Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Slow Down


Often times I feel like I am wishing time away. I can't wait until classes are done. I can't wait until the week is over. I can't wait until the snow goes away. I can't wait until I can see my parents and CB again. I can't wait for fitness testing to be over with. I can't wait for the summer to be here...and so on. But really each time I am yearning for something to be done with just so I can make it to the next thing and then the next. It's like this constant cycle. I was really excited to take certain classes this semester, but now that I'm taking them, I can't wait for them to be over and to sign up for my new classes next semester. I miss my parents and CB, but I should be taking advantage of hanging out with my friends more and interacting with all of the cool people around me. I guess what I am getting at is that if I keep living my life this way, anticipating the future, I am more prone to let-downs and disappointments and missing out on all of the good stuff that is right in front of me. I'm worried that I'll be looking back on my life 40 years from now asking myself where all of my time went. So I'm really liking this simple "slow down" mantra. Life goes by too fast. I want to take advantage of everything in front of me, slow down and appreciate things a little bit more. I have time to walk from point A to point B. There's no use in getting frustrated at the slower walkers in front of me.



Anyone ever feel this way or have any good quotes to live by?


Always,
Alyssa


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crazy for Cookie Dough.

I have to say I have been pretty well behaved in terms of my nutrition. No I have not cut back on all of my indulgences, but I have cut back enough to make my indulgences feel like indulgences (if you know what I mean). There gets to be a certain point when things no longer taste good because you give yourself too much too often. Cutting back really makes you appreciate special treats! Taking that into account, I think one of my very favorite treats would have to be cookie dough. No not cookies- real, fresh, made from scratch, cookie dough. If I am forced to eat cookies (if anyone would ever have to force me), the gooier and the softer the better. I rarely get to indulge in cookie dough when I am at school! So, am I excited to live off campus next year so I can bake and cook as I please? Yes. Will that include eating raw cookie dough from time to time? Yes. (although I might have to find an eggless version). Am I dying to make cookie dough CUPCAKES? YES. Two of my favorite food groups combined! Mmmm.

Images that aren't helping this matter, and also for your viewing pleasure:


















images 1-4 {via) image 5 {via}


What are your killer indulgences?


Always,
Alyssa

Monday, March 28, 2011

Martha Stewart Living: Easter Favorites




Martha Stewart Living is one of my very favorite magazines and Easter is one of my very favorite holidays,  so when the two join together, you can only imagine how excited I get. The latest spring issue featured a bunch of fun Easter crafts, and good Easter finds. The magazine always has really fun colors and beautiful pictures to look at, and I was particularly enthralled with the array blues this issue had. One of my favorite featured things in this magazine however, was gourmet Easter candy (surprise, surprise). A company called Woodhouse Chocolates, based in Napa Valley CA, makes these beautiful milk chocolate and brown-butter ganache chocolate eggs. I might just have to send myself some for the holidays! This could be a fun take on what I consider to by the "traditional robins egg"- Whoppers Robin Eggs of course. I may or may not have already bought myself a bag...



(Whopper version)






(Woodhouse chocolates version)



How good do those look?


Always,
Alyssa

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

Tatiana, of Love Life Lace reflects in a blog post each week about different things she is thankful for. I decided to jump on the train and take the weekly gratitude challenge, because it is too often that I forget to appreciate the little things in life. CB thinks I am a pretty positive person, and I agree, but I think there is always room for improvement. It has been too many years that I have been judging and criticizing not only myself, but others- especially those whom I don't know. It's time for me to take a step back and look more at the positives in other people and in life. The opportunities that lie ahead of and in front of me are endless. I can't keep taking them for granted. I think this blog has already been a really positive step for me. It's made me think more about the things I enjoy. I first tried doing "monday means..." posts, which I think I will revisit from time to time, but I really believe weekly gratitude is a great way to reflect on my week. So here it goes:



  • Thank you to my roommates over spring break, for putting up with my annoying coughing each and every night. (Special shout out to MC who had to share a bed with me).
  • Thank you to my coaches, for giving me their time, inspiration, patience and faith.
  • Thank you to my parents for encouraging me, believing in me & supporting me both emotionally and financially! I couldn't do anything I do without you guys.
  • Thank you to all the kind people in Oak Ridge Tennessee. Nothing like a little southern hospitality!
  • Thank you to the crew team. You guys are so awesome. I can't wait to start the season with you!
  • Thank you to Mother Nature. I really enjoyed the warm sunshine over spring break.
  • Thank you to my good health (minus this horrible sinus infection). No bad knees! I have been able to complete all of the runs and rows. Yay!
  • Thank you to having clean water. It's my go-to drink.
  • Thank you to Skidmore College, for being given the opportunity to take so many cool classes.
  • Thank you to Dunkin Donuts, for providing me with the best iced coffee ever!
A view of a sunrise going over the thousand island bridge this past summer, near my summer house. Just another one of the things I am thankful for (and also for not crashing while I took this picture...hehe).


What are you guys thankful for?


Always,
Alyssa

Thursday, March 24, 2011

PatrickIrla Jewelry

I've been eyeing this ring on Etsy for a while, and seeing as my blog is called "Happiness and Hydrangeas", I thought it would be appropriate to mention. The ring is a sterling silver band and has an 18K yellow gold hydrangea blossom perched on the top next to a small diamond. It is handmade by PatrickIrla Jewelry and it is breathtaking. The style also makes it perfect for stacking!







stacked with a tiny bee ring by the same artist:
How cute do those look together?!






Also, I think it would look great with a special handmade ring my mom gave me from a designer based in Syracuse. I wear it everyday:





Always,
Alyssa

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If I had a million dollars...

I would buy almost everything from Lilly's Spring 2011 collection!

blossom dress



essie shirtdress



elsa top



whitley skirt



kiera coat



...and this is just a taste. I can't wait to see even more patterns as they come out!

Always,
Alyssa




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Springtime Favorites

I was really hoping that the official start of spring would bring some "springtime weather". Although there have been a few moments of teasing weather, snow is still in the forecast for the next couple of days. It's quite depressing, but I know there are brighter days ahead (literally).

Some of my springtime favorites:
-sandals and cute flats
-brighter clothing
-sunglasses
-bronzed skin
-blue skies
-going for runs outside
-daffodils, lilacs, and other springtime flowers
-more excuses to eat ice cream
-wearing skirts and dresses without tights
-laying on the green and pretending to do work.











images {via}



what are some of your springtime favorites?


Always,
Alyssa



Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother! May you have many more years filled with good health and happiness, and may life continue to be as sweet as strawberry shortcake! Love you.


(one of her favorite desserts)



me, my mom, and my little sister at a wedding over the summer


Always,
Alyssa

image 1 {via}

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sweet Springtime

To me, this is perfection:



How nice would it be to just sit out there on a warm sunny day, sipping on fresh squeezed lemonade, and reading a book or a magazine? To me, that sounds like a perfect day.  Today was a pretty perfect day in itself. After some fairly solid pieces out on the water, I came back to the hotel and relaxed outside in the sunny 70 degree weather with a bunch of the girls on the team. Landscapers were outside laying down new plants and fresh mulch. I love the smell of fresh mulch, and fresh flowers. It really is getting me in the mood for spring. Good thing spring is officially here in only a few days! Now I need to cross my fingers that the weather holds out in upstate New York.




Always,
Alyssa


image {via}

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green is Good.

Green is one of my favorite colors. It was one of my main school colors in high school, and now in college.  Lucky for me, I get to wear my favorite color today, because it's St. Patrick's Day (but mostly because it's one of our school colors and we're scrimmaging today). Other than the wearing of green, my college St. Patrick's day's are far from festive. When I was younger I would go to school decked out in green, with a "kiss me i'm irish" pin. Of course, the only kisses I got were from my parents. My family embraced our irish heritage the evening of St. Patrick  with a delicious meal of corned beef and cabbage. I feel that people who are Irish are very proud people, particularly on this day. I would take pride in these things, along with the "shamrock shakes" from McDonald's, green bagels from Bruegger's Bagels, and green frosted cookies from the school cafeteria. Not to mention the parade that would go through the city of syracuse and I would be in awe of the irish step dancers, something I always wished I could do. Today I will celebrate in spirit racing on the water, while I envy one of MC's best friend's who is actually in Dublin, Ireland, and CB, who is in Boston. Two of the best places you could celebrate; other than Oak Ridge Tennessee of course. Whether you're irish or not, it's always fun to take time to celebrate your heritage! Regardless, happy St. Patrick's day everyone!




Always,
Alyssa


image via here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Help Japan

Being a college student at a small liberal arts school in the northeast, it's easy for me to get caught up in the bubble of a life that I live. I know I can only speak for myself, but I know a lot of times it can be hard to count your blessings when life seems to bring you down. That being said, I think most of us can take a step back and at least do a little something for Japan. It only takes a few minutes to donate money to the red cross online and you can also text REDCROSS  to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone. Every little bit counts!


Always,
Alyssa

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Warm Breakfast

The best part about spring training other than getting fit (and hopefully tan) is relaxing after practices. There's nothing better than eating a nice meal, taking a hot bath, and then hopping into bed to sleep before the next session. These practices have really been taking a toll on my body, and after today's morning practice, I just could not wait to eat. I decided to make whole grain pancakes with Applegate chicken and maple breakfast sausage; complete with a little light butter, real maple syrup, and a glass of skim milk. It really hit the spot. Not only was it delicious, but I like to think it wasn't that bad for me either because I got a serving of whole grains and lean protein. I highly recommend the chicken sausage, it was so good and tasted like real sausage!









Always,
Alyssa

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Break

After about 15 hours on a bus and 900 miles, my spring "break" has officially started. Lots of rowing, running, sleeping and eating are bound to entail. We already had our first practice today, and it was so nice to be back on the water! A good 70 degrees and sunny where we are in Tennessee, and the bus ride was actually bearable. How to make an extremely long bus ride seem shorter? Snacks, pillow and blanket, magazines, books, dvd and music.










Always,
Alyssa



images via here

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cupcake in a Jar

I found this tutorial on making a cupcake in a jar and it is so much easier than it looks! Granted, this is the first time I have ever seen such a thing, but something about it just seems so brilliant. I love cupcakes (red velvet being my newest obsession) and I love eating things with spoons, so combining the two is just ingenious. Cupcakes are really made for eating with your hands, and if you tried to eat one with the spoon, it just would not be as successful as eating one out of a jar. Eating a delicious cupcake with a spoon and out of a jar, would only make the experience even more invigorating than it already is. That being said I have not made this yet (due to lack of access to an oven), but you can be assured that I will in the future, and will most definitely blog about it! If any of you try (or have tried this) let me know how it turns out! It's super simple, you basically just cut a cupcake in half, put frosting in the middle and pack it down nicely.




























How delicious do those look? And I'm loving the photographs, especially the last two. For pictures, recipes, and more visit here. I have not tried the red velvet recipe she uses. But I have tried this one and blogged about it in my very first post. So tasty!


Always,
Alyssa


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Enough Said.

I am not going to lie, I love school. I like learning new things and doing things that are hands on. When it's time to sign up for classes each semester, I get really excited because there are just so many fun classes I want to take. So much so, that I am even thinking about staying here over the summer so I can take even more classes (whattt!?!?!). The truth is I like learning, and I think it is partly because I don't always take school work as "seriously" as I should. My friends seem to stress out about it a lot, but for some reason homework isn't really a stressor to me, it's just a pain in my rear. So many more miniscule things stress me out. I don't know why! I currently am bogged down with work, and although I am not particularly stressed, I'm just sick and tired of homework! 



A Good Mantra to Live by (sometimes):





A mantra I wish I could live by (hehe):





how I feel right now:




Always,
Alyssa


images via weheartit

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Dahl House

... is a nice little company that makes "hand painted frames, furniture and accessories". I really enjoy personalized and handmade things, so this company is right up my alley! EAS, from Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore is hosting a giveaway of a 5x7 hand painted frame to one lucky reader! Frames I am liking:

(I would put my school's logo and oars of course)


classic single monogram


I know CB would really like this one!



Always,
Alyssa

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monogrammed Monday

Both Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade have some really cute iphone cases, but they don't have any for blackberry! Although I still think they should make some cases for blackberry, I found a site that may or may not make this situation a little better. The Monogrammed Merchant makes personalized blackberry cases (among many other cool items). I have yet to give in and buy one, although I like a lot of the different patterns!










Always,
Alyssa