All That Glitters

A lifestyle blog

Category: Summer

Hello, August

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Image: here

Good morning, world!

Today is the first day of August. -insert obligatory “summer flew by so quickly” comment- But really…it did. Most of it was spent working with just a few occasions with family and friends sprinkled in. In just over two weeks I will be moving back to the ‘Burgh with my wonderful roommates in our wonderful campus provided apartment (not trying to pay rent just yet!)

It is only fitting then that I continue my tradition of making August a themed month: back-to-school! This month I will be posting first day outfit inspirations, dorm decor that I love and recipes for the dorm when you just don’t feel like leaving your room (Pittsburgh in the winter!) Also this month I would love to get some guest bloggers on board to share some of their favorite dorm design ideas! So whether you are starting college, already in college, or already done with college but are feeling nostalgic, please feel free to email me at arizzardo.atg@gmail.com with your interest and we can talk!!

I look forward to sharing with you this month!

❤ Ashley

What are you looking forward to this month?

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Book Club: “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”


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One of the reasons that I absolutely adore summer is the fact that I have so much time to read. During school it is so difficult to find time to commit to one novel. So if you are wondering why this past few months have been fill of “Book Club” posts, that is why. Much of what I have read this summer has come from looking at everyone’s summer reading list posts. One book that I have found on several lists was “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler. How happy was I when it popped up at Target during one of my frequent (read: completely unnecessary) trips?!

I do not know if it has come up on here yet or not but I am a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing; he is my absolute favorite author. However, I have only been familiar with his work and not so much his life let alone that of his wife, Zelda. I knew only that she was from Alabama and that many (including Ernest Hemingway) considered Zelda to be one of Scott’s biggest distractions and professional hinderances.

The novel is not a biography. It actually reads very similar to “The Paris Wife” which I talked about here. It is a piece of wonderfully written historical fiction told from Mrs. Fitzgerald’s perspective. The reader has the opportunity to glimpse into what was potentially going through the mind of this reportedly wild woman. What she must have felt following her husband all around the country and even to France so that he could find the inspiration to write, only to spend more time drinking and socializing.

While the novel did make prominent Scott’s drinking problem, and Zelda’s problems that had her institutionalized from much of the ’30s and ’40s, something else stands out above that: the love story.

The Fitzgeralds were a couple who stayed together through the good and through the very bad despite the opinions of friends and family. They managed to stay together through all of the alcohol, affairs, nasty fights, illness and other factors. At one point in the book, the couple is sitting together on Christmas Eve when Zelda asks Scott why they have not divorced each other. He replies simply that she is the true love of his life regardless of everything else.

I absolutely adored this book–it was totally worth the purchase! If you are a Fitzgerald fan and a fan of the Roaring Twenties I definitely recommend this book!

❤ Ashley

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

Birthday Weekend!

Happy Monday everyone!

As I slyly indicated in yesterday’s Sunday Edition, yesterday was my birthday! That’s right; I turned the big 2-0. It’s pretty weird not to have “-teen” suffixed to that, but I will get used to it soon I’m sure.

Anyway, this was a great weekend to age up. On Saturday, my friend and I went to go see Bruno Mars in Hershey. If I wasn’t a fan before, I certainly am now–the man put on a great show! Following that we had quite the trip getting out of the parking lot. We spent about 40 minutes in the car just waiting to get out of our parking spot! That’s what happens with a sold out show I guess. It was about midnight when we started moving, so basically I turned 20 in a parking lot…I hope that doesn’t say anything about how my twenties are going to go.

My actual birthday was spent fielding Facebook birthday wishes and dinner with my family who were so kind to add to my Captain America collection. Haha! I now have a bank and bobblehead with which to decorate my dorm room. What can I say…I’m a sucker for the spangled spandex! Haha! Overall I had a lovely weekend and am fully embracing 20 and all that comes with it. Bring it on!

❤ Ashley

How was your weekend?

Sunday Edition

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Just a little something in honor of my birthday!

❤ Ashley

Summer Style: To The Max

Summer is my favorite season for many reasons: warm weather, swimming, barbecues…the list goes on. One of the most prominent reasons for my summer lovin’ is clothing that is donned during these months. What isn’t there to love about shorts, skirts and those pretty, flowing tops? However, my favorite thing to wear when it is gorgeous–an area I place between 70-85 degrees–is maxi dresses and skirts!

I will admit that I’m not the leggy-est lady around; but even us short girls can find a dress or skirt that we can pull off! Styled with sandals and a cute pair of aviators, maxis give off an effortless, cool and chic look! Even on those cool summer nights on the porch or the beach the maxi looks great with a light sweater pulled around it. What’s not to love about that adaptability?

❤ Ashley

How do you style your maxi?

Summer Recipe: Bruschetta

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Hello there!

I hope that everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend and indulged in plenty of family, friends, food and fireworks. 🙂 Today I am bringing you a recipe for one of my favorite go-to foods–especially in the summer: bruschetta.

We have made bruschetta many, many times before but usually with the bruschetta mix in a jar that you can find in the pasta aisle of your grocery store. It is something that is really quick and easy to make for nights when you have no idea what to make for dinner, or as little snacks for parties. Making it homemade is not to difficult as I have found! It is a little bit more time consuming of course; but is there really a problem with that?

Here’s what you need:

6-7 plum tomatoes (they are a lot easier to cut up; they are not as juicy and have fewer seeds)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
basil (difficult to say how much, use as much as you prefer)
salt + pepper
mozzarella cheese
French baguette

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Here’s what you need to do:

– Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
– Slice up your bread to slice about 1/2-1 thick. Brush both sides with olive oil (this isn’t the 1 tbsp from the recipe) and put them in the oven for about 3 mins on both sides.
– Parboil (boil some water, take it off the heat and place the tomatoes in the pot) tomatoes for 1 minute. Peel them and cut in halves or quarters to remove the seeds.
– Finish cutting tomatoes into small chunks, chop garlic and basil also.
– Combine tomatoes, garlic and basil in bowl. Add olive oil, vinegar and salt + pepper.
– Spoon mixture onto baguette slices. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 3-5 minute.

The result is pure delicious-ness!

❤ Ashley

What is your favorite summer time food?

That Red, White and Blue

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Tomorrow is Independence Day here in the USA which is a holiday I am always enthusiastic for! I always love spending a warm summer day with family outside with some great food and fireworks. Tomorrow’s color scheme is red, white and blue; from the decor to the clothing to the food! Here are a few bits of inspiration for this July 4th!

 

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Images: herehere, & here

❤ Ashley

Will you be donning your red, white and blue tomorrow?

 

Hey There, July!

Well we are now in the throws of summer; but for some reason I am enjoying it more than I have any other summer. Maybe the hottest is yet to come but I have been holding up fairly well against the heat. Being able to accomplish a 5 PM run when it is still 80+ outside is quite the accomplishment in my own opinion.

I know I say this at the beginning of every month (with select exceptions…I’m looking at you, January!) but July has got to be my favorite month of the year! What’s not to love about this month? Fourth of July, my birthday, pool dates, and evenings outside are just some of the things that characterize this month for me. It is also off to an exciting start since tonight the US team plays tonight in the World Cup. I am really enthusiastic about this team; GO USA!

❤ Ashley

What do you love about July?

Book Club: The Paris Wife

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I decided to pick up “The Paris Wife” by Paula McClain las week because I had heard before such amazing things about it–and plus my mother already had a copy so I did not have to go out and buy it!

The story follows the relationship between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife (he had four!) Hadley. They were together in the early part of his career and she supported his writing in Paris of the 1920s. The story is in fact told from Hadley’s point of view.

This novel is historical fiction, however, McClain made it her mission to make it as close to real as possible by studying letters of correspondents between Ernest and Hadley and paid attention to how he described her in his very last work, a memoir titled “A Moveable Feast.”

I will come right out and say that I absolutely love this book! In fact, I do plan on purchasing my own copy because I am sure that I will want to read it again. Paula McClain’s writing here is descriptive, emotional and just great! I found myself completely invested in Hadley and Ernest’s relationship and became heartbroken with Hadley as it began to fall apart. I only ever put this book down if I absolutely had to do so.

Aside from the relationship I was also intrigued by the setting; I am fascinated by the ‘20s, the Jazz Age, Paris, and the “Lost Generation” including Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald who make appearances in this book. It was like getting a glimpse of life in 1920s Paris and watching Hemingway create the pieces that have become so well-known today.

I would definitely recommend this to you if you have not read it yet and would love to hear your thoughts if you have!

❤ Ashley

Will you read “The Paris Wife?” If you already have, what do you think of it?

Selfish Summer

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Before we left Pittsburgh for the summer, my roommate and I promised each other that we would spend the summer with only one person on our minds: ourselves, respectively. Much of our year was spent worrying about guys and friend drama and by the end that’s all we were concerned about. That’s why we decided to declare this the “Selfish Summer.”

Honestly, I think we all could use a little bit of this right? This summer we are focusing on ourselves; taking the time out to look back and see how we have grown and in what aspects we need to continue to grow. We have committed ourselves to being healthy and treating our bodies better, taking up new hobbies that we have wanted to and basically doing everything that we couldn’t because our minds were somewhere else. We even update each other about how the summer is going and what we have done (I’ve been painting and she’s learning to play guitar!)

I invite you to join us in being a little selfish this summer!

❤ Ashley

What could you do this summer to make it a little bit more about you?