Thanksgiving Recipes for All Your People.

Over the years of my adult life, I’ve really come to LOVE Thanksgiving. I wasn’t a big fan as a kid – we ate a meal and then my boy cousins made jokes I didn’t understand and fell asleep on the floor, while my girl cousins were more than five years older than me and got to sit at the adult table. But NOW. Now I love Thanksgiving. It’s all the food and family and cooking without the stress of gifts and snow and travel that Christmas time brings. Don’t get me wrong – Christmas is still the BEST – but Thanksgiving season means 1) the year is wrapping up soon, 2) more holidays and days off of work are around the corner, and 3) SNUGGLING. Plus wine. Now I can drink wine. Cheers to you, 8-year-old self.

So anyway, in the years of this blog, I’ve managed to write about lots of different recipes, from desserts to health foods to main dishes. And so today I present you with a summary entitled:

Thanksgiving Recipes for All Your People

#1 Three (or less) ingredient appetizers that even your cousin who can’t cook can make.

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Pear and Prosciutto Wraps


Baked Brie with Green Pepper Jelly

bacon water chestnuts

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

#2 Paleo and vegetarian dishes for your health-conscious Aunt Jo,       depending on what camp she’s in this year.

swiss chard 50

Spicy Swiss Chard and Zucchini

Turkey stuffed peppers

Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Garlic Mashed Cauliflower – IT’S SO GOOD.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chili

#3 Traditional-ish desserts for your in-laws.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Peanut Butter Pie (7)

Peanut Butter Pie

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

Katy’s Strawberry Cake

Let me know how it goes if you try any of them out! And enjoy the kickoff to this holiday season with your family and loved ones. Blessings!


New Baby Bashton

I haven’t taken many newborn photos – okay, only once before – but my sweet friend Karla let me practice a few lifestyle photos on her family after the recent arrival of Baby Bashton. Little Bash did not sleep while I was there…but we did the best we could! And big brother Soloh was a total rockstar…The most beautiful family! For all my favorites, pop over here.

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Bye Columbus!


“What?? I’m going with you, right? RIGHT??”

As excited as I am for the next chapter that my hubs and I are beginning, today’s post is about the chapter we are closing. I want to express my gratitude to the people we’ve met and the city we’ve lived in for 2 1/2 years.

Bye Columbus.

I must admit, in the beginning, we had very low (if any) expectations of Columbus, Ohio. Our first impressions were drab – dreary weather and run down houses around campus. But for a million reasons, it was the right choice. And as time went on, the city grew on us. The Columbus Adventures have been many.

We loved our home here, in the summers and in the winter.


We loved our friends here, and hosting them in our home whenever possible for parties, girls nights, movie nights, brunches, and grad school work groups…



We got Ryman here!


Winter SUCKED A LOT, but we got through it, and celebrated our first two married Christmases here.




The National Championship in football didn’t hurt either – it definitely made it a fun time to be at a fun place.


The people though…THE PEOPLE is always the thing hardest to leave, isn’t it?

The way God put the right people in our lives at the right times… I can’t even. Right off the bat, I met Laura, a fellow Vandy grad. LAURA I WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST WITHOUT YOU. And we met other Vandy friends along the way.

Then we made our friends through Jonathan’s grad program. ALSO LOST WITHOUT YOU GUYS.


And then out of the blue, I went to a Stella and Dot party that a coworker was hosting, and met another girl, who introduced me to lots of girls, and through them I joined an incredible women’s bible study. This group of women taught me so much, and they don’t even know it.

Along the way, many of my coworkers became friends, and the hubs and I continued to meet awesome people out of the blue. Like I said, this city grew on us, thanks to the people who’ve made it feel like home these past few years.

All this to say, I am so thrilled for the next chapter, but today I’m a little sad saying good by to this one. Bye Columbus!

And just because I love it, here is the “one second a day” video I made from July – December of 2014… Captures a lot of favorite travels and Columbus moments!

Big News {The Time We Moved Back to Nashville}

I realized that I have started many blog posts over the years with “big news” or “good news” or “exciting news” so I’m going to start adding subtitles. Hence, today’s Big News: The Time We Moved Back To Nashville.

The most recent (and final) big event is that I have happily accepted an exciting job offer. In just a few short weeks, I will start in my new role as Director of Development for the Make A Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee. This is a bittersweet announcement, as some of you know, due to the fact that I absolutely love my job and my coworkers at Ohio State. Going to work every day with a team that works so hard but yet is so fun to be around has opened my eyes to what “work” can really be. As sad as I am to say goodbye, I really hope I can take what I’ve learned here and help make the MAW Foundation a fun and meaningful place to work for myself and my colleagues.


I say this is the most recent bit of news, because in case you haven’t been paying attention, here’s how the summer has gone down.

  1. My hubs got an awesome job, after graduating with his Masters from Ohio State, working as a Transportation Planner with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. This is basically exactly the type of work he had hoped for. FOR THE WIN.
  2. Not long after, we bought a house. It needs love. It’s torn to pieces at the moment. It’s stressful. But we are doing it – we have an ADDRESS.
  3. Now, after several months of living apart from my husband, I got a job! A job I am excited about!!

All of this about 2 1/2 years after A DIFFERENT “BIG NEWS” POST about the OTHER biggest change in our lives. But seriously – WHERE DOES ALL THE TIME GO?!

It is truly yet another reminder of how God has His hands in everything. I worry, I doubt, just like the rest of us, but as soon as I take a step back and say, “I don’t need to be in control of this – God’s got this,” everything seems to come together a little more easily and with a lot more grace.

We Bought A House!

It’s true! We bought a house and I’m still freaking out about it a little.

IMG_8500For those who are interested, it is in the Inglewood neighborhood of East Nashville – the location is exactly what we wanted. And for those of you REALLY paying attention, yes, this means we are moving from Columbus back to Nashville very soon. More on that in another post (sorry, I like to string your emotions along…) It was built in 1949, and the original owners lived in it, raising their family, until they passed away about 1 1/2 years ago. It sat empty (well, full of stuff, but without residents) that whole time.

There are many 1950s and 1970s updates in the house…from wallpaper to wood paneling to carpet covering beautiful wood floors. We are working on doing some of the bigger updates immediately, and my sweet hubby has already been knee-deep in demo (or should I say elbow-deep in insulation?). As one might expect, there have already been a few hiccups, but I know we will love our cozy little home once we get settled in. Of course we would have loved to buy a home that was already updated and finished, but the housing market in Nashville is RIDICULOUS, and there were bidding wars, resulting in homes being purchased well over asking price. We were really fortunate to find out about this one before it was on the market, and to buy it for what we think was a fair price.

Immediate projects include:

  • Gutting and redoing the kitchen
  • Tearing out wood paneling and insulation
  • Leveling out a very unlevel floor in one room (I KNOW, RIGHT?)
  • Rewiring the electrical in most of the house
  • Tearing down one small wall
  • Tearing out carpet
  • Painting every room

Future projects will include:

  • Painting the outside brick of the house
  • Updating the bathrooms
  • Building a deck
  • And I’m sure a ton of other things I have yet to think of…

Tips for staying sane? Anyone? I’ll share before and after pictures once we get to a point where there are “after pictures.” In the meantime, I am accepting prayers.

Closing Out My 30 Before 30 List


Originally posted in April of 2014, my 30 Before 30 list laid out a few tasks, large and small, that I hoped to accomplish by this month. I didn’t do so hot…but you know me. I love my lists. And I have no guilt for not rounding this one out.

A few of my favorite things though included my honeymoon (obvi), my trip to San Francisco with the girls, and the Columbus Color Run.

However the MOST EXCITING THING that I have yet to share on the blog is SO FUN that it deserves its own post…so stay tuned :) Though if you read through my list you can probably make a pretty good guess on what it’s going to be. See you here later this week!

FlapJacked {Review}

Sometimes, I shop a tad bit impulsively online. It’s not always on clothes – it’s often on random fitness things or jewelry or whatever random thing I think is JUST SO CLEVER.

Recently, I did just such a thing on the website FlapJacked. As my husband can attest, I often am trying new muffin and bar recipes, trying to make them healthier and full of protein. They don’t usually taste very good…so when I stumbled on FlapJacked, I decided to try it! I bought the buttermilk pancake mix (which you can actually make a lot of recipes from) as well as a four-pack with their two types of protein muffins – apple cinnamon and chocolate.

THEY ARE SO GOOD. I mean, granted, if you are familiar with the flavor of protein powder, you can taste it a bit, but seriously these pack such a nutritional punch and seriously curb my muffin cravings.

IMG_8560 This weekend, I finally got around to trying the pancake mix. I added cinnamon, and sprinkled each pancake with unsweetened coconut and a few banana slices. Topped it all off with a few walnuts. I was seriously full for such a long time. And again, totally fulfilled my Sunday morning pancake craving. I highly recommend trying it – I certainly will try their other mixes down the road!IMG_8563