Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Taco Soup

This past weekend when I was home in Virginia, my mom made this delicious taco soup.  I fell in love and promptly asked her for the recipe.  She told me that she got it from a friend at work and that amazingly it was a weight watchers recipe.  The night I returned home to Georgia, I craved a comforting meal, but wanted something on the healthier side since I've been away from the gym so long and this was just the ticket.  I used this variation of the recipe and it turned out great. It's super easy to throw together too .. gotta love it!

Here's what you need: 
2 cans of stewed tomatoes (one Mexican, one regular)
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of mild, medium or hot chili beans
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of ranch dressing mix 
1 pound of ground turkey or beef 
1 medium onion
 (I picked the low sodium versions of the ingredients where I could)

Step One: Chop up your onion (I could use a lesson on this).

Step Two: Throw your chopped onion and ground meat into a large cooking pot and cook until the meat is brown, then drain the fat.

Step Three: Once your meat is browned and the fat is drained, toss in the seasoning mixes and thoroughly mix.  Add the rest of the ingredients without draining.  Bring it all to a boil and then let it simmer for an hour.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Easy Breezy

Last week, I traveled up North for work and got to stay with my parents over the weekend.  It was so nice to be back home and hang around all my favorite spots, restaurants, and shops.  Among my hometown favorites is a great shop called South Moon Under, if you live in the VA/MD/DE/PA area chances are that you've been to one.  It's a super fun store and I usually can't leave without finding something that I love.  This past weekend, I picked up this dress and it was the best idea ever.  It is so soft and the print is fun.  It's easy to throw on and is nice and loose so the breeze gets in and let me tell you - I need it now that I am back in Georgia! 

I love all the new colors that have just come out in the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.  The black has long been a beauty staple of mine, but this past weekend I purchased the Olive color , which I am wearing here.  It's a nice lighter shade for daytime in the summer.

 Dress: En Creme 
Shoes: Steve Madden (Similar)
Bracelets: PandoraAlex and Ani, Deepa Gurnani, Free People (similar)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Glitter Switchplate DIY

The place we lived in before our current home was very plain.  The walls were all white and we didn't want to paint since we knew it was a temporary stay.  I prided myself in finding little unique ways to perk the place up and make it our own.

The first thing that jumped out at me were the switch plates - they sure did jump - and not it a good way.  The walls were a nice clean white, however, the switch plates had a rather yellowish tint and they just made me cringe.  I went to home depot and stocked up on plain white switch plates to replace the old ones and then it dawned on me - "I should decorate these!"  So I did - between Michael's and Home Depot I was able to pick up all the materials.  I love the idea and the results so much, I would definitely use this again in the future.

Materials Needed: Plain plastic switch plates, general purpose sand paper, a sponge brush, mod podge,  and glitter (I like the Martha Stewart superfine glitter for a more sophisticated glitter look).

Step One: Sand your switch plate on the surface to remove the smooth texture and leave a rough texture.  This will help the Mod Podge and glitter stick to it.

Step Two: Cover the switch plate with a thin layer of Mod Podge.

 Step Three:  Coat the plate with glitter.

Step Four: Shake off the excess glitter and return it to the container.  Let the plate dry for an hour before applying steps two and three again. Let the plate dry overnight before putting it up.


xo Bridget

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies

A couple of summers ago when I visited New York City, I made a list of foodie stops that I wanted to make.  One of the stops on my list was Fat Witch Brownie in Chelsea Market.  All of their brownies are amazing, but  I  really fell in love with their Red Witch Brownie, which is their original brownie with the addition of dried cherries.

Last Sunday night, before I left town for work, I was craving something sweet, but didn't have time to make anything from scratch.  I decided a remake of those chocolate cherry brownies would really hit the spot.

I cut the cherries up in halves, but you could also leave them whole if you wanted to.  I wanted more cherries throughout the brownies, so that was my reasoning for chopping them in halves.

After you make your brownie mix according to the instructions on the box, stir the cherries in. Now, you can just pour the mix into your prepared pan and bake.

These would be great if you wanted something a little more that just regular brownies to take to a party in a time crunch ..Yum!

xo Bridget

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Walk in the Park

I am a big fan of easy chic.  I mean, what's better than an outfit that is super comfortable, easy to throw on, and looks polished, right? I bought this dress last Summer in New York at the Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Greenwich Village (the one conveniently located right next to Magnolia Bakery).  Initially it was the print that jumped out at me and once I tried it on, I was sold.  It's the perfect summer dress made out of the softest thin sweatshirt type material and the price was right.  I have gotten so much wear out of it and I would love to find another like it.  Last Friday evening, we took the dog for a long walk in the park before heading into Downtown Macon for some drinks and dinner.  This dress was perfect - I stayed cool and comfortable on our walk, but still felt chic enough to head into town. 

Dress: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)
Shoes: Reef

Friday, May 16, 2014

Joie De Vivre

This week, I traveled to Atlanta for work and got to discover a fun new area, meet some awesome people,  and try some really cool restaurants. I really had a blast, but I am also really happy to be home.  Here are my favorite snaps from the week!

Puppy dog eyes.

Lazy Sunday couch pizza party.

The view while dining at Canoe on the Chattahoochee River. 

Red Velvet Cake at Local Three made with beet juice instead of food dye.

Happy Friday, hope you have a great weekend!
xo Bridget

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Take Out Menu Folder DIY

Once night while my parents were here visiting, we were feeling pretty pooped after a long day out and decided we wanted to get some take out.  My mom was super impressed when I pulled out my take out menu folder to look through our options.  She wanted to know why I hadn't made her one - ha!

I'll be flying there next weekend and since I didn't get to spend Mother's Day with her, I decided to spend Sunday afternoon whipping one up for her as a little surprise when I see her.  It's a silly little DIY, but it's great to have.  I made ours a short while after we were first married after seeing a similar option for sale in a shop.  

It got me to thinking what a great housewarming gift this little folder would make.  It's super inexpensive to make and you could add some more personal touches by filling it with some take out menus from local restaurants to the persons home.  

I purchased the reusable folder at CVS and the stickers/washi tape at Michael's.  All in, it probably cost me about $6.  I already had the letter stickers on hand.  I will say one helpful hint when trying to space out sticker letters is to spell them out onto wax paper before hand as a guide.  Just make sure you test to make sure the stickers you use will come off of the wax paper!

xo Bridget

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Summer Reading List

one . two . three . four . five . six

Summer is my favorite time to read and also the time when I get the most books read.  I don't know what it is .. you would think with all that time huddled up in the winter months, that would be prime reading time, but nope - Summer it is.  There is something great about plopping down in a cozy spot out back or at the beach and taking advantage of the warmth and lingering daylight hours.  

I went through the Barnes and Noble website this week and picked out these six books, which I have decided to make my summer reading assignment.  I will say that #1 is my books clubs pick of the month so thats why that one is up there - looking forward to that.  I recently read Gilliam Flynn's "Gone Girl" and enjoyed it, so that brought me to #3.  The last one that had some meaning behind it was #4, I love Marian Keyes and have read most of her books, with the exception of this one.  All of the other books were picked off the bestseller list and just looked good to me.

What's on your summer reading list?

xo Bridget

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Linguine with Tuna Puttanesca

During our first couple of months here in Georgia while I wasn't working, I really enjoyed working on my cooking skills and picking some new dishes to try.  One afternoon, I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner and he came up with this this recipe.  I was skeptical, because I'm traditionally not a fan of red sauce pastas or tuna, but it was awesome.  My husband now asks me to make it in large batches so that he can take it into work for lunch during the week.

This recipe is super easy and can be ready within 30 minutes, who doesn't love that!  We probably eat this with a salad for dinner once every two weeks.  The ingredients are easy to keep on hand if you need a last minute dinner and don't want to go to the store.

So, here it is, Linguine with Tuna Puttanesca:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the linguine.
(by the time the sauce is done - the linguine should be al dente)

Thinly slice 4 cloves of garlic and sauté in warm olive oil and crushed red pepper.

Add kalamata olives and capers and fry.

Add plum tomatoes, but reserve juice: crush the tomatoes into the skillet with your hands.
(ok, so it says to crush whole tomatoes with your hands and seriously I was squirting tomato juice all over myself every time. So, I bought crushed tomatoes this time - it gave the sauce a thicker consistency.  I will go back to using the plum tomatoes next time.)

If you used the plum tomatoes: Let the tomatoes dry out a bit then add the reserved tomato juice. Let the sauce thicken.
Since I used crushed tomatoes, I only used half of the can.

Add the tuna in olive oil, break it up with a fork and give the sauce a good mixing.

Drain your pasta and divide into serving bowls. Spoon sauce on top.

All done and ready to be devoured!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Denim Bodycon

I am not usually a body con dress kinda girl.  My midsection has always been my problem area so naturally I don't want anything too tight around there, however, I couldn't resist this dress.  The denim structure pulls everything in to give you a little tighter form, but because the denim is so soft and stretchy, it stays comfortable.  

Dress: Seven (similar) (similar) (similar)
Shoes: Report Signature (similar) (similar) (similar)

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