Thursday, October 27, 2016

Five Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Alright, y'all - Halloween is in four days.  Did anyone else wait until the last minute to choose a costume, like me?
Since we're in a house, not an apartment, this will be the first year we get to pass out candy to a whole mess of kids.  Even when we lived in a house in Connecticut, I swear, there was always something crazy that prevented us from having a real Halloween (like this freak snowstorm).  We bought 200 pieces of candy and will be sitting on our porch to give it out - so excited to see all the little kids in their costumes!  Needless to say, we need to dress up.  Mike's always been the best at coming up with couple's costumes.  Our first year together, when my college roommates and I were the Ninja Turtles, he was Splinter, and a couple years ago, he even made our Mario and Luigi costumes.  Well, we don't have that much time left, but I have started brainstorming some easy costumes that we'll be able to put together in a day or two:
1. Character onesie: Target has the best collection of union suits right now.  You can be a Power Ranger, Minion, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, or even do Big Bird and Cookie Monster as a couples' costume.  I bought this one last year, and am seriously thinking about wearing it.  Bonus - it's one of the warmest costumes ever, and you can wear these comfy pjs all winter!

2. Crazy Cat Lady: Here's another costume where you can buy something comfortable and wear it again.  Get yourself a bathrobe and some fuzzy slippers, and find that collection of old stuffed animals.  Carry around a couple of cats, and even put some in your pockets!

3. Snapchat filter: There are sooo many good ones for this costume category: the puppy dog, deer, rainbow tongue, and my personal favorite, the flower crown.  I made this one for my Halloween party at work!  I just took a photo of myself in the filter, removed the background, and printed it out on card stock.  I taped the crown to a headband and did a full face of makeup as light and bright as possible!  If you'd like me to email you this printable, just leave me a comment!
4. Superman: Going to a party after work?  Put a Superman or Superwoman tee shirt on under your clothes (make sure you wear a button-up shirt) before you leave.  Then, when you get to the party, unbutton the shirt to reveal your costume!

5. Beanie Baby: This last one is for your pet.  Take a piece of red card stock, write "TY" on it with white paint, and attach it to your pet's leash.  For extra points, put his/her name and birthday inside the tag!  Check out this tutorial to see how to make it in more detail.

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?  Any fun weekend festivities planned?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Party Starters: Cheesy Italian Arancini

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® & Lactalis American Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MealSolutionMatch
This weekend was such a good one!  Mike and I headed up to Connecticut on Thursday night to surprise his dad for his 60th birthday (shhh, don't tell him I told y'all his age).  We helped plan a party for him and a whole weekend of fun.  Food is always central to our get-togethers, and I have one of my absolute favorite party appetizer recipes to share with you today.
We shopped for all of the following ingredients at Stop & Shop:
1 cup Barilla Orzo
1 Johnsonville Italian Sausage link
3/4 cup Galbani Mozzarella Cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
oil for frying
Barilla Tomato and Basil Sauce

1. Boil water in a medium saucepan for the Barilla Orzo - Italy’s #1 brand of pasta!  Salt the water and cook the orzo for 13-14 minutes.  You want the orzo to be beyond al dente for this recipe.  Allow the cooked orzo to cool completely.
2. Remove the casing from the sausage link, fry it in a saucepan until done, and drain the grease.  All the spices and flavors are built into the sausage – making this recipe even easier.
3. Shred 3/4 cup of Galbani Mozzarella Cheese and mix with the cooked sausage.  Did you know that the shredding usage represents almost 1/3 of the total usage according to a recent consumer usage study?
4. Combine the cooled orzo, 3 eggs, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper in a large bowl.
5. In three separate bowls, pour the rest of the breadcrumbs, whisk the egg, and salt and pepper (1 teaspoon of each) the flour.
6. To assemble the arancini, take a heaping spoonful of the orzo mixture, press your finger into the center of it, stuff with 1 teaspoon of sausage and cheese mixture, pinch the orzo around the filling to close, and finish by rolling in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.
7. Place the arancini on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and freeze for 1 hour.
8. Heat up one inch of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until the oil temperature reaches 350 degrees.
9. Fry three aranicini at a time, turning to ensure they are cooked evenly, for approximately three and a half minutes.
10. Remove the aranici from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.  Season with salt immediately.
11. To serve, spoon 2 tablespoons of Barilla sauce in ramekins and top with one arancini pasta ball.  Did you know that Barilla makes pasta sauce now, too? New Barilla sauces are only made from ingredients like vine-ripened tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and fragrant herbs, all slowly simmered, to bring authentic flavor into every bite.
There you have it!  I created a fun fall-themed chalkboard tray on which to serve these rice balls, and it's the perfect way to welcome guests to your party!
When you stop by your nearest Stop & Shop between 10/21-10/27 and purchase Barilla Pasta, Johnsonville Italian Sausage and Galbani Cheese, you’ll automatically save $3 at checkout with your store loyalty card! While supplies last.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Round-Up

Good morning, friends and happy Friday!  It's one of those weeks where I've had a lot of random ideas to post about, but not that much sustenance to go with them.  Soooo, I thought I'd share a round--up list of everything I've been wanting to tell you before the weekend!
I finally gave up on my pastel nails colors, even though it still feels like summer in SC.  I love this Wicked color.

Don't roll your eyes, but I think it's time to start thinking about Christmas cards.  November is almost here, y'all - how is that even possible?  I was thinking I'd combine a moving announcement with the holidays, so how cute is this?

Salads and acai bowls have been my lunch of choice lately.  Vintage Coffee has my favorite acai bowl with banana and peanut butter.  Any locals have other favorites?
Have you heard Maroon 5's new song?  I love Kendrick Lamar and this video cracks me up.

I am so excited that one of my favorite events is coming back to Charleston in 3 weeks: The Mac Off.  Take 25 different mac and cheeses, and add in amazing cocktails and live music, and the best part? It's a two-day event this year.  We've been the last two years, and I am so excited to be partnering with them this year and to serve as a judge for their Critics' Choice competition.  YES, that's right - I get to sample all the macs.  Tough job, but someone has to do it!  If you want to learn more and buy tickets, here is the link!
Has anyone watched Haters Back Off on Netflix yet? The first episode was funny, but 2 and 3 are starting to tail off a bit... I'll finish all 8 episodes and see what I think after that.  Anyone have other Netflix favorites?  We're just about done with Mad Men and will need a new show.

This might be the year that I finally buy a few fall/winter statement pieces.  I love this leather jacket, these suede booties, plus a bright, versatile clutch!

Last but not least, the sunsets in this city have been killer this week!  I shared one photo on Insta earlier this week, but as you start your Friday, here's another to make your day.  Have a great weekend, y'all!

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