About this blog

The original intention of this blog was to help promote my handcrafted jewelry and beading supplies. However, I believe I lead an interesting life (which Dave gets a lot of credit for), so you will often find ramblings about things other than beads and jewelry! Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy living it!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Justin Timberlake as the Gingerbread Man

I happened to see this video, and just had to post it. I'll admit...I have a crush on Justin Timberlake (yes, Dave knows). He's a talented guy and seems to have his head on straight. I figured this video was appropriate since we are in the midst of the holiday season. Just make sure you watch the entire video...the dancing at the end is the best part! So tell me, who's your celebrity crush?


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things I am Thankful For

Just a few of the things I am thankful for (in no particular order):
  • The freedoms I enjoy as an American living in America (and those in our military that fight for those freedoms)
  • The health and happiness of my family and friends
  • The truly incredible man I share my life with (for more reasons than I have time to list)

I hope that all of you, your families and your friends have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Rhinestone Cowgirls Contest

Michelle and Jennifer over at The Rhinestone Cowgirls have recently opened up a brick and mortar shop, and are having a little contest to celebrate. You can read all about it by clicking here. The deadline to enter is today (11/24) so giddy up on over there and check it out! You can also shop online by clicking here. They carry Cowgirl Tuff clothing, handbags, wallets, bling belts, bling flip flops and more. Lastly, you can check out the The Rhinestone Cowgirl blog by clicking here. Good luck!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Insanity

The INSANITY begins today!

Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daytona Biketoberfest

Back in October, Dave and I went to Daytona for Biketoberfest and were joined by our brothers and sister-in-laws. This year we stayed in Ormond Beach very close to Destination Daytona (the empire that Bruce Rossmeyer built) instead of near the track like usual. When I went to book the hotel room near the track, I was sticker-shocked when I saw the rates of $200 per night. Now, I know that hotel rates are always jacked up for special events, but this was ridiculous especially with the economy. I would have thought the hotels would be offering deals just go get rooms booked. In any case, I decided to search around Destination Daytona since we knew we'd be visiting the bars down on US 1 at night. Bingo! Found a hotel within walking distrance to Destination Daytona and slept 6 very comfortably for a very reasonable price. We had a really good time. The weather was really nice Friday night when we arrived. It was comfortable enough to wear short sleeves on our outing to the Broken Spoke Saloon. It's an outdoor, pole-barn style bar that's become a favorite. The antics of the crowd kept us entertained to say the least! And, then there was the chic on the custom. Man, we saw her get on this really nice custom...stretched...raked...fat tire and she looked really good. Kinda tough, but in a feminine sort of way. Now, her and her man, who was also on a really nice bike decided they didn't want to park in the regular lot, but back where the crowd was. So, we're all watching her, and she's trying to get it turned around...goes forward a bit, then gets stuck and has to be pushed backward. How disappointing! Ladies...if you're going to ride you need to be able to get yourselves out of any situation! Dave asked me what I would have done it that situation. Well, I would have started that bad boy up, 'cause ya' know it sounded good...all loud and mean...and would have drove it right through the crowd in front of the stage...people would have moved out of the way! We spent Saturday walking around downtown and then back at Destination Daytona. Saturday night we hit the Iron Horse Saloon, which is also an outdoor bar. The weather was a little cooler, so we all threw on an extra layer. The economy definitely had an effect on the event this year...crowds were much smaller than normal.
One of the bars down on Main Street

Bob, Janis, me and Dave at the Iron Horse Saloon

Custom sportbikes at the Rat Hole Show at Destination Daytona

Group shot at the Broken Spoke after several rounds of adult beverages. Janis, Belinda, Josh, Dave, me and Bob...say cheese!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chili Recipe

I have lots of recipes in my drawer. All of them are the creations of other people that have been downloaded from the internet or torn out of magazines. All of them but one...all but this chili recipe. And I am very proud of it *patting self on back*. And the big plus is Dave loves it (although he did wrinkle his forehead the first time I told him I was trying to make chili). It's a very hearty meal and is great when the temperatures start to dip (for me, that means below 70 degrees...my blood thinned out shortly after moving to Florida from New York).

Chili
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped*
3 teaspoons minced garlic in oil*
3 lbs beef for stew or stir fry steak cut in bite size pieces
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chili powder*
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper*
4 cups beef broth
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained
2 can diced tomatoes, undrained

Heat the oil in a large pot. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until they are soft. Add the beef and salt and cook until the meat loses its pink color. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beef broth, kidney beans and diced tomatoes and simmer, partially covered, for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

I like to put shredded cheddar cheese in the bottom of my bowl, then put in the chili and mix it all up. Dave just likes to add saltine crackers.

*These ingredients can be adjusted to your own taste.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SeaBabe Jewelry Giveaway - Ends 11/19


This great oxidized and hammered sterling silver ring from SeaBabe is the prize in a giveaway being hosted by the Pink Dandy Chatter blog. Click here to see all the details and enter. The ring will be custom made to fit the winner. Be sure to head over there soon...this giveaway ends tomorrow (11/19) at midnight (MST)! The winner will be notified via e-mail.

Wednesday Whispers






Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Things You Would Say to a Little Kid or a Drunk Friend

The following is a list of things that could be said to a little kid...or a drunk friend!!!

"Pull up your pants!"

"What is that in your hair?"

"I think you've had enough to drink."

"Do you want your mommy?"

"Why are you crying?"

"I can't understand a word you are saying!"

"Here...let me help you put your shoes on the right feet."

"Don't do that...you are going to get hurt!"

"Stop crawling around on the floor. You're old enough to walk!"

Anyone got any others you'd like to add to the list? I'd love to hear 'em!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ocala National Forest - September ATV Trip

In a prior post I talked about our visit to Ocala National Forest and the ATV trails. We had such a good time, we decided to go back for our vacation in September. I was able to find a mobile home close to the trailheads that was available for rental for much less than a hotel would have cost us. Since it had a full kitchen, it made for a very practical and inexpensive vacation since we were able to buy groceries and make most of our meals instead of eating out (although we did splurge on Outback for dinner the first night and Bob Evan's for breakfast the last day...yummy!). The biggest plus about this rental, though, had to be that it was pet friendly, so Doom got to go on vacation with us! The first picture was taken the first day after we had been on the trail for all of 5 minutes. That black thing on the opposite side of the mud hole is a black bear (keep in mind, most Florida wildlife is much smaller in size as compared to other areas of the country...the only things that are larger in Florida are the mosquitoes!). The bear was already in the middle of the trail as we came around a bend so we were quite surprised (we hadn't seen any wildlife our previous trip). We expected the bear to take off into the woods when he saw us, but he actually got quite comfortable and laid down! Just as Dave and I were ready to put the ATVs in reverse and head down another trail, the bear got up and headed into the woods. These tracks in the mud were about 30 miles from where we saw the bear. This trip, we saw lots of tracks...mostly bear and deer.

It was much drier this trip and the trails were very dusty. What made the matter even worse was I had applied sunscreen that morning so the dust was really sticking to me. I knew I wasn't going to be able to ride like this all week, so we made a trip to Walmart so I could buy some T-shirts and bandanas.This is how I dressed for the remainder of the trip when we were riding. The bandana actually worked out really well (I could finally breathe!) because it also covered the bottom of my sunglasses and helped to keep the dirt out of my eyes. Notice the half grin on Dave's face... he called me the "masked marauder" for the rest of the trip. He did, however, give me credit for being such a trooper and finding a way to deal with the situation.


Even with the bandana, this is how I looked after a day on the trails. Dave wouldn't let me look at myself in the mirror before he took this picture. Funny guy! The really funny thing is I believe I made a comment like, "Wow...I didn't really get very dirty"!


A shot of one of the trails while we were taking a break in the shade.


See all the dust behind me? Dave's ATV throws up twice as much 'cause he's got these gnarly new tires that really dig in. Some may ask why I didn't ever get to lead...well, it was by choice. For one, lots of these trails (we covered about 130 miles during the trip) hadn't been ridden in quite some time so there was lots of overgrowth (low hanging branches, bushes, etc) and lots of banana spider webs. I decided I'd rather put up with the dust and dirt than getting smacked in the face with branches and spider webs!



The three of us on our way home!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hot Off the Bench

I've had a very productive weekend (finally!) and below are the fruits of my labor. All are available in my Etsy shop. I've also got a few more pieces in the works that should be ready for listing at the end of the week.Copper love knot bracelet...entirely handformed

Swarovski crystal and copper chandelier earrings


Jasper and copper bracelet

Chalk turquoise, coral, and sterling silver earrings

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mud Bogs - Palm Beach International Raceway

On Saturday, Dave and I went to the Mud Bogs at PBIR. This was their second mud bog event and we knew from the turnout at the first that this one would be even better. Plus, there was $20k in prize money to be awarded. We were very impressed with the changes the facility had made since the first event. There were alot of safety issues at the first event, and those had been corrected. Also, the bleachers had been extended to go the entire length of the track so we were actually able to sit down (we stood up for the entire event the last time). It all started off rather slow as the stock class was first up and I believe everyone in this class got stuck and had to be pulled out. The stock class is basically made up of vehicles that have not had any changes...stock...no lifts, no oversize tires, no motorwork, etc). I'm not really sure why they even have this class...you can look at the track and know that a stock vehicle is not going to make it. Maybe it's for entertainment...so everyone in the stands can laugh at the knuckleheads...I mean hopefuls, who let their buddies talk them into running! In any case, the runs got better as the "non-stock" classes progressed. The best runs of the night had to be what I'll call the super modified class (lots of motorwork, big lifts and way oversized tires). Check out the video!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

I'm pretty sure that my favorite thing in today's post is also a favorite of many people. It's the Twilight Series of books by Stephenie Meyer. For me, it's not necessarily the whole vampire thing although that does add excitement to the story. What's got me hooked is the love story. I am a die-hard romantic. There are just certain couples that belong together...you know...like Luke and Laura, Brenda and Dillon and Britney and Justin (ok, the younger, fresher Britney...not the latest version)! I believe the same about Bella and Edward...they are just meant to be together. I happened upon this series through Etsy, the site where I have my jewelry shop. I was seeing a lot of Twilight themed jewelry. It had me intrigued so I looked for information about the book. As it happened, I was getting ready to take a business trip to California, and was looking for a book to read to pass the time on the long coast-to-coast flight. Since the first book, Twilight, was 544 pages, I figured that would be sufficient for there and back. Boy, was I wrong. I was buried in that book...I could not put it down. By the time I had stepped off the plane in Los Angeles I had finished it. I was in LA for 4 days, and had a rental car, so I asked one of the women in the office I was visiting where the nearest bookstore was. She asked me what kind of books I read and I explained that I had just finished Twilight and was looking for the next book, New Moon. As chance would have it, she had just finished it and said I could have her copy. She brought it in the following day, and I was so tempted to start reading it in the hotel room later that night. But, I knew if I picked it up, I wouldn't want to put it down and I couldn't afford to miss any sleep as I was working on a pretty demanding project. Plus, I was taking the red-eye back home and knew I had a really long lay-over so I didn't want to risk finishing the book and not having anything to read. New Moon, which is 608 pages, was as riveting as Twilight, and I finished it on the flight back. I've read some really good books (and some not so good ones), but this series is at the top of my list! I find that they really draw me in and I can picture everything so clearly in my head. The third book in the series, Eclipse, is 640 pages and I had put off buying it because I had so many other things I needed to be doing other than reading a book. Then, a friend from work said she had it and brought it in for me. I started reading it while on vacation in September. While this book is just as good as the others, I was able to put it down to do other things. I read about 240 pages on vacation, and haven't picked it up since (although, I do hear it calling to me). I just know that once I finish it, I'm going to want to start on the fourth one, Breaking Dawn. However, Breaking Dawn is by far the longest of the series at 756 pages. This just isn't the right time of year to start reading something like that. I'd never get any jewelry made and I'm hoping that my most recent "marketing" attempts are going to pay off so I need to keep the shops stocked with new and interesting pieces. Funny thing is, I haven't watched the first movie yet and now the second one is out. Not sure what I'm waiting for...maybe just the right time. I don't want there to be any interruptions and I got the impression from Dave that he thought it was a chick flick (I tried to tell him about the vampires and that there would be lots of action...he didn't buy it!) so I have to pick a time to watch it when he's busy doing something else. Hhmmmm.....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zac Brown Band Performance - CMA Awards

I watched the CMA awards last night and was really surprised when they announced that the Zac Brown Band was going to be performing Charlies Daniels' "Devil Went Down to Georgia". I mean, that's a country classic...almost sacred. To me, that's a heck of a challenge to cover a song like that, and do it justice. It's just that it was done so well the first time. Well, all I can say is OMG! They nailed it. It rocked. By far one of the best, if not the best, performance of the night. Of course, this is just my humble opinion. I'd love to hear what y'all think. And if you missed it, just click below to see the video.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grilled Garlic Chicken & Grilled Pineapple Slices

I was looking for a new way to make chicken and found this great recipe. When Dave asked what was for dinner last night and I told him about this recipe, he gave me that look (that would be the "why do you have to experiment" look)! See, I'm lucky in that Dave is very easy to please when it comes to dinner...he likes cheeseburgers and fries, steak and mashed potatoes, and spaghetti and meatballs. However, the potatoes and pasta are killing my attempts at getting back into the kind of shape I was in a few years ago when I made a real commitment to workout and eat better. I was so excited when he finished his plate and went back for more. This "experiment" got the thumbs up so I'll throw it into the rotation! For those of you that live in areas where the grill has already been stowed due to inclement weather, you could try broiling instead. Since I live in Florida, the grill is out year-round!

Grilled Garlic Chicken
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 skinned, boneless chicken breast halves

Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Place chicken in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over chicken; cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Place marinade in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Place chicken on grill over medium flame and cook for at least 5 minutes on each side or until done, basting frequently with marinade (grilling time will depend on thickness of chicken breasts - the thickness of the breasts I grilled varied so I grilled for a minimum of 15 minutes and the thickest pieces for 25 minutes and the chicken was very moist).

Grilled Pineapple Slices
1 small fresh pineapple, peeled and cored* (I actually used canned rings)
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon reduced-calorie margarine, melted

Cut pineapple into 6 (3/4 inch thick) slices. Center each slice on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Combine rum, brown sugar, and margarine in a small bowl; stir well. Brush pineapple slices evenly with rum mixture. Fold upper halves of foil over pineapple slices, and seal. Place pineapple packets on grill, and grill 15 minutes.

This recipe will yield 6 servings. The chicken is approximately 143 calories per serving, and the pineapple is approximately 107 calories per serving.

Enjoy!



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chic Riders

I recently joined the Florida chapter of the Chic Riders. Chic Riders is an all female motorcycle organization that was started by Jessica Maine, one of the first female stunters to make it big in the motorcycle industry. I kind of stumbled upon the whole thing by accident through myspace (click here to check out my page). I was searching for other sportbike riders in South Florida in the hopes that Dave and I would be able to find some people to ride with. We are always looking for others to ride with, regardless of what kind of bike they ride. For whatever reason, its hard to find people who enjoy the same kind of ride we do. While I don't want to stereotype any group, many sportbike riders are younger than us and want to do 120mph everywhere and all the time, and many Harley/cruiser riders want to do 5mph under the speed limit. Dave and I are kind of a mix of both. We really enjoy long rides...like putting time in the seat. We don't just wash our bikes and then show up to bike night and park 'em. When we ride, we usually do about 5-10mph above the speed limit, and are known to occasionally twist the throttle until the speedometer is reaching 130mph, but that's just when the situation is right! In any case, while I was looking for some other riders to possibly hook up with for some group rides, I found Jessica's page. I liked the Chic Riders message and what they were about, and thought this might be a good way to make some of the connections we were looking for. I haven't met any of the other ladies in person yet, but will soon. On Sunday, 11/15 there is a ladies only motorcycle run departing from different parts of the state and meeting up in the middle (Ft. Pierce) for lunch. The run is actually being organized by another group, but many of the Chic Riders will be participating. Dave will have to sit this one out, but I'm hoping to meet some women whose husbands/boyfriends also ride. I'll definitely be posting about the experience!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Whispers

(My Wednesday Whispers posts are normally without words, but I just wanted to apologize for the quality of this video. I took it with my cell phone, but just had to share it...it's just that Goose, the mini zebu, is so darn cute!)

video

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How We Spent Saturday

Dave and I had made a list of things we wanted to get done on Saturday before we went to a friend's Halloween party. Unfortunately, priorities got rearranged after a little mishap involving my neighbor's Kawasaki Mule UTV and our well on Friday evening. My neighbor was on her way over to another neighbor's house for a Halloween party. She decided to stop at my house to see if I had changed my mind about attending. I'm not a real big Halloween person, and had already attended one party the Saturday before, had a Halloween party at work that day, and was going to another Halloween party on Saturday so Dave and I had declined this particular one. In any case, my neighbor pulled the mule up in the backyard and parked next to the screen. I met her at the back door and we talked for about 10-15 minutes. This entire time, the mule was running and the headlights were on. Suddenly I noticed some movement of the mule's headlights (I only had a small porch light on, and it's very dark in our neighborhood as it's rural and there are no streetlights). It took a second for me to realize that the mule was idling kind of rough and it was slowly inching itself backwards. Normally this wouldn't be much of an issue but there were some factors that turned this in to a big problem. First, the parking brake on the mule wasn't working, second, although the mule was parked on a flat spot, the ground started to slope downwards just a few feet behind it, and third, the pipes for our well were at the bottom of the slope (can you see where this is going?). When it dawned on me what was happening, I turned to my neighbor and told her the mule was starting to roll backwards. As she was running towards the screen door to try to catch it, I jokingly added, "Hey...don't let it run over the well". I probably should have kept my mouth shut about the well part 'cause it did exactly that. Once my neighbor went out the door, I couldn't really see what was happening as the mule was rolling backwards, so the headlights were still pointed towards the house...then I heard the PVC pipes from the well snapping...and I knew exactly what had happened. Dave was in the next county down visiting a friend, and it was late enough that all the stores were closed so there wasn't a whole lot we could do about it until morning. For those of you that have never had the experience of living in an area that uses a well for water, Ill give a brief explanation. Basically, in rural areas that are not on a city water system a well is drilled about 30-60 feet in the ground somewhere in the yard (normally in the backyard). Then pipes are run from this well to an electric pump that sits up closer to the house. When you turn on a faucet or flush the toilet in the house the pump pulls the water up from the well and runs it through a filtering system. While most of the pipes are underground there is a small section that is above ground (and I'm sure there is a reason for this...but I don't really understand the mechanics of it all!). In any case, those are the pipes that were run over and that meant I had no running water in the house. The good thing was, because of the time it happened, I really wouldn't have any need for water until the morning when we were ready to take showers and do some laundry. I consider myself lucky that Dave is a jack of all trades and can fix just about anything so I knew we wouldn't have to call anyone (and spend lots of $ on labor!) to have it fixed. Saturday morning Dave went out to examine the damage and determine what he would need to fix it. He returned form the hardware store and started on the repairs. Unfortunately, the PVC glue he used to glue the pipes together had gone bad and wasn't working so we had some leaks and had to go through the whole process of cutting out and fitting in new PVC pipes and priming the pump 3 times (we went to the hardware store and got different glue after the second set of leaks). What is that they say about 3rd times a charm!? My neighbor felt really awful, but I told her it could have been worse...no one was hurt and the mule didn't pick up enough speed to go through the fence and into the neighbor's pond! In the end, we were able to laugh about it!!!