Friday, July 31, 2015

August Eve {Friday Favorites}

{O N E} College Football Season
… is just five weeks away! I'm already dreaming of tailgate food and navy/white outfits.  I can't wait to be back in State College cheering on those Nittany Lions! 

{T W O} Get Me This Drink
I love me a good watermelon martini but do prefer tequila over vodka so this recipe looks like perfection in a glass.  Now I just need to find some time to make myself one of these.  Or two.  Or three :)

{T H R E E} Bell's Cave
Stella (whom I lovingly refer to many times as Bell - which my husband is not a fan of) has taken note of a new place at the office - under my desk! Kind of like the eating of our carpet she's recently "noticing" some things she's never noticed before - once she picks up on it once she's hooked - so she's been enjoying late afternoon naps under my desk until it's time to go home.

{F O U R} Kate: The Future Queen
The royal obsession is in full swing as I'm clearly not the only one obsessed with the future queen and this family.  I got SO many comments and questions after posting that I was reading Kate: The Future Queen (you can find it here) that I thought I'd share some of the most asked answers here today.  I'll share a review of the book once I finish but that won't be until I'm back from vacation so… 

Biggest question was if it was more like a gossip magazine or actually truth - verdict: I'm just under 100 pages in and so far it's quite factual and interesting not just speculation.  Secondly, the book covers up until the birth of Prince George.

{F I V E} Fall on the Brain
Like I said Wednesday I am still very much enjoying and happy with summer but I'm slowly getting really excited for fall (once the holidays are over I'm sure I'll be right back to wanting what it's not and craving summer again) but it makes me happy to see some fall clothing starting to appear in the store windows.  

I'm trying to hold off on fall shopping until the end of summer but I couldn't resist this top (under $20!) to wear with leggings and this hat.  Lastly, this dress from loft is so versatile and perfect to handle the weather transition.  
*Loft is having a sale with 50% off select items online/in stores and many would make great fall pieces even though its a "summer" sale*

 Linking up today with April, Karli, Amanda and Erika… 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Own It {July Linkup}

Welcome back for another Own It linkup. Own anything. Have a confession session. Share the little crazy things about you 


I didn't live with my husband until we were married… 
I will own this one from the rooftops because other than marrying Derek, this was probably my second best decision.  This past year has been such a blessing and I've already learned so much more about Derek and myself that I didn't even know before.
{I 100% know this choice isn't for everyone and have nothing against people who move in first - this just worked for us}.  

I had an adjustment period… 
I've mentioned before, but I'm not a big fan of change - good or bad - I like things how they are.  I left my parent's house as a "roommate" of theirs for the last time two days before my wedding and cried.  I cried when Derek and I ate our first meal in this house (sorry honey!) and I cried on occasion (we're talking like a two - five minute teary eyed cry) the first month after the honeymoon - I just had to adjust and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.  Luckily, God paired me with my match because he didn't think there was anything wrong with it either - he helped me settle in.
(Update - I get homesick every now and again and want to visit home - who doesn't!? But I've stopped the tears, ha!)


I air dry most of our clothes… 
I can thank my mama for this (thanks mom!) She always air dryer the majority of our clothes.  Now I have to do the same.  I put clothes into the dryer to get the wrinkles out for about 20 minutes and take out dresses, t-shirts, shorts, etc.  to hang and let the lesser items - workout clothes, underwear, pajamas, etc. to keep drying in the dryer.

I check to make sure my appliances are off.  Multiple times… 
I probably check my straightener/curler is off at least 3-5 times before leaving the house.  Many times I end up taking a photo to "remind" myself that it's in fact off.  I wait in the driveway to make sure the garage door is down and usually continue watching in my rearview mirror as I drive away (ha, because it *might* just pop back up*).  Before leaving the house for travel or something like that I check the doors probably twice each as well as the stove/oven and sometimes theres even photos of those :)
*If Stella is being left in the house then I'm even MORE crazy about my weird routine…


I can't take the first magazine in the stack.  Ever…
I thought of this one when we were stuck at the airport with a cancelled flight flying to Boston but I never can grab the first magazine in the stack.  US Weekly, Life & Style, Travel & Leisure, Redbook - any of them! I prefer a nice crisp magazine for myself and have been doing this for years.

Fruit mentos before flight… 
I don't quite know how this one started but I always need to get a pack of the fruity mentor at the airport before a flight.  I shouldn't say always - I don't do it every single time anymore but the majority of the time I still do.  I don't know why but it's one of my only superstitions. 


Everything has to be organized…
Can you even tell just from this post?  To do lists, packing stacks, emails - everything needs to be nicely in order and organized - it's just how I need to have it.  There even needed to be the same amount of points under each category today - I had to.

I take way too many pictures…
But without pictures the memory fades away so it's okay - right?? I love having these little pieces of some of my favorite memories to instantly bring me back to those moments.

Ok, your turn! Linkup below.  If you missed out today, the linkup runs through Saturday so join in 
or come back the last Thursday (8/27) of next month! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Life Right Now

I've seen this linkup the past few months and it's looked fun but haven't had time to do it... until today! It's always nice to have a fun little prompt instead of brainstorming a topic on your own so today I'm linkup up with MelShay & Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday...

** Also today you can find me over at Sara's blog today sharing some summer vacation tips while she is away on her summer vacation! **

What We're Eating… 
Recently we've gotten into one new trend that we are really loving - Scallop Tuesday.  Every Tuesday Derek stops on the way home from work, picks up some scallops at a local seafood counter and he makes them for us.

Our summer week meal planning has had some accidental structure to it lately with things just falling into nights and sticking - Monday is usually some kind of grilling, Wednesday is always family dinner & Dining Under the Stars, Thursdays we've been enjoying happy hours/nights with friends or a "fun" dinner on our deck. The weekend nights are always a mix of various things.

shorts: similar style // top: similar style

What I'm Reminiscing About… 
Our weddinghoneymoon and thinking about what we were doing last year during these exact weeks - that was one of the most fun months - to be just weeks away from our wedding with all the excitement.

The day after our wedding - a couple photos in our Mr. & Mrs. shirts before brunching

What I'm Loving… 
Summer.  And everything about it.  We've got just over a little month left and I plan on soaking up every last little bit of this beautiful season we've had this year.

wine glasses: lilly pulitzer // dress: lilly pulitzer // tray: girly twirly

What We've Been Up To… 
We've been on the go a lot lately and are the full swing of "summer weekends away" whether it's a weekend at the lake, out visiting friends or family, a quick weekend vacation - you name it - we've been on the go during the weekends and trying to rest up and low-key it during the week nights.

floral top: nordstrom

What I'm Dreading… 
I try to keep it light around here so I'm drawing a blank on this one.  I guess I'll go with saying goodbye to my sweet pup next month when we go on vacation - she's part of the family - I wish I could bring her along!

What I'm Working On… 
My gardening and putting the final touches on our upcoming vacation! I love me some travel planning.

What I'm Excited About… 
The start of fall - I'm going to enjoy every last little bit of this summer but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't already getting excited for fall, less humidity, college football (go nittany lions!) and the holidays. Some fall clothes shopping too - I love preparing for a new season :)

What I'm Watching/Reading… 
Right now I'm freshly into my book on Princess Kate (which many of you were interested in the other day - I love it!) and have another royal-like book on the horizon thanks to Pamela - The Royal We that I can't wait to read while away.

For watching it's all about those housewives - Orange County and New York, I cannot turn of UnReal on lifetime and am really enjoying the new Astronaut Wives.  I've also become very sucked into the cheesy movies on the Hallmark Channel recently!

Kate The Future Queen: here

What I'm Wearing… 
Lots and lots of sundresses, sandals and linen shorts.  You can see some of my recent favorite looks herehere and here.

dress: similar style

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month… 
Between an anniversary trip as well as our first weekend home in weeks/months I'm most definitely looking forward to some good old  r e l a x a t i o n.  We've also got a weekend trip back to the city we went to college/met for a wedding and I'm looking forward to being back and seeing our best friends.

Honeymooning & Relaxing last year in Bora Bora.  
Top: similar style Monogram Headband: Etsy

What Else is New & What I Will Miss Most About Summer…  
Combining these two - Not much is new other than many nights on the deck as possible, sips of cocktails outside, walks with my sweet pup, al fresco dining, chatting with friends in the fresh air, taking in some sun rays to name a few.

I will so miss these said nights on the deck (do I sound like a broken record yet?!), the little things like grilling and ice cream, the perfect weather that can instantly put you in a good mood and all my bright clothes.

Don't forget to join me in the own it linkup tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recipe Roundup: Summer Edition {2}

I'm back today with the rest of the simple recipes that we've tried out since summer started including not one but two types of potato salad (remember - we never made it "homemade" until this summer) another crockpot entree with crock put hamburgers  and my very first pie - key lime!

Last week I shared the other recipes we've tried out including caprese garlic bread, cucumber appetizer bites and crockpot chicken caesar sandwiches.  If you missed those, you can find them here.

I was too busy eating/enjoying these recipes to take very many (or very good, for that matter) photos but I do have a few…

Sriracha Potato Salad
This was another contribution of mine to the Father's Day menu and out of the two potato salads - this one was definitely a bigger hit (the other one was still very tasty).  With sriracha seeming to be all the rage right now, it seemed perfect to try.  This was one of my finds on my summer eats list and I'm so glad we got it in.

3 pounds red potatoes
bacon bits
2.5 teaspoons white vinegar 
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1.5 teaspoon sriracha (could easily add more)
paprika to taste

+ cook potato chunks to your liking then once done/drained add salt, pepper and vinegar
+ allow potatoes a decent amount of time to cool down slightly
+ combine mayo, sour cream and sriracha then blend that mixture in
+ top with bacon

Loaded Potato Salad 
Another twist of the plain ole regular (but perfectly delicious) potato salad - this time adding in some delicious favorites - cheese and bacon.  The photo below was before the bacon was added on and before it was really mixed together.  We enjoyed this as a special treat for Fourth of July instead of a plain batch.

five pound bag regular potatoes 
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
bacon bits
1 small onion
cheddar cheese - shredded
salt and pepper to taste 

+ cook potato chunks to your liking then once done/drained add salt, pepper and vinegar
+ allow potatoes a decent amount of time to cool down slightly
+ mix mayo/sour cream together and blend in then blend in the onion, cheese and bacon

*I didn't quite use the whole bag and if it's for a group of four or less than I'd definitely cut the recipe in half*

Crockpot Hamburgers
This is one of our new favorite "summer" entrees.  I was starting to get a little tired of how much meat came on the burgers we would cook on the grill.  We tried out turkey burgers and LOVED them but found this alternative and decided to give it a go.  It's a great way to enjoy the burger but enjoy less meat.  It's also tasty having the cheese mixed right in with the beef.

two pounds ground beef
8 oz. velveeta
onion/garlic powders
burger buns and toppings

+ brown ground beef and cut velveeta into cubs then combine in the crockpot with your desired amount of onion/garlic powders
+ heat on low for 1-2 hours or until you think ready for serving (depending on your timing - you could rush these to get them done earlier with some extra stirring/mixing
+ serve with buns and toppings like usually and enjoy.

Key Lime Pie
For Father's Day I really wanted to make Steve a key lime pie because it's his favorite dessert.  With it being my first pie (ever) I wanted to try out something simple… Just in case.  I found a recipe for a four ingredient pie and I was sold!  Everyone was shocked to hear there were only four ingredients involved because it tasted so good.

premade graham cracker pie crust
two 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup lime juice
whipped cream for garnish
*optional: 1 table spoon grated lime zest

+ mix condensed milk, lime juice and sour cream and whisk thoroughly until blended
+ pour mixture into the graham cracker crust
+ bake at 350 degrees for 5-15 minutes but don't over bake
+ chill for at least two hours before serving, top with whipped cream

*the original recipe called to heat the pie for 5-8 minutes or until tiny pinhole bubbles start appearing on the top layer but mine took about 15 minutes to bake to explain the wide window of baking time above*

Linking up with my favorite food linkups - 

Monday, July 27, 2015

On the Lake {Weekending}

We set off this weekend for some time at the lake and a gorgeous weekend it was.  Not a cloud in the sky, the sun shining brightly, no humidity and a nice breeze BOTH days - a completely perfect summer weather weekend.  The dogs were in heaven, in fact, most of this post is photos of them because they are just too cute in the water - they can't get enough and completely tire each other out.

Derek and I went with my parents, brother and both dogs and my aunt, uncle and cousin were there too - we were missing two other families within the extended family but still all enjoyed the weekend and had a great time enjoying the quiet time.

Days spent entirely on the dock and in the sun/shade, afternoons watching the cooking channel and HGTV (those channels are always our go to when away because everyone can enjoy them), a lengthy cocktail hour and relaxing night.

Looking forward to the rest of our visits this summer…

How we usually ride in the car - or she's at my feet.  It's a little over an hour drive up to the lake and we pass through some gorgeous views on the way - so peaceful.

The dogs actually cry at the porch door until they are let out to hit the water - I think "obsessed" doesn't even begin to describe it.

The water temperature was perfect, everyone spent the majority of the day splashing, floating and enjoying.

Floating, reading, sipping a cold beer, soaking up the sun - just a couple of my favorite "lake" activities to enjoy.

After the dock we got cleaned up and everyone settled down on the big front porch for a lengthy cocktail hour.  Margaritas are usually a staple at the lake.

You can't beat the backdrop for happy hour and watching the sunset and a calm go over the lake.

Happy hour is one of my favorite parts of the lake, we always have the best time just laughing, enjoying and sipping - happy hour always turns into hourS and is always a good time.

It wouldn't be a complete night without trying out the selfie stick for a couple photo opportunities. 

Little to no makeup and comfortable clothes are the dress code and I couldn't love it more.  I also couldn't love the packing more - so easy! 

Yesterday morning after a little lounging and breakfast it was straight back down to the dock for another full day in the sun.

Stella was fully a water dog by yesterday and was much more adjusted to the water and really enjoying it - sometimes even swimming without her precious life jacket.  Nash of course couldn't be pulled out of the water for more than about five minutes.

 Derek and my cousin were quite excited for their fishing catch - well actually the whole dock was pretty excited to see their success.  Stella in the bottom photo pretty much sums up the weekend.

 Until next time…