Guest Blogger : Molly @ Still Being [Molly]

second trimester maternity style - cobalt and white striped Old Navy jersey dress, yellow belt, cobalt Converse Chuck Taylor's - North Carolina Fashion Blogger

Hey everyone! My name is Molly and I blog at still being [molly]. I blog about fashion, my faith, my friends and family, being married, and food! I am SO excited to be guest posting for JD and Whitney today! I absolutely LOVE them and their blog and so I was so honored when they asked me to guest post while they are on their next travel expedition! Well, since the weather is getting warmer and Spring is finally here, that means it's the PERFECT weather for a good burger! I mean, really though, anytime of year is a good time for a burger, but you know what I mean. Well, I want to share with you one of my recipes for my delicious homemade salsa + turkey burgers!


RECIPE: Salsa Turkey Burgers - still being molly

Molly’s Homemade Salsa & Salsa Turkey Burger Recipe(s)
For Molly’s Homemade Salsa (just combine all these ingredients in a blender and boom! you’re done):
  • 1, 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1, 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes (I used Great Value brand at Wal-Mart)
  • 1 medium red onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeno(s), seeded or not (depends on if you want it spicy – I like it really spicy so I use two fresh jalapenos)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, washed
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange juice
  • juice of 1 fresh lime -or- 1 teaspoon of lime juice
Ingredients for the Patties (Yields 4-6 burgers (depending on how big you make the patties)):
  • 1lb of lean ground turkey meat (you can also use ground chicken or ground beef)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of your favorite salsa (I use my homemade salsa – recipe provided above, but you can use any salsa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 clove minced garlic (or use 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Ingredients for the “Decoration” of the Burgers
  • 100% whole wheat hamburger buns (I like the Nature’s Own kind)
  • Chipotle Mayo
  • Jalapenos (you can use fresh or pickled… for these burgers I use pickled)
  • Pepperjack cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
MAKING THE PATTIES: Okay, after you’ve made your salsa (or picked out which store-bought salsa you want to use), you’re going to take the ground turkey and place it in a bowl. This part can get kinda gross, and it’s good to have a helper because you want to avoid touching ANYTHING after you’ve touched the raw meat. Combine the turkey, salsa, and ALL seasonings for the patties in a large bowl and mix it with your hands. I actually used one hand to mix it all, that way I know I have one clean hand that I can pick up the ingredients with. Once you’ve got it good and mixed, now you make the patties. You can make the patties small or large depending on how big you want them, BUT, make sure they are FLAT. They will puff up in the middle when you broil them because they’re filled with juices… so make them as flat as you can before you put them in the oven. COOKING THE PATTIES: Now, you can totally GRILL these patties and they would be delicious, BUT, I actually BROIL these patties in the oven to keep them super juicy. If you decide to go this route, here's what you do: BROILING THE PATTIES: On a greased baking sheet, place the patties down with a little bit of salt and pepper on each side. Once the patties are on the baking sheet, place them in the oven with the oven on BROIL. Now, these cook FAST. Flip the patties every 4 minutes and pat them down with a spatula or whatever to flatten them out as they broil. Do this until the center of each patty reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. FOR THE PERFECTLY TOASTED BUNS: On the stove, place your buns with a little bit of Chipotle mayo spread on each side, face DOWN onto a large pan or skillet. Have the heat on low-medium. You can have these toasting while your patties are broiling. MAKING THE BURGERS: Okay, so once the burgers are cooked all the way through, you’re almost ready to eat! Put your patties on a plate and get your desired ingredients out. You’re ready to EAT! Here’s how my burger looks (in order of ingredient top to bottom):
  • Top Bun
  • Chipotle Mayo
  • Salsa
  • Jalapenos
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Pepper-jack cheese
  • Salsa turkey burger patty
  • Chipotle Mayo
  • Bottom Bun
Yeah, it's pretty much the most delicious thing ever. Now, time to enjoy! What about you? Do you have any delicious burger recipes you'd like to share? Be sure to stop by my blog and let me know! Thanks again to Whitney and JD for having me today!

That's Amore : A Todd Nest Valentine's Day Tradition

Happy Valentine's Day!!


Is that an ironing board... with chicken and candles?

Why, yes, it most certainly is.

Valentine's Day is a super sweet day for couples, but let's be honest here - 
Restaurants are always packed and overpriced,
heels are nice but house shoes are comfier,
floral arrangements are expensive and
candles sure smell sweeter in your own home.

{can you tell we're homebodies?}

So we celebrate Valentine's Day by cooking dinner together,
in our own home, and setting it all up on our ironing board by candlelight,
just like we did in 2009 in my ole' apartment at Auburn University.

Oh - and lots of chocolate. We eat lots of chocolate. :)


As cliche as it sounds, every day is Valentine's Day for us. We love marriage, we love each other and we love celebrating those things every single day. I can't imagine our marriage being any other way.

JD and I love creating new traditions and celebrating old traditions as Mr. & Mrs. 
As quirky and simple as it is, we wanted to give you a little sneak peek into the way we have celebrated love on Valentine's Day.

Do you have any special Valentine's Day traditions?


Germany : Heidelberg Christmas Markets

It's cold in Germany.

Many of you may not think it's cold, but for a couple of newlywed kiddos from the Deep South like us... it was cold. 

But Germany has Christmas Markets.

So the cold was easy to overlook.

Each town hosts at least one Christmas Market in Germany. "Amazing" cannot even describe it. Most people are cheerful, friendly and inviting. "Merry Christmas" banners hang on sides of the buildings, and guess what? People don't protest them or rip them down. In America, people try to protest nativity scenes and anything that says the word Christmas; but not in Germany. They believe in Christmas and they celebrate it like no country we've ever seen.

This particular Christmas Market was in Heidelberg, Germany. Five different markets lined the main street of the town: Kornmarkt, Markplatz, Universitatplatz, Anatomiegarten, and the Bismarckplatz. 

See the line of lights in the photo below? Those are the walkways between the Christmas markets....

Before we shopped, we had to make one crucial stop. 

Food.

Check out the Fuerwurst that I grabbed at the Christmas Market booth above.

Delish.

JD got the steak with onions.

Are you a Nutella fan?

If so, go to Germany. Everything is Nutella there, including the special crepes.

Ok - so we realize that kissing pictures are cheesy and a lot of people don't think they're very cool... but how can you resist when there is a store right in front of you called Coffee & Kiss? 

I mean, you really have no other choice, right?!

Below you will see a gigantic Christmas Pyramid - life size, at that. 

I could've stood and stared at this thing until it got dark. 

And maybe we did...

(Haha - kidding, we walked back to it after we finished touring the markets and it just so happened to be all lit up.)

How beautiful is that!?

When we realized how big of a deal Christmas Pyramids were in Germany, we just had to get one for our own Todd Nest. Each tier displays a piece of the Christmas story - except Baby Jesus isn't on there. We like to think that the candles display who He is - the Light.

Have you ever seen one of these in person? It's super cool. The heat from the candles rise and spin the propellers at the top, which in turn spins each tier. It's one of our favorite Christmas decorations.

What is your favorite Christmas decoration?

Viva Las Vegas : In-N-Out Burger vs. Five Guys


If you live on the West Coast, surely you've been to In-N-Out Burger, right?

Chase brags about how phenomenal it is every time he would come back from visiting Jackie's family in California. 

JD and I were pumped to try it out first hand. Thus, we decided to make it a priority in our Vegas Venture. 

The entire family kicked it animal style... or Wild Animal Style, as I like to say... from their Not-so-Secret Menu



The Verdict?

In-N-Out was delicious. We were digging the scripture on the wrappers and the 50's style vibe.

BUT, we decided that we still choose Five Guys and Fries as the Nation's Chain Burger Champ. The fries are perfect and the burgers. Yeah. Period. That's the best way to describe them. The burgers cannot even be adjective-ized. 

We've made our choice, but what is yours?
Which burger chain is your fave?






The Epic Shabby Chic Bridesmaid Luncheon for a Dear, Dear Friend

My mom and I hosted a bridesmaids' luncheon for my first "BFF", Emily Perry. We met at the age of two and have been friends ever since... yeah, 22 years. THAT is sisterhood. Her and her sweet new husband, Brian, dated for eight years and have finally TIED THE KNOT!!

Anyways, I have been so. stinkin. EXCITED. to show you photos of all mom and I put together. Among many other things, Mom (referred to earlier posts as "Mama E") set up all of the centerpieces and decorated the mantel; while I made the chargers, mason jar glasses and table runners. 

Meet Mrs. Gardner...


Mama E: "Tomorrow, call me 'Mrs. Gardner'."
Me: "No mom! We're not going to call you 'Mrs. Gardner'. That's going to be Emmy's new name."
(I was thinking it was a game she was wanting to play.)
Mama E: "Yeah. Call me 'Mrs. Gardner'..."
Me: "No, mom. Seriously, we are not calling you 'Mrs. Gardner' all day."
Mama E: "I'm talking about what you should write on the chalkboard!!"
Me: "Hahaha - oh. Well, maybe we should write, 'Tomorrow we shall call her Mrs. Gardner' instead...?"
Mama E: "Oh yeah. That would be much better."


The bride and bridesmaids' table. 
Notice there is an old school desk to the bottom left-hand corner. That's what you throw in when you miscount the number of guests coming. 


Mom used kitchen towels for the napkins to provide a more aesthetically pleasing presentation.

The bridesmaids and bride sat at the "groom" table, and the families of the grom and bride sat at the "bride" table. Thank you, Scrabble.


These lovely monogrammed jars with a chalkboard lid will be sold in our Etsy shop SOON!!


Drink Options:
Cucumber Water 
water with slices of cucumbers and branches of mint and rosemary - this refreshing water ran out QUICKLY
Virgin Mimosas
orange juice and sparkling grape cider
Coffee


The "marriage" mantel. Mom set all of this up. Isn't it lovely? We threw the vintage book wreath together in no time!


Menu Options:
Various flavored muffins
Mini pecan pie muffins
Heart-shaped fruit with dip
Egg & bacon casserole
Egg & sausage mini casseroles
French toast casserole
Italian cream cheese cake

My parents' neighbor, Amy, helped out with some of the delicious menu options!



The entire luncheon was a HUGE hit! 
Brian & Emily's wedding took place Sunday night. 
The wedding was beautiful and flashbacks of our childhood created kiddie pools of tears in my eyes.
Emily is such a blessing to my life. 
JD and I wish them both a lifetime of pure bliss!!


"This way... to happily ever after."