Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Hump Day! 

It's the last Wednesday of the month (#byeApril), so that means I'm linking up and sharing a little bit of everything :)

What I'm Eating this Week

In case you missed it, I shared a new {healthy} recipe in yesterday's post that is perfect for a porch dinner. Which is perfect for the weather we're having over here in Dallas. It's simple, delicious, and will take you less than twenty minutes. 

It's a Shrimp and Sausage Skillet! Get the recipe here.

What I'm Loving

It's BASEBALL SEASON! If you're a veteran around here you know how much I love me some baseball. Last Saturday we went to our first game with a group of friends, and met up with my sister, BIL, and Brooklyn!

Hot dogs and Hamels are back in my life and I am oh-so happy about it!

Oh, and yes. It was quite cold at the game. Texas weather has more moods than a hormonal pregnant woman. 

What I'm Excited About

Speaking of baseball....

I'm quite excited because next weekend my dad and I are going to our SEVENTH out of state game! On my 27th birthday, I made a list of thirty things I want to accomplish before I turn 30 (in 2018), and going to 10 out of state baseball games with my dad was one of those items. 

And next weekend, we're hitting up a game in Atlanta to check out the Braves' new stadium!

What I'm Working On

Well. Next week is May. And May means we are 6 months from getting hitched. Which means I reeeeeally need to get busy on all this wedding planning business. Y'all - this stuff is no joke. I mean, I love planning parties, you know I love planning parties. But planning a massive one with all the vendors, details, and overall ins-and-outs of this one? Sheesh. 

So that's what I'm working on. And will be working on for the next 6 months :)

What I'm Watching/Reading

I have a new client at work that requires quite a lot of flying, so I've gotten back into my reading groove! I love reading, but I usually go through stints - I'll read 5 books in a row and then not read for like 3 months. Usually because I start binge watching a TV show :) 

So currently, this is what I started reading on the plane yesterday. I read one of her books last year and loved it, and since this one was purple and on sale for $6, I said yes, please!

And then...sigh. I did a bad thing. Well, two bad things. First, I started Hart of Dixie over (for the 3rd time, mind you) and binge watched that in early April, and then last week... I started Parenthood over. Why. WHY. I'm going to be a basketcase on the plane. Why would I do that to myself? #becauseitsjustthatgood 

This Is Us = Parenthood = Brothers and Sisters

All the feels for these shows.

What I'm Wearing

Anything I could possible wear in engagement pictures next week. Actually - help a sister out. I'm currently looking for a colored blousy top to wear with white jeans. If you've seen any cute ones, send them over. Better yet, if I know you and you have some in your closet, please call me asap :)

What I'm Doing this Weekend

One of my best friends had her sweet baby boy yesterday, so I'm hoping to go get some serious snuggles with him this weekend!!

What Else is New

Honestly, not much. Traveling every week is taking a lot out of me, so I'm trying to readjust my "normal" routine to account for all of it. Hence why the blogging has been sparse :)

And that's a little bit of what's up this Wednesday!

Have a great day everyone!
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Trim Down Tuesday: Shrimp and Sausage Skillet

Oh Tuesday. 

Anyone else's Monday feel like it could have counted for three days in one? I mean my goodness. 

Today I have a quick, clean, and yummy meal that can be made in less than twenty minutes with just a few ingredients. You know what that means? It means that if you're sitting there reading this and have no current dinner plans, I've got you covered. Just swing by the store, grab the list below, and eat guilt-free. 

You're welcome :)

This recipe is really merely framework. You can throw in any of your favorites, exclude any of your foes, and mix it up with your go-to spices. I also didn't include quantity, just throw in as much as you want for as many as you're feeding.

What You'll Need

 -Shrimp, peeled and deveined
-Sausage of your choice (pre-cooked)
-Red and yellow bell pepper
-Diced Onion
-Sliced zucchini 
-Seasonings of choice (I used Old Bay)

What You'll Do

Drizzle a little EVOO in a saucepan and bring to medium heat. Season the shrimp and cook in skillet - 2 to 3 minutes - or until the shrimp are no longer transparent. Once the shrimp are cooked, remove and set aside. 

Add the veggies (peppers, onions, and zucchini) in the skillet and cook until tender. Add in sausage and heat thoroughly. Add back in the shrimp and mix together. Salt as needed. 

BOOM. That's all.

Oh, and if you're worried this won't be enough sustenance for your other half (or yourself), just serve over quinoa or brown rice. I fed this to a 6'6 man and he was quite full. I mean it's surf-n-turf in a skillet. It's a man meal. 

And 100% healthy.Bring it on bathing suit season!

Actually no. Please don't. Not yet. Not quite ready.  Need 3 more months.

See other Trim Down Tuesday recipes HERE.

Have a great day everyone!

Until next time,
Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend 2017

I love Easter weekend. 

I love what it represents. I love the church service. I love the time with family. I love dyeing eggs. I love Easter baskets. 

I seriously just love Easter weekend. 

So today, just like years before, I'm recapping the aftermath of Easter 2017!

For three years now, we've started the tradition of going down to my sister's house the Saturday of Easter weekend for several egg-cellent activities. See what I did there? I think you did.

Each Saturday kicks off with Easter baskets - which is basically my very favorite part. I don't know why, but I absolutely love making these kiddos some Easter baskets. And this year was Easton's first one! I love walking into the house with them and seeing the excitement on their little faces. Partly because I know it won't be too much longer that the $5 and under section at Target/Michaels will keep them this excited :)

This year they both got bunny sippy cups, new shoes, Rangers ball caps (heck yeah!), and bubbles. Brooklyn also got a new little sundress, some egg chalk, Easter-themed play-doh, peeps, and then eggs filled with skittles and Reeses' cups. Then little Easton got a football, animal crackers, and since he can't have candy yet, his eggs were filled with mini Nilla wafers :) 

Seriously - I just had too much fun with these. I adore those kiddos. 
After basket time, we start the egg dyeing process. Now, if you've read in years past, you know that the egg dyeing process for us was a bit of a learning curve... :) But now we've basically mastered the art of the eggs. 

Egg station - ready to go!!

She was SO excited for the festivities!

When you're standing on a stool but still too little to see over the counter :)

Jeff and I also love the festivities. Well, actually we love any chance to do kid-like activities. Overgrown children FTW!

But sometimes you're too young to dye eggs, so you just ask people to hold you while you eat your crackers.

All done! She was so proud!

And that pride lasted for about 23 seconds before she was ready to move onto hunting eggs. I hid the eggs for Brooklyn, and Amy hid eggs for Easton. And how do you hide eggs for a 16-month old, you ask?

You just drop them in plain sight all over the ground. :)

And then he hunted. 

He searched high....

He searched low....

And then he searched inside the eggs. Just in case there were any more Nilla wafers. 

Love that little boy. And this little girl. Except she's not so little anymore. How is she four months shy of being FIVE?! I just can't handle it. 

Oh and then this guy figured out if you fill up the basket with eggs and then dump them all out it's basically the greatest time ever.

Crazy kid :)

Speaking of crazies.. I love this other (not so) little crazy of mine..

And then after several rounds of hunting and finding, we were pretty much over anything egg-related. 

The struggle was real.

The hunt was just too.much.pressure. 

We continued to play around for the afternoon, and these two boys never left each other's side. Easton is infatuated with his Uncle Jeff. More often than not, E would see Jeff and stick out those little hands for Jeff to pick him up. And my little aunt heart melted. At first it was a tad jealous, but they were just too cute to hold resentment for too long :)

We ate dinner and ice cream, laughed more (mostly at the expense of yours truly), and I smiled the whole way home. Traditions are the best!

Sunday morning we headed to my second favorite service of the year. The Candlelight service at Christmas is my absolute favorite, but the Easter service is a close second. I actually started attending what was Jeff's church (now mine too), three Easter's ago. I church hopped for years in Dallas, and then after he invited me to Easter at Gateway, I stopped looking! 

We actually had Sandi Patty and Larnell Harris sing at this year's service. And let me tell you - that church was ROCKIN. Jeff had no idea who she was, but I grew up listening to Sandi, so it was pretty special to be able to see her one last time on her "farewell tour."

Our church crew! Not pictured: those who went to the 9a but didn't wait afterwards to be in the annual group picture :)

After church we ran back to Jeff's and got to open Easter baskets of our own!! If you're new around here, Jeff's mom makes us "holiday baskets" (Valentines, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving) and they basically rock my world. I love making the niece/nephew Easter baskets, but it's pretty exciting to open one of my own, too :)

This year, my basket had all kinds of goodies, but my favorite was - get this - the deviled egg platter that I registered for :) How perfect is that for Easter!? Sometimes I love adulting. 

We then met his parents and the rest of the Smith crew for a family fish fry. We ate, hunted eggs, cracked confetti eggs, mingled, and I got some serious baby fever. 

This was me for about two hours. And I have the sunburnt arms to prove it. Jeff's cousins just recently had this sweet little bundle (the bundle is named Brayden), and Brayden just really needed a place to sleep (where he could simultaneously hold onto hair). So I offered my services and fell quite smitten to this little guy :)

After we left the fish fry, we noticed everyone was posting pictures on social media with their kids, so we stopped by Petsmart, picked up 27 different treats, and bribed our pup into taking this family picture. 

Happy Easter from the three of us :)

And, to close, I will leave you with my very favorite Easter picture:

"And then on the third at break of dawn,
The Son of heaven rose again.
O trampled death where is your sting?
The angels roar for Christ the King

O praise the name of the Lord our God
O praise His name forever more
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord, oh Lord our God"

-Hillsong: O Praise the Name

Until next time,

Friday, April 14, 2017

{Five on {Friday} Favorites}

Man. It has been a hot minute since I've done some Friday Favorites/Five on Friday. 

Okay, well it actually has been a hot minute since I've blogged in general, but I love me some Friday Favorites. Partially because I love sharing all the things that make me happy, and partially because when this blog post comes around, it means a weekend is just around the corner :)

And today we're starting with one of the things that makes me most happy in life...


1 - Kensa Peep Toe Booties (Vince Camuto)

Okay. So I'm not a shopper. I walk in Nordstrom and am overwhelmed. If it's on a mannequin, there's a 90% change I'll try it on. If it's on the rack, there's a 10% chance I'll even look at it. Then they came out with this little thing called Like to Know It, and all my shopping problems dissipated. Along with all my dollars. 

I blogged about Like to Know It a long time ago when it came out, and it has very much since evolved (hello that was two whole years ago), but if you have no idea what I'm talking about you can read about it here. Moral of the story - women wear the clothes, post themselves in the clothes on instagram, and then when you "like" the picture or take a screen shot of the picture, you get all the info - including links to the clothes. This thing was made for people like me. And for people like Kristie. Because we like the same things and have very similar wardrobes. Which leads me to....

These bad boys. These shoes are outrageously comfortable (and outrageously cute). Kristie needed taupe booties, I needed black booties, and lucky for us, they came in both colors. And we just happened to both wear them this past weekend. And by 'happened to,' I mean I called her and said "wear your booties so we can take a picture for Friday favorites." And props to Lisa who crawled on the floor to take this picture. I have some A+ friends, I tell ya :)

Seriously though - they're easy to wear on a long day, the thick heel gives a great amount of support, they're all kinds of airy (look at all those holes!) - this puppy is just such a great shoe.

2 - Essie Nail Polish - "Excuse Me, Sur"

So I saw this polish color while I was in CVS one day (because CVS and Target are my 'go in for one thing, come out with ten things' stores), and I thought it looked like a perfect little spring color. Then I put it on all 10 nails and was initially overwhelmed. I'm not really a pink nail type of girl, and I was very much in debate on whether or not I liked it.

But then I got more compliments on this nail color than any other nail polish I've ever worn. And you know what sends a 'Katy-on-the-fence' completely over to the acceptance side? Affirmation. So after many many compliments and some time to get used to them - I now thoroughly enjoy them! 

And we (me and the masses) decided this is the perfect Easter color. It's like peeps on your fingertips. So in the event you're looking for a new color this Easter Sunday - this could be your winner!

Also - check out that picture. I'm basically straight outta Pinterest.


3 - Breakfasts of Champions

In case you missed it, on Tuesday I shared five healthy breakfasts that are both delicious and ridiculously simple. And in the even you're (cracks neck) Whole 30, paleo-friendly, gluten free, 21-day fixing, or any other healthy hashtag out there... you can adapt them all to your liking :)

To see the breakfasts, click here. To see all other Trim Down Tuesday recipes, click here.


4 -  Clinique Pore Refining Charcoal Face Mask

I'm in love with this face mask. I have tried many a face masks in my day, and this one is by far my favorite. I genuinely believe this mask takes a year off your life every time you use it. So I'm basically 16 again.

It's the normal type of mask that you slather all over your face and wait 10-15 minutes for it to dry, but y'all. When this puppy dries, your face gets so tight, it's basically like Botox. I mean, I'm not proud to say it, but the first time I used it I accidentally started drooling because I didn't close my mouth before letting it dry. That's gross good stuff right there.

Then when you take it off, you make like Benjamin Button and start aging backwards. Immediately use a thick moisturizer afterwards (I love Clinique's Moisture Surge night mask I told you about last March - pink bottle), and you will completely reset your skin. And who doesn't need a good reset some nights, am I right? #theyreusuallymondays


5 - A Favorite & A Funny

And finally, because this crosses my mind every single time it asks me. 



And those are my Five on Friday Favorites! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend and you're full of candy and have tri-colored fingers come Monday. To those of you who have a long weekend: count your blessings. To those of us who don't: time to get ready for work.

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trim Down Tuesday: Breakfasts of Champions

I am obsessed with breakfast. 

Which is funny, because when I was a kid, I only ate chocolate chip muffins for breakfast. And sadly I'm not kidding. I just really didn't like breakfast. 

And then I reached adulthood, got addicted to coffee, and figured I needed a meal to go with it. And my love of breakfast was born.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love all the breakfasts - including the muffins, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, coffee cakes, etc. I mean my mouth is legit watering just talking about them. BUT, when trying to control your waistline (and therefore your diet), I find that breakfast is the most controllable meal. I mean let's face it - any meal you don't make yourself is hard to control. And since you're usually eating breakfast at your house before you start your day, it by default is the easiest to manage. 

Plus, if I'm healthy during the week, I feel a little less guilty when Jeff and I stop by Panera after church on Sunday and indulge in the wonder that is the Cinnamon Crunch bagel. OH the wonder. 

So today I thought I'd share five easy breakfasts that are in my go-to rotation. I wake up excited to eat these dishes. And the beauty of them is they use similar ingredients (so you don't have to buy the whole grocery store), are quite simple (because hello you just woke up), and all take less than ten minutes to make. Most take no more than five. 

My mom used to always say that cooking wasn't the difficult part, it was deciding what to cook that proved to be the challenge. So in the breakfast department - I've got you covered! No thinking required. And all the people said amen. 

Oh, and not pictured below: copious amounts of coffee. 

1 - Eggs, avocado, and fruit

Yes. I'm aware this is simple. But while I could take or leave a couple of eggs, I craaaave the eggs that come with avocado. Eggs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and high quality proteins, so when you add them with a "good" fat - a simple dish can keep you full until your next meal or munchie. Add some fresh berries because... well, it's fruit, and you're good to go! Simple, yummy, and three total ingredients. Totally manageable on a quick morning!

2 - The Breakfast Bowl

I am so beyond obsessed with this here dish. It's the meal above, but on steroids. One of my very favorite brunch places created this dish, and I just recreate my version at home. You can do it in a number of different ways (as in, throw in whatever sounds good), but here's my run down:

-one or two eggs
-sweet potato, peeled and cubed
-sliced or ground sausage (I usually used sliced chicken sausage or ground turkey)
-salt and pepper to taste

All you do is throw your sweet potatoes in a skillet and cook until tender, add in your sausage and cook thoroughly. (Tidbit: most sliced sausage comes pre-cooked and just needs to be re-heated. If you're using ground turkey, cook it in the skillet first, drain it, and then add the sweet potatoes). Throw your taters and sausage in a bowl. Fry and egg (or two) to your liking and add on top. Slice a half an avocado, throw it on top, add salt and pepper, and chow down. 

The sweet and the salty flavors in this dish will just own your life.

3 - Fruit and 'Leafy Green' Smoothie

Okay, don't be scared by the leafy greens. Fun fact about smoothies: you can't taste the leafy green. Whether you choose spinach or kale or straight up grass - you won't be able to taste it. But I probably wouldn't eat grass. Not too sure of the nutrients in that one. 

You can mix in any form of fruit/green, but here's my go-to:

-1 cup pure apple juice*
-handful of baby kale
-frozen blueberries, blackberries, strawberries

*My favorite is this organic honeycrisp apple juice from Whole Foods!

Place all of the ingredients in a blender (I use a little Nutribullet), blend, and go! These are also nice because you can make them the night before and put them in the fridge. Plus, quite frankly, these smoothies often turn into snacks on a hot summer day. Sometimes I just crave a cold smoothie. 

And if you are thinking "yeah, um, there's no way that smoothie could keep me full until lunch time..."

See number 4 :)

4 - DIY Jamba Juice Bowl 

Okay, so I am obsessed with the acai berry bowl at Jamba, but 1) it can get expensive, 2) it almost has too much food, and 3) I'm still not entirely sure what ingredients make up the base smoothie. 

But it's so good. 

So one day when I was eating Jamba's bowl, I thought ya know what - I can totally make this. So I did a little DIY version. 

All you do is take the smoothie from above (and I blend in a handful of ice cubes to make it thicker since we eat this with a spoon rather than a straw), pour it into a bowl, add a sliced banana, add granola, drizzle with honey, and BAM you're done! 

The Jamba version has bananas, strawberries, blueberries, granola, coconut, and honey all on top, but that's just a bit much for me. This version still gives you your daily dosage of berries and is a refreshing chilly treat, but the nanners and granola keep you a little more full. 

I prefer KIND's Oats and Honey Clusters granola, but if you're doing the paleo thing (or are GF), try Trader Joe's grainless granola and skip the honey!

5 - Overnight Oats

So I posted about this last April, but it is most definitely still in my rotation. Not to mention this was like my breakfast staple in my little apartment in Australia

I said it in April and I'll say it again - cold soggy oats sound disgusting (I'm really selling this here..), but theyre SO good! Jeff hates oatmeal (texture thing), but he loves this little dish. 

You can see the whole recipe HERE. The best part about this is the keyword "overnight." You make them the night before, so when you wake up, all you do is grub. Perfect for the person who hates mornings and wakes up right before they have to walk out the door :) 

And those are my 5 easy, yet healthy, breakfasts! You could make these Whole30, paleo, vegan, etc. with a few changes, but if you're just looking to make better eating choices and slim down a little - these will get you there :) 

Plus, I'll be honest with you - I ate a pint of Blue Bell last night. #allinmoderation

If you want to see other Trim Down Tuesday recipes, click here. Happy Tuesday! 

Until next time,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Oh hey.

SO. It's been a while.

Three whole months to be exact.

January and February had very little breathing room thanks to my day job (otherwise known as my only job) and in March I was in recovery mode. Recovery mode meaning sleeping an absurd amount of hours, binge watching TV with Charlie, keeping Blue Bell in business, and generally making a rapid switch from Type A to....Type F. I consider it a talent of mine.

<me in March>

And if I'm honest, a part of me liked taking a break from blogging. I most definitely missed it at times, but I also liked not having to think up a post or document every.single.moment of my life. I love writing, but it began to feel like more work than enjoyment, so I decided to embrace the work-provided hiatus. BUT, over the past couple of weeks I've been finding that I miss it greatly and thought it might be time to come back.

Plus I'm reading books and making recipes with no one to share it with. Which I understand is classified as 'normal' but after blogging for two years it just feels unnatural. I need to share all the things.


I mean, let's not get crazy, today you get nothing of substance other than the announcement of my return (which I just KNOW you were just sweating with anticipation for...), but for today we're just short, sweet, and to the point. 

Happy Monday y'all. I've returned. :)

Until next time,