Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Single Girl. Will Travel.

If you didn't know, now you know:  I am single.  Yep.  I've actually not had a "boyfriend" (by definition) since high school.  And if he's reading, it wasn't you that wrecked the idea of dating for me.  I've met/dated them all:  doctors, lawyers, investment bankers, medical sales reps, liberals, headhunters (Arizona you know I mean you), boys from Berlin, VPs, divorcees, hedge fund sales partners, principals at large companies, introverts, entrepreneurs, farmers, fisherman, CFOs, accountants, and I'm sure I forgot a few....

There are a million reasons why I have not found "the one" or "the one right now".  I could start listing, but I feel like the focus of this post might take a turn down the Road Which Leads Nowhere.

Let's clarify a few things:

  1. I'm a busy girl.  I love my career, I am successful, independent and pretty damn happy with life. 
  2. I've not found the one that makes my heart pitter-patter (and believe me, I have been through my fair mix of first dates). 
  3. I have no dying need to get married, yet.  Certainly I'd love someone to wake up next to, and cook for, and take care of the "things" only a man is able to do.  But what's the rush?
  4. My eggs are not going anywhere.  If my mom is reading this, you know the doctor specifically told you my parts are working just fine.  
Now that we've got the "why she's still single" thing covered, let's break into a more enjoyable topic:  Single Girl.  Will Travel.  

Did you know I wanted to be the 1st Female President of the United States?  Yep; and a home designer, and a politician, geneticist and a nurse.  My point being: this brain has no limits.  When this Modern Day Cinderella's mom and dad told her to imagine and dream big, she really did.  With that desire to conquer the world, came a desire to see the world.  I spent my 20's trying to "find" people to travel with.  I don't have a lot of friends, and my family isn't in love with traveling; so I told myself time and time again that I would indeed travel to the best places when I had the man of my dreams by my side.  I wanted to make-out on a bench in Paris; take one of those little boats in Venice; lay naked on a beach in Bali and make love; hold hands on the French Riviera; WHEN I found a man who loved me.  Did I also mention I'm a romantic?

Shortly after turning 30, BAM, it came to me: I don't need a man, or my nonexistent group of friends, or even my family, to travel....I only need myself, a passport and really cute shoes to travel (because every nationality knows a cute pair of shoes - it's a great conversation starter).   And who knows, this Modern Day Cinderella might just run into Prince Charming....or a few. 

Thus was born my 2015 blog focus.  Life in Heels and Pearls takes on a year of solo traveling.   So sit back, grab a glass of wine, open the Nordstrom's shopping site on a 2nd screen, and enjoy the trip.  

Xoxo from Minnesota,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Grown Up Chicken. It's Really Good For You.

Chicken can get really boring. Boring like that shade of lipstick you HAD to get for that wedding you were in two years ago (I promise my future bridesmaids y'all will have stellar cute lip GLOSS).  Boring like waiting in line for the coffee shop to open.  Boring like a bad kiss on an even worse date. 

Here's what happened when I woke up Sunday morning:  I decided to suck up it up and move on (y'all who know, know what I am talking about), I decided to run four miles AND THEN I decided to bake like the coming back of Jesus was about to happen...because undoubtedly so, I will have killer caramel rolls set and ready for that occassion. 

Chicken was thawing in the fridge, my hair was still messy and I was kicking it in an apron and Lululemon leggins (quite the image, eh?).  My Pinterest Boards are overflowing like a spring flood, so this modern day Cinderella decided it was time to alleviate some of that backup.  Enter Chicken Stuffing Creativity 101. 

Chicken (and pork) is a really versatile food.  I know, I know, y'all are probably thinking "but chicken is bland and boring you blonde weirdo!"; BUT here is the kicker, spicing up chicken (much like spicing up the bedroom in a marriage) is actually really easy and fun. 

Go to your fridge, go on and do it, pull out that thawed chicken, any type of cheese you have (the more the merrier when dairy is involved), greens, eggs, and garlic.  THEN go to your cupboard, pull out breadcrumbs,  that lovely girl named PAM, and some salt + pepper. 

Are y'all still with this girl?  Mmk. Here. We. Go.

(1)  Take four eggs and separate them into egg whites.  Toss those yolks (or keep 'em).  Fluff 'em up and sprinkle a wee bit of salt + pepper in.  Mix in your cheese!  For my saucy chicken (it was like a lacy white nighty from VS - confident and basic with a bit of an edge), I used 1/2 cup part skim ricotta, 1/4 cup shredded parm and 1/4 cup mozzarella.  Let that sit aside and get all gooey. 

(2) In a sauce pan, add 1-2 cups chopped greens (I used spinach and asparagus).  Add a few TBSP garlic and saute it like its hot until your greens wilt and the kitchen smells overwhelmingly good (like you just want to take a bite out of the air).  Mix those greens in with your egg/cheese goodness.  TA DA - y'all have your stuffing completed. 


(3) The fun part comes when you get to smash that chicken breast into a flat piece of chicken.  Carefull so you don't wreck it; they are a wee bit delicate.  So repeat this for your 4-6 chicken breasts. 

(4) Set up your counter in this order:  Bowl of egg/cheese goodness, Bowl of egg whites (y'all will have to crack a few more), and Bowl of breadcrumbs.  Starting on the far left, fill your chicken with the egg/cheese goodness, then roll it up (pack it and mark it with a B - jk), drop it in the egg whites and then coat that bad boy with breadcrumbs.  Place your stuffed breast seam down in the pan. 

(5) Repeat for all your flattened breasts.  Place those pans in the ove at 450 for 25 minutes.  It's an amazing outcome - the egg white within your stuffing makes it fluffy and lite.  When you bring them out of the oven, top with a little marinara sauce and sprinkle with cheese. 

  • Boneless chicken breast (4-6)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 2 cups chopped spinace
  • asaparagus (10-12 stalks chopped - should you so desire)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • garlic (I use the stuff from a jar)
  • Eggs or egg whites
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • marinara sauce
Eat, love and be merry.  Your tummy will thank me for this recipe.

All they way from MN

Turning 30.

Amazing things happen in life when you least expect it.

My beautiful Momma would tell you that falling in love with life is what happens when you are busy enjoying every day to it's utmost potential. This modern day Cinderella would agree...and then add: a beautiful life starts with being so full of love you are almost ready to burst. The past decade blessed me with so many opportunities: I began my first company, I became an Auntie and a Godmother, I shared in the joy of both my parents finding love AND my Grandmother finding love once again. Our family grew; I bet my Grandpa is looking down from Heaven with a pride so big it would burst the hearts of most boys I have dated. I found an amazing group of girlfriends. I flew across the big pond and experienced Europe all by myself. I survived my first major surgery and our prayers were answered when both my momma and sister came through their surgeries.

With age comes wisdom (and your IQ naturally increases when you turn 30....legit for real, I'm Einstein now). I have learned loving life comes with having the patience to wait for the rest of it to happen. Although I love my family, I believe this girl has had enough "why haven't you found a boyfriend?" confrontations for an entire lifetime (if y'all are reading this, take note). I'm not sure how, but I manage to keep my temper in check while wanting to scream, "YES, I would love to be married and getting ready for Baby #2". Life Lesson #1: have patience.

With age also comes an array of interestingly awful 1st, 2nd and 3rd dates; y'all are just eager to read about the 2nd date which ended in the ER, or the 1st date which ended up having more girls than just me along, or perhaps the 4th date that came with a full lecture on dating men for their money (which I will note is just awful - and why on Earth would you marry a man for money when a girl can make her own?).

This next decade, I plan to fully enjoy life increasingly more. And as my sister would say, share my over abundance of love with everyone all over again. Welcome to Life in Heels and Pearls: 30 and Beyond.