Monthly Archives: June 2012

Cocchi Americano spritzin cocktail

Last month Kh and I went to an all ladies Cinco de Mayo party, where we were introduced to cocchi americano – an aperitif wine that Kh immediately fell in love with. The moment she tasted it, I could see hearts dancing in her eyes.

A couple of weeks ago Kh went on a aperitif hunt to find the new love of her life. It’s  not an easy thing to come by, but certainly worth it. She had gotten the idea for a refreshing (and incredibly simple) cocktail(spritzer?) recipe to take to our friend Kate’s (from sippets and sharpies) birthday party.

What you’ll need..

  • A bottle of Cocchi Americano
  • An orange
  • A bottle of club soda
  • Ice

Now you…

Cut up the oranges and set them aside. Mix the bottle of cocchi americano with the club soda. A ratio of 1:1 worked well for us, add the orange slices and ice. Let sit in the fridge to cool. How easy is that?

We decided to mix everything in a large mason jar. I took some orange fabric I had left over and decorated the top of it, and put a ribbon on the side just for that extra touch. It matched the orange slices and I was real happy with how it all came out.



Dee-lish! Hello Summertime.



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Whats in my June birchbox

I had been seeing advertisements, and even other bloggers talking about this website called Birchbox. The gist of it goes like this – you subscribe (and may be put on a waitlist), fill out a questionnaire so they can assess what samples to send your way, pay $10 a month and you’ll receive hand-picked beauty products and lifestyle samples in a neatly packaged little box. I love getting things in the mail, and even more so I love getting new samples of products. After about 3 weeks of waiting, I got my email that it was my turn to finally sign up.

I took the plunge! My first box came in May. I was a little.. disheartened with it. My favorite item in the box was a sample of nail polish, disco nap was the color. Gold and glittery! Other samples included a headband, water fuse beauty balm, and beauty blender cleanser (which is used to clean off makeup brushes etc). All in all perhaps I just signed on at not such a good month? Well, I was hoping that was the case. At that point it seemed like I got a $10 nailpolish.

Now the month after May.. June! I was a bit hesitant to open the box, for fear I’d be disappointed again. I haven’t had enough time to actually try all of the products, but here’s what I got.

:: Cynthia Rowley Band-Aids
Designer Cynthia Rowley band-aid brand adhesive bandages, how cute right? Not your usual skin colored boring band-aid. I always liked band-aids with fun prints on them, I even have pac-man band-aids sitting in my bathroom at this very moment. I haven’t (thankfully!) gotten hurt recently requiring a band-aid, but the designs are super cute.

:: Melvita Floral Water
Now this I have tried. I’m a big (big) fan of any kind of hydrating mist/floral water. Especially this particular one. It’s described as being good for skin that has been exposed to sun, and helps to heal delicate skin. Well, delicate? Kind of. Sun exposed? Definitely. The scent I received (Rose) wasn’t that offending either. I can be real sensitive to smells at times, and I’m glad I didn’t get lavender. Headache central for this gal.

:: theBalm cosmetics Stainiac
Two-in-one lip and cheek stain you say? When I first saw the words “cheek stain” I was a little hesitant. But after watching the video tutorial they have on the site (linked above) I was sold. The stain is lightweight and doesn’t have a sticky consistency. I’ve used it on only my lips so far, and actually really loved it. Put a clear gloss over it for more of a shine and you’re good to go.

:: Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner
When it comes to my liquid eyeliner, I’m more than a little picky. I hate eyeliner that peels or flakes off after a couple of hours, needing constant reapplication. I tried this eyeliner for a photoshoot recently and was fairly happy with it. The color (I got olive, not my first choice but hey stepping outside my boundaries!) worked pretty well with my complexion and I never would have tried it otherwise. It had long lasting wear and the tip was easy to apply.

:: Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream
Ok so this one is still in the package, I have yet to touch it, BUT after reading the description I’m already sold on it. The formula is natural, no artificial dyes, fragrances or petroleum and Japanese mountain climbers use it when scaling Mount Everest. How cool is that? It’s ideal for dryness, flaky red skin, and even chapped lips. I’m only sad it’s just a small sample now.

:: John Varvatos Star USA cologne
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again, I’m very sensitive to scents. The wrong smell can make me feel lightheaded and even nauseous, especially with prolonged exposure. I’m not a big fan of guy scents, and while I appreciate them trying to include different types of products in my birchbox.. I signed up for the woman’s birchbox. The scent itself is pretty sweet smelling and eh just not my cup of tea.

I’m going to be giving it one more month, and if I’m still not invested I may try a different sampling site. I’ve been introduced to Glambox, which I love the idea of only receiving cosmetic samples, or even Umba Box. Umba Box is a bit more expensive, but every month you get a box of all handmade items. Love that as much as I do?

Birchbox.. You have one more try to win over my heart. Don’t disappoint!


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Instalife: 3rd edition of June

1. I found new meatless – quorn – frozen burritos at my local grocery store. I’m in love. I always use quorn as a chicken substitute.
2. It’s been so hot lately we’ve had to put the curtains down between the living room and dining room to contain the cold air in the living room. I’ve been melting!
3. And since I’ve been melting, I’ve been getting better about using a mud masque at night 3x a week to help calm my skin. I look like swamp things cousin.
4. Heat = I’m not cooking. We had a culinary tour of the world last week, starting with sushi and ending with Indian food. I love take out. Or rather, I love not cooking when it’s really hot out.
5 and 6. We had some crazy storms Saturday night, and I just couldn’t help but watch them from the porch. After the storms passed there was a double rainbow.
7. We took a trip to Home Depot where I had to buy this bench I’d been mildly lusting after. We had an overnight dog that didn’t seem to want to help me put it together.
8 and 9. On the same trip we impulsively bought new outdoor furniture for our back porch. I guarantee I’m going to be living out there by the end of Summer.


This week Kh is in New Jersey for work, which leaves me home alone with the girls. My first thought? Hooray! I’m going to stay up and party all night like I’m a teenager! But in reality I moped around last night and had mac and cheese for dinner. This morning I’m doing relatively the same thing with a cup of coffee in my hand.

More coffee!


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Foodie Friday: strawberry take over

mmmm Strawberries.

I’m seeing all sorts of strawberry filled recipes recently, which has gotten me pretty excited at the prospect of actually making one of said recipes. Strawberry shortcake has always been a favorite of mine, and so has strawberries for that matter.

When I was little my Grandma and I built a strawberry bed and grew our own. I was always so excited to go out with my pail, pick out the ripe ones, and usually I could hardly wait to get back inside before I started eating them.

I’ve put together this roundup of just a few of my favorite (and seemingly simple!) recipes.

mini strawberry pies via cooking with my kid

strawberry lemonade pie via a ducks oven

strawberry yogurt popsicles via zoom yummy

no-bake strawberry icebox cake via the kitchn (I mean, how amazing does that look?!)

strawberry tarts via the nearsighted owl

Now, this next one is probably my favorite. I make banana bread at least once a week, and the thought of making a new scrumptious type of bread? Well, I’m sold.

strawberry breakfast bread via jane’s sweets and baking journal

I’m making a grocery run later today (if I don’t melt first..) and strawberries are at the top of my list. I might even grab some blueberries too. It’s going to be a fruitapalooza at my apartment this weekend. Get it? har har..



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Instalife: 2nd June edition

1. I got Kh a soda streamer for her birthday and we’ve been making good use of it. I don’t think I’ve ever drank so much bubbly water before in my life.
2. I made sloppy jos for dinner one night. Kh’s first time having them!
3 and 4. We went out to lunch with Kh’s parents on Fathers Day, where I rekindled my love of beer.
5. Impromptu date night! Salad and a cheap glass of wine.
6 and 7. I had a girls day of shopping and gossiping with my bff Nikki. We ended the day with drinks and greasy food. Talk about heartburn, but oh so good!
8. We had a golden little visitor for a weekend. She’s about 4x the size of our girls and just too cute.
9. I can never perfect the mirror shot. My phone doesn’t like adjusting to all the black I wear.


In summation:

I’ve been drinking a lot. I’m not exactly at lush level, but fastly approaching. There’s just something fantastic about having a cold beer (or mixed drink) when it’s been so hot out. That’s one of the great things about Summertime, yes?


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Foodie Friday: veggie baked ziti

One of the hardest parts about the weather getting warmer is finding recipes to work with. I love a good pasta dish but they can be too heavy (and hello? a stove only adds to the sweltering heat) and I only really like one pasta salad dish (thanks gram!).

I came across this recipe from Sometimes Sweet and just had to give it a try. It’s simple, and uses so many veggies!

The only changes I made..

I used gluten free brown rice pasta (You can get it at Trader Joes and it’s delicious!)
Fat free ricotta cheese
Skim milk mozzarella

I’m pretty much in love with any dish you can throw all the ingredients into one pan, bake it, and eat it. Makes my job cooking it that much easier.

Usually when I’m in the kitchen I have at least one little shadow watching my every move hoping I drop at least a piece of what I’m making.

Caught in the begging act! Thankfully I finished baking this before Kh got home, or else all of the ingredients really would have been eaten. The dish was such a big hit, Kh obsessed about it until it was all gone. She didn’t even bother to heat it up, it was that delicious.



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Owl always find you

One of my particularly favorite activities after a long day is to sit staring blankly at the internet until life starts to make sense. Or until I decide it’s time to go to bed at 8:30pm. Either way, the point of the story is I love to space out and window shop online.

There’s always a few “go-to” items to browse for. Tank tops, dresses, shoes, and of course owl goodies. If you go back far enough you can find posts such as this one where I confess my undying love for owls, the proof being in my ever growing owl collection.

Some of my favorite finds from last night would have to be… *drum roll please*

This plush woodblock printed owl pillow. I’d like one in red and one in gray, please.

Jus’ sayin this owl lamp would look damn cute in my apartment.

A turquoise owl shaped shower caddy? I’m all over it.

I am simply in love with this burnt orange vintage owl cookie jar. I don’t make cookies, but I’ll start!

Macrame owl bag. ‘Nuff said.

I have an overwhelming urge to get the macrame bag and turn it into a potted plant hanger. Although I could just buy a macrame kit on ebay and call it a day.


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