Patterns

I love the pattern on this skirt – I want more like it!

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(Skirt: $34, Urban Outfitters)

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I tried to make: Sweet Potato Fries

The image of these sweet potato fries on Pinterest (from The Art of Doing Stuff) has been tempting me for weeks, so I finally decided to try to make them this weekend! Sweet potatoes are a big favorite of mine, year-round. I much prefer sweet potato fries to regular fries when dining out at restaurants. So if I can make them at home, even better.

This recipe is very simple, I’ll give it that. And the fries came out of the oven looking perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. But that was not the reality. They were a nice texture on the inside – but a bit too soft; but my main complaint is that the outside of the fry was not crispy, and further, was really corn-starchy.

They look great, but don't taste so great...

So, how do I alter it? More oil, less corn starch? Fry instead of bake? I’d really really like to be able to add this to my cookbook, so any help is appreciated!

Chocolate from The Best

It’s hard, isn’t it? To keep those tasty treats you purchase with the good intention to pass them on to a loved one as a gift…sometimes, it just doesn’t…well, make it. Enter: The Best Chocolate in Town’s milk chocolate bar with roasted corn.

Perfect for when I have a craving for Corn Nuts, and chocolate.  Which is all the time!

Fake it ’til you can make it! {Vacation worth staying for}

This article was published in IndySpectator earlier this month!  Sign up to receive all their awesome newsletters here, and read on for my article!

 

What if I said you could go to Mexico for Spring Break for real cheap? …I wouldn’t believe me either. But when you’re achin’ for a break in March, and your hopes are high, but the funds are low – what can you do?

I have a solution. Did you know that you have access to an entire simulated Mexico vacation right here in Indy? If you need to fake that trip to the Mexican Riviera to make your globe-trotting friends jealous, here’s how you can do it without leaving the ‘462##’ zip code!

For a trip like this, you’ve got to remember the basics. If you “come back” as pasty and pale as you left, someone’s going to notice. So, start this stay-cation with a custom tan from Air-Tan. The Air-Tan gals personally give you the spray down, so they can customize your level of tan so that it’s more believable than many of the other self-tan methods.

After your tan has set, pretend to soak up the midday sun with your new tan by hanging out poolside (but indoors) at Indy Island or Caribbean Cove. Admittedly, a bit overly kid-friendly for my taste, but this is the girl-on-a-budget trip, not the Sandals-Adults-Only-Resort trip.

A day at the pool will work up your appetite, so now would be the perfect time to explore the local market. Any one of the eight locally-owned Tienda Morelos will fill your shopping cart and stomach with tasty authentic Mexican fruits, meats, peppers, breads and other ingredients for an afternoon snack.

After a brief siesta, you’re ready for a night out on the town a la ‘La Bamba’ meets ‘Foot Loose’ (the old one not the new one *wink*). Dip down to Peru with a home-style meal from Mama Irma’s, where you’ll feel like you’re dining inside your host family’s dining room. Or wander to a vibrant Mexican town by having dinner at El Sol de Tala. (Be sure to order the creamy made-to-order guacamole when you’re there – my pick for best in town). Any dish you order at either Mama Irma’s or El Sol, will photograph nicely for a scrapbook, and remember: when you post it to Facebook, don’t geo-tag it! Before you leave El Sol, be the ultimate tourist and take several photos by the giant stone fountain in the center of the restaurant. This work of art was shipped directly from, and depicts, the picturesque town of Tala in Jalisca, Mexico, where owner Javier is from!

After dinner, stop in at La Margarita (newly opened in Fountain Square!), Adobo Grill, or Revolucion to sip (or throw back) a few shots of premium Tequila. Then, plunge yourself into an authentic Latin atmosphere at The Jazz Kitchen’s Latin Dance night (Thursdays starting at 9pm). With a free lesson, you’ll be dancing with the regulars by 10pm and just as you start to learn some of the language, you discover your glass of mojito is empty, and it’s time to take a cab back to home base.

You’ve really covered a lot of Latin America on such a short vacation!  Better throw in a story about a friend with a private jet to make it more believable…

Buen Viaje! 

Let’s Keep Indy Super!

While the reason for the NFL season might be officially over, let’s work hard to #KeepIndySuper!

Visitors, officials, and celebrities confirmed what we already know – our city is amazing! But, we don’t need celebrities to remind us that our local restaurants, bars, cultural districts and local businesses are amazing hosts! Lets keep this spirit alive. Follow local culture cultivators like Yelp, NUVO, Indy Star, WFYI — and a burgeoning list of individuals and companies too numerous to list here — and keep experiencing downtown Indy. We can keep this feeling alive long after the Super Bowl ceremonies end!

2012 in Pictures: Day 29 – Super Indy

 

This morning, I am so impressed with my city. I hardly recognized downtown Indianapolis last night. Super Bowl Village was packed; and really, the party is just beginning.

I hope Indy’s able to maintain some of its small town charm throughout this next week, but I’m realistic. Last night my friend Joe & I were able to find free street parking a mere 10-minute walk away from the action, and we’re blessed to have friends as bartenders, otherwise the $10 drinks would’ve ended our night a lot sooner. It seemed that most of the crowd last night were native Hoosiers, but native or not the restaurants were packed with a 2-hour + wait time. This is where the genius of the food trucks comes in. I don’t think the food trucks were obvious enough, or promoted enough. Maybe people would rather wait 2 hours for a table than eat their food standing up in the cold. But I ain’t fancy, so I had some Chili from the Gypsy truck, I think. $4. Zero wait time. Delicious.

The Huddle was cool, too, though I do miss everything about Nordstrom.   The Huddle After Hours looks amazing.

Even underfoot of tens of thousands of party-ers and sight-seers, the streets of Indianapolis maintained a sense of sparkle, almost, and a freshness. I get to be in the middle of it again on Wednesday for the taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (where Tracy Morgan will grace the stage!!). I’m #Super Excited.

 

Yo-Yo

Tonight I went out for dinner with a friend for her birthday, and I walked away from it with that sick, overstuffed feeling that I haven’t felt in months. I am overeating again.

I was so excited to get down to 155 before the Holidays, so I celebrated. And I have kept on celebrating, and now I’m back up to 160. I am so mad at myself. It’s so much easier to put on the weight than take it off, so I know just what a big step backward I’ve taken. Twenty pounds to go, with Winter beating at my back deteriorating my motivation minute by minute – it’s not going to be easy.

It’s time to hop back on the wagon – well, maybe I should hope behind the wagon and push for a mile or two.

Small Goals:
– work out at least 30 minutes every day until 20 pounds are lost
– make entries in my food journal every day
– weigh myself every day to keep myself accountable
– don’t get mad and discouraged!

Now, off to my Pinterest to create a “Motivating Images” board…

Den of Thieves

The first day of 2012 is over. It’s hard enough looking back on just the weekend, so I’m not even going to attempt to wax poetic about 2011 in its entirety. 2011 was good, and bad. This past week was great; this past weekend was horrible.
At the tail-end of 2011, we got robbed. But today, to begin 2012, we cuddled our new kitty as we huddled around a computer screen and watched Hulu; like the good ‘ol days before I made enough money to buy nice things like a TV that people just come and steal anyway.

Today is Thanksgiving Day – we’re thankful for family and friends who are heartbroken for us and are willing to help us; we’re thankful that we have what is left; and we’re thankful that we know “things are just things”.