Thursday, June 30, 2011

Party Time

Hello dear friends! As I already told you the past week or so would be a hit or miss with me blogging. I didn't not expect it to be as crazy and hectic as it has turned out to be. Lots has been going on, and I am very thankful that today is my last day of Kids' College.

Big changes are coming very soon! I am very exited to announce that my blog is about to receive a makeover! Hopefully all of the changes will be taking place in the next week or two. Check back again soon for more big news! Put on your party shoes because it's time to celebrate!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Wind + Sun + Water

My weekend officially started yesterday!! The weather is perfect here and I cannot wait to slip on my swimsuit and soak up some rays. Everyone have a wonderful weekend!! I've...

...and will return next week. XOXO

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Luxury Monograms


Thank goodness that today marks the half-way point of the week. I am already exhausted and ready for the weekend. As you know, I simply adore monogrammed items and when I found this website I knew that I must share it with you. Adding a monogram adds such a personal touch to an ordinary item. Luxury Monograms has a variety of items, from shower curtains to cardigans to napkins. My favorite item (for the moment) is the monogrammed pillows. I would love to have a couple on my bed. What are your favorite monogrammed items? Have a great Wednesday!

Photos via; Disclaimer: I was not paid or asked to review these items.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Treasure Hunting

Hello first day of summer! For you Lilly lovers, don't forget it's national wear your Lilly Pulitzer day. I don't know about your weather, but the heat struck here very early this year and never left. I hope that the temperatures do not keep rising or else I will not be able to stand it. But, this is typical Arkansas weather so I shouldn't be surprised. Last week, this week and next week are extra busy for me. I am teaching at the college each day and my parents are both home. Unfortunately, my bloggy world gets last priority. All of this being said, I am not guaranteeing a post every day or that I will be checking other blogs much during this time. I know you all will understand!

On the weekends (and any other time I don't want to see people I know) I go to a grocery store in the opposite direction of my usual store. Mom and I made a quick Saturday morning run to grab a few necessities since we were having company for the night. There is a little consignment store we have been eyeing, but never taken the time to venture into it. Since we had nothing better to do, we did a u-turn and pulled into their parking lot. For the most part it was full of odds and ends junk, but we did find a few goodies that could not be passed up. These silicone cake pans might have come from Target, but I got them for $1. The reason I think they might have come from there is because I have a similar snowflake one from Target. I think they would be perfect to use for a spring tea party.

This iron pineapple was a whopping $3. It can be used as a tray or displayed as decor.

I spotted a cart at the back which was full of Christmas items. Everything was 1/2 off, and I found this ceramic sleigh for $1.50.

My mom got this blue and white pot for $6. Each time I see it I like it more and more. And the prize goes to her for finding a Duncan Phyfe sofa for $40!!

Yesterday, between classes, I stopped into a little antique store in the middle of town. I think that they are usually overpriced, but I had a little time to kill. I scored two chairs that need a little paint but have adorable monkey print fabric for $29 each, a painting for $12 and a plant stand for $4. Not bad huh? I love finding little treasures!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Menus: Wives Tales That Might Work

30 Old Wives Tales About Food in Your Kitchen That Might Actually Work

We all need a little help in the kitchen, right? Some of us more than others? Here is a list of old wives tales that I found, but amazingly some of them actually work. I'm really not sure all of them do, but why not try them? My favorite might be the left over wine in ice cubes. Left over wine?!? I hope you all had a wonderful Fathers' Day weekend!

1. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

2. If you are making gravy and accidentally burn it, just pour it into a clean pan and continue cooking it. Add sugar a little at a time, tasting as you go to avoid over-sugaring it. The sugar will cancel out the burned taste.

3. Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

4. When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking.

5. Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.

6. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

7. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

8. To make scrambled eggs or omelets taste really rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream; then beat together.

9. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste, or at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste.

10. Never put citrus fruits or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperatures degrade the aroma and flavor of these persnickety fruits.

11. Re-heat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the Food Network and it really works.

12. If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup, just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb the excess salt.

13. To make really easy deviled eggs with easy clean-up. Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly. Cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg white. Just throw bag away when done.

14. To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place a cup of water with them in a microwave. The moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

15. Place a slice of bread into a bag of hard brown sugar. Within a couple of days it will be soft again. A piece of an orange peel will also work wonders.

16. For cleaning smelly hands after chopping onions or garlic, just rub them on a stainless steel spoon. The steel is supposed to absorb the odor. Rubbing your hands with coffee beans or lemon works well too.

17. Before making popcorn on the stove or in an air popper, soak the kernels in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, then pop as normal. The additional moisture helps the popcorn pop up quicker and fluffier with fewer duds.

18. To keep potatoes from budding in the bag, put an apple in with them.

19. If you have over spiced your food, add in some lime juice while tasting it until it is the flavor you like.

20. After boiling pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your house plants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love.

21. If you happen to have some leftover wine at the end of the evening, (and don't plan to drink it the next night,) freeze it in ice cube trays for easy addition to soups and sauces in the future.

22. Don’t store your bananas in a bunch or in a fruit bowl with other fruits. Separate your bananas and place each in a different location. Bananas release gases which cause fruits (including other bananas) to ripen quickly. Separating them will keep them fresh longer.

23. If you are not sure how fresh your eggs are, place them in about four inches of water. Eggs that stay on the bottom are fresh. If only one end tips up, the egg is less fresh and should be used soon. If it floats, it’s past the fresh stage.

24. The substance in onions that causes your eyes to water is located in the root cluster of the onion. Cut this part out in a cone shape, with the largest part of the cone around the exterior root section. Or, another good tip, chew gum while cutting.

25. If your salt is clumping up, put a few grains of rice in with it to absorb excess moisture.

26. To clean fruit stains off of your fingers, rub them with a fresh, peeled potato. White vinegar can also do the trick.

27. Keep iceberg lettuce fresh and crisp in the fridge by wrapping it in a clean, dry paper towel and storing lettuce and paper towel in a sealed baggie in the fridge.

28. If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, just put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.

29. When making a soup, sauce, or casserole that ends up too fatty or greasy, drop in an ice cube. The ice will attract the fat, which you can then scoop out. A piece of bread works great too.

30. Boil water before freezing it into ice cubes to make crystal clear cubes

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Five

I think I mentioned recently that I have had furniture, decorating and decor on my mind. I thought I would share five images today that have recently caught my eye.

1. This settee. Need I say more?

2. What I like best about this picture is the inspiration board/cork board. The size makes it not only functional, but eye catching, too.

3. Isn't this wall art lovely? I think it adds an extra bit of character to the room. Notice the similar candlesticks?

4. Fruit. I love fruit. From using limes and lemons in the bottoms of vases to squeezing them in my water, I heart them both.

5. There is something about this picture that draws me to it. Maybe it is the striped wall, the picture on the floor, the color of the chair or the article of clothing draped over the back...I'm not really sure, but it is one of my favorite pictures that I have archived.

Could it be the heart in the above picture that makes me like it so much? Speaking of hearts and love, my dear hubby and I had our first date four years ago tomorrow. I remember our conversation in the car as we drove out to a sailboat. In my mind I thought, "I think I could marry this guy." Little did I know that eight months (to the day) later we would get engaged! Honey, if you are reading this, I am think that the piece of furniture I picked out yesterday would be a very nice first date anniversary gift. ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pink + Green + Kate

Can you ever really get enough Kate Spade? The colorful clothes, jewelry and handbags can turn anyone's grumpy mood into instant cheer. I use Kate's Larabee Road Platinum as accent plates with my china. Today I'm liking up with Trish for Pink and Green Thursday. These first few pictures are of Kate's Pop-Up shop in London.


Have you seen the latest additions to Kate's Home collection? There are many items I would love to have in my kitchen!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's in it Wednesday...Handbags Please

Today I am linking up with sweet Jennifer from from Southern Living: Preppy Style for her What's in it Wednesday. This week everyone is showing what's in their handbag/purse! Excuse the pictures that I have taken. I tried to make them look cool, but they didn't turn out that way at all. You may wonder if my purse is always this clean and empty. No way!! I have been switching between bags so much lately that I've been trying to keep things to a minimum. I tend to keep quite a bit of junk in my purse, hence the large tote, but you caught me on a good week. (No lie, there were no receipts, magazines or granola bars in there today!)

My go-to-every-day-purse is my Gucci Joy tote. I have had it about a year and a half. Now that I am a grown-up and have nice handbags I have realized that I am very much a tote person. I need the space and the two straps. It was my first big splurge, full-price from Saks, but it was worth every penny I paid. Did my hubby almost have a stroke? Yes. Is he happy now that he has seen how much I use it and how durable it has been? Yes. Seriously, he critiqued the thing when it came in the mail and was impressed. Aren't men funny?

This week I am teaching at our local college's Kid's College. I snatched this large tote and matching bag when I went into the cute Pharmacy we have in town. They just got a new monogramming machine (!!!!) but were not quite ready to tackle the task of the bag, so I told them I would give them a couple of weeks before I let them experiment on mine. I ended up ripping off the tag yesterday and throwing all of my junk into it. Not to worry, it is still going to get monogrammed. I thought it would be the perfect beach/pool/carry-all bag for the summer.


Since we are on the subject of handbags I thought I would tell you what is next on my list. Ok, ok, so there are about a zillion lovelies on my list, but I'm going to go for something practical. I have full intent on this taking the place of my Joy, but that is really not something I am ready to have happen yet. And, with this new budget Bryan has put me on it's probably going to be a while. Maybe a long while. I'm totally crushin' on the Louis Vuitton Totally MM. Similar to the beloved Cabas Mezzo but with a better bottom!! What's next on your list?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Louis Vuitton + Angelina

Rumors were right, Angelina Jolie is the new face of Louis Vuitton. Her first ad for their "Core Values" campaign was released Monday, and will have its debut on Wednesday in the International Herald Tribute. Angelina is shown on a boat in Cambodia's Siem Reap province. Reportedly, she is wearing no make-up, her own clothes and that is her own years-old monogrammed Cabas Alto bag.

What do you all think? Do you think Angeline fits the right role to be the face of Louis Vuitton?

A tidbit on the bag, it is no longer in production. I snagged the Mezzo when it was first announced that they would no longer be made, but after using it a couple of times I was freaked out about the bottom getting dirty. After it sat in my closet for months I finally got rid of it. It would still be my favorite bag if it were not for that bottom. Le sigh. Another rumor is that the style will again be made since it is Angelina's favorite. Hummmm, maybe I should go for round two?


Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Menus

Having the closest grocery store over 20 miles away has really taught me to plan better in the kitchen. I understand that people's lifestyles are different, some have children, some eat out a lot, etc. This is just what I have learned works for Bryan and me. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. We really do not have any restaurants close, so I cook, cook, cook. Here are few tips that I have learned.

1. Make a list. Stick to it and do NOT stray.

2. Make a weekly menu. If you know you are going to eat out 3 nights, just leave them blank. Or you can opt to fill them in and have the meals carry over to the next week.

3. Try to find meals that have certain ingredients in common. Example: I do not normally buy green onions, but this week I have two recipes that call for them.

4. Buy simple things that can be eaten in multiple ways. Example: I could eat a banana with oatmeal for breakfast, with peanut butter for a snack or after a run. I could eat hummus with any number of veggies that I could also steam or put into salad. I need 1/2 cup of veggie broth for a recipe, but I could use it to make soup the next day or even freeze it for later use.

5. If you are trying to eat healthy check labels. On my last trip to the store I randomly checked a generic brand canned item vs. the name brand canned item and was surprised to see that it had less sodium and reigned healthier in all ingredients.

6. Try to incorporate things that you already have in your fridge or pantry. This will eliminate extra costs and will force you to use products before their expiration date.

7. If you buy junk food, you will eat junk food. Just don't buy it.

8. If you have leftovers think of a different way to eat it for lunch the next day. Example: I will be fixing grilled salmon one night. I could make salmon croquettes or a salmon sandwich/wrap with leftovers.

9. I promise that by making a menu, sticking to a grocery list and purchasing things that can be used multiple ways your grocery costs will go down. I spent $110 on groceries and look at what all I purchased.

Of course, staples will have to be gotten along the way, organic products are more expensive and other variants cause the price you pay to either increase or decrease. I honestly try to keep my grocery purchases under $100 per week, usually more like $80. With the $110 spent I purchased everything I need to make the following recipes, plus more. (If you want to see a list of the groceries I purchased, just let me know.)

oatmeal + banana
uncooked Oats + Greek yogurt + fruit
Egg + 1/2 bagel (cheese is optional)
bagel + almond butter or peanut butter
egg + fruit
yogurt fruit smoothie
breakfast pizza on tortilla

leftovers from night before
Skinny Tuna Melt
Buffalo Chicken Wrap
grilled chicken salad
grilled chicken wrap

Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas
Grilled Chicken Bruschetta (I'm using turkey.
Barbacoa Beef + Cilantro Lime Rice + Corn Salsa (We're having company.)
Salmon + brown rice + grilled Asparagus
Stir Fry Spicy Chicken

apple + almond butter
celery + peanut butter
Greek yogurt + fruit
string cheese
veggies + ranch/hummus

We are having 20 lbs. of fresh shrimp brought from the Gulf, so knowing this allows me to figure out lots of ways to cook it. I found this Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad, this Shrimp Cobb Salad and this Garlic Shrimp; and I already know that I have the ingredients to make all of the above. It's good to have options. I could always make shrimp tacos or tostadas, too.

I have a couple of other things I think I will post about for Monday Menus the next couple of weeks. If you would like me to do a post on something specific, just ask! I hope some of these tips help!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

I hope everyone is having a peaceful, relaxing Sunday!

Friday, June 10, 2011



For those of you praying for baby Miller, click here to go to their family blog to read about updates. Click here to see a video that captured at home with Mama, Daddy and big brother Cole. Please continue praying.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shoe Organization

It all started yesterday when I saw this picture over at Deliciously Organized. If you have never heard of this site, you must stop by and see Carlee's brilliance. I am pretty sure you will get addicted, just like me.

I am already dreaming of moving (sooner than later, or later than sooner), so I have been pouring though decor magazines, furniture sites, fabric get the picture. I even stumbled upon an estate auction that is set for this Saturday about an hour and a half away and I really want to go. Once I start looking at all of these eye candy pleasures, my mind starts going a million miles a minutes and before you know it I am organizing. I could give you the full run-down of how I got to this picture, but that would take us a while. If anyone is feeling extra generous today, would like to spend some money and not sure how, you can buy this and ship it to me.

Here is the email that I sent yesterday after finding this amazing storage tower.

Dearest Hubby of Mine,

I would really like this shoe tower. I know it is not in our budget, but I am willing to go without food for the next three months

Thank you,
Your Loving Wifeee

His response: "Oh good...something else for you to color coordinate."

There are multiple ways to store shoes. One way that has caught my eye lately is using molding.

If you have the right piece, storing shoes in furniture can be quite lovely.

How do you store your shoes? Any tips to share? I hope you have a great Thursday!