Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beach Body Ready


John and I were talking last night about a trip to Vegas that might be happening in the near future, and we both decided we have some work to do before jumping in those bathing suits!
 Are you beach body ready? I'm not quite there at the moment, but found a few go-to workouts that may be the ticket to toning up fast!

Here are a few I may just be using at home! 

Get toned in minutes -Health Magazine


The weekend slim-down - Fitness Magazine

And the training begins....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Winter Goal, Macarons



My goal for the end of this winter, is to teach myself how to make delicious macarons!
I have always had a love for these cookies, and French food in general...for, they are the masters of finding beauty and balance in simplicity and elegance.

The delight macarons add to any occasion is amazing...think about how impressive it would be if you were able to whip up a batch of these beautiful cookies for a party... 

Martha Stewart's website has a recipe that looks simple enough, so I will take at them this week. If you want to join in on the "winter-goal fun", I have attached the recipe, but will list the ingredients from the website (for convince) down below!

Ingredients

  • For The Macarons

    • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 3/4 cup almond flour
    • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
    • Pinch of cream of tartar
    • 1/4 cup superfine sugar

Monday, February 27, 2012

To Be In Bed


What I would do to be in bed with my kindle, John, Ballou and a tray of wonderful breakfast foods...

I don't know how I did it, but somehow I seemed to piss off my left ankle. It happened Thursday of last week, when I tucked my legs underneath my bottom while at my desk. A few e mails later, I changed positions and started to notice some shooting pains...
Now, I know it sounds crazy that it took a little awhile for me to notice shooting pains, but remember I do have Lupus, and pain shoots through my body whenever it feels the need to do so (and in a way, it's a good thing I can ignore slight aches!). 
This weekend passed, and it was just a minor irritation... that was until last night. A continuous dull ache set in and has yet to miss a throbbing beat.

Oh, what I would do for that bed!
Alas, life keeps moving, painful or pain-free... and maybe it's better that way in the end. Time well spent may take the focus away long enough to forget the pain... at least for a little bit anyways!

P.S. As I was thinking about that tray with breakfast foods, I realized I don't have a tray at home! Moving to the top of my list "to buy soon" are these awesome trays from West Elm...



Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Word Day


It's Friday and sleeting here in Chicago!
 I took Ballou out for a walk, and couldn't get myself to make it all the way around the block. All the wet, snowy weather makes my bed look even more inviting... 
What will you be doing this weekend? 
Whatever you do, I hope you have fun and feel beautiful doing it! 

(P.S. I found this picture and had to put it up! she is stunning and the inspiration for my word choice!)


Beautiful- having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind.

*Synonyms- pleasing, delightful, nice, stunning, sublime

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lemony Prawn and Pea Risotto


I don't know if it's the weather, or if it's just me, but I have been craving good seafood lately. John and I went out to one of my all time favorite restaurant last night, where they are known for their seafood. John go the lobster roll, we shared some mussels, and then I go and order the veggie burger! Everything was yummy, but I did leave wanting more of a fish-filled experience... Hopefully this recipe will help satisfy my cravings!


Serves 4
  • 400 g bag raw prawns, in their shells, defrosted if frozen
  • olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded, half sliced and half finely chopped
  • 1½ l fish stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 300 g risotto rice (we used arborio)
  • 1 small glass white wine
  • 200 g frozen peas
  • zest and juice 1 lemon

    1. Peel the prawns, keeping the heads and shells. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the prawn shells and heads with the sliced chilli until they have toasted and changed colour. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer.
    2. Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
    3. Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring with each addition until absorbed. Stir through the prawns and peas. Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer. Cook until the prawns change colour. Stir through the chopped chilli, lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Let the risotto rest for a few mins, then serve, topped with the lemon zest.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grow Bottle

My bank account is not big enough to buy all of the wonderful things I keep finding online. I never knew I needed the stuff until it crossed my path!

Take these Grow-Bottles for example; made from reused wine bottles, these creative vessels create a little herb garden...
 Seriously amazing idea and such a cute gift for any of your foodie or green thumbed friends....reduce, reuse, recycle in style!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday


Happy Fat Tuesday! According to the Catholic calendar, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which makes today the last day to really party like a rock star before Easter (April 8th this year).

Have you heard of Paczki's before (pronounced as, PUNCH-KEYS). They are, pretty much, fresh filled doughnuts, and  I do not know how I  haven't had one... fried dough is one of my all time guilty pleasures!
I love this article I found on the tradition of Paczki's and how to make an alternative. Seriously, you have to check it out, because it's fascinating. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Where would you be?



If you could be anywhere in the World with one person, right now, where would you land?
 I just closed my eye's and pictured John and I on a beach in Costa Rica... we were in our bathing suits, learning how to surf...
 If I keep that thought in my head, maybe it will come to fruition...
I wanna know where you would go... and with whom!

"Don't let your dreams be dreams" -Jack Johnson


Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Word Day


How peaceful is your slumber? Do you flip your bed on a regular basis? Do you think it impacts your rest?

 John was convinces my bed was crooked, so I decided to take it apart last night, just to make sure everything was straight...  Flipping my queen mattress was not the easiest thing I have ever done in my small bedroom. This made me realize that I had not flipped my mattress in over a year!

I found this article that breaks down the best way to care for a mattress... all information I must have been oblivious to... Like flipping your bed 4 times a year, and having a frame with at least six contact point (number of legs) to give you proper support. Now that I know this, I will renovating my bed and will let you know if my slumbering nights improve.

Sending you my positive energy, and wishing you a peaceful weekend! Here's Fridays Word:

Becalm- to keep motionless by lack of wind; to stop the progress of; to make calm

*Synonyms: soothe, calm, lull, quiet

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Stamps

My coworker and friend bought a book stamp for his girlfriend, and I thought it was one of the most thoughtful gifts ever! They are so cool, and there are so many people I want to get one for. There are many great designs, and the stamps are personalized for you. If you are searching for a gift to give your favorite bookworm, check out this etsy artist out!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fun Facts


John and I were talking about Holidays last night, and he asked if Valentines day was celebrated in Europe... I said yes immediately, but when asked to back up my answer, I couldn't...SSSSSOOOOO This morning I decided to look up if it was, and found that, England's King Henry VII  proclaimed Valentines day a holiday back in 1537!

I also found another interesting fact that doesn't really have anything to do with my story, but I want to share...  Did you know that the largest cell in the human body is the female egg, and the smallest is the male sperm? So cool, right?

My facts were found here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

(Cupcakes from an office party! Holy Yummy!)

Happy Valentines Day! I know there are many people who hate this holiday, but I think it's a wonderful time to celebrate something so important... LOVE! Thank you for all the love you have shared with me through visiting my blog and posting great comments! I love you for all that you are and all that you do!

You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. -Sam Keen

Monday, February 13, 2012

Almond Crescent Cookies


In the winter, my Oma (grandmother) used to make so many cookies, you could feed a small village and still have coolies left over. These crescent cookies were always one of my favorites, and Martha's recipe is easy, simple and delicious! 

Almond Crescent Cookies
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Vanilla sugar (for rolling) 
Directions

- Beat all ingredients until combined, about 2 minutes. Let rest at room temperature for about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a crescent shape. Place on a baking sheet and repeat. 
- Bake until cookies are light and golden brown (25 to 30 minutes) cool on tray for 10 minutes. And then roll in vanilla sugar.

*Oma used powdered sugar instead, which is oh so yummy as well!

Home-made vanilla sugar

Split 2 vanilla beans and place in an airtight container with 2 cups sugar. Let stand overnight (can last for up to 3 months)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Style Child


Can I just say, that I wish I look as cool as the girl in the top picture when I go out... and I also wish John wore yellow pants... just sayin...gotta also tell ya that this mensstyleblog is good!

Friday Word Day


Hello Everybody! I cannot tell you how happy I am for Friday to be here... A few days ago, a horrible cold  attacked my life, and I am really hoping I can take this weekend to nurse myself back to health... John has also planned Valentines day dinner outing Saturday night as well, so hopefully I won't be as snotty by then!

Any fun weekend excursions going on you want to share?

Here is the Friday word to add into your weekend vocabulary!

Ridiculous- causing, or worthy of ridicule or derision; absurd; preposterous and laughable.

*Synonyms: Farcical, nonsensical, laughable 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Dream of Biscuit


I woke up dreaming of biscuits... A warm buttermilk biscuit with melting layer of butter...heaven in your mouth. when I saw this Biscuit Bar, I just fell in love! what a great idea for an easy morning brunch idea.

Here is one of the recipes I go from when I make biscuits from scratch!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Probiotics


Are you on the Probiotic wagon? Do you know what they actually are?
 Probiotics (or friendly bacteria) are milk fermented with lactic-acid bacteria, which inhibits the growth of proteolytic bacteria because of its low PH level (produced by the fermentation of the lactose).

They not only help with your overall health, but can really treat many indigestion issues one might have. 
I get my probiotic in keifer (a cross between milk and yogurt) and Greek yogurt, but know you can take a vitamin form as well if you are not a dairy kinda person. Sometimes the Health World can be so overwhelming with all the things we should and should not be doing, eating, thinking and seeing... but I honestly can feel and see the benefits of probiotics... what about you- do you have probiotics in your diet?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gojee



Lately, I have been in love with the Gojee app on Google Chrome... They have an arsenal of recipes for any ingredient you want to use... food or drink! I had an abundance of carrots last week and wanted to use them before they went bad, so I enter "carrot" into the top search bar (labeled I crave), and many different kinds of recipes appeared... all with different takes on that same ingredient. 
It's a super great tool for anyone looking for new uses on staple ingredients, or for learning how to cook with new ingredients you might not be too familiar with. Check it out, and have fun exploring!

P.S. there is also a place to put ingredients you dislike, so the recipes generated will not include ingredients you despise or are allergic to...what will they think of next!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Growing Older


And since I am sharing great words today, let me also share this...

Fact #93


I do not know the other 92 facts before this, but I found this awhile ago and just wanted to share it with you all... So great, right?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Word Day


Hello Friday! Almost Super Bowl time, and I don't know about you, but I'm ready to eat some food, watch a game (even though I am not a fan of either team) and judge some commercials! 
Victoria Secrets sent an e mail about their commercial... they even have a You Tube clip, persuading you to vote for their it!


For some reason, that just makes me laugh... I have never thought of underwear/lingerie and football mixing well, but then again, I like both, so I guess it is a better combination than I thought.

Ok, now onto Fridays word! Enjoy your weekend, and the football game! 

Merriment - gaiety, fun or mirth; emotions experienced when in a state of well-being

*Synonyms: Entertainment, excitement, fun




Thursday, February 2, 2012

Breakfast Food


I just found this recipe for overnight Blue Berry French Toast! Oh my! 


And this one for Apple Cider Pancakes... Now this is the definition of Morning Glory!

Valentines Cards


Aren't these Vintage Valentines so great? 
Are you going to send out Valentines cards to anyone special?  I think I am going to make some, and would love to have girlfriends over for a wine and card-making party!  Some people think the Holiday is stupid, but I will celebrate LOVE every chance I can get... that's what you get for a marshmallow of a heart...
Paper Source has lots a cute stuff to make cards if you are interested... check it out!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Hour Drinks

Ok, so I know it's not summer, but I found this list of amazing Happy Hour drinks that are bright, light and wonderful... and I don't want to wait for a warm summer day to share them! Click here to check them out, and drink up!  

(This is the drink that made me want to share the whole list - it's called Summertime in Paris, and I am in love with all things Parisian chic!-)

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