28 September 2012

Wise Words

Happy Friday! I came across this quote in Pinterest and I love the simple message behind it. Remove ego and desire to achieve happiness? Sounds simple enough!

This weekend is filling up quickly but in a good way! I've got drinks with a friend tonight, a football themed birthday on Sunday, and I am planning on squeezing in a Costco trip with a friend (buying things in bulk is a big 'yes' in my book!). I'm also meeting up with Rachel from Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies to put together a few more guest posts. She will be baking up a medley of Fall themed desserts, so be sure to check back in soon for some sweet treats.

Hope you all have a lovely Fall weekend!

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26 September 2012

How To: Make Your Own Marinara Sauce

The "How To" series is back! I kicked off this kitchen basics series with How To: Caramelize Onions, and I hope you did a little caramelizing of your own. It's a great way to use up those onions and to add a little fancy flavor to your pastas and soups!

The series continues today with one of my favorite cooking basics: Homemade Marinara. Making your own marinara sauce is something I wish everyone would do - it's unbelievably fast and easy, and it tastes so much better than the popular canned version. With summer coming to an end, I've also been finding every excuse to use up all my summer basil, which means a lot of this marinara and a lot of this Three Cup Chicken as well!

Here's the How To:

24 September 2012

Hello, Fall

This weekend was the first time where I could no longer brush off the drop in temperature. One too many times, I found myself sneaking in a few extra minutes under my covers before getting out of bed in the morning. While Fall is my favorite season of the year, the initial transition weeks are always a little hard for me as it means saying goodbye to shorts and flip flops, summer half days, and weekend roadtrips.

For me, Fall has also meant saying goodbye to a few relationships over the years, and sadly, this year is no different. Fall always brings out the nostalgia in me; I guess when so many things are changing, I can't help but want to hold on to the last bits and pieces of the past.

21 September 2012

A Doggone Weekend

This weekend, I'm looking forward to puppy sitting my friend Brian's two little ones! Gracie and I can't wait to have two additional fur balls hanging out with us...and I can only imagine what my 700 square foot apartment will look like after the three of them romp around for days on end to their little puppy hearts' content...

And for all you Columbus locals, my friend (and former A&F designer!) Sarah from The Unique Bird will be showing off some of her newest Fall handmade goodies at Celebrate Local at Easton on Saturday from 2-5pm. Camelot Cellars will also be offering a wine tasting - a little wine and a little shopping sounds like a lovely combo to me, so please stop by if you can! 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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19 September 2012

A Spotty Wednesday

Something about polka dots always seems to put me in a cheery mood...all the more reason to sneak a little dotted happiness into every facet of your Fall wardrobe - including your man's! 

I'll admit, I enjoy coordinating his & her outfits a little too much, and I can only hope that one day I'll get close to this couple - 35 years of matching outfits!

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17 September 2012

End-of-Summer Heirloom Tomato & Basil Pasta

With the weather starting to cool down here in the Midwest, I thought it was only fitting to create one last summery pasta dish. Summer's freshest vegetables take center stage in this dish, and the only cooking you'll need to do is boil the pasta...the rest takes care of itself! I feel a little silly for posting this "recipe" but sometimes simplicity is bliss.

So, gather your last vegetables from your garden and say farewell to Summer...

14 September 2012

Worry Free Weekend

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely guilty of this, one too many times.
Here's to a lovely, worry free weekend! xoxo

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13 September 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Fall TV Lineup

One of my coworkers today showed me this Fall TV Lineup "cheat sheet" she made...and I must say, I was very amused, a little horrified, but overall extremely impressed and excited for a new season of TV! 

I highlighted my "can't miss" shows in pink and I can't wait to get my DVR queued up and ready to go!  Which shows are you most excited for? The country loving girl in me is just counting down the days till Nashville airs!

P.S. Did you all catch Britney on X Factor last night? I absolutely loved her...and in my opinion, she is worth every penny of her $15 million contract!

12 September 2012

Sweater Shopping

I'm loving this animal sweater trend for Fall!

It's a little edgy, a little preppy, and somehow very chic all at once. And while Kate Bosworth's Burberry sweater may be a little out of my price range at $1,295, Target, Madewell, and J. Crew each have their own version, with much more friendly price points. I have a feeling I'll be wearing these and the many other variations that are bound to pop up once the weather really starts to cool down.

What about you? Will you be picking up one of your own this Fall?

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11 September 2012

Currently Reading: The Defining Decade

I've been doing a lot of self-reflection lately, and I could not have been happier when Rachel (from yesterday's chocolate chip pudding cookie post!) recommended this book to me - The Defining Decade, by Meg Jay. I spent the majority of my Sunday afternoon at Barnes and Noble poring through this book. It offers a lot of great insight and tidbits of advice and theories that are applicable to everyday life. 

If you're looking for an easy read that offers practical (but not preachy) advice on navigating thru your 20s, I highly recommend this book. I'm still working my way through it, but so far, I'm liking what I'm reading!

I'm on a new quest to read more, more, more! So for all your bookworms, I'm welcoming any and all recommendations...send them my way!

P.S. Can you believe it's been 11 years since September 11? Thoughts and prayers to all the families affected by the events, and of course, a big thank you to all our troops who protect our wonderful country.

10 September 2012

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Hi everyone! 

My name is Rachel and I'm so excited to be sharing one of my most coveted and beloved cookie recipes to Simply Vicky readers. Cookies are one of my favorite recipes to experiment with. They are quick, easy, and the variations are endless! Despite the fact that my pinterest "Cookies" board is multiplying with recipes to test (I recently found this - amazing idea!), I find myself making these Chocolate Chip Pudding cookies at least once a week . Sometimes I'll whip these up just to indulge in the cookie dough (it's not unusual for my husband to come home from work to find me watching my dvr'd shows from the kitchen counter while spooning cookie dough out of a mixing bowl...), but I tell you that they are worth the self control to wait for them to bake the mere 10 minutes! 

As an avid reader of food blogs, I'm a bit ashamed to admit that this recipe comes from my old source for baking recipes, the NestleTollhouse website. However, I must give credit where it's due because I have seen countless versions of the chocolate chip pudding cookie recipe, and this one is still my favorite. I have simple requirements for my chocolate chip cookies- soft, chewy, thick. These fit the bill. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do! if you find yourself loving them, then be sure to bake yourself some of the amazing adaptations out there such as chocolate pudding mix w/ peanut butter chips or banana pudding mix with chocolate chips. 

07 September 2012

Happy Weekend

Happy weekend, everyone!

I've been on a bit of a cleaning spree recently and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time this weekend cleaning, purging and re-organizing my apartment (and my life!). I'll also be stopping by a friend's house for a girly little baking session for another guest post collaboration that I can't wait to share with you guys. Hope you all have a lovely weeekend! 

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06 September 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Moroccanoil

I first discovered Moroccanoil back in college when I was given a trial size sample of the original treatment oil from a fancy hair salon in Chicago - and I've never looked back! This product does it all - it nourishes, conditions, repairs, speeds up drying time, and adds a nice shine on top of all that goodness. Plus, it smells so yummy - if Morococcanoil came out with a perfume, I'd be first in line!

Moroccanoil has since expanded its line to include an array of products: shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, hair masks, styling cream, etc. While all their products are great, the treatment is still my favorite: it's a one step, one size fits all product for beautiful hair.

Tell me: What's your hair secret? Do you use Moroccanoil too?

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05 September 2012

New Love: Crane & Canopy

Last week, I tweeted about how excited I was for my new bedding set from Crane & Canopy. I was introduced to this Bay-area based company through a mutual friend, and I could not be happier for the discovery!

Crane & Canopy delivers high-end, designer bedding starting at an affordable $99 introductory price point. The design aesthetic of Crane & Canopy is simple yet beautiful - soft, calming colors that come in a variety of patterns and collections. All bedding is made with 100% long-staple cotton starting at 300+ thread count, and all I have to say is - the quality of this bedding is so, so soft!

For those of you who may be a little miffed by thread count, it's really very simple!

04 September 2012

Chicken & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Hi everyone! My name is Steph, and I'm a fellow foodie and today's guest blogger for Simply Vicky. 

For those who don’t know me, I’m a true Arizona girl at heart, implanted in lovely Columbus, Ohio.  Since moving to the Midwest four years ago, I find myself craving Mexican food on a regular basis.  While on the never ending search for the perfect Mexican cuisine in Columbus, I have discovered fun, healthy twists on classic dishes that combine some of my favorite ingredients.  

So, pour yourself a margarita, crank up the mariachi music, and enjoy! 

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