Wednesday, May 16

Love to... Cook

I enjoy cooking, I really do. Growing up, my mom always made dinner for our family, and I more often than not helped out. There's certain things I've picked up from her, like putting a bit of sugar in spaghetti sauce (trust me, it makes it SO much better!) Senior year, when I finally had to cook on my own - although I often took advantage of Theta's meals - it wasn't as easy as I had hoped. I would often got bored with eating the same thing over and over... usually some form of chicken and a LOT of pasta, tortellini, and quesadillas. I still continue to struggle with this and am always looking for new recipes. Thank goodness for Pinterest. One of my biggest problems, though, is that so many recipes require a ton of ingredients and prep time. After scanning Real Simple's Quick and Easy recipes, I found one recipe that was as delicious as it was easy to make: Parmesean Pasta with Chicken and Rosemary. After I made a couple changes, like using Buitoni Light Alfredo sauce instead of the homemade parmesan sauce, and making my own chicken instead of rotisserie, it's definitely something that I'll add to my rotation.


  • 12 ounces pasta (I used bowtie)
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked in hot water on stove
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup light Buitoni Alfredo sauce
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, place chicken breast in pot of water. Bring to boil, then let simmer on low heat. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Shred chicken with a fork or fingers and set aside.
  4. Toss the pasta with the chicken, rosemary, alfredo sauce, milk, salt and pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan. 
*Original recipe can be found HERE.

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Thursday, May 10

Words to Live By... As a 23 year old

Breathe, my friend. You are not old, you are YOUNG.
You are not a mess, you are NORMAL
Extraordinary, perhaps.
In the blink of an eye, your life will change.
And it will continue to change for decades to come.
Enjoy it, embrace it... be grateful for the ride.
You are not old, you are young.
And faith will get you everywhere.
Just you wait.
-Abby Larson, Style Me Pretty

First things first. If you don't regularly follow The Everygirl, do so immediately. Now, to the point of my post. This week, it has been wedding week on The Everygirl, so naturally they interviewed Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty. In her interview, she probably gave some of the most needed advice to 23 year old girls... or really anyone at any age for that matter, in the quote above. 

On more than one occasion (just last night in fact), my friends and I have discussed our frustrations with where we are in our lives, our hopes to do more, our dreams to be successful. Don't get me wrong, I've had - and still have - a wonderful and charmed life, and have had so many opportunities to do amazing things. I've loved my life, and I'm only 23 years deep. But my entire life has been mapped out until a year ago. From the time you're 3 years old until you're 22, you go to school. You know you'll get into college. You go through the best four years of your life with some of the most fantastic friends, having new experiences and forming lasting relationships. What happened after college was something we tried our hardest not to think about because it was scary and unknown, and definitely NOT mapped out. 

So upon graduation, you're thrown out into the real world. The world says "alright, you've lived this great life so far, now try and make it on your own. Get a job, pay your bills, still maintain a social life, make new friends, live in a new city, FIGURE IT OUT." And it is all very wearing, especially for those of us who haven't figured it out. I am one of those people. I look around at the girls whose blogs I follow and find them all to be so very accomplished at such a young age, doing cool things, meeting cool people, and enjoying themselves. It's hard not to get down on myself when I think about how I've been out of college for a year and still don't have a full-time-benefit-and-salary-paying job. But Abby's advice is exactly what I need to hear and remind myself every day. I don't have to figure it out now. I have time - and a lot of it. I'm not really that much of a mess - I can at least pay my bills and have a job (at the moment). Things will change quickly, wonderfully, and I just have to believe it will all work out. Because it will. Thanks for listening to my rant :)

**Thanks to Bethany for passing this quote onto me. Exactly what I needed :)

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Tuesday, May 8

Weekend Review - Home Again

There really is nothing like going home and seeing the friends and families you grew up with. This past weekend, I was home for a wedding, but it was so wonderful to be in Champaign, even if it felt like hardly any time at all. While my time was incredibly limited, I still managed to pack in a lot. On Saturday morning I woke up early to spend time with my mom, tour her garden, and eat waffles with the family. We went to our favorite girls' soccer game and watched both of them score goals. I saw my two friends get married, and in between the ceremony and reception, stopped by the Hobbs' for a Derby party to visit with more family and friends. By 6:00 we were back to the country club for an evening of - no joke - non stop dancing to Maggie Speaks. Sunday brought church and brunch on the club with the family - so wonderful. It was such a lovely and perfect weekend, and reminded me of how lucky I am to have such a great hometown to go back to. I'm not sure when my next visit will be, but hopefully it is before Thanksgiving! That's just a little too long to go without some Champaign loving :)

Our two soccer stars

Mint Juleps in honor of the Derby

My horse bets

Best friends dancing to Maggie Speaks... Christy couldn't look more beautiful!

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