Fall Decorating

It’s that time of year when you drive around your neighborhood and many homes are beautifully (and sometimes very creatively) decorated for Fall or Halloween.  I’ve always loved decorating during this time of the year, as it eases everyone into the holiday mood. During our years living in Raleigh, when or daughter was much younger, I used to really spruce up our porch and decorate inside as well.

My front porch in my old home...

My front porch in my old home…(with my genie in the background!)

I must admit though, ever since we’ve been back in Miami, it’s always so hot and muggy, I really have been a bit lazy about decorating, aside from the wreath on the door.  I decided to get inspired again this year and turned to Pinterest for some new ideas. Here are some really different Fall and/or Halloween crafts and decorations  I’d like to share with you (I also love to stop by places like Pier 1 and Michael’s for inspiration):

The cutest minion pumpkin at my daughter's orthodontist offce.

The cutest minion pumpkin at the orthodontist’s office.



Pretty mums on the front porch, source unknown, found on Pinterest.


Very cute idea for baby's frist Halloween.  Photo courtesy of Parents.com.

Very cute idea for baby’s frist Halloween. Photo courtesy of Parents.com.



Beautiful fall wreath with burlap dressing, click here.



Pumpkin candy holders, very creative, click here.


A beautiful mantel, click here.

A beautiful mantel, click here.



Pumpkins made out of mason jar lids, click here.


finished halloween porch 001-1

Whimsical porch decor, click here.



Pumpkin tree, click here.



Southern monogrammed pumpkins, click here.


Photo Courtesy of Pottery Barn (few years back).

Photo Courtesy of Pottery Barn Catalog.

Do you like to decorate for Fall?  How does your family get ready for the season?  I’d love to hear your ideas!


Social Media…We All Need a Break Sometimes

It feels like social media is taking over the world.  The first thing most of us do when we wake up is check our phones (I’m guilty of that myself on most days!) I think we’ve all become a bit obsessed with our phones…people waiting in line overnight for the latest iPhone…is that really necessary? But during my recent vacation is when I realized how connected everyone really is. We were visiting Venice and the Greek Islands (more of that to come soon), and I was amazed at the number of people who were on their phones…EVERYWHERE WE WENT!

Social-MediaWe ‘d be having dinner and would hear people asking the waiters to take photos of them and then asking if the restaurant had Wi-Fi, so that they could immediately post the photos on Facebook and Instagram. Then you would hear others complaining that their battery had run out. I also witnessed business owners requesting customers to post positive reviews on Tripadvisor and to like their Facebook pages.

Something else that I was surprised at was the amount of people who have substituted their phones for their cameras. Places like Venice and Santorini are a photographer’s dream. I couldn’t imagine just relying on my camera’s phone for pictures.  But of course, by using your phone, you can immediately post them on social media, and show everyone what a wonderful time you’re having. I have been traveling for years and I remember the days when everyone carried all types of cameras (I still travel with two, just in case). I rarely see people with cameras anymore.

Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I feel that being on your phone all day when you’re on vacation is ridiculous.  Shame on the adults that were acting this way, as our kids take a lot of their cues from us.  We told our daughter that she was visiting these gorgeous places to learn and enjoy and spend quality family time.  She brought her phone on the trip, but she didn’t use it during the day. And I did post a few photos to my Facebook account, but usually at the end of the day, as we only relied on the hotel’s Wi-Fi in the evenings.

igottacreate_social_media_icon_tutorial_550I know the internet is wonderful for many things, as is social media, especially when promoting awareness of serious issues, or even just keeping up with friends.  But could we please teach our kids to limit some of this phone time?  Technology is the worst time sucker and distractor from the joys of real life. Encourage them to play outside, read a book or engage in a family board game.  Kids today are constantly on their phones and they take them everywhere. I know it’s not easy, as a parent of a teenager myself, I know it’s difficult to get them interested in other things. And everyday there are more sites to subscribe to…Vine, Snapchat, Ask.FM, WhatsApp, etc.  For those of you with young tweens and teens, I encourage you to randomly check your children’s accounts.  We all know how bad peer pressure can be, especially with Instagram, and the battle they face with how many people “like” their photo.

I do enjoy social media (how else would I pen my blog?) Facebook has given me an oppurtunity to reconnect with childhood friends, that truthfully, I would have probably never heard from again. But I do think there are limits, and I just sometimes wonder if we as a society, have forgotten what those limits are. (Click here to watch a great clip of what I’m referring to).

How do you feel about social media?  How long would you last without your cell phone?

Having Your Cake and Eating It Too? 

October 14 celebrates my favorite part of a meal….it is National Dessert Day, and who doesn’t love dessert (well most of us do anyway)?  For just one day, forget about the calories and high fat content, tomorrow you can go back to your healthy ways.  And if you’re one of those people who leaves some food on the plate, because you need to save room for dessert, then today is your holiday!

In honor of this yummy day, here are a few of my favorite recipes from where else…Pinterest (yes I am a Pinterest addict).  I’ve only tried making a few of these, but they all look delicious!

Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars, recipe here.

Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars, recipe here.

Mini Cannoli Cream Cups, recipe here.

Mini Cannoli Cream Cups, recipe here.

Strawberry Ricotta Popsicles

Strawberry Ricotta Popsicle, recipe here.

Key Lime Pie Bars, recipe here.

Key Lime Pie Bars, recipe here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Shots, recipe here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Shots, recipe here.

Mason Jar Strawberry Shortcake, recipe here.

Mason Jar Strawberry Shortcake, recipe here.

Alfajores, recipe here.

Frozen Pink Lemonade Pie, recipe here.

Frozen Pink Lemonade Pie, recipe here.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, recipe here.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, recipe here.

Guava and Cheese Flan, recipe here.

Guava and Cheese Flan, recipe here.

No Bake Cookies and Cream Cake, recipe here.

Cookies and Cream Cake, recipe here.

Mini No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes, recipe here.

Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes, recipe here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars, recipe here.

And  in case you’re not much of a baker don’t worry, here are some of my favorite store-bought desserts:

Cheesecake Factory "Original" Cheescake

Cheesecake Factory “Original” cheesecake

My favorite ice creams!

My favorite ice creams!

Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake

Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake

La Lechera Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk in a squeezable bottle! Great to pour on almost anything!

What are some of your favorite desserts? Will you be having any of them today?

My Favorite Pink Things

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to create a fun list of all things pink (some items might make my Christmas wish list to hubby):

  1. Who doesn’t love pink tulips…available any place flowers are sold!
  2. Fujifilm INSTAX Camera; $65 at http://www.amazon.com or http://www.bestbuy.com.
  3. Strawberry cupcakes; available at most cupcake shops, but my all time favorite is the vanilla with strawberry frosting from Buttercream Cupcakes & Coffee in Coral Gables $2.75 each http://www.buttercreamcupcakes.com
  4. UGG Nala clogs in English Primrose; $80 http://www.uggaustralia.com
  5. Coach DREE stainless steel wrap watch; $198 http://www.coach.com
  6. Classic Cambridge Satchel bag; $155 http://www.cambridgesatchel.com
  7. Strawberry Milkshake Oreos…no explanation needed!
  8. Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer; $570 http://www.kitchenaid.com

And my favorite Audrey Hepburn quote, which my daughter has up in her room:

I believe in pink…

Many of these items are available in various other colors, but this month, it’s all about PINK!  What are your favorite pink things?