Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Weeknight Menu

    I'm trying to get back into planning my weeknight menu each Sunday now that it is fall and life slows down a bit.  During the summer DFH and I both have so many after work events and activities and life is too hectic to even know what day it is, let alone plan a whole week of meals so it rarely happens. 

   However the weeks I do plan meals I feel like I am more satisfied and less likely to snack then when I just throw a meal together so I do want to try and be better about it. Below is our weeknight meal menu from last week.  Everything was tasty and meals I would definitely make again.  Maybe this is a sign that we need to follow more recipes and experiment less. 

Monday: Buffalo Turkey Meatball with Blue Cheese:  This recipe this found HERE on A. Liz Adventures Blog.  If you don't follow her, I would start right now.  She has the cutest blog and always shares the best recipes and fashion finds.  

  Side Note: These meatballs could definitely be served with toothpicks as an appetizer for a party.

  Side Note 2:  We had corn on the cob with our turkey meatballs and once our corn got covered in the buffalo sauce from the meatballs on the plate  it gave the corn amazing flavor.  I love accidental delicious mistakes. 

Tuesday: Fish Tacos:  We received the Williams-Sonoma The Weeknight Cook cookbook as a shower gift and we use it all of the time.  I love that it contains recipes for meals that are quick to prepare and that don't require a zillion ingredients.  It looks like Williams-Sonoma no long carries the cookbook I have, but they have an updated version which I am sure is similar and just as amazing.  You will not be disappointed with this Williams-Sonoma recipe.  I normally don't love leftover fish, but the tacos were just as delicious the next day for lunch. 

Wednesday:  Pretzel Encrusted Honey Mustard Chicken:  I came across this recipe on the Pawleys Island Posh blog and I am so glad I did.  This recipe took no time at all to prepare and was super tasty, had a great crunch and if you have a salty tooth this is the chicken recipe for you.   We had steamed veggies on the side and it was so filling.   I only had time to let the chicken marinate for 15 minutes, so next time I think I would let the chicken marinate overnight so that there was more of a honey mustard flavor. 

 Also, check out the rest of her blog, she has an amazing eye for fashion and interior design.  


Thursday:  Low Carb/High Protein Turkey Meatloaf:  This recipe has become a staple dish in our home.  DFH thinks that he accidently created it when he was throwing different ingredients together, but in researching the recipe it looks like other people had the same idea.   You can also switch this recipe up a bit and add different veggies or mix the turkey with onion soup mix.   You can find the recipe HERE on My Daily Dish.  The only difference is we leave out the cheese and mustard. 

I am always looking for new weeknight recipes, I would love to hear about your favorite weeknight dishes. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Currently Loving

   We've made it once again to Friday and I could not be more happy.  I thought I would end the work week with a post about a few things I am loving.   Get ready they are random, but awesome. 

1.  I am loving my Bourbon and Bowties bangles. 

Each bracelet is so unique and they are such a perfect accessory to jazz up a plain outfit.  They do not currently sells these at any stores in Pittsburgh, so I may be on the hunt for a few more while I am down south this weekend. 
These are for sure my new go-to afternoon work snack.  I am a carboholic and I try to eat low carb during the week however sometimes a girl just needs an afternoon carb pick me up.  I am huge pretzel lover and these are BY FAR the best pretzel sticks I have ever had.   I am not even gluten free, but they have so much flavor and extra crunch.  Thanks for the tip LES!   You need to try them.
I saw the band play in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night and they were incredible.  I had seen them a few times before and enjoyed their music, but this time the band played a lot of their new music from their new album and I am really loving it.  They are so talented and fun to watch.    Greensky Bluegrass hails  from Michigan and they are a bluegrass band, but their music also has a great rock and roll acoustic sound to it.    Also the lead singers voice is unbelievable.   If I was tech savvy enough I would have added a music clip, but you can check them out on iTunes. 
4.I am loving my Baublebar Pearl 360 Studs

These earrings are fabulous.  I have them in blush and I am loving the color.  I wear pearls nearly everyday to work, and these make my outfit a little less conservative and more fun which I desperately need considering I have to wear suits nearly everyday.    They are currently on sale, but I would check them out now they sell out fast. 
5.  I am loving that I am spending the weekend in North Carolina

   This weekend one of my oldest and dearest friends is getting married in North Carolina.  We grew up doing everything together from water ballet, to swim team, to softball and we have countless memories and inside jokes.  We both ended up in college in NC and joined the same sorority and just have too many crazy life parallels.    I am so excited to celebrate her big day this weekend.

      DFH is unavailable to attend, but the bride was sweet enough to offer for me to invite one of my college BFF's Falon to the wedding that she also knows who lives in NC.   I am flying into Charlotte and spending the night  in the CLT before heading up to the wedding on Saturday.  Falon and I are planning to stop at Elon for lunch on the way to the wedding to check out our old college campus and pick up some new swag in the campus shop.  

Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Thirtieth Celebrations

     This year basically everyone I know turned thirty and with that came 10,000 thirtieth birthday parties.  It seemed like every week we were attending a 30th surprise party, dinner, or gathering.  
I honestly think I attended more 30th birthday parties then sweet sixteen parties.

    As much as it got semi- exhausting attending another 30th birthday what seemed like every weekend it was so so wonderful getting together as friends.  It seems like each year as we get older we go out and see friends less and less and all these gatherings were such great excuses to get together.  I never would have thought that one day I would be craving staying in and going to bed early on a Friday night.  I would honestly re-do this year and all the 30th celebrations over and over again. 

   Anyways, last week my friend ALV and I threw a tailgate party for my dear friend LES for her 30th birthday.  She is one of the last of our friends to turn thirty and with it being the last weekend of summer we wanted to plan something outside, low key, but of course fun. 

    We set up a tailgate outside of the Pittsbugh Pirate's stadium, PNC Park and had drinks, food, music, decorations, and cornhole set up.
    We had so much fun tailgating and celebrating LES that I failed to take any pictures except for the cupcake cake with the many faces of LES that got accidentally run over.  (Notice the icing mess)
   At the end of the tailgate before we went to the game LES released her balloons to symbolize saying goodbye to her twenties and welcoming her thirties.


  We didn't actually watch much of the game, which is pretty typical when we all get together, but we took in the view and took several tourist pictures. 

We took a couple selfies

Hello, Pittsburgh.

   After the Pirates game and the free Gavin DeGraw concert at the stadium after the game, ( I know, random ) we met up with the boys at a local bar and everyone decided to wear their sunglasses? Not really sure why, but the sign of a super awesome night.

It honestly makes me sad that the thirtieth birthday celebrations are just about over.  

What is even sadder/ scary is that the next big birthday celebration year would likely be when we turn 40..... yikes !!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Little Book Cleaning

    One good thing about moving is getting to clean out old junk that has been sitting in drawers or on shelves for years.

 When we moved in June one thing I noticed was I had so many books that I had never read, but were taking up precious shelf space.  A lot of the books I had, had for years and never picked up.  I'm sure a newer or better book always came along and my older books continued to sit, unread, collecting dust.   

  I decided that in order to free up shelf space for new books I would force myself to read my old books before purchasing any new ones or going to the library and I am so glad I did.   This summer I have already read quite a few  of my old books and really enjoyed them. Some of the books were "no-name" books I picked up at a book fair or book swap and some were old books that I never got around to reading.  

 Anyways I am always looking for new book recommendations so I thought I would pass these suggestions along.  I'm sure any of these books could be purchased very inexpensively on Amazon.com or  borrowed from the library since they are not current best sellers

One Drop by Bliss Broyard
"Ever since renowned literary critic Anatole Broyard's own parents, New Orleans Creoles, had moved to Brooklyn and began to "pass" in order to get work, he had learned to conceal his racial identity. As he grew older and entered the ranks of the New York literary elite, he maintained the fa├žade. Now his daughter Bliss tries to make sense of his choices and the impact of this revelation on her own life. She searches out the family she never knew in New York and New Orleans, and considers the profound consequences of racial identity. With unsparing candor and nuanced insight, Broyard chronicles her evolution from sheltered WASP to a woman of mixed race ancestry."

As Hot As It Is You Ought to Thank Me by Nanci Kincaid

"From a place where you don't have to run away to find yourself, this novel's young heroine, Berry, joins the ranks of other memorable and spirited girl narrators such as Bone in "Bastard Out of Carolina," Kaye Gibbon's "Ellen Foster," Lily Owens in "The Secret Life of Bees," and Scout from "To Kill a Mockingbird."


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
"It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. "

 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
"So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic."
I enjoyed all four of these books.  As Hot As It Was You Ought to Thank Me was probably the easiest read, but also my least favorite as the plot was vague and uneventful at times.  Middlesex, One Drop, and The Book Thief were all amazing.   If you are a history buff you would love any of these books.  One Drop takes place from the 1770's through the 1990's and discusses a very interesting perspective of Race.  Middlesex takes place from the 1920's -1970's and tells the story of a family's secret genetic history, and The Book Thief takes place in the 1930's and 1940's in Nazi Germany.  

    The great thing was once I was finished reading a few of my old books I would go to the Half Price Book Store and trade in my old books for money or new books.

                                                     A win-win in my book.
                                  ( Sorry for the corny joke, I couldn't help myself).

Monday, September 8, 2014

Last Trip of the Summer: OBX

    Today is the first morning that you can feel the crisp fall temperatures creeping in. It is hard to believe it was over 90 degrees on Friday. 

     This summer DFH and I have traveled like crazy. We took our final trip of the summer the last week in August to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  Almost every year our group of high school friends rents a house in OBX for a week in the summer. Some years 9 people come, some years it is 12, and  this year we had 20 friends come down to OBX.   Yes, 20 people, all from high school.  What is even crazier is that there are seven couple ( including DFH and I) who both went to our high school who are either married, engaged, or in serious relationships. 
  When you have 20 friends renting a house, not just any rental will do, luckily this trip is planned months and months in advance and we were able to snag this beauty for the week. 

The house can sleep up to twenty eight people and is right on the beach.  We had our own pool, hot tub, and elevator and I loved the three floors of wrap-around porches with porch swings.  It was super fun.

   Unfortunately, I was only able to come down to OBX Wednesday through Sunday because of work, but I was still was able to get plenty of beach time, do a little shopping, and hang out with our friends.   Since most of our high school friends are in NJ and we are in Pittsburgh it is always so nice to get to catch up and spend time with everyone for more than just a weekend, which is so rare for us. 
We lucked out with the weather and it was sunny every day except for Friday, which of course is the day I decided to take all my pictures.    Since the weather was so-so on Friday, DFH and I decided to climb and explore the Wright Brother's Memorial and museum which was really interesting, and informative.  #historynerd

We could even see our rental house from the top of the memorial. 

  It is such a fun group of friends, and everyone gets along so well, which I think is rare for a group of twenty people.   Each night groups of four would rotate cooking dinner for everyone and nights were spent catching up on the deck, playing games, making fun cocktails, and dance parties. 

A few of us picked up matching Spirit Jerseys while out shopping.  Seriously the most comfortable shirt ever, I know this is going to be a fall/winter lounge staple this year. 

    Our friends Luke and Alaina make shirts for the group each year, so a group photo in our matching shirts was necessary on our last night. 

 We also have a tradition where we make a giant seafood feast on the last night.  It is always such a great way to end the week, before the long drive home early the next morning. 

We ended our vacation with the prettiest sunset. 

The colors were incredible. 

Although I love the fall, writing this post already has me craving the beach and warm summer nights.