Valentine’s Day & Why Sometimes I’m a TERRIBLE Vegetarian!

Hey healthy bunnies!

How are you and how is your week going? It’s Thursday so I think I’m finally safe from people asking “how was your Valentine’s Day??”  Awwwkward. Anyway, I had fun last weekend and wanted to share, plus explain why sometimes I’m not the model plant-based bunny you may think I am.

I went to Willie Jane on Valentine’s Day with a very close college friend who I was dying to play catchup with. I chose the restaurant via Yelp. Many times my friends trust me to make the decision because I’m a foodie and also usually the one with more dietary restrictions.

Willie Jane is what I consider to be typical American-style hipster. Seriously, that should be a cuisine category!  I don’t know why, but Southern food with a cool twist is just so hipster to me, and to prove my point further, it is nestled in the part of Venice which is like the hipster capital (hmm or maybe Silverlake is, I’ll have to fact check). In case you’re wondering, we weren’t given mason jars. haha

We started with biscuits and orange butter.


My friend chose the chickens and waffles. I love the homestyle touch of a patterned plate that looks like it could be from anyone’s grandma’s kitchen.

I had roasted fingerling potatoes, soft scrambled eggs, and grits. Here’s where I failed: I didn’t read the menu close enough and when they arrived, they turned out to be SHRIMP grits. There were no pieces of shrimp, but they were cooked with shrimp paste added.

At the point that I tasted them, I knew something was, well you know– fishy. That’s when I asked the waitress. I didn’t bother sending them back, though. This rarely happens to me so I went with the flow. Even though I told the waitress I was vegetarian, that means different things to different people. It was my job to ask the right questions. I’ve gotten maybe a bit too lax, I think. So for this meal, I ate what I could and made mental note to be more upfront and to ask better questions.

It was still a great meal! Don’t judge me. 🙂

Next, we went to Toms, the shoes brand which has a trendy looking little coffee shop set up as well. Coffee and shoes?! Yes.

I got a matcha latte, because when in Hipsterville…

I was amazed that Toms has way more shoes than the typical slip ons (that kinda look like paper mocassins)! I got these cute peep-toe booties.

If you plan to grab a pair, they run about 1/2 size too big.

 
That’s it for now, but leave a comment below and let me know what you have planned for this coming weekend!

Xoxo

Fifi

A Housewarming Party Made Easy (and inexpensive)

Note: Maybe you did not just move in, but maybe you want to have a nice dinner party and enjoy the summer weather. If so, this post is for you!

Follow the link below to watch the video that goes along with this post:

House warming parties are so fun and cozy whether you are just moving to a new apartment on the other side of town, or you have just purchased your first home. Often times because of the stress of the move, time it takes to unpack, and a limited budget, housewarming parties do not happen until months or even a year after moving in. Yet, all the while you find yourself wanting to do it– and wishing you could have one sooner. I’d like to share some easy tips for putting together an inexpensive housewarming party within the first 90 days of moving in.

Hopefully, you’ve unpacked. Let’s assume you’re one of those organized packers, so you had all the boxes neatly marked with labels like “Kitchen Utensils” and “Linen Closet” and such. If you set aside working hours for yourself to unpack each day, you’ll be done in no time.

Now, for the food and decor.

1. Remember that your guests, who presumably are friends and family– are not expecting to walk into a Crate & Barrel showroom. They are expecting to come into something nice and cozy, and congratulate you on your move. Don’t feel like your home decor has to be perfect. One good idea is to concentrate traffic in the areas of your home that do happen to be complete. Kitchen, living room, dining, room– these are places people can hang out. There is no need for them to peek at the bedrooms–especially if they aren’t ready yet. If you need to, place cute little signs on the outside of the off limits rooms so that your super nosy guests keep out. Something like “Under Construction” will be funny and unimposing.

2. Don’t feel like you have to provide a full meal for your guests, who will only be dropping by your house for short moments of time. If the invite says “Drop by from 11am to 4pm” guests will already have the idea that they are just casually coming by to show their love and congratulations.

Food can really get pricey. Instead of buying those very convenient party trays, buy the dips (or make those too), but cut up the vegetables and fruits, and buy the crackers yourself. This really ensures you get the freshest produce, since you picked it yourself. I love cutting the carrots, zucchini, and broccoli myself so that I can choose the right sized pieces and ensure that none of the veggies or fruit will be too old or dry looking.

3. It is tempting to buy frozen wings or pick up wings from a local restaurant to serve. This cost can add up– and often times the food runs out quickly. Instead, I recommend adding meat to another dish like pasta, rice, or salad. It goes a longer way, and is very easy to make. Try buying a roasted chicken from the grocery store and cutting it into pieces, or adding shrimp to a nice pasta salad.

4. Bake something! There’s nothing more inviting than walking into a home where fresh brownies, cookies, or muffins have been baked. If you lack time or the skill to bake, you can buy pre-made dough, and just pop them into the oven 30 minutes before your guests are to arrive. They can check out your new abode with a sweet treat in hand! I even created a sample menu for you!

5. Check our your local party supply store for utensils. Paper and plasticware have come a long way. There are wine and champagne glasses, disposable party bowls, and more. They are even in matching sets. Check and see what’s available, and see if this is a more viable option over things you must wash during and after the party.

6. Alcohol can be a huge expense, so there are a few ways you can go:

  • You can hit up your local health food market, or the well known store BevMo and grab inexpensive wines, and when they are gone, they are gone.
  • Make a party punch like Sangria– so that it goes a longer way. There are tons of recipes for things like Sangria, frozen drinks, etc.
  • Announce that is is a “Bring Your Own Wine” event. This depends on your level of comfort. It can be a nice addition, since many are unsure of what gift to bring to a housewarming.
  • Have the housewarming earlier in the day– you can serve water, iced tea, and other beverages. Skip the alcohol altogether.

Don’t forget to load your iPod with great music for the event!

Lastly, the important thing is to stay within your budget, and do it in a tasteful way. It is also important to have an event that is more fun for you than it is stressful. Check your budget first, then plan accordingly. The most important part of the event is not the decor, food or showcasing the home– it is the time spent with those you love and who love you.

Any additional questions I didn’t answer in this post? Visit my Facebook page (facebook.com/divinehostess) and send me a direct message! I hope you enjoy your parties and gatherings this summer. I know I will!