Take A Dip On New Year’s Eve (yum!)

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and no I’m not talking about skinny dipping, jeez!

On a more serious note lets talk about New Year’s Eve.  The one night after Christmas that can really make or break your year, this year being 2012.

If your like me and turned the dirty 30 this year than you might be in a similar boat. What boat is that you ask? Well I’ll tell you…

I have seem to found myself in the “everyone’s married boat, the I can’t deal with the bar scene boat, I don’t want to pay a cover boat, I’m to old to deal with crowds boat, etc, etc.”

So if your like me, then you might want more low-key plans for New Year’s Eve this year.  Instead of paying a ghastly cover charge at the local bar to only have people bump into you and spill your drink all night,  this year there’s a house party with my name on it this year.

Now you may be thinking “house party, how lame”, but I assure you that this party will be filled with like-minded people in there late twenty’s with the urge to partake in a game of beer pong. How great does that sound?

So that being said, today’s post is a tad off the beaten path for me, I’d like to share with you a recipe. (shocker, I know) While I may not be a food blogger (I don’t have the patience) I LOVE to cook.

For those of you with similar plans and perhaps you’re looking for something to bring/bake for your New Year’s Eve plans, then I have for you a dip, a Taco dip to be exact. This dip has taken me from family and work functions all the way to raging house parties.  This is the one food item that I swear on when it comes to “pot luck”.

So allow me present Lindsay’s world-famous Taco dip:

Taco Dip

ingredients:

2 pkgs of cream cheese, softened (low-fat or regular is ok)

1 large green pepper, chopped

2 small cans of black olives (I hate olives and never use them)

1 medium onion, chopped (red onions taste great)

1  16oz jar of chunky, medium salsa (mild is good too)

1 8oz pkg of sharp, shredded cheddar cheese (white)

1   12oz pkg of shredded cheddar cheese (orange)

**1  12oz pkg of Monterey jack or cheddar jack cheese is also good instead**

Spread cream cheese evenly in a 13×9 baking dish. Combine bell pepper, olives and onions, spread evenly over the cream cheese.  Pour entire jar of salsa over veggies. Sprinkle with orange cheddar, then sharp cheddar (use entire package of each).

Bake @ 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly. Best with round tortilla chips.

5 Weekend Worthy Trips

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It’s about that time when summer is coming to an end and you start realizing that you haven’t done much in the form of a vacation or if your feeling British, a holiday. Over the summer I tend to take mini-vacations.

I like driving somewhere for a few hours and just getting away from it all without all of the hassle of buying plane tickets and booking week-long accommodations. Getting away for a few days, especially when it is spontaneous is exciting!

Traveling with my significant other is the best! I love getting away from it all and just having “alone” time. Not having to worry about grocery shopping is a huge plus in my book. So what types of weekend getaways are you looking for?  If your still looking for a min-vacation here are a five of my must have holidays for couples:

1.  Cape Cod

Any New Englanders in the house? If so then you know how fantastic a weekend on Cape Cod really is. Most places in Cape Cod get snatched up quick and even hotel prices start to sky-rocket once August hits. Plan early and you will be all set.

2. Napa Valley

If your living in the area this is a great place for weekend getaway. Take the Sideways (movie) tour and visit Napa and Sonoma Valley. Ideally renting a convertible for the weekend would make the most sense but either way wine tasting in this gorgeous scenic town is highly romantic and on my must-do list.

Vineyards in Napa Valley

3. Portland, Maine

If you’re an avid reader which I’m assuming you are, you would have just read about my latest trip to Portland. It’s really such a great city for a weekend getaway. Plenty to do and see and enough to keep you coming back for more.

4. New York City

We all know I have this love hate relationship with New York City. I want to love it but I just can’t. Spending a weekend there is the absolute maximum amount of time I care to spend. However it is great for a weekend. So many thing to do, eat, and see make it a perfect place to drive or take the train in.

5. Newport, Rhode Island

So you’ve never been to Rhode Island? Well Newport is a great place to start, especially in the summer. A weekend is usually enough time to see and do most of the fun stuff. Between the mansions, beaches, and restaurants, you probably won’t want to leave. My favorite place in Newport is Castle Hill. This Inn is open to the public for drinks on the lawn, not many tourists know this so it makes the spot not overly crowded. It is a tad pricey but the view is well worth it.

Castle Hill

Going away for the weekend is fantastic and like I’ve said before I almost prefer it to large trips. Don’t get me wrong I’d kill to be traveling Europe with my brother at the moment but spending a weekend in another city closer to home is still ok in my book.  Many of the cities that I’ve mentioned are great for a three-day weekend (holiday weekends). When visiting the coast make sure to book far in advance for the best price. Stay tuned for some weekend getaways once the weather turns colder.

Review: KMS California Hot Flex Spray

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As you know I love reviewing products from my Birchbox. In my August box I received Hot Flex Spray by KMS California. I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. At first glance it looks like hairspray and as some of you know my hair is too short for that. Well after doing some inspecting on the back of the bottle I figured out what it is used for!

So that being said, Hot Flex Spray does two things. The first being it protects hair from heat and styling damage, so your hair dryers and flat irons. The second thing it does is act as a hair spray in the fact that it holds style.

So for example, my hair is a “bob” cut, so each and every morning I work on making my hair “go under”. Well with this spray all I have to do is spray the sections and use my brush when blow drying my hair. The result is FANTASTIC. In fact I seem to be blowing through this sample size and I will have to buy more very soon.

After I fell in love with this product I did some digging around and discovered a whole line of products from KMS that I NEED to try next. They make everything from color protecting, anti-frizz, shine products, and much more.

Each month in my Birchbox I am supplied with a card that tells me how much I can purchase the full-sized product for, well I’ll let you in on a little secret, Amazon has this product for only $12! I don’t work for Birchbox so I don’t feel compelled to purchase from them when it is cheaper elsewhere. I really hope you will try out this product and let me know what you think, I love it!