Weekend Recap

Hello everyone and happy hump day! sorry that I’ve been MIA lately, but I took a little time off from blogging because of this past weekends celebration. On Friday Chris’ parents and I drove up to Middlebury to start off the fun filled graduation weekend, which took us five hours to get there instead of the usual three because of the intense snow! I’m not sure how much more snow New England can handle. Once all of Chris’ family arrived we gathered at a local restaurant to catch up over dinner. His family is so fun! we stayed up late with Chris’ brother and his fiance, and cousin chatting and making jokes into the early hours of the morning. 9 am came pretty early when we had to be at the chapel on campus for the graduation ceremony.
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The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half where Chris was presented with his graduation cane, and continued when we drove over to the colleges ski mountain, and watched all the graduates ski down the mountain in celebration. On Saturday morning in Middlebury it was  5 degrees, and -20 on the top of the mountain! it made for some freezing cold conditions, and didn’t allow me to get many pictures of him skiing down the mountain. My phone actually came up with a warning telling me it was too cold to even use it!

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After Chris skied down the mountain we braved the cold, and decided to continue skiing for the afternoon with my mom who had driven up for the graduation dinner. After we skied we went back to Chris’ apartment and got ready for the family dinner Chris’ mom had put together.

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During dinner Chris and I chatted with his family members, and a few toasts were given which you guys should know by now made me tear up and I couldn’t stop! I’m such a sap! I cry at commercials so thank goodness I wore waterproof mascara to this dinner :). After dinner there was much celebrating to be had so we moved the party over to the hotel Chris’ family was staying at, and played many games of cards until everyone was exhausted. The next morning was difficult getting out of bed to begin cleaning out Chris’s apartment. It took us a few hours and then we had to drive three hours home!

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After we had endlessly scrubbed and vacuumed, we stuffed the car full (yes that is stuff filled to the top of the car), and made our way home to NH! It was kind of sad leaving Middlebury for the last time, but exciting as well. I was sad to think the last four years of making friends,  and watching Chris play golf and hockey (being the ultimate fan haha) was over, but I am so excited about the future!

I hope you all had a great weekend, and will be back on Friday for the things I’m loving this week!

Live Blissfully!
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Mouthwatering Monday

Happy Monday everyone! I don’t know about any of you but I could not get out of bed today. Here in New Hampshire we got a snow storm on Saturday and ever since then I have only been wanting to curl up (in my fleece sheets) and watch endless movies. It looks like this won’t be getting any easier either because theres talk of another huge snowstorm coming on Wednesday…Thats January in New England for you :). Given this weather I have been longing for delicious hot foods to keep me warm, so that is where the inspiration for this Mouthwatering Monday recipe came from. I even went to the extent of getting Panera take out because I was in need of some soup!

Mouthwatering Monday Recipe

Homemade Pancakes

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Ingredients
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tbs. cooking oil
  • dash of vanilla
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients (flour,baking powder, sugar, salt).
  2. in a separate smaller bowl, mix together eggs, milk, and oil.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened.
  4. Bake on a little below Medium heat, until pancakes begin to bubble (or until golden brown) on both sides.
  5. Enjoy with (my little trick) warmed up syrup with a slab of butter, and fruit!
OH and on a side note Chris’ Graduation present is finally finished! I love the way it came out. I would post a picture on here but I’m a little afraid he may look and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I will add it into my Thing’s I’m Loving Friday post this week.
Oh and also Happy Birthday to my Mom! she’s the big 42 today… such an old lady haha 😉 Love you Mom
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Live Blissfully!

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Things I’m Loving Friday #26

Happy Friday! what is it about Friday’s that always get me so excited?? I think its because its an instant mood lifter because everyones just anticipating their fun weekend ahead! This weekend I will be spending it studying, because Wednesday of next week I will be taking the GRE’s, the test which determines my fate into graduate school ;). I may sneak in a little time to catch the new Blake Lively movie Age of Adeline, and most definitely some time to work on Chris’ Graduation present! Its taking me a lot longer than I expected, and his graduation is creeping up on me real quick…exactly one week! Everyone wish me luck with studying, and getting this present done in time! Now on to chat about the things i’m loving this week.

Pilates

This cracked me up when I saw it, and thought you would all get a laugh out of it as well! I’ve been working out pretty hard lately, and the one day when I did not want to go to the gym this cracked me up, and gave me the motivation to go! All you new years resolutioners out there KEEP IT UP! you can do it 🙂

Spinach Wraps

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This week when I was at the grocery store I was grabbing deli meat, and these wraps caught my eye! I’ve never been one to try spinach wraps because I thought they would taste kind of dry and cardboardish. These completely changed my mind, they’re soft and taste just like a normal white wrap. The downside is they only come 4 wraps to a bag, so I may need to find a cheaper version.

Girl Scout Cookies

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I mean come on look at that cookie! is there anything more delicious? I don’t think so! I have been a girl scout cookie fanatic for years, since the day my mom introduced me to a thin mint I was hooked! I may or may not have the girl scout cookie app on my phone so I can see where they are selling them at all times! NO JUDGEMENT! everyone has a sweet tooth and I just never hide me 🙂

Starbucks Cup

starbucks cup

I got this cup for Christmas from Chris’ mom, and have been using it ever since! The cool thing about it is that you can bring it into Starbucks with you and when you order your drink they will make it right into this cup, so you aren’t wasting the paper cups they give out! One of my “things I’m trying to do better in 2015” is be mindful! and recycling goes along with that…lets see how many times I can remember to bring this cup when I want a starbucks! (next to never) I’m kind of scatter brained at some times so this will be a hard thing for me.

Tulips

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When I was at the grocery store yesterday I walked by the flower section and could not resist these bright and beautiful tulips! I’m not really a pink loving person, but these were too cute to pass up. As you guys may have learned yesterday from my Instagram photo I was not having such a great day and these definitely did a great job of cheering me up.

AppleCare

So yesterday I was such a klutz and dropped my phone in the midst of taking an Instagram picture, and broke the whole entire screen! Coincidentally my phone dropped directly on a metal grate in the sidewalk, but luckily it did not fall through the holes! I don’t know what it is with me and iPhones I think they just hate me! When I had the iPhone 4 I dropped that twice and had to have the screen replaced, and then finally I made the smart move and bought the life proof case…what do you know one week later my whole entire screen broke inside the life proof case. Needless to say I was pretty annoyed about breaking my phone yesterday, but thankfully I purchased applecare, and that came in handy when I only had to pay $79 for them to send me a brand new phone! If anyone out there is hesitating on purchasing the Applecare please don’t! The people at Apple were so helpful, and sent me out a phone right away that will be here by tomorrow. Thank you Apple!

Page Views

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Ok I know this one might be silly, but I really am loving this this week. From time to time I check the page views of the blog, and normally they are around 200, which i’m happy with. I’m not a professional blogger, I really just do this for fun, and to write about the things that I love, but yesterday I checked, and my page views were up to 467! It makes me feel so great that people are actually reading, and viewing my blog, It makes it so much more fun when I know that people are coming back and viewing every Monday, and Friday. Thanks to everyone who made this something on my Things I’m Loving Friday list!
Live Blissfully!
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Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Fresh Spinach Artichoke Dip

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I found this recipe off Pinterest, on ThePinningMama.com I am so thankful for Pinterest because I have fallen in love with this womens’ website, and all the great recipes she has. My favorites are her copycat recipes like copycat Panera Tomato Basil soup, or her copycat Panera Chocolate Chip Cookies! DELICIOUS! I will for sure be using her website for Mouthwatering Monday’s to come!
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Onion finely chopped
  • 12 oz Mozzarella Cheese Finely Grated
  • 6 oz Freshly grated Parmesean
  • 1 Can of Artichoke Heart, Drained and Diced
  • 10 oz Bag of Fresh Spinach Coarsely Chopped
  • 1 Bag of Pita Bread, or Tortilla Chips for serving
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F.
2. In a large bowl mix the Mayo, Mustard, sour cream, and onion.
3. Add the cheeses, reserving about 1/8 of the cheese to cover the top, Mix.
4.Stir in the diced artichoke hearts.
5. Mix in the fresh spinach and stir well until the mixture is well combined and everything is evenly coated.
6. Scrape mixture (I would use a spatula) into large casserole dish and cover with remaining cheese.
7.Bake for 45-50 minutes, then if desired cook for additional 1-3 minutes on broil to brown the cheese.
8. Let sit for 15 minutes to set before serving.
9. ENJOY!

 

Live Blissfully!
xo,
Lauren


Things I’m Loving Friday #25

Good morning everyone! I hope you have had a great week, and are excited for the long weekend ahead. This week will consist of finishing up my graduate school application and visiting Chris at school. My Spring semester starts on Tuesday, so I will be getting all organized for that too! Now onto the things i’m loving this week!

friday sparkle

Hint Sparkling Water

hint

In a past things I’m loving Friday post I told you guys about the Hint water that I was loving. This week at the grocery store I found out that Hint came out with sparkling water too! I am a serious lover of sparkling water, and this water is on another level. It tastes like regular soda water, but then at the end you can taste a little sweetness. I dislike soda, or other artificially flavored waters because I think they’re too sweet. This one is the perfect amount of sweetness, and doesn’t make you feel bad like you’re drinking lots of sugar when you drink it. I’m in love. I’ve had the blackberry flavor, and the grapefruit and I love both. I can’t wait to try the other flavors.
Ski Day

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This past weekend Chris and I went skiing at his colleges ski mountain, and it was so much fun. I had never skied there before which is crazy considering he has been there for four years! And there have been many ski days during the winter for us to go! The mountain is little but perfect.
Kayla Itsines Workouts

kayla itsines

As you guys may have seen on Instagram I’ve just started doing Kayla Itsines workouts, and have fallen in love with them. They’re three days of circuit workouts, and two days of low intensity cardio. The workouts are hardcore, they seriously get my heart rate up and make me sweat. I have been borrowing the workout from a friend to test it out, and think I will be purchasing them this week.
Eating Healthy

eating healthy

While doing this Kayla Itsines workout it has made me so much more conscious of the food that i’m eating, and I have been really trying to eat healthier, as well as be in control of my portions. I feel like I’m always eating more than I need, and stuffing myself until I’m too full. It makes me feel so much better when I eat the correct portions, and am conscious of what healthy foods I am eating.
Live Blissfully!
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No Bake Granola Bars

No Bake Granola Bar

 Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (goji berries)
Directions
1. Microwave nut butter and honey until warm, approximately 30 seconds. Stir together.
2. Stir oatmeal into the nut butter and honey mixture.
3. Add coconut, dried fruit, and chopped pecans. Stir in the ground flax seed.
4.Press the mixture into a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Freeze for 45 minutes.
5. Cut into bars and enjoy! Store remaining bars in the refrigerator.

I can’t wait to try these with some of my favorites like Craisins, almonds, and dark chocolate bits! or peanuts, pretzels, and dark chocolate bits! There are so many combinations that can be made thats why I love this recipe, it really turns into many different recipes.
xo,

Lauren


Things I’m Loving Friday #24

Its the first Things I’m Loving Friday post of 2015! I hope your new year is off to an amazing start. Hopefully you are in full recovery from New Years Eve festivities, and are ready and motivated to take on any 2015 goals and resolutions! Heres to a fulfilling and happy 2015!
Now lets get into the things that i’ve been loving this week. I would love any comments or feedback on what you guys have been loving this week, it makes me so happy to hear about your lives and read some nice comments.

new year 2015

New Years Eve Celebration

new years kiss

new years friends

new years friend

This is the first year that Chris and I have celebrated New Years Eve out at a bar instead of at one of our friends house parties. This year we wanted to get together a large group of our friends, but had no where to do a fun festive house party so we decided on going out. It was crazy how many people were out, we waiting in line for probably 45 minutes to even get into the bar we wanted to go to.(in 20 degree weather). Needless to say it was so much fun, but I think we will be sticking to house parties from now on…its just so expensive every drink is so pricey and there’s a cover charge just to get in the front door. Besides waiting in the long line, and it being pretty expensive it was super fun seeing old friends, and meeting new ones as well.

Delicious Homemade Breakfast

homemade breakfast

I’m a huge breakfast fan! If I could eat it for every meal of the day I would! I love everything from egg sandwiches to waffles, to omelets oh and don’t forget the bacon! So naturally when Chris and I and our friends went out the night before I had to make a delicious breakfast of french toast eggs and bacon the next morning 🙂 There seriously is nothing better than real maple syrup. If you guys follow me on Instagram you would have already seen this mouthwatering picture.
Fujifilm Instax Camera

instax

old install

I was looking through my Instagram feed the other day and came across one of the people I follow using this camera. It is a camera that instantly prints out polaroid pictures after you take the photo. I have become obsessed with the look of polaroids and need the camera ASAP! Luckily its only $79 on Amazon! This camera reminds me of those long rectangular cameras from the early 2000’s that would instantly print you out a picture in strip form. IDK if any of you remember them but I just found it the IZONE!! I took so many pictures with this thing haha!

New Winter Hat

aerie hat

This picture isn’t all that great of my new hat, but its the only one I have wearing it! My mom and I went Christmas shopping around Thanksgiving and I fell in love with the super cute hat. I Found it at Aerie and couldn’t take it off. Its grey woven cotton, with a huge purple ball on the end, and its super floppy. It keeps me so warm and is definitely cute on so thats a plus!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the things I’m loving this week, and will let me know about some things you are loving in the comment section!

Live Blissfully!

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Snowman Oreo Truffles

Snowman Oreo Truffles

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Ingredients

  • 1 package of Oreo cookies (finely crushed)
  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 12 oz packages of white chocolate chips
  • 2 small containers of mini individual oreo cookies
  • decorations: decorative icing (colors orange, blue, and black)

Directions

First I started by crushing the Oreos. A food processor would be ideal to crush them, but I didn’t have one so I resorted to a makeshift plastic bag, with plastic wrap. I laid one down on the counter, put the oreos on top of it, and then sealed them in with another piece on top.

crushed oreos

After the Oreo’s were crushed, I put them in a large bowl, with the softened cream cheese, and mixed them until well blended.
mixed
After this I stuck the blended oreo cream cheese mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes to harden before molding into 1 inch balls. This was a step that was not in the original recipe, but the cream cheese oreo mixture was too soft, to roll into balls right after mixing it, and it kept sticking to my hands, so I hardened it for a while.

 

 After the dough was hardened I rolled the balls in 1 inch balls, and placed them on a cookie sheet, covered with parchment paper.

rolled oreo

This dough made 40 Oreo balls, that I then froze for another 20 minutes. After that I warmed the white chocolate chips for a minute and a half, and dunked the oreo balls in the white chocolate.

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This is the final product of all the Oreo balls covered in white chocolate, I then put them in the Freezer for one hour.

chocolate covered oreos

Last but not least decorate your snowmen! To get the mini Oreo to stick to the top, as a hat, I put a dot of white chocolate on top, and then placed the mini oreo on top of that and let it harden. An easier way would have been to place the mini oreo on top, right after you rolled the Oreo ball in the white chocolate.

Enjoy your Oreo Truffles!

 

Live Blissfully!
xo,

Lauren


Chai Cupcakes With Chai Buttercream

Homemade Chai Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream

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This recipe is completely homemade, but is surprisingly very easy. It does require a good amount of different ingredients, but they can easily be found at your local grocery store. I hadn’t ever made homemade cupcakes, and this was very easy for me to recreate.
Ingredients:

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

  •  3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Chai Spice Mix

  • 3 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional! I did not use this, and they still taste delicious!)
  • 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Directions:
Combine the chai spice mix ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

spices

Line cupcake tin with paper liners, and lightly spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl cream together the butter, and sugar until very light and fluffy.

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Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg added. Add the vanilla extract and mix.

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In separate large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and half of the chai spice mix.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter. Mix until just combined.
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Fill muffin liners 2/3 full, and bake for 24 minutes.

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Cool completely and frost with Chai Buttercream!

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Ingredients:

Chai Spiced Buttercream
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (Truth: I left my butter in the microwave too long trying to soften it and it was more melted butter, It made the buttercream so! soft and delicious)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 batch of chai spice mix
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
Directions:
Beat butter, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the chai spice mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each cup added. Beat until light and fluffy.

buttercream

I hope you all enjoy this delicious cupcake recipe!
Live Blissfully!
xo,
Lauren


Shrimp Piccata Recipe

shrimp picatta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (I made it without cause I forgot them)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pound of uncooked large shrimp, peeled, and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 4 teaspoons of corn starch
  • 1/3 of a cup of lemon juice ( i used fresh squeezed lemons)
  • 1/4 of a cup of capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions (around 6 minutes for angel hair pasta)
2. While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet sautee garlic (and shallots) in oil for one minute on low heat.
3. Add the shrimp, oregano, and salt, cook and stir on medium heat until shrimp turn pink.
4. In small bowl combine the broth, wine, and corn starch, gradually stir into pan.
5. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. remove from heat.
6. Drain Pasta.
7. Add the pasta lemon juice, capers, and parsley to the skillet, toss to coat.

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 Finished Product :). This piccata is so yummy! I always have made chicken piccata, and have never tried shrimp piccata, but wanted to make something different. I’m glad I switched it up because the shrimp added some extra saltiness to the dish that I loved.

On a side note! how cute is this house??

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On my morning walk I passed by this house and fell in love with it! It’s on the road that Chris and I live on now, but I haven’t really noticed it until this morning. It’s for sale, and is so cute inside, new granite counter tops, and all stainless steel appliances, and even has a cute little closed in porch off the back of the house oh and has four bedrooms! that tiny little house has four whole cute bedrooms in it!…Ok i need to stop talking about it/ being obsessed with it because buying a house is not in my near future haha…Hey a girl can dream right??

I Hope you’re all having a wonderful start to your week!

Live Blissfully!
xo,
Lauren


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