Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Out of the Office.

Sorry I've been missing lately... I had a busy week and then I left for vacation on Saturday. I am spending the week in Seattle with my family. So far it has been beautiful. I am for sure a fan of Seattle... especially when the sun is out.

I will try to blog soon. Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Try-It Tuesday: Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Salad

I know what you're thinking... mashed potatoes and chicken salad? Those can't possibly go well together... And it's because they don't. You're right. But I've tried two new recipes in the last week, and I was a fan of both of them, so I decided to showcase them here. I didn't actually make them on a Tuesday. And I'm probably going to go to Chipotle tonight so I won't make anything new tonight. BUT, I am writing about them on a Tuesday, so it'll work. Right? Right!

For Father's Day my dad requested that I make garlic mashed potatoes. We had all watched Pioneer Woman make them on her show a few weeks before and I guess they never left my dad's mind. For a family that is on a diet, the Father's Day meal was quiet un-diety. We had steak, cheesy corn, rolls, salad (thanks, Momma, for fitting a bit of health into the meal), cherry pie, and of course, garlic mashed potatoes. The recipe by Pioneer Woman is actually Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. And they were packed with all sorts of unhealthy... amazing goodness: cream cheese, butter, half and half, salt, pepper, and roasted garlic. But y'all... they were GOOD. Worth every calorie.

Roasted Garlic (I didn't know how so I went to PW's blog)

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (she has one recipe where she bakes the mashed potatoes on Food Network's site, and one where she doesn't on her blog. I went for the baked so I could make them a bit ahead of time.)

On Friday, I made this recipe for Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas (which were awesome, btw.) It called for some pre-cooked chicken breast so I made extra so I could use it in a meal later in the week. A couple of nights ago I was planning out my lunch for the following day and I decided I was craving a chicken salad. So what did I do? Google "healthy chicken salad" and was given some lovely results. Cooking Light had a collection of recipes and I went with the Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and (C)raisins. The recipe called for raisins but I don't absolutely love raisins. I do absolutely love craisins and had some on hand so I decided to go with those instead. I whipped up the recipe in 10 minutes. It was really easy and really tasty if you are into the curried chicken salad thing. I indeed am, so I was a fan.

Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and (C)raisins

Alright folks, keep tryin' it up! (Yeah... it's been a long day and I'm in a weird mood. Whatev.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Apple ... Every Day.

Confession: I'm loving the Apple commercials lately. I don't normally watch commercials, but my brother Joel tweeted about one a month or so ago and I loved it. And then tonight, I saw another one that I loved...

Oh Apple... I have an iPhone and a MacBook and I won't go back... But part of me kind of wonders if they are somehow shaping who I am. (Bear with me a moment...) I love these commercials because the people in them are me. I'm the girl who takes a picture of her feet in the ocean and Instagrams her perfectly poured latte. I'm the girl who taps her feet along to the music in a coffee shop and dries off her hands to change songs while singing in the shower. So, the question is... is Apple shaping me to be that person? Or am I that person already and Apple happens to be targeting me? I don't know...

Either way... these commercials work. They make me smile. So whatever it is that Apple is or isn't doing... they're doing it well.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Clever Kitchen Art.

I've seen a couple of fun prints on Pinterest (it's been a while since I've mentioned Pinterest, you should be proud of me.) I keep thinking that I'll have to make my own when I finally get around to painting and decorating my kitchen. I could either. 1. Paint it on canvas. 2. Have my brother Cory design me some and print them off. 3. Order prints on Etsy. I'm leaning toward option 2. (You up for it, Corky?)

Here are some fun prints that I'm loving... Some I found on Pinterest and some on Etsy. (Those I included a link to the seller so if you're interested you could buy some of your own.)


Saturday, June 8, 2013


Oh, Spotify.

This isn't a new thing but my brother Cory recently encouraged me to invest the 10 dollars a month to have it on my phone. Oh. my. goodness. I love having access to basically every song and album and artist (for the most) at the tip of my fingers. I buy at least an album or two a month so I decided Spotify would actually be cheaper than that and give me access to more music.

My work day just got THAT much better. Hunter Hayes while I review timecards? Ok! A little Sound of Music while I monitor calls? You bet! Some Macklemore for the drive home? Alright!

(Another perk? I can listen to music I wouldn't normally pay money for. Por ejemplo: Hunter Hayes and Macklemore... I don't want to buy their albums. You better believe I would pay money for Sound of Music though. You can't get much better than "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" Am I right or am I right?)

Happy listening!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Ice Breakers! App.

I'm loving the Ice Breakers! app.

Another app? Yes... And I looove this one. I really like asking people random questions to get to know them. "If you were a potato chip, what kind of potato chip would you be?" "If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?" "What's your dream job?"... Sometimes I grow a blank on fun new questions to ask, so again I thought, "I wonder if there is an app for that..." And sure enough... there is! (If you search "ice breakers" it should be the first one that comes up... And you're in luck... it's free!)

It's got some great questions. Some of my favorites... "Would you rather be 20% smarter or 20% better looking?" "Would you stop eating junk food to live 5 years longer?" "If you could choose 5 friends to travel around the world with, who could you choose?"

So what's the plan? Here it is: Download this app. Invite some friends to dinner. Ask them some questions. They will ask for more and you will have a night of great conversation. Do it. You'll become a believer, too. Fo sho.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fruity Desserts.

I'm loving fruity dessert!

Yes... I know that is not unique or special to me and that the whole world is enjoying them right now because it's summer. But really... I'm loving them. Let me show you three fruity desserts of varying degrees of healthiness.

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Fat Free Cool Whip. This is crazy easy and pretty healthy. I have been a slacker and haven't made my own angel food cake which made it even easier. (I think it requires its own special pan, and who wants to invest in that? I'm all out of money... I just bought some Ray Bans, remember?) Just cut up some cake, cut up some strawberries, dish out some Cool Whip, and you're good to go! The cake is your only major calories and as far as cake goes, angel food cake is actually on the lighter side of life.

Fruit Pizza. I love fruit pizza. I could eat fruit pizza for every meal. It, again, is really easy. I cheat and buy store bought sugar cookie dough. I just spread it out in a cookie sheet and bake it. For the filling I just mix together a softened, 8 ounce package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla (and maybe a little bit of almond extract if I'm feeling crazy.) I spread that on the cooled sugar cookie,  top it with my favorite fruit and ta-da! A beautiful, easy, and semi (only semi) healthy dessert.

Lemon Poppyseed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. This cake... not healthy. I've been dreaming about making this cake for literally over a year now. I always throw it out as a suggestion of something to bring for a gathering but some lemon-hating nay sayer always ends up shooting it down and I never make it. Well, I've waited long enough. I'm going to make this. You can say nay all you want, lemon-haters. It's happening. Stat.

Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Grocery List App.

What I'm loving... the Shopping List Free app.

I realized a month or two ago that I waste a lot of paper with all of the shopping lists I write. "There's got to be an app for that," I thought. And there was...

Reasons Why You Should Download This App:

1. It's free, so why not. (If you search "grocery list" in the App Store it's the first one that pops up.)

2. It saves you paper.

2. It's on your phone which you always have on you so you can easily add things to it when you think of something you need.

3. It categorizes your food for you so you can hit all of the produce, all of the dairy, all of the frozen, etc. at once. (You know you're guilty of going back and forth between aisles because you forgot something like garlic even though you were just over there getting bananas and carrots. This helps sort it for you so you can do it all at once! I love efficiency!)

It's the little things in life... like grocery list apps. Do it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ray Bans.

It's been a while since I've done a "what I'm loving lately post..." so I thought it was about time. And then I realized that that's what I used to blog about all the time... what I'm loving. So I decided to dedicate individual posts to these things. Like the good ol' days. More posts. More lovin'. It'll be grand! What I'm loving is...

My new sunglasses. (Yes, I get that this post may be a bit shallow...)

I've been dreaming about investing (yes, it's an investment for someone like me) in some Ray Bans for quite some time. Yesterday I pulled the trigger and bought these lovelies... Ray Ban New Wayfarers. You could say I'm excited. Tonight I caught myself wearing them after the sun had basically gone down... Yeah, that's how excited I am.

Here's me being too cool for school on my way home from work. No worries... I was at a stoplight.

Here's how excited I actually am since the picture above doesn't really do it justice. You should see all of the pictures I took to get some solid "excited faces." Yes, I realize I have too much time on my hands if I can spend time taking one selfy after another. I was just trying to get a laugh out of you. Hopefully it worked.

Anyway, I'm excited. Now if it'll just stay sunny long enough for me to wear them.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 365.

A little over a year ago I started a project. I saw the idea on a blog to take a picture every day for a year with each month focusing on a different color. I like taking pictures and I like intentionally being around of my surroundings... so I decided to go for it. I started on June 1st of last year and Friday was day 365. I did it! I've got to admit... there were a few days that I was a little late. And some months were struggles (ahem, purple... pink... sapphire...) But I really enjoyed it and am a bit (only a bit) bummed that it's over...

I just looked back over the pictures so I could pick my favorite from each month and wow... a lot has happened in the last 365 days. I moved out of my parents house. I started living on my own with two lovely roommates. I traveled... Colorado, the Lake of the Ozarks, Oklahoma City, Austin, St. Louis, to name a few... I dated a boy for the first time. I broke up with a boy for the first time. I spent precious holidays, gatherings, meals, etc. with my family. I gave a lot of my time to some awesome high schoolers. I learned a lot. It's been quite the year...

Here's a quick tour of my 365 Days of Color. I created a Flickr page for all of the pictures as well. If you are interested in taking a quick look... you can go here.

June: Gray. 
(Putters while mini-golfing in Estes Park, CO.)

July: Navy. 
(My Bible... at a coffee shop)

August: Teal. 
(The screened-in porch at my new (at the time) house.)

September: Mustard. 
(One of my favorite purchases ever from Etsy.)

October: Orange. 
(My co-worker, truly a good sport for letting me take a picture of his outfit.)

November: Brown. 
(Chocolate cupcakes... how I love to bake.)

December: Red. 
(Momma and I's pretty Christmas tree.)

January: Sapphire. 
(A sunrise on the way to work one morning.)

February: Pink. 
(My cousin Hallie playing with my cousin Elsy.)

March: Green. 
(Pistachio macarons at a lovely place in Austin.)

April: Purple. 
(Grapes. Enough said.)

May: Yellow. 
(A Royals game tradition. The hotdog race. Mustard won.)

Now what's next...