Hittin’ the Road to Salem Massachusets!

I have wanted to go to Salem forever, never seemed  have either the time, or the money at the same time to do it! We finally got a chance to go, just a long weekend, but so worth it. Had a nice trip with some good friends of ours.


The Northey Street B&B

Stayed at a B&B called the Northey Street B&B. It was a cool place, historic vibe, clean, nicely decorated. The breakfasts were only “eh” and pretty repetitive, and you have to take your shoes off upon entering the building which can be sort of annoying after a while especially for the menfolk, seems like hubby’s shoes have a million and ten laces. But, the rooms were clean & the beds were soft & warm! The coffee, which is the most important, was pretty much akin to battery acid. Thankfully there was an awesome coffee house not far that the inn keeper actually recommended to us. It was called JaHo and their cappuccino’s were delicious!
We did all the usual touristy stuff. Salem Witch Museum, pictures with the Samantha from Bewitched… the whole 9 yards.


Hanging John Proctor at the Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum was a tad campy, and exactly as I remembered it with the wax figures and all from the last time I was there, probably about 18 years ago, but it’s still cool! They added a whole history of witches part at the end,the tour guide was very excited about it, gave a very enthusiastic tour, but it was great! If you’re going to Salem, you gotta go to the Witch museum.


Salem Witch Museum – a very cool building

With Samantha from Bewitched!

The center of their shopping district features the cutest statue I’ve ever seen. It’s Samantha from Bewitched sitting on a broom over the moon – they definitely win the best statue contest!


Some cool Boston Street Art

We took one day and ventured into Boston. We had hopes of taking a tour of the Harpoon Brewery but the tour was sold out by 10:30am, so, that trip was a tad wasted. We explored Boston a bit. Saw this cool street art, had some clam chowdah for lunch & then headed back to Salem. Of course we missed the train, so our choice was to wait 2.5 hours for the next one or get creative. Thankfully by “we” had to get creative, what I really mean is my hubby. I am hopeless when it comes to public transportation. Just the idea of it gives me anxiety. I just need to hold a hand and follow, and I’ll be ok! Don’t ask me to read a map or plan a route! We ended up stopping by Wonderland station, not sure what was up above, if it was the giant mushroom/talking cat world I imagined, as we only saw the dank underbelly. Finally, a couple rides on the L and a taxi ride later, we arrived back in Salem!


No Rabbit Hole needed! Just take the blue line!

These “Bunghole Liquors” were all over the Salem area. There are just too many jokes to be made. I can’t even pick one!


Bunghole Liquors…. these were all over the Salem area. Super classy! haha

All in all Salem was a great time. I want to go back, see more of the town (lots of stuff was closed in the off season) and see Gallows Hill! It was all covered in snow, we couldn’t get up there. I also want to go back for this delicious Lobster Roll I had at this place called Finz. Oh man, it was delish. I could eat that every day for the rest of my life!


Henna Hair Dye!

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 1.23.41 PM I absolutely LOVE Lush’s products.  I’ve been using their Caca Rouge Henna Hair dye for about a year and a half now. My hair is naturally a dark blonde/light brown color depending on how much sun I’m getting, so, lighter in the summer generally. I’ve never been big on the idea of dying my hair mainly because I’ve got curls, curls need all the care they can get and dyes are super drying for hair. Then I found Lush. The Lush store opened up at my local mall and they sell Henna hair dyes. Not your average hair dyes, these are all natural are are mixed with cocoa butter so they leave your hair super soft, not dried out. These come in a brick, and for my hair, one brick equals 2 dye jobs (3 squares per dye). I chop it up, put it in a double boiler, add some boiling water and mix it til it’s a brownie batter consistency. Instead of mixing it with boiling water, this time I mixed it with red tea, I figured ehh.. why not? It certainly helps the smell too. It smells very earthy, not bad, just earthy.
The first time I did henna, I stayed over the stove to keep the henna warm the whole time. That was kinda torturous since I had no good mirror in the kitchen. f619820a770311e29b9b22000a1f96c5_7 Now I double boil it to melt, then take the whole thing upstairs to the bathroom sink. Fill the sink with water as hot as I can make it, and sit the bowl in there. It stays warm enough.   I have curly hair, and this time I straightened it before applying the henna – it made it MUCH easier not having to fight the curls! I gather up all the hair clips I have, divide my hair up into sections, and start smearing henna! DON’T FORGET TO WEAR GLOVES! I forgot gloves last time and enjoyed orange Snooki hands for a few days! I start with the top front of my hair, applying the henna to a section, wrapping it, clipping it, then adding more hair to that same section – wrap it, clip it together with the original section. Then I move to each side, then divide the back and do that part.  Whatever is left over, if there is any, I smash into the edges. I’m telling ya, it really is like rubbing wet mud into your hair, but the result is worth it, trust me! Once I’m all done & clipped up I grab the saran wrap & put a couple layers on my head, to finish it off I take a plastic shopping bag, rip it a little and do a real attractive head wrap (see pic below) haha it looks weird, and I’m pretty sure one day my neighbors are gonna see me walking around like this through the window and try to have me committed, but, until that day – it works! b3f137fa777711e2a42522000a1f96b3_7 It keeps me from dropping chunks of henna dirt all over the place too. They say let it sit for an hour or so, I go for 2 hours at least, more if I can. It seems the longer it stays the shinier, redder, and softer my hair is. Then wash out, the cocoa butter which I love so much can be a bit tedious to wash out. I do 2 shampoo’s using Lush’s curly whirly shampoo, one where I start at the front of the scalp where most people start, and then i turn my head upside down & shampoo the base.. does that make sense? That really helps get all the henna out. Wash til your water runs clear.  I finish mine off with Lush’s ReTread conditioner. Dry it & style it with Lush’s R&B. Yeah, I’m a total Lush addict.
I’m not gonna lie, the dying process is pretty tedious, and messy, but….. it doesn’t dry out your lovely locks, and it looks great. It never really fades either. Mine grew out, but didn’t fade. The cool thing about this dye is it takes your natural colors and highlights and works with that, so it turns out looking really natural. So, it’s a pain to put on, it’s a pain to clean up, but the results are totally worth it!


Wisdom Teeth & other fun Feb ailments


Home made chicken soup cold remedy!

Well that was lame huh? About a week after relaunching my blog I completely disappear! Well, I have a half good reason. First was that we took a trip to Salem, Mass with our friends and I was completely off the radar for a while, I’ll blog about that later. Upon returning, no doubt my souvenir from Boston’s Mass Transit system was a cold which my husband and I both caught, and passed to our 7 year old too! Sick house! Ugh! Lot’s of chicken soup, rest, and recuperation and we are all almost at 100%. Hubby seems to have gotten better and then sick again, but, being a typical guy he is refusing to go to the doctor.

As I recuperated my teeth started really hurting me, my dentist has been telling me since I was in my early 20’s to get my wisdom teeth out. My teeth weren’t bugging me, so I didn’t do it. Who wants to electively have oral surgery? Not this girl! No thanks! They’d hurt on and off, nothing a few advil or tylenol couldn’t handle, til now. They really started hurting, bad. The one was impacted partially and pushed my molar so hard it cracked it. Got a tooth infection, doc put me on heavy penicillin, found out that though I’ve never been allergic to penicillin before, the high dose was apparently the threshold for me and I had a weird reaction to it.  Apparently though the tooth pain was terrible, you can’t pull an infected tooth out so I had to wait out the infection, plus my dentist was on vacation…


Chipmunk Face! Before & After Wisdom Teeth Removal

So, it’s been a journey. Long story short though, teeth came out the end of last week and I’m on the mend now, starting to feel a bit more like normal though I still have a slight case of chipmunk cheeks. Here’s a nice & humiliating before & after pic haha.



this is what I’m pretty sure I looked looked like the day after my wisdom teeth were out!

The thing that sucks too? Not to be vain, but, I’ve been busting my butt since last summer-ish to lose weight and get healthy. Lost some weight, still more I want to lose, and the wisdom teeth swelling has given me fat face again! I thought I was done seeing fat face! Thankfully it’s almost gone, and, thanks to  my post wisdom teeth removal liquid only diet (cause I can’t chew!) I’ve lost a few extra lb’s this week!


Happy Valentine’s Day & All

Photo Feb 14, 9 44 11 AM

“Do what you know in your heart is right.. for you’ll be criticized anyway”
Art Copyright Original Abbie Studios 2013

Did a little Valentine’s piece that I was eager to finish up this morning. I actually added a few details after I took this pic, but, you’ll have to wait to see :) Nothing major, but, for a perfectionist like me my art is never quite complete until it feels just right. Happy Valentine’s to all you heart-ists. I coined that term, isn’t it cute? Heart+Artist? Meh? Yeah… hehe.

 The quote reads “Do what you feel in your heart to be right… you’ll be criticized anyway” by Eleanor Roosevelt.  Isn’t that the truth? Seems somebody always has something to say. The key is to either not care what other people think about you, or, to be able to just take the criticism with a grain of salt and keep on going. Depending on my mood I fall somewhere in between the two.

Photo Feb 13, 12 05 49 PM

brushing up on “realistic” eyes



I teach art classes for teens & little ones at the local art gallery & studio. The kids had asked to learn to do “realistic” eyes again. We had done them in a comprehensive face a few months ago, but we’ve got new kids now and they wanted to focus on eyes. So, I brushed up on my “realistic” sketching. I’m not really big on realistic drawing/painting etc. I feel like there is enough talented artists out there to compete with why am I going to compete with a Canon DSLR Camera too? It will win every time! Eh, but, the kids wanted to learn it and I didn’t mind. It’s a good exercise to work on, it just doesn’t do much for me! The kids did a good job though. I skipped that lesson with my little kids because it was tough for the teens better yet kindergarteners! We did some cute little Valentine’s drawings with the little ones. Roses, a Teddy Bear – all that fun stuff!


Photo Feb 14, 4 53 45 PM

Creations of a 4 Year old in my little ones class

Photo Feb 14, 4 48 31 PM

Chocolate Icing & Peanut Butter Cupcakes, dangerously delicious!

Valentine’s Day and my hunny’s birthday are very close together. He’s stuck working on Valentine’s Day so we celebrated last night, I made some delicious Peanut Butter cupcakes with Chocolate frosting, all from scratch. Don’t get me started on canned icing. It’s a travesty. Real icing is SO SIMPLE TO MAKE! I get boxed cake mix, it’s so convenient, but, the icing? Ok, getting of my soap box now haha. The cupcakes came out awesome, peanut buttery, chocolatey… so good. I sent most of them into work with hubby for him to have bday cupcakes with his buddies at the firehouse because they are TOO good, and I’m trying to live a healthy life style here!!


Valentine’s for my Boy

Valentine’s day is one of those holidays that I’ve never really been over the moon about. However, I do admit that being in elementary school makes it way more fun. Exchanging valentine’s with your class, making little construction paper mailboxes, Valentine’s Party – it’s all good stuff.

2013-02-12 18.10.37
It seems these days that the “sweets” valentines are frowned upon in school, teachers don’t want to deal with sugar hyped kids, and God knows there are so many allergies and food restrictions these days that it’s really hard to find something everyone can enjoy. I always try and go with a small toy valentine over a sweet treat. I found an inspirational pic on Pinterest and stuck it on my Valentine’s Board. The pin I saw did include a free download but I wasn’t crazy about the design, I wanted something a littlebrighter and more colorful! So I made up my own – and I’m pretty happy with the way it came out!

2013-02-12 18.34.22

Kiddo brought in these “You Make My Heart Bounce” Valentines. We stuck a super bouncy ball into a small zip lock bag, and stapled the valentine over the top. The back had plenty of room for his “to” and “from”. He loves it, and he was sure to pick “boy colors” and “girl colors” for who gets what ball, which I thought was adorable! He even wrote the girls names in pink because he thought they’d like that. He has a small list of kids outside of his class that he wanted to give valentines too as well, including “my beautiful friend ____” (name omitted!) But let’s just say she’s a sweet little girl who’s been in his class since Pre-K. So cute!
2013-02-12 18.37.00
Anyway I’m all about spreading the love so if you want to make these – here is my design on a PDF: OriginalAbbieValentine . I got mine printed at Kinko’s since I love their printer and hate mine haha, and I had it done on card stock.  WAY cuter than the generic boxed ones! If you make them – I’d love to see! Comment here or post a pic on my facebook page if you can!


Friday at the Barnegat Bay

It’s Friday night and the day has gotten away from us after an unexpected divergence! My poor mother in law’s dog was doggie napped…. It was really upsetting for a while now but thankfully sweet little Rex, an eleven year old beagle, was returned home. He’s a bit worse for wear. Tired and limping from missing out on his arthritis meds and taking a too long walk to the dog nappers house- but he’s home sleeping it off now. Hope he’s himself in the morning. (more…)


I travel to the beat of a different drum

"It's not that she marches off beat, she simply hears a different drummer"

Now that this peace is out, I can’t help but hum Linda Rhonstadt’s “You and I , travel to the beat of a different drum” but I swear, that song wasn’t haunting my brain when I created this. What was actually going through my mind was the idea that I wanted to get my nose pierced, but I was busy being a total wuss about it haha. You’ll note that this bird has it’s nose pierced as well! It wasn’t until a few months after I created it that my best friend all but held me down and got me my nose pierced for my birthday. It hurt and I wasn’t ready for the whole numbing/icing the area thing – but – I like it!

Here I am moments after getting my nose pierced, that's why my eyes are all puffy and red!

I’ve had this one available wholesale, and at shows too but I haven’t had it online for the masses until recently. I’ve gotten some great feedback from this one. I have people see it and tell me, “oh – this is SO ME!” or look at it and say it reminds them of someone special in their lives, etc. Lots of people buying this one because it’s “so me” or buying it as a gift for someone because it’s “so them”!

I think a lot of us march to our own drum beats. I know a majority, if not all, of my friends and family do. Perhaps that’s just because I don’t suppose I’d have a lot in common with someone who marched to the collective beat, so I don’t tend to surround myself with those people! Or, perhaps I’m just SO far off on my own beat that I’ve blinded myself to anyone else’s beat haha.

So, whether you march to your own drum, or you know someone who marches to their own drum – this would make a great gift for you or them! You can find it at one of these fine establishments, or contact me and let me know you’d like to purchase it and I will invoice you. I accept credit card, paypal, or checks. These retail for $35 each and are absolutely delightful!

And in case you’re not already singing along with Linda Rhonstadt’s Different Drum like I am… here’s a little ear candy for ya :)


Phriday in Philly

Driving a friend to the airport and taking the tight 5th street exit off the Ben Franklin brings you right under the Ben Franklin Bridge- love the view! Love the city, except for all the bad Philadelphia drivers lol. We are driving dangerously close to Ikea, I feel like im breaking my moral code by not stopping!

20110812-064400.jpg there’s a phillies game tonight in about 20 minutes but (knock on wood) the traffic isn’t awful. Shockingly enough!