Follow Me On Twitter

Monday, December 3, 2012

If More People Carried Guns, There'd Be Fewer Victims

Yeah, I know not everyone will agree with me, but I get angry when politicians and reporters use a tragedy like the one that happened this weekend to blame GUNS for killing people.
Instead, they should be focusing on violence against women, the devastated families left behind, including children who are left orphaned, and the violent athletes who are many times high on God-knows-what or are suffering from brain trauma / mental illness caused by too many blows to their noggins.
The gun didn't chase Jovan Belcher's girlfriend down and shoot her down in cold blood.  The gun didn't take the easy way out and kill itself.  Jovan Belcher did that.

Here's a good article my Dad just sent me from  Agree or is what it is.



A blog about politics and issues with Kathleen McKinley. (Editor's note: The author is responsible for this blog, which is not edited by the Chronicle.)

Guns, Women, and How We Protect Ourselves From Violence

Monday, December 3, 2012

As you probably know by now, Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher used a gun to kill his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and himself, leaving behind a 3 month old daughter. Anti gun advocates are always quick to jump on these kind of tragedies to make their case against gun ownership. Bob Costa took time at the halftime of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys game last night to pontificate using the same boring nonsensical arguments, the most ridiculous being that if guns were just restricted, and if Jovan had not had a gun that morning, he and his girlfriend would still be alive. A completely absurd notion. People who want to kill other people rarely obey gun laws. See the city of Washington D.C. or the city of Chicago. Strict gun laws only keep guns from law abiding citizens.

I think what makes me frustrated by the discussion that is happening now is that we are ignoring what was probably escalating domestic violence and/or mental illness. Instead people like Costa are focusing on the weapon Jovan used to kill his girlfriend. It could have easily been his fists, or a knife (Ask O.J. Simpson about that). A gun is not necessary to kill. But many many times a gun is necessary to save one’s life. Especially when you are woman being attacked by a much stronger man.

Let me take you on a journey. As many of you know, I used to be a Democrat. I was raised in a political home of Democrats. I was fairly liberal when I was young. My father and brothers hunted, and my Dad took me on a couple of hunts, but I hated them. I was (and still am) an animal lover. I had no desire to kill animals. So, my Dad took me out to the country to shoot cans off fences, so I could learn to shoot. But as soon as I left home to go to college, I never saw another gun. I disliked the idea of guns. Fast forward many years and I am a young mother. One of the biggest fights my husband and I ever had was when he brought to our house his hunting guns from his childhood home. He had hidden them in the back of a closet, and I found them. I had a fit. I didn’t want guns in the house. We had small children. We compromised with him buying a gun safe. But I still wasn’t happy.

By now I was a conservative Republican, but I still believed in gun control. One day I was watching a crime program where they reenact a crime that occurred. This show wasn’t about guns or gun control. It just told the story of a young woman who was being stalked by her ex boyfriend. She had put a restraining order on him. At one point her boyfriend’s house is set on fire. They know it was her ex boyfriend, but there was no proof. Her boyfriend gets a gun, but she refuses to. She doesn’t like guns. Instead she moves to a smaller town nearby under a different name hoping to get away from the ex boyfriend for good.

The ex boyfriend finds her though. He busts through her front door in the apartment complex where she lives. She manages to run out the back and to a neighbor’s apartment. She is screaming and pounding on the door. The neighbor opens it and she screams at her, “Do you have a gun?!!!” The woman didn’t. They slam & lock the door and run upstairs to the closet. The ex boyfriend bust through this door, goes upstairs, finds the girlfriend in the closet and says, “I got you,” and shoots her dead. He let the neighbor go, and I’m thinking that neighbor has a gun now.

That episode really stuck with me. I kept imagining if she had had a gun, or if her neighbor had, then they could have protected themselves.

A few years after that I went to California to visit my college roommate, who taught a self defense course for women. It’s that serious course where the man (playing a predator) dresses in foam and protection so the women can really fight and hit as they would in a real case scenario. The man says things that are threatening, and he really grabs the woman. They make it as realistic as possible so a woman will understand how her adrenaline will be flowing, and how to use that. It is very disturbing to watch. The men play their part well, and it gives you a real sense of how terrifying it is to be a potential victim.

I had invited my cousin, whom I adore, to come with me to watch the demonstration. Toward the end I could tell she was visibly shaken. She told me she had to leave. I followed her out and asked her what was wrong. We sat down and she told me that when she was in her early twenties a man has broken into her apartment and raped her. I was devastated for her. As I was hugging her and she was crying, I was overwhelmed with anger toward this evil disgusting person who had done this to her. He was never caught. I wondered how many other women he had raped.

I knew then that what my cousin should have had, which I have now, was a gun beside her bed.

People like Costa think guns are the problem? No. Men like Jovan Belcher are the problem. He was an enormous athletic man. He could have easily killed her with his hands, as so many predators do. You can’t always anticipate or know if someone like Belcher will attack, but you can make sure you are protected. With women especially, a gun is the great equalizer.

All this changed my way of thinking with guns. But the great tipping point had to be the testimony before Congress of Suzanna Gratia Hupp in the 90′s. In 1991 a mad man drove his truck into a Luby’s in Killeen Texans and went on a shooting rampage killing 23 people and wounding 20. Suzanna and her parents were there in Luby’s that day. Her parents were two of the 23 people killed. When the shooting first began, Suzanna reached into her purse for her gun, but then remembered that she had left it in the car because Texas law said that bringing a gun into a public area was a felony. Suzanna spoke before Congress about this because she knew that restrictive gun laws had kept her from protecting her parents, and had kept her from stopping this lunatic from killing other innocents. The video is a MUST SEE as Hupp explains perfectly what our 2nd Amendment rights really protect us from. (Warning. There is a cuss word at the end of this video as libertarian Penn Jillette explains the 2nd amendment in a way all of us can understand)

Liberals will use this tragedy, as they do any tragedy involving guns, to promote gun control. Perhaps instead of trying to violate our 2nd amendment rights, we can focus on the root of the problems, which to me are clearly mental illness and/or domestic violence. Especially against women.

To me, this should be the feminist issue of our time. If someone violent and intending harm on you and your children, which woman below would you rather be?

Yeah, I thought so.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Just Saw This Awesome Recipe / Gift Idea on the Today Show

Hug Bites:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Line pretzel twists up on a baking sheet. I stuff as many as I can onto each one. They are not in nice little rows, more like jam packed, and they can butt up next to each other. I do as many trays as will fit into my oven at one time. I put about 25 in each mason jar, so you can figure that out based on how many people you are giving these to. Be sure to make extra for your family too!
3. Place a Hershey Kiss Hug (the white choc and milk mixed) on top of each pretzel. Unwrapping them is the ONLY part that takes a few minutes.
4. Put the trays into the oven for 2-3 minutes. The Hershey kisses should be soft, but not melted.
5. Remove the trays and put an M&M on top of each kiss and press down to smush it. I do some red and green, some all blue, and some mixed.

You can package these in ANYTHING. I like mason jars because they are inexpensive and make a cute presentation. They can be purchased just about anywhere, but I got mine at Michael’s.
For my packaging:
1. Cut a piece of ribbon approximately ten inches. You can trim it, but you don’t want to waste too much. Try one piece before you cut them all to make sure you like the size.
2. Stick a one inch piece of double sided tape in the middle of the ribbon on the side you want to stick to the jar. Stick that part on the back. Wrap the ribbon around the jar and tie a bow or knot. (You will need less ribbon for a knot.)
3. I got one package of snowflake stickers and one of holly bush, which I just stuck on or above the ribbon. This is optional, but you get about 24 stickers for around $3.50 and it adds a nice touch.
4. I got the ribbon and stickers at Michael’s, and most was 50% off at the time. They are always having sales and coupons so make sure you check before you buy! I also got gift tags that just happened to be the perfect size to slip over the top of the mason jar. I simply wrote To and From in a red or blue pen.
When I tried to figure out how much I spent on this project I estimated a little less than $4 a jar. I don’t think you can beat that price for something this delicious and packaged.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Here's a Great article that contains Tips and Suggestions for successful Etsy selling.  There are many useful links to articles that will help build your online business.
Taking better photographs
Social Media Savvy
Blogging for success
Understand SEO
and much more

Monday, November 19, 2012

Handmade Shoes: The True Value of Comfort and Quality

I recently watched my cobbler, David, help a customer in his shop. She had brought in three pairs of shoes to be fixed and was quite surprised when David gently set two of them aside on the counter, explaining that their poor materials and workmanship made them not worth repairing. “They weren’t really made well to begin with,” David said softly, sliding his work-blackened thumb into the split between the sole and synthetic upper of one worn pair. “Well, I guess they weren’t comfortable anyway,” the customer sighed.
But aren’t comfort and quality the basic qualities one looks for in footwear? These days, maybe not so much. The average American woman owns 17 pairs of shoes, but only wears three pairs regularly. Why do the other 14 pairs gather dust in the closet? Usually because they don’t fit. In a recent study, 46% of women said they have suffered from foot pain, 59% have gotten blisters from their shoes, 35% have had an evening ruined by uncomfortable shoes, and 24% have actually fallen because of their shoes’ design.
Handmade custom shoes – with expert construction, precise measurements, and quality materials – could solve all these problems. But handmade shoes seem so expensive, the ultimate luxury. Who can afford them? Even for me, a handmade fanatic to the core, they seem out of reach.
Then I did some math. The average price for a pair of shoes in the study was $50, but David tells me those $50 shoes are probably not worth buying. Let’s imagine I paid a little more, say, even $90 for shoes that could be repaired and last a little longer. Well, $90 x 17 pairs is $1530, about enough for three pairs of handmade shoes – the three pairs that the study says are all we really wear anyway.
If over time, as the budget allows, I made the shift from quantity to quality footwear, what should I look for in a good shoe? Some of Etsy’s shoe and boot makers helped me understand what is important. (And I should note that they all made a distinction between “handmade” – which can be very high quality – and “custom made” – the highest form of the craft – which refers to bespoke shoes made on a custom last.)
Everyone agreed fit was crucial. “Like a good house, your body needs a good supporting foundation,” said custom boot maker Kyle Rosfeld. “If your footwear makes you stand crooked, the rest of your body will soon be crooked as well. I strive for the fit to be as though they have been worn for six months. When the wearer gets home at night and he or she forgets to take them off, then the fit is correct,” said Kyle.
Ren, at Fairysteps, agrees. “It should be like wearing favorite slippers…all day!”
“If the client is someone who cannot fit into standard sizes, the value is immeasurable. No one should be in extreme pain from walking or standing, yet this is often what people accept,” said Daphne Board, who is working to become a pedorthist.
The makers were also unanimous about the importance of shoes being repairable. “My first criterion for a well crafted shoe or boot is how easily it is repaired”, said Kyle, who also reconditions vintage boots and saddles. “A well-made shoe should be repairable,” echoed Daphne. “If the shoe is not made so that it can be reconditioned, it is essentially a disposable shoe.”
Handmade shoes represent a time investment for the maker as well. “The making of a pair consists of two factors: The inspiration factor and the making factor,” said Tina Nortin. “Inspiration is unpredictable. It may take 10 minutes or 10 days. But after the designing and consultation process is finished, depending on the design, the making can take days.” Part of that process includes time for the shoes to “sit” on the last and take their shape.
Everyone said well-made shoes, properly cared for, should last years, maybe even decades. Buying high quality is a cost saver in the long run. The makers suggest frequent polishing, with resoling and re-heeling when necessary. “Leather likes to be loved,” said Ren. They also suggest not wearing the same shoes every day so that shoes can dry out between wearings.
It is challenging to build a life with fewer, better made things. But now I can see there are makers here to help…every step of the way.

Karen Brown is an award-winning designer and creative director of the Center for Ecoliteracy. Her work has been included in the Smithsonian Institution and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and featured in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, and on Today on NBC. She believes that the handmade movement is a fundamental force for transforming society and the economy.

Sweet, Simple and Budget-Friendly Gifts for Children

Rubyellen Bratcher is a homeschooling, crafting, blogging mama of four. She spends her days trying to manage all the happy chaos that ensues in her home. You can visit Rubyellen at her blog, Cakies, and see how she tries to capture the chaotic beauty and fun of having four little ones.
I have four little girls who are pretty close in age, so I am used to having a plethora of toys everywhere, all the time. Life is just plain messy (and wonderful) with kids, and we try to be intentional in the gifts we give our children. This helps make our chaotic lives a bit simpler with four little ones (and their things) everywhere. One of the biggest things I have learned is that children really don’t need a lot of toys. I find that their favorites aren’t the fancy ones with batteries, but ones that really encourage their creativity.
I love that the sellers making these wonderful toys are often other moms and dads who come up with ideas based on things that have worked well for their own families. It makes handmade gifts even more special!

Vintage toys make great gifts. They can be re-used and loved over and over again while giving children the opportunity to create and imagine.
Other favorites in our home are toys for building and riding. And of course, kids love little hideaways. Every child must have some sort of tent. It guarantees lots of special memories!
When we give to little ones, their delight and excitement gives us a sense of joy better than any present.
What gifts will you be giving to the children in your life this year?

Friday, September 28, 2012

DIY - Some Great Homemade Cleaner Recipes to Save You Money

DIY - Go Green & Save $$$

Not only will these cleaners save you money, but they are also non-toxic, which is great news for you and your family!
I get such a sense of accomplishment from making my own products and using them, instead of paying a fortune for the packaging and advertising of those "big names".  Plus, you're re-using packaging, which is good for the environment and your wallet.
So, have fun with these!

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap:

1/2 cup liquid castile soap - I like tea tree oil scented, but you can use unscented as well
1/8 cup water
4 drops of essential oil of your choice - I like lemon or orange flavor when making citrus scented
1 tsp vinegar or Homemade all-purpose citrus cleaner (see below)

Mix ingredients together & fill your old empty laundry soap's plastic squirt bottle with your new creation.
Your might have to use a little bit more, but not much more.  And it might not suds up like you're used to, but it works!

Homemade All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner:

Can be used to clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces, the refrigerator, name it

Orange or lemon peels
1-2 Tbsp salt - any kind
essential oil (optional)

Keep orange and/or lemon peels / scraps after you juice & Cut them into pieces small enough to fit into glass jars.  Sprinkle the peels with enough salt to lightly coat them and let that sit for at least 30 minutes to leach the oils from the citrus peels.  Fill the rest of the jars with a mixture of 1/2 vinegar & 1/2 water.  Close the jars and let them sit and be pretty for 2-3 weeks. The longer the better, since it'll get stronger.  Strain the mixture and place liquid into squirt bottles, which are now ready to use.
Smells great & works great too!
No toxins filling your bathroom and kitchen to strangle you as you clean, and safe for the kids to use and help you!
Homemade Mouthwash:

1/2 cup water
2 tsp baking soda
2 drops tea tree essential oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil

Place ingredients in a jar and shake before use.  Swish 2-3 tsp for a minute in your mouth & gargle. Spit out.  This mix is particularly good for garlic breath!

Homemade Hairspray:

1 orange or lemon
2 cups water
1/4 cup vodka
6-8 drops lavender essential oil

Cut the fruit into wedges.  Boil in the water until liquid is reduced by half.  Strain through cheesecloth into a measuring cup.  You need 1 cup.  Cool.  Add vodka and essential oils.  Pour into spray bottle (at least 10 ounces).  Shake before each use.  Lemons are better for blondes, and oranges are better for brunettes, because if a brunette uses lemon and goes into the sun, it can lighten your hair.  Remember doing that as a teenager?  No more toxic sprays in the bathroom!  Enjoy this natural alternative, and you can enjoy a little cocktail with the leftover vodka!  ;)

Homemade Powder Laundry Soap:

1 grated bar of Ivory, Dr. Bonners, Mrs. Meyers, or Fels Naptha Soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing soda (example: Arm & Hammer - washing soda, not baking soda!)

Stir thoroughly.  Use 1 Tbsp per load.  Add essential oils if you like, but I enjoy the soap scent personally.

Homemade Toothpaste:

2/3 cup baking soda
4 tsp fine sea salt
1-2 tsp peppermint extract or 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
Add water to desired consistency and store in a small plastic container.  Dip your toothbrush in it and use as you would any toothpaste.  It's milder on your teeth than the abrasives in commercial toothpaste.

Homemade Deodorant Spray:

Fill a spray bottle with Everclear liquor.  Add 10 drops of essential oil per 1 oz of alcohol / liquor. Use once or twice daily.
This mixture will not keep you from perspiring, because you should perspire, but it kills the bacteria that cause odor, so you won't stink.  Spray a few times under each arm in the morning and optionally again at night.  It might sting a little, but not much and not for long. You won't want to spray immediately following a bath or shower or immediately after shaving!

Homemade Powder Dishwasher Soap:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda (example Arm & Hammer - washing soda, not baking soda!)
1 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup Kosher salt or Epsom salts

(Can substitute Lemishine or Lemonade flavored Kool-Aid for the Citric Acid)

Mix ingredients together and keep in an air-tight jar or plastic container.
Use 3/4 to 1 Tbsp per load, in the open compartment of the dishwasher, or just thrown into the dishwasher.

Suggestions:  You may need to double the Citric acid for really hard water to avoid spotting, and you can also add a splash of white vinegar or lemon juice to each load, in the rinse agent compartment for a clean finish.
To keep your mixture from clumping, you can add a packet of desiccant (like the silica packets that come in a new purse or inside vitamin / medicine bottles.  Keep the desicant closed and just place it in the container to absorb moisture.  Another option would be to cut the toe off a clean pair of pantyhose, place some rice in the toe and tie it off. Put that little sachet inside the container to absorb moisture.

Friday, June 1, 2012

DIY Light box for product photography

     Credit goes to for this article

Building a light box is pretty easy stuff. A light box is particularly useful for product photography where you need a nice white background. Many people find that their products will actually sell faster with a more professional looking photo. Here you’ll find a step by step on how to build your own DIY light box.
This thing isn’t really rocket science at all. I think it’s more the technique that people would be interested in. I’ve received a lot of e-mails asking about the light box so I hope this will be a help to anyone wanting to stay inside during the winter months and take shots of random stuff from the fridge.

Foam Board
 You’ll need 5 sheets of foam board, also called foam core or foam poster board. If you go to the local craft / art store you should be able to pick up large sheets for just a few dollars a piece. I have a huge box in my basement and the pieces were $4.99 a piece. The board used in this tutorial was $1.99 a piece (each piece is 30″x 20″). * My recommendation is to get a thicker piece for the bottom where the object will sit.

White Tape
 The tape I’m using is between 1″and 2″wide white masking tape. Stay away from duct tape, as the heat from the lamps makes the glue really messy. This masking tape is nice and lightweight and if you need to, you can take the tape off to re-adjust.
 Lamp / Light Bulbs
 I’m using clip-on shop lights from Home Depot / Lowe’s. You can pick these up for just a few dollars a piece.($3-$9)
 I’m using just a standard bulb from Home Depot. I’ve tried all sorts of bulbs. To your eye they may all look the same, the camera picks up different colors from different lights.
 I tried full spectum bulbs and really have to say that they’re not worth it. Learn to set the white balance on your camera and shoot in RAW if possible.
 *Above all, I favor and would suggest using a flash directed straight up into the top of the box, this is THE BEST WAY TO GET A GOOD WHITE BACKGROUND – (see the diagram below).
 You’ll need a razor knife and a straight edge.


 1. Attach the Top and Bottom 

Here is a quick sample of how I apply the tape. I know it’s overkill to show this but I’d rather err on the side of being thorough. 

2. Attach the Left and Right

 It may be hard to see how it will come together, but I just applied the left side (which is at the top of the photo below). Do the same for the right side.

3. Cut Off Overhang on the Sides

Left: Shows the box with the overhang on left and right side.
 Middle: Shows using a straight edge to cut the excess. 
Right: Shows the box with the sides trimmed down. 

4. Cut Notches in Sides

 This is something I just recently started doing. I found that I wasn’t able to set the lights deep enough so cutting a notch in the side helps. You may have to skip this step and see the final deal, then you’ll get the idea. 
The notches I cut were only a few inches deep, you could do more or less. Make it work for you. *If you’re using a flash this step is unnecessary. 

5. Lights

 You can see I added a few more lights. The more the better in my opinion. *Use a flash if possible. 

Showing the outside of the box. 

Use this light box with a Flash. Here would be a sample illustration of how to use the flash with this setup. This works like a charm. 

Optional Step
 You can apply a strip of tape to the back seam on the bottom. Apply it so the tape forms an even transition between the two pieces of foam core. This hides the back seam so you don’t have any shadows in the background. Here is a quick and dirty illustration to show what I mean: 

See What it Produces
 After literally 2 minutes with the light box and a few snaps later here is a shot I took of one of my lenses. Obvious improvements could be made here but this is just a quick image to show you how simple using this box can be. 

But Wait, There’s More
 Here is another trick I started doing. Sometimes I like to shoot the object from a top view. If you cut a hole in the top of the box, this is possible. Be careful not to cut too much, you’ll want to score the part you don’t cut, that makes it bend with ease. 

Here is a sample of shooting a necklace through the hole I just cut in the top of the box. 

 I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I’m hoping that it was easy enough to follow. From start to finish this project should take no longer than 30 minutes

Monday, May 14, 2012

Man, these Bacardi Flavors Drink Recipes Sound YUM!



• 4 parts cranberry juice
• Pour over ice. Garnish with fresh watermelon.


• 4 parts grapefruit juice
• Pour over ice. Garnish with fresh watermelon.


• 4 parts SPRITE®
• Pour over ice. Garnish with fresh watermelon.


• Splash cranberry juice
• Shake with ice and strain into a salt-rimmed martini glass.

• 2 parts SPRITE®
• splash grenadine
• splash peach schnapps
• splash club soda
• Pour over ice. Garnish with fresh watermelon.

• 1 1/2 parts BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™
• 12 fresh speannint leaves
• 1/2 lime
• 7 parts club soda
• 2 tsp. simple syrup or 4 tsp. sugar
• Mint sprigs for garnish
• Crush mint leaves and lime in a tall glass. Cover with simple
     syrup and fill glass with ice.
• Add BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™ and club soda, stir well.

• splash of blue curayao
• 1 part pineapple juice
• Shake with ice and pour into glass. Garnish with
    fresh watermelon.

• 1 part sweetened lime juice
• Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

• splash melon liquor
• 1 part pineapple juice
• Shake with ice and strain into a chilled shot glass.

• 1 1/2 parts BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™
• 2 parts sour mix
• 1/2 part triple sec
• Shake with ice and strain into a salt-rimmed margarita glass.

• 1 part lime juice
• splash triple sec
• 1/2 part cranberry juice
• Shake ingredients with ice and strain into chilled martini glass.
• Garnish with fresh watermelon.


1. Prepare your fruit/vegetables
    • Wash your hands and the ingredients
    • Remove greenery and excess seeds (i.e. Remove all seeds from hot peppers or the infusion will be extremely spicy)
    • Slice appropriately
        • Each fruit and vegetable can be sliced differently and depends mostly on preferred presentation style
        • The bigger the slices, the more recognizable the ingredients will be (i.e. strawberries should be sliced in half)
2. Select an infusion jar
    • Infusion containers should either be acrylic or glass and able to be covered
    • Appropriate containers include large jars, pitchers or an actual infusion jar
3. Infuse
    • Place ingredients in the jar and then pour in the appropriate amount of your chosen BACARDI® Flavored Rum.
    • The longer your ingredients infuse, the stronger the flavor of the infusion will be. After you begin infusing, taste test and determine how flavorful
       you would like your infusion.
    • Take into account the strength of your ingredients (the smell and taste) in order to determine the need to strain and the duration of infusion.

       See chart below for reference.

1-2 HOURS:  Any strong, highly flavorful and/or spicy ingredients. These should be managed closely. i.e. Honey, cinnamon, bell peppers, jalapeño, chilies or any hot peppers or strong spices.

2-3 HOURS:  Medium strength ingredients as well as any tart or sweet flavors. i.e. Kiwi fruit, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, oranges, limes and any citrus fruits.

3-4 HOURS:  Ingredients with subtle flavor profiles or that have protective skins or coatings. i.e. Apples, pears, melons, mint, basil and many other herbs.

4. Shelf Life
    • When ingredients are kept in the jar, infusions have a shelf life of one week, but keep in mind that the infusion will become stronger each day
    • Some fruits/vegetables may have color changes after time and you may want to remove for presentation i.e. apples will turn brown
    • Keep infusions out of direct sunlight and away from heat
    • If you strain the ingredients and refrigerate, it can last much longer
5. Clean
    • Be sure to use soap and water to clean your jar after each use.
Get Creative – Tips For Your Infusions
    • Mix and Match – Many ingredients that work well together in traditional recipes will work well together for infusions. Try a favorite combo like
       strawberries and kiwi fruit.
    • Spruce It Up– Create unique, easy, fresh garnishes that will add interest to your presentation.
    • Use A Catchy Name – Create unique drink names and drink menus for your infusions that will help consumer decision-making.
    • Give It a Twist – Throw in a vanilla bean and surprise guests with its flavor.


• 2 kiwi
• 1 cup strawberries
• 1 L bottle of BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™
• In a container that can be sealed, drop in kiwi and
    strawberries then pour in bottle of BACARDI GRAND MELÓN
    and seal the container. Strain after desired potency.
• This infusion is best enjoyed served straight over ice, with a
    splash of soda or in a BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™
    Summer Sipper.

• 1 part BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™ Kiwi Berry Infusion
• 3 parts lemonade
• Pour over ice in rocks glass. Stir well.

• 2 oranges, thinly sliced
• 2 limes, in wedges
• 1 L bottle of BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™
• In a container that can be sealed, drop in oranges and limes
    then pour in bottle of BACARDI GRAND MELÓN and seal the
    container. Strain after desired potency.
• This infusion is best enjoyed served straight over ice, with a
    splash of soda or in a BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™
    Citrus Fizzion.

• 1 part BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN™ Orange Lime Infusion
• 3 parts SPRITE®
• Pour over ice in a rocks glass. Stir well. Garnish with infused
    orange and lime wheels.

Haircut Ideas - I Can't Decide How to Cut my Hair!

I go through magazines and those books at the hair salon, and I never can decide. On one hand I feel like an idiot taking a picture of a celebrity or model & showing it to the they're thinking I think I'm actually gonna look like that.  On the other hand, at least I'm not leaving it completely in their hands like I did one time in college - Big mistake!

I went to a salon in Austin when I was completely sick of my super long hair.  I told the stylist, "Just give me a style. I don't care what it is, as long as it's an actual hair style."  Whoa!  What the hell was wrong with me?!  My 2nd mistake that day was allowing the stylist to turn my chair so that I was facing away from the mirror - What the heck was I smoking that day?!  Yadda Yadda Yadda...I ended up looking like a palm tree with really long roots dangling beneath.  I kid you not.  Big spiked up bush on the top and long stringy strands of hair dangling below.  Tres scary.  I walked home crying and swore never to leave my room in the daytime ever again.  Thankfully, my friend Kristen took me by the hand and stormed back into the salon, demanding that the stylist give me a REAL haircut for normal people.  I ended up with super short hair, which was kind of a shock but ended up being really cute and cool.

So, now whenever I am tempted to grow my hair long again, I look back at photos of myself with cute, short haircuts, and I admire stylish cuts in the magazines and remind myself of how good it feels to be able to quickly style & go.  Whenever I have long hair, it ends up in either a ponytail or a hairclip.  Why even bother?

So, here are some of my current faves I'm looking at right now.  Decisions, decisions.....