Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! I’m super excited for the long weekend, even though my 4th of July is shaping up to be pretty low-key. What about you? Are you heading to a family BBQ, or taking in a spectacular fireworks show? Or perhaps whipping up a batch of patriotic cocktails? Whatever you’re up to, I hope it’s memorable and fun! Before you jet off on your weekend adventures, please enjoy a few of my favorite links from this week.

Why travel makes you a better person, summer skincare, how to throw a pity party, and more!

1. It’s been way too long since I went on a big trip, and I’m getting a little wanderlusty. I want to make travel more of a priority, and not just because it makes you a better person. (Hand Luggage Only)

2. Apparently 90% of the signs of aging are due to sun exposure. Yikes! Unless you’d rather spend the rest of your days in an underground bunker, here are a few simple ways to protect your skin this summer. (Glitter Guide)

3. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list but are short on time, knock out some of these deeply satisfying organizational tasks that can be completed in five minutes or less. (Camille Styles)

4. The next time you have a truly terrible week, why not lean into it and throw yourself a pity party? As Lorelai Gilmore taught us, sometimes you just need to wallow! (Oh Happy Day)

5. Saving money is hard, guys. But with a little self-discipline, these tricks will make it easier. (Career Girl Daily)

In other news, I want to let you guys know that I may not be posting as frequently for a bit. Writing three posts a week is always a challenge, but it’s especially tough at this time of year, and what I really need is to get out and enjoy the sunshine instead of sitting in front of my computer all weekend. Can anyone relate? Anyway, I’ll still be here – just not posting quite as religiously as usual!

Have a fabulous weekend, and Happy 4th of July to our American readers!

♥ Mil

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everybody! How was your week? With the glory of the weekend upon us, I’m looking forward to a dinner party with some friends and, if the stars align, a long FaceTime session with Jules to hear all about her epic road trip. I also wouldn’t say no to a showing of Zoolander 2. What are your plans? Before you rush home to put on your party pants – or dive headfirst into bed – take a moment to enjoy a few of our fave links from the week.

Friday Favorites

1. My 30th birthday is on the horizon, so this list of things every woman should do before hitting that milestone seemed timely. From skinny dipping to starting a 401k, it covers a lot of important stuff. I’m happy to report I’ve done many of them, but taking a solo trip is still on my to-do list. (SMP Living)

2. For those of us living in fear of a world where Donald Trump might become president, our neighbors to the north are offering us sanctuary on this beautiful island. Thanks, Canada! (Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins)

3. Looking for an excuse to have your friends over? A winter soup swap should rally the troops. (SMP Living)

4. Just in case you need any extra justification to visit Italy, it turns out the trip will make you a better person. Seems legit to me! (The Everygirl)

5. If you’ve ever wondered why American movie stars from the 30s and 40s spoke with that funny quasi-English accent, now you have an answer. (Messy Nessy Chic)

Have a fantastic weekend!

♥ Mil

2016 Oscar Inspired Appetizers

The 2016 Oscar nominees were announced a few weeks ago and I’m getting excited for this year’s awards show. I still need to see most of the best picture nominees. I’m a procrastinator about things like that. The way this month’s schedule is panning out, I may end up just re-watching all eight trailers the night before. Whomp whomp.

Since we all can’t afford VIP tickets to Elton’s John’s Oscar party, I’ve always enjoyed planning themed appetizers and drinks for a slightly less glamorous at-home Academy Awards party. Themed parties are so much better than regular parties, am I right?
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Last year, Mil and I watched the festivities together while munching handfuls of truffle popcorn. This year, we’ll be in North Carolina, so I’m not sure how my plans will shake out. Whatever I end up doing, I can guarantee you that I’ll be going snack happy on this year’s round of Oscar inspired appetizers.
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2016 oscar party appetizer the big short movie

Bubble Bursting Meatball Bites

Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1 can flaky biscuits
10 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs (thawed)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded Italian four cheese blend
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
1-2 cups marinara sauce to serve

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Directions:
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Separate each biscuit in half, this should be easy thanks to all those flaky layers.

Cut thawed meatballs in half. Place 1 meatball half and a pinch of four cheese blend into the center of each biscuit. Wrap dough around it and seal edges to form a ball. Depending on how generous your pinches of cheese are, you may need a little more than a 1/2 cup.

Mix the Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder together in a cup or small bowl. Dip the tops of your biscuit balls into the seasoning mixture and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes or until nice and brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce.
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Recipe inspired by Joyful Scribblings

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2016 oscar party appetizer beef carpaccio recipe academy awards

Hugh’s Beef Carpaccio

Serves 3

Ingredients
1 (12-ounce) piece beef tenderloin
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lightly packed fresh arugula
1 ounce good shaved Parmesan (none of that powdery stuff)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Optional: 1 tbsp chopped capers or kalamata olives
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Directions
Tie the beef tenderloin with kitchen twine to help it keep its shape, then freeze until frozen (this ensures that the center will stay rare when you cook it). Once frozen, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat. Remove the frozen beef from the freezer and rub all over with salt and pepper. Add beef to your hot skillet and sear on all sides, about 4 minutes total. The beef should be seared on the outside but should remain rare on the inside. Freeze the beef again until it is almost frozen, about 1 hour, to make it easier to cut into thin slices. Using a large sharp carving knife, slice the beef as thinly as possible. Arrange the arugula and Parmesan shavings on a serving platter and lay the beef slices on top. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, adding capers and/or kalamata olives for an added pop of briny flavor. Serve with panache.

Recipe inspired by Giada De Laurentiis
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2016 oscar party appetizer the martian movie matt damon academy awards

Martian Mashed Potato Puffs

Makes 24 mini puffs

Ingredients
2 cups mashed potatoes
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup diced cooked bacon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream or Ranch dip to serve
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Directions: 
Heat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease a mini-muffin tin.

Whisk together the mashed potatoes, eggs, 3/4 cup cheese, green onions, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. If you want to go full on astronaut, use boxed mashed potatoes, otherwise make sure to prepare your potatoes ahead of time and let cool. If your mashed potatoes are too hot, the eggs will cook when you combine everything together.

Mound a spoonful of the mixture in each muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until your potato puffs are set and are nice and brown on top. Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then use a knife to gently pop them out. Serve immediately with a little dollop of sour cream or Ranch dip on top.

Recipe inspired by The Kitchn.
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The connection between The Big Short and the first recipe is pretty obvious. The other two recipes are based on moments in the movies themselves, so if you haven’t seen them, get on it!
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Here’s to happy eating and happy watching during this year’s Academy Awards!  Are you hosting or attending a get together this year? Note, if you’re hosting I always recommend doing a test run of any new recipes a week before the actual party. That way you’re stress free when it really counts. Plus more appetizers for you!
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XOXO,
Jules
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For more fun Oscar themed food and drink ideas, check out last year’s recipes:

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Photo sources: 1/2/3/4/5/6

 

Halloween Recipe Roundup

Given my predilection for party planning, Julia’s love of costumes, and our shared obsession with sweets, it’s a little surprising that neither of us is actually throwing a Halloween party this weekend. But that’s not about to stop us from daydreaming about amazing Halloween-inspired treats! From the adorable to the downright gruesome, we’ve got you covered. I’m especially excited about the Bloody Red Velvet Cake (ideally served with a machete)…

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re throwing a Halloween party this year, do you have any spooky snacks planned? Or are you keeping it old school with loads of candy?

♥ Mil

P.S. Once Halloween’s over, don’t forget to put that leftover candy to good use!

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