Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I went to the Pittsburgh Pirates game on Saturday--they played the Detroit Tigers and won! Unfortunately they lost the final game in the series, but you really can't ask for too much when it comes to the Pirates. One of my favorite movies is "For Love of the Game" with Kevin Costner--he plays Billy Chapel, the starting pitcher for the Tigers. I liked to imagine that it was him out on the field pitching. I'm weird, I know.

Not to be biased, but our stadiums really are the best. Both PNC Park and our football stadium, Heinz Field are pretty new--and always fun to be at or around. The North Shore quickly became one of my favorite parts of the city.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Get Away.

I have been dying for a little get-away lately. Between work, weddings and all the other little things in life that take up time, I feel like I've had zero time to just relax--no worrying, no phone, no responsibility. I have a little mini-weekend planned towards the end of July, and a camping trip in between. Both cannot come soon enough! I'm sick of missing summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Picture-Perfect Wedding.

My cousin Lauren got married on Friday! I spent most of my weekend doing wedding things and I didn’t mind one bit. She married her wonderful husband at the Succop Conservancy in Butler, PA—a bit north of Pittsburgh.

It was honestly the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen or been a part of. It was so romantic, classic and magical, exactly what a wedding should be. The bridesmaids got ready in the old house on the land and the ceremony was right outside the front door. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour after the ceremony before heading over to the pavilion for the reception.

Our bridesmaid’s dresses were a dark lilac and had different details of lace on each one. Lauren’s gown was strapless and looked as if it was vintage—but it wasn’t! She looked absolutely stunning.

The wedding was perfect! Congratulations again to Lauren and Tyler (who are currently in Punta Cana enjoying their honeymoon). Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day!
Thanks to Pinterest.
Cousins at the rehearsal dinner. Bride's in the middle!
With the flower girl, Avery.
My baby cousin, Avery! She was a dancing machine.
Red Barn Photography.
Groom with his groomsmen & women. Red Barn Photography.
Cousins! Red Barn Photography.
First kiss as husband and wife! Red Barn Photography.
Red Barn Photography.
Red Barn Photography.
The girls! Red Barn Photography.
Exactly what a bride should look like. Red Barn Photography.
All pictures are mine unless otherwise noted. Jen from Red Barn Photography was there to capture all the beautiful moments!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Six Shoes

...every woman should own.

I used to be the biggest shoe shopper ever. Shoes are just like your oldest friend—they’ll always be there. You’ll likely have the same shoe size for most of your adult life, and you don’t have to worry about looking too fat unlike that dress you’ve loved, tried on and suddenly didn’t love it anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love my shoes. The shoe shopping sprees just died down a little bit. With my job, I’m always on the move and outside a lot—so lately all I seem to look for is a good pair of stylish flats or cute boots.

There are however six shoes that I think every woman should own. Here they are in no particular order:
  • Wedges
    • Main reasons—they’re comfortable and easy to walk in. Almost always look awesome dressed up or down.
  • Rain Boots.
    • When I was younger, I’d be so embarrassed to put my rain boots on. I thought they were stupid and make me look like a boy. Now, girls can actually pull them off and look stylish! Plus, who really wants to walk outside in heels, flats, or flip flops on a rainy day. 
  • Nude Pumps.
    • Simple. These go with everything. They’re classy and timeless.
  • Ballet Flats.
    • Like I said, flats seem to be the only shoe I look for. Perfect for work when you’re on the go. And small enough I can keep in my bag if I decide to wear heels and need to walk somewhere quick.
  • Dressy Flip Flop
    • So much better than the plain rubber flip flops and can be just as cheap and comfortable.
  • Riding Boots.
    • My go to in the winter. I have a brown and black pair and wear them with jeans and dresses.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Recipes IV.

Ready for the final recipe I've been dying to try?
Beet Tart with Goat Cheese
(makes one 9x9 tart)

  • 6 large beets, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 8 - 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (enough to make a 10x10-inch square)
  • Goat cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Frisee
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets: line one with foil and the other with parchment paper.
  • Slice the peeled beets into thick slices, about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly coat the sliced beets with olive oil, and toss with fresh thyme leaves and a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Lay the beet slices out on the foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
  • Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry into a 10 x 10-inch square, or a comparably sized rectangle. Transfer to the baking sheet lined with parchment.
  • Arrange the beet slices on the puff pastry, leaving about an inch or two along each side. Roll the puff pastry edges up to create a free-form crust, pinching the corners.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for 25-30 more minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the beets are fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool briefly.
  • Mix the goat cheese and blue cheese together with a fork, and crumble over the beet tart.
  • Toss the frisee with lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt to coat, and serve over the tart

Can you tell I love goat cheese? For the first three recipes, visit here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Recipes III

The third recipe on my list to try is barely even a recipe. It is so easy and the perfect breakfast.
Toast with Chunky Peanut Butter, Bananas and Honey

  • Bread
  • Chunky Peanut Butter
  • Bananas
  • Honey

  • Slather a layer of peanut butter on top of toasted bread
  • Add sliced bananas on top of the peanut butter
  • Then slowly drizzle honey on top of the bananas

See? So easy you don't even need to write it down! For the first two recipes, visit here.


I've been loving turquoise lately--more than usual. Maybe because it reminds me of summer and beautiful clear water, but whatever the reason I can't get enough. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Recipes II

Here's the second recipe at the top of my list to try. For the first, visit here.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Raspberries


Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 3/4 graham crackers crumbs (you can use a small food processor to make the crumbs even)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
Cheesecake Filling
  • 20 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Add the graham crackers, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir. Add in the melted butter and mix together.
  • In a buttered, round springform pan (this is super important to use) press the crust down in an even layer. Wrap tinfoil around the bottom of the outside pan, bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  • Turn the oven to 325 degrees and boil some water in a kettle for later
  • Beat cream cheese and goat cheese on medium (about 4 mins) until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides.
  • With the mixer running, add sugar and salt and continue to beat for another 4 mins.
  • Beat in the vanilla and add eggs one at a time, beating full after each addition.
  • Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream
  • Pour batter on top of the crust, leaving a little room at the top for the cheesecake to rise.
  • Place the foil wrapped pan in a larger roasting pan and pour boiling water around the edges, halfway up to the springform pan, kind of like when you're baking a soufflĂ©.
  • Bake for 1 hour, until the top of the cheesecake is brown. Turn the oven off, prop the door open with a wooden spoon and let the cheesecake sit in there for another hour.
  • Take it out and let it cool at room temperature, then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Raspberries On top:
  • Small package fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

After washing the raspberries, toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl and stir with a spoon until they're mixed. Place on top of the cheese cake before serving.

Recipe from Eden at Sugar and Charm.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Recipes I

Browsing blogs for new recipes is one of my favorite things to do. I have a folder of recipes to try, and four have made it to the top of the list. Not only are the photos pretty, but they all sound delicious.
Here's the first one:
Red Quinoa & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad

  • 11 ripe vine grown organic tomatoes (or 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons of basil, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked red quinoa, chilled
  • 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (rice vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt
  • olive oil

-Slice vine ripened tomatoes in half, scoop out all seeds and slice into 3/4 inch pieces
-Place on pan for baking with skin side down and sprinkle liberally with sea salt
-Let the slices sit with the salt for 10 minutes, it will help to dry out the pieces and shorten your baking time
-Preheat oven to 150 degrees (i used a toaster oven since our conventional oven didn't go that low)
-Drizzle olive oil over slices and bake for 6-8 hours, or until they have dried out!  * these can be stored in a jar with olive oil and used on sandwiches, in pasta dishes, on salads, with  couscous... they're perfect with pretty much anything!
-Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge to chill.

For the Dressing: 
-In a small mixing bowl combine walnut oil, mirin, agave syrup, apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of sea salt
-In a medium serving bowl combine quinoa, cherry tomatoes, basil, 3/4 cup of chilled sun-dried tomatoes, and dressing.  
-Mix well.  Serve immediately, preferably at your own backyard picnic. enjoy!   

Recipe from Sarah at A House in the Hills.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

What's Happening.

I've had a busy couple weeks. Last Saturday was my ZTA big sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party, the Friday before was my cousin's bachelorette party, Sunday and Monday I tried to relax and word a bit in the yard. This past weekend I had my first two concerts for work! They both went awesome. Steve Moakler was on Friday and Joan Osborne was on Sunday. I got to talk to Steve and his band and met Joan and her pretty little daughter, Nadine. My sister actually got to babysit her while Joan was on stage! The entire experience was exactly what I thought it would be like. Being surrounded by so many talented musicians, singers, and even the management was both overwhelming and amazing at the same time. My job is seriously awesome, and up until this point it's just been a bunch of planning and organizing. Now I finally get to see all my hard work pay off and come to life! Two concerts this weekend with a sorority sister's wedding in between! I can't wait!
Steve Moakler.
Little blurry--Joan Osborne singing "What if God was One of Us."
I also tried out a new recipe on Saturday--fresh salmon cakes. It was so easy and delicious--fresh salmon, peas, and cooked potatoes mixed together, dipped in egg and coated with panko bread crumbs. Not much to it, but so good--and I only cooked them in a small amount of oil, so it's still healthy too! For sides I made baked potatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and bacon brussel sprouts! I decided to go all out and make some dessert while I was at. For the dessert I turned on the grill to medium heat, took a sheet of foil and created four mounds each with a table spoon of brown sugar, table spoon of butter, a pineapple ring, maraschino cherry and a piece of angel food cake. Wrap it all up in to a packet and put it on the grill for about 12 minutes. When it's done, you'll have the easiest pineapple upside down cake you'll ever eat!