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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Birthday Horseback Riding

Another year, another milestone.  I turned 35 this year.  My friends gathered to help celebrate at Brighton Riding Farm.  It was a perfect evening, and so much fun.  The trail ride ended with a bonfire, complete with beer, hot dogs, and smores.  Does it get any better than this?

Thanks to EVERYONE for making my birthday ride so awesome!

Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Banana: The helpful fruit

7 Ways to Use an Over-Ripe Banana

1. Help Your Garden Grow: Bananas are naturally high in potassium and encourages plant growth. Use banana peel or puree entire banana and bury with soil.

2. Shoe Polish: Use the peel to make your kicks nice and shiny.
3. Stop the Itch: Rub the inside of a banana peel on a bug bite helps itch relief.
4. Pain Reliever: The oil in a banana peel will help relieve the pain from burns and scratches.
5. Wart Removal: Tape a piece of banana peel on a wart, continue until it’s gone.
6. Make Houseplants Gleam: Just like peels can shine shoes, they can also be used to make the leaves of plants shine.
7. Removing Splinters: Similar to wart removal, tape a piece of the peel over the splinter. The enzymes will help dislodge the splinter and heal the wound.

If you get bitten by a mosquito or stumble into a bit of poison ivy/oak/sumac/whatever, rubbing a banana peel on the affected area can moisturize and neutralize some of the itching. Note that it will just alleviate some of the itching—it won't solve the root problem, like the oils that poison plants leave on your skin. It'll do great as a first step, but if you really want to knock out that rash, you should head to the store and grab some poison ivy soap (and save your banana peels for shoe shining and splinter removal instead).

Remove Splinters Using a Banana Peel

Bananas are a good source of potassium, but turns out the peels can do more than just store the fruit. Apartment Therapy outlines seven ways to put used peels to work, including removal of those inconvenient splinters.
According to the post, taping a piece of the peel over the splinter will help to remove it. How? Apparently "the enzymes will help dislodge the splinter and heal the wound."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome Home, Love Marquette

The trip back to Marquette is always filled with excitement and hesitation.  Will I get to do everything I want to do?  Will I get bored?  Will it be warm enough? (Turns out it's been too HOT!)  This was the first time in a long time that I spent an entire week up north, and I tried to really take advantage of it.  Here are pictures of some of our fun:

Jude and Gray LOVED playing in Lake Superior!

It was time to go get my kayak 
out of my mom's garage, and a rental kayak for Michelle

Lake Superior was beautiful!

So worth it.  Where else can you get this kind of view?

White Sangria and breadsticks. 

MMMMMM.  A Marquette must-stop

Stuccos - big beers (Shoops)

Running into old friends

Fireworks even though it was raining!

Magic Mike pool party

Calumet Shenanigans, cliff diving, whitefish, and best friends

Plenty of time spent at Blackrocks Brewery

Serene Point, Presque Isle.  This is the spot I've talked about.  Time stands still.  Nerves chill out.  Motivation increases.  It reminds me of my journey, and to stay on my path.

Loved this sign at a Lake Superior rest stop - beach included.  Of course I need a foot wash station!

Good bye, Marquette.  Hello Mackinac Bridge

What is missing from pictures:  Pier One shopping.  Pasta shop. Drinking with a priest.  No confession.  Karaoke.  International Food Fest.  Blueberry beer.  Thank you America.  Mom time.  Seabrook's reunion.  Visit the horsey.  Tuna casserole.  All-around relaxing fun, nature, and back to Serene.

Peace.  Love.  Serene

Birthday WEEK

Don't you have a birthday week?  

While in the past this was carefully provided by someone who will be left unnamed, I decided that even though I do not currently have a significant other, I still deserved a birthday WEEK.

The previous week I signed up for every store and restaurant that I knew had birthday specials. I was also graciously provided many coupons from companies that I have been loyal to.

Monday - Took my coupons to the mall and bought myself a birthday outfit, complete with some new Victoria's Secret treats.  Then I met up with my roommate, Wendy, for dinner at Chili's, with free Chili Queso and Chips, and a free molten lava cake for dessert.  Went home happy and exhausted and watched Olympics gymnastics.

Tuesday - After work, a heavenly massage and adjustment at Optimal Wellness with Dr. Michaella and massage therapist, Naomi.  And oh it gets even better.  After a lengthy hot shower, I put on a cute little sundress and met Samantha at Inn Season vegetarian restaurant for this amazing ginger cashew stir fry with peanut sauce.  Thanks for dinner, Sam!  We then went over to Salon Nails in Royal Oak for more massaging with our mani / pedi, and a fluorescent purple on my nails and toes.  Perfect birthday color!  As Sam says, "Perfect birthday week color".  The night ends with a lazy night of watching more Olympics gymnastics.  GO USA!

Wednesday - Lowe's and Dinner with Sea at Culvers

Thursday - Donna and Joe took me out to dinner at Moose Preserve.  Mmmm pot roast.

How could this day be better?  After waking up with no alarm, and a cat cuddling next to me, I lazily stayed in bed for about 2 hours reading magazines and playing a game.  When I finally got my ass out of bed and took a shower, I picked up Katy and had a leisurely lunch at Barrio Tacos and Tequila in Birmingham, MI.  I will say Im a bit of a guacamole critic, and theirs is AMAZING!  They had several varieties, but we went with the classic.   We were also told that we couldn't leave without trying a cocktail, so we split a prickly pear margarita, and a margarita americano with fresh orange juice.  They were delish!  We split a taco tray of 7 tacos.  They say they are small tacos.  But they are STUFFED with good stuff.  We couldn't finish them between the two of us.  All 7 were amazing though.

After watching some rhythmic gymnastics, I went home and chilled out on my couch doing NOTHING (how awesome does that sound?) for a couple of hours before getting ready for the evening.

I was sitting on the couch all dressed and ready to go waiting for a very tardy Seabrook & Katy.  Katy finally shows up and says she has a surprise.  I look out my front door and see a ROLLS ROYCE LIMO!  We picked up another friend, and pulled up to my friend Samantha's door.  We kidnapped her while Sea took her son & his friend to Chuck-e Cheese.  After dropping all of them off at home, we grabbed some good pizza, and headed to a Vegas-style club in Novi.  We pulled up in the limo like rockstars.  My friend Michelle showed up there to hang with us for a bit. We danced like crazy, and I infiltrated a VIP area, although I think it was only because it was my birthday.  We made it back to The Rock in Royal Oak for last call.  Saw a few more friends, and called it a night.

It definitely made it into the top 5 birthdays!  THANKS SEABROOK!

Saturday - Ok, I'll admit it ... I lost Saturday because of Friday.  It was worth it.  But I did wake up to videos from my baby sister, Sonya.  She was at a comedy show and told them it was my birthday, so I got a few random birthday wishes :)

Sunday - The week ended with a trip to the Birmingham farmers market (because I lost Saturday).  Tomatoes, cucs, a petting zoo, and fresh roasted corn.  Yum.  Katy and I then went and spent the afternoon lounging in Granny's pool.  Could it get any better than this?  (Sorry Katy, for not having the energy for gymnastics or late-night dancing!)

It was one hell of a week.  I hope this inspires everyone to create a BIRTHDAY WEEK!

Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pool Party

My annual pool party was in June.  It was a perfect hot day, and perfectly warm but refreshing water.  Lots of kids.  Lots of foods.  Lots of giggles.  Sunning, chalk nail polish, cocktail Granny, flips, and raft surfing.  I think the pictures sum it up:

Peace.  Love.  Serene.