Thursday, September 30, 2010

{Food} Seriously Cute & Super Simple

Just doing a little food prep/practice for my W&W dessert spead. How easy and fun are these?! Reeses peanut butter cups with a little edible glitter icing. And I had these fun baking liners that I cut down to fit the Reeces cup. YUM!

TGIF!!! {It's technically still Thursday BUT I'm making my post a little early b/c tomorrow is going to be BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!}

Enjoy this beautiful fall weekend!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

{Home} Lockers = Done!

FINALLY!!! I can now say, "only" five months after my original locker post, that my lockers are officially done. I am still looking for a rug for the space, but the lockers themselves are ready to be filled {I decided not to add cushions because I love the crisp, clean simplicity of this piece....cushions not necessary!}.

At the start of all this "locker" business, my plan was to have them custom built and attached to the wall on our back porch. However, after waiting for what seemed like ages for the quote, we realized we just didn't want to spend THAT MUCH on something that we couldn't take with us if we ever decided to move. So....onto Plan B we went and the search began....

I have to hand it to my husband, Bo. He is so GOOD at finding exactly what I want for a price that fits our budget {and not to mention very patient with his oh-so picky wife;-}. He found these lockers at Howard Hill, an unfinished furniture store in Penn Sauken. I'll admit, I never thought I'd find what I was looking for without them being custom built. Goes to show you how much I know! I LOVE these lockers because....

~ They were affordable
~ They do not overwhelm the small space they now occupy
~ I was able to customize them A LOT {ie: hardware, how many lockers I wanted, size of lockers, doors on bottom or no doors, openings at top for baskets or no openings, beadboard on back or no beadboard....and the list goes on}.
~ Each of us has a basket at the top for anything we want {hats, gloves, scarves, etc}
~ There is a spacious area under the locker space for shoes or whatever you'd like to store down there
~ We were able to paint them whatever color we wanted
~ We can take them with us if we move one day {not to mention they give potential buyers a great idea of how to maximize the space on the back porch}

So, I guess they were worth the wait afterall. Next up? Small kitchen project....hope it turns out they way I have envisioned. Once again and as always, I'm on the hunt for more storage, space and seating in my cozy, little home :-}

STAY TUNED: {LOTS of FUN projects on the horizon!}

Monday, September 27, 2010

{Inspiration} Cake Pops/Cupcake Skewers

I LOVE all my favorite party blogs {to see my favs, visit my sidebar}! So many great ideas out there that keep me inspired on a day to day basis. Take these super-cute cupcake skewers....they are perfect for my Wigs & Wine party!!! Pizzazzerie {they're on my list} held a cupcake skewer contest and this was the winner.

I was planning on making some cupcake skewers of my own for W & W, but now I think I might add these to my menu as well. Bonus....I already have the little witches' hats you see on the tops of the mini cupcakes. Bought them with another idea in mind but looks like I'll be getting double use out of them now :-}'s a rainy Monday morning here in NJ, and I definitely would love to be in my snug little house, curled up in my favorite chair with my cup of coffee, Regis & Kelly on the tube, and my cuddle bug R. Dean in my arms, BUT I'm staying positive. It's the glorious fall season, the holidays are just around the corner, and I have BIG plans for my future. Can't wait to share them with you ;-}


Saturday, September 25, 2010

{Inspiration} Mini Ribbon Pumpkins!

I finally bought some mini pumpkins and mums today {Moores Greenhouse in WD is my fav....a tad bit pricer than other greenhouses but their flowers/plants are so nice and very well cared for}. Then, while Dean was napping this afternoon, I got to work...

Out came my ribbon, scissors, and hot glue gun. After about a half hour or so, all eight minis were done! You only see two in the picture above but I used a variety of ribbon. From orange to black to lime to eggplant to polka dot to striped to ticked to pattern or color was missed! And they look ADORABLE! Thank you Pottery Barn for the brillant idea :-} After I finished adhering the ribbon, I moved on to my next step....

....which was arranging them all in a huge glass hurricane, adding some sticks from the backyard and ***twist*** throwing some clear crystal drops to the branches. For a girl that constantly craves a little sparkle, shimmer, and shine, this was just the right touch!

Friday, September 24, 2010

{Recipes} Pumpkin Apple Muffins

I made some of these yummy pumpkin apple muffins last night to bring into school today for my teammates. A little Friday pick-me-up if you will :-} This is a great fall recipe passed down to me from my fav cook of all time, my very own MAMA! If it weren't for her, my recipe box would be empty :-}

~ 2 1/2 cups flour
~ 2 cups sugar
~ 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice {I did not have any of this on hand so I used a combo of cinnamon & nutmeg}
~ 1 tsp baking soda
~ 1/2 tsp salt
~ 2 eggs, lightly beaten
~ 1 1/2 cups pumpkin
~ 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
~ 2 cups finely chopped apples

~ Combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda & salt in one bowl
~ In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin & oil. Then add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients until moist.
~ Stir in apples
~ Spoon into greased muffin cups
~ Bake on 350 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes
~ Sprinkle tops with powdered sugar once out of oven

As you can see, I piped cream cheese frosting onto some of my muffins. I also found these cute school themed buttons at JoAnn's the other day and stuck one on the top of each frosted muffin. I thought they'd be a cute back-to-school treat for my teacher friends :-}

TGIF!!! Have a FAB weekend!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

{Invitations} Wigs & Wine!

Wigs & Wine preparations are underway! The invites were just printed and will go in the mail this weekend. Many more details on this party will follow including food, favors, decor, and other party goods. But let me just say this...if you're not really a fan of full-blown costume parties like myself, then this a really fun alternative. I attended a Wigs & Wine party a few years thrown by my girlfriend Jamie, and it was a blast!

I decided to put my own spin on it by centering mine around a couples' dinner party with a hint of sparkle, glitz and glam thrown in! Interested in throwing your own fall bash? Here are a few other fun party ideas I thought of while working on Wigs & Wine:


The possibilities are endless and FUN, FUN, FUN!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

{Crafting} 7 Months Today :-}

My happy, healthy baby boy is 7 months old already. ***SIGH*** I took this shot at 6 o'clock this morning....poor lil' guy was still a little sleepy. Life is full of super early mornings now that I'm back to work {but Dean is adjusting's Mommy that's having a hard time!}.

I used ribbon again to make the number on his onesie. I think I'm reverting back to fabric for next month though. 8 has waaayyy too many curves for ribbon!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

{Home Improvements} Lockers...

...are just about finished....phew! Once the space is completely finished, I'll post better pics but for now, just a little peek! Bo still has to add trim around the bottom of them, touch up some of the paint, and I need to shop for baskets and a new rug for the room as well. Possible seat cushions might make an appearance too...we'll see if I actually have the time to squeeze that into my already jam-packed life...ughh! Can't wait to be able to FINALLY use these!

Monday, September 20, 2010

{Inspiration} PB Eagan Multipanel Mirror

I've seen this mirror in the PB catalog a bazillion times before and never thought much of it. That is until I saw it in person this past weekend at a friend's baby shower. ABSOLUTELY STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL in person! No's such a statement piece! I couldn't stop staring at it...

The one pictured above is much too large for my home but I found a smaller version!!! So excited...I have the PERFECT spot for it. Must start buttering up Bo NOW! Ha!

Have a great week friends!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

{Autumn} Enjoying this Time of Year ~ Fall To Do List

Fall has got to be one of my favorite seasons {for soooo many reasons}! I'm trying to enjoy every moment of it before the cold weather sets in and those cool evenings where only a hoodie and jeans are comfortable are poof...gone! To keep me focused on noticing all of God's simple yet beautiful pleasures of the season, I made myself a "Fall To-Do List." Already working on accomplishing some of these things!

1. Pumpkin picking & carving!
2. Firepit s'mores with my boys
3. Trip to the zoo
4. "Beach it" on a fall weekend
5. Savor the cooler mornings and evenings with walks
6. Read my bible
7. Learn how to use my camera
8. Get my bake on and make some of the new fall recipes I've been dying to try
9. Squeeze in a few date nights with my husband {Buddakan & Amada are on the list!}
10. Cherish all those late night feedings & cuddles with Dean {he won't be small forever}
11. Positive role model for my students
12. Glam it up for Wigs & Wine
13. Pay attention to all the sounds, sights & smells of autumn {crunchy leaves, fireplace fires, pumpkin pie scented candles & foods, ETC ETC ETC!}
14. Coffee shop for fall inspired coffees/lattes, etc.
15. Train for a 5k
16. Picnic lunch at the park
17. Finish my summer reads
18. More time outside, less time on computer
19. Community service
20. Let my house get messy {for once!} and not care!

What are your fall plans?!?! TGIF!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

{Babies} Life Just Got 6 Pounds SWEETER!

Here's my sister's new dollbaby, Maura Kate Hendricks. I love her name, but I may be slightly biased on that one :-}
{STATS: 6 lbs 10 oz & 17 3/4 in}. Is she gorgeous or what?!
We are all in love and so excited to have a little girl join big bro Jack and baby cousin Dean.

It's KILLING ME that I haven't met Maura or held her yet. Looking like I won't have the chance to do so until October. UGHHH....shoot me now...

Move back to NJ, Rebecca! Your sister misses you terribly!

Monday, September 13, 2010

{Crafting} My Classroom

As most of you know, I'm back to my teaching job after being home with my baby just shy of 7 months. It was hard to go back, even to a job I love, so I decided that if I couldn't be home this year with Dean, I would try my best to bring home with me to school.

I made this huge class tree about 10 years ago and it's traveled with me all around the building to wherever my classroom moves. I LOVE it and the kids help me decorate it. Each season I create a new theme.

To give my classroom a homey feel, I added curtains this year. I had tons of fabrics left over from the Sprinkle I threw for my sister this summer, and I didn't want it to go to waste, so up it went as my curtains. These were super simple. I literally used heavy clear packing tape to turn the edges under and used some cute curtain clips from Target along with tension rods. If you look at the back to the curtain, you'd totally laugh {it looks so ghetto!}. But who's looking at the back anyway?! And I definitely did not have time to sew them...

Again, I used leftover fabric from the Sprinkle to line my bulletin boards this year. Can you tell I like polka dots? Ha! I've even had a couple of my cute little 8th grade girls show me their polka dot notebooks and say, "Look Mrs. Powell, I love polka dots too!"

These boards hang above my teacher desk. One is a cork board and the other a magnetic board for hanging my things. I just simply covered each with fabric using a staple gun. Easy peasy.

This is my student supply center. It's a station with all sorts of supplies the kids use on a daily basis. It keeps them from constantly asking me for these items and it keeps their tons of germs away from my desk because they don't have to touch my things...haha. I used the bunting from Bec's Sprinkle as the "Student Supplies" sign.

Lastly, I have this dark pink rug from my first apartment years ago! I love it and it's adds a little color to my room. Plus the kids love to sit on it when they take notes or work with partners. Everyone fights over it :-} Maybe I should invest in a bigger one...

Thanks for taking a peek at my room! I'm off to bed so I'm ready for my little buggers tomorrow....5:00am comes waaaayyyy fast!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

{Parties} Wigs & Wine Preparations

Just thought I'd give a little sneak peek at some of the things I'm working on for my Wigs & Wine party in October. My husband has been bugging me for a few years to have some kind of fall festival. So, this is the year, BUT, a festival it's NOT! It's going to be a small, intimate, adult dinner party. With WIGS. And WINE! More details on that party concept coming soon!

Love this Halloween color palette of orange, black, lime green, and purple!

I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to make with these fun little crafts, but don't worry, I'll come up with something!

***I just made a whole weeks worth of blog posts in a 24 hour time period...phew! After I put my son to bed, work has been consuming my nights with lesson preparations and what not, so my blog has been put on the back burner :-{ BUT only until the craziness of this first month back to work passes.***

~ My classroom crafting
~ Storage lockers {Bo is painting them as I type!!!}
~ Wigs & Wine invitations & details
~ Small kitchen project
~ Some small projects {still not accepting any big jobs but working on little things here and there for family and friends}

{Decorating} With Lamps!

I've been on a mad hunt lately for lamps. Sounds silly but since I decided to keep my wall colors, furniture, bedding, and window treatment choices in my home neutral for the most part, lamps are a great way to throw in some pizzazz! I satisfy my need for vibrant color pops by decorating with pillows, throws, pictures, and fun lamp shades.

Just found this beauty on a little shopping spree to Home Goods with my favorite shopping partner, Dean. Every time I enter that store, I'm in TROUBLE. Or should I say my wallet....

It sits on my craft table and provides much more light than the lamp I had previously. Bonus: it compliments my patterned accent chair {you can see the chair in the background}!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

{Recipes} Homemade Tomato Soup

All of this gorgeous fall-like weather has put me in soup-mode. My favorite meal ever in the fall and winter is a big bowl of soup with some good crusty bread. My mom started a tradition when I was in highschool that made me the soup lover I am today. Every Friday night she made a big pot of a different kind of homemade soup all through the fall and winter. It was the absolute best...I remember really looking forward to those soup Fridays. I hope to start the same tradition for my family as well, but while my babies are young and can't eat soup, my hubby and I enjoy wine and pizza Fridays for now!

~ 2 46 oz cans of tomato juice
~ 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
~ 3 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes
~ 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
~ 1 onion, diced
~ 1 1/2 cups milk
~ 1 1/2 cups half & half
~ 1/2 cup beef broth
~ 4 tablespoons butter
~ 3 tablespoons brown sugar
~ 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
~ 1 8 oz bag of sharp cheddar cheese
~ 1 can of white beans, rinsed
~ 1 box Ditalini pasta
~ garlic salt, parsley, black pepper & dried basil

~ In a big soup pot saute the diced onion on medium heat in butter until tender.
~ Add tomato juice, crushed, diced and fresh tomatoes.
~ Add milk, half & half and broth and stir
~ Add brown sugar and stir
~ Add baking soda {will cause to foam...continue stirring until foam has decreased}
~ Add spices to taste
~ Bring this mixture up to high heat {until hot and bubbly}. Then turn down and add cheese, beans and pasta for the last 15 minutes. ***Do not leave beans and pasta in for too long or they will turn mushy***
~ Serve with crusty bread

{My pic doesn't even show the best part....the white beans and pasta....they must have been at the bottom!}

{Dean} 6 Month Photo Shoot

My up and coming photographer friend, Karen of Karen Carpenter Photography, just took some fabulous pictures of my little guy at 6 months of age. I wish I could share all of them with you, but here is just a little peek! I love them and already have her all lined up for Dean's one year shots!

{Scrapbooking} How Fast Time Flies

I am currently in the process of creating my son's first year album/baby book online at the site, How Fast Time Flies. I saw this site advertised on one of my favorite blogs, Hostess with the Mostess {link on my sidebar}, a while ago. Then, I saw one of these books in person when my cousin's wife made one for her daughter. Really cute!!!

The templates they offer are adorable....there are tons to choose from and all different styles to suite every mom's taste. I have been using the Hostess with the Mostess templates...they are brightly colored with simple but cute graphics and shapes.

The sample page above is not mine; however, I do have this exact template {HWTM} saved and ready to fill with fall pics of Dean! I'm up-to-date so far with his album....I'm trying to keep on top of it because I'd love to have it completed and on display at his first birthday party in February!

Check out How Fast Time Flies! Warning: It's very easy to get carried away with creating tons of pages, which means your pocketbook is in major trouble!

Monday, September 6, 2010

{Beverages} Margarita Slushes

I made these "Margarita Slushes" tonight for my parents, who came over for a Mexican dinner. My hubby, a former bartender, said that these were the best margaritas he's ever had, so I feel confident sharing this drink recipe with you! They were pretty good if I do say so myself!

Put the following ingredients in the blender and blend:
~ 6 scoops lemon or lime sherbert
~ 4 shots Tequilla
~ 1/2 shot Triple Sec
~ 1 lime, juiced

*I also threw in a few ice cubes*

*Makes 4 margaritas*

Add a lime slice to your margarita glass for a garnish, and I also add another scoop or two of sherbet to the glass before I pour the margarita inside. These are delish!

Friday, September 3, 2010

{Recipes} Not Your Average Cheese Steak Sandwich!

I made these yummy cheese steak sammies tonight for me and my hubby. We took a break from our usual wine & pizza Fridays to try something a little different. My sister shared this recipe with me a while ago, and I'd forgotten how good it is! Here's what you need:

~ Steak of your liking
~ Baguette
~ 1/2 tub crumbled blue cheese
~ mayo {to taste}
~ 1 red onion
~ EVOO & balsalmic vinegar

~ Season your steak with S&P and grill or broil {I marinate mine in a little Caesar dressing too for some added flavor}
~ Slice steak in thin strips once finished grilling or broiling
~ Slice red onion and saute in a little EVOO and balsalmic vinegar
~ Cut your baguette in half and toast in oven for approximately 5 minutes
~ Combine your blue cheese with a little mayo {for creaminess}. Mix together - will have lumps because of the blue cheese
~ Spread blue cheese/mayo mixture on toasted baguette
~ Top with the steak and then red onion
~ Dip in ketchup if desired
~ YUM!

{Red onion & blue cheese/mayo mixture ~ both of these totally make the sandwich!}

I served my sammies with some fresh asparagus drizzled with EVOO and seasoned with S&P {then bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes}. Homemade sweet potato wedges would be really good with this meal too.

My husband LOVED this meal! If your guy loves steak like mine does, I'm thinking this meal will be total hit!

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND! {Normally I love a holiday weekend, but this one is tough as I am leaving my boy on Tuesday to return to work after a 7 month maternity leave. So thankful for the wonderful amount of time I've had at home with him to nurture and nurse and love him but still...I'M SO SADDDDDDD...gonna be a rough week. Make that month!}

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

{Inspiration} I'm "Fall"ing in Love...

...with all of these adorable fall ideas {from none other than PB}. Of course I have expensive taste with a budget that just doesn't quite match! That's why I titled this post "inspiration" as that is just what it is. I take ideas from Pottery Barn and then usually find them elsewhere for much less. Some of my favs for PB knockoffs? Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Target, IKEA, and JC Penny.

This garland would be adorable if you were hosting a Halloween bash or dinner at your home. It's actually something you could make if you were daring enough. This picture jumped out at me because I have the same buffet in my dining room, but mine was purchased at less than half the catalog price at PB Outlet in Lancaster, PA. The outlet is hit or miss but I've gotten some great furniture and area rugs for excellent prices there!

DEFINITELY making these mini ribbon pumpkins this year! I'm not crazy about the basket they're in....I'm thinking more along the lines of a glass hurricane where you can see all of them. Heading to JoAnn's Fabric today for something....might just have to make a pitstop in the ribbon aisle :-}

This front door/porch just makes me swoon! LOVE! I want so badly to walk up those steps, onto that porch and go right in that home! Maybe stay for dinner?

{Decorating} With Pictures...

How do ya'll decorate your homes with pictures? I'm curious because I myself tend to find it challenging at times. I love pics scattered around the house but sometimes too many frames all over can add clutter. I have a lot of pictures of my son that I've been dying to enlarge and display, so I purchased these photo ledges from IKEA along with some nice frames....all very reasonably priced. The photo ledges in PB are much deeper, which allows for more room to display leaning photos, but for the price, no thanks.

If I had a little more wall space to decorate, Dean wouldn't have to sit among the wine bottles :-}