Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Caught the Bug...

Hi Dear Readers! I hope you are all having a great week so far. First and foremost, I want to apologize for being M.I.A. the last few days, but there's a good reason. I had a wonderful weekend with my sweet, sweet parents. The Husband was out of town on a boys trip and my darling parents came to visit me. It was pure bliss! My Mom was celebrating her birthday and we shopped, ate and drank our way through this town. It was amazing, I can't even express it in words. My parents are down right AWESOME and I am so blessed to have them. Our time together flew by and before I knew it they were packing up to head back home to Savannah. Even though I'm a big girl, I still cry everytime they leave. Every. Single. Time. I just can't help it. But, one day I will live closer to them. I promise.

As if my time with my parents wasn't exciting enough, one of my dear friends got engaged Saturday night. I was in on the surprise and it couldn't have played out any more perfect. She was totally surprised and thrilled to see all of her friends and family gathered together for an engagement party. SO SWEET! And the cherry on top...she asked me to be a bridesmaid. YAY! I can't tell you how jazzed I am about this. I've attended many, many weddings in my day but it has been a while since  I've been a part of one. I love this couple and I can't wait until their wedding. Remember when I told you {here} this was going to be the year of engagements? Call it foresight or intutition or maybe even both, but I definitely called it! :) I wonder who's next...

With all the excitement, I guess my body just had enough. Come Monday, I was running on fumes and down right sick. I guess I finally caught the bug that's going around. I've spent the last few days pounding vitamins and trying to nurse myself back to health because tomorrow I'm headed north. That's right, I'm NYC bound tomorrow morning!  Any recommendations on where to eat, drink, shop? I haven't been to NYC in a few years so I'd love to hear any recommendations you have. I should have some awesome updates when I return. In the meantime, here's some New York eye candy just for you...

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So until then, be social and stay well! :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Little Sweetness!

Hi Kids! It's Thursday and that means only one more day until the weekend. Eeek! Side note: I'm really looking forward to the weekend.

Last night we had some sweet friends over and it was the perfect opportunity for me to try a recipe I've been itching to try. I've been looking for a from-scratch mini cupcake recipe that has few ingredients and is fairly quick to whip up. Thanks to google, I found a website with such a recipe. :)
Check it out {here}!

I was able to make these cupcakes the night before and then whipped up the frosting after work last night, just before serving them. I added some pink and green sprinkles for a little pazazz and an invitation for spring to hurry on up!


These minis are frosted with an easy cream cheese icing, also found on the same website. When making the icing, I cut down on the powered sugar by half a cup. It turned out perfect! I thought they were delish (and plenty sweet) and think everyone else agreed. I served these delightful bitefuls with fresh lemonade, which turned out to be a pretty good combination!

If you are looking for a great mini cupcake recipe, I definitely recommend this one. Simple yet delicious!

Cheers to a little something sweet! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sparkle and Shine!

Hi Friends! Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about BaubleBar? Well, I wanted to give you an update. Shortly after my initial post, look what came in the mail!

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not a great picture but you get the idea...it's gorgeous! 

I knew it was beautiful online but the pictures just don't do it justice! It shipped promptly and was delivered to my doorstep by UPS a few days later. This pretty necklace came in it's own velvet pouch with a snap closure to ensure a safe arrival, which I saved for future travel! Even the box it shipped in was cute...a small, black and pink box. As promised, it came with a prepaid shipping label (since shipping is free both ways) in case I wanted to return it. I obviously didn't need that. This beauty has taken up a permanent residency in my jewelry armoire.

I had a great first experience with BaubleBar and I can't wait to place more orders! Excellent customer service is hard to find but I have found it with BaubleBar. Have you placed your order yet? Click here to sign up and check out their new spring pieces. You don't want to miss out!

Now I just need to coerce the Husband to take me somewhere fancy so I can sparkle and shine with these jewels! That shouldn't be too hard...I hope! ;)

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Simpleness...

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Hi Friends! First and foremost, Happy Weekend! I can't tell you how happy I am about it being Saturday. This week seemed to be a little long and stressful for me and throughout the week, I found myself repeating over and over..."If I can just make it to the weekend, If I can just make it to the weekend..." Ha! Whatever it takes to get you through, right? Well, the weekend is finally here and I intend on enjoying every minute of it!

In an effort to enjoy the weekend to the fullest, I told myself I was going to sleep in a little and not feel guilty about it. I'm happy to report that I kept my promise and so far, no guilt! Next, I wanted to do something I never have time to do during the week...brew a pot of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee and enjoy it slowly, savoring each sip. Ahhh...now, that's a great feeling!

This afternoon, I plan to run some errands, start shopping for my very favorite holiday (Easter), pick up some gifts for two very sweet babies, have a late lunch (probably at my favorite lunch spot...Panera), and just take things slow. It should be glorious, rain or shine!

I've come to realize that sometimes life just happens all too fast and it's important to enjoy the simple things that can easily be taken for granted. So here's wishing you a nice and slow weekend! Take it in and enjoy every minute because before we know it, it will be Monday again!

What do you have planned this weekend?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Valentine's Day First

Hi Kids! I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! The Husband and I actually don't celebrate it. No cards and no flowers. We just think it's a little cliche and it's not really our style. I enjoy sending Valentines to my girl friends and family but that's about it. We did however, capitalize on having an nice dinner at home.

Monday night, I found some nice New York Strips at the grocery, along with some organic wild mushroom ravioli and some great looking asparagus. I usually cook steaks in my Staub grill pan but this time, I wanted to try something a little different. I've always heard of cooking steaks in the oven but I had never tried it. With the assistance of the internet (where were we before it?) and google (again, same question), I stumbled upon an amazing site offering a step by step recipe for cooking steaks in the oven. Excellent! So, I saved the steaks until last because the cooking time was actually very short. I washed and dried the asparagus, put them on a baking sheet, coated them with olive oil, salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Normally, I would have created bundles with the asparagus and tied them with a slice of bacon but since The Husband and I are watching our waistlines, I opted for the healthy route and eliminated the bacon (sad face). After preparing the asparagus, I popped them in the broiler to get them nice and crispy. In the meantime, I started boiling the water for the ravioli. The ravioli was a sinch because all I had to do was boil them and drain. Presto!

Then it was time for the steaks. After confirming they were at room temperature, it was time to season them. I brushed them with garlic infused olive oil (from Roswell Provisions...see post here), celtic sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. I followed the directions precisely, timing each segment as instructed. I must admit, the oven to stovetop back to oven method was a little scary but the outcome was SO worth it. Two beautifully cooked steaks, both at the perfect temperature. Read the recipe and directions here.

By the time The Husband got home, dinner was ready and it was time to indulge. We popped open a delicious bottle of cabernet and just before he took his first bite, I remembered to snap a picture...

I apologize for the poor quality and lack of presentation.
It was literally snapped so quickly because there's nothing
worse than eating a cold dinner!

I wish I would have had more time for pictures as I was cooking but time was of the essence. Maybe next time...

For dessert, I made my sweetie some traditional sugar cookies...his favorite.
If you've never tried this oven to stovetop to oven method of cooking steaks, I encourage you to try it. i bet you will love it! A BIG shout out to The Kitchn (yes, that's how it is spelled) for the recipe. Thank you! The Kitchn is my new favorite website by the way. Check them out on FaceBook too!

There you have it! Our not-so-Valentine's Day dinner. What did you do?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hello, Valentine!

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Hello, Sweet Valentines! Don't you just love this vintage valentine? I couldn't resist! :)
I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day is filled with love, joy and all things that make your heart smile. I'd also like to thank everyone for reading over the last few months. I LOVE all of your comments, suggestions and sweet words. Needless to say, I heart you!

Whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not, be sweet and enjoy your day! XOXO! :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

What I'm Digging...

Hi Friends! I hope you all had a great weekend! It's been a few days since I've posted and I apologize for that. Work has been pretty intense the last few weeks and my evenings have been spent decompressing and catching up with The Husband. It just seems like there aren't enough hours in the day. Anyway, I figured it was the perfect time for another edition of What I'm Digging!

Now that I have a few minutes, I want to share with you a new product I recently discovered. I've been using Dr. Perricone's More Than Moisture for a few years now and I was highly disappointed when I learned he is discontinuing it from his line. I searched high and low for a replacement. My specifications are pretty strict. SPF is really, really important to me as well as all natural ingredients. It's tough to find a product that encompasses all of the above.

Enter Josie Maran Cosmetics. I decided to give her Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40+ a try. I'm happy to report, this stuff is AWESOME! You can't beat the SPF, all natural ingredients, wonderful smell and it's light weight. And if all that isn't amazing enough, it's very affordable! Much more affordable than my Dr. Perricone. You can find it at Sephora or on the Josie Maran Cosmetics website.

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If you are looking for a new daily moisturizer, I encourage you to try this one. I bet you will love it too!

I hope you all have a great Monday and a fantastic week! Stay warm and moisturized! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fourth Annual Pink Swap!

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in Monograms and Manicures' Fourth Annual Pink Swap. Since I'm new to blogging, this was my first time participating in anything like this. It was such a fun experience and I'm excited to share my sweet pink gifts with you!

As luck would have it, I was linked up with Sarah from Simply Sarah Style. Sarah and I had been emailing back and forth just before the Pink Swap and I think I can speak for both of us when I say we were thrilled to be matched up together!

Sarah has excellent taste and I'm not entirely sure she stayed within the budget! ;) After a long, hard day at work, I was pleasantly surprised to find the package from Sarah in my mailbox so soon. I could hardly wait to open it and be showered with all things pink! Take a look at my lovely loot...



Sarah wrapped the gifts with such care, I almost hated to unwrap them! As I unwrapped each gift one at a time, I found a lovely pink picture frame, a sweet little pink book for notes on the go, a sassy Vera Bradley clutch and a very luxurious bar of soap...I wish you could smell it!







This was such a unique and fun way to connect with another blogger. I had a blast shopping for Sarah and I can't wait to participate again next year!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blah, Blah, Blah...

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Hi Friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend.  It's been rather unseasonably warm in the South these last few weeks and quite frankly, I don't like it! While many people welcome the warm weather, I don't simply because...uhhh, it's February. It's supposed to be winter, meaning it's supposed to be cold. Don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing for super cold temps because those who know me best, know that I LOVE the summer time. My favorite season hands down. However, since it's winter, I'm just asking for mild winter temperatures. The 50's aren't so bad! Right? Here's the challenge...it's really, really hard to find outfits that are appropriate for the season but aren't going to cause me to sweat to death.

In an effort to solve the problem, Saturday I hit the mall looking for a few staple pieces that could carry me through the remainder of this "so called winter." While retailers are pushing for spring with their pre-season sales and store window displays, I just can't bring myself to bust out the spring wear when it's still February. I shopped around and tried to find some pretties to take home with me and to my dismay, I had no luck. So disappointing.

Determined to find something to lift my spirits, I decided to move on to home decor (another love) and take a turn around Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel. Sadly, I found the same thing. Leftover Christmas decor, a few Valentine's Day pieces and that's about it. I went to two malls and didn't spend a dime, except for lunch (I'm sure the Husband would be happy about this!). I've come to the conclusion that this is just a "Blah" time of year when it comes to retail. There's just not much out there. I guess I will remain stuck in my apparel rut, desperately trying to stay cool or warm...whichever it is depending on the ever fluctuating temperatures.

Is anyone else having this same problem or is it just me? Tips and advice welcome! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here's wishing you a great week!

Cheers!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Like It!

Hi Friends! I hope this week has been good to you. Regardless, we are only a few short hours from the weekend, and that's definitely good news. Yay! I wanted to let you in on some exciting news for my blog. The Social Sara Blog now has it's very own FaceBook page! If you read this blog frequently, I encourage you to "like" the Social Sara page. This will be a place for me to share even more quick tid bits on the spot while I'm out and about, host give aways and more. Of course I'd also love for you to follow through Google Friend Connect (over on the right) as well. The more the merrier!

Thanks to everyone for reading over the last few months. I've already "met" some really amazing people through blogging and I've really enjoyed discovering and following new blogs. I look forward to more of your comments and getting to know more of you through the wonderful world of blogging!

Social Sara on FaceBook


Wishing you a very Happy Weekend! :)