Tuesday, January 6, 2015

apptastic

(If I don't mention it, no one will notice that its been ridiculously long since my last post, right? Right?? Sorry.)

So I've downloaded a couple apps recently (ok...within the last year), and I thought I'd give 'em a quick review for you guys, so you can either jump on the bandwagon, or stay far, far away or tell me, 'Em, I've been loving that app since before you were born.'

Ultimate Food Value Diary Plus: this is a Weight Watchers work-around. I really really like it. In this area though, I'm easy to please. For $4, I can track my daily WW points+ and scan barcodes and search their database for point values. You can also track your weekly allowance and factor in exercise points. Sa-weet. There are aspects of WW that you don't get from this app--recipes, moral (human) support, and I believe it has a less-chock-full-database than the legit WW app.

Waze: after a few recommendations, I downloaded this app for directions/maps/traffic. It seems to always have the inside scoop on the best route. There is a great user interface which allows you to report an accident, or a cop, or any other driving hazard. It can sense when the car is moving, and it does not allow the driver to use the app when the car is in motion. Safety first!

Cartwheel from Target: I'm sure you already have this, but in case you don't, get it! Additional sales, deals, coupons, fabulous-ness. (after having typed that, I'm having a hard time believing that the combination of letters in 'fabulous' actually make up a real word.) You can search the app for deals, or scan a product in the store. As far as I know, you can't use it online.

SnipSnap: *just* downloaded this one. Meh. I'll live with it for a couple days. I really thought it was going to be this amazing, super awesome thing. Not yet. I wanted to find an app that would let me scan physical, clipped out or printed with the receipt coupons and aggregate them into one app and ideally one barcode that I could scan at every store and see if a coupon was applied. This app does not do manufacturers coupons, or work at grocery stores. Womp womp. Stay tuned.

Speaking of apps...apps of the food sort have been on my mind as well. I was at restaurant the other weekend and on the menu was a bruschetta with ricotta, honey and pistachios. And I just knew, I knew the way you know about a good melon, that I had to have me some of that. And of course, of course, they were out. So those will be appening (ha) sometime soon.

Do you forgive me for my appsence? I hope so.

What apps, either of the technological or gastronomical variety, have been on your mind lately?

til the hummus wraps,
Em

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Perfect Holiday Party Outfit


With the holidays quickly approaching the hunt for the perfect party outfit is on. 

These are some beautiful and festive outfits that I'm loving (thank you Pinterest). 


THE DRESSIER LOOKS:









THE MORE CASUAL LOOKS:





And what would an outfit be without shoes & jewels?! Loving these ...




What will you be wearing to your holiday parties this year? I'm leaning toward a jumpsuit, but these ideas are surely acting as inspiration! 






Thursday, December 4, 2014

All The Rage This Holiday Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year ....

Until you become an adult and the holidays become stressful. Finding the time to buy presents for loved ones, wrapping them, dealing with the endless crowds at the mall and even worse - the madness of parking lots around this time of year.

I'm here to help make your holiday gift buying a little easier ... well actually E! is. I came across their 2014 gift guide and it's glorious!!

   

Check out their picks for the women or man in your life. Looking for more tech related presents not a problem, they've got you covered! Or how about something for the kiddos?!

They also have some great ideas for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, your four legged friends and more. Check it all out here - thanks again E!

Happy shopping for whatever is on your wish list to give or receive this year!




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

workin' that photoshop

So I had my first real-life sighting of an overtly Photoshopped advertisement. It feels a little bit like an internet-using milestone. I found it on Pinterest, became suspicious of the clothing models ridiculously skinny upper legs, clicked on the link to Asos, and lo and behold, Photoshop.

wait, her calves are wider than her thighs...
I'm sure that this unsuspecting woman has perfectly lovely legs that would do a wonderful job of selling me Hunter fleece inserts (I totally need these, but that's besides the point...oh! something shiny...) but I just don't see why the post-production team felt the need to edit away her very-important inner thighs (I mean, how else would you warm up your hands, and wouldn't crossing your legs feel very strange?). Not to mention her square lady bits. Not natural, folks. I'm insulted that you thought you could pass this off as a normally-grown human body.

really?...really?
Have you happened upon a naturally-occuring victim of Photoshop? I'm always curious about those travel pictures on Pinterest with unnaturally vibrant colors. How did it make you feel? Have you ever Photoshopped something? I also did that for the first time recently. I had a very cute picture of Sally with a ponytail and the elastic was bright blue and she was wearing pink and black (hey, you know, sometimes you just use the first elastic you can get your hands on) so I went back and "color-filled" the elastic to appear black. It was awesome.

til the photo shops,
Em

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!



Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Take a moment today to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for! 




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

ketchup

see what I did there? November has been Biiizzzzzyyy...(with a capital B and alternate spelling...so you know I'm serious). I'm ketching (ha) my breath only to hit the road again in two days for the greatest food holiday that ever was.

Here are the finished princess peg dolls for the birthday girl. The younger birthday boy now has an urgent need for his own set, so an Elsa, Anna, Spider-man, and firefighter are on the docket. I mentioned in a previous post the Etsy shop that inspired my creations. I bought a little wooden box at Michaels, and that is where the peg gals live.

the girls from the front, and a hair detail shot
I went to my first-ever grown-up Friendsgiving potluck yesterday. Gosh, do I love friends (good friends, really good friends) and food (good food, really good food). I'd never had legit green bean casserole, so I adapted this recipe, slightly. I used organic condensed cream of mushroom soup and used milk to thin it out, no water chestnuts, and no bacon bits. I crushed the fried onion to a state slightly larger than a breadcrumb. Still crunchy, but no big chunks. Also made a slightly adapted version of this Parmesan Garlic monkey bread. I cooked them in two (disposable) pie plates and lowered the cook temp to 350. And I made these pumpkin cookies with maple cream cheese frosting. I used milk instead of the greek yogurt called for in the frosting, because I didn't have greek yogurt, but I did have milk. Gross story, I actually did have greek yogurt...I checked the expiration date and it expired in July. I looked on the inside, because sometimes yogurt is really resilient. This time, it was not, and I will not go into more detail than that. It was my first time making the casserole and the cookies, which always make me nervous, but both turned out well! As for some of the other potlucks - a kale salad (which I actually enjoyed, don't tell California), a shredded Brussels sprouts salad with cranberries and goat cheese, crock pot mac and cheese, and a deeeelicious creamy, yet crunchy, chocolate pie. If I were thoughtful and on top of things, I would have these recipes for you, but I don't. I have a plan to email for the recipes, but that plan has not yet been put into action.

For actual Thanksgiving, I bring pie. Not pumpkin pie, not apple pie, not pecan pie. Chocolate chip pies. Two of them, because if I only made one, there would be no leftovers, and that is a crime punishable by law. I found the recipe, oh probably 7 years ago, long before Pinterest, and long before I was into reading blogs, so I do not have a digital version. Here is a photo of my well-used, spilled upon recipe card. Please notice the "2 eggs, beaten" smushed onto the end of the first line of ingredients (must've been before spell check too). Obviously, I've adapted this recipe in several different ways, and through those adaptations, I've taken away its credential as a Kentucky Derby Pie. Though I added a copyright symbol back when I typed it, so it must not have been before copyright concerns (gosh, I'm a nerd). I like to do the half white sugar/half brown sugar bit. Brown sugar is just meant to go with chocolate chips. I omit the walnuts, because well, I don't really like walnuts, and I don't want them messing up a perfectly delicious gooey, melty chocolate chip pie. I make this recipe parve by subbing in Earth Balance for the butter.



Do you keep a holiday memory book? I got the idea from my mom. I'm terrible at journaling (that's a word, right?) but I do make an effort to write down each holiday. What was cooked, who was there, any activities, etc. And even when we did our big family vacation this year, the last morning during breakfast, I made quick notes of each day. Oh how I wish I had something that chronicled our time in DC. I do have pictures that tell a pretty good story, but sometimes words are worth a thousand pictures.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend some QT with the people that you love.

til the drum sticks,
Em

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Planning Part 2

As promised, I said I would be back this week to share some recipes. 

Here are some of my favorite appetizers for Thanksgiving or any other occasion. 

Spinach dip - this is a crowd pleaser! This is right off the package of the Knorrs Vegetable Soup Mix.  
  • I substitute the water chestnuts with sliced almonds and I do not add the chopped green onions. 
  • A fun way to serve this is in the middle of a round black bread, which you can pick up in the bakery section of your super market. It's also good with pita chips! 

Another go-to appetizer recipe is buffalo chicken dip

  • I start by boiling a package of chicken tenders. Once they have cooked (about 15 minutes) I shred them with two forks and put into a bowl. 
  • Next add a block of cream cheese and 1 cup of blue cheese dressing into a sauce pan and begin to let it cook and soften. 
  • Once the cream cheese and blue cheese are combined together add 1 cup of Franks Hot Sauce, then add the shredded chicken. 
  • Serve this with tostito scoops.  

One of my favorite Thanksgiving deserts are these Pumpkin cookies - I don't make mine with the icing, they are delicious without it!



What's on your Thanksgiving menu? I can't wait for some good eats!