Culinary Challenge Week #9

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Hope you are enjoying your long weekend. So this week’s word was Italian and because I went a little crazy with the crazy good cuisine let’s jump right into it.

Italian Chopped Salad 10 out of 10

I mean just looking at it make me wants another bowl. Even Taylor, who does not like salads loved this one. So good!

Fire Roasted Tomato+Basil Soup 8 out of 10

So this a work in progress photo of the soup. I just realized I forgot to take a finished product picture and since we already ate all of it… You’ll have to imagine a slightly spicy, creamy tomato soup.

Savory Italian Breakfast Tart 9 out of 10

This got better the longer it sat in the fridge. We liked it okay at first and now we love it! Basically a breakfast pizza and so pretty to look at.

Focaccia Bread 100 out of 10

This was INCREDIBLE!!! Like beyond beautiful and delicious and there wasn’t enough of it! I could make this every week and not get sick of it.

Pizzelle Cookies 7 out of 10

Yeah I couldn’t find an actual pizzelle maker l, so I got a mini waffle maker instead. Thus we ended up with pizzelle waffles instead of cookies. Still tasted amazing just not the wafer thin cookies I was hoping for.

Sundried Tomato+Thyme Grissini Breadsticks 8 out of 10

These were so easy and fun to make and filled the trailer with unbelievable smells. The cracker like breadsticks were crumbly goodness.

Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake 10 out of 10

Simply the pretties, best tasting cake I think I have ever made. So the layers were olive oil cake, lemon curd, mascarpone cream, blueberry syrup, black berries, second layer of cake, rest of blueberry syrup and mascarpone cream. And garnished with black berries… yeah it was amazing!

Italian Onion+Peas 8 out of 10

I loved these! So easy and yummy! Will definitely make it again and highly encourage everyone else to too.

Italian Stuffed Tomatoes 4 out of 10

Our one low point of the week. Now these were exactly what they were “advertised” to be. But the flavor combination was just not Tay and I’d cup of tea.

Garden Herb Shrimp Scampi with Homemade Linguine Noodles 10 out of 10

Okay this turned out so good, but not without a few hiccups along the way. By hiccups I mean it took me three tries to make these noodles. I have never made noodles before so I guess in hindsight the experience is not so bad. Though I did decide to start making them like at 7pm and thus was not done till 9:45pm… which was awful. And yet now I can say I can make noodles with success- they tasted so good!!

Okay so that’s it guys! Italian week was by and far my favorite so far. Though this coming week may change my mind as we take a total turn and cook Vietnamese food. See ya same place next week.

Lots of love,


Living in Trailer

No I didn’t move, get fired or in anyway change lifestyles; unless you call living in a small trailer on my boss’s lake house property for the next six months a change in lifestyle… Which maybe it is come to think of it. (Lol) Anyhoo yes I am officially trailer trash! My parents are so proud. No but seriously I am actually super excited to show off my new lake hideaway.

Complete with my own outdoor(if still potted) garden!!
Okay enough pictures of the garden already!

As you can tell we are all fully moved in and organized. The trailer provides my sister and I just a little more privacy than we had last year at the lake, which so far I am loving! And even though the bathroom is unusable the house is less than five feet away and so far it hasn’t been an issue. (Besides the bathroom got beautifully repurposed as a green house/George’s own private jungle)

Are you catching on the beach theme?

Though it is small it mighty! And has a crap ton of storage for all our stuff. The real test will come this week, when I start cooking. Things might get interesting. On kind of a related note here is my apartment tour I did not too long ago.

Lots of love,


Update: Culinary Challenge

So there will be no culinary recap this week as we moved to lake house this past week and there was absolutely no time to cook. Be on the look out later this week for a post on the move. (Yay!) We are so happy to be back amongst the lake folk. Here is a link to last week’s food post so you can go back and get your fix on all the nummies we’ve made so far.

Until next week!

Lots of love,


Culinary Week #8

Can you believe we’ve been doing this for eight weeks now? Man it’s crazy! All the yummy things my sister and I have gotten try. We’re just getting slightly spoiled. (Here’s a link to our very first week, which will take through to the series) After missing last week due to traveling(see here) we were excited to get back to baking, cooking and creating culinary magic.

Or I should say I was excited. Our word this week was vegan and Tay(lover of all things diary) was not as excited. To clarify we didn’t go vegan for the whole week; but rather all our recipes had to be vegan. If that makes any sense.

Let’s dig in!

Vegan Pancakes 7 out of 10

So I’m not the best at making pancakes in general and that is the main reason why I was pleasantly surprised by how these turned out. Still not the greatest as far as pancakes go, but not any worse either. Definitely keeping standard with my… standard.

Cabbage Slaw 5 out of 10

Nothing super special here folks. Just a good old fashioned cabbage slaw with some toasted sunflower seeds and a light olive oil dressing. I like one of my Mom’s recipes which is similar to this much better. Still it was pretty good.

Vegan Brownies 0 out of 10

Ummm… yeah these were awful. Just plain and simple. I couldn’t even get children to eat them, though they were kind and said they were “okay”. However on being pressed they admitted that they were in fact gross. Yeah we got a lot of laughs out of this one.

Breakfast Oat Bars 4 out of 10

Kinda like the slaw above these were nothing special. Just sort of… eh!

Pretzel Buns 8 out of 10

Yeah I was pretty sure these were going to be another disaster, but they actually were really good for a first attempt at any kind of pretzel. They could have baked longer and I probably rushed them for fear of doing them wrong. I will try again!

Black Bean Burger 9 out of 10

I love black bean burgers! I mean as long as you go into them not expecting them to taste like a burger you’re good. Thus preparing my sister she actually really liked these. So yay!

Zucchini Tater Tots 6 out of 10

Not bad… not salty enough… but not bad.

Vegan Spicy Thia Soup 7 out of 10

Yum! This is exactly what it sounds like and was fairly easy to make. Hay this week I’ll take any win I can get.

Vegan Confetti Cake 8 out of 10

Speaking of winning this cake was the perfect way to end the week. Very sweet it tasted more like a glazed donut- but who doesn’t like donuts?

And thank goodness that’s all for vegan week. Not my strongest week, but not a total disaster either. Would you have been brave enough for these creations?

Our next word(which we will be getting to either this week or the following- moving to the lake house) is… ITALIAN!!!!!!!!!! Who’s excited for this one?!

Lots of love,


Taking My Mom to Tampa

I’m finally on the move again. Traveling- ah how I have missed you! So every year my sister and I try to plan a fun get away for the two of us(though others have been dragged along with us) and this year was supposed to be a driving tour of Iceland. However due to COVID this trip has been postponed to maybe next year. Instead we decided to plan a trip to New Orleans(which was to be last year’s trip-) Though we might shuffle it for a different trip… still deciding.

So when my Mom suggested a quick trip to Tampa over Mother’s Day I was ready to sign up! Here’s just a quick recap of our adventures in the sun…

Madeira Beach, FL.

So we stayed at an Airbnb rental across the street from the fabulous white sands of Madeira Beach. Neither of us had been to this particular beach before and kinda went in blind. And we were in love- Like we’re already planning next years trip!

The view from our door.
The rental’s pool- which we spent a lot of time beside and in.

Day #1

Was the dreaded(just because it’s exhausting) flight from O’Hara Airport to Tampa. We got into our rental at like 7:30pm and decided just to stay in and order delivery from Glory Days Grill. Which was very yummy. The main reason we ordered from them is we wanted a gallon of ice tea to keep at our room and which lasted our whole trip.

Day #2

Our second day was gorgeous! (In fact weather for the whole trip was fabulous! Upper 80’s no humidity and a very pleasant breeze) We started our day by walking down the street to Sweet Brewnette Coffee Shop for coffee(obviously) and breakfast.

Highly- highly recommend Sweet Brewnette. We came here every morning and enjoyed everything we tried. Plus the ladies here are super sweet.

After breakfast was a walk down the beach…

Then we dashed back to the room, threw on our swimsuits and packed a cold lunch for a day on the sand and in the water.

I got my Mom and me matching swimsuits from Albion Fit. We rocked it! #twinning #winning

So we may have gotten a little too much sun but after a brief nap and pool swim back at the room; we walked down toward’s John’s Pass Boardwalk. Basically a super cool village of shops and restaurants. We popped into a few shops, but then headed to Mad Beach Bar and Grille for supper.

Our table overlooking the waterfront.
If you go there we highly recommend the Beach Girl drink(we got ours nonalcoholic) So good!
And the fish feast! Crab, mussels, shrimp and clams. Plus corn on the cob, potatoes, and sausage!
Save room for a piece of Key Lime pie. Our tummies were very happy that night.

Day #3

The next morning we once again headed for Sweet Brewnette where we got their Tropical Smoothies for breakfast and then trolled the beach.

Bridge from Madeira to Treasure Island.

After our beach walk we went shopping!!

Tea and Spice Shop… may have spent too much money here.
Also spent a bit here, but I mean it’s gourmet popcorn and they give you free samples… which cause you to buy a little of everything. (Though Birthday Cake and Strawberry were my favs)

For a lunch break we head to Pirate’s Pub for some gator bites.

We loved the gator by the way.

Then we headed back to our room for a swim and a nap. With plenty of leftovers for dinner we did walk down the street to The Candy Kitchen for something sweet.

A Lemon Italian Ice. So refreshing.

To end our day we headed back to the beach to watch the sunset.

Day #4

Keeping with tradition we once again made our way to Sweet Brewnette.

And then back to the beach for some sun time. And a few surprises!

When you see it… Yeah not a shark, but dolphins! They swam right up to the beach chasing fish. It was sooo cool!!

After the dolphins we did some last shopping and then headed to the Friendly Fisherman on the broad walk for lunch.

Tropical Lemonade
Fried Calamari… umm amazing!
Corn fritters, coleslaw, scallops, shrimp and gouber over a bed of rice. So good! Like crazy good.

Then it was pool and nap time. Before we headed down to the Candy Kitchen for ice cream and the beach for the sunset.

Day #5

We had a mid morning flight home, which allowed one more trip to Sweet Brewnette and a stroll on the beach.

And now we’re home and I miss the sun and the sand, but it’s nice to be back. This trip was absolutely perfect. Everything from the flights to the stay to the food; was just what we had imagined(even better) And I can’t wait for the next adventure!

Lots of love,


Mature Style Evolution

Well hello again… we keep meeting here a lot. (Wink, wink) welcome back guys to another post. We are again going down the fashion lane, because apparently my blog has zip structure and I write about whatever pops into my head. And yet we have such fun doing it!

If you haven’t seen my other two fashion posts this spring(here and here) than I suggest you go check them out. They’ll help you get a better picture of what I mean by “maturing style”.

Basically I have gone the minimum, Parisian inspired vibe. This look is very typical of what I am wearing for everyday life. The Liz Baker Essential dress slacks offer some chic lines to the Keds loafers and Banana Republic striped tee. Finished off with the unruly mess that is my hair and this super old, oversized Old Navy black jean jacket and you have a very cute, comfy, practical look.

I have recently started revamping my wardrobe one piece at a time. Finding pieces/styles and cuts that I like regardless if they follow popular brands or trends. Essentially I am trying to break the impulse buys and stick with an end goal of what I want my closet to look like. This has meant selling or donating old pieces that no longer fit my style evolution. Or replacing items with an updated version thereof. Which is all super exciting, since it gives me a chance to plan and scheme, and set those ever lovely goals that I shoot for.

And that is all for right now! I have one more post coming out tomorrow and then an exciting one next Thursday hopefully.

Lots of love,


Culinary Week #7

Hello my lovelies! And welcome back to the cooking extravaganza that is my life. I think this past Thursday I just cooked the whole day and it was glorious! Probably becoming too obsessed… Or maybe it’s just because this past week our word was coffee and y’all know how I feel about coffee(and in case you don’t here, here and here)

Let’s get to it…

Finnish Cardamom-Coffee Bread 10 out of 10

Ummm yes it tastes as good as it looks and sounds. The bread is that perfect balance of sweet and yet the coffee glaze on top balances it out. Will be making this again someday.

Lemon Spinach 7 out of 10

Basically just cooked spinach to go with the below meal. (Keep reading) Not sure I will make this recipe again it was almost too lemony. But not bad.

Coffee and Cinnamon Roasted Carrots 8 out of 10

I really liked these, which surprised me. The coffee and cinnamon and salt seasoning was actually really good together.

Corn Fritters 7 out of 10

These were yummy and were just an added side to pair with…

Coffee Rub Ribeye Steak 9 out of 10

STEAK!!!! Okay so this was more Tay’s benefit than mine. I am not a huge fan of steak- I know, “what’s wrong with me?” But I’m just not. But the coffee rub was yummy and I have a bit extra I might try on some chicken.(lol)

Coffee Bean Cookies 8 out of 10

(Ignore the dirty scale… I apparently didn’t clean up from baking the coffee bean cookies) These were so cool! The perfect little short bread cookie. I couldn’t exactly taste the coffee(probably because I drink really strong coffee) but they tasted amazing with coffee. And they’re just so cute, aren’t they?

Quick+Dirty Espresso Cinnamon Rolls 8 out of 10

Can someone say delicious? So they weren’t exactly that flatly cinnamon roll I was expecting but they tasted amazing. I don’t know if it was the recipe or me that made the dough too… doughy. I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before so(shrug)

Coffee Chili 9 out of 10

Bacon, chocolate, coffee and chili equals one great combination! As our final meal of the week this was an awesome way to end it.

Yahoo! Coffee week was amazing and I am sad to see it go. Seriously this was some good eating. Anyway we are taking a one week break because of traveling but will be back and our new word is vegan! I am excited but Tay thinks she might die.

Lots of love,