Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hearts are Floating For...Sadie

The holidays were a tough time this year. The week before Christmas my mom suffered a heart attack. Two days later, we lost our beloved kitty Bella. Then my mom passed away on New Year's Day. My blog is supposed to be about happy things but this is the sad story of how we welcomed Sadie into our home. She was my mom's cat. Her original name was Mercedes - it was the name she was given in the shelter when my mom adopted her four years ago. Bill and I didn't love the name but didn't want to completely change it either. Our friend, Jean, had the wonderful idea to shorten it to Sadie and it is absolutely 'purrfect'! Also, she's already acquired the nickname 'Moo Cow' - as you can see she's a little round and has the coloring. :)

She's been with us a little over a month now and I have to admit she is a handful! We've been lucky with well behaved cats but this one jumps on the counters, sprawls out on the tables, and sheds like crazy! I've had to kitten-proof a lot of the house. (Sorry pretty vase and other breakables that have been put into hiding!) But despite her questionable manners, she is an absolute love and I'm so happy to have a piece of my mom to cherish. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hearts Are Floating For...Rockwell Republic

One of our go-to spots in Grand Rapids is Rockwell Republic. We live downtown and tend to get lazy about going anyplace that requires us getting in the car. This is one of the restaurants in our walking orbit that we frequent. The interior has exposed brick walls, lots of dark wood, and dim lighting which makes it cozy. It's actually split into two areas - Rockwell being more of the bar side and Rockwell more of the restaurant side, although the menu is the same for both. We tend to veer towards Rockwell which is a little bit quieter yet still full of energy. They have wonderful craft cocktails and the food is a nice variety, anything from shareable plates to sushi, sandwiches to entrees.

On the order for us:

Coconut Lime Mojito for me, a Classic Mojito for Bill
Split a Spinach & Apple Salad
Risotto with Lobster Tail for me, Sea Scallops for Bill
Ended with a round of Coffee & Bailey's

It took a lot of willpower to say no, but if you want dessert, get the Cookie Skillet. A huge warm chocolate chip cookie with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce. So simple and so indulgent.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hearts Are Floating For...Phyto Hair Products

Lately, my hair has been such a dry, frizzy mess. A few weeks ago I came across some photos taken around 2009. The first thing I noticed was how healthy my hair looked. At the time, I was going to a salon that used Phyto hair products. So I purchased a few old favorites. Let's see if this works!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hearts Are Floating For...Maple-Dijon Panko Crusted Salmon

It's been quite awhile since I've made dinner. One of the things I love about Sundays is a home-cooked meal. I always use the freshest ingredients that I can find and buy local when possible. Knowing that I eat out often during the workweek, it makes me feel good that I can occasionally prepare a healthy dinner. I almost always rely on Cooksmarts for my recipes and tonight was no exception. 

Maple-Dijon Panko Crusted Salmon with a Clementine, Apple, and Pecan Salad

This is one of the free Cooksmarts recipes!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hearts Are Floating For...Cook Smarts

It was sort of an accident that I discovered Cook Smarts. Bill was away on a golf trip back in October and I had extra time on my hands. I was thinking about meal planning and was positive that there must be an app out there that helps with this matter. My goal was to find something that would give me ideas for dinner that are fairly easy, healthy, and use fresh ingredients. So over to Google and a quick search of "meal planning app" gave me this article from lifehacker. Cook Smarts was the first on the list and I never got any further. At first I was a little's not actually an "app" but a website. That explains why I couldn't find it on the App Store.

Anyway....I LOVE it! Every Thursday evening, I receive 4 new recipes for the following week. 

They are easy (check!)...links are even included to instructional videos on such things like 'how to cut a butternut squash'. 

They are healthy (check!)...nutritional info for each meal is included and there is even an option for each recipe to be made as gluten-free, paleo or vegetarian.

And they use fresh ingredients (jackpot!)...I'm telling you I will never buy bottled salad dressing again now that I know how easy it is to make my own.

Oh and huge bonus...meals are seasonal! This makes me very happy!! Lots of pumpkin and squash influence in the fall, comfort food in the winter, and lighter fare like salads and grilled items as the weather gets warmer.

I could go on and on about the huge archive of meals, the grocery list feature, the prep you can do ahead to save time.....oh, and the clean website layout, social media groups....I'll stop now. It's probably best to just go explore yourself. 

Here are a few dinners I've made recently.

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Pureed Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Oven-Baked Salmon with Lentil, Mushroom, Spinach Cream Sauce

Cumin & Coriander Chicken Tacos with Sliced Radishes and Guacamole

Cheddary Shells with Chicken and Broccoli 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hearts Are Floating For...Holiday Videos by Burberry and Kate Spade

This year I've noticed a trend of short festive videos by some major fashion brands. It's the perfect platform for showing off all those sparkly holiday gifts. Looking at static images is one thing but putting them in motion suddenly makes everything more appealing. 

Two of my favorite designers - Burberry and Kate Spade - created videos this year. They couldn't be any different from each other but both capture the magic of the holiday season.


Starring Romeo Beckham, this film is dazzling and dream-like. Who wouldn't want to dance around in a gorgeous dress with a Burberry cashmere scarf wrapped elegantly around your neck. It's all beautiful people and beautiful clothing.


Kate Spade's video stars Anna Kendrick. It's cute and quirky and follows her and her adorable dog as they pass the time on their front door stoop after getting locked out. Luckily, Anna was returning home from a shopping spree at Kate Spade and had lots to entertain herself while waiting for help including a bottle of champagne.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hearts Are Floating For...Sylvia

Welcome to your fur-ever home Sylvia!

This past weekend, we welcomed a new addition to our family. It was a little emotional. I still wasn't quite ready after our loss of Daisy this Labor Day. But Sylvia needed a home and we had a loving home to give. And you see, she was also already a member of our extended family. She belonged to Bill's grandmother who unfortunately was no longer able to care for her. So we've opened our home and our hearts to this little bundle of fur. It's been a very long time since we've lived with a young and super energetic kitty...she never sits still!

Bella has been so unbothered by this whole thing. Occasionally she'll be like 'Oh, there's another cat in the house. Okay.' And then curl up on the couch and sleep.