The 2016 Academy Awards.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The 88th Academy Awards are here. The red carpet has been walked, the celebs have posed and they've taken their seats. The long awaited Chris Rock speech is upon us. Last night, along with my family, best friend Coti and my dear friend, white wine, I live blogged the Oscars.

Let's do this. Let's talk the Oscars, all things celebs, speeches and everything in between. Plus, my pick for best dressed and worst dressed. Heads up -- we've got some spoiler alerts in here.

  • LEO LET'S WIN THIS.
  • It took Chris Rock all of 10 seconds to talk about the #whiteoscars scandal.
  • Jennifer Lawrence - you are killing it girl.
  • Chris Rock shouting out to kappa
  • So, I heard via GMA that this year the Oscars will be awarded in the order a movie is made. Basically it means all the boring stuff will be presented before the fun stuff. 
  • And they changed the Oscar. Beside this little swirl, I don't really notice much difference. 
  • Gotta love all the screenplays. 
  • Stacy dash? Really. Girl. Your fame lived and died with clueless. Next. 
  • Sam Smith. What diet are you on? Cuz I need it. 
  • I love this new thing where they scroll the thanks at the bottom of the screen 
  • I'm so glad Adam made me watch mad max because I totally appreciate the costume design.
  • Here we go, The Revenant is winning other things and were just building up to Leo winning all the things. 
  • Dad: why are all those people in boxes? I've never seen that before 
  • Priyanka Chopra is gorg- which reminds me, I cannot wait for quantico to come back. 
  • Tommy: Star Wars would be the only thing to beat mad max 
  • Mad max wins. How does Star Wars lose to mad max. Come on. 
  • Matt: I have literally never heard of this movie (referring to mad max) 
  • c3po!! I love him 
  • Can you believe that Toy Story was TWENTY YEARS AGO. 
  • Can we talk about Reese Witherspoon? I LOVE her, okay? Like, I think she is so awesome. But why does her dress look like her bra is showing? Her black bra through her navy dress? I do not get it. 
  • Kate Winslet, you are amazing and your huge glasses are amazing - I love them. 
  • I love when Chris Rock goes out into the public to talk to the people.
  • Guys, I got bored mid-Oscars and stopped, but I'm back -  I heard the MLK quote and it got me re-energized. 
  • Blackbird is such a great song - add it to an in memoriam and I'm in tears. 
  • Jacob Tremblay is the cutest kid ever. He needs to win allllll the Oscars. 
  • SAMMY!! Killing it. 
  • We are so close to Leo winning. 
  • Eddie Redmayne, if you didn't win best actor last year, I'd be rooting for you. You're one of my favorites. 
  • All the previews for Brooklyn make me really want to see it. Thoughts? Have you seen it? 
  • Brie Larson, you are my new favorite girl crush. 
  • LEONARDO! And just like that my Sunday is made. Thank you to the Academy for finally giving Leo what he deserves. 
  • Oh, and those baby blues. Leo, congrats. Now go give Kate Winslet a big smooch :) 
  • I wish Morgan Freeman was the narrator of my life.
  • Spotlight - wow! So surprised, but good for you! 
 Best Dressed: Charlize Theron
Runner Up: Chrissy Teigen
Worst Dressed: Amy Poehler

So, that's it, until next year! What did you think about the Oscars?

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Guest Post: Candidly Kelsey

Friday, February 26, 2016

Hello, Everyday Grace readers! I’m Kelsey from CandidlyKelseyBlog.com, a lifestyle, beauty, DIY, and little-bit-of-everything blog. I’ve been a reader of Kristen’s for awhile now, and am super excited to be taking over the page today! 

One thing I love about Kristen is her delicious and healthy recipes.  So why not share a recipe I’ve recently perfected that is a cheat for my favorite junk food: BBQ Wings. These crunchy little BBQ wing substitutes are actually made of CAULIFLOWER.  So when you sit down and eat all of them you can feel zero guilt what so ever! That’s my kind of junk food, amiright?

This recipe is very easy to adjust and manipulate based off of what you have in your house, or how much cauliflower you want to make.  You can also adjust the thickness of the batter depending on if you want more of a crunchy coating to your wings.  The thicker the batter, the more batter you will need to make.  It’s best to just go with the flow for your preferences on this one the first time you make it.

Try it out, add some extra seasonings if you prefer, and enjoy! 

BBQ Cauliflower “Wings”
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yields: 2 generous servings of “wings”



Ingredients:
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup of milk of choice (I used skim, but you can also use a non-diary version if you prefer)
  • 1 cup of flour of choice
  • 1 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups of water 
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
How to Make: 
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  
  2. Wash and cut cauliflower into bite size pieces, making sure to keep the pieces as uniform as possible so they cook evenly.  
  3. Mix the milk, water, flour, spices, and a dash of salt and pepper together. For less “bready” wings, add about ½ cup water more to thin batter. 
  4. Evenly coat cauliflower pieces with batter, let the excess drip off the pieces, and place in a single layer on a greased cooking sheet.  
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  6. While baking, mix BBQ sauce and 1 cup of water to create sauce.  
  7. Remove cauliflower pieces, and toss in sauce until evenly coated.  
  8. Add back to greased pan in single layer, and bake for an additional 10 minutes for softer wings, or 15-20 for crunchier wings. 
  9.  Remove from pan, garnish with a dollop of ranch dressing or bleu cheese, and enjoy these guiltless little delights.
If you love this recipe, feel free to check out Kelsey at all her fabulous social media spots! 
CandidlyKelseyBlog.com // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin // Facebook

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Recipe: Beef and Broccoli

Thursday, February 25, 2016

When I was little and we would order chinese food, I got the same thing every time -- chicken and broccoli. To this day, it is still my favorite chinese food order.

My husband is more of a beef kind of guy, so when I found this recipe, I knew it was the perfect combination of my favorite meal and my husbands. That is what I can a win/win.

The best part about this meal and most of the meals I post? 1) It was so easy and 2) It was made in a crockpot 3) it is healthier than takeout. Yes.

Here's reason #334 I'm a bad blogger, I forgot to take pictures, except for the final product. But to be honest, you put all the ingredients in the crock pot and boom.


Ingredients:
  • 1.5 pounds flank steak, thinly sliced and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ⅔ cup coconut aminos
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch + 4 tablespoons cold water
  • sesame seeds for garnish
How to make:
  1. Grease the inside of a slow cooker. Add steak, beef broth, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and chili flakes. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low 4-5 hours.
  2. Minutes before serving, uncover the slow cooker. In a small bowl whisk corn starch and water until dissolved. Add to slow cooker and stir. Cover and allow to cook another 20-25 minutes.
  3. Just before serving, place broccoli in a large tupperware, fill with ½ inch of water, and place the lid on in an off-set manner so that the container can vent. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. 
  4. Drain, stir broccoli into slow cooker, and serve. Top with sesame seeds. Enjoy! 
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The Bachelor: Hometowns are here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

This is my favorite episode ever! Hometowns are here. We get to meet the mothers, kids, fathers and the over protective brothers. The dads have doubt, the moms get drunk and the girls say they're nervous 100 times. This is when the crazy really comes out.

We are almost there people. Its been a long, fun ride with Mr. Ben, but now it's time. This is the biggest date of the girls life. Here's my questions and thoughts regarding their hometowns. Also, what I think is going to happen and where the girls stand. Remember, Adam is in italics :)

Amanda: First of all, could she be any dang cuter with that little top? Dang. Second, Ben holding the littlest baby, swoon. Third, is Ben ready to be an instant dad? This family is super intense. Like, I get it, but she went on the Bachelor, wasn't this expected? After this date, I think it's over between the two. As sad as it will be for Amanda's little girls, I just don't see it.

Lauren B: So, I have to move to Portland now so I can eat all the grilled cheese and bread with butter. Did anyone else hear Lauren say Li-berry. Liberry. No. Moms name is Kristen (yeah yeah) and she has a huge glass of wine. I like this mom and this family. These girls are setting themselves up for total devastation. Ben crying with Lauren's sister. I die.

Caila: Honestly, she bores me and slightly irritates me. I don't get it. Nope, bad bad vibes. This is the worst date ever, it is so forced. Chris is wearing orange khakis. Ben didn't even get to eat, let the poor man eat! Caila's family seems pretty normal, but I just do not see them together.

Jojo: Chad versus Ben. That was super dramatic and the timing couldn't have been more planned. The brothers are totally my favorite part of this hometown. I think the brothers should go beat up Chad. Keep drinking your wine mojo -  it'll get you through. THE MOM JUST DRANK STRAIGHT FROM THE CHAMPS BOTTLE. Oh, JoJo. I think you should win, but I don't think you do win. I think she's the next Bachelorette. 



Girl sent home: Amanda. I think Ben is probably the best bachelor in history. He is so thoughtful. Him crying, swoon.

PS. THE PREVIEW. He tells TWO women he's in LOVE. This is huge. I think it's Lauren and JoJo. Who do you think he says I love you to?

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Henry: The Denver Dog Friendly Guide

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Today, this blog post is dedicated to Henry James III. For those of you who don't know Henry -- he is a 6 year old, 8 pound Yorkie with no predecessor, is worthy to be a third and runs our household like he's the boss. He's basically the best dog in the world. This post may be a little shameless as I divulge all the secrets surrounding Henry.
ps. this bowtie is from rover boutique and it's the cutest. 

Anyways, let's get to the point. Today, Henry & I are sharing the best dog parts about Denver. One of the coolest parts about living in Denver is that it is 100% dog friendly. From hotels to restaurants to the Home Depot, Henry goes everywhere with us. Don't believe me, he even has a carseat for our adventures.

I told you he had a carseat. 

If you're new to Denver or you just need some suggestions as to where your pup can venture, this is the post for you! This is Henry's Dog-Friendly Guide to Denver.

RESTAURANTS:

STORES:
  • Home Depot
  • Michaels
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Nordstrom
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Sheplers
  • Petsmart & Petco (obvs)
  • LUSH cosmetics
  • Barnes and Noble
PARKS & HIKES:

HOTELS
Ps. I understand that sometimes dogs are not ideal companions for certain activities: work, the symphony, a Broncos game. So, in those rare instances, I have the perfect website for you to find dog boarding and pet sitting. Check out Rover.com to find your dogs perfect match! They also have great local dog boarding options right here in Denver!

Thanks to Henry's guide, everyone can hang with their dog in Denver. 
To commemorate, this tee is made by Daily Tay, you should get one! 

What did I miss? What are your favorite places to go with your dog?

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The Bachelor: We're almost to hometowns.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

People. We are here. There are 6 girls left. We all know their names, their locations, their connections with Ben. We're finally in what I like to call the sweet spot of the Bachelor. The girls are developing "feelings," Ben is making "tough" decisions and we're almost to home-town dates.

I love this part. There's a lot going on. There are so many tears. The phrase, "I'm so scared" is said on the reg and the girls are pyscho-analyzing each other to death. I told ya, it's the sweet spot.

Let's talk about this weeks episode. It was a doozy. Here are my thoughts about the episode. Beware for episode spoiler alerts.
  • That red truck is not Ben's real car. Does he think we actually think that's his car? Come on.
  • I think Ben solidified himself as the best bachelor in history with his date to the youth center.
  • So we know the twin is going on, but who else? 
  • Lauren B is the cutest  -- tonight solidified my feelings that she wins.
  • What if he just hit a line drive right at her, broken cheek bones, biggest moment in bachelor history (referring to JoJo pitching to Ben).
  • So, I was all about Becca in the beginning and now she absolutely bores me. She literally has no inflection in her voice. Next.
  • Jojo, we're in episode 7, you've "known" Ben for seven long weeks, time to suck it up. You're a babe, he adores you, just embrace it.
  • PS. Next week I'm gonna tally how many times the word scared is said. I guarantee it's over 300. 
  • This boat ride is ridiculous. Seriously, a two person boat on a three-on-three? 
  • Do you think Becca had some feelings when walking into the barn that slightly resembled the barn Chris Soules dumped her in?
  • Wow, Amanda! Shocking. 
  • Becca is gonna lose her shit. 
  • Some of these woman are delusional, like vegas chick and becca, they are not going to win. 
  • This is not real. Ben. We get it, you're a spokesperson for McDonalds, but enough is enough. Side-note, if I was there, I totally would have ordered a breakfast burrito.
  • You've got to be shitting me (referring to McDonalds)
  • Does Amanda really have to carry the rose wherever she goes? 
  • Ben, just cut ties man. This is a total fu****** train wreck. (referring to the twin convo)
  • The twin literally made Ben's mom cry. 
  • Well you beat all odds, I thought you'd be gone before the first rose. 
  • The twin, though not right for Ben, was very sweet and kind.
  • How can you not blindside someone? You legit tell them their fate by giving them a rose, or in Becs case, not a rose. 

The girls are who gone: The last twin & Becca. 

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Adulting 101: 9 tips for buying your first house.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Adam and I recently bought out first house together! So recent that we close this week! It's so exciting because it's our first home. We lived together for about two years and we've shared an apartment, a duplex, but never a home.

This will be the first house we really decorate together. The first house we fix up together. The house we bring our future children home too. In this house we will celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations and all the day-to-day events. We will do life together in this house.

I'm so excited. 

House hunting was cool, but boy oh boy, it was hard, frustrating and time consuming.

This whole adulting thing is not always what it's cracked up to be. There is so much stuff people don't tell you.  Buy a house, they said. It'll be fun, they said. No-one told us about hidden fees, pre-qual letters or back-up offers. No-one told me I would actually come to hate house hunting before we found the one.


9 Tips for Buying a House:
  1. Get your financials in order. This is huge people. (a) Start saving. (b) Run a credit check. See what's going on and correct anything that might be going on. You never know really whats on your credit until you pull it. (c) get your money in your bank account. 
  2. Talk to your spouse or yourself about what you want. Make a checklist. Talk about what you really want. It's time to get honest with yourself. Set a budget. It's super easy when you're looking to say, oh it's just a little more expensive. No. Set a budget and stick to it. 
  3. Be realistic. When we started looking I thought we were going to buy this big ole house in the best neighborhood in Denver, walking distance to the best schools, next to our church and down the street from Trader Joes. Well, it turns out only Peyton Manning and Vonn Miller can afford those types of houses. Be realistic with your goals. This goes along with #2 in setting your budget. 
  4. Pick a realtor who makes you feel comfortable. We picked a realtor based on some familial and friendly connections and boy am I glad we did. Our first meeting was over cocktails and appetizers. She made us feel relaxed, excited and laid it all out on the table. A big part of this relationship is honesty. There were times we hated a house and we were comfortable to tell her that. She walked us through disappointment, disgust and a multitude of other feelings during this process. She also had our best interest at heart. She helped us with a back up offer that actually secured us getting our dream house.
  5. Find a great lender. The lending process is the biggest part of this process. (a) Shop around. Some lenders can offer you certain rates and benefits that are different from others. Once you find a lender, (b) talk money. (d) ask about all the fees that go into a loan. origination fees, inspection fees, taxes, appraisal fees. There's more than just the loan amount, make sure you know the entire picture (e) get pre-qualified. this way you know exactly what you can and cannot afford. 
  6. Be open minded. I had my mind set on exactly what I thought I wanted. I wanted a 5 mile by 5 mile radius and I HAD to have certain things. Welp, the house I fell in love with was outside that radius, totally different than I pictured and everything I never knew I wanted. Be open minded. Look at houses. Explore.
  7. Always be ready. We had this timeline set out. December 1 we will start looking. Well due to Thanksgiving we met with our realtor right before and she set us up with an MLS portal. Two days later we found a dream home, we looked at and the next day we put an offer in. Sometimes the perfect house comes along at the perfect time and you have to be ready. Wanna know the irony? Our dream house offer fell through. Our great realtor suggested a back up offer which we did. A month later, our backup offer was accepted and in a matter of 3 seconds we were under contract. Be ready.
  8. Do all the inspections. Luckily for us we had friends purchase a house a few months before us and they gave us great suggestions. Do all the inspections. (a) whole house inspection (b) sewer inspection and if you live in Colorado (c) radon. I've even heard people do (d) pest inspections. Spend the money upfront. 
  9. Close the deal. Pay the money, read the documents, sign the documents and take your picture with the sale sign. Now go and enjoy your house! 

Have you bought a house? What tips do you have? 
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A Letter to my Forever Valentine.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Oh, Valentines Day.

I would say the opinion of Valentine's Day is split 50/50 with more leaning towards not liking it than liking it. I get it. People think it's Hallmarks holiday - that its too commercial and that "if you love someone everyday should be valentines day."

And sure, while I agree with some of those sentiments, I think it's also such a great holiday to remind everyone, not just a significant other, that you love them. And, hey, I love chocolate, flowers and a good dinner. So, I can't really hate.

But, hey, I'm a newly-wed and this is a Letter to My Forever Valentine. When we got married we chose to do traditional vows, which left out any room for improv. This is my little way of telling Adam all those things I promise to him.

  • I promise to never say no to pizza.
  • I promise to always fold your undershirts. 
  • I promise to cheer for your football team, basketball team, hockey team, baseball team and whatever other team you want as long as I have wine. 
  • I promise not to buy coconut flavored La Croix. Who really likes those anyways. 
  • I promise to never make you watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or any other housewife show.
  • I promise to only make cauliflower rice every other month so you don't have to smell it. 
  • I promise to sit with you at the bar on Saturday when one of the aforementioned teams is playing, as long as there are nachos, wings and beer. 
  • I promise to always try and make you laugh. 
  • I promise to only ask you to take pictures of me for the blog on occasion. 
  • I promise to go skiing with you once my ACL is healed.
  • I promise to leave you all the coconut Lara bars and to eat all the cherry ones. 
  • I promise to watch Game of Thrones with you as long as it is on TV. 
  • I promise to always hate the Yankees and love the Red Sox. 
  • I promise that even though you want to name our kid Henry, I won't let you. [side-note readers - our dogs name is Henry and I'm not pregnant]
  • I promise you that when you're old, I won't let you wear berets like that guy we saw in the grocery store. 
  • I promise to love you always.
What are you thoughts on Valentine's Day? Did you write a post about it? I wanna see it! 

Link up below! 

get the InLinkz code
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Recipe: Italian shrimp & sausage skillet

Thursday, February 11, 2016

"This is the best meal you've ever made."

That is seriously one of the best compliments you can get from your husband. Besides you're so pretty, you're so smart or you're the coolest. But hey, it's a compliment and I love it.

The best part? This recipe is so easy. Like, anyone can make easy. But also the best. 

Adam and I were wondering the grocery store one Friday after work (yes, we're old folks) and we came across a guy cooking sausage in the meat department giving away free samples.

The guy offers, Adam passes -- noooo thanks (he's a germaphobe) and I'm over here stuffing food in my face. I'm not ashamed, I love free samples. After my third tester, I convinced Adam that he had to try.

One taste, he was hooked and that became our dinner choice for the evening. Now to Pinterest to find the perfect recipe. Except that I couldn't. I found various recipes that looked okay, but I could not find the one.

I took suggestions from about 8 recipes and I totally nailed it.

Ingredients: 
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1lb. package of pre-cooked sausage (Italian or whatever flavor links you like), sliced
  • 8 ounces shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced into thin circles
How to Make: 
  1. First combine the dry seasoning mix in a small bowl and set aside
  2. Next brown the pre-cooked sausage slices in a large skillet with a little coconut oil over medium heat – transfer sausage to a plate and set aside.
  3. Cook the shrimp, about 4 minutes each side. Set aside. 
  4. Next add the onions, peppers, zucchini and seasoning mix to the pan - cook everything for about 5 minutes 
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste (and any additional seasonings you'd like)
  6. Grab the sausage and shrimp you set aside and toss back into the pan with the veggies to reheat for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add in the 1/2 cup of beef and the two tablespoons of tomato paste. Let simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  8. Serve hot from skillet to plate and enjoy!
 Step 1: Cook the sausage and (not pictured) the shrimp
Step 2: Cook all the veggies, add the seasonings and the meats. 
Not pictured - add in the tomato paste and beef broth
Step 3: Add goat cheese and eat everything. 

Guys, I'm not lying when I say this is one of the best and easiest meals. It is so flavorful and for all of you who love meats or who have husbands, this is the meal for you. 

Plus, what's better than everything in one pan. You know how I feel about easy cleanup. 

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The Bachelor: She's gone.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

So, the Broncos won the Superbowl! One of the greatest things ever, has happened. Living in Denver when the Broncos win was seriously better than my birthday. Adam and I celebrated Sunday with some adult beverages and today, I am running on low fuel.

My usual witty banter (or what I presume to be witty) is gone. To be honest, if it weren't for this post and having to watch the bachelor, I probably would have been in bed 4 hours ago. The Broncos winning has tired me out. Have no fear, I will be back next week with another topic, another theme and hopefully some more humor than tonight brings. 

But, as promised by Chris Harrison, this was going to be the most dramatic bachelor in history.

Newsflash, it wasn't. Stop now if you haven't watched this episode yet. Ben pulls Olivia aside, she fake cries and is still here. The girls are mad. 

Tonight is going to be a huge mixup of some random quotes from the girls, Adam's quotes and all of my thoughts regarding this week of the Bachelor. 
  • I'm just different. Like I like reading books in my room and like, ya know, thinking and thats what I do and I want to talk smart things. -Olivia
  • Everybody else can suck it. -Olivia
  • During the rose ceremony --- very exotic music. 
  • Oh, and you need to go home too - referring to the twin.
  • No more crop tops, Caila. 
  • That whole conversation between Caila and Ben was so awkward. 
  • That means the crazy one is on the 2-on-1 date! 
  • Group date time - these girls bodies are banging! 
  • Ben, that's not fair to expect JoJo to just understand it. 
  • Leah, suck your shit up. You cannot just pout and cry in the corner and be awkward and expect Ben to like you. Girl. 
  • Please stop cryyyyingggg. 
  • Amber and I are making #groupdategroupie the next big hashtag. Start using it peeps, it's such a good one. 
  • Ben, I think pig island was a horrible idea buddy. 
  • I don't like drama.  -- Leah, have you learned nothing. Talk shit about the girls, you go home. 
  • Leah leaving -- wow, that's pretty humiliating. 
  • Hey twin, put your hair in a ponytail. 
  • Deep intellectual things are my jam. -Olivia
  • Kristen, this one is pretty hard to watch. 
  • I cannot reciprocate those feelings and tell you today I cannot give you this rose. -Ben. 
  • YES!
The girls who are goners: Jen, Leah, Olivia and Lauren H. Better luck in Paradise gals. 

Ps. Did anyone watch the preview for next week?! Who do you think Ben calls?? 

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All in, baby.

Monday, February 8, 2016

2016 is a fresh start. 2016 is a new year.

This year it's about prioritizing the important things and learning to say no to things that aren't a priority. Life is crazy busy. Schedules are busy. There are things going on at all times. It's very easy to feel overwhelmed.

Please don't read this the wrong way. This isn't a brag to "look at how much fun stuff I get to do." It's about learning how to make things a priority and learning to get rid of the excess. I've been throwing this post around in my head for weeks. I've deleted it in it's entirety thinking, "Kristen, stop complaining, you'd rather be busy than bored." But maybe that's the wrong mentality.

Jen Hatmaker wrote one of my favorite books, For the Love, and she talks about this very ideal. Starting the new year, my girlfriend B sent me Jen's quote (see below), it was like she was speaking right to my heart.

If its not a hell yes, then its a no.

I don't think it's about complaining that I'm busy or bored or still, it's about filling my life with the things that are worth it. One of my goals to work towards in 2016  is to be intentional. Intentional with my relationships, my work, this blog, my free time, my busy time and all the other things in my life.

Relationships that I'm giving too, I want to feel that effort reciprocated. Is that selfish? I want the people in my life to feel important. But I'm willing to let the reins go a little on the relationships that don't find me important. We don't have to be best friends with everyone we know. This isn't an angry goal, it's about being an adult and choosing what I do with my time and with my love for that matter.

I want to be intentional about my work and do my best, same goes for this blog. I want to be all in.

Time moves fast and 2016 is already flying.

This post is about constantly learning prioritizing my family, my best friends and things that make me say hell yes and to every else, learning to say no. It's about being intentional.

After one of the redrafts of the post, I was scrolling through twitter when one of my blogging gal-pals, Kait re-tweeted my other blog gal-pal Chelsea and her post about this same Jen Hatmaker quote! (did I lose you there with all the galpals and retweets? I hope not!)

It's like we all have the same thought and goal about 2016. What's important. Chelsea's post is awesome and it's cool to see the different perspective surrounding the same words. Take the time and go check her post out - it's so worth it.

All in, baby. What are you prioritizing in 2016?
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Guest Post: South of Plum

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I've told you once, I've told you three times, blogging is the best because of the friends I've made. What would my little space be without everyone else's spaces pushing me to be better. The best part about this community is when you find women you connect with on more than just blogging styles.

Kristine and I have been blog friends for a little over a year now. She is supportive, kind, encouraging, loving and we send each other pretty awesome snapchats. She has an amazing blog, Breakfast with Bentley and just launched an incredible new space called South of Plum.

I'm constantly encouraged by her and her go-getter spirit. She runs TWO blogs, multiple social media accounts, an Etsy shop, is a wife, dog-mama and business lady. In the words of Beyonce, girls run the world and Kristine is definitely one of them.

I cannot wait to introduce you to her and tell you all about her. She's one of the best people. I hope you show her love, support and encouragement, just like she'll show you.

Happy Sunday everyone. Let's make today great. Without further ado, Kristine.


1. Why did you start your blog?
I was searching for a creative outlet. It started with a blog and manifested into so much more. I enjoy reading, writing and creating beautiful things, and I wanted a place to share them with the world.

2. Tell us about you, the girl behind the blog.
I'm Kristine and I'm a 33-year-old girl from Long Island, New York. (I'll be 34 at the end of the month!) I am married to my best friend and we have two dogs, Bentley and Lambo. We live 40 minutes from New York City and 10 minutes from the beach - can't get better than that!

I currently work at a law firm in their marketing department. I'm responsible for handling all of their social media / blogs and planning their events. I work a mile from my house and I get to hang out with the pups at lunch! It's fantastic! I love what I do and learn more and more every day! When I'm not working, I like to take Soul Cycle, hot yoga or Orange Theory classes, walk with my dogs, read, watch television and hang out. I'm a champagne lover and coffee enthusiast. I love dance parties with my girlfriends, dinner dates with my husband and naps with my pups.

3. How did you pick your blog name?
We live south of Plum Street. When I was throwing around names, a warm and cozy feeling fell over me when I reached South of Plum. It was the exact same feeling I want my readers to feel when they read my blog.

4. Why the switch from Breakfast with Bentley to South of Plum?
I wanted to separate the two main themes: dogs and lifestyle.
  • South of Plum will focus on lifestyle: home decor, organizing, event planning, and some personal stories.
  • Breakfast with Bentley will focus on dogs: advice, tips, tricks, products, etc.
5. What is your favorite and least favorite part about blogging?
  • Favorite - making connections with other creative people all over the world! I have found some really great blogging besties who I go to for advice about blogging, social media, and life!
  • Least Favorite - the time. It's hard to juggle it all - writing, editing, taking pictures, social media, reading other blogs, reading the news, etc., but I do the best I can.
6. Where do you find your blogging inspiration?
I find inspiration from the world around me. I like to share things that matter to me and hopefully, others can relate.

7. Favorite thing to do in your free time?
Relax and catch up on my television shows. Read a book. Take a Soul Cycle class. Hang w/ my girlfriends or husband.
8. If you won the lottery, what would you do?
Pay off my Master's in Education Degree student loan (which is now collecting dust!), pay off all my bills, move to California and save the rest.

9. What are some of your favorite blogs to read?
10. What is one thing you want my readers to know about you?
What you see on my blog and on my social media is how I am in real life. My blog is authentic and honest to who I am as a person.
11. What is your number 1 tip for starting a blog?
Just be yourself. Don't try to do it all at once. Start slow, grow your following and the rest will fall into place. Share on social media and don't forget to connect with others! It's the best part!

Find Kristine here: Blog // Instagram // Twitter // Pinterest // Etsy

I hope you go show Kristine some love. I can guarantee she'll be the best blog friend you can ever imagine. And, after all, isn't supporting other bloggers just part of what makes this whole blogging experience what it is?

Kristine, thanks for letting me spotlight you today, I'm honored. I love your blog and I am so excited to see where and what you do with your  new space! xx

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Dear Readers of Everyday Grace, thanks.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dear Readers of Everyday Grace,

First, thank you. You guys rock. You're the best and most loyal readers I could have ever dreamed of. You have made my little space, yours. You've loved it, nurtured it, given suggestions and helped me grow.

Second, thank you for challenging me. Thank you for pushing me to be better. Thank you for helping me be a better blogger. Thank you for giving me productive advice. Thank you for being kind and not mean. Thank you for realizing that this blog is bigger than me.


Everyday Grace readers, thank you for making me feel welcomed. In this big bad world of blogging, you make me feel like I matter. In the midst of the competition, you've made me feel like I can succeed. You comment on my posts, you like my posts on Facebook and Instagram, you pin my Pinterest posts and you "love" me on Bloglovin.

You, readers of Everyday Grace, are my inspiration.

The funny thing about this blog is when I started it, I was afraid to tell my mom and my best friend. I was afraid to write about things that mattered or things that made me hurt. Today, I'm writing about my failures, my injuries and my dreams. This space makes me feel inspired. It makes me feel like I can share my thoughts and feelings with people who appreciate my words.

Thank you for giving me the desire to keep blogging. You are the reason I sit, computer in my lap, figuring out things to interest you. You are the reason I reach out to people so that I can create content that you like. You're also the reason I'm up at 11 pm with thousands of blog topics swirling around, but I forgive you this time :)

Thank you for not judging me when I talk about my love for red and white wine, beer, ten pieces of pizza and all things sweet. Oh, and for failing 30 days of paelo - thank you for not judging me, but encouraging me. Thanks for not judging me when I don't blog for a week or for when I take a 3 month hiatus.

You are the reason I tell people my dream is to be a professional blogger. You are the reason I fight for sponsors, ad space, affiliate links and more. You are the reason I set goals, hope to achieve them and continue to spend hours upon hours on this little space. My husband thanks you for turning him into an Instagram husband  - he might not say that out loud, but I know he's thinking it.

Thank you for loving Everyday Grace even more than I do. Thank you for loving me.
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Happy Birthday to my Kindred Spirit, Natalia! So glad we're friends and sisters. 
You made every day a little brighter. I love you! xx 

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Recipe: Spaghetti Squash

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I feel like I'm a fake paleo recipe blogger because this is my first time making spaghetti squash. There are a few reasons I've never made it before but the big reason being I thought it would be too hard. Add in pasta is not pasta if it's not noodles and you have the perfect excuse for me not making spaghetti squash.

I've read so many delicious recipes involving spaghetti squash and I just couldn't avoid it anymore. I found about 3 recipes that I thought looked delicious, combined them all and bam - I'm a spaghetti squash lover.

The best part about spaghetti squash? It's way easier than I thought. Now, just a heads up - it takes a little more time than regular pasta  - think 45 minutes versus 15 minutes - but it gives you that same pasta feeling.

When we first started eating paleo, Adam and I over did it on the goat cheese, which is a bummer since it's the only cheese we can eat. But I'm happy to report, enough time has passed and goat cheese is back and the perfect addition to this "pasta."


Now, pair this with some red wine and you've got the perfect combo. Okay, let's do this.

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, roasted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped into sixths
  • 1 (or two) large chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • 4 cups kale leaves, packed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
How to Make: 

  1. Roast the spaghetti squash and set aside until ready to use. 
  2. To roast the squash, heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half. Rub olive oil over the squash and season with salt and pepper. Place on foiled lined cookie sheet and place squash flesh side down. Cook for about 30 minutes until tender and fork slides easily in and out. 
  3. When squash is cooked, shred with a fork and set aside in a bowl until ready to use. 
  4. In a medium-sized non-stick skillet, add the oil and heat to medium. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is very fragrant and mushrooms have browned.
  5. In a sauté pan, add olive oil or coconut oil and heat to medium heat. Cut chicken breasts into stripes and cook until done.
  6. When chicken is cooked, add the chopped kale leaves. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, 
  7. Add the lemon zest, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir well and cook an additional minute. 
  8. Add in the spaghetti squash and stir to combine. 
  9. Serve with fresh goat cheese and enjoy!
Just to prepare you, this made enough for Adam and I to be stuffed for dinner, plus two days worth of lunch for me. So, if you've got a family of 4, this is the perfect recipe for you. 

Or, if you're like me, you don't understand portion control and make so much food you could feel a small basketball team. 

 Step 1: Cut the squash in half, scoop out the guts
Step 2: Brush with olive oil
Step 3: Season with salt and pepper, throw in the oven
Step 4: Sauté garlic, mushrooms and red pepper flakes
Step 5: Add in the cooked chicken and spinach
Step 6: Eat as much delicious paleo pasta as your heart desires

PS. Here's a tip -- If I didn't want to make this paleo, I would have topped with some delicious Parmesan cheese! 

I'm always looking for new ways to make recipes. Have you made spaghetti squash? How do you make yours? Share below in the comments!
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Today, two of my girlfriends have birthdays!! To Calista and Alyssa, Happy Birthday loves! I hope your day is wonderful and full of cocktails and delicious meals! Thanks for being my girls! xx 

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Beating the Blizzard Blues

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's still winter. Does anyone feel like winter is longer than any other season? Why can't summer be this long? Imagine the BBQ's and lake trips that could happen.

#WinterStormKayla hit us pretty dang hard yesterday. Denver is currently covered in feet of snow. Yesterday I had a snow day! It's freezing cold. It's super snowy. There are grey clouds in the sky and I don't remember what summer looks like.

But, ya know what, even though summer is still 5 months away, there are still things to do to combat the blizzard blues.

  1. Clean off your DVR. I don't know about you, but I'm always in a constant battle with it being at 95% full. There is never enough time in the week to keep up to date with shows. During my snow day I caught up on a huge amount of TV shows. 
  2. Play with your dog. Henry is pretty used to being alone Monday - Friday. He didn't really know what to do when I was home Tuesday. But we played a lot of catch, attempted some walks, even though the snow was 8 inches deep and he got a few more treats than usual. 
  3. Catch up on blogging. Guy, I pre-blogged some great posts and cannot wait for you to read them! 
  4. Take some good Instagram pictures. When you have time to take pictures during the day and not at work always makes for better pictures. 
  5. Work out. Take a class that you usually can't due to work. That is unless your classes are cancelled because of the blizzard. In that case, do a workout on TV! 
  6. Make a delicious dinner. This is rad. I'm usually rushing home from Pure Barre to make dinner so that we're not eating at midnight. I love having dinner prepared early. 
  7. Read a book. My February goal is to read 5 books. Having a blizzard day is helping my goal! 
  8. Plan a vacation. There is nothing better than planning a fun trip in the middle of a blizzard. 
  9. Call your mom. Remember J.K. Simmons speech at the Oscars? Stop texting, call your mom. Having a day off is a great day to do just that. 
  10. Pack. If you're moving in two weeks like I am you should pack. Except I have no motivation soooo I'll probably not pack. 


How do you beat the blizzard blues?
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