Wednesday, April 23

Summer Meals & Deals

FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains Modcloth affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. All opinions are 100% my own.

Spring weather is officially here; warm days and cool nights will soon be followed up by hot days and warm nights. Spring and summer bring two great things with them: great food and swimming. I've found some awesome warm weather recipes from around the web that are perfect for evenings on the porch. Starting with a classic, corn on the cob can't be beat as a BBQ favorite and this corn on the cob by Linda at Call Me Cupcake adds a spicy twist with garlic and chili powder. Follow up your corn with a light, cool meal of Chilled Heirloom Tomato Soup by Aran at Cannelle Et Vannille. Finally refresh yourself with this combination of booze and dessert by Naomi Robinson at Bakers Royale, Grapefruit and Strawberry Greyhound Popsicle.

Outside of food, lazy days at the pool with a daiquiri and a good book are what I live for once the weather is right. We are on the cusp of summer and soon you will need that perfect swim suit, when you do, ModCloth has you covered with the Dive Into Summer Sale! Get 20% off select swimwear, cover ups, summer dresses, and sandals. If you're ready for sun RIGHT NOW, then you can get free express shipping on orders of $125 or more -- just use code EXPRESS at checkout. Shop while it's hot, because this deal won't last forever!

I personally love the swimsuit selection at Modcloth and currently have my eye on the Anchors Aweigh Swimsuit and Greyscale The Seas Swimsuit.

Tuesday, April 22

Impromptu Post: Gardening

I've been really looking forward to getting my garden, porch, and yard in order. With the long, three day weekend I finally had my chance!

I purchased what I thought would be enough supplies and of course ended up going back from more potting mix and mulch. I'll probably end up going back again in the next couple weeks, but such is life. Overall I'm very, very pleased with the outcome and I can't wait to watch my little seedlings sprout.

I bought a few plants that were already growing: three bright yellow Euryops and three bright pink Dianthus. I also bought seeds of Bachelor Button Dwarf Centaurea Cyanus and a packet of mixed wildflowers from Home Depot. I also picked up a few, cheap pots from Home Depot. I've got to stick with the inexpensive stuff until I've proven I can keep something alive.

I pulled out old dead plants, discovered a large ants nest, and sprayed raid into the ants nest. I planted the Euryops, Dianthus, and Bachelor Button in the pots I have and planted the wildflowers in the raised garden in the back. I put out the patio furniture, raised the umbrella, and hung the porch lights.

I spent hours prepping, preparing, and planting. Finally I was able to shower, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy the view. I love the  new look of my backyard and I'm excited to drink coffee out here in the morning and read books in the evening. I'll share photos as my garden grows and keep you updated on the seedlings. I hope you are enjoying spring!

Monday, April 21

Literary Libations: Sofia Rosé

The last month and a half at work has been the busiest one of the year. Busier than Christmas, which is saying a lot! Thankfully my workplace gave everyone a 3 day weekend to recover. I recovered by working at home! I've been gardening, something I just recently decided I find therapeutic (it used to be my very least favorite chore). The great thing about gardening is that afterward you get to sit outside and enjoy the fruits of your labor, preferably with wine. I'll show you lots of gardening pictures tomorrow and keep you updated as it grows!

Today's wine is from Costco. Simple yet elegant. Easy to enjoy while your body is aching from weeding and planting. Absolutely no preparation. The bottle of this rosé by Sofia is beautiful, which is the only reason I purchased it. I just couldn't resist. The flavor, too, is great for sipping during warm afternoon. I chilled mine in the fridge for 24 hours before drinking. I Skyped with my best friend while sipping on this beauty, but I would also highly recommend pairing this rosé a good book.

Thursday, April 17

Delicious Leftovers

Do you have leftovers from yesterday's Spanish-Style Tuna Sandwich? Need an idea for a quick and easy lunch? Simply take the yummy sandwich filling from yesterday's meal, place it on an open face sandwich, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and broil until the cheese is melted. Simple, healthy, delicious!

If you want updates and ideas like this as soon as I do them, follow me on Instagram @laurenmichellie and Twitter @laurenmichellie.

Wednesday, April 16

Ridiculously Practical Meals: Spanish-Style Tuna Sandwich

When the warm, spring air hits I start craving fresh food and nothing feels more fresh than this sandwich. Tuna is the perfect meat for hot days when you don't want anything too heavy. Mix in the navy beans and this sandwich will fill you up with out making you feel weighed down. Cherry tomatoes, sliced olives, and pimentos add a lot of fresh flavor. Hubby likes to describe cherry tomatoes as a 'pop' of flavor in your food.

What you will need: 1 5oz can of tuna, 1 cup of drained navy beans, 1/2 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup of sliced and pitted green olives, 1/4 cup sliced pimentos, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste, ciabatta bread or baguette.

Drain the can of tuna and place the tuna in a medium sized bowl. Break up the chunks of tuna. Mix in navy beans, lightly mashing as you go.

Mix in everything else except the bread. Stir gently as you don't want to mash the tomatoes or olives.  I would err on the side of adding extra salt and pepper, but that's a personal choice.

Cut ciabatta bread or baguette in half and spoon mixture into the center of the sandwich. Serve with fruit or salad and enjoy! Bon appétit!

This recipe is adapted from The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook 2 by Tosca Reno. To buy her book click here.

Tuesday, April 15

Impromptu Post: Easy Pants

Trousers - Coldwater Creek (exact)
Shirt - Old, Forever 21 (similar)
Sandals - Old, Marc Fisher (exact)

Coldwater Creek has been one of my favorite stores for a long time and in May, I'm sad to say, they are closing their doors for good. This store isn't really intended for my age range, but I've found that they do a very good job of fitting women with curves (unlike most of the brands actually intended for my age range). To keep my looks young I generally mix and match their pieces with those from other companies, like Forever 21. In fact, that's exactly what I did today!

I've been wanting a pair of print trousers for a while now and found the perfect pair at Coldwater Creek this weekend. Plus, due to the fact they are closing, everything is currently 40% off or more. Score! I love them and they come in all sorts of colors and patterns. I just bought the Soft Mini Checks style, but I'm thinking about going back for a couple more before they close. These pants are perfect for summer, very light weight, soft, and an elastic waist band with a tie.

Print ankle pants and trousers are great paired with neutral and breezy tops. I paired mine with an sheer, white shirt from Forever 21 and a white lace tank top. Add a silver and pearl bracelets and you are set!