Day 3, 4 and 5: Going Vegetarian – Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Day three and four were pretty uneventful.  Since we were busy running around and attending events, we ate leftovers on Wednesday and ordered a pizza on Thursday. Nothing too exciting.  However, I did notice a few things during this challenge.

Cheese

1. I don’t feel as hungry as I thought.

2. I didn’t lose any weight.

3. Cheese is somehow incorporated in to every meal.

Overall my vegetarian experience has been positive. Next week my husband wants to try the Paleo diet. I tried it once before and liked it, plus I’m up for another food challenge.  This time I won’t cheat two days in.

On Friday (day 5) we had time to make dinner and decided on  stuffed red peppers.  Here’s the run down. Wash two large red peppers, cut off the top and remove the seeds, drizzle with some olive oil and pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 375-400 degrees. While the peppers are cooking, bring two-three cups of chicken broth to a boil, add in one-two cups of quinoa and cook for 10-12 minutes as well. Chop up what ever vegetables you have in the refrigerator – I used zucchini, red onions and green onions.  Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled, throw in the chopped veggies, add you favorite cheese (see cheese is everywhere) mix and stuff in to the red peppers. Layer more cheese on top and pop back in to the oven until warm and toasty.  I use the cheese as my timer – once it’s melted, it’s time to remove.

Stuffed peppers{The photo’s not too pretty…I was in a rush and running late for my riding lesson. }

For a side, I chopped up some red potatoes, coated them in oil, salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper and put them in the oven, which was set at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Instant french fries!

Tonight we will be making Cauliflower Pizza.  It’s delicious, but a pain to make since you have to use a blender.  I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.

Enjoy your weekend! xoxo

Simple Watermelon Margaritas

If you are a fan of watermelon you are going to love this simple margarita recipe. My husband and I whipped up a pitcher last night and the drinks were a huge hit. In fact we had to quickly make another batch because they were so good. And, they were really easy to make, which I loved, and they paired perfectly with the chicken tacos we served for dinner.

Margaritaprep

Now,  I am not a fan of tequila and rarely order margaritas when I go out. But, this watermelon margarita recipe had a subtle hint of tequila thanks to the lemonade, fresh watermelon juice and triple sec. However, don’t let all of the juice  fool you, these drinks had a kick!

MargaritaFinished

Simple Watermelon Margaritas
Makes one pitcher

Ingredients:
5 oz of your favorite white tequila (add more or less to taste)
2 oz of Triple Sec or orange liquor (add more to taste)
2 or 2 1/2 cups of lemonade – I used a store-bought brand called Simply Lemonade
1 – 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 cups of fresh watermelon juice (cut in cubes and toss in the blender)
1 1/2 cup of frozen watermelon cubes (use as a garnish in the pitcher and each cup)
2 cups of ice, or as needed
2 limes

Directions:
In a blender, puree the watermelon and sugar until smooth. Pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer (I did this for the first pitcher but not the second…and you couldn’t tell the difference). Transfer the liquid to a pitcher and add the lime juice, tequila and 2 ounces of the Triple Sec. Stir to combine and top with frozen watermelon.

This recipe is perfect for summer, Saturdays or signature wedding drink. Enjoy! xoxo

 

 

My Vegas Style – Lounging, Lunch and Prada

I’m in full vacation mode so when I was approached to put together a few outfits ideas for the #MyVegasStyle blog challenge,  I graciously accepted. The challenge asked a select number of blogger to put together their take on a day at the Aria Resort and Casino, one of Las Vegas’ premier hotel properties. Since I have never been to Las Vegas, I did a little research before starting the challenge and quickly realized that fashion in Vegas has an anything goes attitude. Perfect, I’m ready to pack my bags!

I decided to keep each outfit very simple. Because honestly who wants to deal with an abundance of clothes when there are drinks to be had and fabulous food to munch. So here it goes…My three looks take me from the pool to lunch with friends and then a romantic dinner with my husband.  Enjoy! xoxo

Lounging Pool Side: Obviously my first stop after a long flight from Fort Lauderdale is straight to the pool and the closest bar for a refreshing drink. My pool side outfit includes a colorful bathing suit, a light cover up, jeweled sandals and a great pair of Ray-Bans. This outfit is easy to throw on or take off, and can transition easily, allowing me to dine, sip, swim or enjoy a spa treatment effortlessly.

 

WhiteCabana                          Bathing Suit: ANTHROPOLOGIE | Cover up: SHOPBOP | Sandals: RIVERISLAND.COM| Sunglasses: RAY BAN


Lunch at Javier’s:
You had me at hand-shaken margaritas…Javier’s gives off a cool vibe and after spending the afternoon at the pool, I feel like a boho romper would be the perfect choice to sip tequila, nibble on Baja specialties and show off my tan. My romper pick, by Blu Moon, features a tie dye pattern, crossover deep V-neck, long sleeves, covered elastic defined waistline and flounce shorts. Combined with a great statement necklace, easy to carry clutch  and nude booties, this outfit is ready to take on the lunch crowd and a little shopping cardio.

LunchatJaviers                 Boho Romper: PLANET BLUE | Clutch: GOLDENPONIES.NET | Necklace: STELLADOT.COM | Sandals: SHOPBOP

Dinner at Jean Georges: When I think of Jean Georges I think of New York. I’m not sure why, because, I’ve never been to Jean Georges in New York or Jean Georges period. But for some reason when I hear the name I think of a style that is classic and sophisticated — with a pop of fabulous. So my dinner look is a little Audrey Hepburn intermingled with the modern-day glamour of Anne Hathaway, circa The Devil Wears Prada. I styled this outfit so every piece has a simple element that demands attention. From the pleating on the dress and cut that hugs your waist to the infamous logo of the Prada bag and the bold patterns on the shoes, which incorporates just the right amount of color for a night out on the town….or the hotel restaurant.  I love simple, but I also love a surprise piece that makes people take a second look. And, please…This dress just screams “twirl me on the dance floor after an amazing Wagyu filet dinner..”

DinnerMyVegasStyleDress: NEOPRENE | Shoes: SOPHIA WEBSTER | Clutch: PRADA

For more information on Aria Resort and Casino, visit aria.com.

Guest Welcome Kits

If your planning a party and think you can get away with forgoing favors, think again. A simple gift to thank your guests is always appreciated and if you put a little thought into it, it can make a big impression.  It took me awhile to put together the perfect I put together a welcome box for guests of our wedding and they were a huge hit.  You can read about them here.

If your looking for something out of the box…Check out these creative suggestions.

Watered Down:

Water Favor
Etsy is a life saver! Especially when planning a wedding.  ClementineWeddings has an array of muslin bags that can be easily tied to a bottle of water for a simple gift.

S’More to Love:

il_570xN.465356147_jbv4
TheFavorBox is your one stop shop for party favors. The ready to fill boxes and gift bags take the stress out of gift giving. There’s lot to choose from and a theme for everyone. All you have to do is add the goodies.


Simple and Chic:

favor bag
A cute personalized bag filled with just the necessities is a perfect way to show your appreciation. It doesn’t have to be filled to the rim, just add a few well thought out items and tie it with a bow.

Happy planning! xoxo

Brioche French Toast

Last weekend I walked into Whole Foods and this happened….

 frenchtoast
Brioche French Toast….and it was amazing.

So this is what you do.  Drive to Whole Foods, grab a loaf of Brioche Butter Bread, pay for it, go home, slice it,and follow the directions of your favorite French Toast recipe.  It’s simple and you will adore it.

Enjoy!

Just Add Water: Kodiak Cakes Review

PancakesKC{Kodiak Cakes: $4.99}

 

There was something intriguing about the brown box sitting on the shelve of aisle 7. Maybe it was the organic packaging or the big grisly bear staring me dead in the eyes. Whatever it was I grabbed the box and didn’t look back.

I found out about Kodiak Cakes from a blog called Livin with Landyn.  My sister-in-law knows the blogger from high school and I started reading her blog since she writes about two of my favorite things — fashion and food.  Thanks to a recent twitter post, Kodiak Cakes was on my radar.

I found the brand at Target and although there are a few other options to choose from that are a little less, Kodiak Cakes are worth the few extra dollars you will spend.  The pancakes tasted homemade and they were light and fluffy.

The directions were simple, just add water, and the results were amazing.  I added a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the mixture and cooked them until they were golden brown.  Topped with Kate’s Homemade butter and maple syrup, breakfast was complete in a little less than 15 minutes.

I highly recommend this brand if you are looking for an easy flapjacks fix.  You will not be disappointed!

Enjoy!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Simple and Delicious Pumpkin Pancakes

Florida has two season – Summer and Fall.  Unlike other parts of the country, where seasons change by a drop in temperature and leaves changing colors, in Florida, we know it’s Fall when Dunkin Donuts introduces their pumpkin line-up. Pumpkin donuts, pumpkin lattes, and this year pumpkin cream cheese.  It’s always exciting and to celebrate the season, I decided to jump on the pumpkin band wagon and make some pumpkin pancakes.

I found this recipe on Epicurious.com and even though I hate following recipes, I pushed through and managed to make a delicious breakfast.

Simple and Delicious Pumpkin Pancakes
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com

What you need:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
a dash of cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups whole milk or skim milk
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

What you need to do:

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend.
Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well.
Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick).
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry.
Fold whites into batter in 2 additions.
Brush large non-stick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat.
Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches.
Serve with syrup.
Enjoy!

Wedding Card Box: Simple and Easy

One of my biggest wedding mistakes was forgetting a card box.  Not only did it leave guests confused as to where to leave their cards but it was a hassle trying to round-up gifts.  I’m sure there is some kind of etiquette about asking for your gifts at a reception but sometimes you have to break the rules… I found this super easy idea while I was supposed to be writing a paper on ethics (grad school gets in the way of everything)…and had to share.  All you need is a wooden box-I found one at Micheal’s Arts and Crafts store, Clothes Pins, Pretty Ribbon and if you have extra time a coat of paint to match your wedding colors. It’s simple and with a little creativity you can make it pretty!

Happy Planning! xoxo