Category Archives: Lovin’ It

Diaper Cake for Spring

Diaper Cake for Spring

I just made a diaper cake for a dear friend’s baby shower this past weekend.

She’s due to welcome her little into the world at the end of the March, so we’re all getting really excited! She doesn’t know if her little one is a boy or girl, so she is doing most of her bedding, blankets, etc. in green, so she can add in blues or pinks when she meets her/him.

With my excitement for Spring and knowing the baby will be born this Spring, I went with a Spring look for the diaper cake and shower decor (I’ll post later this week). I was trying to get some inspiration for it all and kept thinking about Spring green moss. Its the right color, not overly “girlie” or “babyie” (neither the mom-to-be or myself are into the “baby look”; you know clowns, noah’s ark, winnie the pooh, etc.). So, this fresh look really seemed to work well.

I used green moss and 2 small bunches of silk daisies I bought at the craft store, as well as pale yellow satin ribbon I got from Buy Buy Baby (they have available in their complimentary gift wrap station) to decorate the cake.

On the tiers of the diaper cake are baby items mostly from the mom-to-be’s gift registry, including the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (one of my childhood favorites and this one is a cardboard book, so its great for young children). There are 2 baby bottles in the center of the cake and one on the lower tier. The cake includes 100 size 2 diapers that will definitely be used in the future.

There is a pack of “rockstar” pacifiers and a baby teething toy, as well as a sippy cup and travel sized baby care items.

Diaper cakes are great baby shower gifts, as they’re not only a gift but a decor item on the gift table and can decorate the baby’s nursery for a while.

Have a baby shower you need a gift for? Not sure what to get? Let me know as I now offer diaper cakes for sale, special made for the mom-to-be’s nursery theme and registry items. Interested?  Contact me through the Ask Madindy page.

Vivacious Vacations: St. Louis

Vivacious Vacations: St. Louis

I love to travel, seeing new things, new places, new people and trying new food! I thought I’d share some of the great places that I’ve had the privilege of visiting; some that may be close to home and some a little further away.

So, I’m launching the new segment today I’m calling Vivacious Vacations, where I’ll feature a place (city, town, country, beach, campground, etc.) that I enjoyed so much and think you might as well! Some were just weekend trips and others were weeks long. I’ll show you the great things to see, to do, and to eat!

For our first Vivacious Vacation I’m featuring St. Louis!

Why I’m featuring St. Louis?
Both my roomie from college and my husband’s roomie from college live in St. Louis. A group of us decided we didn’t want to lose touch so we decided that every Spring us northerners would take a long weekend trip down South and every Fall the southerners would trek up North.

I’ve driven through St. Louis at least 20 times and never really stopped to explore the city. So this trip last Spring was full of the locals showing us the ropes…my favorite way to explore a new place! So, here’s St. Louis!

Having loved and studied so much architecture, St. Louis is a city that excites me with its rich architectural history. The city is filled with beautiful brick buildings that scream craftsmanship long gone.

My college roomie, Shelly, and her hubby, Andy, live in a piece of history in downtown St. Louis. This beauty above is where they call home. It dates back 150 years, built by a man who was a doctor in the civil war. Stay tuned for a future post where I’ll feature Shelly and Andy’s gorgeous historic home, so you can see what they’ve done with the place!

The first stop in St. Louis seems to naturally be the Gateway Arch. Towering 630 ft above the banks of the Mississippi River, it was built as a symbol of Westward Expansion. Designed by architect Eero Saarinen, the monument was completed in 1965 and is open to the public.

Yes, that’s right, you can not only hang out at the base of the arch, but you can ride in a little cart to the very top!

Overlooking: One of my favorite things to do in any city I visit is to trek to one of the highest points in the city to overlook from a bird’s eye view. It gives a visitor a totally new, bigger picture, perspective of the city. The view from the top of the arch does just that!

I know you competitive northern baseball fans will cringe, but I highly recommend visiting a Cardinals’ game at Busch Stadium when in St. Louis.

Its not only a great sporting event, but the view of the city from the stadium is beautiful!

And the fireworks show is stunning…added entertainment to the evening!

One of my favorite things we did in St. Louis was visiting the historic Soulard Farmer’s Market. This year round farmer’s market is one of the oldest farmer’s markets west of the mississippi with its first structure dating back to 1843.
www.soulardmarket.com/soulard_farmers_market_003.htm

The market is not only filled with beautiful sights, but the sounds of the local street performers makes for a lively atmosphere and great music!

With aisles and aisles of local fruits, veggies, flowers, meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, snacks and lots of samples it made for a fun afternoon of food a local flavor. And by the end of the visit we had enough food to cook up a tasty dinner made from all fresh local produce.

I love finding free things to do in cities and St. Louis has plenty of things to do for free. The Budweiser factory is located close by Shelly and Andy’s house, so they knew that on certain days you can go get your picture with one of the Budweiser Clydesdale’s.

Another free activity in St. Louis is the zoo. That’s right the zoo is free and a great way to enjoy the beautiful warm Spring weather in the city!

Another site to be seen just outside the city in a suburb called St. Charles is New Town.

Take a step back to the ways city once were designed. You may think you’re in Mayberry, visiting this pocket of the New Urbanism architectural movement in the middle of a corn field.

New Town was developed by the world renown architectural firm DPZ. It brings back the traditional city planning methods of walkable cities with town centers.

This town scientifically blends various forms of residential, commercial, and municipal buildings.

Most of the properties in the town go for hefty price tags, but the architecture and town itself is pristine. I have to admit that I love this architectural movement, but the town felt a little like I walked in the movie Pleasantville.

What to eat in St. Louis? While in St. Louis we visited local restaurants that represented the melting pot that is the U.S.A., trying both an Indian Restaurant (I’ve always loved Indian food) and Nicaraguan Food (a new thing for me that I loved). Even with my restricted diet I had plenty of options at both places. They were both delicious and both restaurants are run by natives of the country their food originates from. You know it’ll be good when the recipes are things the owner’s grandmother used to make!

I hope this tour of St. Louis gives you a little insight into the sights, smells and sounds of this historic city’s blending of the old and the new. I’ll be traveling to St. Louis again this Spring and am excited to bring back and share even more great sights of the city. Have a great weekend…and start planning your trip soon!

Quick Valentine’s Dessert

Quick Valentine’s Dessert

Just in case you forgot, today is Valentine’s Day. So, you have no idea what sort of dessert you can have on a restricted diet or with limited time to make it…How about chocolate fondu!

Even with my restricted diet, chocolate fondu is a great no bake dessert that I can eat.

The best part about chocolate fondu for Valentine’s Day is its a fun activity that you can share with your loved one!

Here’s how I make my chocolate fondu:
I take a package of allergen-free semi sweet chocolate chips and melt them down in a double broiler. I swirl in a little water and a touch of vanilla extract; stir thoroughly and pour into your fondu pot with a candle or sterno lighter below.

I found this cute little fondu pot at a thrift store several years ago…the red color makes it feel even more festive!

My favorite fondu dippers that follow my restricted diet:
Strawberries
Pineapple
Marshmallows
GF Animal Crackers
GF Graham Crackers
GF Pretzels
Bananas (I can’t eat em’ any more but used to be my favorite dipper)

Even with not much time to prepare and even on a restricted diet, you can enjoy this delicious dessert/activity with your loved one. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Fun Valentine’s Day Details

Fun Valentine’s Day Details

Valentine’s Day is almost here! To be honest, its kind of snuck up on me this year. I’m really not into decorating with little paper hearts or anything like that. But I do very much enjoy warm reds and pinks in my home at this point in the year when Spring just seems like it’ll never come and white and gray are the only colors outside right now.

So, here are some of my ideas to make your home feel a little warmer and cozier with the glow of Valentine’s Day, without the paper hearts. Here I’ve just pulled out little things I already have that happen to have a rosie appeal. Hope this will inspire you to pull out the decor you already have that will make your home feel a little more festive.

Above: A red bud vase (gift from my Mom) with faux queen anne’s lace flowers. I love the red and white contrast and queen anne’s lace always has an air of romance.

A beautiful red knit throw (Christmas gift from my hubby) encourages a little cozying up on the sofa when its freezing outside.

This red table runner sits on my buffet table, adding a little color with its varying shades of reds. The silver paisley embroidery adds a little ethnic flair and sheen.

The beads on the ends of the runner add a beautiful finishing detail.

Add a little romance to your home with some candle light.

I took a gold serving tray and a bunch of white candles (with varying height) and created this display on top of my buffet table. I let the wax drip as it wants, as I love the warn look it creates.

Pull out some of your cute tea cups or mugs. I found these little mugs at a garage sale in a free bin.

I love the little strawberry details (again they make a nice red against white contrast that can look festive even though they aren’t hearts).

Brew some Roobios Tea for Valentine’s Day. Roobios is my favorite type of tea and its so festive as it brews tea that is red in color and full of flavor, not to mention is great for relieving chest congestion and tight lungs. You can buy various Roobios Teas at www.ourspecialtea.com/

This tapestry (a gift from my sister that she brought back from India) is one of my favorite things hanging on my walls. The brilliant red hugh adds some Valentine’s Day festivity, while adding great color to my living room.

One of my favorite parts of this tapestry are the actual pieces of mirrored glass sewn into the tapestry. I love the little bits of reflection that add such life to the piece.

This beautiful calendar features vintage Parisian poster on each month’s page. Another “happy” (gift) from my sis, it brings festivity to my kitchen walls.

This may be one of the more traditional Valentine’s Day decor items I own. A treat from my Mom, this little towel is great to bring a little festivity to the bathroom or kitchen.
I hope these ideas will inspire you to search through your own decor items and use what you have to make your home a little warmer and more festive this Valentine’s Day!

Neptune’s Comedy Club

Neptune’s Comedy Club

Tired of visiting the movie theater for your cold weather entertainment?
Today I thought I’d shed some light on a new comedy club that’s opening this week in Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs. The comedy club is called Neptune’s Comedy Club, started by my very own hubby, Matt Sommerfield, who is producing the show and warming up the crowd each week.
Here’s an interview I did with Matt to let you know all about this great new entertainment hub!
Be sure to check it out… I’ll be there!

Q: What is Neptune’s Comedy Club?
A: Matt:
Neptune’s Comedy Club is a new, clean comedy club opening at Port Edward Restaurant in Algonquin, IL. The club was created by local Chicago Comedian Matt Sommerfield (me), with the purpose of bringing professional, clean comedy to the northwest suburbs.
Q: What kind of comedians can people expect to see at Neptune’s?
A: You can expect to see veteran comedians coming to perform at Neptune’s. I look to hire comedians with excellent credentials. Many have been on Comedy Central and WGN. Several have performed with other professional comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Brian Regan, Jay Leno and many more!

Q: When are the shows?
A: Shows are every Thursday night at 7:30pm at Port Edward Restaurant in Algonquin, IL (Starting February 10th, 2011, this week).

Q: Where is Neptune’s Comedy Club located?
A: Neptune’s Comedy Club is located at 20 West Algonquin Road, Algonquin, IL 60102 inside Port Edward Restaurant.
Q: What kind of food and drinks can people order at Neptune’s?
A: There is a full 40′s style bar in the club and people can order wine, cocktails and beer as well as sodas and water. Appetizers will be available for purchase during the show. If you want the full experience come in at about 6pm and order the Bistro Menu! The food is excellent and its a great in-expensive 4 course meal before you go and enjoy your show. Allow at least an hour and a half eat time before the show starts.
Photo (Ken Sevara, headlining comedian this week at Neptune’s Comedy Club)
Q: How can people get tickets to the shows? And how much do tickets cost?
A: You can get tickets many different ways for the show.
You can go to www.neptunescomedy.com and order there.
You can call the restaurant at 847.658.5441 and order on the phone or reserve your tickets to pay at the door.
You can go to http://portedward.com/neptunecomedy.htm and order tickets through the restaurant’s site as well.

If you order tickets on the phone or on Port Edwards website make sure you tell them which show you are coming to see.
We have a variety of ticket prices. They are as follows:
TICKETS
$12 each – Pre-Sale single ticket reservation
$15 each – at the door
GROUP RATE TICKET PACKAGES:*
$11.50 each for 4 tickets = $46
$10.50 each for 8 tickets = $84
$10.00 each for 12 tickets = $120
*(Group rates not available at the door)

Photo (Matt Sommerfield, producing and opening each week at Neptune’s Comedy Club)
Q: Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Would this show make a good date night?
A: Absolutely. The big thing here is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money and you don’t have to worry about the content being embarrassing or inappropriate. I don’t think taking someone to a comedy club where they feel uncomfortable and humiliated makes for a good date night. Plus, it is a very romantic atmosphere. Candlelit tables, wine, appetizers and good clean comedy!

Q: Can Neptune’s accommodate a larger group (say 8 to 10 people) coming together to celebrate a birthday?

A: Absolutely! We are working on birthday, anniversary and other party packages as well! Right now you can order group rate tickets to save money! I am working on putting together some other incentives as well for future shows!

Q: Where can people find more information about Neptune’s Comedy Club?
A: If you want to know more about Neptune’s Comedy Club, see who’s performing and buy tickets, check out www.neptunescomedy.com. You can also follow us on facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_183242201688754 and twitter http://www.twitter.com/neptunescomedy
Thanks for the great information, Matt! Finally a comedy club that has great entertainment and a great atmosphere, that’s affordable and close to home for us suburbanites!
You can check out a preview of the comedy you can expect to see by watching video clips on Matt’s website www.mattsommerfield.com.

Fiery Winter Sky

Fiery Winter Sky

If you’re like me by this time in February you’re ready for Spring! I’m so over the frigid temps and massive amounts of snow. But, I have to admit that I came home one day last week at dusk to this Fiery Winter Sky. It made me stand in awe out in the cold for a few minutes. I ran inside, grabbed my camera, and captured this bit of wintery beauty.
Enjoy these gorgeous winter sky scenes and remember, Spring will come again!


Super Bowl Bash

Super Bowl Bash

Those who know me know that I’m really not that interested in football unless the Colts are playing (I’m a Hoosier down to the bone). The only thing that really gets me excited about football or the Super Bowl is the social aspect, a Super Bowl Party! I saw these awesome ideas to “Deck Out Your Super Bowl Bash” on the Today Show this morning and thought I’d share.

Hope this video will give you some great ideas to Deck Out Your Super Bowl Bash this year! There’s still time, so get going!
Click on the video below to check it out.

I love these party decor ideas because they’re a little more classy than your typical paper streamers in your team’s favorite colors. They use serving dishes you already have and stuff you can pick up at the grocery or hardware store. But my favorite aspect of this decor is that much of it you can eat. Hope your Super Bowl Bash will be a little extra special this year!

Indian Food Dinner Party Feast

Indian Food Dinner Party Feast

In my last post, Fabulous Spaces: Mary’s Victorian Apartment, I said that my friend Mary (that recently moved into her new space) was telling me how she wanted to have a dinner party but she presently only had 2 chairs for her dining table. Mary and I both love Indian food and Mary has in fact spent some time in India, so I suggested let’s do an Indian Food Dinner Party Feast, eating at a low table sitting on the floor.

The dinner party was a blast! It was different than your typical diner party, the company was great, and the food was super tasty. The best part is that I could eat almost everything at the feast. So, my restricted diet friends here’s some more yummy food options for you too!

Indian dinners usually consist of many dishes that are shared family style.

This first dish we made was a chicken curry dish. Mary started by sauteing sliced mushrooms, onions, and cubes of chicken breast in a skillet with a little oil. She then added some canned tomatoes (homemade courtesy of her mom, but you could used store bought can tomatoes) and mild red curry sauce from Trader Joe’s.

I’m normally not really a fan of premade, packaged food, but I love these and highly recommend them. They’re both from Trader Joe’s and are premade, packaged in a pouch and just need to be heated and served. The two that I could eat are Punjab Eggplant and Dal Makhani (a lentil dish). There was another one that was a paneer cheese dish as well that didn’t fit my diet, but if you can eat dairy try it.

We also made jasmine rice, sprinkled with saffron. Typical Indian meals are eaten with rice as most of the other dishes in the meal have a very concentrated flavor and the rice helps to balance the flavors.

There was a cucumber, tomato, and green onion salad that added a fresh crisp taste to the meal. We simply cut up the veggies and tossed them with a homemade dressing (equal parts extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar with fresh cracked salt and pepper).

Mary also served traditional Naan Bread that’s eaten with Indian meals and is used to scoop up and eat the saucier dishes. Since Naan has gluten Mary found these great Baked Lentil Chips from Trader Joe’s as an additional item that I could eat.

Mary served the meal with traditional Indian tea that was really delicious. She boiled the water with Tea Masala that she actually brought back from India (you could probably find it at a grocery that offers various ethnic foods). Once the water boiled she steeped corriander pods, rooibos (red tea), and ginger tea to create this delicious blend.

This was truly a scrumptious Indian Food Dinner Party Feast. Thanks to Mary for opening her home and preparing a great meal that was a lot of fun to eat! I hope this inspires others out there to explore and enjoy new foods from other cultures.

Lovin’ It: Domino The Book of Decorating

Lovin’ It: Domino The Book of Decorating

I’m launching a new segment today called Lovin’ It where I’ll feature products, businesses, services that I’m lovin’ in hopes that you may love them too! And no, McDonalds is not on my Lovin’ It list. But this Domino book sure is!


My favorite design magazine, Domino, unfortunately went out of publication a few years ago…Sad story, but the good news is there is a Domino book that captures many of the best images and design ideas from the many issues of the magazines. This book was a Christmas gift from my hubby this year. It makes a great gift for those design and decorating lovers! Here’s some of the beautiful images from the book to give you a glimpse. Hope you’ll pick up a copy (you can get it on Amazon).


Its full of color palette and space planning ideas.


Lots of tips to mix and match pieces in a space.


The book includes beautiful fabric and wall paper prints. This one is from GP & J Baker #158408C fabric in #R1375-3 color.

There are plenty of ideas for entryways, living rooms, dinning rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, and kids’ rooms.


There are tons of Tricks of the Trade inside.


There are even ideas for renters and for even the smallest spaces.

Hope you’ll enjoy this book as either a beautiful coffee table book or a great resource for the decorator/ designer in your life!

*Book: Domino The Book of Decorating: A room-by-room guide to creating a home that makes you happy
by Domino editors, Deborah Needleman, Sara Ruffin Costello, and Dara Caponigro, 2008