Indulgence

DIY Jeweled Clutch

Looking for a weekend project? Check out Laura’s DIY clutch. Gorgeous!

Oh Wize One

I am addicted to statement pieces. Seriously when something speaks to me I drop the cash and leave my logic at home. I’m beginning to understand  that spending big money on pieces I am only going to wear on occasion is irrational.

I love evening clutches but they are expensive and too small to carry for everyday wear. I have been wanting a clear acrylic clutch so I ordered this one off ebay for $8. When I got it I thought it needed some sparkle!

For this project you will need:

Clear acrylic clutch

Assorted rhinestones

E6000

DSCN0697

Step One

Lay your clutch on a flat work surface. Plan out your design making sure you work around the larger rhinestones first.

DSCN0701

Step Two:

Spread a small amount of glue on the back of the rhinestone and attach it to the purse. Be sure to let the stones dry for at least 5 hours…

View original post 61 more words

Peep-ology: The Science and Art of Sugar-coated Marshmallow

It’s almost Easter. That means it’s hunting season at local grocery stores for those sweet, sweet creatures called Peeps. You know that marshmallow goodness shaped vaguely like baby chickens and smothered in neon-colored sugar crystals.

To check out the manufacturing process of these sweet little guys and gals, check out this Chicago Tribune slide show.

Not only does MentalFloss.com give us 16 delicious facts about our favorite Easter candy, they verify what we all know: That yellow is still our favorite color Peep, but they do offer Peeps in a variety of colors.

This year, the company behind Peeps announced it will introduce a light green variety. How does lime fudge float your boat?

If you are lucky enough to live by a Target that showcases this chromatic display, you should have no problem finding a color to fit your Easter theme…and taste buds, of course.

Peeps & Co. in Mall of America

You are even luckier if you live in Minnesota and frequent the Mall of America because you can visit Peeps & Company– one of three flagship stores from Peeps originator, Just Born.

Other locations are located in National Harbor, Maryland, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Outside of the traditional marshmallow candies, you can find apparel, office gear, scented Yankee candles, and sporting equipment.

As you’ll note, Just Born is also the parent company of Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike.

If one little Peep — or a 4-pack– may not cut it, curb your Peep craving by constructing this giant Peep cake from the Food Network.

Peep Cake

BaconToday.com shows us how to enjoy this sugary confection covered in chocolate…and of course, BACON! Could it be true that even Peeps are better with bacon?

I have the same issues with Easter Peeps that I do with Thanksgiving Turkey– What do I do with the leftovers?

PopSugar.com has some suggestions for you, including Peep-za,

Peep-za

Peepshi,

Peepshi

or S’mores.

S’mores

Of course if you are competitive eater, Matt Stonie, wouldn’t have leftovers.

Peep Milk does a body better than any other form of Peep. Not sure that pouring this on your Fruit Loops will taste like…perhaps trying it as flavoring in your coffee?

Perhaps you would rather drink your Peeps in a “harder” form. Check out WikiHow to learn how to make Peeps Vodka.

Peeps Vodka

Have yet to find a Peep to fall in love with? This year, the company behind Peeps tweeted it will introduce the white Peep. These chicks are mysterious, and we know that every man loves a girl shrouded in mystery.

If you aren’t into eating them as much as playing with them, you enter the Washington Post’s annual Peep diorama contest. I love the masterpiece that celebrated the anniversary of Pride and Prejudice zombie style.

Artist David Ottogalli hosts the site PeepsShow.com where he showcases his own art and photography of Peep creations. His KF Peeps or “All Cooped Up” are definitely worth a closer investigation. (His images are copyrighted or I would have included an example here, but scoot on over to his website here.  It’s worth a quick view for the background alone.

BadCasserole.com will show you how to use Peeps to completely cover your cubicle.

They not only covered the entire ceiling, they blocked out the window, covered the desk and the keyboard platform as well. Funny that their friend wasn’t necessarily a fan of the legendary Peep.

Too much work?  How about a Peep-themed video game…or two? At I-Mockery.com, you can play Peepsteroids or Peep Invaders computer games.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 1.36.42 PM

Interested in learning more? PeepResearch.org houses studies on how Peeps react to cold and hot, low-pressure environments, and Quintuplet separation surgeries. Perhaps most scientifically entertaining is their 3-part study on the effects of Alcohol and Smoking on our favorite little marshmallow sinners.

Study of the effects of smoking and alcohol on Peeps

Seems many people are obsessed with the science of Peep torture. TenHolder.net will show you how to take your traditional yellow peep and turn it into poop. That’s right, poop.

 Or you can do what Chief Scientist, Carl Nelson, did and put Peeps in a vacuum chamber.

And if those aren’t enough ways to torture a Peep, this blog gives you 100 ways to Kill a Peep, including by Jeep, grated, and of course, Luke Peepwalker.

Millikin University took it to a new level when they did research on Peeps’ abilities’ to do research.  You can check that out here.

Research on Peeps Doing Research

But don’t think these sweet divas want to stay in the laboratory, they have dreams of stardom as well. Filmmaker Adam Rifkin has optioned film and TV rights along with his partners for the Peeps candy. Just Born, the company pushing out Peeps all over the country, has sprung for a full-length family feature film in the style of the Lego Movie. The film will show the story of “a wayward Peep gets misplaced and must adventure through the fantasy lands of different-themed dioramas before the contest’s judging begins,” according to Deadline.com.

This wouldn’t be their first foray in Hollywood though. They guest starred on South Park’s Fantastic Easter Special where they were microwaved and saved the day.

South Park

They already know how to handle the paparazzi. ABC News featured pictures snapped from Peeps all over the world. Apparently, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there too long.

Photo by Kristen Hanson/National Geographic Traveler

Photo by Kristen Hanson/National Geographic Traveler

Psst! Hey, you…yeah, over here.  Wanna see the back room?

It’s NSFW (not safe for work) but you can see Peeps pinned to female parts here.

And yet, if none of this does anything for you…I mean, AT ALL, you can always join Ivan Knauer, who is probably the most vocal anti-Peep activist on Earth.

RECIPE: Super Easy Pasta Sauce

by Pitmaster Jimi James

In this day and age, everyone seems to always be in a rush.  Whether it’s work, sports, household chores, or just plain life, it seems the last thing we want to do is figure out the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?”.

It’s too easy these days to just to go to a fast food place and get something. Quick but always unfulfilling.

I sometimes do that myself too, but for me anyway, I HAVE to cook. It’s therapy for me. Plus when you make the meal, you’re the one putting smiles on everybody’s faces, and you’re the reason everyone is enjoying that meal.

And of course, I truly believe it brings a family closer together. After the meal is made, everyone sits down and has a conversation about the day. It’s just more relaxing to make the dinner and enjoy your family than rush through another vat of deep-fried stuff with sauce that covers up the flavor.

Today, the sauce IS the flavor. I’m sharing my super easy pasta sauce. No. This isn’t one that is slaved over for hours and all from scratch, but I guarantee your family will eat up. It won’t matter if you put this over spaghetti, add macaroni noodles to it or use it to make a lasagna. It’s simple, and I just gave you three ideas to use it for a dinner.

So let’s get to it.  Shall we?

Ingredients

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef or chuck
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 1 – 45 oz. jar traditional pasta sauce
  • 2 – 14.5 oz. cans of Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 2  – 4 oz. cans of mushrooms
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced fine
  • 2 Tbsp. Sweet Basil
  • 2 Tbsp. Oregano
  • ¾ cup Parmesan-Romano cheese
  • 1 – 10 oz. can tomato soup
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ Tbsp. sugar (to take the edge of tartness) ** optional

1.  Let’s start by browning the ground beef.

Meat

 

Don’t forget to season the beef. The rule of thumb for ground beef is 1 tsp. black pepper and 2 tsp. salt for every pound of ground beef. We are going to cook the ground beef on medium-high heat. After the beef is browned, go ahead and drain the grease from the beef in a colander.

2.  Now, add the beef to a 5- to 8-quart sauce pot.

3.  Next, add your diced onion to the beef and cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat– just so the onions start getting soft.

4.  Add the pasta sauce.

5.  Open and drain the mushrooms and add them to the sauce.

6.  Open the stewed tomatoes and just drain half the sauce from each can.  Crush the tomatoes by hand and add to the sauce.

7.  Now, add the rest of ingredients to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes on medium low.

 

Like I said, once done, you can put this sauce over spaghetti or use it to make lasagna. It’s super easy and won’t take forever to make a meal.

Sauce

Stay hungry, my friends. Until next time…

He’s 75 Today, But His Contributions are Timeless

by Kristie LeVangie

Seventy-five years ago, a woman gave birth to one of the most influential icons of American fashion.

Born in New York in 1939 as Ralph Lifshitz, Ralph was the son of a house painter and came from humble beginnings. His first foray into fashion began in high school where he sold neckties to his fellow classmates.

At age 16, he would change his name to the iconic Ralph Lauren.  He didn’t like his given name because it had the word “shit” in it as he would tell Oprah in a later interview.  He was often made fun of for this.

After high school, Ralph went on to Baruch College where he began to study business.  Two years later, he would drop out and serve in the U.S. Army.  He left the Army to work a brief stint at Brooks Brothers before landing a job in a tie company as a salesman.

At age 26, he was inspired to begin designing his own ties and pitched an idea for a wide European-style necktie to his company.  It was rejected, so he left to break out on his own.

Working out of The Empire State Building, Lauren took rags and turned them into his own designed neckties.  He would then sell them to small New York shops until his fate turned when Neiman Marcus placed an order for 100 dozen!

Just one year later, he would open his own necktie store where he would sell ties under the label of “Polo” with the backing of the famous clothing manufacturer, Norman Hilton.

Four years later, Ralph expanded his line and opened a boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

In 1970, Ralph Lauren would go on to win the COTY Award for his menswear line and enter the realm of women’s fashion introducing a line of tailored suits.  This was also the debut of the iconic Polo logo.

His famous Polo shirt would be unveiled in 1972 and was available in 24 colors.  Today, this is still a classic staple of the Lauren line.

Fast forward to 1997, the Ralph Lauren Corporation became a public company.

Ralph_Lauren_2013Today, one man’s dream to sell neckties has turned into a billion dollar business, and Forbes places Lauren as the 19th richest person in the world with over 35 U.S. boutiques and many other retailers carrying the Ralph Lauren label.

Ralph Lauren exemplifies an individual who strived to reach his goals despite the obstacles and haters placed in front of him.  He knew what he wanted, and he set out to get it through hard work and raw talent.

Ralph Lauren, we salute you as an inspiration and raise a glass to 75 years of awesome!

clothing-brands-for-mentop-10-costliest-clothing-brands-for-men-flavors-of-thought-qeww5fld

0918ralphlauren

Chicken and Biscuits Casserole

Pitmaster Jimi James

 

 

by Pitmaster Jimi James

 

Well this week, I’m feeling a little under the weather with a sinus cold, so I decided that instead of chicken noodle soup from a can, I would be more creative and make something that would stick to my ribs.

Ribs– now that’s a previous article, you can check that one out here.

Back to this dinner though.

This is a meal that is quick and easy, packed with flavor, and everyone will love it!!!

The best part is you can put it together in a matter of minutes. This is the perfect dish for fall, the cold weather that is ahead, busy evenings, or you could bring it to a friend/family member just for the hell of it.

Here is what you’ll need:

First, let’s grab an 11×7 baking dish and a cookie sheet.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grab these:.

  • 1 (10.5 oz) can of broccoli cheese soup
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of potato soup
  • 2/3 cup of whole milk
  • ½ tsp. seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups chicken, grilled and diced
  • 1 package biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands)

Okay, let’s put this together, and you’ll be bashin’ before ya know it!!!!

1.)  Grill enough chicken for 2 cups. I used two breasts. Make sure you cook the chicken until done. Check with a thermometer. The internal temp should be 150 degrees.

2.) Once the chicken has cooled down a little (about 15 minutes), dice into bite-size pieces and set aside. Now, let’s move on to our next step.

3.) In a medium to large bowl, combine the broccoli cheese soup and cream of potato soup.

Soups

4.) Next we’re going to add the whole milk.  Then fold it together. Don’t over-mix, or you’ll break up the potatoes too much.

Milk

5.) Add in all the spices. I measure all my spices out on a paper plate and then add them to the mix I have started all at once.

6.) Add the mixed vegetables and carefully fold them in.

Vegetables

7.) Next, add in your diced chicken.  The mixture will look thick and creamy.

8.) Now get your 11×7 baking pan.  Pour the mixture in the pan, and level it out.

9.) Bake the mix for about 20 minutes, or until it’s bubbling.

10.) Now get those biscuits out, and put them on a cookie sheet. Follow the directions on the can of biscuits.

Biscuits

OOOOHHHHHH…it’s almost done at this point. Who’s hungry???

Let’s plate our meal.

I put my biscuit or biscuits on a plate and spoon the chicken casserole mixture over top.

Plate

That’s it!!!!! Now you can make something quick, easy, and delicious, and it won’t take you all day in the kitchen.

 

Stay hungry, my friends!!!  Until next time…

Back to Basics: Boiled Eggs

Pitmaster Jimi James

 

 

by Pitmaster Jimi James

 

I know we are going into fall, which by the way is the best season of all the seasons we have (if I haven’t told you enough yet).  Of course, where I live it can change seasons four times in the same day!

Welcome to Ohio

 

One question for recipes that comes up more than any other is:

“How can I make perfect boiled eggs?”

Well, you’re in luck.  I’m gonna share my way to make perfect boiled eggs, and it’s simple and very easy. Your eggs will peel easily, come out soft and the yolks will be a nice bright yellow color– not that greenish Sam I Am color!!!

So go grab these ingredients, a pot, and a timer, and then come on back!!!

Pot

Get a pot with a lid, big enough for 6 eggs . . . .

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp. distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt

 

1.) Put the eggs in the pot and cover with cold water. Turn the heat on medium high to slowly let the heat build in the water.

Eggs in Pot

2.) As the water heats up, you’ll notice bubbles starting to form. Once you start seeing little bubbles, add 2 tsp. of distilled vinegar and 1 tsp. of salt.

Eggs in Pot Boiling

SaltVinegar

3.) Now you will want to grab that timer I talked about earlier when you grabbed that pot.

Timer

4.) When the water comes to a rolling boil, set your timer for two minutes.  (Not one minute like shown above…two!)

5.) When the timer goes off, put the lid on the pot and take it off the heat.

6.) Now set the timer for 15 minutes and just walk away.  When you return, they will be done cooking.  What you are doing is finishing the eggs without overcooking them.

7.) After the timer goes off, dump out the water carefully and run cold water over the eggs until you can hold them in your hands. This should take about 10 minutes or so.

8.) Now just crack the shell on the side of the sink and peel.  At this point, you’ll see why we added the vinegar and salt.  They help the shell come off the egg so easily.

Boiled Eggs

The eggs on the left are what we are creating. The eggs on the right is what many of you are used to.

Follow this recipe to a “T”, and you’ll always have perfect eggs from now on.  And yes, I do hear some of you out there already asking: “So how do I turn these into perfect deviled eggs?”.

I’ll get on that soon.  Baby steps.  It’s a Back to Basics lesson.

Final Egg Pic

 

Stay hungry, my friends.  Until next time!!!

FASHION: Males Are Now Going to Great Lengths

by Kristie LeVangie

Hair extensions used to be reserved for women.

Well…not anymore.

Celebs like Justin Bieber,

Bieber

Harry Styles,

Harry_Styles_Sydney

and David Beckham

14554195133_11dbda1a5c_h

have men feeling as self-conscious about what they have “on top” as they are about what’s on the bottom.

Salons in the U.K. are reporting as much as a 200% increase in male hair extension interest.  Whether it’s length, texture or volume, men are seeking ways to emulate the stars and enhance their coiffure beauty.

One of the companies leading this revolution was Great Lengths.  Check out some of their amazing transformations here:

Extensions aren’t just for men who want to make a statement.  They are for any man who wants to maintain his youthful mane, and for some can be a viable alternative to the scary “plugs” or surgical hair replacement procedures.

We say two thumbs up to this male beauty trend.  What do you think, men?  Would you ever?