Sunday, November 28, 2010

Top Shop Cold Weather Picks

Here are a few favorites I’ve been eyeing from the Top Shop website.

Premium Dark Green Dogtooth Bound Duffle Coat

TAYLOR SWIFT'S COAT photo | Taylor Swift(photo source: People mag website/George Pimentel/WireImage)

Here’s Taylor Swift in a similar Top Shop coat. LOVE it!

Same Top Shop coat as seen above

Mustard Slash Lapel Jacket

This is a great cropped jacket. What better way to add structure AND color to your outfit?

Knitted Faux Fur Gillet

Olivia Palermo in a fur gilet in New York

photo source: Elle Magazine

Here’s how Olivia Palermo styled a similar fur Top Shop gilet.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Love List

I Love….

  • Getting “just because” phone calls during the day from my husband.
  • Looking at caller id and seeing that my best friend is calling me.
  • Hearing my girls play, argue, and then work out their problems.  It makes me feel like they love one another enough to “make up”.
  • Walking into church…..on time.
  • An everything bagel and skinny latte from Panera.
  • A warm fire in my family room.
  • A good pen.
  • A kitchen that is clean and smells like citrus.
  • A tight hug that only my mother can give.
  • My sister’s sweet voice and gentleness.
  • My youngest daughter’s “from the belly” laugh.
  • Cheeseburgers from Booches.
  • My trips with my blogger friends. They have literally saved my sanity during the last year. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
  • My toes in the sand at the beach.
  • A bra that fits.
  • Seeing my girls grow into their own personalities and embracing all the quirks rather than trying to change them.
  • The sound of tires on gravel.
  • The fact that God never gave up on me, even though there were times I was so very far from Him.
  • The feeling of working hard and finishing something I never thought I could do.
  • Dancing to 80’s music. “Brick House” will get me on the dance floor every.single.time.
  • Baking yummy desserts.
  • Seeing my oldest daughter’s drawings. She absolutely blows me away with her artistic ability.
  • The smell of my husband when he first gets out of the shower.
  • Massages, facials, and pedicures. These have to be in heaven. I’m convinced.
  • Crescent rolls baked with string cheese in the middle.
  • An uninterrupted bath.
  • Doing something genuinely unselfish for someone without any expectations.
  • A clean car.

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Clothes Folding and Organizing

One of my childhood chores was folding clothes, which wasn’t easy because my mom is very particular. The towels had to all be folded with rounded edges out, and the seams on clothes had to match up perfectly. Sounds strict, but I grew up in a household where you took pride in every thing you did, even when doing small things like folding clothes.

There’s something wonderful about opening your linen closet seeing a stack of neatly folded sheets and linens. I know fitted sheets give people “fits” when it comes to folding.  Here’s some tips on how to fold sheets and other clothing.

Here’s an organizing idea for your jeans. I have a ton of jeans and always have trouble differentiating between my skinnies vs. boot cut ones without pulling out each pair.

Here’s some freaky t-shirt folding!

I love how organized the folded clothes are in this closet. I think it would be A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E for my little girls’ rooms! I also love the bracket shelves and pretty salmon pink color they used.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cabbage and White Bean Soup

I know what you’re thinking….”Cabbage soup. YUCK!” I don’t like cooked cabbage either, but my mom made this some years back.  When I walked in the kitchen, I couldn’t get over how good the soup smelled. It really is a hearty and fiber-rich soup that is perfect with cornbread on a cold day.


Cabbage and White Bean Soup


  • 1 head of cabbage, outer leaves picked off, coarsely chopped & put in a big bowl of cold water
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 (14-16 oz) kielbasa (I usually get Hillshire Farms Polska kielbasa), sliced or diced depending on preference
  • 1 can mild Rotel
  • 3 cans of white Northern beans, drained
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt for cabbage plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper


  • Drain water from cabbage. Add cabbage to a large stockpot, and fill with fresh water. Add about 2 tablespoons of salt.


  • In a separate skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions, and sauté 3 minutes.
  • Add kielbasa and sauté until onions are done and kielbasa is starting to brown.


  • Stir in garlic. Cook for one minute.
  • Add kielbasa, onions, and garlic to cabbage and water.
  • If needed, scoop out some of the water to make room for other ingredients.
  • Add rotel, chicken broth, and beans.  
  • Continue cooking until cabbage is soft and almost translucent—about an 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

*Note: This is a great crockpot recipe. No need to saute everything. Just put all ingredients in crockpot, minus the water you’d add to the cabbage. Instead, add a cup or two of water. Cook on low, and forgettaboutit!


This makes a lot, so share with your neighbor or a sick friend.

Make sure you make some cornbread with it!

Tips to Simplify the Holidays

I’d like to introduce you to Sue Anderson, Certified Professional Organizer, and owner of Simplified Living Solutions. 

Simplified Living Solutions

Sue Anderson

How We Met:

I first met Sue when we were getting settled into our current house here in Missouri. We had relocated from Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, and it had been a rough 2 years leading up to our move.

We still had a storage unit in Mississippi, things in storage here, and my former business inventory stored in our basement.  I was extremely overwhelmed and my energy was drained knowing I had to deal with all these “things”.

I’d finally had enough, and called Sue after researching local certified organizers. From the moment I met Sue, I felt extremely comfortable and never felt judged for the mess our lives had become.  We had some great laughs and at the end of our weekend, I finally felt optimistic again. 

I asked Sue to share with you some ways to simplify the holidays. I plan on taking these tips to heart this year, because I’ve finally learned that “simple is better”!

Quick Tips to Simplify the Holidays

· Simplify your holiday to-do list. - List all of the holiday-related tasks that you feel responsible for (e.g., buying gifts, making cards, decorating the house, guests, etc.). Look at the tasks that you don't truly enjoy and ask yourself what tasks you could scale back on, or delegate, to reduce your stress.

· Say goodbye to perfectionism. - A big step in making holidays more manageable is to decide that you are willing to give up on perfection. If you accept that your gathering, or gift, will not look or feel exactly like the picture on the cover of a magazine, you might be able to enjoy it more.

· Slow down and breathe. - Unfortunately, too many of us get trapped in the chaos of shopping, planning, cooking, and cleaning. We speed up so much that we never really slow down long enough to enjoy the season. The heart and soul of the holidays often get lost. This year, focus on what's really important rather than the duties of the season.

· Simplify your shopping with a list. - Rather than just jumping in your car to go shopping, take some time to plan out your route. Begin by deciding what gifts you would like to get for the people on your list. Then transfer the information from that list onto another list of where you will get each item. Once you've done that, map out the simplest, most time effective route to get it all done. Take a healthy snack to keep you going.

· Simplify receipt keeping. - Keep all of your receipts together in an envelope marked Christmas 2010. Using this method will help you quickly locate any receipt you may need, and it will make it very easy to purge the expired and unnecessary receipts later.

· Prepare for next year. - When the holidays are over, take the time to clear enough space somewhere to store all of your holiday decorations together, so you can quickly and easily find them next year. If you use an artificial tree, and space allows, leave the lights on the tree year round. That will cut down on time and stress next year.

Contact Info: 

Sue Anderson, Simplified Living Solutions

*I encourage you to follow Simplified Living Solutions on Facebook. Sue does daily organizing posts on her page. If you suggest SLS’s FB page to all of your FB friends and then post “I did it” on my wall, you’ll be entered into a contest to win a $20 Target gift card.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Organizing Your DVDs

The other night, we had some free time and decided to watch a movie at home with the girls. When it was time to choose which movie to watch, this is what greeted us from the cabinet in the family room.


After about 10 minutes of looking in the cases, we all were frustrated.  Some of the cases had the wrong movies in them, and some had no movies at all.

I realized something had to be done, or I would be skeet shooting with all the random DVDs.  The next day I found this DVD case at Target and decided to get to work!


I didn’t want to randomly put the DVDs in the sleeves because I knew it wouldn’t solve the problem of being able to find the movies quickly.  What to do? Put them in alphabetical order….and let the girls help!

One of the downfalls of most organizational systems (especially for children) is when there isn’t a clearly defined place for items to be returned. For example, when kids are returning the dvds back to the binder, there may be some confusion about where the “101 Dalmations” DVD goes. Does it go under “101”or under “O” for one hundred one?

So here’s what I did:

~I removed the disc and outside paper insert from the DVD cases. You may want to do a little at a time if you have a lot of DVDs.


~Next, I made a cardstock template that would fit in each sleeve.





This project does take some time. This might be good to do when cold weather hits, or you need an excuse to “work” while watching “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”.  hehe

If your children are old enough to alphabetize and/or safely cut the templates, this is a great learning project. It was neat to see my 8 year old help her little sister alphabetize the discs.

**Note: Make sure you check with your local recycling agency about recycling DVD cases. Another option is to check with your local library. They often need cases that are in good condition.

Corn and Crab Bisque



Here’s a recipe that my husband and I have adapted from several recipes. It’s a combo of his mother’s recipe & a restaurant recipe.

Corn and Crab Bisque


  • 1 slice bacon, chopped in 3-4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of Half & Half
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 lb. of lump crabmeat (pick the small pieces of shell out before using). **We buy the pasteurized lump crab in the refrigerated section at Sam’s Club. 
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn, drained and run through the food processor
  • For garnish: fresh chopped parsley or thyme


  • In a medium stockpot, cook bacon over medium heat until brown, being careful not to burn.
  • Remove bacon & add butter.
  • Heat butter until melted, and add chopped onion.
  • Sauté onion until done, then add garlic.
  •  Add curry & flour and cook one – two minutes, or until thick.
  • Add both cans of corn and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add white wine, chicken broth, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add milk, and half & half. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add black pepper, white pepper, and salt to taste.
  • Stir in crab meat and serve at once.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley or thyme.
  • Serve with crusty French bread.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Gray Skies

Between the drop in temperature, time change, and hazy skies, I feel like all I see is gray. The sad thing is…..I look in my closet and see lots of gray too. Gray is my “safe” color. It’s not quite your basic black, but doesn’t scream for attention either. 

Here’s a few of my picks for gray fall “must haves”.

Mink Pink Basket Case Woven Grey Sweater  - Click Image to Close

Mink Pink Basket Case Woven Sweater

Note: I would pass on the lace shorts & thigh-high tights. Instead, I would pair this sweater these and this.

James Perse 

James Perse Twisted Cotton Jersey Dress

Frenchi® Ruffle Scarf

Frenchi Ruffle Scarf

I just ordered this scarf. It’s only $22.00 & comes in many other colors.

I 'Heart' Ronson Tank Dress

I ‘Heart’ Ronson Tank Dress

As I was going to Sephora (which is in JCPenney inside our mall), I noticed this casual tank dress. I absolutely love it. Best part? It was only $25.00. You may want to check your store because the price is higher on the website.

*Note: This line runs small. I had to get a size larger in this dress.

I wore this with a tissue tee from Target, black Spanx tights, and ankle boots.

BCBGMaxAzria Faux Fur Shrug

Not so sure about the “panty hose” top with it, but love the shug.

Old Navy Rolled-Edge Open Front Cardigan

This is part of my “momiform”—skinny jeans, a tank, and a cardigan.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holiday Party Dresses

Can you believe that holiday parties are just around the corner? I like to start looking for a party dress at the beginning of November because by the first week in December, all the good stuff is gone.

Here are my holiday party picks:

Aidan Mattox 'Cold Shoulder' Sequin Dress

Aidan Mattox “Cold Shoulder” Sequin Dress

Laundry by Shelli Segal Polka Dot Mesh Dress

Laundry by Shelli Segal Polka Dot Mesh Dress

This dress would look great with black tights in the winter & with platform sandals in the spring.

Sweep Me Off My Feet One Shoulder Magenta Dress  - Click Image to Close

Love this dress from Lulu’s.

It’s a great step away from the typical red holiday dress.

Parker Beaded Silk Tunic

This Parker tunic is fun & festive for more casual parties.

Forever 21 “Extravagant Origami Dress” 

What’s your pick? Have you started getting ready for holiday parties or am I the only one? HA!


Eye Candy

I was going through my pictures on Google Picasa, and realized I had a ton of great interior design inspiration photos. Sorry, but I don’t have the pictures sourced, so I don’t have any info on the designers or photographers.


Love the tufted area behind the range.










I am SOOO in love with this home office/mail nook!




Yes please!


I’d love to do this with my attic space upstairs.





Happy Saturday!

Have a great weekend!