Thursday, August 11, 2011

the 'R' found its home...

I used to have a BIG mirror on my wall behind my couch. I loved it. Every time I got up from the couch, I could make sure my hair looked good... make sure my make-up wasn't smeared... or to make sure my nose was clear of boogers and my teeth were clear of pepper... admit it! We all do it. It's habit to look in a mirror if it's there. Anyway, I got sick of it the only thing that fit on the wall, and I needed a change. The 'R' I showed you earlier started a whole train of thought... I NEEDED a shelf over my couch. I don't have a fireplace which means I don't have a mantle... I feel like everyone needs a mantle to decorate!! So... here's mine:
My 'R' loves its home.

The shelf is a plank of wood and two supports (from Lowes... already cut... maybe a dollar each!) stained with "Jacobean"... basically espresso-colored stain. I know have empty little places here and there around the house where I gathered what I thought would look best on my shelf. I LOVE it! The thing I love best about it? It's SO easy to change. Kyle's not keen on my changing things around especially if it involves new nail holes in the wall... this is now a harmless (for our walls..) thing to change! Although, I'm still getting up from the couch expecting to see my reflection staring back... so if you're at my house and I have a booger in my nose or pepper in my teeth, you'll know why.

Brought to you today by the letter 'R'...

I got the itch to create the other day. That's what pinterest does to me. I'm obsessed. I truthfully didn't even see anything specifically that had me wanting to do a certain project... but my jigsaw was calling my name. I haven't used it in a while, and I KNEW we had scrap wood enough to do something fun! I absolutely LOVE the letter trend... but I HATE buying wooden/cardboard letters because they can be expensive.

I've made two homemade "monograms" (is that what you call them?) already, but they're just... eh.
This one I made using just a square piece of wood. I painted it brown then painted the white R... and then distressed it a bit. Nothin' too special...

I like this one a little better... and it took a little longer to make. I traced an 'R' onto a piece of cardboard and used an exacto knife to cut it out. I did that 3 more times and hot-glued all four pieces one on top of the other. I Mod Podged torn-up book pages all along the side of the 'R' to cover up the cardboard. Then, I painted a piece of cardstock with the design (which I just found online and copied... nothin' special..) and cut and Mod Podged it on top. That's all! And it was FREE. I had everything on hand already!

I wanted a bigger one though!
And obviously the bigger they get, the more expensive they are. Of course, I've wanted a big one for awhile to group together with empty pictures frames or even to hang on the front door in place of a wreath. I had a scrap piece of particle (or partical...) board that was about a foot tall, and I just knew it was meant to be. I free-handed an 'R' with a pencil (not sure what font you would call that... it's kinda wonky... so wonky font it is.), and I got to cutting with the jigsaw. I sanded down the edges to make the lines a little cleaner, sprayed a few coats of spray paint (the color is "Ivy Leaf", I think...), and...
There she is! I'm pretty proud. Obviously it would have been better if I printed out the letter and traced it on the particle board, but we don't have a printer... so I made do. I have big plans for my new letter. I hope to have it done later today! I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Iced Chai.

I mentioned in this post I mentioned trying this:
Now for my review... it's a winner! All you do is pour half chai and half milk over ice and mix. It ends up being A LOT cheaper than buying one at Starbuck's (or Highpoint), and it's not bad!

If you tend to want to stop by Starbuck's and buy an iced coffee or iced chai latte, I challenge you to try it at home and see how much money you save!! And truthfully, I like mine better!

Seven Layer Tostadas!

This is a pinterest inspiration! It's obviously not a very hard "recipe", but sometimes I need a little push in the right direction. It's so easy for us to get stuck in a rut of the same meals over and over again... so it's ALWAYS exciting to try something new! Tostadas are basically open-faced tacos... here's what we used:
Tostada shells (not pictured... they were just the Taco Bell brand. OR... you can pan-fry your own!)
Refried Beans
Sour Cream mixed with Taco Seasoning (I loved this idea!)
Homemade Guacamole
For lettuce, we just used baby spinach since we already had it.
Green Chilies, for a little extra kick

I realize there are more than seven layers listed, but it's the general idea of seven layer dip... we just did them buffet-style so we could make them exactly like we wanted them!

Here's Parker's version:
He LOVES to dip his food in something so this was absolutely PERFECT for him!!

And here's my version:
I think I did tortilla, beans, guacamole, sour cream, spinach, cheese, tomatoes and olives, and finally green chilies. They were delish! It was the absolute EASIEST meal to make.

Don't skip this if you're scared of the guacamole... I know some people that just don't like it because they don't like what they've tasted in Mexican restaurants. Most of the places I go basically just mash up avocadoes and mix them with shredded lettuce. I know I'm not the final word on authentic, but I don't consider that true guacamole! My Gramps makes the BEST guacamole ever, and he's taught us his ways! Here's how:

(I can't give you measurements... I just play it by taste!)
Lemon Juice
Garlic Powder

You want your avocadoes to be barely squishy. Most often the rind should be black (NOT green). If you squeeze them and they give a little, then they are perfect! (You don't want to be able to smoosh them a bunch!)
Cut your avocado in half (around the pit), remove the pit, and scoop out the green goodness.
Mash the avocado a little bit using a fork. At this point, add a little salsa and mix. (It seems like we do close to 1/4 cup salsa per avocado.) It will turn everything an ugly brownish-green, but trust me... it's perfect. Add a squeeze or two or three of lemon juice (just test it out... if you want it tangy add more... no tang? Add less...). Finally, sprinkle a bit of garlic powder to taste. Mix it all up and enjoy!!

It may take a couple tries to get it just how you like it, but I promise it's the BEST guacamole recipe ever. Kyle hated guacamole until he tried this one! Now we make it all the time!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Two became One.

I can't even begin to express how much fun I had this weekend with friends (and family!!). One of my oldest friends (she's not old... we just go way back..) got hitched, and I was so excited to be a part of the festivities!!!
We started off the weekend with dinner at Maria's Cantina! YUMMY food. Not so great entertainment... we felt like we were in Hicktown, USA. Maybe we were... :)
The Bride Ash, my sissy Aly, and basically another sissy Ash (they are all some of my "dearest" friends!)

The other side of the table!
AJ, me, Hayley

Then we headed back to the hotel to meet more bridesmaids for a fun time opening gifts!
Elish and Holly

This is quite possibly one of her reactions to a gift... priceless.

Ash and Hayley wearing the shower decor... Hayley and I put all the streamers up right before we went to dinner and came back to most of them on the floor... so they turned into streamer scarves!

Friday we enjoyed lunch and pedicures with the bride!!

That night we headed to the church for the rehearsal with a yummy dinner to follow...
Aly and Wade

Calvin and Amanda at dinner

Saturday morning Ashley's aunt hosted a brunch for the bridesmaids. Her house is GORGEOUS and the food was DIVINE. I felt extremely spoiled.
This is Ashley with all of her bridesmaids!

Rox, Ash, Ash, Aly, me... I love these girls! Ash & Ash have known each other since they were like 2 or 3, and my sisters and I moved to Mississippi 16 years ago and became immediate friends with the Ashleys! :) It was SO fun to be together again!

After brunch we headed to the church to get ready!! LOVED Ashley's colors: yellow and grey!
Kyle and I after the ceremony!

Ashley and Nate!

The reception was SO much fun! Ashley and Brad dancing their first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Alexander! Isn't she gorgeous???

Whitty, Rox, and Al having FUN! Whit is due with her second in December, too!

High school friends!! It was so great to see old friends!

My sissies. They are beautiful!

These are some of the girls from our CPC youth group!

I've said it already, but it was an amazing weekend!! It was a beautiful wedding, and Ashley was a beautiful bride! I'm so, so happy for Ashley and Brad! Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day!! Love y'all!!