Thursday, March 31, 2011

I love books...

There's something beautiful about decorating with book pages...
LOVE this.
I really, really want to try these... I love the tissue paper pom-poms, but book page pom-poms are even better!!
These flowers are gorgeous...

Don't be offended, you actual book lovers... I appreciate a good read, too. Why let an unread book go to waste, though?!

Lima Bean Wreath...?

I think I'm crazy. I'll explain.

So...I "follow" a blog called Made. I LOVE it. It's definitely one of my faves. When I saw THIS I just knew I NEEDED one. But I didn't have any acorns!!!!! That's when I cried...just kidding, but I really wanted to make something like it! She (Dana from Made) suggests in her blog post about the wreath to use lima beans if you don't have acorns readily available! YES! Exactly what I needed to hear! I picked up a bag of dry limas for a dollar and some cents...and I already had an "empty" wreath. With a little bit of hot glue, a lot of burnt fingers, and a good coat of spray paint I ended up with this:
Mine is DEFINITELY not as pretty as Dana's, but I loved it! I strung it up on my old window (thanks, Rox!) with a scrap piece of ribbon, and voila! And lima beans aren't necessarily season specific like acorns my wreath stays up all year round! (The spray paint is supposed to be grey...but it's blu-ish don't you think?? It's so hard to find a grey that is actually grey and NOT blu-ish grey...ok I'm done.)

P.S. I gave a shout-out to my sis Rox when mentioning the old window... that smart cookie can find the BEST deals ever. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Rox...) I think she got THREE old windows for FREE on Craigslist... do you know how much people charge for those things??? She also go the BEST deal on a stinkin' cute/awesome rug for her living room... which she was featured on the news as she was buying can find it here. She's going to kill me...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sesame Chicken!

I'm so, so happy to post another recipe!! I haven't posted one in awhile, and that means a few things...
1. I have been busy.
2. I have been making the same ol' meals...BORING.
3. I haven't been cooking at all!
Poor Kyle... I'm sure he was happy to eat a warm meal...

We found this recipe on Low Fat Lifestyle at a point when we were trying to eat a little healthier... and we LOVE it!! I mentioned "making the same ol' meals" and this is actually one of those...but it's delish! We could eat it every week! Now, I'll share the yummy goodness with you:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in strips or chunks
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes or crushed red pepper (a little goes a long way!)
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
-Cut chicken into strips or chunks
- Heat large skillet to med-high heat, spray with cooking spray.
-Cook chicken until no longer pink.
-While chicken is cooking, mix together all ingredients (except sesame seeds).
-Whisk until sauce is smooth.
-Pour sauce into skillet with chicken...
-...and cook until sauce thickens slightly. (Add a little bit of water is sauce becomes too thick!)
-Sprinkle with sesame seeds. (We forgot this step!! I guess we made Non-sesame Chicken, then...)
-Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes.
-While chicken is simmering, boil or microwave rice. (Ain't no shame in microwavin' took 6 minutes for 2 servings of rice... perfect timing!!)

-Serve over rice and steamed vegetables. (Notice I didn't say "smother" as I say and not as I do! Haha, our chicken and sauce definitely SMOTHERED the rice...also, we do NOT have steamed vegetables in there...we DID eat steamed edamame as an appetizer so that counts, right??)

This is literally one of the easiest meals to make. You only have to clean one pan!! NOW I have your attention! :) Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Disclaimer: There are a TON of pictures in this post... you have been warned.

Spring Break marked the beginning of about a two week long crazy streak for the Routh family. Kyle's mom, AKA Nanna, met us the Friday before Spring Break to pick up our little Parkie-man for a WHOLE WEEK! It's longest he's ever been away from us, and we sure did miss him! But we knew he was in good hands! :) I think he did a lot of playing and even took a trip to the zoo! After we got back from the backpacking trip (which I posted about here), Kyle and I along with our good friends Craig and Missy headed down to Jackson to pick up Parker. We then proceeded to Lake Bruin, Louisiana to relax at Kyle's parents' lake house! We had a BLAST! It was a nice break, and we SO enjoyed spending some time with the Daniels!!!
Parker drove the boat most of the time...actually he did help Kyle drive a lot!
Craig and their sweet puppy, Jake! Jake was a little scared of the lake and the boat...but by the end of their time at Lake Bruin, he LOVED it!
My guy and me...he wasn't too happy about having to sit still...
Missy, Craig, and Kyle waiting for the shrimp!! Kyle and Craig are expert shrimp boilers now!
It was delish!
Kyle and Missy fishing in the alligator-infested waters... a little exaggeration... but there ARE alligators in the lake, and Kyle, Craig, and Missy said they thought they saw one! Unfortunately, the fish weren't biting that weekend...
My guys.
Tiger says "RAWR!"
Getting ready to get on the boat one more time! We had so much fun and can't wait to go again!!!

A few days after Rox's birthday (she turned 27 on March 20... she can now say she's in her late 20s!!! haha, Rox), I got to head up to the Winebrenner's house to have a mini-birthday celebration for her! Well... the boys did most of the "celebrating" by screaming, yelling, running, making a mess, and being crazy!! I had so much fun, though!!
My dad's tradition with his grandsons is to take them to McDonald's for lunch. One-on-one, it's a pretty fun trip, but Dad knew that three toddlers at McDonald's would not be ideal... so he brought Mickey-D's to us!! We had an indoor picnic since it was a little chilly out...
Parker and Eli enjoyed a snack and a show before JuJu woke up.
Dad played in the backyard with the boys for a LONG time, and they had a blast!!! They used their little soccer goals and a blanket to make a tent!
Rox was being a big baby.
Eli loved trying on CeCe's shoes!

On my birthday I woke up to a lovely surprise!

Kyle made me a bench (without me knowing!) from Ana White! (This is when he gave me my jig-saw, too! I posted about it here!) Isn't it cute?? He even bought we cute little baskets to go in the cubbies! I can't wait to paint it!

Kyle made me breakfast and coffee, took me to lunch at Volta, and then we even got to go thrifting (this is when I found that cute little squirrel!)
We played in the backyard that afternoon since it was pretty nice out! Here's my little golfer :)
My little family!
Kyle made me one of my favorite foods for dinner: fresh spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce! YUM!!!
He also made me the the biggest chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich ever!! It was delish, and he came up with the idea all by himself!! I was extremely impressed! Oh, and excuse that giddy 5 year-old smile...I couldn't help but be so excited! :)

The next day, Kyle had me get all dressed-up to go on a surprise date. He said the babysitter would be here at three...I had no clue what he was planning...when I walked out of my room thinking the babysitter was here, I saw my family standing there and smiling!!! What a surprise!! I was so excited to get to celebrate with my fam!! (We missed you, Mom!! But we understand!! Can't wait to celebrate again! :)
Rox and Eli cuddling!
Rox, me, and Aly being weirdos.
Crazy. I know.
Mike and Kyle chillin'.
Dad was DETERMINED to figure out the complex childrens' puzzle.
Things stayed pretty crazy the whole time... I think this may have been a screaming contest??
Then, we had a drumming contest!
Kyle and Mike staying out of it.. haha.
Birthday girls!
It was a good thing Kyle made such a big ice cream sandwich!! :) I loved another excuse to eat some sweets!

There you have it. The last couple of weeks in pictures!

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so special, especially Kyle who planned all of the excitement!! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Goodwill find = INSPIRATION!!

I. Love. Thrifting.

My husband could tell you that... and he doesn't quite get it. BUT on my birthday, he agreed to come with me to our local Goodwill. I found a cute lacey Anthro-esque jacket for me, and Kyle found some brand-new-looking Polo slacks! Kyle also undercovered a decorating jewel...vintage-y looking KEYS! (I absolutely love keys right now and haven't been able to find any cool ones...these look like the "Secret Garden" keys!!!) And finally. The best find: this cute little wooden squirrel!
Isn't he awesome??? I immediately fell in love with this little guy and knew that Parker needed him in his room! The finish is TERRIBLE, but I knew I wanted to paint it anyway so my handy electric sander fixed him up for me! More on this guy another time....

I have the best hubbie ever. My sweetie-poo, Kyle gave me a jigsaw for my birthday this year! Now, I know what you're thinking, "That's one of gifts that you give because you are the one that really wants it..." Yes. But I have been DYING to try one out for some fun projects, and this little squirrel was JUST the inspiration I needed!
Before, I ventured on my jigsawing journey, I knew that I must practice "Safety First." So, here's proof. And I needed an excuse to put a goof-ball picture of me in the post...
Here's my AMAZING present! His name is Fred.

With a little (ok, a lot) of help from Kyle, I made my first ever...
Wooden squirrel!!! :) I needed to stay pretty safe with my first project and do something that I could pretty much just copy. I'm so excited with how squirrel #2 turned out!!
Here's a closer look... my sander helped me smooth out a few weird curves and round off the feet, nose, and ears. I'm planning on painting him green or grey... nothing too fancy. I'm a big fan of the simple, silhouette type look right now.

Next jigsaw adventure?? A Kara Paslay inspired bust/silhouette. I can't wait to try it!

Stay tuned for more birthday fun! Kyle made 25 the best birthday ever! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Backpacking Adventure!

Kyle and I took our youth group to the Talladega National Forest to hike part of the Pinhoti Trail for spring break! We took 8 guys and 1 girl (plus Kyle and I), and we had a GREAT time! I was pretty nervous about this trip since I didn't know for sure if I would be going until the week before we left. ALSO. I was definitely not as physically prepared for a trip like this (don't laugh TOO hard, Rox and Aly... haha). We had to leave a day later than we had originally planned due to inclement in, THUNDERSTORMS. Before we officially decided to post-pone our starting day, I was imagining a group of 11 people on a mountain hiding from lightning, thunder, and torrential rain...and we were supposed to be protecting these kids?!?! (If you knew my history of freaking out in thunderstorms, you would maybe understand my ridiculousness.)

Our caravan left at 7 AM to start our journey...
Kyle's and my BEFORE picture...I was already lookin' rough.
Our good-lookin' group getting ready to master this trail.
I think we had to stop within like 10 steps of starting the trail so I thought it made sense to take a picture while I still had a little bit of energy.
Our first night. One of the boys decided to roast a vienna sausage over the camp fire so it "would taste smoked"... this was a pretty funny moment at the time... it may have been that "forest madness" all of the boys kept telling me I had... some people get "cabin fever", but I get "forest madness..."
We came upon this random old rusted truck!
The second day we came to a stream that couldn't be crossed without taking off shoes and boots and rolling up pant legs... it was pretty stinkin' cold!
It took a little bit to dry our toesies.
When you go backpacking, you get to eat GOURMET food. Like...Sandwich thins with Jiffy-to-go and fruit snacks. Don't hate! I didn't have any jelly!
A bunch of the guys next to a beautiful waterfall! These kind of moments kept us was so exciting to see something new!
My sweetie-poo... is a weirdo. Haha, love you, Kyle!
More camp-fire fun!
We FINALLY made it!!
Ains and I were so excited to just sit down and relax!!
Our first stop after we left the trail was Cracker Barrel! Here's my oh-so-healthy lunch that I scarfed down!
Our lovely group. Notice that everyone's glasses were empty... our waitress was GREAT!! We were just so parched (and also excited to drink something other than water...) that she couldn't keep up with us!

So there you have it. Backpacking Trip 2011. We hiked a total of 22-ish miles in 3 days. ( 7 miles the first day, 12 miles the second day, and a little over 3 miles the last day) Can't wait 'til next year!!! :)