new year

Cheers to the Year

8:00 AM


How did 2014 go by so fast?? I can believe 2015 is now upon us. 

I usually make a list of things that I would like to accomplish in the new year and post it here on the blog but I feel like 2015 is going to be the year I just take on the world one day at a time.
I do have a few things lined up to get accomplished for January though...

New Camera :: My husbands lovely Canon T1i decided over Christmas break that it wasn't going to read my memory cards anymore. I figure for the price that I could pay to get it fixed I could just go ahead and buy a newer body.
Dear, Canon T3i, I can't wait for your arrival :) 


Healthy Eating :: I think this is first on EVERYONE's list after the holidays. I am ready to get back to healthy eating. I've had way to much soda, sugar, and cheese these past 2 weeks. It's time for salads, quinoa, and lots of water.

Sprucing up the place :: My blog needs a little sprucing up. I feel I will never get to a point were I won't be making my blog look better. Oh well. lol
SPEAKING of sprucing up the place, our home looks so sad without all the Christmas decoration. I need to start working on changing that as well.


Enjoying time with the pup :: I have a couple weeks before I start working again so I have a couple weeks to enjoy all the puppy love I want all the day long.
(p.s, the pup has taken over my instagram


Blogging More :: In this last half of 2014 I have found this crazy passion for blogging. Even if its just a review of a product or something going on in my life, I still love writing about it. I feel that passion is going to spill into 2015 as long as I stay motivated and inspired.



What are your plans for the beginning of the year friends?? 
Have any small resolutions? 

I'm trying not to make any but like every year, I would like to take more pictures and read more in this new year. 

housewife

Why the big deal

12:00 AM

As I was scrolling through my facebook feed this morning with my cup of coffee in hand and "Hart of Dixie" playing on the tv in the background, I saw there was a lot of controversy going on with an article Redbook did on Kaley Cuoco and some things she said in that article.

Here is a little except from eonline about her interview

Asked if she considers herself a feminist, Redbook's February cover girl replied, "Is it bad if I say no?"

Presumably more than a few people on the Internet will have an answer for her, but let the actress explain.


"It's not really something I think about," Cuoco, who will celebrate one year of marriage to tennis player Ryan Sweeting on New Year's Eve, told the magazine. "Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around... I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that's because I've never really faced inequality.

"I cook for Ryan five nights a week: It makes me feel like a housewife; I love that. I know it sounds old-fashioned, but I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I'm so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him. My mom was like that, so I think it kind of rubbed off."


So, I don't usually put my say out on things like this, but what she was talking about kind of struck me because I can relate. 

Now, I've never been asked if I was a "feminist", I've never encountered an event or issue that I felt I need to stand up for as a woman. However, being a very young married woman in today's society I feel the pressure to be a "feminist" and do my own thing even though I'm married.

When did being married and serving your husband becoming a bad thing? When did this world decide that serving our husbands is beneath us and we as women need to revolt and stand up for ourselves. 
It's like being a housewife is this "voodoo" thing people look down upon. I've had people that I've encounter act shocked when I tell them how old I am and that I'm married, and *GASP* I like being a housewife and that is my first priority. 

I feel its worse the younger you are. I think for young women, the world exudes this need to feel accomplished before marriage. That being a feminist and standing up for yourself should be your most important accomplishment. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we shouldn't stick up for ourselves. But in the right context and for the right reasons. Not so you can just be called a "feminist".

I don't know about other women out there but I feel accomplished by serving my husband. I feel accomplished making sure he has something to eat for dinner when he comes home, that the home isn't in total shambles when he walk's through the door, and that I don't add to his burdens.

Women that don't consider themselves "feminist" should not be looked down upon or critized. In a country that is so bound to find equality, it seems weird that this controversy between being and not being a "feminist" is not inequality itself.

You don't hear many women in Hollywood, like Kaley, saying that they "like serving their husbands" and the being a feminist isn't that important as being their for their husbands. For her to say something like that took a lot of guts. If I can get looked down upon by some people for being "old fashioned" in my own little town, I can only imagine the backlash she is getting out in Hollywood



I know everyone isn't going to agree on everything I just said but that's what this blog is for.
For me, from time to time, to voice my own opinion.

Thanks for letting me step on my soap box and express my feelings readers. 

Bruno

Merry Christmas

9:00 AM

Merry Christmas
From:
The Riley's

Steve, Samantha, and Bruno

The Riley's Merry Christmas


Hope your holiday's are merry and bright!!!

See you in the new year!


Canyon Bakehouse

Canyon Bakehouse Review + Giveaway

8:00 AM

Have you ever found a Gluten Free product that makes you say to yourself,

"This is the best gluten free (insert said product here) EVER"! 

This is how I feel about Canyon Bakehouse. Their bread is probably THE BEST Gluten Free EVER
Canyon Bakehouse
They have a great variety of products that can be found all over the United States. 
They are also sold in Target!  
Find where they are sold near you here
:: http://canyonglutenfree.com/bread/store-locator.html ::
 canyon bakehouse giveaway!
I didn't even wait till I was finished taking pictures before I broke into and ate a Cranberry Canyon Crunch.
It was so delicious.
We also had a nice GF spaghetti meal the other night and the Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia was a perfect side to the dish. It was so thick and moist you wouldn't guess it was gluten free. 

Canyon Bakehouse

I was planning on making some yummy gourmet grilled cheeses with the bread for dinner one night to go along with this post but I ran out of time :o
Within the next couple weeks though be on the lookout for a post/recipe in which I use the Canyon Bakehouse breads.
I think the Mountain White will be PERFECT for grilled cheese.

Canyon Bakehouse giveaway

Would you like to have all the products seen above??
Well, now you have a chance too! And just in time for Christmas!

Canyon Bakehouse wants to send one of my lucky readers a nice little kit filled with all 3 breads you see above including the Canyon Crunch Muffins and Focacccia Bread!


Thank you Canyon Bakehouse for all the goodies!!



*Disclosure: Canyon Bakehouse sent me these products in exchange for a review. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.  



UPDATE::: The GIVEAWAY is now closed and Manda is our winner! Congrats Manda! I will be emailing you today so keep an eye out!

#CheersTo

#CheersTo

8:00 AM

Have you heard of Zevia? If not, then you are missing out! They offer some of the best natural, zero calorie soda's out there. They are so good and SO MUCH better for you then those "other" sodas.

Right now Zevia is running a great campaign called #CheersTo

Zevia is spreading the holiday cheer! Follow Zevia and share the little moments that mean the most on Instagram and Twitter with #CheersTo for a chance to win oodles of prizes from now through 12/31! Peep at all the holiday sparkle in the gallery and follow along on their instagram and twitter feeds for the daily winners! www.zevia.com/cheersto
Zevia #CheersTo

In honor of their #CheersTo campaign, I made one of my favorite "mocktails". A Shirley Temple.

Zevia #CheersTo Shirley Temple

Its so simple. All you need is a can of Lemon Lime Twist (you could also use ginger ale ), then add a splash of grenadine (you can find this at your local grocery store).
 Add a couple maraschino cherries to top it off and Voila!

  Zevia #CheersTo Shirley Temple

You can see my #CheersTo moment on instagram here :) 
http://instagram.com/p/whnQjcJwbr/?modal=true\

#CheersTo Zevia for this awesome Christmas Campaign! 


giveaways

MTM Giveaway ::Winner::

8:00 AM

Thank you to everyone that entered the Modern Table Meals Giveaway!

And the winner is....

Marissa Lee!!! 
(winner was chosen randomly via raffle copter)

Congrats my friend!
 I will be emailing you soon so keep an eye out! 

A HUGE thank you to Modern Table Meals for the opportunity to host the giveaway!!

Please help me in supporting this great company and either purchasing their products online or in store!
Remember,They are opening in new store's in 2015 so don't forget to check the store locator often!  

 Modern Table Meals Giveaway

easy cooking

Modern Table Meals ::GIVEAWAY::

8:00 AM

As many of you know, I have 3 things that I shoot for when making dinner.


1.Easy
2.Healthy
3.Quick 

 Modern Table Meals
I received my first Modern Table Meals package in a gift bag from the Wow Summit a couple weeks ago. I was immediately interested because it was gluten free, healthy pasta, and seemed easy to make. After trying it, I knew I had found my new favorite "go to" for nights when we need a quick and healthy meal.
It only takes 15 minutes to make each Modern Table Meal!!
I was so excited when the lovely people at Modern Table Meals sent me the bag, pictured above, filled with more goodies for me to try out!

What are Modern Table Meals you may ask?
Modern Table Meals is a line of high protein and GMO free complete meal kits. Each kit includes pasta made from beans along with dried vegetables, sauce and seasoning to customize the flavor to your family’s tastes. 

  •         Teriyaki White Bean & Broccoli Noodles with Teriyaki Sauce & Sesame 5-Spice Sauce *not gluten free*
  • Mediterranean Green Lentil Rotini with Garlic Herb Sauce & Mediterranean Citrus Seasoning *gluten free*
  • Italian Red Lentil Penne with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Parmesan Herb Seasoning *gluten free*
  • Southwest Red Lentil Rotini with Roasted Tomato Sauce and Chili Lime Seasoning *gluten free*

I love the pasta's. Being gluten free I have become kind of picky with my pasta. I am not a fan of corn pasta. I think its not as beneficial as other GF pastas out there, and you run the risk of ugly GMO's in corn pasta.
I love the fact that Modern Table Meals use's lentils and beans for their pasta. I think it gives them so much more flavor and more nutrition.

Modern Table Meals

It is creamy, flavorful, and delicious. It also makes for good leftovers :)
Modern Table Meals

For my Vegetarian and Vegan friends, all four flavors are vegetarian.  Two flavors, Southwest Red Lentil Rotini and Teriyaki White Bean and Broccoli Noodles, are vegan.

Modern Table Meals can be found across the country! Use their handy Store Locator to find one close to you :
 http://www.moderntable.com/store/ :

If you are like me and find there are no stores close to you that sell Modern Table Meals, you can also order online!
 : http://buymoderntable.com/ :
Modern Table Meals

They will be launching in more stores in 2015 so be sure to check your local health food stores and the store locator on the Modern Table Meals website.




Guess What Readers.
Modern Table Meals wants to send you a wonderful kit filled with their wonderful meals!

For my Gluten Free Friends. Don't be scared to enter just because the Teriyaki isn't gluten free
 (for obvious reasons: Dang you SOY SAUCE), 
do what I did and share the love and give it to a gluten eating friend :) 


Just enter below! 
This contest ends on the 13th at 12am so enter soon! 
I'll announce the winner on the 15th so stay tuned!

PLEASE remember the comment below so I know you entered! 

Thanks to Modern Table Meals for sending me their wonderful products and for doing the giveaway!





*Disclosure: Modern Table Meals sent me these products in exchange for a review. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.  

blogging for books

Greater Devotional Review

8:00 AM


The Greater Devotional : by Steven Furtick

In Greater, Pastor Steven Furtick challenged us to dream bigger, start smaller, and ignite God’s vision for our lives. In this devotional designed for daily guidance, you’ll begin your journey toward the greater life God wants for you. 
 
Over the next forty days of teaching, scripture readings, and prayer, your life will change. You’ll find the confidence to believe that nothing is impossible with God, the clarity to see what He’s calling you toward, and the courage to take your next step.
 
Dream bigger. Start smaller. Ignite God’s vision for your life.


My Review: 
I thought I had lost this book days after I received it. I was relieved and thought it was rather funny that my husband had taken it( he's a big fan of Furtick's). So with that said, I only got to take a quick look at it since my husband was engrossed in it every morning. This is a great devotional. My husbands (and my) favorite part of this book is how compact it is. There is a lot of information and great advice put in every day's lessons. It's also quick and easy to do on busy mornings. Steven Furtick is a great preacher and writer and this is just another great book by him.
This would be a great christmas gift for anyone, especially husbands ;) 

Baby Cakes NYC

FACCWDW Recap

9:18 PM

This past Saturday I had a great opportunity to attend the first ever Food Allergy and Celiac Convention at the Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World.
Put on by two lovely ladies, Laurie and Sarah, this event was great for everyone and anyone who is plagued with food allergies of any kind (like myself).
There were many great speakers and vendors. The vendors were probably my favorite part of the whole convention. As a blogger, I love networking and talking to vendor's. Its always fun to talk to the people behind the products and marketing of those products.

I loved hearing Dr. Kendra Becker. She was the first session my mom and I went to. She gave great tips for natural remedies for all kinds of sickness. My mom took a lot of notes that I am going to be asking for later. Dr.Becker was so nice and I was even able to ask her some questions afterwards about my own health and what I could be doing.

 FACCWDW Recap

Like I said before, the vendors were probably my favorite part of the convention. Some of my favorites were:
Enjoy Life, Saffron Road, Simply B, Garden Lites, Barnies Coffee Kitchen, Baby Cakes NYC, and Young Living Essential Oils .

It was such a great weekend and I can't wait for next year.


Also a big ShoutOUT to our friend Mrs.Sherri from the Pixie Travel Agency for hooking us up with a nice room at the Coronado for the weekend :)


book

Destiny Defined Book Review

11:52 AM


: Destiny Defined : Book one of the Destiny Series :  
By J.A Marx

A dramatic shipwreck emancipates Riki Hammad, but the island where she finds refuge is compromised. Unless she finds a power truly great enough to defeat her dark past, she will choose death over returning to captivity. Lord VĂ©tis, high priest of a cultic underground, will stop at nothing to reclaim their chosen one. Using black magic, he manipulates Riki and her four self-assigned bodyguards, triggering a battle that consumes the entire island. The underground will never allow Riki to live out her dreams of a normal life . . . something she has never known.

:: My Review:: 
J.A Marx tells a great story in Destiny Defined. Its full of action, friendship, and fun. The characters are interested and sometimes even relatable. I found my self even laughing at some of there dialog from time to time. I really enjoyed this read and think its perfect for any avid reader you have in your house. I can't wait to see what happens in the rest of her series! 


*I was given this book to review from Litfuse Publicity. All views and opinions are completely mine

Cinderella

Friday Favorites

12:00 AM

Two Friday Favorites in a row?? No you are not seeing things ;)

Here are a few of my favorite things.....

The newly released trailer for Cinderella:
I am excited for this movie. Cinderella is one of my favorite princesses and I love films like "Ever After" that recreated the famous story. I am very interested in how disney portray this film

Christmas DIY:
This upcoming christmas season has me inspired to be more crafty. Whether or not that happens is another story but I can atleast pin all the ideas that appeal to me to my hearts content. ;) 
http://thelovelydrawer.com/festive-freebies/


My new favorite sweater:
I love my new LC Conrad sweater. Its the one in the picture below. And I may or may not be heading to kohl's on Friday to buy the boots in the photo as well ;) 
Baby it's cold outside:
This new version of "Baby it's cold outside" with Idina Menzel and Michael Buble is perfect for cold weather that has covered most of the US this week, including Florida.
My goodies from Enjoy Life:
I loved this lovely package of goodies I received from Enjoy Life :) I won a couple weeks ago on the #FACCWDW twitter party :) They are also apart of the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention this weekend (That you should come to if you happen to be in the area!) 
 Enjoy Life Friday Favorite

Happy Weekend Friends! 

convention

You should come

9:00 AM

If you happen to be in the Orlando area this Saturday, you should come to the Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World for the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention. It's gonna be a great time with great speakers and vendors.


Last I checked there were still tickets left! So, grab a ticket and come on down for an awesome time!

I'll be there tweeting and instagraming to my little hearts content and I hope to meet some of you there as well!



: For more information check out the website  : 
http://celebrateawareness.com/tag/faccwdw/


: Also for more recent updates check out the facebook page as well : 
https://www.facebook.com/faccwdw


cooking tips

You should be....

11:00 AM

 Soaking Quiona

Soaking your Quinoa.

Now I will be honest. I didn't even know about this till my mom sent me "The Crushing Cancer Kitchen" blog post.
According Dana, by soaking your quinoa for 12-24hrs before cooking it "It releases the phytic acid (an anti-nutrient found in grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, that binds to and can prevent us from absorbing the nutrients) and activates the phytase (an enzyme that helps them to digest)."

I don't know about your but I'd like some healthy enzymes in my food :)

All you do is fill a container of your choice with quinoa and twice the amount of water (Ex: 1 cup of quinoa = 2 cups of water). Then add a splash of apple cider vinegar and viola!


I dont do this all that time. I forget to do it a lot. However, when I do I can tell the quinoa is a lot fluffier then normal and I feel good knowing I'm getting more out of my food by planing ahead.

Are you going to start soaking your quinoa readers?? 
I sure am.. when I can remember ;) 


christmas

Friday Favorites

8:00 AM

I figured it was about time I do another Friday Favorites. I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to do a monthly favorites or a weekly Friday favorites and I always seem to go back to the weekly Friday Favorites. It's been my blog staple for a while now even though I haven't been as consistent with it as I used to be.

But without further ado:
Here are a few of my favorite things....
(I bet you were mentally singing it in your head too ;) )


LC Conrad Bathroom Collection:
If you have been reading my blog for a while you know I am obsessed with everything Lauren Conrad. She inspires a lot of my wardrobe. Recently she released a bathroom collection with Kohls and I want all of it.
We are actually in the process of making plans to redo our small little bathroom. My favorite color scheme of the collection is this one:

Now, I know my husband (and blog spell checker/editor ;) ) is going to see this and say it looks to girly. But please know dear husband that I will make sure I gather other inspiration besides this collection to decorate our bathroom so it doesn't seem so girly ;) 


Speaking of bathrooms. (sorry, i've got bathrooms on the brain apparently lol). Have you heard of this stuff, Poo-Pourri? I saw this stuff in a local boutique here in my town and I thought I'd try it out. 
I am a true believer now. I love it! We have only one small bathroom in our house and sometimes you gotta go while the other person is in the bathroom getting ready. Its just how it is. This stuff works wonders and helps your bathroom (and you) not smell like... well you know..And saves the person who has to use the bathroom next from having to hold their breath. ;)


I loved hearing Heather White speak at Wow Summit this weekend. She shared about EWG.com and as soon as I got home I jumped on it to see what products were not good for my home. Sadly I have been buying what I thought was good products for my home that are not :o Next time I go to the store to buy cleaning supplies I am going to buy the right ones for sure! 

Christmas Banners:
I am not a DIY person but I really think I could get accomplish either of these banners if I put my mind to it :P I think they're so adorable and looks fairly simple.
http://blog.vickybarone.com/2013/12/06/diy-merry-christmas-garland/
http://www.marvelousmommy.com/2013/12/diy-merry-christmas-burlap-banner/
Follow Samantha Riley's board Christmas Idea/Decorations and GIFTS! on Pinterest.

Reign:
I don't watch much tv. However, I do enjoy netflix and amazon and finding show's to watch while im around the house or doing my hair. I saw Reign on netflix and remembered I had seen it on the CW and wanted to watch it but never got a chance. So, I started watching it while I was doing my hair one morning, fast forward to a week later and I had caught up all the way to the newest episode of the new season..... Its that addicting folks. 
I will say there are some moments of the show are a bit rique (i'd say like 10% of some of the episode). I tend to ignore those parts. But all in all its a great show and now Thursday nights are "samantha's tv night" according to the husband.  Poor thing, if he's home he has to sit through two hours of TV shows that don't interest him at all. The Vampire Diares and Grey's Anatomy (i flip back and forth), and Reign. He's a good spot though. He get's football. I get vampires, doctors, and queens. 


Happy Weekend Friends! 

Canyon Bakehouse

#WOWSummit

8:00 AM

Wow Summit
My mom and I
If you were scrolling through Instagram and Twitter this weekend, you were probably bombarded with pictures and tweets from myself about the Wow Summit conference hosted by Mom's Meet.

NOW BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER, I know what you're thinking...

"But Samantha, you are not a mom?"

Yes I know. I am not.
However, I will be eventually and I am one of those people who likes to be prepared for future events. The Mom's Meet Wow Summit was a great event to prepare myself for future motherhood (Which will hopefully be in 2-3 years ;) ).
The conference was for like minded lady's and moms who are passionate about raising their families the natural and healthy way.

And if you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I am all for being healthy and natural!

There were tons of great speakers, awesome sponsors who showered us with tons of free products and samples, and a great atmosphere.

I'm going to try to simplify the weekend with some of my highlights.

 WOW Summit
 WOW Summit

Robyn O'Brien gave an awesome keynote speech about why we have the right to know what's in our food, and that with all these new food allergies popping up we should be aware that its not always us changing, its the food.
 She showed the two slides about the double standard in food. I know they are hard to read but the one to the right is example of the U.K ingredients list for Nutri Gran and The U.S ingredients list for the same product. How insane is that!? I personally think its ridiculous we can't put natural products in our own food. If the UK can do it, why don't we? How hard is it? 

WOW Summit

The next was a session hosted by Nature's Path about GMO's. I personally HATE GMO's. Don't even get me started. It's so scary to think that are food has this stuff in it (unless it has a GMO label).
I forgot to take a picture of this slide but here is a similar chart that was showed. Below is all the countries (in green) that required GMO labeling.

 
So Russia has GMO labeling but not the U.S????
I think that's a little ridiculous.
Don't get me wrong. I love my country. I love the freedom we have. But I also feel we have a right to know what we are buying is healthy for us and not full of pesticides and chemicals.

WOW summit
My next favorite talk was from Heather White. She talked all about keeping your home free of unnecessary chemicals. This was full of great information from me because I am in the process of trying to switch over all our products to greener more eco-friendly versions.
Heather's company EWG has great information on their site here : http://www.ewg.org/


Wow Summit
Last but not least all of the sponsors at the conference were amazing! Zevia, Flu Nada, Sweet Leaf, Suja, Smart Flour, Dippin Chips, Mrs Thinsters, Canyon Bakehouse, Kiwi, and so many more. Everyone was so nice, friendly and so excited to hear and work with bloggers.
As a blogger I love meeting companies that love to work with us. Its encouraging :)

Thanks Mom's Meet for invited me to come! I'm crossing my fingers I can come next year!

anniversary

Thanks

8:00 AM

This Saturday will mark 2 years since I started dating my husband and the 23rd of November will mark 1 year of being married to him. Last year, around this time, I wrote a sweet post to my husband and I would like to do that again.

BTW if you'd like to read the short story of how we met, check out that post ::here::

 Sommer Shine Photography
Dear Stephen,
Thank you for your love. Thank you for working so hard for us so that we can have nice things and healthy food for our table. Thank you for letting me cry and express my feelings (a lot) a month into our marriage, as I was overwhelmed. Thank you for being honest with me even though sometimes I don't want to hear it. Thank you for eating (even though you protest) the secret Tofu I substitute for Ricotta Cheese in my lasagna. Thank you for bringing me home flowers when I'm not suspecting. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you letting me talk your ear off when the lights are off and we are in bed (even though I know you fall asleep after a while). Thank you for making me laugh and always trying to make me smile. Thank you for your support and trusting heart when I feel God is leading myself or us somewhere. Thank you for believing with me that God can provide. Thank you (even though you complain) for putting my dishes in the dishwasher and putting them away when they are clean. Thank you for putting up with my need to Google every illness I have and have been going through. Thank you for telling me it will be ok, especially these past couple months when my body has taken a beating. Thank you for buying us Disney passes ;)
And most of all. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and with all your heart.


Yours forever and always,
Samantha

The Best thing in life is to hold onto each other
:: Audrey Hepburn ::

DIY

DIY Attempt

3:45 PM

 DIY side table

"It can't be that difficult"

5 words I will never say again when attempting a DIY project that requires a lot's of time and patience.
Back in May, I figured it was about time to paint/stain a side table we had bought at yard sale. After gathering the supplies I started sanding down the table. Soon after, I realized that I did not need to sand the table down to much so my hopes of an easy project were high.
Then, I started the staining and I realized I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be. I forgot gloves and an appropriate staining brush. As the Florida heat set in I got more and more frustrated and finally gave up. Went stompping into our house yelling "Next time I going to just pay for a table that is already finished, Ugh!"
Plus I am a wimp and will not work or do anything outside in the hot florida summer heat.

Fast forward to almost 4 months later and now that heat and humidity are gone and I have gathered the right tools to finish the job. With some great gloves and an appropriate staining brush, I was able to put on the final coat without feeling defeated and sweaty in just a couple of days.
 DIY Side Table

Now, this probably is a very minor project for some of my readers. However, I found out I have no patience for even a simple project like refurnishing a side table. Making sure all the nooks and crannies of the table were covered was quite daunting and too tedious for me.
It isn't perfect but I am proud of it.



So readers? Have you tried doing such as project as this? 
If so you probably had more patience then I did? ;)


adult things

10 Things I Hate About...

8:00 AM

... Being an Adult.

1. Paying bills: Granted I knew this one was in my future but it doesn't make it any less annoying.
2. Remembering to Pay Bills : My husband and I's conversations go something like this
Husband "Did you pay the bill?" 
Me "No." 
H "I think its due"
M "You are supposed to tell me when your ready to pay it".
H "Oh"
M "Crap"
(the i proceed to rush to find out when its due. Usually its a false alarm and we are not late)
3. Car Trouble: This one is a very recent problem for me. Nothing makes me more frustrated then car problems. However, I do feel very blessed to be a daughter of a mechanic and that my first instinct is to call my dad for help and he can easily assess the problem or will be able to look at it without costing me an arm and a leg. 
I also have a great parents that let me loan out their extra car ;) Thanks momma :) 
4. Having to go do things like work/school : NOW don't get me wrong, I love my job and feel very blessed to have it, but don't you ever have those days when you wish you could just take the day off and sit on your couch and watch reruns of Parks and Recreation? Me too. 
5. Realizing you can't spend all your money on stupid things: Granted I have room in my budget for clothing and miscellaneous things but man do I miss the days when the only thing i worried about paying was my (very cheep) phone bill and that I could spend my money on gas station Slurpees before class with friends. 
6. Making phone calls: I hate calling people I don't know. Maybe it's the introvert in me. I would love to not have to call my teacher, or the doctors office, or the dentist. You don't know how excited I am when I find out that I can make appointments for a doctors office online.  
7. Having to stay home and eat leftovers : Now this isn't a horrible thing but sometimes I'd love to just go buy some Moes or Chick-Fil-A instead of making dinner. But, that is neither healthy nor affordable sometimes.
8. New sleep schedule :  I remember when I used to sleep until 9:30. 10:30/11am on a good day. Now it's more like 6:45/7:30. If I can sleep in till 8:30 on a weekend that is a WIN for me. What happened??
9. Sharing a bathroom: This is probably my husbands complaint more then mine. But it is definitely harder to share a "small" bathroom with two people compared to one. 
10. Just being an adult in general :  I wish I could just take a day off from being an adult. Not have to deal with ANY adult things and just spend my entire day at disney acting at like a child. 


Dear Readers, how about you? 
What is one (or a few) thing(s) that you dislike that you have to do now that you are an adult? 

I don't want to be an adult anymore!!!! I think this every single morning.

cowgirl boots

Fall Garden

10:14 AM

Last spring. My awesome husband built me some a two small garden beds on the side of our house (see post here)
Because the fall in Florida is so mild and warm, I thought I'd take a jab at a fall garden this year.
There isn't a lot you can plant in the fall. However, many of the things we like to eat, such as squash and zucchini, grow well in the fall here in Florida. (or at least thats what I read;))
I am super excited to have found Spaghetti Squash seeds. As long as the nasty garden bugs stay away from eating my plants, I should have some nice sized Spaghetti Squash this year. Yay!
I think Spaghetti Squash is one of Gods gift to mankind. If you have not tried it yet you have not lived.

 Fall Garden

Dear Reader, Are you attempting a fall garden??
 If not, if you were what would you plant??

bean

Crock Pot Bean Chili

8:00 AM

I know, I am sorry.

Two Crock Pot recipe's in a row?
 I am the worst blogger ever!
Ok, maybe not the worst. Just not the most creative.

I started making Crock Pot Chili weeks after we got married last November. It was a quick recipe to make, the husband loved it, and it was perfect for the cool, crisp Florida nights at home.
This is a very healthy version of chili and is vegetarian as well.

And I know what you're saying:
"But my man is a MAN and want's his meat in his chili! How do I get him to eat Vegetarian?" 
Feel free to add meat if you'd like. I'm not gonna stop ya ;)
My husband spent 4 years in the Army and is as much as a man as you are going to get so I know how it goes with men and their meat.
But Trust Me, you can get your husband to eat vegetarian meals if you make them taste good!

Healthy Crock Pot Bean Chili. Vegetarian
Ingredients 
2 Cans of Red Kidney Beans, drained
1 Can of White Kidney Beans, drained 
1 Can of Diced tomatoes, not drained
Some regular tomato sauce if needed to make it more liquidy
A Chopped up Onion *optional*
Chili Powder
Hickory Flavored Liquid Smoke 


Hickory Flavored Liquid Smoke is my "secret ingredient" when it comes to chili.
 It makes it taste SO good.
(ShoutOut to my momma for showing me this "secret" first) 

Just throw all the ingredients into you favorite crock pot (4-6 hours on high or 6-8 on low) including the chopped up onion if you want to add that. Feel free to use other beans. I sometimes use black or pinto beans.
(I may have used beans/pinto beans in the recipe but I forgot to write down what i used*face palm*)
Always include kidney beans though. Kidney Beans are the essential chili bean.

 Add chili powder and liquid smoke (to taste) to the chili and mix up well.
When it tastes (or smells) good, place it in the crock pot for 6hrs on low.

*NOTE* Feel free to make this on the stove as well. I used to do that all the time. Just make sure to saute the onions before adding everything to the pan and simmer the chili till you think its done.

And TADA. Crock Pot Bean Chili. Top with your favorite chili essentials.
Mine is cheese, sour cream and a little bit of corn chips.


Happy Eating friends!

Don't forget to PIN this recipe if you like it so much!
please and thank you!




Airhead Bites

DLVoxBox

2:45 PM

Influenster is probably one of my favorite websites right now. Not only do I get great reviews of products from other users there, but I can use my love for social media to spread the word about certain products I enjoy.
I was able to receive a box of Influenster goodies that are for us college students to help survive the semesters of school.
The Vox Box I received was called "The Deans List Vox Box", perfect for this college student wanting to be on the deans list this semester :)

Here are just a view of the products in my box.
#DLVoxBox

Left to Right
Kiss Eyelashes : I will be honest. I don't know if I'll ever use these. I am a very "natural makeup" typer of girl. However, I was impressed about how natural they did look and feel. 
Playtex Sports : Every girl needs feminine products. We are never NOT going to need them. I tend to prefer the pad over tampons (not afraid of a little TMI here on the blog ;)) but it is always good to have a box around incase of a spontaneous trip to the beach. 
SoftLips Cube : Besides the pens (which I wrote about below), this is probably my other favorite item of the box. It was so sweet and made my lips super soft and smooth. PLUS (a bonus for us GF peeps) this chapstick is Gluten Free. Says so right on the back! Yay! 
Cover Girl "Ready, Set Gorgeous" : I used liquid foundation for a while as a teenager, now I have switched over to powder but I do like to keep some liquid on hand incase some stubborn pimples won't fade away. The color of this foundation was a little "orangier" (is that even a word) then I had hoped for, but it has great coverage and felt very light on my skin.


 #DLVoxBox

Other products in the box were 
Pilot FriXion Clicker Pen's : These things are the best. I am a HORRIBLE speller (if you've read my blog for a while you probably know that by now), so having a pen that has an eraser is amazing! I had to write a check last week and accidentally wrote the wrong number and it was so nice to be able to erase it and fix it. Thanks PILOT! I'll be buying these pens from now on. 
Sinful Colors No Text Red : I am always up for getting new nail polish. This color was amazing. Perfect for fall.  It doesn't last to long (but I also didn't put a base/top coat on when I painted my nails), but thats ok with me. I like to change up my nail color every couple of days. Sinful Colors is also running a great campaign with this color to raise awareness to people to not text and drive. Tweet #NoTextRed to help bring awareness. 
Airhead Bites : These did not last long. My husband loves him some airheads so we ate them within 48hrs of getting the box. My only complaint is they taste similar to Skittles, just a little bit more chewier. They are a great in-between class sweet snack though.


What products are a must for your college experience??
 Hand Sanitizer is a BIG one for me. Gotta stay clean and germ free
Leave me a comment! I'd loves to hear! 

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

conference

FLBlogCon

8:00 AM

I could probably write a book about my day at the FLBlogCon (Florida Blog Conference), but that would be to long and bore many of you so I'll try to keep it brief.


Florida Blog Con: Simply Samantha :

First off, I wasn't even planing on attending but an opportunity presented itself and I found myself waking up at 6am on a Saturday to head down to Winter Park with my mom to the event.

 Florida Blog Con : Simply Samantha:

Florida Blog Con : Simply Samantha :

It went by so fast which I was not expecting. I partly wished it had gone a little slower so I could have taken it all in.  So many speakers and so many topics.

 Florida Blog Con : Simply Samantha :
 My favorite session was a Photography Tips session by Julie of The Little Kitchen ( Top Right). She was so sweet and gave great simple tips. Definitely going to apply some of them to my future food post's :) 
Oh and obviously I enjoyed the Pinterest session. Who wouldn't??
AND did I even mention the gluten free cupcake the GiGi's Cupcakes had for us GF folks at the conference?? It was pumpkin spice and I about died. I wanted seconds SO BADLY. I am defiantly going to make a trip to GiGi's next time I'm in the area.

 GF Pumpkin Spice Cupcake from GiGi Cupcakes in Orlando


If you are in the Central Florida area and want to come next year, I highly recommend it!
And if you were there this year and we said hello! It was great to meet you and I hope to see you again next year!