Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Chicken

If you know the real me then you know that I am not a major fan of cooking.  You would think that with all the Food Network shows I watch I would have a home cooked meal on the table every night, I’m just not that type of woman.  Well after getting bashed and teased about how I’m not a ‘normal’ girl because I don’t like cooking I finally decided to make my man a meal.  Now I’m no Betty Crocker but if you give me a recipe then I can sure as heck follow that recipe to a T and make a great meal.  I was craving chicken that night so I searched and searched and searched for an easy meal because I knew that Ry was gonna be home within the next hour.  I finally found the perfect chicken to try.  It’s a roasted red pepper, mozzarella and basil stuffed chicken.  The picture is what sold me on the recipe, so I put my little invisible chef hat on and headed to Publix.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes
Total Time:  50 minutes

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 slices
1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers sliced into 1 inch pieces (about two whole red peppers if you roast your own)
1 bunch of basil, whole leaves
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9×12 casserole dish.  Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing into the long side of the breast, stopping just about 1/4 of an inch from the opposite side.  Lay chicken breast in casserole dish opened up.  Sprinkle the exposed insides of the chicken breast with 1/2 of the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.  Stack the roasted red pepper, basil, and 1 slice of the mozzarella on the bottom side of the chicken.  Fold the top flap of the chicken over, tucking in the mozzarella, basil and roasted red pepper as necessary.  Sprinkle with the remaining Italian seasoning.  Bake chicken for 30-40 minutes (until chicken is no longer pink).  Pull chicken out of oven and turn the oven to a high broil.  Top chicken with remaining mozzarella slices and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Broil until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Now normally if I do attempt to cook Ry doesn’t normally like it (he is a VERY picky eater but won’t admit it), however, I will mark the day that I made this chicken because Ry actually admitted that he liked the chicken and would eat it again.  HALLELUJAH!  This is for all you ladies (or men) that get teased because they don’t cook, you CAN do it.  With Pinterest’s help, ANYTHING is possible.
xoxo, H

Trying something new.

Happy Sunday Funday readers,

I hope everyone has had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend celebrating our wonderful countries birthday.  I know that I did.

Today, I was inspired to do something new and creative.  I was inspired by not only my awesome boyfriend but I was also lounging around this morning (coffee in tow) watching Julia and Julia.  I loved the fact that she decided to blog about her one year of trying out Julia Childs recipe book.
So…I have come to the conclusion that I am going to blog once a week, every Sunday, about either a new recipe that we have tried, new projects that we have decided to make for our new home, new decor (where and how much the item was) for our home, and all sorts of other things.  I will post pictures, links and step by step instructions for anything we do.

I will also be posting some other cool new recipes and ideas that I found on pinterest.

To start it off, I will be posting about a new art project that my boyfriend is working on for his man cave.  I hope that you guys will love it as much as I do.

xoxo H

50 Healthy Habits every Woman should have!

1. Start fresh every single day.
2. Check your bank account and statements regularly.
3. Adopt a ‘meatless Monday’ mentality.
4. Put your phone down when you are out with people.
5. Try the 2/30 rule. 2 hours of television then 30 minutes of exercise.
6. Understand that exercise doesn’t have to be that big of a time commitment.
7. Cut back on ‘evil’ sugar.
8. Drink warm water with lemon and cayenne pepper daily.
9. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’, you’ll lose.
10. Use a retinol if you’re starting to get wrinkles.
11. Ask HR about benefits you’re probably not using.
12. Practice safe sex, always.
13. NEVER grocery shop on an empty stomach.
14. Start biking (even if it’s only a little).
15. Keep healthy snacks at home and at work.
16. Stop beating yourself up.
17. Don’t do drugs. It’s that simple.
18. Likewise, stop smoking.
19. Take care of your clothing.
20. Eat whole foods as much as possible.
21. Consolidate and pay off debt as soon as possible.
22. Don’t skip your yearly gyno appointment.
23. Don’t overdo the booze.
24. Don’t snack if you’re not hungry.
25. Use SPF, and wear a hat when you’re in the sun.
26. Don’t rely on pills if you can’t sleep.
27. Drink at least 8 ounces of fluid a day.
28. Make your home a place you want to be.
29. Don’t buy things you know you’ll only wear once.
30. Use youtube for free exercise videos.
31. Google ‘how to make your own cleaning supplies’.
32. Drop loose change into the same jar daily.
33. Stand up for yourself.
34. Avoid tanning beds like the plague.
35. Take medication seriously.
36. Listen to your body.
37. Don’t skimp on sleep.
38. Do mental health checks.
39. Read labels on everything from food to makeup.
40. Prioritize stress management.
41. Optimize your fertility if you plan on kids.
42. Consider drinking liquid chlorophyll.
43. Always wear a seat belt, even in a taxi.
44. Wash your hands often.
45. Floss after every brushing.
46. Sneeze into your arm not your palm.
47. For every 20 minutes on a computer look away for 20 seconds.
48. Count to 10 when you’re angry.
49. Learn to take constructive criticism.
50. Never let Google diagnose you.

Surviving College!

Wow, to think that my first year of college is done and over with and I am now onto my sophomore year. This is crazy to me. Where did the time even go? I’m not going to lie, freshman year of college was very stressful. It was my first year away from home, so of course I wanted to go out and party every weekend. The typical college student to-do list. Let me be the first to tell you, it really takes a toll not only on your grades but your health as well. Towards the end of my last semester I was not feeling myself at all, I would completely snap on people that I love, I would sleep at least 8 hours every night go to school the next day and then come home and take a 2-3 hour nap. I could not keep my eyes open no matter how much coffee I drank each day. I could not keep any food down, or anything inside of me for that matter. I couldn’t walk outside without feeling sick instantly. Needless to say I was miserable.

This summer about a week and a half before school started again I was hospitalized. They didn’t know what was wrong with me, they did numerous tests and they all came back negative. When they tested my blood they saw that my hemoglobin was a 7.1 (normal is 14-18), my potassium was very low and my white blood cell count was sky-high (means your body is fighting an infection) I also had a very hard time breathing and was constantly having serious migraines all day long. Within the next couple of days I then went to the hematologist/oncologist (blood doctor), when they checked my blood my hemoglobin had dropped to a 6.9. He looked at my mom and I and said that I was being directly admitted into the hospital. I was filled with emotions, I tried fighting back the tears but they were overpowering. I felt like I was losing control of myself. I mustered up the courage to tell my mom that I was driving myself, no ambulance, no one was going to drive me (I needed to feel like I was in some sort of control) luckily for me she didn’t put up too much of an argument. That night at the hospital my nurses had such a hard time finding veins to put my IV’s into, as well as they took 14 vitals of blood from me just that night (as if I had enough blood in my body to share) by the end of the night my hemoglobin was a 6.2, I could hardly keep my eyes open let alone breath properly. During my stay at the hospital I underwent numerous x-rays, a colonoscopy (at 19, talk about freaking out), 2 separate transfusions of blood so I had 4 units all together, an iron transfusion, I was then taken off of all foods and drinks for 4 days, I had a pic line put into my arm and followed a vein all the way down to my heart. They finally came to a conclusion about my diagnosis, but they still are not 100% sure.

Chron’s: the college girls disease. This disease is linked with female college students who are under a lot of stress and pressure, as well as not getting enough sleep and nutrients that the body needs to function properly. Ladies I cannot stress this enough, GET SLEEP, EAT WELL, DON’T PARTY EVERY WEEKEND…trust me, it isn’t worth your health and feeling like you are almost about to die laying in that hospital bed for a week and a half.

Tips for surviving college maybe a little less stressed:
1. GO TO CLASS: Most of the time attendance is mandatory, you’re only hurting yourself by not showing up. Yes, I understand some classes may be boring and the professor just reads right off of the slide but you gotta go to class. That attendance grade may be what is helping you pass your class.
2. DON’T WORRY ABOUT BOYS/GIRLS: You are at college to learn and to further your education for your future. You will have plenty of time later on to go and search for your soulmate.
3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Holy cow, homework! Yes, homework can take five hours for one class but you need to do it. Homework is for sure one good way to either make or break you for that class.
4. STUDY STUDY STUDY: How do I elaborate on this..? Oh, STUDYY!! That’s all I can really say. You need to study. I know I sound like your mother but god forbid you don’t study and then you have to retake the classes, trust me it’s not fun at all.
5. ORGANIZE: Get a planner. It doesn’t have to be fancy, go to Wal-Mart and buy a $5 planner. Use it, and learn to love it. Refer to it every day and tote that bad boy around with you in your backpack or if it’s small enough then just slip it on into your purse. College is a busy time juggling exams, papers, extracurricular’s, and social engagements. All of this should be written in your planner and checked off once you have done that task.
6. CHOOSE CLASSES WISELY: If math is not your strong suit and you are choosing between an easier and a harder class, take the easier class. Use it as a refresher before taking the harder class. If it turns out to be way too easy for you then consider it a boost in your GPA!
7. GET ENOUGH SLEEP: We’ve all pulled an all-nighter at some point (come on, we’re in college). It’s not worth it, your work won’t be your best and you’ll know it. You were exhausted, loopy, jittery from caffeine, and checking the clock every 5 minutes because you can’t believe that you are still somewhat functioning at such an ungodly hour. Give yourself 2 days in advance and treat your exam or paper as if it needs to be completely wrapped up by then.
8. GO TO OFFICE HOURS: If you have questions, need clarification about an assignment or exam then go to the office hours. Remember to introduce yourself and your professor will see that you do care about the class and are looking to get a better grade.
9. MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS: If your like me then distractions are so well..distracting. Remove these distractions from you. Have your roommate take your phone and not give it back until you have finished your assignment or whatever you are working on.
10. MASTER A STUDY SYSTEM: Everyone studies differently, you need to find out what works best for you. Whether it be studying by yourself, or studying in a group setting. Figure out what is best for you and do it.
11. REVIEW: Too many students fall into the cycle of blowing off their work until the night before it’s due. Then they go crazy cramming the night before. If you study a little bit every night then you should be able to walk into the exam and breeze right on through it.
12. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK: Yes, there is a thing as studying too much. Know when you need to take a break, it isn’t a big deal. If you work all week long then take all day Saturday off and do something that makes you happy. Don’t be the person who stays in their room all semester long and never comes out because they are too busy studying or doing homework. You need to get out and have a little interaction with people every now and then.

Experience and Advice on dating older men!

Recently I was caught up in a relationship with a man who is eleven years older than me!  Yes, I know that sounds beyond crazy.   Although I didn’t mind the fact that he was older than me.  It just means that either I am wise beyond my years or that he is in fact still a teenager at heart.  Well the man that I was caught up with was very wise yet he still acted like he was 21 even though he was a month away from being 30 years old (yes, if you do the math that means that I am about to be 19!)  I have always been attracted to men who are older than me, in high school I dated a guy the same age as me one time and that relationship lasted less than two days.  I am a woman who knows what I like, and I like older men who don’t act as if they are older.  The only downfall to our relationship was that we had to hide it.  The only people who knew where Lindsay* and Kevin* my best friend and Edwards* best friend.  Our relationship didn’t last as long as I would have hoped for, but along the way I grew more confident with the woman that I am and I feel as if I learned a lot about men.

Many women are tired of dating guys their own age because the men are only interested in sex, have no clue how to even treat a lady or they are way too busy trying to spend time with their boys and not disappoint their friends.  That’s when you know it is time to start dating an older man.  Even if only for a short time period, the experience you will gain will be none other than helpful.  It will help you realize what you want in life and a relationship.  Once you have been in a relationship with an older man, you may decide to never date people your own age again.  At the very least, you will be better prepared to choose more wisely when it comes to finding your Mr. Right.

Before you head off to the golf course, upscale bar or online dating site, read these tips on how to find the right silver fox for you:

1. Make sure he is a good fit.  Instead of being worried if you’re a good fit for him, make sure that he is a good fit for you.  If you’re not compatible, accept it and move on.  You’re too young to settle for someone who isn’t right for you.
2. Don’t be a trophy.  Some men chase younger women as a way of making themselves feel younger or to stroke their own ego by bagging a young beautiful woman.  Don’t ever assume that older men are different than younger men when it comes to using women as sex objects.  Where do you think the guys your age get it from?  Protect your heart and self-worth ladies.  Don’t jump into sex or accept expensive gifts too quickly, you’ll know when the time is right.
3. Don’t assume he’s going to use you.  Remember what happens when you assume ladies, you make an ass out of you and me!  Although some older men treat their women as trophies, not all do so.  Just as you’d do with a man your own age, choose wisely.  Pay attention to the way that he is treating you and the language that he uses around you.  A real man will treat you in the best way that he can to show his love for you.
4. Know your worth.  You have more to offer than a rocking body.  Just because a man is older and has more experience doesn’t mean he knows everything.  You have life experiences and knowledge of your own that has value.  Don’t be afraid to express your opinions or offer your own advice.
5. Call him out on his bullshit.  BS is still BS no matter what your age.  When your bullshit-ometer goes off, listen to it and call him out on it.  Some men like to date younger women because they can be easier to manipulate, but most men will respect a woman who is confident enough to stand up for herself and not put up with his BS.
6. Make sure he’s NOT the jealous type.  Jealousy needs to be left behind once you’ve graduated High School.  Luckily, for the most part older men are not going to be as insecure as younger men.  They understand that you have a life of your own to live, just as they do.  However, if he is prone to jealousy or possessiveness, this will be a problem.  I suggest that you both sit down and try to work this problem out, or just get out of the relationship all together.
7. Don’t assume he’s settled.  Again, ladies never ever assume.  Just because your man is older doesn’t mean he has settled down.  A real man will show you that he is ready to be with a woman when he is good and ready.  We ladies can’t always assume that we will be able to change a man.  That’s really what makes them act so crazy.  Some men are only good for fun.  If that’s what you are looking for, then go for it and have a blast.  If not, then don’t go past a couple of dates and DO NOT get attached.  You’ll only set yourself up for heartache.
8. Don’t try to be his kids’ mom.  They have a mom, and that isn’t what you signed up for.  You aren’t playing house.  Think of how you would feel if the shoe were on the other foot.  You wouldn’t want some other (younger) woman trying to take the role of mom in your children’s lives.
9. Make sure you’re on the same page.  Know how he feels on commitment and children.  He may be ready to settle down and start a family, while you are just getting started as an adult and have no interest in settling down.  Or, he may be at the stage where he has already been married, has kids and has no interest in ever getting married again.  Get everything out on the table earlier than you normally would.
10. Don’t make jokes about his age.  Men are just as sensitive to this subject as a woman is.  You don’t want him joking that your butt looks fat in your jeans.  So don’t joke around about his first gray hair.
11. Be ready for his baggage.   Know what you are getting yourself into before you get in too deep.
12. Be respectful to his ex.  She is not your competition or your enemy.  He’s been there and done that and so has she.  If this woman is an ongoing part of his life, then you need to be on friendly terms with her.  Not only will she be less likely to make your lives less of a living hell, but she’s the best source for learning who this man is.
13. Don’t assume he’s wealthy or successful.  If you are drawn to older men for the security they bring, don’t judge him by his expensive suits, watch or nice car/truck.  More than likely he wasn’t born into money and he works hard for the nice things that he does have.
14. Don’t piss off his friends’ wives.  For the love of all that’s holy, do not call them ma’am, do not flirt with their husbands and don’t dress too sexy, especially in the beginning.  He wants to know that you will fit into his world.  That includes his friends and their wives.
15. Don’t sacrifice your own goals.  If he has the ability and desire to travel the world with a beautiful, young woman on his arm, that’s great for both of you as long as if doesn’t prevent you from accomplishing your own goals.  If you haven’t finished college or are on a successful career track, you can’t afford to jet across the globe only to face the end of the relationship and find yourself in the same financial state you were in when you graduated High School.
16. Don’t let him be Daddy.  Don’t even call him Daddy! It’s just weird and creepy.  It is perfectly fine to allow him to take care of you to a point, but when he starts sounding like your father; it’s time to get out…and I mean fast.
17. Don’t let your friends make jokes about him.  Your friends will have fun joking about ‘the old guy’, but do your best to nip this behavior in the bud.  If you joke around behind his back, they will think you don’t care if they do it to his face.  It’s rude and disrespectful and it won’t help your relationship.
18. Keep and open line of communication.  Secrets don’t make friends!  If you get into a long-term relationship with an older man, you will need to keep an open line of communication.  The two of you are in different stages of life.  He is already matured and pretty much settled.  However, you are rapidly growing and changing.  You’re coming to your own and finding your place in the world.
19. Have fun learning from each other.  With a larger age gap come completely different life experiences.  Enjoy teaching each other about new, interesting things.
20. Know when to say goodbye.  If you realize in the beginning that you two are not going to be a long-term fit but decided to date anyway, know when it’s time to say goodbye.

Saying that ‘age doesn’t matter’ when you’re dating is ludicrous.  Of course age matters, it’s how you handle the age gap that determines a respectful relationship.  Dating an older man can be a wonderful experience if treated with dignity and mutual respect.  There’s no reason a relationship between a younger woman and an older man can’t work out as long as both people are happy and enjoy each others company.

“Gatsby looked at Daisy the way that every girl dreams of being looked at!”

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

21 Things to Look For in a Boyfriend


1. Regardless of his height, he is comfortable with the way he looks around you.  You don’t have to date a guy who is taller than most, but he can’t be someone who is threatened to be seen with you.2. He genuinely makes you laugh (because he is funny, not because you think he is attractive and want to flatter him), and not a self-conscious little giggle, either.  He makes you belly laugh and choke on your own laughter and tear up with laughter and laugh so hard you think you’re going to pee yourself.
3. He loves your laugh, even your ‘ugly’ laugh.
4. He remembers little things about you, even things that other people might consider unimportant or too minor.  He knows what your favorite dish at the Thai place is.  He knows what movie you two watched on your first date.  He knows the blanket you love to curl up with when you’re reading.
5. Whether or not he has the same taste in music or movies as you, he is always willing to try something new that you really like, or that neither of you have seen before.
6. He doesn’t put you down for liking what you like.
7. You always feel welcome around his friends, even if they aren’t the people that you would hang out with every day, and they are always friendly and open to you.  There is never a point at which you feel there is ‘your boyfriend’ and then ‘the person he is around his friends.’
8. His family is not perfect, because no one is, but they try their best and are good people and you feel comfortable around them.
9. He does not cheat on you, would never cheat on you, and doesn’t even give the vague, nagging suspicion that he might cheat on you at some point in the future.  Regardless of the problems you may encounter, being betrayed is simply not a possibility.
10. His vision of the future is very similar to yours, or at least is flexible enough to adjust to what you both may end up wanting.  (Wasting time with someone who does not want what you want, and never will, is unfair to both of you.)
11. He has a healthy relationship with going out, drinking, and socializing.  He is neither completely dependent or absolutely uncomfortable with either of those things.
12. With him you are comfortable both going out together and spending time separately with your individual groups of friends – there is no need to be constantly joined at the hip, for fear that he may stray or any other reason.
13. He is willing to consider long-distance if it has to be done for a certain period of time, but at least ultimately has plans to be near you (because no matter how good it is, long-distance can’t last forever).
14. He doesn’t have hang-ups or judgments about your body, and shows all of it affection and attention.  You don’t feel ugly or uncomfortable around him, nor that you are not good enough for him physically.
15. He has similar religious views to you – or lack thereof – or is willing to accept that you’re both different.  Few things manifest in more ugly ways than the small seeds of disagreement over fundamental beliefs like religion.
16. He is open-minded, and not just about things that he doesn’t really care about.  Even for more important subjects like politics or culture, he is able to listen to others and give meaningful responses without being petty or childish.
17. He is mature and comfortable about the human body and all of its weird functions, and doesn’t make a big deal out of things that happen naturally.  Instead of feeling uncomfortable when something weird happens during sex, for example, you both just laugh.
18. He doesn’t make fun of you if you say you are offended or upset by something he says.  He is actually capable of thinking about the consequences of his words and understanding that not all hurt is inflicted physically.
19. He votes, and understands why it’s important.
20. He is attractive (to your own individual standard), but the vast majority of your interest in him stems from things other than what he looks like.
21. He respects himself enough to want all of these things from you, too.