Sunday, June 29, 2014

Discovering Block Island

Last year when my family decided they wanted to go somewhere new for vacation I was skeptical. The Jersey shore had been our summer home for years and I wasn't ready to go somewhere else. They had suggested Block Island in Rhode Island. "I live in Rhode Island, why would I want to vacation here" I thought. But when I got there, things changed. 
I fell in love with the atmosphere and the island way of life. It was like stepping into a new world far far away from my little state. 

I did a whole restaurant series about my stay in block island which you can read all about in my July 2013 archives. The food on the island is phenomenal, and I suggest checking out those posts if you are planning a trip there this summer. 

I love Block Island, and my boyfriend has never been. 
By some freak glitch in the universe we have today off together (yay!) and so I knew right away that this would be the perfect time to sail away to block island together.

I know he is going to fall in love with it just like I did. 

Hope your Sunday Funday is full of adventures too! 

xo. Casey 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Five- June Favorites

1. Iced Raspberry Caramel Macchiato's from Starbucks. Ask for Raspberry syrup instead of vanilla so it's not too sweet.  

2. Cuban Sandwiches from Rosemary & Thyme in Newport. Pork loin, ham, pickles, mustard, on a Parmesan panini. Perfection

3. Fruit in mason jars. What started as a way to bring fruit to work before I bought tupperware has now become my favorite way to bring any food item to work whether it be fruit, salad, or even pasta. 

4. Orange is the New Black. If you have not watched this show yet do it now! It is a Netflix Original Series about a girl who's life got flipped turned upside down and winds up in jail for something that happened years ago when she was a lesbian drug mule. I finished the first season in a week and the second in two days. There are so many big personalities in this show you never know what they are going to do next. The only bad part about this show is that I need to wait until 2015 for season three. 

5. Spontaneous dinners with my favorite guy. When being in a relationship with a chef you get used to the long hours and crazy schedules that come with the job. This makes our spontaneous dinner dates and time together that much more meaningful.

xo. Casey

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ellie's Bakery

If you asked me what my least favorite meal was a couple years ago I would say breakfast. I absolutely hated breakfast foods (except bacon of course).After I started dating James things changed. This boy is in love with breakfast, and after many many brunch trips I am now too in love with breakfast. 

I recently stopped into Ellie's bakery on Washington Street for a quick breakfast before work. Ellie's, owned by Gracies, is a parisian style bakery. They are open from 7am until 4pm on the weekdays and open at 9 on saturdays. They have a simple mission- "All of our products are prepared with the season in mind. We source our ingredients responsibly from local farms and producers. Our team is passionate and filled with pride. Each product is made with integrity and attention to the tiniest detail. We strive each day to stand out in the community as a loyal, soulful, nourishing neighborhood bakery".

They offer a variety of pastries, scones, and cakes as well as a daily frittata special. The thing that caught my eye was their signature sandwich - an egg and cheese sandwich with a tomato jam and your choice of bacon or breakfast sausage. Breakfast sandwiches are my favorite thing so I knew right away that is what I would choose, and for a little over five dollars it's unbeatable. They also have a wonderful selection of coffees and espresso drinks. 

They also serve lunch showcasing five different seasonal sandwiches and a soup du jour that changes constantly. But my favorite thing at Ellie's is not a sandwich or a drink. It is their absolutely delicious french macarons. These too have seasonal falvors that change constantly. No matter what the flavor they are absolutely perfect.

From the cute plates to the mason jars all the little touches make Ellie's unique. They have limited bar seating inside and a few outdoor tables. They have a serious eye for detail which gives Ellie's a warm and inviting atmosphere. 

If you have not stopped in to Ellie's Bakery yet you need to make time to visit soon. Everything is fresh and delicious, and will give you that feel good feeling the minute you walk in. And really, that makes all the difference. 

xo. Casey 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Naturebox Review, May Box

Currently Monthly Box Services are becoming increasingly popular. There is Birchbox (which I also subscribe too) & Ipsy for beauty products, and even Barkbox for your dog. Recently I found out about Naturebox, a $19 dollar a month where you can choose (or let them surprise you) five different snacks  each month. I got very excited about all the possibilities and knew that I had to try it!

According to their website "Naturebox delivers a world of carefully sourced and nutritionist approved foods right to your door. Each snack contains wholesome ingredients with no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors." The best part is for each box that they sell, they donate one meal to Feeding America.
Now let's get into the snacks!

The whole reason that I joined Naturebox was because of these bad boys right here:
1. Guacamole Bites. These are located in the savory snacks portion of the website. They are very crunchy (comparable to a frito) and to my delight - they really do taste like guacamole! They have the tanginess from the lime and a subtle avocado flavor. These will definitely be a re-purchase. 

2. Everything Bagel Stix. These are located in the chips and sticks section of the pantry. They have the same flavors as a crunchy bread stick with a pop of flavor from the traditional "everything bagel toppings". These are perfect with your favorite dip. 

3. Chili Lime Pistachios. These are found in the nuts and seeds section. First of all, if you do not like spicy these are not for you. Immediately the spicy cayenne pepper hits you, followed by a heavy lime flavor. There is definitely a kick but the lime is very overpowering. They were good, but would not be my first choice. 

4. Baked Sweet Potato Fries. If you love the distinct taste of sweet potato these are for you. I was definitely expecting something a little more out of these. I was not a big fan, but my coworkers loved them. 

5. Yogurt Dipped Pretzles. I did not like these at all. They have a very unpleasant sour taste to them. My boyfriend said that he liked them, although he has not touched them since. I will not be re choosing them. 

Overall I am very pleased with my first Naturebox! I am anxiously counting down the days until my next delivery (obviously the guacamole bites are in there). 

Would you guys like me to create a feature where I go through my Naturebox snacks every month? Let me know what you think!

xo. Casey

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Scoop On Succulents

Succulents are becoming increasingly popular because they are low maintenance and have the ability to multiply easily. Last night while talking about my new plants my boyfriend asks "why do you like them so much" and then proceeds to say "you aren't much of a flower girl are you?"Succulents are just so unique and interesting which is what attracts me to them the most. 

But first things first  what is a succulent? 
A succulent is any plant with thick, fleshy water storage organs. They store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. Their ability to adapt to many different climates has resulted in the variety of different shapes I am so keen on. Succulent varieties include well known plants such as aloe, agave, and cacti, as well as a variety of interesting plant shapes. 

I knew that I wanted to incorporate these beautiful plants both inside and outside of my new apartment. I am a low maintenance kind of girl, and I like my plants to be that way too. There are a variety of succulents, and some strive inside, some outside, and some in the shade. I wanted to get a couple of smaller varieties and stay away from the much larger hanging types. 
I went to Home Depot for my plants since it is closest to my apartment, but you can find them at a variety of locations. I picked a mixture of both aloe and echeveria. 
When repotting your succulents mix a combination of both dirt and gravel in your pot. You can also buy dark or light aquarium gravel or pebbles and place them around each plant so that the soil is covered. If you are placing a variety of plants in one pot, place the larger one on one side and surround it with other plants, clustering similar shapes together. 

When watering your plants it is important that you water them every two or three days in the spring/summer and once every month in the winter. For most succulent varieties, they thrive in the summer time and go dormant in the winter. 
Important Tip: it is crucial that you let your succulents dry out before you water them again. You do not want to over water. 

The wonderful thing about succulents is that once you have a couple of plants you can "propate" them, and then you never have to buy more again! To propate simply cut off the top of the plant, wait a few days for the end to dry out, then pot the cuttling in well drained soil. The old plant will then put off a new growth. This results in two new plants!

If you want to learn more about propating your succulents, or learn more about the care of your different types of plants check out the blog "Sunshine & Succulents". Cassidy is full of wonderful information! 
I give her two green thumbs up. 

What do you think of succulents? I would love to hear about what varieties you love!

xo. Casey

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Five - Summer Bucket List

With summer officially kicking off tomorrow I thought this would be the perfect time to share my summer bucket list with you!

1. Spend more time in the water. At the end of every summer I always say "Man, I should have went to the beach more". Not this year! I want to do as many water related activities as I possibly can this year. Kayaking, swimming, paddle boarding, tubing, jet skiing - I want to do it all!

2. Go to as many outdoor concerts as possible. Whether it be something big like Warped Tour (we will be buying our tickets soon!) or  a free concert in the park (first WBRU concert tonight!) I want to get outside and feel the music. 

3. Take a spontaneous road trip - and create an awesome playlist for the ride. It can be one day or a whole weekend, I want to explore places I have never been. 

4. Go to a drive in movie. Pack up some snacks and pillows, open up the hatch and enjoy each others company - perfect date night. 

5. Cook my way through a (seasonal) cookbook. This one may be a challenge, but it is fun to have a goal and complete it. Any suggestions on which book to try? 

What's on your summer bucket list? 

xo. Casey

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Simple Pasta Frittata

In our house we usually strive to cook a different meal everyday- we don't like to be bored with our meals- which tends to leave a lot of leftovers. The other morning I decided I was going to utilize the leftovers from three different meals to create one super easy and delicious breakfast. What I came up with was a frittata. But not just any frittata- a pasta frittata. 

Ingredients list:

1. leftover angel hair pasta 
2.sugar snap peas              
3. six eggs                            
4. mozzarella cheese           
5. brie cheese                      
6. milk                                   
7. salt & pepper                   

Take whatever veg you have, give it a chop and sautee in a well oiled pan. Add your pasta and mix well. 

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt & pepper in a bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and veg and top with your choice of cheese. Now I didn't time it, but let your fittata mixture cook on the stove top until it is just about cooked through. 

Put your oven on broil and place the frittata in the oven. I transferred mine (very carefully) onto a sheet tray because I did not have an oven safe sautee pan. However, if you have a great cast iron pan, even better. Let it bake until the cheese on top is melted and is crispy on the edges. The pasta creates this awesome crust and gives the egg dish a whole different texture

 Confession - I am not an egg fan. I am very picky about how my eggs are cooked (I am a big poached egg fan-love that runny yolk!). Honestly, I just didn't want it to taste too eggy..if that makes sense. The pasta balances the flavors very nicely. I have a strange feeling this is going to be my new go to when I have a ton of leftover pasta. 

Try it out, I think you will be surprised by how awesome - and easy this is to make. 

xo. Casey

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Welcome To Creatively Casey

Hi There!

Whether you are a loyal reader or brand new, Welcome to my blog. I am Casey, a passionate hobbyist for all things creative 

I grew up in Northern New Jersey surrounded by the best bagels, pizza, and diners around. When it came time to go to college culinary school seemed like a no-brainer. I moved up to Providence Rhode Island and started my culinary career. 

Come Sophomore year I began my internship at Chef Mickey's in Walt Disney World. Many people would ask me questions about what it was like, and so my first blog "Simply Casey" was born.This became a place where I would talk about my days as a Disney Cast member in the College Program. I loved writing and continued on after I left Florida posting the occasional restaurant review or recipe. I was now in my Junior year of College. This was about the time I realized being a chef was not my calling. 

My last year of college I began working Front Desk at a hotel and started taking Event Management classes. In those classes I found my niche. I moved down to the Sales office a year later as an Event Coordinator- moving one step closer in my career goals. 

The blog however began feeling forced. I began posting about things that were boring to me just because I felt like I had to post something. I realized that this was not me, and I needed to stop emulating other bloggers, and create something entirely my own. I did not want to be tied down to the title of a certain blog genre - food, fitness, just restaurant reviews etc.I wanted to share all of my passions with you. I realized that starting over, taking a break, and reevaluating my page is what I needed to do to become re inspired. 

Creatively Casey is a blog all about the little things that inspire happiness. Whether it be a recipe, a unique restaurant or shop, decor inspirations, or simply a look into my life I want to be able to inspire you. No matter where you are in life, you should never stop learning and discovering new things. 

Lets create inspiration together!

xo. Casey