Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Beso Del Sol Sangria

Kinda just want to dive right in, don’t you?

Beso Del Sangria - sangria ready in a box to take to an end-of-the-summer soiree! |

It’s hard to believe it’s September 1st (Hogwarts Express, anyone?) and it’s the final countdown to the end of Summer 2015.

I’ve heard this winter is supposed to be a doozy (read: get some Bean boots while you can) so I’m trying to spend as much time outside as I can and soak up the summer sun. Lately, my favorite dinner companion is a book + a glass of sangria for a dinner al fresco.

Side note: Has anyone read (or currently reading) The Night Circus? I’m about 100 pages in + I can’t stop!

Quinoa has made a major comeback in my life + eating habits recently, thanks to a pantry inventory…I was becoming an at-risk quinoa hoarder.

Quinoa bowls are a wonderfully blank canvas to add market veggies, protein +fresh herbs to create a healthy, flavorful meal in minutes. Perfect for evenings when you just want to be outside with sangria + friends!

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl: Protein + veggie packed bowl perfect for a happy lunch desk + easy weeknight dinner|

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls + Beso Del Sol Sangria. YES!

Beso Del Sangria - sangria ready in a box to take to an end-of-the-summer soiree! |

Oh yeah, this isn’t your college boxed wine.

Beso Del Sol’s Red Sangria is delicious: it’s sweet, fruity + totally refreshing. I’m normally not a red wine girl but this sangria has me singing a different tune. And reaching for more reds!

Add some ice cubes to wine glasses + top off with red sangria + an orange slice. And you’re in business!

Just throwing it out there…Beso Del Sol Red Sangria Slushies. Sangria for thought ; )

Beso Del Sangria - sangria ready in a box to take to an end-of-the-summer soiree! |

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl: Protein + veggie packed bowl perfect for a happy lunch desk + easy weeknight dinner|

There’s no exact recipe for a Mediterranean quinoa bowl, you build it to make you + your tastebuds happy. For me, personally, here’s my rhythm:

  • 1/4 cup, cooked quinoa
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, chopped (To make it easier, I love Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken Strips)
  • Depending on produce: 1 sautéed zucchini + chopped cucumbers
  • Spoonful of Trader Joe’s Spicy Hummus
  • Spoonful of Cava Foods Harissa
  • Spoonful of Tzatziki

With the sangria + Mediterranean quinoa bowl, the score is You: 2, End-of-Summer: 0.

Beso Del Sangria - sangria ready in a box to take to an end-of-the-summer soiree! |

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

Beauty Updates with IT Cosmetics

Beauty Updates with IT Cosmetics |

When it comes to makeup + beauty products, I’m a total creature of habit. My makeup requirements: budget-friendly, natural ingredients, 100% cruelty-free (#BruisersBill) and conceals my problem areas. Lookin’ at you, large pores + dark circles.

IT Cosmetics sent over samples to give a whirl and several of their products are now in my everyday rotation! The makeup goes on smoothly + blends in to look natural and clean. My favorite part is the eyeliner + eyeshadow stays put all day, perfect for us working girls!

Beauty Updates with IT Cosmetics |

My complexion can be a real pain at times. I have combination skin, an oily T-zone and chronic dark circles. No matter how many hours I sleep, I have dark circles. A dermatologist once told me adding more Vitamin C into my diet was the solution. One bushel of oranges later, I still had dark circles. I relied on a pricey under-eye concealer but now, IT’s “Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector” gets the job done for under $30!!

Good-bye, dark circles. Hello, happy bank account! Music to my ears ; )

After I’ve applied foundation + the under eye corrector, my final step is to buff “Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder” to complete my makeup. The powder sets my makeup in place, absorbs the oil in that pesky T-zone of mine + blurs out my larger pores.

The “Bye Bye Under Eye” and “Bye Bye Pores” are the 1-2 knockout punches to cover up my complexion problem children and I love that I don’t feel like my skin is weighed down or can’t breathe.

Beauty Updates with IT Cosmetics |

For work, I keep my eye makeup classic + conservative. IT’s Naturally Pretty Romantics palette is my ideal: feminine yet understated (read: matte finish). “Trust” is my go-to eyeliner followed by a sweep of “Sweetness” or “Desire” for a look that’s polished but only takes seconds.

Perfect for Monday mornings…pass the caffeine, please.

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Cookie Butter Bourbon Milkshake with Bacon Chocolate Sprinkles

Cookie Butter Bourbon Milkshake |

Soooo…..things escalated quickly.

It started off so innocently. I just wanted to make a batch of homemade no churn cookie butter ice cream.

I made the cookie butter ice cream and it was really everything I wanted and more. It was a first attempt at making ice cream without an ice cream maker and I felt pretty proud of myself, not going to lie.


But then I got to thinking…how could I make cookie butter ice cream even more epic?!?

The answer, like most answers, was staring me right in the face.

Cookie Butter Bourbon Milkshake |


I’ve had success with bourbon milkshakes (you should probably file this bourbon pumpkin pie shake for football tailgates) before and had a sneaking hunch that the bourbon would mix quite nicely with the sweet blend of cookie butter and ice cream.

And I was right. And I could have left it at that: a cookie butter bourbon milkshake.

But nooooooo.

I get excited about something and go full steam ahead with it.

I could never be accused of being less than enthusiastic about an idea. It’s gung-ho or bust!

Cookie Butter Bourbon Milkshake |

So I added shavings from Trader Joe’s Uncured Bacon Ganache Bar.


I was left without supervision and this is what happened.

It just got real.

Cookie Butter Bourbon Milkshake |

Please don’t ever leave me alone, okay?

Or maybe you should because this is a pretty baller boozy shake.

Ingredients (Serves One) 

3 generous scoops of cookie butter ice cream 

1/4 cup bourbon 

1/2 cup milk 

Trader Joe’s Uncured Bacon Ganache Bar shavings (for garnish)


Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve topped with whipped cream + chocolate bar shavings. Cheers!

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Summer Sweets + Eats Roundup

On my walk home the other day, it hit me. It’s late August. And then I saw leaves on the ground. Pretty soon Instagram will be flooded with #PSL.

Oy vey, where did the summer go?!

Game plan: Whip up as many favorite summer recipes as possible between now and autumn. This is gonna be rough, guys, we’re going to have to eat a LOT of ice cream. And ripe tomatoes. And crunchy zucchini. Sweet strawberries.

There’ll even be…cookie butter.

It’s a rough gig but somebody’s gotta do it. Are you up to the challenge?

A roundup of my favorite summer sweets + eats recipes |

Skillet Strawberry OatmealThis dish started out innocently enough. I had a big bag of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rolled Oats taking up space on my kitchen shelf and figured “Hey, I’ll make some oatmeal! That’s healthy and pretty dang adult of me.” And then I added ice cream. And some toasted coconut shreds. It’s good to be bad. 

No Churn Cookie Butter Ice CreamI mean, did I really need an excuse to make cookie butter ice cream? Though discovering you could melt cookie butter was really a very dangerous discovery…

Edible Funfetti Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches: When I was growing up, my mom told me raw cake batter and cookie dough could make me sick. As a 6 year old, I interrupted this meant I would immediately be ill and I didn’t want to risk it. Until I felt rebellious and since then, I’m making up for lost time. Thankfully, you can eat as much of this funfetti cookie dough as you can! Or until you get a stomachache. 

Mediterranean Bruschetta + Whipped Jalapeño FetaThis might be one of my all-time favorite recipes because it includes all of my favorite things: cream cheese, jalapeño, BAGUETTES and a Mediterranean twist. Be still my hungry heart! 

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto: I’m kinda hooked on my spiralizer. A healthy dinner in minutes with little clean-up involved is actually the dream. I’ve played around with zucchini noodle recipe versions of my favorite Asian dishes (like this spicy miso soup) but with temperatures soaring this summer, zucchini noodles with pesto has been in heavy rotation for weeknight dinners.

Grilled Pineapple Mango Chicken Caesar Salad: Most of my recipes are meant to serve multiple people so that usually means I have leftovers. But after a couple of days, I need to switch gears and from the tacos I lived on for the month of May, this AWESOME Caesar salad was born. Smoky, sweet + spicy. It’s the triple threat of Caesar salads. And trust me, I’ve had a lot of Caesar salads in my time.

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Summer Skincare with St. Ive’s

Summer Skincare with St. Ive's |

Oy vey, DC is a swamp.

I got a little bit spoiled being in New York for a week with the lovely mid to high 70s. Warm, sunny with a slight breeze. Perfect summer weather.

And then I came back to DC. My heat tolerance was completely destroyed in those 7 days and getting from the airport to my apartment had me reduced to a sweaty mess. Of course, I ran into about 3 people that I haven’t seen in years so there was that.

I probably shower about twice a day during the summer just to feel like a human being. Sweat, oil from sunscreen…without getting too graphic, I really just cannot stand feeling like there’s a layer of residue on my skin. Especially on my face.

When I wake up in the morning, I have to wash my face before I do anything else. That’s just one of my quirks, it’s always been Priority Numero Uno as far back as I can remember.

St. Ive’s sent me a few of their body washes and facial scrub to give a whirl and I was pretty excited!! St. Ive’s Apricot Body Scrub is a fixture in my beauty routine and seriously, at $6 a jar you just cannot beat that price. Beauty on a a budget at its best. Add alliteration to my list of quirks.

Summer Skincare with St. Ive's |

These products hit the summer skincare nail on the head, especially the St. Ive’s Even & Bright Scrub in Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange. It’s my summer crush.

I have combination skin so parts of my skin tend to get dry easily while other parts (lookin’ at you, T Zone) are oily. My teenage years were SO fun, guys.

I stick to a water-based facial cleanser for everyday use but 2 times each week, I give my face a good ol’ scrub. And St. Ive’s Even & Bright Scrub is the best facial scrub I’ve ever used. Hands down, the best.

I have to be very careful not to use a harsh facial scrub and St. Ive’s scrub is gentle and creamy with microbeads that get to work. It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, a win-win for us combination skin people! I love how soft my skin feels after I use it, I know it’s not good to touch your face but I really can’t stop, you guys. So soft!

This might sound crazy but I feel more awake in the morning just seeing the brightly colored scrub on my bathroom sink!

Yup, the heat’s officially got to me.

Summer Skincare with St. Ive's |

If you’re a fan of the St. Ive’s Apricot Body Scrub, you need to get your hands on St. Ive’s Smoothing Apricot Body Wash. Imagine a mix of a creamy cleanser with their classic body scrub. It’s more scrub than creamy wash, which makes it my go-to after a day laying out or at the beach. Gotta get that sunscreen off!

And their Indulgent Coconut Milk Body Wash definitely earned its name. I feel like I’m at a spa and my skin is getting the royal hydration treatment with this body wash. This body wash is in everyday rotation for my two-a-day showers.

Oh, and these skincare products are only $5-6 each (I typically purchase St. Ive’s online at Target), a huge win for both your skin + your wallet.

Internet high five!

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

Sparkling Peach Popsicle Moscow Mule

IZZE Sparkling Peach Popsicle Moscow Mule | dcgirlinpearls.comOkay, you kinda had to see this coming.

Expect to see a whole lot o’ popsicles because I really. just. cannot. stop.

Were you an American Girl girl growing up? Or still are? I still am, 100%. I remember getting the American Girl Super Slumber Parties and it was pretty much the Bible of Childhood Sleepovers.

So many ideas! So much room for activities!

As soon as I got the book, I read it cover to cover and promptly begged my mother to let me host a slumber party. Of all the tips I remember reading and considering to be the word of God (I mean, that pillow pile was pretty on point…who wouldn’t want to take a running leap into that cushiony heaven?!), I remember the idea about freezing your favorite pop (…soda) in the ice cube tray (as seen in the last image).

Sparkling Peach Popsicle Moscow Mules are the adult version of Pleasant Company telling you how to have the best slumber party ever! Except now you don’t need your parents’ permission.

One of the perks of being an adult-ish.

IZZE Sparkling Peach Popsicle Moscow Mule |

IZZE Sparkling Peach frozen into a popsicle is the best way to keep your cocktails chilled while adding some pizzazz.

And I really was in the mood for a Moscow Mule. Ginger beer + vodka + a peach popsicle = Everything you didn’t know you needed in life.

IZZE Sparkling Peach Popsicle Moscow Mule |

Ready to throw a slumber party?

Peachy keen, jelly bean.

IZZE Sparkling Peach Popsicle Moscow Mule |

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IZZE Sparkling Juices

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

Mojito Popsicles

Mojito Popsicles to get the party poppin' |

All those in denial over it being late August…raise your hand.

I raised both hands.

Oh yeah, I’m in DEEP denial.

Thankfully, these mojito popsicles are ON BOARD!

Mojito Popsicles to get the party poppin' |

If I can brag for a minute, I’m actually pretty impressed with this mojito popsicle recipe. I’ve tried a few different versions of boozy popsicles but never got the portions right. Well, by jove, this time I did it!! This mojito popsicle recipe will give you popsicles that are perfectly minty with a hint of lime and the best part? You can taste the rum!

Science class time: Alcohol doesn’t freeze so getting the right amount of rum in this mojito popsicle was actually make or break (or in this case, not freeze). But what’s the point of a mojito popsicle if you can’t taste the rum?!

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

Mojito Popsicles to get the party poppin' |

Mojito Popsicles to get the party poppin' |

Add some pop(sicle) to your next backyard BBQ or girls’ night with mojito popsicles. Trust me, it’ll help you forget that summer is almost over…

Mojito Popsicles to get the party poppin' |


1 cup white sugar

2 cups water

~20 mint leaves

Juice of 2 fresh limes

1/4 cup clear rum

1 cup lime sparkling water


1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the water and sugar. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat and add fresh mint leaves. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Strain the simple syrup into a bowl and discard the mint leaves. Place in the fridge to cool.

3. In a medium bowl, add the lime juice, rum and lime sparkling water. Stir to combine. Once the mint simple syrup has cooled to room temperature, add to the mixture.

4. Pour the mixture into the popsicle mold. Note: For fancy blog photos, I added mint leaves and lime slices for garnish. If you are making these popsicles for a party, I’d suggest ditching the mint leaves. They’re photogenic but not practical for a party.

5. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

6. When you are ready to serve, I filled a large serving dish with warm water and placed the popsicle mold into the dish for about a minute to loosen the popsicle from the mold. No popsicles were harmed during this process.

P.S. I used this popsicle mold and it worked perfectly!

Mojito Popsicles to get the party poppin' |

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Latest Favorites from Trader Joe’s

YOU GUYS. It’s been a few weeks since my last Trader Joe’s visit and considering I returned from vacation to a fridge containing jalapeños, half a bottle of rosé and a jar of pesto, it was time for a big TJ’s quest.

And oh man, Trader Joe’s has really outdone himself. I walked in thinking I had everything under control. I mean, I had a shopping list.

But oohhh, how wrong I was.

I walked out with an extra bag filled to the brim with watermelon juice, Sriracha ranch dressing and oh yeah, a little thing called COOKIE BUTTER CREAM CHEESE.

Mic. Drop.

Before I go into delectable details about my current Trader Joe’s favorites, I want to know: What are your thoughts on a Snapchat tour of my local Trader Joe’s? My pantry must-haves, ingredients to create simple weeknight meals, etc. Would you watch? Let me know!

Latest Favorites from Trader Joe's |


Grifone Rosé: Who knew you could buy happiness for only $5? Grifone Rosé is a crisp, fruity wine that was pretty much made for rooftop pool lounging on the weekend.

Brownie Crisp: Sometimes, a gal just needs a midnight sweet. Without the hassle of brownie batter-covered pans in the sink. Brownie Crisps are like the lovechild of brownies and cookies and they are heavenly. If you want to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a Brownie Crisp. And maybe definitely 100% a spoonful of Cookie Butter.

Organic Roasted Tomatillo GazpachoI was kinda hesitant to try this gazpacho at first, a couple of years ago Trader Joe’s Gazpacho was an item I tried and really wanted to like but after a couple of spoonfuls, realized it was just not meant to be. But this Trader Joe’s Gazpacho 2.0 is light years ahead of its predecessor in terms of taste. I love keeping this gazpacho in my fridge for days when a) I don’t feel like cooking b) It’s too hot to eat anything heavy and c) when a + b coincide. Which is pretty often.

Organic Creamy Asparagus Soup: Sitting next to Gazpacho is its BFF (Just a hunch) Creamy Asparagus Soup. You can serve this soup hot or cold and maybe I’m weird but I prefer the creamy asparagus soup cold. Bonus: It’s gluten-free and vegan so you can feel healthy! And after my no-calories-counting vacation, I could stand to feel a bit healthy.

Cold Pressed Watermelon JuiceI’m a watermelon person, in case you haven’t noticed (Evidence A and B) so you can usually find me dragging a watermelon home from Eastern Market or Trader Joe’s on the weekend. It’s just so good!! I tried Trader Joe’s other cold pressed juices and honestly, they didn’t do anything for me. But Cold Pressed Watermelon Juice is the clear winner of the TJ’s cold pressed juice line, can you believe there are TWO POUNDS of watermelon in that bottle?! I don’t understand the science, I’m just grateful.

Sriracha Ranch DressingThe only thing I love more than watermelon in the summer is tomatoes in the summer. Piled high on a BLT or on a good ol’ tomato sandwich, summer tomatoes are where it’s at. Or even chopped with a tasty dip for dinner in a pinch. For years, I’ve mixed Sriracha into my Ranch dressing and I’m pretty sure my friends thought I was crazy tolerated my quirks. So when I saw this on the shelf at TJ’s, I felt pretty visionary, if I do say so myself. Oh, and it definitely packs a punch, heat-wise.

Organic Whole Green FigsFound in the frozen section, whole green figs are everything you needed without knowing you needed them. Or maybe I’m just slow to jump on the whole fig thing. Before this, the only thing I knew about figs was that it was a Bath + Body Works lotion fragrance. But I’ve seen the light + I’m now a true believer. Here’s a thought for weekend brunch: waffle + Trader Joe’s chevre goat cheese with honey + diced green fig + drizzle of honey. {Praise Hands Emoji}

Cruciferous CrunchI figured I should probably round out this list with a healthy item, right? This greens mix is pretty much the healthiest decision you can make in Trader Joe’s right now. Add some quinoa and market vegetables and toss with a light vinaigrette. BAM! A happy desk lunch or a quick meal. Winner winner super healthy dinner.

What are your favorite items in your Trader Joe’s tote lately? I’m always looking for new items to give a whirl! And let me know about my Snapchat idea : )

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A Night on the Waterfront

A Night on the Waterfront|

After a week and a half vacation, I’m trying to ease back into the whole “No-longer-on-vacation-don’t-even-think-of-hitting-the-snooze-button” thing. It’s gonna be a slow ease.

Sundays are usually my Errand Day filled with schlepping groceries back from Trader Joe’s, laundry + prepping meals for the week. I always feel better starting Mondays off knowing, for a shining moment, I have things together.

My travel plans threw a wrench into my Sunday routine this weekend when my Saturday flight back to DC was cancelled and the earliest flight I could get was Monday morning.

And for that I am very grateful. Because while I didn’t do laundry (stopped writing mid-sentence to throw my clothes into the dryer) and my fridge is pretty much empty except for a bottle of rosé and some jalapeños, I was able to spend an extra day with my parents, Tommy and soak up an extra 24 hours in the 716.

A Night on the Waterfront|

The best place to go? Lake Erie Waterfront. And to a Buffalo institution: Dug’s Dive.


A Night on the Waterfront|

Oh yeah, you better believe there’s crispy bacon bits crumbled on top of this bad boy.

Please note the extreme level of willpower I had to dig down deep + exert to snap a pic because I dug (get it?!) in. Because it was rough.

I’ve had my fair share of lobster rolls but Dug’s Dive is far and above, my #1 choice. You get a lot o’ lobster and a hallelujah chorus starts the moment you take the first bite. Not a dramatization, you WILL hear a heavenly choir.

A Night on the Waterfront|

A Night on the Waterfront|

Me + my cutie pie, Tommy. He’s the sweetest!!

Family, check.

Delicious lobster roll, check.

Gorgeous view of the sunset over Lake Erie, double check! A Night on the Waterfront|

A Night on the Waterfront|


Between the sailboats, the sunset, the lobster rolls + hydrangea action, I can’t pick a favorite part of my Sunday evening at Dug’s Dive.

But I’ll tell ya, it sure beats laundry ; )

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How to Navigate the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale

…And I’m back!!

After a whirlwind vacation to New York + a trip home to Buffalo, I’m about to board a plane back to DC and back to the grind. You might have noticed some radio silence on my blog lately and that’s my bad. This summer has been nonstop but thanks to vacation TLC, I have some awesome content, if I do say so myself, coming at ya for the next couple of months. Get pumped.

Okay, onto to more important things: Lilly. Pulitzer. After. Party. Sale.

How to Navigate the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale

If this is your first Lilly sale, here are my top tips for getting in and out with what you want:

  • Have a Game Plan + Know Your Size(s): Items will be snapped up left and right in front of your very eyes. While we won’t know the exact pieces included in the sale until it goes live, it’s helpful to know which sizes in which Lilly pieces work for you.
  • Check Out Often: If you have a big order, check out often. Even if you save something to your shopping bag, until you check out there’s a chance someone else can snatch it up. And when you spy your favorite print in just your size, there’s no way you’re going to let that bad boy go without a fight. It might sound crazy but you could end up with three separate orders! Hey, whatever it takes to get those prints safely to your closet.
  • 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: Getting out of bed on a Monday can be tricky enough, but a Monday right after a vacation? Set an alarm to make sure you don’t miss out to log into your Lilly account before 8am EST. Oh, and be at work on time. That too.

Good luck to all those braving the #LillySale + may the odds be ever in your favor ; )

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