give thanks

Today is a day to be thankful for everything you have, all of the opportunities you have been given, and everything that awaits in your future.

Take today to enjoy those around you. I challenge you to not do any shopping today. Yes, I know sales now start early, but lets be thankful for what we have for one full day before we go out and buy all new stuff. I'm all for a good deal... but I have completed my Christmas shopping so I cannot use that as an excuse.

Have a great day!


christmas sandies

My bestie shared this recipe with me. She always makes these for Christmas. When I was looking for ideas of gifts to make to give to all of the important people in my life she recommended this recipe to me! These cookies are not the healthiest cookie I have ever made, but if you only eat a few they are not that bad for you! That's why they make great gifts! I decided to make a trial batch (okay, I may have been procrastinating) and share the recipe with you.

1c butter, softened to room temperature
1/2c icing sugar
1t Mexican vanilla
2c all-purpose flour
1c finely chopped dried cranberries
2t lemon zest
white sanding sugar (or colored)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Chop cranberries in food processor until finely chopped. Cream butter with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add icing sugar. Beat until combines, scrape down sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in flour and vanilla. Stir in cranberries and lemon zest.
Shape mixture into 1/2 in balls and roll dough then roll in sanding sugar. Arrange cookies 1 inch apart on prepared cookies.
Bake in preheated oven overn for 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are light brown. Transfer to wire racks to let cool.
Makes about one hundred forty-four 1/2 inch cookies.


my perfect breakfast

You already know I am obsessed with smoothies for breakfast.  I reserve those for quick weekday meals to get me out the door. On weekend I love something warm... usually involving eggs. I love layering my fave ingredients into an open faced sandwich for simplicity! Here is my current fave:

 whole grain bread, toasted
1 slice part skim mozzarella
1 slice tomato
1 sunny side up egg*

Layer, top with pepper & enjoy.

*Crack egg into frying pan that was sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Let cook for approx 30s. Add 1T water, cover with tight fitting lid, let cook for 1 1/2 minutes. The egg white should be cooked but the yolk will still be runny! The runny yolk is always the best part!



Happy Friday! How was your week. Mine was long but very productive! I have written my MSc thesis and it has been sent to my committee for review! Now all I have to do is finish 2 papers, defend my thesis and take 2 final exams! The official countdown to the end of the semester (and Christmas vacation) has started!

Here's how I spent my week:

1. I was indecisive with accessories last week. Sometimes a photo can help me make a decision.

2. We have been enjoying the CFL playoffs. It's always nice when you team is playing well and wins.

3. We walked around the lake again last weekend. It was so calm. I will have to commit a walk again this weekend!

4. In my lack of free time I am been working on a new knitting project that involved herringbone stitch. I love this pattern!

5. Have you tried candy cane lane tea from Trader Joe's? This is my new night time fave!
6. This is my official evidence that my thesis is written. When you can check something off your to-do list that has been there for over a year, you deserve a party! Or an Instagram.
7. It's skill test week for the class I teach... no workout means I can wear normal clothes to school! It was a good change to dress up for the latter half of the week!
8. One of my classmates presented an article on hand postures during sign language. He handed out a sheet so we could see all of the postures discussed in the article... then I spend the rest of class practicing my silent communication skills. It's the small things that sometimes get me through my day.
Have a great weekend. Hopefully mine is productive but also filled with some relaxation!



fruit & veggies

Sometimes living in Louisiana confuses me. I know I should eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. But when it is not "cold" in the winter I always wonder, should I be eating pears or pumpkins? I found this visual to remind me what is actually in season so I can shop accordingly. Hopefully it helps you too!


5 layer veggie sandwich

It's been a busy week (my thesis is due to my committee today!) which means I am really happy our quinoa chili made tons of leftovers for lunches... and we are having sandwiches for dinner. This sandwich was not a disappointment... it was amazing. The inspiration came from Oh She Glows, a vegan blog, but because I am obsessed with cheese it turned into an amazing 5 layer vegetarian sandwich.

2 slices multi-grain seedy bread from Trader Joe's
1t basil pesto
1T hummus
2 tomato slices
1 slice provolone
red pepper flakes
1/2 avocado, sliced

P.S. Our kitchen light was replaced. I can now provide you with photos with florescent lighting again! I will have to do some cooking this weekend during the day so I can provide you with some natural light one of these days!


quinoa chili

We love comfort food. We also love healthy recipes... and sometime even vegetarian recipes. Sunday night's dinner fit all of our criteria. It also made tons of leftover to eat all week! I also thought I would share that my predicament of bad lighting due to the lack of daylight has been taken one step further. This weekend our kitchen light burnt out. We replaced the light bulbs and it did not fix the problem... so we have a maintenance request in and for now we have a floor lamp in the kitchen. This recipe was too good not to share so you will have to ignore the poor lighting.

2T evoo
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3c cooked quinoa
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 can tomate sauce
1 small can fire roasted diced green chiles
chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, salt & pepper to taste
1 can white kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 c frozen corn succotash mix
3T lime juice
tortilla chips, grated smoked gouda, 1/2 avocado, 1T plain greek yogurt per serving

Cook quinoa according to instructions on package. 
Heat oil in a large pot (we use our Staub), sautee onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add cooked quinoa, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chiles, spices, and 2c water. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in beans, corn mix, and lime juice then cook until heated through. 
Serve immediately topped with tortilla chips, cheese, avocado & greek yogurt.


kolache kitchen

Have you ever had a kolache? We went to the Kolache Kitchen after our walk around the lake on Sunday morning. We enjoyed breakfast tacos and a kolache stuffed with broccoli, egg, & cheese. Kolache dough reminded me of brioche... slightly sweet and not very dense.

 It was delish! I imagine we will be back.



Happy Friday! I had a productive week. Did you? Taking instagram photos are not usually a productive use of my time... but clearly a necessity in my life.

1. It was so cold last week I had to wear a toque, scarf, and vest. I have clearly transitioned to Louisiana living.
2. I would love this Coach bag for Christmas. Enough said.
3. While organizing my closet I rediscovered my Lululemon obsession. Maybe I should commit to not buying any more tanks for a while. We'll see...
4. Just a Friday night selfie while out for wine.

5. We walked around the lake twice last week. The birds have started to migrate south and are a great added touch of white to the lake.
6. Yes, I went there. Christmas music has filled my life this past week! If you have an issue with it maybe you should celebrate Thanksgiving in October!
7. The cold weather brought 2 nights of frost so I had to harvest my meyer lemons and bring my lavender inside. Brrr!
8. My outfit of choice usually involves navy. My celery cowl was a great compliment to one of my favorite colors this week.

Have a great weekend. Since I procrastinated all week, I will be spending my week working on finishing my thesis and writing 2 papers for class. The semester is so close to being complete! Have a great weekend!


knit one, purl one

I always having a knitting project on the go. When I am bored (or don't want to do school work) I can just pick up where I left off. I saw this sweater shirt on Pinterest and had to share it! Seed stitch is so simple and it's a square... this would be so simple to make!

Anyone have a pattern for this beautiful peice? Maybe I could figure it out without one.



reading list

Take a break from your day for some short reading. Isn't that why you stop by?

1. The holidays are getting closer. Sirius XM transitioned 2 stations to Christmas music yesterday. Yes, I listened all evening.

2. Do you love to take selfies? I always feel awkward asking someone to take a photo of me. Next time I will try using these tips from Women's Health.

3. I am obsessed with herringbone so I am making myself this cowl... in my free time... how do I have free time?

4. Christmas has also arrived at Starbucks. I want to get a new tea cup for work and I have a feeling I may be able to find the perfect one in their holiday collection!  Today through Sunday from 2-5pm is bogo holiday drinks. Treat a friend!

5. Sophie Conran liked one of my instagram photos this week. I almost died!


neutral home

As we transition to "winter" when we spend more time inside, I love to think about home decor. I love neutrals. Here are some of my current obsessions:

Clearly the puppy is the best pat of all of this!



carrot cilantro soup

I'm having a bit of a predicament here. Daylight savings time = no good photos. Sometimes I want to share something we made for dinner on the weekend. Well since it is dark by 5:30pm, I have to take photos in my kitchen... not the best lighting = not the best photos. A poor photo does not mean you should not make this soup. Actually, its the exact opposite. This soup was earthy and flavorful. Perfect for fall.

carrot cilantro soup

1T evoo
1 yellow onion, chopped
2t coriander seeds
2lb carrots, sliced
5c vegetable stock
1c white wine
1/4c fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat evoo in a large sauce pan. Add onion and coriander seeds, sautee for 5 minutes. Add carrots and cook for about 20 minutes. Add vegetable stock and white wine, bring to a boil them simmer until carrots are soft. Puree with an immersion blender. Serve hot, topped with chopped cilantro.



The weeks just keep getting busier! I am so close to the end of the semester that I can taste it. Here are some of the best parts of my week.... which all happened last weekend. Clearly, my school week was not the best part; not bad, just busy.

1. We went to Bin 77 last Friday. We sat on the patio with friends, ate delicious food, and listed to some great live music.
2. On Saturday morning we walked around LSU lake. We need to do that more often. Maybe tomorrow?!?
3. Red cups at SB. Life is so much better this way.
4. We went to a BBQ with friends on Saturday. We brought Japanese cabbage salad and some Canadian wine from Mission Hill. Both were a hit.

Have a great weekend. Mine will be spent writing papers, going shopping for a few things on my wishlist, finding a new office chair, and hopefully going for a long walk.


looking for a new...

Sometimes I like to use my blog to tell funny stories. On Tuesday morning I actually decided to straighten my hair since it was "cool" outside. Well only a couple minutes into drying my hair, there was a spark that came out of my blow dryer and it shut off. Conveniently this is not the first time this ha happened... or the second... or the third! So now I am looking for a new blow dryer. I want a good quality one that is not too expensive and comes with a diffuser. Here are some ideas I have found:

Vidal Sassoon VS 783 - Dry Bar buttercup - Deva Curl diffuser - Rusk speed freak

Does anyone out the have any recommendations for me?



lulu lovin

One of the things I do every Tuesday morning is look at all of the new items on Lululemon's website. It's a morning ritual. I look forward to it. I cannot buy everything I want... and some weeks I don't see anything I want, shocking, I know! Well this week... I want everything. Or close to everything. Here are some of my faves:

I guess I love purple, pink & black this morning!

Have a great day!


hey TJ's, welcome to BTR

Welcome to Baton Rouge, Trader Joe's! I have a feeling we will be good friends very quickly.
We made our first trip on Saturday morning for groceries. I was really impressed with the produce, prices, cheese, and canned goods. Honestly, they had almost everything we needed for the week. It was busy so we did not get as much as we could have, but I left with a great first impression!

I imagine our meal plans will change slightly to do more shopping here as we saw so many great things we want to try.

Does anyone out there have recommendations of things I need to try?



Happy Friday and Happy November!

I had a productive week so it's nice that the weekend is finally here again! I have lots to do this weekend but my productivity this week has motivated me to get more done than usual! Here are some of my fave parts of the week:

1. We went to Red Zeppelin for pizza on Friday night. We sat outside but luckily the fireplace was on to keep me warm.

2. My mom sent me this cute photo of her pumpkin spice latte so I had to share it!

3. My Meyer lemons are finally changing colors. I wonder what I should make... I only have 6 on my tree this year.

4. We made "Steven style vegetables" with fennel, spinach, and pumpkin gnocchi. It was amazing.

Have a great weekend. Other than working on a few papers/ my thesis I will be going to the new Trader Joe's that opened yesterday for my groceries! Yes, grocery shopping completes my week... I have been waiting for a while to go to TJ's!


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