Good Reads: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Oct 28, 2015
Good Reads Synopsis:

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

My Thoughts:

I'm in love! As a Royal Watcher I knew I would love this book. I've always wondered what happened during Kate and Will's courtship because it has been closely guarded by the pair, their family, and their friends. This book gives a juicy glimpse into those what-ifs by following the same timeline of The Cambridge's love story.  This novel turned out to be a really nice piece of original fiction deviating from Will and Kate's story with the use of original and well developed characters. I knew I'd love it, but it was even better than what I bargained for.

Weekend Recap + Monday Madness Link Up

Oct 26, 2015
Happy Monday! Hope you all had an amazing weekend and are ready to take on the world!

Nick and I had a little date on Saturday night. We went to a place called the Crooked Goose and they have amazing food!

The 'Bar Burger' was out of this world. The meat was cooked perfectly, the cheese was the perfect degree of melty-ness, and it had this sauce on it called 'boom boom sauce' which I suspect was just Thousand Island dressing, but I don't care because it was delicious.

On Sunday we went on a family grocery shopping trip. Usually I grocery shop alone so it was nice to have company. Plus, I've been working 45+ hours per week so it's nice to have some help.


So our landscaping looks like shit. Pardon my french, but it's the truth. The people who owned the house before us really, really liked plants and Nick and I really, really don't. So we've neglected it for the last 3 1/2 years and now it looks like total shit. We got a quote on the work we would like to have done and it's $2,000. Umm no. I'd rather take a vacation.

So this weekend the soil was really soft in one spot so I ripped some plants out.

It felt amazing! I'm too embarrassed to post what the rest of the yard looks like so that should tell you how bad it is. I'm going to try to get out what I can the rest of this fall and finish and plant grass next spring.

We spent the rest of the weekend cuddling our pooch and watching my favorite Sunday night TV - Home Fires and Indian Summers on PBS.

Homemade Pittsburgh Pierogies

Oct 21, 2015
An ode to my home state and one of my favorite foods...

What You'll "Knead" for the Dough:

2 cups of flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling the dough
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of butter, softened and cut into small pieces

What You'll "Knead" to Do:

Mix together the flour and salt.
Beat the egg in a separate bowl and add to the flour mixture.
Add the scout cream and softened butter .
Work together until the dough loses most of it's stickiness (5-7 minutes).
Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate over night or for at least 20-30  minutes.
Roll the dough on a floured surface until 1/8" thick.
Cut the dough into circles with a cutter or drinking glass.

What You'll Need for the Filling:

5 large red potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of butter
4-8 ounces of grated cheese

What You'll Need to Do:

Peel potatoes.
Boil until soft.
Saute onion in butter until soft and translucent.
Mash the potatoes with the onions and grated cheese.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Let the mixture cool and roll into 1" balls.

What's Next:

Place a ball of filling on each dough round.
Full the dough over and press the edges together with the tines of a fork.
Boil the pierogies in a large pot of water for about 8-10 minutes (they float on the top when they are done).
Saute chopped onions and butter in a large pan until onions are translucent and soft.
Add pierogies to the plan and fry until lightly crisped.
Serve with a side of sour cream.

If you don't want to cook all of the pierogies at once they can be refrigerated uncook for several days or freeze them for several months,


Monday Madness Link Up 10.19.15

Oct 19, 2015
Happy Monday, ladies! Coat and coffee weather rolled in this weekend and I think it's it here to stay.

As I've said before I really, really hate football. However, I feel like I must mention that this was the biggest weekend for football in Michigan. This weekend was the Michigan v. Michigan State Game.

Spartans' little good luck charm!

My husband is a Michigan State alumni so he was so stoked when they pulled out the win in the last minute of the game. I've never seen him so excited about something!

We finally watched Spy this weekend.  So funny.

I went pretty hard at work last week so it was nice to spend some time relaxing and taking naps this weekend. We're pretty boring.
Hope your weekend was more exciting than mine!

How to Have the Most Awesome At-Home Tailgate

Oct 14, 2015
As many of you have read I spent last weekend in the cold and rain tailgating at an MSU game. Not being a big football person, I was pretty miserable. This weekend marks the big Michigan State v. Michigan game - the biggest game of the year! Below you will find all the components you'll need for throwing a successful at-home tailgate.



Outdoor Activities. 

Team Colors.
Don't forget your friends, family, and a TV for viewing!

Columbus Day Shopping + Monday Madness Link Up 10.12.15

Oct 12, 2015

My friend Sam and I went to the new Tanger Outlets this weekend! We went not even thinking about the Columbus Day sales we had just picked a weekend that we could both go.

Well it was an awesome weekend to be free for shopping because we were able to get some amazing deals. Tanger is also offering a 'The Power of Pink Pass' during the month of October. You pay $5 for a 25% coupon you can use at participating stores. The $5 you spend for the pass goes toward breast cancer research. It's good for the entire month if I end up going back. ;)
Nine West
This purse was 30% off plus 25% off with my Pink Pass.
They were also offering buy one, get one 50% off shoes.
Sketchers was running a buy one, get one 50% off sale.
I needed new sneakers for work. I've worn holes in a couple different places of my last pair.
Banana Republic
50% off, plus 25% off one item with the Pink Pass.
I love that the hood zips off. I can wear it with the hood as my outer most layer on fall days and under my coat with the hood off during the winter!
Mountain Warehouse
20% off orange ticket items.
Columbia and Wilson Leather
Columbia: Buy one, get one 50% off on non clearance items.
Wilson Leather: 50%, plus 25% off with the Pink Pass.
I bought an awesome purple winter coat from Columbia. I needed one that was longer to cover my butt and part of my legs for the cold Michigan weather.
I bought the Jessica Simpson coat from Wilson Leather. It's a substantial coat for the fall and again covers my butt and thighs for warmth. It's got a great cinched waist and neat details on the arms.
The Columbia coat has Thermal Reflective Omni Heat. This will be my fourth winter in Michigan and I finally feel like I have all the gear I need.
Have a super week!
Make sure to link up!

Five Fantastic Things for Friday

Oct 9, 2015
//1// Indian Summers

My new favorite show find! Set in at the base of the Himalayas during era when British Empire reigned over India, Indian Summers explores the collision of the ruling class English with their Indian subjects. In the 1930s, local Indians have started to call for national independence, a path which is quickly rendering the world’s greatest empire helpless. Lots of drama and passion! This will do nicely as Downton Abbey makes it's exit.

//2// Vintage Kate

//3// Three Day Refresh

I got my kit in the mail this week! Here's what it is - Shakeology 1x per day, Vanilla Fresh 2x per day, Fiber Sweep Drink 1x per day plus fruits, veggies, and water. No dairy, meat, or carbs in the form of sweets or bread. I think I'm going to do it Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday next week. I may turn into a monster, but I really want to give it a try. I just hope for it to be a reset for me. I've been eating really bad for a really long time.

//4// My tattoo

I haven't really shown this baby off since I got it in May. My first. Probably not my last.

//5// Tanger Outlets

Tanger opened outlets in my area back in July and I'm finally going with my friend Sam this weekend. I need new sneakers for work and a new, warmer winter coat.

Yes, the Property Brothers were there for the grand opening!

Monday Madness Link Up 10.5.15

Oct 5, 2015
Another Monday... think of it as a fresh start.

So, I had to report for jury selection for the first time ever. There were 7 cases they were choosing a jury for, but everyone ended up taking a plea. Basically we sat in the hallway during the pleas and then got called into the courtroom and told we could leave. I feel like I did my civic duty.

On Saturday Nick and I tailgated at and went to the MSU homecoming game. I always try to dress cute for these games, but it's pretty much impossible because East Lansing, Michigan has the sh*ttiest weather of anywhere I have ever been. It ended up being 48 degree and rainy. I didn't get to take too many pictures because my fingers would get too cold. I ended up in my father-in-law's rain slicker, my mother-in-law's winter hat and Nick's winter gloves. I don't even enjoy football. Boo. Thank goodness that we left at half time.

When we got home I turned on the space heater and wrapped myself in some blankets and we watched the newest version of the Left Behind movie. It was an interesting role for Nicholas Cage.

I started reading this book series right after I graduated college and got through a lot of them. It was really good. However, I didn't finish them and they're so involved that I'm thinking about starting again from the beginning. Has anyone else read this book series?

Speaking of books...

I finally got my hands on The Royal We!!!!! As a Royal Watcher I've been dying to read this book and it took me way to long to do it! Review coming soon...

Friday Recipe: Potato Corn Chowder

Oct 2, 2015
Happy October! It's really Fall now and it's starting to chill out (yes, that is my own made up phrase for 'cooling off'). Fall to me means comfort food. I really like crockpot recipes that I can come home to on a week night or start on a Saturday morning. I especially love soups!

What You'll Need:
1 16 oz package of frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspon of dried oregano
1 /12 lbs red potatoes
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
6 cups of chicken stock
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
What You'll Need to Do:
Place potatoes and corn into a slow cooker.
Stir in flour and gently toss to combine.
Stir in chicken stock, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
Stir in butter and heavy cream.
Serve immediately.

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