Friday, August 1, 2014

Kissing July Goodbye

You may have noticed there haven't been many lifestyle posts around these parts lately. That hasn't been intentional, only it kind of has been because July was just an off month. I think this past week was more productive and busy than the entire month of July.

Anyway, here's a little recap of July, all out of order, with a few favorites thrown in at the end.

I had a little bit of extra time before heading to a meeting one afternoon so I stopped in the American Art Museum to see the Pop Art exhibit. It was pretty small, but Flying Pizza was definitely my favorite work on display. A couple years ago the NGA had a Roy Lichtenstein exhibit that I really enjoyed, so this one seemed a bit lacking. If you're ever in DC the American Art Museum/Portrait Gallery is definitely a museum to check out. There's a beautiful atrium (left photo above), and let me tell you, walking into that glorious air conditioning on a sweltering hot day was heavenly! Later that evening on the way to meet my husband for dinner I walked by the White House and got a pretty good picture just as the sun was starting to set.

For the first time in maybe a year I curled my hair before dinner for my husband's birthday. I'm in desperate need of a curling wand with a larger barrel because my hair is so long it takes years to curl with a one-inch barrel. Naturally, my hair looked perfect right before I was going to bed (awkward hair selfie above!) I thought I would luck out with some second day curls, but it was completely straight. #soitgoes

Speaking of my hair I cut it recently with a pair of scrapbook scissors and cuticle scissors-- not the ends, but I added in a layer or two-- surprisingly you really can't tell I cut it myself and it feels 100x better!

We had dinner at Barcelona on 14th street; it's a wine and tapas bar and it was delicious. I'm not always the biggest fan of tapas but everything we had was delicious and it has a great outdoor space and open feel to it. I made pancakes for him for breakfast, and he requested the same double buttercream with berry cupcakes I made for our World Cup party in June. 

One of the sad things about living on the East Coast is that summer already feels like it's slipping away with the sun setting so much earlier. I'm still used to being in Michigan where it doesn't set until around 10pm. On the bright side, it means we start to see lightening bugs and have slightly cooler temps for jogging in the evening. Next week starts WEEK FOUR of C25K and I am embarrassingly proud of myself! I've loved talking running with Jo and Tracy

We went to Union Market one Saturday afternoon when we were on that side of town and I was really unimpressed. Our food was not good-- I'm not even that picky, but it was so greasy and inedible to me. It was overly crowded and felt inauthentic, I don't think we'll be back anytime soon. 

We celebrated my niece's birthday with everyone's favorite blue crabs. Later we caught up with friends who were in town briefly on their way to the Outer Banks, and caught the sunset over H Street from a rooftop. The weather has been amazing recently!

I had been so proud of myself for holding off on starting Orange is the New Black, because I haven't been watching as much TV and haven't felt like really binge watching anything. That all changed when I started watching The Wire and I zipped through the entire first season in a week. I'm completely obsessed!

Another monthly obsession or favorite is this Sally Hansen nail polish in mojito, I found it on sale for $3 at Target and it's such a pretty green/blue-- this is my first polish in this line and I was really happy with the formula!

Last thing is the app Bonza, it's a seriously addicting word puzzle game that's kind of similar to a crossword puzzle. 

Due to my obsession with The Wire, I didn't read as much as I had planned this month. Next on deck to read I have: The Vacationers, The Invention of Wings (thanks shelby!), The Mapmaker's Daughter, and Yeah, Maybe.

So this was a whirlwind of a post and ended up being pretty lengthy! Thank you to anyone who read through all of it- or at least most of it ;) What were your July highlights? Can you believe it's already August? It's pretty hard to believe! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Linking up for H54F & Friday Favorites since these were my favorites of the whole month :) 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos

I CANNOT express to you how much I loved this recipe. This might be my favorite crock pot meal ever & you guys know I love my crock pot! I cut the recipe in half just in case it didn't turn out & that was the biggest mistake I could have made! I wish they would have photographed a little prettier, but honestly I was too hungry to mess around with plating the food.

The best part is these are EASY ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Chicken, cream cheese, a few spices, and some shredded cheese! Actually, the best part might be that you make it in your crock pot, so you don't have to use ANY other dishes which = easy cleanup!

I followed Tiffany's recipe exactly (cut in half) and used 12 inch tortilla instead of 6 inch because that's what I had on hand. I ended up with enough filling for 5 lightly filled shells-- if you have a choice, definitely go with the smaller shells for a better bread to filling ratio.

Ingredients (full recipe): 2 chicken breasts; 1 tsp chili powder, garlic powder, & cumin; 8 oz cream cheese; shredded cheese; 6 inch tortillas

Directions: Add chicken, spices, cream cheese with about 1/3 cup of water into your crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours; once chicken mixture is cooked preheat oven to 400 degrees and fill shells with chicken mixture & top with cheese; roll tortillas; spray lightly with cooking spray or olive oil; bake for ~12 minutes (detailed directions at Creme De La Crumb)

They're really good with salsa and my husband enjoyed them with some guacamole as well. I think they would have been good the next day, but we ate them all in one sitting... they were that good!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Orange and Coral Polish Favorites

We have just about a month left of summer, which means there's still time to make use out of all of my favorite orange and brighter coral nail polish colors! I looked through my nail polish and picked out my favorites in this color scheme and was happy to find a pretty wide variety in brands and price.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

DIY Carmel deLites

I know these have an updated name, samoas, but they were carmel delites when I was a Girl Scout, so I'm sticking with that name. I came across this recipe on Pinterest and thought it was way too good to pass up. I figured I would take a mini shortcut and use the Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix for the cookie and the ingredients for the topping seemed pretty basic.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shorts for Summertime (& a giveaway)

I don't really talk about fashion very often on my blog but lately I've had shorts on my mind. I typically stick to dresses in the summer but this year I've been a lot more into shorts-- the only issue is finding the perfect pair. If a pair is too long they make my legs appear short, if a pair is too short-- well that's just not cute on anyone. I'm linking up for Trending Tuesday to share this post today!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ulta Haul (NYX & L'OREAL)

I love when Ulta does the 40% off sale on brands like L'Oreal, Neutrogena, and NYX. It gives me the perfect excuse to try a few new drugstore products I've had my eye on. The usual Buy 1 Get 1 50% off is nice, but it's really not even that good of a deal if you think about it! I'm all for a sale where you get a discount on every item! Especially these days when I feel like many drugstore prices are rather high for the quality you often get.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Peanut Butter Cup Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

A few weeks ago I got a mini muffin pan, and it might be the cutest gadget type item in my kitchen! I had been looking all over pinterest for some good recipes to try out and came across these delicious peanut butter cup cookies. I'm linking up with Mary and Emily today-- make sure to check out their linkups for more recipes!