GALentine’s Day Gift Box

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IV Jewelry GALENTINES Day

Dear Diary,

How is it already February?!  January was here and gone in a flash, and I feel like if I don’t take a second to breathe and refocus on the NOW… I’ll miss out on all that February has to offer!  And for us, February is all about my girlfriends and some ME time.  I need some spa time, some girl time, and most of all some chocolate!  :)  Galentine’s Day is the day before Valentine’s Day– and it’s all about taking the time to celebrate your favorite gal pal’s and reminding them that they don’t need a significant other to make them feel special!

Our friend Irina of Irina Victoria Jewelry had this in mind when she created her Galentine’s Day Gift Box!

IV Jewelry box

The box includes:

  • Recipe for Chewy Sugar Cookies
  • Pre-mixed dry ingredients for the cookies in a mason jar
  • Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter
  • Heart Sprinkles
  • Chocolates
  • Polishing pads
  • and of course a choice of a RING by Irina Victoria Jewelry

(ring options: smooth band, I heart you ring, textured band, rosebud ring)

IV Jewelry rings

*BUT shhh everything but the RING will be a fun surprise for your GAL pal ;)

This is such a fun idea, that I had to share!  But order soon because GALentine’s Day will be here before you know it!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Order ends by 2/9 (so it can get there ON Galentine’s Day!) & it costs $44.99! (shipping included)

CLICK HERE to order!

GIRLS BBQ Chicken Salad

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Dear Diary,

The summer heat is NO JOKE.  This week in NY we’ve had two days of heat advisory– but even that can’t stop me from being outdoors.  California living does that to some people; even now that I’m back on the east coast, I can’t help but want to spend as much time outside in the sun (while the summer heat lasts).  Luckily, I have a pool close by to keep me cool– otherwise it might be a different story… But with the summer sun, comes summer cravings– like fresh fruit and vegetables, light salads, and BBQ filled afternoons with family and friends.  We went to a friends place for a BBQ yesterday, and I was in charge of a side dish… and the Girls BBQ Chicken Salad was just the ticket!  This dish is filling, but light tasting– similar to a traditional chicken salad except for one important difference– greek yogurt dressing.  This keeps the meal light and healthy, while still satisfying my regular BBQ cravings.  It’s summer in a bowl!  Try it for yourself!

BBQ

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED/ HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

For the salad, combine:

  • Cooked organic chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken– so easy to find at the local health market, and the work is done for you!)
  • Two corn on the cobs (clean the corn, and place into boiling water to “steam” cook and remove from the husk)
  • 5 sticks of celery (chopped)
  • half of a red onion (chopped)
  • cup of cranberries (they provide such a sweet tang that balances the dish so well)
  • spinach for garnish

For the dressing, combine in a separate bowl:

  • 2 cups of greek yogurt
  • plenty of salt and pepper (to taste)
  • half of a squeezed lemon (to enhance the flavor)
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey (honey is a great natural sweetener that is SO good for the body– enough salt will balance out the sweetness)
  • optional: hot sauce for a little heat

chilcken salad BBQ 019

Mix together and then pour over the salad and mix until it is thick, creamy and ready to enjoy!

19 AGAIN…

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so college

Dear Diary,

I had the special treat of hanging out with a pretty awesome 19 year old this past weekend– my boyfriend’s sister.  The short but sweet visit gave me the opportunity to re-live some of my youth… Not only is she amazing, but her visit inspired me to add a little more fun back into my life.

Do you know when you’re old??  When you’ve forgotten what cheap whiskey tastes like, and when sleeping late on a Saturday means waking up at 9:30 AM!

I didn’t realize how much I missed college until I got a taste of the good life!  Now while being 25 has its perks; like terrific happy hours, couples vacations and epic weddings to attend… there’s a little part of me that misses being the carefree, crazy-mess that comes with being 19– those who know me well, may protest that not too much has changed since then– but at the very least by just being 19, you have a perfect excuse to be wild. weird. and a little stupid…

It just so happens that this past weekend was the start of my spring break– oh how I love grad school!  Unfortunately though, in grad school the term “break” is simply a technicality– so while I may not have class, I still have work to do and an internship to enjoy! yay!  But this weekend I transformed back into a 19 year old to enjoy some regular spring break activities.

My first spring break experience took place in Key West, where me and four of my closest friends focused all our time and energy on three things only: tanning, drinking, laughing and dancing– this past weekend wasn’t too different.

Friday night we attempted to go out at a normal social hour; but we got a little side-tracked dancing to some old school records and shooting tequila…  We ended up hitting a club in Hollywood at 1:30 in the morning for a little disco dancin– not something I’ve done in years!  Of course, my faux sister wasn’t able to get into any of these clubs… but the adrenaline rush of attempting to sneak by the security guards was well worth the effort!

All in all, this weekend was the perfect amount of carefree behavior one crave’s– could I do this every weekend?… who am I kidding, NO WAY!  But I am definitely looking forward to her next visit :)

Did you know: that it is proven that those who have one social drink per night actually live healthier lives!??!?!  Okay guys!  This means I am giving you permission to go out tonight: LAUGH. DANCE. and have a GUILT-FREE COCKTAIL!  Get in touch with your inner-teenager again!

Tell us… what do you miss about being 19 years old??  And don’t forget to like us on facebook and friend us on twitter!

Bring Italy home… and party!

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Dear Diary,

I’m not a big party girl… If I ever have to make a choice between a night on the town or a small get-together at home… it is no contest. I absolutely love entertaining!– cooking a big feast, listening to some great tunes, and just having some drinks with good friends.

Thursday night my boyfriend and I decided to have a little partaaaay… not only was I intimidated by the menu I was attempting to create, but I was a little nervous about the guest list as well…  We’re lucky to have a very diverse group of friends: actors, writers, agents, musicians, and engineers… a little random, no? ha… trust me, get them all in one room and the differences are obvious…  well despite my initial fears, I’m happy to report that the night was a huge success in every way!  We all had so much fun and with everyone in a great mood, the night was filled with laughter, booze and lots and lots of Italian food.

Italy holds a special place in my heart… I lived in Florence for six months while studying abroad in college, where I developed a keen interest in the Italian language and culture.  I was also lucky enough to grow-up with authentic Italian food!  Living in NY, finding great Italian food is as easy as snappin your fingers!  And even though I’m only 1/8 Italian, my house was always filled with the sweet aroma of Italian cooking.  My parents were fortunate enough to spend a majority of their twenties living abroad in Rome…  thus authentic Italian food was a consistent treat.

Thursday was not my first time cooking Italian food, but it my first timing cooking such an abundant amount of it!

For the antipasti I made a caprese salad which is simply mozzarella (find at a local Italian market for the freshest and creamiest,) tomato, and basil– drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I also baked home-made pizza with melted ricotta and mozzarella, and jalapenos for some kick!

For the main course I whipped together a fettuccine pesto dish, and homemade gnocchi!  Yes HOME MADE– it might seem intimidating but it really isn’t!  All you need are boiled russet potatoes, flour and egg!  1)  Roll out the dough into long lines and chop into small balls, 2)  then roll them with your fork to create little crevices for sauce and cheese to set in!  To create your own simple, tomato sauce all you need are onions, garlic, olive oil, basil, nutmeg, oregano, and of course tomatoes!

Making Italian food is very simple… you just want to make sure you use correct, authentic ingredients!

Try it yourself for your next dinner party! :) … and don’t forget NUTELLA the decadent Italian, chocolate-hazelnut spread– lather fruit or bread with Nutella for an easy and delicious dessert!

–  SFG Jackie

Skinny Fat Girl Diary