Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nothing a little hot glue can’t fix

I had a lovely Fall wreath, but did you know that if you keep a wreath in your attic over the summer all of the little balls cute balls will pop and all that you will be left with is styrofoam?  Well, now you do.

Case in point.

Needless to say, I was in the market for a new wreath.  My mom ran across this one at a local garden store:

I liked. Price tag – $75. Yeah, not so much.

So we decided to make a knock off ourselves.

We took the form from above and cut off all the branches.  (We also moved this project from inside to outside.)

Then started adding leaves that I got at Michael’s (two packs) for $7.50.

Definitely my most professional looking picture to date below. (Written with my sarcastic font.)

The final product:

Not an exact knock-off, but not bad for $7.50!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finley’s birthday

My sister threw the cutest Elmo and Sesame Street birthday party for Finley this weekend. It is hard to believe she is already two!! 

Prepare yourself for cuteness!

My sister had these cute signs at all of the “stations” for the party. 

The sweets table:

Isn’t the fruit tray so creative??

The Frosted Bowl did the cookies and cake. They are both so cute!

My sister had a bounce house for all of the kids as a station:

A cookie decorating station:

A friend of my sister’s dad made this little cut out for the kids. You probably recognize Cate from Living our Own Fairy Tale. :)

Some pics of the birthday girl!

Back in business!

Three sinks later we are up and running! We had it fixed by Surfaces in Bixby. They were quick, awesome and affordable. They did the granite at my old house too.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Monday

So I am trying harder to make meals that are pretty healthy.  I typically do, but I mainly looked up weight watchers/cooking light recipes this week.

So on the menu we have:

Sunday:

Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini and a side salad

Recipe: Skinny Taste

Monday:

Open faced chicken burgers on the grill with zucchini, squash, onions on the grill

Burger recipes: Skinny Kitchen

Tuesday:

Ground Chicken Tacos with corn

Recipe: All Recipes

Wednesday:

Skinnified Chicken Pad Thai

Recipe: Skinny Kitchen

Thursday:

Girls’ Night! Tommy is on his own for this one!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly Faves

My favorites for this week are a random mix. Imagine that. Enjoy!

I loved this photo shoot featured on Little Sooti of a Willy Wonka inspired wedding.  Seriously, how fun would that wedding be?  I wish my bouquet had candy in it.  It would have married (pun totally intended) everything that I love – sweets and flowers!

I am loving this free thank you note download featured on Jones Design Co.  I am always in need of thank you notes…I am also in need of a home printer, but that is neither here nor there.

I love me some pumpkin…except pumpkin pie. I am kind of just meh on that.  Is that weird? Pencil Shavings featured this recipe for pumpkin bread that she says is the best recipe ever. I am so on this.

A Busy Nest posted this really creative no-bake cookie for kids.  It is made of nilla wafers, peppermint patties, fruit roll ups and more.  Get the “recipe” here.

Also, to those of you that have the comment form embedded in your post (rather than a pop-up), I apologize if I am not commenting.  I can from my phone, but not from my computer.  So odd. Super frustrating!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A step up

I am still mourning the loss of my sink. It is driving me CRAZY to not have it up and working.  I am hoping Tommy’s parent’s neighbor (who is a plumber) can help.  Otherwise, I am sure I will be met with a huge hassle…and a huge bill.  Sigh. I was only trying to get toned!

Anyway, moving on to my real post.  Tomorrow is Finley’s 2nd birthday and today my sister had the most adorable party for her.  (Pics soon.) But I had to share the adorable gift I got her:

Isn’t it the cutest?  My friend Betsy makes them. You can see all the crafty things she does here. She made this one for my nephew’s second birthday, too. 

Finley was so funny when she saw it for the first time. I picked up the stool on Thursday and thought it was so cute that I had to go show my mom.  She was babysitting Finley and I didn’t think Finley would have any interest.  She saw it and immediately took it out of my hands and brought it with her everywhere she went to sit on.  I tried to take it home so that I could wrap it up since my sister hadn’t seen it yet (and, really, the only person who would really care about the cuteness when it was opened was my sister).  But Finley refused to let me leave with it.  Allison had to hide it and wrap it for her to open at the party today.  So sweet!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sinking feeling

Note to my dear readers, while lifting weights it's never a good idea to put said weights on your counter while you walk away. FAIL.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Monday

I would say this would be a weekly feature, but let’s be honest – I don’t really have it all that together.  However, I went shopping yesterday armed with a list and a menu, so I thought I would share.

Oh, and none of these are original. I am really good at starring my favorites.

Sunday Evening – Last night we had Tommy’s parents over for dinner. I made Spicy Chicken Quiche and a salad.  People who loved it – 3. People who didn’t – 1 (Tommy’s dad).

Recipe: Elefantita’s Alegres

I made this before, actually.  You can read about it here and here. Seriously, freaking awesome.

Monday Night (Tonight) – Chicken meatballs with spaghetti and mushrooms. I do have to tell you that I make amazing mushrooms.  I buy baby portabellas, sautĂ© them in butter and garlic, add a bit of garlic salt and white wine – delish.

Tuesday Night – Orange Chicken with brown rice and broccoli.  Oh my gosh, you guys, this recipe is soooo good and soooo easy.  It tastes like Pei Wei’s or PF Changs’ Orange Chicken – only like a 100 times healthier.

I also have to tell you – I make some pretty good broccoli too.  I buy frozen, put it in a microwave safe container, add Brummel & Brown butter (if you guys haven’t tried it- you must- you will thank me), and garlic salt. I heat for about 4.5 minutes and it is perfect.

Recipe and photo: Iowa Girl Eats

Wednesday Night – Nacho Enchilada Casserole.  This is actually a new recipe for me. I have loved everything I have made from the Iowa Girl Eats site so far, so I am guessing this one will be a hit. I will keep you posted.

Recipe and photo: Iowa Girl Eats (Are you sensing a theme here?

Thursday – Chicken Parmesan with Orzo pasta and cauliflower.  This is a new recipe for me as well, but the ingredients look good.  Also, I have made Megan’s cauliflower before and it was so amazing that Tommy asked for it back as more than a regular. (Photo below of my first attempt. Yum.)

Chicken Recipe: MyRecipes.com

Cauliflower Recipe: Sugar and Spice…Cooking in this wonderful life

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I am always on the hunt for new cooking blogs/sites. Let me know your favorites! Bon Appetit!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekly Faves

I had lots of faves this week.  Let’s see if we get through them!

This week on Swanky::Chic::Fete she did a post on clever Halloween costumes. Isn’t this one from Teresa Jacinto Design adorable? I mean seriously, what handbag loving mother (or toddler) wouldn’t want this?

Sheek Shindigs had these really, really cute free printables offered by Delightful Distractions.  She has a whole collection that you can use as place cards or little gift tags!

You guys have read all about my Birchbox, right?  Well, this week the Hollywood Housewife posted on Citrus Lane.  It is similar to the birchbox concept in that you can purchase a subscription and a box of goods are sent to you or a friend – only this box is full of baby items. Read more about it here.  It would make such a great gift!

Since birds still seem to be all the rage, I saw this cute idea on the Bride’s CafĂ© about to make these bird cage lanterns.  These would be so cute as a centerpiece at a baby shower!

Okay, you guys MUST go to Living Locurto and see the creative vegetable trays she has featured for Fall.  Loving this one! And how easy would it be?!

More soon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Birchbox Month 2

So this month’s birchbox was just meh.  (See last month’s here.)  My friend Kelsey called me with the news yesterday, but I didn’t get my box until today. I was hoping for a better fate.

Here is what all was included:

I do have to give them credit – they do pretty packaging.

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This was kind of cool. It is nail polish that you just press onto your fingers and then use a nail file to file off the excess.  Not really feeling the color, but the concept is cool.

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Also included was a Ferragamo perfume that I actually haven’t smelled yet, a loose powder, a lip plumper and a rose hand cream.  I have to admit, the hand cream smelled pretty amazing.

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I am looking forward to trying the powder.  I currently use Mary Kay and really like it, but am curious to see what this one is like.

I am also curious about this lip plumper.  I’ll review tomorrow!

Now, I must go watch Project Runway.  Carry on :).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dinner & Faves

Tonight for dinner for reason I was dying for Rachael Ray’s Buffalo Chicken Chili. So much so that Tommy is out for the evening. I am home alone, but I still made it.  Actually, scratch that, I am waiting for it to simmer for 8-10 minutes, so this will be quick.  I think it is the slight chill (ha – it is 73 degrees) in the air.

I made this last year and it was enough for dinner for that evening for several of us and I was able to freeze it and reheat it for another full meal later. 

I was going to insert a picture here, but I’ll be honest, they all were pretty unappetizing looking. So take my word for it -if you like spicy chili, you will like this.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds all-white meat ground chicken breast
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 5 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (you can substitute with chipotles or chipotle chili powder)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (if you have a big can of tomatoes, don't go to the store to get the sauce, it's fine. Just use what you have)
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 7-ounce bag yellow corn chips
  • 1 7-ounce bag blue corn chips
  • 3/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled, recommended type Maytag Blue
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (a couple of handfuls)

Yields: 4 servings


Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F or broiler to medium
Place a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, and the butter. Once the butter has melted and the pot is hot, add the ground chicken. Brown it, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up in to small pieces, about 5-6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together.
While the chili is simmering, spread the yellow and blue corn chips out on a cookie sheet. Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, about 4-5 minutes. If using the broiler, 2-3 minutes should do the trick. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Top each serving of buffalo chicken chili with a few blue cheese-topped corn chips.


So now for my faves from last week.

Loving this moss letter tutorial featured on Crafty Southern Mama

My next faves are cupcake related (imagine that) all featured on Cupcakes Take the Cake.

Do you not LOVE these onesies???  I mean, they are cupcakes AND onesies. Presh. From Etsy Shop Yummy Wear Diaper Cakes.

Utter cuteness – cake pops that look like miniature ice cream bars from Pop Bakery

As you all know, I LOVE a double entendre.  These cupcakes are a “sweet tooth.” Ha!!! From Erica Sweet Tooth a baking dental student.

For those of you who love the onesie stickers, Tip Junkie offered a free printable on her blog from Parties by Hardie. They come in blue, red, pink and purple. 

Don’t people who come up with some of these crafts just kill you?  How is it possible that someone can see paint chips and think, “that would make a perfect chandelier”? Loving this ombre one from Hey Gorgeous

Side note, I have a funny story about Ombre.  A few weeks ago I was at dinner with Jane, Lindsey and Ashley and I said something about “gradiating colors from light to dark, you know, chambray.”  Kind of like ombre, right?  Luckily, no one laughed at me.  Too hard.

I heart felt flowers. I wish I could make them and wear the in my hair and not look like a 12 year old. Which I totally would.  But I love this this wreath featured on Nest of Posies. I want. (See more wreath ideas at Tatertots and Jello.)

That’s it for last week.  I already have so many fun faves for this one!

 
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