Saturday, 27 February 2010

Weekly Menu Planner

Meals for the week....

Saturday - Coconut Beef Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce by Robin Miller(new recipe for us)
Sunday - Oven Chicken Risotto with Salad (another new recipe)
Monday - Out to Dinner with my Grandma. Michael & kids to fend for themselves.
Tuesday - Macaroni Beef Bake
Wednesday - Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops, Spinach and Red Potatoes
Thursday - Spinach & Cheese Ravoli (from BJ's) & Jarred Sauce
Friday - Chicken Broccoli Casserole (see recipe below)

Chicken Broccoli Casserole (This makes a lot...I either half it or make it all and freeze half of it in a disposible container for another week)

2 cups cooked rice
3 cups chopped cooked broccoli
6 cups shredded, cooked, skinless, boneless chicken (1.25 lbs)
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
3 cups (10 oz) shredded cheddar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salk
1/4 tsp ground pepper

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Evenly spread out rice in the dish. Cover with broccoli.
2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, soup, 1.5 cups of cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over broccoli and top with remaining 1.5 cups of cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 40 minutes.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Headboard Project

Well after dragging my children to every discount store (Marshalls, TJMaxx, Ross, AJ Wright, Tuesday Morning, Target and JCPenney) in Richmond trying to find that perfect bedspread for that bargain price, I found it at Home Goods. Success! Now we can discuss the headboard.

Last weekend, my fabulous husband helped me create a fabric headboard for our bed. I really could not have done it without him and he was the mastermind behind hanging it. He researched online and discovered the "French Cleat" was the best method for attaching to the wall. We used 2 inch foam and batting on the board to make it more substantial. Here are some pictures of us creating....





Cost & Supplies for the project:
Batting, Foam, Spray Adhesive: $51
French Cleat Supplies: $7
2 Yards Fabric from U-Fab: $20
Wood: $25
Staple Gun & Staples: $0 (Already had in the shed)
TOTAL: $103

In my searching for a new bedspread, I also found some new lamps and pillows.

Bedspread: $40
New Shams: $26
Lamps from Marshalls: $60
Box on Nightstand from Marshalls: $2.50
Pillow on Bed from TJMaxx: $10
Pillow in Chair from Ross: $9
TOTAL: $148

Total bedroom update...$250. Not too bad...still need pictures and curtains but will have to wait on those for now.

Bedroom Before (Please excuse Cougar on the bed)


Bedroom After



Check back tomorrow...I will have my weekly menu planner. Went to the grocery today and Camille was so so naughty! Oh the terrible 2.5's! The child rearing book is in the mail...hope it arrives soon!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Lilly Shorts at Marshalls!


I found these darling Lilly Pulitzer shorts at Marshalls today for Camille. They could not be left in the store at $14.99.

Also, hoping to post pictures of my headboard soon but I am in search of a new bedspread for a bargain price which has been quite a challenge. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Cute idea



Just saw this cute product on the Bella Tunno website. Perfect for dining out with your toddler. It is a wipe clean placemat on one side and a chalkboard on the other. Very creative.

Monday, 22 February 2010



When we moved into our house last April, we discovered this small scale chest up in the attic. It needed refinishing but was the perfect size for the end of our hallway. Almost a year later, I have finally gotten around to painting. I choose Behr Castle Path (730C-3) from Home Depot for the paint color. The color suggestion was found on the blog, Good Bones Great Pieces.

Cost for the project:
Paint: $12 from Home Depot
Paint Brush: $3 from Home Depot
New Pulls: $8.75 from Ebay Seller Papagslides

I already had the plates and lamp. See the after picture below. I think it is a big improvement and only cost $23.75.



Check back in a day or two for pictures of my new fabric headboard.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Menu Planner

Meals for the week....

Saturday - Turkey Burgers and French Fries
Sunday - Cheesy Baked Tortellini by Giada
Monday - Seared Almond Crusted Chicken with Baby Corn and Tomatoes by Robin Miller
Tuesday - Chipotle Pork Soft Tacos by Robin Miller (recipe below)
Wednesday - Flank Steak marinated in Soy Sauce & Garlic, Teriyaki Rice and Edamame cooked in soy sauce
Thursday - leftovers or takeout

Chipotle Pork Soft Tacos
(1) tbsp olive oil
(2) cloves garlic, minced
(1) 1.25 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
(1) 8 oz can tomato sauce
(1) tbsp minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
(1) tsp dried oregano
(8) 6 inch flour tortillas
(1/2) cup shredded cheddar or queso fesco or monterey jack cheese

Additional toppings (optional)
Sour cream
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Sliced avocado

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the pork and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, chipotles, and oregano, bring to a simmer and let simmer until the pork is just cooked through (still slightly pink in the center) and the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.

2. If desired, for warm tortillas, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds on High.

3. Arrange the pork on the tortillas, top with cheese and other toppings as desired and serve.

Michael and I worked on a bunch of projects today. Check back for before and after pictures this week!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Summer Wardrobe









Check out some of Camille and Clyde's new summer duds from Shrimp & Grits Kids! Now if we can just get some sunshine and warm weather!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Shrimp & Grits Kids Show

Tomorrow, I am hosting my third Shrimp and Grits Kids Trunk Show. I enjoy hosting and having friends drop by the house.

Look at some of the cute stuff. It is cute and affordable smocked clothing. They also have other items for those who aren't into smocking.

Richmonders...if you are interested in attending, send me an email at astoakley@gmail.com and I will send the details. If you can't attend, I can also place an order for you.




Monday, 15 February 2010

Cynthia Rowley for Babies R Us!






I got my Babies R Us coupons on Saturday and noticed that Cynthia Rowley is now designing clothes, blankets and storage for them. Cute stuff and right now there is free shipping. I am thinking of getting the pink dress for Camille. I have a 20% off coupon so a steal at a little over $10.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Valentine's Day Candy

I used to subscribe to Real Simple Magazine but let the subscription run out. I purchased the February issue and am considering getting another subscription. Lots of good stuff in there. They had a recipe for homemade candy. I made the Peanut Butter Buckeyes and had all the ingredient in my pantry as well as the supplies for the bags. No additional $$$$ spent!



6 oz semisweet chocolate, melted (I used half semisweet and half milk chocolate)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Combine the peanut butter, butter and sugar. Form into tablespoon size balls; place on parchment-lined baking sheet (I used foil). Freeze for 10 minutes. Partially dip each ball in the chocolate, return to the baking sheet and refridgerate until firm, 25 to 35 minutes.

I cut off the tops of ziploc bags and tied with leftover Christmas ribbon and cut hearts out of last year's left over Valentines.

Easy & Delicious!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Think Spring!

As I sit here staring out the window at more snow. I am starting to create my spring wish list. Here goes...


Jcrew Flip Flops. I get a new pair every spring and wear them into the ground. Last year, I found some at this eBay store, The Paisley Petunia. Hope to do the same this year.


Here is dress from Old Navy that is so reasonable at $19.50. I love dresses because they are so easy to throw on and you don't have to worry about putting together separates.


Nicole Miller Top from JCPenney...only $14.99. This would be cute with white jeans another spring staple.

Now I need to find my spring/summer bag. This is always so hard for me. I like something larger so I can throw all my diapers, snacks, sippy cups etc in it but I don't want to spend a fortune. Any suggestions on where to look?

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Now is a Great Time to Buy!

Check out this article from RISMedia.com.

3 Factors to Take Into Consideration Before Buying a House...

1. Mortgage rates are low and there is concern that this may not last.

2. The home buyer's tax credit expires April 30, 2010.

3. There are indications that the home prices may have bottomed in some places are are on the rise again.

More details at RISMedia.com.

Cheesy Dinner

Last night's dinner included tons of yummy cheese! Soup and Grilled Cheese....the perfect combination for a snowy night.

Bar Grilled Cheese from You've Got Supper. I substitute spicy mustard for horseradish.

1 French bread boule, sliced
8 slice(s) cheddar cheese, low-fat
1 red onion, sliced
1 tomato(es), sliced
4 bacon, cooked
1 avocado, sliced
4 tsp horseradish (prepared)

1. Layer cheese, avocado, onion, bacon, tomato and cheese on one slide of bread. Spread the other slice with horseradish sauce and place on top.

2. Spray or brush bread with olive oil. Cook on skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy on both sides. After you flip, press down on sandwich with spatula.

Tons of great, easy recipes on this site. www.youvegotsupper.com.

French Onion Soup V from allrecipes.com. I put the sugar in this recipe but not sure I would use sugar in it again. Also, I used all beef broth and no water.

Ingredients
4 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sugar
3 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup white wine
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1.In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions in the butter or margarine for 10 minutes, or until onions are tender. Stir in the flour, ground black pepper and the sugar to form a pasty mixture.

2.Now add the beef broth, water, parsley and thyme and simmer for 10 minutes, Then add the wine and simmer for 10 more minutes.

3.Preheat oven to broil.

4.Fill individual oven safe bowls 3/4 full with the soup. Place a slice of bread on top of the soup and cover with the cheese. Place bowls in the oven.

5.Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly

Enjoy!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Consignment Sale

I braved the snow today and headed out to the Kids Layne Sale...a great children's consignment sale in Richmond, Nothern Virginia and Virginia Beach. I found the below items for Clyde and Camille.


Windmill Kids Gator Shortall. Used. $10.




E-Land Kids Shorts & Shirt - Brand New - $22 for both


Remember Nguyen Dress - Brand New - $19

There were so many cute things it was hard to choose!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Delicious and Easy Dinner

We had guests for dinner tonight and I served the below dish. Super easy to make and delicious. We served it over spaghetti with a bit more sauce.

Chicken Rollatini

1 jar (24 oz.) Favorite Marinara Sauce
4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 Genoa salami slices
4 Provolone slices
12 Asparagus spears trimmed
1/4 cup(s) Cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Pound each chicken breast until about 1/4-inch thick. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Place 3 salami slices and one cheese slice on top of each chicken breast. Place 3 asparagus spears in center of each and roll up, securing with a toothpick. Evenly spread 1/2 cup of Sauce on bottom of an 11x7 baking dish. Arrange chicken in baking dish, top with remaining Sauce and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through.

Preppy Napkin's First Giveaway!

Check out the Preppy Napkin blog for a giveaway for a cute pink and green napkin holder!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Missed Bargain!

I was shopping at Ross Dress for Less today and found two black frames with white mats similar to the ones from Kohls that I mentioned in a previous post. They were only $9.99 each. I paid $15.00 for mine. I hate it when I miss a deal.


I did manage to find a few other things. Two pairs of Carter's jammies for Clyde that were $2.99 each. So happy about this. I refuse to pay more that $5.99 for jammies that we only wear in the house.


At Marshalls, I found this bowl for the coffee table in my great room. It was on clearance for $3.50. It ties in nicely with the handles on my kitchen cabinets.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Inexpensive Artwork

I am working to pull together our family room. The space still seems a little cold to me so I am keeping my eyes out for extra throw pillows and other wall decor to warm it up. Would love curtains but need to find that bargain!

Here is some inexpensive artwork I found for the room....



I had the frame and mat in this case but didn't like the print. I found fabric that I liked and used my glue gun to attach it to foam board. Very easy and very inexpensive. Cost $13.




Found these at Home Goods for $14.99 each! Love them.




These are actually in the bathroom off the family room and kitchen. Found the frames at Kohls. Buy one get one free. Paid $30 for both of them. Changed the photos to sepia and printed at Walgreens.

I have a few more projects in the works but all this snow is holding me back! We are suppossed to get another storm next weekend. Love snow but this is enough.