Salsa Chicken Casserole

Salsa Chicken Casserole is a fun dinner option that everyone raves about! We love Chicken Rice Casserole any which way it’s prepared but this Mexican chicken casserole definitely tops our list!

Spanish rice, corn, black beans, chicken, and salsa are topped with with cheddar cheese then baked until hot and bubbly! Top this easy recipe with sour cream, Homemade Salsa, jalapenos and crispy tortilla strips for the perfect meal!

I am so excited to partner with Zatarian’s Rice to create this easy and delicious salsa chicken casserole!

A place of salsa chicken casserole topped with sour cream, cilantro, and sour cream.

Rice is my 14 year old’s favorite food, she loves it served plain, as fried rice or even garlic butter rice! When she finds out rice is for dinner, she’s always thrilled so it’s a staple in our house! No matter what cuisine we are in the mood for, rice becomes a part of most of our meals.

This month is national rice month, and to celebrate we are eating our fair share of rice at home.  We quite often serve rice as a side dish, but when I need a complete meal, I go straight to a loaded chicken casserole like this one! 

Chicken rice casserole topped with hot and bubbly cheese fresh from the oven.

This easy casserole doesn’t require many dishes, can be prepared ahead of time and is comforting and delicious!  I often make make salsa chicken because it has so much flavor so I knew it would be perfect to incorporate those same flavors into this easy casserole!

How To Make Chicken Casserole

This chicken casserole recipe couldn’t be easier since it starts with Zatarian’s Spanish Rice Mix. It’s already loaded with flavor and seasonings makes this casserole a total breeze! 

Combining Zatarian’s Spanish Rice Mix with a bit of onion, beans and some of our favorite veggies makes the perfect base for this dish.

Zatarians Spanish Rice surrounded by other fresh ingredients to make salsa chicken casserole.

To keep this recipe extra fast, I use rotisserie chicken but any cooked chicken will do. I often make a batch of poached chicken to use in casseroles as it’s easy and always comes out tender!

In a casserole dish simply layer your veggies, chicken, salsa and cheese and bake until golden and bubbly.  So easy and so good!

To serve, top this Salsa Chicken Casserole with your favorite toppings like sour cream, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, tomatoes or green onions, and dig in!

Cheesy chicken casserole topped with melted cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro.

This chicken casserole is easy to make and I know your family is going to love it as much as ours does! Serve this with a fresh Cucumber Avocado Salad, some crusty bread (or 30 Minute Dinner Rolls) or even tortillas for scooping!

Can you Freeze a Chicken Casserole?

If you happen to have leftovers, this recipe reheats very well.

You can also make this ahead of time because this easy chicken casserole recipe freezes perfectly either before or after it has been baked. To bake from frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350°F 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

More Rice Dishes You’ll Love

Salsa Chicken and Rice Casserole

Tender chicken and rice in a zesty cheesy casserole.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 diced red or green bell pepper (I used half of each)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Zatarain’s® Spanish Rice
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa (divided (I used medium heat and the end result was a flavorful but mild dish, adjust heat to suit your preference!))
  • 1 15 oz can rinsed (drained, black beans)
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease an 11″x7″ casserole dish with butter. Set aside.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook onions and peppers in olive oil until tender (about 3-5 minutes). Add garlic and butter and cook until fragrant and butter is melted.

  3. Add water, ZATARAIN’S® Spanish Rice and 1/2 cup of salsa. Stir well and bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

  5. Add black beans, and corn and stir well. Transfer to prepared casserole dish and spread rice mixture in even layer into dish.
  6. Evenly spread shredded chicken over the top of the rice mixture. Top evenly with remaining 1 cup salsa and cover with cheddar cheese.

  7. Cover dish with foil and transfer to 375F oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  8. Serve, top with sour cream, cilantro, and corn chips, if desired.

Top with sour cream, cilantro, corn chips, and/or other desired toppings.

I have partnered with Zatarain’s Rice to bring you this belly warming recipe. Working with great brands I love allows me to keep bringing you the great recipes you love!

 

 

Salsa Chicken Casserole is an easy, fun, and festive dinner option that is both healthy and easy! #spendwithpennies #chicken #chickencasserole #chickenandrice #rice #casserole

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Grilled Sausages, Peppers and Potatoes

Grilled Sausages, Peppers and Potatoes - The most amazing grilled sausage platter for your next potluck or BBQ! This is easy to prepare and so impressive!

The most amazing grilled sausage platter for your next potluck or BBQ! This is easy to prepare and so impressive!

Grilled Sausages, Peppers and Potatoes - The most amazing grilled sausage platter for your next potluck or BBQ! This is easy to prepare and so impressive!

Hosting potlucks and BBQs at home can be super stressful.

I get super type-A about it, making sure every little detail is just perfect. Then the stress just takes over, and I either reschedule or cancel.

It’s not cute.

But this beautiful sausage platter is the answer to all of my problems.

Grilled Sausages, Peppers and Potatoes - The most amazing grilled sausage platter for your next potluck or BBQ! This is easy to prepare and so impressive!

First off, Ben does all the grilling and I do all the cleaning. It’s a win-win. The kitchen inside the house stays perfectly clean while Ben does all the hard work. Thanks, dear!

Plus, we have every variety of sausage here with perfectly grilled baby potatoes and smoky, charred mini bell peppers. It’s basically a platter of dreams coming true.

And it really needs to make an appearance at your next get-together.

Grilled Sausages, Peppers and Potatoes - The most amazing grilled sausage platter for your next potluck or BBQ! This is easy to prepare and so impressive!

Grilled Sausages, Peppers and Potatoes

The most amazing grilled sausage platter for your next potluck or BBQ! This is easy to prepare and so impressive!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound baby potatoes (1 to 1 1/2-inches in diameter)
  • 4 andouille sausage
  • 4 chicken & apple sausage
  • 4 bratwurst sausage
  • 2 linguica sausage
  • 1 kielbasa sausage
  • 1 pound mini bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes until just tender and parboiled, about 3-5 minutes; drain well.
  3. Brush potatoes, sausages, and bell peppers with olive oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Add to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until completely cooked through, 4-5 minutes for the potatoes, 8-12 minutes for the sausages, and 7-10 minutes for the bell peppers.
  5. Serve immediately.

Did you Make This Recipe?

Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.

The post Grilled Sausages, Peppers and Potatoes appeared first on Damn Delicious.

Chicken Meatball Zoodle Soup

Chicken Meatball Zoodle Soup - Everyone's favorite chicken noodle soup, but made even healthier with zucchini noodles and the most tender chicken meatballs!

Everyone’s favorite chicken noodle soup, but made even healthier with zucchini noodles and the most tender chicken meatballs!

Chicken Meatball Zoodle Soup - Everyone's favorite chicken noodle soup, but made even healthier with zucchini noodles and the most tender chicken meatballs!

It’s September. Which means I can say: Happy almost-Fall!

The season where the leaves start to change colors, and when we have every excuse in the book to order a pumpkin spice latte.

Except. Well. We went to a Dodger game yesterday. And left at the third inning. Because it was so stinking hot.

We then came home, turned on the AC, and had soup.

But not just any kind of soup.

We took a traditional chicken noodle soup, swapped out the noodles for zucchini, and then added my favorite chicken meatballs.

It. is. everything.

It’s warm, it’s cozy, it’s hearty, and there’s so much meatball goodness!

I also developed this bad habit of taking just a tiny bit of zoodles but then loading up on all the meatballs! ​

Chicken Meatball Zoodle Soup - Everyone's favorite chicken noodle soup, but made even healthier with zucchini noodles and the most tender chicken meatballs!

Chicken Meatball Zoodle Soup

Everyone’s favorite chicken noodle soup, but made even healthier with zucchini noodles and the most tender chicken meatballs!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound (3 medium-sized) zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the chicken meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, Parmesan, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder and red pepper flakes, if using; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 3/4-to-1-inch meatballs, forming about 25-30 meatballs.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme and rosemary until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in chicken broth, bay leaf and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in meatballs; reduce heat and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Did you Make This Recipe?

Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.

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Find All Your Back to School Necessities: For You, Him, Her & Everyone

No matter how old you are, this time of year always incites back to school butterflies. And like spring makes you feel the need to clean out the house, for whatever reason, fall feels like the right time to stock up on those everyday foundations we all need to replenish, the no-brainers that make getting dressed and out of the house remotely possible on a busy morning.

To make rounding up these wardrobe staples even easier, our Bare Necessities buyers zeroed in on our best multipacks and Buy More Save More deals. (You can always find them on our promotions page.) Here’s our shopping list of what to load up on for you, for him and for any teens in the house (or going off to college) you may still be bankrolling. They’re the finds our shoppers love and keep coming back to.

Time to get back to basics, in the best possible way.

FOR YOU

Bras

Buy One Get One 50% Off Bras
Back smoothers. Front close. Sports bras. Sexy. Side support. Minimizers. These bra steals in every style are where it’s at right now. When you’re supposed to replace your bras every six months, these mix-and-match buys make it attainable. 

Panties

Jockey Elance Breathe Hipster 3-Pack, $22.50
One of the most enduringly popular collections, a pack or two of these cotton hipsters will carry you comfortably through the week.

Maidenform Pure Genius Seamless Boyshort, 3 for $30
If you’re a boyshorts fan, snap these up. They’re seamless, fitted, won’t roll up or down and come in all the colors.

Olga Secret Hug Scoop Hipster, 3 for $27
Exclusively ours, these cult favorites undies are longtime best sellers (find out why). They also come in a full-cut brief if that’s more your cut.

Spanx Everyday Shaping Brief, 2 for $38
For the polishing effect of shapewear, this style—also in a thong and boyshort—smooths a tummy and does away with panty lines.

Natori Bliss Cotton Bikini, 3 for $45
For those who like to keep things simple, consider this so-soft, lace-trimmed, stay-put solid cotton style. (There’s a French cut, too.)

Chantelle Soft Stretch Full Brief, 3 for $45
The latest, greatest must-try. These luxurious laser cut, thin, stretchy panties come in but one size, and they will make a believer out of you.

Hanky Panky multipacks, from $60-98
You know who you are, Hanky Panky devotees. May as well buy in bulk to get your go-to luxe stretch lace for less. Accept no imitations.

Socks

Hot Sox Low-Cut Socks 6-pack, $16
It’s actually kind of amazing what a big difference plush new socks can make in your day. Pick up a pack and you’re completely good to go.

Hue Air Cushion Low-Cut Socks 3-pack, $13
Those little knit squares are what keep these pleasingly thick, one size fits most ankle socks delightfully breathable.

FOR HIM

Calvin Klein Cotton Knit Boxer 3-pack, $39.50 Comfy, classic boxers in versatile, understated shades get five star ratings across the board.

Saxx Ultra Boxer Brief 3-pack, $85.95
With a built-in sling of sorts, guys are swearing by this everyday-luxury updated boxer-brief that’s designed to make him forget he’s wearing it.

Polo Ralph Lauren Classic V-Neck T-Shirts 3-pack, $39.50
Gray, black, white and blue cotton jersey undershirts double as tees when the weekend rolls around.

2(x)ist Cotton Essential Square Cut Tank 2-pack, $36
Wear these slim-fit, ribbed cotton tops under dress shirts or on their own.

Polo Ralph Lauren Tech Athletic Low Cut 3-pack, $18
Hard to believe something so simple could involve so much engineering, but these do, from the arch support to the mesh top.

Gold Toe Sport No Show Socks 6-pack, $15
For $2.50 a pair, how could he afford not to hoard truckloads of these all-but-invisible white and black gym socks?

FOR HER

Bali Comfort Revolution Bralette, $16
Our top-selling bralette gets off-the-charts comfort ratings. The size range is stellar, the cups ensure modesty and the price is a total steal.

Jockey Retro Stripe Hipsters, 3 for $30
Preppy, borrowed-from-the-boys pairs go perfectly with the matching Jockey Retro Stripe Cotton Bralette.

Maidenform Microfiber Boyshort, 3 for $32
Q: How much fun are the patterns on these lace-trimmed, silky shorties? A: Very.

The post Find All Your Back to School Necessities: For You, Him, Her & Everyone appeared first on Bare it All.

10 Best Mushroom Recipes for Mushroom Lovers

From the most amazing white mushroom pizza to the creamiest IP mushroom risotto, these recipes are THE BEST EVER!

10 Best Mushroom Recipes for Mushroom Lovers - From the most amazing white mushroom pizza to the creamiest IP mushroom risotto, these recipes are THE BEST!!

1. Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Mushrooms – Simply roast your mushrooms in the most heavenly garlic butter sauce on ONE SINGLE PAN. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Mushrooms - The BEST side dish ever! Simply roast your mushrooms in the most heavenly garlic butter sauce on ONE SINGLE PAN!

2. White Mushroom Pizza – Loaded with two types of cheeses and garlic herb sautéed mushrooms. Yes, please. [GET THE RECIPE.]

White Mushroom Pizza - The BEST pizza for all cheese and mushroom lovers! Loaded with 2 types of cheese and garlic herb sautéed mushrooms!! AMAZING.

3. One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta – An incredibly creamy, hearty pasta dish that you can make in just 20 minutes. Even the pasta gets cooked right in the pot. [GET THE RECIPE.]

One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta - An incredibly creamy, hearty pasta dish that you can make in just 20 minutes. Even the pasta gets cooked right in the pot!

4. Garlic Mushroom Quinoa – An easy, healthy side dish that you’ll want to make with every single meal. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa - An easy, healthy side dish that you’ll want to make with every single meal!

5. Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce – Crisp-tender chicken baked to perfection, smothered in the most creamy mushroom sauce easily made from scratch. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce - Crisp-tender chicken baked to perfection, smothered in the most creamy mushroom sauce easily made from scratch!

6. Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup – Perfectly cozy, hearty, and comforting for any season of the year. Loaded with wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, leeks, and kale. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup - Perfectly cozy, hearty, and comforting for any season of the year! Loaded with wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, leeks, and kale!

7. Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto – I promise, this is the EASIEST risotto you will ever make right in your pressure cooker without any stirring or any kind of fuss. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto - I promise, this is the EASIEST risotto you will ever make right in your pressure cooker without any stirring or any kind of fuss! The risotto comes out perfectly – amazingly rich and creamy, loaded with mushrooms, spinach, peas and freshly grated Parmesan!

8. Creamy Mushroom Spinach Orzo – This creamy, hearty orzo dish makes for the best vegetarian side dish ever. You can also add chicken and turn this into a main dish. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Creamy Mushroom Spinach Orzo - This creamy, hearty orzo dish makes for the best vegetarian side dish ever! Loaded with mushrooms, spinach and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the most amazing garlic Parmesan cream sauce. You can also add chicken and turn this into a main dish!

9. Easy Creamy Mushrooms – So good, you’ll want to skip the main dish and make this a meal instead. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Easy Creamy Mushrooms  -  The easiest, creamiest mushrooms you will ever have – it’s so good, you’ll want to skip the main dish and make this a meal instead!

10. Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup – Such a fun twist to the traditional chicken noodle soup. And it’s so much creamier. Yes and yes. [GET THE RECIPE.]

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup - So cozy, so comforting and just so creamy. Best of all, this is made in 30 min from start to finish – so quick and easy!

The post 10 Best Mushroom Recipes for Mushroom Lovers appeared first on Damn Delicious.

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot - Yes, you can make yogurt at home! It's cheaper and 100x creamier! You'll never want to buy store-bought yogurt again!

Yes, you can make yogurt at home! It’s cheaper and 100x creamier! You’ll never want to buy store-bought yogurt again!

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot - Yes, you can make yogurt at home! It's cheaper and 100x creamier! You'll never want to buy store-bought yogurt again!

What? Yogurt in an Instant Pot?! Um, yes, 10000 times yes!

The process sounds like it’ll take for-ever, but really, this recipe is so stinking easy with like 4 minutes of hands-on time (legit, 4-5 minutes) – it’s basically effortless. And fool-proof.

Now why bother making homemade yogurt? Well, for starters, it’s 100000x better than store-bought. Seriously. It’s creamier and substantially less tangy. With zero-sweetener.

Plus, you know once you go homemade, you can NEVER go back to the store-bought version. NEVER EVER EVER.

And for that, I’m truly sorry.

Well, not really.

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot - Yes, you can make yogurt at home! It's cheaper and 100x creamier! You'll never want to buy store-bought yogurt again!

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot

Yes, you can make yogurt at home! It’s cheaper and 100x creamier! You’ll never want to buy store-bought yogurt again!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups whole milk*
  • 1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt

Directions:

  1. Add milk to a 6-qt Instant Pot®; close and lock the lid. Select yogurt setting; adjust pressure to boil. This can take up to 1 hour.
  2. Working carefully, cool the Instant Pot® insert in a bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally, until the milk reaches 100 to 110 degrees F, about 15- 20 minutes; set aside 1 cup milk.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt and reserved 1 cup milk. Stir into remaining milk, being careful not to scrape the bottom of the insert.
  4. Return insert into the Instant Pot®. Select yogurt setting, set automatically at 8 hours.
  5.  Transfer to storage containers; cover and chill until cold, about 6-8 hours, or up to 10 days.

Notes:

*2% milk can be substituted.

Did you Make This Recipe?

Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.

The post How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot appeared first on Damn Delicious.

From 34DD to 32DDD, Sexy to Sports, Dana Finds New Bras for her New Breasts

Dana Tosk, 37, has always been busty. “But even when I was younger, they were very saggy. After nursing three kids for a year each, they were the breasts of an 80-year-old woman. I’m pretty fit and happy with my body at this stage in my life, and I wanted my breasts to match the rest of me,” she told Bare Necessities.

That’s when she scheduled an appointment with a plastic surgeon.

About to start training to become a yoga instructor, Dana has gotten deep into health and fitness the past few years; she works out six days a week. Now totally recovered from having an augmentation, Dana suddenly needed every kind of bra.

“My biggest gripe is that when I bend over, my boobs fall out. I feel like I’m always tucking the girls back in. I want to be held up and not have to worry about them. Specifically, I need a good sports bra to support my chest while I’m exercising without straining my neck. And would it be asking too much for a bra to not pinch my back fat? Smooth and seamless all around would be great.”

Dana had been in 34DDs from Target and Victoria’s Secret: “I admit that I’m part of the problem. I buy cheap bras, and they suck. I also haven’t been measured since my augmentation, so I really don’t know my size. I would love for an expert to tell me what I’m doing wrong and help me feel more comfortable.”

Like, say, amBRAssador Kristyn.

BEFORE
A mother of three young kids herself, Kristyn empathized with Dana’s figure changes. She measured Dana over the phone and found her to be a 32DDD.

“Though technically that’s the sister size of the 34DDs you’re already in, the tighter band will give you the lift you need,” explained Kristyn, who prioritized finding a more supportive sports bra (bye-bye, stretchy XLs) and stepped-up bras for the rest of the day. “Dana is still wearing T-shirt bras because that was all she could wear before implants. She hasn’t made the mental leap yet. I want to show her how to fit her new figure. Her breasts are slightly wide-set, so I’d like to try bringing them closer together. And I’d love to see her in something a little sexier since she has these great new boobs!”

Dana was all about it: “I paid a lot for them, so I want them to look good!”

THE REVELATION
After shipping out the first round of try-ons, Dana and Kristyn were vibing.

For the weekday grind, the femme, on-trend new Camio Mio Lace Balcony Bra—exclusive to Bare Necessities—fit as though it were custom-made for Dana. Stabilizing straps and lightweight foam cups trimmed in a very contemporary lace solved her spillage, smoothness and comfort concerns and brought her breasts in and up like Kristyn hoped a bra would.

When it came to sexy, it was all about Freya. The sheer yet intricately constructed Freya Pulse Plunge and Freya Fancies Plunge Balcony bras that Kristyn gravitated toward first looked superhot (too hot to show here, in fact) while lifting and supporting at the same time.

On the sports bra front, “I don’t think Dana even realized they come in bra sizes,” said Kristyn. “She’d been wearing a much-too-big pullover style to accommodate her chest, but what she gained in capacity she lost in support.” Instead, she found Dana’s just-right fit in the Anita Air Control Wire-Free Sports Bra. “While all about function, it also happens to looks gorgeous on her.”

“Everything you sent me is cute and comfortable. I wear cotton T-shirt bras and sports bras every day…I’m not used to such attractive bras! It’s nice to feel pretty,” Dana emailed.

AFTER
“They’re all wonderful!” Dana said of her bras the day of her photoshoot. “The sports bra is super supportive and very comfortable. The black lace one shapes me just right and is so sexy. The pink pushup makes the girls perky without having them fall out when I bend over.”

But putting herself in an expert’s hands was Dana’s biggest aha! moment of all: “Kristyn was so nice and made me feel so comfortable. The bras she picked right away were the ones that fit best. Speaking with her was an education. She explained what was wrong with my old bra size, then sent me exactly what I wanted and checked to be sure it fit right. It was a lot more enjoyable trying on bras in the comfort of my bedroom than in a poorly lit mall dressing room. Returning what I didn’t like was a breeze, and I found four bras that work for my life.”

Kristyn couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of this bra makeover: “Hopefully she’ll ditch the T-shirt bras for good and stick with sexy support!”

DANA’S BEST BRAS
Camio Mio Lace Balcony Bra
Freya Pulse Plunge
Freya Fancies Plunge Balcony
Anita Air Control Wire-Free Sports Bra

Let us handle your bra gripes for you, too. Call an amBRAssador at 877-728-9272 x4 or chat via barenecessities.com.

The post From 34DD to 32DDD, Sexy to Sports, Dana Finds New Bras for her New Breasts appeared first on Bare it All.

Meet the amBRAssadors

Sure, Bare Necessities carries 163 different bra sizes from more than 80 of the world’s best brands. But perhaps our greatest advantage: the ladies on our customer service team.

Meet the amBRAssadors™.

These trained, talented bra fit experts are real women with real lives and body concerns of their own. They’re here to assess your bra situation, find you the best size through an at-home bra fitting over phone or chat, then help you choose the perfect style for your body type, budget, style and more. Call them at 877-728-9272, x4 (Monday through Saturday, 8:30 AM to 6 PM), or chat via Bare Necessities to get yours. All you’ll need is a tape measure, your best-fitting bra and ten idle minutes.

Meanwhile, get to know the team so that when you do yourself the favor of reaching out, you’ll already know who’s on the other end of the connection.

BRANDI, 32G
Best brand:
Fantasie
Favorite bra: Chantelle Modern Invisible Plunge
Most memorable fitting: My own! I walked in wearing a 38D and walked out in a 32G.
Best lingerie advice: The best fit is what makes you look and feel beautiful.
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I wouldn’t have measuring tapes all over my house and purse!
Fun fact: I love to watch my daughters play softball.
All-time favorite movie: Steel Magnolias.
Favorite way to relax: Going to an amusement park with my daughters.
Guilty pleasure: Wine and dark chocolate.
Hobby: I crochet baby blankets and donate them.
Proudest moment: When I put my life back together after my marriage ended.
Personal mantra: If you’re going through hell, keep going.

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CHERI, 34H
Best brand/bra: Curvy Kate Tropics Balcony Bra
Most memorable fitting: My own, with amBRAssador Marissa. She helped me determine what size I truly was. I had been wearing a bra that was four cup sizes too small! It was life-changing trying on a bra that actually fit. I felt the weight literally lift off my shoulders.
Best lingerie advice: Graduate beyond Victoria’s Secret!
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I would be sitting at a job I didn’t love in an ill-fitting bra!
Comfort food: Buffalo mac and cheese. I could eat it every day.
Favorite way to relax: Surround myself with a bunch of dogs. It does not matter what kind of mood I’m in, pups always cheer me up.
Guilty pleasure: The Golden Girls.
Hobby: I love to sing.
Proudest moment: I’m the youngest of four girls, and it was my parents dream to see all four of their daughters graduate from college, so it felt amazing to reach my own goal as well as to make my parents’ dreams come true.
Personal mantra: “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control of what you don’t.”

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CHRISTIANNE, 28DDD
Best brand/bra: Freya Idol Balcony Bra
Most memorable fitting: Probably my own! I was wearing a 32DD before my fitting. It was completely wrong.
Best lingerie advice: When buying shapewear, size up! It will prevent rolls.
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I wouldn’t know my correct bra size!
Fun fact: I’m a super nerd. I love comic books, manga and anime.
Favorite way to relax: Beach days.
Guilty pleasure: Vegan brownies.
Hobby: Painting and reading.
Personal mantra: Be yourself because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.

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CLAIRE
Bra size: You’ll need to buy me a Martini first.
Best brand: Prima Donna
Best lingerie advice: A comfortable person is hella sexy.
When I’m not an amBRAssador: I’m acting, writing and producing Carbon, my feature film.
Fun fact: I have an Emmy award.
All-time favorite book: Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferris.
Go-to movie: Requiem for a Dream.
Favorite way to relax: Bingewatching a good show with cheese, crackers, a Manhattan and, let’s be honest, a Lactaid.
Happy place: Santa Fe, Costa Rica or my bed.
Craziest thing you’ve ever done: Not fit for print.
Proudest moment: Seeing my kid go against the grain.
Personal mantra: It’s all okay—no one’s open on the table.
In a word: Multi-tasker. A hyphen makes that one word, right?

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FRANCESCA, 30I
Best brand/bra: Freya Fancies Plunge Balcony Bra
Most memorable fitting: I had a customer call in who was having all sorts of difficulties finding a bra that fit her breast shape. She was measuring a 32L. We talked for a very long time, went over her measurements, tweaked her size and found different styles to try. She called a few days later to tell me the Elomi Tia Side Support I suggested was the best bra she’s ever owned. She said it almost made it look like she had gotten a lift—that’s a pretty impressive endorsement!
Best lingerie advice: Confidence is key.
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I would probably be wearing the wrong bra size.
Fun fact: I’m a huge sports fan. I may have missed my calling to be a sport analyst and get paid to argue about it.
All-time favorite book: The Outsiders.
Guilty pleasure: Reality TV.
Hobby: Shopping.
Personal mantra: Every experience teaches you something. Learn the lesson.

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JEANETTE, 32G
Best brand:
Wacoal
Favorite bra:
Chantelle Courcelles T-Shirt Bra
Most memorable fitting: A bride looking for a wedding day bra had lost a lot of weight but was still wearing her old 40DD. We measured her at a 34G. She was so excited to find bras in her new size that would fit and support her better. I was so happy for her.
Best lingerie advice: Stack your contour bras one behind the other in a drawer.
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I’d be a museum curator.
Hidden talent: I can moonwalk.
Superpower: I wish I could read minds.
Happy place: The beach.
Best vacation: Spain.
Proudest moment: Buying a home.
Favorite movie: The Goonies.
Personal mantra: Progress, not perfection.

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JENNIE, 30H
Best brand/bra:
Chantelle Révèle Moi
Most memorable fitting: I worked with a customer for over a month. She would call me every Saturday, and we would talk about the latest bras she had tried. Though she measured consistently, depending on the brand and style, her size varied as much as three cup and band sizes. We went through a ton of options. By the time we were done, she had a massive bra wardrobe and we were practically best friends.
Best lingerie advice: Don’t get hung up on the size of your bra. If it fits well and makes you happy, that’s all that matters.
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I’d be running my own pet business. I make my own dog collars and accessories.
Happy place: Horseback riding in the great outdoors.
Hidden talent: Sewing.
Guilty pleasure: Fast food.
Personal mantra: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
In a word: Creative.

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KRISTY, 42C
Best brand/bra: Curvy Couture Tulip Lace Push-Up Bra
Most memorable fitting: I had a customer who, because of an illness and many surgeries, didn’t have a clue what size she was. She was coming to us to be fitted for swimwear and though she lived in California, she hadn’t actually been to the beach in years. After her first try-on, she contacted me in tears. She finally felt confident enough to enjoy the beach again.
Best lingerie advice: If you feel comfortable and confident, it will show.
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I would be a chef.
All-time favorite movie: Since childhood, I’ve loved The Wizard of Oz.
Comfort food: Pasta.
Favorite way to relax: 
Sitting by my pool with my husband and puppy, listening to music.
Personal mantra:
Walk by faith, not by sight.

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KRISTYN, 30C
Best brand/bra: B’Tempt’d Ciao Bella Balconette
Most memorable fitting: My mom! She went from a 36B to her correct size, a 30D.
If I wasn’t an amBRAssador: I’d be a therapist.
Hobby: Collecting vinyl records.
Superpower: A woman’s intuition.
Fun fact: I’m a single mom of three crazy little boys.
Favorite way to relax: Yoga.
Personal mantra: If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Craziest thing I’ve ever done: Skydiving. It was awesome!

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MARISSA, 32B
Best brand/bra:
OnGossamer Mesh Bump It Up Bra
Most memorable fitting: My mom thought she was a 36DD her entire life, but I took her measurements and she ended up being a 36H. She still can’t get over it!
Best lingerie advice: Trying on bras is like trying on jeans—every style will fit a bit different than the next.
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I would love to be traveling the world.
All-time favorite show: Game of Thrones.
Comfort food: Pizza and wings.
Favorite way to relax: A bubble bath.
Guilty pleasure: Watching sappy romance movies.
Hobby: Playing video games.
Proudest moment: Becoming an aunt.
Personal mantra: The best is yet to come.

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MARYANN, 30F
Best brand/bra: 
Simone Perele Andora Demi T-Shirt Bra
Best lingerie advice: Have more fun with color!
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I’d travel the world taking photographs.
All-time favorite show: Friends.
Favorite way to relax: Curling up in bed with a book, a cup of coffee and my cat.
Guilty pleasure: Shoes and makeup. I’m a hoarder of both.
Craziest thing I’ve ever done: Snowboarded a Double Black Diamond slope by accident. I got lost and had to make it down somehow!
Personal mantra: Figure it out.

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MELISSA, 32DDD
Best brand: I love Freya for the size and style selection, and they have AH-mazing swimwear.
Favorite bra: I really dig the Natori Feathers bra because it’s fun and sexy, in great sizes and colors and is perfect for me—it’s the T-shirt bra I love without super-stiff foam cups that gape on my shallow breasts.
Most memorable fitting: I recently did a swim fitting with a customer who had gone through some tough personal things that were affecting her body. We laughed, we cried.
Best lingerie advice: You actually DO get what you pay for! Some bras may seem priced too highly, but they’re much better quality and will last you longer, so they won’t need to be replaced as often.
Fun fact: I’ve recently lost almost 140 pounds with the help of a weight loss surgery. I’ve been a whole range of bra sizes, so I love helping customers whose sizes have changed.
All-time favorite book: The Harry Potter series.
Comfort food: Potatoes in any form.
Guilty pleasure: The TV show Jersey Shore… except I don’t feel so guilty about it.
Personal mantra: “I am Beyoncé, always,” —Michael Scott, The Office.

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MICHELLE, 28F
Best brand:
Dita Von Teese
Favorite bra: Freya Fancies Plunge Balcony Bra
Most memorable fitting: My own! Thinking I was a 34C when really I’m a 28F…what a difference!
Best lingerie advice: If you like it, rock it!
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I’d be an art teacher.
Comfort food: Movie theater popcorn.
Guilty pleasure: Makeup shopping.
Hobby: Going to the craft store and learning to sew with amBRAssador Jennie.
Proudest moment: Adopting my first rescue rabbit. I’m obsessed with bunnies.
Personal mantra: Never settle.

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TRACY, 32D
Best bra/brand: Simone Perele Caresse 3D Plunge
Fun fact: I can count the number of letters in any word instantaneously. (That’s 15 letters! See?) ?
If I weren’t an amBRAssador: I would be traveling around the world.
All-time favorite show: I’ve seen Wicked on Broadway ten times.
Favorite way to relax: Picnics at the park, riding our bikes and going to the movies as a family.
Guilty pleasure: Sneaking away to the spa for a massage.
Hobby: Fitness. I’m a certified instructor!
Happy place: Disney World.
Craziest thing you’ve ever done: Agreeing to run a half marathon even though I had never run more than a few feet. I finished, and in decent time, too!
Proudest moment: Bringing each of my three children into the world.
Personal mantra: Everything happens for a reason.
In a word: Happy.

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ZAINAB, 30DD
Best bra: Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Modern T-Shirt Bra
Best lingerie advice: Wear something that makes you feel like the best version of you—happy, pretty, comfortable.
Fun fact: I would spend millions on makeup if I had the means.
All-time favorite show: It’s a tie between Friends and Gilmore Girls.
Favorite way to relax: Watching Netflix while wrapped in a fluffy blanket.
Guilty pleasure: The Kardashian family.
Craziest thing you’ve ever done: Switching careers, from preschool teacher to amBRAssador.
Proudest moment: Watching my pre-K class graduate and seeing how far they’d come.
Personal mantra: Don’t worry, be happy.
In a word: Loving.

The post Meet the amBRAssadors appeared first on Bare it All.

Happiness Advice to Take You Through the Rest of the Year

Summertime, and the living is arguably easier. What is it about a little sunshine that makes this the happiest time of year and, more importantly, how to bottle that feeling for the other nine months?

Bare Necessities looked into the science behind summer’s golden touch. We’re here to share ideas you can draw on when fall and winter start getting you down. Bookmark this for when you need it in the back half of the year!

Embrace JOMO

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is old news. Despite what some blogger’s perfect Instagram feed suggests, there’s no way to do, be or have it all. This summer, it’s all about embracing the joy of missing out (JOMO). That means taking a digital detox. The more we disconnect from the tiny slot machines in our pockets, the better our state of mind. Sure, that can feel a lot easier to do in the summer, when engaging alternatives abound, but you can consciously bring the idea with you into fall. When you’re focused on doing you, regardless of what others are doing, you’re closer to true happiness.

Schedule more fun

Fun comes obscenely freely in the summer…there’s always something to do! The rest of the year, the daily grind can get the best of you. But not every day can be an amusement park or a vacation. To keep life’s annoyances from crowding out the delightful stuff, prioritize things that make you feel good by putting time on your calendar—daily, weekly or monthly—to do something you enjoy. Then, no matter what comes up, do not cancel on yourself! Make it a point to catch a movie while it’s in the theater, go out on a Tuesday night to see a friend’s band play or haul your tired self to hot yoga. Committing to relishing the little moments is as important as anything you do for your health.

Say yes before saying no

Just as summer gives you permission to live a little—jump off the side of the boat! start a bonfire! eat the ice cream!—any time’s a good excuse to break with the script and do things that you ordinarily wouldn’t. Novelty is the spice of life, as our sexy lingerie certainly proves.

Spend a little less

Simple pleasures go a long way. Right now, maybe that means catching a sunset, watching fireflies or going to the farmer’s market. Year-round, it can mean keeping a gratitude journal, practicing hygge or sensory meditation to help you slow down, relax and appreciate what’s going right without wrestling your mind into blank submission. Close your eyes and sit or lie comfortably, then run through your senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell to situate yourself in the moment. Or, you know, buy yourself the $5 latte. Whatever works.

Get into nature

Spending time outdoors is critical, from improving short-term memory to staving off anxiety and depression. And the cold sure doesn’t stop the people of Finland, Norway or Denmark, the happiest nations in the world, from communing with nature. Find what works for you—hiking, snowshoeing, skiing or a quick walk in the brisk air—suit up in the optimal activewear and do it as much as you can.

Go to sleep

Not unlike getting outside, a good night’s sleep pays so many dividends, it’s hardly worth the column inches defending the premise. To replicate that languid summer sleep, take baby steps: Go to bed a few minutes earlier. Sleep in by a few (early morning sleep is key to REM). Keep to a pretty consistent schedule. Take a little nap. Upgrade your pajamas. It’s not being lazy; it’s recharging the battery otherwise known as your brain.

Read a book

Reading is the jam, but other than on summer vacation, who has the time? Well, it’s time to make time. It lowers stress. It transports you somewhere else, on the cheap, without leaving the house. Book lovers are less depressed. You’ll be part of the cultural conversation. Add in a social component by starting a book club with your friends. Listening to audiobooks on the daily also counts.

Take an 8-day vacation

Yes, summer is prime time for getting away, but unless you’re a teacher or an accountant, you can pretty much go whenever. So do that. Use up your days! Grab your greatest swimsuits and go lie on a beach someplace tropical when the temperature dips at home. The ideal length for a trip is scientifically proven to be just north of a week. Eight days equals peak happiness: long enough to experience something new, short enough not to miss home and feel like you’re falling behind on life.

Go to more concerts

You don’t have to wait for Beyoncé or Taylor Swift to come back around on an amphitheater tour; amazing shows happen all year long. Regularly listening to live music is, happily, associated with living longer. That’s why we asked some of our favorite performers from this year’s Newport Folk Festival, which we checked out last month, what happiness advice they live by:

Courtney Marie Andrews (Photo: Laura E. Partain)

COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
What boosts your mood when you need it most?
Writing is key to uplifting my mood. It’s cathartic and allows me to process how or why I’m feeling a certain way. Playing new songs uplifts me because they’re the rawest form of what I’ve been thinking or feeling. They help me stay in tune with my identity and what’s going on internally. It feels triumphant when you finish a song and play it for the first time. It allows me to be proud of myself. I’m also an aimless walker. When I’m feeling depressed, a long walk is great for gaining clarity.

What song of yours would give us a lift?
I suggest the title track to my new record, “May Your Kindness Remain.”

How did you know you’d found your calling? How’d you find the courage to go your own way?
I’ve known since I could talk that I wanted to write and perform. I’m lucky that I’ve had my whole life to work on and for something that I love. Honestly, I think I had dumb courage before I had talent. Courage led me here, and let me improve my craft. I grew up with a single mother working two jobs, so it was important that I take care of myself and be brave.

Lucius (Photo: Petecia Le Fawnhawk)

HOLLY LAESSIG OF LUCIUS
What boosts your mood when you need it most?
The smell of jasmine, David Bowie’s “The Laughing Gnome,” the Eagles’ “Take it Easy,” lili_hayes on Instagram, or a big glass boot full of Hefeweizen.

What song of yours would give us a lift?
Part of falling in love with an artist is discovering them and taking part in that relationship. Try a couple from each record (Wildewoman, Good Grief and Nudes) and, if you like what you hear, keep digging.

How did you know you’d found your calling? How’d you find the courage to go your own way?
There were moments: deciding to play piano, to pursue singing, then songwriting, then making a band. I felt I didn’t have a choice. The only movement available to me was forward. It was a given for us both, and we never thought twice. In that way, it had to work.

Nicole Atkins (Photo: Anna Webber)

NICOLE ATKINS
What boosts your mood when you need it most?
Getting outside and walking with music in my headphones. My three favorite mood-boosters are “Rocksteady” from Aretha Franklin, “Goin’ Down” from Allen Toussaint and “Cherry” from Neil Diamond. They can make walking through a blizzard feel sunny. When I’m stressed, I walk it out until I feel better. It always helps. Even if I’ve done nothing for the day or had a really stressful brain day, I can take a walk on the boardwalk down by the ocean and feel full.

What song of yours would give us a lift?
If you like sad songs, play “A Little Crazy,” and if you wanna shake your butt, put on “Darkness Falls So Quiet.”

How did you know you’d found your calling? How’d you find the courage to go your own way?
When I was 19, the restaurant I was working at on the Jersey Shore heard me singing in the stockroom. They ended up letting me play there every Thursday. From there on out, I knew I wanted to do this forever. Be kind with yourself. Nothing’s more fun than weird! There is no graduation from your work and passion. It’s the arch of your life; don’t rush it.

The post Happiness Advice to Take You Through the Rest of the Year appeared first on Bare it All.

Jolloff Etcetera….

A great conversation starter is the restaurant “jollof Ecetera.” This tiny but large shack is located in Annapolis Maryland. You know the saying “good things come in small packages?” Jolloff Ecetera is one of those good things.

The fact that I have nothing plenty to say about this place is because they “killed” everything with their awesome food. Have you ever tasted a meal so good, you constantly replay how you ate it and it’s taste in your mouth?

I walked into Jollof Ecetera not knowing what to expect. It looks like a “to go” kind of restaurant. What that means is that, you simply make an order and pick up your food or have it delivered once it’s prepared.

Even as small as the space for the restaurant is, there are a few chairs and tables for patrons who wish to dine in. I dined in.

Ambiance: There is really none but for the soft gospel music playing from the tv set. The place was crowded with people and it just seemed so little to navigate through.

Make over: Jolloff Ecetera needs a total make over. a least some new chairs with tables that fit the space. Nothing more or less.

Apart from the ambiance and the need for a make over, I liked the little notes that sat on the table. The notes had scriptures on them. Oh, I forgot to tell you that the restaurant is owned by a Christian who doesn’t ever settle. He doesn’t even serve alcohol in his restaurant. Drink your Schweppes or water and enjoy your meal or nothing.

One thing I liked about Jolloff ecetera, was the sink they had in the restaurant for patrons to wash their hands; and beside the sink was a motion censored trash bin. A great feature if you’re a germaphobe.

The good stuff: Now to the good stuff. The food! With all the delicious photos on their Instagram’s page @jolloffetcetera, it was even better in person. I ordered a plate of rice and fish stew to make up for all the meat from the previous day. Along with the rice, I ordered a side of spinach and plantains. My hosts ordered Eba, onugbu and vegetable soups respectively.

Before our food was brought to the table, the restaurant owner gave my hosts and I a complimentary bowl of Chinchin. A little stale it was but it was really good. Our food came without a waste of time and the portions were huge. Mere looking at my bowl and that of my hosts, I was full. I didn’t even know how to start spooning the stew into the rice. And the fish, it filled the bowl and eating it was orgasmic to experience. The side of spinach, it was melt in your mouth good. I am here writing and trying to describe how delicious my food was, but I can’t even begin to find the words. My hosts ate theirs so quickly, you could tell they enjoyed their food with the way they cleaned their bowls. There were no traces of eba or soup in sight ? And with a cool bottle of Schweppes, everything hit the spot.

food for thought: Sometimes, it’s not always about having nice restaurant furniture, it’s about having mind blowing meals, meals that would make you not want to eat anything else. Now, if one restaurant can fix their furnishing, have working and clean bathrooms and cook really good food like Jolloff Etcetera.