Creamy Butternut Squash Lentil Pasta

Creamy Butternut Squash Lentil Pasta

It’s finally beginning to feel like fall season here in Nashville. The skies have romantically darkened in the evenings just enough to see the red orange sunset. Autumn is that season where I always ruminate over the happenings of the past year and home cooking, feel-good comfort foods are what I always seem to crave the most. Lucky for me, Jared pretty much likes anything I cook so I found a recipe at to get us started with our fall cooking spree. Of course, I tweaked the original recipe just tiny bit by not including bacon and changing the pasta type so what we created was: Creamy Butternut Squash Lentil Pasta

To kick up the healthy, we laid a big scoop of the pasta over a bed of baby kale and added a few slices of lean seared steak to the side. Let the fall cooking commence!



2 Tb butter

1 cup red onion, diced

1 clove garlic

3 cups butternut squash, cubed

1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 Tb diced fresh sage, minced

1 1/2 Tb diced fresh thyme, minced

1 cup 2% milk

1/2 tbs salt

Lentil pasta or any type you prefer

1 lb lean New York Strip steaks

Step 1: To get started cooking just like we did, your husband or significant other will need to forget to pick up the chicken stock even after they had promised you it was “for sure” in the cupboard. So while they are frantically headed back to the grocery store in the pouring rain (the rain is a real part of this story and sadly for Jared, there is not a whole lot more that he enjoys than watching a big rain storm roll through the Nashville city skyline) — don’t worry he got to enjoy the storm and the cooking when he returned! But for the sake of the recipe, begin to cut the squash in to small 1″ cubes and set aside.

Step 2: Add diced red onion and butter to your dutch oven or skillet and sauté for about a minute over med-high heat until the red onions have softened

Step 3: Add in the garlic and sauté for another 30 sections before adding in the following Butternut Squash.jpgingredients: butternut squash, chicken stock, sage, thyme, and salt. Stir and cover until you can easily pierce through the butternut squash with a fork (about 10 minutes)

(if you are cooking steak to go on the side of your dish, preheat the oven to 450 and season both sides of your steaks with salt and pepper and place on a cookie sheet until the oven reaches temperature)

Step 4: Add all ingredients from dutch oven to a food processor and puree while slowly adding the milk until the mixture is smooth

Step 5: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the lentil pasta, cook according to the directions to make the pasta al dente

(While the pasta is cooking, place steaks in the oven and cook for 8 minutes and then flip steaks and continue to cook for another 8 minutes).

Step 6: Drain pasta and return to the same pot it cooked in, add the butternut squash mixture and stir together

Step 7: Take the steaks out of the oven and pour excess “juice” into the pasta/butternut squash (optional)

Step 8: Slice the steak and if you would like prepare a small bed of baby kale, spinach or other greenery in a dish or deep pasta bowl, make sure to do that. To finish, add a scoop of the butternut pasta and the sliced steak.


Jared and I celebrating fall at Cheekwood



My World in Plastic Surgery

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I began my career in plastic surgery at a low point in my life. I had recently married six months prior and was so incredibly happy with my life at home, but professionally I lacked any whisper of fulfillment. I went to work each day with nothing to look forward to other than the weekend on the other side of the long five day stretch.  It was over lunch at a popular salad spot in downtown Austin called Leaf, that I met with my friend/co-worker and her cousin, the office manager of a local plastic surgery practice.

It was a typical 95 degree sunny summer day in Austin, Texas– the beginning of a new week. From the restaurant’s patio, you could watch the professional men and women leisurely strolling to their destined lunch spots. Many took business calls as some hustled back to their offices and others sat on the street benches casually eating in the shade. Downtown Austin was a fun place to be.

Lunch began as usual, we discussed all of our upcoming weekend plans and how everyone’s current day was going. It was then that Josh, the office manager and cousin to my co-worker, asked if we knew of anyone who wanted to be a patient care coordinator at the plastic surgery practice he managed. I thought for a moment, but couldn’t think of anyone I knew. He turned to me and said, “I wish you were interested, you would be perfect!” I joked and responded “of course I would be perfect!” We all laughed and finished up lunch.

It was an hour after lunch when I was starring into my computer screen with disinterest and stress from trying to work hard at something I didn’t excel in that I turned to my friend and co-worker, Crystal and asked, “Do you think I would be good for that job?” With an overwhelming yes, we quickly chatted about what each of us knew about the industry of plastic surgery. I knew I needed to go home, talk with Jared and really contemplate changing courses with my job. I was already familiar with Botox and lip filler, of course… I had grown up with a little sister who was (still is) obsessed with the tv show, Keeping up with the Kardashians (not a true reflection of the aesthetic industry by the way), but other than that, I had to heavily research.

That night I dug deep with the help of Google looking for answers as to whether this would be an opportunity that I really wanted to pursue. I was blown away with what I found. I discovered that lasers could not only provide anti-aging benefits, but they also had the capability of getting rid of undesired sun damage, brown spots, and redness. I learned that fillers were not just for the lips, but they could give youthful volume back to areas in the face that lacked fullness or needed additional lift (smile lines, nasal folds, cheek bones etc.,) I discovered the reason behind why a patient might want to consider a breast lift over a regular breast augmentation and I read that a proper facelift involves the surgeon doing muscle work underneath the skin for a longer-lasting, more natural looking result. I also found out that the tummy tuck typically involves the surgeon creating an internal corset to give a waist and figure back to a patient after childbearing or weight loss. As you can tell, I was instantly captivated by the aesthetic industry and all that it could do for ones self-esteem. I was sold. I called Josh the next day asking for a chance to interview.

Long story short, I was lucky enough to land the job and hard work mixed with passion molded it into a career. I finally found out what it was like to look forward to going to work the next day. I had no idea that was even a thing. 

It wasn’t long after I started that I completely fell in love with the industry. After personally witnessing how so many patients’ lives were drastically changed by their incredible results, I was hooked.  What got me to that point was the experience sitting with nervous women in our consultation room who opened up with me and revealed feelings such like: “This body isn’t me,” “I can’t stand how I look,” “I‘m frustrated because I diet, I exercise, I just want to feel good about myself,” “I don’t let my husband see me undress,” “my grandchildren think I look angry all of the time and people keep asking me what’s wrong when I’m fine.” I’ve also sat with men who felt silly for being in the office to begin with, consulting in an industry they deemed to be reserved for women–feeling completely out of place and unworthy of being there. On the harmonious flip side, I have cheered and celebrated the results that keep this industry thriving and accelerating to new heights year after year.


It is well-known that there is still much taboo surrounding the cosmetic/plastic surgery world. Often times we may find ourselves getting absorbed by judging someone for how much or how little cosmetic surgery they do. You may have even contemplated doing something yourself and were met with responses from friends and family like, “Why? Are you not confident in who you are?” or “Why would you want to change? You don’t need it.” Those comments are meant to be supportive, but truthfully they are not helpful. What you need to know from someone in the industry is, improving your appearance or enhancing your features is a personal choice. We make those decisions at the time we get braces, color our hair, or select a certain style of clothing. The choice to surgically or non-surgically enhance or alter ones appearance solely rests with the individual’s wants, needs and ultimate desires. Those reasons can be deeply personal or they can be very superficial and neither of those choices is wrong.

Seeing people feel good about themselves is the most inspiring, uplifting and rewarding aspects of working in this career. Whether patients are using filler to give a little volume back to areas where it has been lost, are doing Botox to minimize and reduce the “frown lines,” are receiving laser treatments to revitalize and give life back to dull skin, or have undergone surgery to cosmetically change areas that cause them not to feel their best self, each person has the right to make that decision free from judgement. They also have the right to announce what they do or to keep it private. We are a doctor’s office after all…

I have been privileged to work for two incredible board-certified plastic surgeons. I started my career with Dr. Hall in West Lake, Texas (back when Jared and I lived in Austin) and I now work with Dr. Griffin at Nashville Cosmetic Surgery here in Nashville, Tennessee. The experience at both offices has taught me that in different areas of our country, there are so many people who suffer with the same insecurities and for oftentimes very similar reasons and causes. I’ve seen those same individuals (patients) make decisions to change what they dislike or to enhance what they already love– it takes trust in your surgeon and courage to know that you deserve to make those choices for YOU!

Each patient I have ever met has a piece of me with them– loving their personal story, honoring their treatment decisions and celebrating their results.

If you have questions about specific procedures or are interested in learning more about what treatment options are out there, please feel free to reach out to me.  I would be honored to walk you through your journey!



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Fall, where are you?

I typically give Jared a hard time about the weather especially during long bouts of never-ending rainy or overcast days. This weekend, I decided to give him a break mainly because we were celebrating our anniversary, but mostly because everywhere we went he got a hard time from someone else. To give you an idea… Nashville experienced record-breaking heat Friday through Sunday with the temperatures hitting the mid-90’s. It’s the first full week of October and most everyone is ready for it to feel like fall.

Jared loves when people come up to him to either give him a hard time or to thank him for the weather above. I swear he likes the idea of people thinking he has some sort of decision-making when it comes to forecasting. So for 3 years of marriage we had 3 days of 90-degree heat, but I swear it’s all on Jared and I have nothing to do with it.

We both took Friday off from work and spent the entire weekend here in Nashville. I had been asking Jared to join me at Barry’s Bootcamp for over a year and he finally came through and signed up for a class with me. We started our weekend celebration with an invigorating workout. I loved it (as usual) and Jared survived.

The Gulch was already humming with tourists when our class finished so we decided to grab a smoothie at the Juice Bar and stroll around the area while watching people love on our city.

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For lunch we went over to True Foods to have a light bite. We didn’t want to eat anything too heavy because Jared had made special dinner reservations for us that evening at Bourbon Steak, located at the top of the new JW Marriott in downtown Nashville. We both had been wanting to try the much anticipated Michael Mina steakhouse since we heard of the plans for its opening.

At True Foods, we sat on the outdoor patio under an umbrella that shielded us from the abnormally hot October sun. I ordered the Korean Noodle Salad, Jared got the Mediterranean Chicken Pita and we shared the cold brew coffee topped with shaved coconut. It was delicious and the patio seating made for a fun experience watching people trying to snag a parking spot across the street at Trader Joe’s — that place is popular on the weekends!

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Korean Noodle Salad and Mediterranean Chicken Pita

As I mentioned in my initial post, we love to eat and explore new restaurants, however we rarely eat out twice in one day. We try to save money and maintain a healthy lifestyle by cooking at home as often as possible. However, this weekend was truly the exception to the rule and we enjoyed every bit and bite of it!

Now to Jared’s favorite part: Bourbon Steak. He had made these reservations about a month ago and could hardly wait to tell me about his plans to bring me there for our Anniversary. Something you may not know about Jared is when he get’s excited about something he can barely keep it to himself. So I had known about these reservations for a good three weeks and was equally excited. When we arrived at the JW, we were shown to the “express” elevator that took guests from the lobby directly up to the restaurant’s 34th floor. As soon as you walk off the elevator and to the hostess stand you get a peek of the expansive views of downtown Nashville that you are about to experience in the dining area.  It was so much fun to see the city lit up in all different areas of downtown. Jared and I agreed that the vibe felt very mid-town Manhattan with a noticeable nod to Music City. The food was equally phenomenal and many of their dishes came with a table-side show of their own — check out the Lobster Pot Pie video.

Burbon Steak
Jared and I at the top of Bourbon Steak – JW Nashville

We finished up our weekend with a lot of needed rest and relaxation — as well as some good news… Jared has informed me that there is going to be a cool down towards the end of the week. YAY!

This Week’s Forecast: happy wife, happy life and fall temperatures. Don’t forget to catch Jared on WKRN-News 2 tomorrow morning.





The Journey Begins

Tonight officially marks our 3 year wedding anniversary and I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to publish this blog about being married to the love of my life and the journey that involves being married to a TV weatherman.

Every day we are together is the greatest day of my life — Nicolas Sparks

October 4, 2015

There’s a lot more to me than being married to the weatherman, but that way of introduction has become common place for me since 2015 and truth be told, I don’t completely hate it, in fact, I’ve grown to love it. After all, it truly is part of my identity. In October of 2015, I married the love of my life on the beautiful rocky blue coast of Maryland. The inner harbor of Baltimore to be specific. The weekend of our wedding, Baltimore experienced a near miss of a hurricane that forecasters gave a 50/50 shot of devastating the area. As all perfect fairytales go, or as my husband would say, as all his forecasts go, we lucked out and the hurricane took a sharp 90 degree turn out to the Atlantic. My future husband (and meteorologist, Jared, correctly predicted (pinky promised me—so it was serious) days in advance that the hurricane would not ruin our special day. It didn’t and we got married. The story doesn’t end there and it for sure didn’t start there.

Being married to a local tv personality and meteorologist has its perks and its fair share of tribulations. I definitely miss the good ole’ days of us going to the gym for a workout and then promptly heading straight to the grocery store to grab a few things on the way home, even though we looked like a complete sweaty mess. And I mean a quick stop at Publix, not a full grocery shop going through all the produce, etc., I mean In and out stop — 10 minutes tops! The discovery of not being able to do that, as you can imagine wasn’t a highlight of my life (That’s a story for another day), but it was a stark reality check that made me realize that being married to a local celebrity was a bit different than I thought.

And just because no one comes up to say “hi” doesn’t mean they don’t see you… or so I’ve been informed. It might not be that the viewers really care what you look like or what your spouse looks like, but you end up giving your appearance a second thought when you get noticed. In all reality, those are the trivial things in life. However, I do question whether I should feel that confident looking like a hot sweaty mess in public anyway … Let’s be real, this is still to be determined.

Truth be told, the biggest struggle is the hours he works. He is up at 2am and asleep by the time I get home at night. I joke that we spend the mornings together, me drinking coffee and watching him on TV while he tells me how to dress for the day. And yes, I am that wife that checks her husband to make sure his hair looks good and his suit looks sharp. It’s just not before leaves the house, I do it when he is on air and believe me it still counts! I’ve had to text him mid-show once that his fly was unzipped.

The TV industry and his job fascinate me and when we are not struggling to find time to be together, it has proved to be a very fun way to experience life.

On the days we spend together we focus on making the most of it and living it to the fullest and yes, sometimes that means lying on the couch all day and ordering in pizza. If that’s not experiencing life I don’t know what is.

Jared and I like to look on the brighter side of life and purposefully focus on all of the positive that surrounds us. This blog will focus on the time we spend together (traveling, eating, cooking, exploring our home of Nashville and beyond), and about the TV world, as well as the aesthetic industry that is my passion and my career in cosmetic surgery. 

Let’s face it, life is for the living and we are blessed to be living it. 

The “married to the weatherman” journey began on the evening of October 4, 2015. To see a little bit of what that day was like, I’ve included our wedding trailer below.

I hope you enjoy!