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Laughter really is an amazing medicine and being happy is so important for the soul. I forgot...

Fourth of July Faves

Laughter really is an amazing medicine and being happy is so important for the soul. I forgot what that felt like for a while there but life has become so fulfilling and even more rewarding than I knew was possible.

This long weekend brings family and friends together to enjoy fireworks, food, and fun which is also good for the soul but we must remember the reason for this holiday. The United States gained it's independence and essentially it's own "soul" 240 years ago. That's definitely a reason to celebrate the country we love and live in and I hope you have a wonderful time doing so this weekend.

When it comes to the 4th of July these are some of my faves:

Fashion
Andrea amazes me week over week with her flawless sense of style and well-thought-out outfits she shares on her blog. I adore the cute yet patriotic outfits she featured this week just in time for the 4th of July.


Food
My boss is throwing a party this weekend and I offered to make a festive dessert. Of course I immediately went on Pinterest for some ideas and I settled on this delicious looking Angel Food Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and Berries.


Decor
Even though I don't consider myself very crafty I do enjoy an easy DIY project and I think these Mason Jar Lanterns are very cute for nighttime celebrations. 


Nails
Truth be told my nails are a hot mess. I haven't had a manicure or nail polish on my nails in a couple months but holiday weekends remind me to be adventurous. I'm hoping to get a much needed mani and pedi this weekend and sprinkle some patriotism in there.


Hydrate
Because that's important in the summer. I thought these Red & Blue Ice Cubes were a cute idea to make a refreshing fruit-infused water for 4th of July which tends to be one of the hottest months of the year.



Enjoy the holiday weekend and be safe!
xoxo


Joining Amanda for her linkup.

Lace is one of those fabrics that automatically adds a feminine touch to any outfit. I have a ...

Lace Looks


Lace is one of those fabrics that automatically adds a feminine touch to any outfit. I have a handful of lace-detailed dresses that I bring out for special occasion but I've been browsing some more casual looks for the summer. There are so many affordable and cute options out there from lace-back tops to shorts with a subtle lace trimming as well as rompers and even swimsuits. These are some of my top picks:
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eightnine / ten / eleven / twelve


Do you have any favorite lace pieces in your wardrobe?

After some busy weeks prior I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet time this weekend had to offer. K and ...

Weekend Whereabouts

After some busy weeks prior I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet time this weekend had to offer. K and I had planned to go out for dinner on Friday but after my long commute home, I really didn't want to get dressed and head out again so we ordered Chinese food and relaxed at home catching up on Orange Is the New Black on Netflix.

On Saturday morning I woke up entirely too early for my liking but I sipped on some coffee and started on a design project for work that was really scheduled to start today. The project took more hours than I expected so K did the grocery run and then we headed over to Home Goods to buy some curtains and random home decor. After some shopping & errands it was time for some happy hour at Graffiti Junktion.


We had a quick bite for dinner at Toasted (known for their fancy grilled cheese sandwiches) and the rest of the evening was spent at home relaxing.

On Sunday morning K and I cooked up some Crab Eggs Benedict and relaxed at home watching the news. I then got to work in the kitchen to make some pink and blue Rice Krispies Treats for Kate's Gender Reveal party. (recipe coming soon)


I arrived to the party dressed in pink even though I was mentally undecided. K dressed in blue and Kate and H dressed neutral.

Team Blue + the parents


Team Pink + the parents


It was then time for Kate and H to cut the cake to reveal their baby's gender.



It's a GIRL!!!!

I can't wait to  shower baby S and Kate with gifts in the months to come. Girls are so much fun to shop for.

After leaving the party we stopped by a local brewery to have a beer to cap off the weekend.


It was a nice refresher of a weekend. I hope this week treat you well and I'm looking forward to the long weekend ahead.

Joining the lovely Biana for her Weekending linkup. 


Hi there and happy Friday! I apologize for my blogging being spotty for the past few weeks a...

Life Lately


Hi there and happy Friday!

I apologize for my blogging being spotty for the past few weeks as I try to find balance with my new work schedule and several other moving parts of life. The good news is that I leave work everyday so happy and thankful for this new opportunity to run my own department and finally advance in my career. In my free time I've been decorating my office with some cute tidbits that make me happy.


There's still so much to be done around our new house but I've managed to get a few rooms organized and decorated. I'm hoping to get some more things checked off my list this weekend but here's a sneak peak of the guest bathroom I decorated... beach-themed of course!


Lola, being the finicky character she is, was just starting to adjust to the new diggs until we took her with us to Cocoa Beach for the weekend which completely freaked her out about moving around so much. We had a little debacle with her refusing to leave the hotel room for 2 days but now that we're back at home, she's finally settled and knows this is home now.


There have been candle vigils almost every night here in Orlando to support the gay community after the senseless terrorist attack. At the Monday night vigil downtown a full rainbow appeared hovering over the crowd. It warmed my heart that the universe works in such mysterious ways!



My best friend flies home today so I'm extremely sad to see her leave after spending the past few months together but I'm excited for her to return home and get settled. She surprised me last night with this gorgeous Pandora bracelet with the Love & Guidance charm. Such a thoughtful gift and she has the matching charm. I'm going to miss her so much.


I worked some long hours this week but loving what you do and the people that you work with makes it feel so rewarding at the end of the week. I'm looking forward to date night with K tonight and a relaxing weekend ahead with some house organizing and decorating sprinkled in there.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!


Joining Amanda for her linkup.

One of my favorite dishes to order when I go to an Italian restaurant is Chicken Marsala so when...

Crockpot Chicken Marsala


One of my favorite dishes to order when I go to an Italian restaurant is Chicken Marsala so when I stumbled on a slow cooker recipe (original recipe here), I had to try it out for myself. Luckily the only ingredient I didn't have was Marsala cooking wine so it turned out to be an inexpensive and easy dinner to prepare.


I made some minor changes to the ingredients based on my taste but I think it turned out to be almost as good as restaurant quality, considering slow cookers result in a different texture of cooked chicken breast (not pounded but easy to shred).

Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Ground black pepper & salt to taste
Poultry seasoning
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups mushrooms
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cup Marsala cooking wine
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Serving size: 4 - 6 people



For the sides, I went with Whole Grain Penne Pasta and Pear Gorgonzola Salad. Both really excellent with this dish.
 

What To Do:
1. Lightly grease your crockpot with cooking spray and then place chicken breasts in there. Season chicken with poultry seasonings of your choice, black pepper and salt. (I actually never use salt in my recipes but I include it for those that like it).

2. Add minced garlic, mushrooms and the Marsala cooking wine to the crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours covered.

3. While the chicken cooks, prepare your side dishes and set aside.


4. After 5 hours, remove the chicken breasts from crockpot using a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate or bowl. Mix together water and cornstarch using a whisk until fully dissolved and then add to the crockpot.


5. Return chicken to the crockpot, increase heat to high and cooking for another 30-45 minutes until sauce is thickened. 


Enjoy!

Cooking times may vary based on your slow cooker. I find my crockpot cooks a lot quicker on low setting than what some recipes recommended so adjust the temperature and cooking time based on the crockpot you are using.
 

Life threw me some lemons in May ( details here ) but things have been shaping up nicely in June...

Weekend Whereabouts


Life threw me some lemons in May (details here) but things have been shaping up nicely in June. I landed a dream job and we settled into our new home. Things have been busy but everything is moving in the right direction.

K and I celebrated our 6-year anniversary on Friday night at Nona Blue Tavern for a dinner date after the busy work week. We had some delicious dirty martinis, salmon dip, and my favorite ahi tuna salad. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing at home since K had been traveling for work last week.

On Saturday, the bestie and I headed out to do some shopping and errands before settling for some lunch at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen. C heads back home next week so I wanted to get some quality girl time in before she leaves.

We had a nice day together until the heavens came crashing down with lightning and heavy rain while we were in Publix so we had no choice but to stay under shelter until it calmed down a bit some 30 minutes later. Gotta love the unexpected afternoon summer storms in Florida.


On Sunday morning we cooked breakfast at home and organized the house since we invited some friends over for dinner. We grilled steak and shrimp and had fun catching up.


It was a nice weekend (always too short) but I'm looking forward to my second week at the new job. Hope you have a great week!


Joining the lovely Biana for her Weekending linkup.