Thursday, September 26, 2013

save vs. splurge

When perusing for some camo attire for the ranch - yes Walmart - I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this puffer jacket! It looks so similar to the J.Crew vest! It does not have as much detail and it is printed, not fabric, but for $ can't beat it...and the J.Crew version is currently sold out! It could be pretty cute monogrammed too :) 

walmart v jcrew

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

japanese chicken curry

Japanese Chicken Curry

2 tablespoons of butter (you can also use olive oil instead)
3-4 chicken breasts – cubed
1 yellow onion – chopped
1 bag small red potatoes – peeled & chopped
4 carrots – peeled & chopped
2 cups of water
1 Golden Curry brand Sauce Mix – Medium Hot (found at HEB)
1 cup of frozen peas
salt & pepper

1 bag of rice (brown or white)

1.                Heat skillet over med/high heat
2.                Melt butter & sauté the chicken & onion together 
until slightly browned - season with salt & pepper
3.                Add in potatoes, carrots, & water - bring to a boil
4.                Reduce heat, cover & simmer for about 20 minutes 
until potatoes are soft & chicken is cooked
5.                Begin to boil the water for the rice & cook
6.                Remove the chicken mixture from heat & add in peas
7.                Add in one curry cube at a time until each is dissolved
8.                Continue to stir until all is mixed well & begins to thicken

9.                Serve over rice 


A coworker had this for lunch one day and it was delicious so 
I decided I would try it out myself! I was so excited 
when my husband gave me the go ahead to make it! 
It is so easy and such a filling warm dinner for a cold or stormy night.  

Next time we are going to try the "hot" version of the curry to spice
it up a bit, but overall we were very pleased. I hope you all try
it for something different for dinner. 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

pumpkin topiary how-to

Many have commented on the pumpkin topiary from my previous post so I thought I would put the how-to from Southern Living. I wish I had taken pictures when I made it all those years ago, but their description below is pretty easy to follow and I added in my comments and updates in red. It is a pretty simple project and only takes about an hour or so once you have all of your supplies. 

What you will need:
Fall garland/flowers and twine for your base
100 count strand of lights (you could do more, but do not do less)
2-4 yards of ribbon for the topper and swag
newspaper or peanuts  and cardboard for filling - only if your bottom pumpkin doesn't sit directly on the edges of the urn.

Pumpkins With Pizzazz

You'll need to stock up on extra candy--trick-or-treaters won't want to leave this enchanting display.

For years, the grinning jack-o'-lantern has graced front porches across the South, heralding fall and Halloween. This year, put a twist on this tradition with stylish topiaries.
The Basics
First, select a container for your topiary. We used urns, but clay pots would work just as well. (Be sure to weigh down the container with rocks or sand so it doesn't tip easily.) Choose a few nice, round pumpkins in graduated sizes. Make sure the largest one will fit snugly in your container. I used a black urn that I loved. My bottom pumpkin didn't sit directly on the edges so I filled it with newspaper and then used a piece of cardboard to "flatten" out the top so that the pumpkins could sit nicely on it. I also chose to use  craft pumpkins from Michaels in 3 varying sizes so that I could reuse the topiary from year to year.
Creating the Topiary
The center of the topiary should be open so that a single strand of lights can be woven throughout the arrangement. Prepare the base pumpkin as you normally would--cut the top off, and clean out the center; discard the top. Repeat these steps for the center pumpkin, cutting a hole in the bottom so it will rest securely on the base pumpkin. Prepare the top pumpkin by cutting a hole in the bottom only, and then cleaning out the center. It should fit on the center pumpkin. The pumpkins I bought had large holes in the bottom already so I didn't have to cut them and I left the tops on so that they would fit together better. You can easily use a drill and bit to cut out the bottom enough to sit niceley on top of the other pumpkins. It is also better to keep the tops on so that your lights stay in each pumpkin rather than all falling through to the bottom. 
A Little Power
Using a drill with a 5/16-inch drill bit, make holes in a random pattern over all three pumpkins. We used an apple corer for the larger holes. Once you have enough holes for the lights to shine through, it's time to add the final touches. I had my husband's help on this part. :). I drew on the pumpkins with a pencil where I wanted the small and large holes and then he came back with the drill and spade bits to make them. There was no pattern to it, just added here and there. (I would also take a look at the bits you have and choose two  sizes that you think look good - just don't go too big or too small - you need the light strand to go through the largest hole, but you don't want to be able to see the cords. - the spade drill bits are perfect for this as they create a perfect circle.)
Twinkle lights are a safe option for this topiary. Using a 100-count strand of lights, pull the cord through one of the larger holes in the base of the topiary. Spread lights evenly throughout the arrangement as you stack the pumpkins. (Tip: To secure, use florist tape between each layer.) Add a few branches of leaves or vine to the base to finish the arrangement.
I started with the top pumpkin and filled it with lights then strung them down through the middle and then the bottom pumpkin. This is when I actually assembled the topiary. I balanced the pumpkins on top of one another, tested the lighting and then adjusted as needed (it is easy to pull the lights through if one pumpkin needs more light etc.) Once I had the lights the way I wanted I then superglued the pumpkins together so that they were secure. I used the remainder of the lights that were hanging from the bottom pumpkin and strung them through the fall garland I placed at the bottom. The base is a good place to get creative. Add Fall flowers or "picks" to liven it up. I also added a bow and ribbon swag around mine this year to keep it fresh. 
"Pumpkins With Pizzazz" is from the October 2003 issue of Southern Living.
*Please feel free to post questions in the comments section and I will answer the best I can! Good luck and Happy Fall! 
Happy Tuesday! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

fall decor

YAY! It's officially Fall! 
I had so much fun starting to decorate the house for the new season. Chili is on the stove, pumpkin spice candles are lit, and the Halloween candy bowl is filled! Just love it all - now we just need another cool front -this morning was ahmaazing!
Here are a few pics of what I have done so far...

front gate wreath made by my talented Aunt Mel - she is super sweet and makes the cutest things :)

lit pumpkin topiary - I actually made this 4 years ago! I got the idea here and just love it. I added a new bow to it this year to spruce it up. My how-to is here!

corn husks with pumpkins - I decided to try out the corn husk idea this year and I love them! They just scream Fall and give great height :)

colorful pumpkins on an old wine crate  

corn husk detail - I added a bow (of course) and an autumn pick to dress them up

front yard - our standard monogram flag and pumpkins from The Round Top Collection 

back door wreath - this was just a plain fall wreath and I added pumpkin picks and big brown bow


buffet detail

That's it for now! I will continue to add here and there in the coming weeks, but it's a good start! 

Happy Fall and have a great week! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

grace of monaco

Sooo excited!!! 

I love  Nicole Kidman, but I am not 100% sure about her playing Grace Kelly. Regardless I still can't wait to see it when it opens November 27th! It looks like it will be a beautiful film and Grace is one of my all time favorite style icons! :)

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

j.crew baby

While flipping through the new J.Crew Style Guide I saw that they are introducing their own baby line! It is too cute! 

j.crew baby

The little Sperry's and sweaters are my favorite...not to mention the most gorgeous little babies modeling them! :)

I know where my next baby gifts will come from :)

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

rainey street

I fell in love with Austin a little more this past weekend! After the football game we took a fun little pedi-cab ride over to Rainey Street! Y'all. It is just so cute - they had me at the sting lights - EVERYWHERE! It is basically just a street where older homes were renovated into fun cute bars. We just went to Lustre Pearl and Bungalow, but I can't wait to go back and visit them all this Fall...

Rainey Street0050.jpg

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Lustre Pearl, Rainey Street Bars 2012IMG_5812.jpg

and the list goes on and on... I think I am most excited to go No Va sit on the second floor near the floor to ceiling windows, have dinner and then head out for drinks and live music after :) 

 They have tons of food trucks around and new spots are opening all the time! I will be planning my next trip to ATX very soon :)

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

save vs. splurge

I love leopard in moderation and the collar on these dresses is just the right amount! This Kate Spade dress that has been all over their new ads with the purple Beau is just so cute! 

When I saw a short sleeve version at ASOS I got so excited! 
save vs. splurge

Now maybe I can get the Beau and the look alike dress without spending nearly $1000 :) 

Happy Tuesday!