4 Ingredient Four-get About Winter Cocktail

For many of you living in the North East, you know that Winter is more of a lifestyle than a season. This time of year can be particularly menacing for your travel plans and if you don’t enjoy winter sports (or at least the snow) then you’re pretty much going to be miserable for 4-5 months.

I, fortunately, embrace Winter and all that it brings, but those of you who don’t may be thirsty for some sort of escape. Well have no fear, I have found a remedy for your seasonal-affect disorder AND dissatisfied tastebuds!
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This vacation in a mason(jar) cocktail has appeared just in time to get you through the notorious February Freeze! I came up with this cocktail the other night because I was feeling disinterested in the usual Kraken and Coke, and I must say it was one of my better concoctions! four-get-about-it-shaker-ingredients

I have a known knack for getting creative but have a significantly lower success record for creating cocktails that S. likes. However, he thoroughly enjoyed this one, so I figured it was worth sharing!

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(Disclaimer: I am not certain if he liked it due to flavor or the fact that it was quite strong and we hadn’t yet eaten dinner…) Regardless, it was a winner so here y’all go:

Four-Get About Winter! 

Makes: 2 (rather strong) Cocktails

Ingredients:

1 Cup (8oz) – Sweetened Lemonade (I recommend from the mix so you can control the level of sweetness)

4 oz  Vodka (doesn’t need to be good quality)

1 Navel/Large Orange (peeled)

1 Cup (8oz) – Decent-Quality White Wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)

*Optional 5th Ingredient* – Either shake with ice or, if you’re less dedicated to the name’s pun, use frozen tropical fruit mix to chill and add more flave!

How To:

  1. Slice and peel orange and place in shaker with either frozen ice or fruit, vodka and lemonade. 

  2. Shake mixture until shaker feels quite cold. 

  3. In two glasses (I used mason jars for cute-ness), equally divide the cup of white wine.

  4. Top off wine with the lemonade, fruit/ice, and vodka mixture. 

  5. Cheers! And, Enjoy Responsibly of course! 😉 

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Did you try it? Are your Winter Woes remedied? Let me know what you think in the comments! ♥

XOXO,

Emmie

 

My 5 Tips to a Healthy Lifestyle

First things first: Long time no see peeps! I realize it’s been quite a long while since I last checked in. I could easily give you a myriad of reasons as why that is, but, instead I think it’ll just be easier for me to apologize and just move on ahead with this post!

So, I am sorry I’ve been gone for so long! I hope you can forgive me and that we can go back to being besties!

Now, onto today’s post:

We are well into this new year and by now you may be close to letting that drive to a “New Year, New You” slip away and getting lost behind the hustle and bustle of what has certainly been a bumpy start to 2017.

Before you let those hopes get lost in your busy lives, just take a minute to hear my few tips to a healthy lifestyle that help me stay on track and live a healthy lifestyle even with the stresses that accompany an undergraduate senior as she maintains a full course load, 3.9 GPA and a 30 hour-work week!

  1. First of all, take time to care for yourself! This can be anything from painting your nails, to doing a face mask, to listening to music, to having 10 min of media “time-out” time during the day. One of the most important things I’ve learning is that you must be mentally stable in order to be happy with your successes. You can reach that 4.0 semester and still be dissatisfied if you aren’t feeling happy and life yourself. And really, whether it be good grades or getting a promotion at work, unless you are doing these things for yourself and because it makes you happy, these accomplishments will simply feel like a to-do list rather than a success. (Trust me, I’ve been there money is inciting but if you aren’t in it for the right reasonings you won’t be as happy as you deserve to be.)
  2. Find a hobby. Find something that is completely different from your job, or maybe even not so different from your job if you are lucky enough to love what you do, and really delve into exploring this thing. Growing up I always had music and at times, after declaring my Music Major, the last thing I wanted to do after three hours of music theory homework was to come home and play more. During these times, I would bake and ever since whenever I feel stressed or really burnt out and music, or self-care aren’t enough baking fills that void. Now, I still loved music but after having it taken from a hobby and made into what felt like a job, in which I had to compete impress my peers and had immense pressure to succeed, I needed some space. This brings me to my third tip:
  3. IT’S OKAY TO NEED SPACE! In this time of history there is an overwhelming amount of pressure to be constantly around people. Now for some of those lucky ducks who are true extroverts you are probably thriving in this 21st century lifestyle and you can disregard this tip. But for the many others out, like myself, there who are feeling truly overwhelmed. Know this: it is totally and 100% okay to need time alone. This is something that I have grappled with feeling guilty about for many years and only recently did I realize you don’t need to feel guilty to want to be alone. And if the people you choose to call friends are really good friends they will understand because realistically they also like to have alone time from time time. Remember, there is a BIG difference between taking time to be alone and being lonely. So, don’t let people assume you are lonely if you can be enough entertainment and can satisfy your needs without the help and company of others!
  4. Exercise! I have always been an active person. I played sports, took Karate lessons, and was generally high energy, however, when I went to school a few years back I fully embraced the I’m a college student now I’m too stressed to work out mindset. That is until about six months ago. I got super involved with outdoor activities, like tennis and running, over the summer and made it a goal to stay active even into the depths of a bitter Pittsburgh winter. This goal has totally met, if not exceeded, the expectations I had when it was first set. I feel better, both physically and mentally, and working out has become a great hobby and stress relief for me. I recommend taking some type of group workout class if you don’t feel you’ll be able to maintain a routine during busy times. I find having friends and others around, who are also aiming to better themselves mentally and physically, really help hold me accountable not only to work harder and push past the tough, tiring times but also simply make it more fun!
  5. Eat well. I am a firm believer in the philosophy of: you get out of your body the same effort that you put into it. This mean is you don’t put good things in, nothing good will come out. So, if you want to feel good on the inside and outside, you should be giving your body good foods and nutrients. These good foods and vitamins and other factors of a healthy lifestyle are vital because, your other healthy changes will only be half-way felt if you are still eating toaster pastries and burgers 24/7. I have to admit living on a college budget (which essentially means a negative bank account for the next 10 years) eating healthy sounded initially intimidating.But, I now realize this was yet another excuse and assumption that I have since proved false. Don’t get me wrong there are some stores and places that often up-charge to make healthy items more expensive (likely with the goal of making these items feel exclusive) but realistically eating well should not break the bank! As someone with numerous food allergies I have first hand experience with the frustration that accompanies seeing a $6 jar of sunflower seed butter next to a $2 jar of peanut butter. But, it is important to realize that yes gourmet nut or no-nut butter’s are going to more expensive but you don’t have to go gourmet in order to go good. Use coupons and shop around at places like Aldi and Sam’s club where you can buy staples like Oats and Veggies in bulk at a fraction of the price. Experiment with freezing fruits and veggies and lean proteins. Try a generic brand of coconut milk. And READ THE INGREDIENTS LIST!

I hope that these tips are helpful and I would love to hear your comments on how you stay healthy both mentally and physically. I am also always open to questions and will answer them to the best of my ability and as quickly as possible!

I hope you are staying sane in this crazy atmosphere that 2017 has created thus far, I know I am trying my best but we shall see! I suppose its a good thing I’ve started this blog with the understanding that things might get weird from time to time!

Later for now alligators!

XOXO,

Emmie

The “WolfPack” Takes Vegas

No, sadly there will be no cameo’s made by the real deal “three-best-friends”of the Hangover “Wolfpack” on our family trip to Las Vegas… at least none planned… But, Zach or Ed or Bradley if you are in the area hit me up that would be one heck of a birthday present! ;P

Two years in the making “Peffer’s Take Vegas”, as my father and uncle have so aptly named, is the cumulative celebration of many exciting recent and upcoming occasions so we are going all out on this trip. Whilst we will be staying in a hotel, obviously, aside from the very first night so I will try and video document our all-nighter shenanigans of that first night and upload that so you can see what we do! ( I have heard all-nighters in Vegas are quite common… however, I have never pulled an active all-nighter so we shall see how I do!)

Any ways, as if I haven’t said it enough: I am going to LAS VEGAS BABY! Which means a full few days of good food, good times and *predictably* good weather! Now all of those things are also easily found in Pittsburgh, but recently the good weather part has been lacking due to a seemingly very confused climate. I am so incredibly excited to share my outfits, activities and the great food that we will be eating so there will likely be some new more lifestyle-ish posts coming off of this trip (provided I don’t get swamped with school work once we return *fingers crossed*), so stay tuned for the details on what doesn’t stay in Vegas; though anything does go so we shall see!

Peace out for now!

XOXO

 

 

 

Rainy Days and Mac & Cheese Never Get Me Down

 

There are very few things that inspire me as much as good music and food. So, to set up the scene: imagine a rainy October in the library, listening to some good, new tunes (after spending the weekend singing and rehearsing) strolling through some Pins. When, all of the sudden a mystical new idea comes into your mind; sprung of the seeds that a three week hiatus from grocery shopping will produce. “BBQ Mac & Cheese”. Seeing that phrase initiated a hunger that (when paired with my lack of lunch) made my mouth water more than a meal had in a LOOONNNGGGG time! (Probably as long as it’s been since my last post!)

So here it is!

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The before: even this looks great!
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The after… I mean come on. My mouth is watering all over again!

It looks D-LISH, right!? Well, let me tell you, it tasted even better! I took into account nearly 5 different recipes to make this dish. And, really, I think that it is therein where the beauty of a good Mac & Cheese dish lies; you can get creative!

 

 

 

Sunny Day, SunnyButter

It’s not every day that you get to just sit around and do a whole lot of nothing… However, when those magical days do come along their rarity should be treasured with the full belief that it will never come again! At least thats what I do because, in the lifestyle that I live – that is the one of a full time student, working three part time jobs, maintaing a healthy long-term relationship and a functioning social life – it may very well be the case that a day just to myself never does happen. (At least it sure feels that way sometimes!)

Anyways, I am currently still glowing from the glory that was the entire day of full of relaxation and me-time I had all to myself yesterday. And a day spend focusing on my sanity and recuperating from a long, hectic first week of the semester was just what I needed. It provided me with time to appreciate the hard work I’d put in this summer and also just reflect on everything that has happened in the past few months.

I completed what was the most professionally demanding Summer yet, working more than full time at three different jobs (two of which were paid internships). I also traveled with my university choir on our first international tour on and got closer with my fellow choir ladies than I’d ever expected possible! I also took one of the biggest steps of my life by moving int0 an apartment with my long-term boyfriend. The two of us also went on our first family vacation together with my mothers side and he saw sides of my personal life that I had yet to show anyone, and, despite this new insight (surprisingly) he still loves me just the same which is all I can hope for!

Coming off of such an eventful Summer, I also experienced a sentiment entirely new to me. That is: I was excited for the school year to start and for things to SLOW down! I know that it is an entirely novel idea to conceive but we shall see if my senior year is in fact more relaxing than the Summer. Only time will tell!

Now, to the actual point of today’s post. Whilst enjoying a day all to myself, I had some free time (obvi) to enjoy making one of my new favorite treats: SunButter Cups! I am still quite the rookie-blogger so I forgot to document the process of making these deliciously decadent and HEALTHY treats. I will make another post with the recipe sometime soon, but for now I just wanted to make a little plug about them!

Digression time! I have had my allergies (rather I have been aware of them) since 4th grade. When, while enjoying some lovely oyster stew I became part of a twisted Hitch reenactment; ears quintuple the size and hives covering 75% percent of body and all! My dad, ever the humorist, still makes causal party talk of the incident to this day and in hindsight if you put the utter fear and shock I was experiencing aside, the event may admittedly have some slapstick comedic value.

Digression aside, that night lead me to realize I have about 20 different food allergies all  varying in their severity. The most notable and common include my allergy to all things nut! Thus, ever since the 4th grade my Easters and Halloweens have lacked the adorable Resses cups shaped respectively like eggs and pumpkins. And, for reasons escaping my knowledge it has taken me this long to create my own nut-free substitutes for these treats!

So, what better day than a day spend fully appreciating life and relaxing in deep reflective thought to attempt a creation of this childhood favorite treat?! Which is exactly what I did. with some special alterations and combinations of various other recipes I created a Healthy SunnyButter Cup that is just as satisfying for its flavor as it is for its health benefits! But, alas you will need to wait until I create another batch and properly document the creation process for a full recipe-post dedicated entirely to these decedent treats. I hope you can hold out and stick with me in the mean time! If you are in the same boat as me and are looking for a nut-butter substitute I prefer the SunButter brand products as they are totally worry free for me due to my specific allergy spectrum!

Thanks for sticking around in this rather long post, I hope it was at least slightly interesting to you! If you have questions or comments feel free to comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Until next time!

XOXO,

Em

 

High Hopes in a Hope Chest

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND! For some that means a 3-4 day weekend of time off and relaxation. For others, it’s more of a philosophical holiday rather than a physical one. But, you know what that means to me? Three full days of work… just not in an office or classroom setting. Not, that I’m complaining! I much prefer my sofa and ambient Netflix to an uncomfortable desk and putting on clothes! This long weekend has also brought an exciting development to my decor situation: the addition of an old cedar hope chest!

Before coming across this piece I had no clue what a hope chest was, much to my mothers’ confusion since she raised a true romanic! But for those who don’t know, just as I didn’t before acquiring this piece, a hope chest is traditionally given to a bride (or bride to be) just before (or after) getting married.  They can be passed down from generation to generation and last for an indefinite amount of time if well maintained! However, for those less sentimental (as is apparently the the case with my neighbor) passed from house to front sidewalk as trash!

Now, this is when I (rather my parents) come into the picture! Whilst taking our lovely puppy-at-heart Hazel on a walk, my parents stumbled upon the lovely treasure of a cedar hope chest sitting on the front sidewalk of our neighbors house!

Okay, now THIS is where I really come into the picture because I jumped on the chance to get not only a new coffee table but also a piece that is 1) free and 2) STORAGE! Now, since I am rather new to this blogging thing you may not know this tidbit of info about me: I LOVE MULTIPURPOSE PEICES! (yes, the caps were totally needed.)

I cannot wait to show you this piece but for now, the chest is still in my parents house on the other side of the state; but, I can sense the promise in this piece no matter the distance! So until it arrives and is in my possession I will refrain from posting any pictures that I may or may not have of this little (not so little) beauty! I seriously cannot wait to show you how awesome it turns out to be!

That’s about it for today, I just really wanted to get back to posting since it has been about 4 months since I last did. Any who, if you’re out there still, my game plan is to try and post once a week from here on out about (as you probably guessed) anything that comes to mind because remember anything goes! Thats all from me folks have a fantastic labor day weekend, don’t work to hard!

XOXO

Em

 

The First One!

Well hello there!

Thank you for stumbling upon this little corner of the digital world. Em-ything Goes (pun 100% intended) is a rather unique place filled with lots of little topics to explore and catch-up on the projects I’m working on and maybe even get inspired to express your own creativity!

I am a PA chicka working to pay off those infamous college debts while maintaining and expressing my personal creativity through music, crafts and food. This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts on whatever I happen to think about a given week (remember Em-ything Goes on here!) but mostly a place for me to share with you and hopefully inspire those approaching any milestone in life that if you do what you love success will find you, not the other way around!

You are welcome to comment and make your creative voice heard, and if you like what you see please follow!

Thanks a big bunch for checking my page out, I hope you make your way back here sometime soon to see what I’ve been up to, and remember: Em-ything Goes!

XOXO

Emmie P.