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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

what i love {summer in Boston}

Boston...I love this place for so many reasons!  Being raised an Air Force brat and having lived in several parts of the United States, I don't consider myself completely biased.  So I thought I'd share my favorite things about summer in the Boston area as I feel the nights get cooler and autumn air roll in.
photo by Scotland Huber
I attended high school in a Boston suburb and quickly learned two important things about Massachusetts natives (which I also believe are true for most New Englanders); come summer there are few things more precious than ice cream and baseball.  Having had a sweet tooth as far back as I can remember, I was happy to oblige in such traditions as going to the dairy farm which doubled as a large ice cream stand from April to October.  They have flavors galore and it's all made on site.  One of my favorite family memories was going to the ice cream stand on our way home from church on Sundays.  Mom said it would ruin our lunch, but Dad was an ice cream fiend, so there was no stopping him.
And having never been much of an athlete (my brother got all the athletic ability), I was also thrilled to cheer for a team.  Being a Red Sox fan is like nothing else.  The camaraderie of fans is unbelievable.  I remember wearing my Sox cap in the Phoenix airport in 2003 during the World Series and peering into a bar to check the Marlins-Yankees score.  A guy turned around and caught me checking on the score; he scoffed "there's always next year."  How right he was! 2004 turned things around for the Red Sox when they defeated the Yankees in the greatest come back of the American League Championship Series and went on to win the World Series.  I lived in Colorado that year and never was more proud to be a sports fan.
I returned in Massachusetts in 2008 and had the opportunity to live in Somerville (just north of Boston) with a high school friend and two others and then in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston.  During that time, I learned the city itself and found lots of local restaurant and cafes to frequent.  For a full list of my favorites, check 'em out on here.

What are your favorite things about where you live?
I'm linked up today...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

tickle me tuesday {gadgets}

Fun + Clever gadgets...guess I'm in a ((somewhat)) practical mood this week.

conserve socket ((turns off when you're not charging up))


handlebar mustache corkscrew ((super cute))
Fred & Friends
USB LED Beverage Cooler ((I don't drink a lot of soda, but it's fun))
Think Geek
I'm linked up with Sarah!

Monday, August 29, 2011

seven things

This post was inspired by Erika and Savannah.

7 places I would like to visit: 
-The Holy Land
-Seattle, Washington
-Tanzania to visit our Compassion child
-go back to Dublin, Ireland and stay for more than a day
-Hawaii -any island
-go back to Siena [Italy] and take my husband
-Yosemite National Park [California]

7 things I would like to make:
-difference in someone's life
-doughnuts [from scratch]
-a skirt [like this or many others on my DIY pinterest board]
-soup from scratch
-roman shades for the dining/living rooms
-a baby...just making sure you're paying attention.
-a dress like this

7 people I would like to meet [dead or alive]:
-my husband's grandfather, Bob [he had a lot of influence on Brandon's life growing up]
-Corrie ten Boom [Dutch, Christian Holocaust survivor who helped many Jews escape the Nazis]
-Bill Cosby [I grew up watching The Cosby Show and saw him live once]
-Sandra McCracken [my favorite musician]
-Mike Holmes [because I want him to come check out our house]

7 things I would like to own:
-a pair of ssekos
-a dining room table and benches made of reclaimed wood
-my own etsy shop [I keep hoping to open one, but with our home renovations haven't had  made time]
-vintage salt + pepper shakers [like this]
-a cabin in the mountains
-a vespa 
-a vegetable garden

7 things that annoy me:
-when people don't put on their turn signal [while driving]
-chipped nail polish
-when I have something in my teeth and no one tells me
-phrases like "I die" or "just shoot me"
-the sound of someone chewing/chomping/smacking their food
-when people act helpless
-living on a busy street and being woken up by motorcycles [among other vehicles] during the night

7 films I love:
-E.T. [I was obsesses with this as a child...not really sure why]

7 funny words:
-brrr-ful [my best friend from college made this one up] and it's used when I'm cold
-poochkin [one of my husband's many nicknames for our dog

What are your seven things?  I'd love to know.

Blogiversary giveaway winners announced! 
Again, a special thanks to Sarah and Erika for their generosity.
Yes Teacher $15 shop credit goes to...
Rouge & Whimsy $15 shop credit goes to...
Hobby Lobby $15 gift card goes to...
Please email me by Wednesday, August 31st to claim your prize!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

shirt {turned} headband

Many months ago Way back in January, I said I wanted to participate monthly in Project ReStyle.
Obviously, I haven't been great about keeping up with it but I have a project to share.
I followed this tutorial but used an old knit shirt like this tutorial I found via Pinterest.
I didn't cut the fabric quite as thick, so that's why it's a bit smaller in width.
I'm really happy with the way it turned out and know I'll get lots of wear out of it this fall.
Brown is my favorite color, although I'm wearing more and more tops/dresses that are not brown!

I'm linked up with Laura for

P.S. Don't forget these two blogiversary giveaways close this weekend:
Rouge & Whimsy $15 shop credit
Hobby Lobby $15 gift card
All giveaway winners announced on Monday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

InstaFriday {6}

Happy Friday!  And what a week it's been...lots going on around our house.

Last Weekend's Project:

The new windows let about 30% more light into the kitchen and are fully functional
...kind of a big deal because the others were painted shut!  There has been a great breeze this week to boot!

Loving my new kicks from my pumped for my first pair of TOMS.
Did you know Journey's is now carrying TOMS [in store only]?

Who can resist this face?!

I started reading this book and you can get your own free copy here.

We're gearing up for Irene...not quite sure what to expect yet.
Hope everyone on the East Coast stays safe!

Don't forget my blogiversary giveaways close this weekend...
herehere and here!

I'm linking up...
life rearranged

Thursday, August 25, 2011

grateful girl {no. 29}

180. making new friends from church and having dinner plans with them tonight

181. a fun trip to Hobby Lobby with Rachel

182. four day weekend before the craziest time of the year for me [at work]

 183. the generosity of Sarah and Erika in helping celebrate my blogiversary  with fun giveaways!
Yes Teacher and Rouge & Whimsy
also Hobby Lobby

184. cooler mornings that bring anticipation of  a new season

 185. my husband's love for cooking

What are you grateful for this week?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

spicy crockpot chicken

I've been trying to use the crockpot for more meals, especially when it's so hot and I don't want to stand in front of the oven/stove.  The biggest challenge I face is planning ahead. It does require knowing what you want for dinner more than an hour in advance, but I think I'm up for the challenge.

In a recent search, I came across this one and modified it a bit based on what was available.

2 frozen chicken breasts [boneless and skinless]
6 oz. of TJ's salsa [use milder if you want less punch]
 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp Mrs. Dash Spicy seasoning
2 tsp ground cumin
1 small bunch cilantro
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, sliced
dash of chili powder
sliced red and green bell peppers

combine salsa and sauce, stir in spices, onion, garlic and cilantro and add chicken
[be sure to coat both sides]
place the lid on the crock pot and set on low for 7 hours
[closer to 4 hours if the chicken isn't frozen]
With two hours remaining, I added the sliced red and green bell peppers
in the crockpot after 8 hours
shredded chicken
I served our chicken with avocado slices and corn over tortilla chips,
sour cream and/or shredded cheese would have been good additions too.
Be warned, it was rather spicy which is one reason we'll be making it again!
serving suggestion
Don't forget about my blogiversary giveaways happening
here, here and here!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

blogiversary giveaway {rouge & whimsy} closed

This giveaway is now closed.

Erika is a talented blogger and handmade shop owner living in Seattle.  
She loves to blog about handmade and vintage finds
and is another one of many blog friends I've made in the past year.
Check out the oh-so-pretty hair accessories Erika makes!

cleo black ruffled polka dot poppy headband
turquoise blue embroidered navajo-style headband
{bridal fascinator}
amelie summer wedding double flower feather rhinestone
To help celebrate my blogiversary, Erika is giving one of you 

How to enter
{mandatory entry}
Visit Erika's shop and tell me your favorite item.

For more chances to win the giveaway
{leave a separate comment for each additional entry}
-  follow Erika and me on Twitter [1 entry]
- become a follower via Google Friend Connect of the city or let me know if you already are [1 entry]
- become a follower of Erika's blog [1 entry]
- heart Rouge & Whimsy on Etsy and let me know your username [1 entry]
- tweet or blog about this giveaway and link to this post 
[1 entry each]

Feel free to use this tweet:
Celebrate @dotinthecity's blogiversary with a GIVEAWAY 
from @erikalc for $15 shop credit

Giveaway ends on Sunday, August 28 and is open INTERNATIONALLY.

all photos are from Erika

Monday, August 22, 2011

blogiversary giveaway {hobby lobby} closed

This giveaway is now closed.

Hobby Lobby has been one of my  favorite stores for a long time.
You may not realize the fabulous store has not opened up shop
 in every state and is hard to come by  in some places.
They opened their first store in New England earlier this summer and I was ecstatic
to finally make a trip to Manchester, New Hampshire with a friend to check it out.
It was no surprise the place was filled with the same vast array of crafting goods , fabrics
and home decor items I know from visiting stores in Colorado and Tennessee
when we go to see family, and music that floats through the air, often a selection of old hymns.
You can also order online [if you're like me and don't live too near one],
and I have gotten some great deals on shipping [sign up for their email list].

To celebrate my blogiversary I am giving away

How to enter

{mandatory entry}
Visit Hobby Lobby & tell me your favorite item.

For more chances to win the giveaway
{leave a separate comment for each additional entry}
-  follow Hobby Lobby and me on Twitter [1 entry]
- become a follower via Google Friend Connect of the city or let me know if you already are [1 entry]
- like Hobby Lobby on Facebook & let me know [1 entry]
- tweet or blog about this giveaway and link to this post 
[1 entry each]

Feel free to use this tweet:
Celebrate @dotinthecity's blogiversary with a GIVEAWAY for  
$15 gift card to @hobbylobbystore  Enter here:

Giveaway ends on Saturday, August 27 and is open INTERNATIONALLY.

Hobby Lobby is not affiliated with the city; the gift card was purchased by me.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

blogiversary giveaway {yes teacher} closed

This giveaway is now closed.

Sarah is a talented card maker and blogger
and one of the many friends I've made in my blogging journey
that started one year ago today.
We have bonded over our dogs [which look strikingly similar],
love for travel, and home renovation projects.

Check out her beautiful cards...
birthday card in summer shabby chic
{thinking of you}
blue polka dot umbrella - thinking of you
{mini cards}
pumpkin harvest -set of 12 mini cards
To help celebrate my blogiversary, Sarah is giving one of you
How to enter
{mandatory entry}
Visit Sarah's shop & tell me your favorite item.

For more chances to win the giveaway
{leave a separate comment for each additional entry}
-  follow Sarah and me on Twitter [1 entry]
- become a follower via Google Friend Connect of the city or let me know if you already are [1 entry]
-like Yes Teacher on Facebook [1 entry]
- heart Yes Teacher on Etsy &
let me know your username [1 entry]
- tweet or blog about this giveaway and link to this post 
[1 entry each]

Feel free to use this tweet:
Celebrate @dotinthecity's blogiversary with a GIVEAWAY 
from @yes_teacher for $15 shop credit

Giveaway ends on Friday, August 26 and is open INTERNATIONALLY.

all photos courtesy of Sarah

1 year blogiversary

Today marks one year since I first started this blog. It was originally named 'Bare Wanderings' because I didn't know what to name it and was struggling to part with my maiden name, Bare.  Although it's an odd last name, I missed it a lot in the first few months of marriage.  I also didn't have a real vision for my blog and originally wrote quite a lot probably too much about my work at a state university.
image {words added by me}
However, I quickly found an awesome community of bloggers and handmade shop owners to connect with and that community is what has kept me blogging consistently. My husband agreed to redesign my blog header when I renamed the blog the city.  I chose the name based on the neighborhood of Boston we were living at the time and have kept it [even though we live in a different city now].  Over the last year, this blog has become more about connecting with others.  While I still struggle to make posts others-centered, I love sharing pieces of life and learning from others.  Thank you for joining me on this journey.
{we heart it}
Because I'm blogging, in the past 12 months I've learned...
-some HTML code [but still need to learn more]
-how to make a recipe my own
-how to network and grow my network online
-how to make multiple fun projects from necklaces to upcycling all kinds o things
-about all the fun linkup parties to show off such projects
-how to be more savvy with technology [Blogger, Tumblr, Pinterest, Photobucket]
-about more cities around the world
-how to host a giveaway 
-improved my use of photo editing tools [photoshop and gimp]
{we heart it}
Want to help me celebrate?
I am hosting a series of giveaways this week. Come back and check them out!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

35 years ago today

My parents said "I do." It was a Friday night in 1976.

[from left to right] wedding rehearsal, waiting to walk down the aisle, receiving line and in the car ready to leave the reception - I just love the expressions on my mom's face.

Their marriage was a great example to me [and others who knew them well] of unconditional love, perseverance, contentment, patience and respect. I took their solid relationship and love for our family for granted while I was young. It wasn't until my mom's last months of life that I really put together just how they loved each other [at least partially] in their marriage. I remember driving her to an appointment one morning and telling her how I was afraid I would never find someone to love me like Dad loved her. She teared up and grabbed my hand, encouraging me to trust God. 

They had a Christ-centered marriage, putting their individual relationships with Jesus before their relationship with each other. They didn't just talk about God as loving and all-powerful, but they both knew him and their marriage was better for it. Their example taught me life was not about where we went to church or what kind of vacation we took, it was about being grateful for each day and living it fully. 

They chose Matthew 18:20 as the verse to be inscribed on their wedding bands. It quotes Jesus saying, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I among them." They shared a life that wasn't easy with my mom being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer less than a year into their marriage. But they believed Jesus Christ was with them through moving to new places with my dad's Air Force career, multiple battles with cancer, and raising two children.

our family white water rafting in Colorado, summer 1997

I'm so grateful for their example, especially now that I'm married. I truly appreciate the way they demonstrated love to each other and their kids. I know my marriage will not look like theirs in some ways, yet I cannot help but think about my parents when I consider my own. Today, I am celebrating the gift of marriage!

my parents dancing at a family wedding in the early 1990's

For those who may be new around here, my mom passed away in June 2001 from septic shock following a third bout with cancer. I've written about her:
10 Things I Learned from Her
New Years Day
Mother's Day

Friday, August 19, 2011

a letter to Milton

photo by Scotland Huber
Dear Milton,

You have been part of our family for nearly a year now.  Do you remember when we picked you up from a shelter in Maine over Labor Day weekend in 2010?  You were so small [about 15 pounds] and nervous.  You couldn't decide to sit, stand or lay down in the back seat of the car, but you did know there was no way you would sit in the front seat to let me hold you.  You were on guard and rightly so because of your first five months of life and the abuse you endured.

Slowly, we gained your trust and now you will hardly let us out of your sight.  You follow us from room to room and want to be close when we sit down on the couch.  I mean you don't leave room for air to come between us with your leaning.  Just the other day you curled up between Brandon's back and the back of the couch.  For a 35 pound dog, you really know how to wedge yourself into places.

You never cease to surprise us with your antics.  Just a few months ago while I was cooking dinner and Brandon was doing yard work you made your blanket into a cape, parading from upstairs to the kitchen with the expression of "look what I did" in your eyes. Oh how you love our attention, and beg for it even when we're already giving it.

We are so happy to have you in our family, even if you leave your fur all over the house.  Does shedding season end?  You make us laugh and want to scream [sometimes within minutes of each other].  We love you, no matter what we call you [Milty, Milly Vanilly, Mil-Tron, Miltronomo and the list goes on] and are happy you keep us on our toes.

With Love,
in the backyard
wedged in between Brandon's back and the couch
wearing his blanket turned cape -who says capes are only for kids?
I'm linking up with Scatter Girls' Pet Love Linky Party

Thursday, August 18, 2011

grateful girl {no. 28}

I started this series last fall and restarted a few weeks ago.
Feel free to make your own list and linkup below!

174. "talking" to my cousin's fiancee for the first time via online chat

175. sharing ideas with colleagues and getting
a new-to-me idea for how to be more effective supervisor

176. code that worked for a free redbox movie: The Adjustment Bureau

177. my first "blogiversary" is coming up this weekend
check back for giveaways

178. people who listen

179. a sunny afternoon to try to jog with the dog
[I won't bring him next time]

What are you grateful for this week?