Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh la la more treasure!

Even though the treasures we have been finding are old they somehow fit right in with our decor. I have been trying to come up with the words to describe my decorating style and I can't quite put it together. Victorian, Southwestern, Shabby chicTraditional... Rustic love? Here are a few more finds that have made there way into our everyday decor...courtesy of the basement!
This did have sliding drawers, but we took them off to turn this piece into a bookshelf
An old watering can
An old camera and old books...I love old books!
A mandolin. Drew's grandpa's use to play and now Drew wants to take lessons!
 Next post...Amazing aprons!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Buried Treasure

Living in an old house formerly owned by my husband's grandparents has it's perks. One of them being "buried treasure." When we moved into the house it was a mess. Drew's grandparents were secret hoarders and had so much stuff! We did what we could to make the house ours right away including ripping up all the carpet (Thank you Jesus for hard wood floors!) and re-modeling the main bathroom. As for all the stuff, we moved what we didn't have time to go through to the basement, closed a few doors and pretended it wasn't there for a few months. We have slowly been sorting through things and have found some amazing treasures that are now included in my every day decor.  It may take a few posts, but our buried treasure will be revealed. I will start with my favorite find...
A Crosley Radio!
More treasures to be revealed tomorrow...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chipotle Buy One Get One Free!

My comfort food
For all you Chipotle lovers out there (I'm their #1 fan) I have a link for you.  Click on the link below, watch the video (I promise it's short) and print the coupon for a buy one get one free burrito (or tacos/bowl/salad if you prefer). It's only good until March 4th so print and enjoy!  I actually think I might watch the show they are promoting as well.  Well, Happy Friday and happy free burrito! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cat lover...please be kind.

Just a disclaimer...I love all animals. Just ask my husband...I cry every time I go into the SPCA. It just breaks my heart.  I grew up having both dogs and cats as pets, but was always more of a dog lover.  About a year ago Drew and I were "craving" a pet...can you be craving a pet? Hmmm. Being newly weds and having full time jobs we decided a dog was out of the question since it was November and we were full swing into school.  We wandered into Petsmart (a logical place to look for a pet) and fell in love with two kittens who just happened to be brothers. We thought it over and bought them both the next day.  Now most people I know either love cats or hate cats. There seems to be no in between.  I am going to just tell you now that I love my cats and if you are following this blog you may hear about them from time to time...just a little heads up.  Here they are...
Meet Bear...he likes to ride in the laundry basket when I bring up clothes from the dryer.  He is also obsessed with food (I blame my husband for this) PS We don't normally "dress" our cats...this was a special occasion (Our Annual Tacky Sweater Party!) Haha Please don't judge.
Meet Sawyer...he loves to cuddle and enjoys chasing his tail in the bathtub. Someone told me orange cats are more cuddly, for us it is true, but I don't know if this is a proven fact. Comments?
They love each other :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Club Love

About a year and a half ago a few of my "teacher friends" and I decided we should start our own book club. Being elementary teachers we all love to read so why not read together and talk about it? Maybe it is just the teacher in all of us that makes that sound like fun, but that's okay by me. We meet once a month at one of our houses and we call ourselves The Finer Things Club (yes it's from the Office if you pay attention to those small details). We have read some amazing books that I'll be sharing randomly, but one of my favorites we have read is called Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. They are making it into a movie as we speak so you should read the book before seeing the movie! Here's a link to the trailer if you are interested: Water for Elephants Trailer
The ladies of The Finer Things Club
One of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much was because the setting was at the Circus! To make our book club meetings fun we of course have food and this particular book club meeting we had themed food. Seriously what is better than circus food? We went all out and even ended up having a cotton candy maker! Read this book and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, February 21, 2011

100% Sweet

Last summer my husband, Drew and I worked as Camp Counselors at the Cincinnati Nature Center. We love going out there to hike around and about a month or two ago we found out about a Maple Syrup Making class they were having. Drew immediately volunteered to help out and has been counting down the days ever since! So the day finally came this past Saturday where Drew got to put his "woodsy-ness" to the test and tap a real tree.  My mom and I went up to walk and check it out and it was so much fun!  The event was free and started out with a guided hike along a maple trail where you see tons of trees being tapped. 

You take a bucketful of the sap and add it to a huge barrel. When the barrel is full you take it back to what they call the sugar room where you dump the sap into an evaporator.  The evaporator is run by a fire and the sap eventually turns into delicious maple syrup. 

We got to taste it fresh from the tree and it was the most amazing maple syrup I have EVER had. YUM! 

 My grandma grew up in Vermont (home to Maple Syrup) so my mom was telling me about how they used to pour fresh maple syrup over snow and eat it as a treat. I think I'd like to try that someday. So in conclusion, tapping trees for syrup is fun and if you ever get a chance to see it in action you should!
See this website if you are interested in trying it out next weekend!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My new favorite breakfast

I was in Houston a few weeks ago for a teaching conference and we got a 20 dollar credit toward room service each day at our hotel. One morning I ordered a fruit parfait and that was it...I was hooked. This is my own version and I would probably eat this for breakfast every day if I could. It's very simple to make, healthy and delicious!
Fancy Fruit Parfait:
Ingredients: vanilla yogurt, your favorite granola and a mixture of your favorite fruits. My ingredients all happen to be from Trader Joe's, which is one of my favorite places to do grocery shopping! I also used sundae glasses that I got as a shower gift from my friends Emilee and Lisa. A great gift!

First add a little granola to the bottom of the glass

Then add a few spoonfuls of yogurt
Now add your first layer of fruit and repeat 2 or 3 times
Then admire your skills
A great way to start the day. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Feeling Inspired

I have been feeling very inspired this just might of had to do with the fact that I got to meet Ree Drummond who alone inspires me to be a better juggler of my time. It also might have had to do with the sunshine that has finally decided to visit Cincinnati for a while. I bought sunflowers to celebrate both Pioneer Woman and the sunshine.  My Pioneer Woman inspired breakfast to come tomorrow... Until then here are pictures from the book signing.
Here we are waiting to meet Pioneer woman. Thanks to my stunt earlier in the week we were letter I and not letter R. Phew!
Me and Pioneer Woman. She liked my outfit and I told her I wore it to match the cover of her cookbook. Haha and sadly I really did. Oh well. She noticed and I admit again to my dorkiness. Are you noticing a pattern?
Me, Faith, Ellie, Betsy and Ree Drummond. So much fun!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pioneer Woman comes to Cincy!

Pioneer Woman is coming to Cincinnati tonight....along with my dear friend Betsy! Betsy and her roommate Faith introduced me to Ree's website about a year and a half ago and I've been hooked ever since. It is only fitting that they be here with me when we meet her! Yay!  Confession: I went to Joseph Beth Booksellers (where she will be speaking tonight) earlier this week and tried to get each of us a letter to hold our spots in line. Well the cashier would only give me one.  I paced around the store trying to figure a way around the rule when I spotted a woman browsing through magazines. I mustered up the courage and asked this random woman to get a ticket and pass it along to me. I got super nervous and hid in the magazine section until she came back with another ticket. I am such a dork...and only I would be nervous about something so stupid. HA! It's okay I admit it.  Anyway...I'm so excited to meet Ree tonight and hang out with some wonderful girls as well!  Here's a recipe by Pioneer Woman that Betsy and I cooked together a month or two ago. Another delicious recipe!
Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich..
Beware: A LOT of butter is used in this recipe. But it is worth it!
Betsy and I

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pioneer Woman

So I am a little obsessed with Pioneer Woman. If you haven't heard of her please check out her website ASAP: She is visiting the Cincinnati area this Friday and I am beyond excited! I have made several of her recipes and they are amazing. Here is one of my favorites...

Chicken Spaghetti:
Ingredients (in Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond's words):
1 cut-up fryer chicken (I just cut up chicken breast...about a pound and a half)
1 pound thin spaghetti broken into 2 inch pieces
1 4oz. jar diced pimentos
1 small onion
1/4 C finely diced green bell pepper
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 1/2 C grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp seasoned salt (Lawrys)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350, Add chicken to a stock pot. 
2. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer until chicken is cooked (25 minutes).
3. Remove chicken from water using tongs, set aside on a plate to cool
4. Remove 2 cups of broth from the pot and set aside
5. Bring remaining broth to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook it al dente.
6. Drain spaghetti
7. Dice veggies, finely dice onion
8. Cut and slice green pepper 
9. Put cooked spaghetti into a large bowl and add cream of mushroom soup. Add 2 cups cheddar cheese.
10. Add onion, green pepper and pimiento. Add salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. 
11. Add chicken and broth
12. Stir together
13. Pour mixture into a large baking pan and top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake 40-45 minutes.
Enjoy...oh my I want to make this again right now!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Every February you'll be my Valentine..."

After spending the last 9 Valentine days with my wonderful Valentine we decided to change it up and do something different this year to celebrate.  We found the most amazing place in Madeira called Cheers to Art. If you live anywhere near the Cincinnati area you should check it out. It is the perfect combination of relaxation and fun. You go in grab a glass (or a bottle) of wine or your favorite drink at their walk up bar and then you put on your smock and they teach you how to recreate a painting that you can take home! Check out the website:
Here are a few pictures from the process...
There's my Valentine...he's wonderful.
Step 1: Paint the background
Step 2: Make a tree...mine turned out abstract, but I like it
Step 3: Add leaves...Drew's tree is more realistic of course
Step 4: Add the "love birds"

Drew's finished product
My finished product (my birds are a little large, but overall I like it)
Step 5: Take home and hang up on the wall!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Celebration #1

Girl's Night Menu: Red Velvet Cake Balls, Chocolate dipped everything, sushi, veggies and Harry and David's infamous dip.
Bekah, Ellie and myself showing off our Valentine gifts
The past two years a few of my girlfriends and I have had our own Girly Valentine's Day celebration. We decided friends should be celebrated on Valentine's day too so we managed to squeeze in time to celebrate. Valentine's day is always a good excuse for a girls decorations, sweets, girly movies, pampering  and a little bubbly. I love these girls.
With our newly engaged friend, Delyse

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Celebrating the LOVE month

How clever is this?? Use a stencil to make your cookies even cuter!
I am one of those people who has always loved Valentine's Day. Always have. Always will. I love the colors, the sweets and the fact that most people take this day to express their feelings to their loved ones.  I get that we should do that every day, but I think Valentine's day is just a little reminder to me of how blessed I am to have so many people who love me!  I think my love of Valentine's day comes from how I was raised. My parents went all out every Valentine's Day when we were kids. When I was growing up Valentine's Day wasn't singles awareness day or I hate love day it was just about celebrating love.  My parents would always get my sister, brother and I fun cards, a present and of course chocolate. We would go out on dates for Valentine's day and since then I have been in love with the holiday.  It makes me sad that so many people hate it.
Aren't they precious???

All of my kindergarten students absolutely LOVE Valentines day.  Why? Because every one in the class gets and gives Valentines to every other person. No one is left out, every one is included and made to feel very special.  I wish it could stay that way.  My mom was telling me about a co-worker of hers who hates Valentine's my mom decided to change her mind. Anonymously each day for the past week, my mom has been leaving goodies on this woman's desk.  My mom has loved watching this woman's attitude change as she gets excited about receiving something from someone who cares about her.  I want to be like my mom and make someone's Valentine's day better.  As corny as it sounds, Let's share the love this Valentine's day.