Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mani of the Day

Happy Sunday!!

I have to post this mani for my friend Amanda. She is my "partner in crime" when it comes to buying ridiculous amounts of nail polish and accessories! But for some reason, she is just now buying herself a set of stamping plates (I should have bought them for her for Christmas). Anyway, here is what I used...
Open Seas is supposed to be similar to OPI Mermaid Tears. I don't have Mermaid Tears, but I have seen it in stores and this is a very close duplicate. For the stamping, I used Bundle Monster #210 seen below...
This second series of plates is much much better than the 1st edition, bigger images that actually fit my nails!!
Geez, I can tell from these pics that I use acetone way too much, skin and cuticles are all ragged and wrinkled **smh**. This mani seemed a bit dull. A good coat of SV would solve that problem, but I felt this needed to sparkle. Since I don't have China Glaze Fairy Dust, and cannot find it anywhere, I used my Northern Lights Holographic TopCoat; the bottle looks like this...
I will probably only wear this mani for one day because I really don't like to wear stamps and stickers and such on my nails for too long. My favorite "go-to" manis are cremes and glitter!! But I had to do this for Amanda ya sister!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Foil Pouch Recipe: Chicken

Sometimes these types of recipes just work for a busy family, and now-a-days, this is what my family needs.

So I showed you my Foil Pouch Pork Chop Recipe last week. We all just love it! so I decided to create another version of the same idea. Now, there are many versions created by many people all over the internet, but this is what I came up with from things that were available in my kitchen today (I didn't want to go grocery shopping, it was so rainy and yucky out today). Here is what I used:
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Shredded Cheese
Bacon Bits
I seasoned my chicken with salt, pepper & Italian Bread Crumbs. Then I coated all the veggies in olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Then pile all the veggies on top of each chicken breast in the foil to make meal pouches like this...
I think I cook everything in my oven on 375. It just fits me! These were in the oven for around 30 or 40 minutes I guess, maybe less. You don't want your chicken to dry out, so adjust your oven temperature to your needs. And then, bada-bing get this yumminess!!
The broccoli and cauliflower gets all caramelized and the cheese gets all oozy and yummy! And it's a full meal deal, with only one dirty dish! I served these savory beauties with baked sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar. This was one of the best meals ever...Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

24k gold Mani

I just realized that I haven't done a nail polish post since who knows when. Nail polish is one of the main reasons I started this blog, so today I return to where I began.
I first saw this polish on Rachel Marie's blog last summer and I loved the way the gold sparkled. But, the only place I knew that Petite's Color Fever nail polishes were sold were at Rite Aid, and there are no Rite Aid stores where I live. So, for my birthday last summer, I drove an hour, crossed state lines and went on a polish shopping spree, which you can see here. I think this is the first time I've worn this polish since i first swatched it. This is 2 coats of Petite's Color Fever 24k gold.
Nails always look perfect until you start taking pictures of them. I should have cleaned around my cuticles a little better, especially my index finger. Oh well...I used one good thick coat of gelous as my base, and topped it all with 2 coats of SV, which made it really shine!! I love glitter polish sooo much, but just like every other polish lover, I hate to wear it because it is a PAIN to remove. So when I wear it, I like to wear it well, because I won't take it off for a few days. I could have easily went to CVS or Wal-Mart and bought the look-a-like Milani Gold Glitz, but that's what everyone else that lives here probably did, and I don't usually follow the crowd. These polishes may be an exact dupe of each other, but I have the one with the prettier bottle!!

Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Above Kitchen Cabinet Decor

Ok so, this project has been a long time coming. I have a small, dark kitchen with no window and I have put it through hell in the last couple of years trying to figure out how to give it a Tuscan feel. First I did this...
Need your sunglasses right? It was too bright and way too yellow. My husband said it looked like the inside of a Mexican restaurant. And you can't even see my cookie jars, they just blended right in. So I tried to tone it down a bit by using a chocolate glaze...
A little better, but I still hated it. The white pantry doors look really nice, but that's it. So I painted the whole kitchen back off-white or eggshell or bone or whatever you wanna call it! Then I googled Tuscan-inspired wall finishes and I saw lots of "aged" and "old-world" finishes. So I did this...
I love it!! But it needed something besides my colorful fruit-shaped cookie jar collection to make it seem more "old world". So I started buying pieces here and there (keeping in mind that there are only about 12 inches of decorating space above these cabinets). I bought a couple of sets of clear rope lights and drilled a hole in that cabinet above the microwave to have access to an outlet. I wanted the lighting to be behind all of the accessories so that it would feel more like mood lighting rather than just another light in the kitchen. So I started playing around with the placement of all the goodies and came up with this...
I really love how this turned out! I tried to use all wine & grape themed items to make it feel "Tuscan". What do you think? Take a closer look...
In the photo above, the "BISTRO" letters are hung with double stick tape, the kind with the cushy foam stuff in the middle. I didn't want to nail them  because I really hate nail holes and I may want to change this word one day. I also wanted to be able to see the word, so I just leaned the wooden candle stick over in front of it. In the photo below, I really loved the colors in this plate. So to keep from covering it up completely I used one of my crystal candy jars.
Here's a view from the living room. It's a small space, but I have a very open floor plan, so it works for me!
Here is the same view with only the foyer light on. It can be really dark when you walk through at night with all the lights off, so the small amount of light up there makes a big impact. It's like an adult night light!
I'm very proud of myself for finally doing this. I think it turned out very nice. My next kitchen project will probably be to mount under cabinet lights. Where I live, we aren't able to have a garbage disposal, but when we built the house, the builders still put the switch on the wall. So I would like to have them all wired to that switch. You never know what the future holds! Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Neatly Folded T-Shirts

Ok, this is a dream post of mine...a few years ago I watched an episode of "Clean House" on Style Network, and this is where I first heard about Linda Koopersmith, designer and organizer to the stars. She does amazing work, and she always makes everything look so clean and put together. One thing that I have been faithfully doing is her t-shirt folding. They look so organized and it even seems to maximize my drawer space. Here's how they look when folded correctly...
As you can see, I'm a t-shirt girl, and making them look this nice and neat makes me very happy!! There is a video link on Linda's site that shows you how to fold anything neatly, and she also hosts online seminars to help improve your organizational skills...I remixed her t-shirt folding to fit my level of OCD. Here are the steps to her t-shirt folding method done my way...(yes, I know it's wrinkled, but I don't iron them until I get ready to wear them)...lay t-shirt flat like so...
fold in half...
then fold in sleeves like this...
I'm a "righty" so i have to flip my shirt around towards me like this...
fold sleeves down so that they are inside...
then fold down again...
then fold in half like this...and that's it!!
A neat, little square that fits perfectly in your drawer. I don't use the drawer organizers for my t-shirts, but I do use them for my undergarments. You can purchase them here or here. You really don't know how happy this makes me to open my drawers everyday and actually be able to see everything. I love it! But again, that's my OCD kicking in so badly that I have to alphabetize those letters and call it CDO!!
If being neat and organized is a huge part of your daily life as it is mine, this post is for you! And also check out Linda Koopersmith's website here. Lots of ideas, she is very creative. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Foil Pouch Recipe: Pork Chops

Most people think of camping when preparing foil pouch recipes. Not me. I make them when I am short on time and when I don't feel like being in the kitchen all day cooking. My family's favorite combination includes pork chops. I simply tear off a nice sized square of aluminum foil and layer all of the following in the center:
pork chops
corn on the cob
canned whole new potatoes
baby carrots
pat of butter
After giving everything a good rinse, especially the meat, I sprinkle everything with a bit of olive oil and season with a packet of Lipton's Onion Soup mix. Whatever your normal "house seasoning" regimen is will work great too! I always buy "assorted pack" pork chops because they have more of a fall-off-the-bone tenderness to me **shrugs**, and they always come in packs of eight, and so does the Green Giant corn on the cob!! So when you have put your desired amount of veggies and so forth on top of the meat in the foil and closed them up, they should look like this...
I generally cook them on 375 for about and hour & a half, I really don't pay attention to the time...I'm used to my oven so I know about when things are done without having to actually time them. My hubby loves these and so do I because its a full meal deal all in one!! No pots and mess!!
I literally just finished eating this about 20 minutes ago! I didn't even need my fork, I just grabbed a napkin and used my fingers! i have to thank my mom for this because the first time I remember having this type of meal for dinner I was around 10 or 11. I guess now I will pass on the Foil Pouch Dinner tradition to my daughter (she will need it!!) So thanks mom! Let me know what your favorite foil pouch recipe is; if you have blogged about this before, send me a link...Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Bit of Good Luck

Why is a horseshoe lucky?

I'm not sure who makes the rules on these things but a horseshoe is considered luckiest when it is a found horseshoe. A horseshoe which has been worn by a horse is luckier than a purchased horseshoe which has never previously been used. One of the reasons that finding a horseshoe was considered lucky is that many horseshoes were made of iron. Iron was a valuable metal back in the old days when money was hard to come by and supplies even more so. If you stumbled upon an iron horseshoe, you could either re-use the shoe itself, or melt the metal down for creating a brand new metal object. Finding an iron horseshoe was indeed a lucky event as it increased your prosperity. Of course it was much easier to find a horseshoe back in the old days when everyone traveled by horse, or horse and buggy, and horseshoes got tossed to the side of the road much more often than they do today.

I just happen to have a husband that rides horses, so horseshoes are very easy to come by for me! Horses around here get new shoes every six weeks and the old ones get tossed here...
I remember having one hanging over the front door growing up. My dad said that they helped to keep the haints away. I've also heard that you should hang them facing up, like the letter "U" so that all your Good Luck doesn't drain out. 
So I washed them really good (because they were attached to a horse once). Then sanded them down a bit to get rid of some of the rough rusted over debris, and added one coat of this paint...
When they were dry, I hung one over each door in my more haints in my future!!
I've been wanting to do this for a while now, so why not start the year off with a bit of Good Luck!? Thanks for reading!!

**some parts of this blog post adapted from**

Sunday, January 1, 2012

DIY Christmas Ornament Storage

Happy New Year to All!!

So Target had ornament storage boxes on sale again this year, and again, I missed out *sad face*. But, I did manage to snag one of those 24" wreath storage containers! *happy dance*
And so as I have been doing for every other project I've done in the last few months, I hunted for a solution on Pinterest and I found it! The original post can be seen here. This is so clever and so easy to do. Here is what you will need:
storage bin
clear plastic cups
cardboard cut to size
hot glue gun
This literally took me about 20 minutes to do. Once I cut one piece of cardboard to size I just used it as a template for all the rest. Sorry, my edges aren't perfect but it wasn't the cardboard in this project that I was concerned about. I generally lose about 6 ornaments a year due to them breaking somehow in the attic so this worked out perfect for me! So thanks to Martha Stewart and to Chelsea at Design a la Mod. I hope you try it...thanks for reading!!