Warm Weather Wish List

Warm weather is near and I am delighted to trade-in the treadmill and indoor lap pool for mountain trails and wide open lakes. Of course, what fun would all that be without some new gear? So I put together my ultimate outdoor summer wish list for a little inspiration. What's on your list this summer?

Shrimp Pesto (Hold the Pasta)

Shrimp Pesto with Tofu Noodles

Pasta loves me, but my body doesn't love pasta. The solution: tofu noodles. Callie introduced me to this pasta look-a-like, and they are now a part of my weekly grocery run.

Why I'm obsessed?
  1. Holds absolutely none of the carbs that pasta contains
  2. Can mix with just about anything
  3. No cooking required
This particular recipe is for shrimp pesto and sun dried tomatoes. The ingredients are self explanatory, and takes no more than 10-15 minutes from start to finish.


  • 1 package tofu noodles (found in produce section)
  • 4T jarred pesto
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb. fresh shrimp
  • S&P
  • Extra virgin olive olive
Step1: Place tofu noodles in strainer and rinse with cold water for a solid minute. NOTE: Noodles smell, but goes away after rinsed well, so don't let it scare you away!
Step 2: Coat skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, and cook on medium heat until pink (should take only a few minutes).
Step 3: Mix cooked shrimp, sun dried tomatoes, pesto and tofu noodles.


This Ain't My Mama's Southern Living

I let out a squeal when I opened my mailbox this weekend - my first issue of Garden & Gun magazine arrived! The magazine is extra wide and each page is thick and glossy. It feels as swanky as the content itself. The latest issue is full of glamorous threads, stories of inspirational southern entrepreneurs, mouthwatering eats and a guide to the new sounds of Nashville.

My favorite read of this issue was on Mark Sage of Bobo Intriguing Objects. With a mixture of old and new objects found and created, I will be making time to visit his outpost soon. 
The cover photo and dedicated article is of Nashville's latest Nikki Lane. Listening to a few of her songs for the first time, I think her stuff is more for classic country lovers like myself. This simple front porch song reminds me of some the great oldies.

The best part is the content is enjoyable for both gals and guys. I think my coffee table will be excited to meet her new friend, Garden & Gun.

Sseko Sandals for Spring!

Wardrobe decluttering is right around the corner, and I'm getting a jump on some spring essentials. I recently discovered Sseko Sandals on one of my favorite blogs (The Things We Would Blog) to follow. With my trip to Europe quickly approaching, I jumped to the opportunity to get my hands on a unique sandal that has the potential to be a spring staple. 

You can style your Ssekos a bunch of different ways. My favorites I'm hoping to try out are classic tie, classic woven, and knotty tie. I bought mine in black, and I'm already picking out some additional colored straps to make them even more versatile than they already are.

I never buy anything online without searching for a coupon! I got 20% off my using coupon code: SsekoSpring. Offer is valid from March 22 through April 5, so don't let the deal go to waste!

Based in Uganda, Sseko Sandals was created to help raise funds for young women in East Africa to  further their education. The company's full story is truly inspirational, and I strongly encourage you to read about the impact and change they strive to achieve.

1- Minute Protein Packed Lunch

In a perfect world, I would spend Sunday's cutting veggies, steaming perfect portion sizes for my lunch each day. However, I often find myself Monday morning, racing to get out the door with no such lunch prepped. To not obliterate my nutrition goals with cafeteria food, I keep a few staples in my fridge that I can quickly grab, throw in a bag and be on my way.
Either you love it or hate it, but cottage cheese makes for an amazing snack, high in protein, low in calories. Skip the added fruit varieties and add a few blueberries if the plain is too boring.

There aren't many foods I won't eat, but frozen veggies is one of them, so these fresh beans are a great option for bringing greens to lunch without the hassle of prepping. Stab the bag with a fork and in 4-minutes they are done.

I always buy two cartons of eggs and boil one carton as soon as I get home from the grocery store. This way I can easily grab a few for snack. If I am craving sweets, often having a single egg will make the craving vanish.

I prefer to pre-grill chicken or turkey burgers, but for those weekends where there is just no time, these frozen salmon burgers from Whole Foods save the day. They are best cooked in the oven, but worse case, you can pop them in the microwave at work.

Mix chocolate protein powder with coconut milk or yogurt for a sweet afternoon snack. SoDelicious is my favorite brand and can be found in the refrigerated section. Make sure to grab the green carton, it's unsweetened but still plenty sweet.

What are some of your favorite staples?

Wedding Thank You Cards

The wedding is creeping up, and we've already received some wedding gifts! It feels like the Martha Stewart fairy is sprinkling her love all over our home. With my bridal shower in less than a month, I need to start thinking about 'thank you' cards for our wonderful friends and family.

Since I've designed all of the print materials for the wedding so far, I'll be adding 'thank you' cards to the portfolio, but everyone needs a little inspiration. Here are some of many ideas I found. Any  favorites? Send your thoughts and ideas my way!

'From the future..' cards by AliHCreations
Design by PaperPapelPapier
Super simple w/ embellishment from hmacdo
Designed by gingerpdesigns

Designed by papela

I'm Juicing in Buckhead

Many of my post-morning workouts are followed by a blended protein shake made up of protein powder, coconut milk and spinach (recipe here). But every now and then I like to treat myself to the real stuff-  pure juiced veggies. Making juice at home is not practical for me, the bulk quantities and the clean-up is just too much. Which is why I was thrilled to learn about Dtox, a local juice bar in Buckhead.

You won't find a menu like this at Arden's garden or Whole Foods. Dtox understands juicing. Their juices aren't filled with sugary fruit and high calorie dairy products.

Being my first time here and with a dear foodie friend, we had to order a little of everything.  We started with a Turmeric Elixir (aren't the shot bottles adorable), followed by the Green juice. I highly recommend the raw coconut bites after the Turmeric shot - it's intense!

I also love that Dtox is eco-conscious, using refillable glass bottles when possible. If you are looking do a cleanse, they also have a wide variety of options. Each week bring in your glass carafes and refill.

My only gripe about Dtox is how difficult it was to find. After an hour long spin class, our patience was getting short, but we persevered and found this hidden Buckhead gem. To make life easier on our readers, here is how to find it:

Heading north on Roswell road from Peachtree, Detox is on your left. Pass Genki. The next shopping center has a nail salon and cleaners, Detox is located in the basement of this complex. If you pass an adorable paper goods store and an amazing furniture store called Pieces, you have gone too far. Drive behind the nail salon for additional parking.

Thanks Dtox for bringing Buckhead an amazing juice bar! I will be seeing you again this weekend.

New Addition to the Family

NO, we are not having a baby! I'm counting how many cups of coffee it will take to feel awake this morning because I was up all night playing with our new puppy! My little girl didn't pull up in the driveway until 8:30 last night, and as a proud, new (and obsessed) mommy, I instantly fell in love. Our new weimaraner has a belly and paws that are baby soft, a beautiful dark grey coat, and adoring smokey eyes. The puppy name is in the works, and I'll have plenty of photos to share soon!

I can hear your "awwww" already...

Puppy's first bath, and post-bath snuggles...

I can already tell she is such a daddy's girl!

After a long day of traveling to meet her new family, puppy just can't keep her eyes open anymore...

Wherefore Art Thou Rothko

The hubs and I love artwork by Mark Rothko, and I plan to create some of my own Rothko inspired paintings when it comes time to liven the walls of our first home.  I'm hoping this post gives me motivation to get my paintbrushes dancing.

Years ago, I also snatched up a copy of the book entitled, About Rothko that I've been meaning to read. I'll add it to the list for my New Year's book goal!

Mark Rothko Art Quote

Chocolate Lovers Guilt-Free Treat

I love sweets - icecream, cookies, you name it, but I don't like how they make me feel. That's why I love creating alternatives to meet my sweet tooth desires, that keep me feeling good and heading in the direction of my goals. Here is my favorite pudding snack recipe. This is also a great recipe for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack, so you can have your pudding and eat it too.

  • non-fat greek yogurt
  • chocolate protein powder 
  • optional addition: almond butter
  • cocoa nibs
  • cinnimon 
  • optional additions: nuts, berries
Using a spoon, mix the non-fat greek yogurt with your favorite powdered protein mix. Add toppings as desired.  My favorite protein powder is the Whole Foods brand. It does not contain a lot of fillers and is reasonably priced.

Save the Date Timeline Design

Callie's wedding invitations post gets me anxious to share my save the date design with you. I believe wedding invitations should have a more serious tone in design (which is not my personality at all!), so I wanted to take this opportunity to be more playful and fun with our save the dates.

I thought Callie's Friday Freebie was a perfect segway for my post since I created my save the date design in Photoshop. I got these printed with VistaPrint, who always has a coupon available. The site is super easy to use, and the prices are extremely reasonable. I hope you get inspired to play with design!

Timeline Save the Date Design

Friday Freebie: Learn Photoshop

I don't have a new DIY project or a killer new workout to share today, but I do have a good excuse for not being prepped to post. I have been spending every night this week learning photoshop for FREE! A new website called creativeLIVE offers classes on just about everything, including Photoshop. Adobe is currently offering over 40 Photoshop classes for free, by some pretty amazing instructors. They replay all of the videos at night if can't make the day classes, like myself.

A few things I have learned already:
  • how to use layer masks
  • how to create a repeating pattern
  • how to manage text
  • how to apply texture
  • how to edit photos
  • how to whiten teeth (I got really excited about this one)
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • cutomsizing photoshop for your needs
  • how to use paintbrushes
I could keep going, but I think I made my point. There are still two full days left, so there is plenty of time to learn more. Plus, all Photoshop classes are discounted through this week, so if you see any you missed, but want to watch, now is the perfect time to buy.

Check out today's schedule:

What have you been wanting to learn?