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!).