Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Trending On NPLH, No. 2

1. U2 Innocence and Experience Tour >> This girl is NYC bound at 7am on Friday morning to see U2 a.k.a the most talented band in the whole wide world (pardon my biased-ness).  Look for the launch of a Travel section on the blog sometime next week too...if I get around to it because I've been slacking hardcore with starting it!

2. How To Ruin Your Life (Without Even Knowing You Are) >> "You ruin your life by tolerating it.  At the end of the day you should be excited to be alive.  When you settle for anything less than what you innately desire, you destroy the possibility that lives inside of you, and in that way you cheat both yourself and the world of your potential."

What I took away from the article is that you can ruin your life by settling - for a job, a lover, friends - for a life that you simply "don't mind."  I think social media has put a tremendous pressure on upholding a glamorous lifestyle (at least through the eyes of others) because we're constantly reminded of the extravagant vacations, amazing promotions, gifts, cars, engagements and parties that everybody else is having/giving/doing/buying.  At the end of the day, we need to stop comparing ourselves to everybody else in the world and be happy - not just content - with our own lives.  These ideas are actually part of the reason why I started a blog in the first place; it's a creative outlet that is exclusively my own and working on it makes me happy.

3. Cockalier >> Since #2 was a little deep, I thought I would lighten up the post a little bit with the cutest dog I've ever seen in my life at the Tremont Ale Fest.  Puppy goals, for real.

4. Chipotle Chicken Chili >> Because I love make-ahead meals and also I'm already over these 80 to 90-something temperatures.  Bring on sweater weather!

5. "I Know Places" by Taylor Swift >> So clearly everybody got her 1989 CD last fall...but I'm wondering why the heck "I Know Places" hasn't exploded on the music charts yet.  It's clearly the best song on the album, so this is me trying to spread the word because "Bad Blood" got real old real fast.

6.  Adam Vicarel Print Shop >> I went to high school with Adam and he has evolved into the most talented free-lance designer I know.  His hand-lettered maps have even gotten published in Glamour Magazine!  Even though I want this print so so badly, I have to wait and see if I have "fun" money left after my Panama adventure in September...but judging by the travel-based inspirational quotes drawn on all of his maps, I think he would support this let's-put-travel-first decision.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Stuffed Hot Banana Peppers

So Howie and I are officially sustainable urban residents.  Finally, right?  We woke up early last Saturday morning to take full advantage of the gloriously sunny and warm July weather and decided to venture up to the Lakewood Farmer's Market on our bikes.  Right when I stepped into the little plaza and laid eyes on the abundance of fresh vegetables and cartons upon cartons of peaches, I instantly felt inspired to concoct about 10 different recipes.  However...I had to restrain myself because I didn't have a ton of cash on hand.  Sad day.  But we still walked away with a backpack filled with fresh pasta from Little Lakewood Pasta Company, green onions, radishes (a total impulse buy on Howie's part - they're still sitting in our fridge) and the star of this blog post...spicy banana peppers.  Well, more like half spicy banana peppers for Howie and half "sweet" a.k.a. still-spicy-but-not-flaming-hot banana peppers for me.  I don't know if it was the freshness of of the locally-grown peppers, my adoration of Italian cuisine or my ahhh-mazing cooking abilities *cue eye roll*, but these Stuffed Hot Banana Peppers were out of this world delicious!  Stop by the Lakewood Farmer's Market this Saturday from 10am-1am in front of the Marc's shopping center and then try this recipe in your own kitchen afterwards!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fruit Pizza

While there's no denying that I'm a chocolate person at heart, I must admit that fruity desserts taste just a little bit better in the scorching hot summer months.  Unless you're talking ice cream.  But this isn't a post about ice cream.  This is a post about fruit pizza - a delicious combination of crispy sugar cookie "crust," cream cheese fruit dip "sauce" and a variety of colorful and fresh fruit "pizza toppings."  Making the pizza is simple because I cheat by using refrigerated sugar cookie dough and store-bought fruit dip.  But shhhhh nobody has to know...the fruit is the star in this dessert after all!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Detroiter

I love a good Friday happy hour after a long week of work.  Who doesn't?  What I love even more is when said happy hour establishment sells only regional craft beers and has amazing appetizers, sandwiches and entrees to accompany these local beers.  Did I mention every single item on the menu is made from scratch?  Sounds too good to be true...but it isn't.  The Detroiter, located in the former World of Beer location, is the newest addition to Lakewood's bustling restaurant and bar scene - I must say, it's quickly becoming my favorite.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trending on NPLH, No. 1

A few of my (currently) favorite things:

1. "Cecilia and the Satellite" by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness >> Remember those days you spent baking in the sun at the Warped Tour in the early to mid-2000s?  Yeah, me too.  Anyway, the lead singer of Jack's Mannequin has gone solo and his music couldn't be better. Listen!

2. Outfit Goals >> Seriously, who looks this good while biking?  Just an FYI, Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam is my favorite fashion blogger because of her classic looks that are totally my style.  Unfortunately, they've slowly but surely gone out of my price range as her fame has grown.

3. The Incredibly Simple Guide to Getting Totally Free Flights and Hotels >> In case you didn't know, I have a permanent travel bug that won't go away no matter how many weekend trips I take (which are all the time).  So Howie and I booked an exotic trip to Panama City and Bocas del Toro in September, more on that later.  But I'm thinking I need to invest in an airline credit card soon so I can get at least 1 or 2 domestic flights for free each year.  Here's how.

4. Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream >> I really don't sleep that much, especially in the summer.  And also especially because I've been fighting insomnia this year (a battle I'm winning, might I add).  But this eye cream does wonders for dark circles.  No joke.  Invest now.

5. Breakfast Hash with Kale, Squash and Peppers >> I'm going to be brunchin' with this over the weekend, for sure.  And it's healthy?  Yes please.

6. Where Are the Jobs? >> So this is the total architecture/urban design nerd in me coming out, but I think it's fascinating to study where different types of jobs are located to better address the infrastructure, retail and activity needs of the area.  Find your town on the interactive map!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Exploring the CLE Bike Scene

New summer, new hobby.  Well actually it's more like an old hobby, rediscovered, paired with an even older bike fully clad with rust spots from when I left it outside my dorm one too many times during my college days.  Anyway, my love for biking was finally rekindled a few weeks ago when I realized that I could easily bike 3 miles in 10 minutes instead of running 3 miles of 25 minutes...which means I can explore more of the city on foot a.k.a. the best way!  It's also an ample cross-training opportunity, hellooooo beach bod!  So I've been cruising around town after work and on weekends, mostly to the obvious locations like Edgewater Park and other streets near the lake.  Despite their prime photography opportunities, the paths are definitely crowded.

So that's where I need help.  I'm desperate for new ideas and thought that there's gotta be at least a few of you out there that might have some off-the-beaten-path recommendations for me?  Off the beaten path meaning still asphalt because my ride through the muddy sand at Edgewater tonight was an epic fail!  Routes that are a little scenic are extra appreciated!