microwaved sweet potatoes


Lunches are tough for me. I don't love your standard "lunch food". As a kid, I basically only ate PB&J (or honey). I really didn't like turkey or any deli sandwiches. These days I'll eat a salad for lunch but I can really only handle that one day per week. Soup is great in the fall/winter because it tastes better day after day and reheats great. But in a pinch, I usually end up with some sort of bar and call it a day. 

BUT! I recently discovered that you can microwave sweet potatoes and stuff them with all kinds of yummy stuff for a super easy lunch that can prepared right in my office! This is the perfect lunch for me because it's healthy, quick, versatile, and easy. You can top it with anything you have in the fridge. 

Microwaved Sweet Potatoes
  1. Wash and dry your potato. Leave the skin on. Place in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the potato over and go for another 3-4 minutes depending on how big your potato is. It should be soft to the touch.
  2. Split lengthwise and fluff the inside. 
I topped this one with butter, salt, almond butter, and pumpkin seeds. I would also be delish with coconut butter and curry powder. Or some spinach and shredded chicken. Really anything! 

Turn this....

...into this!!

book review // the husband's secret


I always love reading books that everyone is talking about - I like to be in the know. It feels like a secret club between me and all the people who've read a particular book. This has been a wildly talked about book and I really enjoyed it.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty is a great read. It's quick, witty, and has lots of twists and turns. The story was shocking and left me asking C "um do you have any secrets?". I also just finished another one of her books, Big Little Lies which was also really great. 

If you're looking for a quick read that will keep you entertained, definitely pick this up! 

This was the last book I read in 2014! My goal is to read 15 books in 2015...already 1 down! Follow along here if you're an avid reader too.

monday musings.


the current scene // edited with waterlogue

>> We're finally getting some snow up here with a full fledged blizzard headed our way tonight/tomorrow. Yes, snow is messy and annoying but hey, it's supposed to snow in winter!!

>> Due to said storm (Juno) my flights to Dallas for a conference we're subsequently cancelled for today meaning I'm missing out on queso and margs with dear friends in Dallas. However, now I get to be home for C's birthday! Things would be so much easier if we could apparate...

>> I feel like we need to talk more about this storm. The news says it may be the worst blizzard in history. Because I thought I was going to be out of town, we didn't really stock up on a ton of food etc. Now all I'm craving is chicken soup and it will be impossible for me to make it. Does Peapod still deliver?

>> I made these little cookie dough bites to snack on yesterday and they are so delicious and healthy. I bet you have all the ingredients right now in your pantry.

>> This incredibly boring day was made infinitely better by the arrival of an early birthday present, this bad boy. That's right people, I'm finally joining the Fitbit craze...only took 2 years. Wanna be friends? It's already almost 6pm and I've done 500 steps. So yea, this storm is the real thing.

>> Now that I've adopted C's iPad, I can't wait to get my hands on a library card so I can download ebooks from the local library. So 1996.

>> Target was having a clearance on my fave sports bras so I stocked up and finally tossed the ones that have never fit right. $10 bars for the win!

>> I have a bone to pick with Old Navy. I ran in there the other day to get some jeans. Nothing special, just needed a standard pair that didn't break the bank. I ended up finding 2 pairs on the clearance rack (for like $8 each) and then bought another full price pair ($30). Upon trying them on at home (always a good idea), I was shocked to find out that they all fit...especially because they were all three different sizes (a double 0, regular 0, and a 4). I ended up keeping the two clearance pairs and returning the other. I love a good deal as much as the next girl but I'm still sort of amazed how off the sizing is. So bizarre!

best buy of 2014


I'm really excited about being a part of this new linkup series being hosted by The Well. This month's prompt: What did you purchase in the past year that became invaluable to you? Something that makes you think "how did I live without this?!?"

It's a little bit crazy how long I've been thinking about this least a week. I realized that there are only a handful of things that I just can't live without, many of the being things that were gifted to me or have some sort of sentimental value. Every time I thought of a new item I'd realize how silly it seemed that this pair of shoes was "invaluable". Serious consideration finally led me to the lamp you see below. In fact, once I'd settled on the lamp, it seemed like such an obvious choice!

It make seem a little nuts to consider this lamp to be invaluable but to me it really is. I found this lamp at a local antique mall when we were looking for a bar cart. There had been this empty space in our apartment where we needed a floor lamp but everything I'd seen online look so...strange. The only light in our living room was coming from a glaring overhead light in the ceiling. I was amazed that the lamp still worked and thought it was so charming, especially since it's made from an old wooden camera tripod. However, since purchasing a lamp wasn't originally in the plans for the day, we purchased the bar cart and promptly left. 

Several weeks later, I started noticing tripod lamps EVERYWHERE (isn't it so weird how this you never notice a particular type of car until you're considering buying that make/model???). Anyway, said lamps were stunning but also came with a hefty price tag, upwards of $400-$600. Seeing as how that's not in the non-profit/grad school budget, I brought up the lamp from the antique store. 

Figuring it had already been scooped up, we were amazed to find it still in it's place many weeks later at the store. A few negotiations later and this bad boy was ours for a whopping $100. (Shade was $20 from Target). I love this lamp now and I love that it has a story to it. It's such a fun piece that we'll have for years to come. We even subbed it in as our tree this year! 

monday musings.


take me back to california!!

>> Woohoo! Three day weekend! I needed it badly after only having about 6 hours of a weekend last week. We made sure to have lots of downtime in between running a few errands. 

>> Saw American Soldier this weekend. So incredibly sad. Makes you really think about your life. Chris Kyle used to work in C's building and he'd see him on the elevator some days. I remember when it all happened and it was all over the headlines in Dallas. Such a terrible thing. 

>> Really loving this cookbook - made the Roasted Squash bowls and they were SO good. Definitely adding those to the rotation. 

>> Sunday was really gross, raining all day. We spent the afternoon with friends posted up in front of the fire watching football. I made these brownies again and they were a hit as usual. 

>> I also made a new pinterest board to capture all the recipes I've pinned that I've actually made. Not only will this help me keep track but you can also comment on the pin if you're curious about tips! 

>> We packed up a big box for Salvation Army this weekend. Feels good to part with the clutter. I've made it a point to tackle a drawer/shelf each week so that I can really edit the things we no longer need. I'm also trying my hardest to be more thoughtful with incoming purchases. 

>> Have you ever tested the temp on your slow cooker? I'm worried mine might be a little off because I feel like some of these recipes are turning out a little wonky. I also didn't know that taking off the lid drops the temp 15 degrees and could add 20 minutes of cooking time. So for all I know, it could be user error. 

>> Made Jessica's amazing granola for breakfasts this week. I, of course, had to try it this afternoon JUST to make sure it was ok. 

>> There was a sub at my yoga class today and the class was totally weird. Nothing was really flowing and my head was somewhere else. Also rap? Please no rap at yoga. I'm also REALLY annoyed with myself for letting the last few classes on my card expire. I'm usually SO good about that. 

>> What are your favorite iPad apps?

>> You NEED this email from the Skimm in your inbox each morning. Provides a quick overview of current events in a way that easy to digest. Hurry up and subscribe here!

current hair & skincare favorites


I was reading this blog post and realized that it was time for a little clean out in my bathroom as well. I already have some decent storage solutions but they were starting to overflow with countless lotions, hair products, and random odds and ends. I love beauty and skincare products which means I have the unfortunate tendency of purchasing something new before something else is used up. The "old" products get shoved to the back, never to be touch again. But when it comes to clean out time, I can't seem to part with the product because I spent money on it and don't want to waste it. But more often than not, I don't even like the product and truth be told, it's probably expired (like WHY have I been holding onto the same cream blush for like 3 years now...I hate the texture and color but it's Bobbi Brown so you know it wasn't cheap!). Then I realized, I should do what I do with clothes...let friends dig through a giveaway bag! 

This post was also inspired by all those "look inside my fridge" posts. I really do think those are so interesting and figured you guys might like a look at my bathroom shelves and cabinets. I did my best to part with any and all products that were either probably expired or had been replaced with something I like better. What's left truly reflects the products I love and use regularly. 

First up, the shelves and countertop. Here are the products worth mentioning:

> Favorite body lotion: Origins Ginger Souffle
> Favorite face lotion: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
> Favorite scrub: One Love Organics Brand New Day Scrub
> Favorite resurfacer: First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads
> Favorite mask: Origins Out of Trouble Mask
> Favorite nighttime cleanser: One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil
> Favorite morning cleanser: One Love Organics Apple a Day Cleanser (seasonal product but this one is awesome)
> Favorite fake glow: St. Tropez Gradual Tan Lotion
> Favorite texturizes: Oribe Texture & Beach Waves
> Favorite bar soap: African Black Soap (Fun tip: slice of a piece of bar soap and put in a baggie when traveling! No spilling!)

There are a lot of products here and I'm thinking I need to do another full post with my daily makeup routine especially since it changes a bit in the winter. A few things in this picture worth mentioning:

> Favorite blowout spray: Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray
> Favorite healing oil: Arrojo Healing Oil
> Favorite body oil: Honest Body Oil
> Favorite hair spray: Morrocan Oil Hair Spray
> Favorite lip treatment: BITE Lip Mask
> Favorite blush palette: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
> Favorite tinted moisturizer: Tarte Tinted Moisturizer

Items not pictured: all the samples I keep in a bin for traveling, nail polish drawers (yes plural), hair appliances, and a few other beauty odds and ends. 

See anything you're curious about above? Comment below and I'll provide more info!

california road trip


As the Christmas break drew closer, C and I started throwing around the idea of jetting off to CA to visit some friends & family while getting a little R&R. After we finally booked the flights, I got right to planning. I actually really enjoy doing the research and making a plan. We have lots of friends who've lived in CA or recently visited, so I was able to gather lots of tips. We covered so much ground on this trip (over 800 miles!) and had a blast the whole time. All that due diligence paid off and we had one of our best vacations yet. Photo heavy post to follow!

Del Mar 
My aunt, uncle and cousins live just north of San Diego in Del Mar which an adorable beach town (their backyard is sand!). C and I had been out there three years earlier for my cousin's wedding and we had a blast. It was great kicking off our vacation at Chez Huebner. It consisted of lots of low key family time, a stroll through Solano Beach, and a sunset walk on the beach. CA was having a cold spell so it was sort of hilarious to hear everyone complaining about the "cold".

Montecito/Santa Barbara
We decided early on that we'd take our time heading up the coast and eventually ending in Napa. I looked at the map and picked Santa Barbara as an overnight stop. LA traffic meant we arrived after dark to our adorable AirBnB and wandered around in search of food. We settled on Tre Lune for some pizza and wine which was pretty good.

This was such a fun drive. It add a considerable amount of time (about 2 hours) to the drive from SB to the Carmel area but it was so worth it. We had a great time taking in the sights and stopping wherever we pleased to soak up the view. The elephant seals were so cool and also so strange. We stopped at Nepenthe for lunch and it was so worth the wait (and being a little chilly). The view was stunning and we even saw part of a whale! The food was pretty good as well. This stop also made for the perfect excuse to have a Bailey's and coffee...mmmm.

Staying here was such a special treat arranged through a friend (thanks Jordan!). Our room was unbelievable with a great view and a stunning fireplace. We had a low key dinner (apps and dessert) at The Bench which has fire pit tables outside. It was so cozy and in the morning, we were able to see that the restaurant looks out over the 18th green! 17 Mile drive was really neat as well, I mean the views are just outrageous.

Saved the best for last! We had such an amazing time and will definitely go back someday. We stayed at the Inn on Randolph on a recommendation from a friend. It was absolute perfection. I almost don't want to tell you about it because I feel like it should be kept a secret. There is no where else I'd ever stay. The cottages were adorable and Karen (innkeeper) thought of everything. We had a delicious complimentary breakfast each morning and fresh baked cookies in the afternoon. Devine. We ate at The Pear and Angele. We LOVED Angele, probably one of the best meals we've had. The Pear was good but not anything special. We purchased 6 bottles of wine throughout our visit typically our favorite wines from each place. When they arrived a week later, it was really special to open the box and remember the experience. We'll save most of the wine for a few years and I'm excited to open a bottle for a special occasion. Definitely such a treat. Elizabeth Spencer was by far our favorite.


All photos were taken either on my iPhone or with my dSLR camera (I have a Nikon D3000). Photos were edits with the Beautiful Mess actions for Lightroom.

monday musings.


>> The weekend was WAY too is it already Monday? Also, how is it already the second week of January? It finally snowed here last week which was just lovely, really felt like winter. We were in the city Saturday night for the Yale vs. Harvard hockey game at Madison Square Garden. It a fun (but late) night. Crazy how empty the streets are in the city when it's freezing.

>> Got my hands on this book and opened it to the most perfect prayer after tearing it out of the package. Go order yourself a copy immediately.

>> I was gifted to many amazing cookbooks for Christmas and I've already started digging in. Tonight's dinner is already in the works in the slow cooker and it's from this cookbook. I'm also loving all the recipes in this book, super easy. Ina's Make It Ahead book was a no brainer and I've heard really great things about True Food (it looks delish).

>> Looking forward to hopefully spend some quality time digging into this list of reflection questions very soon.

>> Pretty excited about my "new" iPad from C...basically his old one that he reset for me to use now. I've been having fun playing around on it and figuring it out.

>> I made a family enchilada recipe for some friends Friday night and it was a hit! I'll have to see if I can get permission to publish it on the blog.

>> Have you heard of Chatbooks? Super adorable photo books that can easily be made on your phone from your iPhone photos! Use code NQUJLC6T to get your first book FREE!

>> Added a few First Aid Beauty products to the routine over the holidays and my skin never looked better. Full post coming soon.

Coconut-Curry Noodle Soup


When I was a kid and we had a snow day, my mom would always make us "noodle soup" which was such a treat. She even had this trick to cool it down really fast...put an ice cube in it! Mind. Blow. Flash forward 10 years and I come to realize "noodle soup" is just Ramen. Clever mother. Either way, I loved the stuff (I know, I know, it's horrible for you). There was always something so comforting about that steaming bowl of noodles. When I'm sick, it's still the thing I crave. 

If you live in the northeast or have been watching the news, you know that is absolutely frigid here. Not just "oh it's winter and it's cold" frigid, like waking up in the morning and the thermometer (who am I kidding, weather app) says it's -4 frigid. I want to eat all the soup. 

Lucky me, I was working from home today and miraculously had all the makings of this soup in my fridge and pantry. This came together in about 15 minutes and totally hit the spot. It's warm and comforting and just a little bit spicy to help get the blood flowing on this chilly arctic day.

Coconut-Curry Noodle Soup
serves: 2 (or 1 hungry hippo)
time: 15 minutes


  • 1/2 tbsp grapeseed or safflower oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons (depending on preference) red thai chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth (depending on how much broth you like)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (from a can, either lite or regular)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • rice noodles
  1. Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan. Add chili paste and stir until fragrant (1-2 min.)
  3. Add broth and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and add coconut milk. Add curry powder and turmeric. Make sure the broth is just simmering. Add spinach leaves to wilt in the broth. 
  4. Add noodles to broth and stir to combine. Taste; add salt if desired. Serve!
Note: You could also add other ingredients leftover in your fridge - some shredded chicken, snow peas, squeeze of lime/lemon, parsley, cilantro. Also, turmeric will stain clothes and temporarily stain your skin.

New Recipe Page!

I finally took a bit of time to get my recipe page in order. The funny this is that once I went through and linked up to all of them, I realized that there are a bunch of recipes that I need to post about! I thought I had so many more but that is clearly not the case. 

What does that mean for you? So many more recipe posts coming! We've been making a lot of new recipes lately but I always end up adapting them so I need to start jotting down better notes. Additionally, there are a few "staple" recipes that I definitely need to post about. 

In the meantime, I hope you take a minute to browse through the archives. Excuse the older posts (which could use an update) because that was back in my early blogging days before I knew how this whole thing worked. Grace not perfection. 

monday musings.


Welcome to 2015, brave ones! I took an extended hiatus from my computer/blog over the holidays which was amazing. While I was moving a little slower this morning (whew, monday), I'm thankful to have taken the necessary time to rest and rejuvenate. 

>> If you were following along on Instagram, we did a little California road trip over the holidays which was AMAZING. Full post coming soon, but in the meantime, you can catch up here

>> While we would have loved to stay in Napa for an extra day, I opted to use Saturday as our travel day instead of Sunday. I'm SO glad I did. We were able to slowly ease back into things and had a busy Sunday unpacking, grocery shopping, and getting prepped for the week ahead. We'll be doing the same for another trip in March and I really believe it's the way to go. 

>> I picked up all the ingredients to make this soup in the slow cooker Sunday night so that I'd have something yummy and warm for lunches (it's supposed to be frigid here this week)...but it turned out horrible. The chicken was overcooked and the potatoes were raw! What a bummer! 

>> I've been listening to a lot of podcasts about minimalism lately and I loved this post by a new-to-me-blog.

>> Back at yoga again after at least a 6 week hiatus and I'm super glad I went. Hurts so good! 

>> Really impressed with the ladies at SheReadsTruth for putting together such a stellar #365DaysOfTruth plan to guide you through the whole Bible in a year. Download the app and get this FREE's not too late to start!

>> So many fun challenges popping up on my Insta feed and I want to join them all! I'm definitely going to be doing this one from Pen & Peplum. I think it will be a great way to help me practice my calligraphy skills in a bit of a structured manner. 

>> I kicked off my first Bullet Journal today (more to come) and I'm loving it. 

>> Also knitting... (so many crafts!). 

>> Did you read my 2014 review
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