27 October 2015

happy (almost) halloween!

How adorable are these pumpkins I made for Brian's boss?! I love them! They look super cute on her front doors.. next time we might need to double the size though ;)  

I love fall SO MUCH. So I figured I would leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures from my Nonno's farm.. enjoy! XOXO. 



22 October 2015

MEXICO 2015

Brian and Alex take Mexico 2016! We just got back from a few days in the Gulf of Mexico and had a great time! 5 days of relaxation never hurt anybody ;) 

  

21 October 2015

Pumpkin Errrrrrthing


I think the fall pumpkin EVERYTHING obsession has gotten totally out of hand. All I want is pumpkin bread or muffins and the occasional PSL.  Pumpkin chili, oreos, the list goes on and on... I don't want any of that. And no disrespect for those of you who are into that kind of thing BUT I just want a little with my fall. 

Anyway, last year Brian talked me into trying a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I've never been a coffee fan but I really liked it! So I was really looking forward to the PSL coming out this year, major letdown. I think as my taste in coffee (and less sugar!) has increased... I don't like it near as much. HOWEVER, something came over me as I was grocery shopping the other night. STARBUCKS VIA was just there and before I knew it, it was in my cart. 

Now I have tried everything for latte's, the flavored coffee, k-cups, recipes on pinterest.. etc, etc. Nothing tastes the same. So why I spent like 10 bucks on 5 VIA PACKETS, is beyond me. 

Anyway, I tried the packet Tuesday morning since I was running late and had no time to brew coffee... I am shocked at how good it was!!! I like it way more than the PSL in stores. Don't add anything to it. Just add the packet to 8oz of hot water and go. Trust. It's so good! This might be my new addiction. And looks like Starbucks has the packets cheaper than the store. Six bucks for 5 vs. 4.18 for one. SOLD! 

20 October 2015

i. love. october.


There is nothing I love more than fall! I love shopping for fall clothes, a lot. The colors are so pretty, everything has a sleeve (i love sleeves!) and the patterns are so fun! 

I've always been a huge LOFT fan but the dress selection lately hasn't been the best. I walked in last week to return something I ordered online and spotted this ADORABLE DRESS. I immediately bought it and wore to work the next day. I got so many compliments and I can't wait to wear with leggings, soon! PS. Linking the fabu Kendra Scott necklace HERE


15 October 2015

it's fall y'all...

..and so happy it is! Buy this cutie on my ETSY STORE by following THIS LINK. I really love this one!!!

14 October 2015

Mama's Chicken + Rice

 Have y'all seen the show A CHEF'S LIFE on PBS? Brian and I are really into it. It's so good and educational, too. I really like Vivian, the chef, on the show. It's cool to me that they showcase one type of food each week. I know I said it already but you really learn so much! 

I've learned that Vivian's mom wasn't that bad of a cook herself. One episode showed us Vivian and her mother making her homemade chicken and rice. Mouths were watering. So I made it.. and it was so good! My first time cooking a whole chicken and it was amazing! AND of course, I didn't take an after picture. By that time I was busy devouring the finished product! 

Scarlett's Chicken and Rice
copied from A CHEF'S LIFE
Simplicity is actually very hard to pull off. There are some recipes you just don’t mess with. Check Vivian’s blog for a sad tale of one such incident.   

1 large chicken left whole (best case scenario, this would be an old tough bird/laying hen) 
cool water to cover

1 yellow onion (peeled and split)
1 bay leaf 
3 sprigs thyme 
kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper
2 cups white rice (mom swears by Uncle Bens, I like Carolina Gold) 

3 Tbsp. butter   

Put your bird, the split onion, thyme, and bay leaf in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Cover the bird, just barely with cool water. Add 2 Tbsp. salt and 2 tsp. black pepper to the pot. Cover and bring it all up to a simmer. Cook for about an hour or until the bird, in my mom’s words, is “falling to pieces.”   If this is a typical young chicken this should not take any longer than an hour and a half. If it is a laying hen, it could take up to 5 hours. I know that is crazy, but a hen will provide a much better broth.


Once the bird is “falling to pieces” turn off the heat and let her rest in the broth for 30 minutes. Remove and reserve the bird. Discard the onion, bay leaf, and thyme. Tear the chicken meat into medium pieces and add it back to the pot. Bring the broth and the chicken up to a simmer. Add the rice. If you are a rice rinser, resist the urge here, as the starch helps make the broth homey and rich. Cook the rice for about 12 minutes, depending on the variety or brand the time could vary. The rice should be just cooked through and should absolutely hold its shape. Turn off the heat. Add your butter. Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt or pepper.   


I like to add a little lemon juice for balance, but my mom would never approve of this behavior.  

Check it out, it was so good! And check out the show while you are at it. We watch on the PBS app from our Apple TV. Love! 

13 October 2015

anniversary, love.

Well, I'm officially one month late on the Anniversary front. Brian I celebrated our one year anniversary last month. The cake was disgusting but the company was the best of my life. Love this man more today than I did a year ago... cheers to MANY, like hundreds, more ;) 


12 October 2015

#bridetribeatx

A few weeks ago, I left the natural state for the lone-star state and #BrideTribeATX.. otherwise known as Austin, TX for J Ram's bachelorette party. I always love to spend time with my wifey! 

 A little shopping in Dallas-- these were everywhere! I'm surprised anyone else in Texas could get their hands on gourds. I feel like the mall bought every single one in America. 

 Pit stop at the Magnolia Market... sadly, Chip and Jojo were not there. 



 Dinner Friday night on Lake Travis in Austin at OASIS. 

 Lunch Friday on Congress at HOME SLICE PIZZA. It was SO hot! 

i love you so much at Jo's Coffee on Congress. 

10 October 2015

crockpot gumbo love.

Flashback to 2012 when I found this simple crockpot gumbo recipe. I was nervous Brian wouldn't like it, since it came from a crockpot and he's a big lover of gumbo and all. So I just made it without telling him in hopes he would love it. Mission accomplished... he LOVED it! Asked for it over and over again and now we look forward to this goodness all the time. 

You might remember we included this recipe in our WEDDING FAVOR COOKBOOKS. It's for real good when we pick it for a top ten! Anyway, here's the recipe. Try and LOVE! 

PS. You can really make this as simple or complicated as you wish-- when I'm in a hurry I use mainly frozen everything. I also have a jar of DARK ROUX, I'm sure I have talked about this before (because it's amazing!!!) 

CROCK POT GUMBO
1/4 C canola oil
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (I use breast meat, too)
1/2 lb Andouille sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 medium to large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C frozen cut okra (or more if you’re an okra lover)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small can mild diced green chilies, undrained
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar
black pepper to taste (but be pretty generous)
1 tsp Creole seasoning, such as Zatarain’s (If you happen to have it. If not, you’ll be fine without it.)
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and cooked

In a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat (closer to medium than high), combine oil and flour to make your roux. Whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the roux becomes fragrant and just begins to darken. Turn heat down to low and whisk constantly for several more minutes, or until the roux is about the color of peanut butter.

Pour the roux into the crock pot. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT shrimp. The mixture will seem all raw and gross at this point. Trust. Stir and cover. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. 

When you have about 20 minutes to go, add the shrimp. Serve over rice.

Enjoy! :) xoxo. 

destin 2015

Just a few snaps from our trip to the beach in August.....






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