Green Apple, Walnut, Blue Cheese, and Red Onion Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

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These next couple weeks are CA-RAAAYYY-ZEEEE.  I have 7 bajillion exams, activities, soirées, travels to and from home, and gym sessions (*fingers crossed*) to attend to.  Meanwhile, I’m going to a Christmas centerpiece flowering arranging party with Bring-Your-Own-Wine by myself tonight.  Because I feel like it.  You’re all invited.

But, I’ve decided that’s what I love about the holidays.  No time for idle hands!  There is always the next task to do, the next present to wrap, the next Christmas movie to watch (The Santa Clause is my absolute favorite).  I love to write my To-Do list in seasonally appropriate colors, add some candy cane stickers, and get to work! Mixing in some HUGE batch cooking every couple days is a must and adding a salad here and there never hurt anybody.

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This has been my super secret Winter salad for years.  And I’m now just sharing it with you because it’s PERFECT for a side at your holiday dinner table!  Truth: I served it at Thanksgiving and a family party in the past month and the bowl was EMPTY before people could even go back for seconds.  I feel like I’ve been keeping the world’s best kept secret.  Ugh, such a sigh of relief to finally get this goodness out there.

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TGIF – Holiday Gift Guide Edition


Merry Christmas!  Welcome to the special Holiday Gift Guide.  Here you’ll find gifts on my list and affordable things I’ve found for friends, family, and the men in your life!

For the BFF:

  • This is the greatest decanter for a bar cart.  Fun, fresh, and gold!  A perfect combination.
  • My friend once got me a jewelry dish for my bedside, and I use it daily.  This fun, zebra dish is a great gift for the glam girl.
  • For your fitness friend, this hot pink waterbottle keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12!  Perfect for a girl on the go.
  • To add some sparkle to your gal’s couch, these Mi Casa Su Casa and Namastay in Bed pillows are perfect! I can think of so many friends that would love these.
  • For all those tea and coffee drinkers out there, this is the cutest, monogrammed mug.  Buy one for all your roommates and no one will forget which cup is theirs!
  • A shoutout to my medical school friends – these chromosome pillows are the cutest, quirkiest gift ever!

For Mom and Dad:

For the Men in your Life:

      • These Carry on Cocktail Kits – in varieties such as an Old Fashioned or Moscow Mule– are a fun stocking stuffer for a guy who travels a lot.  All they need is some spirits and they’re set!
      • Boyfriend approved – these travel jeans come in four different fits and TONS of different colors.  Dan has several pairs and they look great after washing, fit well, and are his go-to pants.
      • For the IPA lover in your life, this beer making kit will allow them to make their own 6-pack in their kitchen!  This is a must if your man loves his beer!
      • I got Dan this classic, leather banded watch for our anniversary, and it’s timeless.  It goes with almost everything and is can be dressed up or down!
      • My brother would love this Kershaw Chive Knife for every day tasks from cutting open boxes to crafty projects.
      • Instead of digging around for your phone charger, this weighted, 9 foot long iPhone charger is perfect for their nightstand.  And it’s stylish!
      • If you want to splurge – these new wireless Beats in-ear headphones are great for a runner or gym rat!

Things on My List:

Comment below with any of your gifts this year!  Spread on the inspiration and have a festive and cheerful holiday season!

xo, Maddy

Chicken Noodle Soup

Steaming soup with crunchy crackers

Steaming soup with crunchy crackers

Thanksgiving is over and the winter holidays are in full swing! As we all know so well, with the holidays come cookies, cakes, and Christmassy cocktails.  In between the dinner parties and bring-your-own-wine get togethers, it’s important to try and stay on track with eating healthy, nutritious food.  Otherwise, things can go haywire – fast!

One of my go-to magazines for day to day cooking is Cooking Light.  They have a TON of easy recipes for weeknights, sweet treats, and even comfort food like macaroni and cheese in every issue.  In fact, I actually subscribed to it and get so excited when it comes in the mail – total old school style.  In their November issue, they had this delicious, easy chicken noodle soup and I had to try it.

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