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Recipe: Shrimp and Orzo Salad

shrimp salad recipe

summer shrimp salad

Because sometimes, when you’ve been eating a lot of takeout and drinking way too much wine, your body finally taps you on the shoulder and is like, “Um, hello? Can we please have something light, fresh, and healthy today?”

That’s basically what my body said to me recently (or was it my liver?), and who I am to ignore that nagging internal voice that wants you to load up on high quality foodstuffs? So I whipped up this light but satisfying salad, and immediately felt better. What is it exactly? The perfect summer meal: shrimp sauteed in olive oil and lemon, mixed with freshly chopped raw vegetables, tons of herbs, and orzo pasta. Dress it in a light vinaigrette, and dig in. I like this dish because you can make the shrimp and orzo salad on its own and eat it as is, or pile it high on fresh greens (I love it with peppery baby arugula). The shrimp salad itself can be zhushed up with any veggies you have on hand, and you can swap out the herbs for whatever your favorites are. In my version, I used fresh tomatoes, basil, parsley, peppers, and a few other goodies, but I think this would be good with dill, sun dried tomatoes, and even summer corn. You can finish the salad with a little crumbled feta, or omit it if you’re being extra good.

We have a bunch of the shrimp and orzo salad left over, and it’s the perfect thing for a take-to-work lunch, or for a picnic with friends. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Here’s how to make it:  Read more »

Giveaway: Lo & Sons Catalina Bag + Discount Code!

lo and sons catalina bag

lo and sons catalina bag

lo and sons catalina bag

lo and sons catalina bag

Happy Monday! And oh, is it ever… I can’t think of a better way to kick off the week than by teaming up with our friends at Lo & Sons again to give away one of their fabulous bags. This time, in honor of it being the dead of summer (with many of us taking fun weekend trips to celebrate the season), we’re giving away a Catalina bag to one lucky reader! After all, this really is a tote bag that takes you everywhere.

You guys know of my love for L&S and their classic, stylish, and oh-so functional bags. The Catalina is one of my favorites and Joe and I reach for it often in the summertime (check out this video to see everything it can hold). I love to pack it with towels, games, and picnic supplies for picnics in the park! And it’s not just for humans either…whenever we go away on an extended vacay, Lucy uses it as her “overnight bag” when she stays with a sitter here in town (it’s awesome because we can pack a blanket in the bottom pocket, and the bag is big and sturdy enough to hold her food, toys, and other supplies). You can easily fold up the Catalina and pack it in your luggage, just in case you need an extra tote on the way home from your trip. It has a ton of uses and I highly recommend it!

L&S just released a bunch of new colors for the Catalina, including a beautiful indigo and neutral khaki color, as well as a new striped variation that’s so beachy and fun. Couldn’t you see yourself at the beach with one?

In addition to the giveaway, Lo & Sons has generously offered vmac+cheese readers a special discount code for all of their bags: 20% off your entire purchase! So if you’ve been longing for a classic OG or OMG bag, now’s the time to scoop one up. To get 20% off, just use the code VMACSUMMER14. This code will be good until August 15 (but note that it can’t be used with other codes or applied to sale items).

Ready to enter to win a new Catalina bag in the color of your choice? As always, we’re making it simple:


1. Within the Rafflecopter widget below, just click the +1 button next to the ‘Click here and enter to win!’ line, then follow the instructions.

2. The giveaway will close next Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 11:59pm EDT and I’ll choose a winner via Rafflecopter.

3. Goodies for the 50 states: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry, international friends.

4. A few more ways to win: Additional entries are also available by liking my pages on Facebook and Twitter as well as Lo & Sons pages’ on Facebook and Twitter, but this isn’t necessary to win! If you’re already following us, this can still count as an entry, so be sure to click the button within the Rafflecopter widget! Finally, you can also leave a comment on your favorite color of Catalina bag (just be sure to check off that you did so within the widget, so I can count your entry!).

You can check out the full terms and conditions by clicking on the Terms & Conditions link within the Rafflecopter widget below.

Don’t forget, you can stock up on Lo & Sons products for you (or a very lucky friend!) and get 20% off by using the code VMACSUMMER14. Good luck and happy shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


sezane ulysses shoes

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Nordstrom’s big anniversary sale starts today! It’s not for summer markdowns either — there are great deals to be had on new duds for fall (like this coat, this jacket, and classic boots), or you can stock up on basics too (I’m thinking new jeans and undies). Shop to it.

HYDRANGEA HALLELUJAH: Ever gotten a bunch of hydrangeas home only to have them wilt on you a day later? Erin shares how to prevent it from happening. I can’t wait to try these tips!

A FONT OF THE FUTURE: Yes, there is such a thing, and Google is designing it. Type nerds will love this behind the scenes look at the Roboto font.

BLOGGER REALNESS: I loved this little Q&A recap Hallie wrote for her blog on the heels of speaking at a conference about — what else? — blogging. So. much. truth. A great read for anyone who blogs, or likes to read them.

LIFE WITH PIPER: Joe and I binge watched both seasons of Orange is the New Black in the last week. Definitely obsessed. If you’re a fan of the series, you should absolutely check out this long piece by the real Larry, about what it’s like seeing real life events play out on the small screen.

EVERLANE DOES IT AGAIN: I got an email about a new collab Everlane is doing with Langley Fox, and I’m so into these tank tops. Super basic, but not boring. Let’s stock up!

MASK IT: I wrote a little tutorial on clipping masks over on The B Bar’s blog. Check this out if you’re interested in a fun, simple Photoshop tutorial! Meg also wrote an awesome post on amazing Instagram accounts you should be following, like right this second.

PUPPY 411: Thinking about getting a dog? Read this first. Joy’s tips and experiences during her first year of being a puppy mama are spot on — so many of these things were true for us too!

WRONG SIZE, LADY: How crazy is this : nearly half of women are probably wearing the wrong shoe size. Here’s the definitive guide to finding out your true size.

Oof, what a week. Lots going on at work – and thankfully, I finally managed to finish a big personal project that will debut around these parts towards the end of the summer. It’s been a labor of love, but I’m glad it’s mostly done! What is everyone up to this weekend? While Lucy’s birthday was this past Wednesday, on Saturday I’m hosting a little ‘Ladies Tea’ in her honor (anything to get the band together to drink rosé, amiright?). Other than dog birthday parties (!), I have a long distance Skype date planned, and fully intend on sleeping in as much as possible (there were wayyyy too many late nights this week). Hard to believe that there are only two weekends left in July. Forget my 30th birthday — I feel like fall is right around the corner!

Enjoy the weekend, friends! Hope it’s a good one, whatever you’re up to.

Image: Sézane