Sunday Style

IMG_1379.JPG
Feeling fierce in this FLOR Graphic Floral Fit & Flare dress from Gwynnie Bee paired with my color blocked suede pumps from ELLE for Kohl’s and Revlon colorburst lips in Lollipop.

Chicken Pot Pie for the Soul

IMG_1299.JPGFood is love. At least that’s what I believe. I’ve found, as I grow older and expand my culinary prowess, I have an inexplicable urge to feed people. It brings me joy and comfort to see someone else enjoy something that I worked hard to create, to hear an irrepressible “mmm” escape from their lips, and to know that they feel loved by me because I have fed them. At least that’s the experience I hope for. Sometimes people are just hungry, and that’s ok too. I guess…
Anyway, one of the greatest expressions of the “food is love” process is that of making a meal for someone who is unable to make one for themself. One such occasion is the reason I made this chicken pot pie, the epitome of comfort food, in my opinion. {recipe at the end}

IMG_1300.JPGA dear friend of ours was in the hospital a few weeks ago for a surgery that although not necessarily routine, we all assumed would be successful. Unfortunately there were several complications with the surgery and for a time everyone, including the doctors, weren’t sure he was going to make it. Feelings of sadness and helplessness weighed heavily upon us as well as thoughts like “what was our last conversation”, “can his wife handle much more this year?”, and “what can we do?”
Obviously since neither of us went to medical school and a well butchered rack of lamb or a batch of cookies (that’s pretty much where our skill sets end) would do him any good, other than pray, there was nothing we could do.
However, to our relief and delight, he pulled through and was released recently from the hospital with a long road to recovery ahead of him. And now, there was something I could do, I could feed him. And feed him I did, because food is love.

Beauty&The Butcher’s Chicken Pot Pie

2-3 chicken cutlets diced
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
2 red potatoes diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
Dash of minced garlic
1 box store bought pie crust
Salt, pepper, & pinch of sage

Preheat oven to 375. Season chicken with s&p. Sauté garlic & chicken in olive oil until no longer pink. Add vegetables and sauté for a minute or two. Add cream of chicken and sage then let simmer for ten minutes. Prepare pie plate by lining with one roll of crust. Spoon mixture into dish and cover with remaining roll of dough making sure it’s securely attached to the bottom crust and sealed. Pinch pastry along the sides to firmly seal and crimp with a fork if you’re fancy. Pour a few tablespoons of milk into a cup and brush top of pie and all along crust with milk, this will give you a lovely honey colored crust! Bake until golden brown & enjoy!!!

*for another variation of this recipe with a few differences check out this post

Local Beauty

IMG_1034.JPG
I recently discovered and started planning a camping trip (in a cabin, not a tent…one step at a time people) to the beautiful Blue Spring State Park. Blue Spring is 2,644 acres of enchantment and a winter home to numerous endangered manatees.
Temperatures in the spring remain a constant 72 degrees, creating a safe haven for the manatee during the cooler months and a cooling swim for humans during the long hot days of summer.
A single day can include a scenic river boat trip, snorkel or dive the depths of Blue Spring, a kayak or canoe paddle, a picnic under the spreading Live Oaks, and a classic sunset over the historic St. Johns River.
I can’t wait to explore this local beauty that’s practically right in our own backyard. Take some time to research your own hometown, there may some hidden gems you’ve never heard of just waiting for you to explore!

Me Gusto Carnitas

IMG_1257.JPG
Carnitas, literally “little meats,” is a dish of Mexican cuisine. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork meat in liquid until tender. The process takes several hours (of which you can be in the pool if you want, all hail the crock pot!) and the result is very tender and juicy pork meat, which is then typically served with cilantro, diced onion, salsa (and corn salsa in my case), guacamole, tortillas, and beans. And that, my friends, is exactly what we did. If you haven’t had carnitas, you are missing out. But you don’t have to go to a restaurant to get it, the recipe is actually quite simple and your friends and family will love you forever. I mean they already should love you unconditionally, but incase you’re on the outs with some of them, this will definitely help.😉

Beauty & The Butcher Carnitas

2 1/2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder (or a Boston Butt as the butcher calls it)
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together (you can use twine but I love using reusable silicone rubberbands you can find them at any kitchen supply)
2 bay leaves
12 oz. bottle Mexican beer
1/4 C. orange juice
2 – 3 T. chipotle peppers in adobo (these are in a can in your Latin foods aisle, remove them from can and purée in blender, freeze what you don’t use and be careful, these things will knock your socks off!)
generous amounts of kosher salt & fresh black pepper

Put everything into your crock pot. Cover and set it to cook for 6 hours. After the first few hours you can stir everything around a bit if you’d like, but it’s not totally necessary.

After six hours (or when the pork reaches 190 degrees with a meat thermometer) remove the tenderloin pieces onto a cutting board. They will be so tender, they’ll be falling apart you can shred them with a fork. Remove and throw away the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Shred the pork and return to the slow cooker with its sauce. Keep it on the warm setting until ready to use. You can also easily double this recipe in fact, I recently double quadrupled it to feed 60 people and it was still easy and delicious!

Bridal Tea Extravaganza

I realized today {thanks to some prodding from my readers} that although I posted several items from the tea party, like my beautiful fruit tart, my DIY floral napkin rings, and my hand painted chalkboard sugar cookies, I never posted pictures from the actual shower. So here are some pictures from our lovely bridal tea for your viewing pleasure!

IMG_0640.JPG

IMG_0638.JPG

IMG_0623.JPG

IMG_0636.JPG

IMG_0738.JPG

IMG_0632.JPG

IMG_0633.JPG

IMG_0736.JPG

Theft Protection with some bling!

IMG_1023.JPG
Were you aware that “duck tape” is like a whole movement now? There are literally hundred of patterns

IMG_1236.JPGNot to mention a gazillion ideas of tape related crafts out there to be made. One of the favorite ones I’ve seen so far is this floor…

IMG_1235.JPGA friend of mine made a corset out of duct tape back in high school but it was just the plain old silver kind, imagine the possibilities now!
Anyway, this has been my roundabout way of getting to today’s post. If you’re like me, your iphone seems to always be dead but every time you go to plug it in, your charger is missing! (Granted sometimes I am the actual culprit, having moved it to another room and forgotten about it) but sometimes it’s the butchers fault too.
Other times, you take your charger to someone’s house and next thing you know, there’s a sea of white squares plugged into various outlets and you have no clue which one, if any of them, belong to you. Well thanks to duck tape (I chose, of course, a lovely silver glitter bling) you can have a personalized, adorable, theft proof phone charger within seconds! Just apply your pattern of choice to the charger, trim, and voila!

Sunday Style: Date Night Edition

IMG_1162.JPG
As soon as I added this adorable Kristin Miles Multi Print Dress to my Gwynnie Bee closet I knew it’d be perfect for a date night out with the butcher. But it was even better than I expected, the material was a super soft & comfy cotton, it was light for the Florida heat, flattering, and I love all the bright colors. Make sure when using Gwynnie Bee that you pay attention to their helpful size charts and member reviews because if it weren’t for those I would have totally gotten the wrong size. I think this one’s a keeper!

IMG_1163.JPG