Sunday, 31 March 2013

Menu Planner & Easter Day Thoughts

Happy Easter! We have had a low key weekend that involved groceries, a stock up trip to Total Wine, a visit to see one of my client's home transformation (stay tuned for before and afters coming this week) and of course Easter egg dying and a visit from the bunny.

We could finally get outside yesterday and it felt like Spring! Woohoo! Camille and Clyde's cousins Vail and Winters came over to help us with our egg creations.

I never got around to posting my Easter decor! Nothing earth shattering over here this year. You can see previous years here and here.

I used raffia to wrap around the eggs for a nest look. 

Do you spy my Target dollar bin chick!? 
Also discovered a new wine that I love from Total Wine....Cloud Break Sauvignon Blanc. I normally prefer Chardonnay but this is quite tasty and very reasonable at $5.99. Note...the website says $6.99 but I really think I paid $5.99 a bottle. I can't find my receipt to check. Cloud Break also makes a Chardonnay that is also good but a little pricier at $8.99 a bottle.

I made these strawberry donuts in the form of muffins for Easter breakfast. Most everyone thought they were tasty...Clyde of course wouldn't touch them.

Here goes with this week's menu planner....

Saturday - Sandra Lee's Fish Tacos 

Sunday - Easter Dinner at Gammy's

Monday - Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Tuesday - Southwest Sausage and Rice (on recommendation from my friend Ada-Marie)

Wednesday - Pork Tenderloin, Red Potatoes & Asparagus

Thursday - Easy Night! Store bought Ravioli and store bought Vodka Sauce

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Dollar Tree Favorites

I have always been a huge fan of the Dollar Tree. One Saturday, Michael went with me to this mecca of bargains and the cashier was really friendly when we walked in the door and said hello to us. Michael later said to me "there seems to be a lot of familiarity between you and the cashier." Ha!  He also often wonders how I can spend $20 or $30 at the Dollar Tree!? Maybe I wonder that myself. But are some of my recent favorites...

Modeling Clay. Okay...Moms and Dads are you with me here....Play doh is the worst! Makes a huge mess yet your children love it! This seems to be the case in our house. I picked this modeling clay up the other day and it is totally mess free...entertained the children for a solid amount of time. Definitely will be buying more.

Modeling Clay

Play Pack Grab & Go. Keep these in your purse or car for trips with your kids to restaurants, doctors, mechanics. I previously bought the Dover Little Activity Books for my purse but this is better because they contain an activity or coloring book, stickers and crayons or makers. Certainly better than a restaurant meltdown that leads to a quick exit before dinner is served.

Play Pack Grab & Go

And last but not least. I LOVE this soap. As a parent, it seems that I am constantly washing my hands. This soap is so moisturizing and my hands have been much less dry this winter. I have a bottle by every sink!

See some of my other Dollar Tree finds here, here, here and here.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Menu Planner

Here goes with this week's menu planner

Sunday - Best Stir Fry Chicken with Fried Brown Rice with Kale

Monday - Chicken Pot Roast with Sassy Salsa

Tuesday - White Bean Tortellini Soup

Wednesday - Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Thursday - Taco Salad

Work is getting busier and busier as these cold weeks of spring roll on. Here are a couple pictures from my phone last week.

We have been talking and talking about getting a new car. I think we will pull the trigger in the next few months and I can't believe it but I really want a mini van. So practical for kids and so nice for my job. However, we were almost swayed yesterday when Clyde and I saw this beauty! Clyde said "let's get it!" Can you imagine me driving my clients not to mention my kids around in this pink lady?

We took advantage on a warm afternoon last week and rode bikes at my moms! Snow is perhaps on the way for tomorrow. Ugh!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made this soup earlier in the week and it was delicious. My mother-in-law gave me the recipe a couple years ago. I think it is from Paula Deen's magazine but I can't find a link to the recipe so I have posted below.

Tortilla Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning (I left this out and it still tasted great)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
Garnish: sour cream, shredded Mexican blend cheese, chopped avocados

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, and jalapeno; cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, condensed soup, chicken, chicken broth, cumin, salt, chili powder, poultry seasoning, and pepper, stirring to combine. Stir in corn, cream and cilantro. Stir in chips, and cook uncovered until heated through. Garnish with sour cream, cheese and avocados, if desired. Serve immediately.

This makes seven 1 cup servings. I froze some for another night and kept some for lunch this week. Served with Cheddar Zucchini Corn Muffins. Plate and Bowl are from Uncommon Goods.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Joe Fresh, Happy Chic & jcp

I have always shopped JCPenney or the renamed jcp, for kids clothes. They have affordable cute clothes for school and play. It is a great place to find plain polo shirts for boys in tons of colors! Around Christmas, I also found the cutest dresses there for $15 and $20. My mother-in-law also gave me bath towels from jcp that are so soft!

They have a couple new lines that I am particularly excited about. First up, Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler. How cool is this stuff? And a great price point.

Foo Dog Lamp $75
Charlotte Ribbed Lamp $28

Charlotte Oblong Pillow $32

I am also loving their new line, Joe Fresh. I picked up these shorts last week as well as a few of the v-neck tees. They are very similar to some ones that I love from Jcrew Factory but only $10. 

Joe Fresh Print Canvas Shorts, $19

Joe Fresh Slub V-Neck Tee, $10

Joe Fresh Pleated Peplum Pencil Skirt, $39
Do you shop jcp? What are your favorites from there? 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Menu Planner

Here goes with this week's menu planner.....

Monday - Chicken Tortilla Soup (I think this is a Paula Deen recipe from her magazine but I can't find a link), Zucchini Cheddar Corn Muffins from the freezer

Tuesday - Terrific Turkey Enchiladas

Wednesday - Cannellini Beans with Roasted Peppers & Kale, Crusty Bread

Thursday - Donna Nash Chicken

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Follow me on Bloglovin'

Do you read a lot of blogs? How do you follow them? I was previously using Google reader but just discovered it is going away this summer. So after doing some research, I joined Bloglovin'. You can click the  link below to follow my blog there. 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

We went to Sandbridge for the weekend. My in-laws built a brand new house and it is awesome! So excited for this summer. We just got back this afternoon and Clyde is under the weather so hopefully we will get back in the swings of things by tomorrow and I will post this week's menu planner in the morning.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Etsy Abstract Art

We spend so much time in our family room and I am sorry to say the couches have been destroyed by our children. The rug is doing alright since it doesn't show dirt. I feel like artwork is the only thing safe from the destruction of Camille & Clyde! 

Our family room is open to our kitchen and the view from my "cooking spot" was this metal piece and I got really tired of looking at it.

It seemed dated and maybe would be better outside. So I started searching Etsy for abstract art. That is when I discovered TraceeBaugh Originals. I loved her pieces and they were so affordable. Tracee created a piece for me based on an inspiration photo found on Pinterest and I LOVE it! She was so wonderful to work with and I think it is a huge improvement in the space. I am considering having her make something larger for my dining room. I already had the frame from this yard sale purchase. 

A window treatment of some sort would be nice in here but I have 7 windows in the kitchen and family room space so I am having a hard time deciding should I do all of them the same? just the family room ones?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A couple of things & menu planner

After a week that included a snow storm, I am really ready to move on to spring. It was nice to have a snow day this week and honestly I wish we had gotten more but onward and upward to spring temperatures and getting outside to ride bikes, dig for worms and play in the sand.

Here are some deals for spring I scored for Camille & Clyde yesterday.

Crocs are a staple for my children and Clyde has worn his last pair bare almost. I love them because they can get wet and most importantly they can put them on by themselves! I have found Crocs at TJMaxx and Marshall for $14.99 but it is hit or miss with the sizes. Crocs is currently have their 25% off sale. So we picked up a pair for Clyde in tomato at his request!

I have been eyeing these sandals from Garnett Hill for Camille for a while now waiting for a sale. At $36, they are still a little pricey but certainly better than the regular price of $50 and if they last all summer then I am fine with that. We ordered pink sparkle of course!

Camille and I were looking for an activity this week, so we consulted Pinterest and found a link to spring in a jar.   It turned out so cute, we decided to make two more for my grandmothers. We had all the supplies on hand except for the flowers and the two open vases below which we picked up at the Dollar Tree.

We included our bunny pics from school to complete the gift.

Also, Friday was silly sock day at school! I thought Camille looked so cute!

And last but not goes with this week's menu planner.

Sunday - Steak Fajitas

Monday - Store bought ravioli and vodka sauce, Caesar salad

Tuesday - Turkey Burgers, Ranch French Fries

Wednesday - Chicken Rollatini

Thursday -Chicken Ranch Pizza (carryover from last week)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Pluff Mudd Designs

Finding a home is a really personal experience and I enjoy getting to know my clients through the process. At closing, I like to write a personal note thanking them for choosing me as their Realtor.  I recently discovered the cutest note cards by Pluff Mudd Designs via Pinterest that will be perfect for those notes.

Pluff Mudd Designs has adorable prints for not only Richmond but lots of other cities and states as well as other occasions. Most of their designs come in 11x14 prints, linens, note cards, ornaments or magnets. They will also personalize. You can see the entire line here and Richmonders they sell their line at Tweed locally. 

Pluff Mudd Designs was also kind enough to send me A MAGNET FOR A GIVEAWAY. Leave a comment in this post for a chance to win. You can also check out more RVA products on my Pinterest page. Click here to follow.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Snow day....

Camille with my niece, Vail
We woke up yesterday to an unexpected snow day! Woohoo!

There is snow on the ground but I am thinking spring! I tried on this cute dress at Kohl's earlier this week. It was more expensive in store than online! I left it in the store but am still thinking about it especially with the $32 price tag. Could be nice for Easter if it is chilly.

Daisy Fuentes Watercolor Shirtdress

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Oh Betty!

If you follow my blog, you know I recently procured Betty, a large and in charge needlepoint picture, from my favorite, Diversity Thrift.

I was so attracted to the colors, the flower design, the size and the unique needlepoint texture. I initially left her in the store but about a week later after seeing some of Diversity Thift's facebook posts, I discovered she was still available and thought perhaps it was meant to be! I picked up Betty for twenty bucks!

And now she lives in Camille's room....

The side was unfinished so my mom suggested attaching ribbon with a glue gun. It worked perfect! 

I made the pillow with fabric I picked up at yard sale last fall for $1! 

And there they are....Camille & Betty happy as can be! 

See how I made over the desk here.

Monday, 4 March 2013

New for spring

With a snow storm on the horizon, I am still thinking of spring. Do you get sick of your clothes at the end of season?  I am there with my all of winter items. In fact, I am already wearing the jeans below with winter tops and boots.

Here are a few things I have picked up for spring....

Piperlime (Similar Here)

Floral Print Skinny Jeans

Dotted Skinny Jeans
LandsEnd Canvas Popover Shirt
LandsEnd Canvas Chambray Scoopneck Shirt
LandsEnd Canvas Button Back Terry Sweatshirt

Sunday, 3 March 2013

More Favorite Drugstore Beauty Items

Last spring, I wrote this post about my favorite drugstore items. I had a few people tell me they went out and bought that cheek stick and the lip gloss and love them! Recently, my friend Micah was telling me about quite a few beauty products that she loves that are a fraction of the price of ones sold by dermatologists or in a department store. It gave me the idea to poll my friends via email to see which items from the drugstore they can't live without. First up here are some of Micah's favorites....

After trying several different beauty products over the years, I’ve decided to speak up about what products I think are worth the money, and which ones I think we can skimp on. Even in drug stores, beauty products can cost a fortune, however the older I get, the more willing I am to spend more in an effort to delay the inevitable, aging. Below, I’ve listed a few items that I’ve really been happy with, and that I feel are worth your money.   

(Please note, my skin can be oily in places and tolerates drying agents, such as benzoyl peroxide very well. If you have dry or very sensitive skin, these products may not have the same effect on your skin.)

Aveda – Tourmaline charged exfoliating cleanser, $29
Depending on your budget, this can be a little expensive, however if you apply conservatively, I’d estimate that one tube may last as long as six to eight months. Only use twice a week to prevent drying out your skin. 

Aveda – Tourmaline charged radiance fluid, $43
This product is pricey, however if you have large pores or would like to reduce the appearance of your pores, this product actually works!! 

Oil of Olay Regenerist – Micro-sculpting cream,$22.59 
I initially tried a product from SkinMedica that claimed to have similar properties. I did think that the serum worked, however it was almost three times as expensive and I don’t see any difference! (Make sure not to use this product as a moisturizer! It is intended to repair skin and not to moisturize.) 

Vaseline Total Moisture Cocoa Radiant lotion 
A dermatologist once told me that eye cream was one of the hardest creams to actually show results. Although she didn’t prefer any particular lotion for the under eye area, she was kind enough to give me a sample of another SkinMedica product for free. I didn’t love or hate the product, but did find out that it was over $90 for a regular sized bottle. Out of desperation and lack of funding, I began using the Vaseline Total Moisture under my eyes in the morning and at night. Dab a little underneath each eye and let dry. It seems to work just as well and is a fraction of the cost!

And here are even more drugstore favorites from my some of my gal pals....

Melissa recommends Maybelline Great Lash in Very Black. Never leaves the house without it. 

Ashley lives in a very dry climate in Colorado and she recommends Burt's Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm and GUD Body Lotion and Body Wash in Orange Petalooza. GUD is a body line made by Burt's Bees. 

Anne Hunter recommends Ponds Cucumber Cleanser make up remover. She says it works so well to remove make up but doesn't leave your skin too greasy! 

My mom had tons of great recommendations and I think she looks great for 60 years old so I thought I would post them all! 

She also recommends Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser (non cucumber). 

Ponds Dry Skin Cream. She uses this when her skin feels dry. I also use this on occasion. It is a good one! 

My mom uses the serum version of the Olay Regenerist. Micah recommended the cream above. Tip: Costco has a good price on this! 

Cover Girl & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation, recommended by my mom and Ellen Degeneres.

 My mom also recommends Cover Girl Last Blast Mascara. I have used this before too and think it is pretty good. 

Wet n Wild Mega Shield Lip Color SPF 15. My mom says it is really rich and creamy and super cheap at $1.99. 

And last but not least...plain ole Vaseline. Nothing is better for dry lips or skin. I also agree on this one...I use this on my children and myself. It is the best. 

Katy recommends Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Moisturizer. She says "I have used used a million moisturizers including la mer and this is the best. Light and you can use it all year. It is $20 which is a little pricey for drug store but lasts a while."

Ada-Maria recommends Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Gloss in Super Sparkle.  She says "I have a tube of this everywhere -- my car, purse, makeup bag and even my nightstand!  I love its shine without being sticky and it leaves my lips really moisturized."

She also recommends Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner. She says "I love these products -- they have changed my hair, especially in the summer when it is prone to frizziness.  I usually alternate it every other day with a 2-in-1 because the argan oil is very moisturizing."

And my recommendation comes from your grocery store....olive oil! I have been using it as an eye make up remover and I LOVE it! Very moisturizing and it does a great job of removing makeup. Try it! 

Thank you! Thank you! to everyone who sent me a favorite! I think Walmart has great prices on beauty items however is offering 20% off right now through March 8. 

There are so many products on the market, it is nice to get recommendations before you purchase something. If you have something you would like to recommend, please leave a comment.