Tuesday, July 1, 2014


The weather has been BEA-U-TIFUL here lately. I've been taking advantage of it as much as I can. I started walking to work! Which, if I go home for lunch, equates to five miles a day! I love it because I get to be outside in the sunshine for so much of my day, sure it adds 20 minutes to my "commute" in the morning but it's totally TOTALLY worth it. I. Love. The. Sun.

Blouse: H&M
Pants: Forever 21
Belt: Forever 21
Necklace: Forever 21
Watch: Charlotte Russe
Wedges: Amazon.com

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cowboy Caviar

I went on my first camping trip of the season last weekend. Have I mentioned how much I love camping? Because I do.Two days later and my hair still smells like campfire - and I love it! I love campfires and the woods and dirt and just everything about it. Anyway, I'm rambling.

Cowboy caviar is my go-to camping snack. You can prepare a giant bowl of it in advance and it will last the whole weekend... kind of. I mean it COULD last the whole weekend and not spoil, but people will usually eat it before the end of the the trip - like they will eat it the first night. It's just magical. It's fresh and healthy and filling and just all around fantastic. I can't say enough about it.

If you look on Pinterest there are literally TONS of recipes for cowboy caviar. I've messed with several of them and Frankenstein-ed a few of them together and this is my favorite combination.


  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12 oz. bag frozen corn, drained and rinsed
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 c. zesty Italian dressing
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • salt to taste

Poor puppy, I think taking pictures was tormenting my helper. Like I said, everybody loves cowboy caviar! 

How To Make It:

  • combine all ingredients in a large bowl 
  • make sure Italian dressing and lime juice have completely covered all ingredients, add more of each if desired
  • salt to taste
  • serve with tortilla chips

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Carne Asada Tacos

I'm not usually a home made taco person, ground beef covered in taco seasoning and crunchy shell tacos are just not my thing. I prefer my tacos to be more authentic and that usually means they are sold out of the back of a truck and that is a-ok with me.

I went on a cruise over spring break for my best friend's 30th birthday. While in Mexico, we stopped at a tent where the nicest man made us some of the most amazing tacos I have ever stuffed in my face. I'm tempted to book another cruise JUST so I can go back to that very same tent and park myself there and never leave.

Since then I have tried (and failed) to recreate those amazeballs tacos. I'm still not even close but this recipe has been tiding me over until I can get myself back to Mexico.


For the tacos

  • 2 lbs. flank steak
  • 1/3 c. white vinegar
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • flour or corn tortillas, 8 inch
  • white onion, for garnish
  • cilantro, for garnish

For the salsa

  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tomatillos
  • 1 c. cilantro
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half, seeded
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

How To Make It


  • combine white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, salt, black and white peppers, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano and paprika in a large bowl
  • slice the raw flank steak and place the meat in the marinade
  • cover and keep in fridge over night


  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • place tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, and garlic on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes, they should blister but not burn
  • place in blender or food processor with avocado, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper 
  • puree until smooth


  • heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat
  • cut the marinated flank steak into cubes or strips
  • cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated
  • warm the tortillas in a skillet for about a minute on each side to make them pliable
  • arrange two or three tortillas on a plate, and lay a generous amount of beef over them
  • top with a large spoonful of the pureed salsa
  • garnish with onion, cilantro, lime juice 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Cranberry Almond Kale Salad with Warm Shallot and Lemon Vinaigrette

I don't know about you, but when the weather is warm I have a really hard time eating heavy foods. Things like pastas and sauces just weigh me down and I swear they make me sweat more! Consequently, I am big on fruits and vegetables and salads to make up my summer meals... Which turns out to be awesome cause I'll drop a few lb's here and there.

I've been trying to jump on the kale bandwagon because I know it's like, sooooooooooo good for you but I'm just not a huge fan. Husband loves to grill up some kale in olive oil and eat it for lunch and every time he offers me some I just want to barf on him. Gross. HOWEVER, I know that kale is versatile and can be prepared in such a way that everyone can like it so when I saw this recipe on Gimme Some Oven, I went for it. And what do you know? With two minute changes, I loved it (and obviously Husband loved it too, that kale-loving-son-of-a-bitch)!


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, ribbed and very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta 

How To Make It

  • heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat 
  • add shallot and saute for at least 5 minutes or until tender
  • add garlic and saute for 1 minute
  • then add cranberries, red wine vinegar and lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine
  • season with salt and pepper
  • in a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil and an extra pinch of salt, and massage kale with your fingers 
  • add in the cranberry/shallot mixture and almonds, and toss to combine
  • serve topped with crumbled feta

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


It's been so wonderful and summer-y out lately. I. Can't. Get. Enough. Seriously, I live in the wrong part of the world. If it was sunny all day everyday I would be so happy. All those people out there that are like "no but you have to have the rain you'd get sick of the sun if you had it all the time..." No. Get out. You're wrong. The sun is amazing and I want it always.

Anyway here is an amazing dress I got from H&M recently, it's comfortable and versatile and I love it. Now go out in the sun.

Dress: H&M
Boots: Nordstrom / Steve Madden
Watch: Charlotte Russe
Bracelet: Forever 21

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

So my personal favorite is Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli soup, but my mom is obsessed with their Zuppa Toscana so I thought I would give it a shot! I even got Erka's approval and she is a former Olive Garden employee people so buckle up! And yes, like I said in the Pasta Fagioli post, I know Olive Garden isn't "real" Italian. That doesn't mean it isn't delicious and doesn't cover my mouth in a party of awesome. Step off.


  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and then 1/4" thick (think little half moons)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 c. kale, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (15oz) chicken stock
  • 1 qt. water
  • 1 c. half and half 

How To Cook It: 

  • brown sausage and break it up really well, drain and set aside
  • cook bacon, then chop it
  • place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot 
  • cook on medium heat until potatoes are done
  • add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste
  • simmer for another 10 minutes
  • turn to low heat, add kale and half and half 
  • heat through and serve

Monday, May 19, 2014


It was SO HOT here last week! Have I ever mentioned that there is no air conditioning in my office? Cause there isn't. So yeah, this was my best option. Summer is coming!

Tank top: Nordstrom
Maxi skirt: Forever 21
Leaf necklace: Forever 21
Watch: Charlotte Russe

Friday, May 9, 2014

Gold Mugs

Like a lot a people, I've been slightly obsessed with gold lately. IT'S MAKING A COMEBACK! So when I saw gold accented mugs on Pinterest, I just about died. Husband loves coffee... no like, seriously. He's ridiculous. He also loves tea, and so do I, so we go through a disgusting amount of coffee mugs in a week. This project had me written all over it.

What You'll Need: 

  • gold spray paint
  • clear top coat spray paint
  • clean, white mugs
  • painters tape
  • patience 

How To Do It

  • it's an easy enough project...
  • WASH YOUR MUGS, paint doesn't stick to a dirty mug
  • apply painters tape in the design you would like - this is where the patience comes in: mugs are round so tape isn't just gonna rock around in a strait line
  • once your tape is applied PRESS IT DOWN! seriously, be super-anal about this step other wise you'll get chips and bleeds. I used my fingernail to squish out any wrinkles in the edge of the tape and to make sure it was stuck down tight
  • make sure you tape up the inside of the mug too, you don't want over-spray in there or it will look gross
  • take your mugs outside (duh, this is spray paint) and spray your first coat of gold
  • let dry and spray your second layer of gold
  • let dry and spray a layer of clear coat
  • let dry COMPLETELY and CAREFULLY peel the painters tape off
  • place in a COLD oven and turn the oven to 200 degrees (if you place the mugs in an already warm oven, they will crack)
  • let sit for a few hours (minimum of 2)
  • turn the oven off and let the mugs cool inside the oven

I was really worried about the paint coming off in the dishwasher but so far so good! I have not used them in the microwave yet. I'll update this post as I find out! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwich

I have been obsessing over this recipe for a while now. I loooove chicken salad sandwiches but I hate mayonnaise (I know that seems like an oxymoron but it's just true). So I was so excited when I found this recipe that uses greek yogurt instead. This is the PERFECT meal on a hot summer day when you want something more substantial than salad but not heavy to weigh on your stomach in the summer heat. It's crisp, refreshing and just the right balance of sweet and savory.


  • 1 lb. cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 c. diced red onion ... I actually used onion powder because I'm not a fan of biting into raw onion but if that doesn't bother you then go for it!
  • 1/2 c. diced apple
  • 2/3 c. grapes, halved
  • 1/3 c. craisins
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds
  • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 rolls ciabatta bread, toasted, for serving.... I have since made it with just whole wheat sliced bread and I actually liked it a little better that way, I think with the ciabatta the bread to sandwich ratio goes awry HOWEVER ciabatta does make it seem fancier

How To Make It:

  • ummmmm it's not rocket science, toast (and maybe butter) your bread 
  • mix all the other ingredients together in a big bowl
  • serve on toasted bread

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pink and Grey Baby Shower

I had so much fun over the weekend at Holly's baby shower. You may remember the invitation I created for this beautiful shower (found here) a couple of weeks back. Well, the time finally came and the party was gorgeous! Holly's sister did such a great job putting the whole thing together!

Using pretty baby girl dresses as decor was adorable!

A sweet "game" we played for Miss Mommy-to-be was to write a fun joke or nice saying on the booty of some diapers she would be using later. I had never heard of this idea and I LOVED it! What a nice way to cheer up a new mom dealing with baby poo!

We also had a diaper raffle to help Holly stock up before here little girl arrives. I was lucky enough to win one of the fabulous prizes... *ahem* I took the wine.

It was a brunch shower and the spread was simple but ah-maz-ing! We were treated to a simple "bagel bar" for the main meal and a crazy amount of adorable pink desserts after brunch. 

Regular lemonade and a vodka lemonade punch were served. For the punch, Holly's sister used a 5th of strawberry vodka, a 2 liter bottle of sprite, a carton of lemonade, and pint of fresh strawberries

Holly is a huge fan of doughnuts so instead of cupcakes or cake we were treated to a doughnut cake. Mmmmmm...

Our beautiful Mommy-to-be opening presents!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

So I was cleaning out my Pinterest the other day, and I came across a recipe that I thought, "Nah, that looks too complicated, I'll never make that" and then I clicked on it and it included about 7 ingredients and looked super simple so I tweaked it a little for myself and made it and it was ah-maz-zing! First time around it was easy and the next few times just got simpler, I don't even look at the recipe anymore. And he beauty is, you can substitute bacon (which, OBVIOUSLY, I have done). It's a fabulous recipe to make when you want people to think you're gourmet because it looks like something you'd see in a restaurant. Use it to impress your friends (or your mom)!


  • 4 - 6 chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp flour, or more
  • 4 - 8 slices prosciutto, enough to cover your chicken breasts
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • large handful green beans (I didn't really measure I just went for it)
  • 1/2 c. basil pesto
  • 2/3 c. cream

Wrapped and cooking chicken

How To Cook It

  • make sure your chicken breasts are on the thinner side, if not, pound them thinner
  • season chicken breasts with pepper, to taste
  • rub the chicken with flour
  • wrap each chicken breast with prosciutto
  • in a large skillet, heat the oil on medium
  • when skillet is hot, add the wrapped chicken breasts (they should crackle just a little when you set them in)
  • cook for 5 - 6 minutes and then flip and cook for another 4 - 5 minutes, until cooked through
  • meanwhile boil about 3 inches of water in a small pot
  • add the green beans to boiling water
  • cook green beans for about 5 minutes
  • immediately rinse green beans with cold water and set aside
  • in a small bowl, whisk together the pesto and cream
  • when the chicken is cooked, pour the pesto/cream sauce over the chicken and add the green beans
  • bring the mixture to a boil and then turn off the heat
  • enjoy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tortellini Greek Salad

Spring has arrived and the sun has been out this week! Whenever it is warm, I'm not huge into heavy foods. I like light and refreshing.... but I still love my carbs! This salad is a perfect combination!


  • 1 (20 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pit removed and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 c. feta cheese
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How To Cook It:

  • cook the tortellini according to the package directions, drain and rinse with cold water
  • while the tortellini is cooking chop veggies
  • place the tortellini in a large bowl, add the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, and feta cheese
  • in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper 
  • pour the dressing over the salad and stir until salad is well coated

Monday, April 7, 2014


Sweater: Forever 21
Burgundy Pants: H&M
Boots: Amazon
Silver Cuff: Charlotte Russe

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easy Asian Peanut Noodles

Do you ever feel like you have an overabundance of sauces in your fridge that you just need to get rid of? This is a great recipe for that..... or a great way to add even more jars. Whatever, you can look at it either way. Anyway, this recipe is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to screw up and only takes about 15 minutes to prepare.


  • 3/4 lb. whole wheat thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4-6 tbsp. soy sauce 
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 2-4 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 c. chopped dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

How To Cook It:

  • bring a medium pot of water to boil
  • add spaghetti or noodles and cook according to package directions
  • while water is boiling, in a large bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter, honey, ginger, garlic, and scallions
  • drain cooked noodles and add to the bowl with the soy mixture 
  • toss with tongs to coat well
  • garnish with cilantro, peanuts, and sesame seeds and serve

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


So, yes, I realize I've been a little obsessed with my denim jacket lately. Get off me, it's the perfect thing for spring!

Striped Sweater: H&M
Black Skinnies: Nordstrom Rack
Denim Jacket: American Eagle
Scarf: Gift
Boots: Nordstrom / Steve Madden

Thursday, March 13, 2014


It's feeling very Spring-y today and so I thought I would take a look back at a few outfits from this last winter and pick a couple of my favorites. Click on the links below to see where I got the items... you know... if you want....

< One >   < Two >   < Three >   < Four >   < Five >   < Six >   < Seven >   < Eight >

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pad Thai

So I've been pretty obsessed with Thai food lately I don't know why, because I've always liked it but lately I can't shovel enough of that stuff in my mouth. So I decided I better find a recipe so I can make it at home to satisfy my craving (no Mom, I'm not pregnant). 


  • chicken breast (Or Tofu if vegetarian)
  • 1-2 tbsp. peanut oil (must be peanut oil!)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3.5 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp. Siracha 
  • 4 tbsp. fish sauce (3-4 tablespoons light soy for vegetarians)
  • 2/3 of a package of Thai noodles (called Banh Pho)
  • 6 tbsp. brown sugar 
  • 2/3 c. green onions
  • 1/3 c. white onion
  • 1 c.
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 3 eggs
  • a splash of milk
  • 1/2 package of bean sprouts
  • a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • (optional) red cabbage for garnish

How To Cook It:

  • in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • dice up the green and white onions
  • in a wok or non-stick pan, scramble the eggs using peanut oil until they start to brown, set aside in a small bowl
  • cut up the chicken breast into approx. 1 inch cubes, place them in a bowl and add the sesame oil and corn starch, toss until the chicken is well coated
  • in another small bowl, combine the red chili powder, paprika, lime juice, Siracha, and brown sugar, whisk ingredients together into a nice sauce and set aside
  • chop up peanuts and set aside
  • boil the noodles for only about 2-4 minutes or they will disintegrate, set aside 

  • in the same wok or non stick pan used to scramble the eggs, add some more peanut oil and cook the chicken
  • once the chicken is cooked, add the onions, eggs, making sure to coat everything evenly in the peanut oil
  • add the cooked noodles and make sure they get a good coating of peanut oil
  • add the Siracha mixture to the wok/non stick pan and toss until everything is evenly coated, it should now start to look like Pad Thai
  • once everything is evenly coated add the bean sprouts, toss again, and let simmer for a couple minutes
  • finally add half the peanuts and toss again
  • serve with a garnish of peanuts (and red cabbage like shown in the picture)