August 2015 Favorites

august 2august 1GG– Mint Limeade from Sonic. You know when you’re really in the mood for a refreshing mojito but it’s 11:00am on a Tuesday and you’re running errands for work? Mint Limeade is for you. It’s lime-y, minty, refreshing, and not too sweet. I’m obsessed. My sister is obsessed. My mom. My dad. My friends. It’s the best!

– Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond. I must confess, this is my second time reading this. My third, if you count the blog installments Ree posted on The Pioneer Woman before her book was published. It’s funny, romantic, and an easy read. Sometimes I want to sit in a bath and read something familiar, Black¬†Heels to Tractor Wheels is perfect for those times.

-Gossip Girl. I read the books in middle school, but I’ve just recently started watching the show. I was looking for something fun to watching on Netflix during my lunch break, and GG was the perfect pick. #chuckbassforever

*Not Pictured*
– Ryan Adams covering T-Swift. Guys, you know I know love Taylor Swift. (and everyone else in America. Have you seen her stage guests at her recent world tour?) You also should know I love Ryan Adams. I mean, the only CD I had in my car for the entire year of 2005 was Heartbreaker. Ryan Adams announced a few weeks ago that he will be covering T-Swift’s 1989 album and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Here are a few clips he’s been posting on twitter.

What have you been loving lately?

Instalife

Daily life with Allison and Ray via iphone photos.IMG_4073IMG_4074IMG_4075– Some of our closest friends had a gender reveal party last week. It’s a boy and we couldn’t be happier for them.
– I’ve been more into doing my nails lately. Maybe we’ll see a resurgence of Nailed It posts?
– It’s finally cool enough to drink coffee out at the lake before work in the mornings.
– Ray has gotten pretty good at making one of my favorite cocktails, a brandy milk punch.
– My sister and I drove an hour in a monsoon so we could eat chicken salad at the Chicken Salad Chick. It was worth it.

 

10 Ways to Beat a Summer Cold

5You may have noticed a lull in blogging over here during the beginning of August. I caught the dreaded summer cold. I was stuffy all day and night. My throat was on fire. I felt like I had been punched in the face. I was burning up and freezing all at the same time. Guys, it was a doozy!
I don’t like to take a lot of cold medicine because it raises my blood pressure and makes me feel like I’m having a heart attack. However, I’m not exactly well versed in homeopathic cold and flu care. I looked online (and used some common sense) and found a few methods that seemed easy enough. Here’s what works best for me:231 1. Lots of sleep – This is a no brainer. I feel my best when I get 7-9 hours of sleep. When I have a old I need a solid 10 hours to really feel rested.
2. Epsome Salt Baths – I love to take epsome salt baths regardless of being sick or not. Epsome salt is soothing, detoxifying, and works wonders on body aches. I have fibromyalgia and have had chronic body aches since I was 17. Epsome salt baths have been one of my best survival methods!
3. Apple cider vinegar + honey + lemon juice – This summer is the first time I’ve tried using ACV for a cold. Warning – The apple cider vinegar can be way overpowering. I suggest a tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and honey mixed with water and a splash of orange juice.
4. Emergen-c – I love to mix emergen-c with orange juice and a splash of sprite. Vitamin C cocktail, if you will.
5. Lots of water – Because who wants to feel dehydrated on top of having a cold? NOT ME!!
6. Soup – I’m a big fan of soup anytime of the year, sick or not, but it’s especially soothing when you’re under the weather. Chicken noodle is the go-to for fighting a cold, but I also like to eat creamy soups to sooth my throat. Cheesy vegetable chowder is my new favorite and it’s so easy to make! My recipe is similar to this one.
7. Fisherman’s friend – Let me tell you, these lozenges are intense. I’ve never used cough drops that worked so well, or tastes so horrible. If they stop my cough, I’m more than willing to deal with the yucky taste in my mouth.
8. Lavender essential oil – On the real, I hate the smell of lavender. It’s too spicy for my nose and reminds me of bug spray. Despite my hating, in my time of need lavender is always there. I like to put it in my epsome salt bath and rub it on my throat.¬† I use Young Living essential oils because I know they’re safe, natural, and organic.
9. Rose salve – I use it daily for my cuticles, but when I’m sick I also use it for my lips and around my nostrils. It’s the best and it smells soooo good.
10. Nose spray – This doesn’t really stick with the “natural” theme of this post, but Vick’s nosespray really saved my life.

These are the methods that work best for me when fighting a summer old. What works best for you?

The Best Bruschetta in Town

br 6br 1You may or may not know this about me, but I have a love/hate relationship with tomatoes. Until I was about 20, I had a hate/hate relationship with tomatoes. As a child my dislike for tomatoes was super distressing because I wanted to be just like Harriet the Spy and she only ate tomato sandwiches. After several attempts trying tomato sandwiches, tomato gravy (this is the south, yall), and even tomato pie, I came to bruschetta. Guess, what? I LOVED bruschetta. My tomato savior had arrived!!!
The thing about bruschetta is that you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, fancy hors d’ourves, etc. There’s a million variations, and they’re all delicious… but this is my favorite way to eat bruschetta.

What you need:
baguette
butter
cherry or grape tomatoes (I used a mixture of red and yellow heirloom grape tomatoes)
fresh basil
olive oil
garlic
feta cheese
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
I’m not putting measurements because this isn’t really a recipe and I’ve certainly never measured out ingredients for bruschetta. Just go with your gut on this one. :)br 2br 3br 4

Cut the tomatoes lengthwise. If they’re still a little too chunky, also cut them width wise. Slice the basil into thin strips and mince the garlic. Add the garlic to a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat in a skillet for 30-40 seconds until the garlic is golden. This step IS necessary!! Then, throw the olive oil and garlic into a bowl. Add the tomatoes and basil to the garlic + oil. Splash in a good amount of balsamic. I LOVE balsamic so I splash in a really good amount, but you can add as much as you like. You do you. Add some feta, salt, and pepper and let your mixture rest for a while. I’m not sure if the “resting” part actually does anything, but recipes are always calling for sauces and marinades to “rest” so I figure this works for bruschetta as well.br 5

On to the baguette! Slice the baguette. Throw some butter onto a skillet. I suggest using the same skillet you used for the garlic. No need to wash. Brown your baguette slices in the butter. Easy as pie.br 6

Sometimes I will brush olive oil on a baguette and place it in the oven for a few minutes to get toasty. This isn’t a bad alternative, but using the skillet is always my #1 choice.br 7br 8

Look at my sister being a bruschetta model!! To serve, spoon the tomato mixture over each slice of bread. Voila, you have the best ever bruschetta!

 

Instalife

Daily life with Allison and Ray via iphone photos.IMG_3870IMG_3872IMG_3871IMG_3902Highlights:
– We went to the beach a few weeks ago.
– I’ve been obsessed with homemade bruschetta.
– I had a terrible cold for a week and a half. TERRIBLE.
– Ray secretly ordered neon pink jeans for me. I wore them for casual Friday.
– While doing yard work on Saturday, I got stung by a bee. My entire upper arm is swollen!!