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working on the fifth of july.

today i had to go to work. and i love my job, but gosh dang it if it doesn’t feel like everyone in the world was on vacation! and gosh dang it if i did not want to be anywhere but the office joining them.

BUT! all is not lost. i got loads of work done. i have three barbecues this weekend to look forward to, along with celebrating the engagement of a dear friend (congrats jess and chris!). i think one day of work before the weekend is a small price to pay for all that fun, don’t you? exactly, me too.

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in other fun news, i did a little piece for stephanie over at the lipstick gospel today. she does a series called “the loveliest things”, and i was able to contribute my loveliest things for this friday’s edition. pop over for a visit if you’d like to see them. (she has an amazing eye for photo selection, and i have to say, i’m so partial to the ones she chose for my piece)

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i promise that i will be posting more original content here towards the end of the month, and i will also be shaking the dust off the old camera so you kids can have something nice to look at around this place. i know that those of you who follow me on instagram (@hooleywithaz) are probably getting sick of seeing my instagrams being recycled on the blog.

i’m not completely sure what the point of this little post was, other than to say have a happy weekend and i like you guys a lot and thank goodness for barbecues on the weekend to make a girl feel better about working on july 5th. thanks for sticking around.

flowers

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thirsty thursdays (with a special guest).

as i said yesterday, and at the beginning of the week, i asked some of my friends for help around this here blog. trish was one of them. trish and i happen to share a love for many things, pretty cocktails and happy hour being two of them. we have been sitting on the idea to do a happy hour collaboration for months now, and july just seemed like the perfect time to start our little project. you lucky kids will see trish here with cocktail recipes a couple times during the month of july, and i will be over on her blog sharing some of mine too!

thank you so much trish! you are a girl after my own heart, and i am so happy we finally decided to get our booties in gear to do this. cheers and happy 4th of july!

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¡Hola! I’m Trish and I normally dish over here, but today I’m pleased as punch to do a little guest post for the lovely Erin!

biopic

I started my blog a couple of years ago, mostly because I wanted to create and share recipes. In reality, I “dish” about a little of everything and I’ve made quite a few blog friends (blends) along the way. When I’m not blogging, I’m usually baking cupcakes, hanging with my sweet hubby and pup, and taking in all that Wisconsin has to offer with my awesome family and friends. Admittedly, I’m one of the many overworked and underpaid, but in all honesty, I love my job and try my best to truly relax when I’m not working. Blogging is one of the methods I use to unwind. Well, blogging and drinking. 😉
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Last summer I started a semi-weekly tradition of sharing a refreshing summer cocktail on my blog, just in time for the weekend. More often than not, my Thirsty Thursday concoctions involved Hendrick’s Gin. As it turns out, hooleywithaz here is also a fan of Hendrick’s so I thought it might be a good idea to share a Hendrick’s cocktail on her blog.

melonberrysparkler

And in honor of Independence Day, it was also imperative to make this cocktail a certain few, patriotic colors.

It starts with a simple syrup that you absolutely may make ahead of time and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. If you want to use it right away, you’ll just want to make sure it’s at least cooled to room temp before using.

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Melon Berry Sparkler
Ingredients:
1 cup fresh watermelon chunks
5 raspberries; rinsed
5 strawberries; hulled, rinsed and de-stemmed
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. agave nectar (honey would also work)
2.5 oz Hendrick’s Gin
2.5 oz lemonade
flavored sparkling water (I used raspberry lime)
ice
Directions:
Place watermelon, berries, lime juice, sugar, and agave nectar in medium saucepan over medium heat. Use a potato masher to mash fruit as small as possible. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain into a glass jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the cocktail:
Place a few ice cubes in the bottom of your favorite cocktail glass. Pour 2 oz. of melon berry mixture over ice cubes. Toss in a few blueberries. Add more ice. Add Hendrick’s and lemonade. Add more ice, if desired. Top with sparkling water.

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Happy Independence Day to you and yours!

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humpday happy list.

two in one month?! what is this madness? does erin even have a schedule for these things anymore? or is she just flying by the seat of her pants like we all suspected she was this whole time? (and apparently talks in the third person now?) you all will never know!

let’s drink some summer drinks and eat too much salt and obsess over laundry rooms that only exist in magazines. because i think that’s what summer is for. and it is most definitely summer now. warm weather and cabin time and everything. hoorah!

at least this posted on a wednesday.

1) laundry rooms.

i’ve been obsessing over laundry rooms lately and i don’t even own one. i cannot wait for the day that i don’t have to put quarters or a laundry card into my washing machine. i can just throw a load in! what frivolity! what freedom!

2) beer.

beer flight

it’s summer so obviously this is just normal. but i have been craving frosty bottles of beer lately. it reminds me of the river and the cabin and happy hours on patios after work. i’m making myself thirsty now…

3) this cocktail.

okay, so when i was in spain in college, they had this drink called tinto de verano. it was crappy red wine mixed with orange or lemon fanta (the bartender would ask, “naranja o limon” and you got to pick!) it sounds disgusting, but i’m telling you, it is nectar of the gods status. it cost 1 euro most places, and there is nothing more refreshing than a pitcher of tinto on a hot day in the south of spain. joy’s is the grown-up version. although between you and me, i’d buy the crappy wine and fanta, it’s just as good. and now i’m making myself thirsty again…

4) fried pickles.

i just need to make these guys. because they are fried pickles people. oh, you’ve never had one? i just took a moment of silence for your tastebuds. i may have already talked about these in a different happy list, but they are like my ultimate guilty pleasure food. and yet, slightly refined somehow? if they are in chip form? i don’t know, i’m trying to justify eating a whole basket of them a couple times in my life.

5) mimosa kits.

aaaaaaand now i know what i’m bringing to hair appointments the morning of my friend’s wedding in august. just enough champagne to get a little bubbly, not enough to head too far down the road to sloppy in the morning.

6) patio lights.

aren’t they just so dreamy? just like my laundry room dream, this is not a reality…yet. i will have patio lights someday. and i will drink a gin and tonic under them with my love and know that i can die happy.

7) backpacks GUYS.

i fought it for so long. i loved the idea of big totes and purses as a carry on in addition to my suitcase, but on a recent work trip where, after a series of unfortunate events, i had to pack work materials in my suitcase, and my clothes and personal effects in another bag, i finally broke down and borrowed the husband’s backpack. and now i can’t go back. he says that i can keep borrowing his, but it’s so manly and i think i need a more feminine one, don’t you?

8) more laundry rooms.

i.have.a.problem. (probably the fact that i did laundry while writing this didn’t help…)

9) ranunculus.

these beauties were in my wedding bouquet, and i am still in deep, deep love with them. they are so round and folded out and gorgeous. they just demand a darling little vase or cup to live in, maybe on your mantel?

10) potato chips.

 

i’m obsessed with eating potato chips right now you guys. i don’t know why. maybe a sodium deficiency. that would explain the fried pickle obsession i suppose. (and the pickle juice drinking, but that’s a different story.) it’s not good for swimsuit season, but it’s so good for my mouth season.

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sources: 13 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

airplane travel and obsessive behavior.

i’ve been traveling an awful lot lately and really, in the past year in general. maybe this means i’m in a new phase in my life? where i count how many nights in a row i get to sleep in my own bed, trying to beat each previous record? maybe. either way, it got me noodling a bit on how airplane travel makes me, how shall we say, a bit obsessive compulsive. i realized that i have my routine down to a science when i’m getting ready/leaving for a trip. shall we examine my weird?

1. i write down my outfits for each day and then roll them into my suitcase, shoes at the bottom, then casual clothes, then nice clothes on top. i must pack extra underwear (at least two more than i will probably need, because better safe than sorry dude!), and even if i will not have time to work out, the gear is always there. the rolling gives me more room, and planning the outfits gives me no excuse to have extra clothes with me. i used to be an overpacker to the extreme before i started traveling so often, and now i’m more likely to wear the same shirt everyday on a trip than overpack. (backpacks are miracles too…i’ve been using Mister Man’s lately, but i’ve been looking for a more girly one…see my pinterest for examples, and give me some ideas!)

already packed for pitt, that's how excited i am. @tlomalley

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2. i’ve talked about my special love for dressing up for airplane travel before. i always plan my travel outfit when i’m packing and lay it out so i can just hop into it the morning i leave. something about wasting brainpower on clothing the morning of a trip seems daunting to me. i always wear comfy pants and a loose shirt, although i wore a maxi dress the other day, having come straight from a wedding shower…i may have a new airplane uniform! i also make sure to ALWAYS bring a scarf, even in the dog days of summer, because airplanes are so cold and those plane blankets are harder to find than a sober amanda bynes.

3. once i get to the airport, i always park in the lot that lets me get to the quick security line. here in msp, we have a checkpoint only for carry-on and business travelers. It has never taken me more than 5-10 minutes to get through from start to finish, so i can cut it pretty close to my boarding time without worrying about lines. and those workers are so nice! i always smile and have a fun little chat with them, and i have yet to meet a cranky worker at that checkpoint. (always smile at the TSA workers people! even the cranky ones…)

4. after security, i head for my gate. on the way, without fail, i stop for a skim vanilla latte. doesn’t matter from where, depending what terminal i’m in, i could stop at any coffeeshop, as long as they have the goods. i don’t know, the calcium helps my tummy with any hunger pangs or nerves or something. (the backpack comes in handy here when you need to carry your latte, so utilitarian!) (also, i instagram a LOT in airports, so if you follow me @hooleywithaz, i’m sorry if you’ve seen these before.)

5. we all know what waiting to board the plane is like. hell. crowded, filled with terrible people hell. i don’t have any tips or ocd for that step. i usually just black out when they call me boarding zone and come to when i’ve gotten to my seat.

6. probably the weirdest thing about my airplane routine is what i do at takeoff. storytime! when we were little and taking airplane rides as a family, my dad would tell all the kids that in order for the plane to take off, we all had to press the button on our armrests from taxi until the plane was well into the air. and holy crap did i take that seriously. it took me until i was about, oh, 13 years old, to figure out that the plane could fly without me pressing the “takeoff button”. (don’t laugh. what if it was real and me not pressing the button was the reason something crashed?! yea, think about that.) and the moral of the story is that i still do this. on every single flight. and i’ve instructed Mister Man to do the same. and our kids will be told this same lie.

knees up, wheels up. back tomorrow.

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after that, ritual time is over. the weirdness has mostly been contained, at least until my return trip. i kick back and try to keep myself occupied until we land, which lately has consisted of making plans for this here bliggity blog. i have some fun stuff planned for july. you kiddos like simple syrups and cocktails, right? that’s why we’re friends, i knew you guys were the best.

doodling about boozy drink recipes that need to be made.

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blood orange strawberry smash.

thank you all for the anniversary love this weekend! it meant a lot to us, truly. we are two lucky kids to have found each other and lucky to have so many people rooting for us. sappy erin out!

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i have this bad habit of going grocery shopping when i’m incredibly hungry. it’s the number one thing “they” tell you to avoid, right? but somehow, i always end up getting to the store right before a meal or when i’m feeling particularly snacky, and it takes everything in my power to not put all the chips in my cart. but the thing that’s even worse than being hungry at the grocery store is being thirsty there.

hear me out on this. maybe it’s just me, but i am such a sucker for fun beverages. i love sparkling water, juice, and fancy sodas and if it comes in an adorable container, it’s all over. don’t even get me started on cute straws. so when i went to kowalski’s the other day, i was fresh off a round of golf, and was supposed to just make a quick run for the essentials and fruit salad fixings. i was doing so well, until i walked down the beverage aisle…completely by accident, i swear to you! because that’s when i saw it: the blood orange soda in a vintage style bottle. and all i could think was “BLOOD ORANGE COCKTAIL!”

i didn’t make this for a special occasion, or a party, or even a nice night out on the patio, because frankly i am not that great at planning these things out, and my food blogging skills aren’t honed to that level yet. nope, i made this for myself on a sunday night for a viewing of “the hobbit” with the husband. and dang if it wasn’t the best idea i’ve had in a long time. it was so good, i had to share it with you all.

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blood orange strawberry smash cocktail recipe (serves 1, easily multiplied)

  • 2 oz. absolut mandarin (or regular vodka, but the mandarin adds a nice citrus note)
  • 1 oz. triple sec (feel free to omit if triple sec is too sweet for you. again, modify to your tastes)
  • blood orange soda
  • 4 strawberries (3 chopped into small pieces, 1 for garnish)
  • lime juice

cut strawberries into small pieces, place into bottom of the cocktail glass, along with the juice of 1/4 of a lime (or use that lime juice in a bottle that looks like a lime if you’re classy like me). add the vodka and triple sec, and muddle together until the strawberries are fairly mashed up. add ice to the glass and top with the blood orange soda. garnish with the last strawberry and enjoy through an adorable birchbark paper straw.

p.s. for all my badittude about fancy cocktails, this would actually be the perfect drink for a date night on a patio, or a girls night watching “the bachelorette” (i can’t quit that show! does anyone else hate/love it like i do?).

p.p.s. my straws are from a boutique stationery store in pittsburgh, (they came in a pack of 50, woo!) but i found you some on etsy.

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