What I’m Loving Archive

The BEST Time of Year is Here! | Festive Holiday Cocktail Recipe

I love all of the weather changes when they come; however, the start of November is A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y my favorite. Cozy blankets, festive spiked cocktails, cuddling up to the twinkle of Christmas tree lights–there is not much I find more warm and inviting than that, friends. Since yesterday marked the end of Halloween madness, I felt it was safe to get a little festive with some after-dinner drinks last night.

Spiked eggnog is a staple in my house during the holidays, so I decided to share the recipe for the way we like to sip it…

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HOLIDAY SPIKED EGGNOG WITH CHOCOLATE-RIMMED GLASSES

INGREDIENTS:

Eggnog (Regular, not spiked. I prefer Borden or Kleinpeter)

Southern Comfort Liqueur

Almond Bark (comes in huge brick, only need one square to melt)

Heath Bar Toffee Bits (baking aisle)

  1. Melt 1 small square piece of almond bark in a small bowl for 60 seconds. Continue to heat at 30 second intervals until melted. While chocolate is melting, pour out Heath Bar Toffee Bits onto a plate generously. Once chocolate is heated, dip rims of glasses in chocolate, then in Heath Bar Toffee Bits. Place glasses to side to harden.
  2. Mix equal parts Eggnog and Southern Comfort Liqueur. I basically fill my small glass with both, leaving only enough room for ice. (Here’s where your recipe may differ. We like our eggnog strong. Who wants the calories of eggnog without the appropriate liquor? For a less strong drink, simply add less Southern Comfort.)
  3. ENJOY! PS. Nibble on your toffee and chocolate as you sip–it makes for the perfect dessert after dinner!

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Fresh Start Spring: Tips & Tools I’ve Found to Clear the Clutter & Start Fresh

As I mentioned with last week’s post, I’ve really been focused on clearing the clutter in my life via some “Spring cleaning” with intention. From my home, to my body, to my daily routine, I’ve been focused on clearing out the unnecessary and making room to intentionally focus on the things that matter. Spring is when I find myself having the most energy to start fresh, so if that’s the case for you too, perhaps these things might help…

Jennifer Landry

BODY 

I don’t know about you, but I feel best when I’m intentional and feeling fresh from the inside out. For this reason, it’s usually pretty essential for me to feel healthy and rejeuvenated with my diet and clean eating before I can even begin to honestly tackle any other aspects of my life. For this reason, my #freshstartspring began with me working with a nutritionist to clean out the holiday festivities that crept their way into my diet and feel good again in my own skin. Something about a clean diet almost always gets me motivated in all other aspects of my life.

 

HOME 

  • HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING: Clutter gives me anxiety, bottom line. Having a place for everything is a GREAT way to start days off organized and fresh. Not only does it help when it comes to finding things, but it helps from adding unnecessary additional items into the home. It may be a large initial task to purchase bins and storage for each thing that needs space in your hom,; but I promise, you will feel like a new person once it’s done. Clean out junk drawers, makeup drawers, piles of mail–if it isn’t necessary to your daily/weekly/monthly functioning, TOSS IT!
  • FILE IMPORTANT PAPERS AS YOU RECEIVE THEM: This is a huge one for me. From junk mail, to taxes, to bills, additional papers can quickly pile up in my home. As a result, I went to target and bought manilla folders to label and create a place for each piece of paper that enters my home. Each type of bill has its own folder and is filed in a larger drawer. When you do this AS THEY COME, it never piles up and literally takes only a minute to walk to the file drawer to put it in. I’ve been guilty of letting papers pile up in the past, but oh how much easier this system makes life.
  • MONTHLY BILL CHECKLIST: As I mentioned about everything having a place, this includes a spot where I can physically check off bills as they’re paid. I’m not an auto pay bill type of gal and I cannot tell you how many times in the past I used to question if I paid the bill or not and have to take the additional time to login. I purchased this bill checklist from Etsy a few years ago and have used it ever since. I just saved the file on my computer and print a new one each year. It’s simple and allows me to see all bills in one place.
  • PASSWORD SHEET: With each year, it seems the amount of online passwords grow. What used to be kept on a scratch sheet of paper in the back of my planner, can no longer fit. I recently downloaded a password tracker from Emily Ley’s Free Printable Library, and it’s a great way to start fresh with what may seem like an ever-growing list of scribbled passwords and usernames. Update this yearly and you’re sure to stay organized in that department!
  • CLEAN OUT PHONE PHOTOS: I put this one off FOREVER. It seems as though the amount of photos we store on our phones can grow exponentially by the week. With that being said, rummaging through thousands of photos to delete duplicates, bad ones, and ones that you just don’t need seems like a daunting task. Bite the bullet. Put it on your list. JUST DO IT. And while you’re at it, print those babies so they don’t stay on your phone or get lost forever with a random software crash. I print iPhone photos from time to time onto this wonderful little book from Artifact Uprising. It’s a GREAT way to get the photos off of your phone and document your years in print.
  • PURGE YOUR CLOSET: This is probably the most common “Spring Cleaning” to-do. If you’re a clothes lover like me, it’s important to get rid of the old to make room for the new. Create a separate Instagram to sell your nicer, gently used clothes and donate the rest.
  • CLEAN OUT YOUR PURSE: Ladies, we all know of the most random things that end up at the bottom of our purses. Clean it out along with the rest of your house. You’ll just feel better.
  • WEEKLY UPKEEP: Make a designated day or time every week where you perform basic upkeep and cleaning. The key to maintaining organization and a clean household is to keep up with it. While sometimes it may be easier to put a task off, taking the extra few seconds to put something in it’s place or clean a dish will make all the difference with how much time and energy (and stress) you have to put into it later. I try to use the downtime when I have it on most Sundays for cleaning and upkeep around my house. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, washing sheets, are all manageable tasks when I try to tend to them weekly.

MIND & HEART 

  • NIGHT TENDING LIST: This is something I learned from doing business training with Lara Casey and Emily Ley a few years ago, and still practice these things nightly. Every night I go through my general to-do list for the following day. I get my gym clothes out and brainstorm the regular outfit I’ll wear (if applicable after). I fill water bottles, clean out the kitchen sink of dirty dishes and bathroom of dirty clothes. I go to bed with everything in place for a fresh slate the next day. Y’ALL. This sounds so simple, because IT IS. But I cannot tell you how these little things truly impact how intentionally I start my day. The minutes and brain power I save not having to worry about locating clothes, shoes, and other things is spent more productively on the tending list I can do in the morning to get my day productively moving in the right direction. I urge you to try this routine out just for a week or so and let me know how it adds to your productivity.
  • MORNING TENDING LIST: By doing the aforementioned things at night, I’m able to spend the first few moments of my morning (about 30 minutes to an hour) reflecting, catching up on world news, reading, ant mapping out my vision for my day. Having a clear mind in the mornings to not worry about what I have to get done, but instead, to just be has also been very monumental for me.
  • UNFOLLOW PEOPLE YOU COMPARE YOURSELF TO & FOLLOW PEOPLE THAT UPLIFT AND INSPIRE YOU: I’ve blogged more extensively about this topic, here. But TRULY TRULY, just do it. This life is far to short and precious to be down on yourself or in constant comparison with those around you. Feed your mind and soul with things that push you forward and leave the rest behind. It’s really that simple.
  • PODCASTS: While I’m putting makeup on or driving, I’ve found podcasts to be a GREAT way to further educate myself, exercise my mind, and seek out positive ways of pursuing life. If you’re looking for ways to add more value to the in-between moments of your days, I highly recommend finding some podcasts that inspire you. Here are a few of my current favorites: The Lively Show, Being Boss, Serial.
  • SPEND YOUR TIME WISELY: Choose to spend less time around negative people and more time around positive people. Sometimes, the most negative people in our lives are the ones we can’t outright cut out. Even if that’s the case, we can take in more positivity so that we are better prepared to handle emotional clutter. Fill your well so that you always end your day feeling more heart-filled. (NOTE: This particular bullet point is copied directly from Lara Casey’s #freshstartspring movement. She put it so perfectly that there really was no need to put it any other way)

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What I’m Loving: Spring 2016

I’m not sure about you, but my “fresh starts” never seem to come on January 1st. Perhaps it’s because I prefer to prep myself before I tackle change, or perhaps it’s just because here in the South, at least, we truly aren’t ready for a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays until after Mardi Gras. I mean, when “Laissez Bon Temps Rouler” sayings don’t start popping up until AFTER the Christmas season, it makes it a little difficult to get focused on resolutions and fresh starts. But, as we are entering March and warmer weather is creeping its way in, so is the desire for change on all fronts, for me at least…

From decluttering to the changing of products and styles with the seasons, I wanted to share with you a few of my personal favorites I’ve been embracing as we begin to enter the sweet days of Spring.

WIL- Spring 2016

1.  LARA CASEY’S #FRESHSTARTSPRING GUIDE TO DECLUTTERING:  From internet clutter, to physical clutter, to heart clutter, to decision clutter, this is a quick-and-easy e-book with tools, tips, and encouragement to celebrate starting fresh this Spring. As I am currently dieting, cleaning out all crevices of my home and office, and reprioritizing what gets my mental focus, this was JUST what I needed to read when I opened my inbox this morning. If you like what you read, I HIGHLY recommend signing up for Lara’s email list. She seldomly sends emails (no inbox overload from her), but when she does, they are worth every bit of the read. Not kidding.

If you didn’t know before this post who Lara Casey is, she’s basically my entrepreneurial hero. She is Publisher/Founder/Editor-in-Cheif of Southern Weddings Magazine, founder of the Making Things Happen movement, author of Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose. I’ve had the opportunity to work extensively with Lara for a year on personalized training for my own business a few years ago and then again at a workshop I attended in the Fall of 2014, and my goodness it was monumental. Lara practices what she preaches and it shows in the fruition of her life’s work.

Lastly, STAY TUNED. Because I have SO much to share on the topic of “Spring Cleaning,” I’ve decided to post an additional post next week on specific tips, tricks, and checklists that I’m using to get organized and rejuvenated this Spring.

 

2.  GENTLEMAN’S BOX: I’m not even going to lie to you, I don’t ever really have a problem shopping style for a man. HA! Nonetheless, I know people who do AND well, I’m also just a sucker for a man with dapper style. So, alas, I bring you Birchbox for men, but better…

Stylish ties and pocket squares, fabulous socks, the list goes on. For $25 a month, your guy can be looking fabulously stylish and you don’t have to worry about stressing over which fishing pole, gun, or manly gadget you know nothing about that you’re going to buy him this year. What’s better? The stuff in each month’s box isn’t sample sized like some monthly box subscriptions and it’s generally worth almost 3 times the cost of the box when sold separately via retail. So, you get nice arm candy and he feels stylish–sounds like a win-win to me.

3.  ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS CREAM CONTOUR KIT: This needs no explanation. I promise. If you love makeup, just do yourself a favor. You’re welcome.

4.  SAVVY ROOT SPRING/SUMMER 2016 COLLECTION: The little pretty pictured above is out now, but the rest of the Spring Collection is coming super soon! Nonetheless, peeks on Insta are enough to have me itching for the debut. If you’re not familiar with SavvyRoot, they are F-A-B high-quality leather accessories made by designer Celeste Austin RIGHT HERE IN LOUISIANA. Don’t fret friends around the country (and world), while they are local made (to me) they are fabulous and drool-worthy enough to be shipped, sported, and gifted to anyone in any geographic. For sneak peeks and first news of the SS16 line, follow @savvyroot on Insta or sign up for the mailing list, here!

Happy (almost) Spring, friends!

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What I’m Loving : Fall Faves

It’s been a while since I’ve shared with you a few of my faves, and since the holiday season is upon us, I thought now was a perfect time to share some of my new staples! Most of these are a part of my WEEKLY routine for feeling refreshed in both mind and body, so I thought you might enjoy them too! If you’re looking for a little soul food, a way to easily keep up with the major happenings around the world, remain motivated, AND looking fresh, read on my friend, read on…

WIL - November 2015

  1. IF YOU FIND THIS LETTER, A MEMOIR BY HANNAH BRENCHERAny of my close gal pals are probably laughing to themselves reading this, as I’m SO obsessed with HB and her memoir that I’ve gifted it to near all of them. Hannah is one of my absolute F-A-V-E bloggers and her heart for lovin’ on people speaks to my soooooul, I tell ya. If you’re looking for a book to give you a little tickle to love on humanity a little harder and inspire beauty in life’s breakdowns, I highly recommend picking up a copy.
  2. THE SKIMM: If you are reading this and aren’t yet familiar with what The Skimm is, then I urge you to CLICK HERE AND SUBSCRIBE BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER. This little gem is the absolute start to my day as my eyes open, every single weekday. Girl boss founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin both worked as producers for NBC in breaking news, political news, and documentaries before launching The Skimm. WHAT IS IT, YOU ASK? The Skimm is a daily email newsletter targeted at millennials to deliver the news in a quick way that fits into their busy schedules. One email sent at 6 AM every morning aims to give subscribers everything they need to know about the latest news in politics, sports, entertainment and more. It’s our job as productive members of society to stay informed on important issues, so if you’d like to make that job a little easier, CLICK HERE to get The Skimm delivered to your inbox every morning. You’re welcome.
  3. TNS EYE REPAIR BY SKIN MEDICA: Ok, so I’m not really sure what moisture vacuum lives inside my eyes, but I seem to always struggle with dryness around my eyes and dreadful bags. After trying e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, my esthetician introduced me to TNS. Holy moly, it’s a new must for me, my friends. So, if you struggle with the same, or aging, or just simply want bright, youthful eyes, I highly recommend. If you’re local, you can pick up a jar, here!
  4. THE LIVELY SHOW: Combine my recommendations #1 and #2 from this post and you (sort of) get this favorite of mine. This weekly podcast covers SO many topics that nearly all women can relate to. According to the one-woman she-bang behind the lively show, it’s meant to “uplift, inspire, and add a little extra intention to your every day life.” This is absolutely what it does. From topics on entrepreneurship to personal issues, Jess is a fabulous speaker and digs right in in a way that captures her audience and leaves them inspired and hungry for more. If you have long drives ahead or spend monotonous hours behind a desk, give it a listen! You can find The Lively Show here, as well as on iTunes Podcasts.

Happy Fall, friends!

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What I’m Loving: Pasta-free Zucchini Ravioli

I’m always looking for fairly simple and healthy recipes and this one absolutely took the cake. Lasagna is one of my favorites, but something I generally avoid, as it is such a hearty dish. After trying these out, I’m sold. If you’re looking for a quick, healthy, and comforting recipe to whip up with only about 30 minutes of prep time, I highly recommend giving this a whirl.
zucchiniblog

1.5 lbs. ground turkey
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 large onion
2 cloves of garlic

8 oz Fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 Zucchini
Tomato Marinara Sauce

8 oz Ricotta

Fresh grated Parmesan

Seasonings: Italian Seasoning (generous amount), salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder

1. Slice zucchini with mandolin peeler; set strips aside.
2.  In a medium oiled pan (I use coconut oil), combine:  ground turkey, chopped fresh spinach,  1/2 large onion, mushrooms, 2 cloves of garlic, and seasoning; sauté until turkey is cooked all the way through
3.  Assemble the ravioli using 4 zucchini strips and 2 Tbsp. of turkey mixture and 1 Tbsp. ricotta.
4.  Wrap them up and put face down in baking dish.
5.  Top with marinara sauce and parmesan and bake at 350* for approx. 30 minutes

 

Happy Hump Day, friends!

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