Next Top Chef

It’s about time that I redeem myself from the ironing burn and miscellaneous other horrible dinners I have made my friends endure over the past few years.

Tonight one of my best and most marketable friends came over for dinner. I’m on a healthy eating kick as my office is doing a Biggest Loser competition and I can’t stray from a competition.

For dinner: spaghetti squash, asparagus and salad.

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Alli brought me these pretty flowers from her garden and I stuck them in this mason jar– I think they look perfect!

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I am super proud of this meal and Alli even said it was marketable and kick ass! Mission accomplished!

I just put olive oil on the squash and cooked it on 350 for 45 minutes– talk about easy!

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I’m making some progress! What is your favorite way to make spaghetti squash?

Play Time

What a wonderful weekend with family for Memorial Day Weekend!

I am the oldest of seven cousins and five of them are under the age of 7! They are kind of confused if I’m their Aunt or Cousin– but whatever, it’s fun!

Playing with them brings me back to my childhood. We played a game of baseball in the neighborhood and I laughed so hard watching them hit and run around the fake bases.

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Gabriel thought his way to carry the bat was pretty clever 😉

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I can’t get over how cute they are and I’m a little jealous of their tans!

The rest of the weekend was filled with sand castles and swimming. My arms about to fall off from throwing them in the water but it never gets old.

What is your favorite childhood beach activity?

I painted their names on the sand buckets and they were all wearing them as hats, how creative?!

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Memorial Day Memories

A coworker passed along this photo Monday.  It is so neat – can you imagine all of the men lining up to get the perfect photo and the amount of time it took?

It got me thinking of all of the men who served their country, especially my Papa. He would have turned 87 today and I miss him dearly.

He was such a stud in these photos. I am so glad we have them, and I am extremely thankful I grew up listening to the war stories.

[My grandfather is on the left]

We would sit in the kitchen and he would make me popcorn.  He didn’t talk a lot, but when he did, I knew to listen.

How many of you have grandparents who fought in the wars? What kind of stories did they tell you?  We have a lot to be thankful for.

Experimenting with overnight oats

I love waking up on a Saturday and having a homemade breakfast ready for me in my refrigerator.

At first I was skeptical of overnight oats because I wasn’t sure it would taste good etc… I tried it once last week in a bowl and that did NOT work! It’s all about a jar with a lid!

I’d love to find more recipes for overnight oats, so if you have some– please share!

For now, I’m sticking to this tasty concoction.

1/2 cup rolled oats
Greek yogurt
Dollop of almond butter
Flax seed
Milk
Dash of brown sugar (why not?)

Just let sit overnight for a night, or two, and enjoy 🙂

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Manic Monday

Normally Mondays are about the same every week… a run in the morning, busy day at work, and then dinner and laying low at night.

Today, my day had something else in store for me. Little did I know one of my biggest fails would be waiting for me (Happy Monday!)

I was getting ready for work like I normally do. Running around the house, cooking breakfast, etc… except for today I had some ironing to do.

I got down to it and start ironing, only what in the heck was that?! DID I JUST TAKE AN IRON TO THE BARE BELLY?!! My skin starts throbbing and some not so nice things fly out of my mouth.

And just like that,       Ironing: 1       Jill: 0 

Well you may ask how I got into this epic showdown with an iron to bare skin? I’ll save that for later.

 

I realize how bad I’m hurting so I text my Dad and see what he thinks I should do. I don’t dare call Mema because she will tell me to put Turpentine on it– her solution to all wounds/ailments/bad attitudes.

When he doesn’t answer, I go to the second best doctor I know.

 

The burn isn’t getting any better.  Does anyone know of any good tricks?

The lesson I learned today is don’t iron in your birthday suit. It’s not marketable, and turns out, it’s pretty painful.

10 Things I have learned from my Grandmother

In honor of Mother’s Day, and all the Mom’s out there, I figured I would write a list of the top ten things I have learned from my Mema:

  1. It’s not always 50/50. Sometimes you have to give more when your partner can’t and vice versa. It’s all about the give and take.
  2. Make your own fun. This is something she always tells me. Whether we are going on a road trip or just out to dinner, we make our own fun and make the best out of even the worst situations.
  3. Treat everyone with kindness. You are no better than any one else, and you never know what someone is going through. Offer a smile and a hello – you never know how it can affect their day.
  4. Don’t take yourself too seriously. The party animal herself has made this one clear. If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can?
  5. Love comes in all forms. It’s in family, adoption, friends that have turned into family. Love one another.
  6. Remember your last name. Mema always tells me when I go out of town, or out for the night to remember my last name because your reputation always follows and preceeds you.
  7. Nobody is the boss of me. Now that she is in her mature years, Mema likes to say why not? Why can’t I do this or that? No one is the boss of me!
  8. Be true to your school. You get what you give and Mema has dedicated much of her life giving back to the Florida State University. It has taught me the importance of philanthropy and how thousands of people can come together for a common greater good of the University.
  9. If it doesn’t work out, God has something better planned. When he closes one door, he opens another. You just have to be patient.
  10. Family is the most important. Friends come and go through life, but family will stick with you through it all.

She’s Your Dreamgirl

The marketability master is at it again.

On Saturday we hosted a graduation for my dear friend Carlos. He graduated from law school (woop woop) and we are all so proud of him!

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Carlos was in the PIKE fraternity in college and a bunch of his brothers came to celebrate with us.

Mema was telling the guys how when my dad was in the fraternity they would sing her the dream girl song.

She arranged all of the men and they serenaded her. I have to say it was one of the cutest things I have ever seen and she loved every minute of it!

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I always knew I was a Party Expert

I’ve always thought I was pretty good at partying. I love parties and celebrations, whether it’s birthdays, weddings or holidays- I like them all!

But now, all of my suspicions have shown true: I am a Celebration Expert!

Well, for work I get to be 🙂

Party City is one of our clients for the Zimmerman Agency so I had the treat of flying down to Miami to show all of the NBC Live Miami viewers how to throw a perfect Cinco de Mayo party!

Now you may be wondering, what would a little Georgia girl be able to teach people in Miami? I wondered this myself as I prepped for the segment. Luckily, Party City made it super easy and everything was adorable.

Friday was the big day. My debutante, if you will, as a Celebration Expert.

I had the help of Daniella (who is amazing) setting up everything on set.

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We set up the table, strung together the Taco shell decor, and prepped the food.

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I loved the idea of using lemons and limes as place holders!

Did I mention, we had a live mariachi band? Those guys were the best and really set the stage for the segment!

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I have to say, it looked adorable. Everyone kept coming up and complimenting us on our colorful decorations.

I especially liked the sombrero headbands! I think Roxy, the anchor, did too!

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It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!