Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Tomorrow is my moms birthday (I normally don't post on Thursdays, so I'm doing this post today)!

If you know me, you know that my mom is my bff. I just love her. I can talk to her about anything and I know that whenever we get together, we're going to have a blast. Seriously, we could be sitting at home watching TV or playing cards and we're having the time of our lives--and I LOVE that!

To celebrate my mom (and moms everywhere), I'd like to share a few beautiful quotes about that special bond between a mother and daughter.

Girls mountain weekend with our friends Sharon and Turin--2008
“A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships." -Victoria Secunda

Dinner and a play with our friends Sharon and Turin (are you noticing a pattern?)--2009
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." -Agatha Christie

Out at dinner for my dads birthday--2010
"My mom is literally a part of me. You can't say that about many people except relatives, and organ donors." -Carrie Latet

Girls trip to Las Vegas for my 21st--2011
"Who fed me from her gentle breast and hushed me in her arms to rest, And on my cheek sweet kisses prest? My Mother." -Anne Taylor

My bachelorette party in Denver--2012
"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." -Sophia Loren

My wedding shower with mom and Aunt Nancy (who we will be celebrating with this weekend!)--2012
"A mother's treasure is her daughter." -Anonymous

On my wedding day--2013
"My mom is a never-ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune." -Graycie Harmon

I'm so excited to spend time with my mom and aunt this weekend--I'm looking forward to attending a high tea, spending too much money at H&M, and celebrating such an incredible woman.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I love you.

Party, Party, I like to Party
Southern Lovely, Seven Alive, The Frugal Girls, The Thriftiness Miss,

Monday, January 28, 2013

I Used to Eat Paper and Slow Cooker Green Bean Dumpling Soup!

This post is going to be a cluster so bear with me..

I've been on a huge soup kick lately.

Does anyone else go through phases where you want to eat the same thing everyday for weeks.. or months? I do that often. In fact, two and a half years ago, all I ate was soup (and yogurt). And then I was sick of soup and decided I wanted nachos all the time (I'm actually still going through that phase--I get chicken nachos at every restaurant we go to). Then it was Havarti quesadillas and jelly (more info here). Now I'm back to soup.

And yesterday, I was in soup heaven.

Our local humane society was hosting their 16th annual "Soup'R Bowl" fundraiser where local celebrities and business owners make 10-gallons of homemade soup and community members pay $5 to sample every single one and then vote for their favorite. Oh boy, it was good. There was everything from taco soup to ham & cabbage soup to potato cheddar soup. It. Was. Fab. Brandon and I were working at a booth but took a quick break to make the rounds.

And I found my new favorite soup. Green Bean Dumpling.

After the event was over, I had to work for a few hours. While I was at work, all I could think about was that green bean dumpling soup. I had to have more for dinner.

So, I invented this super simple, extremely tasty slow cooker green bean dumpling soup!

Okay, I lied.

I can't take all the credit for this. I got the original idea from The Dedicated House's Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings (which is also orgasmo good and easy to make) and just substituted the chicken for green beans.

I was feeling so proud of myself while I was making this last night--I was thinking about all of the busy moms out there that I could share this recipe with! And then it dawned on me.. what kid would eat this?

I'm not a mamma (yet) but I was a 5-year-old once so I remember exactly how picky eaters act.

I wouldn't eat anything green. I flat out refused. And I was such a brat to my poor mother who stayed home with my brother and me everyday and then found time to make us a nice supper. I remember one time I refused to eat whatever my mom made and demanded that I get a peanut butter sandwich instead (keep in mind that I was 5--and I was not one to back down). My parents told me that I eat whats on my plate or I didn't eat at all.

Pssh yeah, like that was going to happen.

So I was excused from the table without having anything to eat. About an hour later, I decided enough was enough and that it was time for my peanut butter sandwich. But my parents still said no..

So I cried. And I cried. And I cried.

And being the drama queen I was, I ran down to the basement and cried.. And ate some paper that I found in my dads office. Yeah, I really showed them..

Who could say no to this precious, trout toothed, bull cutted (I don't think that's a real word..) Kindergartener? The little darling..
If your kids are a lot lower maintenance than I was (and by the grace of God, they are), they might actually enjoy this. It's really tasty and the dumplings are so fluffy and yummy. Try it out and let me know whatcha think!

Slow Cooker Green Bean Dumpling Soup
  • 3 (10.5oz) cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup 
  • 1 (32oz) box Chicken Broth
  • 10 Large Flaky Refrigerator Biscuits
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag of frozen green beans
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  1.  Add cream of chicken soup and chicken broth to crock pot. Cook on high for 1 hour (2 hours on low).
  2. Cut each uncooked biscuit into 8 small pieces and stir into the soup mixture. Add frozen green beans and cook on high for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Serve hot and enjoy!
Bada Bing, Bada Boom!

Friday, January 25, 2013

First Thrifting Trip of 2013!

We celebrated my mamma-in-laws 50th birthday this weekend.. so you know what that means!

Nooo, I mean besides having a wine party..

We went thrifting!

And it was good to be back! 

We weren't sure what we were looking for (which is always a bad decision because then you look through everything and find a bunch of stuff you didn't know you needed) so we perused around Goodwill for close to an hour. Here are some of our great finds:

The perfect Valentine gift for that special someone in your life. I almost got it for Brandon since I enjoy liking him, but I figured the whole "love" liking you thing would come off too strong. We're not far enough into our relationship for that (ba dum ching!).
Seriously, how adorable is this?! Easter is Brandon's and my holiday to host and we have zero decorations. I picked this up for $1.99 and plan to hang it on our door to welcome our guests this year.
Staying on the topic of adorable, look at this little guy. I can tell he was hand painted and needed a good place to live (I picked him up for $1.49). B & I are hopefully getting a bigger place with a porch soon so I'm going to get a pretty plant to set in there and let it thrive in the glorious summer humidity.
Mamma Nancy picked this never used mister for $3.99! She's going to put it in her bedroom and use it for a humidifier.
And then we made the mistake of checking out the clothes.. my biggest downfall. 

I'll post some pictures soon of the adorable tops I got for next to nothing. I recently did the math and realized I spend close to $75 a year on clothes. That's it. That whole braggy spiel will be coming soon!

(P.S. Remember the dresses I got at the Goodwill boutique with ThriftDee--here are a few pics of them)
I don't have a close up of the dress but you get the idea! Our colors were red and black so I was thrilled when I found this baby for $15.
This dress is wayyyy cuter without the sweater but it was a brisk 55 degrees out so being warm won. I snagged this dress for $10.
Party, Party, I like to Party

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Wedding Details

I am FINALLY getting around to posting a few of my favorite wedding details.

Since we're so cheap thrifty, wedding was completely DIY--and it was perfect!

Here are three of my favorite details from the wedding:

I wrapped ALL of our dinner silverware. It took awhile (try 6 hours to roll 150), but I was pleased with the outcome. 
I used red (one of our wedding colors) yarn to tie with--it looked really cute and added a little personal touch to dinner.
I got all of my wonderful girls a personalized card to go with the necklace and earrings I gave them at the rehearsal dinner. I had such a fun time deciding which pictures to use and they really got a kick out of it.  Warning: this may lead to A LOT of reminiscing on some things you'd rather forget (like the terrible full bangs you had for 21 years..)! Check out Snapfish or another online picture site for deals on personalized cards (I only had to pay shipping for mine)!
Add something to the base of your bouquet in honor and memory of those who are no longer with us. I attached one of my Grandma Velora's red cardinal earrings, my Grandma Mitz's butterfly broach and one of B's Great Grandma Minnie's blue earrings. It was so special to me that I got to incorporate all three of them into my special day. It made me feel a sense of closeness to them. 
We haven't gotten the professional pictures back yet so I don't have any clear ones of the bouquet but here are a few ceremony pics that some friends took. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

So Help Me God, I Am Getting A Gallery Wall.

The title basically sums up this entire post. I have had an unhealthy obsession with gallery walls for the last two years.

I want one. So Badly.

It sounds like B and I might finally be moving out of the tiny, tiny townhouse and into a cute, decently sized duplex! So you know what that means..

I'M GETTING MY GALLERY WALL! Seriously, it isn't even a question.. I'm getting it.

With that being said, I've been looking around Pinterest for a little pinspiration. Here are my favorites so far:

I'm wanting our gallery wall to be in the sitting room so I'm really liking this--I love all of the different colors!

Oh, something else that I've convinced myself that I have to have is a home office (if Brandon gets his man cave, I get my office--that's how this married give and take works, right?). I love the fun, vintage look of this wall. It'd be perfect for a single gals New York loft (or, in my case, a married gals Kansas duplex).

I LOVE this because it is so elegant and bohemian. As I said before, I'm wanting the gallery wall our sitting room so I love the look and layout of this wall (I'll probably have to forgo the pretty wall paper though.. sigh). 

The personalized aspect of this wall is really lovely. Besides pictures, I'm wanting to include different wall decor that is special to B & me including an Annie Oakley wall hanging my Aunt Nancy gave me, a picture puzzle that Brandon's great-grandma put together and framed and a beautiful, crocheted last name sign that my Aunt Millie made us for our wedding.

Finally, I love the quirkiness and charm of this wall. It has a little bit of everything, including that personal touch that I love. 

Do you have a gallery wall in your house? Any tips you can give a novice like me?

If you want to follow me on my quest to design the perfect gallery wall, be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Our Honeymoon via Instagram (and a HUGE Target giveaway!!)

How were we able to manage before smart phones?


If we didn't have our smart phones, how could we constantly stalk those we know and love (okay, and those we don't know or don't love..), shoot irritated red birds into structures and watch youtube videos whenever our hearts desire?

Or Instagram.

I LOVE Instagram.

So much so that I continually updated our friends and family on our whereabouts during our honeymoon (because I like to think that my Instagram is constantly checked.. that's normal, right?).

I now present to you B's and my honeymoon via instagram!

Awaiting our flight to Orange County--we enjoy getting a little 'half baked' before we fly (har har).
Night one: Pizza, HGTV and laying in bed doing absolutely nothing--heaven!
I have to "rock chalk" now that I'm married to a KU fan.
Soul food break at Disney Land.
I mustache you if you like the adorable bracelet I scored for a buck?!
Chilling with the Simpsons sibs at Universal Studios!
The most amazing salad EVER at Bubba Gump Shrimp--I'm going to work on a copycat recipe soon!
Brandon's appropriate latte.
Headed to Santa Monica for the day!
Santa Monica Pier.
Silly seagull.
Sugar and smut before the flight home.
Betcha can't guess where we were!
Thank you for humoring me by sitting through my pictures! And now, the reason you're here..

The lovely Beth from Through the Eyes of the Mrs. has organized a HUGE Target gift card giveaway!

How huge?

Umm, $125 huge!

I'm sure you know what you'll already spend it on, so enter now!! Good luck!

Please Note that you must be a follower of Through the Eyes of the Mrs.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 18, 2013

Santa Monica Honeymoon and Crab Mac & Cheese

Today's post is going to be a bit of a cluster so bear with me.

Brandon and I are back home now and are still trying to get into the regular swing of life.. oh, we miss our California honeymoon so much.

On our last day, we headed up the coast to check out the beach and Santa Monica Pier in, you guessed it.. Santa Monica!

My mom gave the adorable hat for Christmas--I looked so cool while we strolled the pier!
For lunch, we went to the Blue Plate Oysterette, which my friend had referred us to. Oooh, we're so glad she did. The BP Oysterette (as I like to call it because it makes me sound like a local.. assuming that's what locals call it..) was a cute and quirky little restaurant with the most original seafood dishes we ever tasted.

It. Was. Delish.

Seriously, how cute is this? The indoor portion of the restaurant was very quaint and intimate with only a few tables and seats.
My shrimp and spinach quesadilla with guacamole--yes, its as good as it sounds!
Brandon's lobster mac & cheese--also amazing. But can you ever really go wrong with mac & cheese and/or lobster?

I wonder if they make lobster mac & cheese here in Kansas? And if so, would I want to try it..? So many questions.

Anyway, back to the beginning.. we're missing our California honeymoon! So to bring a little slice the Golden State to the Sunflower State, Brandon made this delicious crab macaroni and cheese for dinner on Tuesday.

Now you may be thinking "why crab?" Well, its simple:

We had crab legs to get rid of!

It is SO good. And creamy. And rich. Mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm.

Brandon found the recipe for Ina Garter's Lobster Mac & Cheese and substituted crab--yum! And here's the recipe:

  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni
  • 1 quart milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups) (*WE USED SWISS CHEESE AND IT WAS JUST AS GOOD!*)
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster meat
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
  1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster and stir well. Place the mixture in 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes.
  4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.  
Party, Party, I like to Party
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