Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Photo

Okay...I know I said no sneak peeks.  But, I am just too excited!  Here's a look at the progress on the bookshelves.  This was earlier in the week before the crown molding was added and prior to the first coast of paint.  I LOVE them. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Master Bedroom "Before"

Remember how I mentioned that we are FINALLY decorating our Master Bedroom?  Well, I am SO excited to report that we've made a lot of progress.  (No pictures until it's done!)  Ryan has been hard at work constructing built-in bookshelves and I got the Pottery Barn Napa Chair and Lidded Barrel Basket for my birthday.  Still on our list:
  • artwork for behind the bedside lamps
  • rug
  • bench/chest/baskets for the end of the bed
  • tiebacks for the drapes
  • swing arm lamp for above the chair
  • writing desk
  • accessories for desk/shelves
  • remove giant black armoire
While that seems like a lot, we are making really good progress and I hope to have it complete in the next few weeks.  To make myself accountable for that statement, I am going to share the before pictures below.

Any suggestions??

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recipe Recap

Remember how I was trying 3 new Pinterest recipes last week?  I am happy to report that I followed through!  You already heard my reflections on the Mexican Chicken Casserole.  Here is my review of the other two:

I would  It's okay.  In all fairness, I did mess up the recipe a little.  The directions say to cook it on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1.5-2.5 hours.  In the daze of my sinus infection last week, I cooked it on high for 4 hours.  Whoops.  Let's just say that the chicken was VERY browned.  Luckily, thanks to cooking it in the crock pot, it was not charred and was still edible. 

I just didn't really like it.  However, I am not really a sweet sauce person.  Ryan liked it (while admitting it would be better if a little less....cooked) and thought we should try it again.  I served the leftovers to my mom, aunt, and cousin on Thursday, and they all liked it too.  (Aren't I so nice?  Serving leftovers to house guests?) 

Grade: B- 

Yum!  (With some additions.)  This is what I love about blogging.  I posted that I was going to make this, and Ryan's sweet Aunt Sheila in Houston sent me a note to tell me that she'd had friends who had tried the recipe and that they recommended the following:
  • Use the entire zucchini, more bell pepper and Pete's Hot Sauce
  • Add 2 zucchini, 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, "fiesta" corn, green chilies, half an onion diced, lime and cilantro. She also added that next time she would add another can of black beans to give more protein.
I was all geared up to add more black beans, another pepper, green chilis, and lime--- but I TOTALLY forgot to stop at the store during my daze drive home.  So, I had to use what I had on hand.  I added 2 extra zucchini, the entire green pepper, and a whole onion.  I also spilled my entire thing of instant rice on the floor (it was a great night), so I had to use the Trader Joe's seasoned rice I had on hand. 

The result was pretty delicious.  (Sorry-- I forgot to snap a picture!)  And, I absolutely LOVED how easy this meal was to throw together.  I think it took me all of 15-20 minutes.  (Note: My veggies were chopped on Sunday when I prepped for the week.) 

The flavor of this recipe was definitely more Italian savory, and I think I was expecting more of a Mexican skillet.  So for next time, I plan to add more black beans, substitute the fire-roasted tomatoes for diced tomatoes with green chilis, and add cilantro and lime.  (Ryan really liked it -- but he suggested that adding some sort of meat-- pork, sausage, bacon, shredded chicken -- would make it extra delish.)

Grade: A+ (with the changes)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Update

Oh hi there, neglected blog.  I promise to become a more regular blogger one of these days...

This weekend was both busy and relaxing all at once. 

Saturday morning we visited with my parents and my grandma ,who was in town from Florida.  As usual when my parents are here, Ryan and I dragged them from room to room soliciting advice on everything from frame sizes to bookcase construction to furniture placement.  (I'm pretty blessed to have an interior decorator mom and extremely handy dad and husband!) 

The rest of the afternoon consisted of running errands to Home Goods and Home Depot.  (To all of my MBA friends at Home Depot-- we had the most helpful, friendly experience ever.  I know it must be all of your hard work at the corporate office!) 

That night we met up with our dear friends, Maggie and Tim (also an employee of the big orange box!) to devour burgers and shakes at Flip Burger. (Yes, for the second time this week.  Yes, we have a problem...)

Though Saturday was fun and relaxing, Sunday was the type of productive day that, though busy, is also energizing and extremely satisfying.  After church and a quick trip the grocery store, we got down to business. 

For me, getting down to business meant taking down my winter decor, redecorating the vacated spaces, serving as Ryan's construction assistant (more on this later), prepping meals for the week, and cooking dinner. 

In what I may later deem an overzealous effort, I am attempting three new Pinterest recipes this week: Mexican Chicken Casserole, Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken, and Zucchini, Black Bean, and Rice Skillet.  To make my week easier (and it more likely that I cook during the week), I went ahead and sliced, diced, and prepped everything I need for the meals this week:

Throughout the day, I was on call as Ryan's construction assistant, as he started building the bookshelves I've been wanting for our bedroom today.  (Back in January, we met with my mom and put together a design plan for our room.  Look for the "before" pictures soon!)  Check out my skills on the table saw!

Here's the progress of the bookshelves so far:
(Our black lab, Katie is right there to help.  Always.)

Finally, I got started on my first Pinterest recipe of the week.  First up? The Mexican Chicken Casserole. We have small group on Mondays, so I needed a recipe that produced yummy leftovers for tomorrow night. The recipe took about 45 minutes of hands-on time (which was a little longer than I expected) and then 30 minutes of cook time.

The result? Served on a plate, the dish looks like a yellow and white pile of mush (forgot to snap a photo!). However, it tastes delicious and is a low-calorie Cooking Light meal. Ryan loved it.

Consensus? Let's keep this one in the rotation.

Look for posts on the master bedroom before pictures, Pinterest recipe recaps, and my pillow sewing project soon.  Have a great week!