Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recipe Review - Blackened Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Hey Y'all!!

I hope your week is going well!  Mine has been great so far! I work almost every day and I LOVE it, I love my job and the people I work with!
On Monday, Adam and I went to work, on our day off for our date night :) It was so nice!

But, anywho! On this day off, I happened to be on Pinterest (my usual hot-spot!) and found a recipe for a Salad with Avocado dressing and mango, and my stomach was just in heaven!

So we decided that on Tuesday, we (Adam and I) were going to make this!  If any of you are like me, I am one bossy cook in the kitchen.  It is my area, not in a feminist way, but in a I truly love to cook everything way!  It's what makes me calm, it's my happy place, and I know a lot of you can agree.
So, Adam doesn't always love cooking with me, because I like things my way, but he loves me anyway and he definitely loves the outcome!  He says he loves my cooking! :) Go me!!

This salad, the link above and I will list it below, was fantastic except I do not like mango so I didn't use that AT ALL!

So this blog is basically a review for this salad, the good, bad and ugly!

From the beginning, I made the dressing first.  In the recipe it doesn't specifically state that you need to make this first, but I highly recommend that you do.  It gives us the ability to chill the dressing before using it! 
Next, I was getting everything ready for the dressing, when I noticed that it was not going to be enough.  I was cooking for Adam, myself, Adam's parents and his Grandma.  It does say yield: 2 Large Salads.  but I was thinking because I eat small portions and not a lot of dressing, Adams Mom and Grandma are the same that it would be fine, but no worries, I just doubled up the amounts and that was truly more than enough. (I still have a good 1/3 left over)

Also, it calls for one small jalapeno, again, I just wasn't truly worried about the size, I went down to the corner to the local Walmart and picked up a regular jalapeno, and used the whole thing (not two) for the recipe.
Fun fact, I don't know about you, but when I get hungry, I get mean. (I get it from my Daddy) We call it the "hangrys" so when in the kitchen, I didn't care if something was "fat free" or not.  Also, fat is what gives things taste and flavor!
Anywho! Back to the salad, I would tame the lime juice down a little too, because even though it tastes fantastic with it, it also tended to be very over powering.  Also, when I put it in the fridge after we finished the pureeing, it got thicker, so add a little more water than you think is good for you, just so it has perfect consistency when you are ready!
And lastly, about the dressing, I LOVE it!!!
Now, for the salad/chicken!
 I used 2 large chicken breast, I didn't measure out the olive oil, I just put it in the skillet and I completely covered the chicken in blackened seasoning and it was great!  And I know you all will love it too!
The only thing I have to say is, if you don't like spicy then do not use a lot of the seasoning, just keep it light.
 The last step asks for you to cube or cut the chicken into strips, this is where the ugly comes in!  Again, I was really hungry so I didn't care what my chicken looked like and so I shredded the chicken, which in turn had me burn my fingers :(  But that's okay!  I think it looks better shredded, to be honest!

And to finish out this lovely review, all in all it was a fabulous, amazing, tasty, very summery salad! Please try it out!  I also enjoyed my salad with Apothic Red wine, it is phenomenal! (my favorite)  
Here is the ingredients and recipe to what I did below:

Blackened Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

    For the Avocado Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 (ish) cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • Water 
I doubled this (except for the jalapeno) for more dressing.

    For the Salad

  • olive oil
  • 2 chicken breast
  • Blackened seasoning, to your taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, no boogers (I did one tomato)
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 4 cups Spring Salad Mix (Green leaf lettuce for us)


  1. For the dressing, add all the ingredients except the water to a blender. 
  2. Puree very well.
  3. With the blender going, slowly drizzle in the water until a thick, creamy, consistency is reached. Set Aside. 
  5. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  6. Season both sides of the chicken breast with the blackened seasoning, making sure it is fully coated.
  7. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until fully cooked through. Remove and let it rest for 3-4 minutes. Then slice it or cube it up. (I flipped and cooked twice on each side)
  8. Put the lettuce, tomato and onion together in a bowl and mix up!
  9. Place some chicken on top of each and drizzle on your desired amount of dressing!



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

To be or Not to be...Leader 101

Being a leader or a follower is something that is questioned more than once.

You get put through situations where you are given the option of being a leader or letting someone else take the reigns!
Between you and me, I do get scared if I become a leader, have the position of a leader or have that opportunity to be a leader.   Well, I wouldn't say "scared," but nervous and worried, sometimes, yes. 

When becoming a leader or being a leader, you need to remember these things:
  1. You can do it.
  2. The leader/person of higher position will and SHOULD take the fall for the negative things, yet...
  3. ...give credibility to the group as a whole for any positive things.
  4. Believe in yourself, and that will reflect on others.
  5. Believe in your team.
Being a leader has its up's and it's downs!  You can get beat up and down, verbally, mentally, or emotionally.  But, you also have those moment of complete and utter happiness!  The feeling  of accomplishment, teamwork, that "sigh of relief" moment.

Coming from experience, you will have so many who try to take credit for what you do, try to obtain your glory, etc, but DO NOT LET THAT GET YOU DOWN!  It honestly, just shows how amazing you are and if you don't break or attack then it shows that you're a strong individual who has the qualities of a great leader.

I once read, "A level 5 (great) leader is someone who teaches others to become leaders."

When I think of this phrase, I think that in order for you and I to become the best that we can be, not only as a leader, but as a person, we need to be able to be the learner and from there become the teacher, so new leaders can be born.

As I stated earlier, letting someone else take the reigns is very important as well. Not only does it show how distinct your character is, but it gives others the chance to shine.

One thing that I recommend for every leader, no matter if you have been a leader before or for a long time or if you are just starting out, the one thing that I believe is best for everyone is to remember to:




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Keep Calm and Graduate like a '13OSS


I know I haven't been blogging lately, but that is because I was graduating (obviously) and then I moved to Charlotte with my fiance, because we both work at the White Water Center (the most awesome place ever)

I will be blogging SO MUCH more! But this post will mostly be pictures! So enjoy and be ready for some awesome blogs coming up! :)

{ Me and my Daddy }

{ My favorite teacher and I, Mr. Saylors }

{ Me saying Goodbye to my Little :( } 

{ My Dad and I looking amazing } 

{ Me and my BESTEST Friend}

{ The two that I would give the world to } 

{ My Daddy and I again, just because we are so damn cute together }

{ My VERY handsome fiance and I - I don't know where we were looking }


Monday, May 6, 2013

College, some of my experiences, and YOUR Choice!

My college experience was that of a quick one.  And I literally had some HUGE milestones happen while here.

I go to a college called Lees-McRae College, nestled in the mountains of Banner Elk, NC.
It is a very small school, with probably 800-900 students all together.  But, now has come my time to graduate. And I am SO READY!

I came to this beautiful place in the Fall of 2010 and I am graduating in the Spring (May 11th) of 2013, yes, that is right, I have completed my four-year degree in three years!  Call me crazy, but it was so worth it!
This is another reason why I haven't posted in so long, and I am very sorry.  I had my Omega (final project) click on it and go watch!  It is really awesome! And I have also been busy with all of my final exams (26-credit hours worth)! whew!
But to tell you a little about my college experience, keep reading! :)

My freshman year was the same as many, meeting your roommate, switching roommates three times, joining a sorority, partying, drinking, drunk nights, boyfriends, make-outs, mistakes, parties, switched my major, etc... you catch my drift!

To tell you a little bit about that lovely, first year, I will start out by saying I was young, made mistakes, but I also had some of my BEST college experiences during this year and met some of my best friends!
So lets, just, type.  I met my first college boyfriend, and boy, was I on cloud nine!  I was so happy.  He was extremely tall, good looking, nice, smart and all around funny!  (funny is one of my main desires in men)  Turns out, it all wasn't what it seemed, and after two weeks (yes, two) he broke it off with me.  I was crushed.  But, this is when I decided to go out and have fun!  I met lots of people, made out with people, my main make out partner in crime and one of my best friends was a lovely lady named, Erin. (on the right)

Everyone has their experiences! haha We were just some awesome drunk, make-out buddies!  We also were best friends and still are to this day.  Even though we are miles apart, I would drop everything and be there for her if she needed me.

Anywhoosle, moving on, I then, without even looking, I met someone named Adam, and he turned into my next boyfriend, and now GORGEOUS fiance!

We have been together since October 17th, 2010.  

Okay, so then to further the freshman year shenanigans, I sang for "Fashion for Life," I switched my major from Performing Arts to Communication Art and Design (best decision ever), I was Freshman Homecoming Princess, I met some truly amazing people who I like to call family,

{This is me and Carrington as the Freshman Homecoming Court recipients}

{And these are the people that became my family, and this is me getting Sophomore Homecoming Court}

and so many memories that made me who I am today!
Also, during my freshman year I was in the Fall Musical "Into the Woods," as Snow White, it was pretty awesome if I do say so myself.  Then, nearing the end of my Freshman year, I became friends with some people and really just concentrated on school.

Starting my Sophomore/Junior year of college, I was a Resident Assistant of the 4th floor of Avery dorm and I loved it!  Not only did I help all my girls on the 4th floor, but other girls from all the other floors would come and talk to me as well!  It was really nice to have people put trust in you and really confide in you.  
The rest of the year really just played out like a typical year. I did though meet my bestie, Joanna :)

Then over the summer I stayed here at school and shadowed a Resident Director (in charge of RA's) which is the job that I received for the 2012-2013 year!  I worked at Grandfather Mountain, and so did Adam and overall we had a great summer, lived on our own, and made it out pretty well!
In August we started the 2012-2013 school year, with my first semester with 25 credit hours of classes and my second and final semester of 26 credit hours of classes! 
My housemates are the freaking best in the planet, well 2 of them.  I know that sounds rude, but it is just something that is the way it is.  

{From left to right, Me, Sydnie, and Joanna}

I wouldn't trade these girls for anything!  They truly are the best!  It was a long year for us, and Sydnie is going to be a Junior here, Joanna is moving and attending her dream college at UNCG, and I am graduating! We have truly grown together, not only as sorority sisters, but as friends! ("These are my Chi Chi's" in the words of Syd)

Next, on my awesome journey, I WON SENIOR HOMECOMING QUEEN!!!!

It was a really exciting moment for me!  Even though you will always have the haters, the people who make up random shit and the people who are just plain mean, always know that they are forms of jealousy.  I had people be mean to me for this, but honestly it made me stronger.  And I know that sounds cliche, but I am serious, I have been through too much and worked really hard to get where I am, and I do not strive for anything other than success and excellence.


Next HUGE part of my college career, I GOT ENGAGED!
{Photo Credit: Julian Charles Photography}
The engagement story is for another blog, but this is a fantastic thing that happened to me while I was at college!

Right after this, we went to New Zealand to visit my mom's side of the family and we had a great time. (again, for another blog, but here's a picture) 

And now I graduate in only 5 days! Whoo-hoo!

After all this adventure and so much more to come, I truly encourage you to go to college.

People are challenged everyday whether or not to attend college.  Some are pressured by their families, some want to go for themselves, some cannot go because of money and some just don't go at all.
But, if you do have a choice, I say, DO IT!  It is definitely an experience that you will not regret!  Even if you are being pressured by your parents, do it for YOURSELF and not for them!

I am going to leave you all with a quote from my speech that I am giving at Graduation (Yes, I am speaking.)

"Know that there is no boundary on your ability to absorb knowledge."