Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Favorites

It's Friday friends and you know what that means...time for Friday Favorites. Here are my favorites from around the web this week. Have a great weekend!

If you haven't read this fantastic article from the Atlantic on why women can't have it all written by Anne-Marie Slaughter who served as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department for the past two years, it's worth taking time out of your day to read.

Is everybody getting excited for the 4th of July? It's one of my favorite holidays! That and Thanksgiving. Obviously, I am proud to be an American. I would also be proud to eat these cupcakes from Bird on a Cake to show my patriotic spirit - and they are healthy because they are topped with a strawberry - never mind that it's coated in several layers of sugar.

Speaking of the 4th, how many of you are planning on sitting back, relaxing, and celebrating with a nice ice cold... cider? For tips, reviews, recipes, and everything else cider, check out and follow Cider Revival penned by my very good friends Jenée and Matt.

While drinking my cider I picture myself wearing this rock star American Flag scarf from Mod Cloth. So cute.
Speaking of cute, I love this bag from oBaz - especially because it's part yellow. Perfect for the summer!
Once I find a meal I like, I have the tendency to eat it over and over until I get sick of it. This is especially true for the salads I eat for lunch. At one point I ate the same salad for the better part of four years - no joke. Thankfully, I can continue my love for salads with this More than Just a Spinach Salad from Annie's Eats. If I am still making this salad in 2016 though, send me a new recipe please.

I cannot wait to make this scrumptious looking Grilled Chicken, Peach, Blackberry and Basil summer pizza from How Sweet It Is Blog. Pure freakin' magic.

I often dream of the day that apartments and houses will start clean themselves. Until then, I'll start with these tips from Apartment Therapy on the Ten Household Items You Can Clean in a Minute (and probably should).

As I mentioned before, I love holidays. Mostly I love the food associated with holidays. I also love the cards. I was recently introduced to Just Wink and am obsessed. Just Wink is a greeting card company with cards in stores, on the web, and mobile apps. The cards are customizable - I sent one to Laura J. for her birthday this week and I was able to include a picture and my own signature. Check it out!

The most amazing photo of the week goes to Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh, the two 100 meter U.S. sprinters who had this incredible tie during the Olympic trials this week:

I don't have kids yet, but I am definitely filing away this idea for when I do. Every year for 13 years, from the day Brenna Martini started kindergarten until her recent high school graduation, her dad had all of Brenna's teachers, coaches, and principals to write a little something inside Dr. Seuss' "Oh the Places You Will Go." Talk about priceless and a labor of love.

Messy Jess C.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Recipe: Chipotle Black Bean Burgers

Jesse and I have our most profound conversations during dinner.

The other night as we started making this delicious recipe for Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, we discussed car names, as in names people give to their cars and car genders.

I have a blue Honda. It's name is Blue and it's definitely a girl (my bike, which is also blue, is named Bonita Blue - so creative, I know). Growing up, my parents had an explorer named Rocky. One of my high school friends drove a car she named Tico Torres, not to be confused with Bon Jovi's drummer. Anyhow, you see my point.

Jesse owns a Jeep and while I was referring to Blue, he referred to "Green." I replied with "Green?" since this was the first time I ever heard that his car had a name. He said "well, it's Green." True, his car is the color green, but then I went on to say, it's a Jeep it should have a tough guy name. He replied that most guys probably give their cars girl names just like boats, etc. I suggested "A Boy Named Sue" as a compromise. He didn't seem amused.

The discussion ended there until this morning when I saw this Jeep with what I considered to be proof that Jeeps do in fact have boy names.

Jesse replied that "Big Ray" was probably the nickname of the driver. I said maybe, then amended my view that almost any name would probably be ok with a guy for his car as long as it had "Big" before it. Men.

Anyhow, it's amazing how much you can figure out over dinner, particularly while making these Chipotle Black Bean Burgers. Test out this recipe for yourself to see what worldly problems you can solve.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1-15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/4 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus 2-3 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels (canned, fresh, or thawed)
  • 1/4 cup bottled chunky salsa, plus more for topping the burgers
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 avocado
  • garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 buns, toasted
Once you have everything set out and prepped, combine half the black beans in a food processor with the red onion, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce plus extra sauce, garlic, cumin and salt. Pulse until nearly smooth, scraping the sides if needed.

Remove mixture to a bowl then add remaining black beans, corn, salsa, panko bread crumbs, and egg white, then mix well with a spatula. Mixture will be wet.

Heat a large flat-top skillet over medium heat then generously spray the skillet with non-stick spray. Shape the bean mixture into four patties.

Cook the patties for 5-6 minutes a side (make sure you wait the full 5-6 minutes. They may look cooked, but you want to make sure the egg is cooked fully and the patties are cooked all the way through), until firm and golden brown.

Meanwhile, mash the avocado with garlic powder, salt & pepper in a small bowl (as a side note, check out this tip from Apartment Therapy for picking out the perfect avocado). Place the cooked burgers on toasted buns, then top with the mashed avocado and extra salsa, if desired.

Then, Enjoy!

Check out this and other delicious, problem-solving recipes on my What's Cookin' page.
Messy Jess C.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


They say imitation is the best form of flattery.

As you know, the reason I started this blog was to help me meet my 30 goals for the year, which includes saving money on clothing. Saving money on clothing means that I am forced to create outfits using clothing I have in my closet. Although I feel like I can be creative with my clothing (sometimes a bit too creative), and have done a fairly good job of piecing clothing together to come up with a full outfit presentable enough to go outside in, there are only so many combinations of clothing I can come up with on my own. To help me out I turn to my fellow bloggers and, of course, Pinterest.

Below is a round-up of some of the looks I have stolen recreated from around the web this year. (Please forgive the poor picture quality and editing of some of these looks from earlier in the year. How far I have come!)


Denim on Denim
Gal Meets Glam
Denim Therapy

Mint Green Pants

Black and White
Kultur und Stil

Bright Colors
Pink Peonies

Casual Blazer

Pencil Skirts and Chambray
Kenzie Faith

Messy Jess C.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Real Simple

Benetton Cardigan and Top/ Limited Pants/ Boutique 9 shoes from Forever XXI Flower (similar)
It's only Tuesday and I have already managed to convert my computer type from English to Greek, get to the on-ramp at National airport to pick up Jesse just as they shut it down for nighttime construction work, run out of eye makeup remover, and come to the realization it's probably time to invest in some new black pants that haven't stretched out so much.


Today is a new day. It's beautiful outside. Jesse is home. I had a great run this morning. I am having a super productive day at work, which started with a cup of my favorite tea - Tazo's Berryblossom White. Yum. third 29th birthday is one month from today.

Speaking of which, today marks the birth of one of my best friends and partners in crime - Laura J (Yep, the same one that I survived Yogaville and the 50K with). Happy Birthday Laura!

Messy Jess C.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Seeing Spots

J.Crew Factory Cardigan/ Banana Republic Top (similar and similar)/ J.Crew Necklace (similar)/ J.Crew Skirt/ Joan & David Shoes from DSW (similar)
Every summer I create a playlist of my favorite summer songs. My summer playlists are the soundtracks to long drives, soaking up the sun, and cookouts.

Unfortunately, this summer is flying by and I have only added six songs to my Summer 2012 playlist. Fortunately, NPR has compiled the ultimate list of summer songs from 1962 through this summer so I can rock out to all 120 tracks, including 1981's "Jessie's Girl", on Spotify (the number one song the day I was born and a sign of things to come, like meeting, dating, and marrying a guy named Jesse).

What's on your summer playlist?
Messy Jess C.
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Favorites

It's that time of the week again....time for Friday Favorites! Enjoy this roundup of my favorites around the web as we head into the weekend. See you all next week!

I had a really hard time choosing my favorite food finds this week because I found so many recipes that I want to make. Here are some of my favorite favorites:

$1utty Blondies from What's Gaby Cooking?

Mini Banana Cream Pies from Iowa Girl Eats

These nutella rollups from Things that Sparkle

These Chipotle Black Bean Burgers from Iowa Girl Eats

And these Chipotle BBQ Chicken Sandwiches from BruCrew Life:

I love this idea for a guest bedroom with a fireplace in it featured on Apartment Therapy.

How happy would you be if you worked in an office with this desk? I would be pretty freakin' happy.

When Jesse and I went to Italy for our honeymoon, I caught the travel bug. I am so excited to travel the world with Jesse (one day). Still, we have taken some pretty amazing trips so far, and I love this idea from Sassafras to show off the places we have traveled to.

I attempted playing tennis in gym class in high school and my sister and I have tried playing tennis a few times since then. I can't say my attempts were ever successful. So, if at first and second and third tries you don't succeed, figure out something else to do with the tennis balls you have stored in your closet, like making this DIY stuff holder from Apartment Therapy.

I am determined to have a picnic this summer. Every summer I say I want to have one and then before I know it summer is over. This DIY basket liner and pouch from Design Sponge may be just the motivation I need to make my picnic dreams come true...I just need to learn how to sew.

As someone who calls herself a fashion blogger sometimes, I may need to get myself a copy of Christian Dior's Little Dictionary of Fashion.

All you need is love, and some fabulous sunglasses. Check out these heartbreaker sunglasses from Urban Outfitters.

Does anyone else have grandparents that dress in similar outfits? Turns out it may be the key to a successful marriage (Ilyssa and my grandparents have been married for almost 70 years and dress similarly pretty often). Check out this couple who wears matching outfits everyday:

How many of you are reading the Shades of Grey series right now? How many of you are secretly reading it but are too ashamed to say so? Either way, whether you have read it or not, the 3 Golden Sisters take on the book will make you laugh.

Who says there's no such thing as a free download? Check out this deal from Amazon for a $2 MP3 credit (before midnight tomorrow). Just click here and enter the code MP3S4ALL.

Messy Jess C.

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