Friday, April 27, 2012

{blog love} giveaway winner

My winner for the $50 credit is Brittany!

Please email me at


Thursday, April 26, 2012

{recipe} peanut-crusted tofu tacos with tangy slaw

So yum.

I was really needing a refreshing, healthy recipe this week. It seems like ever since I turned 21 (which was over a year ago now), I have been drinking whatever caloric drink I feel like at dinner, and eating at all of those oh-so-good-but-so-bad-for-you college restaurants. The senior "ah I'm leaving so I must go to all of the hot spots in Tallahassee" 15 has hit me. I wanted a dinner that was light but still tasty.

The other day I crushed up some peanuts I had in my pantry to make peanut-crusted chicken skewers for a cocktails and appetizers party I had with my best friends. I kept thinking about how delicious those turned out and wanted to see what else I could put the peanuts on. I searched the web and found this delicious recipe. I added some hot sauce and avocado to my tacos and loved it! I hope you enjoy this recipe.

  • Peanut-Crusted Tofu Tacos with Tangy Slaw
  • Recipe by Cooking Light

  • Ingredients:
    (See notes below)

    • (14-ounce) package water-packed extra-firm tofu
    • 1/2 cup salted, dry-roasted peanuts **
    • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) **
    • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
    • large egg, lightly beaten
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
    • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage **
    • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced **
    • (6-inch) corn tortillas
    • Lime wedges (optional)

  • Notes: I used a bag of coleslaw. I picked out a jalapeno at the grocery store but it never made it home with me so I was not able to include it. The slaw was still good without it! I found that I had to double the ingredients for the breading. It may seem like a lot when you are making it but it goes quickly! Have extra on hand nearby just in case.

  • Directions:
      1. Cut tofu lengthwise into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. Place tofu slices on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels. Cover tofu with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes. Cut each tofu slice, lengthwise, into 1/2-inch-thick strips; cut strips in half crosswise.
      2. Place peanuts in a food processor; process until ground. Combine peanuts and panko in a shallow dish, stirring well. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well. Place flour in a shallow dish.
      3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Dredge half of tofu in flour; dip in egg mixture. Dredge in peanut mixture. Add coated tofu to pan, and sauté 4 minutes or until golden and crisp, turning to brown on all sides. Remove tofu from pan, and drain on paper towels. Repeat procedure with 1 tablespoon canola oil, tofu, flour, egg mixture, and peanut mixture.
      4. Combine cabbage and the next 4 ingredients (through jalapeño). Drizzle the cabbage mixture with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates; top each tortilla with 1/4 cup slaw. Divide tofu evenly among tacos. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

    PS. Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! :)

    xo, Jen

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

{blog love} rent a textbook, change a life

As the semester winds down, it is becoming that time for me to ship my textbooks back. I have been an avid textbook renter from online websites since I tried to sell back a $130 textbook to my local bookstore at the end of the semester a few years ago. The store clerk looked at me and said, "Um... we aren't buying back that text anymore. The company published a new edition that the professors will be using next semester." 

Nothing worse could be said to a fresh-out-of-finals-week college student with no money to spare.

Needless to say, I decided at the beginning of the next semester that I was going to find a better way to obtain my textbooks for all of my classes. Enter online book rentals. 

One company in particular shines the most to me. is making strides to bring students cheap textbooks and make a difference in the lives of children at the same time. This company donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. If you have never heard of Operation Smile before, it is an organization dedicated to operating on children born with cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial deformities at no cost to the family of the child suffering. Below is a short YouTube video highlighting the inspiring work Operation Smile does for the children of the world.

I love knowing that I can help to make a small difference for Operation Smile, just by renting textbooks through

Not only can you help out a wonderful cause while renting through Campus Book Rentals, but you also save  up to 40%-90% of your hard earned scholarship cash on each text book rented. In addition, there is free shipping both ways and flexible renting periods. You are also allowed to highlight in the textbooks, something I know my university will not allow if we are renting books from our official bookstore. The shipping is quick and painless. I received textbooks from this company within a few days of ordering.

Have I convinced you to check out this awesome online rental company yet? I hope so because....
one lucky reader is going to win a $50 credit to use during their next textbook purchase!

Now for the rules:
  1. Mandatory: You must be following my blog & comment on this post!
  2. Mandatory: "Like" Campus Book Rentals on Facebook.
  3. Additional Entry: "Like" Operation Smiles on Facebook.
  4. Additional Entry: Follow me on Twitter.
  5. Additional Entry: Follow Campus Book Rentals on Twitter.
  6. Additional Entry: Follow Operation Smiles on Twitter.
  7. Additional Entry: Tweet about this giveaway. Make sure to include @xxJenSmith and the link!
  8. Additional Entry: Blog about this giveaway. Leave the link to your blog post in a comment.
Leave each entry in a different comment. 
I will pick a winner through a random generator & announce the winner Friday morning at 11:00 AM. 
You have until 10:00 AM Friday morning to enter
Good luck!

xo, Jen

Disclaimer: is providing the $50 textbook credit to one reader. However, all opinions are my own and any compensation offered is the prize for a reader in this giveaway. I used this company on my own to order textbooks before I was approached by a rep to write this blog post.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

{life} this is goodnight and not goodbye.

As the final weeks of my last semester as an undergraduate student at Florida State University have come to a close, I have had lots of senior moments. Senior dinner with my sorority. Senior alumni ceremony from Phi Mu. Senior bar crawl. Last classes. Last assignments. Last exams. Last time my boyfriend will be visiting this apartment in Tallahasssee. A final girls night sleepover with my best friends. Cap and gown photo shoot with some pledge sisters.

The only thing standing between me and official last senior moments is graduation on Friday.
I have learned a lot in my years at school... and grown from a girl to a woman.

Everything is starting to hit me now. 
I am officially done with coursework.
I am going to have to turn in my key that has gotten me into Phi Mu for the past four years this week.
My friends will all be moving away and going to graduate schools in different cities.

I will no longer be able to walk up to this beautiful house in between classes to eat lunch and hang out.

I wish I could be better with my words right now and fully express what going to FSU has meant to me.
I have a million memories swirling through my head and no way to get it out into this blog post.

It is absolutely terrifying to think about moving from Tallahassee and starting a new life. However, I know it will be exciting too. While the last four years have been nothing short of wonderful, I know that I have many more memories to look forward to in the future. The girls and I are already planning our yearly vacation. We are definitely going to have to go to Vegas, Sonoma Valley, Chicago, NYC, on a mountain trip, on a cruise, to the Bahamas, etc. We might not be able to start these trips until we are 27 and finally making money... but they are TOTALLY happening. 

I'm sad to leave.
I'm excited for the future.
Such is the life of a new-to-be college graduate I suppose.

As always, here is a photo recap of recent events in my life. :)

{Seth & I before the Corey Smith concert}

{Phi Mu Senior Dinner}

{Senior Bar Crawl}

{Cap & Gown Pictures}

I leave this post with a quote from an unknown author:

“They’re the people you can share your secrets with, cry with, laugh with, and just be yourself with. They don’t judge you or make you change. They accept you exactly as you are. They look at you and they see a great person, one they love spending time with. You all share something in common and are tied together by memories, tears, laughs & smiles. You’re tied together by love for one another. Sisterhood is the greatest thing in the world. I find my time with my sisters the best times of my life. My sisters are my heart, my soul, my fun, my laughter, my tears, my love and my life.”

Oh. And with a video some of the seniors put together to surprise the younger girls at our senior ceremony. 
Can you spot me?!


xo, Jen

Monday, April 9, 2012

{diy} whiskey bouquet

So. My boyfriend loves two things in this world [besides me of course ;)].

Whiskey and Notre Dame.
(his alma mater)

His birthday and our one year anniversary were both last week. As most of you probably have realized by now, we do not live in the same city... or even the same state. We are about as long distance as it gets. Unfortunately, we were not able to be together for our one year or our birthdays last week... BUT he will be here in two days. :) I got him a Kindle for his real present, but wanted to do something else as well.

Enter the Notre Dame whiskey bouquet.

His favorite whiskey is Wild Turkey but I decided to switch it up and get a few different kinds.

I wish I had taken a before and after picture of this process but I honestly thought I was going to mess up painting the bucket. I have no confidence in my crafting abilities. It was pretty easy though, once I got a few painting tips from some sorority sisters who create ridiculously awesome coolers for their formal dates.

How to create a whiskey bouquet:

What you'll need to create the structure: 
  • A base - this can be a clay pot, a plastic bucket, etc. I used a $3 silver bucket from Hobby Lobby.
  • Paint - I used cheap navy blue and gold paint from Hobby Lobby
  • Thick foam brushes for the base painting.
  • A styrafoam ball that fits inside of your container
  • Wood sticks that are a bit larger and sturdier than popsicle sticks (found in the wood section at Hobby Lobby)
  • Tape
  • However many bottles of your boyfriend/husband/best friend's favorite alcohol.
  • Moss or shredded paper

  1. First, paint the base. Let it dry. Paint the base. Let it dry. Repeat until necessary. This is the step in which I was convinced that it was not going to turn out well. It took a while to get enough coats on to not see the silver peering out underneath.
  2. While you let that dry, begin to paint the wooden sticks. This step isn't completely necessary but I painted my sticks gold.
  3. Paint the detailing onto the bucket. (See below for how to create a stencil from an online picture)
  4. Place styrafoam ball inside bucket.
  5. Tape whiskey bottles to the wooden sticks with a few pieces of tape. 
  6. Push sticks into styrafoam ball.
  7. Place moss/shredded paper into bucket to cover the styrafoam ball.
  8. Give to your boyfriend/husband/best friend and enjoy their reaction. :)

How to create a stencil and transfer it onto the bucket:

What you'll need:
  • A sheet of tissue paper
  • A pencil
  • A permanent marker
  • A thin paintbrush for the detail

  1. Find the perfect picture online. I chose to use Notre Dame's logo because I was not feeling brave enough to attempt their mascot. I would love to create an FSU version though!
  2. I copied and pasted the picture into Microsoft Word and then zoomed to about 60%. Adjust the picture size to how large the base of your bouquet is.
  3. Tape the tissue paper to your computer screen.
  4. Trace the picture's outline onto your tissue paper very lightly with your pencil.
  5. Once you make sure your base is DRY, tape the tissue paper to it.
  6. With a permanent marker, trace the pencil outline you just created on the tissue paper. Even with my navy blue paint, I could see the outline of the ND logo. This technique should work with most paint colors!
  7. Carefully paint in your transferred stencil. 
  8. Give it a few more coats and you are good to go!
Here is a close up of my bucket!

This bouquet is currently my pride and joy. :)

PS. Of course I found the idea for this little project on Pinterest.
Check out some more versions of this project here and here.
I like how the second one also incorporated cigars! 

I hope that this tutorial was clear enough. 
If you have ANY questions feel free to comment, as always.

xo, Jen

Sunday, April 8, 2012

{life} time is flying this semester

Why hello there everyone! Me again. How is it already April 8th?!

Thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions for places to go in New Orleans. I wasn't able to go due to a flare up of an old back injury (sad, sad weekend) but my friends ate at Mother's and were RAVING about it!

So what else has happened in a month? 

I turned 22. I celebrated my one year with my boyfriend. I got my first big girl job rejection letter. I had my final interview with Teach For America (I find out on THURSDAY! eeeek!) Lots of homework. Lots of studying. A little bit of play time. Lots of senior moments. Photoshoot around campus with my best friends. Went to my very last Phi Mu formal. Had my parents come up for my very last Phi Mu parents weekend. Ladies tea & a baseball game.


Here are some pictures of happenings from this month. :)


{parents weekend}

{senior pictures}

{birthday dinner}

{last phi mu social - NASCAR themed}

This month has just been one. big. SENIOR. moment.
I can't believe I graduate in 3 weeks.

I hope that y'all have a great Easter!
I'm really hoping to get more recipes on here soon!
If you are looking for a last minute & easy Easter appetizer, look no further.
I'm making it again today for a potluck with some sisters who stayed in town this weekend!

xo, Jen