Thursday, June 30, 2011

Simple UPrinting Giveaway

Ready for a super easy giveaway? I was contacted recently by a rep at Giveaway Blogs, and I thought that this one would be fun. I am a huge fan of staying organized and labeling things, but I also just really like stickers. 


If you win, here are the prize details:
250 Stickers for One (1) Winner
2" x 3.5"
70lb Label Matte, Front Only Printing, 4 Business Days Turnaround
Restriction: Limited to US residents 18 years old and above only.

Here's how to enter:
Leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address. (1 Entry)

How simple is that? But for bonus entries, you can...
Be a follower of Simple Girl, Simple Pleasures (1 Entry)
Like my Facebook page (1 Entry)
Like the UPrinting Facebook page (1 Entry)
Follow UPrinting on Twitter (1 Entry)

Just leave everything in one comment, and submit your entry by 11:59PM EST on Friday, July 1st, 2011.  I'll be announcing the winner on Saturday, July 2nd, so get excited!


Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given, and I will receive labels for hosting. Check out standard label templates on UPrinting.com

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yea, I heart Pinterest

So I have been awake for 3.5 hours already (yes, it's only 8:15AM) and feel super productive. Ready? I went to boot camp, vacuumed my car, then hand washed Holly (my car), showered, got dressed, painted my toe nails, played with the kittens, drove my mom to work, went to CVS, and drove to work. I'm exhausted. Good thing for iced coffee!
          Today, I'm hopping on the bandwagon and linking up with the fabulous Michelle at The Vintage Apple for "Oh How Pinteresting!" Definitely go check out her blog because it's one of my favorites.

Love these Kate Spade Shoes via Pinterest

Wanting one so bad! via Pinterest

via Pinterest


For some reason, Blogger keeps deleting the hyperlink for the last pin (you can find it here). Happy hump day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mini Maine Vacay 2011

Well, I'm still recuperating from a great weekend in Maine, but I figured that I would give you all a few little pictures from our trip. So what happens at the lake stays at the lake, except for when a lovely little lady who blogs comes too.
And even when it is cold and rainy the whole time, we still get to enjoy a beautiful view from the dock.
Of course, K & J brought their wonderful dog Sarge. (He's afraid of going in the water, but pretended like he was going to jump in to swim with the people bold enough to brave the water.)
Then of course, I got to spend some good quality time with M. I'll be the first to admit that this isn't our best of pictures, but I was one happy girl to be back with him.
The boys went into the woods and chopped down dead trees to build us lady-folk a fantastic fire.
So we made s'mores. I couldn't tell you the number of s'mores I made and ate. 
YUM! Has anyone else enjoyed a weekend with friends on a lake? We all had hoped for gorgeous summertime weather, but we still made the best of the situation with good food, booze, friends, and laughter.  I am so grateful for all of these wonderfully simple moments in life.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Monday Confessional

So I'm linking up with my favorite gal Rissy over at Carissa Explains It All today. And oh boy, do I have lots I want to confess with you. Ready?


I confess... that after a great mini-vacation in Maine, I'm exhausted.

I confess... that I feel terribly behind on blogging, and I promise to catch up this week.

I confess... that my new neon pink running shoe laces make me instantly happy every time I look at them. (My Neon Blonde Runner friend has inspired a new obsession with neon.)
You can order these on Amazon!
I confess... that I made 3 batches of rice krispy treats to bring up to Maine and almost all of them were eaten. 
Cocoa, regular, and mixed!
I confess... that I tried my first Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Coolatta on my drive up to Boston on Thursday night and didn't really like it. 
At least I look happy in the picture
I confess... that we finally tried Skinny Girl Margaritas and LOVED them! 

I confess... that I cried most of the way home from Boston last night because leaving M gets harder and harder. 

I confess... that I am going to need to drink a lot of coffee in order to function today. 
Happy Monday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Simple Girl, Simple Hair

Before (Last Friday night right before I left work)
I don't think I've ever discussed this, but I have very easy hair.  And by easy, I mean it is stick straight and requires a s*** ton of hair spray to hold any volume or curls. Anyways, I decided to get my hair cut last Saturday morning.
           I get my hair cut twice a year because it so low maintenance. I don't blow dry it, or color it (yet). I don't straighten it because it's naturally straight, and I rarely curl it. Well, I decided to get my hair cut short again, and I'm almost wishing I had gone a little bit shorter...
            I had to wait until today to post this because I wanted M to see my haircut before all my blog friends (it's only fair).
New Hair! 
What do you think? It's much shorter, but I love it. M and I are already on our way up to Maine. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Me, Dad and Mom - April 2011

Today is my mom's birthday! The best way to describe my mom is that she's the best. Of course, I'm biased because she's my mom, but I love her times a million, and I couldn't imagine having another woman in my life like her.
            Growing up, I learned a lot from my mom. Some simple things about cleaning up after myself, or tying my shoes, or even how to make tofu meatballs. But something that both my parents have taught me is how important it is to love what you do (for your career). My mom and dad have always had jobs that they've enjoyed, so when I meet people who aren't happy, it's shocking to me.
           But besides loving her job, she's taught me an even more important concept or life lesson. You can have it all. You can be an incredible wife, mother, friend, worker, cook, needle pointer, daughter, and companion. My mom has always worked for as long as I can remember (some of it was part-time), but I don't have any memories where she isn't present. Whether it was a school event, track meet, or just baking something for when I had friends over, my mom was there and still is there. See? All that b.s. that you have to sacrifice to have it all is not true!
             So I guess what I want to say is, thank you, Mom! Thank you for being an amazing role model, mother, and, most of all, best friend. Hope you have a very happy birthday!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Kitten Morning

So this morning, as you've read earlier, I tried to post video from YouTube, but it didn't work. #Fail. Anywho, now video is working again. Yay!
           While getting ready for work, I decided to record our two little kittens (Figaro and Giada) playing on my bed. They have become obsessed with playing in my room, especially on that bright pink pillow. And as soon as they hear me open my door or head upstairs, they come pouncing on the bed.
video
          I apologize in advance for the crappy video quality (my Crackberry isn't the newest). But aren't they just so cute? You also get to see a little bit of what my bedroom looks like. Hmm...should I do a bedroom tour?

We Run the World, Girls.

So I don't know if you have seen her actual video for this yet, but BeyoncĂ©'s video for her new single is incredible. Well, Kim shared a link to her Billboard Music Awards performance, and I had to share it with you all for a great Wednesday happy. 
           For some reason, Blogger has not been cooperating this morning, so I can't embed the video. But click here to check it out on YouTube. Happy hump day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award!

Oh happy day! oh happy day! Oh happy day! oh happy day! That was me singing this while I wrote this post last night. Guess who got another blog award? And guess who gets to dole this out to not one, not two, but fifteen other fantabulous bloggers? That's right, me!
The beautifully blonde Bee over at Preppy Wife Preppy Life awarded me this honor, and I am so happy to pass it along to others. Thanks so much Bee! Make sure to check out her brightly colored and cheery blog.
            As part of this award, I share seven facts about myself and award this to 15 bloggers. Ready?

1. I honestly believe that the world be a better place if everything was pink. (I have very good reasoning behind this.)
2. I am double-jointed in my fingers.
3. The fastest mile I ever ran was 5:55, but that was back in high school.
4. I used to want to be an actress when I "grew up." (I even went to acting camp.)
5. I have a pasta sauce named after me at our country club.
6. My biggest pet peeve is when people crack things (like their backs, knuckles, neck)
7. I've been published, twice.


And the award goes to.....these fun-tastic fifteen:
Ashley at Ashley Brooke
Christy at 25 Before 25
Elizabeth at The Mustard Ceiling
Hannah at 17 Inch Heart
Katherine at Neon Blonde Runner
Kelly at The Maxwells
Lamb at lamb loves
Wegan at What Wegan Did Next...

Happy first day of summer everyone! And be sure to check out these fantastic bloggers!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Leisurely Dinner for Two, please

Did everyone have a great weekend? I certainly did. I got a good amount of sun (with splotchy sun burned legs) and lots of quality time with the bestie.
           On Saturday night, we had a leisurely dinner date, just the two of us. We had a wonderful time sharing wine, good food, and easy conversation. It's amazing how the simple things make me truly happy. 
             We sat outside at Terra, a phenomenal Italian restaurant in my hometown. We started with a bottle of white wine and delicious fresh bread with hummus and olive oil.
Olive oil, hummus and bread
Then we split the tre colore salad, which had baby salads, arugula, radicchio, and shaved parmesan lightly dressed in a lemon-balsamic vinaigrette. 
Salad
Next came our main course of pizza! I ordered the pizza with crumbled sausage, hot cherry peppers, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. 
My pizza :)
Kim ordered the pizza prosciutto di Parma with arugula, sliced tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. 
Kim's pizza
Then we decided we weren't full enough and ordered dessert. I got my favorite - zeppole, which are Italian doughnuts, and they came in a honey glaze with whipped cream on the side. 
Zeppole!!!
Kim ordered the brownie special. It was phenomenal and served with whipped cream and fresh vanilla ice cream. 
Kim's dessert
Overall, the weekend was fantastic. Now, I'm looking forward to a short work week and seeing M on Thursday. Damn, I miss him. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five on Friday

Ready for another five facts or tid bits going on in my life this Friday? Good. Me too!

1. Really exciting news! My younger sister is starting a blog! It's not up and running yet, but as soon as it is, I'll be sure to post the link.

Ali and I circa who knows how long ago
2. I'm going on a weekend vacation to Maine in one week! When was the last time I went on a pseudo-vacation? Um, I couldn't tell you. M's roommate's family (did you follow that?) has a house up in Maine, and ever year, a huge group of them head up for the weekend for fun and debauchery. Don't worry, I'll take lots of pictures to share. Note to self - charge camera.

3. Wacko, my favorite summer beer, is now in stores. If you pour it into a glass, it looks slightly pink. Love that, obviously. You know, since my favorite color is pink.

Figaro and my beer
4. I had a crazy dream last night, which has inspired a great recipe for cookies. I'll be sure to post the recipe next week.

5. Last, but absolutely not least, I get to see my bestie tonight (as you all already know)!
Kim and I - April 2010 (it was my sorority's formal)
Hope everyone has a sunny and relaxing weekend! Hopefully I'll get a tan, or at least a little bit of color. Do you have any fun plans?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Liebster Blog Award!

Yesterday, in my mid-afternoon slump (a.k.a. wanting to take a nap), Courtney Ash of Dear Darling-xoxo commented to tell me that she nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award! My reaction: YAY!
            It had already been one of those super happy days, and then this happened! I couldn't contain myself and wanted to do a happy dance in my cube (I refrained). I can't believe that I was one of the four that she picked, so I am beyond flattered. Thank you, Courtney!    
            As Courtney explained in her post, the Liebster Blog Award was created to share other blogs that you enjoy that have fewer than 300 followers. As part of this ongoing award, I get to choose four bloggers that I adore! Ready to check 'em out?
1. From Corporate to Domestic
Natalie is a semi-new mom and funny, funny woman. I have been reading her blog every day since I started to blog again, and it took us over a month to realize that we weren't actually following each other.
2. A. Liz Adventures
April just got married! Congratulations again! She's a witty writer, but also informative. She has great and simple DIY projects, as well sharing life's little moments with her loyal blog followers.
3. The Sweet Life
Stephanie is currently chronicling her summer in the Bahamas! She is a nanny, but getting to enjoy a wonderful tropical place, while making new friends. I love reading up on what goes on in her every day life in paradise. 
4. The Preppy Pink Blondie
Ashley's blog has been on my must-read list for over a year and a half now, even when I was on my blogging hiatus. She's adorably preppy and fun. Like me, she's in a long distance relationship, while just starting her career in the real world and enjoying it. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wonderous Wednesday

Last night, I got dressed to go running and didn't. Instead, I went through my dashboard on Blogger to catch up on all the reading of my favorite blogs. On the bright side, it's Wednesday already, and I feel great!
            I am really, really looking forward to the weekend though. My best friend, Kim, is coming to Connecticut to visit. (Remember the one I went to see in Virginia?) Two downsides to this weekend though -- I was invited to a CT Bloggers Meet Up, which I'm really disappointed that I'm going to miss. If you're also from CT and a blogger, click here for more information. Hopefully, next time I can attend and meet these fabulous women! Also, I won't get to see M, which always makes my heart ache.
           On another note, while I was reading through some fellow blogs, I came across an incredible post by Lauren of Lifestyles of the Rich {at Heart} and Not So Famous. She posted this letter that an ER doctor wrote about his experience while he was on duty in Joplin, MO when the tornado hit. Thanks for sharing this Lauren! It really helps to remind us not to take life for granted.
            Lastly, my mom and I got a great deal via GroupOn yesterday. We got 3 weeks of unlimited boot camp classes in our town. We took one of his free Saturday morning sessions a few weeks ago, and we were sore for days. I can't wait to start tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks


Mozzarella Sticks
Ready for an amazing and easy recipe?! M and I finally got around to making some homemade mozzarella sticks this past weekend. Ultimately, he ended up manning the grill with my dad, and my sister had her fingers covered in egg and mozzarella. Here's the recipe for this tasty treat!

Yield: Approximately 24 (depending on how little or big you want to make them)

Ingredients:
  • 16oz. package of mozzarella
  • Approximately 3 cups of Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Approximately 2 cups vegetable oil
  • Warm Water
  • Marinara sauce, for dipping
Directions:
  1. In a deep sauce pan, heat oil on medium. (Do not overheat or bring to a boil.)
  2. Slice mozzarella into half inch strings and then into thirds. (See picture below for approximately how big M cut them.)
  3. In three separate bowls, fill one bowl with warm water (enough to dip the mozzarella), one bowl with the eggs beaten, and one bowl with the bread crumbs.
  4. When oil is warm enough, dip one piece of mozzarella in warm water then egg then bread crumbs. Then dip the same mozzarella piece in egg and bread crumbs again. The trick is to dip the mozzarella twice.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, slide mozzarella stick into oil. Cooking for approximately a minute, or until mozzarella stick rises to the surface and begins to turn golden brown.
  6. Repeat with the remaining mozzarella sticks.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Some of the sliced mozzarella!

Warm water, egg bowl, and breadcrumb bowl

There were none left!

Monday, June 13, 2011

NYRR Mini 10K 2011

I did it! I ran my very first 10k race in the greatest city in the world. (I'm biased and will always think of NYC as the best city.) Here's a quick recap of the race and some pictures. M caught a second of me racing across the finish line, but other than that there isn't any other video.
          We woke up at 4:30AM to catch a train into Manhattan. (My parents rode in with me, and my sister, her boyfriend, and M came in a litttle bit later.) By the time we got to registration it was about 6:30, and I was running solely on adrenaline. Who would have thought I could function that well without coffee?
           We were instructed to go to our corrals around 7:30, and I was in the 3,000 - 3,999 group. There were 7,999 people registered and all women!
           The race went really well overall. I paced much faster than I thought I would and even finished with a time much faster than my goal. My knee and hip started to give out at the half-way point, but I listened to my body and walked for a while.


             I finished the race strong and was so grateful to have my family and M at the finish. Knowing that I would get to see them all at the end kept me going. I am so proud of myself for running this race, and I will definitely be running this again next year. And congratulations to all my blogging friends who ran on Saturday too!
Stretching before the run
Sprinting to the finish (great picture thanks to Ali)

M & I after the race

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quick NYRR Mini Preview

All I have to say is that my race yesterday was a great success! Here's a quick picture of my parents, M and I before the race!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Drumroll please! And the winner is...

Neon Blonde Runner of Neon Blonde Runner! Sorry friend, I actually don't know your first name yet, but congratulations to one of my fantastic blog friends! I'll be mailing her gift card this afternoon via snail mail. Yes, I'm old fashioned and love sending (and receiving) items in the mail. How do you feel about that?
          What better way to start a Friday than to announce my giveaway winner? Well, it's bagel Friday in my office, so I'll be chowing down on something delicious after my 15 mile bike ride this morning. Anyone have any fun plans for the weekend?
           Happy Friday! And stay tuned for another giveaway soon...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Last Chance & 10K Prep

Today is your very last chance to enter my 50 Followers Giveaway! I'm so excited that I've reached over 50 followers, and I can't wait to keep meeting even more of you via the world wide blogging web.
           If you want to be in the running for the $25 iTunes gift card, check out the giveaway post and let me know in a comment if you're...
1. A fabulous follower of my blog! (Google Friend Connect or Networked Blogs)
2. A follower on Twitter!
3. Like my Facebook page!
          You get one entry per item! You have until 11:59EST PM tonight to enter. I really hope you do! On a completely unrelated to my blog note, I am running my very first 10K on Saturday morning. I'm getting really pumped for it, but I also have those tiny little butterflies starting to stir in my stomach.
           What race am I running you ask? It's the NYRR Mini 10K in Central Park. Yesterday, while letting my nerves float to the surface, I looked up last year's results just to make sure I wouldn't come in last. As I flipped through page after page of runners, I noticed that there were over 3,000 people! Holy cow!
           For someone who has been running for a very long time, I have never run a race with this many people. (I'll recap my other races at some point, promise.) This got me really excited, and the even better side to this race? Women only!
           The race starts at 8AM on Saturday, so I'll be taking a 5:12 train into the city. My parents, sister, M, and sister's boyfriend are all coming in to see me finish. Don't worry, I don't expect them to take that early train with me. Can't wait to run on Saturday! I'll be sure to post all about it next week!
Can't wait to see this guy tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blue Cheese Dip

Blue Cheese Dip
I am finally getting around to posting this recipe. It was a hit at my birthday party, and it will hopefully be a hit tonight. I'm going out on a friend's boat, so we'll be having a healthy snack of blue cheese dip and carrots. Enjoy, and I hope everyone's having a great hump day!

Yield: Guessing about 18 - 20 oz. (sorry for not having an actual amount)

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz. container of non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 containers of crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. Put all the yogurt into a bowl. (I used the tupperware that I'm bringing the dip in.) Stir to loosen up the yogurt.
  2. Add 1 container of blue cheese and stir until evenly combined.
  3. Finely chop the red onion. Add the onion to the yogurt and cheese mixture. Stir.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix in the second container of blue cheese. Stir until fully combined, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Enjoy!
Simple ingredients that make something super delicious

Adding the cheese!

Pre-chopped onion

Finally done and ready to eat!
Only today and tomorrow left to enter my giveaway!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

You are the...

Found this on Pinterest this morning. Yes, I'm slightly addicted to this site now. Just thought I'd share. 
Via Pinterest
Do you have any one or ones (I think this is applicable to friends and family too) that you feel this way about?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway

Monday, June 6, 2011

Smile Again Soon

Do ever have those days or weeks or months where things seem to just go from bad to worse and then to even worse than that? And do you ever try to make yourself feel better, but can't? Or even more importantly, do you ever try to make someone you love more than anything feel better, but no matter what, you know that it will only take time? Yea, me too.
           While I took 5 minutes to browse Pinterest, I found the perfect quote. And I think that this says it all:
via Pinterest
Despite it all, happy Monday everyone! I'm letting my positive spirit outshine the negative, and I'm reminded that my health, happiness, and good fortune will prevail. 

Don't forget about my 50 Followers Giveway!

Erich's Clam Shack


I must say that I am a huge fried clams fan. When my sister and I were really little, my parents would get us to eat fried clams (the frozen kind) by telling us that they were just "funny french fries." Well, ever since discovering that they weren't really oddly shaped french fries, I have decided that I actually love them.
         Memorial Day weekend I headed up to Massachusetts for a great weekend with M. Most of the weekend was spent in M's hometown Marshfield. It's a beautiful town, and his mom puts together this incredible two-day arts festival. After spending a couple hours looking at the art and enjoying each other's company, I decided I was very hungry. So we headed to "Erich's Clam Shack."
         It was a booth on the corner of the street, and they made fried clams right there! Of course, I had to have some, so I ordered a big plate of them and devoured them. If you ever see Erich's Clam Shack when you're in the Massachusetts area (he doesn't have the shack open regularly), get some fried clams. They are delicious, fresh, and filling!
         I hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent this past weekend at home. I missed M so much and can't wait to see him on Friday. Don't forget to enter my 50 Follower Giveaway! It ends on Thursday at 11:59EST.