Quality Kitchen Time

I am in serious need of some therapeutic kitchen time! Here is what is on my cooking/baking wish list right now:

Caramelized Baked Chicken Wings

Grilled Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad

Cheesecake Nutella Twists

Apple Pie Bubble Up

What's on your "To Cook/Bake" list?


Tipsy Tuesday (#279)

It's September, football season is in full swing and the temperatures are only going to be in the 70's this week. Bring on fall, ya'll! Nothing screams fall to me like beautiful burlap wreaths. And Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous  has this awesome tip to help you cut burlap straight (I always struggle with this!)

Tip #279

"Snip the edge of the burlap and pull one single strand of burlap out. Then using scissors, cut along the line where the strand was removed and you will get a completely straight line! This will also help the burlap from shedding as much. "

I have a great fall arrangement for our front door, but I really want to make a ruffled burlap wreath like the one pictured for our side door. Has anybody made one? What's your favorite outdoor fall decor?



and not in a good way. I kept a slack blog schedule this summer to make the most of my time off with Elise. She is growing so fast and I don't want to miss a minute. I'm even more grateful for that time given the demands of my new position when I returned to work. I'm juggling about 400 more students and its taking every minute at the office and some evenings to get it all done. 

Needless to say, that evening work is cutting into my blogging time. Bear with me and hang tight! I'll be posting more regularly as soon as I feel a little more settled. I miss you guys...and home cooked meals, a clean house, mindless TV, down time....


Tipsy Tuesday (#278)

Because my new job is kicking my butt...

Tip #278

Simple steps to getting more done at work (and hopefully relieving some stress!) 

I could see these being helpful around the house, too. Infographic found here.


Tipsy Tuesday (#277)

Life is messy...erase it for less.

Tip #277

Did you know that you can get a ton of "magic erasers" for all of those messes for next to nothing?

I have been hitting up Budget 101 for lots of great tips (I love the Super Laundry Sauce recipe!), but this one blew my mind. Those pricey magic erasers are just plain old melamine foam. You can get 100 "erasers" for less than $10 on Amazon! Bring on the messes, Elise!


Golden Peach Cake

I have been so swamped with my new position at work that there has not been much baking going on around here as of late. I based my selection for the Cake Slice Baker's this month on the fact that I had everything required to make Golden Peach Cake, except the peaches...I took it to the new office and judging by the crumbs left on the plate, it was a hit. I must say that it smelled insanely good while it was baking. You can find the recipe in Carole Walter's Great Cakes.Be sure to check out the great cakes tha the rest of the bakers whipped up this month!


Tipsy Tuesday (#276)

Elise doesn't pack lunch for Pre School but I pack her lunch to eat as soon as she gets home and I am really hoping to expand my offerings this year.

Tip #276

Your kids will think that you are a rock star when you use these awesome lunch ideas (I wouldn't mind eating them myself!) from Rock the Lunchbox.

You can get coupons for top lunchbox brands like Annie's and Honest Kids here.


Cheddar Squash Biscuits

You know in the movie "Doc Hollywood," how Michael J. Fox gets paid with a pig? Well, in the summer church members pay us in produce. OK, we don't really work for veggies, but we sure do get a ton of fresh produce from the green thumbs in our congregation.

Some we freeze, some we can, others I try to sneak into bread and cake so that the Rev will eat it. He knew that squash was in these Yellow Squash Cheddar Biscuits so he wasn't having any of it, but they were really tasty. The squash is almost undetectable, but it makes the biscuits very moist. Elise hasn't figured out hidden veggies yet, so there is hope for at least one of them.....


Tipsy Tuesday (#275)

I loathe Walmart...too spread out, they move stuff too frequently...but they do have good prices.

Tip #275

Use Walmart's online Savings Catcher to save even more.

Within a week of your visit, enter the code on your receipt and Walmart will compare prices on the items that you bought with printed sales flyers from stores in your area. If they find a lower price, you get the difference on a Walmart gift card.

I just tried it for the first time and I'm waiting on a comparison report, so I'll let you know how it works. It's worth a try anyways...


Not Just For Cupcakes...

I had the privilege of helping my Sunday School class host a wedding reception for a class member this past weekend. The bride was super flexible and told us her color was lavender and to do whatever we wanted. She painted mason jars in 2 shades of purple to use as centerpieces for the guest tables, and that was our starting point. I love centerpieces, so I signed up to tackle that. I used her jars with bunches of baby's breath and lavender stock, flanked by smaller jars with purple glass gems and floating tealights, for the guest tables.

I wanted to continue with the mason jars theme for the main food table centerpiece. I used a cupcake stand that I already had (it holds 23 cupcakes), some small votive holders, and $20 worth of flowers from Trader Joe's to create it. I placed the jars, they were the smallest size of mason jar, 4oz, I believe, in the stand on the bottom tier. Then I alternated those same jars with votive holders for the next tier, since those holders are a bit closer together, and votive holders on the top 2 tiers. I added water and then just randomly placed flowers until I had something I was pleased with.  I have no idea why I have never thought to use the cupcake stand this way!
Congratulations to the happy couple!


Tipsy Tuesday (#274)

I love washi tape and I love school supplies...

Tip #274

Use washi tape to spice up boring dollar store school supplies.

This idea from Lia Griffith is awesome! I will be jazzing up some notebooks and pencils for my new office this weekend for sure!


Smarter, Not Harder

Have I ever told you how much I love school supplies? New pens, a blank planner, and cutesy desk accessories all make my little heart go pitter patter. The school year is like the unofficial do over time of the year. Didn't keep your resolutions in January? Start fresh when school starts. I love the newness of it all.

And if one of those resolutions was to save money and work smarter, not harder, I have help for you! You're not still buying your college textbooks at the campus bookstore, are you? Um, why? Don't you know that CampusBookRentals has major perks when you rent your books from them? Perks like saving 40-90% off of bookstore prices, free shipping both ways, the ability to highlight in the textbooks, flexible renting periods and a donation to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. Check out this video to see how it works:

Now, if you are one of those people who starts the semester looking forward to the end of the semester, you might be more interested in how you can use RentBack to get the most out of those books destined to gather dust. Check out this video to see how it works:

OK, now before you scamper off to rent all of this semester's books at ridiculously low prices at CampusBookRentals, tell me, are you a fellow school supply junkie?


Tipsy Tuesday (#273)

Was I the only one that did not know this?

Tip #273

I picked up this tip last week when using a recipe for Super Laundry Sauce. The recipe called for you to screw a mason jar onto your blender blade and I was like, what?

From Real Simple, "Many detachable blender blade assemblies screw right onto a regular mouth Mason jar. Don't fill it by more than half, though, and as with any regular blender, avoid very hot liquids." 

Basically a poor man's Magic Bullet...you are welcome...now go make me a smoothie, or a milkshake, ooh, how about some salsa?


White & Gold Geometric Necklace

A few wooden geometric beads, some white and gold paint, add chain and you have a fresh summer necklace. You could swap the chain for some colored thread, or suede cord, even T-shirt yarn, for different looks. And as a bonus, the beads came in a set of 25, so plenty more to paint in other colors and make more necklaces!

Beads sold here.

Do you do any summer crafting?


You Have To Make This!

I have to apologize in advance to Jill because she is working like a beast to get birthday bikini ready (and she will absolutely make her goal!)...so Jill, I still love you the most, but stop reading...everybody else? Go make It's Always Autumn's S'mores Pizza now! It is that ding dang good. We savored it along with perfect weather, dinner on the grill, berry picking, great friends, and fireworks on the 4th.

And because I know you need something to get you over this hump day, here are a few pics of my little firecracker on the 4th!