Tailgate 101: Easy Game Day Recipe

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COME COOK WITH ME

This fall I’m attempting to grow my recipe repertoire while sharing my efforts and anything that turns out yummy (and not burnt) with all of you. Long story short, my cooking skills need a little work. This is a trial and error process; that’s for sure. I figured now is the perfect time to start amping up your tailgate menus for game day. Nobody wants the hassle of scrambling to the store the morning of the big game and trying to throw something together last minute. I found this easy and quite delicious little potato skin to be the perfect fit for football season. I’ve linked to a few food blogging professionals who put their own spin on the potato skin HERE & HERE. Check out how you can customize this recipe just how you like with a few expert tips. Now for the amateur food guru (me), let’s get this hot potato party started!

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HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

3-4 LARGE BAKING POTATOS SLICED INTO ROUNDS

1 STOCK OF FRESH GREEN ONIONS CHOPPED

1 PACKAGE OF MIXED CHEDDAR CHEESE (use as much or as little as you want!)

1 HANDFUL BACON BITS

1 TABELSPOON BUTER

1 TEASPOON GARLIC

SALT & FRESH GROUND PEPPER FOR SEASONING

ALUMINIUM FOIL & COOKIE SHEET

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STEP 1

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and start preparing your potatoes. You will “dress” your cookie sheet with a thin layer of aluminum foil. Wash and dry off your potatoes and slice into individual rounds about 1 – 1.5 inches thick. Place the potato rounds on your cookie sheet.

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STEP 2

After placing your potato rounds on your cookie sheet, mix your butter and little hint of garlic into a microwave safe bowl. Heat the mixture for 30 seconds, and spread your garlic butter lightly on your potatoes. Add (using your own discretion) salt and fresh ground pepper to season your potatoes. Once the oven is ready, place your potato rounds into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes and remove to check the cooking process thus far. Here, you can either flip your potatoes, or put them back in for another 12-15 minutes.

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STEP 3

Remove your potato rounds from the oven (carefully). Sprinkle on your cheese, chopped green onions, and bacon bits. Place your potato rounds back into the oven for 3-5 more minutes of heat.

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STEP 4

The kitchen timer dings and your skins are ready. Pull out your cookie sheet and let your skins cool for a few minutes. Once cool, use a spatula to peel your skins from the foil. Place on your tray to sever with a dollop of sour cream, or pack these in the cooler for the tailgate. No matter your game day plans or rituals, these little bites are YUMMY!

Oh, and GO CATS!

xoxoalex

Tee Up

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TOP similar | NECKLACE similar | BRACELETS | JEANS | HEELS similar

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OVERSIZED + PLAYFUL STYLE

What do you get when you mix an oversized baseball tee, boyfriend jeans, and a pair of sleek black heels? You guessed it; that would give you an oversized and playful look. This big and baggy tee was just too good, and you’ll be seeing it under a number of plaid shirts this fall. Considering all blogs are talking about the season wardrobe transition, I brought out a pair of jeans that have scored more than their 15 seconds of fame on Lex What Wear. These boyfriend jeans may not be skin tight and sexy, but they are hella-comfortable, if that’s a word. When you kick your feet up in these playful heels, your look is complete for a modern yet totally cool look out on the town.

xoxoalex

Wake Up Call

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To All of My Followers & Readers,

I’ve been asked a number of times to share a piece of me that is very personal. It’s not something I’m ashamed of or afraid of, but I’ve always feared crossing that invisible line that so often defines our personal lives vs. our work lives (or blog life in this case). After much thought and a lot of back and forth, I’ve decided to share this story in hopes that maybe it will help someone else. This is not a story for pity or for praise. This is simply a call out to anyone who’s reading, saying hey, I know what you’re going through and I can help if you need. That being said, as always, please reach out with any questions.

Since I can remember I have always been a very anxious person. I can even tell you the exact day, time and location of the first time I realized I had a genuine anxiety problem. If we are being honest, I was a very young 8 years old at the time. I’m not talking that every-now-and-then jitterish feeling we all seem to get. I mean real, scary, foggy anxiety that can turn your world upside down at any given moment. I can also remember living most of my young life without realizing I was suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Several years after my first encounter with anxiety, I was finally mature enough to realize the impact of the disorder, but I was not mature enough to face it. We all know that being a teenage girl comes with inevitable angst. I think at this stage in my life, I had dealt with what I knew as the cramping pit in my stomach and sleepless nights long enough, I surely could continue dealing with it without telling anyone. Little did I know that those close to me picked up on cues and signals that I may be struggling with something much bigger than I knew possible.

I remember one day in the car with my mom, driving through Lexington and running errands. I asked to roll down the window because I couldn’t catch my breath. For no reason in particular, I experienced my first of many panic attacks, right there on Nicholasville Road. It lasted only a few minutes, but it scared me to death. That day was kind of a turning point for me. It made me realize I wasn’t just a bitchy little teenager, I was a girl who needed someone or something to level me out. By that I mean, I needed a voice of reason other than that of my own to allow me to accept and handle what I was feeling properly.

I now introduce you to my favorite doctor in all the land, Dr. B. She was the first person, other than my mother, who I told about my experiences. I naturally teared up (I always cry) and I remember her looking at me saying “you are not alone.” Pass the tissues, because I am crying as I write this. Shit…

Dr. B. and I talked for a great length of time about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and how it really is something to take seriously. In my case, GAD was something that was most likely genetic but also very situational. It’s important to mention that often this disorder can stem from much more serious problems for some, and it can also lead to a number of depression related illnesses. In any case, whether mild or sever, it should be taken seriously. To get back on track, before I could even begin to wrap my head around everything she was saying, I reverted back to a saying that my grandmother has said all of my life, “you are made of tough stuff.” I knew in that tiny doctor’s office that I had to let down a wall I had built in defense for myself. I knew altering my life to manage this responsibly and assertively would take work, patience, strength and support. But I also knew that I could live a much better life if I simply tried and did as recommended.

Over the course of the next few years, I was off to college and doing life on my own. I sought the help of several anxiety therapists where I could talk out my days and hope for relief. Again with the honesty, but I hated it. I did not want to sit with someone who didn’t know me and expect her to know what I was talking about. Although at the end of every appointment I felt better, it was like forcing me to go to the gym. At this point I had started taking a low dosage anti-anxiety and depression medication. That mixed with the “occasional” college partying and a tough school schedule, I struggled. It was hard to focus, study, and live a steady and healthy life. Let me point out that I wasn’t a depressed, unhappy person, I just had some things I was dealing with internally.

By the time I turned 22, I was packing up my things in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to move home. I had graduated from college with honors, I had made the best of friends, I was eager to start working, and I was content in life. However, I was still on the same medicine, not feeling much different than I felt as a teenager. I knew I was moving home into an uneasy situation as my parents had divorced and we were planning to move from our childhood home into Lexington. I knew I either had to pull it together mentally and emotionally or I’d tailspin into a place that wasn’t exactly where I wanted or needed to be.

It was at this post-college point that I met with Dr. B. again and re-evaulated where I was at with my GAD. It was super important to me that I had a strong focus and drive to make this disorder something positive vs. dragging me down all the time. After much discussion, we decided to change my medication. With that comes a lot of ups and downs that I won’t go into, but finally after a few months I was back to the young woman I knew I was. I was ready to tackle the move with my mom, I was ready to tackle my first job, and I was ready to allow myself to live in the moment.

I won’t say that every day from then on was roses and butterflies. It was not easy. I remember a lady at one job I had after college saying, “you need to toughen up.” Although I cursed her under my breath in the bathroom on my lunch break, I thank her today for the first of many tough moments that pushed me in the right direction. I held a few jobs between 22 and 24 and was still trying to figure out who I was or who I was supposed to be professionally. That alone can cause anxiety… I’m just saying. After missing out on a job opportunity, I decided now is the time to take a leap.

I remember thinking, I am finally leveled out and I’m ready to take on some kind of challenge. Three months later, cue in New York City. Flying into the city of dreams I found myself panicking, asking my mom if we could turn this thing around. Thank God she looked at me and said, “let’s do this girl.” Eyes wide open to a whole new world, talk about facing your anxiety and giving it one big bitch slap. I was here to make a name for myself and only I could stand in my way.

Now after nearly three years, I’ve only almost packed my bags and given up a few times. I’ve had only a handful of panic attacks and anxiety episodes. I’ve trusted myself and I’ve worked so dang hard. Honestly, the challenge has been the best medicine for me. Although I am still on the same medication I started when I graduated college, I’ve learned how to deal with side effects and episodes like a boss. I attribute that to my circumstances. I am here in this big city, by myself. I am forced to be the tough-stuff woman I was raised to be. Now I know, that no matter where in this world I end up, I have the ability to change the path I am on. I can chose to let anxiety control me or I can stand up and put it in the past. I hope for my future that all of my days are faced with this strength. I will sure work my butt off to hold myself accountable.

If this is the first and only post of this nature, I hope you didn’t just find me rambling. I think if anything is to come of this, that you who suffer from anxiety realizes that it’s OK to seek help, it’s OK to ask for advice, it’s OK to talk to someone, it’s OK to take medicine, it’s OK to believe in yourself. So what you can’t up and move to New York to challenge yourself. Get up everyday and make it worth something. Your anxiety will take a backseat and you will shine my dear.

Until next time…

If you are interested in more information about Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I’ve found this site HERE very helpful. I always recommend speaking to your Primary Care Doctor as well!

xoxoalex

Mix It Up

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TOP | EARRINGS | SHORTS | BRACELETS | RING | BOOTIES

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SEASONAL MIX

When you’re running out the door and you haven’t planned your outfit…. help! It’s one of those “make it work moments” as Tim Gunn would say. I challenged myself to get dressed in a flash and make it something worthy of the summer to fall season transition. And let’s get real here, 99.9 percent of the time I am putting together an outfit in a flash. So in just a few minutes I decided to go a little bohemian (go figure), with a fun graphic top and my summer go-to shorts. The blue hues in both the shirt and the shorts didn’t exactly sit perfectly next to each other, but I thought, why not, when it suits my easy style? With my easy ankle boots for the finish, I thought it was worthy of a post, and I’d only change a few minor things if I had more time. So in your make it work moment, just be you – if there’s any moral to this story, that would be it.

xoxoalex

Glitter & Fringe

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EARRINGS | TOP similar | BRACELET | RING | JEANS | BOOTIES

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STATEMENT STYLE FOR ANY DAY

Like anybody else, sometimes I find it hard to put together an outfit that makes a true statement for daytime. It’s likely most of us just like to fly under the radar or play it safe with our clothing choices for work or school. On a day-to-day basis you all know I tend to keep it casual because I’m running around New York City. But when I rediscovered this 4 year old top in the back of my closet, I got excited to make a solid daytime statement. This post wouldn’t be complete without thanking my dear pal Michael / photographer who said “what about this one” pulling the old shirt out of my closet. I had never thought to put it on the blog until he helped me style my entire outfit around it. Hopefully, it’s a statement making outfit you all like too!

xoxoalex

Let’s Kitchen Surf

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DINNER IS SERVED

USE CODE: kstfa76fac0ac27 FOR $25 OFF YOUR 1ST KITCHENSURFING MEAL!

BY VISITING: KITCHENSURFING

Hands down, this was the best meal I’ve had in my NYC home. Why do I say that? Because I didn’t have to cook and I didn’t have to clean. My chef, Chef David prepared the most delicious skirt steak with kimchi fried rice and brussels sprouts. You may think this service cost me a fortune and took a ton of time to prepare, but I’m here to tell you otherwise. After connecting with Kitchensurfing, I picked out my meal on Sunday morning, selected a time to eat, and Chef David arrived at my doorstep Monday night with a prepped meal and his own supplies. Within 30 minutes I had myself a 2 person meal, cooked by a chef with over 16 years of experience in the kitchen.  I think it’s important to mention that you’ll spend less than you would on a meal out on the town, and more time at home with those you love. Kitchensurfing offers a wide range of in-home cooking and catering services and is available in a number of cities nation wide. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to use my code above, when you visit Kitchensurfing online. It’s totally worth it! 


MY KITCHENSURFING MEAL

The skirt steak is marinated overnight then seared and topped with a ginger and scallion sauce. Served with roasted Brussels sprouts in a Southeast Asian sauce, and kimchi fried rice.

INGREDIENTS

Skirt steak, green apple, honey, chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, canola oil, fish sauce, sugar, scallion, ginger, soy, sherry vinegar, jasmine rice, kimchi, onion, garlic, egg, Brussels sprouts, Thai chili, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, mint, cilantro, sesame seed.

xoxoalex

Denim + Floral Mix

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EARRINGS | BLOUSE similar | ROMPER similar | BRACELETS | RING similar | BOOTIES similar

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SEASON TO SEASON STAPLES

Florals and denim may always be a thing, on their own or even when they’re styled together. Or at least in my opinion, this statement is completely true. I’ve styled this look together for a number of casual occasions and each time I’ve changed up my accessories, my shoes, and even the color of the denim I choose. I love this look with a cute sneaker, a fall bootie (obviously as seen above) or a summer flat sandal. From season to season I look for solid, key pieces like this denim top and this floral romper. I’ve actually had these two separates for over 3 years now. Let’s see how I style it next, for even more fall like weather!

xoxoalex

High On Art & Coffee

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TOP | BRACELET | RING similar | JEANS | WEDGES similar

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HAC

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LEXINGTON, KY

Tim and Ellie Harman, the husband-and-wife duo behind Lexington’s newest “best of everything” shop (you’ll find great art, jewelry, sweets and, of course, coffee here) have just the right ingredients for a successful business. I had the pleasure of stopping by and meeting the Harmans and saw firsthand that this budding business isn’t strictly “business,” it’s fun too. Greeted with the most wonderful of smiles, I knew I was in the right spot. My mom had talked about this place for weeks leading up to my visit. Her new favorite coffee spot had become a place for afternoon conversation and a little light shopping. Need I mention, High On Art And Coffee is quite the perfect environment to get your creative juices flowing? The atmosphere is inspirational, and the coffee and snacks are just as delicious. Both Tim and Ellie are pursuing their dream, and I find that more admirable and influential than anything. So I hope you support this local hot spot. Stop in and say hello, while enjoying  your first of many cups of joe and sweet treats from High On Art And Coffee.

xoxoalex

Bootie Season

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BOOTS UP

It’s almost that time of year again, believe it or not. Boot season is honestly my favorite season, but saying goodbye to summer is hard for most. So let’s think of it as a new reason to shop and find the best bootie for your closet. Ankle boots have had a major moment for the past few years, and they’ve come into their own with a number of unique and wearable styles. Like you can see above, a bootie is not classified by one particular style. Booties can range from open toe to close toe, to high heels or no heels. My go to bootie is statement worthy and comfortable. I always think twice before buying a super high heeled boot. Being in NY, my bootie must get my “bootie” from point a to b with ease. So let’s start the bootie conversation. I’m starting with creating my Nordstrom bootie wish list. Some are investment pieces and some definitely won’t break the bank. It’s always good to have a mix of both. I can’t wait to share another roundup of boots next time. Share with me your favorites or message me for any questions: alex@lexwhatwear.com

xoxoalex

Wild One

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HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY FORD

Happy birthday to my little man, my first nephew, my whole world. Ford McLean was welcomed into the world on August 8, 2014. On that day, my life forever changed. Sitting in my New York City apartment, I waited hours upon hours for the announcement of his birth. It was in that moment that I realized God had given me the biggest blessing, and that was the opportunity to be an aunt and more importantly, his aunt. Ford has the ability to light up any room with his blue eyes, big smile, and contagious little laugh. He’s smart as can be, can use a little sign language here and there, and already loves sports just like his daddy. He’s always loving and he’s very patient and forgiving, just like his mommy. Boy oh boy, I can’t wait to watch you grow. You will always be the first, my little Ford. I love you wild one – Aunt Al

xoxoalex