Poppy Seed Vinagrette + a Bomb Salad

This is my favorite homemade dressing. My Mom made it for years and I finally got the recipe from her. Every time I bring a friend dinner I include a salad with a Mason jar of this dressing. It is always a favorite and goes well on top of any salad. I love it most on a bed of Romain with toasted pecans, Swiss cheese, apple slices and Craisins. But I switched it up and tried it on our new favorite play on a Cobb salad.

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I don’t make this dressing a ton because it does have quite a bit of sugar in it. We usually stick to olive oil and some type of vinegar. But when Mikey and I were first married I made this salad on the regular (probably part of the reason why we gained our version of the freshman 15 our first year of marriage. It was more like the newlywed 20).

It is a delicious dressing that makes any salad exciting. It is a super simple and great vinaigrette to throw together quickly or to give as a gift with a meal.

I didn’t eat salad as a child and I’m pretty positive this dressing was the first time I ever ate salad and liked it. I drowned my Romain in it and voila’ vegetables disappeared from my plate. It’s like pouring chocolate sauce on your vegetables…but still, the green in the veggies cancel out the sugar…right?

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I am so glad that the 4th of July is this weekend. It is making this week crawl by, but I’m pumped for some relaxing fun in the sun with friends. Let the crazy-busy whirlwind of July commence. I’m looking forward to the chaos that is descending because it is filled with exciting things like weddings and babies and family/friend celebrations.

Mikey and I received some tragic news about one of his family members and at the wake last night I was blindsided by the realization that we can not predict the future, let alone the next minute of our lives. My mind has been reeling about how we need to love hard and let those whom we love know it as often as possible. Nothing is promised to us and we have to cherish every moment we are blessed with on this earth.  We have so much to be grateful for and sometimes it takes someones tragedy to open our eyes to the reality around us. Call someone you haven’t’ talked to in a while and tell them you love them. Hug someone a little tighter and kiss a little longer. Life is beautiful, don’t take advantage of any moment you’re blessed with!

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Lately

Good morninggggggg!

My coffee making machine that I need to survive is broken. I am so sad. I tried to fix it and it didn’t work. Not only am I sad that it broke but I had to actually put on a bra and walk down the street at 7am to get a cup of coffee. I don’t remember much about the walk…I remember the sweet guy that always stands outside our Starbucks saying, “good morning sweetie,” which reassured all my feelings of my hot-mess status since he usually says “Good morning beautiful.” Needless to say, I kept my sweatshirt hood up and tried to avoid eye contact at all costs. I almost made it all the way up the stairs without spilling but tripped on the final ascent and spilled all over myself and the stairs.

THE THINGS WE HAVE TO DO FOR COFFEE.

I’m going to attempt to descale my machine one more time before I drop it from our 5th floor down into the dumpster while frustratingly yelling, “Byyyeeee” (Broad City anyone?).

I’m sure my whining is exactly the thing you needed to hear this morning…NOT. It’s been gloomy and rainy on and off this week which has put me in a bit of a mood, if you know what I’m saying. I wasn’t sleeping well and taking out massive amounts of stress and crank on everyone around me. I woke up this morning feeling well-rested, appreciative and blessed for my life. So if you got caught in my death trap this week I apologize!

The weekend is upon us and it’s Freakin’ Friday. I am flabbergasted by the fact that it’s almost July. It’s my favorite month of the year but it means June is gone and winter is coming (I’m a glass half full person, can’t you tell…). I am so pumped for the rest of the summer and time by the lake with family and friends! July is our time to hang with everyone and although I’ve loved how June has been chill, I’m ready for the crazy to begin!

Lets talk about a few things I’m inspired by this week and loving for the summer months ahead. Starting with this awesome indoor hanging plant ‘sitch.

For my bday I am asking for two things. Plants and yoga clothes. I’ve made a really important life decision about the year 28 for Bethany Evon.

I’M GOING TO GROW SOME FREAKING PLANTS AND KEEP THEM ALIVE IF IT’S THE LAST THING I EVER EVER DO.

I’ve killed so many innocent plants in the past and my goal is to get a big shrub/tree-thing and then a bunch of little plants to hang around the house (they will mostly need to hang because Norman is an idiot and eats them all).

I do have faith because one of my besties, Megan, has a gigantic green thumb and brought me 2 pieces of her plants (or something like that). Literally, she just cut a piece off, planted it and brought it to me and they are still alive! I also got a geranium at her wedding shower and it’s hanging on…albeit by a thread. Any plant advice is greatly appreciated…I’ll keep you posted on what I end up getting and if it survives the year of 28!
f6adcd5a07f5d4a6fa49ab3ac472091f Summer is hot and I usually lose my appetite at night after long, sweaty days. I crave things like fruits and salads. I love how beautiful and tasty these baked tomatoes stuffed with barley salad look. I would also stuff these with some curried chicken salad! Yummmm!17-TomaterLight, tasty cocktails are what summer is about and I am obsessed with this beautifully illustrated recipe of a Western Indian cocktail! WesternIndian Summer = Sweaty Bethany…and grey shows no mercy when it comes to that whole situation…but I am absolutely in lovveeeee with this dress!  Jean Jail is the website of my dreams. I love it soooo much and I’m so glad I stumbled across it. It’s affordable and has a lot of black and grey…therefore it’s perfect. da65f6766cd8b1efddf222104207cdab I loveeeeeeeee cherries. I have such a vivid memory from my childhood of sitting on my grandparents dock and eating cherries with my Grandma. She brought down a giant bowl of cherries and showed me how to pull off the stem and spit out the seed. I remember she spit the seed into the lake and I thought it was the funniest and coolest thing I had ever seen. My grandma is such an amazing woman and I cherish those memories that have lasted through the years. She is the most loving, funny and Godly woman who would take in and love any soul in the world without hesitation. Growing up with such an amazing lady across the street in my early years made such an impact on my life.

I’m not sure if I fell in love with cherries because they are delicious…or if I fell in love with them because my Grandma did and I wanted to be just like her…

Either way, I still love to eat them and spit out the seeds…preferably in a lake somewhere warm! Also, this cake is really pretty and those cherries look perfecto! 244d0eade83f0704e020073c338ee023That’s all for this week! Have a lovely and safe weekend my darlings!

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting (Vegan)

Dessert that pairs well with beer is always a good thing.

This cakes if for the man’s man. Tell any dude you made them a cake with Guinness and they will fall in love with you. Even better, bring them a 6 pack of some delicious stout beer to drink with it and I promise they will never forget it!

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I actually made this because I didn’t have any dairy in the house and I had some leftover Guinness in the fridge. Don’t be scared by the beer in this cake, my go-to chocolate cake always has stout in it! The stout gives the cake an intensely deep flavor that pairs sooooo well with the cocoa. The Guinness also makes the cake super light, fluffy and moist all at the same time.

The frosting is also super complex and is so fun because you make it in a food processor!

I’m telling you, this cake is bomb.

I made Guinness Cupcakes way back in the day with a whiskey glaze and they are still one of my favorite desserts on the blog! Adding beer is a fool-proof way to get a super tasty and rich chocolate flavor in your cakes.

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DIY Gold Leaf Painting

I have been contemplating whether or not to share this little project on the blog and after having received great feedback from friends I decided why not!

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Mikey and I are constantly looking for new pieces of art to hang in our apartment and I am extremely picky. I saw a version of this painting and decided I would go for it, I had nothing to lose!

Don’t be intimidated, it was soooo easy! And the best part about painting is that you can always cover it up and start over. The hardest part about this project was figuring out if we should hang it vertically or horizontally! We love the end result and it was a fun, cheap way to add some pizazz to our home.

Below is a step by step description of how to make your own version with gold leaf at home.

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I started out with an old, ugly canvas we had lying around the house. It was bright orange with some trees and it was time to go.

I first painted over the canvas with a medium surface prep gesso (I got all my supplies at JoAnn Fabrics).  It is what adds the texture. It is like a thick paste. You can get different weights. Mine was medium. Heavy would work too.

I painted it on sporadically and let it dry. I then painted over the entire canvas, sides included, with white house paint we had lying around. I let it dry for the most part and then began to apply my gold leaf.

I just painted on Elmers glue where I wanted to add the leaf and then gently set the sheets down. I used a small brush to add and remove pieces and then brushed some glue around the edges where the leaf was lifting up.

I then began to add paint. There was no method. I just grabbed a color and began to add it. This was the hardest part for me because I didn’t want to stop. I would paint a part, walk away, come back and add more. It was so fun to add different color bursts and if it became too much I just added more white or covered it. When I finally finished (forced myself to put the brush down and back away) I didn’t love the piece. Mikey was super supportive and said he loved it but it took me about a month until I decided I liked it enough to hang it up.

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It was a really fun and cheap project with surprisingly satisfying results! If you have any questions about how to get started or the process please don’t hesitate to ask!

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Lately

Whats up my lovely blog world?

I’ve been missing you all lately, as well as my blog + kitchen. Summer is always a CRAZY time of year for us and even though we promised to keep the weekends light…so far it has proved difficult. I won’t complain, I love seeing all our friends and family as much as we do and it is so fun to celebrate weddings, babies, baptisms (the list goes on). Not to mention the fact that I am now juggling two jobs with work and yoga, plus trying to keep my own practice as often as I can.

Yikes, typing that just started to stress me out!

I’m going to take a couple deep breaths…in…out…OK, I’m back.

So like I was saying, we are all busy. We often do it to ourselves, though. I wrote a guest blog post for my friends at Bare Feet Power Yoga a couple weeks ago and talked about how we book our schedules so full and don’t make time for the important things in our lives (Ourselves. Or maybe our partners or kids). The chaos creeps in and the first thing to go is usually the thing we need most. I know for me that when I get crazy busy my yoga practice suffers, and in turn my healthy eating and other exercise goes too.

My goal for the rest of the summer is to focus on the things that are important to me and my family first and foremost. I let guilt and pressure (also FOMO) get in the way and often find myself stressing out about what others will think if I tell them “I can’t make dinner.” Focusing in and prioritizing the way I feel needs to be more relevant in my days and weekends. I challenge you to see what you are in need more of most in your life and take time to re-organize a bit in order to make your best possible life RIGHT NOW!

While you think about it…lets look at some of the things I’m OBSESSED with lately!

This here is a Rhubarb and Rosemary Float. There are no words for it. It’s almost too pretty to drink (note I said almost).

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I’m having a superrrrrrrr hard time with patio envy right now. The extremes I would go to to have this as my back yard…It’s ridiculous. If I could create a perfect patio to spend all my days and nights on I’m pretty sure it would be this. Drinks, s’mores…COME ON.

3f4c9e63f97357b27d162ffb47bced58Yesterday I had the most AMAZING opportunity to do a Fit Session at Lululemon. It’s basically every girls dream. They set me up in a big fitting room and picked out a ton of amazing gear for me to try on and then model for them. There was not one item I didn’t want. Seriously. I could have spent thousands of dollars (but didn’t). The one piece I was most obsessed with was their Ebb To Street Bra (which they gave me! Is this real life?!?). It gave me some great ‘cleave as well as support. The material is beyond soft and you can wear it under anything thanks to its seamless construction. If you’re in the market for an amazing sports bra…look no further.
LW2829S_1966_3-1The other thing I super fell in love with was this super soft long sleeved tee. It is like pure silk. I could live in this shirt. You feel like you’re wearing a cloud! Plus it has built in thumb holes…
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If there is one thing I love in this world it’s carbs. If I can spread something on it or dip in/use it as a mode of transportation for other delicious foods…it’s mine. Naan is no slouch when it comes to carby transportation. Load it up with some Tikka Masala and we are gtg. This recipe teaches you how to make Instant Naan. Yes. I said instant.

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Last but not least…something with a skull. This is supposedly for men…but I’m not against using a money clip. Especially if it is gold, a skull, or from Alexander McQueen...How amazing is this thing???

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