Tuesday, February 18, 2014

One Pan Chicken

Looking for something easy and healthy to make for dinner? This dish has it all in one - your protein, your vegetable, and your starch...that's about as easy as it gets!

One Pan Chicken...

You'll need:
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 2 Sliced Potatoes
- Veggies (I used broccoli this time but have used zucchini, squash, and asparagus - all are great!)
- Butter
- Packet of Italian Salad Dressing

Place items into a baking pan as shown...

Once your items are in the baking pan, I sprinkle the entire packet of Italian dressing all over the chicken, potatoes, and veggies. Then I cut and place some tabs of butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour .


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

M&M Cake Batch Cookies

When I asked my boyfriend what sort of sweets he wanted for Valentine's Day he said "chocolate" and "cookies"...I added in the part where it needed to be festive!

Luckily, I was able to find a recipe for M&M Cake Batch Cookies from The Frugal Gals. It was really simple - all you need is:

- 1 box of Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of Canola or Vegetable Oil
- 1 Bag of Valentine's M&M's

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl, let sit in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to chill, then bake for 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet.

This batter is incredibly sticky!! It was a bit of a nightmare to roll into little balls - the batter would get soft and then stick to my hands...but it was worth it - they are delicious!!

Enjoy!! Perhaps, with a nice tall glass of milk!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sweetheart Trail Mix

I wanted to make something sweet for Valentine's Day but enough for a group of hungry co-workers to share...my solution was Sweetheart Trail Mix! So easy and so good!!
All you need are four simple ingredients and of course a bowl. I couldn't find a bowl decorated for Valentine's Day that was big enough so I decided to make my own! I headed to The Dollar Tree and found this hot pink bowl and grabbed my Puffy Paints from Michael's and got to work...
I couldn't find a Valentine's Day bowl...so I made my own!
The ingredients...Crunch N' Munch Caramel and Butter Toffee (it's a blend of popcorn and peanuts - similar to Popcornopolis), Valentine's Day M&M's, Sweetheart's Conversation Hearts, and Flipz White Fudge Covered Pretzels.

Literally, dump everything into your bowl...


Lastly, I wrapped it up all pretty with some cellophane and a festive Valentine's Day ribbon!

Sweetheart Trail Mix all ready to go!


Valentine's Day Centerpiece

Valentine's Day Centerpieces!

Looking for a really cute and easy centerpiece idea?

Look no further - you found them!

This is about as simple as it gets...all you need are candles, clear vases or candle holders, and some candy (I used about 3 bags)! I bought my white pillar candles and candle holders forever ago from Home Goods and have them on our kitchen table year-round! For the month of February, I replaced the stones I usually have with the most popular Valentine's Day candy - conversation hearts!

For an extra little touch, I found some glitter heart cut-outs at The Dollar Tree and scattered them around the candles...

Now the hard part is keeping hungry hands from eating my decorations! =)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Personalized Wall Art

When trying to decorate our spare bedroom for my, then 5 year old, "soon-to-be bonus daughter" (I hate the label of "step" - it just reminds me of the wicked stepmom and stepsisters from Cinderella) I knew I wanted to do something to make her feel special and that this was really a room of her own. 
Luckily, I was able to incorporate a lot of furniture I had from my bedroom as a little girl! I decided to use a lot of bright accent colors since we have white walls (it's a rental so I really didn't want to paint and then re-paint).
While sitting in there one night, starting at the huge blank wall above the bed, I decided I wanted to put her name up there.  I thought it would be a fun idea to get a whole bunch of different frames, paint them different colors, and then print out each letter of her name, frame it, and hang it with ribbon!

I headed down to our local thrift store (2 frames for $1) and bought 6 different frames - both 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" then hit up Home Depot and had samples mixed of 4 different neon colors - blue, purple, pink, and lime green. I painted the frames that night and let them dry. I used Microsoft Word and printed each letter of her name in a different font and cut them out in appropriate sizes to fit each frames. Lastly, I bought a spool of ribbon and used a staple gun to attach the ribbon to the back of each frame and tied a bow at the top. We then hung them in a scattered formation on the wall...

The look on her face when she first walked into her very own room at "Daddy Brad and Kristin's" house was priceless! She constantly tells me that is the "most favorite" part of her room!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Coors Light Birthday Cake

If your guy is anything like mine, he isn't a huge sweets lover. He'll rarely have a scoop of ice cream after dinner or go for a box of candy at the movies so when I was deciding what to make for his birthday dessert I decided to incorporate his favorite thing - beer!
Working for a manufacturer there is plenty of cardboard laying around so I took 3 pieces and used a compass to get my sizes - 12", 10", and 8" rounds. I used box cutters to cut out each circle but scissors or an exacto knife would have worked too. Next, I used the 36 pack of Coors Light cans I bought and placed them (label facing out) around each round piece leaving 1 can to use as the topper. The cans were not secured down but I did tie a ribbon around each level to ensure the cans would stay together. Lastly, I stacked each round piece and placed the last remaining can on the top of my beer cake. I also placed some curling ribbon around it for the last finishing touch!


The cake was a huge hit...although it didn't last long - he was a thirsty birthday boy!!! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII

Ahhh, the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday is always a rough one! Personally, I think it should automatically be a national holiday...I mean who wants to wake up and work after all the commotion of the game, the anticipation for the commercials and the halftime show, not to mention the absurd amounts of food and drinks you consume!?!

Speaking of food, drinks, and commercials, I decided to co-host a Super Bowl party with a girlfriend this year. Our boyfriends were racing the Parker 425 so we decided to take it upon ourselves to get the house all set up for the big game; luckily, Pinterest was there to help!

I "pinned" a link to A Second Chance to Dream which had all the game appropriate printouts for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. I just printed out the table toppers, toothpick/straw wraps, and a 4 x 6 team logo photo for each team all on regular white paper. The cutting out of all the designs was a bit tedious but it was worth it!
We ran over to The Dollar Tree for the frames and kabob sticks (which we ended up using for our toothpick/straw wraps). I used empty vases and filled them with sunflower seeds to hold the sticks in place.
I got the remaining printouts from Lil' Luna. Again, I just printed out the two 8 x 10 photos on white paper and framed them in frames from The Dollar Tree. The banner was really easy to cut out! Once I was done cutting, I used a single hole punch and used some left over twine to thread it thru and then tied a bow at each end to hang it from the iron work on the wall.

Our football table all decorated for the Broncos v. Seahawks game!

Now that the ambiance was set...we had to tackle our "game day menu"! We opted for traditional American football foods...chip served with salsa and queso (in football shaped dishes we found at The $.99 Store), cheese, salami, and crackers, 7-layer bean dip served with Fritos, red vines,  deviled eggs, and chili. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to make more items appear in football shapes to tie into our theme. However, if you're looking for some really great football menu ideas, check out a "pin" I found to A Family's Feast, they had really great, easy ideas...all designed to resemble a football!

Game Day Foods!!

We also decided to play "Super Bowl Commercial Bingo" during the countless commercial breaks! It was a really fun way to get everyone involved in not only the game but also the much awaited commercials! I printed them off from a "pin" linked to Style Me Pretty...each card was completely different with advertisers - we liked it so much that we played twice...aka, I lost twice!

All in all, it was a great game watched with great friends! Hope this inspires you for Super Bowl XLIX!