Weekend Recap

Lemon White Chocolate Cheesecake

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It’s time for another edition of “Glossies Made Me Do It”.  Link up with Happy Pretty Sweet or Shooting Stars Mag to join the fun

 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.


Ingredients:

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)

2 eggs


Instructions:

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

Pour pie filling into shortbread pie crust

Bake for 50 minutes, then cool completely

Melt remaining 2oz. white chocolate

Drizzle white chocolate on top of the cheesecake

Sprinkle additional lemon zest for decoration

Refrigerate  for 2 hours

Serve & Enjoy!

 

Linking up with The Blended Blog for Tasty Tuesday

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A Wrinkle in Time

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.

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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.

Life According to Steph

Linking up with Happy Pretty Sweet and Shooting Stars Mag  for “Glossies Made Me Do It”  and Jana Says and Life According to Steph for “Show Us Your Books”

Previous months of glossy posts can be found here

Be True to Your School: 5 Ways to Give Back to Your Alma Mater

This weekend is Homecoming at Purdue University.
Homecoming is a time when alumni return to campus to reunite with friends and reminisce about their college days.

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Photo Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

Oh….and go to the football game

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Photo Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

 

You may be picturing alumni clubs and alumni donors as rich retirees, but recent grads – the truth is….It’s not too early to give back to your school. 

You can volunteer your time and make use of your connections to impact current students in the following ways:

  1. Job Shadow

  2. Mock Interviewer

  3. Resume Reviewer

  4. Guest Speaker or Mentor

  5. Monetary Donation

Job Shadow

Career exploration is important as some students are still figuring which industry would be the best choice for them. If your company will allow it, a job shadowing opportunity can help a student to experience a typical day in your role.

Resume Reviewer

The first step on the path to an internship or full-time career opportunity is creating a resume. As a resume reviewer, you can assist students in making sure their resumes are polished and professional.

Mock Interviewer

Resumes and interviews go hand in hand. You can help students prepare to make a good first impression by participating in a mock interviewing program. Using a list of standard behavioral interview questions, you can simulate a typical job interview so that students can practice communication skills.

Guest Speaker or Mentor

Student organizations are often looking for professionals to speak at various club meetings and conferences. If you are willing to talk about your company or share your success story, this is another great way to share your knowledge and experience.

 If you are willing to meet students one-on-one or in small groups for coffee or be contacted by phone or Skype, students who are looking for some direction and advice would be grateful to benefit from your mentorship.

Monetary Donation

Whether you can contribute a little or a lot, every dollar adds up. If you make  donation, most contributions are tax deductible and often you are given the option to designate whether you want your contribution to go to a specific student organization, program, or school within the university. To increase the impact of  your contribution, find out if your company offers a matching program.

Also, don’t forget to leverage your connections inside and outside of your workplace. Many corporations are involved in philanthropy and are willing to sponsor student organizations and university events. You can act as a liaison in helping to coordinate a company sponsorship.

For more information on how you can give back, contact your school’s alumni office or career center.

Ever Grateful, Ever True

Have a Happy Homecoming Week

Gilmore Girls and Guys

During high school, my after-school activities included taking a break before homework to watch Gilmore Girls with my mom (and sometimes my sister would stay around past the opening theme song) on Fox Family – this was before the days of ABC Family and Freeform.

I’ve been so excited for the show to come back on Netflix ….it’s been almost 10 years since it’s been off the air!

It’s been fun to see other fans’ getting excited as the premier got closer. About a month ago my Instagram feed had multiple pictures of Gilmore girls fans with their cups of “Luke’s Coffee”
After watching a funny video of the Gilmore Guys on another blog I knew this would be a fun way to reminisce without watching the episodes all over again.

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I’m enjoying the podcast – since I have seen almost every episode multiple times (listening to Gilmore Guys would be extremely confusing for someone who had never watched the show). It’s entertaining to hear the guys’ points of view on the characters and story lines and sometimes they point out technical aspects of the show’s filming – sets, casting and camera angles. Their on-going joke about Alexis Bledel being a guest in the podcast’s first season also makes me laugh.

Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect time to premiere Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. After the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the National Dog Show, I had two days to relax at my parents house for a Gilmore Girls marathon.

We built the excitement by watching 1-2 episodes from each season before watching the new episodes. At this point we have only watched the first episode “Winter” so I am trying to avoid reading any spoilers!

Did you watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? Did you binge watch or will you slowly enjoy it throughout the year?

How was your long weekend?

Cake Tasting

This weekend was a milestone in the wedding planning process as  out last vendor is in place now.

This was also one of the most fun meetings we had, because who doesn’t want to taste cupcakes!

We went to a local bakery that I had visited before with co-workers. Periodically the bakery has $1 cupcake day!

This place not only smells delicious, but the decor is a gorgeous, vintage style.

 They not only do cakes, cupcakes and desserts, but they also can provide decor services.

 

A cake table display

Having been in the area for years, they have lots of experience with wedding cakes and regularly work with our venue, as they have several wedding clients per weekend.

We were allowed to try all the flavors we wanted, and of course we bought some to share with family we were visiting.

  

The cake consultation area with a Winter Wonderland theme

 

 

 

What’s your favorite cake flavor?

 

Linking up for Wedding Wednesday and Weekending

 

 

 

Self -Made Success – AMPsConnected

 

 Last month, I was invited to “Brunch with Inspiring Ladies” and had the opportunity to be featured on the AMPsConnected podcast.

AMPsConnected was started by my friend Lexi  in July of 2015 and her mission is to travel and connect with artists. I honestly wasn’t very familiar with podcasts until she told me about it, but now I am a subscriber!

Lexi enjoys visiting new places and having conversations with interesting people and sees the podcast as a platform for up and coming artists to share their art with others

The term artist covers all different forms of art including : singing, acting, writing, poetry, and giving back to the community by being lovely, educated & talented.


 After having a delicious brunch of comfort foods:  (Mac & Cheese, Veronica’s cheesy grits, biscuits, fruit, shrimp etouffe pie, red beans & rice, salad) and drinks: mimosas and sweet tea, we were ready to record.

Lexi has a beautiful singing and speaking voice. I was nervous about how I would sound, but being in a group helped (there were 8 of us). Once we started talking it was easier to relax, be myself and be more aware of the ladies in the room with me than of Lexi’s iphone recording us.

Each of the ladies in the room has an interesting specialty to share:

Jean – Teaching Sociology, Race & Ethnicity in France

Natasha – Teaching Psychology, Co-organizing Black Professionals group

Brittney – Local news reporting

Aria – Studying as grad student, Organizing poetry slams

Me- Blogging

Veronica – Career Consulting

Ebony – Singing, Being a mom to 3 kids, featured on a previous episode

Nana – Researching nutrition & obesity,  Running

Getting together with friends for good food and conversation is always fun and this was a great way to get to know more about each other’s interests  and to send Lexi off on her next adventure!

Listen to AMPs Connected and let us know what you think in the comments

What’s your favorite podcast?

 

Linking up with The Grits Blog and XOXO Rebecca, The Crazy Organized Blog

Wedding Makeup

Wedding Makeup

 

One of the ways I’m saving on the wedding budget is DIY makeup and hair.

My Matron Of Honor is a makeup aficionado and did my makeup for senior prom and one of my besties is an Estee Lauder sales rep trained in makeup application –  we’ve got this covered!

Although I occasionally write about beauty products on Makeover Monday, I’m really not that into makeup. Usually I’m rushing too much in the morning to put on anything more than a < 5 minute Face.

Last year, some friends started selling Mary Kay and I picked up the Mary Kay CC Cream. I like how it feels smooth and light-weight.

My aunt always shares her Clinique free gifts, so the Soft-Pressed Powder Blush is from her.

The rest is on my Sephora Shopping List:

Eye shadow in shades of gold and pink – Urban Decay Naked 3 eye palette 

Defining eye liner crayon – Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner Pencil in Brown

lash lengthening mascara – L’ Oreal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara in Black

Kiss-proof lip color – Sephora Luster Matte Long-wear Lip Color in  Rose Luster

 

Have you tried any of these products?

Are there other beauty products that you would recommend?

Style and Savings Wedding logo     To Travel & Beyond