saying, "Dont step out of the light,  never leave the light!"  I never thought anything of it until I hit the runway....

Finally, it was my time to shine!  BUT, I was so scared I was afraid I would fall, or trip on my shoes or something crazy.  At that moment, I took a deep breath and decided "F**K  IT!"  How bad could I be right?  I turned to head down the runway and thought, "Oh my gosh!  This is a really long way!  Should I cry right now because I am so excited?  NO DONT CRY!  Look straight look up, no look down, to the side!" Then next thing I knew, I was at the end of the runway and ready to hold my pose for 4 seconds.  Right when I stopped, I felt it....I had stepped out of the light...uuuuggggg...I could hear that girl's warning in my head and I was almost frozen for a moment.  Lights were flashing as photoraphers were taking pictures and I basked in the glory.  Should I step backwards?  Nope, it was too late, I made my turn and headed back down the other way.  Feeling a little foolish,  I could hardly keep the smile of excitement off of my face.   The whole process only lasted about thirty seconds, but it was thirty seconds that I will remember (and brag about) for the rest of my life.  I got to fulfill a little girls dream (my own) and make a memory that will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Emerging Designers: Fashion Week Las Vegas...two girls with a dream

I am so excited that I am going to be a little part of the Emerging Designers for Las Vegas Fashion Week.  My friend, Sindy, has decided to fulfill a life long dream of being a fashion designer and that dream is coming true today using sketches from her childhood as her inspiration.   Her line is called Petite Bourgeoisie.  It is not very often that someone actually fulfills a life long dream and passion and it is so exciting for me to get to watch as it unfolds.                  

Yesterday, I spent the day with Sindy as she was putting the finishing touches on a few of her pieces.  She was sewing away and chatting with a smile on her face, I couldn't help but be drawn into this atmosphere of excitement.  She talked about all that she had done in the last few months to prepare for this, and how she could not believe that it would all be done in a few days.  We were dreaming big about her having her own fashion line and me being a fashion blogger extraordinaire (my dream) and how we might travel around the world some  It  feels good to verbalize your dreams to another person and get the support that we secretly seek. Then, we both decided that even if this is the furthest we go, at least we had both tried something new and received an exciting experience in life.  For me, writing has always been a hobby, and so has her sewing.  Putting things out there for the public brings everything to a whole new level.

I am off to get ready for the day and watch as many designers accomplish there dreams.

Words for all:  Claim what you want to be....

Fashion Blogger Extraordinaire,

Alma :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

One is a Beautiful Number

Beach Riot $133
Rainbow Wold $68
Swim suit season is upon us.  Time to show off all of the hard work that we’ve put in at the gym all winter, or maybe just for the last few weeks.  Since I have had back surgery and am unable to wear a two pice for the summer I have been looking into the onsies.   Let me tell you, they are super cute and super sexy!  So smother on your self tanner ladies  and get yourselves ready to try these on, I guarantee there is a perfect ONE out there for you

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thrift Store Shopping with Grandma

     Shopping with grandma has always been exciting for me.  One great thing I learned from her at a young age is how many wonderful treasure you can find at thrift shops. So yesterday we ventured off to Sheldon, Iowa to a place called the Village Treasure Chest.  This is a place where people donate the things they no longer want and the proceeds go to helping handicap people.  My cousin Kate and I love to go here with grandma, always finding a few things that we cant live without. I know Kate will be envious of what I found this time.
     Fist thing I see when I walk in is a cute gardening hat.  It has pink and green flowers on it with a string to go around my neck so it wont blow off when I'm riding my bike. At $3 I can't pass it up.  Next stop is the clothes.  I found a perfectly pressed white shirt, with no damage to it.  White seems to fade very fast, so for $2 I had to have it.  At that price I wont feel bad throwing it out when it gets dingy. Next place was the jewelry.  This necklace, with bright yellow flowers, will be the perfect statement piece to wear with my white shirt and some jean shorts. ($3!)  There were two other necklaces that were along the same lines as this one and grandma got them for herself, but I am sure one of the grandkids will end up with these little treasures soon enough.  Then, around the corner, I found these beautiful gold bangles.  They are thick and heavy and I can feel they are made very well.  If I bought these at a regular store they would cost me at least $40-$50 a piece, but here the small one was $2 and the big one was $3!  Toooot toooot!  I was super excited about these and I know I will wear them with pride!
     If you are ever in Sheldon, Iowa make sure you check this place out.  But, no worries, if you cant make it here there are plenty of thrift shops all over the place.  Check your towns home page or start asking some of your friends if they know of any.  Then take some time and go in.  Some are packed full of things and you may have to dig to find the treasure, but once you do you will be hooked just like me:)
     If you already have some great places to shop let me know.  If I am every in the area I would love to check them out.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

First night in Okoboji

     It was our first night in Okoboji and how lucky were we to be invited to Daniele and Gary’s for a perfectly prepared meal on a beautiful spring night.  Mind you, it would be about 40 degrees in two days, but that night it was 70 and the sun was shining. There was just a slight breeze which is ideal for eating in front of their outside fireplace.  The snow has melted and it almost smells like a cool fall day, but little tulips are starting to pop up all around the house so you know spring is on its way.  This night is the perfect time to have some friends over for good wine, great food and wonderful conversation. 
We entered the Van Hofwagen's newly finished french style house and were greeted by a glass of red wine.   The wine was accompanied by an assortment of their favorite cheese and crackers and a little something they call hillbilly caviar.  But there is nothing hillbilly about it.  All the flavors exploded in my mouth and it was wonderful.  As we drank and snacked we watched Danielle finish rolling out her homemade buns while Gary told us stories about their recent trip to France. Charlie (their  5 year old son) was ready for the fire outside and was attempting to wait patiently, but was so excited to push around the logs he could hardly contain himself. The men went outside to start the fire as Daniele put the finishing touches on the salad that was topped with her own secret dressing. We were ready to begin the feast.
On the menu
Ham balls
Homemade buns
Angel Pie
      I wont be giving away all of Danielle's recipies, but I did get her ham balls and homemade buns. (the risotto deserves its own write up)  The ham balls look delicious and juicy and the buns are full of fun and flavor.  These are perfect for having guest over, being easy to prepare ahead of time and serve easily.

Ham Balls  Preheat oven to 350 
1 1/4 ground smoked ham
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. graham cracker
1 can tomato soup
1/4 c.cider vinegar
1 c.packed brown sugar
1 t. mustard powder
In a large bowl, combine ham, pork, beef milk, eggs, cracker crumbs-mix well
Form into large balls and place in 9x13 baking dish
In a separate bowl, combine soup, vinegar, brown sugar and mustard. mix well- Pour over meat balls
Bake 1 hour or until meat is 160 degrees F internally

Rosemary Dinner Rolls makes 12
1-In small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Place the flour, sugar,2 tsp rosemary and salt in a food processor; pulse until blended.  Add the warm milk, egg, and yeast mixture; cover and pule 10 times or until almost blended.
2- While processing, gradually add oil jut until dough pulls away from sides and begins to form a ball. Process 2 minutes longer to kneed dough (dough will be very soft)
3-Transfer dough to a greased bowl turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubles, about one hour.
4-Punch down dough. Turn on lightly floured surface; divide and shape into 12 balls. Roll each into a 15 inch rope. Starting at one end wrap dough around itself to form a coil. Tuck end under; pinch to seal.
5-Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubles, about 30minutes
6-For egg wash, whisk egg yolk, milk; brush over rolls.  Sprinkle remaining rosemary. Bake at 350 until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks; serve warm

Thursday, May 9, 2013

5 things I wish I knew in my 20's

Of course I am another year older, and every year I look back on how I was and wish I had known the things I know right now.  In my 20’s I loved to stay out late, have some drinks with friends and top the night off with a pizza dipped in ranch.  I was more timid back then and afraid to try things that I wasn't sure if I was good at.  I also let my family fall by the way side because I felt like my friends were the ones who would be there forever.  As we get older  we realize that the bars will still function without us, Ranch dressing is always a bad idea and not much matters more than your family.  These are a few of the things that I really wish I paid attention in my 20's.

Sleep-I have always been like a little kid never wanting to go to bed.  When I was in my teens and twenties going to bed was the ultimate let down for me.  I felt like I was always missing out on something and that my friends NEEDED me to be out with them.  I would stay up late and then get up early to exercise or go to classes and maybe only get 5-6 hours of sleep.  It took a toll on my body and my skin.  I always felt and looked so tired.  In my thirties I finally realized that I needed every bit of 7 hours of sleep to help my body function at its full capacity.  Sleep also helps in: preventing inflammation, heart disease, stroke, arthritis; spiking creativity; lowering stress; keeping weight off to name just a few.  Had I slept more when I was younger, I would have felt a lot better, but probably not had as much fun;)

Loving my body-I was a very active and athletic girl, but I always felt like I was over weight.  Society and its pressures has its pitfalls for a lot of young women, and I was just one of many who was never happy about the way I looked.  Looking back now I'm sure most of us would kill to have the body we had in high school, but we never appreciated it.  Now that I am older and a little wiser, I have realized that I am never going to look like those girls in the magazines, but who really does!?  I have decided to embrace my body and love what I have.  

Diet-Krispy Kreme donuts, nachos and cheese balls were some of my favorite foods until 5 years ago.  I caught my buns in a special light and saw my cellulite! Ugggg , I almost cried that day and ever since then have slowly started to change my diet.  I always thought it was crazy that my friends ordered salads, but now I see why.  Not only do healthy foods keep the lumps and bumps off, they also give me more energy, keep me looking healthier and make my body function better.  I have less slumps during the day when I keep away from the sugar and refined foods.  Also, I try to eat organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible, and only have my Krispy Kremes on special occasions.

Family-”Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one”--Jane Howard quote. AMEN sister!  I am lucky to have a large family, because you get to be around so many different people and see life from so many different ways.  I may not have appreciated these people when I was younger, but now days there is no one dearer to my heart than my family and I truly appreciate them. 

Taking a risk-I feel like I have always been a risk taker of sorts - I took risks I new I could not fail at.  As a younger person I felt like I should only attempt the things that I am good at and avoid everything else so I wouldnt  look dumb when I fail.  As I am older I see how wrong that kind of thinking is.  We need to take risks in order to grow in our lives, feel empowered, and explore our talents.  So what if we aren't good at everything, or we fail...we learn from our mistakes and we move on to become better more successful people.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Birthday week...YES! I said birthday week


     Ok Everyone!  Its my birthday Week.  “Birthday Week?” Keith says.  Yes! Birthday Week!  Girls no longer celebrate their birthday just on the day that they were born... but throughout the whole week. I have even met some super lucky women who celebrate the whole month.  I think that’s a little extreme, everyone knows a week is long enough.  Besides, the last time I tried to celebrate my birthday the whole month I had turned 21 and almost died of liver failure from jaeger bombs.  JAEGER BOMBS! whoop..whoop! Awe, brings back memories:) 
So first thing I am going to do to kick of the week long festivities is pop a Prilosec and head to Miles Inn of Okoboji.  They are famous in this area for their Bloody Mary and Charlie Boys.  Miles Inn uses its own special top secret Bloody Mary mix and serves the drink in an ice cold scooner.   They garnish it with a pickle, olives and my favorite, pickled asparagus.    This is a must try, and I bring all of my friends who come to visit the Okoboji area here.  If I haven't filled up on the Bloody Mary and all of its garnishes then I order the Charlie Boy.  This is also something that they are famous for   and is made up of a special sauce mixed in with the loose meet sandwich, topped with american cheese and pickles.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I may not be able to sleep tonight because of the spices, or maybe because of the alcohol consumption.  But there is no doubt that I WILL be going to bed happy and satisfied.  Hopefully dreaming of what the rest of this birthday week has in store:)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Birthday Charlotte Olympia

...Birthday Shoes 

My birthday is coming up in a few days so 
  move over Tory Burch ballet flats, we need to make room for these BEAUTIFUL smoking slippers from Charlotte Olympia. If any of you out there are looking for a gift to get me please keep these in mind:)   To bad my husband doesn't read this,  but hey, a girl can dream right?  I get one wish when I blow out my candles (world peace), but if I had a second wish it would be these shoes.  Made of suede with metallic leather piping and gold hand-painted enamel Zodiac symbol, embellished with Swarovski crystals.  They are like jewelry for your feet! These are shoes every woman can wish for, and at a price of $695 thats all most will do.  But if you are lucky enough to get your feet into a pair,  I'm sure it will make all of your friends green with envy!  A for sure conversation piece for anyone who sees them.  They also come with their own horoscope book so you will be able to answer any questions thrown your way.
I'm a Taurus and I love my sign of the bull, but if you don't particularly like your sign, just pick another pair!  My favorites are Cancer, Scorpio and Leo.  If any of you girls get a pair PLEASE share your picture with me so I can be green with envy too;)