Home Depot Patio Style Challenge Redux

flowersandherbs Home Depot Patio Style Challenge ReduxRemember when I decorated my friend’s patio last year in Home Depot’s Style Challenge? Well this year, I was tasked to use the same patio furniture and decorate my condo’s balcony. I was looking forward to making this a space where I can relax and wind down after a busy day at work.It’s become a safe haven for me as I recover. The full preview of my patio went live a few weeks ago but since I’ve been out of commission I haven’t been able to share it with you. Visit Home Depot’s blog to view the entire space.

HDSTYLESnacks Home Depot Patio Style Challenge Redux

HDSTYLEPillows Home Depot Patio Style Challenge Redux 

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Living with Crohn’s Disease

You may remember that I was in the hospital a few weeks ago with a rapid heart rate and stomach virus. Little did I know that the next two weeks would be spent in doctors offices filled with follow up appointments. My doctor in the hospital recommended I see a GI doctor about some digestive issues I had been dealing with over the past 9 months. So I went to my new GI doctor and she recommended I have a colonoscopy and an endocosopy. So I spent a day on an air-plane back to Atlanta from a work trip to Boston on a liquid diet and started drinking that stuff when I landed in Atlanta. Everyone told me the prep part would be the worst and they were right. The next day, I went in for my procedure which was a piece of cake. After waking up from my procedure the doctor went over my results and told me she thought I had a very mild Crohn’s Disease. I hadn’t even heard of Crohn’s Disease until the guy I’m dating and I were talking about it a few days prior. 

The way it was described to me is basically my immune system is attacking it’s self in a small area of my intestine. With proper diet and medicine the disease can be treated but not cured permanentely. With stress Crohn’s can flare up which is what I have been going through. The goal at this point is to put my body in remission. Because my condition is in such a small area and very mild, I have a good chance of putting it in remission for years. 

So I worked with two dietitian friends to create a diet for me and I’m planning out ways to eliminate stress. As much as I love food and wine, I have to rethink how I incorporate those in my diet. So the recipes on my blog will be taking a 360 degree over the next few months as I get my health back in order. I’m also working on my time management skills so that the blog is better organized. I think this is a way of God slowing me down to soak up my surroundings and show I don’t always have to do everything. I often overload my days with work and spending evenings at events around town. So I’ve been spending these past few weeks reflecting on my diagnosis. 

I would love to hear from my readers who may have crohn’s or know someone who has it. My family and friends have been amazing so far during this difficult time. 

 

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Lemon Whipped Feta Dip with Sour Cream and Onion Wheat Thins Popped Chips

lemonfetadip2 Lemon Whipped Feta Dip with Sour Cream and Onion Wheat Thins Popped ChipsBikini season is officially here! Everyone is hitting their neighborhood pools or planning weekend trips to the beach. Now that it’s swimsuit season, you are probably looking for great poolside snacks.

When thinking about a light and flavorful dip that was great for entertaining or bringing with you while on the go, a Lemon Whipped Feta Dip I had a restaurant a few months came to mind. So I decided to recreate this dip to pair with the new Sour Cream and Onion Wheat Thins Popped Chips.

lemonfetadip3 Lemon Whipped Feta Dip with Sour Cream and Onion Wheat Thins Popped Chips

The zestyness from the lemon goes really well with the sour and onion combination from the chips. The Sour Cream and Onion Wheat Thins Popped Chips work well as a dipping pairing because they are poppable and munchable and balance well with the lightness that the feta dip provides. The great thing about these chips is that they contain more than 10-11 g of whole grains which is great when trying stay looking hot this bikini season. Each chip is baked and never fried. Wheat Thins Popped Chips can be found in the cracker aisle of your local grocery store

lemonfetadip5 Lemon Whipped Feta Dip with Sour Cream and Onion Wheat Thins Popped Chips

Ingredients:

8 oz of crumbled feta

8 oz of low fat cream cheese                      

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1 tablespoons lemon zest

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 lemon, juiced

¼ teaspoon onion powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Chives, garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using your mixer or handheld blender stir all ingredients together on a medium speed until creamy and smooth. Serve with Wheat Thins Popped Chips and chopped vegetables.

This post was sponsored by Wheat Thins Popped through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Wheat Thins Popped, all opinions are my own.” Wheat Thins Popped Chips Can be found at your local grocery store aisle.

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Better Homes and Gardens: Where the Stylists Go in Atlanta

atlantaskylinebhg Better Homes and Gardens: Where the Stylists Go in Atlanta

I’m excited to share with you a recent interview I did with Better Homes and Gardens magazine on the best places to shop in Atlanta for home decor. In the article, I’m sharing some of my favorites places to look for deals for my home and eat in Atlanta. Click here to view the article. 

Image Source: Better Homes and Gardens

 

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ABC Family Young & Hungry Blogger Competition

A few weeks ago I was approached by ABC Family to see if I wanted to participate in a food blogger competition in conjunction with launch of their new TV series Young & Hungry. Young & Hungry is about a young aspiring food blogger who is hired by a tech mogul to be his personal chef. The show is inspired by Gabi from Broke Ass Gourmet and her story. In the show Gabi must prove to her boss that she’s worthy of the job. The show premieres June 25th on ABC Family.

youngandhungryletter ABC Family Young & Hungry Blogger Competition

They reached out to several food bloggers including myself and asked us to participate in a challenge. Think top chef meets the blog world. The challenge kicks off tomorrow and runs for two weeks.

Yesterday I received a box of goodies with clues pertaining to each challenge. We also received a cute apron, which I’ll share later. There are six challenges. Each clue is supposed to involve developing a recipe or completing a task. The winner of each challenge receives a cool prize like a Vitamix blender. The grand prize winner receives a mention on the ABC Family Show, Young and Hungry. In order to win, I need your votes and your friends votes. Fans can vote starting tomorrow via their Facebook. The page will have an app with each blog and recipe as they come in. So like their Facebook page and start voting for me!

youngandhungrypicnicbasket ABC Family Young & Hungry Blogger Competition

 

youngandhungryinsidepicnicbasket ABC Family Young & Hungry Blogger Competition

 

 

I’ll be posting my recipes here throughout the challenge. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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