Monday, February 28, 2011

He Rubbed my Back and Pulled me in Tight...

Sometimes a girl needs a cuddle. A good, long one. And my husband has learned over the past six and a half years that we have been together when those times are. I don't know when he learned or how. But he knows.

He knows when I want a conversation with opinions and feedback. Sometimes I want him to laugh at my stupid jokes or laugh along with me when I am re-telling the woes and ups and downs of my day.

Yesterday, I had a minor breakdown. I was tired from lack of sleep the night before thanks to a helluva good time at girls' night {more on that later}, the hormones came raging, and then I got called in to work. I went in to take a shower and broke down. I came out of the shower and he knew. He didn't say anything until I could utter a few words and I explained what was bothering me.

I was sad that our weekend had been cut a little short. I was mad because I figured I wasn't even really needed at work. My body was tired, my mind was tired, all I wanted was to be cuddled up with him on the couch.

He rubbed my back for awhile and by the time I left the house I felt okay about going to work. I came home and was starving. He had made food. Homemade tortillas to be exact with some delicious pork filler.

Today was a better day. He just makes me feel better.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Three's a Crowd?

Starting last Sunday, we were dog-sitting two labs. We have one lab. Let's do the math, people.

Yes. That's right. Three ca-razy labs running around my house. And in my yard. Jumping on my bed, shedding, licking, playing, wrestling, you name it. 

Sorry for the poor picture quality. All taken with a cell
phone. We all know how long a dog will actually sit
for a picture.
I actually offered to do this. {I know, right?!} A co-worker of mine was talking about taking a trip and this is the semi-slower time at work so she mentioned how expensive the kennel is that she takes them too. Not complaining at all, just mentioned that would be the big expense of her trip since she was going to visit family. Well, I love labs {obviously} so I piped up and said, "Well, we will do it for 1/2 the price of your kennel."  She questioned me multiple times on if I was sure or not and I just kept reassuring her. I mean, honestly, what could be tough about two more dogs?

We brought the girls, Pearl and Lily, home last Sunday. We took them down to our beach with another couple and their lab {Are you staying with me here? The count is up to 4 labs} and let the dogs swim, play, chase the ball, etc.

The first night with the girls was good, Lily had trouble sleeping which I think is pretty understandable considering they were in another human's house, they usually sleep in the bed with their mama {no we did not let them in our bed, I'm not that nice!}, and she probably just couldn't find "her spot."

After that night, it was pretty easy. Except for the weather here. It was rainy, snowy and cold for their whole stay here. Can I just tell you how dirty they got in our backyard? I regret not taking any pictures of the muddy paws that trekked all over our house but it's probably because I was too busy frantically trying to wipe them off! Do you know what it's like trying to wipe off three dogs at once? Literally that's what I had to do because they would just wander off leaving paw prints all over if I didn't wrangle them all in at once and hold a paw each. 

They are really calm and easy-going though, so that was really nice. I think Holly really enjoyed having some friends around. Hub has been trying to tell me for awhile now that we need another dog so Holly can have a friend. I am convinced, we just haven't found the one yet. And sometimes I get a little misty thinking about Holly not being our "only child" anymore. 

Have you had any fun adventures in pet-sitting? How do you feel about multiple dogs? 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Can I Get Out of This Cold?!

So as I have mentioned Hub and I are in Washington and his family is in Texas. While his mother constantly supports where we live and knows why we live here and whatnot, I know they would love us to move there. And there are some days, like yesterday and today, that I would just love to live there as well. Especially when she updates the family Facebook with this:

"Today is Tuesday, Feb 24 and it will be 80 today
I just love the warm, snow and ice free south!!!!!
What a great place to live and raise children!!! :-)
Love you"

OK! We get it! It's warm there. And sunny. And NOT icy {most of the time}. And there are palm trees. And the coast is less than 3 hours away. With warm water. Where we do this.

However. It is a winter-wonderland here right now. Yes, it's pretty and peaceful. It is fun to watch the snow fall but then people slide around, get in accidents, make for bad traffic and all of a sudden snow loses all of its magic. It's rather sad. 

I got a text from my best friend today and she said "Let's go somewhere warm for a few days. Just a short girls trip." These were our ideas:

Image {Funny where this image came from: a website for
a wedding planning guide. Hehe.}
Warm. Maybe a cheap flight. Wouldn't spend money there, just wander around and enjoy the "nicer" weather. {Weather: Low-Mid 60s. I like it.}

Arizona. Warm. Maybe a cheap flight. Aunt has a house there. I have never been. {Weather: 60s and 70s. I'll take it.}

California, baby. Sunny. Pretty beach. Cheap flight? Maybe. {I think you're probably beginning to see a trend here with our requirements.} {Weather: mid-high 60s. Yes, please!}

So, basically we want to go somewhere warm. It is cold here. Like 20s and 30s. I know there have been a ton of places to get blasted with winter storms worse than we have. Do I think this trip will happen? No. Why? Because looking at flights today, there are no cheap flights anymore! Too expensive for our liking. Most likely neither of us will get our butts in gear and plan it. Most likely a "girls night" of sorts will happen somewhere around here. Where it is still cold. Warming up with Baileys and hot chocolate is allowed right?

Do you fly south for the winter? What are your favorite "quick" getaways? Do you constantly dream of a vacation that never gets put into action?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Whatever Wednesday

Just an update on the past couple of days. Over the weekend my mom and I attended

This is a vintage market affiliated with 
Click image to visit the website
This was a really fun girl outing to go with my mom. We saw tons of ideas, inspiration and new ways to use "junk." Hopefully you will be seeing some of those ideas I saw appearing on here pretty soon.

While I was gone for the morning on Saturday, Hub actually got to use his new tools that he got for Christmas and the lumber he bought last weekend. He figured starting with something small was a good idea just to get the feel of the tools and whatnot. On his list include a bed frame, a chicken coop and as of Saturday, a shoe rack. We will keep you updated. Here is what he came up with:

I love it and have been wanting some more inside house plants so we are thinking of attaching some hooks and making it a hanging planter. Can't wait to see what else he comes up with!

On another note. Over our Christmas vacation, Ben was gifted a kayak. Well, obviously it would have been a little difficult to travel home with that as our carry on on the plane so it was more a, "Let us know what you find in the way of kayaks and then let us know." Which, after receiving a text message from my mom alerting us to check Craigslist, is exactly what we did. Yesterday, we became the proud owners of these beauties:

We are SO excited and will be getting quite a bit of use out of these with the {hopefully} upcoming nice weather. After a weekend like we had we can't help but get excited for sun in the spring and summer, however after weather like this evening it is hard to imagine it will ever come.

So those are some of the happenings in the past few days around here. I was really inspired at the market and there may be some interesting things in the works for us. I proclaimed to my mom that I may be interested in taking up "junking." Haven't quite figured out what that means yet but I will be sure to keep you posted. Thank you so much to our TX family for the new toys, we can't wait to use them! And, I will definitely be picking out a couple of house plants this week for our new planter.

What's new around your parts? Any new purchases? What projects are you working on? What is keeping you from getting cabin fever?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Spaghetti and Spicy Turkey Meatballs

This meal was actually made for the holiday last Monday that we all refer to as Valentine's Day. I ended up having the night off and Hub thought he would get to come home a little earlier however weather and traffic had other plans. He didn't get home until a little later but I had some dinner ready. I had been inspired by some recipes I had been looking through and decided to try something new as I like to do from time to time. Isn't it funny how we just fall into a pattern of cooking our "go-to" meals and it is hard to stray away? Well it is for me at least. That's why I try to read cookbooks and try to keep main ingredients in my head from recipes listed in magazines so I can remember to try new ones. Anyone else with me on this? Anyway, back to Tasty Tuesday. I prepared this spaghetti dish and it was a big hit with the both of us.

Spaghetti and Spicy Turkey Meatballs
**courtesy of an "archived" copy of a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
Heat oven to 375

In a bowl stir together 2 eggs whites, lightly beaten, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. milk, 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. black pepper and 1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl combine 2 lb. uncooked ground turkey, 1/3 cup finely chopped onion, 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, 2 jalapeño peppers and 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Fold egg mixture into turkey mixture; mix well. shape turkey mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on foil-lines baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until no longer pink. (170 degrees)

Cook 1 14-16 oz. package dried multi-grain, whole wheat, or regular spaghetti, with one tablespoon of salt added to the water. Drain; keep warm.
In the same pan used for pasta, melt 2 3 oz. packages of cream cheese over low heat. Add 2 cups of milk and cook, stirring until bubbly.

Return spaghetti to pan; toss to coat with cream cheese mixture.
Serve with meatballs, cheese and cilantro.

So. Confession. I did not follow this recipe. I strayed when we started with the sauce. I didn't have any cream cheese and was trying to just use what we had and not go to the store. For the sauce, I made a roux  then added milk to that and season with Italian seasonings, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

I then put a little bit of regular onion, green onion and garlic in the food processor and pulsed that up to go in the sauce. I then thawed out some frozen spinach, dried it out and added that to the sauce. I let that simmer together for awhile, cooked the meatballs when I knew Hub was on his way and came up with this:

Like I said, it turned out really delicious. I am sure it would be delicious if I had followed the other recipe too, however, I am not known to follow cooking recipes too exactly. Enjoy!

What did you have for Valentine's dinner? What is your favorite pasta dish? Do you have a secret recipe for meatballs you would like to share?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Keeping UP the Working OUT

I talked about being fit and wanting to work out and I just wanted to chat a little about what I have been doing and how it's been working out for me.

Since I got my heart-rate monitor, I have been trying to work-out to my heart rate and make sure I am working in a "fat-burning" zone as opposed to just burning meaningless carbohydrates. This can be challenging because my running is significantly slower than I was running before. It's more of just above a speed walk. So obviously to me it feels like I am not "working" hard enough but in actuality, I am just doing the right kind of work.

I am also learning that changing up my workouts keeps me interested. For the past couple of years I would mostly just do the same type of weight-lifting, ab workouts and running {and threw some swimming in for awhile} but I have noticed the past couple of weeks if I change up the workouts, I really look forward to it and don't get bored.

Last week, I went for a run jog on a nice, sunny day which felt great. The next day was not so nice outside so I flipped on the On-Demand Exercise and found Day-1 of Jillian Micheals' 30-Day Shred.
Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred [DVD]
I didn't really know what to expect but I will just say that I am not a huge fan of Jillian on The Biggest Loser. On the workout, she was not annoying or obnoxious {which is what I usually think of her}. She was really motivating, the workout was great and I am planning on doing another one today!

My next workout was with my brother, who I mentioned in this post, and he had me do some really great core exercises which are also great for my back as well as mixing in the cardio. I have been figuring out that I like mixing-up the workout in the sense of alternating strength, core and cardio during the workout. Let me say, running on a treadmill for thirty minutes straight can definitely be less than thrilling.

I feel like I am still on track {to what I haven't quite figured out} but I am still motivated and am enjoying trying different workouts and changing things up a bit.

What are your favorite workouts right now? How do you keep from getting bored with your workouts? Do you have any favorite exercise DVDs?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Truffle Pie

Over the weekend Hub and I went to my grandparents' house with my parents for dinner. My mom was cooking dinner and taking it so I told her I would make a dessert. I was originally just going to do a chocolate pudding pie {quick and easy} however I came across this recipe the other day in an old Better Homes and Gardens magazine and thought it looked delicious and still pretty quick and easy. It delivered on all accords:

Chocolate Truffle Pie
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
2 to 3 Tbsp ice-cold water

12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 bag (11.5 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
3 large eggs
3/4 heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1. Crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until dough begins to come together. On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a 1 in. thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll disk into a 12 in. round. Transfer to a 9 in. pie plate, easing onto bottom and sides of the plate. Cut the dough along the edge, leaving a 1 in. border. Fold the edge of dough underneath itself to create a thicker 1/2 in. border that rests on the lip of the pie plate. Crimp if desired.

4. Prick bottom of pie dough all over with a fork. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Line dough with nonstick foil or parchment paper; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is firm, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights, return to oven and bake until crust is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Let cool completely.

{Here's where I tell you a little secret. I used pre-made store-bought pie crust. I know, I know, I'm a cheater, however, again, I was looking for a quick and easy dessert. Like the kind I had to serve in a few hours. So the pre-made served me well}

5.Filling: In a 2-quart heavy sauce pan, melt chocolate and butter over medium-low heat, 
stirring, until smooth smooth. remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla and salt.

 Add the chocolate mixture, whisking until fully incorporated.
 Scrape into cooled crust and bake until filling is puffed and set but the center still trembles slightly. 30 to 35 minutes.
 Let cool completely (filling will set as pie cools).
Served with whipped cream if desired. 

{Whipped cream wasn't part of the recipe but since I had heavy whipping cream from the recipe, I just added a little vanilla and powdered sugar and whipped up some cream.}

This dessert was a definite crowd pleaser and will be made again. My grandma is a bit of a chocaholic and she couldn't get enough. I had to leave her a couple pieces for today. My dad likes rich food and he couldn't stop raving. And Hub. Well, Hub loves chocolate and rich food so, well, you can put those pieces together. Enjoy!

What is your favorite dessert? Do you have a go-to dessert that you like to whip up in a pinch? Are you partial to chocolate or fruity desserts? Or both?!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekend Recap

Happy Valentine's Day!
As I discussed a little bit last year about Valentine's Day, Hub and I are not huge "into" Valentine's Day. However, Hub and I love each other. A lot. And we love to spend time together. So this weekend, we did just that. Friday night we actually got to have our type of "traditional Friday night" together and enjoyed catching up on our DVR, having a couple of drinks, visiting, talking about our weeks and ending falling asleep on the couch and him up for a bit more before we made it to bed. 

Saturday morning we had talked about some projects we wanted to tackle so we woke up fairly early and spent some time in bed reading and sipping some coffee and then were up and at 'em. We talked to our family in Texas, rearranged our family room furniture that has been the same since we moved in two and a half years ago. I know. I'm a little embarrassed to say that, but there had never been any arrangements that I could visualize so it just remained the same. Until this Saturday when Hub's brain starting churning and he came up with a fab arrangement that we both love! I tell you, amazing talents of his revealed to me everyday {wink, wink}. 

We were then off to Lowe's since Hub got some power tools for Christmas that he has been itching to try out {I know, crazy he hasn't used them but he has been very busy at work} and I have a room I want to paint. I am going to reveal some before pictures now because I think it will keep me motivated to actually get it done if I post some embarrassing pictures here. This is our office NOW:

I know, right?! Doesn't it look like what you picture Hub's bedroom to have looked like in college? Well, it is pretty dang close. So, over the next few weeks I am making it my goal to straighten it up, paint and do a little bit of inexpensive re-decorating in there. My "crafting" pile area is getting a little out of hand and could use a place to be tucked away:
So then, we attempted another endeavor:
Yes, I walked into the office and thought I could take a hammer and rip off the trim. Well, that didn't work out too well so Hub came in with the screw driver and we were able to pry some off. I wanted to get some new trim in this room since it was getting a face-lift but then we thought if we did it in this room we would have to do it in the whole house. And if we did it in the whole house it would get pretty spendy. We then decided that it may not be the best use of our funds, so we will put it back on and we will paint it a high-gloss white paint. Hub painted the rest of the house's trim when we first moved in but we have come to the conclusion that we will have to re-paint the trim due to using the wrong type of paint and it is more of a cream than a white and we want it to pop a little more. Ugh. Painting trim is a pain. In the, you know what!

We then headed off to the homebrew store and Lowe's. We came home with a sample of the paint and some stick on numbers to put on the mailbox. Hub wasn't feeling well so we laid low for a little while and then he started a batch of beer while I started another project which I am only posting a couple of pictures from until it is finished. I am not even going to divulge what the end goal is. Gotta keep you folks guessing.

Sunday, Hub and I got up early once again to do some reading and then he had the itch so he headed back to Lowe's to actually purchase some lumber, purchase a gallon of paint {that we loved once I painted some of the sample on the wall} and I headed to the store to pick up a couple of ingredients for the pie I made to take to dinner at my grandma's.

Basically, by posting our weekend recap, I am telling you how we celebrate our love for each other. By being together. And laughing and poking fun at each other. By snuggling and not talking. By pouring out our activities of the week, catching up and listening to one another. By cooking, working on our home and riding in the car together. There is no other Valentine for me and I am so grateful everyday for the man I have to come home to every night.

Stay tuned for the finishing of the aforementioned projects!

Did you do something special for "Valentine's Weekend"? What does your special someone do that makes you feel special? What projects are you working on?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Deep, Dark Secret

Ok, it's not really that serious but honestly, there are a couple things I get a little embarrassed of at times. I would say that I am realizing I have a slight addiction to TV. I have been trying to figure this out lately and I can't. Hub and I have been debating whether to get rid of the cable subscription because we feel that we may watch a little too much TV. The only thing that makes Hub nervous is the whole cutting-off-the-sports-connection-thing. Which I totally get. However, since we have DVR it feels like there is always something to watch. The thing we get frustrated with is that we really, truly enjoy doing other things but it seems like sitting down and turning on the TV may be the easiest thing. We both love to read. We love to be outside {which obviously our options with that are limited right now due to weather}. We like working on our home. But, we also love TV. We have quite a few shows we watch and DVR as well as watch on Netflix. I am also guilty of just having the TV on when I am home alone which I think may sometimes be for more company than actually watching.

I am a little convinced that it is just because it is winter, when all shows are new and come a couple of months from now and we will be back to watching less and doing more. It is also hard when we work hard all week long, have limited time to see or talk to each other and then we have a chance to snuggle up on the couch and watch TV--of course I will take that activity, anytime! I will keep you updated on the talks of the cable subscription decision. {I know, what a totally riveting topic right?}

My next confession is that of a little habit of junk food. I have actually been pretty good about consuming better food for the past month or so, however, I am not totally above it. It is kind of how I am with my moods I would say. Kind of an all or nothing deal. For instance, a couple of days ago, I had been great all morning, eating yogurt and granola, fruit, string cheese and then I came home. I walked by the cookie jar and ate a cookie.

And then walked by the jar again and ate another.

And another.

And another.


Yes, people, that's right, FIVE homemade delicious, chocolate chip, walnut cookies. What in the world is wrong with me?

Most of the time on weekdays I have either yogurt, oatmeal, or some fruit for breakfast but this weekend, oh no, had to have ginormous breakfast at good ole'
It's like this power takes over me and I can't. stop. eating. I love food. All kinds. Some days I can be so healthy and some days I am so not.

I feel that if I put these confessions out there and have actually put them in writing, maybe I will remind myself from time to time to keep myself in check. Steer clear of the TV, the cookie jar and the IHOP!

Do you have any secret vices? What do you do to curb them? Do you find yourself watching an abnormal amount of TV during the winter?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Aren't moods funny? Today was absolutely gorgeous outside. However it was freezing all. day. long. In an attempt to not be a total hermit, when I got off work I got the dog, went and picked up a friend and her little boy and decided we would go on a walk around a near by town and maybe go in and out of a couple of shops.

Let me just confess and say that I don't take my dog to near enough places with people that she isn't used to. first of all she whines in the car, which when it's just me by myself I can tune her out, but when I have company in the car, it's Uh-nnoying. So my thought of a perfect afternoon strolling in and out of a couple of shops in the nice weather turned into me being stressed out about making my dog mind, pretty sure my friend being stressed out that her little guy wasn't having as much fun as we thought he might and not really getting to look in any shops.

So, I get home. I think I will start a craft project, clip a couple of recipes I have been meaning to, do a few dishes, maybe prep a room for painting and what do I do? Flip through a magazine, check Facebook, check blogger, chat with the Hub on the computer, do a few dishes and now it is dark outside.

My moods are so funny, I tell ya. Sometimes it is all or nothin'. I am gung-ho about a project, flitting from room to room cleaning, or I am down, snuggled under a blanket not doing a single thing. Oh well, such is life and it is days like this that just keep me hoping for spring and the warmer weather with longer days that are bound to come.

What to do? What to do? {Image}
I think this weekend Hub and I may tackle a couple of home projects. Painting? Some woodworking? Trimming? We will see what is in store for this lil' house.

Do you get cabin fever? What do the cold, dark days do to your moods? What do you like to do to keep from going crazy?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

So hopefully many of you had a wonderfully relaxing Sunday full of cozy clothes {maybe some NFL inspired attire}, maybe some drinks, maybe some football, but especially some good food! I have come across many a recipe for White Chicken Chili and I was going to make "regular" chili for Sunday's "big game" however I decided to change it up and opt for the poultry instead of the beef. Don't know why but I did. I perused a couple of recipes for this dish but as some of you may not know about me quite yet, when I am throwing stuff in a crock pot, it is somewhat hard for me to follow a recipe. Time to learn about my version of:

White Chicken Chili
Fits in large "oval" shaped Slow Cooker
{This is just how I made the chili. Add ingredients or omit ones you don't like according to your taste buds!}
6 chicken thighs with skin removed
1 can Hominy
I had never used this before but decided to try it instead
of corn. It is actually a really nice texture and since
it is so hearty, you don't lose it amongst all the other
2 cans Great Northern Beans
1 smallish can of green chilies
2 fresh jalapeños chopped and seeded
1/2 yellow onion chopped
3 cloves of chopped garlic
2 cans or 1 large of cream of chicken soup
32 ounces chicken broth, divided in half
Dashes or teaspoonfuls {basically just to your liking or until it tastes like you want it to} of:
garlic salt
cayenne pepper
chili powder
seasoning salt

The preparation
1. I put the chicken in a pot and just barely covered it with chicken broth and boiled it so the skin would fall of the bones.
2. While the chicken was boiling, I combined all other ingredients into the crock pot. {Pretty tough, I tell ya.}
3. Once the chicken was cooked through and falling of the bones, I took the bones out, added chicken with juice and all into the crock pot and set that baby on high for about an hour to make sure the cream of chicken soup dissolved and then turned it down to low for about four hours. I would taste it about every hour and decide if it needed any more dashes. 

I would say this turned out well. Hub isn't always the biggest soup fan, so I don't think he loved it, even though he wouldn't come right out and say it. {A good man he is. No, really, he is usually pretty honest with what he likes and doesn't like or what he thinks could be different about a recipe. We are a pretty good team in the kitchen.}

We served it with cornbread muffins, some with jalapeños and some without.

What are your favorite soups to throw in the crock pot? What was your favorite Superbowl dish? Any special way you have to "spice" up some chili?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Burlap Wreath

I haven't really done any projects lately. I have kind of been working a lot. I know, I know, it's really no excuse but for some reason keeping the house in order and reading have been taking priority over "crafting." The other day I had to make a Costco run so I stopped off at a couple of other stores along the way. You may be familiar: Micheal's and JoAnn Fabric. I, apparently, was feeling creative that day and there were a few items on sale so I picked up some things to help me complete some quick projects.

I started out with a wreath. I spoke briefly about my strange love of wreaths. I don't know what it is about them. They seem welcoming. They can be full of anything really. They can be country, modern, primitive, crafty, country bumpkin--Ahhh, the possibilities are endless. I felt our front door was looking a little bare after our Christmas season wreath came down so I got the idea here. So here is my version.

My materials included some burlap, a wreath form, scissors, twine, straight pins, hot glue, buttons, fabric and felt.

I cut three long strips of burlap. 4"x70" and then ended up cutting a bit more to get it all wrapped around the wreath form.

Here it is wrapped around the form.

Then it was time to stitch thread through the burlap to make the ruffle, however, my thread was way to thin. So, I found some twine and a nail and used that instead. Kind of makeshift hand-stitching.

Once the thread twine is through the length of the strip, pull the end of the thread to make your ruffle. Then I just fit it around the form and pushed straight pins in {which I think mine may have been too small} then reinforced those pins with hot glue.

This is where I kind of strayed from the Jones Design tutorial because my ruffle wasn't looking how I wanted and coinciding with what she said was supposed to happen.

So instead of putting the other ruffle on the other side of the wreath form, I just pinned and glued it more inside the wreath form and layered it on top of the other ruffle.

I figured now it was time for some embellishment because it was looking a little drab and that was what I was trying to change about our sad front door. I was peeking over at Tatertots yesterday and came across this post. I noticed the design of the greyish pillow and decided to do a version of it for the flower on my wreath. I cut out a big circle of felt for the backing and began cutting out hearts of a decorative fabric.

I glued them all around.

And layered and glued and layered and glued and ended up with this. I also had some buttons on hand that I used for the center.

I am pretty happy with the outcome and even more happy to just have something on the front door. Here she is in all her glory to welcome the Hub home tonight!

Happy Friday!

What are you all crafting lately? Are you as obsessed with burlap as I am? Are you snowed in at all so that gives you an extra incentive to complete some crafts?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Hub and I had a short amount of time together this weekend due to his business travels so we tried to make the most of it. What does that mean? Well, we saw the pigs and then....of course we cooked! I love meals that do not take me to the grocery store but only to the pantry and the fridge. Hence, I bring you my version of:

Pot Roast
1 chuck roast (ours was 4.37 lbs, but yours doesn't have to be)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
garlic salt
carrots (as many or as little as you like)
celery (as much or as little as you like)
beef broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350
1. Heat a dutch oven with about 2 tbsp. oil on the stove
2. Mix 1/4 cup flour, a generous amount of salt, pepper and garlic salt in a pie plate
3. Generously salt the roast
4. Lay roast in flour mixture and coat on each side
5. Sear roast in dutch oven until each side is browned and even slightly crispy, remove roast from pan
6. If the bits left in the pan are unappealing (like ours were) drain out the pan
7. Put all chopped veggies into pan and brown
8. Return roast to pan and add 1 can of beef broth, red wine and one twig each of rosemary and thyme
{liquid should be barely visible under the veggies}
Our roast cooked for about 3.5 hours, but just use a meat thermometer if you are unsure. Beef should be cooked to no less than 145 degrees for "medium-rare."

We love this cozy, winter meal. It's such an easy dinner but tastes so delicious. I also do this in the crock-pot if I want to "set it and forget it" for the day. Enjoy!

What's your favorite "easy" entree? What ingredients do you like to have readily available at home to be able to whip up a "go-to" meal? Is your pot-roast recipe similar to mine or way different?