Life + Entertainment

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Hello dear folks!

As you may have noticed, we’ve been taking a little hiatus from blogging. This is in part because Kylin left full-time employee Kelly high and dry this summer while she pranced around Europe and because we are working on a major Beginners Magazine revamp (which we’ll be sharing more about soon!).

While we are away you can…listen to Hall & Oates on repeat. After all, that’s what we’ve been doing. Cheers!

Image source (sexay)

August 17, 2013

We’re Not Back Yet…

Life + Entertainment

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So yesterday was the 4th of July and I, like many of my fellow countrymen, got together with my family and friends, got sloppy drunk and played with fire. Why? BECAUSE WE’RE ‘MERICAN and that’s WHAT WE DO. We are embarrassing and we are stupid and once a year, we all get together to celebrate that. Patriotism.

Enjoy your long weekends!

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July 5, 2013

‘Merica!

Our Weekly Theme

Style + Design

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I am not crafty. Like not at all. I can fake it alright – Kylin and I made these friendship bracelets, I knotted these awesome earbuds, and with Michelle’s support, I cut and sewed an old Phillies t-shirt into a cute top, however…each had their issues (bracelet won’t stay on, strings added on in the middle of the cord because I miscalculated the length, the shirt can’t be machine washed without completely falling apart) but one thing I rock at is collages.  It was always my go-to “alternative expressions” project in high school English and seemed to be a productive outlet for my habit of ripping pretty pictures out of magazines, and then last year, the blogging world seemed to be blowing up with the idea of “inspiration boards.”

Basically, inspiration boards are collages for grown-up dreamers – a place for you to collect images, quotes, ideas (you know, things that inspire you) and put them in a place where you can see them and hopefully visualize them becoming reality.  I made inspiration boards with the girls I worked with in Mexico, and it went really well – they collected all these things that reflected what they wanted their life to look like in the future and then hung it in their room to be reminded of the goals they were working towards.

The boards can come in a lot of different forms: traditional collages, bulletin boards, magnetic squares, or, for the more cyber-minded dreamers out there – pinterest, but they all serve the same purpose and can be really fun to make!  Below are some of my favorite to hopefully inspire you to make your own!

Images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Post and Featured Images via Emma Dime (she does amazing mood boards!)

June 18, 2013

DIY Mood Boards

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AH! It’s summer! I know, technically, we have 14 days left before it’sofficially summer, but I’m calling it now. And I must say that I amDAMN excited! I love everything about summer. The heat, the food, the water, the swimming, the clothing, the everything. Love love love.

And so, in celebration of this amazing season, I bring you some tunes. You know you like all of them; don’t deny it. Enjoy them while you sip homemade sangria by the pool. DO IT.

And there are so many more! Add yours in the comments!

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June 7, 2013

Changing Into Summer!

Life + Entertainment

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Now that summer weather has finally come, there are a lot of changes happening around here. I’ve turned the back porch into a summer oasis, started drinking more smoothies, and even pulled out the summer shorts.  But with all these good changes and all this extra time spent outside, there’s some bad ones too: namely, the possibility for sunburns. I have what I fondly refer to as an “alabaster” skin tone, but when we’re being honest, it’s really just really really white. So even though I try to remember sunscreen, I burn pretty easily.  We all know the go-to remedies – the aloe vera, the  vinegar, the baking soda – but I came across this home remedy last summer that really seems to do the trick: a soothing tea compress.

 

| What You’ll Need | Water, Black Tea, Fresh Mint Leaves

| Directions | Heat the water to just below boiling. Rub the mint leaves between your fingers to release the oils and add them to the water with the tea bags (you want it pretty strong – so two tea bags and 4 leaves to 1 cup water is a good place to start). Steep for 20-30 minutes. Use a soft washcloth to apply the tea directly to your sunburned skin.  The acid in the black tea will draw out the heat created by the burn and restore your skin’s pH balance while reducing further skin damage. The mint leaves will act as a coolant on the skin, giving you relief from the heat of the burn.  Allow the tea to dry on your skin and follow with some aloe vera or soothing lotion.

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Life + Entertainment

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Where to begin? Anyone who knows me will tell you that I could go on forever about this subject. But I’m well aware that we do not have forever nor do you want to commit that kind of time to my post. So I’ll narrow it down a bit. Today I’ll be discussing my utter disappointment with our society’s education as it pertains to word usage.

I’m not sure how seemingly the majority of our society skipped the third grade when they should have mastered the ability to use the proper versions of “to,” “your,” and “their.” But, somehow, it happened. And I’ve found I’m one of the rare few that actually cares.

Now I’m not some grammar nazi (but I am a liar) that will assault you for using the wrong version of “your” in a text, but I do appreciate the proper usage even in this form of communication.

What really drives me crazy is when improper word usage is used in professional emails. My philosophy is as followed when it comes to emails in a professional setting: if you’re important enough to have your own email account, you should be smart enough to use the correct version of “their.” It’s not that hard and you need to get your shit together.

For those of you who are in dire need of an overview…this is for you.

Your: implies ownership.
That’s your magnificent playoff beard.

You’re: contraction of you and are.
You’re annoying when you misuse this word in a professional email!

Their: implies ownership.
That’s their ugly baby.

They’re: contraction of they and are.
I think they’re going to be upset I called that baby ugly…

There: a location or direction.
Quick! Look over there! It’s Amanda Bynes!

To: transitional word.
That explanation didn’t really help to explain this word’s usage.

Too: also or in addition.
I, too, take my phone with me to poop in order to spare myself from “poop boredom.”

So there you have it: an overview of how to use the proper versions those pesky words. Next time you write a grammatically correct email, think of me.

Happy Friday!!

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Life + Entertainment

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When I was younger, every time I went on an adventure I would try to go somewhere a little off the main trail, telling myself that maybe, just maybe I was the first person ever to step on this particular piece of earth. Factually, I know now that that was highly unlikely – especially considering that my adventures most often took me to common vacation spots like the coast or Yosemite, not the Arctic or the Sahara Desert where there was a higher possibility of treading on previously untouched land – but now, so many years later, it’s almost like things have reversed. Instead of wanting to be the first, I’m fascinated by who has walked these streets before me, who else was here, what were they doing, what were they thinking, etc…

That’s probably why these “looking into the past” photos (cleverly done by photographers such as Jason Powell and Michael Hughes) resonate so much with me: such an interesting idea to bring together present and past to see how much things have changed, or sometimes even more surprisingly, how they haven’t. Might be a fun thing to do on your next vacation!

Below are some of my favorites:

Photos via Jason Powell, Michael HughesLisa, Hugo Cardoso, and this guy

May 28, 2013

Looking Into The Past

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You guys…I don’t even know how to begin this post, so I guess I’ll just dive right the fuck in. I’m moving again and I’m stressed as fuck about it; I can’t even find another adjective to use other than “fuck.” Moving BLOWS. And it blows because it’s a sneaky bastard of excitement, fear, urgency, and dread all combined into one hasty shuffling of garbage movement. It starts off so exciting and somehow warps into a state of utter disarray and panic. You know I’m right.

It starts off awesome: you decide to move and you start dreaming of your future home.

And then you realize you get to tour all these apartment complexes while the tour guides make you feel at home so you’ll rent with them!

And you get to pretend like you have actual demands other than “I don’t want to live in a garbage can anymore.” One such demand might be, “there must be a constant flow of ice cream in the lobby at all times.”

But then the inevitable happens. One of the tour guides is like, “you have to make three times the rent to live here” before even saying, “hello.”

She’s a bitch and so without even knowing the rent, you’re like, “Not. A. Problem.”

But now there’s some gloom over your search…because you’re now kind of terrified that you’re going to be treated like shit again and have to deal with another bitch.

And after what feels like the MILLIONTH tour, you kind of feel like you’re going in circles.

But then finally…FINALLY…someone’s like, “Yeah we accept large dogs. No floor limitations.” And you’re shocked.

This place is everything you’ve been looking for…

After they reassure you that they’re telling the truth and this isn’t a trap, you’re like:

But then they mention the rent and in your head you’re like:

But you realize it’s not so bad, so you fill out an application and pick out a new place.

But then the true reality hits: now you have to pack up your current place and move all your shit to the new one. And then you’re forever like:

Happy Friday!
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May 17, 2013

Home Is Moving Again

Style + Design

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I have always been a little curious about the world of interior design. For a brief time I considered becoming an interior designer. Until I took a class in it and realized I could care less about whether a room matched a painting perfectly…but I digress. Today my curiosity is aimed more towards my own home and of course Pinterest, because, let’s be honest, that is really where all of my times goes. So, for my home related post I give you some of my favorite rooms that use color in an interesting way. Enjoy!

Image Credits: Featured; Post: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10

May 15, 2013

Color Me Home

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Today, on this lovely Mother’s Day eve eve, I bring you a video shared by my very own, amazing mother.

Happy Friday!

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May 10, 2013

Go The F*ck To Sleep

Style + Design

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner (May 12th, folks!) and if you’re like us (confession: Kelly has this shit on lock, it’s Kylin who is woefully behind), you’re scrambling for a gift for your mama. Whether you’re making free foot rub coupons, giving the gift of a meal out, or buying something purty, you’re definitely looking for a way to show your mom that you love and appreciate her. Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite gift ideas for Mother’s Day, from handmade knick knacks to simply gorgeous Etsy finds (we want all the things). After reading this post, you will know what you must do. Mission accepted? Get on it!

1. What could be more perfect than a handmade lantern? Learn how to make one here.

2. Neon plate wear? Yes, please!

3. We couldn’t think of anything better for your feet than lamb wool slipper socks.

4. A beautiful screenprint for any space.

5. Make your mom a colorful bookmark for every occasion!

6. Tiny succulent cork planters. What else do we need to say?

7. Everyone needs a tote bag…especially one as beautiful as this.

8. We want this sisal purse, because it is just so cute!

9. A wrapping cloth to wrap, well, everything.

10. Tea towels for you?

11. The field bag is the perfect weekend bag.

12. This is a great how to for very cute neon fabric bowls.

13. How about some vouchers? Everyone loves multiple gifts!

What do you have planned for Mother’s Day this year?

Food + Drink

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It doesn’t matter if your mom’s a top chef or a TV dinner kind of gal, on Mother’s Day you want to treat her right. And what’s the fastest way to a person’s heart? Food. More specifically: brunch. Today we’re sharing our favorite (slightly modified) brunch recipes for Mother’s Day, from a simple smoothie to a slightly complicated crepe. Get the rest of your family in on the fun and make yourself proud by whipping up one of these delicious recipes.

 

Heart Shaped Egg in a Hole from Martha Stewart

Ingredients & Tools:

  • Mom’s favorite bread (sliced if it’s in a loaf)
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter (or a good knife and a steady hand)
  • Skillet or heavy pan
  • Eggs (one for each slice of toast)
  • Butter (try Martha’s herb butter for some added pizzazz) or olive oil

Using your cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut out a small heart shape from the center of a slice of bread. Spread each side of the bread with butter or olive oil.

Heat skillet over medium heat, adding an extra dollop of butter or olive oil depending upon the state of your pan. Place the slice of bread on the skillet and saute until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat and flip the bread slice over.

Break your egg into the heart-shaped hole. Cover, and cook until egg white turns opaque, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate along with the heart-shaped piece of cutout bread, perfect for dipping into yolk. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Images via Reclaiming Provincial

 

Banana Yogurt Smoothie from my Mom

Ingredients & Tools:

  • Orange juice (fresh squeezed preferred but concentrate okay, obvs)
  • Bananas
  • Plain yogurt (although vanilla is fine – your drink will taste sweeter)
  • Bit of ice (optional)
  • Blender
Tailor the smoothie to your mom’s tastes by adding more or less bananas or yogurt. Pour ingredients into blender and go crazy!
Image via Foodyear

Croque Madame from the Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients & Tools:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 slices of your mom’s fave bread, crusts removed (optional)
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin (optional)
  • Small saucepan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each (optional), and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.
Image via Savury & Sweet

Ham & Egg Crepe Squares from Martha Stewart

Ingredients & Tools:
  • 4 crepes (try Martha’s simple crepe batter)
  • 8 slices ham (black forest preferred)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Chopped fresh chives or other herbs
  • Rimmed baking sheet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make crepes (not as hard as you think). Place 4 crepes on a rimmed baking sheet. Place 2 slices ham on each crepe. Crack 1 egg into center of each; fold edges of crepe towards the center, over the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg white is set and yolk is still runny, about 12 minutes. Top with chives or other chopped herbs.
Second image via Zoom Yummy

Lavender Hot Chocolate from Une-deux Senses

 Ingredients & Tools:
  • For the hot chocolate:
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 3 oz. dark chocolate
    • 1 oz. milk chocolate
    • 1/4 tsp. lavender buds
  • For the whipped cream (optional):
    • 1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract or seeds from 1/4 of a vanilla bean pod
    • 1/2 tbsn. sugar

For the whipped cream, place the cold cream, vanilla and sugar into a cold mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with a whisk or mixer until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated until ready for use.

For the hot chocolate, beat the milk and lavender over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the milk begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and let the lavender steep for 5 minutes. Strain the lavender and return the milk to the saucepan. Over medium heat, add the chocolate and mix until the chocolate is melted and incorporated. Whisk the milk mixture for 10 – 20 seconds or until frothy. Pour into a large mug and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

May 8, 2013

Nomming with Mom

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Because it’s Friday, I’ll keep this short (who the hell wants to read on a Friday?). When I think of parties, I immediately think of booze and the stark contrast between how I used to be able to handle my booze and how I really really really can’t anymore. And I think that’s a big part of why parties just aren’t my thing anymore…not that I don’t enjoy a good party; I just can’t handle them every damn weekend like I used to be able to do.

So I thought, in the spirit of not reading, I’d share with you the difference between parties for me then and now. Of course, I’ll do this in animated gifs (because I love you all and who the fuck doesn’t love a good gif?)

Parties then vs now

In college, someone would be like, “hey wanna go to so-and-so’s party tonight? Starts at 10pm,” I’d be like

Now when someone says there’s a party starting at 10pm, my reaction looks something like

In college, once I got to the party, I’d be like

Now, it looks a little more like

And then I’d start drinking and have like 5 shots. No problem.

Today, after 3 beers, I look a bit like this

And then someone would inevitably start eating someone else’s face and I’d be like

Today, I’m more like

And one of my friends would be upset they didn’t get to make out with a stranger’s face and I’d sympathize

Not so much today

As we’d now have two people in utter tears, it’d be time to go home, to which I’d respond

Today?

Essentially, what I’m trying to tell you that I’m the Stanley of your party

The Ron Swanson to your fun

And live a Liz Lemon type of lifestyle

And in college, I might wake up and feel fucking fantastic after god knows how many shots/drinks

But today, after only a few beers…

Happy Friday!

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