Friday Fancies

Here’s a short and sweet list of things I’m crushing on this Friday. I hope you are having a lovely day!

Slide1

1. Beyond the Pencil (Skirt) Interviews from the Levo League. I’m obsessed with seeing into the inspiring lives of working women who are absolutely passionate about what they do, in all kinds of creative fields.  Today’s interview with Samira DeAmdrade was particularly inspiring.

2. These apple cider muffins are happening. I’ve been craving fall flavors, even though the heat won’t seem to cooperate.

3. I’m so excited about attending the state fair! I don’t know why, but I have been determined to go since freshman year and haven’t made it yet. But this year will be different. This year, I will drag my friends if I have to.

4. Date night! The Boyfriend and I will be watching Hot Fuzz while sipping on some brews…not going to lie, it will probably be warm apple cider for me. Or I might go for the Arctic Zero ice cream I’ve been craving for awhile. And speaking of Arctic Zero and healthy options…

5. I’m heading to Whole Foods for my first real shopping adventure tonight! I can’t really afford to get all my food there on a college kid budget, but I have some specialty items to pick up that you just can’t get at the regular store (for the record: spaghetti squash, PB2, and Arctic Zero are on the list. I’m going to try very, very hard not to impulse buy but. We shall see how that goes.) I feel like Whole Foods is a shopping experience in and of itself. I love wandering around and looking at all the delicious healthy options that I could be eating! Someday, someway.

6. I’m living for this article on College Prepster about the Kate Spade Beau bag. Beau, indeed; I want one in every colour! It’s hard for me to imagine spending a lot of money on a purse, but this one might be worth the sacrfice. It’s gorgeous, luxuriant, comes in colors to suit every look, and it has a HUGE BOW. What more do you need? Be still, my little preppy heart.

7. I’m heading to Waffle Champion this weekend, after weeks of lusting after them.  This cute little eatery started out of a food truck, and grew to such heights of popularity that they’ve opened up a sit-down restaurant. Basically, you start with a delicious buttermilk waffle, and add whatever you like to make it the waffle sandwich of your dreams. They have savory options, but I think I’ll be heading more towards the sweet side. Lemon curd, fresh berries and whipped cream, anyone?

Advertisements

Late Summer Afternoons

Final Days

Equipment white eyelet shirt
intermixonline.com

J Crew j crew mini skirt
net-a-porter.com

Pull&Bear heeles shoes
$63 – pullandbear.com

I spend most of my school days wearing the acting uniform of black active wear, so the only time I really get to show my style is the afternoons.  This week, I’ve really been glorifying in these last, super hot dog-days of summer by wearing cute short and tank combos, always with some wedges.  Hey, you only get summer for so long…I’m dreaming of an afternoon spent on the quad with a magazine, wearing one of these cute ensembles while sipping a passion tea lemonade.
Fall will be here before you know it; I’m going to soak up a little more sun while I may.

reposer.

I have been missing in action for quite some time, but I promise I have a good excuse. Remember that elusive The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) who popped up in my posts occasionally?  Well, he is at just The Boyfriend now, a Navy Boy no longer. I got to welcome him home after four years of active duty, and I’ve been spending my week making up for lost time…four months is a very long time to go without seeing your best friend.

Not to get all sappy, but this guy is the cheese to my macaroni. The marshmallows to my cocoa. And he loves my food metaphors.

With all of the joy of his coming home came the realization that my summer is also coming to an end.  I’ll be headed back to school next Friday! Cue all kinds of crazy emotional feelings.  A lot of me is very happy to think about having my own space, resuming a routine, and getting back into the world of learning what I love. And a little bit of me is screaming, “No, no, don’t make me go!” while clinging to a pile of sun bathing towels and frozen yogurt cups and flip flops.

I have had some amazing adventures in the past week that make it a little easier to let go. Chris and I went up to Door County, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. I already can’t wait to go back. We spent the weekend…

Running and hiking in beautiful Peninsula State Park. Crazy hard hikes, but completely worth it.

Eating at amazing restaurants…like Wilson’s, home of ice cream cones as big as your head.

Going to a fishboil! That flaming column of death is actually a kettle full of whitefish, potatoes, and onions.  They add two cups of kerosene to the fire at the last minute so all the icky oils boil right off the top…and you get a crazy fireball. Who doesn’t love  a fire ball? My favorite part of the night was, of course, the cherry pie.

This is making a return appearance at some point when I try to decode the magic of that sugar crust.

Just enjoying our time together: reading, trying to finish Firefly, running long runs, making The Boyfriend go into fifteen different versions of the same gift shop, watching Despicable Me 2…

We just love being together. I think that’s all you need for a beautiful relationship. Hope summer is treating you just as well.

 

The Easiest Summer Dessert in the World, or, Blueberry Raspberry Crisp

Tonight I cooked up a storm. Maybe it was the combination of being out of the kitchen for the weekend while eating delicious food. Or maybe I just was really craving some baking time.  Either way, tonight found me in front of the stove.  I made some stuffed peppers for dinner. Have you ever had the experience of wanting a dish to be amazing, and just getting “eh”? It’s a little sobering.  So I’m happy that dessert turned out perfectly!

We had a ton of leftover blueberries that my mom and I don’t particularly like to eat plain, so I decided to make something with them.  At the last second, I threw in the rest of our raspberries, because they were starting to get gooey level ripe and I didn’t have enough fruit.  Basically, this whole crisp was an improvisation, and it turned out amazing–so I encourage you to play!  (Note: I modified this recipe from a post on The Kitchn, an amazing recipe resource.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, run, don’t walk!).

 

The Fruit:
2 cups blueberries
2 cups raspberries (feel free to play and add other fruits, or switch up the ratio!)
1/8 c sugar (might want more, to taste. Our raspberries were very sweet)
2 tsps lemon juice (also to taste!  I love me some lemon)
2 tablespoons cornstarch, depending on juiciness of fruit (Our raspberries were super juicy!) 

For the Crisp:
 1/2 c  all-purpose flour
1/2 c non-quick oats
1/4 cup (4 ounces) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 heaping teaspoon cinnamon, more to taste
 A pinch of salt 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

I used an 8″ round pie dish and this spread very thinly on the bottom. Be sure to use a glass or ceramic dish!

Heat oven to 375°F.

1. The Fruit: Toss the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, and the cornstarch. Pour into the dish.

2. The Crisp: Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Break the butter into a few large pieces and toss these in the dry ingredients. Using your whisk, crush the butter into the dry ingredients as you would with a pastry cutter.  I also used a knife to even it out.  You want a crumbly topping. Pour the crisp topping evenly over the fruit, spreading it out gently with a spatula.

3. Bake the crisp for 30-35 minutes, till the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Your kitchen will be smelling like heaven by now!  Let sit for a few minutes before serving so you don’t burn your tongue. Not speaking from experience, or anything.

Best paired with: a glass of milk, or, if we’re feeling adventurous, a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.

I hope you all enjoy this easy summer dessert!  I know I’ll be making it again soon.

 

Fourth of July, Four Outings: Rooftop with a View

Here’s the second part of my four ideas for amazing ways to spend the Fourth! While a homey Fourth of July is nice, it would be fun to have a chic holiday, watching the fireworks from atop a rooftop in the city.  This would assume that you have both a rooftop and a group of friends ready for a sparkly, sophisticated party.

The Place:

Any rooftop should do! Apartment building patio, restaurant garden, or hotel  deck–decorate with some gorgeous string lights and pretty plants, add some sparklers and you’re good to go.  Special note: the particular rooftop should have a view of some local fireworks.  I  would personally choose a spot downtown, overlooking our lake…it wouldn’t matter how high it was.  Fireworks will be lighting up the night sky!

Rooftop party anyone? #livelifecomfortably

How gorgeous is this? Bonus points if you get red, white and blue Adirondacks.

The Menu:

Firecracker grilled salmon, asparagus with parmesan and olive oil, steamed green beans with lemon-mint dressing, and a frozen lemon soufflé.

Firecracker Grilled Salmon | MyRecipes.com

Spicy and sweet–perfect for some sparkly skies.

Asparagus w/olive oil, sea salt & parmesan cheese

Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing Recipe

Frozen Lemon Souffle

Add some blueberries for a lovely red, white and blue tribute.

The Outfit:

Foley Dress - Lilly Pulitzer

This dress is so BLUE! I am usually more of a pink girl…but my gosh, it’s cute.

Xhilaration® Juniors Mesh Detail Lace Fit & Flare Dress - Assorted Colors

If you love Lilly Pulitzer but don’t quite have the Lilly budget, here’s a cute alternative from Target! I own this one and it fits like a dream.

The Decorations

9' Formula One Red Umbrella

Red Harlow Americana Throw Pillow

Turquoise Paper 10 Bulb String Lights

All found at World Market.

Fourth of July: Four Outings, Part the First

I am a planner.  I love thinking of fun things to do, new ways to do them, and how we can make the most of little holidays.  Making tree shaped cookies on Arbor Day? That would not be unheard of.

Since the Fourth of July is coming up in just a few days, I am posting a few of my dream ideas for family outings, or even a date with the girls or the special guy in your life.  I’m not quite sure what we’ll be doing yet, but it probably won’t be as elaborate as these little events.  If I have learned anything as an acting major, it’s that sometimes, you have to fly by the seat of your pants.  Especially when family is involved.

Look forward to a new idea each day leading up to the Fourth!

1) Summer by the Bay

The Place:
Pick any of the gorgeous lakes that seem to be miles apart up north, pack up the car, and get away for a day of rest and relaxation.  Bring some cosy blankets, a sun hat, and some lawn chairs for an afternoon spent reading.  Or, if you’re like me and my brother, pack along a Frisbee or football and challenge each other to a game in the sand.  Whether chilling or running around, you can’t beat a day at the beach!

The menu:
Orchard turkey burgers with caramelized onions, grilled sweet corn salsa, and yogurt freeze with fresh fruit in a waffle cone. Light and easy…and sneakily healthy!Orchard Turkey Burgers

Grilled Sweet Corn Salsa l www.SimplyScratch.com

Summer snack food,  Freeze yogurt in a waffle cone and top with fresh fruit.

This one is as easy as putting vanilla yogurt (or any of your fave flavors!) in a waffle cone, topping with some delicious berries, and putting it in the fridge overnight.

The Outfit:

Oh, I am so in love with this Pink bikini top.

AE Crochet Denim Shortie | American Eagle Outfitters

Perfect with some sweet lacy bottoms from American Eagle.

AE Colorblock Girlfriend Cardigan | American Eagle Outfitters

When not frolicking in the water, add a little cardigan to add some coverage…and  possibly some warmth! It can get a little cold in these Northern lakes.

The Playlist:

I Want Crazy, by Hunter Hayes
Toes, by Zac Brown Band
Cruise, by Florida Georgia Line

Country heaven, right there.

Hope you liked part one…stay tuned for the rest!

Five Things…in review

1) Summer nights downtown.

There’s nothing like a college town on a Friday night.  Even though it’s apparently cleared out a lot for the summer, the streets were still full of kids running around enjoying the weather and the parties.  I really do miss being in that environment, so I loved spending a night out with my best friend Katy.

2) Running in new shoes

Asics GT-2000™ White/Orange/Fuschia

How pretty are these? My new shoes finally got shipped in, and tying them on to go for my run yesterday felt so exciting.  Who would have ever predicted I would pay more for running shoes than a pair of heels?  Life takes us to some very interesting places.  Though I still special ordered them to get them in pink.  Some things never change.

3) My brother’s coming home!

He’s been out on a road trip in the midst of a summer full of military training, and will be home for a short week.  We always have a jam when he’s home!

4) Skillet lasagna with turkey

 

This stuff was INCREDIBLE.  I’ll post my recipe this week.  I really enjoy coming home from a long day at work and making a yummy dinner.  It’s empowering to take over the cooking at home, because you know exactly what’s going into it and can make some healthier choices…ie, turkey meat.  I can’t imagine my parents going for that in their typical spaghetti, but my mom admitted that this dish tasted amazing.

5) IMAGINE DRAGONS AT SUMMERFEST

So. Many. People.

Okay, I have obviously been saving the best for last because OH MY GOSH IMAGINE DRAGONS! I absolutely love this band.  I’m sure you’ve heard their stuff, but if you haven’t, get thee to iTunes right now!  My go-to running playlist is the Imagine Dragons Pandora station, so I knew every song and had fond memories of jogging along with their jams as motivation. 

Katy, Katie and I drove to Milwaukee for the fest, and had a good time trying out new foods and considering going on the mechanical bull (we chickened out).  Waiting for the concert was crazy–I could have leaned over off balance on any side and been held up by the crowd.  Wall to wall sardines.  We stood like that for two hours waiting for the show to start…memories to last a lifetime.  And the beer on my shoes probably will too.

But as soon as the started playing, nothing else mattered. I’ve never seen such a great live show! Inspiring, invigorating, and just plain fun. And then we drove the hours home and passed out in a heap.

First Day of Summer Shindig

I feel like summer has been going on for a while now…but apparently I have been celebrating spring.  Getting out of school at the beginning of May warps your season perception. I was very happy to learn that today was the official first day of summer!  I woke up expecting gorgeous skies of sun, a day of (sun screen protected) tanning, and an attractive young man handing out free bubble gum flavored snow cones. But instead, I headed to work in a rather chilly drizzle that persisted all day, sometimes turning into a downright downpour.

Is there any fairness in the world? I ask you.

Because today was a little lackluster, I thought up a great little party to celebrate the amazing possibilities that summer nights bring in to the world.  I love summer weather, food, clothing…I’d be one happy girl if I could have summer nights every night.

Love this bright and beautiful place setting with a beachy vibe, from Southern Living.

Speaking of color…how cute is this table top full of brights?

The Menu

Salad: Feta and orange arugula salad.  I would take out the feta and substitute  in some wonderful summer berries.

Firecracker Grilled Salmon Recipe

Main Course: Firecracker grilled salmon.  I just found this in Southern Living, and I cannot wait to try it. Sounds so delicious, with a little kick!

Side Dish: Grilled sweet corn salsa.  Would be great on top of the salmon, and as a side in and of itself! Easy and all kinds of pretty colors…are you noticing a theme here? 

Desserts: Because I couldn’t pick just one. 

Homemade strawberry lime sorbet. Four ingredients. All kinds of refreshing.

Yogurt in a waffle cone topped with fresh fruit. Again, super simple, but it looks so good!

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Recipe

Finally, I dare you to not want this Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Sandwich. I triple dog dare you. That is lemon meringue ice cream between two gingersnap cookies, folks.

 

Finally, what does a good hostess wear to such a glorious event? Apparently, today was National Wear Lilly Pulitzer Day. I had no idea. Even if I had…I do not, in point of fact, own any of the aforementioned.  But a girl can dream.

Lilly Pulitzer Laidley Dress

It’s so pink.

Hope you all had a wonderful day! XOXO

My Running Ideas

So, I had a different post planned out for today.  I was going to post the recipe and pics of my recent escapade making Lemon Eton Mess, which is a delicious lemon curd dessert that has to be seen to be believed.  I was planning on posting it last night, but then a nasty storm knocked our power out for a four hours.  And despite my best intentions, today has gotten away from me.  So, here’s the game plan: I will post a little about my running plan currently, and give you all time to imagine how amazing this recipe is going to be, before posting it tomorrow.

Get excited.

Now, going in a different direction: My Running Plan.  Gotta love a blog where I bounce from dessert to race training in one post, right?  Anyway, I’ve started running distances in order to train for a race…somewhere in the future.  I have not actually signed up for anything yet, but just the distant idea of a race gets me pumped and working towards a goal.  I love that!  So here’s my first Idea:

Running Idea 1: Set a Goal! 

Every time you’re thinking about taking a day (or two, or three, or eighteen) off training, remember that you’re doing this for a reason.  And, with that train of thought…

Running Idea 2: Why are you doing it?

 

I love a good workout.  And I realize how important it is to my day.  But that being said, if I don’t like it, I’m not doing it. For example, jumping rope for thirty minutes.  It may be good for you.  It may sometimes be fun.  But I don’t like it.  Why would I choose to suffer through that, when I could be doing something I enjoy?  Even though I have days where I’d rather keep watching Say Yes to the Dress than lace up my jogging shoes, I still put them on and get out the door.  Because I know that once I hit my stride and get going on that first mile, I’ll feel stress melt away and begin to think I’m a work out goddess…at least for a few minutes.

Running Idea 3: Dance to the music

I think there’s a lot of debate about this in running circles, but for me, nothing beats a good song when I need to find the motivation to climb up a huge hill.  My biggest hints for this are wear ear beads you don’t have to fiddle with, and pick songs you won’t be skipping every three seconds.  You don’t want to be distracted away from your run by a music machine; it’s there to help you, not hinder you.  I listen to Imagine Dragons Pandora, which plays all kinds of great stuff! There’s nothing better than the perfect song coming on at the most ideal moment, and syncing up your stride with it.  I definitely move with the music, and as a creative person, I think it adds a whole new aspect to my run.

Running Idea 4: Follow the road untaken

Running around one well known area gets boring, and it lessens the challenge.  Once your body gets used to a run, it gets harder to reap the benefits.  I like to change up my running trail.  In the past two weeks I’ve followed different routes through my neighborhood, running loops and streets I’ve never seen before.  It’s awesome to find new areas that are cute or cool.  I also went for a few runs after work in a completely different area, and these provided a lot of new things to look at and new elevations–definitely important if you’re getting used to training on different types of ground for races.  Note: I live in the safest town in the world, so this might not be a viable option for all people.  Stay alert, guys!

Running Idea 5: Set your own pace

I’ve been reading a lot of the running magazines lately and worrying about setting up a plan.  And then I realized, this is something I’m doing because it’s 1) good for me and 2) fun!  I don’t need to plan it out like every other aspect of my life, into the far-reaching months ahead.  My plan right now is just scheduling out the week.  For example, here was this week’s plan:

Monday: Run 2.5 miles at a good solid pace (for me, that’s between 9:30 and 10:10 minute miles)

Tuesday: Hot yoga flow, a pretty intense class focusing on strength

Wednesday: Run 3 miles at a solid pace

Thursday: Run 3 miles, relaxed tempo (maybe between 10:30 minute miles and 11)

Friday: Hot yoga core flow, a very intense class dedicated to toning core muscle groups

Saturday: Four mile distance run, at whatever speed I can do

Sunday: A short 2 mile easy run, and possibly slow flow relaxation yoga in the evening if I’m not too sore.

I’ll probably be switching between running and yoga on my 7th day, after a valiant and unsuccessful attempt at going hard core in both in one day last week (I don’t think I’ve ever been that sore.  It’s a miracle I rose from my bed).

At first I felt nervous that I wasn’t running every single day.  What about calorie burning?  What if I lose my pace? What will happen??? Here’s a hint: nothing will happen.  I’m not being graded.  No one’s watching.  Most of my family think I’m a little crazy for running when it’s this hot and humid out anyway.  I’m going to move at my own speed, and have fun doing it.  I’m already loving how much stronger and happier I feel!

 

15 Thoughts On Being Home

Today I spent my first full day back at home.  It was largely uneventful and relaxing, but I kept finding myself shaking my head and wondering at the novelty of being back in this house with my mom and stepdad.  Here are a few of my post-sophomore year thoughts.

1. I am currently lying in the bed I slept in basically every night from sixth grade to the day I left for college. Insane.

2. My room feels the same.  So easy to sink back into; like my favorite sweater.

3. I HAVE SO MANY BOOKS! I mean, I gave three boxes away last summer…and yet books are shoved into every cranny and crevice of my room.  And the basement.  And some of the living areas.  My parents probably could have invested in a yacht and sailed away to Cancun with all the money they spent on books for me.

4. My dogs (Kiwi, Mango, and Patterson) are so cute! Life is good when you have a terripoo, terrier mutt, and a miniature basset (meaning she weights fifty pounds instead of 80).

5. My dogs are loud.  Why are they barking at 8:00 am?

6. I can cook. My god.  It’s a miracle. I’m making scrambled eggs.

7. Eh, I’m too lazy for eggs.  Cereal it is.

8.  I can run errands without worrying about making it back in time for class.  I revel in the feeling of being in our usual grocery store, where I know where everything is and don’t have to spend the requisite fifteen minutes in line that my school’s neighborhood Walmart always seems to feature.

9. I forgot half the things I needed at the grocery because I was too busy reveling in driving around all of my old stomping grounds.

10. Man, I can’t wait to eat at Noodles/the diner/that new restaurant/my favorite burger place/the new fro yo joint.

11.  I gotta go for a run. I’m going to gain ten pounds in a week.

12. Getting new shoes at the mall? Awesome.  Getting new shoes at the mall that were paid for by your mom? Priceless.

13. There isn’t anything quite like curling up in the old comfy couch with a hot mug of coffee in your pajamas. 

14. Oh my god, I don’t have to do homework. Or a rehearsal. Or an audition. Or a lesson. Or a performance. Or go practice.

15.  How blessed I am to be able to end the day curled up on the couch with my mom and three dogs, having a couple of spoonfuls of Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream and watching Downton Abbey.  Life is bliss.