Friday, July 29, 2016

{Travel} Coffee Date in Doylestown, PA

Here's another entry from my Stay-cation Summer activity log.   We took a short drive to Doylestown, PA in search of some coffee.
I'd read about this place on Yelp but I'd never noticed it in all the times I've been to town.  It's called The Zen Den and it had fabulous reviews.  I always love discovering independent coffee shops (though I do love my Starbucks!).  The decor was funky and fun.
We ordered cappuccinos --mine with almond milk and LOTS of cinnamon.
 There were lots of seating options and it felt like we were in someone's cozy living room.
 Once we finished our coffees, we walked around town and I wandered into a cool store that repurposed old items and gave them a new life. I can't remember the name now #bloggerfail but I did snap a quick Iphone pic of this globe covered in travel stickers.  I think it would be a fun DIY if I could find a source for the stickers.
 The old movie theater in town is still going strong.

We ran a few errands on the way home and listened to some Yacht Rock on SiriusXM, a favorite summer station that adds to our vacation vibe.  What have you been up to?
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mom's Garden Tour 2016

Right after we got back from our beach getaway it was time for our annual lunch and tour of my mom's gardens.
 This year we assembled quite a large group of ladies for the day.
 We always meet for lunch first at a restaurant and this year it was Bar Louie.
 After lunch, we head over to my mom's house and she gives us a tour of her house (for any newbies).
 Then we go outside to see her beautiful gardens.
 The bright greens were really popping this year.
 The side of her house.
 My mom is great at explaining all of the varieties of plants and flowers and how to care for them.
 There's always a feast of color for the eyes.


Pretty views...
 Capturing a bee doing it's thing.
My mom is an artist in the garden.

 Gazing ball peeking out behind some flowers.

There's so much to see and something is always blooming.
 This plant makes a great filler in bouquets.
 Japanese Red Maple
 Peeking into her front porch.
 Can't get enough of those hydrangeas!
It's become a tradition that the ladies and my mom look forward to every summer. What's your favorite part of her gardens?
Previous Garden Tours:
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Linking up with:
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Monday, July 25, 2016

My Favorite Local Thrifting Spots

In keeping with my Stay-cation Summer theme, I'm teaming up with Invaluable (an online marketplace that carries everything from collectibles to fine art) to share the best thrifting places in my area and some of my favorite acquisitions along the way.  You can check out their blog for more great tips.
Goodwill has always been of my go-to place for quality thrifting.  We have a few in our area that I try to hit up on a regular basis.
When I first started blogging way back in 2010, I starting documenting my thrift scores and how I used them to decorate.  Adding flameless candles and some shells and starfish to this bamboo birdcage gave it a summery vibe. See it's latest transformation here.
I'm always a sucker for shiny silver pieces. This Pottery Barn mini ice bucket wasn't so shiny when I found it but after I took it home and polished!
Spray paint is another way to spruce up thrifted pieces.  I spray painted both the lantern and the the candleholder black to give them a fresh, new look.  
Another thrift store that I like but don't get to as frequently is the Holy Redeemer Hospital Thrift Store.  That's where I found this vintage dress that would be perfect for a summer wedding or shower.
Our absolute favorite places to find treasures is Bryn Athyn Thrift Shop aka BATS.We don't usually leave empty handed with fun things like this old camera up for grabs.
Miss High School started collecting these Wade pottery pieces after a trip to the store yielded a very reasonably priced starter collection.
BATS has come through for me with summer decorating.  I've found lots of patriotic decor there.
Unique artwork can be found in the big old barn that houses the shop.  Meet Steve the rhino.
Upstairs at BATS is full of clothing (like this summer skirt) and larger furniture pieces.  
Another sweet summer thrift score was this handmade patchwork quilt.
We're lucky that we don't have to go far to find great thrifting spots. Where are your favorite places to find treasures/bargains?
Let's keep in touch!

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Friday, July 22, 2016

{Travel} Oh Little Trip To Bethlehem (for Baked Goods)

We had a doctor's appointment at a hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and combined that not exactly fun trip with a special visit to a very cool bakery called Vegan Treats.
Since we were making the drive, shouldn't we check out the place?  It was right around the time of our College Graduation Party so we had ordered a cake--it was SO hard to decide--to be picked up on the day of the appointment.
We had more hard decisions figuring out what to bring home with us to share and sample.   In 2012 Vegan Treats was named one of the top 10 bakeries in the world, in the WORLD and not just vegan bakeries..all bakeries!  If you're ever in or near Bethlehem, PA you should check them out.  They also ship all over the US.  There was also an impressive array of gluten-free goodies.
 An easy decision was trying the homemade vegan soft serve, there are always two flavors to pick from and of course you can get them swirled.  Swirled, for the win!
 I got mine in a sugar cone.  I think the flavors that day were vanilla and salted caramel.
 After our trip to the bakery, we drove over to Lehigh University..why not fit in a quick college visit while we're up here?  We weren't really there for an official visit but it is always fun to drive around college campuses and check them out.  It is a beautiful campus with lots of old, ivy covered buildings.  We stopped at this overlook to take a few pics.
What a view!  I have a feeling we'll be back to Bethlehem.
Let's keep in touch!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

{Recipe} Carrot Dogs

Carrot hotdogs may sound a little wacky but I decided to give them a try for 4th of July weekend. They won't taste exactly like real hotdogs but they are a much healthier, fat free alternative.
I used this recipe.
4 organic carrots with their ends cut off to fit in a hotdog bun
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 TBS liquid aminos (or coconut aminos)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a dash or two of Liquid Smoke
pepper to taste
 Gather your ingredients and some hotdog buns.
 Mix up the marinade with all of the ingredients, minus the carrots. Mine looks light here because I accidentally used coconut vinegar instead of coconut aminos so I had to remake it. #oops  This should be made in a container that can be tightly sealed for shaking.
Fill a large pot half way with water and bring to a boil, add carrots and cook on medium. Cook for about 5 minutes, checking to see if they're done by piercing with a fork. They should have a little snap to them.  Turn off heat and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
 Add the carrots to the marinade. I had some breakage.  Marinate for 3 hours or up to a few days.  I kept mine in the fridge for a few days and shook the container every once in awhile.  The marinade really smells like hotdogs!
 You can bake or grill the carrots.  I used my panini press.
 The fun part is in the toppings. Add your favorites.
 I put spicy brown mustard and sauteed onions on mine.
I served them with vegetarian baked beans (see a recipe here).  I think my 'dogs' got a little too soft from overcooking but they were still tasty. 
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