Thursday, November 2, 2017

Crock Pot Mexican Quinoa Casserole

I gravitate toward comfort foods this time of year and find myself using the crock pot more often than not. There's nothing better than a delicious and hearty meal in the fall, especially when it's so easy to throw together! I recently made this Mexican Quinoa Casserole in the crock pot and it was so good - healthy & flavorful! 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground chicken
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa
20-oz of taco or enchilada sauce
1 15-oz can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes & chiles
1 can of corn, drained
1 red pepper, cored & diced
1 green pepper, cored & diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
toppings: fresh cilantro, avocado, chopped onion, sour cream

Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and onion. Cook and stir, breaking up the chicken as you go, until cooked through. Add garlic and stir. Transfer to the bottom of the crock pot.
In the crock pot, add quinoa, black beans, Rotel, corn, red pepper, green pepper, sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and 1/2 cup of water. Stir to combine, then cover and cook on high for 2 1/2-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. 
Remove lid and stir. Add 1/2 cup of cheese and stir in. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top, then cover and cook on high until melted. Serve hot with desired toppings.
{recipe adapted from}

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Following our wedding in Key West, Greg and I jetted off to San Francisco. We lived in LA for a few years but never made it to northern California together. We originally planned on spending one of our days in Napa, but the devastating fires forced us to get creative. We stayed in an AirBnB in the Sunset neighborhood and rented a convertible to cruise down PCH. We had so much fun playing tourists downtown, enjoying amazing meals, hiking, road tripping and sight-seeing. Adventures with him are always the best! 

{The Bay Bridge}

{cable car}

{Fisherman's Wharf  & Ghiradelli Square}

{Coit Tower}

{Sea Lions at Pier 39}

{delicious sushi lunch - the Golden Gate Bridge Roll was my favorite!}

{Sutro Baths}

{Lands End Hike}

{wedding bands}

{waterfront dinner at Luna Blu in Tiburon}

{lighthouse on our road trip down PCH}

{succulent heaven}

{the most memorable meal sitting in a loveseat in front of the outdoor fireplace // Forge in the Forest - Carmel, CA}

{exploring the streets of Carmel}

{pulled over on our way back to the city to watch this epic cliff-side sunset}

Monday, October 23, 2017

Key West Wedding Weekend

{Mr. & Mrs. Buckman}

I'm finally settling back into my daily routine following the best 2 weeks of my life. Despite all of the stress leading up to it (thanks, Irma), Greg and I had the most amazing wedding weekend in Key West. It's hard not to have a great time when you're surrounded by all of your family and friends in paradise. I am anxiously awaiting to see our professional photographs from the big day, but wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes moments that I will always cherish.

{spent the morning getting ready and sipping mimosas with my cousins and best friends}

 {wish I could wear my gown everyday}

{chowing down on a slice of pizza right before we headed to the venue}

{on the trolley en route to the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens}

{My Aunt Patty announced us Husband & Wife}

 {sweetheart table}

{this magical night would not have been possible without my mom & dad}

{Shannon has been my best friend since we were 3 years old!}

{the beautiful dining tables, featuring my favorite sunflowers}

{having a blast during our father daughter dance to "My Girl"}

{great times with our good friends Ben & Kacey}

{decor and table assignments - Greg handmade a custom easel for the mirror!}

{first dance kisses to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud"}

{My dad's speech under the moonlight}

{one of the sneak peeks from our photographer Alyssa Morgan}

{Alyssa perfectly captured our wedding crasher rooster!}

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lash Extensions

I recently got lash extensions for my upcoming wedding (8 days to go!) and it's safe to say I'm obsessed! My sister works at a salon & spa and she's a pro with everything from hair, nails, lashes and microblading! It took about an hour, which was mostly relaxing since my eyes were closed but a little uncomfortable when the time came to tape down my bottom lashes. I have a bit of an eye-phobia (I can't even use eye drops!) but once we got past that, it was a breeze! I am in love with the results - long & full lashes that still look natural. Best part = no mascara! Bring on the wedding day tears! 

It's been quiet in my little corner of the internet lately, thanks to the final stages of wedding planning. The last month of planning is stressful nonetheless, but add a destination wedding right after Hurricane Irma just hit, and it's a recipe for disaster. It was the most stressful couple weeks filled with meltdowns, a full-blown panic attack at work, and countless calls with my coordinator. We came this close to having to change pretty much every detail including the city, venue, caterer and florist, but I'm happy to announce that all of our original plans are still in affect to get married in Key West on October 7th! So relieved and ready to celebrate with all of our friends and family! I'm hoping to get back to regular posting next month. Check back soon for a full recap on our wedding week & honeymoon travels! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Pearl Slides

My current go-to outfit is comprised of basics paired with statement accessories. These lace shorts have gotten a lot of wear in the last few years (such as here, here & here) mainly due to both their ease and comfort. They also lend a more refined touch than the cut-off shorts I usually gravitate toward on the weekends. I scored these slides at Target (only $25 and also come in blush!) and love the pearl embellishments. I finished off the look with my bright red bag for a pop of color.

{outfit details)
Tank - Zara || Shorts - Madewell || Sandals - Target || Bag - Tory Burch || Sunglasses - Ray-Ban

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Currently Obsessed

I'm a big proponent for sunless tanning because while I love a little color, I try to avoid getting too much sun exposure - all about the SPF! My sister found this California Tan Sunless Spray at a hair show and it's kind of amazing! I used it before my bachelorette party and loved the results - natural bronze color and even application with no streaks in sight. I will definitely be using this sunless tanning spray for the big day! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus

One of my favorite paleo snacks is hummus & baby carrots, which is even better when the hummus is homemade! This cilantro jalapeño hummus is full of flavor and so easy to make.

3 cans low sodium garbanzo beans
1 bunch fresh cilantro
3 large jalapeños (seeded & deveined)
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 - 1 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine until smooth and creamy. Enjoy with pita chips, carrots & celery or spread onto a tortilla and top with veggies - the options are endless!