Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top 5 Favorites of January

Today I'm linking up for the first time with Rachel at Just Peachy!
Just Peachy

My Top 5 favorite of January were... 
1.) My Arden B fur vest I got for Christmas from the husband.
It's my favorite "going out" accessory!!
Bottom Middle is mine!
Source: google.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

2.) My new Ugg Slippers:
{I literally am in them all the time.
They do get quite toasty, which is great but sometimes a bit hot!!}
3.) Nights inside with my husband, doggies & a warm crackling fire.
I  just love a cold night in.
It's so quiet and peaceful...
Eh, well, even if he's playing COD, it's still nice!!
Note the Uggs!! xo
4.) Whipping up some fabulous dishes in the kitchen!
I am pushing myself to make new meals.
Seriously, the more you cook, the better you get!
Don't be shy, just grab a book and start cooking through it!
Julia & Julia anyone?
Disregard the extra "y" #overexcited
5.) Really getting back into working out with my two favorites:
Zumba & Yoga
I feel like I am really getting stronger & toning up so well.
As you can see, I refuse to 'diet' but if you work out and portion control,
you will see results.
{Cruise is a few months away, I'll get bikini ready by then!!}

I highly recommend Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown.
I did level 2 yesterday=soooo sore today!!
I think that may count for 6 things but I've never been good with numbers.
What are your Top 5 favorites of January?
I'm so happy February starts tomorrow!
It's a month full of luuuuurrrrve & pink. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

3 Week Meal Plan w/ Recipes Linked

Ah, Monday. 
It's quite snowy here today!
I think winter may have actually arrived.
This week is a busy one--
Lots to do!
Source: google.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

Hubs works 9-9 Monday through Wednesday 
{usually it's just Mon/Wed}
I love making these meal plans, but I am noticing 
sometimes I am making these 'dinner' ideas for lunch because I can?
With Joe's Crohn's, it seems he does better with light dinners on his late nights. 
Eating after 8pm just makes anyone feel blah!
So here are some ideas floating around my head.
I try to pull from different cookbooks and my goal is to try a few new recipes each week.
3 Week Meal Plan:
Monday: Stir Fry w/ beef
Tuesday: Fish Tacos
Wednesday: Girls Night
Thursday: Boeuf Bourguignon {Julia Childs}
Friday: Sushi or Fish Fry?
Saturday: Grilled Venison Steaks
Sunday: Superbowl Sunday! {Ceviche & Buffalo-Chix Mac & Cheese}
Monday: Portobello Mushroom Burgers {Rachel Ray}
Friday: Pretzel Chicken {Rachel Ray}
Saturday: Shrimp Scampi
Sunday: Sauce
Tuesday: <3 Valentine's Day <3 Surf & Turf
Wednesday: Pulled Pork in slow cooker
Thursday: Sliders or Burgers
Friday: Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Roll-ups
Saturday: Butter Chicken w/ Basmati Rice
Sunday: Homemade Alfredo
I think I'm all set planning, now I need to clip coupons, write grocery lists and my weekly to-dos.
What are you up to this week?
Anything fun going on?!
Welcome new followers and hello old friends ;0)
Thought of the week:
So very true.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recipe Review & Some Rum Cake

Hope you had a fabulous weekend lovely readers!
Saturday the husband works, and they always order pizza & wings
{Which is why he never wants to order them with me!}
So I offered to make him lunch.
I had portobello mushrooms on hand wanting to make this recipe, 
so I decided why not make it for his lunch?
Well, about 6 pots and pans later, I had quite the delicious dish!!
It is meatless, which is nice to do every so often.
Portobello Mushroom Lasagna
  • Salt
  • Good olive oil
  • 12 oz (340g) dried lasagne
  • 1¾ pts (950 ml) whole milk
  • 12 tbsps unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 oz (225g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 lb 8 oz (680g) portobello mushrooms
  • 15¾ oz (450g) freshly ground parmesan
1) Preheat the oven to 375.   Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, with 1 tbsp salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagne sheets and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.
2) For the white sauce, bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt 110g of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once, stirring all the time.
3) Add 1 tbsp salt, the pepper and nutmeg, and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside off the heat.
4) Remove the mushroom stems and discard; slice the caps 1cm thick. Heat 2 tbsp of oil and the remaining butter in a large frying pan. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and release their juices. If they become too dry, add a little more oil. Toss occasionally so the mushrooms cook evenly. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms; set all the mushrooms aside.
5) To assemble the lasagne, spread some of the white sauce in the bottom of a 16x24x4cm deep baking dish. Arrange a layer of lasagne sheets on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms and 25g of the grated Parmesan.
6) Repeat 2 more times, layering pasta sheets, sauce, mushrooms, and Parmesan. Top with a final layer of pasta sheets and sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
7) Bake the lasagne for 45 minutes in the oven, or until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve hot.
 I will totally make this again! 
Now I just know that many pans will be involved
and to get more mushrooms {I felt like 6 was not enough!}
I added garlic to the dish.  
I didn't find it dry or too heavy.
It was very comforting on a cold Winter day.
We had a nice relaxing Saturday evening.
We made our delicious Roast Beef for dinner. 
{Don't you just love when your dinner cooks itself?}
I read and blogged a bit while hubs played COD. 
Today we stopped and got coffee and egg, ham & cheese bagel sandwiches
and went for a short drive.
Love that!
And later in the afternoon we celebrated Joey's grandma's birthday.
Vino, great food, & family.
A much needed time with them.
Have you had Rum Cake?
I hadn't before I started dating this Italian man!!
I didn't like them at first, but now I look forward to them at birthdays.
I may have to try out a recipe for Rum Cake soon! 
I'm almost done with my next 3 week menu, so I'll post that tomorrow.
Any good recipes you can share with me lovely readers?
Have a great night.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How do you Go Green?

 One of my goals this year is to be more mindful of the environment.
I'm usually fairly conscientious, but I have implemented a few extra
everyday tricks to help out Mother Nature.
Obvious tips I've been doing all along:
  • turn off lights when we're not in the room {even if you don't pay for your electric, don't be wasteful!}
  • Recycling all things, paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, etc. {I overfill 2 bins each week!}
  • Don't leave water running while brushing teeth OR doing dishes
  • Purchase & use re-useable grocery bags
  • Re-use plastic grocery bags if you forgot your 'green tote'
  • Bike or walk {library, store, etc}
  • Carpool with friends/family {I pick my MIL up for lunch--bonus--we get to chat to and from lunch, saves her on gas & only one vehicle on the road!}
  • Try to use my nook or hubs Ipad for magazines books, but if I don't I'll always recycle them with friends!
  • Buy from local farmers {preferably organic}
New Green Tips:
  • I read a disturbing statement about how many toilet paper rolls end up in landfills because they don't get recycled. I realized I wasn't recycling ANY of my bathroom products; they just got tossed in the garbage! I know keep an extra bag under the counter to catch all the recyclable items and then toss them into the recycling bin come trash day.
  •  We gave up buying the small plastic water bottles and we only use ones that we can re-fill.  The husband prefers glass, so I bought some VOSS water at Marshalls, and throw them in the dishwasher and use like we would any other glass. I fill them and keep them in the fridge so we can grab & go!
  • If I am in the kitchen {which I usually am} I love having the Food Network on.  Joe suggested I turn off the TV and just leave the sound running through the system. It works well, since I'm not actually watching, just listening!
  • For Christmas I purchased a few coffee cozies as prizes for my cookie party {and one for myself!!} and whenever possible, I use this instead of the cardboard one that usually ends up in the garbage.
  • We only use cloth napkins.  I don't even have paper ones! I have paper towels, but everyday we use cloth napkins. I love Target, Pier One, Kohls for those goodies!  It adds some sophistication to your meal and there's nothing to throw away!
  • On days off, hubs gets breakfast in bed. =D
  • And of course when possible, we buy Organic foods...but that's really an entire post {or several} on its own!!
  • We usually eat in.  Like I've shared before, it's better to know where your food is coming from, what's going into it, and it tends to taste a lot better!  Try making pizzas at home. No delivery charge, no wasted cardboard box.  Tastes way better too!
  • Mom & Dad D's Pizzas mmm

We're not perfect, but I believe every little bit helps.
Hopefully we can add more green practices to our every day lives.
 What "GO GREEN" tips do you have?
I'd love to hear them!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Taco Crescent Bake

Well, it's already Friday evening and I haven't posted yet, sorry!
I enjoyed the day with my husband; nothing crazy just an errand filled day.
I have been wanting to share with you this recipe that I made about a month ago.
I need to make it again!
I knew I wanted to make something 'taco' 
and I also wanted to use up some extra ingredients on hand from the holidays.
I love taco pie, lasagna, and regular tacos.
How abut Tacos on garlic crescent rolls?
Oh yes.
So good!
I'm calling it,
Taco Fave
1 lb ground meat-I used venison {you could do turkey or organic hamburger}
1 small cooking onion chopped
1 can garlic {or plain} crescent rolls 
1 packet of taco seasoning
2 T cream cheese
4-5 chopped Roma tomatoes {or any kind, really}
4-5 slices of cheese {I used Gruyere-- cheddar, Swiss, any kind will do!}
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips 
Taco sauces, salsas, etc. for topping
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees & line a 9x13 pan with crescent rolls, closing all seams
Follow instructions on the can to bake!
2. EVOO in medium heat gently cook onions until soft. Add beef & cook until no longer pink.
{Drain if you used a fatty meat} 
3. Stir in taco seasonings, following directions on packet.
4. When meat is cooked, add cream cheese {optional, but recommended!}
5. Chop tomatoes and assemble ingredients to layer.
6.Spread the meat enough so that it covers the crescent roll.
7. Add cheese, more meat, cheese, tomatoes, {feel free to add beans if you'd like!} 
8. Layer with fancy cheese.
9. Add crushed tortilla chips to the top for that added crunch.
10.  Bake for about 20 minutes {or until everything is warmed through and melted.
11. Serve it on a bed of lettuce.
12.  Have salsa, sauces, Greek yogurt, &guacamole to top.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Hair & It's OK!

Today I'm OK with:
...my new haircut. 
It's nothing drastic, 
{even though husband thinks I got a lot cut off, I really didn't, 
I just had it layered and I LOVE IT!}
...that I have AWESOME readers who gave really good hair advice!!
 ---sorry for the weird ducklips--
See? It's still pretty long babe!!
 ...that said hair cut with new product came close to a couple hunge...I love you baby!
...that it's 10am and I already made white bean spinach & sausage soup for the day
...love being a housewife!
...my husband gets this on a daily basis for breakfast:
...I still feel like I need more pink & red hearts around the house for Valentine's Day!
...I will put off reading my new magazine because I don't want to be done with it.
...That I really want to go on a date to the movies, but there are NO movies I want to see :(
...We woke up to a lightly ground covering of snow, and I love it.
...To really want to go tanning but I don't want skin cancer, but I hate being pale
...it's a constant debate in my head every day!!
...that I don't believe in diets, but I am portion controlling like crazy & not eating after dinner!!
...It's Thursday which means the husband only works til 5 and has tomorrow off wooooo
...After having my 3 year old niece for just one night, it makes me appreciate the alone time hubs and I have because when the kids card is finally played, there will be no turning back to this quiet life!
What are you OK with?
Link up with Amber & Neely!!!

Its Ok Thursdays

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Songs to Sweat to!

Thank you SO much for all of your hair input!
I'll be sure to share the results, whatever they be!
I've had my niece overnight so, sorry for the short post. 
I'll post more later!
Here are a few of my favorite workout songs:
{AKA bust my booty on the treadmill or Zumba}
Yes, they are explicit, fyi!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hair Help Puuuhlease!

So, I have a hair appointment tomorrow. 
I love my long blonde hair. 
I loathe taking care of it!!
It's really thick.
Dry shampoo does nothing for me.
It takes me 25 minutes to blow-dry.
I am also getting tired of it all being one length... 
Should I add more layers?

Source: google.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

Side swept bang?
Source: google.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

See? It's long but borrrrrrrring.
My hairdresser is so amazing.
I can bring him a photo of anything and he re-creates it.
Here's what I wanted my wedding hair to look like:
Source: google.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

Here's me!
 I'd say it looks pretty darn close!!
Love Love Love
So what do you think? 
Side swept bangs and layers?
Leave it?
PLEASE give me some hair help!! 
I won't change the color.
I'm a blonderexic, and I know it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Re-cap

Hello Monday! 
 We had a fun weekend but are devastated 
a tad sad the 49ers will not be going to the Superbowl.
Anyway, the good stuff:
Saturday night started out like this:
My sister sent me a picture that her wine matched her nail polish.
So I sent her a picture that mine matched my hair!
We met out at Joe's Crabshack 
{$$$$ SAVING TIP $$$$
I went online and signed up for their club and received a FREE appetizer!}
Darn flash!
Fur Vest: Arden B {I am so in love with it!}
Cardigan: H & M
Dress: A store in Toronto
Leggings: Marshalls
Necklace: Coach
Earrings: F21
Clutch: F21
Peep-toe Booties: Charlotte Russe 
Makeup: Bare Minerals
Can you tell we are sisters??
 I am a sucker for cheese!
I loved that our waitress wrote on our bibs!!
I love these shots!!
The crab was seriously deeeeeeeelish.
After dinner we went and saw a local band play.
Sunday brought us our niece's 3rd birthday party
a big game day. (Sad face)
We dined on homemade ziti & baked chicken
and Tricia {step-mom} makes the best homemade ice cream cakes!
The Birthday Girl!
And a few fun family photos..
 It was so great to get together and celebrate Adrianna's
third birthday.
She's so stinkin cute, aint she? 
I have to get my butt in gear with the workout.
I slacked the last few days.
My 3rd week of my meal plan has to change up a bit,
and is a rough sketch of how I hope our meals to go!!
Monday: Giada's Carbonara
Tuesday: Chicken tenders w/ panko bread crumbs
Wednesday: Ina Garten's Portobella Mushroom Lasagna
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Wings
Friday:  Fish Fry-out?
Saturday:Giada's Honey Mustard Pork Roast w/ Bacon
How did you spend your weekend?
Any good recipes out there I need to try?? 
I need to focus on my menu for the next few weeks!
Have a fabulous day lovely readers.

Friday, January 20, 2012

LC Inspiration on Friday's Fancies

Very true; love it!

Happy Friday my lovelies!! 
Few things to share with you today.
Last night the husband and I went to his parents house.
They make THE BEST homemade pizza.
I love it.
Joe loves it.
We get to drink some vino & have fun family time.
I know mom reads the blog, so here's shout-out--
{Thanks so much for the pizza & brownies.
I'm enjoying the coffee right now!!
Love you and I'm so luck to be your daughter-in-law.}
I also wanted to share with you, my lovely readers, the biggest dog I have ever met:
He is about 200 pounds and he is the silliest & sweetest dog.
They adopted him a few years back and you can tell he's so happy with them!
Disregard my amazing fashion. Don't be jealous. :)
Speaking of fashion,
today I'm also linking up with AV {long distance loving}
 Today's task was to be inspired.
I love Lauren Conrad's style. 
My outfit:
I love the playful pop of a green clutch with the subtle black/cream combo.
The nail color was a fantastic touch,
as was the material of the pants.
I also adored the gold accents 
I just love everything about this!
My inspiration came from this photo on Pinterest

We have an awesome weekend coming up!!
We are not staying in and doing nothing, woo hoo!
I can't wait to share our fun times with you soon.
Have a wonderful weekend.
GO 49ers!!