Thursday, May 31, 2012

- mint green...really? -

So, I'm not exactly sure in what era "mint green" in your house was cool, but it's so not cool now, in this era! I mentioned in my last post that I spend a good portion of Memorial Day repainting the stucco walls outside because they were a horrible mint green (btw, I didn't post pictures of the newly painted walls, because they are horribly boring...just plain off white...but SO much better than mint green!). Well, if you thought mint green stucco was bad, take a look at this beauty!

Taken with my iPhone in pretty bad lighting...please excuse the picture quality! :-)

Oh yes...that, my friends, is my mint green sink! Yup, in the bathroom that the hubs and I use! I think what makes it even worse is the dark green and maroon tiles around the sink. I mean, who thought that color combination would look good together? And please note the silver "soap holder cut out thingy" behind the sink is placed totally off center...I mean, come on...they couldn't even center it? (It's the little things that drive me crazy! lol).

The other bathroom in the house also has hideous tile all over the counter, and a painted enamel sink. That bathroom is done in a lovely shade of pink, which might be even more horrendous than our bathroom except that it happens to be Ellie's bathroom...and that is my saving grace. I can totally make a pink tiled bathroom decently cute for a little girl!

We are actually renting this house (saving up for the house of our dreams...we don't want to!), so we won't be doing anything with these "gorgeous" bathrooms other than trying to decorate the best we can. We obviously don't want to do any home improvements to a rental...although, we will be there at least 2 years, so that's a pretty long time to put up with this crazy color scheme!

Any decorating ideas on how to make dark green, maroon and mint green look "hip and cool"? Suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

- amazing long weekend -

I absolutely love Memorial Day weekend, because to me, it is the kick off to summer! Even though it's always usually cloudy and slightly chilly in our neck of the woods every Memorial Day weekend, it still gets me excited for all of the fun times ahead! I am going to force the hubs to compile our summer bucket list today, so I can post it now, rather than in July, like last summer (fail last summer!!).

We had a pretty great weekend...first weekend in a month that we were able to just hang out and have fun, with no responsibilities hanging over our heads. We kicked off the weekend on Friday night with tacos, margaritas, and a dance party in our living room! (yes, that's how we roll these days on a Friday night!). Saturday consisted of some errands (boring), then an awesome dinner with some friends. Sunday was the best! We took Ellie on a train ride to a neighboring town and had lunch, and enjoyed the sun! She absolutely loved the train! Super inexpensive way to keep her happy! We definitely have to try that again this summer! And on Monday, I was determined to paint two stucco walls outside our house. They were painted a horrible mint green, and it was driving me crazy every time I drove up the driveway. Well, if you know me well enough, you know that I have no patience for things that are not absolutely perfect, so I decided to paint our stucco walls on the hottest day this weekend. Let me just say, I might have had heat stroke when I was done, but they got painted, and look pretty amazing (if I do say so myself!). Then our awesome friends brought dinner over, and we finally relaxed in our backyard, enjoying our new house. Not a bad weekend, at all!

Now it's back to the grind...but we're in luck! Matt and I both have only 3 days weeks...we're going away for a much needed, adults only weekend on Thursday night. I can not wait to spend two quiet and amazing days with my hubby!!

And because there's not such thing as a post without pictures, here you go! Some pictures of Ellie in our backyard...relaxing and enjoying the sun!

Monday, May 28, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I hope everyone is having a fantastic long weekend! We have finally been able to have a relaxing, fun weekend after a month of going non stop! It's been wonderful!

Today, I would like to introduce you to one of the most gorgeous momma's ever! And what's even better...she's amazing and sweet too! Ashley, from Hudson's Happenings. Her little boy is so cute, and they make the cutest family of 3! Ashley is a happy housewife and stay-at-home mama to Hudson. She is hopelessly devoted to photography, seeking the inspiration in the unexpected, and unearthing the creativity in the everyday. She loves to go on little adventures with her family and photographing everywhere she goes. She also loves repurposing vintage items. Her blog is her own little happy corner of the internet, where she shares her journey as a girl who is savoring every little moment of this wonderful life. A girl after my own heart!! :-)

(Image credit Ashley)
Since Ashley's job is to take care of her precious little family, she loves creating delicious and easy meals that please her two guys. This quick and delicious Mexican dish is perfect for a weeknight, and although it is technically a meatless meal, the colorful veggies and black beans are as hearty as can be!

Rice and Bean Rollups
1 1/2 cups Thick 'n Chunky salsa
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 medium roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1 small bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (15 oz) black beans with cumin, undrained
1 can (7 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
6 flour tortillas, (8 inches in diameter)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 ounces)

Heat oven to 350°F. Spread 1/2 cup of the salsa in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches.
Mix rice, tomatoes, bell pepper, black beans and corn. Spread about 1 cup rice mixture on each tortilla; roll up tortilla. Place seam sides down on salsa in baking dish. Spoon remaining 1 cup salsa over tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

(Image credit Ashley)

Sounds so good Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing such a delicious recipe with us! Make sure you head over to Ashley's blog to say hello. You will simply adore her, just like I do...I promise!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

- hump day -

A little video to get you through your Wednesday, aka, hump day..

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

- ugh, i hate drama -

Does anyone out there work in a drama free office?? And if so...can I come work there please?? Ugh, work drama is the worst! I work for a very small company, and let's just say there is a LOT of daily drama that goes on. It makes my work days very, very long!

And if I'm being honest here, I kind of have a lot of drama filled friends in my personal life as well...I'm not going to lie and tell you that I never create any drama...I mean, I am a girl after all, and as much as we don't want to admit it, there is a certain amount of drama that just always comes along with being a girl and associating with other girls. But I do try to keep it to a minimum. Some people in my work life and my personal life though...woahhhh, high maintenance drama queens that are so easily offended and super self centered. It can get so tiring to deal with. And I feel like I end up stooping to their level, which I absolutely hate doing! I'm taking a pledge starting today to make it a point to surround myself with drama free, happy, positive people....

...and with that, I'm now done ranting about drama!

Monday, May 21, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Hey folks, and happy Monday to you all! Today I am featuring a recipe that I found on none other than the beloved Pinterest. I haven't even tried it out myself yet, so we can all try it out together this week and report back if it was good or not! :-)

Linguine with Garlicky Bread Crumbs
pinned from "famfriendsfood", original recipe by Cooking Light

1 cup bread crumbs
2 TB olive oil, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces uncooked linguine
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Return pan to heat. Stir in breadcrumbs, and cook 6 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Cook pasta according to package directions,drain. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper; toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

(Image credit famfriendsfood)
Printable Recipe

It looks good, and it's much healthier than using a heavy cream sauce. A nice and light pasta recipe for this warmer weather! Enjoy! I'll let you know how my version turns out this week!

p.s- If you would like to be featured on an upcoming "quick recipe of the week" post, please contact me! I always love featuring new recipes, and new blogs!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

- a way to help out the william's syndrome association -

Hey all remember my friend Ashley and her adorable little boy Cooper, who was recently diagnosed with Williams Syndrome don't you? Well she asked me to reach out to my readers with this awesome opportunity to help out the Williams Syndrome Association!

Right now, this sweet Etsy shop owner, Courtney, from Paper & Lace is graciously offering to donate 20% of her profits to the Williams Syndrome Association in Cooper's name, as long as the code "Cooper WSA" is included in the "message to seller" section at check out. Her shop is super cute and her handmade cards are to die for! So so adorable!!

(Image credit Courtney)
(Image credit Courtney)
(Image credit Courtney)
Cute huh? Check out Courtney's shop and don't forget to add Cooper's special code,"Cooper WSA" during check out!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

- random thoughts -

So, I'm back to blogging, and it sure feels good to be back! I thought I would make my first post in well over a week be a "thought dump" post, complete with bullet points and everything! Hope you enjoy some of my random thoughts...

- Ellie has done incredibly well in our new house. I didn't ever think she would have that rough of a time, but the thought did cross my mind a couple times. She is just so excited to be in our new house and luckily being in a new bedroom hasn't effected her sleep at all! Hooray! She was very helpful on moving day as you can see (lol)...dancing away in the midst of all the chaos. This picture absolutely!

- Moving on Mother's Day weekend was not ideal, but it wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be. My Mother's Day present from my hubby was that I could tell him everything I wanted hung and he would get it all done on Sunday. It was actually a dream come true! Usually when we move, I am begging him to hang things for me, and it usually takes close to a month to finally get the decorating and organizing finished! Because of this Mother's Day "gift" to me, everything was put on the walls in one day! Hooray! I promise to post pictures of our new place soon, but I refuse to take pictures until everything is perfect....because I'm just kind of a perfectionist like that!

- A little rant...I am so tired of high maintenance people...some people have such a sense of entitlement. Be a little more laid back people! Chill out and think about other people before putting your "oh so important needs" first! Learn to go with the flow a little bit! UGH!

- 400 followers?? Woot woot! I am so humbled and honored that so many people have chosen to follow little 'ol me! I have met some amazing gals through my blog...and there are a handful that I seriously wish would move closer to me so that we could be amazing real life friends. I live in a pretty cool city and I promise you gals will all absolutely love it here! Lol!

- I can not wait for summer! If any of you have been following me long enough, you know that I have a love affair with summer time. I love everything about it! The warm weather, the fun activities we plan, the picnics, the BBQ's, and pool days...and let's not forget the homemade sangria that the hubs makes ( would LOVE it!). I created a summer bucket list last summer and I think I definitely need to do that again. I think I'll let Ellie add a few things to our bucket list since she's a little older and can probably understand the concept this year...although, it might be scary to see what she adds to the list! ha ha!

-  We are on a search for a new dining room table...we didn't bring our old one with us to our new house. It was a super, super cheapo one and it was in no shape to join us in our new place. Do you know how hard it is to find an affordable, yet nice table? I have this vision for a rustic, vintage table in mind and we absolutely can't find something like it under $1k! I've been scouring the internet and Craigslist for weeks now and can't find anything I like in our price range. UGH!

- Work is burning me out...and I need a vacation! I have over 9 more weeks until my assistant comes back...and she might not even come back when she was originally expected (her baby is still in the NICU, with no improvements in over a week. She's so tiny, and still can't eat or breathe on her own, so she might be there for the long haul). I absolutely love working for a small company for so many reasons, but these past 3 weeks without my assistant has taught me the one big downfall...when one employee is missing, it completely changes the dynamics of the office!

- I was doing so good waking up early to work out...then I took some time off because I was staying up so late to pack and move...and now I just can't get back into the groove. Once you stop, it is SO HARD to get back into the routine!

- If you follow my other blog, you can see pictures of Ellie every day...notice a trend? She wears a skirt, or a dress literally every day...even to bed! And of course, the fluffier the better for her.  It's adorable, but at the same time sometimes a dress or a skirt just isn't suitable for certain situations. Sometimes you just gotta wear pants, kiddo! But of course...she's 2.5 (that explains enough doesn't it?)...and she hates pants...and a huge tantrum usually ensues if I try to force her into them. So, I pick my battles, and let her wear her beloved skirts...all.the.time. I'd rather fight with her over eating her fruits and vegetables rather than fighting over wearing the same skirt for 4 days in a row!

- Skirt or no skirt, her face is what always brings a smile to my face and reminds me everyday what is important in life...

Monday, May 14, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

We survived!! We are officially moved into our new house, and we are alive to tell about it! Matt and I have moved a handful of times since we've been together, and this one might have been the worst. We only moved 8 houses down the street, and I think that was the problem. You see, since we were moving so close, we thought it would be easy. We didn't pack up a lot of stuff because we thought we could just "throw things in the car". Big mistake! While it was really nice not to have tons of boxes to unpack once we finished moving, "throwing things into the car" stretched the move out into a week long process, rather than just moving all the boxes in one day. It was tiring, and stressful, but we survived!

This means I will finally have time to come back to the land of social media...and the blogging world will be my first stop! I haven't read anyone's blog in over a week, and I am so excited to catch up with everyone!

Until then, let me share a yummy, hearty, easy recipe. If you know me at all, you know how much I love crock pot recipes. The crock pot is my solution when I want our family to eat a home cooked, non processed meal without having the time to cook every night. There is nothing more amazing than coming home after a long day of work knowing that dinner is fully cooked and piping hot.

Like everyone else, I use the crock pot a lot less during the summer when it is hot outside, so this might be the last few weeks I get to try new crock pot recipes. I made this one a few weeks ago, and was surprisingly impressed!

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
adapted from original recipe by Siggy Spice

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 tsp dried basil or oregano, or both
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP olive oil
1 egg, beaten
sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
favorite jarred marinara sauce

Spread the olive oil into the bottom of your crock pot stoneware insert. Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl. Mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the Parmesan cheese in another separate dish. Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings. Place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crock pot.
Layer 2-3 slices or 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top, depending on how much cheese you like.Cover chicken and cheese with entire jar of marinara sauce.

Close lid and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with your favorite pasta.

(Image credit Siggy Spice)

Printable Recipe

Yummy! It's so good! I promise!

Monday, May 7, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Hello and welcome to a new week, and a new recipe! We had another busy weekend, and let me tell you...I can not wait until our lives settle down a bit. I miss you guys tons!

Today I would like you to meet the amazing Miranda from, Aimless Translation. Miranda has a great blog that I love to read! Her sense of humor is outstanding, and many of her posts get me laughing out loud! She is a 20 something wife and stay at home mom to a cute 2 year old. She lives in Wisconsin, and while trying not to get buried by snow or freeze to death, she blogs. Her blog is pretty much a free for all. She blogs about her son, recipes, and just life, in general. She loves football, baseball, art, and food. And of course, wine, beer, and cheese! (She is from Wisconsin after all!)

(Image credit Miranda)
Today she is sharing her Manicotti recipe with us.  I am such a sucker when it comes to Italian food! It's my absolute favorite! So I am pretty excited about this recipe!

1 box manicotti tubes
1 package string cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce
shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella or whatever flavor you prefer)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish. Cook the manicotti, drain, and rinse with cold water. Insert a stick of string cheese into each manicotti tube and arrange in dish. Pour desired amount of sauce on top. (You can also add salt and pepper, oregano & Italian seasoning if you want). Top it off with some shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered.

(Image credit Miranda)

Printable Recipe

Now that sounds super easy, especially on a busy week night! Thanks Miranda. This also sounds like a great recipe to make and freeze for later. Great idea!

Be sure to visit Miranda and give her a great big hello! She loves to get to know new friends and you will really enjoy reading her blog. I know I do!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and I hope to be back to a regular blogging schedule really soon!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

- follow me -

I promise once we move I'll be back blogging (and reading my lovely favorite blogs) in full force! Until then, follow me on Instagram (kynad) to see what we've been up to! Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

- I'm over here -

Come find me over here at Apartment 46, where the super sweet Christine asked me to guest post for her! I was honored when she asked me to share some photography tips with her readers, because let's be honest...I am nowhere near a professional photographer. But I did have a few tips that I thought I could share with anyone who is just starting out with a camera...

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