Friday, January 31, 2014

Five on Friday

It's been an odd week, I had a two day, unwanted snow-cation and now I have to do a mad rush to finish everything before the end of the month.  It will likely mean no cooking for tonight's dinner...antipasti and wine will probably do the trick.  Here are my five this Friday...
 Attempting not to go stir crazy in this house.  I played my first ever round of Jenga. I got better each time we played.
 Chicken Pot Pie soup using this recipe.  It was good but next time I'll puree some potatoes to thicken it a little more.
 I'm crushing hard on these galvanized baskets and trying to find a use for them in our pantry makeover.  

This weekend's project, making our own laundry detergent using this recipe.
And National Hot Wing Day (aka Superbowl Sunday) is upon us.  R and I have placed our order and I'm making a simple dip to go along with it.  Easy.  Peasy.

And the reward for most fun weekly link up goes to (drumroll)...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day

Snow Day

I'm off work today...which is a big deal.  Anyone that works in a medical field will tell you that snow days are rare.  Oh and we have a delay for tomorrow, crazy right?  I brought some work home so I will not fall too far behind.  Of course, we are in the middle of our "closet clean-out" and this just gives us one more day to get it done.  This morning was reserved for being lazy and I thought  I would share my favorite items for a snowy day...

you can tell I don't venture out in the actual snow.  But if I choose to later in the afternoon I will be wearing these:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pretty and Functional Containers

I purchased several Bormioli Rocco jars online this weekend, let the madness of pantry organization begin . . .

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five On Friday

It's time again to share five new things going on in this girl's life.

1. Well this happened... 
 And we got two extra hours of sleep the next morning because of it.  I hate snow but I love snow days and two hour delays :-)

2. My mother in law gifted this goody in my Christmas stocking and it has been a delicious treat.  I don't have it often but when I do I never regret it.  It's a two step process with a packet (I'm assuming it's milk powder?) that goes in the mug before you run the k-cup in your Keurig.  It's an indulgence for sure and it tastes like I paid a penny for it at a coffee shop.
3. Organization!  This week I went through the master and guest bathroom cabinets and the linen closet.  This weekend we will tackle our closets and the laundry room.  I'm slowly collecting containers, baskets, and drawer dividers to help make our lives easier.  Drawer dividers = awesome...our bathroom drawers no longer look like the black hole where items stay lost forever. Oh, and we found our lint roller!

4. I purchased Gone Girl for my Kindle this week and it's fantastic already.  I could easily finish it this weekend but I've had a slight set back with my dry eyes (fun) and I've not been able to stare at a screen without squinting.  I'm wearing sunglasses as I type this blog post, in my living room...not kidding.  Back to the book, I'd recommend it for sure AND it's going to be a movie this year.  I hate reading a book after the movie and I don't want the end ruined for me.
 5.  My favorite childhood book is going to be on the big screen this year.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing but it is a thing worth sharing, or giving, pun intended.  Taylor Swift is in this movie, I'm a Swift fan and I think she is beautiful but her acting was a bit off in Valentines Day.  I am over the moon about Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges in the can't be bad.  Right? right?!
This was the one book I always hoped they wouldn't make a movie on.  I'm not going to boycott though, I will have the best seat in the theater.

April, Darci, Christina, and Natasha want to know your five.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

In the Kitchen: French Onion Soup

I used a recipe found on Pinterest to create the most delicious french onion soup.  I didn't change it much but I left out the thyme (mostly because I didn't want to make an additional trip to the grocery store.

6 onions - thinly sliced, I used all sweet onions but a mixture can be used for additional flavor
2 cloves of garlic
1 -32 ounce container of organic low sodium beef broth
1/2 container of low sodium chicken broth (about 16 ounces)
3 dried bay leaves
a cup of white wine, mine was slightly sweet
3 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper to taste
French baguette
And for cheese I shredded up some smoked gouda with bacon

To caramelize the onions place all six, thinly sliced. onions and 3 tablespoons of butter on medium heat and leave them there for about an hour stirring occasionally.  After a substantial amount of time your house will smell like heaven.  About 30-40 minutes in, I added the garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. When the hour is complete, add the wine and reduce for about five minutes.  Add the broth and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for at least a half hour.  In the meanwhile I prepped my little toasts.  I don't have oven-safe crocks so I had to make my cheese toast separately and add them after I spooned the soup into bowls.  If you have crocks, then by all means put the soup, toast, and cheese under a broiler and make it happen!  The only thing I would have added to the finished soup would be a thin drizzle of balsamic in the bowl to make the flavor pop.  Next time I will try a few swaps - dry red wine and maybe Gruyere cheese.

This should be a "must try" before you say goodbye to the chilly weather.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Office Inspiration

Our priority for the first part of 2014 is to get our office in functioning order.  Right's clean but not functioning as a proper office.
Here it is in all it's unfinished glory, a picture taken the weekend before Christmas (see the gifts on top of the printer?)  Oh and that lamp doesn't belong in here.  It's the partner lamp to the one in our living room, I went ahead and bought two since our plan for the den includes two new side tables, for now it lives in the office but that's why it is still covered in plastic and not plugged in.  I would like to find a similar style mercury class lamp that is shorter for this room.   Yep, and before anyone comments, we know we need new drapery rods...the windows are so close to the corners of the room that we don't have space for any decorative ends.  We kind of threw this room together in a hurry after we moved in.  It urks me that the windows are so far apart, so I spitefully kept it uneven.

I have had that desk since 2007 when I rescued it outside my apartment's recycling area.  It is well made with quality wood...but it is scratched and badly needs refinishing.  We are thinking of painting it black or rich mahogony.  Here is our inspiration picture:
I love the colors in this room.  That rug is fantastic and I love the drapes.  I tried to recreate the chair last year with a clearance TJ Maxx find, R and I finished it with nail head trim.  My desk doesn't have the pretty decorative molding or the fancy hardware and it only has one central drawer.  However - my desk was free and this exact one is not in the budget this year.  I swapped out the old brass pull for a glass bulb knob to match the bookcase and I love the simple change.

I love this gallery wall of botanical prints and I hope to recreate it behind the desk.  We bought a metal filing cabinet so we can organize all the paper that we seem to be accumulating.  I'm not looking forward to this task but I will be so happy when its done.
I'm using suggestions from organization websites like this one to help me decide what tabs I need.  I have so much to sort through...all our wedding planning items, old bills that need shredding, wedding and shower cards to store, etc.  

Now how do I make R's golf clubs prettier?  I usually don't "pose" my pictures but I may wheel them out for future updated photos.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Everyday Makeup Favorites

Everyday Makeup

It's been a while since I posted my daily makeup favorites.  Some of them haven't changed ...and probably won't because I love them.  I have an abbreviated version for lazy weekend days but this is a solid workday look and takes about 15 minutes.

1. MUFE Mat Velvet Foundation in Ivory applied with clean fingertips.
2. Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in light applied to eye area and any spots with concealer brush.
3.  Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Buff applied with powder brush.
4.  Nars Bronzer in Laguna.
5.  Bobbi Brown blush in Pale Pink.
6.  Anastasia Brow Powder in light brown and ash.
7.  Clinique High Impact Mascara.
8.  Urban Decay 24/7 in Zero, on upper lashline only.
9.  Urban Decay Naked2 Palette - Suspect on the lid and Busted in the crease with foxy under the brow.
10. Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy in Succulent Pomegranate.
11. All brushes are from the Sigma face and eye set.

I'm pretty happy with this set of products  - the bronzer, brow powder, eye liner, and mascara are absolute favorites.  I like the concealer but I'm willing to try other options in the future.  The face powder is...okay.  It does a decent job but I have to reapply mid day and again in the evening if R and I are going out.  The brushes are fantastic though, I own several random professional brushes but I always reach for this set.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five on Friday

I'm late to the party today...

better late than never, no?

1.  Random Thursday three hour afternoon nap.  No explanation needed.  However it is my excuse for why I didn't write a post last night for the link up.  I needed it!

2. Williams-Sonoma Cocoa Pot.  I got this on super clearance and our local store still has quite a few left.  It's the easiest way to warm milk and get the chocolate to completely melt.  Bonus you can use the whisk on the inside to froth milk before adding coffee for a latte.  Fancy.  I bought some hot chocolate too while I was in the store, it's pretty delicious...not the best that I've ever had but definitely close.

3.  Hubs cooking dinner.  I make a lot of our meals and I can throw a meal together in a blink.  Hubs takes a different approach, he plans the meal, looks up recipes, and does the shopping just to do it up big.  Tonight is edamame, pork and shrimp dumplings AND cookie sundaes.  Seconds please!

4.  This website.  No really look at it...

If you are like me and trying to get our house organized for 2014 as one of your resolutions, this lovely lady has it all together.  She is a professional organizer with a lovely home.  I'm using her suggestions this weekend to work on our pantry.

5.  The Perfect Chair.  Oh where are you?  I'm looking for a pair of chairs for our living room to coordinate with our new couch.  I like the shape of this one.  It's definitely in the running, top three for sure.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five on Friday

I'm baaaack...

I took a blogging break after the holidays mostly to work on projects for my job and also to enjoy some downtime in the afternoon with hubs.  I chose to make my come back just in time for my favorite weekly meet up -

1.  NYE.

I haven't blogged about our welcome for the new year.  We spent the night with my best friend and her husband - they cooked a fantastic meal and we played cards for humanity with only a brief interlude to watch the ball drop.  Wine, beer, and champs were had by all.
2.  Leg Warmers.
If I could have picked any week to have off work, this would have been it.  With chilly temps around the country I realized that I do not have the wardrobe for this - no down parka or wool tights for this girl.  I've stuck to layering and my legwarmers were a God send - I've worn a pair every day underneath my work slacks.  Oh and Uggs.  I still hold true that "Uggs are Uggly" but I have them, I wear them, and my feet stay warm.  It's a love hate relationship that I also have with Danskos.  All my other attire stayed the same, just in layers...but the legwarmers were functional, not just a fashion statement.
3.  This soup.  We cooked a ham for our New Years dinner and I didn't want to waste that yummy ham bone.  We boiled it up and made a retro classic, Ham and Bean Soup.  I loosely followed this recipe but I added every vegetable that we had in our house (because I didn't want to waste them).  We added a ton of celery, carrots, and a lone potato.  It was scrumptious.  PS - this is the picture from, my soup wasn't nearly this photogenic.  We devoured at least two bowls each as we watched the Star Wars Holiday marathon last weekend #geek, #iamyourfather.
4. Rehab Addict.  I love this show.  I love old houses.  I love seeing a girl being taken seriously, but you should since she is normally wielding a chainsaw, a nail gun, or a Bobcat.
5.  Clinique's Acne Solutions.  I purchased this sampler from Sephora in early December and I like it so much that I will be repurchasing.  The lotion has that weird Clinique smell....ANYONE who has tried the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion knows what smell I'm referring to - like an overly chemical, processed smell.  That is the only complaint I have out of all three products though and the smell is fleeting, thank goodness.  I love the toner, my pores look so much smaller after I use it.  The face wash is not overly drying and does a decent job at removing my makeup.  I use the face wash and toner at night and I use my Murad AcneFree face wash in the morning followed by the lotion included in this kit.  I still follow with a light daily lotion because it's winter and winter is not kind to my skin.  I used the 3 step skin care system for probably 10 years and I was always pleased with it - I think I got bored when I was in college and wanted to switch up my skincare.  

I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!