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Monday, February 28, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: February 28, 2011

Today's top stories bookmarked for all eternity..

  • Charlie Sheen. His name has been in the news all day today. It may be hard to keep up with the whole story, but to fill you in... here's the 5 craziest things he's said in the past 24 hours... including my personal favorite: He wants $3 million an episode to continue CBS' Two and a Half Men.
{via}



As always, check back every day around 5 for the day's top stories ♥

Recipe of the Week: Chicken Feta Burgers

While C & I were on Weight Watchers, I had the fortunate opportunity to try many "healthier" recipes... meatloaf made with oatmeal, mashed potatoes made with yogurt, etc. But the one recipe I picked up that we still absolutely love is Chicken Feta Burgers.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:


  1 pound(s) uncooked extra lean ground chicken breast   
1 Tbsp fresh oregano   
1/4 tsp garlic powder   
7 Tbsp feta cheese, crumbled   
  4 item(s) reduced-calorie hamburger roll(s)   
  1 cup(s) lettuce, romaine, cut into thick strips   
  2/3 cup(s) roasted red peppers, sliced (without oil)   
5 small olive(s), black, sliced (about 4 tsp)       

 Instructions

  • Preheat grill or broiler.
  • In a medium bowl, combine chicken, oregano, garlic powder and feta; divide mixture into four balls and then press them gently into patties.
  • Grill or broil patties until internal temperature of burgers reaches 165°F, about 7 to 8 minutes per side.
  • Serve each burger on a bun with 1/4 of lettuce, 1/4 of peppers and 1 teaspoon of olives. Yields 1 burger per serving. 
Eat & Enjoy!
The recipe takes a grand total of about 10 minutes to prepare, then about 10 to cook. So it's super fast & easy. Perfect for a weeknight when you don't have a whole lot of time ♥

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: February reading ft. Johnny Cash & Chelsea Handler

The Academy Awards are going on tonight.... so I'm going to divert away from my usual Sunday night movie review and instead do a book review (2 actually). And (bonus!) it's one more thing checked off my 2011 To-Do List: read 2 books a month.

This month I went with 2 non-fiction books: Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash & My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler. It was like night and day reading these two back to back... one about a alcoholic/drug-addicted/then recovering country singing... the other about a drunk/ecstasy-laden New Jersey comedian.


Johnny Cash has always been one of C's personal heroes. And he's told me countless times I should read this book. So, I finally took him up on it and I am so glad I did. 

Learning about the music industry through the honest recollections of a music legend is an experience that cannot be adequately explained. Johnny Cash may be one of the most interesting men I've ever learned about. The book is organized into sections based off of his different homes... Cinnamon Hill in Jamaica, his tour bus on the road... which provides a good backdrop for seeing different aspects of who Johnny Cash really was (the cotton farmer, the drug addict, the father and husband, the musician....)

The book is a beautiful recollection of growing up as a cotton grower, growing up in the music industry, falling into a life of addiction, being saved from a life of addiction, and falling in love with June Carter (my favorite parts of the book include mentions of how much he loves June for this or that). He writes so freely and openly about everything. At times the text is more stream-of-consciousness ramblings of a man trying not to forget the amazing life he lived. At other times the text is a carefully calculated script far exceeding many NY Times best selling fiction "novels" of today.

{via}
I was crying by the third chapter of the book, and teared up about ever 10th page from there on. It is moving, unbelievable, entertaining, educational and romantic... sometimes even at the same time.

I'd highly recommend it. He is truly a legend, and what better way to learn about a legend then to read what he had to say about himself?

Grade: A


So moving along to my guilty pleasure book of the month. It took me almost 3 weeks to read Cash, because I was so fascinated with it I had to take it slow and really soak in all the details. I picked up My Horizontal Life from my bookshelf and figured I love Chelsea Handler, her books are easy to read, and I wouldn't have a problem reading it in a week.

I read it in a day.

I couldn't put the thing down! Chelsea Handler is comedic genius. Or {more likely} ... our humor lines up so perfectly it's as if she's writing the book for me. Seriously, every joke, every sarcastic remark, every little playful nudge hinted at in this book speaks directly to me.

{via}
I'm never going to stand up and say it is the best piece of literature of the year (or decade, or whatever)... but I will say it is one of the best pieces of entertainment of the year (or decade, or whatever). It it absolutely hilarious, completely addicting, and so much fun to read you'll never want to put it down!

How one woman has found herself in this many funny scenarios is absolutely beyond me. I couldn't even imaging getting myself into situations half as ridiculous. But, that may be another reason why I enjoy the book so much. Regardless, if you have a weekend where you're not quite sure what to do with yourself, but you want to do something a little different.... buy a Chelsea Handler book. It's awesome entertainment. Each chapter is its own short story, so there's not a huge commitment if you don't have a lot of time.

I'm excited about her new book coming out in May! I'll be adding that to the Amazon purchase list here soon enough ♥

My grade: A for entertainment, C for substance

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Snapshots: Sisterly Love

I'm finding myself wanting to spend more and more time with my sisters every day. We were really close growing up, and have all 3 gone really separate ways... I'm the oldest, then there's Jessica {who's Danzig's mommy} then Dana brings up the rear {she's a freshman at the University of Texas studying pre-med & Latin}. So here's some of my favorite shots of us over the years.... miss you guys!



Meredith is my other honorary sister ♥







Love you, Jess & Dana!

Friday, February 25, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: February 25, 2011


Happy Friday!! I hope you all had a great week, and have a great weekend planned! I'm not really in the mood for real "news" today. I'm too excited about my weekend plans. So have a great Friday night, an excellent Saturday and relaxing Sunday.

♥ ♥ ♥ 

Buzz: Mila Kunis in "W"


Mila Kunis


Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis is on the cover of W magazine for March 2011. Isn't she gorgeous?!?

In the interview, she discusses that her parents didn't raise her to think she was pretty. "It’s not that I was raised to think I was unattractive, but it was just never something that was pointed out to me by my family," she says.

Here's my favorite excerpt from the interview:

Your family is Ukrainian. How old were you when you moved to America?  
I was seven and a half when we moved to the States. We came straight to Los Angeles.

What was the first thing you remember seeing of America? 
A black man. It was at the American embassy [in Moscow], and all I had known were Caucasian people with blond hair, brunette hair, and sometimes red hair. You’re never really taught about anything else. I think I was frightened. And the beautiful thing was, the man spoke Russian. He explained to me that there are people in this world who are of different color. Being seven and a half, I asked him, “Does that mean there are purple people in this world?”
I just love it! So, so cute. {You can see the entire interview here.}

All images {via}

Fill in the Blank Friday: Home is Where You're At

Go on over to Lauren's blog the little things we do to play along!


1.   I am currently obsessed with the color purple. I try not have favorite colors, but I just keep buying purple things.

2.  Today I am excited because, I'm getting a tattoo tomorrow and I get to see my family :-)

3.  The age I am is 22 and the age I feel is it of course depends. Friday & Saturday I feel like 22 {having fun with friends, going out, etc.} but Sunday - Thursday nights I feel like I'm 40 {going to be early because I have to go to work, brewing coffee before work, etc.}

4.  My favorite place is my bed. It hugs me and keeps me warm and comfy. And I love sleep... so naturally the place I sleep is my favorite. Second favorite is my back porch in this new 65 degree weather. It's perfect to hang out on at night with a glass of wine and a book {or blog} to read.

This was my Friday night last week.
It was so relaxing ♥

5.  Something I have been procrastinating is finishing my sister Dana's "life" scrapbook that I was making for her high school graduation in May {last May}. I may end up giving it to her a year late, but I'm cool with it if she is.

6.  The last thing I purchased was dinner last night.

7.  The thing I love most about my home is our red photo wall. The first thing you see in our little apartment is a red {and I mean red} wall with lots of 8 X 10 dark-gray frames filled with family memories and awesome pictures we've collected over the years. It's only going to grow from here on out and it's always changing a little.... and I love it. {And it was C's idea! so he gets major props for that}

Thursday, February 24, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: February 24, 2011

{via}

So cool, right? Discovery launched today.
I got to watch it live, and it was nothing like I've ever seen.

In other news...
  • My wedding was featured over at Angela Innamorata's blog today, and you should go pay it a visit ♥
  • Wikileaks opened its gift shop just as Julian Assange's name came back into the public eye.
  • MySpace has declined even further, and lost its President today.
  • Libya and Gadhafi are still at the top of the world news scene... keep up with all the news on CNN's live blog.

N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Pentagon examining Libya options, source says

That's all for today... short and sweet. As always, check back around 5 daily for the day's biggest stories ♥

Buzz: What I'm loving from @Anthropologie Right Now

I needed to clear my head after my 3 hour-long meeting this morning. So, I decided to go do some "shopping" over at Anthropologie

Here's some of my favorite items I found...


And for my house, I really want this couch...
I love the purple/yellow combo.

Doesn't shopping just make everything better? I hope you're having a great Thursday :-)

Coming this weekend... Don't panic, it's only permanent

This weekend, I'm getting a tattoo!!!!!!!!!!! AAAHHHHH. Here's what it's going to look like. It'll be about 1" high and 6" (or so) long on my top, left shoulder blade...



The font was the final aspect I had to decide on. But I've had the script picked out for quite a while. Literally it translate to "Beauty adorns virtue" and was originally painted on the back of Leonardo da Vinci's painting Ginevra de' Benci

So that'd be an exciting enough weekend, but we're keeping the party going by hanging around in Austin after getting our tattoos (C's getting another one too), we're going out to a nice dinner at Piranha Killer Sushi then going to see a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alamo Draft House.

{via}

But wait.... there's more....

Do you remember the Christmas gift my mom gave me? I get to go see "Wicked" at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio!! I'm really excited, because I love live stage performances. (Thanks again mom!)

And I think God's smiling on me, because after all that I get to drive home to watch the ACADEMY AWARDS!!!! (which is one of my favorite nights of the year)

It's an action-packed weekend, it's going to be really busy & I'm hoping to get to see some friends and family... I'm not sure how I'm going to get through work today & tomorrow, because I'm so excited ♥

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: February 23, 2011

Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

  • Mark Zuckerberg got his own comic book today. It's a 48-page "giant-sized" biographical comic.  Cool, huh?
  • Blockbuster is for sale... and has received a $290 million offer. Goodbye, old out-dated business model.... 
  • American Idol is adding a new voting option this season... Voting on Facebook. Yeah, you read that right. You'll be able to vote up to 50 times during the voting period, plus the usual text/call option.
  • Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" music video got a release date of February 28.... and will premier at 11 am EST on YouTube/Vevo {as well as PerezHilton.com}.
  • Today on the blog, I did a little baking and I talked about my favorite Tumblr blogs.

So, you want a headache for the next 46.03 minutes? If so, check this out... 5 second clips of all songs that hit #1 between 1956 and 1992
Five Seconds Of Every #1 Pop Single Part 1 by mjs538


In more serious news...

The earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand has proven to be extremely devastating and clean up is just beginning. Boston.com has published an incredible moving photo diary of the devastation. Here are a few that stood out to me the most, and you can go see the rest here.


Murray and Kelly James look at their destroyed
house in central Christchurch Wednesday.
(AP Photo/Mark Baker) #
A group examines one of the many icebergs that calved into
Tasman Lake as a result of the 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch Tuesday.
(Denis Callesen/NZPA/Associated Press) #
The facade of a building has crushed a car in Christchurch Tuesday.
(Kirk Hargreaves/Christchurch Press/Reuters) #


The protests in Libya are still going on, strong and violent. President Obama talked about the violence today, after the UN spoke up about the issue as well. If you're like me and were a little caught off-guard by Muammar al-Gaddafi , here's a wonderful article on the crimes of Gaddafi. It gives you his history & explains why you've maybe never really heard of him.

Gaddafi in 1977.
Also, you can keep up with all the activities in Libya with CNN's live blog.

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Report: Libyan crew refuses to bomb, plane crashes
A Tunisian man crosses from Libya back into Tunisia on
 Wednesday as thousands of foreigners flee the restive country.

As always, you check back every day around 5 for the day's top stories ♥

February Baking - Chocolate Lava Cakes

Marking one more thing off my 2011 To-Do List, I decided that my February baking had to include chocolate and raspberries. It also had to be romantic. So, I ended up with a Chocolate Lava Cake topped with raspberries. Isn't it just lovely?




Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (4 people):

6 oz. Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (or use your favorite 70% dark chocolate bar)
6 oz. Butter (diced, room temperature)
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
Butter for Ramekins


How to Make It:


Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Melt chocolate on low flame in a bain-marie (double boiler). When melted, take of flame, and…
2. Stir in diced butter, until it melts.

3. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, until it starts to whiten.
4. Stir in melted chocolate and then the flour.
5. Butter 4 individual ramekins, and pour in chocolate batter.


6. Cook for about 10 minutes.
7. Tip ramekins upside down onto dessert plates and serve.
VoilĂ !


Tips:
You can definitely prepare your chocolate lave cake recipe ahead of time, and then bake 10 minutes before serving. I always do it this way!


In terms of buttering the ramekins: butter the bottoms first, and then butter the sides, wiping from the bottom up to the top. It helps the chocolate to rise even more.


In terms of baking time… well, it depends on how runny you want it! I like it with a super-liquid-oozing center -- so do my guests! For this, you want the top to be cooked through, but the center to be liquid. You can check with a toothpick after 10 minutes of baking.
If you don't like liquid-center chocolate desserts, just cook for a little longer, and you will have an incredibly moist chocolate cake. So, either way, you can't go wrong!


{via Famous French Desserts}




Eat & Enjoy!

What's my favorite? Tumblr Account

Tumblr logo
You may not be on Tumblr, or have even heard of it... or you absolutely love it and are an active Tumblr(er). I myself am somewhere in between. I'm not quite sure how to use Tumblr, but I have been trying to figure it out as I go along. And while I'm wandering around, I've found some amazing Tumblr blogs. Here are a few of my favorites....

  • What I Wore (a daily blog of literally what she wore that day)
Jessica Quirk, What I Wore, WhatIWore, OOTD, outfit of the day, personal style blog, fashion blog, fashion blogger, tumblr fashion
Bake It in a Cake reader Isabel took the heart-filled cupcakes to a whole ‘nother level… she put a heart in a BUNDT CAKE! It looks totally amazing. Visit her blog to see more pictures and for links to the cake recipe she used to pull it off.
Thanks for sharing, Isabel!
I like big bundts.

  • That Kind of Woman (a beautiful fashion/design blog that tries to answer the question, "What kind of woman do you want to be?")


    But my absolute favorite Tumblr blog is ... ilovecharts

    Here's some example of the awesomeness you can find on this charming blog:



    If you didn’t catch last month’s Chartist in Residence, Dante Shepherd of Surviving the World, click here to check out what you missed.
Continuing the series, We are thrilled to have Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal as our Chartist is Residence this Friday.

    via themanalyst & danielrussell


    Really, really cute... right? It makes me laugh so much!

    If you want to follow me on Tumlbr, you can find me here

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    5 o'clock happy hour: February 22, 2011

    Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

    So while today was almost as crazy as yesterday, all the problems have seemed to figure themselves out. Whew! It also doesn't hurt that (1) today's National Margarita Day and (2) there's a new episode of Glee on tonight! We're having friends over for dinner, too... so I get to go home, drink a margarita while the boys grill and have a fun time relaxing :-)

    Yum! {via}
    In other news...

    "In an Amp Radio interview Tuesday withCarson Daly, she said the new single is 'about always falling in love with the wrong man over and over again. "Judas" is a very very dark song. It's rad.'" {via}

    •  You can also hear a new snippet off of Britney Spear's new album Femme Fatale... only a few days after the release of the Hold It Against Me music video!! That's almost as lame as already releasing a director's cut of the Bieber movie Never Say Never (due {back?} in theaters this Friday)
    • NBC renewed a few shows, including The Biggest Loser (was there ever any doubt?)
    • Larry King is going to go do some stand up!
    • And in a fun announcement today... Netflix signed a partnership with CBS. So now, you can watch Frasier, Medium and Cheers as well as some Star Trek in the near future. 
    {via}
    In more serious news...

    Gaddafi says he will not step down
    {via}
    As always, check back every day around 5 for the day's top stories ♥