Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend + Bruschetta

Good Monday morning to you, friends! I would love to say that my weekend was nice and relaxing, but it was insanely busy and exhausting. Sydney and I were able to get a lot accomplished for her bridal registry at Bed, Bath and Beyond on Friday. As soon as we finished with that, I headed over to help with the Young Life garage sale. When I say help I really mean take charge and organize. One of our guy friends was in charge and even he said that he didn't know how he would have done it if I hadn't come in and basically taken over. I left there after 10pm on Friday night and was back by 6am the next morning. Though it was tiring, I got to spend the day with wonderful friends and the kids raised more than double what they did last year.

Yesterday we slept through our alarm and didn't make it to church. Bryan cooked pancakes and we had a nice late breakfast together. He then talked me into going turkey hunting with him since it was the last day of turkey season. Don't go turkey hunting when it is warm. You worry about snakes, hogs, spiders, mosquitoes and ticks. It was miserable, and my hubby knew I was not pleased.

One of the couples in our small group came home from their honeymoon yesterday. We had been moving vehicles and picking up mail and boxes for them while they were gone. I wanted them to come home to a little something special, so I made a gift basket with a few goodies in it.

I made a batch of fresh bruschetta to go with the wine and bread. I wanted to pick some up at the grocery store, but there was none to be found. It was my first bruschetta to ever make and I thought it turned out quite nicely. The recipe is very easy and would be great to keep on hand in the fridge for a little snack or appetizer.

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (1.5 lbs.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 baguette French bread
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. Once they are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area.
2. Put tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Slice baguettes on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick. Brush one side with olive oil and place on a baking sheet, olive oil side down. Toast them in a 450* oven for 5-6 minutes.
4. Place baguettes, olive oil side up, on a serving tray. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to use individually or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread will get soggy.

*Due to time, I left the skins of the tomatoes on and chopped them in a food chopper. The tomatoes weren't as pretty or nicely chopped, but it still tasted great.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Friday!

Happy Friday, loves! My Internet has been out of commission since Wednesday morning, which is beyond frustrating when I have a zillion things to do online. It's working now, and I can only cross my fingers that it works when I get back home later this afternoon. This morning I am going to help my future sister-in-law with her gift registry! My first stop is to grab a Real Simple wedding magazine and tear out the insert of must-haves for new couples registering. Even though Bryan and I have been married for almost four years I still enjoy grabbing wedding magazines and devouring them. {My mom does the same thing.} I think we are secretly gathering all sorts of idea for my sister's wedding--no, she is not even currently dating someone. I'm just a major weird planner like that.

Last night was our normal date night. Bryan took me to a local Mexican restaurant that we had never been to before, and just why I am not sure. They had a wonderful outside patio, live music and amazing margaritas.

There was nothing special about my outfit, but I figured since I took a picture it could be shared. The dress is an old BCBG maxi, but I really wanted to wear it to go with a necklace my mom gave me for Christmas that I hadn't worn yet.

Wanna know my newest favorite song? I am not a Top 40 person and I am always one of those lame people who doesn't know the latest songs because I don't listen to the radio a lot. With a hubby and sister who are really into music, I usually am listening to NPR and bands who haven't made it big yet. Mumford and Sons and The Black Keys were on my radar a long time ago. All that being said, I was somewhere and heard a song that has been topping the billboards...I was drawn to the voice. When Bryan came home I had to confess that I was obsessed with a new song that I had heard on the radio--one which I'm sure you all know--Fun.'s We Are Young. Laughing he told me that the reason I liked the voice was because the lead singer was the singer for The Format, who we were listening to when we fell in love. I'm all about blaring it in the house right now.

I'm off to embrace the day. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Get Healthy

As it has become my typical Wednesday topic, I awoke this morning thinking about my fitness and health post for today. After a conversation Bryan and I had last night, I cannot begin to tell you how distraught I am about what people do to their bodies these days. Our world has a misconception that everyone needs to be rail thin like the sickly models we see showcasing the latest fashions, yet more people are more obese than ever before. I will not allow myself to get on a tangent about all of the unhealthy ways or fad diets that people are using, because the fact is plain and simple that your body will not function properly and the fat will not stay off unless you get it in shape the healthy way by eating right and exercising.

I know that everyone, myself included, can get into ruts where it is hard to pull out. But, just because you haven't worked out in the past week doesn't mean that you don't need to go today. In order for your body to be its very best you need to take care of it.

It's the little things in life that can slowly add up to making you a healthier you. You don't need to overwhelm yourself and get bogged down. Put back the carton of ice cream when you are at the grocery store. Take the dog on a walk around the neighborhood twice instead of just once.

Need something fun to do at the beginning and end of your dog walk? Do some jumping jacks.

Incorporating fruit into your every day diet is another small step to take to living a healthier lifestyle. My mother in law is the world's best about making a fruit platter when we are visiting and putting it in the fridge to have for snacking.

One of my favorite breakfast meals is fruit, Greek yogurt and walnuts mixed with rolled oats. There are many different combinations you can make with these basic ingredients.


My challenge for you this week? Put back the chips and coke for a snack and pick up a piece of fruit and a glass of water.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oh Happy Day

Sorry for my absence yesterday, my sister was still in town and I spent the day with her. Em didn't end up getting here until late Saturday night (was supposed to arrive Friday night) so I wanted to spend every second I could with her. To say that I was miserable when she left is the understatement of the day week month year. My sweet hubby ordered hot wings to go and made me a margarita. That man knows the way to my heart, right? Goodness, I love him.

Due to Em's late arrival we were able to go to some friends' crawfish boil. We could not have asked for a more perfect spring day for a get-together.

Two of our friends have the sweetest baby who takes the roly poly award. I'm telling you, this baby is a chunk and I cannot put enough kisses on his little cheeks.

I was walking around with him telling him what we were looking at--onion, crawfish boil, tree, when his mama hollered that he liked lemons. No lie, I put some on my finger and he loved it...until he squirted himself in the eye grabbing it.

Can I get even more ridiculous now and show you animal pics? I know, babies and animals today.  Ivy and Pumpkin (who stays with my parents) were being sweet to each other on the front porch. As soon as I grab my phone they quit. This top one makes me laugh because you can see me pointing to Ivy telling her to kiss the cat and her expression says it all. Mom, you are absurd.

That's about all that happened in my world the past few days. Thank goodness today is a new day and will be better than yesterday. I'll leave you with this, friends...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Winner + Spring Cleaning

And the winner of the Kate Spade giveaway is..........
Congratulations!! Thank you all so much for entering my giveaway. I was blown away by all of the sweet comments that you left. I love to get your feedback on what you enjoy reading!


Anyone notice any changes on the blog? I spent a little time yesterday trying to make it more user-friendly. I added a search box on the side, as well as a list of recipes. You can click the link at the top of the page to find all of the recipes that are labeled, but I thought it would be easier to see actual names of them so you don't have to go searching. My only concern is that at some point the list will be a mile long!

Speaking of changes, I have been doing some major spring cleaning around here. I've gone through closets at two houses and taken things to be donated and consigned. {Don't forget I posted a few new items in my blog sale.} I'm not always a fan of doing the dirty cleaning jobs, such as washing the windows or dusting the baseboards, but I secretly like to get new cleaning products and give my house a little makeover.

I've recently gotten on a Mrs. Meyers kick lately. {Even my kitchen soap is Mrs. Meyers right now.} The scents are light and fresh, and I feel like they do a wonderful job of cleaning. I find mine at Target, but I've even seen them at TJMaxx, too. Click here to read more about the products.

One thing I never buy is glass cleaner. My mama taught me when I was young that all you need is water and vinegar in a squirt bottle plus some newspaper. The newspaper causes it not to leave streaks. A friend recently told me that she adds a little bit of alcohol, which makes it not streak when she uses paper towels. I found these other 10 DIY Cleaning Solutions on Pinterest and printed them off to keep on hand.

Whenever I have leftover orange peels I toss them into a small saucepan on the stove, cover them in water, add a little cinnamon and let them simmer to give off a wonderful fragrance. Another option is to cut up a lemon, add a few sprigs of rosemary and vanilla extract. It makes your house smell fresh and clean!

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to cleaning? Be sure to leave a comment, I'd love to know. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Picnic Primped + Chicken Salad

When I saw a Southern Living article earlier this spring featuring Mad Men's costume designer, Janie Bryant, I knew that a picnic theme would be perfect for a Friday's Fancies outfit! I emailed Alison and she thought it was a wonderful idea. I instantly fell in love with the blue Yumi Kim romper and immediately had to track it down online. Janie's picks for a picnic got my mind reeling in the direction of planning a spring picnic. {Click here see the article on}
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To me, the perfect picnic includes a red and white checkered tablecloth and a wicker picnic basket full of goodies such as wine, cheese and chicken salad on croissants. What better way to stay cool than in a floral romper and big floppy hat?! You're shoes are probably going to get kicked off anyway, so wear some comfy flats.
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Thursdays are date nights at our house. Sometimes Bryan plans the night, sometimes I plan the night, sometimes we just grab pizza and a movie. This week I decided to take the reigns and plan a little picnic.

Plates, wine glasses, napkins, a plastic tablecloth and bug spray were among the must-haves for our evening outside. My mom gave us the cutest picnic basket when Bryan and I got married, but unfortunately we have no extra space in our house so I had to improvise without it.

{Please excuse the ugly wrinkles in the tablecloth}

Bryan had requested chicken salad on croissants, so that's what I made as our main dish. I picked up a broccoli salad, cheese, honey and dessert at two local shops.

Thanks to a friend we found the perfect place for our picnic at a lake a little bit outside of town. Do you like to go on picnics? What are your go-to items to take?

{Super Simple} Chicken Salad

2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 1/2 cups grapes, halved
4 green onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup light mayo
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix well and serve on croissants.

*Green or red grapes work well in this recipe.
*I always start out with 1/4 cup of mayo, but add more if needed.


Don't forget that today is the last day to enter my Kate Spade giveaway!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Yesterday I thought about what I was going to post today, but nothing came to mind. This morning as I got Bryan out the door to work I thought about what I was going to post today, but nothing came to mind. It's sort of one of those days when I feel like I have nothing very exciting to share, no recipes that I've taken pictures of to post and no cute outfits for you to want to purchase. And now, I present you today with a hodge-podge post full of not much.

Bryan went to the doctor on Monday and we found out he has one, possibly two, cracked/broken transverse processes in his back. Remember I said that he had a little accident a week or so back? This was the outcome. Basically nothing can be done, it just takes time to heal. (Like a rib in my mind.) Anywhoo, we decided after the doctor visit that we wanted to sit outside somewhere for a fruity cocktail, but ended up in our own back yard with a glass of wine.

Last night we had went out to dinner with our small group to a local Sushi restaurant. I got all ready to go, walked out the door and looked down to see that in the light my pinks were two totally different colors. I threw on some black skinnies, but I didn't think it was quite as cute as my first option.

What did you all purchase at the big sales that have gone on this week? These were unfortunately not a part of a sale, but I did order some new tan flip-flop-type sandals. I planned on ordering them in silver, but at the last second switched them to tan. I've been wanting the Miller 2 in tan, but I read tons of horrible reviews about them.

I've been debating over getting something in this Arizona pattern. Which shirt do you like better? The cami or blouse?

Have you all heard about Target's latest concept, "The Shops at Target"? They have collaborated with various companies from around the U.S. and will feature their items for a limited time. Hopsy did a post on it yesterday. It begins on May 6th, so go read about it before everything hits stores. There is more info and pictures on their FB page.

Speaking of Target, I've got to run over there this morning and get a few necessities like laundry detergent and dish soap. Hope you all have a wonderful day!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Workout + Pasta Salad

Have you all seen this picture floating around Pinterest? This lady is working hard. Are you doing your blogger workout each day?

For those of you who are runners, Daphne got back in the swing of things this week and did a wonderful Marathon Monday post on breathing correctly. Go check it out and tell her how much you enjoy it. She has some fantastic workout posts.

What's my tip of the week for you? Cut out the sugar. Before you slather on the salad dressing or drink that vitamin water, check the sugar content. I highly suggest you cut out cokes or scale back if you drink them frequently. They are so bad for you. Google "foods with sugar" or "foods high in sugar" and you will be amazed at what all is listed.

Need a little help getting motivated to exercise? I thought this tip from a Pinterest user was great. Put money in a jar each time you work out and let it go towards something you have really wanted. Another option is to make a list of rewards for each milestone you complete. {Write it out to hold yourself accountable.} It could be to purchase a new sports bra after you have been able to run three miles without stopping. Or to buy a new dress when you lose an inch in your waistline. Set realistic goals and work towards them with something fun as an incentive.

I used to rarely eat whole grains. That was one major thing that I have altered in my eating habits the past year. They reduce cholesterol, the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.

"Whole grains are necessary for proper digestion, calming the nervous system, encouraging sleep and satisfying hunger and taste, thereby decreasing cravings, while promoting energy and endurance, elimination, good reflexes, a long memory and clear thinking. Whole grains require a different digestive procedure than refined grains do."
Health & Wellbeing

A loaf of bread is rarely found in my house, and if it is, it is a multi-grain bread. I prefer to buy whole grain tortillas or pita pockets as alternatives to regular bread loaves. Bryan and I both eat oats for breakfast at least 3-4 days a week, in one form or another. All of the pastas we use are whole grain, too. This is just a health choice that we have made together. It is a lot to make a major change in your eating routine, but I encourage you to add whole grains into your diet, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I enjoy making pasta salads when the weather is warm. They are easy to put together at beginning of the week and usually last for days. If I eat pasta salad for lunch, I will eat a lean protein and something green for dinner.

Greek Pasta Salad

1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. basil dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 teaspoons Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. granulated sugar

1 pound rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Kalamata olives
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
2-3 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced into small pieces (optional)

1. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and let sit.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, green onions, olives, feta cheese and chicken.
3. Toss the pasta in about 1/2 of the dressing. If you think it needs more, add to it. I never use all of the dressing. Chill and serve cold.

*Feel free to use pepperoni instead of chicken. Add anything else you might enjoy.
*The picture above doesn't show it made with peppers or the cucumber.
*The original recipe says to add 1/2 of the dressing to the pasta and chill over night. Right before you serve it you are to add the rest and toss. This is way too much dressing in my opinion, therefore I only use about half.


Go check out the items added to my Blog Sale!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing that I keep finding sale emails in my inbox. Piperlime was pulled up on my computer numerous times yesterday, just to be closed after I couldn't make up my mind. Today I realized the 20% off is still going on...humm. Here are a few items I've been debating over in my head. The most logical is the yellow Greylin blouse, I need it to go with my Zara scarf shorts.
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On to Shopbop, whose Friends and Family special is going on right now, too. Use the code INTHEFAMILY20 to receive an additional 20% off your total purchase. I will officially declare a new best friend to the person who can find the Tibi dress {top right} in the one-shoulder version on sale or on a site that is giving a percentage off right now. Or if you have already purchased it and would like to pass it along, I'll gladly give you my address.
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Bobbi Brown is also having an extra 20% off on its website until tomorrow. Any others that you know of? Be sure to leave a comment and let me know. {My husband will not be thanking you.} Remember to use Ebates!

*If any of you know of an online boutique that carries Tory Burch and accepts Paypal please let me know.


Just posted new items to the Blog Sale!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Funday Monday

Yep, it's officially afternoon and I am just getting around to posting something for the day. Bryan and I got up at 5am to drive home in time for him to be at work this morning. We were the first people to get breakfast at Chick-fil-A, which made me a happy wifey. Bryan had planned on being out of town all weekend long turkey hunting, but I received a phone call early Saturday morning saying that he had shot this gobbler.

Thus, he was able to go with me yesterday to celebrate Laura's birthday. I had planned on going by myself, staying and going to the running store today to get analyzed and a new pair of shoes. Their online site said the were open on Sunday, so Bryan decided to go with me and join in on the festivities. Unfortunately, the store was closed and I am going to have to make a different trip back next week. Here is my outfit from last night before we went to eat sushi.

{Kinda hard to take in front of a broken full-length mirror.}


As you know, I am currently taken with maxi skirts and dresses. This pink-on-red color blocked dress is pure perfection. I recently saw this necklace and instantly fell for it. It also comes in a turquoise and green that I like even better than this color combo. My latest shoe crush? Diane Von Furstenberg's shoes. 
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I have been thrilled at the number of new followers just in the past 4 days. Thank you for all of your sweet comments. If you haven't already entered, be sure to check out my giveaway.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


No longer do I have a favorite 15-year-old. The kid turns sweet 16 today! Now she will become my favorite 16-year-old. She slightly terrifies me driving and the thought of her going on dates with boys makes me want her to be 13 again. Oh, how time flies! I'm headed to spend the day with her and enjoy a nice birthday dinner together tonight. Happy Birthday, Laura!