Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grilled Chicken Taco Salad

Oh holy goodness... {it was almost too pretty to eat}

After the 3 glorious weeks I spent in California, 
basically eating Mexican food everyday, and then 
coming home to no authentic insanely good Mexican 
food joints, I quickly became Mexican food deprived.
So the other night I decided to try out some
sort of Mexican dish-and this taco salad
hit the spot.

What's awesome about this recipe is that most of the ingredients are common foods that are probably already In your fridge or pantry! If you are missing an ingredient or two, pull a Natalie, and substitute {or leave it out}! 


1. 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained {I didn't have any In my pantry, so I instead used Green Giant Steam Fresh Southwestern Style Corn}
2. 3/4 cup of salsa {any kind}
3. 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
4. 1 tbs. lime juice
5. 2 tbs. chili powder
6. 1 tsp. ground cumin
7. 1 tsp. ground coriander
8. 1 tsp. brown sugar
9. 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
10. 1 tbs. olive oil
11. 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
12. 4 {7 inch} corn tortillas
13. 4 cups shredded lettuce
14. {another} 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
15. 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and sliced {optional}
16. 1 lime cut into wedges {optional}
17. 1 cup of sour cream {optional}
18. 1 cup Crushed tortilla chips {optional}
19. 1 cup shredded cheese {optional}

Other things you could add...
  • Sautéed onions
  • green peppers
  • tomatoes
  • crushed red pepper {if you like things hot hot hot}

FYI all the optionals make the salad soooo much better, so just go for all of them!!


1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. {or do what I did and sauté it until cooked}

2. Mix black beans, salsa, 1/2 cup cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl; SET ASIDE. {I admit, I messed this part up and mixed the wrong things together, so don't pull a Natalie here!}
3. Stir chili powder, cumin, coriander, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and olive oil in a bowl until smooth; rub mixture over chicken breasts {or just throw it in the sauté pan and swish the chicken around in it, then cook for another minute or two}

4. Cook chicken breasts on preheated grill until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 10 to 12 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). While the chicken is cooking, place tortillas on grill and grill until lightly brown on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes. {if you're going the sauté route then all I did was place a tortilla in the middle of each plate, or you could throw it in the oven and toast it until slightly brown}

5. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice into long thin strips. Divide chicken strips over lettuce and top with bean mixture, and remaining 1/2 cup cilantro. Serve with avocado, lime wedges, and a dollop of sour cream.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Anna Maria Island

If you are a regular visitor to my little blog here,(and I hope you are!) then you've probably noticed things have been a little quiet around here this past week. The reason for this terrible crime was that I was away on vacation :) Blue skies, white sand, tanned skin, and sand castle building... it all screams the words beach vacation!! 
My family from the UK came to visit this past week, and we had an absolute blast. We all shed a tear when it was time to hug them goodbye at the close of our epic beach week.
But we definitely had some adventures while they were here... To start, we as a family were interviewed by the local TV station (see the article HERE)where they interviewed my Aunt Rachel and then in the video that the news cameras shot is where my cousins, brother, and I were featured (the video is coming soon!). While we weren't being followed by paparazzi, (ha just kidding) we visited a bunch of mom-and-pop sort of places, including a made-to-order donut, and homemade ice cream shop(yum)! 
The neat thing about Anna Maria Island is how different it is from other beach towns.  There are no modern skyscrapers to be seen or one chain restaurant anywhere to be found (I literally didn't see one McDonald's throughout the whole week, and they didn't even have a Starbucks on the island *GASP*). The Island was a breath of fresh air compared to other grungy beach towns I've visited. I can't wait to go back one day and dip my toes into the warm Anna Maria waters.    

The City Pier Beach

My dad, photographed by me, I thought the angle was cool with his sandy feet and relaxed posed on Holmes beach...

The City Pier

My Step Mom, little brother Connor, and I posing with our spectacular sea shell sand castle

Connor cheesin' for the camera! 

The one negative about the island was the mounds and mounds of yucky seaweed, every beach you walked along you could feel the plant crunch beneath your foot, there wasn't really any way to avoid it.

The whole family dining at the Bridge Street Bistro, most of us got the Seafood Risotto which had shrimp, lobster, mussels, and scallops. YUM!

The result of me getting fancy with my camera...


Crazy hair day to the max.

 Mr. Crab {as you can tell I was weirdly excited about our catch}

This mixture of broken down shells and sand, lined every beach we came across, it was pretty and different from what we usually see on our east coast beaches.

The whole family minus my dad, the photographer, all dressed up and waiting for our named to be called at The Waterfront Restaurant.

Just another amazing view of the white sand beaches.

My Aunt Rachel, and my Cousins Ewan and Andrew walking along City Pier Beach at dusk.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Natalie's Style

~Outfit of the day~
Shirt: TJ Maxx
Skirt: Target
Necklace: Local Boutique
Shoes: Target

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Conquering Mountains and Such

While I was visiting San Diego and Coronado California a couple weeks ago I decided to embark on round 2 of my mountain climbing experiences in San Diego. My Aunt Beth and I headed out to the Mission Trails Regional Park where my cousin Matt works as a Ranger. We weren't planning on hiking at all, just doing a casual stroll through the mountains and surrounding trails. Well, we did a little more than that, we hiked (ok, maybe only half way up) the Kwaay Paay Mountain, found historical bowls made by early Indian settlers, hiked to the dried up San Diego River, and managed to not run into any Mountain Lions on the way. Hey, not too bad for only an hour!

To the right is Kwaay Paay mountain {Yes that's right, I'm not talking about some small hill here}

My beautiful Auntie posing on the "lookout rock"

This is the little piece of history we stumbled across (literally). They are ancient bowls, the Qui Paye Indians dug out of ginormous boulders to prepare food in.

Had to stop for a picture of course... :)

Can you say gorgeeouussss?!?!

The sweet steps to victory...


Monday, July 22, 2013

Quote of the day

This describes my everyday routine.
So thankful for what He's blessed me with lately and everything else in my life time. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Everyday Books

The 5 year journal

A cool way to see how you change year after year. You answer one question a day for one year and then at the start of a new year you answer all the questions all over again and you compare your new answers to the previous years ones. To further explain my love for this journal, a lot of it's about how I'm not always spectacular about writing in a journal (aka diary) daily, and the 5 year journal is a way of recording things going on in your life without writing paragraphs and paragraphs on end.

Q & A a Day: 5-Year Journal    

One Good Deed a Day 

This is one of those feel good books, that have no other purpose than to simply brighten your day, or someone elses, by giving you a little task to do while you go along with your day.


Jesus Calling
A little dose of Jesus a day can never hurt. Jesus calling is a great way to get a tid bit of the bible in during your hectic day, and to lift you up on those not-so-great days.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Essie Nail Polish: The Perfect Red

Essie Nail Polish in "First Dance"

For awhile now I've been on the hunt for the perfect red lipstick and nail polish. Today I can check one of those things off my 'To Find' list. I was strolling through Target the other day and my eyes caught a glimpse of a pretty red displayed in the many rows of colorful nail polishes. I usually don't splurge on the $8 Essie nail lacquer, but I could'nt resists this firey color. It's not an orangey red like some are, it's more on the side of a deeper red. Long story short I love it and plan to rock the classic look on my nails this summer!

Tip: It may sound like a lot, but do 3 coats while applying this polish,
it's a thinner polish than most and to achieve that fabulous red you need to apply
multiple coats.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Clinique Chubby Stick Review

First of all, how stinkin' cute is the name of this product?? Chubby Stick. The name let alone makes you smile. What also makes you smile is how good you look after sliding on this moisturizing lip balm! Clinique came out with the Chubby Sticks last year, and has added 8 new shades to the collection: Heaping Hazelnut, Two Ton Tomato, Curvy Candy, Pudgy Peony, Bountiful Blush, Oversized Orange, Mighty Mimosa and Voluptuous Violet.

 I purchased this tube of fabulousness at my local Macy's and I haven't been able to put it down since. In my opinion It combines lip stick and chap stick into one product. For me, lipstick always dries out my lips, so I always have to opt for boring chap stick. But not anymore! I tested out (and highly recommend doing this) multiple colors and decided on Bountiful Blush due to how it complimented my Ivory skin tone, but I think this color would look gorgeous on all skin tones!
It's a nice nude pink color, with a little bit of shimmer in it.

It comes in a handy little tube that easily fits in your pocket, purse, or anywhere else!

I'm excited to see what other colors they come out with next year, I think I will forever be a chubby stick lover and buyer!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Someone to watch: Skylar Grey

If you don't have the pleasure of knowing about this wonderfully, talented, and unique singer songwriter, your ears are missing out. Skylar Grey first emerged in songs with Rihanna, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Diddy, such as "I Need a Doctor", "Coming Home", and "Love the Way You Lie".
Continuing on her way to stardom, she released a couple singles two summers ago including "Dance Without You" and "Invisible". Ever since those jaw-dropping songs hit iTunes, I've been itching for more from Skylar and my wish came true yesterday when I came across an article talking about her new album Don't Look Down. I bought the album without previewing one song and couldn't be happier, she has exceeded my expectations once again!
Check out her new album here: Don't Look Down

My favorites from her new CD {In no particular order}:
1. Wear Me Out
2. Back From The Dead [feat. Big Sean & Travis]
3. C'mon Let Me Ride [feat. Eminem]
4. Clear Blue Sky

Keep in mind, it was extremely difficult to choose these 4 because every song on the album is a masterpiece. She's magical.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Natalie's Style

~Outfit Of The Day~
Shirt: Forever 21
Shorts: Target
Shoes: American Eagle Outfitters
Belt: Target
Necklace: Silpada

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fruit Pizzas

The perfect summertime dessert!


1. fruit {Good ones to use are strawberryies, blueberries, rasberries, peaches, and blackberries}
2. cookies {I used Publix sugar cookies}
3. cream cheese
4. powdered sugar
5. lemon zest


{There are 2 ways to prepare this, you can either do it yourself and serve it already made or you can do it as a fun activity and have everyone do it themselves!}

1. Prepare the cream cheese spread
- Get a big bowl, dump the cream cheese in and mix it up. Add 1 tbs of powdered sugar, mix it in. Taste it and see if it's sweet enough, if not add more powdered sugar. Finally, add lemon zest according to how much cream cheese you have.
2. Flip over cookie and spread cream cheese spread on bottom.
3. Prepare the fruit
-Slice up all fruit and mix all together in bowl
4. Take a spoonful of the fruit mixture and place it on top of the cookie with cream cheese spread on top
5. Repeat steps 2 & 4 for all the cookies! Or if you're going to have people do it themselves show them how to do steps 2 & 4!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Natalie's Style

~Outfit of the day~
Dress: Anthropologie
Necklace: Silpada 
Bracelets: Silpada 
Shoes: Jack Rogers 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Review

If you are a hopless romantic like myself, you will fall head over heels for this book only 10 pages into it. Garunteed. 
This book has romance, heartbreak, pain, and love. Let me just say, this is not your typical love story... It's so much better.
This book is the PERFECT summer beach read!
The novel is told in 2 points of view, one is Callie's and one is Kayden's. I absolutely love how the author did this, because then you get to be inside of both the characters heads at all times.
Once you read this book you will be in the same love boat as me, but...there is one bummer about this book, there's a little bit of a wait for the next book in the series, it comes out on August 5th, 2013. (only 30 more days!!!!!!!!!!!)
I read this book back in February, so imagine my pain of reading it in one day and having it leave me on a cliff hanger, then coming to find out the next book in the series comes out in 6 months.
 (I died a litte inside). So consider yourselves lucky. :)
I did not include my own summary of the book, because honestly I could'nt do it justice.
ENJOY!! You can thank me later ;)

Friday, July 5, 2013

My 4th of July Favorite Moments

I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July! I spent it in Coronado, California alongside my family watching the infamous Coronado Parade. 
Here are a few of my favorite shots from yesterdays festivities...


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