Sunday, January 31, 2016

7 Tips to find your perfect wedding dress

consider myself an expert on this subject. Not that I have gotten married several times or anything... Well, twice actually, to the same man. But that's not why I consider myself an expert, no. I thank watching every single episode of "Say Yes to the Dress" ever made for that. It started out as a fun activity to do with my mom while relaxing after work. In the end I think both of us spent so much time with Randy that we ended up with a new GBF; gay best friend. (Position in real life still open, feel free to ask for application) 
Little did I know, that I'd eventually buy my own wedding dress at a Dutch affiliate of the show in Rotterdam: The Honeymoon Shop. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Family Favorite Sangria

The recipe I am about to share has been a family favorite for years now. I like to bring a big pitcher filled with pink bubbly goodness to every spring, summer or fall party. We live in California so the temperature is pretty much always right (sorry to rub it in for those who don't live in such a nice warm area!) 
The first few parties I brought this treat I made the mistake of only making one pitcher. Boy, was that one empty quick! Apparently the ladies in my husbands family have a sweet tooth (for drinks). 
And just a heads up, it packs a pretty serious punch! The sangria tastes like delightful fresh lemonade, but is anything but a thirst-quencher.

Here's what goes into the sangria;

  • 2 bottles Pink Moscato
  • 2 shots of rum 
  • 1 shot of Cointreau 
  • 1 can grapefruit soda (like Squirt) 
  • 1 scoop lemonade powder
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 handful of red berries (I prefer strawberries)
  • 1 cup of ice cubes 

First you want to peel the lemon and orange and cut into slices. Make sure you take out all the pits. Cut the crowns off the strawberry and cut in four quarters. Next, poor the moscatos in the pitcher and wait until foaming stops. Measure and mix in the shots of rum and Cointreau, then stir. Add the soda, followed by a scoop of lemonade powder. Make sure you aren't filled to the top yet, as the lemonade powder tends to make the wine foam up a little. After the foam has disappeared you can add the sliced fruit and the ice. As soon as everything is combined in the pitcher, gently stir. 
It is crucial that you give the sangria enough time to refrigerate before serving, it simply tastes much better when served nice and cold. Especially on those hot California summer days! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hey there, hotshot! ;)

Self confidence is more than just looking at yourself in the mirror, pointing your finger whilst winking at your reflection and telling yourself "hey there hotshot/sexy beast, looking goooood!" (feel free to still do that though, I'm sure it can't hurt) 

A little while ago, somebody pointed me to an audio questionnaire by Katherine Woodward Thomas with 20 questions about the ability to love yourself. Feeling intrigued after all of the personal development work I do, I took the test. Before I started I thought I had a pretty good idea of the concept of self confidence. I was also convinced that I would score a pretty decent number on it. Because 9 out of 10 days I feel pretty good about myself.

However, after I took the test, the author of this particular test started explaining what truly loving yourself entails. And it is more than what most of us think. Which is why I'd love to share these realizations. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Healthy Mini Lasagna Cups

These are very easy to make, as you can make them as skinny as possible. They're the perfect appetizers, or snacks. Or just a single size serving. 
I like to make everything from scratch so for this recipe I use homemade Marinara sauce (I'll share that recipe next time). As well as home grown basil. If you don't have that option, no worries. I am just extra lucky because my husband is a wizard with green finger who can grow some incredible veggies and spices in our own garden. You can always use canned Marinara and dried basil. 

For this recipe you'll need a cupcake or muffin tin. You'll get about 12 lasagna cups out of this recipe, depending on how generous you are with the cheese and the sauce.

  • 2 Italian sausages (organic) 
  • 24 pack Square 2 inch wonton wrappers 
  • 1 cup or can Marinara sauce 
  • 1 cup Mozzarella 
  • 1 cup Ricotta 
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Handful Fresh basil 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile heat up the olive oil in a pan while you cut the sausages in little cubes. Toss the sausage in the pan and bake until brown and well done. Drain out the excess grease and then poor the marinara over the sausage and stir until well combined. Turn the heat down slightly and wait until the sauce is boiling. 

Coat the muffin tin with oil spray and line the bottom with a first layer of wonton wrappers. Cover each with a tablespoon of sauce. Then scoop half a tablespoon of ricotta over the sauce. Cover with a second layer of wonton wrappers, then repeat sauce and ricotta ritual. Sprinkle mozzarella over and to top it off festively, shred basil over the cups. 

Place cups in the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the wonton wrappers have a golden brown color. Serve hot!