Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fried Onion & Feta Salad

A local steak house here in town not only has amazing steak, obvi, but their salad is really what I look forward to when we go. Although my version isn't quite the same, it's pretty darn close and the best part is it takes less than 5 minutes to put together.

What You'll Need:
-cold, iceberg lettuce-chopped
-finely chopped red and green pepper
-finely chopped cucumber, skin removed
-crumbled feta
-french fried onions (like the kind you put on green bean casserole)
-chopped walnuts
-ranch dressing

There's no exact amount to any of it, but I usually fill a bowl with the lettuce then add 1/4 cup of the red and green peppers combined, 1/4 cup cucumbers, 1/4 cup fried onions, a handful of feta, & a handful of walnuts. You can add more or less of something depending on how much you really like it. I usually add a bit more peppers and feta because I love chhheeessseee. Top with ranch and eat immediately!

Linking up with SusanAlesha, & Kate.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Recap

This weekend was a little longer than normal since it's our Spring Break and I took some time off towards the end of the week to spend one on one time with Ben.

We saw Cinderella and of course I loved it. I may have a boy, but he's up for seeing most movies, no matter how girly. And I really loved the overall message. Semi-spoiler alert: when Cinderalla says, "I forgive you," to her stepmother I about lost it.

We also tried out what I thought was a cool Pinterest egg dying project using shaving cream and food coloring, but it turned out to be a big fat fail. At least they looked cool before we washed them.
Has anyone made these and have a great tutorial you used? We even let them sit in the dye overnight.

Our Pinterest disaster was followed by donuts the next morning at the new Strange Donuts downtown. A simple photo op turned into Jack yelling for his brother to back the eff away from his food.

I had 1/2 of a gooey butter cake donut which was pretty darn good, and we took home the maple bacon, samoa, and general custard for daddy. Other choices included Stoner's Secret, Mexican hot cocoa, and red velvet.

The rest of our weekend included a birthday party for one of Ben's friends at a bounce house place followed by another Pinterest project which actually turned out pretty cute. I'll be posting the easy diy Easter project this week.
btw how cute is this Target bag from the dollar spot?

My little helper was shoveling them down as fast as I was pouring them out.

No Spring Break is complete without candy and booze so I picked up a little of both. Do yourself a favor and double up on the jelly beans, but skip the Lemon-ade-rita. It was so nasty and this is coming from a gal who used to drink Congress vodka in college.

J's cousin was in town from Florida so we wrapped up the weekend with Mexican and cheese dip. Note Jack's poor cousin who was now the recipient of the too close to my food tell off. #hedontplay

How was your weekend? Do you take a Spring Break?

Linking up with Biana for Weekending.
Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, Friday

Well Heelllooo!

It's Friday and I'm officially back! After some computer/photo issues that are now fixed and a week long sinus infection that's finally starting to go away, I'm ready to share what we've been up to these last couple of weeks.

We've been spending as much time outside as possible and trying to keep up with our crazy weather with 70 degrees one day and 35 degrees the next. The forecast for this weekend has everything from rain, snow, and then temps in the 60's so needless to say I'm ready for Spring and some consistent weather.

The husband and I have made a point to go on a few dates lately both solo and with friends. Man does it feel good to get out, get dressed up, and have a drink (or two).
Please excuse the RBF

We celebrated St. Patrick's day by making treats and building a trap to try and catch that elusive little leprechaun. Not only did he get away, but he left a pretty big mess and tiny green footprints to clean up.

Do you have a Lego obsessed fan in your house? Then you must get tickets to LegoFest if it's coming to your city. We went last weekend and the boys had so much fun-husband included. I'll do a full post on it later, but these pictures of Ben and Jack crack me up. Is Jack's not hilarious?!?

I've been pinning all things Easter lately and have several goodies that I can't wait to start making in the kitchen. This pin is a one stop shop to so many cute edible ideas.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Linking up with ChristinaKarli, & Amanda.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Little Leprechauns

These little cuties wish you a happy St. Patty's day!

Sorry for the unintentional blogging break, but with some computer issues, out of control allergies (thanks midwest weather), and general busyness I've been away way too long. But I promise I've been documenting what we've been up to and I'll be back tomorrow to recap it all!
Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday, Friday

We finally made it to the end of the week! Did anyone else feel like this week just creeped by? Let's get this weekend started with my 5 from this past week.

I've been obsessed with succulents lately. And the fact that they are virtually kill proof is a bonus. I've already asked the husband to help me make a little planter box this weekend so stay tuned to see the final product on Monday.
source unknown
Ben's school had a fundraiser at McDonalds this week so we decide last minute to have dinner there. This was the first time we'd eaten inside a McDonalds in forever. Despite my better judgement, and after daddy saying yes before checking with mommy, the kids got to play in the play place. They had a blast, but the minute they got home it was straight to the bath.

I'm havging a girls night on Saturday and I'm in charge of bringing Sangria. I have a recipe I've used in the past, but does anyone have one that's just amazing?!? Bonus points if it's extra easy to make.

I have been working/thinking/praying about something for a while now and will hopefully share the big news next week. Sorry for being so vague, but that whole counting your chickens before they hatch thing...

Did anyone else celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday this week? If your looking for a fun little activity to of this weekend I made this super simple snack for Ben's class today.

What You'll Need:
-1 box blue jello + water
-1 box Sweedish fish
-clear plastic cups
(serves 4)
Mix jello according to the box. Pour jello liquid into plastic cup and add 1 Sweedish fish. Place cups in the refrigerator to set. Once the jello begins to set slightly add another fish and continue to let jelly set until firm. Serve and enjoy!

linking up with ChristinaKarli, & Amanda
Thursday, March 5, 2015

DIY {Wedding Card Box}

This DIY post has been in the making for so long that I'm pretty sure the couple I made this for is getting ready to celebrate their one year 6 month anniversary.

This box is pretty simple to make and decorate and although I made it to hold cards for a wedding reception, it could easily be used for a variety of things. I think it would be a neat place to keep all the cards you got even years after you've been married. You never know when you'll want to re-read the advice wise Aunt Eda wrote on her card.

This box would also make a great gift for a girlfriend getting married as these things can be pretty pricey on ETSY and you can totally customize it to her wedding colors.

What You'll Need:
-wood, cut to your determined measurements (mine we're 12in x 16in)
-nail gun or hammer and nails
-acrylic craft paint for the overall color
-acrylic craft paint for the writing (different color)
-hot glue
-decorative pieces

Begin by nailing together your wood for the sides and bottom or in my case asking the husband to do it. Don't have a hubby or yours isn't handy? Don't worry, you can totally do this. Lowes or Home Depot will even cut the wood for you.

Because my husband likes taking over my DIY projects, he speckled and sanded down the nail holes, but this step isn't necessary if you use tiny nails and make sure to hammer them all the way down.

Next, get out your paint and paint the entire thing, and then give it one more coat once the first coat is completely dry. 

Next, take your ribbon and wrap it around the outside of the box leaving 1 to 1 1/2 in. of extra fabric at the end. Secure the ribbon to itself with a drop of hot glue and then use a drop of hot glue to secure the ribbon to the box. I chose to center the ribbon down just a little bit so I had more room to write the word 'cards.'

Decide which decorations you want to use and remove any backing on them that might cause them not to lay flat on the box. I got these adorable burlap type flowers from Michaels.

And I cut off the ties off with scissors.

Secure the flowers to the box with hot glue and then write the word 'cards' on your box, which sounds a little easier than it actually was. I traced the word lightly with pencil and then went over it with paint. I messed up a few times and waited for the white to dry completely before going over it with a coat of grey and re-writing the word.

Place a card inside the box and hand it over to the bride who I'm sure will love it!

Linking up with Annie for Thoughts on Thursday.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

That Time I Spent 24 Hours With My Husband

When was the last time you and you're spouse spent 24 straight hours together? No kids, no friends, away from the monotony of home, just you two. It had been awhile for us. While we're super lucky to have grandparents who like seeing our children, we usually fill up that kid free time cleaning the house, DIYing & baking (me), working or doing man things (him) and don't fully just hang out.

Those 24 hours away from home last week, just the two of us, reminded me of a few things.

I really love a dinner where I don't have to feed someone else or get up from the table 65 times because someone needs ketchup or a drink or they crapped their pants.

J and I are perfectly capable of having a grown up conversation where we don't talk about our kids.

I remembered why I started dating my husband in the first place. It really is true that you can still date even when you're married. And we need to be doing it way more often.

An adult drink cozied up in a hotel bed is perfection and it's even better when you've got someone next to you. And you don't have to make said bed in the morning.

When our kids get older we are going to make them serve us every meal in bed, room service style. And by older I mean in a few weeks.

The biggest thing I took away from this time together was that I really do love my husband. Not that I doubted it or didn't, but it's nice to feel that connection with your partner again which can easily get lost in the day to day hassle of diaper changes and dishes.

Who knows, maybe next time it'll be 48 hours.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Crockpot Cuban Sandwiches {2 ways}

My husband loves a cuban sandwich which I always thought I hated because of the sauerkraut. Turns out I've been confusing cuban and rueben sandwiches almost my entire life.

When Lindsay posted this recipe for cuban sliders I knew I wanted to recreate them, but let's face it, I'm way more lazy than she is and what's great for lazy people? The crockpot.

I turned to the interwebs to find a highly rated cuban crockpot recipe and stumbled upon this one from the food network which was pretty similar to Lindsay's. I didn't have everything needed to make each recipe, so I tweaked them both and came up with what turned out to be a pretty tasty pork without being too citrusy which I was worried about. I should tell you that lemon vest in my food literally makes me want to gag. Can't do it.

What You'll Need:
-3 to 3 1/2 lb pork shoulder (twine removed)
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic powder
-4 tbsp orange juice
-4 tbsp lime juice
-1/2 cup chicken broth
-potato rolls, texas toast, or whatever bread tickles your fancy
-dijon mustard
-1/2 to 1lb deli sliced ham
-1 lb deli style swiss cheese
-dill pickle slices (short round kind)
-sliced banana peppers

1. Begin by mixing the oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, orange and lime juice in a bowl and let sit.
2. Remove twine and make 1 inch deep cuts into the pork. This will allow the marinade to really soak in.
3. Place the pork in the crockpot and rub marinade all over making sure to coat the entire thing. Add chicken broth and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender.
4. After 6-8 hours, take a fork and shred the pork. Place pork in a covered bowl to keep warm while preparing the rest of the sandwich.

5. Cover a baking pan in foil (easy cleanup) and place mustard on one half of the bread. I used potato rolls the first time I made them and then used texas toast for leftovers. Husband liked the texas toast one the best I liked the potato rolls.
6. Layer 1/2 a slice of swiss cheese on top of the mustard.
7. Place 1 slice of ham, folded on top of cheese.
8. Add a heaping pile of the pulled pork to the ham.

9. Top pork with banana peppers or dill slices. A local restaurant serves their cubans with banana peppers which makes for a great twist.
10. Cover the peppers or pickles with the other 1/2 slice of cheese.
11. Bake on 350 degrees or until cheese melts and bread is slightly toasted.
12. Remove from the oven, make both halves meet again, and enjoy!

Linking up with SusanAlesha, & Kate.
Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekend Recap + Life Lately

Since I didn't get my 5 on Friday post up in time, today's recap will catch you up on what we did this weekend as well as what we've been up to this last week.

Tuesday night J and I snuck away for a night out of town to see Hozier.  The concert was at The Pageant in downtown St. Louis and we booked a room at the Moonrise hotel right next door so it was a quick 30 second walk.

Even though we were gone for less than 24 hours it was exactly what we needed. We ate dinner at a restaurant without rushing or taking kids to the bathroom. It honestly felt like we were dating again. At the hotel, we lounged around in bed, ordered room service, and slept in before checking out and hitting up a few stores on our way out of town. Hozier was AMAZING, and just as talented in person as he is on his record.

Hozier is most known for his song Take Me to Church

But my personal favorite is Work Song.

I mentioned we did some shopping before we left town and I found 2 hellava steals at Nordstorm Rack (one off Brentwood if you're in the area and want to snag your own). I bought my very first pair of Kate Spade earrings. You can't really tell in this photo, but they're a gorgeous maroon color. Ready for the price? $10.99!!! You can't buy earrings at Target for that cheap.

I was also in desperate need of some new black boots, but didn't want to spend a ton since Winter is winding down, or supposed to be. I snagged these leather boots for...$39.99 I couldn't even believe it. They were originally well over $100 and I love the look and feel on.

The rest of the week was spent catching up on work, attending meetings, and getting hooked on The Blacklist. Have you all watched this and am I just late to the party? If you like Scandal, Homeland, or just a good suspense this show's for you.

Saturday afternoon/night we got our 2nd big snowfall of the year. And when I say "big" I mean big as in this year not big as in the years past when we've had 18+ inches or compared to the northeast whose had record snowfalls. We had tickets to see Disney's Frozen on Ice and waffled back and forth about going due to the weather. Early Sunday morning I decided to brave the roads and head to St. Louis once again and although it took almost double the time to get there we finally made it.

One last dad was admitted to the hospital late Friday night. He may need surgery in the next upcoming days and will be in the hospital until later this week. If you could say a prayer or send good thoughts his way it'd be greatly appreciated.

Linking up with Biana for Weekending.