Thursday, October 24, 2013

I've moved!

Hey guys- check out my new and (very much) improved blog here:

Thanks all!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DIY Fall Bucket List

I have something wonderful to share!  

Now that fall is upon us, we get to decide exactly what we want to do during the season of sweater weather and pumpkin everything.  

What better way to plan it all out than to make a fall to-do list?  

I found this free printable that you can edit to add whatever you want!  Pretty awesome, right?  

{I love the happy fall y'all}

Here's what made my fall bucket list:  buy fall scented candles, bake with apples, make a pumpkin dessert, find the perfect pumpkins, grab a coffee and take a stroll, have a fall photo shoot, carve pumpkins, dress up for Halloween, decorate for fall, have a movie night, try something new & fall-inspired, make soup, walk the dogs, watch football, and capture pictures of the season.  

After I edited the list and printed it out, I stuck it in a frame from the dollar tree that I had already.  If you have a dry erase marker, they work for checking off the items on the list as you do them!  It wipes right off the glass.  {I plan on doing this for future seasonal bucket lists as well.}

I can't wait to check them all off :-)

I stuck these (very) fake flowers from the dollar tree in a mason jar and added a twine bow for an additional inexpensive (free in my case, since I had everything already) fall decoration.

I stuck another fall fake flower arrangement on the coffee table with this leaf candy dish.  Now just add in the delicious candles I got from Bath and Body Works, and it's really feeling like fall around here!  

AND, here is the wonderful printable for the happy fall y'all bucket list!  

What's going on your list? 

Monday, September 30, 2013

What's for Dinner? {Chicken Spaghetti Casserole}

Today I'm sharing another casserole.  I was so excited when I found this recipe from Plain Chicken, a food blog with lots of yummy recipes.  Find the original recipe for cheesy chicken spaghetti casserole here.

I didn't follow the original recipe exactly, because I didn't have everything it called for.  I want people to not be discouraged when they find a delicious recipe where they have most of the ingredients but not all-- chances are you can substitute, or maybe even leave it out (depending on what it is) and still have a delicious dinner!

Now, the reason I was so excited for this recipe was because it involves spaghetti.  We buy our spaghetti from Costco, so we usually have a lot of spaghetti noodles at home.  This recipe gave me something to do with it other than your typical spaghetti with red sauce.

Since we are right at the end of September and getting ready to say hello to October, this is the perfect meal for a fall night.  It's a warm and home-y, delicious casserole.   I made it on a chilly overcast weeknight.  I had an apple-pumpkin candle burning, and once I whipped up the casserole and put it in the oven-- I whipped up some apple bread so it was ready to go into the oven when the casserole came out.  It really was a perfect fall evening.


Okay, so I provided the link above to the original recipe-- so I will just share what I did differently.  The great thing about this casserole is that most of the ingredients are things I have on hand consistently.  Here is an ingredient breakdown:

  • 4 cups cooked, chopped chicken (I just used four small tenderloins and it was plenty)
  • 12 oz spaghetti, cooked and drained (I eyeballed it- since the package comes in 16 oz)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (I didn't have this, surprisingly, but I did have beef broth.  It worked perfectly.)
  • 16 oz sour cream (I could not imagine putting a whole container of sour cream in a dish so I just used about half, so 8 oz.  Again, the dish turned out delicious so this adjustment was fine!)
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I eyeballed it for this and all of the remaining seasonings)
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I love Parmesan cheese, so I didn't measure and probably ending up using a tad more than a 1/2 cup!)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (I didn't have this on hand so I simply left it out.  I'm sure it adds a very delicious part to the meal, but I didn't feel like the dish was lacking anything without it.)
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • (I added chopped onion to mine, although this is not in the original recipe)

I love a versatile dish, and this is definitely one.  I'm thinking I will add veggies next time.  Broccoli, bell pepper, and mushrooms.  Yum.  If you don't have cream of chicken, I'm sure any cream soup would do.  {This recipe is husband-approved.}

Thank you Steph from Plain Chicken, for giving me a delicious casserole to add to my collection!  

If you have a lot of the ingredients above, give this recipe a try!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cute Shoes Under $15

So, I recently have stumbled across, and boy am I in trouble now...  Here's all you need to know about the site: cute inexpensive shoes.  I found SO many I loved that were on sale, and I even found a lot in my size!  So, if you're in the market for some cute shoes that won't break the bank- give Urbanog a try.   (They have cute clothes too!)

Here are the goodies I found on my first site visit:

The heels are sage green.  I adore the color!  And do you want to know what I paid for them?  $11.00!  

Looking back on the web site, I didn't find these exact heels on sale anymore, but I found a very similar pair in pink for $13.20!  You can find them here.

The jeweled loafers I could not pass up.  They were on sale for $6.50!  I'm really happy with these purchases- I feel like you can't go wrong with shoes under $15.00!  Give the website a visit if you haven't before.  I know I will be checking back often!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Favorite Fall Scents

Tonight I ended up working late (happy Monday!) and the husband and I stopped at Bath and Body Works on our way home to pick up some fall candles.  It was a much needed pick me up after a long day of work!  They have so many fall candles out right now, it was hard pick-- but I think we ended up with some good ones.

They have these adorable Mason Jar candles that I had never seen before, and they happen to be on sale right now- 2 for $15.00!  (Originally priced at $12.50 each)  We snatched up two of our favorites, and I'm really excited about them.  The sale was great, because we each got to pick a favorite.

Here is my hubby's pick:

It smells really good, more apple-y than pumpkin-y.  Certainly makes me think of September!  

Here is my pick:

Yum, this candle smells so good.  It's one of those candles that makes you want to taste it!  

{here are our candles}

And there you have it.  I'm so excited about these candles!  I have the scents of fall, now I just need to decorate :)  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wedding Details: Personalized Wine Bottle Labels

It's been awhile since I posted wedding details!  I guess it's because every time I roll out the wedding pictures to look through, I get totally swept away in daydreaming about the special day.  I love looking through the pictures!

Today I want to share the personalized wine bottle labels we used.  These were not a detail that I planned.  My mom actually ordered a few things from the Oriental Trading web site for my bridal shower, and she stumbled across the wine labels and ordered them.  They come in a pack of 12 for $8.00, and you personalize the names and date.  They have a lot of different color options on their website too.

Here is a link to the pink ones we used.  And here is a closer picture of what ours looked like, complete with our names and wedding date.

Pretty, right?

Now if you're worried about the quality of these- they were not at all "cheap."  They stuck really well.  In fact I wouldn't recommend using them on a bottle unless you wanted them on permanently.  I had saved wine bottles for the wedding, so they worked perfectly.  Plus- I got to keep them as a keepsake afterward, and they are displayed in my home right now.  :-)  

We put pink carnations in the wine bottles.  Easy and very inexpensive.  

I love carnations.

 I adore details.

After all, it's the little things in life.  

Happy Thursday ♥  

Monday, September 16, 2013

What's for dinner? {Quick Chicken Stir Fry}

Since my first food blog went pretty well, I'm going to try it again.  Food blog # 2 is going to be yet another fast dinner fix.  Be warned: it involves Minute Rice.  Now, if those two words make you cringe- feel free to substitute the... you know (I won't dare say it again) with a rice of your choice.

I know how taboo Minute Rice is to some.  My step dad is Filipino and Hawaiian, so he eats rice with every meal.  The real-deal sticky rice.  So whenever I talk about the box of minute rice that sits in my cupboards for my quick-fix rice meals he literally cringes.  But, hey, it works for me and my hubby- and it's super cheap!

So, my go-to Minute Rice recipe for a fast dinner made up of ingredients I generally have on hand is actually one of their recipes right on the back of the box.  It's the "Quick Chicken Stir Fry."  It was one of those recipes that pleasantly surprised me because I didn't expect such good stir fry flavor to come from such few ingredients.

Here's the recipe:

Here's what you need:

{Plus oil for the skillet- which I forgot to add in the picture above}

First, defrost the chicken.  If you don't have frozen veggies, but you have fresh veggies- feel free to use those.  You can chop them while the chicken is defrosting.  (Veggies that would be delicious:  bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, carrots, etc)

Heat some oil in the skillet (I never measure this... just eyeball it) and then add your garlic.  (I don't measure the garlic either.  I love garlic- so if I scoop out a little too much it's fine by me.)

Add the chicken and cook over medium heat until it is no longer pink.  I know the recipe says to cut it into strips- but I don't do this.  I cook 3 chicken tenders whole and then chop the chicken after it's cooked.  I prefer the smaller chunks, which actually allows me to use less chicken without depriving the dish of meat.

This is how small I chop my chicken.

Next, with the chicken in the same skillet, add the water, soy sauce, sugar, and veggies.  (I eyeball the amount of veggies.)

{Now, let me take a moment to say how much I love the frozen stir-fry veggies I buy at Costco!  They are a great deal, and the bag lasts me a long time!  Plus, the veggies are bigger and fresher than any other frozen ones I've tried.}

Bring everything to boiling, add the rice, and cover.  Remove the skillet from heat and let it stand for five minutes.  With the Costco veggies, since they are so big, I usually give it closer to seven minutes.

And that's all it is!  Serve up the stir fry and enjoy!  

Here is a link to the actual Minute Rice recipe: