Friday, September 24, 2010

The Lone Star State

I'm hopping on a jet plane tomorrow headed for Houston. My brother and his wife just had a baby so Caroline and I are going to go visit them and meet her newest cousin. I'm excited because I have never been to Texas and word on the street (well, at least the streets in Texas) is that everything there is bigger and better. I guess I'll find out for myself and bring back a full report next week. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monogram Totes

I got my craft on last week (for the first time in a long time!) and made some easy monogram totes. You can find the canvas totes at any craft store. (I got mine at JoAnns.) They come in packs of four and if you use a 40% off coupon, they end up being about $1 per bag. I used Microsoft Word for the letters (the font is Elephant, the size is 550), printed them onto cardstock, cut them out and then traced them to fabric which I had backed with Heat'n Bond ultra. Once the letter is traced to the fabric, cut it out and follow the heat'n bond instructions for ironing it to the bag. Finally, embellish as desired!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken

This recipe (from Cooking Light) is soooo delicious. It's been a personal favorite for quite some time. It is easy for a quick family dinner but sophisticated enough for a dinner party or other special occasion. Try it for yourself-you won't regret it! Find the recipe here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


When it comes to big box stores, I'm definitely a Target kind of gal. (But really, who isn't?) However, since the closest Target is now two hours away from me (sniff, sniff), I've been doing more shopping at Wal-mart. On a visit last weekend, I found some random things I thought were worth sharing.

Black ballet flats. I tried on a pair in the store and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they are. Although they have no arch support, they are made of cloth and have a bit of cushion which helps. Also, they come in a variety of colors including a dark chambray and black with white polka dots. Really, a great little shoe for under ten dollars.

Classic White dishware by Canopy. I have always preferred plain white dishes (they go with everything and I think food looks better without a pattern inferring.) I haven't purchased dishes since Jared and I were married so we are running a little low on bowls and plates. Not all white dishes are created equal, mind you, and not only do these feel nice and sturdy but the design is simple and classic. Love! (The on-line reviews basically confirm that these are the best dishes in the world so if you are in the market for new dishes, look no further!)

Timex Men's Classic Leather watch, $35. Although it is designed for men, I tried it on and there are enough holes in the band that it sizes down to fit my wrist nicely and it doesn't look too bulky. (I do like my watch to be a little on the large side though.) I also like the white stitching on the band. Wal-mart. Who knew?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Purl Soho

Lots if beautiful and inspiring images over at Purl Soho have me craving a sewing project (or a pretty wall display.) I'm especially loving all the bright, funky floral prints in the Tana Lawn Classics line by Liberty of London. Speaking of Liberty of London, don't these little coin purses look delightful?

Monday, September 13, 2010

One Year Older (and wiser too!)

I turned thirty yesterday and ate me some coconut cream pie to celebrate. And just in case you are wondering, thirty is totally the new twenty. Totally.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stripes + Flowers = Perfection

You may have already heard of the on-line shop, EmersonMade. (She makes fun flower accessories and clutches.) I popped into her shop a few weeks ago to delightfully discover that she has expanded her brand into an adorable clothing line. Pieces are pricey but it's worth a look just for the excellent styling. Makes me want to buy some ducks and chickens and chase them around the barnyard wearing cute clothes all day. Check it out here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Wedding/Blessing/Birthday Weekend Part II

Sunday, we blessed Caroline at our church and celebrated Mitchell's 5th birthday! Here are some photos of the fun:

The best picture I could get of the entire family.
After 3 hours of church it's an almost impossible feat.

The birthday boy, who requested spaghetti for dinner.
(He is a picky eater and likes his spaghetti straight - no sauce.)

The spectacular rally car cake, made by Jared.

Cake number two, provided by Mitchell's grandpa (my dad)
You know it's going to be a good year when it starts out with two cakes.
Happy Birthday Mitchell! And happy blessing day Caroline!

The Wedding/Blessing/Birthday Weekend Part I

On Friday we attended a wedding celebration for our nephew Luke and his wife Nyla who were married in the Columbus Ohio Temple the week prior. First, the happy couple:

The weather was perfect for their backyard reception. The boys had fun dancing with their cousins...

and I had fun hanging out by the trifle buffet (yum!) and admiring all the twinkling lights they decorated with. These hanging votives made from baby food jars were my favorite!
Congratulations Luke + Nyla!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Just Ate Way Too Many Cookies

I had a some grated zucchini in my freezer that I wanted to use up so I thought I'd give this recipe a try. Oh me, oh my! These cookies are soft and chewy with a cake-like texture and are really yummy. (Just an FYI: I've made similar recipes that are equally as good flavor wise, but for whatever reason always crumble on the bottom when I take them off the cookie sheets? Anyway, I didn't have that problem with this recipe. Also, I'm thinking grated apple would be a good substitute for the zucchini if you are looking to mix things up!)

Soft Zucchini Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups grated zucchini (I didn't measure and probably only used two cups)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream shortening, sugars and eggs until fluffy; stir in zucchini. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to zucchini mixture. Stir in oatmeal until well blended. Add nuts and chocolate chips or raisins. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until barely golden around the edges. Delicious!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Firm

Two months post baby and it is time to "firm" things up again. Perhaps you are looking to firm things up as well? If so, the above video is hands down the best workout video ever made. Jared's sisters recommended it to me several years ago and although it is really one of the only work out videos I've ever done, it is still really good! Note: it is a bit dated. The people in it are wearing leotards, leg warmers and way too much blush and the music is super lame but it is still the best workout! You can find it on VHS pretty easily on Amazon but I also stumbled across the DVD too. I have another sister-in-law who is an aerobics instructor and she recommends the Get Ripped series by Jari Love. I own a few of her DVDs and it is also good, especially if you like working out with weights like I do. I just wanted to share a few of my favorites but I'm always up for trying something new. Leave me a comment if you have another great recommendation!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cloth Diapers

I am considering taking the plunge into the world of cloth diapers. I realize it is better for the Earth, which is nice and all, but I'm mostly thinking about it because it is better for our wallet- (diapers are expensive)! Although the initial investment seems hefty, over the long haul, we could end up saving a substantial amount of money, especially since we are not done having kids. However, I still haven't decided if the hassle of cloth diapers would be worth the amount saved. I've only done a little research on-line but it looks like many brands, including g diapers and bum genius, are pretty easy to use with a fit that resembles a disposable diaper (no folding or pins required). Cloth diapers have really come a long way because seriously, are those pink ruffley buns not the cutest thing you've ever seen?