Thursday, September 18, 2014

Red Blooms!

With the drop in temps I figured I better share the newest members to my shoe closet before it's too cold!  I found these pretty red lace up pumps on and couldn't pass them up.

I took these on their first spin to a bridal shower, accenting a chambray dress.  My darling friend Brittany was my incredibly patient photog so these shoes could shine (thanks B!)!

B and I with the bride to be!

Then they got a night on the town at a bachelorette party!  They got loads of compliments and had a great time dancing the night away.  We were having so much fun that I didn't get to snap a picture of their big night out but here's one from the party bus!  I paired them with a black one shoulder dress and chunky red necklace.
The bride to be's Nauti Crew on the party bus!
Now that it's too chilly to be by the pool I'm hoping to get more blog posts up as I'll be cooped up!  Lots of LFMs and recipes to come!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

LFM: 614 Restaurant Week: Oliver's, Downtown

Well it seems like being behind on blogging is becoming all too common in my life, get it together Steph!  I hereby solemnly swear to step up my game!  Ok, now let's talk Restaurant Week, which was like forever ago but oh well!

With such a hectic summer its hard to make it to too many places during Restaurant Week but we at least made it to one with our friend Asha.  Oliver's is the newest member of the FAB Dining Group family, spearheaded by Yvonne Sarber, in good company with Manifesto, DeNovo and Fin (formerly Chez du Bon).  This was on my list to try since I heard about it this winter.  If nothing else I couldn't wait to see what the FAB team did to decorate this unassuming Lynn Alley spot.

Patio seating

In typical fashion they created an environment that's eclectic, unique and transforms your dining experience.  In as few words as possible, it's a classed up downtown sports bar.  Exposed brick, TV's everywhere with a mix of comfortable raised booths and high top tables, it's an urban chic place focused on good booze and good food with sizable portions.

the bar area

So first we started with cocktails, I got a dirty martini.  Since Oliver's prides themselves on their bourbon selection it seemed to make sense for Chris and Asha to get bourbons on the rocks.  I haven't quite ventured to the bourbon side of life, hence the martini.

None of us actually ordered from the Restaurant Week menu as the burgers caught our eyes instead.  I got the Sliders, a trio of short rib mini burgers topped with manchego cheese, lettuce and tomato.  To make the meal more substantial (not realizing the portion size) I ordered a side of the Mac and Cheese, six cheese blend, cavatappi noodles and sour cream bechamel.  The burgers were cooked perfectly, fabulously juicy and very flavorful.  Was a little turned off that they assumed I wouldn't want ketchup and it wasn't served with condiments (I practice safe eating, always use condiments!) but with quality beef and cheese I suppose it's not entirely necessary.  The Mac and Cheese was pretty disappointing, not very cheesey and committed one of the cardinal sins of mac and cheese making: being dry.  I want those noodles practically swimming in cheesey goodness please!

Sliders and Mac and Cheese

Asha got The Downtown Juicy Lucy, 1/2 pound short rib burger stuffed with cheddar and gruyere topped with caramelized onions and chipotle aioli with a side of garlic fries.  She said this was good but since the cheese was in the middle of the burger there was less cheese flavor throughout.  The garlic fries were really yummy (I snagged one to taste!).

Downtown Juicy Lucy

Chris got the BBQ Burger, 1/2 pound short rib burger topped with pulled pork, pickled onions, sweet slaw and the house blueberry BBQ sauce with a side of sweet potato fries.  He said it was good but nothing to write home about. 

BBQ Burger

Even though we were entirely stuffed from our meals we decided to splurge for dessert.  The guy who cleared our plates told us we couldn't order from the Restaurant Week desserts but then our waiter we had the whole time said we could, so a little discombobulated/misinformed but whatevs.  We each ordered different desserts and then passed plates around to try them all.

I ordered the chocolate cake with bourbon glaze.  This was pretty fabulous, the cake was very moist and fluffy and the glaze was just right.

Chocolate Cake with bourbon glaze

Chris got the Peaches and Cream.  This was okay, the shortcake was a little lack luster but the whipped cream was tasty with the peaches.

Peaches and Cream

Asha got the Banana Bread Pudding which was good, the banana was a nice change up from regular bread pudding.

Banana Bread Pudding

So after everyone tried all three we came up with the following verdict: Chocolate Cake was the best, Banana Bread Pudding next, Peaches and Cream last on a count of not very good shortcake.

Overall it's a good downtown spot with elevated flavors and atmosphere, although you'll pass it on High Street if you're not paying attention since it's tucked into the alley on Lynn.  Prices were reasonable for the generous portions.  The menu has some options other than burgers and bar food which gives it more depth.  Definitely a good spot to take in a game and some decent chow if you are downtown.

Oliver’s Burgers Steaks & Bourbon on Urbanspoon

As previously stated, I'll be working to improve my blogging frequency in the coming weeks, lots of restaurants, recipes and shoes to share!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I do to THE shoes!

Happy Tuesday SHOESday! :)  As you can probably imagine, picking my wedding shoes was of extreme importance to me, almost more so than the dress and the groom (hehe kidding, sort of...)!  Once I got my dress picked out it was time to find the perfect shoes, this process took far longer and was much more painstaking than the dress part (mainly because of my pickyness)!

I had the following requirements for the shoes that would play a big part in the best day ever!
1) Comfort - I needed to be able to wear them all day with lots of walking and dancing!
2) Style - They had to reflect me! I wanted a colored shoe (pink or red, preferably pink) but something classic and girly without being gaudy (heel to toe rhinestones? - no thanks).
3) Height - At 5'2", I was the shortest in the bridal party, I needed a little boost!
4) Fabulous - with a passion for kicks like me, the deeply fabulous requirement was nonnegotiable
5) $$$ - Needed to stay reasonable on budget, after all they would only be worn once and my mom kept mentioning she struggled to understand spending more on the shoes than the dress.

So after many, many days spent obsessing I found my perfect fit via Milk & Honey Shoes (now Upper Street London) a custom shoe design website that let's you fashion shoes to meet all your needs and requirements (#alleluia!)!  So I picked my style, height, fabric, color, embellishments, etc. and Viola! 

Hot pink satin with rhinestone bows, half inch platform with three and a half inch heel

 I did my best to take these for a spin around the house to break them in before the big day but most of my standing activities have a tendency to be messy (cooking, cocktail making, ya know) and we couldn't risk ruining the shoes before their big debut!  But they were fine throughout the day and ran true to size.  They came with ball of foot cushions and heel grips so that helped make them fit even more comfortably.

Milk & Honey had great customer service!  The shoes came in time, exactly how I wanted them and without any damage or blemishes.  I had utilized their chat with a stylist option to get a better idea of what the rhinestone bow would look like and they were very helpful.  They sent pictures of other shoes with the bow, etc. to help me make my decision.

I will warn you that the shoes take awhile to come in but that is to be expected for custom designed shoes.  I believe mine took four or five weeks but I got them expedited just in case and had them in plenty of time.

It was so fun to design my own shoes and get exactly what I wanted!  There are other designers out there that have similar design your own options, Nina and Shoes of Prey to name a few!   

Some new shoes just came my way and Restaurant Week is this week so stay tuned and keep cool (finally some scorching days of summer)! 


Friday, July 4, 2014

Patriotic Boozing: Red, White and Blue Jello Shots!

Let the 4th of July festivities begin!  I figured it was only fitting to share these patriotic jello shots with you before all the fun begins.  I shared these last year so it's a little bit of a repeat but these are too fun not to repeat!

Red, White & Blue Jello Shots
(Makes about 32 shots)

- 2 c. berry vodka ( I used 1 c. UV Blue Raspberry vodka for the blue and 1 c. Three Olives Berry for the red)
- 2 c. water
- 1 pkg. red raspberry jello
- 1 pkg. blue rasberry jello
- 1 pkg. Cool Whip
- 1/4 c. or less, vanilla vodka
- small shot cups (I like the ones with lids for easy transport and easy stacking)

- Make the blue raspberry jello first.  Boil 1 cup water then pour over jello powder.  Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool a little bit so when you add the vodka it doesn't steam off.  I'm entirely too impatient so I create an ice bath for my jello bowl to help cool it down faster.
- Pour in 1 cup vodka, stir until well combined then distribute into cups, about a third of the cup.  Place in refrigerator for at least a half hour or until firm.
- Take thawed Cool Whip and mix in vanilla vodka.  You want it to stay fluffy so just add a splash of vodka at a time and mix until desired strength.
- With a spoon, scoop spiked Cool Whip into cups, leveling it out on top of the blue layer.
- Put cups in the freezer to make sure the Cool Whip is solid, about a half hour.
- Make the red raspberry jello. Boil 1 cup water over the stove, remove then pour over jello powder.  Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool.
- Pour in 1 cup of vodka, stir until well combined.
- **This is an important step!!  Let the jello cool until it becomes thicker but not to the point of setting up.  Once it is cooled down, pour over the other two layers in cup.  If the jello is too warm it will cause the Cool Whip to melt around the edges and float up and ruin your patriotic creation.
- Put in the fridge until red layer is set up.
- Share and enjoy!

We've got a fun weekend with family and friends planned starting with Red, White and BOOM downtown!  What are your 4th of July plans?  Hope they are fun filled and very safe!