Tuesday, July 30, 2013


This recipe is one I use all the time for camping, work potlucks, and family events- because it is super easy, and everyone loves it! It isn't fancy or complicated, and is ready in 3 quick steps. It's a vegetarian dish that is a crowd pleaser even for meat-eaters!
 What you'll need to make it happen *serves a ton of people:
- 1 box bowtie pasta
- 1 container Light or Fat Free Italian Dressing
- 1 can large pitted black olives (cut into rings)
- 1 large red bell pepper (cut into bite sized pieces)
- 2 cups broccoli (chopped small)
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (asiago works too!)
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
-1 teaspoon black pepper

How to make it happen:
I know that looks like a lot of ingredients, but what makes it easy is that you can pretty much throw it all together, mix, and be good to go.
Step 1: Cook your pasta as directed on the box. Drain and set aside to cool.
Step 2: Once the pasta has cooled down a bit mix in your dressing, veggies, and cheese. 
Step 3: Mix in your spices and enjoy!

Keep refrigerated until you're ready to enjoy it- and add an extra sprinkle of cheese when you serve it, just for looks :) 

 If I had to guess, this recipe would probably make 9-10 servings if served as a side? I know that using the dressing is a total cheat-move, but like I said- the purpose of this recipe is to be FAST & EASY!

What recipe do you have that you "cheat" in?
I might have to steal your tricks of the trade!

xo, lp

Monday, July 29, 2013


This weekend just needed ONE more day in it.
Can I get an AMEN! there please?

Here are the good things that have been goin' on lately:
Rainbow Instagrams!
1: OMG. Everyone. Remember like...5-6 years ago when they got rid of Lemon Jolly Ranchers and put in blue raspberry instead? I do. And I was so bummed. You know what's sweet? They now have bags of ALL LEMON jolly ranchers in stores. Yes, this is the kind of thing that excites me on a daily basis.
2. Orange-on-orange-on-orange. Favorite new tee paired with two orange necklaces.
3. Tomatoes from Michael's little balcony garden!

Okay that's not a real word...but I've been trying to find a catchy name for our camping/canoeing adventure this weekend- clearly I'm failing. Michael & I went on an awesome trip with some favorite friends on the Wisconsin River this weekend, and it took all my power not to share the billion pictures I took on Instagram.
 Left: Well, you can't have a canoe trip without a pretty canoe picture, right?
Right: River rocks. Gorgeous.
 Left: Michael & Josh being the badasses they are drinking Colt 45
Right: Despite some rain once we got to our island and set up camp, we still got a lovely sunset!
 After a while of being on our sandbar island we realized it was going to storm. Rather than hide out in our tents- the boys built a little shelter out of our canoes and coolers. I'm not going to lie- it was awesome! We had to scurry under there and hide from the rain a few times- each time watching the downpour over the river. The kids inside of us loved hiding under our fort.

That's what my last week looked like,
What good happened for you, friends?
Anyone else get jazzed about lemon jolly ranchers? I know I can't be the only one excited....

xo, lp

(find me on instagram here!)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday's Fancies #66: Outfit Crush

Happy Friday, lovelies! 

I'm not going to lie to you all : I. Am. Tired.
I forget how much work moving is- like all the little details of getting everything set up, address changed on every service provider, waiting for hours for the internet guy to show up, searching for the freaking salt for 20 minutes because YOU DONT KNOW WHICH BOX IT IS IN.

Yeah. The usual.

So this week for FF I'll be keeping it short and sweet with the perfect summer outfit:
I love the feminine look that Anna Joyce Design styled (image from here) with her dot bag. I mean, everyone has a basic chambray in their closet, right? If not, go here and get yourself one for dirt cheap. 
I'm not sure how that skirt color would look on my skin so I'd snatch up this petite pleated skirt from ASOS in a poppy yellow, to go with my semi-existent tan. 
And finally, the bag that makes the look - this charcoal dot lovely from Anna Joyce. She's based in Portland, and since we're going there soon I've contacted her to see if she has a full shop there. Clearly I'm not cool enough for a response since I haven't heard back from her, so if you happen to go buy this dot bag, ask her again for me, would ya? ;)

Have an amazing weekend everyone!
Oh, and if you know what box I put my damn salt in, please let me know. Sigh.

xo, lp

See past outfit crushes HERE , HERE and HERE!  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Here's the thing about our old apartment:
We knew it was very temporary. 

We had moved back to Madison in a hurry and started new jobs quickly, so we snatched up the first place available, that happened to be well below budget. It was enough space and was incredibly convenient for work & such, but overall we knew it never would be "home".

From our mangy-cat owning, cigarette smoking neighbor, to the constant screams of kids left unattended, to the parents swearing at their little ones, to the gigantic dogs that no one seemed to have leashes for... we soon realized we'd be out as soon as we could.

So where is the inspiration or motivation to decorate a place like that? 
There isn't.

Our new place is amazing. High ceilings, lots of space. We plan to be here and enjoy this place from the moment we move in, so I'm wasting no time putting together inspiring pictures of spaces that I'd want to live in. I really feel like the effort I put in to creating a perfect space will be appreciated here, and I can't wait to get started!

Here are some current favorites:
1. I'll actually have an office-y desk space in this place, and I love the use of IKEA cork circles in place of a large board. (image via)

2. We had a gallery wall at the old place but it wasn't overly inspiring. This time I plan to curate more carefully and add much more color! (image via)

3. Ohhhh a girl can dream that this $1,200 dresser would be hers. Le sigh.  (image via)

4. This DIY stump table is fantastic! So is the couch. (image via)

5. Will someone please give me some globes?! We have one. Consider the collection starting! (image via)

6. That pattern rug! That simple colorful art! That pop yellow lamp! All of it! (image via)

7. Oh, map wall. Someday I'll have you in my space. I'll save my pennies for you. For now, some other cool map art will have to do! (image via

Do you have a "home" Pinterest board? 
Share a link in the comments so I can scope out your style!

xo, lp

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


we moved!

Yes, caps lock was necessary. That's how excited we are. Or well, a fraction of how excited we are. 
The place we'd been living in was just fine - just really small. Tiny closed off kitchen, no airflow, and too small to have guests over & make dinner and such. It would've been the perfect size for one person- but for the two of us an all our junk? Not so much.

So, we moved. Our new place is a GORGEOUS 2 bedroom loft. A little smaller than our apartment in Virginia (and sadly without a brick wall) - but plenty of space for the two of us and guests. I'll be sure to get pictures up as soon as we can!

Moving day was great. Last thing to get packed? All my gigantic necklaces:

We rented a UHaul and got it all done in under 2 hours, thanks to some help from a couple amazing friends. Dani & Josh helped us load & unload in 85 degree heat. True friends!

Whenever Michael and I move we ALWAYS have the first meal be some type of Asian food- so this time we got Chinese food from HyVee. Fed both of us for under $7. YES. 

We sat out on our balcony until the sun went down- perfect ending to a long day. 

 Now for the fun part:

Unpacking and organizing! I already have my eye on a bunch of great decorating ideas, which I'm starting to house on Pinterest!

Currently loving these for an accent wall, and this for a dresser.

Have any awesome decorating ideas you care to share?
If you have a great Pinterest board, share it in the comments!

xo, lp

Monday, July 22, 2013


 Oh how I hope the feeling is mutual!

A week break from blogging was necessary- especially with how busy work was and how crazy packing was for the new place! But more on all of that later. For this post I wanted to dedicate it fully to our latest vacation- "camping" with Michael's family! We do it annually, and I count down the days for it every year.

Here's a little snippet into what we do!

I'm convinced everything tastes better when cooked over an open flame. Mmm-mm.
We had veggies thrown over the fire in tinfoil, smores, and sweet and savory pudgy pies. 

There is a lake at the campground and we used it daily. M's aunt and uncle bring their boat every year which means tubing and water skiing. I am the weakest human ever and my arms/shoulders were sore for 2 days from gripping those tubes so much. #wimpy. Here's Michael skiing like a pro:
 I didn't ski, but I do enjoy a good boat lounging session while watching the sun set...
 Crap... I take a lot of sunset pictures. Shoot.

Then of course there's the after-dark fun. Oh get your mind our of the gutter! Stop!
 Michael has 7 little second cousins that come camping too, so naturally we had a glowstick party. I can't say I didn't enjoy it too...

 I'll spare you the rest of the photos, but if you'd like to see the full camping adventure, you can find some of them here.

Do you have any summer traditions with family or friends?
I highly recommend adding glowsticks to whatever your tradition happens to be!

xo, lp

(find me on instagram here)

Monday, July 15, 2013


Oh geez I like you all so much- but crap life is busy this week.

Between the end of a great vacation, an important week at work, and packing up to move on Saturday- I'm in a little over my head!

Hope you all had WONDERFUL weekends- can't wait to see you all right back here next Monday!

xo, lp

(in case you miss me too much, i'll still be on Instagram, duh.)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Friday's Fancies #65: Tanked

This week's Friday's Fancies theme was a no-brainer. I mean, create an outfit around a great summer tank? 
Done and done.

I centered this outfit around the most perfect minty Madewell dot tank... see below for more details:
Tank: this lightweight minty Madewell tank is the perfect summer top!
Jeans: Light. Stretchy. Comfy. Perfect for lounging on a picnic blanket.
Shoes: Best shoes at Gap this summer. Love the laser cut look!
Necklace: Simple spiked chevron- under $6!
Sunnies: Tortoise is always best- and under $25 makes these a no-brainer.
Bracelet: Per usual, well done j.crew.
Purse: Perfect neon pop! 

Where do you find your great summer pieces?
Share away, friends!

xo, lp

Today is the LAST DAY for the special A MANO offer! Click here for the code!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


A month ago I shared my sister's kick ass boutique, A MANO.

In case you're new to the party- my sister curates an online boutique once a month that features handmade goods from artists across the country. Each month features new items, new artists, new point of view.

This month's blows last month's outta the water. There. I said it. 
Bright, light, delicate pieces with hints of gold and summery colors. Earrings made of crystals and clay- or old pencil shavings (!). Handmade pottery with intricate patterns & simple lines. Airy scarves and romantic prints. Perfect little pieces to showcase on your coffee table or shelves...or give as gifts!

I already own 3 pieces from this month's collection...and I'd own more if half of it hadn't sold out by the SECOND day it was online. Yeah. Unfair. I mean, I'm related - don't  I get some pull?

Above are a few of my favorite items- How gorgeous is the gold cylinder vase & the sequin clutch? Eep!
The print shown here I purchased- it reads "If he calls looking for me, tell him that I'm out looking for him".
I don't know if it's the hopeless romantic in me or what, but I think it is absolutely perfect.

I know you're thinking since I'm a sister of the shop I must have a discount for you or something, right?
Well, you're right! You lucky people!

For the next 3 days, use code BEAUTYANDTHEBEARD at checkout for $5 off a purchase of $30 or more!

Friends, loyal awesome readers of this tiny blog- do me a favor:
Stop by A MANO and let me know what your favorite item is!

and heck, if you like it, treat yo'self to a think or two - or pin your favorite items for friends to see.

xo, lp

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


For those of you who are regulars around here, you're probably like "Um, what the what! It's Tuesday Laura, where's your dang recipes?"
I know, I know.
Today I'm straying from tradition because I took  ZERO pictures of anything I made this weekend. Oops.
If you're feeling deprived then go HERE for a backlog of drink & food recipes :)


So what AM I going to talk about today? Forever21. 
Like I mentioned yesterday, my new favorite shirt with zebras on it is from there. The fantastic dress I wore to a recent wedding and got tons of compliments on is from there. 

I feel like at one point I might have tried to justify making purchases from there, but quite frankly it's not even worth it. Is Forever21 full of a lot of crap? Yes, but it also has some awesome finds. So if you're a hater and you know I won't convince you, move along & come back tomorrow :)

Here are a few items I think are awesome steals:
1. This faux leather drop sleeve top is sassy and I like it. I mean, $14.80? Done. Pair it with a sparkly necklace and you're good to go.
2. I love the look of wrap bracelets, and this one is only $9. Plus it's basic black, which goes with every outfit.
3. EEP! This ceramic elephant ring holder is so dang cute. Perfect gift for a friend who just got engaged!
4. The mix of neutral tan and pink on this crossbody bag makes it the essential summer bag.
5. This light summery scarf  is just right for chilly evenings outside.
6. Triangles + gold +black = coolest makeup bag ever. 
7. Where else can you get a fun gold cutout necklace for under  $5? Seriously!
8. I grabbed a version of this color pop tee the other day & intend to wear it all summer. Nothing better than  an easy to maintain tee that have a great look to it too.
9.  LOVE this scallop bangle set. It comes in 2 color combos and is under $10. Yes and yes.
10. I totally abuse my purses. I'm convinced when it comes to purses I kind of don't deserve expensive ones. Sigh. This envelope crossbody is exactly right for everyday use, and won't break my heart when I inevitably explode lipstick inside of it.
11. Long. Basic. Gold. Necklace. No other description needed!
12 &13: I am a huge sucker for polka dots, and these $5.80 clutches are right up my alley. 
14. These geo studs are so awesome. I love the gold diamond ones! Under $3, peeps.

So have I convinced you yet? Which of these awesome 14 finds under $20 will you snag?

xo, lp

Monday, July 8, 2013


Oh long weekends, you are too good! 

 I hope you all had a fun 4th of July! The weather has been 100% perfect lately, which has made the last week and weekend ridiculously enjoyable.

Wednesday we met up with friends for Concert on the Square- which features the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra right on the Capitol lawn. Other than a few tiny rain drops it was completely comfortable:

Sorry for the boatload of 4th of July photos on Instagram! We had a blast at our friend's house, with a marathon day of yard games, drinking, and eating. SO Amurrrrican.
This was the excuse to bust out every USA themed thing I own...including this USA cheeseboard:

....and my USA jello mold! I used 3 flavors of jello (&vodka) to make a triple layer jello shot. It was huge! We all took turns cutting out states and eating them. Because we're cool like that.

Oh, and the main event for the day? COLORSBEE! A new and improved version of Beersbee, it involved getting really messy with dyed drinks and kiddie pools full of dyed water. Dani even made shirts for us!

We didn't make any other specific plans for the weekend because we knew we'd be packing up our apartment for the upcoming move! We spent time by the pool, played darts with friends, and had a great date night on the Cap Square. If you're in Madison, you've got to try DLUX. I was skeptical-but our meal was excellent. I rarely get cocktails- but the Blvd Buzz with bourbon, blackberries, and turbinado sugar was too good to pass up! 
 (also- you can barely see it, but i'm wearing my new favorite shirt with zebras on it! it looks ridiculous how it's styled online, but i sized up so it's not a freaking belly shirt. highly recommend!)

So that was our weekend. How was yours, friends?
Anyone else eat something in the shape of the USA?
gosh I sure hope so...

xo, lp

*find me on instagram here

*Psst: if you're an online shopper, you HAVE to use Ebates. Fer real, y'all. Find out more HERE*

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


 I know I've been on a big cocktail kick on the blog lately- but it's just because it's too dang hot to make anything else! 

Today's drink is of course- in honor of the 4th! The berries not only make it delicious- but festive too!

What you'll need:
- Handful of mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Handful of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- 1.5 ounces white rum (or sub for vodka)
- Sprite

How to make it happen:
Step 1: Throw you strawberries, raspberries, mint, splash of sprite, and sugar in the bottom of your glass. Muddle until the berries are well mashed.
Step 2: Add your other berries, rum, and mix.
Step 3: Add a bunch of ice cubes (I make mine with mint frozen in) and top with sprite!
Step 4: Garnish with some frozen berries on a skewer and enjoy!

Oh and of course- the best part is eating the fruit when you're all done. Sugary, boozy, delicious fruit!

What will you be sipping on this 4th?
I'll be having one of these for sure!

xo, lp

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

SIX FANTASTIC FOURTH CUPCAKES (easy designs that take minutes!)

Let's talk straight for a sec:
I love baking from scratch and all, but sometimes it's a pain in the ass. When you just want something last second it can be a bummer when you don't have all the ingredients at hand. So, at times like this, I bake from a box. AH! GASP! BLASPHEMY! The girl that bakes uses box mixes sometimes?!? 

I know, your vision of my is shattered. Sorry. To help you cope, go eat a box of cupcakes. 

These are 6 super fast, fun 4th of July cupcake decorating ideas. All you need is a box of cupcake mix, some frosting, and the topping of your choice. Have fun!

Don't they look great together? Some fun, some whimsical, some classy. Make a bunch of each to please any crowd!

 Cupcake #1: Swirly Cupcake
This one is super easy, take some white frosting and dye some blue and some red. Swirl plain white along with the two colored frostings and BAM. Pretty swirls.

Cupcake #2: Washi Flag Cupcakes
All you need for this one is a few toothpicks and some washi tape. Just fold over, cut into triangles and you're good to go!

Cupcake #3 The Easiest Candy Cupcake
There are plenty of red & blue candies out there to fulfill this cupcake task. My current favorite is the 4th of July Twizzlers that you can buy at Walgreens. Lemonade/BlueRaspberry flavored. Nom.

Cupcake #4: Layered Swirl Cupcake
This one is the only cupcake that requires a little effort. Open a ziplock and hold it up by one corner. Drip red food coloring down one edge of the bag, and blue down the other- so they come together to a point. Cut the tip off the bag to let excess run out, and then load with white frosting. Squeeze to create ad swirled look!

Cupcake #5: Fruity 4th Cupcake
Just slice up some strawberries (or raspberries or cherries) and add some blueberries. Done!

Cupcake #6: Sprinkle Cupcake
If you don't have blue and red sprinkles, either use M&Ms or color white sugar with food coloring! 


Which one of these decorations would you try?
Let me know!

xo, lp

Looking for more 4th of July fun? Try my Patriotic Frozen Punch or 4 Washi Tape decorations for the 4th.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Happy Monday everyone!

The weekend flew by way too quickly this time around- and I am absolutely NOT ready for Monday. Woof.

It's been HOT and muggy lately, which means the second I get home I change into a strappy dress. I mean. Not in like a saucy way or anything. We keep things PG13 around this blog. But you know- it's like UGHICANNOTGETTHESESWEATYJEANSOFFASTENOUGH. 
This dress was a cheapo from Forever 21, and I love the fun floral print!

Almost as exciting as changing out of work clothes is corn on the cob. Yup. Every Thursday at work we have company wide Grill Day- and last week was a BBQ theme, which meant grilled corn and lemonade for me!

I got these green jeans from Gap a while back and finally wore them. I feel like you've gotta COMMIT to wearing green pants, because inevitably people are going to comment on them- and if you're not in the mood to chat neon pants, don't wear 'em. 

In other news- Saturday we went to a lovely wedding of some friends, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The reception was at a gorgeous country club over looking a lake- with a perfectly manicured golf course to check out. We had an awesome time seeing friends and dancing the night away. (oh and for those of you that asked- dress can be found HERE)

Need ideas for fun and easy 4th of July crafts like these cups? Click HERE!

This week I'll be featuring TWO recipes, both red-white-blue themed. One day will feature some patriotic cupcakes- and another will be a how-to on a very berry mojito!

So that's what  has been going on around here, everyone.

What's new with you?
Anyone getting ready for the 4th yet??

xo, lp


*just a reminder since the death of good ol' google reader, you can find more B&B fun on:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...