a pretty little salad

has this chilly weather made anyone else feel sluggish and lazy lately? i know that i’m definitely guilty of being less productive in cold weather and i tend to cook less too. i’ve been eating pasta and butter for the past few nights which i usually never do. i decided to make this salad on a whim today and it turned out so amazing i thought i would share it with you all! nothing like a good salad to get you back on track!

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  • arugula
  • strawberries
  • half of an orange
  • quarter of a pomegranate
  • mini cucumber
  • pepitas (mine were roasted)

just combine all into one big bowl and enjoy! i didn’t toss mine with anything because i like when the citrus fruit makes its own sort of dressing but i assume that some balsamic vinegar or lime juice would pair wonderfully with this.

also a tip on how to actually get the seeds out of a pomegranate!! cut off the top and the bottom pieces and set aside. cut into quarters where the natural white part of the pomegranate divides the little sections of seeds. working with one quarter at a time, place into a bowl with water and pull back on the skin like you’re cracking it. this frees the seeds and also avoids the juice from squirting everywhere!! the seeds will sink to the bottom and the white part will float along the top. skim out the white part and toss, then drain the seeds into a strainer. easy!

xo, Samantha

netflix documentaries

i cannot count the amount of people talking about netflix documentaries on my two hands. from my friends to my professors, i feel like everyone is watching them. as curious as i am, i’ll admit that i’m actually a little bit afraid. the food ones peak my interest the most but i’m so afraid to watch them because i like meat. regardless, i’ve been more and more apt to cozying up on my couch on friday and saturday nights because it is just so cold outside and leaving my leggings, candles, and blankets is just way too much effort. i’m excited to dive in this weekend, here are the top five that i’m most excited to watch!

hungry for change

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[an expose of the secrets that diet, weight loss, and food industries use to keep consumers coming back for more.]

food matters

Image[taking an inside look at the food you eat and how it is helping (and hurting!) your body.]

bill cunningham new york

Image[photographer, bill cunningham, records what the people on the streets and in the salons of new york are wearing.]

park avenue: money, power, and the american dream

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[a clear demonstration of the gap between the wealthy and the poor most apparent on park avenue.]

god save my shoes

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[a revealing documentary of the relationship between women and their shoes.]

i’m secretly glad that food, inc. is no longer available for streaming because if it was i know that i would be watching that first and swearing off meat for the next few weeks. if you have any suggestions for documentaries you love and would not miss, let me know in the comments! i am always up for suggestions! 

xo, Samantha

cheesy broccoli chicken rice bowls

hello bloggers!

after a whirlwind weekend that was certainly one of the best in awhile (boyfriend, football, movies, cookies), i was left yesterday feeling exhausted. but today i’m back with a recipe (!) of something incredibly delicious that i’ve had for the past two days. yes, in a row. it is so good and so easy and can be adapted so many different ways. i made mine with chicken but i’m sure shrimp would be just as yummy, or you can go completely meat free and not sacrifice any taste at all!

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cheesy broccoli rice bowls
serves 1

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 chicken breast (or anything or no meat!)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (i used colby jack on sunday and cheddar yesterday, both awesome)

1. boil water for your rice and broccoli. heat oil in a small skillet for the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.

2. prepare the rice and steam broccoli for about five minutes or until bright green and tender. cook the chicken all the way through.

3. drain broccoli and then return to pan, add in chicken and your cheese, stir and then place the cover on the pan for about a minute. add in the rice and stir again, covering the pan for another minute.

4. serve into bowls and top with a little cheese, enjoy!

the quality of the photo is bad and i am totally to blame for that. once 7:00 rolls around i’m no hope for having patience to take a picture and not eat! i loved this meal and it is definitely going to be a weekly one because it is so filling and warm on the cold nights we’ve been having! i hope you enjoy!!

xo, Samantha

whole foodie

confession: i’ve been a snackaholic lately. i don’t know if it is the cold weather, the cozy blanket on my couch, or the abundance of good tv that demands to be watched but it has been hard to say no to my pantry lately. this happens to me every single year and i know it has to do with halloween, thanksgiving, and christmas all being right around the corner. once that calendar hits november, all of my good eating habits will hit the fan. 

thankfully, i’ve been able to find some snacks that are actually good for you and don’t lack on flavor. at least i can salvage that part of my diet and save the unhealthy stuff for starbucks specialty drinks, homemade cake pops, and the abundance of good italian food waiting for me at home. here’s what i reach for when i have a snack attack:

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  • popcorn – the best of salty and savory. this satisfies the need for a crunch without the calories that come with a bag of chips. my favorite way to eat it? air popped with sea salt and m&m’s mixed in or boom chicka pop from whole foods.
  • strawberries – i usually buy two cartons a week on mondays and immediately wash and cut up an entire carton and stick it in my fridge. having fruit and veggies already prepped makes it easier to reach for since it’s already done.
  • dried mango – i always keep this in my bag. its so yummy and you don’t have to feel bad about it if you’re buying the kind without the added sugar and preservatives. i stock up every time i go to trader joe’s.
  • coconut chips – these are salty sweet and satisfying enough that you only need a few. again, trader joe’s, gotta love ya.
  • steamed edamame – SO GOOD. my absolute favorite and it takes a long time to eat so you’re digesting slower and not getting hungry again as quickly.
  • tazo zen tea – an on the go favorite. this has been my go to at starbucks for the past month and with virtually zero calories, it is perfect. a tall fills me up for hours and the added metabolism boost doesn’t hurt either. 
  • pinterest balls – i actually have no idea what to call these but if you’re on pinterest i’m sure you’ve seen them. i make them at the beginning of the week and eat them when i need an extra energy boost. just combine 1 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup of honey, and 1 tsp of vanilla – roll into balls and stick them in a tupperware in the fridge. they last for about a week.

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eat well, live well.

xo, Samantha

chicken taco soup

i have a confession to make. i love my crockpot. the fact that you can throw in a bunch of stuff and then five hours later have a delicious smelling concoction of food is just magical. i have a baby sized one and must use it at least twice a week.

today i made chicken taco soup and let me tell you it was absolutely delicious and incredibly easy. i searched pinterest for a few recipes but eventually settled on something that was a mish-mash of everything and it was so good!

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chicken taco soup
serves 3

  • two chicken breasts, mine were frozen and worked perfectly 
  • 1 can of sweet corn (or 1.5 cups frozen)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 1/2 can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning, i used half because i’m not a spicy fan
  • favorite toppings, i used avocado, colby jack cheese, and yellow corn tortilla chips

1. combine everything in your crockpot and cook on low for four hours.

2. shred your chicken breasts with two forks and let cook for another hour.

3. serve into bowls and top with your favorite garnishes! enjoy!

see? three steps, beyond easy, beyond yummy! here’s to a great week!

xo, Samantha

friday things!

happy weekend, friends!

we’ve made it through yet another week, this one being the first of fall! hooray! i’m looking forward to spending my saturday at the shoe (ohio state’s stadium for all you non-buckeyes) for the first night game of the season!

one . forest friends book club

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[very excited about this! i’ve been looking for a book club of sorts to get me to read more for me instead of for school and my friends sarah and kaitlyn over at the duck and the owl have started one! hop on over to their page for more details!]

two . cozy sweaters

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[loving this elbow-patch sweater via j.crew! i need to get my hands on the navy!]

three . leaves

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[i saw this really cute infographic on pinterest the other day and think it is so pretty. being from new england where the trees turn the prettiest colors, i absolutely love looking down from above to see all of them.]

four . josh radnor

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[on monday night i got to watch the season premiere of how i met your mother commercial free….and with josh radnor himself! i’m in that picture somewhere and this was easily one of the coolest experiences ohio state’s activities board has offered yet! josh is a really really cool guy, a huge fan of the buckeyes (columbus native!), and just loved to talk to us. it was so weird to watch him be so confident and funny on stage and then watch him play ted mosby (with him watching too!!)! i can’t wait to cuddle up on the couch next weekend with my boyfriend and watch happythankyoumoreplease!]

five . reese’s pieces peanut butter cookies via averie cooks

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[i’m playing houseguest to a house full of boys next weekend and if there was one thing my italian family taught me growing up, it is to never show up as a guest somewhere empty handed. if there’s one thing i know my boyfriend loves, it’s my chocolate chip cookies and the peanut butter in these are just an added bonus! come wednesday night i will be trying my hand at these babies and you’ll be the first to know if they come out horrifically wrong!]

six . weekend words!

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[absolutely loving these words.]

have an amazing weekend, go outside and enjoy the fall weather!!

xo, Samantha

currently loving: pinterest

i love how at the midweek point a lot of bloggers post about what they’re currently loving. it’s a lot like friday fives and i’ve learned to look forward to wednesday posts just as much! here are some things i’m currently loving, pinterest edition.

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[microwave mac & cheese] this looks so yummy! i can’t wait to go home after work and make this for dinner!

[remmy dress] via lilly pulitzer

[rolling sleeves the j.crew way] super helpful!

[the back two images have no links but i couldn’t help but love the coffee table styling and the bold red this season!]

i hope you’re enjoying your wednesday! we’re halfway through the week!! you can follow me on pinterest here!

xo, Samantha