Monday, July 31, 2017

Music for Monday: Kelsea Ballerini

A couple of years ago, I saw a video on Taylor Swift's Instagram of her singing with Kelsea Ballerini. I had no idea who Kelsea Ballerini was, but I love Taylor Swift and the song was super catchy. That summer, while I was on vacation, I found Kelsea Ballerini's album at Target for $5!! I grabbed it and it has been all love ever since! Kelsea Ballerini's album is the very last music that I purchased specifically; I have been using only Spotify since! Here are a few of my favorites....

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Favorites: at the beach!!

Usually, I'm rather excited when Friday rolls around but I have been dreading the arrival of this Friday because it means my first week at the beach is over! I am so very lucky to have a second week to look forward to! Here are the best parts of this week...
1. First up, let's talk sunglasses! I hate spending large amounts of money on sunglasses only to throw them in the bottom of a beach bag! I typically pick up a pair of sunglasses while I'm on vacation for less than $15 and wear them all year long! Last summer I got a pair from Sam Edelman's Circus collection from TJ Maxx for $12!!! I wore them all year and I still love them so much! I have worn them every single day at the beach and I couldn't love them any more!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Day in the Life at the Beach!

Yesterday, I did my best to take pictures throughout the day to share as a day in the life post! It was the most beautiful day at the beach so my pictures are mostly that - the beach! I did a whole lot of sitting by the beach and reading! Here is how I spent my Wednesday...
I woke up and enjoyed breakfast - nectarine and toast with peanut butter and jelly! I only ever have grape jelly on vacation, and it's one of my favorite things to enjoy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Top 5: Quote Editon #6

I pin quotes on Pinterest all the time & every couple of months, I do a little round up of my favorite five! Here are the words that are meaning most to me lately....

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Butter Chickpeas ( a Vegan & Gluten Free Recipe!)

I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and since then, someone in my family requests it almost daily! My mom has been Gluten free since January, so I am always on the lookout for tasty gluten free recipes - when this popped up on my Pinterest feed, I was intrigued! My family is not vegan (or even vegetarian for that matter) but I like to try to go meatless as often as possible! I strongly encourage you to try this yummy take on the traditional Butter Chicken even if you are not vegetarian/vegan/gluten free... it is that good!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Music for Monday: Singles You Up

Happy Monday! I am so excited to be writing this post from the beach! I had the most wonderful day at the beach yesterday and I am so excited to do it all over again today! I discovered this song a couple of weeks ago and I have had it on repeat ever since!
Single You Up - Jordan Davis

See you tomorrow with a fun & absolutely delicious vegan recipe!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites: Birthday Edition

Happy Friday, sweet readers! Today is my 21st birthday!! I am celebrating before heading off to my favorite place in the whole wide world tomorrow - the beach! Since it's my birthday, I figured I would share my very favorite things about birthdays...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Board Games Galore :)

Yesterday, I got a text from one of my most loyal blog readers (my Auntie Norma!) asking if I could share some Board Game recommendations on my blog! I love, love, love board games and was so excited about this post idea! I considered making this part of my little 'Top 5' series but I have way more than 5 board games that I love, so I'm just sharing them all!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pie Crust (day 2): Lattice Top

I've experimented with Lattice Pie Crusts in the past, but I've only recently had success. It is surprisingly easier than it looks and once you get the hang of it - it somes together so quickly! Yesterday, I talked about making pie crust (you can read that HERE) and today, I'm expanding a little bit!
Once you've lined the bottom of your pie plate with a layer of crust, and filled the pie - roll out the remaining crust. The shape is less important at this point, you could roll the dough into more of a rectangular shape.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pie Crust: Video Tutorial!

Today and tomorrow, I'm talking all about pie crust. I've shared a few pie recipes in the past and I've always included the recipe that I use for pie crust. I often get asked to share tips and/or more detailed instruction about how I do pie crust - so that's what I'm doing today!

When I shared my apple pie recipe, I shared a little about pie crust. I'll copy paste those pictures and instructions here instead of sending you clinking around! Here is the pie crust recipe that I use (it's from America's Test Kitchen - I love it!).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Music for Monday: Hozier

Today, I'm talking about Hozier!! I was listening to a Spotify playlist the other day and 'Work Song' came on. I hadn't heard any Hozier in a while, but as soon as I heard 'Work Song,' I remembered how much I love his music and I have been listening to so much Hozier since! Here are a few of my favorites...

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites: 1 week 'til the beach!

Happy, happy Friday! In exactly one week, I'll be celebrating my 21st birthday before heading off to my favorite place in the whole wide world for a little beach time! I know next week will be full of good things but here are the best parts of this week...
1. This week, I got to see my friend Lauren! We had big plans to make some sort of summer-y dessert but were side tracked but the chilly weather and our craving for fall. So, we made these most delicious pumpkin rolls! I do realize that it's not October but these were to die for even in July!! I really am soaking up these summer days and enjoying a little sun, but I am so excited for the fall! If you are craving a little fall in your life too, I highly recommend these rolls! You can find the recipe HERE !

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Strawberry, Quinoa & Cashew Salad

This salad just screams summer to me! When I made this last week, my family enjoyed it with some Italian Sausages on the barbecue - it was sooo good! The Bean has loved lending a hand in the kitchen this summer, but all she wants to do is stir!! She was thoroughly unimpressed with this salad, because there is very little stirring to be done! I was worried she wouldn't eat the salad (she tends to be less willing to try if she isn't involved in the process!) but she loved the salad! This got rave reviews all around!

I found the recipe on Julia's Album, you can find it HERE. I swapped out the peaches for Nectarine (an intentional change) and used much less spinach than called for (an unintentional change), but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nanaimo Bars

On Canada Day, I was wanting to make a festive treat for my family to have. But I didn't want to go crazy with white and red - I wanted it to be festive and a little patriotic without screaming Canada :). Nanaimo Bars are named after a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia called Nanaimo! They are one of my favorite treats and they are so fun to bake!

Nanaimo bars are composed of 3 layers - the bottom is a mixture of chocolate, coconut and graham crackers, the middle layer is a custard then the top layer is made from melted chocolate -so good!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (a.k.a. the easiest dinner ever!!)

My family had this casserole for dinner a couple of weeks ago and I have been anxiously waiting to share it! This is the easiest recipe, so easy that I only took 6 (SIX!!) pictures while I was making it!! I found this recipe on Jo Cooks, you can find it HERE. I found the recipe a little bland - it was tasty but just lacking a little something! In the future, I would chop up some avocado and serve the casserole with a little avocado and salsa on the side.

Start by cooking 1 cup of dry Basmati rice (to end up with 2 cups of cooked Basmati rice) and cooking 1-2 chicken breasts (I used 2 small chicken breasts). I boiled the chicken until it was cooked through then removed it from the boiling water and let it cool in a mixing bowl. Once the chicken is cooled, shred it using 2 forks.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Music for Monday: David Gray

I have been all about David Gray lately! I love so much of his music - I especially love it when my crew is outside enjoying a fire on a cool summer evening! Many of his songs have been on repeat lately! Here are a few of my faves...

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Favorites: 2 weeks 'til the beach!!

These summer days are so much fun. Today, I'm sharing the best things about this first week of July - Enjoy!

1. I made some delicious salads this weeks - on Wednesday night, my family had an Apple, Cranberry and Walnut salad for dinner (you can find the recipe HERE).

Thursday, July 6, 2017

My Latest Cricut Projects

The Bean has been scoring big time with all of the cricut crafting I've been doing lately! She requested a shirt that said 'Killin' It' and I said 'huh?' I was confused! She said the shirt needs to be black with an outlined white rectangle with Killin' It written inside. I just followed her careful instructions and the shirt turned out so cute! It came together so easily - I picked up a black shirt from Michael's and used some white vinyl that I already had!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Walk Around Taco Salad

I have heard this fun dip called many different things - 7 layer dip (this just makes me yawn), trash (this grosses me out! Who wants to eat trash!?) and Walk Around Taco Salad (it's a mouthful, but I think it's the most fun of the three names I've heard!). So, I'm sticking with Walk Around Taco Salad, but what do you call this dip? Have you heard a different name!?

I don't follow a recipe when I'm making this chip dip. I just layer some yummy taco seasonings in a pyrex dish and call it a day! You can exclude any of the layers or substitute a layer with something you prefer. You could even add a whole extra layer! I love how flexible this dip is and how easily it comes together!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers

As I was cooking these stuffed peppers last week I realized - Almost everything I cook has Italian Sausage in it! I mean, I love Italian sausages but I didn't realize how much I love them! As much as I love them, I'm making a serious effort to track down recipes that don't include them! These stuffed peppers were soooo delicious! I found the recipe on Will Cook for Smiles, you can find it HERE. I stuck pretty close to the original recipe but I will detail the changes I made below.

Start by cooking 1 cup of dry long grain rice, to end up with 2 cups of cooked rice. Let the rice sit while you make the rest of the filling.
Heat half a tablespoon of live oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice up a medium yellow onion and saute it with 1 minced clove of garlic.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Music for Monday: Rainbow Connection

Happy July! I heard The Rainbow Connection by Sleeping at Last a few months ago and it instantly became a favorite of mine! My mom used to sing The Rainbow Connection to me when she was putting me to sleep as a baby; so it will always be close to my heart! Until hearing the version by Sleeping at Last, the only other rendition I'd heard was by Kermit the Frog - which is not something I want to listen to on a regular basis! I love many other covers that Sleeping at Last has released but Rainbow Connection is my all time favorite!