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Sunny Days

Summer Haze.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
I was reminded today to take a moment and remember
the real reason for this amazing 3 day weekend.
Thank you Uncle Charles for the work you did to keep us safe.
and all the other vets out there.
Because of you I get moments like these, which are really precious.
Time for a summer playlist.
Songs that make me want sand between my toes
and sun shining on my face.
Thought I'd share in time for you to enjoy it on Monday!

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DIY Reality Check

Hey ladies. So check out this awesomeness I found for crafty ladies such as ourselves! I stumbled upon this over at 100 Layer Cake an absolutely fabulous wedding blog! No no I have no big news to share with you. Except maybe that I'm a creepy single girl (according to government paperwork) who peruses wedding blogs without cause. But you knew that about me already didn't you?

Anywhoo the funny thing is if I put many of my DIY projects through this strainer, they would be tossed to the winds. Luckily I'm not the most practical gal. But this is a really useful little tool, especially if you are talking about doing DIY for your wedding. Much more stressful of a situation!

Oh ps do you like my new bloggy template? I do! lol Comments are now next to the posts beneath the date. Just so you know lol Because 1. I'm a narcissist and love comments :) and 2. I hate when I want to comment on someone else's blog and their comment section is like impossible to find!
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O.M.G. Love; Ann Carrington

I love this artwork by Ann Carrington (linked, check her out!)
This is the perfect example of where craft meets art.
I love her use of different toned buttons to create such stunning work!
and of course it doesnt hurt that these are done in the colors of my apt.
black & silver.
Hmmm, I feel an inspiration project coming on. . . .
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Sac A Baguette

So yesterday I touched upon my mother-induced neuroses.  She has made me painfully aware of how I try to eat organic, how I attempt to shop green, how I can often be found strolling through farmer's markets & little cheese shops (or scarfing down Del Taco & scratching my lady version of a plumber's crack; I handle disparity well lol) She calls me a "yuppie" and though I may find it a cringe-worthy misnomer, she says it with pride.

Why is my mother so proud to have produced a guppie (a green minded yuppie to me, according to urban dictionary it's a gay yuppie, which I'm not! lol)? Well because in her childhood, heck in my childhood, we would considered it lucky to be a yuppie. Growing up eating hamburger helper 5 nights a week we coveted the pretensions associated with a "yuppie-lifestyle". Seriously this was the type of ground beef that has like 90% fat/gristle, pumped full of steroids, and quite possibly mixed with horse meat. I may be permanently emotionally & physically scarred by that stuff.

She is proud that she considers me to have made it to a certain extent in life, affording luxuries she never could. At least I assume that's her thought process. With my mom, you never know.
Why you ask am I over-sharing telling you all this? Because I am trying to talk myself out of buying a really unnecessary-but-awesome product. I had to reveal my deep dark secrets to remind myself not to over indulge.I have to prove to my mom I am no freakin guppie! :)
But ladies, I encourage you to do so because you, I'm sure, don't have years of baggage associated with spending money < Insert sarcasm here.
I reveal the Sac a Baguette the bag made for us guppies to stylishly & comfortably tote around our farmer's market purchases.
Seriously I would buy this thing in a second if it weren't for the price tag.
I'll let you experience the sticker shock for yourselves :)
Check out Sac A Baguette, and if you can spare the change, please buy it! :) For my sake, so I can live vicariously through you.
& thanks Oh Joy Eats for the introduction
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A Sweet Spin; Strawberry Bruschetta

So my mom has this idea in her head that I only cook "gourmet" dishes. I assume she thinks this because whenever I talk about cooking it tends to be dishes I'm making for an event, something I put extra special time into. Because of this delusion belief, she will literally call me up and say "Hey off the top of your head do you know of a fancy dish I can make for forty-five people by tomorrow night, 1/3 of which are vegetarian, sprinkle in some vegans,bacon--lovers, & lactose intolerants all of which costs only $20?" I swear I feel like it's word-problems week in math class again. Which believe me, wasn't pretty.

The truth is, if you find me on a regular Monday night I'm probably boiling some whole wheat pasta or sauteing some awesome Trader Joe's frozen meal. I know, don't tell my mom. Her idealistic bubble will burst.
Her beliefs in my cooking style have actually started to shape my cooking style. She is like this nagging little voice in the back of my head that says, "Now Rachel, that ingredient sounds a bit plaaiin, doesn't it?" "Oh sweetie, Russet Potatoes are soo last century". It can be pretty hard on a delicate psyche.

The positive is that because of these neuroses I do tend to experiment with cooking. My aunt always boasts that I'm "never afraid to try anything" (this isn't always applied in a complimentary way lol) which when it comes to food is pretty true. You will not find me sky-diving or spider touching, I keep my adventures to one department
 When I saw this recipe for Strawberry Bruschetta I knew I had to try it.  Granted I did have an inkling it would be delicious, based of my love of the Strawberry/Goat Cheese combination, but still it's a bit more exciting than regular bruschetta. I do love that too though.
This stuff is like melt in your mouth, catch a glimpse of God on it's way down good. At least to me.
Roasting the strawberries in the balsamic vinegar somehow manages to bring out their sweetness, & softens the tartness of the vinegar.
Next time I will add more goat cheese, forget the garlic salt (I added it to the bread before broiling--my bad) & maybe add a wee bit o'sugar to the strawberry mixture. It was pretty sweet naturally, but the dang bf's sweet tooth has been rubbing off on me lately!

Roasted Strawberry Bruschetta
Modified from Puccini and Pinetti Ingredients
2 cups strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil                            
1 cup soft goat cheese
1 cup baby arugula
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice the strawberries into a bowl and gently mix to coat with the balsamic vinegar. Spread strawberries out on a baking sheet and bake for five minutes. Remove and let cool.
  3. Cut the ciabatta into equal slices, coat with olive oil, and broil on each side until toasted and crisp.
  4. Spread goat cheese on hot bread, top equally with the roasted berries and juice. Set a few pieces of arugula on each. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Seriously, yum. Thank you yumsugar!