Monday, March 30, 2015

Morning Snuggles and Food Network/Cooking Channel

Happy Monday all! Who enjoyed the awesome weather we had this weekend? Such a nice change from the rain. Lexi and I took full advantage of the sun and went for a walk at the state park near the house. Then cleaned up the back patio and enjoyed the breeze while eating lunch outside. My hope is to decorate our back patio and yard this year. We've been in the house for 3 years and I feel like it's time for a change. One of the reasons we fell in love with the house was the shaded backyard and patio. 2015 is the year I want to put it to good use. As that project unfolds I will document it here.

Weekends are a time to relax and accomplish tasks like cleaning and grocery shopping. I try to tackle the errands on Saturday so I can relax all day Sunday. My Sunday mornings begin with Lexi snuggles and watching either the Food Network or Cooking Channel. I love to be in the kitchen and I love to cook for people. This is a chance to get ideas, new recipes, and enjoy the quiet with my puppy. This began when the hubs worked night shift. He would sleep until noon or 1 so watching TV was quiet and didn't wake him up like vacuuming would have ;) Now it's kind of a tradition haha My favorite shows are Brunch @ Bobby's, Giada at Home, Southern at Heart, The Pioneer Woman, and The Real Girl's Kitchen. Here are a few recipes I picked up (and Pinned) in the last few weeks.



Buttermilk Biscuits with Eggs and Sausage Gravy | Brunch @ Bobby's

Mini German Pancakes with Apple-Calvados Caramel Sauce | Brunch @ Bobby's

Frozen Lemon Cream Pie | Katie Lee, The Kitchen

Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Gruyere Cheese Strata with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes | Brunch @ Bobby's

And of course cute Lexi snuggling :)
Happy cooking! Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mad Scientist in the Kitchen

This post's title sounds a little menacing, but I promise it's not. After several years of skipping the gym and eating poorly I began feeling sluggish and my clothes were beyond tight. After taking baby steps toward a healthier lifestyle I can honestly say I feel 100% better. My clothes fit and I have more energy.


Besides trying to prepare healthier meal, I started making shakes and smoothies for breakfast. Admittedly I'm the girl who prefers sleep to getting up and making a healthy breakfast. On occasion I put together a breakfast casserole loaded with vegetables or a variation of these Omelet and Potato Breakfast Bites found at Ella Claire. For the most part though I skip breakfast. That was until the hub's cousin dropped off a box of Advocare products which included the Berry Meal Replacement Shake.  The directions say to mix with cold water. Boring! I would blend with almond milk, banana, strawberries, PB2 or peanut butter, a handful of spinach and ice. I couldn't possibly have sat down and eaten all that before heading off to work. Shakes just make life easier!


After running out of the Advocare replacement shakes I contacted a neighbor who distributes Juice Plus Complete. Overall the cost is less per shake and the Juice Plus powder is packed with easy to pronounce ingredients. Side note, I eventually want to purchase Juice Plus' capsules. Juice Plus Complete comes in two flavors (vanilla and chocolate) so I ordered the variety pack giving me both. Now onto the "mad scientist" reference...every time I get in the kitchen to mix up a shake I want to try something new. This weekend's shakes were awesome. The recipes are below in case you are looking for a new shake/smoothie idea. Also, banana and avocado is really good with the chocolate drink mix. Want to get your hands on some Juice Plus products? I know a gal and can put you in contact.

Super Berry Smoothie
1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup almond milk (I use vanilla)

1 scoop vanilla drink mix
1 handful of ice cubes

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
1 scoop vanilla drink mix
1 medium orange 
1 cup almond milk (I use vanilla)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup ice

Until next post...xoxo Becca


Super Berry Smoothie
My preferred ingredients with Advocare's Berry Meal Replacement Shake


Friday, March 20, 2015

New Level of Adulthood

Many people don't realize I'm almost 30. Working at a university I am often mistaken as a student (I love this by the way). Until recently I felt like an "early 20s" girl. Around 22 or 23 I began attending friends' engagement parties and wedding showers and by 25 we were onto baby showers. It's definitely a sign of growing up. A few weeks ago I was asked to participate in a meal train for a neighbor having a double mastectomy. It wasn't until this that I realized how old I am now.

Being my first time to do this, I of course panicked and was unsure of the proper meal to deliver. I searched Pinterest for hours trying to come up with something. Everything I found was a casserole. I don't know about you, but I can only eat so many casseroles. I knew several neighbors and members from their church were participating and whatever I made had to be easy, tasty, and most importantly, unique. I went with a twist on a classic favorite...Green Chili Chicken and Dumplings! I was still slightly nervous because it can be spicy and I wasn't sure how my neighbors feel about spicy food, but I took the chance and I'm happy to report it was their favorite meal delivered. Yes, I'm bragging on myself, get over it.

Here's the recipe, it's great for cold days and is super easy. Sorry I didn't snap any pictures, but if I make it again soon I will come back and update this post.


Green Chili Chicken & DumplingsServes: 4-6

Ingredients:
1 cooked rotisserie chicken
1 can biscuits, uncooked
1 jar Cookwell & Company Texas 2-Step Green Chili Strew Mix
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups whipping cream

1. Pull the meat and skin from the chicken. Discard skin and bones. Set chicken aside.
2. Remove the biscuits from can and cut into bite-sized pieces, set aside.
3. Combine the chicken and all remaining ingredients, except biscuits, in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture begins to boil.
4. Drop the biscuit pieces into the boiling liquid. Cook, stirring every two minutes for a total of 8 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Serve hot and enjoy!
Until next post...xoxo Becca


Green Chili Chicken & Dumplings
I purchase from HEB

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spotted

One of the latest trend seems to be Dalmatian spots! It's a nice alternative to zebra, leopard, and other animal patterns. Plus I love anything black and white, it's an obsession to be honest. Here are a few ways to incorporate it into your d├ęcor:

Hunted Interior

Lilly Bunn

Grey and Scout
Of course I had to jump on board and add it to my wardrobe.



TOP: Loft | SWEATER: Target | JEANS: Express | HEELS: Nine West | HANDBAG: Fossil | SUNGLASSES: Maui Jim | LIPS: Signature Scarlet

Have a great week and don't forget to wear green tomorrow for St. Patty's Day!
Until next post...
xoxo Becca

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Bridal Brunch at the Junior League

Bridal showers, baby showers, couples showers, stock the bar parties...we've all been to a few. Stock the bar parties are the best by the way ;) The hubs and I had one before we got married...did you know you can register at Specs? We did and it was awesome! Back to the point of this post...I attended a Bridal Brunch today for a family friend. The host, the bride's older sister, loves to do these events up big. I mean Vera Wang herself designed her wedding dress. Best wedding I've ever been to by the way! And off topic again, sorry! The bridal brunch was hosted at the Junior League of Houston, located in an antebellum style building, true southern roots.

Today's Menu
Option #1: Three cheese broccoli soup, baby spinach salad with mandarin orange segments and a basil vinaigrette, black forest ham BLT sandwich
Option #2: Creamy roasted red pepper and roasted sweet corn soup, caesar salad, grilled chicken, roasted red pepper, and micro greens sandwich

I had option #2 and let me tell you...I will be attempting to recreate that at home. I wish I'd taken a picture before shoveling it in my mouth. So delicious! Oh and mimosas, it wouldn't be a proper southern brunch without mimosas :)

The wedding is in Dallas in May and I'm really excited to attend. I got a sneak peek at the wedding dress and it is gorgeous. I will leave you with a few pictures from the brunch.

Beautiful Cake
Favor
How cute is this favor? Cookie and Sephora lip gloss
Bride-to-be
Bride with her sisters and mother
Mother-in-law, sisters-in law, and I with the bride
Until next post...
xoxo Becca

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Little Red Dress

On the hunt for the perfect Little [Red] Dress for a friend attending a July 4th wedding in Illinois.

The Request: effortless bombshell

I love fashion and I enjoy finding the perfect piece for myself or others. One of the places I typically look for inspiration or for pieces on a budget is Rent the Runway. If you've never heard of this website you should really look into it. In short, you find a dress through the website, "rent it," and return it after your event. Rental prices start at $30 and go up to $1,000. Customers often post pictures of themselves in the dress, giving potential renters a good idea of how the dress will look on different body types and how each girl chose to style the dress.

The dresses below range in price with the most expensive being $298. Happy hunting!

Until next post...xoxo Becca

 BCBG Kate Strapless Overlay Dress


BCBG Rossana Cutout Back Jumpsuit
Why not change it up with a jumpsuit!?


David Koma Show Me Love Sheath
From Rent the Runway


Herve Leger Spellbinding Red Dress
From Rent the Runway


Michael Kors Stud-Trim Side-Slit Dress


Red Alert Midi Dress


Red Feeling Lucky Dress


Slate & Willow Erica Dress
From Rent the Runway


Z Spoke Zac Posen Holler Back Sheath
From Rent the Runway


Clara Strappy Detail Bodycon Midi Dress

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo first began in the early 1930s and was called the Houston Fat Stock Show. The Houston Rodeo is a huge event for residents of the Houston and surrounding areas. Starting with a cook-off (which I've never been to, someone please let me tag along because it looks epic!), the livestock show, carnival, food (hell yes!), exhibits, and rodeo/entertainment lasts for 2-3 weeks. 

In college, the hubs and I would purchase "action seat" tickets from a lawyer in Dallas. These seats allowed us to be on the ground level, so much so you could taste the dirt kicked up from the chuck wagon races. We saw Pat Green many times! These days, because of work and other obligations, we don't get to go much. However, my best friend and college roommate offered us free tickets to see Tim McGraw with her and her husband. Her boss had extra tickets, so thank you to the boss man.

Of course the hubs and I had to stop off and get carnival food; funnel cake for me and sausage on a stick for him. We also shared a loaded baked potato once inside the stadium, yummmmm. Anyone who knows me knows I love baked potatoes, but for some reason cannot cook them myself. I'll save that story for a later date.

Tim McGraw was stellar. I'd never seen him perform and it was great. He performed at least 2 songs while walking around the arena high fiving fans and posing for selfies. There were a lot of his older songs and it definitely was a walk down memory lane.


Until next post...
xoxo Becca



You have to eat funnel cake at a fair right!?

Chuck wagon races

The hubs and I

Got to see one of my best friends!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Colon Cancer Alliance - Go Blue

Every now and then a person comes into your life and reminds you of the good, the passion, and the strength of human beings. In 2009 I met a wonderful woman, known to many as Ms. Vicki. Her energy is addictive, her story inspiring. She shares her journey with everyone willing to listen. Many of us have been touched by cancer, whether we've had it ourselves or had loved ones affected by it. Vicki is no different. Now a 12-year survivor of colon cancer, she has chosen a path of advocacy with Colon Cancer Alliance. Read Vicki's story here.

Ms. Vicki has been part of my life in so many ways. I remember the Monday I went rushing into her office to show her a picture of the wedding dress I bought that weekend, the crockpot she gave me at my wedding shower, the huge smile she greeted me with after graduating with my master's degree, and the countless baked goods she's lovingly shared with the office and at tailgate tents!

The outpour of support for this amazing lady is moving. My Facebook newsfeed has been splashed with blue (the color of colon cancer awareness) today. It's "Dress in Blue Day" so if you didn't wear blue...go change! #DressInBlueDay






"There is no better advocate than yourself." -Vicki

Until next post...xoxo Becca