Hostess with the Mostess

Bottle Stoppers

I am super loving bottle stoppers right now.  They add so much class to a bottle.  I mean, it’s the best of both worlds – you keep your wine sealed while also looking so much cuter than a plain old cork.  I have come across so many that I love, but these are definitely my favorite.  Anything initialed is perfect, and lately, I’ve been super obsessed with anything with a stag head on it!  These are my eight absolute favorite bottle stoppers. They are so classy and the perfect addition to your kitchen collection.

Bottle Stoppers

1.  Sur La Table Pinecone

This pinecone is so cute and perfect for winter.  I adore pinecones and think they are the perfect mix of cute and classy, especially during the cold winter months.

2.  C. Wonder Initial

I saw these the other day when I was shopping the sale and they really look super sturdy and are so on point.  The gold is really stylish and they are just the right size.  Plus, C. Wonder is having a 50 percent off sale online right now.  Shop on, friends, shop on.

3.  Francesca’s Antler

I wish I had seen this before Christmas because this is really fun.  I like that it is just an antler, rather than the whole stag head.  It’s creative and definitely unique, while still being trendy.

4.  Oliver Bonas’ Stag Head

Stag heads are super in right now.  They are so rustic and winter-y.  They can really add a lot to your kitchen at this time of year.  I like to add little pops of seasonal items without all-out decorating my apartment seasonally.

5.  Target Initial

I actually just bought this same stopper at Target the other day, and guess what, they are on sale right now!  They come in several different colors and are seriously too cute.

6.  Pier1 Stag Head

What I like about this one is that it is from Pier1.  There aren’t many cities without a Pier1, so if you’re someone who doesn’t like to shop online, then this is great!  All you have to do is drive to your local store and pick it up, no wait, no hassle.

7.  Burke Decor Anchor

I had to throw a little summer in there.  This anchor is so cute.  I love anchors and all things nautical, so this stopper is on point.

8.  Williams Sonoma Pineapple

Pineapples were super hot this summer and I’m not fully convinced that they aren’t coming back.  They are very fresh and summery and actually really fun.  I love eating pineapples, and I definitely don’t have any qualms with decorating with them!

Do you have a go-to bottle stopper that is your absolute favorite?  Please share!  I’d love to see your favorites

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Trader Joe’s Dinner

Again, I’ve tried some new things and can’t wait to share!  Trader Joe’s is always on point with their food and it saves me the trouble (and the extra money) of trying to make all of these things from scratch!

Here are this week’s picks!

1.  Frozen Meat Lasagna

This lasagna is seriously so good.  It was a TON of food because it was family style, so I had enough to have some for lunch the next day, which is literally one of my favorite things!  Pair it with some garlic bread and white wine and you’re golden.  Just turn on the Italian music and you might as well be in Rome.

2.  Frozen Turkey Meatballs paired with Tortellini

I am sometimes apprehensive about frozen meats, but I decided to give this one a go.  The meatballs taste so fresh!  All you have to do is microwave them for like three minutes and they are done!  I also bought some spinach tortellini to pair with it, which is in the refrigerator section next to the deli meats.  You just put it in a pot of hot water and boil for three or four minutes and it’s done.  I also decided to top it with some tomato based pasta sauce, but it would have been good with a butter sauce or pesto.

3.  Chicken Chile Burgers

So. Good.  I decided to grill these for Labor Day and they were the perfect compliment to the hotdogs, chips and sweet potato fries.  They can also be cooked really quickly in the microwave if you’re in a crunch.

4.  Shrimp Stir Fry

Microwave.  Holla.  So good.  You put this in the microwave for a few minutes and it comes out (and tastes) like you just ordered it at a restaurant.  Plus, shrimp are so expensive if you try to buy them on your own and make a meal with them.  This was a totally affordable option with all the perks of the shrimp flavor.

5.  Pesto Gouda

I saw on a website somewhere that I should try Pesto Gouda, so I bought a wedge of it and pondered over how I should use it.  I didn’t want to just eat it straight, because that seemed like a waste of cheese.  Last Saturday, I went to the Farmer’s Market and bought some fresh ciabatta bread.  I decided to make a panini.  I looked in my fridge to see what else I had: leftover chicken and bacon, and a brilliant idea was born.  I made panini sandwiches with baked chicken, pesto gouda and bacon on ciabatta bread.  Need I say more?

TDF – To Die For

One of my favorite bloggers has a regular post she does called, “On my Radar” and I just love that I can expect to see it at least once a week.  I wanted to do something kind of similar to highlight the things I see in my many shopping adventures.  I am a pathological window shopper.  I love to walk around and see what is out there at the high-end stores and then I try to find it at a better price.  I call it treasure hunting, my friends call it time consuming.  My thoughts are, if you can get more bang for your buck, why not add a little challenge in there as well?  Thus, the “TDF” post is born.  The things I find on my scooterpoofin’** trips that I can’t help but swoon over!

1.  Sailboat Door Knocker

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How adorable is this?  I saw it at Furbish Studio and I practically swooned.  My apartments are super nautical and my door is red, so it would be a perfect fit.  It would also make a great introduction to a beach house or a nautical, summery themed house!

2.  Monogrammed Acrylic Tray

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I love this tray from Shop Dandy!  It is perfect for putting your jewelry after the end of a long day, or even for using on your desk to hold things like paper clips and thumb tacks.

3.  Place Card Set

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I am always in the mood for planning a good party, and these Kate Spade place cards would be the perfect addition to a high class, girly afternoon tea or late night champagne gathering!

4.  Flamingo Smoking Slipper

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C. Wonder has done it again.  I saw these this summer and fell in love, but now they are on sale for $68.00.  Need I say more?  Plus, right now, all sale is an additional 50% off!

5.  White Tipped Matches

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I’ve been searching for some matches that I could put in a little decorative cup on my bedside table, but they are actually kind of hard to find.  Design Darling has a great selection of classy looking matches that would make a great, practical accent for your home.

Trader Joe’s Frozen Dinners

Omg.  Trader Joe’s.  Lately, this has been my favorite place to shop for groceries, and is quickly becoming one of the only places I go.  They have a huge assortment and basically everything I need in one place.  Their prices are completely reasonable, too.  These past few weeks, I haven’t felt like cooking when I got home, so their frozen dinners have seriously been a lifesaver.  I did some research to see what everyone recommended, and here are my top choices/meal pairings to create a full, well rounded dinner.

1.  Asian Cuisine

  • Pot Stickers
  • Edamame
  • Japanese Fried Rice

This has honestly been one of my favorite meals for the past couple of months.  It is so quick and easy.  You put the pot stickers in a pan with some olive oil and fry them until they are heated through, same goes for the rice.  The edamame goes into a pot with some boiling water and salt for 5 minutes and then you’re done.  Seriously the easiest thing ever.

2.  Italian Cuisine

  • Mushroom Ravioli
  • Garlic Bread
  • Charles Shaw White Wine

This mushroom ravioli is amazing.  It has the same taste that you would get from going to a restaurant, but all you have to do is throw it in the microwave.  The garlic bread goes in the over for a few minutes and you’ve got a good, filling meal.  I will note that the ravioli doesn’t have as much in the bag as it looks like, so I would recommend two bags if you are trying to feed (and fill up) multiple people.

3.  Mexican Cuisine

  • Handcrafted Chicken Enchiladas
  • Chips and Salsa (in the grocery section)
  • Spanish Rice (in the grocery section)

I’ve personally never made the enchiladas, but I’ve eaten them and I was impressed.  They tasted so authentic.  I’m pretty sure all you do is put them in the oven for a few minutes and voila!  A great side for anything Mexican is that red Spanish rice.  I know, mixing styles, but I LOVE it.  And I also can’t have a Mexican meal without chips and salsa to start out.

4.  American Cuisine

  • Mac and Cheese
  • Fresh made Sandwiches (in the refrigerated section)

Classic comfort food.  Trader Joe’s always has fresh made sandwiches in their refrigerated section that are ready and waiting for you to grab and eat.  Their frozen mac and cheese is the perfect partner, because you can either heat it in the microwave or a traditional oven.

5.  In a Rush

  • Sushi (in the refrigerated section)

You can’t go wrong with they sushi.  It’s pre-made and tastes so good.  It may not look like a lot, but it is really filling!

Breakfast on the Go

Some mornings I have a hard time remembering to eat breakfast, or I simply run out of time.  I forget the importance of starting the day right with a well-rounded breakfast.  It kick-starts your metabolism and helps you focus more throughout the day.

I find it more convenient to eat breakfast if I have something I can take with me and eat on my commute to work.  Here are some of my favorite grab and go breakfasts.  They are super easy to make, healthy, filling and one batch lasts me all week!

1.  Cheerios Jumbo Breakfast Cookie

Cheerios® Jumbo Breakfast Cookies

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I find just one of these cookies to be incredibly filling.  I love how well the crunch of the cheerios compliments the chewiness of the raisins.

2.  Oatmeal Breakfast Cupcakes

Oatmeal Breakfast Cupcakes

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I added cinnamon to mine, like she suggestion in her optional add-ins list.  These are perfect to eat in the car because they aren’t messy AT ALL!

3.  Orange-Chocolate Chip Muffins

For a breakfast the entire family will enjoy, try these tasty Orange-Chocolate Chip Muffins with shredded orange peel. More of our best-ever muffin recipes: http://www.bhg.com/recipes/bread/muffin-recipes/?socsrc=bhgpin052913orangemuffins=6

Better Homes and Gardens

I made these without the streusel topping to make them just a little bit more healthy, but they are still the least health conscious recipe on the list.  They are totally worth it, though.  I’m a sucker for orange and chocolate!

4. Spinach Quiche Cups

Manila Spoon: Spinach Quiche Cups

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These are incredibly easy to make, but are slightly more difficult to eat in the car.  I would recommend putting it in a zip lock bag and eating it that way, so the bag catches the crumbs.  Also, you’re probably going to want to pop these in the microwave before eating.  I just can’t do cold eggs.

5.  Bacon Egg Cups

Bacon Egg Cups

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How cute are these?  I love seeing them in my refrigerator because they make me feel like I’ve put thought into the presentation of what I’m cooking for myself.  So often I forget to pamper myself in the small ways.  When I have company, I always make sure the food in pretty and plated well, but I tend to forget to do the same for myself.  They are just as yummy as they are cute!

Do you have tips and tricks to remind yourself to eat breakfast?

Wine and Food Pairings

I just recently found this website called “wine folly” where they have all kinds of information about different types of wine, wine glasses, food pairings and so much more!  I think I’m in love.  I just spend a solid 45 minutes perusing their pictures and infographics.

As a newcomer to the wine world, I am still learning how to cook with wine, as well as what types of wine go best with different foods.  I came upon this infographic, and it was really helpful for me!  I hope it is for you, too!

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I’ve recently been trying to cook with wine, as well.  This is my favorite dinner recipe so far.  It is from The Midnight Baker‘s blog and highly recommend it.  It doesn’t take too much time and is completely affordable!

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The Midnight Baker

Mushroom Asiago Chicken

Do you have a favorite recipe that uses wine?

Girl Scout Cookies

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As a Kappa Delta, I am in LOVE with Girl Scout Cookies.  I seriously can’t get enough of them.  You know, I think I probably have to worry more about weight gain during Girl Scout season than I do during the holidays.  And to top it off, I recently found these wine pairings on Pinterest.  So perfect.

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Seriously though, you should check them out.  If you love wine and Girl Scout Cookies, then this is quite literally perfect.  And, it goes to a good cause.  To me, it sounds like a really awesome girls night in party idea 🙂

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Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?