Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ma Earth

Happy Earth Day, Folks!
  • Each person throws away approximately four pounds of garbage every day. GROSS!
  • We each use about 12,000 gallons of water every year.
  • Approximately 5 million tons of oil produced in the world each ear ends up in the ocean.
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pura Vida! Costa Rica!

I just returned from 8 days in Costa Rica. What a country! The people were incredibly friendly, fun and happy to have us bopping around. It was such a unique experience. We spoke as much Spanish as we could and tried our hardest to understand what was said back! We found ourselves eating at delicious local restaurants that were nothing but cement slabs covered by tin!

We started out with a 3 hour car ride (driven by our favorite private driver Luis Chinchilla!) up and down some windy mountain roads. The drive was action-packed with car sickness and spectacular views. They didn't seem all that spectacular while I was getting sick out the window, but now that I look back, the drive was quite beautiful. Our first stop was at a small family-run hotel/cabin type place called "Arenal Green" in a town called La Fortuna de San Carlos @ the base of the Arenal Volcano-the cabins were amazing, cute, clean and personal. We really felt it was an intimate and special place. The owner dropped us off at the hot springs (EcoThermales) for some relaxation followed by a big meal at the hot springs restaurant. The springs were heated naturally by the volcano so it was like sitting in a hot tub minus the gross chemicals!

For the next 2 days we spent our time in the Arenal National Park at the Observatory Lodge, hiking, relaxing and gazing at the active volcano. You could actually SEE lava at night when the clouds were cooperating! We had our last meal at a place called "El Novillo" a local Costa Rican steakhouse. We had steaks the size of our heads for next to nothing. What a wonderful place.

Back in the car with Luis after 3 days at the volcano! Only 5 hours to the beach... I took the front seat and chatted w/ Luis the whole way. My poor boyfriend slept in the backseat and tried to avoid getting sick for 5 hours. I had a BLAST looking at the sites and enjoying the views. Mike did not have such a blast but he lived. We arrived at around 2pm at Manuel Antonio, a touristy area on the Pacific Coast.

We stayed in Manuel Antonio for 5 days. We enjoyed ziplining, hiking, looking at monkeys and eating at great places. Aside from Mike getting a stomach bug and our car sickness, we had no problems. We stayed at a great little place called the Cabinas Espadilla about 500 yards from the beach! The food was great, the atmosphere was laid back and the colors were breathtaking!

This trip was too short. I can't wait to return to Costa Rica to explore more! Definitely visit this place!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Merwyn Succat, Crack and Soda Bread

St. Patrick was not Irish. He was said to have been born in either England or Scotland and his real name was Maewyn Succat.

The soda in soda bread is baking soda (buzz kill.)

Craic (pronounced CRACK) ... is a common word used in Ireland.. sort of means "fun" or "good times" (loose translation) ...can't really explain it... you just have to hear it in context and eventually understand what it means and how to use it in a sentence. Just know that when someone asks you if there's "any crack" or "what's the crack" they're not asking for drugs.
Barack Obama's great great grandfather was from Co. Offaly in Ireland.

The very first St. Patrick's Day parade in America was hosted by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston in 1737.

There are more redheads in Scotland than Ireland. Approximately 10 percent of Irish people have red hair.

If you donate 1 pint of blood to the Irish Blood Bank in Dublin, you get 1 pint of beer (Guinness is recommended as it contains a lot of iron)

The original Guinness Brewery in Dublin has a 9,000 year lease on it's property, at a perpetual rate of 45 Irish pounds per year!
One of the most popular radio shows in rural Ireland is still the weekly broadcast of local obituaries.
The tallest identical twins ever born were the Knipe Brothers from Co. Derry who were 7ft 2in. They were born in 1761.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'd like to know more about monkeys...

... if you are constantly telling yourself that, I've compiled a list of random monkey facts you may or may not know.....

  • Monkeys are most easily distinguished from apes by their tails. Apes have no tails.
  • Monkeys express affection and make peace with others by grooming each other
  • Most monkeys eat both animals and plants. Some also eat dirt.
  • Monkeys peel their bananas and do not eat the skins.
  • Howler monkeys are the loudest monkeys. Their howls can be heard for about two miles in the forest and almost three miles in an open area.
  • Monkeys don't catch colds
  • Orangutans aren't monkeys but they are photogenic so I included their photos.
  • Monkeys are often offended if stared at.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th.... lets compare the good and bad!

Since there can only be a max of 3 Friday the 13th's occurring in 1 year and 2009 is one of those years, and today IS one of those 3 days, I decided I'd post about Friday the 13th...

Apparently there is a name for people who fear Friday the 13th ... Paraskevidekatriaphobia. As you can see, the word is as ridiculous as the phobia itself! (say it 5 times fast... i dare you) - Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13..... why not just Thirteenaphobia or "I'm a wuss"

Here are some interesting things I have learned about Friday the 13th... enjoy!

  • "fear of the #13 costs American a billion dollars per year in absenteeism, train and plane cancellations, and reduced commerce on the 13th of the month."-Smithsonian Magazine...
  • The Olsen twins are born on Friday, June 13, 1986. (some may think this is bad... others, good I guess...
  • Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or
    professional 14th guest.
  • Roger Clemens recorded his 4,000th strikeout and earned his 300th win on Friday, June 13, 2003.
  • Many buildings don't have a 13th floor. Many hospitals don't have a room 13
  • Butch Cassidy, notorious American train and bank robber, was born
    on Friday, April 13, 1866.
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus was born on a Friday the 13th.... now THAT is a positive.
  • In 1939, a small town in Indiana forced all black cats to wear bells on Friday, 10/13...nothing bad happened so the people in the town thought the bells prevented the cats from doing any harm- this practice continued for 3 years.
  • On any Friday the 13th, if a redhead walks under a ladder, picks up a black cat and sprinkles salt on it, he or she will be hanged at exactly 13:13 (1:13 on a 12h clock)
(I made the last one up)

I'm sure there are tons more interesting good and bad things that have happened to occur on Friday the 13th's .... The next Friday the 13th will be in November....So for all you Paraskevidekatriaphobics out there, you have exactly 8 months to relax...

PS, For those of you superstitious people out there with a fear of black cats, the cat in the photo is my cat Mack. He is not scary and he will not cast any weird spells on you. He's incapable. He's just a cat.

The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.

I guess we now know that that King of Hearts is the only clean shaven king in the whole bunch. I'm going to go ahead and say the King of Diamonds has the best weapon and the King of Clubs has the best outfit....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finally made it onto a team !

Just joined the Etsy team "Etsy Addicts Anonymous"

I think my being on Etsy a little over a month means I'm ready to be on a team. I'm pretty addicted to etsy, the culture, the crafters, the chatters and the artists! What a cool thing to be a part of....

As soon as I get 25 followers I'm going to have a giveaway! So... spread the word folks!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Positive news story?? No way!

Click here to read a neat story about a women-only co-op business in India

I love stories like that... The news is always focusing on the negatives so it's nice to see a refreshing story here and there....

Here are some fun India facts:
  • Chess was invented in India
  • The number system was invented in India
  • India has the most post offices in the world
  • Until 1896, India was the only source for diamonds in the world
  • Roughly 50 percent of India's residents are under 25 years old
  • India produces more movies than any country in the world
  • The longest station name on the Indian Railways is Venkatanarasimharajuvariapeta

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cat comes to his senses...

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Seaglass!

It always feels like such a victory to discover new sea glass while on a walk. This Saturday I took Lucy for a walk with my boyfriend. We ended the walk at a secluded beach - I wasn't really looking for sea glass but as soon as my eyes hit the sand I found a big white beautiful soft piece! I was hooked so I wandered around and sure enough, I found 2 more large white pieces and 3 small green pieces.

People often ask where to find sea glass, when to look, what time of year to look, etc. Well, I don't really have an answer for that. The logical answer would be to look at low tide after a storm on a beach that would have ships off the coast. But the truth is, I don't think there is any rhyme or reason to sea glass hunting. If you go out looking, you may come back with stuffed pockets but you may come back with nothing...

.... Unless you take a trip to Glass Beach on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. I visited this beach last January... saw it on a map and hoped it was actually a beach made of glass. Behind an industrial park, nestled between two volcanic rock ledges, was glass beach. The sand was made of sea glass! My heaven! I snapped this shot of the ground:
As you can see, the ground is covered! I regret only taking a small bag now that I'm back and realizing that sea glass doesn't just appear like this! I found every size, shape and color... the blues and reds were hidden but could be found- browns and whites were most common and beautifully shaped and softened.

If you ever find yourself in Kauai wondering what "Glass Beach" is .... it's worth the trip!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The thing about coasters...

...Is that they are so essential but can be so difficult to buy. I was just not satisfied with buying overpriced coasters that fit my needs, or underpriced coasters that were terribly made and fairly unattractive. I know I know, they just go under your drink. But when they're not in use they're right out there on the coffee table for everyone to see.... so I guess they're pretty important.

Coasters are really not blogworthy... or are they? Well apparently I think they are.

Trendy cool coasters are pricey and cheap ugly ones are, well, cheap and ugly. A set of linen coasters on Crate and Barrel is about 35 bucks. You could buy a pair of linen pants and cut them up into squares for less than that.

After perusing etsy today, I found a great deal. Meghan Designs has an affordable, cool, handmade option for coasters! Why not give your drinks some artwork to sit on? Handmade coasters are so great.... why buy a set of coasters from a chain store when you can save some cash and buy from an artist? has given me hope for the future of awesome coasters. Hers are just 10 bucks, the same price as a set of poorly made manufactured coasters (multiple examples on multiple websites I will not name...)

Check out the shop... she has some great handmade items if you're not on the lookout for a deal on coasters today...

The world's most remote civilization: Tristan da Cunha

Tristan Da Cunha is a small island chain in the South Atlantic Ocean about 2800 miles west of South Africa...

The first permanent settler on the island was actually from Salem, Massachusetts! No outsiders are allowed to buy land or settle on Tristan... pretty insane how isolated this place is. The islanders own their land and livestock for eating and it's regulated so the pasture land is conserved and the more well off families don't accumulate too much wealth....
I think its very fascinating to learn how a place like this survives. The population of the island is 271... YIKES! It is thought that the current population has descended from 15 original settlers. These people share only 7 last names....

Kids leave school @ 15... I wouldn't stay in school either.. it's not like they have anywhere to go afterwards.... Serious crime on the island is unknown. Unemployment is virtually non-existent.

Places like these fascinate me. I want to visit this place someday but it might be hard considering there is no airport and you have to somehow arrange a visit by boat from Capetown... good luck! Anyone want to send me?

If Barbie were a real live woman...

Interesting story on the BBC website ... check out this diagram of a woman they scale to have the same proportions as Barbie...

Pretty sick, right?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sharing the invention of a dear friend

"so you take vanilla and chocolate swirl, then you add heath bar crumpled up, a lil bit of crumpled up nestle crunch bar, and then you mix it like a flury (or blizzard or whatever you wanna call it)

then add a touch of caramel and hot fudge on the top

top with heath bar

and youve got 1500 calories

worth every lick"

A good friend of mine, Julie Maureen Kane, gave me this secret recipe. She is a former ice cream scooper from Syracuse NY so you can imagine how many days she must have had when the weather was not quite "lets go for an ice cream cone kids!" So on one rainy miserable day, Julie invented this.

I encourage you all to try it.

Little spotlight on another blog! has featured one of my sea glass necklaces! Please visit her blog and check it out! Leave a comment if you like !

This Eagle Has Landed

This eagle managed to crash into a truck's windshield.... I don't know how he didn't see the truck coming but he's alive and so are the people who were in the truck. This big bird has a 7 foot wingspan and weighs 15 lbs!
This disproves the saying "eagle eye vision" for sure. I'd definitely be able to spot a mack truck if I were flying around. Idiot bird. Apparently the only injury it suffered was a swollen head.... not a concussion... not a bruise... a swollen head? OK.
Full story here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The platypus is a weird animal...

The first scientists to examine it thought they were being FOOLED! HA!

The platypus has a duck bill, webbed feet, beaver tail, characteristics of an otter (body shape and type of fur...)

Males are venomous. Females sweat milk when pregnant!

This animal is so ridiculously cool to me. Just LOOK at it!

I love this animal. I hope I can one day see one... and possibly hold one (only a girl since a boy might poison me.)

16 Days 'til Costa Rica!

Vacation in Costa Rica can't come soon enough....
I don't mind the snow. In fact, I craved it while living in Florida for college. I hated the same old boring forecast HOT AND SUNNY every day. Sounds crazy but it was really monotonous after a while. I actually LIKE snow but when February ends I'm sick of being pale, trudging through the dirty snow, avoiding the yellow snow and always having to apply mega moisturizing lotion to my stupid pasty chicken legs so they don't crack and fall off.
So right around now, I'm craving the sunlight- who doesn't love a good tan, you know? I am excited to hit up Central America con mi novio for a little adventure, sol, and fiesta!
The photo of Lucy is funny but has nothing to do with this post.

Black Bean and Corn Salad... my recipe

Hi everyone,

I made up a black bean and corn salad....
Heres the recipe:

1 can organic black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup cooked yellow corn (or 2 if you like corn!)
7 or 8 diced grape tomatoes
1/2 diced medium red onion
1 diced avocado*
1/4 cup chipped fresh cilantro (don't use dry cilantro) or more to taste
Lime juice from 2 limes
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar - this is also a "to taste" ingredient... if its too bitter, add a bit more honey or a little sugar!
salt and cracked pepper to taste.

*This salad keeps just fine in the fridge for a while but if you
aren't planning on eating right away, refrain from adding the
avocado until that day!


If you have a food processor, throw the black beans, cilantro, tomato, onions and liquids in a blender... mix in corn and avocado for a yummy dip!!!!!!

Hola Minneola!

I'm eating a Minneola.

Apparently there is a town called Minneola in Florida. It is also a town in Kansas.

What is a Minneola, you ask? Well first of all, it's a citrus fruit. It's a hybrid. It's a type of "Tangelo" -another hybrid fruit....
They are easier to peel than oranges but look very similar.... They are a cross between a GRAPEFRUIT and a TANGERINE. They are DELICIOUS.
Some people know them by the name Honeybell.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This drum set is REALLY fun..

addicting. The "B" is my favorite.

There. I said it.

I can't stand Chelsea Lately. I think she's really mean. She makes fun of people for the way they look and she's very unforgiving! I just don't like the show. Unfortunately my roommate lives for her... OUCH.