Well, my kids favorite meal I make is Turkey Baked Ziti and it's SO good. But when you're trying to stay away from the pasta you have to get creative. This is not anything that hasn't been done before, but it was one I made many years ago and remains on constant rotation. Even that BIG hubby of mine loves this one and walks away from the table satisfied every time.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- 2-3 spaghetti squash, halved and scooped out
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 lb ground lean turkey, browned
- 1 jar of Rao's Sensitive Formula Marinara
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 stp onion powder
- fresh basil
- 1/2 shaved parmesan cheese for garnish
- olive oil
WHAT TO DO
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice squash in half lengthwise. Be careful not to cut off your hand! LOL They can be tough to cut.
- Scoop out the seeds + insides of squash. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt + pepper.
- Place squash face down in a baking dish. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock around squash and seal baking dish tightly with foil.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
- In a medium pan, ground turkey and season with garlic + onion powder. Add jar of sauce and stir set aside.
- Remove squash from oven and carefully remove insides with a fork, scraping it out. It will look like spaghetti noodles, hence the name. Try to keep the shell in tact. You will be filling with the turkey mixture.
- Add squash noodles to the turkey and marinara. Add grated parmesan cheese, and mix well.
- Fill empty shells of squash with mixture and top with parmesan cheese.
- Place back into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cheese should be melted.
Do you guys remember last week before I left town, I gave you guys a little teaser on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I got early access to take a sneak peek of some of the items that will be on sale and today I want to share some tips with you guys to make sure you make the most of the biggest sale of the year. Yep, you read that right. This is literally Nordstrom's biggest sale and earnings period of the year- bigger than Christmas- and you are going to see why. I have been shopping this sale for forever and you know I never leave my girls high and dry when it comes to things I have learned so today I am going to share with you some of my tried and true tips for getting the most out of the sale.
So why is this sale such a big deal? The great thing about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is that Nordstrom partners with designers and brands to bring you BRAND NEW fall merchandise at prices that are typically better than Black Friday prices. The other big bonus of this sale is that merchandise that rarely goes on sale is on sale during this limited time period. So brands that you love that you typically have a hard time finding deals on- including major designer labels- will now be on sale. This is also an AMAZING time to stock up on basics that you use throughout the year-whether that be jeans, make-up, lingerie, you name it. So here are the five tips for making this sale work for you.
#1 GET THE NORDSTROM CARD FOR EARLY ACCESS + A $20 NORDSTROM NOTE
My first two tips are my most important tips for the sale. If you are a Nordstrom credit or debit card holder, you are given early access to the sale. That's right, the sale starts for Nordstrom Cardholders on this THURSDAY JULY 13th. You may be wondering why early access is such a big deal. I can tell you from experience that things sell out like hotcakes. I mean seriously fast! Typically some of the most coveted pieces from the sale are already gone by the time public access opens to the sale on July 21st. Don't worry though, there is still time to apply for a card before the sale starts. If you get approved, you get to start shopping immediately. I am not huge on store credit cards, so if you aren't either, you can actually get a Nordstrom debit card that links to your bank account rather than a credit card. Regardless of what type of card you have you get to enjoy all the benefits of the Nordstrom Rewards program. As another bonus, if you are signing up for the first time you get a free $20 Nordstrom Note to use. SCORE!
#2 IF YOU LOVE IT, BUY IT...IMMEDIATELY!
This is my second most important tip of the sale. As I mentioned above, the most popular items of the sale will sell out VERY quickly. If you see something you love, don't think about it, just buy it. Luckily with Nordstrom's amazing shipping and return policy it will not hurt you at all to purchase it and then return it if it ends up not working for you. You might even want to make multiple purchases because I have heard of girls having items in their cart and shopping the entire sale and then when they went to check out the item they really wanted had already sold out. YIKES! Moral of the story, if there are a couple of key pieces that you are really coveting, buy them immediately and then continue to shop the sale.
#3 SHOP FOR CHRISTMAS IN JULY
This sale is an fabulous opportunity for stocking up on Christmas presents, both for family and friends, as well as yourself. I love doing some of my holiday shopping during this sale for a couple of reasons. First, these are all BRAND NEW products that are going to be available for fall and winter, so it is not like you are going to be buying someone a tank top and then giving it to them at Christmas. Second, it really helps spread out your Christmas budget some. I am always so excited when I am making my holiday budget in November and December and I realize that I have already crossed some of the people off of my list. I also always buy a pair of jeans or a handbag for myself and save them for someone to give to me at Christmas time.
#4 DO YOUR RESEARCH AND MAKE A BUDGET
It can be so tempting once the sale starts to just go crazy and start buying everything in sight. I think it is the psychological effect of there being so many amazing items on sale and the fear that something might sell out. I highly recommend checking out the sales catalog and start plotting a game plan. If you click on each picture in the catalog it will pull up the full detail of that product as well as information on the sale and regular prices. Remember items will return to their regular price on August 7th. I recommend keeping a short list of items that you see in the catalog that you really want so you can be ready to grab those items first when the sale starts. Keep in mind that what you are seeing is just a fraction of what will be available in the sale. Once you have a game plan for what all you need, try to set a budget and stick with it. Here are a list of things that I am planning on grabbing at the sale:
- AG Jeans: This is my #1 favorite brand of jeans and they always have them on amazing sales during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. This brand can be pretty pricey, but they truly are the best jeans I have ever worn and they are going to be on sale at prices you will not see all year.
- Hanky Panky: This is a huge stock-up item for me. If you recall from my bra and underwear post, Hanky Panky thongs are pretty much the only underwear I wear. They will be put on a major sale and I highly recommend you guys using this opportunity to refresh the panty collection. Your husband will thank you!
- Fall Booties: This is the perfect time to stock up on a couple of pairs of must-have fall booties. Vince Camuto always has a few exclusive designs just for Nordstrom that get released for the sale. If you check out page 48 of the catalog you can get a sneak peak of some of the booties. I already have my eye on Vince Camuto Fileana Split Shaft Bootie, the Karinta Block Heel, and the Sarto Paively Bootie.
- Make-up and Skincare: There are always so many amazing special edition value sets that are available for the sale and they always go SO fast. I will be on the look out for kits from Bobby Brown and Urban Decay. The MAC kits always go really fast too!
- Sweaters and Fall Tops: This is a great time to pick up a couple of great sweaters and statement tops for fall and winter. Since they are all new styles for the season, you are going to get a jump on whatever trends are going to be really popular this year and get them at major sale prices.
#5 STICK WITH ME
As I am sure you have already started to see, this sale literally blows up the blog world. Everyone and their mother is going to be blogging about it, posting round-up, and sharing their must bys. However, there is no need to get overwhelmed! All you have to do is stick by Landy! I am going to be posting tons of round-ups and sharing some of my favorites in different categories. I am going to start with posting a round-up of my top 10 favorite items in the entire sale and then will start breaking it down by category and price point. If there are any items or categories that you are particularly interested in then let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to include them. I have done a ton of prep work for the sale before I left and Julia will be working around the clock to get all the information out to you guys. We are so excited and hope you are too!
The sale goes live at 12:01 AM PST on the 13th and my first post will most likely go up in between 6-7am CST that morning and I will be posting multiple times per day. So check early and check often. Also, be sure to stay tuned over on Insta-stories because I will be sharing some of my favorite buys over there as well.
In this Instagram heavy world we live in I am always on the hunt for backdrops for my pictures. I have a feeling some of you guys might be too. Honestly, even if you aren't looking to snap a selfie with a pretty backdrop, some of these street murals are must sees when you come to Nashville. We are blessed with so many creative spirits here in Nashville and it really does make for some amazing photo backdrops. Today I have rounded-up some of my favorite and most iconic Nashville murals along with all of their addresses so you can hunt down your favorite next time you are in town.
I bought this gorgeous dress for my trip to Mexico and unfortunately it is now sold out. Boo! I absolutely love this brand though and you definitely need to check it out if you have a tropical vacation planned this summer. Also, this backpack is ALL THE THINGS. It has a little bit of a sleeker, more sophisticated design so it is perfect if you are traveling and you need a bag that will take you from sightseeing to a night out on the town.
I BELIEVE IN NASHVILLE
2608 12th Ave. South
WHAT LIFTS YOU
302 11th Ave South - The Gulch
600 Main Street
Green Pea Salon- 2900 12th Ave South
Five Daughters Bakery- 1110 Caruthers Ave
PINK + WHITE WALL
714 Gallatin Ave.
2608 12th Ave South
I BELIEVE IN SMASHVILLE
501 Broadway- Bridgestone Arena
625 Main Street- East Nashville
ROLF + DAUGHTERS
700 Taylor Street-
11th Ave. South / Laurel Street
11th Ave. South/ Laurel Street
SHOP THE POST
This is the most simple summa time meal to quickly pull together, with so many variations. The sky is the limit with what you decide to fill these these little delicious foil packets with. My hubby is a huge fan of cajun food and we currently have an abundance of zucchini in our garden. Wrap them up and throw them on the grill, oven works too!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- 1 lb fresh raw shrimp- peeled, deveined and tail on
- 2 large zucchini, sliced
- 2 ears of corn, taken from the cobb
- 1 1/2 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- chicken andouille sausage, sliced
- cajun seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of one lemon, squeeze over packets
- 8 small pieces of unsalted butter
- heavy duty aluminum foil
WHAT TO DO
- Tear off (8) 12-14" sheets of foil
- In a ziploc bag place shrimp, olive oil and cajun seasoning, seal tightly and give a good shake. Making sure shrimp is evenly covered.
- Next slice and chop your veggies.
- Then equally distribute all the things between the foil squares.
- Place one pad of butter on top of each packet and wrap tightly.
- Heat your grill or oven to 350 degrees.
- Place foil packets directly on the grate of your grill for 10-15 minutes or on a cookies sheet in your oven.
SHOP THE POST
I hope you guys are loving this Nashville Travel Series as much as I love doing it. Nashville is such a fun, dynamic city and I love sharing it with you guys. Today I am going to share some of my favorite places for drinks in the summer. I mean, who doesn't LOVE a good rooftop bar? There is nothing better than enjoying a warm summer night with a cold tequila and soda in my hand.
My first stop on any rooftop bar train is the L.A. Jackson at the top of the Thompson Hotel. This is my favorite bar on top of my favorite hotel, so it is basically a match made in heaven. It is located in an area of town called The Gulch and has the absolute best view of the Nashville skyline you can find. It was designed by the NYC firm Parts and Labor, which is one of the best hospitality design firms in the country, so you are guaranteed to be wowed by the decor.
I am actually at the L.A. Jackson in all of these pictures, so as you can tell it is a spot not to be missed. Both the Marsh, which is the resestaurant in the Thompson and the L.A. Jackson were developed by John Besh and the menus are great. The L.A. Jackson has a small bar menu and awesome drinks. You know I love my tequila and my spice, so I highly recommend their Hot 'N Bothered cocktail. If you can only go one place during your trip to Nashville, this is the place to go!
L27 is the newest rooftop hotspot in Nashville. It was opened at the end of last year and is located on top of the Westin Hotel right in the heart of downtown Nashville. To say that it is stunning is an absolute understatement. It is a very cool, trendy spot and definitely a place to go to see and be seen. The infinite pool is gorgeous and so unique. They have a DJ playing music and if you are looking for a true nightlife scene that is separate from the strip on Broadway, then this is definitely a great option. It is open day and night and they offer a full menu as well as delicious drinks. If you are looking more for a big-city vibe, then this will definitely be the spot for you!
ACME FEED AND SEED
ACME Feed and Seed is a staple on the strip and is known less of a honky-tonk and more as a great bar atmosphere with live music than some of its strip counterparts. It is a definite must see if you are going to spend any time on Broadway. I love that it is on the strip, but a little bit removed from some of the true madness up closer to Tootsies. It is actually owned by the TomKat group, the same group that owns The Southern, so you know the food is actually going to be really good. It has great views of downtown, the Cumberland River and of Nissan Stadium where the Titans play. Just note it can get VERY crowded, on weeknights in particular, so be sure that you are in the mood for a crowd if you decide to go. One other things to mention is that all ordering (drinks, food, etc.) is done downstairs so make sure that you stop at the bar before you head up to the rooftop.
SHOP THE POST
This light + delicious berry trifle is truly the perfect summer dessert. It's easy to throw together, travels well and is a crowd pleaser. Having only four simple and relatively healthy ingredients is why I find myself making it again and again. So, needing a dessert for tomorrows festivities? Look no further!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- 2 cartons of fresh ripe strawberries, washed and chopped (leaving a couple whole for garnish)
- 1 large carton of blueberries, washed and left whole
- 2 boxes of Angel Food Cake Mix, baked as directed + ingredients for that or 2 pre-made angel food cakes from bakery.
- 1 16oz tub of Cool Whip, defrosted
- 1 8oz tub of Cool Whip, defrosted
- glass trifle bowl *or a deep glass bowl so you can see the pretty layers
WHAT TO DO
- Wash and pat dry strawberries, then chop into bite sized pieces. Wash blueberries, let dry.
- If making your own angle food cake, bake and cool cake completely. If using store bought, remove and cube into bite sized pieces.
- Start layering your dessert and repeat these steps until the dish is full.
- 1st layer with Cool whip, covering bottom of dish, sprinkle with both berries.
- Add pieces of cake, then more Cool Whip, berries.... repeat.
- Garnish with Cool Whip and top with berries for decoration.
WHERE DID YOU STAY + EAT AND GO IN NYC?
This was actually the first time we have ever took the kids to New York and we went for Lily's 13th birthday. It was such a fun trip and we had the absolute best time there. Since it was Lily's first time in the city she really wanted to be in the middle of it all and get the full city experience. Because of that we stayed at the Westin Times Square. It is a beautiful hotel and perfect if you want to be in the hustle and bustle of the city. If it were just Steve and I going we would probably stay somewhere a little quieter and more secluded, but it was perfect for the purpose of our trip and the kids loved it.
The eating was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip and we had so many amazing meals. My favorite meal of the trip was at an Italian restaurant called Carbone. It is a true authenic Italian restaurant and was so good. We ordered the mussels, Luke ordered the Lamb Chop, Lily got Spaghetti and Meatballs and Steve got Sausage and Spicy Vodka pasta. The lemon cheescake is a must order. the lasgana is not on the menu, but we heard it is to die for. You literally have to reserve a piece when you call in to make your reservation. My second favorite place we ate was Robataya. It is a Japanese restaurant that serves Robatayaki style Japanese food. I know! What does that even mean? Basically they cook your food for you right in front of you in a big open hearth. It was delicious and very entertaining. I would definitely recommend a reservation and sitting at the dinner counter to get the full experience. It was so fun! After we went to School of Rock we went to Black Tap for dessert. It is actually a burger joint that makes really delicious looking hamburgers, but we went specially for their world famous milkshakes and it did not disappoint. We ordered the Cookie Shake and shared it. I can't really eat a ton of ice cream but I definitely loved eating all of the cookie pieces off of it. We tried a great spot for brunch called Rustic Table. They do breakfast and lunch foods with a Mediterranean twist. I got the Avocado Toast and loved it. And last but not least, I have to mention Eataly. It is basically a food lovers dream and a must visit in NYC if you are a foodie. I am a sucker for aesthetic, package design and all the things and Eataly is definitely all those things!
Since we were there for the kids we made sure that we hit a lot of the big must-see's in NYC. We spent a ton of time in Central Park which is one of my favorite places in the city. We went to the Central Park Zoo and I highly recommend it. It is small, but is really well done and the kids really loved it. We went to the Museum of Natural History and spent and afternoon there, and could have spent more time. We visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and it was one of the most moving, powerful experiences. In my opinion it is a must visit. It is pretty intense and emotional, so you might want to consider that if you have younger children, but mine were okay at 10 and 12. I will say that since they weren't alive when 9/11 happened it was a little easier on them visiting because they didn't grasp the full magnitude of what happened. We went to the top of the Empire State Building at night and honestly I thought it was expensive and over-rated. If I was going to do something like that again I would go to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center because I have heard good things about that one. We also did a double-decker bus tour as well. Don't use the company we used, Top View, they didn't stop frequently enough, the audio tours didn't work half the time and the buses were old. I would recommend Big Bus Tours if you go. They were a little more expensive, but as we learned you get what you pay for. We also went to see School of Rock and I HIGHLY recommend it. The kids in that show are so incredibly talented and my kids absolutely loved it. It is a great one to see if you are in NYC with your family.
WHERE DO YOU SHOP FOR STEVE?
So many of you guys have emailed in to say that you have husbands who are a similar size as Steve and have wanted to know where I shop for him. First, can I say I am so excited to know that I am not the only one who has to struggle with dressing a big guy. I am not going to lie, it can be tough....and expensive. And it you can imagine it was even harder to shop while he played. Basically everything had to be either custom made or altered. Thank goodness he has lost 50 pounds since he quit playing, so I can finally shop off the rack for him more. Luckily, I have years of practice so I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Just for reference Steve is 6 foot 5 inches, wears a size 15 shoe, a 38x34 pant.
Here are some of my favorite places to shop for him. If I need inexpensive places Target and Old Navy are my go-to. This is were I get his t-shirts and more casual clothes. At Old Navy I only shop t-shirts-graphic and solid tees in a XXL. Target I can do a XXL t-shirts and I can get shorts if I size up a waist size. Nordstrom is my next go-to because they have the best variety and I can get him some of his nicer clothes there. There is basically only one brand of jeans that fit him, because he is a very athletic build and jeans/pants are always too tight on his quads. He wears the AG Graduate Slim Straight in a 38x34. They also make a chino in this same style and we own every single color. They are a little pricier, but totally worth the investment. Some other brands I love to buy at Nordstrom that fit well are: Nordstrom brand shorts, Nike bought Hurley and they have great shorts, RVCA shirts, James Pearse (size 5) and a new one I just discovered James Campbell.
If he needs a dress shirt/button-down unfortunately we typically have to do custom made shirts because his neck size is still so big- although WAY down from the 22 inch it was when he played. I will say I do also have some luck at Nordstrom Rack with the XXL. As with all things, it is trial and error and hit and miss. For his shoes, we either try Nordstrom and literally have them bring everything the have in a size 15 and pray that one works. Usually I just order off of Zappos. One of his favorite brands of shoes is Blackstone. They make stylish tennis shoes/casual shoes in larger sizes. I can find them at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, online and sometimes at DSW.
WHAT DO YOU WEAR WITH YOUR NEW JOGGERS?
A lot of you have emailed me saying that you bought the Sun Setter Joggers that I got and wanted to know what kinds of tops I wear with them. They are really athleisure wear pants so I typically stick with tank tops and muscle tank style shirts. I love a sporty, comfortable pulled together look and these pants have become a part of my uniform. They are now my go-to when I have to just run around and do errands. The material is different from a typical jogger because it is so lightweight and breathable and I can easily wear them in the summer. The pants are a little bit of a looser fit (they look like MC Hammer pants on the rack...don't be scared), so you want to make sure that you are wearing a tighter or more slim-cut top so you don't look like you are wearing a bag. Here are some of the favorite tops I am wearing with them right now.