Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Guest Post: Pasta Stuffed with Awesome

Happy Tuesday! Today I have Christine from The So-Called Homemaker taking over the blog. She will be sharing one of her favorite cooking recipes. I love food, so anyone who can show me how to prep a quick and delicious meal is instantly on my favorites.

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Hello A Pinch of Jasmine readers!  I’m really happy to be here today, posting one of my favorite recipes, ever.  I hope you guys will try it and love it as much as I do!  Insert one of my all-time favorite foods, chicken and spinach stuffed shells, otherwise known as “Pasta Stuffed with Awesome”.  They are…well, they are awesome.  Make them the night before a dinner party or just serve them to your significant other.  They take a little more prep than most recipes I enjoy, but they are so worth it!  There is nothing like coming home to gooey, cheesy, chicken-y, goodness that is these stuffed shells.  A little hint of cayenne pepper baked onto the chicken gives this meal a bit of kick (bonus: cayenne pepper is also a metabolism booster).  Make sure you have garlic bread handy to clean your plate, and make plenty so you can have leftovers!

pasta stuffed with awesome

-16 oz box of large pasta shells
-2x 15 oz containers of ricotta cheese (I use low fat)
-2 eggs
-6 cups Italian cheese mix
-2x 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach (defrosted)
-1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
-cayenne pepper
-Italian seasoning
-salt
-pepper
-olive oil
-29 oz jar of spaghetti sauce (any kind you like)

Preheat oven to 350.  While the oven preheats, pour a little olive oil on each side of the chicken breasts, and also season with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  There’s really no reason to measure these…put as much or as little as you like.  If you don’t like spicy foods, you can leave out the cayenne pepper.  Mine usually look something like this when seasoned.


Put chicken in the oven for about 40-45 minutes.  When fully cooked, pull out of the oven and allow to rest.  This is very important as it lets the juices get back into the chicken so it will be moist.  While the chicken rests, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Liberally salt the water and add a little olive oil as well so that the pasta shells don’t stick to each other.  Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, and 4 cups of Italian cheese mix.  Squeeze excess liquid from the spinach and add to cheese mix.  When the chicken is cool, shred it into the cheese mixture and give the whole thing one last big stir (you can also dice the chicken, but I find shredding it makes for a better texture).


Spray a 13×9 glass baking dish with non-stick spray, and then spread about 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce onto the bottom of the dish.  Fill each pasta shell with the cheese/chicken mixture and place in the dish.  When you have used all of your filling, put a spoonful of spaghetti sauce on top of each shell.  Cover all the shells evenly with the remaining 2 cups of Italian cheese mix, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake or broil on Low for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.  Remove from oven and allow to set for a couple minutes, then serve and enjoy!



Christine from The So Called Homemaker




Friday, August 22, 2014

A Little Inspiration + Super Fab Sponsor




 
Happy Friday! Today I wanted to steer away from the usual Friday Favorites and instead share a little inspirational quotes for those of you who may or may not need a little pick me upper. Outside the blogging world, life can get a little tough sometimes. Instead of stressing over how things are not going as planned, focusing on being positive, despite the sadness, can really make a difference. Positive vibes only, and lots of prayer. Hope y'all have a great weekend!



 
 

SUPER FAB SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT
 
I'm excited to introduce y'all to Kelly from Six One Six. It has been so much fun getting to know Kelly through her sponsor spotlight. The main reason I love this Super Fab Sponsor Spotlight is because I get to see how much I have in common with some of my sponsors, and I get to discover new books. I love how Kelly had a hard time picking just one favorite of anything, especially when it came to her favorite read, so I was curious to see why and hit up the Barnes & Noble website and um, yeah. Let's just say it's a good thing today is pay day. (Thanks, Kelly!) You can also get to know Kelly with her three favorite posts: Dear 12th Grade Kelly, Teddy Ruxpin Abuse, and Jelly Belly Kelly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

INSTA LIKES | 002

insta likes

For All Things Lovely | Popcorn & a ripped pair of jeans.
Wifestyles | Give me Jesus.
Arrows & Apricots | Stripes + Statement Necklaces.

Bloom Theory Shop | Fancy camera straps.
A Weekend Crossing | Daily Diaries + Nature.
Polka Dots & Sailor Stripes | A cute and simple summer outfit.


Flawlessly Flawed I am very busy.
Heavens to Betsy | Take me to Nashville, please.
Elliven Studio | Flawless home d├ęcor.


 
Happy hump day! I have been liking loving a lot of bloggers' Instagram photos this past month. I feel like summer calls for gorgeous outfit photos and great shots of travel spots. I'm hoping to make a little trip of my own before the summer ends, or a staycation, even though school already started again for me. I'm counting on the upcoming 3-day weekend for Labor Day. The only time I'm willing to be outdoors and endure the Texas heat. I can't wait to see how everybody else will be enjoying their 3-day weekend.
 
Hope y'all are having a lovely week!






Monday, August 18, 2014

Outfit Of The Day: Beating Hearts



dress h&m
bag target
shoes | bcbg (old)
necklace francesca's (old)

happy sunday monday! i was hoping to have this outfit post up yesterday but shark week was extremely distracting and i forgot to schedule it. i wanted to share an outfit post because i am so in love with this h&m dress. it's light, it's simple with hearts, and perfect for work. i threw on a brown belt and bright yellow necklace, and paired it with just some plain black heels. i'm also loving my new target bag. i've been wanting to buy a new bag, but nothing too pricey. except, then kate spade decided to throw a surprise sale and ta-da, i bought a kate spade, as you may have noticed on my instagram. i think august is the month of great sales, because lately i've been having luck with my weekend finds

also, i wanted to share a giveaway i'm participating in with rebekah from living lavender along with a few other bloggers. take a look! good luck!

PicMonkey Collage
Living Lavender // The So-Called Homemaker // Everyday Thoughts // A Sorta Fairytale // Marry Mint Sarah Christine Style // Where The Heart Is A Pinch of Jasmine // A Faithful Passion All That's Glittered // Dream Big & Buy The Shoes All My Love For All My Days // Becoming Adorrable // A Time For Seasons // The Jessa Olson Blog

OTHER PRIZES:

US-1075-00

PROMO CODES:

Living Lavender: use code "LAVENDER30" FOR 30% off all sponsorships Marry Mint: use code "AUGUST" FOR 50% off all sponsorships A Sorta Fairytale: use code "FAIRYTALE40" for 40% off all sponsorships A Time For Seasons: use code "lavender" for 50% off all sponsorships



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Insta Lately 005

insta lately
Detox Water I am loving trying new detox water recipes. My new favorite: strawberries, oranges and blueberries.

Selfies I am not one who likes to take selfies, because (a) it's awkward and (b) I suck at selfies. But when I'm having a good hair day, it's a must. Plus, I was really excited about wearing my new J.Crew necklace.

Bad, Winston | Do not let his cute little face fool you. This was after I caught him chewing on one of my brand new heels. Yes, I know, it's my fault for leaving them laying around the floor but I cannot seem to get them off that bad habit of chewing on shoes. Help me!

Local Foodies Joseph and I are foodies. Is that what you call it? Local foodies? We love our food and we love finding new places to try. This was at The Point Park & Eats. You just can't go wrong with food trucks. 

Inspiration With my family's recent loss of my uncle, I've been needing to read bible verses daily to remind myself that everything happens according to God's plan and on His timing. 

Shopping Because we all need a little shopping therapy to cheer ourselves up and J.Crew never fails me. Seriously, can someone just buy me an entire closet full of nothing but J.Crew clothes?

Local Drinks Just like food, Joseph and I like to try new drinks. These drinks, though, not so great. They look pretty but didn't taste too good. I was not a fan.

John Legend | If John Legend is coming to a city near you, I highly recommend you snatch pair a tickets and go to his concert. Excuse me, while I go back and relive that night by looking back at some of the concert videos.

Sweets | I absolutely love chocolate. This place is like chocolate heaven. They have milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate melted on pretty much whatever you want. Delicious!

PS: Sunday I was so excited because I reached 500 followers on Bloglovin, and then come Monday afternoon, I lost some. Whomp, whomp. You win some, you lose some.


SUPER FAB SPONSOR
twitter | bloglovin | facebook | instagram | pinterest

Say hello to one of my Super Fab sponsors, Christine from The So Called Homemaker. She's a real estate agent + blogger + mom to a beautiful little boy. She's a super star giving her readers blogging tips on the daily like why you should switch to Wordpress and how to take OOTD photos, which is my favorite one. Hilarious but so true. I'm definitely taking keeping these tips in mind the next time I take outfit of the day shots. Christine also shares her mommy side on her blog, including 8 weird things that mommies do. I'm excited for you guys to get to know Christine. Make sure to follow her!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Current Fashion Obsession: Floral Prints

Happy Sunday! So, lately I have been obsessed with floral prints. I see floral prints everywhere I shop at. Zara, J.Crew, H&M, Target, and sometimes even Gap. I decided to take the jump and bought a few pieces to give it a try, and I am loving floral prints. I may need to reorganize my closet to have a section for just floral print tops. I went from being in a stripes phase to a floral print phase, but I'm not complaining. They're very summer-ish, if that makes sense. What's your current fashion obsession? 

01 | H&M dress


Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Favorites 010

Hello! It's Friday, it's pay day and it's tax free weekend. Is it really time to get ready for a new school year? Where did summer go? I still can't decide if I even want to try and shop during tax free weekend, or if I want to just avoid that mall crowd. I haven't been to the mall during tax free weekend since I worked retail 3 years ago nor do I want to look back at those crazy days. It's insane. I pray for those working tax free weekend. Good luck! But, it is Friday Favorites time!

Friday Favorites

Make Up Picks | Hello, Naked 3 palette. Better late than never, right? I'm a little late in joining in on the fun of owning just any Naked palette, other than the Naked Basics. I've been a Too Faced eye shadow kind of girl because (a) it's cheaper and (b) it has cute little "how to" cards. But I am loving this Naked 3 palette so far!

Cooking | Lately I have been craving ceviche but of course, a ceviche appetizer alone at a restaurant is so expensive. I found recipe for a canned tuna ceviche recipe on Pinterest that I'm dying to try out. It looks delicious!

Office Organization | Whitney from Whitney Blake Blog recently launched the cutest hourly day planner. This girl is taking Heart & Arrows Design to the next level and I am so excited for her! I'm pre-ordering one of these babies right now! 

Style Wants | According to my Weekend Finds, I did plenty of shopping last weekend but when I stumbled upon this leopard print dress on ASOS through Pinterest, I fell in love with it. I have yet to buy it only because I can't decide if I should spend any more. Thoughts? 

Quotes & Sayings | I don't share too much of what's going on in my personal life on my blog, but I will say this, my family has been going through a lot these past two weeks and has suffered a loss. I have been praying for strength and understanding, and this little verse has been so meaningful to me lately.

Hope everybody has a lovely weekend! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August Goals

Taking a look back at July Goals, I am pretty darn proud of myself. I can’t believe the month flew by so quickly and that somehow I managed to accomplish a few of these goals. I think it’s because initially my mind was already set on these goals and how important it was for me to reach them. It was a busy month and every month moving forward is just going to get busier. Before I start listing this month’s goal, let’s take a look at last month’s goals:
 

BLOGGING goals: Success! I am loving Hootsuite and scheduling tweets ahead of time. I have also managed to schedule a few posts ahead of time to focus on school. It has been very helpful, which leads me to… 

ACADEMIC goals: Because I managed to schedule posts, I was able to keep up with my readings for school. Who knew staying on top of the reading material actually helped with writing your papers? 

HEALTH goals: Does drinking detox water throughout the day count? Other than that, I haven’t really made much of an effort to “eat healthier.” But I have cutten down on eating fast food, so that’s some progress. Right? I’m going to go with yes, that’s some progress. 




B L O G G I N G  goals 

Schedule more posts. With summer school being over, I have extra time to blog before Fall semester starts. I want to plan and schedule posts ahead of time, maybe even two weeks’ worth of posts instead of just one week ahead. 

Revamp “about me” page. I’m not happy with my about me page. I feel like it needs a makeover. Ashten from Always Ashten inspired me with her recent makeover spree. I’ve made some blog design changes, but now it’s time for the tedious changes – the blog pages. I think the “About Me” page is always the hardest because you have to talk about yourself. 

F I N A N C E  goals 

Make progress on clearing credit card debt. I paid off my biggest credit card balance last month (high five!) but I still have a long way to go. I think it’s time to break-up with my Victoria’s Secret Angel card. I don’t need another pair of expensive yoga pants. Target will be my new go to store for yoga pants. Plus, I’m not getting as many Angel “rewards” as I thought I would. Angel card, you’ll be gone by the end of this month. (I hope.) As for my Banana Republic card, I will never say goodbye to it. BR is too good to me and I love their rewards. Best store credit card ever! 

Set a weekly budget. I’ll admit, the majority of my money goes towards two of my favorite things: food and clothes. I want to start setting lunch money aside, since that’s the biggest one. I also need to cut back on reloading my Starbucks card. That alone kills my bank account. No more morning AND afternoon coffee runs for me. It’s detox water all day, every day for me now.  

H E A L T H  goals

Gym membership. Now that I have the whole “eat healthier” goal down, it’s time to hit the gym. Joseph and I decided the best way to achieve this goal is by going for it together. We have  two weddings to attend this year and we want to look like we actually do something other than eat and watch Netflix. We also decided to start running every other day at night. 

Get back on that skincare routine. Remember the nightly skincare routine I had down? Yeah, that only lasted for about a month or so. I need to set a strict skincare routine (morning and night) because I started breaking out again, but just a little.  It may also be because I’ve been horrible at taking my acne medication on time lately. I am the worst when it comes to remembering these things.

Have you set your goals for this month?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weekend Finds


Goodbye, weekend. You were so good to me, that I already can't wait for next weekend. 

I have been counting down the days until the last day of summer school so I could enjoy a weekend of shopping and I did exactly that this past weekend. I spent one day at the mall shopping with my sister (so many sales!) and then the next day shopping at the outlets with Joseph. I haven't been to the outlets in so long. Joseph and I went Saturday evening to avoid shopping in the Texas heat, but that plan kind of back fired since that meant we didn't get to San Marcos until late, so we were limited on time. That turned out to be a good thing, otherwise, I would've spent more than what I had anticipated. But, I am loving this weekend's finds. So many great sales! Is it Friday yet? I'm ready to shop again. 


J.Crew Gingham Shirt | J.Crew Necklace 


Banana Republic skirt (similar| J.Crew sunglasses | Aldo flip flops
Zara top (similar| Nordstrom Rack necklace (similar)


J.Crew top | Nordstrom Rack necklace (similar)