Friday, March 25, 2011

Fab Find Friday

So my younger sister is my fashionista.  She is a successful hair stylist in the city (Chicago) and is hip it to the hip hip hop.

My sister and me
We look a lot a like and have very similar body shapes.  She can pull things off as far as style goes that I wouldn't think to try.  And then I get a little daring and try it.  If it looks cute on her, it can look cute on me, right?  Which leads me to my purchase this week.  Boat shoes.  In January, I was with my sister in CA and she was sporting her Sperry's.  Of course, she looked cute.

Sperry's are everywhere.  My mom and I went shopping on Sunday and I tried a few pair on.
They were OK, but for $80, I didn't want them to be OK, I wanted to adore them.
We began to walk away Sperry-less and I spotted a knock off for nearly half price.  EXCEPT I liked them better.
Can you guess which pair are Sperry's?

Sperry?
Or Sperry?
You are right if you guessed that the top pair are the originals.  I bought the pair on the bottom for half the price.  I never would've thought these were cute if I hadn't seen my sis' wearing them first.  They may look a little like old man shoes here, but with a pair of skinny jeans and a fun top, they are cute.  I promise ;) (at least on my sister, anyway!)
Who's the fashionista in your life?  Do you have any fab deals to share?  Link up or comment, please.  I love hearing from you.







Thursday, March 24, 2011

Turn that frown upside down

Bad: It snowed last night.
Good: I got to wear my Uggs again.

Bad: I'm going to the dentist last minute for a sore tooth.
Good: I have teeth.

Bad: I'm too busy this month.
Good: I'm not bored.

Bad: I gave my son a sucker so he's not taking his nap.
Good: He'll go to bed early tonight.

Bad: I didn't return a movie I rented for a whole week.
Good: It's ok. It was through Netflix.

Bad: I haven't started packing for my trip.
Good: I'm going on a trip.

Bad: I haven't seen my husband all week.
Good: I'll be with him alone for 192 hours next week.

Bad: I can't really think of anything else.
Good: I can't really think of anything else.

__________________________________
 See you tomorrow for fab find Friday! It will be my first attempt at having a "Link Up" at the bottom, so link up if you have a fairly recent blog post on something you found that was a fab find!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Easter Egg Tree Tutorial




As promised, here is the second $1 store craft that I came up with last week. It turned out cute. If you like bright colors and glitter, you'll like this ;) My daughter loves it and helped me to make it.

Fun craft to do with the kids and one that you can use every year instead of making it then pitching it after the holiday is over!

Here's what you'll need:
1 foam cone
4 packs foam glitter egg ornaments
1 paper Easter grass
Hot glue gun

Start by pouring all the eggs on the table.  Cut all of the ribbons off.

Put a dab of glue on egg then hold it in place for a few seconds.  Start at the bottom and work your way up!
Although this pic shows grass being put on along the way, wait till the end to fill the holes with grass.  It's much easier.  I used a pencil to push the grass into the gaps well.  Make sure you let the glue dry well before filling the gaps.

It goes pretty quickly once you get going.

The vase above is filled with these eggs on a stick.  Just a $1.  Cute, huh?
 Here's your completed Easter egg tree!
 
Get Your Craft On Tuesday
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Monday, March 21, 2011

There Ain't No Language Like Love Language

Years ago, when Joe and I were first married, we went to a marriage seminar at our church.  
The speaker was Gary Chapman; the author of "The Five Love Languages."  


I cannot begin to tell you the impact that the principles that he presented at the seminar and in this book have had on me in our near 12 years of marriage.  But these love languages don't just pertain to marriage.  They can be used in every close relationship that you have.  
In case you don't know what the love languages are, or forget, here's a refresher from the 5 love languages website:
  • Words of Affirmation
     If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you.
  • Quality Time
    In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention.
  • Receiving Gifts
    Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.
  • Acts of Service
    Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes.
  • Physical Touch
    This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love.
      

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fab Food Friday


I don't have a fab deal to share with you this week.  I've been staying away from stores in an effort to save some money for our upcoming vacation :)
I DO however have a fab food find for you.  I don't want my friend Lina to think I'm copying her Friday recipe special, so this won't be a Friday food thing every week.  Just this once!

You know what I love?  Noodles.  Noodles with cheese.  Lots and lots of cheese.
You know what's not good for you?  Noodles.  Noodles with cheese.  Lots and lots of cheese.
I found a Fettucine Alfredo recipe that is lighter (cuts the calories and fat of regular in half) and I adjusted it a touch by adding chicken and broccoli.  I just finished the leftovers.  SO SO SO good.  SO.  You would never guess it's lighter.

Check it out.  The original recipe credited to Cooking Light.  I adjusted it slightly.



Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3  cups  milk (whatever kind you have-I used skim)
  • 1 1/4  cups  (5 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 2  tablespoons  1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 4  cups  hot cooked fettuccine (8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and sliced into strips
  • Steamed Broccoli (I added a little less than a pound)
  • Cracked black pepper

Preparation

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt.

I add the chicken and broccoli to the sauce...

Toss sauce with hot pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese . Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yum.

Slurping the noodles.
She wanted a pic because Drew had one.  Looks like a funny tooth.

If you want to print, copy and paste the  text below into Word and print it up!

Fettuccine Alfredo-Light!
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3  cups  milk (whatever kind you have-I used skim)
  • 1 1/4  cups  (5 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 2  tablespoons  1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 4  cups  hot cooked fettuccine (8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and sliced into strips
  • Steamed Broccoli (I added a little less than a pound)
  • Cracked black pepper

Preparation

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt.
Toss sauce with hot pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese . Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Running on Empty? Run with Me Today ;)

One of the things I love, love, love about spring is the ability to run outside instead of at the gym.  Treadmill=boring.  I also love that it gives me some quality time with my kids.
I did run outside in the winter in the snow but only on a rare occasion because I couldn't push the burley through it.
Today was the first run of the year with Drew!  I was so excited.
This is the best one I could get.  I was trying to get him to smile.  Not sure what this is expressing!
Many times last year,  I thought about taking pictures of my trail run because I think it's so beautiful. Today, I did just that!  It's still pretty brown out there, but I figure I can take "after" pictures when the leaves come and the grass changes to green. It's hard to believe that it looks so rural two blocks from my house.
I live just 25 minutes or so from Chicago city limits.  Our area is suburban but I never would've guessed that there was such a long a trail with this much open space.  And once the Palatine trail hits up with the forest preserve trail, you can go for miles and miles.
Our run is usually 3 miles with the "blue" park being the halfway point.  Change of plans today.  You'll see why!

So kick off your shoes, grab a shamrock shake and follow me!

Just two blocks from my house is where the trail begins...

This is the bridge where I found a $60 Saks Fifth Ave. gift card while running in the snow a couple months ago!  Who says running doesn't pay?

My view looking down :)

A little stream

I love the duck crossing sign...

After about a mile... The trail is flooded.  No worries! 

We turn around and pass the bus prison?  No, it's the Palatine public school transportation hub.

Our new destination.


He looks so little up there!



Back to running.  See the park off to the right?  This field houses FIVE baseball diamonds and SIX soccer fields.  It's HUGE!

This is one of those water drainage things.  What are they called again? 

Final stretch.  I decided to run the burley through the grass.  Ugh.
So that's that!   We were diverted but it was still a great run.  And you probably burned off that shamrock shake.
I feel great and I didn't have to drive anywhere to get my workout in!
I know a lot of you are runners.  Tell me your favorite thing about running!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One Dollar Girls Bike Basket



I was inspired by the weather to head to the dollar store and search for things I could use to make some springy decor for the house.
Over the next couple of days I will show you what I've come up with (if they turn out cute, that is!).

I'm very excited about today's project.  ANYONE can do this.  It takes FIVE minutes.  I was perusing the Easter stuff and came across little girl Easter dress items.  They had these a-dorable basket purses (lots of different colors).

My idea?  Turn it from a purse, into a bike basket.  My 5 year old girl needed one for her purple bike.

Here's how you do it...

Buy your basket purse for a dollar.

Cut the straps off.


Use a lighter to burn the edges.  It will prevent the ends from fraying.  Magical I know.

Slide the ends through a few layers of the basket.

Tie onto bike.

Viola!  Cutest bike basket.  Ever.
Stay tuned for tomorrows project ;) Tip Junkie handmade projects
As seen on CraftGossip.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

If you can cut and glue you can make this: a-dorable flower necklace

Hey party people.   I don't know why I just said that.  Perhaps it's the post-diet-coke stupor I'm in.
Yes, stupor.  I drink the diet coke to get some pep.  Then after 20 minutes of pep, I'm stupor-fied.
Any-chow.  Chow.  Ha.

I found inspiration for the necklace below from this site.  In fact, you can use the site for instructions on how to make the flowers.

Summary:  Find an old t-shirt or go buy one from the $1 store (that's what I did). Get your glue gun out.
Need a sheet of fleece and a chain (I bought a 30 or 36" and cut it in half).
Cut t-shirt into small circles.  A TON (I did 45).  The same size.  You'll need 8 circles per flower.  Cut "petals" around each circle.  I used a sewing machine to stitch them together, but you can hand stitch them too.
Taking a picture of one's chest is not as easy as it looks.

I only did 5 flowers for my necklace.  I'm not the 20 flowers around your neck kind of girl.

Using fleece, cut out the shape (2x) you want the necklace to be.
Glue the flowers on.  Trim away excess fleece.
Buy a chain and glue the ends in between the fleece layers that you're using for the base of the flowers.  If you do it this way, make sure the chain is long enough to get over your noggin'.

Badah bing.  Badah bag.

I've received lotso compliments and you will too.  Make one during spring break.  You'll have fun.
You may burn your fingers with the glue gun, but it'll be worth it.  I promise.  I realize I was a little bossy, but it's all for your own good.
Questions?  Email me or leave a comment.  You know I love comments.

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Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Morning Craziness... It's All Relative, Isn't It?

It's only 10am and it's already been a crazy day!
I feared an ER visit was in order.  My husband cut his finger pretty bad at 745am.  I took a picture, but it's pretty gnarly (and it's his middle finger), so I'll refrain from posting it.
After paying $900 5 years ago for a cut on his forehead (which they glued), he was not going to the ER for this.
Thanks to a great friend who had some derma bond, we avoided it and were able to get glued up, come home and get going.

We have a family party today.
I'm bringing my absolute favorite homemade bread.  Fresh from the oven 20 minutes ago! (This is so easy to make.  Click here for the recipe and process).

2 dozen cupcakes for the birthday girl (yes, another celebration-co-party with her cousin turning 4!).
Ella filled the first dozen cupcakes.  It took 20 minutes ;)

Pink frosting.

I feel like I work at a bakery sometimes!

Last night Joe and Ethan went to pack food with other families from school at Feed My Starving Children. It's a great organization whose mission is to "Feeding God’s Starving Children Hungry in Body and Spirit".  


According to a website called worldhunger.org, there were 925 MILLION people who went hungry last year.  I don't know about you, but I'm rarely hungry and when I am, I'm a big crab.  I can easily make 4 loaves of bread and 2 dozen cupcakes without batting an eyelash.  I SO take for granted that I can eat (and drink clean water for that matter) whenever I want.

Well, Ethan loved serving along side his classmates for 90 minutes or so.  The kids at school also collected quarters in M&M mini candy tubes and raised over $500 for this organization!



Now that I'm finishing my blog post thinking about those going through so much around the world, my post title seems inappropriate.  My craziness pales in comparison.
I'm certainly thinking and praying for all of the tragedy going on in Japan.  Sometimes it's hard to know what to pray.  
"The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." Psalm 9:9 

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