Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cooking Challenge- April Results

Another month is almost over and that means checking out how I did on my cooking challenge. This month got a little busy with school wrapping up (papers and finals out the wazoo!), so I focused on trying out pins that I've pinned and haven't done anything with instead of trying new cooking techniques. 

Bacon Wrapped Chicken from Artsy Fartsy Mama

This was Dave and I's favorite dish of the whole month. It was fairly easy to cook and was really good. We'll definitely be cooking this again. I mean bacon AND cream cheese? How can you go wrong?

Easy Green Beans, Chicken and Potatoes from Mama Say What?!

This dish was pretty good, and clearly it was super simple to make. I would say I'd make it again however shortly after consuming this meal Dave and I were both *ahem* indisposed of. I'm assuming probably from all the butter, but I can't be 100% sure.  Either way I'm not risking it and making it again. 

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole from The Seasoned Mom

Dave really liked this, I wasn't so much a fan of it. I thought it was a bit bland but Dave's all about the stuffing (he'd eat Stove Top all day every day). If I did make it again, I'd probably fill up on salad or something and only make it since Dave liked it. 

That's what I tried this month. Did you try out any pins this month?

Monday, April 27, 2015

15 in '15 April Update

It's insane that it's April already. That is all I have to say about that. Here's what I read from my 15 in '15 list in April:

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line

I am a huge Veronica Mars fan. I loved the TV show when it was on and I made Dave buy the movie on demand the moment it became available. The book was right in line with the series (it helps that the writer/creator of the series co-wrote the book) and I really enjoyed it. I'm normally not good with reading mysteries, I want to know whodunnit right away but this time I just read the book faster to figure it out. If you're a fan of the series, this is definitely a must read! Plus, I just found out they released a second book. 

TV Gods

The only way I would be able to read this book would be to purchase it on my Kindle. Before I took the plunge and bought it I decided to read the sample first. TV Gods is supposed to be short stories about different gods (Norse, Egyptian, Greek) inserted into TV shows. It seemed so promising but the two stories I read were terrible so I decided not to waste my money and buy the whole book. I have to say this one I was super disappointed about, I loved the concept of it so much. 

I bought The Glass Castle from Barnes and Noble when it was on sale for bargain book priced, so I have a feeling that will be the next book I read. I also think that I might not have a post for this list next month. I was given a few books from friends to read and I feel like I should read them first. But last year I also took a month or so off and was still done by October! 

Here's the complete list (links will go to the post that I wrote about the book):

1. Sharp Objects
2. TV Gods
3. A Discovery of Witches
4. The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
5. The Serpent of Venice
6. I Don't Know What You Know Me From
7. Big Fish
8. Orange is the New Black
9. American Gods
10. Dead Until Dark
11. The Great Gatsby
12. The Glass Castle
13. Pride and Prejudice
14. Insurgent
15. The Clan of the Cave Bear
16. Paddle Your Own Canoe

I would love to hear about what you read this month!

I'm on Goodreads, if you'd lik
e to add me.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ladies Who Lunch

This post is up originally over at Life According to Steph who generously let me guest post with her today. I loved the concept of this post so much I wanted to share it with you here as well! Steph is one of my absolute favorite bloggers, she's so awesome most of you have already heard of her, but if you haven't make sure you do! I promise you'll be hooked just as much as I am!

One of my favorite things to be is a lady who lunches. Today another Philly-area blogger, Nicole from Nicole Marica, is joining me for a virtual lunch and we want to hear what you have to say. Please do butt in on the conversation with your opinions and answers by commenting below! And enter to win a $50 Target gift card while you're at it. What better way to spend a Friday?

If we were having lunch at my house, I'd probably serve us... 
Nicole: Realistically? You'd get boxed mac and cheese. Unless I had a heads up then I'd serve something based on your favorite foods or a theme. The way to a person's heart is their stomach!

Steph: It totally is. I think I'd serve spinach mac & cheese cups, a big ass salad, and ice cream sundaes. 

The most recent beauty aid I started using and can already recommend is...
Nicole: Yes to Tomatoes moisturizer. I love the way this stuff smells. I just started using it so I don't know how its going to fare acne clearing wise but it does moisturize very well!
Steph: I use Yes to Cucumbers moisturizer! For years moisturizer was my biggest cause of face rage. I could never find one that works. I've been using this one for over a year and it's great. So I guess I recommend that. Wouldn't it be great if absolutely everything came in trial size so you could test before you buy? I got some trial size Tarte stuff from the Sephora VIB Sale and I'm looking forward to testing it out. I'm not far along to recommend yet. 
However, I'm always in search of the perfect...
Nicole: Face wash that will get rid of all my pimples and even out my skin tone. 
Steph: Aren't we all! I've been using L'Oreal Million Lashes for a year and I think my eyelashes are tired of it. Can that happen? I'm looking for a cheap replacement. 

TV! Right now I'm loving...
Nicole: There are so many...Lip Sync Battle, Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones. We'll be here all day if I keep going on. 
Steph: Breaking Bad is on my list. One day I'll get to it. I've not watched much TV recently except for Bloodline on Netflix. And Criminal Minds. I can't quit that even though it's way played out. 

If there was a TV show about my life, I think my role should be played by...
Nicole: I would like to say Emma Stone or Anna Kendrick but I'm pretty sure both girls are way funnier than me. Probably more like someone like Reese Witherspoon without the star power. Any idea who that might be? 
Steph: Hmm...I think Emma or Anna would be good as you! Hell maybe Reese herself is free. We can ask. I'm actually really bad at this question. Is it cheating if I say I want Shannon Doherty to play me as Brenda Walsh? Probably. I'm going to go with Tina Fey because, well, she's Tina Fey.

And my husband's would be...
Nicole: This is a really tough question. He'd have to be really kind, very likable, funny, handsome, and also play off exasperated husband well. Maybe someone like Ryan Reynolds? 
Steph: Ryan Reynolds sounds like a perfect fit. I'm going with Michael Rappaport. He's funny and weird just like MFD. Also I haven't seen him around lately so he's probably not too busy and maybe we could get him for a steal.

But never mind the TV...I'm reading...
Nicole: Right now I'm reading Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. I only just started it so I'm holding out judgment but it does jump around a good bit and the beginning is slow. A few friends have raved about it though so I'm going to keep trudging through it. 
Steph: I'm still pissed that there's a book called Hausfrau that was not written by me. Rude! I hate when books are slow and I start to feel like I need to hang in there. That's one of the kisses of death for me. I'm reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, recommended by a few people on the Show Us Your Books linkups.

Something I always see people doing but have no desire to do is...
Nicole: Skydive. No thanks, I prefer not plummeting to my death. 
Steph: Hahaha. You sound like my Mom. Whenever it appears on one of my lists she's like please don't do that. Sorry Nicole and Mom. I'm doing it. I have no desire to ever climb mountains and see photos of myself hanging off the face of a rock cliff.
Via / Via 
But then I think I might like to try...
Nicole: I'm willing to try almost anything once, but if I had to narrow it down, I think hiking up some volcanoes in Hawaii, or diving down a waterfall (safely) would be fun to try.
Steph: Is it possible to dive down a waterfall safely? I'm being serious. That could be my thing for what skydiving is to you! Hiking up a volcano in Hawaii is a good one though. 

I love long vacations, but I'm a big fan of weekend trips too. Some things I have coming up are...
Nicole: I'm trying to convince my husband to do a quick weekend trip to Ohio, I think he's avoiding answering me since we just got back from a weekend trip to Chicago, haha. Also, for my 30th in September, I want to take a day trip to Baltimore. 
Steph: It's nice to live so close to so many things, isn't it? East Coast rules. I'm heading up to NYC for a quick in and out dinner and a show in May, so great to be able to do that. I'm going to go to my aunt's lake house Memorial Day weekend and I think the weekend after because MFD can't go Memorial Day. I also have two girls' weekends in July! 

My packing philosophy for weekend trips is...
Nicole: It starts out with pack smart and small but eventually I end up packing everything. The best laid plans....
Steph: I hear you. For me it depends. If I'm driving I have no problem throwing everything I own in my car and taking off la di dah as I please. When I'm flying, I'm more focused on wearing pants more than once and limiting shoes. 

If I was President, I'd immediately...
Nicole: Hire some really intelligent, experienced people to fix our health care, student loans, the budget, the war, and everything else. No one person can do everything!
Steph: Just co-sign my name to your answer, okay? Oh but first I think I'd institute a better vacation policy and maternity policies so we can really BE a nation that believes in family-first and not just say we are. I'll wait for all the free-enterprise capitalism rules down with government people to come and tell me why I can't do these things. Sue me! This is pretend. I'm making my first move for the people.

Not like we have to pay you to have lunch with us, but a $50 Target gift card is up for grabs. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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And there you have it folks! 

P.S. I'm not sure there really is a way to safely jump off a waterfall. I guess what I meant by that was jump off of one that is known to have deep waters and plenty of people have thrown themselves off of it before me. 

Good luck in the giveaway!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Helpful Info

I posted this originally two years ago when I first started blogging. It's still good info to have handy, so I thought I would repost! By the way, the way this is written it sounds like a sponsored post. I promise it's not. It's really just me trying to share the wealth of knowledge.

Did you know you can pull your credit report for free once a year? Well, if you didn't you do now.

Annual Credit Report is a website that allows you to pull your credit for free once a year. You won't be able to get your credit score for free, that you'll have to pay for; however you can run a full report from each of the credit reporting agencies free of charge. 

So why is this important? Well, your credit is what determines your interest rates on loans, whether or not a financial institution will lend you money or how much they'll lend you, whether you can get a car or a house and whether or not you can get those things at decent interest rates. Plus, some jobs require good credit in order for you to be considered for a position. Your credit is so important for your day to day life, it's important to make sure that it is accurate. 

The nice thing is the website is fairly easy to use and if you do find some discrepancies on your reports, they (the three credit reporting agencies--Transunion, Experian, and Equifax) all have instructions on what you can do to fix it. There is no reason why you shouldn't take a few minutes out of your day to make sure your report is accurate, it's too important not to. Plus, like I said, it's free with no gimmicks (unlike those ones who claim to be free but make you sign up for 30 days with a credit card) or hidden agendas.

Hopefully this was informative, make sure you pass this link along to family and friends so they can check out their own credit reports! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Places I Dream About Moving To

Jenn from Much to My Delight recently posted her top 8 places she'd live other than NYC and I really liked the idea so I'm borrowing it. I love where I live right now, it's where I've grown up, where I met Dave and married him, so I don't have any intentions on moving away but I do often dream about setting up a new life somewhere new every once in a while. Here's the places I daydream about moving to:

1. Tennessee

Dave and I honeymooned in Gatlinburg, TN and I fell in love with that state. It kinda helps that I'm obsessed with the notion of the South: southern food, hospitality, comfort, etc. I even talked about longing for TN on the blog, two years ago!

2. NYC

In high school, I swore as soon as I graduated I was going to pack up and move to NYC. I was obsessed with Sex and the City and I was obsessed with city life. Quite frankly, I'm sure if I did, the city would have chewed me up and spit me out. Still, it would be nice to answer the question, what is it like to live in the city? 

3. California

I visited California about 5 years ago with a friend and honestly I haven't stopped thinking about that place since. We traveled up the coastline and everywhere we went the weather was perfect and beautiful. I often dream about moving to CA in the winter. 

4. Turks and Caicos

For my 16th birthday, instead of a sweet 16 party my mom gave me the choice to go to Turks and Caicos which I chose to do. Down there, I learned how to SCUBA dive, and visited a local bar where the owners were Americans who had packed up and moved down there to live a life of rest and relaxation. I decided then and there I wanted to become a SCUBA instructor and move to the islands and live out my life down in the warm, sunny islands. Clearly, that didn't happen but it's still nice to think about where my life would be right now if I had gone in that direction. 

So where do you dream about living?

Friday, April 17, 2015

End of the Week Roundup

It's been a while since I did one of these posts. It's mainly because I have had a Thursday night class this semester (which is when I normally write this post up) and by the time I get home I'd either forget or be too tired to write up a post and also with the weather being colder there isn't much to roundup from the week. Anyway, here's the roundup for this week...well more like weekend.

1. Friday night I met up with two of my friends and had a small ladies game night.

2. Saturday was a busy day! First Dave and I went to a local library for their book sale....which if you know anything about me, you know this is a day I look forward to all year. 

3. After a great book haul, we headed over to our local movie tavern and saw Furious 7. If you don't know what The Movie Tavern is, it's a theater that serves meals with the movie. The seats are extra comfy and somewhat recline along with a swivel table to set your meal on. The food was good and the movie was good too. This is all I really have to say about the movie:

4. After the movie we went over to our local Ritas and grabbed our first water ice/custards of the year! 

5. Sunday I met up with my friend Gabby for lunch so we could catch up and I could give her the Doctor Who bear I made her. 

That's all I had for this week(end). How did your week go? 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Might Still Want These Things....

I was pretty lucky as a kid, my mom did her best to give me everything I asked for. I was always aware of how hard she had to work for what she got, so I was really appreciative of everything she ever gave me. There are a few things however that I never got, going over this list there are a few things I still kinda want....

Talk Girl

I have no idea why I wanted this so bad. It was literally a voice recorder...of which I would have no use for. No wonder my mom didn't waste her money on this. 

A real Tamagotchi or Nano Pet

In fairness to my mom, she did get me one of these electronic pets, but it was a knockoff brand and it had this ridiculous setting that when it wanted to "grow" you had to hit a series of buttons at the exact time it wanted to grow, if you didn't then your pet died. This doesn't really work out well when your in school and you don't want your pet confiscated, so my pet always died. Every time it did I would grumble to myself, I bet a nano pet wouldn't do this....

Nickelodeon Time Blaster Alarm Clock

For a brief moment I thought slime ran through the top of the clock. I guess I'll never really know if that is true or not. 


I was obsessed with these when they came out. It didn't help that Felicity had one on her TV show and I was obsessed with that too. I would lay up at night and imagine what color I'd get if my mom would let me get one. I look at these computers now, and I'm not going to lie they are still appealing to me. 

What are some things you wanted when you were a kid but never got?

Monday, April 13, 2015


I haven't done one of these posts in a while and I thought it'd be fun to do one and see where I stand right now. This semester with school I feel a bit overwhelmed (if you haven't noticed by my inconsistent posting) and it's a good reminder for myself of what I'm doing. 

Watching: I'm finishing up Breaking Bad now on Netflix, right now I'm at the end of season 4. I also started watching Sherlock and Finding Carter. I had a day off recently and literally watched the entire first season of Finding Carter in one day. 

Reading: Allegiant and I'll be honest it's taking me a while to trough through this book. I normally would stop reading books that don't motivate me to read by now but I feel like I need to finish this series out. I've got about 150 pages left so I'm in the homestretch. Next up, Hausfrau which a friend lent to me. 

Listening: Speaking of Finding Carter, I'm constantly listening to the theme song, Vagabond by Misterwives on repeat. I'm also still listening to podcasts, and the storytelling ones like Risk are still my favorite.

Making: Still making my bears and quilts but I also decided to try my hand at rompers. I have all the fabric to start one, we shall see how it turns out!

Feeling: Accomplished. I spent my entire day Sunday researching and writing my final paper for one of my classes. I also put a huge dent in a final project for a class so now I only have two small assignments to complete and then I'm home free for this semester. 

Planning: My next vacation. I'm trying to convince Dave to take a quick weekend trip to Ohio (it's only a 6 hour drive!). I'm also planning my 30th birthday party which is a lip sync battle against my friends and I. It's going to be so much fun!

What are you currently doing?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I was thinking about doing a currently post that you see every once in a while but then I figured I'd do a "coveting" post instead. I'll probably do the currently post next week, if you're disappointed, haha. These are all items I really want but for one reason or another I haven't had a chance to get it. 

1. Tarte Poppy Picnic Limited Edition Palette 

I love it when Tarte comes out with new palettes, in fact they have another brand new one out right now that I want to but it's exactly like the Rainforest After Dark palette that I already have so I'll "settle" for this one. I love the subtle eye colors and Tarte's blush is my absolute favorite. 

2. Accuquilt Go! Baby Fabric Cutter

I have been lusting after this cutter for months. I made the mistake of not buying it when it was on sale for $89.00. I just assumed it would go back on sale easily. A few months later, it's still sitting at the $129.99 price. I have a great quilt idea that I want to make using the circle pattern from this set and my fingers are itching to buy this and make it. 

3. Maskcara Custom Palette

I would love to buy this but I can't justify the $42 price tag for two reasons: 1. I'm an amateur at highlighting and contouring and I have tons of bronzer and highlighter products already and 2. I'm not a fan of cream products at all. I'd have to really get better at HAC and get more acclimated to cream products before I splurged on this. 

4. The perfect purse. 

There's no link or picture to this yet because I haven't found it. I can't explain what I'm looking for. I need a cute purse that is big enough to hold all my junk but not big enough that I can shove 3 books in it (my back can't take much more!). Right now I'm using a Michael Kors purse I borrowed from my mom and it's a very nice purse but it's not me. If you have any suggestions for good, inexpensive purses let me know, I'm on the lookout for "the one". 

Have you been coveting anything lately?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Confession: I Don't Have a Joint Bank Account with My Husband

This may strike a chord with a few of you who are very traditional, but Dave and I have separate banks accounts. The money that we earn is ours to spend as we choose.  I understand that the choice Dave and I made to not share our money with each other seems selfish, but in reality it's something we both agree works best for us. That may not be the case for everyone else. If only one of us brought in an income, then it wouldn't make sense for us to not have a shared account. 

It all started when I was 18, before Dave and I even began to date. I read an article that stated that the main source of all fighting between couples was money. I decided at that moment that if I removed the source of the problem, I'd never fight with my significant other. When Dave and I began to date, we kept our single accounts even as our relationship progressed. For the record, Dave and I have never fought about money. 

Another reason why we don't have a joint account is that we are both terrible budget-ers. When I get paid I separate my money out into what needs to be paid, and set aside money for gas and food. Any money left in my checking is my money to do with what I please. I never have to worry about whether or not me taking $10 from my account is going to mess Dave up. 

Just to be clear, this isn't fully what is my money is mine and what is yours is yours and your on your own. If either of us need anything, the other one always is willing to help, and we share bills all the same. When bills need to be paid, Dave transfers his half to my account and I pay the bills. And if one of us is down, the other one picks up the slack. 

I know this way of financial living doesn't work best for everyone, but for Dave and I it works out perfectly. Anyone else out there married with a single account? 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


This past weekend Dave and I took a short, quick weekend trip to Chicago. With this trip, we were able to knock off another state from our "Visit 50 States" bucket list, leaving us with 11 states down and 39 to go!

This post might be a bit long, because I figured one post on my trip is enough for you. We got into Chicago on Friday afternoon. By the time we got to the hotel and we figured out public transportation, it was nearly time for dinner, which was at Wildfire.  The food was so good, I tried the baked goat cheese, which tasted like a fancy version of a mozzarella stick. After dinner, Dave and I watched a show at Second City. It was absolutely hilarious. The best part of the night was when they brought up a German tourist on stage for an improv skit. They asked the guy if he had anything on his mind he'd like to share and the guy said "nope". They tried to prod him a bit further (you can't really go off of nope) and finally had to say "hypothetically speaking if you HAD to give an answer what would you say?" It was so funny. After the show we stopped by Portillo's and grabbed a cake shake, which was absolutely delicious. 

Saturday we walked. A LOT. We walked down to Millennium Park and checked out Cloud Gate and then walked the Lake Front to the Navy Pier. We rode the Ferris Wheel at the pier (which Dave figured out mid-ride that the Divergent series was based out of Chicago and that the Ferris Wheel was the scene for the capture the flag game). It was ridiculously overpriced for the ride ($7 for one go around on the wheel) but when in Rome...

After the pier, we went over to The Purple Pig (highly recommended by Steph!) and grabbed lunch. The food was so delicious, I tried a fried deviled egg and it was not what I expected (in a good way). I don't think there is one bad thing on this menu. After lunch, we tried to head over to Willis Tower to try the Sky Deck but unfortunately they had a 2 hour wait and we didn't have that long between dinner and the show so we didn't get a chance to check it out. That is my only regret from this trip. We had about an hour and a half before we wanted to head out for dinner so we decided to head back to the hotel to rest. We had done so much walking and had very little sleep, we definitely needed a break. For dinner we stopped at Giordano's for a deep dish pizza and then went to the Blue Man Group show, which was awesome. My opinion on the deep dish? It was good (the sauce was the best I've ever tasted) but it was way too cheesy for my taste. 

Sunday morning we headed home, exhausted, but happy for the trip. 

Here's a map of where we've been so far:

 Have you ever been to Chicago?