Monday, April 29, 2013

Cue the Next Three Weeks of Crazy

I wish I had it in me to say "Happy Monday" to everyone, but I'm literally living for the weekend this week (more so than usual). Why? Well, I have a huge presentation tomorrow and a paper due Thursday (that I need to rock) and, completely out of the blue, an on-site job interview this week. A day and a half complete with a major project and a kind of casual corporate environment (seriously, what do I wear!?) so the whole thing, while very exciting, has thrown me for a loop. And, once this week is done, I have three final papers due the Wednesday/Thursday/Friday after that and finals quickly approaching once I've jumped that hurdle. May 19th is a looooong ways away.

So for today, I don't have anything major to post besides that fun little announcement that I'm probably going to be laying low this week. I do have an awesome grad gift post that I am hoping to post in the next couple of days (just need a little bit of free time to tweak it and publish it!). One of these days I will get it together and just sit down and write my posts in advance but for now... I will save all of my cute baby cow pictures from this weekend for another day when I need a pick me up!

Positive thoughts would be welcome this week :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Last Formal!

Happy Friday everyone!

I have my last sorority formal tomorrow night so I thought I would share a preview of my dress. I bought it last winter from ASOS and luckily I found some pictures online of it in the other colors offered. 

I got it in the white and I am pairing it with nude pumps (wish I had some minimalist strappy heels!) and light green and gold jewelry. 

Our formal is Gatsby themed and I've been hearing rumors of lots of decoration boxes at my sorority house so I can't wait to see how the venue turns out! Hopefully I remember to take a lot of pictures (and hopefully they turn out) so I can share them with you next week. 

Also.... next week I'm going to have a huge post with graduation gift ideas, so keep an eye out for that! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday: GroopDealz

When did it become Wednesday!? I mean, I'm not going to complain because I can't wait for this weekend (my last sorority formal, waddupppp, and I have a handsome date to boot) but it still sort of snuck up on me! Anyways, I'm here today to share one of my favorite websites right now, GroopDealz

My obsession with this website has reached a new high, thanks to the knockoff J.Crew rose statement necklace I just recieved in the mail. If you aren't familiar, GroopDealz is a flash sale site, kinda sorta like Groupon and kinda like Etsy. They have a ton of cute, affordable jewelry, home decor items, gifts, and more. I mostly check it for the jewelry (they have some awesome J.Crew-like pieces on a regular basis) and for things like monogrammed items or iPhone cases. Today I'm going to feature my favorite pieces currently on the site! 

First, the J.Crew inspired rose necklace! Each necklace is $19.99 and comes in any of the colors features above: turquoise, black, mint, coral, gray, yellow, or white. 

I just got mine in the mail last weekend - I am obsessed! I can't wait to wear it. 

 Next up, this pave heart ring which is also a J.Crew dupe! I tried the J.Crew version last winter but I was in between sizes in the small/medium/large size system so I passsed. Then I found this ring on GroopDealz, immediately ordered, it and I love it. One of my favorites - it is small and delicate and I like it enough to make sure I won't leave it in a bathroom or something. Best part about this ring? It's only $3.95.

My last favorite: these solid color infinity scarves! Each scarf is $8.95 and you can pick coral, gray, mint, ivory, or yellow. These are perfect to add a pop of color to your spring wardrobe, and considering how many people are still stuck in chilly climates right now (seriously, where is spring!?) I don't think we are retiring the scarves officially yet! 

So these are my favorite items right now... let's see which ones end up in my shopping cart and in my closet! I am debating another rose necklace, this time either in yellow or mint! 

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Taste of Tuesday: Speedy Spaghetti + Cheesy (Garlic) Bread

Happy Tuesday friends!

I am finally (!!!!) joining in on the Taste of Tuesday fun! I love to cook (and am apparently pretty good at it) but I am really bad at taking pictures while I am cooking/hate my iPhone pics/my apartment's kitchen is normally not very pretty. Regardless, I have some things up my sleeve for the coming weeks so stay tuned! 

Today's recipe is for a very quick spaghetti sauce and cheesy (garlic) bread. I whipped this up after some trusty Pinterest searching (which, by the way, you should follow me! Click here to do so) and did a couple of modifications to fit what I was looking for. I adapted the sauce recipe from Gina at Skinnytaste (which is an awesome food blog - lots of healthy recipes that are family friendly) and the bread from a recipe submission website, Key Ingredient. When I say "adapted" in regards to the bread it is because I spaced and forgot to add the garlic to the cheese mixture. I added meat to the sauce because I was cooking for the boyfriend - next time I make this for myself I will make it without meat. The whole meal was boyfriend approved (even though I forgot the garlic on the bread!) and very quick. I think the most difficult part of making it was searching for the ingredients at my grocery store! Gotta love being on a college campus with limited shopping some days. That being said, everything turned out really well with what I could find on campus on a Sunday night! 

Speedy Spaghetti Sauce 
(can be made with or without meat!) 
*Adapted from Gina at Skinnytaste
1 tsp olive oil 
2 cloves of minced garlic (I used the kind from a jar)
2 15 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 small bay leaf (I omitted this)
1 tsp oregano (I subbed 1 tsp of pre-made Italian seasoning blend)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I omitted this - our store was out but there is some in the seasoning blend!)
Salt and pepper, to taste
*1 lb ground beef (or turkey or Italian sausage, whatever!), if desired (possibly consider adding chopped onions to this!)

1. In a saucepan or pot, add 1 tsp olive oil and heat over medium heat. When hot, add 2 cloves of minced garlic and saute until golden. (Try very very hard not to burn this! Use medium heat, not high)
2. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and herbs (either a seasoning blend or oregano and the bay leaf).  Stir until combined. 
3. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan/pot, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
4. After the sauce has finished simmering, remove from heat. Remove the bay leaf from the sauce (or don't, if you want to surprise your guests) and add the basil. 
5. Adding meat: While the sauce is simmering, heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Salt and pepper your ground beef (or turkey, etc) and add it to the pan once it's hot. Brown the meat, adding more salt and pepper as needed (I normally add more salt and pepper before I stir/flip the meat to brown the other, already seasoned side). Once the meat is fully cooked, drain off the fat and add to the sauce, stirring to combine. 
*Served 2 people with leftovers. 

Cheesy Garlic Bread
(awesome with or without garlic!)
*Adapted from Key Ingredient (which has a recipe to serve more people!)

1 small baguette (I used La Brea Bakery's French Demi Baguette - one of my faves!) 
      * You could also substitute slices of a larger loaf of bread if you wanted to
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp parsley
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste (I used a sprinkling of each)

1. Preheat your broiler (I used the high setting). 
2. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise. 
3. Mix the melted butter, parsley, minced garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. 
4. Spread the mixture on each half of the baguette. Place the bread onto a baking sheet or a baking dish. 
5. Place under the broiler for about 3 minutes (time will vary depending on your broiler - make sure you watch it otherwise it will burn!) until the bread gets crispy and warm and the cheese is bubbling, golden, and melty. 
6. Let cool for about 3 minutes, slice, and enjoy! Garnish with some extra parm if you wish :)

Hope you enjoyed these recipes! Making this sauce was waaaay easier than I expected and much tastier than jarred pasta sauce (which is good in a pinch). I am addicted to the cheesy bread now and can't wait for another excuse to make it. 

Some Wisconsin Weekend Shenanigans

Hi everyone! 

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I'm linking up today with Sami from Sami's Shenanigans for the Weekend Shenanigans link up. 

My weekend started on Thursday afternoon. I had a 7 page paper due and a meeting with one of our deans to figure out a graduation requirement snafu, so once I was done on Thursday I headed home to relax. I finished the last few current episodes of Revenge, took a long hot shower, made some high waisted denim shorts (check 'em out below!), and waited for my boyfriend to get into town! Once he did we hung out and watched an episode of Game of Thrones (he's really behind!) and fell asleep reeeeally early... very exciting, I know! 

Friday was way more exciting - I got my first pair of cowboy boots! They were my birthday present from my boyfriend. He unexpectedly had the day off so we had planned on making a road trip to a store a few hours away to find some but we got lucky and there was a horse expo in Madison so we only had to make a 15 minute trip (and pay an arm and a leg to get in) instead! These Ariat boots were the winners - I liked the plain brown leather, classic look, and minimal ornament. I wanted something simple so I wouldn't feel pressured to be "matchy matchy" with a certain color on the boot and instead get used to working them into my wardrobe as a "brown boot" and not a "cowboy boot", if that makes any sense. 

Ariat Heritage Western R-Toe
Brand new and fresh outta the box!
Since we were at the horse expo and because it was cold, we walked through all of the barns on the way back to the truck. I got to indulge my inner child and pet all of the horses and relive the days where horses were the coolest. The best part was when we discovered MINI HORSES! They were pretty much the size of my childhood golden retrievers - could you imagine having one!? I wanted to take all of them home and their full size counter parts... if only. 

Once I got my boots, my boyfriend and I headed back to campus because I had to work (woo!). He hung out at a local... establishment and befriended one of the .... drink pourers and basically had a grand old time while I was doing my thang at the store. Since I gave him my keys to my apartment, he decided that instead of making me walk home and buzz myself up, he would come and meet me at work to walk me home (cue the awws). While he was waiting he may or may not have looked like a homeless man, which once my co-worker and I figured it out, gave us a pretty good laugh. After he picked me up, we went to a local barbecue place and got dinner. We were both wayyy too hungry to snap a picture of our food before we started eating so I only got a picture of the cider I tried, ACE Fermented Berry Cider. I liked it, it was tart and light and almost reminded me of wine. A nice change of pace from the craft beers I normally drink! The boyf and I both got pulled pork sandwiches with a side of mac & cheese - I mixed some of my pulled pork into the mac & cheese and topped it with some BBQ sauce... yum! Can't wait to try making my own version of that soon. 

ACE Cider (click for website)
Saturday was the big show day. It was my first cow (or any animal) show so I was kind of quiet and followed my boyfriend's lead all day. I was trying not to stand out too horribly as a newbie/"city slicker" and I was trying to stay out of everyone's way as they prepped their cows for the show. While the weather was supposed to be in the 50's and sunny, it ended up being very windy and very very cold in the show ring itself. The boyfriend and I were not exactly prepared for that and we should have worn another layer under our jackets.... we were in need of some coffee and extra warmth (read: Bailey's) after a couple of hours. Once we got some of that we were set for the remainder of the day. I learned some handy dairy cow judging things from my boyfriend (he's kind of really good at it.... national college champ kind of thing kind of good) so hopefully by the end of the summer I will have learned a thing or two! His knowledge plus my art history background (see, I knew it would pay off someday!) should make it a bit easier for me to learn. After the show, we headed to dinner at Red Robin (#yum) with his best friend and his girlfriend. We were starving and absolutely demolished our food plus two extra baskets of fries (whoops!). Once we got home we were in such a food coma plus completely tuckered out from our day that we took a looong nap and ended up missing out on everything going on that night.

Sunday was uneventful. I almost missed work (oops) and when I got there it was so slow I only stayed for a couple of hours before leaving. I did get a white oxford and tried on a couple of sweatshirt tees - super comfy and casual! I love them and will be picking up two (green and gray) later this week. When I got home I relaxed and watched a couple of episodes of Smash - I love the show and cannot get enough of it! I also decided (on a spur of the moment whim) to cook my boyfriend dinner because he had a rough day at work. I had a serious craving for pasta and instead of heating up some jarred pasta sauce (obviously I had to do better than that for the boyfriend!) I checked Pinterest for some spaghetti sauce recipes. After consulting I came up with a pretty good version! Not my grandma or mom's recipe, but it did in a pinch. Seriously - it was so easy I have no idea why I ever bought jarred pasta sauce in the first place! I even made cheesy garlic bread from "scratch" and despite me completely forgetting to add garlic to the topping mixture, my boyfriend loved it. "It will be even better the next time you make it because you won't forget the garlic!" Hey, if he's happy then I'm happy. 

Look for the recipe coming soon!
Whew! Well forgive me for being a little bit late on this one - hopefully I can make it up with some of the awesome things I have planned for this week! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finally Feeling Better! (& Weekend Shenanigans)

Yo yo yo. 

I'm finally back. I've been sick for over a week now, and I can't believe how long I have been sick or how horrible I felt. This is the most sick I've been in ages. I was A-OK freshman year when I had pneumonia (complete with a week long 104 fever and I wasn't able to lift my arms above my shoulders for fear of the stabbing pain in my chest) compared to this icky cold I had. Is this what happens when you get older? Oh boy... 

Watch the latest episode of Revenge on Hulu!

My life has mostly consisted of the ABC show Revenge lately. I can easily go through three or four or five or six episodes in a single chunk of time (I had a lot of sleepless, unable to breathe nights last week. I could barely breathe when I was sitting up with my face over a boiling cup of water trying to get the steam to loosen things up. TMI? Sorry!). I'm pretty caught up in the story (so many twists and turns!) but I love Emily Vancamp's character's style and in season 2 there is a new handsome British man who kiiiiind of gets me in the same way Tom Hardy does. Swoon

Onnnn to the weekend! Where I sort of felt way less sick! 

Saturday: It was my sorority's Mom's Weekend, and since Sunday was also my birthday, my dad decided to join her in coming to school for the weekend. I was kind of lagging with everything since I was still feeling not 100%, so we skipped the planned event for my sorority (oops, we missed out on picture frame making...) and went to breakfast and ran some errands. 

My monster breakfast from Saturday... so so good!
We had breakfast at a local restaurant, The Original Pancake House. This has been one of my family's favorite spots since I was a freshman - we will definitely miss it once I graduate! I was feeling a classic diner food kind of breakfast, so I got scrambled eggs, sausage links, and cheese covered hash browns.  Ohhhh my goodness, those hash browns were even more delicious than they looked. I am tempted to try and recreate them at some point in time but I am afraid they will never compare... After breakfast we went to the mall where I exchanged a shirt and my mom got me one of the calf hair bangles from J.Crew as a birthday present. We did a little bit of browsing (ah, fathers... always good for keeping those spending habits in check in their presence, am I right?) and then headed over to Target to pick up some of those boring necessities. 

Wild Side Wide Bangle, here and Vintage Cotton V-Neck Tee in Stripe, here

The big event of the day was going out to dinner with my parents and my boyfriend.  We went to a local supper club and had the best steaks ever. Well, I guess I can only speak for myself but it was hands down the best steak I've ever had, so I will assume everyone else's was fab as well. Yum. I want to go back riiiiiight now. Anyways, after dinner we headed to a local bar to meet up with some of my friends and their moms. Said local bar was the same bar my boyfriend and I had met at exactly six months earlier. Yep, we totally took advantage of that cheesiness and also their Long Island special.... let's just say Sunday morning was kind of rough. 

My outfit from Saturday night... cool mirror pic, I know. 
Sunday: Sunday was my official birthday. Woo! Honestly, I'm not really a fan of my birthday. It never seems to be one of those opportune times of the year - there is always something else going on the day of my birthday and/or the weather sucks so most of the time I just use it as an excuse to be lazy and indulgent. Oops? Anyways, once I recovered from my evening out, I had a lovely FaceTime sesh with my old roommate! It was so nice to "see" her and catch up on life. My parents picked me up after that and we went to lunch and hung out for a while. After we ran a couple of errands, we stopped back at my apartment to open the presents they bought me and say goodbye. 

My mom always gets me as many roses as I am years old (so this year, 22) and makes me special sugar cookies. She only bakes these cookies for birthdays! They were super easy for her to make and send with us to school for our birthday treats when we were younger (our elementary school allowed us to pass out a treat to our class on our birthday) and I would rather have these cookies than a cake. The roses are beautiful and add a really nice touch to the table next to my bed. The corner is kind of empty and the flowers look so nice against the white wall - I'm going to be super sad once they're gone! 

So that was my weekend! Hopefully I can get back to regular posting this week, or at least Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Under the Weather

Hey everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are off to a great start in your week. I am unfortunately feeling sick, so I'm taking a mini break from posting but will still be reading everyone's posts and leaving comments. Until I get better I will be consuming copious amounts of soup, OJ/juice (which actual juice and not juice cocktail from concentrate is extremely difficult to find on campus in smaller bottles instead of jumbo cartons), water, and all of the vitamins and cold meds (okay, so this last one is a normal dose, not a copious amount) necessary to get myself feeling better! Just in time for my birthday this weekend....

Speaking of just in time for my birthday, I heard it's supposed to snow here in Wisconsin. Seriously. WHY. I just wanted to wear a sparkly skirt and heels out sometime next weekend but I guess that won't be happening. Lame.

If you have any surefire get well soon remedies, let me know! I'm all ears. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I Need Your Help!

Hey everyone!

After Spring Break, it's become really real that a) my birthday is in less than two weeks, b) graduation is in approximately 45 or so days (there was some Twitter countdown the other day but I forgot what it was so this is just a rough estimate.... oops), and c) after that? SUMMER. Which means shorts. Every. Day. I am not pleased with my eating, health, and workout habits lately so I'm comitting big time to change. Here's where you guys come in:

Where is your favorite, well priced workout gear from? Old Navy? Target? What are your favorite pieces (brand, style name, etc)? I'm specfically looking for good workout leggings - I don't like the ones I have anymore.

Do you have any favorite healthy foods? 

What are your favorite workout moves or workouts? If you found your fave on Pinterest, send me the link! I hate to say this, but I avoid the weight room at our campus gym because it's always filled with boys that look at you like a crazy person for going in there and none of my friends will go with me...

What are your biggest health secrets? Promise I won't tell...

I really need to jump start this whole weight loss thing! I am feeling less than confident and my clothes are not fitting the same as they used to and it is really getting me down. I know that I need to do something and stop feeling sorry for myself, so I'm going to the gym this afternoon to work out for a couple of hours.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Four Favorites

4/3/13 Favorites by leopard-spot featuring j crew

one / two / three / four

The J.Crew Signature Legging. I loooove these leggings. They are perfectly thick enough, the waistband is wide so it doesn't pinch and cut into your sides, and they are super soft and stretchy. They're perfect for a long day of class and studying! Occasionally I cuff them underneath themselves so they can show off my shoes better too!

Soundcloud, specifically Passon's music selections. Love these remixes! I've been listening to them nonstop for the past couple of days and they have been fueling my studying because I am excited for this weekend - we're having a date party and of course I will have my handsome boyfriend as my date.

My Camelbak and the company's warranty. The bite valve on my collegiate Camelbak broke a couple of weeks ago and I was terrified that I would have to replace it after less than a year! Thankfully, I checked the Camelbak website and found out that they have an awesome warranty on their products. I filled out a form online, submitted it, and had my new lid a week later!

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen. I bought this right before spring break and I love it! It's super light and gives good coverage without making me greasy! Look out for a review of this BB cream and some other spring break discoveries coming soon!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Break Recap

Hi Everyone! 

Hope you all had a wonderful week and a Happy Easter :) Sorry for unexpectedly being MIA last week - I planned on getting some posts set up last weekend before I left but I never got around to it in between coming home on Saturday and getting ready to leave on Monday! I'm working a little bit backwards, seeing as how I did the Weekend Shenanigans recap yesterday and now I'm going to give you the recap of my Spring Break! 

Beers at the airport before our flight! 
Monday: My boyfriend drove down to Chicago to meet me and pick up some last minute necessities for the trip. We ate at a couple of my favorite spots (breakfast and then a post shopping/pre-flight snack), did some shopping, and drove around to see some of my hometown. The boyfriend was not exactly thrilled to be shopping but he quickly realized that I knew what I was doing and that if he trusted my judgement we would get done very quickly! After our little shopping adventure he has decided he's never going shopping without me simply because I know "exactly what to look for" (direct quote!).  In the evening we headed to the airport and our flight got into Orlando around 11pm. When we got there the boyfriend had a surprise for me - instead of having one of his family members come pick us up, he had a limo ordered to drive us to the rental house! It was funny because he had planned this a couple of weeks in advance and hinted about a "big surprise" and jokingly I had guessed that he would rent a limo... guess I was right! 

Mickey underwater in the aquarium at Epcot
Tuesday: This whole day was devoted to visiting Epcot! We got to the park around 11am and went on rides in Future World until we had lunch. After lunch we headed to the World Showcase and walked "around the world" for a few hours. Once we finished up there, we hit up more rides until the park closed. I definitely did more rides and activities in Future World than I have in the past, and unfortunately less than I had hoped to in the World Showcase. (More for the next time I go, huh?) This might be stupid, but I had no idea that there was a ride in the Epcot globe! It's one of my boyfriend's favorites and I really liked it - it was all about how technology changed the world and it tied in very nicely with the themes of my Material Culture classes! (#nerdalert) I also loved touring the aquariums and seeing all of the underwater creatures. OH - and the Coca-Cola world flavor taste testing area was so cool! I loved being able to try all of the unique flavors - if only we could get some of them in the U.S.! I couldn't pick a favorite but the watermelon flavor stood out to me the most. Next time I go to Epcot I definitely want to eat a meal in the World Showcase and take my time sampling drinks/snacks and shopping (picking a pearl in Japan was at the top of my list but it was too busy when we were there... next time!). 

Lobster Mac & Cheese at the Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot - YUM. 
Cinderella's Castle during the day and night! (Cue the Kid Cudi song, obvs)

Wednesday: We got an early start on Wednesday so we could cover as much of the Magic Kingdom as possible and hit a couple of sights in Animal Kingdom. Magic Kingdom was actually open until 1am so we had a lot of time to get through the park! We covered more rides than I was used to again (which was a refreshing change from what my family normally does. Both ways are fun but I need a little balance between the two styles for myself) and I'll admit, most of the ones I remember as kind of "scary" or thrilling from seven years ago were not as bad as I remembered. I know a lot of rides have been remodeled (the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and some others) so they seemed a lot more like real life models of films. They were fun (and probably much scarier in some cases for young kids!) and it was interesting to see how my perception of these rides has changed since my last visit. In the early evening we headed over to Animal Kingdom to go on the Safari ride and the Forbidden Journey roller coaster. We cut it very close to the cut-off for the safari ride - much to my boyfriend's panic - and made it juuuust in time! It was really cool to see how a part of Florida had been transformed into a close replica of the animals' natural habitat and that the animals were studied by researchers. The Mount Everest Yeti roller coaster was also super cool - I went on it twice and I hate roller coasters! After Animal Kingdom closed we went back to the Magic Kingdom and went on more rides: Space Mountain, Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid, the Jungle Cruise, It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, and a few others. We got a behind the scenes tour on the Jungle Cruise because it was just our little group on the boat. It was very interesting to hear how the ride was almost exactly the same as when it first opened. Once 1am rolled around, we were all exhausted and so glad to be going home! 

The teacups in Fantasyland


Thursday: This was the day my boyfriend and I went to Universal Studios to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We had high expectations for the park, and our standards for theme parks had also been set really high from spending the past two days at Disney, so we ended up being disappointed in our visit to Universal. There were huge crowds because of Spring Break and there were tickets being distributed just to enter the Wizarding World - we had no idea and walked almost to the entrance of the Harry Potter part of the park without knowing! We had to retrace our steps and go back, wait in a 45 minute line, get a ticket, and then hike all over the park again to finally enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Once we got in, the crowds were even worse. We headed straight to the back of the park to grab a butterbeer (which was delish! Glorified cream soda, but so yummy frozen) and get in line for the Forbidden Journey through Hogwarts. Once we got in line there, we waited for almost two hours before finally entering the castle. We were tired, we were cranky, I had to pee, and we were not expecting much from the ride. Thankfully, once we entered the castle things changed - the tour of the castle was really cool, complete with appearances from Harry, Ron, and Hermione and magic snow. The ride itself was phenomenal. I'm not going to say it was worth the 2-hour wait on a crowded day, but if you are visiting Universal and the crowds aren't horrible, well then I would say it is definitely one of the best rides ever. Beyond the ride, the park didn't offer much for me. I wasn't very interested in the merchandise but it was cool to walk around Hogsmeade. My boyfriend and I got dinner at the Three Broomsticks and were overall pretty meh about the experience. My boyfriend got the chicken and ribs dinner (he was less than pleased with his food - the chicken was not thoroughly cooked), I got the fish 'n' chips (which were pretty great), and both of us got Hog's Head Brew beers. The beer was darker than I was used to, but not unbearably bitter. Once we finished dinner we stopped at the Hog's Head to get a drink. I was too full to drink anything else but my boyfriend was excited to see what was on tap. He got a Yuengling's beer, which I actually really liked. He was definitely happy to hear that I liked something that was a little different than what I normally drink! Once we left the park, we headed back to the rental house and went to the pool/hot tub to relax for a while. We had a fun rest of our evening and a good end to our vacation! 

Me and my butterbeer (via my Instagram
Hogsmeade & Honeydukes! 

Friday: Well, the end of our vacation was bittersweet. We had to get up early in the morning to catch our flight back. We split our time on the flight between napping and watching the Hobbit (which I surprised him with as a gift). Once we got back to Chicago, we went back to my house to hang out and ended up napping until my family came home (no shame in napping... we had a busy few days!). We went out to dinner with my family and recapped our trip for them. After that, my boyfriend headed back up to Wisconsin and I watched a movie with my mom and sister. 

Alright so that's my spring break recap! I can't wait to go back to Disney World - not getting to do everything makes me really excited to go back. It was so much fun to be there with my boyfriend too. I can't wait to go back again as an adult (and without kids) but I am also looking forward to the day when someone in my family has kids and they get to experience the magic of Disney World too. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans!

Hi everyone! 

Hope your week is off to a good start - I'm trying to get myself back in the swing of things after a waaaaay too short spring break. Today I'm linking up with Sami from Sami's Shenanigans... yes I am a little bit late but hey, better late than never?! 

I spent this weekend breaking in these Minnetonka Moccasins that I got for Christmas and found in my closet while packing for spring break. My feet hate shoes. It took me six months to break in my Sperrys guys. SIX. MONTHS. I can't even tell you the number of times I attempted to break those shoes in while slooooowly walking to class.... halfway there I was hobbling and bleeding. I always packed a pair of flip flops as a precaution. 

Yum - part of the Easter dinner my mom made! Baked beans, corn casserole, and asparagus ricotta tart. Not pictured (fail) but equally delicious: cheesy potato casserole, fruit salad, Hawaiian bread rolls (my fave), ham, turkey, cauliflower. Don't get me started on dessert. I'm still full from that. 

Errrr excuse the poor lighting. I was holed up on the couch drinking a ginormous Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with caramel and skim milk. If you'd care to bring me one in the morning, you'd be my favoritest person ever. Also, I stalked the J.Crew Factory website for any deals I might have missed in stores (uh, 50% off everything? Yeahhhhh I took advantage of that. Goodbye to the next $200 of paychecks). 

Finally, I took my mom's Volkswagon Beetle Convertible out for a quick errand. I wanted to Instagram a picture of it and make a bad Easter egg joke (and by bad I mean that it probably would not have made sense at all) but I refrained. You're welcome. You should also follow me on Instagram if you don't already! My username is leopardspot. Also, look at how cute and springy those flowers are in my mom's car. They are always in the way when I'm driving, unlike in the red beetle that I drive, which has a perfectly sized bouquet of daisies in it. I don't know how my mother does it. 

Okay, well that was a very small peek into my weekend. I can tell you that the outfits I wore are not in any way memorable, although they were warm and comfy. It hasn't quite become "spring" yet in the Midwest. I would settle for high 40's, Mother Nature. Come onnnn. Please? Maybe just for my birthday? You have 13 days to figure it out, girlfriend.