Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Music Monday (Except It's Tuesday...)

Well I officially failed at my streak of posting daily. But I'm back! For today's (yesterday's) Music Monday feature, I just really have no choice but to select this amazing cover of Problem by Pentatonix. I've been a pretty big PTX fan for a while, and I was fortunate enough to get to see them live last summer in Norfolk. Seriously, if ever you have a chance to see them live, do it. They are so phenomenal.

This cover is absolutely fantastic. They just keep getting better and better. This song was great enough already, but with PTX covering it, it's even better. Also Mitch rapping Iggy's part = the best.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beach Shopping Best Shopping

One of the most fun things about the beach is the shopping. We stayed close to the Duck Waterfront Shops, where there were tons of cute stores and a really nice boardwalk. My cousins and I were able to just walk over to the shops and hang out for a while. They also looked really cute, so I made them let me take pictures of their outfits.

Shorts - Lilly Pulitzer / Top - LOFT
And just for fun, one from the Lilly store :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Coffee and Books - What More Could You Want?

Being at the beach is a lot of fun, but one of the struggles that I consistently have is the feeling of being super remote and not having easy access to anything beyond what's in the beach house. (Seriously, I am such a city person.) Luckily, there's a nice little shopping area not too far from the house we're staying in. And by "not too far" I actually mean within walking distance. Super ideal. Most importantly, I discovered that there is a coffee shop within walking distance of the beach house. Score.

We decided to make the 1.5 mile walk out to Duck's Cottage and it was definitely a great choice.

This place not only has coffee, but also books!!! Books and coffee are basically my two favorite things, so I could not have been more pleasantly surprised to find this place so nearby.

This sign greeted us on the front porch. I was confused and intrigued by what a Mucky Duck might be...so naturally I knew I had to get one.

This is what you see when you walk in. So wonderful!

This is the Mucky Duck. And I can easily say that it was a great decision. Latte with chocolate, hazelnut, and carmel. I got mine with soy milk. It was fantastic. One interesting thing that they do here is make their lattes with crushed ice instead of cubed ice. Shouldn't really make a difference, right? Wrong. This actually pretty significantly changed the texture of the drink.

Got to spend some time enjoying my drink out on a picnic table by the sound.

Definitely going back here ASAP.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Let's Go to the Beach Beach

This weekend, I was fortunate enough to be able to make it down to the Outer Banks to hang out with friends and family. This is great not only for the obvious reasons (seeing family, being at the beach, etc.) but also because my cousins are here and I have someone to take pictures for me!

Shirt - Banana Republic (old) / Skirt - LOFT (can't find it in orange...)

This outfit is one of my favorites. So comfortable and cute. This skirt was totally an impulse buy (bright orange maxi skirt = not something I would normally purchase) but I'm so glad I did.

Stay tuned for more outfit posts sure to be coming up this weekend! Thanks Caroline for taking some pictures for me!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Office Escapes: Aromas Edition

One thing that I just can't deal with is sitting at a desk for 8 hours straight. I get super antsy and I have to get up and walk around at least every few hours. August is a very slow time around the office, so I've kind of been going crazy this week because I have fewer meetings, there are fewer people physically in the building, and things are just way too quiet.

Prompted by this recent article saying that you work better if you get up and take a walk at 2pm, I decided to take my own short 2pm stroll yesterday afternoon. I first walked around the block, but then stopped in at Aromas for a latte.

I love Aromas. And so does basically everyone from my office. We actually joke that one of my coworkers should be an Aromas shareholder because he goes there probably multiple times per day.

Usually I will just get regular black coffee (which is great), but I felt that I needed something more exciting to keep me in the zone at work yesterday. I ended up deciding to order a Snickers latte made with almond milk. The Snickers latte is kind of a ridiculous drink - there are so many different flavor syrups happening (chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel) that you can barely even taste the espresso. But if you're into that sort of thing, it's amazing.

There was actually so much whipped cream on my drink that the lid wouldn't fit, so I had to make a pit stop on the back patio before I could walk back to the office with my drink.

But OH MY GOODNESS doesn't that look amazing?

Wallet: Calvin Klein (old, but similar here)

Successful office escape. I might make this short 2pm walk a regular thing. Other places on my list: Blackbird Bakery, Wythe Candy Shop, Berrybody Frozen Yogurt, Mad About Chocolate.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Magnificent Go-To Dinner: Chicken + Veggies + Whatever

Anyone I've ever cooked for probably has eaten this meal (or some variation of it). I sometimes think that I should diversify my cooking because I probably make this a solid 75% of the time I cook anything...but then I remember how easy it is and how good the leftovers are and I cook it anyway.

See, there are the ingredients. Nothing difficult at all. This time, I experimented with this frozen chicken, but usually I will buy and cook normal chicken. This was actually pretty easy though because I was able to just put it in the oven while I prepared all of the other food. Cutting out a step in the cooking process = happy me. Everything else is pretty normal: pepper, onion, rice, beans, salsa, and cheese.

First, I chopped all the vegetables. I actually ended up using two green peppers and one and a half onions, just because that's what I had in my fridge and I wanted to use them before heading to the beach for the weekend. After doing this, I put that chicken in the oven and got to work on the veggies.

So good. I was on Skype with my friend Alicia for most of the time that I was cooking, and she totally called me out for taking pictures of the food as I was cooking it, by the way. By the time the vegetables were done (which I had to cook in two batches because there were so many!) I had also heated up the black beans and gotten started on the rice.

Now let me tell you about this Boil in a Bag rice. My mom has used this for a long time, so I'm always shocked when people haven't heard of it. It's seriously so easy. The rice comes packaged in these little bags, which you just throw into some boiling water for 10-12 minutes, and then you have perfectly cooked rice.

After all this was done, I put rice, beans, vegetables, chicken, salsa, and cheese on a plate. Easy, delicious dinner. But the best part is that these foods all go really well together as leftovers and they reheat really nicely in the microwave. I'll be able to take this to work for lunch for the next few days and I'll be a very happy camper.

Yummy food and leftovers galore!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Birthday Month Wishlist

It's August. That means my birthday is just around the corner. I expect this one to be quite the amazing day (it's my 21st birthday and it's happening on a Saturday), but really the things I'm hoping to get are not that exciting. Well, maybe not exciting by normal 21st birthday standards. I happen to think these things are very exciting.

1. Charming Charlie - Bi-Color Bangle Set - Cute, right? And only $13.00!
2. Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton - So I've heard mixed reviews about this one. But still, it's Hillary Clinton and she's awesome and I want to read it.
3. Moon and Lola - Monogram Coffee Mug - I love monograms and I love coffee mugs.
4. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso - I have heard nothing but incredible things about this book. Plus how could you not want to read about an awesome female entrepreneur? Yes please.
5. Programmable Crock Pot - My favorite season is fall. Not only because I love fall fashion, but also because I love cold-weather foods. Me getting a crock pot = me making chili all the time. We need it.
6. J. Crew Factory - Quilted Puffer Vest - Last year, I bought this in navy blue and wore it everywhere. This summer, the day the vests were posted on the J. Crew Factory site, I sprung for the much-coveted herringbone vest. Really though, I want this vest in just every single color possible.
7. Express - High Waist Full Midi Skirt - I've been really into longer skirts lately. Maybe it's a "becoming an adult thing." Or maybe I have always liked them but never owned them. I don't know. But when I saw this skirt in a post on Poor Little It Girl, I immediately knew it would be a go-to for fall.
8. Preppy Pink Shop - Lilly Pulitzer I Herd You Skirt - Preppy Pink Shop is one of my recent favorites. I've purchased two skirts from her and am obsessed with both of them. I've been wanting to spring for one of her Lilly skirts for a while now. So perhaps birthday time is the right time.