Homemade corn tortillas

I swear, I actually do eat food other than tacos, although by the looks of things on this blog, that's not how it appears. Well, a couple weeks back, when I posted my sneaky trick for easy carnitas tacos, my pal Dave reached out to me and said, "Did I ever tell you that I used to make my own tortillas? I haven't made them in forever but they are so good. We should set up a taco night so I can make them for you guys." And to that I said, HELL FREAKING YES. Plus, this way I could put together a blog post about it without having to do any actual cooking, win-win! So first things first, we prepared some watermelon margaritas. I don't think you can properly make tortillas without a little tequila in you first. 


Dressing up taco night

I talk about tacos a lot on this blog. I just love them so much they really hold a special place in my heart. The weird thing is that when I was a kid I really didn't like tacos (Say what, Marissa!?! You cray!) I suppose I'm just making up for lost time now, stuffing my face with the delicious meat filled discs whenever I get the chance. When it's a hot day, and you don't really feel like cooking, you can cut up a bunch of fresh veggies and toppings and make yourself a fancy taco bar. The "trick" I'm going to fill you in on, is a little secret I learned from my dear friend, Ana. First, you need to head to Trader Joe's and pick up some of their traditional carnitas. One package is just barely enough for two people, but if you have a big eater in your family, you're going to want to pick up at least two packages. This stuff is like gold, it's pre-cooked, pre-seasoned, so all you have to do is heat and serve. See below for more photos and garnish ideas. 


Friendcation in OCNJ

Happy 8th of July! I hope you had a fantastic Fourth of July weekend. Mine consisted of sun, sand, games, friends and a lot of laughter. We headed to Ocean City, New Jersey for a long weekend with friends. We played countless games of Salad Bowl, ate and drank wayyy too much, enjoyed some fireworks, and soaked up some sun rays. Special thanks to our friend Jimmy for letting us crash his parents' vacation home. It was so perfect for hanging out and cooking and spending a rainy day on the porch and late nights watching Drunk History. See more photos from the weekend below. 


A trip to the lake

Following my brother's high school graduation ceremony on Saturday, my family and I packed the cars and made the drive up to Sacandaga Lake where my parents rented a house for the week. The few days we got to spend there were perfect (minus the relentless mosquitoes.) On day one, we had some boat issues, so we spent the morning hanging out at the dock, soaking up the rays, playing endless games of fetch with Titan, and letting dad work his magic on the boat. Finally, the boat was up and running and we headed out on the high seas. Titan got to practice his fetching capabilities in deeper waters and everyone jumped in for a cool off.



A preview of the blog post to come... 


Happy moments of the week

Photo by SimplyChelsetta on Flickr

1. Finally getting all of my herbs planted! 

2. Having a fun night playing classic college drinking games, witnessing a soda stream explosion and hanging out by the fire pit with some of my favorite people in the whole world! 

3. Seeing the bottom of the hamper for the first time in months. It's so hard to keep up with laundry sometimes, but feels so good when all of your belongings are finally clean!

4. Sunday brunchin' and thriftin'. I picked up a Waterford crystal ring holder for like $15 bucks, normally $65 or more. Plus, I got to try on some bomb ass fur coats. 

5. Any movie starring Liam Neeson. Such as Non-Stop, in which Liam essentially plays exactly the same character he plays in the Taken series. But I'm not complaining. Taken 3 comes out next year, I wonder who gets taken this time? He's running out of family members...

6. Scoring free Dunkin' coffee thanks go a generous co-worker sharing her coupons. 

7. I'm BEYOND excited to head to New York today and see my lil' bro graduate high school and then party with my fam at a lake house in the Adirondacks. GO DACKS!

8. Getting my paws on these adorable vans, not only are the comfortable but they are basically the cutest shoes to have ever lived. 

9. Hanging out in the conference room with co-workers for a few hours while cheering on the US during the US vs. Germany World Cup game. 

10. Catching up with a former co-worker over sushi. Sushi dates are the best.  


Happy graduation to my favorite little brother!

Look at that face, no matter how many years pass by, I remember his face and voice perfectly at this age. Zach was basically the cutest child that ever lived, and I'm not just saying that because he's my kin...people not related by blood also agree. So, it has basically been scientifically proven. Zach and I are exactly 11 years and one week apart in age. Some people think this must be a mistake on my parent's part, but nooooo, it was actually planned that way (aren't my parents such weirdos?) Due to this age gap, not only did I play the role of protective older sister, but I also played the role of pseudo-mom and full-time babysitter (...wait a minute...my parents are geniuses!) Occasionally, I would be mistaken for his mother (WTF?!) but most of the time we were just really good pals. He would run errands with me and entertain my friends with his adorable songs. 

I can't really believe this sweet, sweet little boy, is now a grown man about to graduate high school and start college. I'm so proud of the person that he has become. He is smart, unbelievably kind (except to our sister, Emily), a volunteer firefighter, an impressive dancer, a master of one-liners (thank GOD his joke telling abilities improved over the years), and basically the best brother a girl could ever ask for. Thanks for being you. I'm sorry Emily and I tortured you from time to time, but it built character, and oh what a character you are! You're going to kill it in college. Be smart, stay safe, and know that we're always there for you if you need anything. 

And, if you happen to have trouble making friends, just sing "Baby Shark." That's how you won all my friends over during that weekend you stayed with me in college.


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

Gosh, I am the worst. Sorry for sucking at my weekly happy moments. Here are 11, just to make it up to you. 

1. Spending a few days last weekend with our parents and siblings in New York. We attended a wedding where we totally dominated the dance floor and we had the most perfect Father's Day brunch on Sunday. 

2. Seeing our most favorite wedding photographers, the dynamic husband and wife duo, Bailly Photography at said wedding. 

3. Feeling super energized this week. I was totally dragging last weekend, it was probably the lousy rainy weather, but this week has been SO much better.

4. Walking down the street the other day and hearing someone in their car blasting old Boyz II Men jams.

5. Finally hitting over 100,000 page views on this humble little blog here. The growth has been slow and steady and I'm so happy for that. Please please please let me know if there's anything you specifically want to see more or less of on Marissa says...!

6. Iced coffee after lunch on an insanely hot and sunny day. It's the bomb dot com.

7. Scoring a crazy cheap pair of black pants for work at TJ Maxx. I have the hardest time finding pants for work, especially ones that are black or navy. 

8. Having an impromptu weeknight dinner with one of my favorite pals, Ms. Ana Lee. She also shared a top-secret "recipe" for amazing carnitas tacos. If you're lucky, I might just share it with you too.

9. Tying up the loose ends on a project at work that I've been stalling on for a while now. Sometimes you just have to sit down and focus, and it ends up being even easier than you thought. 

10. The deliciously sweet scent of peaches and nectarines! I cannot go into the grocery store without stocking up on some of these perfectly ripe treats. 

11. Brainstorming a potential new business venture over cocktails, called, The Wedding Turn Up Crew. If you're worried about your wedding being a bit of a dud, hire the WTUC to make sure even your granny busts some moves on the dance floor. 
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