Dear Grabbing Lapels Readers,
Hello! Hope you are all having a great week! It’s just the beginning of 2017 and as we all anticipate the New Year and the changes that come with it, the ladies of Grabbing Lapels are no different. Two years ago Bianca and Brittany started Grabbing Lapels as a way to reach audiences like us, twenty-something’s still trying to figure everything out. During the last two years we have challenged ourselves to commit to the blogging lifestyle. On our journey we have tried new things, sharpened our personal and professional skills and met a lot of great people along the way. Whether it was a volunteer event or trying a new restaurant, we learned something about the world and ourselves.
Grabbing Lapels is all about making changes, shaking things up and going after what we want. It means making the best of our lives and taking risks. During that time we have shared our everyday actions and lifestyle opinions with our audience. It’s been a challenge and a blessing and one we want to continue.
At this time, Brittany and Bianca have decided to take a break from the blog. While we are incredibly proud of it and want to continue the blog in the future, at this time we have to take a short break. We want to lead by example and it would not be fair for us to give the blog and our audience less than 100%.
So what’s next?
During this time, Brittany and Bianca are going to be focusing on our personal lives so that we can come back stronger. While we are both working multiple jobs and making major lifestyle changes, we want to take them in stride and share them with you. We will be taking a break from the blog for a few months, so we can re-focus on our own lifestyle path and then come back stronger. While we are away, we will also be working on re-branding the Grabbing Lapels site to better reflect ourselves as young women. That means moving into a 30-something’s style lifestyle blog that explores our lives as 30-somethings living in Illinois. We still feel we have a lot to share. We have a lot to learn, a lot of topics to explore and lot of outfits, recipes and event reviews to share.
In the meantime, the site will still be active. We will still be engaging with you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because we love to share the things we love with you.
We appreciate your patience and we value your dedication to our site.
Brittany & Bianca
Soups on! I could really eat soup all year round, but there is nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a cold day. Since we have no shortage of cold days in Chicago, better get some good soup recipes.
I had a lot of serving cheese from the Holidays including a giant wedge of brie, arguably the most delicious cheese there is. So instead of melting over bread and crackers, I wanted to break it down in a soup to enjoy.
To prepare the soups I got to use a new kitchen tool I got for Christmas, the Ninja Mega Kitchen System with blender and food processor. It was perfect for pureeing the onions, garlic and artichokes to add to the soup. Of course you don’t need the Ninja to make this, but you will need a blender, food processor and crock pot.
For the recipe I used roasted garlic. I had some time off for the holidays so I was able to prepare some fresh roasted garlic ahead of time. If you don’t have roasted garlic or don’t want to make it, use regular chopped garlic and sauté along with onions before combining with soup.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can artichoke hearts
8 cloves roasted garlic
1tbs chopped parsley
32 ounces chicken broth
4 ounces brie cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil
Turn on crock pot to high and add chicken broth.
In a small sauce pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add in chopped onion and saute until onion is translucent.
Once cooked, add onion, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic to food processor and blend until smooth.
Add artichoke blend to crock pot and along with chopped parsley and brie. For the brie, chop up into cubes or triangles before adding to soup.
Cook on crock pot on high for 4 hours.
After 4 hours, add to blender until smooth. Soup should be smooth. Add back to crock pot and stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional hour and stir well.
Serve hot with a big fat slice of bread.
I don’t know about you, but I love lace! But lace can be more spring and summer oriented. A great way to winterize your lace is add some faux fur like this adorable gray Kardashian Kollection sleeveless vest.
For this style I started off my outfit with my light, white top with lace embellishments on the bottom. I then added skinny jeans and my qupid fringe booties to the mix.
I then accessorized with my Louis Vuitton purse, which I purchased from Tradesy.
Even though this top could be used for spring I think the outfit together works perfect for both winter and fall! It would be the perfect attire for shopping, lunch date and even the casual workplace. Here is another style of how to rock a faux fur vest!
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Did you know that tonic water glows under black light? What a unique way to ring in the New Year with glow in the dark cocktails. Here are 5 recipes that will make for the perfect NYE cocktail!
Aurora jungle juice:
When you put this concoction in front of natural light, it appears pink, then when you add some black light it gives it a high intensity color similar to the Northern Lights. Talk about an impressive cocktail!
Radio Active Jello Shots:
What an impressive way to show off your killer jello shots, and watch the ball fall together!
This is perfect for new years but also would make for a fun Halloween drink.
Glow in the Dark Apple Cider:
Delicious and looks fancy. Great cocktail choice for a chilly New Years Day celebration!
Disney Glow Tini:
For all of us little princesses out there that want a girlie cocktial
So I’ve taken you through Barcelona and into the French Riviera and now it’s time for a stop in Monaco! The Principality of Monaco is a microstate located in the French Riviera. It’s small but has it’s own government, police and post office system. It’s so small that the territory itself is only 499 acres with a coastline of 2.5 miles. But the small town has a population of 37,800, which includes members of the constitutional monarchy that governs the state. Being able to stay in Monaco was surreal. It was somewhere I always wanted to go, but never truly thought I would. It was a pinch me moment both me and my mom shared.
The area is famous of course for the Monaco Grand Prix. The race takes place within Monaco and people line the streets to see it. I can see why it’s held on the town and not on a track. The streets make many circles and hairpin turns, perfect for racing.
Monaco was truly an exceptional town. It’s kept incredibly clean. In a lot of metropolitan’s in Europe, large trash cans lined the streets. Not so much in Monaco. Every inch of landscape was kept pristine and all the buildings look untarnished.
We stayed at the Columbus Monte- Carlo Hotel. Our room over looked a rose garden dedicated to Princess Grace. The hotel itself was very nice and we loved the dining room for breakfast. It was a great place to make your own boiled eggs and indulge in croissants before starting the day.
Our first day in Monaco we visited the Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild. Which I have to save for a another post. There are so many pictures to share of the mansion, it deserves it’s own blog post. Stay tuned!
In the evening we toured the city streets of the Monaco and got to see some of the amazing architecture.
We got to see where the Royal Family stays when they are in Monaco.
And we got to see the church where Princess Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III.
Just a few feet from where the Royal Family stays is a view of the bay, where Monte Carlo is. We were lucky enough to catch this view just as the sun was setting. The massive bay that opens up to the Mediterranean Sea houses hundreds of luxury boats and yachts. They are all parked so they can be within walking distance to the Monte Carlo Casino and luxury shopping.
This is one of my favorite views while traveling the French Riviera. When you walk to the highest point to see it, you pass through a town that exudes class and luxury it houses the upper echelon of European society. Looking at the bay you can see the Monte Carlo Casino all lit up.
After a short walking tour through town, we stopped for dinner at a place called U Cavagnetu. The food was delicious and so fresh. I had a vegetarian appetizer dish to start with a tomato tart, spinach quiche and roasted tomatoes. I also had a goat cheese salad and dinner was fresh white fish with vegetables, potatoes and a lemon roasted tomato. So delicious!
I also had two desserts, because why not. Tiramisu and a cannoli cheesecake.
After dinner, we walked back to our hotel and got a bus to take us to the Monte Carlo.
Now here is where the trip took a mild turn. We were so excited to get to the casino, I mean it was the Monte Carlo! However, our bus driver had another engagement that evening and we only had 40 minutes to be in the casino. So my mom and I were super bummed, when we arrived our plan was to stay longer and take a cab back to the hotel.
Walking up to the casino, the streets are lined with massive lights to show off all the luxury that is Monte Carlo. The street stores are Hermes, Prada and Louis Vuitton and the streets are lined with Ferrari’s and Maybach’s. It’s truly amazing. Once we got to the entrance of the casino we were greeted, offered a coat check and then headed in. No camera’s allowed. So I could only take a few shots of the lobby area. But once we got into the casino, we were thoroughly disappointed. The majority of the casino itself is sectioned off for high rollers. There were only two rooms for regular gamblers and it included about 100 slot machines and 5 tables that offered roulette, craps and poker. We also arrived quite early, about 9:30 pm so there was not much of a crowd.
While we bumbled around from slot machine to slot machine, we counted down the minutes until we could leave. The doorways to the high roller suites stood taunting us with two tuxedo clad security guards standing at attention. We watched as a lot of older men with young buxom women on their hips strolled through, on their way to spend some cash in a private room.
I lost 50 euros gambling and split a $16 martini with my mom. But, if I am being honest it was a damn good martini.
The exclusiveness of the casino did not ruin my trip. Monaco was such an amazing place and I will always remember! So if you find yourself traveling through, I suggest dining and window shopping. You can’t go wrong with that!
Also visit be sure to visit the Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild. Ill have details on my next post. You won’t want to miss it!
Countdown time. Christmas is days away and I know you already have your shopping done…right? For me now all I have to worry about it getting my food together. I do lots of cooking and cocktail making so I just have to make sure I have all fresh ingredients.
My family is big on cocktails, especially eggnog around the holidays. One flavor that is often overlooked when it comes to cocktails is ginger, why do we always forget ginger! It adds a little spice to the drink and clears up your sinuses. We already have the gingerbread house and of course the gingerbread man, why not a gingerbread cocktail for the little man to sip on?
The triple threat. Gingerbread flavor with eggnog over a White Russian. Don’t count calories, just cocktails. Stop by Delish.com for the recipe.
The Dude abides by this holiday version of the classic drink. A sweet and delicious White Russian you can dunk your gingerbread man in. Thanks to SweetRecipeas.com for the delicious drink!
I love this little shooter! It uses fresh ginger and and Bailey’s irish cream, two of my favorite ingredients. You could really get your family to let lose with this little shooters! Get the recipe at SomethingtoSnackon.com.
I knew there was a way to combine cookies and martini’s. This recipe requires putting in the elbow work and making your own gingerbread syrup. So be ready to get cracking! Make this drink and share with your loved one’s with dessert. Recipe at eat-drink-love.
A beer cocktail perfect for the person who loves a good stout on Christmas Eve. I love a good oatmeal stout, so this sounds something right up my alley.
Want to make a dessert cocktail but don’t want to single out your gluten-free, vegan aunt? This recipe is perfect for that special someone who can’t have all the creams and wheat in a traditional cocktail. Stop at Tasty-Yummies.com for the recipe.
Cheers and Happy Holiday!
Winter is officially upon us and if you haven’t already, it’s time to bring out your boots and leggings. Here is a great way to keep fashionable but also keep warm this holiday season!
For this look I started out my outfit with my Forever21 maroon floral, long sleeve dress. Then I added my brown leggings, to keep my legs warm. I then added my brown suede Steve madden heeled boots and of course adorable lace boot cuffs that I bought at a flea market in Chicago.
This outfit is perfect for a dinner date, holiday shopping or a fun night out with friends.
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Even though this look is super cute, it is important to stay warm, during freezing temperatures, but still look fabulous.
I added my Aeropostle olive jacket, BCBG white knit scarf and ironically similar Ann Taylor Loft white knit hat.
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If you are lucky, you like your boss. Maybe you have worked together for years, or you appreciate them turning a blind eye when you walk in late on Monday. Regardless, your boss is worth a small gift this holiday season. Even if you hate your boss’s guts and you are just feeling the genuine love of the holiday gift giving season. Here are some great gift ideas that won’t break the bank!
Female Boss Ideas:
1. Engraved Boss Lady Plaque– show some respect to that girl boss with this engraved plaque 2. Calendar– it’s very lady like to be a good planner with this beautiful calendar 3. Bow Pen– have your boss be fashionable with this bow pen 4. Tea Infuser– she will thank you for some quality tea time with this adorable sloth tea infuser 5. Champagne Soap– she will feel luxurious with this delicious soap
Male Boss Ideas:
- Everything Bagle & Cream Cheese Kit– his mouth will be watering for breakfast time 2. Desktop Basketball– what man doesn’t like to be distracted by sports? 3. Swell Wood Water Bottle– perfect for the boss always on the go 4. Paper Roll Holder– help your boss keep organized with this paper roll holder 5. Leather Coffee Sleeve– even his coffee can look ruggedly good in the morning
1.Cozy Warm Merry Tea– this tea sounds and looks like it would be merry 2. Boticario De Havana Diffuser– even if your boss isn’t smelly this is a great gift for any boss 3. Power Pack– the boss that is always working will appreciate this 4. Custom Stamp– very personal gift that your boss will cherish for years to come 5. Mini USB Power Strip– perfect for the boss that is constantly multi-tasking.
AND if none of these gifts are a fit for your boss, when it doubt just buy a bottle of wine and call it a day
Yes, candy cane cocktails! Say that three times fastCandy canes are the candy of Christmas and I figured why not add a little alcohol to the mix and spice up the sugary treat even more.
With that said, here are some delicious candy cane recipes that will put you in the festive mood; especially if you are hosting Christmas at your house!
This is the perfect cocktail for the holidays. Works well for Christmas and even New Years!
Nothing like impressing your guests with infused flavored vodka for the holidays!
We all LOVE white Russians so why not add a little peppermint during winter time!
Definitely the most sophisticated cocktail on the list. Would be a great way to kick off a New Years Eve Party!
Both flavors are what Christmas is all about!
Not only are they delicious and boozy, but they are also super cute!
Festive spin on a regular milkshake! Adulting at it’s finest
Seems like this recipe is not for beginners BUT is super duper impressive!
Very simple recipe if you are having a lot of guests over for the holidays!
Who said frozen cocktails are only for summer?
If you love peppermint mochas you will LOVE this recipe!
All of these recipes are perfect for the holiday season! Best part, once Christmas is over I am sure you will have plenty candy canes to spare to keep drinking these cocktails in the New Year!
Happy Wednesday Everyone! We are so close to Christmas and I have not done any shopping. I’m an online shopper so I still have this week to wrap things up. It’s really a task to go out anywhere in Chicago this week because of the below freezing temperatures. Tomorrow is supposed to be a low -20 degrees. Yikes!
To stay warm I did lots of layering, but kept it business casual. For this week’s style of the week, I doubled up on pants and shirts. I wore wool leggings underneath a slim pair of black high waisted pants to keep my legs warm. I then wore a collared oxford style shirt underneath a brown sweater. This sweater is great for layering because it’s thin and the material stretches. I got the sweater at a Mango store in Barcelona.
Make sure and stay warm today and this week. Remember to layer! Shop this look below.
Before you get all riled up, this is not a political post.
When I was growing up, I was always a tomboy. I liked dressing like a boy, hanging with the boys and doing boy like things. I collected basketball and hockey cards, idolizing the people on them. The walls in my room had posters of only men hockey players. I had the mindset that I was a girl of course and I never wanted to be anything but a girl, but I didn’t want to play with dolls or join the girl scouts. I had a very lonesome quality that sort of stuck with me my whole life. Content to not fit in with what a growing girl was supposed to be. Growing into myself as a teenager was not much different, but I found out that a lot of girls were like me. As I got to know more girls through middle school and high school, I realized that I was not as odd as I thought. I saw the things I felt, in other girls my age. Being sort of an outcast among other girls because I didn’t like things like ballet and miniskirts, was not just something I felt. This made a huge difference for me. It validated that I was not wrong in how I felt, because here are other girls who feel the same way. I think a lot about if I had more female role models as a kid, if I would be different or if maybe I would have felt better about who I was much sooner.
I think a lot about a very specific memory I have. I was in 1st grade in Mrs. Wikoff’s class. We were asked to draw a picture of ourselves as something we want to be when we grow up. I remember feeling so challenged. I sat with a blank piece of construction paper for a long time, while others around me drew pictures of themselves as Hollywood stars, musicians, doctors and hair stylists. I remember my teacher asking me what I wanted to do when I grow up and I told her simply, “I want to help other people.” But what job that was for me, I didn’t know. I didn’t know what kind of woman had a job helping people. I wonder now, if there was a female president at the time, would I have drawn myself as president? Things are bit different now for young girls, a female role model can be found in nearly every sector of jobs. But we still have not reached the peak of leadership, the presidency.
In the past half a century, 59 countries have had been led by a female. From India to Namibia, major countries have seen a woman lead their country. Not the United States. Instead of setting the path for female leader, we constantly reiterate our favorite theory that no matter who you are, you can be anything you want to be, even if you are a woman. I could easily spiral into a tirade about the issue with the consensus of equal pay and the common misconception that women can take a maternity leave without penalization, but that’s not what this is about. This is about the fact that saying it and seeing it makes a huge difference. I don’t need to be told that I can be the CEO of billion dollar company because I see women like Marissa Mayer and Meg Whitman. I don’t need to be told that I can be a famous director because I have seen films by Kathryn Bigelow and Penny Marshall. I don’t need to be told that I can be a great hockey player and compete with the best in the world because I saw the Women’s US Hockey team win the gold medal in 1998. I saw it and it changed my mind of how I saw women forever. I’ve seen an interview with Oprah Winfrey where she talks about seeing Diana Ross on television and it changed her life. She saw someone like her, a black woman on television. Seeing women achieve things is important, much more important than saying that women achieve things.
In the present political world, I wonder what would be different if we had more female political leaders early on. Perhaps more women our mother’s age would be living different lives, and not just seeing their hard work finally paying off as they near retirement. We do of course have a lot of women in politics but they are not as prominent as men. One of those women is of course the honorary Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A role model for me and someone who got to where she is by never ever playing the female card, but by being better than everyone else and working harder than everyone else. I feel like if I had been introduced to more women in politics, I would perhaps be a different person. Maybe I myself would have gone into politics. I was never exposed to a woman with a gavel or power suit growing up because it was not main stream. Men were in office and politics was a man’s job. Every president ever has been a man. Being president is a man’s job. These are the things I thought, because it’s all I ever saw. Meanwhile the Barbara Boxers of the world worked tirelessly to make policy, without knowing their presence in the senate might make or break the woman I would grow up to be.
As we approached Election Day last month, I could tell that women felt more empowered, well most women. Women who were excited to vote for Clinton did so with pride. Voters wore white on Election Day as an homage to the suffragist movement. We had a come a long way baby. It was finally time. A qualified person with more experience than any other candidate was running for office and it happened to be a female. This was supposed to be a landmark election. But it wasn’t. It was business as usual. Some of our grandmothers who fought for the right to vote won’t see a female US President in their lifetime. After the election, the same sayings of centuries before came rolling in, a reminder that we still can be anything we want to be. And I believe that, but I have a lump in my throat thinking about it. We still have a long way to go. And if you are reading this and thinking its 2016, women are equal its great! You are very lucky, but you are not paying close enough attention.
After the election, Clinton made a concession speech in which she said, “And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” It was moving and something we have heard in one form or another in our lives. But Michelle Wolf’s response to that comment really stuck with me. During a feature on The Daily Show, they played a clip of Clinton saying that line during her concession speech. Wolf followed the clip by saying, “the saddest thing I heard all day is that we have to be reminded of that.”
I don’t have to worry about my future daughter finding a female role model in whatever field she chooses to dedicate her life, I think women are more determined than ever to make their footprints. So she should have no hard time finding a female role model, and I hope she can draw herself as a female president because she’s seen it done.
With it being my 5th time moving in 6 years, no matter how many moves, it is always bitter sweet. For someone who is rather good with change, moving always gets me rather emotional. When it fully sets in that I am moving, I become an emotional basket case. I think it is because it means there is a new future for me, a new step in life and will never ever have the same room, house or location. My commute will change, my lifestyle will change and of course it is another time for growth in anther direction.
Each time I move it is hard, but this time it will be by far the hardest move outside of moving out of my parents house. I will be selling my townhouse I worked so hard for and saved up my money for and be moving in officially with my boyfriend into his house. While it is a great move in the right direction for us it is also scary.
Home inspection was this past Sunday and it started to set in that I will be changing my life forever. This is the beginning to forever for my boyfriend and I as well as my life in general. Once I sell my townhouse and move in with him, this is it! It is only up from there, marriage, kids, retirement.
Looking back the many times I have moved over the years, the roommates, the room setups and the locations, I’ve realized moving is a hard change. Here are some things that I thought about this past week that help me with these types of changes and who knows, this mindset might help others.
- Change is an inevitable part of life.It is important to remember that change is going to happen whether you want it to or not. Accepting that is the first part of change. There is a reason why we call it history. Change happened, there was evolution and we developed. Change is part of life and existence. Remember change will never end and becoming who you are will never change as well.
- Try to put change in perspective- Change can be overwhelming and make you an emotional wreck but having a positive mindset might put things into perspective for you.
- Don’t live in fear of change- If you live in fear, it will eat you alive…trust me!
- Embrace your feelings- If you are sad, if you are mad, let it out. If you don’t zone into your feelings and get emotional you will just bottle it up and either explode or never get past the change. Let’s be honest you can only put on a happy face for so long and denial doesn’t combat those changes. If that means screaming into a pillow and watching a sad movie or talking it out with someone do it. Everyone is different but whatever it takes do it!
- Be Optimistic- Even though change can have a negative impact on your life, odds are there are at least one pro to the situation that is causing the change.Change can be good and lead to more open doors. It can expose you to new people, new places and of course new opportunity. It will give you a fresh way to look at a unique and complex decision. Change is needed to become a better person whether it is you as your role as a family member, friend, co-worker, teacher or leader. Ideally change means you are learning and growing from that change.
- Manage Stress- I don’t know about you but change can stress me the F out! If you are stressed by this proposed or happening change try to divert your stress to a stress reducing activity such as practicing yoga, exercising or staying busy with a hobby. Even go outside your box and try something new with trying a new hobby or potential interest. These tactics will take your mind off the change while finding self-fufillment.
- Realize changes make you stronger person – Odds are you will learn something from the change that will make you stronger. This inner strength is important and will help you in your life and in the future.
- Create Life Goals- Create a list that will help you move in the right direction of you life. If this change isn’t helping you move in the right direction of what can you do to proactively, change it. Change the already changing atmosphere so you get what you want. New job, new man, new life style, new place. Whatever it takes for you to achieve your goals and make you number one again, do it!
Accepting life’s many changes can be scary and rather difficult. Just remember you are never alone. We all experience change day in and day out. We all struggle with it differently. Hopefully these perspectives and ideas will help you look at it and handle it differently moving forward. Because again, remember change will never end…
Happy Hump Day everyone! The week after Thanksgiving seems to move like a snail. Maybe it’s because we are all rush, rush, rush during the week of Turkey Day. Maybe it’s because we want to slow things down and enjoy the holiday season before it’s over. Either way this week seems to be dragging on but I have no problem making the best of it.
For this weeks Style of the Week, I wore an all black (surprise, surprise) outfit with a denim blazer. The denim blazer is a unique piece I have in my closet that I can only wear with specific colors and textures. It’s a dark denim with dark brown suede elbow patches. It goes great with khaki, gray’s, browns and of course black. It adds dimension to the all black ensemble. The outfit is a pair of slim black pants, black booties and a crew neck black satin tank. I added a gold chain necklace for a touch of sparkle.
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It’s officially Holiday shopping season! So you made it through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you still need the perfect gift for the gadget lover in your life. There are so many new gadgets every year to chose from. I know the Amazon Echo is on the top of everyone’s list. But while we can take a crack at some new tools on the market, it’s sometimes best to look at the tried and true gadgets that have been on the market for a while.
The girls at Grabbing Lapels love anything that makes our lives easier and helps us do things better. Whether it’s in the kitchen or around the home, here are three of our favorite household gadgets.
Every twenty-something runs on coffee. This Keurig pod system allows you to pop in a pod and brew at the press of a button. I bought mine online on Amazon and I use it every morning. It is perfect for the person that is on the go and wants to save a buck!
BAVISION Wifi IP Camera Wireless Home Security Camera
This Wifi Camera allows you to monitor your home using your smartphone, tablet or PC. It is great for home security, watching your baby sleep or monitoring your dog while you are away (like me). It is connected to your home’s wireless internet so you can always see and hear what is going on. It even has speaker that you can talk through. Best part, it is affordable! Only $49.99 on Amazon.
Make baking easy with this batter dispenser. Just squeeze the handle and allow the batter to dispense controlled and without a mess. It is perfect for making pancakes and other baked goods. It is also portion controlled so you don’t have to struggle making sure all your items are evenly distributed. It even comes with a lifetime warranty which is even better!
Single Serve Blender
I have gone through a lot of these single serve blenders, well 3 to be exact. They always end up breaking but this one has been working for over a year now. The Bella 12 piece allows you to make a smoothie whenever you want without using a large blender. I use this a few times a week. I like to have a smoothie after the gym and my boyfriend likes them for lunch on the go. It comes with travel lids so all you have to do is add your ingredients, place on base to blend and take on your way.
Mini Kitchen Torch
I got this as a gift second hand and never thought I would use it, but it really comes in handy! Anytime I want to add little burnt top on crispier crunch to food, I don’t have to place it in the broiler. I simply use this mini torch and done! It’s really great for desserts and cheese that need a little caramelization.
This was a gadget I never knew I needed until I got it. It syncs with everything on your iphone so you can check email, send text messages, even make phone calls. The best part is the activity tracker. It saves all my workouts and shows me which was my best time running, calories burned and things like that.
Britt & Bianca
This fall has already been a roller coaster of weather. Warm and then cold and then warm and then freezing. For today’s style of the week I embodied an outfit that is for more of the warmer weather.
I started off with my green long sleeve dress, which I purchased on Amazon. Then added my Target peacock feather scarf and weathered Steve Madden boots, to keep with the rustic fall look.
Then when looking at my outfit I realized that the style needed a little more to make it more unique and more fall looking.
So, to top off the look, I added my white sleeveless sweater, that has decorative embroidery on the back of it. It adds a nice little rustic touch to the outfit.
This outfit would be perfect for a casual day in the fall, either shopping, a lunch date or a day at the office. Also would be great for a fall festival, as long as the weather is appropriate!
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Bonjour! Happy Tuesday and almost Thanksgiving! One thing I am so thankful for is the amazing 14 day trip I took in October. I was able to submerge myself in so much culture and forget about a lot of cares. Since I got to go so many places, I had to break up the trip into a few blog posts. Today is all about the French Riviera!
After an all day bus ride from Spain into France, we stayed for one night at the Crowne Plaza Montpellier. We got in at about 4 pm. It gave me just enough time to relax and do some work. Our first meal really set the tone for the amazing food we were going to eat while in France. We ate at a small upscale restaurant called L’Oracle. The food was so good and really inspired me to try and recreate some of the items.
In France, almost everything is served with a small salad, which I loved! I love being able to add greens into any meal. My meal started with a green salad with a cheese tomato puff. My entree was spiced risotto, a stuffed tomato and a corn souffle. Dessert was a raspberry lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream.
While en route to Montpellier we stopped in Carcassonne for a few hours for some sightseeing, shopping and lunch.
Carcassonne is a fortified French Town known for the medieval fortress at the center of the town, Cite de Carcassonne.
Below is a panoramic view of the town square where my mom and I enjoyed lunch.
Carcassone is where my mom had her favorite meal of the trip, a mushroom and cheese crepe from a small bistro in the town square. I had a plain cheese crepe and we both enjoyed fresh salad and cappuccino.
Our first excursion after a night in Montpellier was a day in Nimes. We went to the Arena de Nimes, which was built in 70 AD. The arena is used only twice a year for bullfighting but also holds concerts. Even though I detest bullfighting and think it’s an outdated and gruesome form of entertainment that should not still be going on. However, the arena is really amazing to look at and it’s amazing seeing such an old structure that has been part of the town for centuries.
If I had to describe Nimes, I would say it’s a massive little town. After we toured the Arena, our tour guide walked us through some of the streets in town. My mom and I kept keeping mental tabs on all the stores we wanted to go back to during our free time. Once we got back to the town square it was impossible to find our way back anywhere. The streets go all over the place! If you go to Nimes, set aside the day. Touring the Arena, shopping and eating will take all day!
The coat of arms of Nimes consists of a crocodile in a palm tree. You will see the logo stamped on everything and you will see a giant palm tree in the center of the square. On a nice day you can sit outside almost anywhere and do lots and lots of shopping!
My mom and I had spent a lot of or free time sitting and eating at places, so while we were in Nimes we wanted to try and get some shopping done. The weather was getting damp and cold and my mom wanted to get a new coat. We rushed into the city market to get something quick to eat before we hit the streets.
If you are out and about in Nimes, or any place in France, be prepared to pay for public bathrooms. Public bathrooms are kept very clean, but you have to pay to get in. I don’t think it was more than 1 euro. The market was mouth watering! I was a little bummed about not getting to go into the city market in Barcelona, it was way to crowded we couldn’t even walk around there. This was a lot less crowded and much bigger. My mom and I grabbed some baguettes to go. Which is something you see very often. Most people walk around holding a baguette or eating a sandwich on the go. We fit right in.
One or way to Monaco we stopped in Vers Pont du Gard. It’s an ancient aqueduct, you can go on top of it and inside of it.
One thing I was really bummed about was our trip to Nice, France. I really was excited to see the town and walk around. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain the entire time we were there. Hustling around in and cold rain was not very appealing. My mom and I stopped in a small pub for lunch and then went to the Maison Auer, my favorite shop in France!
The Maison Auer is one of the oldest shops in Nice and sells fine candies, gourmet desserts and chocolates. The layout is so beautiful, you would think you were in a jewelry shop. I could have spent more time and money in there. I limited myself to 65 euros, which is a lot for a candy store but it was so worth it! I got lots of candies for myself and for co-workers.
Next stop Monaco! One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. You don’t want to miss out!
Here is part 2 from my trip to Sweden. As you know I was beyond excited to be invited to one of my good friend’s Evan Jager’s wedding in Sweden. My mom and I agreed, it is a once in a life time experience and we had to go! So, we prepared and planned not only a trip to Stockholm but to Sigtuna, for the actual wedding.
Once we spent 4 days exploring Stockholm restaurants, fashion and of course culture, we took a 40 minute cab ride to Sigtuna. All of the guests and wedding party were staying at the beautiful hotel where the reception was being held, Sigtuna Höjden Spa. Here is a picture of the inside of the hotel and what our room looked like.
The hotel and it’s grounds were absolutely stunning. All the food, made by the chef onsite was organic, local and eco friendly. It was located on a small body of water and was surrounded by wooded trails. The back deck overlooked the woods and had hot tubs that were opened to guests, even at night.
Since Sigtuna is the oldest town in Sweden we walked to downtown Sweden to check out shops, eat some delicious chocolate and do some site seeing.
All of the shops had that antique feel to them and were fun to explore. If I would have had more room in my luggage I would have bought more trinkets, clothing and decorations for the house.
They had a decadent chocolate shop that everyone indulged in. And then I can say it was a first time in my life that I ordered coffee from a shop that also sold raw crawfish…smell was not good…
After a few hours of enjoying ourselves our feet were killing us so we ended up just taking a bus back to the hotel. As you can see I missed my dog Kip very much throughout my week long trip!
The day of the wedding, my mom and I slept in, grabbed lunch at the hotel and then prepared for a lovely day ahead of us. Evan and Sofia’s BIG Day!
The ceremony was held at this little adorable old church in the middle of nowhere. It was like something out of a fairy tail and very romantic!
Once they said “I do”, it was back to the hotel for cocktail hour and the reception.
In Sweden there are a few things that were different than a traditional American wedding.
First you do not sit directly next to your significant other. The reason why they do this is because you have a little printed pamphlet at your seat with every single guest’s name. Next to their name there is mini bio about each guest, explaining your relation to the couple and some quirky fun facts about each guest. It allows you to get to know a large variety of people at the wedding and not be stuck to your own circle of friends. It was super fun to meet and get to know everyone. It gives you a feeling of comfort as you are able to find things in common with guests sitting at your table. By the end of the night everyone knew each other really well.
Another Sweden wedding custom is when the groom leaves the room every single man has to run around the room and kiss the bride on the cheek and the same goes for when the bride leaves the room, the single ladies have to kiss the groom. Weird but cute. Perfect timing for me, I just applied lipstick.
Last but not least regarding unique Sweden Wedding customs was the constant speeches. A designated toast master is in charge of coordinating speeches throughout the evening and anyone was able to give a speech, toast or just a nice little saying to the couple. I am pretty sure I cried like 3 times throughout the night!
Dinner was absolutely amazing! Presentation and the 3 courses were delicious! Very impressive and completely entertaining all throughout dinner getting to know the guests at my table and listen to the heart warming speeches.
After dinner there was a DJ and my friends and I danced until the wee hours of the morning.
For more details of my trip to Stockholm, click here.
Baklava is by far my favorite dessert in the entire world! If you don’t know what Baklava is shame on you! Baklava is a rich sweet pastry that is made with layers of phyllo dough, honey, butter and of course filled with chopped nuts. It is melt in your mouth goodness and is perfect for any holiday dinner!
Sometimes I feel like I am a Baklava connoisseur because I have tried a lot of different types and styles of Baklava. Here is a list of items I have never tried, but are definitely on my to do list for 2016/2017. They will all honor National Baklava Day, today, very well!
Baklava Brownie Bombs
The pictures make your mouth water and of course anything with Brownie AND Baklava has to be dog gone delicious!
Just think about snacking on the taste of Baklava, yum!
Not only is the recipe straight from Chicago but it sounds like a great alternative to the real thing!
This could be the best possible way to start your day, today!
I am not a cheesecake fan but this just looks phenomenal!
Baklava Ice Cream
I pray to God this is not just a specialty flavor and that it is around all year long!
Baklava Lip Balm
On my wishlist for Christmas. Problem is it might make me want to continuously lick my lips…
Raw Cacao Baklava Fudge
Great recipe to bring to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Baklava
The Domestic Rebel knocked this one out of the park; enough said!
Cinnamon Baklava Candle
Another item on my Christmas wishlist
Gluten Free Baklava Doughnuts
Naturally Ella has amazing pictures on her blog as well as delicious gluten free recipes!
Never tried it but worth a shot. You cannot go wrong with Honey, Maple, Walnut and Pistachio flavor in the morning!
Spiced Honey Baklava Candy
This would be a cute party favor item!
Will be trying this next time I go out for a special event. Click here for more Pistachio inspired cocktails.
Will be sending this to my mom because she also loves Baklava AND eats oatmeal every morning. Love it!
I’d love to turn this week’s Style of the Week into a political statement, like I am in mourning over the election. But the truth is I dress funeral style any chance I can get. All black is my favorite style, but I like to keep it ladylike too.
This week I wanted to showcase a very cash friendly option for looking good for a work, an event or just going out. I never thought I would find a dress like this at Target, but I did! I love to shop the designer releases at Target but this looks like a brand that is here to stay when it comes to the Target floor. The dress is by Who What Wear. I didn’t even know they made clothes! It was a very inexpensive $35 for the dress and it’s a great material and fits me perfectly. Without adding too much fluff, I wore a ponytail some shades and my gold buckle suede pumps by Vince Camuto. Lastly I added a vintage suede purse to pull the look all together.
I would encourage you to check out some of the Who What Wear clothing at Target. It’s affordable and stylish, so you have nothing to lose!
Shop this look!
Happy Thursday everyone! I know some of you can already use a drink…or three. The holidays are coming up soon and something that really saves me from going crazy is spiked coffee. A little coffee and Bailey’s is the perfect post-meal treat around the holidays. Since there are so many ways to spike coffee, I thought I would showcase some delicious and unique ways to enjoy a coffee cocktail.
Bourbon Pecan Coffee Cocktail
How delicious does this look! I was not surprised to find this great drink at the WorldMarket.com blog, since that store has such unique items.
Hubers Iced Spanish Coffee Cocktail
This drink is a little more cocktail than it is coffee, so be ready to feel a little buzz after. But it’s still easy to make and very easy to enjoy.
Gin Lavender Lattes
Shout out to The Effortless Chic for making this little lady like drink look so flavorful. Also her espresso machine looks awesome…I drooled over it. Also the recipe uses almond milk!
Espresso martini is a classic coffee and alcohol combination, so I had to go to a culinary classic for the best recipe. Jamie Oliver calls this “a sophisticated little devil” and I have to agree. Tastes like coffee, gets you drunk like booze. Get the recipe at Jamie Oliver.com.
Roasted Marshmallow Coffee Cocktail Shake
Yeah I know that picture made you think of some delicious caramel popcorn, or was that just me? I like when I can sneak in marshmallow flavor in dessert and drinks. This is a great drink for fall because it uses caramel and coffee.
Spiked Thai Iced Coffee
Last but not least, a classic spiked coffee with a twist. Cardamom and amaretto really make this unique, not like a typical cold coffee with kahlua.
Hope some of these recipes help get you through the holidays!