Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bath & Body Works find

I'm probably loving a $5 item way more than I should, but that doesn't stop me from being super excited about my little find at the Bath & Body Works semi-annual sale.
It's a soap sleeve! A cheap, pretty way to dress up your soap dispenser. I thought this was neat as I typically use Bath & Body Works soap and sanitizers anyway and now I can make them look a bit snazzier. Bonus points for being chrome and matching the accessories and fixtures I already have in my bathroom :)

Tasty Tuesday-Potato & Popcorn Soup

This morning I had a not-so-pleasant dentist appointment that left me temporarily unable to chew solid food, so how about a nice soup recipe since that's what I had for dinner? I realize this isn't exactly a soup most of you would typically make, but sometimes plain ol' soup gets boring and an unexpected ingredient (yes we're using popcorn!) can give it that little something extra it needs to look and taste interesting.

You'll need:
1 ounce butter
1 onion chopped very fine
3 shallots chopped very fine
1 pint chicken stock
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 pound smoothly mashed potatoes
4 tablespoons white wine
2 cups popped popcorn
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and shallots and stirring often cook for about 3 minutes until they are soft but not browned. Stir in the stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Gradually stir in the potatoes and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the wine and let simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Put the soup into bowls and garnish with popcorn. For a different taste experiment with popcorn seasonings. Kernel Season's brand has a sour cream and onion seasoning as well as a garlic seasoning that I find work well with the taste of the potato.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Curse you, Pottery Barn!

Thanks to a recent Pottery Barn catalog being mistakenly placed in my mailbox, I've now got it in my head that I have to be the proud owner of the following items:

These candle holders would look great in my coastal-inspired guest bath.

This mirror is simplistically awesome. I think it would be pretty on my mantel!

I don't even know where I would put this chandelier but that doesn't stop me from wanting it!

Pillows this stylish would really freshen up our outdoor space.

Apothecary jars are awesome. These taller ones are extra great!

Anyone else have anything they're drooling over at the moment?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tasty Tuesday-Cornbread chicken pot pie

This is my special version of chicken pot pie that's a tried and true favorite with my husband. It brings a bit more southern taste into a traditional chicken and dough staple!

You'll need:
1 can Campbell's condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can whole kernel corn
2 cups canned chicken
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
3/4 cup of milk
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Stir the soup, corn, chicken, and veggies in a 9-inch pie plate. Stir the muffin mix, milk and egg with a fork in a small separate bowl until mixed well then spoon over the chicken mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until cornbread is golden. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do good with a click!

If you want a quick fix for your daily dose of feel-good, it can be as simple as clicking a button. The Greater Good Network has a few different click-to-donate sites to appeal to anyone's particular charity interests so I wanted to share the news with anyone who would be interested. Sponsors pay for the donations based on page hits, so it requires no money out of your own pocket and also only takes seconds of your time! I've included links to a few of my favorites below, but there are a whole host of other ways you can help from getting books to children who are learning to read to providing food for the hungry. Just click one of the links below to be directed to a page with all the different opportunities to give and pick your favorite. You can even set the website as your homepage so you remember to click every day! Easiest way ever to make a difference :)

The Animal Rescue Site

The Breast Cancer Site

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tasty Tuesday-Cheesy Smashed Cauliflower

The hubs and I recently dined at a local upscale southern restaurant that served this side dish. I loved it so much I asked for the recipe...and they happily obliged! So now I'm passing this delicious recipe on to you. Vegetables are great on their own, but they're even better mixed with cheese as you will soon taste.

You'll need:

1 head of cauliflower

2 oz. cream cheese

3/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon pureed oven-roasted garlic (I just used garlic powder)

1 teaspoon unsalted butter (softened)

A dash of salt and pepper to taste

Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes until tender. Place the cauliflower in a bowl and mash with a potato masher or a mixer whisk. In another bowl, combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, garlic, salt and pepper, and butter. Pour the hot mashed cauliflower on top of the mixture and stir using a large spoon until cheeses are thoroughly melted. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 13, 2011

So I guess I'm a FlyBaby

I recently picked up a self-help-type organization book at a yard sale titled "Sink Reflections" by Marla Cilley (aka the FlyLady). It was published back in 2002 and apparently has a cult following in the online world, so I know I'm way behind in just now getting around to reading it. The writing style isn't great by any means, and there's a lot of "fluff" you have to read through to get to the actual important material, but I'd be lying if I said my house wasn't cleaner and more enjoyable because of this book. I've always been a perfectionist and that applies to doing household chores as well. I like things a certain way and I like to finish what I start or else it gives me a feeling of anxiousness. Well with working crazy hours at my full-time job and being busy with newly started side jobs I've discovered I don't have time to finish much of anything lately, especially when it comes to housework. So with that mindset of not wanting to start something until I could finish it fully, I ended up in a rut of not working on anything because I didn't have the time to complete a task to my liking. I found myself putting things off for a day when I'd have more time to focus my efforts on all the chores that needed to get done, but with a busy schedule like mine that day never came! I just ended up finding myself overwhelmed with how much stuff had accumulated on my to-do list and then I had no idea where to start. Cue the FlyLady. I learned from this book to let go of my urge to wait for the right timing so I could do everything perfectly and instead just work on doing something in whatever short amount of time I have, because even the tiniest bit of progress still gets me a step closer to having a beautiful, de-cluttered home. I'll now be carrying this way of thinking over to my remodeling and redecorating so that slowly but surely I'll have some more pictures to show off here of my completed projects. And that's good news for all of us!

For any of you who are struggling with balancing work and family time and housekeeping as well, I highly recommend checking out this book. Don't expect literary genius, but do expect some tips that can really help to get a good routine in place.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tasty Thursday??

I'll be the first to admit I have been a horrible blogger lately. Life got a little hectic! We had company up this past week and I've also been working long hours in a co-worker's absence, so I missed posting my usual Tasty Tuesday recipe. Luckily for you all though, Thursdays happen to be just as tasty! In honor of my busy week, I'm posting a recipe for broccoli salad. It's a super quick and easy to prepare side dish that goes great with pretty much any meal.

You'll need:
4 cups broccoli florets
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups Italian dressing
Half of a red onion-chopped
10 strips of cooked bacon crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white sugar

Mix sugar, mayonnaise, and Italian dressing in a small bowl. Pour over broccoli florets and toss lightly. Top with cheese, onion, and bacon crumbles.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yay awards!

A big thank you to Coley over at whatyoumakeit-coley.blogspot.com for honoring me with the Versatile Blogger Award :) Very exciting stuff! Her blog is fabulous and you should all definitely check it out. There's some great DIY stuff to be seen over there! Thanks again, Coley!

For these awards, the blogger must:
*Thank the person who gave the award and link back to their site

*Tell seven things about themselves

*Pass the award along to five newly discovered bloggers

*Contact those bloggers and let them know they've won the award

Soooo without further ado, here are seven things that you all don't know about me!

1. I'm an adrenaline junkie. I love bungee jumping, zorbing, zip lining, and traveling across the US to ride new rollercoasters. I've currently ridden over 80 and have plans to add to that list this summer.

2. I love to dance. I attended a dance school for 9 years and dabbled in jazz, hip-hop, tap, and burlesque. I also cheered for 8 years and so I now use those combined experiences to choreograph competition routines at the high school level. I had two teams place first this past February!

3. I'm obsessed with chewy Runts; especially the banana-flavored ones. I could eat my weight in those things! I stock up every time I'm at a gas station.

4. My husband and I met in seventh grade when his family relocated from Florida. We were best friends until tenth grade when he wrote me a letter confessing his feelings for me and asked me if I'd be his girlfriend. The rest is history!

5. I type super fast. When I was in college lecture classes I found it much easier to bring my laptop and type the notes the teachers were giving rather than try to write them out by hand. Over time I started picking up speed to the point where I could type as they were talking and still keep up with them. I now type 115 wpm.

6. I have a huge soft spot for animals. I'm a mommy to two rescue dogs and a bunny, and just finished training to be a foster parent to abused and special needs dogs. I'm going to be posting lots of pupper pictures in the upcoming weeks!

7. I'm a recycling nazi. I get on to DH if he doesn't recycle something and I've actually been known to sift through the trash to retrieve plastic bottles and such in order to get them into the proper bin.

Now here's five other blogs I'm passing this award on to that you should also check out:

1) mandeefofandee.blogspot.com

2) prettycitythings.blogspot.com

3) newlywedmcgees.blogspot.com

4) datesandquinces.com

5) goinghometoroost.com

Some of them are repeat winners but oh well! That just means they're really worthy of checking out :)