Friday, August 23, 2013

Maxi Skirt Giveaway Winner

Silver Apple Boutique
 

I just got home from a quick visit to New York and the maxi skirt trend was hot! I loved walking away from "deals" that were twice as much as Silver Apple Boutique.

As sad as it is that this great giveaway is coming to a close the fun doesn't have to come to an end! Make sure you have liked Silver Apple Boutiques Facebook page for more giveaway opportunities.

The winner of one of these fabulous skirts is...

Stephanie D. Ferrell

Please respond to my email within 48 hours to claim this. Thanks again everyone!
Be sure to check out their cute dresses as well. See something you like they have free shipping this weekend!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A"maze" ing post

I wrote this guest post for Mommy & Me Creations way back in March. I loved it so much I thought it would be fun to share for today's Wacky Wednesday.



I know I can't be the only one out there with hyper active children. I have had several discussions with other moms on how they have some kids that can just play happily by themselves and how other kids need constant entertainment. I needed something to do that would get both those children to get along together. So I sent my 7 year son to get all his Lego's and my 4 year old daughter to get the marbles out of marble works.

I love things that keep them quiet and cooperative while challenging them at the same time. This was perfect for just that. I gave my 2 oldest kids a Lego sheet and told them to make a maze. Although they ended up making one together, and I was very happy to see how well they cooperated. I ended up making the other one with my 2 year old "helper." We then would periodically switch to test each others out.

4yr. old with mom's maze



This was one of my kids's maze creation



My 2 year old trying out my maze
This was fun because with trial and error we could do it so many different fun ways. They got to learn spacial awareness, tactics, communication with the others and so much more! I love that you could make this as intricate or small as you wanted. All my kids enjoyed both parts of making and doing on this as well!

Here is a little video clip of my son doing the mazes.





For other Lego fans out there check out these Lego fun Pinterest links:

Lego City Printable
Lego Kirigami
Lego Math
Lego Sentence Building

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summers "Maxi"mum Best Trend

I love the maxi skirt trend so much right now, I can't get enough of them. Especially with winter around the corner I want to stock up. I love long skirts for "Forgot to shave my legs days," or days that are too cold. With the trend growing I feel like some places are SO overpriced! I just can't spend $50 on a skirt, that is outrageous! Luckily I know someone with better prices. My friend owns Silver Apple Boutique. She went to China last year to do some research and opened earlier this year. She has cute dresses, skirts, necklaces and shirts. The best part is that she has them for so much cheaper than anywhere else.


Me wearing my cute coral maxi skirt from Silver Apple Boutique

 
When we went to California the new high-low skirts were everywhere. I came back wanting one, especially for beach and swim wear. Silver Apple Boutique has tons of cute colors and they are perfect for fall. The black ones are great because they can go with so much. Plus you can dress them up with a nice pair of heels, or dress them down for an easy day with flip flops.


I asked what her most popular item was and she said her chevron prints, hands down. Plus I love all the mint and coral colors. That is why I love this maxi dress, it's the best of both worlds! I could wear it with my mint green cardigan I wore in my above picture.


She often gets asked, "How do you match with all these fun bright skirts?"  Easy, not matching is very in. You can throw together so many different colors together and they work great. Here is a great article on color blocking. It has a color wheel to help you see how so many different things go together. The article clearly states clashing is OK and very popular!


 
These plain colored maxi's are great for lots of patterned or colored tops. I'm a cardigan girl myself, so this fall I will be rocking this with a bright lace yellow cardigan, or maybe even red and orange, who knows?
 
Another popular thing that I love is the Aztec/tribal prints. When I saw she had this one I texted her to save me one because I knew they would go fast! Isn't it cute?
 
 
 
So jump on the maxi skirt band wagon, and stock up. Silver Apple Boutique not only has the best prices, but is constantly getting new things in. Follow Silver Apple Boutique's facebook page for updates, products and giveaways.
 
Silver Apple Boutique is also sponsoring a giveaway for a free maxi, skirt, woot woot! Make sure to enter using the rafflecopter below. Giveaway closes 8/21//13 at 12:00 AM.
Winner will be announced with in 48 hours of closing. Winner has 48 hours to respond or new winner will be announced.
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
I received a complimentary skirt in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Share Your Fresh From the Garden Recipes

Have a garden recipe on your blog or pinterest you want to share? Then make sure to link it up. I love looking up recipes for what is coming from my garden. This will be nice to have it in one place. Make sure in the title to write the title of the yummy recipe.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stew

I know it's not quite the perfect fall stew time of year yet, but it is the too hot to use the oven for me. Right now I love using my crockpot, or one pan meals. Although I don't have an exact recipe for this hopefully you get the idea. I have done this both in a crockpot or on the stove.

 
First brown some stew meat. If you are making it on the stove brown it in your stew pot, otherwise, brown it in a skillet and throw it in your crockpot. I usually add a can of v8 juice and/or some tomatoes. Then you can add whatever you want.

corn
beans
barley
quinoa
zucchini
squash
potatoes
peppers
green beans
peas

You get the idea...







Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Zucchini Brownies

Ever get tired of making zucchini bread after zucchini bread? I know I do, even though I love it.
I had a friend share her zucchini brownie recipe with me along time ago, and I still make it every year. Here it is:


 

Zucchini Brownies
 
2 C sugar               2 1/2 C flour
1 C oil                    1/2 C milk
3 eggs                    1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt                1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 C cocoa           2 C shredded, peeled zucchini
 
 
Mix above ingredients. Pour unto a large greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 Degrees for 25 minutes.
 
Frosting:
1 Sq. margarine           6 Tb milk        4 Tb cocoa
 
Mix in saucepan and bring to a boil
Add:
1 lb Powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla
Beat well and spread on brownies (is runny). Can top with chopped nuts or coconut if desired. Cut in squares.
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pasta Primevera 2 Ways

A friend made this for me several years ago. I will show you her exact recipe. That way those of you that like very exact instructions can follow her recipe. Those of you more comfortable winging it and adjusting can see my variations to follow.



Pasta Primavera
3 carrots, peeled and cut into strips
2 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 T. dried Italian herbs
1 lb farfalle (bowtie pasta)
15 cherry tomatoes
1/2 C. parmesan cheese




Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
Toss all vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, and herbs.
Arrange evenly on a heavy baking sheet. Bake until carrots are tender and vegetables begin to brown. Stirring after about 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Cook till al dente, and drain, reserving about 1/2 to 1 cup of cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with vegetable mixture in a large bowl to combine. Toss with cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parmesean cheese. Serve immediately.


 Here is my twist on it:

First sometimes I use angel hair pasta instead of bow tie. Then my kids "accidently" eat more vegetable then they realize. Then I like to use my handy julienne knife to cut up the vegetables. You can use carrots, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, or any vegetable you want in any amount or variety. Then I sauté them on the stove, because its too hot to turn on the oven.


 
Here is a how-to video of me and one of my favorite tools in the kitchen!
 
 
Sometimes when I julienne my zucchini or squash I get to the middle part and it's hard to keep going in the middle. So for vegetables like that I julienne around it, then dice up the middle part. I sauté that part like I showed here.
 
 
Then you get the same thing only with different pasta. My husband likes it this way.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Fresh From The Garden

It's that yummy time of year where you get the rewards of harvesting a garden. Or maybe you are even luckier by receiving gifts from neighbor's gardens. If you are overwhelmed with garden goods and need more recipes like I always do, I thought I would share. This week I will post some of my family favorite fresh from the garden recipes.

Here are a few of my favorite tips of incorporating garden produce in basic meals or for future meals.


1. Slice and Sauté

My favorite thing to do with usually summer squash or zucchini is to slice it and sauté it. Make sure to season those bad boys with at least salt and pepper. If you watch cooking shows like I do than you know how often they say season everything. I usually use garlic salt and crushed pepper, but you can use any spice combo you like.  Then in a hot sauté pan pour a little extra virgin olive oil and sauté them. I like to pick my squashes when there are still smaller for this easy and healthy side. Some weeks we eat this almost daily.


2. Freeze

I love to cut up vegetables and them freeze them. Just last week red bell peppers were $0.24 each so I price matched them locally and bought several. Then I made fajita's, sliced some for hummus, and froze the rest. I cut them in strips and laid them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. After they had frozen I put them in freezer bags, that way they don't freeze in a huge clump. Then this winter when I want bell peppers for most likely my Tortilla soup, I just add them from the freezer.

You can also grate them and freeze them. Pumpkin and zucchini is what I freeze the most of. I use a food processor to grate them, then I freeze them in 2 cup increments. Why? Most bread or other recipes I use ask for 2 cups.


3. Salads

Part of the reason why I have a garden is to help me eat healthier, and I love salads! The nice thing is you can put anything you want in them. Even if you didn't plant lettuce of some kind, it is usually pretty inexpensive. Then you can add whatever you had from your garden and some light dressing. Try making your own dressing. This is one I got that is suppose to be like Olive Garden's salad dressing. Although I don't think it is, we still really like it!

Olive Garden salad dressing:
1 packet Good Seasonings Italian Dressing (Ingredients needed to make dressing; oil, water, vinegar)
½ tsp. dried Italian Seasoning
 ½ tsp. table salt
 ¼ tsp. black pepper
 ½ tsp. sugar
 ¼ tsp. garlic powder
½ tbsp. mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip, please)
¼ cup olive oil 2 tbs. white vinegar
 1 ½ tbsp. water


Come back tomorrow for my husbands favorite pasta dish!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Things I Don't Love Thursday 8/01

 
 
 
1. I can't remember if I have complained about this before or not, but it is really bugging me so it is #1 this week. I can't stand toothpaste all over the toothpaste container.  Growing up my brother and I shared a toothpaste container, because we shared a bathroom. He ingrained in me the importance of keeping a clean toothpaste container. Somewhere though the years I must have said, "My kids will never..." because, their toothpaste is disgusting. Even with me cleaning it up and nagging them often.
 
 
2. Every time we go to do a minor fix on the car it turns into a much more thorough project. What started as replacing 1 spark plug turned into a week long nightmare. Lesson learned? Sometimes even brand new parts like, oh I don't know spark plug wires, can be bad!
 
 
3. I hate that July is over. I love so much, I am not ready for it to end! I can't believe school starts in a few weeks!
 
 
 
Thanks Lulu and Sweet Pea for hosting. Be sure to follow her link for more things others aren't loving.