new site!

Hey all! I have officially moved to a .com! 

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We are still working on fine details but new posts are scheduled! 

Xj

and then i discovered chicken bake…

I know this might sound like a simple concept, but for some reason I was never told how easy it was to prepare such a nutritious AND delicious dish. Not to mention idiot proof. About two weeks ago, my dear friend and I cooked dinner that consisted of a mess of veggies and chicken. He asks “why don’t we just make chicken bake?”. I wondered what the hell was that? Well kids, it is exactly what it sounds like. I have been preparing it a variety of ways ever since he told me and I can not wait to share it with all of you. If you are like me, I need dinner to be quick and easy throughout the week because my days run long. This can save you time, money and energy… don’t be afraid to get creative! 

Ingredients

 1 package of chicken cutlets 

olive oil or coconut oil

balsamic vinaigrette 

choice of veggies- pick about 3-4

choice of seasoning – i like salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary 

recipe 

1. heat oven to 300 degrees 

2. prepare a glass dish with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil, or just enough to coat the bottom 

3. place chicken evenly on dish- season with salt and pepper

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4. cut up veggies,not too thin as they will cooking for a while. In this dish, I used carrots, zucchini, sweet potato, and mushrooms. I experimented with broccoli, asparagus, and peppers.. all delicious! I want to try spinach next!

5. layer veggies evenly on top of chicken and season lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic. I like to drizzle some balsamic on top because, well, who doesn’t love balsamic? I then finish with a light drizzle of olive oil so the ingredients don’t dry out in the oven.

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6. cover with tin foil and pop in the oven for an hour, voila! your done. Go clean the house, shower, and sit down while you wait for your delicious meal to cook.   

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How easy was that?! It’s common sense if you cook often, but I just always made my chicken on the stove top and cooked the veggies separately… soo much work compared to this and less clean up! 

Let me know what you think and what creative combinations you make! 

Xj

 

 

easter treat

In my quest to continually supply my family with holiday inspired treats, I did not take this Easter lightly. I saw these coconut nest cupcakes and decided I had to make them! Let me tell you, that Martha Stewart don’t play. I often find her recipes more complicated than I would prefer, but they always come out great – remind me of this next time I am struggling through my next Stewart recipe….

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mix and don’t forget to toast the coconut.. I almost did!  I did it on the stove top for a quicker out come.

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The cake came out great and the sea salt really stands out. For the icing, I was a bit hesitant when it called for 6 to 8 cups of sugar.. yikes! but you definitely need it. The frosting will be runny without it!

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Success!!

I hope your Easter is full of peeps, laughs, and cupcakes!

Xj

happy days

Look what I got today!
ImageHappy day #17/100 and oh, I am so happy! 

Thats, right! I am officially promoting myself to the real world with very first set of personal business cards. I am all about these babies! I love the watercolor print, the square shape and the simple, straight to the point back. All things that are pretty standard but yet a little bit different. If you are ever in need of any custom printed cards, labels, notes, etc, I highly recommend tinyprints. Especially since they usually have a special going on and super fast turn around time! 

Who can I give one out to first!? 

Xj 

 

i love etsy

Whenever I am looking for something unique, eclectic, not to mention inexpensive, I turn to my faithful friend, Etsy.  It’s like having everything right at your finger tips at all times, I can never resist! Today, I am in the market for some new jewels. My style varies greatly, but right now, I am really feeling the smaller scale, organic, feminine pieces. Here’s some beautiful eye candy…

Imagegold nugget studs

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natural cut diamond studs

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hex bangles

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quartz ring

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heart ring

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leather bangles

Finally, I found this super cute and simple bracelet that allows you to customize it with your family member’s initials. This bracelet would be so cute for Mother’s day! Have your parents initials on one side and all your siblings on the other. Cute right?

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family tree bracelet

What Etsy finds have you stumbled upon recently?

Xj

new do, new you

It’s finally finished! The re-vamping of the living room has come to an end..for now. I wanted to take my space to a slightly more mature level, to match my new chic, modern hair do! As you can tell, I am all about moving forward now-a-days and putting my best foot forward. I even got myself some personal business cards!

Anyways, there are still a ton of things I would love to do – new light fixture, sofa, coffee tables, just about everything, but I am on a bit of a budget. The main thing I wanted to achieve was a clean, bright space with pops of color here and there to achieve a boho, mid century theme showcasing an eclectic gallery wall. Again, I am on a budget so I did most of the art sprinkled with a few pieces I collected along the way.   

Here is a before and after overall shot…

 

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I got rid of the stripes, not going to lie, a little sad to see them go, changed out my teeny weeny side table, re-purposed some artwork, and added a few pieces like my design on a dime bench from target and vintage bar stools. 

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Everything just seemed to work out perfectly. My fiddle leaf fig tree is doing great, I had this random metal vase with polo sticks just laying around that balances off that corner and an existing trunk that was hidden under a console table now being used as an end table more in scale with that ginormous lamp. The trunk also promotes that vintage, eclectic feel I am going for- plus I didn’t have to buy a new table!   

For the artwork, I had this one large piece of plywood that was the ground for two paintings I did. I felt the birds were not cutting it anymore and I needed one big, solid piece to really flow into the rest of the art. Sometimes, we forget how forgiving canvas and wood can be and we end up spending more money than necessary. As a painter, I know the value of a good canvas and I am not afraid to splash some white paint on an old or yucky piece to start a new. This piece was not exception. I had detached the canvases, filled the holes, sanded, and painted right on top. I didn’t bother to prime (in most cases you should) because I admire the wood grain and don’t mind to see the waves through the paint. 

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ImageOh, and here are my bar stools from the 70’s I got at a flea market for 40 bucks each! Obsessed and so comfy! 
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There you go boys and girls, with a little imagination, creativity, and determination- not to mention time, I was able to transform my space by just making a few adjustments. I am pretty pleased with the results and am already getting anxious for my next move…so much inspiration! I hope if you were inspired to tackle that home improvement project you have been putting off and think outside the box on how you can improve your space. You will feel so accomplished after! 

Remember to have fun! 

Xj

 

semi green thumb

Anyone who knows me is well aware of my desire for a yard full of lush foliage and beautiful flowers but alas, I foresee a couple more years of balcony potted plants in my future. I was never able to keep plants alive but through some personal strives and set backs, I am starting the get the hang of it! I noticed plants becoming more of a featured items in homes and would love to share some of the tricks I picked up to ensure that your home is continually surrounded by green!

1. Numero Uno.. most important… know your plant!

Do research on the plant you are interested in and make sure it is appropriate for the space you are planning to place it. I know my plants home is going to be semi sunny and in a temperate climate, so a beautiful plant needing lots sun might not be the best choice (learned this the hard way!). I found succulents and Jade work best for me.

2. watering

I think it is important to keep the water around air temperature as to not shock the roots. Again, this might depend on the type of plant but this keeps the soil at a consistent temperature. Plants also fair better when you water in the morning or at night, allowing the water to really seep in the soil instead of evaporating in the hot Florida heat.

p.s. don’t forget to pour some extra water in the drain dish for the plants to soak up later.. it might be extra thirsty!

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3. maintenance

If you notice a patch of dreary looking flowers, remove them! Not only does it look prettier but the plant benefits from removing the dead weight, literally. If there is just a few dead flowers, it is ok to gently remove the buds. If it requires shears, always trim at an angle and from the base.

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4. observe

I routinely rearrange the placements of the plants because the sun is stronger on one side of the balcony and burning can occur on the plants that can’t seem to take the heat. If i see this happening, I will move them to the shade.

5. enjoy!

I learned what plants do best for my schedule and climate. I sometimes don’t have the time to water everyday, so I make sure that I get a heartier plant that can survive a few days without water. I don’t have the best track record with flowers but have found some that don’t wilt easily and again, survive without their busy mom – Begonias and Desert Rose. It is all about the not giving up because the pay off is well worth it! Plants are known to increase concentration and memory, while promoting relaxation in the home. Not to mention they just plain make you happy with increasing the amount of positive energy in your life!

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What plants work for you?

Xj

 

rules of engagement

Ciao Ciao! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I know I tried to make the most of it! I even went on a date.. scary but exciting. I love meeting new people and having great conversation but the rules of dating are always so frustrating to me. I feel like everyone tries to conform to these social standards that no one really understands why. And by everyone, I might just be speaking for myself.

I am no dating expert but I think I am a normal, level headed, social young lady that likes to be honest and upfront. If I want to text or call someone the next day, why can’t I? Is it bad that the date asked me to a BBQ the next day and I went? People told me not to go because it would look as if I had nothing planned for the day or giving up my previous agenda, thus trying too hard to see him. But if I am having a good time with him and would love another opportunity to get to know him more, why wouldn’t I go? It’s rather funny, huh? It is as if the more you are intrigued by someone, the more limits you place on yourself, preventing the momentum of the relationship. None of it makes sense to me!

Anyway, I am learning as I go. I am taking the approach of doing what I feel because that’s me and if they don’t like it, then I am happy to find out now rather than later. We’ll see if this approach works or you might be seeing a few more single rants from me! Besides the date, I had plenty of things to be happy about. Here are some of my shots throughout the rest of week to continue my 100 Happy days. It consisted of rug shopping for a client (how many dhurries can I fit in my car?), lunch date with my mom and family friend, finally putting my gallery wall together – but it still needs work so it is only a sneak peak!, and my run by the beach on this glorious Florida day.

What sort of things brought light into your life this weekend?

Xj

 

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happy days in my future

How could I forget! It’s the start of my 100 happy days!! I hope some of your decided to join me in my quest to become more optimistic and grateful within my life. Today is day two..

Day one is a fresh hair cut! I use to have mid waist length curly hair but decided to chop it off and go for the keratin treatment. Hello straight hair! I like flipping it around and running my fingers through it, a la Disney’s Little Mermaid. I might look like a weirdo on the streets, but hey, don’t judge. I feel like I have a mature, yet chic, hair style and i’m lovin’ the change.

ImageAnd for today.. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with my on going art gallery wall. I scrounged up a few random frames and can totally picture how great this wall is going to look (fingers crossed). The mix of colors and styles only accentuate the eclectic vibe I am trying to pull off. I would love for this to look like a collection of art acquired over time rather than a collection of Homegoods purchases.

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 These might be small things, but hey, it made me smile and that’s what matters!

What made you smile today?!

Xj

Fiddle fig me please

I am currently in the process of updating a few things around my apartment, which seems to happen every three months as of lately, and I’m obsessing over all things fiddle leaf fig tree related. I have been dying to paint my walls a cool shade of white dove, hang an amazing gallery wall of art, and prop that fig tree in the corner to stand out in all it’s glory against the clean walls. How boho right?
Currently, my apartment is half taken apart and I’m somewhere in between excitement and nervousness – which isn’t such a bad place to be, keeps you on your toes!I will share some photos once all my art is hung!  But in the mean time, here are some inspirational images of interiors that seem to just pull together once the fig tree is introduced and secret ways this little miracle plant can change your perception of spaces.

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Capped in a basket weave cover

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Flanking statement pieces

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Balancing furniture arrangements

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Anchoring piece

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Adding height to a space

What do you think? Are you feeling as inspired?

Xj

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