Friday, January 30, 2015

Five on Friday: {January 30, 2015}

Hey Gals! Happy Friday and Happy Birthday Weekend to me, haha! Even though I started the celebrations last weekend, birthday brunching with B, my actual birthday is this Sunday (yup, Super Bowl Sunday!).  I’ll try my best not to be too much of a birthday brat, though I hope you don’t mind indulging me in a little birthday love for my five favorites of the week!

Birthday Dinner

Since as I mentioned above, my actual birthday falls on Super Bowl Sunday, I’ll be celebrating on Saturday night with a fancy dinner out in Princeton.  We’re lucky to only live about 30 minutes away from Princeton, so GG made a reservation at The Peacock Inn for a delicious meal and of course, a couple of fancy cocktails.  And a big shout out to Sister M for babysitting for us – thanks K, love you!

Birthday Fashion

A fancy birthday dinner wouldn’t be complete without an equally fancy dress to wear, so I was very excited to cash in on my free birthday dress rental, courtesy of Rent the Runway.  I’ve mentioned this in the past, but one of the perks of being a RTR pro includes a free dress rental during your birthday month, and this year I went with this fabulous number from Rachel Roy.  Since it’s beyond frigid, I opted for long sleeves so I don’t freeze too badly, and plan to jazz this up with lots of fun accessories.

Birthday Wish List

Tieks //  Gigi Crossbody // Goldy Glasses  //  RBL Polish // Nars Palette

A birthday also isn’t complete without lots of gifts! B already spoiled me with some amazing presents, but I wouldn’t mind terribly if I opened one of these babies up on Sunday. I've been lusting after Tieks for way too long now, and that purple GiGi Crossbody is seriously calling my name.

Birthday Indulgence

I decided to extend my birthday festivities for one additional day, and have a “me” day on Monday.  I took off from work and have big plans to get a massage, blog in bed with my coffee and do a little crafting.  While that may sound like a snoozefest to some, this mama cherishes a little me time whenever she can steal it, so I’m super excited to unwind a bit to cap off the birthday fun.
My Actual Birthday, aka Super Bowl Sunday

Yes this is the third time in one post I’m mentioning my birthday falls on the Super Bowl, and no, I’m not bitter at all – haha! But I do seriously like football, so I’m excited to watch the big game on Sunday with some delicious food and cocktails and cheer on the Seahawks (sorry Patriots fans, but we’re a Jets household, so no way we could cheer for Team Deflate Gate!). Plus, I’ll get to enjoy a birthday concert from Katy Perry during halftime, what could be better?!

What are your weekend plans?! Are you excited for the Super Bowl, or just for the commercials and a little Katy Perry?

Thanks to our gals AmandaJennieKarliClare, Rebecca, Katie, Natasha, Heather, and Tif for hosting today's link-ups!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

7-Layer Taco Dip

Hey Gals! The Super Bowl planning continues here with another delicious dip that is always a crowd pleaser and super easy to make.  While B may have brought you the perfect skinny dip with Spinach and Artichoke dip earlier this week, today I'm presenting you with the exact opposite - a fatty and indulgent 7-layer taco dip! It has lots of cheese, sour cream and meat, but I promise it's worth every decadent bite! And if all else fails, just limit yourself to one scoop (though good luck - haha!).
1-2 pounds of ground beef (I recommend getting a leaner mix - I accidentally bought 80-20 and had to strain out the grease after cooking)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cream cheese blocks, softened
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 jar of salsa
1 small container of sour cream
1 small can of refried beans
Shredded Mexican blend cheese
6 fresh tomatoes, diced
Chips for serving

I recommend making this in a disposable pan for easy transportation and clean-up. First up, take your softened cream cheese (I usually just remove from the fridge about an hour before making) and mix with about 1/2 of your taco seasoning packet.  

I mix it up right in the pan, and once it's been fully incorporated, press down into the bottom of the pan with the back of a large spoon.

Next, add a little oil to a hot pan and saute your onions until they are soft, then add your ground beef.  

Brown up your taco meat until it's cooked through, and add on top of your cream cheese layer. I also added a couple of dashed of hot sauce since like it nice and spicy.

Next, warm up your refried beans, then add on top of the meat layer.

And the rest is super easy, peasy, since no further cooking is required! Just top the bean layer with your salsa, then add a layer of sour cream.  Last, top with the shredded cheese and diced tomatoes.  Even though you already have some tomato-ey goodness with your salsa, I find that topping with fresh tomatoes gives this a delicious little pop, so trust me, double up on the tomatoes!

You can store for up to 2-days, covered in the fridge, then once you're ready to party, remove and serve with a big old bag of Tostitos. Feel free to heat, though I prefer to just eat it cold!

I personally love a good taco dip and have seen many variations, but this one is my party go-to.  Am I missing any must have layers?!

Linking up today with EmilyJennifer JuniperKaryn, KristenEmilyMandyMaryJessicaMandySusanLisaNatashaMeg, and Molly!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Super Bowl Printables: Free Download!

Hey Gals! With the Super Bowl only days away, we thought it would be fun to craft up some cute (and glitzy!) printables to spruce up your game day parties!

I'll be cheering on the Seahawks, but I've crafted them for both teams.  So no matter what team you're rooting for, we've got something for everyone, and if you're just a fan of the halftime show and the commercials, we've got you covered too with our glitzy one in the middle!

Download your FREE printable 8.5x11 sheet HERE!

They are super easy to assemble - just print from your home computer and either cut by hand, or with a 2'' circle punch if you have it laying around in your craft arsenal. 

Then, you can stick to a toothpick with a piece of tape (bonus points if you use washi!), and pop them in all of your dips, snacks and treats.  I decided to jazz these up a bit, and do a second layer of glitter behind them, because glitter (duh!).
And of course, we can't forget our cocktail glasses! Just punch a hole on the top, add some bakers twine, and add to your glass of choice!
To add these to your straws, just punch a hole in the top and bottom and then thread the straw thru - super easy, and oh so cute.

So download your set and add a little extra sparkle to your Super Bowl party!

What are your plans for Super Bowl?

Linking up with Morgan

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Skinny Slowcooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach artichoke dip is one of my favorite guilty pleasure snacks - I can never resist ordering this yummy dip as an appetizer when out with friends (and let's face it, it has definitely also made an appearance as my dinner once or twice). Since this dip is pretty decadent, I am all about this skinny version which lightens the calories and fat but still packs a full flavor punch! Best of all, you can make this in your slowcooker so it's a snap to throw together for a party - I'm planning to eat every last drop of this warm dip during this current blizzard, then make another batch and bring it with me on Sunday for a Superbowl viewing.

Skinny Slowcooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

* 1 can artichoke hearts
* 9 oz. frozen spinach
* 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
* 8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
* 1/4 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
* 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
* 3 cloves minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon oregano
* 1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1) Cut the cream cheese into cubes and chop your artichokes.
2) Combine all ingredients in your slowcooker and stir.

3) Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

4) Serve with tortilla chips (I used whole wheat tortilla chips from Trader Joe's), vegetables, or pita chips.
How do you lighten up your favorite treats?

Linking up today with EmilyJennifer JuniperKaryn, KristenEmilyMandyMaryJessicaMandySusanLisaNatashaMeg, and Molly!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekending & Delta Childrens Max Ultimate Stroller Review

Hey Gals! We're gearing up for a big snow storm here in the North East, so I'm happy that I was able to have a weekend jam packed with lots of fun activities and also some errands to make sure we are all set if we need to be shut-ins for the couple of days!
Even though it was a short work week, it felt super long, and I was all too ready to relax on Friday night with a cocktail or two.
We've got the classic dirty martini and the super classy vodka/crystal light martini - yum!
 That mixed with some quality time with Little M and lots of playing made for the perfect way to unwind from the week.
Then on Saturday, we headed in to our old stomping grounds to have brunch with B and T! This was only the second time Little M has been to NYC and he did so great and we're eager to plan lots more outings since we had such a great time.
I promise Little M was more excited than he let on!
B found the perfect brunch spot down in the West Village at Philip Marie.  

They had a fab brunch deal that included unlimited Mimosas, and while we devoured the food too quickly to take any pics (#badbloggers), we did manage to capture one of us cheers'ing! 

And even though my birthday isn't until next week, we did a little early celebrations and B spoiled me with the most amazing gifts ever!

I mean, you know they are pretty fabulous when you get the thumbs up from Andy Cohen himself!

After plenty of indulging, we took to the streets to walk off our brunch and enjoy the day out and about.
 Even though it snowed earlier in the day, it warmed up a bit and we were excited to try out our new Delta Childrens Max Ultimate stroller.
 We've been on the hunt for a lightweight stroller after having borrowed one for our trip to San Diego in December. I love how easy the Delta MAX is to manuever, especially since our other stroller can be pretty cumbersome and I have a lot of trouble getting it in and out of our car when I'm by myself.  
The Delta MAX is very lightweight and is a snap to open and close.

I also love how you can adjust the seat back with a the pull of an elastic support, which makes for a quick adjustment when Little M decides to take a snooze and would rather lounge a bit more. The Delta MAX is also super easy to push, and even Aunt B was able to take the reigns and lead with way!

Little M was definitely very comfortable in it too, which is a huge plus, since if he's not happy, no one is!

The next day we ventured out to the mall, and it was just as convienient for a quick trip out, plus look at how happy this little jokester is being carted around in it!
 I also loved that it didn't topple over when I tested the limits of the handle bars by hooking a couple of shopping bags along with Little M's diaper bag.  This was my big gripe of the one we borrowed for vacation, and I was very pleased that it wasn't an issue the Delta MAX. Even though it's lightweight, it's definitely sturdy!
Overall, I'm super happy with the Delta MAX stroller, and would definitely recommend it. It's perfect for travel, running errands, and everything in between.

We spent the rest of Sunday cooking for the week and getting ready for the week ahead.

How was your weekend? What was the highlight for your?!

*The Delta Childrens MAX stroller was provided to me for review but all opinions are my own*

Linking up with:
Linking up with Meg,Molly, Biana, and Meghan!

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