Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bachelor Update: Better Late Than Never!

I love this season of the Bachelor y'all! I've been so busy lately (you can check out one reason why here), so I haven't been posting weekly this season, but you know I'm always watching! Now we're down to the final three and so close to the end. So here's my take on the last few weeks. 

I was sad that Carly went home, but not at all surprised. She seems totally real to me, and made me laugh. But she and Chris were never going to leave the friend zone. I was SOOO ready for Britt to leave! Thank goodness Chris finally saw her true colors and gave her the boot. She was totally insincere, and it's no wonder all the girls saw right through her. Why is it so hard for guys to see what we see?
Britt is not impressed, and Chris is over it.
Since it's been a while since I've done a Bachelor post, I can't not mention the epic Ashley/Kelsey  smack down in the desert two on one date. Holy moly. 
The bitch face in this picture. Wow.
You guys. I. Can't. Even. This was one of my favorite Bachelor moments EVER. Like, EVER. I loved this so much. These two could not be more different, and it was amazing to watch this happen. It really made me so happy. And thank you Chris for sending both of these ladies home. Even though for entertainment value, I do miss them on the show. 

Anyway, back to this week's episode. We're down to the final three, and you know what that means....Fantasy Suites! It was the week of overnight dates, which always make for good TV. Chris's first date was with Kaitlyn. 

They hang out with some crazy monkeys, then have a pretty uneventful dinner. The most interesting part of the date was Chris telling Kaitlyn he was falling in love with her. Wait, what? Can he do that? I don't remember a Bachelor ever telling a girl that on the show before. I guess Chris really is breaking all the rules this season!

Whitney's date is next, and again, it's pretty uneventful. Except that she tells him she's totally OK with leaving behind an amazing career in a very big city to move to Arlington and pop out babies. Match made in heaven. They're in love, and we all know he's picking her, right?

On to Becca's date. She's super worried about telling Chris that she's a virgin, but considering it's fantasy suite week, now's the time! Of course, he was totally OK with it, they love each other, same old same old. Or is it? She doesn't actually tell Chris she's in love with him, because she's never been in love before and doesn't exactly know how that feels. But she thinks she might be. This apparently threw poor Chris for a loop. A girl isn't ready to marry you and move to the middle of nowhere away from her family after dating for a few weeks on national television? She must be crazy, right? Props to Becca for being a little more cautious and moving a little more slowly.

At the rose ceremony no one wears booty shorts, (Seriously, somebody needs to buy these girls some bigger pants! All three of them this episode needed one of Jillian's black censor bars across their backsides. I don't need to see your booty ladies!), and Chris is obviously still confused, even after chatting with Chris Harrison, so he pulls Becca aside to talk.

This is where everyone thought that Chris was going to send her home and Whitney and Kaitlyn would be the final two. Apparently, Kaitlyn thought so as well! Poor girl was totally blindsided when Chris returned WITH Becca, and Kaitlyn was the one he sent packing. I felt so bad for her. She's been my favorite this season. But on the bright side, can she please be the next Bachelorette? Because that would be AH-mazing! She's hilarious!

Team Kaitlyn!

So, my take on the situation is this. I think at this point in the game Chris has the strongest feeling for Becca, but isn't sure she feels as strongly about him. Or that she's ready to commit to marriage and moving to small town Iowa. With Whitney he knows she's ready and all in, so she's a safer bet. Just my opinion.

In conclusion, Chris will pick Whitney because Becca isn't ready to commit, and I vote Kaitlyn for the next Bachelorette. Also, next week is The Women Tell All - my FAVORITE! And is is sure to be a doozy this season! That is all!

xo, Summer

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Oscar Fashion Wrap Up

I love awards show season! I look forward to it every year. I wasn't sure I was going to have a moment to get this post in, but I carved one out, because there are so many looks to mention from last night's Academy Awards. I'm going to keep this short and to the point. Here are my some of my favorite looks.

The Ladies 
Rosamund Pike in Givenchy. 
This woman just had a baby y'all. She is amazing. But I'm still scared of her a little bit.

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive.
She always gets it right. Always.

Emma Stone in Elie Saab.
I know not everyone loved this dress, but to me Emma Stone is always perfection. Total girl crush. Love her.

Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent. 
Again, not everyone's cup of tea, but I dug it. She is SO gorgeous.

Chloe Grace Moretz in Miu Miu.
How adorable is she? Maybe not the cutest pattern, but she looks great. So pretty. And I'm a sucker for a gown with pockets!

Cate Blanchett in Maison Margiela by John Galiano (I hope I got that right).
Queen Cate. That is all.

Sienna Miller in Oscar de la Renta.
It may not have been the most amazing dress of the night, but she's another girl crush of mine that can do no wrong. I love my Sienna.

Jennifer Lopez in Elie Saab.
I mean, no words are necessary.

Hot Couples
Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo, both in Armani Prive.

Chris Pratt and Anna Faris in Tom Ford and Zuhair Murad.
I adore this couple. They look fabulous, and don't you wish you could hang out with them?

Andy Samberg and Joanna Newsom, in Zegna and Honor.
I LOVE me some Andy Samberg. He's so funny and adorable. I don't know who is wife is, but I'm loving her dress, and the earring is perfect. Bravo.

The Men
Ansel Elgort in Prada.
I love a navy suit, and he's adorable. Who knew he was so tall?

Eddie Redmayne in Alexander McQueen. 
Another blue suit. He's just so darn likeable.

Ryan Seacrest in Ryan Seacrest Distinction.
So handsome and dapper.

Now for the bad part. My picks for worst dressed. I don't like to be mean, but here they are.

The Bad
Marion Cotillard in Dior Couture.
From the front, not terrible, though she does kind of look like a Connect Four game. But the back......Yikes.

Felicity Jones in Alexander McQueen.
I did not care for this from the waist up. But she's beautiful.

Jessica Chastain in Givenchy.
Love the color, especially with her hair, but that's all I loved about this.

Scarlett Johansson in Versace.
Again, love the color. Her hair and makeup are cool. But the neck piece....Otherwise, she may have been on my best dressed list. Her body looks amazing. But I'm not even looking at her body, I'm looking at her weird collar.

Who were your favorites from the Oscars? Any favorite moments from the show?

xo, Summer

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Cold Weather Chili with Cornbread Waffles

Just when I thought winter was officially over here in Las Vegas BOOM! Mother Nature sweeps in with a snow day to snap me out of my springtime daydream. Snow, really? In Vegas? Just last week it was almost 80 degrees! Oh well, another week or so of scarves and boots is just fine by me! Because that means it's chili weather! My chili recipe is one that I am rather proud of if I do say so myself. I like to serve it with cornbread. A while back we started playing around with all the different things you can make in a waffle iron (more on that in an upcoming post!), and guess what? Cornbread waffles rock! It's so much faster than baking in the oven! Here's what you'll need for my cold weather chili. As usual, I don't always measure or follow the recipe exactly, so use your judgement and preferences.
About 1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, mashed
1-2 small cans diced green chilies
2-3 cans diced tomatoes
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4-1/3 cup chili powder
Dash balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Box of cornbread mix (I like the sweet kind) and necessary ingredients

Brown your ground beef, then drain. Cook the onions and garlic in oil and add in your green chilies and chili powder. Mix well, then add the rest of your ingredients and your ground beef. Simmer, covered, for an hour or two, stirring from time to time. Add extra water if necessary. Top with grated cheese and sour cream.

For the cornbread, mix according to the package directions. You can bake it in the oven following the directions on the box, or go waffle style! To do that, it's super easy. Heat your waffle iron, the spray with Pam. It only takes a couple of minutes to cook through, and I think it's a cute and fun way to make all kinds of things. 

With the cold snowy weather all over the county, this would be a perfect family meal to warm you up! It's a go-to in our house for sure!

xo, Summer

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A Whirlwind Week!

I am so proud of my not-so-tiny-anymore dancer!

My blog posts have been seriously lacking the last couple of weeks. Sometimes life gets in the way, ya know? We have been going nonstop, in both good and not so good ways. Sometimes things just seem to happen all at once. Between school and dance classes for the little, a broken car (boo), family members in the hospital (yikes), a new baby niece (yay!), having to buy a new car (eh), selling the broken one (good riddance!), and dance rehearsals for my baby girl's Smith Center debut (more on that in a sec), I haven't had a moment to breathe, let alone blog! But, I'm hoping this week things will settle down a bit and we can get back to our boring (in a good way!), normal life. 

So back to my little dancer's big show....I am such a proud momma! 

Mason dances at the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theater, and is going on her fifth year there. This is her first year to be out of the children's program and officially a part of their pre-professional ballet program. She couldn't love it more. This child lives and breathes dance. We even installed a mirror and ballet barre in our upstairs loft for her. She says to me on a regular basis, "Dance is my life, Mom!". So when she was included in the group of Academy students asked to perform in Nevada Ballet Theatre's Gala Performance: Dance Among the Stars celebration of co-founder Nancy Houssels' birthday, she was thrilled to get the chance to dance at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. This was definitely the biggest stage she has ever performed on, and it's such a beautiful venue. She's not old enough to audition for the annual Nutcracker production there yet, so when this opportunity presented itself she could not have been happier. She actually cried when I told her! And not only was it getting to dance at the Smith Center with Nevada Ballet that was so awesome, but they were also joined by Lil Buck, Frankie Moreno, and dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. It was such a spectacular night filled with unforgettable performances, and I know it was so special to my little girl. I wish I had more pictures to share, but of course no photography is allowed in the theatre. You can check out Nevada Ballet Theatre's facebook page for a few highlights though. 

This kid loves the stage, and loves to dance, and I couldn't love her more!

xo, Summer

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tortellini Soup with Cheesy Garlic Bread

I can't take credit for this recipe - it's my mom's. And honestly, this was my first attempt at making it, even though I love it when she does! It's easy tortellini soup, and it's perfect for when you're not feeling great or when it's cold outside. Not that it's cold outside here in Vegas - 80 degrees in the middle of February is hardly winter, but I'm always up for soup! This one goes great with garlic cheese bread! Here's what you'll need:

Chicken broth - 
2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes
Frozen spinach (as much or as little as you like)
1 box of tortellini
2 cloves garlic, or chopped garlic to taste
1 tablespoon butter
Parmesan cheese (to taste, and for garnish)

Boil your pasta according to the package directions in the chicken broth until it's not quite done.

 Add your other ingredients, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

How easy is that? Spoon it into a bowl, sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top, and done! We serve ours with garlic cheese bread. Here's what you'll need for that:

1 loaf French bread, sliced lengthwise
Garlic Powder
Shredded CHEESE!!!

Heat your oven to 400. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, then spread onto the bread. Use your judgement on amounts for this one. I just put whatever looks good at the time-no measuring. :) Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.

Slice and serve!

Such a simple, delicious meal! It was a hit in the Smith house. I already knew I loved it, but it got the hubby's seal of approval as well. We'll definitely be making this one again! I hope you try it!

xo, Summer

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Wearing my Heart on My Sleeve

There is the cutest little boutique so close to my daughter's dance studio called Best Kept Secret. Every once in a while when the kiddo is dancing I head over to kill some time, and I find it nearly impossible to leave empty handed. The clothes are super adorable, and bonus - affordable! I recently found this heart print top for less than $40. Can't beat it! Love this store! If you live in the Las Vegas area, you NEED to check it out! 

Also, I know, ANOTHER Valentine's inspired post. Sorry! Last one! Promise!

Heart Blouse: Best Kept Secret - exact also available here / White Skinnies: H&M - similar here / White Tassel Clutch: Banana Republic (suuuuper old) - similar options here and here / Red Bow Pumps: (old) - similar here and here (I wish I could afford these-if you can, bravo!) / Bow Bracelet: Old Navy - similar here

xo, Summer

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day is Even Taking Over My Workout Wear!

Ok, I admit, this year I have gone nuts for anything with a heart printed on it. I don't usually go this crazy for a holiday (except Christmas, of course), but there are just so many adorable things out there right now! And I can't resist. This hoodie actually came from the little girls section at Target. I buy myself things from time to time while browsing for my daughter. They didn't have this one in her size - bummer. But someone had to have it! So I took one for the team! I'm staying in the V-Day spirit even at the gym!

Hearts Hoodie: Target / Pink Leggings: New Balance-similar here / Shoes: Nike

xo, Summer

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