A Soundtrack to Your Life

Saturday, February 28, 2015



Salutations, everyone, Grace here!

I hope you’re all having an awesome Saturday. I’ve made a 1-hr long playlist full of upbeat songs that are sure to inspire a sunny outlook and keep you moving. (You can click to play the songs in the Spotify player below.)

Music is so helpful in lifting my mood when I’ve got a lot of work to do or if I’m just feeling down. I wanted to share with you all the positive energy that I get from listening to these songs.
When I was in college, I spent most of my Saturdays working in the costume shop or shut in my apartment working on costuming projects by myself. Though theater is a time-consuming labor of love/hate, there is nothing else I’d rather be doing. Having cheerful music is one of the things that helps me through the bad days, and sweetens the good ones. As well as music, I find that making lists, stretching and yoga, and having an uplifting mantra really help. A mantra may sound silly, but it really works! I like “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” and “Slow down!” You don’t have to say them out loud, but repeating them when stressed helps me focus.

But back to the music – research has shown that when you listen to upbeat music, the brain releases dopamine, the chemical responsible for making you feel happy. You can skip ahead to the playlist if you like, or if you’re curious about what’s going on our brains when we listen to music, the following links contain research that gives simple explanations as to why music makes us feel so good. The Scientific Power of Music, by ASAP Science and Why Music Makes You Happy, by Discovery News.

Music can make us feel amazing and it’s worth sharing! Creating a playlist will help instantly motivate and inspire you when you need it! Check out my playlist for inspiration!



What are your feel-good songs? Leave them in the comments below!

Bring Whimsey Into Your Life

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Anyone who has ever seen my house knows I love a good eclectic look. I like to take a bunch of different style elements and meld them together in my design aesthetic. I've recently started looking for whimsical items to make my house a little more fun and personal. Of course, the internet did not disappoint and I found tons of inspiration on how to incorporate more whimsy into my home. Here are some of my favorites!

These pics are from Liz Klafeta home that were featured on ApartmentTherapy.com.













These following pics are from Emma Straub and Mike Fusco which were also posted to ApartmentTherapy.com.
 










-Susie

Dairy Free Lemon Creme Brulee

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Good Morning, Friends!
Something that brings me a lot of happiness and pride is getting fancy in the kitchen.  I love to create extravagant home cooked meals and desserts. There is something about taking the time to create something delicious and beautiful that makes eating much more satisfying. It also puts me in control of the ingredients and the nutrition content, but more importantly, it allows me to adapt recipes to make them dairy-free. Being lactose intolerant or having a dairy allergy used to mean that you had to avoid most desserts because they are usually made with milk. But that's totally not true! With a little home preparation you can have many of the desserts you love without having to sacrifice any of the taste.





Creme Brulee is one of my favorite desserts. It is rich in flavor and the crunchy melted sugar on top gives an awesome contrast to the creamy custard. I'm also a huge fan of lemons, so when I found this original recipe from Foxes Love Lemons, I knew it was something I HAD to try.





It took a couple of tries to get the perfect texture, but this recipe will, hands down, blow your mind!


Dairy-Free Lemon Creme Brulee 

Ingredients
  • 1 Can of Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 1 Tsp Unrefined Cane Sugar per Ramekin

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees; bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil. Place 4 5-ounce ramekins into a roasting pan.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and vanilla extract on low.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar and lemon zest. Mix together until the eggs look light yellow in color. 

4. While whisking, slowly introduce coconut milk into the mixture until it is all incorporated.

5. Optional step: If lemon zest is well grated you may leave it in the mixture. If they are large grated pieces, pour mixture through a strainer.

6. Divide creme brulee mixture evenly between the 4 ramekins; place roasting pan in oven. Add enough boiling water to go halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

7. Bake 30-35 minutes or until the custards are set. (They should wiggle slightly in the middle, be the sides should be set on the outer edges.)

8. Carefully transfer ramekins onto a cooling rack; let stand for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours.

9. When ready to serve, top with unrefined cane sugar and broil at 450 for 4-6 minutes, or until the sugar is caramelized and brown. This can also be done using a blowtorch. Top with your favorite berries and serve immediately.


Tips:

  • Leaving the lemon out will give you the recipe for classic creme brulee.
  • Use a high quality coconut milk will make for the creamiest custard.
  • Sugar in the raw packets are the perfect amount to top each creme brulee without measuring. 

-Susie

Try out the recipe? Leave your reviews in the comments below!







Spread Kindness

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Today is National Random Act of Kindness Day! Yay! So the way you celebrate this day is by doing something selfless with the intention of wanting to help or to cheer someone up.

I'm sure you have head about the random strangers paying for the next persons drink at Starbucks or about those who have paid off strangers layaway tabs. Those examples require money, but kindness  doesn't have to be monetary.

Here are some ideas to help spread the love.

The world could use a little more love, don't you think?

You can:
* Donate a book.
* Leave a positive and friendly note on a strangers car.
* See a veteran? Share your appreciation and thanks.
* Help change a tire.
* Bring flowers to a Resting Soul.
* Send an uplifting card to a wounded warrior.
* Donate blood.
* Let's someone merge onto the road.
* Leave change in a vending machine for the next person to find.
* Compliment someone.
* Take a stores survey and praise that employee who deserve to be recognized.
* Let someone in line go in front of you.
* Volunteer at a local shelter
* Call someone who could use uplifting.
* Open the door for someone with a stroller or wheelchair or anyone really!
* Stop what you are doing and help someone who needs it, whether they drop their papers or they could use a hand carrying something heavy. Just stop and help!


This is just a very small list of examples. The important thing is to spread kindness. It's good for the world and good for the soul.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" - Aesop


How will you celebrate today?

Meet Angela!

Monday, February 16, 2015


Hello friends! I am totally pleased to be introducing our 2nd contributor to the blog, Angela! We will follow her through her pursuits to find her own Glitter + Gold as she tries to find out who she is outside of being a wife and mother. I think many, MANY of us can relate!

So here is Angela! (How cute is that pic??)




Hello, I’m Angela! I'm a 30 year-old wife to a great guy and mother to two beautiful kids (a boy-5 and girl-3)… oh, and we have a crazy Husky, that we couldn’t live without!
This blog couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve been stuck in this rut for a while now. I get so caught up in being someone’s WIFE and MOTHER that I’ve forgotten how to actually be ME! My husband, who is amazing and works incredibly hard so I can stay home to raise and nurture our children, has recently decided to volunteer as a coach to our local Babe Ruth team (baseball). And as excited as I was for him, I also felt a pang of envy… he gets to do this thing that he loves, while I’m STUCK in my RUT doing the same old thing!! That’s when I knew something had to change…
So I started thinking: Who is Angela? What are the things that I love?? And I was drawing a blank! I couldn’t think of anything!!! That’s sad. So then I started to think back at things in my past that I did that brought joy and meaning to my life… before I had kids. I LOVED to read! Something so simple… “I don’t have time to read anymore” I used to craft and make beautiful things… “Nah, I don’t have time for that anymore” everything that came to mind, I stifled with these negative thoughts. Now, I’m calling BS on myself!! I need to MAKE TIME for these things that I love, that make me happy! No one is in charge of my happiness, but me. So, if I don’t take the time for it, then no one will… but I’m not he only one who suffers because if it, my husband and kids will too. 
 So I'm setting some goals for myself. I am going to make more time to do the things that I love and make ME happy. I am going to read at least two books a month. And I'm going to start creating again. I am going to finish at least four projects a month. My ultimate goal is to find happiness, to be a happier person, to be content with the person that I am and where I am at this point in my life. I hope you will join me on my journey to find myself.

- Angela

( You can see some of Angela's creations by heading over to her FB page Handmade by Angela)

Meet Grace!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hello all! 

I am totally pleased to be introducing our new contributors to the blog! We will follow them through their pursuits to find their own Glitter + Gold. They, like me, have found that life got in the way of all the things they used to love to do. But no more! We are taking control of our lives and we are going to find happiness on our own terms.

So without further ado, meet Grace!





Hi, everyone! My name’s Grace Tabales and I’m a costumer. I recently graduated with my Bachelor’s degree and I’m gearing up for some huge changes in my life. I’m always looking for new things to learn and different ways to improve myself. I have been immersed in the DIY life since I was little, sewing clothes for my dolls and creating hand-made decorations for Halloween and Christmas. I love sewing and crafting, but while in college I barely did any of that stuff at all. I didn’t manage my time and my physical or mental health very well and always felt stressed out and tired.

I did, however, join the anime club, where I became involved with cosplay. You’ve probably seen it on TV with coverage of large events such as Comic-Con in San Diego, CA. It’s when people dress up as characters from their favorite movies, comics, tv shows, anime, cartoons, etc. and get together at huge conventions to show off their work and hang out with like-minded people. I mostly sewed costumes for other cosplayers, but now who knows? Maybe I’ll finally make something for myself!

I love to read, so my inspiration would most likely come from comics. My current faves are American Vampire, Saga, The Wake and New 52 Batman. But I don’t only sew costumes! Quilting is another passion of mine and I’ve been doing it for seven years now.

Although I had some happy moments in college, theater consumed my life (as expected) and costuming didn’t bring me the happiness it used to give me. I was doing quality work that I’m very proud of, but I had little control of when I stopped and started each project, or the type of work I took on. I would get burnt out and unmotivated, but would keep going because my grade depended on it. But I didn't enjoy it. Toward the end of undergrad, I came close to quitting so many times because of it, but I’m glad that I pulled through it.

My plan is to share my journey of self-improvement through reconnecting with creative pursuits that are motivated by my own wants and needs. I want to find balance again. I want to take on projects that challenge me to learn new skills. I learned so much in school, but costuming requires a vast range of skills, and there is still so much I have to learn. However, this time, I have complete control over the curriculum.

Another one of my goals is to continue saving up for The Big Move to The Bigger City. I’ve done a lot of research and I want to go so badly! But I have to be patient. Long-term, my goal is to establish my own costume rental/commission business and to continue learning about every aspect of costuming. I’ve been keeping sketchbooks and designing costume and fashion since I was a kid, and wanted my own business since I was fourteen years old. Now I’m finally going to make it happen!

The first step is my Etsy shop, Get it Retro. I am still working through all of my goods, getting them priced, cleaned, photographed, etc. but it will be open soon, as will my website, so be sure to check my Facebook page for those announcements!


There is so much great stuff on the horizon and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!




Grace Tabales


facebook.com/grace.tabales

LIFE | The Little Things

Thursday, February 5, 2015




I think when we get caught up in the day to day, we lose an appreciation for the Little Things. Maybe it's the proximity, maybes it's the familiarity, maybe it's because we just simply take it for granted, but we unconsciously make a decision that places the Little Things on the bottom of our lists. But here's the kicker, it's the Little Things that can actually bring us the most happiness.

They say, "don't sweat the small stuff",  so we try not to. They say, "Oh a little bit wont hurt" when talking about eating an extra slice of pie or drinking another glass of wine. We make a little seem like it's nothing. THAT is the problem.

A little can be a lot.

So this got me thinking. What Little Things am I overlooking? What are the things that I should be grateful and thankful for? What are the Little Things that I like that bring me joy? Or that USED to bring me joy before I pushed it off to the side and ignored it?

It's the Little Things.

It's the Lush Bath Bombs that make the bath glittery and purple.
It's the sushi I eat when it's Pretty Little Liars Day (Um. YES. I watch this show!)
It's the light breeze that wakes my body on a walk with my dog.
It's the laughter of my son when he tells a joke on the microphone his Nana got him. (He literally just says the word "Joke" and cracks up.)
It's the magazines I like to read when I'm too tired to do anything else.
It's the first sip of soda that burns so good.
It's the pile of books I have started, but can't finish because I don't want them to end.

So why then do I not enjoy these things?

Because I have made them little. I have made them insignificant to my life.

I don't fill the tub because I'm too tired.
I don't order the sushi because once I get home, I don't want to go back out.
I don't always walk my dog, because it's too hot, too cold, too late, too early.
I don't always enjoy my son's laughter because the microphone is too loud.
I don't read my magazines because I flip through other peoples lives on Facebook instead.
I don't drink the soda because of the calories.
I don't read the books because I've decided I'm too busy.

I don't THIS because of THIS. They are excuses. They are the "reasons" I give to not enjoy my life.

Do not deny yourself the simple pleasures. Do not be so focused on tomorrow that you don't enjoy today. Spend some time on yourself, with yourself. Take happiness in the Little Things. THEY MATTER.

Are you listening??

THE LITTLE THINGS MATTER!

That's the first step. Step Back. Back Up. Look Up. Keep Up. Keep Positive. Be positive. Be Happy. 
Be You.

So look inside yourself. Think about it and ask yourself: What are the Little Things that I enjoy? Why I am I not allowing myself the simple pleasure of Little Happinesses?



And then banish the excuses. Send them far far away.

You deserve to be happy.

Let yourself enjoy the Little Things. If multiple little things bring your happiness during the day, would you not be happier? If you keep feeding a fire, it'll keep you warm. If you don't, it'll burn out. Right?

Let the Little Things be your fire. Don't let that fire burn out.

You deserve to be happy!


What are your Little Things?

-Susie







Monday, February 2, 2015

Are you on a path to happiness? Do you want to reclaim your passions? Are you looking to become the person you WANT to be? Are you a blogger or a writer or want to become one? Then you may be interested in this opportunity!

I am looking for a few people who want to contribute to the blog 1-2 times a month who are on their own Pursuit of Glitter + Gold!

What is Glitter + Gold?

Glitter + Gold is what I refer to as my passions and my interests. It is everything that I want to be, want to have, deserve to have. It's the joy in life, the passion in life. It is the things in life that make life worth while and give you happiness. THAT is Glitter + Gold.

Is this a good fit for you?

Absolutely! If you want to better yourself and make positive changes in your life, then this is for you. Whether you decide to contribute or not, this blog is for you, even if it's just as a reader!

Are you going to tell me what to write?

Absolutely not! I want you to have the freedom to decide what is important to you and where it is you want to be in your life. The posts must follow the theme and must be positive in nature, but the content is up to you. I want to follow the journeys of individuals as we seek to find our own Glitter + Gold.


THIS BLOG IS MOVEMENT! It is a lifestyle change, it is a self-improvement journey! 


All interested can email me at susiembennett@yahoo.com.


Read my ABOUT ME to find out more about my journey and my pursuits.