pregaming with coffee

life's a party. stay awake for it.


Weekly brew: Week of October 12, 2014

pregaming with coffee
Hi peeps, and Happy Friday!

Today is the day I say goodbye to my crappy college PC and FINALLY become the owner of a MacBook. I don’t think you understand my excitement – editing photos and doing basic tasks like, I dunno, browsing the Internet, have become a daily struggle for me, so I’m happy that I’ll finally be able to blog without wanting to throw my computer off my balcony. That being said, expect a bit of a blog makeover in the near future!

Okay, I’m done being nerdy. Here’s what else I’ve been loving this week:

  1. Flying Lotus – “You’re Dead!” Jazzy, madcap instrumentals thrown over trip hop beats and hints of Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg. There are so many “Wait, what?” moments on this album. Only thing better than this is seeing FlyLo do his thang live.
  2. TownHall’s latest announcement. This place is already my favorite bar in Cleveland, but their goal of having a GMO-free menu by 2015 makes me love them even more.
  3. This hot chocolate bar idea. Fellow Akron/CLE bloggers – we may need to do this for our next gathering.
  4. Emancipator. His music sounds like cloudy days. Perfect for fall.
  5. This DIY whale stuffed animal, crafted from old denim. I need to brush up on my sewing skills because this is too adorable. (Warning: the original instructions are in Finnish. So this may be a challenge. Thank God for Google Translate!)

Looking forward to sleeping in, wandering around CLE with my man and hopefully sneaking in a run this weekend! Hope y’all enjoy yourselves, too!

Have a great weekend,

- Gina


Sponsored post: eShakti Product Review

eShakti dress | pregaming with coffee

dress: eShakti | headband: Claire’s | booties: Steve Madden

eShakti dress | pregaming with coffee

***This post is sponsored by***

G’day, friends!

Today’s post is brought to you by a super-cool website called eShakti, which allows you to truly customize dresses and skirts to your exact size and style. If you’re one of those people whose clothes never fit quite right, this site is definitely the place for you. The folks over at eShakti were kind enough to let me pick out a dress, customize it and write about my experience, so here goes:

I LOVE THIS DRESS. But what I especially love about it is that I feel like I made it my own!
eShakti dress | pregaming with coffee
Like almost every other Millenial, I was a huge fan of the Sims during my awkward middle school years (I swear I have a point here). For me, the best part of the game wasn’t really the game itself, but the ability to create a million different characters of all shapes, sizes and color.

That’s sort of what eShakti is like, except with clothes. See a dress you like but you’re not too fond of the length? The lovely people at eShakti can lengthen or shorten it for you. How ’bout dat neckline? Yep, you can change that as well. They get so specific that they want your exact measurements to ensure that your dress fits you perfectly. And I can attest, I’m satisfied with the end product!

eShakti dress | pregaming with coffeeI spent forever perusing their selection of adorable styles and settled on this polka dot chambray design. I wasn’t too keen on the original boatneck style, so I opted for a sweetheart neckline instead. I kept the length the same, since I wanted a classic fall-ready look. I entered the exact measurements of every square inch of my body, and voila! This baby fits me like a glove. I’m so happy with how it turned out, and I can tell that it’s extremely well-made.

Overall, my experience was awesome, and I’d definitely recommend visiting eShakti for yourself! I can especially see it being ideal for all y’all who are getting married and in need of bridesmaids dresses. Or for those of you who grew up playing the Sims, like me. :)

Have a beautiful day!

- Gina

Check out eShakti on: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest

And find me on Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest



Weekly brew: Week of October 5, 2014

weekly brew | pregaming with coffeeHappy Friday, people of the world!

Here’s what I’m into this week:

  1. SBTRKT’s “Wonder Where We Land. His first album was so good, but this one is an excellent follow-up. Plus I’m really glad that Sampha is back to provide plenty of smooth vocals.
  2. So Delicious Hazelnut Coconut Milk Creamer. The coffee at work is meh. This makes it bearable.
  3. This pumpkin cheese ball idea. I can’t handle how adorable this is, and the flavor combination actually sounds pretty interesting. Definitely going to make this as a Thanksgiving appetizer this year!
  4. This Harry Potter sweatshirt. Nerdy-chic, badass and perfect for chilly mornings.
  5. Crescent-wrapped baked apple brie. Drooooooling. My boyfriend and I have this weird obsession with brie as of late. I need to make this ASAP ASAP ASAP.

I’m going down to Athens today to pay homage to my alma mater, the one and only Ohio University! I spent all last night baking a million things for “brunch and punch” (read: boozy brunch) at my sister’s house tomorrow, so be on the lookout for debauchery on Instagram. By debauchery, I mean a bunch of photos of quiche.

Have a great weekend!

- Gina

Like me on Facebook // Follow me on Instagram // Follow me on BlogLovin’


Smashed white bean quesadilla with kale and creamy BBQ sauce

pregaming with coffeeHey y’all!

So, while I love cooking, there are some days where I simply don’t feel like slaving away for an hour in the kitchen. I just want something quick, easy and satisfying that isn’t your standard drive-thru food.

Enter the quesadilla, aka the less doughy grilled cheese. I love dressing them up with traditional Hispanic ingredients like black beans, salsa and spicy seasoned veggies, but this non-traditional recipe really intrigued me.
pregaming with coffee

Holy Moses, is this good. And inexpensive to make!

Since becoming vegetarian, I don’t really eat much BBQ, but I love using the sauce as a dip for fries and the like. I never would’ve thought to make a creamy version with plain yogurt, and it’s simply a match made in heaven with the white beans, kale and white cheddar. Plus, this whole thing takes roughly 10 minutes to make, so you’ll be chowin’ down in no time!

Oh and I apologize for the lack of photos … but not really. I had to devour this immediately. I’m sure you’ll understand.

Smashed White Bean Quesadilla with Kale and Creamy BBQ Sauce
(adapted from this recipe)


  • 4 fajita-size whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot (the store ran out so I used a red onion instead), diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 stalks of kale, leaves chopped and thick stems removed
  • 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of your fave barbecue sauce (I discovered this brand and I’m in love with the sweet brown sugar flavor. No high fructose corn syrup and super nom. Plus, their website rules.)

Heat cooking spray or olive oil in a pan on medium heat, or heat up panini press. In a medium-size bowl, add beans and smash with either a fork or potato masher.

In another small pan, heat up some olive oil and add shallots, salt and pepper, cooking until translucent (roughly three minutes). Remove from heat and add ‘em to the bowl with the beans. Mix together.

Place one tortilla on pan or panini press, then spread bean mixture on one side. Add a small helping of cheese and kale leaves, then fold over. Cook for three minutes on one side until brown, then flip to cook other side. (Obviously if you’re using a panini press, you can just fold the tortilla over and press ‘er down.) Make additional quesadillas as needed, then cut ‘em in half.

In a separate bowl, mix yogurt and barbecue sauce together until tan in color. Serve sauce on the side with quesadillas.


Happy almost Friday! You’re almost there!

- Gina


Weekly brew: Week of September 28, 2014

pregaming with coffee
TGIF, yo!

I’m gonna keep it short and sweet today. Here’s what I’ve been loving as of late:

  1. James Blake. I’ve caught the occasional tune from this London-based producer on random Songza stations, but I’ve never actually sat down to listen to his hauntingly beautiful tracks. I’ve been missing out.
  2. Ello. Think of this as the anti-Facebook – a social network that’s not about selling your information and purely focused on … well, being a social network. It’s still in beta and invite-only, but I think it’s worth the wait.
  3. Green beans. I forgot how delicious these guys are, especially when they’re fresh from a local farm. Toss ‘em with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder, then spread ‘em out on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 425, turning over at the 5-minute mark. Boom. A delicious, nutritious side.
  4. Fuzzy vests. I saw a girl wearing the gray one out and about in Cleveland, and she gave me a hug when I complimented her. Needless to say, it was a very warm and fuzzy hug. Don’t worry, it’s faux!
  5. This brass leaf ring. A perfect little fall staple.

What’re you guys loving as of late? Any new music I should check out or sweet recipes I should try?

Have a great weekend!

- Gina


Go outside

pregaming with coffee

jacket: Old Navy | romper: American Eagle via Plato’s Closet | boots: Steve Madden

Hi all!

Hope your week is off to a great start! I had a lovely weekend running the Akron Marathon relay with my coworkers, (proud that I paced myself!) chowing on some tacos at Barrio in Tremont, visiting Ingenuity Fest for the first time and spending some time with my boyfriend. We visited a local farm (Szalays!) on Sunday to get some stuff to make dinner/caramel apples, then went on a short walk on the Towpath. Which led to these photos.

pregaming with coffee

earrings: Target

I spotted this army green romper at Plato’s Closet a few weeks ago and literally squealed with joy when I unearthed it among the racks of clothing. I intended to take some other photos to show it off better … but they didn’t exactly turn out the best, so these snaps of me lounging in the sun will have to do! I didn’t really know what shoes to pair it with, so I threw on my trusty combat boots. I kind of look like I’m about to go on a safari, so I guess it’s hike-appropriate.

pregaming with coffee

Photos by Chris.

It’s been so beautiful lately that all I want to do is BE OUTSIDE, DAMMIT. October starts tomorrow (!!!?!!) and each falling leaf causes my heart to break just a teensy bit. I’m promising myself from here on out that I’m going to take advantage of each nice day as much as I possibly can. Because I have all winter to catch up on Netflix…

Have a beautiful day!

- Gina


Weekly brew: Week of September 21, 2014

pregaming with coffeeHi guys!

I feel like I haven’t written in ages! Between visiting my parents for my dad’s birthday last weekend and a three-day trip to Nashville for work, I’ve been on the road quite a bit the past week. Although I can hardly complain – Nashville was so cool. I had some free time my first day there, so I set off to explore the major sights on my own. I’m not even a country fan, but it was really sweet to tour the Grand Ole Opry and learn all about its history and significance in the music world. I then set off for downtown and there was live music in every bar – in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, nonetheless. I’m thinking I need to make a trip back here with some girlfriends in the near future!

Getting back into the swing of things, here’s an overview of what I’m loving this week:

  1. Lorde. I finally got to see this girl rock out on stage and it was beyond amazing. She grooves so hard to her own beat and her performance reminded me of how music can truly set us free.
  2. Oribe texturizing spray. My boyfriend’s sister is in cosmetology school and was kind enough to gift me a bunch of products from this line. This lightweight formula gives my short hair the perfect texture without weighing it down, and a light fruity scent is an extra bonus. Thanks, Kate!
  3. This floral ice cube DIY from Earthbound Trading Co. So simple, so elegant. Now I have a use for those edible flowers I always see on sale at the grocery store.
  4. Speaking of Earthbound, I visited their store in Nashville (loved it, obviously) and purchased a bunch of fragrant Himalayan bath salts. No, not those weird drugs that kids are eating these days, like actual bathing products. Can’t wait for a relaxing soak in the tub with eucalyptus and lavender.
  5. Olivia’s make your own pickles how-to. I don’t think I’ll ever eat store-bought pickles again. This looks way too tasty and fun.

Looking ahead to the weekend, I’m running the Akron Marathon relay for the second consecutive year with my coworkers tomorrow morning! It’s becoming a tradition at our company to do this every year, and the spirit of camaraderie is absolutely contagious. It’s satisfying to work together as a team to finish one common goal … and the prospect of beer and food at the finish line is an added perk.

Aside from that, I really want to hit up Ingenuity Fest in downtown Cleveland! I’ve heard only wonderful things about this community event, and I’m looking forward to some live music, sweet artwork and maybe even an enlightening lecture.

What have you got going on this weekend? Anything fun?


- Gina


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183 other followers