Friday, July 29, 2011

{Recipes} Poppyseed Dressing

Last night was Girls' Night at my house, and part of my dinner menu consisted of a big, green salad with my mom's poppyseed dressing. Inspired by Panera Bread's strawberry poppyseed salad that we both love, my mom whipped up her own dressing recipe that has now become my favorite.

My mom made this for Dean's Little Mister Mustache Bash back in February, and I intended on sharing the recipe shortly after the party. Have I mentioned I can't remember anything since giving birth? It's true -- Dean definitely took some of his mama's brain cells when he entered this world. AHHH! So, better late than never -- this is a great dressing for anytime of the year, but especially yummy in the spring & summer because it's served with a strawberry salad {or doesn't have to be -- I didn't add them to my salad last night}.

My mom is hysterical with her recipes -- most of the time she doesn't really follow recipes, so when she shares her creations with me, the measurements always make me laugh {LOVE you Mommy!}.

Poppyseed Dressing ::

In a salad dressing cruet, add the following ::

~ 2 Tbsp lime juice
~ 1 tsp lime juice
~ 1/2 tsp salt
~ 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar {heaping Tbsp's as per my mom's instructions -- hehe}
~ 1/2 tsp dry mustard
~ 1 tsp finely diced onion
~ 1 Tbsp poppyseeds
~ 1/2 cup EVOO {canola oil works too}

**Shake all of these ingredients in the cruet

~ Lastly, add approximately 1/4 cup half & half {this is what make it creamy}

**Shake again and refrigerate until you are ready to serve



Girls' Night was really fun! Full post coming on Monday!

Here's a quick peek at my signature cocktail for the night -- a spiked watermelon slushy! Stay tuned for more of the juicy details and lots of yummy recipes!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

{R. Dean} Veggie Lover

My boy LOVES his daddy's vegetable garden. Every time my husband heads out back to check for ripe veggies, his little sidekick wants to tag along. Dean is even starting to say the word garden {picture a very garbled version of this word -- it's actually more like gar -- haha}.

The veggies always come to the kitchen with little nibbles taken out of them. It makes me laugh! Yesterday, my honey was loving the peppers and taking whole bites out of the one he picked.

Because the weather was so nice yesterday, I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots of my veggie loving baby.

My husband recently acquired Bessie, the old, beat-up, white pick-up truck that his dad had for years and years and years. She's not much to look at but comes in very handy when Bo has something big to move. AND she actually made for a really cute backdrop for some pictures.

I love this sweet face...

...and those chubby little toes.

Funny, old man face ;-}

Quick detour over to the sunflowers.

**Hope you enjoyed!
**Prepping for Girls' Night today. Full post and pics COMING SOON!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

{Sneak Peek} Girls' Night

Just a quick peek at what I've been planning for the Girls' Night I'm hosting on Thursday for some old friends. Once I finished up the Gourmet Night we hosted in June, I told myself I was going to take a break from everything {including entertaining} this summer. I've definitely lightened up on designing, blogging, and entertaining and have been spending my evenings mostly relaxing -- and it's so nice! I just couldn't help myself with this one -- I had too many ideas not to try them -- ha! More to come...

Monday, July 25, 2011

{Random} The little Things... the car ride down to the shore this weekend {picture it :: baby snoozing, doggie calm, husband & wife having a good chat}
...or the chocolate & vanilla twist in a cup with rainbow sprinkles from Dairy Queen on Saturday night {my fav}
...or enjoying the tremendous riches that God has blessed us with {like our health, freedom, the love of our families, our child, etc}
...or the homemade pizzas made by my wonderful SIL we enjoyed with my husband's family on Friday night
...or escaping for an afternoon boatride & a dinner date with my hubby this weekend {how we managed to escape TWO times ALONE this weekend is beyond me}
...or snugging up my baby boy as we cruised by boat to our favorite place for some sun & sand {Champagne Island}
...or taking a dip and it being so hot that I actually dove all the way under the water {and got my hair wet!} and tasted the saltiness on my lips {and was reminded of my days on the beach as a girl with my sister & cousin and how we would ride the waves and laugh our silly heads off for hours at a time}
...or watching our Beagle hound run like a wildwoman all over the island chasing birds until her heart's desire {Bo & I joke she will definitely die a happy {& lucky} doggie one day}
...or the sheer delight on my little one's face from watching something as simple as a bubble land on his arm
...or etc, etc, etc.
...these are the things that I have been enjoying & cherishing...the little things...


**If you are ever in Wildwood and hungry, be sure to try our favorite little spot for dinner & drinks -- Dogtooth Bar & Grill. Great food! The mussels app -- OMG!
**I left my camera home this weekend {accidentally}, but it was so nice to just enjoy the weekend without snapping a million pics {pleasantly surprised}!
**Looking forward to a little relief from this HEAT this week!

Friday, July 22, 2011

{TGIF} Grateful

Just needed a little reminder since...

...yesterday was quite a day around here. Let me back up a bit...for the last few months, we have allowed Ginger {our 2 year old Beagle} free reign of the downstairs when we are not home. She also sleeps downstairs on her doggie bed at night. This is a huge change because for more than two years {since we adopted her at 3 months of age} she has been crated. She has handled her newfound freedom like a champ, and I'm starting to trust her. WAS starting to trust her I should say. I came downstairs yesterday at 6am for some quiet time before the rest of the house awoke, and G had so graciously peed all over my storage bench cushion {and one of my new pillows}. GREAT. It took a while, but eventually, it all came up fine and the cover on the pillow was machine washable. Phew...

**She has been getting spooked at night when we let her out for one last pee and now in retrospect, I realize she probably isn't going to the bathroom. The dog is a Beagle for goodness sake -- she's supposed to be a born hunter. Ya know -- tough...brave. Well, we just have to laugh because she's such a scaredy cat {definitely would be a gun shy hunter, that's for sure ;-}

Not more than 20 minutes later, I walk into my sweet boy's room after hearing him crying on the monitor, and I smell something. Puke. It was everywhere. The sheets, the crib, the floor, the beautiful WHITE pique bumper from PBK, his blanket, book, stuffed animal and HIM. Ughh. My poor boy. Into the tub he went and thankfully, my hubby was able to stay home for a little while so I could clean up the aftermath. I did four loads of laundry and everything came up good as new except for my favorite -- the bumper. Dang...

THANKFULLY, it was a minor bug. No more puking, normal behavior, no temperature, etc so we just rested his belly a little, laid low for the day, and he's feeling much, much better now.

**If you had told me 2 years ago that I would be cleaning up someone else's puke willingly, I'd have laughed at you. But then again, I'd give my own life for my child, so what's a little throw-up anyway?
**The shore sounds better than ever right now {anything sounds better than ever after yesterday though ;-} Thankfully we're taking off in about 2 hours -- I'm ready for a little R&R with my boys.
**I AM grateful for this day {and even yesterday} for many, many reasons.
**TGIF! {I'm in summer mode and therefore have slacked on my DIY posts -- be back next week!}

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

{DIY} Fabric Wall Art

I've been on a coral {a pretty cross between pink & orange} kick lately -- it's such a beautiful color and especially looks pretty in the summer.

Enter my upstairs bathroom and the big empty wall that stares me down every morning. It definitely was in need of a little dressing up, so combine that need with my love of coral and you've got yourself some fabric wall art.

Materials ::
1. Fabric quarters from Joann's -- ~ $1.50 each
2. Textured scrapbook paper -- ~$.75
3. 3 of my favorite frames from IKEA called FJALLSTA {who comes up with these crazy names anyway???} -- $12.99 each

Total cost for wall art = $43

Rather than search for pictures, which can be pretty pricey, I was able to customize my wall art to my taste by just adding fabric to frames. Not to mention it was a quick and simple DIY project.

I also added some fabric wall art in my family room this past spring. I used the larger FJALLSTA frame and some fabric I had already purchased from Joann's and had used as a spring table runner in my dining room. It compliments the splashes of turquoise in the cushion top on our built-in storage bench.

**If you're a DIY girl too, check out some of the fun DIY projects I've compiled on Pinterest. I'll be adding to this board as I find different projects I like and want to try.
**Up next on the DIY front? A gallery picture wall -- it's in the very early stages {and I mean very very early ;-}
**Back to coral for a minute -- I'm hosting a girls night next week for some old high school friends, and it's going to be all about CORAL! Stay tuned! If you missed my coral & gray pinboard, check it out! Some pretty inspiration if you love this gorgeous color too!

Monday, July 18, 2011

{DIY} Chevron Rug

This week I have a few DIY projects to share with you. Some are complete and others in the works, but either way, you should be able to get a good sense of what I've been working on since school let out for the summer. First up is the chevron rug I made for my kitchen. I have a pretty traditional style and my home reflects that; however, I do like a little hint of unexpected here and there . I'm not usually a girl that gets hung up on trends, BUT chevron is one trend that has caught my eye, and I really love the look of it.

I read House of Smith's DIY chevron rug post among a few others to help me create my own rug. Let me just say, I definitely took a more difficult approach by taping out the chevron pattern with painter's tape rather than making a vinyl pattern. I thought it would be easier to tape -- I was WRONG -- should have used a pattern. A lot of elbow grease went into making this rug.

Materials ::
1. EGEBY rug from IKEA @ $29.99
2. Valspar black "porch and floor" latex paint & sponge brushes @ ~ $15

This rug has a lot of nooks and cranies, so I found that a sponge and tapping method worked better than a paintbrush. I really had to work the sponge into the grooves to get the coverage I wanted.

**I searched high and low for chevron rugs/runners for my kitchen before deciding to make my own. Not only are they hard to find, but they cost a pretty penny. I couldn't find any that cost less than a couple hundred dollars. This entire project cost me around $45, which is totally doable -- you just have to be willing to invest a little sweat equity.

Chevron rug COMPLETE! At first I was a little disappointed in my chevron stripes -- they were looking a little severe and not as slanty as I would have liked. However, once the rug was complete, and I placed it on the floor in front of my sink, it started to grow on me. I really like it! It definitely adds that little pop of trendy I was looking for.

**You can get a little peak of my new kitchen floor in the above pic -- I haven't shared pics yet because I'm waiting for all my kitchen projects to be complete.
~ Painting the kitchen island {yes, gonna paint the island but keep the other cabinets natural -- LOVE that look}
~ Kitchen work station {I've himmed and hauled over this, and contemplated other ideas, but I'm sure this is what I want now and am ready to make a move!}
**HOT week ahead -- thankful for the air conditioning and the swim club so we can cool off! STAY COOL!

Friday, July 15, 2011

{TGIF} Summer Lovin'

Ahhh....Summer. Ahhh....Friday. Ahhh....gorgeous weather. That's one heck of a combination, don't you think? I'm LOVING it.... are you?


**It's so nice out that I was able to turn my AC off, open my windows, and let some fresh air in my house -- so refreshing!
**It was even a tad cool last night {can you believe it -- in mid July!!}, so my hubby & I had a glass of wine by the firepit after our little sweetheart went to bed. If the mosquitos weren't feasting on my legs, I could have stayed out by the fire ALL NIGHT LONG!
**Heading over to a free summer concert tonight at a local community center right on the water -- I just want to be outside and soak up all this summery sweetness!
**TGIF -- Enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

{Restaurant Review} Buddakan

Buddakan has been on my list of restaurants I've been dying to try forever. We finally made it there last weekend. It was a beautiful summer night in the city, and I LOVED everything about this restaurant. It's a great date night spot.

FOOD :: Contemporary Asian cuisine -- one of the BEST meals I've had!
ATMOSPHERE :: Hip and trendy with a huge statue of Buddha that sits center stage & dimly lit with tons of soft light from candles -- like I said, GREAT date night spot! {I felt like Carrie, Samantha, Charolette and Miranda could walk through the doors at any minute ;-}
DRINKS :: YUM -- the martini menu is excellent
COST :: Let me just say this isn't a place we will be able to frequent -- it's for special occasions. Definitely be prepared to spend in the triple digits
LOCATION :: Old City -- Philadelphia, PA

We splurged and ordered dessert on top of everything else. Bo told the waiter it was my birthday, so they brought out our dessert with a sparkler -- LOVE!

**AMADA is next on my list!
**I have been getting up at 6am every morning to have my coffee and a little quiet time before my boyfriend wakes up. I watch the news, catch up on emails, create blog posts, read, etc. All of a sudden, now that I'm on summer vacation, Dean's been waking up before 6 {I hear him as I type this}. There goes that plan -- ha!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{Travel} Bright Lights, Big City

We took the plunge -- we booked a mini-getaway to Las Vegas this fall. I'm really excited to get away with my husband and visit a city I've never been to, but so so nervous to leave my baby. It's going to be a quick trip, and I won't be away from him for long, but the thought of his daddy and me getting on an airplane without him -- ughh -- uneasy feeling. He will have the best of care from his grandparents while we are gone, so I'm sure everything will be fine. But still...

My hubby is currently working on our itinerary -- we're gonna live it up Vegas style for the few, short days we are there! Other than little trips, we haven't been away since our honeymoon, so we are both beyond excited!

**Almost thirteen years ago, I was a brand new teacher, living home, no commitments, no major responsibilities, money to burn, and lots of single friends ready for adventure. I took full advantage of that time and traveled all over the world {so thankful for that time in my life!}. I never made it to Vegas though -- it's been on my destination list for a long time now!

Monday, July 11, 2011

{Pinterest} M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

Good Morning! I recently had a sLd reader email me requesting some party inspiration for her son's upcoming Mickey party. Rather than sending links for everything, I found it much easier to create a board on Pinterest {links automatically appear}.

Although I have not thrown my own Mickey or Minnie party, after searching for inspiration, I found that a party with this theme could easily be thrown on a budget. If you can draw a circle, you can create tons of Mickey/Minnie party props -- banners, invitations, cupcake toppers, centerpiece sticks, etc, etc, etc. And red and black with polka dots is an easy-to-find color scheme. Fabric and ribbon in these colors could add that little something extra and really dress up a party with this theme.

Polka Dot Market, Bake it Pretty, and Shop Sweet Lulu are three online party stores that I have purchased party supplies from, and they all sell adorable dotty and striped party extras like balloons, staws, cups, plates, cupcake liners, gable boxes, and favor bags just to name a few.

Lisa, I hope my M.I.C.K.E.Y Mouse pinboard will give you just enough inspiration to get your creative juices flowing! Have fun planning your party!

**Creating this board really put me in the Disney spirit. I'd LOVE to plan a Disney trip in the near future. Dean would love it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

{Holiday} 4th of July Sweets & Treats

Good Morning! We are still settling back into our summer routine over here after spending an absolutely wonderful holiday weekend at the shore with my husband's family. I wanted to quickly share some easy 4th of July sweets we enjoyed over this weekend.

We watched the fireworks show on the 4th from my in-laws front deck, and I made everyone a little fireworks treat to enjoy during the show. I was inspired by a pic I came across on Pinterest for this one. All I did was tie a few twizzlers together with sparkly stems {aka pipecleaners} in patriotic colors. It doesn't get any easier than that!

I think one of the easiest and most festive 4th of July desserts is layered strawberries, blueberries, pound cake and coolwhip. Again, super simple and so adorable! I actually made my husband and I these little minis as a treat before we left for the shore. So yummy!

Of course my hubby laughed when he saw the little decoration I added to the top. He said, "Hmmm, blog post?" Haha -- he knows me just a little too well!

Quick weekend recap:: My favorite part of going to the beach is not going to beach at all actually -- we take the boat out to Champagne Island {just a short boatride away} early in the morning and have the entire place to ourselves for hours. It's pure bliss! My angel face {and his sister Ginger -- woof woof} have a blast running all over the place.

My 34th birthday {YIKES} was yesterday, so we celebrated on the 4th at the shore with Bo's family and will be celebrating with my family tonight. Dean helped me blow out my birthday candles.

**Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!
**DIY projects coming SOON {currently working on them}!

Friday, July 1, 2011

{Holiday} Independence Day

{photo via The Sweetest Occasion}

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! Enjoy the long weekend with family & friends!

America the beautiful -- we are so blessed to live in this wonderful country!