June 09, 2015

Eating in ATL {Ecco}

I have been to a few new restaurants in Atlanta recently, but have been slacking on taking photos to capture my experience. However, I recently dined at Ecco in Midtown Atlanta with my friend Jade. I've been wanting to go to Ecco for years, and finally got the chance so I just had to take a few photos at dinner and share my experience on my blog. Ecco is labeled as a "seasonal European Mediterranean Restaurant"

First of all, you have to start with the Fried Goat Cheese made with honey and black pepper. This dish is award-winning, and rightfully so. It's cheesy, a little sweet, and savory. I can't even put it into words you just have to order them and see!

Jade ordered one of their Wood-Fired Pizzas, yum!

And I had the Chitarra, a delicious vegetarian dish made with arugula, mascarpone, black pepper, and  pecorino. This is one of the best pastas I've ever had!

All of this was so, so good! It's definitely a perfect date spot or spot to celebrate a special occasion. 

Have you ever had fried goat cheese before? If not, why not!?

May 27, 2015

Recent healthy meals!

Hello! I wanted to share some of the healthy meals I've had recently. Eating clean or healthy for at least 2 meals a day has become part of my lifestyle, and I'm really grateful for that. I've lost about 5 pounds this summer, and now I'm really focusing on toning up and getting better at cardio workouts. See some of the meals I've been eating below!

Occasionally, I make my own sushi at home after attending this sushi class. One night, I made sushi with avocado and carrots inside. I also baked a few brussels sprouts as a side dish.

My mom baked carrots, peppers, and onions in the oven for 15-20 mins. and also made collard greens. I loved this healthy, delicious meal!

Recently, I've been baking my vegetables for a dinner side instead of just eating them raw. I love adding lemon, honey, and/or spices to raw veggies before letting them bake for 5-10 mins. In this dish, i baked broccoli, spinach, kale, and sweet onions.

Sometimes, I like a really clean/raw salad. I add as many veggies/fruits as possible and drizzle lemon juice and oil instead of a heavy salad dressing.

I made honey mustard and pineapple salmon on Mother's Day, so good!!!

Yum, I've had lots of brussels sprouts recently! Check out my favorite recipe here.

Then, I put one piece of tilapia on top of a bed of baby spinach! All I added was some lemon juice and honey and it was delicious!

On Earth Day, I went to one of my favorite healthy restaurants, True Food Kitchen, for a great meal!

This looks messy, but it was so good! Yellow rice, salmon, brussels sprouts, and raw baby kale.

May 18, 2015

Updating bedroom decor {navy and pink decor}

Since the semester ended, I've been preparing for my upcoming move to a new place in Atlanta! I'm very excited for a fresh start and to switch up my room decor. See my current room decor below:

I've loved having black and white being the major theme with a navy blue accent. But for my next room, I'm going to add in some pink and gold accents. I've been slowly collecting items for my new room and doing a few DIY projects, including a really fun project with Mason jars! I got 3 Mason jars from a Goodwill Store (each under $1), and then spray painted them black. I will be using them as flower vases for pink, blue, and white flowers.

I LOVE how they turned out, and this was such a fun and easy project!

While I was spray painting, I also spray painted this old stool all black and I'm going to add a few more details to it before using it in my new place.

And here is one of the images that inspired my future room's new look!

Once I'm all moved in and finish decorating, I'll be sure to share photos!

May 13, 2015

Baked Spaghetti Squash success

Hello, long time no post! My apologies, but it was an intense semester that I'm proud to say I completed with great grades. I'm so happy that summer is here and things are a little more relaxed for me. A while back I posted about how I had purchased what I thought was a spaghetti squash, but it was actually a pumpkin squash. #Fail. Well, I decided to try again and found what I've been looking for. Last week, I purchased two spaghetti squash from the grocery store.

 For the first squash, I used this baking method that I saw on Buzzfeed. I decided to make this squash into a healthier version of spaghetti and tomato sauce.

First squash / healthier preparation:

In a pot, I sautéed mushrooms, onions, and broccoli before adding tomato sauce.

The next day, I added salmon and spinach to the squash for a new taste, and it was great!

Second squash / less healthy preparation: 
For the second squash, I cut the squash into halves and poured olive oil on each half before baking it in the oven. I found that I had to use more oil in this method to get the squash softer. I also added black pepper and red pepper before baking.

After about 15 minutes, I added on spaghetti sauce that I had preheated in a pot. Then, after about 10 minutes, I added on cheese and let it melt on top.

The results were beautiful and so tasty! Each of these halves makes 2-3 servings which is great for people looking for a meal that will last throughout the week.

Both versions were so tasty, and tasted unbelievably like actual spaghetti noodles! I definitely suggest making spaghetti squash to be a spaghetti substitute when you have time to let them bake. These squash can be kind of pricey, so I suggest buying them when they're on sale or from a farmer's market. One squash is definitely enough for a few servings.

Have you ever made spaghetti squash before, and how was it?

April 21, 2015

Kale & brussels sprouts salad with curry shrimp

I have just a few more days left in my 3rd semester of grad school and I couldn't be more excited for summer break! I'm taking a study break to share this AMAZING salad I made and devoured last week. I love love love brussels sprouts, kale, and curry shrimp. And I oddly had the craving for all three of them at the same time. So, I decided to put them together in a kale salad. Check out the photos, ingredients, and this quick & easy recipe below!

Kale Salad
Freshly washed baby kale leaves
Whole kernel corn
Black pepper
Lemon juice

Curry Shrimp
1/2 pound of shrimp
Curry Powder
Black pepper
Lemon pepper

Brussels Sprouts
Lemon juice
Black pepper
Olive oil

1. Toss salad ingredients together in large bowl

2. Rinse brussels sprouts then toss in ingredients before putting in a baking tray. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 mins. or until ready

3. Prepare shrimp as desired then sprinkle on ingredients. Add olive oil to the pan. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins. or until done.

4. Add brussels sprouts and shrimp into salad as desired. Add salad dressing and other toppings as desired.

Brussels sprouts fresh out of the oven, yum! I drizzle on honey once they're baked.

Seasoning the shrimp!

Shrimp fresh out of the oven, yum!

I baked the shrimp and brussels sprouts at the same time and both came out great.

I tossed in my brussels sprouts, but added my shrimp on top once my salad was in the bowl.

The finished product! I added ranch dressing and more lemon juice to mine, but I think most salad dressings would pair well with this meal. I was also full after this meal, yet felt like I had eaten a clean meal.

This was such an interesting and delicious salad! I plan to remake it soon, but using a different meat! Let me know if you try it!

April 09, 2015

Easter outfit

I hope you had a great Easter weekend! I loved this past weekend because it's been my first chill weekend in a while. I got absolutely no work done. But, I did spend lots of time with my family and eating good food. I always welcome a break from school and this weekend was just what I needed. For church on Easter Sunday I wore a metallic high waist midi skirt over a blue mini eyelet dress from Forever 21. The dress is definitely too short for church, but I love the bright blue color and found a way to incorporate it into my look.

And I just wore some low black heels & pearls to finish the look.

What did you wear for Easter? If you did a post about it, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check it out!

April 01, 2015

Since I've been gone...

Well, hello there. It's been a long time since I've been able to post and that's bittersweet. Life has been moving in super sonic motion the past few weeks (sweet), but it's meant that I haven't had time to really reflect on everything and write/blog on my normal schedule (bitter). Before I start posting some fun things, I thought I would share what I've been up to recently...

Visiting California

A few days after that, I flew to Los Angeles to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew.

How cute is this little boy!? I wish they lived closer because hanging out with their little family is so much fun.

While in Cali, I got to go to the beach!

And I got to see this little one's school and some of his favorite places in Cali :)

My brother and sister understand my obsession with pretty view of cities (especially at night). So one night we drove up to Griffith Park's Observatory. The view was breathtaking and no photo does it justice, but I tried to capture all of the beautiful lights in this shot.

Food in California

I had the BEST salads while in California. I guess you could say California specializes in delicious healthy foods. This kale salad is from Mendocino Farms, one of my sister's favorite spots.

This salad (above & below) is the best salad I've ever had in my life. It's also from Mendocino Farms. And in the salad is...chicken! While in California, I started eating chicken again. Crazy, I know. But, I am trying to increase my iron levels and become more tolerant when it comes to eating chicken because it's tough to avoid it in the South. Here are the other contents of this bomb salad:

Avocado & Quinoa Ensalada R/GF 
butter lettuce & romaine, lacinato kale, quinoa & millet, black bean, roasted corn & jicama succotash, red onions, cilantro, Cotija cheese, grape tomatoes, crispy tortilla strips, avocado with chipotle vinaigrette

My sister also made us this delicious meal (chicken, butternut squash, and broccoli).

We had a few meals at Whole Foods, and I tried their salmon rice bowl. Very tasty and filling!

Currently reading

Before Spring Break, I finished reading another biography and was in search of a new book to read. I set the goal to read 7 books/biographies this year. I saw "Thrive" in the LAX Airport and it seemed like a great investment so I purchased it to read on my flight back. During the flight I got about halfway through the book and I loved it! I am finishing it up now, and want to share the book with all of my friends. Arianna's wisdom about life and career goals really spoke to me and helped me reevaluate what is most important in life. Taking a short break from blogging was nice because it allowed me to focus on other areas of my life that may have not been getting the attention they needed.

My favorite quotation from the book. Yes, yes, yes!

Other things...

Besides all of that, I've just been working on essays and projects for my classes and enjoying my beautiful campus and spring weather.

I also went to the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta for the first time last week. Such a fun and educational date night haha!

I've also been working on perfecting a homemade guacamole recipe, yum!

And since I gave up chocolate chips for Lent, I have been trying to replace that craving with brussels sprouts. Weird, I know. But so tasty!

And lastly, I have been taking lots and lots of photos! I am very proud of how busy my photography business is, and grateful for my high school friend and assistant Kristi helping me at events that require more than one shooter.

Thanks for reading! I'm excited to catch up on the blogs I normally read weekly and spend time with my family this Easter weekend.



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