Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raspberry Woods...

You MUST check this guy out - his work is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and so B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!  I've had the great privilege of knowing Tom since I was a kid.
Now my little sis is married his oldest son (so we're kinda like family...)
If you are around Van Wert Ohio - this weekend you'll want to check out Artrageous - stop by Tom's booth and check out this gorgeous stuff in person!! Raspberry Wood Pottery Studio!
Above Tom in the studio
 I am in love with this next one.. 
I may have to talk the husband into an 'just because I love you gift'
 I love the next glaze - so PRETTY!
Make sure you check out Tom's website for a full bio (he also has great drawings!!)
& If you are an animal lover - check out Raspberry Woods Poodles

I love to visit Raspberry Woods just to check out 
the pottery and play with the dogs!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Munchies

We had a super fun cookout yesterday with some of our favorite old friends and some new ones too!!  Lots of yummies to share with you!

3 Cheese Mac & Cheese with Panko Bread Crumbs
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound white Cheddar, shredded
  • 4 ounces Romano, shredded
  • 4 ounces Asiago, shredded
  • 2 cups Panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In large pot filled with water add 3 pinches of salt and the macaroni and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms. Add cold milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved. Cook sauce on medium-low heat until thick and bubbly. Add heavy cream, all cheeses, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally.
  4. In a separate pan melt 2 tablespoons butter and then mix in panko bread crumbs until the butter is thoroughly absorbed.
  5. Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and mix thoroughly. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 by 9 baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. For extra crispy topping, place under broiler after baking until bread crumbs turn golden brown. Recommended. 
Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake
(I didn't make this - my wonderful friend Kim brought it &  it was the talk of the party!)
 

Ingredients


1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
8   OREO Cookies, chopped (about 1 cup)
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches

Instructions 

POUR fudge topping into medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup COOL WHIP. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. Stir in chopped cookies.
ARRANGE 4 ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long sheet of foil; top with half the COOL WHIP mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining sandwiches. Frost top and sides with remaining COOL WHIP. Bring up foil sides; double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet.
FREEZE 4 hours or until firm. 

 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I ♥ SHOES!

I really love shoes!  Did you see the movie 'In her shoes'?  I love her comment that 'shoes always fit!'  Even when you're feeling blah, shoes always brighten up a day.  I especially love shoes since I'm not so tall so a pair of heels keeps my pants/jeans from dragging on the floor.
Here are my latest finds!
Originally $64.99, right now on sale $12.99
(I used a code and scored them for only $10.39 & Free shipping)
originally $79.99, right now on sale for $15.99. 
(I used a code and scored them for $12.79 & Free shipping)

Do you love a deal?  
When I need a code for free shipping and/or a discount I always check Deal Finding Chik first.  She was the first Blog I ever followed and I've ended up with lots of FREEBIES after linking up to her suggestions, plus saved lots online with codes too!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Here she is... the Side Table

So the weather finally got warm enough I could spend time painting outdoors.  I swear I primed this lil' gal about 4 weeks ago and then its rained and rained and rained and rained sum mo....
Here was her debut on Thrift Store Rock Star - she came from Goodwill for $5.99
She had tons of potential!  It's crazy awesome what a little black does for a gal!
I could have left the drawer pulls bronze but thought it would be really cute with painted pulls!
Now I've been looking for a side table for years to replace a tall shelf (which was our very first furniture purchase after we got married).
Checkout the after
I am just amazed at how much different the room looks now!  Its so much more warm and inviting and strangely looks larger?! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday...Tank Top Refashion Time!

Hey friends!!
Were you wondering if I'd ever do a REAL WIWW again?
The past two weeks I kinda cheated...
I was definitely busy so there were a lot of days where I just looked like yuck & wouldn't dream of showing you what that looks like...but I also feel so weird about taking pics of myself & posting them.
Nevertheless, WIWW sure motivates me to do something with myself!

LEFT:
Tank- JCP
Skirt- Thrifted
Sandals- Ocean Minded -favorites!
CENTER:
Top: VonMaur
(purchased for honeymoon 6yrs ago!)
Flower Pin - Pretty Pink Posie
Capris - not sure
Sandals - not sure
RIGHT:
Top: Kohl's
Bracelet: Jersey Bracelet...
(yep, the 1 from the glue burn incident!)
Shorts: JCP
Sandals: Wal Mart

And Last...
Tank: Old Navy
but I refashioned it a bit
Shorts: Aeropostal
Sandals: Ocean Minded
(although I love my tank & the shorts are super comfy, I think I look like I'm going camping or playing corn-hole in the boonies...well, we may not play corn hole much but at least I got the boonies part right...)

Okay...so here are a couple close-ups of the lil' refashion

BEFORE    &     AFTER

 The strap that I cut off/replaced had gotten a bleach spot on it but I didn't want to just trash the tank...even though it is a cheap-o tank from Old Navy. I had this ribbon on hand & really wanted to try something new with it! So this became my 1st clothing refashion experience!



 First, I cut the "strap" off.
Second , I gathered the fabric in both places where I cut - to fit my ribbon's width. 
Then, I stitched the very long ribbon on to the tank to create a strap.
Next, I cut the ribbon in the middle & tied it in a bow.
Lastly, I hand stitched the bow in place so it wouldn't come undone.
That's it!

 
I'm linking up at The Pleated Poppy today :)
Gone on, check it out!
the pleated poppy blog

Update:
I'm linking this transformation up to Toile Good's Tank Transformation Party!

Another Perfect Recipe

Tonight's Dinner was so good I just had to share!!  I love to cook at home, so much so I'm usually disappointed when we eat out because I feel like I could have done it better...

Baked Fish
1/4 c milk
1 t salt
mix together in dish large enough to dip fish into.

1/2 c Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 c Parmesan Cheese
1 t Garlic Powder
1/2 t dried parsley flakes
mix together in a second dish large enough to dip fish into

2lbs fish of your choice (I used Tilapia today).  First dip the fish in the milk mixture and then into the bread crumb mixture.  Place fish in a 9x13 greased glass baking dish.  Bake 375 for 25-30 min.

NOTES: 
-I had to use 2 dished to bake all the fish.  
-I sprinkled the extra bread crumb mixture of the top of it all 

I served it up with rice & veggies - my kids liked it so much even the picky one asked for seconds!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tasty Tuesday!!

Here it is - the OMGoodness Gracious YUMMO Recipe I made this weekend.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake.
3 c fresh rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 c fresh strawberries
1 C sugar
1/3 c cornstarch
-Cook the strawberries and rhubarb for about 5 minutes.
-Combine the sweetener of your choice with the cornstarch and add to fruit. Cook until bubbly and thick (thickens really quickly once it all gets warm). 
-Set aside to cool

3 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon

1 c butter
1 c buttermilk (I always substitute with almost a cup of Sour Cream and top it off with milk)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Beat wet ingredients together and add to flour mix, stirring just to moisten. Spread half the batter in a greased 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Spread the cooled rhubarb filling over this and spoon the remaining batter in small portions on top of the filling.

Honestly I think you could do this as muffins instead of a 'cake' and it would be really yummy and an easy brunch treat! I would also half the batter ingredients next time too just since it grew so BIG in the pan and crumbled over the sides. 

Make a topping by combining
3/4 c sugar, 1 cup flour, cut in 1/4 cup butter and then add 1/4 cup flaked coconut
Sprinkle over the coffee cake batter, bake at 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.
We ate this warm and it was oh my yummy nummy wow!  This would be really good with some fresh whipped cream or if you like Ice Cream I bet that would be good too!

I Need A Break...

Everywhere I look there's something that needs done. It's gotten so bad around here that I don't know where to start.  There are piles of dirty laundry on my kitchen floor, a sink/counter full of dishes that need washed. My fridge needs a good bath - inside & out, the contents of our only closet downstairs are in my dining room after being kicked out for a tornado warning last night. My poor children need haircuts so bad and baths too - just from walking around on our dirty floors. I'm embarrassed. When I look at my chore/to-do list I feel sick & don't know where to begin. Have you ever had that happen? It seems like a lifestyle for me...not one that I embrace either. I hate it. Matter of fact it makes me grouchy.
I'm leaving on Friday...getting the heck outta here...I've got a ticket to Florida with my name on it (well, kinda...it's an e-ticket..)! I am SO excited to go! I'm going with my mother-in-law & my two sister-in-laws...no kids, no hubbies....YAY! I'll be gone for five days and my suitcase is pretty much packed. I'm just a little anxious for a break...can you tell?
As excited as I am, I have other emotions tugging on my heart. I sobbed to my husband earlier today about how awful I felt for feeling this way towards my life as a stay-at-home mom. It's so overwhelming right now with all that I'm juggling...What's that? You want a list? Good, because I feel the need to make one...
Pre-school-home schooling Caleb
Potty training Keston
...and dealing with all his 2 year old antics (like streaking EVERY time we go outside to play),
Weaning my (teething) baby...not easy...
& protecting him from his bully brother (guess who)
& protecting him from our house that never seems to be as baby proof as I thought it was.
And of course there's all the regular duties that every family has to deal with ALL AT THE SAME TIME...like meals, swim lessons, laundry, bills, yard work, cleaning up and just BEING a family.
I love my children. I love my husband. I love being the one to teach & nurture my children at home every day and I wouldn't trade our life for anything...but I need a break from it.  But WHY do I feel guilty for wanting/ needing a break? 
Yes, in my guilty state I have not only packed my luggage a week in advance, but I have also frozen several meals for my family, arranged for Andy to have a sitter 1 night while I'm gone, wrapped daily surprises for my children, stashed some new library books for C&K, and I plan to have the kids' clothes layed out for Andy too. So you see, I'm not just running off...right? 

And really, I AM going to miss my kids. How will I ever go to the bathroom without my personal assistants there to get my toilet paper for me?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dresser Makeover

We bought this dresser at an auction last fall.  The weather wasn't warm enough to paint it so it sat all winter awaiting its new look.  I'm so excited about the final product!!
 Antique Dresser $27.00 (it's old - dovetailed construction - built to last)
I love details like this!!
Check her out after she got all dolled up!! 
(Just ignore the carpet, its on its way OUT).
 It's so Pretty in Pink!!  
I used Painters Touch x2 Pink Spray Paint to do this dresser
Checkout the top!  
I decoupaged Scrapbook paper tiles to the top.  Then I clear-coated the top to seal it in case something wet would ever get accidentally left on top it won't ruin the paper or wood.

We bought this dresser at an auction last fall.  The weather wasn't warm enough to paint it so it sat all winter awaiting its new look.  I'm so excited about the final product!!
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3ZEcXuQMJfo/TdhXRANXiyI/AAAAAAAAAYQ/Em5SOll_oP4/s320/DSCN0779.JPG
 Antique Dresser $27.00 (it's old - dovetailed construction - built to last)
I love details like this!!
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mv3QTJmvoks/TdhXeOECqVI/AAAAAAAAAYY/7a9UvR9O2L8/s320/DSCN0782.JPG
Check her out after she got all dolled up!!
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_vRtOEH01VE/TdhZ9f1NIGI/AAAAAAAAAYs/VpKLmjtKhmA/s320/DSCN1546.JPG
 It's so Pretty in Pink!!  
I used Painters Touch x2 Pink Spray Paint to do this dresser (side note I will not spray paint furniture again - far too much work and coverage is tough on such a large surface).
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-M6s3O0Ba58I/TdhXlp8oVeI/AAAAAAAAAYc/CrsBoBA9xqQ/s320/DSCN1544.JPG
Checkout the top!  
I decoupaged Scrapbook paper tiles to the top.  Then I clear-coated the top to seal it in case something wet would ever get accidentally left on top it won't ruin the paper or wood.

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