Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekending on Kiawah

Happy Thanksgiving week!  I am so ready for a long weekend with family, but before all the chaos and busyness of the holiday, we had the best weekend out on Kiawah Island.  I had my organization's annual gala on Friday, and that always ends in a relaxing weekend on Kiawah.  We played golf, saw 20+ gators during our round (including a nest of babies!), walked the beach, did some (window) shopping (hello new Lilly styles like this alpaca and this chimp pattern), and, of course, ate a ton of our favorite food at Ryder Cup Bar and Java Java.
And because relaxing is exhausting, we stopped at Waffle House on the way home for some greasy goodness and got home on Sunday and did absolutely nothing all day (except throw this dinner in the crockpot).  I hope everyone enjoys a great short week - linking up with Biana today for Weekending

Friday, November 17, 2017

DIY Pumpkin Centerpiece

I've always loved flower arranging.  When I was younger, my mom taught me how to arrange evergreens for our window boxes, and I would make little pine boxes for teachers and neighbors.  Last year, I made 50+ arrangements for my gala at work, and this year, I decided to take aim at the pumpkin arrangements I've seen all over Pinterest.
We don't decorate a ton for Halloween at our house (here's what we did this year) - we save all our holiday spirit for Christmas - but we do always get a few pumpkins.  And, yeah, I totally jumped on the stacking-pumpkin bandwagon.  I love all the shapes and colors.  We still have them outside for Thanksgiving, but I swiped one for this project.  Trader Joe's has some beautiful flowers right now, so I picked up a few bouquets and decided to make my own Thanksgiving centerpiece.
What you'll need: a pumpkin, an assortment of fall flowers with extra greenery for filler (I used green hypericum and eucalyptus), oasis (wet foam), 2-4 wooden skewers, scissors
Here's how:
1. Cut your oasis to fit on top of the pumpkin, so that it covers all but 2-3 inches around the pumpkin.
2. Stick the skewers into the pumpkin so that they stick out as high as the oasis.
3. Soak the oasis in water and press it onto the skewers.
4. Trim the edges of the oasis into a more rounded shape.
5. Start arranging flowers from the bottom, cutting the stems so they slide all the way into the middle of the oasis. 
6. Alternate different flowers, turning the arrangement constantly, to make sure all of the oasis is covered. 
There you have it!  I can't wait to have all of these beautiful colors on our table for Thanksgiving next week!
Hover over the photo below and click on the light green "P" to pin this DIY!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crockpot Cheesy Corn Chowder

Comfort food 101 right here!  Whenever I post recipes like this (or sausage gravy), I know the photos aren't the prettiest, but the taste is just so good that I have to share.  We love throwing recipes in the slowcooker on Sunday morning and having them to eat while we watch football in the afternoon.  With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I definitely want to spend as little time in the kitchen this weekend (since it'll be all I'm doing in a few days), so I'm debating between this recipe below (even though I just made it two weeks ago - haha) or this easy taco filling/dip.  When we first made this soup, we ate it on Sunday, and then it lasted for 2-3 dinners during the week, so you know it makes a big batch.
Ingredients:
- 1 box (32 oz) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 chicken bullion cube
- 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup fried and chopped bacon
- 1 bag (about 30 oz) frozen, shredded hash browns
- 2 cans (15.25 oz each) corn, drained
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- pepper, to taste
Additional topping ideas: chopped bacon, parsley, sour cream, sriracha, shredded cheddar
Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients (except topping ideas) in a crockpot and set to low for 3 hours.
2. After one half hour, stir to ensure that all cheeses are melting and everything is combined.
3. After 3 hours, ladle the soup into a bowl and top with your favorites - I love extra sharp cheddar, a little more bacon, and a pinch of parsley.
What's your favorite comfort food?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Another Week(end) Recap

Another Monday, friends!  This time last week, we were in Tierra Verde, eating doughnuts and enjoying the beach.  How things change in a week, and it was a busy one! 
From the Gulf Coast last Monday, we headed to Orlando for my organization's biannual network meeting.  There were representatives from over 150 chapters there, and I learned a lot.  We definitely always go for "work hard, play hard," and I'll be giving my liver a week or so to recover.
My team (above) and my date (below)
And the best part was definitely that the conference was only 10 minutes away from Walt Disney World.  We got a great discount on "twilight" tickets, and Mike and I spent evenings at Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  MK was all dressed up for Christmas (and filming their ABC Christmas special) and it was the last weekend for Epcot's Food and Wine festival.  We rode all the rides, took photos in front of the #purplewall, and ate/drank at 15 of the countries at Epcot
I'd like to think that this week I'll finally relax, but my chapter's biggest fundraiser of the year is this Friday, so it'll be another few days of go, go, go!  Have a great week!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Making Time for Everything (Especially Breakfast)

I have received information and materials from ©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. #ForBetterTomorrows #BetterTomorrows #FallBack #CollectiveBias

Who else gets absolutely thrown off by the time change every spring and every fall?  For me, the "fall back" is especially terrible because I hate how dark it gets early in the afternoon.  There's barely any time to get anything done outside, and it's important not to waste those precious daylight hours because of a bad night’s sleep caused by pain.

Right now, we're also back into another kickball season, and I've had my fair share of aches and pains over the last few weeks.  (I swear, it gets worse as it gets colder!)  I even had a collision with the opposing first baseman two weeks ago, and you know that left a mark.  Plus, after each game, with so much excitement, I come home absolutely wired and can have a lot of trouble getting to sleep.

Here's where TYLENOL® PM comes in.  Not only does it relieve my minor aches and pains from a well-fought kickball game, but it also helps me fall asleep.  When I created my 30 Before 30 last month for my birthday, two of the top items were staying in shape and getting enough sleep.  With TYLENOL® PM, I can do both by playing the sports I want, getting my zzzzs, and walking up the next morning, feeling refreshed and ready.
When I don't get enough sleep, breakfast is always the first thing that gets lost and forgotten.  There are days when I don't have anything besides water before lunch time because I hit that snooze button a few times too many.  But now, with TYLENOL® PM used as directed, I can start making time for breakfast every day.  Right now, one of my favorite breakfasts is a smoothie bowl.  You can't go wrong and the flavor combinations are endless.  My go-to is açaí with banana, granola, peanut butter, and a little chocolate sprinkled on top.  These bowls take less than two minutes to make and definitely keep you full until lunch time.
Right now (11/5-11/11) you can purchase a TYLENOL® PM 100 count for $11.99 ($1.50 off with store card) at your local Walgreens to get yourself on the right breakfast track.  You can even make a purchase simply by hovering over the product in the image below.
Ingredients: 
- 1 single serve pack (100 gram) frozen, unsweetened açaí
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup fruit juice (I prefer apple)
- 1/2 cup granola
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/2 tablespoon grated dark chocolate
Directions:
1. Into a blender, combine açaí packet, about 2/3 of the banana, and the fruit juice.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into a bowl or mug and top with the rest of the banana (sliced), granola, a drizzle of peanut butter (I like to put mine in the microwave for about 10 seconds for easy drizzling), and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings.
Seriously, how delicious does this look?!  It's so easy to make, and with just one less "snooze," I can make it in no-time.
What's your favorite way to start your day?

TYLENOL® PM contains a pain reliever and nighttime sleep aid. ©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017 The third party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their respective owners.
 
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