Friday, July 24, 2015

Grilled Chicken Summer Salad w/ Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

Good morning and happy Friday! We made it to the weekend!

My next door neighbor and friend had her third baby boy a few weeks ago. I knew I wanted to bring them dinner and scrolled through my Pinterest boards for ideas. I usually make a lasagna or a hot dish for friends, but because it has been so hot outside, I decided on a simple summer salad with grilled chicken and a homemade vinaigrette.


This salad looks fancy, but it's all in the presentation! This is so easy and the homemade dressing takes less than 5 minutes to whip up. I paired it with a loaf of store bought bread and some homemade ice cream sandwiches. This comes together in no time!

Salad:
*Spinach & Romaine mixed together
*Hard boiled eggs
*Raspberries
*Blackberries
*Almond slices
*Grilled Chicken (I just butterflied 2 chicken breasts, drizzle EVOO, add McCormick's seasoning to both sides, and grill in a pan on the stove top. I keep a lid over them at a high heat to get that "grilled" look and taste)
*Blue Cheese crumbles (I put this on the side because I know blue cheese is one of those things you either love or you hate!)
*Avacado (I decided to not cut these before taking to them because I wasn't sure exactly when they would be eating. I wanted them to stay fresh)

Garlic Lime Vinaigrette:
*1/3 cup olive oil
*zest of one lime + 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
*1 clove minced garlic
*2 Tablespoons honey
*2 Tablespoons heavy cream
*1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Pour ingredients together, shake, and chill.


Our friends live right next door, so I was able to take dinner to them on this tray with some fresh cut stems from the yard. Love is in the details for me. :) xoxo

You can find the original source for this salad recipe here.

P.S. I'm tagging along on a work trip with Steve next week, so it will be radio silence around here. I'm excited to explore a city I've never been to! Be sure to follow along on Instagram to see pics from the trip!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Five Minute DIY Ribbon Wreath

Good Monday morning! After the July 4th, I took the star "wreath" down from the front door and needed a little something to get me through the rest of the summer. If you have been reading for a while, I usually make my own wreaths, and I like to change it up. This one is about as easy as it gets!


You all know my affinity for a black/white stripe, and this ribbon speaks to me. I picked up two rolls of this ribbon at Joann Fabrics and had about half a roll left over in my stash. There is no glue involved in this project, simply wrap and secure with pins.


This is a smaller wreath form that I also had hanging out in my basement. One roll of ribbon only covers half of this small wreath form (it's deceiving!), which is why I needed two. I secured the beginning and end of the roll with push pins. Make sure to pull and wrap the ribbon tight.


I used the extra half roll of ribbon to make a little bow. I tried adding different embellishments and color to this wreath, but decided I liked the pop of black and white against the black door. Flowers and pillows add color this time of year anyway.


Simple, easy, inexpensive….just the way I like it!! You could obviously make this with any ribbon in any color, but I think the black/white is always a classic choice! Hope you have a wonderful week! xo

Front Door: Valspar Kettle Black / Planters: Target (old) / Flowers: Lowes 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

DIY Faux Fur Runner

Hello! Welcome to the post on the simplest DIY project ever! I needed a runner for our office space and I wanted something with texture and something soft underfoot. I came across this image on Apartment Therapy and after a quick run to Walmart for some thread, and 10 minutes of my time, I had a 6.5 foot runner for $20! I already had two of these faux fur rugs from Ikea laying around, which made this very easy to accomplish.


All you need are two rugs (mine were $10 each from Ikea), some thread, and a needle. 


I purchased a spool of thread from Walmart for a couple bucks. I choose heavy duty thread suitable for canvas.


I hand stitched the two flat ends together with a needle and thread. I am no seamstress and I don't sew, but I can thread a needle (and mend) and was able to connect the two rugs in about 10 minutes time. The best part is that your sew job doesn't need to be perfect because it will never be seen. The seam is covered by all the crazy fur...it's very forgiving! ;)


That's it! A custom, 6.5 foot runner for $20! I love how it pops off our new hardwood floors and is soft to walk on. 


Here are some sneak peaks of our office space and new hardwoods. Almost everything in this space is from Ikea, so it seems fitting the rug is too.


Now, I just need to get my act together and finish styling this room so I can show you the rest of it!! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Blueberry Doughnut Muffins w/Lemon Glaze

Welcome to July! I'm not really sure what happened to June, but I intend to savor every remaining moment of what is left of our summer! We went early morning blueberry picking with some friends this week. I decided to come home and try a new muffin recipe that I found via Pinterest. Are you guys over Pinterest or are you still addicted? I still love and think I always will! I searched "blueberry recipes" and this one from My Baking Addiction caught my eye. I got busy and these turned out fantastic! A hint of lemon in the glaze, and a dense texture make this recipe a keeper!


We have found a great patch, The Berry Patch, for all you KC locals. They always have the sweetest berries and it's a fun experience for the kids. The patch was absolutely packed and they get picked out often, so plan ahead! This is a fun yearly tradition for us.



The ingredients in this recipe are ones you probably already have in your pantry, with the addition of lemons and blueberries. Hard to beat the taste and beauty of fresh-picked!


Blueberry Doughnut Muffins w/Lemon Glaze (from My Baking Additction)

Ingredients for Muffins:

zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cup fresh blueberries

Ingredients for Glaze:

3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon squeezed)
1 Tablespoon warm water

Directions:

1-Preheat oven to 425*. Line muffin tin or spray with non-stick spray.
2-Combine lemon zest and white and brown sugars in a medium sized bowl. Incorporate.
3-Add butter and oil to sugars and beat. Then add eggs and vanilla and combine. I used an electric hand mixer.
4-In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture and the milk a little at a time to the wet ingredients. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Fold in the blueberries carefully.
5-Spoon the batter into muffin cups and fill almost to the top.
6-Bake for 15-17 minutes. Mine took 16 minutes to become slightly golden brown and cooked through in the middle. I would start watching them around 13 minutes.
7-Allow muffins to cool. Make glaze by combining all ingredients and whisk until smooth.
8-Turn the cooled muffin upside down and dip into the glaze. 

Here they are right out of the oven...


And with the glaze...


We ate these with breakfast burritos for dinner. They are basically a dessert muffin, so they could be served at any time! Delicious! We gave a few to our friends that we went blueberry picking with. I also heated one up for breakfast this morning and it was just as good!

These would be cute served with a strawberry smoothie for 4th of July morning! You could have a little red, white, and blue action. Let me know what you think if you try them! And don't forget to follow along with me on Pinterest!  xo

Monday, June 29, 2015

Decorating Around Dark Leather Sofas

Let's talk furniture, shall we? Steve and I purchased a very large and very dark leather sofa/love seat combo many moons ago. We spend a nice chunk of change on this furniture and it has held up like no other. It's had it's fair share of spills and couch jumps and climbing children and it's been our main seating source in our last three homes. The sofa is large enough for my 6'3" husband to comfortably stretch his legs and between the two of them, they hold a lot of people. There has never been a tear, a scratch, and we've never had to do any maintenance on these sofas.


The catch is, I don't really like them anymore! They seem heavy and dark, although they are cozy and comfy. They seem too matchy-matchy for my taste and a bit formal for our casual lifestyle. But, the reality is, we have kids and a large great room to fill up, and the leather is durable, soft, washable, lived in, and paid for! So, until I find two chairs to replace the love seat, both will stay in here. I'm in no rush, but I am on the hunt. Either way, the large sofa is staying for now.


To make these work for me, I simply change the things around the sofas to appeal to my decorating taste. I also like to keep everything else surrounding these dark behemoths light and bright, especially during the summer months.


A white shag rug, soft throws, and light pillows help keep the sofas from drowning out the space. I also have a white coffee table that is easily changed out with the seasons. This room gets a ton of natural light which helps me without having to actually do anything.


We have very dark hardwood floors and dark bookcases. A white fireplace and very neutral walls keep it from being too dark. I've contemplated painting out the bookshelves to the trim color, but can't seem to pull the trigger. I'm going to restyle the bookshelves this summer and if I still don't like them, I will paint them out. More to come on that!


Because we have an open concept first floor, we essentially have no walls. This also created a problem because the back of the large sofa is exposed to the kitchen. So, I painted a thrift store dresser bright white to hide the back of the couch. I change up the accessories and added a pop of pink, and you hardly notice the couch from this angle.


Eventually, down a long and winding road, we will finish our basement and these sofas will be perfect down there. Until then, I am learning to appreciate what we have and to work with things I can't change at the drop of a hat. Love is in the details for me anyway, and accessories are a lot cheaper, so I will keep having fun with that! 

I have absolutely nothing against leather furniture. I think it's fabulous in smaller scale doses and there are so many perks to leather when you have kids. I actually think I won't mind the large sofa at all if I can find neutral chairs to replace the love seat. It's just too much in this space and too matchy for me. Let's love what we love and work around what we don't!

Do you have leather sofas? Any tricks for keeping them current and likable?


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