Monday, October 29, 2012

Make your vote count!

It's that time again...time to get out and make your vote count! 

Today, I stood in line for a little under two hours to early vote. I went in the evening, thinking the lines might not be as bad as mid-day. I was incorrect! So if you are planning to early vote, I highly recommend that you do it sooner rather than later, before the lines grow even longer. As far as I'm concerned though, that time I spent in line was very well worth it! I would much rather be greeted with a line of eager voters, than an empty building. The more people research, show concern and conviction, and participate, the better off we are as a nation. I am proud to live in a country that affords me the liberty to have a say in the elections. Above that though, I am so thankful and grateful to all of the brave men and women who fought to grant myself and others the right to vote. 

If you're reading this post today, I want to encourage you to make your vote count. Follow your convictions and beliefs, and vote for the candidates that you feel will best support your views and add to the quality of our nation. Do your research, and remember that this election is not only for the presidential candidates, but also the candidates running for your local/state offices and issues affecting your area.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Caramelized Sweet Pumpkin Seeds & Savory/Spicy Pumpkin Seeds: Cooking with Lydia!


I thought it would be nice to share one of my favorite Autumn recipes with all of you: Caramelized Sweet Pumpkin Seeds! They are so delicious, and very easy to make. 

Two of the best things about Halloween: 
1. Carving Pumpkins 2. Roasting the Seeds

(I "eyeball" my ingredients, so the measurements are not exact):
-Pumpkin seeds; cleaned and dried overnight (I used seeds from from 1.5 large pumpkins.) This week three pumpkins were carved, so I split the seeds between two batches.
-Cinnamon  (3tbsp)
-Pumpkin Pie Spice (2tbsp)
-Vanilla Extract (1tsp)
-Brown Sugar (light or dark, it doesn't matter) (3tbsp)
-Sea Salt (1/2 tsp)
-Unsalted Butter (3tbsp?) (Please note that you want to use butter for this particular recipe since it's a "sweet" one. If you want to make a savory/spicy pumpkin seed batch, use EVOO!)


*Lightly grease cast iron skillet with unsalted butter and allow it to reach medium heat. Mix other ingredients together in a bowl, then add to skillet. Saute for 10 minutes (varying) until golden brown. Stir often so they do not burn!  Remove from skillet and let cool. Enjoy! 

Add butter to skillet and melt on medium heat
Add pumpkin seeds (coated in ingredients) to the skillet and saute for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
-Cook until golden brown (you'll hear a tiny little popping noise)
-Lay on parchment paper to cool, and then serve! 
(Be sure to put any leftovers in an air-tight container to keep them fresh!) :) 

Watch the little two minute video below if you'd like to try your hand at these!


Savory/Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

(One again, I "eyeball" my ingredients, so this is only a guesstimate of what I put into these!)
-Pumpkin Seeds (from 1.5 large pumpkins)
-Chili Powder (2tbsp)
-Dill Weed (3tbsp)
-Ground Mustard (1tsp)
-Cinnamon (1tsp)
-Garlic Powder (1tbsp)
-Louisiana Hot Sauce (a few shakes)
-Worcestershire Sauce (3tbsp)
-Black Peppercorn (generous amount)
-Sea Salt (generous amount; but bare in mind Garlic Salt has sodium also)
Tony Chahere's Creole Seasoning (Original) (2tbsp)
-Lime Juice (drizzle)
-EVOO (generous amount in the cast iron will dissolve faster than butter, so you may need to add more during cooking to prevent burning the pumpkin seeds) 

-Coat pumpkin seeds in a light layer of EVOO, then stir in other ingredients. Saute over medium heat  in an EVOO coated, cast iron skillet for about 10 minutes. Add in more EVOO as needed to the skillet. Cook until a nice golden color. Serve! Enjoy! 

FINISHED PRODUCT: Savory/Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Left: Savory/Spicy Pumpkin Seeds. Right: Caramelized Sweet Pumpkin Seeds. 
Can't decide which ones to make? Try both! 

No Kitchen is complete without a little helper like Mykelti! Isn't she adorable?!

Awww Punkin!

On Tuesday night, a friend and I had a little pumpkin carving fun! I thought I'd share a few pictures with you all to get you into the Halloween spirit! :)

These two were my creation! When looking for carving ideas, I found this one, The Hungry Pumpkin and thought it was adorable!  

This pumpkin below was my friend's creation! It's supposed to be a carving of Edugar Allan Poe. So far, it's received some interesting interpretations though! I think it resembles Satan. My friend Shannon thinks it looks like something from "The Lion King". Best yet though was my 71 year old cousin's response when he said that it reminded him of an Asian Alfred Hitchcock. (That last one made me laugh so hard I nearly cried lol!) 

I hope these pumpkins inspire you to have a little Autumn fun and carve one yourself! And don't forget to roast those yummy pumpkin seeds if you do carve one! :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nail of the Day!

It's Nail of the Day time again! Yay! Today's look uses L'oreal's "The Temptress' Power". I picked this up at Target recently, and thought this was a nice gold color for Autumn. It reminds me of the brilliant colors in the changing leaves right now. This polish has rich golden color with green undertones, and green/ golden micro-glitter to it...lovely!

I used OPI's Natural Nail Base Coat as a nice base for the nail color. Next, I applied three coats of the Loreal color, and then topped things off with Revlon's Diamond Shine Top Coat. Be sure to check out the pictures and brief video below!


Today's nail look:

Indoor lighting, with no filter
(It looks a bit orange in this picture, but it's really a lighter golden shade)
L'Oreal's "The Temptress' Power" (696)
Two pictures taken outdoors in natural lighting with no filters 
(This is a more accurate representation of the color):
Another view:

Want to see more? 
Watch today's quick little video on this nail look and upcoming ones!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Laser Hunting with the Trio of Trouble!

My dogs enjoy the laser pointer more than my cats do. Enjoy their antics! :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I ♥ Fall TAG!

The "I   Fall" Tag has been floating around YouTube recently, and I had such a blast doing this one! Autumn is my absolute favorite season, so I thought this tag was especially fun! Click the video below to watch the tag and see what my very favorite picks for Fall are. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what your favorites are, or answer these questions on your blog. :)

Questions from the Tag:
1. Favorite Fall lip product?

2. Favorite Fall Nail Polish?

3. Favorite Starbucks Fall Drink?

4. Favorite Fall Candle?

5. Favorite Fall Scarf or accessory

6. Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?

7. Favorite Halloween movie?

8. Favorite candy to eat on Halloween?

9. What are you dressing up as for Halloween?!

10. What is your Favorite thing about Fall?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Confetti EVERYWHERE! Halloween Kitty Strikes!

This morning, I woke up to find that my cat, Lucky had decorated my kitchen for Halloween! Which, in cat terms means he found a plastic bag with Halloween confetti in it that I had sat on the counter from the night before, gnawed a hole in the bag because he has a plastic fetish, and strew confetti all over my counter top and floor. Apparently, my home was not festive enough for this Lucky black Halloween cat! I'm sure he was only trying to help me decorate... I'm also sure that this naughty cat is quickly approaching his ninth life! ;) 

I'm normally good about putting anything with plastic on it away from Lucky's reach, but last night I completely forgot about the bag of confetti I had sitting on the counter when I was filling out Halloween cards to mail out. I know the other cats had no part in this little Halloween party, because Lucky is the only one of my three cats with a plastic fetish. He's definitely the guilty kitty! Cute, but guilty!

Below, is a quick little video of the guilty kitty, and his decorating skills!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Dentists, Oh My!

And this folks, is why I HATE going to the dentist! Personally, I consider a trip to the dentist's office to be just as terrifying as a visit from a clown. I am terrified of both! (Bad childhood experiences.) When I saw this picture on Pinterest recently, I found it to be simultaneously hilarious and relatable. 

I went to the dentist last week as an emergency when a crown that I had placed after a root canal back in 08' broke half way off in the front and was completely black underneath. (Apparently, they're supposed to last for years and years, so the dentist who did mine initially was not a good one.) So, I wound up going to the discount program that the place I receive some medical care from offers. They took tons of x-rays, and then sent me on my merry way saying that they couldn't fix it until FEBRUARY! Unacceptable! (Why even get me in that day and do x-rays if they weren't going to fix it?) Anyways, if you have insurance, consider yourself blessed! 

So, after that horrifying day, I was still running around with half of a crown on trying to figure out what to do. Leaving it in that state was definitely NOT an option due to the risk of infection for me (Hello heart concerns!). So, I called my best friend, whose mom is conveniently a retired hygienist, and they helped me find a very sweet, reputable dentist who was awesome and got me in asap. I wound up having to pay everything out of pocket (Once again, if you have insurance, don't take that for granted!) She fitted me for a new crown and sent me off with a temporary one while they wait for the permanent one to come in. I go back on Thursday for the permanent one. I'm absolutely dreading it though because my last trip there resulted in me receiving the highest does of nitrous gas possible, along with six Novocaine injections...SIX! Can we say, OUCH?! She said that people who are fearful of the dentist sometimes metabolize anesthetics faster and that's why my shots kept wearing off? Hummm... All I know is that my mouth is STILL sore from the first round of injections, so I'm not looking forward to going back on Thursday if I meet the same fate again, (which is more than likely.) On the positive side, at least the new dentist is very sweet; that definitely helps my anxiety a lot. I never panic over any other doctor, but the dentist office always freaks me out to the point of nearly having a panic attack.

So folks, if you can spare a little prayer for me on Thursday (not even joking!), that would be much appreciated, my lovelies! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Nail of the Day!

It's Nail of the Day Time Again!!! This time I went with OPI's "The One That Got Away." It is a beautiful grapey-red shade with a lovely shimmery glitter undertone to it. Perfect for Autumn! Click my video below for a quick clip on the polish and all of the items I used to achieve this look.

All of the nail goodies mentioned in the video! (Play the video or check out my previous NOTD's for more info!) 

OPI's "The One That Got Away" 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Robert Frost

"There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate."
             -Robert Frost

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cuteness Overload!

This is the most adorable thing I've seen in ages! It's in French, but read the subtitles...they makes the video! Enjoy your laugh!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nutella Dutch Hot Chocolate

One of the best things about Autumn in my opinion, is hot chocolate! I thought it'd be fun to share a quick, easy hot chocolate recipe with you all tonight!

-Caramel (small drizzle to top. (I use a fork to drizzle this on top of the whipped cream)
-Nutella (1tbsp)
-Dutch Hot Cocoa Mix (This is just the Kroger brand packet, but you can use what you like. I was using this up before it expired!)
-Whipped Topping 
-Mini Marshmallows
-1 cup of boiling water 
-1 ice cube (this will cool your drink down enough to sip on it without scalding yourself)

-Fold hot cocoa mix into a cup
-Add boiling water and stir well
-Add in Nutella and stir again
-Add Marshmallows
-Top with Whipped cream 
-Drizzle with Caramel
-Add one ice cube to achieve a drinkable temperature without scalding yourself

(All the ingredients I used)
Nutella Dutch Hot Chocolate!

Lydia's Tip: You can really add just about anything you want to this: butterscotch, chocolate chips, syrups, fresh fruit to top it. I just kept it simple tonight. Also, this would taste amazing with milk or cream added to it! Given my stomachs hatred of dairy though, I stuck with water and just put a little cream on top to make it a little richer.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Music Pick: Natalie Lungley!

I am seriously obsessed with Natalie Lungley's music. Her voice is so haunting, jazzy, and incredible...all rolled into one terrific sound! Click the video below to check out one of my favorite covers by her. :)