The Ultimate Indulgence – Creamy Gouda Grits

October 31, 2014

Here I am again, posting an incredibly indulgent recipe while I am in the middle of another 20-day fruit and vegetable cleanse.  And of course, my mouth is watering as I type this.  I totally have to put a disclaimer on this recipe post – it is INSANELY indulgent.  The calorie count is probably off the charts and let's not even talk about the fat count.  But sometimes you just have to splurge and enjoy GOOD food.  And this is one of those GOOD comfort food recipes.  One that will probably haunt you in your sleep.  You will wake up craving these, possibly every Sunday. LOL!
I have been eating grits for as long as I can remember.  My mom used to make us a hot bowl of grits with eggs and toast before school in the morning.  They were so perfectly smooth and creamy.  With plenty of cheese and black pepper.  That's what I remember the most.  I don't make grits as often as I would like for my family, but when I do it's a huge treat.  For breakfast or even as a side dish with dinner. {Um, braised short ribs with cheese grits!}
This is a pretty simple recipe but it does require some babysitting.  Grits are not something that can be left alone while cooking.  The pot requires constant stirring and in some occasions, adding of  more liquid to get the perfect consistency.  Another important note about cooking grits: they are to be gently simmered {not boiled!} and cooked sloooooowly over reaaaaaly low heat. If you cook them too fast, they will be hard and well, ...gritty. LOL! You want them to be smooth and creamy without a "bite" if that makes any sense at all.  
1 Cup Quaker Oats Quick 5-Minute Grits
2 Cups Water
3/4 Cup Half and Half {plus a few splashes at the end of cooking}
1/2 Cup Milk {I used 1%}
1/2 Stick Butter
1 Cup Shredded Gouda
Salt and Pepper to taste
{Start by shredding your cheese.  I have also {primarily} used cheddar for cheesy grits but this gouda is AMAZING in grits.  Gouda is probably my favorite cheese {unless it's smoked}.  The texture and mild buttery taste won me over years ago.}
{Add the water, milk, half and half and about a teaspoon of salt to a pot {that has a lid} over low heat.  Bring the liquid up to a high simmer, just below boil. If you let this boil, you will have a huge mess on your stove.}
{Turn the heat down as low as it will go and slowly stir in your cup of grits. A whisk is probably the best tool here but I couldn't find mine and used a fork, which works well. Stir, stir, stir as you slowly pour them in.}
{Continue to stir these so that they are perfectly creamy. Remember I said you have to babysit these.  The last thing you want is lumpy and clumpy grits.}
{Let them cook over a really low heat and continue to stir {every few minutes or so} for about 20-25 minutes.}
{Your grits will be thick and creamy without being lumpy and dry, which is the key! If they get too thick, too fast, your heat is too high.  They can be saved though.  Turn the heat down really low and add a bit of milk or water and stir them well.}

{Add in the butter, a few splashes of half and half, salt and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper.}
{Stir this well to incorporate.}
{Now for my favorite part – the cheese!}
{Mix well after adding your cheese and serve immediately.  What's better than piping hot, buttery and cheesy grits? NOTHING!}
{And as an added over-the-top measure, I enjoyed this bowl of decadence with crispy bacon. DROOL!} :)
How do you enjoy your grits?
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥  

Autumn Layering with Adea!

October 27, 2014


{I had the pleasure of reviewing this luxurious layering top from Adea.  Their tagline is 'Everyday Luxury' which they pretty much nailed – this is a basic everyday layering top but adds a touch of luxe, which I can appreciate.  I chose the long sleeve crew neck in the color "buttercream".  I will be wearing this a ton in the upcoming cooler months.  Made of Italian microfiber, it fits the body like a glove and will be good for wearing under my jackets/sweaters, since I am known to dress inappropriately light in the winter. I call it my wintertime denial. Lol!}

{I rocked it with an open ivory cardigan from Target, which I have been wearing a LOT lately. Also, can I please take a moment to acknowledge my gratitude for jean jacket + chunky scarf weather? It's my second favorite time of year!  After my beloved summers, of course.}
{Buttercream Long Sleeve Crew Neck Layering Top ~ c/o Adea / Denim ~ Old Navy / Ivory Cardigan ~ Target / Bright Check Boucle Scarf ~ Asos / Nude Patent Oxfords ~ Zara / Denim Jacket ~ H&M / Black Faux Croc Satchel ~ Target}
xoxo, thanks for reading!


Workwear: Metallic Ankle Boots

October 23, 2014

{Tan Ankle Pixie Pants ~ Old Navy / Navy Blouse ~ H&M / Green Utility Jacket ~ Old Navy / Metallic Booties {on sale!} ~ Aldo / Statement Necklace ~ Walmart / Black Faux Croc Satchel ~ Target} 
These boots will be getting a lot of wear this upcoming fall/winter season.  They go with everything – I wore them with a skirt this past weekend and loved the look!  I have a pretty unhealthy obsession with metallic shoes, I think these make number seven in my closet. LOL! What can I say, I like a little bit of fanciness on my feet on occasion. :)
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥


October 17, 2014

{Navy Pixie Ankle Pants ~ Old Navy / Heather Gray Ultimate Tee ~ Target / Nude Patent Oxfords ~ Zara / Nude Box Handbag ~ Zara}
Happy Friday! 
It doesn't get more simple than wearing ankle pants and a tee shirt. I fancied things up a bit with matching shoes and handbag.  I just love it when my shoes and handbag match. :) This tee shirt is a  new favorite of mine – I sized up for more of a relaxed fit and I was perfectly comfortable. There is something about a gray t-shirt, whether it's long or short sleeved, that I just adore. 
I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

Workwear: Nautical

October 8, 2014

{Navy Pixie Ankle Pants ~ Old Navy / Navy and White Striped Blouse ~ H&M / Red Blazer ~ Thrifted / Gold Flats ~ Sam Edelman {super duper old!}
My outfits are always the topic of many conversations that I have and I love it! Lol! This little sailor-girl nautical outfit worn to the office received so many compliments. This themed number was unintentional, really –  I grabbed this red blazer at the last minute since it was chilly out and it was the only jacket in the closet downstairs.  I would have loved to wear a pair of navy heels with this outfit but these gold flats are seriously the most comfortable and worn-in flats I own so they were a no-brainer.  And I love a gold shoe {well gold anything, actually, lol}.  Enough of my rambling, I hope you are having a great week!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

Beauty Ramblings: Fall Favorites!

October 7, 2014

I have always been clear here on the blog that I am the last person who would be considered a "guru" in any way, shape or form – especially when it comes to beauty.  When I have a bit of down time, I do love to watch YouTube make-up tutorials and "get ready with me videos" to try and learn new techniques and what the latest and greatest beauty products are, but for the most part I randomly just try new products to see if they will be kept in my rotation.  I am a pretty practical person and when I learn a tip or trick, I stick to it. I love it when my favorites are easily accessible and affordable.  Now that's just too good not to's what I am loving lately:

{Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish.  These polishes are in one word: AMAZING.  I try not to use that word too much or throw it around too loosely these days, but  these qualify as amazing and I am so glad they exist.  I think I have mentioned this before but I have really oily nail beds and regular nail polishes don't last long on me AT ALL.  There have been times when I have noticed a chip not even a full day after getting a manicure.  The longest a regular manicure has ever lasted for me, without chips, was about 3 days, tops.  Even salon gel manicures only last about 5-6 days, where others I know have had salon gel manicures last for 2 weeks without chipping. This Sally Hansen Gel have lasted a full week on my nails with veeeeery minimal chipping!  I love the color choices, the formula, the brush, the drying time....  I have not one complaint.  These are an absolute favorite of mine at the moment.  Here are a few of my favorite shades:
{"Wine Stock"}

{"Crème de la Crème"}

{"Pretty Piggy"}
{Wet n' Wild Ultimate Minerals Bronzer in "Amber Glow".  I have been getting so many compliments on my skin recently and I think this has a lot to do with it.  I use this bronzer as a blush on the apples of my cheeks and then take whatever's left on the brush and swipe it down my nose and it gives the perfect warm glow to my skin.  I love that it's not too shimmery.  It's a light formula and a little goes a long way – which is always a plus.}
{Ok, and speaking of compliments on my skin, I am 100% sure that this MAC Fix + spray has everything to do with that. Lol! I have been missing out for so long because I just recently discovered this at the end of the summer. This gives my face a flawless and dewy finish that is just perfect.  It sets my make-up and makes it last the entire day – even my bronzer/blush, which was not always the case.  I can NEVER be without this spray, ever, ever! I love it so much!  If you haven't tried it, please consider it, you won't regret it.}
{If you remember reading about these Wet n' Wild lipsticks here on the blog two years ago, you know how much I LOVE them, so I won't ramble too much but these are my absolute favorite lipsticks. Above and below are two of my favorites from the latest released shades from the Fall 2014 Limited Edition Collection.}
{"Urban Night"}
{"Bordeaux Boulevard"}
{And lastly, this Dove Purely Pampering Nourishing Body Wash is seriously just that – pampering.  When I get out of a HOT shower after using this, I feel so relaxed.  And I am pretty addicted to this scent – "Shea Butter with Warm Vanilla"... it smells heavenly.  It's soft and feminine and the fragrance is subtle but long-lasting. I LOVE it!  I hope this never ever ever EVER gets discontinued, I will be using this and only this from now on.}
What beauty products are you loving lately?
xoxo, thanks for reading!  ♥