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There is nothing like a girls’ night to make the week just a little brighter. We started our Thursday girl’s night on a whim and it is for sure the best part of my week. It typically involves take out and a post-gym look, but sometimes it’s fun to jazz things up a bit. I invited the gals for a little pre-spring fling to use my entertaining pieces from Anthropologie’s new collection.

Veru Dishware | Linen Napkins | Arco Flatware | Valentina Tumblers

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The first week of every year I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the new year with a fresh outlook.  Last year I said I was going to cook more at home and this year I am determined to make that happen.  My plan: Ease into cooking 4 nights a week at home (because let’s be honest by Friday I am going to need a glass of wine and probably a cheese board-even though I am not supposed to have it).  I recently found a great clean eating guide that helps with portion control while still enjoying a well balanced diet.  Year after year, I say to myself I am cutting carbs and eating only fruits and veggies to cleanse my body. About 2.5 days into my cleanse I cave and order a pizza and it all goes down hill from there. Well today, I  hit 2.5 days and I am still feeling good thanks to my plan to not deprive myself of the foods I love. Instead, I have been enjoying smaller portions once a day.


Yields 4 servings

1/2 box of Whole Wheat Rotini

3 large carrots

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

2 broccoli floretes

1 carton of cherry tomatoes

1/2 red onion

Obviously this recipe can be adjusted to using any veggies you love (these are some of our favorites and what I had in the fridge).

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Step 2: Roughly chop all veggies so they are approximately the same size and lay flat on a baking sheet.  Take 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and drizzle on veggies.  Add salt and pepper as desired. Place baking sheet in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.

Step 3: Boil pasta until al dente (approx. 12 minutes for whole wheat). Drain pasta and place into a large bowl.

Step 4:  Take veggies out of the oven and toss into pasta bowl.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.  Add a little fresh parmesan cheese to taste.

We added grilled chicken to this recipe for extra protein.

What are some of your cooking goals for this year?  I would love to hear! Also, if you have any great, easy recipes send them my way :)


xox- a dash of details



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Friendsgiving was a success!

Last night I hosted our first ever Friendsgiving complete with turkey and side dishes galore. Today definitely calls for extra cups of coffee.  I may or may not have had a few too many glasses of wine, but who was counting.  If you follow me on Snapchat (AliLeighB) you may have seen my 14 pound turkey masterpiece! I credit the perfectly cooked turkey to beginners luck, but mostly this recipe.

It was such a great night with great friends! I will remember my first run at the Thanksgiving meal for a lifetime.  I am by no means a Martha Stewart in the kitchen, but by some miracle I didn’t spill, burn or overcook anything.  That was the biggest win in my book.

I wish I could have captured pictures of the food, but when it comes to hosting I like to put my phone away and enjoy the company.  I had so much fun setting the table with our wedding gifts (the best thing: everything was dishwasher safe!). I decided to keep the decor simple so we could serve the food family-style. This slate board served as a great centerpiece for the turkey.   Our table also only seats 6, so we added another table for extra seating.  I also took away the chairs on the back and added this bench to fit three people comfortably.

I hope to make Friendsgiving a reoccuring event at our house, but I will be taking a break from cooking the rest of the week and enjoying leftovers! Let’s just hope I am not sick of turkey by next Thursday ;)


Vietri Dinnerware / Ikea Round Chargers / Pottery Barn Stripe Placemats / Luna Flatware and Serving Pieces / Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen Tumblers / Williams-Sonoma Reserve Grand Cru Wine Glasses / Water Pitcher / Slate Serving Board 


Lucite Chairs / Bench / Table (made by my husband) / Gray Malin, Prada Marfa / Ballard Design Chairs / Chandelier  

xox- a dash of details