Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I've got the blues...

berries, that is. Mr. Bailey has several blueberry bushes and Forrest and I have been the lucky recipients of countless berries. We usually just gobble them up but I've been making an effort to incorporate them into some recipes.

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Here are my latest:

"Super Foods" Salad

I modified a recipe I found in the latest issue of Southern Living for this one. Delicious and crazy good for you!
1 package kale
1 package sugar snap peas, cooked and drained
5 oz shaved Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup-1 cup fresh blueberries, cleaned and drained

Mix together all ingredients by hand and enjoy!! I made the red wine vinaigrette suggested by the magazine but you can use any dressing!

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Blueberry Cobbler

It's not summer in the South without cobbler. This recipe was actually a peach cobbler recipe from Allrecipes.com. It is easy and tasty!!

I probably used 6 cups blueberries--make sure you use more than you think you need because they cook down.
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

Mix together:
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine blueberries, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 min.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
Remove berries from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. then sprinkle entire cobbler with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake until top is golden, about 20 minutes.

I served this with vanilla ice cream--who could ask for more!
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Star Spangled

I hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July weekend! We spent the weekend at my family's lake house. It was really a special weekend because my sister and brother both came with us. Since they both live out of state it's rare that we are all together any more....sad. That's what happens when you grow up, I suppose! Here is our weekend in pictures!

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Play time on the sand bar! (Sonny rode on the boat but would take breaks from swimming by climbing up on the wave runner)


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This is how we roll on the red neck riviera!

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Sunning with my sister

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Saturday morning Trade Day experience. You never know what treasures you may find!

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After 3 whole days at the lake, we all felt like this! Tired and happy!!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Free Travel for you!!

Hi friends! Remember THIS post I shared about flying for free with my Southwest Card? Well they are having another 50,000 point promotion right now! If you sign up for the Premiere Card, you will receive 50,000 free point after you meet the minimum spending. That's good for 2 free flights! What's to lose? You can go HERE to sign up!
Free flights are the reason that Forrest and I are able to travel so much. When you add up the cost of flying, hotels, rental cars, food, etc, travel is ridiculously expensive. However, taking the flight cost out of the equation makes the decision to travel much easier. We are currently planning a trip to Cancun later in the year that will include free flights and we have so many points though Southwest via the Companion flight program that we are looking into possible quick trips to Vegas and Lake Tahoe!
If you are interested, don't delay! The promotion only lasts for a limited time. Please contact me if you have any questions!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thoughts on Soccer

Who knew that international soccer could cause such uproar? Let me rephrase that...who knew that people cheering on our World Cup team could make other people mad? I ask because I am one of those people. I don't follow soccer, but I do know a thing or two about it because my brother played for 14 years. I didn't really think it was a problem for the country to rally around our team, true fans or not. I mean, wouldn't the team want as many people sending good vibes and prayers down there? Don't we do that every 2 years with the Olympics? I typically watch as many Olympic events as possible, not just the big ticket ones, because I simply like sports. Who cares that I can't name a US women's winter biathlon athlete on a non-winter Olympics year? To me, it matters more that I'm cheering at all! I'm proud to be an American and will cheer for my teams, no matter what it may be. Now I'm not going to lay out of work to watch Olympics or the soccer game (although I'll probably check it out on my phone a few times), but I don't think it makes me a bad person to jump on the soccer bandwagon.As a die hard Alabama football fan, we see this happen all the time. Every Bama fan crawls out of the wood work when we are doing well. It doesn't matter that they might only pull for us every so often. I want as many people  cheering for my team as possible. The more the merrier. I mean what can it hurt?
I've also read a lot about people ragging soccer for the procedures for getting into the round of 16. The US lost the game but still advanced--so what? Those are the rules. We had enough points, so there. Aren't we lucky that we were good enough to be in that situation? The same thing happens in football. Alabama ONLY went to the National Championship 2 years ago because 2 other teams ranked ahead of us lost. We lost a game, effectively killing our chances, and then because 2 other teams lost AFTER us in the season, we got to go. The year before that we didn't even play in our conference championship game and got to go. Of course there was LOTS of drama about that, and hence the eventual demise of the BCS, but still. Things like that are going to happen. It doesn't mean the US is ok with mediocrity, it means the rules played in our favor. Should they change that? I don't know--I'm only a fan for the next few weeks. I'll let more experienced fans handle that debate. But, seriously, let's get off soccer. Let's use this as an opportunity to come together as a country and cheer on our boys! USA!

Have you jumped on the soccer bandwagon??
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Lovely

That's the best way to describe our weekend. Lovely, lovely. We spent the weekend at the lake house with my dad and brother (my mom was out of town for the weekend--we didn't exclude her!). It's nice just to lay around, soak up the sun, and do nothing for a few hours and that's what we do when we are at the lake!

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Boys on the boat!

We only stayed one night because we had the Serendipity ball on Saturday night. The band was particularly awesome and so many of our friends were there that it was a really really fun evening!!

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On Sunday we got to work--in the house that is. The painter had been there the whole week before so I think he motivated us to finish up some loose ends. I set up my gift wrap center in the laundry room, which resulted in me finally unpacking the final boxes. Hooray! We also got other odds and ends accomplished, like decorating the kitchen, having the TV people come and install our service (yes, I've been minus real tv since we moved in April) and we hung several pictures. That doesn't sound like a lot but it took all day! We took a break to go to the Baileys and pick some blueberries.

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 I can't wait to start baking with these guys!! I've got lots of blueberry recipes on my PINTEREST dessert board if you want to check them out!

Sometimes the simple things in life are the best, and our lovely weekend proved that. Hope yours was just as nice!
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Friday, June 27, 2014

I'm Loving It

This week I'm loving the #surfsupvoxbox! I was pumped when I got the notification that I was one of the lucky recipients of this particular box because it's full of things to keep me going this summer! Let's take a peek, shall we?


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I was so glad that I got the Covergirl Bombshell Curvaceous mascara, especially because my other mascara was running dangerously low. I'm really picky about mascara and am never satisfied with mine because they either clump or run. So far, this hasn't run under my eyes, but I've only run it during the day and I don't wear mascara on my bottom lashes during the day because it always runs. We will see how it holds up at a party this weekend when I go all out on my eyes.

Next, I got these coupons for Jamba Juice Smoothies. I haven't picked them up yet but I definitely will because they are fat free and gluten free. I always have a snack during the day at work so I think these would be healthy and a change from my regular snacks.

The Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun was a life saver that came at the perfect time--right when I got home from the beach. I had gotten a little red and this lotion really feels great and takes out the sting. The best part? It absorbs quickly and doesn't leave you sticky, PLUS it smells great! I will definitely be purchasing this soon!

I'm really excited about the Sinful Colors Nail Polish. Who doesn't love a free size polish, really. I don't have this color but it reminds me of a dark blue that I painted on my nails in 7th grade at a friends house and my mom freaked out. Too dark, she said. I love any kind of wild polish, dark or light. This seems like a pretty versatile color to me--perfect for summer and winter! I'll definitely be using this for my next pedicure.

The First Aid Shot Therapy is not exactly up my alley. I am weird about taking medicine so I probably won't be taking this. Aside from being a weirdo, this is full of caffeine and I don't drink any so this would probably make me feel pretty bad instead of good. Forrest may like to use it so it will not go to waste.

Did anyone else get this voxbox? What did you love??
Happy Friday!!

**I got the voxbox free from Influenster, but the opinions are all my own!
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

A new favorite

I really like to cook when I have the time. Maybe even more than cooking, I like to read recipes and look at pictures of food. Of course, more than anything, I like eating. With everything going on lately, cooking has been on the back burner and I've honestly missed it. I really believe that when we cook for ourselves we eat better because we control the ingredients and thus we control what goes into our bodies. I'm a LOT healthier when I have to cook for myself. Otherwise, when food's easy to come by, I'll eat whatever. That's a reason we don't keep many snacks in our house--no will power. Anyway, I was determined to change my slacking and get back into the kitchen and nothing motivates me to do that more than a new recipe. I chose something simple, quick and relatively healthy and was not disappointed. This "mac n cheese" is going to be a "do again" at our house for sure! Hope you enjoy!

Mac n Goat Cheese

3/4 lb macaroni pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
1/4 c evoo
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 9oz bag of spinach
salt and pepper
6 oz goat cheese, crumbled (mine had Mediterranean spices in it)
3/4 cup toasted walnuts (I didn't use these but I wish I had--maybe almonds though)
I also added kalamata olives and think that mushrooms would have been a great addition too

In a large pot, cook pasta until al dente. Drain, but reserve 1/4 cup of the water. Keep pasta warm.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook the garlic until golden brown. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, and spinach. Pour in the pasta water and cook until spinach is wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir the vegetables and their juices into the warm pasta and add the goat cheese. Combine until all cheese is melted and top with the walnuts.

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Since Forrest wasn't home, I ended up eating most of this, but it's healthy, right???
Hope you guys enjoy this one!

I found this recipe on pinterest. You can follow me HERE to see what else I'll be cooking up soon!
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