Friday, February 28, 2014

Super Easy Cream of Potato Soup

Lately I've been trying to cook things that are heavy on left overs, since I'm hitting that lovely 3rd trimester energy let down.  Most of the time I just don't feel like cooking because carting two babies around wears me out.  So I've been focusing on things that are easy to freeze and use later.  This way, I'll hopefully have a fairly good stockpile for when the Rowselettes get here, and I'm a walking zombie. ;)

Cream of Potato Soup
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 12 red potatoes, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 8 c. H2O
  • 2 c. milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  1.  Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Saute onion, celery, and carrots for ~5 min. while you prep potatoes.
  3. Add a dash of salt and pepper to the veggies and stir to combine.
  4. Place potatoes in the pot and add water.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boil is achieved, turn down, and simmer with lid on for 20 min.
  6. Check potatoes to make sure they are soft.  Turn heat to low.
  7. Puree soup using an immersion blender or food processor. (If using a food processor, turn heat off and allow soup to cool for about 10 minutes.  Process in batches.)
  8. Stir in milk and salt and pepper to taste.

This soup is so yummy!  And simple and super budget friendly.  It's really excellent with some shredded sharp cheddar, chives, and bacon on top and paired with some delicious crusty bread.

Note: Shown in the amazing Ripple!  The world's only detachable bowl and plate.  This great Kickstarter project was created by some very good friends of mine.  I hope you'll take the time to check out their site. :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Easy Wall Art

 A quick and easy way to liven up your walls is to add colorful art.  I don't know about you, but I don't have the budget room to spend a ton of money on art for our walls.  This is a fun way to add some "art" to your walls without spending a fortune.  And bonus, you can switch it out whenever the mood or season strikes you with hardly any cost at all.

What you need:
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Cutting apparatus
  • Frames
  • Tape

You simply cut your paper to fit in your frame, tape it to the matte, put it back together and voila!

Fun, colorful wall art to liven up any room in your house. :)

You could really use any kind of frame for this type of project.  I found these at Michaels for $9.99 each, but got them on a buy one get one free sale.  You can also use any fun, colorful type of media to put in your frame.  I used scrapbook paper, but wrapping paper, fabric, or wall paper would also work just as well.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rice Dish

This great recipe is one my hubby came up with a number of years ago.  It is delicious, healthy, and very budget friendly.  It has become a staple meal in our household since it is easy to make, uses ingredients I always have on hand, and makes lots of left overs.

Rice Dish
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles (I used a can of diced tomatoes with the addition of a can of green chiles, since that is what I had on hand.)
  • 1/2 Polska kielbasa sausage, sliced and quartered
  • 3 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning (Use more or less to your preferred taste.)
  • 3-5 cups cooked rice
  1. Spray a pan with olive oil and set over medium heat.
  2. Saute peppers and onions until slightly soft.  Push to one side of pan.
  3. Add sausage to other half of pan and cook until starting to brown.
  4. Mix peppers, onion, and sausage together in pan and add corn, tomatoes, and 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning.  Mix well and let cook for about 3 min.
  5. Add rice, half can of water, and remaining Cajun seasoning and mix well.
  6. Allow this to simmer until almost all of the water is gone.

Notes:  Rice Dish is great alone, with shredded cheese on top, or in a tortilla.  It also makes a great grilled burrito with a little sour cream on top.  This recipe could also be made using a turkey kielbasa for a lower fat version or beans instead of kielbasa for a vegetarian version.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Coconut Almond Body Wash

This absolutely delicious smelling coconut almond body wash is from Kia over at With Lovely.  I really love coconut oil and how it makes my skin feel, so decided to give this homemade body wash a try.

Here are the 2 ingredients you will need:

Soften the coconut oil by microwaving for 10 sec. intervals until easily scooped with a spoon, but not liquified.  Measure out the coconut oil and soap and place in a bowl or mixer.

Mix on high with a whisk attachment until the oil and soap are incorporated, and it starts to look like whipped cream.

Scoop mixture into a plastic or glass container with a lid. (Don't lick the spoon!  You think I'm joking, but you'll want to because it smells sooo delicious.)  The next time you take a shower, scoop out a handful and soap up with your concoction.

This is a pretty decent body wash.  Although not nearly as moisturizing as I thought it would be with the coconut oil component.  Granted I tend to have dry skin, it's winter, and I live in an extremely dry place.  I do think I would like this as a summertime body wash.  Another thing to note is that it doesn't foam up like normal body wash, but still does a great job of getting you squeaky clean. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The White Long Sleeve T-shirt Done 4 Ways

As you may have noticed, I've been on hiatus for about a week and a half.  I've actually been working on a room in my house that I'm excited to be able to show you sometime next week when I have it all finished.

Now on to the fashion post.  As I've mentioned before, a lot of maternity clothing is white, black, grey, or some variation of the three.  This can be really tough for a girl who has about every color of the rainbow residing in her closet.  However, thanks to many different kinds and colors of accessories (yay!), I have still been able to sport my own colorful style.  Here are 4 different ways to style a plain white long sleeve t-shirt.

This outfit would be great for running errands around town.  Cute, but still comfortable with supportive shoes to keep aches and pains to a minimum.
Top - Old Navy Split-Neck Slub-Knit Tee $6;  Pants - Target Liz Lange Essential Pants $24.99;  Shoes - Payless Champion Solstyce Sport Oxford $29.99;  Scarf - Target already in my closet

This outfit is great for when it's a cold, blustery day.  The sweater and scarf help keep you warm, but still look stylish.
Top - Kohls Oh Baby by Motherhood Ruched Tee $17.99;  Sweater - Kohls already in my closet (similar) $24.99;  Pants - Target Liz Lange Denim Jegging $34.99;  Boots - Famous Footwear Madden Girl (similar) $50;  Scarf World Market Pashmina $9.99

This outfit is good for a casual work environment or meeting up with friends.  The sweater and necklace help add a nice pop of color to an otherwise plain outfit.  (And it was actually warm enough to take a picture outside!).
Top - Kohls Oh Baby by Motherhood Ruched Tee $17.99;  Cardigan - Target Merona Long Sleeve Cardigan Sweater (similar) $22.99;  Pants - Target Liz Lange Bootcut Denim Jeans $34.99;  Shoes - Payless Lower East Side Chelsea Flat $16.99;  Necklace - Target already in my jewelry box

This outfit would be great for work or for a date night.  The tank top adds a bit of color, and the black slacks, necklaces, and shoes dress it up.
Top - Target Liz Lange Long Sleeve Basic Tee $8.98;  Tank - Target Liz Lange Sleeveless Tank Top $12.99;  Pants - Target Liz Lange Boot Cut Pants $13.98;  Shoes - already in my closet;  Necklaces - H&M already in my jewelry box

Monday, February 10, 2014

Massage Bars

Here is another beauty product that I couldn't live without.  These LUSH massage bars are amazing!  LUSH is a great company that makes all natural products, doesn't test on animals, and is involved in a ton of charity projects around the world.
Therapy Massage Bar - Lavender & Neroli Scented
Wiccy Magic Massage Bar - Peppermint & Cinnamon Scented

Every time I get a massage and bring in one of these little wonders, the massage therapists always exclaim over how great they are and how good they smell.  The best part is that they soak into your skin, so once your massage is done, you don't feel all greasy.  And if you're pregnant, they make the best belly moisturizer you can find!  I'm 7 months pregnant with twins and not a single stretch mark yet.  And I feel good about using them because they don't contain anything that could be harmful to my two little bundles of joy. :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Puffs

This is actually from a post I saw on Pinterest (surprise, surprise) that was just a series of pictures from a Tumblr account.  It looked easy and delicious enough that I thought I would give it a shot.

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Puffs
  • 1-2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1-2 sheets puff pastry dough
  • 1/2 c. Nutella spread
  • 2-3 bananas
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the puff pastry dough from the refrigerator.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface.
  4. Unfold the puff pastry dough on to your work surface and pinch together any holes that may have occured.
  5. Cut the dough into equal squares. (I cut mine into nine squares using my pizza cutter.)
  6. Place a dollop (I did about a tablespoon) of Nutella in the center of each square.  The amount will vary depending on how large or small of squares you made.
  7. Put 1-3 slices of banana on top of the Nutella in the center of the square.  Again, the amount will vary depending on the size of your squares and the size of your bananas.
  8. Fold the corners into the center and squeeze together in the middle to seal.
  9. Place puffs on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 15-17 min. or until golden brown.

As you can see, I didn't pinch closed my centers quite well enough.  I think wetting my fingers a little before pinching them closed would have helped them seal better.  I did two puff pastry sheets, and my second one just wouldn't cooperate, so I had to re roll it myself.  This resulted in thicker dough and not as large of squares.  These are the ones on the right that came completely open upon baking.  However, all of them were delicious regardless of how pretty they looked. :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Easy Nail Art

This is a little trick that I discovered a while back for making easy nail art.  Like really easy.  I am by no means artistically gifted, and I can even do this without screwing it up.

You can use as many colors as you like to do this, but I will demonstrate with two.

Polish your nails with the 'base' color.  Allow this to dry for a good 10-15 minutes.

Place a piece or pieces of tape on your nail to create a design.

Polish the section showing with your 'accent' color.

Allow this to dry for about 5 minutes and remove tape. 

Apply a top coat, allow it to dry, and you're done.  Fun, professional looking nails that are easy to create. :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Citrus Cleaning Spray

I have seen multiple posts on Pinterest lately for making homemade citrus cleaner.  This makes sense since all citrus fruits are in season right now (and oh so delicious tasting because of it).  I just happened to get 4 oranges and 10 tangelos in my Bountiful Basket a couple of weekends ago, so decided to make some of my own citrus cleaning spray.

Here is what you'll need:
  • Large glass jar with lid
  • 4-6 orange peels (can use tangelo, clementine, grapefruit, lemon, lime, etc.)
  • Vinegar
  • Dish Soap
  • Spray bottle
Put your citrus peels in the glass jar.

Fill your jar with vinegar.  Let this sit for approximately 10 days. 

Strain out the citrus peels from the vinegar.

Mix the citrus vinegar 1:1 with water and add 1-2 drops dish soap.

And there you have it.  Homemade citrus cleaning spray.  

I really like this stuff. :)  It does a great job as an all purpose cleaner, cuts grease, cleans glass, and leaves my granite counter tops nice and shiny.  And it doesn't overwhelm you with the scent of vinegar.  Don't get me wrong, it still smells like there is vinegar in the spray, but it isn't nearly as strong as straight vinegar and water and the scent seems to dissipate more quickly. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Scones, Scones, Scones

Ever since a trip to England after my junior year of college, I've been a devout tea drinker.  And what goes better with tea than scones?  A few years back I discovered these wonderful scone mixes by Sticky Fingers Bakery at World Market.  I love them because you literally just have to add water and bake.  So simple and easy.  Plus they are delicious!  I thought that I had tried all of their flavors until the other day when I saw this one:

Holy crack, Batman!  These are so, so, so good!  More like a cookie/scone.  I'm pretty sure I ate at least 5 of them within the first hour after I made them.  Thank goodness I make them about half the size that they recommend (I use my Martha Stewart Cookie Scoop).  Hopefully I've turned you on to something you'll love just as much as I do. :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII

I just had to post some Broncos pride today.  Can't wait for the game!

Go Broncos!  And yes, I am so excited that my jersey will still fit over my 7 months pregnant belly. :)