Finger lickin’ good, but roasted! 

I’m on a health kick. At least, I’m trying to be on one. As of 12:40pm, I’ve downed 1/2 my water intake. Eggs for breakfast, and a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad for lunch.

Normally, when I meal plan or make salads at home, I always leave off the meat. Maybe because I felt like it takes so long to cook it safely, or it was more expensive. I usually opt for frozen but ready to microwave chicken, or even a rotisserie from the deli. No more!

This was SO EASY. I think this idea stemmed from a Tasty video, but I can’t remember! Regardless, I purchased three chicken organic chicken breasts from my local grocery store. I washed them and placed them in a roasting pan, and then poured about two tablespoons of EVOO on top. I sprinkled salt and pepper over each one, followed by dried thyme. I also chopped up a few fresh herbs from my garden for the top.  The pan went in at 7:43 am at 400 degrees and 25 mins later – I had beautifully cooked chicken. I did want the tops to be a little browner, so I turned my oven on broil for 2 min. Perfection! I let them rest and cool before storing in the fridge. 

I packed one for a topping to my quinoa salad for a quick lunch. It was slightly too much, so I’ll know to only do half the breast slices for the next lunch bag! But the flavors were great with the feta, olives, peppers and quinoa. And, I feel like I did pretty good with the calorie count too!
Off to drink some more water 😬 And, more pics on the next post. I devoured the chicken before it ever crossed my mind! 

Easter Sunday

I had a great Easter weekend – full of fun, family and plenty of sunshine! With an event on the Saturday before Easter, followed by one of our biggest festivals of the year this weekend, I knew I was going to be crazy busy with not a lot of travel time. So my parents drove down and spent Easter weekend with me. While I managed our event, they shopped ’til they dropped, so it’s safe to say we worked up quite an appetite.

I polled a few twitter friends on what we absolutely had to have for our brunch, and the menu was decided. After our early church service, we enjoyed:

  • Honey Baked Ham (purchased)
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
  • Green Beans
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Sweet potato casserole (purchased)
  • Lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting

 

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So, I cheated with the honey baked ham and sweet potato casserole – purchasing from Honey Baked Ham in Destin. But totally worth it! I also grabbed some dinner rolls from Publix.

Deviled Eggs

  • 8 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • Paprika

(It was incredibly hard to peel the eggs, so if anyone has suggestions let me know!)

I don’t know the last time I boiled eggs, so I had to look it up in my cookbook. Basically, you start with cold water, bring to a boil, and cook to make sure that it’s hard boiled. Check out this helpful graphic for the desired doneness. Slice the eggs lengthwise, and put the yolks in a bowl. Then mix the yolks with they salt, pepper and mayo. The recipe I was following called for dry mustard, but I didn’t have any. I took a zip lock bag, cut part of the corner, and then squeezed them into the egg whites. Sprinkle a little paprika on top!

 

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Roasted Parmesan Asparagus:

  • 1 Bundle of asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoon parmesan

Again – this was an easy addition to my lunch, and fast! Always wash your produce first, and pat dry. Place the asparagus, and toss with olive oil and a little salt. Lay them out on the plan, and squeeze the lemon juice on top. Sprinkle parmesan, and then roast at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

I tried this lemon cake for the first time, and want to give Well Plated by Erin credit because it was AMAZING!

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Winter is …here.

Today is the first day of winter. ❄️

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via GIPHY

While I may not be bundling up like Randy from A Christmas Story here in Florida today, it’s actually slightly chilly.

And of course, Christmas is just a few days away. I’ve been brushing up on my tech skills with a few new courses the past few months, but I have definitely made time to get ready for my favorite Holiday! All my presents are wrapped (after Black Friday actually), my Christmas decorations went up on time, and I have watched a few Christmas movies too! I’ve even gone ice skating!

Maybe you aren’t in the holiday spirit quite yet. Or, you are looking for a few ideas to freshen up your Christmas decor. I wanted to share five of my favorite Christmas ideas that I’ve seen this season:

  1. Brit Co’s 12 Christmas Cocktails
  2. Southern Living’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide
  3. Real Simple’s 17 Easy Christmas Decorations
  4. Martha Stewart’s DIY Christmas Ornaments
  5. A Taste of Home’s Gingerbread House Tips

Enjoy! And hope you have a very, Merry Christmas!

We built a wall…fence

*THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL POST ;)*

I’m a little delayed on this post, maybe a lot delayed. But, here it is! I – or we – built a fence!

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First, let’s start with the planning.

Continue reading

Summer is officially over.

Well, tomorrow is the first day of fall. I can’t believe summer is officially over, but the new season means cooler temps, cute jackets and scarves galore!

Here’s a quick recap of my TOP 7 faves from Summer 2016:

1. The perfect beach chair, compliments of my best friend. I’m obsessed. It’s so comfyeasy to haul to the beach!

2. Finding a battery powered lawn mower

3. The Essie 2016 Summer Nail Color

4.  USA brought home GOLD, and lots of it!

5. Justin Timberlake…need I say more? I can’t stop the feeling! #JTforLife

6. Can you say adorable? This string of white ceramic pots – which I filled with succulents- is perfect in between two ginormous windows in my office. Hopefully, the will survive my notorious black thumb.

7. Don’t read this sitting down. But seriously, I am trying to be healthier. So, I spent a little bit of pocket change on a stand up desk.

 

A Little Terra-Cotta Pot

Summer is over, at least in my book. I have survived another year of family programming in the brutal heat and humidity of Florida. Whew! Time to shift focus at work, and also time to focus on some projects. For this project, my mom wanted to join in. DIY is always fun, and even more so when you have someone to do it with you!

Project: Terra Cotta Storage Pots

I wish I could say this was an original idea. It wasn’t. Mom emailed me an idea this past Wednesday, and I just knew these terra-cotta storage pots were going to be something we both would love! I was off to Walmart for the paint, handles, and sealant; and, she went to her local farm supply store for the terra cotta pots. We already had stencils and glue.

Confession time: I’ve never worked with terra-cotta before – at least that I remember – so I went into this project a little blind. If you decide to take this on, I hope some of these tips will help you. {You should definitely watch the video above, as they demonstrate exactly what to do!}

What we used:

  • 2 large terra-cotta planters
  • 2 larger** terra-cotta saucers
  • Acrylic paint of any color* (use white if you can, as it really pops!)
  • Stencils – see notes below
  • Handles – when selecting your adorable pulls, think about griping a terra-cotta saucer. They aren’t light, that’s for sure! And, you want a larger surface area on the bottom for the glue, as that’s all that will be keeping them on this adorable top!
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Sealant

On the terra-cotta planters/ saucers: Mom had to do some searching on her visit for the saucer. Make sure the saucer is going to fit inside the planter. The ones they were originally matched with were too small to sit on top of the planter. Also, make sure that you pull any stickers – or cover permanent market in our case – before you begin. Just of note, these beautiful planters are NOT cheap! Think of this project more as cool, than saving money 🙂

On the paint: Terra-cotta seems to soak up the color. I would recommend painting white first wherever you plan to paint. Your colors will show up much more vibrantly. Also, the top is what you see the most, so decide what you want to do there, and then figure out the bottom.

On the stencils: I found the cutest pattern there was, taped and started painting. Then I realized the conundrum I was in with the stencil layout… and, I almost gave up on this project. My geometry skills did not kick in until I had taped the stencil and painted my first section. These pots are shaped bigger at the bottom, so when I went to move my tiny stencil…they did not line up. I can’t say I’ve ever worked with a stencil on a cylinder, much less any weird shape. Maybe going with a bigger stencil might have helped us? Just know it won’t be perfect.

Taping: You will notices I tore small pieces to make an even line on the pot. Same geometry problem. A bigger circle on the top line, a small circle for the bottom. They do no have the same length.

Sealant: We were worried that the glue might not stick to the sealant. No scientific backing here, but we glued the handles first, allowed everything to dry for about 4 hours, and then we applied the sealant. Within 24 hours, these were good to go!

Whatever you choose to pattern and color your pot with, have fun!

Now, what to put in here?!

 

 

Say cheese…board!

Who doesn’t love a good cheese board? Wine and cheese makes just about any house guest happy. And it’s a great appetizer to entertain before the main meal. Now that I have attempted my first, I’m here to report they really are not that complicated. All you need is some olives, fruit, crackers and/or bread, and really good cheese.

I had a cheese board from Christmas, which as you can see in the pics, has a tiny drawer that stores a few cute cheese knives. It’s just so adorable, I wanted to use it!  I invited a couple over for a small dinner party, and I was a little unsure where to start. How much should I buy? What all should I put on it? IMG_2913.JPG

I went with grapes, olives, gouda, brie and herb-crusted goat cheese that I smothered with a little honey! I wanted to have mix of crumbly, semi-soft and soft cheeses. I also had a few nuts in a silver bowl and of course carbs outlining the deliciousness inside. For a dinner party of three, this was just the right amount to kick us off for the evening.

Now that I have created a few (the pictured above was my very first) I’m starting to get a little bolder with my cheese choices.

I did a little more research on idea, and thought you might enjoy a few articles:

More cheese please!