Friday, August 31, 2012

{school spirit} HAPPY FOOTBALL SEASON!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the FSU Seminoles' football season. While we will be playing a warm-up game against a small school, it is always exciting to watch that very first game of the season.

I'm so sad that I won't be able to go to Downtown Getdown and happy hour every Friday night and see a free concert & a million people in garnet & gold. I won't get to tailgate hop with my best friends, or steal lunch/dinner in the form of a burger or hotdog from the fraternities. I won't be able to sit in the student section and watch the players run out for the very first time, or much at all this entire semester. I won't be able to feel the energy in the stadium just before Chief Osceola throws the burning spear into the center of field. I won't be able to do the warchant or chop in the stands. I won't be able to see the fireworks or sing with the entire stadium after a win as we walk back out into the Tallahassee night. 

{photo credit}

But you know what? I'll be there in spirit. :) I just loooove FSU football - can you tell yet? Can't wait to find the FSU bar in Tampa. Anybody know where that happens to beeee?

And now it's time to relive some senior year football memories.

First game of the season last year. It was hot, hot hot!

boots on boots on boots at a Kappa Sigma tailgate!

heyyyy outfit exchange. roomies gotta share the garnet & gold goods.

Brenna being sassy at a Pi Kappa Phi tailgate.

Post above game with some lovely sisters.

Parents weekend with momma!

Dad is wearing an FSU shirt. This is big news. He went to UF. :)

Tailgating in Gainesville at the FSU v UF game... that we won... 21 to 7. :) :) :)

What is your favorite football memory? 

I have three: Beating UF at FSU junior year. Being at the Oklahoma vs. FSU game senior year. Aaand beating UF at UF senior year. Ah. All so great.

Here's to your teams winning tomorrow and for the rest of the season! 
....unless you play the Seminoles. ;)

xo, Jen

Thursday, August 30, 2012

{recipe} sun-dried tomato hummus

I am really obsessed with hummus. I dip carrots, crackers, and celery in it. I slather it on wraps and sandwiches, and scoop it into salads. I can't. get. enough.

I looove Sabra's hummus, especially the flavored ones. Most of the time, I wait out the sales and buy it when it is BOGO at Publix.

Being the homemade food lover that I am, I started to get an idea in my head the other day. Why don't I try to make hummus from scratch? We're talking chickpeas in a can and tahini. I never had a food processor OR a blender in my apartment in college, so it was never really an option. I decided to give it a go.

Um. So glad I did. Look at how creamy it is! It was a little thicker than Sabra hummus. Think Greek restaurant style hummus. You can probably make it even creamier by adding more liquid while it is in the food processor. But honestly, I think you will love it just the way it is! 

We made a double batch of this stuff and it was gone in about 4 days. To say we love hummus in this house is quite an understatement. :) By the way, have y'all ever tried pretzel crisps by the snack factory? They are sooooo good. They are shown in the picture above. I like them way better than normal chips!

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus:
Adapted from Ina Garten's recipe

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, with liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons water or liquid from chickpeas, add more if it starts to dry out
  • 8 dashes hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • Optional: olive oil and smoked paprika

  1. Turn on the food processor with a steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube. Process until garlic is minced.
  2. Add everything but the sun-dried tomatoes to the processor and process until hummus is creamy and smooth. Add sun-dried tomatoes and process until it is well mixed in. Add more liquid at this point if you need to.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika.
  4. Serve cold or at room temperature.

So... who has some pita bread? I'm ready to dig in all over again!

xo, Jen

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

{recipe} two summer smoothies

So... it is almost September. In normal places, that means it is almost the time for boots and scarves and leggings and sweaters and... ugh. Every wonderful outfit. Unfortunately, FL doesn't really get that memo until December? Sometimes January? 

While fruit is still fresh and delicious, and temperatures continue to be in the 90s, I will continue to be a SMOOTHIE MAKING MACHINE.

I love drinking one post-workout. So refreshing. 

Blueberry Peach Smoothie

  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 peach
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

This smoothie might freak you out. Why would I ever need a recipe for a strawberry banana smoothie, you may ask yourself. Well. This one right here has a secret ingredient. An ingredient that makes the smoothie super rich and creamy with minimal fat and calories. That secret ingredient is extra soft tofu

I promise you don't taste anything weird. It truly is just there to thicken your smoothie. If you can't get over using tofu in a fruity drink, then sub greek yogurt in its place.

Not your typical Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/3 cup extra soft tofu
  • Splash of orange or pineapple juice

PS. Can we talk about how good POM tea is? I used to buy one... like every weekend with one of my friends. Obviously I saved a lot of the glasses the tea is packaged in. They make perfect smoothie glasses if I do say so myself.

PPS. Thanks for all of the well wishes yesterday! I think the interview went well. Now I wait to find out!

xo, Jen

Monday, August 27, 2012

{fashion} ootd

{awful blackberry photo retail interview edition}

The details:

Dress: Gap 
Scarf: World Market (old)
Belt: Came with a different dress.
Flats: Target ($14 steal!)
Watch: Anne Klein (gift)
Bracelet: Alex & Ani (gift)

I've been obsessing over this Gap dress ever since I saw it displayed on the mannequin last month. I finally bought it yesterday, just in time for my retail interview! This dress is the perfect versatile piece to transition from summer to fall. I can wear it with flats or sandals now, and boots & tights then. Love!

Have a great Monday!

xo, Jen

Sunday, August 26, 2012

{sorority} bid day

Recruitment week 2012 has come to an end up at  823 West Jefferson Street in Tallahassee, FL.

50+ new pledges will soon be running from Wescott fountain with all of the seniors to this beautiful southern house. The rest of the chapter members will be excitedly waiting with open arms to welcome the new girls in.

It is super bittersweet for this to be my first year as a graduate, and my first year in four years not participating in recruitment. I always had a love/hate relationship with the week. I wasn't much a fan of the long hours spent practicing, the long hours spent voting, and the long hours spent waiting. But I loved the sisterhood you felt the entire week; the absolute pride you had in your house and in your sisters. 150 girls working as one for the same common goal - to bring home the best of the best. Girls who would become little sisters and friends, who would become involved within the house and on campus. Girls who would hold themselves up to the same high morals the chapter does as a whole. Values similar to ours - love, honor, and truth. Girls who would join our family.

Here are some pictures of recruitment weeks and bid days throughout the years.

Preference day and Bid night all in one - A tropical storm really screwed with our recruitment schedule.

My bid day buddy turned big sister turned best friend. I love you Haley!

My pledge class the first day of recruitment sophomore year.

Bid day sophomore year!

Some of my pledge class during recruitment week junior year!

My PC on bid day junior year!

My best friends and I the first day of recruitment senior year.

Bid day insanity. Seniors waiting for our new Phis to run to the fountain and find us!

Phis in blue, seniors in green. Such a wonderful day!

Wishing my chapter the best bid day ever. Wish I was there to celebrate!

xo, Jen

Friday, August 24, 2012

{blog love} friday

Sharing in some more link-up love with Lauren.

1.  My favorite thing to do on Friday is go to happy hour with friends. I am loving the bars in Tampa for HH. They all have live music for the most part. So much fun!

2.   This Friday I am going to be organizing my room, studying, and checking my timeline for Spain preparations.

3.  The best thing about a weekend is how relaxed you feel... until Sunday. I loved weekends with my roommates my senior year of college. Friday nights were for happy hour. Saturdays were for lounging, pool days, being lazy on the couch, and watching a ton of trash TV. Sundays were coffee brewing continuously, studying, get stuff done days.

4. Now that summer is almost over, I'm feeling  sooo excited because it is almost FOOTBALL SEASON again. Oh. And pumpkin season. And holiday season. And everything good in this world season.

5. The best thing I did this summer was  work at summer camp with all of my fabulous coworkers and precious kids.

6. The thing I'm looking forward to about fall is  the clothes, the colors, the weather, the food...I love it all. Fall is my favorite season. [keeping this the same as Lauren. Ditto on everything!]

7.  If I had to be stuck in one season for the rest of my life, I would choose   FALL. Obviously. Y'all should know these things by now. :)

Happy Friday!

xo, Jen

Thursday, August 23, 2012

{recipe} vintage recipe roundup

Back when I started this blog in April 2010, I had about 3 followers. Maybe 15 by November 2010; of which were all my friends & family members. I blogged a little less then, but wrote about some of my FAVORITE recipes. For example, some of mom's specialty recipes that I begged her to email to me so that I could make them in my college apartment and pretend like I was back home in Tampa. Others were fun recipes that I made for my roommates and best friends. All were super simple, as I was learning my way around the kitchen for the first time.

These posts may only be two years old, but I think that they deserve to be highlighted again.

Favorite Pasta SaladMom's Orzo Salad- This is always a favorite in the Smith household. We typically make the entire box of orzo (a whole recipe) and snack on it for lunch and dinner for a few days. This salad is best served cold. I love anything with tomatoes & basil in it. The feta adds a nice bite that mozzarella doesn't.

Favorite vegetarian entree: Baked Eggplant Parmesan- I love this recipe because it is a wee bit of a healthier spin on eggplant parm than the kind that you typically get in restaurants. Instead of each eggplant slice being battered and fried, they are baked and then added into layers with pasta sauce and two kinds of cheeses. To make it even better, this dish is super cheap to put together, like most Italian food.

Favorite chicken dish: Date Night Chicken- Y'all. This recipe is SO DELICIOUS. I've made it multiple times since. It is incredibly easy to make but looks and tastes fancy. (Date night anyone?!) Switch up your boring old grilled chicken with grape tomatoes, caramelized onions, feta, fresh basil, and balsamic. This dish made my kitchen smell so good that my roommate's boyfriend was begging to try some as they were walking out the door to go get dinner at a restaurant together.

Favorite copy-cat recipe: Chipotle Bowls with homemade tortilla chips- There was once a time when the nearest Chipotle was 2 1/12 hours away in Gainesville, FL. That is just WRONG in a college town. My roommate and  I were craving Chipotle bowls one night, so I decided to attempt to make it myself. I will definitely say it was a great success. After a successful Facebook campaign (yes. FSU students really love Chipotle), the wonderful fast-food restaurant opened up in a few locations in Tallahassee in 2011. I still managed to find nights to make this dish again though.

Favorite cookout recipes: BBQ Grilled Chicken, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, & Corn on the Cob - This was one delicious day of eating. After spending most of the day at the pool, my roommates and I decided to have a BBQ. It was a lot of cooking but totally worth it! All of the recipes are on the same post.

Favorite pizza recipe: Roasted Veggie, Feta, & Basil Pizza- If there is one thing you should learn from this post, it is that tomatoes, basil, and feta drizzled with balsamic is DIVINE. Add in some roasted mushrooms to the mix and top all of it onto a pita, and it is your own personal pizza of love. For real. Try it out!

Favorite dessert: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Squares- I saved the absolute best for last, obviously. I have made these so many times that I have lost count. It is definitely my go-to dessert to contribute for potlucks and dinner parties. It is always a hit with all of my friends and family members! I love that you don't need a springform pan to make this delectable cheesecake. All you need is a square baking dish. I also REALLY DO use fat-free cream cheese and fat-free sour cream to make this. Obviously using full-fat will make it richer, but let's just say that there has never been any leftovers of my fat-free (cream) edition.

I hope that you enjoy some of my favorite recipes from past blog posts. As always, check out the rest of my recipes on my Food page!

xo, Jen

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

{blog love} wednesday obsessions

Linking up with Jamie again!

I'm loving that this rainy day is allowing me to sit in my house in my PJs, drink tea, and research grad schools.

I'm loving these pretty items from





I'm loving this tutorial on how to get more volume in straight hair. (and the whole blog in general!)


I'm loving all of these delectable recipes from around the blog world:

{fig & prosciutto salad by Iowa Girl Eats} 

{grilled vegetable stack by Gluten-Free Goddess}

{power salad by Recipe Girl}

I'm loving this adorable picture of these precious pups:


I'm loving this awesome idea for jewelry storage found on Pinterest.


I'm loving temporarily having my parents as roomies again. So. Much. Delicious. Food. (& wine).

Case in point: threw together this argula salad for lunch with leftover grilled steak, tomatoes, goat cheese, avocado, sunflower seeds, and homemade dressing. yum.

I'm loving that football season is beginning in 10 DAYS!

I hope that you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

xo, Jen

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

{recipe} vegan pumpkin pie banana chunk oatmeal cookies

That super long title does not even include all of the yummalicious ingredients that went into these incredibly healthy "cookies." Let's add dark chocolate chunks, pecan, & shredded coconut to the mix.

Oh yeah. Now we're talking.

When I first mentioned the idea of making this delicious little treat, my dad immediately said, "No! Don't make those!" Me: "Why...?" Dad: "Oatmeal cookies? There is always 4 sticks of butter and a ton of oil in those! We don't need all that oil and fat!"

I love ya Dad, but you are wrong. So wrong.

Meet your perfectly HEALTHY oatmeal cookie.

Water-based canned pumpkin, agave nectar, syrup, and ripe bananas make these cookies super moist {awful word, correct adjective} without the addition of butter or oil. A flax egg allows you to enjoy these cholesterol-free. All of the above also makes them look like little dough balls. I don't hate it.

Baking these made my kitchen smell like fall. I can just imagine myself eating these on a crisp, cool fall night out on the patio.

Speaking of fall, y'all realize that THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR is almost here right?

I literally get butterflies and chills watching these pump up videos for FSU. Ah. So soon!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Banana Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows (third recipe in a row... I just love her blog!)


  • 1 cup regular rolled oats (not quick cooking kind)
  • 1 cup whole white wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chunks
  • Sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup agave, 1/4 cup syrup [or 1/2 cup agave or 1/2 cup syrup]
  • 1 small banana chopped, NOT mashed
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Mix together your flax egg in a small bowl and stick in fridge for 15 minutes, or until you finish mixing other ingredients.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl and then mix in flax egg mixture.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and mix well. This part forced me to use some upper body strength. You can do it!
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a pan covered with wax or parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until tops and bottoms are golden brown.
  7. Place on cooling rack and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Yum!
Keep cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

I ate one with my yogurt for breakfast this morning, and one for a healthy dessert last night.They are chewy little pillows of pumpkin goodness.


xo, Jen

Monday, August 20, 2012

{health} work it out - circuit training

I finally joined the 21st century and got a new pair of beautiful, lightweight, mesh training shoes.

I found these puppies at Nordstrom Rack for $50.00!
They originally retailed at around $110.00 on Nike's website.


They really do make a difference while working out. I feel so light on my feet.
They are also pretty, which helps. :)

I was trolling Pinterest, per usual, and found this awesome circuit workout made by The Fitnessista.
I laced up my brand new trainers and tried this out at home after warming up and stretching.

Whew! Tough. I love that it works out so many different muscle groups.
Also. It lasts about 2-4 songs, depending on how long they are.
Gotta love a quick and effective workout!

For a more detailed explanation to each item in the circuit, check The Fitnessista's page!
[such a cute blog name.]

Remember. Check with a physician before you start any drastic workout plan.
I began a gradually more intense workout regimen over the last 3 months with a personal trainer.

Here's to being healthy and happy!

xo, Jen