Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Five: I saw red

Today's post is brought to you by the color red and a power ballad.
I Saw Red by Warrant on Grooveshark
We're off to Mexico to celebrate the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends. We've been friends for 23 years, and tomorrow I'll be standing up with her as a bridesmaid in my red dress (big pic above) as her and Esteban exchange vows on the beach.
Cheers to good times, love, framily, and all things red. Follow our weekend in the sun on Instagram & Facebook.  Thanks to our dogsitter Amanda & boyfriend for staying with the dog children while we're away.

Housekeeping items of note:


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Linking up with

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

1. Jared Leto is 42? He must be drinking from the same cup as Pharrel, Rob Lowe, and Usher. He doesn't age.
True story - this initially said nearly a decade because I can't add and math hurts. Thanks Melissa for setting me straight. hahaha
2. I finally got a pedicure this week. When I went in, Tee said, "Oh Stephanie, feet so bad, you wait too long." Sorry, I will tip you extra.  I never get my nails done because I prefer to do them so when I told her I needed a manicure too, she clapped her hands and asked where I was going.  I told her it was for a wedding in Mexico on Saturday. She said, "Saturday? Ok. You be careful. And don't wash hands too much." Tee, you are a nice lady just looking out for my nails, but I take public transportation and pee a lot. The frequent hand washing must continue.

3. Re: SB 1062 - Arizona, I'm ashamed and outraged that this bill exists. Discrimination based in religion is not okay. The last time I checked, The Bible said adultery was wrong too. Will anyone be discriminating against adulterers, or just gays? Hmm, that's what I thought. If someone is minding their own business and not doing any harm, why would you refuse them service based on what they appear to be? Why would you support a bill that allows businesses to refuse service based on how someone looks? Haven't we been there/done that in this country with the civil rights movement? We said that wasn't okay. Why is this any different? How about we all just be human beings and treat each other with kindness and decency? I'm pretty sure all gods would support that. For a better in depth blog on this, see Gwen's post yesterday.
4. I try to never duplicate blog/Instagram, but this is too good not to share in both spots. My travelista friend Mimi sent me screw on test tubes to carry beauty aids in on my trip. Fucking revolutionary, man. She's traveled all over the world and when I get back from Mexico I'm setting her up with a travel blog so she can share her tips and stories with the world wide web. When I was all done transferring my potions, they take up less than a half of a quart sized bag and there's no squeezing shit in and praying.
5. I've had the worst sleep all week. I think that's why I've been extra mean. Or extra honest. Whatever.
6. I haven't had a second to watch TV this week. Downton season finale, return of The Americans, beloved other shows, wait for me. I'm behind on True Detective and The Following. I'll spend time with you all next week and let my errands go and my house get dirty around me.

7. Have you guys heard of Graze? It's $6 a month and you get healthy snacks delivered to you. I have them delivered to work and when I don't like something I get, I go online and say never send this to me again. I like it so far. If you use this code, you'll get your first graze box for free. If you stick around longer you also get your fifth free. You can cancel online at any time, even after the free one. So go and get at least one free delivery using TKG5TGRXP at www.graze.com Every time someone signs up, I get $1 off or to donate to Graze Farming. My bucks are going to farming. Sign up friends!
8. Spanx advertising cracks me up. I personally will do nothing in my Spanx except smooth my fat. I went for the full body jobby. One needs these things when one's winter body is thrust into warm weather on the last day of February and one has yet to put down the donuts and back away from the winter food smorgasbord.
9. I always start photo a days on Instagram and shit out by day 11. Today I am one tiny day away from actually doing this shit for the entire month of February with #fmsphotoaday. I'm prouder than I should be of that. I'm attempting to continue my victory streak with the Northeast Bloggers Photo a Day in March. Join in and use the hashtag #neblogmarchphoto. You don't need a blog or to be in the northeast to play along and follow the prompts.
10. Ecard of the week, because a weekend amongst friends surely means poop talk. At least in my circles.
Tomorrow - love, red, weddings, Friday.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Recommendations


For all of you skimmers, recommendations are in bold. Aside from me, this month you get recs from Jana at The Townhouse Pioneer/Jana Says, Amanda at Voyage of the MeeMee, Kerry at Til Then, Smile Often, and Kelli at She Crab Soup. Links to their blogs and other social media shebangs are under their recommendations. Go forth and enjoy!

1. Friday Night Lights. Without a doubt, one of the greatest shows in the history of television. The show centers around the life of a small town Texas football coach and his family, but really, football is simply the backdrop (so don't let that dissuade you. I detest football and really, there's so much more, the football becomes incidental). Everything about the show is basically perfect so I don't even know how to start describing it. But I highly recommend watching it. Also, it's streaming on Netflix so binge watching is entirely possible. And if that still doesn't convince you, there's Taylor Kitsch without a shirt. 
2. My favorite app right now is Spotify. In the words of Stefan, this app has everything. Playlists. Customizable radio stations. Entire albums (did I just date myself?). The ability to follow artists and your friends. Sharing your listening selections on Facebook. Obscure 80s and 90s songs you forgot existed. The only problem is that the premium ad free service is about $10 per month, but for me, it's well worth it. Because so. Much. Music. If ads don't bother you, the free version works wonderfully.

3. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a book I always, and without fail, recommend. Easily my favorite book of the last 5 years. Written by Garth Stein about the travails of a race car driver using a dog as the narrator, it's one of those books, like The Fault in Our Stars or Defending Jacob or Nineteen Minutes, that just stays with you. Put it on reserve at your library ASAP and set aside a weekend. Preferably not the same one you're using to binge watch FNL.
4. Winter is terrible on my skin, especially my hands. To help fix the damage done by my compulsive hand washing, I use Bath and Body Works paraffin hand lotion, Look Ma, New Hands! It is the BEST hand lotion I have ever used. It's thick so a little goes a long way and it lasts for hours, even through additional hand washing. It will undo your horribly dry skin in a matter of days and then you'll wonder how you ever used anything else. I use it in the summer, too, because dry skin never rests. 
Visit Jana at The Townhouse Pioneer on Facebook / Follow on Pinterest / Follow on Instagram



1) Tangle Teezer: My hair is down to my waist and because it's so long, it gets tangled very easily. This thing legit gets rid of ANY knots EFFORTLESSLY and 100% PAIN FREE! The company is based out of the UK but I got mine at Target for $10.
(Source)
2) Quinoa Taco Filling: Cook 1 cup of quinoa per package instructions, adding 1 packet of taco seasoning to the water. Once cooked, mix in 1 can of rinsed and cooked black beans and 1 cup of cooked corn. I put this inside of whole grain taco shells but it's honestly good by itself, too. I just add some cheese and taco sauce on top and go to town on it. I seriously make this 2-3 times a week that's how obsessed I am.
3) The Following/Scandal: The Following is creepy and will probably make you want to sleep with one eye open. But there's a hot dude with a British accent in it to make up for that. Scandal is like a non cheesy, non trashy, nighttime soap opera... and also has a hot guy with a British accent in it.
4) Free Kibble: This website features a new trivia question each day. If you play (it's FREE!!!!!!), whether your answer is right or wrong, 10 pieces of doggy food get donated to a shelter. They also have a sister site, Free Kibble Kat, which revolves around the same concept, only in relation to kitties.
Free Kibble
5) Be The Change You Seek (Kerry @ Till Then, Smile Often): Kerry has been chronicling her random acts of kindness and it's extremely inspiring. Go check out her ideas and I promise you'll get motivated to "Be The Change You Seek!"

Till Then Smile Often
Visit Amanda at Voyage of the MeeMee / Follow on Twitter


1. Victoria's Secret: If there is one things that pops up regularly on my blog it is my love of Victoria's Secret. It is a serious addiction. For the Semi-Annual Sale I may have placed 4 separate orders. I mean it was all on sale, you feel me?! Plus the perks of being a VIP member is awesome. I just got a $45 gift card for free!!
Victorias_Secret
2. Drink of Choice Lately: Manic Mango - It is a Mango Schnapps and it is 101 proof. I mix a double shot with Diet Sprite and it is so good.
mango
3. Favorite Recipe: I am always trying to expand on my cooking skills. I didn't have anyone teach me growing up so I really have to go by trial and error. This is by far my favorite recipe that I have made so far. It had a nice crunchy outer layer with a soft center. The Aioli added such a nice flavor to the whole dish. It was so easy to put together but made me feel like a 5 star chef. Click here for the recipe.
Corn Fritters with Lemon Dill Aioli
4. Movie: The Big Wedding. I watched this again this week and is just hilarious! Such a great cast of characters too. Talk about dysfunctional family drama. 
5. Magazines: I love flipping through magazines for recipe ideas. It may be one ingredient in a dish that sparks an idea or a dish that I can add or remove items. It can really get your cooking mojo going. My favorites are Cooking Light, The Food Network Magazine (The Bacon Issue - perfection), and Food and Family.
Visit Kerry at Til Then, Smile Often / Follow on Facebook / Follow on Instagram

1. We're The Millers - this movie will make you laugh until you cry, I promise it's worth the rental fee and then some.
2. Valspar Paint Samples - Work great for small at home DIY projects, you can get them mixed in ANY Valspar color, and they are only $2.98.
Photo from Kelli's blog post here
3. HGTV Magazine - I love Better Homes and Gardens but lets be honest my house will never look like anything in that magazine. HGTV magazine has projects and looks that are a little more realistic for your every day girl.
Visit Kelli at She Crab Soup / Follow on Facebook / Follow on Instagram 


1. Blog Post: I love this blog on kindness. I think the human condition is a great unifier - we're all in need of kindness at some point, which is why it's so very important to give it to others. And why I love Kerry's Be the Change that Amanda listed above in her list.
2. Books: If you're looking for a book that doesn't require much mental interaction but is a fine story, check out When in Doubt, Add Butter. Books I read this month that were okay: Beach House Memories and Margaret from Maine. I also read Allegiant, and sorry but I think the author phoned it in on the last book in the trilogy.
3.  CC Cream. "This CC cream by Perfekt costs $42 and is worth every bloody cent," says the girl who always has issues finding something that doesn't freak her skin out but has adequate yet non mask-like coverage. That girl is me. Plus, SPF 30 for the win. The spelling bothers me, of course. Gimmicky. I'll overlook it.
4.Noxema. No shit, you guys. Like the old school tub. I've been removing makeup with a cucumber face wipe every night, applying Noxema, letting it sink in for about 15 or 20 minutes while I fold laundry, wipe down the bathroom, lay out clothes for the next day, whatever, and then I wipe it off with some warm water. Use witch hazel and Neutrogena Healthy Skin night and dunzo. My skin looks good. Things are working.
5. Grammar video. I admit, I overuse literally, but that's an inside joke between me and my people. MFD shared this video with me and I was applauding and also laughing a lot.
There you have it. I hope you found something in here that speaks to you, and I hope you visit Jana, Amanda, Kerry, and Kelli and follow along on their blogs. These ladies share good stuff daily, this is just your sneak peek.

A special happy birthday to my mother-in-law. I hope your day is fabulous!

So long, farewell, au wiedersehen, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
Goodbye.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Damn Good Crescent Roll Jalapeno Popper Bites

I rarely repeat dinner recipes. I mean, I have my basics (baked chicken or fish being my go-tos) but there's so many things out there to make, I rarely have difficulty finding new things to try.

Apps are a different story. I get in app ruts. I have the dips I like and sometimes I don't want to branch out. I'm glad I did with these because they were gooo-oood, Clark. And easy to make too. 

One of my requirements for apps is that they are able to be assembled in advance of people being there. We had them for the Super Bowl and I prepped and assembled them in advance so all I had to do was pop them in the oven. I got the original recipe here

Ingredients
1 tube crescent rolls
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced. Use more or less to your taste. I cut these a day in advance - and in the name of all that is holy don't touch your eyes for the rest of the day after cutting them
8 slices bacon, chopped and cooked till crisp - I did this a day in advance too. 
About half of a brick of cream cheese
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Open can of crescent rolls and separate each roll along the perforation. Cut each triangle in half.

Smear cream cheese (amount of your choice, I just eyeballed it) on each roll and top with a few pieces of diced jalapeno (the amount depends on the amount of heat you want) and crumbled bacon.

Gather the edges of the dough up and pinch them together. Poke, prod, and do what you will to make sure all the filling is inside. 

Place the ball of dough seam side down and bake for about 12-13 minutes or until golden brown.

*********************
Haikuesday
They're coming in hot.
Jalapenos are awesome...
but can burn your butt.
*********************
Tomorrow: February Recommendations from me, Jana @ The Townhouse Pioneer, Amanda @ Voyage of the MeeMee, Kerry @ Til Then, Smile Often, and Kelli @ She Crab Soup
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Martinis & Bikinis

Monday, February 24, 2014

The weekend that was - This weekend I...

1. Made quesadillas for a quick Friday night dinner. Just your basic cheese on whole wheat tortillas with some garnish. I'm a big fan of quesadillas. Big. Huge.

2. Lazy hausfraued, employing my swiffer duster instead of the ol' rag and Pine Sol.
3. Got my farm share, and used fresh eggs and mushrooms for breakfast on Saturday. I freaking love fresh eggs.
4. Ran errands in the glorious weather on Saturday. I scored two mats at Bed, Bath & Beyond on clearance for the price that I normally pay for one. I also managed to leave Sam's without any baked goods because MFD was not with me. 
5. Oatmeal for this week's breakfasts. Lunch and dinner - baked chicken and either roasted broccoli, steamed asparagus, or sauteed cabbage. 
7. Spent a lot of time outside with these spring fever having dogs.
8. Purged and reorganized my spices after my new delivery of Penzey's. I also got this awesome dish towel from them.
9. Whipped up a quick dinner Saturday night: bacon, shallot, mushroom, and leek pasta in a cream sauce.
10. Listened to Frank play some tunes and hung out with framily yet still managed to be home in bed by 11:30.
11. Went to a nice family birthday lunch for my step grandpop and cousin. Me, MFD, Stephen & Aub are not pictured.
Things I did not do:
  • Make it to Target
  • Pack for Mexico
  • Get enough sleep due to dog ahole wakeup committee both days
  • Partake in my favorite new Sunday ritual of early to bed in fresh sheets to read and watch Downton Abbey...I was too busy taking chicken for the week out of the oven at 10 p.m. and making lists of all the shit I need to get done this week
YOLO.
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Things you may have missed this weekend: a date with Amanda.

On this date last year, I was in the hospital waiting for MFD to have surgery after his accident. I'm quite glad we're in a much better place this year. And very grateful to be showered and in clean clothes instead of looking and smelling like a dirty hobo camping out in a regional medical center.

Tomorrow I'm sharing a crescent roll jalapeno popper recipe. Appetizers are by far my favorite things.

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