Archive | December, 2012

Happy New Years! Resolutions by Millie and Carrie

31 Dec

Happy-New-Year-2013-39

Your friends at MiUS Collection would like to wish you a glorious, rewarding and productive new year!!

Around the MiUS office, this time means a chance at a new beginning.  For the past 10 years or so, Carrie and I have been sharing our new years resolutions at the beginning of the year…This year we thought we would also share them with you and perhaps make us more accountable for our resolutions!  So this post is composed by both Carrie and myself and we will include goals, comments and thoughts from both of us.  Feel free to join our crazy adventure and post your own goals, ideas, comments or feedback.

First, some timeless advice from the Transcendentalist writer and thinker – Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“You have done what you could—some blunders and absurdities have crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” 

It is with this sage advice in mind that we share some of my new years resolutions to help welcome a new year with a fresh start:

1. Continue the challenge to declutter and organize – Last year I joined a 52-weeks to declutter challenge on Facebook. Although it was fun, I did not complete all the tasks each week.  So this year…I would like to again give it a try!  I will share a link and information on this challenge at a later posts if you like to join me on this!

2. Get fit – this has been one of my resolutions forever, it is a continuous challenge for me, so this year. I am setting actual weight and date goals.  If you want to get fit with me join me on MyFitnessPal (Millie756) and we can share war stories and encourage each other as a community!

3. Spend more time doing activities with kids – The busier life gets the more this resolution seems ever more important.  I have two cute little ones that are growing up so fast, and I want to enjoy every moment.    It is a must for me to carve out time to spend one-on-one with my children.

4.  Continue to build on my marriage – ok a bit too personal…but i’ve been with my husband now almost 14 years, and those of you in any long term relationship know that it is continual work to keep the spark.  My sister follows a daily devotional food for your marriage…i am joining her on that program this year.  If you are interested, email me millie@miuscollection.com I will give you more details 😉

5.  Grow MiUS Collection – As a start up, 2012 was a challenging, yet a promising year for MiUS, I would like to make 2013 even better.  I am working on many product introductions, marketing promos, and other fun stuff.  If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can make our store even better contact us – millie@miuscollection.com or carrie@miuscollection.com

6. Continue in my commitment to buy local products and made in the USA goods.  Every dollar spent locally means more jobs for our economy…Want to join my efforts…take the challenge with USA Made Challenge blog or http://buyamericanchallenge.wordpress.com/take-the-challenge/

Ok…Carrie is next…

my turn, my turn!  as millie said we have been doing this for a while.  but we did always keep them very private and just between the two of us.  that might be why we (ahem) don’t always stick with them.  we also tend to have similar resolutions…which makes it fun to keep up with each other.  the “new year” might be my favorite holiday.  i try real hard to start the 2nd (i mean come on, the first we just lay around and eat pork) with everything purged and ready for the new year.  i have spent the last four days cleaning and purging and making garbage and donation piles.  i ordered a new planner (no comments from those of you who know me well) and am ready to roll!

2013 resolutions

1. make more time for “play” with my kids.  we do a lot together and i am home with them all day, but i am not always the mommy who gets down and plays with them for long periods of time.

2. simplify.  this is something i have been working on over the course of november and december and hope to be fully there by january.  i tend to over-analyze, over-think and over-organize.  this year i intend on keeping it simple in order to fit more in.  see #1.

3. make the MiUS blog grow.  i really believe in millie’s idea and mission with the store.  and i want to be a part of it anyway i can.  i also know that the next few years will be the last ones i will be able to be home 100% of the time.  i so would love MiUS to be my part time job:)

4. be kind to everyone i meet…even if i am pretty sure i won’t be friends with everyone i meet.

5. listen more and talk less – sounds easy but man alive i am a talker!!!  haha.

6. get fit and healthy.  when i was young i spent most of my working days at the YMCA.  i used to crack up at how many people showed up the first of the year…and then slowly the numbers came down by march. however, my close in age kids and my life have left me feeling a little too curvy for my liking.  i would like to get back in shape, in a healthy way this year.  a way that works for me and i can stick with.  i like to be realistic about these things.

So…those are the 2013 resolutions for millie and carrie… Feel free to join our crazy adventure and post your own goals, ideas, comments or feedback. What are your resolutions?

have a safe and happy new year’s eve!  be sure to check back with us once the new year is in swing…there is always something brewing at MiUS!

Advertisements

blogs, blogs, i love blogs

27 Dec

i love to read.  as a matter of fact, i have always loved to read.  i don’t remember a time in life when i wasn’t reading.  and i will read anything…no “i only read fiction” here…if it has words, i will read it.  i don’t always like everything i read…but i still read it.  and it isn’t often that i don’t finish a book…unless i really can’t stand it.  but even some of the books i can’t stand, i still finish.  and i am also one of those people that get a little sad at the end of a book.  goof ball.

anyway…fast forward lots of years and wham-o..this internet thing.  then some more years (you didn’t really expect me to do the research right?  i am sitting on top of a mountain of christmas stuff with my holiday cake in one hand, and wine in the other …yea i don’t know how i am typing either…) along came blogs.  i love blogs.  i hate them at the same time.  they take away from my book reading.  why?  because i love blogs.  i like to look into people’s lives and see how they do things and if they work.  i like pretty pictures.  i like getting ideas.  i like to read and sometimes blogs have a lot to read.

so today…since it is super cold here and there is a ton of snow on the ground…i wanted to let you know about some of the blogs i read.  maybe something new will spark your interest…or give some feedback as to what your favorite blogs are…i can always add a new one to my reader!  by the way…is it wrong to wish all three of my kids still napped???  i would love to curl up with the computer and some tea and just read blogs for a few hours….

in no particular order:

clover lane.  if someone told me i could only read one blog forever it would be clover lane.  i want to move next door to her and have her be my friend.  i can relate to her and really love her blog and ideas and values.

whatever.   meg is crafty and real and i want to win a spot and go to her craft weekend.

71 toes.  i love her view on mothering…tho i am not sure i could compete!  but she is honest and i like honest.

katie’s pencil box – i could look at her photos all day long.

the pleated poppy.  love her house.  love her craft.  love her honesty!

a beautiful mess.  i like the different topics they come up with.

i also read ali edwards blog for memory keeping ideas.  and elise at enjoy it for mini scrap book ideas.

ok…i know i read more than this..but this a list of my serious blogs…except i do have two friends that blog, and i read their blogs when they post as well (heather and amy)

okay, your turn…what’s in your google reader??

don’t forget…MiUS is having some end of the year deals:) MiUS Collection

christmas eve menu

24 Dec

around here we are cooking and baking and cleaning up a storm!  at my house we host christmas eve and then we see my husband’s family christmas day at his parent’s house.  christmas eve is an all day event.  my parents come early and we do a late breakfast and open gifts.  we have a snack type lunch and my sister and her family come over and we decorate sugar cookies.  then we all head to church and back to eat dinner and some baked goods.  then its time to leave food out for the reindeer…cookies and soy milk for santa (he has a dairy allergy too i think) and off to bed we go.

my friend heather got me hooked on pinterest…but i am a late bloomer…i seriously just got into it a few weeks ago.   but i have found lots of goods to eat on there, and even created a christmas eve board.  so be prepared for lots of links but here is our menu: (all photos are from the sites linked to the menu item)

breakfast: monkey bread

 

like i said, lunch is a mix of pickles, olives, pepperoni bread, crackers, ect.

dinner…yum…here we go.

we are having prime rib.  i have a few recipes that are similar…this is my first time making it.  i haven’t yet decided which one we are going with…and won’t decide until later in the afternoon.  it will all depend on the before prep time and how long it cooks…it has to stay in the oven while we are at mass.

we are also having baked potatoes and brussel sprouts:

 

we are also having mushrooms and rolls.  and homemade cranberry sauce

.IMG_1286

 

the baked goods….

snickerdoodles

chocolate crinkles

 

peppermint sandwich cookies

 

we also make a plain sugar cookie for the kids to decorate and i made some chocolate covered pretzels.

but i have to take a minute to share my favorite pinterest find…joy the baker.  that is who i got the cranberry sauce recipe from.  her photos of food are good enough.  if the food itself only tastes a quarter as good as it looks…i will be happy with that.  so for christmas morning (we don’t have a big breakfast…for pete’s sake santa has come…who wants to eat) i made this bread.  It.Is.Delish!!!  i left the nuts out.  we don’t do nuts in baked goods around here.

cranberry orange coffee cake

 

after reading her blog and comments and drooling…i also decided to make this cake for a christmas dessert.

 

i am not normally a fruit in a cake kind of girl…but the other stuff i have tried from her site has been so yummy…i thought this would be a little different for the adults.  i also added some chocolate chips…because…well it’s chocolate!

i hope you all have a very merry christmas!  stick with us through the holidays and look for some blog changes in the new year:)

 

 

 

december daily mini scrapbook

21 Dec

i am still linked up with heather from twigs, twine + thyme and working on little handmade and homemade projects every day.  i just sometimes forget to actually do the link:)  on monday i made snickerdoodles:

snickerdoodles

on tuesday i made chocolate crinkles:

chocolate_crinckles

and throughout the month of december i have been working on my mini book that is an idea from ali edwards.  i will warn you, mine comes so close to competing with hers that i will likely have to start my own blog (do you hear the joking in my written words?  if you can’t you will shortly be able to see for yourself).

i have taken a picture almost every day and haven’t done too much journel-ing.  i even messed up a date which is pretty funny to me.  but i am enjoying the process.  i put all of the paper and book together with some embellishments in november and have been adding a picture every day since december started.  i have a small photo printer that i can print 4×6 prints on at my desk which is one of the only reasons i complete this project.  if i had to get them printed elsewhere it would be forever for me to complete it.  which is why i have three very large scrapbooks sitting upstairs no where near caught up.  anywho…

so here is what i have so far.  the only thing i added since i took these photos were some more embellishments which mostly consist of fun christmas stickers (which are so easy to find!).  the only other thing i can say about supplies is the mini book is from joann fabrics and i picked up random scrapbook paper when i would see themed pieces i liked.

cover_IMG_2806

spread1.2_IMG_2937

spread3.4_IMG_2938

spread5.6_IMG_2939

spread7.8_

spread9.10_IMG_2942

spread11.12_IMG_2943

spread13.14_IMG_2944

spread15_

spread17_IMG_2946

spread18_IMG_2947

¡Feliz Navidad! – A Puerto Rican Christmas Tradition

20 Dec

The MiUS blog is a collection of content about American made clothing and the American lifestyle.  Our blog is filled with features not only on hot trends and styles, but also great cooking tips and organization tricks, and full of relevant conversations about everyday American life and fashion.  So…in this post, I want to share something a little more personal than my clothing or hot trends. Today, I will share a piece of my American lifestyle.

First, you should know that I grew up in a small island in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico. I have called Ohio my home for now 25 years. However, I have a strong sense of my cultural roots and background, so I still celebrate some holidays with a very Latin style. I wanted to share some of these “food” traditions with you as they are not only yummy, but a part of who I am and what makes me an American with Hispanic roots.

To me, Christmas Day smells like this:

Pasteles

Pasteles

The picture above, I  should confess, I borrowed from my cousin Tony because he is passionate enough to make this very labor intensive yet lovely dish.  They are called “Pasteles” and basically it is a Tamale made of root vegetables stuffed with pork, potatoes, olives,etc.  I think every Puerto Rican family has their “secret” ingredient in their family recipe for Pasteles.  Pasteles are possibly the most significant dish in all of the cooking of Puerto Rico (PR). These are no doubt, a production of love and, to me, it brings back memories of making them during the holidays with my Abuela as a child.

73475_1511001978555_385457_n293060_3901087329195_1378299815_n

Pictures again I borrowed from Tony 😉 He makes some seriously delicious food at his house!  I love to cook too, but i have not mastered the art of Puerto Rican cooking yet.  So the top is arroz con gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas),  and lechon (PR roast pork) these are both staples in the holiday plate.   My mouth is watering as I write this post!

coquito Screen-Shot-2012-11-28-at-12.31.13-PM

Ok…finally, these pictures I took myself, I know how to make a killer coquito (PR Egg Nog) and I will share this recipe with you as it is one of the best holiday drinks EVER!!   You don’t have to add the Rum, but I do!

INGREDIENTS:
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup white rum (Puerto Rican Rum preferably 😉 )
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:
1. In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly, cook over lightly simmering water until mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
2. Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into glass bottles, and chill overnight.

Enjoy! AND please drink it responsibly! LOL  From my home to yours we wish you a wonderful holiday!!  ¡Feliz Navidad!

So…those are the flavors of my culture.  Do you have any cultural traditions you celebrate in your home?

P.S.  We are running a promotion at MiUS that gets you FREE shipping on all orders until 12/31/12.  Use code: ShipFree12

wiSww (what i SHOULD wear wednesday)

19 Dec

i am linking up again today with lindsey from the pleated poppy for “what i should wear wednesday”…well my twist on what i should wear wednesday which is “what i SHOULD wear wednesday”.

sorry for the image of the sweater…i do know its a little blurry.

i want winter.  i am so sick of seeing ugly muddy grass.  and sick of seeing bare trees.  and sick of being sick!!!  one day its 60 here and the next day is 40 and then it rains and blech.  i would like some white snow.  i would like to NOT see the UGLY extension cords running my christmas lights outside!

so my outfit for today is a sweater…a cardi which i would wear a cami or tee to match the cream in the sweater underneath.  i see people wearing colored and even patterned jeans and i like the look…but not sure i would like it on me.  so i have two pairs of jeans picked out.  one in wine to match the sweater and one pair of regular denim incase i lost my nerve.

i love love love my purple snood.  i would only wear it with this sweater if i wore the regular denim jeans.  even i can match colors a bit.

i like to mix my jewelry up and not be too matchy.  i love my rose gold watch and i think i would try the turquoise earrings with this outfit…not sure if they blues would jive or not.

2012.12.19.WISWW.PicMonkey Collage

hi low striped cardigan with belt $42.99

just usa skinny jeans – wine $46.99

hammer bootleg jeans dark wash $49.99

purple snood- infinite scarf  $32.99

 foldover leather reversible bag $165.99

oversized stone earring $35.99

leather braid ring $34.99

oversized tuscany united band $110

don’t forget…MiUS is running free shipping and different deals of the day.  see the website for more info.  look for the deal of the day under the “shop by” tab!

and….since i am cross (we use “cross” in our house instead of “mad”…i think it came from watching too much of sir top-em-hat be “cross”) that we are not covered in a pretty blanket of snow and all we have is icky looking muddy grass and we can still see the leaves we missed raking…i leave you with a few pics of some pretty snow scenes.  i am pretending to live here right now: (click on photo to view credits)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

22

 

our first annual wrapping party

18 Dec

my mom (also known around here as GG or G) and i have started a new tradition.  well i guess it isn’t really a tradition yet since this was the first time we had the wrapping party…but we hope to continue it for years to come which would make it a tradition!

i used to be able to close the baby gate and hide/wrap gifts in my basement.  well now those little kids are smart and can open the gate leading to the basement (at least the ones old enough to get that whole “santa” thing can).  so this year i thought we should hide/wrap gifts at my parents house.  who am i kidding…”we”?  i am not sure in ten years i have ever seen my husband wrap a gift.  i wonder if he knows how?  besides that fact…if I go to my parents house…then I get a whole night of good sleep good food and company!

so as i purchased gifts i sent them to my parents house.  here is some of what we had to do:

wrappartytowrap

above is mine…all neat and separated into piles because that is the only way my brain works.

below is my mom’s.  funny…she is an accountant and one of the most organized people i know, but here is her pile:

wrappartyggtowrap

so first we got the food all ready so gramps could get his grub on and hide from us the rest of the night so he didn’t have to help (too much…he did do a lot of “get this from downstairs” for us).  we had lots of goodies….

wrappartypotpie

wrappartypeproll

wrappartycheese

wrappartyhankiepankie

wrappartygoodies

and hey…we threw these in for good measure:

wrappartyveggies

but if i am being honest…we did make a dip too (remember…we don’t really get to have dairy in my house, so when i get a chance to eat the devil food without my little girl around…i go all out!)

there was also a little bit of this:

wrappartywineyes…more wine PLEASE mr. cat (i mean seriously…how cute is that wine holder??)

then we got down to business….

wrappartypaper

wrappartywrapping

this is how santa rolls in my house.  hey…that dude would go through a lot of tags so he just writes on the paper.  al gore loves (my) santa...lazy eco friendly over here!

wrappartysanta

then our before piles turned into after piles:

wrappartydone

looks like that cat poured me a bit too much wine by the time i got to taking this picture…

wrappartydone2

but alas…i am not done.  i still have 8 nieces and nephews to wrap for…and all the grandparents.  but its a start…and santa is done!

i also got an early christmas present from my parents…i love rose gold and its a pretty rose gold necklace.  i don’t have a picture of it…but am hoping that’s another part of the new tradition (insert evil laugh for my dad…he isn’t a big early gift giver!)

how is your shopping and wrapping going?  looking for any gifts for the favorite ladies in your life?  what about teachers?  i got these from MiUS for my daughter’s teachers…

Wristlet Key Fob and if i am being honest…i got the polka dot one for myself:)

and don’t forget while you’re there to check out the deal of the day!

lastly…i am still participating in HHDE with heather from twigs, twine + thyme.  yesterday i made these yummy snickerdoodles.

snickerdoodles-stack

image and recipe can be found here.

Are you ready??? Holiday gift ideas

17 Dec

Today, I thought I would give some last minute gift ideas for those out there still searching for holiday gifts…

At MiUS Collection

from big to small…

we have USA made gifts galore 😉

Here are some ideas…

For the purse lover:

Big totes and Small wrislets

Big totes and Small wrislets

pink and black wristlet :-)

pink and black wristlet 🙂

For the accessory lover… we have from simple to statement:

Awesome watch! Makes a statement!

Awesome watch! Makes a statement!

book

Don’t forget…little cute things sometimes make the best gifts and stocking stuffers:

Made in the USA mugs :-)

Made in the USA mugs 🙂

Come take a look and don’t miss out on FREE Shipping Monday.  Use code:MondayFree

Happy holidays!

the sadness will linger

16 Dec

at church today we prayed twice for the victims of the shooting.  i don’t have to say what shooting, we all know.  the first time we prayed was after watching the preschool and kindergarten children put on the christmas story show.  it was hard for everyone not to get chocked up as our priest led us in prayer and we looked at all those little children.  the second time we prayed was at mass.  a very full mass today.  and today i couldn’t get too irritated with my kids as they were a little antsy in church.  because i was just happy to have my kids with me.  right next to me.  good or bad.  they were there.  

i go about my day today with a heavy heart as i am sure most of you do.  even picking up the house and doing laundry has a sadness to it today.  other parents, who a few days ago were just like me, are forever different now.  other spouses, who a few days ago were getting through this thing called life, are forever different.  and children, who a few days ago had a parent to be with, now do not.  

i am not going to come up with some idea for a solution.  i don’t know if there is one…and even if there is…it won’t bring back those innocent people.  there is evil in the world.  that is the fact.  

i hope you all hug the special people in your life just a little bit longer today.  and for those of you doing laundry like me…laugh at the large pile of clothes your five year old has….embrace that simple pile of clothes.  it matters.

god bless all of you.

The “IT” Dress Style for the Holidays!

14 Dec

They are in everyone’s hot list…from runways to celebrities, the Peplum style dress is a MUST have for this season!

In last night’s Golden Globe Nominations, one of my favorite style girls, Jessica Alba was wearing one of these great styles:

Fashion Court's photo post of jessica alba

Fashion Court’s photo post of jessica alba

But it’s not just Jessica Alba!  Everyone from Beyonce, Kim Kardashian to Rebecca Beckham  are wearing them (I borrowed these pictures from a celebrity fashion blogger, P. Series:

Celebrities in peplum dressesVictoria-Beckham-Peplum-Dress

WHY does everyone love it??

This style is super-flattering because it cinches in the waist and flatters the hips giving the illusion of a perfect hourglass figure. This is a style that looks good on most people, and as the peplum itself is a great statement piece it means you only need minimum jewelry and accessories to complete your look.

We have two gorgeous peplum dresses at MiUS Collection:

Curvy size - Peplum

Curvy size – Peplum

Missy size - Peplum

Missy size – Peplum

They are both available in a slimming tailored shape with a pops of color provide a stylish look.  Guess what??? It is your lucky day, because you can rock this dress at your next event at a GREAT deal!!!  Our Deal of the Day is this fabulous dress for $39.99!!! Available in missy and curvy sizes!   Click on the photos above to take you to our page to buy this now!!

You can pair this beauty with some simple jewelry, yet statement making pieces like:

night sky

night sky

Don’t miss out on the Deal of the day…get it ready for your next special occasion!   Happy Holidays!

The Style Voyager

Hong Kong Fashion and Lifestyle Blog.

Dru Christine : Hustle & Sew

"Passion fuels Champions"

Buy American Challenge

A Blog About Buying American and Why It's So Important. Official Blog of the Buy American Movement.

Lipstick and Anissa

A beauty and fashion blog for the sassy working girl.

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

The Ides of March

Inspiration for a fashionable life...

Rubys N Purls

Finding Life's Little Gems Along the Way!

verrrdeliving

Living an eco and fashionable life

All I Never Wanted To Be Was A Stay-At-Home Mom

Once growing in a career as a full-time marketing communications professional, now chasing my dream to build a freelance venture while juggling the art of being a stay-at-home-mom.

The Life Styled

Where life and fashion go hand in hand.

VINTAGE REFLECTION

By Amy Purfield-Clark