Thursday, March 31, 2016

Confessional Thursday

Although I've not before participated in Confessional Thursday I've enjoyed reading them on other blogs, and kinda feel like I have some confessions I need to make here goes nothing....

I confess.....

....that while I've been fighting this nasty respiratory thing  I've watched entirely too much reality TV.  All caught up on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Fixer Upper (can they come to my house, please??) and Chrisley Knows Best.  He's so over the top, but just hilarious.

...that I've been obsessing over this Clinique sample.  I don't understand how I've never really tried it before, but it's working wonders on my winter skin!  It certainly needs to be added to my routine!

...that I've been really good about plugging in food to My Fitness Pal, but may or may not have done a few jumping jacks in the kitchen the other night before dinner so the Fitbit would balance out the avocado I was going to add to my fajita.

...I have absolutely loved being able to work from home this winter.  I'm all about waking up early, pouring a big mug of coffee, and knocking things out in my jammies with Stan at my feet. 

...Hubby has been giving me lessons on driving a stick this week.  I remember driving the Jeep at the ranch back in the day, but it's a whole 'nother ballgame driving the streets of Indy.  Although it frustrates me that Hubby doesn't say much in way of direction, at least he isn't frustrated or yelling at me :).

...finally, I'm really disappointed it's already Thursday...I'm not ready for Spring Break to end!!

What confessions do you have to make?  I'd love to hear them!

Happy Thursday!
Today you can find me at The Newly. 

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Rocksbox Jewelry Love #2

Last month I shared Rocksbox, my new-found favorite way to add a little jewelry into my life and I'm still loving it!  What could be better than finding a little box of jewelry in the mailbox with items for you to wear as much as you'd like, only to send them back and start the process all over again??

Just to it works:
* Take a quick survey and fill out a wish list.
* Receive three items chosen for you in the most darling little box. (I'm a sucker for a pink bow!)
* Wear the pieces as much as you'd like!!
* You can choose to simply borrow, buy, or swap. Once you're ready, package the items back up and ship back (for free) or keep the pieces you want.
* Receive your new box and start the process all over many times as you would like!! It's unlimited!

The sweet folks at Rocksbox have offered your first month free! Try out the service for absolutely nothing!  Just enter the code MELISSAFBFF1 at checkout for your free month trial! 

My latest box was even better than the last, including two necklaces from my wish list and a wrap bracelet.

This Perry Street Alice Necklace was my favorite.  It is totally not something I would have picked up on my own, but found myself reaching for it over and over again.  I love that I was able to try it out without any pressure to purchase.  It certainly elevated the leggings and long cardigan / tunic look I've been rocking this winter.


The second necklace in my box was this SLATE Maya necklace in gold.  I love the three layers and found it was easy to pair with a wide variety of outfits.  It would be a great piece going into Spring and Summer, kind of soft and dainty.

The third piece in my box was again something I wouldn't have chosen for myself, and wasn't on my wishlist either.  To be completely honest, when I pulled the Nakamol Beaded Leather Wrap Bracelet in Bronze & Silver out of the box I was initially disappointed.  But, they may have converted me to a wrap bracelet enthusiast.  I loved it paired with my gray sweaters and it was perfect for work, where I do a lot of writing.  

 All in all I would recommend the service.  It's kind of like borrowing your favorite pieces from your girlfriends. There are some pros and cons, however, so here's a few from my experiences....

* All pieces are designer items.  (Each box usually averages around $200).
* Should you fall in love with a piece and just don't want to part with it, you can make it yours at a discounted price, and $10 of your subscription fee goes towards the purchase.
* Swap boxes and it's like a whole new wardrobe....and you can do this as often as you like.
* The biggest pro for me is that I'm able to try new styles without having to commit to purchasing them.  It allows me to step outside my comfort zone and try new things without any risk.  If I don't like it, I send it back.  In addition, if I think I like something, but get it home and discover it doesn't go with the items in my closet, then no worries.

* The pieces are used, although each piece is cleaned and inspected before being shipped.  It doesn't bother me, but if you only like things straight out of the box, this service might not be for you.
* It's hard to wait for your next box.  I've found the shipping back and forth takes a few days, and although that seems reasonable, it doesn't make it any easier ;).

* I'm not listing this in either category, because I think deciding which it fits into will be an individual choice.  Pieces in your box might not be on your wish list.  I've been lucky to receive items from my list, but I've also received a few items that weren't on it....I've really liked some and one was a bust.  But to me, that's ok.  I appreciate that some of the things they're choosing for me are a bit out of the norm for me.  I need a little push out of my box....

Whew, I wasn't intending for this post to be quite so long...if you're still with me, thanks for sticking around.  Don't forget you can use the code MELISSAFBFF1 for a free month of Rocksbox yourself.  Let me know if you sign up....I'd love a peek at your wishlist!  

Happy "Shopping"!

*Affiliate links included in this post.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Five [3.25.16]

Happy Friday!! Spring Break starts tomorrow and I can hardly wait!!  So, let's just get right down to it....

Wishing all of you that are celebrating this weekend a blessed Good Friday and Easter weekend.  As I've mentioned before I'm Orthodox.  Since we use a different calendar our Easter isn't until May this year.  I've been trying to decide if I should still put up decorations this year...Usually they are a bit closer and it's not quite as noticeable.  I'm sure the neighbors will think I've truly lost it this year....

Today is Greek Independence Day!  Every year I flash back to many a Greek School plays in which I reenacted jumping off the side of the stage mountain, baby in hand, as opposed to being captured by the Turks.  Zhto e Ellada! (Find my Greek recipes here for your own celebration.)

A Greek presidential guard hoists the Greek flag in front of the Parthenon temple at the Acropolis hill in Athens October 3, 2010. Greece's presidential guard hoists the national flag on the Acropolis hill every Sunday. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Yesterday we were working on similes in class.  The kiddos had to write an original one of their own.  Check out this little gem.....

.....yep, apparently I'm as old as Yoda. I was already slightly grumpy about my upcoming b-day (and feeling really old). This may have sent me over the edge.

In honor of Greek Independence Day and my birthday (tomorrow) Hubby is taking me to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.  So. excited.  The first may or may not have been an accurate depiction of me and my non-Greek Hubby.

My Hoosiers play in the Sweet 16 tonight!  Unfortunately tip off isn't until 9:57.  I'm hoping this old as Yoda girl doesn't fall asleep...

Wishing y'all terrific weekends!! Today I'm linking up with:

Happy Friday!!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Five [3.18.16]

Happy Friday!!  I think we've finally broken into Spring around these parts and we're just loving it!  We broke out the grill, have taken walks around the neighborhood, and are dreaming of the garden.  My beloved Hoosiers won last night,too!! But for now, here's this week's five....

The Williams-Sonoma catalog arrived and with it the most darling bee items.  So very cute. So smitten with these plates, flatware, and beehive cake pan.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tell Me About Yourself

I saw this post on the darling Miss Dixie's blog and thought it would be fun to do one of my own.  Be sure to stop and check out her responses, too!  The wallpaper she shared is to die for!

At the top of your wishlist right now: For the house I've been eyeing these Ikat curtains pinned from Southern Living.  I'm longing to recreate the look in our living room.  For myself, this darling Lilly dress and these Jack Rogers are on the list at the moment.

Custom Curtains:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What's for Dinner [Teriyaki Chicken Thighs]

There are only a few chicken dishes I can convince Hubby to eat....fried (of course), Sticky Chicken, and these Teriyaki Chicken Thighs are a few which he really does love.  Simply mix up the marinade, let marinate for a few hours, and then throw on the grill.  Yum!  (In the winter I cook in a 375 degree oven, but I have to admit, it's much better on the grill!  Happily, it's been warmer here and we finally broke out the Weber for the first time this season!)
Please forgive the quickly snapped photo.....Hubby was ready to eat!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Honey Bee Love at Williams-Sonoma

Clearly we have a great affinity for the honey bee in this happy little hive.  Really, it started at the very beginning.  Melissa is the Greek word for honey bee (as in if I were introducing myself I would say, "Hi, I'm honey bee...").  Then in college, Daddy took the boys and me to a beekeeping class.  Although we were skeptical at the time, it's ended up being a true love.  It took a bit of convincing for Hubby to bite the bullet and add a couple hives to our yard, but I finally won him over. (I am, however, still working on the chickens.  No luck yet.)  Although it sounds corny, seeing them zip around our backyard really does make my heart smile.

So, when the latest Williams-Sonoma catalog landed in our mailbox last week, I had an awfully hard time resisting placing an order.  It's buzzing with the sweetest little bee items.

My favorite is the darling embossed china.  How cute would it be for a dinner in the garden??  (Yes, with our bees providing the entertainment.)

Iced Tea Spoons

I'm not entirely sure I'd be able to construct this darling beehive cake like it looks in the photos, but it might be worth a try.  The pre-made royal icing bees add a cute little touch, too, and I know I'd be capable of adding them to some homemade cupcakes.

Cake Pan
Finally, how cute is this kitchen towel?  And with it's French sayings, it's the perfect combination of two loves.

Add caption
While we're discussing our beloved bees, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how very important they are to our everyday life.  Two out of every three bites of food is thanks to them.  When you're purchasing your flowers this spring, please take a moment to ensure your flowers have not been treated with neonicotinoids.  Although there are some big box stores weeding out (pun intended...I know my neighbors don't love our dandelions and clover, but our bees sure do....) this treatment in the next couple years, they will still offer many treated flowers this summer, so please choose wisely.  You can read this article for more information.   And please, please, please don't spray hives to get them out of your yard.  Find a local beekeeper who, I'm sure, would be thrilled to come relocate them.

Happy Bee Love! 
*Affiliate links included in this post.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Five [3.11.16]

Thank goodness it is finally Friday.  It has been such an incredibly long week that twice I've woken up thinking it was Friday (and both times were not today).

I'm so very privileged to work with a special group of kiddos at school.  I've been with the "Compass Program" for many years.  I'm in a unique position and get to be with the kids for third, fourth, and fifth grades.  By the time they leave us, I'm incredibly attached.  I really do love them dearly.

We said goodbye to one of our Compass family members this week who was killed in a car accident last weekend.  He was quite an incredible young man, with an enormously caring heart, an inquisitive and intelligent mind, a joy for learning, and a smile and laugh that would light up the room.  I've spent a lot of time remembering one of my favorite groups ever this week.  There was something so special about the combination of kids in that class.  Although they are high schoolers now, they are still my kiddos.  It has been incredibly touching to watch our entire Compass family come together to support each other and his family during this tragic time,  May his memory be eternal.  I know I'll never forget him.

That being said, I just don't know that I have it in me to write a Friday Five today.  

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Five [3.4.16]

Happy Friday!!  My goodness what a long week it's been.  We started our statewide testing, which is always exhausting and I've been fighting a cold.  In fact, I've made avgolemono (Greek chicken soup) three times in the last few weeks.  It's a bowl of comfort.  But now, let's get down to this week's five:

I gave a little beauty PSA earlier this week.  I've been using a Clarisonic since Christmas and I'm completely hooked.  Paired with my beloved Erno Laszlo it's perfection.  I think their Phelityl Oil would be my necessity on a deserted island.  Well, that and maybe matches and a water filter :).  I'm still seeking the perfect eye cream and am all ears for suggestions on what you love!!

I started a new planning system this year, and it's working like a charm!  The planner I'm using is on sale now...only $3.98!!  I love it!!

Chai tea has become my new favorite afternoon treat.  Although I've always loved it, my afternoon tea is usually limited to herbal blends (read: caffeine free or I can't sleep).  That is until I discovered this decaf version.  Add a smidge of sugar and some warm milk and it's heavenly.  The other aspect of the picture lead us to.....

Bestie KP stopped by the hospital with a loving, thoughtful gift from her and dear friends PK and RM.  The lovely Alex and Ani Sacred Dove symbolizes faith and peace.  Throughout Hubby's seven weeks there it served as a reminder not only to keep the faith and a peaceful heart, but also how very lucky I am to have such an incredible support system.  This week the Unexpected Miracles Acorn was added to my collection.  Hubby is certainly a miracle, one for which I'm grateful every minute of every day, and he's as strong as an oak, too, so it's certainly fitting.

We celebrated Dr. Seuss this week with green eggs and ham for dinner.  I'd enjoy these easy baked eggs in a box, with a fox, here or there, on a boat, with a get the idea.  Make them for brunch this won't be sorry!

If you follow me on Instagram you know that Hubby and I started Fuller House last weekend.  We're slowly making our way through it.  He pretends he doesn't like it, but always seems to be chuckling and secretly watching.  Question though: was there this much adult content in the first and it just went over my head??  Maybe they figured those who watched it years ago are all now grown?  I have to admit though, I'd watch John Stamos read the phone book....

Wishing y'all terrific weekends!! Today I'm linking up with:

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

What''s for Dinner [Green Eggs and Ham]

Last night Hubby and I had a little celebration in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday.  Growing up I read a  three books in rotation, Make Way for Ducklings (my ultimate favorite), Madeline, and Green Eggs and Ham

I decorated the table with Seussicalesque wrapping paper from my stash, a couple copies of his classic work, and our chalkboard menu which listed our menu consisting of green eggs (baked eggs with fresh herbs) and ham, truffula fruit (blueberries), and pink ink drink (strawberry milk). 

Let's just be clear here....I'd eat these eggs in a box, with a fox, on a boat, with a goat, I'd eat them here or there, I'd eat them anywhere!  They are so yummy and actually make the yummiest lazy weekend morning breakfast.  Toss some ingredients in a ramekin, throw them in the oven, and in 5-7 minutes you're treated to some yumminess.  We love them served with baguette or ciabatta toast.

Baked Eggs with Fresh Herbs
Ingredients (per ramekin):
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • fresh thyme, chopped
  • fresh ground pepper
  • butter
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Into each ramekin:
  • Place a pat of butter in each ramekin.  Put in warm oven just until butter melts.
  • Add 1 T milk.
  • Break 2 eggs, careful not to break yolks.
  • Add generous pinch / smidge Parmesan cheese.
  • Top with generous sprinkle of fresh herbs.
  • Pepper to taste.
  • Bake for 5-7 minutes. Tip: Whites shouldn't be completely set, but almost, so that the white will set while resting, but yolks will still be runny.
  • Remove from oven and allow to set for 2 minutes before serving. 
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss and 
Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

PSA: Erno Laszlo and Clarisonic

Many moons ago as a teenager my sweet mama introduced me to Erno Laszlo.  Back then my skin was oily and their Sea Mud Soap was a complete Godsend.  Truly.  The little black bar (which lasted forever) worked miracles.  It was a little shocking to look at and was quite a conversation starter when I went to college, but those who tried it converted immediately.  It's the perfect soap for oily or combination skin.  I'd still be using it today, except....

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