Archives for June 2016

Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Penne

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PickedAtPeak #CollectiveBias

This Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Penne Pasta is jam-packed full of fresh flavor! And it is impossible to stop eating. Truly. I stood over the pan with a fork and just kept digging in. Don’t tell my family. Pasta has always been my kryptonite. There is something irresistible about al-dente pasta combined with flavor rich sauces and a bite of protein. It is filling and comforting. Am I the only one who thinks Italian dishes are comfort food? I put this dish together in 30 minutes [ thank goodness for time saving recipes, am i right!? ]. It is a classic dish with artisan flavor; enrobing warm buttery penne in savory sauce with hearty chunks of chicken and veggies. Using local produce from the farmer’s market builds flavor in this dish that you just can’t get otherwise.

I grabbed a couple of jars of the Prego® Farmers’ Market Classic Marinara and Roasted Garlic Sauce from Walmart and got to work! The flavor of the sauce is beautifully complimented with fresh mushrooms, zucchini, and green bell pepper from the local farmer’s market! If you have a farmer’s market near, do not miss the opportunity to get fresh produce. It makes all the difference!

The sauce is what makes this dish extra special. This recipes uses the new Prego Farmers’ Market Roasted Garlic sauce. I am over the moon about these new Farmers’ Market sauces! They utilize farm fresh ingredients for irresistible full flavors. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to find a really good base for italian dishes. The heart of Italian food is the sauce and these sauces deliver. Big time!
Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Penne
Prep Time: 10 min  |  Cook Time: 30 min  |  Servings: 8-10 


For the chicken
– 6 small chicken breast
– 1½ tablespoons of butter
– pinch of salt
– dash of black pepper
– 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s 24 Herbs & Spices seasoning

| You can substitute the Bragg’s for an Italian Herb blend seasoning of choice |For the dish

– 1 jar of Prego Farmers’ Market Roasted Garlic Sauce
– ½ of a large Zuchini [ diced ]
– ½ of a medium Onion [ diced ]
– 4 large Portebella mushrooms [ diced ]
– 1 large green Bell Pepper [ chopped ]
– 1 can of Cannelloni beans
– 2 tablespoons heavy cream
– ½ of a cup Parmesan cheese [ shredded ]
– 1 box of Penne pastaFor the garnish
– 1½ cups shredded Parmesan cheese
– Sprinkle of flake salt
– Red Pepper flakes

For the Crostini’s
– 1 large baguette
– olive oil
– garlic cheese spread

– Large pan
– Chopping knife
– Cutting board
– Medium size bowl
– Medium size pot
– Baking sheet
– Parchment paper

Cut baguette at an angle into 1inch thick pieces, drizzle with olive oil, and spread garlic cheese. Place on lined baking sheet. Set aside.
Chop mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion and combine in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
Shred the ½ of a cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
– Preheat oven to 400˚
Step 1. Place chicken breast in large pan with 1½ tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s [ or classic Italian herb blend ]. Cook for 10 minutes on each side on high heat until golden brown on outside. Cut into chunks [while still in pan ]  and sauté in 1 teaspoon of butter for 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Step 2. Place mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion in the same pan, drizzle with olive oil and sauté on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Just until veggie become translucent. Add chicken back into pan with veggies and reduce heat to low. Add in one jar of Prego Farmers’ Market Roasted Garlic Sauce, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and ½ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, and 1 can of Cannelloni beans. Simmer on low.
Step 3. Fill medium size pot with water, add a dash of salt, and bring to a boil. Add in penne pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Pasta will be al-dente. Drain, then, add pasta into the pan with Tuscan Chicken and veggies. Toss until pasta is evenly coated with sauce.
Step 4. Place prepared Crostini garlic/cheese bread in oven and bake on 400˚ for 5 minutes.
Step 5. Serve Tuscan Chicken and Penne with flake salt, red pepper flakes, grated parmesan cheese and garlic-cheese Crostini’s!
This dish is addictively delicious! It is fresh and full of flavor. And the best part of all? It only takes 30 minutes to make. You are only a mere 30 minutes away from the best plate of carbs you’ve ever had 😉
What are you favorite farm fresh finds? How do you enjoy Prego’s Farmers’ Martket Sauces? Let me know in the comments. Have a beautiful day! xo, Jen

Elevated S’mores Inspired Ice Cream Sundaes

This shop had been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SoHoppinGood #TopYourSummer #CollectiveBias

I had a lightbulb moment the other day while buying stacks on stacks on stacks of Blue Bunny® ice cream – Sweet and creamy S’mores Inspired Ice Cream Sundaes! Graham cracker crumbles, mini chocolate chips, pecans [ I took creative liberties 😉 ], marshmallowy Blue Bunny® Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, crunchy fudge ribbons!! It’s all in there. Now all we need is a campfire and some toasted mallows!

I have been on a serious ice cream kick this month. I can’t get enough of it! Every sweet, cool bite is so refreshing, and so indulgent. These S’mores Inspired Ice Cream Sundaes are no exception! Every summer we get together with friends and spend our days camping out on the beach, cooking burgers, and roasting marshmallows over the campfire for s’mores. It is the perfect way to relax and enjoy time with family/friends! Especially after long hours spent studying ( I know my college girls are out there! ), or long days at work.

It is crazy hot here and our camping sight isn’t available yet so I decided to whip up a cool and creamy version of a classic s’more.. with a twist or two. I love my twists, what can I say. I hopped over to Walmart – Get it? Because Blue Bunny. HA! –  Anyway, I hopped over there and picked up some really delicious flavors. It’s such a small thing, but, I LOVE the new clear Blue Bunny® packaging! We eat with out eyes first, right? Seeing the swirls of fudge and peanut butter did me in. I would have purchased every carton in Walmart, but, self control. So I only got 3 cartons. Because really you can never have too much ice cream! Am I right?! I grabbed the Blue Bunny® Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream for the S’mores Sundaes, plus some other goodies for a fun twist on waffle cones! [ more about those below ], and whipped up these yummy, classy sundaes for everyone. You have to try these! They are easy and have s’mores inspired flavors with a sophisticated edge. These sundaes are great for entertaining, but, mostly they’re just great for your overall happiness 😉

S’mores Ice Cream Sundaes
Prep Time: 15 min  |  Chill Time: 5 min  | Serves: 6-8

– Blue Bunny® Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
– Graham Crackers ( crushed )
– Pecans ( whole or chopped )
– Semi-sweet chocolate chips
– Smucker’s Magic Shell Chocolate Fudge Flavored Topping

– Ice cream scoop
– Chilled glass ice cream cups

This is literally the easiest recipe you will ever replicate. EVER. And most likely one of the more delicious ones. Before you start assembling these sundaes place the glasses in the fridge or freezer to get frosty. Crush graham crackers into bite size pieces and set aside. If you want to use chopped pecans, go ahead and chop those and set aside. Nibble on the goodies as you go along and then dive spoon-first into your S’mores Sundae making!

Step 1. 
Place a small handful of the crushed graham crackers in the bottom of the chilled glass [ more if desired ]. Add in a small handful of whole or chopped pecans, and mini chocolate chips.

Step 2.
Add 2 generous scoops of Blue Bunny® Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream to the chilled glass, pressing ice cream down into the s’mores toppings.

Step 3.
Add another layer of crushed graham cracker, pecans, and mini chocolate chips. Top with 3 generous scoops of ice cream.

Step 4.
Top S’mores Sundaes with Smucker’s Magic Shell Chocolate Fudge Flavored Topping and a dusting of finely crushed graham cracker.

THAT’S IT! Place sundaes in freezer for later or enjoy immediately. I adore how simple these sundaes are. How crazy is the Smucker’s Magic Shell!? It’s the perfect topper to these sundaes. It hardens beautifully like those dipped cones we all know and love so much. It comes in a couple of flavors and is such an easy, simple, and inexpensive way to bring extra fun to your summer ice cream consumption 😉

Sundae Substitutions/Additions:
– Blue Bunny® Butter Pecan Ice Cream is a delicious substitution for the vanilla ice cream. It adds a salty buttery bite that is delicious pairing with the grahams and chocolate!
Chocolate graham crackers are a phenomenal substitution! Pair with Blue Bunny® Cherry Pickin’ Chocolate™ Ice Cream for a unique treat!
Cinnamon grahams are another great substation. Pair them with the Blue Bunny® Toasted Almond Fudge Ice Cream for a spicy kick!

I’m not stopping there though! Remember at the beginning of this post when I said I also picked up some other goodies for a fun twist on waffle cones? Yeah, well, I got Blue Bunny® Peanut Butter Party and Blue Bunny® Butter Pecan + some Keebler waffle cones [ they have chocolate waffle cones fyi ] and popped those bad boys upside down in chilled mugs! 
____________ Upside-down Waffle Cones ____________
Chilled Mugs  |  Stuffed Waffle Cones  | Enjoyment In Every Bite 

– Blue Bunny® Peanut Butter Party
– Blue Bunny® Butter Pecan
– Keebler Waffle Cones [ regular or chocolate ]
– Smucker’s Magic Shell [ any flavor ]
– Toppings of your choice


– Chilled glass mugs

Instead of just licking on an ice cream cone, pop those ice cream stiffed cones upside down in chilled mugs! They make a fun presentation and keep the mess down on hot summer days! Top the upside waffle cones with Smucker’s Magic Shell Chocolate Fudge Flavored Topping or another flavor, and any goodies you desire! Since I had sundaes too I kept things simple and straightforward. Have fun with this!

How do you enjoy the delicious Blue Bunny ice cream flavors!? Have you tried a sundaes like this? Tell me all about it in the comments. Have a beautiful day!

Be sure to check out the #SoHoppinGood social hub HERE for more creative recipes!


White Chocolate Cookies ‘n’ Cream Ice Cream

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BiteSizedBitsOfJoy #CollectiveBias


Your sweet tooth is going to be extremely happy today. I made this no-churn White Chocolate Ice Cream and it was delicious.. I folded in some classic Keebler Fudge Stripes cookie pieces, that I got at Kroger, and it changed my tastebud’s life! If you haven’t joined the no-churn ice cream craze this recipe is where you need to start! Creamy, sweet white chocolate ice cream is getting cozy with fudge drizzled dark chocolate cookies. It’s almost sinful.

When I was a little girl I used to get so excited about those iced Keebler animal cookies. You know, the ones with little round sprinkles on one side? Oh my goodness. There are no words. Today, I get childlike excitement from the classic fudge stripes cookies from Keebler.  They look like a donut, taste like a cookie, and make you feel wistful. They’re more than a cookie, they are a nostalgic experience.

What’s old is totally cool again with this recipe! My family absolutely loved this ice cream. They devoured it ( I helped of course ) in a matter of minutes!

White Chocolate Cookies ‘n’ Cream No-Churn Ice Cream 
Prep Time: 15 min  |  Set Time: 2 hrs  |  Servings: 4-6


For the ice cream.
– 1 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
– 8 oz white chocolate
– ¼ teaspoon of vanilla bean ( vanilla extract can be substituted )

For the fold-ins.
– ¼ cup white chocolate chunks
– 16-20  Keebler Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripes Cookies ( chopped )

– hand mixer + whisk attachment
– chilled medium size bowl
– chilled loaf pan
– small mixing bowl
– small pot for double boiler
– spatula

Before you begin, place a medium size mixing bowl and a loaf pan in the refrigerator to chill. Roughly chop or hand break the 16-20 dark chocolate Fudge Stripes cookies and set aside. You can chop up some white chocolate pieces, and extra cookie pieces, to top this ice cream with if you like!

1. Pour whipping cream into the chilled mixing bowl, add in ¼ teaspoon of vanilla bean, and beat on high for 5 minutes, or just until soft peaks form. Cover and place in refrigerator.

2. In a double boiler, place the 8 ounces of white chocolate and 1 cup of sweetened condescend milk. Stirring continuously, melt chocolate and condensed milk together on low-medium heat. Mixture will be thick. Set aside in fridge to cool.


3. Once the white white chocolate ganache has cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the  ganache until evenly combined. Fold in in chopped cookie pieces. Pour mixture into chilled loaf pan and place in freezer to set. About 1-2 hours. 

| because of the fat content from the cream and condensed milk this ice cream will not freeze solid. It will be thick and creamy, and oh so delicious! |

4. Let the ice cream set and then ENJOY! 

You can add in any Keebler cookie that you love to this recipe! Fudge Stripes are the hallmark of the brand for me, reminding me of friday night fellowships and late nights with friends. These cookies never go out of style! Sweet, crispy, chocolate-y nostalgia is wrapped up in every bite!

This ice cream is an elevated version of cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream. It really takes cookies ‘n’ cream to a new level! It is worth every single solitary calorie. This ice cream is very rich so enjoy it a little at a time! And then, you know, go for a run 😉 


Recipe Substitutions/Additions:

– Pecans add an amazing crunch to this ice cream and include a fun twist to classic cookies ‘n’ cream!
– If you are all about dark chocolate you can substitute the white chocolate for dark chocolate. It will still have that subtle cream taste, but, with a richer more bitter flavor.
– Play with the cookie choice! Keebler has so many yummy cookies to choose from; Chocolate chip, sandies, multiple fudge stripes flavors! Take you pick and have fun with this recipe!

What is your favorite Keebler cookie!? Have you jumped on the no-churn ice cream craze? Share with me in the comments. Have a beautiful day!

For more delicious inspiration be sure to check out the #BiteSizedBitsOfJoy social hub – HERE!

Keebler Cookies at Kroger: Summer 2016


Tropical Inspired Party Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc, and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias


There is nothing more relaxing than a tropical beach getaway am i right?! The salty air blowing gently, the waves crashing steadily in the background, the sun and the sand. When I think of a tropical beach day I think of friends, and taking care of myself, inside and out. Finding quiet for peace of mind, enjoying the sunshine for a dose of Vitamin D, and snacking on fresh fruit to fuel my body, instead of refined sugar.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed as a young career woman pursuing creative business opportunities! With so many things pulling at us it seems sometimes that we never have enough time for ourselves. Setting aside time to take a break and relax with friends is essential in maintaing a healthy mind, body, and attitude. Taking care ourselves should be a priority!

Tropical Inspired Party Tutorial
Budget: $40  |  Serves: 8 guests

The decor:
White table cloth
Palm Fronds ( real or fake ) 
Gold pineapple plates ( here )
Watermelon napkins ( here )
White cups
Clear Pitcher
Tiered plate stand
The food:
Fresh fruit skewers ( fruit of your choice )
Carbonated Water + frozen raspberries/kiwi slices (use non-carbonated water if preferred)
Blacker Pepper and Olive Triscuits
Deli style prosciutto 
Cantaloupe slices
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Coconut peanut butter cookies ( Udi’s brand is THE best! )
Cocoa Roasted Almonds
The Goodie Bags:
Brown paper kraft bags 
Chocolate covered toasted coconut
Acai Lip Balm
Centrum Raspberry Vitamints + Original Vitamints ( get them here )
Refreshing aroma therapy

_________________ Party Setup _________________


Tablescape |  The base of this tablescape is a canvas of white. This crisp background makes all of the accents pop! Set the scene with a bright white tablecloth and then add in the color elements.

Accents | Accent the crisp what table with plates, napkins, and watercolor cups that bring in touches of green and gold! Pineapple shaped plates add a fun twist while the gold element makes them sophisticated. Watermelon napkins with gold accents and watercolor palm leaf cups solidify the theme!

Palm Fronds | The large palm fronds backdrop is what pull this tropical inspired party together! I grabbed some real palm fronds from my backyard for the large accent, but you can purchase fake fronds or a banana leaf removable wallpaper background like this.

+ The palm leaf cups are an easy DIY. Grab blank white paper cups, a fine watercolor brush and a starter watercolor palette. Paint your version of a palm leaf on the cups and let dry! This adds a personal touch to the decor.



Crostinis |  For the savory element of this party food-scape I went with a crostini inspired bite. Triscuit crackers can be topped with sweet or savory ingredients, making them the perfect choice for an easy party appetizer! To make this appetizer simply top cracked black pepper and olive oil Triscuits with cantaloupe slices, deli style prosciutto ( italian ham ), and a slice of fresh mozzarella! They are delicious.

Fruit Skewers |  Skewers make a beautiful presentation for fruit! Since this is a tropical party I went with brightly colored fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon! You can use any fruit that you like! Pineapple is a great addition!

Coconut Peanut Butter Cookies |  Keeping in line with our tropical decor theme, the sweet treat for the foodscape is Coconut Peanut Butter Cookies. Oh my yum! Udi’s brand is the best, and they are gluten free! You can find them at your local grocery store.

Cocoa Roasted Almonds | Keep guests snacking happy with cocoa roasted almonds. They are a little sweet and a little salty! They make a perfect tasty handful.

Infused Sparkling Water |  Sparkling water adds a fun and sophisticated flair to the beverage for this party! Fill a pitcher with flavored or unflavored carbonated water, and add in some frozen raspberries and kiwi slices for a fresh flavor. It is that simple! You can infuse the water with any fruit that you prefer.



Kraft Bags | Brown kraft bags make these favors feel natural and casual! Just like a tropical getaway. Fill them with health supporting goodies and sweet treats! Secure goodie bags with gold paperclips for a touch of sophistication.

Aroma Therapy | Treat your guests with a refreshing aroma therapy like lemon grass or peppermint!

Chocolate Covered Coconut | Keeping with the tropical theme, include chocolate covered toasted coconut clusters as a sweet treat for guests to enjoy even after they have left the party! Solid dark chocolate, or even sweet white chocolate squares, are another delicious option for these favors.

Acia Lip Care | Caring for ourselves inside and out is the theme! Include a revitalizing lip balm for guest to use and enjoy the nourishing benefits!

Centrum Vitamints | Encourage guests to enjoy taking care of themselves and stay healthy with simple solutions like Centrum Vitamins and Gummies! I stopped by Walmart and grabbed two great Centrum Vitamints flavors: Raspberry and Cool Mint. A health supporting vitamin like Centrum is a thoughtful addition to these goodie bags! You can get any/all of the flavors here, or stop by your local Walmart and pick some up!


The tablescape for this party is bright and happy with crisp white backgrounds, pops of gold, tropical accents, Seriously, how fun are gold pineapple plates?! Etsy shops for the win! Delicious fresh fruit skewers, raspberry-kiwi infused water, and savory prosciutto melon appetizers will satisfy guests hunger, and your own! The theme of this party if taking care of ourselves! Treating guests with thoughtful goodie bags that support the theme of taking care of our bodies, inside and out, is the perfect way to send them off and leave them encouraged! Fill your goodie bags with revitalizing aroma therapy, natural lip balm, health supporting vitamins like Centrum Vitamints or Gummies, and toasted coconut covered in chocolate! Everything you need to take a break, care for yourself, and relax!

 |  *These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  |


This tropical beach inspired party tutorial brings together everything calming and fun about a day with friends at the beach, but, right in your home! What better way to celebrate taking care of yourself than relaxing at home with your closest friends for a small, easy, breezy party!

Come together, relax, and welcome taking care of yourself, inside and out!

How do you enjoy staying healthy with Centrum Gummies and Vitamints!? Will you give this tropical party a go? Tell me all about it in the comments! Have a beautiful day!

              LET’S CONNECT: 

Two Step Half-Up Cascading Hairstyle


My obsession with this cascading faux hawk hairstyle is at an all time high right now. I cannot tell you how much I love it! It is crazy easy to throw together ( just 4 steps ) and looks flirty, effortless, and chic! The faux hawk part of this hairstyle is what I consider a soft faux hawk. It is feminine with a little edge, and is not super high. The cascading curls that make up the tail of the faux hawk are beautiful AND they hide the bobby pins. That is winning.. and then winning some more. There is something special about knowing that the back of you hair looks pretty 😉

I love big voluminous curls that cascade in magical waves. This look is to die for with curls, but, are you ready for this? It looks just as incredible with straight hair. Does it get any better than that? Oh, and yes, short or straight curls look like a thing of dreams with this style. I see you girls with short hair!

PS. This hairstyle is your new go-to for 2-3 day old hair. Hide those sad roots like a boss!

4-6 Bobby Pins  |  Leave in Conditioner  |  Hairspray


Before beginning any half-up, all up, or just tousled hairstyle, I lightly spray my hair with a leave in conditioner or salt pray to give my hair a little texture. You can skip this step if you find that those products make your hair feel/look dirty. If not, get to spraying!
I do recommend Garnier’s 5-in-one lightweight spray from their Whole Blends collection. I swear by this spray! It gives hair a little shine without leaving it looking greasy which is so important for those days when your tousled curls are three days old! Dirty hair just holds better, you know?
Step 1. Beginning with curly or straight hair, spray ends with salt spray or leave in conditioner. Spitz hands with leave in conditioner and tousle hair at the roots. This will give your hair the volume and texture that it needs to look fuller!
Step 2. Sweep your hair back, with your pointer fingers, from the top of your ears to the crown of your head, pushing the outmost pieces underneath the center curls.
Step 3. Holding the soft faux hawk in place, begin pushing bobby pins underneath the center cascading curls ( or straight flowing hair! ), securing the outer pieces with 2-3 bobby pins on each side. Stagger the bobby pins for greater hold. *You should have a cluster of criss-crossed bobbies underneath the tail of this faux hawk.
Step 4. Secure hairstyle with a touch of hairspray! Lift the cascading tail of the faux hawk and spray curls as you release them for more volume! Spray ends of hair to hold curl shape.
And there you go! The easiest half-up hairstyle you will ever fall in love with. I like to wear my faux hawk on the demure side, but, you can amp up the volume if you’re feeling brave 😉 
This look is great for date night, stepping up your work hair game, or just looking pretty while running errands! 
Have you tried any of the faux hawk hairstyles yet? Will you give this look a try for summer? Let me know in the comments! Have a beautiful day! 


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