diy · entertaining · Food & Drink · Living · Uncategorized

Relaxed Summer Luau and Advice to a Fourteen Year Old

Hi, loves.

I had every intention of posting on Tuesday, but by the time I made it home from a CRAZY work day (you may have seen my hometown on the news) , I could not focus.

Better late than never, I suppose.

Last Sunday was my eldest niece’s birthday. She turned 14, and I feel OLD! My sister has been down with a herniated disk, so my other sister and I last minute took on throwing a little shindig.

We didn’t have the luxury of time or a large budget, so we kept it a relaxed, glam luau. I thought I’d share the sweet details.

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party


Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

See? A little bit can go a long way. I recycled some of the pom streamers from my engagement party, and I ordered the cute foil balloons and metallic tattoos for fun details. And aren’t the spray-painted pineapples darling?

All in all, it turned out to be a lovely gathering for a lovely young lady! I cannot believe my niece will be a freshman in high school this fall! Her birthday got me thinking about advice I’d give my fourteen year old self….and oddly it is the same advice I am working on internalizing these days as well.

I think it is most eloquently put by Scott Stabile:

Truth bombs. Mantra. Bullies.

This is what I hope to convey to my niece as she enters some exciting and difficult years. This is what I hope to convey through my lifestyle.

 

Shop my party looks here:

Gold Foil ‘Happy Birthday’ Balloon Set

Metallic Birthday Tattoos 

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

 

 

My dear, sweet [W]IT GIRLS, keep on shining like you do.

xx-Lona

 

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Food & Drink · Living · relationships · Wellness

No More Juggling Dog Bones, There’s a Subscription for That

I’m just going to come right out and say it:

Being a young, career-oriented woman who also wants to be a dutiful homeowner, wife, fur baby mama, and blogger is HARD.

I might as well write professional juggler on my resume because that’s this [W]IT GIRL’s magic act. And while I am being candid, there is nothing I hate more than dropped balls.

Wait.

Strike that.

Not what I meant.

Prime example, though–it is so difficult to give 100% of me to every aspect of my life, and I know this must be how a lot of strong women feel, especially you mamas out there. That’s one more ball to juggle, and one that you can’t afford to drop. After awhile of the go, go, go mentality to get to everything, it makes me a little twitchy.

Okay, I am done with my horrible metaphors.

On the fur baby front, I want to share my latest discovery that helps me ensure I won’t spend anymore late nights scrambling eggs for them and cutting up sweet potato because I forgot to run to the pet store for food.

Readers, meet Chewy. Chewy is magical.

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Don’t take it from them; they are always a little suspect of strange smells and new objects.

Chewy is an online superstore for pet owners. They offer competitive prices for everything from food to toys to beds, and they have super quick shipping as well!

My first purchase from Chewy was two lifted dog beds to put in our mudroom for the puppers. I found the prices to be extremely reasonable. The only issue I ran into was that one piece on one of the two beds was defective.

I called Chewy and was received by such a pleasant worker who was conversational as she processed updates regarding my order. Rather than just sending me a new part, she sent me an entire new bed and told me to donate the defective one to a shelter.

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They each have their own bed, but they have a zero tolerance policy for personal space.

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Cheap shot on Piper’s part.

After having a great experience with the beds, I decided to go ahead and sign up for a subscription to two things I hate buying in store, and therefore forget (funny how that works) to buy: dog food and cat litter.

What do these two things have in common? They’re HEAVY.

So every four weeks, I’m subscribed to purchase and receive two bags of dog food and one box of cat litter. For the first 3 subscription orders you make, Chewy gives you a 20% discount, which is pretty sweet. Eventually I will also subscribe to cat food, but Basie seems to make a bag of food last much, much longer than the doggos.

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In addition to food and beds, I have also purchased Kong brand toys (the only toys that can prolong the destruction my rowdy pups ultimately achieve) for a hugely discounted price for the pups! As you can see, Chewy is a huge help in managing supplies and food for my furry loves.

I wanted to share with you today this sweet discovery of mine in hopes that maybe this will eliminate one thing from those that you are juggling!

Keep on, keeping on, [W]IT GIRLS, because you are so much stronger than you think! Work smart though, and look for vehicles such as Chewy that can help reduce your load.

Check out the magic here

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xx-Lona

diy · entertaining · Food & Drink · Home Decor · Living

Top 5 Picks for a More Sustainable Mother’s Day

md-gifts

Hey friends, can you believe it is nearing the end of the first week in May?! You know what this means–Mother’s Day is right around the corner! May is always a busy gift-giving month for me because Mother’s Day comes up quick, followed by my dad’s birthday on the 16th, and then my mom’s birthday on the 31st. I’m trying to get ahead this year and thought I’d try to help you out also.

Today I’m sharing my top picks for sustainable, ethical Mother’s Day gifts!

  1. The Savour Box by Globe In.

Globe In offers a curated selection of fair trade goods, and even gives you the opportunity to purchase from them on a subscription basis. This particular box is filled with gifts for the mom who loves to be in her kitchen. It comes with a hand-painted spoon rest from Palestinian Territories, a matching set of salt and pepper shakers from Palestinian Territories, a wooden spice bowl from India, and either a sea salt basket or a hand-woven palm leaves basket.

2. Mackenzie Shiny Black  sunnies.

These beauts are from TOMS, who pledges to help give sight to those in need for every pair of glasses purchased. The classic big frame makes me think of my mom’s preferred signature shades.

3. Aqua Tall Flower Glass by The Little Market.

Stand alone, or with a set–these tumblers made of recycled glass are perfect for front porch sittin’ with an icy tea or lemonade! The Little Market is Lauren Conrad’s fair trade shop, and it is filled with some adorable goodies!

4. Bees Wrap Sustainable Food Storage, 3-Pack

I am dying to try these out! They are a sustainable alternative to plastic wrap, and optimal for those trying to lower the amount of waste their household produces. They are actually sold out on their website; however, I found that Amazon has their products in stock, and this one is Prime eligible!

5. Hammered Dots Earrings by Dunitz & Company

These beautifully beaded fair trade earrings come in many color options, and are so delicate!

I hope my top 5 picks is helpful to you in your quest to get your moms authentic, awesome gifts! My mom is a tricky gal to shop for because she is not materialistic in the least, and she has particular taste. Between Mother’s Day and her upcoming birthday, I think I have a lot of good options for gift giving for my favorite person!

What is the best Mother’s Day gift you’ve given or received?

 

[W]IT GIRL

Culture · Food & Drink · huntsville · Living · Travel · Uncategorized

Green Sangria is Basically the Same as a Juice, Right?

Hello & Happy Monday!

Here’s to hoping everyone had a great and safe St. Patrick’s Day weekend! May the theme of green carry on as you detox post-Patty’s Day celebration.

Benny and I chose to branch out on Friday night. I had been hearing about a Korean fusion restaurant in downtown Huntsville for well over a year now, and seeing their Instagram photo of a green sangria finally won me over. Big Oh’s Korean Fusion for this Irish holiday Americans use as a reason to go hard it is! Makes sense.

Big Oh’s is nestled on the north side of the square downtown, and like many of the restaurants on this block, it is two stories. We elected to sit upstairs in a cozy dining room decorated with photographs of Korea. This is an assumption based on my deductive reasoning. The photos might not actually be of Korea. My photography eye is not yet refined enough to detect the authenticity of such subject matter.

Benny ordered a stout (his drink of choice St. Patrick’s day or not), and I ordered my coveted green “Winter Sangria.” The sangria was great–there was a nice kiwi flavor to it!

We were quite hungry upon arrival, so we knew we wanted an appetizer. I was tempted to order their rice paper spring rolls, which looked amazing on the menu, but we decided to leave our comfort zone and try something crazy. Like…a kimchi bacon pancake.

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Perhaps this menu item would more aptly be called a kimchi bacon flatbread, as Benny pointed out that it really didn’t have much in terms of a pancake going for it, aside from its round shape possibly. I digress, this appetizer was really quite delicious! The kimchi gave it a sour, briny flavor, which paired nicely with the salty bacon. Packed with flavor, the kimchi bacon pancake did not disappoint our adventurous hopes.

For an entree, I ordered spicy Korean ramen with pork, also an item I admired from Big Oh’s Instagram. Hear me when I say that I am a changed woman after eating this ramen. It was just that good, and we are both looking forward to the next time we can order it (Benny got the mild ramen with chicken). This dish was so well seasoned, packed with fluffy egg, and topped with crispy pork and melted cheese.

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It is a regret we must live with daily that we were too stuffed after our drinks, the appetizer, and our entrees to even take a gander at the full dessert menu. The obvious silver lining to this sad situation is that we have to return for more ramen and to give Big Oh’s dessert menu the chance it deserves.

Jokes aside, we definitely plan to return to Big Oh’s. They had a great menu selection: everything from burgers and wings to traditional Korean cuisine. I highly recommend the ramen! My mouth is watering as I type!


What is the craziest food you’ve tried?

 

[W]IT GIRL

Food & Drink · Living · Recipes

Crockpot Chicken Chimichangas

Hello, friends!

Today I want to share a stupid simple recipe I created with the help of my friend, the slow cooker.

Y’all. I use my slow cooker for everything. It is the only way my small family functions. Benny and I both work full time, work out regularly, and try to stay social. I couldn’t keep us fed if it weren’t for my crockpot!

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One of my favorite recipes right now is slow cooker chicken chimichangas! They are so delicious, easily customizable, and great to work in on a busy week.

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What you need:

-1 onion

-1/3 cup orange bell pepper

-1/3 cup red bell pepper

-1/3 cup yellow bell pepper

-3 cups of salsa

-chicken broth, just a splash!

-tortillas, normal size; they usually come in 10-packs

-3 to 4 chicken breasts

-1 packet taco seasoning

-1 tablespoon of butter, melted

-shredded cheese, 2 cup bag

-queso

Makes: 6 to 8 chimichangas depending on how much you stuff them. This time I made 7. Previously I’ve made 6.

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First, dice the onion and bell papers and put the in the crockpot. Place the chicken on top of the onion and peppers, and cover the chicken with 1 1/2 cups of salsa, the taco seasoning, and a splash of chicken broth. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a pan with vegetable oil.

Place the chicken in a large bowl, and shred it. Add the other 1 1/2 cups of salsa.

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Now  begins the chimichanga stuffing!
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Lay chicken in the center of the tortilla, and top with shredded cheese.

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Next, fold the top and bottom of the tortilla, and brush with melted butter.

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Fold in one side, brush it with butter, and roll over to second side, sealing with butter.

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Place the chimichanga in the pan, and continue the process.

 

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Brush the tops with butter, and they are oven ready!

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Bake at 350 for twenty minutes. Then pour queso on top, and bake to crisp perfection for another ten minutes.

 

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While the chimichangas are baking, I like to make rice and refried beans for sides.

 

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There you have it, slow cooker chicken chimichangas! Not difficult, but definitely tasty!

 

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What are some of your favorite slow cooker recipes for a busy week?

 

[W]IT GIRL