Monday, April 21, 2014

Jumpsuit Love

I've been madly in love with jumpsuits this season! Unlike more classic warm-weather looks, I know jumpsuits are a trend that comes and goes. But, because they are so cute and comfy I will take advantage of the trend for as long as I can!

My daughter (resident AquaSeventy6 fashion icon) got a fab new jumper in her Easter basket this Sunday, and she rocked it that same afternoon.

She paired it with a white racerback tank and her white Saltwater Sandals.  So. Freaking. Cute!

Jumpsuit: Old Navy   Shoes: Amazon Tank: JCPenney

I love this look so much I designed a grownup version!

Summertime

Have you rocked the jumpsuit this season?  Tell me in the comments!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yummy Quinoa Meatballs

A post like today's is like last night's Blood Moon---RARE!  (The kids and I did get up at 3 am to see the eclipse...it was pretty awesome!)

If you know me, you know I really don't cook. At least not often, and certainly not as well as my husband. Early on in our marriage Hubs realized I had exactly 3 menu items in my repertoire and took over the majority of the cooking. He has a great affinity for chopping and sauteing, braising and reducing...I have a great affinity for eating and drinking, relaxing and enjoying.  

I am proud to say that I have added several new dishes over the years, but alas, this kitchen ain't big enough for two chefs, so unless Hubs is working late or I get a crazy inspiration, I don't cook dinner very often.

Yesterday morning, however, I was inspired.

I introduced my family to quinoa a few months ago and my daughter LOVED it (my son, the pickiest of all eaters ever, not-so-much.)  I wanted use quinoa in a new way, and came across a few recipes for quinoa meatballs, so I decided to give it a try, giving it my own touch.

Here's what I came up with:


My family doesn't follow any specific diet plan.  I just try to find the healthiest options of what we eat which fit into our lifestyle.  If we can make something from scratch, hooray!  If it comes from a jar, hoorah! And, if it's made at a restaurant by someone else who will do all the dishes afterward, yippee!  It all works for us.

Today we may make braised lamb and baby spinach and tomorrow we may pick up a pizza from the corner pizzeria.  We are equal opportunity eaters.

Because of this, you will want to tweak this recipe in order to suit your own specific dietary restrictions.

Yummy Quinoa Meatballs:
Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
3/4 - 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot sauce)
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Mix all of the ingredients together in large bowl and form into balls.  I got about 24 smaller meatballs from my mix (about 1.5" - 2" each).


Place them evenly on a baking sheet or casserole dish.  I sprayed mine lightly with cooking spray.  Put them in the oven at 450 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.  I turned my meatballs over at about 10 minutes.


I won't lie...these were THE BOMB!  I had a couple for lunch, and then reheated the rest to eat over linguine marinara for dinner.  My daughter loved them, as well.  Woot!  One more dish for my collection! I'm about 1/16 way to my own cookbook!  ;)

Let me know if you try this recipe and how it comes out for you!  xoxo



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Monday, April 7, 2014

Ready for Spring!

Last week was Spring Picture Day at my daughter's school.  I'm totally digging the outfit she picked out and I wanted to share!


The maxi dress is from Target (this season), the denim jacket is from Gap Kids (thrifted) (here is a similar one), the bracelet is from Black Market Minerals and the sandals are from Rack Room Shoes (last summer).

Here is how I would recreate this look for me:

Ready for Spring


Are you ready for Spring?



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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Scrappy Patchwork Throw Pillow

I usually work Saturdays and/or Sundays.  As the manager of an event venue, I have to decorate, plan and oversee each party.  So, if I have prior commitment, the date is blocked off.  Making my own schedule is a perk, but one that I don't exploit.  It's very rare for me to have a whole weekend off, and very VERY rare to have two weekends off in a row. It just so happens that I am in the middle of one of those very rare occasions.

Because of this, I had a little time to organize my fabrics.  I found a pile of scraps left over from my recent orders, including these Rag Ribbon Table Skirts I made for Simply Vintage Candles' gorgeous booth at the Atlanta Gift Mart.


I decided to come up with a few fun projects to use up my pile of scraps...


Here is my first creation:


This Scrappy Patchwork Pillow has two different sides:



I love how these colors can brighten up any room!

If you like the look of this Scrappy Patchwork Throw Pillow, you can order your very own custom patchwork throw pillow/pillow cover.  Email me for more info!

Happy weekend, lovies!




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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Great and Beautiful Loss

On March 27, 2014 at 11:34 a.m. I witnessed my husband's grandmother take her last breath.

Mima, as she would be known to family and friends alike, had been declining in health for the last year or two. At 93 years of age, she took pride in being the family's matriarch. A mother of 3 daughters and 1 son, she helped raise her 8 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. She lived long enough to meet her 16th great-grandchild, born just 6 weeks ago.

I met Mima shortly after I started dating my husband, and for the last 22 years, I grew to love her as much as I had my own grandparents.
Me and Mima in 2006
I will always remember Mima's love for The Family Fued and Wheel of Fortune (which she called "la ruedita") and the gummy Spongebob "Crabby Patties" you could find at Halloween.  I will never forget how she loved to snuggle with my dogs, how she would all but run around the house in her walker, how she preferred hard bread to soft, used the same tupperware drinking cup everyday, how she talked in her sleep, and sat on two stacked throw pillows on the couch to watch her shows.

Hubby and Mima in 2005
On March 27, shortly after posting my last blog, hubby texted me that Mima had only minutes left. Hospice had been at her home for a couple of days, and she had shown little response in the last 24 hours.  I rushed out, praying I would arrive in time. When I arrived, Mima was lying in bed surrounded by her daughters, grandsons and granddaughter.  I sat next to her bed on the floor, and just minutes later we watched her take her last breath.  Hubby's cousin, a firefighter/EMT, immediately checked her pulse and it was gone.

She passed peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones.

My daughter and Mima in 2005
On Saturday afternoon, we all gathered together for her funeral.  She looked beautiful--and young.  Our children, Mima's great-grandchildren, wept, kissed her, and rubbed her hands.  They told her how much they loved her and were going to miss her. They also laughed together, as kids do, and ate cookies in the lounge area. These beautiful beings, who would not be here if it weren't for Mima, are a reminder of her importance to this family.

The kids with Mima and Pipo in 2006
The funeral home was filled with dozens of beautiful arrangements from family and friends. The priest gave a lovely service and sang a beautiful hymn which brought many to tears.  On Sunday, we had a small graveside service and paid our final respects. The grandsons acted as pallbearers. The great-grandchildren sat in the chairs under the tent and each of us tossed a flower into her grave. We stayed together until the casket was lowered, the hole was filled, and the sod replanted.

My son and Mima in 2007
In the end, everything was as beautiful as anyone could have ever hoped for, from her peaceful passing, to the services celebrating her life.

I can't thank enough every person who was there for us, and especially there for my mother-in-law and her sisters this week. Thank you for the food, washing dishes, bringing old photos and sending flowers and cards. Thank you mostly for your presence.

Thank you also to my friends who texted and messaged me, and especially for our friends who came by to pay their respects. It means so much to know you care.

Mima, siempre estarĂ¡s en nuestros corazones. Te quiere mucho tu nieta, Yvette.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Becoming REinspired

I've been feeling less than inspired lately.  Who am I kidding?  I've been down right UNINSPIRED for weeks (months?)  Last night while at dinner, I confessed to my hubby over wine and some tears that I have lost my creativity.

While I am truly HAPPY in my personal life, my head is no longer swimming with ideas.  The words that couldn't wait to tumble from my fingers to the page have simply ceased to exist.  My son turned 14 last week and the most decor I could muster up for his birthday dinner was a plastic tablecloth and some utensils wrapped in a napkin.



My brand new sewing machines sit basically untouched. I can't even remember the last time I purchased a yard of fabric. I have a gorgeous vintage French Provincial dresser, begging to be rehabbed, parked in the middle of my garage since September. (I haven't stepped foot in a thrift store in weeks.) I've barely even used the DSLR camera hubby gave me for Christmas.

Two years ago, if I would have had all the tools at my disposal that I have today, I would have been unstoppable!  So what's wrong with me?  Hubby assured me that I have not lost my creativity, but likely I had misplaced my motivation and inspiration.  Of course, he is right.

Since moving back to Florida and getting a job outside of the home, AquaSeventy6 has taken a backseat. It's been hard to juggle working, shuttling the kids to and from school, cleaning, laundry, family commitments, and more, while hubby works loooong hours. I don't have an assistant, a housekeeper, nor am I part of a carpool. It's just me.  The days I do get something on the blog or on Facebook can be discouraging.  The new Facebook filters on business pages only distribute my posts to 10% of my followers.

BUT, the truth is that I've worked too hard on this endeavor to let it die. 

I decided to go through my old blog posts and photo albums in attempt to become REinspired.




The REinspiration:

I began my creative career in 2009 writing for local online parenting sites. That same year, my friends Autumn and Kara started a business hosting social events for moms. Their goal was to inspire, and that they did!  The idea of owning my own business was planted, and immediately I knew it would be called AquaSeventy6 (although I didn't quite know what kind of business it would be.)

September 2009, Mommyista Big Bash
A year later Autumn and our friend Holly invited me to join them at a holiday craft fair.  They loved the Vintage Dish serving tower I had created for my MIL's 60th birthday party and thought they would sell well. Although the craft fair was cancelled, Autumn and I went on to create this blog. We made a myriad of super cool accessories, gifts and housewares (including The Vintage Dish) which we sold by hosting our own show-- the first annual Holiday Shop & Sip, and eventually AquaSeventy6 became a business.


What kept me motivated over these years were my friends and clients.  I loved getting positive feedback and inspiring others to take on a DIY project, hit the thrift stores, start a new hobby, or even turn their passion into a business

Soon after AquaSeventy6's birth, several other mom-owned, handmade businesses started popping up in the area.  It was awesome to be surrounded by a group of friends with so many ideas such as Marcy from Kaiya Designs, who was recently featured in the Tampa Bay Times, Jasmine from R&E Avenue who has clients all over the country, and Kara who now owns Simply Vintage Candles, was featured in Smart Retailer, and just this week shipped a PALLET of her hand-poured soy candles to Pennsylvania.

2013 Spring Shop & Sip
I've met even more creative women throughout the years, from writers to photographers, artists to designers. I've listed some of them on my sidebar under (appropriately enough) INSPIRATION.

I'm feeling it now...the beginning of my REinspiration. I don't know where it will take me, but I am ready for the ride.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mustache and Burlap Birthday Party

My daughter turned 11 recently.  She has been a HUGE fan of mustaches for a long time now, but I know she will outgrow them soon.  I wanted the party theme to reflect her at this exact moment in time, so I designed a Mustache & Burlap Birthday Party incorporating some of her favorite trends.


Theme Colors: White, Black, Red and "Burlap"

I used burlap colored Deco Mesh as a table runner.  While I couldn't find perfect plates, I did find perfect napkins and laid them on top of a plain black paper plate.  I printed a thank you note on some sandwich bags and used those as goody bags.  They were tied with twine and each had a personalized mustache tag.

I found burlap and mustache ribbon and attached it to the lid of a mason jar to use as a cool drinking glass. I replaced the basic plastic straws that came with these mustaches with nicer vintage-inspired striped paper straws.

I found these plastic mustache picks by chance at a home store, and dropped my store bought cupcakes into these cute red polka dot cups for a little color.

Finally, I dropped some red and white gerbera daisies into vintage milk jars and tied burlap ribbon to each of the chairs for a finishing touch.

I have to admit, I LOVE the way this tablescape came out!  <3

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