Monday, April 29, 2013

Twenty-Seven

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{via}

As I woke up a whole year older this morning I thought to myself, how did this happen? Just yesterday I was 15 years old, willing the perfect age of 16 to come along so I could drive. Then I couldn't wait to turn 18; with it came adulthood, so I thought. 

Now I feel like I've reached the age where I am willing time to slow down. Another year older? Really? But where did 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26 go? How can this happen? You blink and suddenly you're here, turning 27 years old.

With that, my birthday wish is that time would go a little slower, just today.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday's Letters

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Dear Spring Flowers, I think overnight you shot up. I was walking into work yesterday morning and there I found you. Thanks for stopping me in my tracks with your beauty. I just had to capture it. Dear House, you will officially be ours in less than a month. It has been a whirlwind, but one thing is for sure- God is so good and forever faithful. Dear Mr., I'm excited for our trip to Madison today. Let's have fun exploring the city, eating delicious food, and spending time with another pretty awesome couple. Dear Volleyball, while our season came to an end last night, it felt good to end on a win. My knees will be grateful for the break, but you will be missed. See you in the fall. Dear Dad, words cannot express how excited we are to have you visit in May for a whole week! I'm looking forward to all the memories we'll make. Dear Birthday, you are only 3 short days away. I'm in shock at how quickly a year flew by. This year instead of the typical Michael Kors watch, Toms shoes, Joules wellies, and shopping cash, I'm hoping for appliances; fridge, stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer! Dear God, like I mentioned before, your goodness and faithfulness this past week alone has been remarkable. You have answered one prayer after another. It is evident Your hand has been over us as we embark on home ownership. Thank you for Your favor in our lives. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lately

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 1// we've been spending plenty of evenings watching a movie with our favorite snacks in tow
2// the fur baby and I got caught on camera giving each other snuggles. I'm not ashamed. 
3// when my Mom {also the best realtor in WI} found out the offer we put in on a home got accepted she and my sister showed up with balloons and a pretty plant to tell us the news. I'm debating whether or not I should share the hilarious video they recorded of our reactions.
4// lately, it seems like we've been having asparagus with every meal. So good.
 
5// we've also been guilty of eating way too much ice cream. It's become a nightly ritual I'm afraid. 
6// i've been loving these new earring I added to the shop. They've been complimenting many outfits.
7// our weather has me feeling a little grumpy lately. I need the sunshine and warmer temps pronto.
8// the mr. & I had an overnight with the two boys I used to nanny for, so...Froot Loops for breakfast. 
9// i made myself an iphone background. I have to say I'm pretty much in love with it. 
10// saturday night we had a date with two other couples at the Melting Pot. Nom Nom. 
11// since we found our new home I've become a paint swatch hoarder.
12// last night the Melting Pot tweeted at me and it kind of made me smile. 

What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

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My favorite recipes are those that have been suggested by a friend. To me it means the recipe has been tested, enjoyed, and that it was worthy of being passed along. 

That's the kind of recipe I have for you today. With that being said, keep an open mind and promise me you'll try it before you judge it.

This recipe has to be the easiest and quickest one out there with a pretty large wow factor. The Mr. rated this dish a 9 out of 10. Close enough to perfection for me. This one is a keeper and will be included in the rotation of our favorite meals. 


Parmesan Crusted Chicken

1/2 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/4 lb chicken breast
4 teaspoons italian seasoned bread crumbs*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Place mayonnaise and cheese in a small bowl, give it a quick stir. 

Lay chicken out on a baking sheet. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over chicken. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. 

Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. 

Enjoy!

{recipe from Hellmann's}


* Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs

I didn't have italian seasoned bread crumbs on hand when I made the parmesan crusted chicken recipe. I took my regular bread crumbs and seasoned them

plain bread crumbs
salt
pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
dried oregano
dried basil

Combine bread crumbs and seasonings in a small bowl. Use in the recipe above or store in an air tight container. 

{recipe adapted from food.com}   

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Library Tote

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Christmas 2011 the Mr. and I decided to try something new. Something different. Something unexpected. We committed to a handmade Christmas. Almost all of the gifts we gave were items we made. We had such a fun time together, crafting things up. One of my very favorites was the library tote. 

At the time, I was a nanny to two {very sweet and adorable} boys. The boys and I frequented the local library to feed their love of learning and of books. There could never be enough books. So, I found a simple tutorial online and before I knew it the Mr. and I created two very functional {and pretty darn cute} library totes.

We tried our hand at yet another library tote this weekend. Our dear friends were celebrating their sweet little gal's 2nd birthday, so we made a tote. And when I say we, I actually mean the Mr. He is 100% responsible for all the sewing that is involved. He makes my vision come to life. I love that man. 

Here's the bag he crafted. 


If you'd like to make one for yourself or an adorable little human in your life here are a couple tutorials. We used the tutorial from Mollie Makes for each of the totes we've made. Her tutorial is incredibly easy, something for a beginner sewer. If you want to take it up a notch, My Growing Home offers a tutorial that looks awesome too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Connect

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Let's pretend we're in a coffee shop, just down the street. For a minute, let's pretend we live in the same city and we're meeting for an afternoon mocha. 

What would you tell me? 
Would you talk about the things God has been doing in your life? 
Would you tell me about the things that have been heavy on your heart? 
Maybe we would laugh at something silly. 
What would we talk about?

Let's pretend we have the opportunity to converse with one another.

I'm always the one doing the talking here on this blog, and I guess that just goes without saying, but I would love more than anything to really connect with you. 
The comments I receive on a daily basis truly make my day. They make me think, make me laugh, and sometimes cause me to tear up. They are really just the sweetest, most kind words. 

I want today to be different. I want you to leave a comment and tell me what's going on in your world, good or bad. I want to be the one to leave an encouraging comment for you. I want to connect with you like friends do at the coffee shop. 

So, without me getting down on my knees and begging you, I'm asking that you do the talking today. I will be replying to each and every person right in the comments.

Can't wait to connect with you! 


Friday, April 12, 2013

Oatmeal Cream Pies

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Something about this non-stop, cold, damp, and rainy weather had me in the kitchen baking up a storm of my own. Wednesday I made banana bread, which was so good that I ate an entire half of the loaf pan by myself. I came across this insanely easy recipe that only requires the use of a couple bowls and a wooden spoon. Sold. Then, yesterday afternoon rolled around and I was ready to get back in the kitchen, this time for cookies. 

I sent out a little request via twitter for a cookie idea.
My ladies showed up with some awesome ideas, the only problem was I didn't have all the ingredients at home to make them.

Then, it hit me, oatmeal cream pies. I've been wanting to try this recipe since Christmas!

Here's my disclaimer about the cookies: the recipe calls for an obscene amount of butter. This is right where "everything in moderation" comes into play. For instance, even though I wanted to eat 7 cookies, I ate 2. I'm patting myself on the shoulder. 


Oatmeal Cream Pies

for the cookie:
1 1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups white flour
3 cups oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

for the cream filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powered sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Then, add them to the creamed mixture and mix well.

Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Keep dough about two inches apart.

Bake for 10 minutes. Let cookies sit on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Using a mixer, mix together the ingredients for the filling. Spread filling generously on one side of a cookie, top with a plain cookie to create a sandwich.


Enjoy!

{recipe adapted from Faith That Laughs}

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Muffin Tin Mini Lasagnas

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Last night the Mr. and I had what could initially appear to be a fancy dinner. I made individual lasagnas using a muffin tin. This would be the perfect way to impress some dinner guests. Even though mini lasagnas look more fancy than the traditional casserole style, it's just as easy!

Side note: When I spell the word lasagna I pronounce it la-za-g-na in my head. I totally say the "g"! Anyone else have this problem?


Muffin Tin Mini Lasagnas

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
 salt to taste
pepper to taste
garlic salt to taste
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
24 wonton wrappers
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Once completely cooked add the tomato sauce and 1 teaspoon oregano. Stir and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. 

Meanwhile, stir together the ricotta cheese, remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Press 1 wonton wrapper into each muffin cup making sure to press onto the bottom and the sides. 
Divide the ricotta mixture in half. Using just one half, divide the mixture among the muffin cups, pressing the ricotta into an even layer. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan. Use the same method with tomato sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. 

Press a second wonton wrapper onto each mini lasagna. Repeat the layers, ending with mozzarella. 

Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Allow the mini lasagnas to cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing. Garnish with a sprinkling of basil before serving. Serve with homemade garlic pesto bread.


Enjoy!

{recipe adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures}

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Product

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kitt + kaboodle has new product up in the shop! What do you think?

Every time I find a new fabric I love I can't wait to make a new pair of earrings and get it in the shop. I'm like a giddy little girl who's excited and nervous for her first day of school; I'm anxious to hear your feedback and fill orders!

Check 'em out. 
top left: medallion stamp
top right: neon pink
bottom left: tiffany blue wave
bottom right: crosshatch

Monday, April 8, 2013

Meet Jovana {Featured Sponsor}

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I have the honor of introducing one of my April Featured Sponsors, Jovana. She blogs at Taste of August and is the sweetest gal you could dream of getting to know. As we've exchanged emails over the last couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of getting to know her. I hope you'll take the time to meet her and say hello.


Today she compiled a guest post of comparisons between her and I. It's amazing the things you can find you have in common with someone! And oh my goodness, she has the most adorable fur baby!
Hi everyone! I'm Jovana from Taste of August and I am so happy to be over here at one of my fave blogs! As I have been reading Brittany's blog for a while now, I have learned what an amazing and nice person Brittany is! Reading her blog each day, especially her Friday's Letters, allow me to get to know her more and connect with her, as well as learn new things! 

Reading her posts, I have found out we have more in common than I thought! If we only knew each other in real life, I am sure we would be best friends!

For starters, we both love and enjoy the art of cooking. I can see from the pictures Brittany takes that whatever dish she makes is most likely dee-lish!

We both love God, our husbands, and doing our nails.

We are both proud mommas of our cute fur-babies.

Both of our husbands were born in the same year (and actually, Brittany's Mr. is exactly 10 days older than mine!).

Being homeowners, we both love to do DIY crafts and decorate our home on a budget. Especially re-purposing what we already have and create new things!

But most importantly, both Brittany and I love blogging, sharing our lives with others, and building new friendships with other bloggers! I'd love to have you stop by Taste of August and meet you as well!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday's Letters

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Dear Essie, I have a thing for you. Thank you for making the prettiest polish around. Your spring collection rocks my socks off. I'm in love. Dear House Hunting, today is the day we find out if we part ways. You see, the Mr. and I bravely put an offer in on a home. If it all works out we won't need you. Then again, if it doesn't we'll be back to being bff's. Dear Mr. you are the most positive human being. You find the good in every situation and everyone. Thank you for reminding me that I need to do the same. Dear kitt + kaboodle, remember that one time last week I mentioned I was going to add new product to you? Life's busy, and well I didn't get to it. Actually, I did sit down with the camera ready to shoot product images, then the camera screen flashed battery exhausted. In other exciting news, we may be starting a new venture together...fingers crossed! Dear God, thank you for new mercies each and every day. The beauty I see in the sunrise you grace us with is that it's the start to a new day; a fresh beginning.

Photobucket

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Trust

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Today the Mr. and I have a super sized decision to make. 
Today we decide whether or not we will put an offer in on a certain home we've seen. 

Maybe to some this is an easy task, a decision that takes little thought. For me, for us, it's something that requires trust. Trusting that we are making the right decision. Trusting that every little detail will fall into place. Trusting that this is right where He wants us to be.

{via}

I have to consciously remind myself that I need to trust Him to orchestrate every single detail of this journey. I could drive myself crazy thinking of all the things that could go wrong. I could sit and worry constantly about the littlest things, or I could choose to trust the One who knows the future. 

Today we have many decisions to make which will lend itself to many opportunities to be led by Him and trust in His guidance. You guys, this is so much easier said than done. As I sit here typing this I'm thinking of all the what if scenarios. They are literally bombarding me, and as they come I have to physically picture myself taking each situation and giving it to Him.

My prayer over the last week as we've hemed and hawed over this decision is Lord, not our will, but Your will. Is this the home you have for us? We are trusting in You with all of our heart. We are acknowledging You and begging asking that You direct our path.

Sometimes I wonder if He giggles at us humans, trying to make these decisions, the bigger decisions you make in life. I wonder if He simply wishes we would acknowledge Him in everything we do. To Him this decision is nothing, no big thang as my sister would say. I can confidently say that whether or not we put an offer in on this home and whether or not the offer gets accepted I can continue to trust Him. I have to.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Redecorating Your Home on a Budget

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I truly enjoy decorating any space in my home. I enjoy it so much so that I find I am constantly wanting to redecorate so many spaces. This isn't because I don't already love what I have going on, but because I simply enjoy decorating. This is probably the reason I have painted my mom's bathroom three times in the last four years. Sorry mom. 

Yesterday as I was in between REM sleep and fully awake I was groggily thinking about sharing ways to redecorate a home, on a budget. So today that's just what I'm doing. I'm sharing some tips on how to redecorate for cheap! 

 {via}

1//Decorate for each major holiday or season to make it feel like you have new decor.
 I decorate for Fall, Christmas, Winter, Spring/Easter, and Summer. I spread the decorations among many rooms to make each room feel new. The main rooms I target are the living room, dining/kitchen, and our half bath. These also happen to be rooms guests see when they come over.

2//Reuse decorations in different parts of your home to spice things up. 
There are quite a few pieces I have that get rotated between different rooms depending on the season I'm decorating for. Maybe for Fall I'll have a glass hurricane vase filled with fall gourds and acorns. Then for Christmas I'll fill it with red and silver ornaments for a totally different look. 

3//Purchase decorations when they are on sale. 
This tip might seem like a no brainier. However, too often I find items in my cart that are overpriced. If I wait a little while I know they will go on sale, it's just a matter of patience. Back onto the shelf they go. This doesn't apply to items I know I need. If it's simply a luxury item I think will look awesome in our home I will wait until I can score an awesome deal! OR, I will figure out if it's something I can DIY craft.

4//DIY craft.
 DIY crafts are splashed all over blogs and Pinterest. Use those resources. Crafting is one of my favorite hobbies. I could craft all day long if I had the time. One of my favorite DIY's I've seen lately are spray painted mason jars. You can also visit my projects page to get some ideas.

5//Use what you have. 
I think we would each be surprised by what we already have. For me personally I have a decor tub in the basement. It's full of items I don't have a place for, but still love. Every once in awhile when a creative wind blows at me I'll go visit the bin and see if there's anything in there I can use in a new way. A really cheap and easy way to use what you have is to change a few pictures in frames around your house to give them a different feel.

6//Print, print, print. 
There are tons of free printables available on the internet. They are a cute way to add just a little something to a space. Spend a few cents to send them to Target or Walgreens and have them printed on a higher quality printer. Slap 'em in a picture frame and viola!

What tricks have you used to redecorate your home on a budget? I'd love to hear what ideas you have to add to the list. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Summer Trifle

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I tried a new recipe for Easter. It reminded me of summer, which is a much needed feeling if you're in the Midwest and willing summer to come quick. 

I love making trifle recipes, you can find another one of my favorites here. They are the simplest, yet prettiest desserts and they can feed a large crowd. Bonus points to the trifle all around!

Summer Strawberry Peach Trifle

1 {16 ounce} pound cake, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cups milk
2 {3.4 ounce} packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 container fresh strawberries, sliced {save a few to decorate the top}
1 bag frozen, sliced peaches, thawed {save a few to decorate the top}
1 {8 ounce} container Cool Whip, thawed
2 tablespoons toasted, sliced almonds

In a small bowl combine the milk, pudding mixes, and almond extract. Whisk until the pudding starts to thicken. Fold in all but 1/3 of the Cool Whip. Set aside. 

Place 1/3 of the cake cubes in a trifle bowl. Top with 1 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup peaches, and 1/3 of the pudding mixture. 

Repeat layer two more times, ending with the pudding mixture on top. 

Cover and refrigerate for a few hours. Before serving uncover and decorate the top with a dollop of Cool Whip. Garnish with leftover strawberries and peaches, and the toasted almonds. 

Enjoy!

{recipe adapted from The Cooking Mom}

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