Fall Living For Less




Fall is my favorite time of year, well second to Christmas! I love decorating for the seasons, but it can definitely get expensive. I always make a list of items I need for a season update, but then end up walking around trying to justify $20 worth of smell good pinecones. I decided this year would be different. I wanted a pottery barn look for cheap and I wanted to go with a color theme that could transition into winter.

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  These candle holders are a very sturdy black iron. I picked them up at the pottery barn outlet for less then $20. The leaves and white pumpkins I found at Michaels. It is always better to check the sales before buying. When you go late September/ early October you can find pumpkins for 60% off.

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   This vase I found at Kirklands. It is actually a hurricane. I removed the candle holder. The flowers and lemons are from Walmart.

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  I knew I wanted to try and get a lot of white pieces. White candles, blankets, pillows, flowers, ect… This will make it really easy to move into winter. Once it starts getting colder I am going to pick up about 4 more white blankets. I want them to all have different textures. This will give the living room a cozy feel. I honestly usually have about 5 pillows on the couch. P and I end up squeezed into a corner of the couch while the pillows take over. For the sake of my relationship I scaled back to 2 per chair. Pillows are the most expensive pieces usually. I change my mind so often I knew I could not justify $30 a pillow to get the cozy white feel that I wanted. I waited until the Hobby Lobby decor sale. They already have great pillow cover prices, but on sale you rarely spend more then $5 per case. All 4 of these cases are from Hobby Lobby and are still available on the website! The gray and white blankets are from Home Goods. Blankets and pictures frames are the best deals at Home Goods.

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  Finally, the scarecrow. I usually only have one of these. I found these leaves, flowers and the scarecrow pick at Michaels. The vase is old, but also from Michaels.

I hope I inspired you to decorate this season while saving a few bucks! I will update as I add more pieces!

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Jalapeno Honey Butter and Spicy Fried Chicken




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   Honey butter is one of my favorite indulgences. The richness of the salted butter combined with the sweet smooth honey flavor just cannot be beat. This brings back memories of Sunday dinners when I was growing up. My mom usually paired a comforting bowl of chili with corn bread twists and hot honey butter. I wanted to spice things up a little bit and added some jalapeno. It ended up being the perfect balance of salty, sweet and spicy. This entire meal was built around this jalapeno honey butter to be honest. Just try not to eat it all! Savory toast smothered in this butter topped with crispy chicken breast. The side dish possibilities are endless.

What you need:

For the jalapeno honey butter-

1 fresh jalapeno – seeded, ribs removed, and finely chopped

2 tbsp salted butter

1 tbsp honey

For the chicken-

2 chicken breasts

2 cup of flour

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp italian seasoning

1 egg

1 cup of milk

peanut oil for frying

Sourdough Bread

Directions:

For the honey butter:

Melt the butter and mix in the jalapenos and honey. Once combined place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

For the chicken:

I preheated a deep fryer with the peanut oil at 375. Mix together the egg and milk. Add chicken and soak while the rest of the ingredients are put together. In a separate bowl mix together flour and spices. Drop chicken into the flour mix and cover entirely. Fry the chicken until internal temp is 155 (the chicken will continue to rise to 165 once you let rest). My chicken was about 1/2 inch thick and took around 15 minutes to fry. Remember to flip the chicken half way through for even coloring.

Let chicken rest for at least 10 minutes then slice in half.

Toast the sourdough bread and top with the chilled butter.

Serve alone or with your choice of side.

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Smashed Avocado Havarti Bacon Grilled Cheese With Wickles Relish


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Sometimes you just need to smash some avocado. In celebration of my new (improved) website I wanted to share something delicious. Something cheesy, covered in bacon, and spiced up with Wickles relish. This is not a sponsored post. I just LOVE Wickles. When I was shopping today I came across the spicy relish and knew I wanted to make something ASAP. This is what appeared shortly thereafter.

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What you need:

Your favorite sandwich bread

6 slices of crispy bacon

Once sliced vine ripened tomato

Ripe avocado

4 slices of havarti cheese

Wickles Relish

Mayo

salt and pepper

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How to make it:

    Butter 4 pieces of sourdough bread, mine is from publix bakery. Heat your frying pan to over a medium flame and add the bread 2 pieces at a time. Top bread with havarti and leave in pan until the cheese starts to melt. Set bread to the side to cool. Cut your avocado in half and scoop onto 2 pieces of bread. I used a fork to smash the avocado lightly. Add mayo, salt, and pepper to your liking. I used about a tsp of mayo and liberally seasoned. Top with tomatoes, bacon, and about a tsp of the relish.

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Press your 2 sides together. Cut and serve! Makes 2 servings. Prepare to fall in love!

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20 Minute Tuesday






What do you do when you are starving, but really just do not feel like putting the effort into cooking? I usually keep a few staples around the house just in case I have a night when my fingers start itching to dial delivery.

#1. Grilled Chicken. I usually buy huge family packs of chicken and freeze them in individual bags for the week. I try to grill off at least 3 chicken breasts to keep in the fridge ready to add to a meal. My favorite marinade is salt, pepper, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

#2. Pasta. We try not to eat pasta more then once a week, but some how I always have a plethora of pastas in the pantry. I like whole wheat linguine and fiber enriched angel hair. Gluten free options are great as well. Just remember not to cook those as long.

#3. Bottled Organic Marinara. Tomato sauce is huge in our house. We eat it on everything. I just discovered Bertolli premium sauces at Target. The caramelized onion and balsamic vinegar sauce is the best!

#4. Parmesan Cheese. Enough said.

I completely forgot to plan something for dinner tonight. When I got off work I was so tired and just did not want to think about cooking anything. When I started looking through the pantry I realized I had plenty of things to make one of my favorite meals in a matter of minutes. 20 to be exact.

What you need:

Pre grilled chicken breasts (2)
One jar of marinara
Whole wheat linguine
Fresh mozzarella
Fresh Parmesan
Crushed red pepper
Sea Salt
Crusty garlic bread (optional, but sooooo worth it)

How to do it:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring some salted water to a boil and add in the pasta. Cook as directed. In an oven safe pan/skillet add 2 cups of marinara, sliced grilled chicken, and fresh mozzarella. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 a cup of pasta water. Add pasta and reserved water back into the water pot. Pour the skillet of sauce, chicken and cheese into the water pot. Toss everything together. Season with sea salt and crushed red pepper. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy with bread. You can thank me later 😉

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Sweat Proof Makeup- How I Get My Makeup To Last Outside





Wearing a full face of makeup in the Georgia heat is tricky. I filmed a tutorial so you can see step by step what I did before spending the day in the sun. This is not a “by the pool” look. This is a full makeup look for those days when you are going to be outside, but still need to look your best. 
First step- moisturizer 
I washed my face and used a light moisturizer about 30 minutes prior to starting my makeup. This is going to give your makeup something to stick to. 
Using a long lasting foundation. Relvon color stay whipped is my favorite formula for outside. It does not budge!
Apply cream products with your fingers. I applied my concealer, bronzer and highlighter with my fingers. Heating the product with your fingers really allows you to push it into your skin. 
Waterproof eyeliner to tight line
Setting cream with powder. I used powder versions of each product to set my creams. This is going to prolong the wear.
Use a matte lip stick or just lip balm. If you want to do a bright color stay with a stain or matte product. I also love gloss for easy touch ups. 
Setting spray. I use rose water spray, but anything to set your makeup will help keep it from streaking.
I hope you enjoyed my tips! This look lasted 2 hours at an outdoor festival in 90+ degrees without any need for touch up!
Products used: 

Revlon color stay foundation

MAYBELLINE lumi concealer
Rimmel translucent powder
Urban decay basics pallet
Buxom blush
Lorac tantilizer bronzer
MAYBELLINE bb bronzer 
Buxom liquid highlight 
The balm mary loumanizer highlighter
Urban decay perversion mascara 
MAYBELLINE matte lipstick 
Mac eyeshadow texture
Mac gloss (discontinued) 
Rimmel scandal eye liner bronze 
Kat Von d water proof eye kohl 

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Lazy Sundays





Normally, I am stuck at work on Sunday mornings. This weekend we went to the Atlanta BBQ festival and I decided to take a long weekend. 
Our church message today was on finding happiness. I felt like it was completely appropriate seeing as how that is typically what everyone is striving for on a day to day basis. 
Isn’t it funny how every time you are going through something you are suddenly given the exact message you need to hear? Whether it be a sermon or devotional, a news report, even just a friend calling to check on you the exact time you need someone. 
Two months ago I was having a hard time seeing what was in my future. In reality you can never know what the future holds, but it is good to have goals. 
Some of my goals were to find a job that I truly loved, to invest more time to blogging, to consistently go to church, to finally live the healthy live style I knew so much about.
I’m happy to say that these goals really pulled me out of a tough spot. A lot of opportunities have presented themselves and I am excited to see what my future holds. 
Do not be so hard on yourself. Today I enjoyed pancakes, steak, hashbrowns, and eggs. Not really part of my diet, but the pancakes are an organic mix from trader joes, the steak was a half portion of extra lean top round, the hashbrowns were cooked in a little light butter rather than oil. There are lots of things you can do to enjoy a “cheat” meal without feeling like you have ruined the whole day. 
Set goals. Do what makes you happy. Stop living a life that doesn’t feel like your own. 
Enjoy your Sunday!

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How I Do My Makeup For Work





 I like to do my makeup very natural for work. I usually focus on my eyes. Since my shifts are usually between 10-12 hours I need my makeup to stay alllllll day! I’m honestly too busy to touch up anything throughout the day other than lip gloss. 
What I used- 
Revlon color stay in the whipped formula
MAYBELLINE Dream lumi concealer in radiance 
Urban decay naked skin concealer light warm
Rimmel stay matte powder in translucent
Naked basics pallet 
MAC texture single shadow
Rimmel glam eyes liner 
Cover girl mascara in bloom 
Too faced chocolate bronzer
Mary loumanizer (the balm)
MAC Dame blush 
Jordana fabulash in taupe 
Bare minerals gloss in party starter
I hope you enjoy getting ready with me!

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Buttermilk Pancakes






 

  There is a tiny diner in North Carolina that has completely stolen my heart. The restaurant is so small and hidden that word of mouth is genuinely their best advertising. 

   The first time I tried their pancakes I literally teared up. I have never had a pancake so light and airy. My first bite completely melted in my mouth. Since then I have searched for a similar recipe. Finally I think I have found one!

This recipe is adapted from ohsweetbasil.com
2 cups of buttermilk
2 cups of AP flour
3 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp butter flavoring 
1 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs
Whisk together buttermilk, flavorings, and eggs. Add in all dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Add in cooled butter. Cook on medium heat until golden brown. 
Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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Chocolate Marscapone Frosting






My favorite part of tiramisu is the creamy Marscapone custard. I wanted to make a light chocolatey frosting for a chocolate cake. I considered cream cheese, but that felt too heavy. I didn’t want a traditional buttercream because that seemed too sugary. Marscapone just seemed like the right fit. Rich and buttery, but not too sweet. It pairs perfectly with chocolate cake. 

What you need: 
4 ounces of marscapone (I found mine at publix in the specialty cheese section)
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder unsweet 
1 cup powdered sugar 
2 tbsp 2% milk (or cream or whole milk) 
1/2 stick of room temperature butter 
I highly recommend using a hand mixture. A whisk could also work. You really want as much air as possible to get a whipped texture. 
Whip together butter and marscapone. Add in cocoa powder and sugar. The mixture should be dark and very thick. Add in milk one tbsp at a time. Depending on your preference you can add more. The frosting should resemble a whipped cream in the end. Do not over mix. 
Enjoy! 
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Monthly Favorites – July 2015

Today I want to share all the things I have been loving the past month! 
My every day fragrance has been heavenly summer. I usually go crazy over any summer scent Victoria’s Secret releases. They are usually warm and coconut-y. This one is light and fresh. I definitely get a hint of grapefruit. 
https://www.victoriassecret.com/beauty/dream-angels/victoriarsquos-secret-heavenly-summer-fragrance-mist?ProductID=244683&CatalogueType=OLS
Moisturizer has always been a love hate relationship. I have combination skin and I feel my face get really tight after washing, but my tzone gets oily throughout the day. This month I used the oil free Mario Badescu moisturizer and love it! It just melts into your skin so quickly leaving a great canvas for makeup. 
http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod6200801
Most used foundation was obviously rimmel London 25 hour foundation with comfort serum. I could not stop using it! This foundation is just so comfortable and light weight. 
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Rimmel-Lasting-Finish-Foundation-200-Soft-Beige-1-fl-oz/43250044
When I am bronzing my face and need something quick and natural I have been reaching for my MAYBELLINE bronzing BB cream. This cream really just looks like my skin, but better. So far I have only found it at Walmart. 
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Maybelline-Dream-Bronze-BB-Cream/44888895
If I want to bronze up my face a little less naturally and a lot more glowy then I use my Betty loumanzier. Super glowy and pretty without tons of glitter. It is a tad on the warm side so keep that in mind. 
http://m.kohls.com/kohlsopenapi/productmobile.html?productID=1527167/thebalm-betty-lou-manizer-bronzer-eyeshadow-compact.jsp
I have been trying loads of drugstore mascaras trying to find a cheaper alternative to my benefit they’re real. This isn’t exactly a dupe, but Rimmel glameyes mascara has an amazing formula for a great price. 
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Rimmel-Glam-Eyes-Mascara-Extreme-Black/12531942
Hampton farms nut varieties have definitely been there to help curb my sweet tooth when I’m working. My current favorite are the chipotle honey cashews. Check the link below for places you can buy them. I get mine from publix in the produce section. 
http://www.hamptonfarms.com/where-to-buy
Tuna has been my go to lunch. I usually have two packs with siracha and a side of hummus. Bumble tuna in water packets are really easy for work lunches. They always seem to be on sale as well. 16 grams of protein, zero carb and zero sugar. Can’t beat that!
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bumble-Bee-Premium-Light-Tuna-In-Water-2.5-oz/15136807
I hope you enjoyed my favorites! Let me know what you have been loving lately! 
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