The Stunning Stapelia Succulent Flower

Asclepiadaceae, cactus, Stapelia, succulent, succulents, flower, flowers, garden, unique flower, smelly flower, carrion flower, starfish flower, African flower, plants, gardening, nature, Stapelia cactus flower, Stapelia grandiflora, Stapelia gigantea, Stapelia scitula, Stapelia paniculata, Stapelia leendertziae, Stapelia hirsuta

Up until a few days ago, I would have told you Stapelias are my favorite cactus.  However, during my research for this post I learned something surprising: Stapelia is NOT a cactus!  I repeat, the Stapelia plant is not a cactus.  After all these years of having this plant and raving about it to people, just imagine the sound of tires screeching as my brain came to a halt...  Whaaat?  Not a cactus?!  No way.  As you can imagine I quickly stumbled into an internet rabithole of information in search of the truth.  
Now that I've cleared that up, let me just say that there is a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation out there on the world wide web, the internets is a free-for-all where everyone and their grandma can write whatever they want about anything.  For the most part, wherever you see "Stapelia" you see "cactus."  It's for this reason that I am trying to be as accurate as possible when discussing my plants, so please don't hesitate to let me knoif I ever get something wrong.   
Apparently, Stapelias qualify as perennial succulent herbs.  They're part of the Milkweed subfamily Asclepiadoideae, which is in the family of flowering plants known as Apocynaceae - commonly known as the Dogbane family.  If you love succulents and cacti you must remember this: all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.  This means that succulents are found in many plant families, not just the Cactus family Cactaceae, and the Stapelia is a perfect example.

Romantic Valentine's Day Wine and Tapas Dinner

Valentine's Day, romance, romantic, dinner, decor, food, recipes, cheese platter, fruit platter, wine and cheese, love, dinner date, candlelit dinner, Valentine's dinner, wine

Valentine's Day is this weekend, and although I'm not a huge fan, I still enjoy doing something special for my lover. I'd rather do something low key and enjoyable than succumb to the commercialized pressure of going out and buying stereotypical Valentine's gifts. So, since my man and I are big food and wine lovers, I'm planning to put together a romantic table with an eclectic spread of cheese, charcuterie, fruit and all his favorite goodies like nuts, olives, peppers and roasted artichokes. My suggestion to you is: skip the madness out on the streets and the jam-packed restaurants of the world, and enjoy a relaxing night in - spending quality time with your significant other. Also, put away your phones, give the moment your undivided attention.

I'm contemplating making a dinner, but we'll see how things go. After a few glasses of wine and a spread of munchies, a whole dinner might be too heavy. We wouldn't want to get too full now would we... ha! ;)

Without further ado, let me share some inspiring ideas with you for planning your very own intimate wine and tapas dinner party for two (or five - if it's a couples or friends affair). When it comes to this idea, anything goes - you're only limited by your imagination, and the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Valentine's Day, romance, romantic, dinner, decor, food, recipes, cheese platter, fruit platter, wine and cheese, love, dinner date, candlelit dinner, Valentine's dinner, wine

Home Furniture and Decor at Ross Stores

Ross stores, shopping, home decor, furniture, decor, Interior Design, home decor store

I'm back with another post on my recent shopping finds. That's right, I'm the crazy lady taking pictures of all the cool stuff in the stores around Miami... Today's post features some hot items that I spotted at the clothing and home decor store Ross. Now listen, Ross gets a bad wrap from some people, and I'll admit there is some junk hanging out there (like any other store really), but there are also hidden gems. You just have to know what to look for, you have to have a good eye. I see fabulous things in the home department allll the time, to a detriment might I add. There's also great men's clothing and shoes. As for women's clothing, most of it is cheaply made and not worth the price - but if you dig deep, sometimes you find some awesome linen or hippy tops. Most of the shoe selection is crappy, but every now and then you strike gold with a good brand/sexy shoe. When it comes to purses: don't bother, very rarely do I see anything made of real leather that's good looking.

To me, Ross is a tier down from Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Homegoods when it comes to price and quality (not always, but usually). Although, I do see some of the same things in all those stores, very frequently. Before I begin the eye candy extravaganza, just a note: this is not a sponsored or paid post, I just enjoy snapping photos of all this great stuff and sharing it with you. You know, just in case you had no idea a Ross contained such interesting specimens. My advice: whilst battling the disheveled chaos inside a Ross store (because usually it's in some degree of disarray), try to see past the mess to the hidden gems littering the isles, I assure you they're there! Sometimes more, sometimes less, just keep an eye peeled.
Anyway, most of the time, it's the home furniture and decor that I'm hunting, check it out...

Lots of ottomans, benches, and stools:

Ross stores, shopping, home decor, furniture, decor, Interior Design, home decor store

I got this beauty for my uncle for Christmas, but I kind of wish I had kept it:

Ross stores, shopping, home decor, furniture, decor, Interior Design, home decor store

FIGistanbul: Turkish Jewelry on Etsy

jewelry, Istanbul, Grand Bazaar, Turkish jewelry, Ottoman jewelry, fashion, jewels, boho, bohemian, gypsy, hippy, traveljewelry, Istanbul, Grand Bazaar, Turkish jewelry, Ottoman jewelry, fashion, jewels, boho, bohemian, gypsy, hippy, travel

Some years ago, I was on an Etsy Christmas shopping binge, when I came across an awesome little jewelry shop called FIGistanbul.  I immediately fell in love with a pair of earrings (above on the right), especially because they happened to match the ring I bought while in Istanbul a few years prior - carnelian stone surrounded by smaller turquoise stones.  It was a match made in heaven, and to this day I always wear them together.  Oh who am I kidding?  I fell in love with a bunch of earrings in this shop, and not too long after I purchased this first pair, I was back for more.

Target Home Decor: Mid-Century Modern Resurgence

Target, Target store, home decor, home department, decor, Mid-Century Modern, home design, housewares, art, brass, marble, vintage, shopping

I know some might find this hard to believe, but up until a few weeks ago I hadn't been in a Target in years!  Yup, it's true.  Why?  Well, because I'm a TJMaxx, Homegoods, Marshalls, Ross gal!  Anyway, I stumbled in there looking for a coffee maker and I ended up taking a wide-eyed detour through the home decor department.  Whoa!