Let’s Have a Pretty Party

I’m not normally too much of a creep about melting over wedding photos and such on the internet. The only time you’ll finding me looking at rings is when my girlfriends are trying to explain things to me because of how clueless I am. Hey, living in a sorority house made me a little bit better…but I’m still totally in love with everything unconventional and not a million dollars because people wearing stuff that costs so much, on their finger, at places like the grocery store and the gym -scares the crap out of me. ANYWAYS, I do kind of love all the inspirational ideas you can get from wedding shoots, though – from decorations to lighting to even photo pose ideas. ( I won’t lie that I do have a wedding related board on Pinterest.)So, when I stumbled across this article on Who What Wear , I was immediately mesmerized by the first photo.

(Featured on Green Wedding Shoes and Martha Stewart Weddings.)

And in case you didn’t recognize her glowing smile, and chic effortless bohemian style, that is Kate Bosworth. Oh.My.Goodness. The rustic barn behind them, the lights, the grassy area that gives you that feeling of freedom, HER DRESS!, her braided hair. ALL OF IT.

Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not focused on this for it’s relation to a wedding per-say – but just the sheer genius of style and design skills. (Though, they do both look to be completely enjoying themselves in this photo.)

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve never been quite convinced that I’ll be someone who gets married one day, and I wouldn’t put this in a “dream wedding” category or anything, but what about a party? Say a birthday party, or a…”flower crowns aren’t just for music festivals” party?

The next time someone wants to throw a party for no reason, and you need theme help, call me and let’s do this one…

Friday Favorites Makes a Comeback!

Hey guys! I know, I’ve been slacking on the Friday Favorites posts, but here I am, and they’re back.

(Found on Pinterest)

It’s been almost a month since Bonnaroo and I am still having withdrawals. I just can’t readjust to regular life, whatever that means? I just wanna follow where ever the road takes me. Where the sunshine lights the way, and when it rains? You just dance in it.

In the meantime, I got real hooked on reading the Bonnaroo Missed Connections posts. (And look! Some of them actually worked!)

This kid, (my awesome brother) turned 22 yesterday! Celebrated with a delicious dinner at Jasmine’s, fun times. And now it’s back to the beach this weekend. Fingers crossed for some sunshine at some point!

Last weekend I made my return to the world of 5Ks. So what if it was in a tropical depression, untimed, and not my prettiest run? It was enough to kick back in that competitive spirit I’d kind of lost touch with. This has been a good running week for me, I’ll get my groove back eventually. Yesterday morning, cotton candy skies greeted me good morning on my pre-work run and I can’t really ask for more.

Got tickets to see Kinky Boots in NYC next week. Excited for a trip to the city, time with old friends, and some good ole explorin’!

Oh, did I tell y’all I got a guitar?! This is going to be a long journey, but the dream’s still alive. (My sound still hurts my own ears right now, but I’ll get there – eventually!)

It’s no new thing that one day I will make my way to Glastonbury, but you have to see how awesome this video is. Could that stage hold any more talent?! Gah.

Oh, and if you hadn’t noticed I’ve given Meg Says & this blog Mugs Life face lifts, and I’m pretty excited! They’re long overdue.

Look how awesome my house-mate is. Like, beyond awesome. She knows me so well. And not just because these are cool presents, but because they’re so sweet! AND she made that stationery herself! On her friends letterpress in California! Seriously, so cool. Living with her is probably my favorite thing about Tallahassee.

One more thing? Don’t forget about the kindness of strangers. It’s always there. You’re always .2 seconds a way from making a new friend, some new connection. Heck. Dustin at Pep Boys took $10 off my oil change yesterday just because we engaged in conversation. Made my day, and helped me out. Plus it was just a reminder of how much the universe balances out.

Wish Listing

It’s not so much that I’m pining over these items. None of them are necessary. They’re all just frivolous wants, or things that I find to be incredibly cool or unique and wouldn’t mind persay if I was the owner. The list gets more extravagant as you scroll, but I browsed my Pinterest board (Fashion Wants) and picked out some of my favorites. Day dreaming is fun, and also some of this stuff is pretty original!

Book of Deer GLOW IN THE DARK Firefly dress!

A Herschel Supply Company backpack. I don’t know which one yet. I haven’t read good things about the closure on the top one.

JCrew chino shorts in viridian green (I can’t even order them online because they don’t have my size. Maybe a good thing for now, haha.)

This is so not worth $56 to me, but it’s so pretty!

Saw this Elie Saab gown I saw on Pinterest. I mean it is the most extravagent thing (not in design more in budget.) I actually like the simplicity and understated details, and I LOVE green. So I mean, if I need an awards ceremony dress (like to the Oscars when I’m John Mayer’s girlfriend at the Grammy’s next year? Juuuust kidding) this would be a top contender for sure.

Another pinterest lust worthy item. Also outrageous ($495! but it’s Burberry) and not even debatable, but a beautiful dress (at least on the model!)

I still love this dress I found last year on Pinterest but it’s from an Australian site, and it’s not even in stock. But isn’t it splendid?!

Also, is that not one of the most gorgeous swim suits you’ve ever seen? So classic and retro! But one pieces are hard to pull off, plus it was like $275 and I could buy a drawer full for that much. (Hence, *wish* list.)

Other than the backpack or the shorts this is probably the most sensible and practical item on the list. North Face (Real Simple article) makes this sweet sports bra with a little pouch pocket up front for storage! My favorite Nike capris (that I scored for like $11 at the outlet!) have a zipper pocket on the back that’s really functional, but when I’m wearing shorts my key doesn’t fit in that baby pocket very well. And sometimes you have multiple items and no buddy or someone at the finish line – problem solved!

Spend Less, Give More: TOMs

(Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos or media, the rights belong to TOMs, I’m just borrowing them for informational purposes.)

I don’t always blog on Saturdays, but I’m posting today to share another Spend Less, Give More spotlight (previously featured – Charity:Water and Heifer International.) By now, I am sure you have heard about TOMs shoes, a one-for-one company founded by Blake Mycoskie. While TOMs now has eyewear and clothing – it all started with shoes. Why shoes? Because barefeet are just the beginning of a chain reaction of things that prevent children and adults from healthy, positive lives. Barefeet put everyone at-risk for “soil-transmitted diseases.” These diseases can cause long-term problems, and in some cases lead to death. Imagine being barefoot all the time, walking, running, playing – you’re bound to get simple scrapes and cuts (especially kids just being normal playful kids,) but even small wounds like those can lead to full-blown infection in developing countries that don’t have access to treatments. Here’s another angle you might not have thought about – many schools require students to wear uniforms in order to attend, and shoes are a mandatory part of those uniforms. Without shoes the kids aren’t able to go to school, thus preventing them from receiving an education which bars them from all sorts of opportunities in life! Do you see how simply lives can be changed through a pair of shoes? So many people have closets full of shoes, but all around the world there are people who have never owned a single pair. TOMs operates under the one-for-one model. With each pair of shoes purchased, a pair is given to a child in need. TOMs shoes are available in men, womens, youth, and even TINY TOMs sizes. TOMs are another charitable gift that’s been given in my family several times. I own multiple pairs, and it’s great knowing that when you buy a pair someone else is getting a pair! Like the Charity:Water shirts, TOMs shoes were a conversation starter from the beginning, and what a great story to tell.

My first pair of TOMs, in the wild in Key Largo.

The TOMs team participates in shoe drops, and going into communities in need and giving them the shoes personally. You’ve probably thought about how fast kids feet can grow, and wonder what happens when the kids shoes don’t fit anymore? Well, once communities in need are identified TOMs works to keep those kids in shoes that fit, as they grow! (See TOMs How We Give page for more info.)

Blake has been all over the world, and visited so many different impoverished communities while giving out shoes. He’s seen so many people who don’t have the ability to fulfill basic needs. Recognizing other needs that could also be helped, he decided not to limit TOMs to just shoes, but expand on the one for one model. So, they launched TOMs Eyewear. They’ve got tons of different styles of sunglasses for men and women, and each purchase can benefit someone with the gift of sight in one of three ways: someone might recieve a pair of prescription eyeglasses, have a procedure that literally saves their sight, or receive medical treatment.

So, you’ve got some options. TOMs is another gift-giving idea this holiday season. Consider giving gifts with meaning, contributing your money to something that will help better lives this season!

You can like TOMs on Facebook, follow on Twitter, read the blog, and even find them on Pinterest to follow them on their one-for-one journeys, keep up with TOMs news, and even submit your own content!

Pinterest Practice: Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

Posting all those photos from freshman year made me a little heartsick for my friends that are spread out all over the place now. Football season is just not the same post-grad and Throwback Thursdays push me a little over the edge with nostalgia now and then, anyways. So, what’s a girl to do? Slave away in the kitchen, of course! (just kidding!) But practicing a new recipe is a perfect distraction, and hey look a there after a night in the kitchen I wake up and it’s Friday so that’s pretty cool.

Pinterest is great at inspiration for new meals, and I can scour the recipes looking for the ones without monstrous lists of ingredients. I’m kind of a (giant) mess maker when I’m attempting to cook, so given an empty house for the evening is a perfect opportunity to try something new and not feel guilty about it. Earlier this week I did those chicken spinach quesadillas, and apple chips so last night armed with all the ingredients, I decided it was time to try these Southwestern Egg Rolls from Budget Savvy Diva! (You can click that link to see the original recipe.)

Apple chips! (The photos on Pinterest always use red apples, but I had this green one that needed to be used for something!)

I swear that’s the best quesadilla I’ve ever made, (I think it’s from the broth and cooking it open faced until the end.)

Granted, again I tweeked the recipe a little (notice that trend, hmm?) It was still pretty similar, but here’s what I did:

(That’s the egg roll filling all mixed up.)

And the wrapper so you have an idea.

South Western Egg Rolls

1 cups frozen corn, thawed
1-15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used reduced sodium beans, and a little less than that since I had reduced the amount of corn based on what was in my freezer!)
1-9 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with paper towel
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese (which felt like plenty, I didn’t want cheese oozing out of my wrappers)
4 oz can diced green chiles, drained
1 green onions, finely chopped (I had a stalk of fresh raw scallions so I just chopped up what looked like a reasonable amount, less than 1/2 a cup)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 package of egg roll wrappers

There’s a diagram on the back of the egg roll wrapper package that will show you how to wrap them. I haven’t had much trouble with them so far!

Just lay the wrapper flat with the point making a triangle facing you (like a diagonal,) and then put the filling in.

You roll from the bottom up, folding the corners in. I think it looks like a little envelope.

(I like to bake them for a few minutes longer than the 12 called for on the package because I like them kind of crunchy and browned at the edges.)

for the Ranch Avocado Dipping Sauce

(I was just making these for myself last night, and planned to put the extras in the freezer so I didn’t need as much dip as the original recipe called for.)

2 TBSP Ranch Dressing (I used fat-free because it was on sale at the store.)
1 spoonful of avocado
1 TBSP fresh cilantro
1 squeeze of a fresh lime

(mashed that all together in a little bowl, tada yummy creamy sauce that adds a good contrasting texture to the rolls!)

Finished product!

If you haven’t experimented with egg roll wrappers yet, I highly recommend them. It’s so easy to make a little “healthier” version of some classic indulgent snacks like cheese sticks!

 

I just popped a few of these in the toaster oven at work – perfect lunch treat! If you decide to try them out, I hope you enjoy! Got any recipes you wanna share with me? Let me know in the comments!

Note: I accidentally left my camera in Orlando the weekend of the treehouse adventures, so all these photos are from my iPhone.

Quesadillas from Pinterest

Photo from Maggie’s blog.

Last night I finally tried this recipe from “The Other Side of 50″‘s blog that I’ve had pinned on Pinterest for a while. Quesadillas aren’t anything new in my kitchen, but normally I just do a quick – throw some cheese on the tortilla in a skillet and brown – viola! This recipe though, my oh my! Ok, I tweeked it a little, using black beans because I had some in the pantry and I love them. My mom had left some rotisserie chicken in the fridge from when her and my dad stayed with me this weekend, so I just shredded a little of that. I didn’t use banana pepper or crushed red pepper (I threw in some red bell pepper when I was sauteeing) either, and I threw in some garlic powder since I didn’t have any cloves of garlic on hand. I used wheat flour since I had some in the cabinet. Also, I didn’t measure out all the ingredients. I was just making it for myself, so I knew I needed less than what was called for. Plus, I’ve never used chicken broth for quesadillas so I wasn’t sure how I would like it. I hadn’t ever really cooked the quesadilla in the pan, open while it was heating and I liked it that way. It kept both halves equally melty and warm. OH MY GOSH! So delicious. Anyway, I will definitely be keeping this recipe on hand because it gave the quesadillas an extra kick! Looking for some variation, and have a good mix of some veggies and a meat you wanna throw in? Try this!

Mugs Adventures in Baking: Funfetti Fudge

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My instagram version of the process.

Alright, so here are the supplies I used:

  • Measuring cup
  • Can Opener
  • Teaspoon
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Fork
  • Spatula
  • Microwave
  • Tin Foil
  • Pan (I used a glass 8×8 square)
Ingredients
  • One and a half bags of white chocolate chips (I used Hershey)
  • One can of Carnation sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
  • A few handfuls of sprinkles (I used “Marble Mix’Ins”)
  • 3tsp of Imitation Vanilla

So, last night I decided to attempt a recipe I found on Pinterest: Funfetti Fudge! I’m not the best in the kitchen, (oh my cake ball adventure was disastrous and basically a three-day process, but eventually yielded tasty results!) I thought to myself, hey there are only a few ingredients this can’t be that difficult right? Plus, one of the girl friends I’m meeting up with this weekend had a birthday a few weeks ago, so it’s a belated celebratory dessert since we couldn’t spend the day together. Oh dear though, why doesn’t anyone remind me that I always have such difficulty with white chocolate? I can never get it to melt. Victoria’s bowl of chips and condensed milk looks so smooth and creamy, and mine? It looked kind of lumpy…After consulting my housemate on her opinion of my bowl of chips and their accuracy of stirring I decided I should just take the plunge and forge on with the last few steps (it’s a short recipe mind you.) Anyway, here are some photographs documenting my latest kitchen escapade. I always enjoy food that involves sprinkles, so pretty. I(Also, I shared what was left of my mint brownies from Tuesday at work and with my housemate and dad, and everyone enjoyed them so this can’t be that bad.) I always feel a bit accomplished when I actually attempt to create something I’ve pinned, so I’ll take this as a personal check off the list! The girls seemed to approve of them this weekend, and we couldn’t stay away so I’d say this was a success!

As for the real making it process, pour the condensed milk and the chips in a big mixing bowl, and put it in the microwave. The recipe said for 2-3 minutes, but I definitely did it for closer to 7 in actuality, maybe even longer because mine just wasn’t melting. After you remove the bowl from the microwave, stir it up quickly while it’s still hot. Once you’re satisfied with the amount of blending (as smooth as possible,) go ahead and put in the 3 teaspoons of Vanilla. I substituted Baker’s Imitation Vanilla for Pure Vanilla Extract (it’s cheaper, and I already had some in the cabinet.) The Pinterest recipe calls for almond extract as well, but I didn’t pick it up at the store, and heeding my mother’s advice I just omitted it. I can’t imagine that this made a huge difference taste wise. Also, I was really nervous about folding the sprinkles in because I didn’t want them to turn the mix an ugly color, but luckily this didn’t happen. I just generously tossed in handfuls of sprinkles until I was satisfied with the distribution of color throughout the mixture, and folded them in with the spatula. Next I poured the mix in the glass pan I lined with tin foil until it was evenly spread throughout the pan. Then I just let it sit on the counter for a few hours before I went to bed, and let it chill in the refrigerator over night. The next morning I removed it and let it sit out on the counter for a few minutes to soften up, then cut it in cubes with a knife. I put the cubes in little baggies and tied them to bring them to the girls (see below.)

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The final product.