Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Favorite apps

Lately I have seen a whole bunch of blog postings about everyones favorite phone apps. I love discovering new apps! After browsing list after list, I noticed a few of my favorites weren't mentioned. These are my absolute, must-have apps for my iPhone. While this list is by no means exhaustive (everyone loves Instagram!) these are the few I have stumbled upon and come to love!


Happy Hours

Alright, everyone loves a good happy hour. However, they can be a bit difficult to find at obscure times or in areas you are unfamiliar with. The Happy Hours app allows you to search for local happy hours based on distance or rating.


Table Topics

Ever at a loss for what to talk about? Try Table Topics. Not only would this be good for a small gathering, it is great to use with your significant other. Brady and I do quite a bit of camping and I love to use this app to stir up topics and questions we wouldn't normally have on our minds.



I cannot express my love for this app! After reading about it from Erin over at Living in Yellow, I have used it every single time I have gone shopping. Seriously. Using SnipSnap you can store all your coupons on your phone, no more carrying around an envelope full of coupons! While that is exciting, it is certainly not the best part. Using SnipSnap you can search others coupons! I was at Old Navy the other day and did a quick search in SnipSnap and found a coupon for 30% and was able to use it. You can search by store and SnipSnap can alert you when you enter a store you have a coupon saved for (both creepy and cool).



This one is purely for fun, it is like the Pinterest of home decor photographs. You can scroll through photo after photo of home decor and architecture on Houzz and save your favorites to your idea book. I actually discovered this app on a display iPad at Best Buy and have loved it ever since.



You know when you hear a song you love out and about but don't know the artist? Whip out Sound Hound and let it do the work for you! This app also settles arguments frequently when there is a disagreement on song title or artist.



This is a great app for making collages, like for H54F posts. My favorite part is you can insert text into your collage.


What are your favorite apps? Please be sure to share them in the comments section!

- C

Friday, July 27, 2012

High Five for Friday!

It is finally Friday! I have been looking forward to this day alllll week for one reason and one reason only: the opening ceremonies. I am a fanatic when it comes to watching the Olympics.

Curling on at 2am? Don't mind if I do!

While the winter games are my favorite, I do love the summer ones as well. Swimming, diving and gymnastics are incredible. I am completely prepared to watch nothing but the Olympics for quite some time.

It really is the only event that can make you feel inspired and like a complete failure at the same time. Oh you were orphaned at a young age and had to pick up bottles off the street to save money for your leotards? So many of these athletes overcame such tragedy and adversity to be Olympians, it is truly incredible!

As usual, I am linking up with Lauren!



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1. The OLYMPICS. Enough said.




2. I seriously realized this morning that my desk calendar is still on June. Whoops. Clearly I use the calendar sooo often.

3. I work with a lot of farmers, it is a long story. However, the offices gets to enjoy the fruits of their labor (literally) frequently. This week was fresh Rainier cherries. So sweet and delicious.

4. A fabulous new cookie recipe (coming soon to the blog)!

5. Sweet sleeping Snickers. This face gets me every time.

Have a fantastic weekend, let the games begin!

- C

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Words of Wisdom




Live is absolutely better when you are laughing! What do I do when I need a good pick-me-up laugh during the day? I take a look at the "Humor" section of Pinterest. It does the trick every time.

Happy Wednesday!

- C

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Insta-M's

Brady and I had the pleasure of taking in a Mariner's game last night, they were playing the Yankees. I absolutely love going to sports games! The Mariner's don't exactly have a huge following (sadly, we haven't been very good in years) so it was nice to have the Yankees draw in a few more fans to Safeco.

In an unusual twist of fate, Ichiro announced just a few hours before the game that he was being traded to the Yankees...and would be debuting as a Yankee that night.

Um, awkward. I mean seriously, his picture was on the tickets for last nights game!

It was definitely an odd dynamic having Ichiro, one of our star players for the last eleven and a half years, play for the Yankees. THE YANKEES.

Regardless of the last minute roster change, the game was still a blast!


Thank you for reading!

- C

Monday, July 23, 2012

Longest treat name ever

So these are salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars.

Longest treat name ever? I think so! Now try and say it five times fast (or don't- I never liked those tongue twisters). However, this tongue-twister was totally worth it!

I made these last Wednesday for my annual staff barbecue at work, they were a hit!

I originally stumbled upon this recipe on Lauren Conrad's blog (which I love and follow religiously as if I were still 16 years old and watching Laguna Beach- but that is beside the point...) and you can find the original recipe here. I made a couple of itty bitty modifications.

Here is what you need:

2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 tsp. of salt
14 tbsp. of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
2 cups of chocolate chips
10 ounces of Kraft caramel bits (made for melting)
Sea salt for sprinkling

Please ignore the unsightly air conditioner in the back. Washingtonians can't stand the whopping 80 degree temps we have been experiencing for long. The AC is required if we want to sleep. It gets too damn hot in the house.


Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.


In a microwave safe bowl, microwave caramels on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 30 seconds. *The original recipe called for 3 tablespoons of heavy cream along with the caramels for melting. The thing is, I forgot it at the store so I went without. Adding cream will make for smoother, less chewy caramel.


Press half of the cookie dough into the pan. Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer Sprinkle the caramel lightly with the sea salt. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.




Bake the cookie bars for 30 minutes, or until the tops of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan.

Cool the bars then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set.


Devour :)

- C

Friday, July 20, 2012

High Five for Friday!

It is that time again! As usual, I am linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk.

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I am particularly excited for this weekend because it is the last weekend we will be home with nothing to do for several weeks. Brady and I do quite a bit of camping as well as plan a few trips each summer. It just so happens that one of our camping trips and two of our vacations will be occurring on three consecutive weekends. While I love to get away, I am sure I will be ready for a quiet weekend at home after so much travel.



1. I found this image via the Modcloth Instagram yesterday. Can we talk about what a genius idea it is to make mini cupcakes in those little paper condiment cups? Sheer genius! I have been longing for a mini cupcake tin and I am antsy to give this option a try!

2. As much as I have been loving the sun lately, it was nice to have a bit of a gloomy, chilly day again here in the northwest. I love living so close to the water, it is just gorgeous.

3. We recently went out for a good friends birthday and the bar had old photo booths! Such a cute idea! Clearly, we took advantage of them thoroughly.

4. This e-card says it all. One of my pet peeves is people who are such hard core fans of a college that they did not attend and have absolutely no connection to. I would just like to show this to them!


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5. We have been having huge thunder storms lately, I absolutely love it! Look at that lightning, it is so cool.
Just to make it super clear, I did not take this photo! It was taken by a local and published in the local newspaper.


Have a fantastic weekend!

- C

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Olay Pro-X Review

If you haven't caught on yet, I am a bit of a penny pincher. If there is a coupon for it you bet I will be using it. However, this love for a good deal does not mean I don't enjoy (and lust after) more expensive items.


Enter the Clarisonic Mia.

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For months I had been pouring over reviews, searching different websites and trying to decide if I should make the big purchase. While nearly all of the reviews I read were fantastic, I still didn't know if I would like the Mia as much as others did. With a tight budget, I was nervous I would make a $119 'oops' purchase.

After much consideration, I decided to buy it. The darling yellow Mia was in my Sephora cart and I was ready to go! Then I backed out. I just knew I could find something similar!

I set to googling and found the Olay Pro-X Cleansing System, it received good reviews and was repeatedly compared to the Mia.


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After several weeks of using the Pro-X, I am very satisfied. It does a great job of exfoliating! There are two speed options and it is water proof, both great attributes. As opposed to charging like the Mia does, the Pro-X is battery powered (the batteries are included in the box). Many of the reviews mention how difficult it was to open the battery compartment, I do not experience any difficulty doing this. The brush is easily removed for cleaning and is actually quite soft.

Overall, the Pro-X has exceeded my expectations! Not only does it do wonders for face exfoliation, it can be used on other parts of the body as well. The Pro-X did come with an Olay exfoliating cleanser which is alright, nothing I would purchase again.

I have never used a Mia so I cannot say for sure how different the the products are. Right off the bat, it seems the one main advantage the Mia has is it is larger, the Pro-X brush is a bit small.


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The Pro-X leaves my face baby soft and has significantly reduced surprise blemishes. In addition, my face feels squeaky clean. It truly does take off all the grime that make up and other products can leave behind.

If you decide to purchase the Pro-X, be cautious about how frequently you use it. I use mine, at most, three times a week. I don't want to be too rough on my skin.

If you are lusting after the Mia but are concerned about the higher price point I absolutely recommend giving the Pro-X a try. I found mine on Amazon for about $25 but I know they are sold at Target as well.

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While I am absolutely sure the Mia is a superior item (and comes in colors, which is always a bonus), I think the Pro-X does a great job!


- C 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Words of Wisdom

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Well my Wednesday started out great, I got a speeding ticket on the way to work. Nothing says "Have a great day!" like a $113 ticket.

However, it had been four years since my last speeding ticket. With the way I tend to drive, I was due.

My theme for this Wednesday's words of wisdom is looking on the bright side. No matter how bad it is (with a few exceptions) it could probably be worse!

Don't let the bull shit get you down. When life hands you lemons, slice those suckers and find the tequila, make a gin and tonic, have a lemon drop or make some lemon cupcakes.

Have a fantastic (speeding ticket free) day!

- C

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hot yoga or hot mess?

Monday already? Boo.

If you guys are as excited for Monday as I am (which is not at all) you could use a laugh. A friend of mine showed me this old Craigslist ad from some guy selling a yoga mat after I started doing hot yoga and it is absolutely hilarious! It is a bit long but absolutely worth it.

Enjoy and happy Monday!

Yoga mat for sale. Used once. - $1 (Bellevue)


Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows:

11:45a
Register for hot yoga class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.

11:55a
Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.

11:57a
I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.


Friday, July 13, 2012

High Five for Friday!

It is that time again! As usual, I am linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk.


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This past week was a good one, I got tons of things done! Brady and I got down to planning and booked a trip to Austin, Texas for mid-August.

We might melt.

Have any of you ever been to Austin? We are super excited about it and I would love any suggestions you have on places to go and sights to see.

Here is my top five for this past week:


1. Brady and I have started incorporating more regular work outs into our schedule. After struggling with how to stay fit and work a full-time job (as opposed to the college life I was used to) this is a welcome change!

2. With the perfect weather we have had here grilling happens nightly. We made turkey Gorgonzola burgers on Tuesday. Delicious!

3. The clear blue skies in the day have lead to incredible sunsets.

4. I picked up a little treat at a bakery near work. Not only are their cupcakes to die for, they make mini cupcakes, too! Two mini's each was the perfect mid-week pick me up.

5. A coworker of mine just got a new puppy. Her name is Heidi and I am in love! I had the privilege of puppy sitting earlier this week and had to fight the urge to take her home with me.

Have a fabulous weekend!

- C

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Current Crush Thursday

I am doing a little link-up with Danielle over at Framed Frosting to talk about my latest crush: Soludos.

Current Crush Thursdays

I want a pair so bad, I just keep pouring over the photos of the blue and white striped pair thinking about how fantastic they would look as I bounded about on the beach in Nantucket.

Oh wait, I don't live in Nantucket and I rarely bound about on the beach.  

Regardless, I am still crushing over Soludos! I am a sucker for anything nautical and these fit the bill perfectly. Do any of you have a pair?


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Soludos
Polyvore



I can't get over how cute they are! Are Soludos on your wish list this summer?


- C


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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Words of Wisdom

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Life has reminded me recently that people can be awfully mean. After reading this a few days ago it really hit home and has caused me to think twice about the things I say in anger or frustration. Everyone has their moments and it is easy to let something hurtful or nasty slip out. Next time that happens, be sure to taste those words first.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Pie

Prepare yourselves, ladies (and gentlemen?).

I am about to share with you one of the best pies I have EVER had, peanut butter pie.

There is a little bit of a background story on this pie. Seth was my very best friend growing up (and still is one of my best friends) and his mother made the best peanut butter pie. It was such a treat to go over to his house and enjoy a slice. After years of pie eating and raving to his mom about how delicious it was, she gave me the recipe. SHE GAVE ME THE RECIPE!

I don't think I can convey my excitement via blog but lets just say I was more excited than one should probably be about a pie recipe.

I will find any excuse to make this pie, it is so good and so simple to make.

This past weekend I attended a family BBQ and hopped on the opportunity to make on of my favorite treats (and avoid having the whole pie hanging around the house taunting me).

Here is what you need:

8 oz cream cheese (I use the fat free variety)
1 cup peanut butter (I use Adam's Creamy)
1 cup sugar
8 oz Cool Whip
Chocolate frosting (I bought a can for convenience)
1 graham cracker crust ( I bought a pre-made one for this pie)



Here is what you do:

Combine the peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar. It works out best when the peanut butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. Otherwise, things can get a little lumpy. No one likes a lumpy pie.

After those have been mixed well, fold in the Cool Whip until everything is consistently creamy and delicious. Feel free to include a test taste in this stage.



Once you have tested the mix, pour it evenly into the graham cracker crust and top it with a layer of chocolate frosting.

Refrigerate the pie until you are ready to serve!

{Shame on me for not taking a photo of the finished pie! By the time I realized I hadn't captured it there was one sad, messy little slice left. I promise it looked lovely!}

Two of my favorite things about this pie are that (1) you can easily use store bought elements or you can put a little more time into it and make your own crust and frosting and (2) the oven is not involved so it is perfect for hot summer days.

Enjoy!

- C

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Hop!

I am celebrating Monday by doing something a little bit different, participating in a blog hop! I absolutely love discovering new blogs and this is a great way to do that. I discovered this specific blog hop from Rachel over at A Dash of Southern.

There are SO many fantastic blogs here, I can't wait to look at each and every one!

Check them all out after the jump!

Friday, July 6, 2012

High Five for Friday!

I know I think this every week but where did the time go?! I truly can't believe that is it July 6th! It is so true that as you get older and busier time goes faster and faster. I just want it to slow down!

Summer finally arrived in Western Washington, right on schedule. Time needs to throw on the breaks so we can all get the most out of out little slice of summer.

Seeing from the photos below, I did my best to incorporate summer activities into everyday this week!

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Linking up with Lauren again to celebrate the weekend!


1. I harvested my strawberry crops (just three little plants) and this was my loot. Clearly I have some work to do in the strawberry growing area! I am trying my best to emulate my mother's incredible green thumb. So far, a tiny handful of strawberries is all I have to show but I am proud of them!

2. Brady surprised my on Monday with Mariner's tickets! I love baseball games and it was such a treat to go to the game and eat hot dogs. The best part is, we actually won!

3. I love relaxing at the end of the day by lounging in the sun and playing fetch with Snickers.

4. Perfect weather for Sperry's! Don't let this photo fool you, my legs are so pale sunglasses are required.



5. Thursday evening Brady and I went on a walk over the bridge, it was absolutely beautiful! You can even catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier in the top right photo.


Have a fantastic weekend!

- C

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Brighter than Sunshine

I feel brighter than the sun wearing this dress! Yellow is one my my favorite colors and I really couldn't pass this little number, even if it does get me noticed. Francesca's had a massive sale over Memorial Day weekend and I scored this dress (along with a few other items) for about $15.

I tried several styling options before settling one this one. It does seem a bit too Stepford Wives, if you know what I mean.

I wore this to a bridal shower for a good friend over the weekend, it was perfect for the event!

I would absolutely love any styling suggestions you have!



Dress: Francesca's
Shoes: Nordstrom
Cardigan: Nordstrom BP
Purse: Coach




Brady and I had a little company taking these, Snickers is always super curious.



Thank you for reading!


- C