Balsamic Salmon Sliders

Barbecuing might seem intimidating, but it shouldn’t be.  The dishes you can make using your BBQ are endless.  Today’s recipe is simpler than you might think, thanks to your trusty grill.

salmon sliders

To make these delicious seafood sliders, start by preparing your salmon.  Start with a boneless, skinless filet of salmon.  Take out a large sheet of aluminum foil.  Set your grill to medium heat.  Create a dry rub using salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic salt.  Rub your salmon filet with these ingredients.  Place your salmon filet on the large sheet of foil.  Next, heavily drizzle balsamic vinegar over the salmon.  Add pats of cold butter on top of and around the salmon filet.  Cover the salmon completely by folding over the aluminum foil.  Place the foil directly on top of your grill.  Let the salmon cook on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

While your salmon is cooking, you can begin to prepare the biscuits and cabbage slaw.  You can make biscuits from scratch, or take a shortcut by using the ready to bake kind found in your local freezer section.  I used Pillsburry flaky layers biscuits.  Using a biscuit that flakes easily is important, because you’ll be dividing them in half to make each slider.  Bake the biscuits per package instructions.  To make the slaw, start by making the simple dressing.  Mix four table spoons of olive oil and vinegar.  Add black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.  Next, take shredded cabbage, and blend in bowl with dressing.

When your biscuits have cooled, pull them apart creating two equal pieces.  Do this to each of your biscuits.  You can add a slice of your favorite cheese.  I used provolone cheese.  Place the salmon on top of the bottom biscuit.  Add your cabbage slaw, and place the second biscuit piece on top.  And you’re done! Enjoy.

Black Tie

black tie
I love a good black tie event, it means that I can dress up in formal attire. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many black tie events these days.

While online shopping at Lulus.com I got inspired by this cute black bow tie top. I love a good bodysuit, so I knew I had to have it. Body suits stays in place, unlike when attempting to tuck a regular top into your skirt or pants. It also smooths out your look, no special shapewear or undies needed. The fabric is pretty stretchy, so when ordering keep that in mind.  It’s a comfortable top, and the fit is great.

black bow tie top

I wore my bow tie bodysuit for the first time this weekend in Vegas. I paired it with the faux leather fit and flare Express skirt featured on my blog here.  You can purchase this sweet heart neckline, bow bodysuit at Lulus.com for just $37 plus shipping.  To view this top on their website or to order a top of your very own visit the site here.

Lulu's body suit

 

DIY: Simple Floral Art Piece

 

Flower arrangement

As I say over drinks with my best friend, it’s been too long!  I apologize for my lack of blogging the past few weeks.  I have been battling health issues along with increased work responsibilities.  Over the weekend I thought I’d battle something other than my migraines, and focus on my kitchen walls.  I love decorating, and have spent a good amount of time filling my space with unique pieces, but my kitchen walls have been left blank for long enough.

I took a trip to Joann Fabrics for some creative inspiration.  I found my inspiration at the very first aisle of the store.  There in front of me were tons of beautiful fake flowers.  I have never been a fan of synthetic flowers personally, but these faux flowers were incredibly realistic.  I chose my favorite stems and made a quick bouquet there in aisle one.  With my flowers in hand I thought, “Now what?” I knew I needed to figure out a way to hang this arrangement on my kitchen wall.  I walked up and down the aisles looking for something circular.  I wanted something in the shape of a reef so that I could hang it up on a wall. There were a lot of materials to choose from, but I found a medium sized wooden ring which I knew would work just fine.  It turns out this wooden ring was a wood quilt hoop.  Next, I found some green stem wire, and chose the green closest to the color of the stems I had chosen earlier.  The stem wire would be used to hold the bouquet together.  To purchase green wire stems online visit here.  All of these materials were reasonably priced, and I got everything for just $22.  Once I had everything I needed a headed home to make my creation.

To create this wall arrangement you will need:

  • Your selected synthetic flowers
  • Green stem wire
  • 1 medium sized wood quilt hoop
  • A nail and hammer for hanging

DIY Flower Arrangement

Floral Wall Arrangement Steps:

  • Create your arrangement
  • Use your green wire stems to bind the arrangement together.
  • To do this take your green wire stem and wrap it around all fake stems.  I used four wire stems to complete this.
  • Take your wood quilt hoop and place it behind your arrangement.
  • Take a wire stem and wrap it through the quilt ring and around the stems binding the stems to the wooden ring
  • Place the nail on the desired place on your wall
  • Hang your floral bouquet

This DIY project was much easier than most, and now my kitchen is a happier place.  If you have any questions about how I made this arrangement feel free to contact me here.  Thanks for being patient with me as I battle my migraines.  Hope you enjoyed this post, and have a great week!

Summer:Fashion Finds Lately

Looking at my wardrobe last week, I realized I’m lacking some bright summer colors.  With another trip to Palm Springs in my immediate future, I knew I needed to seek out some fun and flirty summer dresses.  Check out my summer fashion finds from Lulus.com below.

Each of these dresses is comfortable and flowy, perfect for the hot summer months.  What’s even better about each of these lovely dresses is that you can get them from Lulus.com for $50 or less.  Spend $100 and get free shipping as well!  Click on the images below to be redirected to the item’s details page.  Happy shopping!

blue dress green maxi front green maxi white lace dress

Love: Is it Blind?

ChubbyBaby

Every man or woman who wasn’t born with perfect genetics has wondered at least once whether or not someone can love them regardless of how they look on the outside.  Living in LA not a week goes by that I don’t have a friend ask me why men only treat hot women right.  They wonder if someone will ever love them for who they are, not despite lacking big breasts, a flat stomach, thick hair or a perfect smile.  We all want to be loved, but we all think we have to achieve some sort of visual perfection to achieve it.

Why do we think that way?

From an early age we’re teased for being overweight or awkward looking.  Young boys learn to taunt overweight girls practically from the time they come out of the womb.  How can a growing boy expect to enter into a relationship with a chubby girl when all of his friends are making fun of her?  For heavy women the formative years are the most difficult.  While others are entering into relationships, going to dances, having crushes, many overweight girls are doing their best to conceal their true feelings.  The overweight girl is either hiding from sight or being everyone’s best friend, but she’s not the object of affection.

Then college comes, and all those tiny cheerleader sized women start to gain the Freshmen 15.  The playing field starts to even out as the football stars start to gain their weight in beer, and the calories that were once burned on the field are now carried in the gut.  The once “chubby” girls are starting to get dates, and attention they never had before.  However, is this love the same kind of love they had always hoped for?  Are they being seen as sexy, hot, alluring?  Or are they being taken out on dates, simply because they are more accessible?

I have always wondered if someone can truly love someone regardless of appearances.  I know that you can “learn” to love someone despite them being overweight or not as pretty, but that isn’t the same thing is being head over heels “in love” with someone.  My ex put it best when he said to me, “I will always love you, but I’m not in love with you.”  He couldn’t see past my weight, because for him love was reserved for women with perfect petite bodies, big breasts, and perfect faces.

I work in a male dominant industry, I grew up with many male friends, and so I have heard all about the hatred many men have for heavy women.  To hear these men speak it’s as if a woman’s choice to not be fit is a personal attack against each and every one of them.  Where does this hatred come from? Why can’t we leave people alone to make their own choices for their own lives.  Why do we act disgusted when we see them simply living the way they like?  I personally am very disappointed by people who find it necessary to make comments about others’ weight.  There’s just no reason for it.  Unless your loved one is obese, and experiencing health issues, it isn’t your place to judge.  Spend more time judging your own choices, regretting your own life mistakes, and changing things about yourself which are undesirable.

happy couple

As for the question of whether or not someone can love someone, truly love them regardless of how they look I do think it is possible.  I don’t think it’s possible for many people, but it is possible.  I read a great article today of one such story.  Reading it gave me hope that there are people out there who can be kind and loving and genuinely happily IN LOVE with someone despite their body fat percentage.  Read this great story here.

Travel: Little Desert Getaways

Hotel Miramonte

As a California native, Palm Desert is a common vacation destination for my family and myself.  Taking little trips throughout the year is vital for many reasons.  Hitting the road and spending time away from the day to day grind can refresh your mind and prep you for a whole new week.

Miramonte Villas

I tend to stay at the same hotels when I vacation, but this last trip I decided to shop around.  I found a great offer on Expedia for the hotel Miramonte in Palm Desert, California.  I checked out the customer reviews and photos, and was impressed enough to give the hotel a try.  I had some vacation time saved up, and so did my best friend Marta.  Before we knew it the trip was here, and we were headed for a couple of days in the sun.

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While many travel sites may photoshop images to help sell you on an experience, the hotel Miramonte was actually much more impressive in person.  We exited the car excitedly and headed towards the large wooden gate doors.  As we walked through the big heavy doors we could see the gardens peaking through.  The grounds of the hotel are very lush, and vibrant.  Many of the plants and flowers are the same types found in Tuscany.

051The architecture of the hotel is unique.  The buildings were designed to replicate Tuscan Villas.  Each “villa” is named after a town in Italia.  The lobby of the hotel had high ceilings, chandeliers, and stone worked flooring.  The customer service at the front desk was excellent.  In addition to the beauty of the hotel, the space boasts convenience due in part to the boutique size of the resort.  We were able to walk to our room in under 3 minutes.  We requested a room on the bottom floor, so that we could walk straight out from our patio area to the pool area.

The hotel was vacant on a Wednesday afternoon, which was fine by us.  We had the pool area to ourselves, and a friendly waitress who checked in on us often.  I had yet to open up my birthday bottle of champagne, so we popped that open and started in on our mimosas. The pool is a good size, and the jacuzzi was large.  The pool temperature was great, because it was 106 degrees outside that day.  The lobby shop at pool mats, and the waitress offered to have them blown up for us.  We enjoyed a day of laying out pool side.

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If you are looking for pure relaxation you must make a reservation at the Well Spa, the hotel spa.  Often times, hotels will hike up the cost of spa services charging around $150 to $200 for a massage.  I was pleasantly surprised by the prices and services offered at the Well Spa.  There are three massages priced at under $150, and the purify facial is just $99.  To view the full list of spa services visit here.

Also located at the Hotel Miramonte is a fine dining restaurant and full service bar.  The Grove Artisan Kitchen serves “farm to table” fresh foods.  The website boasts, “The menu features organic produce, fresh herbs, local ranch raised meats and poultry, fresh Pacific seafood, house-made pastas, prime dry-aged meats and innovative vegetarian dishes.”  To view the menu or make reservations visit here.  Unfortunately my bff and I were too sun bathed and relaxed to get dressed up for dinner, but fortunately for us the hotel does provide in service dining.  Marta ordered the Greek salad, and I ordered a turkey club.  We shared vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berries for desert.

We had an amazing stay at the hotel Miramonte.  The views of the desert landscape and dark mountain ranges simply adds to the architectural and arboricultural beauty of this resort.  I would definitely recommend it.

Recipes: Chicken Soup for the Soul

chicken noodle soup

Making home made chicken noodle soup is a lot easier than you think!  My recipe is quick, easy, and only consists of a few simple ingredients.

Why make chicken noodle soup from scratch when it’s so easy to dump it out of a can?  When you ditch fresh food items for condensed sodium filled canned foods you increase your risk for heart disease, kidney stones, osteoporosis and more.  Not to mention the cost of buying canned soups is higher than purchasing whole ingredients instead.

So without further ado, let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

Two boxes of low sodium chicken stock

1 bunch of celery or 1 package of cut celery

1 package boneless skinless chicken breast strips

salt

pepper

1 package angel hair pasta

By purchasing low sodium chicken stock you control how much salt you add to your soup.  You can certainly use regular boneless skinless chicken breast.  I opt for the breast strips, because it cuts down on the cooking time, and there’s less breaking up of the chicken involved.

Directions:

1) Poor the chicken broth into a deep pot with a lid.

2) Set the heat to low to medium, and let boil.

3) When chicken broth is boiling, add 1 package of angel hair pasta.

4) Remove the chicken breast strips from the package, and season with salt and pepper.  Season to taste.

5)  Add olive oil to a shallow pan.  Cook the chicken on low heat until cooked through.  Cook the chicken on low heat to avoid burning or browning the chicken.  When the outside of the chicken is white, and the inside is cooked through, your chicken is done.

6) While the chicken is cooking cut and clean your celery into desired pieces.

7) Remove the chicken from the pan.  If the pan is dry, add two teaspoons of olive oil to the pan.

8) Add your chopped celery to the pan, and cook until the celery is slightly soft.

9) Cook your pasta until it is soft, not too aldente.  This usually takes around 8 minutes.

10) Add your chicken and celery.

11) Let simmer on low heat for about five minutes.

12) Your soup is ready!

13) Enjoy!

Check back with Meeshme.com for more recipes!

 

Advise Me: Love Thy Neighbor

neighborhood

I know that we’re supposed to be kind to our neighbors, but some neighbors make it difficult.  I never had a problem with neighbors until moving into my most recent apartment.  The walls and floors of the apartment are very thin.  Luckily, we live on the top floor so it’s not a major issue for us.  Unfortunately, the people below us are very sensitive to the noise.  If we walk on our floor with shoes, watch TV, or listen to music at a normal volume they angrily knock on the ceiling with a broom.  We’re very sensitive to what the noise must be like for them, so we comply by keeping the volume very low, speaking at lower volumes, not wearing shoes at all inside, etc.

We have a beautiful and big patio, but can’t have people over because of them.  We try to comply and be thoughtful to our neighbors, but everyone has a limit.

Last week I decided it was finally time to get cable for the apartment.  I did what any law abiding citizen would do, and called up my cable provider, ordered the service, and had it installed.  A week later I received a call from the landlord claiming that the neighbors complained that ever since “our” cable guy came they have been without cable.  The landlord midway through speaking with us must have realized that this wasn’t an issue of our causing, because he told us he needed to call the neighbors back.  Sure enough I received a call back from my landlord saying that the neighbors had been stealing their cable.

Dear Neighbors,

If you are stealing cable, and do not inform your neighbors that you are stealing cable, and they call a cable guy it is not their fault.  Do not proceed by calling a landlord to complain, as you were doing something illegal.

Difficult neighbors can make living at even the best apartment unbearable.  When neighbors are making life hard, what do you do?

Friendship: My Best Friend’s Wedding

 

me and Vlad

One of my best friends Vladimir Paniouchkine got married this past weekend in a beautiful ceremony to his girl friend of six years Victoria Sutherlen.  Whenever a close friend or family member gets married it stirs up emotions, and makes you think about your relationship with that person.  I was no exception to that.

Vlad and I met way back in 2002 at Glendale High School.  I was the chubby girl back then, and he was the big football star.  Vlad never cared about being popular or about high school politics.  He was a good student, and great athlete, but didn’t care which click he was a part of or who he hung out with at lunch.  I on the other hand spent a lot of time caring what others thought, planning big parties, and being everyone’s biggest cheerleader.

We met for the first time in my Biology classroom.  He stayed late to talk with my teacher, and I came in to ask her a few questions.  He followed my friend and I out to the quad afterwards.  I thought to myself, “What a random guy.” We were close friends for two years, until he graduated and went off to college.  We lost touch, when his new girl friend sent me an IM calling me a few choice words and asking me never to message him again, but in the summer of 2006 we reconnected.

It’s difficult to keep guy friends.  When I was in high school I had two best female friends, the rest were guys.  Growing up spending a lot of time with my dad, I played sports, watched sports, camped, and enjoyed the outdoors.  Basically, I knew how to speak guy.  When I graduated, and lost a lot of weight, a lot of my friendships with men changed.  Boys grow up, and get girl friends, and those girl friends don’t always want another girl hanging around their man.  I’m not the type to stir up drama, so I gave them space and made new friends.

But when it came to Vlad nothing changed.  We always remained friends, and always made time for one another.  We were supportive of each other, and never jealous.  When we hung out it was always fun.  When he found Victoria I was happy for him.  When he announced they were getting engaged over dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, I was excited.  When I heard the proposal story, I was proud, and when I saw him kiss the bride I was emotional.

When a friend gets married you think, “I wonder if things will change,” but if your good enough friends they won’t.  If you respect their relationship, things won’t change.  If their successes are yours, you’ll always be a part of them.  If their happiness is yours, you’ll always be happy for them.  Vlad and I will always be friends, and I’m thankful for that.

Dress Me: Fit and Flare

fitndflare

When you go shopping for something new what factors do you consider?  While some look for specific colors or tones, others look for items on trend or for embellishments.  However, one thing we all look for is an item that makes us look thin.  Whether it’s the right pair of jeans, the right dress, or the right underwear we want to look good in what we wear.

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The best way to look good in clothing is to shop for your size and body shape.  There are styles that fit your body type best, highlighting your best features while concealing problem areas.  Through years of trial and error I have realized that I can’t go wrong with a good fit and flare dress or skirt.  An item with a “fit and flare” cut fits tightly at the waist and flares at the thighs.

Many women have trouble losing weight in their thighs.  Targeting your inner thighs is difficult, and training can take time.  While you work to get yourself in shape, a good fit and flare skirt or dress can accent your small waste while concealing your problem area.  Express.com has several fit and flare skirts and dresses to choose from.  Find them here.  Lulus.com also provides fit and flare styles in many colors.  Shop for them here.

My fit and flare fav right now comes from Victoria’s Secret.  Find this dress, and similar styles here.