Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Life Changing

I am all about time-savers. I love them.  I have been making a list of my top favorites for you all because I want you to be as efficient as me.  (Ha!!!!!)

Menu Planning

Can someone PLEASE tell me why I haven’t done this before???  I cannot begin to tell you how much easier my evening life is with a plan. I will say, though, there is a bit of effort that has to be made on the weekends, but the pay-off during the week is worth it. My favorite planning site is elefantitas alegres. She posts pics, reviews and recipes each Sunday.

This is tomato and sausage risotto. Seriously, all homemade. I couldn’t believe it myself.

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Also, I am super into making caprese salads right now.  I make a big batch and keep it in the fridge all week.  I use roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, then just put in Italian dressing made from a cruet, Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar, mix it all together and eat on it all week. You will love!

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Windows Live Writer

I am kicking myself for not having downloaded this earlier.  It is sooooo much easier than using Blogger’s platform. I love that I am able to just insert the picture and not have to go through some annoying dance to make sure they are all uploaded in the right order, and I can finally type before uploading the photos.  Also, loving the fact that when I insert a link it opens in a new window so that you don’t have to hit the back button to come back. 

Overdrive

I am a big book on tape person.  I usually spend a great deal of time ordering my books from the library, picking them up, forgetting to return them, etc.  Well, everyone, the local library has audio and electronic books that you can download to your iphone/ipad.  A time saving miracle!

To download from your phone, go to the iTunes app store and download Overdrive.  From there you can download the books straight to your phone with your library card.

There is a larger selection for those of you in Tulsa with a library card, go to www.tulsalibrary.org. You will have to download the Overdrive software to your computer, then find your book and download it to your computer. Once downloaded, you can transfer it to your iPhone.

Right now I am listening to these two books:

This one is about meeting someone and just “clicking” and the psychology behind it. I read another book by these authors called “Sway,” which was about your influence over others. I love understanding people.

And because I cannot be too serious, I downloaded:

I haven’t started this one yet. So no reviews.

Foil Lined Pans

I think I have written about this before, but my favorite time saver is lining all of my pans with foil before I bake.  If nothing touches the side, I just pull the foil off and it saves me from washing the pan.  (I hope that isn’t gross. I promise if anything gets dirty, I wash it.)

My Keurig

I never knew that a coffee pot could be such a time saver. I love it! It heats your coffee up so quickly, there is no clean up and you are out the door in minutes without dealing with the mess.

I would LOVE your ideas on time-savers. I am all about them!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekly Faves–Monday will have to do

I am pretty sure a few weeks ago I posted these adorable cupcake liners. (I am way too lazy to go look for the post.) But I completely fell in love with this clever use of them with cake balls on swanky::chic::fete.



I don’t have a picture to go along with this, but my friend Sarah that went to Haiti over Spring Break had a really awesome post about how one person can make a difference. She was struggling with how she could make an impact in such a short time and was given some perspective. I loved her insight. Read it here.


The flower arrangement below is what caught my eye, but I just really loved this idea board (there are a few more with this theme) featured on Spearmint Baby. If you have a rainbow/bright color theme, check out her full post.



Over the past year I have had the opportunity to get to know several bloggers from the area. One just had a baby and I fell in love with her inspiration board:



She posted her final product (and her photos of her brand-new adorable baby) and it is just fabulous. Go check out Katie’s blog at Modern-Day Family. You will love it!


Another local blogger that I actually knew in high school, but have gotten the opportunity to get to know her better this past year, posted about organ donation this week. Organ donation has touched my life personally as my father-in-law is a heart transplant recipient and my uncle made a very selfless gift to my dad as he was undergoing treatment of leukemia to be his bone marrow donor. Read this great piece at Dissecting Jane. (For more on signing up to be a bone marrow donor, you can register at Marrow.org. Funny story, I signed up to became a bone marrow donor shortly after my dad passed away and was certain that I would get a call within days….just so you know, I am still waiting. Ha!)


I had a lot of favorites from local bloggers. This week Megan from In this Wonderful Life posted this amazing Peanut Butter Toffee recipe. While I haven’t tried it yet, I am pretty much dying to make it.



Okay. I think that is it for the week! Tomorrow I am going to post some of my new favorite time savers!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter!

Good Friday News!

An anonymous donor has bought Irwin’s insurance policy!  Of course, there are still a few more hurdles (such as caging him when she goes to the nursing homes and hospitals), but Christie will likely get to keep Irwin!

You can read the full story on the Tulsa World. And thanks to Ashley for delivering the good news to me first thing this morning! What a great way to wake up!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Something to make you cry & something to make you laugh

Okay, so it won’t be that depressing, but I am really, really bothered by a local issue that has gained national attention.  So I thought I would share it with you and ask you to send a quick note to Broken Arrow’s City Councilors it bothers you as much as it does me.

This is Christie Carr. I have never met her before, so this is completely unsolicited. Her story has just touched me and I want to help. 

I will condense the story for you.  Christie has a kangaroo.  As a baby it was injured at an animal sanctuary where it ran into a fence and was brain damaged and partially paralyzed. Because of the incident, the kangaroo can only hop about 3 feet before falling and is expected to get no larger than 50 pounds.

Christie helped nurse the kangaroo, Irwin, back to health and along the way it helped her get over her depression.  She cares for the kangaroo much like a baby and brings him to the nursing  home where it brings many of the patients much joy as well as the joy that it brings Christie.  (Please read the full story, click here.)

Under Broken Arrow’s exotic animal ordinance she has to either give the kangaroo up (which it would potentially be put under) or buy a $50,000 liability insurance policy.  My heart just breaks for her. I know how important my pets are to me and would just be devastated if they were to be taken from me when they have about the same likelihood of injuring someone as Irwin. I do understand the purpose of the ordinance, however, I think in this situation, it needs to be looked at from a different perspective. 

I know a Bixby councilor and asked what I could do to help.  He said the best way to make a difference is to reach out to the council members and let them know your stance. The more people they hear from the more pressure the better. I have emailed the city councilors in BA and asked them to reconsider their ruling. If you feel as passionate as I do (I may or may not have shed a tear for this poor woman), feel free to copy and paste my email:

rcarter@brokenarrowok.gov

cthurmond@brokenarrowok.gov

mlester@brokenarrowok.gov

jnorman@brokenarrowok.gov

Dear Councilman,

I would like to write you on behalf of Christie Carr and her plight to keep her kangaroo Irwin at home.  While I certainly understand your concern for the public and the precedent this will set, I would like to ask you to please make an exemption for her situation. 

Due to the circumstances of the animal, the joy that it brings Christie and so many others, and the low risk of injury to the public, I ask you to please vote for an exception to her circumstance at your next council meeting.

I appreciate you hearing my thoughts and thank you for your service to the community.

Sincerely,

Your name

____

On a lighter note. Remember when I told you I met Trisha Yearwood this week?

Um, yeah. Well, I forgot to mention I completely embarrassed myself. A long time ago, probably 1993 or 1994 she had a song called “She’s in Love with the Boy.” It starts out with Katie and Tommy at the drive-in movies parked in the very last row… If you don’t remember, you can listen here.

So when I meet Trisha, I honestly said “My name is Katie…and my husband is Tommy.” Blank stares. (He wasn’t there.) Crickets chirping. I don’t think it ever clicked. Then I completely panicked that she didn’t sing the song. Instead I am just the “crazy” person who introduced myself and my husband who wasn’t present.  Hmmm…that story might have been funnier in person.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Very Exciting Life

That may or may not have been written with my sarcastic font. In addition, if you follow me on Twitter, some of this may be a repeat.


First, let’s talk food. I have been cooking like crazy this week. Well, I take that back. I cooked all day Sunday so that I could just reheat food throughout the week because last week tears might have been because I didn’t know what I wanted to cook, was too lazy to cook and then when I decided what to cook I didn’t have the ingredients on hand. Sigh.


My first recipe was for Cider Glazed Chicken which I came across on the blog elefantitas alegres via Cooking Light. (This one I didn’t bake and freeze.) The flavors were really good, but for some reason mine didn’t have so much of a glaze. From the pictures on both the blog and the website it appears that I needed to have a sauce to pour over. I am guessing mine evaporated. There was nothing. I think with that this meal would have gotten an “A.” I would give my version a “C.” I did make a ceasar salad (from a bag – a girl can only do so much), which was totally rocking an “A” rating.


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Dessert that evening was pretty darn good.


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I have been pretty obsessed with chocolate covered strawberries lately. I just buy this in the baking aisle, heat it up in the microwave and dip.



Last night I had a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity (where I totally rubbed elbows with Trisha Yearwood and talked to her for a full five minutes), so Tommy and I just went out for dessert.

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I hadn’t been to Freshberry in awhile, so I was surprised to see the cupcakes! They were pretty darn good. I did some research and Freshberry has now started offering Small Cakes Cupcakes. I got the Birthday Cake Cupcake. It definitely would get an “A” rating, which is saying a lot…I am one hard cupcake lover to please.


On Sunday my sister came over and we did some of our make and freezing together and we made these Enchilada’s that Lindsey blogged about. Tommy and I both liked them and I loved that they hit most of the major food groups: protein, vegetable and carbohydrates. Basically, the lazy man’s way of cooking – no sides!


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Now I am just getting to random photos, but I had to show you guys my azaleas. Have you ever seen any prettier? And I have to give a shout out to my hostas – they look pretty amazing, too.


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Lastly, today I dropped by Channel 2’s studios and I think I may be giving their anchors a run for their money. What do you think?


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I think I look like a natural! Ha!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Faves–Round 2

This is my first blog post using Windows Live Writer. I hope it is as life changing as promised. I will be happy to just get a line break when I hit enter. 

So back to my weekly faves. I just thought this snack featured on Maddycakes Muse via Family Fun Magazine was just beyond clever. In the pot is hummus and carrots. Adorable!

For those of you who are LOVING Wills and Kate’s upcoming nuptials, you will be royally impressed (like how I worked “royally” in there?) with these cupcakes featured on Cupcakes Take the Cake.

via Love to Cake

via Rhubarb & Rose

Or for those of you who would like to DIY your own cupcakes, Meri Meri has these adorable cupcake toppers. (I have seen this brand sold at Williams Sonoma – not sure if they carry these, though.)

I obviously have dessert on the brain. (Shocking.) So for those of you who are dessert lovers like myself, will love this post on Gourmet Garbage from Luv 2 Luxuriate.

 

Also from Cupcakes Take the Cake are these adorable owl cake toppers from Glam Sweets. Aren’t they cute???

Lastly, you have to check out the adorable Peeps party featured on Celebrations at Home. For Peeps lovers, you will be so inspired!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You may die of cuteness

So click this link only if you dare. Here is just a tiny peek:

Could little Finley be any cuter???  Addie, you did such a great job with her pics!!!

Weekly Faves

I actually had so many favorites this week that I am going to split this post up into two. (This may or may not be a way to strech to find content since there is NOTHING exciting going on in my life as noted by yesterday's post.) I love a creative presentation for any kind of invitation. Twig and Thistle featured these absolutely adorable Save the Dates yesterday. Um, hello a match book for a perfect match. Brilliant. Landee See, Landee Do has the most adorable free printable. Wouldn't this be cute an easter party? The next two images were featured on Elements of Style Blog. I am absolutely in love with this bedroom. I wish I had the guts to do something this eclectic in my home. The colors and patterns are the "me" I wish I was. This photo is from her sponsor, The Bold, The Bright and The Beautiful. Also by the designer above is this abstract watercolor. There is something about it that reminds me of my cousin's childhood bedroom. I love the colors. You guys know I love a cupcake. I thought these featured on Cupcakes Take the Cake via The Sweet Adventurs of Sugar Belle were even better because they also feature my other favorite dessert - cookies! For those of you with kids, I thought this VERY easy craft was so cute from eighteen25. More tomorrow!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Breakfast on the Go

I have been keeping a secret from my husband. I finally fessed up this week. I only harbored this secret because I didn't want him to hoard what has now become my favorite breakfast. (I was secretly letting him eat the granola bars, breakfast bars and the Emerald brand Breakfast on the Go Berry Medley.)

I finally confessed. (It was quite dramatic, too. You guys would have totally loved it. I told him I had been keeping a secret from him. And I really didn't want to tell him. There might have been a small moment of panic on his side. Then I went on to tell him about my new find. Obviously, we have way too much time on our hands. To set the stage - this is all while watching Storage Wars - great show AND there is a marathon this weekend for those of you have not watched this tv greatness yet. We clearly lead a VERY exciting life.)

This is hands-down the best breakfast on the go that ever existed:

Run, don't walk to the store, you will thank me. Assuming you like nuts, dried apples and yogurt raisins. Otherwise, don't bother. The berry medley is good, but not comparable.

And I happened to find a $1 off coupon. Just click here. Once you buy it and love it as much as me, we can start a fan club. Then maybe Emerald will notice me and pay me for this raving endorsement.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shopping Spree

This weekend I did a little shopping, so I thought I would share my finds. I have been eyeing this dress from the Limited since it came out a few months ago. The original price was a little steep for a dress I will probably only wear three or so times this season (I feel like with dresses you can't put them in your weekly rotation like pants, which I totally rewear over and over and over again - is this just me???), but I had some Limited virtual dollars so I was sold. And with a new dress, a girl's got to get new shoes. I am really not that big of a shoe person (gasp!), but I was head over heels (pun totally intended) with these from Kohl's. Aren't they cute? I got the tan color, but I couldn't copy that picture. I have to say the quality isn't that fabulous (many in the store had imperfections), but I couldn't pass them up. On Saturday, my mother-in-law and I went to a craft fair. I picked up a few cute things including these homemade gift card holders that a friend of hers sells.
One of the sellers has an etsy shop (Tweet Baby Designs) and I picked up this necklace (don't you LOVE????)
and this pacifier clip as a gift. I have no idea who I will give it to...luckily I have no less than 18 friends who are pregnant right now.
Lastly, I did lots of planting (I had to shop for the plants, so I think that falls under a shopping post). This plant in the center is actually one that I put in my garage and it went dormant for the winter. I just put it out Saturday and it is already starting to get its leaves. (This picture was taken Saturday, hence the picture that looks like two sticks in a pot. Ooooh, maybe I will do a progress post later. I am sure everyone would be waiting on pins and needles for that one.)
I did this little number for my front porch.
Let me know any other fun finds/good deals I am missing out on. Clearly, I have a problem. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend Faves

First, aren't you guys loving my new blog look??? Thanks so much, Lindsey! I feel like such a grown up! This week's weekly faves are still party focused. I think the world might be telling me something. Today the Girl with the Curlz posted this adorable duct tape from Fortis Designs. It's about time duct tape went girly. I absolutely love this one-year birthday invitation featured on Hip, Hip Hooray! The invitation and photography was done by Sugar Paper. You should check out the envelopes. So creative! You guys MUST check out the adorable props from Paper and Cake that she designed especially for the Royal Wedding. I would totally have a watch party myself, but I haven't seen 5 a.m. since college.
I love custom and handmade cards. I NEVER do them myself, but I am all about buying some premade. However, these featured on Party Perfect look easy enough to do and not terribly time consuming. (via Martha Stewart)

Lastly, for you party lovers, you must check out the shower my friend Addie hosted yesterday. She is so talented and her photos are amazing!
 
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