Tag Archives: holiday

Scenes from V-Day & Crock Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe

Hi friends! The Workout Log was updated today, so head over there if you’re interested to see how I’m trying to stay active these days.

I’m sharing one of my staple recipes towards the end of this post: crock pot shredded chicken. But first, let’s rewind a bit to the weekend.

It’s no secret that Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I am all about that chocolate, pink, and quality time with my love. This past weekend did not disappoint. Instead of captioning each individual photo, I’m just going to provide you with a vertical slideshow. Sound good?

Me and Bob

Me Courtney

G Love

homemade pizza

Barefoot Contessa casear salad

B Cuo

Sous Chef

Tired Baxie

I hope your Valentine’s Day was spent with the one(s) you love, or curled up with yourself and a good book/movie/glass of wine/full DVR.

Crockpot shredded chicken final

Each Sunday, as part of my regular meal prep, I throw three chicken breasts, some chicken broth and a couple spices into the crockpot and forget about it for six hours. What comes out is extremely tender chicken swimming in fragrant broth, ready to be shredded into pieces.

Ingredients medium size

We keep the shredded chicken in a large tupperware container and dig into it during the week as an addition to salad, in Mexican fajitas or baked into a pasta casserole. As I think about it, it’s the most versatile thing in our fridge!

Pot close up








  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  • Line crockpot with tin foil or liner to minimize clean up.
  • Place all ingredients in your crockpot. There is no need to mix everything together; the crockpot does all the work.
  • Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours.
  • Shred chicken with a fork and add to tupperware container with 4 spoonfuls of remaining chicken broth mixture.

**Keeps for five days in the fridge!

Crockpot shredded chicken final





Filed under Holidays, Recipe

Valentine’s Day Treats (& my Most Embarrassing Baking Attempt of All Time)

Valentines Day Treats

Single or taken, I have always loved Valentine’s Day. What can I say? I am a girly-girl who loves pink, glitter and a candlelight dinner (and I love to rhyme?).

Valentine’s Day really crept up on me this year. I can remember every detail of last year’s holiday of love, mostly because it was my first Valentine’s spent with Bobby. Instead of a fancy night out, we decided on homemade pizzas and wine. We bought dough from Whole Foods, googled a sauce recipe and topped the pies with our favorite combo: pepperoni + sausage + all kinds of cheese.

I remember listening to the Al Green station on Pandora whilst whipping up a heart-shaped buttercream-frosted cake for my love. Inspired by Pinterest, I was so excited to try this fancy schmancy dessert and impress Bobby with my baking skills. However, my creation quickly took a turn for the worse when it fell apart in the pan and the icing morphed into a watery mess. I tried to salvage what I could, but ended up with my most embarrassing baking attempt of all time.

Heart shaped cake collage

We still laugh so hard about the heart-shaped cake from hell. In all fairness though, it tasted divine!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share some homemade treats that have been inspiring me lately. I always turn to Pinterest or my recipe binder when I want to create something special. After last year’s disaster, I probably shouldn’t bake another cake. However, I also feel the need to redeem myself and I have a vintage cake stand that is collecting dust. We shall see!

  • XOXO Cake

XO cake


  • Heart Box (literally the best idea ever, in my opinion)


Valentines Chex Mix

Strawberry Vodka Sparklers

Valentines Dipped pretzels

Conversation cookies

Bronwnie kabobs

Questions for you:

  • Any good Pinterest disaster stories? 
  • Do you and your significant other have a V-Day tradition?
  • For you single ladies, “Gal”-entine’s plans?



Valentines Day Treats


Filed under Baking, Holidays

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,

All the stockings (weren’t yet) hung, by the chimney with care

In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.


Merry Christmas eve, my friends!

I hope you’ve been enjoying these last few days before the holidays. For me, it’s been a mix of downtime on the couch, as well as running around like a crazy woman. Yesterday was the latter, but I’ve spent the majority of today in my jammies, napping and watching movies. Pretty glorious, eh? The agenda for the rest of the day includes gift wrapping, stocking stuffing and prepping brunch for tomorrow.


I took a 75-minute yoga class yesterday at my mom’s gym while she and Bobby walked/ran the track. Even though I was the youngest in the class by far (the gym is geared towards older adults), I really needed the mindfulness and stretch aspects of the class. It was my first real workout in about ten days and I probably won’t exercise again until Friday. Sometimes you just need a break.

We ate lunch at the gym and I ordered a mediocre spinach salad with fat free honey mustard dressing. I ate about half of it + some of Bobby’s chips.


We spent the rest of the afternoon running errands and braving the Christmas crowds and traffic. It’s such a treat to drive around in what Louisville considers to be traffic. You Kentuckians don’t know how well you have it! 😉

best buy

Best Buy crowds

I was bitten by the baking bug yesterday, so we stopped by Kroger to pick up the ingredients to make ranger cookies. They have always been a favorite in our house, but I’ve never actually tried to make them. The recipe did not disappoint and my dad even ate them for breakfast today! I can’t seem to find the recipe that I followed, but this one looks very similar.



I’m really looking forward to Christmas tomorrow. The part of the day I’m always most excited for is watching my favorite people open their gifts.

I hope you have a wonderful evening with your family and friends!




Filed under Family, Holidays, Yoga

Holiday Cookie Baking 2014

Holiday cookies pinterest

Over a period of two days last week, I baked six different cookie recipes, totaling over 275 cookies! It’s no secret that I love to bake, but my self control around sugar is not exactly strong. Of all sweet things, cookies are my biggest weakness. Because of this, I rarely bake large quantities for just Bobby and me. It’s a good day if sweets last 12 hours in our house!

However, I take every opportunity to bake for loved ones. I’m the first to sign up under “desserts” for an office potluck, often brings baked goods as a housewarming gift, and contribute every year to the local animal shelter’s bake sale.

You could say baking is one of my all time favorite hobbies.


This year, I knew I wanted to gift cookies to some of the special people in our lives and frankly, the ones who make our lives easier. The lucky recipients included our building staff (12 people), the dry cleaner in our building, our cleaning lady, our cat sitter, and my fur nephew who lives across the country (threw him in for good measure ;)).

I perused my recipe binder, cookbooks and Pinterest to figure out what I wanted to make.


Ultimately I decided on:


Note: I was a bit over zealous in my original list, and ended up nixing four of the recipes. I would have had WAY too many cookies! 

pecan sandies

Grandma’s pecan sandies

choc chip 2

choc chip 1

Extra crunchy chocolate chip cookies

pecan 1

Brown sugar pecan cookies (pre-icing)

pecan iced

sugar on pan

Cracked sugar cookies


pumpkin pan

White chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles


I’m much more partial to crunchy cookies and my favorite of this year’s selection was the chocolate chip cookie recipe. I pretty much made it up and will post once I’ve perfected it. I can’t wait to do even more baking while I’m home for the holidays. #addicted

all three

Question for you:

  • What’s your favorite kind of cookie? I love M&M cookies more than anything, while snickerdoodles or ranger cookies are a close second.



Filed under Baking, Holidays

Weekend Recap

One reason I love being home for extended periods of time is how relaxed I feel. We never have an agenda and just take each day as it comes. Today, I woke up at 10 a.m. and am sitting here in my jammies, sipping on coffee and typing this blog post.



We arrived in Louisville around 4 p.m. on Saturday, just in time to get ready for my friend Leah’s wedding. Leah and I have been gal pals since high school and also lived together for a year in college. She is drop dead gorgeous, hilarious and smart as a whip. I’m so happy for her and her new husband Corey!


College friend Susan, me, high school friends Brooke and Leah

Bobby and I both had such a blast. It felt like a high school reunion and I enjoyed ever minute of it. We chatted with everyone and danced until the wee hours. I was definitely struggling on Sunday morning!


High school friends!


Me & Susan (also a bridesmaid)

Congrats to the Starks! ❤


I realized I took zero pictures yesterday, so you’ll have to use your imagination. Bobby and I headed to Panera for lunch (I ordered the you-pick-two french onion soup + caesar salad) and ran some errands in the afternoon.

My mom hosted a little dinner party at our house last night. My parents have a lot of jewish friends in Louisville, so it has become a tradition over the years to host them around Christmastime. Our guests last night have known me since I was just a twinkle in my parents’ eyes (hi Barbara!), so I always enjoy catching up with them and of course, introducing Bobby this year.

It was a night filled with friends, family and good food. Just how I like it!


Questions for you:

  • What was your favorite part of the weekend?
  • Do you stay in touch more with your high school or college friends?




Filed under Fun, Weekend

Decorating for the Holidays

Last weekend, I realized we were already a quarter through December and I had yet to decorate our apartment. The horror! We made a mutual decision not to buy a tree this year, mostly because of what happened last year.

in tree

As soon as we put the tree up, he scaled the trunk and made it all the way to the top! It was both hilarious and traumatic.

Decorating Small Space for Holidays Final

Since we weren’t getting a tree, I knew I wanted to decorate the apartment more than usual. I had a few things from my chilhood, mostly ornaments, that my mom had sent me over the years, but not much else. I like decorations that can be used through the winter and aren’t entirely Christmas-themed, and I am also on a budget. We headed to a local floral shop and Marshall’s with a plan in mind.

floral shop

The shop does have flowers, but the first half of the store is always filled with seasonal decor. I pretty much wanted everything! It was right up my alley with the natural textures, neutral colors and glitter 🙂


I ended up buying a bag of pinecones, two sparkly balls, a small wooden sleigh and a hedgehog (?!).


I placed the pinecones in a glass vase that originally housed mini gourds throughout the fall. The arrangement currently sits on a side table, but I’m still not really sure if it works there. Any suggestions appreciated (talking to you, mom).


I used the sleigh, hedgehog and sparkly balls as a centerpiece on the kitchen table. I’d like to also gather some type of table runner – I’ve heard Target has them and I’ll likely swing by after Christmas when all holiday decor is basically free. 


Our next stop was Marshall’s. I found a sparkly star made of branches that worked perfectly with my natural theme, and hung it on the balcony door.

star on door2

star close2

Bobby picked out two houses (where the hedgehog probably lived) that are actually ornaments, but worked just fine on our TV console.

up close

They’re right next to a small faux pine tree, also from Marshall’s, and a balsam candle.


I also snatched these dish towels from Marshall’s, and am calling them holiday decor.

dish towels

Decorations wouldn’t be complete without relics from my childhood. My mom had these stocking holders in her decorations stockpile, and sent them to us last year. We don’t have a mantle, so our stockings are hung on the TV console this year (gotta love city living).



She also sent us the Christmas mugs we used for Santa’s hot chocolate back in the day. These remind me so much of being a little girl and the excitement of Christmas morning! Love them.


Lastly, and perhaps my most favorite decoration of all, the advent calendar I used as a kid.

advent far

advent far advent close

My mom used to fill each day with a piece of candy so that we could enjoy a sugar rush before heading off for school. I slacked this year and you won’t find candy in there, but it’s probably for the better. 🙂

Questions for you:

  • Do you decorate with new items, childhood relics, or a combination?
  • What’s your favorite decoration?
  • Does your pet terrorize your Christmas tree?




Filed under Holidays, Home Decor

Thanksgiving Weekend in Photos

Hi guys! How are you? Let me first apologize for my three-day hiatus. I full well intended to stick to my regular blogging schedule while traveling over Thanksgiving, but things didn’t quite go according to plan. We arrived at my aunt and uncle’s farm outside of St. Louis on Wednesday afternoon. I soon discovered that they didn’t have wifi, and we were going to be out there for two days! After a ten-second freak out, I just decided to run with it. The lack of computer time ended up being a blessing in disguise. I was able to spend some seriously quality time with my family, the great outdoors and all the precious farm animals. <–more on that in a bit 😉

I have to say that I genuinely missed blogging! In just over a month, it’s become a creative outlet for me when I’m stuck reading about serious mental illness (which I also love, but can be a bit dark). With all of that said, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos from the weekend in lieu of the usual “Sunday Snaps.” Here we go!

Packed up some healthy snacks on Wednesday morning to enjoy in the car,

roadtrip snacks

but no road trip is complete without a car selfie.

roadtrip selfie

Upon arriving at the farm, I enjoyed some vino with my favorite ladies (apologies for the picture quality on this one!).


On Thanksgiving morning, my mama and I headed out for a brisk walk around the “neighborhood,”

on walk

which looked (and felt) a little more like Christmas than Thanksgiving, but so beautiful nonetheless.


mom on walk hands on hips

We spent some time in the chicken coop (fun fact: I really want my own chicken coop and have for years!),


and even gathered some fresh eggs,


before canoodling with the horses (and pretending I’m not scared of them!),

lizzie horse

cuddling the kittens,

bobby and cat

and trying to get a good photo of my sister-in-law Gillian with all three doggies. They wanted so much love!


Later in the afternoon, we headed over to the barn to begin Thanksgiving prep,


My cousin and aunt had prepared most of the sides in advance, but I was in charge of prepping the pumpkin pie. Somehow, I didn’t take one food photo(!?), but the table sure was pretty,


and the ladies donned their most festive attire,

girls aprons


The tryptophan really kicked in for all of us and everyone was in bed before 9 p.m.! The next morning, we bid farewell to the farm, and headed back to my aunt and uncle’s house in St. Louis. We spent the rest of the day chilling out and enjoying leftover treats. The last meal of the weekend commenced at my aunt and uncle’s country club, a beautiful spot perfect for photos.

bobby lizzie

laura gill lizzie2

My cousin Laura and sister-in-law Gillian


My cousins Laura and Van, and my brother Garrett

We all agreed that this was one of the best Thanksgivings we’ve ever had, and I hope it becomes a new tradition.After three days of indulgent food and minimal exercise, I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine tomorrow. I’ll see you in the morning with my favorite Cyber Monday deals!




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Filed under Family, Holidays

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

Since all I’ve been thinking about lately is holiday decor…holiday food…holiday movies….holiday music, I wanted to share some of my favorite “Pinspiration” ideas for last minute Thanksgiving decorations. I must confess – I didn’t decorate too much for Turkey Day this year (I just sit and drool while scrolling through my Pinterest “Holidays/Partays” board). Since we’re not hosting, and instead headed to St. Louis on Wednesday, I just couldn’t get into it. Plus, did the holiday sneak up on anyone else? However, I fully plan to put up some Christmas decor!

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.20.57 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.23.15 AM

Sensing a leaf theme?

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.24.54 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.26.23 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.28.05 AM

  • “I’m Thankful” place setting

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.29.48 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.32.11 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.34.36 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.36.31 AM


Questions for you:

  • Do you decorate for Thanksgiving?
  • Have you ever hosted your family for Turkey Day?
  • What’s your favorite holiday? <– for my non-U.S. folks!



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Filed under Holidays, Home Decor