Vintage Finds

Who doesn’t love vintage? If you don’t, you probably will not be reading much more of this post.

Frequenting thrift stores and flea markets is always a good way to find some cheap antique pieces of jewelry, but the invention of the internet has made it oh-so-easy to seek out whatever it is your vintage-loving heart desires.

ETSY.com is like the mecca of vintage clothing, jewels, (or “pretties” as my little cousin Isabella once called them) even furniture and housewares. There are so many Etsy shops and sellers, but one of my favorite shops is:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/MySoCalledVintage?ref=ss_profile

Courtney, the proprietor of this Denver-based etsy shop, does all the hard work for you! She also has some upcycled and handmade items up for sale. Check it out, maybe you will find something just perfectly meant for you to own!

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Northern Michigan Summers


Since childhood, I spent the end of every summer soaking up the wonders of Northern Michigan. I haven’t been there in forever, but this labor day weekend, I am making the 6 hour drive with my bf Jamie. We will miss our kitty cat (or at least I will), but hopefully she spends most of the weekend doing this:


We plan on visiting various wineries,


sampling delicious local cuisine, and spending 90% of our time on the many beaches Traverse City & Leelanau have to offer.

We’ll also be visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and thanks to my cousin Kahlin, I’ve also become privy to this little gem:
THE VILLAGE CHEESE SHANTY in Leland’s fish town. Anything with cheese & shanty in the name is just my speed! I can’t wait to try it!

BBQ Sauce + Chicken + Pizza = BBQ Chicken Pizza!


I have been making homemade pizzas (dough and all) for a while now – thanks for the recipe, Mom – but I usually just stick to basic kinds of toppings like sausage, mushrooms, basil, green peppers, etc. Last night though, my boyfriend and I made a BBQ Chicken Pizza, and let me tell you: it was AMAZING.

Last night we were missing a key ingredient – bacon – which adds a really nice smokey, salty flavor, but the pizza was still divine. I even brought leftovers for lunch today! So, here’s my recipe:

THE DOUGH:
2.5 cups of Flour
1 packet of active dry yeast
1 cup of hot water
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
2 TBSP of Olive Oil

*refrigerate dough for about an hour before baking for crispier crust
*bake crust until golden brown, 3-5 minutes, before assembling pizza

THE SAUCE:
BBQ SAUCE! any kind you like. A sweeter sauce works best (try Bullseye)

*Brush a thin layer on the crust

The Toppings:
Red Onions, sliced thinly
bacon, cooked and choped
chicken, grilled and chopped
Jack& Cheddar Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese

Assemble! Bake at 500 degrees for about 7-8 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Let cool for 1-2 minutes. EAT!!!!!

Do you have any special pizza recipes? Have you tried a variation of my recipe? Please share!

Juice? As in, from an actual fruit?

Rarely do we have time in this busy world to squeeze our own apples, oranges, or cranberries – unless of course it’s for a cocktail.

The other night, I was watching “Chuck’s Day Off” – which is an excellent cooking show on the Cooking Channel– and I was pretty excited his latest concoction. As a liquid starter to the meal he was planning to serve his guest, Chuck whipped up a delicious Tequila Lemonade made with fresh mint, lemons, and vanilla bean. Oh, and lots of tequila.

Anyways, Chuck went about his drink making when EUREKA! I realized just how easy it was to make, among many other things, fresh, delicious, and homemade cocktails sin nasty synthentic syrups. I felt like a wee bit of a dunce for not thinking to do this before on my own.

I’m going to try out his Tequila Lemonade recipe this weekend – I’ll let you know how it is, but with fresh squeezed lemons, mint, & tequila, you really can’t go wrong. IT WAS SPLENDID.

Almost every recipe Chuck conjurs up is not only delicious, but also relatively easy for culinary laypersons such as myself to duplicate.

If you want to check out Chuck’s other recipes (for actual food), here’s the link to his site: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/best-summer-drink-and-cocktail-recipes/pictures/page-4.html Plus, Chuck is kinda cute (in a Canadian sort of way). AND he has a tattoo of lemon meringue pie on his arm, so he must be cool. Everybody likes pie. Just watch the show.
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What’s for Breakfast?

Out of all meal times, breakfast is by far my favorite. Why? Because of this picture. Really though, it’s because I’m literally starving when I wake up, and it’s cheap.

Since I’m usually pretty sleepy until I have my morning latte (I know, I’m fancy huh!), going out somewhere to eat breakfast usually seems to be the best option. On Saturday mornings, after biking to the farmer’s market, there really is no better way to start the day!

Many people think that going out to breakfast is unhealthy or a waste of money, but it can be healthy, inexpensive, and very relaxing – relaxation being the most important part. The key to a good breakfast spot for me are these features: good service, consistently good food, and nice ambiance. Out of all the breakfast spots (near my house) that I have eaten at, I still have my old fav. BUT, I’m not tellin’ where it is for fear I will have to wait in a long line come Saturday morning.

Okay fine, it’s Egg Harbor. Now, I know this place is a chain, but the one by my house is truly divine. It’s always bustling, tasty, filled with cute babies, chicken decor, and of course, there is the amazing added benefit of outdoor seating.

What’s your favorite breakfast spot? Does it measure up to Egg Harb?

Love Short Stories? Check Out T.C. Boyle

Being a book-lover since childhood, I am always actively seeking out new genres and authors. I came across T.C. Boyle several years ago, in the form of “Drop City”:

“Drop City” is a tale chronicling what happens when a hippie commune meets the harsh Alaskan bush. After devouring that book, I looked for more titles by T.C. Boyle, and was presently surprised to discover that he was the author of many short story collections. I have read nearly all of them, but my favorites are these:

T.C. Boyle’s stories are stimulating, original, and seriously avante-garde. To say his stories are entertaining is a vicious understatement of the pleasure one can derive from these readings.

So, if you like reading, or are looking to take baby-steps into the reading-for-pleasure realm, T.C. Boyle’s titles offer something to please everyone -all in an easily digestible amount of pages.

Plus, he’s kinda bad-ass looking.

Here is a link to his website should you want to search for other books by T.C. Boyle (there are many)!:

http://www.tcboyle.com/

Happy reading!

***I am currently reading “Wild Child” – I will let you know how it is once I’m done, but so far it’s amazing!

Farmers’ Markets are the Cat’s Meow

After paying outrageous prices shopping for produce at my local grocery store, I would return home only to find that my newly purchased avocados, onions, and tomatos, were all raunchtastic! So, not only was I getting gouged on these little buggers, but I, like many other people, are getting crap food in return. So, when Summer rolls around in my town, I rush myself to the farmers’ market the very first day it opens.

Farmers’ markets are awesome for the following reasons: they support local farmers, their food actually looks like it was grown in the dirt somewhere, and – I know this is totally cheese – but they’re just so darn quaint.

The farmers’ market near my house is open every saturday beginning in May, and usually goes until mid October. Not only do they offer fresh fruits & veggies, but they also usually have homemade cheeses, baked goods, and farmer-made sausages (which are amazing – no fillers), crafts, and sometimes even a made-to-order donut stand.

Another plus about farmers’ markets? You can only buy what you can carry back home with you. No shopping carts here – so you only buy what you will eat, and no produce/money goes to waste.

So, next time you need groveries, don’t run to the grocery store….check your city website to find famers’ markets near you!!

***My title is a double entrende because….I am now the parent of a little baby kitten! She is the cutest, most loving littel fluffball you ever did see. Meet Spike!:

Well, she’s sleeping right now, but I’ll post more pictures later!
Have a lovely day!