Quick and Refreshing Cucumber Pasta Salad

photo 2 (6)During finals week, I was eating really unhealthy, skipping  meals and lacking some fruits and veggies. Halfway through the week, I decided I needed to start taking care of my body by actually eating some things that would be good for it. I made a quick trip to Trader Joe’s and since I was still pressured on time with more studying to be done, I decided I’d quickly whip together a cucumber salad. But upon realizing how hungry I really was, I cooked some shell pasta and mixed it together making a pasta salad instead.

Ingredients:
3 diced Persian cucumbers
1.5 cup halved grape tomatoes
1.5 cup halved grapes
1/2 diced yellow peppers
1.5 cup small cooked shell pasta

Dressing: (mostly estimated to taste)
2/3 cup Olive Oil
1.5 tbs Honey Mustard
1 tbs lemon juice Sugar to taste


This recipe is pretty straight-forward. Chop up all your veggies and fruits, cook the pasta and let it cool, and then combine them all in a large bowl. The dressing just consists of all the ingredients mixed together well, especially the mustard. Once mixed, toss the dressing with the salad and you’ll have a deliciously quick pasta salad to eat!

Mel’s Birthday Dinner

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Our dear friend, Melissa, turned 24 last week. She’s always so busy planning for other’s birthdays that we wanted to do something special and thoughtful for her. Since Mel knew we were planning a small get together, she insisted we keep it casual and simple so we tried our best.  Mel loves potatoes and everything that is made of them so what better way to celebrate her than throwing her a potato party! Inviting 20 of her closest friends for her birthday dinner this past Sunday, each person was charged with making a potato dish to share. Most of our decorations were things we already owned, were easily handmade, or easily attained.

Janice made  a large card out of poster board for everyone to sign and also served as another sign. We rearranged some furniture in their house and created an open space for everyone to be able to hand out in. The banner Janice bought is also a chalkboard banner so it can be reused over and over again. We stopped by QFC and picked up some flowers because who doesn’t love flowers? And we borrowed the Mr. Potato Heads from a family with young children for our potato themed meal!

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All the food that was brought was absolutely delicious and I was quite impressed with potato dishes people came up with. The classics, of course, were there such as mashed potatoes, french fries, and potato salad. But there were also dishes like Shepherd’s Pie, Tater teens (super yummy btw), and a potato bake. What is a “tater teen” you might ask? Well,  it’s like an adolescent version of a tater tot and quite possibly even more delicious! And while the food theme was potatoes, we still needed some protein and greens so there was also some mouthwatering smoked pulled pork + coleslaw, a strawberry/mango/mandarin spinach/spring mix salad, as well as a pesto pasta salad (one of my favorite dishes of the evening). Janice and I used these chalkboard coasters she bought from Target as food signs, aren’t they adorable?  We didn’t think they were very practical as coasters since they felt like cardboard and would probably fall apart if they got wet but they worked perfectly for food labels.

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One of my favorite food presentations was the curly fries buckets. Janice has these cute metal pails, again from Target’s dollar section, which are really versatile in what they can be used for. As you can see in the earlier photo with the card and a banner, a pail was used to hold the pens needed to sign the card.  I ate at a restaurant last week where they used a fancy metal cylindrical container to hold their fries which inspired me to do the same with these curly fries! Lining the pails with parchment paper, we loaded them up with curly fries. This is a super easy way and cost effective way to present your food so next time you’re scrambling to find plates or bowls, think of any other container you can use as well! Just line it with some parchment paper and ta-da!DSCF0592

See some more close ups of the food below:

 

Janice did most of the work on the cake and even though she kept calling it a disaster, we all thought it turned out lovely especially since she hasn’t made a cake in years and feels out of practice. The cake itself is a simple vanilla cake with a chocolate pudding + krackle chocolate filling iced with simple buttercream. It was pretty warm on Sunday so we kept running into challenges of the buttercream melting or being too runny but I think the cake turned out pretty nicely!

DSC_0377wI’d say the party was success and was a low-key as we could have made it. Everyone was comfortable and relaxed, especially Melissa. We spent the rest of the evening after dinner playing group games and just enjoying spending time with each other. I realized we forgot to get a group picture with everyone but here’s one of just the girls!

DSCF0630eAnd last but definitely not least, some OOTD for you all! It seemed like the theme for the party was also maxi dresses! Mel and Jess actually unintentionally matched perfectly in their black maxis and salmon-colored cardigans. Mel’s dress from Nordstrom and Jess’ from Loft.  Janice wore a pretty printed maxi which I really wish I had gotten a good photo of  and I wore a blue and white knit striped maxi from Gap. Maxi dresses are something I could wear forever, they’re just so comfy and versatile. I didn’t have a chance to take a lot of photos but here are just two:

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(Thanks Sean for many of the photos in this post!)

 

Boyfriend Jeans

DSC_0412wBoyfriend jeans are in, in, in and I’m not complaining! I’ve seen boyfriend jeans all over the  place and have been coveting a pair until I found these at Gap. Being quite petite, I worried about the loose fitted jeans making me appear even more stout but took a chance and bought them anyways. After trying them on at home again and wearing them out today, I’ve decided to keep them because they are so incredibly comfortable. For a person who hates wearing pants normally, I can see myself wearing these a lot this summer. This pair of boyfriend jeans are perfect for me because I found a pair in the “short” length, meaning I don’t have to roll the cuffs up a million times before they’re at the right length. Also, they’re distressed but not actually ripped unlike a pair I tried on at AE so I won’t accidentally make the rips larger.
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Paired with the perfect pair of sandal wedges and a tote (some of you may have seen these on my Instagram already) from Francesca’s that I’m currently obsessing over, this boyfriend jeans look was completed along with a belt. I’ve been studying a lot lately as well so I decided to forego the contact lenses today and sport my Furla brand specs. I recommend wearing shirts that are a bit shorter or cut off at your waist to avoid making your jeans look overly slouchy or your overall outfit too loose.

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DSC_0423wsTribal Tank: Nordstrom
Salmon-colored Cardigan: H&M (Men’s section)
Boyfriend Jeans: Gap
Harper Tote & Sandal Wedges: Francesca’s

A few of my favorite boyfriend outfits below:

 

 

 

Sunshine and Rompers

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I’ve never been a huge fan of rompers as they’ve become more and more popular lately. The usual and most common rompers are too flowery for my taste and way too short for my body type. I don’t feel comfortable in one because I usually feel like my butt is hanging out. However, when I found this particular romper at Forever 21 the other day, I fell in love.

I love the length of this piece, it’s longer than most rompers and so much more classy. The top is a drape front and the bottom are patterned prints. Drape front tops are one of my favorite style trends lately because they’re so simple yet elegant. Paired with a simple pair of black heels and simple jewelry, this look has easily become one of my favorites and I’m excited to wear it again!

Summer 2014 Bucket List

 

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In no particular order….

1. Go hiking. A lot.
It’s been too long since I’ve had time to go out and enjoy all that the PNW has to offer. There’s a list of hikes I want to hit this summer.

2. Hike a short backpacking trip.
I’ve wanted to do this for so long but I’ve finally met some people would be willing to go with me!

3. Make  a meal from the farmer’s market.
Show up at one of the  many local farmer’s markets and start piecing together a meal.

4. Maybe, maybeee go on an outdoor climb
Like the backpacking trip, I met people who take people out to climb pretty often so I’m hoping to get chance.

6. Find my abs again.
It’s been too long, time to find my friends again…

7. Go on a road trip.
I’m going down towards San Francisco this summer with family and friends so we’re hoping to drive down and make it a road trip.

8. Find a summer anthem.
Something to make my theme song for the summer of 2014.

10. Paint a new picture with  my oils.
I’ve really missed painting so I want to pull out my oils and create something.

11. Go on a sunrise hike.
Separate from the backpacking trip  and the other general hikes, it’s about time to hike through the dark to see the sunrise.

12. Craft a ton.
Being home and having no school means plenty of time for DIY! 

13. Bake new recipes.
It’s so much easier baking at home with the Kitchen-aid mixer and my mother’s plethora of baking supplies.

14. Have an outdoor movie night.
Because, why not?

15. And of course, blog blog blog!