Throwback Thursday: Traveling with Thelma & Louise Part II

Last week we began our #ThrowbackThursday Thelma & Louise Adventure series. It’s full of lots of fun and laughs as Mom and I made our annual Road Trip to the GREAT state of Texas. We’re picking up mid-week into our grand adventure- come along and join in on our fun!

Mount Pleasant is a small, North East Texas town. They have a 4 screen movie theatre, a Walmart, a growing downtown square with a handful of cute local spots and that’s about it y’all. After seeing all the Big MP had to offer we had the bright idea to continue the road trip and head up to Oklahoma!

Oklahoma? Yes! Oklahoma! Pawhuska, OK to be exact! Why sit still when you can go, see, and do? We talked Aunt Tina, aka Mert, into joining us on our little adventure! We were off to see The Pioneer Woman! We’ve been to Paula Dean and Emeri’s restaurants. Sat in the audience for a filming of the Rachel Ray Show. Cooked with Cat Cora at Disney, so why not add another Chef to our list? IMG_7414.jpeg

We doned our denim and cowgirl boots and hit the road towards Pawhuska! About 3 or so hours from Mount Pleasant and an hour from Tulsa. The Mercantile was everything we could have imagined and more! Beautiful wooden floors, rustic displays, exposed brick. {It reminded me of a more rustic Anthropologie.}  They had Pioneer Woman Merchandise, like you can purchase at Walmart, and all sorts of kitchen and Mercantile branded products. I could have stayed there for days!

IMG_7379.jpeg

The line to eat at The Merc Deli was down the street! We were able to walk right in the store- no wait!

IMG_7399.jpeg

We did some shopping, picked up a few surprises for Adam, and of course had to sample some of Ree’s sweet treats from the Bakery upstairs. No surprise, it was delicious! We wanted it all! {Tip: Get the Cowboy Coffee if you visit! I crave it!}

IMG_7387.jpegIMG_7391.jpeg IMG_7390.jpeg

Specific days of the year while The Pioneer Woman Show is not taping, they invite guests of the Mercantile to head to the Drummond Ranch and tour the Lodge. One of these days, just happened to be the day we visited! The views of the Drummond Ranch from the Lodge were absolutely breath taking. Everything you could see was their property.

IMG_7535.jpeg IMG_7416.jpegIMG_7415.jpegIMG_7470.jpeg We look like we fit right in at The Ranch, don’t you think?

We met the pups and the Drummond Ranchhand. I can’t reminder his name, but he has been working for the family for 30+ years! The nicest Cowboy y’all! He even wanted to get his picture with us Texas gals! I think we were the favorite visitors that day! Clearly!

Looks like Ree might have a little competition in the kitchen with Thelma, Louise & Mert!

IMG_7420.jpegIMG_7479.jpegIMG_7514.JPG

Loved our time at the Lodge and highly recommend planning your trip to Pawhuska and The Mercantile when you can visit the Ranch too.

Our time in Oklahoma continued to Tulsa. Check back next Thursday as we Throwback and share the rest of our Thelma & Louise Adventures!

Have you been to the Mercantile or Drummond Ranch? Share your stories with us! Were you lucky enough to meet Ree too? What about your favorite Pioneer Woman recipes? I’d love to know which ones you and your family enjoy most!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(mostly Holly & TG this time! )

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Zoodle Spaghetti

Ok…ok.  I know what you are thinking. GROSS!

There is no way you can make a tasty spaghetti with zucchini noodles. I’ll admit, it doesn’t compare to the real thing and honestly, it might take a little getting used to, but with the right Whole30 Compliant Sauce and full of flavor meat it can be a delicious substitution and SUPER quick meal!

There’s no real recipe. I just sort of threw together ingredients hoping to end up with something edible. Scary, isn’t it?

IMG_4804.jpeg

You can use whatever compliant sauce and meat you prefer, this is just what I used.

Ingredients:

Trader Giotto’s Organic Spaghetti sauce with mushrooms  

Whole Foods pre-packaged Zucchini Noodles

Pederson’s Italian Ground Sausage 

In a skillet, brown sausage. You can dice some onion and add it to it for more flavor and extra veggies if you want.

While the sausage browns, heat up a small pan and warm up spaghetti sauce. Transfer sausage to strainer and drain over pepper towels and remove excess oils. In the same skillet as the sausage was cooked in, add zoodles. Cook until desired tenderness. (I like mine pretty tender) Do not add any extra oil to the pan. It will just make the zoodles watery when added to the sauce- gross!

Add meat into sauce pan and stir together.

Once everything is cooked and warm. Add zoodles to a bowl. Top with meat/sauce mixture and top with fresh basil or oregano or both if you’d like! Enjoy!

IMG_4806.jpeg

Have you made a Whole30 Zoodle Spaghetti? What do you think about it? Do you have any tips for making it less watery? We’d love to know what you do to make it a delicious dish! This one is an easy recipe, but honestly, not one of my favorites. If I have the ingredients and don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ll make it, but it is not one of my favorites. Trying to get there though!

Hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole 30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Traveling with Thelma & Louise

Do you take an annual trip? Maybe it’s a girls weekend with your besties, a family beach trip or spending the holidays at Disney? With the cold, rainy weather we have been having in Atlanta lately, I can help but to throw back and think of warm, Summer days. It can’t get here fast enough!

Every Summer I go on a grand adventure (typically to the GREAT state of Texas) with my Navigator/Co-Pilot/DJ, Mom. It’s our Thelma & Louise Trip. While Summer days are on my mind, I thought telling y’all about our most recent Thelma & Louise trip was great for a Throwback Thursday!

We started this annual tradition close to ten years ago. Every Summer while Mom is on break from school, we pack our bags, load the car and hit the road for the 12+ hour trip to the GREAT State! Last Summer was one for the books! It was the first year we did not take my tag-a-long dog, Samson- which meant we could stop whenever and wherever we wanted. Let me tell you, that’s exactly what we did! It was more like a 16 hour drive to Texas this year from all the stops we made (to shop) along the way!

We had the most fun stopping at all, well not all, but almost all of the Cracker Barrels between Atlanta and Texas! Who knew they have some of the cutest clothes and trying them on in their bathroom was a hoot! IMG_7261.jpeg IMG_7260.jpegWe left Georgia towards the GREAT State and think we stopped a good three times {Gas, Breakfast at Chick-Fil-A, it wouldn’t be a road trip otherwise, and of course for a little shopping at the CB) before making the two hour drive to cross the state line into Alabama. We sang our way with George Strait and Taylor Swift through Alabama and were in Mississippi in no time! While in Jackson, we planned our drive just right…lunch anyone? We just happened to stumble upon Babalu {Tacos & Tapas}.  IMG_7270-1.jpegThe restaurant sits in an 1927 School House Building. Traces of the building’s roots are still evident with high ceilings, tall windows, and cement walls. You may even notice circular patterns on the ceiling – it’s leftover from the old ceiling tiles! The building’s quirks are just a few of the characteristics that make Babalu unique. They even have classic TV reruns playing on the walls for you to enjoy over tapas in the main dining room or cheers to a “Thelma & Louise Trip” with a Baba-rita!

We snacked on their Guacamole and some of their homemade mini tacos. SO good y’all! Little did we know, a Babalu Atlanta was in the works and recently opened in Midtown, just down the street from your Newly Newlyweds!IMG_7277.jpegAfter lunch, we hoped back in the car and continued our journey towards the GREAT state. We sang our special song as we crossed over the Mighty Mississippi into Louisiana and being that we were 1,400+ miles from Vegas, a stop at Margaritaville in Shreveport to do a little gambling was in our cards! We were not the “women to blame” on this trip- we didn’t win big, but we did walk away just a few dollars down. Father Joe sure would be proud! IMG_7282.jpegShreveport is about 30 minutes from the TEXAS boarder and 2 hours to our final destination! The BIG MP! Mount Pleasant. {Its claim to fame? MP is home to the first Walmart in the State of Texas! Fun Fact, I know. }

IMG_7548.jpegOur first day in the BIG MP wasn’t spent in Mount Pleasant at all! We hit the road again about 7am the next morning for Canton, TX. Home of First Monday Trade Days. Y’all if you have ever seen Flea Market Flip and LOVE it…you will LOVE Canton! It’s just like it, but only better and bigger! (We are in Texas after all!)IMG_7355.jpeg

Not only does Canton have junkin’, they have it all! Cute boutiques come and set up shop, venders of newly released products and those one-of-a-kind, can’t live with out it crafts. Oh y’all and the food! There is just something about Carnival like lemonade and hotdogs. (You might not want to admit it, but you know what I’m talking about! Yum!)

IMG_7364.JPGWe shopped till we dropped. Literally! We shopped all day and filled up my SUV with all sorts of treats that we just had to bring back to Georgia with us! Front porch sittin’ after a day of walking 10+ miles in the Texas heat never looked so good! IMG_7303.JPGAre you having as much fun as were? Just think, it’s just the beginning of our Thelma & Louise 2017 Adventure! Check back in next Thursday when we throwback and finish telling you all about our BIG adventure! No telling where we headed or ended up!

Do you take a Mother-Dauther trip? We’d love to hear your stories! We’re always looking for new places to go!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

{mostly Holly and TG this time}

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Bangers & Mash

Y’all this recipe is one of our absolute favorites! Adam has said multiple times he could eat it every day. It’s so delicious and left overs are even better!

We discovered the recipe during our first Whole30 from Melissa’s Whole30 book,  “The Whole30: The 30 Day Guide to Health and Food Freedom,”  and it has become a staple during (and after) our Whole30s.

You’re 29 days in! If you’ve not given it a try, tonight is the perfect night! Enjoy!

IMG_5303

Banger Sausage Patties with Sweet Potato Mash and Caramelized Onions

img_5293.jpeg

For the Sausage (I like my sausage to be full of flavor and add more seasonings than the recipe calls. My notes are in parentheses.) 

1 pound ground pork
¼ teaspoon ground sage (1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon dried thyme (1/2 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon onion powder (3/4 teaspoon)
¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
¹⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt
¹⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
Grated zest of 1 lemon

For the Mash

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
4 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
½ cup full-fat coconut milk
1 onion, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

PREPARE THE SAUSAGE: In a small mixing bowl, combine all the sausage seasonings.

 

In a large mixing bowl, mix up pork and add seasonings a little at a time. {TIP: If you have plastic gloves, they are great to use while you fold in the seasonings and form the patties so your hands don’t get icky.}

Form pork mixture into (about) 8 small patties. (I typically get about 6) Place on a plate and chill in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while starting the sweet potato mash. (I don’t always chill my patties and they turn out just fine.

COOK the sweet potatoes in the boiling water until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the ghee and coconut milk. Using a potato masher, immersion blender, or large kitchen fork, mash and mix the sweet potatoes with the ghee and coconut milk. (I add salat and pepper to the mash.) Cover the pot to keep warm and set aside.

REMOVE the sausage from the freezer and place on the parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake the sausage patties in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, and no pink remains in the middle of the patty.

MEANWHILE, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the ghee is hot, add the onion and cook for 15 minutes, turning them periodically as they begin to brown and caramelize. (Do not rush this step—the browner the color, the more concentrated the flavor will be.)

TRANSFER the mashed sweet potatoes to the plate. Top with the pork and gently set the cartelized onions ontop of the pork. Enjoy!

IMG_5306

 

This recipe can easily be doubled- I actually recommend it so you have left overs for breakfast or lunch the next day! You can also pre-mix the seasoning mixture and save in little zip-lock bags or in mason jars so you already have it ready when you’re making this dish. It will just save you a little time!

If you make this dish- let us know what you think! What’s your favorite Whole30 Dish? Share them with us!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Friday {Stella& Dot Style} Favorites

This bag y’all!

IMG_7209.JPG

This bag is stunning! This bag is so versatile with the multi-color pattern. This bag is my Friday Favorite!

IMG_4995.JPG

Stella&Dot‘s Taj Multi-Color Clutch debuted last Summer and I just LOVE it! Don’t you?

It was my Summer “It” bag and I am just itching to pull it out to start using it again! Come on Summer! The Taj is beautifully made – hand woven in India. The boho inspired fringe trim adds so much sass and character to the clutch. It is the ultimate Summer statement piece!

IMG_7671.JPG

I love the magnetic hardware clasp and the large envelope style. It fits all my essentials and is the perfect clutch for daily daytime events or a fun night out. Trust me, my Taj went on all sorts of adventures with me last Summer. Atlanta Braves Baseball Games, Trips to the Arizona Biltmore,  Disney and supper with new Southern friends- this bag has been all over (and still looks brand new!) How can you not love it?

IMG_6417.JPGIMG_9417.JPGIMG_9187.JPG

The Taj is back ordered until early March, but you can still grab yours for all your Spring and Summer adventures! Can’t wait and gotta have one now? Stella&Dot just came out with a new design, the Eloise Clutch.

IMG_5413.jpeg

This clutch is the ultimate finish the look piece and the gorgeous fringe detailing make it an instant show stopper! Perfect for your Valentine’s date with the Blush coloring.

Are you loving my Friday Favorite as much as I am? If your Stella&Dot Wish List is growing, let’s chat! Would love to have YOU as a Hostess for a girls night style session with you and all your friends!

 

Hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(mostly Holly)

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Let’s go fly a plane!

Yep. I said it.

On Sunday, August 20, 2017 when Adam decided to go “practice flying” I said, “Yea. Sure I’ll go.”

I’m not sure who was more surprised by my answer, Adam or myself. He had only been asking me to fly with him AND his instructor for 6 months and never did I have any interests in dying. I mean flying with them! Much less going up alone with Adam just days after him getting his pilot’s license.

IMG_9022.JPG

What in the world was I thinking? Maybe I was just being a supportive wife or crazy! I guess I’ll never know for sure, but on that warm August morning I decided to go up, up and away with my newly winged Pilot. I’ll share how we celebrated his big accomplishment in posts to come, but figured for our first Throwback Thursday of 2018 and (hopefully) days from getting our plane, it would be fun to tell our first flight story.

IMG_9462.JPG

Isn’t that the normal thing to do? Get your pilot’s license and buy a plane? We will share all the details about Elsa later!

83E96767-399E-49CA-95AB-688FABD15D71.JPG

Adam spent weeks prepping for the exam y’all. If you know him, you know that when he has a goal, he is going to reach it and not only reach it, but do it with flying colors. He will be the best. He will do it the fastest and getting his license to fly was no exception. As thrilled as I was for him for completing his goal, it was not an easy 6 months for us. He would wake up super early. Go fly. Go to work. Stay late at work. Go night fly. Come home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I basically never saw the man. We had plenty of conversations about him and the “other woman” he was obsessed with for months. Plenty.

August 20th was the first day I returned home from a trip down to Orlando. (Adam shipped me off to Disney World so he could study for the exam.) As I walked in the door, he was leaving to go on his first solo flight since earning his wings. JUST LIKE THAT I said, “Ok, I’ll go too!” It was a now or never thing. If we didn’t walk out the door that very moment, there was no way I was going up anytime soon.

Next thing I know I am in the passenger seat of a little Cesnna plane watching my Pilot do his pre-flight checks and texting my bother to let him know we were about to take flight, in the event anything happened. There was no way I was telling my parents until we landed safely back on the ground.

IMG_9454.jpeg

In no time we were taking off!

IMG_9459.jpeg

Needless to say my stomach was in knots. I said about one hundred Hail Mary’s and had white knuckles during take off. (Oh, lets be honest. I had white knuckles during the entire flight and landing!)

While I was never fully comfortable during the flight thanks to my nerves, it was actually fun. Seeing the city from above is pretty amazing. We flew around North Atlanta, over Stone Mountain and Lake Lanier for about an hour. Baby steps y’all, baby steps.

IMG_9461.jpeg

I guess I should let you know Adam did a fantastic job flying! He was such a gentleman constantly checking on me, telling me what each of the knobs on the panel and exactly what their functions were. We even chatted about me, yes ME, taking a few classes just so I can learn the basics and more importantly learn how to land in the event of an emergency. We both think it will help my nerves and allow me to calm down and actually enjoy flying in our little bird.

I am still not thrilled with the idea of Adam flying and us traveling in a tiny little plane, but I am warming up to it. Adam got me my own fancy airplane headphones and the cutest miniature suitcase for weekend trips in Elsa for Christmas. It is the cutest thing ever y’all! (Watch my Instagram for a picture! You’ll love the suitcase, trust me!)

Just from writing this Throwback post, I am already getting butterflies thinking about going up again. After 4+ months of being in service, our little plane, Elsa, should be finished next week! Looks like we will soon be flying the friendly skies together and 2018 will be full of adventures!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (throwback) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts.

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Favorites Homemade Chicken Salad

Happy 2018!

Can you believe we’re already 22 days into the New Year? It seems like just yesterday we were gathered around the TV, watching the ball drop and counting down to 2018. The New Year brings new beginnings, new goals and new resolutions.

Like most of America, one of our resolutions is to get healthier. Oh, I know, I know….we all probably say it, but as January 1st came and went, so did our first day of another Whole30.

Whole30.jpg

Here we are, 22 days in and feeling great! You might remember we began our Whole30 Lifestyle about this time last year. It was fantastic. We lost a few pounds, felt great, slept great, craved healthy food and then….Football Season happened. While all of our hard work didn’t go down hill, we did notice all the changes and honestly didn’t like how we felt. Together we pledged to continue what we started in 2017 and get back on the Whole30 Bandwagon.

We’re often posting photos on Instagram of our daily dishes and are constantly getting comments and messages asking “What’s the recipe,” “Can you send me your favorite whole30 dishes,” or “Oh my goodness! That looks so good! How did you make it?”

Seriously, I love the Whole30 love! It gets me so excited to continue this journey, play with recipes to make them compliant and share our story with you. I’ve loved connecting with friends over the Whole30 and helping each other continue this journey for whatever reasons they have for doing it.

You can betcha for weeks and months to come our weekly Monday’s Menu will be Whole30 inspired. Most of the recipes have come from Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 books, Whole30 Recipes on Facebook or Instagram and from a few of my favorite Whole30 Bloggers. Wherever we find the recipe, we will make sure to add the link and give credit where credit is do.

One of my favorite Whole30 recipes comes from Anya’s Eats, Homemade Chicken Salad. It is a great basic recipe and is so versatile- you can really make it your own! Which is exactly what I’ve done.

IMG_6271.JPG

Homemade Chicken Salad

  • 2-3 chicken breasts or equivalent in leftover roasted chicken (dark meat is fine too)
  • 32oz oz chicken broth (only if you don’t have chicken pre-made)
  • ⅓ cup red onion, diced (I use about 2/3 cup)
  • ⅓ cup celery, diced (I use about 2/3 cup)
  • ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped (I use about 1/2 cup)
  • ¼-1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Foods mayo (I use 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)
  • pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste ( I use about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup chopped grapes, into forths

IMG_5196.jpeg

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. If you are cooking the chicken, place in a large pot and cover with chicken broth. Or if you’ve got your Kamado Joe is hot, Adam will often inject the chicken with broth, season with salt & pepper and pop on the grill.
  2. Bring to a boil then turn down to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Chicken is done when it falls apart very easily.
  3. Drain broth and place in large bowl.
  4. If you are using leftover chicken, you can start here. Place chicken in a large bowl and pull apart with two forks until shredded. (TIP: Put your chicken in your Kitchen Aid stand mixer, attach the dough hook and turn on high to shred the chicken quickly and easily)
  5. Add onion, celery, pecans and spices and mix together with chicken. (Add grapes here.)
  6. Add mayo and mix until fully combined. Start with ¼ cup and add more if you want it to be less dry.
  7. Serve with celery sticks, sliced cucumber, or over a bed of lettuce. SO GOOD y’all!

I love this recipe. Like I said you can really interchange the ingredients and make it your own. Trust me…you won’t even know its Whole30 and not your normal Chicken Salad! The Primal Kitchen Mayo is delicious!

IMG_5201.jpeg

Adding the grapes and a few more ingredients helps to make the dish go further. It lasts us a week of lunches in our home and if you’re on the Whole30 you know how wonderful it is to not have to be in the kitchen all the time.

IMG_5199.jpeg

Do you have a favorite Whole30 Chicken Salad recipe? Have you made this with your own additions? Share your recipes with us! We’d love to give them a try too!

IMG_5203.jpeg

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!