Thursday, May 24, 2012

I just can't sit still.

Ever since graduating, I'm slowly but surely starting to realize just how much time I used to devote to school. These days, even with re-starting up the blog, working 40+ hours a week, volunteering and actually having a decent social life (gasp!)... I'm still finding myself bored.

I had forgotten what bored felt like.

Lucky for me, boredom doesn't last long when one has a garage full of craft supplies and a 2 hour break between morning shift and night shift!

While in Italy, my girlfriends and I went sight seeing, drank wine, ate fantastic food, drank wine, met some really wonderful people, drank some really wonderful wine oh, and did I mention we tried some Italian wine?

When in Rome... ;-)

So after a few days I started asking everyone t save their wine corks. I had no idea what I would do with them and up until a few days ago, they remained in the very same bag I brought them all home in almost a year ago. Then, inspiration via boredom!

First, gather together your supplies:

  • 1 dark colored 4x6 frame (incase there are any gaps in between your corks)
  • Approximately 14 wine corks (try and stick to the real cork ones, they tend to absorb less of the glue and stick better than the synthetic plastic ones)
  • Quick drying glue
  • The sharpest knife you can find

  1. Score the cork by cutting horizontally about 1/4 of the way through 
  2. Insert the point of the knife into the center of the scored line and push it all the way through until you begin to see the point coming out of the other side of the cork.
  3. With a little muscle (and possibly the help of a not-at-all-sharp butter knife) you can now pry the cork apart into 2 even halves!
  4. Mix up the corks so that it creates the illusion of 28 whole corks rather than just 14 halves
  5. Starting from one corner of the frame and working your way around, lay out your corks to fill the frame
  6. Line up the edges of the corks so they are flush with the picture opening (It's ok for the corks to be uneven around the outside, but you don't want them obscuring the photo)
  7. One by one, pick up each cork and place a dab of glue on the frame (this creates less mess, trust me)
  8. Allow to dry and put in a picture of your choosing!
You can choose to save the corks from a special occasion and frame a memory from it like I did or purchase the corks in bulk if you just can't wait! Makes for a great gift or a neat addition to any gallery wall!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

7 Questions with Gentri Lee

Today I'm linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Gentri Lee for her week 12 of "7 Questions"! Join the fun! I always love reading everyone else's answers!

1. What's your favorite style for home decor? (eclectic, modern, shabby chic, etc.)

I'm a homemade-vintage-modern kind of girl! My dream house is covered in gallery walls with everything from family photos to my latest Pinterest discovery, recovered vintage furniture and a stainless steel Ikea kitchen!

2. What is the best trip you have EVER been on?

Well, if we aren't including my Study Abroad in Florence (which was hands down my favorite), I'd have o say the week I spent in Portland, OR last October.

3. If you could have an exotic pet, what would it be and why?

I'm fairly certain a corgi puppy is about as much "exotic" as I can handle!

4. Do you snore? (you can be honest, we're all friends here.)

I can honestly say I do not! I do however... talk, wiggle around A LOT and occasionally sleep-walk. I'm pretty sure Nick would prefer I snorred!

5. Your car breaks down on the side of the road, what do you do?

My wonderful Grandmother loves me and knows my luck with cars well enough that I have had a Triple A subscription for about 5 years now.

6. What's one item that has been on your wishlist lately?

This super cool dopamine molecule necklace has been on my wishlist for as long as I can remember. I really should just break down and buy it already!

7. It's almost Summer (or winter if you live in the Southern Hemisphere), what are you looking forward to most?

Now this question just couldn't be easier! I leave for Tokyo in a little under 3 weeks :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Macaroons are the new cupcake."

Is matter-of-factly what I told my mother yesterday right before sprinting into a little shop in the upscale area of Downtown Orlando called Le Macaroon. These cute, puffy little treats that come in an entire rainbow of both natural and unnatural colors, that I have seen all over the blogosphere as of late, but have yet to actually try.

Honestly, I sort of thought they were a real big city thing. And maybe this sounds silly but, I never really have thought of Orlando as a real big city. More of a pseudo city that sprung up based on the need for hotels and restaurants to surround Disney. A lot of stuff, but not a lot of character.

Little by little though, O-town has been surprising me! From fantastic little BBQ restaurants and auction houses to the cupcake shop that USA Today named one of the top 10 cupcake stops in the country!

And now... Macaroons!!!

They weren't exactly what I was expecting... more meringue and less cookie. But after the initial shock and a bite of one called Madagascar Vanilla Bean and Cassis, I was hooked.

So well played, blogosphere. Well played!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

30 Before 30: Boston

March. Smack in the middle of my last semester of college and right about when a mental break seemed imminent. My girlfriends and I decided to take an impromptu trip for a St. Patricks day weekend in the most Irish place you can get without actually going over the ocean. Boston Massachusetts.  

Boston has really always had a soft spot in my heart and was the trip in 2010 that implanted the travel bug in my head. 

You remember way back when I took that trip out to Portland Oregon? And I asked you how a Florida girl should dress in cold Portland weather? 

Well… Portland ain't got nothin' on March in Boston kind of cold. 

However, I'm proud to announce that not only was it freezing but I also had a killer flu, hardly any voice (think the Friends episode where Phoebe gets her "sexy voice") and still somehow managed to look cute and stay warm!

It should come as no surprise that my absolute favorite part of the trip was the Boston Museum of Fine Arts! 

Being such a huge and historically relevant city though, Boston had a ton more art to offer than simply the museum. 

The Boston Public Library was simply breathtaking and covered in frescos reminiscent of my summer Florence. That and it had a bunch of random little secret passage ways that we were constantly trying to sneak into (National Treasure: Boston Edition, anyone?)

Being that we were in Boston and it was St. Patricks day, there was also a fair amount of debauchery that took place and included (but was not limited to) Attempting to "race" statues of a tortus and hare, making friends with street musicians that were also from Florida, having them follow us into a CVS and then subsequently getting kicked out of said CVS. Such is life in the Northeast I guess!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pup-date 2012

Since you all have been here from the first day we brought her home, I'm sure you're all wondering how our little furry baby is doing these days. She now knows how to sit, stay, not pee in the house and dance when told to "party rock."

And have I mentioned she has become quite the little Instagram celebrity?

Monday, May 14, 2012

That one time a normal concert turned into an unforgettable night.

So it finally happened, eh? People finally know who fun. are! You know, these guys (and girl)

Well the thing is, I've been mildly obsessed with them since they were still this

And by mildly I mean roughly 7 years of fandom, a copy of every CD and EP, about 8 concerts and a small river of tears when their original band, The Format, announced they were breaking up. And then a years worth of anxious waiting when Nate announced his new band fun. was making an album.

So when I say mildly, I actually mean extremely. Nate Ruess has sung the melodies of the best and worst moments of my young adult life in a way I never could have vocalized myself. March 8th, I joined a few of my closest friends for our most recent repeat fun. concert and it was HUGE! 7 other shows and never had I seen a crowd like this. My dreams of finally meeting Nate were fading fast, but like hell was I about to let that happen.

Making friends with an official photographer? Fail.
Trying to sneak backstage? Fail.
Pestering the door man? Fail.
Bar hopping to try and find their after party? Fail.
Asking a backup band member? Now we're talking! She told us not only when, but where the guys from the band would be leaving the venue and about 30 minutes later, I had a signed flyer and of course, this:

Yes I acted like a star struck fool and yes I also danced all over the streets all the way back to my car. May have looked like a crazy person but, hey, I met my musical idol!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guess who's back?!

Guess who's back to the blogging world after a rather lengthy hiatus?! For those of you that continued following even in the almost 3 months of silence, I thank you and promise that the fun has just begun! I have a number of wonderful things in store and ample time to devote to them!

That being said, today also marks the beginning of a transitionary phase for A Sweet Release. To say this past semester has been a formative one for myself would be an understatement at best and it is my hope that I will be able to allow ASR to grow right along with me. So get ready ladies, because I've got more than a few new tricks up my sleeves!

Of course, while away I knew I had every intention of making a triumphant return to the blog-o-shere after graduation so I kept a little running list of my life over the hiatus. Don't worry, this is merely the cliffnotes version and explanatory posts are in the works to be posted over the next few weeks!

  • Kinda sorta actually learned some French!
  • Not only saw Fun. in concert again, but met Nate Ruess and Emily Moore
  • Went to Boston, Mass again and tried to snuggle a Krugger, Siqeurous, and Kirchner. Then got very intoxicated off green beer, made friends with a street musician and got kicked out of a CVS.
  • Booked a hotel and bought tickets for Art Basel Miami 2012
  • Volunteered at Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando
  • Went on a wine tour with Nick at the Lakeridge Winery
  • Potty trained Penny!
  • Made a budget and stuck to it for awhile, screwed up the week we went to Boston, but successfully started saving again at the end of March
  • Came to terms with an abusive (past, Nick and I are still going strong)relationship, contacted an advocate at my school's Victim's Services and started seeing a therapist
  • Booked a flight to Japan!
  • Learned to stand up for myself against drama ridden, toxic friends.
  • Bought a cruise ticket for Cozumel!
  • Made a 102 average in a class

And of course, became a member of the college class of 2012!