Thursday, July 31, 2014

Travel Thursday

Hi Y'all!

Happy Thursday, but what I am really trying to say is it's not quite Friday yet :(.  But I am a believer that you control your mind and your emotions, so I am going to turn my morning around from one that I didn't want to get out of bed to I am going to eat right and have a great day today!

So I am trying to think what I should talk about today. Should I talk about the three trucks I have now visited, or wait till next week so then I can hopefully try some more? I probably won't get to a truck today anyways, so I think I will wait.  So then I was hoping to share a post with y'all about my time in Turkey a year and a half ago.  I was inspired to share those old photos because I read this great article about how this city in Turkey has the best baklava ever! And to be honest, the food was awesome over there - well especially the sweets and the apple tea. But I was trying to use flickr for the first time to upload my pictures from my old mac and that was not going well... so now I have had to move on to a different topic...

I have a pretty good list of places to eat in Austin now but I want to hold off until its time to go back and visit (probably over Labor Day weekend).  I am going to Indiana next week to visit family that I haven't seen since before college but you don't really hear about how you must go here or there in Indianapolis.  But my family lives there and that will be a great enough adventure though after a quick pinterest search, I really want to go visit Turkey Run State Park though its about 65 miles outside of Indianapolis so I don't think I will get to that.

Looks rather beautiful. So I think I am left with someplace that I really want to visit.  I am still debating with my best friend S whether we should go to Las Vegas (where I will run a half marathon) for my birthday or should we go to Harry Potter World and take advantage of the sales she came across over the weekend.  I really want to do both but can only do one and since we are those people who are complete nerds and not into binge drinking, I have a feeling that we might do the latter.  Plus this way, it doesn't make training/running feel like a chore for me anymore.  

S has been to harry potter world twice now but her first time was prior to them building Diagon Alley (I think) and the second was last week, she was working down there and had an evening free so she went and checked out Diagon Alley and told me we have to go... so maybe I am thinking that it wouldn't be too bad to spend the money going there rather than Vegas... I mean Vegas will always be there (though I do want to see Britney Spears in concert) but I feel like I can only go with a friend (and without kids) for a little while longer without judging myself as well as being judged.  Though I grew up with HP so there...

But ok here are some pictures she sent to me and now I really, really, really (with a cherry on top) want to go!
The Leaky Cauldron

the dragon on top of Gringott's Bank

The way to Knockturn Alley

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes

Number 12 Grimauld Place

The Knight Bus

King's Cross Station

I mean it's "bloody brilliant!" I really want to go...and I also now really want to re-read and re-watch all the Harry Potter books and movies!

Thanks for reading!

With joy,

A


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tasty Tuesday

Hey Y'all!

Sorry for the super late post!  I decided to post it on Wednesday, so that way I can get every detail right and make this post perfect and also because by the time I could work on the post it was already late in the afternoon.  I want it to reflect how completely perfect this dish tasted and made me feel! Delicious does not even begin to accurately describe this recipe. It was total inspiration, and I ended up combining three recipes to make this BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM POUND CAKE WITH A LEMON GLAZE!




Isn't it glorious?!?! And so delicious! Perfect balance of fruit and sweetness! It can be eaten alone or eaten with ice cream or some mint on top, who knows! You can go crazy.  The fact that I am staring at it now, makes me even more hungry, I may have to make it again!

Recipe for the batter:


  • 2 sticks (1/2 lbs) of butter (unsalted)
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3-4 cups of fresh blueberries (or more or less depending on how you want it to look).
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2) Large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  
3) Add the sour cream


4) Mix until well combined
5) Using a strainer or sifter, sift the baking soda and flour from one bowl to another (completely separate)

6) Then add to the large bowl alternating with one egg at a time and continue to mix.


7) Add the vanilla and mix to well combined
8) Stop using a hand or stand mixer, and fold in the blueberries




9) Make sure pan is greased (I use coconut oil spray) - really well greased all sides and center.
10) Pour mixture into pan (now I made a bit too much so I should have poured the rest into a ramican but I just poured it all in and had to later clean out the bottom part of my oven!


11) Cook for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
12) Use knife to cut the edges and turn it over onto a plate after waiting 10-20 minutes
12) Let it cool for at least 10 more minutes before adding glaze.

Recipe for Glaze:
  • 3/4 cups of powder sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
1) Combine in a bowl and stir together 
2) Pour over the top of the cake and let it harden.

EAT and ENJOY! 

Thanks for reading!

With joy,

A

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday

Hey Y'alL!

It is going to be an extremely busy day! And, all I want to do is sleep :( I don't know what it is but I feel like I didn't sleep at all last night which is a complete falsehood.  I was in bed before midnight, though I should have been asleep much sooner.  Stupid Netflix and my obsessive behavior tendencies (this time it was the old show Numb3rs - love it)!

I thought I would share something that really peaked my interest and my obssessiveness this weekend.  It is coffee books but also books that I want to read that would look good as coffee books! Below are 4 that I really want to get ASAP (and you can find them on Amazon probably for much cheaper than you could elsewhere)!  However, I am going to just admit to my obsessiveness right now and say that I actually have a list of about 25 books that I want but I figured I should hold off and not overwhelm anyone, especially me!

I think this book looks just fantastic and I have heard great things about it!  To top it off, I am in love with Cameron Diaz! You go girl! 

Well since I am already obsessed with LC's blog and everything she does (I have been a fan of hers since the days of Laguna Beach...remember that?!?!) so it shouldn't be a surprise that I want to read and show off her books!

I mean ... this book is me! It isn't just something I want, it is now something I need!

Lastly, if you follow any of my past posts, then you know that I have become hooked on Haylie Duff's show the Real Girl's Kitchen, its basically a blog in television version on the Cooking Channel.  I literally plan my Saturday around that show - no joke! 2 pm I am at my place watching it, and then watch Sweet Julia afterwards - so many inspirations period! I've been meaning to check out her blog that was the inspiration for the show and then I also came across her book, so you know, got to have it!

Thanks for reading! 

With joy,

A

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hey Y'all!

Sorry for not posting yesterday, but I was just not feeling well at all!  I could barely do my job let alone do anything else.  I, however, did try a new food truck, even though all I wanted was a burrito from Korilla BBQ food truck, and it was ok.  I have made a committment to try at least two new food trucks each week for the next month because well I am young and can't be set in my ways and need to share with you. Today, I am actually planning to try a new food truck that I learned about last night watching Eat Street. It's called Okadaman, traditional Japanese food! I need to try it as soon as possible!  I hope that they are not located too far away from me today.

Ok so onto my favorites from this week:

1) Check out this article about Good Morning Habits! I am going to try to make sure that I do most, if not all of these every day!

2) I can't wait to visit and try out these different top French Bakeries!
3) Can't wait to try and make this smoothie with my figs that I bought last weekend.  I have been putting it off under the excuse that I am too busy but really it's because I am a little scared to try it... I have never had figs but it looks so delicious!  Recipe is actually on Blogilates Instagram:
Sorry for the awful image.  I really have no idea how to take something from instagram and save it or copy the picture but you can see a much better version on Blogilates Instagram.
Here is the recipe for it - and it is such a perfect summer recipe:
For 1 serving: 2 fresh figs 4-5 frozen strawberries 1/2 cup of frozen mango 1 TBS peanut butter 1 cup unsweetened almond milk The seeds from the fig give an unexpected but delightful crunch! I know you'll love this combination!

4) I also have a huge carton of blueberries and I need to make some delicious blueberry recipes.  I know I mentioned that a couple of weeks ago.  But here are some recipes that I really want to try!  



Blueberry PB Smoothie - I had to include one! I mean this is really what started my blueberry craze!

5) And, just to continue my craze with the Cooking Channel, I saw this recipe last weekend and I want to make it so badly.  Any reason you can think of for where I will need to make a Chocolate Banana and PB Ice Box Cake?

6) Regarding fashion, I am obsessed with this look that Olivia Palermo wore this last week!

7) Anyone else see the incredible boho wedding dress the Olsen twins' designed.  As well as their own incredible dresses they wore to the wedding.  Oh my goodness, can they be my best friends as well? I mean I did grow up with them, in a matter of speaking... 


8) Lastly, this blogger, Pink Peonies, always nails great fashion looks! I am obsessed with this white summer dress.  I need it. Supposedly it is sold out at GAP, but I am going to call and call and bother GAP until they find one for me in my size.  It is so gorgeous and yet still work appropriate. 
I also love her Valentino flats, but I am not in a place right now to afford it.

Thanks for reading!

With joy,

A




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I am currently craving...

Hey Y'all!

I am still madly in love with the Nordstrom Anniversary sale but now I am only able to "window shop" because my credit card/bank account can't take anymore!

But during my window shopping, I came across these gorgeous Kate Spade pumps and then I continued to check out the different shoes offered by Kate Spade New York brand.
This pair is on sale at Nordstroms and are so cute (perfect shoe for work and for the fall)! 
I love these neon pink heels.  I don't know if I could pull them off but I am so drawn to them!

I am completely obsessed with these!! I think that I saw Olivia Palermo wear a similar pair! 

These are so perfect for the summer and I am just obsessed with any piece that had lemon prints.

I keep thinking I need a good pair of snakeskin flats, I was originally thinking of getting Tory Burch ones but to be honest, their flats don't fit me really well. 

Lastly, I am completely obsessed, OBSESSED, with this design.  I think this is totally cute and gorgeous! Now some of these are available at Saks or at Nordstrom.

Thanks for reading!

With joy,

A




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tasty Tuesday

Hey Y'all!

I figured, today, I would share a recipe from this weekend but also how I want to make it better!

Ok so Sunday was basically a munchie day, let me eat anything I can get my hands on while watching the cooking channel kind of day.  I basically spent the day sleeping, eating or cleaning! I had watched the new episode of Sweet Julia which reminded me of a similar dish that Giada had inspired me to make years before.  It is really simple:


  1. pour 1/2 -3/4 cup of sugar into a saucepan over medium heat
  2. let it melt, but to prevent it from burning and also to help it cook evenly, you should keep swirling it just using your wrist to move the pan around.  
  3. after it is melted turn the heat lower, and add peanuts (I added honey roasted peanuts) and 1 tbsp of butter.  let the butter melt and make sure the peanuts are coated (you can also add as much or as little as you like)
  4. then pour the mixture out onto a baking pan that has been covered with parchment paper (very important since otherwise it will stick to the pan and make cleanup nearly impossible!!)
  5. Let it cool and harden (it can go faster if you put it into the fridge or freezer but I didn't have room so I just let it sit there for about 20 minutes.  
  6. Then you can break it into as many pieces and designs as you like and you have a sort of peanut brittle.  Now you can eat it like that, it is delicious, but I actually hate caramel because I am one of those people who hates foods sticking to my teeth but I lvoe to add it as topping for smoothies and mousse.
I actually broke it up into pretty small pieces and used it as a crunchy topping for my mixture of vanilla non-fat greek yoghurt and peanut butter mixture that I had made earlier and it was so satisfying (basically is equal parts and then add more of either if the flavor isn't right).  
However, I really want to make this recipe that I saw on Sweet Julia and it is a peanut butter mousse that is super easy to make!  

I also finally bought my first figs and can't wait to make a smoothie with them! I bet that will be my next recipe to share (I got the inspiration from Blogilates) so ... I am interested to see if I will like the flavor. 

Thanks for reading!

With joy,

A

Monday, July 21, 2014

Makeup I am lusting after!

Hey Y'all!

I had a long weekend and yet still didn't get nearly enough done! I feel like I need one more day added to the weekend! Can we do that?  Also, sorry for the super late post, I actually am an idiot and forgot to publish it earlier this morning! my bad!

But, I thought that today, I would share makeup that I am lusting after and know that I will eventually be purchasing, once I use up whatever I have left.






All of these items can be purchased at Sephora, except for the perfume which is Birchbox.  But basically I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup.  Always have been and continue to be!  I really just need a moisturizer with spf - usually use aveno, but in the Summer when I get a little color, I like to show that off and use a tinted moisturizer.  I normally go to Laura Mercier for that but I really have heard great things about this organic one by Tarte.  I also only use concealer for my bags underneath my eyes and maybe for a zit here or there but I have heard just amazing things year after year about the YSL Eclat that I have to try it once I use up what remains of my concealor!  The two bottom products reflect the influence that bloggers have on me but I am excited to still try them even though they have a pretty high price point!  Lastly, the Korres moisturizer is supposed to be great for your skin and all natural so I want to try it as a replacement from my Clinique moisture surge even though I have used that for years and still love it.

Thanks for reading!

With joy,

A