Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wewalka | Mediterranean Envelopes

This is a sponsored post.  I received compensation and product samples in exchange for writing this blog post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. 

After a long day at work, I usually don't have much time to come up with a complicated dinner. Sometimes Jake has a night class and it's just me eating dinner.  So, I prefer recipes that don't take more than 20 minutes and don't require more than ~10 ingredients.  I found this recipe for Mediterranean Filled Envelopes on the Wewalka site and knew it would be a perfect one for me to try on my own. Sometimes when we get Blue Apron deliveries, I really feel like those recipes take 2 people because they are more complicated and require a lot of prep work. Jake says it feels like a fire drill sometimes.  This recipe, on the other hand is super easy and really quite delicious and totally do-able for one person to make. You could add a small side salad and have a couple of these for dinner. 

Mediterranean Filled Envelopes 

What you'll need:

  • 1 package Wewalka refrigerated puff pastry
  • 1/2 green, 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • egg wash
  • 3 oz. pitted black olives
  • 5 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper 

Step 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2. Brown sesame seeds in a dry pan over low heat.

Step 3: Unroll the puff pasty onto a baking sheet (keep it on the parchment paper). Using a knife, cut into six squares. 

Step 4: For the filing, mix the feta, peppers, olives and honey in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute in the middle of each square. 

Step 5: Brush edges of dough with a small amount of water, then fold all four corners inward and then pinch in the middle to close each "envelope". 

Step 6: Brush the envelopes with egg wash and then sprinkle with the browned sesame seeds. 

Step 7: Bake the envelopes for 15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly puffy. 

Step 8: Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy! 

These are perfect as a quick appetizer or part of a meal. I really can't remember the last time I cooked with puff pastry... maybe one other time in my life? But don't be intimated by it.  This product is very easy to cook or bake with and can be used for a variety of recipes. I am really pushing myself out of my cooking comfort zone and I kinda like it.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Importance of Curating Social Media Feeds

A few years ago I don't think I would have even known what 'curating a feed' meant. But, now that I've been in the social media game for a few years, I wanted to share this simple piece of advice. Deciding who to follow on each platform is absolutely key to what you will see on your feed each day.  It does take a little bit of time and effort but it will pay off immensely.

But, where do you start?

Curating Social Media Feeds

Focus on your favorite 2-3 platforms. 

Don't feel like you have to be active on every single social media platform. Do you love following celebrities antics on Twitter via 140 characters? or would you rather scroll through tons of tiny (mostly) square photos? Do you like seeing what other's pin? or are you a Facebook addict? I'd recommend focusing on two or three of your favorite platforms. Don't feel like you "should" be spending more time on Pinterest. If you wanted to spend more time on Pinterest, you'd spend more time on Pinterest.    

What do you want to see? 

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up? Your kids? Coffee? Clothes? The environment? Work? Travel? Justin Timberlake? (All of the above?) Do you want to see pictures of outfits (#ootd)? Travel inspiration (#traveltuesday)? or do you want to know what Britney Spears is doing a 3 pm on a Wednesday? Pay attention to what people regularly post. Read their bios -- they actually tell you a lot about what what drives the person. Recognize this may change. When I first started posting on Instagram, I loved fashion + outfit posts. Now I am more into travel photos, but I still love fashion and beauty photos. I find that most of the people I follow are fashion bloggers with travel bloggers coming a close second.

Is that loop giveaway really worth it?

Do I really want to spend 15 minutes of my life following all these random people on Instagram that I don't even really like their feeds? Hell-to-the-no. I think I did a few loop giveaways when they first came out but I refuse to do one now. Ain't nobody got time for dat.  My advice would be to carefully look at each person's feed to determine if you actually want to follow them. Sure, it would be nice to have a $500 Nordstrom shopping spree but not so much that I have to spend the time and un-follow all those random people that I never wanted to follow in the first place. Not worth it.    

Don't follow people just because you want them to follow you.

If I follow someone, it's because I like what they post. I don't expect them to follow me unless they like what I post. Sounds simple enough, right? I've seen so many random people follow me on Instagram and expect a follow back and then unfollow me when I don't. Sorry, it doesn't work that way (at least in my book).

Constantly Maintain. 

I think it's important to constantly reevaluate who you follow. This is not something you do one time and then never look at again. You'll want to clean up and constantly maintain who you follow.  One easy way to do this is by looking at your feed each day and if you start seeing things you don't like, immediately unfollow. Recently, I was randomly following someone on Instagram and they just started posting super weird stuff that would literally shock me whenever I saw it. Everyday, I said to myself, 'I should really stop following this person' but for some reason I never did.  Then, one day I did and it was so freeing.      

Do you have any tips for curating social media feeds? If so, post in the comments below.



Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Five | Vol. 7

What's that you say? Only 2 more working days until Thanksgiving? That's right... it's almost the end of November.  Do you remember when I was just saying, I cannot believe it's November? Well, get ready because it's almost... December. Holy crap is all I have to say (in a good way). Christmas... or bust. 

(1) Watching HGTV's Hawaii Life makes me want to move back to Kauai. 

(2) Even though I already have too many blanket scarves, who wants to get me this one for my birthday Christmas?  

(3) You probably know by now that I am obsessed with Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, NC. Jake took me there as a surprise for our 4th anniversary in August and (you guessed it) we went again for my birthday this week. So good! (and P.S. it was voted one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in the Nation by Bon Appetit Magazine. NBD).  

(4) According to science, it's OK to spend all your money on traveling. Well that's good news. 

(5) Speaking of... In 4 days, we'll be sitting on a beach in Turks + Caicos. Caribbean... here we come!  

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

P.S. Sometimes I say y'all. 

The Fine Print: This post contains advertising and affiliate marketing links. This means that I may get commission on sales of the products that I link on the blog. As a dear reader of mine, I want you to know that if you follow a link and make a purchase from an affiliate site, then I will make a commission from that purchase. Sponsors, brand collaborations and affiliates make this blog possible.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sunday Breakfast with Wewalka Croissants

This is a sponsored post.  I received compensation and product samples in exchange for writing this blog post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. 

Jake and I recently started a new tradition of making breakfast together on Sunday mornings. During the week, we usually have very little time to sit down and eat a proper breakfast together.   I'm usually grabbing yogurt or a Larabar on my way out the door. So, on Sundays we might have bacon and eggs, homemade waffles or cinnamon rolls. If you know me, then you know I am a pastry person. I cannot resist baked goods! One of my newest discoveries is this Wewalka (Ve-Vahl-ka) croissant dough.  I made these croissants last weekend as part of our Sunday Breakfast and they were a real hit. I have also made them without the Nutella filling and I like them both ways! 

Have you heard of Wewalka yet? They are a European dough company that recently expanded to the Charlotte market.  They currently offer four different products in the U.S.: Croissant Rolls Dough, Puff Pastry Dough, Bistro Style Pizza Dough and Family Style Pizza Dough.  We used the croissant rolls in this recipe but my other favorite product is the Family Style Pizza Dough.  Below is the recipe I used for the very simple, quick and easy Nutella croissants.      

Nutella Filled Wewalka Croissants

What you'll need:
  • 1 package Wewalka croissant rolls
  • A few tablespoons of Nutella (or cookie butter)
  • 1 egg for egg wash 

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Step 2: The package notes "large croissants" so I cut each piece in half. Instead of 6 large croissants, I made 12 smaller bite sized croissants.

Step 3: Fill each croissant with a generous sized spoonful of Nutella at the widest end.

Step 4: Roll up each croissant. Evenly space them out on the parchment paper. Then, brush with egg wash (this step is optional).

Step 5: Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 6: Enjoy (for breakfast or dessert, or snack!)

A few of my favorite things about this dough:
  • It comes on parchment paper which you are instructed to use while baking. There is almost zero cleanup.
  • With just a little egg wash, the dough browns perfectly and looks great.
  • They do not use bleached flour, animal by-products or high fructose corn syrup which makes Jake (and me) very happy. 
  • The finished product tastes amazing. Buttery, flaky, delicious. 

You can find Wewalka dough at Harris Teeter's in the Charlotte area. Have you tried it yet?

Happy Baking!

Monday, November 16, 2015

30 Things I've Learned Since Turning Thirty

Since turning thirty, approximately 365 days ago, I've really been reflecting on what I've learned, what kind of person I want to be, how I want to live my life and most of all what's important to me.  I never understood this quote until now, but youth is wasted on the young. Of course, thirty is not "old" by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a big turning point for me in my life and I find that I do think about things in a different way than I did just a few years ago.  I really find that the older I get, the more I 'come into myself'. I feel more comfortable, confident and happy in my life. I am no longer embarrassed thinking about the station wagon my parents used to drive, but I recognize that as a symbol of the times.

I recently took a continuing education (CPE) class where we discussed the different generations and how best to collaborate together in a work environment. I learned that I am a Millennial (born between 1980 - 1997) and I really resonated with a lot of what I heard about my generation: we prefer email/texting over face to face interaction, we believe in a flexible work environment and we consider work/life balance very important in our lives.  So, without further ado: 

30 Things I've Learned Since Turning Thirty


1. I'm constantly learning and I will never not be a student.

2. I no longer get carded and that is perfectly OK.

3. Skincare, skincare, skincare.

4. Whatever I want in life, I can do/have/be. No excuses.

5. Who cares what everyone else is doing. Do what I want to do.

6. I can either make myself strong or miserable. The amount of work is the same.

7. Be Happy.

8. Change is the only constant.

9. Work hard, play harder.

10. Make the best decision I can with the information I have at the time.

11. Don't look back.

12. Be a fountain, not a drain.

13. Give myself credit for everything I've accomplished so far.  

14. Be in the moment. 

15. I'd rather have flowers on my table than diamonds on my neck. 

16. If I want something, just ask. The worst they can say is no.  

17. Never give up. 

18. It's the little things that often add up to the big things. 

19. Know my own self worth and don't accept anything less. 

20. Experiences are worth more than things. 

21. Only I can make myself happy. 

22. Travel, travel, travel.

23. Don't do anything because I think I 'should'.

24. I don't need to apologize for everything. 

25. It's okay to say 'no.'

26. The difference between who I am and what I want to be, is what I do. 

27. Do not spoil what I have by desiring what I have not. But, remember that what I have now was once among the list of things I so once desired. 

28. It's okay to have bad hair days. Especially in the South. 

29. Have dessert. 

30. Life is basically all the stuff I have to do to get from coffee to rooftop cocktails.  

So -- cheers! Here's to another year of food, fun and travel -- and learning more about myself.  Have you had a milestone birthday recently? What's the best thing you've learned in the last year? Share in the comments section below. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Five | Vol. 6

I am starting to really like putting these Friday Five posts together! I must say: It's kind of fun to curate it all week long and it gives me a place to put all of my random ramblings.  

This SNL Bad Girls video short is everything. Drop everything and watch it now. 

The more you know: so this week I learned that "netflix and chill" doesn't really mean netflix and chill. Dang it, I feel old now.  

In honor of turning thirty-one next week, (it doesn't seem as bad if I spell it out), I will be doing a special post about things I've learned since turning 30. Stay tuned! In case you're interested, here is my post from last year about turning 30.  

Last weekend, we went to the movies for the first time in a while. We saw Black Mass and it was really good. Funny story: I totally thought Jesse Plemons character was Matt Damon. Nope.  

If you've ever been to Seattle, you've probably been to the infamous gum well. Well, it's getting cleaned this week. Fear not - once it's been cleaned, we can return to putting our gum on it. Phew, that was close.   

Happy Weekending,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blue Ridge Mountains: Take 3

So I realized that I never posted photos from the third trip we took to the Blue Ridge Parkway in late August. I know what you're thinking. We should take a trip there now while the fall leaves are falling. Alas, we will have to save that for another day since the rest of this year is packed with more travels. I can't say that I hate it. If you know me, you know that I am always planning my next trip. More on that soon...

Blue Ridge Parkway

On this particular visit  to the BRP, we decided to do it as a day trip so we left pretty early (before 7 am) and returned pretty late (after 9 pm). I'm not sure I would recommend doing a day trip from Charlotte, it's kind of a lot of driving. But -- whatever floats your boat. Using my handy dandy guide book, I mapped out our plan for the day. We did Graveyard Falls Loop Trail which is 3.5 miles of strenuous hiking. The good news: we got to see two waterfalls and pick blueberries. The bad news: we thought we got lost because of how long the hike actually was. Overall, I would recommend this hike. It is tough but very customizable if you don't want to do the whole thing. Just hiking to the Lower falls was a breeze and you could do it in 15 minutes practically in your sleep. Hiking to the Upper Falls, now that was a lot more challenging. Trust me on that one.  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

After our hike, we decided to check out some waterfalls and do a quick stop in Brevard where we walked around and explored some more. North Carolina has so many of these cute little towns, I swear. We have so much more exploring to do! The photo below is Looking Glass Falls --and you can see it from the road. No hiking required!

Blue Ridge Parkway

Brevard, North Carolina

Brevard, North Carolina

Brevard, North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway
We ended up grabbing dinner in Asheville at White Duck Taco Shop which was delicious. Check it out if you're ever in the North Carolina mountains. It's super affordable and very tasty.  Saw this watertower (?) on the way out of Asheville. #goodvibesonly for sure. 

Blue Ridge Parkway

Never stop exploring.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Not Your Mom's Levi's

The way it usually works is this: I see a clothing item I like on a Instagram, I decide I need it. I contemplate buying the original ($$$$) or a more affordable knockoff option ($$), I decide that I hate it, I convince myself I don't need it, I can't stop thinking about it, I buy it.  Sometimes this whole process can all go down in a period of 2 days or sometimes it takes several years (mansur gavriel bucket bag, I'm talking to you!). 

When I was in college, I took a marketing class and I remember learning about the various states of the innovation adoption lifecycle (look it up): early adopters, late majority, laggards, etc. With fashion trends, I think I might actually be in the laggard category. When a new trend comes out, I usually hate it. For example, chambray, ankle booties, lace up flats... you get the picture. It took me a long time to start liking these things and even longer to actually go out and purchase them. But now I'm obsessed. I think I now own at least 4 pairs of ankle booties and chambray shirts. Who needs 4 chambray shirts?  

Levis and Old Navy

I should really do a post about becoming a minimalist and curating my closet but that's for another day. I recently read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and LOVED IT! Anyway.  I have been on the search for a pair of ripped black jeans for about a month now. I've endured countless trips to the mall, tried ordering online and scoured target. I was about to give up when I spotted these beauties at Nordstrom. I thought twice because I really can't remember the last time I purchased a pair of levis. Turns out they fit the best out of all the denim I tried on and were at a good price point (under $100). So, I was pretty happy with that result. I've been wearing them nonstop, especially on our trip to Chicago last month.  More on that later.     

One of my favorite blogs to read is Kendi Everyday and she actually inspired me to purchase this old navy flannel top. I was telling a friend that I only buy clothes that I see on Instagram now, and I actually think it's true, ha!  

Levis and Old Navy

Levis and Old Navy

Also, these booties are circa Old Navy from last Fall and I still love them to death! They are still in great shape which is nice for a pair of shoes under $25. I think I also saw these on Kendi Everyday. She is seriously my style icon. Some people want to meet Justin Timberlake, I want to meet Kendi!

Levis and Old Navy

Levis and Old Navy

Can we talk about these earrings? Ear crawlers are my new thing. I guess this was another thing I originally hated when I first saw it and LOVE now. Funny how that works!

Levis and Old Navy

Levis and Old Navy

Levis and Old Navy

I decided that Fall is my favorite fashion season. I say this every season but I think it's really true this time.

| The Deets |

Denim | Levi's 711 Skinny in Black Tide Deconstructed
Flannel | Old Navy Boyfriend Windowpane Flannel Shirt 
Sunglasses | Rayban New Wayfarer Polarized
Boots | Old Navy (last season)
Earrings | Shopbop Shashi Noa Ear Climbers
Nails | OPI Cajun Shrimp


The Fine Print: Vintage Modern contains advertising and affiliate marketing links. This means that I may get commission on sales of the products that I link on the blog. As a dear reader of mine, I want you to know that if you follow a link and make a purchase from an affiliate site, then I will make a commission from that purchase. sponsors, brand collaborations and affiliates make this blog possible.