Lemon Bars Recipe

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Last week, my sweet tooth kicked into overdrive. You know when you just need a sugar fix? But it’s swimsuit season and I resisted as long as I could. I didn’t even keep a jar of cookie butter in my pantry. Swear on Chanel!

The other night, I could not stop thinking about ice cream.

Ugh. Now it’s happening again.

I had to get my sugar fix but wanted to keep it light + airy.

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Helloooo, lemon bars from my girl Ina!!

There’s just something about lemon that makes it perfect for a spring sweet. Sweet, tart, crisp, lemon bars are the life of any spring fling party.

Or you know, a wonderful couch companion for Law + Order binge-watching.

Mmmm maybe ice cream can go on this sugar fix fest? AND then some toasted coconut shreds?!

Mission sugar fix accomplished.

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Spring Checklist

I’ve got a pretty serious case of spring fever and the only prescription is more cowbell spending as much time outside in the sunshine as possible. Being able to break out the shorts + Jacks (!!!) this weekend made this girl one happy camper. And I’m ready to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather exploring new neighborhoods and rooftop happy hours with friends. Winter hibernation is over, time to spring into action!

I really can’t make it through a single post without a pun.

If you have something to add to the spring checklist, let me know in the comments!

Spring Checklist | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Lilly Pulitzer for Target Big Day

Get excited!! This weekend is the BIG DAY for the Lilly Pulitzer Target collection. We’ve pored over the look books, circled our favorite and (im)patiently waited for April 19th to arrive.

Lilly Pulitzer for Target Big Day

Being no stranger to the chaos + whirlwind of a Lilly sale, I know it’s important to go in with a game plan and nerves of steel. Here are my tips to navigate the sale with your sanity intact and your checkout cart full of colorful items.

Update your Target account info: Double check your Target account info, making sure your billing info and shipping address is up to date. 

Know your size(s): Items will be snapped up left and right in front of your very eyes. While you’re determining the right size for you, the item might sell out. It’s helpful to know which sizes in which Lilly pieces work for you.

Prioritize your picks + Check out often: Know ahead of time which pieces in the look book are your favorites and must-have pieces (looking at you, pineapple swimsuit!) and put those in your shopping cart first and immediately check out. You can continue shopping knowing your favorite pieces are heading your way soon! Even if you save something to your shopping bag, until you check out there’s a chance someone else can snatch it up. It might sound crazy but hey girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Stick to your budget: In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get carried away. But be realistic about what you can spend: check your finances + determine how much you can spend on clothes for the month. And then stick to it!!!

Set an alarm: You might want to also put a pot of coffee on. The Lilly Pulitzer Target collection will go live between 12am and 2am CST so set an alarm and make sure your laptop’s charged.

Happy shopping + see you on the other side!

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Mango Mojitos

Mango Mojitos | dcgirlinpearls.com

You know the show Best Thing I Ever Ate? Yup, today’s post is sorta gonna be like that. But instead of food, it’s cocktails. Buckle up, kids.

I know I’m asking a lot of questions today but are you sitting down? Good, because what I’m about to tell you will blow your tastebuds out of the water. A few weeks ago, I went to happy hour at Cava Mezze in Eastern Market. It was one of the first beautiful, sunny days we’d had in awhile and I knew I had French fries and mini gyros coming my way. Life was grand, folks. It’s like I was seeing through technicolor.

And then it happened.

Happy hour mojitos with the option to add mango. In the name of all that is good + pure in this world, please do yourself a favor and always make a mojito mango. I knew right then and there I’d have to recreate this cocktail ASAP

Now that it’s rooftop season, it’s open season on mojitos.

Am I right?

Mango simple syrup is foolproof to make and can be made from start to finish in the time it takes to watch an episode of The Mindy Project.

Approximately.

Mango Mojitos | dcgirlinpearls.com

In a saucepan on medium heat, mix 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of water until the sugar is dissolved. Then add 2 cups of mango chunks (I used the frozen kind) and reduce to low heat. Let it simmer for 25 minutes and then let it cool before storing it in a sealed container.

Mango Mojitos | dcgirlinpearls.com

Fresh muddled mint + ice + rum + MANGO NECTAR OF THE GODS.

Topped with a festive umbrella and a healthy splash of Prosecco to give it some fizz.

Mango Mojitos | dcgirlinpearls.com

Ingredients (Serves 1)

4-5 fresh mint leaves

Ice

1 shot of clear rum

Mango simple syrup

Prosecco (or club soda)

Directions

In a rocks glass, muddle the fresh mint leaves using the back of a spoon.

Fill the glass with ice and pour the rum over the ice.

Next, add the mango simple syrup but leave some room. Finally, pour a splash of Prosecco and add an umbrella! Cheers!

Mango Mojitos | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Coconut Oil Beauty Uses

In the last year, I think I’ve seen + read more articles praising the power of coconut oil than I could count. Stop split heads, moisturizer, bath oil, makeup remover, the list seemed to go on and on. But me? I only used a coconut oil spray in the kitchen. Side note: Coconut oil is great for cooking, it can handle high temperature and bonus, the coconut oil spray won’t make your dishes taste coconutty (is that even a word?). Coconut oil completely defies logic.

I picked up a jar of coconut oil from Trader Joe’s for $6 and figured I’d give it a whirl. Well, let me tell you: Coconut oil not only defies logic, it’s also probably the most cost-effective beauty product on the market.

For $6, I had a solution to split ends, cracked heels and help with chronic dark circles. No matter how much sleep I get, I have dark circles under my eyes. Thankfully, I also have a killer concealer.

 

Coconut Oil is a #1 beauty product from hair to manis | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Cherry Blossom Snaps

DC Cherry Blossom Snaps | dcgirlinpearls.com

It’s Cherry Blossoms time in DC!! While runners raced the Cherry Blossom 10K, I enjoyed the cherry blossoms at a more (ahem) leisurely speed. I spent a sunshine-filled Sunday strolling around Eastern Market with a strawberry lemonade in one hand and my camera in the other. I briefly thought about venturing into the chaos of the National Mall but my neighborhood was so gorgeous with all the blossoms, I couldn’t tear myself away. So PLEASE bear with me as I go a little blossom-crazy for the next couple of weeks!

Have some sangria, it’ll help!! Scout’s honor.

DC Cherry Blossom Snaps | dcgirlinpearls.com

DC Cherry Blossom Snaps | dcgirlinpearls.com

DC Cherry Blossom Snaps | dcgirlinpearls.com

 

Not a cherry blossom but I kinda have a thing for retro cars ; )

 

 

DC Cherry Blossom Snaps | dcgirlinpearls.com

DC Cherry Blossom Snaps | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

I love so many things in the photo above, I really don’t even know where to start. Actually, it’s Monday so let’s start by grabbing coffee (chai for me) and settling in for a delicious journey involving fluffy whipped cream cheese + feta with a spicy kick of jalapeño spread onto baguette slices delightfully toasted and topped with a Greek salad medley.

Phew that was a serious run on sentence but sorry I’m not sorry because this Mediterranean bruschetta recipe is the best thing I’ve eaten in awhile. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Spoiler alert: There’s wine at the end.

This whole adventure started on Saturday morning in Eastern Market when I spied with my little eye the most perfect heirloom tomatoes…

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

Some people impulse-buy chips, gum or wine (I see you, Trader Joe’s with your clever store arrangement) and I impulse-buy heirloom tomatoes.

Let’s just roll with it.

So I got it in my head that I needed to use this heirloom tomatoes to create a meal to end all meals but there was just one problem.

I really didn’t want to use my oven.

Remember in elementary school right before summer vacation when it’d get unbearably hot so our teachers let us fold construction paper into fans to beat the heat? Let’s be real, those paper fans didn’t really do much to cool you down but it made you feel better.

That’s how I feel about using my oven when it’s warm weather. I feel like it’ll turn my apartment into a sauna. When the temperatures rise, my oven goes on a summer vacation.

Bruschetta it is! But I couldn’t stop there, I had to give it a twist.

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

Greek salad is a personal favorite because between the sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and briny kalamata olives, it just might be the perfect meal.

So let’s up the ante and turn a favorite salad into bruschetta because really, what salad really needs is more bread. And the world needs an excuse to eat a block of cream cheese that’s been whipped with crumbled feta.

I mean.

I didn’t eat an entire block of cream cheese…

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

Okay, I mighta consumed a fair amount of cream cheese during this whole process. You can’t fight City Hall, I’m just one girl!!!

Now I’m thinking about eating more of the whipped feta straight from the bowl with a spoon so I need a distraction. Like, you know, finally sharing the Mediterranean bruschetta recipe.

GENIUS!

Once you chop up your tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, basil and shallots, arrange them according to ROYGBIV. It’s a non-negotiable step in the bruschetta process. Then let the Greek salad medley hang out with a red wine vinaigrette for a bit while we whip up the feta.

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

Okay, remember when I said I wouldn’t turn on the oven? For this part, I kinda had to but for jalapeños, gotta do what you gotta do.

To roast a jalapeño, skewer it with a kebab stick and hold it over the stovetop at medium-low heat for about 3 minutes per side or until the skin chars. Let cool and then mince, removing the seeds.

In a mixer, whip a block of cream cheese for about 2 minutes and then add crumbled feta. Finally, toss in the minced jalapeño and continue mixing until combined. And then try not to eat it out of the bowl with a spoon. Better yet, taste test the whipped feta with the end piece from the baguette.

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.comWhich I may or may not have done.

Speaking of bread, it’s finally time to bring out the baguette!

Doesn’t it kinda look like it’s wearing a cape here?

Super Carb to the rescue!

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

Slice up the baguette and heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the bread slices but don’t overcrowd the skillet. Remove once both sides of the baguette slice are golden brown and appear to be heaven on earth.

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

Finally, my gushing and rambling all boil down to this: Take a crunchy baguette slice, add a healthy schmear of whipped jalapeño feta and top with a colorful Greek salad minus the lettuce. Add a glass of rosé and you are in business!! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’s better than Cats.

Make the salad and whipped feta ahead of time and you have a light, refreshing appetizer or dinner ready in no time. I know it sounds a bit tedious but really, when it all comes together, it’s worth the little bit of elbow grease. A billion times over.

And that’s no exaggeration.

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño Feta Recipe | dcgirlinpearls.com

Greek Salad Ingredients

1 minced heirloom tomato

1 minced red tomato

1 sliced cucumber (I used a small Persian cucumber from Trader Joe’s)

1 handful of kalamata olives (sliced in half)

1 sliced shallot

5 minced basil leaves

Directions

Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss with a red wine vinaigrette. Let sit in the fridge until ready to be served.

Whipped Jalapeño Feta Ingredients

2 jalapeños

1 block cream cheese

6-8 ounces of crumbled feta

Directions

Using a skewer, pierce the jalapeño and hold over the stovetop at medium heat until both sides are charred (approx. 3 minutes per side). Place charred jalapeños to the side.

In a mixer, whip the cream cheese for about 2 minutes and then add in the crumbled feta.

Mince the cooled jalapeños + remove the seeds. Add into the mixer and continue mixing to combine.

 

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Small Space Living Ideas

Spring cleaning has me jonesing for a decor refresh on my apartment but with just 550 sq ft, a girl’s gotta get creative. I’m no stranger to cramped quarters: after graduating from college dorms, I lived in a studio and then traded extra space for location when I moved to an apartment on the Hill.

Domino has been crushing it lately with their small space living ideas!! From IKEA hacks (you know how much I love those) to arranging odds ‘n ends the way grown ups do (read: not jamming it into a drawer and wrestling it shut), Domino has some solid tips + hacks to make the most out of small spaces.

Do you have a small space? Any organization tips?

7 rules for small-space living

10 things every small-space needs

Serenity in a small space

Clever IKEA hacks 

12 DIY projects for maximizing a studio space

Small Space Living Ideas | dcgirlinpearls.com

Small Space Living Ideas | dcgirlinpearls.com

Small Space Living Ideas | dcgirlinpearls.com

Small Space Living Ideas | dcgirlinpearls.com

Small Space Living Ideas | dcgirlinpearls.com

{via Domino}

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Cherry Blossom Sangria

Cherry Citrus Sangria with Rosé for Spring | dcgirlinpearls.com

The only good part about snow on Easter? It made me appreciate more than ever DC’s 70 degrees and sunny forecast with more than a chance of seeing cherry blossoms! After what felt like an never-ending winter, spring and sunshine are here.

I can’t wait for the weekend to venture out and see the cherry blossoms!! There are a few here and there in my neighborhood but I’ve made peace with the fact that to see the blossoms in all their glory, I have to brave the crowds and go to the National Mall.

You know what helps buck up the gumption to handle a large crowd? Sangria.

So let’s bottle up the sunshine and beautiful blossoms into a cherry sangria, shall we?

This cherry sangria is practically liquid spring!! Crisp, tart cherry juice mixed with tart rosé (snaps to @ReaganBurress for recognizing Green Fin rosé from the cork on my IG pic, clearly a kindred spirit!) topped with a splash of lime tonic + garnished with orange slices. I told you, it’s like spring but in sangria form.

Which is the very best form. Except for maybe taco form.

#realtalk

Cherry Citrus Sangria with Rosé for Spring | dcgirlinpearls.com

Cherry Citrus Sangria with Rosé for Spring | dcgirlinpearls.com

Cherry Citrus Sangria with Rosé for Spring | dcgirlinpearls.com

Ingredients

1 bottle chilled rosé wine

16 ounces cherry juice

1 cup lime tonic

Orange slices

Frozen cherries

Directions

Add all ingredients into a pitcher and stir to combine. The frozen cherries are wonderful to keep your sangria chilled and you KNOW I love a good theme when it comes to cocktails ;)

Cherry Citrus Sangria with Rosé for Spring | dcgirlinpearls.com

Cherry Citrus Sangria with Rosé for Spring | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Tervis-Logo

This post was sponsored by Tervis®.  All opinions and product sentiments are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the DC Girl in Pearls party going!

Spring Fever

Is It Peony Season Yet? Print | dcgirlinpearls.comLast weekend, the Universe aligned for me to go off the grid.With Instagram and Snapchat giving out every second, I took it as a sign and powered down to enjoy a wonderful weeked. I went home to New York for an Easter spent hanging out with my family, catching up with friends over drinks, eating every single carb within a five block radius and binge-watching my favorite Diners, Drive Ins + Dives. Oh Food Network, I miss you so!

Not even the dusting of snow (!!!!) on Saturday could damper the feeling of spring thanks to a trip to my childhood favorite Broadway Market. And a LOT of Easter candy + mimosas.

The market was packed to the brim with people preparing for the Easter brunch feast: ham, asparagus, brussels sprouts and the iconic butter lamb were in high demand. But my highlight reel consisted of the cinnamon sugar donut and the snapping as many pics of the gorgeous hydrangeas on the stands as I could.While in line for the donuts.

Naturally.

In case you haven’t noticed, sugar fixes + flowers are my priorities.

Oh man, and now I want a donut. BADLY. So let’s look at these beautiful hydrangeas + fragrant hyacinth and take deep breaths until my donut craving goes away. It’s swimsuit season and I WILL learn to adult + have will power.

Now I’m back in town and have some genuinely awesome content planned that I’m pretty pumped about, I gotta say. And while we’re chatting content, what do you think of YouTube?

Hydrangeas + Hyacinth at Farmer's Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

Hydrangeas + Hyacinth at Farmer's Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

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