Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Top Shop, I'll Take This

Dear Dudes and Dudettes at Top Shop, 

It's snowing AGAIN today. I seriously cannot take it any more. Could you send this right away in a size 4? I need to know there's a chance we'll have spring ONE day.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Beautiful Wall Arrangements

yellow wall with art

hallway staircase

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Valentine's Day

Valentines Day Ideas For The Whole Family

Since having children, my husband and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day in the "traditional" way. You know, getting all dressed up and going out to an overpriced dinner. Our Valentine's Day is usually low-key and this year was no different.

Doc sang at church this weekend, so things were a little fragmented with him being gone so much. We decided to pick up dinner Saturday night from a great local restaurant that did a V-day special. They offered 2 filet mignons, a lobster tail, twice baked potatoes, and green beans--followed by the best chocolate truffles EVER. YUM!

Yesterday, I helped with the girls' Valentine's Day parties at school. I made these heart shaped sandwiches and heart smokies.

But here's my favorite part of Valentine's Day-

Hubby came home from work with this......

He didn't buy this for the girls to just play with, but for him to do mani/pedis on them. 
If you knew what a "manly man" he is, this would melt your heart as much as it did mine. This was all his idea, and I have to chuckle when I think of him scoping out the nail polish aisle. 

He told me to go take a hot bath (rare once you have kiddos), and he spent the next hour and a half painting their fingers and toenails. He did designs and added stickers and glitter. 

What a daddy and what a husband! 
I just had to brag because I'm so blessed!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Penne Pasta with Chicken in Sun-Dried Tomato Cream

**Disclaimer: This is not a "healthy, frolic in the low-fat meadows" recipe. In fact, it's an indulgent, "I want to impress somebody" recipe. There's very few ingredients in this, but there's oh, so much flavor.

I serve it as pictured for guests, but for us, I just mix the pasta and sauce into one pot. It's not pretty, but the pasta takes on the cream flavor and I think it's better all mixed together.

You could make this without the chicken for a vegetarian version. It's just as good!

Penne Pasta With Chicken in Sun-Dried Tomato Cream

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 10 oz. jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1.5 cups of white wine
  • 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb of penne pasta
  • Approximately 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shaved or shredded)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh basil leaves

  • Using a fine mesh colander, drain sun-dried tomatoes, reserving oil.

  •  Place the sun-dried tomatoes on a paper towel, and roll up to remove excess oil. Leave wrapped.
  • Salt and pepper chicken.

  • Measure out 1.5 tablespoons of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken to skillet.
  • While chicken is cooking, add sun-dried tomatoes to small food processor.

  • Pulse until finely minced. You can also do this by hand if you don't have a processor.

  • Continue cooking chicken until done. There may still be liquid left in the pan. No biggie.
  • Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn or overbrown garlic.
  • Add white wine, minced sun-dried tomatoes, heavy cream, and half and half to chicken. 
  • BTW, I used a wonderful local wine.

  • Stir and bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • While chicken and sauce are simmering, cook penne according to directions. Drain and put aside.

  • When sauce has reduced, you'll notice it takes on a rich, creamy red color.
  • Stir in a handful of Parmesan cheese.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put a serving of penne in each bowl and spoon chicken and sauce over it.
  • Add basil and top with Parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dreaming of Bold Print Dresses

Instead of complaining about winter weather and telling you how much I hate it, I'm going to offer you a glimmer of spring hope. Here's a few dresses that I miraculously wish into my closet.

Collective Concepts Strawberry Mochi Maxi Dress  - Click Image to Close
This is such a lovely maxi dress from Lulu's.

Collective Concepts Strawberry Mochi Maxi Dress  - Click Image to Close
Here's a closeup of the print.

Sheryl One Shoulder Dress --Voom by Joy Han

 I love the graphic print on this casual Mara Hoffman Poncho Mini Dress

Tibi Calla Lily V Neck Dress
This one is my FAVORITE! 

Check out the back!

Forever 21 Boho Chic Dress

I love how the print on the back is switched on this one too.

Are you as ready as I am for spring and summer dresses?

This and That...

I don't have a titillating blog post in the works, so I'll share a few nuggets of "This and That".
  • I survived the Great Blizzard of 2011. We had an estimated snowfall of 20". Insane, right? The kiddos were out of school for 4 days, so it was a challenge keeping them occupied from Tuesday until Saturday. Have I mentioned that I'm ready for spring?
  • I did A LOT of cooking last week. I made a sweet Russian friend's rice, celery, green onion, radish salad. It is so yummy. She was the one that won 1st place at our Christmas get-together.  The flavor is so refreshing. It reminds me a little of a light pasta salad. 

  • I will be training at the beginning of March to be a "Yoga To Grow" certified teacher. It's an intense week long (35 hour class) and when finished, I'll be able to teach yoga to children. I am SO excited. This is such a great opportunity for me to share my love of yoga with little ones.
  • I am loving Archer Farms "Black Pepper and Sea Salt" chips from Target .  I may or may not have eaten a couple of bags this month.
Archer Farms Black Pepper & Sea Salt Potato Chips
  • Hubby and I finally got to go out on a date night last Saturday. Boy, did we need it after being cooped up all week! It's amazing what having an uninterrupted dinner and conversation can do for your marriage. A big ol' steak doesn't hurt either.
  • I made a visit to Marshall's and bought these colorful scarves. I'm really tired of all the black, gray, and brown I've been wearing. What better way to inexpensively add some color to an outfit! 

  • I've been eating horribly for the past few weeks, so after a friend's recommendation, I ordered the Arbonne brand "Detox Spa 7 Day Body Cleanse". I just started today, so I'll let you know how it goes. I've done another supplement cleanse, and let's just say...I was wrecked.  This one is supposed to be less intense.  This kit includes 7 small bottles that you add to water & drink throughout the day. The ingredients include a "Full Body Cleansing Blend" and a "Superfood Antioxidant Blend". I bought mine unused and sealed (of course) on eBay from an Arbonne dealer. So we'll see how it goes. 
Seasource Detox Spa 7-Day Body Cleanse Dietary Supplement
I hope everyone is doing well and staying warm. Have a great week! XOXO

Friday, February 4, 2011

Five For Friday

My Five Favorite Turquoise Jewelry Finds
(all from Forever 21)


At $2.80, these earrings are a great bargain! They're big (2.5" x 1"), so you can get a dramatic look for less.

LOVE this. I'd wear one on each arm with a red or fuchsia dress.

There's nothing like a big statement ring!

I would wear this with a plain tunic dress or white tee and jeans.
This bracelet looks a lot more expensive than the $10.80 price tag.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pimento Cheese

On sesame Melba rounds

Yesterday, I asked my Twitter friends if they had a good pimento cheese recipe. I got great responses, especially for Samma's pimento cheese.  You have to go check out this recipe. It's next on my list. I'm snowed in, and didn't have any jalapeños. 

So after sifting through many recipes, I decided to make Bobby Deen's (you know....Paula's son ) Pimento Cheese recipe. Like ALL recipes, I made some changes. Here's my version.

Pimento Cheese


  • (1) 8 oz block of Sharp cheddar cheese      *NOT pre-shredded
  • (1) 8 oz block of Monterey Jack cheese      *NOT pre-shredded
  • 3 oz of cream cheese (room temp)
  • About 1/3 cup mayo or more if desired
  • 2-3 teaspoons of jarred pimentos, (drained & smashed with a fork)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated onion
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of salt (more or less according to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Fresh cracked black pepper


  • With a hand grater, grate both cheeses into a medium sized bowl. 
  • Add cream cheese and mayo. Lightly blend.
  • Add pimentos and onion.
  • Add salt, garlic powder, and desired amount of fresh cracked pepper.
  • Thoroughly blend.
  • Chill for a few hours. It has a firmer consistency.
  • Serve as a sandwich or on crackers or vegetables. The possibilities are ENDLESS!
*I am the queen of "sneaking" fruits and vegetables into my family's food. Guess what I did yesterday? I shredded some carrot & put into the pimento cheese. You should try it. It adds a nice sweetness & crunch. Shhhhh. Don't tell them. 
Here it is on wheat bread.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I've Got a Thing For Leather

Maybe it's the 80's rocker chick in me (yeah, you read that right), but I've always LOVED leather clothes. Not just jackets or shoes. I like tops, dresses, pants, and if you recall in this post....I like leather shorts.

Remember the episode of "Friends" when Ross wore leather pants? The bathroom scene with all the baby powder is classic!

I think this leather episode from "3rd Rock" is even funnier. Check it out.

I absolutely love ALL these leather pieces. 
Some are not so affordable, but we can dream right?

Black Faux Leather Yoke Pleated Tunic

I would wear this tunic forever. How adorable would this be with tights & ankle boots? I'd also mix it up & throw on a distressed denim jacket over it.

The texture of this belt would make any outfit stunning.

Love the trim on this. What a great way to jazz up a boring cardigan!

Do any of you wear leather pieces besides jackets and handbags? 
I'm now going to go dream about that Vince leather dress. HA!