Monday, November 4, 2013

lovable apps

i've been going app crazy since the new ios7 came out. i have loved the simplistic design and the new apps that fit it so perfectly are making the perfectionist in me bubble up with happiness because they all... match! ah! it's some kind of miracle.

i shall share with you a few apps that have really captured my heart recently.

everest is the top of my list right now. it's a goal setting app. you create an everest and each time you take a step, you record it. you can create steps ahead of time, too [excellent for us check like people] and put reminders on them. it is a community based app, so you can follow other climbers and instead of likes you get inspired [it's a little flame icon. cute, right?]. love this app! I have 3 everests I'm working on right now, and it really does help. 

kicksend is another awesome one. i have yet to put it into full use, but the concept is, well... duh! don't know why someone didn't think of it earlier... or why it took me so long to find it. i don't know. basically, it's an app for you to order prints of your iphone pictures... from your phone! you can have them mailed right to you, or enter your zip and it shows you all the participating stores you can send them to for pick up. aaaaand, they print squares! whaaaa? I know. and you could send them to... your mom! or your gramma! or someone else who just wants pictures of you for keepsakes. once i have more than two or three i really want printed, i will be taking advantage of this little masterpiece.

so far, that's all i got. but these may be enough to keep you busy for a few days. is anyone still swooning over how pretty your phone is? or am i just silly? probably silly. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

to be, or not to be... talented

a couple weeks ago, brock and i went to a talent show.

i call it that, but that is being very generous. i mean, there were some talented kids and folks, but overall, it was.... talentless. and it made me realize something: we, as a society connected in every form of the word, have become talentless. 

i don't mean completely, but just think. when you were a kid, talents shows were full of variety, skill, and... well, talent. now they are just filled with parents wanting to show off their kids, a few musical happy numbers [which are fine! but not remotely amazing], and sometimes just downright heartbreaking lack of talent. 

it's sad really. and it made me question myself. what talent have I really worked on developing lately? i don't think being a master pinner is a talent. and super speedy texter isn't either. how about instagram-o-maniac? nah? didn't think so...

i would like to say i have a talent for writing. [we will leave it at that and have no further discussion] so i feel like i am using and developing that. but i haven't drawn a solid picture in quite sometime, i haven't written a song since high school, and let's face it, my sewing skills are getting pushed to the side with the rest. 

i don't know what i'm good at anymore. and so i've decided to change that. 

a couple days after this so called talent show, i enrolled in an online html class [to help my blogging experience, not to stay connected]. i'm totally loving it and learning something new and useful is so exiting. the website i'm taking this class on has tons of other classes from art to music to blogging to marketing. they are pretty reasonably priced, too. i would recommend checking them out. checkout Skillshare here.

i've also decided to start two new art projects. one is for kitchens: i want to make some place-mats and cloth napkins for my kitchen. inspiration here.

the second project i can only tell you what kind it is, because I am making this for two someones who might stop by. they are paint projects combined with stenciling. when they are finished and given, i promise to share. i'm making one for my house, too.

so there you have it. three things i'm going to work on developing: computer skills, painting skills, and sewing skills. I plan to be through with all three projects by the end of the year, that's three months!  what talent are you going to work on?  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

a small moment of bliss

everything makes me miss blogging. i get on instagram or twitter or pinterest and see all the bloggy people i follow and their beautiful pictures, or exciting adventures. and I just miss it.

fortunately, i have had some blessings from above this final semester of school. the lord knows the only reason i am even going to school is because i am heeding the voice of the prophet and getting my education. i don't care about international migration [worst class of my life], and i've taken enough ethics classes to last a life time. at least my 8am class has a super entertaining and energetic teacher. she makes that class utterly enjoyable. also my first eight week class is coming to an end and i have enjoyed that, too. we'll see if the next eight week class is the same.

because i don't want to be there and i'm only doing it because he says so, i think god has given me some extra blessings. 

1] i haven't been stressed at all over time... or not having it rather. so not me. in fact i think i cried the last two semester at some point because of stress.  and right now i feel freer than an american on the 4th of july.

2] along with the lack of stress comes a lack of needing a's. i've always been a {mostly} a student, for which i am proud. but no one looks at your grades after you have a fancy embossed paper at the end of college. they just care that you did it. c's get degrees, baby.

    so weird that i can even say that because it is not in my nature! but i said it. it is my mantra.

that being said, my complete lack of academic effort leaves me plenty of time to focus on my church responsibilities [which are demanding] and... maybe perhaps blogging again. no promises. but here i am. blogging, because i don't have that much homework and the homework i do have can easily be skimmed over later [one too many ethics classes means you know your stuff!].

what a breath of fresh air.

it feels so good to be sitting on my couch letting my fingers click-clack away. and not on a paper.

but i have to tell you one more thing. yesterday morning as i was contemplating all this and deciding i could possibly maybe perhaps post something again, i got a new twitter follower. 

i usually check out websites when i get followers before i commit to a long-term relationship. i was stunned. she was witty and charming and blunt and just what i needed. no holds bar, not filter, just get up and do and go and fight and write and win.

and now i'm blogging. thank you, new friend. [i followed her back]

i'm not promising i will be back every week, definitely not every day. but this is a start and i am so so so so extremely happy to be back in my bubble.

   i feel like i have so much to tell you! i've been gone so long. it will have to come in pieces.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

news, but is it really news?

have you guys noticed i've been a little m.i.a. lately??

let me just start by saying firstly, that i am sorry. summer has been one hectic bowl of crazy topped with a generous serving of new.

i started a new job. i got a new sister-in-law. brock and i have new goals. and most of all, i have new priorities.

i started out the summer with a few goals if you remember. i wish i didn't have to say this, but i'm all about honesty. guys, i failed. ok, not really, but i was only 33% successful. ok, i failed. that's a big fat f on the grade book of life. i launched my new website (haven't done much since) and i was productive. like really productive. just with so many other things that weren't blogging.

i'm breaking my own heart, here, folks.

school starts monday. i'm not excited, but after monday, only 16 weeks until complete freedom knocks at my door.

and so for those 16 weeks (maybe a couple more), i have decided to take an indefinite blogging break. not happy at all. but i have other priorities that need my attention right now. i have to quit kidding myself and overloading my life with everything i want to do because i want to do too many things.

i will still post pictures on instagram and probably still stick a tweet in now and then. i will be back. right here. later. not now. i will miss you, little blog of mine. and i will miss you friends.

Monday, July 15, 2013

the details: part 2

i hope you all took some time over the past 10 days to really think about the small things in your life. it's those little things that really get us. at least for me.

i promised a recap, so here are some of the things I shared via twitter this week: 

ice cold water. *glug glug glug aahhh* 

the sound of brock's heartbeat when i lay on his chest.

little sun kisses all over your skin. warm. comforting. relaxing.

that first salt and vinegar chip that makes your cheeks suck in and jaw tense up. 

to see others i tweeted about, check out my twitter! or you can see some things that i noticed with camera in hand on my instagram

i have to be honest, i really paid a lot more attention. i appreciated more, thought more, and smiled more. and i am a lot more grateful for those simple things in my life that we sometimes skip over and miss. don't miss those things! soak them up! talk about them.

cherish them.

what little things have you noticed lately? 

for the details on the details, check out part one.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

watermelon salsa

if you have been following my instagram, you know what's coming!

that's right my friends, watermelon salsa. does anyone else crave fruit like crazy when the sun is blazing? i love it. watermelon. mango. strawberry. pineapple. you name it, i'll eat it!

fruit salsas are definitely one of my favorite ways to go. they are just so fresh and delicious. it's probably that zingy lime!

my daddy always made mango salsa for cinco de mayo and i loved it! i had never tried any other fruit salsa... until now! on the 4th of july, brock and i were enjoying a fabulous, good-home-cookin kind of breakfast with his parents and grandparents while rachael ray shared her watermelon palooza show with us! there were some genius things i had never thought of before... like watermelon ice cubes {duh! they don't melt and water down your drink, and you can eat them after}! or watermelon popcicles {another duh! put it on a stick and freeze it, baby!}. but the best was the salsa.

so i immediately went out and bought a watermelon!... two days later after all the fun and fireworks. and of course, like with any other recipe, i did a little tweeking. so here's the original from ray ray complete with a video. or you can just take my word for it and try it out yourself. you will swoon.

watermelon salsa

3 cups of watermelon in tiny little cubes
1/2 of a cucumber, peeled, seeded and also in tiny little cubes
2-3 jalapenos seeded and chopped teeny, teeny, tiny
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
a small handful each of fresh cilantro and mint, chopped*
zest and juice of 2 limes

combine all ingredients in a bowl.

definitely do what rachael ray says and salt right before serving! salt makes food extract liquid and will bring out a lot in those little watermelon pieces. so don't do it ahead of time.

serve with tortilla chips, or with some meeeat! {we had ours with steak and it. was. good.}
it's super delicious with totino's tortilla chips with a hint of lime!

*i say handful because it is hard to measure herbs, so just eyeball it, but try to keep them equal.

now go buy a watermelon!
brock and i seriously ate the whole bowl. good thing it's all fruit and healthy stuff, i didn't feel quite so guilty!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

the details

life is crazy. everyone's life is crazy. we run from here to there all day long. we all have a million and one things to do, and we all try and squeeze in one more. that's the facts. 

don't feel special if you life is especially busy, because guess what? you're not any busier than anyone else.

oh, i had to blah blah blah, and i barely had time to cook dinner! 

you poor thing. me, too. 

we all work hard, we all run crazy, we all want to be better at something but lack the time, and we all wish for two extra hours in a day. it's nothing new. 

the solution is to simplify. anyone have any ideas on how to do that? because i'm at a loss. maybe someday i will have that figured out, but today is not that day.

in the meantime, i have something that might just help. 

there are things in our life that make the world go round, make us tick, make life life. the little details that surround us every day. things we miss amidst all our crazy busyness. things that make us human!

things like the soft, thick, warm touch of a beautiful day lily.

so here's the challenge: for the next ten days, let's blow up instagram and twitter with those simple things. think of your senses. what do you see? what do you feel? what do you hear? what do you taste? what do you smell? 

or maybe it's an abstract thing like pride for your country, or peace. 

hashtags are our friends, so let's use one to keep us all together! i will do a recap on monday, the 15th of some of the wonderful simple details you notice in your life!


you can find me on twitter and instagram and follow along, tag me, or just share your details! [at]tasminskye i can't wait to hear all of those wonderful things that take place in your life! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

chicken + strawberry salad

summer is for salads. 

all kinds of salads. they come in a lot of variety {which is good for us creative folks}. i am especially in love with the combination of chicken and fruit in salads. today, i'm going to share one of my favorite summer salads, but first, a story. 

my gramma is the best gramma ever {so everyone, be jealous}. she found this adorable little tea shop back home in the "a" state called chantillies. it's basically the most frilly, girly, lacy, pink place you could ever imagine. it's the kind of place that is only open for lunch. the kind of place that you dress up for. the kind of place with decor that only says flowers and tea cups. none of the place settings match, but they all go together. fresh lemonade is always on the menu, and everything is fresh and delightful. 

on one of my trips to chantillies with my gramma {i believe this was with my mama and little sissy}, we ordered the chef's daily special: chicken strawberry salad. now, this is my version that i am sharing with you. obviously, it won't be identical. that's why it was a special. but it's still delicious, and eating it makes me think of my gramma. win win.

chicken strawberry salad [gf, df]

makes 4 servings

8 leaves of romaine lettuce, rinsed
2 chicken  breasts, cooked and cooled
8-12 strawberries, depending on size
1 can of mandarin oranges, drained, juice set aside
1/2 cup of chopped nuts, walnut or pecan are best
1/2 cup of tiny cubed mild cheese, like edam, or fontina **optional**

2 tbsp yellow mustard
2 tbsp honey

other delicious ingredients not included in this picture or my latest serving:
green onions

layer the first 6 ingredients in order, dividing between four plates, or putting it all in one bowl.

take 2 tbsp of the reserved manderin orange juice and stir with the mustard, honey, and pepper. 

drizzle it on top and enjoy with a glass of fresh lemonade for the perfectly refreshing, cool summer lunch!

Monday, June 17, 2013

my life monday + counting raindrops

it's a monday.

and i've learned something about monday's that is new to me. they are hard.

new? really?

that's what you're thinking, right? allow me to elaborate. i used to love mondays. mostly because i felt so rejuvenated from sunday that monday was like a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning. some weeks i still feel like that, but i won't lie to you, the buzz i used to get at church when i was in college is not the same. i know that's mostly my fault. i tend to hit these plateaus every once in a while in my spirituality. not on purpose, but it happens to all of us and we are human.

i've learned that challenges usually give us that forward momentum in our spirituality and for me, life just hasn't had too many difficult challenges since marrying that hunky monkey i call my husband. {now that i've said that for the world to see, i may have just called down the powers of heaven to challenge me.}

the point is, monday is hard now. later i will feel like it's a new start, but it's hard to wake up. it's hard to work out. i don't want to cook, or go to work, or do anything. but we have to. so i guess i need to change my own perspective again. i will try.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

easy peasy grilled salmon + corn on the cob

it's recipe time. a couple weeks ago, i shared a recipe on kory's blog. that was my barbeque pork steaks. today, i'm gonna share a recipe for grilled salmon and corn on the cob.

have you noticed the theme? you got it... grilling! i'm getting pretty good, if i'm allowed to say so! brock was very please with last night's dinner, and so was i. so i hope you like fish.

i only say that, because not long ago, i wasn't a fan. but i'm a fan of butter and garlic. so why not put it on some fish and grill it? right or right?

i know fish can be a little pricey. we don't eat it often, but every once in a while, it's a nice change. and the health benefits definitely make the cost a little easier. i need those omega3's, people! so do you. so do your self a favor and get some salmon this week!

grilled corn on the cob

makes 4 servings

4 cobs of corn
2 tablespoons of olive oil
dried cilantro [if you don't have this, parsley is a good substitute]
chili powder
salt + pepper
aluminum foil

1. shuck corn and place in cold water, completely covered for about 10 minutes. this gives it a little extra moisture. they float, so you may have to put something heavy on them to keep them under the water.

2. after removing from the water, shake them to get all the excess. place each cob, diagonally, on a square sheet of aluminum foil.

3. drizzle olive oil over each cob, and spread it until the corn is well covered. sprinkle on desired amounts of seasoning. wrap up the foil nice and tight to keep the moisture in.

4. grill the cobs for 5 minutes on each side over medium heat [turn about a quarter of the way each time for a total of 20 minutes].*

grilled salmon

makes 4 servings

4 salmon filets
3 tablespoons butter {real butter, not margarine, not vegetable spread, those are way worse for you than butter, just get some butter, ok?}
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced---depends on size, 3 larger, 4 smaller
salt + pepper

[do this while the corn is soaking!]
1. melt the butter in the microwave, maybe 20 seconds. add garlic and stir. salt and pepper salmon filets, then spread the butter on each side with a basting brush. 

2. grill salmon on each side for 7 minutes, over medium heat.

*i just grilled my corn on one half for the 7 minutes along with the salmon, then flipped half way over for the second round. after i removed the salmon from the grill, i grilled the corn on the quarter sides for 2 or 3 minutes. it worked just fine and made for less opening of the grill during the cooking process of the fish.

Monday, June 3, 2013

my life monday + micro nature

a couple weeks ago, i told you i was going to start a series. well this is the first! it's a my life monday!

basically, this is going to be the only time i will blab on about the lame goings on, or sometimes exciting goings on, of my life, instead of just running on and on about how crazy life is. i will leave the rest of the week for other things like recipes and crafts, or something else i'm working on {ssshhh}.

today, for starters, i'm guest blogging over at my friend kory's blog. first guest post ever, and i was so excited to do it! kory is so fun to work with, and i really just love her blog anyway, so you should check it out! p.s. i shared a recipe on her blog, so you might want to get your drool rag out.

secondly, i've been playing around with the camera now that pretty things are out and about. i'm a big fan of detail, close ups, and i guess what you call micro-shots? anyone? i don't know. i'm not a photographer.

i don't know about you, but flowers just bring me happiness. i love them with all my heart. and i especially love taking pictures of them. here are some more shots from my strolling.

if i turned some nature shots into downloadable desktops with a fancy quote and all, would anyone download them?? i've been thinking about it, but i don't want to waste my time if nobody would. would you?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

lemon seeds and missing trees

 i grew up on a plot of land that housed my family, my grandparents, and my great grandparents. it was any child's dream. cookies and hugs from gramma at any desired time. games of skip-bo and charade's at great-gramma's. trampoline, tree house, swing set. stealing things from grampa's workshop to build forts {i can count 15 forts that we made and manned over the years!}.

then there were the trees. pomegranate. pecan. peach. almond. chinaberry {you don't eat those, they're poison, you have chinaberry wars}.

and then... the citrus. lemon. grapefruit. orange. limon {it grew limes and lemons because the lime tree was too close to the lemon. cross-pollination, friends!}.

oh, how i miss sitting under the orange tree and eating and eating and eating. we used the gate latches to get the first hunk of skin off, then peel to our hearts content. the only rule was we had to clean up our peels.

before the frost would come, there would be a mad scramble to pick all the lemons and crate them up. did you know if a citrus tree frosts, all the juices in the fruit go back into the tree to help keep it warm? this results in very dry fruit, and no fresh lemonade.

dad made his bestest grapefruitade on a regular basis, and it is definitely not the same with store bought grapefruits. in fact, i will probably never it make it that way again.

needless to say, i miss my citrus trees.

so i planted some. even if you don't want a full out tree, the little baby lemon sprouts are so cheerful, bright, fresh, and they smell good, too! it's quite simple to start your own little citrus forest.

step 1: get a lemon {or orange or lime or grapefruit, doesn't matter.} and take out all the seeds.

step 2: let the seeds soak in some water for a couple days to a week.

step 3: try to clean off any outside casing by rubbing them. if nothing comes off, you're good. if something does, discard it. don't do this over the sink, the little guys are slippery and like to escape.

step 4: put them in some soil! i filled a mug with all the seeds the lemon had. i wasn't sure how many would germinate. i probably planted 15 seeds, and i have seven baby trees.

step 5: put them in a sunny window, and wait for two weeks. give them water {enough to soak in the soil without drowning them} about every other day.

enjoy your little citrus forest! it certainly brings a smile to my face. i was so excited when sprout after sprout popped up in my soil! having it in my windowsill and not outside made it possible for me to watch the progress every day! happy planting!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

a little craziness + a beautiful mess

after the storm last week, you'd think life would be a little better. but it really feels like a whirlwind of everything happening all at once!

i started a new job, i'm working on projects, trying to do some summer cleaning (not spring cleaning because i was in school then, but it's the same principle), running errands and theeeen... a three day weekend. how nice! we had a relaxing one, which was great. just hanging out. we also went to the last day of the norman rockwell exhibit at our local art museum which was awesome! unfortunately, i wasn't allowed to take pictures. sad day. but way cool! he's fabulous!

on another note, has anyone downloaded the new app from a beautiful mess?? love it! here's some of my little edited shots since i downloaded it a couple weeks ago. well worth the dollar!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

pray for moore

i was going to start a new series yesterday called my life monday, but i was a little on edge//preoccupied//freaked out. so how about a tornado tuesday? let's start at the beginning:

i was sitting at the piano with my student, circling the three black keys in his piano book when i heard it. ever so softly. my very first thought was: they don't usually test the tornado sirens at night. my second thought was: is this for real? tornadoes don't happen too often in fort smith. my third thought: ssshhh, {student}, do you hear that? he didn't hear it, so we kept going. until i heard my neighbors outside. we went to the front door and then the sound of the siren was easily recognizable.

i didn't know what to do. i had never been in this situation. it would have been a completely different situation if brock had not left an hour ago and wasn't thirty minutes away with a car that wasn't working at his parents' house. it would have also be quite different if i were not the adult in the situation and an 8 year old was depending on me to keep him safe. 

i freaked out.

but calmly, i didn't let {student} know i was freaking out and calmly called my husband. he immediately said to get to the nearest shelter, so we started unplugging everything, i grabbed the emergency radio from the closet as {student} started putting his piano books back in his bag. and then there was silence. the sirens were gone and brock said that we would be fine if we stayed. so we tried to get back to our lesson, but neither of us could focus. i called {student's} mom and she was on her way.

he left soon after and i was home alone. i decided to do something to get my mind off the storm, texting one of my sweet church girls who was making sure i was ok {weird... i should have been checking on her. i'm lame}.

an hour or so later, brock called to see how i was. i was fine. he told me to turn on the radio so i could be updated. i did. the storm was right outside of fort smith and severe warnings were in effect for my county and the county he was currently in. brock couldn't come home because of the car. i was alone.

he told me to grab some clothes for tomorrow and leave right away. my heart started racing as i scrambled through his drawers and then mine. i made sure i grabbed the radio in case i ended up stranded. silly? i don't know. i called my mom and dad in arizona to let them know what was going on and that i was safe. i wasn't sure if they new the storm was even in our area. i uttered a quick prayer, praying i would make it safely. then got in the truck with a quick look at the still night sky. the stillness scared me. i knew it would be still right before it hit.

then the radio was on from my driveway on out. the severe weather warning list kept adding county after county. severe weather warning until 9:15, then 9:30, 10:00, 10:45.

no one was on the road, it made me feel even more alone. i felt like i was the only idiot out driving. my forearms and hand muscles started aching from the strong grip i had on the steering wheel. every ten seconds, i suddenly didn't need my headlights. the lightning was like a strobe light, constant and bright with strikes that filled the entire sky frequently.

my heart skipped a beat when i got to the turn only minutes away from the house. i was so close, i just had to stay ahead of the storm. curve after curve, i knew i was getting closer, my mind was easing, but i grip was still tight. i couldn't shake it. when i pulled in the drive, brock came out and waved me down to the best parking spot under the carport.

the moment i backed the truck in, the very second i was under the shelter, the rain started. buckets and buckets, it started falling. i knew that was an answer to a prayer and it suddenly added to the  overwhelmed feeling i was fighting. when brock and i were safely inside, i still couldn't shake it. he wrapped me in his arms and i wanted to break down.

i don't know if i had ever been so scared, but at the same time, i felt silly and childish. brock was calm. his parents were calm. we were safe. we were together. and rain couldn't hurt us. only a few hundred miles away in moore, oklahoma, people had recently become homeless. they didn't have food, they didn't have water, they didn't have things. it was all gone. some were even missing that one thing we cling to most in these situations; family. how could i feel so afraid in the safety i had?  but i did.

i'm safe. and i'm fine. but pray for moore. pray for the victims of the storm. pray for their families. and pray that the storms are over. because what i went through last night was nothing compared to the devastation that entered their lives only hours before.

image via