Call it: Spooky Vampire Blood Martini OR Delicious Cranberry Apple Martini

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In keeping with the Halloween theme, one of my favorite things to do is make strange and delicious drinks for spooky gatherings. My favorite way to make delicious cocktails is to use seasonal ingredients. The fall harvest provides us with a bounty of delicious fruit like apples and cranberries, the two star ingredients for this drink.


This killer drink is sure to make your party to die for! ;)


 
Spooky Vampire Blood Martini (aka Delicious Cranberry Apple Martini)

1. What you need:
- 3 1/2 oz Stoli Gala Apple Vodka
- 2 oz Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
- Slices of red apple & cranberries for garnish (optional)
- plate of sugar and red Kool-Aid powder (for rimming)

2. Rim your cocktail glass:
- In place of sugar, add red Kool-Aid powder and mix
- In second plait add a touch of cocktail mix
- Dip rim of glass into liquids plate
- Dip moist cocktail rim into sugar and red Kool-Aid mix
- Hold glass upside down and gently tap to remove excess

3. Mix:
- Pour wet ingredients into martini shaker with ice
- Shake vigorously for about 10 to 15 seconds
- Pour vampires blood into chilled and rim ready martini glass
- Garnish with a thin slice of red apple and cranberries (optional)

4. Enjoy!

Cheers! 

xoxo
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Wicked Halloween Playlist: Top 30 Tracks

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Throwing a Halloween party? You have buckets of candy that will give your guests a serious sugar high. You even have crazy drinks, strange food and an awesome costume. What about your Halloween playlist? An essential component to any Halloween party is the perfectly spooky music. This is why I have created a playlist that is sure to wake the dead.

Get down to my awesomely wicked All Hallow's Eve Playlist! (In no particular order.)

1. "I Put A Spell On You": Joss Stone & Jeff Beck



2. "Thriller": Michael Jackson (1982)



3. "Black Cat": Janet Jackson



4. "A Nightmare On My Street": DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince



5. "Somebody's Watching Me": Rockwell (1984)



6. "Freaks Come Out At Night": Whodini



7. "Superstition": Stevie Wonder



8. "I'm Your Boogie Man": KC & The Sunshine Band



9. "The Boogie Monster": Gnarls Barkley



10. "Werewolves Of London":Warren Zevon (1978)



11. "Beware Of The Blob!": Movie Soundtrack(1958)



12. "Enter Sandman": Metallica



13. "Came Back Haunted"" Nine Inch Nails



14. "The Monster Mash" :Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers



15. "Hungry Like The Wolf": Duran Duran



16. "Love Potion Number 9": The Searchers



17. "Ghostbusters": Ray Parker Jr.



18. "Rockin' In The Graveyard": Jackie Morningstar



19. "I'm The Wolfman": Round Robin



20. "Spooky": Classic IV



21. "Season Of The Witch": Donovan



22. "Hells Bells": AC/DC



23. "Highway To Hell": AC/DC



24. "Evil Ways": Santana



25. "Black Magic Woman": Santana



26. "The Haunted House Of Rock": Whodini



27. "Little Drop Of Poison": Tom Waits



28. "Ban Moon Rising": Creedence Clearwater Revival



29. "She Blinded Me With Science": Thomas Dolby



30. "I Think I'm Paranoid": Garbage

Oven Roasted Rosemary Chicken & Potatoes On A Bed Of Sauteed Kale

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


With the gradual seasonal shift and the arrival of autumn, the cool weather provokes cravings for warm comfort food. It's finally time to turn on the oven and cook up something delicious and perfect for fall. This oven roasted chicken recipe is super easy to prepare and will make even the novice cook feel like a pro.

Try this delicious and easy chicken recipe and enjoy it over a bed of sauteed kale.

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!

Oven Roasted Rosemary Chicken & Potatoes:


1. What you need: 
- 2 lbs chicken breast halves, skinned
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1, 1/2 lbs. potatoes, cut or sliced 
- 1 tsp. ground sea salt
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1, 1/2 tsp. crushed rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. paprika 
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper 

2. Directions:
- preheat oven to 400°
- combine seasonings in a large baking pan with olive oil
- toss in potatoes and onions, coat well
- add chicken and be sure to coat well with seasonings
- arrange chicken in center of pan
- add a small touch of water to the bottom of the pan (for basting and to keep the chicken moist)
- roast in oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and potatoes are tender
- turn potatoes occasionally to roast evenly and baste chicken
- remove dish from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before plating


 


Sauteed Kale:

1. What you need: 
- 1, 1/2 pound kale, stems removed & chopped
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper 
- 1/2 tsp. ground sea salt

2. Directions:
- rinse kale leaves well
- toss kale in large saucepan over medium heat until wilted, cover with lid
- when kale reduces in volume by half, uncover and mix in ingredients
- stir for 2 minutes
- remove from heat and set aside in closed container



Plating: 
- Place roasted chicken breast over a bed of the sauteed kale.
- Serve with a side of seasoned potatoes and onions. 


Bon Appétit! 

XOXO

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Fall 2013: Top 7 Wardrobe Picks

October 1, 2013

As a fashion photo editor, I am acutely aware of what's trending, what will stand the test of time, and what is a huge mistake. Fashion, and what it means to each individual, is always going to be a very personal thing. I would describe "fashion" as an ever-changing fusion of the past, present and future. Fashion is a fickle thing, with trends that are timeless to the "what were we thinking?" items that make you regret taking "selfies".

It's enough to make your head spin and get you all flustered over what to spend your  hard earned money on.

The best way to go about this is to buy quality, timeless pieces and on occasion, free yourself by just giving in to that bold, stand out statement piece. The key is not to be afraid and learn to trust your individual style instincts.

As for what's hot for Fall 2013, these are my top 7 wardrobe picks:

1. Metallic Toe Capped Shoes:


2. Faux Black Leather Top Dresses:

Ancona Dress - By Anthropologie

Sheath Dress - By Aidan Mattox

3. Studded Denim Shirt (tastefully done):

The Perfect Shirt Without Epaulettes - By: Current/Elliott

4. Studded Envelope Clutch:

Armitage Avenue Studded Envelope Clutch - By: Loris
Studded Envelope Clutch - By: Top Choice

5. Chunky Gold Accessories:



6. Leopard Print (the only chic animal print): 
Note: Never overdo animal print.  Keep it simple.  






7. Plaid done right: 






XOXO

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Beer & Sriracha Infused Stuffed Bell Peppers

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



Yesterday, on Twitter  I promised to blog about this recipe. 

Here you have it!

With the onset of autumn, I crave heartier dishes that have a nice spiciness to them. My all time favorite hot sauce is Sriracha. Now combine that with beer and all the guys are ready to feast! Spicy, hearty food and beer just go together. 

For my beer option, I decided to cook with Corona because of it's light flavor. I'm not typically a fan of Corona, other than to cook with.

Also, I replaced rice with potatoes because i prefer the flavor and additional starch. Is this meal healthy? I don't know, but it's damn delicious! I do recall saying that this is a "hearty" meal. ;) 

Warning: Keep in mind that I tend to like my food on the spicier side so please adjust the recipe according to your own palate.

This is a quick, easy and delicious meal that is sure to bring the fellas running to the table. 


Beer & Sriracha Infused Stuffed Bell Peppers:

It may not be pretty... but it's delicious!


1. What you need:
- 4 large green bell peppers
- 1 lb. organic ground beef
- 1 medium sized red onion, (I prefer the sweet flavor of a red onion) minced
- 1 large potato, minced (Yes, potato and not rice! You will thank me later. I promise.)
- 1 bottle of Corona
- 4 tsp. of Sriracha hot sauce (Put in as much as you like as long as you can handle the heat.)
- 1 (28 oz.) can of tomato sauce
- 1/4 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. pureed ginger
- 1/4 tsp. dried cilantor
- 1/4 tsp. Cumin
- 1/4 tsp. Turmeric
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and pepper to taste

2. Directions:
 - Wash and cut 1/2 inch off the top of each bell pepper. Discard stem, ribs, seeds and set pepper tops aside for later.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour bottle of Corona into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Add minced potato, salt and pepper to taste, cover and reduce heat to a slow simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes. Set aside.
- In the same sauce pan, heat a dash of olive oil and add garlic, ginger, minced onion, Cumin, Turmeric, dried cilantro. Saute till the onions are tender.
- Add organic ground beef and Worcestershire sauce. Brown the meat for about 5 minutes. Then mix in the tomato paste, Sriracha, (add additional salt and pepper to taste) toss in the cooked beer saturated minced potatoes. Remove from heat. 
- Use your beaten egg to coat the inside of each pepper (binding agent).
- Stuff the peppers with the filling. 
- Put your pepper tops back on and place in a non-stick baking dish.
- Cook in oven for about 45 minutes. 

3. Serve with a bottle of beer and devour! 


XOXO

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Honey & Lemon Face Mask

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Do you have acne prone skin, uneven tone or texture and you suffer from hyper-pigmentation? This is the face mask for you!

I've always been really into natural remedies and one of my favorites is this: Honey Lemon Face Mask. This mask works well for all skin types, especially if you have sensitive skin... like me.




Some Benefits of using this mask:

- Brightens skin
- Smooths skin
- Helps clear acne
- Reduces hyper-pigmentation
- Moisturizes skin
- Minimizes pore size
- Reduces redness and irritation
- Helps remove blackheads
- Treats oily skin

Honey:
In addition to honey's deliciousness, this lovely gift from nature is also an amazing antioxidant and healing powerhouse. Honey's unique composition makes it a natural antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal substance. 

Lemon: 
Vitamin C isn't the only reason you should be totally in love with lemon. Like honey, lemon is also an antibacterial and anti-fungal superstar that has long been known for it's cleansing properties. It is an awesome source of alpha hydroxy acid that will improve the appearance and condition of your skin. 


DIY: Honey & Lemon Face Mask:


1. What you need: 
- 1 full lemon
- Honey (I prefer raw or wild honey)
- Container
- Spoon for mixing

2. Prep:
- Squeeze lemon into a container (free of pulp and seeds)
- Add 4 tbsp of honey
- Stir mixture until the consistency is that of a thin syrup

3. Start:
- Pull hair back and away from your face
- Apply mixture to clean face
- Avoid eye area
-  Leave on skin for 20 to 30 minutes
- Rinse off with cold water (to help close pores)
- Gently pat face dry
- Apply your favorite gentle moisturizer 

4. Enjoy!

Let me know if you try it and how it works for you! 


* Note: Be careful not to use this mask if you have open wounds or cuts on your face. The acid from the lemon will sting.

XOXO

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Cute & Easy DIY Floral Hair Clips

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Recently, I got together with some creative girlfriends for an afternoon of crafting. Each of the lovely ladies picked a project that they had been wanting to work on. I decided to make something cute that I could share with the ladies. Floral barrettes was the first thing that came to mind. These easy to make floral hair clips are one of my favorite projects.

Follow along and share these cute hair accessories with special girls in your life.





1. What You Need: 
- Hair Clips (Barrettes)
- Hot Glue Gun (glue sticks as needed)
- Felt (for backing)
- Silk Flowers (embellishments of your choosing)
- Scissors
- Fine Point Sharpie Permanent Marker
- Circular stencil of your choice in size (I used a quarter to trace the circles)

Note:
I recommend purchasing your hair clips at the local beauty supply store because they are usually more affordable and come in a larger quantity than what you will find at any craft store.

2. Prep:
- Heat up your glue gun.
- Trace as many circles as needed, on felt. (Cut and set aside.)
- Draw out equal amounts of rectangles to match the length of the circles, on felt. (Cut and set aside.)





3. Start:
- Glue circular felt cutout on back of silk flowers. (As seen in step. 1)
- Add a good amount of glue to the top of the hair clip/barrette.
- Adhere prepared silk flower on top of clip and press to help it set in place. (As seen in step. 2)
- Adhere rectangular felt piece on back of clip for added comfort when wearing in hair. (As seen in step. 3)
- Place prepared floral hair clip aside and allow enough time for each to set in place prior to using. 




That's it!

Now you have cute hair clips to share with friends and family. It doesn't get much easier than this!

Enjoy!

xoxo
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Celebrating Everlasting Love: 96-Year-Old Fred's Love Song to His Late Wife

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

 Every now and then, we come across a love story for the ages and this is that story.

Green Shoe Studio, an Illinois-based recording studio launched a singer-songwriter contest and was lucky enough to receive a handwritten entry from sweet 96-year-old resident Fred Stobaugh. 

Fred sent in the lyrics of a song he dedicated to his wife of almost 73 years, who had recently passed away just a month prior. Not expecting to hear a response, Fred was surprised & elated to receive a phone-call from the studio that would make his dream a reality and would become one of the most downloaded songs on Billboard's Digital Songs chart.


Watch this incredible documentary with a box of tissues nearby. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


You can purchase Fred's love song: “Oh Sweet Lorraine” on  iTunes.






Lyrics: 

Artist: 96 year old Fred Stobaugh
Title: Oh Sweet Lorraine 
Statistics: No. 49 with 6,000 downloads sold on Billboard's

Oh Sweet Lorraine
I wish we could do
The good times
All over again

Oh sweet Lorraine
Life only goes around
Once
But never again

Oh sweet Lorraine
I wish we could do
All the good times all over
Again

The good times
The good times
The good times
All over again

The good times
The good times
The good times
All over again

But the memories always
Linger on
Oh sweet Lorraine
No I don’t wanna move on
Oh the memories
always linger on
Oh sweet Lorraine
That’s why I wrote this song

Oh Sweet Lorraine
I wish we could do
The good times
All over again

Oh sweet Lorraine
Life only goes around
Once
But never again

Oh sweet Lorraine
I wish we could do
All the good times all over
Again

The good times
The good times
The good times
All over again

The good times
The good times
All the good times
All over again


xoxo 
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A Delicious Mango Mojito Cocktail Recipe (by the pitcher)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mojito season is year-round, right? It is for me! 

I had two lovely ripe mangoes sitting on my counter-top and a party to throw. Naturally, I thought I'd make a delicious pitcher of mango mojito and share this recipe with you. This cocktail was a huge hit at my party and is sure to please and impress your guests, as well.

And now for the pièce de résistance



Mango Mojito Cocktail Recipe (by the pitcher): 

1. What you need:
- large pitcher
- 2 ripe mangos
- 1/2 cup of mango nectar
- 3/4 cup of simple syrup
- 5 to 7 springs of mint (to taste)
- 1 cup of fresh lime juice
- 3 cups of mango rum (I used Cruzan Mango Rum)
- 3 to 4 cups of club soda
- crushed ice

2. Prep:
- Peel and cut one full mango into very small pieces.
- Peel and cube second mango, toss in blender and set aside.
- Wash and muddle the mint leaves.
- Squeeze 1 cup of fresh lime juice.

3. Start:
(a) Get your blender ready:
- add simple syrum
- add cup of fresh lime juice
- add 2 cups mango rum
- add mango nectar
- add small handful of crushed ice
- Blend! 
(b) In your pitcher:
- add blended mixture
- add remaining cup of rum
- add muddled mint leaves
- add club soda
- add the finely cut pieces of one full mango
- stir gently

4. Enjoy!
- Pour yourself a tall glass and garnish as desired.


Cheers! 

xoxo
Check in soon to see what's new! 

Feel Good, End Of Summer Playlist

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I snapped this shot in Arizona. My photographers paradise!


Even though summer is wrapping up, I wanted to share my sweet summer playlist with you. Let's keep the good summer vibes going for as long as possible.

This list is my perfect accessory for these golden August days and a smooth way for me to transition into the brisk fall weather.  Here are some old favorites and new treasures to get you blissfully enjoying the cool breeze and warm sun. Get your glass of wine and listen along with me. 

I currently have these 10 songs playing on repeat: 

1. Maïa Vidal - "Follow Me" 


2. Poliça - "Chain My Name" 


3. Washed Out - "All I know"



4. Chet Faker - "Love & Feeling"



5. Duffy - "Mercy"



6. Lana Del Rey - "Summertime Sadness" 



7. Solange Knowles - "Losing You"



8. Zion I - "Coastin"



9. Kimbra - "Good Intent"



10. Selah Sue - "Crazy Vibes" 


Enjoy!
XOXO 
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Assateague Island National Seashore

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

With summer winding down, my family invited me to spend a few days with them in a quaint, private beach house just a short distance away from Ocean City Beach and Assateague Island National Seashore

Look who's driving to the beach! (Our family dog. Such a character!)

My time spent at Ocean City Beach was short and sweet, just the way I like it. A few hours walking the boardwalk was all I needed to capture some cute pictures and get my fill of this heavily developed beach. All my excitement was left pending for our trip to Assateague Seashore, the following day. 

Cats can fly!

August might be the best time to visit Ocean City.

Goodbye Ocean City.  Hello Assateague Seashore!


Finally!

Assateague Island National Seashore is a barrier island off the coast of Maryland's eastern shore, alongside the Delmarva Peninsula. The Seashore offers stunning vistas of beautiful white sand beaches and wild ponies.




Legend has it that these ponies are the survivors of a Spanish shipwreck. The more likely story is that these are feral ponies and the descendants of livestock brought to the island in the late 17th century by owners who were avoiding taxation laws. (Thanks fellas! Now you and I get to enjoy these amazing ponies.)



Had I wanted, I could have easily walked up to these beauties and touched them, and I would have, had it not been for my sweet aunt yelling at me in the background: "these horses are wild, they bite and it's against park policy." ... I'm sure a few other words were mixed in there, but that's the gist of it. :)

I wanted to keep this one. I named her Oklahoma because of the white patch. :)

Sadly, I slowly retracted my hand and decided to go a little camera crazy, following these ponies along the beach. After a few minutes, I felt like they accepted my presence and allowed me to walk alongside them. I'm gushing with excitement and in real awe of these animals. :)


I highly recommend a visit to this wonderfully magical place. Take your camera, pack a bag full of snacks (no food vendors anywhere on the beach) and enjoy every moment. 
 
At the day's end, I leave this place thinking: sweet, sweet summer, please stay with me just a little longer.


XOXO 

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Color Inspiration Board


Tuesday, August 6, 2013



Thinking of redecorating and not sure where to start? My first step is to start with a color palette. To make things simple, select items you already have in your home and set them up for a photo. Pick your favorite things and group them together. Don’t worry about matching, just be free and open to experimenting with color. 

The photo can be as simple as you like. :)


Once you take your photo, pull colors directly from the photo and match them together. Using the same photo, you can create several color combinations until you find one that fits your esthetic best. Go ahead, explore! Take as many photos as you like and create color inspiration boards for your next party, baby shower, wedding, room décor, invitations, wardrobe styling, photo-shoot, etc. 


I always tend to pick color combinations that are soft and warm, yet vibrant hues to give me that summer time feeling year round’. 


Take a look at my color inspiration board and the combinations I created for you.

Just imagine the beautiful and vibrant combinations you can create with these colors! 

Just a few examples:  

Don't be afraid of color. 
A baby girl's birthday party, perhaps?
A baby boy's birthday!
An office space for him!

Have fun!

XOXO 


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Homemade Pesto

Friday, August 2, 2013

I'm so happy to say that my balcony herb garden is thriving, especially my basil. I've been chowing down on basil infused dishes, including yummy homemade pesto. This is the perfect time of year for pesto.

Try my recipe and add a touch of summer flavor to any dish.

Homemade Pesto Recipe:

1. What you need:
- 10 cups of basil leaves
- 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (optional for dairy free)
- 1 cup olive oil

Remember: 10 cups of basil leaves.


2. Prep:
- Blend mixture in food processor until almost smooth.

My mixture is dairy free.


That's it! Homemade pesto is so easy to make and super versatile.

You can store your pesto in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for up to a week. So go ahead, put it on everything! I do. 

My Homemade Pesto. Yum!


How I enjoy my pesto:

- I love pesto on pasta.
- Mozzarella, pesto and tomato caprese is fantastic!
- Pesto butter! Mix pesto with 5 tablespoons of soft butter and enjoy!
- Pesto adds amazing flavor to almost any sandwich.
- Mix pesto with your salad and forget the store bought dressing.
- Pesto sweet potato fries: spread mixture on sliced sweet potatoes and bake at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until golden and crispy. 

Seriously, the possibilities are endless. 

So many delicious options for pesto.



Enjoy!


XOXO 



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