Saturday, January 31, 2015

Super Bowl Recipes.


Happy Saturday friends! I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes with you guys that would be perfect for tomorrow's Super Bowl festivities! Enjoy!

Super Bowl Soup

Buffalo Chicken Garbage Bread - SO good! The guys loved this when I made it last year!

Ham & Cheese Sliders (Always popular!)

Captain Rodney's Dip (my #1 requested appetizer...everyone loves this!)

Sweet BBQ Meatballs (super easy; follow this recipe or do what I do: one jar of grape jelly and one jar of cocktail sauce for every bag of frozen meatballs used...easy and so tasty!)

Pecan, Brown Sugar, and Kahlua Baked Brie (My favorite!)

White Pizza Dip (I'm trying this recipe out this year!)

Beer Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dip

Drunken Salami

Sausage Crescent Bites

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Wings

Hot Corn Dip

Don't forget about the sweets!

Kahlua Brownies

Salted Fudge Brownies (These are a classic in our house!)

Cowboy Bark (the copycat recipe from Trader Joe's)


Better Than Sex Chex Mix (Oh la la!)

My Favorite Trail Mix (I love putting out something like this so people can grab a hand-full when they walk by! It always disappears!)

No-Bake Biscoff Cookies (Chris' favorite)

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Gratitude Project.

1. FaceTime - If it seems odd that I'm listing this one first, let me explain. I met Chris, my now-husband, in July 2007. From that day on, until right this moment, we have spent huge amounts of time apart. Sometimes I'm talking different countries! If it weren't for FaceTime, the distance apart would be even more tough! There were times both in 2011 and 2012 that I went 3+ months without seeing him! FaceTime allowed us to not only talk to each other but see each other's faces, expressions, and smiles. It might not seem like something to be thankful for, but when you're thousands of miles apart from each other on a regular basis, it's become something I am incredibly grateful for. Thanks Steve Jobs! ;)

2. Whole Wheat Bread - When my mom used to make my lunches in middle school, I would get so embarrassed when I would pull out my "brown" bread sandwich. Everyone else had a white bread sandwich, but mine was different. When you're in the 5th grade, the LAST thing you want to be is different…that includes what you bring for lunch! (What a change from then until now!) Everyone else had glorious Twinkies and Ding Dongs, and I had a homemade brownie. I thought I was missing out… Until I hit adulthood. I realize now that my mother had homemade snacks for me that were lovingly made and tucked inside my lunchbox for me to find that day. I am grateful for the time she took to make those delicious goodies and for the healthy "brown" bread I had, because it laid the foundation for me to be healthy as an adult. Now I love that "brown" whole-wheat bread and wouldn't have it any other way!

3. Neighbors - While I was home this past weekend, one of my parent's neighbors stopped by with a meal she had made for my mother. As I mentioned before, my mother hasn't been feeling well and hasn't been her usual self lately. Usually one to have an elaborate, home cooked meal every night, she just hasn't had the energy to do so as often. Her neighbor, our friend, knew that and took the time to make a delicious meal for her to enjoy. It was such a blessing to spend time with my mom the whole afternoon, knowing there was a delicious meal already waiting for her/us that evening. Not only was my mom grateful for that love gift, I was, too. I'm grateful that she has such wonderful neighbors that she can call "friends."

4. My Pageant Days - Last night, as I was watching the Miss Universe pageant, I couldn't help but be reminded of my own pageant days. I competed for 4 years, and during that time, I gained so much more than I ever could have imagined! I got a best friend out of the deal (that ended up introducing me to my future husband!), many friends that I still keep up with today, confidence, poise, and interview skills to rival the President's! My parents always kept me in check, saying as long as I did my best, that is all that mattered. I won some… and lost even more, but I am grateful for what my years in pageants taught me: (1.) You win some, you loose some.  (2.) If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  (3.) It's what's on the inside that counts.  Pretty good life-lessons from "beauty pageants," huh?

5. My Husband's Attitude - My husband pulled up to get me at work one day a couple of weeks ago. We were going somewhere where we only needed one car, and he took me to and from work that day. There is a big window in the front of the building, and as he pulled up to get me, he had a huge smile on his face, grandly waving to a couple of us inside. Things have been tough for him this past year, and my friend turned to me and said, "Wow. Look at his smile. He has such a good, positive attitude about life. That's so special, especially after all he's been through." That made me so emotional, because she's right! He has such an incredibly positive outlook on life, and he always seems to be happy. The thing is… 99% of the time, he IS truly happy! Life can certainly challenge us sometimes, and I'm grateful to be married to someone who sees the good and fun in life when it's not so "good" and "fun."

{19 years old…With my parents at the 1st pageant I won that took me to Miss Tennessee}

{Miss TN 2006, with my best friend Erica, right after being called into the Top 10!}

{Backstage at Miss Tennessee, with ladies I still call friends!}

{Evening Gown Competition}

{Absolutely love this. Via}

Thursday, January 22, 2015

LLIA Favorites: Blush.

Introducing Lindsay Loves It All (LLIA) favorites...

 I wanted to share a few of my favorite blushes today. I think a swipe of blush can transform your face, especially during the cold winter months when skin tends to be dry and "blah!" 

1. Nars Final Cut - This was a Nordstrom Exclusive, and unfortunately I don't think it's available anymore. I saw the reviews on it when it first came out, and I knew I had to have it. I love bright orange/coral color blushes! You have to use a light hand, but they are so beautiful on the skin when applied correctly! I especially love this blush when I have a tan. You can see it up close here, along with some swatches of the blush. 

2. Milani Luminoso 05 - After reading so much about this blush, I had to pick it up at CVS. I love the color and slight bit of shimmer it has. It's not glittery at all, just a pretty sheen. This blush is sheer at first, but you can build it up to the intensity you want very easily. I love the finish, too. It goes on very smooth. This is my daily go-to blush! 

3. e.l.f. blush in Pink Passion - Another affordable blush that I love! It's $3, and I got mine at Target. It's a copycat of Bobbi Brown's blush in Pale Pink blush, which is a cult-favorite. This blush adds the perfect pop of color when applied to the apples of cheeks and makes your face look fresh and awake. See it at Target here.

4. MAC Modern Mandarin - After looking at this blush, I am sure you can sense a theme going on here. I love anything orange/coral/peach when it comes to makeup. I feel it compliments my skin tone and enhances my eyes. After years of reading about makeup, trying it on, and just being all around obsessed with it, I've figured that much out! This shade is perhaps my all-time favorite, and I wear it all year long - but especially during the spring and summer. You can buy it online at MAC

Try these out, and let me know what you think! Don't be afraid of these seemingly "bold" blushes! With the right brush and a light hand, they are 100% wearable. I promise! Here's my tip… go to your favorite makeup counter and ask for help picking out a new, fun blush. Get the makeup artist to help choose a color that's best for you and your skin tone. They will apply it for you, and you can test it out that way. I encourage you to get outside of your box when it comes to blush! It will make a world of difference on your pretty face! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Gratitude Project.

{My motto for this series}

1. Unexpected Run-Ins - After a particularly emotional morning last week, I ran into a friend that asked me how I was doing. I am usually always so upbeat that my answer (bursting into tears) just shocked her. She then proceeded to bless me more than she could ever image that day: she listened to me. Without judgement and without interruption. She just listened. She told me about a podcast that had uplifted her that week (listen to it here; it's called "New Year") and recommended a book that had really inspired her. I am grateful that God put her in my path that morning.

2. My Courage - I admit I was a little nervous to start this series. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am always honest and open with my thoughts and feelings. I will compliment or talk to someone in a heartbeat, but this series would mean getting really personal with my you guys. It made me nervous to start, but I am thankful that my courageous spirit look over because this is something I want to do and (hopefully) bless people with!

3. Beautiful days in the middle of winter - This past Saturday and Sunday were GLORIOUS!! Dare I say "perfect!" In the middle of January, when the days seem to run together in a mass of cold and gloom, those two days were perfect reminders that good weather is ahead of us!

4. Answered Prayers - My mother has been having some back/foot issues lately. In trying to pinpoint what the problem was, she had to go through some pretty major tests. Some of which, the results could have been life-ending or life-altering. Major. Hearing that she would have to undergo all of those tests and maybe get bad results shocked me to my core. I prayed every SECOND of the day when I wasn't thinking about trying to turn left onto a busy road, or what temperature to put my oven on to cook dinner, or listening to my husband talk about his day. When all the tests came back negative, and I knew that she was going to be "OK," I literally fell to my knees to praise God!!! I am grateful today, and forever, that my mother got good results from those tests.

5. Christmas Decorations - I was at my parent's house this past weekend and helped take down some Christmas decorations. I love that time of year and always hate to see decorations being taken down and put away. In that moment, next Christmas seems so far away. It reminds me that time flies, so soak it up and enjoy it to the best of your ability. It also reminds me that I am so loved. I see that in the handmade ornaments on the tree, the pictures of Christmases past that are set on the mantle, and the decorations so lovingly put out each year for us to enjoy.

{The table-side tree that is up in my room at my parent's house}

{My husband got his own stocking last year! My grandmother hand-makes and beads them all!}

Friday, January 16, 2015

Go-To Recipes.

Let's face it… some weeknights it's impossible to cook a good, healthy meal. Some weeknights it's impossible to even THINK about cooking a good, healthy meal. At my house, we have several recipes that we consider our go-to favorites. These are what we cook when we're low on time…and energy! We have tested them out, and they are easy to make, pretty healthy, and very tasty! All requirements for dinner at our house! Because my theory is: If you're making the effort to cook, it might as well be amazing!

This is a staple! So easy to throw together the night before or in the morning, then grill when you get home from work.
I blogged about it here.

Another new favorite recipe we found in 2014: Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken.
I keep frozen and fresh chicken breasts at all times, as well as 2 or 3 cans of salsa verde. That way, I can easily throw this meal together. It's SO tasty and versatile. Sometimes we will put it over brown rice and add veggies for a complete meal, and sometimes we will put it in tortillas for a Mexican taco dinner. I take leftovers and put on top of my salads for lunch the next day, too! 

This Spicy Peach-Glazed Pork has been one of our top fave dishes since we were dating!
As with the chicken above, I always keep a jar of peach preserves on hand when we want to throw this meal together. It's SO good with sweet potatoes, or over brown rice to soak up the sauce!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes have become a quick staple in our house this year! Very quick to throw together, and I always keep the dry ranch packets in my pantry. 

I have several other staple recipes that I will share another time! Please let me know what some of your staples are, too! Enjoy!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Gratitude Project.

I've been thinking a lot about starting a gratitude journal. I thought about actually doing it in my journal, but I realized I wouldn't stick to it like I should. Let's be honest…I can't write as fast as I can type, so a blog it was. I can only keep up with so much blogging and social media, between my own person outlets and Sidney Clark Designs. So, for the rest of the year, I wanted to make Mondays on my blog dedicated to "The Gratitude Project." Simply put: I will write about things I am grateful for…big and small, obvious and not so obvious, and possibly cheesy but extremely honest. I hope it inspires you to start one yourself, or at the very least, find gratitude in every day!



1. A New Year - Full disclosure: Last year wasn't my favorite. There were some amazing moments, for sure, but 2014 isn't a year I will look back on with much fondness. Let's put it that way. My grandfather passed away in early February, and it was the first time I had lost someone that I was incredibly close to. Shortly after that, my husband made the emotional decision to retire from a decade-long career in professional baseball. Seeing someone you love so much struggle with a decision like that is heartbreaking. You know it's coming eventually, but that doesn't make it any less hard. That, too, was like mourning a death because baseball had been in his life since he was a young child! I'm happy to have a fresh start in 2015 and look forward to see where God is leading us both.

2. People who are willing to say "I'm Sorry" - Recently, I had a friend call and apologize for something. It was a big move on their part, requiring humility and empathy. A lot of times, as humans, our ego gets in the way (mine included!), and so I deeply appreciated that phone call for that reason. The call took guts, and now I have a level of respect for that person that I didn't have before.

3. Hats - Any hat. Ones that cover up my crazy hair on bad hair days…or days I don't want to shower…or days that I am just too lazy to make my hair look good presentable. On days I am rushing to work or a meeting, which is most of the time, hats are a life-saver for me! They can transform an outfit and make it - and my hair - look put together…even though what's underneath the hat is anything but! ;)

4. A Warm Coat - Nashville has been having some COLD weather lately! Schools were even closed because of it. I know a lot of people in Nashville - and around the world - do not have warm coats for the winter. I am grateful for my own warm coat and for ways to donate one here in Nashville. Check out these sources to donate: One Warm Coat or Hands On Nashville.

5. My Strong, Healthy Body - As women, we spend an insane amount of time comparing our bodies to others, obsessing over our flaws, and sometimes even hating how we look. No one is immune to those kind of thoughts, but not letting them take over is the key to a healthy, happy mindset and body image. My body is no where near perfect, but I am thankful for it and what it allows me to do on a daily basis. I can workout, lift heavy weights, run, cook, travel, and have fun with my family and friends. All because of my healthy and amazingly strong body!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year + Greek Yogurt Pancakes.

Happy New Year! I can't say I am sad to see 2014 go, but I am healthy and alive so that means 2014 wasn't too bad! Haha. I wanted to start the year off right, with a good, healthy breakfast for us. This is the first new recipe I've made in 2015… Greek Yogurt Pancakes! I love Greek Yogurt and love incorporating it into recipes I use. I use it to marinate chicken (recipe I will share later), top soups in place of sour cream, and in my smoothies. It's healthy for you, as well! Win. Win. Here is the recipe…

adapted from Creme de la Crumb

  • 1½ cups all purpose flour (can use whole wheat flour, too)
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla (or ½ teaspoon almond extract)
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt (I used plain, nonfat Greek)
  • ¾ cup milk (I used 2% but can use almond milk)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon 
  • Topping suggestions: syrup, agave, honey, fruit

  • Preheat a pan or griddle over medium heat. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, mix oil, eggs, vanilla, milk, and greek yogurt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir. Do not over mix, there should still be a few lumps. Grease griddle/pan and pour ⅓ cup batter onto the griddle. Allow to cook 3-4 mins or until tops of pancakes begin to bubble. Using a spatula, flip pancakes over and allow to cook for another couple of minutes. Transfer to a cookie sheet and put into a 250 degree oven to keep warm. Continue with remaining batter. Top pancakes with desired toppings!