Friday, June 1, 2012

flashback friday: birthday countdown

 Ichetucknee Springs, June 2011.
Glasses: Forever 21. Bathing suit: Handmade, my mom. Shorts: Almost Famous.

My birthday is eight (eight!) days away. And while I do have a pretty crappy track record with birthdays, it doesn't stop me from getting super excited and giddy with glee.
This year I hope to keep things simple and fun. I usually start planning birthday festivities months in advance, but as I've gotten older (I'm so old!), I've realized how much I just want a simple night with great food, great company, and a great outfit.
Last year, the husband decided we take a trip up north - north Florida, that is - to go tubing down a river and hang out in a natural spring.
We got a small group of us together and made our way up.
A speeding ticket, a late arrival, the middle of nowhere, and one disastrously epic car dilemma (it took us 6 hours and about $250 to get a wheel bearing off. a wheel bearing!), and it was definitely a trip to remember.
And one that we probably won't do again..
Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

currently loving: tastes of summer

summer is upon us!
my sweat informed me of that many weeks ago.
it is (arguably) my favorite season. one that I fill with numerous beach trips, lots of grilling and outdoor eating, plenty of summer dresses and tons of fun, bright color.
my birthday falls in summer and a fantastic trip awaits (in a month or so, anyway).
bring it, summer. bring it.

YOLO's espresso ice cream sandwich with white chocolate cinnamon sauce.

Tangerine toenails and hot pink flip flops.
Color: New York Color in Sunny Side Up. Flip flops: Old Navy.

Totally should have purchased this, but I was practicing self-control for once.
Dress: Target. Necklace: Key West Shell Warehouse. Bracelet: gifted, Kameleon.

Homemade granola and greek yogurt parfaits.

Mojito tuesdays! With plenty of fresh limes, mint, and a mint simple syrup.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

tres leches for mom

my mom is a simple gal.
she grew up in Argentina, practically raised on her grandfather's farm. breakfast, lunch, and dinner came straight from the earth. the cows were milked in the morning. if you wanted an apple, you picked it from the tree.
a simple, but rich, life.
she likes her fruits, her vegetables, her soy milk, her whole grains.
but she also loves a gooey, creamy dessert.
(no chocolate for her.)
tres leches cake is one of her favorites: vanilla cake soaked in a concoction of three different milks and slathered with whipped cream.

does it get any better than this?
a friend gave her her recipe, but it never quite worked out. the call for boxed cake mix should have been the red flag. after numerous attempts, she decided buying a slice at the grocery store was her best bet.
when I saw Alton Brown make the cake, I knew it would be perfect. the man can do no wrong.
so this past mother's day I made her the cake.

and she had a big cake all to herself.
sweet, moist, creamy, perfect.

the mix of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and half and half make for a winning combination.
and when you pour it over the cooled cake, you'll think you've made some horrible mistake.
(so much liquid!)
but in about 5 minutes, you'll realize it was no mistake at all. it was just right.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

flashback sunday: happy mother's day

my grandma, my uncle, and my mom (in a handmade dress, of course), 1975, at my uncle's graduation. snazzy, huh?
happy mother's day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

color wave

With every new season that arrives, it brings something to love.
Spring lets the sun shine, the flowers bloom, and the plethora of colorful pieces to come charging out of the closet.


I've always been partial to pops of color. I used to paint each nail a different color, wear bright green eyeshadow with everything, and let my red pointy-toed flats or thrifted hot pink tennis skirt do the talking.


Now that bright colors are in more than ever, I can say that I'm just falling into the trend, but truth is: I've always been one for color. Now it's just ok to wear my bright yellow flip flops with my bright orange bag and my bright pink shorts. 
Though it's not like you ever really need an ok. I wear it cause it's fun. 


This skirt is tons of color and twirly fun, but to keep it fairly subdued and basic, I paired it with a black cami. Perfect for a spring day.

Necklace, Skirt, Purse: Forever 21. Flip Flops: Old Navy. Bracelet: gifted, Kameleon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

a cheeseburger

To be honest, if I had to pick one favorite food it would have to be a cheeseburger. A greasy, gooey, cheesy cheeseburger.
And I don't mean a big, fat patty on a big bun. Although, that's ok, too.
I'm more of a fan of the thin patty charred perfectly on a flattop so you get the crispy outside and a juicy inside. And a big slab of cheese to melt all over it.
It's my kind of meal, what can I say?
Well, I can say that I have been living off of these cheeseburgers for a couple of weeks now.


Bacon turkey burgers. Is there anything else in the world?
Unlike those who prefer to season the outside of the patty, I'm a firm believer in seasoning the meat and mixing it up.
A big sprinkle of salt, a decent sprinkle of pepper, and a dash or so of garlic powder. A good char on a grill and a slab of cheddar (though I also had some manchego laying around and that was all sorts of delicious).
I also like to cook my bacon on the grill, too. Lay a piece of tin foil down and use that as a skillet almost. The bacon crisps up beautifully.
All other rules remain: flip only once, don't press down. Oh, but cook it all the way through.
This is not the place for a medium burger.
The result is one tasty, juicy, healthier option.


Gouda and Cheddar Cheeses.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

for the -aholic in all of us

I am a serious chocolate-peanut butter-aholic.
And because I am a serious chocolate-peanut butter-aholic, I absolutely could not pass up this little gem when I came across it at Target last week.


It's been hanging around ever since, sort of mocking me with its "I'm so awesome, what exactly are you going to do with me??" grin.
I contemplated something simple to really highlight those chocolate and peanut butter flavors: maybe a simple cookie or cupcake or even a blondie.
And then I decided why not just make it a chocolate and peanut butter explosion??


I went with this recipe that I've been making for who knows how long (substituting the chips for the peanut butter cups).
It's funny, brownies were always the one thing I made terribly. And then one day that brownie recipe came along and I was no longer the terrible brownie maker.
But once I added peanut butter to the mix it went way beyond no longer being the terrible brownie maker. They were deee-licious.

Dusted with a little flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom.

You could very easily make basic brownies, but honestly, once I made the peanut butter ones, I haven't (except for rare occasions) gone back.
They are just too good.
And they are the perfect treat for the chocolate-peanut butter-aholic in all of us.

Sometimes, all you need is a fork.