Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipe: Cake Batter Cookie

Happy Tuesday everyone! When I recapped my weekend yesterday, I completely forgot to mention the last minute cookies I decided to bake on Sunday afternoon. Every now and then I get the urge to bake, but that can be dangerous when it's just Stephen and I here to eat the sweets. Well anyway, these cookies are amazing and were so easy to make. Next time I need to bring a baked good for a party or food gift, I will be bringing these. Very few ingredients and little time.

1 (18.25 oz.) box cake mix
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2-In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix and baking powder. Add eggs and oil, then mix until well blended. (It was a bit crumbly for me so I used my hands to really mix it well- it's not as smooth as typical dough.)
3-Stir in chocolate chips, or your choice of additions. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
4- Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

They do look amazing too and while mine are not in perfect round form, they are at least the same nice, light color. I think they would be great to bring a tray to a super bowl party this weekend too! I tried a Martha Stewart cake cookie years ago but I remember it being very involved and not so simple. Have you ever tried a cake batter cookie? I will be sending these to the office with Stephen today so we don't eat every single one! Hope y'all have a great day! xo.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend in Pictures

Our weekend was exactly what I needed. We spent the weekend at my parent's beach house with them and my younger sister. When I say we go to the beach house, it is very convenient. As in, it's a five minute drive over a bridge! Very nice for an easy getaway. We spent the weekend going out for nice dinners- once with Stephen's family and once with mine. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. Perfect for some shopping with the girls. This picture really doesn't do any justice, but I snapped it as we were going over the bridge in Emerald Isle- we ventured down that way for some shopping and lunch.

After we got back from shopping, my sister and I took our dogs out on the beach. There is something so therapeutic about the smell of salt air. Here's my sweet girl doing her best to pose. Yes, she has to be on a leash on the beach. Stephen and I made that mistake once and I thought I would never see her again as she bolted down the beach.

This is my sister's golden, Teddy. I've never seen a dog lie down and dig holes at the same time, but that is what he did. He's still quite the puppy and this was the least bit of sand that he had all day on his nose.

Last night we had another amazing dinner. This fresh crab dip came from a market that sells food from one of our favorite restaurants, Beaufort Grocery. We also picked up a frozen lasagna that you better believe I am fixing for dinner this week! 

I'm really hoping after being spoiled with 60 degree weather this weekend that we don't plunge into a really cold February. I have the itch more than ever for spring and summer! 
Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!! xo.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Finds: Simple Pleasures

{Wake up to this...}
{Sweetheart Sugar Cookies}
{Some beautiful tulips}

{A nice relaxing breakfast}
{Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake}

{A room with a view}
We are so looking forward to a relaxing weekend! My family is in town and I can't wait to spend the weekend at the beach house enjoying simple pleasures like these. Hope you all have a wonderful, fun weekend! xoxo.

*Also linking up to Sarah's blog for Inspiration Friday- check it out!!*


Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Shopping

I must really need to go shopping right now because everything I see I literally want. Last night Stephen had a meeting for dinner and I enjoyed a quiet night of browsing the internet aka shopping! Well, the items are in the cart at West Elm, I just need to check out. But I had to show you some fun new finds- and some that are on sale. Go check them out! 

{Dhurrie Pouf, I simply love it..we don't have the space for it though}
{Striped Throw, in green please!}
{I love the white candlesticks. So fresh for spring!}
{Cotton Canvas Faux Bead Panels- on sale!}
{Monogrammed towels, what a cute gift! On sale.}
{I've been eyeing this shower curtain for our guest bath, I'm finally going to give it a go!}
There are ton of things I love at West Elm right now, I am really drawn to the colors for some reason. Fingers crossed the shower curtain is going to work- I hope its not too mustardy when it arrives. 
Thank goodness it's almost Friday- Have a fab day!! xo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dinner Favorites of the Week

I have a few recipes that I want to share that I think anyone will really enjoy! These two recipes share the same fresh vegetables, so when I decided to make quinoa burgers I immediately thought of this yummy app I saw on pinterest last week. First of all, I absolutely love appetizers-they are my favorite part of a meal. This one is delicious and healthy, and has the husband stamp of approval. I made ours bite size with a small heart cookie cutter.  
 6-8 slices of bread [gluten-free, whole wheat, etc.] 
1/2 cup hummus [store bought or homemade]
 1 avocado – halved, pitted and peeled
 4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt + pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Arrange the tomatoes on your baking sheet, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to caramelize
4.While the tomatoes roast, toast your bread. Using a cookie cutter or circular object, cut out 1-2 circles per toast, depending on how big the piece of bread is.
5. Spread ½-1 tablespoon of hummus on each circular toast.6. In a bowl or plate, mash avocado with a fork, leaving large chunks.
7. Layer the mashed avocado over hummus, season with salt + pepper.
8. Top with a roasted [or fresh] tomato. Serve immediately.

And for the next recipe....

This was the second time I made these quinoa burgers, and they were actually requested by the husband himself. He did see the quinoa in its uncooked form and asked "What is that??" He had not seen it before and it is rather surprising to see it for the first time!

2 rounded cups cooked quinoa (see note below for cooking instructions)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium carrot, finely grated (OR 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions, including white parts
1 /2 teaspoon Splenda or sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Olive oil for frying


To cook quinoa:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

-In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
-In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, Splenda, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.
-Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Makes approx. 10 burgers.

A few tips: the recipe suggested a sauce to top the burger by combining a little ketchup and mayonnase. I also used zuchinni, not carrots. I topped ours with fresh tomato and avocado.

If you haven't tried quinoa yet, you should consider trying these! They are really tasty and incredibly filling, and of course packed with protein and fiber. Do you all have a tasty quinoa recipe we should try? Please share! Happy Wednesday! xo.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Piperlime Faves: Spring!

Personally, I love some piperlime and here are a few picks that might {hopefully!} be making it into my closet this season. Each year I look forward to the first signs of Spring in magazines, stores and online. It may or may not be my favorite season of fashion to look forward to. I know it is early, but I am already scouting some things for my wish list come warm days and cool nights that I know and love. 

I love these colors and of course, the stripes! I could live in sundresses.
{striped and belted}
Also on Olivia Palermo's list...
{tie neck marigold blouse}
My love for silk blouses continues...and this is the perfect pink! With white jeans, I can't wait.
{silk button down blouse}
And I saved the best for last. I really, really love this dress. It would be perfect for an afternoon boat cruise or a dinner on the waterfront. 
{strapless maxi dress}
So tell me, do you have the itch for spring yet too?
 I can't wait to get the next sale email when I can pick a few of these beauties up! 
Happy Tuesday! xoxo. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pink and Turquoise

This week I wanted to participate {for my first time!} in Friday's Fancies at Long Distance Loving. The idea was to take inspiration and recreate an outfit. This is totally something I would wear...mostly items from J.Crew and Tory Burch in a classic, yet up to date look with bright colors. Ok, those shoes are amazing! When I put this together a few nights ago, I swear they were in stock at J.Crew and low and behold this morning the mint green/turquoise color is sold out! Maybe available in stores? I can't wait to see more inspiration for my wardrobe, I really am itching for something new this time of year!

I might be posting some Friday Finds later as well. Happy Friday!! xoxo.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Laundry Room Part 2

Let me just tell you, I appreciated every single comment from my post yesterday so much! I loved every bit of feedback, and now you all have me rethinking the cabinets {sorry hubby!}. Hearing that the wire shelves were not all that bad {it's hard when you look at them every day} made me rethink what to do. We still do not have a price quote on the cabinets, but if it comes in over what we have in mind then the wire shelving will stay! Good for the budget, yay!! Also, I have to give credit where credit is due, I forgot to mention that the husband was the one that immediately liked the paint color we chose and he was the deciding factor. Thank goodness for second opinions and good taste!

After your feedback, I did a little more browsing for other options in case we decide to change it up.
First up, I like the look of the solid shelves in this room. They look a little more substantial and the brackets add a small element of design...and I can use my pretty baskets! Shelving is sure to be cheaper than a wall of cabinets, right?
I like that this room has at least one shelf, for easy access to things you have to grab all the time. Maybe we should keep the shelving and add a fun light fixture?
Our room really needs a rug as well. I forgot about that. I just haven't found one that suits the colors yet, and since it gets a ton of traffic it will need to be durable and easy to clean. 
Maybe an indoor/outdoor rug? 
And I also loved the idea of adding "skirting" to the shelves. I think that might be the most economical option and would be a great way to incorporate a fun print and soften the room, since there is no window.
And how cute is this? It really doesn't apply to us because we don't have a sink in the laundry room, but this was too adorable not to add.
So once again, thank you so, so, so much for all of your amazing comments...they mean so much and I appreciate you stopping by to read this little project on my blog! Have a fab day, xo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Laundry Room Update

If you have been following along, you may remember some "goals" for the year that I posted here. One of my house goals was to work on the laundry room: organize, clean and paint! The first step in this process was my DIY Striped Bulletin Board that I posted here, which I am still loving. Well I am proud to say that we are continuing on our little laundry room makeover and have a few more updates. After I saw this image on pinterest, I knew what direction I wanted to go.

To me, this is clean, fresh and just what I was looking for. Too bad my laundry room is about an 1/8 of that size! I would love that folding table and cute little stool to perch on. But I loved the light and airy look, so I did a little research on popular grey paint colors. I bought some paint samples (seen here) and decided on gray owl by Benjamin Moore. I can't tell you how much I love this color in the laundry room! It made the biggest difference in brightening this space and keeping it fresh. Before I show you what it looks like now, here is a pretty little pic of our mess.

Yea, not so pretty. We had way too much clutter going on, too many different baskets/containers to even begin to look organized. After some heavy duty cleaning and throwing away junk, painting and pulling some odds and ends from around the house, this is what our room looks like today! 

 Do you like!?! Oh my, it gets me so excited every time I pass through this room.

I did buy just a few things for this update. I found the canvas at TJ Maxx and loved it. I like seeing some inspiration every morning and it's the perfect message (especially while I am doing laundry, right?)...the baskets came from Pier 1 on sale and I love the texture they add. We moved the white plastic containers to the garage where they will be great inside a cabinet. The boxwood, dried hydrangea and moss balls were all things I had and just added in there for a touch of green. 

The only thing I still am contemplating is those darn wire shelves. So not pretty. We have a call in to our builder to get a price quote on some white cabinets to be installed, so we will go from there. Cabinets would really clean up the look and have more storage. I know I can use those baskets for organization and hang the canvas if we decide to go the cabinet route. What do you think? 
Would love to hear your thoughts! Happy Wednesday! xo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Atlanta Gift Market

Ok, I am going to do my best to sum up a jam packed week of travel from this past week. 
Let's start with this photo of Dixie and Tucker when they saw the suitcase get rolled out. They totally know what a suitcase is and what it entails.

Are you melting? They were too cute and just made me miss them so much more while I was away. 

So a minor detail: I packed some gym clothes to make myself workout at least a few times over the course of the week. It worked once. But I was walking and on my feet for 9+ hours for 4 days straight so that counts for something right? Ok, on to the goods. Here are some things I loved while in Atlanta. 

Ok so that sums up what I saw, and those pictures were primarly the first two days I was there! I got sort of burnt out on whipping out my iphone every five minutes to take pictures! I feel like there was lots of things still trending that were apparent throughout the market- TONS of chandeliers, rope, orange, silver glitter, and much, much more.

What do you think of the barstools? I ordered them for us to replace the ones we have right now. There is nothing wrong with them, they just don't have a back and since we sit there a lot I thought it would be nice to have a seat back to lean on.

Did I mention my sweet hubby came to join me for the weekend as well? This was at dinner at One Midtown Kitchen and we had an amazing view of downtown Atlanta. It was definitely off the beaten path, and we probably would have never found it if it weren't for my friend Danielle who lives in Atlanta and reccommended it. Thanks Danielle! We met up with her and her boyfriend Tim afterwards to watch football and catch up. We went to high school together wayyy long ago!

Well that is my recap of my little trip to Atlanta, are you still with me?! I hope you enjoyed some of the great displays I saw...I love some merchandising! Let me know your thoughts! Anyway, it sure is good to be home, having my plain old cup of coffee and heading to work. Have a fab day! xo.