Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Summer Cocktails

 Hi!! I have been wanting to be adventurous in the cocktail department - so I've been on the look-out for some refreshing {and fun} drinks! I have been loving the strawberry and mango flavors and I think they are perfect for the spring and summer - specifically for POOL PARTIES!!! :) These are a few drinks that are at the top of my list!!
 
Strawberry Champagne Mimosas


Indian Summer Cocktail

Cran-Apple Peach Sangria

Peach Margaritas

Margarita Pops


What are your favorite summer cocktails?? I'd love to hear and get some recipes!!

 
Do you want to co-host?!  Shoot us an email and we can discuss it!

1. Follow Ashley and I on Bloglovin'.
2. Post a recipe, picture of your meal, favorite restaurant or anything food related! {Please link directly to your post, not your blog’s homepage}
3. Grab our button below and link back to our blogs.
4. Go meet some new friends and find some new recipes or restaurants to try!


 Help us promote our new link up!  
Use the hash tag #tasteoftuesday on Instagram and Twitter and tag us! (IG: @ambarnhill and @jessicaselie) (Twitter @ambarnhill114 and @jessicaselie).  Oh! And if you tag us, we’ll re-tweet you! :)

Have a great day!
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Meet Allison, A Texas Mrs!!

Hey beautiful Blissfully Miller readers! I am Allison, the wife behind Texas Mrs.
I usually write about DIY projects that I do, my precious little furbabies, and pretty much everything else that comes to my mind. So if I sound like your cup of tea, come over to my blog and say hiiiii!

Jessica is having a grand ole time working in Vegas right now. I am totally jealous and wish I could go to Vegas for work. I mean seriously!? But because she's busy makin' that money, she asked me to fill in for her. And I sure am happy to be here! So why don't ya grab a seat and enjoy some reading. :)

I figured that we could get really deep today. You know... like answer the tough questions. I stole the idea from Erin at Living in Yellow.

Let's jump right in! (Did anyone else just think of Zac Brown Band when I said that? It's a pretty catchy song, if you ask me. Oh and lucky ole Jessica got to see them while she was in Vegas!)

1. If you could do one thing differently in your life, what would it be? I'd like to think that I'm at this place in my life by God's plan. I am not sure I would change anything, to be honest, because what if that altered everything I currently know about life? I really and truly believe that God knows what's best for me. I wouldn't want to be in charge of changing my entire life plan, because I would have no peace of mind over it.
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Five years from now I'll be a wife and a mom. I am not sure of much else, but I know I see myself being happy. Whatever that means.

3. How many kids do you want? I changed this question from Erin's version because of course we want kids. It's just a matter of how many. Hubby and I haven't had a huge discussion about the number of mini's that we want running around since we're not parents yet. I'm sure once we have one kiddo, it'll help make the decision for us. I would say either 2 kids or 4 kids. Not three, preferably. I tend to think that the middle child syndrome does exist. So sue me? Of course if God gave us 3 kids and not 4, we would embrace it!

4. What has been the best moment of your life so far? That's an extremely tough question. Top of the charts would have to be our wedding, however I believe the little moments are the best moments. Like the time that my little family and I were all laying on the couch cuddling. And the time that Hubby and I danced in our living room. And the time that Hubby told me how much he loved me. And all the times that revolve around my sweet little family of four. Yea, those are the best moments.

5. What is your life theme song? The very first song that I thought of was Gary Allan's song "Every Storm." It's a good reminder that no matter what trial you (or anyone) is going through in life, it's only temporary. Even if the situation never "resolves", it will eventually die down to where you don't feel it as strongly. I like that message!

6. What is one thing you have yet to accomplish that you want to do before you die? I have my 30 Before 30 list that is a nice little guide of some of my goals. If you read the disclaimer on it, you'll notice I only really have two goals: become a wife and a mom. Considering I'm married to my best friend, the mommy role would be the only other thing I care about. So to be called "mom" before I die would be a huge accomplishment.

7. If you could choose one thing to be known for, what would it be? Super easy. Most importantly, I want to be known as a wife. I was born to play that role. From sun up to sun down, my husband is the person I strive to make happy.
8. If you could do anything you wanted right this very moment (no consequences, no fear, etc) what would it be? I would pack mine and Hubby's bags and we'd book a flight to somewhere tropical and take a really long vacation! Gahhh, wouldn't that be amaze? I'd prefer to relive our Bahamian Honeymoon if at all possible!
9. What has been the most challenging moment in your life? For sure, the most challenging moment of my life was when I realized and acknowledged (out loud) that God is in control. It sure would be nice to have things go my way in life, but that's just not how it works. God has the final say. And yea, that scares the crap outta me... but at least I can rest easy knowing that he has a plan.

10. Summarize yourself in one word. Passionate. Without a doubt, I am the all-or-nothing type of lady. Sometimes to a fault. But regardless of what I do, it's with passion. Examples: 1) I love my husband like crazy. 2) When I shop, I shop hard. Hehe. 3) I clean the house to excess once I start with one little area. And 4) If you negatively interfere with my life, I will cut you out so fast you won't know what happened. Sooo if that tells you anything, I am surely a passionate woman.
That's all I've got for y'all. Hopefully I didn't bore you to tears. Come say hi whenever you want to. And thank you to Mrs. Jessica for letting me overtake Blissfully Miller for the day!
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Grill Marinated Chicken with Tomato Fruit Salsa

I have a very special guest today - Meredith, a writer on behalf of ConAgra Food Brands! She is from Chicago and loves to cook and bake. Meredith is also a huge fan of quick and easy meals, especially weeknight meals. She prides herself on budget-friendly products that are easy to incorporate into quick and easy meals and snacks! You won't want to miss this! So, without further adieu, here's Meredith!!

_____________________________________________________________________________
Warm spring weather means a couple of things. First of all, spring signals that it's finally time to put on those sandals and floral dresses, and secondly, it means that grilling season is officially back in full swing! Even if you live in a warmer part of the country, grilling is a cooking method that becomes infinitely more popular in the warmer months; firing up the grill on a pretty warm evening just screams "spring is here!"  

Grilling is one of the healthiest cooking methods out there, too. Most things that go onto the grill are marinated or lightly coated in olive oil, meaning you'll probably use a lot less butter, vegetable oil and other less-healthy ingredients than you might sauteing or pan-frying something. It's also so versatile; you can make everything from hot dogs and burgers to grilled tomato recipes and fruit desserts on the grill.


This Grilled marinated chicken with tomato fruit salsa is one of those recipes you'll want to make over and over again - it's not only incredibly yummy and full of spring flavors, but it's also seriously easy to make. Marinate the chicken in your homemade "barbecue" sauces overnight for maximum flavor (and minimal work when dinnertime rolls around!) and simply mix up your fruity salsa while your chicken grills to perfection. Spring dinners simply don't get any easier than this one!


Serve your chicken with whatever side dish you happen to have on hand; any green vegetable would work great. Toss some asparagus or zucchini strips on the grill with your chicken for a fully grilled and balanced meal. Enjoy!


Grilled Marinated Chicken with Tomato-Fruit Salsa
Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2 ½ hours
Serves: 6
- 1/4 cup Hunt's Tomato Ketchup
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
 - 2 tablespoons La Choy Lite soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
- PAM grilling spray
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can Hunt's Petite Diced Tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple, mango or papaya (or a combination)
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

 STEP 1:
Combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, honey, soy sauce and garlic in large resealable plastic bag; blend well. Pound chicken with meat mallet to even out thickness for more even cooking. Add chicken to bag; seal. Turn to coat evenly with ketchup marinade. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

STEP 2:
Spray cold grill and utensils with grilling spray. Preheat grill to medium heat. Combine drained tomatoes, pineapple, onion and cilantro in small bowl; set aside. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade.

STEP 3:
Grill chicken about 10 minutes or until no longer pink in centers (165°F), turning once. Serve chicken with salsa.
Tip: Rain or chilly temperatures ruining your grilling pans? You can easily cook this chicken in a large nonstick skillet instead; just spray the skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add chicken and cook about 8 min on each side or until no longer pink in the centers (a meat thermometer should read 165°F).

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of Hunt’s®. For more easy dinner recipes as well as tomato sauce recipes perfect for marinades, visit www.hunts.com.


HUGE thanks to Meredith for sharing one of her easy-to-make recipes! If you have any questions or need some easy weeknight tips, please leave them in the comments section of this post!



Want to Join Us?! YAY! Just follow these simple steps: 
1. Follow Ashley and I on Bloglovin'.
2. Post a recipe, picture of your meal, favorite restaurant or anything food related! {Please link directly to your post, not your blog’s homepage}
3. Grab our button below and link back to our blogs.
4. Go meet some new friends and find some new recipes or restaurants to try!


 Help us promote our new link up!  
Use the hash tag #tasteoftuesday on Instagram and Twitter and tag us! (IG: @ambarnhill and @jessicaselie) (Twitter @ambarnhill114 and @jessicaselie).  Oh! And if you tag us, we’ll re-tweet you! :)

Have a great day!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crock-Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

This past weekend was super busy and I couldn't think of anything I wanted to cook.. mainly because I didn't want to spend the time in the kitchen! Then a light bulb went off in my head and it screamed CROCK-POT!! I've been wanting to try this recipe since I saw it on Pinterest months ago and I had everything the recipe called for, so it was go-time! This meal cooked itself while Tyler and I lounged by the pool. Not too shabby, huh?! Talk about a super easy and oh-so-delicious meal!!

Ingredients:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup of diced onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 4 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 1/3 cup of water
- Salt and pepper
- Toasted sesame seeds
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 2 packets of Minute Rice (Optional)
Step 1: Gather all ingredients.
Step 2: Salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides.
Step 3: Place chicken in Crock-Pot and turn crock pot on the Low heat setting.
Step 4: In a medium bowl, combine onion, garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oil and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
Step 5: Pour over chicken and cook on low for 3-4 hours (or high for 2 hours).

Step 6: Remove the chicken from crock-pot and place on a cutting board. Shred the chicken. The sauce should remain in the crock-pot. 
Step 7: In a small bowl, mix corn starch in 1/3 cup of water and dissolve completely. Add this mixture to the crock-pot and stir. Cover and cook sauce on high for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Once sauce is thick, add the shredded chicken back to the sauce to reheat.
Step 8: Chop the scallions for garnish.
Step 9: Top the dish off with scallions and sesame seeds and serve with rice and/or broccoli. ENJOY!!

Want to Join Us?! YAY! Just follow these simple steps: 
 
We are so excited to have Heather from Notes at the Nelsons join us this week as a co-host!  She was so sweet to offer and help us spread the word! Be sure and say HI to her!
Do you want to co-host?!  Shoot us an email and we can discuss it!

1. Follow Ashley and I on Bloglovin'.
2. Post a recipe, picture of your meal, favorite restaurant or anything food related! {Please link directly to your post, not your blog’s homepage}
3. Grab our button below and link back to our blogs.
4. Go meet some new friends and find some new recipes or restaurants to try!


 Help us promote our new link up!  
Use the hash tag #tasteoftuesday on Instagram and Twitter and tag us! (IG: @ambarnhill and @jessicaselie) (Twitter @ambarnhill114 and @jessicaselie).  Oh! And if you tag us, we’ll re-tweet you! :)

Have a great day!

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up: Spring has Sprung!

Happy Monday! It feels like forever since I've blogged, but I am back and it feels so good! Last week was craziness.. Lots going on and I was in Chicago for most of it to get ready for a tradeshow. This weekend was full of quality time with the hubby and getting things done around the house.



1. Date night with lots of sushi and wine!
2. Saturday Tyler went to the gun show with my dad, so I caught up on Brothers and Sisters. Such a good series!!!
3. Saturday night we tried out a new restaurant, TruFire, and it was so good! The weather was SO nice, we ate on the patio.. here's what Tyler got.
4. Sunday we planted some flowers in the backyard, which makes it feel more home-y.
5. Sunday consisted of yard work with a side of more yard work... this was my reward/bribe to finish the last bit!
6. We heated the pool this weekend, so we could enjoy it a couple of weeks sooner than normal. After all of the yard work, beers and pool time was much needed and well deserved!



What did y'all do this weekend? Have a great day! :)


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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Taste of Tuesday: Orange Dream!

This is one of my favorite snacks of all time! My mom used to make this for me when I was little and I've been craving it like crazy! I seriously thought that the recipe consisted of cottage cheese and mandarin oranges only.. I quickly learned that this wasn't the case - gross me out!! I got the actual recipe from my mom last week and it's just how I remember it - amazing!! I must admit, my pictures aren't that great this week, but I guarantee you will want to try this dish!! Perfect for those on-the-go!

Ingredients:
-  4 large cans of Mandarin Oranges
- 1 large box of orange jello, 6 ounces (or 2 small boxes, 3 ounces each)
- 1, 24 ounce, small curd cottage cheese
- 1, 12 ounce, Cool Whip

Step 1: Gather all ingredients

Step 2: Drain mandarin oranges completely. Then get paper towels and squeeze the juice out of the oranges (as much as possible). Thaw cool whip.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, pour the cottage cheese in first. Then layer the orange jello powder on top (do not make jello according to package). Mix well to dissolve the jello granules in the cottage cheese.
Step 4: Mix in mandarin oranges and stir well. Warning - this will look VERY orange.
Step 5: Fold in Cool Whip and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight). ENJOY!
 
I love having this for breakfast or as a little snack! It's so light and refreshing - perfect for spring and summer! I hope you love this as much as I do.
 
Want to Join Us?! YAY! Just follow these simple steps: 
1. Follow Ashley and I on Bloglovin'.
2. Post a recipe, picture of your meal, favorite restaurant or anything food related! {Please link directly to your post, not your blog’s homepage}
3. Grab our button below and link back to our blogs.
4. Go meet some new friends and find some new recipes or restaurants to try!


 Help us promote our new link up!  
Use the hash tag #tasteoftuesday on Instagram and Twitter and tag us! (IG: @ambarnhill and @jessicaselie) (Twitter @ambarnhill114 and @jessicaselie).  Oh! And if you tag us, we’ll re-tweet you! :)

Have a great day!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Pure Barre Progress: 20th Class!


Wednesday marked my 20th Pure Barre class (in a 4-week time frame) and I can't tell you how in love I am with this workout! I literally want to go to class every.single.day. And when I can't make it to class I'm bummed. I can tell that my body is changing! My clothes are fitting better and I'm getting toned, as in major muscle definition. I can really tell a difference in my arms and the outer sides of my legs. I love feeling the burn and being sore the next day.

A few of you have been asking about Pure Barre so I thought I would share my results so far. I am so, so happy with the results! One of the biggest things to remember when taking Pure Bare is not to look at the scale - your weight will go up since you are gaining muscle (muscle weights more than fat). The best thing to do is measure yourself! Tyler had this measurement chart from his Isagenix Cleanse, so I copied it for Pure Barre.

 Measurements in Inches
Day 1                                                                    Day 20
Weight: 132.5                                                       Weight: 134.9
Neck: 12.25                                                          Neck: 12.25
Upper Arm (Left): 11.5                                          Upper Arm (Left): 11
Upper Arm (Right): 11.25                                     Upper Arm (Right): 11
Chest: 33                                                              Chest: 33.5
Diaphragm: 28.25                                                 Diaphragm: 27.5
Waist: 34                                                               Waist: 33.5
Abdomen: 27.25                                                   Abdomen: 26.75
Buttocks: 39.75                                                     Buttocks: 39.5
Upper Thigh (Left): 23                                          Upper Thigh (Left): 23.5
Upper Thigh (Right): 23.5                                     Upper Thigh (Right):  24
Calf (Left): 13.25                                                   Calf (Left): 13.5
Calf (Right): 14.25                                                 Calf (Right): 14.5
Upper Knee (Left): 15                                            Upper Knee (Left): 15
Upper Knee (Right): 15.25                                     Upper Knee (Right): 15
Total Inches: 301.5                                                 Total Inches: 300.5
 
In 20 classes (4-weeks) I've lost 1 inch overall! This might not sound like a lot, but it is to me.. I feel SO much better, I have more energy and my clothes are getting looser! I'm definitely going to continue Pure Barre classes - no doubt in my mind! In addition to Pure Barre, I'm going to add in running or elliptical at least 2-3 times a week. My diet... well I'm going to improve on that too! Less fast food, less fried foods and less desserts. That's a good start.

I'll be back in a few weeks to share more results! Well... what are you waiting for?! Click here to find a Pure Barre location near you!! You won't regret it, pinky promise!

It wouldn't be a proper Friday without Whitney's #BackThatAzzUpFriday link-up! Here's some Flo Rida to get this weekend started!

                                                      Whistle by FloRida on Grooveshark 

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!!

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

DIY Spring Wreath: Saw It, Pinned It, Did It!

Spring is in the air, at least in Dallas! I've been wanting to make this wreath ever since I saw this version on Pinterest! This project took an entire morning, but was SO fun for Tyler and I to work on together. We just had golf on in the background and I would randomly bust out some Lady A - Downtown - since it's been stuck in my head for days!

Supplies Needed:
- Styrofoam Wreath
- Natural Jute or Colorful Twine
- Fabric (at least 4 options) of your choice
- Scissors
- Cotton Balls
- Hot Glue Gun and Sticks
- Thread and sewing needle
- Tacks or Straight Pins
- Bird and Flower templates

Step 1: Gather all  materials.
Step 2: With your hot glue gun, adhere the jute at a starting point on the wreath. Keep going around the wreath placing a dot of glue sporadically throughout the wreath (every 20th wrap or whatever is needed).
The completed wrap!
Step 3: Cut your birds out using this template from Ashley at Cherished Bliss (just scroll down her post a bit and you'll find the birdie template). Make sure that you reverse the bird for the other side, so the correct side of the fabric shows.
Step 4: Attach the wing to the front portion of the bird. Didn't Tyler do a great job?! We don't have a sewing machine, so we did this by hand.
Step 5: Sew the two sides of the bird together, leaving a gap at the tail. Tear a cotton ball(s) and insert through the gap (We used a pencil). Once the bird is stuffed to your liking, finish sewing until complete.
Repeat steps 3-5 for the smaller birds.
Step 6: Trace flowers onto your fabric of choice. I Googled 'Flower Template', decided on a pattern, then traced it on a sheet of paper and cut it out for tracing to the fabric.
Step 7: Using straight pins (or thumb tacks), attach the birds and the flowers to the wreath.
Step 8: Using ribbon or colorful twine, hang the wreath and ENJOY!

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the end result! I would suggest not using the Natural Jute, if you've got a dark stained wooden door... you can tell with mine that there's not much color differentiation. I would also place the Styrofoam wreath on your door and walk out to the street (or across the street) to see if it will be "big" enough - this way you can exchange it if it doesn't work.. I didn't do this and the wreath looks teeny-tiny from the road.

Budget Breakdown:
Styrofoam Wreath: $2.99 (with Hobby Lobby Coupon)
Natural Jute: $3.99
Pattern Fabric 1: $4.99 (1/2 Yard)
Pattern Fabric 2: $4.99 (1/2 Yard)
Solid Fabric 1: $3.99 (1/2 Yard)
Solid Fabric 2: $3.99 (1/2 Yard)
Thread: $2.99
Glue Gun/Glue Sticks: Already Owned
TOTAL: $28.32

Saw it. Pinned it. Did it.
Linking up with Beautiful Mess and Keep Calm & Carry on.

Happy Thursday!

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