Foodie Penpal – April

As I’ve mentioned before I participate in a fabulous program called the “Foodie Penpal” program put together by the lovely Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean.  After you sign up {here}, you are randomly matched up with someone to send a package to and another person that will send you a package!  After contacting your person, you put together $15 worth of food yummies {can be anything from local classics, to favorite snacks, to homemade goodies}, package it all up and send it their way!  Then for the bloggers in the world, on the 1st of each month you post about the package you received.  What a fun way to connect with other food lovers across the country!

This month I was paired up with the lovely Ashley, who put together a fabulous {and healthy} box of yummies!  I sometimes wonder what my penpals think when I tell them of all my crazy foodie needs.  Vegetarian & gluten free can sometimes throw people for a loop, but Ashley jumped right on it and sent over a great box! {so HUGE thanks!!}

FP-april

Here is what this yummy box contained:

Thank you SO much for such a yummy box…you know that most of that good stuff has already been enjoyed!!  SO for those of you interested in checking this super fun program pop by The Lean Green Bean {here} and sign up for next month!!

Yumm-o
~ Jillian

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Friend Me!

For those of you that have followed HSE from the beginning {ah thank you!!}  don’t adjust your computer or start questioning if you are losing your mind.  This was one of HSE’s first ever posts {from here}.  There has been so much going on in our world lately and when we go thru tough times in our lives is when we need the love and support from our friends the most.   So grab on to the ones you love and give them all an extra squeeze {even if its a digital squeeze from far away}. 

Do you ever wonder how or why we become friends with each other?  I’m not talking the how as in “we met in college or at a yoga class or we were neighbors”…I mean the how it stuck.  How the meeting turned into an actual friendship?  Why don’t all the people we meet turn into true friends?  Why is it just the select few that stick around through it all, for the long haul?

Friends that support us no matter what.  Friends that will share their piece of chocolate cake with us {that’s a true friend right there}  Friends that we can rely on and reach out to.  Friends that laugh with us {and sometimes at us}.  Friends that tell us to relax when we need it.  Friends that will dance with us in public without worrying who is watching.  Friends that put up with our annoying habits.  Friends that know a lot of embarrassing stories about us {and are still our friends}.  Friends that know that no matter how crazy life gets and how much distance is between us…we will always be friends.

The best part about true friendship…is knowing that even if you have not  seen each other for a long time, the second you are back together with them…its like nothing has changed…you pop right back into that awesome place you were in the last time you were together. A true testament to REAL friendship.  No judgements for how many times you did or didn’t call…what parties or showers you did or didn’t throw…not the presents that you bought or the amount of time its been since you last saw each other.  Just pure love and support.

I don’t know that I have an answer to why friendships just “stick”…but i’m sure glad they do!  So I think that after reading this today…we should all tell our friends just how much we love them and how important it is to us to have them in our lives.  {p.s. Friends…this is me telling you…just so we’re clear}

Cheers to friendship!
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: be

Birthday’s and dinners and cookies, OH MY!  We had a full weekend celebrating the boy’s birthday {and a little residual celebrating of my birthday too!}  We are so blessed with sweet and wonderful family & friends.  And to top it all off, we currently have three extra little snuggly fur-babies running around our house!  The craziness continues!!  A weekend overflowing with with love and joy for sure.

“If you want to be happy, be.”

smiling-chihuahua-24

Joy!
~ Jillian

Pin-teresting

It’s Friday!!!!!!!!!!  I hope you’ve had a lovely week and EVEN better have a fun weekend ahead of you.   There are so many beautiful things around us that provide inspiration, so here is a little collection of a few things that have inspired me this week.  I hope you have a great weekend and can find inspiration in the beauty around you!

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Joy!
~ Jillian

* A GIANT Happy Birthday to my favorite guy in the world!  You are the best partner a girl could ask for!!! LOVE!

Love one Another

My heart completely breaks over the events that occurred in Boston yesterday.  It is impossible to imagine  what could possibly bring someone to carry out such a horrible thing.  There are no words that can even begin to describe how awful it all is.  What I see though that touches me the most is how amazing people are in times of crisis.  There are perfect strangers risking their lives to help those in need.  Allowing that which is at the heart of us all to surface; love and respect for one another.  It warms my heart to see that in times of distress, we truly are all one.

Our world has changed immensely in recent years and it is easy to get sucked into the feelings of negativity, and to be scared for our future or for our society.  So today while we all grieve for those that were involved, we should also take this as a reminder to love and appreciate what we have in our lives today.  Know that at any moment it could all be taken away from us.  It is imperative that now more then ever we embrace love.  Love for the blessings in our lives.  Love for our family and friends.  Love for the community around us.  Love and respect for everyone and everything on this planet.  Only we can create the necessary shift to bring our world back to a positive vibration.

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“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
~ Jimi Hendrix

With lots of Love
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: Inhale

This week I choose to focus on the path in front of me; to embrace the journeys that lie ahead.  I attempt to shake free from things in the past that linger on my brain and not let them effect how I face the future.  There are times in life that this is much easier said than done, when things that you don’t even realize have stayed with you seem to still take hold.  So this week focus on letting go.  Letting go of things weighing on your mind, of things that are in the past and of things that we cannot change.  Look forward to what life has in store for you and reach out and grab it!

“Inhale the future, exhale the past”

just breathe

Namaste
~ Jillian

Chicken & Black bean Quinoa Casserole

What a crazy few weeks its been!   I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t been checking in with you regularly!!  So to make up for that…i”m bribing you with food!  Today I’ve got a delicious, easy and healthy dinner recipe for you!  I Love lOve LoVe me some quinoa!  {remember this yummy recipe}  Not only is it super healthy, its easy to prepare and very tasty!  I’ve even started substituting Quinoa for rice in stir fry dishes and rice or noodle casseroles!  Now continuing on my bad blogger trend…I cannot find my images ANYWHERE!!  So thank you to the lovely Lauren from A Full Measure of Happiness for a VERY similar dish with an excellent photo!

mexican quonia casserole{image source}

Ingredients

  • Shredded Chicken {can also use rotissere chicken}
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1/4 can diceed jalapanos {use as much as you want
  • 1 orange bell pepper {or pepper of choice}
  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 package Frontera Fajita  Sauce
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • chopped green onion

* Can add other veggies {spinach, corn, onions, even sweet potato would be yummy!}

Directions

  •  If using chicken breasts, boil or place in a crock-pot with chicken stock until ready to shred.  Crock-pot takes approx 2 hours on high.  If boiling approximately 12-15 min.
  • Once chicken is shredded, drain water/broth and add black beans, jalapenos and chopped pepper.  Add 3/4 of the frontera sauce and stir.  Leave on low.
  • Preheat oven to 35o° & spray a casserole dish.
  • Prepare quinoa as directed, using the remaining frontera sauce as a portion of the liquid.  {my quinoa called for 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cups liquid.  so i included the frontera sauce as a part of the total 1 1/2 cups of liquid}
  • Add quinoa to chicken mixture and mix in additional veggies and a handful of chopped cilantro.
  • Cover with cheese and chopped green onion.  Bake for 15- 20 minutes.
  • Allow to rest for approximately 5 minutes

AND ENJOY!

Yumm-it-up
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: experience Joy

Happy b-e-a-utiful monday to you all.  We are finally getting a taste of real spring weather here in Atlanta.  This weekend was sunny, warm and just plain lovely!  I celebrated the big 3-2 this weekend and was reminded just how many wonderful blessings I have in my life!!  I’m one lucky gal…I’ll tell you that!!  So HUGE thank you for all the birthday wishes and sweet words from everyone.  No question that this weekend I truly experienced joy.

“To notice your joys instead of minimizing or discounting them is to become joyous.  Notice joy, nourish joy, consciously take advantage
of your opportunities to experience joy.”

JOY!

{image from a trip we took last year to the Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas}

Choose Joy!
~ Jillian

Bloglovin

There are so many fabulous blogs out there sometimes its hard to keep up!  I have lots of  favorites {here & here} and the way I was keeping up with all those blogs was a program offered by Goodle called Reader.  Well ladies and gentlemen, Google has decided to phase it out which means its time to say goodbye to Reader… and hello to Bloglovin!!  I discovered Bloglovin when the fabulous ladies from A Beautiful Mess mentioned that they had made the switch.  

bloglovin

Joining Bloglovin is EASY and a great way to know when there’s a new post to read without having to remember every single blog address that you love.  Once you’ve created an account, just type the web address or blog name into the search function on the site and you are good to go.  Every time you log in to your account, the new posts will show up bold on the sidebar of your page!  You can even create your own categories to organize your blogs, like food goodies, DIY & home, or fashion & photography.  Easy peezy!

So get to it!  Find your favorite blogs out there and load them up! {here’s hoping HSE makes the cut!!}

Cheers {and Happy Friday!!}
~ Jillian

 

Organize your “hizzy”

Nothing feels better then a nicely organized home {ok…so there are things that are better…but can we agree that being organized does make life a bit easier?!}  I’ve been doing a bit o’ spring cleaning these days and could not believe the amount of random instruction manuals and household STUFF that we had laying around the house.  Stuff for kitchen appliances, big house items like the garage door opener, even furniture and finish information that we just can’t get rid of.  This stuff was everywhere!!  And of course the one time ever that you need to look something up, you can’t find them?!?!
So enter…my little weeknight craft project…the Organized Home Notebook.  A one stop shop for all the random home related items that you just can’t get rid of.  Think not only manuals and warranty info, but paint colors and fabric swatches!  And of course I had to do SOMEthING to jazz up the simple white binder  I had laying around the house!!
House book 06Supplies:

  • Notebook {size depending on how much junk you have to organize}
  • Plastic sleeves
  • Manuals, brochures and other house related information you want to store
  • Colored Card Stock
  • Markers
  • Scissors or Paper cutter
  • 3 hole punch
  • Glue stick {or even clear tape!}

House book 02

Organize your materials into categories, For my notebook I had five:

  • Small Kitchen Appliances {things like blender, mixer, coffee maker, etc}
  • Large Appliances {washer dryer, refrigerator, etc}
  • Housewares {vacuum cleaner, air filter, etc}
  • Furniture {warranty & fabric info, receipts for recent “BIG” furniture purchases}
  • Finishes & Accessories {paint colors, receipts for original artwork, fabric samples, etc}

Once your items are organized, You could use store bought dividers to separate out your categories, but I was feeling crafty so I  added details to solid color card stock sheets and then punched holes in them to be used for dividers.  Ta-Daa!!

House book 03

Once all the items were organized, and my crafting juices were flowing, I decided to add a cool detail to the outside of the binder.  {when I first decided to do this little project, I thought about buying one of the cute patterned notebooks they have out there these days, but with a stash of plain jane binders at home, I just couldn’t justify it!!}

First I did a little internet research for words that mean home.  Some in our language, some in foreign languages and even a little urban dictionary action thrown in for good measure!!  Once I had my “word inspiration”, I measured the spine of the notebook and cut a piece of card stock to fit {make sure you test out your cut paper BEFORE you start your artwork}

House book 04

 

I was going for a graphic vibe, and just started working my way around the paper with different colors, fonts and sizes.  I did this free hand but if you are feeling like you need a little extra helping hand, you can work it out in a program like Microsoft word or photoshop first or even use a pencil to outline the words before going in with the markers.  Once you have it all filled up…throw it in your already organized notebook!  Easy peezy!

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Happy Spring Cleaning!!
~ Jillian

Posted in DIY