5.20.2015

Pasta Salad with Chard & Pecans

Happy Hump Day readers!

Are y'all as ready for the long weekend as I am?

I have a feeling the next three days are going to drag!

Today I am excited to share the recipe for a pasta salad I made Monday night and shared on Instagram.  I  was inspired by this recipe, but tweaked it a little for my tastes.


Ingredients (serves 4-6)
8 oz bowtie pasta
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
2 tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt, pepper, & crushed red pepper to taste
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
3 stalks of green chard, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 and roast the pecans for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant

2. Cook bowtie pasta, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside in large bowl.

3. In skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over medium low-heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic. When garlic is golden brown and fragrant, add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Set aside for 5 minutes.

4. Add chard, pecans, and olive oil mixture to pasta and stir to mix all ingredients. Add balsamic vinegar and mix.

5. Once pasta is fully cooled, add cheese and mix in.

6. Chill for 1-2 hours and top with additional cheese and pecans if desired.

7. Enjoy!



This recipe was so delicious and easy! I was really craving fatty baked macaroni and cheese the night I made it, and thought this was a good compromise. Any pasta that contains as much green as it does actual pasta is a-okay in my book! 

It would also make for a great potluck recipe and is convenient as it can be prepared and chilled ahead of time!

Are you a fan of pasta salad?

What are some of your go-to recipes to try and practice moderation?

Have a great day!

5.19.2015

Draper James

Happy Tuesday readers!

I'm still here...just chugging along to get to summer break!

Today I am excited to be sharing the recent launch of Draper James. I'm a big fan of Reese Witherspoon and a few weeks ago she mentioned the launch of her very own boutique on her Instagram. Loving her style, I knew I had to check it out and am so glad I did!

The boutique is inspired by and pays homage to her Southern roots and offers items that reflect a Southern state of mind.  Be ready to swoon...

Wicker and a  monogram? Yes, please!
This is my top pick from the site!

These fabulous magnolia printed pants
 come in a close second as a favorite on the site!

These are perfect for entertaining and they also have an option
that says "Only Count the Happy Hours."

Glam!

This classic, yet fun dress comes in 3 prints and I can't choose a favorite!

The perfect pouch for travel that is oh so adorable!


I love that this necklace is equally parts trendy with the tassel 
and 
classic with the pearls.

The only thing that beats a good denim jacket
is a good white denim jacket.

DJ is currently only available online, however, they are opening their flagship store in Nashville this fall...girls' trip, anyone?


Have you shopped Draper James yet?

Are you a fan of Reese?

What are your favorite celebrity brands?

Have a great day!

5.06.2015

Tuesday Night Tinkering

Happy Hump Day readers!

After a particularly rough week last week, I am happy to say that, thus far, this week is going swimmingly!

Today's post is an impromptu one, and was honestly inspired completely by last night's events...

Those of y'all that have known me for a while, know that I'm quite a tinkerer (word??)--especially when Bryce is gone. It might due a bit to "while the cat's away the mice will play" and maybe also a little bit due to boredom, but I always seem to delve into some new projects, styling, or just plain tinkering when he's out of town. Last night, I delved into an exciting project that I'll share with you now!

The one room left in our house that needs major work is the guest room. Currently, it's more of a junk room and I am, fingers crossed, going to get it transformed and in working order this summer. The plan is that most of the furniture/decor from my previous bedroom at the apartment (see here) will go in there.

Additionally, y'all know that closet space is an issue in our house, and I decided a while ago that once the guest room had been cleaned out, I would add a garment rack to the space to display and store some of my clothes. The idea was that it would serve both decorative and functional purposes.

That being said, a few weeks ago when switching out my fall&winter clothing with my spring&summer clothing, it became evident that I have a whole lot more clothes for warm weather than I do cold. When trying to unpack everything, there literally was not room for all my hanging clothes in the closet, so I decided the garment rack would have to happen whether the guest room was ready or not. Over the weekend, I went to Target and bought this garment rack. All of Sunday's mishaps (see Instagram), however, delayed its set up until last night. I was super pleased with the ease of assembly. I was able to put the whole thing together completely alone in less than 45 minutes.

After running out to get some pretty hangers for the garment rack, I immediately got to styling!

I played around with which pieces to hang on it. To suit my decorative purpose, I ultimately decided to focus on tops and dresses in shades of pink and cream. I also made sure to hang more feminine and delicate pieces. I am smitten and amazed by how much it has already transformed the "junk room" and our closet.



I, of course, couldn't resist topping things off with some Tory!



While in search for the hangers at Stein Mart, I came across another exciting piece to tinker with...a folding rattan chair for just $22! I have kicked myself for not ordering a pair of these on One Kings Lane last year and was so excited to find some at Stein Mart for a steal! I have felt like we have needed another chair in the living room for a while, but nothing I had tried was quite right. I think the new chair definitely fits the bill and reminds me of the fab rattan chair in this pin which is one of my all time faves!


Are you a tinkerer like me?

What projects have you been working on in your home lately?

Have a great day!

5.01.2015

May!

Happy Friday chickadees and...Happy May!

I am beyond pleased that May is finally here. The end of the school year is in sight and (just 6 more weeks to go) and summer can't come soon enough!

I hit a low in blogging during April, only posting 4 times. I have constantly been inspired to post and have a growing list of ideas, but honestly, I just haven't had it in me.

Allergies are majorly kicking my butt this spring, and because of them, I can't remember the last time I had a good night's sleep. I feel like I've been living life in an exhausted fog.

Additionally, as the school year comes closer to an end, big life decisions are weighing heavily on me. I've shared my teaching frustrations on the blog and after 3 years, I'm leaning more and more toward a career switch each day. I have a passion for kids and teaching, however, that passion is squashed by the state of education and teaching as a profession today (at least where I am). Last year, I was questioning things big time, but still felt a strong pull to teaching. These days, all of my gripes about teaching seem to overshadow that pull. I'm at a point where the thought of exploring new (and totally different) options is exciting, but also really scary. Stay tuned...


All that being said, I've been physically and emotionally exhausted. When I've made it home these last several weeks, I've just wanted to unplug and zone out. I'm hoping, however, that May, and all its springtime glory, will reenergize me and help me to find my blogging groove again.

Thanks for sticking by me and still reading despite my absence.

Have a great weekend!

4.24.2015

Five on Friday

Happy Friday readers!

Just one week from today it will be May! I am SO ready!

It's been a while since I've done the Five on Friday so today I'm linking up with the sweet ladies, AprilChristinaNatasha & Darci.

ONE
Last night, Bryce and I got to meet Little Miss Sullivan Louise. If you remember, I am great friends with Erin (of the blog Attention to Darling) and threw a baby shower for the little lady at the end of February (see here). We have all been anxiously awaiting her arrival and she made her debut Sunday night! She is absolutely beautiful and holding her in my arms definitely gave me a case of baby fever!


TWO
Being a kindergarten teacher, it's probably no surprise to you that I love children's books. In fact, Bryce and I already have a growing collection and take turns picking and buying books on trips to Barnes & Noble. That being said, I wanted to find the perfect book for Sullivan's arrival. I spent a good hour searching for just the right book, and also ended up finding 3 books for our collection. They were all so wonderful that I couldn't resist sharing here today! The first is the one I got for baby girl.

Always by Emma Dodd

Fetch by Jorey Hurley
(also be sure to check out Nest  by this same author!)

You! by Sandra Magsamen

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
(I got this one for Bryce as he loves the similar I Want My Hat Back)

THREE
Tory Burch announced her big Spring Event yesterday, you can get up to 30% off with code SPRING. I was super bummed because I have been waiting patiently to order the Lexington wedge and by the time I had a chance to look at the sale, it was already sold out in my size. I am eyeing some other things you can see below, though...



FOUR
I am planning on doing a full review post on this next week, but couldn't wait to mention Rocksbox to y'all! I am an RB It Girl and started my subscription at the beginning of the month. For $19 a month, you get 3 piece jewelry rental sets. Anything you like from the set can be purchased at a reduced price and you can switch out your jewelry as often as you like with free shipping both ways! It was a great mail day yesterday, as my second set was delivered! I am so excited to play dress up with the new pieces. You can sign up for your first month FREE with code alexandrabeexoxo.


FIVE
Tonight is Ronald McDonald House of Richmond's First Annual Red Shoe BBQ! Since partnering with RMH on this post, I have gotten more involved and joined their Red Shoe Crew! We have spent the last several months planning this fun event, and I can't wait to pull out my cowboy boots, listen to some good country music, and chow down on some BBQ...all for a good cause! If you're from Richmond, online sales are now over, but they will be selling tickets at the door (while they last). All details can be found here!


So there you have it, my Friday Five! 

What's been going on for you lately?

Have a great weekend!