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food, food and more food

17 Jan

before pinterest, i would save and save and save and save a thousand different links.  links to workouts, crafts, party ideas, decorating ideas, and recipes.  a lot of recipes.  and honestly i wouldn’t go back to them unless i printed them {which rarely ever happened because we never have ink in our printer.  totally defeats the purpose, i know}.  but now?  because of pinterest?  i quickly and easily and often reference & use/make new recipes.

here are a few things i have recently made:

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{image via annie’s eats via my pinterest food board}

{baked} lemon chicken from annie’s eats.

i am a fan of baked chicken and am always looking for new spices to try on it.  this recipe, though i modified the spices a little, was delicious.  instead of using fresh thyme & fresh rosemary {dan & i are not fans of rosemary}, i used a rustic tuscan seasoning {which i believe has a little rosemary in but whatever…}.  i served it with parmesean mashed potatoes & mixed veggies.  this will definitely be one that is made again and again.

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{image via mom’s who think via my pinterest food board}

chicken pot pie

i’ve always wanted to like chicken pot pie.  i’ve had a bunch of different brands and none of them of have been anything to rave about.  when i saw this picture pop up on pinterest i pinned it with hesitation but i am glad i did.  i had everything for this recipe on hand and made it last week.  it was good.  and so simple to make.  we even had enough filling leftover to make another, smaller pie.  i froze it and will use it at a later date.

these are just two of the newer recipes i’ve tried.  i have a few more lined up for the next few days and into next week.  however, this one?  i am making this recipe this week for lunch.  what’s not to love?  chicken and avocado with a little mayo and lime juice {it’s a no go on the cilantro.  nothankyou}.  so good.

thank you pinterest!  how about you any recipes of note that you’ve recently pinned?


31 Dec

wishing you all a fabulous end to 2011.

cheers to 2012.

{image here via pinterest.  i added my own text}

festive candy trees

18 Dec

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these little candy trees are great.  i love them.  so simple, so cheery & festive.

ben & emilia are getting excited for christmas.  one more week!

ben has school two days this week.  two fun days lie ahead of him.  monday, all of the kindergarten classes get to ride on the polar express and then spend the remainder of the morning sipping hot chocolate & watching the movie…all while wearing their jammies!  tuesday is his holiday party.  the mom’s & i have been busy planning & it is sure to be a great afternoon of crafts, games & snacks!

i have to spend this week finalizing our christmas day menu (a few small details left), wrapping gifts (i haven’t even begun!), and purchasing a few more gifts for some family members as well as ben’s teacher.

it is sure to be a hectic but fun week.  i have no doubt that wednesday, thursday & friday are going to be filled with anticipation for all the festivities of the weekend that i am hoping to squeeze in a craft or two for ben & emilia.  these little candy trees look like they may be a cheap & fun way to start off ben’s christmas break on wednesday!

picture via my holiday pinterest board

last night’s dinner – slow-cooker shredded beef tacos

14 Dec

like many, many, many others i am extremely grateful for pinterest.  i have pinned, purchased, tried and/or made so many amazing things.  i’ve tapped into my crafty side, found some amazing tips & tutorials, and stumbled across so many amazing recipes.

last night, we tried a new recipe found via pinterest.  we made shredded beef tacos – the recipe comes from ali over at gimmesomeoven.  they were a-mazing!  we will not be going to back to the traditional (& easy) taco recipe – ground beef & taco seasoning.  while there was a little bit of work to be done in the beginning, this recipe was done in my crockpot which is an all around win in my book!

clearly i am not a food photographer

i can easily judge a new recipe’s success based on one or both of my  kids.  ben loved these tacos.  he’s 5 so i’m hit or miss on if he eats nothing, anything or everything on his plate.  he quickly chowed down on his taco and then made sure to tell me he wanted the leftovers of these tacos for tonight’s dinner.

here is the recipe from gimmesomeoven:


  • 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef (boneless chuck roast)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (I love spice and used two!)
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Flour tortillas
  • Favorite taco toppings (**ideas below**)


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.

Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer a bit in the skillet), place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side.

Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Leave the pan on the heat, and add in the beef stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomato paste and minced chipotle and whisk into the pan sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.

Add the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the seared beef in the slow cooker.  Pour the pan sauce down over the onions, garlic, and beef.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred with two forks.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the slow cooker, and mix into the shredded beef.

Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.

Some topping ideas include:

  • guacamole or avocado
  • fresh salsa
  • Mexican rice
  • grated cheese
  • fresh lettuce
  • tomato
  • onion
  • cilantro
  • squeeze of lime juice

the only difference in my tacos vs. the recipe posted by ali is that i did not add paprika.  i didn’t add it because i don’t have any!

if you like a little bit of heat and/or spice then i strongly urge you to try these.  i added two chipotle in adobo peppers & the final product was not spicy at all (obviously since my 5 year old gobbled it down!).

try these!  you will never go back to the traditional, easy way to make tacos again!

glowing tree

26 Nov

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image via pinterest via

this picture is all. over. pinterest.  all over.  i am pretty sure everyone i follow and then some have pinned this to their board(s).

i love it.  it’s great.  i had to do it once my tree was up.  and i did.  except mine doesn’t have a one of my little kiddos standing in front.  i knew neither of my kids would stand still {enough} for me to snap this picture using a long exposure.  being 3 and 5 standing still really isn’t in our vocabulary.  whatev.

i think i did a pretty good job.  mine definitely is not as glowy as the one from pinterest but i like my glow!

it was seriously easy.  i recommend doing it.

smile friday // this & that

11 Nov

a few things from our week

i made this yesterday for emilia’s birthday party.  it will be a centerpiece on one of the tables.  it was seriously the easiest little project.  i purchased a bag of 250 dum-dums from target & used all but 12 of them.  and i spray painted our terra cotta pot red as it fits more with our theme.

the lollipop tree is currently sitting onto of our refridgerator & the kids love it.  they keep asking for it to be taken down & put on the table but i know better.  all those lollipops will be taken out if i do!

image via jill dubien at meet the dubiens

next week benjamin’s school is hosting a family feast.  all the families are invited.  we are all required to bring a passing dish.  i haven’t decided what i am bringing yet; however, thanks to the marvel that is pinterest i don’t think i will have a hard time finding or making a decision

image via culture mob

Madame Alexander, Rainbow Brite Cloth Doll, Rainbow Brite Collection, Storyland Collection - 18"

the theme of emilia’s party is rainbow.   our house is going to decorated & filled with lots of color & rainbows.  it will be so fun & add a cheery feeling to cold, dreary november day.  because it’s a rainbow party & she loves all things rainbow, i thought it was only appropriate to get her a rainbow brite doll as one of her gifts.  i think (& hope) she will be very excited to get this doll.  i know i am, it brings back so many memories!

image via amazon

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we experienced our first snow flurries of the season yesterday.  none of it stuck.  while a lot of people are less than thrilled, i am excited.  i love the snow.  i love the feeling of comfort it brings.  i love when we start a fire, hang out as a family, relax, pop open a bottle of wine & watch the snow fall (yes, i’m just this corny).  

this year it seems like ben is a little bit more open about heading out & playing in the snow (really it’s because at school he will have no choice but to play in the snow as they continue to go outside for recess until the temps drop to a cool 10*).  i am hoping he will be 1000% open to going sledding.  he has no idea what he is missing!

image via via my pinterest


it’s friday.  it’s 11.11.11.  ben is off of school today.  we are having a very lazy morning.  everyone slept until almost 9:00 am.  this never happens.  a small miracle really.

not entirely sure what we are going to do today but i’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve.  it will all come down to how quickly i can get everyone moving & out the door!

it’s nice to have benjamin home for the day.  i do miss him during the week.  and it’s a much needed break for him.

last night the school pta hosted a roller skating party.  we went.  i had so much fun.  the same can not be said for benjamin.  emilia wanted to skate, we held off so she hung out around the outskirts of the rink playing arcade games.  it was ben’s first time roller skating.  he was not happy with me or the skating.  he kept getting mad/upset because he couldn’t catch his balance, fell a few times & kids were whizzing past him.  apparently, all of this was my fault.  ::sigh::

we made it through the night.  there were a few tears but i’d like to think everyone had fun.  i kept telling ben that part of learning to skate is falling & getting back up.  i would like to take him again, on a non-skate party night, and try to teach him.  we will see if he allows this happen.  he may be scarred for life.

i channeled my inner-seven year old and had fun.  it has literally been eons since i’ve been roller skating.  of course, growing up i thought i was too cool to skate.  now?  i am not too cool.  it was so fun.  and in all honesty, i didn’t even realize that roller skating rinks were still around!!!

the rest of our weekend should be good.  nothing planned.  i will be putting together & finalizing the menu for emilia’s birthday party.  i need to order/pick up a few more things for her party.  she is so excited.

i am hoping that the majority of our weekend stays relaxed; starting next weekend we, like everyone else, head into a very busy time.  lots of family things, parties, school functions, friends & really just lots of fun!

what are your weekend plan?

smile!  it’s friday!!

wellie here, wellie there

19 Oct

it’s a perfect day for a pair of these…

Pinned Image image via my pinterest board

hunter’s were recently on gilt and i missed out.  so sad.  i am hoping they run another sale on them soon.  i love them but forking over $200 for a pair (red please!) is just not in the budget!

also?  i’d love a pair of these but sadly they’re only sold in the u.k.

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image via via my pinterest board

bits & pieces

18 Oct

we are busy bee’s around here.  lots work for both dan & i, lots of social engagements for dan, ben & myself (em’s time will come) – quite a few parties & weddings coming up, and i’m busy putting together the final touches for ben’s kindergarten halloween party.  oh, also trying to keep up with the house and laundry.

here is what is going through my head…in pictures.  thank you pinterest!  

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crock pot buffalo chicken – it’s what we are having for dinner tomorrow.  i love my crock pot (or slow cooker as some of you may call it)

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pumpkin painting from meg, she posted about them yesterday.  you read meg’s blog, right?  go. do it.  i found a weekend activity for us this weekend!

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i love fiesta ware.  it’s so bright & colorful.  my mom has some (in original green), my grandparents had two colors (the tangerine orange & the original green).  i do not have any fiesta ware.  i want their “tom and jerry” mugs.  i’ve found a few pieces on ebay.  i also like their java mugs (pictured above, top shelf).  we have coffee mugs, but i want an eclectic collection of mugs with an array of styles & colors & fiesta fits the bill.  my favorite colors?  orange, red, green, & yellow.  

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i love this blanket.  we currently have a marta stewart blanket with this same fisherman’s knit pattern.  but this one pictured puts ours to shame.  it looks so warm & comfy.  i can tell you there would definitely be fights over that blanket in this house.  

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i would very much like to sit on this bench, with a cup of coffee and people watch (& get some great pictures of the people walking by)…all on a sunny afternoon.  

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emilia and i were at home goods earlier this afternoon & i saw a pair of these in black.  i almost bought them (emilia was all for them) but i am thinking i want a silver, multicolored or light pink pair.  must look out for some.  

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lollipop/dum-dum center piece.  i am thinking of doing one of these for emilia’s birthday party & all our guests can take some home before leaving.  cute, functional & delicious.

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walt disney world.  we leave in 103 days…not that i’m counting or anything.  we are all so excited for this trip.  it can’t come soon enough.

all so wonderful, delicious, simple & beautiful!

all images, except meg’s pumpkins, via pinterest.

gettin’ my craft on

14 Oct

i’ve said it a thousand times before, but i will say it again, i don’t have much of a crafty bone in my body.  my drawing skills stop at stick people, flowers, hearts & stars.  sure i created a chalk village but let’s be honest that was fairly simple – a few lines with some turns for the roadways and some large squares with some smaller squares on them for the buildings & windows.  i’m not sure i would call that crafty.

when i say crafty i mean sew a quilt, make a dress for my girl, take thrifted finds and turn them into pure awesomeness, knitting/crocheting, painting, etc.  i think you get the point.  i am envious of those who can take small thoughts, colors or snippets and turn them into something or can create an entire room out of their craft-genius mind and do it on a super tight, strict, cheap budget.  envious.  so envious.

i’ll be honest, i’d rather just pay someone to do it for me or just stumble upon what i am looking for in a store or online.  i love that so many crafty people want to share their talent on etsy.  i have a few items in my favorites section of what i’d like to buy for myself, the kids or the house.  i also love that there are so many bloggers who take them time to make their crafts, photograph them step-by-step for the craft-challenged (me!) and post it online.  i also love pinterest because between the great people i follow & their ability to be crafty (or desire to be crafty like me) or my general searches for things, i have found projects that i would like to attempt.  i even made a if i were crafty board for all of this potential goodness.

i figure i can start easy & slow.  you know, set the bar really, really low for myself.  i can’t mess up easy, can i?  don’t answer that.

one of the things i have throughout our kitchen is word art (that’s what i’m calling it).  above my cabinets there are signs that say home, vino, cafe & cucina.  they are all of varying sizes and colors.  i love them but because they are higher up the eye isn’t directly drawn to them.  i have been wanting to find something that i could put a little lower, a little more visible.

enter the eat sign.

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image via pinterest

they’re all over etsy.  all of varying price.  some as low as $25 and some as high as $60, not including shipping.  i admire the talents of others, especially those who whittle the letters out of wood but i can’t spend $60.  i just can’t.

i took to pinterest, etsy and blogs to get ideas to make my own.  i’m starting  simple & easy so clearly i am not going to whittle my own.  i did the next best thing, i headed to michael’s.  i picked up some white letters in an e, an a, and a t (eat), spray painted them black (matches all the other kitchen word art) and now need to hang them.  my plan is to hang them (well dan will hang them) on a little space of wall between the oven & the microwave.

like i said, i started easy.  but i attempted something.  as i get into a groove, i hoping i am able to tackle “more challenging” projects.  maybe even one day use a sewing machine.  but that?  is setting the bar really high.

hello, gorgeous

29 Sep

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i would love for this be my backyard.

i can picture myself sitting in my great room, sipping a warm cup of coffee & just staring out onto this beautiful, colorful landscape.

if this is your house can i please come & visit??  pleaseandthankyou.

{image via my pinterest board}


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