Paleo Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice

Here we are again, another Monday.  I hope you had a nice weekend with some delicious Easter brunch.  Colorado had some great weather and its starting to feel like spring is actually here to stay.  The trees are blooming, flowers are popping up and our allergies are going crazy!

This weekend seemed to fly by for me.  We had a fantastic Easter brunch at with my parents and spent the rest of our time basking in the sun on the porch.  Patio weather is my favorite!

A healthier Gumbo

Ever since we returned from New Orleans, I have been wanting to make some gumbo.    Everything we ate in NOLA was delicious however, I knew that it wasn’t the healthiest option.   (Do we ever pick the healthy option on vacation? 😉).   Gumbo seems to be a staple menu item in New Orleans.  I loved the gumbo from Cafe Beignet and wanted to make something similar but with a healthier spin.  For my recipe,  I used lean chicken breast, turkey andouille sausage  and traded out refined flour for a gluten-free option.  Although I used less oil or butter, this gumbo is not short on flavor.

Paleo Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice

Instead of using white rice, I traded it out for cauliflower rice.  My husband seemed a little skeptical at first, but we both found that we didn’t miss the white rice at all.    If you have never tried cauliflower rice, its super easy and a great way to sneak some extra veggies into your meal.  I bet you won’t miss the rice either.

Paleo Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice

If you haven’t already, check out my post on all 9 Fun Things to  do in New Orleans.

Healthier Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6

Healthier Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice

A easy and healthy gumbo recipe that is full of flavor and easy on the waistline.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Powdered Mustard
  • 3/4 Cup Almond Flour
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 3 Celery Stalks- Chopped
  • 1/2 White Onion- Diced
  • 3 Andouille Turkey Sausage- Sliced
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Garlic Clove- Finely Minced
    For Cauliflower Rice
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder and mustard powder. Mix in almond flour.
  2. Trim the chicken breasts and cut into small, bite-sized pices. Roll the pieces in the flour and spice mixture. Shake off any excess and place on a separate plate. Save remaining flour mixture.
  3. In a large sauté pan, add coconut oil over medium heat. Add floured chicken pieces. Stirring pieces occasionally, cook until chicken is no longer pink and is starting to brown. Set on a separate plate once cooked.
  4. In same sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add 3 Tbs. of flour to oil and stir quickly to make your roux. Don't let this burn.
  5. Add in the celery and onion. Mix well in the roux. Add chicken broth, about 1 cup at a time and stirring continually.
  6. Add your sliced sausage, bay leaf and minced garlic. Simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
  7. While the gumbo is simmering, cut the cauliflower in small florets. Place in a food processor or blender and pulse until texture resembles rice. You may have to do this in several batches if your blender or food processor isn't big enough.
  8. In a separate large skillet, heat a little olive oil and add cauliflower rice. Heat over low, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat after 5-10 minutes or when the rice is a little softer.
  9. Serve gumbo over the cauliflower rice and enjoy!
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/04/11/paleo-chicken-sausage-gumbo/

Kate- A Copper Queen

Easy Easter Brunch Egg Muffins

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a nice weekend and were able to get outside.  It was so nice here that we went for a run…and I never run.  I guess I call myself a fair weather runner and refuse to run outside if it’s under 60 degrees, overcast or generally has a breeze over 2 mph.  However, I dusted off my running shoes and made myself do it.  It’s funny how you seem to hate your life when you’re running but you feel so good after you do it.  I should really try to make myself do it more often.

We went to dinner at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox in Denver this weekend.   We have been there before but it’s been a while.  Their food is so delicious!  We didn’t necessarily choose the healthiest items on the menu, buy hey, that’s what weekends are for!

Ophelia’s is a unique “brothel-theamed” restaurant and lounge.  The building itself has quite the history and has been transformed with swanky 70’s style decor.  There’s no bad seat in the house and it’s a great place to hear some live music from the basement stage.  Our favorite item on the menu in the Spring Cheese Incident which our server described as a healthier queso dip.  I don’t know if I would call it “healthy”, but it’s definitely better than queso.  I would definitely recommend making reservations if you want to try Ophelia’s since they always seem to be busy.

Easy Easter Brunch Egg Muffins
Freezable Quick and Healthy Egg Muffins

So I just realized that Easter is this weekend!  What is happening to 2017!  This year seems to be flying by.  When my mom asked what I am bringing for Easter brunch and I immediately thought I have no time to make something.  After a slight moment of panic, I thought of these easy egg muffins.  I love that they are simple and quick but you know the best part?  You can freeze them and pull them out when you are ready to eat them!

Since I leave for work at 5:00 am, these are a great breakfast I can have in the morning .  Unlike me, my husband is the type who hits the snooze button 500 times before getting up (I NEVER exaggerate).  Having these egg muffins ready is great so he can have a healthy breakfast and not reach for a sugary cereal.

I don’t know if you have ever tried Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Turkey Sausage but it’s an easy way to add some protein to your breakfast.  I have used it in many recipes in the past and love that it’s already cooked and ready to eat.  It cuts down on so much time.

I hope you enjoy them and have a great Easter Sunday.

Easy Easter Brunch Egg MuffinsEasy Easter Egg MuffinsEasy Easter Brunch Egg Muffins

Easy Easter Brunch Egg Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 Egg Muffins

Easy Easter Brunch Egg Muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Chopped Fresh Spiniach
  • 1/4 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1/4 Onion, Diced
  • 1 Package Turkey Sausage (I like Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Turkey Sausage)
  • 8 Whole Eggs
  • 6 Egg Whites or equivilent
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
    Optional:
  • 1/2 Diced Tomato
  • 2-3 Diced Green Onions.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Slice mushrooms so they make round discs and place in the bottom of the muffin tins.
  3. Chop spinach and dice red pepper and onion. Divide evenly among muffin cups.
  4. Cook turkey sausage if not pre-cooked. Add evenly to muffin cups.
  5. In a medum bowl, whisk eggs and egg whites. Add garlic powder, oregano and salt and pepper. Pour evenly among muffin cups.
  6. Sprinkle each cup with cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.
  8. Top with diced tomatoes and green onions if desired. Serve and enjoy!
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/04/10/easy-easter-brunch-egg-muffins/

Kate- A Copper Queen

9 Fun things to do in New Orleans

9 Fun Things to do in New Orleans

Our recent trip to New Orleans was the first time I had been.  When looking at the weather to plan what to bring, it said mid 60’s-70 degrees.  I quickly realized that 70 degrees  in Denver is VERY different that 70 degrees in New Orleans.  The humidity literally hit me across the face the moment I stepped off the plane and I knew that I had packed all wrong.  The good thing is the heat doesn’t bother me and I would much rather be hot than cold.

Any-who, we went to New Orleans with my sister and her boyfriend who had a conference and  wanted to tag along.  Our objective: sip some great cocktails, nosh on some great eats and listen to some great jazz music.  I’ve listed 9 things we loved while visiting New Orleans.

Bourbon Street

 

1. Bourbon Street and the French Quarter

Whether you enjoy the crazy bar scene or not, you have to at least take a walk down Bourbon Street.  We were trying to compare it to any other place we have been but,  the fact is that there is simply no place like it.  What we imagined it to be did not necessarily match our expectations. I pictured it as a similar to the strip in Vegas.  Like Vegas, it’s legal to walk the streets with an open container of alcohol. However, Bourbon Street is MUCH more narrow than the sidewalks of Vegas among other things.

As you walk down the brick and stone sidewalks, you will see bar after bar with neon lights and signs for their drink specials.  Many people try to grab your attention to get you into their bar. Street performers are everywhere.  You might see children playing 5 gallon bucket drums or people dressed as statues posing in the same position for hours.  As the night goes on, the street gets more crowded and there are many people on the second floor balconies who throw beads down.   I asked our waitress at the Cafe Beignet in Music Legends Park about the whole flashing for beads.  She said she has no idea where that comes but no one does that.  Needless to say, we did not see anyone showing their boobs for beads… sorry boys.

Frenchman Street

Frenchman Street is a short walk from Bourbon Street but found it to be less crazy and have more live music.  The bands don’t seem to start until the evening  but it is still fun to walk down during the day.  There is definitely different feel to Frenchman Street.  I heard that it used to be where more of the locals go but has changed to a more popular tourist destination over the past few years.  We walked down it one night and walked through several of the craft bazaars they have.  There you can browse and purchase many pieces of art from local artists.  There are some very talented people who create great pieces!

9 Fun things to do in New Orleans

Things to consider before you go:
  1. Comfortable walking shoes.  Depending on where you are staying, you may have a little bit of a walk to get to Bourbon Street.  I would not recommend heels or even wedges because of the uneven walking surfaces.  I would not recommend sandals  or open toed shoes either. The sidewalks can be very dirty and wet. There can also Mardi Gras beads all over and easy to slip on.
  2. Go in the morning or early afternoon.  If you are hoping to avoid the crazy crowds and drunk people, definitely go when it’s still light out and earlier in the day. As it gets later, people get drunker, crazier and it’s definitely is more busy. One good thing is that after a certain time, the road is blocked off and you can walk on the street without worrying about cars.
  3. Watch your purse or bag-  as with any busy tourist area, be cognizant of your wallet, purse or backpack.  Even though there is a good police presence in the area, don’t allow yourself to be a victim of a crime of opportunity. Put your wallet in your front pocket and make sure your purse or backpack is zipped up. Be cautious of people coming up and talking to you or asking you strange questions as they might be trying to divert your attention while someone else pickpockets you.

I don’t want to scare you into not visiting because it is a very fun and unique place to see. We did not have any problems and we walked Bourbon Street several times.

After walking down Bourbon Street,take a walk south towards the Mississippi River. There is a great boardwalk to stroll down and it is much less crazy than Bourbon Street. There are many great restaurants where you can find some great traditional Cajun food.

2. Steamboat Natchez

Steamboat Natchez

If you are looking for a fun daytime or evening activity, try taking a riverboat cruise on the Steamboat Natchez. They have several options for tours which you can find on their website here.  We did a Sunday Morning Brunch cruise but chose the option for the boat ride only without brunch. They also offer dinner cruises and heard from several people are very fun.

Unfortunately, the day we went was rainy and cold. The majority of the inside space of the boat is for the dining room. Those seats are reserved for brunch (or dinner) so we sat outside. On a nice day that would have been great, however it was pretty cold. The outside decks have quite a bit of seating and tables that is covered so we were able stay dry. The best view is up top on the top (third) deck.

About the boat

The boat has 2 other bars that are located indoors.  One is on the 3rd deck with only about 4 tables.  The other is on the bottom deck  and is a little larger but still only about 5 or 6 tables.  There is some room to stand if you just need a quick warm up.  They do off warm beverages such as coffee and hot chocolate.  An even better place to warm up is the engine room down on the bottom floor towards the back of the boat.  Here you can see how a steam engine works and watch the men in action.  There are a few bathrooms on board and you may purchase food and drinks even of you did not purchase the meal with your ticket.

Where it goes

The boat ride takes you from Jackson’s Square in the French Quarter, down the river about 7 miles,  turns around and heads back upstream to just past where you boarded and near the Crescent City Connection Bridge.  It returns you to the same location at Jackson’s Square. The Sunday brunch tour is 2 hours long.  A guide takes along the rivers you pass several docked ships, a sugar plant, oil refinery as well as other points of interest.

I would recommend doing the riverboat ride with the brunch or dinner if you are wanting a guaranteed seat inside.  It’s really the only way to see the jazz band also.  Otherwise, you can listen to them playing from the speakers outside on the deck.  Although we didn’t eat on the boat, many people said the food was great.  Definitely reserve your tickets ahead of time on their website here several days or even week in advance since they do book up. Even of you cannot get a reservation to have a meal on the boat, I would say it’s still worth going.

3. Carousel Bar

Carousel Bar

Located inside the Hotel Monteleone, the Carousel bar is one of those unique place you must stop in just to see if nothing else.  The seats around the bar as well as the bar counter itself, slowly rotate while you sit.  The movement is very slow and before you realize it, you are on the opposite side of the bar.  Not only is it a nice lounge and fun place to visit, they make great cocktails.  The bar seats fill up quick so you may have to stand and wait for a little while, but those are definitely be best seats in the house.

Cocktails at the Carousel Bar

 

4. Street Car

When your feet get tired of walking, try riding one of the iconic streetcars.  These trolleys can get you to most of the tourist destinations in New Orleans.  Tickets are inexpensive at $1.25 for a single ride or $3 for a 24 hour pass.  There are also options for a 3-day pass for $9 and even a 31-day pass for $55.  You may purchase your single ride or 24 hour ticket directly when you board the streetcar.  Note that you must have EXACT cash to purchase this way.

The easiest way we found to navigate the streetcars is just the Google maps app on our phone.  Just click on the transit option at the bottom once you have entered both your FROM and TO location.  Then click on the small train icon to pull up the stops on your route.  It makes navigating an unfamiliar city much easier!

Finding Streetcar Route on iPhone

 

Finding Streetcar Route on iPhone

5. August

Restaurant August in New Orleans

By far the best food we had in New Orleans!   It may be on the top end of your budget but if you’re willing to spend the extra, it will definitely be worth it.  We were recommended the restaurant August by our friend, Daniel, and were honestly, a little hesitant because of how expensive it looked.  We decided what the heck, we’re on vacation and tried it anyway and so glad we did.  If you love french food, definitely stop in here.  Dishes we would recommend are the potato gnocchi, the oysters, and the “breaded” flounder.  For dessert, definitely try the “dirt cake”.

"Dirt Cake" and August in New Orleans

“Dirt Cake” and August in New Orleans

6.Cafe Beignet/ Music Legends Park

We found this little oasis on Bourbon Street and spent most of our time here.  What we love about the Cafe Beignet at Music Legends Park is you can still be a part of the Bourbon Street scene minus the craziness.  They have plenty of seating outdoors, both covered and uncovered, and there is always live music.  The food is great and they have a full bar right there with the best waitresses.  What else can you ask for?

Gumbo at Cafe Beignet

Cafe Beignet at Music Legends Park

Legends

 

7. 21st Amendment

21st Amendment

Photo Credit: The 21st Amendment

One of the must have drinks to try in New Orleans is a hurricane and while many will tell you to go to Pat O’Briens, we found a better one.  The 21st Ammendment bar has great drinks and the best hurricane we found during our trip.   This bar is smaller than others and has a great atmosphere.  Like many of the bars in the French Quarter, they have live music.  It’s located just off of Bourbon Street making it a little less crowded when we were there.

Another must try drink while in New Orleans is a Sazerac which is a whiskey cocktail.  Not my first choice but my husband said the 21st Amendment made the best Sazerac he had while in red Orleans.

8. WWII Museum

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans is rated as one of the best war museums in the U.S.  If you enjoy WWII history, this is a must see in New Orleans.  Like many museums, there is quite a bit of reading.  However, they have many displays, videos, personal stories and interactive areas.  It is very educational and makes for a great rainy day activity.  Buy your tickets online here beforehand and pick them up when you arrive to skip them sometimes long  lines.

The best part of the museum is the Boeing Center which is the home to several aircrafts that are suspended from the ceiling.  You can get a close view of these pieces of history from the viewing bridges on the 3rd and fourth floors.   Be sure to take a look at rh Boeing  B-17 and P-51 Mustang.

Boeing B-17

9.Burbon House

If you are looking for some great seafood, try Bourbon House on Bourbon Street.  They have a great menu of delicious Southern food as well as a great whiskey menu which kept my husband entertained for hours! (no exaggeration!)  The food is delicious!  I wish I would have taken more photos of my meal for you to see, but it looked so good when it got to the table, I just dug right in.

We went on a Sunday night and it was really busy.  Luckily, we made reservations and didn’t have to wait.  I would recommend making reservations if you planning on eating at Bourbon house for dinner.  We used Open Table to make our reservations.  Definitely stop in, even if it’s only for a cocktail at the bar.

Bourbon House

Overall summary of New Orleans Favorites:

Bourbon Street– A must see in New Orleans…Go during the day

Frenchman Street– Lots of live music that starts in the evening

Steamboat Natchez– A fun tour of the Mississippi River

Carousel Bar– A fun bar that rotates while you sip great cocktails

Streetcars– Easy way to get around NOLA

Restaurant August– The best food in New Orleans…seriously.

Cafe Beignet at Music Legends Park– Perfect place for a cocktail, beignet and live music on Bourbon Street

21st Amendment–  Makes the best Sazerac and Hurricanes

The National WWII Museum–  Very well done and a fun activity for a rainy day

Bourbon House– Great seafood and traditional Southern food

Hyatt Regency New Orleans– We stayed here.  A little walk to Bourbon Street but a great hotel

Napoleon House– The best Muffuletta in New Orleans.  We went twice!

Waffle Iron Hashbrown Breakfast

Waffle Iron Hashbrown Breakfast

Breakfast!

One of the reasons I love to travel is that I get to go out to breakfast!  Yes, I can get brunch with my hubby or girlfriends here in Denver, but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem to happen.  Life gets in the way.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great places in Denver for breakfast.  It just seems that I only allow myself to spend the time and money to eat out for breakfast when I’m traveling.

I know breakfast is “the most important meal of the day.”  My dad taught my sisters and me to always have a good meal in the morning.  Growing up, he always had breakfast ready for us before school. To this day, I still find time to make myself something before I leave for work at 5:00am.  It may not be very elaborate, but eggs are always on the menu.  I find the protein and minimal sugar keep me going longer.

My husband and I enjoy making breakfast on the weekends.  And when I say we, I mean me and he just asks if it’s ready yet .  We love hashbrowns but they just take so darn long to make!  When you’re hungry in the morning, waiting for them to get golden brown and crispy seems like torture and I end up eating them soggy.  Someone suggested that I try them in the waffle iron.  Genius! I love this method because I can cut the time in half since it cooks both sides at the same time and I don’t have to use as much oil.

I wanted to add some veggies so I decided to make a skillet with some sautéed kale and mushrooms.  You could choose any veggies or toppings you want.  Top that with your eggs, a little cheese and voilá!  Add a mimosa and pretend you’re on vacay!

Waffle Iron Hashbrowns

Waffle Iron Hashbrown Breakfast

Waffle Iron Hashbrown Breakfast

Waffle Iron Hashbrown Skillet

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2

Waffle Iron Hashbrown Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Frozen Shredded Hashbrowns- thawed to room temperature
  • Spray Cooking Oil of Choice
  • Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/4 water
  • 6-8 Large Kale Leaves, chopped
  • 6-8 Mushrooms, spliced
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Chedder Cheese
    Optional:
  • Green Onions- for garnish
  • Avacado slices
  • Turkey Bacon

Instructions

  1. Preheat waffle iron on a medium/ high setting.
  2. Spray both sides of the waffle iron with oil.
  3. Dry potatoes between paper towels. You can use frozen hashbrowns but they will take longer to cook.
  4. Arrange a handful of potatoes on the waffle iron and close the lid, You will not be able to completely close the lid. Allow the hashbrowns to cook for about 2 minutes then press the lid down more to form potatoes into the grooves of the waffle iron.
  5. Allow hashbrowns to cook for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  6. While hashbrowns are cooking, melt butter in a small skillet over low/medium heat. Saute the kale and mushroom until the kale is wilted and the mushrooms are soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. In another small skillet, spray with cooking oil and heat over medium heat.
  8. Crack eggs into the skillet. Once the whites have turned white, add the water to the pan and cover for another minute or until the whites are cooked but the yoke is still runny. If you like the yoke solid, cook longer until it is cooked to your liking.
  9. Remove hashbrowns from waffle iron and place on a plate. Top with the sautéed kale and mushrooms, then 2 of the eggs. Sprinkle with cheese and add green onions if desired. Serve with avacado slices and turkey bacon.
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/03/23/waffle-iron-hashbrown-breakfast/

Neutrals for Winter

I have been waiting for some colder weather to post this outfit from our ski vacation to Steamboat.  However, it is looking like that is not happening any time soon.  So, I am posting this out of spite and in hopes that we will get even just a little more snow.  Usually March is the snowiest month here.   I feel like we got jipped on winter this year.  I’m not ready to pack away all my sweaters and boots yet!

Winter Neutrals
Winter Neutrals
Winter Neutrals  Winter Neutrals

Neutrals for Winter

Neutrals for Winter

Neutrals for Winter

Shop the post:

Winter Neutrals

Enough with all the whining about the lack of snow, lets talk about this outfit.  First off, the boots are the best for the wet, sloppy snow in the winter.   Sorel has really stepped it up over that past few years and has some super cute and practical boots for winter.  This sweater is one of my most favorite sweaters this season.  I’m totally into long  tunic sweaters that I can wear over a comfy pair of leggings.  And I’m not usually a hat person but beanies are an exception.   When it’s cold out, a cute beanie warms me right up.  Plus, I don’t have to do my hair!  It’s a fun accessory to add to my winter outfit 🙂

On another note, is daylight savings kicking anyone else’s butt?  It might be because I caught a little bug, probably from the plane, but I have been so exhausted over the last few days.  Every year I think I say the same thing but I find it crazy that one hour has such an effect on me.  Anyone else feel this too?

Crockpot Chicken Burrito Bowls

Crockpot Chicken Burrito Bowls

It’s seriously going to be almost 80 degrees here guys!  It only March!  I still need at least one more good day of snowboarding in the mountains.  It makes me sad to think I might have to wait until next season.  One of our favorite things to do during spring skiing is take our portable grill up and have a BBQ in the parking lot.  It may sound a little rough, but hey,  Colorado is a different place, and we all have a little redneck in us.  I guess all this warmer weather does get me excited for camping.

Easy Crockpot Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowls

I’m alway up for easy.  Who isn’t?  I know you work long days and just want something quick, healthy and delicious to throw together after work.  I made this recipe the other day because its easy and seemed to hit the spot.  Shredded crockpot chicken can be used for a ton of recipes.  For this one, I was craving one of those burrito bowls from  Chipotle.  I wanted a healthier and lighter version that didn’t make me feel weighed down after eating it.  The best part about making this chicken is the leftovers.  I plan on posting several other recipes where I use this easy crockpot chicken.  I hope you enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken Burrito Bowls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Crockpot Chicken Burrito Bowls

Ingredients

    For Crockpot Chicken:
  • 4 Chicken Breasts- Trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 Can Diced Green Chilis
  • 1 can Chicken Low Sodium Chicken Stock
    For Burrito Bowl:
  • 2 Cups Brown Rice
  • 1 Bag Frozen Corn- thawed
  • 1 Can Black Beans- Rinsed and Drained
  • 1 Avacado-diced
  • 1 Tomato-diced
  • 1/4 Red Onion- diced
  • 2 Tbs. Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. Lime Juice
  • Salt and Pepper
    Optional Toppings
  • Sour cream or plain sheep's milk yogurt
  • Shredded Chedder Cheese

Instructions

  1. Place trimmed chicken breasts, salt, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, green chilis and chicken stock in crockpot. Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  2. When the chiken is done cooking, use two forks to shred.
  3. Make your avacado salsa by adding your diced avacado, tomato onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cook brown rice according to package. Layer about a half cup in the bottom of your bowl.
  5. Top your rice with shredded chicken, corn, black beans and avacado salsa.
  6. Add optional toppings if desired.
  7. Enjoy!
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/03/15/crockpot-chicken-burrito-bowls/

Arugula Salad with Honey Ginger Salmon

Arugula Salad with Honey Ginger Salmon

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Arugula Salad with Honey Ginger Salmon

Ingredients

  • 4 Salmon Fillets (about 4- 6 oz a piece)
    Marinade/ Dressing
  • 4 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbs Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1.4 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Honey
  • 1 Tbs. Coconut Oil
    Salad
  • About 4 large handfuls Arugula
  • 1 Avacado
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • 1 4oz container Goat Cheese

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lime juice, ginger, salt, pepper, soy sauce and honey.
  2. Place salmon slices in a zipper bag and pour in 1/2 of the marinade. Save the other half as dressing.
  3. Allow the salmon to marinade at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  4. Heat a skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. You can flick a few drops of water over the pan and you will know its ready when they bounce and sizzle.
  5. Melt the coconut oil and place the salmon fillets in the pan, skin side down.
  6. Cook until you see the lighter color change is about 3/4 up the side of the fillet. Generally, its about 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness.
  7. Flip the fillets over and cook for about another 1-2 minutes.
  8. While the salmon is cooking, place a large handful of arugula in a bowl. Dice avacado and cut onion into small slices. Sprinkle the avacado, onion, sliced almonds and goat cheese over your arugula.
  9. When the salmon is done, remove the skin a place on top of your salad. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salmon and salad.
  10. Enjoy!
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/03/08/honey-ginger-salmon-arugula-salad/

Happy Wednesday!  Halfway to the weekend!  Can I just say the Bachelor was so boring on Monday?  Even though I’m not an avid follower, I sometimes turn it on for background noise.  It’s been a while and I have heard many people talking about this season.  I thought, why not and turned it on.  I could not get into it.  Maybe it’s the Bachelor this season or that I have not followed the show up to this point. The dates seemed to be so blah.  I remember the days where they would have amazing, once in a lifetime dates that only could be thought up for TV.  But a dirty bar  in Finland?

Anyway,  I turned on Game of Thrones, which by the way, is not the best show to watch before bed.   I guess I sound like I spend hours binge watching TV, but that’s not really the case.  Actually, we don’t even have cable.  It’s just a way for me do wind down at night and I am usually in bed by 9-9:30.

Honey Ginger Salmon on Arugula Salad

I made this recipe the other day when I was looking for something that was a little lighter after the gym.  I usually go for heavy, cream based dressings that I know aren’t good for me.  For whatever reason, something very light just sounded good.  I love salmon and I like to find different ways to make it.  As it gets closer to the spring, I have a feeling I will be eating more salads so keep an eye out for those!

When cooking the salmon, I like to leave the skin on because I think it keeps the salmon from drying out a little.  You could cook the salmon in a pan on the stove or bake it in the oven.  Either way, leave the skin on and remove it right before serving on your salad.

Arugula Salad with Honey Ginger Salmon

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Arugula Salad with Honey Ginger Salmon

Ingredients

  • 4 Salmon Fillets (about 4- 6 oz a piece)
    Marinade/ Dressing
  • 4 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbs Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1.4 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Honey
  • 1 Tbs. Coconut Oil
    Salad
  • About 4 large handfuls Arugula
  • 1 Avacado
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • 1 4oz container Goat Cheese

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lime juice, ginger, salt, pepper, soy sauce and honey.
  2. Place salmon slices in a zipper bag and pour in 1/2 of the marinade. Save the other half as dressing.
  3. Allow the salmon to marinade at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  4. Heat a skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. You can flick a few drops of water over the pan and you will know its ready when they bounce and sizzle.
  5. Melt the coconut oil and place the salmon fillets in the pan, skin side down.
  6. Cook until you see the lighter color change is about 3/4 up the side of the fillet. Generally, its about 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness.
  7. Flip the fillets over and cook for about another 1-2 minutes.
  8. While the salmon is cooking, place a large handful of arugula in a bowl. Dice avacado and cut onion into small slices. Sprinkle the avacado, onion, sliced almonds and goat cheese over your arugula.
  9. When the salmon is done, remove the skin a place on top of your salad. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salmon and salad.
  10. Enjoy!
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/03/08/honey-ginger-salmon-arugula-salad/

Have a great rest of the week!

Paleo Chicken Fajitas

Weekday Paleo Fajitas

It’s Friday!  Since everyone seems to be on Spring Break in Mexico, I have been craving some Mexican food.  Fajitas are one of my favorite things to order when I go out to eat.  I get a kick out of watching everyone in the restaurant turn their head when they hear the sizzling skillet come out of the kitchen.  For my recipe, I like to use goat cheese crumbles and plain sheep’s milk yogurt in place of sour cream.  My husband said he didn’t even miss the real sour cream!  My favorite sheep’s milk yogurt is this one.  Go to their website to check out locations where you can find it.

I also like to use uncooked corn tortillas.  They taste so much better than the pre cooked ones and they really don’t take much more time to make.  I have found that these corn tortillas don’t fall apart as much as others meaning I can pack them full of tasty chicken and veggies.  The best thing about these fajitas is that they can be baked on one pan.  It’s an easy way to make a heathy and delicious weeknight meal.  It makes at least 4 servings so I take my leftovers for lunch!  Enjoy!

Paleo Fajitas

Paleo Fajitas

Healthy Weekday Fajitas

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 14 Fajitas

Healthy Weekday Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Sirloin or Strip Steak
  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 2 Portabello Mushroom Caps
  • Uncooked Gluten Free Corn Tortillas (I like these
    For Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup Lime Juice
  • 2 Garlic Cloves- diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Paprika
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 3 Tbs. Olive Oil
    Optional Toppings
  • 1 Avacado- mashed
  • 1 (6oz) Sheeps Milk Yogurt- Plain
  • 1 (4oz) Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • 1 Lime

Instructions

  1. Trim and slice steak and chicken into small strips. Place in large zipper freezer bag.
  2. Slice bell peppers, red onion and portabello mushrooms into strips. Place in the freezer bag with the chicken and steak.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, garlic, paprika, cumin, onion, chili powder, salt, pepper and olive oil. Pour over the veggies and meat in the freezer bag and seal.
  4. Allow the veggies and meat to marinade on the counter for 15 minutes or 4 hours in the fridge.
  5. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Pour the veggies and meat onto a large cookie tray, keeping any extra marinade in the bag. The extra marinade can be discarded.
  7. Spread the veggies and meat evenly on the tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until meat is fully cooked.
  8. Cook tortillas according to the packaging. Usually you will cook the tortillas in a skillet or cast iron pan over medium to high heat for about 30 second per side.
  9. Assemble fajitas with meats and veggies. Top with avacado, plain yogurt, and goat cheese crumbles.
  10. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the top and enjoy!
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/03/03/weekday-paleo-fajitas/

I hope you have had a fantastic week and a fun weekend ahead!  And keep on posting Spring Break photos!

 

Paleo Chicken Piccata with Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope your weekend felt longer than mine.  For whatever reason, it seemed to fly right by.  I did get to see my bestie for dinner though!  I feel like I never get to see her since she lives 4 hours away.  A few us girls went for margaritas and tacos, talked about life and laughed like we did in high school.  It was great!  I feel so greatful to have such amazing friends.  It feels like no time has passed since the last time we saw each other.

We also visited my sister over the weekend. We went to lunch at one of our favorite places, Fort Collins Brewery.  I may be biased since there is a hot redhead on the can, but I love their Red Banshee beer.  Definitely stop in if you are in Fort Collins.

The other day, we were talking about the food we remember eating as kids.  My mom cooked a lot and many of her recipes stick out in  my mind.  I remember chicken piccata because I thought it had a funny name.  It’s interesting think things that you remember from childhood.  Anyway, I wanted to try a gluten-free, Paleo version chicken piccataand It turned out great!  It’s easy to make and can be a great weekday meal.  Oh, and FYI, the capers are usually found near the pickles 🙂

Paleo Chicken Piccata with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Paleo Chicken Piccata with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbs. Water
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
  • 1 13.5 oz Can Coconut Milk (don't use the lite milk)
  • 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 tsp. Parsley
  • 1/4 Cup Capers
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
    Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower- I like the steamer bags ones
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Trim the chicken and butterfly it in half so you have two thin pieces from one breast.
  2. Using 2 shallow bowls, add the coconut flour to one and the eggs to the second. Scramble the eggs and add 2 Tbs. water.
  3. Dip each thin chicken breast in the egg/ water mixture, then dip in the coconut flour. Cover both sides and shake of any excess.
  4. Add 2 Tbs. coconut oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the oil is heated, place chicken breasts in the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes then flip. Cook for another 5 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside on a separate plate. Cover with the skillet lid to keep warm.
  6. Lower the heat on the skillet and add coconut milk, scraping the chicken drippings from the pan.
  7. Add chiken bouillon cube, cup of water, parsley, capers and salt and pepper to taste to the skillet.
  8. Squeeze the juice from 2 lemons into the the sauce and stir.
  9. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes. If your sauce isn't thickening, mix one tsp of coconut flour with a little water and add to the sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  10. While the sauce is cooking, steam the cauliflower according to the directions on the bag. If you're using a fresh cauliflower, cut and steam the florets until tender.
  11. Place steamed cauliflower on a blender or food processor. Pulse the food processor until the cauliflower is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and pulse to mix.
  12. Serve chicken on mashed potatoes and pour the sauce over the top.
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/02/27/paleo-chicken-piccata/

Floral Bomber Jacket

Floral Bomber Jacket Valentine's Outfit Floral Bomber Jacket Valentine's Outfit Floral Bomber Jacket Valentine's Outfit Floral Bomber Jacket Valentine's Outfit Floral Bomber Jacket Valentine's Outfit Floral Bomber Jacket Valentine's Outfit Floral Bomber Jacket Valentine's Outfit

Floral Bomber Jacket Valentine's Outfit

 Floral Bomber Jacket

Its been feeling a little like spring here, however, I think all of us here in D-town know that “Winter is Coming”.  March in Colorado seems to be the snowiest month.  In the mean time, I wanted to wear something that made me feel springy, floral print!  I am totally in love the bomber jackets and confess that I have bought a couple lately.  This floral bomber is my favorite!  I love the bright colors and the soft, satin-like fabric making it easy to move in.   With all this warm weather, I was also able to wear sandals!  I have seen so many people posting their spring break vacations, I am definitely envious of their fun spring outfits.

How was your Valentine’s Day?  Having Valentine’s Day on a Tuesday made it difficult for us to go out.  We also tend to be pretty lame on the weekdays since we both work early.  I made my hubby a steak dinner (which I never cook steak for him) and just watched our new favorite series, Game of Thrones.  It was the perfect, relaxing evening.  Since we have several trips planned for this year, we decided not to spend money on gifts.   My husband dId break the rules and got me the sweetest card!  He really is the best.

Have a great weekend everyone!

The Best Cold Day White Chicken Chili

Yummy!

I made this chili when we got back home from our ski weekend in Steamboat, CO.  Since we spent the weekend in the cold, I felt the need to make something that would warm us up.  This White Chicken Chili recipe did just that!  It’s super easy to throw together after a long day of skiing or even after a day at work.  Despite the most time-consuming step of shredding the chicken, this recipe can be made in under 45 minutes.  In order to cut down on time, simply cut the raw chicken into small, bite size pieces and add to the chicken stock to cook.  No need remove from the pot or shred.  Also, this recipe is easily made in the crock pot.  See the note at the bottom of the recipe for crock pot instructions.

Steamboat, CO

We had a fantastic weekend in Steamboat!  It was great to get away for a few days and enjoy all the great snow they have had.  I wish I could say I am coming home relaxed and refreshed, however, I am exhausted!  We spent 3 full days of snowboarding and my legs are feeling it!  If you have never been to Steamboat, it is a beautiful resort, mountain and town.  It is well-known for its champagne powder and always seems to have great snow for skinning or snowboarding.  Nevertheless, it is a beautiful place to visit year-round.

The Best Cold Day White Chicken Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

The Best Cold Day White Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Medium White Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 15oz Can White Beans
  • 1 4oz can Diced Green Chilis
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Chopped Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Corriander
  • Extra chopped oregano for garnish (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Add low sodium chicken stock to large saucepan or dutch oven. Heat over medium heat.
  2. Trim chicken and add to chicken stock in whole pieces. Allow it to cook, about 13-17 mins.
  3. While chicken is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Set aside.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and place on a cutting board. Shred the chicken using two forks.
  5. Place the chicken back in the chicken broth. Add the onion and garlic.
  6. Drain the white beans and add to the pot.
  7. Add the can of diced green chilis without draining.
  8. Add chili powder, salt, black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper and corriander.
  9. Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Serve hot with added oregano for garnish.
  11. *Crockpot: Add all ingredients to the crockpot (yes, even the raw chicken) and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred the chicken with a fork before serving.
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/02/15/best-cold-day-white-chicken-chili/

Please let me know if you enjoy this recipe!

 

 

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Olive Tunic + Suede Boots

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It’s Friday you guys!  And it’s seriously 70 degrees in Denver right now.  Can you believe it!? Even though I am starting to get spring fever (is that a thing??) from everyone posting their tropical vacation pics, we are heading to the mountains and hoping for snow.

Olive Tunic + Suede Boots

These photos were actually taken in the fall but you can still find this tunic and it’s on sale now!  A few different colors are available and it is definitely the best tunic I own!  The fit is perfect, I love the colors and is so comfortable.

I know I have shared theses boots before but they are one of my favorites.  The color is great and the heel isn’t so tall that I can wear them even if I will be doing a lot of walking.  They also come in tan and black.  They are Ugg boots so they of course have the soft sheepskin lining making them great for the cold.  To keep them looking good, I have sprayed them with this protecting spray .

As always, I am wearing my go to Express Legging Jeans.  They are the only jeans I can find that are affordable and come in longs.  I wear them with everything and love the stretch they have.

shop the post:


I hope everyone has a fun weekend ahead of them!  Luv ya!

Navy Lace and Ruffle Top Outfit

TOP:  Express – 3 months old (Similar) (Similar)

JEANS:  Topshop- 9 years old (Similar)

LEOPARD LOAFERS: J. Crew

EARRINGS: Charming Charlie’s- 2 years old (Similar) (Similar)

WATCH: Citizen-2 years old

BRACELET: Tiffany & Co

We are halfway through the week everyone!  I’m excited for this weekend because we are heading to Steamboat, CO for a few days of snowboarding… and the hot springs!   I love this time of the year because the snow is great and the weather should be beautiful this weekend.

Navy Lace and Ruffle top

I know Express has sales quite frequently and I have made a rule that I am never to buy anything from there that is full price.  This shirt was no exception and bought it during the after Christmas sale when everything was 50% off.  I am a sucker for the color blue and the flirty, feminine touches on this top caught my eye.  The lace and ruffles are just so cute!  It’s super lightweight so I have been saving it for a warmer day, like the last weekend.

When writing this, I was shocked to realize that these jeans are 9 years old!  I bought them in Italy before Topshop was popular here.  What I love about them is that they have a 34″inseam which is great for all you tall girls out there like me.  The have some great stretch to them making them uber comfy!

I would have to use both hands to count the pairs of animal print shoes in my closet.  Most of them are heels making these leopard prions loafer my favorite of all of them.  I bought them a while back but you can still find them at the J. Crew factory store!  They can add a fun touch to any outfit.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Grey Duster + Dandelion Top

Happy Friday all!  Looks like there is 6 more weeks of winter according to Punxsutawney Phil so don’t start putting away you sweaters yet.  Before yesterday, we were having 60 degree weather..  Today I’m trying to keep warm in this grey duster sweater.

Grey Duster + DANDELION sweater

Did you know that dusters were originally worn by men or women to keep their clothes clean from the trail dust while riding their horse?   This outfit is basically how I live during the colder months.  Cute top + cardigan sweater + jeans (or leggings).  I love delicate, feminine prints and knew I had to have this dandelion top when I saw it.  Although you can’t see the back in these photos, but it has the cutest strappy detail that I plan on showing off in the spring.  For now, I’ll just have to keep it secret by adding cozy sweaters over the top.

I’m so into the tassel earring trend!  These specific earrings are sold out but BaubleBar has some very cute alternatives.  And you can never go wrong with a pair of black pumps.  They can easily change your outfit into something a litter fancier you can wear out to dinner.

DUSTER SWEATER: Express- 1 year old  (Similar) (Similar)

TOP: Express– $40

JEANS: H&M- 2 years old (Similar)

HEELS: Kohls (actually they are my sisters!)  (Similar) (Similar)

EARRINGS:  Baublebar (Purchased on Poshmark)  (Similar)

I can’t believe February is already here!  Valentine’s Day will be here soon then Spring Break!  Have a fantastic weekend everyone!


Relaxing Valentine’s Day + My Top 5 Favorite Romantic Comedies

Relaxing Valentine’s Day

I can’t believe that it’s already February!  2017 is just flying by and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  Not everyone is wants to get all dressed up and brave the crowds at the most romantic restaurant in town.  If you’re like us, you would be just as happy with a home cooked meal followed by classic rom-com on the couch and a glass of wine.  Call me a homebody, but spending quality  time with each other, regardless of the location is what is important to us.  I have added some of my favorite Valentine’s lounge pieces for a relaxing night in. Maybe we will even build a blanket fort!Although he won’t admit it, my husband does enjoy a classic romantic comedy.  What’s your favorite romantic comedy?  If you are looking for suggestions on a movie you both will enjoy, here are my top 5 favorites below.  Now all you need is that bottle of wine and a nice cozy blanket!
1. The Princess Bride

2. 50 First Dates


3. How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days

4. Hitch

5. There’s Something About Mary

Stay tuned for a great meal idea you can make at home to have on your relaxing Valentine’s Day. Have a great Wednesday!

Burgundy Sweater Dress + Boots

Happy Monday!  Are we all fresh and ready for another week?  The weather here in Denver has been great!  I was able to get outside and take a couple of walks without packing on 10 layers of clothing.

Burgundy Sweater Dress

I stumbled upon this sweater dress at Target during a “routine Target stop”.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that can’t make it out of there with just the three things  on the list.  An hour after I walked in, I left with a full basket of stuff… and forgot the toothpaste.  Ugh!  I guess that gives me a reason to go back! (Insert husband eye roll here).  You guys won’t believe me when I tell you I got this dress for under $10!  It also comes in black!
I tend to live in boots and sweaters starting in October.  You might recognize this black cardigan sweater I wore a few weeks back (but just recently posted) on this post.  I said it then and I’ll say it again…you can wear it with almost anything!

My jewelry is a few years old but I have linked a few other options that I like and are fairly similar.  Check below for all my outfit details.

Outfit Details

DRESS:  Target -Clearance  $10 (Similar or Similar)

BOOTS: About 4 years old (Similar or Similar)

SWEATER: H&M $18 – About 2 years old (Similar)

LEGGINGS: Express– $50

NECKLACE -Francesca’s  – $20 – About 2 years old (Similar or Similar)

EARRINGS – Old (Similar or Similar)

HANDBAG: Michael Kors – 5 years old (Similar or Similar)

SUNGLASSES: Tory Burch $150

As always, hope you are off to a great week!  Please say hi or leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Black Thermal Top + Statement Necklace

Large statement jewelry has become one of my favorite things to shop for.  I am easily distracted by shiny objects and I find many fun and sparkly pieces.  This specific statement necklace was online but no longer available when I went to purchase.  I found the same one on a website called Poshmark.  I have added a little information at the bottom if you would like to know more about Poshmark.

Statement jewelry is a fun and easy way for you to dress up a basic outfit.   A simple tee-shirt, a solid color dress or a long sleeve thermal can all be  “fancier”  with a little added sparkle.  This thermal top is so comfy and soft, I could just as easily wear it with a pair of PJ pants and slippers.  What I also love about this top is the extra long sleeves with thumb holes!  Add a pair of skinny jeans and a pair of black pumps or printed heels like these, and this outfit is ready for happy hour with the girls!

 

Thermal Top | Skinny Jeans | Statement necklace (Similar here, here and here) | Black Pumps (similar) |

Poshmark

If you haven’t heard of Poshmark, it’s a great site to buy and sell clothing you no longer wear.   It’s a great way to find a specific item you are dying to have but can no longer  find.  Although they do take a small portion for shipping, it is a great way to make a little extra money.  It’s easy to use whether you are buying or selling.   The app makes it simple to take photos of your items for sale and post a short description.  You can browse through many items for sale or use the search to narrow down to a specific item you are looking to buy.  Make an offer for an item you Must have and if it is accepted, you will be wearing your new purchase in just a few days!

I hope you all have a fun and exciting weekend planned!  As always, I would love to hear your questions and comments!

 

Cheesy Chicken Gnocchi with Arugula

Cheesy Gnocchi with Arugula and Chicken

I made this Cheesy Gnocchi with Arugula and Chicken last week when we had a craving for mac & cheese.  We know mac & cheese isn’t the most healthy option but still needed that comfort food taste.  I whipped up this gnocchi with chicken and arugula recipe and we loved it.   For those who follow a gluten-free diet, this recipe can make for a great pasta alternative (but read the packaging, some contain wheat and others only have potato)  Plus, gnocchi takes less time to boil!   I guess you could call this recipe a sophisticated spin on mac & cheese.

like to make at least 4 servings so we have leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day.  This recipe re-heats well and makes for a nice lunch the following day.  Let me know what you think!

 

 

Cheesy Chicken and Arugula Gnocchi

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Cheesy Chicken and Arugula Gnocchi

Easy and yummy recipe that's heathy. Options for gluten free or lactose free

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs. Garlic infused olive oil
  • 3-4 Chicken breasts
  • 1 Can mushrooms
  • 2/3 Cup fresh arugula
  • 4 Tbs. Millet flour (or other gluten free flour)
  • 1 1/3 Cups Almond Coconut milk blend (I like this kind )
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 2/3 Cup shredded Swiss cheese (lactose free if desired)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesean cheese
  • 16 oz Gluten Free Gnocchi
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat garlic infused oil in a pan.
  2. In a separate pot, start to boil water for the gnocchi.
  3. Season trimmed chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to oil.
  4. While chicken is cooking, start to make the creamy cheese sauce. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Once it is melted, add the 4 Tbs. of flour, mixing well between each tablespoon. Mix well and reduce heat.
  5. Slowly add the almond/ coconut milk, stirring frequently.
  6. Once sacuce begins to thicken slightly, add shredded Swiss cheese slowly until sauce is smooth. Remove from heat once the sauce has reached desired thickness.
  7. Once chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and cut into bite size pieces. Add chicken back into the pan. Add arugula and wait for it to wilt slightly. Add canned mushrooms and heat through.
  8. Add the sauce to your chicken, arugula, mushroom mixture.
  9. On medium heat, allow the mixture to heat through for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Boil the gnocchi as directed by the package (usually about 3-5 minutes). The gnocchi is ready when it floats to the top.
  11. Drain gnocchi well and add to chicken mixture. Mix well.
  12. Seve and top with some shredded parmesean cheese or other lactose free cheese of your choice.
http://acopperqueen.com/2017/01/25/cheesy-gnocchi-with-arugula-and-chicken/

Easy Weekend Sweater

 

Happy Monday!  I’m glad to have had a couple of days to relax and get organized after last week.  Not sure why it felt so crazy considering we had last Monday off.

I love having this black cardigan sweater because you can literally throw it over the top of ANYTHING.  In the fall, its nice to have for those those cooler nights over a tank or tee.  In the winter, you can put it on over a short sleeve dress or with jeans over a blouse like in this outfit.  This one is very affordable (under $30!)

I have had these jeans for about a year and I like to wear them when I’m looking to wear something more comfortable.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the way my skinney jeans make my legs and booty look, but sometimes you just need to feel less constricted. These are my go-to for the stretch, comfort and style.

It’s easy to put black with almost anything, but I choose this top because it’s not a color I normally go to. I used to think red heads could not wear shades of red or pink, however the shade of this burgundy color seems to be one I can pull off.

Outfit Details:

Sweater-Old (Similar here and here) •   Jeans  •   Maroon Blouse -old (Other options here and here)   •   Ankle Booties (Similar here)   •   Aviator Sunglasses   •   Cross body Bag (Similar here and here)    •    Mint Necklace- old. (Similar here and here)   •   Earrings

Cross Neck Top

Cross Neck Top

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a relaxing weekend and have today off to make a 3 day weekend!  We have had some pretty great snow in here in Colorado over the last week.   Because of that,  we spent our weekend in the mountains snowboarding in the fresh powder and just relaxing.

My outfit

I love this easy to wear cross neck top.  Since I live in baggy, comfy scrubs during the week, on the weekends I want to be just as comfy.  This cross neck top comes in many different colors and is great to throw on with a pair of jeans and boots.  I have always been an advocate for versatile and comfortable clothes that I can throw on and still look great (not to mention affordable!).

These boots are also one of my favorites and I am sure you have seen me wear them before.  They were one of my (many) purchases from the Nordstrom Sale  back in the fall.  They come in 3 different colors including taupe and grey.  Unfortunately, they can fit a little on the narrow side and may not have the best fit for everyone.

Because I am 5’11”, I have trouble finding jeans that are long enough.  I was excited to find these pair of black jeans (aka: bleans) that would not look like I am waiting for a flood.  They are very affordable (under $30!) and comfortable with a little stretch to them.  They are an old purchase but you can still find them here.

 

Outfit Details:  Green Cross Top  •  Slouchy Boots  •  Black Jeans  •  Black Pom Beanie (Similar)  •  Fleece Mittens (Similar)

Europe Adventure: Part 3- London

I don’t know about you all, but the last month and a half has been a crazy, whirlwind of parties, shopping, and other various holiday activities.  This post is definitely past due but still wanted to share our 3rd stop of our Europe trip…London!

Getting to london from edinburgh

After some research, we found that taking an overnight train to London would be the best option.  Not only would we save a little money by not needing another night in a hotel, we could save the daylight hours for sightseeing.

The Caledonian Sleeper Train

We booked our tickets online a few moths prior to our trip.  The website allows you to purchase tickets up to 12 months in advance.  There are three different seating/ room options to choose from.  The least expensive option is a reclining seat and does not have a private room.  The next option is the standard room which has 2 beds and a washbasin.  One thing to keep in mind when booking the standard room is that male and female couples who want to share the room must book together at the same time.  If you are a single ticket, they will only place you with another single ticket of the same sex.  There is also a first class option that has one bed and a wash basin.  This is great for single riders who want the privacy of their own room.

The train leaves Edinburgh at 11:45 pm and arrives in London Easton at 7am.  We arrived at the train station early in order to board and get settled before the train departed.  Before arriving at the train station, we had heard that only paper tickets are accepted.  We printed ours when we purchased them online and were able to board with no issues.  A gentleman checked our tickets and helped us find the correct car.

The Train

The corridor that runs along the rooms is very narrow and can be difficult to navigate through if you have a large suitcase or bag.  Our room was not much bigger.  With two bunk beds , a ladder and a small sink basin with a cover, there wasn’t a lot of room for us to move. It took some organizing to get all our things to fit, but we managed just fine.  The top bunk was able to flip up against the wall to allow more space.

The Standard Room

Normally, we are in bed around 10pm so this 11:45pm stuff had us dragging.  We knew the ride was relatively short compared to our usual 8-9 hours of sleep, so we didn’t spend much time scoping out the rest of the train cars.  Note: the water from the sink is not drinkable, but they do provide you with a small. Bottle of water which we used to brush our teeth.

How we slept

I was surprised at how fast we fell asleep once we flipped off the lights.  The beds were fairly comfortable and we both were able to sleep relatively well even though the  train stopped  several times along the way.  Occasionally, the rocking and squealing of the brakes would wake us.  We both must have slept well and were surprised when we were awaken by a knock at our door and a gentleman telling us we had arrived.

The man at the door brought us our beverages that were included with the ticket along with a small breakfast snack.  They allow one hour to deboard the train once it has arrived in London. This gave us plenty of time to use the restroom, get dressed and pack up our belongings.

Our adventure on the Caledonian Sleeper was great.  All the staff was very friendly and it was an overall comfortable experience.  Don’t expect it to be as comfortable as a hotel, but it is a great way to save time and money.

The tower of london

The Tower is a definite must when visiting London.  We could have easily spent a whole day wandering through the museum and grounds.  Many people have said it is very busy and crowded, however, we did not have  a problem getting around.

Outside the Castle Walls

We purchased our tickets online here which saved us £1.90 per ticket and a wait in line.  The line didn’t seem too long once we go there but we didn’t want to risk it.  Before we went in, we stopped in the coffee shop near the ticket stands for an espresso and a small snack.  We did notice several food vendors near the river if you need a bite to eat before your tour.

Of course we couldn’t see everything there was to see at The Tower of London but we did have a few things that stuck out as our favorites:

1. The White Tower

With construction staring in the 1070’s, the oldest part of the castle is the White Tower.  Located in the center of the property, the White tower stands four stories tall and has 15 feet thick walls at some parts.  Not only is the structure itself impressive, the exhibits inside are fascinating.  We enjoyed the Royal Armouries which houses numerous armors of many kings.  The details and craftsmanship is incredible especially knowing the tools that were used were nothing like we have now.

The White Tower

2. The crown jewels

The Tower of London is the home of some of the largest and most beautiful jewels and gems. Here you can se two of the largest diamonds weighing in at 530.2 carats and 317.4 carats.  Not only did we see beautiful crowns of past royalty, but I remember being in awe of a gigantic punch bowl weighing 546 lbs and could hold 144 bottles of wine!

Guarding the Crown Jewels

3. Medieval palace

Shortly after you enter through the gates, climb the stairway on left to find a recreation of King  Edward’s bedchamber.  The center of the room has a replica bed including the lavish linens. Although the room is nothing like you might see in an episode of Game of Thrones, the room was a luxurious place for many Kings and Queens.

The churchill war rooms

Another place to visit on our bucket list was The Churchill War Rooms.  The War Rooms are the underground, secret bunkers where British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the British government directed the Second World War, eventually leading to victory.  This tour through the narrow corridors and hallways is very well done.  The Churchill museum, which is also included in your ticket, is fascinating.  Everyone is provided an audio tour which talks you through each room.   I would plan on spending 3- 4 hours in order to see everything.

We bought our tickets online here in hopes of not waiting in a long line.  We were glad we did because there was a large tour group that arrived about the same time and we were able to skip the line.   There is a small cafe to grab a sandwich and coffee during the tour.  After your tour, we recommend the short walk to Buckingham Palace through St. Jame’s Park.

The War Rooms

The War Rooms

 

Churchill’s Bedroom

Other Places We Visited

We did our own walking tour of London and stopped by many of the famous sites in London.  Here is just a few of the things you must at least visit when in London, even if its only from the outside.

Big Ben

Palace of Westminister

Westminister Abbey

Buckingham Palace

The London Bridge

Thanks for reading about our London trip.  I would love to hear about your favorite places to visit in London!

 

Europe Adventure Part 2- Edinburgh

Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch

The second stop on our trip was to Edinburgh, Scotland.  We picked Edinburgh to visit because my grandmother was Scottish and Marc likes scotch.  That pretty much settles it.  My grandmother grew up in Dundee, Scotland which we were unable to visit, but is still on our bucket list.

Ryanair

Choosing a Ryanair flight from Dublin to  Edinburgh is the least expensive and fastest way to get there.  I think there are a lot of mixed feelings about Ryanair.  Here are our perceptions and what we learned:

  1. Yes, it is an inexpensive flight.  Don’t expect to be wined and dined…you get get what you pay for.
  2. Make sure you have a printed  boarding pass.  They will not take electronic boarding passes.
  3. If you are flying with a non-EU passport, you must get a visa stamp when you check you bags.  No one will tell you this until you are boarding and you could be told to get one before boarding and miss your flight.  You will not have a problem getting through security without the stamp.  The gate is where they will tell you that you cannot board without it.  We almost learned this the hard way.  Ask at the counter where to get one since I have heard it varies between airports.
  4. Measure your suitcase…then measure again.  Ryanair is very strict on baggage size and if yo are not careful, you may get stuck with an outrageous fee.
  5. If you are going to check luggage, pay for it online beforehand.  It is much more expensive to pay for a checked bag once you arrive at the airport.

Overall,  our experience was good with Ryanair and will still use them in the future.

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Edinburgh Castle

where we stayed

Standing high on a hill in the middle of the city sits the Edinburgh Castle.   After seeing photos of this beautiful structure, we knew that we wanted to stay in this area.  We found an adorable  Airbnb apartment located in the Grassmarket area.  It is just a short walk to the most famous street in Edinburgh, The Royal Mile.  There is so much to see and visit on The Royal Mile .  We spent most of our time in this area while in Edinburgh.

Grassmarket Apartment- Edinburgh

Grassmarket Apartment- Edinburgh

View from the Apartment

View from the Apartment and Scottish Beer

What we did

Edinburgh castle

Obviously a must when visiting , the Edinburgh Castle is worth the trip.  Spending  almost the whole day here, we were captivated by the history and architecture of this beautiful place.  There is a lot to see and it can definitely be overwhelming.  Here are our favorite parts to help you hit the must see spots:

  1. View of Edinburgh:  Definitely the best view of the city.  Since the castle sits high in the middle of the city, you can see for miles.  We are lucky and had a beautiful, clear day!
  2. Prisoners of War Museum: During times of war, the prisoners were held in an area under the great hall.  We were surprised that how “comfortable” it seemed considering the circumstances.  There are many hammocks and mattresses which seems much more humane than I had expected.  There are many fascinating artifacts made by the prisoners including games, woodworking, and coins.
  3. The Grand Hall:  Not only does the ceiling in the Grand Hall showcase beautiful architecture, the whole room is packed with old weapons.  It is definitely worth at least a walk through.

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Edinburgh Castle

Here are a few other helpful tips about visiting the castle:

•Wear layers.  it can get a little chilly and windy when you are walking outside but warmer inside.

•Wear good walking shoes.  There is a lot of walking  and cobblestone .

•Go early in the morning for less crowds.

•Buy your tickets online and skip the line.

•Plan on a minimum of 2 hours to visit.

 

The Scotch Whisky experience

I would highly recommend visiting the Scotch Whisky Experience .  It was the highlight of our visit in Edinburgh.  Since Marc loves whisky, we decided to do the Taste of Scotland Experience which includes a dinner at the end.  We both agree that the meal was the best we had during our entire Europe trip.

First the tour starts out with a ride in a whisky barrel  through the distillation process.  It then moves to the tasting room where you learn about the different regions scotch is made and the last differences.  Although scotch is not my favorite, I did enjoy the tasting and would still recommend  the tour.  Our tour guide was very knowledgeable.

Next, we walked thorough the largest collection of single malt scotch whisky.  It is unbelievable!  The room seems to go on forever with bottle after bottle of scotch.  All of the bottles are sealed, never been opened.  Two of the bottles however, are completely empty from evaporation.  I didn’t know that scotch could evaporate that much but learned The Angels Share is the name for the lost whisky.

Eventually, we found our way out of the collection room and had dinner at the Amber Restaurant.  We can’t say enough good things about how good the food there is and are impressed how accommodating they are on food preferences.  And yes, we both tried haggis which isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds.

The Scotch Whisky Experience- Edinburgh

The Scotch Whisky Experience- Edinburgh

Whisky Barrel Ride

Whisky Barrel Ride

Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky- Edinburgh

Small Sample of Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky

Dinner at the Amber Restaurant

Dinner at the Amber Restaurant

the royal mile

The Royal Mile is the street running from the Edinburgh Castle to the Holyrood Palace.  It is full of shops, pubs, restaurants and other tourist attractions.  Despite being pretty touristy, it is definitely worth walking down.  Most of our time was spent in this area,  walking up and down the “mile”.  We found ourselves sitting in a few of the restaurants and pubs to enjoy a scotch and a bite to eat.   You will find that most of the souvenir shops sell cashmere scarfs and although we didn’t have much extra room in our luggage, I did purchase a few for gifts.

The Royal Mile-Edinburgh

The Royal Mile-Edinburgh

Cute pub where Marc sampled scotch

Cute pub where Marc sampled scotch

Authurs Seat

Arthurs Seat is a high peak in Holyrood Park.  Just a short walk from The Royal Mile, we took a hike to the top on our last day.  The hike isn’t too difficult and is a relatively short 3 miles round trip.  I would allow for at least an hour and a half.  We didn’t spend too much time at the top due to it being so cold and windy, but the views are amazing and well worth the trek.  Definitely bring a jacket.  On a warmer day it would have been nice to bring a picnic lunch and stay a little longer.

Arthurs Seat

From the Top

From the Top

Arthurs Seat

Arthurs Seat

We Enjoyed Edinburgh and hope to go back someday and see what we didn’t have time for.   Stay tuned for our visit to London.  I love to hear your questions and comments.  You can leave them in the box below.

Emerald Lace Top

As a nurse,

I spend a lot of time in scrubs.  I enjoy getting dressed on the weekends, even if it means getting dressed just to pick out chicken breasts at the grocery store.  Clothes shopping has always been enjoyable for me despite having a hard time finding clothes to fit my abnormally long limbs.   Feeling pretty makes me happy and this emerald lace top makes me feel pretty.  There is just something about light, flowy fabrics that feel fancy and beautiful. This emerald-green color is beautiful and I adore the cute lace across the top.  The emerald-green color is a great complement to my red hair (in my opinion, haha), however, it does come in several other colors.

I might have mentioned previously, I live in boots during the fall and winter months.  Yes, I do enjoy slipping on a fun pair of sandals during the summer, but boots are my go to once the weather gets cool enough and it socially acceptable (and sometimes I don’t even wait for that!).  These boots are another one of my purchases from the Nordstrom  Anniversary Sale and are now sold out.  I have found them available here.

I can’t get enough of the tassel trend and it was love at first sight when I saw these earrings.  They are surprisingly light weight for how large they are.  Unfortunately, these are sold out but I have added two similar styles here and here.

Emerald Lace Top

Emerald Lace Top

Emerald Lace Top

Emerald Lace Top

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Outfit Details:

Lace Top   •   Skinny Jeans   •   Boots   •   Aviator Sunglasses   •   Tassel Earrings (Similar here and here)

I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend.  We didn’t have much planned.  Just stayed home and did some house work.  We were able to take our dirt bikes out for what was probably the last ride of the season.  The weather has still not shown any signs of snow, making it great to be outside but terrible for the upcoming ski season.  I think we will have to start doing a snow dance soon and keep our fingers crossed!    Have a great Monday everyone!

Faux Leather Jacket

Faux Leather Jacket

I hope everyone is having a great week.  It feels like this week is flying by since the time change on Sunday.  I don’t know about you but I am getting tired so early with sun setting around 5pm.  And we still have a while before the days start getting longer!  Although the nights are getting colder, the weather this past weekend was perfect!  In fact, it was “not too hot and not too cold, all you need is a light jacket”! (Can anyone guess the movie?)

Faux Leather Jacket Outfit

This jacket is just light enough and one of my favorite purchases from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  The faux leather is very soft and I love the zipper details.  I have had my eye on this lace trim cami from Express and jumped when I saw it go on sale.  I don’t think it will be around for too much longer.

These skinny jeans are my go to during the fall and winter.  They are comfy and easy to pair with  boots or booties.  My booties are easy to wear and have a low enough heel that my feet aren’t aching by the end of the day (I’m all for practical!)

leather-jacket

Faux Leather Jacket

Faux Leather Jacket

 

Hang in there a couple more days…its almost the weekend!  Happy Thursday!

Europe Adventure: Part 1 -Dublin

Hello lads and lassies!   Cheesy intro…I know.   I wanted to share our recent vacation to Europe.  Although I had been to Europe previously, this trip was anything but a repeat of the first and I wouldn’t change a thing about either trip!  Our first stop was Dublin, Ireland.

Overview Our Adventure

Somehow, we managed to get away for 14 days and had been planning this trip since February. Our flight departed around noon and after a brief stop at Newark from Denver, we were on our way to Ireland.   Our overnight flight dropped us in Dublin promptly at 7:00am.

After staying 3 nights in Dublin, we took a Ryanair flight to Edinburgh, Scotland where we stayed for 3 nights.  In order to save some travel time (and a “free” night lodging), we decided to take an overnight train from Edinburgh to London.  We stayed in London for 3 nights, then hopped on the train for a ride through the Chunnel to Paris where we stayed for our last 4 nights.

With the exception of Dublin, we stayed at Airbnbs.  All of the apartments were fantastic and allowed us get a feel like a local while hitting all the main tourist sites. It was definitely a great way to see parts of the city that were off the beaten path.  We would highly recommend using Airbnb and plan on using them again in the future.

Dublin

We stayed at a cute hotel right near the Temple Bar area in central Dublin called The Arlington Hotel.

Our room at The Arlington Hotel in Dublin

We had a great room the looked out over the River Liffey and the O’Connell Bridge.  It is fairly centrally located and allowed us to explore the city on foot.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Highlights of Ireland

The Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse is a definite must if you visit Dublin!  Even if you are not a fan of beer, it’s still worth going. The tour is self guided and well done.  The storehouse has 7 floors starting with the process of how Guinness is made and continues through each floor housing a different topic.  One of our favorite parts was the Guinness Academy.  Here we learned how to properly pour the perfect pint (say that 10 times fast!). We plan on adding “Guinness Academy Graduate” to our resumes.

Guinness Academy in Dublin

Guinness Academy

With our perfectly poured beverage in hand, we spent some time at the 7th floor Gravity Bar. With its stunning 360 degree views of the city, this bar is one of our favorites from our entire trip.

Gravity Bar in Dublin

7th Floor Gravity Bar

After the Gravity Bar, we enjoyed a small bite to eat down one floor at the 1837 Bar & Brassiere. Marc sampled a few different Guinness beers (who knew there were more than one!). I tried a specialty cocktail there called a Black Velvet which is Guinness Extra Stout with champagne.  It sounds strange, but I loved it!

Guinness Storehouse

Marc takes Guinness tasting very seriously

The Blind Pig

In hopes of finding some unique places to visit, we turned to Pinterest for inspiration.  It lead us to a speakeasy called The Blind Pig.  We made reservations and we received an e-mail  explaining the general directions, but no address.  We walked by the entrance several times before locating it.  I won’t give up the secret on how to get in…you’ll just have to visit yourself!

Secret Entrance

Secret Entrance

The food at The Blind Pig is fantastic and the craft cocktails are very tasty.  We received great service and loved the atmosphere.  It’s a fun and unique place to visit!  It is fairly small inside and doesn’t have many tables, so I would recommend calling for a reservation.

The Blind Pig Dublin

The Blind Pig

Day Trip to the cliffs of Moher

We enjoyed the city but wanted to see the famous green countryside Ireland is known for.  We found a day trip that went to the Cliffs of Moher located on the west coast if Ireland.  The name might  not sound familiar but you would probably recognize the cliffs from the movie The Princess Bride where they called them “The Cliffs of Insanity”.  The cliffs are beautiful and we could have spent more time there.

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Our tour was fantastic.  We chose to go with Wild Rover Tours which also stopped off at several other places after visiting the cliffs.  We stopped in the small harbor town of Galway to have lunch.  This city is packed with history, notably, Lynch’s Castle.   If we ever have the chance to spend time in Ireland again, we would certainly stay in Galway.

Although we visited many other fascinating places while in Ireland, these few stood out as highlights of our trip.  We checked off some must do’s and added a few to our bucket list.  After leaving Ireland, we were continued on to our next destination, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Smoked Turkey Sausage and Bean Soup

It was finally starting to feel like fall here in Denver today.  We woke up to a foggy, cold and wet morning.  No snow in Denver yet but I’m sure it’s not too far off.  I’m not ready to let go of summer  but reluctantly pulled out my new boots I bought at the Nordstrom Sale for the first time.  To me, boots= officially fall.  Well, maybe I can stretch it a few more days until I treat myself to the inaugural Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I seem to have this unwritten rule that I can’t make hot soup during the summer months.  Some would say this isn’t a “rule”.  I guess the reason is trying to avoid my husband’s grumbling about how “it’s too hot in here” in the summer and stick with meals that are more suitable for the grill.  Today, however, I jumped at the opportunity to make a protein packed, comfort food for dinner.  I suggest a warm bread for dipping as well!

 

Smoked Turkey Sausage and bean soup

Servings: 4-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30  minutes

 

Ingredients:

1  Tbsp. Olive Oil

1  12-14 oz Package Smoked Turkey Sausage

1  White or Yellow Onion

3  Carrots

3  Celery Stalks

2  15 oz Cans of Great Northern Beans

3  Cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp. Oregano

2  Bay Leaves

4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth

2 Cups Water

3 Cups Baby Spinach

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

directions:

  1.  Slice turkey sausage and place  in pan with olive oil.  Over medium heat,  lightly brown the sausage and stir frequently.  About 5-10 minutes.
  2. While the sausage is browning, begin to dice the onion, celery and carrots .  Place all diced vegetables in a 4-6 quart pot with a lid.
  3. Drain and rinse beans.  Place in pot with vegetables.
  4. When sausage is done browning, add to the pot.
  5. Add garlic, oregano, bay leaves, chicken broth and water to the pot.  Cover and bring to boil.
  6. Reduce heat and bring to a rapid simmer until the vegetables are tender, usually 15-20 minutes
  7. Add spinach and allow it to wilt. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stir and remove bay leaves.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

 

Pottery Barn Dining Room -On a Budget

Pottery Barn Dining Room- On a Budget

Try this look on a budget

Who doesn’t love flipping through the pages of the new Pottery Barn catalog and dream of one day having the space (and budget) to create some of the looks in my own home. If you have ever been in our house, you’ll see we love the look and feel of the dark wood, similar the table and buffets in this Pottery Barn dining room.  When we get a formal dining room, I would love to recreate this look.  I’m in love with this table and these cozy chairs.  Something about this room is very inviting and I would love to have guests for dinner.  Now, if I only had the time.

After looking more closely at the main elements, this room would cost close to $10,000!  I don’t know about you, but my nursing salary doesn’t allow for that!  However, I have found a way to get a similar look for your dining room for a budget of $2,000-$3,500.

Dining chairs and table

The chairs and the table are definitely my favorite part of this room.  You can find these chairs from World Market and I love that they have an added nailhead detail.   The dining table I have found on sale for only $499 right now!  Much easier to swallow than a $2500 price tag.  Use code WM216 to get 20% off and free shipping!

Buffet cabinets

As for the buffet cabinets, I wanted to find a large, sturdy piece of furniture that coordinated with the dining table.  There are so many options that are similar and provide plenty of storage.  Tip: opt for solid cabinet door without glass so you don’t HAVE to keep it the inside organized.

Sphere Chandelier and lanterns

The chandelier was more difficult to find but I ended up finding some I like even better!  My favorite is this one with the rustic wood and iron.  Adding in these wooden lanterns would tie in the rougher, wooden element.

natural rug

There are many options for a natural sisal rug.  You could even add a little more color into your room with rugs that have colored border.  Make sure to note the size of your table and your room in order to choose the right size rug.  Check out this link on how to find the right size rug for your dining room.

I would love to see your room and hear you thoughts on this dining room for less!

 

 

 

Strawberry Basil Sun Tea

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I made this tasty treat one day when looking for something refreshing while sitting on the patio, reading a book.  It has a surprising twist on iced tea and was just was I was looking for.  Don’t be scared by basil, it has a fresh and unique flavor! Plus its a low-calorie treat that is kind to your summer bikini body!

Strawberry Basil Sun Tea

 

Supplies:

2 liter pitcher with cover (or you can use plastic wrap)

Cutting Board

Knife

Mixing Spoon

Ingredients:

2 Large or Family Size Cold Brew tea bags

6-8 Large Strawberries

4-5 Leaves of Basil

3-5 Packets of Stevia (or sweetener of choice)

Ice Cubes

Directions:

  1.  Fill 2 liter pitcher with room temperature water.
  2. Open 2 tea bags and submerge in the water.
  3. Cover and place in a sunny spot outside for 1-2 hours or until it has reached desired strength
  4. Cut up strawberries and add to the tea
  5. Tear the basil leaves into smaller pieces and add
  6. Add sweetener to desired level of sweetness.  I don’t like mine super sweet so I added 3 packets of Stevia
  7. Add ice cubes and/ or place in fridge until chilled
  8. Pour, garnish and enjoy!

Speed Method:

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan
  2. Add tea bags and steep for about 5 minutes or until you have reached desired strength. Discard tea bags.
  3. Remove from heat and add basil leaves.  Steep for 10 minutes then remove basil
  4. If adding regular sugar, add to hot tea to desired sweetness and dissolve completely.  If using an artificial sweetener, remove tea from the heat and mix in your sweetener until completely dissolved.
  5. Add strawberries and stir.
  6. Add ice and/or place in fridge until chilled.
  7. Pour, garnish and enjoy!

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Processed with Rookie Cam

I’d love to hear what you think and what your favorite summer drink is.  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying cool!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Wish List

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have most definitely heard that is that exciting time of year again. Of course I am talking about The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (What were you thinking?)  It’s that time of the year where I regret not picking up those few extra shifts to make some added cash to fill my fall closet.  Oh well.  I feel a little sad looking clothes for the fall and colder weather, but in reality, it’s still months away.  And this week is supposed to be HOT out!  I have added a few of my favorite pieces from the sale and outfits I will love to wear when the days get cooler  and shorter.

Nordstrom Sale Fall Outfits

Outfit #1:

You can’t go wrong with a faux leather jacket and I love the color of this one.  Add your favorite skinny jeans and some cute and comfy over the knee boots to compliment this cozy blanket scarf.

 

Outfit #2:

I would love to spend the fall and winter in oversized sweaters.  This cardigan is versatile and can be thrown over almost anything.  I would wear it with skinny jeans and booties or even leggings and a cute pair of riding boots.  I love to add in some fun jewelry and accessories too!

Shawl Cardigan   I   Handbag   I   Green Tee   I   Pendant Necklace   I   Bracelets I   Earrings   I   Booties   Skinny Jeans

 

Outfit #3:

Want a fun way to wear some of your summer dresses in colder weather?  Add a warm cardigan sweater with some tall socks and boots!  Comfy, cozy and classy…what else do you need?  Love this fun necklace too!

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these fall outfit and your favorites!  Happy shopping!

Navy Blue Fringe Dress

Sunday Brunch:

Who doesn’t love brunch with the girls?  No one…?  That’s what I thought.  Two Sundays ago, a group of my old nursing friends met for brunch.  If you’re a nurse, I know what you’re thinking… , how did all 4 of us end up free on the same day?  Our thoughts exactly.  Well, the planets must have aligned and somehow we all were able to make it.

We had brunch at the Cozy Cottage on Tennyson Street in Denver which has THE  BEST patio.  Being a warm day, I wore this light navy fringe dress to meet up with the ladies.  It’s super easy to wear, comfy and has definitely nailed the tassel trend!  I’m a big fan of your basic LBD, but I am a sucker for fun and bright prints, especially for a summer dress such as this one.  Shift dI added some neutral accessories like these comfy and easy to walk in block heels (which are under $25!) and this tote handbag (which is not too big will hold all my stuff plus all the extra junk my husband wants me to carry for him).

Thoughts from the day:

After we ate, we thought we would just walk down Tennyson for a bit.  We were stopped by an old man with a walker who had just pulled his truck onto the sidewalk and needed help getting his groceries into their home.  His wife (who also had a walker) was already making her way up the 7 or 8 steps to their front door.  We spent about 20 minutes helping them into their home and unloading their groceries in the kitchen.  When we walked into their house and noticed their bed had been moved to the  main level.  The house was messy and had stuff piled everywhere with only enough room to get their walkers through.

Being the nurses that we all are, we were concerned for the safety of this couple and had talked about calling the adult protective services to do a welfare check on them.  After talking about it a little longer, my friend referenced a book she was reading called Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End.  It got us all thinking about what we would want when we are old.

We decided not to notify anyone on the basis that what this couple had  would be what we would want when we are old.  They take care of each other, help each other out and get through whatever it takes to live independently.  Yes, it may be harder and take longer for them to go about daily activities, but they were doing it!  They had just got home from the store where the were able to purchase all their own food and prepare it, dress themselves, get up the few stairs to their home, and were mentally capable to manage any medications they may have been taking.  What else did they need?  Thoughts?


 

Summery Print Dress

Dress:  Kohls  Heels: Nordstrom Rack Earrings: Nordstrom Rack (similar here)

Sunglasses: Nordstrom  Cross body bag: Charming Charlie

 

Shop the Post:

Happy Sunday everyone!  I know it’s been a while since I posted.  I am still trying to find a more consistent schedule to blog, which is hard when I work different days every week.  The weather here has been so nice that I find I am wanting to spend most of my free time outside.  Even when the days are too warm, this summery dress is light and flowy, you can still stay cool.  It’s even on sale right now making it under $50!  I just saw that it comes in a solid white as well and might be in my virtual shopping bag 🙂

I wore this dress outfit to the Denver Style Magazine Issue 5 launch party.  I came across this magazine on a coffee table while shooting for  another project and was instantly intrigued.  It is a fairly new magazine (hence issue 5) and I love that it is all about, not only the Denver fashion scene, but artists, designers, bloggers, and local businesses.  This issue has my photo in it!  Check it out!

About these shoes…I am in love with these Sam Edelman heels!  if you haven’t tried a block heel, you should!  You’d be surprised how much more comfortable and easy to walk in a block heel is and these are no exception.   They come in 3 colors and are on sale! I have had this inexpensive bag for a few years and it now comes in some cute pastel colors.   My emerald colored tassel earrings are so fun and I am definitely falling for the tassel trend.  Pair it all up with these sunnies and we were ready for a fun evening!  Thank you to my sister Kelly and friend Tayler for joining me.  When I mentioned to my husband that he would be joining me at a Denver fashion magazine event, he quickly found other plans 🙂

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Thanks for visiting!

DIY Personalized Paper Banner

Some friends and I threw a jungle themed baby shower for a friend and were needing decorations for the house.  I love the look of a clean, well thought out banner to add personalization to the party.  Here is how to make and EASY, inexpensive paper banner you can use to fit any them you want!  I used scrapbooking paper and really, the hardest part of the whole thing was cutting on the lines (refer to your kindergarten days!)  This is a fun project for weddings, graduations, birthdays, baby showers, anything!  It can be a great activity to do with your kids or while drinking wine with your girlfriends.  I would love to see your creations.

Supplies

Supplies for Paper Banner:

  • Scrapbook Paper-   any size. I used 12″x12″ and was able to get 4 flags from each paper.  Choose 2-6 colors or patterns that match your theme.  Here is what I choose:
  • Plain Card Stock-  I used an off-white color but you can use whatever works with your color scheme (here)
  • Sticker Letters-  I found these black and white polka dot letters in the scrapbook section that are about 2.5″ tall. (here)
  • Adhesive Squares- you can use a glue stick if you want…i just don’t like the way it can look bubbled (here)
  • Large Animal Stickers- or whatever matches your theme.  Craft stores have a lot of neat stickers for scrapbooking.  I found ones that are fairly large, around 2-3 inches so it fills up the space on your flag. (here)
  • Scissors
  • Wide Clear tape
  • Ruler
  • Twine or ribbon (here)
  • Plastic drinking straws

Step 1:

Cut the scrapbook paper into the shape of your flag.  I like the look of the rectangular flag with the triangle cut out on the bottom.  I measured out 4 squares per 12″x12″ sheet of paper.     Repeat this with all the patterned or colored paper you have for your theme.  I used 3 different colors, all with different polka dot patterns.

Step 2:

Cut the solid colored card stock that will fit on top of the scrapbook paper with the same shape only slightly smaller.

Step 3:

Using your adhesive squares or glue, attach the solid cardstock to the scrapbook paper, pattern side up.

Step 4:

Figure out the order of colors you want your flags to be in then place on your letters.  Make sure you have everything spelled right and the letters are in order of how you want them on the banner.

Step 5:

I used the animal stickers  to make spacer flags between words or at the beginning and end of the banner.

Step 6:

Cut several drinking straws in half.  Flip over your flag so it is face down and using the wide packing tape, tape the straw across the top of the flag.  try to get it near the top leaving only enough room to have a solid surface for the tape to attach to. Trim any extra tape that is hanging over the top of the flag.

Step 7:

Measure out the length of the twine or ribbon you will need.  I left a lot of extra on the ends because I wasn’t sure where I was going to hang it at the baby shower.  Wrap one end of the twine tightly with a small piece of tape to make it easier to thread through the straws.

Step 8:

I found the easiest way was to start with the middle flag and thread it onto the twine or ribbon.  I then tied knots on both sides of the straw to keep the flag in place.  This step can be optional if you don’t mind them moving along the twine when it’s hanging.

Here is the finished project!

final banner

Happy crafting!

My Spring Lust List

Happy Monday! Two weeks ago it felt like spring was here and I was excited to pull out some of my warm weather clothes.  After the 4 feet of snow that fell over the weekend (I’m seriously not exaggerating…4 feet!) I had to put it all away and pull the sweaters back out.  I’m getting very jealous of many of the bloggers I follow who are currently posting their cute summer dresses  and strappy open toe sandals while I’m still here in my infinity scarves and Uggs.  In order to easy my spring excitement for a little longer, I wanted to share my list of things I can’t wait to wear!

Image Map

 

Hope you all have a great week!

 

 

Black Tie Attire Basics

We were recently invited to a black tie event somewhat last-minute and I panicked thinking there’s no way I have time to order a gown from Rent The Runway!  I went through my closet to see what I could pull together for this special event and found the only long gowns I had were cotton maxi dresses, old prom dresses complete with sequins and a size 0 tag (which I would definitely not be fitting into any time soon) and a few pageant gowns that all have about a 5 foot train and way too many rhinestones (if that’s even a real thing).  Needless to say, none of those would do. I realized that I didn’t know the “rules” for black tie and if a cocktail dress would be appropriate, so, I have compiled a list of guidelines to help you follow dress code for a black tie event and learn some black tie attire basics in hopes that you don’t have the panic I did.

  1. Black tie generally applies more to the men’s attire than the women’s and women have a lot wider of range of attire options.
  2. Although black tie traditionally meant long gowns for women, this day in age it IS acceptable to wear a cocktail dress.  Keep in mind that dark or rich colors (black, brown, jewel tones, silver/gold) will look more dressed up where bright colors or even pastels can look more casual but can still be appropriate.
  3. If your invite says “Black Tie Optional”, it generally applies more to men and if you stick to either a long gown or classy cocktail dress, you be fine.
  4. Long gowns will still be the dressiest and are great to wear in any color.
  5. For any gown or cocktail dress you choose, keep it classy and elegant.
  6. Jewelry: Pair your dress with jewelry that compliments your dress selection and don’t go too extravagant.  If you have a large earring with lots of bling, go with a simple, dainty necklace (or even none at all) or a simple bracelet.
  7. Purse: Keep a small clutch that also compliments the gown. Nothing too large, just big enough to keep an ID, credit card, some cash, a few business cards, and your lipstick for touch ups.
  8. Shoes: Keep shoes classy.  A simple strappy heel or pump should do the trick, but before you go for those 4 inch heels, remember you may be standing for long periods of time (especially  if there is a cocktail hour) and you want to be sure you are comfortable.  If you do not wear heels often, go for a 1-2 inch kitten heel.  You can even wear your heels around the house a few days before so you can get used to them.  You don’t want to be the girl everyone remembers for not being able to walk in heels!
  9. Nails: A fresh mani/ pedi is a must!  You don’t need to be dropping cash for a salon,  just a fresh coat yourself should do the trick.  For me, nothing is more distracting than chipped polish!
  10. Makeup: This is not a good time to be experimenting with new makeup.  Stick to makeup you would normally wear and pick one thing to play up.  For example, if you normally do  neutral eye makeup, go a shade darker and play up the liner.  If you usually stick to chapstick or light lip gloss, maybe choose a fun red lipstick.  You could even splurge and have your makeup professionally done. ( I like to go to the beauty school…they do a great job and are not too expensive!)
  11. Coat: Don’t grab your everyday coat.  Instead wear a shawl or pashmina over your shoulders.  Even if I do get cold, it’s a great opportunity for my man to  be chivalrous and offer up his jacket!

Black Tie Attire Basics

Hope this help answer some of those “what do I wear” question for your next black tie event.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

 

Ready for Spring Dresses

With Easter around the corner, I am feeling excited and want to break out all my flowy dresses that have been locked away in closet.  It’s like I can hear them saying “wear me!”  However, with the foot of snow that blanketed the city just a few days ago, and the storm that is supposed to start tonight, they will be spending a few more days in the darkness of my closet, next to my strappy heels and floppy hats.  Even though Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year, it doesn’t seem to apply here in Denver.

Floral prints are great year round for events like baby and bridal showers, graduations and weddings.  I like to pair these dresses with a long sleeve cardigan sweater in a coordinating color and strappy sandal.  I have picked some of my favorites right now and many of them are on sale!

Spring Dresses

Ready for Spring Dresses

One/ Two/ Three/ Four/ Five/ Six/ Seven

Eight/ Nine

 

Hope you all enjoy your Friday!

 

Denim and Plaid Outfit

Denim & Plaid

Denim & Plaid

Happy Wednesday!  I’m sitting here on this 4th day of spring… snowed in.  2 days ago we had 70 degree weather and we now have over 10″ of snow, and still accumulating.   I guess if you have been Colorado long enough, you know the 2 foot snow storms mean spring.

Today’s outfit was meant to be worn to run errands at the grocery store and post office, but ended up being for catching up on the 3rd season of Scandal from the couch.   This chambray shirt has to one of my favorite staples in my wardrobe.  I have worn it both dressed up and down or simply thrown it over a cotton shirt dress in the summer for extra warmth on those cool Colorado evenings.  I was surprised to find that theses skinny black jeans came in a tall size!  I have the hardest time finding jeans that are long enough for my 34″ inseam, but these are long enough to wear with a pair of flats in the summer or easily tucked into  a pair of boots in the winter.  I love winter scarves and probably have way too many.  This scarf is one of my faves because it is not too bulky and the length is perfect.

I hope everyone here in Denver is staying warm and safe!

 

 

Restoration Hardware Bedroom on a Budget

Restoration Hardware Bedroom on a Budget

If you’re like me, you have walked into Restoration Hardware and have immediately wished you had a higher credit limit on your credit card.  I love the designs of this place.  They are modern but still feel warm and inviting.  Every room in their showroom has soothing, neutral colors and the soft textiles.  It just makes you want to  curl up on the beautiful, tufted couch with a cup of hot tea and the latest edition of Vogue (just kidding… I don’t read Vogue). However, my budget doesn’t allow me to take home even one piece.

When it comes to power tools, I am not  too handy.  I am sure I could save some more money by thrift shopping, sanding, sawing, and painting, but I would rather bring home ready pieces.  I love design and would love to have my house look like the front page of their catalog.  Here are  some items that you can use to create your own bedroom that will keep your budget in check…and not having to beg your credit card company to raise your limit!

Restoration Hardware Bedroom on a Budget- A Copper Queen

 

How to Make an Easy Wrist Corsage

Make an Easy Wrist Corsage

Having a destination wedding created some challenges during my planning.  I wanted to be somewhat of a DIY bride to save some money but obviously wasn’t able to drag countless suitcases full of all my creative projects to another country, so I had to pick and choose.  I love flowers and wanted to have a personal touch in my floral decorations.   Back in college, I worked in a flower shop and did many weddings during the summer.  I learned a lot and enjoyed the creative outlet it gave me.  I have since had the privilege of being a part of many of my friends weddings by arranging their flowers for them for their wedding day.

Some may say I’m a “flower snob” and when it came to my own wedding, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted my flowers to be. I’m sure many women have grown up thinking of their wedding and how they wanted the whole picture to look.  During my whole planning process, I was surprised to find that my tastes had changed from what I envisioned as a younger girl, to what would look would fit with my overall plan (and what would fit in my budget!).   Having a destination wedding created several planning road blocks that forced me to be creative in order to keep to my overall vision and my budget.

Roadblocks:

1) There is not  a wide variety of flowers to close from.  Most flowers and imported and seasonal.   It was definitely more difficult to get a hold of the  flowers I wanted in Mexico than in Colorado. 2) As soon as you mention the word WEDDING, the prices are instantly increased.  Knowing the retaliative price of flowers, I was shocked to find what the resort was charging!  3) It is difficult to explain and describe your vision to a planner over e-mail, whose first language is not English.  I ended up just searching Pinterest and sending lots of photos.  Solution: a more personalized project to same money for the boutonnieres and corsage… artificial flowers.

My favorite flowers are the purple/ fuchsia Phalaenopsis orchids…definitely not something that is local to Mexico where we got married.  The cost they were going to charge me for boutonnieres and corsage was outrageous in my opinion.  Some may call it trashy, but I had to weigh paying a ton for something I wasn’t sure would be what I wanted, and would probably not make to the ceremony in one piece.  I was able to add personal touches to make them special and it was something my mother and mother-in-law could hold onto as a keepsake.

I hope you can use this to make your own for weddings, proms or any other special event, and maybe save a buck…

Supplies:

Wrist band (I used a pearl bracelet one found in the wedding section at the craft store)

Main flower: something larger in size with the main color of your corsage

Smaller filler flower: secondary color of corsage

Artificial Leaves

Filler:  I used artificial grass. You don’t have to use grass, you could use some small filler-type flower in the color you want.

Hot glue gun

Ribbon- 1/2″ or less works best

Wire cutters

Optional:  small picture frame found in jewelry/ beading section,  small photo or words that fit in the frame

I went to the craft store and found the most realistic white Phalaenopsis orchids I could find.

20150525_105549-1

 

Step 1:

I first cut off a small leaf leaving a little stem and glued a piece of artificial grass to the leaf front.
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Step 2:

Glue the larger of two orchids to the leaf and grass.

Step 3:

Glue this piece to the plastic piece attached to the wristband.

20150525_110728-1

Step 4:

Then add a second, smaller orchid near the top of the first and tucked under so both orchids lay nicely together.  I added another leaf and piece of looped grass behind the second orchid.

Step 5:

I made a bow out of white satin ribbon and secured the middle with a short piece of wire.  You could also use a short piece of ribbon to secure the middle.  I tucked this under one of the petals on the orchid and glued it into place on the plastic pad of the bracelet.  Arrange however looks best with your flowers.

Corsage 3

Step 6:

I added a small bud from another stem of purple orchids I had leftover so the whole thing looks uniform and somewhat symmetrical.

Step 7:

As an added extra, I found small picture frame  charm that I added one of our engagement pictures to.  If you turn it over, the back says “We Love You Mom”

corsage 6corsage 5

Sorry for the blurry closeups.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I would love to see your creations!

Happy crafting!

 

 

 

 

 

Physicians Formula Argan Bronzer

Physicians Formula Argan Ultra Nourishing Bronzer

Being a ginger, I live for my bronzer. If I was stranded on an island and had to choose between my bronzer and my mascara… well I probably wouldn’t need a bronzer in that situation.  However, I live in Colorado where I spend my winters bundled up in knit sweaters, completely blocked from the sun and my summer’s covered in SPF 70…so I need a bronzer.

Lately I have been interested in the benefits of argan  oil and this bronzer caught my eye.  Overall, I like it.  It does have a pretty strong fragrance so  If you are sensitive to certain scents, this may not be the one for you.  It does have a slight shimmer and when you use it for the first couple times, there  is quite a bit of gold glitter, but that is just a thin layer that could easily be brushed off.  I have more yellow undertones and I think it compliments my complexion well.  It is lighter in color than some of the bronzers I have used in the past so you may need to layer slightly.  The argan oil provides some moisture and doesn’t feel heavy.  I’d love to hear what you think or what your go-to bronzer is!

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Buy Here at Ulta

Mushroom Gorgonzola Chicken

Mushroom Gorgonzola Chicken

I’m always up to try new recipes and ways to cook chicken differently.  I found a recipe similar to this but I changed it to make it a little healthier and used the things in my refrigerator.  It turned out really good!  Here is the recipe…

Serves 6-8 ( thin breast servings)

Mushroom Gorgonzola Chicken

Ingredient List:

4 chicken breasts cut in half or 6-8 thin chicken breasts

12-15 medium/ large mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp. thyme or 3 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup seasoned flour

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. olive oil or enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4-1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbles

1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

Seasoned flour:

1/2 cup oat flour (or dry white flour)

1 tsp. salt

1/2 black pepper

Slice chicken breasts in half so you have 2 thin slices or use pre-cut thin breasts.

Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.

Coat chicken in the seasoned flour mixture and place in hot oil.  Cook about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown in color.  Remove from pan once both sides have been cooked.  My pan wasn’t big enough so I cooked 4 at a time.

While the chicken is cooking, slice your mushrooms.

Add the  butter to the pan after the chicken has been removed.  Sauté the mushrooms until they are soft and begin to brown.

Add the white wine and chicken broth to the mushrooms.  Scrape the brownings from the pan and mix with mushroom/ wine/ broth mixture.  Add thyme to skillet.

Place the chicken back in the pan, bring to boil, then down to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan again and place aside.  Add the cream and gorgonzola cheese.  Use 1/4 or less if you don’t like the strong flavor.  I used 1/2 cup because I love gorgonzola.

Heat through while stirring occasionally.  If cause is not thickening, mix 1 Tbs. if corn starch with a little water in a cup and add to mixture to thicken.

Place chicken in cream sauce pan once it is to the desired consistency and heat.

Serve over whole wheat pasta or skip the carbs and serve with your favorite vegetable!

Hope you enjoy!