Book Review | Happy Cooking

Happy Cooking - Giada De Laurentiis - large

Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis is what I call an all-in-one. You get a little bit everything. While this book will more than likely be found on the cooking and food shelves of your local bookstore, it is so much more than just a cookbook. Everything from quick weeknight dinners and kitchen remedies to throwing a brunch open house can be found in the pages of Happy Cooking. Giada’s advice and strategies are sprinkled throughout the book with coinciding recipes. In the midst of the Thanksgiving recipes she shares a yoga stretch to relieve stress and soothe an achy back from standing in the kitchen for hours preparing holiday meals.

Quality photos are one of my requirements for a good cookbook. If I open a cookbook and do not see pictures I immediately put it down and move on to the next. I am sure some people reading this are shaking their head at me after that last statement. I can’t help it. Pretty pictures are what draw me in. With that being said, this book stood out to me right away. On the cover alone there are six pictures not to mention the one on the spine and five more on the back. That’s right, your math is correct, twelve photos before you even crack the book open. Once you do open the book you will find a picture with nearly every recipe. That’s what I’m talking about!    

In short, Giada shares her tips and tricks to live a healthy balanced life without stressing over the details of it all.

Review Stars 5


This is a sponsored post. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, all opinions shared are my own.

Tacky Jack’s Bloody Mary 5k | Gulf Shores, Alabama

Tacky Jack's Bloody Mary 5k 4

While on our girls’ trip to the beach we did the Tacky Jack‘s Bloody Mary 5k. 

Tacky Jack's Bloody Mary 5k 1

Perry and I signed up for the “competitive” walking 5k. 

Tacky Jack's Bloody Mary 5k 9

After completing the 5k, participants were invited to hang around and enjoy complimentary bloody mary’s and nacho bar. It felt a little odd eating nachos for breakfast at 9:30 in the morning but they were tasty.  

Tacky Jack's Bloody Mary 5k 8

Tacky Jack's Bloody Mary 5k 3

Tacky Jack's Bloody Mary 5k 6

Tacky Jack's Bloody Mary 5k 5

This race is very laid back and fun. The course is flat and mostly shaded. I would definitely go back and do it again!  

Christmas 2014

I thought I best post last year’s Christmas photos before this year’s Christmas comes along. I kind of forgot about these. 

Christmas 14 Christmas 16

Last year, we did things a little different for Christmas. We had a finger foods and dessert party and more than triple the amount of family came than usual (30-40 of us). It was great getting to see everyone and spend time with them.

Christmas 15 Christmas 17

It was also Winston’s first Christmas so of course it was documented with a homemade ornament. 


Capstone partners with Safen Haven each year for their Christmas service. Mom and I went to Christmas at the Bama for the first time last year. We really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to going again this year.   


This year has really flown by. I can’t believe it is almost over. 


The Gulf | Orange Beach, Alabama

The Gulf 1 - September 5, 2015

While on a girls’ weekend trip to the beach, we ate at The Gulf. The atmosphere is not like any other restaurant I have been to. The kitchen, bar and gift shop are all inside train boxcars. The dining areas are all outside and arranged with a variety of seating and table options. The area is lit up at night with string lights. It is a super cute place.

The Gulf 2 - September 5, 2015

For food you have two options, the taco and raw bar or sandwich/salad type options. They are on opposite sides so once you decide what type of food you want, you go stand in line at that boxcar. The lines were really long when we went so there is no changing your mind unless you want to change lines and wait again. 

The Gulf 3 - September 5, 2015

I chose the sandwich line and ordered the Fried Grouper Sandwich – lightly breaded and fried crisp with lettuce, tomatoes and house made lemon dill sauce on a brioche bun. I also got an order of the fresh cut fries. Once you order you go sit down and they bring your food to you. The lemon dill sauce was very good and was the perfect sauce for the sandwich. I would have liked a few more options to choose from or to be able to order from both menus at the same boxcar instead of having to stand in line twice. Overall, the food was good and the atmosphere was even better. 

The Gulf 4 - September 5, 2015

I would definitely eat here again on the next trip down.  The Gulf would be a fun place for lunch or a relaxing night of sipping drinks by the beach. 

The Gulf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato