Thursday, March 31, 2011

{Random Things}Decorate

Hey everybody!  I started taking a blogging class about a month ago called Blogging Your Way after seeing that two of my favorite bloggers, Leslie from A Creative Mint and Holly from Decor8, were the teachers.  I absolutely loved it, and the knowledge I gained was priceless.  If you're wanting to become a better blogger I would strongly recommend taking it.  

That leads me to my topic of the day, a review of the book Decorate.  It was written Holly Becker, of Decor8, and Joanna Copestick.  I bought it a few days ago, and I've already looked through it over a dozen times.  Flipping through the pages just makes me happy. 

The book is great because it take you through the design process from start to finish beginning with space planning (SO important).  Next it helps guide you in finding your own personal style, and gives you invaluable tips on how to do so.  Then it walks you through some examples room by room.  Last, but certainly not least, it talks about all those little finishing details, from lighting to floral design.  This is often the part I have a hard time with, and it's such a big part of the finished result. 

Well there you have it.  I definitely recommend you pick this book up!  You can pre-order it on Amazon or you can buy it right now in-store or online at Anthropologie.

I hope you're all having a great Thursday!

Monday, March 28, 2011

{My Life} My 28th Year

Photo Credits: John Stennes via GF Herald

Happy Monday everyone!  This weekend was an exciting one for sure.  Our good friends Shawn and Michelle had a baby boy (Ethan Michael) on Saturday.  He is absolutely perfect.  Congratulations to you two!  

On Saturday and Sunday we had people over  to watch the Fighting Sioux claim their spot in the 2011 Frozen Four, which just happens to be right here in St. Paul.  It also happens to be the weekend of the Twins home opener, so it's sure to be an awesome weekend!  

This Friday I turn 28.  My 27th year was an awesome one.  I got to watch my husband tackle what is sure to be one of the most exciting moments of his life.  We bought our dream house, and I got to decorate it.  I went to London for the first time, and I lost 25+ pounds, just to name a few things.  I'm not sure my 28th year can top this last year, but I do want to at least tackle some goals I have.  What better way to hold myself accountable then to put them in writing, so here it is.  

Goals for my 28th year (in no particular order):

1) Keep my house beautiful.  We've spent a lot of time and energy making our house beautiful, and I want to keep it that way.  I need to keep myself organized, and not let clutter get out of hand.  

2) Become a better photographer.  This has been a goal of mine for the last few years, but I haven't made much progress.  Having this new blog has made it more important to me then ever.  

3) Start my own business.

4) Finish or be close to finishing school.  It's time to move on, and take that next step, whatever it is.  

5) Blog, Blog, Blog.  I've heard that so many people give up on their blogs within the first year.  I don't want to be one of those people.  I love the way it challenges me.  I also want to make it a priority to network with other bloggers.

6) Become a better gardener.  I have a lot more space now, and I want to use it.  

7) Be more frugal.....enough said.

8) Make lots of lists.  I used to make lists all the time.  It kept me organized.  Lately I haven't and I feel like I forget things all the time.  

9) Dabble in web design.  I really want to understand web design a little better, especially code writing.  

10) Become an expert at using my sewing machine.  

11) Finish my studio/office/craft room.  I have a pretty good start, but it's not really organized at all.  I want it to be as functional as possible, while still being pretty.  

12) Volunteer.  

Well that's it for now.  I wouldn't be surprised if I add to this list as the year goes on.  

Have a wonderful week everybody!

Friday, March 25, 2011

{Fab Finds} Ashley Brooke Designs

Photo Credits: Ashley Brooke Designs
I have received a lot of compliments on my blog header, so I thought I would make the artist today's Fab Find.  Ashley is the creative mind behind Ashley Brooke Designs, and she was absolutely fabulous to work with.  She does everything from custom illustrations to invitations to recipe cards.  She has even done custom illustrations for celebrities such as Kathy Lee Gifford and Tori Spelling.  

If you've been looking for a way to help out those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I recommend checking out her Spread the Love Postcards.  They are not only adorable, but a portion of the sales go to the Red Cross.  It's a great way to help those in need, but also get something cute for yourself in the process.  

Enjoy and have a great weekend!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

{Random Things} Wednesday Afternoon Project

Today I spent the afternoon testing out my new sewing machine by making this, a tag blanket for my dog to nibble on.  Ever since Doggert was a baby he has liked to nibble on sheets, blankets, clothing, and especially tags.  We looked it up once and found out that it is somewhat common, and can be compared to people chewing their nails.  He has actually nibbled tiny holes and ripped stitching out of blankets before, so when I saw him nibbling on our new comforter cover I got nervous.  My solution?  I made him this little tag blanket with hopes that he'll nibble on that instead.  I took a pillow case, and trimmed it down to the size I wanted, and then I went to work cutting tags off of clothing and blankets.  Then I simply pinned the tags around the edges and sewed the two pieces of pillow case together making a tag fringe around the outside.  So far he not only likes to nibble on it, but likes to nap with it as well.  

{Random Things} Master Bedroom

Hey everybody!  As promised, I'm posting some pictures of the progress in our master bedroom.  We definitely have a long ways to go, but we are getting there.  I really like the comforter cover I got.  The yellow is a nice pop in an otherwise neutral room.  The art above the dresser I'm particularly proud of because I took the pictures.  I had them printed on canvas and framed.  I hung one of our wedding pictures above our bed, but I think I still need a little something on each side.  I'm not quite sure what though.  If any of you have any suggestions, please let me know.  I also still need to figure out what to do with that empty wall behind our elliptical machine (which you can barely see in the picture).  All in all, I'm pretty happy with the progress.      

Monday, March 21, 2011

{My Life} St Patty's Day and Hockey

Hello everybody!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  We sure did.  We had a bunch of people in town for the WCHA hockey tournament.  We did some St Patty's Day celebrating on Thursday night in downtown St Paul.  Then on Friday and Saturday we watched the Fighting Sioux kick butt.   

As I discussed last Monday, we were making a push to get a bunch of house stuff done while I was on spring break.  We did a pretty good job.  The master bedroom is almost done.  All we have left to do is find a few more pieces of art for the walls.  We hung some pictures up in the basement, and got a new shuffleboard table.  It's starting to look a little more lived in down there.  I'm going to take some new pictures within the next few days of various rooms throughout the house, and then I'll post them. 

Well that's it for now.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!   

Thursday, March 17, 2011

{Fab Finds} Shabby Apple

Photo Credits: Shabby Apple

This week's Fab Find is coming to you on Thursday because I'm participating the Bloggers Day of Silence for Japan.  

Shabby Apple is a website I stumbled upon last week.  Many of their items have a vintage feel to them.  I ordered a fabulous yellow dress that I can't wait to wear, perhaps for an upcoming baby shower.  Their website extras are pretty fun too.  I recommend poking around and checking things out.   

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For Japan With Love

The earthquake and tsunami that recently hit Japan is absolutely heartbreaking.  I can not imagine what they have been through, and what they still have left to deal with.  The folks at Utterly Engaged have set up a disaster relief fund.  If you have been looking way to help, click on the image above.  

God Bless.   

Monday, March 14, 2011

{My Life} Master Bedroom Remodel

Hey everybody!  This week my husband and I have grand plans to get as much stuff done as we can before we have company this weekend.  Since it's my spring break this week, I have some extra time to do stuff.  My project for today is our master bedroom.  It's the only room in the house that we haven't done anything with, so I'm excited to get started.  It's going to be a little more modern then the rest of the house because I'm using the furniture we already had.  Here are the pieces that we already had that I plan to incorporate into the room.  

Photo Credits: West Elm and Ikea

Here is some of the stuff that I purchased to add to the room.  

Photo Credits: Bed Bath and Beyond, Macys, and Ikea

I'll post pictures next week of all the progress in our bedroom, and other areas of the house.  

Have a fabulous week everyone!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

{Scrumptious} Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

This ice cream cake is super yummy, and very quick and easy to make.  There are a lot of variations out there for this cake, but this is my variation.  There aren't really any concrete measurements for this recipe, but I will tell you what I used to make this one.  The great thing about this cake is that you can use any candy or cookie variation that you want.  Besides Oreos, I have used Butterfingers, Whoppers, and Heath, and they all were delicious.  I made this one on a platter, but you could also make it in a cake pan.   

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake 

- 12 mini ice cream sandwiches
- 12 oz of Cool Whip 
- 15 mint Oreo cookies, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Hershey's chocolate syrup 

Place 12 ice cream sandwiches on a platter, butting them up next to each other.  Next layer on top of the ice cream sandwiches the following ingredients in the order I list them:  4 oz of Cool Whip, Hershey's chocolate syrup (just enough to cover Cool Whip), crushed Oreo cookies (setting aside a little bit to garnish the top), and finally the rest of the Cool Whip using the remainder crushed cookies to decorate the top.  


Saturday, March 12, 2011

{Soirees} Shabby Chic Tea Party Baby Shower (Part 2)

Photo Credits: Ellen Zilla via HWTM, Maria Hudnall via HWTM, A Very Story Photography via HWTM, and  Kari Herer via HWTM
Well our Shabby Chic Tea Party Baby Shower is coming along nicely.  The planning is for the most part done. Now, we just have to implement all the ideas we have found.  Here are a few more images of inspiration that I found.  I can't wait to show you all the pictures of the finished results.

I hope you all are having a fabulous weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

{Fab Finds} Anthropologie

Photo Credits: Anthropologie
Okay, so it's not really a "fab find."  I'm sure you are all well aware of how fabulous Anthropologie is, but with spring on the brain, I'm loving their new stuff.  At least a few of these pieces will be added to my closet someday soon.

Have a fabulous weekend everybody!

Monday, March 7, 2011

{My Life} Things On My Mind Today

Hello everybody!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  I certainly did.  Saturday afternoon, I went to my friend Michelle's first baby shower, and then Saturday night Jason and I went to our friend Chris's house for drinks.  On Sunday I had a couple of my lady friends over to strategize for another baby shower for Michelle that we are throwing.  It's going to be super cute!  I can't wait!

I've been very strongly considering lately starting my own event planning business.  It's basically all I think about.  It would be relatively risk free to give it a go because I wouldn't need to rent a space for an office, or invest a ton on start up costs.  I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start though.  It's all pretty overwhelming at this point.  I've figured out the easy stuff for the most part (name/brand, pricing info, target market, etc), but it's all the big stuff that has me stressed out.  If any of you have any advice please send it this way.

I have my last mid-term this Thursday, and then spring break starts.  I'm very excited.  All this studying has been exhausting.   We have friends coming to stay with us at the end of next week, so we are going to make a big push to get more house stuff done before they come.  The major project I want to accomplish is our master bedroom and bath.  It's the only room(s) that hasn't been touched.  We still have tons of boxes in there and nothing on the walls.  I want to start completely over, and make it a very luxurious.  Next, I want to get Jason's office done.  It was kind of a dumping ground when we moved, so there are many boxes in there that don't belong there.  We also need to find a chair or two to put in there to complete the room.  Lastly, I want to finish up the basement.  The walls have nothing on them, and it looks a little depressing.  We also have to find a pub table and chairs so people have a place for people to put their drink while playing one of the various games down there.  It's a pretty lofty list but hopefully we'll be able to make a big dent in it.  

Well I need to go make dinner, and get some studying done.  I hope you all have a fabulous week!    

Friday, March 4, 2011

{Fab Finds} Ruche

Photo Credits:

I just discovered the fabulous store Ruche a few weeks ago, and I'm absolutely in love.  It kind of reminds me a little of Anthropologie, except the prices are a bit more affordable.  They don't appear to have any physical locations, but who doesn't love being able to shop in your pajamas.  I can't wait for it to warm up a little here, so I can wear some of the fun spring stuff they have.  

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

{Scrumptious} Spinach Lasagna

Photo Credit: All Recipes

I made this recently for an annual ski trip I go on with my friends.  It was very tasty!  I found the recipe on All Recipes, but I altered it a bit.  I hope you all like it.  

Spinach Lasagna

- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach (thawed and strained)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed 
- 1 (32 ounce ) jar of spaghetti sauce 
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 (16 ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 1 (8 ounce) package of mozzarella cheese, shredded 
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 box of no cook lasagna noodles

Additional Ingredients: 
- 1 (8 oz) jar of spaghetti sauce
- 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large pot over medium heat saute spinach, onion, oregano, basil, and garlic in the olive oil.  Pour in 32 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce and water.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  In a large bowl mix ricotta cheese, 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and the egg.  Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan.  Place one layer of lasagna noodles on top of sauce, and top with another layer of sauce.  Add another layer of noodles, and half of the remaining sauce.  Then top with half of the cheese mixture.  Do another layer of noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining cheese.  Then top with noodles.  Use the extra jar of spaghetti sauce to top the noodles, and finish with 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese.  



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