Cowboy Booties

Yesterday I got a big package in the mail & look at what was inside.

I didn't fall in love with the boots right away. They were $70 the first time I saw them. Not feeling in the mood to make Hubby twitch at the thought of me spending a bunch of money on shoes I didn't need, I just admired them as they sat on the shelf in the store.
But then, Express marked them down a little. I was cruising through the mall & saw that they were marked down to $29.
I thought, Meh, I have a pair of real cowboy boots that I spent waaaay too much on already & have only worn once.
About a week later, I gave in & took my mom to be a jury vote on whether or not $29 was worth it. They were sold out of my size, but they were an additional 30% off, making them $20.
Mom and I decided it wasn't meant to be, but I could always look online later to see if they were available in my size somewhere else.
Weeks had gone by & I had forgotten about the booties until I got an ad in the mail for a sale at Express.
I instantly remembered the boots & guess what?! They were marked down to $9.99 & they had my size!!
Because I'm not always observant, it took until I put them into my virtual cart & was ready to check out until I noticed "take additional 20% off".
I got these puppies for $6.99!!!!!

I feel like Super Shopper. I even mildly joked to J about becoming a professional shopper. He liked the idea much better when I added, "for someone else" at the end.

I believe the shoes are completely sold out, but Express is still having a HUGE sale. All of their clearance is an additional 20% off & it's all summer attire (perfect since it's going to be summer for another 2 months).
I hope you can find something for a steal!



Pretty Little Liars

I have a small confession to make. Okay, maybe since it has consumed my life since 2010, it's actually quite a large confession.
I'm obsessed with Pretty Little Liars! It is the worst (best?) guilty pleasure I've ever had seeing as how it's made for teenagers & I'm well into my 20s.
Never heard of it? It's a drama/mystery show on ABC Family about 4 high school girls caught up in a tangle of lies, murders, & shady characters.
A secret person the show refers to as "A" sends each of the girls texts about secrets no one should know about. Everytime the girls find themselves in sticky situations, "A" is around to catch them in the act.
All the girls want to do is figure out who is harassing them & who killed their best friend (and lover).
They run 2 seasons a year, January-March-ish & then June-August-ish (yes, that means it's running right now!).
If you haven't seen it yet, you are SERIOUSLY missing out. I must admit, it would be awfully hard to start now & feel like you know what's going on. I really recommend starting from the beginning.
In case you want to start watching, I'll give you the lowdown on the main characters without you having to watch 50 hours of past episodes.

Aria (seen above) is my favorite character.
She's stylish, smart, & in love with a teacher. Their romance is nothing short of adult material, but I guess lots of young girls have crushes on older guys, so it's more appropriate than it sounds. Her parents had some cheating issues & that's all being worked into the murder mystery too.

And then there's Spencer. Brilliant, rich, & in love with the homeliest guy on the show (really!). She's kind of the brains of all the operations.
Her sister & mom get really involved in the show too. Because of all the trouble the 4 girls find themselves in, Spencer's mom, a lawyer, comes to their rescue quite a bit.
Spencer's sister has been involved with 2 of the murder suspects so far, which leads to drama & lies between the sisters.

Hanna isn't the brightest crayon in the box, but she's a loyal friend. She's a former chubby girl who was harassed & put down until the death of her friend. She lost weight & suddenly became the school's hottest commodity.
Her boyfriend is always trying to help, but usually gets in the way causing more drama than the show probably needs (it's ok, I forgive the writers).

Emily isn't my favorite character, but I think she's an important one. She is a gay teenager trying to figure out where she belongs. She deals with a lot of internal struggles that she's not always sharing with her friends. Yep, you guessed it, this leads to even more drama.
Emily is pretty bright, but often times consumed with her swim meets, her girlfriends, & almost anything but the murder(s). I think she'll get back on track though.

Now that you have a little background, if you want a full catch-up, leave me a comment & I'll fill you in completely. I just don't want to ruin it for everyone by blurting it all out.

Are you equally as obsessed as me? Can we get a big blanket and snackies and watch it next week together? During the commercials we can gossip about the characters! :)
Who is your favorite character & why?


The Newest Twitter-er

Alright, Alright, Alright! I signed up for Twitter yesterday. I know "welcome to the 21st century". If you are a fellow twit... twitter-er...tweeter(?), please go on and follow me @commonerheather. One of these days I'll figure it all out & follow you back.

I was very anti-Twitter, but I think I have a valid reason to cave in. I see all the visitors I'm getting on here & I have well over 200 followers via bloglovin, but I'm not getting a lot of feedback. Is it because you're not interesting in what I write? Is it because you don't feel comfortable on my blog? I thought Twitter would be a common meeting place to get advice or comments from people not willing to comment on here.
Right now, I'm following some of the people in the "recommended" list, but that's only to get the hang of the forum, then I'll only follow those people who I care about (my blog fans & friends). So the question is: who should I follow?
A celebrity? You? Your dog?
Please help me get started by either finding me on Twitter (@commonerheather) or leaving me a comment on here. Kapeesh?


Feta Pasta Salad

When I was little, my parents would drop me off at my Grandma's early in the morning & we would cook (& eat) all day long. She was Greek & loved sharing her recipes with me. At a very young age I fell in love with feta cheese. She would bring it out with crackers or bread for us to snack on while we waited for our culinary masterpiece to finish cooking. I would cut the biggest hunk of cheese off & try to put it on my cracker, but my Grandma would say, "Heather, you only take a little bit so you can savor & taste every morsel of it". I still haven't learned my lesson. I just can't imagine feta tasting any better than it does when I have a whole mouthful.
Last night I whipped up feta pasta salad & the feta was tasting better than usual. Maybe because it's the first time I've bought it from the store since my Grandma passed away...

What you'll need:
16 oz cooked spiral noodles
8 oz feta (don't buy the pre-crumbled stuff)
3.8 oz sliced olives (one of the small cans)
15-20 cherry tomatoes sliced longways
Raspberry vinaigrette (to your liking)

Put the cool, cooked pasta into a large bowl. Throw the tomatoes & olives on top of the noodles. While it's still in the package, crumble the feta either using your fingers or a fork, then toss it on top of the pile.

I'm positive that this will not disappoint at any party. The mix of the feta & raspberry vinaigrette makes your tastebuds dance. And because it's a cold dish, it is perfect for this extra hot summer we're having.
On a side note, if you make it the night before you intend to eat it, don't forget to pour on the vinaigrette. It gets absorbed by the noodles & cheese, making it even more impossibly delicious.



Golf & BBQ

J & I spent Saturday at the links hitting some balls. He was in a tournament on Sunday & wanted to get a last minute practice in. I normally partake in a leisurely game of golf, but this day I sunbathed & played paparazzi while Hubby tried out some new clubs (the ones I got him for his birthday).

The course, although littered with seemingly picturesque powerlines, is acres of beautiful greens & large stone markers directing you where the next hole is. It's in a surprising location, hidden behind an expressway & fast food restaurants, but you would never know it's there. When you're on the course you feel as if you're in the middle of the country with nothing in site for miles. It's so relaxing & peaceful, I'm tempted to pay the price of a round, then drive to the middle of the course & relax for the day.

Check out my Cinemagram creation of J (& one other below of my shirt blowing in the wind).

After the course, we stopped at the market to get kabob makings- steak, onion, & bell peppers.
We also cracked open a bottle of our homemade Italian wine & indulged around a fire.

How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting?



A Family Affair

As if my family wasn't large enough, we gained another member this past weekend! With a beautiful ceremony & a reception that went on all night, it was a wonderful day.

The sun was shining all day & it was HOT, but the bride got her perfect wedding day she has been waiting her whole life for.
I wish these two a lifelong marriage of happiness!



Light Nachos

I'm running around today, doing errands for myself & my mom, so I don't have a whole lot for you. I did indulge in some tastey (almost) healthy nachos last night.
Tortilla chips topped with mild & sharp cheddar, jalapenos, pico de gallo, & olives were so delicious... & mainly guilt-free.

Now, if you want to go totally vegetarian, in the health food aisle at Meijer I found "veggie cheese". It's actually vegetables made to feel & taste like cheese. Not to cut out dairy, but to reduce calories, I will be trying veggie cheese one of these days...

My favorite nacho topping is either spicy meat or sour cream. What's yours?



Good Eats Around Town

I've been enjoying some seriously good eats lately. Too much for my own good, that's for sure. There's a relatively new BBQ joint just a few minutes from me, so Hubbs & I had to head there to get one of our favorite BBQ dishes- pulled pork sandwiches.
Piled high with deliciously juicy pork on a toasted bun & two side dishes of your choice (as if anyone could finish the sandwich alone). I chose beans & potato salad.

After a long week of being back to work since our trip to the Dominican Republic, we needed to get out for a drink. We headed to a little pub & grub down the street to send our taste buds to heaven.
We started out with their version of spinach artichoke dip, which is actually very ranchy/cream cheesey & less spinachy/artichokey.
Then I opted for the spicy chicken tacos topped with sriracha sauce with a side of sweet potato tots.
J went for the untraditional country club. It was stacked with pastrami & turkey on rye.

And yes, we received & finished our much needed drinks.

I was invited to a wedding this past weekend, & the couple left a 4.5 hour gap between the ceremony & reception, so I took the opportunity to go to lunch with my Mommy. We went to a chain restaurant, but still delicious none-the-less.
I had a chopped salad & black bean soup (which is more like a chili).

I've definitely had my fair share of deliciously unhealthy foods lately. Time to get back to my usual diet.
Have you tried anything new recently? New restaurants? New meals?
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