Cause for Sale-ebrations

Note: Sorry for my extended absence. My life has been a Whirlwind since I came home from school. I hit the road to NYC for a quick trip before graduation (on the 22nd) followed closely by Christmas festivities with both sides of the family and ending with a few days with the boy and his family. And tomorrow… I move out of my college apartment and join the ranks of the unemployed (not for long, if I can help it!) So, stay tuned for what are sure to be comical adventures, delicious meals, and fun crafts to occupy my time. Now onto today’s biggest news:

A sofa has been purchased!!! Which, for those of you who do not know is a landmark event in my boyfriends post grad life. After struggling (and failing repeatedly) to prove the importance of providing enough seating in your home to accommodate your guests, an impulse stop at World Market to check out their post Christmas sales resulted in a “love at first sight” situation with a nice sand brown sofa (thank goodness!).

Although funds had been accumulating for sometime and his parents had even promised to pitch in $100, we still couldn’t make it happen for the first 6 months of his post-grad life. However, thanks to World Market and their OUTRAGEOUS post-Christmas sales, we were able to help him stumble upon the perfect sofa, at a more than perfect price. This end of the year sale boasted some great deals, but one of the best was that all furniture would be on sale until they sold out of their existing stock (awesome!) So he got this $600 sofa for $350! almost 50% off.

So, needless to say, this was appealing to my penny pinching boy. BUT, it gets better! Yesterday morning I got this coupon in my inbox for a secret World Market Explorers (Their rewards program) 3 hour sale, and what kind of girlfriend would I be if I did not encourage such purchases with coupons such as this one.
With the additional 15% off, he got his sofa for $297 and with tax it was about $318. What a steal!!!!! And now I have somewhere to sit when I come to visit. Patience may be a virtue, but functional furniture is invaluable. Thank goodness for ridiculous end of the year sales, and impulse purchases. I just thought this excellent bargain was too good not to share, there must be something to this coupon craze after all, which got me thinking: I wonder what other sales I am haphazardly deleting from my inbox every morning, so I decided to check out all the ones from this week and share them with you. Happy Shopping!

Places like Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic are offering deals on-line and in stores at high percentages off.

Other stores like L.L. Bean are looking to rid their stock of seasonal outerwear (Still a great deal, there are lots of cold months to come!)

   Sephora and World Market are offering additional percentages off their already marked down items

This is for the J.Crew Factory Outlet and discounts are only offered in stores, not online. (Which is a bummer considering the rainy whether, and lack of a outlet stores near my current location)

Victoria Secret is having their Semi-Annual sale (yes!!!!!!)

 New York and Co. is having huge mark downs with some items up to 80% off. Good thing I got lots of Christmas and Graduation cash, looks like these sales and deals will make it go pretty far!

12 gifts of Christmas

12 gifts I would be overly thrilled to unwrap on Christmas morning (but probably will not because I forgot to put some of them on my list ha!)

1. Michael Kors Watch

2. Tory Burch Flats (obviously obsessed with these via my previous post)

3. Lilly Pulitzer Phone Cover

4. David Yurman Earrings (not gonna happen!)

5. Michael Kors Wristlet

6. Valentino bag (with a fabulous bow!)

7. Luke’s coffee mug from Gilmore Girls (I don’t know where you can get this, but I know whoever does….will be my best friend!)

8. Hand painted glasses (my new recent obsession. I want to buy these already completed, not have to complete them myself)

9. Hand made bow clutch from Etsy! (another addicting website!)

10.A pair of fabulous pumps

11. BaubleBar silver pave studs

12. Boden Turquoise Moccasins

*disclaimer: sorry if you follow me on pinterest I have probably pinned 80% of these things before! Foops!

The Man Tree

This is the man tree
This Christmas, in an attempt to rid my boyfriend of his general dislike of premature Christmas Decorating, I made sure to have a tree at the ready as soon as Thanksgiving, a holiday he believes does not receive enough credit, was over, so as to ensure that he and his apartment could be filled with the joy and jubilation of the Christmas season for over a month. Needless to say he was not thrilled. However, I was able to bring him over to “the dark side” by creating what he viewed as a man tree, bringing the great outdoors and his love for fly fishing to the tree. Needless to say there is no angle on top, no tree skirt, and NOTHING sparkling, other than the few strands of lights we managed to string on the tree. However, after being in the presence of this tree for a few weeks he did share with me, in a rather nonchalant way the other day that “He really liked his tree, it was festive.” Needless to say, if you find yourself with the anti-decoration folk this Christmas, maybe you just need to find another way to reach them. Also, dont tell but he helped to MAKE some of the ornaments… man crafts, what up! The tree includes a simple natural palette of colors, gold, bronze, and green. There are matte and flat balls in these colors and then a set of glass ornaments that HE filled with natural elements like rocks, twine, and moss

And then of course of his beloved trout crafts, and I couldnt resist adding a pinterest craft (The same one featured previously using old toilet paper rolls) except translated into a tree decoration.

I have to say, for such simple ornaments, it looks pretty good, and HE LIKES IT! So its a win win. Now when I come to visit we turn on the holly jolly tree (as I like to call it) and enjoy the festive-ness of the Christmas season, and I know he secretly likes it too…. I imagine next year he will be so excited to put the tree up I will have to keep him from doing so before Thanksgiving. Ok, probably not, but a girl can dream right!

Movement Mondays! – Acroyoga

Opps! I forgot it was Movement Mondays! My days are all messed up lately, so now you get a double post, but this video is totally worth it! Ok, I love weight sharing and partnering but this is probably one of the more intense things I have ever seen! Apparently this is all the rave in yoga, its called acroyoga and involves partnering and intense balance and….just see for yourself. If only we could all be this awesome. Its like something from Cirque Du Soleil. AMAZING!

Cheesey Chicken Parmesan

We had a roommate dinner this weekend as a last little soirre before I graduate on the 22nd and we made this delicious Chicken Parmesan from Tyler Florence. It was perfectly delicious.The cheese was melted just right and not burnt and the chicken was not dry and the breading actually stayed on this time, probably one of my better tries at this meal, since I have made it a few times before! Its pretty easy, sans the messy chicken breading. I like to take a little creative freedom with the sauce, but the sauce in the recipe is delicious as well! Give it a try, you won’t regret it!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
  • Pinch sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 8 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente

Cooking Instructions

Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the olives and some hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

 

Holiday Sugar Cookies!

Growing up, making Christmas cookies was always a day long ordeal resulting in the kitchen being covered in flour, icing, and sprinkles, and at the end of the day, the most delicious Christmas cookies I had ever tasted. As I have gotten older, the process has become more stream lined, and the cookie decorating has become more immaculate, but as always the cookies are delicious and my sister, Mom and I sit down in the kitchen for the better part of an afternoon and slave over making these cookies. This year some friends and I made these for part favors for a wedding shower we are hosting this afternoon (more on this later!) using wedding themed cookie cutters and white icing and sugar, and they turned out great! My room mates also have started an epic Holiday baking extravaganza in order to make it through finals next week. So, in the spirit of giving, and because baking seems to be overtaking my life,   I am going to share our delicious family recipe with you in hopes that you can start a tradition with your family that has been as awesome as ours.

Ingredients:
1  1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of butter flavored Crisco
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
1 TBSP of Vanilla ( or more, I like lots of vanilla!)
3 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt

Cooking Instructions:
1. preheat oven to 375
2. Combine sugar and crisco in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Then add eggs, syrup, and vanilla, and mix again.
3. Combine the remaining dry ingredients and slowly mix them into the blended mixture, mixing at slow speed. Mix until well blended and then divide into quarters and refrigerated for 1 hour.
4. Flatten dough and roll to 1/4 in. thick, then cut cookies.  (usually makes between 24 and 36 cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutters used.)
5.Bake for 5-9 minutes
6. Ice the cookies (Recipe below!)

  • Mix 1 1/4 cup of powdered sugar with 2 TBSP of milk and 1 tsp of vanilla and mix until it creates a semi fluid icing! Add food coloring as desired, this mixture usually makes about  1/2 a cup of icing.

This is an easy recipe, don’t skimp on any of the ingredients or the texture and flavor just aren’t quite right, and you can tell (says the voice of experience!). I hope this recipe brings lots of warm holiday deliciousness to you and yours!

 

Purely Platonic

Someone posted this on facebook. An inside scoop from a college campus on the real thoughts behind the Platonic Relationship. Can they exist? Some say no, some say yes…some change their minds. Check it out! Funny comparison between the male and female perspective on relationships and love. Its comical to watch the opinions change as the narrator delves further into the concept of being “just friends” Enjoy.

To Infinity and Beyond!

5 reasons I love infinity scarves:
1. Practicality (they keep you warm and cozy on chilly winter days)

2. Fashionable (scarves are a great accessory to add a pop  of color or texture to any outfit, and they always seem to be just the right length!)

3. Versatility (They can be worn so many different ways)

4. Responsibility (its a circle, hence it will not fall off…. and I will never lose it!)

(And by you I mean other scarves with loose ends that are NOT to be trusted!)

5. You can easily make them on your own from old sweaters or t-shirts by simply cutting a section off the bottom! so perfect!

Movement Mondays- Improv Everywhere

Forewarning- This is slightly ridiculous…. and hilarious. Improv Everywhere is probably one of my favorite youtube channels to follow.This group organizes flash mob -like activities in the NY/NJ area. They range from actual dancing flash mobs to themed subway rides and library raids. Most of them are quite comical. I thought this one was perfect, since it is different than anything else I have posted for Movement Monday and, it will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit, or at least make you laugh and bring you of the monotony of Monday. Also, note the reactions of the people in the audience. They are the best part….always!

See hilarious! No comments or critique, just wanted to make you smile. Have a happy Monday!

Graduation Cap!

Today, instead of being productive I rhinestoned my grad cap. I literally think I spent as much on rhinestones for the top of the cap as I did to purchase my cap and gown set, foops! Actually, I didn’t use two of the packs that I bought so I guess I can return those and then I won’t feel as ridiculous about the price comparison. Whatever, it looks baller. Its the Clemson ring logo and now everyone will be able to see me in the sea of graduation sameness. I think I should go into the business of grad cap decorating. I could make a fortune. Who doesn’t want to wear a hand decorated cap? Thats what I thought. Check it out!