Friday, June 22, 2012

maxi skirt style

I think I could live in maxi dresses. I love how effortlessly elegant they look while also being quite comfortable. In a lightweight cotton fabric, they are wearable even in the summertime! Recently, I jumped on the maxi skirt bandwagon and bought a black jersey skirt at Marshall's. I could never really figure out what to pair a maxi skirt with but found some photos that inspired me to give it a whirl. I can't wait to wear it with tanks during the summer and transition to some comfy sweaters and boots when the temps drop. What do you think of the maxi skirt trend? xo.

1 / 2 / 3

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

warm + white

White rooms have been on my design radar in recent months. Though right now I am enjoying my cozy, Behr "Lost Atlantis" blue walls, I'm dreaming of soft white walls in my new [future] home one day. Back in the day, white used to seem cold and boring to me. But with a touch of wood tones and plush textures, white becomes less sterile and more cozy than I ever imagined. xo.




Monday, June 18, 2012

egg-free chocolate chip cookies

You know I can't keep a good recipe secret for long, right? [Remember my easy, yummy homemade pizza crust recipe?] Well.... here comes another spectacular, easy recipe!

I had a hankerin' for something sweet [isn't this how it always starts...] and had all the ingredients to bake something except eggs! Before getting bummed out, I did a quick internet search for egg-free chocolate chip cookies and found an awesome-looking recipe. I set to work combining the ingredients and decided to go ahead and add some walnuts [left over from my delicious chicken feta salad] and some marshmallows because they were there. The cookies turned out amazingly, and I was so surprised that I didn't miss the eggs at all. In fact, the cookies turned out incredibly chewy and "flat", my favorite qualities in chocolate chip cookies. PS: These got my hubby's approval, and he's a picky cookie eater, so I know I struck gold with this recipe! Try it out and let me know what you think! xo.

Egg-Free Rocky Road Cookies 
adapted from this recipe on Bunch of Cooks
[makes approx. 2 doz. cookies]

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp. canola oil
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
1/4 cup mini marshmallows

1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter and sugars.
3. Slowly add in flour and baking soda (mix will be dry after this step).
4. Add in the vanilla, oil, and 1/4 cup applesauce. If the mix is not quite doughy, add a little more until a doughy consistency.
5. Turn off your mixer and stir in chocolate chips, walnuts, and marshmallows.

6. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and drop spoonfuls of dough the sheet, about an inch apart. I flattened my dough out a bit so the cookies would spread more and get really flat. 
7. Bake for about 10 minutes until light golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheets and then they are ready to enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

concerts in the garden

I was so stoked on Sunday evening when the hubs and I were invited to go to Concerts in the Garden with our neighbors! Concerts in the Garden is a summer music series put on by the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra featuring live, outdoor concerts.

Sunday was 1812 Overture performed by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. It was so fun! Our neighbors brought along picnic blankets and yummy appetizers from Central Market, along with some wine. Although it was very warm, once the sun went down it was nice and breezy. The concert lasted about two hours. Every concert concludes with a spectacular fireworks show, and Sunday night did not dissappoint! Check out some of my Instagram photos:

Have you attended an outdoor concert this summer? xo.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

father's day gift guide

So I'm a little late to put up this gift guide, but there's still plenty of time to pick up something special for your pops! Show him how much you appreciate him with a thoughtful, no fuss gift! Live in Fort Worth? A six-pack of Rahr beer [a local favorite] is a fun touch that dad is sure to love! xo.

1. watch / 2. shades / 3. music / 4. beer / 5. lemon bars / 6. boat shoes

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

cupcakes make me happy

Saturday morning I woke up with the sun and decided that I would visit the newest Fort Worth bakery and check out their selection. Stir Crazy Baked Goods is located on South Main and Daggett in the cutest spot! They've taken over the corner of an old brick building [not sure what it was, once upon a time] and transformed the inside into a charming and ecclectic bakery filled with natural light.

Possessing great restraint that even surprised myself, I purchased just two cupcakes: chocolate with strawberry frosting and lemon. All I have to say is they were delicious. And I will be returning. Soon. Perhaps to try their sweet rolls or Adam Bomb cookies.

What is your favorite type of cupcake? xo.

Monday, June 4, 2012

easy pasta dinner

Mama mia! This pasta recipe inspired by none other than the queen of Italian cooking--Giada DeLaurentiis--is an easy and quick meal yet tastes and looks super gourmet. I stumbled upon the original recipe through my friend Kelsey and added lots of tweaks to make it husband-approved [my hubs must have meat for dinner every day. Men...]

For time's sake, I'll cut my story-telling short and get on with the recipe! Let me know if you try it out and if you make any tweaks of your own! xo.

Chicken, Tomato, Bacon Ravioli
[adapted from Giada's recipe, found here]
Serves 4*

1 bag of frozen cheese ravioli
2 small chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into 1 inch cubes
6 pieces of bacon, chopped [I used the pre-cooked kind]
1 [15-oz.] can of diced tomatoes, drained
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil seasoning
2 cups frozen peas - can use spinach or arugula if desired
2 tbsp. butter

1. Bake the chicken at 400 degrees for about an hour. Check on it periodically until no longer pink in the center. Cut into approx. 1 inch cubes.

2. Meanwhile, about 10 minutes before the chicken is done cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the frozen ravioli. The ravioli takes about 5-9 minutes until it's done--when they start to float to the top, turn off the stove. Drain the pasta.

3. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the chopped bacon and chicken and let the flavors meld for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and peas, and continue stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter.

4. Pour the ravioli into a large bowl and toss with the tomato mixture. Serve immediately.

*This meal would make 4 modest servings [perhaps with a side salad or some other food item] or 2 large servings. It also will refrigerate for a delicious lunch the next day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

fort worth happy hour :: bar louie

Hey friends, it's time for another Fort Worth Happy Hour segment!

If you don't already, I recommend that you fellow Fort Worthians follow West 7th on Facebook and/or Twitter, because they do a great job of keeping you updated with specials and events going on in that district. The other day I stumbled upon one of their posts that said Bar Louie was rolling out a new drink menu and priced all their new cocktails at $2 for happy hour that day. You better believe I couldn't miss out on that!

All of the new additions looked delicious [I love that they list the ingredients under each drink name], but ultimately I went the "safe" route and got two of the skinny margaritas. Wow--so amazing! I'm all about using fresh ingredients and cutting out unnecessary sugars, so this cocktail was absolutely perfect on all levels. I'll definitely make a return to Bar Louie to try out the bar food. I've heard great reviews but have yet to have a meal there.
The white stuff on top is lime fizz. Fun & quirky touch!

Have you been to Bar Louie before? What is your food and/or drink recommendation? xo.
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