• January 2013 Archive •

Tasty Lasagna Cups Recipe

I studied abroad for six months while I was in college.  Hands down, it was the most rewarding and life altering experience of my four years of education.  I can vividly remember sitting in the orientation class and listening to a past student talk about her time in London.  She boasted about how she had lost her “freshmen fifteen” during her stay due to the large amount of required walking.  I was bursting with excitement.  I couldn’t wait to feel a foreign pavement beneath my feet and if my walking around an unfamiliar country while soaking in the rich history meant I would also shed a few pounds, sign me up.

I had never struggled with my weight.  Even though I ate like a seven-year-old, I was highly active and went to the gym regularly during my first two years of college.  I stepped on a scale once a year at my annual doctor’s appointment.  My weight never weighed very heavy, or really at all, on my mind.

Looking back, I think I prematurely convinced myself that my experience would perfectly align with that of the orientation speaker.  I would live abroad.  Walk miles upon miles a day and have zero need to join a gym or watch what I was eating.  I was terribly mistaken.

My best friend and I coped with living in another country by eating.  And eat we did.  We dined multiple times a week at the local Pizza Hut or McDonalds.  We frequently indulged in Samir’s, which was basically mayonnaise on a pita and topped with chicken.  Before bed we would drink a Vanilla Coke and eat a Sainsbury All Butter Madeira Cake.  Sounds completely healthy, right?  We blamed not being able to join the school’s gym on tight budgets and bad exchange rates.  We honestly believed we could eat like pigs and the weight would never catch up to us because we were walking around England so quickly.

I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face as I was half-way down the escalator at the Charlotte airport.  It was a mixture of complete elation and confusion.  It had been six long months since we had seen each other and I was noticeably a more plump version of the girl that had left.  Even though she was quick to point out that I must have been eating well during my stay, I continued to live in denial.  It wasn’t until a few weeks later when my favorite pair of jeans ripped straight up the middle while I was trying to stuff my butt into them that I realized I needed to change.

It took a period of drastic lifestyle adjustments and a change from the inside out to bring back that confidence I lost when I had gained extra pounds.  I’m still far from a fruits and veggies eater but I do try.  I check the scale more than once a year not to make sure I’m skinny but to make sure I’m healthy.  I maintain my weight because I want to be completely naked and feel ridiculously sexy.

The correlation between my story and this recipe is that one of the major ways I whipped myself back into a healthy shape was through portion control.  I love that this recipe makes it so easy to gage exactly how much you should eat.  I can kill some Italian food so this method guarantees I don’t end up in a lasagna coma.  It’s easy to assemble – so easy that there really isn’t a right or wrong way.  There are zero measurements.  Make it the way you like it.  It’s quick to cook as long as you aren’t taking pictures of each step and it tastes delightful.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Pound of Ground Beef
Salt & Pepper
Italian Seasoning
Wonton Wrappers
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Ricotta Cheese
Pasta Sauce

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

2.  Brown beef and season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Drain.

3.  Return pan to the stovetop and add pasta sauce.  Heat throughout.

4. Line each muffin cup with a wonton wrapper.  Fill each wrapper with meat sauce, ricotta cheese and shredded cheese.  Repeat.  Top with remaining cheeses.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Use a butter knife to loosen the edges and then pop each lasagna cup out and serve!

 

xoxo, Priscilla
Peplum & Polka Dots

Just briefly, I’m going to let you inside the mind of a crazy person.  Take notes.  This is top secret insight into the inner workings of my brain.

A normal person rides down the road, listens to music, may or may not notice a beautiful sunset but mainly stays focused on the road ahead.  A crazy person rides down the road, scouts out potential photo shoot locations and then selects an outfit that corresponds with the discovered shoot set.

I recently spotted this multi-colored, abandoned metal building and knew it would be the perfect backdrop for an upcoming Friday Forever 21 Fashion Find. Don’t be fooled.  Just because the building is abandoned doesn’t mean the trailer park across the street is vacant.  This was apparent by the two guys camped out on their front porch who admired the entire shoot and sent numerous whistles our way to showcase their approval.

Not only did we battle the unwelcome onlookers but we endured bitter and brutal weather in order to document this outfit.  Frigid temperatures and gusty winds couldn’t stop me even if I shivered through the entire thing.  It kind of made me feel like a real model except I eat anything I want, I barely break 5 feet and my gym membership is about to be canceled because I’ve failed to visit it three times a week like promised.

I know, I know, get to the outfit details.  This ensemble is as fresh as the bangs across my face.  If you like or want a versatile black peplum jacket, you need to get to Forever 21 right now and buy the blazer I have on.  It’s amazing.  And no, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. I paired peplum with peplum and polka dots with polka dots.  Why not?  I love the turquoise color of the pencil peplum skirt and I love the fact that it was $12.80 even more.  I decided to add a little more touch of color by wearing the coral dangling earrings and an oversized blush pink ring.  This outfit was perfect for my business lunch meeting and could easily be taken from a day to night look.  Happy shopping my lovelies!

 

xoxo, Priscilla
Feathers and Fur and Boots – Oh My!

Just as quickly as the snow landed, it vanished.  I’ll admit, it was nice to see and even nicer that it didn’t stick around long enough to become frustrating.  I totally bypassed winter mode and went auto-drive into Valentine’s Day mode.  I think it’s because I’m planning my first official dinner party that I could totally care less about January and am so looking forward to entertaining my dearest friends mid-February.

Before I explain my thinking behind putting this look together, I need to send a huge thank you to my “photographer” Megan.  It takes a true friend to accompany you to random places and operate a camera neither one of us knows anything about, all while holding and attending to a 5 month old.  Poor Bexton.  There were times during shooting today’s look that the helpless child was literally tilted at a 45 degree angle in an attempt to capture the perfect shot.  And as if taking pictures while a baby spits up on the floor isn’t complicating enough, we also had an audience of three men, equipped with their coffee and headphones, who couldn’t decide whether to be annoyed by our photo shoot or entertained.  Thank you Megan, for perhaps thinking I’m really silly but never saying it.

And speaking of this shoot, while sorting through the pictures, I kept making a disgruntled face every time I looked at my hair.  This prompted me to research the last time I visited my stylist, which much to my surprise, was in October.  Are you for real?  I immediately scheduled an appointment to rectify that and next week, I’ll be back on the blog with a fresh hair do’.  And thank God.  I mean seriously, what is going with my bangs?  They are really too long to be considered bangs and too short to be considered a layer.  They’ve got to be cut.  Especially since I inherited a rather large-for-my-face forehead.  No joke – when I was born the doctor pulled me out, held me up, looked at my dad and said, “Well, she has your big forehead.”  My dad’s ego was crushed and I’ve been cursed to bangs my entire life.

Today’s Friday Forever 21 Fashion Find is brought to you by my obsession with fur vests.  Obsession is taken to another level when the fur vest has pockets and a leopard lining.  Be still my soul.  I decided to pair my brown toned fur vest with a burgundy panel dress.  And even though I opted to cover it up with a vest, one of my favorite parts of this dress is the exposed gold zipper on the back.  Cream colored knitted tights with brown lace-up platform boots complete the lower half of the look.  I accessorized with a feather necklace and gold bangles.  While dressy enough for a date, this outfit is still comfy and cozy.  Have an awesome sauce weekend guys and gals!

xoxo, Priscilla
Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

I realize this is the second dessert I’ve featured that involves lemons.  No, I don’t have some weird fascination with lemons.  This just so happens to be Chase’s favorite dessert and since he turned the big 2-9 last week, I decided to whip it up in honor of his birthday.

Also in honor of Chase’s birthday, we went bowling with his dad and stepmom.  I guess in reality Chase and his family went bowling.  I went and tossed a six pound ball into a gutter repetitively.  I seriously have to be one of the worst bowlers you know.  I start at the line with the best of intentions.  In fact, I generally have a mental pep talk with myself where I repeat in my mind, “Keep your arm straight.  Aim for the arrow.  You got this.”

But then, it never fails.  I do this really weird thing with my wrist where it practically looks like I’m in a shot put competition.  I kept hoping the pins would fall down voluntarily because they felt embarrassed for me.  Every once and while one pin would have a heart and topple over but for the most part, all ten stood at attention and watched my ball roll right by on the gutter waterslide. I blame my bad bowling on my inverted elbows.  Although I did find I slightly improved after a glass of wine.  Only slightly though.

Regardless of how well you bowl or not, I’m confident you can make this pie.  It’s so easy to put together and has a refreshing tart taste.  Instead of making one large pie, I decided to make mini-pies.  Miniature is all the rage right now.  All the cool kids are doing it.

My key piece of advice – give the pie plenty of time in the freezer.  You want the filling to have time to really set up.  And now for the cheesy closing remark – when life hands you lemons, make a lemon icebox pie and tell Priscilla how wonderful she is for generously sharing the delicious recipe.

Ingredients:

1 Package of Pillsbury Pie Crusts
1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 -3 Lemons
1 Egg Yolk

Directions:

1. Bake pie crusts according to package directions.  Allow crusts to cool completely.

2. Mix together the juice from 2 – 3 large lemons, the condensed milk and the egg yolk.

3. Pour the mixture into the pie crust(s) and place in freezer for at least 4 hours.  I typically leave mine in the freezer overnight before serving.

4. Serve your pie and watch people rub their bellies in excitement.

xoxo, Priscilla
Head Honcho Poncho Style

We’re back! I took a few Fridays off from featuring my outfits because it was Christmas and I was traveling and I had the flu and I’m pretty sure I went a full week without putting a dab of makeup on my face.  But fear not my faithful followers, Forever 21 Fashion Find Fridays are here to stay.  I also need to send a quick thank you to those who bestowed Forever 21 gift cards on me.  Your support of my addiction only means more fashion goodness for the future and more incentive to do shopping “research.”

This week’s outfit is bursting with geometric shapes and bold colors and acid wash jeans.  You heard me right.  Acid. Wash. Jeans. I’m sportin’ the trend that A.C. Slater started.  Let’s talk a little bit about those jeans because I know you’re dying to hear the story.  I was a stalker the last time I wore those pants.  A total and complete stalker.

I’ll start from the beginning.  Early last year I was sitting at home watching the tube when a Bing commercial appeared on the screen and the song playing mesmerized me.  Music notes literally starting floating out of my ears.  Ok, not really, but I loved the song so much that I can still remember the exact moment I first heard it and can remember Chase saying, “That sounds like some Mickey Mouse sounding music you’d like.”  Being the music nerd I am, I did some research and discovered Alex Clare.

Alex’s “The Lateness of the Hour” album immediately became my favorite and I became a follower of Mr. Clare on twitter.  Throughout the year, I occasionally tweeted him sweet nothings and proclamations of how much I loved his music.  Despite my best efforts, I never received a retweet or really any acknowledgement at all.

Flash forward a few months and it’s a chilly December Sunday night in Chicago.  My friend Melody and I are inside the Metro an hour and half early to get the best standing spot to see Alex Clare live.  It was an incredible show.  I was surrounded by hundreds of fans who were just like me.  Trying to support an up-and-coming artist before he becomes something much bigger. I sang. I danced. I jumped and down. I screamed. I was a fanatic.

After the show was over, Melody and I parked ourselves at the foot of the stage in hopes I could catch a glimpse of what was going on behind the curtain.  The stagehand either felt sorry for me or was impressed because he handed me the set list that was taped to the floor.  I can’t say I’ve ever become so excited over a printed word document.  I immediately sent Alex a tweet asking him to meet us for a Mexican feast across the street.  Worth a shot, right?

We gathered our things and made our way to the coat check.  By some strange shift in the Universe, I turned the corner, looked up and there stood Alex.  I wasted no time, made my way to him and properly introduced myself by saying, “I promise I’m not a stalker.”  (Like that’s not a dead giveaway.)  I informed him of my attempted tweets to which he asked for my twitter “handle” and then acknowledged my extended Mexican date invitation.  He politely declined but only because he is kosher. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Oh and he’s married. And I’m married.)  I spent a few minutes chatting with him, posed for a picture, collected my composure and headed next door for a celebratory drink.

As if I don’t already appear to have a problem, it’s the next few things that transpired that really make me seem like one of those dysfunctional girls on the verge of a restraining order. As Melody and I were enjoying our beverage and recapping everything that had just happened, I saw Alex’s bandmates walk into the Mexican restaurant we had hoped to dine at with Alex.  Without missing a beat, Melody marched herself across the street and came back to the bar with an invitation to join Chris the bass player and Chris the drummer for some Mexican cuisine.

Stalker Alert #1: We’re sharing a plate of nachos with the band members.

Stalker Alert #2: I showed up to the table carrying the set list.  They saw it and shook their heads.  I made a joke in hopes they’d find me charming and forget about it.  In my defense, my purse was small and I didn’t want to wrinkle that priceless piece of paper.

Stalker Alert #3: Chris the drummer was enthralled with my iPhone 5 and wanted to check it out.  I had already set my home screen as the picture of Alex and me.  There’s no way to talk your way out of that one.

Stalker Alert #4: I’m now friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the entire band. What’s wrong with me?

The nachos were delicious. The conversation was fascinating.  The experience gave me middle school dance butterflies.  I spent the entire time in a daze, unable to believe that I was hearing about the making of the second album, life on tour and the inside scoop on Alex.

So that brings me back to Earth and back to now.  Those jeans are like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  When I wear them I immediately think about how magical that night was and how elated I am over those memories.  This time, I decided to pair them with a geometric print poncho in honor of that date night with Chris and Chris.  I accessorized with two-tone triangle earrings, brightly colored bangles with shape patterns, black suede boots with fringe and my infamous fedora.  It’s the perfect casual ensemble to run around town, hit up a movie or eat Mexican food.  Happy Friday lovelies!

Stalker Alert #5: I just dedicated an entire blog entry to meeting Alex Clare and his band.

For your viewing pleasure – pictures from my night living as a stalker:

 

 

xoxo, Priscilla
Charleston Themed Stockroom 230 Wedding in Raleigh

Amanda and I go way back.  Like the elementary school time period.  We were both proud members of the optimist club cheerleading squad, the “A” Team and the Baton Bearitones.  We grew up in the same sleepy town and even post-graduation, our paths would somehow always cross.  I was beyond flattered when she reached out to me to coordinate her wedding day.

Amanda and Robbie share a love for Charleston and they wanted that to be represented in their wedding at the Stockroom in Raleigh.  The Charleston theme shined in the details.  The sailor rope on the place cards.  The Charleston house-shaped cookies.  The navy and coral color palette.  It was an intimate gathering of their closest 50 friends and it was perfect.

Story Photographers captured every moment, including the very serious groomsmen with their fake mustaches.  The pictures are amazing.  Like literally amazing.  Belle’s Catering provided a custom menu with some of the couple’s favorite foods including crab cakes served in porcelain spoons tied with coral and navy ribbon.  Brides & Bouquets put together stunning floral arrangements using garden roses and fresh greenery.  The wedding was an exact reflection of the couple, their love for each other and Robbie’s love for his hat.

I couldn’t have been happier to watch a childhood friend get married.  She has matured without losing her jovial personality, she’s grown into a leader in Christ and on her wedding day, I’ve never seen her look more beautiful.

Photographer: Story Photographers

Venue: Stockroom 230

Florist: Brides & Bouquets

Caterer: Belle’s Catering

NC Wedding Planner: Orangerie Events

xoxo, Priscilla