Friday, August 31, 2012

Are You (RED)Y?




The Time Has Come For Us To Have A Heart To Heart. About Honey Boo Boo!


Oh my gracious!  Please, please tell me you have seen the best show on television.  Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

And by best show on TV, I clearly mean the most trash-tastic, train-wreck-alicious, so bad it's good show on TV.

But y'all already knew that, didn't you.  You get me.  We're kindred spirits, my best peaches.

So when I saw previews for this show, I couldn't figure it out.  I don't watch those pageant shows because I don't even watch the adult pageants.  I really, really dislike pageants.  I went to the Miss UGA pageant many moons ago and have been scarred ever since.  Oh lawdy...just because you twirled the baton in the first grade parade through the cafetorium does not mean you should perform this "talent" as a 20-something in front of thousands.  That night was a strange swirl of embarrassment for people clearly not self-aware enough to be embarrassed and uncontrolled fits of laughter at inappropriate times.

But I digress.


SOURCE


So I happened to be flipping channels and found myself watching the first episode of Honey Boo Boo and was still confused.  But sort of hooked. 

Second episode watched, and I wanted to move in with this crass family. 

But only for a skinny minute because they diet by eating pork rinds, pass gass every two seconds, the mother has my new favorite condition, Fork Lift Foot, and no one goes by their given name.  Or even a nickname that makes a lick of sense.

This show is everything you want in 22 minutes of mindless television.  And then some.

The show is basically a combo deal of all the other weird shows on cable networks.  If you combine the obese people shows with the couponing shows with the pageant shows with the redneck shows with the hoarding shows with teen mom shows...you have Honey Boo Boo.  Even if you don't like those other shows, this is sort of like the best of.  In a weird way.

Oh and this show TOTALLY proves my theory (super scientific and stuff) about pageant daughters vs pageant mothers.  If you've ever seen the previews, which is pretty much all I've seen for those shows, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Word!

Now go get yourself some pork rinds and pixie sticks and snuggle in with your (gay) pet pig to watch the most awe-inspiring half hour of television evah. 

Oh Honey Boo Boo...you complete me.  Or at least, my need lately to have a guilty pleasure mindless show that makes me laugh endlessly.

Fork Lift Foot.  That is just never not funny, y'all!

Also, I reserve the right to change my mind about this show's awesomeness at any point in time.  I tend to lose interest in these types of shows after a few episodes when TLC starts staging them and sending them on trips.  See: every episode of Kate Plus Eight.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free Drink At Starbucks





Just found this and wanted to share.  Now through the end of September, you can use this card to earn a free Starbucks drink after the purchase of your first four.  Remember...it's just about pumpkin spice latte time!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meals For One: Single Girl Quick Dinners


I know that a lot of y'all are in college or just living out on your own for the first time.  Or perhaps you're like me and often find yourself cooking for one.  Either way, I thought it might be helpful to do a mini-series of posts on cooking for one. 

Today, we discuss a few ideas for QUICK dinners.


* Baked potato.  This is my go to single girl meal.  I can eat a baked p'tater for lunch or dinner or even a small one as a snack. 

Simply wash a potato of your choice (sweet potatoes are great here too and they are like a magical super food) and prick it with a fork a bunch of times.  Place in a microwave safe dish and cover.  Now how long you microwave it will depend on the size of the potato of course.  But if you have a large potato for dinner, start with 5 mins and see where that gets you.

You can top your potato with anything and everything.  Basic butter and sour cream are a classic.  But salsa is my very favorite.  Or if you have bacon jam, that's pretty much out of this world on a tater too.  Leftovers from last night work.  Chicken salad.  Chili.  Steamed veggies.  Just about anything in your fridge or pantry really. 


* Oatmeal.  I know, it's a breakfast food.  But so is cereal.  Oatmeal is a step-up and a lot more filling. 

I love steel cut oats.  They are quick to cook but hearty too.  I add in anything from dried fruit to fresh fruit to preserves to honey to maple syrup to nuts to...  The list is endless. 


* A great big salad.  A huge pile of dark greens, such as spinach, can be really yummy if you jazz them up.

I add in anything from leftovers such as chicken salad to dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit, fresh veggies and even chopped up cold cuts.


* Scrambled eggs and omelets.  I eat eggs for dinner close to once each week.  I firmly believe that eggs are a great fat.  So complete and healthy.  My typical meal is a few eggs used to make an omelet.  Once it sets up, I add in frozen, defrosted spinach and feta cheese.  But anything else you have in your kitchen can be added into an omelet or scrambled eggs too.


* Fancy pants grilled cheese and soup.  First, start with any bread base.  Normal sandwich bread, leftover french bread, or even tortillas.  Add in cheese of course.  But branch out- don't just keep it stuffed with American cheese.  Have you ever used bits of brie, goat or feta cheeses?  You should!  Add in leftover meats, frozen but defrosted and squeezed dry spinach, avocado, tomato or bacon. 

With all the great soup options these days, it's easy to just pop open one of those soup boxes and pour a cup too.  The perfect side to a melty, cheese sammy!


Next up...Single Girl Dinners.  Perhaps not something that can be done in under 5 minutes but easy and yummy all the same.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lilly Pulitzer For Sale Plus A Lilly Pulitzer Fabric Coffee Cozy Bonus


OK so I am selling a bunch of Lilly items on Re-Lilly.  But I thought I'd post on here too as I would like to get these items sold and shipped ASAP. 

Most are New With Tags.  Some just never fit me quite right, some I bought thinking I would one day be skinny and have since come to my senses on the matter, some just belong in a closet that will put them to better use. 

So as an added incentive, I will also include a bonus.  Each item will include one of my Lilly Pulitzer fabric coffee cup cozies.  Because pumpkin pie spice latte season is upon us!  If you buy two items, I am happy to either include two coffee cozies or one coffee cozy and one ice cream cozy.  I pick the fabrics but I promise they are all cute!

All payments must be made via Paypal.  I will not mark an item as sold until payment has cleared.  All prices INCLUDE shipping and delivery confirmation.

Please feel free to ask questions, request more photos or more specific measurements.

One more...






Classic shift with horses, steamboats and hot air balloons.  Pom pom trim on pockets and bottom.  Bows at side.  Gently worn a handful of times.  Size 10.  SOLD


Here we go...





Classic shift in "Low Riders" in Palm Green. NWT. Size 4. Originally $162, asking $89 shipped.  Perfect for Saratoga!





Janet Dress Lawn in "Tisket Tasket" in Hotty Pink. NWT. Size L. Originally $148, asking $89 shipped.  This dress runs large.  But I adore the print and trim detail!





Gisele Caftan Printed. NWT. Size M. Originally $198, asking $89 shipped.  I bought this because I love these on everyone else.  But it turns out I don't love them on me.  Live and learn.





Classic Shift with South Florida map print. Worn a few times. Size 10. SOLD





Connolly Dress Stripe in "Ticking Stripe" in Delta Blue. NWT. Size 10. Originally $228, asking $99 shipped.  This one is a favorite that I finally fit into this summer but it hits me at a very odd point on my waist.  Probably due to my over-size chest.  They throw everything off when it comes to clothes. 






2 Piece Pajama Set. "Full Frontal Floral" NWT. Size S. Softest fabric ever!  SOLD





Aqua Shorts. Aqua with small lime green and yellow piping and green Lilly palm tree. Worn a few times. Size 8. Asking $19 shipped.  So darling but too short for me now.






Joss Dress in "Hot Parade" in Phipps Pink. NWT. Size 4. Originally $248, asking $124 OBO shipped.  I dreamed of getting into this dress but reality has finally set in and it's someone else's turn to wear it.  It's soooo pretty in person!  Love, love, love this one!


** Don't forget that each purchase will also include a Lilly Pulitzer fabric coffee cup cozy.  Perfect for fall stops into Starbucks!




Never Be Afraid To Try Something New

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another Summer Ends


I can't believe summer is over.  I've known this day was coming and actually, it started last week.  But today is the first real day for me and my duties. 

Summer is over.  Fall is here. 

Insert frowny face.  I pink puffy heart summer.  I pink puffy heart being able to procrastinate and avoid and hide my head in the sand because no one is looking for two months.  I miss it already!


Dear Lord,

Please please don't let this be a horrible year. 

And please let people act respectful.  And nice.  And thoughtful.  And adult.

Please don't let this year take away (more of) my sparkle.  And please don't let it kill me.

And if you have it in you, please let me refill my sparkle cup.  I'm plum out of spunk and energy.  I could really use a volunteering miracle to allow me to enjoy this year!

Amen!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

$10 Ruelala Credit


There is a new deal with Ruelala.  For those who have not yet signed up, you can sign up right now and earn a free, no minimum purchase, $10 credit!  That means that if you buy something worth $10, it will be FREE!

If you are not yet on Ruelala, you totally should be.  It's my very favorite of all the deal sites.  They have the best sales that include clothing (every brand you can dream of), shoes, bags, travel, accessories and food.  For men, women and children.  I get lots of Lilly Pulitzer pieces from Rue.  I've had a lot of success over the years.






While I am at it, my second favorite site (and really the only other site I use regularly) is Gilt.  I've recently noticed that they not only have all the clothing deals but they also have the most amazing deals on gourmet foods and wines.  Like it's one of the most fantastic collections of yummy treats that I have ever seen online.  And at such great deal prices!  I totally recommend Gilt if you are looking for a treat for yourself or a gift for others (Believe it or not, Christmas is right around the corner!  Eeeks!).










So those are my shopping recs for the week.  I set both sites to email me when particular brands are going to be on sale.  So I really only get emails from them every now and then for sales I want to keep an eye on.  Go get your Rue and Gilt on, sweet friends! 

The Details


So after my post on my food swap experience, I was asked a few questions.  A few wanted to know the details of what I came home with.  And gah...I should have listed what was in those jars.  So sorry about that. 




Here's what I came home with...

* tomato jam
* rhubarb jam
* cherries in amaretto syrup
* brandied cocktail cherries
* a bundle of carrots picked that morning
* nectarine ginger shrub syrup
* spicy peach salsa
* roasted corn salsa


And others were learning about swaps for the first time and were curious if one might take place in their cities too.  I found a great list with links here and another here.  So yes, friends in Colorado, Texas, Florida and then some, you too can try your hand at a food swap.  And I hope you do!  It was such a nice way to get to meet new faces and try new foods.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Goldilocks And The Three Jean Jackets


There once was a little girl named Goldilocks.  Or...Preppy Pink Crocodile.  Take your pick.  And she refused to get rid of her three jean jackets, knowing full well that a classic will always come back in style.

Nearly two decades ago she purchased her first jean jacket, in the then popular very light washed out denim.  From the Gap. 



Then in college, she purchased her second jean jacket, as popularity in jean washes had changed.  The cool kids were wearing this medium denim wash.  And so was Goldilocks, gosh darn it.  Also from the Gap.




Then out of college and working her faux big girl job as a retail manager in a mall, the tides of denim washes changed again.  Dark was in.  Light and medium were out.  So she once again visited the Gap for a dark wash denim jacket.




Then denim jackets seemed out of style altogether.  Many were donated to thrift shops nationwide.  But not Goldilocks.  No, no.  She made no such charitable donations. 

Goldilocks hung on to all three denim jackets.  For safe keeping.  Because she is brilliant.  Or a mild clothes hoarder.  Fine line.  But not my point.

She really thought that one day, all three denim wash jean jackets would be back en vogue.  And if that turned out to be the case, why buy something that you already have?  In three shades.

Goldilocks likes to be prepared.  She's like a Boyscout of denim.  So she would probably get kicked out of the Boyscouts.  But again...I digress.

Well guess what seems to be in style again, my sweet peaches?

Denim jackets.

And Goldilocks has her choice.  In the back of her closet hangs three options.  Light, medium and dark.

Life was good for this blonde denim jacket hoarder who lived fashionably ever after!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Mini Melons





I will soon stop talking about my garden. But the season is so short and I am so stinkin' excited that I can't help myself.


I planted these tiny melons this year for the first time. Minnesota Midget is the variety. I read that they are small and good for growing vertically. As seen in the first photo growing on a trellis.




On fell the other day and I realized it smelled ripe.  At only about 4" in diameter, I was nervous that it was too soon but guess what?  It was perfection.  Like a snack size melon.  It tastes like a combo of cantaloupe and honeydew.  Lovely and completely adorable!  I will definitely keep these on the must grow more list for next year!!

Half Way To Doomsday



I think it's funny that I always add cake photos because I don't actually like to eat cake.  Details.


Today is my half birthday.  In exactly six months, I hit my (to date) most dreaded age.  The age when doctors consider you old in regards to your reproductive girly bits.  The age where you are closer to .... oh I can't say it.... but it starts with a four and ends with a zero. 

I have been working on a special post in hopes it would be ready for today.  But it's not.  And so that will just have to wait until I finish it. 

I did anticipate my unrest today and pre-planned a night out.  So I have something fun to look forward to.  No (major...maybe some minor) wallowing around here and repeat over and over "it's just a day and age is just a number."


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vanilla Bean and Brown Sugar Almond Butter


Have you ever made your own nut butter at home?  This was a first for me but it will not be the last.  It was insanely easy, completely satisfying, and utterly delicious!   Being able to control your own ingredients is a fantastic lesson in what is not needed in the products we all grew up buying. 

This recipe does require a food processor.  Mine is just an inexpensive variety from Walmart about four years ago.  And it worked just fine.  But you really cannot do this without one unless you have one of those fancy pants, super expensive, turbo blenders. 

You can also add and subtract ingredients as your tastes prefer.  It would be delightful as a gift if you added chocolate- either in chip form or melted- to make sort of a Nutella type product.  I plan to add some raisins the next time too.  And do note...no oil is used.  Just the natural oils from the almonds. 


Step #1: Buy raw almonds.  These are almonds that have not been toasted/roasted and have no seasoning.  I picked up a bag at Trader Joes that contained 3 cups of raw almonds and was about $5.




Step #2: Place almonds on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Roast in oven @350 until you can smell them.  It's about 10 mins.  But be careful as they can quickly burn so you need to check them often at the end.




Step #3: Once roasted, allow to cool a bit and then toss them into your food processor.  Turn on.  The first 30 seconds will sound like bloody murder.  Hang in there.  Before the first minute is up, you will have this.  Almond meal.




Step #4: This is at about the three minute point.  The meal starts to climb the sides.  I scraped it down with a spatula a few times.




Around the five minute mark the meal turns to paste.  Just scrape down sides when necessary.  But keep that puppy on otherwise. 




Around the seven minute mark, the paste starts to ball up.  A good sign that the oils are starting to come out and mix with the dry meal.  Just keep going.




Step #5: Once it turns into actual almond butter.  And this happens around the 15 minute mark so be patient!  Then you can add your goodies.  Or not.  It is perfectly delicious at that point without any extra flavors.  But I decided to add vanilla bean and a few others. 

If using vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out.  Save the pods to dry and add to a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar though!  If using vanilla extract, just skip this step.




Step #6: Add vanilla bean seeds (or a splash of extract), brown sugar, maple syrup and salt.  Let run another minute or two until well incorporated.




And you're done!  Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  It won't last that long, though!




Or package in small jars to be used in a swap or gifts.  Just be sure to tell the recipients that it must be refrigerated.  When things don't contain extra stabilizers such as oils and chemicals, their shelf life is but a fraction of time a commercial product will last.




Vanilla Bean and Brown Sugar Almond Butter

Ingredients:
* 3 cups raw almonds
* 1 vanilla bean (or vanilla extract)
* 2 tbls packed brown sugar
* 1 tsp pure maple syrup
* pinch of Kosher salt


** You can certainly add and subtract ingredients as you so desire.  If you want your butter to be more liquid, add a little more syrup.  You can also add different flavorings such as raisins, dried cranberries or chocolate.  Be creative!




Monday, August 20, 2012

My First Food Swap


I have been reading food blogs almost as long as I have been reading preppy blogs.  Even if I know I will never make the same foods, I still love reading the recipes and personal stories and travel tales.

Nearly two years ago I stumbled upon the blog Food In Jars.  And fell in love, fast and hard.  I love this blog by sweet Marisa.  Great writing.  Great recipes.  Awesomely creative.  So unique.  So relatable. 

And around that same time, I first learned about food swaps.  In other parts of the country.  And was green with envy and all the fun those cool kids were having. 

For those new to this concept, let me give you the Cliff Notes explanation.  A bunch of strangers gather together and trade food. 

I know, sounds crazy and unsafe. 

But um...you eat food made by strangers all the time.  So really, it's all good.  Actually, it's way better.  Because you get to talk to the person who made the food.  And they tell you every ingredient used.  Most of those ingredients are whole and home-grown. 

Not too long ago, maybe under a year ago, I found out there were swaps happening in my own 'hood, via From Scratch Club.  But I was never brave enough to go.  Or I was busy.  Or out of town.  Or still not brave enough.  Always something. 

Until now.

And what a first swap for me!  Do you know who was at this swap?  Miss Food In Jars herself.  With her awesomesauce cookbook.  And a Q and A session.  I did go up and tell her that I love her blog but I chickened out on asking her to take photo with me.  Ugh...my life is just one big perpetual awkward moment and I knew I would be too weird asking.  So I didn't.  As with most moments like that...I regret it. 

I was totally nervous.  And being sick all of last week put a kink in my original plans.  However, as is often the case in life, it all worked out.

On a whim I made almond butter.  More specifically, Vanilla Bean Brown Sugar Almond Butter.  Recipe coming shortly.  Trust me, you NEED to make this!  And to my delight, it was quite the hit.  Whew!  I also brought a few jars of pickled watermelon rinds.

Thankfully my years of reading clued me in that one must always bring samples to share!  I had a little jar of the almond butter and a jar of rinds for folks to sample.  I also made a sign listing ingredients so those with allergies knew what was in my products. 


My little set up with samples.


Now even though my nervousness faded, I was still confused during the swapping portion.  And I'm not sure that will ever fade. 

But I had the best time viewing and tasting such a great variety of homemade goodies.


This gal made popsicles.  Um...talk about thinking creative!


I really wanted (but didn't get) these dehydrated tomatoes.  Maybe another time!


I brought these carrots home!


Not only did I bring this roasted corn salsa home, I opened it up as a snack about four seconds inside the door!  Sooo crazy yummy!


I mean, just look at the variety of goodies!  So impressive.


So here's how it works.  First you set up and chat with people.  Then you sample and take notes on what you are interested in.  Then you go write down your name and proposed swap item on the designated lists.  Then you hope that someone also wants what you are offering.  Then you go back relieved that they do in fact want what you are offering.


Walking around in circles, making wish lists.


Then you get super confused.

Because it's time to actually swap.

And suddenly five people are standing in front of you.  Yay, that makes it easy.  But you now must go seek out the last few to swap.  But you get to their tables and they are doing the same as you, wandering aimlessly.  So you go down your list.  And then decide you don't want the next proposed item so you keep walking.  In circles. 

And in the end, with one jar remaining, I made a random swap with someone not even on my list.  Because I felt like I needed to end my circle walking.  I was dizzy!

But I got in my car completely gleeful.  I survived my first swap.  Better than survived...I had a great time!  I talked to lots of strangers.  I pulled up my big girl britches and was brave.  And came home with all of this! 


I brought all of this home with me!  Yum-o!!


Not too shabby for a Sunday afternoon!

I can't wait until the next swap!  I've been scanning my brain (or as I call it...vintage Pinterest) all night for ideas.  I think they key is to be both tasty and out of the box.  My favorite combination in life!




 

Save Lives With Your Phone


There's an app for that!

OK so this is sort of a random post but if you have an iPhone and live in NY, there is a great FREE app available for download.  One that can save lives.




CM actually created this.  In his free time.  Out of the goodness of his heart.  Because that's how he rolls.  Seriously...our hobbies could not be any more vastly different!




So please just do me a favor and download this free app.  Again, it's free.  And could potentially save the lives of missing children. 

I can't imagine what it must be like for families of missing kids.  But I know that stories like Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, tip hotlines and now phone apps must give them just a little bit more hope to carry on.  Missing Children of NY App.

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