Saturday, July 30, 2011

August Preview.

Just a peek at what's to come on MerelyMarie. 
See you in August!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mind Chatter: Open the Vents, it's Honest in Here. Errors, Blog Growth & Blog Comments.

best of blogs photobook
I was recently notified that my photo of banana cake would be included in the BlogHer "Best of Blogs 2011" photobook! How exciting!!! A copy of the book will be mailed to me. Can't wait to see it & share with you!

date ideas
As much as I am a home-body, I've been aching to just GO somewhere & DO something before the summer is up. I'm even willing to brave this heat & humidity (and I really, REALLY dislike sweating under the sun), but I just gotta go.
So...husband and I are taking somewhat of a "staycation"; although, I prefer to call it "Several Days of Dates". We're going to the conservatory (never been), the zoo (it's been decades), mini-golfing (it's been awhile), and to see Cirque de Soleil (never been, have you?); hopefully we can also go on a fireworks cruise.
Trying some new restaurants along the way, is also on the menu (pun intended)!

I love spending time with The Mr.!
If I'm MIA next week; that's where I'll be...suffering the heat for love:)
What are your favorite places to go on a date?
If you're married, do you have to make an effort for date nights?

Merely More...

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The Essie Lilacism Giveaway Winner is. . .

Yay!!!!!!!!
Congrats girlie!!!
I sent you an email. Please reply back as soon as possible, or within 4 days to claim your new nail lacquer, or another random drawing will be held.

Thank you to everyone who entered!
I hope to have more giveaways for you in the future:)

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Food Drama.



Master Chef (Season 2), TV
Poor Suzy...Poor Jennifer!!!...Poor Alejandra (33:50)!!!
Fast forward to 25:05 - 30:00 for the drama & to see the judges get really mean, but funny critical.
25:35...the look on her face was priceless.

I really like this season...the contestants (& the judges) are interesting in their own ways.

When I found out Judge Joe was the the son of Lidia Bastianich; I was amazed. She seems like such a sweet lady; he seems cold.
...but, what do we (viewers) really know...it's television!

Joe cracks me up, especially in the auditioning stages of the show. He'd taste someone's dish, glare at them for a second, and then just walk off...without a word. LOL No hints whatsoever, if their dish was good or bad.

Do you watch?

P.S.
This season of Hell's Kitchen is pretty entertaining too; so much drama...

Video Credit.

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Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling.

Tart, sweet, rich & chewy...these bars are soooo good!!!
Perfect for a small get-together with family/friends as it makes 12-24 squares, depending on how big you cut them.

Merely More...

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Micky & Dicky.

The Fighter, Movie
Micky Ward (Wahlberg) is a struggling boxer long overshadowed by his older brother and trainer, Dicky (Bale), a local legend battling his own demons. Their explosive relationship threatens to take them both down - but the bond of blood may be their only chance for redemption. -Amazon
Very good movie!
The costume designer did a fantastic job. The ensembles were so 90s! LOL
Christian Bale...awesome.
Mark Wahlberg...awesome.
I very much liked Amy Adams too!


...SLIGHT SPOILER...

Merely More...

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Not a boater, nor do I live by the sea. . .

...but I would SO wear these shoes!!!
I wish I'd tried them on when I spotted them in Nordstrom. Examining the ones on display, these shoes had BEND...major bend between the toe box & the middle of the shoe. You know what that means?! The leather was just...perfect; or so it felt.

Photo Credits 1, 2, 3, 4.

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Marie's Tips: Prevent freezer burned ice cream.

Are those icky, frozen "ice shickles" ruining your cool, creamy treat? Quick tip...
After opening a fresh box of ice cream, merely cover the top with a sheet of aluminum foil, before replacing the lid. This has worked wonders for me in preventing freezer burn. I hope it does the same for you!

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Thanks Macy's!



Magic, by Stimulator

I like commercials; for their catchy tunes!
What's your favorite?

Video Credit.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Death of a Bookstore.

So sad! 

What's next...libraries!?
Gasp.
I really, REALLY hope not.

Time to stock up on paperbacks...

Merely More...

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh, goodie!

I picked up 2 new hair goodies by Goody, and I am loving them thus far.

1. Goody Ouchless hair elastics
2. Goody Slide Proof bobby pins
3. Goody Professional cutting shears

I've had the scissors since before my big chop. They are super sharp & they cut/trim my hair really well! When ever I feel a single strand knot at the end of my hair, I just snip it away. If the shears aren't nearby, sometimes I just pull it.
I know, bad Marie!

I have had enough hair to wear a high puff  (until I cut it with #3). Photos to come...

I used the hair bands in this manner to style my high puff, and Goody bobby pins have always been my friend! I prefer them to any other brand. They just hold my hair really well, and they don't snag...and, AND the black coating doesn't peel off like it does on my beauty supply store bobby pins. I spoke too soon...it does peel:(
Nevertheless...
Goody is good; I just wish the brand was more accessible (like Conair) in my local brick and mortar superstores.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Albacore Sandwich.

It's probably been decades since I've had a tuna sandwich.

Quick question.
Is anyone else allergic to fish, with the exceptions of tuna & shrimp??? 
You all don't know how much I love & miss the taste of deep fried buffalo catfish...flavorful, crispy cornmeal battered crust...tender, juicy white fillet...and a couple of dashes of original Louisiana hot sauce.
Sigh:(
I digress.

Longing for some kinda of fish, coupled with it being too hot to really cook anything, I ventured back to the Chicken of the Sea. Not as exciting to the taste buds, as catfish; but it was pretty good.

Merely More...

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

9 to 5 Escapism.

In college, I was kinda excited about the possibilities of a 9-5. It seemed so..."grown up"; graduating college, starting a career in your field, moving up the corporate ladder, and decades later...retirement.
It sounded alright to me at the time.

Not many years later...I began pondering the possibilities of self-employment; being your own boss, owning your time, controlling your income, and complete freedom to do exactly what you love. This sounded even better!

Several weeks ago...I picked up this book. The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss. It talks about a thing called, lifestyle design. The book supposedly teaches you how to trade a "long-haul career" for "short work bursts and frequent "mini-retirements", amongst other lessons.

My interest was indeed piqued!
Who doesn't want to work less & enjoy more...life!

Merely More...

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Sweet & Sweeter.

Want.

Photo credits.

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The humor that is YT comments.

Every time I check out a funny, informative, cool, or somewhat controversial video on Youtube, I can't leave the page without reading a few of the comments! Some of them just crack me up...& then, the little keyboard tricks that start & stop certain parts of the video...priceless.

P.S.
What is the Illuminati? 
It seems every 6 comments mentions it...

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Black, Off-White & Cognac Rust.

This is my favorite summer dress. I got it a few years ago, when shift dresses were trending.

Not being a huge fan of print/patterns, I didn't initially love it. I got it anyway because the material (linen) would mean comfort on hot & humid days, the style looked easy enough to wear to work...& to play, and it was one of the few dresses left in my size.
Not to mention, dresses just seem easier, in the summertime.

Merely More...

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Essie Lilacism Giveaway! ~CLOSED~

If you've recently joined MerelyMarie, thank you & welcome:) I'm so glad something here inspired you to click that button!

This giveaway is for a bottle of nail color that I am currently loving! Essie Lilacism.
If you missed it, here's what it looks like on my nails.

To win it, you must:
• Already be a follower/subscriber (before 7-15-11)
• Reside in the United States or Canada
• Leave your name, email address, & the way(s) you are following (ex. Google Friend Connect, Email or Reader Subscription, Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter), in a message below.
• Enter before July 25th.

Facebook and/or Twitter followers (who also follow another way), receive 1 additional entry:)

Good luck & I appreciate you for reading MerelyMarie!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Parmesan Shrimp Salad.


I love these shrimp layered over salad greens tossed in a fresh lemon vinaigrette! Simple & delicious.

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Purple Pastel Nails.

Still fascinated with lilac, I picked up this nail color. It's so pretty to me, especially when worn in summer. It's called Essie Lilacism.

Merely More...

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60% of the time it works, every time.

Anchorman, Movie

"It's so damn hot...milk was a bad choice."

"I don't know how to put this...but I'm kind of a big deal."
"Ribs...I had ribs for lunch, that's why I'm doing this."

With so many memorable quotes, it never seems to get old...
I think this is the only DVD I own that I've actually watched more than once.

"I thought you were kidding! I thought it was a joke! I even wrote it down in my diary, "Veronica had a very funny joke today!"...I laughed at it later that night!" 

Alright. I'm done...LOL
 
Photo Credit.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Decor Design Style: What's Yours?

I took a home decorating style quiz several months ago & decided to take it again today. It seems my style remains to be Transitional...

The results of the quiz said this:
Your style is Classic Casual   
AKA Transitional. A mix of contemporary and traditional. Usually updated, graceful, enduring.
Sounds accurate, as it kinda defined my wardrobe; and yet, when I googled "transitional design living room" for some image inspiration, I instantly felt underwhelmed.
Then, I googled images for "transitional design bedroom". Still...no sparks!
I looked around me & if it walks & quacks like a duck...

It all looked familiar.

• Plain.
• Dark/Neutral.
• Boring.

Is this really me?...I kept asking myself.

I get excited when I see eclectic & brightly designed spaces; especially living rooms. They often have mismatch furniture; 1 lone sofa, beautifully textured chevron rugs or striking animal print rugs, rustic wooden coffee tables, sexy luxurious chairs, and leather studded ottomans with a lush, casually folded throw & a tray holding a couple of books & a few odd nick-knacks.

Somehow it never looks like too much.
Somehow it all works cohesively.
I think it looks beautiful, but wonder...could I really "live" & feel comfortable in that living room? Or, would I love it for awhile, then somewhere down the road end up feeling like it's outdated.

Do you know your decorating style? How do you add your personal touch & character to your space? Do you ever gravitate towards eye-candy decor that isn't really your style?
Here's the quiz I took.

Photo Credit.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Outside my Kitchen Window: A Peeping Squirrel.

In the kitchen, I turned to see this mog staring at me.
Can you spot the squirrel?

Merely More...

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Present Fascination: Lilac.

Sweet!

Photo Credits.

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The Dance.



ABG | The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl - Episode 5, by Actingrl112


"...Dy-no-MITE!" LOL

Thanks to Retromusik for introducing me to this hilarious (& creatively entertaining) series! Check out the first 4 episodes to catch some of the references.

You will relate...if you find certain situations awkward;)

Video Credit.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Who dances with the big bad wolves.



Someone's In The Wolf, by Queens Of The Stone Age
So Glad...you could...Stay Forever... 


Video Credit.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trip 2: Salvation Army Haul.

I got an inkling to go back to the thrift store, so I went. For about thirty bucks, this is what I came out with:

1. Braided leather belt
2. Coach leather bag
3. J.Crew tee
4. Grosgrain belt
5. Coach leather bag

Merely More...

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Marie's Tips: Thrift store shopping 101.

The thrift stores seem much more busy these days. I went around Nov. or Dec. last year...the store was packed!! Okay, so it was the holidays. I went again; late May afternoon...packed! A couple days later, I went again (pre-noon); the parking lot was full yet again. Growing up, I don't remember seeing anything like it. Chalk it up to the economy, I suppose. It also seems that "thrifting" is somewhat popular.
Cool beans!


If you're new to shopping at thrift stores & looking for tips, Read on...

• Go really early, or go really late...on a weekday. 
If you don't mind the crowds, go anytime. If you do, go when they open, or a couple hours before closing time. If you choose the latter, beware that the store may be in a disheveled state. 
Weekdays (as with shopping most brick-and-mortar stores) are generally less busy. Generally.

• Don't go hungry, but don't drink too much.
It's never a good idea to shop hungry. If you're like me, you're irritable & all you can think about is food. It's an even worse idea to thrift shop when you're hungry. It takes much more time to comb through the boatloads of scraps to find the hidden gems, so don't do it on an empty stomach. 
Eat & fill your belly before you go, just take it easy on your beverage of choice. Not all thrift shops have restrooms.

• Don't be a rack-cutter.
If someone else is looking through the rack that you are about to approach, be courteous enough to see what direction they are combing towards. It only takes a second, maybe two. Just one glance. 
Okay, you got it now:) They are clearly going left on the rack, so, don't cut in 2 blouses ahead of them & start combing left. It's just not nice. Instead, go on the other side/behind them. It's CTSC (Common Thrift Shopping Courtesy); or at least it should be.

Merely More...

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Efficiency is part Action & part Planner.

I picked up this monthly planner on a recent trip to Target...I think it's been years since I've owned one.

I love having a tangible place to write down appointments, reminders. and "To Do Lists". It seems, somewhere along the way, I just started adding them all to my cell phone.

Merely More...

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SuperBook: Season One or Two?


...then I was flyyinnng, I was flyyyying...


...when it hit the COMPUTER!!!...

LOL
I can't decide which season's song was better.

Video Credits.

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