today in history

(text entry from history.com)

According to tradition, on April 21, 753 B.C., Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, found Rome on the site where they were suckled by a she-wolf as orphaned infants. Actually, the Romulus and Remus myth originated sometime in the fourth century B.C., and the exact date of Rome's founding was set by the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro in the first century B.C.
According to the legend, Romulus and Remus were the sons of Rhea Silvia, the daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa. Alba Longa was a mythical city located in the Alban Hills southeast of what would become Rome. Before the birth of the twins, Numitor was deposed by his younger brother Amulius, who forced Rhea to become a vestal virgin so that she would not give birth to rival claimants to his title. However, Rhea was impregnated by the war god Mars and gave birth to Romulus and Remus. Amulius ordered the infants drowned in the Tiber, but they survived and washed ashore at the foot of the Palatine hill, where they were suckled by a she-wolf until they were found by the shepherd Faustulus.
Reared by Faustulus and his wife, the twins later became leaders of a band of young shepherd warriors. After learning their true identity, they attacked Alba Longa, killed the wicked Amulius, and restored their grandfather to the throne. The twins then decided to found a town on the site where they had been saved as infants. They soon became involved in a petty quarrel, however, and Remus was slain by his brother. Romulus then became ruler of the settlement, which was named "Rome" after him.
To populate his town, Romulus offered asylum to fugitives and exiles. Rome lacked women, however, so Romulus invited the neighboring Sabines to a festival and abducted their women. A war then ensued, but the Sabine women intervened to prevent the Sabine men from seizing Rome. A peace treaty was drawn up, and the communities merged under the joint rule of Romulus and the Sabine king, Titus Tatius. Tatius' early death, perhaps perpetrated by Romulus, left the Roman as the sole king again. After a long and successful rule, Romulus died under obscure circumstances. Many Romans believed he was changed into a god and worshipped him as the deity Quirinus. After Romulus, there were six more kings of Rome, the last three believed to be Etruscans. Around 509 B.C., the Roman republic was established.
Another Roman foundation legend, which has its origins in ancient Greece, tells of how the mythical Trojan Aeneas founded Lavinium and started a dynasty that would lead to the birth of Romulus and Remus several centuries later. In the Iliad, an epic Greek poem probably composed by Homer in the eighth century B.C., Aeneas was the only major Trojan hero to survive the Greek destruction of Troy. A passage told of how he and his descendants would rule the Trojans, but since there was no record of any such dynasty in Troy, Greek scholars proposed that Aeneas and his followers relocated.
In the fifth century B.C., a few Greek historians speculated that Aeneas settled at Rome, which was then still a small city-state. In the fourth century B.C., Rome began to expand within the Italian peninsula, and Romans, coming into greater contact with the Greeks, embraced the suggestion that Aeneas had a role in the foundation of their great city. In the first century B.C., the Roman poet Virgil developed the Aeneas myth in his epic poem the Aeneid, which told of Aeneas' journey to Rome. Augustus, the first Roman emperor and emperor during Virgil's time, and Julius Caesar, his great-uncle and predecessor as Roman ruler, were said to be descended from Aeneas.


isn't double duty the best!?

i love it when i see something being used for something other than its purpose!

wine glasses turned candle pillar with shades- cheap and classy.  as easy as 1, 2, & 3.  1: drop a votive candle in the wine glass  2: place the shade on.  voila!

drinking straw as stem stabilizer:  firm up the soft stems of tulips or daffodils by inserting each stem into a wide straw before placing in a vase.  rinse and reuse straws for the same purpose!

don't lose toss your marbles!  add them to the bottom of a vase to keep your daisies put and it even makes arranging a snap!

fridge magnets-  who says they need to be tacky?  tired of the advertising ones?  instead use seldom worn or broken brooches, remove the pins (with a wire cutter) and glue a magnet to the back.

baby food jars-  how many times have you seen a scuff on the wall and wanted to touch it up but didn't want to make a trip to the garage to dig up the paint bucket and materials?  too much of a hassle for me!  simplify your paint touch-ups by pouring a few oz of paint in a glass jar.  when you need just a dab, grab a jar!

garden hose holder-  you know that big ugly mess of christmas lights in your garage?  that conjures up images of that scene with Clark griswold and his son... you know where he shoves him the big freaking ball of string lights and asks him to unravel it?  use a garden hose holder and just string them up!

no need to curse-  use a clothespin to hold the nail for you instead of your two fingers!

have a lovely day!



need a shot of flair?

feel like your fete is missing a little flair? 

the small things are what often goes overlooked and without them your fete doesn't have that polished and pulled together look. don't fret!  here are some suggestions 

invitations- oh the most important item to not overlook,  without this you would end up without any guests.  no fun. the invitation is the perfect time to introduce your theme. 

garland- if you have a custom one done, by all means go for the saying and look you want. here's a suggestion: go for a saying you can leave up long after the gathering has ended. for a baby shower instead of the typical "it's a girl!" go for "baby madison" so the parents can hang it in the nursery. it doubles as a decoration and then as a gift!  what a bargain!  

cupcake toppers- naked cupcakes?  no thank you!  have custom ones done to go with the theme

cupcake wrappers- why stick with the ugly ones you bake your cupcakes in?  add a festive wrapper around the cupcakes that go with your theme. or even go for the eco friendly ones you can use over and over. 

favors and bags- thank your guests for coming. don't feel like you need to spend a fortune on this. after all you asked them to come and have fun rather than for something that's such a drudgery.  try to aim for the eco friendly fabric ones your guests will love to reuse!

pom poms to add a big s.p.l.a.s.h. of color!  and... leave them up after the fete for a decor impact.


sleep issues??

regular exercise- pretty much anything to quicken your breath for 30 to 40 minutes at least 4 times a week improves your sleep quality.  you can always split it up into two 20-minute sessions but don't do a session in the evening since the simulation coming from a workout can just cancel the benefit.

a self portrait

elvis says it needs bananas

combine your carbs and proteins-  carbs help your brain use trypotphan (amino acid causing sleepiness) and proteins help build that acid.  a light bedtime snack of peanut butter on toast or low fat cheese and crackers provide just that!

a splash.. or 2.. of vodka would help!

drink cherry juice-  such a yummy fruit drink is rich in melatonin (helps your body regulate the sleep/wake cycle)

what would mr. miyagi say?

try tai chi:  meditative version of martial art helps you have longer and deeper sleep.  

make a schedule!:  hit the hay and get up at the same time daily.  go easy on yourself on the weekends tho! :)

chill out-  a cool bedroom lowers your core body temperature (initiates sleepiness).  start at 65 degrees and adjust if needed  

who wears this much makeup in the bath anyway?
soak yourself:  a warm bath doesn't just help you relax and forget your day's troubles.  it also raises your internal temperature which allows you to fall asleep easier, and into a deeper sleep.

check your meds:  lots of over the counter pills interfere with your sleep by keeping you up or contributing to sleep apnea.  do your research.

use some lavender:  drop a few drops of essential oils on a cloth and slip it under a pillow.  this can help you experience sounder sleep.  you can always use a diffuser or iron pillowcases with scented water.

turn off the lights-  turn off tv and computer, turn alarm clocks away from you... no glow

looks familiar.

don't be tempted to veg out-  when you're tired you may have the urge to veg out and this can cause sleep loss.  stay busy throughout the day and you will find yourself sleeping more soundly.

20 minute limit?  oh, each book!  :)

when you wake in the night go ahead and read.  choose something boring and take it to another room and limit it to 20 or 30 minutes.

no.. both are for me.

no caffeine after 2 pm.  resist the cup of joe in the afternoon to get you out of the afternoon slump.  go for a walk instead.

just purrrrr-fect!

use an eye mask-  when you cover your eyes, you close them sooner! 


fun hotels!

"honey, lets go.  pack your bags for an overnight stay in an underwater aquarium"

oh my!  i'd *love* for my husband to say that.

here are some fun and unusual hotels of the world i stumbled upon.  online.  :)  makes me wish i was a jumper!  

this would be the floating utter inn on a swedish lake near stockholm.  when you arrive you are taken a little more than half a mile out to your hotel and left with an inflatable boat and instructions.  you also have the choice to use the inflatable canoe to explore the closest uninhabited islands.  swim there if you have the courage to.  fall asleep to the fishes watching *you* (as opposed to the other way around)

...and this is your deck.  your room, you ask?  oh its down below

embrace your inner troll and stay a night, or a few, in this rustic treehouse.  with no straight walls you'd have to expect an unusual shaped bed.  flooring is constructed from mesh grill so you can check out what's below.  such fun!

who says treehouses are just for the lil uns?

escape to your very own survival pod in the hague.  it was first created as an art project 7 years ago but became popular enough to build 8 different ones in central amsterdam and nantes, france.  different packages are available but the basic one should be tried for its kitsch factor.  the basic survival package includes a sleeping bag and emergency rations 

um ok.  could be fun!

time to get my passport stamped!

want to see more?  visit the site


spend a little more even when money is tight!


the other day i stopped by the dollar store to grab a few items and couldn't help but overhear 2 ladies having a conversation about "how expensive cards are" and now they buy all theirs at the dollar store (2 for $1!)

now i understand money is tight for most of us these days and it bothers me when people pay $4 or more (!?!?!) at big box store for *mass produced* cards that a million other people get.  that got me thinking...

why buy handmade and pay a little more?

i found a blog post asking readers the same question and here's my favorites:

Buy handmade because: 

-  are getting something that is made with love by someone who loves what they do
-  are giving the handmade artist a huge compliment and actually saying "I love what you are doing" which in turn keeps the artist "doing " it.
- are telling the gift recipient that you cared enough about them to buy something as individual as they are

Stacy Altiery
InkSpot Workshop

- You can be proud knowing that your supporting small businesses. 
- It's great for the economy
- You don't have to say that you bought it at Ikea.

Avril Loreti

- To support the idea that something made from hand from a fellow human is a little more precious than the something which is not.

Susan Schwake

want to read some more?  read this link

thank you for reading!



fun spring diy project

southern california has such nice spring-y weather.  sunny skies with puffy white clouds and a gentle breeze.  feels like spring has arrived!

this gets me in the mood to start easter/spring preparations!

i'm a big fan of martha stewart and i frequent her website and blog.  i have a mini project of hers i want to share with you today.

a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. spring chicks!  who wouldn't gush over them?  a fun and easy diy project with minimal materials

print the bean bag chick template then head on over to this page for step to step instructions  

i'm off to make my own!  if you make some, let me know and i would love to see pictures of them as well