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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy hearts day to all!  This Valentines Day, whether you have a valentine or not, I hope you all remember to look for and recognize the love in your life.  It’s a great day to not only celebrate that special someone, but also your family, friends, and anyone else that means something to you.  Spread the love!

Also, I wanted to share this SUPER cute Valentine’s card that was featured on the KateSpade.com blog:

So perfect, right?!

Also, I figured I’d share my favorite love song…it was a hit when I was a kid, and I think its simple message is so cute!  “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Ritcher.

How are you spreading the love this V-Day? Share in the comments!

xoxo, Karoline

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So, Summer’s Officially Over.

Well, it’s September.  Minor League baseball has wrapped up for the season, there’s a chill in the air, and I’m moving back to school tomorrow.  It’s the start of a new school year, but it’s hard to head back when I think about what a great summer it was.  Probably one of the best I’ve had.

I miss my tan already! :(

Also, it’s especially hard to move on when I realize that next year is my last summer vacation ever.  WOW.  If you think about it, after next summer I’ll be heading into my senior year; once I graduate that will be the “real” world (AKA the working world).  And, unless you’re a teacher, you don’t get summers off like students do.

But, I digress.  This summer has been an excellent one.  I had an amazing trip to Maine with my family, saw the Bruins win a Stanley Cup (and had an AMAZING time at the parade with my brothers), watched yet another Tour de France come and go, bid adeau to NASA’s shuttle program, read a bunch of books, grilled up a lot of delicious food, did the Chicken Dance and “Cotton Eyed Joe” more times than I can count at the Spinners, took an amazing trip to Vermont, had a bunch of lazy beach days with my girlfriends, interview a New England Patriot, ate a ton of ice cream, and somehow met so many new and amazing people who really managed to touch my life.  There’s lots of other fun things I did, but that quick list pretty much gives you the gist of it.  The summer of 2011 will definitely be one I won’t forget easily.

Alas, as I write this I’m procrastinating from packing up my life to head back to college.  I’m looking forward to my Junior year in so many different ways but that’s a different post for a different day.  Tonight, I’m giving summer one final hurrah and going to the Red Sox game with my brother, Tom.  It’s my last night at home, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it.

Now that summer’s over, what were some of the best moments for you?

xoxo, Karoline

It’s HOT Out!

It seems like this week has brought a heat wave with it that it gripping the entire country.  All over the US, temperatures are nearing 100 degrees; in New England we get the dreaded double whammy…100˚ heat and oppressive humidity.  It’s terrible!

Yes, I know 98˚ was super-cool back in the day, but who in their right mind wears a leather jacket when it's that hot out?!?

When it’s this hot out, there’s almost nothing I want to do.  Basically, you’ll be able to find me poolside or, if I’m lucky and was able to score a ride there, at the beach.  Other than that, I’ll be sitting next to the nearest fan trying my darndest to stay cool!

It’s days like today that give me a new appreciation for things like the ice cube, something I normally bypass in my drinks.  It also makes me want to trade in my beloved ice cream for lighter options like popsicles.  And don’t forget the water, iced tea, and lemonade!  I could drink gallons of all of them!  Remember–when it’s this hot out (and all the time, actually) it’s super-important to stay hydrated!

I don’t know about you guys, but today I’ll be doing some pool-crashing.

How do you beat the heat when it’s this hot and humid?

xoxo, Karoline

In Defense of Girls on the Grill

My name is Karoline, and when the weather is nice I like to cook food on the grill.  However, some people have a problem with that.  Namely my guy friends.  They seem to think that for some reason that–because I’m a female, I’m no good on the grill.

Watch out, boys!

Whenever I’m at school and a friend wants to have a cookout, I all too often hear the traditional wisdom that “women belong in the kitchen”.  When I attempt to rationalize with them that by grilling they are in fact cooking (surely a woman’s job, no?), they just say that the grill is a man’s territory.  I think it has something to do with them getting to play with meat and fire.

But, to all you boys who have shaken their heads at me or scoffed in disbelief that I’d be good at the grill, I’m here to defend myself.  I’ve been grilling since I was 12.  My dad was tired of doing it on his own, so he recruited his oldest child (me) to help.  I was interested in learning about cooking, so I jumped at the chance.  I’ve been obsessed with grilling ever since.

My dad was a great teacher, and taught me all the basics of making the coals extra-hot and how to not completely burn food.  But eventually, I picked up my own sense of when something was exactly right and how to eyeball and estimate whether or not it was done.  Today, my dad will tell anyone that I’m the superior grill-master in the family.

And, I don’t stop at your standard burgers and hot dogs, either.  I’ve grilled everything from stake tips, lamb chops, and swordfish to corn on the cob and even pineapple!  There’s something about the smoky flavor and juiciness that you don’t get anywhere else.  My medium of choice and preference is charcoal, but if I absolutely have to, I’ll sing it on a gas grill.

My absolute favorite thing to grill (and probably my best tasting, too) is lemon chicken.  My mom makes an amazing marinade, and lets the chicken sit in the fridge for a few days (we recently let one batch marinate for a week…whoops!), then I grill it up.  It’s one of my absolute favorite foods, and it’s become a summer staple in my house.

Best chicken on earth!

So, boys, next time you think us girls aren’t up to par on your “guy stuff”….you might want to, you know, give us a chance.  We might just be better at it than you.

What’s your favorite thing to grill up in the summer?  Do you have any hidden talents?

xoxo, Karoline

Things to Love About Summer: Ice Cream

Here’s your interesting trivia fact for the day: New Englanders consume more ice cream per capita than any other region in the United States. And still Massachusetts is the third thinnest state in the union…impressive, no?

20110714-060345.jpg

It’s pretty safe to say that growing up here, I’ve been spoiled with good ice cream my whole life. And I don’t mean the Ben and Jerry’s or Haagen Däz that can be bought at the supermarket. I’m talking the local dairies and ice cream shops that are present in almost every New England town…and they’re incredible.

You might be asking yourself how a region of six states that collectively make up a very small part of America’s geography can out-eat the rest of the nation in frozen goodness–especially when we have such harsh winters. It perplexes me too.

However, I think the answer really lies in the dairies and the homemade ice cream. Because there’s so many of them, it’s a convenient (and often affordable) treat. Also, it could have something to do with the stifling humidity we have to endure May through September, but then again we eat ice cream in the winter, too.

I took a trip out to the Midwest one summer, and was really confused that they’re really not big ice cream people. Instead, they eat frozen custard, something I’m not really sure of what it is, but am pretty certain has something to do with frozen yogurt?

Anyway, my love affair with ice cream started early, with frequent trips to our local ice cream stand, Meadowlands, as a kid. Some of my earliest memories are of my parents and grandfather teaching me how to properly lick a cone so that it doesn’t drip. To this day, ice cream is easily my favorite food, with sushi and my mom’s chocolate chip cookies as a close second and third.

My all-time favorite flavor is coffee heathbar, with black raspberry, Oreo, and butter pecan making occasional appearances in my order. I’ve tried so many different flavors, but those are the lasting favorites that I’ll almost always stick to.

What’s your favorite flavor?

Xoxo, Karoline

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