Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day at the Farm

I told you yesterday that we made a little trip to the Marr Farm in Columbus, IN over the weekend. This farm has to be one of my favorite places in Indiana so far {runner up to Lamb Lake}. There's a beautiful, vivid "secret garden" as we like to call it, full of exotic flowers and a cute little bench lightly dusted in moss. I could sit there for hours with a good book if I wouldn't get eaten alive by mosquitoes. There are also numerous barns filled to the ceiling with trinkets and antiques. Not to mention Uncle Frank lives in one that Tyler and I set up tent next to. I haven't heard the full story on this, but if you can survive one night in Uncle Frank's Barn, by yourself, no phone - you get $100. I don't think anyone has ever succeeded. More on that later. 

There's also a sick Continental parked on part of their 1,000 acres of property. It needs a complete restoration, but the sweet suicide doors would be worth the time and effort. It did make for a great prop though in our mini photo shoot. I wissshhhh I brought my camera charger so I could have taken different photos of us skeet shooting, skipping rocks at the creek, grilling out, and all that jazz. But I failed. 

Hopefully you enjoy the pictures we were able to capture. I love this dress that I've barely worn. It's the prettiest periwinkle-grey and I'm a sucker for high-low hem dresses. My panama hat is the newest addition to my hat collection, which saved my nose from frying yet again while floating in the pool for hours {see my neck tan lines from the previous burn?!}. Gotta love stylish and practical items :)


/Dress: BarIII / Hat: Target / Sandals: DV by Dolce Vita / Watch: Michael Kors / Ring & Wrap Bracelet: Niche Boutique / Beaded Bracelet: Lily & Laura {Gift} / 

photos by Sam Kowal and Tyler McGowan - thanks you two!

xx

Monday, July 30, 2012

Insta-Fun #19

Good morning everyone! Wow, what a great weekend that just went by. Can we do it again, like...now?!? Date night with Tyler was a success. We almost made our own mussels, but decided to be waited on and headed to Brugge for their Red Curry mussels. We try and switch it up, but sometimes it's good to stick with what we like. Saturday we headed down to the Marr Farm in Columbus, IN for the rest of the weekend. We pathetically played a little two on two soccer {it was sooo hot!}, lounged in the pool, grilled some food, drank LOTS of tasty drinks, watched the Olympics, and much much more. I was able to take some pictures, but unfortunately I clucked around and forgot my camera charger. Whomp whomp. I'll share some of the pictures we were able to capture this week. 

Not too sure what I have going on this week {with the exception of trying to get my allergies in check}, but I'm kinda looking forward to NO plans. Hopefully some hot yoga is in my near future since my sunburn has finally peeled off all the way. Maybe I'll even scour Pinterest for new recipes. I know, I'm living life on the wild side ;)

Here's a few pictures from last week via my Instagram. Happy Monday! 
{Rediscovered this pretty ruffled dress in my closet}
{New skidless yoga towels came in!}
{Loved this Bill Blass quote in the exhibit - so true!}
{Sneak peek of the Blass exhibit at the IMA}
{Tyler and I went to lunch at Marsh then he told me to pick
 out some flowers. I'm a good girlfriend and did what I was
 told ;) HAHA}
{This particular round I shot 3 of 5 clay pigeons. #ballin}

xx

Friday, July 27, 2012

{Friday's Fancies} Refreshing Dress

Dress it up. Drink it down.


Happy Friday everyone! I'm sure you're all looking forward to the weekend as much as I am. Tyler and I have date night tonight!!!!!!!! Not sure if you could tell how excited I am by the overuse of exclamation points, but I'm pretttyyy stoked. We're usually surrounded by friends on any given day {which is the way we like it!}, but it's super sweet to have our own alone time. Tomorrow we're heading down to the Marr Farm in Columbus, IN to play like 5-year-olds and drink like 40-year-olds. That's got me super excited too. Especially since the weather should be kind to us, which means we can sleep in our tent without sweating to death. Yes, we like to pitch tents in the yard and have sleepovers. Do we sound like 5-year-olds or what?!

Well, {av} gave us the most random theme so far, Summer Treats. I was pretty uninspired about this one to be honest, but after slamming a few of my favorite beers the other day I had a minor epiphany. I have a lot of favorite summer treats, but on any given hot day {which has been way too often recently} I'm more than likely drinking Sun King Sunlight Cream Ale! This is a local beer company that seems to dominate most of Indiana. I discovered them in the last year at beer festivals/tastings and not only are all of their beers tasty, but the designs on their cans are awesome. So, the outfit above is inspired by one of my favorite beers that you can find me sipping on most of the time after 5pm. I'll probably have some right after work, you know in the spirit of Friday's Fancies! :)

Don't forget to stop by {longdistanceloving} for more summer treats! Have a fabulous weekend!! 

xx

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crazy Pants

 //work wear// Blouse: Ellen Tracy / Pants: Zara / Heels: F21 / Bag: TJ Maxx / Necklace: H&M / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: J. Crew, F21 /
Tyler was getting into the close-up shots :)

These pants get a lot of attention when I wear them out. Maybe not as much now as they used to {I think Indiana has finally caught on to the printed pants trend}, but the first time I wore them out I think I gave some innocent bystanders whiplash! They couldn't turn their heads and furrow their brows fast enough. A passerby in Trader Joe's {who didn't strike me as a fashion lover} gave me the, "Those are some crazy pants you got on there," awkward comment. I don't really know how to respond to comments like that, so I just muttered a puzzled, "Thank you?" But I've heard it all about these pants. My boyfriend thinks they're "interesting" and my roommate asked me if they're "normal/acceptable" - both in the sincerest way possible. They might be a little loud for the work place, but I've embraced a lot of loud/weird/non-traditional work clothing over the past few years that coworkers don't even bat an eyelash at my wardrobe anymore. Nothing seems to surprise them and I can't decide if that's a good or bad thing. Maybe it just means I need to test the limits a little bit more. 


Cheers to crazy pants and it being Thirsty Thursday! 

xx

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Oreo, Strawberry & Blueberry Mini Cheesecakes

I've always loved a good cheesecake. Pretty sure my obsession started with the Cheesecake Factory movement. I mean, who can resist a sky-high piece of cheesecake? I know I can't. But I also know I can't eat more than a few bites of cheesecake, especially if it's some rich double chocolate whatever topped with more chocolaty goodness. So for the 4th of July {I know, it's taken me forever to get this posted} I decided to put my mini muffin pan to good use and attempt mini cheesecake bites. I actually knew exactly what kind of cheesecake I was going to make since I crave these flavors in any dessert ALL. THE. TIME. Oreos, strawberries, and blueberries make up one of the greatest combinations known to man when it comes to desserts. Now combine it with cheesecake and you're money. 

These mini cheesecakes were a HIT at the 4th of July party I attended. One kid sat down and popped six in his mouth, one after another, no joke. I secretly watched as he raved about them to his friends, which made me really happy. 

Recipe adapted from here

{Makes 24 mini-mini cheesecakes; 12 mini (muffin-sized) cheesecakes}

Ingredients: 2 packages of cream cheese, softened. 1/2 Cup sugar. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. 2 eggs. 1/2 Cup blueberries. 1/2 cup chopped strawberries. 1 package mini Oreo Cookies. 1 package regular Oreo cookies. Extra chopped/sliced strawberries, blueberries and mini Oreos to top, optional.


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a mini muffin pan and a regular muffin pan with paper muffin cups {I got my mini ones from Home Goods and the regular ones from the grocery store}.
  3. Add one mini Oreo cookie to each of the mini paper-lined cups. Split regular sized Oreos in half {try and refrain from licking the icing of the Oreo!} and place one half in each paper-lined muffin cup.
  4. Add 8 regular sized Oreos to a plastic baggie and crush with fist {be careful not to tear the baggie}. Add the Oreo crumbs to each mini and regular muffin cup, ensuring the bottom is fully lined with Oreo/Oreo crumbs. 
  5. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs and mix until blended. Gently fold in 1 Cup crushed Oreo cookies {this is on top of the crushed cookies for the crust}, blueberries and chopped strawberries.
  6. Pour cheesecake batter into each muffin tin, leaving a little room for the cheesecake to slightly rise. 
  7. Place the muffin pans into the oven. Bake the mini muffin pans for 10-12 minutes or until the center is almost set. Bake the regular muffin pans for 20 minutes or until the center is almost set. 
  8. Refrigerate cheesecakes for 3 hours. 
  9. Top with berries and mini Oreos if desired. 

Hope you enjoy!

xx

Monday, July 23, 2012

Insta-Fun #18

Good morning everyone! Ready to start this fine work week off with a bang?! No?! Me neither. I'd crawl back in bed in a heartbeat if I could. But hopefully the weekend was good to you all. I spent my time relaxing at a lake down south of here, eating and drinking, dominating at Taboo, snuggled in blankets and boyfriend while gazing at the stars, and floating on rafts for hours. I got way too much sun though thanks to a long nap and no sunscreen.Oops. 

Here are a few snapshots from last week - hope you enjoy!

{Hot yoga is my new obsession}
{Jessica Biel looking radiant in the August issue of Instyle}
{Perfect night on Sweetwater Lake}
{Wine and canvas night with my friend Tiffini}
{My masterpiece after a few glasses of wine}

xx

Friday, July 20, 2012

{Friday's Fancies} Island Attire

Island Attire

Hi everyone! I've been a bit MIA this week. I took off some much needed "me time" from a lot of different commitments, which included blogging. Next week I'll share some pretty tasty dishes with you as well as an outfit post or two. We shall see...

Hopefully in the near future, Tyler and I {along with family and friends} will take a trip to their island in Canada. He's raved about this place since we met and I can feel myself getting more and more anxious as time goes by yearning to spend time on this magical little island. A whole week of playing, swimming, reading, lounging, exploring, laughing, drinking and eating sounds like a fan-freakin-tastic vacay right about now! Supposedly, there are blueberry bushes all over the island you can eat {can you say dreamy?!} and lots of places to dip into and explore. Escaping reality is something I can do all on my own {hence the name Allie's Bubble}, but this is like realllyyy escaping reality. Maybe if I blog about it, it'll really happen. Just maybe.

So, instead of following the "Euro Theme" proposed by {av}, I'm going an alternate route and escaping to Canada - Kennisis Lake, Ontario to be exact. For this particular escape, no heels or fancy dresses are needed. Here's a glimpse at what I would pack for a playful week at the island:
  • A wide brimmed hat is considered a necessity in my book when being outside for more than a couple of hours, especially for consecutive days! Keeping the sun off my nose, ears, and forehead as much as I can is very important to me and this hat will serve just that purpose! 
  • While exploring the island, some essentials like bug spray, sun block, and my camera would need to tag a long too. This backpack is roomy enough to hold it all and cute enough for me to want to two-strap it to my back.
  • Maxi dresses are my typical go-to after 5pm and will also be a go-to of mine while lounging in a hammock with my nose in a book. I have several plain and printed maxis in different fabrics, but my favorites are in super soft jersey material. Paired with slip on flip flops and I'm in my dream outfit.
  • loose tank top  is always handy and as you know, can be dressed up or down. In this vacay there's no need to be dressed up, but there is plenty of down time where this little razor back is needed. Pair it with drawstring shorts and cute exploring shoes for getting lost on the island. 
  • We've already discussed the versatility a chambray button down encompasses {remember here} and it'd be the perfect addition to my island wardrobe. I'd throw it over my bathing suit or even embrace the Canadian tuxedo {aka denim on denim}. When in Rome right?!?
  • For a romantic dinner picnic with the boy, I'd try and at least look a tad presentable meaning taking a shower, shaving the legs, and throwing on a printed romper to set the mood. 
  • A pair of boat shoes are a great investment. I don't even consider them an investment though since you can get them under $50 on any given day. But I've worn mine too many times to count. They're a practical and cute shoe, which is why they're so popular! They're available in an array of colors and prints, so you can find a pair that reflect your style.
  • One of the most important items on this list are of course the bikinis. Why would you even NOT bring a bikini to an island vacation? Unless it's a nude colony that is. But this one is not, so bikinis are required. I like to bring separates that can be easily mixed and matched, like bright solids {and here}, stripes, and florals

I'm off to a new lake for the night, followed by a Wine and Canvas night with my coworker/friend, and a dear friend's bon voyage party {Los Angeles is stealing him from us - boo!}. Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! 

xx

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Insta-Fun #17

Good morning everyone! A quick hello from me before I start in on my work {while sitting in the car shop that is!}. I was super busy yesterday, so my apologies for not getting to m regular Monday programming. The heat really got to me, which required a cat-nap before heading to dance lessons with Tyler at Darren's Ballroom! We bought a Groupon some time ago for two private lessons that we finally cashed in on! We had a blast - and we weren't half bad either!!! Our instructor sang our praises the entire time. We learned a few combinations from Salsa, Swing, and Rumba! After our next/last session this upcoming Monday, we'll most likely take our new moves to the dance floor...in public! I can't wait! 

For now, here's what you've missed if you haven't been following me on Instagram {shame on you if you haven't too!} Just kidding. I still love you. But seriously, follow me here
{Best dish at Taste - chorizo, dates, bacon, and goat cheese}
{Mint and bronze}
{Sweetest Continental at the Marr Farm - suicide doors and everything}
{Lucky Goodwill find - floral trousers for a friend's luau themed birthday}
{A repeat of our favorite breakfast, with a new little side dish!}

Have an awesome Tuesday!

xx

Friday, July 13, 2012

{Fridays Fancies} Wedding Guest Attire

Wedding Guest Attire: Summer Edition


TGIF everyone! Hope you've had a fan-tabulous week! As you all know, we're currently in the middle of wedding season. How many weddings have you already gone to this year? I've attended three and have another one creeping up here soon. I'm a major fan of weddings, but who isn't?!? You get dolled up to dance the night away {awkward moves are always appropriate}, drink one too many glasses of wine and champagne, eat fancy shamncy food, and celebrate the wonderful gift of love to the wee hours of the night! I'd say the only stress a wedding endures on a party guest is strategically planning your placement for snagging that bouquet and what to wear. Am I right?!  

Well, you're in luck! For this Friday's Fancies, I've put together several outfits for different wedding occasions. If you didn't know, there's different types of weddings - beach, day, evening, formal/black tie, etc. This means your outfit attire will vary. Here's a few tips on how to dress for the called upon occasion:

  • Beach Wedding: A long, flowy dress in a vibrant color is perfect for the romantic setting. If the ceremony is taking place on the sand, opt for a pair of strappy sandals in a metallic color. A little wedge is appropriate, but you want to make sure you look effortless walking in the sand. A beachy chic hair-do is in order for the occasion as well - try out some beachy waves or a side fishtail braid to finish off the look! 
  • Day Wedding: Who says sequins are only appropriate when the sun goes down? I definitely don't. A cute sparkly top paired with lightweight skirt is a great way to beat the heat and look chic! Keep the rest of the outfit super simple with nude pumps, a colorful clutch, and minimal wrist candy! For the hair, try out some Hollywood curls to keep with the feminine vibe!
  • Black Tie Wedding: I've never attended a black tie {formal} wedding before, but if I ever get the chance a long strapless dress with a classic print is in order. This print begs to be accompanied by bold accessories - like a red clutch and red chandelier earrings. Wear your hair up in a big Carrie Bradshaw bun {see my version here} to really show off those crystals hanging from your ears! 
  • Evening Wedding: Most weddings take place in the evening, then well into the night! Opt for a classic, above the knee sheath dress in a bright color {extra points for waist detail!}. You can go many ways with accessories, but I recommend showering yourself in glitzy jewels! A little black bag and sleek black heels are called for to keep the look classic. Throw your hair in a low bun so you can dance the night away while still looking put together!
A few other "rule of thumbs" I have to offer are the following:
  1. Figure out the color(s) of the bridesmaids dresses so people don't confuse you for being a part of the bridal party {with the exception of a LBD}!
  2. Make sure the hem line of your skirt or dress is long enough to cover your butt - even while dancing! No one wants to see your butt cheeks when dancing to "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-lot.
  3. DO NOT WEAR WHITE! That's just inappropriate. 
Do you have any go-to dresses for weddings? Any other helpful wedding tips to share? Drop some knowledge on me people. I'm ready.

Don't forget to visit {longdistanceloving} for more wedding guest attire! Have a happy weekend!! 

xx

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On my mind // Active Wear

On my mind // Active Wear


Happy hump day everyone!! Today I wanted to continue my "On my mind" segment {see first one here} with a special focus on active wear. I'm sure my good friends reading this are thinking to themselves, "This is unlike Allie - she doesn't work out." It's true. Ever since high school I've lost my passion for working out on a regular basis. I'm one of the lucky ones who can eat what I want {and LOTS of it} without really gaining weight, whether it be fatty or healthy foods. But that's besides the point. I've realized lately that I want to be healthy and active, which also leads to even greater happiness! I'm not talking about running any marathons soon, but I want to get outside and play around with my boyfriend and friends as well as try new things to keep me interested - like hot yoga tonight with my friend David! I'm embracing this "active Allie" side of me again and I honestly couldn't be happier. 

Now, I've got a lot of work out clothes despite my lack of working out recently, but of course it's the girl in me that loves to still embrace style and fun - even while sweating out those demons! These items are currently on my mind:
  • //one// Bhakti Yoga Bag by PrAna® {$40}: We'll see if I continue with yoga after a couple of weeks, but if I do, you better believe I will want a cute yoga bag like this one! The print is fun and fresh, not to mention it has a little side pocket for minimal necessities - like an ID and some cash!
  • //two// Forever 21 ombré sports bra {$10.80}:  Ombré is still a hot trend that has walked right off the runway and into active wear! 
  • //three// Nike Air Pegasus+ 28 running shoes {$85 on sale!}: I just bought a pair of training shoes, but my next purchase will most likely be a good pair of running shoes. I have some, but not too fond of their support. After lots of research, these babies turned out to be a major crowd pleaser. Plus, how cute is this color combo?? Sold. 
  • //four// Schwinn Riverside Bike {$180 on sale!}: Tyler loves to go biking and I would love to be able to ride the Monon Trail with him someday or even just around Broad Ripple to friends houses. Not only do I love the pink and black frame, but a 7 speed seems like the way to go!
  • //five//  Platypus soft water bottle {$9}: This hot item JUST made it to the list thanks to my roommate. He received a similar bottle while at a golf outing and it's the coolest type of water bottle around. It's BPA free, holds 1 liter of water, and can be folded up to save some more space in your bag! Handy little guy if I do say so myself!
  • //six// Boogie Short {$42}: These yoga shorts caught my eye right away with the tie-dyeish print! After reading on about them, they seem to be the most ideal yoga shorts around! They described them as "itty-bitty but they can handle serious sweat" type of shorts. I love short shorts, especially ones that stay in place so I'm not worrying about them riding up my butt while trying to do some tricky yoga poses! 

Do you use any of the above items? Do you have any suggestions for me on awesome/stylish/affordable work out gear I should look into? I'd LOVE to hear back from you work out gurus :)


xx

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Last week, I finally had the time to properly stock my fridge. I had been eating out quite a bit with family in town and just trying some new places around my area, so I was getting the itch to get down and dirty in my kitchen. Trader Joe's sells fresh jalapeños by the container which I never have trouble getting through. I use them in and on everything. I will say, however, that this was record speed of using an entire container in one sitting. 

I've seen many variations of  jalapeño poppers on Pinterest {even made one of them here} but since I like to try things that are more uncommon or even challenging, I haven't had the urge to make them more than once. But for some reason, I was yearning for some awful-for-you-but-oh-so-good sweet, salty and spicy bite sized treats. My roommate was not about to object to this either. So, I took this recipe found through Pinterest, but made it my own by adding blue cheese crumbles to the inside mixture. The concensus: holy effin mind blowing goodness. "Oh my gawwwddd" came out of mine and my roommate's mouth one too many times. Even Tyler was thoroughly impressed when I brought a few over to him to try later in the night. I scored some major brownie points with that move ;)
 {Remove the seeds and membranes from the halved jalapeños, then create the cream cheese and blue cheese crumble mixture}
 {Scoop the mixture into each hallowed jalapeño}
 {Roll the stuffed jalapeño in a piece of bacon, making sure to slightly overlap the bacon}
 {Continue until the entire jalapeño is covered}
 {Place the prepared jalapeños on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven}
 {Enjoy!!!}

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients: 6 whole jalapeños, halved and deseeded. 6 ounces of cream cheese. 1/2 Cup blue cheese crumbles. 1 tsp of garlic powder. 1/2 tsp of onion powder. 12 slices of bacon. 

Directions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the cream cheese and blue cheese crumbles together in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Scoop/smear the mixture into each jalapeño half.
  4. Wrap a slice of bacon around each of the jalapeños, making sure to slightly overlap. You want the  jalapeño to be fully covered. Then place each wrapped jalapeno on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes.
  6. Remove the baking sheet and let cool for 5 minutes, then eat!

Hope you like them - enjoy!!

xx

Monday, July 9, 2012

Insta-Fun #16

Good morning everyone!! I'm in a great mood today for a few reasons:

  1. I had an amazing weekend with Tyler and our friends. We got to visit our good friend's new house, play lots of games, drink tons of beer, and chill in the lake during this past hot hot HOT weekend. 
  2. Tyler and I put his gifted Groupon to good use and tried Poccadio, a Moroccan Grill which serves amazing gourmet sandwiches and hearty plates with flavors that exploded on our palates. Not to mention we received an entire plate of food {with a thorough explanation, of course} to sample before using our Groupon deal. It's a new little place in Broad Ripple that we cannot get enough of now.
  3. To my surprise I HAVE OVER 200 FOLLOWERS!!!!! Between Google Friends Connect, RSS, and Bloglovin', I cannot believe how many wonderful readers I have. Seriously speechless you guys. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!
As you can see I have a lot to be appreciative and thankful for. It's sometimes hard to keep that perspective when curve balls are thrown my way, but with the love and support of friends and family I know everything will always work out the way it's supposed to. On that note, I would like to thank my wonderful, optimistic, genius boyfriend for always being my rock and confidant. He's the best at reminding me that "life is good" when I start to lose that perspective. He's also one of my biggest supporters who reads and contributes to my little blog by either being an official taste tester or photographer. I'm a lucky, lucky girl. 

So, now that I got all the mushy stuff out of my system, here's a few pictures from my Instagram - enjoy!! 

{Mozzarella stuffed turkey meatballs & garlic knots}
{Geist Lake on the Fourth of July}
{Caprese & Prosciutto cups}
{Stripes + Peplum}
{Couldn't resist some items from the Zara sale}

xx