Monthly Challenge 2.4: Crate Nightstands

Hey friends! Are you ready for my final DIY challenge? Because I’m super excited about it. A few weeks ago I was visiting my cousin and her husband in their cozy Santa Barbara apartment and was super impressed that she had made a coffee table out of crates from Michaels! While I loved the coffee table and wanted to recreate it, I realized we didn’t really have anywhere to put it in our apartment. BUT we did really need some nightstands! We have been using stacked boxes for the last 6 months and, while functional, they aren’t the best furniture #newlywedlife. So I brainstormed and came up with a way to use the same crates to make some thrifty nightstands!

The crates were fairly cheap at $10, but I had to be a bit of a diva in the store and stack and re-stack them on top of each other to get the best alignment possible. I may have pulled out 90% of the crates from 3 shelves while Matt stood a few feet away pretending he didn’t know me. Needless to say, they aren’t the most precisely measured crates, but they worked for my purposes!

Next we took a trip to Home Depot and it took me back to the days when my dad bribed my sister and I to go on Home Depot trips with the smooth floors we could use our Heely’s to skate on. Remember those? Best shoes ever.

After an hour of wandering around looking at various ways to hold the crates together and stains, I finally decided on wood glue and a dark glossy stain in a spray can. We also got sandpaper to remove the splinters in the crates.


After sanding down the crates, we brought them inside and glued them together, then weighted them down with all of Matt’s super heavy science books. The perfectionist in me got a little frustrated that the crates still wouldn’t line up perfectly, but what can you do.

Action shot – at this point Matt asked if the paint fumes were getting to me…. haha.


Before and after!


Monthly Challenge 2.4 Instagram

I was so excited to finish this project and FINALLY have nightstands that look great for cheap! I think we spent about $25 per nightstand, which was definitely worth the upgrade from the boxes! The DIY challenge will definitely be one of my favorites and a hobby that I am going to try hard to continue. Drumroll for next month’s challenge….

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I can tell you right now this month will definitely be a challenging one for me, but I’m holding on hope that it will make me a more well-rounded person. See you next Tuesday!

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Monthly Challenge 2.3: DIY Honey Lemon Scrub and Mask

Hey friends! Today I have not one but TWO DIY challenges to share with you! They both have honey and lemon in them and were really fun to try.

First was a homemade face mask. I looked around online for a few suggestions and read up a bit on which food item does what on your face. According to some dermatologists interviewed by Buzzfeed, egg whites tighten your face, honey soothes and softens it, and lemon juice is antibacterial. I surprisingly had all those in my kitchen even though I haven’t gone grocery shopping for two weeks…oops.

First I mixed an egg white and 1/2 tablespoon each of lemon juice and honey. However my honey was a little bit gritty so I thought to myself, “I know how to fix that – in the microwave for a few seconds!” But while the honey grains disintegrated, the egg whites cooked and I got a nice fluffy egg topping for my face mask. No thank you I do not want my face smelling like cooked egg. Good thing I had one last egg for a do-over.

First mixture: cooked egg                Second mixture: much better

Good thing I had a handy makeup brush to put it on my face! The consistency of it was pretty watery, so it was a little hard to make it not drip off everywhere. Once it dried, I decided to add another coat. Unfortunately it wasn’t the satisfying peel-off kind of mask, but it did make my skin feel better! DIY masks are always fun to do, no matter how crazy they are.

My second challenge was a Honey Lemon Sugar Scrub, which was also a lot of fun! I just used honey, lemon juice, white sugar, and olive oil for it. I started off with about a cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of honey (pre-warmed) and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. But it didn’t produce very much, so I just added things in until I was satisfied with the amount and consistency.



Once I had enough, I put it into a little sauce jar I happened to have handy and made it all cute-looking. So far I’ve used it on my hands and legs and it feels great! It smells good, it’s exfoliating, and it leaves your skin very silky. This would be a great gift to make for someone as well!

Monthly Challenge 2.3

I have to say, DIY month is probably going to be one of my favorites. And heads up, I have something great planned for the finale next week – you won’t want to miss it! If you follow me on instagram @shortandsweet_blog or twitter @shortandsweet you may get a little sneak preview:) That’s all for now, see you next week!

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Monthly Challenge 2.2: Paper Bead Jewelry

Monthly Challenge 2.2: Paper Bead Jewelry

Hey friends! This whole last week was spent on this DIY challenge, but it was worth the effort! For a while, I have been really fascinated by beautiful paper bead jewelry from 31 Bits, a non-profit organization that helps women in Uganda make a living. Definitely take a second to check them out! Unfortunately they are a little on the spendy side, so I made it my mission to figure out how to make them myself.

After researching a few methods online, I decided to try making it with wrapping paper, skewers, nail polish, and glue. You would think making paper beads would be easy, but it’s actually a lot harder than it looks. I have a whole new respect for these bead makers now!

First I played around with cutting different lengths and thicknesses until I got the bead how I wanted it. I cut about 30 strips of the flowery white wrapping paper with a 1″ base and about a foot length. I measured points 1″ at the top that were offset 1/2 an inch from the points at the bottom and then drew a straight line in between, making a bunch of skinny triangles. For the blue beads, I wanted them smaller but more round, so I measured them 1/2 an inch across and a foot and a half long. At this point I realized that the huge beads on some 31 bits necklaces must be about a mile long in length to be so thick!


So. Many. Strips.

After cutting everything, I rolled the end around the skewer. While it seems simple, it was actually kind of hard to wrap the paper tight enough around the skewer AND make sure the paper was always in the middle instead of veering off to the side as I rolled.


I rolled several beads on one skewer stick and coated them all with nail polish. However, when I took them off the next day, some of the beads shifted so they were off center and I had to re-coat them again. I quickly learned that while nail polish would add a nice gloss, it wasn’t that great at holding the bead together. So I added glue periodically as I rolled and coated with mod podge, which worked a lot better.


Looks like a wand from Harry Potter, amiright?

After several days of rolling and gluing and drying, all that was left was stringing the beads together. I used some elastic string and glass beads to break it up a bit. At first I thought about combining the two colors, but I ended up thinking they looked better separate. I did add a white accent bead to the blue bracelet wrap (not because I ran out of blue beads or anything…). I love that this jewelry goes great with so many things – I even wore it for the first time to work yesterday!

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Although it looks complicated, this craft was a blast to make! And you can make it out of anything, from scrapbook paper to newspaper to brown bags. If you have time this summer, give it a try and let me know how it goes! See you next week!

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Monthly Challenge 2.1: Drawer Organizer

Monthly challenge 2.1: Drawer Organizer

Hey friends! I hope you had a fun Fourth of July weekend! We had a great time boating and swimming with friends. I totally got whiplash while tubing but it was worth it. AND I tried wake surfing for the first time! Look at me being adventurous.

To start off my DIY challenge month, I thought of what home improvements I could do myself and immediately our messy kitchen utensil drawer came to mind. We all have one of those drawers right? I wanted to actually be able to find things when I need it, so I decided to make drawer organizers with some boxes we have.

First I tried to pull out my drawer to measure, but whoever configured our apartment put the oven right in front of it so you can’t pull it out all the way and this was my face 😑.

Monthly Challenge  2.1: Drawer Organizer
But I did my best with Matt’s measuring tape and eventually figured out the lengths to cut. Next I organized my utensils according to size so I could eyeball how far apart I needed to make the dividing walls.

Monthly Challenge  2.1: Drawer Organizer
The cardboard I used was too thick for scissors, so I had to use a box cutter. But first Matt gave me firm instructions on how to use it and said that he “did not have time to wait in the ER with me and he better not catch me doing it wrong” since he had his final chemistry exam the next day. See how I carefully cut away from myself.

Monthly Challenge  2.1: Drawer Organizer

I probably should have measured and spaced all the dividers out first, but I put them into the drawer one by one. Since the cardboard wasn’t too sturdy, I made cross slits so they could connect with each other. After I made the frame, I covered the dividers in wrapping paper so they would look pretty. And voila, DIY cardboard organizer! I didn’t even follow Pinterest instructions:)


Hope you enjoyed my first DIY project! I think this will be one of my favorite challenges so far and a great outlet for my creative side. Stay tuned for next week’s challenge update!

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Friday Favorites 7.16: Rocksbox

Friday Favorites 7.16

Happy first Friday of July everyone! I hope you have some great 4th of July plans! This year is the first in a long time that I won’t be spending it in the Northwest boating with my family and friends. Every year we go tubing on the river and always try to shove each other off the tubes. It gets real crazy. But it’s always worth the rope burns and bodies that feel like rubber the next day.

Although we won’t be home for the 4th this year, we are excited to spend it visiting our friends that just moved! Thankfully we will still be on a boat, so at least we won’t die in the heat. I’m also excited to visit because they just got THE CUTEST little puppy of which Matt and I are self-declared godparents. It will take so much self-control to not take him with us when we leave.

Anyways, I have some great new favorites to share with you this Friday! Enjoy!

By now, we’ve all heard of different subscription services, consisting of everything from healthy snacks, to makeup samples, to dog treats. But RocksBox is incredible. It’s a jewelry subscription where you pay $20/month for 3 pieces of fantastic jewelry with unlimited swaps. It’s basically like getting new jewelry every month and then instead of losing it in your jewelry box you just exchange for new jewelry. And if that’s not enough, you get a $10 credit every month to buy jewelry for lower than retail prices if you want to keep anything!

How it works: You choose from a wide variety of pieces from designers like Kendra Scott and put them on your wish list, then your own stylist will put together a collection for you based on your wish list and what they think will go together! You can leave feedback on each piece for your stylist so that they can tailor to your taste. Everything about this company is personalized. It’s brilliant. And they even send you the return label to send it back!

My boss had been talking about this service for a month and I decided I had to try it. And thanks to a promo code, my first month was free! I was so thrilled to get my first box and see those beautiful Kendra Scott earrings that seem to be everywhere! Here are a few pictures from my second box. I wasn’t a huge fan of the earrings, but that is what the feedback option is for. Anyways, I was super impressed with the customer service and fun jewelry and would definitely recommend it!



Cafe Veronese
A few weeks ago, I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon with Mary, one of my best friends from home who was in the area. Our birthdays are a few weeks apart, so we took the opportunity to celebrate together! I took her to one of my favorite places, Cafe Veronese. It’s an eclectic, artsy cafe in the bottom floor of a house with a sprawling garden and lots of little cozy nooks. I love going there because it reminds me of the hipster cafes and boutiques at home in Portland. The link above has some great pictures:)


Anyways, we had a great time sipping Korean-style iced coffee and eating a huge waffle ice cream sandwich. I know it looks like I ate it all by myself but I’m not that greedy. It was so fun catching up with her at one of my favorite places! I hope you all can take advantage of the summer weather and spend some time with a friend somewhere you love, too!

New Summer Song
If you need a new song for your summer playlist, I have the perfect one! Justin Timberlake’s new song, Can’t Stop the Feeling, is the essential summer song, whether you’re at a party with friends are singing along in the car. Every time it comes on the radio in our car I immediately start dancing because I just can’t help it. I even have somewhat choreographed moves now (which Matt is super embarrassed about, which makes it even more fun). And the music video is so cheesy, yet so fun. Take a listen!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Asked to bring food to the 4th of July party? Kids are bored 2 weeks into summer and need something to do? Need to satisfy your sweet tooth? I could keep going but I don’t think you need more reasons to make these cookies. I made my first batch of Chewy  Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies a few weeks ago (I took a risk and made a double batch of about 50) and it was a great choice. Matt loves oatmeal raisin cookies but I just don’t understand why you would want to ruin something as amazing as cookies with raisins. That’s just crazy. So I found a good compromise recipe that substitutes chocolate chips instead and I hit the jackpot. Everyone loved them! They were surprised at how well the cinnamon and chocolate mixed together for a unique twist on a classic cookie. I think this will be my go-to from now on!

Love Kindness
Last but not least, I love this book written by the president of my alma mater, Dr. Barry Corey. Counter to today’s argument culture in which conclusions are made and walls are put up quickly, Dr. Corey’s book is about living in the way of kindness. He has inspired me to be receivable to others, to “have a firm center with soft edges,” as he often says. Here’s a little description from the site:

Kindness is not what we have been taught it is. It isn’t a soft virtue, expressed only by sweet grandmothers or nice Boy Scouts. Kindness is neither timid nor frail. Instead, it is brave and daring, willing to be vulnerable with those with whom we disagree. It is the revolutionary way that Jesus himself called us to live. The way of selfless risks. The way of staggering hope. The way of authenticity.

The book is a collection of stories with inspiring messages and a quick read. I highly recommend adding it to your summer reading list!

That’s all for this month, I hope you all have a wonderful July!

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Monthly Challenge 1.4: Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches

Monthly Challenge 1.4: Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches

Hi friends, you made it to the last challenge of my first month! Gold star for you. I can’t believe I’m already at the end of my first challenge! It has been a fun adventure so far.

For this last challenge meal, I went all out. Most of the time Matt and I eat one thing for dinner, but this time I made these Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches and homemade fries from an actual cookbook – Eat, Drink, and Be Merry! I also cheated a little and bought salad from the store.

In addition to being a great recipe for the summer, these sandwiches are deceivingly easy to make because you just throw it all in the crock pot! I knew I liked those things for a reason.


Step 1: Pull out an onion to chop, realize that you forgot to get an onion and only have 1/4 of one instead of half. Oops.

Step 2: Place 2.5 lb. pork loin in the crock pot. Cover with about half a bottle of BBQ sauce, onions, 1 Tbsp Paprika, 1 Ts. salt, 1 Ts. pepper, 2 frozen garlic cubes, and 1/3 cup of water.


Step 3: Set to cook on low for 8-9 hours. Go to work and come back home to the delicious smell of BBQ pork!

Step 4: Shred pork and put on hamburger buns.


In between when I got home from work and I shredded the pork, I made these homemade fries from Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, written by my very own boss! It’s a great cookbook for gluten-free folks. Check out her facebook page, Kira Joy’s Kitchen.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425. Chop 2 large baking potatoes into 1/4″ by 4″ sticks. Toss the sticks in a bowl with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Spread the potato sticks on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake in the upper third of the oven, turning once with a spatula, until they are golden and crispy, about 30 minutes. I think my oven is too hot for its own good because after 30 minutes they were a little more than crispy!


Step 2: Sprinkle on 3 minced garlic cloves (or if you’re lazy like me, garlic salt), 1 Tbsp. minced thyme and 1 Tbsp. minced rosemary and roast for about 10-15 minutes longer, until the herbs are fragrant. #thankyouspicerack

Step 3: Once 5 minutes is left in baking time, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese (or grated parmesan because you can’t find either of those at Walmart). Place back in the oven for five minutes. I didn’t because they were too crispy at this point!IMG_6316

Step 4: Transfer fries to a large bowl and sprinkle with more cheese.


Here is the finished meal!

Monthly Challenge 1.4


  • The pulled pork sandwiches were a breeze to make and super delicious
  • I loved the seasoning on the fries
  • This is a meal that reheats well, so leftovers are great!


  • My oven got too hot, so my fries were a little more like chips. But they would’ve been great if I had checked on them more often!

Reflections on my first challenge:

I learned that cooking is actually not that bad! Although I don’t think any of my meals were exactly perfect, it was a great learning experience and I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it! I definitely feel motivated to cook more often, especially as I’m still in the phase of marriage where my hubby will say he likes it even if it’s not the best meal.

I really hope you have enjoyed following me along on this challenge! Before I announce next month’s challenge, do me a favor and sign up to follow my blog! That way you won’t miss any of my funny failures or surprising successes. Thanks!

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Next month I will be focusing on DIY – it could be anything from crafts to home decor to who knows what else! I am really excited to bring out my crafty side with this challenge and see what fun things I can make. Stay tuned for my first post next week!

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Monthly Challenge 1.3: Grilled Sausage Veggie Medley |

Monthly Challenge 1.3: Grilled Sausage Veggie Medley

Hi friends, welcome to week 3 of my month of cooking!

Before I give you my next update, I just have to share my excitement about my newest cooking addition.

This last weekend, Matt and I helped our good friends pack up and move 6 hours away, and if I wasn’t sad enough it was also rainy in normally lovely SoCal. I know all you Californians get so excited about the rain, but this girl just can’t hang with it. I’m all about the sunny beaches.

Anyways, even though it was a downer that they packed up and moved, I got a ton of stuff they didn’t want that I have actually been wanting for a while! God’s provision is a wonderful thing. They all joked I was making out like a bandit, but seriously. Listen to what I got:

  • An entire desk and chair that fits perfectly into the empty corner of our living room! Matt has really been wanting a desk to do his never-ending homework on and has graciously allowed put up with me decorating and sharing it. He’s the best:)
  • A drying rack – I know it’s super cheap and I could’ve gotten one at Walmart, but I just never got around to it! We don’t have a dishwasher so it is super helpful.
  • SO MUCH FOOD. I think we have chicken and beef for a month or two. Thanks friends!
  • And, drumroll please….. A SPICE RACK!!! I have been wanting a spice rack basically since I put it on our registry about a year ago. Especially with this cooking challenge. I was even going to spend birthday money to get one even though they are so dang expensive. So you can imagine how pumped I was when my friend asked if I wanted it. #yespleasethanksforsavingme80bucks

I was so glad I got it, and the spices have already come in handy for my latest meal: Grilled Sausage Veggie Medley!

Since we are in a little apartment, we don’t have our own grill, so I had to get resourceful. If there is anything I have learned from my mom about online recipes, it’s to always look at the reviews for modifications. And lucky me, I found a great review that gave me all the info I needed to cook this in the oven! Unfortunately I thought I would be even smarter if I combined different reviews, but we’ll come back to that later. Here’s the ingredients (Not pictured: my favorite frozen garlic cubes):


Notice the spice rack cameo.

Step 1: Trim and halve about 3/4 pound of fresh green beans. Slice a large onion. Quarter a 1/2 pound of red potatoes. Look at me using cooking terms. Next thing you know I’ll be saying things like julienne and baste.


Step 2: Sear about a pound of sausage slices in Worcestershire sauce. I used apple chicken sausage and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it actually tasted great! Pause a moment. Anyone that knows me will attest that I follow recipes to a T. But I am proud to announce that I just threw the sauce on there with no guidelines whatsoever. It’s the little victories.


Step 3: Combine the onion, potatoes, and sausage in a pan lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil and use your handy spices from your new spice rack to season. I used garlic salt, Herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper, and drizzled with olive oil.


Step 4: Thanks to the helpful comment from motherteresa on the recipe, I sautéed the green beans in the sausage juice, a bit of olive oil, a hint of butter and two of my trusty garlic cubes. #yum


Step 5: Mix it all up and cover with tin foil. Here is where I made the mistake of combining another suggestion from someone who also put their mix in the oven vs the grill, but made it a totally different way. The original recipe adds water to the mix so that all the veggies can steam, which another user did. I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough juice for the veggies to steam in the oven, so I added about 1/3 cup of water. Instead it made the onions a bit soggier than I liked, so learn from my mistakes and leave it out! #IthoughtIwassmarter #Iwaswrong


Step 6: Serve with warm bread – the perfect side dish!


Monthly Challenge 1.3


  • After chopping all the veggies, the recipe doesn’t take long to put together at all! The time it takes to cook anything is my least favorite part so I love things you can throw together, cook or bake, and walk away.
  • This meal is 75% fresh veggies but not bland at all!


  • Due to thinking I’m a smarter cook than I am, the water I added did make it a little soggy. If I left the water out I think it would’ve been perfect!

Hope you enjoyed my challenge this week, and as always, let me know how it turns out if you make it! Next week is my last cooking challenge, so get ready for the grand finale!

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Monthly Challenge 1.2: Honey Garlic Salmon |

Monthly Challenge 1.2: Honey Garlic Salmon

Hey friends! Thanks for joining me on week two of my adventure with cooking! I hope you enjoyed last week’s recipe. This week, I really wanted to step up my game. After all, I only have one month to learn how to cook so I need to get it right. I decided to cook fish, because I’ve never cooked it before and it just seems like an impressive dish to know how to make.

So I texted my mom (the best cook I know) and told her I was going to try cooking salmon. Her response was “Let me know how it goes, I’ve never been able to cook it right at home, so I gave up.” And immediately I thought, “Oh. No. If my own mother can’t even cook salmon right I have no hope.” But because this is supposed to be a challenge (and also I am a tiny bit very competitive) I decided to go for it anyway.

After looking up a few recipes, I saw one one that was immediately mouthwatering and didn’t require 10 spices I’m not going to spend money on. Seriously, I dare you not to drool at this: Browned Butter Honey Garlic Salmon. Just go look at the recipe for the beautiful magazine-worthy images alone – after you finish reading my post that is.

Step 1: Cut the skin off the fish and get slightly grossed out, yet stay strong when your husband offers to cut it for you. Forget to take picture with all the ingredients before skinning said fish, which is now not pretty enough for the picture. Take the picture anyway because recipes without pictures just aren’t fun.


Step 2: Brown 2 tablespoons of butter for about three minutes, then add 1 frozen garlic cube (I’m telling you those things are the best), 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Cook the sauce for about a minute, then save half of it. At this point I realized I should have made more sauce, because there’s never enough browned butter honey garlic sauce.


Step 3: Sear the salmon steaks in the delicious butter sauce for 3-4 minutes. Flip each steak and transfer to baking dish. It really helps if it has foil so it catches all the juice and makes clean up later easier. That’s my own tip for free. You’re welcome.

This is also when I realized – Oh shoot I forgot the rice! Thank the Lord for rice cookers because somehow I’m also terrible at cooking rice. Don’t ask me how.

Step 4: The recipe says grill/broil on medium-high heat for 6 minutes. I preheated my oven on normal broil, because there is not a “medium-high broil” setting on my oven and I’m not an experienced enough cook to know what the heck is the equivalent in normal oven settings. I did not realize that normal broil is the highest setting you can go on an oven and therefore feels like 700 degrees when you open it! I may or may not have set off the fire alarm and got an “I-always-tell-you-to-turn-the-fan-on-why-don’t-you-listen-to-me” look from Matt. #Ideservedit #butyourewelcomeforsalmon

Before I do pros and cons, here is a picture of the end result!


  • As I mentioned before, this sauce was SO GOOD.
  • It was fairly easy to make and used a lot of ingredients I had on hand.


  • Due to my broiling ignorance, the salmon was a little overcooked:/
  • I wish I made double of the sauce.
  • The half of the sauce I saved hardened and caramelized due to the honey and even though I heated it up, it was still too sticky to pour over the salmon.

Although the salmon wasn’t perfect it was still yummy and I think I would try it again! If any of you make it and have any tips, let me know using my contact form. See you next week!

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Monthly Challenge 1.1: One pot chili pasta |

Monthly Challenge 1.1: One Pot Chili

Hey friends! Thanks for reading my first monthly challenge post! If you’re new, take a second to check out what my blog is all about on the About page.

In case you missed my first post, this month’s challenge is cooking! Friends and family reading this are probably laughing because me and cooking just don’t get along. Baking and I are buddies because I can eat cookies all day. But I’m a wife and college grad now, so I figured that it’s probably time I learn how to make decent meals instead of eating pre-made pasta mixes.

One of the dishes I made often before getting married was chili because it’s so easy for lazy people like me to make. This five-ingredient chili was in my fridge a lot. However, my husband is not the biggest chili fan, especially if it is not very filling. So I found a recipe that I thought would be tasty and filling: One Pot Chili Pasta!

There were lots of pros to this recipe:

  • It uses a lot of things you might have on hand, like canned tomatoes or pasta
  • It keeps going – it lasted 3 meals for us (a miracle since it seems like every time I make something Matt always eats what I think will be leftovers)
  • It’s all in one pot, so you barely use any dishes!
  • Did I mention it’s easy and delicious?

Here are the ingredients needed:


A few things to note:

  • The green container holds flour
  • Frozen garlic cubes are SO much better than buying a whole clove of garlic #itlastsforever #thanksforthetipmom
  • The recipe called for only 1/2 a pound of turkey, but knowing my husband I just put the whole 1.25 pounds in and it was great:)

STEP 1: Dice an onion. The recipe calls for a medium onion but I ALWAYS seem to cut too much onion for any recipe I have, and since it was a larger onion I only did half.


STEP 2: The recipe says to cook the onion and garlic before adding the turkey, but my turkey was frozen so I started cooking that while I diced the onion and then added them with some olive oil. After a few minutes, add chili powder and flour.


STEP 3: While the turkey is cooking, rinse the kidney and black beans. I was very curious as to why you had to rinse the beans, so I looked it up and apparently there’s a lot of sodium in that bean juice! You learn something new every day.


STEP 4: Stir in all the canned stuff and the dry macaroni. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now was a great time for me to wash the three utensils I had used. Why aren’t all meals like this?

STEP 5: Devour this delicious meal, listen while your husband compliments you on the best chili he’s ever tasted. (OK maybe not, but he definitely liked it, so it’s a win.)


All in all, I think my first cooking challenge was a success! If you try this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out for you! Stay tuned for next week’s challenge update!

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Friday Favorites 06.16

Welcome to my first Friday Favorites post! If you’re new to my site, please check out my About page to learn more about my blog! Every first Friday of the month, I’m going to post a few of my favorite things – whether they are products, music, or just what’s going on in my life. Hope you enjoy!

  • Guess Tabetha Wedges
    I absolutely LOVE wedges. Matt is over a foot taller than me, so I am in heels probably 80% of the time. Lucky for me, I just found some adorable Guess wedges from my favorite shoe store, DSW. They arrived yesterday and are so comfortable! They can easily be dressed up or down, and I’m sure I will get a lot of use out of them. Check ’em out!
  • Coffivity
    In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I love being around people. I really enjoy working in places where there’s the quiet buzz of conversation around me. Unfortunately, I work in an office that is often dead silent. My coworker introduced me to Coffivity, which is a lifesaver. It is this awesome free app that lets you choose different tracks that mimic a coffee shop or cafeteria so you can feel like you have tons of people around you! AND it gets better. It also allows you to play music from itunes, spotify, or pandora at the same time, so you can get a nice coffee shop vibe!
  • Crock pot taquitos
    I confess, I am a lazy cook. Baking? Yes. But cooking…nope. When I got married a few months ago and people asked what fun kitchen things I got, there was one thing that everyone got so excited about – a crock pot. Typically I would get responses like: “Those are the BEST! They will save your life! It is SO easy to cook with those!” I figured if so many of my friends love them, there must be something good about them. So I gave them a try. This was my third crock pot recipe and it sold me on the beauty of crock pots. Hubby loved them and I had a little bit of #wifeypride. Ok, a lot. Check them out!Crock-Pot-Taquitos
  • Husband Survival Kit
    Ladies, if you are in a relationship, listen up. My friend told me about this site, that has so many fantastic date ideas, fun printables, and ways to show some love to your boyfriend or husband! I made this cute Husband Survival Kit for Matt right around finals time a few weeks ago, and it was even greater that it was a “prescription” since he wants to be a doctor. They have so many great ideas; I’m sure I will be visiting their site again soon!Husband-Survival-Kit-with-MMs
  • Affogato
    I first had affogato a little over a year ago when my little sister introduced me to it. And let me tell you, it is the best thing ever. It’s an Italian dessert consisting of one or two scoops of gelato drenched in espresso – and it is pure heaven. I have visited a few places in search of affogato, and lucky me – I found a cute little coffee shop about 7 minutes away that has it. Thank you, Lord. I found a super easy recipe for those of you that want to try it at home! Trust me, you won’t regret it.affogato
    Hope you guys enjoyed my first Friday Favorites post! Keep an eye out for my first monthly challenge update coming next week. Until then, follow, subscribe, and like to your heart’s content!

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