Monthly Archives: January 2012

Love Notes and a do-over

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Love Ur Guts

Banners are everywhere these days when it comes to decorations. I kinda heart them. I really heart them when they can be made almost cost free. Why buy something when they are so easy to make? And have you ever gotten together with a friend to make something? That is when it really becomes a good time. It becomes a great time when your little boy is calling her not so little¬†man “Papa Smurf” while he is trying to have a somewhat serious phone conversation. ūüôā . Sorry Guy!

I love party planning, my friend loves hoarding¬†stock piling craft materials (I’ve nick named her JoAnne ūüôā ) So between the two of us and our supplies this project came together easy.

A Little Game Plan

My banner was inspired by Mandi at Vintage Revival.¬†For those of you that are interested, Mandi is currently asking for people to post on her blog about who they have a blog crush on. I would have posted on there myself that she was my blog crush but someone else already had and I didn’t want to seem creepy redundant. If you talk to Mandi, ask her to help me out. I showed my husband the banner I made and he didn’t understand why you would love someone’s guts. I tried to explain it but his eyes glazed over and I knew it was pointless to go further. Sigh.

Enough with my rambling. We first made a templet on how big we wanted each piece to be for the banner and then we cut them all out. After that we painted on our letters with some fabric paint.

AH!! I NEED A manicure!!!

After my letters dried (sorta) I added a little glue to my hearts for the glitter.

I heart GLITTER

My friend’s heart appeared a little sad and deflated. So she double layered it with a bold patter.

Bam!

Here is my friend’s finished product.

Love U Most

The phrase on her’s really resembles her personality.

Do you like banners? Have you made any for any parties or holidays? I’m thinking for the 4th or something I’d like to do a cake size one. They are too cute!

Did you notice the white side table/dresser jobby¬†mine was hanging from? Did you scroll back up to look?? ūüôā That was another re-do! I purchased that off of craigslist¬† for about 30-40 bucks. I forget exactly how much I paid for it but I will NEVER forget the pulled¬†muscles I had the next morning. That jobby was in these people’s basement. The wife was pregnant so she couldn’t help move it so it was up to me and her husband. I pulled muscles I didn’t know I had. I’m talking ankle muscles even! At this time I would like to thank that family for not killing me as I was in a stranger’s basement. I know, not super wise but if it makes you feel better I did can a law enforcement pal and gave him the address and told him if I didn’t call in 15 minutes to come looking for me.

So here is a picture of the before for my little jobby.

I'm having a real bad hair day!

Honestly she is one of those pieces that actually take better pictures than they really look in real life. Don’t be fooled, she was ugly.

And here is another picture of the after sans banner in the way.

I'm lovely!

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Pumpkin Pie Smooshed a “Toaster Pastry”

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And a star was¬†born. First I’d like you to meet the leading ladies.

Grandma Hoerner's Apple Pie Filling and Lotus Biscoff Spread

I was very specific about the name of these products because it is soooo¬†important. NO really it is, this is not an exaggeration.¬†If I had an Oprah¬†audience, everyone would find these two little gems under their chair. Unfortunately, I don’t have that¬†kind of clout.¬†¬†I found the apple pie filling at TJ Maxx. Yes, TJ Maxx¬†strikes again¬†with another beloved product that I will never be able to find more of!! If you find it will you send me some?? Will you ask Grandma Hoerner¬†to send me some??¬†My friend and I taste tested these products before hand (gotta make sure it is safe!!). It was a bit of Heaven on Earth. We both said at the same time it would be fantastic warmed and served over ice cream (who needs the whole pie, just gemme¬†your guts!). You can feel good about the pie product too. Simple ingredients with the first being APPLES followed by other¬†legible¬†ingredients.

The Biscoff spread was new to me until this weekend. From this day forward it will be a staple in my house. I breathe a heavy sigh of relief because this can be found in my local grocery store! Its taste? Think graham crackers dunked in milk. Delicious. In fact these two products would be fantastic TOGETHER. Toast, check. Ice cream, double check. So what are you waiting for? Go find them!!

Need more convincing? How about another good way to use them? Enter….Mini Pie-Poptarts??? Tell me what you think they should be called. I call them lovelies.

LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Hello Darlin

I am so good!

These are sooooo easy to make. I already gave you the primary necessities. Extraordinary pie filling and Biscoff spread! The other main player, pie crust. Wanna be uber perfect, make your pie crust from scratch. Wanna be a mom with two little kids, a job and lots of other things she is juggling at the moment? Go for refrigerated pie crusts. I also used either Nutella or white chocolate to drizzle/dip the finished hearts in. For both just heat till they are melty before drizzling/dipping.

So for now, I’m going to talk to you in a way that assumes you bought your pie crust. If you made your own, my instructions are probably unnecessary.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unroll crust and use a cookie cutter to cut out little hearts.

Dollop a bit of spread into the center of one heart and leave room around edge to seal up. Top with another heart. Seal by pressing a fork around the edges.

Bake hearts for 8-10 minutes. Drizzle or dip away.

I even look good naked!

And dressed!

As simples as these are to make, why not give them a try this Valentine’s Day??

Let me know if you do!

Warm me up buttercup!

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As the weather gets cold outside, (off and on if you live near me!) I’ve started planning some cold weather meals. First up,¬†Chipotle Chicken Chili!! This recipe was supposed to be something completely different (and someone elses recipe), but I didn’t have a bunch of the ingredients and instead had a bunch that wasn’t on this list. So this new recipe was born.

I'm So Zesty

Here is what you’ll need:

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups fat-free chicken broth

2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo sauce (more if you like the HEAT)

15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups frozen corn

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup of marinara sauce

4.5 oz tomato paste

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and pepper

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces

scallions, shredded four cheese mexican cheese and sour cream for toppings (optional)

First warm oil in large pot. Add chicken and salt and pepper chicken. Saute chicken until no longer pink and lightly browned. Add in garlic and onions, cook until onions become soft and translucent.

Add in all other ingredients expect for those used for toppings. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes.

Simmer!

Finish off with a few toppings and dig in!

I hope this warms you up on a cold night!!

On another note, I got my first chicken picture from my dear friend Zoya.

Where is Waldo?

I got a kick out of it!

Cinnamon, Spice and Everything Nice

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Have you ever been given something to try and it really just isn’t your thing? I had one of those today! My friend gave me a packet of apple cider.

The Share

Aside from coffee creamer (and wine), I really try to avoid beverages with empty calories. But today I figured out a great way to use this packet!

The Suspect

CIDER OATS! Don’t you love my measuring cup man?

The cider packet was a 1 cup serving. So I threw it in a pan with a cup of water and boiled. Then I threw in my half cup of oats and voila!!

Breakfast is Served!

I added a sprinkle of sliced raw almonds, dried cranberries and cinnamon. The oats were so good! Tons of flavor and 100% of your daily need for Vitamin C!

Guess who was hoping to snake a bite??

Don’t let those eyes fool you, she knows exactly what she is doing.

Since I shared with you my son’s dresser makeover yesterday, I thought today I would show you my daughters. Her dresser I found at a thrift store for $12.00.

Kinda sad right??

Mama’s got a new pair of shoes!! Or at least a pretty good paint job.

My wild side...

Who says furniture has to be boring!

Hope you have a happy Wednesday!!

A Little Face Lift

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First things first:

Hello Ladies!

Are they not adorable? Only $10.00 at my local oversized dollar general type store. They had silver, pink, royal blue and gold. TOOOOO perfect for Valentine’s Day and Easter! If you’re feeling crafty you could make them yourself. See Kate Sew, has a super easy step by step tutorial which can be seen here.

I’ve rambled so much about in the moment stuff lately, that I haven’t had a chance to share with you some of the face lifts I’ve put on a few pieces of beat up furniture.

This particular piece was an auction piece. I think my huz paid $7.50.

Before

She may not be pretty on the outside, but she is strong and sturdy on the inside. All of the drawers even roll well. After several coats of paint and some new hardware, say hello to my son’s new dresser!

After!

Gorgeous huh?!!

I’d also like to share¬†with you a new recipe!¬†The basis for my idea was this Oven Fried Chicken¬†from skinnytaste.com. I actually made this recipe a few weeks ago. Although I enjoyed it a million percent, I’m not always feeling chicken drumsticks. I blame it on those years I was a vegetarian (bones still gross me out just a tiny bit).

So instead…I opted for boneless skinless¬†chicken breasts.¬† The breading¬†on these reminded me of the breading¬†on the chicken¬†parmesan at¬†Olive Garden, so I¬†thought why not? Also, although some times I do chicken parm¬†with panko¬†or traditional breading, I just like the way the bran flakes¬†seems to seal in the¬†juice of the meat.

Ingredients

2 ridiculously large boneless skinless breasts or 4 average breasts.

3 cups of Bran Flakes

favorite seasonings, I used 1/2 tsp of paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano

light mayo (or whatever you normally use is ok)

sweet & spicy mustard, I used Woeber’s but if you just want to use what is on hand use any kind of Dijon or similar mustard. If you don’t want a little kick to your chicken,¬†you could omit completely

sliced provolone cheese

marinara sauce (pizza sauce would work too)

Chicken Parm and Sautéed Kale with Bacon

Preheat oven to 400.

Crush cereal (either in a plastic bag or with a food processor) mix in all dry seasonings. Pour mix into a shallow bowl, set aside.

Mix mustard and mayo. I used roughly 1 tbsp mustard and 4 tbsp light mayo, coat chicken with mayo mix. Then, coat chicken in cereal mix. Spray top of breaded chicken with cooking spray (I used my Misto). To cook chicken, I put it on a sprayed rack so that they cook crispy on both sides.

Bake for 20-30 minutes depending the size of¬†your chicken (check it with a meat thermometer¬†if you’re not sure if yours is done or not!)¬† Coat top of chicken with marinara sauce and cover with a slice of cheese, bake for roughly 5 more minutes.

Let me know what you think!

Secret Lovers?

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I want to ask you, can you fall in love? With a grocery store? Apparently, I can, but more about that later!

So how was your weekend? Mine was grrrrrreat! I would like to share the whole weekend with you, but sadly I think we would both be here all day! It was extraordinarily busy with lots of fun exciting events so I’ll try to hit the highlights.

Saturday, I work up to my four-year old making me bacon and eggs.

Order Up!

But have no fear, they were cooked Play-Doh style! The morning was nice and relaxing. Perfect way to start the day because that afternoon the huz¬†and I were headed out of town that evening to celebrate some of our friends’ birthdays. You’ll have¬†to forgive me for some of my not so stellar pictures that were taken with my not so stellar phone!

As far as dinner goes, I planned to take pictures but I got so busy chatting away and eating that I completely forgot! It was pretty good and we were all fairly stuffed but the real excitement was after dinner.  Our next stop was to see a comedy show!

Paul Mecurio!

For those of you that are not familiar with the name Paul Mercurio, amongst all of his other talents, Paul is a writer for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I looked myself at Paul’s bio and apparently he has a few potetial tv shows coming out, one that¬†is based on his real life.¬†Warning: If you plan on attending one of his comedy¬†shows, be prepared to shoot your drink out of your nose. Or if peeing when laughing is your thing, that could happen too! Double Warning: Do not wear “moon boots” because he will terrorize you the entire evening. I’m glad I’m not the girl I’m referring to in that comment.

After the show, the night was still young so we headed out to a bar/grill to socialize and dance. I did a Deena and danced my hair off.

Shake That!

If any of you watch Jersey Shore, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you don’t watch Jersey Shore, please note that this is not me saying I did anything inappropriate. Just danced!!

After the show, we hung out at a bar/grill that had this game in it.

“Lobster Zone”

Sorry random dude for taking a picture of the back of your head! So apparently¬†for $2.00 you could try to catch your own lobster that the grill would then cook up for you. Do you want to give me a high-five¬†or a thumbs down when I tell you I cheered every time people didn’t catch their lobster??

So about this grocery store love. The next morning we stopped here before heading back home.

Trader Joe's!!!

Mr. Joe, I heart you! If we can’t be lovers can we at least be neighbors??!! Pretty please? Although I didn’t need anything we had to drop by. The people working there were so friendly, the snacks looked so yummy and I couldn’t leave without at least a small purchase.

Garlic and Herb Dough

With a few things out of the fridge,

dinner was perfect-o!!

Pizza Please!

Every year I attend a local Taste of Home cooking show. This might be a well duh comment but it was one I never put much thought into. The chef said that when making pizza, you should always cook fresh ingredients (think veggies)  at least to some extent before putting on toppings and baking your pizza.

I’ve also been working on a few Valentine’s Day projects. I look forward to sharing them with you soon!!

Baby It’s Cold Out!

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Today¬†I woke up to a definite change¬†in temperature. Chilly!! So you can only imagine my disappointment when I realized we¬†were out of coffee creamer ūüė¶

But the short-term loss was a long-term gain! Look what I found at the grocery store!

York Peppermint Patty Creamer!!

International Delights, it is like you have a window into my heart. That or you’ve been checking out my candy drawer. I heart peppermint patties and to have them in the morning is something to look forward to when I’m¬†crawling out of bed! I’m not sure if this is “new” or just new to me. I was at a store that I typically don’t shop at when I discovered this little golden nugget.

Dinner last night was no big deal but something I wanted to share. Have you ever seen this?

Spaa Foods

Although it is a boxed meal, it is a boxed meal with fairly few ingredients, which is a plus.

This is made for adding mix-ins such as meats, veggies or tofu. I added half a bag of frozen veggies and chicken, and there was plenty¬†of sauce for everything. I’m sharing a big old picture of it as if it is a wanted sign. I found this at TJ Maxx of all places. I’ve never seen it at my grocery store. If you come across it, let me know. If you do¬†find it and want to try it out for yourself, be forewarned, it says it is “mild” however I found myself sucking in air and guzzling several glasses of water when I ate it. With that said, it is still pretty good.

Now that the weather is changing, there are a few other things I wanted to share with you. I took pictures of my chicken coop in process today. I’m not sure exactly when we will be getting chickens but I believe we will get them in the next few months. Chickens are a brand new thing for me so I felt they fit into my blog about trying new things. Here is the start to the run.

And here is what we are going to convert into a coop.

Chicken Coop??

But that is a play house right? Well that was¬†what it was intended for, but we had it all last year and my kids used it mmmaaaayyybbee five times. That might be a liberal number. I actually think they will be more interested in it when there are chickens living inside. Oh, and when I say¬†I want chickens I’m not talking about these….

Average Chicken

I’m talking about these!

Hello Luvly

Don’t hate! You¬†know as bizarre as they are, deep down you want to smile.¬†People¬†ask me why I would want chickens. My first answer is that you¬†should crack open a grocery store egg next to one that is farm fresh. You should have a pretty good answer right there. The second is that one of my favorite ladies made them so cool.

Ah Tori!

My friend says she “scares her” but I seriously heart her! I hope to get a couple of these Silkies¬†but I probably will have some average chickens too. I’ll be sure to update you when we get chicks. I wanted to get you these pictures now because once the snow really starts coming down, I avoid the outdoors unless it is for sled riding.

I also wanted to give you an idea on how to help with the winter blues. I can’t take full credit for this project. I had some inspiration. First it was when I opened my January 2012 Better Homes and Garden and saw this…

BHG Terrarium

Followed by this little cutie, I pinned her to my Pinterest. You can get the step by step from Erin Ever After by clicking here.

Erin Ever After

My Terrariums

Stay warm!