Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Fake-out Take-out: I love to try and find ways to make restaurant food at home. Some of my favorite things to make are my Fake-out Chipotle (see below for recipe) and I also like to make CPK BBQ chicken pizza (I found a great recipe on Pioneer Woman that is a great fake-out for this). I also found some great Girl Scout Cookie fake-outs here Samoas and Thin Mints which I want to try.
-- Bird's Eye Steam Fresh Mexican Corn
-- Minute rice
-- Sour cream
-- A little hot sauce
-- I also make homemade pita chips by cutting up pitas into little triangles, spraying with either spray butter or a little olive oil, sprinkling some sea salt and then baking at 350 for about 7 mins or until slightly brown
Dog Items: I have made dog treats before, and although they were very easy, and the majority of the ingredients I had on hand, they did take a little time. You have to bake them and then let them sit in the oven a couple of hours to cool down and harden. My Grandmother gave me some fun dog bone shaped cookie cutters, so they turned out to be very cute though and my pup loved them. I need to make some more and give them away as gifts.
I also like to make my pup bandannas out of fun fabric (especially for the holidays) and my Mom likes to make her dogs’ toys. She takes strips of fleece fabric, and braids them and then ties the ends in knots. My pup doesn't really like them because she would prefer to tear the stuffing out of toys, but if your dog loves to play tug-of-war like my parent's dogs do, then your pup will love them!
If anyone has any great Fake-out food tips please share! I love getting new recipes. Also, check out Leslie’s blog for even more tips.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
My mom finally allowed me to take the bed with me once I had a bigger place (with an extra bedroom) and when she finally decided to turn my bedroom at home into an office. I was excited to have the bed because, well it was my childhood bed, and I always wanted to have my daughter grow up with this bed. It currently is in my guest bedroom and is great because it has a trundle bed under it, so you can sleep 2 people in my guest room.
I painted my guest room a blue/purple color, and sewed the curtains from a fun fabric I found at JoAnns. I would like to make some fun pillows, but of course that is on my long list of things I am hoping to accomplish =)
I hope everyone is having a great Pink Saturday. Please visit Beverly's blog for more information on Pink Saturday.
And the Pink Saturday participant blog that I visited this week is Le Chateau des fleurs. I love all of her little parties she throws for her 3 kids, especially the Alice in Wonderland party.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I am not really afraid of actually flying. I admit that every time we took off it made me a little nervous. I mean with the engines roaring and the plane shaking at take-off due to the high-speeds, I think probably many people are a little nervous. But after the plane was in the air, I was totally fine.
What really gets me stressed out is getting to the airport, checking in, getting through security and then hoping you get through all of that and don't miss your flight! There are so many rules you need to follow, I was very grateful I made it through security without having any issues. The last time I flew, I was one of the random people pulled aside and they had to search through all of my stuff (not fun when you have to empty your purse out in front of everyone!).
And then, I wish someone would have told me you had to get to LAX like 4 hours before your flight! Not really that long, but we got there an hour and a half before our flight, and thankfully one of my traveling partners has a Skymiles card, which allowed us to go through the first class lines, or else I would have totally missed my flight. The line to check bags was out the door! I have no idea how long it would have taken to get through that line, and then the long line for security seemed to be just as bad.
Anyway, I really like that you can get across the country in a matter of hours, but wish flying was a little easier and not as stressful. I do have to hand it to those people who travel for work all the time. I am sure you get used to all the prep involved in flying after a while, but I sure am glad that I don’t have to worry about getting up at 3 pm in the morning all the time just to catch a flight for work!
Anyone else have a fear, or get stressed about flying? My boyfriend thinks I am a little nuts, but hey, I admit I can be a little nuts! =)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
It was really fun to see how they actually shoot for a video (it takes forever though!) and I am really excited to see how everything turns out. The production company we used was so cool though. They actually have shot videos for artists on MTV! I had never heard of the bands, but still I thought that was cool.
We actually stayed in Pasadena at The Westin, which was awesome! It was within walking distance of this really cute shopping plaza with some awesome restaurants.
We didn't get to do much sight-seeing, since this was for business, but we did get to eat at some awesome restaurants.
The first day we went to the Yard House. This was a great all american type restaurant that is known for having the world's largest selection of draft beer. I am not a very big beer drinker, but it was a fun restaurant.
I had the (MAC + CHEESE)2 which was a mac n cheese with chicken, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar and parmesan with campanelle pasta and white truffle oil. It also comes with mushrooms, but I had them leave those out. This was A-MAZ-ING! But it was very rich, and I actually couldn't eat the whole thing. Not to worry though, my 2 traveling buddies help me finish it up, so nothing went to waste!
Then later that night we went to ix-tapa which is a mexian restaurant. They had the most amazing margaritas. They were soooo good! They also had some amazing chips, salsa and guac. I pretty much filled up on the chips and guac, but I did have some of the chicken soft tacos.
This was one of the very tastey margaritas. We had a couple of pitchers of these!
Then on Tuesday night, we went to McCormick and Schmicks. We actually have one of these here in Columbus, but we were starving by the end of the video shoot, and we just wanted a nice steak dinner. We all enjoyed a bottle of Brancott, Marlborough, NZ Sauvignon Blanc, which I really ejoyed, and then I had the Signature Crab Shrimp Cake and 6 oz Filet, and it was soo yummy! We of course then had dessert and were all a little stuff (or VERY stuffed) by the end.
I then headed on back yesterday and it was a full day of travel. We left LAX at 10:15 PST (1:15 EST) and didn't get back into Columbus until 9:25 EST. I am so glad to be home, but I did have a great time and can't wait to go back to CA for fun next time!
All images from Google
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Limited and Ann Taylor Loft. I also sometimes go into the Gap, but haven’t been there in a while. I don’t really like big department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom because I feel like they are too big, but I have been known to shop there every once in a while (especially for shoes!!). I really love small boutique type shops. I also love DSW for shoes (and I totally have a problem there).
I love shopping and getting great deals on clothes. I have what they say champaign taste on a beer budget, but I do find ways to find nice clothes without breaking the bank. One thing I try to do is never pay full price. It may take some work, but in the end you can typically get whatever you want, and still have some money left over.
Coupons – Of course, whenever I can I try and use coupons. You can typically get these by signing up on store email and mailing lists. I know at Bath & Body Works every time I go in there they ask for my email address. One time I asked them, why do you keep asking, I am already signed up, and they said that every time you give them your email address, it bumps you up in the system to get even more coupons. Also, if you get coupons in your emails, print multiple copies so you can use them more than once. There is not typically a code that lets you only use them once.
Store Cards – I know many people are against credit cards, and I try not to have too many, or too much of a balance, but for my very favorite stores I’ve signed up for store credit cards. I never carry a balance and pay them off every month, but every time I use them I build up store credits which equal free money. I also pay attention to my statement date and if you play it right, you can actually go about a month and a half before you have to actually make your payment. For instance, some of my statements end around the 7th – 11th of every month. If I go shopping on March 15, I won’t have to pay my bill until the first of May. I try to work it that way so that it makes paying off my bill in full much easier.
Email Lists – I love being on email lists for my favorite stores. Now it can get overwhelming sometimes, so you need to make sure to only sign up for things you like, or you will get a million emails. But some stores are great and will email you when things go on sale. For instance, I love Ann Taylor Loft, and they will email me when certain items are half-off or even more. I got a great sweater one time, reg $49.50 for only $20!! I saw that email and immediately when out to get it.
Stalking – Yes, I admit to stalking sales on certain pieces. I used to do this a lot at Gap. Never pay full price, because it will go on sale at some point in time. I live and work very close to shopping plazas, so this is easy for me. If I find something I truly love, I will go back to the store once a week or so and see if it is on sale. Maybe you will think I am crazy, and I probably am, but I have gotten some great deals that way. You can check online also. Sometimes the sale prices are the same, but not always, so be careful. I have called the store before to confirm if something that was on sale online was on sale in the store, and then I typically have them hold that item for me until I can get out there to get it. A little research never hurts when you are looking for a great deal!
Become Friendly with the Store Associates – The Store Associates can be very helpful. Many times they want to help you out. For instance, at The Limited, they are always very friendly, and are always saying, check this out, it’s on sale. Also, if you ask them, they will help you maximize your coupons to get the best deal. Sometimes if you really click with them, they will let you combine coupons, which is not supposed to be done, but I have gotten away with it a couple of times. They typically want to help (although, yes there are a few who don’t care), but for the most part they do.
If you have any great tips please share. I am always looking for ways to find a great deal. Also, check out Leslie’s blog for even more tips.
Monday, March 22, 2010
We are flying in on Mon (getting to LA at 10 am), the shoot is on Tues, and then flying back on Wed (all day!). I am so excited to be going to LA, but unfortunatly probably will not be able to see much since we will be shooting all day on Tues. I'll try and take some pics though of things I do get to do. Hope everyone has a great Monday!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
View of the golf course in my back yard
Fri night I did a little shopping, and then made BBQ chicken pizza.
It was really easy, just used a premade individual pizza crust and added BBQ sauce, pre-cooked chicken and some mozzarella cheese. It was delicious!
Sat morning started with my favorite breakfast
Cinnamon Crunch bagel from Panera (we had some extra bagels at work on Fri which I snagged and took home with me), and coffee with Coffee Mate Belgian Chocolate Toffee creamer (my absolute favorite).
Then after going to the gym and relaxing for the afternoon (catching up on my DVR’d shows) I had date night with my boyfriend. We went to Champps for diner (and watched a little bit of the Kansas vs North Iowa game), and then headed over to Easton to walk around and look at some of our favorite shops! I am sooo in love with Crate & Barrel, and my boyfriend was so kind to let me get lost in this store!
Then today I got up extra early to get some spring cleaning done, and to complete a few things for work, as well as prepare for my trip to LA tomorrow. I am so excited since this is my first trip to the west coast, but not very excited about my 5:20 am flight. I am actually meeting one of my coworkers at 3:45 am!!! so we can carpool to the airport. I am debating on just not going to bed tonight. Or I am going to have to head to bed around 7 pm tonight. Either way, I am sure I will be exhausted by the end of tomorrow!
Anyway, hope everyone is having a great weekend! I hear some people are getting snow. I am so glad that it is in the high 60’s here, especially after all the snow we had the last 2 months!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Because today is the first day of spring, I can't help but think that sandal season is just around the corner (actually yesterday it was almost 70 degrees and there were people wearing flip flops to work!).
In honor of the upcoming sandal season, I wanted to share some of my favorite pink OPI nail colors (all images from Google):
Grand Central Carnation
Dim Sum Plum (my newest addition)
And for more information on Pink Saturday, please check out Beverly's blog.
Friday, March 19, 2010
This week I found some really fun floral pillows at Home Goods for my living room.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
In this show, Jessica Simpson travels around the globe with her best friend Casey and best friend and hair/makeup stylist Ken Paves to discover with different cultures believe is beautiful.
In this episode, they traveled to Thailand. While there, they shopped in this little market where all the girls shop (both middle and high incomes). In Thailand women are considered beautiful and wealthy if they have very pale skin. Most of them use these creams which lightens their skin. They showed this one woman who's skin had actually burned and she now actually has scars on her face and her arms and hands from using this product.
Women are also considered beautiful if they have long, elegant necks. The crew went to visit this village where the girls wear these gold rings around their necks, which can weigh up to 20 pounds, and the purpose is to help elongate their necks, by pushing down on their shoulders. This kind of disturbed me because these girls start wearing these rings around 5 or 6 years old and they wear them all their lives. Of course it’s not any worse than our girls going through plastic surgery or starving themselves to be skinny.
It’s amazing what women will do for beauty in any culture. I am excited to learn about other cultures and what they think is beautiful. Next week’s episode is in Paris! You should check it out! You can find out more here.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I love decorating, and sometimes I wish I would have gone into decorating as a career. I am not sure though if this post will turn into tips, or just things I like, but I think that either way hopefully it will bring some inspiration to try new things in your home. I am also going to include some pictures of my home so you can see what my style is like.
Inspiration -- I like to look at nature, gardens, food, etc. to find inspiration for colors and textures when I decorate. Sometimes nature can help you pull together a great color pallet for a room because everything just comes together naturally. I also like to find inspiration in magazines (love Martha Stewart Living, BHG and Domino), tv shows (love many HGTV shows such as Design on a Dime and Divine Design), or many decorating websites (there are so many!!)
Neutrals are key -- Especially with major things such as cabinets, flooring, fixtures, etc. I love bold colors (which is my next point), but that doesn't mean that when you sell your home that the next person will love it. Try to keep things that are hard to replace neutral to keep your home value up.
Go bold -- I love bold colors on accent walls (especially for really bold colors), or even the whole room if it is small and the color isn't too crazy. Paint is something that can easily be changed, and isn't too expensive (unless you have a really big room). I also like to add bold colors to pillows, candles, lamps, and other accents.
Chocolate Brown -- Love this color, expecially for furniture when you have kids and dogs! The dark color seems to hide dirt and stains, and if you find a really good texture, it tends to hide the dog hair!
Family photos -- I love to fill my home with family photos. I have a ton of photos of my nieces and nephew, my boyfriend, friends, dog, etc. It just helps to personalize the space, and I'll be honest, they also make me smile, especially when I miss all of them.
Homemade accents -- I am lucky that I have a talented family. My grandfather is great with woodworking and has made a lot of things for my home (see above for DVD cabinet). My mother also one time painted a picture for me (see below). These are great because they are personalized and they remind me of my family.
Sewing -- If you are able to sew, this is great because it will allow you to make things you love, and will also help save you money. I have made pillows, curtains, coasters and table centerpieces to name a few (see below for dining room curtains and above for bedroom curtains).
Above all, go with your gut and whatever you like is what you should do. You should always fill your home with things you love!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Some of my newer items I have purchased are:
I actually purchased those blue earrings (top middle image) at my friend's party Sat night, and can't wait to get them, hopefully sometime next week.
Some of the items on my wish list are:
I totally want that flower ring in the middle at the top! I am actually going to host another party in June, so I am hoping that I can fulfill these wish list items, and many more, at my party. Check out their website for even more fun jewelry.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I first hit Crate & Barrel and told my boyfriend that I wanted to move into that store. They have amazing things, and everywhere I looked, I found things that I just wanted to take home with me. I actually bought a few things to add some fun spring color to my kitchen.
I went to a wedding shower last weekend, and feel in love with this platter. I collect platters, and like to display them on my kitchen counter. I switch them up depending on the holiday/season. I also picked up this fun kitchen towel and a really cute butterfly cookie cutter. Not only do I love to make cut-out cookies, but butterflies are my FAVORITE! And of course, since it was hot pink, I knew I just had to pick it up. The candle (Island Nectar) I actually picked up at Bath & Body Works last weekend, and it smells awesome!
I also picked up this fun flower pot (at Crate & Barrel) for the little palm tree that I received at the wedding shower last weekend. They gave away really cute gift bags with sea themed cookie cutters, a Cheryl & Co iced sugar cookie and this little palm tree. I also ordered this fun citrus stand from Crate & Barrel's website for only $12.95! What a steal and it really helped to brighten up my kitchen!
I also hit up Ann Taylor Loft for their 30% off sale. I picked up this cardigan
And 2 of these t-shirts (one in lime green and one in light pink) to wear under the cardigan. I have some really cute jewelry that I am going to wear to help dress it up!
I then ended my evening by attending a Lia Sophia jewelry party at one of my friend's houses. I love Lia Sophia jewelry, and have a ton of it. I keep meaning to do a post about my favorite pieces, so maybe I'll have to do that soon.
Today I spent the day cleaning and decorating, catching up on my shows, and even went to the gym for a little bit. Overall it was a great weekend, but it really did go by way to fast. Hope everyone had a great weekend as well!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Love this hot pink shirt, and all the ruffles.
Love this pink scarf, as well as the flowers on this cardigan.
Hope everyone has a great Pink Saturday, and check out Beverly's blog for more information on Pink Saturday.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
This is all the good stuff that I received. I got the following:
-- Qtica nail growth stimulator
-- OPI Jewel of India (I immediatly painted my nails with this!)
-- OPI Ink (a fun sparkly purple)
-- OPI All-A-Bordeaux the Sled (what a fun name!)
-- OPI Feet Nail Recovery (totally need!)
-- OPI Rapid Dry Top Coat
-- Soft Touch Glas-Sheen Nail Buffer
And the package that I sent looked like this:
And here are all the goodies:
The nail polish is the OPI Hong Kong collection, which is totally fun. If I remember correctly, I think this little kit included Suzie Says Feng Shui (blue), Dim Sum Plum (purple) and Red My Fortune Cookie (red). I totally want to go back and get this for myself! I can't seem to buy anything for someone else without wanting to get it for myself =)
I also found a cute basket at Pier 1, and some other fun manicure stuff there as well. I really hope she enjoyed everything! I had a fun time putting it all together.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
So the other day I was at the gym reading a magazine (the only way to work out!) and I came across a recipe for some cookies that were supposed to be "healthier" that most cookies. It was in an ad for AllWhites, which are 100% liquid egg whites, and I thought, hmmm...seems interesting, let's give it a try.
Now these are considered ice box cookies so you have to roll them up into a log, and then freeze them for 3 hours before you can bake them. It's great because I only cut off a few cookies at one time and bake only what I intend to eat. It keeps you from eating ALL of them!
They do look a little weird, and I am not sure if it is because they are frozen (which are really hard to cut, especially if you don't have very good knives like I do) or if it is the wheat flour, but they were pretty tastey.
They do have a strong taste of cinnamon and sugar, which I don't mind. And the sweetness of the dried apples and the tartness of the dried cranberries is a great combination. My boyfriend, who loves cookies as much as I do, even thought they weren't that bad. Of course his response was...it's a cookie and a cookie is a cookie.
The only caveat, they state you can get 36 cookies out of this recipe. Those must be very small cookies because I made mine into what I thought were med sized cookies, and I only got about 20 cookies. So I am thinking if you are counting calories and fat, assume the nutrition facts below are for 1 cookie!
Apple Cranberry Icebox CookiesIngredients:
-- 1/4 cup 50/50 Butter Blend, softened
-- 2/3 cup sugar
-- 1 teaspoon vanilla
-- 1/4 cup (2 oz.) AllWhites
-- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
-- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-- 1/8 teaspoon salt
-- 1/3 cup dried apples, finely chopped
-- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Beat in AllWhites®. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Beat until well mixed. Stir in apples and cranberries. On waxed paper, shape dough into about a 10-inch log. Wrap tightly in paper; freeze at least 3 hours or until firm. Heat oven to 350°F. With sharp knife cut log into 36 (1/4-inch) slices. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are a light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet immediately; cool completely on wire rack.
Serving: 2 cookies
Fat: 2 g
Carbs: 17 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 10 g
Protein: 2 g
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I am a huge fun of keeping things in bins, buckets, containers, etc. And I have them EVERYWHERE (in closets, under sinks, in drawers, on shelfs). All of my drawers are divided up by some type of container. Now of course you can get some pretty nice (and equally expensive) ones at the Container Store, but I use those cheap tupperware containers that you can get at Walmart. I find small ones in different shapes and sizes and place them side by side in my drawers to keep them from getting out of control.
This is actually one of my kitchen drawers, and it pretty much stays this way...no I didn't clean it up before I took this picture =) The little containers help keep everything in place so it doesn't get all stirred around.
Here is my jewelry drawer. These are actually boxes that I got my Lia Sophia jewelry in (I just realized this shows how bad my obsession with Lia Sophia jewelry is!) Anyway, this helps keep everything visible so I know what I have, and keeps it from getting tangled.
Keeping with the bins, this is my laundry area, and I have some plastic kitchen bins, and some cloth bins (which I got at Walmart for really cheap) to store odds and ends. I pretty much know what goes in each bin, so it helps keep things organized, but allows you to just toss stuff in a bin. I have bins for cleaning supplies, dog food, misc. laundry items, a dog bin, and a bin for one of my friend's personal/beauty items who comes and stays with me often.
Books: I read a TON of books, so I started a spreadsheet of all of the books I have read. This helps me keep from reading books I have already read, and it's nice to look back at books that I have previously read. I have actually emailed my spreadsheet to friends who are looking for recommendations. I also keep a list of books I would like to read so that when I am reserving things from the library I know what books I want to read.
Magazines: I don't have a ton of room to store books and magazines (which is why I tend to rent books from the library), so in order to save space, I have started binders for ideas I have found in magazines. I am starting tabs for beauty tips, fitness tips, and home ideas. This allows me to keep the ideas I like, and then I just recycle the rest of the magazine.
Mail/Bills: As for bills, I have started getting paperless statements through my email, which helps cut down on mail! If you go to Mycheckfree.com you can actually get an email reminder to pay your bill. With one click, you can log-on and pay your utility bills, and even some car/loan payments. All other mail items I immediatly go through and recycle all the junk mail. I have a little basket that I keep everything else in, and once a month I go through the basket and throw away anything I don't need, and deal with all the rest.
Shoes: I actually keep all of my shoes in their original shoe boxes, and stack them on the top shelf in my closet. I actually have a ton of shoes, and had to start a 2nd closet -- but my boyfriend doesn't know that yet =) This helps keep them organized, but also keeps them clean and from getting dinged.