Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oh How Pinteresting #2

Ooooh Wednesday is quickly becoming my favorite time of the week because I can FINALLY justify all the time I spend on Pinterest to Michael! Thanks oh-so much Michelle, I love being a part of Oh! How Pinteresting!

Here are my favorite things this week on Pinterest:

Favorite Print: 
Princess Bride love via Etsy
Favorite Look:
via Atlantic-Pacific
Favorite Table Setting: 
 Crazy Neon via DesignSponge
Favorite Jewelry Piece:
via e s t h e r
Favorite DIY Makeover:
via my dearest Kelly at  Herringbone Lane 
Favorite Interior: (CHECK OUT THAT WINE RACK! AH!)
via 


Favorite Home Accessory:
via Crate & Barrel

Favorite Bag: 
via
What's your favorite pick this week? 
If it's not the wine rack, then I might need to reconsider our friendship..

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

liebster

The other week I was BEYOND excited to see that Miss Tiffany over at Living Savvy awarded me with this:

You're probably all thinking "Huh? The WHAT?" Well this award is for up and coming bloggers, and I was beyond flattered that such a talented lady like Tiffany thought of me for this award! Woo Hoo! So here is the deal with this award. Upon accepting it, I'm supposed to do 5 things:

1. Choose 5 other up-and-coming blogs to award the Liebster to. These blogs must each have FEWER than 200 followers 
2. Show thanks to the blogger who gave me the award and link back to them (done, done, and done!)
3. Post the award on the blog (check!)
4. List the bloggers I gave the awards to with links to their site, and leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award. (that'll be coming up shortly!)
5. Share 5 random facts about myself that my followers might not know.
-----------------------------------
Okay, here goes with the random facts:

Fact 1: I've been a vegetarian since I was quite young. I won't go into great detail here, but what started as a combination of picky eating (understatement of the century), stubbornness, and being grossed out by seeing how hot dogs were made has led to a way of life that I enjoy more and more every year. The older I get the more creative I feel I can be with recipes and trying new foods as I go out into the world. It's not always the easiest choice, but overall I feel good about it. (Let's just say being a veggie when I lived in Peru was not easy). Michael enjoys it because it means he doesn't have to share his bacon/steak with me. Win-win!
tallarines saltados con verduras 
Fact 2: I used to sell cheesecurds. Greasy, fatty, fried cheesecurds. In a tiny, hot trailer. Now, for those of you from the Midwest- you're probably thinking "YUM". For those of you from the rest of the USA, you're probably thinking, "fried cheesecurds? wait..what ARE cheesecurds?" Google them my friends. They are little pieces of unhealthy heaven. They don't exist here in VA and it's heartbreaking. Anyway, back to the job:   I worked for my neighbor's company working long LONG days in humid summertime with a bunch of crazy kids around my age. We'd take turns frying the curds, mixing the batter, serving them up in paper boats, and taking the money. People would be in a line 30 people long as early as 9 am to eat these. Yeah, they're THAT good. Not the most glamorous of the jobs I've held, but probably one of the most fun.
Yup, that is 17 year old me; makeup-less, sweaty, in the middle of a 16 hour shift...
Fact 3: I've been to 27 U.S. States, 8 countries, and 4 continents
To say I love to travel is an understatement. I know a lot of people like to travel- this isn't a wild and exciting fact- so I'll share with you a few things I've learned from being in other countries: 
1. Never take good plumbing for granted. In Peru you don't flush toilet paper down the toilet- you throw it in a trash can next to the toilet. No, I'm not kidding.
2. Bolivia is cold. I'm from MN, and I know cold...Bolivia...it's COLD.
3. Everyone on earth should visit the concentration & death camps in Poland. Even when you think you know all about the Holocaust, you don't until you go there.
4. Israel is NOT A TERRIFYING PLACE. Sorry to use all caps, but the media makes it look like a scary place full of bombs and hate. There is love, sunshine, and a lot of good looking men & women in uniform, just like here in the USA. Stop hatin' on it folks.
5. Surfing is hard. It's not easy and glamorous like the people in movies make it look like. It involves drinking a lot of ocean water and getting your body thrown around like a rag doll. That being said, if you're going to try to learn to surf, do it in  MontaƱita, Ecuador:
aaaand that's not me. I took the picture, though!
Fact 4: I consider popcorn a food group. I could eat Trader Joe's White Cheddar Popcorn every day and not get sick of it. Seriously. I know, I'm the perfect picture of a healthy eater, right? If I could only eat 5 things for the rest of my life they'd be: TJ's white cheddar popcorn, raspberries, corn on the cob, perfectly ripe nectarines, and some form of noodles...probably mac & cheese. As for drinks, I can't live without ginger ale, milk, or skim lattes. (Hey, no one said they had to be fun facts- just random ones!)
fact: it gets under my skin when they correct me at Starbucks...which is hypocritical since I worked at Caribou for 4 years and always corrected people too. karma, i guess... 
Fact 5: I'm really superstitious about certain things. You know when people say "knock on wood!" in order not to jinx themselves? Whenever I say that I actually knock on wood-or a wood like surface. Yup, I do. It doesn't stop there folks. The "find a penny pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck" thing? I only pick up face up pennies, because when I was little someone told me if they were face down you'd have bad luck. Mmm hmm. Are you thinking I've officially gone off the deep end yet? No? Then here's one more: I'm a huge Green Bay Packer fan, and I wear the same jersey for every game. I got a new amazing Clay Matthews jersey for Christmas from my uncle this year- but I couldn't wear it on game day because I was too nervous to mix it up. Other than the playoff game- the only time the Packers lost this season was the day I didn't wear my jersey. I felt guilty for weeks for that loss. It's a little ridiculous.
Lambeau Field 2010


Thanks for the fun, Tiffany!


Hope you all will still follow the blog after learning I'm a popcorn loving, cheesecurd selling, superstitious vegetarian...
---------
....and as for the blogs under 200 followers that I'd like to pass this award on to:











A Simple Affair - You all know I love Carly dearly- she is a creative lady, a witty writer, and too stylish for her own good. When I started this post she had under 200 followers but she's so dang popular she's over it now. Watch it Carly- you barely made the cut!!
Run Dream Cook - Julie constantly amazes me with her will to keep running- she just did a half marathon. The though of running that far terrifies me. You're amazing, Julie.
The Urban Slant- I feel a little silly passing this award to Julia since she has twice the followers I do- but anyone under 200 is fair game! How could I not be amazed by someone who quit her day job to follower her dream??
since '86- Courtney's blog is actually a new one I follow- and I like it because it's a true lifestyle blog. Courtney shares a little bit of everything in her life - and is totally fun and easy to relate to!
styleash-  Ashley has SO much style inspiration- her blog name doesn't lie! I love seeing the gorgeous looks she shares daily. Ash, if you're reading this- get yo'self an "about me" so we can know more about your stylish behind.


Congrats ladies!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Perfect Potato Leek Soup

 Today my loves, I'll share with you the recipe for this:
 It's Potato Leek Soup, and it's freaking delicious. Before I begin I have to say that while I'm blogging about it- I had nothing to do with the making of it. Each time it's been made in this apartment- Michael has been the chef - I just sit back and enjoy. I got him a crockpot as one of his Christmas gifts (yeah, we're sexy like that) and so far, the only recipe we've tried in it is this one. MULTIPLE times.

The original recipe (here) is from Pinch My Salt and was shared by my lovely sister Louisa. We altered it a good amount to suit our tastes, but it sure turned out delicious. If you don't have a crockpot, make sure to look at the originial  for instructions on how to make it happen.
For Michael's version you'll need:
2 Tbsp Butter
3 Leeks, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Medium onion, diced
8 red potatoes, cut in either large circles or small chunks
2 cans vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Melt that butta, baby. Such a small amount would make Paula Deen cry.


Step 2: Sautee up your leeks, onions, and garlic for a few minutes until fragrant and limp.


 Step 3: Toss your leek/onion/garlic mixture into your crockpot, and then add your veggie broth.
Step 4: Add your potatoes with a pinch of salt and pepper, cover, and turn your crockpot on high. 

 Step 5: Let your soup cook for 3-4 hours, take off the lid, and make your apartment/house smell like heaven
Step 6: Use a potato masher to crush your potatoes. This shouldn't be hard, since they've been cooking for a few hours. Add your cream and put the cover back on. Let it simmer with the cream for 15 minutes, and enjoy!


This soup will not last long, I promise. It's creamy and hearty and ridiculously comforting. It's amazingly rich and filling- but not so much that you can't eat a whole bowl! It's not cold here in Richmond, but if it's chilly wherever you are, I can promise it will warm you to the core. It's THAT good.

 Oh, and here's proof that Michael really is the one making this soup: My hands are not big and hairy like that. 























So, will you be trying this comforting soup for a cozy night in? Have any good crockpot/soup recipes for us to try out?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lovin' me on Blog Lovin'



All this madness about GFC going away has made me realize I should get myself going on Bloglovin'.

Word as of right now is they're taking GFC away from all non-Blogger blogs...and although I do have Blogger..I'm thinking that outlets like Bloglovin' may be the best ways to reach you lovely followers! That being said, click below and show some Blog Love!

 ---> Follow my blog with Bloglovin <---

** Wow. You could seriously make a drinking game out of this post if you took a shot after every time I said "blog" "blogger" or "bloglovin". Who said my Saturday posts aren't fun? **

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday's Fancies #9: Hollywood Glam

 Happy Friday friends and followers! This week {av} decided it was Oscar excitement time- and left it up to us whether we wanted to share an outfit we'd be wearing to watch the Oscars- or something we'd wear if we were actually going. Quite frankly, this year I'll probably be wearing leggings and an oversized sweatshirt bumming around the apartment- and that wouldn't be the most fun to see, now would it? 

   I love all the red, gold, and silver that comes out each year at the Oscars- especially the ladies that do it up in an old Hollywood glam fashion. I also am partial to the looks that feature a simple, elegant dress with a stunning necklace or pair of chandelier earrings. If I were to go to this gown-appropriate event, that's definitely the look I'd be rocking. As for color-navy for sure. I mean, navy is the new black, isn't it?? I'm hoping to see some navy stunners this year on the red carpet- and I am loving these four!
 1. Nightshade Blue Tulle -Mullberry/  Valentino Pleated Ombre/ Chandelier Earrings/ Kite Earrings
2. Mikael Aghal Strapless Crepe Dress/ Lanvin Pleated/ Tiffany & Co/ Harry Winston


Would you wear navy on the big night??

(oh, and make sure to stop by {long distance loving} for more great looks!)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pin Jang, Take 2

*Disclaimer : the pictures in this post aren't beautiful. they were taken with a cell camera at night...don't judge*


Do you all remember this post about Pin Jang?

If you weren't following back then, take a moment to read it- or let me sum it up for you:
1. I love Target
2. Pin Jang (Taiwan based company) did a line of AWESOME kitchenware for Target.
3. Said collection includes bold white, black, red, and turquoise canisters, fruitbowls, bread boxes, wine racks, and a ton more things to make your kitchen/dining area more fun and funky.
4. I fell madly in love with a set of white canisters that came in 3 sizes...and couldn't find the smallest size in any store in Richmond, or online. I ended up getting a kick butt fruit bowl instead. (yes, fruit bowls can kick butt).

Okay, now that we're up to speed, fast forward a few weeks: I check my blog email account and find an email from a lovely person working in the Pin Jang U.S. Office. They said they had stumbled across my blog and were wondering if I had found the small canister yet (which I hadn't). 

Long story short- they sent the small canister to me!!! AH!! How these amazing people found my blog- I don't know, but a few days later this magical box came to my doorstep:
(Yes, I did white out my address. I mean, if y'all wanna start sending me presents too, let me know)

Upon opening it, there was the small canister- like a shining beacon of hope. Yeah, okay, I'm being a little dramatic- but MAN it was exciting. It's the little things in life, right?
(uh huh, you're seeing it right- SNL Best of Adam Sandler on the table too. google "Opera Man", it's hilarious!)
 Then the next day Michael's lovely parents sent me an early birthday gift- the WHOLE canister set. Needless to say, I'm up to my ears in canisters and I couldn't be happier.

So people at Pin Jang, if you're reading this right now, thank you, thank you, THANK you for creating amazing products and sending me the one I needed to complete the set. You all rock.

Are you all sold on Pin Jang yet?
If you are, you can buy it HERE.
If you're not, go HERE and maybe you'll change your mind.

Or go to your local Target- they have more items than online!

What do you think? Am I crazy to be this excited about something that holds coffee beans?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh How Pinteresting

I love Michelle's blog The Vintage Apple, and each week she does a link party for favorite things on Pinterest. Somehow I've never participated. Why? I have no good reason. Shame on me. Sorry Michelle!

Favorite Accessory:
ASOS via yesplease

 Favorite Bag:
via Tumblr

 Favorite Creative DIY
via hipsterho.me
 Favorite Home Accent:
via overthebigmoon
 Favorite Outfit:
TOBI via yes please
Favorite Print:
via etsy
 Favorite Inspiration:
via theofficestylist

Now get yourself over to thevintageapple and see what michelle has come up with!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Raspberry/Blueberry Crunch Muffins

In case you haven't figured it out from the blog so far, I love to bake.

                          Funny story though: I don't really like to eat baked goods.

     Yeah. Really. I should clarify: by baked goods I mean sweet ones: pastries/cakes/cupcakes/cookies. Don't get me wrong- give me some freshly baked bread and I'll carbo-load like BJ Raji before a big game! I just somehow missed the sugary baked good gene, which means whenever I bake I just leave some at home for Michael and bring the rest in to share with my coworkers. 
     The muffins I'm sharing today are ones I absolutely do eat, because man, I love me some muffins. These go so fast in our apartment that I've been making these every week lately! I usually use blueberries, but raspberries are super delicious as well!!


      This recipe makes 8 big muffins, so double it if you're looking to make enough for a group or breakfast for a few weeks! 

You'll need....

Muffins:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup veggie oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries or 1 cup fresh blueberries.  (you can use frozen, but allow time to thaw if you do!)

Crunch Topping:
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 stick of butter, cubed and softened. 

Steps:
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Combine muffin dry ingredients (flour,sugar,salt,baking powder) in one bowl, and muffin wet ingredients (milk, oil, egg) in another. Add the two together. Fold in blueberries/raspberries. 
3. In another bowl combine your crunch topping ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter) until well mixed and crumbly in texture.
4. Fill your liners evenly with your muffin mix, and cover each with your crunch topping.
5. Bake for 25 minutes and then enjoy!!


They'll come out looking like this: 

Blueberry version.

Raspberry version.
     The crunch topping just adds a bit of sugary goodness without making the muffins themselves seem dessert-like. Of course, if you want to make them a little better for you, leave the crunch topping off all together! Today I'll be trying them out with blackberries. Fingers crossed they turn out just as delicious!

Would you try out this recipe for an everyday breakfast option? 
                                .....and are you done judging me for not liking sugary baked goods?

Monday, February 20, 2012

You know what? I like y'all. A LOT.

    I have to say - you all are pretty great people. In case you are new to the blog, it was a Beauty & the Beard birthday weekend here in RVA! (Yes, our birthdays are a day apart. You'll hear that story someday, just you wait! ) We both worked on my birthday but did enjoy a day at the VMFA and a nice dinner at Cafe Caturra on Michael's big day.

Birthday flowers from the boy. Smart man, right?
   Thanks for all the comments, tweets, messages, emails, etc- it's funny how so many great people you've never even met celebrate along with you.

      To make my birthday even better, I was the LUCKY winner of La Petite Fashionista's ShopBop Giveaway! AH! I actually found out that'd I'd won while we were at the Village Cafe eating onion rings, and started doing a freakout happy dance in the booth. Let me tell you folks, no one deserves a gift certificate to ShopBop like the girl doing a happy dance with an onion ring in her hand. Yeah. Maybe I need a little work.

      I'm hoping you already follow Lauren's blog- but if not, make sure to make your way over there. She has an impeccable fashion sense (I do believe she could teach me a thing or two), and shares creative posts that always inspire me.  It was actually perfect timing, because I recently posted about wanting to get myself a new necklace as a  birthday gift to myself. Well, I love me some ShopBop jewelry, and there are a few items I've got my eye on:

1. This Gorjana Circle Diamond Necklace is so simple and beautiful. Originally I fell in love with the earrings that match this necklace, but since I always wear a simple pair of studs Michael got me- I was thrilled to find there was a necklace too!!

2. This House of Harlow crater locket is lovely. I'm a huge fan of lockets and this one is unlike one I've ever seen.

3. I know I'm not the first one out there to covet this Gorjana Pristine Bar Necklace. Simple. Elegant. Perfection.

4. Oh my. I'm not a pink person but this Adia Kibur Multi-Strand Neon Bead & Crystal Necklace kicks butt. I could handle a tight LBD and this necklace for sure. 


What do you all think- which one would you go for? 1, 2, 3, or 4? Leave a comment and let me know!!!

(and once again THANK YOU Lauren for the amazing prize!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday's Fancies #8: Let's Fly Away

Before FF I have to say thanks for all the birthday love yesterday between twitter/comments/facebook/etc. You all rock. Seriously.

Ooooh this week's Friday's Fancies is a good one folks. This week {av} has us workin' the theme "let's fly away!" We're supposed to pick a destination we'd love to go to- and what we'd wear there! I instantly knew my destination: Gorgeous Greece.

I can't get over how stunning all the pictures I've seen from there are- clean, crisp, white buildings all looking out over turquoise waters. Amazing, no?
As for what I'd wear, I did the collection based on being a tourist taking a Mediterranean cruise- some good old nautical pieces that scream "I'M CLEARLY NOT A LOCAL! BUT DANG I LOOK GOOD!". I'm especially loving the chambray top and the yellow Sperrys. Mmm-hmmm.

source

Look 2: Espadrilles/ Yellow Shorts / Stripe Top/ Hat/ Necklace


What do you think about going to Greece- or wearing the nautical-obvious tourist get up? Are you lovin' the yellow Sperrys as much as I am??
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