Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Top 8 Spring Must-Haves

Speaking of spring, I was so inspired by our Spring Must-Have series a few weeks ago that I thought it would be fun to share a few of my personal picks this afternoon. There's something so magical about spring, isn't there? So much promise in the warm and sunny months to come! Here are eight spring-y items on my must-have list...

*Straw hat, $16.95
*Essie's Mint Candy Apple, $8.50
*Anchor ring for beach daydreams, $30
*A polo shirt ($19.99) and a pastel dress ($33.87)
*Easter candy so you can feel like a kid again -- I've been devouring Whoppers Robin Eggs like it's my job lately
*Maybelline's Baby Lips for a pop of color, $2.69
*Flowers to brighten up those rainy spring days, $38.66
What do you think, friends? Anything you'd add to my list? What do you love about this time of year? xoxo

[Top photo via We Heart It]

Wise Words From Readers: On your best qualities...

I'll be the first to say it: I can be hard on myself sometimes. Extremely hard. As they say, we're our own worst critic, and sometimes, all our self-confidence feels more depleted than a hot air balloon. Maybe that's part of the reason I wanted to chat about our best qualities this week to combat the evils of our inner critic. And of course, your works cut right to my heart...

People are comfortable around me. I love that.
What a wonderful quality to have -- the ability to have people just gravitate to you is such a powerful thing. Plus, something tells me it's also one of those true life skills that will always come in handy. And now, for next week's question...

What's your go-to karaoke song and why?

Visit So About What I Said on Facebook and Twitter to share your smarts -- and don't forget to use hashtag #WiseWordsFromReaders. See you there, friends! :)

[Photos via We Heart It]

U.S. citizenship test

Did you have to take the U.S. Constitution test in high school? I remember taking it my senior year, and, boy, it felt like such a big deal back then. I spent weeks studying, and when the big day arrived, I was prepared -- with three extra #2 pencils on my desk just in case.

I passed! Whew! But I've often wondered just how much Constitution knowledge I've actually retained over the years -- because, let's face it, high school was quite a long time ago. The Atlantic posted this citizenship quiz to test your smarts. Would you pass, friends? Go ahead and take the quiz and leave your score in the comments! xoxo

[Photo by bmason]

Monday, April 14, 2014

Family Photos: Spring has sprung...or has it?

Well, leave it to the trickster weather of the good old Heartland to, well, play a few tricks on us. It's cold and dark and...snowy! Yes, snow in April. Our patio looked like the beginnings of a winter wonderland this afternoon, and if you didn't know any better, you'd think it was the middle of December outside. But I swear the weather was on the up and up over the last few weeks. In fact, I've got the evidence to prove it...

The sun was just starting to come out, and puffy white clouds were rolling across the sky...
Janelle and I sat out on our patio over the weekend and enjoyed some leisurely reading time. It was fun "hanging out," as she called it...

Even Stella was basking in the glory...
And a photo of Harry, just because! So I'm hoping today is just a little blip in the radar on the road to sun and fun. How's the weather like in your neck of the woods? Has spring bloomed yet, friends? xoxo

Comments from your mom

You know how much I love you, Mrs. Bear, but this funny pie chart gave me a serious case of the chuckles this morning. I mean, really...we all know how you feel about your cats. xoxo

P.S. Family Photos are coming up this afternoon! :)

[Via TheFrisky]

Man Candy Monday.

Good morning, friends! Are you pumped for a new week? Well, speaking of being pumped, I'm pretty excited about today's guy. OK, so he's not really a "real" person, but that hasn't stopped me from falling completely, head-over-heels, stars-in-my-eyes in love with him over the last six years or so. He sure knows how to woo a woman. He's got a dark past, full of secrets, demons and inner pain. And yet, despite everything, we still find ourselves rooting for him...

DON DRAPER!!!!!!!!!!

"If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation."

P.S. More Don Draper love.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Have a breezy weekend

Happy Friday, friends! Aren't you glad it's the weekend? Any special plans? I may or may not (read: probably may...) be super pumped about the final season of AMC's Mad Men, which starts on Sunday! Plus, it's supposed to be sunny and warm -- the perfect excuse to sit outside and sip a tall glass of root beer, don't you think? Make sure to soak up the sun if you can, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

What gorgeous engagement rings!

Are you a member of the No Kids Club?

Spring cleaning inspiration.

What a touching story of friendship.

A 100-year-old message in a bottle was plucked from the Baltic Sea!

7 things to know about the final season of Mad Men.

So excited to see Stephen Colbert as the new host of The Late Show.

Were there any TV show deaths that traumatized you?

This 15-year-old embarked on a high school social experiment -- and it worked!

Are these songs stuck in your head yet? You're welcome... :)

Everything in this Etsy shop makes me want to have a party.

Two men recreated Miranda Kerr's recent UK GQ shoot using a man as the subject.

15 amazing bloggers' homes.

SO EXCITED: The first preview for Girl Meets World.

If Web sites went to your high school.

How awesome is this 3D newspaper ad?

On static happiness.

Rooftop pools always get me in the mood for summer!

Loving all these reasons to send a handwritten note.

A romantic modern wine country wedding in Sonoma.

And as always, feel free to connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube! See you there, friends! xoxo

[Photo via bippity boppity boo]

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Do you have any siblings?

Happy National Siblings Day, friends -- that most glorious of days when we all take a moment or two to pause and really appreciate our siblings. Founded by Claudia Evart following the tragic death of her brother and sister, the day has even been recognized by 40 governors.

"Like many, I have these pictures of my brother and sister, who are both gone, but remain with me daily, not just in these pictures, but in my daily thoughts and in my heart. I lost both of them in tragic accidents, making me understand the everlasting bond we have with our siblings," says Evart.
So, Janelle, it's no secret that we've been through a lot together, but I wouldn't want to share this roller coaster journey with anyone but you. I'm proud to be your big sister and even prouder to call you my little sister. Here's to many more great years together!!

Do you have siblings, friends? Are you the oldest, youngest or somewhere in the middle? Any sibling lessons you'd like to share? Make sure to give your siblings an extra hug today -- they deserve it! xoxo

My Diaries (The Remix): Reading #36

Ms. Bear's Kitchen: Throwback taco Thursday

It's Throwback Taco Thursday in Ms. Bear's Kitchen!!

We were thinking about what to make for the column this week. I have been a little obsessed lately with Chipotle (which seriously has to stop, especially the chips and salsa!), so we started thinking about Mexican food. Then I started thinking about the popularity of Throwback Thursday on Facebook, and we decided to tie the two together. You see, my mother absolutely loved tacos. Now my mom, in her old age, was quite a little thing, but boy, could she put away the tacos! Not one or two, but seriously at least three or four! It was such a joy to watch her enjoying them as we ate and talked. So tonight, we remembered my mother as we enjoyed some Mexican food.

Here is what you need for tonight's dinner....it is quick and easy with leftovers to spare...

*1 pound of ground beef, cooked
*1 can grilling beans, Texas ranchero flavor
*1 can refried beans
*1 box taco shells and seasoning
*Whole wheat tortillas
*Shredded cheese
*Taco sauce
*Chopped tomatoes and chopped onions
*1 package Spanish rice, microwaveable if you want to save time

Cook the meat and heat up the canned goods.

Assemble the tacos any way you like, in any combination! Top with cheese, onions and tomatoes. Add rice for the side dish, and add some fruit on the side. Top it off with brownies and enjoy! Refrigerate the rest for tomorrow's lunch and/or dinner, and you are all set!

Oh, I forgot the most important part....crank up the Pandora Salsa Loco station to really get in the mood, and don't forget to talk about fun family traditions and stories when you are cooking. Buen provecho!
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