The BIG 25

Today's the day. The day I cross from early twenties into *gasp* mid-twenties!
And I am pumped.
I love birthdays, as stated more in depth here, and this one is no different. Sure, I have heard it's all down hill from here or that life after 25 isn't all peaches, but I'm still here with a smile on my face and people who love me so it's all good!
I am off to start my day, as an experienced birthday brat, filled with my favorite foods, friends and family - back to chronicle it all on Monday!
Here's to the BIG 2-5!


TUESDAY TOPICS: FIVE Memory Filled Songs

Life. Love.Lauren

I loved doing this last week, so I am back for more! Surprisingly, this week's was tough and took me quite a while lol

{1} The Way You Look Tonight - Tony Bennett
This was the song that my wonderful husband and I danced to on the best night of my life!
{And it makes me think of my favorite movie of ALL time - My Best Friend's Wedding!}

{2} Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle
My daddy has sung/played this song for me for as long as I can remember and we danced to this {amongst many tears} at my wedding.

{3} Mama's Song - Carrie Underwood
I had this one sung at my wedding as a surprise for my momma. After the father/daughter dance, I wanted us to have our moment too...still makes me cry!

{4} Remember Me This Way - Jordan Hill
My older brother passed away way to soon and this song was played at his funeral. Hard to listen to even to this day.

{5} Texas A&M War Hymn
Last, but not least, I am and forever will be an Aggie and bleed maroon, so this song always puts a smile on my face! WHOOP!

P.S. - Happy National Strawberry Parfait Day and National Catfish Day!
- Lindsey Nicole


I conquered a Pinterest braid

Don't get me wrong - I love Pinterest, but sometimes it makes me feel inadequate! The thought of a super intense DIY posts or a fancy hair-do makes me sweat.

But last night, I conquered my fear and tried a braid style that I have seen a gazillion times and love the way it looks and it didn't turn out too bad!

Original inspiration                                                  My Rendition {Not a good picture, but you get it}

I need to keep practicing because my hands got tangled up a couple time and I need a better way to secure it than bobby pins, because they keep sliding out. Maybe I will try a little rubber band like the original picture from the super cute hair style guru, Annelise, over at Aunie Sauce!

It's super simple once you get the hang of it - start like a normal braid {3 pieces}, but instead of holding onto the piece you cross over, let it fall and then twist the remaining new strands once. Grab another piece {to make 3 again}, cross it and let it fall. Twist remaining pieces and continue to repeat!

Now I'm motivated - what are some cute styles that y'all have conquered??

  - Lindsey Nicole


TUESDAY TOPICS: SIX Favorite Products

Life. Love.Lauren

Apparently I have lived under a rock the last couple months and didn't know anything about this link-up, but now I do and I'm ready to jump in!

{1.} Pampered Chef Baking Stone - Large $33.00/Medium $25.00 - You will never use another metal baking sheet again. Whether you want biscuits, pizza, cinnamon rolls, cookies, etc this pan will do the job. You never have to preheat it, it pulls moisture from food so no soggy pizza crust anymore and the more you cook on it, the better the food taste because the pan becomes "seasoned." {It's even microwave safe}
{2.} Pampered Chef Bamboo Spoons - $10.50 - Never buy wooden spoons again! The bamboo is super tough and almost {except when stuck in the blender} indestructible. I have had the same set since college and the are perfect for both stainless steel pans and coated pans!

{3.} Ninja Blender - Average $65 - Best blender {that one can afford on a year's salary} hands down! The 6 blades that go all the way up the cylinder, instead of just the one at the bottom like normal blenders are the key to success here. Anything and everything blends so easily and evenly and the best part...3 different size removable containers WITH storage lids! AND the top piece, that supplies power, never gets dirty! Simply pop the containers into the dishwasher for easy cleanup people :)
{4.} Cheese Knife - Ranges from $15-$100 sets - Mine's a cheapy one and I couldn't be happier. $14.99 later and I have the best looking cheese in town! This knife will cut hard cheese and soft, mushy cheese without any problems and nothing ever sticks to the knife. The good ones are stainless steel and some {like mine} come with a warranty! Happing cheese cutting!
{5.} Pampered Chef Measuring Spoons - $8.50 - One spoon for teaspoons and one for tablespoon and that's it! No silly rings filled with 16 different measurement spoons taking up all that space in the drawer anymore. Dishwasher safe.
{.6} Houdini Wine Opener - Average $30.00 - Ever been embarrassed trying to open wine because the cork breaks? Ever have a bad day and need a glass of wine and can't get into the bottle? No more! The Houdini wine opener make opening any bottle of wine so simple, even for this girl, who doesn't drink very much wine I am always the one volunteering to open the bottle!

What are your favorite kitchen items??

 - Lindsey Nicole
{All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for any of the above reviews or recommendations}


Lemon Caper Chicken

I love anything salty {much to the dismay of my cholesterol} and one of my favorite chicken dishes is lemon caper chicken.

I recently tried a new restaurant {Raffa's - for all my Lake Houston neighbors} and fell IN.LOVE with their Mediterranean chicken.

It had a lemon cream sauce and was topped with capers, mushrooms, olives, sun dried tomatoes and feta. It was to die for!

I decided that it was something I should try at home and so I began searching for a {somewhat trimmer} version of this dish.

Thanks to Jaime and Jen, at Jaime and Jen Dish I found a great, low-cal, recipe for a lemon cream sauce that was so yummy on grilled chicken.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
Heat the oil on medium heat and cook garlic on medium heat until soft (about 1-2 minutes)
Add your lemon juice, capers and lemon pepper and let simmer on low for about 5 minutes
Add sour cream and let simmer for additional 5 minutes. {Depending on how lemony you like things, you may want to add a tad more sour cream}

Enjoy and Happy Friday!
- Lindsey Nicole


National Food Holidays

Who doesn't love National Donut Day or National Margarita Day??
Who hates missing out on those days? The one day where you feel justified in that you can indulge in that normally off limits treats and it's perfectly okay...
Now you don't have to miss any of them. A friend of mine {who also shares in my hatred of missing food opportunities} sent me a link to a website that is truly a stroke of genius.
Now, if said site is legit, that is still out for discussion. But who cares, its a national food day for every day of the year...yes, thank you.
Check out every month here
Go ahead, find your birthday, anniversary, lucky number, whatever - you won't be sorry!

- Lindsey Nicole

P.S. - Happy National Peanut Butter Cookie Day! YUM.


Kitchen Cheat Sheet

I love food. I love to cook. I love everything that has to do with cooking and eating. Except for the parts I hate. Good thing I have picked up some sweet tricks of the trade to make kitchen duty easier. Take a look - here are a few amazing, quick kitchen tricks that everyone should know about:

Cinnamon Rolls: Grab a can of crescent rolls and before you instead of tearing the triangles out just roll the dough into a rectangle and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Now roll it up like a jelly roll and slice into however many rolls you need!

Icing/Glaze: Don't have any canned icing? Don't have time to make icing from scratch in the mixer? All you need is water and powdered sugar. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons water (depends on how thick you want it) and voila!

No more mess pancakes: I hate making pancakes because it is such a pain in the ass and makes a huge mess. {Especially when your husband makes them} Best fix ever: old ketchup bottle!

Quick Appetizer: Pour olive oil onto a plate and mix in your favorite spices. Dill, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, etc. Dip some yummy bread into it and your set.

Simple Syrup: Nothing is worse than sugar granules in your ice tea or lemonade. Mixing syrup in will get rid of that and taste just the same. Combine1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved, mixing often. Once it's cooled mix it into anything that needs a little sweetening!

8 Minute Baked Potato: Who has time to wait for a baked potato to cook on the grill or in the oven?? Poke some holes in it and put in the microwave for 4 minutes and then turn it over and cook for another 4 minutes and it's done! (Unless it's a mutant potato, then it might have to a little longer)

Left over tomato paste: I have yet to find a recipe that calls for the whole can of tomato paste. And even though it's only like $.79, who wants to waste it? Just take tablespoon sized amounts and wrap them in cling wrap and freeze. When you some just unwrap and drop in the pan!

Photo from Barefeet in the Kitchen. She has a lot more amazing tips and YUMMY recipes you should check out!

What kitchen tips do you swear by??

- Lindsey Nicole


Summer Time To-Do's {I'm Back!}

Now that I can breathe a little and can get back to some level of normalcy in my life, I'm pumped because it's summertime in Houston and that, my friends, is my favorite time of year!

You know it's summer in Houston when...

* The first order of business after walking through the front door - stripping. Too damn hot for lots of clothes.

* Your activities can be one of two places- indoors or in the pool

* Saturdays are spent on the lake, at the beach, in a puddle - anything with water

* You bring a jacket into any building with you because the AC is set on -10 degrees

But summer also means bathing suits and beach trips, watermelon and picnics, bare feet and shorts, sunlight until 9pm and even though I no longer live the life of a college student with nothing to do during the summers but subject my skin to the sun's evil rays 6 hours a day, I still can't help but feel more carefree and happier in the summertime.

{Let's just say I could never live in places like Alaska that have entire days of darkness - serious lack of Vitamin D.}

Some people think the heat makes them sluggish and tired, but summer time makes me feel adventurous. It makes me feel like trying new things, setting new goals and taking advantage of every extra hour of sunlight.

{Maybe it's a trick - more hours of daylight makes me feel like I get more hours in the day to do things or something}

Here are my summer to-dos:

1. Clean out my closet. You know it's time when you run out of hangers.
2. Join the YMCA and maintain my weight loss. Easier said than done, but it is swimsuit season right?
3. Grow some herbs. How hard can it be?
4. Blog routinely. And by routinely, let's start with at least twice a week for now, shall we.
5. Try more new recipes. Now that we have roommates {that's another blog post} I have more people to cook for!
6. On a food note - organize my recipes. Recipes on napkins and various scraps of paper is not cute!
7. On another food note - blog my recipes/food adventures more. I always take the pictures and then never blog about them.
7. Celebrate my 25th birthday with the people that I love :)
8. Go to more blogger meet ups. I went to one and loved it - now I just need to go back!
9. Get back into graphic design. I finished the website and the Etsy shop and then life got in the way.
10. 11. Learn to count

What are your favorite things about summertime? Any summer goals? {We can be accountable together!}

- Lindsey Nicole