Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Three Cheese Pasta Bake

This past Friday morning while browsing through my Southern Living All Time Favorites cookbook, I came across this recipe for Three Cheese Pasta Bake and it just jumped out at me.  It wasn't a particularly tough week, but I've had this sort of lingering semi-cold that has me seeking comfort in all forms and this looked just the ticket.  This dish is very rich and full of cheese, but we all deserve a treat every once and a while, no?
Anyhow this bake is pretty easy to make and definitely the best Mac N Cheese type dish I have ever made or had in a restaurant for that matter.  Seriously, it's that good.  I used a smoky gruyere, which added a nice flavor to the dish.  I served this with a rather large helping of Arugula salad.  Arugula was nice, because it cut a little bit of the rich edge off the pasta bake.  Anyhow, give it a try if you are a Mac N Cheese lover, you won't regret it!
.lots of cheese.
.grating cheese can be a messy project, make sure you have someone to clean it up ;P.
.cheese sauce.

.mix with penne.

 .top with some grated gruyere.


xo Bridget

Friday, January 23, 2015

Joie De Vivre: Callaway Gardens

Last Sunday, we trekked out to Pine Mountain, Georgia to visit Callaway Gardens. It's right outside of Columbus, Georgia and was a nice little hour and half country drive for us.  I had been told lots of nice things about this resort, but thought it was something to save for the Springtime. We knew the weather was going to be beautiful this past Sunday and wanted someplace new to explore, but I quickly became discouraged when a lot of the places we considered were closed on Sundays. I did some exploring on the Callaway Gardens website and decided even though all the Spring blooms wouldn't be out, it would still be a great place to go for the day. 
It was a beautiful Winter day for a walk with lots of interesting things to see, including a pioneer home and an indoor butterfly garden.  There was a cute cafĂ© with a nice view of the water for a light bite, and all the cute shops were open and fun to browse through.  We even managed to sit it on a Birds Of Prey Show which was pretty awesome.  The Gardens are super dog friendly, except for indoor areas.  Below are some of my favorite pictures from the day.  It was great in January and we are really looking forward to getting back there in the Spring.

 xo Bridget

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Soft Blue

I'm not generally a fan of blue for myself, but lately I have been loving this soft shade of blue popping up everywhere.  It's a beautiful color and seems like it could really transition from Winter to Spring.  Here are some fun things that I took a liking to in this lovely shade of blue.  Enjoy!

xo Bridget

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shrimp Tacos

I am pretty excited about this post, mostly because deciding to do it meant I got to make and eat my most favorite thing ever: Shrimp Tacos.  I make these as a special treat when I am feeling like a Margarita and need a Mexican dish to accompany it.  I don't usually go for fried or breaded versions of anything, but these are really delicous .. I promise to come back with a grilled version at some point.  

I kind of just made this recipe up after having it at one of our local Mexican restaurants and becoming obsessed with it.  It's pretty easy and the only thing that really requires work is mixing some ground Chipotle Chili Pepper into some of my husbands homemade ranch dressing. Just mix a tiny bit at a time and make sure to taste it along the way to make sure it's to your liking, it really ads some zing to the tacos.  

Next I just bake the shrimp in the oven according to directions (I buy a frozen bag of Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp from Kroger).  While the shrimp are in the final stages of baking, I warm//brown the corn tortillas to get them warm and crispy.  After that, I load the crispy tortillas up with shredded lettuce, add about 3 shrimp per taco (don't forget to cut the tails off), top with a bit of shredded Mexican cheese, and a drizzle of Chipotle Ranch.  SO EASY and SO GOOD.  Sometimes I whip up some guacamole too, but at the last minute, I realized my Avocados had gone bad (Avocados are very fragile creatures - one minute hard as a rock, the next minute brown).  Voila! Shrimp Tacos .. give them a try, they won't disappoint.

xo Bridget

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fancy Pants

I had to do a post on my new favorite pants, and now the fanciest pants I own.  These beautiful cords were a Christmas gift from my mom.  She bought them with the complimenting pink top at Anthropologie, and I knew as soon as I opened it, that is was going to make a gorgeous outfit.  The cords are made out of a super stretchy material, and the top is silky soft, making it one of the most comfortable outfits ever. Surprisingly, a lot goes with these pants, but I also purchased this top to pull out that beautiful gold color, love love love it.  If patterned pants aren't your thing, these super comfy cords come in lots of pretty solid colors too.

Boots: Jessica Simpson (love this wedge heeled version)
Jacket: Hinge (love this)
Hat: Magid Hats (similar)

xo Bridget

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Beauty Resolutions

one . two . three . four . five . six . seven

I can't remember the last time I made a new years resolution. What does that mean? I don't know.  What I do know is that I love a new year, it always feel like a fresh start and a new clean slate.  This year I decided to make a few beauty resolutions which, to be honest, aren't a big deviation from my current routine, but rather a good way to fine tune it for the new year.  All of these beauty routines tie into things that keep me healthy on the inside, which translates to feeling better and looking good on the outside.  Here's to a beautiful 2015!

1. Walk more/work out more -  My husband bought me this fitbit for Christmas and at first I was skeptical, but now I am really getting into it.  Because I drive so much for work, it's nice to see how many steps I am getting in a day.  It also tracks how many calories I burn in my gym classes and I can plug in my food to see how many calories I've consumed. I find that it has been a great way for me to keep my daily healthy eating and exercising in check, which I really appreciate. 

2. Eye Cream Everyday - I keep a jar of All About Eyes on my bedside table, but need to become more strict about applying it EVERY night.  Sometimes I forget .. and I've read that eye cream  is one of the best anti aging things you can do for your face.

3. Drink More Water - I've already cut sugary sodas out of my diet, but sometimes I forget to drink anything at all .. all day!  Taking a large bottle of ice cold lemon water with me everywhere is  my plan this year. 

4. Exfoliate - I bought these exfoliating gloves after reading that exfoliating your whole body before you shower will make your skin glow and generally make you feel better .. but I've only used them a handful of times.  Exfoliating is important and not just on your face! 

5. Take Care of My Hair - I used to use this miracle hair mask all the time and forgot how amazing it makes my hair look and feel until I recently received a sample with another product.   I am definitely adding this super hydrating and nourishing mask to my shower regimen again this year.

6. Purify - This luminizing black mask is one that I haven't purchased yet, but it's on my list.  I currently use a great exfoliator and face wash, but I don't have anything to actually pull the impurities out.  After researching and reading reviews, it looks like this is the one for me. 

7. Smile More - I scored this awesome toothbrush at a super steal during my last dentist appointment and it makes my teeth feel like I just left the dentist every time I use it. It makes me want to smile literally all the time.

xo Bridget

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Avocado Toast

About a month before Christmas I started to see a lot of stuff on the internet on avocado toast.  Being an avocado lover, I was pretty curious and decided it was on my must try list.  I did a lot of browsing of recipes and different variations, but settled on creating my own basic blend.  It's very easy and delicious and doubles as a great post workout snack.  

Here's how I am making my avocado spread:  un-peel and de-core a whole avocado into a bowl, add the juice from half of a lemon, mash it all up, and add some salt to taste.  Voila!  Before I start mashing my avocado, I throw some whole grain bread into the toaster and get it nice and crispy.  After that, all you have to do is spread the avocado mash on and you're all set.

I am enjoying this combination as it is for the time being, but I'm looking forward to trying some of the fun recipes I've seen around too.

xo Bridget

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January Chill

It's finally chilly in Georgia, which is totally fine with me, especially when it means I get to wear my new hooded coat.  I got this coat for Christmas and despite being light and thin, it's very warm.  What I love even more it that it's so easy to throw over a lot of different outfits.  It's totally the perfect winter coat for Georgia.  I am showing it here with my Free People Denim Leggings, a cozy, lacy long sleeve top, and my Toms booties (which are SO comfortable).  I look forward to pairing it with lots of outfits this winter season. I hope you got something warm and cozy for Christmas too!

Top: Meadow Rue via Anthropologie (love this and this)
Jeans: Free People
Shoes: Toms

xo Bridget

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