September 22, 2017

10 Recipes For Non-Cooks

When I first got married (and started this blog), I found myself as a new stay at home wife with a husband to feed. That meant I had to learn to cook. I remember having our first guests as I was learning and I was struck with a fear...what do I cook?!?

Here is a list of easy, but impressive recipes for someone to make who doesn't cook.
It is plain and simple and pleasing. Who doesn't love some good comfort food?

I think everyone should know how to make a good pasta dish.. Stuffed Shells are very popular and very easy! Lasagna is a good one too!
Not all my recipes are from scratch. I love using a box mix and adding to it to make the perfect brownies! Plus dessert is life...
Speaking of dessert, a good cookie can be bought, but I have never found store bought cookies that have ever ever EVER been better than homemade. Eating cookie dough and then enjoying warm cookies straight out of the oven are magical.

Semi homemade but totally good. My husband loves Chicken Pot Pie and I have to agree. Plus there are lots of veggies in there. That makes it healthy right?!
Of the common dips (Spinach, Bean, Guacamole, Salsa, and Queso), guacamole is the hardest one to find a good store bought version. And why even look, swear you will spend more time looking at the grocery store than it would take to make some amazing guac. Although if you want to make some good salsa that is super easy and yummy too.
Enchiladas
A classic staple in the Southwest that will impress anyone. Authenticity and amazing taste are sure to win you all the accolades when you make this.

Thanksgiving Turkey
Way easier than you think. I promise! I love hosting Thanksgiving and knowing how to make the centerpiece dish of a major holiday is a pretty cool deal! Plus no other dish makes for better leftovers!

The easiest thing to grill and easy to make different every time with what you want to top them with. Who doesn't love a good burger?! 

Lastly, I have to throw some breakfast in on this list. After all, it is the most important meal of the day. What says classic Sunday morning more than blueberry pancakes? Nada.




What is your favorite easy recipe?

September 15, 2017

How to Build a Travel Wardrobe

So...travel wardrobes! No matter whether you are going on a weekend city trip or a three week holiday: your travel wardrobe should be 100% tailored to your style, be as versatile as possible (to save you valuable suitcase space) and give you something to wear for everything you might want to do during your trip. Essentially, the perfect travel wardrobe consists of all the same qualities as a great capsule wardrobe, just on a smaller scale and for a much more defined set of activities.

By no means am I a fashionista, but I am an every girl girl who feels like my packing methods are pretty strong! I have an easy method to put together a great travel wardrobe. Best thing about this method is it works for a long weekend or a long trip. The same plan for every type of trip!
The most important part of knowing what you need to pack is your itinerary and travel plans. What will you be doing all day during your trip? Sightseeing, lounging by the pool, going out to dinner? As a first step make a list of general planned activities. Put some of these activities into categories where you wear the same types of clothes. The list of activities will create your lifestyle during your trip. To make sure your travel wardrobe is optimally tailored to that lifestyle.

Next, you need to decide how many pieces you need to pack per item category. Write down ideas of what items could fill those needs. Choose some specific outfits and depending on what areas, have some items you can re-wear and write those in.

Planning your outfits ahead of time is a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, it will help you make sure your travel wardrobe is versatile enough and works for your destination. Secondly, it will save you time. Once you have finalized your packing list, flat lay some of your sample outfits to ensure it looks good. If you already have a set travel schedule, feel free to already allocate your outfits to specific dates. But remember those categories we talked about? Having an extra outfit for some categories are needed. You always have the option to change your plans and wear something completely different, but chances are, some days you will have better things to do than think about your outfit, so it's good to have a few go-to looks prepared.

Lastly, I recommend ensuring you have the best accessories, bags, and suitcases to travel with. It gives me the true feeling and excitement of knowing that everything is packed well and makes me feel more glamorous! Amara is a really great site to find great travel accessories. No matter where you find yourself, you want to look good!
Dress (from Marshalls)  //  Necklace // Ring (from Marshalls) // Shoes // Suitcase (c/o Amara)


Now if my husband would adapt my packing strategies, I wouldn't be waiting around for him...
;-)

How to you create/adapt your wardrobe for travel?

September 8, 2017

Chicken Spinach And Apple Salad

In my neck of the woods, there is an amazing restaurant Sauce. Their pizza, salads, and pizza cookie are utterly amazing there. They have even made my Instagram! I absolutely love their Chicken Spinach Apple Salad. I always want them for lunch at work. The only problem? Sauce doesn't deliver. Yes, I am fully aware of businesses that will deliver your food to you, but why not just recreate it?

Will do!

To be fair, the only thing I have been unable to recreate is the salad dressing. The use a red wine vinaigrette that nothing I have tried tastes like. So I like to use a light bit of ranch best. I am sure there are better options out there though.

Ingredients:

2 cups of spinach
1/2 apple, sliced
2 tablespoons of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons of candied walnuts (store bought or see below to make your own)
1/2 cup of shredded chicken
salad dressing (of your choice)

Directions:

Directions are doing all the prep work and tossing ingredients together. Cook chicken breasts, shred, and put aside.

Slice apple, make candied walnuts (see recipe below).

Assemble the salad by putting down spinach and top with apple, cheese, walnuts, and chicken. Top with a salad dressing of your choice.


Candied Walnuts Recipe
2 cups of walnuts
1/2 cup of sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a rack.

Pour sugar into a medium saucepan. Have walnuts nearby, ready to quickly add to the pan at the right time. Cook sugar on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon as soon as the sugar begins to melt. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber. As soon as sugar is melted and the color is a medium amber, add the walnuts to the pan, quickly stirring and coating each piece with the sugar mixture.

As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly. Let cool completely.



What is your favorite salad?

September 1, 2017

The People You Will Meet on The Trail

Ah, the great outdoors! Recently, my husband and I were on a trail and encountered a ton of different types of people on trail. I previously wrote about bad airline passengers because there are so many types of people that you meet on the plane. So naturally I thought I would discuss the kinds of people you meet on the trail. Because lets face it, there are a lot of different people who show up to stroll in nature...
Sammy Speedwalker
You know that guy walking really fast but not fast enough to pass you? And then you end up stopping just so he can get passed you so that you don't have to hear him breathing down your neck. Ugh, he is the worst!

Overpacked Olivia
It is a simple two mile, well trafficked loop and she has bear bells, hiking poles, heavy hiking boots, carabiners, and a huge backpack. Why does she have all this?! 

Hippie Henry
This is a fit old dude. He seems to always be shirtless. Every person he walks by, his remark is about how beautiful a day it is. Funny guy... 

Doggie Debbie
This girl will leave her dog poo bag at the side of the trail and never seems to intend to retrieve it later. She also says "oh, well he normally listens to me" when the dog goes rogue!

Mean Mugging Mark
You pass him and say good morning and he doesn't even acknowledge you. He also is the person who doesn't understand right of way when hiking.

Boombox Brittany
Electronic music popping as loud as possible. Yay...who doesn't enjoy that when escaping out into nature.



Who else do you meet on the trail that should be on this list?

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