Recipes

Simple Brussel Sprouts with a Twist

Hey Ya’ll!

Hope your week has been an awesome one!

Something I’ve been trying to eat more are… brussel sprouts. I always hated them as a kid, but I want to give them a second, third and fourth chance 😉

Ready to try it out with me? Let’s do this!

 

Embarque’s Brussel Sprouts

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Ingredients:

 

Directions:

1.) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F

2.) Wash your brussel sprouts and strain

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3.) Cut off the stems (and any yellow or brown leaves) of the sprouts and slice in half

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4.) Place in a bowl, pour the olive oil and sprinkle 1 tsp of the Sate over the brussel sprouts, and stir to coat evenly

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5.) Pour the sprouts onto a foil covered baking sheet, and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sate, and slide on into the oven

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6.) Bake for 30 minutes (until golden brown)

7.) Remove from the oven, sprinkle on more sate (to taste) and enjoy!

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I hope this recipe can change your mind about brussel sprouts too! If you’re like me, you’ll pour some into a bowl and devour! 😉 Bon appétit!

 

With Love,

Jenna

 

 

Home Decor

Fresh Start, New Bedding

Hey Embarquers!

After making the decision to move across the country, I decided I needed something new in my room to give it a fresh feeling, and I knew new bedding would do just that.

Doesn’t it feel like there’s something intimate about picking out your bedding? It’s something that touches your skin for approximately 8 hours everyday, so it better be comfy and personalized to your needs. For example, if you tend to get hot in the middle of the night, make sure you have breathable bedding that will keep you cool all night.

The two main options for bedding (minus the sheets), are choosing between a duvet and a comforter. Below is a basic comparison between the two (courtesy of Overstock.com, with the asterisk bullets from yours truly):
Things to consider about Duvets:

  • Is best paired with a protective duvet cover
  • Style can be easily changed by changing duvet cover
  • A top sheet not necessary
  • Is closer in size to bed
  • Less hangover on sides
  • Is not easily laundered at home (*Strictly the duvet, not the duvet cover. Most covers can be machine washed)
  • *Keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter (if you use down)
  • *Heavier than a comforter

 

Things to consider about Comforters:

  • No duvet cover is needed
  • Not as easy to change style
  • Top sheet is necessary
  • Is larger sized than bed, more hangover on sides
  • Is easily laundered at home
  • *Lighter in weight than a duvet

 

When it comes to sheets, I am always going to recommend 100% cotton. They’re easy to clean, they’re light, airy and soft… but… let’s focus on the comforters and duvets! I’ve collected some of my favorites available right now… and guess what?

THEY’RE ON SALE!!!

Embarquers, this is not a drill! Most of these sales end in the next day or two, so let’s stop wasting time and get to the good stuff.

 

Crate and Barrel

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Lindstrom Duvet, $24-$160 (currently 20% off)

 

Anthropologie

Zaira Duvet

Zaira Duvet, $199-$215 (Currently 20% off)

leila

Leila Duvet, $183-$215 (Currently 20% off)

 

Target

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Classic Hotel Comforter Set, Fieldcrest, $70-$84 (30% off, plus $10 off $50 purchase or $25 off $100 purchase)

Colette

Colette 8 Piece Comforter Set, $60-$75 (30% off, plus $10 off $50 purchase or $25 off $100 purchase)

Nordstrom

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Chelsea Comforter, $93-$119 (Currently 33% off)

West Elm

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Tassel Quilt + Shams, $89-$119 (Up to 40% off)

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Abstract Ikat Duvet Cover + Shams, $83-$107

Hopefully the selection above of some of my favorite options has inspired you to give your bedroom a facelift to make it more of an oasis rather than just a place to sleep. I can’t wait to hear about all of your bedroom makeovers or if you have any additional tips you’d like to contribute, please feel free to reach out!

Until next time…

With Love,

Jenna

Recipes

My Favorite Pico de Gallo

Hey Ya’ll!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaccckk!

I apologize on the delay between posts. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I sold my house in Austin, moved all my belongings (with a lot of help from my sweet brother and dad- shout out to both of you!) and moved to Minnesota to be near my family.

Back to the post…To give you a little background, my dad has been making this pico for twelve years, and after quite a bit of experimentation, it seems to be almost perfect. Now, let’s get to the good stuff… Who’s ready for some pico?

 

Let’s get to it!

Daryl’s Pico de Gallo

Makes ~1/2 gallon

Ingredients:

  • 24 Roma Tomatoes (quartered)
  • 3 White Onions (diced)
  • 3 Bell Peppers (whatever colors you’d like, but green are generally used)
  • 2 large Jalepeno peppers (add another if you enjoy more spice)
  • 1 tablespoon of Garlic (minced)
  • 1 bundle of Cilantro (only dice the leaves)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Lemon Juice (or to taste)
  • ~1 tsp Salt (or to taste)

Directions:

1.) Clean all your vegetables thoroughly

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2.) Cut the solid ingredients listed above (as directed)

3.) Pull out your food processor, fill up 70 -90% (with ingredients above), and pulse the motor until thorough chopped (but not liquified)

 

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4.) Decide whether your pico needs some more spice, or salt and mix in

5.) Drain the majority of the excess water from your vegetables

6.) Grab a bag of your favorite tortilla chips, your closest friends and your freshly made pico de gallo, and enjoy!

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Now go look online for your area’s next farmer’s market to get local farm fresh vegetables!

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor · Inspiration

Find Your Home Decor Style

Happy Thursday, Ya’ll,

Hope you and your Dad (or dad-figure) had a lovely weekend and did something out of the norm together.

Something I want to talk about on this post is finding your own design esthetic. It seems as though many people buy things that they like and put it in their home without cohesion  or I do believe people have a difficult time channeling their home decor style or a design esthetic they are trying to convey in their home.

You may think, why does it matter? It matters because this space that your creating if not only a place for your life to happen, but also this is your oasis. Your home should be a place where your insides are shown on the outside for all to see (sounds silly, but it’s true). When you entertain, this allows your guests to get to know you even better.

Chances are, your design esthetic will change throughout the years, and that is okay. It’s only natural- it’s an ongoing and evolving process! Your home should convey on where you are in your current stage of life.

Now, enough about why your home design is so important, let’s get to the quizzes!

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After taking over a dozen home decor quizzes, these are the two most accurate:

 

SheKnows Interior Design Quiz

Lonny Style Quiz

 

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What did your style turn out to be?

Once you get the results, Houzz.com is a great resource for home inspiration that meets your personal style.

I hope this encourages you to be more intentional with you home to turn it into your own oasis.

With Love,

Jenna

Life

Unique Father’s Day Gifts (Under $100)

Happy Thursday, Ya’ll!

 

With Father’s Day on Sunday, it’s time to scramble for last minute gifts for your father or father figure.

I feel like it’s so typical to give your father a golf shirt, flask, cuff links, oxford, watch… Well I wanted to let you know this list has none of those because you can figure out those gifts on your own. These may not be the first idea that comes to your mind… Ready?

 

Let’s get shopping!

Let me start by saying that these options will vary by your location.

1.) Check your local Groupon, and try something with your dad that you two have never experienced

 

  • Brew Cruise– Beer tasting (for two)and two hour cruise, $58

 

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Photo Credit: Twincitiescruise.com

 

 

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Photo credit: Vesperatellier.com

 

 

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2.) Take your dad fishing for the day

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  • Things to pack:
    • 2 poles with tackle box filled with lures, pliers, and towel
    • Your dad’s favorite lunch
    • A six pack of beer
    • Cooler filled with ice

 

3.) Take your dad to a baseball game (or an in-season sport he enjoys)

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Treat your dad to a footlong hotdog (with all his favorite toppings), a big ‘ol beer, and a sweet treat afterward the game.

 

I hope these fun ideas make this father’s day the best yet.

 

With Love,

Jenna

 

Recipes

Guilt-free Summer Dessert

Hey Ya’ll!

Summer is almost here and I don’t now about you, but I love a good frozen dessert on a hot summer night. This treat is simple, and too delicious

Well… What are you waiting for?! Come on! Let’s go!

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas (halved)
  • 3/4 C semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 C chopped almonds (optional)
  • 6 popsicle sticks or caramel apple sticks

Directions:

1.) Peel your bananas, cut in half, pierce with the popsicle stick, place on a tray and freeze for 1 hour

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2.) After the hour, pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl, and melt (using 30 second intervals and stirring in between until smooth

3.) Take two handfuls of almonds (I used roasted and lightly salted), place in Ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin

4.) Take one frozen banana half at a time roll in the chocolate, sprinkle with almonds, place on the baking sheet (with parchment paper or foil if it’s available, if not, no biggie), and freeze overnight

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5.) Enjoy this sweet treat on a hot summer’s night!

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Projects

Refresh your Deck

Hey Embarquers!

I apologize for the delay in a post. I have been processing some life-changing decisions, and I will have an exciting announcement in the weeks to come (all good things for the blog, I promise 😉 )

In the meantime, I have a project I’ve been working on over the past few weeks in my home that could help you improve your outdoor space.

Ready? Let’s go!

Items Needed:

  • Pressure Washer (I rented mine from Home Depot for $25)
  • Paint Roller Frames and Covers
  • Paint Roller Extension Pole (to save you from painting on your knees)
  • Paint Tray with Liners
  • Paint Brush
  • Paint Stain (I used Olympic Maximum Solid Stain Base 2 in Butternut)
  • Painters Tape (to keep your edges crisp)

 

Directions:

1.) Clear your deck of all furniture, debris and plants

2.) Rent a pressure washer and thoroughly wash all visible surfaces of the deck removing all the visible dirt from your outdoor space

3.) Let the deck dry for 48 hours

4.) Using your paint roller, extension, tray, and liner, fill your tray about 1/3 full with your stain and cover your roller (but remove excess paint with the textured runner) (Note: Take your time on this project- if you rush, it’ll show)

5.) Cover your deck with a base coat of your stain and let dry for at least 24 hours

6.) Apply a second coat

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7.) Based on your results, you can decide whether to apply a third coat or leave “as is”

8.) Relax and enjoy your hard work

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With Love,

Jenna

Parties/Entertaining

Lovely Host(ess) Gift Ideas (Under $50)

Good day, Embarquers!

One of my girl friends and I were talking about how sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what to get a host -and no, I most definitely am not talking about the generic bottle of wine- although, a lovely bottle of wine is always welcome in my home. 😉

I’ve decided to put together a list of ideas that use for the next party you’re attending:

 

 

Herb Garden KitWilliams Sonoma ($30)

This kit contains the containers, so I would go to your local home improvement store and pick up packet of seeds and soil disks

herb kit

 

 

Cheese TrayAmazon.com ($35)

 

cheeseboard

 

Spa Kit- BathandBodyworks.com ($38)

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice aromatherapy set?

spa

 

Board or Card GamesAmazon.com ($25)

(Please only give this gift to someone that has a good sense of humor)

cards

 

 

The Ultimate Cocktail Bar ToolUncommonGoods.com ($40)

This is the only pocketknife of your minibar will ever need. I think we all have someone in our lives who would appreciate a device like this.

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Personalized Cookbook- Amazon.com ($18)

There are thousands of cookbooks out there and only one you want to give to your host(ess)… Pick something that is straight to the heart of that person.

For example, if you’re going to a party being thrown by an amateur mixologist, then pick a highly rated recipe book full of inventive recipes.

book

 

 

Spice BoxPenzeys.com ($38)

If your host knows their way around the kitchen, they will LOVE using these spices in their next dish. I’ve given these to my Mom and she loves how they take her meals to the next level.

Penzey's Spices

 

 

 

Keep this list in mind the next time you are invited to someone’s home for an intimate gathering. There’s a very good chance you’ll be invited back 😉

 

With Love,

Jenna

 

Home Projects

Upgrade your Landscaping

Hey, Ya’ll!

 

Hope your Tuesday is off to a beautiful start, and you had a lovely Mother’s day with your mom or being celebrated as a mom.

Personally, this weekend was a triple whammy of fun; my mom came into town to go wine tasting, celebrate my birthday and celebrate Mother’s Day. It was lovely, and it didn’t even stop us from being productive. On Saturday afternoon, we did a little tweaking to the landscaping to make it look richer.

I’m going to let ya’ll in on a little secret… I don’t have a green thumb; however, this is something I am striving to change (because my mom has the gift of gardening, and I would like to find joy in it as well).

When I purchased my home, there was quite a bit of landscaping already done, but there’s a lot of upkeep to keep it looking beautiful year after year. I told my mom I wanted something that would require too much maintenance, but still pretty, and she accepted my challenge.

 

Presteps:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of climate do I live in?
  • What type of plants thrive here?
  • What type of maintenance am I looking for?
  • Is this area sunny? shady? both?

These questions will help you decide the flowers/plants to grow in your garden.

 

Ready? Go grab your gardening gloves, rake, gardening shears, and yard debris bags

Items I used:

  • Garden Rake
  • Garden gloves
  • Lawn debris bags
  • Garden Shears
  • Shovel
  • 2 large bags of gardening soil
  • Geraniums (10)
  • 2 bags of mulch

Steps:

1.) Rip out all the weeds, trim back bushes, and rake out the dead leaves and brush

BEFORE:

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1.5) Place newspapers on top of the old soil to prevent new growth of weeds (Optional)

2.) Put down fresh soil (preferably at least 3 inches thick). There are at least a dozen options at your local home improvement store

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3.) Stage your plants, dig the holes, take your plants out of their plastic containers, gently open on the roots  (so they can latch into the ground), place in the hole and cover with soil

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4.) Fill your bed with mulch

AFTER:

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5.) Water you plants accordingly and be sure to tend to them as needed

 

With Love,

Jenna

 

Parties/Entertaining

Host with the Most for Overnight Guests

Happy Tuesday, Beautiful Embarquers!

I always try my best to do posts that apply directly to my life in the exact moment (with hopes it can help my readers as well). If there’s ever something you need help with (when it comes to the home and entertaining, please let me know- all I ever want to do is help my readers.

This week my Mom is coming down from Minnesota to stay with me for my birthday as well as Mother’s Day. Whenever I host (whether it be family or friends), I always want them to feel as though my home is their home- I guess you could say that hosting is my love language. 😉 Hosting isn’t always common knowledge, so I wanted to put together a checklist of items that will be helpful for when you are hosting family or friends in your home.

Ready? Let’s get to it!

 

Hostess with the Mostess Checklist:

  • Sleeping Situation:
    • Bed: If you don’t have an extra bedroom for your guests (or a pull out couch), please pick up a blowup air mattress for your guests. This will allow them to get a much better night’s sleep
    • Bedding: Personally, I always purchase white sheets (be sure to dress the bed with a fitted sheet, lose sheet and comforter or duvet). Why?
      • 1. You can bleach them (keeping them extra clean all the time)
      • 2. Replacement sheets are always available
      • 3. It reminds me of a high-end hotel
    • Sleeping with Ease: If your guest isn’t sleeping in their own room, have sleeping mask, and earplugs ready (you can find these at the dollar store)
    • Light Reading: Keep magazines or books near the bed to nurse sleeplessness
    • Flowers: a small vase of flowers (from you local grocery store) will bring the space to a new level

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  • Food:
    • Allergies: learn about any food allergies your guest(s) may have
    • Breakfast: breakfast can be quite tricky sometimes (with all the options available), so be sure to know what your visitor enjoys eating
    • Drinks: this applies to adult beverages and non-adult beverages. Be sure to have bottled water available in your guest room/sleeping area
    • Snacks: make a small midnight sweets basket to enjoy
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Photo credit: Lindtusa.com
  • Primping:
    • Toiletries: Whenever I travel to hotels, I try and keep the little shampoos, conditioners, body washes and body lotions for my guests. I keep a fully stocked cupboard in the guest bathroom in case your loved ones forget these items at home.
    • Medicine: I keep my medicine in the linen closet across the hall my the guest bedroom in case your visitor get a stomach or headache in the middle of the night
    • Bathing: Be sure to have a clean bath sheet, hand towel and wash cloth for everyone
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Photo credit: darientimes.com
  • Entertaining:
    • If your guest has a rental car (or there’s public transportation near your home), a list of great restaurants and areas of interest left on your visitors bed helps keep everyone busy and happy
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Photo credit: Journeysinlightphotoblog.net

 

My wish for you is that these checklist items help you with your next guests that spend the night.

 

With Love,

Jenna