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Monday, 29 July 2013 17:05

Finding the Next TND

Hi all! 


Colleen and I are currently taking some time to figure out what's next for Thursdays. 


Stay tuned. 


Happy cooking & crafting! 







Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 19:04

TND: Sentimental Style

So, it was about three years ago this month that I made the decision to move from NYC to come back to my hometown, Louisville. I have had no regrets whatsoever about this decision-- I love, love Louisville and I feel so at home in the midwest-- but there are times when I go through really strong NYC withdrawals. I mean, what's not to love about this? Ahhh, Central Park on an amazing, spring day something like 5 or 6 years ago (crazy!!)


central park

This week I've been missing New York a lot, in particular, our adorable pink house in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and the sweet little neighborhood it is housed in. There was nothing I loved more than stepping out that front door and taking a stroll through the park and up and down the towhouse-lined streets for hours at a time.

fort greene house

Not to mention the fact that I kind of miss these girls, too.

My roomies Stephania,


and Caitlin. (This was our Derby party-- leave it to the Kentucky girl to make her northern friends partake in hourse racing).


So maybe I'll get to the city sometime soon for a nice visit, but until then, I'm revelling in memories and photos and oh, so many songs that remind me of my time there. Here's one of our ultimate go-to recipes that we made very often at New York Thursday Night Dinners. This one is great for those Lazy Thursdays (which seem to happen more and more often these days :)






Personal Pita Pizzas
by Stephania Stanley and Colleen Reilly

What you need: 

  • 4 flat, whole grain pitas
  • 8 oz package mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 8 oz spinach
  • ½ large red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced
  • ½ zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • ½ head of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Dice the onion and garlic while the oil is heating. Sautee onion and garlic and begin dicing peppers. Add the peppers after the onion and garlic have sautéed about three minutes. While the peppers are sautéing, begin dicing the zucchini and chopping the broccoli into small florets. After about two minutes add the zucchini, broccoli and spinach. The spinach will cook down quickly, so don’t be intimidated by how much there is. Add basil, oregano, pepper and cayenne. If you use fresh herbs, remember that a little goes a long way! While the veggies are working in the skillet, place the pitas on olive oil-sprayed cookie sheets. Spoon out tomato sauce onto each pita and spread it around until the pita is covered with saucy goodness. After the veggies have sautéed about five more minutes, turn off the burner and scoop an even amount of veggie mixture onto each pita. Sprinkle each with the desired amount of cheese, and place in the oven. After fifteen minutes or when the cheese has begun to brown, take the pizzas out of the oven, slice each into four pieces with a large knife or a pizza cutter and devour!

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 16 May 2013 18:15

TND: Greek Easter/Passover Dinner

Happy Thursday! A few weeks ago my darling Jewish boyfriend, Dave, and I had a combined Greek Easter/Belated Passover holiday dinner.



We've been having many conversations lately about what it means to have a reformed interfaith relationship and this was our first attempt at really coming together and combining our two family traditions. We both dug out our family recipes, I got on the phone with my Uncle Greg for grilling instructions, and we spent two full days preparing for our giant feast. Our friends arrived one by one, I put on Shovels & Rope (because obviously that is the perfect Greek Easter/Passover music), we poured wine, and it began.

greekeaster-IMG 1259

After some of the more complex discussions we've had about what our possible, future family would look like we took all that we had learned thus far and came together and shared our favorite traditions with our nearest and dearest. We spoke Hebrew and Greek and ended the night with our favorite American dessert, s'mores.

greekeaster-IMG 1254

greekeaster-IMG 1253

greekeaster-IMG 1279


By the end of the night, we were all making plans for the next one.







Grilled Greek Lamb
by Stephania Stanley

What you need: 

  • lamb (1/2 lb per person)
  • olive oil
  • fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper

What to do:

Coat the lamb with olive oil and generously salt and pepper both sides. 


Assemble charcoal around the edges of the grill (so that the heat will be around the edges of the grill and not directly in the center). Place an disposable aluminum pan with 1" of water in the center. Heat up the grill. Grill lamb until the center of the meat reads 140°F. We grilled a butterflied 7Lb lamb and it took a little over an hour. 


Once the lamb is ready, let it rest for about 20 minutes and slice diagonally in 1/4" thick slices. Pour the liquid from the aluminum pan into a serving bowl (now au jus) and add a spoonful or so over the lamb when serving.


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 18:19

TND: Decoupage Frames

Happy Thursday! If it's been a little quiet around here, one of the reasons is I just started a new job. I think that I am really going to like it, but the process of starting a new routine and learning a new gig is seriously wiping me out! I am sooo tired. But it's a good kind of tired.

Here's a craft that I am really liking right now. I made these frames for my girlfriends as 30th birthday presents and gave them to them when we were all together on vacation in Miami. I tried to pick colors that would go with their houses and personalities. The only problem is, I forgot to make one for me, so I still have to do that.



Decoupage Frames
by colleen reilly

decoupage frames2










What you need: 

  • plain 4x6 frame (choose one that is flat and doesn't have ridges or decorations on it)
  • craft paper
  • scissors
  • x-acto knife
  • craft glue
  • mod podge
  • paint brush

What to do:

Choose a color of paper for the front of your frame. Choose a coordinating color of paper for the back of your frame. Lie the frame face down on the paper you choose for the front (place both on a piece of cardboard so you don't ruin your surface. Cut the piece of paper with the x-acto knife to the size of the frame by tracing along the outside of the frame with the knife and cutting out the inside. Do the same for the back and sides. Glue paper on to frame with craft glue. When dry, brush over entire surface with mod podge to make it shiny.


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 18 April 2013 17:20

TND: The Perfect Iced Coffee

It is finally feeling like spring around here and it seems like overnight you can spot bright yellows, pinks, and reds all over the city. We've all taken out our peep toe wedges and have even been able to wear dresses without tights...it's just lovely.  I'm already starting to crave BBQ (specifically BBQ ribs with mac 'n cheese) and this week I've developed a strong craving for iced coffee. I hate the thought of buying coffee each and every day, but have tried and failed miserably to make a really good iced coffee over the years. It's either not cold enough, too weak, or far too sweet, so I decided to do a little research to find out the best way to make it at home and just as good as my favorite spots in Brooklyn.
I found that there are two ways to approach iced coffee: hot drip and cold drip. The cold drip is less acidic and slightly sweeter and then the hot drip is a stronger cup of joe. Being that Ophelia keeps me on my toes every waking minute, I went with the latter and found the perfect balance of cold, strong cup of coffee.  I like my coffee on the stronger side, but feel free to add milk and sugar to taste. 


The Perfect Iced Coffee
by Stephania Stanley

iced coffee IMG 8349

What you need: 

  • coffee ice cubes (make a fresh cup of coffee the night before and use it to make coffee ice cubes throughout the week)
  • 8 tbsp coffee
  • 6 cups water
  • milk and sugar to taste

What to do:

I used a french press to make my coffee, but a drip coffee machine will work just fine. Make your coffee with the extra scoops with your chosen hot drip method. Once the coffee has brewed, fill your heat safe coffee glass (or cup) half way with ice and pour the brewed coffee. Give it a couple of stirs and enjoy! 


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 16:01

TND: Spring Fever Crafting

I hate sounding like a spoiled brat, but ever since I've gotten back from our girlfriends vacation that we took to Miami a couple of weeks ago, I've been struggling to get back into the swing of things (the weather has finally started to warm up, so that's helping). But I so miss lying on the beach, hanging out with my girlfriends all day, and having no schedule for an entire week. Since I've been feeling a little blue about being back to reality, what a nice treat to come home today to a card from Emily and a few snapshots from our mimi-vacay.
 FxCam 1365628508121

I found these adorable Bauble necklaces on A Beautiful Mess, and I've been having so much fun making them. They make great spring accessories, and I'm going to give some to some girls for little spring gifts. We made them at our Glue Gun Mafia class last night, and the ladies loved it! I encourage to make some of your own. I've also been making them into bracelets.

Bauble Necklace and Bracelet

photo from a beautiful mess


bauble necklace


photo by colleen

bracelet sm

What you need: 

  • craft paint
  • wood beads (in whatever size you choose)
  • gloss (triple thick or gloss spray)
  • paintbrushes
  • leather cord or ribbon

What to do:

Choose the beads you want to use and a color scheme. To paint and gloss mine, I cut off the bottom of a Q-tip and placed the bead on the cotton end of the Q-tip and then painted the beads. I then stuck the Q-tips into a scrap piece of styrofoam to let the beads dry. Paint beads with a second coat of paint. When the beads are dry, spray or paint with gloss to make the beads shiny. When the gloss is dry, string beads on leather cord or ribbon and you're ready to wear!


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 04 April 2013 16:56

TND: Officially 30 and Plantain Adventures

Aaaaand we're back! Colleen and I have safely returned from our 30th birthday vacations. We are both officially the big 3-0 and it feels fantastic (although it felt way more fantastic on a beach in Miami). 
(Our running path for the week in Miami.)
After the girls departed Miami, I hopped on a plane to meet Dave in Culebra, Puerto Rico. We spent the week snorkeling, hiking to remote beaches, and eating lots and lots of plantains. We spent my actual birthday in a rain forest and capped the evening off with wine and guava and brie stuffed croissants (yes, they were as heavenly as they sound).
We got back to Brooklyn late Sunday night and I must admit that it's been a bit tougher than I imagined coming back to NYC. Rather than feeling rejuvenated, Colleen and I are both feeling a little bummed and uninspired since our return. I decided that it feels like the day after Christmas, except times 10. You know what I mean? You have all of that excitement and build up and then the actual event is absolutely perfect and then afterwards all you can think is...ok so what's next? It's also always difficult to part from my Thursdays crew. They have all become like sisters to me. I am truly grateful to have the privilege of having such intelligent, witty, beautiful women in my life. Who knew that when I moved into Collins at IU at 18 years old, that I would be living directly across the hall from women who would become lifelong friends?
While I'm still missing my time away, I thought that I would bring a little bit of Culebra here and make plantain chips. These are incredibly easy to make and are fantastic on the side of black beans and rice.

Plantain Chips
adapted from Gourmet; November 2008

Photo: Ditte Isager

What you need: 

  • 4 cups vegetale oil
  • 2 lbs green plantains
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

Peel plantains and cut off the ends. Using a sharp knife cut very thin, vertical slices. In a large non-stick skillet, heat about 1/2 the oil (depending on the size of your skillet) over medium-high heat. You want to get the oil hot enough so that the plantain slices will fizzle as soon as you place them in the pan. Working in batches, place about 12 slices of plantains into the heated oil. Turn frequently and fry until they are golden brown. Place on a sheet of paper towl and quickly sprinkle salt and pepper. Repeat until all plantain chips are cooked.


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 15:34

TND: Friend Inspiration

It's Inspiration Week at Thursdays, so we're reflecting on those things in our lives that keep us creative and focused, even when we're tired and at risk of losing motivation. In thinking about it, it sounds a little cheesy, but, honestly, my girlfriends are my biggest source of inspiration. I am so lucky to be surrounded by the most lively, creative, loving, honest, and hard-working girlfriends (pretty, too!) If I feel motivation fading, I know I can reach out to anyone of these ladies for a pick-me-up.
They've gotten me out of the hardest times, and celebrated along with me during the best times. From teachers to librarians to social workers to artists to aspiring nurses, these are some of the hardest working people I know. But no matter how busy they are, I know I can always count on them to drop what they're doing if I need something, or if I just want to hang out and cook and craft-- because they can always be persuaded to do something fun. So, here's some fun photos that I surround myself with to keep me happy and inspired. I've recently taken to printing out and framing photos that inspire me to smile, so I can have them around my house and easy to access.
I hope I can inspire you to think about who or what inspires you and to dig through your favorite photos of your friends and place them somewhere you can see them every day.
Colleen and Stephania
colleen steph bk
Caitlin modeling for Thursdays
 caitlin hairclip
Emily and Colleen and summer fun
em and colleen ww
Kate, my oldest and dearest
colleen and kate bday
My pretty, red-head Erin
erin getting ready


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 10 December 2012 20:13

Lauren's Wishlist

Happy Tuesday! Today we are continuing our wishlists with the very talented floral designer, Lauren Lowman. Check out more of our wishlists here, here, and here




Natural Touches for the Holidays

 by Lauren Lowman

There is nothing better than the holidays.  It brings us together with people we haven't seen in a while and those closest to us.  It is always hard trying to figure out exactly what to get people and how to decorate your indoor space with style.  I have a few tips for this holiday season that will get you started.


Berries add a touch of classy color to any room.  They are also a great gift to give.  They last for a long time and add a touch of the season to any home before, during and after the holidays.

Next, I am giving white two thumbs up this year.  I think a white orchid in a white container is the way to go for any plant gifts or indoor plantscaping for the holidays.  It is a nice way to add a natural feel to any room, it glows perfectly with twinkling lights and hopefully the snow outside!

White pots and containers are very nice to give and receive.  They are a perfect addition to any centerpiece or table. 

Botanical Gardens are awesome gifts to send.  You can choose a poinsettia, amaryllis, festive ferns and paperwhites to make a gift to remember and to last throughout the entire holiday season.

Floral arrangements are next on my list of must haves for the season.  They are necessary for any holiday parties, cocktail hours, or events.  I have shown below a few that I have recently designed that I think are fun!
 Adding a little glitter and gold really makes the white in this arrangment pop.


Traditional red roses are my favorite to really match Santa's outfit! All of your guest will love them!
Even though the weather outside is frightful, bring in some living plants and flowers to make it delightful. Cheers & happy holidays! 


(all photos were taken at Michaleen's Florist and Garden Center)

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 03 December 2012 09:43

Give the Gift of Great Hair

Give the Gift of Great Hair

 By Megan Kramer

Are you working on your list, checking it twice and getting ready to head out to your favorite stores?  Don't you love shopping this time of year?  You have to buy things, have to- and, you aren't buying them for yourself (except for that sweater you simply had to have) so you can't even feel guilty about handing over your well worn credit card!  This year why not give your friends and family the gift of beauty?  Help them look and feel great this holiday season!  If you still have a few people on your list that you aren't sure about, here are a few of my favorite hair products and accessories that just might help you move through your shopping a bit more easily!

As you head out to tackle your list, try not to get too stressed and overwhelmed with your holiday prep this season.  It's about being with the people you love, so grab your girlfriends and have fun shopping! As cheesy as it might sound, the time you get to spend together is really the best gift.  Although, they will be a whole lot more pleasant to look at while your hanging out if they have good hair, so really, these products make everyone's holiday a little brighter!  Happy Holidays!!



For the Gym Girl


This Stila hair refresher is my all time favorite hair powder/dry shampoo; and I have tried a ton of them.  It's a powder that you shake on, not a spray.  It absorbs oil without making my hair feel flat and gross after an hour, like others can; plus, it smells great!  At $28, it's the perfect gift for someone who hits the gym, but doesn't wash their hair every day!



I love these hair ties from Summer's Inspirations.  They hold my hair without pulling and leave less of a crease than regular hair ties do.  They also come in tons of colors and make your pony a little cuter without any extra effort!  They make a great stocking stuffer- 10 for $10.


For Everyone


Oribe is such a great product line; I love pretty much everything he makes!  For the holidays, they have these great gift sets!  This one is the Ultra Gentle set, made to be moisturizing and add softness and shine.  It comes with the Ultra Gentle shampoo, conditioner, and mask- all in a beautiful box you won't even have to wrap!  Everyone needs shampoo, so this is a great gift when you don't know what to get- you can't go wrong!


For Frizz Fighters


Like a lot of other girls I know, I constantly fight the battle of taming frizz without weighing my hair down.  I love this Bamboo Smooth Styling Lotion from Alterna.  It's more of a cream than an oil, so it doesn't get too heavy and leave my hair flat.  It smells great, smooths frizz, and doesn't feel greasy.  Great stuff!

For the Accessories Addict


I have been dying for all of the metallic hair accessories out lately.  I love the vintage feel that these two gold bands from Nest Pretty Things have.  They are the perfect accessory; beautiful, but understated- love them!

For Your Man (or dad, brother, friend... all men really)


I have been a stylist for almost 12 years. In all that time, my favorite product for men with short hair has always been, an still is Bumble and Bumble's Sumotech. It's somewhere between a wax, paste, and a cream.  Somehow it's the perfect texture to make guy's hair look styled, but not too done.  It also has a matte finish so they can use product without looking like a cast member of the Jersey Shore.  All of this for $26.  Best stuff ever!



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