Friday, May 25, 2012

Up and Up Shave Gel

I love Target's brand, Up and Up. I'm especially hooked on their shave gel. It comes in many different scents, all of which I love. I would've taken a picture to show you, but I ran out this morning and threw it away without thinking. Nonetheless, it's cheap, it's pleasant and it works. Considering how hot it already is outside and how much I kill for cooler weather, you better believe I'm buying this in bulk.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More Method Madness

I first wrote about my love for Method Cleaning Products HERE with Lavender Laundry Detergent.

I'm endorsing two more today. Surely it's time for my lifetime supply or something. I love the hand wash in about any scent ($3.99) and the all-purpose cleaner in French Lavender ($3.99). I use the cleaner for EVERYTHING. I mop the floors with it, countertops, shower, you name it. It leaves my apartment smelling so so so good. Yesterday, when I got on a cleaning rampage, I decided it had to be today's blog. So far, I've only seen their line at Target. Yet, I can always use an excuse to go there. Here's their WEBSITE if you want to learn more.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The White Tee

I love white. It flatters every skin tone. Call it a color, call it a non-color, who knows, who cares. It doesn't get much simpler than a white shirt and jeans. I consider this combo the easiest and most timeless outfit out there. Going on a picnic? Jeans and white tee. Having a cookout? Jeans and white tee. Out for breakfast? Jeans and white tee. It just works. Nowadays, there are so many versions of white items for men and women so, no excuses. I LOVE women in oversized flowing tees, racerback tanks, and v-necks. I LOVE men in v-necks, v-necks, v-necks. Effortless, beautiful, classic, just do it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti

I got hungry for dinner and had to have Chicken Spaghetti. With two recipes to consider, one from The Pioneer Woman, the other from a family friend. Upon opening my pantry, I realized I had ingredients to make some of both recipes, but not one of all. So, what am I to do but make up my own and attempt the best of both worlds?
Here we go:
1 lb. spaghetti noodles, I use Ronco
2 cans Rotel Tomatoes
1/2 cup light sour cream
Sharp Cheddar
2 to 3 large chicken breasts
s and p
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Skim Milk

1. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to boiling water. Add chicken and boil. Normally I do bake chicken, but this time, you need the flavored water.
2.) While chicken is cooking, chop pepper, garlic and onion. Sautee for a few minutes to combine flavors. Add all to large bowl. Mix together soup, veggies, one can rotel minus juice, one can rotel with juice, sour cream, and as much cheese as you please. Taste and add s and p if needed.
3.) When chicken is finished, remove to cool. Dump spaghetti noodles into same boiling water and cook leaving underdone. Drain pasta.
4.) In same pot, add noodles, chicken, soup mixture, stir, cover with lid and allow to combine on low. Noodles will finish cooking and cheese will melt. Add a little bit of milk if too thick.
5.) Chicken spaghetti, get in my belly.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The 365 Shoe


You heard it here first, boots are the best shoe out there. Wear them with jeans, dresses, shorts skirts, who cares? Man, woman, and child can rock these with ease. Boots are year round, yes, I said it. I wear them to work constantly. Because I have to stand the entire time, the comfort I get from them highly outweighs the pain of a completely flat sandal. After two stress fractures, you better believe I'm picking comfort for long periods of walking. Black, brown, whatever you've got, pull it out and wear it proud. And, yes, we've even got suede here. I know, hard to believe.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Spend Out

           A Spend Out Date 

A few weeks ago, I finished the book, The Happiness Project. Read more about it, HERE. I loved loved loved this book. It was such a reality check to read and you definitely should. I won't spoil it anymore. Nevertheless, one concept that spoke to me the most was "Spending Out." Now, this is not spending in a financial sense. Spending out is something I've come to live by as often as I think of it. Basically, it means that we spend out our time and treasures as frequently as we can.
First we've got time. We've got time to make time. If there is something we really want to do, we make time for it. If not, we become extremely disgruntled in our routines. We get home from work and we're tired. We want to go out to dinner but we decide to stay in because we're tired. This is not spending out. Spending out is putting on our little black dress, freshening our lipstick and living it up. We won't remember that we watched four hours of television, but we will remember that we had that blissfully romantic date. We'll make memories over dinner that cannot compare to our feeling of tired. Tired won't matter but memories will. Rubin, author of the book makes an excellent point that I often forget. As I summarize myself, "Many people cannot do what I can do." Meaning, have we considered the people who are longing to go out to dinner but can only lay on the couch with side effects of chemo? I need to spend out for myself, finding value in the simple things. If I want to go for a long walk at sunset, I go. When we are well, free from burden, and so on, we have time to make "our time."
Next up, we've got treasures. We all have things we treasure. Family heirlooms, those favorite shoes, our VHS of Gone With The Wind. How often do we anticipate the use of something, want to spend it out, but don't? I have a ring that I wear almost everyday. My mom gave it to me for my high school graduation and then the matching bands  for my Christmas and birthday a few years ago. For a long time, I valued that ring so much that I was afraid to wear it. It was regal and meaningful. I felt I could only wear it on special occasions. Why was I doing this? I was not spending it out. If wearing the ring, it's memory, and comfort brought me joy, I should be wearing it everyday. I got it out of the safe and it's been on my hand ever sense. What pleasure can I get from it in a jewelry safe? I only have the thought of it, not the real pleasure. I don't need to wait a lifetime to enjoy my ring once every time a wedding rolls around. I recently discussed this topic over dinner with a dear friend. We discussed spending out in relation to our favorite clothing. How many times do we wear our favorite dress? Why do we wait for cousin Amy's wedding to pull it out? We need to spend it out now.

Spending out is our most valuable resource. When we have the time, the resources, and the ability, we must. Just last Sunday night, Dr. K and I met at Logan's in Decatur for Mother's Day. She had been traveling for the past ten days, and I'd just gotten off work. Although our spending out required driving a long distance and rain, it was more than worth it. I would not waste lying on the couch for not spending out with her on Mother's Day! We had a wonderful time, made memories, and I'm not one bit sleepy. :)

Funfetti Popcorn

Not long ago, I made what I dubbed Funfetti Popcorn for a bridal shower. People ate more of it than anything else! It is heaven, I tell you. A friend had shared a "bunny popcorn" recipe with me. It has M and M's, pretzels, and such. Although it sounds lovely, for my afternoon shower, I needed something on the not so sweet side. Thus, I threw together something similar. Read my Popcorn Perfecto if you haven't already.
Here's all you need:
1.) Orville Redenbacher's Tender White Popcorn
2.) Block of White Almond Bark
3.) Nonpareil Sprinkles (tiny rainbow ball sprinkles)
4.) Wax Paper

1.) Pop as many popcorn bags as you please, allow to cool for a few minutes.
2.) Melt almond bark in a large bowl. For more chocolate, use more bark, for less, you get the idea. I used half for three bags.
3.) Mix in popcorn and stir.
4.) Spread out on wax paper and shake sprinkles on top.
5.) Allow to dry and eat the entire bowl. I warned you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bling It On

Wednesday's Right Arm 

These days, the more bracelets you pile on your arm, the better. Any combination goes, trust me. I love wearing leather cuffs like the two on the two on my right arm. I got the middle one as a gift and the colored on for $3.00 J.Crew clearance. They are comfortable and easy to pile together. On my left arm, I've got my watch and my Billy and Faith bracelet. My man has one too but his says Faith and Billy instead. It is our reminder to put the other first in our relationship. Love that man. We've all got lots of bracelets, I know. Without them, I'm not myself. So, walk on over to your stash and start piling them on, man or woman, fifty or fifteen. If devil dog, minimalist, "Faith is my personal stylist," Billy will wear a watch and bracelet on a daily basis, you know its good.
                                                          Wednesday's Left Arm

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dr.K's Dress

I got Dr. K this sweet cotton dress as part of her Mother's Day gift. I cannot wait to see it on her. I'll be sure to post a picture soon. What can beat a black and white stripe? This can be worn year round with anything and everything. I love classic and sharing my finds with all of you. Buy things only with the love factor. If you don't love it, don't buy it. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Put chicken and rice together in any way and I love it. I made my own version of THIS recipe. Stick of butter? No ma'am. 1/2 cup of flour, no thanks. This soup is thrown together, not tedious. Let's not make things harder than they are, picky palate website.  It was comforting for dinner tonight.

32 oz. Chicken Broth
Light Sour Cream
Fresh Garlic
Skim Milk
Sharp Cheddar

1.) Chop and sautee a trininty. Trinity is a mess' a onions, celery, and carrots all chopped finely. It is harmony, people, har-mon-y. Put the desired amount of each that you please, no sweat off my back. I used lots of onion, less carrots, more celery. You cannot mess it up. Sautee in skillet, cast iron if able, until tender. At last few moments, throw in fresh garlic (I like lots), and stir it around, too.
2.) While the vegetables are cooking, cook three cups of rice. Don't cook rice all the way through, leave it a little undercooked so it will finish in the soup. Do not season the rice.
3.) In large deep pot, pour in some skim milk and two or three tablespoons of butter. Stir until butter is melted on medium heat. Throw in a hand full of flour. No need to measure, my friends. Stir well so no clumps appear.
4.) Pour in 32 oz. chicken broth and stir.
5.) Pour in vegetables, rice, chicken, a couple of heaps of sour cream, and as much cheese as you please. I needed to use up some canned chicken so that's what went in tonight, about three cups.
6.) Reduce to low heat, salt and pepper to taste.
7.) Cuddle up on the couch and enjoy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Boudoir

Well, today's the big day, all of you readers get to see what my bedroom looks like. When I decorate rooms, I don't have a game plan going in. I just find what feels right and make it happen. To me, this is the most comforting aspect of decorating. I'm not a matchy matchy person, as we've discussed. I like the eclectic look. I hope you have a great weekend, If you're in the mood, I'll tell you all about it:
1.) Nightstands: Metal, Fuchsia, Brimfield Bookcase, Urban Outfitters, $79 each.
2.) Lamps: Sample sale, Pottery Barn.
3.) Bed: Although you cannot see it, this is a white wrought iron bed that belonged to my great grandmother. It's a full bed, but I love it!
4.) Polka-dot sheet set, TJ Maxx.
5.) Euro shams, clearance, Land's End.
6.) Purple matelasse blanket, Matelasse is just a design, like a diamond weave, but I love the sophisticated word instead. :)
7.) Duvet cover, a birthday present from long ago. Yes, I ask for duvets for my birthday, Pottery Barn.
8.) Wall collage, or as I like to call it, a conglomeration meaningful pictures. My favorite is Dr. K right there in the middle. Oh my goodness, priceless! I've also got the famous "kissing picture," $12.00 TJ Maxx, a picture with my man in his Marine Corp uniform <3, and my dog, Bonnie. Peeps, if you want to do a wall collage, do it. It doesn't have to be perfectly aligned. Sometimes I lay things out on the floor before I do them, but this time I did not. I like the big "swoosh" effect it has over the bed, like a giant headboard. I've got my own terms for these things.
9.) On the far right corner, I've got my room spray and a candle, of course.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meet Virginia

Today, I met Virginia. This precious doll belongs to my sweet friends Bonnie and Josh. I had the BEST time making a road trip to see them. Virginia is an ideal baby. She is a good eater, a good sleeper, cute in her outfits, and loves to smile in mirrors. This kid has got it together. I topped off my day having dinner with another dear friend, Ms. Connie.  I love visiting babies and friends! So...I got to see the perfect home completer piece, Miss V, that's home design. And, I got to have food with friend, that's cooking. Staying on topic people, that's how I do things.

P.S. Thanks Bon for helping me get my pictures uploaded larger and thank you Ms. Connie for my dinner!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Belle that Beats the Heat

I might be the most hot-natured and as much as I hate to say it sweaty people out there. I can walk down the three flights of stairs to my car and I look like I've run a half-marathon. Some people probably think I've been gallivanting across the prairie in a John Wayne movie when I've really spent the last thirty minutes embalming myself with beauty products. It is out of control. I want to be that glowing woman who doesn't look dragged by the overpowering druthers of the summer months. I want to look like Scarlet O'Hara, beating that southern heat while appearing as fresh as a new flower. How can that girl go to Twelve Oaks for a BBQ, sit outside in a hoop skirt and bloomers, have droves of men doting all over her, and never sweat a drop? I tell you, she was using these products. I'm in the war on humidity, and these products prove quite the company.
From top to bottom, here we go:
1.) Pacifica Roll On Perfume in Tahitian Gardenia: This goes everywhere with me. It is convenient, refreshing, and an affordable "perfume" choice. When I work, I have it in my back pocket. $12.00 Sephora or
2.) Noir Tease, Victoria's Secret: When I wear this, people ask me what it is. They cannot believe it is Victoria's Secret. Well, the cat may be out of the bag, but this spray is staying put in mine. Get some, it is the stuff. $10.00, at that.
3.) Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen: Nothing makes you feel worse than sweat and sunscreen combined. After you get out of the shower from a long workout, you feel like you've already dropped ten pounds. I'm a little biased because I'm obsessed with the smell of sunscreen. However, this is lightweight, lasting, dry, and Dr.K approved. $7 or $8 available almost everywhere.
4.) Cover Girl Remarkable Washable Waterproof Mascara: My eyes love the raccoon look during the drowning days. It's like heat makes them say, "We'll show you." Mascara needs to hold in the heat, and for me, this does the trick. It washes off well with a make-up remover. I'm hooked and love the price. $6.00, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.
5.) Ban: Last but not least, I would buy stock in this deodorant. I would buy the company should they ever go out of business. I would buy it for gifts if it weren't insulting. I don't want to be the old granny on the front porch saying to my granddaughter, "Well, baby, back when I was a girl, we used to have this Ban deodorant. Lord have mercy, that stuff kept this southern belle as wispy as a cloud." This cannot ever be the Prell of the past. I will have a come apart. All of the scents are amazing. I roll it on, give it a couple of minutes to dry, and that's it for the day. It doesn't cake on my clothes. It washes out of my clothes without residue or stains. It does what it says it will do.

And to that folks, I say, "Amen!"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Microwave Garlic Grits

Y'all, I love me some grits. As one waiter I had in Chattanooga once said, "They stick to your ribs and some other things, too." I could eat grits every day of my life and never tire of them. I crave them constantly because I have iron deficiency. They have one of the highest iron contents of any food out there. To that I say, "Amen!" I love to make them from scratch, although sometimes, time will not allow. Thus, I've developed a microwave method I believe is fabulous. I'll keep eating them this way; hopefully, you'll give them a try, too!  Here's how:
1.) Buy these instant grits, in whatever flavor you wish (cheddar flavor is gross to me). For the garlic ones, I buy butter flavor. Also buy shredded sharp cheddar cheese, skim milk, and garlic powder.
2.) Microwave grits according to package directions.
3.) Remove from microwave halfway through cooking and stir well. Add cheese and desired amount of garlic powder on top. With thirty seconds left, remove and stir vigorously. Finish cooking time. If they have a thick consistency that somewhat holds to your spoon, they're done. You can also let them cool for a couple of minutes to check the consistency. Microwave more if they are soupy.
4.) Boom. Garlic grits are ready for the eatin'.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Matchstick Pant

I'm sure many men will be happy to hear that the fitted cropped matchstick pant is a huge trend for spring and summer. These pants are a little different than a capri. They have a snug fit like a skinny jean and are cropped off mid-calf. Other names include, pencil pant, kicker, and even the Martha Stewart pant. They come in a variety of colors and suit almost any occasion. Hello? How's a black pair of these with some heels, bling, flashy shirt, and clutch? You are ready for your next night wedding. You can wear this trend, I promise. No you're not too big, too this or too that. You don't have to be a size 00 to feel pretty in these pushers and the good Lord knows I'm far from that size. If you are self-conscious about the fit over certain regions, just put on a long tunic or a lightweight cardigan and you're done. I've tried on plenty of these so I could blog about it. Each time, I've had to go up a size due to the snug fit. I've seen these in plenty of stores in all colors, prices, and sizes. My favorite thing about these pants is the tight fit on the calf. Rather than cut your leg line off like a wide leg capri, these look elongated especially with wedges. If you still want to pull of this trend and don't want to pay, take a pair of your skinniest fitting jeans and grab your iron and your starch. Roll up the cuffs tightly, starch, press, and work it girl.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Matching Smatching

My first semester of grad school is over and I am so relieved. Hallelujah!

On another note, if you aren't already aware, don't match your shoes to your clothes. No matter what age you are, this is considered dated. For example, white dress need not white shoes.  Try as hard as you can to not color coordinate your look from head to toe. This is so simple to do, yet, I see people still wearing it all the time. Having a mix of colors brings visual interest to your outfits. Let's say you have a black dress and want to wear black shoes. If you choose this, you need bold color elsewhere, in a bag, scarf, or jewelry. Otherwise, your outfit tone is muted. Don't be afraid to stand out!
Guys need not match suits to shoes either. Gray goes with camel, black goes with camel, you get the idea. Yes, gray still goes with black, yada, yada, yada, but look how much fun this guy appears! Match your belt to your shoes and you're good to go.

"Clothes don't match, they go," I say. Think it through before you head out the door.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Two Thought Tuesday

Hello, sweet readers! So sorry for not posting yesterday. I had a test for grad school and worked late last night. Nevertheless, I'm back with two fun finds that have turned me into a loyal user. I hope all of you have a great Tuesday!

1.) Method Laundry Detergent, let me explain my obsession over this. I'm normally a Tide, Purex, whatever brand buyer. However, in the past few weeks I was having trouble with blue spots appearing on my clothes and towels. It would take several washes to get the detergent out, which proved very annoying. With a Target coupon in hand, I set out to find a clear detergent to rid me of this issue. While browsing, I saw this Method brand, in lavender. Not to mention it was marked down and $1.00 off with my coupon, I was sold. Oh my goodness, this product is FAB-U-LOUS. First off, the dispenser, all you have to do is squirt it in the washer! No cups or spills, hallelujah! Next, it takes four pumps for a mega load, done and done. It does not stain my clothes, towels and the like. It has scent staying power that cannot be beat. When I put on clean clothes, I want them to smell clean, here in lies my dream product. Finally, this detergent saved me from a major mishap. After I ate dinner last night, I sat down on my couch. Somehow, I got food from the table to the sofa, I believe it was stuck to my leg. GROSS!! Well, I unzipped my white slipcover, popped it in the wash with this and it is now as white as snow. This stuff is the bomb.

2.) C. Booth brand, I love you, too. Hello, this stuff is at K-Mart, (Ulta, too)!!! It too has working power. There are all types of products, and they are to die for. I particularly love this Argan Oil Body Butter. It smells heavenly, and I use it as a lotion and on my face at night. I've also given the body wash as a gift, and I've tried the regular lotion, too. Needless to say, I use this stuff like it's going out of style.