July 31, 2015

My Favorite Summer Salad / / Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

When it's hot and humid outside, nobody feels like eating much - and I surely don't feel like cooking ANYTHING! This salad is my go to meal for days like these.

Over a decade ago an elderly gentleman from the neighborhood came to a party we were throwing, and as his contribution to our potluck, he brought a bowl of this salad that he had purchased from the deli at Byerly's. (A local grocery store...) Chuck was very popular that night as we all "ooohed" and "aaahed" over how delicious his salad tasted. The next day, he trotted back over again. This time he was bringing me a recipe card from Byerly's sharing what has, over the years, become a staple in this house!

July 30, 2015

A Fun & Easy Party / / Recipes

Set the mood for an awesome casual party by having cocktails and appetizers set up outside on the patio. Just a few little touches will help set the mood, so keep things simple and enjoy yourself!

July 28, 2015

A Nicer Rice / / Minnesota Wild Rice Recipes

In northern Minnesota, the Ojibwe tribe still harvests wild rice by hand, paddling canoes through rice beds and sweeping up the hard, brown kernels. The grains have a unique and delicious taste and aroma that's earthy and more hearty than white or brown rice.

July 24, 2015

Preserving Summer: Blue Ribbon Canning Cookbook Plum Cherry Jam Recipe

You may not be preparing to enter your canned goods into the State Fair competitions, but you just can't figure out what to do with the abundance of plums the tree in your backyard provided!

I love making jam. I should clarify and say that I love EATING jam. The flavor of fresh strawberries preserved at their peak on a cold January morning is pure bliss! I've really only made strawberry and raspberry freezer jam in the past, but this year I thought I'd branch out a bit. That's when I came across the Blue Ribbon Canning Cookbook.

Blue Ribbon Canning celebrates two American traditions--preserved food and state fairs--with more than 140 prize-winning recipes for jams, preserves, pickles, vegetables, fruit, and more, plus tips and methods for making delicious--and safe--blue ribbon recipes at home.

All I know is that with recipes like "blackberry chambord jam" and "sweet cherry jam" I'll be hitting my farmers market this weekend to get as much fruit as possible so that I can get busy!

July 23, 2015

Beat the Heat! Dog Days Pixie Styles

Whew! It's HOT outside! Makes me happy to have short hair on days like today! But how do you style your pixie when it's super hot out to keep it from going flat? You can style it BANGIN' with the bangs pulled back, style it SLEEK, style it MESSY,  or surrender and cover it up with a SCARF OR HAT!

July 21, 2015

Best New Books to Help You CLEAR YOUR CLUTTER

Every so often we all need a little push (a big shove) to stop collecting and start clearing out some of our things. For me, all I have to do is watch a few episodes of Hoarding: Buried Alive to get some action out of me.

Though doing anything is better than doing nothing, it's always best to come up with a plan of sorts before you jump in. Right now I'm cleaning out my office by moving everything to the basement before finally putting it in the garage. Seriously? Yep. Because I KNOW I'm going to have a garage sale. This stuff is worth money! Right?

Ugh. I'm not too proud to admit it when I'm in over my head. Thankfully there are some awesome new books out there to help me - and you - clear out some of our crap without stressing out about it!

July 20, 2015

Ten Really Bad Habits That Are Causing You to Gain Weight

Oye. We try to eat right. We try to stay active. We do our best every day, and STILL the scale goes up! Just a little bit. Year after year. What gives?

I found this list of habits that sneak up on you to sabotage your weight loss without you even knowing it - and I had to share - because I could totally relate to way too many of them!

July 17, 2015

Everyday Extraordinary Accessories from ModCloth

Today is the last of the "Everyday Extraordinary" posts that feature designer goods from ModCloth - and I saved the best for last! Accessories are my favorite for SO many reasons!

  1. Accessories make any outfit special. 
  2. They are almost always affordable.
  3. New accessories can make fashion staples look in season. 
  4. A scarf or piece of jewelry is NEVER too tight when you've put on a few pounds.
Check out these amazing accessories from some of the independent designers at ModCloth!

July 16, 2015

Shoes? YES PLEASE! : : Everyday Extraordinary Goods from ModCloth

There is nothing in the world that puts a spring in your step like a new pair of shoes. To me, the shoes make the outfit. They set the tone and bring attitude to the clothes. I often choose the shoes that I want to wear to an occasion first, and then pull together the outfit around my selection!

ModCloth is an AWESOME place to buy shoes. #1 - They have an awesome selection of unique brands that you really can't find anywhere else. #2 - If the shoes don't work out for you, you can return them within 30 days and get your money back. If you want a store credit, you can receive a ModCloth store credit for the amount of your return, get a FREE return shipping label—and a BONUS $5 credit you can use toward finding something else you'll love. I LOVE THAT!

And where else can you find pin-up girl shoes, wooden soled clogs, birkenstock sandals, and kitty cat flats in the same place?

July 14, 2015

Gorgeous Designer Dresses : : Everyday Extraordinary Goods from ModCloth

Whether you're looking for a flirty dress, something work appropriate, something a bit more quirky, or a special occasion dress, ModCloth has a huge variety of dresses from top designers. Best of all, you can DEFINITELY find your size because many styles are available in sizes from XS to 4X - and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing!

July 13, 2015

Brit-Stitch Bags : : Everyday Extraordinary Goods from ModCloth

I'm always on the look for unique and special items to add to my wardrobe - especially when I can get excellent quality items at affordable prices!

The new ModCloth campaign "Everyday Extraordinary" features over 1,000 items for fall by top designers, including Anna Sui, Nanette Lapore, Betsey Johnson and more. This week I plan to feature a few of my faves, and today I'm starting with Brit-Stitch Bags - Handmade satchels made of 100% leather that are made in the UK. ModCloth is the exclusive US retailer for these beautiful bags!

July 11, 2015

The Relentless Pursuit of Dreams : : Self-Care Saturday

Beth Nadler Art
This week I was once again reminded that dreams really can come true. My oldest son received his diploma in the mail from the U of M College of Science and Engineering this week, and although we attended his graduation ceremony, seeing the actual diploma really made it sink in. He'll leave for Santa Barbara in the fall to attend graduate school in pursuit of his Ph.D.

My youngest son received an offer to move to So Cal with his League of Legends team and compete professionally. Yes, he is being paid to play video games!

Both boys have been working incredibly hard on the pursuit of their dreams. Over the years I have learned SO MANY things from them, and now I am once again absolutely amazed at their brilliance. They have made me so incredibly proud and they have inspired me to continue to reach toward my goals, to continue to pursue my dreams, and to not allow myself to be distracted.

July 9, 2015

The Best Tips & Tricks to Uplift Your Eye Area

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that our eyes and the area around it are one of the most important parts of not just our face but overall look. Beautiful eyes can make anyone look young and attractive but, on the other hand, as soon as Eye Wrinkles and dark circles start appearing, it affects the overall look. Thus in order to maintain youthful appearance it is important to uplift the area around the eye by following a good diet, keeping yourself well hydrated and using some amazing tips and tricks that we bring for you. The following is a list of the top ways to uplift your eye area to look radiant and beautiful.

July 7, 2015

Ready for ANYTHING : : Sharp and Fresh!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Faultless/Bon Ami Company    for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Recently there was mention of an opportunity for a camera crew to come to our home - and my immediate response when I heard of it was NO! Absolutely not! I immediately thought of all the work that would have to be done to prepare not only the house, but I thought of how I'd look on camera. I know... it's shallow to worry about that sort of thing, but what would you do with just a few days notice? What would you wear if you knew a camera crew was just stopping by? Yup. Exactly.

July 6, 2015

Staying Active When It's HOT Outside :: And When to Play It Cool

Aaaahhh... The 4th of July weekend... Summer has TRULY arrived! And sadly, I didn't even want to go outside because of the hot, humid, and hazy weather here in Minneapolis. 84°F and about 50% humidity. Some may say that it was a perfect summer day, but not me!

The combination of heat, (anything over 80°F and this Minnesotan starts cooking!) humidity, and poor air-quality (a Canadian wildfire is sending lots of smoke this way) was enough to keep me indoors for the entire weekend. The thing is - I really WANTED to be out working in the yard, relaxing with the family, cooking out and enjoying the summer before the snow starts to fly again!

Thankfully, after some overnight storms today is a cooler day, but I wanted to see if there was anything that I could do to make myself more comfortable outside during the summertime! Here are a few ways that I found to help keep active even when it's HOT outside!

July 3, 2015

Stars and Stripes Sangria Recipe

If you're like me, you've starting thinking about celebrating the Fourth of July TODAY. We don't do a lot to celebrate, but something yummy on the grill, a nice salad, and an icy sangria sounds divine!

This Sangria has the perfect combination of sweet and dry - and I love that you can make it ahead. (as a matter of fact, you SHOULD make it at least 4 hours before serving)

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

July 2, 2015

July 4 Style

Here are a few of my favorite outfit sets from Polyvore that have put together for the 4th of July by some very talented fashionistas!

My top picks are all casual and full of American classics like Converse, Levi's and of course - red, white and blue!

July 1, 2015

DIY Modern Trellis from Wood Lath - Under $20!

I love making things with wood lath. It's about $15 a bundle for 50 pieces of 48" wood lath, and I bought mine for half that price on sale! I used it to trim out our camper trailer when I redecorated, I used it to frame pictures in my living room, and now I used it to build a trellis for my clematis!

While walking the dogs a few months ago I spotted the cutest trellis on a really cute house in our neighborhood. I snapped a pic with my phone and archived it in my brain for a "some day project". Yesterday I decided to dig out the pic and see what I could do! Keep reading to see the inspiration pic and my process.