August 30, 2012

Music Spotlight: Lana Del Rey

I have a weird taste in music...

It's okay, I've learned to accept it. But I can't help but want to share my favorite music with you guys.

I'm not a new fan of Lana Del Rey, I've known about her music for a while but I faded away listening to top 40 music until I recently found my way back to the odd kids corner. It's an interesting and very unique sound which is like nothing I've heard before. You can listen to her album on Spotify or buy it on Itunes. You can also take a glance at her VEVO YouTube channel here.

Here's her music video for Blue Jeans - Let me know what you think!


August 24, 2012

Brownie in a mug ☕

Ladies we've all been there - laying in bed, watching chick flicks, and craving chocolate. Not just normal chocolate though. Hershey's isn't going to cut it. We want rich, warm, baked chocolate. Everyone has their itch and lately I've been craving brownies. However the fact that we have no brownie mix and I'm too lazy to go to the store to get any has put a big dent in my craving. Not to mention the fact that brownies take a long time to bake and the fact that I don't need a WHOLE PAN of left over brownies tempting me to eat them are also contributing factors.

That's why, shamelessly, I turned to the Internet to get my quick fix. And I found it.

Brownie in a mug!

I found the original recipe here, but I did tweak it a tiiiiiny bit.

What you need is:

Medium sized mug
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
Chocolate chips (amount to your liking)

Mix all your dry ingredients into the mug until blended. Then add your water and vegetable oil and blend until mixed. Make sure it's well blended so you don't get a clump while you're eating it. The batter may seem thick to you but don't add any more liquids or else you'll throw off the consistency. Once it's mixed, add your chocolate chips. The more you put in the gooey-er and richer it will be. Then after that's mixed, pop it in the microwave for about 1 minute. It might not look done but trust me, it is. You don't want a burnt brownie. You can top it with ice cream if you so choose or enjoy it with a big glass of milk.

(I also had an afterthought of swirling caramel into the mix before microwaving it)

By the way, you can thank me later all you university students with only a microwave to spare. I remember last year me and my roommate would buy those microwave desserts that are about $5 each. These taste so much better and will allow you to make hundreds of brownies for way less money.

Let me know if you try it please! Especially if you swirl in the caramel!


August 21, 2012

Favorite things for Fall

Recently I've been thinking about my style. I envy those who are known for a signature style and I feel like I'm such a mix that I've never been able to define mine. So I cleaned out my closet and have decided to make room for more classy, girlish clothes with a little edge. Here's some of the things I am focusing on when I go shopping lately and some other random things I'm favoring right now and for fall.



Over sized sweaters

Ankle Booties

Nautical items, stripes, navy blue, red, ivory, blazers

Nude nail polish

Dainty gold jewelry and skulls on accessories

Random Items

Small notebooks to tote around in your purse

DIY craft ideas

Cooking and baking all sorts of yumtastic treats

Being happy

I'm sure I could make this blog a lot longer but these are the main things I'm favoring right now. I think I gave a pretty good base of what I like so if you can think of anything else I should keep my eye open for let me know! 

Remember to smile today :)


August 19, 2012

Margarita recipe

It's no secret that Mexico makes the best margarita's. That's why after me and my family went to Cancun this summer we had to find out their secret. As we lingered by the bar waiting for them to make our drinks we casually asked what they put in it to make it taste so good. The magic little ticket is Grand Marnier. It's an orangey liquor and all you need is a spoon full to make the magic work. After we found this out we could no longer settle for plain jane margarita mix.

That's why me and my family tweaked a margarita recipe we found to make it into the magical margarita recipe. The original didn't involve Grand Marnier at all and also used beer instead of sprite. I personally wouldn't have minded that, but the ladies were convinced that putting beer in a margarita would ruin it. Here's what you'll need:

(By one can I mean the can that the limeaide comes in) Mix all the ingredients together except the Grand Marnier and pour over ice. Once in the glass, top it off with one spoon full of Grand Marnier, mix, and serve. This recipe should make about 4 servings. It's light, refreshing, and delicious. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Let me know if you try it!


August 18, 2012

Autumn in August

Imagine this. You're sitting in your house on a crisp, sunny day. You're reading a book and watching the colorful leaves fall off the trees outside. Candles are burning filling the air with amazing smells of cinnamon and pumpkin spice. And to top it all off you are drinking hot chocolate. It's officially fall.

Fall is by far my favorite season for many reasons. I know I'm no weather person but to anyone in the Midwest it's no secret that fall is exactly what it's felt like lately. My twitter has been blowing up with things like "Feels so crisp today!" and "Drinking a pumpkin spice late #welcomefall". The changing of the seasons are always exciting. But why exactly do I love fall? That's what I'm here to tell you.

After living in a state that has four very distinct seasons you start to realize that you get super excited for every new season. For example, us here in Minnesnowta embrace the snow and frostbite weather for the first 2 weeks of winter, but then we get awfully sick of the -20 degree weather and look forward to the point where things start to warm up. You get to pack up your parka, the snow melts, and then all of a sudden it's Spring. (I personally am not a fan of spring because I think things are just soggy and dirty from the build up of snow, but that's a matter of personal opinion) Then comes summer!

Ahh yes, summer. Everyone gets excited to tan, have bon fires, swim, and boat on the huge variety of lakes. But you just wait, about 6 weeks into the summer is when you start to see "The mosquito's are so bad!" "Sooo hot out! Give me winter!" and "I hate construction!"

Ugh... (rolls eyes)

I'm not saying that I'm innocent of complaining about construction and heat, but come on Minnesota. You hate it when it's cold, you hate it when it's warm. Make up your mind. That's why I have chosen Fall as my favorite season. Here's why:

  1. It's just crisp enough for you to comfortably bundle up, you even get thrown a warm day every once in a while
  2. Clothes are easier to style in the fall. You can also show off your warm cozy outfits without covering them up with layers of parka's
  3. Messy buns
  4. Pumpkin/Apple picking. Along with that - carving pumpkins and eating apple butter
  5. Sweaters, boots, and scarves
  6. Spice cake
  7. Movies and blankets
  8. Bon fires. They're just better in the fall
  9. So are S'mores
  10. The colors - orange, red, brown, yellow, purple
  11. The changing leaves are beautiful. Just yesterday on my way to work I saw 5 bright orange trees
  12. Halloween. I love Halloween! All the movies and costumes and candy and scary-ness
  13. Candles that smell like all different spices
  14. Turning your heat on for the first time around thanksgiving
  15. Gingerbread tea with milk and sugar

I could probably keep going all day but I think I've proven my point. If I could find a place to live that was fall weather for about nine months and only had one month of winter, summer, and spring I'd be a happy camper. If that place exists, let me know. I'll make you cupcakes.

What's your favorite season? Why?


August 13, 2012

Florida ☀

Ahh the feeling of sweet sweet sunshine...

Nothing can provide it quite like the Sunshine state which is where me, my friend Brenna, and my mom and dad escaped to for a long weekend. At first we stayed in Sarasota at a cute little boutique hotel named Hotel Indigo.

It was really a cool place. Instead of a pool it had a hot tub and a cold tub... which felt more like a bath tub because it must be hard to cool pools in Florida in the summertime. It had big lounge chairs in the lobby and bikes you could rent. The rooms also each have unique walls that are centered around anything indigo. Our room had blueberries. 

In the middle of the night the blueberries kind of looked like big blue eyeballs looking down at you, but not in a bad way.

The first place we ate was Steak and Shake which had the best fries and shakes... EVER. I forgot to take before pictures of the food but it was presented deliciously I promise.

While we were in Sarasota we went kayaking in the bay, went to Siesta Key and went to the beach (voted number one beach in America, it lives up to that), and we also went to eat at a place featured on Man vs. Food named The Old Salty Dog

Later that night after Brenna and I got all dressed up we went to St. Armands Circle which is has a bunch of boutiques and restaurants. We shopped a little, snapped pictures, and ate the best macaroons I've ever tasted. Caramel Salted Butter. (My mouths watering) They also had a bunch of pretty candies but unfortunately my sweet tooth could only handle one macaroon.

After a long, food filled day with kayaking and swimming - saying we were exhausted is an understatement. We quickly crashed after we got back to the hotel. 

The next morning we woke up, packed, and headed to St. Pete Beach... but not without a few pit stops first.

First stop was Yoder's Amish Village, also a contender on Man vs. Food and famous for their peanut butter cream pie. This is where we had breakfast which was the most amazing breakfast I've ever eaten.  It was dispersed but we all had either the Apple Fritter French Toast or the Raspberry and Cream Cheese stuffed French Toast. YUM.

They also had a couple buildings next door with the freshest produce I've ever seen. I've never called a tomato beautiful, but I have now. They also had fresh baked pies, breads, candies, and other assorted items. 

Next we went to Anna Maria Island and had a pickle picnic on the beach before walking down the pier.

Next we drove the final leg to St. Pete Beach and checked into Tradewinds Island Grand Resort

We checked in and started... the bar crawl. We shamelessly made our way through the six restaurants/bars and finished by watching the sunset on the beach with our last drinks. The rest of the night consisted of pizza, hot tubs, pools, and a random boy that Brenna met. I tried especially hard to be the most awkward third wheel ever. Muahaha. Sorry Brenna.

The next morning we woke up bright and early and hit the beach. We floated in the pool and played in the waves. However, it was ridiculously hot out and we all couldn't stand any more sun by 2:00. So we indulged in some Mimosa's and got dressed to explore!

We found a place called Treasure Island (a legit island for those Minnesota folk reading this, it's not a casino). We shopped a little before moving onto a cute board walk area. For the life of me I'm sad to say I can't remember the name, however it was wonderful. We shopped our little hearts out even more in little boutiques and smelled the mixture of sweet candy shops and a bunch of restaurants. 

After that we were famished and were craving food that was not fried.

 Dear God not fried. 

So we just so happened to find a Steak and Seafood house across the street from our hotel. We moseyed our sun kissed exhausted bodies over there and ate... the. best. food. I've. ever. eaten.

I know people say that all the time, but I'm not joking. It started with pretzel bread with Cajun mustard butter and we then moved onto French Onion Soup. 

Right about now I wish I could insert a wide eyed emoji into this blog. 

IT WAS SO GOOD. If I could have canceled my order and just gotten 3 more bowls of soup I probably would. But I didn't, and I'm glad because I ordered prime rib. 

I've always been a sucker for prime rib, it's probably the only kind of meat I can devour, and this one just happened to be crusted in Parmesan and garlic and the Au Jus sauce wasn't like normal. It must have been mixed with butter or something because it was decadent. 

Not to mention that between the soup and main course they brought you sorbet to cleanse your pallet. But the presentation of the sorbet was the best part.

Sadly the sorbet is the only thing I took pictures of because, as you can probably tell, it was SO dark in the restaurant and I'm a hater on flash.

The next morning we checked out of the hotel and made our way to downtown St. Petersburg. They have this pier with an upside down triangle on it filled with restaurants, shops, and an aquarium. A trolley takes you to and from the parking lot and it's well worth the trip. 

Sadly it will be torn down in May but I'm glad we got to see it while we did. Afterwards we finally made our way towards the airport but had a pit stop at the mall. They have a goooood mall.

Sigh. We then went to the airport and got to see a mob waiting for gold medalist track runner Tianna Madison. Her family and the news was there but we had to get to our plane before she showed. We picked up Starbucks and very good pizza before heading onto the plane. We read magazines for three hours and voila we were home sweet home.

All in all this trip was filled with the best food and shopping I've indulged on in a long time. It was also a fantastic way to kick off my last three weeks of summer that I don't have summer classes. So now I'm going to relax and do nothing but blog and pack for moving back to school in these next couple weeks.

Stay tuned!