Garlic Mushroom Quinoa Bake

Happy Monday readers!

I hope y'all had a good weekend!

I had a blast in Charleston with girlfriends for Caroline's bachelorette, but am really happy to be back home with Bryce after two weeks apart.

Soooo, I know I'm a bit late to the game, BUT, I've recently discovered a love for quinoa.  As y'all know, I'm a bit of a reformed picky eater.  When the quinoa craze first began, Bryce and I tried a recipe for a quinoa baked mac-n-cheese.  It was awful!  I'm talking terrible!  It was so dry and despite the addition of lots of yummy cheese, it was just lacking in flavor.

I'd been meaning to give quinoa another try, for a while now, but just hadn't gotten around to it.  A few weeks ago, however, I made baked chicken tenders with a quinoa batter and loved them.  Since then I have been so excited to try more quinoa recipes and wanted to share one that I came up with myself!

I was inspired by this recipe, but as you'll notice made quite a few of my own additions and changes...the most important being the additions of truffle oil and cheese. Because really, who doesn't love truffle oil and cheese!?



  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to directions 
  • 2 tbs truffle oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion, minced
    • By the way, if you struggle with tears while chopping onions, like me, you must get these!
  • 8 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Cook quinoa according to package directions (I cooked in beef broth).
  • Meanwhile, sauté the garlic, mushrooms, and onion in truffle oil for 3-4 minutes.  
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add basil to sauté and cook for about 30 seconds more.
My favorite part of cooking this: The sautéed aroma filled the kitchen and I knew it was going to be a good meal!
  • If desired, set aside a portion of your sautéed mushrooms, as well as some uncooked basil, for garnish.
  • Combine quinoa with sautéed ingredients and put in baking dish.
  • Top with parmesan cheese and broil in oven for 1-2 min, or until cheese has melted
Feel free to really cover that thing with cheese...I was trying to keep things as low-cal as possible and resisted the urge!
  • If you're trying to impress, serve garnished with the set aside sautéed mushrooms and uncooked basil.
  • Enjoy!

Are you a fan of quinoa?

Any recipes I must try?

Have a great day!


Thoughts for Thursday & A Winner!

Happy weekend chicas!

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know it's not the weekend for all of y'all, but, for me, it is and it's the start of a very exciting weekend!

Today, I am heading to Charleston for Caroline's bachelorette!  I can't wait to celebrate with her all weekend and can't believe her big day is just over a week away.  Be sure to stay tuned on Instagram to see all the fun festivities throughout the weekend!

Here we are celebrating her engagement last summer!

In other news, I thought I would link up with Annie and Natalie today for Thoughts for Thursday.  

Thoughts for Thursday

I've had all sorts of random things to share with y'all lately and thought today would be the perfect day to link up.

First up, I met my good friend, Bobbie Lou, for Endless Cheese & Chocolate at the Melting Pot last night and had so much fun!  For just $20 you get all the cheese and chocolate you can eat!  It's a great deal!

This s'mores chocolate fondue was amazing!

They also feature half priced cocktails and The Yin & Yang is my fave!

Many of you liked my outfit last night on Instagram, so I have listed the details below:

In other news, I am beyond excited to see Bryce on Sunday.  He has been gone since LAST Monday, on multiple, back-to-back trips.  He's coming home today, however, our paths will not cross, because I will have already  left for the bachelorette by the time he gets home.  Two weeks is way too long to be apart, so I am beyond ready to see him Sunday!

While he's been gone I've been watching lots of girlie movies on Netflix:  The Importance of Being Earnest, Jane Eyre, and Mansfield Park.  The Importance of Being Earnest was so cute and my favorite of the three.

I recently came across this article "How not to say the wrong thing" and thought it's advice was really valuable.  The idea is that when dealing with some sort of crisis or tragic situation, you only say comforting things to those closer to the center of the issue, negative is only allowed to those further from the center.

Meredith, Bryce's cousin, recently shared her wedding photos with us, and  I can't get over how gorgeous this shot is:

See my post on this picture perfect wedding here.

And finally, I am excited to announce that the winner of my giveaway is Kristen, otherwise known as the Playground Prepster!  I hope she will love her necklace and bracelet as much as I am loving mine. Thanks to everyone who entered!

I've especially been loving my bracelet stacked with my Bourbon & Boweties bangles!

What random thoughts have been going through your head lately?  

Any fun plans for the weekend?

Have a great day!


Gender Neutral Nursery

Happy Tuesday babes!

I hope your week is off to a great start!  

Today I am excited to share an initial inspiration board for a gender neutral nursery!  

One of my good friends is expecting, but is not finding out the sex of the baby ahead of time.  When she asked me for help with the nursery I was flattered and also giddy with excitement!  Y'all know I'm a wannabe interior designer, so having the chance to actually play decorator start to finish in a space is a huge deal to me!

The mama to be came over last night and I shared this board with her.  I'm delighted to share that she loves it, and we had so much fun planning and discussing for hours.

To give you a bit of background...

I'm not a big fan of nurseries that scream baby; rather I prefer spaces that can grow with baby into childhood.  

From the start, I knew I wanted a pale lime for the walls.  I also knew I wanted to incorporate a good mix of colors and patterns.  

After that, the biggest piece of inspiration came when I found that fun zebra head at none other than the Serena & Lily.  Y'all know about my love for zebra in all things decor (see here), but you may not realize that I also am a proponent of using black and white accents to ground a space that is filled with lots of other colors, textures, and patterns.  That being said, the zebra head was a no-brainer as a focal point for my design. From there, the board kind of evolved on its own.  Turquoise and lime is one of my favorite color combinations and I thought orange was a good gender neutral accent color.  If designing the space for a girl, I would have made bright pink the accent.

Finally, I wanted to be sure to incorporate pieces that could later be adapted to other spaces within the home:  A baby is only going to need a nursery for 2-3 years, so spending lots of money on pieces for that short time frame isn't ideal.  For example, rather than going for a traditional changing table, I felt a dresser was the more logical choice.  That gorgeous regency style dresser can stay in the room for years to come, but would be equally fabulous styled in an entryway.  
Well, what do you think?

What is your nursery style?

I can't wait to continue to update you over the next several months on the nursery's progress!

Finally, if you haven't yet entered my giveaway, be sure to here!

Have a great day!




TGIF friends!

Was it just me or did this week fly by?

It's been quite some time since I've done a Loving... post so I thought it would be fun to share some things that are currently on my radar.

Wow, I am really LOVING this romper I first saw on Erin's blog. I might have to go to Urban Outfitters this afternoon to try it on!

Speaking of Erin...I am LOVING that she has just launched her new blog.  Go check her out!

I am LOVING this Mara Hoffman bikini I scored on major sale from Punch Boutique.  They still have very limited sizes available, but to shop other Mara Hoffman sale suits click here.

I am LOVING Tart Deco on my nails: It is the perfect summer color!

I LOVED this book that came highly recommended by multiple friends!  I read it in 3 days and found myself staying up late into the night because I couldn't put it down!

I am LOVING these iridescent earrings and am thinking they would add just the right amount of sparkle to any outfit!

I am LOVING that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts today...shop my picks below!

And finally I always have to end with an eCard...I am LOVING this!  I think I'll wear pants that are both smarty and fancy!

What have you been LOVING lately?

Are you going to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale today?

I may pick up some basics, but overall am trying and avoid it...

We'll see how that goes!

Also, have you entered my Versona Giveaway yet?  If not, click here to enter to win a Versona Accessories statement necklace and coordinating bracelet!

Have a great weekend!


BLT Bites

Happy Hump Day, my sweets!

I hope you are all having fabulous weeks!

I had another post planned for today, but after making these yummy BLT Bites last night I couldn't resist sharing them!

As I've mentioned before, a big group of girls gathers at Erin's house every week to watch The Bachelorette.  We compete on teams, earning points for words like "love", "amazing"and "connection" as well as for actions such as a make out sesh, helicopter ride, or voiceover.  Teams also take turns bringing snacks.  Last night was my team's turn for snacks.  When I got home from nannying I had a bad migraine that put me on the couch for about an hour and a half.  After that I had little time to prepare my snack, so I had to come up with something fast based on ingredients I had on hand.  I quickly checked Pinterest for inspiration and found these BLT Gourgeres.  They looked delicious, but they didn't fit my timetable. They DID, however, provide ample inspiration!

I present you with BLT Bites!

Honestly, I feel silly even referring to this as a recipe, because it's so simple and easy!  But here goes!

  • B:  Bacon (chewy is better, crunchy tends to crumble when pulled apart)
  • L:  Lettuce (in my case, arugula)
  • T:  Tomato, (cherry or grape tomatoes are best for this bite sized treat, sliced in half)
  • Basil Aioli
  • Ritz Crackers

Place a small piece of bacon onto the cracker, top with basil aioli, arugula, and tomato half! Then...enjoy!

What are your go to recipes when you're in a time pinch?

Are you a fan of BLTs?

Have you entered my Versona Giveaway yet?  If not, click here to enter to win a Versona Accessories statement necklace and coordinating bracelet!

Have a great day!


Versona Giveaway

Happy Monday readers!

Did y'all have a good weekend?

Ours was great!  It included a trips to the rivah and farmer's market, as well as puppy sitting for this guy:

Meet Jake!

While puppy sitting, we decided to kill two birds with one stone and I got Bryce to take pictures for my Versona Accessories giveaway today.  If y'all remember from this post,  fellow blogger and friend Eloquently Emily and I went to their Grand Opening together.  Versona was kind enough to send two gift cards to us each, one to treat ourselves and the other to treat our readers to a giveaway.  Today I am excited to share what I bought not only for myself, but also to giveaway to y'all!

The winner of this giveaway will get both a beaded necklace and coordinating bracelet!

The jewels proved to be the perfect dog walking accessory!

I love the easy feel of the necklace with wooden beads and grosgrain.

The frogs on the bracelet I'm giving away are adorable and were the perfect addition to my stack!

Close up:  I am giving away the frog bracelet, seen to the far left!

The giveaway will last for 10 days and the winner will be announced on Thursday, July 24.

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3 Years!

Happy Thursday readers!

Have y'all had a good week?  Mine has been great and I actually have today and tomorrow off.  I am looking forward to having some time to get some things done around the house and also give this blog some much needed attention!

Those of you who follow along on Instagram saw that this past Monday, July 7, marked the three year anniversary of my first date with Bryce.

If you're a long time follower, you'll remember the early days of our relationship.  After first meeting him and setting the date, I remember debating long and hard whether or not to mention him on the blog. Being that I had a really good feeling in my gut, I decided to bite the bullet and share the news of my upcoming first date.  I am so glad I did and have enjoyed sharing our journey with you.

I also laugh at myself now, over the stress I felt about revealing the blog to Bryce.  I would like to think that this blog is a good reflection of me and who I am in real life, but you never know how others perceive you through your blog.  That being said, it was a big deal to share this part of my life with him.  I didn't want him to read and form an opinion of me without getting to really know me first.  Now the blog is such a big part of our lives together, and he is often helpful--sharing ideas and taking lots AND lots of pictures.

I feel so lucky to have found Bryce and am proud of the life we have worked to build together over the last three years.  It hasn't always been easy--we've stood side by side through issues with family, friends, career...you name it, really, but we've stuck together through every trial that's coming our way. We've also been side by side through a a lot of good and exciting times and have made lots of wonderful memories together.  I can't imagine a better partner and am excited to see what the future has in store for us.

Okay...now mushiness aside, I did want to share our 3 year date night with you!

The night started at home when Bryce surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  He requested that the florist use stargazer lilies and snapdragons (some of my favorites) along with red roses.  The bouquet is breathtaking and I am enjoying it more and more each day as the blooms continue to open up.

We had a cocktail at home and Bryce graciously snapped an outfit pic for Instagram before hitting the road.

I patterned mixed greek key and ikat, by wearing a favorite Alice & Trixie dress that Bryce bought me this spring and carrying a Stella & Dot clutch!

I also thought it would be funny to share one of the rejected photos..there are always lots of those, ha!

After taking the perfect picture we got in the car and headed to Can Can, a French restaurant in Richmond's Carytown.  Our first date was at Can Can on July 7, 2011.  Every year now, we go to dinner there on the 7th of July to celebrate, AND, we...go...all...out!  In fact, I ate a teeny tiny lunch on Monday in anticipation of our feast!

We started out with drinks and two appetizers: the zucchini fritters and seared scallops.  They were both delicious, but the zucchini fritters were out of this world!  If you are in Richmond, go to Can Can and order them!

Next we ordered entrees and a side of frites!

I ordered the pan seared chicken, Can Can's spin on chicken and waffles.  It came with a cornmeal waffle and was served over an amazing salad of arugula, asparagus, snap beans, bok choy, strawberries, pecans, and goat cheese!  Bryce ordered the braised shortribs which came with blueberry corn fritters (ah-mazing!) and a medley of peppers, zucchini, snap beans and more!  For the frites, we ordered both a bacon aioli and truffle aioli which were both equally delicious!

We had decided to skip a favorite, the macaroni grueyere, BUT...when it was served to the table next to us, we realized we couldn't resist and put an order in for that too!

We barely put a dent in this delicious mac and were able to use the leftovers for dinner on Tuesday!

After all that gorging, we decided to forego dessert and have a second cocktail instead.  I've found that a full-bodied red wine can usually satisfy my dessert craving and we enjoyed just taking time to chat over a final cocktail before heading home!

Do you still go back to the spot of your first date?

How do you celebrate big milestones in your relationship?

Have a great day!


Versona Grand Opening

Happy Tuesday readers!

Did y'all have a good 4th of July weekend?

Ours was good, but jam packed with activities!

Those of you who follow along on Instagram, know that Emily of the blog Eloquently Emily and I recently were invited to the Versona Accessories Grand Opening in the Short Pump mall here in Richmond.

The store was huge and had accessories galore!  I felt like a kid in a candy shop!

Jewelry displays were organized by color scheme and/or style which made it easy to find exactly what you might be looking for to complete an outfit!

Emily and I had a lot of fun playing dress up with all the pretty baubles!

Being a bracelet girl, I found myself making lots of different stacks:

Emily was partial to the statement necklaces and we both were obsessed with this one:

We also both really liked their wide selection of simple gold stud earrings.

I also found this big bow ring and these colorful studs to be adorable.

When it comes to trendy jewelry, I don't like dishing out a lot of dough, and all the jewelry at Versona was very affordable!

Versona has stores throughout the country (most are located in the South), so check here to see if there is a store near you!

And now friends...it's your lucky day!  Versona was kind enough to send me two giftcards:  One to spend on myself and one to spend on YOU!

Next week, I will be giving aways two pieces of jewelry to one lucky reader!

One of the items featured in this post is in the giveaway.  Can you guess which one?

Do you embrace jewelry trends or just stick to the classics?

I try to mix it up with a little of both!

What are your favorite places to buy fun jewelry?

Have a great day!