With the approach of the Super Bowl there is only one thing on my mind -- food.
I thought it would be fun to compile a post of all my party favorite recipes that I have shared over the past few years so that they are all in one little spot and so you can quickly reference and possibly create some of this deliciousness for Sunday. Oh, and so that you can sit at your desk all day and drool. That sounds fun too.
I've gotcha covered from appetizers to entrees to dessert to cocktails.
I am so excited to announce the start of another #1800MinuteChallenge for 2015. If you have no idea what I am talking about -- see here and then keep reading below.
As you may recall, we did this last Spring where for two months I challenged you to exercise a total of 1,800 minutes. Do the math and it averages out to 30 minutes a day for 60 days. It turns out that several [1,300] of you decided you also wanted to get in shape and joined along on the journey. It was so much fun to see everybody working together with the same common goal of getting fit and healthy. Through social media and using the hashtag #1800MinuteChallenge we were all able to cheer each other on, get tips from other participants, see what routines people were loving, get a peak at people's running view from all over the world, and so on.
Last year at the end of the challenge we had a massive giveaway where lovely sponsors stepped up and donated prizes. This year I have decided to change it up a bit....
For those of you are interested [this is optional and not mandatory to participate], you can contribute $1 when registering. All people who pay the $1 entry fee will be in the running to win the grand prize, the total bucket, the entire pot. Now two things - obviously to be eligible to win you have to have paid your dollar and you also have to complete all 1800 minutes which will be proven on a tracking spreadsheet I will email out to all participants. The other part to this is we will not know the total amount available to win until we have all entries. It could be $400 up for grabs - it could be $2,000 up for grabs. Regardless, I think this added cash bonus adds in a really fun and motivational piece to the puzzle.
1. The challenge will run from February 1st-March 31st. The goal is to complete a total number of 1800 minutes of workout time [walking, running, weights, classes, whatever it may be] during this time frame. You will want to sign up to be a part of the challenge just so we know who is joining in on the fun (and so that you have a chance to win the amazing grand prize at the end of the sixty days). It is optional if you would like to enter in the cash portion of the challenge. The more people who enter, the more somebody will win so spread the word! Use the hashtag #1800MinuteChallenge on social media and this link [http://bit.ly/1tn2hqW] for your followers tosign up! That one dollar may yield you hundreds or thousands...You can register here.
2. Starting February 1st, you will be responsible for tracking your own progress. Don't worry, I've gotcha covered. After signing up for the challenge, you will receive a spreadsheet via email from me which will allow you to quickly track and total your minutes!
3. Throughout the challenge use #1800MinuteChallenge on Instagram or Twitter so that those of us also participating can follow along and cheer you on. Be sure to also check in on the hashtag to find occasional workout ideas, other people's favorite workout playlists, and extra tips + tricks on how to get your 1800 minutes in!
4. At the end of the challenge (March 31st) those of you who have completed all 1800 minutes will email me your spreadsheet [email@example.com]. On Monday, April 6th one winner will be drawn to receive the #1800MinuteChallenge cash grand prize. Keep in mind that the best prize of all will be how great you feel and look at the end of the challenge. The cash will just be the cherry on top ;) I guarantee every dollar brought in will go to that lucky he or she.
5. Have fun with it, get moving, and watch your body change for the better! Remember - this challenge is for ANYBODY (moms, sisters, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, best friends, etc) so find somebody who you can spend some of those 1,800 minutes with - just make sure they sign up as well!
6. Lets get moving :) See you at #1800MinuteChallenge! Good luck!
Recently I've been struck with the dreaded sickness all bloggers hate -- writers block.
In other words, I have been very uninspired recently. I think the month of January typically does this to me. I get sick of the dirty snow, I am tired of sitting inside doing nothing, there are only so many girl scout cookies I can eat while watching movies, and the lack of Vitamin D leaves me feeling like the most boring human alive. Basically January does a lot of good things for me ;)
I also blame this budget I put myself on in 2015. Do you know how dull life is when you don't frequent Target every other day? Exactly. The struggle is real my friends.
However, instead of dwelling on how lame I am [it's true], I'll dive into what I have been upto in life recently and maybe it will prompt a thought or funny story or something that doesn't suck.
+ Shawn and I went to church for the first time in freaking ever last Sunday and I bawled like a baby. Like straight up ugly cry. I was trying to hide my face from everybody but I couldn't. The good news is all sorts of other hormonal women around me were also crying so I felt 14% normal. Do you know how beautiful it is to watch people publicly display their choice to follow Christ? Man that stuff gets me. It's good, really good.
+ My sister and I took her daughters out for a girls night this past weekend. The selfie stick was in tow and before I knew it I turned around to find them using it all by themselves in the backseat of the car. My favorite quote of the night was when we were at Charming Charlie's and my 4 year old niece was trying to pick out her purchase and declared "It's all just so beautiful - I think I need to go to Dollar General instead".
+ My doorbell just rang and this is what was sitting there waiting for me. God bless you Stitch Fix, I can't wait to try these beauties on and show em' off to all of you.
+ Anybody else start singing T Swift after reading the title of this post? Good, me too.
+ I have to apologize to anybody who is following me on Pinterest [as I passively insert a link to my Pinterest account so you can follow me] . We are in the process of planning our bathroom remodel and I have been knee deep in all things tile, vanities, and a bunch of other dreamy things that will never happen. Also, if you have an 8,000 square foot master bathroom you most likely aren't human. Just throwing that envious statement out there.
+ I am considering hosting another #1800MinuteChallenge for February and March. Anybody else interested? If so, comment below and I'll get that shaz together and we will get our booties in shape together.
+ It felt really good to just sit here and type out anything that came to mind. Thank you for that. And if you didn't read a single word, well -- glad one of us has a life. [hint: it's you].
Ahhh, the beloved Moscow Mule - my drink of choice all Summer [Spring, Fall, and Winter] long. After drinking the traditional mule for awhile, my husband surprised me one evening and brought home Jalapeno vodka to give my cocktail a little added kick. Fortunately it turned out better than expected and whenever I am feeling a little feistier than normal, this is my go to. If you also like a little spice in your life, this drink shouldn't disappoint.
In case you are in the market for some copper mugs - I found mine here. Also, just a note about ginger beer - it is non-alcoholic, however I always find mine in the alcohol section of my local grocery store. That may have just saved you a solid two hours of your life. Not speaking from experience or anything.
Cheers to a week full of spice and life friends. Now drink up.
Awhile back I wrote my first edition of Thank You Notes after seeing Jimmy Fallon's segment and quickly became obsessed with his little notes of gratitude. I've been wanting to get back to a more grateful place in life so I figured there is no better time than now to express how I've been feeling. Lets dive into what I am thankful for today.
Dear Florida Georgia Line,
Thank you for realizing that there is more to life than cut off denim vests and wallet chains. Your halfway unbuttoned shirt on Ellen yesterday was a very modest and admirable move up in the fashion world. While you have yet to figure out that only blind people and assholes wear sunglasses inside [Bill Rancic's words, not mine] I have faith that you will get there someday. I also appreciate that you continue to give all douche bags in America the hope that even they too can find success in this life as well. I love you BJ and Ty or whatever your names are, I really do.
You are my hero. The way you just sit there so perfectly every single day awaiting my arrival is really something special. You let me take advantage of you day in and day out by rolling around mindlessly regardless of how much extra emollient night cream I have on my face. You just love me for me which is really a lost art these days. Thank you for only letting me fall out of you once and allowing me to eat as many peanuts and Popsicles in there as I want. We know that I truly mean peanuts and popsicles right now bed, these other people may not. Bless their souls and their dirty minds.
I will continue to drink you often no matter how much your glass may sweat all over the table. You worked hard to be created, I understand. It is not our job to criticize but rather delight in the perfect vodka ginger goodness that you are. Never leave my side and I'll never leave yours. Thank you.
Thank you for making me realize that if a print sells it also means it has to ship which reminds me, I know nothing about shipping. Or at least I didn't. That is until I had to go stand in the post office and look like an idiot for 25 minutes while sick last week. Thankfully they had boxes that were approximately 4 feet long which I deemed necessary for an 11x14 print. You are teaching me humility and hatred for post offices. Job well done.
Dear John Mellencamp,
Thank you for still being cool regardless of how much you may look like a ware wolf or garden gnome in your old age. It is because of my addiction to your Pandora station that I will be seeing you tonight in concert. I can't wait to find out more about this little ditty that Jack and Diane had. Sounds dirty. Guess we'll find out.
I have been meaning to write this post since last Summer. Here we are seven months later and I am finally getting to it - take that procrastination. I'm sure you have all seen by now the oil craze that ladies are obsessing over on Facebook, Instagram, your office place, etc. Because I have always been 47% hippie it didn't take me long to buy in to the belief that these oils people rant about really are awesome. Ever since I have been able to consciously choose for myself medicine vs a more natural method I have chosen a more natural method. Now, I am not here to say that medicines aren't great, because they are and I will use them if necessary, however I do believe there are sometimes alternate options to getting rid of cramps rather than loading up on 8 ibuprofen.
I thought it would be fun to share with you the different ways that I use oils in my day to day life and what I have found works well for me. Keep in mind that everybody [and body] is different so what may work well for me may not for you and vice versa. Also keep in mind that this is not a sponsored post nor do I sell oils [unless you want to buy them in which case I am happy to sell them to you] but I just sincerely use and love these products so it only makes sense to tell you about them!
Oh and real quick before we begin - the oils that I am showing off today are all Young Living which are the oils I primarily choose to use. I have also used Now Foods oils, however I like Young Living the best as you can safely ingest them and they seem to be the most heavily concentrated oils on the market meaning you can less which will make them last longer [and save you additional money]. Holler back. Lets begin.
1. Peppermint -- if I could choose only one oil to ever have it would most likely be this one. I use it always - on my temples for headaches, on my stomach and back for cramps, behind my ears for sinuses, or I simply inhale to clear me right up. I do not use a carrier oil [a lot of people recommend coconut oil] but rather just put it directly on my skin where I never it to be. It has cut back on the amount of advil I take by a ton, especially during that time of the month. I also use peppermint in my diffuser during the day to wake me up. Just last night my husband actually put peppermint oil in our humidifier to make the house smell fresh. There are so many things you can do with this oil.
2. Lavender -- another favorite of mine. The most common use for lavender in our household is at night in the diffuser. It makes my husband and I fall asleep rather instantly and I have noticed that since using it I wake up feeling more refreshed because of the deep sleep I got. I have also started using Lavender on my face at night which not only makes my skin feel great but it also helps clear up my sinus areas. Other purposes have been in the Summer after getting sun burnt I have put this on and also on cuts to help heal it faster. Last but not least, I put lavender on my wrists and neck when flying and it helps calm me down because Lord knows I need it.
3. Thieves -- the oil of all oils. Thieves kills 99.9% of air born bacteria [or something like that] which would explain why many hospitals now use Thieves in their buildings. Other than this past week when I got the flu along with everybody and their mom, I haven't gotten seriously sick since using Thieves. I put this in my mouth regularly whenever I am starting to feel a sore throat come on and immediately it's gone. I put this on the bottom of my feet to help me feel better sooner and I diffuse it in our house to help keep the germs away. This baby has been on blast since getting sick this past week. A lot of people clean with Thieves oil as well.
4. Purification -- the freshening oil. This stuff has a way of getting rid of orders like nobodies business. The two ways I use it are simply diffusing it in our house and using it in our laundry to make our clothes smell fresh. I squirt a few drops onto a damp wash cloth and throw it in with clothes in the dryer. They come out smelling fabulous and contains way less chemicals than dryer sheets.
5. Peace and calming -- another favorite. This is the oil that made my husband a believer. I tested it out on my dog during a storm this past Summer. She was all sorts of worked up, shaking like crazy, hiding under the couch etc. I simply rubbed a few drops onto her fur and within minutes she was calmer than ever laying peacefully on the ground and fell asleep. I use this on my wrists and neck whenever feeling anxious or stressed. It has a way of just calming me right down...which brings me to my next favorite...
6. Stress away -- the martini in a bottle. I rub this stuff on my wrists regularly on days when I am feeling a little more uptight or uneasy. Literally it makes me feel like I have had a cocktail [but saves me the calories]. As you can see in the pictures above this bottle goes everywhere with me and has the teeth marks to prove how desperate I have needed it on some days ;)
7. Lemon -- the detox oil. I love this stuff because not only can you clean with it, diffuse it and make your house smell great, rub it on your throat to make it not so scratchy, use it to get sticky stuff off of things, but you can also add it to your water and have the best natural cleansing drink out there.
I am drinking this as we speak. This stuff will make you go to the bathroom faster than those little laxatives which for people like me, is great. It's good for your system and tastes so fresh and so clean clean.
Those are my most commonly used oils -- others I use occasionally are lemongrass and lemon myrtle [both for smell good purposes], cedarwood [for sleeping], breathe again [for sinus issues], and orange and grapefruit [drink both in my water].
I would love to hear what oils you use and how you use them. If any of you would like to receive more information on how you could order your own oils just click here. Either myself or a good friend of mine will be in touch.
Because I have yet to put pictures on my blog of myself wearing hardly any makeup, when my hair is partially thrown back in a ponytail and partially figuring out what the eff is going on, annnnnnnnd am sick with the flu...I figured it was time.
These past few days have been quite uneventful. Like literally the most I have done is walk from my bed to the kitchen to fill up on water. I take that back. I did wear my pajamas, no bra, no makeup, and a hat out to dinner last night. The same pajamas I had worn since Thursday at 5 pm. Why? Because I am classy and care. A lot. I think my husband was really attracted to me the whole time. Especially when I kept coughing and then trying to clear my throat while waiting for our food to come. This flu just oozes sexy out of people.
The good news is today I am starting to feel a little more human-like which is why I made the upgrade from fleece pants to these blue jeggings of sorts. One would think they are jeans, but no. They are fully stretchable and totally Colts blue which is perfect because we are minutes away from watching them tear up the Patriots.
I am going to feel like a real idiot now if the Colts lose.
Back to normal life tomorrow including things like work and eating. I am excited about one of the two, you decide which.
When moving, we decided we would try to keep a similar color scheme to our previous home that we had just redone. Apparently this helps "save money" and makes me "not have to go to Target every single day" says the man of the household. Thankfully, I was pretty happy with how our previous guest bedroom had turned out so I was perfectly content re-creating that same look here at the new house.
As you can see from up above, we were dealing with a pretty clean slate when getting our hands on it. Here's what we did -- installed carpet, painted the walls, trim, and windows, added crown molding, had a light installed, and then decorated this little room with whatever I could find on hand.
Here's how it turned out:
paint color: restful by sherwin williams light fixture: lowes // curtains and hardware: target
bedding and furniture: ikea // decor: target and TJ Maxx
Now all we need is a couple of guests to actually break this joint in. Going once...going twice....
Do you know those angry feelings you get when you realize you hadn't pushed "record" on Monday nights episode of The Bachelor as you sink down into your couch with a bowl of popcorn ready to dive right into the depths of Chris's Soule [pun intended]. That's me right now. Angry, irate really. BECAUSE THE BACHELOR IS THE BIGGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT THING IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.
Have no fear though, Hulu Plus came swooshing in at a fine rate of $7.99 per month which I fully intend on cancelling after tonight [directing that to you husband]. Breathe easy children, the internet heals all if you type enough hateful words about missing your favorite TV show into that little search bar up top.
Long story short, it is now 11 pm and I have a two hour episode of high quality television to watch. However, you most likely were smart enough to push record so you have since watched it meaning you now have nothing to do with your life [I win]. Lucky for you I came prepared.
I love hearing people's "why" behind their blog. Why did you begin writing and has that changed since you started?
I've actually been “blogging” since high school when Xanga and Live Journal were, like, a HUGE deal. Back then, I used to spill my feelings about my personal life (y’know…petty high school stuff). It was mostly a diary, and relatively embarrassing to look back on now. :-/ Recently, I've developed a hobby for photography. In an attempt to learn how to use my DSLR, I thought I’d begin a photography blog to document my learning experience. I quickly realized that I didn't want to be confined to only talking about my experiences with my camera. I wanted to use my camera to take pictures of things I LOVE and write about THOSE. And that’s how The Nashvillian was born - because there’s not much I love more than Nashville and everything in it. This is where the two extremes of my blogging past merge into one. It’s a little bit of a diary (although, I won’t be spilling my feelings, just my adventures) and an excuse to practice photography. Win – win, right?!
Food is my ultimate love. If you could eat three things for the rest of your life what would they be?
Chips. Queso. Guac. That is all I'll ever need in life. ;-)
What is your favorite go-to outfit?
As much as I love to dress up, I mostly like to be comfortable. I love throwing on a warm Patagonia Better Sweater, Lululemon yoga pants, and Hunter rain boots!
I am a total social media junkie. Which form of social media is your favorite and why?
Instagram! Instagram is actually what sparked my interest in photography. It challenged me to view the world more "artistically" and helped develop my photographic eye when I was finally ready for my first DSLR. Also, pictures of food…duh!
Outside of blogging, how do you spend the majority of your time?
I’m currently living my life long dream of working in the
music industry. For the most part, if I’m not blogging, then I’m probably
working. However, a few things I try to make time for for fun are: spending
time with my husband and our two dog children (who often make appearances on
the blog), Netflix (I have a serious love for movies and binge-watching TV shows),
cooking (nothing gives me quite the satisfaction in life than concocting a
delicious meal from scratch), babysitting (I LOVE kids), and reading (I’ve always been a
bit of a book worm…I’m currently reading through the list of the 100 Greatest
Novels Of All Time).
After not showering or changing out of my pajamas all day, I have an Etsy shop. It just goes to show that great things can happen even with greasy hair. This year I really want to focus on doing new things, challenging myself a bit, move further out of my comfort zone, and so here we are. Doing something I have never done before knowing that it could totally fail or it could far exceed any expectations I have for it.
It all started a month or so ago when I needed some artwork to hang on our walls. After not finding what it was I wanted, I turned to my own personal photo collection to deliver. Four prints later I was in love with what was hanging in our dining room and living room - it was after some friends came over and one of them asked if they could buy a print or two for her own walls that an idea was born. I could sell these things! And so that's what I've decided to do - put some of my favorite photos that I have taken from around the US for you to be able to place in your home.
I am working on getting more photos of these prints actually framed [currently loving the IKEA VIRSERUM line] so that you can have a better visual of what they actually look like on the wall, but for now this is as good as it gets ;)
To celebrate the start of something new I am offering the code HOORAY for 10% off your order.
Thank you as always for supporting these crazy ideas of mine - you have no idea how much it is appreciated. Cheers to new beginnings and beautifying our homes together. You may proceed to get yo' shop on now.