Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sweet treats in sweet glass holders and sweetly cheap!

I'm always on a budget, it seems.  In fact, I'm sure a lot of us are on budgets.   So, I'm always on the lookout for crafty items that are sweetly cheap!   Much of the time I find these great ideas on Pinterest,   If you haven't discovered Pinterest yet, don't.   You will get addicted.   Okay, DO go on Pinterest but you can't say I didn't warn you.

Everything for this craft was purchased at the Dollar Store (I actually had these items for awhile but decided to finally make the project).   A lot of times I will go to the Dollar Store to purchase hair ties, pens, cards, batteries (and really, the batteries aren't that bad because I found a comparison some passionate person did on YouTube and they really do compare to the ones you buy at any regular store.)   I couldn't resist myself when the idea popped in my head, remembering what I saw on Pinterest.   So, each of these glass holders cost two dollars (one dollar for each piece) and the items inside, another dollar.  So, three dollars total for each!  How can you beat that?  

I found the pedestal in the candle section.  It's actually a candle holder itself.  The glass container on top was from the kitchen section.   I just glued them together and voila!   A perfect container for your cotton swabs, Q-tips or candy!   The front of the containers I got in the kitchen section have an indentation in front to put a label on it.   I haven't gotten the labels but who knows...I may change my mind later.  I like those chalkboard labels so those might look awfully cute and you can change what you write on it.

Thanks for the creepy stare, Quincy.

Spring seems to already be in the air.  I'm loving it.  We had a little scare with my Miss Emma.  She came down with bronchial pneumonia and had a 105.2 temperature.  After a rush to the vet for a checkout, X-rays, steroid shots, fluids and antibiotics she is back to her old self again, thank God.

 Quincy, on the other hand, has no problems passing out in the sun.

Until next time!   Stay strong, stay positive and stay sweet...Valentine's Day is right around the corner, you know?  :)  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sweet Potato Fries!

I've decided that in 2015 my only goal is to keep things simple.  I only say this because for the last ten years I've never been able to stick to your typical get organized or get fit goals.  Yep, I'm still a disorganized chunk.  I mean, how hard can keeping simple be, right?  Keep things simple and eat better, that is.   I didn't say diet either..there will be NO DIETS in my house.   I don't believe in diets...I believe in moderation and exercise, which in my case is going up and down the two flights of stairs in my condo at least a kajillion times a day because I'm always forgetting at least one or two things a day on the other floors.  So, back to simplicity.   I have been on a hiatus from my love of cooking since the holidays but I want to get back in the kitchen and stir things up again.  However, with my busy schedule it's been hard to make a meal that takes hours and hours of prep.   I'll try to save that for the weekends.  So, to start things off, I recently made another batch of these beauties, sweet potato fries.   These are the easiest and the tastiest things you can stir up quickly and, BONUS, they are good for you.  

A little background on this sweet veggie from
  1. "Sweet potatoes are a Native American plant that was the main source of nourishment for early homesteaders and for soldiers during the Revolutionary War. These tuberous roots are among the most nutritious foods in the vegetable kingdom. They are packed with calcium,potassium, and vitamins A and C."
First things first.  Get yourself a fine glass of wine to get in the mood.  Now slice away, thin and long slices, you know, like fries and don't cut your fingers!

Throw the slices in a bowl and toss in olive oil.  I have no clue how much...just splash until coated.  

Line them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and throw in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.   Then flip over and bake another 10 minutes until they just brown on the edges.

Make an awesome dipping sauce by combining 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 cloves garlic minced, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste!   Eh voila! 

Now stuff your face full of this vitamin enriched vegetable and never feel guilty!  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wishing you all a Wonderful Holiday Season!

Just popping on to wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with the warmth of love, family and friends...including your furry family!

You know Quincy's enjoying it.  ;)

See you next year!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Right Kind of Eggs

So I stumbled across this brand of eggs when I was visiting my girlfriend and her husband.   We had an afternoon of cooking, laughing, drinking wine (of course) and baking.   Needless to say, we failed at the baking part but when she pulled out these eggs, I was amazed at the information!   I mean just look at the container.   Now these are the RIGHT kind of eggs to buy.   Am I right?   Vitale Farms is located in Texas.   Click here if you want to read more about them!   Their website is full of information...the RIGHT kind of information we need to know about how hens should be raised and respected.   Granted, the eggs are a bit more costly, but if it gives me the peace of mind I want...then I will spend the money.

I love the colorful, fun and happy packaging.

They even had a profile of the Bird of the Month! I love it!   I mean come on...gotta give credit to these beautiful birds that are providing us sustenance, right?   Also a profile of one of the farmers.  :)

Now this is the kind of pasture they deserve.  

Check them out, especially their website.  It was worth it for me.   If the human race can learn a little respect, love and kindness to each other and animals, this would be a much happier and much different world to live in.  :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cooking Egg Rolls with my Sis!

I recently flew to California to visit my family, mainly to watch my niece compete in an equitation event, to which she ended up being the grand champion.  I was so proud of her and so happy it happened while I was there.   It was a two day event that included lots of hard work, a lot of driving, practice and mom and dad focusing on her the entire weekend.   She deserved it. She worked hard and she won.  I also love spending time with my we can do girly things together, shop, eat, cook.  :)

Soooo...while I was there sis and I cooked some of these delicious egg rolls!   It's actually fairly simple.   Sometimes you see some recipes that have TONS of ingredients and steps that it really just turns you off to even trying it.  You really can have something as simple as this that tastes just as amazing.   I'm all into simple and easy these days.

Chicken Egg Rolls

1 lb. ground chicken (or beef/turkey)
1 can water chestnuts (cut in small bite-size pieces)
1 bunch of green onions (chopped)
1 package of shitake mushrooms (already sauteed)
1/2 onion chopped (already sauteed - can saute with mushrooms)
About 1/2-3/4 soy sauce
About 4-5 Tbsp. sugar
Egg Roll wrappers
Olive or Vegetable Oil for Frying

Saute the onion and mushrooms together until cooked.   Drain if need be and set aside.   Cook ground chicken over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked, tossing in mushrooms and onion with it.  Slowly pour in soy sauce and sugar.   At this point I'll typically just keep adding both until I get the taste I like.  It should be both salty and sweet, oh and savory.   When you think you've reached your desired taste, set aside to cool.  To speed up cooling process I'll just put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.   Once cooled, throw in the green onions and water chestnut and mix together.

Now comes the rolling.   Place about a 2 Tablespoons of the mix at one corner of the  egg roll wrapper and start wrapping.  If you've never wrapped before, this is a great demonstration here.  It's good to have a small glass of water set aside.  You'll want to wet the opposite corner of the egg roll from where you're wrapping to seal it shut at the end.

Now you're ready to fry!   You can also bake these at 450 for 20 minutes after you've brushed them with oil.   I'll admit, though, I prefer frying.  Sometimes you just have to be bad.  :)  I will usually have the oil heated at about a medium heat to avoid oil splashing onto you.  Remember, the meat is already cooked on the inside so frying is basically to brown the outside.   Once brown, you're done!

We had a few leftover egg roll wrappers and my sis had a great idea...we filled them with string cheese as an appetizer for everyone!

Autumn is in the air, I can feel it.   I think autumn has become my favorite time of year.   I used to be a summer girl but now I look forward to bundling up in my favorite sweaters and scarves and donning my favorite tall boots (okay, I have about six pair, really.)   The leaves haven't quite changed yet but they will turn an iridescent red, orange and yellow and line the streets I drive down.   I think it might be time to start baking and crocheting.  :)

Hope you're all enjoying the end of summer!   xoxo

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wine Tasting! Making My Way Through Washington State One Wine Taste at a Time.

This past weekend I finally had a chance to go wine tasting.  Yea, I've been here in the Northwest over sixteen years and still have not gone wine tasting. Bad me!  Anyway, a friend had her 40th birthday and decided to hire one of those tour buses to take about 20 of us on a wine tour!   We toured three wineries in Washington State (Ridgefield and Battleground to be exact.)   It was so much fun!   On top of visiting wineries I had never heard of, the drive through the countryside of Washington was beautiful.

Gouger Cellars was the first stop.  I'll be honest, I didn't care for too many of their white wines but their reds were amazing!   He even had a red wine with chocolate in it.  I didn't care for that though.  The classics....Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel....all were very smooth.  Oh wait!  I take that back..he had a Voignier that was lovely so there was one white I liked.  :)

The owner himself served the wine.   He was full of great information on how the wines were made and combined.    He even had his own ice cream made with wine.   Dangerous territory for me, right there.   Picture having a glass of wine with a bowl of wine ice cream add a few more servings and then me, collapsed in bed.  Yea, that's exactly what would happen.

Now the next vinyard was Three Brothers.    For this one I chose to taste all white.   There were only two white wines I liked and I was pleasantly surprised with them.   A Riesling and a Dry Riesling were the two I tasted.   I'm not much of a Riesling fan but these were amazing.  I see I'm going to have to reconsider my opinion.  Also goes to show that it's not so much the kind of wine but the vinyard that makes them.

My dream is to have one of these. :)

Such sweet grapes.

I'll take every last barrel!

Now the last vinyard was also very nice but I stopped the wine tasting at this point BUT....I hear they have great Pinot Grigio (which is my favorite of all.)  Being a migraine sufferer (and combined with the heat of the day) I had to really be careful so I drank water the rest of the way.   If it were a cooler day I wouldn't have stopped.  I just know what sets off my migraines.  :)

All in all, I really, really enjoyed it!   I want to try the Oregon wines (Willamette Valley).   I'm thinking fall would be a great time of year to go wine tasting.

I'm headed home to California for a visit with the family this week but if I have time I will post a delicious eggroll recipe I just made recently!   

Until then...enjoy every minute of your life!  xoxo

Thursday, August 21, 2014

~Swooning over Small Spaces~

So I've been daydreaming lately about small houses and cottages.   Seems so often I hear people dreaming of mansions and bigger homes but who wants to clean all that space?   I can barely clean my 1300 sq. ft. condo!   Let's get serious here, the older I'm getting the lazier I'm getting about cleaning.     I really only probably use half the space in my condo anyway. I want efficiency.  I want small.  I want practicality but still cute.  :)  In fact, I'd rather have a small cottage (Eco friendly) and room for chickens and a garden to live off of.  One year my girlfriend and I lived off her garden for an entire summer! The veggies were fresh, organic and they tasted like nothing I tasted that came out of a store.   So, I'll continue to dream of a goal of having this all one day.  

Here are a few ADORABLE cottages I can see myself living in.    I love, love, love the idea of a screened in porch for the cats and here in the Northwest since it rains a lot, it will be a nice way to kind of relax in the outdoors without getting wet.

(click picture for source link)

(click picture for source link)

Now this is a prefab home.    I wouldn't mind purchasing a prefab home, paying it off quickly and be mortgage free.  

(click picture for source link)

The inside is sweet!

 Its own screened-in porch on one side.

Another prefab!   Only 777 sq. ft.  Serious swooning here!

(click picture for source link)

Who would have thought a prefab home could be so cute!  My alternative way of thinking is dreaming of an alternative way of living.  :)  Conformity is overrated anyway.  At least in my opinion.

Mr. Fancy Pants says hi.  

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!   xoxo