Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Introducing the #BTphotohunt!

It's photo hunt time! Each month (hopefully) we will be posting a list of words to spark your photographic creativity. We love Instagram, so join the fun and snap away with us! 

You have a whole month to collect your photos. Be sure to hash tag them with #BTphotohunt — we'll be sharing some of our favorites here!

Happy Photo Hunting!

❤ Sara & Courtney

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sara's Top 5: Reasons I'm ready for fall

Fall is right around the corner, and I couldn't be more excited! Sure, summer is nice - baseball games, snowballs and ice cream, the beach - but I could also do without the mosquitos (they eat me alive!), sweltering heat, unflattering shorts, and farmer's tans.

Here are my top 5 reasons why I can't wait for fall!

1. Boots - I love boots. They're comfortable, cute, practical for the most part... And the fact that I get to wear my squirrel socks with them just makes me happy.

2. Pixie Pants - I started wearing these just last year and they're pretty much all I wear in the fall and winter. I like being comfortable, so anything soft is fine by me! I'd say they're like "grown up leggings," because they're thicker than leggings with a zipper down the back - making them passable for pants (but I'd still recommend wearing longer tops with these. No need to show off anything unneccesary). ;)

3. Scarves - SCARVES! The perfect accessory. I ADORE scarves, and they're great for a pop of color to an otherwise simple outfit. They're low maintenance and easy to pair - me likey.

4. Sweaters - Another simple piece that pairs with pretty much anything. A dress, a simple tee, a tank top. And sweaters are another good way for me to try to incorporate some color into my usually neutral wardrobe. Soft sweaters are also just so cozy!

5. Starbucks - Okay, I had to put this in here. Sure, you can get iced coffees or iced lattes during the summer, but what we all really want is a pumpkin spice latte or a peppermint mocha. And when those red cups come out???  Oh my... You know you love them too.

What are you looking forward to this fall???


Photos and Products:
Boots - Famous Footwear / Pixie Pants - J.Crew / Scarf - Loft / Sweater - Loft / Starbucks cup taken by me. :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Taking off to Pennsylvania for the day is one of my favorite mini-getaways. Farm stands abound and the produce is as sweet as candy!

The small towns make for fun shopping discoveries. But my favorite thing is the farms: the green of the corn fields against the ultra-blue sky dotted with gigantic, powder-white clouds is a total eye feast! It's slow and quiet — perfect.

❤ Courtney

All photos taken by Courtney on the iPhone and quickly edited with Instagram (@BlueTypewriter).

A look at July

Now that July is coming to an end (crazy, right?!??), we wanted to share some of those spur-of-the-moment pictures from the past month with you!

♥ Courtney & Sara

All photos taken by Courtney or Sara on the iPhone and quickly edited with Instagram (@BlueTypewriter).

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Avocado Summer Rolls

I love avocados, and I'm totally accepting the current avocado craze that's going on. I had avocado summer rolls recently, and they were life changing. I don't know how I'd never had them before, but all that matters now is that I have them in my life.

So naturally, because they were just so delish, I had to recreate them. Sure, they're easier (and a little prettier) when they're store bought, but what fun is that??

Recipe adapted from here

For the sauce
- 5 tbs. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, but rice vinegar would be perfect)
- 1 tbs. and 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
- 3 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. Sriracha (More or less, depending on how hot you want the sauce)
- A dash of crushed red pepper flakes (Optional)

Mix all of the ingredients together, and then let sit while you work on the wraps.

For the wraps:
- 20 rice paper rounds (You should be able to find these in the Asian foods aisle at any grocery store)
- 2 avocados, cut into thin slices
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1/4 head of red cabbage
- 1/2 English cucumber, cut into thin strips or slices
- 1 lime
- Lettuce leaves

Clean and cut/shred the veggies first. Then, slice the avocados and cover in lime juice - this will help prevent the avocados from browning. NOW, on to rolling.

Take two rice paper rounds and dip both sides in a shallow plate of water. Put them together and lay them flat. Add some avocado, carrots, red cabbage, and cucumber to the middle, and roll! I folded half of the paper, then tucked in both sides, and continued rolling, but feel free to tuck and roll however you please.

And that's about it. As you can see, my rolling skills need a little (more like a lot of) practice, but for my first try, I'm not ashamed. I finished with 9 rolls (I might've overstuffed a little), but I'd say you should get about 10 with the measurements above.

If you try these out, let me know how they turn out! I think next time, I'm going with a little less lettuce and more avocado! YUM!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Courtney's Top 5: Travel Tips

Top 5: Travel Tips

1. Pack Interchangeable Clothing
If you open my suitcase you'll find a lot of neutrals. A LOT of neutrals. My key to packing light is to take pieces in the same color family that can be worn alone, layered, and pair well with each other. Black, grey, and white tees and tanks that look good with cardigans, or that can be worn alone. I throw in a couple light weight scarves to add a pop of color, and few bold pieces of jewelry: a long necklace, bright earrings, a bracelet or two, and a simple pair of diamond-style earrings. Versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched, and one or two stand alone pieces of clothing.

2. Make-Up Pallets 
It's easy to weigh your travel bag down with make-up. This shade needs this shade to look good, but you need this blush, and you need a few darker eye shadows for a smoky look, and — you get the point. Invest in a good make-up pallet. I'm a Clinique girl, so I have quite a few of their "free gift" make-ups. One of my favorite eyeshadow pallets has a light matte tan shade, a shimmery neutral shade that is perfect for highlighting, a deep grey-black, and a light grey. I can go minimal with this pallet, or smoke it out for a dramatic look.

3. Airport Food
Travel time is NOT the time to try new foods! Eat what you know! If you know that a Dunkin Donuts flatbread sandwich agrees with you, DON'T order a burrito supremo from the place with the cool logo. I had a friend who had a slice of pizza between flights, passed out on the plane, woke up on oxygen, and found out it was food poisoning.

4. Buy It When You Get There
I try not to spend extra money if I don't have to, but some things don't travel well. Mouthwash, hair oil, blonde spray: if any of those break open in my suitcase, my clothes are ruined. If you know there will be a store where you are staying, leave those potentially disastrous items out of your suitcase and purchase them when you get to your destination, as you need them.

5. Mail It Home
It doesn't take long for a suitcase to hit the weight limit. My rule is that nothing new goes in my bag — who wants to pay an exorbitant fee? Flat rate boxes are your friend. Pick one up for free at a post office, and as you buy souvenirs and treasures, start packing them in the box. Mail it before you leave, and your goodies will be waiting for you when you get home.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sara's (Random) July Wishlist

This month's wish list is exactly that. A few fun (and random) things that no one really needs, but wouldn't mind having.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

1- I'm pretty organized. Organization is my friend. But let's be honest here. I would probably use this organizer for a week before getting tired of carrying it in my purse and having to open and close it every time I need a coupon or something. As organized as I am, I'm also lazy. That's not the point though. This little file/notepad is pretty nifty. And honest (we all know it's really just crap we're carrying around).

2- The Beatles. Coloring. Book. Enough. Freaking. Said.

3- I've been seeing these "retro" cell phone headsets a lot recently, and I happen to think they're pretty stinkin' cool. I don't talk on my cell a lot, but when I do, it's uncomfortable. The phone gets hot and sweaty and hard to hold, the screen gets oily. It's gross. This would definitely help with those issues (Don't pretend it doesn't happen to you - it happens to everyone).

4- So... I may or may not have already bought one of these for Courtney and myself... These little
Disney beanie plushies are just adorbs. Hallmark has Mike Wazowski from Monster's Inc., Jasmine, Snow White, Tigger, Pooh, Ariel, and a lot more. They're only about 3 or 4 inches tall, so they're great for small children. Or even as a fun, pick-me-up gift for a big child...

5-  I'm pretty conservative when it comes to sunglasses, but these heart-shaped glasses from Urban Outfitters caught my eye. They remind me of those beachy, summer nights and bright orange sunsets. And fireworks. Definitely fireworks.

6- A gummy bear lamp. C'mon. This is just too cool! I swear, I might be 24, but inside I'm really like, 12.

7, 8- Cell phone accessories are fun. They add personality to an otherwise generic phone. I don't know what it is about mustaches, but they're becoming more and more popular and it's much easier to find cute things with them on it. And I happen to approve of mustaches.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Easy Chocolate Milkshake

It's here! Summer! Heat! Humidity!

Sooo... That doesn't sound all that fun, BUT, if there's one good thing about summer (besides baseball), it's getting to eat cold, sugary foods, right?? And what better way to cool off than to have some ice cream or a milkshake.

I know, I know. First, Nutella fudge pops, and now chocolate milkshakes... I can't help it. I love my chocolate...

This was another last minute craving, so it's going to be SUPER simple and SUPER quick.

What you'll need (for one big serving):
- 3-4 scoops of ice cream (I used vanilla, but chocolate would be amazing!)
- About 1/2 of a cup of milk
- 3-4 tablespoons of chocolate syrup
- 1-2 Ice cubes
- A splash of vanilla extract (optional)
- Whipped cream (optional)

Add the ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup, ice, and vanilla to the blender. Blend. Pour into pretty cup. Top with delicious whipped cream. Inhale Enjoy.

I know this really isn't anything special, but it's a yummy, simple way to keep cool during the heat waves that is a Baltimore summer. And can you really turn down chocolate and whipped cream? Because I can't...


Monday, July 8, 2013

Where I've Been

My apologies for being MIA for the past month! I wish I had a happy reason to give you, but unfortunately, it's a sad one.

My Uncle Todd passed away unexpectedly on May 31st. It was buy tickets, pack, fly to Wisconsin faster than you can blink. We stayed for a month with my Grandmother to help her through this difficult time. 

The passing of my Uncle is a tremendous loss to the whole family. Personally, I also lost a friend. He and I used to correspond about WWII and American history — he was brilliant. He was a Major in the United States Air Force — I called him "Major-Major" and he called me "Minor-Major". 

We are slowly getting back into the everyday routine now, so hopefully I'll be back to a regular blog schedule soon. 

❤ Courtney

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

App Review: A Beautiful Mess

So I'm going to try something new. I can't promise you that I'll do this consistently, but here it goes.
An app review. And by review, I mean my thoughts on an iPhone app I thought was fun. I could call it "Technology Tuesday," but I'm pretty sure that's been done before, and that would also mean I'd probably have to continue the tradition of "Technology Tuesday," which I can't promise... So, let's just go with Temporary Technology Tuesday for now, okay? But anyway..............................
Courtney introduced me to A Beautiful Mess when we were thinking of starting the Blue Typewriter and it quickly became a great influence. The style and design of the blog, the recipes, the content in general - it was a lot of stuff I enjoyed looking at, and could see myself doing, so when the Beautiful Mess photo app came out, I was pretty excited to give it a shot!

It only costs 99 cents (which is really reasonable to me) and includes filters and over 30 items, including pictures, text, and borders, to add to your photos. You can also buy additional items within the app for 99 cents per package.

One of the things I enjoy most is adding doodles to a picture. There are adorable pictures and shapes, and word bubbles too. I don't know what it is, but I really like adding words and doodles to pictures. I just think it makes the picture pop a bit and gives it a little more personality.

It's also really easy to add text to your photos. There are over 20 fonts and plenty of colors to choose from, which is nice. Choosing a font that fits the occasion and mood is important!

Another neat thing about this app is you can choose from different preset backgrounds to add text and doodles to create your own picture! Creativity at its finest!

If you want, you can check out the app for yourself by clicking here, or searching it in the iTunes app store. If you like to create fun, whimsical pictures, I'd definitely consider getting this app. It's a lot of fun and really easy to use. Sure, it's probably not going to make your photos award winning, but it really adds some fun touches - perfect for those Instagram-able moments!

I don't know Elsie and Emma or anyone associated with the Beautiful Mess blog or app, but I love both and can't wait to see what's in store for them. I just really wanted to share this app with you because I've been having so much fun with it, and wanted you to have fun with your photos too!


All pictures are my own, edited with the A Beautiful Mess iPhone app. :)