The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The bean.

This is my painting of "The Bean". I love it dearly.

Chicago - here it is!

In case you missed the memo, I went to Chicago! I had the honor of representing our GS council at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, hosted by Points of Light.
The conference itself was awesome. The speakers were on point, the sessions were interesting, meeting new people was super fun. I feel like I got a lot out of the conference, even if I didn't bring home tons of new ideas about volunteering; it was just so nice to be among other non-profit leaders and hear them talk about all the things I am passionate about. I feel like our council is headed in the right direction and it was good to be among other people who were asking the same questions, struggling with similar things, and experiencing the same successes!

But of course, on to why you really stopped! I took tons while we were there and this is just a sampling.

The reddish building on the left hand side of the background here was our hotel...the Hilton Chicago Hotel and Towers. It really was huge...right beside Grant Park.

This is the Buckingham Fountain - oddly enough, donated by someone French, I believe. It was huge and beautiful!

Chicago has tons of amazing green spaces and public parks. I was impressed by how clean they all seemed to be and how many of them included different forms of art, both large and small. This was a huge flower sculpture that I loved!

This is Trump Towers. nothing special there really, but the view over the river was pretty awesome.

This was one of my favorite pieces of outdoor art (probably #2 on the list for Chicago). It is obviously still being installed there but it is made up entirely of canoes! This water lovin' girls heart was happy!
This is the ferris wheel at Navy Pier....

Look - proof that I really went to Chicago!

A.K. and I took a water taxi from Navy Pier (after walking literally a couple of miles to get didn't LOOK that far away!) to the Field Museum and Aquarium area. The views alone were worth the money.

The Field Museum of Natural History. We arrived about 30 minutes before closing time this day and weren't willing to spend the money to get in for that amount of time. I would love to go back to Chicago for a museum run one day...tons of things I didn't get to see!

Same night. Pretty amazing all lit up too!
And this is why I went to Chicago.
I jest but...I was pretty excited to see this piece of art.
It is called "Cloud Gate" and it is basically a huge, mirrored jelly bean.
So everyone calls it "The Bean". And I was super excited to see it. It is pretty amazing at night - reflects the sky and the buildings and it is hard to tell where the Bean stops and real life starts. I liked it so much that I convinced my amigas to go see it again...during the day!

I wanted to kick all the tourists out so I could get really awesome pictures but then I rememberd that I am a tourist too. Oh well. I loved this so much that I bought a small oil painting of The Bean and had it shipped home. It arrived yesterday and I am currently debating on where to hang it!

A.K. and I also went on a sunset architecture tour by boat. The guide was super cheesy but very informative and I learned a lot about the buildings around the Chicago River. This is the Sears Tower (ahem...Willis Tower...but whatever) and it truly did not disappoint. Beautiful!

The plenery session on education was led by the fabulous Soledad O'Brien - who replied to one of my tweets. Made my day. Week. Month. Yeah.

The education session was sponsored by Target - could you tell? Either way, we got spiffy Target glasses which we are all rocking in this picture...

There it is...Chicago in pictures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Its coming.

A proper Chicago post - with pictures!! - is coming...I promise! As soon as I remember to bring my hard drive home from work. The hard drive that all of my photos are located on. Go me.

Until then, a quick update...on not much. Days are hot and long...I am slowing down a bit at work and enjoying my evenings at home. Chad has been working quite a bit so we don't get to spend as much time together as I would like. I get all of next week off from work and Chad only gets Wednesday so I am making plans to travel with my parents again. I will head to Atlanta for my sister and Frannie's intentionally belated reception for their wedding in March and then travel on to Columbus with my parents. I believe we will head to Biloxi for a few days - table games for dad and tooling around town and sitting by the pool for mom and I. I have discovered - in my old age, ahem - that my parents are much cooler. Better conversations, funnier stories, time spent with them more treasured than it ever has in the past. I am no longer embarrassed by them as I was in middle school and high school but instead, thrilled to get their undivided attention for a few days. I am really looking forward to a week off work but more than that, absolutely excited about spending a few days with my folks.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chicago, Chicago!

Sorry I didn't blog. We were pretty much busy from sun-up to sun-down (and later!) which is what I really expected would happen. I learned so much about volunteerism, working with partners to improve the volunteer experience, and how to recruit new volunteers. I met tons of new people and got to see some beautiful sights! In fact, I did get to meet Kevin Bacon - who was pleasant and friendly - and J.R. Martinez - who was even nicer and a local guy to the Dalton area just south of Chattanooga. We chatted for a few minutes about home, which was nice, and he even said he would be in town this weekend for a fundraiser for the local food bank. Nice guy!

I will try to look at pictures today and post if possible. I have a lot of things to catch up with at work and at home so it might take me a few days...

Sunday, June 17, 2012


The last time I flew alone, I was flying into O'Hare in Chicago. It was about 12-ish years ago and I was going on a Girl Scout trip. Now, I am flying alone again into the same airport on a Girl Scout trip. Interesting.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In case you missed it.

I am going to Chicago next week. In case you somehow missed that little fact, I am sharing it with you again. I have gotten to do some really cool things through my awesome job with the GS and this is pretty close to the top of the list. I am attending the National Conference on Volunteering and Service (NCVS), hosted by Points of Light. This is going to be a fabulous opportunity to learn new information (new to me!) about working with volunteers in all aspects of our organization. I will also get the chance to network with tons of other non-profits and ask others how they best serve the volunteers that they get to work with. Finally, there are some really neat speakers coming to the big plenary sessions - people like Kevin Bacon (he has his own non-profit...6degrees...check it out!), Barbara Bush, Jill Biden, Arnie Duncan (Sec. of Education), and J.R. Martinez (war vet, DTWS winner, and local boy to the Dalton, GA area!).

On top of my excitement to go to a city that I have never really* been to before and particpate in this really awesome opportunity, I won something too! I entered a contest for "doorprizes" basically..and won "a signed copy of A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver (who - sidenote - founded the Peace Corps). But wait, there’s more! You also won:

· VIP Meet and Greet on Monday (this is for the opening session)
· Invitations to Points of Light Honors Reception (attached, you’ve been signed up, but please let us know you’re able to come)

· Reserved seating at the front of the room for the opening plenary"

Oh my gosh! I never win stuff (other than my awesome was a carnival game. I'll tell you that story one day...kidding.) and this is a pretty cool thing to win. I have asked if my three amigas (that are traveling with me) can come with me to any of those things cause I know they will be much more fun if I don't have to go alone!

I am sure that I will be doing lots of tweeting and Instagramming (are those really verbs?) so you can follow me over there. I will try to blog but will only have my phone so I won't do as much of that.

Follow me on Twitter for all the latest sightings and musings: love10984 (but I am hidden, for privacy reasons, so just request to follow!)
And on Instagram: stelmosweetness (the name of our honey!).

Excited and looking forward to it!

P.S. glad that I got a quality little camera last year! I am only taking a carryon and I really, really want to get some good pictures! Thanks fam for that fun gift!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Zebra Bundt Cake.

Zebra Bundt Cake-Bakers Royale

I just popped this Zebra Bundt Cake in the oven...the picture above is from Bakers Royale - the website where I found the recipe, photos, and directions.

I will update with a picture of how mine turned out...fingers crossed! :)

Photo: Score!
Oh yes. Score.
P.S. tastes good too. Gets the Chad seal of approval.

Cooking up a storm.

I love to cook and would do it a lot more if someone else did the dishes. Last night, I made stuffed green peppers and squash casserole, both with main ingredients straight from our garden. And then we decided that we wanted Chinese food to celebrate our last night of eating dinner together until Friday! It's really OK because I will have delicious veggie meals for lunch most of the week.

Tonight's agenda includes cleaning up the kitchen and then making a bundt cake I found on Pintrest yesterday!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June Birchbox!!

I arrived home yesterday from my overnight jaunt to Atlanta ( and a super fun firefly float canoe trip with the ladies of my family) to the fabulous annoucement that this little pink box came in the mail.
Oh happy day!
This month's theme was all about the "Jet Set" which was nice because I am headed to jet set to Chicago next week for  work!

This is what the box looked like when I first opened it...I knew I was in for a treat as soon as I saw the first few items!

 The first thing I pulled out was a little teaser for the new Birchbox Man box. Since Chad laughed in my face when I suggested it to him, we won't be ordering that anytime soon. Still, this John Varvatos cologne - called Star USA - smelled really good. In fact, I might even use it though it was a little strong for my lady skin...

 Next came the Eyeko Fat Eye is in a great coppery, smokey shade that I think I will really use. I really like the texture and this is another full size product score! Regular price for this one is $15 so this was pretty awesome to get!

I was pretty excited to open the bag and see this quart size, funky print zip-top bag. It will be perfect for my carry-on bottles next week and I will be the most stylish gal going through security! This is by the brand tili (lower case correct) and it looks like they make lots of fun colors. I saw this on the teaser video from Birchbox and I hoped I would get one!!
 Again, Birchbox packaging rocks...seriously like opening a birthday present every month. There were more goodies inside this little wrapped package...details count - and this is a great one!

 This is Stainiac in the color "Beauty Queen" by the company theBalm. It is a dual lip and cheek stain that I have already worn (last night!) and it really is a perfect color. Looks really red in the package but smears on to be a perfect flush. Makes lips look natural and awesome...I just covered with lip balm last night for a lasting color. Love it already!

 I am pertty excited about taking this with me to Chicago too...daily moisturizer by Likewise with SPF 50 in it! A great way to protect your skin from harmful UV rays...great under makeup.

And finally, I am pretty stinking excited about these and crossing my fingers for no streaks...these are self-tanning towelettes by Comodynes. I might give these a little go on the legs for next week since I am packing mostly easy-to-wear dresses for my 3 day conference...
So, there's the June Birchbox haul. I think it was a really great box this month - of course, anytime I get a full size product I am going to be a happy girl, but I watched the teaser video and I got a couple of items that I was really hoping I could try!

P.S. not that you are interested, but my fingernail polish is the Zoya polish that I also ordered in the limited edition set by Birchbox. The color is Kate by The Small Things Blog. which is the blog that I read that introduced me to Birchbox! It really is a perfect summery color...pinkish, watermelony color that wears for a long time! 

Pssst: Jealous? Want a Birchbox of your own? Order using this link: and I get credit! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Spoils of our labor.

The garden is finally producing and I am more and more excited about summer every time I stroll through it.  We planted: popcorn (yep!), eggplant, squash, cucumbers, jalapeños, banana peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, okra, basil, cilantro, radishes, and carrots (which obviously are not out thing). We have asparagus too but apparently its gonna be a decade before it produces...sad news for this semi-instant gratification gal. Now I just gotta get the tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños ready at the same time for some kick-butt salsa....waiting....

Doing other things.

Sorry it has been a little quiet around here. For the first time, it is not because I have been so busy with work that I do not have time to blog. This time, the cause is that I am so busy doing OTHER things that I don't have time to blog! Work has truly slowed down this past week or so. I have been home every night this week and I have really enjoyed just being around the house and doing my own thing. I've been getting back into the gym in the mornings...gone every morning this week except for today because I left for Knoxville at 6:30 in the morning instead (for a fun, monthly staff meeting at camp!...that included a murder mystery put on by some of our staff...hysterical!). I am still trying to figure out how to swing working at camp for a week this summer so we will see how it goes. I have some time so hopefully my boss will let me fill in where I might be needed (maybe water sports week? Please!!?!).

Tomorrow night, I am headed to Atlanta to spend some time with some sweet friends and family. We are doing a twilight canoe trip down some creek (uh...maybe I should have paid more attention?). I guess it doesn't really matter...I love canoeing, I love the people I am going with, I am spending the night with my sister and going to the Red Bull Soapbox Derby (which should be pretty hysterical too) so does it really matter about all the other deails? Nope. Gonna be a good weekend.

I guess if you want more daily info about life you can follow me on Instagram or Twitter...if you know me, look me up! :)