#30DaysToSanity Update

I thought I’d give an update on the May #30DaysToSanity challenge by Sarah Storer. The past few weeks have been a bit slower freelancing – which I’ve appreciated. I’ve either been waiting for feedback from clients or finalizing a handful of projects. I’ve failed at the whole “multitasking/multiple tabs” part of the challenge. I’ve actually used a lot of the downtime to discover new artists, articles and blogs all while cleaning out my Google Reader. Adam and I paid off our Honda Civic and now we’re heading towards home ownership! I can’t wait to have a second bedroom, a bigger kitchen and a backyard. Even though it probably won’t happen until early 2013, it’s fun to save, save, save.

One thing I HAVE accomplished is trying something now! I planted a tomato plant + parsley/basil/mint. I’ve heard from a few people that I should remove the mint since it can sort of take over the entire pot. I’d love any advice from you all! This is completely new to me and I’m still at the point where I sort of expect to fail. My two other “try new things” will include taking a fitness class (probably yoga since we’ve joined a gym) and making jewelry (I already ordered the vintage Japanese beads from Etsy). Any tips on finding the right material (chain) for a necklace? I want to make sure whatever I purchase fits through the holes of the beads but there aren’t a lot of shops here besides Michaels. No matter what- I’ve loved challenging myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do. I could make this a monthly thing.

Relish: Mashed Potato Pizza

Relish, a food series, is hosted by guest blogger Jon Schelander-Pugh! Read more about him below this recipe!

In a few cities in Minnesota, there is a pizza restaurant called Pizza Luce, and they have all kinds of wonderful things. One of these pizzas is a garlic mashed potato pizza, and I thought I would set out to make something similar.

The mashed potatoes alone are good, and I made a double batch so we’d have some just to eat later on. You’ll want a thicker dough for this because the potatoes can be heavy for a really thin crust. Bake time will also fluctuate based on dough thickness and if you use a stone, dish, or anything else, so just keep an eye on your pizza as you bake it.

If you aren’t usually a fan of tomatoes, I suggest you try sundried tomatoes instead. I used to hate tomatoes, but I loooooved them sundried. Now I’ve managed to like both.

Something I didn’t do but my wife suggested for next time is having a dish of sour cream to dip the pizza in or a dollop of it on top. I would recommend giving this a try.

And, of course, if you are a fan of bacon, I imagine some crumbled pieces on this pizza would also go over very well. I tend to avoid meats when possible, but I can appreciate the undeniably delicious flavor bacon can bring to a dish.


Relish: Mashed Potato Pizza
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
In a few cities in Minnesota, there is a pizza restaurant called Pizza Luce, and they have all kinds of wonderful things. One of these pizzas is a garlic mashed potato pizza, and I thought I would set out to make something similar.
Ingredients
  • 1.75 lbs russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • ⅛ - ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
  • pizza dough
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 6-8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
Instructions
  1. Peel potatoes and chop into equal-sized pieces. Place in a large pot. Peel the shell/skin off of each clove and place in the pot with the potatoes. Sprinkle the kosher salt over everything and fill with water until it covers it all.
  2. Bring the potatoes & garlic to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and keep at a rolling boil until the potatoes are soft enough that they break apart when poked with a fork or folk goes all the way through potatoes easily.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, put milk, sour cream, butter, and chives in a saucepan and heat while constantly stirring until the butter has melted and blended into everything else. Remove from heat.
  4. When the potatoes are done, drain and mash. You can use a fork or anything else that will effectively mash the potatoes. Then mix in the milk mixture and Parmesan cheese, and stir until you have creamy mashed potatoes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400.
  6. If you need to make your pizza dough, do so now. It would be beneficial to pre-bake a homemade dough for about 10 minutes before putting toppings on.
  7. Spread mashed potatoes over dough, about as much as you would put on sauce. On top of this spread your diced tomatoes and crumbled feta. Sprinkle dried oregano over everything.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until done. Subtract any pre-bake time you might have done for the crust.

 

 

May Birchbox Review

This month’s Birchbox was delivered this past Saturday and it definitely wasn’t one of my favorites. The box was “Gossip Girl” themed (which doesn’t really mean a lot to me since I don’t watch the show) and had the following inside:

  1. Birchbox Notecards – This was an bonus piece. Cute stationery but pretty flimsy material.
  2. BVGARI Omnia Crystalline Eau de Toilette – Just like last month, I wish I could tell Birchbox that I wasn’t looking for perfume. I use Kate Spade’s Twirl and am happy with that.
  3. Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – This is BRIGHT, sparkly blue. Kind of fun but I’m not sure when I would use it. Ideas?
  4. Ojon Conditioner – Excited to use this. I’m always looking for a good shampoo/conditioner and tend to mix it up a lot. It smells great!
  5. Dr. Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm – This looks like foundation or something along those lines. I use Bare Escentuals so not really interested.
  6. Alex & Isabelle Hair Ties – I’ve received some of these before through Birchbox and think they’re really cute!

I really can’t complain because I recently whined that I wasn’t receiving any makeup and I got two samples (the Stila eyeliner was a really decent-full size). A lot of women complain about Birchbox because they don’t love everything inside but I try to remind them that for $10/month, they’re able to try new high end products without wasting time or money. I’ve found a lot of AMAZING products through Birchbox (Deborah Lippmann nail polish, Kerastase hair serum, Zoya remover, + lots of lip products). If you want to sign up, feel free to with my referral link, I’d love it!

*Photo taken with my Canon Rebel XS/50mm lens in my new lightbox! Love it.

Foxtrot Press Stationery Giveaway

Foxtrot Press, a May sponsor, is hosting a giveaway here this week! One of you lucky readers will win a set of 4 cards designed by Erika Dillon (the brains behind Foxtrot Press) with accompanying envelopes. I love the bright and colorful cards – perfect for any occasion. I’m using a new way to track entries so you can login below through Facebook OR your email. It will allow you to enter multiple ways so I hope it’s a lot easier. If it seems to be working well I’ll continue to use it! You have until Thursday at 11:59pm EST to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Birthday Recap

I had quite a wonderful birthday on Wednesday. I took the day off and didn’t work AT ALL. Okay, maybe I responded to a few emails but that was it. AMAZING. I spent time with people that I love, ate great food and was really humbled by the tweets, posts and texts that I received. I have a feeling this next year is going to be pretty neat. Today we paid off our second and final car and it feels so, so good to not have any more payments. I remember back in 2009 thinking it would be ages until our credit cards, loans and cars were paid off. It’s been a great start as a 25 year old! Enjoy some iPhone shots from my birthday + a few of my lovely gifts.

Like I mentioned in the photo collage, Adam made me a lightbox and I’m so excited to use it all weekend. I’ll post a good photo of it once I get a chance but it’s SO fun to take photos with it. The current background is orange and makes for such a fun hue. I was so stunned and amazed that he figured out how to do it all. So perfect. I also got some other lovely presents including:

  1. Dan Chaon’s You Remind Me Of Me from Jess
  2. A Yashica-A! I wandered down to my favorite used photography store and bought my first medium format camera! Photos to come!
  3. Adam also bought me Feist’s album Metals on vinyl. Can’t wait to see her perform in June!
  4. Last but not least, my parents sent me gluten-free pasta and Beauty and the Beast on DVD! Heck yeah!

This weekend will be a continuation of this week. I’ve done a great job relaxing and taking things a little bit slow. I’ll be back next week with more structured posts including a sponsor giveaway, a Relish post, and your usual Thursday City Guide!

*Oh and by the way…congrats to Kathryn on winning the Indie & Chic giveaway!

InlandEmpire

CITY GUIDE: Inland Empire

Today’s City Guide is brought to you by Su Pak who currently lives in the Inland Empire! Enjoy!

I grew up in the Inland Empire (or what locals call the “IE”) 40 minutes east of Los Angeles. Some people may brush off the IE for LA and San Diego but the region has a lot of hidden treasures. The IE consists of Riverside and San Bernardino counties and a portion of Los Angeles county. First put on the map by the citrus fruit and agricultural industries and the famed Route 66, the Inland Empire has come a long way since I was growing up. Here are a few of my favorite places to frequent. It’s just a sample of all the great hidden treasures in the area but hopefully it gives everyone a taste of all the good times one can have in the Inland Empire.

Pomona

A lot of people head to Pasadena for antiquing at the monthly Rose Bowl flea market but they may not realize that just a little southeast is almost an entire street dedicated to antiques called the Antique Row in Pomona, with antiquing almost as good if not better. Plus, every second Saturday you can enjoy the Art Walk with live music, free wine and art!

Claremont

The charming city I call my hometown and the location of the Claremont Colleges (fun fact: also where the movie “Pearl Harbor” was filmed). The small quaint college town boasts a very active downtown village with a homey feel. A lot like many of the towns in the IE, there are festivals every season, a Farmers Market every Sunday and lots of unique shops. Claremont went through an expansion a few years ago and now it boasts a fun night life with a jazz lounge and new restaurants. I visit the Village frequently and stop by my favorite bakery Some Crust for one of the most amazing bear claws you’ve ever had and then make a second stop at the new French inspired Cocoa Bakery for even more sweet treats.

Temecula

Some may consider Temecula part of San Diego county but it’s actually still part of the IE.  Temecula has over 35 wineries and other working farms. It’s a wine country right in our very own back yard with a hot balloon festival every year and a fantastic old western themed downtown with loads of boutiques, wine shops, restaurants and bars.

Palm Springs

One of my favorite weekend getaways is Palm Springs. It’s really transformed since I was a kid. The modern getaway is fun with lots of great mid-century furniture stores, museums and amazing hiking just around the corner.  But before I even get to Palm Springs I head to Shields Date Farm and grab a yummy date shake and sit back and watch the 15-minute documentary “Romance and Sex Life of the Date” in their small theater in the back.

Thanks again to Su Pak for showing us around the Inland Empire! Su Pak operates the blog IE Shine On. She writes about all the events, deals and good times happening in the Inland Empire and soon she will be launching the official site IEShineOn.com ”The Inland Empire Good Time Guide.”

Featured image by whatsjoeupto.

Twenty-Five

Today I’m 25. I’m not the kind of person that thinks in terms of age, years, or time in general. I’ve always felt older than my actual age but boy do I LOVE celebrating birthdays. I took today off work and am going to enjoy some treats like shopping, perhaps buying a pretty headboard, celebrating with friends, and gluten free peach pie (HECK YES).

#30DaysToSanity update: I’m failing miserably with my tabs but overall I’ve been able to enjoy myself a lot more. I’m going to be planting some herbs this weekend and I think I’ll be ordering some supplies to make my own jewelry today! It’s also been SO nice to pass along projects to other freelancers who have time. I’m always amazed at the talent out there and it humbles me.

Be back tomorrow with a lovely west coast city guide!

Current Happenings

Since I am extremely busy with freelance work right now WHILE simultaneously trying to relax this week in honor of my 25th birthday (it’s tomorrow…if you were wondering), my blog posts aren’t going to be epic. Today I thought I’d share some of the projects I’ve completed and other collaborations I’m excited to be a part of!

I just finished the blog design and development for Janine Renee! Check out Snapshots and Secrets (category graphics displayed above) yourself! It was so fun to work on! I also recently finished design for Start It Up Athens (website displayed below). It was a project I worked on through Cement Marketing. I rarely post design projects over here on Show + Tell but I thought I might sporadically and point you towards my portfolio if you want to see more!

I’m also excited to share some recent collaborations that I’m involved in:

I’ll be blogging over on Piece of Chic three times a month featuring amazing, stylish ladies in new and unique ways. My favorite part? There will be a feature shot entirely on 35mm film!

I’m blogging about four times a week over on the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest blog! I’m featuring interview with speakers and designers. Not only am I blown away by the amount of talent that will be at WMC Fest this year…but they’re all so NICE! Be sure to check out my posts and Nikki’s interviews with the musicians.

I’ve been asked to be involved with Influence – The Conference in Indianapolis this fall! I can’t wait to share more. For now, visit the site and be on the look out for more details.

So that’s essentially what I’m up to when I’m not here blogging, at my day job, or working with my other 8+ freelance clients! Selfishly, I wish some of my awesome freelance projects would be over just so that I can share them but I must be patient and put in the work. I hope your having a fabulous Tuesday! Check back tomorrow for a birthday post + an update on my #30DaysToSanity challenge!

That Moment When You’re Really Proud

This weekend we went to Indianapolis and I got the privilege to watch Adam run his third half marathon. Indianapolis hosts the largest half marathon in the nation (35,000 participants!) and it was so incredibly fun. I know that I can get really selfish, “focused,” and distracted sometimes so it was really wonderful to get away from work, computers, daily life and really focus on someone else (well, the most important person really). Indianapolis is a gorgeous city and the view from our hotel room was awesome the night before the race AND at 6am the next morning. We all celebrated afterwards with pizza and family. I’m entering this week really thankful. I hope you are too.

*All photos taken on my iPhone/VSCO CAM 

Indie & Chic Giveaway

This week’s giveaway comes from Indie & Chic! Samantha started her shop back in 2008 and I was excited when she approached me about hosting a giveaway! To enter to win her bobby pins, earrings and ring (above), you can do the following (each one lands you a separate entry):

This giveaway is open to those in the US/Canada. It will be open until Thursday, May 10th at 11:59pm EST! The winner will be announced on Friday morning. Good luck!