life lately....

The past few weeks have been full of filling orders. After I got home from the Pool Trade Show in February, I had my hands full. I spent the next four weeks busily making and more making and shipping. It was tiring but the hard work paid off. March was the busiest month for {Acute} and it felt good. My fingers have blisters - but so what!

After I completed all the orders from the show, I spent the next few weeks stocking shops that I have sold to for years. Check out the stockists page to see if any stores in your area carry {Acute} products.

Thursday I am heading away for a long weekend to visit friends and next Friday we are off on a two week trip to Ireland (with a quick stop in Chicago on the way home). I am excited to visit friends and family and to take a little break. I love doing what I do and often get so stuck in it that I work all weekend. It will be nice to get away for a minute.

Other than stocking the shops that I supply, I have been listening to lots of books, attempting to get back to a regular blogging schedule (maybe one day??), watching too many shows on Netflix and HBO GO, and taking care of my pups. 

Gordita has a bad case of arthritis and nothing will break my heart like that little girl struggling. We spent a lot of money at the vet last week and the pills seem to be helping her out. Fingers crossed that she can get some pep back in her step - literally.

And totally off topic....have any of you ever migrated a Blogger blog to Wordpress? If so, who helped you? I don't have the patience to do it on my own and am looking to hire someone. Thanks in advance for any recommendations :).

dark chocolate sea salt caramel cookies

I went almost two weeks with NO sugar in my life (besides fruit). For a sugar-aholic like me, that was really hard. My original idea was to last the entire month of April but I am heading to Florida this week to visit friends and then Ireland the week after that. I like to enjoy my vacations and enjoy = indulge in my mind.

For the past two weeks, I cut out sugar, most dairy, grains, and alcohol. I pretty much only ate fruit, veggies, meat, eggs, beans, olives, and nuts. The plan I kind of followed is called Whole 30. I adjusted it here and there by putting a tiny sprinkle of goat cheese on my salads and eating some beans and dried fruit.

Other than that, I did really well and after two days I stopped craving ALL THE FOODS all day long. 

My favorite thing about the Whole 30 concept is that you just eat real food all the time. I don't know if I lost much weight but I felt amazing. I was waking up every day at 6am, wide awake and ready to go.

After two weeks, I was ready to treat myself so I made chocolate sea salt caramel cookies. I also made myself sick with over eating but it was worth it :). 

The cookies are amazing. I used the same base recipe as my favorite cookies and cream cookies and added in chopped dark chocolate and tiny pieces of Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel caramels, which added a nice, salty touch. If you can't find these caramels, any caramels will work and you can sprinkle the cookies with a tiny bit of sea salt to achieve the salty/sweet flavor.

dark chocolate sea salt caramel cookies (makes about 3 dozen)
-2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup butter (softened or left at room temp for a few hours)
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 large egg whites
-1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used 1/3 of a bar of 72% cacao dark chocolate but any type of chocolate or chocolate chips will work)

-about 8 caramel candies, chopped into small pieces (I used Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel caramels but any kind will work)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt and stir with a whisk.  Set aside.

3. Put sugars and butter in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined.  Add vanilla extract and egg whites and beat for another minute.  Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Lastly, mix in the chocolate.
4. Roll the dough into balls about 1"-1 /2" in diameter and press a small piece of caramel into the center. Put the cookies on baking sheets that have been 
lined with parchment paper (or coated with non-stick spray).  
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on pans for two minutes and then transfer them to wire racks or a plate in order to cool completely.  


I am beyond excited for tomorrow night's season seven premiere. It's the beginning of the end! I am a little sad that the show is ending, but it is time. 

Earlier this week, I was honored to be a featured blogger on Storenvy. I created a Mad for Mod collection of Storenvy seller goods and answered a few questions for their blog. Pop on over to read a little about my business and my obsession of Mad Men.

Are you a fan? Will you be watching this Sunday night? I wish we could all get together and have a viewing party with fun drinks and snacks :).

Have a great weekend!

weekend photos and photoshop actions

A few photos from the weekend, edited with the new Photoshop Elements Actions by A Beautiful Mess. I have been a long time fan of Photoshop Actions. Actions are a fun, simple way to edit photos - kind of like Instagram filters (but way better) and the new ones made by A Beautiful Mess are pretty great. I purchased the Elements package (just $10!) and already have a few favorites.

Big ears! Edited using the Mia Action.

Big ears and a smile :). Edited using the Nico Action.

Pretty Finn. Edited using the Frances Action.

The OG - Gordita. Edited using the Dottie Action.

These two are so isn't fair! Edited using the Clara Action.

I put new legs on my ratty old Ikea couch and it made a world of difference. It feels like a whole new piece of furniture. Edited using the Harper Action.
Gordita silhouette. Edited using the Edith and Mia Actions.

I hope you guys had a great weekend!

p.s. If you buy the elements package and need help installing them - check out this step by step post I wrote a few years ago for instructions.


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