This July 4th holiday, I’m thankful to have time off to spend relaxing at home. I love summer and today with temperatures in the 90’s, I’m waiting until dusk to go outside.
In the meantime, I’m catching up on my favorite magazines. What will Glossies Make Me Do this month?
The July 2018 issue of Oprah magazine features Oprah (obviously!) sitting among beautiful flowers with the headline What Would Make You Happy?
I like how 2018’s magazine issues have each featured a thought – provoking question. I especially like this question because it’s not always something we take the time to think about. Many of us assume that happiness is effortless or that you either have a happy disposition or you don’t. Happiness is a conscious choice that we make in the way we react to situations, how we choose to spend our time and who we choose to spend it with. Knowing what would make you happy is the first step in making the right choices.
Summertime makes me happy and ice cream sandwiches are the perfect treat to enjoy on a staycation day!
This article on page 92 featured 10 different ice cream sandwiches with flavors including mango sorbet, strawberry, coconut, and key lime. Only 5 of the flavors had recipes in the magazine.
To make the Double Chocolate Mint ice cream sandwich, I went to Pinterest and found this recipe
The recipe was simple and easy to follow. For the first batch, I made them as drop cookies (see photo). In an attempt to make more perfect circles, for the next batch, I rolled the dough and used a drinking glass as a cookie cutter.
Purple Cow makes a delicious mint chocolate chip ice cream. Using an ice cream scoop, I placed one scoop of ice cream on a cookie for each ice cream sandwich. It helps to flatten the ice cream with a fork before pressing the second cookie on top.
The cookies are delicious on their own. Adding the ice cream makes a frozen treat to cool down the summer heat.
This article in the May 2018 issue of Oprah Magazine made me recall the first royal wedding I have seen and made me excited for the upcoming royal wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle.
The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981 was known as “the wedding of the century” and still makes headlines over 35 years later. My first royal wedding memory is of waking up early one Friday morning in April 2011 to watch Prince William and Kate’s wedding on my 26″ flat panel screen from the loft bed in my dorm room. I also remember the buzz surrounding Pippa’s dress and Princess Beatrice’s and Princess Eugenie’s hats.
Photo Credit: people.com
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk
After getting married, I have an appreciation for what weddings represent. Weddings are celebrations that bring people together – and this time on a world-wide level.
Also, despite there being no monarchy in the USA, I along with most little girls in America grew up with fairy tales, Disney movies, and princess dresses.
Photo Credit: brit.co
There’s something special about seeing an American girl become a royal.
Photo Credit: glamour.com
The Oprah Magazine article about how to host a royal wedding watch party, has a recipe for Devon scones.
The first time I remember having a scone was when a high school friend made them after returning from a summer with her grandparents across the pond.
I had been thinking of trying to make them at home for a while, and the royal wedding seemed like the perfect occasion. The recipe in the magazine looked more like a biscuit and I wanted something sweeter, so I tried this recipe from Pinterest.
I’ll consider this a Pinterest Win since they were not only picture perfect but also very tasty.
Whether you’re celebrating your 21st birthday, or looking fondly looking back on those days, birthdays are always a reason to celebrate!
Birthdays are a time to reflect, to be grateful for another year , and to time spent with people who make you happy.
Indulging on your special day doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of stores and restaurants that offer free gifts for your birthday.
All of these treats require minimal effort to create an account by signing up with an email address. If you don’t already, I would suggest setting up a separate email account for store coupons and rewards cards.
Some of the treats don’t have to be collected on your actual birthday – so you can extend your celebration all month long!
Panera – Sign up for MyPanera and get a Free Pastry reward added to your account. The offer is good until 1 week after your birthday.
Starbucks – Sign up for Starbucks Rewards to receive a Free Drink, of your choice in any size. Must redeem on your actual birthday, offer is only good for 1 day.
Firehouse Subs – Sign up for the Firehouse Subs rewards program to receive a Free Medium Sub. The offer is loaded to your account immediately and is good for up to 6 days after your birthday.
Sephora – Once you sign up for Sephora’s Beauty Insider Rewards, you will receive an offer for a Free Birthday Gift, which is a small sample size of a popular brand-name beauty product.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Must sign up before your birthday month begins to receive a Free Classic Pretzel for your birthday. This perk is automatically loaded to your account on the first day of your birthday month and you have until the end of the month to use it
Dinner & Dessert
Applebee’s – Sign up for Applebee’s email club to receive a Buy One, Get One Free Entrée reward, good for up to 30 days after your birthday. Bring a friend!
Chili’s – My Chili’s Rewards members receive a Free Dessert birthday reward
Olive Garden – Olive Garden eClub members receive a Free Dessert on birthdays
Cold Stone Creamery – Join Cold Stone Club Rewards to get a Buy One, Get One Free Ice Cream offer added to your rewards account. Bring your bestie : ) The reward is available 1 week before your birthday and can be used up to 1 week after
*Note: There are other restaurants not mentioned above that will give free dessert on your birthday if you ask!
Redbook’s April issue has Jessica Alba as the cover girl, wearing a floral blouse and jeans – a casual, laid-back springtime look.
An ad in this issue made me bake The Perfect Cheesecake
I spent Saturday afternoon in my Grandmother’s kitchen with my Auntie – the Queen of desserts. She likes to try new dessert recipes and also has some go-to specialties like my favorite coconut cake, so I knew this would be a fun activity for us to do together.
The vintage mixer pictured above was given to my Grandparents as a wedding present At 61 years old, this mixer is still doing its job – they don’t make ’em like this anymore!
The original magazine recipe is for 12 individual cupcake-size cheesecakes. We decided to make a full size cheesecake instead. Using a pre-made piecrust decreases prep time, but a full-size cheesecake needs to bake much longer in the oven than the cupcake- size cheesecakes would.
Next time I make this dessert, I will swap the cream cheese for calorie-saving Neufchatel cheese. Eight ounces of Neufchatel cheese is 70 calories compared to 100 calories for the same amount of cream cheese.
1 package (4oz.) Baker’s White Chocolate
1 Shortbread piecrust
2 packages (8oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 lemons (1/4 cup of juice, 1 tsp. zest)
Heat oven to 325 degrees
Melt 2oz. white chocolate (microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds) and set aside
Mix cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl
Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and melted chocolate
Add eggs, 1 at a time with the mixer on a low speed
On the March issue of Oprah Magazine, Oprah shares the cover with her co-stars of the new movie A Wrinkle in Time. Seeing some of my favorite Hollywood stars together made me want to go see this movie.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle is a Newberry Award winning children’s fiction book that was recently made into a movie directed by Ava DuVernay and starring Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and Storm Reid.
I have a vague feeling that I read it in elementary school, but since I didn’t remember the plot I decided to read it before seeing the movie. I searched for it on the library website – I have been making great use of the public library lately, having access to so many books for free is wonderful! (#styleandsavings)
Of course there was a waiting list, but I was happily surprised when it was available for me to pick up a week before the movie came out. Luckily, A Wrinkle in Time is a quick read and I was able to start reading on Monday and finish it by Friday evening.
A Wrinkle in Time has really withstood the test of time – probably because when it was written it was decades ahead of it’s time. The main characters are strong women. They are not waiting to be rescued by any man – they have the insight, intelligence and bravery to be the rescuers. I’m sure that Mrs. Murray being both a scientist and a mother was not a typical trait in children’s books of the 1960’s.
Most times when I read a book and see the movie, I like the book better. There’s usually something in the book that the movie leaves out or a major change that I wish they had kept the same.
This time was an exception to the rule – I liked the movie so much more than the book. There were a few very noticeable differences that I’ll refrain from spoiling for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but they didn’t make me like the movie less.
Besides the beautiful scenery, what I liked most about this movie was the diverse cast. Diversity was present not only in the main characters Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and the Murray family, but also in the background characters in the neighborhood, at school, in Mr. & Mrs. Murray’s science conference and even in the other parts of the universe.
In the Oprah magazine article “Brave New Worlds” director Ava Duvernay says “When you’re dealing with fantasy, storytellers have no excuse not to embrace new visions”.
If you haven’t had a chance to see A Wrinkle in Time – I recommend a trip to the theater. This is a good reason to spend an afternoon with friends or to inspire a younger girl in your life.
The pastel pink dress worn by Redbook’s March cover girl Gabrielle Union made me feel relieved that spring time is just around the corner!
Gabrielle Union has had a long acting career, but I am most familiar with her character Mary Jane Paul of BET’s Being Mary Jane. For those of you who have yet to tune in, the show is about fictional news anchor Mary Jane Paul and the challenges she faces as she climbs to the top of her career, struggles to date & keep the right man, and takes care of her family members in Atlanta who have various issues of their own.
Recently, Gabrielle Union has also gained fame for writing a memoir titled We’re Going to Need More Wine Stories, which was my February book club pick. In 2017, I found myself reading lots of memoirs by celebrities including Gabourey Sidibe, Joanna & Chip Gaines, Lauren Graham, and Mindy Kaling. Each of these books was entertaining, had moments of humor and gave insight to what their lives were like and obstacles they overcame before they became famous.
This book was so real and honest. She really didn’t hold back on taboo topics or embarrassing stories. On an episode of Essence Magazine’s Yes Girl! podcast, Gabrielle mentioned that the book was partially the result of notes from therapy sessions.
Many of her stories are painful to read, but were topics that were worth discussing. Many women would find at least some elements of her stories to be relatable such as feeling out of place in her community, coming of age, relationships with men, and not feeling attractive relative to culturally narrow-minded beauty standards. While this book addressed difficult topics, having the courage to talk about them is the way women can help each other and make others feel that they are not alone in the struggles they face.
Seeing Gabrielle Union’s stylish outfits in the Redbook magazine article made me enter the sweepstakes to win a $1,000 shopping spree to NY & Company. As I find myself in my late twenties, wanting to be young and stylish and professional, NY & Company has become one of my go-to shops.
This may not be the typical type of book you think of for a book discussion, as it’s been marketed as a humorous celebrity memoir, but keep in mind – there’s something to learn from everyone’s story!
The following is not a book review or synopsis, just a list of book discussion questions inspired by what I read:
1. Growing up, Gabby used to be teased, but look how successful and accomplished she is now! What is something that you’ve achieved that would surprise your teenage self?
2. Should Alice (Gabby’s mom) have known that her green card marriage would fail?
3. Tola (Gabby’s dad’s new wife) is a psychic, do you believe in psychics and their ability to know things about others and predict their future?
4. Gabby went to therapy sessions when she was suffering from depression. How do you handle life’s obstacles?
5. Gabby describes her love/hate relationship with Twitter: she often checks it in the morning and posts funny updates on her account but says “it’s vain to think people want to know everything you’re thinking all the time, Twitter is for saying dumb stuff as soon as it pops in your head”. What do you love or hate about social media?
6. Gabourey Sidibe is a Senegalese name, many have struggled to say correctly. “Americans are lazy, kind and condescending….they only want to say names they can pronounce.” If you could change your name would you? If so, what would your name be?
7. Gabby was prescribed an appetite suppressant, but it didn’t work because she ate in response to her feelings, not only when she was hungry. What’s your favorite comfort food or celebratory dinner & drink?
8. For a celebrity, Gabby seems surprisingly introverted. She doesn’t like talking to strangers and she says she’d prefer not to be famous, just rich. Which would you choose – either, both, or neither & why?
9. On the day of her audition for Precious, Gabby was literally at a crossroads as she walked out of her front door – she could cross the street one direction to school or cross the street the other way towards the audition. A film crew had blocked off some of the sidewalk outside of her building and directed her where to cross the street, which happened to be in the direction of the audition. Do you believe this was coincidence or fate?
10. Gabby had the opportunity to visit the White House and was recognized and greeted warmly by the Obamas. What public figure or celebrity do you dream of meeting?
I enjoyed reading this memoir. It was funny, but also had sad and serious moments — such is life! I’m glad Gabourey was brave enough to share her ups and downs. In a world where many women feel pressure to appear perfect, it’s refreshing to see someone share darker times in her past and how she currently faces her challenges.