Jul 28, 2011

Wood Letters {Thrifty Finds}

I'm recovering from letting the beautiful, huge, old, perfectly worn, farm table that I found at the consignment store get away from me. 

It was kinda perfect. And now it's been sold to someone else.

While I'm mending from that I wanted to quickly share some fun wooden letters I stumbled upon at the thrift store the other day. I can tell they've been hand made, and many letters are missing, but the ones that I did get I find to be so cute.  

I think I'll keep them on my desk as they are now. They're a bit quirky and I kinda love them. Definitely worth the $2.00 I paid for them!

Hope your week is going as lovely as mine has been. 

Also, the frame wall in our living room is about 90% done and photos are going in tomorrow. Pictures of that will be coming soon!

Jul 21, 2011

Preview: Timi & Leslie Diaper Bag {Photo Shoot}

Here is a quick peek at our photo shoot for Timi & Leslie Diaper Bags. I was so thankful when I was asked to do some sets for their fall line of diaper bags! After their new fall line is launched I'll be doing a full post from that day, with a few behind the scenes goodies, and a look at my mood board.

Till then...

Photographer- Kristin Rogers
Set Design -  Me
Wardrobe and Styling – Rodellee
Diaper Bags – Timi&Leslie
Hair and Make Up -Renee Loiz

Special thank you to my friend, Miya, for all her help and for making the adorable stuffed animals seen in the photo above.

More to come!

Jul 19, 2011

How I get stuff done!

I've had quite a bit of catch up to do this week in our home. I was so distracted with the photo shoot last week with Timi & Leslie that my house got a little neglected. In order to keep me focused and help me remember what needs to get accomplished I like hanging a long piece of craft paper on the side of my fridge. I then write out my "to-do" list for the day, that way I have an easy (and large) reminder every time I walk by my kitchen.

My favorite part... crossing off each to-do as they get done.

I love making lists, I'm far more productive when I do. 
Happy Tuesday all!

Jul 13, 2011

Coming Soon-ish...

I wanted to share a few things that I can't wait to get on the blog!

A few weeks back I worked on a bridesmaid shoot for White Magazine, a wedding magazine based out of Australia. I can't post pictures on this until it's published in August, but I can tell you it was a fun day!

Also coming soon-ish, a 7 year old girl's birthday party. Just waiting for some better pictures from that day, but here is a little peek at a photo I took after setting up.

And finally, a very exciting photo shoot for the Fall line of Timi & Leslie Diaper Bags which I'll be doing this Friday. 

There you have it! A quick look at some of the projects I can't wait to be able to share with you all! 

I'm also about 1/3 of the way done with the frame wall in my dining area... finally! I'll share soon.

Gotta run, I'm off to rinse the hair color out of my hair!

Jul 11, 2011

Monday Favorites

I hope you all had a good weekend! A couple weeks ago I did a quick post on a few of my favorite things (clearly not an origional idea or anything, but still always fun!)and people really seemed to enjoy it so I thought I'd throw you a few more of the things I love.

When I put together my faves I try and give you guys a list of things that are well tested, tried and true goodies! These are not just items I've used/worn/ate once... no, no, no! Most of these items are part of my daily life and routine.

I realize this is heavily geared towards women (aside from numbers four and five), but I'm a woman and this is all I know.

This color here is Commander and Chic. I have many colors but this one in particular is a favorite of mine. Great color, great coverage, and lasts longer than most drug store nail polish. But not all Sally Hansen nail polish is this good, some of the other lines wear off super quickly...like the same day I paint them they chip. The color is a neutral, slightly mauve-y brown. A great color when you're looking for something a bit more subtle. I buy it at Target, but I'm sure it's sold at most places that carry nail polish.

Even at $30 this isn't an outrageous price for a comfy pair of yoga pants, but even with that said, I never buy these unless they're on sale. I'm perfectly happy buying whatever color is on sale, and the sale price is usually around $20. These are light weight, super comfortable, and they don't stretch out in the knee and get all slouchy looking if you wear them all day.

**Side Note- Is it just me or does anyone else find the way the models are posed on the V.S. website to be slightly obnoxious. I have a feeling the models are told "Arch your foot", and "Bend your knee" a lot during their shoots. :)

I can't say enough good stuff about this makeup. I have uneven skin tone and the coverage is amazing (without the need of foundation). I use a large brush or sponge if I'm out and about to apply the makeup. It's one of those things that I think is totally worth the $34 price tag. I buy it at Nordstroms and it usually lasts me about 3 months.

4. Trader Joe's Ice Cream Bon Bons- $3.69
Yum. I don't know what to say except they're yummy. Chocolate cookie on the bottom, with vanilla or chocolate ice cream on top, dipped in chocolate. I'll buy the chocolate ice cream ones when I'm having a sweet tooth and limit myself to one a day. Each one is 60 calories and it feels indulgent without going overboard.

5. Oxi Clean Free- $10.00
This is one good stain remover! I use this when we have food stains on clothes, grass stains on jeans, stains in our sink, grout stains... you get the idea. This stuff is good at getting out stains, so good that if you forget about the dress you have soaking in a bucket of Oxi Clean and water and leave it soaking for 5 days it will actually remove most of the color from the item as well... I know from experience.

There you have it! Enjoy your Monday and I'll be back tomorrow with more good stuff to show you.

Jul 9, 2011

Better Late Than Never {Gardening}

I've been busy over the last week working on my (seriously neglected) garden. I didn't mean to wait this long into the season to get things going, but it happened and I'm trying to make the best of thing.

For those of you non-gardeners out there, have no fear, until we started a garden last year I would have swore up and down that I had a black thumb. Little did I know there was a little gardener in there just waiting to get out! We originally built a garden because my daughter (5 years old at the time) really wanted one. I figured it was a great learning tool and a few fresh veggies wouldn't hurt either! But, now that I've had a garden I can't imagine going a summer without one.

Our garden in small, consisting of two beds about 4'x8' each, plus a few pots we grow stuff in if needed. Even thought our garden is small you would be amazed at the size of weeds in can grow when you take a season off from planting and don't weed it that whole time. Never again!! It was back breaking work getting this thing back in working order.

Here are a few in progress pictures. I should have taken before pictures but I didn't think of it... just imagine a lush, packed-full garden of tangled weeds, and a few strawberry plants. You get the ides.

This is after phase one and two of pulling weeds was done. In this picture we are working on pulling out the last bit of stubborn crab grass.

Gracie is a great helper, she is always near by digging out weeds... her sister on the other hand (see in the background) is usually busy finding something to climb or figuring out a way to get wet.

Here is the garden after tons of hard work. I let Gracie chose the plants this year, she picked corn, squash, tomatoes, basil, watermelon (didn't survive).

Once again, my little helper raking weeds and putting them in the trash bin... Ruby was climbing the wall behind me. Seriously.

 Our strawberries survived the weed infested garden beds. They are packed full of pretty little white flowers just waiting to turn into strawberries.

There she is! As soon as I turned the hose on to water she came running. This part she likes to help with. And yes, 5 minutes (or less) after this photo was taken she was soaking wet!

My little garden in all its glory. I know it's not much, but it keeps two little girls occupied and makes them feel like mini-farmers.

Does anyone know if my garden will still grow successfully since I waited till July to plant? Sure hope so!

Jul 8, 2011

Insta-Friday {Linking Up}

I'm back and linking up to Insta-Friday over at Life Rearranged. It's basically just my week summed up in Instagram photos from my IPhone.

I didn't link up last week so some of these pictures are a bit older. Here are the girls working on puzzles. They each find a little open spot, dump the bag of puzzle pieces out and have at it! These days there are a lot more legos floating around than puzzle pieces.

We had some friends over for dinner and they brought me yummy wine and pretty flowers.

We meet my mom most Tuesdays for lunch. It's a guarantee she's going to get lots of hugs from Ruby because this girl loves her grandma.

Gracie made a "peanut butter apple". It's an apple with peanut butter all over it. Cute kid.

In honor of the 4th of July I made the girls a special little dinner; Turkey and cheese sandwich, apple slices, and a mini ice cream sundae. 

Teeny tiny box from Starbucks, with a very yummy little cake pop inside.

One more 4th of July picture. I took the girls out for bagels while their dad was canoeing. Sweet little red, white, and blue dresses... summery and festive!

While some friends were over for a movie night, we talked Kristin into dying her hair black. She's brave. She also looks good in any hair color so it wasn't very risky!

My week via Instagram. I have Instagram on my Iphone but you could use any ol' cell phone pictures. Let me know if you do this or something similar, I'd love to take a look!

life rearranged

Don't you just love Fridays!

Jul 7, 2011

Not Your Average Chicken Pot Pie {Recipe}

Hey all! I'm here to share my first recipe. This originated as a chicken and biscuits recipe from Cooks Country Magazine about 4 years ago. I always thought the biscuits dried out the recipe so I altered the recipe and replaced the biscuits with pie crusts and the outcome was just perfect. It's easy to make, freezes perfectly, and is easily one of the most requested dinners from my kiddos. 

1 rotisserie chicken- skin discarded
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 packages Boursin cheese (garlic & fine herb)
1-2 cups frozen veggies
salt and pepper to taste
1 package pie crust

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

In a large pot tear chicken into bite size pieces (I only use the white meat, but you can use the light and dark meat if you like). Then the frozen veggies go in.

I add about 2 cups of veggies but you can add less if you're not crazy about them.

Add chicken broth and heavy cream, along with the boursin cheese.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Break up the large chunks of cheese with a fork.

At this point we decided to make a double batch and freeze the other half for another time. Gracie does most of the chicken tearing in our house, it kinda grosses me out!

Move the pot to the stove and simmer over medium heat until everything melts and comes together.

While that is warming up, line your pie pan with the bottom pie crust. I use Trader Joe's pre made pie crust (they're delicious!), but if you would prefer to make it by hand you can. For the record, my pie crust has never looked this bad before! I was being impatient and didn't let it get to room temperature before working with it. It doesn't matter what it looks like, it'll still taste great.

Here is the mixture after about 5 minutes. It doesn't need to heat up for long, you're just trying to get the cheese to melt.

After about 5 minutes, remove the mixture from the stove and pour into the pie crust. I put half in a container to freeze and the other half in my pie crust.

Take the other pie crust and lay it on top gently. Make sure your pie crust is not cold, it's just too hard to work with when it's cold.

Trim the edges and pinch to seal them.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 45-55 minutes. Cover the top with foil if it begins to brown too quickly.


Let me know if you end up making this, I'd love to hear how you liked it.

Jul 1, 2011

Back to the basics {Cooking)

I've been wanting to add cooking to the blog for quite some time but wasn't sure if anyone would be interested. Well, several people have mentioned putting recipes and cooking posts on here so I thought I'd try it out. I figured I'd just start with my basics and go from there. 

I'll start with my 3 favorite (basic) cooking ingredients. These are my go-to, must have, can't live without items in my kitchen. Salt. Pepper. Olive oil.

First up, salt! What's so special about salt you ask? Well, it's one of those ingredients that if you use a good quality salt you'll find you don't need as much and the food doesn't taste overly salty, it tastes properly seasoned. It is by far my most highly recommended ingredient for improving your cooking.

These are my everyday salts. I also have a few flavored salts that I've picked up while traveling or got as gifts but these are the two most used in our home.

Kosher Flake Salt from Sur La Table (currently in my kitchen, but I think I may like Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt even more.)
I use this salt in my everyday cooking and seasoning. I love the flaky texture and it's light, not overly hard and crunchy.

I tried to get a close up so you can see the texture of the salt. Even though the salt flakes are larger than traditional table salt, the taste isn't as strong. I was recently reading a cooking article that said most recipes you find are created using more mild salts such as this, and one cup of fine table salt can weigh almost twice as much as one cup of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, meaning it would be twice as salty. You can read more on that over at Smitten Kitchen. 

My other favorite is gray salt. I always get my gray salt from Napa Style. I like the one pound tin, it lasts quite a long time and is definitely worth the $20. My favorite uses for this kind of salt are to sprinkle it on veggies, salad, or grilled chicken. It's also the best for finishing a meal with a light sprinkling of this coarse salt.

As Michael Chiarello said "If you change just one thing about your cooking, make it the salt.". Well said.

Next up is pepper, not just any pepper, the freshly ground pepper is always the best. I don't have much to say about this, but the fresh stuff does have a bit more flavor and punch. That's my stainless pepper mill in the picture below.

And last, but not least, olive oil. Oh sweet olive oil. When I cook or have to add olive oil to a recipe I usually go for whatever Trader Joe's olive oil I have on hand. But, if I'm making salad dressing or finishing a meal with a drizzle of olive oil then I love using Petrou Foods Unfiltered Olive Oil. The taste is so smooth and it's absolutely perfect when preparing uncooked food. I buy it local at the farmers market in Laguna Beach but you may be able to buy it on their website if interested.

That pretty much sums up my top 3 favorite cooking ingredients. I have a few favorite recipes I'll be putting up here soon like the most amazing Poppyseed Salad with Strawberries, seriously the best salad I've ever had!!