• search

  • blog lovin'

Posted by & filed under Food.

Last week, I had the opportunity to try new menu items at Olive Garden. I haven’t been there in forever, so I was excited to attend. I’m so glad that I saved room at lunch because we were treated to eleven new menu items.



Row 1: Crispy Risotto Bites, Artichoke Fritta, Poenta Shrimp alla Greco,

Row 2: Lasagna Fresca, Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich, Pappardelle Pescatore

Row 3: Bucatini with Diavolo Sauce and Sausage Meatballs, Chichek Abruzzi*, Vanila Panna Cotta with Strawberries

(* – Lighter Italian Fare menu item)

Everything was delicious. On my next trip, I would definitely love to try the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries. It’s a light dessert with loads of flavor. The Chicken Abruzzi and chicken meatballs were excellent and light as well. I am not the biggest fan of heavy menu items at all, so the items that had lots of flavor without the heavy sauces stood out most for me.

I saved my favorite two items for last ;)


The Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper adds a topper to your traditional Olive Garden salad. I always enjoy Olive Garden’s salad and breadsticks during my trips. The addition of roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and kale really take the salad up a notch. I love how there wasn’t too much dressing so that I could really taste and enjoy the flavors. I would order this on another trip.


My absolute favorite entree was the Garlic Rosemary Chicken. I loved the rich rosemary flavor. The raw spinach and mashed potatoes were a perfect compliment. This dish is on the lighter fare menu too so it’s under 575 calories!

I’m getting full again just looking through all of these photos ;) Will have to go back for date night or girl’s night soon!

Have you been to Olive Garden lately? Have you tried any of these menu items?

If you’d like to see what others thought of the menu items. Check out my Storify below!

*I was invited to attend a media dinner with food and drinks provided by Olive Garden. As usual, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own!

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

The week after BlogHer, I moved ITP. (ITP = Inside the Perimeter for non Atlantans ;))

I must admit now, that between FitBloggin’, BlogHer everyday life and this move, I took on a little too much in a span of a couple of weeks. But that’s life right? Summer has been a rollercoaster, and hopefully things will pace themselves out during this last half of summer and through fall. I’ve been settling in and getting organized. I’ve learned this about myself: I’m not a neat freak, I’m no slob and I’m not OCD, but everything has to have a place in my home and it things don’t have a place yet. It bothers me a little bit. So, I’m working on giving everything a home to dwell. I also had to purchase furniture. Pinterest has been great with helping me organize what I like and even helping me come back to it when I’m ready to purchase. It’s nice to enjoy time at home as opposed to eating breakfast in the car, sitting in traffic and always being in a rush.

My commute is down to 15 minutes and I’m beyond thankful. Why did I wait so long to do this?



I get to sit down and enjoy my breakfast every morning. My car is thankful for less spills! One of my favorite mugs ever. Love it!

I have set a few goals since I moved and I’ll be sharing them over the next few weeks on the blog. I’m excited that I will have more time to spend here and I’ll have updates about decorating and organizing my new place.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Posted by & filed under Events.

BlogHer 2014 was beyond words. Great stories, great people, fabulous fashion and tons of inspiration.

Seriously, I’m so glad that I went!
It was my first time in San Jose. What a gorgeous place!

On Thursday night, I hit up the Eppa sangria party. It was toasty out but the sangria was nice. I took a selfie with Stacy, the founder of Blogalicious!

On Friday, the conference kicked off with a newbie breakfast. From there, the fun only continued. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

Kerry Washington
Yes, the Olivia Pope live in the flesh graced us with her presence during a much anticipated keynote. I admire Kerry for not talking about her family and private life. It’s nice to have a celebrity that draws the line between work and personal life. She spoke with blogger Demetria Lucas of A Belle in Brooklyn about her life, work and Scandal fashion. I’m even more excited about the Scandal collabo with The Limited happening this fall.
Alie and Georgia
While charging my phone at the WIFI Family booth. I found out about a cool event happening at the NesCafe Dolce Gusto booth in the expo. I ended up enjoying a great cocktail creating demo from the duo. It was my first time learning about Alie and Georgia, but I’ll definitely be following them for drink and party inspiration.
Aren’t they the cutest??
I love the vintage dresses, glam hair and eye makeup. They served us this great cocktail with lavender simple syrup, grapefruit juice and lemon flavored Smirnoff. So yummy. I will be making it for poolside enjoyment before the summer ends ;) I remained caffeinated with the help of the Chai tea from the lovely ladies at the booth all weekend!
Rev Run
Rev Run put on a show for us at the McDonald’s closing party. I enjoyed a happy meal and even tried McDonald’s strawberry smoothie. Then we all jumped around to tunes by Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Run DMC of course right at the front of to the stage during a hyped playlist from the Rev.

RevRun selfie.thegreatdanaj
My Rev Run selfie :)
The Multi Culti Suite
I got there first and ended up winning a copy of Ananda Leeke’s latest book Digital Sisterhood! Can’t wait to read it.
Goldieblox Suite
I enjoyed the Goldiblox Suite on Friday night. Candy, cocktails and building things all go well together. I heard about Goldieblox after seeing the funny commercials. I like how they are encouraging women to get into building things.

I’m having a great time connecting with other conference attendees through these recap posts. Did you attend BlogHer? Let me know in the comments so that I can check out your recap! Have you ever attended BlogHer?

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

The week is almost done! Mine has been a whirlwind. I went to a new dentist yesterday during lunch (two snaps for no cavities). Last night I went to Atlanta Hot Yoga with my coworker. It was really fun. I think that I’ll go to class with her again one day. But I had on running attire at yoga class. I didn’t plan to go to yoga so it was go with the flow ;). I didn’t let that stop me! It was spiritual, sensual and detoxifying. We worked with our yin and yang. Sensual and strong sides. There’s a balance inside of all of us. It was so relaxing. I’m so glad that I tried it. Needless to say, I woke up this morning feeling all cool, calm and collected. I meant to take a sweaty selfie after but, my eyes were so red it was scary! Too much salty sweat rolled into them. This weekend we are having a family reunion in ATL. So, I’ll be a busy bee.

Did anyone see the latest Transformers movie?



I hit up a Sunday matinee during opening weekend. It was my “break time” as I unpacked from FitBloggin’. I was really excited, but overall I felt let down. I thought it was great to have Mark Wahlberg in the film. I mean, I suffered through Pain and Gain just because he was in the film. This storyline primarily centered around Optimus Prime. That part was cool. I missed the “boy and his car” theme of the 1st Transformers movie between Shia and Bumblebee. I also missed Tyrese and Josh Duhamel. It just wasn’t the same with this one :( I wasn’t buying the father/daughter relationship between Mark and the teenager. The action was alright. I guess that’s the main part. The storyline was intriguing too. I just expected a little better. The very first Transformers movie was the best one to me. New and shiny things don’t improve on drab storylines.

But anyway…..

I got my second Fab Fit Fun VIP box. The Summer edition. This is my second box. I received the spring one too. The box is $49/season. IMG_1803


This box had some really great items. Here’s what I got:

- Sonya Dakar Flash Facial - The retail price on this is $95! It costs close to double the price of the box. I will have to do a review on it

- pur~lisse pur-protect SPF 30 - Definitely something I’ll use. Can never get enough sun screen.

- Thursday Friday Away Mini Clutch/Makeup bag – I didn’t really need another makeup bag or mini clutch. So I’ll give this to a cousin or a kid I babysit for. Retails for $35

- Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil - Hair oil to balance out frizz. It retails for $25. I’ve never heard of it.

- Zoya Nail Polish - This polish is in the bottom right corner of the photo. It’s an orange like shade that looks great on my skin. Retails for $9

- KISSTIXX lip gloss in Chocolate and Strawberry (these have a great flavor) - The directions say that you should use each flavor at once. I have already tested them out and I really like how the flavors taste. This retails for $5.99

- POPchips - I thought this was a great addition to the box. However, I’m no sour cream an onion fan. I’ll give these to a buddy at work. Retail $1.29

-Skintimate Shave Gel - Will absolutely use this over the summer! Great size for traveling too. Retail $1.99

- Always Xtra Protection Long Daily Liners - In case you missed it, I’m a fan of liners and never being unprepared ;). I’ll use these for sure. Will slip some in my gym bag and keep the rest in my purse Retail $1.50

-Slimfast Have Your Cake Meal Bar - My meal bar was a bit battered from the sun. But, I’ll definitely give it a try. I usually keep bars in my purse for snacks in the car or at work. Retail $1 for 1 bar or $5.49 for a box


Do you get the FabFitFun VIP box? I have enjoyed 2 boxes so far. I think I’ll remain a subscriber through the end of 2014 to see what else is in store for the Fall and Winter boxes. If you’d like to subscribe, join here.


Posted by & filed under Fitness.

Last week, prior to the Fitbloggin’ conference, I was nervous. I signed up to attend without knowing anyone. I drove to Savannah alone. I didn’t know what to expect at all. By Friday morning, my nerves calmed dramatically and I was really enjoying myself. Everyone at Fitbloggin’ is so nice. Must be the endorphins, right? ;)

Everyone was so complimentary and supportive. We are all at different stages of our lives and fitness journey. Though I should remember that, it’s nice to have a reminder sometimes. I think we all forget a little. We all have insecurities, doubts and fears. The sweetest thing I heard someone say to me was, “You’re so zen”. That made me feel relaxed. I mean, who doesn’t want to be zen? I know I do. I stepped outside of my comfort zone by trying Crossfit (I liked it)

and experimenting with avocados!



Here’s my creation, an avocado topped with balsamic vinaigrette. It tastes so good. I will have to try this at home on my own.

I discovered some fun new products and learned new things about myself. Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a rut personally and it’s impacted my desire to workout and remain physically fit. I haven’t been to Savannah since I was in middle school. It was nice to be back!

More than anything, I had a great time at Fitbloggin’ meeting new people and stepping outside of my comfort zone. That’s what life’s all about right?

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

Did you guys see the latest Scandal news? Looks like we will now get the opportunity to shop Olivia Pope’s looks while watching. I am a fan of this ;) Anything that makes shopping a little bit easier. Scandal has partnered with The Limited, which happens to be one of my top choices for work clothing options. I have several skirts from there. I know Olivia loves her wide leg pants, but skirts and dresses fill up the majority of my closet. I’m excited to see how this works.

scandal03Here’s a look from the collection. I love the gloves and jacket paired together.


I’m headed to Savannah for a few days tomorrow for FitBloggin’! I’m pretty excited and I will have more to share about the adventure here soon. In the meantime, make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for real-time updates.

Posted by & filed under Events.


Lenox Mall is re-opening! There was a ribbon cutting last Thursday and everything. If you shop at Lenox, maybe you’ve noticed the changes happening right out front. There’s now a new entrance and new stores. I go to the mall during the week usually during lunch. For me, it’s the best time to shop since the mall is near my job and the crowd is smaller during the day. When I was a kid, I remember shopping at Lenox on the weekends and during the holidays. Lenox Mall opened in 1959 and I think the new updates are a perfect way for the mall to get an update. Especially at Macys. I’ve never been to the tree lighting or to ride the pink pig, but those are traditions I’ll have to join in on at least once.

During the event, they announced that a Diane Von Furstenburg store is on the way to the mall. Pretty big news since we don’t have a DVF store in Atlanta! Last night I checked out Zinburger, one of the new restaurants. It’s a great spot girls night or for a date ;). I tried the turkey burger with sweet potato fries and the Hey Mamba red wine blend. I’ll definitely be going back! I hope to try True Food Kitchen when it opens too!

Have you noticed the new changes at Lenox Mall?


Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

I told myself that I wouldn’t, but I ended up binge watching Orange is the New Black Friday and Saturday. I really enjoyed seeing more of the stories of who the women were before they ended up in jail. Especially Suzanne (Crazy Eyes).



The child actors were so good.

I won’t do a full on review for those of you who didn’t get a chance to catch the whole season. Overall, it was pretty good. I like how I can just watch every episode when I feel like it and don’t have to wait every single week like with regular shows. The drawback is that it does suck up your entire weekend a bit.


I’ve noticed something about myself, when it comes to facing challenges and going through things the first thing that I do is abandon my blog. It’s easy to shut the world out and that’s not the best strategy, but it’s a bad habit. I don’t want to do that anymore. I recently decided to start writing thirty minutes a day. I’m excited to get back into writing again and sharing more on my blog! Have a great Monday.

Posted by & filed under Events, Life & More.

I can’t remember the last time that I had the opportunity to indulge in brunch. Ever since I had the opportunity to try Saltyard for a blogger brunch, I realized that brunch is a relaxing good time. It’s definitely not something that happens every weekend. But when it does…


It’s so worth it.


Recently, I attended the The Little Black Dress Brunch at Saltyard hosted by celebrity food blogger Eating with Erica. Saltyard specializes in small plates and the atmosphere is hip with an open interior. Our brunch consisted of four courses. We kicked things off with bottomless mimosas.



Next, we had an option three options: buratta, brussel leaf salad and raw kale salad. I selected the raw kale salad. Definitely made the right choice! The raw kale salad had buttermilk, blue cheese and onions. The kale had the perfect texture. I loved it.


kale salad.thegreatdanaj

For the next course, I selected the mascarpone stuffed local brioche with house made blueberry pecan maple syrup. I love mascarpone and this did not disappoint. The syrup was sweet with fresh blueberries too. I ate every single bite :)



The next course was skillet eggs with fresh tomatoes. I skipped the toast, but the eggs and tomatoes were a perfect combination. The flavors melted in my mouth.



They saved the best for last with the creme brulee. Oh my goodness! The reputation preceded this great dish. Another blogger highly recommended it. The lemon creme brulee with blackberries was good to the last bite. The perfect ending to a tasty brunch.



What I enjoyed most was how everything tasted different from anything I’d ever had before. I enjoyed how Saltyard put a spin on classic dishes. Our server was a sweetheart too. I will have to make it a point to indulge more often. So worth it.


A huge thanks to Lauren from Pretty Southern for the invitation and Erica for allowing me to attend! She did a great job hosting.

<iframe src=”//instagram.com/p/oJbgRsHXea/embed/” width=”612″ height=”710″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” allowtransparency=”true”></iframe>

Brunch Selfie ;)

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

Over the last couple of weeks, Keurig K-cups have been battling it out on Facebook during the Battle of the Brews. Today, the campaign has been narrowed down to four finalists. (I’m pulling for Cinnabon ;)) To celebrate, I’m giving away a Keurig K65 Special Edition brewer!


 My Keurig with my favorite mug :)

The prize will be black and look similar to the one in the photo! For additional product details click here. Details on how to enter are below! The contest will end on April 10th!


a Rafflecopter giveaway