Five on Friday

Happy FriYAY everyone! Holy Moly this was the loooongest week ever!!! I am exhausted and I still have to make it through today and then go home and get ready for my friend Ashley's party. I'll need some caffeine in between the two for sure. Mark and I are dressing up as Mary Poppins and Bert for Halloween and I am so excited. My outfit didn't turn out exactly as planned because I couldn't really find a black skirt that I liked. The one I am wearing is from a thrift store and was only $3.00 so that's always good. It's just a little tight around my waist, but I will survive. Also, the hat I ordered was delivered but wasn't on my doorstep when I got home yesterday. Ugh, so frustrating. I contacted Amazon but they said it could still mean it is in transit even though the tracking says delivered. I just hope it wasn't stolen. In the meantime I had to buy another hat because I needed to hot-glue the flowers on the sides. It's a navy hat instead of black but hopefully no one will notice :) Okay, wow sorry for that long-winded explanation. I hope you all have a great day and Happy Halloween!!

One- The Perks of Waking Up Early...

Saying I'm not a morning person is an understatement. I hate mornings, until I have showered and had a cup of coffee lol. Then I feel like a person again and I can be friendly and enjoyable to be around :) One of the benefits to waking up early though is seeing the sunrise. On Monday the sunrise was particularily gorgeous and I took this picture while sitting at a stop sign.  This makes mornings worth it!

Two- New Obsession

I have found a new obsession and it's kind of a nerdy one. Okay, it's really nerdy, but I can't help it! If you read my last Five on Friday you know that my husband got my an Erin Condren planner! I was thrilled when it came in the mail and I was shocked by how quickly it got here. I've heard it takes weeks and mine was on our doorstep in 5 days! Now that I have the planner I started looking on Etsy shops for stickers and I was blown away by how many dedicated sticker shops are out there. I didn't realize this whole decorated planner thing was such a big deal. Well it totally sucked me in and I've been ordering stickers like crazy lol. Well actually I've been clicking "Add to shopping cart" like crazy and then trying to be somewhat reasonable and not order everything in sight! There are seriously so many options! I recently ordered some things from Planner Kate 1, Glam Planner, and Piper Paper Company. The Christmas stickers below are my most recent purchase but I haven't received them yet. Can you believe it's almost that time of year again? So crazy!
From PiperPaperCompany- The Vintage Christmas Weekly Spread

I love the fall stickers I got from Piper Paper Company. The colors are so cute!

These are TV show stickers and Pay Day stickers from Planner Kate 1

Glam Planner Stickers- I LOVE THESE SO MUCH!!!

Three- Meditating on this verse...

My friend Stephanie sent this to me and it was just what I needed. Thank you Steph! I'm trying to focus my mind and my prayers on this verse because I know that he has a plan for me. Why is it that our mind doubts our heart so easily?? So frustrating! 

Four- New Audiobook

Buy it here.

I just downloaded Drew Barrymore's book Wildflower and I'm so excited to read it. I heard an interview with her on the radio the other day and some of her stories are crazy! Did you know she was emancipated from her mom at the age of 14. A 14 year old adult... so weird! She's overcome some big obstacles and I'm excited to dive deeper into the book to find out more. I also love that she is reading the book. She's so animated and makes the book come to life. Is anyone else reading this??

Five- Acai bowls

I have loved acai bowls ever since my friend Dina introduced me to them at To the Point. It's basically like eating frozen yogurt with granola and fruit on top but for breakfast. Who doesn't love that??  I recently found frozen acai pouches at Whole Foods and I was thrilled! I've been wanting to try to make them at home for awhile now and I finally found the puree. Using the punches of frozen acai you can make a smoothie or a smoothie bowl (which is basically thicker). I've done it both ways in the last week or so but I really like it as a bowl. Mmm... so good! 

Here's the super simple recipe:

1. Place two of the pouches under water for 5 seconds to loosen the acai.
2. Break up the acai into a blender.
3. Add half a banana, 1/8 cup of apple juice (or a non-dairy milk), and a dash of lime juice.
4. Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl.
5. Top with whatever you'd like! I like mine with granola, coconut flakes, and the rest of the banana.

As always I'm linking up with AprilNatashaChristinaKarliErikaNarci, and Andrea. Have a great day!

My Current Wish List

I've had my eye on several items in the past couple of weeks so I thought I would share a few... okay maybe a little more than a few :)

1. Riding Boots- I have been on the hunt for some new black riding boots and I think these are pretty perfect. I love the slouchy detail and the cute buckles. I need to make a trip to DSW to actually try them on to see if they are just as cute in person.

2. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation- I've talked about my love for this foundation in a past Five on Friday post and I am still loving it. I just need a lighter shade since I've lost all traces of a tan on my face. I got a sample of a lighter shade and it mixes pretty well with my current color.

3. Zella Leggings- I am always on the hunt for the perfect black leggings. I am super picky about them being thick enough that they won't be see-through but also not too thick to where they are hot. It doesn't get very cold in San Diego so I don't need anything super warm. I've heard great things about the Zella leggings and I want to check them out. Have any of you tried them?

4. Faux- Shearling Vest- This vest is seriously adorable! I saw it at JcPenny's the other day and should have gotten it then. I'm still contemplating whether or not I'll actually wear it lol. It's currently on sale for $49 and I have a 25% off coupon. I may just have to pick this up!

5. MAC 135 Brush- Jaclyn Hill was raving about this brush the other day in a haul video. She says it's the perfect bronzer brush and I was immediately intrigued. I have a super old brush that I use for bronzer right now and it always sheds little tiny hairs on my face when I use it. Ugh, that bothers me so much! I'm hoping to get this brush soon!

6. Lucky Wedge Booties- I've posted about these booties before and they are STILL on my radar. Last time I went to Nordstrom they were sold out :( The color is just perfect for the fall and wedges are always super comfy. Mark asked me if these were wedges or booties. I said both and he decided they should be "wooties" lol.

Shredded Buffalo Chicken Salad

Last week I made the most delicious buffalo chicken salad. I can't toot my horn too much because I just followed a recipe and most of the work was done in a crockpot lol. Either way, I assembled it and the chicken was yummy!! I found the recipe in the Against All Grain- Meals Made Simple cookbook and it was so easy. I ate it several times throughout the week and it made the perfect lunch. To go along with the chicken I made a herb ranch dressing from the same cookbook.

- 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup of buffalo sauce or hot sauce
- 1/4 cup melted ghee
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- romaine lettuce
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and shaved with a veggie peeler

1. Place the chicken, buffalo sauce, ghee, vinegar, salt, and cayenne pepper in the slow cooker.
2. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, flipping the chicken half way through.
3. Shred the chicken with two forks, then stir in 3/4 to 1 cup of sauce from the slow cooker, depending on the spice level desired.
4. Toss the remaining ingredients with ranch dressing and serve with chicken on top.

**My modifications: I used butter instead of ghee and I only used a tiny amount because I didn't really see the need for it. I didn't use carrots because I hate them lol instead I used green onions and tomatoes. I cooked the chicken on low for 8 hours while I was at work and it turned out super tender and perfect.

Herb Ranch Dressing:

- 1 cup mayonnaise**
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed into a paste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. Make the Mayonnaise first. **Directions as follows: Place 1 large egg yolk, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard in a blender. Blend on low until combined. With blender on low, add the macadamia oil one drop at a time, using 3/4 of a cup total. When the mixture begins to thicken, add the raining oil in a slow and steady stream with the blender still running, until all the oil has been incorporated.
2. In a bowl whisk together all of the ranch dressing ingredients.
3. Refrigerate for up to three days.

This is such an easy weeknight meal and I will definitely be making this again soon. I can't say enough good things about the Against All Grain recipes and I highly recommend all of her cookbooks!

Activewear Inspiration

Do you ever have those days when you just want to park your butt on the couch instead of working out??? Ugh, that's so me right now! I don't know why I am so exhausted every day but the last thing I want to do is workout. I have a week of great momentum and then I go out of town and lose it! I'm putting an end to the excuses now though. I am getting back on the bandwagon and what better way to do that but to get some inspiration from a new outfit! Here is a little round-up from my athletic gear go-to... Old Navy!

I have been wearing Old Navy's activewear for several years now and it just keeps getting better. The material of their crops and leggings are thicker than they used to be and they really hold up. I love that they sit high on my waist because the last thing you want when you're working out is to have your butt hang out lol. The tanks are super comfy and and also hold up after being washed over and over again. I love this line of activewear! What is your go-to when it comes to work out clothes??

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I know I did :) It was a pretty relaxing weekend without too many hectic plans. I didn't take very many pictures this weekend. Actually almost all of my pictures are of food haha. I'll call this the weekend of food lol. Here we go...

On Friday night Mark and I went to dinner in Mission Valley at Lazy Dog's. We wanted to go somewhere close to the movie theater since we were going to see the Martian later that night. We had terrible service but the food was super yummy. We got the apple crumble for dessert and holy moly it was yummy!

Mark's seared ahi

I had a burger and the cajun fries. The cajun fries ended up being on another plate because my order was a little messed up

Apple Crumble deliciousness
We ended up not going to a movie because it was sold out in one location and in 3D in the other location. Mark was super bummed because he's dying to see it. Hopefully we can go this week! We ended up just going home and watching some random movie. I also spent some much needed time working on the blog.

On Saturday, I woke up early to go workout at Orange Theory Fitness. It was a great workout and I am still soooo sore today. YIKES! We made breakfast at home, I got showered and ready for the day, then ran some errands. I was on the hunt for some essential parts of my Halloween costume. I found some items but I still need an umbrella and a hat. I better get movin' lol! After I got home and put all the groceries away, Mark and I had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings so we could watch football. We also headed to Coffee Bean so I could load up on caffeine.
Thanks for the pic Mark :)

By the time we were done I needed to get on the road to head to my friend Stephanie's house. Jenna, Jen, and Steph and I got together to have some much needed girl time. We ended up making the caramel apple nachos that I posted about in my Fall Bucket list. See the post here. They were sooooo yummy! Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the girls! Dangit!

On Sunday after church we headed to Harbortown to watch some football and have lunch. We barely eat at home on the weekends. Are you seeing a pattern here lol?? Greg came and hung out with us for awhile and I think I was in a food coma by the time we got home. We vegged out for awhile and I got caught up on Scandal. Does anyone else want Olivia to be with Jake instead of Fitz???? It drives me crazy lol.
Passed out puppy... he's adorable!

Anyways, Sunday was also our first night of our couples Bible study. I get nervous going to new places, even though I already know the host, I don't know the other couples. It ended up being a great night though. I felt so poured into by the time we left and it gave us some good things to think about for the week. When we got home we ate a late dinner since I had put a new chili recipe in the crockpot earlier that morning. It was soooo yummy! I'll share the recipe on here at some point.

Sorry about my lame photo skills this week lol. I hope that you all got some rest this weekend or did something awesome! Have a great day and come back tomorrow for some activewear inspiration. :)

Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone! This was a great week even though it was super busy. I feel like I've accomplished some long-overdue things on my list and I'm definitely making progress in other areas. So exciting! I hope you all had a wonderful week and that you have something fun planned this weekend. Mark and I are having a date night tomorrow, woot woot! I'm also getting together with some girlfriends on Saturday and we start a new Bible Study on Sunday. Busy Busy! :) As always I'm linking up with AprilNatashaChristinaKarliErikaNarci, and Andrea.

One- Dinner with the Wooster Fam

Plaid Gang lol

On Monday night we went to dinner at Seasons 52 with the Wooster side of the fam (minus Tracy, Michael, Blake, and Kelley). Laura was in town for a wedding and a conference so we were able to sneak in some time with her. :) I've never been to Seasons 52 before and it was super yummy! 

Two- Nantucket Obsession

Nantucket's Christmas Stroll
I have been obsessed with Nantucket for a few years now. I think it started when I first read an Elin Hildebrand book and I was captivated by the descriptions of the quaint inns, the beautiful beaches, and the beloved traditions of the island. I am DYING to go at Christmas time for the Christmas Stroll. The picture above is from the Stroll last year. Isn't it beautiful? There's something so quiet and calming about fresh fallen snow. Not that I want to live in snow all year long but visiting would be awesome! Have any of you ever been to Nantucket? How was your experience? 

Three- On a Reading Roll...

Buy it here.

I have been on a serious reading kick lately. I love to read but I've really ramped up my reading in the last few weeks. This is partly because I am far away from my 50 book goal and I have read some interesting books and couldn't put them down! I finished two books this past week... The Good Neighbor and Winter Stroll. The Good Neighbor was about a recent divorcee who starts a blog to help journal her thoughts and emotions while attempting to date. Her blogging gets a little out of control when she bends the truth/ flat out lies about a made-up boyfriend. She ends up getting a job with a well-known website as their resident dating blogger and the spiraling disaster continues. I don't want to spoil the book but you can see the direction this is going. It was a super easy read with lots of cringe-worthing moments and a few laughs. This is a great book for a rainy day or a long weekend!

Buy it here

I also just finished the Winter Stroll by Elin Hildebrand. This book is set in Nantucket, which sold me immediately. As I stated above, I am obsessed with Nantucket and hearing about Nantucket at Christmas time makes me fall even deeper in love. :) This book is full of relationship drama and is told in several points of view. I like when the author's tell the story from various characters because it gives the books a more rounded effect. This is the sequel to the book Winter Street and it picked up a year later. The book leaves you hanging at the end which is such a pet peeve of mine. There's obviously going to be another book in this series but I hope we don't have to wait an entire year for the next book. Overall, it was a great read even though it was quite predictable. I didn't want to put it down and I found myself pretty invested in the characters.

Four- Sweater Lovin'

Sun & Shadow Sweater
I saw this sweater on Southern Curls and Pearls this week and I fell in love. **It looks waaay cuter in the other photos. Click here to see Caitlin's post*** I'm a HUGE fan of hi-low tops and this deep green color is so beautiful. I am pretty particular about the texture of sweaters but Caitlin said it was super comfortable. I saw (what I thought) was a similar looking sweater at Target but turns out it's pretty different. I like the neckline of this sweater better but it doesn't seem as cozy as the one from Nordstrom. 

Five- Erin Condren Planner

I love anything that has to do with organization, planning, list-making, etc. I don't know how I became this way because I was a messy and disorganized child/ teenager lol.  I guess as I get older I get a little more OCD about certain things in my life. With all my organization lovin' I haven't found a planner I truly use regularly and I go back and forth between using them a ton to just using my iCalendar. A few months ago I discovered the Erin Condren planner after seeing some of my favorite Youtubers and bloggers rave about them.  I always thought it was kind of absurd to spend $60+ on a planner but I slowly got sucked into the craze. Well my VERY sweet husband ordered me a planner after seeing me drool over them for weeks. He picked out the cover and even added a picture of us to the back cover. So sweet!! I'll keep you updated on how it works out for me.

My Fall Bucket List

Now that my hubby is home I plan on checking off some activities on my fall bucket list. The first stop is Halloween costume hunting, of course! We're going to be Mary Poppins and Bert and I can't wait! We've never spent a Halloween in the same city in the five years we've been together... crazy, right?? Not only is Mark usually gone for Halloween but he's also gone most of the fall season. This year he will be home for at least the next two- three weeks so I plan on taking full advantage of all the fall activities and goodies (regardless of the fact that it's still eighty degrees).

Pumpkin carving is at the top of my list and I hope to check it off this weekend. I am TERRIBLE at pumpkin carving but it's still fun to try :) Maybe I can also roast some pumpkin seeds and drink Pumpkin ale at the same time! Three birds, one stone pumpkin! :)  I have this recipe saved for when I  make a couple batches of pumpkin seeds. Mmm!

Caramel apples are also high on my priority list. I have been on the hunt for some alternatives to the original caramel apple recipe because I have the hardest time biting into them.  My mom is probably laughing while reading this post because my fam LOVES to make fun of me and my hardship with apples lol, thanks guys! I've found some realllllly yummy looking sliced- caramel apple recipes though.

Mark wants these asap. Picture source here

How cute is this??? Picture source here

As you can tell by my list there are a bunch of things I want to do this fall. Crafting is always a favorite of mine and I get to check this one off my list on Saturday. I'm getting together with some of my girlfriends to craft and make a yummy fall treat. I can't wait! I'm also super excited to make some hearty chili, donate some goodies to a food drive, and of course have a Harry Potter marathon! I'm not a scary movie fan so Harry Potter is as close to Halloween-ish movies that I get lol. :)

I'll keep ya updated as I check some items off list. Have a great day everyone!!

Baked Apples

A couple weeks ago I made these delicious baked apples. I found the recipe on SevenLayerCharlotte and man oh man they were yummy! The perfect amount of sweetness without all the guilt. Here's how to make these bad boys.

** This is my slightly modified version but find the original version here
- Peel and cut 2 apples into a large dice
- Toss in a bowl with 1 tbsp of melted butter, 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. 
-Place apples in a baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the apples are soft. 

I always find the best recipes from Lindsay and I love that they are all pretty healthy. This is a great option for a fall treat without having to worry about over-indulging. Enjoy!

Weekend Recap

Holy moly that was a busy weekend! I felt like it flew by and I can't believe it's Monday already! I had such a wonderful time getting to see a bunch of friends and my family but man oh man I'm tired haha. I'll try to do a quick recap since I know I can get a little wordy. :) Here we go...

My latte and my book... all set for the flight!
My weekend started Thursday night when I got on my flight to Reno. My good friends Stacee and Matt picked me up and we headed out to grab a late dinner. We stayed up for a couple hours chatty and catching up. I love that no matter how long it's been since I've seen them it always feels so comfortable and natural when we do get together. Love you both and thank you for taking care of me this weekend :)

The view from Matt and Stacee's house

Friday morning we headed up to Tahoe to have lunch and get ready for Liz and Rob's wedding. Our hotel was so stinking cute and the views were seriously incredible! I love going to Reno/ Tahoe. It always feels like I am going home.

The beautiful bride and her dad

Jack is seriously adorable

Chelsea and me

My date Stacee :)

Isn't this breathtaking?? 

Waiting for the ceremony to start

The next morning Stacee and I grabbed bagels and coffee before Chels and Steve picked me up to head back to Reno. It was POURING rain so it was a little bit scary driving home. We made it in one piece :) Thank the Lord! I had to get completely ready for the wedding I was going to later on in the day in Vegas before I got on my flight. I managed to get myself together, spend a little time with Haley and Chels, then headed to the airport. My flight was terrifying because of the weather in Reno and in Vegas, so I was super anxious to get off the plane. Finally, my luggage came and Mark picked me up so we could head to the wedding. We changed at a gas station since I had Mark's suit and didn't wear my dress on the plane. We are classy people haha :) We made it to the wedding on time so I was super happy. I had booked a flight that got in at 3:00 and the wedding was at 4:15. Such a small amount of time but it worked out in the end!

Bagel place in Homewood

The wedding was so beautiful and Britany looked stunning! Kevin looked very handsome too :) It was so fun to see another two of our friends get married and I am so happy that we were there to celebrate with them. Here is a picture dump from the night... Sorry, some of the pics are a little blurry, whoops!

So glad that we were able to go to the wedding together :)

Brittney and I being goofy
Blurry pic but you get the idea :)

Jeff and Mark

My handsome date
 On Sunday, I got to spend a little time with my parents. We went to breakfast with them and also with my brother, my brother-in-law, and my mother-in-law. Afterwards we packed up our bags and headed out. I think the dogs are going to be sad when we get home and they realize their puppy-cousins aren't there lol. They love to play together and even Oliver tried to get in the action.

Copper, Bentley, and Oliver

We hit some pretty bad traffic on the way home and the weather was super weird. It rained a ton and then actually hailed on us. Crazy! It took us about 7 hours to get home which stinks. It gets longer and longer every time. :(

I had a great weekend and it was seriously a whirlwind! I am so happy to be home with my hubby and to be sleeping in my own bed tonight. I'm ready to tackle the week and I'm praying for this cooler weather to stay :) I hope you all had a blessed weekend! Happy Monday!