Saturday Link Love

This week has been a much needed break from the relentless Florida heat. The overcast skies and sporadic showers have dropped the temperature to the mid 80’s and added a lovely breeze that blows away the opressive blanket of humidity that settled over Tallahassee during May. I actually paused for a moment after I walked out of the office yesterday and just closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The I got in my car a drove home because it was Friday and the weekend was calling. As I write this my outdoor kitty is sunbathing tummy in the air and I am trying to convince myself that it is time to get up and get things done. In case you want to procrastinate a little more, here are some links to help you out.

I cannot wait to dive into some of these Trader Joe’s new seasonal items. It counts as “grocery shopping” right? I’m just being responsible.

A friend gave me some coffee sugar scrub cubes for my birthday and now that they’re all gone I am considering making some for my self with the added bonus of a little aroma therapy.

I am having an exceptionally difficult time falling asleep lately. An internet search yielded these tips and I plan on trying a few of them out tonight. *fingers crossed*

There is always a reusable straw in my purse these days, and I definitely think that I can easily work a few more of these eco-friendly items into my domestic routine.

I am a bit fan of services like Uber, especially when I am traveling, but it is true that you never know what you might hear when you get into that car.

I don’t normally spend a whole lot of time in the sun, but you better believe that if I decide to hit the beach or the pool I will have one of these extra pool floats in tow.

Image from here.


Summer Daily Use Products

Hello friends! As the summer solstice looms closer, our daily routines change to accommodate the higher temperature, the sunshine, and, if you live in the south, the humidity. Since Florida hits “summer” by mid April, I’ve been assembling my line up for a while now and I wanted to share some of the items that I have enthusiastically added to may daily routine.

1. Native Deodorant – a friend of mine turned me onto Native products earlier this year and so far I’ve tried their body wash and deodorant. The body wash is perfectly fine, but I am kind of obsessed with the deodorant. I’ve tried four of the different scent options so far. My current favorite is the Coconut Vanilla, which is perfect for summer. It might seem a little strange to be so into deodorant, but it’s something we use daily and finding a product that I enjoy using vs. merely tolerate? It’s really nice. I’ve actually gifted a few to friends and family. Bonus, they make small travel size deodorants so you can get a few minis to find which scent is best for you.

2. Quay Australia “My Girl” Sunglasses – these sunnies were in my spring my Fab Fit Fun box (I now have a subscription to the service) and I am kind of in love. I have never NEVER purchased sunglasses that cost more than $20 and I honestly thought that pricier frames were kind of a scam. I was wrong, so wrong. These bad boys retail for $55, more than my entire Fab Fit Fun box, and if they broke tomorrow, I would replace them without batting an eye. I have so many funky pairs of sunnies, but I have been using them less and less because these are so comfortable and pretty much everything I could ever want out of a great pair of sunglasses. I’ve let other people try them on and I think I’ve actually convinced 3(ish) people to get their own pair. I really should be getting some sort of commission at this point.

3. Dr. Brandt No More Baggage – I have had issues with undereye pretty much my entire life, but things escalated after I turned 30 and I had to start caking on the concealer and foundation just to look “normal”. This item also showed up in my spring Fab Fit Fun box and after a week there was a noticeable difference. I’ve been using it for almost two months now and I no longer use concealer on my under eyes. I still put on a bit of foundation, but only because I am putting it on the rest of my face anyway. Now I am not going to say that it has removed ALL of the discoloration and puffiness, but it is mostly gone.

4. Neutrogena Age Shield Face – my mother in law put one of these in my Christmas stocking this year and I was neither pleased nor displeased to get it. I mean, I am super pale and sunscreen is always a good idea, but I didn’t really need something like this in my daily routine. Fast forward to a couple of months ago where the skin on my face was inexplicably dry and I was trying EVERYTHING to fix it. I tried this because nothing in my drawer was working and it’s been fantastic. I put it on my face right after I shower and let it soak in for about 15 minutes before putting on makeup and my skin hasn’t looked this good in years.

5. Wet Brush Silver Swirl Detangler – I have super fine habitually color treated hair and tangles are, frankly, inevitable. I was wasting time in Ulta and I saw this brush that made the bold assertion that it magically eliminates tangles in all types of hair. I mean, it didn’t say it quite like that, but you know what I mean. I needed a new brush anyway, so I purchased this brush basically because I wanted it to not work so I could be righteously indignant and I could dramatically complain about yet another “amazing” brush that was absolute crap. You know what? The damn thing works. I would be mad if it wasn’t so nice to brush my hair without ripping half of it out.


Stunning Stained Glass – Janel Foo Glassworks

The other day, I found myself browsing online, trying to find something to hang in my kitchen window to take advantage of all of the the spring sunlight that has been pouring in lately. Halfway down the Pinterest rabbit hole, I found this video about Janel Woo and her spectacular stained glass. Janel discovered her passion for stained glass while she was learning jewelry making. Her pieces blend traditional glass fusing techniques with modern shapes. One of the things I liked best about her work is how she played with color and texture but still managed to create clean, minimalist shapes.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Janel’s work you can check her out on Instagram and if you are interested in obtaining a piece of your own you can check out Janel Foo’s website.


Spring Sweet South French Country Flea Market

Quite the mouthful for a name, right? Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, local artists, crafters and antique sellers get together on the edge of town and have a fantastic market. My first trip was a couple of years ago, but as soon as I stepped amongst the tents, I knew that I needed to make sure I at least made it an annual tradition.

There is always so much to see! In the past, there have been booths hosted by my favorite tea shop here in town, the woman who teaches the expressive painting class I take occasionally, and the soap artisan that I see at the Saturday morning Market Square Farmers Market. This spring there weren’t any familiar faces, but there were plenty of interesting artists and vendors.

This year I walked away with two elaborate antique frames and a landscape painting. I was lucky enough to get to share the spring market with the childhood bestie who was in town for my birthday. If you are interested in making it to the fall market, you can watch this website for scheduling and vendor information. Who knows, you might even bump into me.


Vegan Lemon Curd


If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time you know that I like to bake. Quite a bit actually. But in a world of Pinterest and Instagram, it can be a bit misleading when it comes to the difficulty level of certain things. One of the things I’ve struggled with is lemon curd. Not just lemon curd, I’ve manged to screw up both grapefruit and blood orange curd as well. I watch the Great British Baking Show all the time and I see those contestants whipping up a “quick curd” like it’s as simple as making whipped cream or boiling water. It’s frustrating! While I am by no means a baking expert, I’ve put in enough time that I expect a certain amount of success right off the bat, especially with a recipe that usually is qualified by an “easy” or “simple” in the title. All of that to say that I decided I wanted to make Lemon Meringue Cupcakes the other day, but I didn’t want to do all of that work just to find myself with a ruined filling AGAIN. So I did took to the internet to find a different EASIER curd recipe. That led me this recipe for a quick and easy vegan lemon curd by Domestic Gothess. And you know what? It worked!!! Easy peasy and I could give the leftovers to my vegan coworker who told me later that she put it over ice cream. So a big thank you to Hannah, you are a lifesaver!

Ingredients

  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons (optional – omit for a smooth curd)
  • 3 Tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 100 ml (1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp) water
  • juice of 4 large lemons (about 200ml)
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or soya milk)
  • 70 g (4 Tbsp) vegan spread (or use coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. Place the lemon zest and cornflour in a non-reactive pan (such as stainless steel). Gradually whisk in the water to make a smooth paste then whisk in the lemon juice and sugar.
  2. Place over a medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook the curd whilst stirring until it becomes very thick.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and add the almond milk and vegan spread, stir until melted and smooth then remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the hot lemon curd into a couple of clean (preferably sterilized) jars. Seal them and place in the fridge overnight to set before serving. Store in the refrigerator and use within a couple of weeks.