Wednesday, December 29, 2010

{Parties} Jack's Birthday FIESTA

Here are a couple of quick details from my nephew's birthday FIESTA the other night. My sis created a taco bar with all the fixins for her guests. She served hard & soft tacos with a choice of chicken or beef filling and a corn & black bean side dish, which was delish! She did a great job of incorporating some cute details, like displaying all of the taco fixins in margarita glasses and using fun serving utensils with brightly colored beads. Great job, Bec!

***Please excuse my lack of posts this week as I've been taking a much needed break from EVERYTHING on my week off from work. It's been so nice to spend the week with my husband {also on vaca} and son and disconnect from the "online world" for a little while. I'll be back next week and hopefully will be able to maintain my blog as I'm adding another major item to my To-Do list for grad school clinical. Ughhh! Wish me luck...I'll need it!***


Monday, December 27, 2010

{Giveaway} WINNER

Congratulations to Krissy, winner of the 2011 mini desk calendar! Thank you to all who participated...I LOVED hearing your New Year's plans, resolutions, and how you would use the calendar.

I guess it's only fair for me to answer my own questions, like you all did. I'd say...
~ Calendar Use :: Kitchen message board as a reference to the day/date
~ Perfect NYE :: A fun dress-up event {fancy party or wedding} or the complete other extreme...Chinese takeout and a movie at home with my hubby ;-}
~ Resolution :: To SIMPLIFY

Thank you again for participating. Stay tuned for some new projects I'm currently working on!

Friday, December 24, 2010

{Parties} Christmas Cookies & Crafts

My Christmas Cookies & Crafts party was a success! Thankfully everything came together at the last minute. Here are the party details:

Brunch was served first and included a veggie quiche, fresh fruit & berries, scones, and cranberry juice. After brunch, we moved onto dessert, which was the cookie bar {above}.

Cookie Bar :: Even though I threw this display together in the wee hours of the night the day before the party, I still had a great time watching it all come together. Aside from the two small runners you see, every decoration on this buffet was something I already owned. I've found that you can put together a great tablescape/dessert display/etc with items just found around the house. No need to go out and spend tons of money on decorations...

SHOPPING GUIDE :: {All items purchased over the course of the last five years}
Runners {shower curtain}, red&white Christmas balls & spikey decorations ~ Target
Round, red tealight holders, green Xmas tree & silver tree with lights ~ Pier One
Wreath ~ Bath & Body Works
White cake stands & rectangular platter ~ Home Goods/Crate & Barrel

This wreath was probably my favorite thing about the entire display. I've had it for many years, and every year I pull it out at Christmas time. I've used it in a different way every year and this year, instead of hanging it on a door or using it as a centerpiece, I attached it to the mirror that sits atop my buffet. Then I created a "Merry Merry" banner and flanked the wreath on the top and bottom with it.

Candy canes are super festive, look cute, and are a great way to inexpensively decorate a holiday table set-up. I quickly put some in a glass container with some fun red and green decorations.

Notice the polka dot gable boxes that I used to package the peppermint bark for my neighbors? I had a few extras and used those as "to-go" boxes for my guests. We had a lot of left-over cookies, so these little boxes allowed me to easily {and stylishly} send my guests home with some sweets.

What would a cookie bar be without some milk to wash them down? The mini milk bottles are simply Starbucks frappachino bottles sans lables and rinsed out. Aren't they cute? And the old fashioned red striped straws were purchased from Etsy seller, Skylar's Party.

Speaking of cookies, these little chocolate candy cane blossoms were delicious! My friend Patty gave me this recipe, and they were easy to make and YUM!

One end of my dining room table served as a spot for us girls to eat our brunch {the other end was transformed into Jack's craft station ~ see below}. This runner, which you probably recognize from the dessert display, was a shower curtain I purchased at Target. It was inexpensive enough that I didn't feel guilty cutting it. I was able to create two small runners for the cookie bar and one larger runner for the table.

I find a ton of inspiration from fabrics and lately shower curtains have been catching my eye. If you can find them at a reasonable price at stores like Target and TJ Maxx, you can get multiple uses out of them.

This was Jack's craft station. Every time I go to JoAnns or hit up the Dollar Spot at Target, I stock up on fun crafty items, so I had plenty of fun stuff to choose from for Jack. I filled little tubs and cartons with the supplies.

We made snowman ornaments. Jack was hard at work here making his...haha.

My sis, mom, me and our babies/grandbabies before brunch. My sister-in-law, Jane, joined us for brunch too {not pictured}. All in all, it wasn't about the cookies or the crafts or the food or the presents or the party details. It was about spending some quality girl time with family, which is just what we did.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{Sneak Peek} Cookies & Crafts

Here's a tiny peek at the cookie bar I'm putting together for my little shindig on Friday. In all honesty, I just haven't had the time {or motivation for that matter} to devote to this. Until last night, I hadn't done ONE SINGLE THING to prepare for it....BUT....I caught a second wind around 8:30pm and sprung into action. Hopefully it'll come together in the next 24 hours....AHHH! NOTE :: Cookies and all brunch items still need to be made. Thank goodness I have a half day today!


{Crafting} 10 Months Today

My little Love Chop is 10 months old today. I don't think this child is going to know his name is Dean because of all his nicknames {Bubba, Love Chop, Stinka Bug, Punky, Suga"r" Sugs, Pumpykins, etc}.

I used fabric again to make the number 10, and as you can see, I went with a red/green color combo for Christmas. We tried a few pics in the Santa hat, but Bubba wasn't feelin' it this morning...haha. He's a pretty good sport considering I take these photos at 6 am!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

{Gift Idea} momAgenda

This handy dandy little planner called a momAgenda is one of the items on MY Christmas wish list this year! I haven't been able to live without a daily planner since high school. And now that my current 2010 daily planner is only good for about another week, I'm in dire need of a new one.

Oh how I hope Santa brings me one of these! I think I will subtly hint for "Santa" to hop on my blog tonight...ha! Just a gentle reminder ;-}

There are special areas for appointments and all of the things that moms with young children need. It is made especially with the busy schedule of moms in mind.

I know this is very last minute, but what a great gift for a busy mom. AND...all of their agendas are 25-30% off right now! Check them out at

***The Paper Trail in Haddonfield also sells momAgendas if you'd like to check them out in person before purchasing!!!***

{Recipes} BBQ Chicken Casserole

Casseroles are one of my favorite dinners to make during the week when I'm working. I can prepare them the night before and just pop them in the oven when I get home. Easy! I made this BBQ Chicken Casserole last night for my family and had plenty left over for lunches. Recipe compliments of my sissy.

~ 2-3 chicken breasts, steamed or cooked
~ 1/4 cup onion, diced
~ 1/4 cup green pepper, diced
~ 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
~ 1 can tomato sauce
~ 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
~ 1/4 bag frozen white corn
~ 1 package corn bread mix
~ S & P to taste

1. After steaming or cooking the chicken, cut into cubes.
2. In a medium sized sauce pan, saute diced onion and pepper in a little EVOO until softened. Add chicken, tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, drained beans and S & P. Cook on medium until hot throughout {about 8-10 minutes}. Add corn and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add more S & P if needed.
3. Pour hot mixture into a greased casserole dish.
4. Prepare corn bread as directed on box and spoon over casserole evenly.
5. Bake in oven about 25-30 minutes until cornbread is cooked.

I paired this with a fresh green salad.


Monday, December 20, 2010

{Gift Idea} Sweet & Simple

Dean and I will be delivering these "sweet" & simple gifts to my neighbors tomorrow afternoon. They are just a very small token to say Merry Christmas. These would also make great gifts for co-workers, friends you don't exchange big gifts with, mail carriers, recycle men, etc.

I ordered small red polka dot gable boxes from Polka Dot Market {link on my sidebar}. PDM has adorable products, and I also got the idea to make and add the peppermint bark to the boxes from Sally, the owner. I used Paula Deen's recipe, which is so easy and very yummy!

Once I lined the boxes with wax paper and filled them with the bark, I attached these little recipe cards I made. {I spelled boiler says b"r"oiler if you read the recipe. Good going, English teacher. That's what I get for proofing it for the first time while posting it on my blog....oooops}!



{GIVEAWAY} The New 2011 Desk Calendar

I just wrapped up a new calendar set for 2011. These are 5 x 7 in size and look great on a refrigerator, kitchen message board, or even propped on a little stand on a desk.

With the end of 2010 only a short time away, I thought it was only appropriate to give away one of my new calendars!

{Do ONE of the following}
1. Become a follower of Studio LIME Design {and leave me a comment on this post letting me know you did so!}.
2. Tell me your idea of a "perfect" New Year's Eve.
3. Share with me one of your New Year's resolutions for 2011.
4. Tell me how you would use your desk calendar if the winner of this giveaway.

DEADLINE is Monday, December 27th at 12 noon.

Winner will be announced via later that same day.

***These calendars are also available for purchase for $15/set {$1.50 additional charge if product requires shipping}. Please contact me via e-mail {} if interested or have any questions.***

Sunday, December 19, 2010

{Inspiration} Kitchen Re-Vamp

{Photo via Centsational Girl ~}

I've mentioned a "small" kitchen project a few times on my blog...small being the key word. And in true Kate Powell fashion, what started as small has become, well, ummmm, large. Why do I always have to make things more difficult?

Taking on a life of it's own, this project has now developed into a new tile floor {samples coming soon ~ I need help!} and a built-in desk/small office nook in the kitchen. My husband might kill me. BUT Dean needs a place to do his homework....ummm, 4 1/2 years from now ;-} Still not sure if it's completely feasable {my kitchen is tiny}, but once I set my mind to something, there's usually no stopping me.

So stay tuned! I may be shot down on this one and come back like an old, sad hound dog, ears dragging on the floor and all...

Happy Monday???!!! Only a few days until Christmas!

{Random} Weekend

My husband and I {Dean too} originally planned a mini getaway this weekend to Hershey, PA, which we cancelled at the last minute. We had planned on taking a tour of the chocolate factory, doing the Christmas Candylane lights tour, hitting up the outlets, and just relaxing and escaping from all of the holiday madness. BUT we were slightly nervous at the thought of getting caught in a snow storm on the drive home. Not my idea of fun, especially with an active 10 month old in backseat ;-} Of course the forecast changed literally hours after we cancelled our plans, and the storm skipped right over us. GRRRR.

Oh well...what can you do? No predicting Mother Nature. So onto Plan B we went. Plan B brought us to Collingswood for some lunch, pictures with Santa {gone bad...haha}, and exploring. Ever tried Westside Gravy? Cute little place right on Haddon Avenue that serves up your finest comfort foods. It was perfect for us...not crowded and Santa had a little post right in the restaurant. As you can see, Dean was thrilled to sit on his lap. *Wink*

Mommy to the rescue. What would Dean's first Christmas be anyway without the classic kid-screaming-on-Santa's-lap photo?

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Friday, December 17, 2010

{Holiday} The Last of the Cards...

My 2010 Holiday Card Collection is DONE! These babies are signed, sealed and delivered as of this morning. I posted my mom's card the other day. Now on to my own cards and my sisters.

Ginger got the boot this year, and instead I went with a simple profile shot of my boy that showed his sweet smile and crinkly little corners of his eyes. I took this picture Thanksgiving weekend because it wasn't terribly cold. He's sitting in front of my garage doors, which I love because they are old, black, wooden doors {you can't really tell in the pic b/c it's B & W}. I was inspired by a picture I saw on gapkids website {you can see it on my left sidebar under Bring on WINTER?!?!} I love that row of smiling faces all dressed in their adorable snow hats and mittens.

I went with the colors dark pink, light blue and of course my favorite, lime, because they popped against the B & W picture. In addition, some different fonts spiced things up a bit. Merry & Bright, one of my favorite holiday sayings, also made an appearance on the card. Lastly, I hand glittered the word bright on each card {not pictured above}. I'm happy with the final product :-}

The wrap labels are also simple and compliment the card design.

There just wasn't time for me to take a picture of Jack and Maura over Thanksgiving, but luckily Bec was able to snap a quick photo at her home in Virginia. I love that Maura girl is smiling :-}

We used some untraditional Christmas colors {red, dark pink, light pink, and light blue}, but I really like the way they look together {NOTE: the dark pink is not as bright in person as it shows in the picture}. Simple snowflakes were also on the card, and yes, I hand glittered those as well. They look adorable, but after glittering 40 of Bec's cards and 70 of mine, well, let's just say I'm over glittering for a while ;-}

Because Bec didn't send an announcement for Maura, she also wanted me to subtly include her birth stats on the Christmas card, so I included those in a small circle at the bottom of the card.

Lastly, we used dark pink envelopes {for Maura}, and I made small return address tags to adhere to the back of her cards. They compliment the snowflake design on her card.

That's it! TGIF ~ Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

{DIY} Card Display

The flood gates have opened and the Christmas cards have begun pouring in! I get excited each day as new cards arrive. My fav? Seeing the pictures of the families, especially the kids. I love to look at those little blessings until at least New Years Day.

So when you have a small home, the question becomes, where do you display ALL of these sweet smiling faces??? This year I decided to create my own DIY card display. A little cheesy, but it gets the job done.

I have a small wall space in my kitchen that is open. I cut about a 3-4 foot piece of red ribbon with lime ticking and attached it with double-sided tape to a shower hook {kinda weird but it works}. Every time a new Christmas card arrives in the mail, I attach it to the ribbon with double-sided tape. The picture above only shows a few cards, but this ribbon is now almost full! The cards run almost the entire length of the wall.

Easy and expensive fixes -- that's what it's all about!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

{Holiday} Christmas Cards

It's been holiday card central in my house this week. Between my mom, my sister and my own cards, it's been a frenzy of designing, printing, cutting, crafting, addressing, adhering, stuffing and stamping! Phew! Almost done. Goal :: ALL cards done and mailed by Friday. I just dropped my mom's cards to her yesterday, so I figured I'd give you a little peek at them.

We used a picture my mom had taken of her home last winter during one of our many snow storms. I tweeked it a little using Photoshop {still LOTS to learn on that front} and added some simple verbage in different fonts, colors and sizes. These were paired with red envelopes.

~ Becky's Christmas Cards
~ My Christmas Cards
~ DIY card display
~ Cute gift idea {neighbors, co-workers, etc.}
~ Cookies & Crafts Party {Christmas Eve}
~ 2011 mini desk calendar
~ A few yummy crockpot & casserole recipe{s}
~ Kitchen project {still in the planning stages...ughh!}
~ Craft room wall display {storage solution}
~ Stefanie & Jason's wedding suite
~ Dean's 1st birthday party invitations & party details....NOOOO!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

{Decorating} Christmas Balls

I love decorating for Christmas. One of my favorite looks is brightly colored and sparkly Christmas balls in different glass vessels. It's so simple and understated but at the same time looks so pretty. I probably have at least one glass hurricane, apothocary jar or vase filled with Christmas balls in almost every room! Even Dean has a small one in his nursery {bottom right picture}.

What are your favorite Christmas looks?

{Recipes} Easy, Healthy & Tasty Dinner!

Here's a super simple dinner I made last week. Not only easy, but also tasty and healthy. It was simply salmon served over a bed of greens with a side of sweet potato fries.

~ You need approximately 1 lb salmon {Shoprite will broil it for you if you ask them}. If you prefer to make it yourself, it's very simple. I just place the salmon in a lightly greased baking dish and season with some S & P. Bake on 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I check it to make sure the inside is cooked {I'm not a huge fan of raw fish}.

~ I used a bag of spring mix. I just placed the baked salmon on top of the greens and drizzled with balsalmic vinegarette.

Sweet Potato Fries:
~ I nuked 3 medium sized sweet potatoes for about 2 minutes. Then I sliced them into wedges {like steak fries}. Next, I put them on a baking sheet and drizzled with EVOO {not too heavily}. Use a spatula to turn them so both sides are coated nicely. Then sprinkle with S & P or a little season salt. Bake on 350 degrees for approximately 40-45 minutes.


Friday, December 10, 2010

{Giveaway} Winner!

Congrats to Gina, winnner of the holiday tags! Thank you so much for giving me such GREAT ideas for my cookie bar, girls! I will definitely be using some of your suggestions. Thank you again for participating :-}


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

{Recipes} Crockpot Sausage & Peppers

My friend from school lent me a fab crockpot cookbook for busy women....PERFECT! Although I haven't had a lot of time to actually try many of the recipes just yet, I did experiment with one of them a few days ago. I threw the ingredients together the night before and just had to start the crockpot in the morning. It was so nice to come home from work that afternoon to a yummy smelling house and an already cooked meal!

~ 1 large green bell pepper, sliced in strips
~ 1 small onion, diced
~ 3 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, sliced
~ 2 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce {1 jar}
~ 1/4 cup red wine

~ Place veggies and sausage in crockpot. Combine other ingredients, mix well, and pour over veggies and sausage. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Serve over pasta or on rolls.

***I served mine over whole wheat cheese raviolis and it was delish; however, next time around, I will double this recipe so that I have some left over to freeze for another meal.***

I also made this quick and easy salad that my friend Christine gave to me {it's her signature salad, and I LOVE it}. So much so, that I made it for a progressive dinner I attended last weekend.

~ 1 bag spring mix
~ 1 bag baby spinach
~ 1 bag craisins {cranberry/raisins}
~ 1 bag candied walnuts
~ 1 tub crumbled blue cheese
~ 1 bottle Paul Newmans raspberry vinegarette dressing

~Add all dry ingredients in a bowl and toss with dressing immediately before serving.

***I had to improvise a little since I used most of my salad ingredients for the progressive dinner. I didn't have any crumbled blue cheese left, so instead I used feta {I liked the blue cheese better}. And instead of candied walnuts, I used regular ones {again, candied are better}.

I'm making another super easy meal tonight for dinner...will share later in the week!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

{Invitations} Jack's Birthday FIESTA!

My little boyfriend, Jack, is going to be THREE at the end of this month. When did that happen by the way? Wasn't he just born like yesterday? UGHHH...these babies are growing too fast for my liking!

My sis is so cute...she's not a full-fledged theme girl when it comes to throwing parties. It's all about simplicity for her, which I LOVE! She has very nice taste and always has cute ideas, and as a matter of fact, it was her idea to do a Mexican fiesta birthday party for her son. Fun food, simple details...that's it!

For the invite, I borrowed a sombraro from the Spanish teacher at my middle school. Jack was very cooperative, even after just having gotten up from his nap, which I greatly appreciated, and I was able to snap a quick photo. Bright colors and some simple design details were used to create the invitation and coordinating wrap labels.

Stay tuned for all of the "simplified" details of this party, which will be forthcoming ;-}


{GIVEAWAY} Holiday Gift Tags!

Christmas is just around the corner, and I don't know about you, but I have a ton of gifts to wrap. My holiday shopping is done, but the wrapping awaits me!

I created two fun gift tag options this year to coordinate with my wrapping paper. One is your traditional red and green with a little lime thrown into the mix. The other was inspired from my sister's Christmas card this year, which I am currently creating {more on that later!}. What you don't see in this picture is that I hand glittered the center of each snowflake...they look so cute and sparkly!

HOW TO USE: You can add a little double sided tape to the back of these and attach them easily to your gift boxes or punch a hole at the top and thread ribbon through to attach to a gift bag. You could even simply slide a tag under the ribbon on your box, and it should stay put.

I'm giving away a set {8 tags} of each design to anyone interested! That's 16 tags total. Perhaps it will inspire you to get started on all of your holiday wrapping as well ;-}

~ Become a follower of LIME {and leave me a comment on this post letting me know you did so}.
~ Tell me your favorite kind of Christmas cookie {I need some inspiration from you for the cookie bar I'm creating for my Cookies & Crafts party!!!}.

DEADLINE for entry is Friday, December 10, 2010 at 12 noon. Winner will be announced via later that same day!

***These tags are printed and ready to go. They will be mailed on Saturday morning.***

Monday, December 6, 2010

{Inspiration} She's About to "POP" Baby Shower

Look at this BEAUTIFUL baby shower created, customized, and executed by Jessica of Pen&PaperFlowers! Jessica does exquisite work...always fresh, clean, simple, and unique with a flare that only she has. She is one of my daily inspiration will find a link to her blog on my sidebar.

I love her use of plates on the wall to duplicate the look of bubbles that was originally used on the invitation. So clever!

This theme could easily be translated to a bridal shower...the bride is about to POP with excitement! Add a little bubbly {aka champagne}, which would tie in perfectly with the bubbles on the invitation, and you've got yourself a classy little event.

I also appreciate all of Jessica's creative touches and the play on words for the menu items. LOVE EVERYTHING!

Thank you Jessica for some serious inspiration!

{Gift Idea} I See Me Books

With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to bring you some of my favorite gift ideas. Let me start with this personalized book from I See Me {}. These books are GREAT for a few different reasons. First, they are completely personalized with the child's first, middle, and last name. And I love anything personalized. Second, they are filled with fun, colorful pictures that tell a sweet little story with your child as the main character. Lastly, your child sees their name in print allowing them to practice learning how to recognize the letters in their name and its spelling. They even have a book fitting for a boy and one for a girl.

I first ordered one of these books for my nephew Jack before he even made his appearance in this world. And since then, I've ordered a few for first birthday gifts. Dean doesn't have one yet...I'm slacking on my own child. Maybe Christmas? Or his first birthday, which is in February....AHHH!

Have a productive Monday friends!