Sweet & Spicy Chobani Ranch

When I think of tailgating, I think of delicious, fatty foods that I hate myself for eating the minute halftime hits. Seriously. Don’t sit me down in front of anything I can put on a potato chip. It’s a disaster. So, the Seahawks went to the Superbowl for two years, and every single week, we had a party that always featured our favorite tailgating foods. It was a crazy couple of seasons, and we won some NAILBITERS… and guess what my bad habit is when I’m nervous? EATING. So, I needed to think of something fulfilling that wouldn’t leave me regretting the day entirely.
I created this recipe back when I first started on the 21 Day Fix, and found that it was the perfect addition to our football parties, because no one believed me when I said it wasn’t real ranch. I’m just gonna give myself a huge pat on the back here, but my “Chobani ranch” is so much better than any other ranch I’ve had. I love the kick that Greek yogurt gives it, and it just has so much more depth than I thought it would.
So, this recipe is for my Sweet & Spicy Chobani Ranch, which is a perfect accompaniment for MANY things: your favorite spicy wings, veggie sticks (like carrots or celery), slathered on some homemade street tacos (my husband’s fave), on your burger, or wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla with fresh tomato and turkey bacon for a healthy BLT – which is my vehicle of choice for this stuff. However, if your husband is going to look at you like a crazy person if you try to feed him a BLT on gameday, just give him his sticky buffalo wings and a bowl of this Chobani ranch.
Or, you know, grab some baked potato chips or homemade sweet potato fries and just dig in.
Man. I might have to finish this post later… I’m starving.

SWEET & SPICY CHOBANI RANCH

  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Fresh-chopped herbs: parsley, dill, chives are my favorites
  • A dash of whole grain mustard
  • A swirl of honey for some sweetness
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped – and then chopped some more. No one wants to eat a chunk of chipotle pepper… unless you also want to wash it down with an entire jug of water. Holy spicy. 
  • Finally, a splash of your favorite vinegar for balance. I like apple cider or balsamic in my ranch!
Here’s the fun part. There aren’t really specific measurements that I stick to. For those of you that like specifics… yeah, sorry ’bout this. I taste as I go (super fun) and add to it slowly. The best part is, you’re starting with such a healthy base, there isn’t really a chance to take this the wrong way. Just don’t start throwing things like cane sugar and marshmallow fluff in, mmmk?
To make it spicy, it really comes down to personal preference. Chipotle can be a little much if you’re not really a spice-lover like me. A little cayenne would be great, or a squeeze of your favorite hot sauce does the trick, too.
Happy Tailgating, friends! LET ME KNOW how you like the Sweet & Spicy Chobani Ranch! Since we always have plain Greek yogurt on hand, I visit Chobani’s recipe page a lot – tons of delicious, inspired ideas for your next meal.

Roller Coaster Inspiration

The day faded into night, and Paul and I were like the only two people in the world.

I get it now – how people warn you not to “lose yourself” when you become a mom.

I was always so much fun. People knew me back then (ok, they probably still do) as loud and a little obnoxious. I never fell asleep first, always down for anything. I loved to have fun and make people laugh, and those were pretty much my only two missions on a daily basis.

Now, with two littles and trying to figure out this whole motherhood thing on a daily basis, that Corianne has changed… evolvedso much. I’m far more worried about health and safety and how often my kids have bowel movements (I mean…) than I am about happy hours and being social and people liking me. I’m much more serious, and a lot less spontaneous, and that made me a little sad. I thought about it on this night, as I realized how much I missed… me.

I was crazily aware of this contrast as we sprinted/danced through the fairgrounds, under the sparkling lights, trying to decide if we wanted to make ourselves throw up on El Nino, or just go classic fun and do the old white roller coaster… we chose both. The coaster was amazing – I drive by it every day, and I had forgotten about how free you feel when you’re in the front of the cart and diving through the darkness with perfect strangers behind you. I thought about how years have weighed me down, and they shouldn’t. Why do we let them? I felt like the roller coaster helped to throw off some of that weight that I’d been holding onto so carefully. Is that silly?

I got in trouble for swinging on the swings last night, just like I did in sixth grade, and it felt so good. I thought about Porter, and how he would probably LOVE this mommy… the fun, giggling, rulebreaking mom that was very much present and living in the moment. I thought about Paul, whose hand I was holding, and how he fell in love and proposed marriage to that girl. Now, I’m not saying he doesn’t love every phase of me, but I think he really loved remembering who I was at the core, and that I’m still very much the obnoxious, silly, spontaneous girl that drew him in. You know, aside from all the anxious worrying and Googling flu symptoms (really, why do I do that – I was never a worrier before I became a mom).

Life is all about balance. I admit, I’m not very good at that part yet. I need to find a better balance between being a responsible and graceful mom and a fun-loving spontaneous wife and friend. I can be responsible and spontaneous. I can be organized and fun loving.

Now that I’m keenly aware of this, I can work toward becoming the best version of myself.

How do you find balance? How has being a mom changed you?

Pin All The Things

I know it’s old news, but I’m on a Pinterest kick right now. Every once in a while, I go remember why Pinterest is so amazing.

An award-winning grilled cheese with 18 different kinds of cheese? OF COURSE.
A snowy merry-go-round in Paris? Don’t even know exactly where it is, but IT JUST GOT ADDED TO MY BUCKET LIST.
Ways to clean my bathroom with just water and fairy dust? Yep.


Other times, my Grinchy heart deflates ten sizes, I delete the app, and move on with my life. So, before that time comes again, allow me to share with you a few of my favorite recent [fall inspired] pins. I also get a weird rush off reorganizing and renaming my boards, so I’m sorry if you visit often and get lost. Grilled cheese sandwiches aren’t in “Let’s Do Lunch” anymore. They are in a new [favorite] board called “Grilled Cheese, Please”… Because ain’t nobody got time to hunt through my lunch board for a melty, cheesy, crispy, sweet-n-savory grilled cheese masterpiece.

  1. My S’mores Board, appropriately named “Gimme S’More”. Just… enjoy.
  2. My Mantra
  3. My Uniform (can we also talk about Cara Loren? Ugh. She’s perfection.)
  4. Tacos, because if you’re going to call them “the best homemade tacos ever”, they better be just that.
  5. My Happiness Board – because all of these things make my heart dance!
Let’s talk about Pinterest! What do you love/hate/loathe/spend all the days pinning?

Pajama Party

Let’s talk about more obsessions. Specifically, Target-fueled obsessions.

I cannot go to Target without buying a new haul of pajamas. The LAST thing my boys need are pajamas. I have drawers (plural) dedicated to pajamas. Onesies, cute sets of long sleeved shirts and pants, shorts and tank tops for summer… Paw Patrol, aliens, Minions, football, Star Wars, sailboats, camo, cowboy… you name it, we have it. There is something so cute about a little kid in adorable pajamas. When they start wearing raggedy t-shirts and basketball shorts to sleep, I’ll cry.

And, I can’t throw any away. Well, except for a pair I got at Nordstrom when Porter was a baby, I tossed those with no problem. Designer pajamas are not my thing. They’re too serious, and kids need FUN pajamas. I need the cheap packs that come in sets of 2… with the cheesy designs and characters. Get outta here with those color-blocks, Tucker & Tate.

Paul has started to bargain with me: throw out a piece of clothing, or an old set of pajamas, for every new one you bring home. I agreed, but truth-be-told: I just started a new drawer and make sure I’m the one to dress the boys for bed each night. Sawry.

What can’t you stop buying – from Target, or elsewhere? 

Current status:

dropping everything to run out and buy these, because Porter is loving Spiderman lately… and I have NOT seen these yet in my local Target.

Weekly Roundup: All The Fall

Here we go! Our first Weekly Roundup, and it’s all about FALL. Basics, unite!

Monica: Fall favorites? Everything! Running through the leaves (like, actual running on fallen leaves on the sidewalk). It reminds me of my old cross country days! I also love the fact that I can now wear scarves, burn candles, have a salted caramel mocha (I’m the one anti-PSL white girl), wear sweaters, Crockpot cooking, boots, slightly less-sweaty workouts, wearing leggings for legitimate reasons… basic girling so hard right now.

instagram.com/loftuslane

Kjerstine, of Loftus Lane:
Behind our home is a walking path, and I’ve grown to love taking photos of myself and my son there –  especially because of the gorgeous trees and how they change with each season. The vibrant warm hues during the fall are the most romantic to me. Speaking of which, I should probably get out there soon for a quick photo shoot before the leaves disappear! Cheers to fall and all its glory!

Lisa: I am so excited that fall is FINALLY here. Fall is my favorite time of year because it means cooler weather, warm drinks, cozy knit scarves & vibrant fall colored trees! Since moving to Virginia, our favorite place to go in the fall is Colonial Williamsburg. The trees and overall history draws us in & not to mention it is beautiful! Here is a link of last years post when we drove up to Williamsburg for the day!

Colleen: I love all things fall. Food, clothes, makeup, candles, temperatures. But if I had to choose one true favorite, it would be Leavenworth, WA. It represents all things I love about the season. When you drive into town, the foliage takes your breath away. It literally looks like a patchwork quilt of reds, oranges, yellows and greens! Then, upon arrival into town, you have amazing beer, authentic German food and great music! It’s so cozy! Make sure to head just out of town about 5 minutes to Peshastin to do a wine tasting at Icicle Ridge Winery, which overlooks the river and the valley. They decorate it SO CUTE for Fall.

Courtney (@wonderfully_wolf on IG): When it comes to fall, I have MANY favorites. The first is – of course – college football! As a former collegiate cheerleader and wife of a former college quarterback (Go Campbell Camels!), football quickly became the staple of my favorite season. There is simply nothing better than cheering on your favorite team on a Saturday Game Day in the south. ๐Ÿ™‚ A more recent fall favorite of mine is the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino. Living in Florida, the weather hasnโ€™t quite gotten the memo that itโ€™s fall yet… so this version of the beloved PSL is essential to get in the spirit.

instagram.com/alysalvesen

Aly: As cliche as it might sound, I love ALL things fall related. I love that I can bundle up and drink hot tea without sweating beads. I love making my home feel cozy with the aroma of cinnamon baked goods and pots of homemade soup. Everything about fall screams home and comfortand that is what I love about this season!

instagram.com/love.jules
Julie: While I’m not a crazed PSL fan, I still LOVE the idea of Fall. I say idea because it’s still 100 degrees here in Southern CaliforniaOne of my favorite fall traditions is collecting leaves with my son to make a festive fall wreath! I cut the wreath from cardboard and he gets to glue to his heart’s desire. It’s a fun, cheap, and easy project we look forward to doing every Fall!

Shaun: The anticipation of fall for me is up there with Christmas and my birthday. The crisp air, the freshly fallen leaves. It’s amazing. I live in New Hampshire where we are known for Fall. The colors of the trees, apple picking, corn mazes, pumpkin patches… did I mention our amazing foliage? I’m ready to bust open the comfy leggings, the boots, and cardigans. I’m ready for drives up North to immerse myself in colors my mind dreams of. And a hot apple cider along the way certainly doesn’t hurt ๐Ÿ˜‰ (BLOG: www.drivingmepeanuts.com)

Thanks, ladies, for participating in my first Roundup! Loved your responses; you just made me even more excited for this beautiful season. To close out, I’m just gonna leave this here. This is my new favorite fall anything: Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Product Testing: Tubby Todd, and Muchison-Hume

COMING SOON: Murchison-Hume (Natural Cleaning Products), and Tubby Todd. I can’t wait to post my reviews. I have heard nothing but amazing things about both of these companies and products, and have orders in to both companies to try them out.

I ordered:

All-Purpose Cleaner in Original Fig
I am trying hard to slowly transition my family into all-natural bath, cleaning and beauty products. It’s so much harder than it seems. EVERYTHING has something terrible in it, so I’m doing research and just finding one thing to change each month. Right now, we use Honest bath products – and if I’m being honest (ha), I don’t love the smell of the ones available in our area. I’m a sucker for the Johnson & Johnson lavender bath, which sucks – because ALL THE CHEMICALS. Yuck. However, my nose hasn’t caught up with my mind yet, and it’s missing the strong, sweet, soothing aroma of those poisonous products. Haha. I’ve heard Tubby Todd smells great, and lathers even better. So, I’ll see what we think ๐Ÿ™‚
I’ve also read some new articles about Honest being “not so natural” in some of their products (dang it, Jessica Alba) and that doesn’t thrill me. I don’t know if it’s true, entirely, but… why not use this time to start “shopping small”? The products are the same price, and I love the heart behind Tubby Todd. Andrea is a real mama who pursued a passion and is making it happen. And Murchison-Hume was developed when a mother’s son developed allergies and sensitivities to standard household cleaning products, and she made it her mission to make something safe and natural that worked. It’s so inspiring, and reminds me that instead of complaining, we can be apart of the solution. These women are all about the solution, and I’m happy to support that.
STAY TUNED! Reviews coming soon.

Fair Daze

What do I love about the fair?

I think the easier question is: what DON’T I love about the fair (people. The answer is people. People in massive, ignorant crowds wearing stuff they shouldn’t be wearing, smoking cigarette where they shouldn’t be smoking them, and being otherwise oblivious to the world around them). But THE FAIR in general is everything. It’s the mark of the end of summer, and the pending transition to fall – my favorite transition of all. It’s temperatures dipping into “sweater weather”, and rain boots being dusted off. It’s the smell of hay and sawdust and bright, colorful lights. It’s people selling Vitamixes, massage chairs, lotion made from magical fairy dusty, and homemade wooden signs in the Expo Hall. It’s disgusting foods like deep-fries Twinkies (I definitely refuse to order. Even I have limits), weird foods like turkey legs, and classic foods like corn on the cob (but smothered in hot sauce and dusted with parmesan cheese) It’s the only place you can order ice cream, and then walk through a booth that shows you how germ-filled your hands are. I MEAN. Education.

Close to number one on the list of LOVE, for me, are Krusty Pups. There is something about a fresh fair corn dog that is SO nostalgic. As you can see, I’m still working on Porter. He took a few bites, but he turned up his cute little nose at my offer to dip it in mustard (I know, who’s kid is this?) and requested ketchup with french fries, instead.

The breading is sweet, and the best part about the whole thing is the crispy, burnt bottom that you have to bite off the stick. SOME OF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. And some of you are clicking off my page and increasing my bounce rate. Whatever. You’re probably the same monsters that turn up your nose at burnt cheese.

ANYWAY. We went on opening day this year, and I’m hoping to go back one more time before it heads out of town. Porter and his buddy Lincoln rode all the rides and were in heaven. It was hotter than hades, and Simon was miserable in the Ergo – but Porter fell in love.

I totally get Sillyville now. It’s the kids area at our state fair that I used to avoid like the plague because EW KIDS. But now? It’s totally magical when you have kids of your own. Within minutes, they are a cowboy riding a pony, a pilot flying a helicopter, a train conductor, and a bird sailing down the huge slide faster than they’ve ever gone before. Their little imaginations run wild, and for only the lofty price of a few tickets.

These are my favorite times, for sure. What are your favorite fair memories?

Quick + Easy Lunch: Sweet & Savory Turkey Sandwich

I just made this quick and healthy lunch on a whim last week, and it was so delicious I had to write it down. You just need a few things in your fridge, all of which have become staples for our family.

1. Daves Killer Bread – White Done Right
This bread is THE BEST. It’s soft and fluffy, and made with 5 grains and no bleached flour or high-fructose corn syrup. It’s our new favorite for lunchtime sandwiches, especially kid-friendly ones.

2. Oven-roasted turkey or chicken breast
I keep a half-pound or so in the fridge at all times – I usually spring for the pricier stuff if I can… you know, the stuff with the ingredients I can pronounce and not a bunch of added salt or sugar or preservatives. In a pinch, I like Applegate brand a lot, and they have some at my local Target. I throw some on a grilled cheese sandwich or quesedilla so Porter is getting some protein without really knowing it. The kid is PICKY lately.

3. Strawberry Chia “Jam” from World of Chia
I love that this only uses four ingredients, all of which I can pronounce and list here without first looking it up, haha: strawberries, lemon juice, chia seeds, and agave syrup. Granted, agave is still sugar… but I’m just happy that it doesn’t have cane sugar or corn syrup or anything that I find in every other jam out there.

4. Swiss cheese, or a cheese of your choice. White cheddar or Provolone or even cream cheese would be great, too.

5. A mustard or mayo spread of some sort – Dijon mustard, homemade mayo, garlic aioli… I have this maple-bacon aioli that we get from the butcher that is just DELICIOUS. And I only use a small smear… and oh goodness. It’s amazing.

TA DA! Simple sandwich with just the right balance of sweet & savory. Porter and I split a sandwich normally, and it’s the perfect light lunch.

Let me know if you like it – or, what is your go-to sandwich of choice? Also, why are sandwiches SO MUCH BETTER when other people make them for you (have you noticed that)?

I’m So Basic.

I have what one may call an obsessive personality; everything is my favorite. Here is a short-but-running list of some of those things that I’ve been obsessing over, lately. Most of these things are what “the internets” are calling “basic”, as in “basic white girl”, but I’m 30 freaking years old. I liked these things before the cute little beauty bloggers decided it was cool.
Let’s start with s’mores. Before they bombed your Instagram feed, I was obsessed. Mainly because of toasted mashmallow. I will get, buy, smell, taste ALL THE THINGS that are toasted marshmallow flavored/scented. But the idea of s’mores just makes me happy. It’s so summer, and SO early fall. Which – forget you, Caitlyn Jenner – THAT is my favorite transition in the world.
And on that same note: cotton candy flavored anything – but not actual cotton candy. That just feels like I’m eating hair, and who likes to eat hair?
Hair. I was dying to cut it. Now that I did, I hate how stupid it looks when I pull it back into a ponytail (like a stub sticking off the back of my head), so now I’m dying to grow it out. I’m also looking for a new color/style of colorso, yeah, obsessed would cover it.
Family Feud. Specifically, the ones with Steve Harvey hosting. It’s on Game Show Network all the time, and we can’t get enough.
All of the lights. I will string twinkling lights on my toilet and love it. 
Speaking of lights: I love highlighter. Not like the pens, like the makeup. I think it’s called strobing? Or whatever those fancy YouTubers call it these days. Anyway, my favorite highlighter is Jaclyn Hill’s collab with BECCA Cosmetics – Champagne Pop. Yasssssss, gimme all the strobing. I look like a beaming ray of sunlight and I love it so much.
Hot sauce. On everything.
Socality Barbie. Just… yes.
Grapefruit La Croix. I finally said goodbye to soda, and my body thanks me.
Vans. I never understood the power of a plain white pair of Vans, but I do now and I can’t get enough.
Planners. I’ll never use one, but I want to be that girl SO BAD. So I buy them and fill them out once as far out as I can, and then never open them again. Same with journals. I’m really trying with journals, though.
What are some of your favorite things as of late?

Jay & Hay’s One Big Day

I really love weddings. I love love. I love the celebration of a couple choosing to be together, happily ever after. I love the commitment, the statement, and the excitement of a wedding day. I love seeing the personality of the bride and groom come out in all the little details. I love wedding gowns. The hair. The makeup. The choice of dress in which you force all of your girlfriends to wear as they stand by your side to support you on the biggest day of your life (the bride either loves or secretly loathes all of her maids and matrons, and it’s hilarious. Haley loved hers, for sure – the cutest dresses, the formal introductions and the dancing entrance!? SO wonderful). I love the photos: memories for a lifetime, that a granddaughter will someday pull out of a box and show everyone how beautiful the women in her family are.

However, the more weddings I go to, the more I realize how much it’s about so much more than the little details that you spend weeks and months pouring over. It’s the anticipation in the air as a thousand of your friends and family watch a slideshow of two people they truly, honestly adore. It’s the admiration for a couple that held strong to their beliefs, loving God above all else, pouring out every ounce of themselves in acts of service to other people day in and day out finally standing together to be united as one. It’s about childhood sweetheart exchanging heartfelt vows to continue to take on the world together. It’s about moments and people and relationship. I’ve never been more moved than I was last night – one small supporter in a sea of a thousand, just happy to be in the room as a wonderful couple became husband and wife.

Jon and Haley are those people. They are the head of student ministries at my church. They are younger than me, crazier than me… and I respect and love these guys so much. They’re the first ones to the church and the last ones to leave. They love people, they exude joy, they are cheerleaders and hard workers and adventurers and they always have happy, positive things to say. Haley is the first to run up and give me a huge hug and tell me how much she loves me – and I haven’t seen or talked to her in weeks. She’s just that girl, and Jon is just that guy. They are impacting the world in a big, big way.

What a great wedding last night, Mr. & Mrs. Yadon! You are truly wonderful people and it was an honor to celebrate you. If you’re on Instagram, check out #jayandhaysonebigday… so many photos and videos of the festivities. You can feel the love, respect and admiration in every post.

You two rock at life.