Kristen’s Day Off

Since moving to Alexandria, we had been wanting to make it over to local restaurant and watering hole, Brabo. Everyone buzzed about their amazing upscale happy hour specials, most notably the mussels, frites, and glass of wine for a mere “Jackson”. Making it anywhere by 6:30 on weeknight is a rare occurrence, so my birthday was the perfect opportunity since I had taken the day off work to have a “me” day. Ted (bless his heart) had made reservations at the new restaurant that opened on the ground floor of my office building, but I couldn’t bare the thought of trekking to the office on my day off! It was the first time I’ve ever taken a vacation day to just do nothing, and it was amazing. I woke up without an alarm, had a leisurely breakfast, enjoyed my coffee while reading my favorite blogs, and made it over to Solidcore, a new boutique fitness studio in my neighborhood, for my first class. The instructor and former ballerina, Alexandra Perrin, sure knows how to kick booty on the megaformer! I was sore for days, but have already been back for another class. I spent the rest of the afternoon testing out some of those beauty product samples we’ve all been saving for a rainy day, stopping by my favorite stores, and re-organizing my closet for spring. If you’ve never taken a day-off just to have a “me” day, I highly recommend trying it!             Jacket (C. Wonder, no longer available), Blouse (J. Crew, no longer available), Necklace, Ring from Rocksbox (use code kristenbff188 for a free month), Shoes by Butter from The Shoe Hive

Thanks for reading!

Award Show Season Worthy Snacks

I am so excited that award show season is finally upon us! The Sunday nights snuggled up by the fire getting lost in the glitz and glam of the red carpet help me get through the gloomy grey bitter cold days of winter. I like to make an afternoon of getting ready from pampering myself to preparing festive snacks. In honor of the Golden Globe Awards this evening, I pulled together a few favorite recipes to prepare and enjoy while watching the show.

martha stewart rosemary caramel popcorn

Popcorn has long been a favorite snack of mine, and lately, I’ve gotten into gourmet ways to doctor up a bowl of popcorn from savory styles like truffle parmesan to sweet indulgences featuring chocolate and peanut butter. Today, I’m choosing a blend of sweet and savory with Martha Stewart’s Rosemary-Caramel Popcorn (click link for recipe).

williams sonoma rosemary spiced nuts

Since I already had rosemary on hand, I was reminded of some delicious spiced nuts that we received from a friend for Christmas and found a recipe by Williams-Sonoma for Spiced Rosemary Nuts that turned out to be very similar and equally delicious.

ice cream bonbon pops

After selecting a couple of savory snacks, my sweet tooth wanted to be invited to the party as well. For a twist on classic truffles, I turned to a Food & Wine recipe that combined popcorn with one of my favorite simple pleasures – ice cream! You can use pretty much any of your favorite candies from Reese’s Pieces to chocolate sprinkles to adorn the outside of these bite sized desserts. The lollipop sticks even offer the added bonus of mess free enjoyment, which is a perk, especially if you happen to be snacking in a favorite party dress!la marca prosecco

To me, a glass of sparking wine is always the perfect complement to a spread of sweet and savory snacks. Perhaps this harkens back to the time I spent in Italy enjoying cicchetti after a long day of studying or shopping at the bàcari scattered around Venice. The La Marca bottle is not only beautiful, but offers persistent bubbles with hints of honey and white floral notes.

What snacks or watch party traditions will you be enjoying this awards season?