Monday, November 25, 2013

Fall Family Photo Ideas

 My husband has a video/photography biz (Check out his website here...Rice Productions) and recently shot some family photos.  This is the time of year when people start thinking about Christmas card photos.  Fall is a great time to do this...the weather is usually still good (in Oregon) and the leaves are beautiful!  This adorable family coordinated their outfits perfectly without being to matchy-matchy.





Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Master Bath Remodel

In June we bought a new (old) house.  Around the time we put our old house on the market (last summer) I found this house and we went through it twice.  We loved the unique floor plan and the neighborhood, but the house needed a LOT of work.  The timing wasn't right with the sale of our old house and it went off the market shortly after.  I figured it wasn't meant to be, but I thought about this house ALL THE TIME.  In my head I would plan how I would fix it up.  Well...about 8 months later I decided to drive by the house...just because...and guess what!??  It had a "for sale" sign in the window!  I called the lady and she said she just put the sign in the window yesterday and she hasn't listed it yet.  We had an accepted offer that day with no competition from other buyers.  Amazing!  God is AMAZING!  He has perfect timing!

We have been working our little behinds off the past few months and we still have a lot of work left to do, but I thought I would show you a bit of the progress.  First up...the master bathroom.

Before - Dingy, dated, and depressing


What we did:
-Painted the walls (Sherwin Williams - Copen Blue)
-Painted all the woodwork/cabinet (Benjamin Moore - Cloud White)
-Replaced the hardware (Target)
-New sink and faucet
-New showerhead
-Granite countertops
-New light fixtures
-Painted the ceiling
-New toilet seat
-New outlets
-Added peel+stick tiles to the inside of the cabinet (Pinterest idea)
-New flooring (Evoke - Iris)
-New white trim
-Painted shelving in closet
-Took down the medicine cabinet
-New towel rack


Picture from mid-remodel...so glad we aren't in this stage anymore.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 20: Jenny's "Chocolat" Party

Smarty pants Jenny really outdid herself when choosing bday movie theme!!!  She chose the movie "Chocolat."  Brilliant!  As you may have read, my girlfriends and I decided to let the birthday girl choose one of their favorite movies for this years birthday theme.



You can read about Carrie's "Star Wars" party here, Kaela's chick flick party here, Alyssa's "Sabrina" party here, or my "Blue Hawaii" party here.

I really think this was our best themed party yet...could it have something to do with all the chocolate?  YES!


DECOR + ATMOSPHERE:  We had a brown table cloth covered in different kinds of chocolate.  I once again used my Paris plates. There were brown puffs and lights hanging from the outdoor table, and we all wore brown.  Alyssa found a "chocolate" flower that actually smelled like chocolate!!!  We put that on the table.  We also played French music from Pandora since the movie took place in France.

Paris plates
Beautiful birthday girl!

FOOD:  We had crepes, Nutella, homemade chocolate sauce, chocolate covered strawberries, bananas, blueberries, almonds.  For drinks we had chocolate milk with whipping cream and chocolate wine.  Instead of birthday cake we did a chocolates of the world tasting!




Chocolates of the world
I ate so much chocolate that I couldn't fall asleep till 4:30am.  Was it worth it?  YOU BET!

I don't really think "Chocolat" is Jenny's favorite movie (she really loves scary movies) but I do think she knows how to pick a movie that will have a delicious theme!  If she chose a zombie or alien movie, I don't think the food would have been quite as appetizing!  Such a smart friend!  Happy birthday Jenny!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 19: So Fresh and So Clean Clean!

This awesome pinterest idea has made my life much easier!  For cleaning your shower...fill a scrub brush with half dish soap and half vinegar and clean while you are taking a shower.  Our new house has sliding glass shower doors in the master bathroom that are pretty much impossible to clean unless you are standing in the shower.  This new method makes cleaning the shower easy-peasy!

Fill with 1/2 dish soap 1/2 vinegar
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

4th of July Extravaganza Spectacular!!!

I haven't written a blog for awhile...but I have a good excuse.  In the past month we bought a house, did a total remodel, moved, and went on a much needed vacation.  I figured what better way to get back in the swing of blogging than to blog about my FAVORITE day of the year!  The 4th of July!

Here are a few fun things happening around the Portland area on the 4th:

Lake Oswego's 4th of July celebration - Held at Millennium Plaza Park.  There will be a pancake breakfast, parade, BBQ, and a pie eating contest.  11am-2pm (parade from 9-11)

Tigard's Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration - Held at good old Tigard High School (my old stomping grounds).  Celebration includeds live music, games, concession stand and fireworks!  Gates open at 6pm.  Fireworks at dusk.

Independence Day at Fort Vancouver - Held at Fort Vancouver, WA.  There is entertainment all day...games, a parade and fireworks.  Gates open at 8am.  Fireworks at 10:05.

Hillsboro 4th Parade - Click here for details.

Oaks Park 4th of July Celebration - Held at Oaks Park.  Open from 12pm-12am.  Fireworks at dusk

Waterfront Blues Festival - Held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.  The festival goes from July 4-7.  On the 4th, firworks start at 10pm.

Canby Day - Held in downtown Canby.  Street fair, entertainment, car show, carnival and parade at 2pm.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Blue Hawaii" Birthday

Aloha!  This week's blog is written by another...all in favor of celebrating the original blogger at hand.  I am definitely unable to replace the darling woman and mother that is Lisa, but I am happy to represent celebrating her!  Isn't she adorable?!



As Lisa stated in her previous blogs, this year's birthday themes were based on a favorite movie-and Lisa was in the hot seat last month!  Lisa's pick for her birthday celebration was "Blue Hawaii" - if I didn't know better, I would think she was picking her "favorites" based on how good the party theme would be!  She managed to choose a movie with an easy and super fun theme-coincidence?  I think not.  She's no dummy. (note to self)



We decorated with lots of black and white prints from the movie lined with bright colors, real Hawaiian postcards, and traditional luau garb.  We all wore our most floral prints, leis and shell necklaces, flowers in our hair, and flip-flops galore!  We also put on a Pandora playlist of all Hawaiian music to set the mood, and lit tropical-smelling candles around the room for ambiance.  And even the weather cooperated - for an April day, it was just warm enough to believe we all had been transported to the beautiful islands and the warm, tropical air.




On the menu - we started with tropical fruit, shaped into palm trees on sky-blue plates.  And then, we brought out the skewers!  Judging by this party, pretty much everything is more fun when served skewer-style!  We had teriyaki chicken and pineapple skewers, veggie skewers marinated in spices, and strawberry and pineapple skewers-skewers galore!  We paired that with authentic Hawaiian onion chips to nibble on and pineapple-guava-coconut juice with lime and sparkles.  For dessert, we had the moist and delicious coconut cake with coconut flakes and blue sprinkles on top!  Let's just say that no one was hungry afterwards.




The birthday girl had a well-deserved great time.  We all did.  Now, who wants to go to Hawaii?!





Note from Lisa
Thank you Carrie for writing this awesome blog for me!  I especially like the part where you say I'm adorable :)  
Carrie and I have been friends since we were babies and have now celebrated 33 fun filled birthdays together!  I am positive we will still be having awesome theme parties when we are 85.  Love you girl!









Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 18: Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken

With all the warm weather we are having this Spring I'm in the mood for some tropical food!  I found this crock-pot recipe on Pinterest, but it was originally posted on "Ring Around the Rosies."  This recipe makes two meals. And it is the perfect type of meal to bring to a friend who just had a baby or is under the weather.

Side note...did you know that May is National Luau month?  Aloha!



Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken

-Medium bag of baby carrots
-Red onion cut into large chunks
-2 large cans of pineapple undrained
-4 garlic cloves
-4 chicken breasts
-1 cup teriyaki sauce

Split between two freezer bags, seal, mix, lay flat, and freeze (if you are not eating right away).

Directions for cooking:
Add additional 1/4 cup sauce to crock-pot.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours.  Serve over hot rice. (We didn't have any rice, so I used couscous)


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 17: 4 Minute Workout

After blogging about food all the time I decided I had better squeeze a workout in.  And I do mean squeeze it in!  I found this 4 minute workout (Yup, I said 4 minutes!) on Pinterest a few months ago and started doing it almost everyday.  So when I'm feeling lazy...which is often...and I don't feel like exercising, I say to myself, "I can handle 4 minutes!"  What usually happens is that I do the 4 minute workout and feel energized to keep exercising.

This workout is said to spike your metabolism and fat burning enzymes to a level that will allow you to continue burning body fat for at least 12 hours later.  It is a great workout to do before you take a shower in the morning.

This is what the 4 minute Tabata workout includes:

1. Squat Thrusts x 20 seconds
*rest 10 seconds

2.  Mountain Climber x 20 seconds
*rest 10 seconds

3.  High Knees x 20 seconds
*rest 10 seconds

4.  Jumping Jacks x 20 seconds
*rest 10 seconds

5. Squat Thrusts x 20 seconds
*rest 10 seconds

6.  Mountain Climber x 20 seconds
*rest 10 seconds

7.  High Knees x 20 seconds
*rest 10 seconds

8.  Jumping Jacks x 20 seconds
*rest 10 seconds

Woohoo...you are done!

Click here to watch the video.

Squat Thrust

Mountain Climber


High Knees

Jumping Jacks

I'm sure I'll be back to blogging about food covered in cheese and butter next week.  Thanks for reading.




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 16: Crescent Chicken Squares

I'm adding this recipe into rotation!  These crescent chicken squares were delicious and easy to make...my two requirements for keeping a recipe.  I found this recipe on Pinterest, but it originally came from food.com.  I just changed a few things.  The recipe called for olives, but I left those out and added peas instead.



Ingredients:
3 oz of cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups cooked cubed boneless chicken...I just used a can of chicken.
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/4 cup peas
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
3/4 cup crushed crouton

Directions:
1.  Blend cream cheese with 2 Tbsp butter until smooth.
2.  Add next 4 ingredients and mix well.
3.  Spoon 1/2 cup meat mixture onto 2 "triangles" of dough. Don't separate, so you have a "square."
4.  Pull 4 corners to the top center of mixture and seal edges by pinching.
5.  Brush tops with remaining butter and sprinkle with croutons.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes in a 250* oven until golden brown.

Crescent "squares"
Anyone else hate opening those crescent roll cans?!  I jump every time even though I know it is going to pop!
Look at all that butter!

Dinner time
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 15: Frozen Yogurt Melts

For week 14 of my Pinterest projects I decided to try a recipe I've been wanting to try for some time.  Frozen yogurt melts sounded like the perfect snack for my toddler...and they were!

Frozen Yogurt Melts:
Step 1 - Scoop some yogurt into a plastic bag.
Step 2 - Cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag.
Step 3 - Make little dots of yogurt on a baking sheet or dish
Step 4 - Put in freezer. (It only took my yogurt melts about 1 hour to freeze)

It couldn't get much easier than that!



Word to the wise...eat your yogurt melts FAST!  They melt quickly.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 14: Audrey Hepburn Party

Last week we celebrated Alyssa's birthday...Audrey Hepburn style.  Actually it was Audrey Hepburn/Black+White/French style!  Ooh la la!  A classy party for a classy lady.

As you may have read in my Star Wars post or chick flick post, this year for my girlfriends birthday's we are choosing our favorite movie and making the party themed to whatever the birthday girl fancies!  Alyssa chose the movie "Sabrina."
The birthday girl!
Because Alyssa loves French breakfast foods, we did a breakfast menu.  On the menu were scrambled eggs, fruit, baguette sandwiches, and French pasteries.
Audrey Hepburn/Black&White/Paris table
For decor we used a lot of black and white.  We sprinkled French postcards around the table and hung a French map on the wall.  I found some Eiffel tower print-outs on Pinterest and made them into placecards.  We also put some Audrey Hepburn quotes on the table...she has a lot of great quotes!  Pinterest is a good place to find these.
We had the movie "Sabrina" playing in the background.  I turned down the volume on the TV and played the Fred Astaire station on Pandora.

I dressed Lucy up Audrey Hepburn style and my friends taught her how to pose!  Can you say "Toddlers in Tiaras?"

The poor girl better watch out or she'll end up like this in 30 years!

Audrey Hepburn quote

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 13: Homemade Taco Shells


I heart tacos.  I didn't know it was possible, but I recently found a way to make them even better!!!  A few months ago while strolling through Pinterest I found a recipe for homemade taco shells on eatingwell.com and some baked taco tips on onegoodthingbyjillee.com.
Homemade Taco Shells
1) Working with six tortillas at a time, wrap them in a damp cloth and microwave for about 30 seconds.  
2) Lay the tortillas on a flat surface and coat both sides with cooking spray.  
3) Drape each tortilla over two bars of the oven rack.  Bake at 375 until crispy, 7-10 minutes.

baked tacos

After that I put my homemade taco shells in a 9x13 pan and fill them with seasoned ground beef and cheese...LOTS of cheese.  I bake that at 400 for about 10-12 minutes. 

This is a great recipe for me because I can make the taco shells and ground beef during my daughter's nap time and just pop the whole thing in the oven just before dinner.

Don't forget to subscribe on the right side of this page if you want to see me complete one exciting Pinterest project every week.  Thanks!   :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 12: Z Chair Story

                             


This is a story about a Pinterest miracle.  Long long ago I pinned this chair from Z Gallerie.  I loved this chair and visited it in the store often, but much to my dismay it cost $999 and I could not bring it home...yet.
living room chair

Then last summer I pinned another picture of the same chair in an Oregon Street of Dreams home.
2012 NW Natural Street of Dreams - "The Oregon Dream" Just bought this chair!  : )

Then while browsing my other favorite website, Craigslist, I saw a listing for this exact chair from the builder in the Oregon Street of Dreams.  It was a fraction of the store cost and I was able to bring it home with me.  A Pinterest miracle!!!  The chair and I lived happily ever after!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 11: Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Cheese, garlic, and tons of butter!!!  This chicken recipe from Pinterest was calling my name!  This easy and delicious recipe originally came from Food for Thought but I changed a few things based on what I had in my cupboard.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

16 buttery crackers (Ritz)
6 ounces of shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese (I just threw in a few handfulls)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 6oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Heat oven to 350.  In a bowl, combine the crackers, cheese, and garlic.  Yum!

Dip the chicken in the butter, then in the cracker mixture, pressing gently to help the crackers stick.  Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet or shallow dish.

Sprinkle any remaining cracker mixture on the chicken and drizzle with any remaining butter.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

What it looks like before being cooked.

I served the crispy cheddar chicken with baked potatoes and green beans.

Yum!

Don't forget to subscribe on the right side of this page if you want to see me complete one exciting Pinterest project every week.  Thanks!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Week 10: Chick Flick Party





As I mentioned in my Star Wars post, this year for my girlfriends birthdays we are picking our favorite movies and having that be the theme for the party.  We celebrated Kaela's birthday a few weeks ago.  She chose the movie "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days."
The birthday girl
10 ways to have a "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" party.
1) Lose the guys!  Chicks only.  Not that they would want to come to this kind of party anyway.
2) Get the soundtrack or find a girly station on Pandora.
3) Watch the movie...we had too much fun chatting and eating that we did not have time for this.
4) Have the centerpiece on the table be a "love fern."
5) As Matthew McConaughey says in the movie..."frost yourself." Put sparkles everywhere!
6) Have a poker night...just like in the movie.
7) Play B.S....just like in the movie.
8) Do some quizzes from girly magazines like Cosmo or Elle.  In the movie Andie works for Composure Magazine.
9) Eat vegetarian.  In the movie Andie pretends to be vegetarian.  This worked well with my group of girls because we do have a vegetarian and some diet restrictions.
10) Do some movie trivia...we found out that the movie came out exactly 10 years ago on Kaela's birthday.  How weird is that!?  It was meant to be.

Love fern+poker+veggies+"frosting"

Lovely ladies

Present time
As far as my Pinterest challenge went, I found these pictures as inspiration...


My favorite part from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days - the poker night scene!
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days :)) ...watched this tonight w my family. I forgot how cute this was.How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)