Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friday Chaos Blog Hop! {co-host}

What a fantastic, busy, and fun-filled week with my family! I've been out of town and away from my computer this whole week and this is my time back to blogging :). I'm so excited to be co-hosting this week's Friday Chaos Blog Hop!


From top left clockwise:
1. Me and my man on our first Christmas!
2. My sister and I celebrating my mom's birthday with dinner and new earrings!
3.  Famous chocolate chip cookies
4. Christmas nails
5. White (day after) Christmas in West Virginia!

Now for the Friday Chao's Blog Hop!!


Friday, December 21, 2012

High 5 It's Friday...

...And after work today, I'm on winter break yahoo! I'm so excited to spend Christmas at home in West Virginia! Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! Here's a quick recap of the week.

1. Simple shrimp pasta dinner: Cook penne pasta as directed, steam some broccoli florets, warm up a jar of alfredo (there are low fat ones, too), season and cook 1/2 lb of shrimp. Combine all ingredients and there you have it! One of our favorite easy and quick weekday meals.

2. I made my first pair of earrings last weekend. Check it!

3. The best Christmas gift I've ever been given from a student: a gift certificate for a massage!

4. The Christmas tree and Leo.

5. I got flowers this week <3

How was your week?? Please stick around a while, I'd love to hear from you :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh How Pinteresting...

Oh Pinterest, how I've missed you! It's been a while since I went exploring and today I found some sweet DIY projects that I want to share!

Totally making this card for the hubs on our first anniversary. As long as he doesn't see it when he stocks my "bloggity blog" (as he calls it) :)

Pinned Image

This is a beautiful color for a lamp. I've been wanting to spice up my boring chocolate brown lamp, and I've been inspired to get around to it!

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Super cute and looks easy!

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Could buy a game of scrabble at a thrift store to make these adorable coasters!

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My jade plant needs a new home and this looks perfect!

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For a future Christmas ;)

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Loving the burgundy jeans. Hopefully getting some for Christmas!

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I'm linking up today with

My Beautiful, Crazy Life

Have a great Wednesday night and awesome Thursday! Only two more days for me until winter break! Yahoo!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jewelry Making 101 *Pearl Drop Earrings*

Have you ever seen a pair of earrings and thought to yourself: I could make those? I imagine this happens all the time to the jewelry-making folk in the blog and Etsy world.  Before this weekend, I had never tackled jewelry making and figured Christmastime was the best time to start. A nice woman working at A. C. Moore craft store helped me find what I needed for a pair of earrings I had in mind. She led me in the right direction, too, because they turned out exactly as I had envisioned!

Would you like to create these simple and fun earrings?! Well here's what you'll need:

1 in gold plated fish hook earwire
pearl 6mm cream beads
1 in head pins
gold plated round solid rings
chain nose pliers

Step 1: Using the pliers, slightly open the small ring on the fish hook earwire. Attach one of the gold plated round solid rings to the earwire and close with pliers. It will look like this:

Step 2: Place a headpin through a pearl bead and cut it with the pliers so that it still sticks out about 3/4 in.

*Note: I learned that you can cut the wire with pliers by moving it back and forth until the wire breaks.

Step 3: Make a small hook with the end of the wire using the pliers.

Step 4: Close the small hook around the big gold ring so that the opening is in the back of the earring and it is secured. You also want to make sure it can still move around the big ring. This will help the pearl hang nicely.

There you have it! A pair of simple, elegant, and versatile earrings that will impress your friends and family! They will also make great gifts! I've made four pairs so far and they keep getting easier and easier to make. 

Warning: You will most likely want a pair for yourself; please take that into consideration when buying supplies ;).

I've decided this is only the beginning of my jewelry making career, so stay tuned for more projects!

Sandy Hook Elementary Prayers and Day of Silence


Thursday, December 13, 2012

High 5 for Friday

Yay! It's Friday! I'm happy it's the weekend, but I'm also a little nervous because I'm having a small surgery on my eye today. Should be fine, but good thoughts and prayers are welcome.

1. ugly Christmas sweater with my best friends!

2.My parents surprised me with my own village set last weekend. It's a duplicate of the one my mom has and the one I had growing up. Apparently, they got two in the mail by accident back in the day and never returned it!

3. My Bilingual Special Education certificate finally came, so I officially have another certification! 

4. West Virginia stocking

5. My favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's, did not disappoint again with the delicious chocolate hazelnut biscotti. Yum!

How was your week?


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Skinny" Barbecue Chicken Chili

 I've been feeling especially domestic this week and have another delicious recipe to share. Chili is a go-to meal during the cold winter months. Growing up, I never really liked chili, but this recipe is so flavorful and healthy that now I really like it. I believe I've said before that I'm a crockpot girl. I love coming home from work to a scrumptious, piping hot meal waiting for us to gobble up! I made barbecue chicken chili this week and was not disappointed!

P.S. My friend, Sara, gave me this recipe for my wedding shower collection, so I have her to thank for the yumminess!

Barbecue Chicken Chili

1 lb ground chicken
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can pinto beans rinsed and drained
2 cans red kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 (4 1/2 oz) can chopped green chiles
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce

Place ground chicken, onion, pepper, garlic in crockpot and stir with fork to blend. Add beans, tomatoes, chili sauce, green chilies, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, brown sugar and cumin-mix well.
Cover and cook until flavors blend and chili thickens slightly.
4-5 hrs on high or 8-10 hrs on low. Enjoy!

Hubs is the best sous chef a girl could ask for! He even took on chopping the dreaded onion!
**also notice the new beard--what a cutie :)

A picture of the chili before it's cooked!

We garnished with shredded Mexican blend cheese and avacado :) this time! Doesn't that look hearty and good??!

I'm a sucker for crockpot meals, any others that you've made recently??

Monday, December 10, 2012

The best Honey Nut Granola recipe

Busy weekend = super late Monday post this week
HOWEVER, I made up for it with this gem of a recipe for you!

A woman I work with made honey nut granola for a staff breakfast and pretty much everyone who ate it asked for the recipe. She got so sick of people asking her that she posted in on the private server for all staff to see it. It's delicious and so easy! I made it last evening and decided to share the secret to the best granola ever! Here's the recipe:

Honey Nut Granola

2 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup  nuts (I use chopped pecans)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup raisins (optional--I don't use them)

Combine all ingredients except raisins. Bake in lightly greased 13x9 pan at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in raisins (or not). Stir after out of the oven for about 15 minutes.

Here's what you'll need:

Pile everything in the baking pan and mix it up!

After 20 minutes, voila. Delicious, sweet honey nut granola.

Enjoy with your favorite yogurt and fresh fruit!

If you make this recipe, I'd love to hear your review! Cheers!

Newlywed Moments

Thursday, December 6, 2012

High 5 for Friday

1. Our train under the Christmas tree is up and running!
2. Christmas centerpiece using odds and ends I found in our decorations box.
3. Instagrammed kitten (ok he's not a kitten anymore) photo
4. The most comfortable leggings--- they're fleece-lined. Found at Bed Bath and Beyond, weird place to buy clothing I know, but I may never take them off.
5. We get A LOT of use out of our waffle maker these days.

I'd love to hear about your week! I enjoy finding new blogs! Leave me a line :)

Have a FABULOUS weekend, all!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Follow me Wednesday Blog Hop

Welcome to Follow Me Wednesday Blog Hop!
3 Four and UnderYis proud to bring you {Follow Me Wednesday}This weeks co-hosts:Newlywed Moments     Keep It Simple and FunCloud Nine Designz    Walking in My Shoes Thank you for linking up each week, we really appreciate it!  This is a wonderful way to meet new people and follow some awesome blogs!
Please remember to tell your friends! The more the merrier!
Here is what you do!
1. Please add your blog address to the blog hop list.
2. Please follow the host and co-host blogs!3. We would love you to tweet about the blog hop.
4.  Please place the Follow Me Wednesday button somewhere on your blog
5.  If you are new to this hop, Welcome, and please leave us a comment and we will be sure to follow you back!  And make sure to visit this weeks co-hosts and show them some love.
 6. Then, visit the other blogs on the list. 
Follow them and I'm sure they will follow you back!
Please leave them a comment telling them you are visiting them from {Follow Me Wednesday}!
We all love comments!
Please link up family appropriate blogs only, any blogs that are not family appropriate will be deleted

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tell me about it Tuesday

Newlywed Moments

Things I'm excited about today:


1.  I'm thrilled to be guest posting at Southern Sunflowers and Coffee Beans today! Logan has an awesome blog and great book reviews. Go check out her blog!


2.  I've been married to the man of my dreams for exactly four months today!


3. This weekend I'm going to see my best friends at a 4th annual ugly Christmas sweater party. So pumped!


4. It's going to be in the 60s again today and we're well into the month of December.


I'd love to hear about what you're excited about today :D

Linking up with Newlywed Moments for Tell me about it Tuesday

Refinished "classic grey" table

 A few weekends ago, my family and I were going through some of my grandmother's old furniture. I stumbled upon a side table that had a lot of character. It was in  poor shape, but I thought it was the perfect size for my entryway and decided to refinish the wood.

The finished product:

But this is what we started with:

I wanted it to look like a greyish wood and found a new stain at Home Depot called "Classic Grey". So, I thought I'd give it a try.

The table needed A LOT of sanding to take the finish and the weird residue off of it. My husband was a great sport and helped with the sanding. Honestly, he did most of it because he was wayyy better at it than me.

Finally, it was ready for me to start staining.

I started with the bottom and worked my way up.

I let it dry overnight and here you have it! The grey stained entryway table!

One of my favorite things about it is the magazine/mail holder underneath-- super rustic, super cool.

This table is also special to me because it was my grandmother's. Do you have any old furniture that has sentimental value?