Constantly fascinated by the world around me. I've got the dreamer's disease... and I believe that a truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

I spend most of my time reading, writing, cooking & planning my life on Post-It notes. Music, wine, food, art & travel are my favorite fuel; spending time well wasted.
I began writing this blog because I think that every day we have something to be celebrated, shared, something that sparks creativity, inspiration & ideation.
Although I'm quite optimistic, I'm more judgmental than I'd like to admit. Here's to overturning assumptions.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

René of the Day // 12.5.11 // Fireplace DVD

Perhaps the best $5 I’ve ever spent. I think I got it on sale at Border’s after the holidays a few years ago. Since I refuse to have cable (did you know you burn less calories watching TV than sitting in a chair doing nothing?) it’s nice to have some motion in the background as I’m cooking and reading. I like the jazz music selection best, without the crackling noise feature, but more than anything it’s a great backdrop. We only had a fireplace when I was really little and my parents just bought one of the fireplace entertainment centers – I love how it actually produces heat! But search on Amazon – a fireplace DVD truly is the next best thing to the real deal. 

René of the Day // 12.4.11 // Pinterest Crafts

What was going to be a boring, rainy afternoon turned into a fun and crafty afternoon at my Haley's house. Her family was in town from Illinois and I'd had the pleasure of meeting them at her birthday party at Coney Island in the summer. She and her sister had chosen a few Christmas crafts from Pinterest and they invited me to join them.

First we made Christmas wine bottles - super simple and affordable. Soak the labels off empty wine bottles with hot, soapy water. Spray paint them white or silver. Allow to dry. Spray with adhesive. Roll in a cookie pan filled with epson salts. They sparkle! Stick festive floral arrangements or other decor inside.
[Note: they do tend to "shed" a lot, so place on a pretty tray or prepare to clean up some salt.]

Get full instructions with photos here.

Our other project was Starched String Ornaments - or string balls, you know, whatever. This was a bust (pun intended for the Beck girls but it worked for me!) Blow up a balloon and wrap string all around it... once it's densely covered, paint craft glue over the string until it's saturated. Hang dry then pop the balloon and pull out with a pair of tweezers. (I think because they were hung outside from the porch while it was raining they stayed moist. I took mine home and hung it over the tub then took a blow dryer to it for a few minutes.) It was a little lumpy on one side but depending on how it's hung, you can't see it.

This can also be a great idea for wedding decor and you can make them large enough to slip a light bulb inside for a pretty hanging lamp.

Get the full instructions with photos here.

And to take a break from our busy projects, Haley's husband George made Skinny Taste zucchini enchiladas which are amazing!

Get the recipe here.
[Note: buy enchilada sauce in the can at the store. The time and effort aren't worth it - the can is super cheap and has the same ingredients.)

Enchilada break!
Final product

René of the Day // 12.3.11 // Aloha!

I’m just jealous. My parents and my niece are in Maui for the week. They’ve rented a condo at Maui Eldorado for a few years in a row and I’m hoping to go in the next few years. In high school I dreamt of going to the University of Hawaii and even ordered a sweatshirt.

The condo is on a golf course and has a full kitchen with granite counter tops, a private patio and a cabana on the beach with a web came so we can watch them play in the surf. There’s great snorkeling nearby and with a car rental, a decent drive to the craters and waterfalls. They took a boat cruise and Chip and Kylie took surfing lessons – cowabunga! They attended a traditional luau with a suckling pig and Kylie picked up the fallen plumerias from the bushes each day and they strung a lei with the sewing kit they packed – how fun! They said it smelled wonderful but unfortunately you can’t bring them back home.

Ky is such a lucky little girl to go on such an amazing trip at this age. I think she loved the adventures – Mom said she was a great traveler and she would choose her to go with her on the Amazing Race because she can bolt through an airport with a backpack and a rollercase like a pro! LOL Hopefully I can take her on a fabulous trip some day, too.

It sounds and looks like they had a wonderful Hawaiian Christmas holiday – mali kaliki maka! Here are some of my favorite photos from their trip:

Kylie hanging ten! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

René of the Day // 12.2.11 // Christmas with the Rat Pack

The Thanksgiving holiday has passed, December has arrived and that means we can listen to Christmas music without backlash from the Bahumbugs! My absolute favorite holiday album is Christmas with the Rat Pack, featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. They swoon you with the season’s most classic tunes. I listen to it on repeat in my car throughout the month of December. It’s perfect party music and for a tree-decorating soundtrack. Though it’s been said many times, many ways, merry Christmas, to you.

Listen to the song and order the album here.

René of the Day // 12.1.11 // First of Tha Month

I have to post this song, since the first of every month, these lyrics are texted to or received from MR, his sister, Lindsey, Becca and Sanker. Wake up, wake up, wake up…

René of the Day // 11.30.11 // The season in review

We celebrated the season for the I'd Hit That softball team at El Rancho Grande (AKA "The Big Nasty") and enjoyed margaritas, chips + salsa and queso sticks (served with ketchup - WTF?!) Of course, what's an event for our office without the commentary of our former "Two and a Half Men" copywriter??? I had to share his intro and my bio so I can capture it for always:

The year in review: copy-only collector's edition

How does one define "victory?" With "runs?" With frivolous little "points?" We often tell ourselves that the team that "scores the most" is the team that "wins" - but is this really the case? We of the 2011 I'd Hit That softball team think otherwise. We say that victory belongs to those who dominate in the fun department. And in this regard, we never knew defeat. Our roster included the following all-stars:

René "René Brunelle" Brunelle:
René was often seen wandering around in the outfield, leisurely weaving daisies into chains, or perusing magazines in search of the latest news on corn refiners. But this lackadaisical facade belied the heart of a ruthless competitor. When anything was hit in her direction, she'd strike like a deranged cobra before instantly returning to her private happy world.

I have to say, it made me giggle. I did not in fact futz around in the outfield - I was proud of some of the plays I made and enjoyed the comments on how fast my little legs ran to first base. It was a hell of a season - but I just realized, we didn't have a mascot....

René of the Day // 11.29.11 // Gin Buck

The new cocktail of choice – a gin buck. Gin, lime (or lemon) juice and ginger ale. Simple, sparkly, crisp – perfect. I drank a lot of gimlets in college and gin and tonics are my favorite pick of poison so this fresh twist is fun. MR’s uncle in Nashville introduced him on Thanksgiving and we’re hooked. Cheers!