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?