Thursday, September 29, 2016

Creating A Self-Reliant Mentality

This post first appeared on the skirt! Charleston blog.  Head over to see guest posts from members of the Charleston Blog Society contributors each Tuesday!

As women, our lives are complicated: pay gaps, lingering gender stereotypes, unreasonable image expectations, and the constant juggle of home and work life balance.  Each and every one of us needs the confidence to create a self-reliant mentality to stay true to ourselves and our beliefs.  Becoming strong, independent women begins here:
Set goals - For tomorrow or five years from now, goals help us know where we're going and how to get there.  Start small, aiming to wake up every morning and do something productive, whether it's work out, eat a healthy breakfast, or just not hit the snooze button five times before work.  From there, each rung higher and higher up the ladder will appear easier to climb: applying for that promotion at work, traveling to a foreign country, or stepping out of your comfort zone to further your education.

Stay organized - This step will make the previous one so much easier.  Splurge a little and start by buying yourself that pretty planner or calendar.  I know that I'm personally far more likely to record my plans and to-do lists in something I enjoy taking out of my purse.  If you struggle with organization, try making a mental note (or writing down) the three most important things for that day.  Do that everyday, and you will be sure to stay on top of things without feeling overwhelmed.
Create time for yourself - On that to-do list, make sure that you are your own priority.  Take a bath, go for a run, listen to music, even watch a favorite show on Netflix; stop your mind from wandering about everything in your stressful life, if only for a few minutes.  If you can't find that snippet of time each day, think about your routines and reevaluate where you might be wasting time.  By appreciating yourself, your happiness will surely increase.

Be informed - What interests you?  Politics, business, religion, sports, health, technology?  Make a daily commitment to read up on and go deeper into what you enjoy.  The best traits of a self-reliant person are keeping a balanced perspective, knowing what's going on locally and across the world, and finding positive view points.
Surround yourself with positive people - Self reliance does not mean cutting yourself off from the rest of the world.  Creating healthy relationships takes time.  "People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person, or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” ― Plato

Are you a self-reliant person?  Do you already live by any of these ideals in your life?
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.  Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Game Day Football Banner

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS. All opinions are mine alone. #ScoreAtCVS #CollectiveBias

I know I talk a lot about football this time of year - #sorrynotsorry!  Since both Mike's college team and professional football teams are so far away (I've adopted our local pro team and could not love them more!!), we obviously can only watch them on tv.  I thought it'd be fun to add a little football-themed home decor to our living room to really get us in the spirit each weekend.
What you'll need: synthetic turf (I ordered the 12"x16" piece), copy paper, ruler, pen/pencil, tape, scissors, white paint, paint brush, hole punch, twine

Here's what to do:
1. Place the white paper over the synthetic grass and cut it so they are the same size.  With the pen and ruler, draw out the triangles how you'd like them on the white paper.  I can honestly say this is the first time I've used my high school math since, well, high school - pythagorean theorem FTW to determine my max number of triangles and dimensions - haha!
2. Tape the white paper to the back to the synthetic turf and use your scissors to cut them out.
3. Paint white lines down the middle of half of your triangles to represent the yard lines.
4. Punch holes in the top two corners of each triangle and string the twine through each triangle.
Now that the banner is made, it's time to sit back and watch our teams, but not before grabbing all of your favorite eats and drinks!  CVS is the best one-stop shop for everything GAME DAY.  In addition to the chips and popcorn to snack on, I also picked up SNICKERS® Crisper bars.  In select stores, you can also find special edition SNICKERS® bars with football packaging!  Click here to download a coupon to save $1.00 on any two SNICKERS® singles or king-sized bars!
My favorite way to enjoy SNICKERS® Crisper is snacking on pieces mixed in with some kettle corn - that sweet and salty combo gets me every time!
Check out even more game day recipes and DIYs by clicking here!   What's your favorite game day snack?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Homemade Calzones

During football season, I always look for easy recipes that I can put together ahead of time as well as those that make a lot so that I don't have to spend the entire game time in the kitchen.  Calzones are delicious and perfect for game days.  Truth be told, this is the second time I've shared these recipes, but holy moly, the original photos/posts are embarrassing - haha!  Right now, we are loving chicken parmesan calzones as well as pepperoni bread.  The only reason I give them different names is because the calzone has sauce in it, and the bread does not, but you can call them whatever you want!
Before I share the recipes, remember that the first and most important part of making these calzones is taking the dough out of the refrigerator at least an hour before you want to start the prep.  I purchase my dough at Publix, but if you're in the Northeast, my favorite pre-made dough is definitely from the Bertucci's restaurant chain.  Place each dough in a bowl with olive oil, cover it, and put it in a warm space.  After an hour, you will be ready to cook!
Ingredients for a chicken parmesan calzone:
- 1 refrigerated pizza dough
- 3 pre-cooked breaded chicken tenders (sliced thinly)
- 8 slices of provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- corn meal
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. After allowing the dough to rise, roll it out to a half inch thickness.
3. On top of the dough, layer provolone cheese, pizza sauce, chicken, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
4. Fold one third of the dough over the top and the opposite third on top of that.  Crimp the edges of the dough to keep all the contents inside.
5. Sprinkle corn meal on the folded side and place this side down on the cookie sheet.
6. Spread melted butter across the top of the calzone.
7. Bake for 45 minutes.
8. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes for slicing into pieces.
 Ingredients for a pepperoni bread:
- 1 refrigerated pizza dough
- 30-40 thin slices of pepperoni
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- corn meal
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. After allowing the dough to rise, roll it out to a half inch thickness.
3. On top of the dough, layer pepperoni then mozzarella cheese.
4. Fold one third of the dough over the top and the opposite third on top of that.  Crimp the edges of the dough to keep all the contents inside.
5. Sprinkle corn meal on the folded side and place this side down on the cookie sheet.
6. Spread melted butter across the top of the bread.
7. Bake for 45 minutes.
8. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes for slicing into pieces.
These are seriously my favorite!  Each of them makes at least 10 thick slices, and sometimes I even cut those slices in half.  Make two breads, and you have a solid afternoon of football food!

 
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