A Month in the Life

October 27, 2017

We're somehow already at the tail-end of October, and yet I'm just now starting to really sink into the holiday season. Over the past few days, I've purchased everything I need for my Halloween costumes, I baked my first holiday-themed dessert of the season, and the weather finally dropped (into the 60s - yay, Florida!) I swear, people are suddenly happier, nicer ... and more patient on the roads. Can you tell I love this time of year?

After a summer-long hiatus, I thought the gorgeous, endorphin-boosting weather and upcoming holiday frills would be the perfect time to bring back "A Month in the Life." Without further adieu, here are a few things I'm loving and looking forward to this month. :)

The '70s Called; They Want Their Clothes Back

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Striped sweaters, bell bottoms, corduroy, hats ... did I step into a time machine earlier this month? Either way, I'm not complaining. '70s fashion is one of my favorites, whether we're talking retro-cool or disco diva, so I couldn't be happier to see it everywhere. This top, which I ordered on Nasty Gal (they're having a 50% off sale!), makes me feel like Jackie and Kelso's third wheel - minus all the drama. I'm looking forward to pairing it with my Brixton fiddler cap

Binge-watching? Stranger Things Have Happened.

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During Hurricane Irma, my friends and I decided to take advantage of the eerie weather by watching an equally eerie show. After hearing endless hype around Stranger Things, we decided to give it a shot ... and somehow ended up watching the entire season within 24 hours. Needless to say, we were HOOKED. It's so well made and really felt like we were watching an '80s film (what is it with all of this time travel?!) I plan to make this cake, which is supposed to taste like Eggo waffles, for the season 2 premiere. Eleven would be proud.

Play [Live] Music, and They Will Come

Last week, I stumbled upon Sofar Sounds, a "global community where guests and artists come together to experience music in an intimate and respectful setting at a secret concert." I thought this was such a great concept, for both musicians and music junkies (like myself). Here's how it works: if you're interested in attending a show, you sign up on the website and are entered into a lottery. If you get in, Sofar Sounds will send you the secret address to the concert and all the information you need. You can also sign up to be an artist, or even apply to host musicians and guests in your own space! 

Not All Families Are Created Equal

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If I'm being completely honest, I haven't dedicated nearly enough time to reading ... and I have about 50 unread books sitting in my "home library" (AKA the space underneath my desk). I told myself I wasn't going to purchase one more book until I read through at least half of the ones I own, but then I saw the movie trailer for The Glass Castle. It left me with goosebumps (and almost made me cry), so naturally, I googled it and learned it's based on a best-selling memoir. You can probably guess what I did next. I may have gone against my promise to myself, but I'm happy to report that I've finally immersed myself in another book - and it is so. damn. good.

Fame Can Cost a Fortune

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I'm not necessarily a Demi Lovato fan (although I'll admit right now that the girl can sing) but this YouTube documentary, which details her rise from a bullied elementary school student with big dreams to the international star she is today, reveals dark secrets from her past, including her drug addiction, eating disorder, and depression, and how together, they almost cost her her career. It's a chilling look into not only addiction and depression, but how difficult day-to-day life can be for celebrities who start their careers off at such a young age. 

Ain't No Rest for the Wicked

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Had to save the best for last, of course! Halloween weekend has officially arrived, which means my home is decorated, my costumes are (almost) ready to be worn, candy is being (OK, has been) consumed, pumpkins are being carved and movies are being watched. In other words, I'm already exhausted - hence the title for this section of my post. Last year, I did a short post featuring last-minute costume ideas for all my fellow protagonists out there. You can see a few more on my Instagram here and here. Additional costume ideas from my past include Rosie the Riveter, Red Riding Hood, a mermaid and pirate. You might need a few accessories for these, but chances are you already have the majority of the outfit already hanging in your closet.

Happy Halloween!

Five-Minute Garbanzo Bean "Salad"

October 11, 2017

A few months ago, I had one of those crazy weeks where cooking a decent meal is pretty much out of the question (I was basically living off of apples and peanut butter). And while apples and peanut butter are a delicious and classic combo, it got old quick and wasn't doing much to fill me or keep me focused. After reaching a point of desperation for something more nutritious, I decided to go on a scavenger hunt through my fridge and pantry to see what I could gather. I only had about eight things to eat in total; thankfully, I'm always up for a food challenge. ;)

What I found in my fridge was everything I normally eat on a salad (tomato, cucumber, red onion and feta cheese) ... but there wasn't any spinach, lettuce or dressing in sight. So, I reached for some garbanzo beans and olive oil in my pantry. I chopped up the tomato, cucumber and onion, and tossed them in a bowl with the beans (which I drained and rinsed), feta cheese, olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. It might sound boring, but this "salad" ended up being surprisingly flavorful (note: I used basil and tomato feta instead of regular - it's a game changer) and was easily one of the healthiest and most satisfying meals I've ever thrown together in less than five minutes. I still make it often, even when I have a fully stocked fridge and pantry ... and plenty of time to spare.

*You can always replace olive oil with a Greek salad vinaigrette. I did this once and it was delicious!

1 can garbanzo beans, drained (and rinsed, if desired)
Red onion
Feta cheese (basil & tomato feta is the way to go here - trust me)
Olive oil (or Greek vinaigrette)
Dash of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired

Finely chop up the cucumber, tomato and red onion
Add in beans; mix all ingredients together
Drizzle in olive oil or dressing; mix together
Add salt and pepper; mix again