Very thankful for the weekend today. It has been a rough week indeed. I have no words. So, here’s a tune to kick off your weekend!
While sitting outside is always an option in the summer, I desperately crave a cozy area of the house where I can read a book, listen to tunes, blog, and daydream. I wish I could say my bedroom is that place…but it isn’t. My room reflects my life and that means it has been a messy, unorganized and neglected space. I haven’t rearranged it since 2007. Mostly it’s because I want to move out and have a whole space to call my own. But financially speaking, it’s not possible. So until then, I will continue to add room/home inspiration to my Home Sweet Home board on Pinterest and stockpile ideas for the future.
All photos/links can be found on this Pinterest page!
As a girl/not-yet-a/woman, it can be a very daunting process to pick out a swimsuit. I will be the first to admit that I don’t have the perfect bikini body. I have hips, rolls when I sit slouched over (so, all the time), wobbly thighs…the usual soft and curvy bits. Being honest, I don’t hate my body. Would I like to be a bit more in shape? Certainly. But I want that for health’s sake. So that I know I’m treating my body right. So that I can walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath. So that I can lift slightly heavier things. So that I can keep a clear mind and strong body (none of this motivates me enough though, but that’s another story…).
Regardless of the overall comfort I have with my body, that doesn’t mean I want everything on display. I’m not that confident. The only problem is, if I wanted a one piece, or more coverage, I was going to have to try and find a bathing suit that didn’t have a big skirt attached to it like you’d see on your granny (nothing wrong with those, but come on…you can do better!). So I started to look into these retro, full-coverage (or mid-coverage, I guess) bathing suits. Let’s face it: shows like Mad Men really made old looks new again (the ever-growing obsession with thrifting doesn’t hurt either). Who wouldn’t love dressing for their curves, as opposed to trying to hide them? The good thing is, finding these bathing suits aren’t so hard anymore. Even if you don’t want a full-blown retro look (the polka dots kind of sway you in that direction, among other things), many stores/designers are selling flattering and fresh one-pieces and high-rise bottoms (which I find particularly wonderful on bloat days).
But, this is a letter to my suit so I digress…
From the moment I went on ModCloth and spotted you…I knew you were the one. Thank goodness I had just gotten my Christmas bonus, because nearly 100 dollars was a bit much for me to spend on a suit (In the end, you were worth every penny). I didn’t know who Esther Williams was (I do now, and she’s awesome), but damn, does she make a good suit. I was a little nervous, going off of basic tape measurements and ordering online, just hoping that it would fit. I had ordered a bathing suit online last year and it didn’t work out very well. But still…I did it anyway. And when you came in the mail and I finally got to try you on…you fit like a glove! When I wear you, I feel comfortable, cute, sexy even! I don’t have to worry about wobbly bits or insecure days because the suit is insta-comfort and insta-cute. I can only hope every other girl gets lucky enough to find their perfect bathing suit, no matter what style, no matter their shape, like I did with you. Thank you for making summer 2011 just a little better with your presence.
Let’s keep this thing going, shall we?
P.S. Yes…I’m a nerd. We knew this already.
Well, another weekend is over. It’s back to the work grind…waiting for another weekend (unless you’re lucky to be on vacation this week, of course!). I am up to my ears in laundry, pinching pennies while still trying to have fun, awaiting the next time I get to see Brad, and trying desperately to figure out what I want to do with my life. It’s so easy to get funky and discouraged at the beginning of a new week, and that’s exactly why a happy list is necessary. Focusing on the good stuff (which is always there, despite 8 hour or more workday) is certainly a great kickoff to the week ahead. Here we go….
The Mediterranean Olive Bar at Wegmans…I love the kalamata olives and the green olives stuffed with feta
Late night movie dates
Dale Earnhart Jr.Jr.
Swimming until I’m prune-y
Date nights that end with beers and a gorgeous night swim in a pool as warm as a tub
A perfect navy and white polka dot mid-length skirt 50% found at Salvation Army (That’s 2.50$ folks!)
Getting comfortable in heels. (I’ve been starting slow with wedges…)
Cooking and plotting what to make for dinner
Reading. I am trying to never be without a book. I’m currently reading this, and I have my next two lined up already (this and this). I so wish I had a little book club with all the reading I’ve been doing!
OPI’s No Room for the Blues polish on my toesies
Love. Being in love. I’m blessed.
A cute picture I took of the garden at Brad’s house during vacation.
It was a peaceful morning and Brad was still sleeping so I drank a Chai Latte and sat in the yard with my feet in the pool.
Beautiful way to start a day.
Here’s to an excellent week ahead!
Ooooooohweeeeee, it’s HOT OUTSIDE! It’s definitely summer here in NEPA. It’s silly to say that in the second half of July, but we have very fickle weather here. However, we are in scorching territory. Like, uncomfortably hot temperatures. Thank God for pools!!
I have not one clue what the weekend holds. I’m running low on funds and trying to think of cheap/super-fun things to do. I want to start exploring cheap date ideas that are different than the average dinner and a movie date (though I will always love those). My money woes are not fun by any means, but it keeps things interesting. I like disciplining myself and learning how to stretch a buck, because that’s one of the most important things to learn in the world. It still sucks though.
To be a woman of leisure and travel whenever I want and go on shopping sprees…
As always, here’s a fun song to kick off the weekend!
Last night, I attempted to copy a dish my friend Dana used to make for dinner with the ladies. That dish is stuffed squash. Before we tried it, none of us would’ve probably picked the meal out on a menu. But Dana is a great cook, and so we all fell in love. It’s been a few years since the last time I had this dish, but I decided that I wanted to make it. Dana was nice enough to share the recipe with me, and I cooked the whole thing by myself as Brad watched and waited for dinner to be served.
While Brad (and my sister) enjoyed the meal, I felt like I did something wrong. It looked beautiful and was insanely easy to make. However, I felt something was missing… A few mistakes I think I made? First, I used a jar of sauce. And I picked the sauce on a whim. I probably could’ve scoured the shelves for something better, but I settled on one and did nothing to enhance it. Dana included a quick sauce recipe, but I skipped that part out of laziness and I regret that. Second, I didn’t use onions once in the recipe. I’ve started to notice that when there’s a taste element missing, it’s probably onion! What else has that sweet and savory taste that can do the slightest bit to bump up a meal? Next time, it’s going in somewhere. And finally, the squash wasn’t cooked enough. I bought my squash at the farmer’s market and every one I got was HUGE. Even cutting it in half, it was still a bit thicker than the squash you’d find at the store. I contemplated getting new squash and ditching what I bought, but why waste money and produce? I need to either cook it longer in the oven, or soften it some other way.
My best advice? Wait for Dana to cook it up again and display it on her blog!!!
P.S. Riunite makes everything better.
Last Wednesday, I was already back from OCMD. This incredible little getaway is quickly moving into the past (well, it already is in the past…but further!). I am so thankful we were able to take the time, that we had a little bit of money stashed away to enjoy ourselves, that we had beautiful weather. In fact, the blue skies and warm summer air stayed with us our entire week off. Last year’s vacation was not as beautiful or satisfying. I can only hope that every year brings a gorgeous vacation with it. And, though I am sad that the time has come and gone, it just means that I can start planning and looking forward to new small trips and getaways!
As it was my first Monday back after a long and lovely vacation from the work grind, I found myself in major need of comfort food. I spent a small portion of the weekend perusing the Food Network website for different recipes, and Rachael Ray’s Tomato and Bean Stoup sounded delicious and seemed easy for a novice cook such as myself. I gathered the ingredients (you can easily make this meal on the cheap, and you may have some of the necessities in your cabinet and fridge anyway) and set to creating this insanely tasty soup.
There is something so intoxicating and comforting about the scent of garlic and onion cooking. That was enough motivation for me to continue this little cooking experiment…the sheer pleasure of smelling your raw ingredients come together and make something delicious. And what’s the best compliment to tasty, veggie-heavy soup? Grilled Cheese! I’ll find any excuse to make a yummy, melty, toasty grilled cheese sandwich, though (especially because the ingredients are always available at home and it’s the easiest ever). But guys, I seriously loved this soup. I will be eating leftovers for a while, as it makes a nice big pot. I didn’t have any zucchini, like the recipe calls for, but I had yellow squash, and that did the trick. I also left out the basil, but I will try to include it next time. And last but not least, I topped my bowl off with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, as suggested, which I highly recommend you do!
No worries, guys. I don’t plan on this becoming a food blog. I am still just following recipes and sort of teaching myself and expanding my diet and food horizons. And this “stoup” is a keeper! Do yourself a favor, skip the canned veggie soup, and make this instead!
I took soooo many pictures of the jalapeno poppers we made on Saturday that I wanted to share them in a separate post. The reason for making the jalapeno poppers in the first place? Well…I love them. But really, we were wandering the Farmers Market on Thursday and found a vendor that happened to be selling some and couldn’t resist. I spent a little time trying to find a fairly easy and delicious recipe for these tasty treats I’ve never made before. I finally settled on Emeril Lagasse’s Baked Jalapeno Poppers, especially because I wouldn’t have to spend too much time sweating over a pot of hot oil, making sure they are perfectly fried.
The process was extremely messy, but the results were fantastic.
I’ve been known to add the jalapeno poppers onto my MTO meals at Sheetz on a regular basis, but this was much better. I knew what every single ingredient was going in, and it wasn’t fried, so I didn’t feel as bad (or greasy or bloated) afterwards. I’d definitely recommend the recipe, but I personally need more time to tweak and perfect my approach to it. Again, I’m knew to cooking more than omelets and tacos.
Last year, I spent the final Saturday of my vacation grilling and swimming until nightfall at Brad’s with my sister and her boyfriend, Josh. I decided to keep up with the tradition, and we invited them over. We met at Wegmans and bought a massive amount of food. Standard: hamburgers and hot dogs. But I decided to make jalapeno poppers (after buying some peppers at the Farmers Market this past Thursday) and homemade hummus (not to be eaten together), just to try something different. Both turned out pretty well (hummus recipe will need tweaking), and we had fantastic weather to enjoy the clear blue pool afterwards.
The food processor was stuffed to the brim! I made way more hummus than I expected.
A very successful end to the vacation (tears) if I say so myself.
Today marks my final weekday of vacation! As sad as I am to see it go (and not have another vacation to look forward to), it has been an incredible week. A getaway with my love to the beach. Wandering around Farmers Markets. Spending time with Brad’s sister-in-law. Winning at the casino (for the first time, as I’ve spent many an evening there to no avail). And, even though vacation is coming to a close, there is still more to go. And I always have my fantastic family and friends and boyfriend to enjoy!
Enjoy your weekend!!!
If I had to choose a favorite part about our OCMD trip, it would probably be eating dinner by the bay.
The warm, breezy, clear nights were too perfect and beautiful to stay indoors for.
The above shots are from our dinner, day 1, at Crazy 8s. It’s a simple soups/salads/sandwiches place, but oh so tasty. I read about it using the Urbanspoon app, and the deal was sealed by it’s close proximity to the condo and the sweet potato fries (which were amazing). I had a MASSIVE Arnold Palmer (which is half iced tea and half lemonade, if you didn’t know, and incredibly delicious and summer-y) to top it off.
Macky’s was dinner, day #2 and definitely my favorite meal of our little trip! It’s funny, we came to OCMD with a few restaurant suggestions and had no idea what to expect from them. I was perusing menus on our post-beach shower and nap time to help ease the process of choosing. The only thing that made deciding tough was my shellfish allergy. I will eat seafood here and there, but I can’t have shrimp, crab, clams, or anything of that variety. And that’s tough, because it was pretty standard in Ocean City and Brad loves the stuff. But there are always options. Macky’s was within reasonable walking distance and got two recommendations from two separate people, so we did it. And what a perfect time we decided to eat! I’m almost thankful for our lazy afternoon, because we got there in time to enjoy a breathtaking sunset on the bay. It was incredible. I settled for a delicious sirloin steak, which came with tasty corn on the cob. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for anyone heading to OCMD. Try and get there around 7-7:30. We only had to wait about 10 minutes for a table outside (we were there on a Sunday night, but it was crowded and they told us it would be a 20-30 min. wait), and the sun set at around 8:30.
It’s an excellent experience.
Seacrets was the scene for our last OCMD supper. I had heard of the restaurant/bar before, but never been there (as this was only my second time in OCMD anyway). Seacrets and Macky’s seem to be fairly similar (perhaps they are competition?), but Secrets is a lot bigger, with plenty of seating for dining, listening to the live music that plays every night, or drinking at one of their many bars. They also have a pier that leads into the bay, where you can sip drinks in your bathing suit on a raft. Kinda cool, right? We went at a good time…probably around 6 PM. We missed the creepy bar crowd, but still got to enjoy a live band. I had the tuna steak with “Jamaican” fries and a cherry tomato and feta salad. It was fresh and delicious, and I would definitely recommend this place for the over all experience.
Top – Old Navy/Shorts – Forever21/Shoes - Target
It was so hot and bright while we were away. I’m beyond thankful for the perfect summer/beach weather, but it’s not so friendly to easily frizzed hair and my sweaty self. Yes, I am that attractive, folks! Along with all the walking and eating outside that we did, it was important to stay cool and comfortable. Enter this outfit. When I saw these shorts on Forever21’s website a few months ago, I ordered them right away. Two reasons: A) I have always wanted a pair of shorts with the high-waisted, sailor button style. B) If you don’t buy something immediately on Forever21 and dilly-dally even a day, you can bet your sweet bippy the item won’t be there (or at the very least, your size will be gone). Things tend to sell out and disappear on that site all too often. Thank goodness they fit! Since they are fairly basic black shorts, I paired them with this light and fluffy Old Navy top and my favorite strappy black sandals from Target that I bought on sale last year. I maybe only just realized the possible Halloween look I could’ve veered into with this color pallette, but I think I managed to escape it. Hopefully, you’ll agree!
I’m home from OCMD! Wow, what a fantastic trip! I am so glad Brad and I decided to get away for a few days during our week vacation. It was the perfect amount of time to enjoy the sights and sounds but still leave us wanting more. I craved the beach and boardwalk before and now, having been there, I want it again already! We missed a huge storm on Friday and ended up with clear skies and perfect summer weather that left us with blazing hot days by the beach and breezy nights to enjoy dinner on the bay and walk hand in hand on the boardwalk.
So, all in all, it was a fantastic weekend/long weekend/trip.
I’ve missed blogging! I took a bunch of pictures, obviously, but not with all my cameras. I have some 35 mm film to develop from my Konica camera, and I took some Instax shots, but mostly I used Hipstamatic and Instagram. How I love the iPhone! I miss using my camera babies, but my phone is always with me and takes great shots!
Anyway, it’s sad to be home. This is my first night in my own bed and I really miss how care-free life was on the beach. But there is still plenty of vacation to be had! Brad and I took the night apart, but we shall be back together tomorrow…that’ll make everything better!
Here are some photos to enjoy for now…
More to come…