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!

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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.

Retail Therapy: Summer Hair Products

I usually avoid hair products like the plague because I don’t like the build-up on my hair, but summertime I make an exception because-

HUMIDITY.

Do I need to say more?

And these products are helping me tame my mane this summer.

(click the photo for the link)

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Most of the texturizing sprays I have used in the past are VERY oily and require extreme measures when trying to rinse them out of your hair, but this sea salt spray adds just enough body to style wavy or curly hair without being heavy; oh and it smells great.

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I LOVE this hair spray. It’s a light hold, but it lasts all day. And it does not feel like 1950’s helmet head hair spray.

It has flexible staying power.

I really should aspire to be more like it. Let’s call it hair spray with good character qualities.

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And my hairstylist suggested this to me on day 2 or 3 after I wash my hair, especially after working out.

She said, “Flip your hair over your head, and blow dry to eliminate any moisture (sweat). Then lightly spray the dry shampoo at the roots of your hair to wick up any oil and give body to limp hair. Style as usual.”

It’s working because even though I am working out 4 days a week, I still only have to wash my hair every 3-4 days.

And I still swear by this shampoo.It has totally transformed my hair (and my husband’s, but don’t tell him I put that on the internet).

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Home Improvement: The Before And After Front Porch Project

House 2012

This project initially started March 2013.

We knew the house was lacking in curb appeal, but it took us a while to figure out the face lift.

We could have paid mega $$$ to have professionals come in, but we like to use cash so we completed projects a few at a time.

This is what we have completed since March 2013.

Removed the front hedge

Painted the shutters and front door

Replaced front door hardware

Updated the exterior light fixture

Removed and trimmed back part of the side hedge

Removed the yellowing garage window panels

Added perennials and shrubs to the empty flower beds.

And just recently removed a large dead tree. 

Saturday 7Front Porch 2013

While we painted the front door and shutters and generally spruced up the front yard March 2013, we still had a big problem.

Our front porch made of decking material was sinking and was completely rotted through in some places (and had termites we found out later).

So we decided that spring 2014 we were going to tackle this area.

If you have followed this exciting project (sarcasm) you know we got quotes for composite decking, regular decking and then brick work.

The brick work came through as the winner.

So Joe and the kids demoed the old porch and got it ready for the masons to come in and do their thing.

Front Porch 2014

So once the deck and shrubbery were gone we were ready for the brick masons.

Mason Work

Thankfully the new brick was a perfect match to the existing brick on our foundation.

And the masons did a great job. Quick, on time and on budget.

Once the final concrete was poured, Joe started making the (non-weight bearing) posts.

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We choose to build the posts because we really wanted a fat post with detail, and Home Depot was lacking in the nice looking post department.

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Once Joe installed the main pieces of the post he added all the trim detail, caulked, and painted.

I added two palms for $10 each planted in two large baskets from Ikea for $30, three pillows from a local textile outlet $5 each, and a $5 wood bench from the Picken’s Flea Market.

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Joe still has to reposition the awkward gutter set-up.

And once the weather cools off again we will be doing some more work on the flower beds, but wow have we come along way.

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The before and after is pretty amazing.

Before During After

Monday Randomness: The Truth About Our Juice Fast (we ate BBQ)

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So today was(supposed to be) the last day of our juice fast.

After the first 36 hours, I took another expensive trip to the grocery store for more produce.

And during that trip, I almost passed out while pushing my buggy around the aisles.

At that point I decided that juice fasting may not be for me.

So I caved and had some salmon and kale for dinner.

And then the next day I had some delicious blueberry peach cobbler that someone in our church group made.

And then the day after that I had a Chickfila sandwich….and Icedream.

And then I had a burrito bowl on Wednesday for lunch.

And Friday I had BBQ for lunch with my sister and niece.

But I did drink juice.

Mostly for breakfast and/or lunch.

And I never passed out, and I even lost 3 lbs (probably water weight, but who’s counting).

But I will say that I have no idea how my husband juice fasted for 60 days.

I have a much greater respect for his discipline (and lack of passing out).

Happy Monday!

PS. My favorite juicing combo is 3 sweet potatoes, 2 nectarines, and 1/2 a bag of spinach.

Recipe Review: The Only Creamed Spinach Recipe You Need

I have always been a huge fan of creamed spinach.

I will also admit that my first experience tasting it was at a Boston Market.

…but the last time I ate it was at a Ruth’s Chris which keeps my foodie image intact.

I have experimented with 5+ recipes with sad results.

But I came across this recipe from Huffington Post last week, so I decided to give it one more try.

My verdict is that it’s perfection. So simple and tasty! And just dying to be included in your next steak dinner…

Or chicken dinner, or whatever floats your boat.

But I adapted a few things for ease.

Enjoy!

Simple Creamed Spinach

Simple Creamed Spinach

adapted from The Only Creamed Spinach Recipe You’ll Ever Need

serves 4

  • 1 package frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • dash of salt

Once the spinach is defrosted, squeeze out the excess water from the leaves. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet (I used a cast iron skillet). Add the garlic and onion, and cook until just soft. Add in the flour, stirring it together to form a paste. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until thickened. Stir in the parmesan, spinach, pepper and salt.

Once the spinach is heated through, serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. This recipe can be made 1 day in advance. Reheat uncovered for 30 minutes at 325°F.

Click here for the printable recipe.

 

Monday Randomness: Juice Fasting and I Might Punch Someone in the Face

So yes.

We are juice fasting for 10 days.

And I don’t think I will punch anyone.

But don’t cross me.

Apparently I like food too much, especially sugar and bread.

And not having it causes me to want to harm anyone that annoys me.

Annoying me could simply involve breathing too loud while being in the same room with me.

So yes, my husband’s life could be in danger.

But since the rest of you are eating like normal sane people I though I would post a few recipes I have tried out in the last couple weeks.

(click on the photo for the full recipe)

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Roasted Corn Salad

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Original Recipe: Thai Chicken Salad

 

Thai Chicken Salad- thedomesticlady.com

This is the kind of lunch I would like some one to serve to me while I am at the pool.

Cool, light, refreshing, savory, sweet and so tasty.

Thai Chicken Salad

Serves 2-3

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 package broccoli slaw mix
  • 1/3 cup peanut vinaigrette (or Asian sesame dressing)
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower or sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Place chicken breast in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with s/p. Bake for 40 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, chop into bit size pieces.

Place broccoli slaw mix in a large serving bowl, add the chicken and all the remaining ingredients except for the seeds. Then toss, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour.

When ready to serve, garnish with the seeds. Enjoy!

*This recipe keeps up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

 

Click here for the printable version of the recipe.

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Recipe Review: Blueberry Almond Crisp From Bon Appetit

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Blueberries are definitely my favorite food. I eat them like candy.

So I am always trying to incorporate them into recipes.

And this blueberry crisp I tried out recently is just so good I had to share it.

Go here for the super simple recipe. I reduced the amount of sugar and ate it for breakfast. YUM.

 

Retail Therapy: Wedges, Maxis, and Earrings

While I have not been doing much shopping in the last few months, I have purchased a few things to get me through the summer.

I found this dress online through Target and I can’t get over how cute it is.

Mossimo® Women’s Strapless Maxi – Black/White Stripe

It definitely runs large so size down, and if you are short like me you will have to hem it.

I also love this dress which I also should have purchased but didn’t.

Merona® Women’s Knit Striped Henley Dress

Dangle Earrings – Gold/Coral $7.99

Earrings Cluster Drop – Gold/Blue $7.99

I bought both of these pairs of earrings. They dress up any sun dress, and I love the color combos.

FACTORY 7″ CHINO SHORT $21.00

I kept reading about these JCrew chino shorts online, but didn’t believe the hype. Well that and the fact that I have not purchased shorts since 2007.

But I took the plunge and tried them out in the 7″ inseam. I LOVE them. And they actually fit. I went up a size so that they would be a little roomy.

Tight shorts + thunder thighs = not a good look

Right now they have all the colors in all the inseams in stock on the JCrew Factory Outlet site. Totally worth $21!

And last but not least I purchased these fun wedge sandals that should also be a good transition shoe into the Fall.

Minnetonka Ashley

Have a happy 4th of July!