Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Recipe Swap: Warm Crab Dip

1 6 oz. can crabmeat, drained
1 8 oz. pack of cream cheese
5 tbsp light mayonaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 clove of garlic, peeled and diced

Sriracha sauce or cayenne pepper (to add spice)
1 green onion, chopped

What To Do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Spray small baking dish with cooking spray. Soften cream cheese in the microwave and mix all ingredients in a medium bowl

3. Transfer ingredients to baking dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the dip is melted in the middle.

4. Enjoy!

Martinis & Bikinis 
 1. Follow Kate and myself via GFC and Bloglovin

2. Link up your favorite recipes or food-related posts.

3. Grab our Recipe Swap button and link back to our blogs.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend Fun & Relaxation

Monday meets us too soon again but after reading this article yesterday about 5 Things Successful People do on the Weekends, I'm attempting to put a positive spin on Monday mornings, for the first time ever!

I had a pretty relaxing weekend and nothing too exciting to share. On Friday night, we went out on a dinner date with friends to check out the new Firebirds restaurant in town. My friend Emily and I both showed up wearing the same outfit and got plenty of funny stares from people at the restaurant. Awkward but we got a good laugh out of it....
On Saturday, I Skyped with a friend to start planning our best friend's wedding in February and did a bunch of errands before meeting up with K and some friends who were downtown watching the UCF game (we lost). We went to a couple bars and stopped at Lizzy's for some of their famous pudding shots. I got the vanilla fudge swirl which was delish!

We hopped around to a few other bars to celebrate my friend Chrissy's birthday and drink away the UCF loss before calling it a night.

Sunday was a nice lazy day!

How was your weekend?
Joining Biana for Weekending and Leeann for Monday Morning Gossip. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday's Favorites: Weekly Recap

Happy Friday! 
Although it was a short work week for me, it's been tough trying to get back into the swing of things after our Chicago trip and I'm also running on little sleep so definitely looking forward to the weekend.
Did you hear that U2's new album, Songs of Innocence, is now available for download for free from iTunes? I heard about it on the radio and sure enough all of the songs were sitting in my iCloud. I haven't listened to any songs yet but what do you think of this? Some people are pissed because they don't want the album. I'm totally cool with free music and how terrible can U2 be?  Anyways, if you want to find out how to get the songs over to your iTunes from iCloud, click here.
Image via

Favorite Buys:
All my souvenirs from Chicago. I think I made out pretty good.

Favorite Quote:
Get it? I think it really applies more so to my professional life and the business person in me ;-)

Favorite Recipe:
A healthier version of Indian butter chicken from the ladies over at Bump & Run. 

Favorites from Chicago:

Fun with friends at Wrigley Field (Cubs vs Pirates) and drinks in Wrigleyville after the game.

And of course all the great restaurants we visited...

Favorite Funny:

Have a great weekend!

Joining Amanda and Lauren today for their weekly Friday linkups.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What's in my Rocksbox?

Thanks to Biana for introducing me to the Rocksbox designer jewelry program where you can try out new pieces of jewelry and either buy them or return them for a new box of jewelry as many times as you want. I'm a sucker for pretty accessories so I decided to try it out and see what my Rocksbox stylist surprises me with.

They sent me the gold Sunburst bib necklace, Gumdrop earrings in Blush and Mixed metals Zara rings (set of 5). I love the pairing of this set.

I typically wear silver more often than gold pieces but I do like how these pieces look together and individually so I wore them out and about to work, happy hour and a few other occasions over the past two weeks as well as in Chicago last weekend.

Peplum Top: Forever 21 (similar) --- Lace Legging Pants: Express (similar, similar)

Dinner in Chicago with a dirty martini blocking the full view of my necklace. (typical)

Looking forward to getting my second box of goodies and hoping for some silver and colorful pieces to try out this time.

Let me know if you're interested in trying out Rocksbox and I can send you one free month of jewelry. You can read more how it works here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Exploring Beautiful Chicago

What an amazing past few days spent in the Windy City. The people, the food, the sites and scenes. Everything was pretty fantastic and I'm so happy we finally got to experience everything Chicago has to offer. Being the typical blogger that I am, I took a million photos and there's just no way to include them all but I've created a few collages to ease the photo overload.  

Friday/Day 1:

- Arrived in Chicago around 1:30 pm
- Grabbed a quick lunch at Potbelly Sandwich Shop
- Met up with Kate and her husband at Plymouth Rooftop bar
- Toured the streets of downtown Chicago
- Checked out The Bean
- Hunkered down under a tent while it rained cats and dogs
- Got dressed for K's birthday dinner
- Grabbed a drink at The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock building and enjoyed the beautiful views of the city
- K's birthday dinner at Ditka's Restaurant
- Rooftop drinks at Vertigo Sky Lounge
- Late night drink at Miller's Pub

 Saturday/Day 2:

- Met up with Kate and Nikki at Giodarno's for some deep dish pizza. Had a blast chatting and meeting Nikki for the first time.
- Walked to meet up with the guys at Rock Bottom Rooftop bar
- Took an Uber taxi to the Navy Pier
- Walked around the Navy Pier and grabbed a drink from Margaritaville
- Architecture boat tour at 3:15 pm
- Went up in the Ferris Wheel at the pier. Got some beauitful views of the city.
- Drink ar Three Dots and a Dash. (Very strong Hawaiian drinks)
- Dinner at Cantina Lareda Mexican restaurant (amazing!)
- Drink at Elephant & Castle (hotel bar)

We took the Shoreline Architecture River Tour which I highly recommend to learn some history and view all the beautiful buildings and towers.

Sunday/Day 3:

- Brunch at Bridge House Tavern on the river (best brunch ever and $5 Bloody Marys)
- Took the train to Wrigleyville
- Gift shopping in Wrigleyville and quick drink at The Dugout bar
- Cubs vs Pirates game at 1:20 pm
- Bar hopping in Wrigleyville. We checked out Cubby Bear, Vines and Sluggers bars
- Dinner at Elephant & Castle (the restaurant at our hotel because we were exhausted)

Monday/ Day 4:

- Skydeck at the Sears/Willis Tower
- Shopping on State St.
- Lunch at Giordano's (so K could get some deep dish pizza)
- Drink at Dick's Last Resort on the river
- More shopping and exploring downtown
- Drink at the Berghoff
- Headed back to hotel to pack bags & get dressed for dinner
- Last dinner in Chicago at The Purple Pig

Thanks to Steph @ Life According to Steph for recommending The Purple Pig and giving me some really great tips for the trip! I love tapas style food and everything we tried was nothing short of amazing. Some of the items we ordered: Tuscan Kale & Romaine Caesar Salad, Milk Braised Pork Shoulder, Eggplant Caponata with Goat Cheese and a few other things. Everything was excellent!

Tuesday/Day 5:
- Rush to airport for 10:40 am flight
- Last minute gift shopping in the airport
- Stopped by Garrett's popcorn shop for some Chicago style popcorn

I loved every minute of being in this beautiful city and it was a really nice break from work, blogging and everyday life. Until we meet again Chicago!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Packing for Chicago in Fall

So this is what I'm packing and isn't necessarily what you should pack since I have never actually been to Chicago in Fall/Autumn before. However, based on some research and weather.com predictions (and maybe some luck), I should be good with these picks. I pray for sunny days and comfortable nights with as little rain as possible. I figured an umbrella is still handy for both sunny and rainy days, especially as we plan to do a lot of site-seeing outdoors.
I think layering might also be key with cardigans or lighter jackets but I'm not 100% sure what to expect especially for nighttime temperatures/winds considering it's called The Windy City. Any and all advice welcomed especially from Chi locals or those familiar with the weather around this time of year!

I can't wait to see you tomorrow, Chicago and I'll catch you next week friends!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Football Appetizers & Entertaining

It's certainly hard for calorie-counting around football season. Everyone knows pizza and beer are consumed in copious amounts during this time. I know we'll be attending a few football parties this season so I went on the hunt for some fun and festive appetizer, finger food and dessert recipes that I thought I would share.

Loaded Potato Dip via Eclectic Recipes.

Mac and Cheese Bites via Virtually Homemade.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos via Blog Chef.

Buffalo Chicken Bites via Eat Yourself Skinny.

Avocado & Grilled Corn Pico de Gallo via Yummy Life.

Sweet Heat Meatballs via Oh Bite it.

Football Cookies and Cream Dip via Get Creative Juice.

Nutella Chocolate Truffles via Just A Taste.

Football Whoopie Pies via The Cake Blog.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Long Weekend Lounging

The long weekend was perfectly relaxing. It was much needed to keep quiet before we head to Chicago this week for another long weekend vacation to celebrate K's birthday.

On Friday night, K and I went to dinner at High Tide Harry's. I wasn't impressed with the seafood and the service sucked but glad we at least got to try it out.

After dinner we stopped at a sports bar to hang out for a bit and ended up having these pineapple upside down cake shots which were really good. 

 On Saturday I caved and ended up giving K his birthday gifts early since we'll be rushing to the airport on his actual birthday this week. I think all (or at least most) men could do with a lifeproof case to protect their phones. You can find them at Marshall's for half the price.

I scored some beachy coach flip flips for $28. I think that's a steal and they're very comfortable.

On Sunday, we did some quick shopping for our upcoming trip and then went to a friend's pool party. The weather wasn't ideal but it cleared up and we had a good time hanging out with friends.

Monday was like my typical Sunday spent doing laundry, cooking, blogging and just lounging before another crazy work week. Hope you enjoyed the extra day away from work!

Joining Biana for Weekending.