All I Ate This Week Was Charcuterie Meat

~Maddy~

Let me tell you, I am more sodium logged than I think I’ve ever been, and I’m so thirsty that I have basically had to live in the bathroom.

And it’s worth it. If you’ve ever experienced charcuterie in all its glory, you understand.

Charcuturie is actually a method of preserving meats in their own fat (plus a whole lot of salt and sometimes spices). A charcuturie board combines an assortment of charcuterie meats, various cheeses and accompanying fruits or fruit spreads. Upon assembling and, eventually, devouring said charcuterie board, I guarantee you’ll feel so damn fancy that you’ll never eat Ritz and spray cheese again.

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We served capriccioli, salami, and prosciutto with an aged white cheddar and a slightly creamier, merlot infused goat cheese. Pears, apples, figs and grapes work well with the creamy cheese, and olives and baby pickles are nice with harder, saltier cheeses. Add crackers, a couple $8 bottles of wine, and call it a night.

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Also brie, because brie is amazing. One wheel was wrapped in prosciutto and bacon, and the other slathered with fig and blueberry compote. Did I mention that brie is amazing????

So try this. Really. Costco has a surprisingly great selection, and Hy-Vee is pretty close to top notch. Oh, and Aldi has wheels of brie for $2.99 (you’re welcome).

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Yeah, drool about it.

 

New Things I’ve Done So Far In 2015

new-year-2015

~Maddy~

So we’re not even a week into 2015, and everyone is working on their New Year’s resolutions.

Meaning the gym is going to be packed for the remaining three weeks of January.

There will be kale shakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Your Facebook feed will be covered with motivational memes of the 60% drippy abs 40% Nike variety.

And while it will be a very, very jolly time watching Netflix on my sofa while all this business goes down, I feel bound to admit that I’ve got a wee case of the New Year’s spirit myself. In the past six days, for instance, I’ve done the following spanky new and oh so exciting things:

1. Learned to Snowshoe

It wasn’t as hard as one would expect, although it’s probably more difficult if you don’t have the promise of coffee afterwards awaiting on the horizon like I did.

Check out our legitimate snowshoeing gear #commit
Look at our legitimate snowshoeing gear! #commit

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Dad and I enjoyed ourselves, clearly.
Dad and I enjoyed ourselves, clearly.

2. Made (and ate) Plantain Pancakes

My mother has an autoimmune disease and  lot of food sensitivities, so funky, grain-free foods are pretty common in our household. However, I’d never tried plantains before this morning, and they made for surprisingly tasty pancakes.

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Just be aware that green plantains are NOT yummy raw, and smell like a cross between an unripe banana and a thousand stalks of celery before they’re cooked. Recipe here.

3. Dyed My Hair ***DISCLAIMER: There are selfies in this post***

Dyed it pink, to be exact. Also sorry for the selfies, but I couldn’t think of another way to get an accurate pic of the color change.

Before
Before

annnnnddddduhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……..

After!
After!

I love it so far, but it’s a bloody mess. I mean literally, it bleeds on everything when it’s wet. My fingernails are permanently fuchsia.

4. Saw “Into the Woods”

Apparently, despite several people’s insistence that they’d informed me, I managed to make it into my seat in the movie theater completely unaware that I was about to watch a musical. Unexpected bonuses are the best bonuses, no?

(Excuse the quality of this, it’s the only video version available on the Internet as of late, and the song is two billion times better if you can see it)

5. Learned How To Arm Knit

Tough initially, but after a couple of tries I picked it up fairly quickly and managed to crank out a couple of scarves in less than an hour. I love knitting, but instant gratification is just so….well, gratifying.

I used a 5.29 oz yarn in the most fantastic bubblegummy pink, but you can obviously do whatever the heck you want with your yarn choice, color and size wise. The tutorial I used is available here.

It's kind of a giant scarf.
It’s kind of a giant scarf.
But very cozy :3
But very cozy :3

So the idea I’m repping here is that you don’t need to stress the new year and all those grand personal improvements you’ve resolved to make. Change will happen on its own and you’ll find yourself trying new things before you even realize it, so there’s no reason to stress. Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.

Oh, and happy 2015 everyone!

10 Tasty Spiked Coffee Drinks Guaranteed To Help You Survive Winter

~Maddy~

So I was cruelly awakened by my parents at the butt crack of dawn this morning (meaning about 8:30) and drug off on the only kind of acceptable a.m. adventure: a trip to a coffee roasting factory.

As a truly avid coffee lover, I think my awe, gratification and overall bliss is implied.

A father in the wild observes the native's impressive selection of coffee beans.
A father in the wild observes the native’s impressive selection of coffee beans.
Definitely bought this.
Definitely bought this.

Suffice it to say that I am too caffeinated to ever sleep again. But seriously, worth it. Nothing beats a hot cup of coffee on a blustery morning, more of which we in the Midwest are bound to endure.

Because winter lasts from December to March here. Welcome to frostbitten hell.

So to keep you EXTRA toasty, do please enjoy the following java+alcohol concoctions sure to make the cold weather deliciously bearable (click the photos for recipes!). Pairs well with snow, but I highly suggest forgoing all activities involving shovels, sleds, or ice skates.

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Irish coffee
The Irish like a little sass in their morning joe.

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grand marnier
Fruit and coffee=a balanced breakfast.

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hot buttered rum
This will never not sound amazing. Or a little dirty.

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kahlua_coffee_1
An old favorite, with good reason.

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black forest coffe
Willing to bet it goes well with cake?

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amaretto coffee
For the coffee nut. *snort*

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Spiked-Pumpkin-Spice-Latte
Because Starbucks doesn’t add vodka.

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Hot chocolate
Creamy, pepperminty perfection.

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Butterscotch-Fireball Coffee
Burns so good.

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Cafe Royale-p33
A stroke of Italian genius with a splash of brandy.

***The Curly Girls must implore you to caffeinate responsibly***

50 Perfect New Year’s Eve Dresses For Under $50

Five days, 4 hours, 26 minutes and 20 seconds until 2015.

Until 2014 and everything it contains goes *poof* and we magically have this urgent desire to spend six hours a day in the gym.

Until Mean Girls replaces The Breakfast Club on Netflix.

Until the apocalypse, maybe.

The point here being that we should probably look fabulous, because, well, you never know what’s going to happen during those last crazy hours of 2014. So, in honor of the Curly Girls’ perpetual, college-related poverty and our insatiable enthusiasm for yet another holiday party, we’ve compiled a selection of affordable frocks to help you ring in the New Year. Introducing….

50-Perfect-New-Year-s-Eve-Dresses-Under-50_128

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Kohls4
$49.99, Kohls
JCPenney
$44.99, JCPenney
Windsor
$29.90, Winsdor
Windsor9
$49.90, Windsor
GoJane5
$39.58, GoJane
GoJane4
$29.18, GoJane
GoJane2
$44.78, GoJane
Romwe9
$32.67, Romwe (also seen on NastyGal for $40.95)
Romwe3
$18.33, Romwe
Modcloth5
$49.99, Modcloth
Charlotte Russe2
$26.99, Charlotte Russe
Forever21
$29.90, Forever21
Forever21 2
$39.90, Forever21
Forever21 8
$32.90, Forever21
Simply Dresses
$49.00, Simply Dresses
Simply Dresses 2
$49.00, Simply Dresses
Ruche
$48.99, Ruche
Macys3
$44.75, Macys
Sears
$49.99, Sears
Sears3
$49.99, Sears

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Kohls2
$46.99, Kohls
Windsor5
$36.90, Windsor
Modcloth
$49.99, Modcloth
Modcloth2
$49.99, Modcloth
Modcloth3
$49.99, Modcloth
Charlotte Russe4
$34.99, Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe6
$29.99, Charlotte Russe
Forever21 5
$27.80, Forever21
Victorias Secret
$34.99, Victoria’s Secret
Francescas
$39.98, Francescas
Macys
$20.99, Macys

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Windsor3
$34.90, Windsor
Windsor6
$39.90, Windsor
Windsor10
$29.90, Windsor
Romwe6
$14.67, Romwe
Romwe5
$11.67, Romwe
Romwe2
$13.33, Romwe
Charlotte Russe5
$28.99, Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe7
$32.99, Charlotte Russe
Forever21 7
$27.90, Forever21
Simply Dresses 3
$49.00, Simply Dresses

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Asos
$47.36, Asos
Asos2
$47.36, Asos
Windsor4
$34.90, Windsor
GoJane3
$25.98, GoJane
Romwe4
$17.67, Romwe
Charlotte Russe3
$36.99, Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe8
$34.99, Charlotte Russe
Forever21 6
$29.80, Forever21
Sears4
$26.99, Sears

We looked through hundreds of dresses at over twenty different stores for these beauts, so you can rest assured there’s no weak link in the chain.

No runt in the litter.

No fly in the glass of bargain Moscato.

Basically, they all rock.

Also, keep in mind that many of these dresses were on sale for the holidays, so it’d be best to snap at ’em while you can, before they’re sold out or the sales end.

As for shipping and handling, the prices listed do not include it. However, most online clothing stores offer free shipping on purchases of $50 or more, so if you really love the dress you can see what the site has to offer in the way of shoes and accessories. Might as well make an outfit out of it and get free shipping at the same time.

Anyhow, here’s to you, fair readers: may you look smashing in your New Year’s Eve outfits, may your midnight smooch buddy be incredibly hot, and may your drunk dancing skills miraculously emulate Beyoncé.

Get it.
Get it.