What I Am Listening To- Podcasts

I have never been a huge music person.

I took piano for 12 years and can still barely play.

I am not really into listening to music either, unless I am in a weird mood.

I like to listen to people talk though.

When I was a little kid I would just sit around at dinner and listen to the adults talk (I was a weird kid).

I consider it educational since my (self diagnosed) ADD takes over when I try to sit down to learn new things.

Anyway, podcasts are now my thing.

I listen to them when I work and when I clean cook.

There are two that I listen to regularly.

One is not really education unless you count the newest sale items at Nordstrom and SteinMart.

But I find it incredibly entertaining especially on slow days at work.

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Melanie Shankle (author of Sparkly Green Earrings and Antelope in My Living Room) and Sophie Hudson (author of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet and Home is Where My People Are) host the BigBooCast.

After listening to these two ladies for so long, I feel like they are my friends even though we have never met.

And their conversation so remind me of conversations I have with my sisters, and sister-in-law.

I dare you not to laugh.

And the other is a podcast on small business/blogging/decor/entertaining/healthy lifestyle.

It’s well rounded, and I LOVE the people Jess chooses to interview on the JessLivelyShow.

(I don’t endorse all the religious views in the interviews)

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Go check them out, and let me know what you think.

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Home Improvement: Slightly More Organized than the Aftermath of a Tornado

This post is not really educational or inspirational.

Let’s just call it a human interest story.

So if you are human and interested keep reading.

We have a two car garage attached to our house.

We also have too much stuff (not to be confused with “junk”, per my husband).

And combined with my propensity to over-buy on paper towels and TP it has created quite a storage problem.

So we knew we needed some sort of shelving, but had yet to come up with good solution.

So our garage just continued to be slightly more organized than the aftermath of a tornado.

Until we were perusing the aisles of our local Pier 1 (which was closing because it’s moving to a more convenient location on Woodruff Road, insert sarcastic tone),

 my husband came over to me and said, “I solved our shelving problem.”

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There, at a steal of $50 for a 4ft section, was our solution.

Huge wall displays from our local Pier 1.

Heavy duty, deep, and solid wood.

And now we have the fanciest garage shelves around.

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We still have a lot more stuff to organize on the shelving but I just LOVE all the storage.

Monday Randomness: What I Have Been Cooking

Believe it or not, I actually have been cooking recently.

I just have not been blogging about it much.

But here are a few things I have been making.

(click each photo for the full recipe)

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My pot roast was always a bland failure until I tried this recipe. The key: salt and pepper at EVERY step. And I LOVE the fresh rosemary.

If you want to serve the roast with a simple gravy, here’s how to do it.

In a skillet over medium high heat add 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour, whisk together for 2 minutes.

Add 2 cups of the stock from the roast and whisk it the flour mixture.

Reduce the heat to medium, and stir until thick and smooth. Serve immediately.

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I have tried lots of apple crisp recipes, and hands down this is my favorite. I love that there is SO much oat topping (because that’s the best part anyway).

I frequently half the recipe because it makes A LOT.

Bring on the fall food!

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My sister Annie shared this bread recipe with me, and it is DELISH.

Five ingredients, that’s it. (and you don’t have to use bread flour)

Toasted with honey and butter. TO DIE FOR.

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And I whipped up another version of this salad the other night.

And even the boys ate it. It’s so so tasty and light!
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I tried out these quick smoothies on Saturday. So good and no sugar:)

Happy Monday!

Before and After: A Simple Home Makeover in NC

I worked on a casual arts and crafts style home last weekend in Hendersonville (about 1 1/2 hours from where I live).

It was one of those jobs that reminds me why I do what I do.

Love love love jobs like that.

Most of the issues the homeowners were having was not knowing where to start.

They had attempted several accent walls, but quickly decided that was not the look they were going for.

After meeting with them for 3 hours about a month ago,  I put together a simple plan of attack.

Unify the spaces with one paint color, and add a fun color to the exterior door.

Remove excess furniture that made the rooms seem small.

Add fun inexpensive accents and incorporate as many family photos as possible.

Re-purpose the “formal” dining room which the owners never used.

And of course all this had to be done within their budget. 

Foyer- before

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Foyer- after

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Dining room- before

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“Dining room”- after

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Blank wall in living room- before

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Office area- after

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I also “fluffed” several other areas in the home.

Overall, it was a simple job that brought a lot of satisfaction to me and my clients.

And most importantly it made better use of all their spaces.

Monday Randomness: I can’t do it all

I had a real life reality check this past week.

I can’t work full time, work out three times a week, be a good wife, be a step mom on the weekends, work a part time job, blog, cook from scratch meals, and still keep my sanity.

Something is going to get left behind.

Or a lot of things will get left behind.

This weekend I spent most of Saturday in Hendersonville, NC helping a young couple with furniture placement, decor and picture hanging.

But instead of thinking about all the laundry I still needed to do, and was I being a bad wife by being gone on the weekend?

And should I stop doing what I love part time?

And will life ever slow down?

I just enjoyed the moment helping a young mom make her house a home.

And I know I am growing spiritually because I am not overwhelmed with guilt of every kind. Because in the past, I would have just been a huge worry wart.

His Grace is sufficient.

I don’t have to do it all.

Because I can’t do it all.

And I am resting in that Truth is week,

(and the truth that my husband knows how to use the washing machine).

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook Review and a Giveaway

Winner Announced: Jennifer B. you were randomly selected by random.org.

I will send you an email to get your contact information.

Thanks everyone for participating.


Well I promised a cookbook giveaway so here it is.

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I am so happy to have the opportunity to review this collection of recipes for Lisa Leake at 100 Days of Real Food.

But this is not just any cookbook; it is more like a text-book(especially if you have children) for simple clean eating.

I did not read any recipes that would be difficult for even novices.

And I will say that most of the recipes are very simple, and at least for my taste buds might require some pizzazz.

But then I am not one to stick to a recipe anyway.

Regardless, I am all for reducing processed foods and cooking from scratch.

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I tried the recipe for cinnamon raisin bread.  And I actually made it three times. Once as the recipe was written and once substituting 3 bananas and chocolate chips for the applesauce and raisins, once as muffins.

Each time the recipe turned out well. Just be careful not to under/over bake it. I had a hard time telling when it was finished baking.

But it was definitely better tasting than this stuff.

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Okay now for the fun part.

I am giving away a copy of the cookbook this week. Winner will be chosen Thursday evening, 9/4/14.

Two ways to enter:

#leave a comment below with the best recipe you have ever made.

#share the giveaway on facebook, twitter or instagram, then leave a comment below that you did.

Feel free to enter once a day.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to 100 Days Of Read Food for sponsoring this giveaway.

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook Review and a Giveaway

Well I promised a cookbook giveaway so here it is.

wpid-img_20140827_165901.jpg

I am so happy to have the opportunity to review this collection of recipes for Lisa Leake at 100 Days of Real Food.

But this is not just any cookbook; it is more like a text-book(especially if you have children) for simple clean eating.

I did not read any recipes that would be difficult for even novices.

And I will say that most of the recipes are very simple, and at least for my taste buds might require some pizzazz.

But then I am not one to stick to a recipe anyway.

Regardless, I am all for reducing processed foods and cooking from scratch.

wpid-img_20140830_133759.jpg

wpid-img_20140830_135026.jpg

wpid-img_20140830_143659.jpg

I tried the recipe for cinnamon raisin bread.  And I actually made it three times. Once as the recipe was written and once substituting 3 bananas and chocolate chips for the applesauce and raisins, once as muffins.

Each time the recipe turned out well. Just be careful not to under/over bake it. I had a hard time telling when it was finished baking.

But it was definitely better tasting than this stuff.

wpid-img_20140829_192805.jpg


Okay now for the fun part.

I am giving away a copy of the cookbook this week. Winner will be chosen Thursday evening, 9/4/14.

Two ways to enter:

#leave a comment below with the best recipe you have ever made.

#share the giveaway on facebook, twitter or instagram, then leave a comment below that you did.

Feel free to enter once a day.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to 100 Days Of Read Food for sponsoring this giveaway.

Monday Randomness: I Might Have Fallen Asleep While Typing This

Good morning and happy Monday.

Well back to school is here and the amount of additional traffic on the highways is almost bad enough to make me want to be a stay-at-home mom.

Almost.

My husband is trying to convince me that I want to be a stay-at-home mom.

But he is also afraid that if I stay at home he will return from work everyday with furniture that has been rearranged.

And in case you think this is an announcement that I am pregnant, it’s not.

At least as far as I know.

It’s not, really.

Anyway, over the past week our bedtime started at about 11pm Sunday and by Thursday night we were in bed by 9pm.

Not sure what has come over us.

But exhausted is the best way to describe it.

I am blaming it on allergies and work stress (and not pregnancy, see note above).

And Friday night I decided to go shopping with my sister and a friend because I was afraid if I went home I might go to bed at 8pm.

Because this is what my life has become.

Shopping instead of sleeping.

But I am going to blame it on the fact that I am turning 30 soon.

And my old age is catching up with me.

Amazingly we had a quiet weekend with only a few obligations, so I was able to catch up on a few projects.

Have a great week.

 

Monday Randomness: In case you care

I am going to assume that you care if you are reading this.

Or maybe you are just bored, but regardless hello and happy Monday.

We have been busy doing lots of non-DIY or blog worthy cooking related activities which is why my frig is empty and our garage is cleaner than usual.

Monday and Tuesday I made two meals to share with folks, and then Wednesday we ate dinner with mom because it was her anniversary and my dad is in India right now.

For the occasion I did whip-up a peach pound cake which is just as good as it sounds.

Just take a sour cream pound cake recipe- reduce the sugar by 1/2 cup, add 1 cup of chopped fresh peaches, bake an extra 10 minutes. Delish!

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Thursday, we helped serve 240 hot dogs at an event in downtown Simpsonville. I don’t eat hotdogs, but I will serve them for my church’s sake:) We went to Zaxby’s for dinner that night. Such food snobs. (insert sarcastic tone)

And then Friday was Joe’s birthday which we celebrated with Chickfila and brownies because we are high rollers like that.

Joe took his son to Clemson on Saturday for his freshman year. I don’t feel old enough to have a stepson in college (oh wait it’s because I am not :))

And then we attended an anniversary dinner for some family on Saturday night.

Sunday we spent the morning wrangling kids at church and then took a LONG much needed afternoon nap.

And by the time you are reading this we will be waking up to start another week.

I hope to have some new recipes up soon. I took photos for two full posts and then the photos got deleted. Grr.

Have a great week!

Retail Therapy: A few (cheapish) finds for transition weather

 I have been a very bad blogger lately, and I apologize.

But we aren’t going to spank me for being naughty because this is not that type of blog (kinky).

The fact that our lives got busier than normal, plus our home computer died, plus two new decorating clients made for the perfect storm.

But to make up for my lack of blogging, here are a couple of great finds for fall.

And if you live in SC it seems like fall started in July and then left again for a few weeks

Weird weird weather.

But don’t worry folks, I am sure it will be back in the 90’s by September.

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Old Navy Scoop-Neck Jersey Dress

Anyway, I ordered this dress for myself because I was sold on the fact that it was cotton (say no to polyester).

I am usually not a fan of this sleeve length, but it worked out this time.

It looks cute with sandals and summer jewelry, but also looks great with a scarf and boots.

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Old Navy Side-Shirred Fit & Flare Dress

And hello, need I say more about this dress. So so cute and flattering.

 

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Nordstrom Asymmetrical Fleece Wrap Cardigan

 

I have ordered three of these Asymmetrical Fleece Wrap Cardigans as Christmas presents. And I am going to buy myself one as well. They are SO SOFT. Consider it a stylish snuggie.:)

And what I love about this type of “jacket” is that it hides a multitude of evils (hide all the flab).

***Go up a size if you plan to wear long sleeves underneath. ***

And the greatest thing is all of these items that they are available in petite, regular and plus sizes.

Now go forth and fall-ize your wardrobe.