Monday, February 25, 2013

Creamy Tomato Soup with Greek Yogurt

 I am a soup girl- I will not lie. It is easy, goes great with bread, and usually makes lots of leftovers that freeze well. I am normally a chunky meaty soup girl, but in my quest to actually make some of the things I have pinned, I decided to try this creamy tomato soup.

OH.MY.GOODNESS. This might be my new favorite. It tasted like pizza, and yummy marinara and fresh herbs and it took under 30 minutes to make. We had it with grilled cheese sandwiches and both Marcus and I just loved it!

The key to this soup is using an immulsion blender. You can buy one for under $20 at Target and you can use it on my other favorite creamy soup recipe.  This is a long stick blender that goes into the soup and blends up all of the chopped tomatoes, onions and herbs and makes it a thick creamy soup. This tastes very similiar to the soup at La Madeleine. The best part- no cream. It is made with greek yogurt. 

This soup would be perfect to share with a Get Well card for a friend. It is warm and super tasty! Find the recipe at More Fruit Please

Friday, February 22, 2013

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken

 I am bored with planning meals and God willing, I have many more years of meal planning ahead of me. So, this 2 week period, my husband and I went through my hundreds of recipe pins and decided which new dishes we wanted to try. We are trying 8 new things over the next 14 days. I'll share them with you over the next month. Hopefully, we find some new dinners for the regular rotation!

We eat lots of chicken and we never fry it. But, we both love a good fried chicken strip from the local fast food joints. So, this recipe appealed to us.

You make a yummy honey mustard sauce that serves as the marinade and the dipping sauce. Then, the "wet" chicken strips are dipped in crushed pretzels. 

Marcus ended up making this one since my hair appointment ran long and we both liked it! We'll make it again especially since we have all the sauce ingredients in the pantry now. It had good flavor, was crunchy after baking and my 4 year old ate it.

You can find the recipe from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice here

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Annie Sloan Mirror Update

I had just a little orange paint left over from doing my photo prop chair and decided the pink mirror in Abby's bathroom would be the perfect project! 

When I first painted this mirror, she had a different shower curtain from the one pictured below. It has never really matched, but was always close enough. So, this past weekend, I pulled the pink mirror down and painted it orange to match.

I used a mixture of three Annie Sloan chalk paints- Barcelona Orange, Cream, and Emperor's Silk (red). I just mixed them up in a red Solo cup until I had what I wanted. Most of the paint was already mixed up and leftover from the chair. I went inside the scrolly section with a little bit of dark wax to give that section a little more depth and bring out the detail.

Ta-Da! I now have a orange mirror to match her Amy Butler shower curtain.

The colors in this curtain are awesome! You can see how the pink worked fine, but the orange is much better! I gave Abby the choice of orange, green or blue for her mirror. I'm glad she picked orange!

I love upgrading basic builder mirrors. It makes such an impact! See my master bath mirrors here or more Annie Sloan projects here

Monday, February 18, 2013

Check that off the Bucket List

My dear sweet husband read my blog and noticed that my bucket list is on the blog. He looked it over and decided we could check "know the books of the Bible in order" off that list. Our daughter is at church on Wednesday nights for an hour and a half, so we have spent each Wednesday night this year together learning 5-10 books per week. And, we are done! We both know all 66 books of the Bible in order. As a side note, we quiz each other almost daily while doing this and our 4 year old can name 14 books. I couldn't name 14 books at 34!

Here is my reciting of the books along with a few funny faces I didn't know I make!

If this is something you want to do, I have a few words of advice:

It is not nearly as hard as I had imagined. Take a few books each week and do it. You'll be amazed how quickly you can learn them.

Spend $1.99 on Granny's Bible Dojo on your iPhone. It is a fun kids game designed to help you learn the books of the Bible. It works!

Do it- I am so much more confident when my pastor asks us to turn to X book now. I know where it is! It has given me so much more delight in finding scripture, following along in studies, and being aware of my Bible more. I always felt a little shame in looking at the Table of Contents.

 Hooray for my husband for prompting me to get this done! He asked what was next... I recommended he arrange a meeting with Tim Tebow. hehe!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Creating a Family Tree

The ladies from our Bible Life group recently took a day to decorate our classroom. We had fun painting the room a beautiful blue gray color and decided it would be fun to add a family tree along the long wall of the classroom. It turned out so cute and was super easy to do!

You only need a small sample of paint or leftovers from another project, along with a few brushes, and an overhead projector with transperancies. We borrowed an ancient overhead from my husband's office. You can also find them at garage sales or on Craigslist.

I went online and found a tree outline that I liked. There are tons of options, just image search tree to find the best one for you. Print the image out on 8.5x11 paper.

Next, place the overhead sheet (purchased at Office Max for under $1) over the tree image and trace your outline onto the overhead sheet.

Then, we have your image to project onto the wall. Moving the overhead away from the wall will increase the size of your image. We played around until we had it just where we wanted it.

With the overhead on, I used my brush to outline the tree. Carrie, Kati and I then started filling in the tree. It was quick and easy since we had an outline to follow.

Ta-Da! A full on tree inside out classroom made for under $5!

The final touch- we added 8x10 photos of the families in our class to the tree. Carrie bought the frames at the dollar store and spray painted them all silver to match our decor. We have blank frames ready to go as new families join our class.

I think this would be a great project inside a house, too! It would be most wonderful at Christmas time with past holiday pictures added to the wall! Remember, it is just paint, so you can always cover it up after the season. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Top 10 things I love

I hope you are having a great day with the one or the things you love most!

We celebrated with dinner last night, so tonight is dinner at home, little gifts and yummy dessert... all things that I love!

Speaking of things I love, here is a top 10 list of things I love in no order...

1. Colorful shoes that match my outfit perfectly
2. Dinner in the crockpot, a candle burning and a football game on the TV
3. Sweet tea of any kind
4. a good leather handbag that fits over my shoulder with just the bend of my arm and stays there!
5. Long lunches with girlfriends
6. 10,000 Reasons and King & Queens on my iPod
7. the smell of fresh baked bread, clean laundry or my husband's soap
8. Chevron! I may be staying at this party longer than most, but I still love it!
9. the sweet little princess stage Abby has entered
10. my new church, upcoming Dot Mom conference, and my new excitement toward the Bible

Happy Valentine Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Etsyetera: Favorite New Shops

Congratulations to Tonya Mitchell- she won the favorite things Valentine giveaway!

I have been on etsy a little too much lately! But, I have a few new favorite stores that I wanted to share with you all! Happy Shopping!

I recently bought a new Bible and wanted a fun cover. I found Heartmee on Etsy and loved her style and her prices! I messaged with her and she agreed to make me a cover using a button from my husband's grandmother's collection. My husband's grandmother was a Godly woman who taught Sunday School and loved the Lord all her life. I love that I have a modern and funky cover and a family heirloom attached to it. She makes covers for most anything!

Crowning Petals is my favorite place for over the top beautiful hair pieces for Abby. I love checking the mail when I have a package coming from Dina. She is fast, uses such great scraps, and produces the best quality hairpieces. Abby have 4 of them and I love them all! I highly recommend making a custom one- just convo Dina and tell her what you want. I have had her make basic color combinations for me to make sure Abby gets lots of wear out of them. We recently took Valentine pics with a pink and white one. It made the picture!

When Big Mama revealed her new living room, I fell in love with the Between You & Me Sign above her mantle. The signs from this etsy shop are perfectly rugged, washed out, and spiritual! They are a professional version of my handmade sign, tutorial here. I love this one!

I am always looking for cute boutique clothing for Abby Lu. I typically buy her two high quality dresses each year- Spring and Christmas. Sugar Creek Kids is my new favorite shop- I found Abby's Easter dress there and it shipped in 2 days! Amazing turnaround and the best use of fabric combinations I have seen in a long time!

If you'd like to see more from Etsy, click here for my favorites and fun Etsy purchases. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Quick Carbonara

My husband and I ate at a small beautiful Italian restaurant a few years ago for our anniversary and I fell in love with their carbonara. It came out as a big mountain of noodles with an egg yolk sitting on top. I was freaked out, but tried to maintain my composure in such a nice setting. I stirred the yolk into the pasta and said a little prayer before taking my first bite. I was sold!

It tasted like breakfast and pasta and cheese and all levels of goodness. When digging through cookbooks recently, I saw a Southern Living version of carbonara and decided to try it.

I will admit this isn't as good as my fancy restaurant carbonara, but it also doesn't cost $20. So, I highly recommend giving this easy weeknight dish a try! You wouldn't be disappointed!

You can view and print the recipe here. Enjoy!

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the Valentine's Day giveaway!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Valentine Giveaway- My Favorite Things

I think it is time for a giveaway! In honor of Valentine's Day, I collected a few of my favorite things that I will mail to the winner! These items are either made or purchased by me :)

One lucky winner will received a love birds kitchen towel, Sugar and French Kiss scentsy, Fancy perfume by Jessica Simpson, a set of bracelets from my Etsy store, and homemade LOVE blocks.

Follow the Rafflecopter directions below to win! Contest ends on February 8th. Don't miss out!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Desktop

I loved the clean lines of last month's desktop so much, that I copied the style again this month!

made from the Hello, I love You Kit
Have a great month- I pray it is full of LOVE!