September 30, 2011

Friday Favorites

Hubbs was home from school this week (they get a week off at the end of every quarter since they go to school year round!) soo I sort of pretended that I had a week off too. We watched X-Men in the middle of the afternoon. Went on lunch dates. Ordered take-out dinners instead of cooking. Laid by the pool.

It was great - but he is definitely getting bored and is itching to start classes again on Monday. And I need to catch up on all the stuff I neglected to do this week, like reading, paper-writing, cooking, cleaning.......

Despite having Andrew begging me to entertain him all week, I managed to do some Pinterest stalking in class (where else?) and here are some of the faves I came across!
I could have SO used this closet last weekend. I bit the bullet and did the semi-annual closet switch/reorganize......... but thats another trauma post for another day!

OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys - if this doesn't SCREAM "fall!!!" I don't know what color does.

I feel like this is the story of my life hahaha... just kidding. Sort of.

Three generations of rings... one of the coolest photo memories I 've ever seen and I'm DYING to recreate it!

Homemade Ranch Dressing with no preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup. A good ranch dressing really makes or breaks about 90% of my meals. Don't you agree?
This weekend, the weather in Atlanta is supposed to be P.E.R.F.E.C.T!!! Sunny. Cooler. Breezy. I'm off to enjoy the start of this beautiful weather weekend w/ a patio dinner date with my hubbs!

Hope your weekend weather (and the company you enjoy it with!) is just as perfect!

September 28, 2011

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

My husb loves his food all mixed up. Its not really my thing, but this breakfast casserole was really good.

Best part? It cooked itself - overnight! Nothing like waking up on a Saturday to an already made breakfast :)

What you'll need:
A dozen eggs
A bag of frozen hashed brown potatoes
Jimmy Dean sausage (we used HOT!)
Tomato (1-2)
Red Onion
Shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese
A littttle milk
Salt & Pepper

 What to do:
Brown the sausage in a pan. Chop the onion. Dice the tomato. Whisk up your carton of eggs w/ a splash of milk. And start layering all the ingredients in a slow cooker (I sprayed w/ non-stick stuff first, just in case!) but save the egg/milk mixture til the end...

So, layer half of the potatoes + half the browned sausage + half of the tomatoes and onion + half a bag of each shredded cheese + a few dashes of salt, pepper and oregano...

 After you repeat the layering, pour the egg/milk mixture over the contents of the slow cooker as evenly as possible. Throw whatever is left of the shredded cheese on top -- and any other cheese remnants you find in your fridge if you have a cheese-loving husband like mine!
That's it for the prep! How easy?! Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours... and when you wake up, your house will smell de-lish and you can roll out of bed to find this waiting for you:
Confession: We slept in way late, and this was left in the slow cooker on low for much longer than I care to admit. The cheese on the edges got a little burnt, but luckily we're weird and like burnt cheese ;) Really though, I wouldn't leave this in the crock pot on low any longer than you have to. It was awesome regardless - but would have been even better had we got our lazy butts out of bed at a decent hour.

Disclaimer: This makes so. much. food. We ate it on Saturday. Again on Sunday. And Andrew kept eating it for at least 3 days after that. You could just as easily half this recipe and bake it in a casserole dish for 30 or so minutes rather than slow cooking it if you didn't intend to feed an army. Or..... a family of 2 for a week. I think taking out the crock pot aspect sort of takes the fun out of the recipe - my opinion - but do whatcha want!

Self-cooking Saturday morning breakfasts -- file this recipe under: SUCCESS! Perfect weekend bfast for a hungry husb and a lazy, sleepy wife. 

September 23, 2011

Friday Favorites

It's fall! It's fall! It's finally fall!

Or so my calendar says... however, the hot, muggy, sorta rainy weather we've had in Atlanta this past week seems to be confused about the season. I think I'll hold off on posting my "transition into fall" decorating pics until it feels a little more fall-y.

I really wanted to tackle our dreaded closet switchover this weekend - you know the dreaded switchover? The one where we flip flop our warm weather/cold weather wardrobes from the master closet to the spare room closet and vice versa? The fun day where husb sits on the bed and stares in disgust at the amount of junk you own and then whines about how much of the closet you take up? Then you tell him if he doesn't like it, he can move out of your closet and use the other one? And then he tells you you're ridiculous and that 2 walk-ins should be plenty of room for two people and no we don't need a third bedroom just for the extra closet.....?!

Sorry, I think I blacked out for a second. That day can be really traumatic 'round these parts... I think it can wait til October. Phew! Glad that's sorted out. Onto Friday Favorites ;)
I have to have this scarf. Nevermind that I wasn't blessed with much of a neck... I need it. Now, why isn't it on Etsy anymore?! Help.

I was totally craving Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup last night. My dinner was more Campbell's and Kraft than this gourmet version, but it still hit the spot!

Speaking of soups... have you ever made French Onion Soup at home?? I haven't. But this pic makes me wanna try! There would be no limit to the amount of cheese I could put on top.......!!!

Seriously? These kill me. Itty bitty baby mini Tory's?? Are these real life?

I love wine. I love monograms. I love these DIY Wine Cork Monogram letters!

Another DIY-er. Have I mentioned how early I start obsessing about Christmas?? I hate Halloween... I skip to Christmas. This is the cutest little clothespin card holder idea dontcha think?
For those of you who are experiencing the scents and temps of fall up in the Midwest - I'm so jealous! Until Georgia gets a clue that its the end of September and cools off... I'll just keep prepping my apartment {and my wardrobe} for when the fall weather arrives!

Have a great weekend!

September 22, 2011


This post, much like my week has been, is pretty pointless. Consider yourselves warned.

I have been running around like a crazy lady this week crossing off pointless to-do's from my mile long list.  Some of the things weren't so pointless (like pay bills, buy groceries) but most were frivolous (ie: find fall boots, buy party supplies for a shower three weeks away, and schedule hubbs a dentist appt). But mostly I just putzed around. I wasted hours upon hours browsing for things I knew I wasn't going to actually buy.

But, the fruits of my {pointless} labor turned out to actually amount to some pretty useful stuff. So, naturally, I felt the need to share. With a little help from my iPhone :)
Poor husband's adjusting table has become the decoration/supply table for little Gia's baby shower... my pointless errand running this week included picking up the paper products and PINK solo cups for the keg. The boys will love those, I'm sure.

This "Cinnamon Broom" is unreal. Ugly? Maybe. I tried to hide it in a corner w/ some other dried floral stuff. But my whole house smells like CHRISTMAS! (Too soon?) It literally is the most fragrant thing I've ever found. And for only $3.99! I made a special Kroger trip just for this sucker after smelling it at a friend's house this weekend.

Scored a unnecessary cute, casual pair of fall flats today... and got the 30% of clearance price even though they were put back in the wrong place. And in 2 diff sizes. Those DSW workers are saints I tell ya. I wasn't looking for these at all. But for 30% off, why not?

I made a detour during my cinnamon broom Kroger trip and found myself in the dairy aisle. This wasn't on my list of things to buy - because its not organic, and its not non-dairy - but it looked like heaven so I had to grab it. Along w/ $39 worth of other items I can't find at Whole Foods due to them being over-processed and likely poisonous buttttt life is short. And this stuff tastes amazing.

This is the mounting pile of goodies I've bought so far for our friends' baby girl. I think I'm addicted. I just can't stop! Everything is so itty bitty and pink and cute and has ruffles on the butt and.......... no, I don't have baby fever. But I'm realizing that it would be a travesty if I don't have at least ONE girl. One day, but hopefully not today ;)  

Speaking of girls. And babies. And how I swear on Bella's life I am not trying to have one of my own. I couldn't resist this outfit for our Goddaughter at Nordstrom Rack today... pink + Polo + argyle on a little butter bean is just too much cuteness to resist. We get to see her chubby cheeks in 4 weeks and we can't wait!!!
See? I might have wasted hours of time and hundreds of dollars running these nonsensical errands I invented but I wound up with a bunch of pink, girly, semi-necessary baby stuff....... and our house smells like cinnamon.

I just talked myself out of regretting the wasted time and lack of schoolwork. Perfect! I'll stop now, because if anyone is still reading you surely don't have many brain cells left to spare :)

September 15, 2011

Friday Favorites

Happpppy Friday :) 

Maybe I shouldn't write these Friday Favorite things while I'm hungry... but I'm no good at solo dinners, soo these faves will be centered around food. Pumpkin-flavored foods, to be exact. By the time I post these pics, my meatball sub should be ready to leave the oven and then I can go back to browsing for things that don't involve 2 sticks of butter and a bag of sugar.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Waffles mmm mmm mmm.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins - possibly two of the best things to ever be combined in a cupcake liner.

Who doesn't love Whoopie Pies? PUMPKIN Whoopie Pies, even better.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes... excuse me while I wipe the drool from my face...

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte. For those lazy weekends you just can't bring yourself to put on pants to drive down the street to Starbucks. (I can't be the only one, right?)

Pumpkin Muffins. World's easiest Pumpkin Muffins from the looks of it.
I have a busy little weekend planned - some work to do up at my school, babysitting my our favorite kiddos, and hopefully finishing up the transition of fall decor in our apartment. I got started on the switch-over but am still on the hunt for some accents - so farrrr hubbs has not complained about the pops of PURPLE in the living room. So, true to form, I'll keep pushing my luck until he says otherwise ;) 

So far, I've overhauled the toss pillows and centerpieces... added a few {dozen} new harvest-y smelling candles... and have gathered up all the materials I need for a fun, festive DIY wreath! There is more purple (and I'm thinking red) on the way after a couple Home Goods excursions this weekend no doubt.

Pics to come. But don't hold your breath.

First things first: I need to go make something that involves pumpkin spice!

September 14, 2011

Quinoa Salad

Remember that recipe I promised to post a billion years ago? Well... I found the draft. Unpublished. Oops. So, here it is ;) 

Have you guys discovered quinoa yet? My mom is a dietitian and has introduced us to all sorts of great healthy recipes over the years. This quinoa salad was actually discovered by my sister, but its health-freak-mother-approved and is definitely one worth sharing, for more reasons than one - its delicious and nutritious.
Quinoa at first glance looks sort of like rice. But its actually a grain and a protein and a relative of the leafy green vegetables. In my book, this basically translates into SUPERFOOD. Check out all of the nutrition packed into this crazy little "seed":
Quinoa is a complete protein - which is just fancy nutrition talk for "it includes all 9 essential amino acids." In addition to the health benefits of whole grains and amino acids I'm sure we all know about, check out the links below if you want more info about this nutrition-packed protein/grain superfood and some other fun ways to prepare it!

Now, onto my quinoa recipe of choice: Quinoa Salad

What you'll need:
1 (or 2) Cucumber(s)
1 Red Onion
2 Tomatoes
1 can of Corn
Chicken Broth
Olive Oil
Lemon & Lime (or juice)
Kosher Salt
Feta Cheese
Mayonnaise (reduced fat or made w/ Olive Oil preferred) 
Fresh Cilantro

What to do:
Cook 1 cup Quinoa in 2 cups of Chicken Broth per the directions on the packaging. While its cookin' start chopping up your veggies... the cucumber, tomatoes {I used cherry tomatoes this go around}, and onion.
Uncooked Quinoa

After your Quinoa is cooked, put it in a large mixing bowl and add your {drained} can of corn and the diced cucumbers, tomatoes and onion. Chop up a handful or so of cilantro and add that to the mix as well! This fresh cilantro is seriously what makes or breaks the whole recipe, so use as much as you like!
Cooked Quinoa (plus a little mayo, we'll get to that in a sec!)
Veggies combined

Corn + Veggies
Quinoa + Corn + Veggies
Note: I DOUBLED the recipe in these photos. Hubbs likes to take this for lunch.
After your cooked Quinoa, veggies and cilantro are combined, its time for the "Dressing." I have made this so many times I just combine everything at once rather than separate but you can do whatever works for you! The dressing is a combo of: 1/4 cup of Olive Oil, a couple tablespoons of mayo, lemon and lime juice (to taste), kosher salt, and black pepper! Mix it all up reallllllly well... add some feta......... and mix some more!
Tadaaa! Easy, huh? We have eaten this warm and cold - but we prefer it cold, like a pasta salad. Like I said, Andrew takes a cup or so for lunch since its got all the nutrients of a meal packed into one easy peasy dish - if I double the recipe it lasts us a meal + leftovers for his lunch all week! I've been asked for this recipe so many times by friends... it has definitely been a hit!

Delicious and nutritious... and husband-AND-mom-approved :)

Have you guys ever made quinoa recipes? What are your faves?? Here are some more suggestions for cooking w/ quinoa! If you try any, let me know what you think!

September 9, 2011

Friday Favorites

It fiiiinally is feeling like fall in Atlanta!!!  I mean, it was feeling that way for at least a few days. It'll be back up in the 80's this weekend and for as far into the forecast as I can see - but those early mornings this week where I headed out the door and was greeted by cool, crisp, 60-degree air were enough to get me excited for all things FALL!

The start of the NCAA and NFL football seasons also had me dreaming of autumn days and the scents of the season... husb and I even discussed arranging to have all of our future babies - all 8 of them. jk. - be born in the fall so that we have even more reasons to love it (as if we need it)! {side note: I know these aren't things most people have a whole lot of control over. Relax people, we were just daydreaming.}

This week was a good one, all things considered! I ate super healthy, got all most of my reading done for school, and feel pretty caught up on my life. For the most part. Proof that all weeks should only last 4 days.

I even had time to stalk the interwebs for all things fall, and have all the inspiration I need to start swapping out our apartment decor for festive fall stuff! Just in time for the weekend - TGIF!
Click here for an easy burlap bubble wreath tutorial - these are so cute! (And easy!!)

Pumpkin Fudge. I die.

A Pumpkin Party Cooler... only Martha, I swear. Great idea for fall entertaining!

DIY Pumpkin Topiary - perfect for front porches or apartment balconies!

These fall nail polish colors by Chanel are gorgeous! I'm a sucker for shades of purple, gray and taupe.

I LOVE FOOTBALL FOOD! These pizza bites are a great alternative to just ordering Pizza Hut on game day.
My to-do list is miles long, but I'm so excited to add some touches of fall to our home that I'm making room for a few extra errands this afternoon... I'll share some of my fall updates once I get things situated (and crafted!) like I did last year!

What do you guys do to add touches of fall to your homes?? I'd love to hear some of your easy, inexpensive ideas!

September 7, 2011

Raw Update!

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...By Tuesday afternoon (~48 hours into my raw food diet) I was feeling really. really. really. tired. Like, all I wanted was to take a nap. That lasted all day. Husb thought maybe I wasn't eating enough nuts for this whole raw diet thing, so he said I might not be getting enough protein, something about blood sugar (?!) yadda yadda I'm-good-at-nutrition-cause-I'm-almost-a-doctor babble.

So, he suggested I might need to bend my own rules and have a few egg whites. Being the food loving obedient wife that I am... I took his advice. I scrambled up 3 egg whites and felt like a new woman! Then, went back to raw for the rest of Tuesday and most of Wednesday.

By the time bible study rolled around at 7:00 on Wednesday, I was feeling like I could really use some carbs. I was starting to feel lethargic again... I had worked out twice already since starting this raw diet, and most actual raw food cleanses/detoxes/whatevers suggest very minimal (if any) exercise during whatever duration you choose to eat all raw, vegan - especially when your body isn't used to it. Soo since Natalie's cooking smelled and looked so good I had a little of her yummy pasta. Totally not as much as I normally would have scarfed down though ;)

Long story short, I plan to be back to raw-only foods through the rest of the week and will have a few plain, scrambled egg whites if I start to feel like I'm draggin' again. I don't want to stress out my body just for the sake of saying "I ate raw foods and nothing else all week!" Who cares?

I still haven't decided yet whether I want to continue this thing through the weekend and beyond - I'm thinking about modifying my diet to more of a "V Before 6" type of diet for the next week or so, because my goal here is to eat healthier, more natural, close to the earth foods and to really up my fruit and veggie intake - not necessarily to be a raw foodie. Decisions, decisions...

Anyway, that's the update - I'll keep ya posted!

September 5, 2011

Going Raw

I've done a lot of cleaning up lately. Got my house cleaned on Friday. Cleaned my nails up with a mani/pedi on Saturday. I even cleaned all my make-up brushes this afternoon. And this week, I'll be cleaning up my diet!

I'm goin' raw. 

All raw foods, that is. I'll be eating a diet of strictly fresh organic produce (fruits & veggies) and raw nuts for the next 5-10 days {depending on how long I last!}... and I'm going to attempt to juice at least 2 meals a day w/ our handy dandy Jack LaLanne juicer.

I'm going to juice mostly fruits in the morning, and increase my green veggies throughout the day. Because there is no way I could stomach this diet past day 2 if I had to drink broccoli for breakfast. I'm all about being healthy, but not at the risk of gaggin' myself at the start of my day. So for Day 1, here is what I had:
Breakfast Juice:
1 Green Apple
5 Strawberries
3 Pineapple Chunks
2 Large Carrots

1/4 Cup of Raw Almonds
1/4 Cup of Raw Pistachios 
1 Banana

Dinner Juice:
2 Large Carrots
1 (huge) Bunch of Kale
1 Tomato
A handful of Spinach
2 Celery Stalks
1 Green Apple

Whole Foods' Guacamole 

This is totally not a diet I'd suggest to anyone as a lifestyle, or for prolonged periods of time... but its a great way to cleanse your system, detox your body, and jump start a healthy diet and exercise plan. 

Because I am pretty active (I exercise 3-4 days/week) if I start to feel too hungry or faint at any point during the next few days, I plan to re-introduce whole grains, animal proteins, etc. back into my diet ASAP. But I'm hoping that I can at least make it through Friday 100% raw! Depending how I feel, I'd like to try this out for 10 full days... maybe even 14. We'll see!

Should be interesting for this pasta and sweets lover (darn you, Italian genes!) - especially since I live with a husb who lovesss to cook eat! The smell of his sloppy joe tonight almost made me scrap the whole idea. But I think it will be refreshing and rewarding to see this thing through! 

If anyone cares, I'll update you on my progress as the week goes on! And if you having been looking for an excuse to try a similar detox, why not this week?! Support group anyone? ;)
Yummmmy! (all photos via)