Pinspiration: LC

From her classic, relaxed, easy-to-replicate style to her beachy blonde hair to her success as a best-selling writer of multiple novels and style guides to her affordable fashion line at Kohl’s to always standing up for her friends, Lauren Conrad is one lady to reckon with and someone I constantly am finding myself turning to for style and hair inspiration.  Admit it, you’ve always secretly loved her since Laguna Beach too!

     

Images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Tropical Pork T with Mango Salsa

A few weeks ago Jewel had a huge sale on meat, I’m talking buy one get one free on pork chops, chicken, and pork tenderloin, which I turned around and froze for future use.  We all know I can’t pass up a great deal! :) Anyways, I have made pork tenderloin a few times in the past (here and here) so when I saw this tropical pork tenderloin with mango salsa on Pinterest I was excited to put a different spin of flavors on it.  Even little Maddie girl wanted to get a taste (see the last picture).

Hands On Time     15 minutes
Baking Time       
  25 minutes
Makes                  
  2-3 servings

Ingredients:

1 large pork tenderloin
olive oil

for seasoning meat:
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

for the salsa:
1 mango
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
jalapeno pepper, finely minced to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil a small rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon, ginger, cloves, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. Brush the pork with oil followed by rubbing the spice mixture all over.

2. Roast the pork tenderloin in the center of a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until pork is firm when pressed.

3. While meat is cooking, peel mango and cut into 1/2 in cubes (how to cut a mango) and place in a bowl with red pepper, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and finely minced jalapeno pepper to taste.

4. Roll cooked whole tenderloin in any pork juice on the baking sheet. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into 1/2 in thick slices. Serve with salsa and alongside cooked rice (optional). Refrigerate leftover salsa for up to 2 days.

**Recipe Adapted From:  Today’s Parent**

PB CC Cookies

I know, I know.  NOT ANOTHER peanut butter and chocolate combination.  I’m sorry, I promise this will be the last one for a while, but what can I say, when something works it works!

Sidenote:  I promise I for real made these cookies! I just forgot to take after pictures as I took them to a barbeque immediately after baking so the amazing finished product pictures are all via Idea Room and the cookie dough picture is my own! Whoops!
 

Ingredients:

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 tbsp milk, added at the very end
1/2 to 1 c chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and peanut butter.  Beat in the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder until well combined; add the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour and mix; add just enough milk to make the dough moist and creamy.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Cover and chill dough for about 1 hour.

2. Drop cookies by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

**Recipe Source:  The Idea Room**

Thrifty Threads: Summer Shopping

My goal for summer shopping:  INVEST in classic pieces and ADD color and prints to my wardrobe (no more black or grey).  What’s at the top of your summer wish list?  Am I missing any key summer items that you recommend I add?

Click here for all the buying information and to follow me on Polyvore!

DIY Chalkboard Platter

Since I am unfortunately unable to create the ultra coveted chalkboard wall in my rental apartment, I settled for this much smaller DIY chalkboard platter inspired by Wit & Whistle and perfect for multiple entertaining purposes (think cheese and cookies!).

First a quick note about this particular porcelain paint I used through the recommendation of Wit & Whistle: the company states they do not recommend using this specific paint for surfaces that come in contact with food. However, it is water based, non-toxic, and Dick Blick suggests using it to paint a dinner plate so I don’t see the harm in simply placing cookies or cheese on it but just wanted to divulge all the important information. :)
 

Materials Needed:

porcelain platter (mine is from CB2, find it here)
Pebeo Porcelaine chalkboard paint (from Amazon or in 10 different colors at Dick Blick)
painter’s tape
soft bristle paintbrush
kitchen oven

Steps to Take:

1. Make sure your platter is completely clean and dry.  If desired, use painter’s tape to mask off the edges of the platter for clean, crisp lines, otherwise skip this step and freehand it.

2. Using a soft bristle brush, apply the paint in thin, even horizontal strokes. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.  Immediately remove the painter’s tape carefully before the paint from the second coat dries to ensure the edges don’t peel up when removing.  Let the second coat dry for 24 hours.

3. When the paint has dried for a full 24 hours, bake your platter following the instructions printed on the back of the paint bottle. If using the Pebeo Porcelaine Chalkboard Paint, preheat the oven to 300 degrees, bake 35 minutes, turn off the oven, leave the platter inside, and allow to cool to room temperature before removing.  After baking, the platter will be dishwasher and microwavable safe!

Have you ever chalked something? I would love to see all your chalkboard paint projects! Upload a picture or link to my Facebook Page to share!

Pinspiration from Wit & Whistle

Black Bean, Corn, and Avocado Salad

Image and recipe via Eclectic Recipes

As the weather heats up, my desire to heat up the kitchen with hot ovens and skillets goes way down.  Enter this black bean, avocado, and corn salad that is perfect for dinner any day of the week!  Simply dice up all the vegetables, pour on the dressing, combine, and serve over a bed of tossed greens.  Simple, healthy, and refreshing..it doesn’t get much better.

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can mexi-corn, rinsed and drained
2-3 avocados, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tomato, diced

for the dressing:
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 sprigs fresh oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
salt/pepper to taste

Directions:

Simply add all the diced vegetables and oregano to a large bowl and mix well with dressing.  Refrigerate until ready to serve over tossed greens!

New Equipment

Being a bargain shopper my whole life finally paid off when I scored this unbelievable pink Equipment blouse for $50 (usually $295) while rummaging the racks at Nordstrom Rack. Not only was the blouse a great score in terms of price but it also fit EVERY qualification I was looking for:  bright spring color, lightweight material, comfortable, loose yet fitted, and a classic button up. All that training finally paid off! I also attempted for the first time to rock fake reader glasses to add to my nerdy look.  What do you think?  Are they SPECtacular or what?!

Equipment Blouse via Nordstrom Rack, $50 (similar here) | Dogeared Free Bird Necklace, gifted | Michael Kors Jet Sport Watch, gifted | Forever 21 Skinny Jeans, $12, and Reader Glasses, $3 | Guess Shoes via Marshall’s, gifted (recent tho) | United Colors of Benetton Trench Coat, $110 (old, similar here)

Weekly Rewind

Following last week’s wedding mayhem, we needed a few days of recouping, which was exactly what we did last Sunday by watching four movies and ordering in every single meal. After finally catching up on sleep we had a great week hosting friends for a Mexican Pot Luck, learning new photography tips at a Chimpsy crash course, eating at new-to-us restaurants, and planning for our trips next month all while avoiding the NATO Summit chaos taking place downtown Chicago!  How was your week?  Anything new and exciting?  Don’t forget, I am still looking for guest bloggers for the two weeks I am gone, just shoot me an email at thethreadaffect@gmail.com!  Happy Sunday everyone, hope you have a wonderful week!

    

    

    

The PERFECT Mother’s Day, Sweet Mandy B’s and The Vow | Dogeared Make a Wish necklace | My littlest one | Beautiful looking and smelling lilac bushes | The Hungry Jack breakfast at Jack’s on Halsted | Strawberry Mojito to kick off the weekend | Planning for our Ireland/London Trip