Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oatmeal Cream Pies

One of my husband's favorite treats are Oatmeal Cream Pies.  These are NOT little debbie's!  I went on a hunt for a copy recipe I could make at home, and boy did I find the most perfect recipe.  Using a larger cookie scooper ensures perfectly sized and uniform cookies.  Everyone raves about these, and cant believe I made them :)  Try them yourself, they are delicious.
Recipe HERE from Honey and Jam.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


My granny at the local store.

My great grandmother grew sage in her yard and would pick and dry then save a bunch for my Mom to come and get to use for our Thanksgiving dressing.  All I know is she would dry it on newspapers in her attic.  When she passed away, our Thanksgiving dressing never tasted the same.

Fast forward to today when I went to the garden to pick TONS of sage to dry myself and save for Thanksgiving.  I sat on a stool picking the larger leaves off each large bush.  I ended up with a small pail full and decided I would try to make the rubbed sage two different ways to find out which way was the best.

The first batch, I grouped together about 24 sage leaves and using a rubber band I wrapped each bunch by the stem end.  You should hang each bunch in an area with no direct sunlight and with adequate ventilation. I chose the area above my kitchen sink.

I took some twine and clothes pins to hang each bunch.  Look, decor!

Like I mentioned above, the second method I used was drying the sage leaves on a newspaper in a single layer.  Since I dont go to our attic, I place the newspapers and sage on top of our bookcases.

When the sage is dried out, I will continue on the next step (rubbed sage!) and post about that in the future.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An addiction.

That's right, I have a new addiction.  Pinterest.  I can sit here while watching tv and pin all night long.  It's bad for my mind because Im not reading through blogs anymore...but so much easier to find things, crafts, outfits, decor, recipes, etc that Im looking for.  Some of my very favorite decor photos I have found on pinterest:


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Graduation Candy Gram!

I came up with this candy gram for my sister's college graduation, thanks to Pinterest (my newest addiction).  I came up with a poem that would fit her graduation day, and the accordinating candies.  I bought a poster board at the Dollar Tree, used duct tape to attache each candy, and a sharpie to write the words.  It was very easy and fun to do :)  Everyone loved it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Garden pics, finally!

I think the rain is finally done drowning us here...we had April and May filled with rain practically every day and hit some records being the wettest ever.  So with all that rain over, we finally planted our family garden!  

Watering the tomatoes:

As you can see, our first step was planting all of those tomato plants.  They look so little!
At the end of the garden, we still needed to till up the soil and let it dry out some, because it was way too wet from all the rain.  Jalapenos, Pumpkins, Watermelon and beans are planted in that area now.

Garden currently:

The pics might be a little dark, I took them this weekend.  The garden is almost complete from planting, Im still waiting on my beans to get a little larger to transplant them, then it will be finished!

Below are 4 brussels sprouts plants I started from seed.  Still quite small:

And, there are 8 zucchini plants here I also started from seed:

Look how much the tomato plants have grown (in the middle left in the pic), and to the right are all pepper plants.

We have gotten a couple strawberries, but hopefully will get more and more as the years go on (and we continue to add more of them to the garden).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's hot!

Well, April and May gave us TONS of rain.  But, this Memorial day weekend gave us lots of sun and warm (hot) weather.  The garden has finally been able to flourish and hopefully will start growing from the much anticipated sun.

So far, one plant hasn't worked out so well.  I had purchased some strawberry "roots" from walmart a while back and we had planted them in April.  Unfortunately they never came up.  My grandma bought us a few strawberry plants that had greenery and were grown, so we had planted those as well.  They are flourishing and even have a few berries and buds on them!  We are all very excited to have a strawberry patch and over the years add on to it to make it larger year after year.

We still have a few things to plant, which we plan to do so tomorrow- corn, beans and zucchini (all from seed).  Since we finally had great weather, starting some things from seed (beans, zucchini) worked out very well!  It's much cheaper and was pretty easy.  I re used some plastic cell packs leftover from my parents house (Mother's day flowers) to start the seeds.

I hope to show pics this week, I have been so busy!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Antique Mall shopping.

One of our favorite things to do is to go to a favorite local antique mall and walk around.  It's free to look, until you find something you fall in love with or you just can't pass up.  Of course, we go in search of an antique sideboard every-time, but haven't had any luck with finding one just yet.  

So, below is my recent antique mall find at a price we just couldn't pass up.  For $17:

I keep it by the entry to use to put my purse on, and to sit and take our shoes off.  
I love the color of the wood!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rain, rain, go away!

It's been a month since my last post.  Bad news, hardly any progress on the garden because of all the rain here.  I heard on my local news this week that in the last 31 days we have had the most rain on record.  Dont get me wrong, I love rainy days, but this is getting ridiculous!

We have all of our veggie plants ready to go into the ground if we could ever get 
a few warm sunny days in a row to dry up the ground!

Items that were able to get planted so far:

Beans, Strawberries, and varieties of onions.

Oh, and in other news, my cupcake charm finally arrived :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Summer Garden

Over the weekend, we ordered loads of veggie plants.  The plants will be divided amongst 3 families.
On our growing list for this summer so far is:

Yellow Onions
Purple Onions
Green Onions

Beefsteak Tomatoes
Brandywine Tomatoes
Jelly Bean Hybrid Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes

Red Sweet Peppers
Green Bell Peppers

Italian Roma Bush Beans (Or as my husband likes to call them "fat green beans")-(from seed).
Radishes (from seed)
Zucchini (from seed)
Brussels Sprouts (from seed)


We might do more herbs too.  I wanted to do the mini pumpkins to use for decor around my house in the fall, but they take up too much space :(

I cant wait for the plants to arrive and for the weather to get warmer so they will grow and I can start enjoying fresh veggies and start my canning!

I love to can.  I started last summer, and made a few recipes I loved and enjoyed.  These few recipes will be made again this summer, as well as new ones I have come across recently.

Canning is especially great for Christmas gifts.  Last year I made little food baskets (bought peach baskets for .25 each last summer!) and I filled them with baked goods and of course my canned items.

We may be adding more plants to the garden, we aren't sure yet.  I look forward to posting about the garden and my canning items for this summer!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hey UPS man!

I wait for you every afternoon, hoping to find that you have left me an important package.  
Im anxiously awaiting the last of my 30th birthday gift.  

On my 30th birthday, Hubby took me to Tiffany's to get a few of my bracelets lengthened and polished.  They had to send them to NYC to do so, and the kind man who worked there didn't charge us anything, not even shipping!  Service at Tiffany&Co. rocks!  Hubby was thrilled, and since we didn't have to pay for that...he told me to pick out a new charm for my charm bracelet.  Squeeeeee!!!!!

It turned out that I picked the charm they didn't have in stock at the store!  So, they had to ship it to me from the NYC location.  I got it today in the mail :)  Here she is, I picked her out to represent my 30th. And, well I LOVE cupcakes.

Now, I can't wait to get my charm bracelet back and sparkly and the perfect length for my now "adult" (aka fat) wrist so I can wear my new charm!  

Monday, March 28, 2011

The search.

I have been searching for a specific piece of furniture for the last 3 years, maybe even my whole life.  
I have always loved sideboards.  It's obvious to me where and when my love of them my Grandparent's dining room.  They had a huge, gorgeous sideboard that they covered the top with framed family photos.  I always loved when they would switch out photos to update to current ones of grandchildren, and kept older ones of their own children.  I always wanted to do this in my own home when I got older, and would have loved to have had their sideboard in my home.  But, alas that didn't happen.

Fast forward to about 3 years ago.  While at a local antique mall one afternoon, I saw a GORGEOUS antique oak sideboard.  It had a mirror with ledge, leaded glass doors on each end, and lots of drawers for storage.  I was instantly sold...but it was just that- SOLD.  I was so heartbroken, and a little mad they teased me with such a gorgeous piece of furniture by leaving it out in the open for all to drool over.  Since then, I have been searching for something just like it.

Below are some photos I have found through google of sideboards:

Friday, March 25, 2011

My 30th

I turned 30 this week.  I have to be scared the crap out of me!  For various reasons, it freaked me out to know Im no longer in my 20's.  A decade that shaped who I am, and what my life is.  This life has had many ups and downs, and growing older is a scary one for me.  I was afraid of what I might miss out on, afraid of what I haven't had the chance to accomplish yet.  

Turning 30 has come and gone, and I feel the same...and even feel like Im still in my early 20's.  So, to anyone who is turning 30 or 40 or 50, etc....age is just a number!

I had decided I wanted to make my own birthday cake this year.  I found an amazing chocolate cake recipe and frosted it with buttercream and topped it off with black and pink fondant in a zebra design.  I loved how it turned out!

By the way...Im totally over the age thing ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Trader Joe's

I love going to Trader Joe's!  I go typically 4 times a year, maybe more.  I think of Trader Joe's as a special treat for us, and have made some favorite meals utilizing their products.  Im really hoping a Trader Joe's would open closer to us, soon!
Below, I will list our favorite products and a favorite meal I make with a Trader Joe's favorite.  Note, I do not buy every single one of these items every time I go, just a few as a treat for us :)

Frozen section:
naan (garlic or plain), Indian frozen entrees, mini crab cakes, chocolate filled croissants, jasmine rice

Refrigerated Section:
marscapone cheese, creme fraiche, fresh mozzarella, proscuitto, fresh pizza dough, hummus, fresh bruschetta, fresh salsa, layer dip

lemon curd, cranberry apple butter, pumpkin butter, dried mango, dried pineapple chips, maple leaf cookies, stroopwafels, huge chocolate bar with almonds, pirate's booty, beer bread mix, roasted red pepper soup

And, although we hardly buy it (like ever)- their wine section is decent and cheap!
Here is their website, and on occasion they will post a flyer of new and on sale items:

Our Favorite, Quick and Easy Chicken Bruschetta

1 container of TJ's fresh bruschetta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Balsamic vinegar
Angle hair pasta (cooked and drained)
If desired:  Fresh basil (chiffonade), Grated Parmesean

Pour 1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan, bring to a boil.  Add 2 tablespoons (or more) and continue cooking until sauce becomes thick and reduced.  Set aside.

Grill chicken breasts until done (I season mine with garlic seasoning I got from Sam's club).
Slice each chicken breast on a diagonal.

Place cooked angel hair pasta on plate, spoon fresh bruschetta on top (as much as desired), place grilled chicken on top, then drizzle balsamic reduction on top.  I like to put most of the balsamic drizzle around the edge of the plate and on the angel hair.  Serve with garlic ciabatta bread.

I will post a pic of the completed dish next time I make this.  It's so quick and easy, especially for the spring and summer!  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mantle decor for St. Patrick's Day!

Black candle holders bought at IKEA years ago, black wooden 
letter "S" from our wedding (got it on clearance at a scrapbook store), 
windowpane-free!  It was in our basement when we bought the house and moved in!

Antique kraut slicer.

Irish ceramic candle holder found at Goodwill for .50!

Ruffled cupcake liner wreath I made, using checkered cupcake liners 
from Michaels' dollar section (the brand is by Paula Deen).

Tutorial found here

 I did get one of those floral forms that the Dollar Tree sells, 
so I used ribbon I had and wrapped it so the cupcake liners 
would stick, and the wreath would stop "shedding"!  
Use straight pins to pin the ribbon in place and also to add a loop to 
hang your wreath from.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Home decor eye candy.

I have high expectations of cleaning up and organizing our basement, and turning it into a mecca for us to have fun and relax.  The above is eye candy only.

Right now, it is for storage only (oh and a pool table, it came with the house).  I have 3 areas that I will be rearranging things down there.  One room has a pool table.  Another, right now has an air hockey table, but I would love to turn it into a TV room.  Adjacent to this room is an open area I would love to keep my crafts and both of our desks and computer (but the husband has already veto'd that).  

My plan is to do this in the next month.  I will have photos when complete (and not at all like the photos above, because hello Im not doing any remodeling or spending any money here!).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weekly Menu

Again, Im posting what we will be having this week, but no assignments to specific days.

Mahi Mahi Tacos  (Hubs loves the fish tacos I created!)   

Sloppy Joes, potato wedges, cole slaw and a veggie.  (I went to Walmart and stocked up on the Del monte sloppy joe sauce that we love.  I cant find it anywhere else AND it's gluten free!).

Chicken & Rice soup (from the freezer).

Chicken cordon bleu, chicken flavored rice, mixed veggies.

I might try to make the hubby his favorite, Chicken Tikka Masala!

We already had:  Baked ravioli, and grilled out hot dogs this week so far!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Valentine treat!

Valentine suckers

I came across this blog post from The Idea Room, and instantly knew I wanted to do this!  

I headed to Target in January and found they still had boxes of mini candy canes in their Christmas clearance section.  A huge box only cost me .25 CENTS!!! 

I already had the lollipop sticks from a previous project, and last week found lollipop bags with a valentine print on them at Michael's on clearance for .99 cents!

I followed the directions The Idea Room used, except I used a silpat to line my cookie sheet with.  Then, heat the oven to 350, and assemble the mini candy canes around eack lillipop stick and pop them in the oven!  I waited til they looked a little melted and pulled them out of the oven.  VERY carefully I pinched each end of the candy canes together.  I let them cool, then wrapped them in the bags I bought.  

That's it!  This literally took me less than 10 minutes!

My silpat lined baking sheet, lolliop sticks (I actually made mini ones by cutting some of these in half), and the candy canes, 60 of them for .25 - how much better can this cheap on a budget Valentine treat get?!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine Crafts!

Mantle decor: Mirror from Hobby Lobby, Heart wreath made by me, Candleholders from IKEA, heart candy dish from the Dollar Tree
Red felted heart wreath made by me, last year during the superbowl.  Tutorial here.
Entrytable / Chalkboard: branch swag I made. 
Milk glass compote found at an antique mall for under $1!!!  Fuzzy hearts from the Dollar Tree (sold as picks, I broke those off to make a  filler), doily table runner (bought a package of light pink paper heart doilies from the Dollar Tree and attached them together in a pattern using photo squares).
Paper rose wreath, made by me :)  Tutorial here.   It took a few nights sitting in front of the TV making this.  I used white cardstock I already had on hand (given to me free from my last job).

I have been very busy crafting all of these, but the mantle still seems bare to me.  Any ideas what else I could add (on a tight budget)?  Let me know what you think!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekly Menu

It seems that's all I have been posting lately :(  Moving on...


Homemade fish sticks, green beans, mac & cheese

Pepper steak over rice (in the crockpot)

Breakfast for dinner: Canadian bacon and egg bagels with hashbrowns 

Sloppy Joes, cole slaw,  potato wedges

Grilled Cheese & Soup

Chicken Chili

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekly Menu


M:  Turkey Pot Pie

T:  Beef Fajitas (or Pepper Steak over rice).  Dominos pizza...for $3.99 what else can I say?

W:  Chicken Chili  We had burritos my Dad made :)

TH:  Out for a birthday dinner for some friends.

F:  BBQ Chicken Pizza  Another birthday dinner out, at a german restaurant, The Sherman House.  It was SO good!  I had the pork tenderloin, kraut and mashed potatoes.  I loved it, the kraut was mild-which I really liked and the mashed potatoes were amazing, like best I have ever had amazing!  I did get the salad bar (loved the croutons), and had their fried biscuits and fried pickles as well (really good!).  I hope we go back soon :)

S:  Soup Night with grilled cheese.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekly Menu

A little late, but Im going to try and start this back up!

Sunday:  Turkey Dinner : Turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, stove top, green beans / green bean casserole, baked sweet potatoes, noodles, brussels sprouts and rolls

Monday: Leftovers!

Tuesday:  Soup & Grilled Cheese or Beef Roast with potatoes and carrots

Wednesday:  Beef Stew, Beer bread   Grilled Cheese & tomato soup   So, yeah DH surprised me by taking me out to dinner after we had a ton of Christmas returns to do :)  Friday's it was!  I had Jack Daniels Chicken, yummmm!

Thursday:  Leftovers or Beef Hash

Friday:  Breakfast for Dinner!

Saturday:  Chicken potstickers, veggies & rice or sesame noodles  Fish fry with the family!