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National Princess Week: Ariel

24 Apr

Happy Princess Week, everyone! I don’t really know why it’s National Princess Week, but obviously I love it.

To celebrate I’ve decided to piece together items that I think my favorite princesses would wear and own out and about town today. My first pick? Ariel, of course! I feel like she automatically takes the cake for best Disney princess out there, mainly because she’s just the best and she gets to be a mermaid half the time and a princess the other half.

So here are my Ariel picks. Very natural and fresh, and perfect for a summer night out at the shore with your Eric!

Broken-in Straight Khakis
Gap, $49.95
Trust me, I’m just as depressed as you that I don’t have fins. And, yes, at 22 years of age when I still squeeze my feet together and swim like I have fins when no one is watching me at the beach. We as fin-less humans can never be as amazingly wonderful as Ariel  (unless there’s a surgery I don’t know about…) but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress like her!

I buy all my khaki pants from Gap. They come in lengths which is perfect for the 99 percent of women that somehow don’t fit in that annoying “Average” category, they don’t stretch out, and they last forever. So yeah, they may not be fins, but they’re still pretty fantastic.

Strapless Top
Victoria’s Secret, $24.50
This purple top is just the right color to match Ariel’s sea shell bra, but you most likely won’t get really weird stares if you wear this in public. Victoria’s Secret makes some really great quality tops and blouses available online, and they are always on sale or available for some deal. Best of all, this shirt has a built-in bra, which might help you avoid that annoying strapless shirt/dress habit of having to yank the top of every two minutes, so often that it just makes your shirt totally unattractive. Yeah, that’s the reason I hate wearing strapless anything too. The jeans and top combined are so fun and funky, really out-of-the-ordinary in a good way. Like our favorite mermaid!

Starfish Hair Clips
Etsy, $22.50
I have been starfish obsessed over the last few months, and I’ve just been sitting waiting quietly through the spring until I can pounce at the opportunity to wear some myself. I love the way these starfish clips sit in this model’s hair, but if you think I’m about to spend $22 on hair clips you are crazier than Ursula. Craft stores like A.C. Moore and Michael’s sell starfish in bags for $2-$3 in all shapes and sizes. Take those, go buy some bobby pins that match your hair color, and hot glue the starfish to the bobby pin. It’s as simple as that! Ariel was always collecting knick knacks and trying to be resourceful, and seeing as this is National Princess Week why not live like her?

“Little Mermaid” Braided Multicolor Bracelet
Disney Couture, $60
Disney Couture is this fantastic company that makes higher end jewelry basedentirely around Disney princesses and Disney characters. This bracelet is particularly fantastic. I have been seeing gold chain linked bracelets with strings woven into them all over Pinterest lately, and I’ve been totally obsessed ever since. As soon as I saw the bright colors I started humming “Under the Sea,” I can’t help it, the whole bracelet is so sunny and cheery! But the best part of this bracelet is, without a doubt, the little Flounder chain. Who isn’t completely and totally in love with Flounder? I mean, come on, look at that little face!

Metallic Sandals
Old Navy, $18.94
Yes, those are metallic starfish with rhinestones on those flip flops. And yes, I am freaking out as much as you are! A month or so ago I saw these Miu Miu seahorse and crab sandals that I fell in love with, but since I don’t have $950 to spend on a pair of sandals (I’m sorry… who thinks they can charge almost a grand for sandals? Seriously? You know what you could do with that much money? So many more beneficial things than wear sandals.) I just stared from afar. Fortunately, my favorite store, Old Navy, makes a more-sanely priced version, perfect for all the land-locked mermaids like me.

Coral Bib Necklace
Coach, $298
Obviously no one I know is about to drop $300 on a necklace, but it is so perfect that I couldn’t resist. Besides, Ariel is a princess, so I’m sure she could shell out a few bucks on this splurge. Plus, Coach has a ton of sea-inspired pieces in all of their collections right now that are moderately more affordable, like a single coral disk necklace for $128 and a shell and rhinestone chain for $88. The shell necklace is the perfect gift for any Prince Charmings out there that might happen to be reading my blog and need to find a gift to get me for our anniversary gift… I mean… what?

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Vide-OH! of the Day

19 Apr

New, amazing Sir Paul McCartney single with the always undeniably beautiful Natalie Portman signing through it? Why, yes please!

Your Daily Dose of Cuteness

17 Apr

It’s a baby manatee!

Growing up I loved manatees. Like, I loved manatees. I wore the same manatee necklace for ten years until it broke when I was 19. Literally a necklace with a manatee charm on it. Well, after seeing this adorable little angel face it is obvious that my love has not gone away.

Drinking Like a Lady: Lancaster Strawberry Wheat Beer

8 Apr

When I see a beer that advertises some sort of fruit in it I can’t help but get excited. My sweet tooth does backflips. They usually don’t meet my expectations, however.

With fruity beers I feel like you can go overboard with a cider or I can’t taste any fruit at all like a pale ale. But fruity wheat beers rock. They are awesome in every sense of awesome. My favorite wheat beer , 21st Amendment Hell of High Watermelon, only comes out in the summer so I’ve been waiting patiently for months for it to come out…

Then I stumbled on the Lancaster Brewing Company. They make a Strawberry Wheat Beer that I fell on tonight during a trip to the liquor store. It is fabulous. Just a hint of strawberry taste combined with the beer. Gosh. I’m in heaven. I don’t even like strawberry flavors that much and I love this.

Definitely give this a try. It’s perfect for a nice sunny weekend or when you want to settle in and watch baseball. Since it’s baseball season… finally!

Go Greek! Lamb Kebabs and Tzatziki Sauce

5 Apr

Three years ago, around this time, I was touring Italy and Greece with some really wonderful friends. Ah, I love saying that, it makes me sound like some spoiled rich girl

Me in Mykonos

Obligatory show-off photo

when in reality most of my travel time was spent eating Nutella sandwiches, drinking 3 euro bottles of wine and sleeping in hostels.

So many things stick with me from that trip. Landscapes that I sometimes still can’t believe I actually experienced. I’ll think of scaling cliffs in Mykonos and get chills. Priceless, precious memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And then of course, there’s the food.

Since visiting Athens and Mykonos I have become obsessed with Greek food, particularly lamb kebabs which were also a big meal in England. They are the ultimate form of perfection. I can’t even do them justice with words.

Since I am unfortunately not Greek, I don’t have the secrets of Greek cuisine. But Alex and I have put our heads to the cutting board and created an Americanized  version of the lamb kebab that is really simple and really delicious, especially in the summer. Opa!

Lamb Kebab with Tzatziki and Grilled Potato Wedges

Ingredients (feeds three-four)
Tzatziki Sauce
1 tub (16 oz) plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 large cucumber
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons Cavender’s All-Purpose Greek seasoning
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Kebabs
1 1/2- 2 lbs ground lamb
1 large egg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons diced white onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
Large pinch of dried rosemary, chopped fine

Potato Wedges
3 large baking potatoes
Kosher salt
Pepper

Olive oil, for grilling
Pita bread
Lettuce, tomato, white onion, cucumber for garnishing

Recipe

Tzatziki
Straining the yogurt
1. Strain the liquid out of your Greek yogurt for about two hours. Now fancy Food Network stars will tell you to do this by purchasing $4 worth of cheese cloth for a two hour little blip on your radar. If you’re cheap like me, you’ll realize this is a crazy thing to do and refuse to do so. So do what I do. Take three paper towels, lightly dampen them, and rubber band them around the top of a bowl. Then use that to strain your yogurt. Use what you got, and feel like you’re in a Bounty commercial in the process. You can also use a very fine mesh strainer.

Chop your cucumbers
2. When all the liquid is out of the yogurt, it will almost appear crumbly, more like Play Dough than yogurt. While you wait, take your cucumber, remove the skin, dice it and then run it into a pulp through a food processor. The cucumber is extremely watery, which is okay. That’s why you’ve strained your yogurt!

Mixing Tzatziki ingredients
3. In a large bowl, combine your yogurt, cucumber, hot sauce, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning. Stir and season to taste. Cover it and let sit for about a half hour, or however long it takes to make the remainder of the meal.

Potato Wedges
Boiling potatoes
1. While the yogurt strains, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heavily salt the water, then add your potatoes whole with the skins on and par-boil for about 15-20 minutes.

2. Allow the potatoes to cool, then cut then into 1/10 wedges, or as big as the typical steak fry. Drizzle them with olive oil.
My man grilling
3. Grill wedges until crispy on the outside, then place in a warming oven and season with salt, pepper and malt vinegar if desired.

Kebabs
Shaping the lamb kebabs
1. In a large bowl combine the lamb, egg, panko bread crumbs, garlic, onion and spices. Shape the mixture into a shape about the size of a sausage link and slide the kebabs onto metal skewers. You should get about 9 kebabs from 2 pounds of meat.
Opa!
2. Drizzle kebabs lightly with olive oil, then grill for about ten minutes on each side or until the lamb is cooked through. Serve with tzatziki, potato wedges, pita bread and toppings and enjoy!

Click here for printable recipes!

Monkey Bread: a Fail-Proof and Delicious Dessert

4 Apr

As Easter creeps up this holiday I join a lot of my friends in trying to help put together a menu for family dinners. In large family settings it can be really tricky to find food that everyone can enjoy, so oftentimes the simpler recipes tend to shine. Think about the stars of your holiday meals: turkey, ham, potatoes, all very simple but absolutely necessary for a successful holiday meal.

Dessert has always been a challenge for me when it came to holidays. My desire to impress and my love for baking has always trumped the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) rule of thumb. I hate the idea of making something as standard as cupcakes or brownies, but I knew for this year I would need something that everyone could enjoy.

Enter the Monkey Bread.

My mom has been making Monkey Bread since I was young, mainly because it’s super simple and crazy delicious. I decided to whip up a batch this weekend, and took my own little twist on it to make it even more successful. If you’re strapped for time and looking for a cheap fix, I guarantee that this will be a hit this holiday weekend.

Monkey Bread

Ingredients
2 packages, Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Biscuits
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tub (14 oz.) Land O Lakes Cinnamon Sugar Spread

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a bundt pant with a small amount of the Land O Lakes butter spread. Usually to do this I take a paper towel, scoop a small amount off the top of the tub and rub it in with my hands. It doesn’t matter if you put too much on, as it all melts into the same place, but don’t skimp!


2. In a large bowl, mix together your sugar and cinnamon. It will look wonderful and light brown and fabulously delicious. I like to make 2 cups of this, keep it in a Tupperware, and spoon it over buttered toast in the morning for a quick breakfast.
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3. Cut all of your biscuits into quarters and throw them into the large bowl of sugar, completely coating every piece. When shopping, make sure you buy the biscuits, not the layered dinner rolls that Pillsbury makes. Drop those pieces into the bunt and repeat until your out of biscuits. The remaining cinnamon-sugar can be poured over top of the bundt.


4. Melt the remaining Land O Lakes butter spread in the microwave, only for about 20 seconds, then pour that evenly over the top of the biscuits. If you would rather use butter, be my guest, but I found this stuff at Wegmans for pretty cheap and it has changed my world.


5. Bake for approximately 35 minutes. When the top is browned and you think it is done, take it out and examine the open spaces in between, and push down on a few of the pieces on top. If it feels squishy and soft, the inside is raw, but if it feels stiffer the inside is baked. Don’t worry about the top burning when trying to cook the inside. If that becomes an issue (I’ve made this recipe a ridiculous amount of times and I’ve never had that problem) put a piece of foil over the top.
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6. Flip your monkey bread out of the bundt and onto a plate and you’re done! The hardest part will be not grabbing it right away, but remember that it is pretty much covered in molten caramel, so please be careful! And enjoy!
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This Just In: Anchorman Sequel!?

28 Mar

Who doesn’t love Will Ferrel. Honestly if you don’t you’re no friend of mine.

Well everyone’s favorite anchorman Ron Burgundy stopped by the “Conan show” to announce a sequel to “Anchorman”! AHHHHH LOUD NOISES! I’m so excited!

Check out the video here! I don’t know what we’re yelling about!