Limoncello Cooler Recipe

21 Apr

Because us folks up north need a little sunshine Springtime right now!

1oz gin

1oz Limoncello

1/2oz fresh lemon juice

2-3oz club soda

Lemon wedge

Mix first 3 ingredients in a shaker. Pour into glass with ice. Top with club soda, garnish with lemon. Make now and if you’re in a state that still has snow on the ground, think warm thoughts and make another. Cheers! Here’s the video:

Just Do it

21 Apr

My first official Pilates class in new city. Scared!

Do you care what people think of you?

15 Apr

I’m on a girls trip in Florida this weekend and we’ve had some fun nights of “deep” questions to each other. One of the questions asked was “Do you care about what other people think of you?” I thought this was such a good question.  My first inclination was to shout “NO WAY!” but that would be a bold face lie.  How you answer this will most likely reflect your age. I believe the older you get, the less you care about what people think of you.

To me, it’s one of the biggest lessons we can learn from those more experienced than us.  Everyone wants to have friends and be liked but there is a difference between seeking those friends out by trying to please them and drawing people towards you because you are authentic and yourself.

I think sometimes people mistake caring about what people think about you for caring about yourself.  There’s a big difference.  One interesting thing I’ve read recently said that caring what people think about you actually shows a lack of self-love.   You get your approbation from other people.  And what’s wrong with that is that other people see life and things through their own filter and that may not be right.  Let’s just be so bold as to say, it won’t be right.  Instead of caring what others think, think more about yourself.

I’m no expert on the subject but I have been a perpetual people pleaser in the past. So in that regard, I can speak with authority on how completely imprisoning it can be to care about what people think about you. Thankfully, with age (and wisdom) I’m shifting my thinking.

And I don’t care what you think about that – ha!

Wayne Dyer said this on the subject: An important teacher of mine, Abraham Maslow, always counseled that it was necessary for the self-actualized individual to be “independent of the good opinion of others.” Listen to the voice you hear, and the drumbeat only you can feel, and honor it, while honoring it in those you love as well. It is the ultimate act of unconditional love. In being true to your inner calling, you may ruffle some feathers but you’ll have the peace and satisfaction of knowing that you fulfilled your divine purpose and encouraged others to do the same. Another brilliant nonconformist, Dr. Seuss, is credited with saying, “Be what you are and say what you feel because those who will mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

So – do you care what others think of you?  Do you let it run your choices or do you make choices FOR YOUR BENEFIT?

Fun Stuff I Found!

14 Mar

I don’t know if you do this or not, but whenever I’m reading something or I see something online that I love, I screen grab it.  Are those two words or one?  Screengrab?

Anyway, I’ve been doing this for years and now that the iPhone actually separates your screengrabs out for you in iphoto – all the things I’ve been saving are right there in one handy album for me!  It’s the 2018 equiv to what I used to do in my teens and 20’s. I would read a shitton (that is a new word I’m making up) of magazines and rip out articles and ads that I liked.  Then I’d either pin them up on my wall (that would be directly on to the wall – no bulletin board or the like) or make photocopies of them and pass the article out to people at work with the date written in at the top.

I digress.  On to the stuff I found. 

This isn’t in any kind of special order because I’m too lazy to actually think about that.  I just uploaded these babies.  Ready for some fun?  ok… read on.

This first one is pretty self-explanatory.  Damn good.  Do you NOT want to make these right away?  Notice, it doesn’t say “yogurt,” it says “cheesecake”.  Get in my tum-tum right now!  The recipe can be found here.

If you know me, you know that the minute the Dane County Farmers Market opens up in Madison – this is me every Saturday morning gathering the homeland’s finest flowers and bringing them home.  Oh, I can’t wait.  I can smell the early morning lake scents wafting into the state capitol and feel the summer against my cheek!  <sigh> I love this photo, so I grabbed it but don’t know where it came from.  IG, I’m sure.

 

Girls, have you heard of this “capsule” idea?  Boys do this automatically, I believe. If I had the body for it, I would jump on this like white on rice.  Is that politically correct to say?  LOL, I don’t know anymore.  Geez.  Anyway, check this out!  For those of you that want to just throw something on and not think about it but still look super cute – get a capsule!  This is a curated bunch of basic clothes you can mix or match all season long.  I know who would like this of my friends (Megan & Connie?)  Read more about it here and here.

Do you know who this is?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo!  OMG (insert girly scream here) Click on the link if you didn’t catch that.

 

I grabbed this above because ROF and I play cards EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Not kidding.  and YES YOU ARE WINNING, ROF!  And to me, accessorizing is key.  Can you say WANT THIS?!

Someday, I will buy one of these kits and do it.  I really want one.

A long time ago, I bought my friend Susan a similar kit from Anthro and I’d love her tell the story of what happened with that birthday gift that I bought her.

Susan, if you’re reading, please comment below! xxoo

I didn’t have just one pair of these shoes, I had at least three pairs of these shoes.  Not at once but because I WORE THEM OUT!

Who knew?  By the way, you can do this OR pay over $500 for it to be done by a nutritionist. 

 

Mom?  Wouldn’t this be awesome?  Let someone else figure out the meds.  And yes, this would work perfectly for me too!

 

Ok, that’s it for now.  I haven’t even been able to make a dent in the things I’ve grabbed so more later.  What have you found?

Be Passionate to Have Focus

13 Mar

I had an entirely different post scheduled for today.  It was a post of all the fun things I’ve found and screen grabbed over the past few months.  However, there is something bigger weighing on my mind.

woman-2696408_640

It’s kinda deep so feel free to wait for the fun post tomorrow.  

These thoughts come in the wake of the #metoo movement.  Also:

  • after I heard a disturbing question on a podcast, I heard today and
  • being overwhelmed by social media and all the available CONTENT that is out there waiting for me to consume it

the comment on the podcast was depressing.  I’ve thought about it all day today on my drive up north.  A 19-year-old girl left a message to the “Forever 35” hosts wondering if the “urge to crawl out of your own skin goes away as you get older.” 

First of all, this is a podcast on face serums for women who want to be “Forever 35.”  The misplaced question from the girl came out of left field but was honest and in search of an honest answer.   It made me think about how different kids have it now compared to when I was 19 years old.  The same pressures exist – school, boyfriends, parents, what-are-you-going-to-do-with-the-rest-of-your-life, drinking, boyfriends.  Did I already say that one?  However, now on top of that, you just have MORE crap shoved in your head from Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and more.   All from people you know and don’t know.  It’s now not celebrities that have it all anymore.  According to social media, EVERYONE has it all!

abstract-1233873_640.jpg

Someone as old and mature as me can (sometimes) keep it in its place.  But, it can make anyone want to crawl out of their own skin.  No matter what your age is.  Nowadays, bullies don’t just exist on playgrounds shoving their face into yours, they lie in snarky comments on newsfeeds.

We don’t really know exactly what she meant by that comment. But my answer to her would have been this:

Yes.  Hopefully.  You recognize that you want to crawl out of your skin, so here is where you don’t want to be.  Where do you want to be? This is important to figure out because there is one thing that can shift your focus from wanting to crawl out of your skin to loving the skin you’re in.  

And that is passion. Passion gives you focus beyond yourself.  At <cough cough> years old, here are some real-life passions of my friends and family:

  • YOGA.  Either going to yoga regularly or becoming a teacher, an expert
  • MARKETING.  Selling consumers in a relevant way
  • CARDS.  Yep, playing cards, socializing and laughing is a great passion to have.
  • SAVING KIDS.  Fundraising to stop the sex trafficking of children in the US
  • CAREER.  Passionate about learning and climbing up the ranks at work
  • FAMILY. Building one starting with the love of their life and then kids
  • BEING HEALTHY.  Snubbing the nose at chocolate chip cookies and loving feeling good
  • FAMILY BUSINESS. Growing the family business.  Contributing!
  • ENTREPRENEUR.  Doing it for yourself!  See how far you can go.
  • BIKES.  Building them, selling them, showing them
  • DOGS.  Loving them, saving them, volunteering to help them
  • ADOPTION.  Passionate about bringing children into their family as their own
  • BLOGGING.  Writing and sharing about life and whatnot
  • MUSIC.  Creating a feeling, a show
  • COOKING.  Mixing, making and sharing
  • ENTERTAINING.
  • IMPROV.
  • DANCING.
  • VOLUNTEERING.
  • CREATING.

SHALL I GO ON?  I can give you one or more person I know with these passions. 

It’s ok to feel like you want to crawl out of your skin.  For now.  But don’t stay there.  Grab a passion and blow it out.  Let it become bigger and bigger.  Hopefully, before long, your focus will not be on getting outside of yourself but loving the fact that you’re exploring things that you’re passionate about.   

 

Getaway: Burlington Vermont

10 Mar

Want a fun little girls trip itinerary?  or this could be a lover’s getaway.  Just kidding, I hate that word – LOVERS! (ha)  I’m going to admit though, it isn’t the easiest place to get to really but it’s worth it!

If you’re like me and a wiz at geography (insert ROF laughing here) here’s a map for reference:

I would make this a two night trip.  Fly in on a Friday afternoon and out on a Sunday.  Here are a couple of ideas of where you could go and do.  First, just Uber it from the tiny airport to your hotel.

CHECK-IN:

HOTEL VERMONT:  Preppy Swank.  Loved!

41 Cherry Street
Burlington, Vermont

WEBSITE

This is the perfect place to stay.  Friendly and lots of attention to detail.  Every floor had a shared coffee/water/tea area.  The warm fire with woodsy smells greets you the minute you walk into the lobby.  Your modern but comfortable room is outfitted with locally made soaps (lemony!) and lotions.

Drop your bags, run a brush through your hair then hit the town  – it’s happy hour!

DRINKS:

THE ARCHIVES: Is it an arcade? is it a cocktail lounge? It’s both!  Grab a Shinebox or a Shakedown cocktail and belly up to Ms. Pac Man or Tetris.  You’re sure to work up an appetite.

photo cred: The Archives website

FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER:

Head over to The Farmhouse Tap & Grill on Bank Street.

I had the Cast Iron Seared Atlantic Salmon with butternut puree, red quinoa, endive, sage and pecan pesto.  It was out of this world!  They have a great selection of starters too including a raw bar.  It’s casual like the whole town – jeans and boots – are fine!

Walk back to the hotel through the quaint downtown that looks almost identical to Boulder, Colorado.  They were designed by the same company!  Zig and zag down the Church Street Marketplace – so cool.   Maybe stop at the hotel lobby bar for a nightcap by the fire or turn in!

THINGS TO DO ON SATURDAY:

Now, you don’t need me to tell you to head back to the hotel.  Rest and relax.  And get ready for a wonderful dinner out with your lovely or friends.   Head here:

 

This place looks fantastic. Very Vermont.

Check it out if you get a chance.  Buy some maple popcorn at the airport on your way home.  I didn’t (wink) but it looked good.  Let me know if you have other suggestions.

February Playlist: Leonard & Frost

15 Feb

Not my typical playlist. That’s my disclaimer for –arguably– the best playlist for this dreary, tepid, news-saturated month.

So turn off the boob tube. Go on. Open this playlist and start at the top. Damn it’s good, if I do say so myself.

I’ve made it collaborative so you can add a song or two if you want. No AC/DC. I’m gonna call out some peeps here to contribute – you know who you are: AH, JG, DS, KK, CH, JG.  Yep, you.

You’ve gotta follow May Earlewine on IG. I love her morning pour over coffee jams.

Enjoy! It’s my Leopard & Frost playlist on Spotify.

Sisters

14 Feb

There are big times I miss my sister, who lives in Huntington Beach now, and small times. The big times are like when she gets engaged and I can’t give her a big squeeze. Or when I’m driving for a few hours in my car and think back to some of our epic memories we’ve had together.

One of those memories is when my dad died, she and I stayed at the famous Broadmore Hotel and Spa in Colorado (she paid!) together and just laughed and cried and breathed in God’s peace in those beautiful mountains.

Mostly when I think of Katie, I think about how hard she makes me laugh. In typical younger sister fashion, she liked to embarrass me – intentionally or unintentionally- and sometimes it just made me laugh so damn hard.

My sister is one of the most caring and passionate people I know and I wasn’t very nice to her growing up. As the oldest, I guess you could say I was into… myself. <shocker> Do you like how I blame that on being the oldest? And I hate thinking about that because she truly is one of the most very very important people in my life.

So this very morning, a small thing happened that made me think of Kate. This:

Ain’t no one who can get shit like this done like my sister. Probably the only girl out there that has a green electric screwdriver that she named “Lucy.” Lol. And she could untangle this mess of necklaces in a hot minute.

Here’s to an epic sisters weekend SOON! It’s been a year since I’ve seen my sister and I’ve cried through writing this whole damn thing. Happy Valentine’s Day, sissy. Xxoo

Awesome Birthday Traditions

7 Feb

I love this tradition (plus I love steak see here and here!) After hearing about this a couple of times, I decided all of you needed to know about it too.  Make this tradition your own!  There are so many ideas.  I share some of mine after the interview. 

I interviewed my friend, Sean Sivore and his son Aidan on their favorite thing to do on their birthdays:

Tell me a little bit about why you go to so many Steakhouses(how many?) – what is your tradition and how did it start?  I’ve always loved the experience at steakhouses.  The service and atmosphere are a big part of what makes a great steakhouse great.  My Dad loved great restaurants and since Aidan and I have birthdays one day apart, I thought it would be a fun “father/son” tradition to research the hottest steakhouses around and the two of us go to one for our birthday each year.  We’ve been doing this since Aidan’s 7th Birthday.

Musso and Frank Grill, Hollywood, CA – August, 2016

Now, let’s talk to Aidan.

Is steak your favorite thing to eat? Yes!

What are your top 5 steakhouses and why did you like them so much?

  1.  Bavette’s – Chicago, ILAtmosphere was a little like a bar (dark/quiet),  But the steak was so good, it didn’t matter.
  2.  Prime and Provisions – Chicago, ILSteak was perfect.  The atmosphere was awesome.  The bacon appetizer is off the chain! The service was the best of any steakhouse.
  3. Gibson’s – Chicago, ILFirst steakhouse I went to and finished an 18oz Rib-eye at age 8.
  4. Benjamin’s Steakhouse – New York, NYOld School looking steakhouse, but not that old.  Steaks were awesome.
  5. Chicago Cut – Chicago, ILCool steak place, atmosphere, and great food.

Do you order the same thing at all the steakhouses?   No, I usually order whatever the house specialty is.  When in doubt though I order a Rib-eye.

What is your favorite thing to eat? Steak by far 

Sean: This is a picture of our first annual “Guy’s Steak Night Out.”  This was before the ladies of the family started muscling their way into our tradition.  He finished the whole steak!

December 2012, Gibson’s Chicago

Prime and Provisions – Chicago, 2017 
Thanks, Sean and Aidan!  This is so much fun – what a great idea!  Here are some of my thoughts on how to make this your own.
  1. If steak is not your thing, make it sushi, Italian or even pizza!  Hit up your own city or travel.
  2. If food is not your bag, what about a class?  Take a class with friends or your S.O. on your birthday.  Learn something new every year on your birthday and keep track with a photo.
  3. Do something crazy out-of-the-ordinary every year on your birthday.  Research it.  Swim with dolphins, skydive, bungee jump, swim to Alcatraz * – mark the years you get older by something cool.  *scroll down to read about my mom’s close friend Nancy Moore and what a bad ass she is!
  4. Make it a point to travel to a new place on your birthday.  One year it may be a new town driving distance from you and another might be Europe!  Document it, write it down, snap it up.

Let me know what your traditions are for your birthdays!

Check this out…

6 Feb

Some people say that I’m curious about everything and they would be right. I’m always striving to know new things. And trying to avoid monotonous daily activity. Which can be one part comforting and one part boring. I believe that to be alive you have to jolt your body and mind alive every day. That could mean going for a brisk walk or just reading something that takes your mind to new places.

One of my easiest “hacks” if-you-will is having curated blogs I like on Feedly. This is for those that think they could never have the time to be curious and explore new things- Feedly makes it easy. Puts everything in one place for you. For me, opening this app each day brings to me a gazillion ideas and things to explore.

If you like what I like or at least think you do- then I have screengrabbed my blog list below and you can copy it. Just look up each blog in the search tool and add.

Here is some of my found nuggets this week:

  • SAY WHAT? This is my new favorite comedian that will make you run down a million rabbit holes with the fun stuff she mentions
  • Thanks, but I’m staying with my good ole face wash! This might be too much for me
  • I’m gonna make this next week. I love the crispy edges
  • Digging these jams. As a sidenote, I’ve dug up some cool NYC restaurant playlists on my Spotify- follow me!
  • Simply awesome! Her mom looks just a few years older than her! She is stunning!
  • Will you accept this rose?

Here are the blogs I follow via my Feedly app. I know it’s obnoxious.

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