Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meat and Potatoes

Not to bombard you with more recipes this week, but I have some more food news to share! Last weekend I decided I needed to expand my cooking horizons and get down to basics. My husband is a "meat and potatoes" kinda guy...he could eat that up for dinner any night of the week. I tend to lean more towards pasta dishes, sauteed chicken, or of course my go-to Mexican food {you know, things that can be prepared after work and after I stop at the store on the way home}. 

So Sunday afternoon, my mom walked me through roasting my very first chicken {and potatoes, carrots, onions and gravy from scratch to boot!} I guess you can say I never knew what I was missing. First of all, that lovely aroma of chicken roasting in your very own oven...I didn't know mine was capable of that. Second of all, we had leftovers turned into a buffalo chicken salad Monday night, and still have more leftovers in the freezer. I'm the furthest thing from a leftovers fan, so believe me when I tell you this is good stuff! I present to you my first chicken...


Since my mom is quite the cook and very patient with me on the other end of the phone {How far does the thermometer pop out when it's done??}...this turned out great! I'm glad I went with her recipe and not one online, some things you just can't compete with :)

Last night, I tried out this recipe by Pioneer Woman since I had half of a bag of red potatoes left over. I became a huge potato fan after trying these and they will most definitely be put on the regular rotation of side dishes for our dinner menus. 


They were really simple to make. I will give you the run down, but for full instructions make sure you check out the Pioneer Woman, she has tons of lovely photos to accompany!


-Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender
-Drizzle oil on cookie sheet, place potatoes on the cookie sheet
-Smash them with a potato masher {I don't have one somehow, I used a glass}
-Baste with olive oil and sprinkle S+P {she used herbs, I did not}
-Bake in oven 20-25 minutes at 450

I really couldn't get over how tasty these potatoes were, for such a simple recipe. Stephen even commented that they looked like something out of a magazine! Best compliment ever. They just might be the best potatoes I've ever had!

Other things I hope to make soon are:
-Popovers
-Beef Tenderloin
-Lasagna {yes, it's true I've never made it! eek}
-A Pie {any fruity pie, I've only made a butterfinger one before}
-Gnocci

Any basics you think I can add to this list? I have accomplished a few things on my cooking horizons list this week and feel pretty good about it! Ya never know when you will need to roast a chicken, right?

Have a great day! xo.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beautify Your Doorstep

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Last night I found myself perusing rugs and doormats online. Interesting, I know! For some reason, rugs are always such a hard thing for me to buy and commit to. They say that there you must never forget the floor and ceiling when decorating a room, but the floor gives me such a hard time! Maybe it's just our house, we seem to have spaces that don't fit in the standard 5x7 or 8x10 rug. 

Well, luckily if you want a quick fix in the rug department you can always buy a doormat. Yep. After all, this is the first thing you see when entering someones house, before you get to the ever important entry way. I saw these last night and they happen to be having a sale- buy one get one 50% off at Garnet Hill! And since most of us probably have at least a few doors that need freshening up for spring, this is the perfect deal. 




First of all I love the "sweet home" mat, and I'm debating between the two directly below it. 
I'm looking forward to fixing some beautiful planters, perhaps add a spring wreath and make our front step more inviting. 
Our doorways definitely need a boost in the mat department...what about yours? 

Happy Tuesday! xo.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sweets for your Monday

Good Morning y'all! I got a lot accomplished this weekend and that makes me feel good going into the work week. I had some spare time on Saturday afternoon, and it seemed like the perfect chance to make some sweets that I had been browsing on Pinterest. I took a vote and ended up making this Oreo Layer Dessert. Anything that combines chocolate and cream cheese usually gets an A+ in my book and yumm, it was so good! I will definitely be making it again...I think it will be the perfect summertime treat! Make sure to check this site out, it looks adorable!


1 pkg of regular Oreos
1/2 c. of butter
1 lg box of instant chocolate pudding
2-8 oz cool whips
8 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar

Crush the whole package of cookies either with a food processor, or in a bag and a rolling pin. Save a 1/2 c. to sprinkle on top of dessert when it's done. Pour remaining crumbs in a 13x9 pan. Melt butter and pour into crumb mix. Stir it up good and press crumbs in bottom of pan to make a crust. Make chocolate pudding according to package directions and let it setup in the fridge. In a mixing bowl blend cream cheese until nice and smooth and then add powdered sugar, mix. Then fold in 1-8 oz thing of cool whip. Top oreo layer with cream cheese mix, then pudding, then your last 8 oz thing of cool whip, and then sprinkle remaining Oreo's on top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

And what mine looked like...



And a few more "sweet" things for you this Monday morning...I love browsing on pinterest looking for those fun inspirational prints/posters. I love things like that. Here are a few things that got me inspired and made me feel good this morning...hope it does the same for you!




1 / 2 / 3

{my instagram}

PS...My name is missdixie30 on instagram if you want to follow along! I will follow back:)

Hope you all had a fab weekend! 
xo.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Finds: Shades of Spring

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Did these images just take you to a sunny place? Yep, me too. Being that March is right around the corner, I can't help but get excited for Spring and these bright colors in my life. Our forecast today is overcast and rainy, so I'm glad I got a little Vitamin D from this post! I think the rest of the weekend should be nicer, and if so we are checking out what plants are available at our local nursery. Things like that make me so happy! What are your weekend plans? I hope it is a great one! xo.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Random Thoughts for Thursday

Good Morning lovelies! I hope you all have had a great week so far. I was so excited {and thankful} to read each and every comment on my dining room debacle {maybe that's the new name for the project?} and I can't wait to really get started. While I am tied up at work I am constantly thinking about how I can't wait to run by Benjamin Moore, grab my samples and slap that paint up on the wall. Patience. I hope to start on it this weekend. Anyone have any fabulous recommendations for a creamy white/off white {yellow undertones?} that will definitely show a contrast with our trim? 

I made these Buffalo Chicken Tacos for dinner on Tuesday night. Oh my goodness, they were delicious! I saw it last week on A.Liz Adventures and couldn't get it off my mind. I think April and I might have the same tastes because every time she shares a recipe I want to make it as soon as possible. Find her post here, and go here for the recipe. This recipe was 1. so easy and 2. a nice change from our usual taco night {pretty much happens weekly}.

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A shot of ours...I'm a simple eater when it comes to tacos...
we only used cheese, avocado and a little sour cream. 



It is supposed to be almost 70 degrees today! That was enough reason for me to put on this self tanner on my legs this morning. Have you used it? Seriously, it's the best. Minimal smell and works like a charm.

While I am obsessed with working on the dining room, I am also dreaming of those days that we will soon be able to sit on the screened in porch after work with a glass of wine in hand. The porch also needs some work but I'm making myself wait until I finish the dining room. Isn't this one fun?

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This past weekend I got the second season of Downton Abbey from my parents and I am really restraining myself to not watch the whole thing in one night. Once it's over I know I will be waiting until next winter to watch Season three and that seems like way too long! Season two is just as good, by the way!

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Hope you all have a fabulous day....I will be back tomorrow with some Friday Finds! xo.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dining Room Help and Inspiration

Yesterday I showed you the chairs I was recovering for the dining room, and I finished them up last night. Thank goodness I have a husband that will remove the staples from the previous cushions, otherwise I might still be on my first chair! Thanks honey!! :)

 After your inspiring comments, I decided to look into dining rooms to figure out what it is that I need to do in this room. My goal is to make this room feel appropriate for our age, and also be a space that we want to use, not just for special occasions. I know first thing I will probably do is paint. So, that's where you come in! 

Take a look at my room and please, pretty please, tell me if you have any paint color suggestions. I am 100% painting the walls, and other furniture is questionable. The big question is, what color should I paint the walls? I'm looking to break up the wood tones and brighten it up. The mahogany dining room table will stay as is, it is my parent's passed down to me and I love it. The other furniture could be painted if needed, with the exception of the bookcase/cabinet on the right (Stephen's grandmother's). And please, excuse the clutter on the table, things are in limbo here!



On this side we have a buffet, doorway, and china cabinet (not pictured in this photo).


These are the colors in our dessert plates. This pattern is called Tobacco Leaf...isn't it gorg? I'm in love.


Our china cabinet... Don't ask whats sitting on top. My random mess!


 Inside the china cabinet...what do you think about a stenciled pattern on the back? 
Or paint the whole thing?


And here is some fun inspiration that I found that will make a dining room feel complete.
 Enjoy this eye candy!


CHALKBOARD
I think adding a chalkboard in a pretty frame will lighten the mood, and will be so much fun to write out menus for parties, dinners etc.

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LIGHTING
The chandelier in our dining room is less than spectacular but I am dealing with it for now. I want something much airier and pretty...and probably with some sparkle!

ps...is this room not fabulous! those drapes...the floor...oh my.

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And I love this chandelier, it is perfect.

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CHINA CABINET
I love the look of this china cabinet. I'm thinking I could replicate the look in another color and pattern in ours...Thoughts?

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FLOWERS
These are a must. I love fresh flowers so much and I know once I have this space finished I will really enjoy placing a pretty vase full of flowers on the table. They really complete the room!

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ARTWORK
Having artwork this size makes a statement. If I don't go the chalkboard route, I need another piece to make the room! Side note...the buffet here looks strikingly similar to mine, but in white!

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THE TOTAL PACKAGE
This is my dining room's cousin! The drapes, the big mirror, the wood floors. This room gives me hope.  I would love and additional chair or bench in front of the window that are upholstered (like on left) to soften the room.

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I have high hopes for this room being a space we really use and love. We don't have an official dinette or breakfast nook, so it would be so nice for this room to function as a place to wine and dine with friends or just the two of us. 

I cannot wait to hear your thoughts!! xo.



Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend in Pictures

Good Morning Everyone! How was your weekend? I can't complain, mine was pretty nice. We went to Raleigh with the purpose of going to the NCSU/FSU basketball game, but that ended up being quite the blowout so let's talk about what else we did!

Roasted marshmallows on the fire on Friday night...


 I had not noticed it before, but I told my mom I was impressed with the herringbone pattern in the fireplace. Love it!

My mom and I zipped over to Printer's Alley on Saturday morning to get lining for my living room drapes that I am having made, and I ended up finding some new fabric to recover the dining room chairs. I mentioned in this post for the year that there are several areas of the house I want to tackle and the dining room is one of them. This new fabric is the first step and I am so pumped to freshen up this room. I started recovering the chairs yesterday afternoon...what do you think?


After the basketball game, my brother and hubs were ready for a few beers so went and sat on the patio at Linwood Grill and had this buffalo chicken dip. We told ourselves that was hot sauce, not grease on the top {better be...}! 



And that night we went to dinner with my parents at Mez, where we also had dined on my birthday. The margarita was delish as usual.


Yesterday on our way home, I convinced Stephen to make a pit stop at the J.Crew outlet, always a nice stop! I found some great spring finds including these... 


A twist on the chambray top....I love comfy, easy shirts like this in the summer you can throw on with white jeans or a bright colored short.


And these denim shorts...they are stretch and so soft, I cannot wait to wear these on a Saturday lounging around the house and outside on the deck. I invested in a J Brand pair last summer and didn't know what I was missing until then. You can't beat the price of these either.

I also grabbed this that I mentioned in this post. I couldn't find it on the factory site, but it is here in the regular store. 

What do you think? PS-J.Crew factory is still open today with additional 30% off prices if you need a shopping fix today!


By the way, most of these pictures were taken on my instagram. I have had it forever but not followed anyone. Are you on it? Let me know your name if you want to follow me! 

What did you all get into this weekend? I hope it was a great one...xoxo.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Take Me Away

When I saw this weeks Friday's Fancies was themed "take me away" I knew I had to participate. Yep, I am so dreaming of a warm vacation right about now! To be honest, I am not picky. Put me on a beach with my husband and a cold, drink and I will be one happy girl. But to put you in the frame of mind, let's take a look here...

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I actually pulled together two ideal outfits for jet setting in style. When I travel, I have to really love what I am wearing. Nothing is worse than being uncomfortable or unprepared! Since I am always cold on a plane, I would wear these fun, coral jeans. I love having a scarf to wrap around my neck and shoulders when I am chilly. Flat sandals and a handbag with lots of room for essentials make travelling easy.



And once we are at our resort, relaxing and sipping on Pina Coladas of course, I would like to wear this little number by Amanda Uprichard. I am in love with the colors, and I think all you need is some metallic accessories to play up the glam. Not too fancy for a beachside resort, but not too casual either. Wedges are ideal for dinners near the beach...stilettos and sand don't mix;)




For more inspiration, make sure to check out Friday's Fancies for a little dream getaway. We are hoping to plan ourselves a little vacay this spring for our anniversary, even if it is just a little further South! 
Happy Friday...y'all have a fabulous weekend!! xo.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I've Been Up To

I mentioned last week that my family was in town, and I had the best time catching up with them after work for dinners and wine. One of the first nights they were here Stephen and I met them out on the beach for wine and cheese at sunset. This time of year, you are allowed to drive on the beach if you have a pass, which makes it really easy to head out for a little impromptu date instead of trudging through the sand out there.


I was having a very not so photogenic day, this one was the only one I could salvage, and in black and white at that;) Don't you hate it when that happens!

I think my parents picture turned out great!


 The sky ended up being very pretty in shades of pink and blue...



I love the reflection on the water in this next one...


Last Wednesday, we continued our adventures outdoors and took the boat to an island here, Shackleford, or as we call it "Shack". It was a chilly day so we bundled up in coats, boots and blankets for the ride over. My Aunt and Uncle's dog Nala joined us for the trip...



My mom and Aunt Pat and Nala, headed for adventure...


When we got to the island, one end was literally covered in thousands of birds. I had never seen it like this before! When they saw us coming, they immediately took off right in our path. It was funny to watch them fly away, it was almost like a scene from Happy Feet, but this was the bird version.


Walking around the island, I felt like I was an explorer in Antarctica, haha! This island is absolutely packed in the summertime, and being the only ones there was really crazy. 


 Wild ponies upon our arrival...






It was so much fun, despite the cold weather...It's always nice to enjoy some outdoors time even if it isn't your ideal warm day. 


I was introduced to Downton Abbey this past week by my parents (and Aunt & Uncle...and even my Grandma!) and after hearing the rave reviews I decided I had to jump on the bandwagon. Lucky for me, my Dad bought season 1 on DVD and let me borrow it. I'm definitely hooked and finished it all on Sunday afternoon. I have to catch up on Season 2 now, so hopefully they will be showing some reruns! Do you watch it?! Seriously, it's so good!! 
I love the clothing, the decor and the interactions. So intriguing.



 



And to wrap things up for the weekend, I made this breakfast that I had mentioned in last week's breakfast post HERE. I thought they were really tasty and came out perfectly! If you have to make breakfast for a large group, it's a great way to get the eggs cooked all at the same time.


Are you still with me? Whew. That was long I hope you aren't bored! I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day and at the very least indulged in some yummy sweets! I know I sure did. Thank you for all of the sweet comments on the last post as well. I think hubby enjoyed the spotlight for the day!
Happy Thursday!! xo.


 
Laura Wyatt Design