Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mini Blogging Break

Hey friends!
I've been lounging on the beach the past few days with my husband and our girls, and we're home now, and I'm trying to process some difficult family news. With that said, I'm going to take a little mental vacation...to just try to wrap my head around things and to get my feet firmly re-planted back on the ground. I hope y'all will stick around and bear with me as I take this needed break. Hope to be back next week mentally and emotionally recharged.
Love to you all...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Loving Lately

I haven't posted a Loving Lately in a while, and I guess it's because I'm already a little tired of summer clothes! Or maybe it's just the heat here...mid-90s today!?!? What in the world are we going to expect in July and August? Temperature aside, I rounded up some summer picks to make the humid days a little more tolerable...
I really love the colors in this top, and I like that it's more structured than a tee. It'd look great with white jeans or white denim shorts alike.
A loose tee in the summer is a must for me. I like the shade of orange, and I can't say no to embroidery.
This is such a cute off-the-shoulder top. It looks breezy, and I think the blue and white stripes are perfect for this time of year.
This dress is just lovely...plus, you could wear it now with sandals and wear it into the fall with booties.
It's so hard to find a cover-up that does its job and is also cute to lounge around the pool in. I like that this one is long enough to where I'd actually feel like I had some coverage. Plus the colors are darling.
A bucket bag is such a classic purse in my opinion. The color and size of this one is perfection, plus the perforations make it unique.
It's wedding season here in the South, and with that said, we don't have any weddings to attend! If we did, I might try this dress. The color is just stunning, and I love the neckline.
I always love the prints J.Crew unfolds each season. This one might be my favorite in a long time. The colors are bold, and who can say no to palm leaves?
What a fun tee. Love the fringe detailing.
Project Social T is a great T-shirt brand. Their tops are super soft, roomy, and long enough for a tall gal like me. I really like a split-back tee because it takes a regular shirt up a notch. And you can still wear a normal bra. #themostimportantthinginmyopinion
Chances are, if something comes in rose gold, I'm sold. (And I'm a poet.) A simple sandal that's not so simple because of the color. These would go with anything. And they're 40% off right now!
I've been on an orange kick lately. The model in this pic is looking a little tired, but I love her top. Paired with some high-waisted denim shorts or jeans, and you have your outfit for the day.
Anything y'all are loving lately that I need to know about? Do tell!
I hope everyone has a happy weekend. I'm working tomorrow, then Sunday we'll celebrate Father's Day. My best friend will be here Monday, and we head to the beach later in the week. Lots to do! Hope to see y'all back here Monday...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

I always crave a good, cold pasta salad in the summer. Serve it alone or alongside a sandwich, and you've got a meal.
I keep a 3 ring binder of recipes I've found in magazines over the years. I hadn't pulled it out in a while and had fun looking through it this past weekend. That's where I found this recipe and knew I wanted to try it out. I'll definitely make this again. I've been all about Greek flavors lately. Plus the colors were fabulous, and I was able to use basil from our garden.
**The picture below is from the magazine...I snapped a few pictures of my finished product this weekend, but my phone somehow deleted them. Maybe it's because I have 10,000 photos on my phone? Anyway...mine looked very similar.**
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
{Food Network magazine}
Kosher salt
1 pound tricolor pasta, such as bow tie or fusilli
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard (I used 3)
Freshly ground pepper
2/3 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
1/4 cup diced onion
2 large pickled pepperoncini peppers, diced (I used 5)
3 tablespoons halved black olives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 1/4 Tablespoons grated Romano cheese (I omitted this)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain, then rinse with cold water to cool.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in enough of the oil to make a smooth dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, onion, pepperoncini, olives, and oregano in a bowl. Add the cooked pasta, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the vinaigrette and both cheeses and toss. Chill until ready to serve.
I hope everyone has a great day. Lily has her third day of swim lessons this morning, and Hadley and I have a doctor appointment this afternoon. Life is full!

Monday, June 13, 2016


Gosh, it's hard to even find the words to adequately express my feelings about the tragedy in Orlando. But it feels weird to not say something. Anything. How can it not be addressed?
I woke up yesterday morning, early, per usual, and read the news almost immediately. At that time the death toll wasn't near 50, but it was still atrocious. One life lost is one too many.
I kind of went through yesterday in a daze, like I imagine many of y'all did. I was in a fog, and I couldn't seem to tear myself away from the news, wanting more information...expecting an answer to the why, the how...wanting someone to have the perfect answer as to how this can be prevented in the future. Wanting an answer to HOW...how could this happen in our country again? Fifty people are dead. Fifty! That's fifty sons (we're not yet sure if any females were murdered), siblings, fathers, friends, co-workers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends...souls. Fifty people gone too soon.
No answers came...just more outrage. Blame thrown around like a hot potato. Gay people are being blamed for being gay; Muslims are being blamed for the beliefs of an extremist; people who believe in the right to bear arms are being blamed for believing that is their right; people who want stricter gun laws are being attacked for just that.
I don't have any answers. I have a lot of thoughts on it all, but my thoughts won't change anything. All I can do is pray and love and speak out against what I believe is injustice.
I pray for those who died and for their loved ones who will mourn that loss the rest of their lives. I pray for those injured and for those who witnessed the atrocities. I pray that we as a nation can discern the best way to fight terrorism inside our borders. I pray that our leaders will find a way to get assault weapons out of the hands of civilians. I pray for stricter gun laws (and I'm not apologizing for that). I pray for my gay friends who feel targeted. I pray for my Muslim friends who are attacked for their beliefs when a Muslim extremist acts. I pray for myself, as a Christian, that I will find the right words to say during this time...words that manifest love and might comfort some. I pray for humankind...that we might display more compassion and less hate on a daily basis. I pray that we will lift one another up and band together during a tough time. I pray that the events in Orlando won't be something that we've forgotten about in a few weeks; I pray that these awful events will ignite something in us to do better, to act, to show love and kindess...to remember that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
Jen Hatmaker is always so eloquent and puts her thoughts into words so perfectly. She shared this on Facebook last night, and I wanted to share it too:
"Don't say nothing. The way to battle this kind of evil is to overcome it with love according to Jesus who, by the way, would be smack in the middle of Orlando if he was still walking around down here, attending to wounds and souls and beloved hearts. Put your arms around your gay friends and family members [my edit: put your arms around everyone because this affected us all] and speak love and solidarity and presence and hope into their lives. God in heaven, be near."
I pray that today would be a good day for us all...that we will exhibit love and will feel loved in return.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Nun Better Jambalaya

First things first, I know I've been a bad blogger. Don't give up on me. I'm just enjoying our lazy summer days a little too much, I suppose.
I did want to pop in to share an easy and tasty recipe with y'all. And to my Cajun friends: I know this isn't Louisiana-authentic jambalaya. But the flavors are still great, and better yet, it's probably one of the easiest meals you'll cook! Serve it with a side of crusty French bread, and you're good to go.

 Nun Better Jambalaya
{Passed down from my mom's friend}
3 pounds link sausage, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped (or more to taste)
1 stick butter
2 bay leaves
2 cups converted rice, uncooked
1 (11 oz.) can French Onion soup
1 (11 oz.) can Beef Consomme
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/4 cup water

Slice sausage and saute in olive oil until cooked through. Add all ingredients to an ovenproof pot and cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, stirring once after an hour.

**When stirring at one hour, you'll think it may not be ready in 30 minutes. Don't worry; it will! Also, if you want to double this recipe, don't actually double it. Make two separate pots.**


I hope everyone has a great weekend! We're having dinner with some friends tonight, so I'm looking forward to that...date night two weeks in a row...wow! ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Life Lately + Dump and Done Ramen Salad

This original post was a Weekend Update, but seeing as it's Thursday, I'm a little late for that, huh?

We haven't done much of anything the past few days. I haven't felt that great, for whatever reason, so I've been taking it kind of easy.

We had a wonderful, long Memorial Day weekend, though, so I wanted to share some pictures and details of our fun.
Friday night the girls and I had dinner with my parents, then we came home to Daddy mowing the yard. They wanted in on the fun, so he rigged something up. I was laughing so hard...#onlyinmississippi

I made a batch of Barbie's Tuna Salad, White Cheddar & Chive Pimiento Cheese, and Gamma's Curry Dip, and we ate on that all weekend for lunch. Recipes for all three are under my Recipes tab. They're great summer staples. The pimiento cheese was even more fun to make this time because the chives came from our garden!

The weather could not have been more perfect. We pulled out the kiddie pool on Saturday, and we spent much of the day outside. We got this pool a few years ago from Wal-Mart, and I'm telling you it was the best $30 ever spent.


I've been looking for a refreshing summer cocktail, so I had fun browsing recipes online. I stumbled upon a recipe for Slushy Whiskey Sours, and they was delish. It makes a ton so next time we make it I'll either halve the recipe or wait to serve it when we have friends over.

Slushy Whiskey Sours
{Southern Living}

1 (6-oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 (6-oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 (6-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
4 1/3 cups water
2 cups bourbon
1 (33.8-oz.) bottle club soda, chilled

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Pour into a large zip-top freezer bag; seal. Freeze 2 hours. Spoon into a pitcher. Stir in club soda, and serve immediately.


Sunday night I met up with one of my best girlfriends who was in town visiting family. We were roommates in college and again in New York. She's still living there and has twin little girls. So much has changed, but the laughs remain. I'm so thankful for our friendship.


Monday we went swimming at Pop and J's and later that night we grilled out. I made Chrissy Teigen's Dump and Done Ramen Salad, and it couldn't have been easier or more tasty. It's very similar to the Asian Ramen Coleslaw recipe I've posted before, but it's different enough to give it a whirl.

Dump and Done Ramen Salad
{Cravings cookbook}

3 (3-oz.) packages chicken-flavored ramen
1 (12-oz.) package broccoli slaw
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup corn (I used canned and drained the juice)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds

Set the seasoning packets from the ramen aside. Crush the ramen noodles into a salad bowl, then add the slaw, onion, peas, and corn and toss.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar, oil, vinegar, and ramen seasoning packets and microwave on high for 1 minute. Pour the hot dressing over the slaw and toss. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Toss in the sunflower seeds just before serving.

**I think it tastes better after refrigerating for a few hours. We had leftovers the next day, and I thought it was a bit soggy (still tasty, though!).**


Hope everyone is having a lovely week!