November 29, 2011

A Holly Jolly Evening

Did you think I forgot about you today?
Heavens-to-betsy... no way! I've simply been majorly busy at work and I'm just now eating lunch and breathing. It's been one heck of a day!

After a 2 hour dentist appointment (I will soon be the proud new owner of a crown and no wisdom teeth...), a morning full of work craziness, and a visit from my favorite baby mama co-worker (and her chubby, adorable baby!) who has been on maternity leave, I need a night of relaxation!


Phew... I'm ready for things to settle down around here!


After work I am taking Bella Beast to the vet and then I'm FORCING myself to go to Zumba class. I need to work off Thanksgiving and get back into a healthier habit! Anyone else? After that, I am doing a bit of this...


.::: Headwrap Crocheting :::.






.::: Christmas Decorating :::.







.::: Banana Bread Baking :::.





.::: Elf Watching :::.





.:::.:::.:::.:::.



In need of some inspiration yourself? Check out my boards on Pinterest! It's going to be a relaxing and productive evening! Plus my Hotty McHotterson BF is planning to stop by for a bit... lucky me! ;)

PS- Thinking of selling my homemade corcheted headwraps in customized colors for $15 (including shipping!). I have crocheted several headwraps with an adorable flower on the side and button enclosurer in the back. I can also make the double button in the front wrap! Interested? E-mail me: megnificentlife (at) gmail (dot) com


Hope your evening is holly jolly!





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PS - In case you missed the Mingle Monday blog hop yesterday, go check it out! Get your blog some exposure and find some other great blogs!
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November 28, 2011

Healthy Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Raise your hand if you have a heaping amount of turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving. Yeah, I know... I have both hands AND a leg up. Of course that turkey is delicious the first and second time around, but I think I would probably scream if I had to eat another turkey sandwich. Who's with me?

Well don't you worry your pretty little heads, I have a delicious and super healthy alternative!

After browsing through cookbooks and the internet, I was inspired to turn a deep southern comfort food into a healthy guilt-free dish we all can enjoy. After combining several recipes and making healthy swaps, I have finished my masterpiece.

Trust me, you could fool your friends, family, and even your significant other with this dish. It's veggie filled, low fat, packed with fiber and protein, and hits the spot! The best part? It took me 5 minutes to make the whole dish!


{ Healthy Leftover Turkey Pot Pie }





Ingredients

- 1 bag of mixed frozen veggies partially (corn/peas/carrots/green beans combo)
- 1 can of  green beans
- 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic (I used pre-minced jar garlic)

- 2 cups lean cooked turkey cubed (you can sub chicken)
- 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- pre-packaged pie crust (feel free to make your own - I was in a hurry!)
- 9" pie pan



Directions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2) In a bowl, combine all veggies, garlic, turkey, soup, and milk.

3) Season the mixture with a generous amount of pepper and a little salt (optional).

4) Pour the filling mixture in an ungreased pie pan.

5) Roll out your pie crust to top the filling. be sure to carefully seal the side by pinching dough to pie pan. Cut several slits in the center of the pie for steam to escape.

6) Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until crust is a light golden color.

.:::.:::.:::.:::.


I tinkered around with this recipe , and we both thought it was the best thing that ever happened to leftover turkey. Now it's a monthly staple for a quick and easy dinner!


Bon Appetit!



Mingle Monday Blog Hop!!

Holy mashed potatoes... I think I am still full.
Do anybody else's pants feel a wee bit snug this morning, or am I the only one? After an amazing Thanksgiving weekend at my parent's house, I am back to the grind! One thing is for sure... I will be forcing myself to hit Zumba class tonight to work off that extra piece of pumpkin pie! Yowza.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I hit Black Friday hard, and now have 80% of my holiday shopping completed! Anybody find some good deals? What about Cyber Monday?

So with quite a hefty break from regular blogging, I have several fun things planned for the week, including my Healthy Turkey Pot Pie recipe for all of you stuck with leftovers! So I hope you stay tuned!

If you're new to [Life of Meg] or Mingle Monday... I want to welcome you from the bottom of my heart! I am so very happy to have you join us today and I look forward to discovering new blogs!! :)



{ Let's Mingle! }


.::::...::::...::::...::::..::::.


Pretty Pretty Please...

If you could find it in your big heart to pass the Mingle word along... I will love you forever and ever and ever.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take an extra minute to go the extra mile for me. I cannot thank you and your sweet generosity enough!

{ Many thanks! }



Mingle 240




_________________________________________________



How To Mingle:



1) Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to participate.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter your blog.

3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!

4) Come back to [Life of Meg] and leave an encouraging review of the blogs you visited!!

5) Answer the weekly question...


** What was the best Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal you got? **


_________________________________________________

** MINGLE FAIR -- all blog & runs (not commenting) will be removed. **





** Open until Friday at noon! Spread the word! **
_________________________________________________




PS - Looking for great inexpensive holiday gift ideas?

Check out Scentsy! I bought my mom, sister and BF's mom a Scentsy warmer and bars last year and they LOVE them! Yummy scents that will make your whole home smell like Christmas! My office smells like Pumpkin Roll as we speak!

Check out Lindsey's Bryan's Scentsy Cyber Monday deals!! Click on the "Cyber Monday" party to shop!

$25 purchase - Get a FREE Scentsy Bar
$50 purchase - Get (2) FREE Scentsy Bars
$100 purchase - Get a FREE Plug-in Warmer


* You will be contacted after order is placed to recieve your freebies! *

.:::.:::.:::.



Happy Monday, dolls!



November 23, 2011

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
I am guest posting over at Poodleism today, so make sure you check it out - Tips on being a better YOU! In other news, I get off of work at noon today (thank you Mr. CEO man!), I'm planning to force myself to hit the gym before I spend tomorrow consuming calories, and then I'm headed home with my brother when he gets off work!

Luckily for me, he lost a bet when my O-State Pokes crushed his K-State Cats a few weeks ago, and will be funding the gas and driving for our little roadie...

Can I get an amen?!

Anywho, I hope all of you traveling have a very safe trip wherever you are celebrating this year! I'm trying to focus on actually being actively Thankful this year, because I truly am so grateful for all the blessings God's given me!

I absolutely loved this Thanksgiving wish poem that I stumbled across last year, so I thought I'd share it again! Wishing you and yours a beautiful pound-free holiday! ;)


{ Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! Thankful for YOU! }


T’was the night of Thanksgiving,
But I just couldn’t sleep.
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned,
The dark meat and white.
But I fought the temptation,
With all of my might.


Tossing and turning,
with anticipation.
The thought of a snack
Became infatuation.

So I raced to the kitchen,
Flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge,
Full of goodies galore.


I gobbled up turkey,
And buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots,
Beans and tomatoes.

I felt myself swelling,
So plump and so round.
‘til all of a sudden,
I rose off the ground.


I crashed through the ceiling,
Floating into the sky,
With a mouthful of pudding,
And a handful of pie.

But I managed to yell
As I soared past the trees
Happy eating to all,
Pass the cranberries, please!!

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious,
May your pies take the prize
And May your Thanksgiving dinner...


Stay off of your thighs!


.:::.:::.:::.:::.



Gobble, gobble gobble! :)





________________________________________

PS - In case you missed the Mingle Monday blog hop yesterday, go check it out! Get your blog some exposure and find some other great blogs!

PPS - Keep up with me on the fly! Tweet tweet...
Follow me HERE!
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November 21, 2011

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!

Welcome to a short work week, friends!
I am working Monday, Tuesday and a half day on Wednesday (so excited!). Everyone have a great weekend? Any big news? Fun plans?

My birthday weekend was absolutely perfect! I enjoyed a nice sushi dinner out with all my friends, ate copious amounts of food/sweets (**see weekly question** haha), went to the cabin, and enjoyed a relaxing time with BF/friends/fam! Bday recap coming tomorrow! Meanwhile... shall we get to it?

If you're new to [Life of Meg] or Mingle Monday... welcome! I am so very happy to have you join me today and I look forward to your comments!! :)



{ Let's Mingle! }


.::::...::::...::::...::::..::::.


Pretty Pretty Please...

If you could find it in your big heart to pass the Mingle word along... I will love you forever and ever and ever.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take an extra minute to go the extra mile for me. I cannot thank you and your sweet generosity enough!

{ Many thanks! }



Mingle 240




_________________________________________________



How To Mingle:



1) Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to participate.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter your blog.

3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!

4) Come back to [Life of Meg] and leave an encouraging review of the blogs you visited!!

5) Answer the weekly question...


** What is your go to workout DVD (I need recommendations!)? **


_________________________________________________

** MINGLE FAIR -- all blog & runs (not commenting) will be removed. **






** Open until Friday at noon! Spread the word! **
_________________________________________________




Wishing you an awesome week!



November 17, 2011

Birthday Weekend Snapshot

Alright ladies, I'm headed out for the weekend!
Saturday is my big 25th birthday (yes, quarter of a century!), and I have some big plans over the next few days! I couldn't be more thankful to my friends, family, and co-workers for already making me feel so special, celebrated and loved this week, and my big day sin't even until Saturday!

Spoiled? Yup.

Here's a little snapshot of birthday fun to come...





{Thursday}
Sushi dinner with BF + friends tonight at a swanky/trendy sushi bar in Town Center. Cupcakes by my favorite bakery, Cupcakes a la Mode, and wine to follow at mi casa... can't wait!!


{Friday} Coffee date + early morning Breaking Dawn showing with my sweet friend, Karen! I've been waiting a solid year to see this Twilight wedding and I'm about to pee my pants... anyone else? BF and I leave for his parents cabin to celebrate my birthday this weekend - we love roadtrips!


{Saturday}
Sleeping in + movies + puppy snuggles + breakfast + long walks + board games + great company... what more could a girl ask for?


{Sunday} We're headed to Wichita to see my parents and my little sister for my birthday festivities. I have already received a text asking what birthday dessert I would like. My choice? I asked for a surprise! Spontaneity is the spice of life right?

.:::.:::.:::.:::.


I definitely don't need any presents. I will gladly accept a day that's full of kisses, glitter, puppy dogs, ice cream, and fun. Yup, just call me low-maintenance.


Happy early weekend, Dolls!



November 16, 2011

Donuts, a Concert, and a Winner!

Holy Smokes, I have so much to catch you up on!
Well, for starters, let me share a little weekend day date with you! Adam has been wanting to take me out to Louisburg Cider Mill for some fresh homemade apple donuts and cider... yum!

He picked me up on Saturday morning and we took a little road trip. The place was absolutely adorable, and look just like a snapshot from Country Living magazine. They had the most adorable shop where we bought waaayyy too many homemade jams/mixes/honey/cider!

We of course had our yummy donuts and cider, and even got to see how they were made...








.:::.:::.:::.:::.



We also went to see City and Colour perform in Lawrence with our favorite couple friends on Monday night. We had SUCH a blast! We ate at a yummy local pizza joint and then walked across the street to The Granada, where I fell in love with this song...





.:::.:::.:::.:::.



In case you entered the $100 Scentsy giveaway yesterday, we have two winners!!

$100 Credit - Bonnie Sowell

Half Priced/Free Products - Carmen Leonard



*Lindsey will be in touch with you shortly to redeem! Congrats!! :)

Don't worry, you can still shop Scentsy. I just ordered a bunch of holiday scented bars to give to friends/family, and I am deciding which Christmas warmer to buy - they're all so cute!

.:::.:::.:::.:::.



Hope you crazy kids are having a lovely day!!
Hugs n smooches!



November 15, 2011

$100 Scentsy Giveaway

Boy do I have a fun giveaway for you!!
Today's amazing giveaway is hosted by Independent Scentsy Consultant, Lindsey Bryan {my dear friend}. The winner of this giveaway will get a whopping $100 in Scentsy products. What a generous prize, right?!

For those of you who haven't heard of Scentsy, let me take a moment to fill you in! Scentsy is a super safe, wickless alternative to scented candles - I leave mine on all day {I own 3!}, and come home to a delicious smelling home! Friends ask me 24/7 why my house or work place smell SO good!




My Favorite Scents:

- Welcome Home
- Pumpkin Roll
- Cozy Fireside
- Cinnamon Vanilla
- Maple Butter
- Thunderstorm



Scentsy products include but are not limited to: warmers, perfume, room spray, plug-ins and so much more!


________________________________

HOW TO ENTER:

Visit this website HERE to enter, and fill out the entry form to win!! So easy to enter.

** Need Twitter account in order to enter **

________________________________




*ALSO... an additional giveaway*
If anyone places an order {no minimum amount!} on Lindsey's Scentsy site today only, you will be entered in a drawing to win additional discount/free products! Winners announced tomorrow!

So whether you are brand new to Scentsy, want to buy amazing Christmas gifts for family/friends, or need to re-stock your Scentsy bars, go visit Lindsey for this early Black Friday deal/giveaway!


{ Does anyone else love their Scentsy too?! }


I'm heading to shop as we speak...





PS - Interested in hosting a giveaway or monthly advertising/sponsorship?
E-mail me at megnificentlife {at} gmail {dot} com

November 14, 2011

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!!

My goodness, gals! I'm so sorry..
It's been a busy working day here in the big KC and I was not prepared for Mingle Monday as usual. But don't you fret, the party has officially arrived!!

I have been looking forward to this week for a while now... because it's my birth week! Yes, yours truly will be 25 this Saturday, and this week is full of celebrations and festivities! Don't you worry, I have a weekend update coming tomorrow, and I will also fill you in on b-day fun, so stay tuned!

If you're new to [Life of Meg] or Mingle Monday... welcome! I am so very happy to have you join me today and I look forward to your comments!! :)



{ Let's Mingle! }


.::::...::::...::::...::::..::::.


Pretty Pretty Please...

If you could find it in your big heart to pass the Mingle word along... I will love you forever and ever and ever.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take an extra minute to go the extra mile for me. I cannot thank you and your sweet generosity enough!

{ Many thanks! }



Mingle 240




_________________________________________________



How To Mingle:



1) Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to participate.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter your blog.

3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!

4) Come back to [Life of Meg] and leave an encouraging review of the blogs you visited!!

5) Answer the weekly question...


** What is the best b-day party you've ever been to? **


_________________________________________________

** MINGLE FAIR -- all blog & runs (not commenting) will be removed. **






_________________________________________________




Wishing you a glitter and puppy dogs kind of day!



November 10, 2011

World's Greatest Cinnamon Rolls

Alright, I've promised to share this recipe ever since I taught my girlfriends how to make cinnamon rolls last weekend. This recipe was absolutely perfect and the best one I've found yet! The roll is soft and melts in your mouth, the center is packed full of cinnamon sugar goodness, and the cream cheese frosting is so light and fluffy... a little piece of heaven, folks!

Don't you worry, you can totally do this! As long as you stick to the steps, making these shouldn't be intimidating, even if you've never tried making them before!

Let me guide you through this simple process, and in the end your family/significant other/siblings/friends/etc. will be so impressed and begging for more.Promise!

Not to mention, these rolls would be the perfect hostess treat during the holidays. Just whip up a batch and bring them home to your mama... she'll love you forever. Nobody has to worry about breakfast and everything is still homemade! Freezes well too!



Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Inspired by Bon Appetit at Foodess





Dough

1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (from 2 envelopes yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Pam or nonstick spray


Filling

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3 heaping tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature


Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
___________________________

Directions:

1) Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed, 30 to 45 seconds.

2) Pour into bowl of stand mixer and use the paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast (already prepared - see yeast packet instructions), and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl.

3) Add 21/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl.

4) Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.

5) Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.


For Filling:

1) Mix brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.


2) Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border.

3) Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up.

4) With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).

5) Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls).

6) Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.

7) Preheat oven to 375 degress. Position rack in center of oven .

8) Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls baked side up.




For Frosting:

1) Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth, light and fluffy

2) Spread frosting generously on the rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.




So, I hope you will give yourself some credit and have the confidence to tackle these! It really is WAY easier than it sounds, and as soon as I showed the girls, they felt confident to re-create this treat for their holiday celebrations!

After I made these, I got requests from my brother, friends and family to whip some up for them too! Good thing I have the day off today, right? Have a great weekend!


Bon Appetit!


Chicago Trip In Pictures

I know it's been a long time coming...
but my Chicago trip photos are here to share! After quite the long camera ordeal, I now have it fixed and I'm just reliving our awesome trip by sharing these photos with you!

For those of you that weren't in the loop, BF and I took a train trip to Chicago to spend a long weekend with his sister and her fiance. I absolutely fell in love with Chicago, and had a blast with some of my favorite people.

Before I share, I first need to say thank you to all of you wonderful friends who suggested places for us to visit, dine, and shop! I tried as many suggestions as possible, and overall... it was one of the best trips ever!






Our trip first started when Adam's sweet mom dropped us off at the Amtrack train station at 6 a.m. Please note our much needed coffee pick-me-ups! Yowza. Adam had never been a train before, and I was in 3rd grade when my parents took us on a train vacation so we were really excited.

We were actually surprised by how much room we had in the cabin. Our seats fully reclined, were super comfy, which worked out well for our early morning naps! We talked, read, watched movies, and whenever we needed a scenery change, we went to the observation or dining car!

If you ever want to look into a train trip, we loved Amtrack! What a cheap and stress free way to travel - check it out!


{ Isn't the view pretty? }


That evening we went out to dinner to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, and just had a great time walking hand in hand as we explored the city.

The next day Adam and I decided to grab a coffee and walk to Millennium Park, which was only a few minutes away. We watched the kids play in this awesome fountain for a while, then headed over to The Bean to visit this must-see cultural icon.








We met up with Meredith and Kyle after that for an adventurous afternoon, including Navy Pier, the lake, the aquarium, a boat ride, and adorable photos by the fountain...











Unfortunately, my silly camera died after our first full day there, and like you know, my camera charger went MIA.

I wish I could've captured our adventures in Wicker Park/Bucktown, the amazing food tour {highly recommended!}, our sunset visit to the John Hancock observatory {check out the view here!}, countless long gourmet dinners, and shopping extravaganzas... *sigh* Take me back!

.:::.:::.:::.:::.



Have a travel itch that you need to scratch? Where do you think your next trip will be?

Stay tuned... world's best cinnamon roll recipe coming soon!
Yummmm....



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