Beet, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad
This salad is such a nice combination of flavors, the arugula adds a little peppery taste, the beets are sweet and the pepitas add great texture. Here’s the challenge with this salad, try to get all components into every single bite! It will be the best bit of salad you have ever tasted!
- 6 cups arugula
- 1 small, 3 oz log goat cheese
- 4 small beets peeled and steamed (you can find these pre-steamed and
peeled at your local Trader joes or supermarket)
- 1 small avocado, sliced horizontally
- 2 tablespoons pepitas (Raw pumpkin seeds)
First and most importantly, use a teaspoon to scoop small pieces of goat cheese and roll into balls with your hands until you have about 10 cheese balls. Keep rolling until cheese balls look smooth. Set aside.
Slice beets and avocado into thin slices. Place arugula in a large bowl, dress with your favorite vinaigrette or simply olive oil and balsamic, toss to coat all leaves.
Assemble arugula leaves on a serving platter, shingle beets and avocado in altering layers on top of leaves. Sprinkle with goat cheese balls and pepitas.
Voila! Easy, healthy and delicious too!
15 Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Hi there Grace Girls!
The holidays are just around the corner and Black Friday is looming near, which means great deals on Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. I don’t know about you but I always loved opening stockings on Christmas morning. Now that I make stocking for people I’ve realized how hard it is to find the perfect small gifts for stockings! Here are a 15 ideas for stocking stuffers, for her, him and the kids!
5 Stocking stuffers for her:
The perfect small things for your mom, sister, cousin, aunt…you get the idea.
Makeup mirror for travel: This one great for women ‘on the go’ whenever a makeup refresh is needed, this is the perfect thing. Small enough to fit in a handbag and it lights up too! Click here to check it out!
Eye shadow applicators: Why is it that the eyeshadow ALWAYS lasts longer that the little applicator? and using a q-tip or your finger to apply eyeshadow just isn’t the same. These Covergirl applicators are under $3 and will tide over your makeup lover..at least until Easter!
Reusable shopping bag: For those environmentally conscious folks (or folks who don’t want to spend .10c for a shopping bag each time they go to the store) these mesh bags really do the trick. They’re lightweight, can be tossed into a purse and bonus, they’re washable too! Reusable mesh bags are a stocking stuffer essential!
EOS lip balm: This goes into my families stockings each year, Eos lip balm not only hydrates and nourishes your lips but the best part is the shape. You can always find it in your purse because of the “egg” shape. The vanilla mint flavor is a must as well!
Soy candles: The cold winter months call for calmingly lavender scented candles. These offer a clean, fresh, lavender scent and burn up to 35 hours, and they come in a 2 pack so you can keep one for yourself, better yet, light it while shopping online for stocking stuffers!
5 Stocking stuffers for him:
The perfect small things for your brother, dad, husband, boyfriend…we’ve been here before.
Pens: I know it sounds weird to talk about “writing” experience but these pens are literally the best! They write super smooth with a fine tip. For under $8 for 3 pens these will spoil you and nothing will ever compare…maybe! Click here to purchase!
Earbuds: Where do earbuds go? You have them one day, and the next, poof, they’re gone which is why they’re the greatest stocking stuffer ever. Even if you already have some, more of these little guys is always better, you never know, a set for travel, a set for the office? These Earbuds work with iPhone, Samsung galaxy and Android.
Notebook: Moleskin notebooks are a great stocking stuffer, no matter who you are, you can always use a cool, sleek notebook! They come in a variety of sizes too!
Card pocket for phone: Card pockets are essential when space is limited (ie: in a pocket). Grab out just the cards needed, maybe a bit of cash and you’re ready for a night out or a quick run to the store.
Swiss Army pocket knife: This is the perfect stocking stuffer, and practical too, you never know when you might need a tool, nail file or a pair of tweezers and it’s a small keychain version too so it’s always accessible. Click here to check it out!
5 Stocking stuffers for the kiddos:
The perfect small things for the kids…be sure to add copious amounts of candy and sweets too..it is the holidays after all!
Playing cards: In this day and age, we are so focused on tech, phones, video games and TV. Cards are the perfect way to engage a child and maybe teach them a new game or two! Cards are a classic. These cards are too cute with animals on the backside, choose from a variety of animals that suit your little’s fancy (get it…suit!!).
Yo-Yo: Yo-Yo’s are a classic, they teach hand, eye coordination and offer a bit of fun too! They’re the gift that can go anywhere and bonus, they’re not annoying for parents either!
Fun Bandaids: Owies are never fun, but having a cute bandaid to cover it up makes it feel a little better. These bandaids offer a few different characters, from Paw patrol to Frozen, there is a pack for every kid!
Emoji Sticky notes: These are thinking outside the box! They’re fun too, with 4 different designs there is an emoji for every mood!
Lipsmackers: Whether these are for a boy or a girl, lip smackers are always fun. For boys they have Starwars and M&M’s theme while for girls they have Frozen. Who knew lip balm could be so fun!
Have a great time Black Friday shopping for stocking stuffers! Make sure to buy a little something for the shopper too!
Here’s to a stress free holiday!
DIY Pumpkin Spiced Lattes!
It’s that time of year! Fall is here and so are PSL’s! We say “yummy in my tummy” but at over $4 a piece that’s a little scary for your bank account! So in the Grace Girl kitchen we opted to create our own!
Here’s the recipe, and if you want to follow along with me while you make it, check out the video below!
1 1/4 cups milk warmed in microwave or on stovetop
2 shots of espresso
2 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
4 tablespoons pumpkin
Place all ingredients into a measuring up and use an immersion blender (or regular blender, but immersion is easier to clean!) and blend together until smooth.
Pour into 2 cups, top with pumpkin pie spice and serve!
Add a little more “fun” to your work supplies!This post is inspired by back to school supplies shopping time. I don’t know about you, but as kids we always looked forward to going back to school, being in a routine and well, of course, the best part was picking out school supplies! We would wait for our “supply” list to come out and the minute it was out my mom would drive us to Target to pick out our new swag for the year!Since I’m not in school anymore and don’t have a “set” supplies list I find that I purchase “work supply” items WAY too often. I’ve found that work supplies are sadly a bit less fun. It just felt different than that excitement I felt as a little one. Yellow legal pads and number 2 pencils just don’t do the trick. We have complied a list of work supplies to add a little more fun to your day to day work life!
We would love to hear what your favorite work products are! Leave a comment below!xx,gracegrl
- We stumbled across these and HAD to have them, Fun file folders will brighten up any desk and even if you don’t use the paper inside of them but once a year, they can still bring a pop of Joy every day! Click here to check out some Grace Girl approved folders!
- For those of you who are still a ‘kid” at heart, we found the perfect thing to put a smile on your loved ones face. These lunch box notes are the perfect little surprise to stick inside a friends purse, your significant other’s computer bag, or in a lunch! Or, you can leave one in the morning if you’re the first one up. What a nice treat for someone to wake up to a cute little note to have with morning coffee! Check ’em out here!
- Paper Mate mechanical pencils – if you’re like me, sometimes you just need to write with a pencil, and these are truly the best. They don’t break, are a good width to hold and are brightly colored too! The fact that they’re brightly colored makes them fun and also helps you keep track if someone ‘borrows” one and doesn’t give it back. You know who you are, lol!
- If you’re a list maker, then this is the thing for you. Instead of having to carry around planner, I keep a little “my week” notepad on my desk which helps me remember items that I need to follow up on. No matter how hard you try, you can’t keep everything stored in your head. There are many fun options out there for weekly notepads.
- We use paper clips quite often for their ‘reusability” factor, and I don’t know about you but I get bored with the same plain clips. I recently purchased some of these cuties! Everyone needs animal shaped paper clips in their life right? Just wait for the smiles when you hand the entire boardroom your proposal stuck together with a turtle paper clip.
50 things that make us happy!
Because we’ve been feeling like life is really, really good, we’re sharing with you 50 things that make us smile!!
1. That first cup of morning coffee
2. Puppy’s (always make anyone smile)
4. Jade Roses
5. Little kid hugs
6. Spotting a deer
7. Going to bed with freshly washed sheets!
8. Watching a Gossip Girl Marathon
9. Joel Kanitz’s voice (if you don’t know who this is…you NEED to…voice of an angel!)
10. Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway on a perfect day
11. Country music sing-alongs
12. Watching it snow (not this time of year…but in the winter)
13. Hanging out with our girlfriends
14. Christmas Dinner
15. Getting a new pair of shoes
16. Getting a cute text
17. Eating a box of French Macarons in the bubble bath with Chardonnay ala Ms. Blair
18. Discovering a new recipe
19. Tom Ford scents
20. Getting the newest issue of Instyle magazine
21. Receiving a compliment
22. Finding the perfect gift for a loved one
23. Getting invited to a party! (always exciting especially when you usually host!)
24. Sunshine when rain was predicted
25. Freshly clean and waxed car!
26. Making eye contact with a cute stranger
28. Feeling like you could run forever
29. Freshly painted toes
31. A really good glass of rich, smooth Cabernet
32. Finding your favorite jeans at half price
33. Finding money in your pocket when you go to do the laundry
34. Getting a handwritten letter in the mail
35. The smell of freshly cut grass
36. Eating peanut butter right out of the jar!
37. A book you can’t put down
38. Filet Mignon
39. Silk robes
40. Baby chicks
41. Friday nights
42. Smell of the air after a spring rain
44. Paris…everything Paris
45. Receiving a beautiful bouquet
46. Watching Dynasty on the telly
47. In our crazy world finding out that Gentlemen still do exist!
48. Playing Scrabble with funny people
49. Harvesting crops from the Garden that you’ve grown
50. Reading comments from people on our blog
That’s 50 things that make us smile! Leave us your comments and tell us what your top 10 are! Have a phenomenal day!
Pumpkin (Kurbis) Soup for Fall
I love the way the changing of the seasons opens up a whole new arena of styles, activities, and of course, tastes! I love fall with its leaves changing color as the air gets crisp and cool. But the way this particular season informs my table gets me particularly excited!
With the onset of the slightly colder weather I have been longing for cozy soups, flavorful stews and scrumptious baked treats! That’s why I’m bringing you this delicious and slightly addicting recipe for pumpkin soup. This soup is incredibly delicious and well, also happens to be featured in my new cookbook “Culinary Adventures in Germany” on iBooks, but that’s a story for a different day! Cooking should always involve enjoying the process, so grab the wine key, uncork your favorite Cabernet and get cooking, and remember—-the wine you drink while cooking doesn’t count! Ha!
Recipe for Kurbis Suppe (German Pumpkin Soup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup apple cider
1/3 cup dark rum
1/4 cup maple syrup
29 oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Sauté onions in olive oil until golden brown. Add ginger, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, salt and thyme. Saute 5 minutes, stir in cider, rum, maple syrup, pumpkin and broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, keeping an eye on it so it does not burn on the bottom.
Turn off heat and puree with an immersion blender. If you feel the soup is too thick, add more broth to make it the desired consistency. Whisk milk and flour until smooth, then whisk into soup to give it that velvety, smooth texture. Add more salt if desired.
Serve soup with some roasted pumpkin seeds and thyme leaves, if desired.
Note: This soup tends to “bubble up” a lot, make sure you wear an apron, control the heat and keep an eye on it…we don’t want pumpkin soup all over your kitchen!! Makes 4 servings
Style, and what never goes “out”
Guest Post by Gail.
Bell bottoms, cropped, tapered, leggings (don’t get me started on leggings, at least not now). Styles come and go, in today, out tomorrow.
But there are things that NEVER go out of style. Ooh you think, what could that be? Anoraks? MooMoos? Jellys? Dickies (not going there).
Good grooming. Never goes out of style. Nowadays, I’m sure there are a bevy of womenfolk looking at the menfolk thinking, “love to donate a razor, pair of scissors, and perhaps a good scrubbin’”.
My Father-in-Law at 92 years old, still woke up each morning and did his daily grooming. We lost him in December, but even that day he was wearing a crisp clean button down, ready to seize the day. He was one classy guy. Always clean shaven, with his few hairs combed to perfection and clothing that didn’t scream, “Hey, look at me, I’m going to spend the day on the couch”. I’m not saying that the few days of beard growth isn’t good looking on a Hemsworth, Eastwood (S.), Gosling etc. I’m just saying pride in appearance is a very desirable trait. And never giving someone else the opportunity to think, “I wonder when he/she last saw the inside of a shower stall…”
Growing up, my father, also a clean and classy guy, always encouraged us to “dress the part”. He said when I was going to take an exam, “Dress up, you’ll sit up straighter and think more clearly”. There’s truth to that (of course back then I looked at him like he was crazy). Have you ever needed to just run to the store, looking like the Peanuts character, “Pigpen”, thinking, I’ll just zip in and out and hope that I don’t see anyone I know. And you always do.
Make the extra effort, first thing in the morning, to get “ready for the day”. Then you’re all set, you’re in control, cool and classy. It really will improve your posture. When you feel proud of yourself, you walk straighter, hold your shoulders back and hold your head high.
Hate “getting ready”? Make it better. As in my last post, “You have to live in your own mind, make it a nice place”, use the tools you have: play music, sing, do a little Mambo (not when applying mascara), listen to talk radio, or NPR, have Good Morning America playing in the background, whatever lets you slide into the land of the living with a smile on your face.
Ladies – hair, nails, makeup, clothing, I’m not saying never be casual, I’m just saying be spiff. Oh, and in my humble opinion, I’d rather see no nail polish at all than the “I painted my nails a month and a half ago, and this is what’s left of it” look.
Gents – if you want to be “one of the guys” and rock the man bun (scrunched up face emoji) and a scruffy, too long beard to show the world you can, at least be clean and don’t make the ladies wonder whether you’re single handedly bringing back hair pomade and brylcreem or if your hair and a daub of shampoo haven’t met in awhile. And if you’re one of those guys who dares to be different, shave or trim and groom, you will have a better chance at melting a lassie’s heart.
Get up, Dress up, Show up..!
Bringing back the “Laura Petrie” PantThe other day I was shopping with my mom, I tried on some pants that were so cute, coincidentally I also had on flats and a cardigan…Mom said, “you’re wearing Laura Petrie pants”. I didn’t quite know what she meant by that so I whipped out my handy dandy handy (in Germany the youngsters call a cell phone a handy!) and googled it up…turns out that she was correct, I WAS wearing Laura Petrie pants…Ha!The actress, Mary Tyler Moore, played Laura Petrie in the Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966). The classy, fun loving and witty lil’ lady rocked these pants, fitting of the 60’s! Funny how style goes because Laura Petrie pants are totally ‘in’ now!Here are a few different ways to style your Laura Petrie pants…They look great with flats and a button up blouse, or a light sweater for a more casual look or my favorite, a blazer and sparkly flats!I think Mary would approve!Try the look and let us know how you style Laura Petrie pants!xx,T
Feeling “Thrifty”I know, I know, you’re probably thinking…”ick” they want me to go to a thrift store…but just wait, you can find great things at the thrift store for great prices, and mixing ‘pre owned’ pieces with new ones can be just the ticket for the “budget” conscious. I have had some great finds at thrift stores, here’s what I’ve learned1.Location, location, location– think about where the store is. Is it in an uppity area where people tire quickly of ‘old’ items? Visit thrift stores in the high rent district, around universities and maybe even in resort towns, apparently the thrift stores in Jackson Hole, Wyoming are out of this world!2. Check brands– If you’re intrigued by an item but are unfamiliar with the brand, google it. I have found some great “designer” items that I didn’t know were designer until I googled them!3. Try things on!…Thrift stores often have strict return policies (if any) Try items on, make sure they fit, and then think about what you can pair with them that you already have, if you have at least three different combinations you can make! GET IT!4. Clean it! Once you get it home, wash it, clean it, vaccum it! Most stores clean clothes before they get them but it feels more like your own after it’s washed and worn by you!5. Keep looking, don’t look for anything specific, go in because you’re in the neighborhood and don’t get discouraged if there’s nothing good this time. Pop in from time to time and see if there something you can’t live without!Tweet to us or instagram a pic @peanutbutterandjellychronicles of your recent thrift store finds!Happy Shoppingxx,T
Why we love appetizer partiesWe love having friends over, and have been known to go a little over the top. But, you know, you can end up overwhelmed and recovery takes a while before you’re ready to do it again. Recently we’ve discovered you can have just as much (if not more) fun if you have friends over for a casual appetizer party. Here’s how it works; call up some girlfriends, pick three or four different and easy appies, pop some bubbly and let the fun begin!When choosing our appies we typically choose 1 thing that ‘s healthy, such as a fruit or veggie platter with hummus or honey yogurt dip. But don’t do all the peeling and chopping, pick up bags of peeled carrots, grape tomatoes, and cut broccoli. That way you account for various dietary needs and won’t stress that the vegans aren’t getting fed!Then we ALWAYS have some sort of cheese, cheese is great because most people like it. Lately we’ve been getting cheese curds from Beechers, so tasty and they require no cutting, only toothpicks which means easy clean up, plop them in a nice bowl and serve! Simple right?Next we opt for something hearty! Typically our “hearty” fare comes from the frozen section at Trader Joes. We love thinking outside the box (well, I guess in this case, it’s inside the box!) by choosing some sort of “international” flavor such as chicken shu mai, potstickers, perogies or chicken tika masala! Warming these tasty morsels usually takes all of 3 minutes (and they come with dipping sauce!)Lastly, how about a nice dish of almonds or cashews to nibble on. Your party can be set up in less than 20 minutes, no dishes, only toothpicks and a stack of napkins. Then your job is to just chill out, have some awesome drinks and chat away! Low stress, High Fun Factor! Hopefully some good laughs too!Let us know what your fave appies are!Thanks to @brookelark for the awesome photoHappy Eating!xx,gracegrl