Cheesy Potato Waffles (& Giveaway)



One of the best parts about the holidays has got to be the gatherings. Getting together with family and friends is definitely one of my favorite parts at least. Usually these get-togethers involve food... lots and lots of food...hence the reason I will I will I willlll be going back to the gym come January.

Anywaysss, these Potato Waffles would make a great side dish or appetizer when you're entertaining this holiday season! The results are impressive, but they are oh so easy to make, thanks to Betty Crocker™.

Betty Crocker™ Casserole Patatoes are delicious on their own, however, with a few upgrades you can really make a dish that pops!

Here's how I made these Cheesy Potato Waffles: 

Ingredients:
1 Box Betty Crocker™ Au Gratin Casserole Potatoes
Fresh Green Pepper, chopped
Fresh Red Pepper, chopped
Bacon, chopped - I used Turkey bacon
1/4 cup Flour

Directions:
- Prepare the Betty Crocker™ Potatoes on the stove-top according to the directions on the box.

- Once the potatoes are cooked, add them to a large mixing bowl. Add some chopped green pepper, red pepper, bacon, and the flour to the potatoes (you can get creative here! if you want a lot of peppers and bacon, add more! If you don't, leave them outttt... it will be good either way).  Mix together. I used my KitchenAid to really get the potatoes mashed up and blended with peppers and bacon.

- Ladle a spoon full of the batter onto each section of a hot waffle iron. Close lid and bake for about 5-6 minutes.




If this isn't convincing enough, here's a $.50 coupon download to help you #GetYourBettyOn and give Betty Crocker™ Casserole Potatoes a try. Also, enter the giveaway below for $15!!!



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Disclosure: The information, products and Betty Crocker™Potato gift cards were provided by Betty Crocker™through Linqia.

Holiday Peppermint Popcorn




For the past few Christmases, we've made at least one batch of Peppermint Popcorn. It's always requested when we go to Christmas parties andddd it's so good we like to have it around to snack on before the New Year healthy eating begins.

I shared this link a few years ago, but figured it was time to share it again! Peppermint Popcorn is the perfect snack to much on while watching your favorite Christmas movie sipping a cup of hot cocoa.

In my opinion, peppermint is the BEST flavor of the season! 


Ingredients
16 oz. white chocolate - we use the melt-able chocolate found in the baking aisle
1 cup finely crushed peppermints (about 40 mints or 10-12 candy canes) - the Vitamix made this step suuuuper easy
3 bags of popped popcorn (about)


Directions:
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Be careful you don't burn it! I usually heat it up in 30 second increments until it's melted.

- Stir 1/2 cup crushed peppermint into the white chocolate.

- Place popcorn into a large bowl (deffffinitely be sure you don't have an kernels in there #lessonlearned) 

- Pour melted chocolate mixture over the popcorn, gently stir.

- Lay popcorn out on parchment or wax paper to let the chocolate harden. Sprinkle with remaining peppermint dust.



This would be a GREAT gift for neighbors or co-workers or even family members! Everyones loves this stuff.


See the original recipe here: http://www.skiptomylou.org/2010/01/07/white-chocolate-and-peppermint-covered-popcorn/

A Guide to Gifting for Your Guys



Let’s be honest for a second--when it comes to buying gifts for the men in our lives, we tend to find ourselves at a loss. Tools are a classic fall back, followed closely by lawn equipment. But this year, you want something unique to them that they’ll actually use, appreciate, and love. If that’s the case (and you’ve already bought your guy all the tools he needs), then let me introduce you to WOODCHUCK USA.

WOODCHUCK USA is a company based on authentic, American traditions, they are driven by their mission to bring nature back to people, quality back to products and jobs back to America. Each one of their products is 100% made in the USA and handcrafted in their Minneapolis-based manufacturing studio. What’s even better? Every product uses FSC certified wood veneer, adding a classic, natural aesthetic to every aspect of your look.

WOODCHUCK offers a variety of products, from phone skins and journals to a collection of men’s fashion accessories; including flasks, tie bars, and business card holders. Their fully customizable line of products allows you to give a gift that no one else will have. After checking out their site, we’ve picked out our top five favorite gifts for the guys:

1.     Flask: With a stainless steel body and real wood finish, these 3 oz flasks are compact and slip easily into your suit or coat pocket.

2.  Cufflinks: These stainless steel cufflinks each feature a real wood facing that is hand-selected to ensure the most unique grain possible. Better yet, your cufflinks come in their own WOODCHUCK box for storage.

3.     Journal: Offered in both a classic size (8.5” x 5.5”) and pocket size (4.5” x 6.5”)  it’s easy to see why these journals are one of WOODCHUCK’s best-selling products. These journals are perfect for jotting down meeting notes or just sporadic ideas and thoughts, the pages of these journals are made from 100% recycled paper.

4.     Business card holder: Exchanging business cards never looked so classy. The stainless steel body and real wood finish allows for a memorable exchange and immediate conversation starter.

5.     iPhone skin: For the tech lover in all of our lives, these phone skins aren’t your average accessory. WOODCHUCK also offers skins for Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 as well as Adventure cases for those who are a little more, well...adventurous (or phone-dropping prone).

WOODCHUCK USA’s products help you give the guys in your life a gift they won’t forget. Each purchase you make from them also allows you to join them in their mission to bring nature back to people, quality back to products and jobs back to America.






This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions are entirely my own.

The Best Homemade Granola




When we visited Helena, Arkansas, we had breakfast at the sweetest little Inn. Out of the many delicious dishes that were served, their granola stood out to us. It wasn't just any granola... it. was. amazing! We got to talking and it turns out they make it themselves using the Barefoot Contessa's recipe with some tweaking.

Well, when we got back to Memphis I just had to try this out and see if I could recreate the amazingness that was this granola. It was an absolute success and there have been several batches made since.

I decided that I can't keep this all to myself so I'm sharing it with all of you!

You guys, this stuff is so so so good. I particularly enjoy it mixed into a bowl of yogurt but I've also been known to just eat it plain. Yeah.




Ingredients
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats - we sometime use minute oats if we can't find the rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut - we actually leave this out!
2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups small diced dried apricots
1 cup small diced dried figs
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  

Directions:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

- Toss the oats, coconut, and almonds together in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil and honey in a small bowl. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 45 minutes.

- Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the apricots, figs, cherries, cranberries, and cashews. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.


See the original recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-granola-recipe.html

Ten Feet Off Beale Holiday Shop - Now Open!!



Better late than never, right? Christmas ornament hoops are now listed in my shop! Last Christmas, I stitched hoop ornaments on a made-to-order basis (meaning as people ordered them, I made them). All that did was stress me out completely. This year, I'm going to stitch then up, then list them.

This means your hoops won't be rushed anddddd they'll be in the mail within a few days... as opposed to waiting for me to stitch them.

I have plans on stitching some more, so keep checking the shop or Instagram for updates :)






Tis the Season


Tis the Season for Christmas cookies - that I totally plan on baking eventually...
Tis the Season for decorations and lights - Downtown Memphis has some verrrrry pretty Christmas trees
Tis the Season for Holiday movies - I have White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life on repeat
Tis the Season for wool socks and hot cocoa - the only thing we're missing is a fireplace
Tis the Season for Christmas parties - lots and lots of parties
Tis the Season for carols - Shuffling She & Him Holiday, Elvis Holiday, and Josh Groban Holiday on Pandora is my go-to
Tis the Season for creating memories and traditions - we're loving our first married Christmas
Tis the Season to spend time with family - realllly looking forward to being in New Jersey for part of the holiday season
Tis the Season for ribbons and bows - I love wrapping a gift and putting it under the tree
Tis the Season for Christmas cards - happy mail is always a good thing
Tis the Season for overeating - I promise I'll go back to the gym in the new year (for reals)
Tis the Season to be busy - at least it's busy doing fun things
Tis the Season to remember what this is all about - our most perfect gift, Jesus


  

12 Days of Memphis Christmas



Christmas is such an exciting time here in Memphis! There are tons and tons of seasonal events and decorations that would get even Ebenezer Scrooge into the holiday spirit. Here are some of my favorite events and things I hiiiighly suggest checking out if you're in Memphis this holiday season:

(1) Graceland
Duh. Graceland is often the first thing non-Memphians associate with this area but the holiday display isn't just for visitors. I highly suggest that everyone go to Graceland during the holidays. Especially you Memphians who have lived here forever and have never gone. They decorate the mansion with the vintage decorations Elvis himself decorated with while he lived here. 

Fun fact, if you visit Graceland regularly there will be blue drapes in the living room. At Christmas, they're swapped out for amazing red drapes, exactly how Elvis did it.

The holiday decorations will be up until January 8th which is Elvis' birthday! 


(2) Ugly Sweater Fun Run

Jeremy and I participated in this event a few years ago and ever since I have been recommending it to everyone. Participants put on their tackiest Christmas sweaters and run (or walk) through Shelby Farms. There are Christmas decorations, music, hot chocolate stations, and the best people watching throughout the course. 

This year, the race is Sunday, December 21st.


(3) Zoo Lights
The Memphis Zoo is a pretty amazing place... especially at Christmas time! This is definitely a holiday event that I always make a point of attending. You mosey around the zoo at night where they have many different Christmas light displays. This is also a great time to see those nocturnal animals that are sleeping during the day time hours! 

Zoo Lights goes until December 30th. 


(4) Nutcracker
I realize the ballet might not be for everyone, but how can you resist the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy around Christmas! Don't miss Nutcracker while it's at the Orpheum performed by Ballet Memphis. 

There are four shows the weekend of December 13th.


(5) Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park
Admire amazing light displays from the warmth of your car at Starry Nights where more than 1.5 million lights decorate the largest drive-through holiday light show in the Memphis area. This year, there are 14 new light displays that celebrate some of the most iconic places in Memphis!


(6) Peabody Hotel
Okay, I might be a little bit biased when it comes to the Peabody after our perfect wedding this Spring, but the Peabody is so much more than a hotel. Their holiday lights and gingerbread village (yes, village, not just house!) are always must-sees during Christmas-time.


(7) Snowy Nights in my Big Backyard
The Memphis Botanic Garden has a giant garden just for kids with activities and all sorts of interactive stations for them to use their imaginations. At Christmas, "My Big Backyard" is converted into a winter wonderland. 
There are themed lights along Playhouse Lane with a musical light show. There's falling snow, giant Snow Globes, crafts, a Giant Light Bright, and so much more! Doesn't that sound magical? 



(8) Brooks Museum Holiday Pajama Party
Be sure to wear your bedtime best to the Brooks Museum Pajama Party! Admission is free and it's fun for all ages. There will be performances, Elf on the Shelf sightings, a giant dreidel, art-making, and more! I even heard Santa will be there.

The party is Sunday, December 14th from 11am - 5:30pm.


(9) Memphis Arts Collective Holiday Market
Support local art by stopping by this holiday pop-up shop! Pick up some Christmas gifts or even a gift for yourself (yes, it's totally allowed!). 

The market is located ta 1501 Union and will be there until December 24th.


(10) Sunday Supper and a Movie at the Majestic Grill
One of my absolute favorite Christmas movies is It's a Wonderful Life. On Sunday, December 21st, the Majestic Grill is having a special screening of this classic along with dinner! Their regular dinner menu will be available as well as a special menu.


(11) Light Up Overton Square
Overton Square is getting decked out in holiday decorations and lights. Don't miss the official lighting on Thursday, December 4th. There will be lots of caroling and music as well as all your favorite Overton Square businesses!


(12) Holiday Parade
Memphis loves their holiday parades! Throughout December, there are several parades in the area and they all are sure to be a fun time. Just be sure to bundle! 

Collierville Christmas Parade - Friday, December 5th 
Millington Christmas Parade - Saturday, December 6th
Bartlett Christmas Parade - Saturday, December 6th
Beale Street Christmas Parade  - Saturday, December 6tb




Wore



I hope you all had a great weekend full of leftovers!! Ever since this particular South Main Mosaic Art Walk mural was installed, I had wanted to take a closer look. This past week, we walked over to check it out. The artist painted this to honor the late Memphis musician Jay Reatard and I love the method that was used. The picture was painted like pixels, so the closer you are, the more distorted the image is, and you can see each individual square. I love the way it looks. I also enjoyed learning something about this honored musician on the plaque hanging next to this painting.

In an effort to keep things real over here, he's a picture that didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped...




Black Friday Giveaway from Our World Boutique

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Happy Turkey Day!!!  I hope everyone is having a beautiful day surrounded by loved ones eating lots and lots of delicious food. I bet I know something that could make this day even better.... winning a gift card to Our World Boutique! Be sure to enter below to have the chance to win a $50, $75, or $100 gift card!

Even though only three lucky people will win a gift card, every order over $30 will receive a FREE Tassel Fringe Pendant Necklace. You also can get a discount to Our World Boutique by using the special code CYBER30 anytime from now until Monday, December 1st at midnight. So really, everybody is a winner :)

To entice you even more to enter, here are some of my favorrrite things at Our World Boutique right now! 

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Anthropologie Hack: DIY Woodblock Calendar



I was browsing the Anthropologie website last week lusting after all the amazing products they have that are wayyyyyy out of my price range. I kept thing, "pshhh, why is this so expensive? I could totally make this." So, I picked a cute item and put my do-it-yourself skills to the test!

I decided to try my hand at making this cute woodblock calendar. I liked the modern geometric pattern, but I wasn't the biggest fan of the colors, so I made it my own.



Here's what you need:
Paint: I chose three colors of Martha Stewart paints in coordinating colors. I used Pea Shoot, Arrowhead, and Beetle Black.
Wood Blocks: They can be found in the wood section of any craft store. I found mine at Michael's. They had a variety of sizes, I chose the 1 inch. I ended up using 17 blocks. I'm sure some of you smarter people can figure out how to make this craft with less. For instance, the Anthropologie website says their calendar consists of 12 blocks.
Brushes
Painter's Tape
** Alphabet Stencils: I had intended to make the lettering with stencils, however, I couldn't find any in a font that I liked so I just free-handed the letters and used sharpies.

Steps:
First, I sketched out the letters and numbers on the blocks. Starting with January, I went through the months to make sure I had every letter accounted for. Don't be afraid to reuse letters and blocks! For instance, the UARY in January is the same UARY in February, I just put the F on the same block as the J. Does that make sense? You can absolutely get creative with this. I didn't want to have any blocks that were entirely letters, I wanted at least one side with a design, so that's what I did!



After all the letters and numbers were complete, I started painting. I added some painters tape to blocks that would have the triangle pattern. I also just painted some sides of the blocks solid colors.

The paint dried pretty quickly, so I was able to complete this project in no time at all.






I especially love how versatile this project is. You don't have to make a calendar! You can pretty much have the blocks say whatever you want... or nothing at all and just keep them geometric.  I'm thinking maybe a "Merry Christmas" set would be cute, or maybe a "Go Tigers Go".