Sunday, February 27, 2011

spring is in the air

spring is one of my favorite times of year... to see all the life appear again, the weather warming, and the thrill of summer time approaching. here in south carolina, spring time has began early! let's just hope it stays... it seemed to have happened overnight - we went to bed with a 40 degree night, and woke up to a 70 degree day. it has lasted for about a week, give or take a few degrees, and yesterday even reached 80. it was perfection! growing things inside or outside makes me tremendously happy. and the idea of planting bulbs in the fall and seeing them form into something beautiful in the spring... i just love it. so with this beautiful weather comes new growth. and we are seeing new growth all around. 

this beauty is our first bulb starting to bloom. i noticed the form and knew that she would be ready any day. literally, hours later, this is what happened -
and then this - 
 a beautiful and perfect little daffodil. a true sign of spring. we also have lots of other bulbs forming like tulips and hyacinths. i can't wait to see what color these turn out to be!
the hydrangea is also producing new green shoots, and i am very ready to see how many blooms we have this year! a hydrangea is my favorite flowering shrub!
 the pups even got to enjoy the great outdoors on such a beautiful day... they went for a little swim after a long walk. they were in heaven!

the only planting left for me this year is the vegetable garden. i have already planned in my head how i will plant and space... and im more than ready to have home grown vegetables!!!  this year we are growing big tomatoes, roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, squash, zucchini, green peppers, red peppers, jalapeno peppers and eggplant!
hope everyone is enjoying this fantastic weather!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

another rolled flower....

yes, i'm obsessed with these adorable little rolled flowers. so much that i found one laying around in my fabric pile that i had forgotten about... i couldn't just leave it there, so i put it to good use and made a five minute hair-pin.
this is the easiest project in the world. all you need is fabric, felt, a hair pin and a glue gun. 
roll up your flower, glue a felt circle on the back, then glue down your pin. 
and they look so cute! 
Saturday, February 19, 2011

skinny taste

for all you healthy or healthy-wanna be eaters... this site is for you!
this girl is the master of weight watcher recipes. so far, i have made two of her dishes and both were fantastic. i have plans of making many more.
this was DELISH!!!!! and only 224.9 calories per roll... serious. 
turned out so good and made for some amazing left-overs.
and for the second recipes - 
oh. my. gosh. this was unbelievable.  and it made so much... we made salad and rice bowls one night and burritos for lunch. amazing!
i think everyone should go to skinny taste and try as many of her recipes as possible! it will totally be worth your time :) 
happy eating!
Friday, February 18, 2011

all you need is L.O.V.E.

valentines day has never been a top rated holiday for me... i believe people should express their love everyday. but.... there is something pretty special about knowing there is an actual 'holiday' every year just to celebrate L.O.V.E.  this valentines day was so much fun for me! i truly have an extra super special guy in my life! we celebrated the day on sunday, since we both had to work on monday. we ended saturday night by watching old movies, then began sunday with a healthy and delish brunch, complete with mimosas. we drank our regular pot of coffee and sat outside for most of the morning watching the pups play... we just enjoyed the beautiful day... plus it was already 65 degrees!
in the afternoon we took a four mile trail walk... it was sooooo great being out in the fresh air and sunshine. sure beats the ole treadmill!
this is our beautiful pups panting away after the walk... pure exhaustion but complete happiness!
before dinner was even planned, david was whipping up a special treat in the kitchen. after all that exercise, and since it was a special occasion, he thought we should reward ourselves with a little treat.... i couldn't have agreed more! he made an adorable and the most delish chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a heart!!!! so so so so sweet! we cut it in half and ate it bit by bit... enjoying every single moment!
a couple weeks ago, i started a valentines day ruffle apron for my little sis to use in her new home... unfortunately - i didn't finish in time. she will be getting another great surprise :)  here are a few pics of the cutesy half-apron. HERE is the link to the tutorial for this project.
this turned out to be a pretty simple project... could be completed in one day if you didn't have any distractions. loved the finished look and of course, i added 2 rolled flowers to the top for an extra something special!
hope everyone celebrated their love in the most fantastic of ways!
happy love :)
Friday, February 11, 2011

my fabric necklace

today i woke early (thank you Oliver) so i got a head start on being crafty! i love rolled fabric flowers and the way they always make anything look better. everyone's making these little beauties and pinning them on anything imaginable: purses, totes, sweaters, hair, even shoes.. and even necklaces! genius. 
my sweet friend, Kayla Queen, whose wonderful blog you will find HERE, and her wonderful etsy shop HERE, makes these necklaces, also called bib necklaces, and this is where my inspiration began. i dug through my fabric box and gathered the off whites and light beiges to mix me up my very own fabric necklace. I also added some lace and chiffon fabric. 
so, here is how i made my necklace...
i started rolling and twisting away with my fabric and rolled up 4 of these little lovelies with the help of some fabric glue.
then i rolled some lace fabric, and also cut petal shapes out of chiffon fabric and sewed that together to make a messy, frayed little flower. 
then i made a yo-yo and added some beads in the middle. this one is my favorite. 
and then there were seven!
once i had all my pieces, i placed them together and glued them onto a piece of felt - 
i used a thick thread and also stitched around the flowers for extra support... and i also added a bead to the lace flower... looks much better, i think.
then i cut the felt around each flower leaving this:
for the 'chain' part of my necklace, i wanted to do something a little more different than just using ribbon, so i took a long strip of fabric and ripped it into three long pieces, tied a knot in the end and pinned it to a pillow and started braiding. this is how that turned out:
i absolutely love it. it's the perfect necklace for a plain tshirt!
happy crafting and happy weekend!
Thursday, February 10, 2011

the civil wars

we had the honor of seeing and meeting the civil wars last night at the evening muse in charlotte. they are truly amazing and i hope everyone buys up the album that is number one on itunes, and number 12 on the top 200 billboards charts... seriously.
they are both such beautiful people, so so nice and friendly, and such a joy to watch perform together. and if you ever get a chance to see a show at the evening muse, do it... it is such an amazing little place!

and just so everyone knows... when the civil wars explode into extreme stardom, just know that their show on feb. 9th in charlotte, nc... this girl wrote out the set list for them. yes, it's true. (blush)
Monday, February 7, 2011

superbowl sunday

i love food. period. 
and superbowl sunday is just another excuse to eat all day long... kind of like thanksgiving. unfortunately, eating healthy can sometimes get in the way of these kinds of days. so, with the help of a few 'skinny' recipes, we were able to make our dishes a bit more healthy. 
we of course stared with drinks... margaritas that were SO GOOD! and we got to use my favorite green margarita glasses! 
for appetizers we made two dips - buffalo chicken dip and spinach artichoke dip, both amazing.
here is the recipe for the buffalo chicken dip
Franks Redhot Buffalo Chicken Dip
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened (i used fat free)
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing (i used fat free ranch dressing)
1/2 cup any flavor Franks Redhot Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese (i used low-fat, part skim moz)
2 cans Swanson White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in water, drained (or 2 chicken breasts, baked)
heat oven to 350. place cream cheese into baking dish and stir until smooth.
mix in salad dressing, hot sauce, and cheese. 
stir in chicken.
bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through. 
garnish as desired and serve with crackers or vegetables.

here is the recipe for the spinach artichoke dip
10 oz bag of fresh spinach
6 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
6 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1.5 cups part skim mozzarella, shredded
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese, divided
preheat oven to 350. 
tear spinach into bite size pieces, removing any thick stems. rinse in colander, leaving a little water on the leaves. in a large nonstick skillet or dutch oven, saute the spinach over medium heat until wilted. drain in the colander, pushing a little of the extra water out.
in a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheeses with a potato masher. add sour cream and mash more. add spinach, mozzarella, artichokes, pepper, garlic, and two tablespoons of the parmesan. stir everything until thoroughly combined.
pour mixture into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan on top. bake 30 minutes, or until parmesan is melted and dip is all bubbly. remove from oven and give it a minute or two to cool down. serve with baked tortilla chips to applause.

simple as that! we served with a whole wheat baguette, cut up and baked.
for the main dish, david made tyler florence's amazing chili with corn pudding... so. so. so. so. good. 
HERE is the recipe for the chili
david makes his own corn pudding!
when grocery shopping, i even got a surprise.... i have the best man :)
 and after the game... which i'm very happy of the outcome.... my sleepy boys.
Friday, February 4, 2011

a great week ahead.

three words -
the. civil. wars. 
seriously, everyone MUST buy this album and fall instantly in love.  i absolutely cannot wait to see them live in charlotte on wednesday. the album was released this month, and is already number one on itunes... so if that isn't reason enough to purchase, i'm not sure what is! david's friend is their tour manager (amazing, yes) so we also get to see him this week as well. if you hustle and log into itunes, barton hollow is the single of the week... so hurry and download for free!

another exciting event.. i am seeing joshua radin tomorrow night with my dear friend, corrie. dinner and a great show in downtown greenville sounds like a perfect saturday night to me!

a couple of things that i am currently loving.
needles and pearls by gil mcneil. yes, i admit that i DO judge a book by the cover... always have, always will. so anytime i see anything to do with knitting on a cover, i know i will be in for a treat. that was absolutely the case with this dear book... read it start to finish in absolutely no time and enjoyed every second. i believe i picked this up at a used book sale for one dollar, so it was also worth every penny!

a new television show...
my tv is turned off all day long, except for the few evening hours when my husband and i catch up on our tivo'd shows... a new one has recently been added to the list - perfect couples. oh! my! lord! this has quickly became my favorite show on tv. it is perfect for married couples! absolutely hysterical. typical. familiar. fabulous!

chicago... yes, our trip will be here in no time! i am more than excited and ready to FREEZE. and shop!

happy weekend to everyone and make it a great one!

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