Monday, July 23, 2012

Bee Happy

Image Credit
Delilah Smith, Michigan, USA
Emily Dickenson 

Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry
Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.
His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.
His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!

Oh the sweet summer sounds of bees buzzing in the gardens. Well, I'm not thinking about these kind fat bees today, I've got my mind on their little, angry, bee friends as I accidentally stepped on a hive of them yesterday evening. 
After a lovely afternoon of kayaking with my brother around Lake Calhoun, I got a sting on my hand as I was pulling my kayak out. My poor brother had to army crawl through the water to rescue my Kayak by pulling it back out to the lake and around to a bee free location. 

I have some winning tips on how to treat a sting. I read an article on the topic that had multiple solutions but I'll tell you about what I did that worked like a charm! 

  1. First, put pressure on the area around the sting to contain how far the pain will spread. This is key!! 
  2. Make sure you still don't have a stinger in the site, then wash it with soap and water. 
  3. Take an ibuprofen.
  4. Ice the sting areaThe coldness constricts blood vessels (which slows the flow of venom-tainted blood) and numbs the pain and itching. 
  5. Now, the natural remedy: Put a slice of tomato on the sting site for about 5 min.
  6. Reapply the ice and tomato about every 5 hours as needed. 

Day two, your sting will be an itchy little sucker. I suggest putting toothpaste on the sting site.  The tingling action will make you feel like you're scratching the itch, which is relieving. (I'm typing this  WITH my toothpaste on the sting, and it feels SO much better.)

Hope you are getting along with the bees this summer. But if not, I hope these remedies work as well for you as they have for me! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hi! I want to make your life better

Ok, so maybe I can't make your whole life better but I can tell you that what makes my little Amanda heart happy is helping people live and work in spaces that inspire, calm, and balance everyday life. Did you know the environments you spend your time in could do all that for you? I do what I do for love.  I think it’s important work.  I want to help people. 
I chose my college major of interior design because I had a natural knack. My patient and encouraging mother was kind enough to allow me "creative license" in her home as I stretched my aspiring designer wings. With enough creativity oozing from every pore I couldn't walk into a room without being filled with ideas and if I didn't find an outlet for it all, I'd combust . Now, as an entrepreneur,  I see the wonderfully positive effects that a well designed and utterly creative space can have on the human spirt. And I need to design more. I need to reach more people and give their spaces a loving and creative kick in the butt, so that their full potential can be reached.  
Interior design is my expression of Joy and I want to share my joy with as many people, companies, and fellow business owners as I can; you know, to make the world a more beautiful place to live and work in.  To do this, especially in this economy, I'm committed to finding the best prices for the highest quality. I'm not expecting to get rich. I just want to do what I love and pay my bills.  
Well, you might say, not everyone can afford a designer. This is true and that is a big part of why I keep this blog, pinterest and a facebook; to inspire the DIYers and folks on a small income; because everyone deserves a wonderful space.

So that is my challenge. How to reach more nice people like you?

Foodie Favorites, Milwaukee Edition

I heart Milwaukee, WI! After living in this trendy, eco conscious and foodie friendly city for five years, I would like to share with you a few of my favorite spots to grab some great grub.

First and formost, Ristorate' Bartolotta. (Ahh, my mouth waters just typing the words.) Located in the charming suburb of Wauwatosa. The environment is romantic, the service staff is top notch and extremely knowledgeable of the Italian menue. I prefer a seat bellied up to the warm and rustic bar. Now, what to recommend you eat...everything! Favorites that I still taste in my dreams are the salmon and pepperdellie. You must have a glass of an Italian red wine or share a bottle on their special half price wine nights. The seasonal menue changes; favorites like the white truffle and heirloom tomato menue are to die for and are worth planning your travel to milwaukee around.

Not too far from Miller Stadium you'll find El Senorial's mexican restaurant. This is my favorite for super cheep and incredibly tasty chimichangas. (Don't forget the extra guacamole!) Wash it down with a pacifico beer and you just had yourself fun frugal and authentically mexican evening. Don't go to this restaurant for atmosphere but the festive tunes and bustling diners help distact from the outdated decor.

At Pizzaria Piccola you will find the BEST thin crust, naples style pizza. I don't mess around with the fancy toppings, I just stick with the classic margarita pizza and it is cooked to perfection in their wood burning oven.  Sip the local brew and my personal favorite beer eveR, New Glares Spotted Cow.

The hipster vibe and eclectic decor makes Cafe Hollander a favorite for sunday breakfast. I love a mrs. hollander breakfast and a spicy bloody mary. They also serve my favorite Belgium style beer, Kwak on tap here.  They have two locations in the Milwaukee area.

And I can't talk about my favorite places to eat without mentioning my favorite place to get groceries (and don't forget to bring own market tote!) 
Sendicks Food Market
Why I Shop: They have the freshest and best priced produce (and beautifully stacked, I might add), a wonderful meat counter staffed with very helpful butchers, and you can get a beautiful dozen roses for only $7.99 everyday ( I can't beat that when I buy wholesale!)

Groppi's Food Market is a neighborhood grocer in Bay View, WI (great views of downtown Milwaukee from this town) This charming Italian market is my favorite for buying fresh cuts of meet and the only place I buy my Italian Arborio rice for making risotto.

Located in the public market in one of my favorite downtown neighborhoods, the Third Ward; you will find St. Pauls fish counter has a wonderful assortment of fresh fish and an oyster bar thats hard to beat. Belly up with a pinte of your favorite local brew and a plate of fresh oysters or a bowl of clam chowder.