Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things I Like Thursday

Happy Thursday! I hope you are all doing well! I have been crazy busy trying to get our home into the Christmas spirit. Along the way, I have found some great ideas to share with all of you!

These Joy trees from The Idea Room are beautiful, I definitely need to try this!

Here is a fun no-sew scarf tutorial from MaryJanes and Galoshes.

These Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars look delicious from Our Best Bites.

Cute 2x4 Christmas trees from Under My Umbrella!

Nick and I need these burlap stockings from Cozy.Cottage.Cute.

Love this no-sew tree skirt from Sew Many Ways!

These Easy Yarn Topiaries from Daydream Designs look super easy to make, and cheap!

I also love these Cone Topiary Trees from Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures!

These letters made from twine from Sense and Simplicity are definitely my style of Christmas decor!

Hope you enjoy and have a great Thursday!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Food Friday: Beer Bread and Oreo Dessert

Now that all of you are out of your food coma's from yesterday, you are probably ready for more food right? Well I hope so because both these recipes rock!

First up we have a recipe for beer bread. I know there are hundreds of beer bread recipes out there, but I thought I would share one that I know is good! This comes from a good friend's mother-in-law. I made it Sunday and it was awesome! (And ridiculously easy!)

Beer Bread

3 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 can of beer
1 egg (beaten)

Mix dry ingredients together, then stir in can of beer. Pour into sprayed loaf pan. Pour beaten egg over bread mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. Let cool and enjoy. (I have heard that you can kind of taste the beer if you eat it warm, so I personally would let it cool!)

This next recipe is a super delicious, super healthy (said with sarcastic tone) dessert that always disappears in our family. My mom got this recipe from a co-worker several years ago and has made it for every family gathering since then. She has had a nephew almost disown her when she showed up without it! Live and learn and make this soon!

Oreo Dessert
mi Madre

1 package Oreos
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 3-ounce packages Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces Cool Whip

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add one cup powdered sugar and mix. In a separate bowl, combine the pudding, milk, and vanilla. Beat until just combined or a little more. Add this to the powdered sugar mixture and stir just to combine. Fold in 8 ounces cool whip by hand.

Place 1/2 package crushed oreos in bottom half of 9x13 inch pan. Then pour in the mixture. Sprinkle other 1/2 package crushed oreos on top of the mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy these recipes and enjoy (hopefully) your long weekend! Let the countdown to Christmas begin!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things I Like Thursday


I hope you are all having a wonderful day with family and friends and lots of delicious food! We are in Colorado (don't worry I scheduled this post ahead of time) for the holiday's this year! Nick's mom and grandparents live in Loveland. We haven't spent a holiday with them in the 4 years that we have been together, so we decided to this year. I love Colorado, it is one of my favorite places! Hopefully I will have some pictures to share next week!

I do have a few things to show you today!

These Individual Pumpking Cream Pies from Remodelaholic look delicious!

Super cute Rock Snowman from Tools Are For Women Too!

Love these Faux Snowballs from Susie Harris!

Have a great day and don't forget to check back tomorrow for a couple of great recipes! I know, more food is just what you want to think about right now, I'm sure!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Food Friday: As Promised!

Since I got your hopes up for recipes last week and wasn't able to get them posted, I have 3 to share this week!

First up a easy and delicious recipe that will not only give you supper tonight, but one for the freezer as well! No extra work for a second meal? Sign me up!

Ground Beef Spiral Bake
Simple & Delicious

1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta
2 pounds ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 jars (28 ounces each) spaghetti sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes.

Stir pasta into meat mixture. Transfer to two greased 9x13 inch baking dishes. Sprinkle each with 2 cups cheese. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Bake the second casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 2 casseroles (8-10 servings each)

I actually did remember to take a picture of this, before I baked it, unfortunately not after! :) Nick and I both really liked this recipe and will definitely be making it again!

Next up is a delicious Tilapia recipe. In fact, it is so delicious that I made it twice in one week's time!

Lemon Garlic Tilapia
All Recipes

4 tilapia fillets
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I use bottled!)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Rinse tilapia fillets under cool water, and pat dry with paper towels.

Place fillets in baking dish. Pour lemon juice over fillets, then drizzle butter on top. Sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and pepper.

Bake in preheated oven until the fish is white and flakes when pulled apart with a fork, about 30 minutes.

Finally, I have a super easy Bloody Mary recipe for you! I had a major craving for a bloody mary the other day and decided it was time I learn how to make them. There are thousands of recipes out there, so I thought I would make your life easy and share one that I tried!

Bloody Mary
All Recipes

1 1/2 ounces Vodka (I used Smirnoff No. 21)
3 ounces Bloody Mary mix (I used Zing Zang, found at Hy-Vee)
1 stalk celery (I prefer a pickle spear!)
1 pinch pepper
1 pinch salt

Fill glass with ice, pour in vodka and bloody mary mix; stir well and garnish with salt, pepper, and celery stalk (or pickle).

I tasted it after just adding these ingredients and it didn't quite suit me. I added about 2 tablespoons of pickle juice from the jar and that made all the difference in the world!

(Sorry, no pictures this time, busy, busy, busy!!)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things I Like Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you are all having a great week! This week has been a busy one for us! Nick has a friend that he went to Iraq with coming to visit this weekend. He probably couldn't care less what our house looks like, but I do, so I am trying to clean and such! They will be going to the Iowa game Saturday and my mom and I are shopping!! I am kind of excited and kind of not. Sometimes I freak out when there are a lot of people around. Not like, cause a scene freak out, but more of a, okay, everyone is getting gift cards because I can't stand the crowds freak out! Maybe I should do my Christmas shopping in August?! That of course would mean that I would have to plan ahead and planning is definitely not one of my strong points! Lucky for you guys, I still found a few projects to share! One of these days I hope to get some projects completed and show them to you!

I love this inexpensive fall decor from It's A Priceless Life!

Super cute Christmas pillows from Junkin' Junky!

I am completely, 100% in love with this dresser from Increasingly Domestic! How awesome is that?

I must try these Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks from How Sweet It Is!

This Peanut Butter Pie from Tasty Kitchen looks divine!

Adorable Ruffle Trees from Shanty2Chic!

I REALLY want to make this Laundry Basket Dresser from Ana White! I love so many of her plans, but have yet to try and actually make something!

Here are some fun free Christmas printables to use on plates from Poppies at Play.

A fun Christmas candle holder from All Thingz Related posting on Creation Corner!

Whew, lots of awesome things this week! I promise this time, if you come back tomorrow, you will see a couple great recipes!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Things I Like Thursday

First off, as I am sure all of you know, today is Veteran's Day. Thank you to all of the men and women that have served our country and fought for our freedom. As most of my readers probably already know, my husband was in the Marine Corps when we started dating and for the first year of our marriage. I am so proud of him and truly feel like the Marine Corps helped shape him into the wonderful man he is today! So thank you Nick, for your service to our country!

Since I love a man in of my favorite pictures ever!

Oh wait, one more. Why not?

Ok, let me wipe my drool away and get on to the projects I love this week! Just a couple this time!

I love these heat transfer pillows from The Hand Me Down House!

I need to get my sewing machine out and make this A-line purse from The Project Corner!

Check back tomorrow for a great recipe!

Monday, November 8, 2010

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'!

Boots, boots, boots. That is all I can think about these days! I know the boot trend has been around for a few years now, but I am just now jumping on the bandwagon, much to my husband's dismay. He does not like boots with jeans. Or dresses. Or skirts. Or leggings. Oh heck, what does he know?! (Kidding honey, you know a lot of things!)

So I have only purchased one pair of boots so far this year. I found these at Target and had to have them:

Cute huh? Now I have really started something. I definitely need more boots! What took me so long to buy them anyway? Here are a few more that I love!

I really think I need to get a pair of these soon. We have a Colorado trip coming up and they look super warm and comfy! These also come from Target and I love the $29.99 price tag!

These would also be great for Colorado and also very reasonably priced at $34.99!

I also could use a dressy black pair. I think these would fit the bill nicely!

Ok, I also really love these!

Oh boy, I better just stop now! Do you think Nick would notice if I bought one of each?!

While we are on the topic of boots...I read a neat tip somewhere the other day (I can't for the life of me remember where though!) A great way to help your tall boots keep their shape is to roll up a magazine and put one in each boot! Thrifty huh? If you have any boots that you just love and would recommend, send me the link!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Things I Like Thursday

I think I always say this, but this time I mean it, I can't believe it is Thursday! Or that it is November already? Where on earth did it come from?! It just seems like we got rid of the snow (and tax season) and here we are zeroing in on it again!

Work has been crazy busy this week, so maybe that is why it went so fast! I did sneak out at 3 yesterday to spent some quality time with my hubby! We headed to Ottumwa to look for a humidifier for our house, it has gotten dry really fast. Those things are hard to find! The only ones Wal-Mart carries are small crappy ones. Trust me, we have already tried two of them. They are pretty much disposable in our house. Of course we had to visit Target and the "mall" as well! Any of you that are familiar with Ottumwa know why "mall" is in quotes! I decided to take the evening off from the gym and we rented a movie instead, Toy Story 3! It was very cute, of course! Now here we are at Thursday and work is very quiet today as almost everyone is out at different classes! Just how I like it!

Man, I have some fantastic finds from around blogland to share with you guys today! Tons of inspiration. I know I have said it for the last two months or so, but I really do have a few things to share with you besides my Thursday and Friday posts and one of these days I hope to get to them. Any of you that do have a blog understand how time consuming it really is! For now though, you will just have to live with looking at things that I dream about making!

I love these old table leg candle holders from Full of Great Ideas!

I really want to try making some stenciled curtains like these that I found at First Home Makeover!

Someday I will find the perfect piece of furniture to refinish. I love this bench redo from A {Blondes} DIY Life (love the name too!)

Check out these festive Thanksgiving Candle Holders from All Thingz Related! Love them!

Here is another great idea for Painted Drapes from The Hand Me Down House via Remodelaholic!

Super cute Pottery Barn knock-off pillows from The Scrap Shoppe!

I can't wait to try to make this pleated purse. The pattern comes from My Spare Time and this is The Pickled Herring's version of it!

I hope you enjoy these projects! If you find inspiration from one of the projects that I have linked to and made it yourself, I would love for you to share!

Have a great day!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Food Friday: Pronto Paella

I found this recipe in one of my Simple & Delicious magazines and I am so glad I tried it. Something a little different than normal. It was really good and very satisfying. Also, it made a TON so we had lots of left overs (which Nick likes to take to work since he can't run home for lunch like I can!) so that is always a win in my book!

Once again I forgot to take a picture! :( Surprisingly though, it looked just like the picture in the magazine. Score!

Pronto Paella

1 pkg (6.09 oz) rice pilaf
1 1/2 cups ready-to-use grilled chicken breast strips (I think these are a waste of money, so I threw a couple chicken breasts on the George Foreman)
1 medium sweet onion, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (I used Zattaran's, which here in the midwest I have only been able to find at Wal-Mart)
4 Tbsp butter
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn, drained
1 pkg (9 oz) frozen baby peas, thawed
1/2 lb cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (Wal-Mart sells precooked frozen shrimp, it even has the tails removed!)

Microwave rice pilaf according to package directions. Meanhwile, in a large skillet, saute the chicken, onion, garlic, and Cajun seasoning in butter until onion is tender. Stir in the corn, peas, shrimp, and prepared pilaf; heat through.

You could also easily omit the shrimp if you don't care for it. I would probably just add a bit more chicken. The shrimp wasn't all that great re-heated anyway!

Enjoy! Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things I Like Thursday

Another crazy busy week is almost over! I had the best of intentions to share some actual projects and such with you this week (since all I ever seem to do is this post and my Food Friday posts), but as you can see, that hasn't happened yet! Oh well, maybe soon!

Can you believe Halloween is almost here? You know what that means? Christmas will be here before we know it! Here is a fun idea for gift adornments from Design Dump via Finding Fabulous!

I love the "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters that have been all over blogland for some time now. Here is a fun Thanksgiving version, including a free printable, from Craftily Ever After.

I really love furniture that is partially painted and partially stained. One of these days I will find the perfect piece to try it on. Check out this Chunky Sofa Table from Stories of a House.

Have a great Thursday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Food Friday: Slow-Cooked Corn Chowder

This recipe comes from one of the Quick Cooking magazines in my file! It is so easy and very tasty!

Slow-Cooked Corn Chowder
2 1/2 cups milk
1 can (14 3/4 oz) cream-style corn
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 3/4 cups frozen corn
1 cup frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

I usually add a little more potatoes and ham than the recipe calls for.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things I Like Thursday

What a CRAZY, BUSY week it has been! Work has been nuts and it seems like home has been crazy as well. I am quite glad tomorrow is Friday because I am definitely ready for the weekend! I have several posts started (well I can't really say started, I have the titles typed, does that count?) but haven't had time to do them this week, but never fear, I have a few things to share today!

Boo, EEK, Scare Stacking Pumpkins at Simply Designing. This would be a fun project to do with my new Silhouette!! Oh yes, I bought one, more on that soon!

Here's a very creative fall idea! Pumpkin Yarn Art from A Glimpse Inside.

Another project that I could do with my silhouette! A rustic looking noel sign from Poppies at Play.

Here's a great tutorial for making "old" signs from Funky Junk Interiors.

Check back tomorrow for a yummy, easy crock pot soup recipe!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Food Friday: 3 Great Recipes!

As promised, I am back with three great recipes that I have tried this week!

Sunday evening I was in the mood for pasta! Normally, the only pasta we have is in the form of Spaghetti or Macaroni and Cheese. I really wanted something a little lighter so I decided to search the internet. I found this recipe for Pesto Pasta with Chicken and thought I would give it a whirl. We LOVED it! It felt light and healthy yet very filling. Obviously you could make it a bit more healthy by using a whole wheat pasta. This will be a great one to have in our recipe file. Nick and I usually have supper around 9:00 each evening so it is nice to have lighter dishes to make.

Pesto Pasta with Chicken
courtesy of All Recipes

1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
1/2 cup pesto sauce

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender, then stir in chicken. Season with red pepper flakes. Cook until chicken is golden, and cooked through.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. Toss to coat evenly.

Super easy and super delicious!

Tuesday night I was in the mood to try something different. I have a few years worth of Simple & Delicious magazines and for some reason I haven't tried many of the recipes. I thought that would be the place to look! One glance at the first magazine in the pile and I found a recipe for Parmesan Crusted Tilapia that sounded yummy! On the following page was a recipe for Seasoned Corn with Bacon. These two together would make a fabulous meal! Living in the midwest we obviously don't have a great selection of fresh seafood. I decided to check out the frozen section at our local Hy-Vee and found a 2-pound bag of frozen tilapia fillets for $8.99! There are 6 large pieces in the bag, so I thought that was a pretty good price for 3 meals for the two of us! For those of you that have maybe not tried many different fish, this would be a good one to start with, it does not have a strong fish flavor! On to the good stuff!

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
courtesy of Simple & Delicious

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 10)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
4 tilapia fillets
2 Tbsp olive oil
Lemon Wedges

Place flour and egg in separate shallow bowls. In another shallow bowl, combine the crackers, cheese, and salt. Dip fillets in the flour, egg, then cracker mixture.

In a large skillet, cook fillets in oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon.

Seasoned Corn with Bacon
Also from Simple & Delicious

2 bacon strips, diced
1 2/3 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
1/8 tsp dried basil

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 1/2 tsp drippings. (I refuse to fry bacon. Don't ask me why, I just do! I love to cook my bacon in the oven. I just line a baking sheet with a couple of layers of aluminum foil and lay the bacon in a single layer. Pop them in the oven and a short time later, like magic, perfectly cooked bacon. See directions on the back of the package for temp! this will also still give you some grease for frying the corn!)

Saute corn, onion, garlic powder, lemon-pepper, and basil in reserved drippings until corn is tender. Stir in bacon.

We loved this dinner and Nick said I could make it anytime!

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did! Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things I Like Thursday

Guess what?! This is my 50th post!! Pretty exciting huh? It has been a super busy week and the next couple of days will be no different! I am getting my hair done tomorrow. I can't tell you what I am doing yet, but it will be different let me tell ya! Maybe I'll share a picture! Saturday I will be going to the annual fish fry at Nick's work. It is so much fun! Then I will head down to my parents so my dad and I can spend some time in the great outdoors deer hunting! No layers or propane heater necessary this year, we are having an unusually warm fall this year! I can't wait. Then Saturday evening we have our annual family hayride! It is usually great fun! Too much excitement for one weekend! I do have a project that I am in the middle of. I hope to finish it tonight and get a post ready for Saturday!

Time for another round of Things I Like Thursday!

I love this Pleated Pouch from A Lemon Squeezy Home!

What a great idea to turn a fall placemat into a tote!

Love these 2x4 Pumpkins from Sassy Sanctuary! I think we might even have enough leftover boards from building our deck (yes I will do a post on that, when it is finished!)

That is about all I have had time to find this week! I hope you enjoy! Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Food Friday. I have not one, not two, but three awesome recipes to share with you all!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Food Friday: Texas Caviar

Here is a super easy and very yummy dip!

Texas Caviar
12 oz shoepeg corn-drained
15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 large tomato diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 diced jalapeno pepper

Combine all of these ingredients.

3/4 cup italian dressing
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 tablespoon hot sauce (I leave this out)
1/2 teaspoon of back pepper and chili powder

Pour dressing over veggies, chill and serve with corn chips (I like to use Tostitos Scoops to scoop up all of the goodies!)

Enjoy! And Happy Friday!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Things I Like Thursday

I know, I know, it has been almost a MONTH since my last post! I can't even believe how busy September was and October is shaping up to be!

There are several things I want to share with you, but haven't gotten around to yet. I do have my fall decor out, although, as you will see, I have found several other fun ideas. Hopefully I will find the time to get some more things made! Also, we are building a small deck/porch on the front of our house! We have had ugly cement steps that we haven't liked since the day we moved in, so we finally got around to tearing them out and putting up a deck. I will share pictures one of these days! Anywho, on with the Things I Like Thursday post!

I have never thought of doing this, but check out this fun idea for decorating with hedge balls from House*Tweaking.

"Spooktacular" Subway Art from A Glimpse Inside. I LOVE this idea!

An awesome Pumpkin Topiary from Our Southern Nest.

A Fall Wreath from The Perillo Four.

Fall Pillows from Citified Country Girl.

Pretty Yarn Wreath at Ready.Set.Plan.

An Autumn Vase from Monkey See Monkey Do.