Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pizza Love

Made this pizza tonight, courtesy of Pioneer Woman. It is the first recipe of hers I've tried, and let's just say...I'll be trying more. Soooo good! The Mr. & I make a lot of homemade pizza, and I've been searching for the perfect pizza crust recipe for a long time. I think I may have found it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fresh Cut Friday

I really, really love having fresh flowers in the house. They add color and life to whatever room they're in. If I could, I would have an arrangement in every room of my all times. BUT, since that isn't exactly realistic, I am going to aim to have at least one fresh bouquet in my house, at all times. And to help me with that self-serving goal, I am going to institute "Fresh Cut Friday" as a weekly feature on this little blog of mine.

For the most part, I get my flowers at my local grocery store while I'm doing my weekly shopping. But every once in a while I get to hit up other places that offer a wider variety. Like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or Walter Knoll. WK lets you create your own bouquets from the buckets of flowers in their cooler. You can do that any day of the week, but on Saturdays & Sundays, they're half off. I used to live just few minutes from one of their shops, so I took advantage of that deal often. I could walk out of there with two or three great bouquets for under $20.

Sadly, I never find myself near a Walter Knoll on the weekends anymore, but that doesn't stop me from popping in on my lunch break every once in a while to pick my own bouquet from their cooler. This is what I brought home today...

This arrangement turned out a little wild, but I like that. I love the color combo. The wintry gray with the bright and springy yellow and orange is perfect for this time of year. Ahh...nothing like fresh flowers in the house. I look forward to having them around ALL of the time!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Download Some Cuteness

I just came across this super cute 2011 calendar on Deliciously Organized...

And you can download it for FREE, on! They have a few other colorful designs, too. How great would one of these look in your office or tacked up on a bulletin board??? I can't wait to find a spot for mine.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Finds in The House

I'm back with another post, to show you what I did with my "Friday Finds". I've been working on them here and there the last few days. Really, the only thing that required work was the botanical print project. The mirrors were hung as-is.

First up, the $24 mirror. I left the frame dark and just cleaned it up a little. I hung it above my entry dresser. I think a really traditional piece like this looks best paired with something more modern and fun. In this case, the dresser with the chevron top. It keeps the mirror from looking too stuffy or formal.

Next is the coveted convex eagle mirror. I decided to hang it in the dining room. I was sick of the plates I had hanging here before. This definitely changes it up a bit. You can see I'm trying to trick myself into thinking Spring is almost here, with the tulips. Not working though...we got more snow today.

And finally, here are the botanical prints in those cheap-o frames. I spray painted them gold and popped the prints in them. It was really simple. To make sure all of the images were nice and centered in the frames, I cut them with an exacto knife, using the glass as a guide. And I didn't bother measuring when I hung them. I just eye balled it. Sure, I put a few extra holes in the wall. But they're tiny, and they're covered by the frames. If my dad reads this, you can bet he'll be doing some head shaking.

As you can see, I only have nine of the twelve hung right now. I think I'm going to pick up one more frame, so I can hang two more above each lamp to fill the space out a bit more. This is a big wall.

Seeing my finds repurposed and happily hung in my house makes me feel warm and fuzzy. And isn't it great how just a few new inexpensive pieces can freshen up a house? I get a major case of the blahs if things stay the same for too long. My husband just loves that, let me tell you. Hey, at least I do it on the cheap. And better yet, I don't ask for his help. I'm pretty sure that's enough to appease him.

Friday of Finds

There are two very dangerous places located within the same plaza as my office - Value Village and Kenrick Antique Mall. They may not be dangerous by the average person's definition. But for a treasure hunter like me, they are dangerous indeed. Lately, I've been trying to stay away. But some days I can just hear them calling my name.

Last Friday was one of those days. I had nothing to do for lunch, but I needed to get out of the office for a bit. So I headed to the antique mall. And I hit the jackpot. It was one of those shopping excursions where you find so many great things, and at such great prices, that your heart kind of races the whole time and you get a little panicky. And you really, really wish someone was with you to witness the great stuff you were finding. Or does that just happen to me???

First I spotted this gold eagle convex mirror...

It's definitely my favorite out of the loot I brought home. I've seen these in a lot of beautiful rooms lately, via design mags and blogs, and I've really been wanting one of my own. This one is a little beat up, but nothing some glue and a little gold touch-up paint won't fix. It's a really good size - about 20" in diameter. I thought it was a good deal at $50, considering I've seen high end versions selling for as much at $500 online. It's going to be a great statement piece!

Here are a couple of the photos that sparked my convex eagle mirror love...

Abode Love

Elle Decor

Next up is this mirror....

I'm not exactly sure where I'll use it, but we still have plenty of blank wall space to fill in our house. So I'm sure I'll find the perfect spot for it. It was just too pretty and too much of a steal to pass up. $24...can you believe it?! It's about 3' tall and really solid. I LOVE the shape. And the mirror is slightly antiqued, which is my favorite thing about it. I'm not sure if I'll paint it or leave it as is. The dark wood is actually really pretty and would work well in our house. We'll see.

I also picked up these 4 mirrors in an antique silver finish. I'm going to hang them somewhere in a grid. Not sure where yet. And I might paint them. At $1.50 each, I just couldn't pass them up.

And last, but not least. These 8" x 10" frames are going to get painted and filled with botanical prints from this great book I found at an estate sale last summer. I bought 12. I'm thinking I'll hang them, also in a grid, above the living room sofa. I'd like to add more interest to that wall and brighten things up a bit, and I think these would do the trick. They ranged from $1.50-3.50 each. The ones with a cardboard arm/easel/stand thingie on the back were $2 more than the ones without. Hmm...didn't realize they were such vaule adders. Oh well, they still only cost a total of $30ish, and since the book was $'s going to be one cheap project!

There was more I wanted to grab that day, but I decided I'd practice some restraint and leave a few treasures behind. Hopefully they'll be waiting there for me, for the next time I find myself answering the call...the call from the antique mall.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Out with the treats, in with the Jillian.

A sure sign the holidays are over and a new year is upon us...

Instead of cookies and cake, my cake stand is piled with healthy muffins courtesy of Jillian Michaels. Well courtesy of her recipe. She didn't bake and hand deliver them to us or anything. I think it would be an awfully bad sign had she done that.

The Mr. and I have been trying out several of the recipes found in Jillian's Master Your Metabolism cookbook. So far, so good. Below is the recipe for the Blueberry Banana Muffins shown above. I made 24 mini muffins instead of 12 regular (and baked for only 12ish minutes - they baked fast!). I also used low-fat greek yogurt instead of regular. And I had to add a little milk to my batter because it was pretty thick - more yogurt would have worked, too.

Blueberry Banana Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Make up several batches and freeze what you don’t plan to eat right away. These are great for a before workout snack, breakfast or dessert.

Olive oil spray for the tin
3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2)
3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
21/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 generous cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly spray a 12- cup muffin tin with olive oil or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, place the bananas, yogurt, honey, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir together until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, sift together the fl our, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and the nuts, if using.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Place the tin in the oven and reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve warm.

For longer storage, let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Nutritional information
Calories: 216.0 kcal
Fat: 6.8 g
Protein: 4.5 g
Carbohydrates: 37.1 g
Sodium: 234.5 mg

We're going to try our best to stick to her nutritional recommendations and work out more than we have been. We were getting pretty pathetic there for a while. I had to take a little break from running, so I'm excited to get back into that. My first run this past weekend felt so good....and hurt so good the next couple of days, too.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2011, hopefully filled with everything we're dreaming of. Like fitting into those jeans that haven't seen the light of day since about September.