Simple and Perfect Caprese

It’s a known fact that if caprese salad (pronounced Ka-Pray-Zay) is on the menu, Michelle is ordering it. It’s light, flavorful and filling. Come on now — a salad that is 50% cheese — how can you go wrong? There are so many variations but this simple, classic Italian recipe is how my family makes it and is my favorite. 

*fresh tomatoes *fresh mozzarella (buffalo is best if you can find it)  *fresh basil *extra virgin olive oil *fresh cracked salt and pepper *balsamic vinegar drizzle (optional)

Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella as thin as you can. Place slices on top of each other, tomato then mozzarella then tomato then mozzarella and so on. Chop up your fresh basil and sprinkle on top. Drizzle on olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

“The Bachelor” Finale Essentials

I admit it, I’ve been watching “The Bachelor” since my sophomore year in college (2002). I’ve watched almost every single season, I only missed the season with this guy (did anyone watch that one?) I’m a complete Bachelor and Bachelorette junkie. I even watch “The Bachelor Pad” and read the spoilers online.

The truth is I actually like Mondays when The Bachelor is on *gasp* so last nights finale was bittersweet for me. Back to boring, depressing, ‘I have five whole days until the weekend starts’ Monday. I said goodbye to my favorite show last night with my girlfriends and our “girls night in” essentials.

Cupcakes! Coconut, Banana, and Guinness Irish Creme for St. Patty’s day. YUM.  Maggie picked them up for us from Hello Cupcake. They were better than Red Velvet or any other cupcake shop I have tasted so far. They weren’t giant gobs of sugar with more sugar frosting. We are thinking of a “cupcake hop.” There are so many cupcake places in the area why not have a cupcake tasting event? P.S. Maggie put out carrot sticks in case we wanted those instead… she’s so funny.

We did our nails! I recently found my long lost friend the “white pencil” With light pink polish (I used Essie Happily Ever After) and a white pencil under your nails you have a perfectly natural (and fail proof) French manicure.

The regal and girlie as can be Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Scarlett O’Hara was there to sit on our laps and love us. (I can’t wait for her and Honey’s play date. I hope Honey behaves, she likes to rough house with the boys and might be too wild for sweet Scarlett).

And of course we had each other to talk about the clothes (Emily’s awful final gown!),the tears and if Brad and Emily will really work out. This is Maggie. Check out her blog here, it’s one of my favorites!

Now starts The Bachelorette countdown. What do you think of Ashley H as the new Bachelorette? May 23rd is when Mondays will be bearable again.

A Little “Cottage” Living Room

I’ve been struggling while attempting to redecorating our small living room recently. I can’t seem to come up with a cohesive overall look. I find little pieces I like here and there (flowers in vases or candles) and then change my mind because one doesn’t work with another.

If you find yourself at a stand still in your decorating plans first find the style that suits you best, then find photos of rooms you like (I looked here and browsed the “cottage” section)then find the common theme in each room you liked.

I need to not be afraid to mismatch patterns on pillows and rugs.The stripe and damask print really works here. I also like the red accents (note they even carry into the kitchen), as well as the use of brown through out with the bamboo shades…

Here I like the splash of pink from the flowers and how well it works with the patterned chairs. Perhaps a similar patterned throw pillow with bright pink accent flowers would go well next to our dark espresso ladder shelves and light olive green couch.

Do I have a thing for neutral colors and then bright flowers or what? I love the curtains here as well, and the large painting really pops and makes the room seem less stuffy.

Save These Dresses!

There are two reason I feel like I shouldn’t start buying Spring clothes yet. The first and most important is that I just made the biggest purchase of my life. I bought a brand spanking new car! A black 2011 KIA Optima with a beige interior and navigation. I’m in love. Isn’t she pretty!?

So until I get used to what kind of flexibility I have in my budget after my new car payment, I should really hold off.

The other reason is because every year I start to buy warm weather clothes before it is actually warm out and then the excitement of wearing them when it actually is warm has worn off. This post is simply a reminder to myself of what to buy when it’s time! Save these dresses!

1. Polka Dot Dress $ Gold Cup Horse Race in May with a big hat!
2. Mesh Beaded Dress $360Top Shop Extravagant Easter dress
3. Circle Plaid Dress $128Jessica Simpson Collection Work wear
4. 2in1 by Wal G $70Top Shop Work wear
5. Bella Dress by Motel $96Top Shop Sunday Funday at a Vineyard
6. Color Block Dress by Love $68Top Shop Work wear
7. Knitted Cream Pointelle Dress $90Top Shop Anniversary Dinner
8. Tie Dyed Maxi $ First night at the Georgetown Water Front

Low Calorie, Low Carb Strawberry “Cheesecake”

Okay so it’s not really cheesecake, but if you are a cheesecake fanatic (like my boyfriend) this is an amazing low calorie, low carbohydrate option that invokes all the same flavor profiles as a decadent New York cheesecake topped with strawberries. 

*12 strawberries *1 packet splenda (or half a teaspoon) *2 tablespoons marscapone
— Just 200 Calories —

1. Slice strawberries in halves or quarters.
2. In a separate bowl add 1 packet splenda to 2 tables spoons of marscapone and mix.
3. Add strawberries and enjoy!

I think next time I may sweeten the marscapone and then just place the strawberries on top and not mix them together. This way I can choose how much cheese goes with each bite.

Nick and I got a new patio set from his grandparents last week and we love it! (I took my strawberries and marscapone out there this morning for these photos)  When I park my car and look up at our apartment and see the lovely wooden navy blue table and chairs I’m impressed with how “adult” we have become. I can’t wait for it to warm up so I can enjoy my coffee outside in the morning or eat dinner alfresco with my love.