Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Last night the strangest feeling overtook me, and I decided to do some improvising in the kitchen! I pulled from a few different recipes because of the ingredients I had, and modified it a bit to be a tad bit healthier. So here it is, my somewhat healthy, homemade mac and cheese.

Homemade Mac and Cheese


1/4 cup of butter
2 1/2 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of cheddar cheese
3 cups almond milk
Veggie pasta - I used Rotini because that is what I had


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat. Make sure to watch it because burnt butter is the worst. once the butter has melted add in the flour one scoop at a time. Add in a little extra to make it a nice thick mixture. I also started cooking the pasta at this point.
  2. Add in the milk, pour it is slowly and stir the entire time you are adding it in. keep the heat fairly low, because again, burnt milk is the worst.
  3. Once your milk is done, add in the cheese. I added in 1 cup at a time and really let it melt. I also turned the heat up a little bit to medium. I stirred constantly. 
  4. After the cheese melted, I added a little more flour, because the almond milk was not getting quite as thick as I wanted. 
  5. Then I put my pasta back into the pot, with the heat off. I added some shredded cheese in there, then poured the cheese over it. I put the heat back on low and stirred occasionally.
  6. I then sauteed some mushrooms and put those in the pasta then enjoyed! 
It was fabulous! My suggestions for next time? I would add bacon with my mushrooms, then put it in a casserole dish. Top it with bread crumbs and cheese and then bake it for a while. Maybe 20ish mins on like 250? Just something to brown the top and give it some crunch. I would also experiment with additional cheeses. Maybe add a Parmesan cheese?

If you try the recipe, please let me know what you added so I can try it!  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

National Book Lovers Day

August 9th is a great day for many, many reasons. August 9th is officially National Book Lovers Day! If the two towers stacks of books on my side of the bed is any indication, I do love me a good book.

So to help you celebrate the day in the way you love, I have compiled a list of crafts, events and books to commemorate the day.

Go to a local used book store.

There is something magical about entering a used book store, the stacks of books exploding from every crevice is homey to me, and if I was a horder if I chose a different path, I would want my house to be like that. Barnes and Noble and Amazon are fantastic, but on Saturday, go explore a used book store. 

My favorite one near my house is Hole in the Wall Books. It is the epitome of a used book store. So darling, I cannot wait to be a millionaire so I can spend all my time/money/life there and read. ALL THE TIME.

If you are in D.C. There is a great store near Eastern Market and another one in Dupont.

While I am all for supporting authors, and buying copies of books that they will actually make money on, don't forget about your local used book sellers, too!

DIY Book Crafts

If a DIY adventure is more your speed, check out some of these!

Cover books with pretty paper for decor!

Image via etsy

You can glue the sides of a book together, then with a heavy duty exacto knife, cut a hole. Then fill it with dirt and viola! A book planter!!

Want other ideas? check out my Pinterest board! (Because who doesn't have book inspired pinterest boards?)

Watch some Outlander

Outlander is my favorite book ever, and my newest obsession. If you haven't heard of it, then educate yourself. Now. I'll wait. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Outlander

You're back? Great.

Buy the books and read them now. They are fantastic.

Now guess what? Your dreams are coming true. They have made it into TV show on Starz. Not quite sold yet? Watch the full first episode on Starz right now for free.

The series officially premiers on August 9th, so get a Starz subscription and get on it.

Simply, read a book

If you want to adventure through the magic that is books, here is my reading list.
  1. The Merchant Emperor -Elizabeth Haydon
  2. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
  3. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
  4. A Breath of Snow and Ashes -Diane Gabaldon
  5. Quitter - John Acuff
  6. The Game of Kings -Dorthy Dunnett
  7. A Walk in the Woods -Bill Bryson
  8. Magic's Pawn -Mercedes Lackey
  9. Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson
  10. Frances and Bernard - Carlene Bauer

Also! Don't forget to attend the 2014 Library of Congress National Book Fair on August 30th. More information here:  http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/

Enjoy your book weekend.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Work Life Balance

I was talking to my mom the other day about my future, my goals, and then my career path overall. I realized that there are SO many areas that I am fascinated by and am so interested in, how can I pick just one? And furthermore, do I have to pick just one?

Can you be a successful human being who attempts to make money in several different, but equally emotional jobs? Can one strive to be a writer, an event planner, a crafter and a blogger? Can you balance being a mom with having a life?

I have said some very naive things in the past to people about gender roles and about what being a woman means in society today. I have grown a lot, learned a lot and have come to the conclusion that women should live the lives that work for them. Whether that is being a stay at home mom or working 100 hours per week.

But what does that mean for me? How do I the person choose the right path. I guess what scares me the most is that when you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to everything else. How do you chose what to devote your self to. Even if you devote your life to the pursuits that make you feel satisfied and fulfilled you are invariably giving up additional parts of your life, relationships, travel, family time.

How do you find the balance to do what you love, while developing your community and fostering the friendships. I think that that balance is something that everyone struggles with and will continue to find the line and the balance through out your life.

And maybe it changes over time, maybe some years you focus on work, and others it is on your personal life. Maybe that is how it is supposed to be, because it needs to reflect your needs.

Life is a choice, you are always going to be giving up something to do something else. I guess you have to say yes to the things that excite you and live in the moment. You may miss out on some great opportunities, but I think you will make a lot of great memories both professionally and personally. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fall 2014

I cannot believe that it is already August! Life has flown by, as it always tends to do, but things are really starting to get back on track.

If you didn't know, I did get married in June. It was a beautiful day, and it went perfectly, better than I could have imagined. You can go over to my planning blog to see some pictures!

With August rolling in it means it is time to start thinking of fall, and back to school. Not that I am going back to school, or that I have any children to get ready, but I think that fall is time to start fresh. It seems like a new year to me. Like the perfect time to put any plans into action.

Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons, you have beautiful weather, get to wear over-sized sweaters and boots. It's a great time to pick fresh fruits and veggies, to stroll outdoor markets and to sip warm lattes. I love it.

This fall is no different. I have quite a few goals that I want to achieve this fall and there are even more things that I am looking forward to!

Fall Wardrobe:
I have been looking at the new trends for this fall, and I have to say, I am SO excited! Long jackets, layers, jeans, everything this season looks so comfy.

I cannot decide if I want to keep my hair long, which I do love, but I have spent the past 2 years growing it out. Or if I should get a new do for fall. I am just torn. I also am so excited for the fashion trends!! Want more? You can always follow my pinterest board here!

Between Labor-day, my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving there is so much to do and see! I hope to spend some time going on trips, (Can you say new England for my Birthday?) I am so excited! I have already started building it on Roadtrippers (check it here!)

Mallory's Birthday Weekend | My new trip on Roadtrippers.com!

I also have plans to have host a pumpkin carving party, but first I need to get my house in order. Which brings me to my next thing.

I would really like to start cooking more. I need to get into the habit of cooking every night and buying some good healthy ingredients. I'd like to start channeling my inner Nancy.

I also would like to have the 2nd and widely expanded draft of my novel complete. That way when I participate in Nanowrimo in November, I can start book 2.

I also would like to work on styling my house. I need a few key pieces of furniture, but balancing that with paying off our debt is tough. I would like to find some sort of hutch or bakers rack that is not going to break the bank!

What are you excited about for fall?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Inspiration

Mondays are rough in general, but especially after a holiday weekend.


I hope you all had a great time with friends and family this past weekend. I can't wait to tell you all about my weekend in Connecticut with Kevin's Grandparents on this Thursday's post!

But in the meantime, here are some great inspirational quotes from Pinterest to get you up and motivated today! Even if you are exhausted from traveling like I am, it is good to jump back into things, with great energy, to pursue your dreams and reach your goals this week!

What gets you motivated? Share in the comments!





Would you like some more inspiration? Check out my pin board for some more thoughtful and insightful pins! http://www.pinterest.com/missmallory11/quotable/

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mal and Kev's Excellent Adventure

The alternate title to this blog could be "Ode to Roadtrippers" because let me tell you, that site is absolutely amazing!

Kevin and I were feeling bored and were aching for an adventure, but had no clue where to start! And really, where do you go to start an adventure? Well, I had subscribed to this awesome site called www.roadtrippers.com but hadn't actually used it yet. They send you fun locations around the world that are unique and a little off beat. It was perfect for me and Kev. So, when we had an open Saturday with no real plans, (when has that ever happened?!) we decided to take advantage of it and explore Northern Virginia.

I decided to search for a destination a few hours away, and then build a road trip down there. We found a fabulous location about 3 hours away, and then added 8 stops in-between. We got up, packed our healthy snacks and salads.

The first leg of our journey was about an hour a half. We had a beautiful journey through the Virginia country side. We saw more farmer's markets and veggie stands than I had seen in a long time! It was so cool. Our first stop was a giant roller skate and we continued on down to a winery, saw a large chicken, a nutcracker, ciderey, and brewery. We had to skip a few stops so that we could make it to Foamhenge in time.

If you are interested in doing our trip for yourself check it out below!

4/12/14 | My new trip on Roadtrippers.com!

This was just on the side of the road! We had to do some creative jimmy-rigging to get this picture!

We are super sophisticated wine tasters, obviously. 
Here is the Rooster at the diner called Lumpkins. We were totally gonna stop and eat here, but it was closed. boo!
I am not sure what Virginia's obsession with giant things is, but I love it!

This Hard Ciderey had free tastings and a great refreshing beverage!

We did a beer sampler! So good!
Kevin loves his beers!

After we left, we realized we had to rush to get to our destination!

Pretty sure this is the best place ever*

*Side note: The whole time I was secretly hoping that Kevin and I would get sucked into the past like in Outlander. (Sorry annoyed friends who read this I couldn't help myself)
Want to see more pictures from my adventure? Follow me on Instagram! http://instagram.com/miss_mallory

Monday, April 14, 2014

Getting Motivated and In Shape


As most of you know by now, I am getting married in 68 days from today! So excited!! There is still lots of little things to do, but the planning is coming along so well. The hardest thing, for me, is eating healthily for an extended period of time. I have been working out in the mornings before work for a month and a half now. I am definitely beginning to see some results, but I wasn't feeling better. I was still sleepy, sluggish and just overall unchanged.

I have decided to kick up my healthy lifestyle reform and add a change of diet into it too. My parents tried the Dr. Oz 2 Week Cleanse, and have had great success with that. It is restrictive, but there are so many foods that you are able to eat as much as you want of. I was hesitant at first, I mean I really love bread, but I wanted to see better results. 

I wanted to do something that was sustainable, but that would help and be effective. I have loved the transformation so far. I have just started my 3rd week of it and have lost 4 pounds total. I am pairing it with morning workouts. I do a hybrid of P90X work outs (their cardio based work outs like Plyometrics, Cardio X, Kickboxing, YogaX and their Ab ripper X) and I have combined it with Chalean extreme's work outs. 

The weird thing is, that I have really come to love my morning work outs. It has turned from a chore to something I am beginning to cherish. Though I should totally rephrase that. I don't think I love the work out, though I am finding I love Wednesday's Fat blaster Chalean video. It is more that that has become me time. I am reading books, answering emails, writing, or reading many of the blogs I follow in those early hours. I feel set up and productive for my day. 

I also am noticing on days when I can sleep in before work, I feel rushed, and not quite in the zone. The mornings I spend with my work out then lounging are becoming part of my routine and I am really coming to love that. 

So at the end of week 2 I am feeling good, the diet is sustainable. I am feeling full and happy. There are a few things I am missing though. Chips, bread, cheese and coffee. I basically used to live on those (though I wondered why I wasn't losing weight as fast as I wanted!). After the wedding I am thinking that I will be able to slowly bring those back in. Maybe try to go gluten free and see if I can keep the weight off and still get a few carbs in! But in the meantime, I am looking for some great alternatives to chips and other goodies!

I am so excited about my ever changing body, and am working hard to get stronger and healthier!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Our Farm Fresh Breakfast

I know that farm fresh is such a popular trend right now, but I am so happy Kevin and I have made that switch. Not only do we love knowing where our food came from, but that we are also able to support local businesses and farmers. This weekend we stopped by our local year round farmers market and got some groceries. We got our fresh eggs, cheese, bread and some cuts of beef! We are not at a place to supplement our whole diet with farm foods, but we are so happy with our start. The one downside I can forsee is just the cost, it is definitely something that we will have to budget for, but as for now, I think it is worth it. I am so curious though about other people's locally sourced goods. What do other people like to get and where can I get it around me? 

I decided to cook a huge breakfast with our locally sourced ingredients! Eggs, toast, grapefruits, orange juice, cheese and avacado!

Here is our feast! Kevin drinks his coffee black.

I love these Target cloth napkins, they make me so happy!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up

Looking back at my pins this week, I am noticing that they are mostly CLOTHES! And while I would not call this a fashion blog at all, I am dreaming of some warmer weather and skirts! Are you following me on Pinterest? You can follow me here!

I have also been in love with some tutorials and inspiration for decor.

This is a BHG Tutorial. Check it out here!

I love this one from the Nest, I hope to be doing some of these soon! Check it out!

I am also loving these from Apartment Therapy!

I also just started the P90X workouts this week.

I know it will give me results, but man I am tired! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My DIY Weekend

I spent this past weekend DIYing it up! When I came back from my California trip our house was overloaded with awesome gifts. We were thrilled to have them, but unfortunately our small apartment can't comfortably hold big boxes and packages. So I spent the weekend cleaning up and trying to decorate our space.

I love decorating with books! They are so versitale and can work for so many different styes. I have a huge case of books at home. However it they are back on the west coast. I only have favorites and regular reads here in DC. I needed some older books that could be used only for decorating, that I wouldnt want to take down and read. 

When I lived in Simi Valley, CA there was an awesome $1 book store that I used to frequent. I needed a spot like that in Northern Virginia. I started doing my research and found an awesome little second hand books store called Hole in the Wall Books--check them out here--www.holeintheweb.com  It is so great! They have so many used books, and by that I mean, It has books on every single wall and stacked on the floors. Most of their classic books start at $3.50. I was so excited to have found a great little shop, but I wasn't looking to spend $3.50+ on books for decoration.

I decided last minute to ask the owner if there was a section of cheap books. I only wanted to spend $1 per book at most. It was a good thing that I did. I was able to find 3 huge boxes of books for $1 a piece. I got 31 books. I also found Gone with the Wind and another copy of Pride and Prejiduce! So $40 later, I had my books!

teehee this is one of my favorite books I was given for $1!

I came home, whipped out my scrap book paper and then got to work! Here are some of the results.

Love these books along with my pottery barn bowls!

I got a pretty holder for Kevin's Grandma's china from The Container store! This keeps it all safe until we are settled into a house!