Tag Archives: Try This!

Try this: Super Amazing St. Patrick’s Day Soup!

15 Mar

As we all know, St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. I’m almost completely Irish, so obviously I love it! Plus, it means I get to eat my favorite meal: corned beef and cabbage. I can’t get enough of the stuff, and my family will only make it once a

Photo from: SkinnyTaste.com

year.

…Well I couldn’t wait until Saturday. I was browsing Pinterest and I came across this recipe from a phenomenal blog called Skinny Taste for Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup. My thought process? What!? Shut up! That sound’s awesome okay I’m making it.

And so I did. And I am currently sitting at my desk enjoying my nice little tupperware  of it. Fabulous doesn’t describe this soup. It’s not greasy at all, almost no oils or additional salts since you’re cooking with water, and it’s very easy to prepare. Set it and forget it.  Plus, all of the ingredients for corned beef and cabbage are on super sale at grocery stores right now in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day.

Try this soup yourself! You’ll love it!

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Product Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects

14 Mar

I have wanted Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects nail polish strips since I’ve discovered them. I have this bad habit of painting my nails at night, then accidentally falling asleep while waiting for them to dry so I wake up with once-pristine nails covered in smudges and lines where my hair has pressed against them. These stick on nail polish strips could solve that problem. They dry instantly leaving you with a really neat design you could never do yourself.

The problem? They are pretty expensive. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $10 for a product I would only end up using once for maybe a week. So I got savvy this weekend and went clearance hunting at Ulta where I found markdown nail strips from Valentine’s Day styles. A lot of them were tacky hearts and “Love” in comic sans over and over again, but I did find a sharp mix or red, pink and plum color blocks for $5, and I snatched them up really quick.

I was so excited about these things that I peeled all of my nail polish I had on completely off on the drive home. I feel like it’s pretty hard to mess up putting the strips on, you stick them on and press them down,then file off at the end of your nail. Trust me, I’m a total klutz and it was easy for me so you know it was good. When I put them on they looked cute! I was excited to have a really cool design that I didn’t have to spend 2 hours on. Plus at the end I had 5 extra stick-ons to hold onto, which would look cute on a single finger with some nude or red polish on all the others.

And then I went out.

I was heading to my friends house for a party, so I stopped at the liquor store and then sat in the car with Alex for 45 minutes on the way to her house. In that time I managed to get three big chips on the tips on my nails. By the end of the night, which consisted of a lot of sitting around with some beers catching up, not arduous things like building a new house or something, all the nails on my right hand had some chip or another. Frustrating? Oh yeah.

At least with real nail polish I could go ahead and touch it up, but this was different. As the days wore on I realized how much I missed real nail polish. The Salon Effects stick-ons are much shinier than polish and end up looking much more artificial, pretty much like stickers on your nails. I was starting to be a little embarrassed, too, at how obviously fake the design was. It just looked lazy. What really drove me crazy was the edges around my cuticles. They all sort of buckled up a little bit, just enough for a person like me to notice and sit around pulling at all day.

I kept them on my nails for five days. That way I figured I was getting $1 use a day out of them and it wasn’t a waste. But today they ended up in a nice little pile of sticker paper on my desk. As cute as the design was, and as easy as it was to use, I don’t think I’ll end up buying these again, and I definitely won’t pay full price for them. Maybe if I had a special occasion, but I’m not going to any balls or weddings or anything anytime soon. If you’re like me, and you can’t help but pick at your nails when your bored or nervous, these are torture. It’s easier just to set a half hour aside and paint your nails yourself.

It’s time to step up our game

7 Mar

Ever since I was young I’ve tried hard to be as involved in the conflicts of Africa as I could. In high school my Literature of the Holocaust class raised over $5,000 to help provide the refugee camps of Darfur with clean drinking water. Entering college and being preoccupied with being in college definitely distracted me from something that used to be very important to me, and having very little money for the last decade has made it more difficult to donate.

This video made me remember that while I was busy sleeping in and drinking, children were dying at the hands of monsters. The world is a scary place when we take the time to step outside of our bubble, but we can help!

This grassroots movement aims to arrest Joseph Kony by the end of 2012 and help put an end to child soldiers in Uganda. It’s driven entirely by us, the people with a voice, and by social media.

Check out the video, and most importantly share it! You may be as broke as I am, but we can let those that influence our media hear this message and help do something to stop it. So let’s use the sites that we are already glued to all day, every day to save lives!

Get Your Craft On!

2 Mar

As we all know, March is National Craft Month. Oh… you didn’t know that? Yeah I guess no one does but whatever.

To celebrate I would like to totally jam my blog up with fun, funky, affordable crafts and creations. Obviously I’ll post some myself, but I’m a working woman! And unfortunately that means I don’t have as much time to craft as I would like to… meaning all day, every day, every single second.

If you have a craft, painting, recipe or creative tip to share please submit your ideas to the masses. Click the “submit” tab in the upper right corner for details on how to do your thang. Submissions will of course get complete and total credit for everything they do. Besides that, stay tuned for this month of crafting glory!

Happy National Craft Month!

Try This: The Works at Mac’s

1 Mar

There is nothing better to me on a sunny day then settling in at a bar in Philadelphia, having a few beers, and watching a game on tv. Alex and I did that the other day at Mac’s Tavern in Philadelphia (yes, the same Mac’s Tavern that is owned by “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s” Rob and Kait McElhenney).

After two or three (or four…or five… who’s counting?) beers Alex and I were feeling a bit starving. This is the reason I love Philadelphia. You can walk into any ordinary bar on any ordinary street and find out-of-this-world food. Unbelievably amazing, ridiculously delicious options that you never thought you would find. Mac’s is no exception. This is the second time I’ve eaten here, but people rave about certain dishes on their menu, like their meatball hoagie and lobster mac and cheese. Alex and I were feeling the buzz and needed something big, greasy and terrible for you, so we opted for The Works.

Ohhhh The Works. The Works. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. A huge plate of chunky fries smothered in the best gravy you’ve ever had, ginormous slices of steak, thick-cut bacon, onions and mushrooms, then topped with ridiculously gooey mozzarella cheese. It’s like the ultimate drunk food, but classier and better than anything you could ever make drunk.

Life doesn’t get any better than good game, a beer, some food and a bar. Wait… I take that back. It only gets better when you have the french fries of the gods. The servers and bartenders at Mac’s better prepared for me to invade their bar when baseball season starts….

*Note* I did not take a photo of these beauties while I was there, but if someone reads this and decides to share one with me I would love it!

Super Easy, Super Fast Craft: Mr. Kate Scarf

29 Feb

Today is Leap Day, so imagine my horror when I opened my closet to find that I did not have a single piece of yellow or blue clothing to wear to work! I would have gotten poked in the eyes, Leap Day William would have been ashamed, and I certainly wouldn’t have gotten anything from his bucket of sweets before he went back into the Marianas Trench (if you’re questioning anything I just said, just click the “Leap Day William” link)!

After some more digging, I decided I had no choice but to DIY my Leap Day attire. So I turned to one of my favorite crafting and style bloggers, Mr. Kate, for inspiration.

I’ve made a t-shirt scarf before, but obviously I needed one in yellow for today, so I whipped up this 10 minute scarf last night before bed! It’s super simple and you only need a few  supplies: an unused t-shirt, scissors and a scrap of fabric about 8 inches long. If you want, you can even use the scraps from the t-shirt you work with, so the scrap isn’t 100 percent necessary. Can’t be any simpler.

A few months ago I found a deal at one of the craft stores by me on t-shirts, so I bought a ton and have been holding onto them for crafting purposes, but you could also use a junky old shirt you don’t wear anymore. I’ve seen this craft done using shirts with prints on them and that looks really cool, but obviously it wouldn’t fit my leap day need so I grabbed my yellow t-shirt.

First thing’s first: cut off the hemline at the bottom of the shirt and cut off just below the armpit part of the shirt (P.S. I hate the word armpit and I’m mad that I had to write it… twice). You’ll be left with a rectangular loop of fabric. You can ditch the other parts of the shirt, or save the top part to use later on.

Take your rectangle and cut about a one inch strip of fabric from the bottom of one of the connected ends (where the shirt would sit on your side) up to about one inch before the end of your other connected end. Definitely check out the photo, it’s a little hard to explain, but it’s easy when you get going. This craft is not for the perfectionist. The cuts don’t need to be perfect. The first time I did this I used a ruler, and then realized it was pointless. To get a general inch, I use my “rule of thumb.” An inch is sort of kind of the size of the top of your thumb to it’s knuckle. If you really need to measure an inch out for this project, just use your thumb!

Continue cutting strips until you’re out of space, Making sure you leave about an inch at the end of your t-shirt. You want all of the strips to still be connected at the end. When you’re done it will kind of look like a hula shirt for a really tall baby or something. Now hold each strip at both ends and lightly tug on the strip. The harsh edges you get from cutting it will curl in, so that each strip looks like a long, skinny cylinder. The photo below shows the top half after I pulled the loops, and the bottom half before. Definitely check out the Mr. Kate video below for any questions. You don’t need to pull hard, and if you have strips that are skinnier than others pulling hard might actually lead to breaking, so be careful!

Now that all your strips are pulled and looking svelte, take the section that hasn’t been cut, open it up (kind of like you were putting it on as a t-shirt). Take your scarf while it is open (see photo) and just bunch it together. What will happen is the strips that you cut and tugged on will open up turn into your scarf, and the uncut piece will just be a small section on the scarf. Use your scrap of fabric to wrap the uncut area together, so that it doesn’t open up while you’re wearing it and so that it doesn’t stick out in the middle of nowhere. I used a blue t-shirt from my last t-shirt scarf (for Leap Day’s sake!), but you can use whatever you want! Yarn, leather (last scarf I made I used a leather strap from an old boot I had), ribbon, or a piece of scrap from your t-shirt so that it doesn’t stand out.

And voila! I recommend you check out Mr. Kate’s video below and her post for a full explanation. I wasn’t about to make a video, because quite honestly I lost my camera charger and my camera was on the verge of death, and as I mentioned I  was just about to go to bed, so there was no way I was taking a picture of myself looking as I did. Plus, Mr. Kate is much cuter and quirkier than me, so I’m pretty sure you would enjoy it more if you watched her!

Drinking Like a Lady: Dogfish Head’s Noble Rot

28 Feb

My sweet tooth is bigger than any bone in my body. I love a nice, fruity beer and even ciders, which always leads to slack from my male beer-drinking friends. So imagine my surprise when everyone reacted so enthusiastically to Dogfish Head‘s new Noble Rot.

The first line in the description online is “Hmmm. We wonder if anyone will buy a beer with the word ‘rot’ in the name?” I honestly almost didn’t buy it because of that reason. When I hear “rot” I instantly think of weird smells and colors that I shouldn’t be drinking. Luckily, my boyfriend trusts Sam and the rest of the crew at Dogfish whole-heartily, and picked up a bottle for dinner after its Jan. 2012 release, because I did not want to miss out on this beer.

Listed as a “saison-esque project,” Noble Rot is a unique combination of two different kinds of wine grapes combined with pilsner and wheat malts. Mashed together, you get a really unique, beyond interesting beer… no wait, wine… no wait…?

I kind of wish I had payed more attention to the description of Noble Rot before I went through the process of drinking it, because I would have appreciated it much more. The beer drinks more like a wine, with a sweet, champagne-esque bite that overpowers the hops and malt. Were I to have sipped this drink a bit more slowly, I don’t think I would have been so overpowered by the taste, which was so delicious. Through all these new flavors, I can’t help but appreciate that distinct Dogfish taste that you get at the end of a sip. There’s a familiarity amid this strange, wacky brew, a taste that inspires me to buy Dogfish beer in the first place.

If you are just starting out in the craft beer world, it takes some refining. I wouldn’t expect someone who’s lived on Natty Light and Franzia to dive head first into a Double IPA anytime soon, but Noble Rot might be a good start. There’s a balance of flavors that doesn’t make it overly-hoppy or bitter, which can be kind of abrasive when adjusting to the craft beer scene.

One of the great things about craft beers is that each brewery has their own little signature, a taste or flavor that always ends up hitting home and making you say, “Hey, I know where this is from!” I’ve got to love Dogfish’s absolutely off-the-wall approach to beer, it’s what keeps me coming back.

Are you a fan of craft beer? Follow me on UnTappd and share your favorites!