Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recognizing the Recognition


I have been delinquent in mentioning a few things, and in the spirit of my resolution for the month (becoming more active in the blogging community), I wanted to talk about them here.  If you follow these back to their original links, you will see that some are a bit old.  I apologize.  I really do go back to your blogs and read what I am tagged in and appreciate any blog award that has been bestowed upon me.  I just failed at writing about them, until now.  


Tagged:
I was very sweetly tagged in two posts, one by Elisa from Globetrotting in Heels and the other by Elizabeth from E Is Random.

Awards:



I was also awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by Mal from The Chic Geek




Thank you so much for thinking of me!  In the spirit of these tags and awards, here are a few random facts about me:

1)  I watch House Hunters and House Hunters International constantly. It is kind of an addiction. I was not happy to read about the show being staged.

2) I have won Lucky magazine giveaways 5 times.  If you have never entered, give it a try.  *not affiliated

3) Animals I would own if I ran the world:  a penguin, a panda bear, a koala,  a walrus, a sea lion, an otter, a few sea horses, Falkor form The Neverending Story, and a unicorn.


4)  When I read a magazine, I have to read it from cover to cover, in order, and rarely skip over any of the articles (even when I am not interested in them).  

5)  I have to fall asleep at night with the tv on, but it has to be to something I am not interested in so I don't actually watch.  Sometimes QVC does the trick.


What about you?  Are you a House Hunters fan?  Do you fall asleep with the tv on or does it bug you?  What animals would you own in your dream world?  How do you read a magazine?



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recently In Our Garden...

Blackberries

Blueberries

Garlic chives, bunching onions, Roma tomatoes

Corn

Peppers, shallots, onions, kale

Grapes

Herb garden

Potatoes, rhubarb, pear tree, corn

Snap peas

Swiss chard, broccoli, kale, shallots, onions, blueberries, grapes, roses

Tomatoes

Our first batch of bunching onions

Lobelia

Bleeding heart

Fuchsia

Columbine

Foxglove

Roses

Harriet wants to come into the garden.

Goldfinches

Rose

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fourth of July Fashion


Independence Day is a week away, and you still don't have a thing to wear?  No worries.  I have found the perfect pieces to help you exemplify your undying patriotism this holiday.  Note: I would not recommend wearing all of these pieces at the same time. My current favorites are the blue denim jean shorts (a holdover from last year's picks), the  wellies, and  the dress.   I really need to pull the trigger on those shorts already.  

What are you planning on wearing?  Do you like to bring out the red, white, and blue on the fourth?  Do you have big plans for the day?  I need some ideas!




Fourth of July Style


Reversible dress
$118 - modcloth.com

Haute Hippie loose tank top
$85 - shopbop.com

Free People striped romper
$88 - freepeople.com

Cotton shorts
$68 - topshop.com

Short shorts
$68 - topshop.com

Two piece swimwear
$15 - target.com

Zara shoes
$100 - zara.com

Me Too high heels
$59 - nordstrom.com

Wellington boots
$33 - target.com

Old Navy print shoes
$5 - oldnavy.gap.com

Free People tote handbag
$398 - freepeople.com

Tory Burch tote handbag
$193 - toryburch.com

Rebecca Minkoff canvas tote bag
$195 - shopbop.com

Red watch
$35 - target.com

Vintage jewelry
$12 - urbanoutfitters.com

Free People dog scarve
$48 - freepeople.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Birchbox vs. MyGlam June 12


Last month I was ready to stop both of these subscriptions.  I was very unhappy with the products I had been receiving, and found myself giving more stuff away than I was actually using.  I decided to give it one more month to see if there would be something good coming my way, and I am so happy that I did.  This month I really liked both shipments.  I am moving forward with cautious optimism.  


Inside my Birchbox:

Comodynes Self Tanning Intensive:  Let me first put in my disclaimer that self-tanner and I are not friends.  Every time I try a new brand, I end up streaky.  I hadn't tried towelettes before, so I was anxious to give it a whirl.  One leg looked perfect.  The other leg looks like this:


I did like the color it gave me, but I think that I personally need something tinted, so I can see where I am missing spots.  This was kind of embarrassing (but probably completely my fault).

Masqueology Pore Minimizing Mask:  I liked this product, and found it moisturizing without feeling oily or heavy.  My skin did have a nice glow to it the next day.  I would definitely purchase this again.

Stila One Step Bronze:  Stila is my favorite makeup brand, and I was very excited to try this.  It gives a nice sunkissed glow and was a full sized sample (worth $36), so I was estatic.

theBalm cosmetics Staniac in Beauty Queen:  This product reminds me a lot of  Benefit's Benetint.  Gives a nice rosey color to my lips and cheeks, but probably not something I would purchase.  Been there, done that.

tili Bags:  This is the green and blue leopard print bag pictured above.  Maybe I am missing something here, but it seems like a standard Ziplock bag with a cute pattern on it.  It is supposed to store all of your travel sized products, but at $8.49 for a pack of 12, I would be better off using the grocery store brand.  Anyone have a different take on this product?

John Varvatos Star USA cologne:  Honestly, I promptly handed this to my husband, and didn't smell it myself, so I am not sure how it smells.



Inside my MyGlam Bag: 

Snazzy gold glitter pouch:  I cannot emphasize enough how much I adore this little bag (but I am a sucker for sparkly things).  

Philosophy Take A Deep Breath oil-free energizing gel cream moisturizer:  I have been using this for a week now, and I guess the best way I can describe it is to say that it is fine.  Very light-weight, but nothing groundbreaking enough to make me change from my normal products.  However, I do like this a lot better than Hope In A Jar (also by Philosophy).  

NXY Round Lipstick in Eucalyptus:  This hot pink color was nice, but not really that flattering on me.  I know bright, in-your-face lipsticks are very trendy right now, but it would be great to get some samples of more neutral tones.

Living Proof frizz Nourishing Styling Cream:  I have tried Living Proof products before, and neither loved them nor hated them.  I feel the same about this sample.  I tried it both on days where I wanted to leave my hair natural and wavy (which means I let my hair air dry) and when I straightened my hair (with a blow dryer and flat iron).  It is a nice product that doesn't leave my wavy hair crunchy in any way, but it wasn't amazing enough to make me change from the products I normally buy for my hair.  

Marbella Permanent Eyeliner Pen:  Normally, I stick to brown eye liner.  I admit that I was intimidated by the fine brush and deep black color (and also the words "semi-permanent) at the start.  It was easy to apply, and didn't overpower my eyes.  It removed easily with eye makeup remover.  I will definitely be playing around with this in the future.

So there you have it, my June swag.  I would give my Birchbox an A and the MyGlam Bag a B- this month.  Definitely huge improvements over the F rated boxes I received last month, and enough to keep me from cancelling my subscriptions just yet (but I do have an itchy trigger finger).  I'll be back with a review of my July deliveries next month.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Inside Out Burger




I love mushroom and Swiss burgers.  I discovered this recipe on The Food Network, and thought it was a good twist on my old favorite.  Here, instead of piling on the cheese, bacon, and mushrooms, the ingredients are all stuffed into the middle.  It is a great way to keep all of your toppings on the burger itself, instead of falling onto your plate.  This is how we do it.


Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into bite size pieces
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 pounds ground brisket
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces Swiss cheese, cubed
  • 4 whole wheat buns 
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil 


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

We usually use ground turkey for our home based burger adventures.  However, when we do use beef, I like to grind it ourselves, so we know what is in it.  Here, we used a brisket.  This is a step you can skip if you buy it already ground at the store.  



Place the bacon in a large saute pan and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Set the mushrooms aside to cool in a bowl.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, shallot, black pepper, salt, and Worcestershire. Separate the mixture into 4 equal portions. Divide each portion into 2 separate patties.


Combine the cheese into the cooled mushrooms and bacon mixture. Note:  It is important that the mixture is cooled so you don't melt the cheese before you cook your burger.  Take 1 patty and top with 2-ounces of the filling. Place another patty on top and pinch around the edges to make sure that the filling is totally covered. Make the rest of the patties the same way.



Over medium-high heat, heat a large skillet with canola oil. Once hot, add the burgers and cook for 2 minutes per side. Place the pan into the oven and cook for 4 to 6 more minutes for medium burgers.
Remove from the oven and serve on a whole wheat bun.


Sweet potato tater tots and fresh corn make excellent sides, in case you looking for that little something extra to complement the dish.



Bonus idea: For an added twist, form your patties in muffin tins (this makes more of a meatloaf style entree).  These turned out really well, and made portion control very easy.  It is also very portable to bring to lunch with you the next day.  This reheats very well.




As always, I would love to hear from you if you make this recipe.  Enjoy!  

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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