October 20, 2014

From The Hold Shelf (Or What I'm About To Read)...

"Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen: Cookin' for Trouble" by Nadia Giosia

Culinary It-girl Nadia G is just as skilled strutting in stilettos as she is wielding a meat cleaver. Now this Julia Child of the Net generation and host of the wildly popular Bitchin’ Kitchen TV show on the Cooking Channel brings her savvy chef know-how and rock star ’tude to glam up your dining experience. Trained at the culinary institute of Hard Wooden Spoon Whacks, Nadia says that her passion for food started in her Italian family’s kitchen, where meals became moments. In Cookin’ for Trouble, she shares recipes and cooking tips for beginner and seasoned home cooks to liven any occasion.

Back-of-the-Fridge Bachelor Brunches: Sometimes what lurks in the back of our fridge isn’t that inspiring, unless it’s been there long enough to strike up a conversation. No groceries, no problem! With just a few leftovers, whip up a scrumptious Sartu di Patate, or a Pasta Frittata that tastes like you’d planned it for days.

(Dysfunctional) Family Pizza Night: Bring your family and thighs closer together with the Giosia familia recipe for Rustica Pan Pizza, Puttanesca Panzerotti, and Traditional Italian Frittelle smothered in a creamy chocolate-nougat fondue.

Makeover Meals: We all get stuck in a rut sometimes, whether it’s the same boring dish, hairstyle, or boyfriend. It’s time for an upgrade! Turn ordinary dishes on their head with inspired crispy Tuna Sliders, smoky Chicken Risotto, and juicy Meatloaf Kebabs.

• Plus Nadia’s creative menus for Hi-Speed Suppers, Girl’s Night In, Veg-Head Specials, Student Shkoff-fest, and a special chapter devoted to everyone’s favorite food group: Bacon!

I know—we had you at “Bacon.” But there’s more! Loaded with gorgeous photos, more than fifty original recipes, sanity-saving “Nadvice,” a Bitchin’ Party Guide, and a hunky team of food correspondents—Panos, the Spice Agent, and Hans—Cookin’ for Trouble will take your meals from square to sassy faster than you can say “Tsaketa.”*

*and for newbies, there’s an Italian Slang Dictionary!

Website: Bitchin' Lifestyle

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"Better From Scratch (Williams-Sonoma): Delicious DIY Foods to Start Making at Home" by Ivy Manning
This go-to guide features 60 delectable recipes inspired by everyday food products we tend to buy. From homemade granola and jams to condiments and kimchi, this cookbook is full of easy recipes, helpful tips, and clever ideas for making these favorite items at home. Armed with this collection of do-it-yourself recipes—easy to personalize and customize with the seasons—stock your kitchen with flavor and make delicious gifts for friends and family. You’ll start to rethink what goes into your grocery cart when you realize the endless possibilities, and health benefits, of making these favorite foods from scratch.

Whether whipping up your favorite sandwich condiments, fermenting your own sauerkraut, or making beef jerky from scratch, so many kitchen staples, from sauces to snacks, are simply better and more nutritious homemade. This collection of do-it-yourself recipes will inspire you to stock your kitchen with made-from- scratch favorites without the added preservatives, sugar, and unpronounceable ingredients found in similar store-bought products. Organized by savory and sweet items, the recipes span classic to innovative and provide solutions for everyday items, inspiration for new creations, and ways to satisfy salty and sugary cravings. You’ll also find expert advice on storing foods, easy and seasonal variations on recipes, and how- to’s for DIY food gifts, trendy sodas and cocktails, and entirely homemade snack platters. These modern DIYs, like homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread, nut milks and butters, infused syrups, and vodka-brined olives, will provide just the arsenal you need to create an endlessly inspiring and tasty kitchen.

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In terms of the books from my last "From The Hold Shelf (Or What I'm About To Read)" they were all okay. Nothing crazy exciting in any of the cookbooks. And the A Beautiful Mess book was beautiful but none of the projects stuck out as anything I want to do currently, I'll probably pick that one up again when Justin and I have a house and more space to play with.

October 19, 2014

Sunday Steal...

Since Sunday Social is no more and Bud over at Sunday Steal noticed I enjoy my weekly questions and told me all about it, I thought I'd give it a shot. So here are my answers to this week's Sunday Steal...

Do You Like To Travel?
I absolutely love traveling and going to new places.

Where Have You Been?
I've been various places in the United States. I've traveled to England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Mexico and Aruba.

Next Place You Want To Go? 
I'm currently talking to Justin, Erin and Day about going to Spain, Portugal and Morocco next summer, as well as to the Bahamas for a group Dirty Thirty trip next November.

What Is Something You MUST Take With You When You Travel? 
My cameras and McMoose.

How Do You Like To Travel? (Mode Of Transportation)
I honestly don't care as long as I get where I want to go.

With Someone, Or Alone? 

With other people.

Do You Dance In Your Car When There Are Other People With You? 

Of course I do!

If You're Quiet What Does It Mean? 
Depends. I could be pissed or I could be focusing on something...

Favorite Scent? 

Roses and grapefruit.

Favorite Store? 
I don't have one.

Say You Wanted Coffee, What Kind Is Your Favorite?  

Cuban coffee with a ton of sugar in it.

Favorite Kind Of Pizza? 
Plain or with vodka sauce.

Do You Get Embarrassed Easily? 


Do You Mind People Asking You Personal Questions? 

You Have A Tank Of Gas, $50 & The Day Off, What Do You Do? 
Ask Justin and/or Erin to go on an adventure.

Favorite TV Show? 
Gilmore Girls was my favorite show when it was on. Now, I guess The Walking Dead or American Horror Story.

Song You Turn The Volume Up All The Way To Listen To? 
All of them. I love loud music.

Something You Keep In Your Car? 
Tons of weird stuff. Colored pencils, shoes, books, etc.

Highlight Of Your Day? 
Today? Spending it with Justin doing randomness.

Something You Do Everyday That You Wish You Didn’t Have To Do? 
Go to work...

Do You Mind If People Just Show Up At Your House Unannounced? 
Yes. Unless they bring me food.

What Do You Do When You Disagree With Someone? 


Do You Enjoy Rain
Not at all.

October 17, 2014

Stuck In My Head: Chandelier...

I went all spring and summer without having Sia's "Chandelier" stuck in my head and for some reason it's all I can hear in my head today.

Chandelier by Sia on Grooveshark

This Just Pinned: Week One Hundred & Seventeen...

Here are the highlights of my last week pinning... 
(via: Domaine)
 (via: Luulla)
(via: Etsy - Retro Whale)

As always if you want to see what else I have up on Pinterest you can check out my account here.

October 16, 2014

Favorited Tweet...

So, I tweeted about the post I made about Mr. Kate's Beautymarks and someone over at Mr. Kate favorited my tweet! I'm probably overly excited about it but whatever! I adore Mr. Kate so I think it's super cool.

Mr. Kate Beautymarks (A Review But Not Really)...

As of last month I've been completely obsessed with Mr. Kate's Beautymarks and I've gotten a lot of real life questions about them, so I thought that I'd do a little post about them since I love them so.

Mr. Kate's Beautymarks are temporary gold and silver foiled, black and watercolor "make-up" (Think fancy amazing adult temporary tattoos. Yes, they are like Flash Tattoos but way more awesome in my opinion) with hand-drawn/painted designs by Kate Albrecht -- Who for those of you that aren't familiar with her, is a jewelry designer/blogger/YouTuber.
Each package of Beautymarks contains two sheets with a variety of quirky designs and they retail for $12.00 a package and the shipping is free if you are in the United States, $8.00 for Canada and $11.00 for all other international destinations.
The packages state that the Beautymarks will last from 2-4 days but from personal experience with the "Original" foiled ones, that time varies depends on where you put them. I've had them on my feet and legs for weeks, while ones on my hands or wrists only last 5-6 days. That being said, the color does change on them after awhile. So instead of shiny gold (Those are the only ones I've used as of thus far) they turn kind of an antique-ish gold, which is still beautiful and might be more wearable to some.

In terms of the real time wear time on the Watercolor Beautymarks I'll have to get back to you. I'm saving them for my Halloween costume and I will definitely add a note to the bottom of this post about how long they lasted me.
So as you have probably guessed, I highly recommend Mr. Kate's Beautymarks. They are a wonderful and beautiful way to add a little something to your look without having to commit.

If you try out Mr. Kate's Beautymarks let me know, I'd love to know your thoughts on them.

October 13, 2014

From The Hold Shelf (Or What I'm About To Read)...

I don't know why but it just dawned on me that I never share what I'm reading or about to read with you guys on here -- I mean, in my month in review posts I always list the books I've read in the past month and I'm always posting Instagram pictures of my current reads but I've never done it on here and I thought that I should change that.

So here are the newest bunch of books that I just picked up off the hold shelf for myself...
Step inside the world of Elsie and Emma, the sisters behind the d├ęcor blog A Beautiful Mess.  With tiny budgets and a crafty, can-do attitude, they overhauled each room in their first homes with DIY projects using family photos, vibrant fabrics, flea-market finds, and affordable furniture. Now, you can learn how to paint, craft, and decorate your way to a happy, bright space with distinct personality. In the same upbeat spirit and modern style found on their blog, you’ll find fresh, all-new projects including:
• An inspired geometric-pattern coffee table made of balsa wood
• A hand-lettered statement wall featuring your favorite quote
• A quick and easy electrical tape update for your refrigerator
• A set of beautifully designed serving dishes
And more!

Packed with bonus styling tips from hanging the perfect gallery wall to making mismatched furniture work, Happy Handmade Home is design inspiration for personalizing your own space.

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Yeah, plenty of blogs and cookbooks preach about how to eat more kale, why ginger fights inflammation, and how to cook with microgreens and nettles. But they are dull or pretentious as hell—and most people can’t afford the hype.

Thug Kitchen lives in the real world. In their first cookbook, they’re throwing down more than 100 recipes for their best-loved meals, snacks, and sides for beginning cooks to home chefs. (Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos? Pumpkin Chili? Grilled Peach Salsa? Believe that shit.) Plus they’re going to arm you with all the info and techniques you need to shop on a budget and go and kick a bunch of ass on your own.

This book is an invitation to everyone who wants to do better to elevate their kitchen game. No more ketchup and pizza counting as vegetables. No more drive-thru lines. No more avoiding the produce corner of the supermarket. Shit is about to get real.

Website: Thug Kitchen

"The Real Girl's Kitchen" by Haylie Duff 
Though she is best known as an actress, Haylie Duff feels quite at home in her kitchen. When she started serving up easy and elegant recipes, kitchen tips, and entertaining advice on her blog, Real Girl's Kitchen, the site quickly grew into a destination for fans and foodies alike. 
Now everyone's favorite recipes—along with dozens of new dishes—are available in a gorgeous, hand-held volume. The Real Girl's Kitchen covers it all: breakfasts, salads, soups, appetizers, snacks . . . even recipes for your "cheat days"!

Haylie tackles everything from healthful green smoothies, to drinks for an impromptu gathering, to whipping up an impressive meal for a date. Each recipe is accompanied by full-color photos, along with a personal story from Haylie's life.

The Real Girl's Kitchen shows readers not only how to eat to live, but how to love to eat along the way.

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"The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes From My Parisian Kitchen" by Clotidle Dusoulier
Beloved ChocolateAndZucchini.com food blogger Clotilde Dusoulier is not a vegetarian. But she has, like many of us, chosen to eat less meat and fish, and is always looking for new ways to cook what looks best at the market. In The French Market Cookbook, she takes us through the seasons in 82 recipes—and explores the love story between French cuisine and vegetables.

Choosing what’s ripe and in season means Clotilde does not rely heavily on the cheese, cream, and pastas that often overpopulate vegetarian recipes. Instead she lets the bright flavors of the vegetables shine through: carrots are lightly spiced with star anise and vanilla in a soup made with almond milk; tomatoes are jazzed up by mustard in a gorgeous tart; winter squash stars in golden Corsican turnovers; and luscious peaches bake in a cardamom-scented custard. With 75 color photographs of the tempting dishes and the abundant markets of Paris, and with Clotilde’s charming stories of shopping and cooking in France, The French Market Cookbook is a transportive and beautiful cookbook for food lovers everywhere.

Website: Chocolate & Zucchini


Here is what Justin is currently reading...

"Horns" by Joe Hill (Joe Hill is the pen name of Joseph King, Stephen King's son)
The New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box returns with a relentless supernatural thriller that runs like Hell on wheels . . .

Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin's murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover . . . and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it's time for revenge . . .

It's time the devil had his due. . . .

So yeah, those are my current books from the hold shelf. If you'd like reviews on any of them let me know!

October 12, 2014

Sunday Social...

How Did You Come Up With Your Blog Name?
I was sitting in one of my classes for my Masters and they told us to make a website, so I thought about what represented me and I'm a bad librarian who likes to go on adventures. Thus the blog title.

What Is Your Favorite Thing About Blogging?

Meeting new people, writing about things I'm passionate about, etc.

What Is One Thing You Have Discovered Because Of Blogging & Now Can't Live Without?
Other bloggers who have be come my friends. I love seeing what they do, learning from them, etc.

Facebook Or Twitter? Why?
Instagram but that isn't an option. But of the two I would have to say Twitter because I don't use Facebook for my blog stuff and I say whatever I want on Twitter, even stuff I wouldn't say here.

If One Celebrity Read Your Blog Who Would You Want It To Be?

I'd be cool with any celebrity reading my blog...

What Is Something You Want People To Know About Your Blog?
If it seems like it's all over the place it's because that is exactly how I am in real life. I love and hate lots of random things and I want to talk about all of them. So that is why you get stories about my job and life mixed with beauty, crafting and entertainment stuff. It's all stuff I enjoy and I hope people enjoy my randomness.

October 11, 2014

Overdue: Mushroom Hunting At Caleb Smith Park...

Instead of going to the beach on Labor Day this year, I spent the afternoon at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve with Justin, Phil and another friend. We started off just walking through the trails and then it turned into a hunt for mushrooms, at least for me. So here are some of the random pictures from the day...
If anyone of you knows what kind of mushrooms these were I'd love to know!