Life Love Larson: April 2012


Monday, April 30, 2012

BLT Salad

Our family went to a cookout last weekend, and I signed up to bring a pasta salad.  My mom gave me this super simple recipe for a BLT salad and it was so good!


Cook some pasta, chop a few veggies, make an easy dressing…


And don’t forget the bacon!!  Remember, you can get crispy bacon without making your whole house smell and feel greasy.  Simply put your bacon slices on an oven safe pan, put in a cold oven, and crank up the heat to 425 degrees.  Let bake for about 20 minutes or until it is at a level of crispiness that you like!


BLT Salad:

2 c. uncooked pasta (I used bowtie)
5 green onions, chopped (add the white parts of the onion as they are the best part!)
1 large tomato, chopped (I used several romas)
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled


1 1/4 c. mayo
5 t. white vinegar
1/4 t. salt & pepper                            

Cook pasta, drain and rinse in cold water.  Combine all ingredients and toss. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.


I told you it is easy!  And the bowl was empty when we left!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pancake & Pajama Birthday Party

My niece, Mia, turned 4 recently, and she had a pancake and pajama party at her house.  Here are a few shots from the party…

Funfetti cupcakes with homemade icing and cute cupcake toppers that my mom purchased at World Market on the cheap.


Banner is from Target and poms were homemade.


Fourteen place settings waiting for pancakes!


Gotta love Trader Joe’s!



Lanterns are also from Target.


Pancake toppings, Go-Gurts, donut holes on a stick, apple juice, and chocolate milk.  Yes, the kids were sent home on a sugar high!





Craft time involved making Fruit Loop necklaces and decorating a foam door hanger.



My sister also read “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” and they whacked away at a pinata at the end of the party!  My kids had a blast!


Happy Birthday, Miss Mia!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Ombre “K”

I jumped on the ombre bandwagon for yet another DIY project for Kate’s room.  I promise to show pictures of the completed room once I have blogged about all the projects I have been working on.  We are getting there, so stick with me!!

I had it in my mind that instead of using her paint chip letters (which got damaged in the move), I wanted to use a large “K” on the wall opposite of her headboard.  I knew that Joanne Fabrics sold the large paper mache letters, so I used a 40% off coupon and got one for $6.  With the magic of paint, Kate now has her very own ombre “K” (she’s trendy and she doesn’t even know it yet)!


I started with the paper mache letter and knew I wanted 3 different shades of pink.  I used leftover “Zany Pink” (from her headboard project) for the base of the “K”.  Like most things, I eyeballed, but feel free to measure and tape (pictures were taken in my dark basement where I decided to tackle this project so forgive the footage). 


I then used the same pink and added some leftover bone colored trim paint from our house until it seemed like it would flow.  Eyeball again, and repeat this step and add more white until you have your three colors.


I think I applied 3 coats of each color to get coverage over the brown paper.


Once dry, I used these adhesive sticky things to stick it on her wall.  These letters are large, but very light, and the “K” has been stuck for several weeks now.


And here it is hanging in her room…




I love how letters/words look in rooms.  Of course, Miss Kate loves the added touch of pink to her blue/grey walls.  In case you are wondering, paint color is Sherwin Williams “Big Chill”, the bookshelf is from PBK, the chalkboard sign in from PBK Outlet (this would be easy to recreate for less than $5 using a wood plaque from Michael’s and some chalkboard paint).  This chalkboard used to hang on her bedroom door, but the banging started to really annoy me, so it found a new home :).


Total cost for the ombre “K” was $6.  I already had the paint, and I got the adhesive strips for free when I used a coupon at our local hardware store!  The hardest part about this project is driving to the store to get your letter! 

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chicken Caesar on Flatbread

This is the easiest dinner and it always hits the spot!  To make this even easier, I throw my chicken breasts in the crockpot to cook, so everything comes together quickly at dinner time.


Drizzle a little EVOO over your chicken and add some salt and pepper.  Cook in crockpot on low for a few hours.  Shred chicken, add Caesar dressing and parmesan cheese and mix.  Shred some lettuce, cut some tomatoes and assemble.

I serve these on flatbread. 


The trick to making these so good is to melt a little margarine in a pan and brown up the flatbread for a minute or so on each side.  They become soft and delicious! 

You could, of course, just eat a chicken caesar salad, but I like my carbs!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

DIY Spring Wreath

I was in need of something big and eye catching for my front door.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money on anything, so I dug through my stash and found an old grapevine wreath.  I also found some flower stems I used on my spring mantle last year.  I knew something would come of these two finds and here it is…




This takes about 5 minutes to assemble.  I ended up using 4 large stems from Hobby Lobby (catch them when they are 50% off and they are cheap).  They have a million colors and styles to choose from. The ends are bendable, so instead of trying to cut them off, I snaked them around the bottom and I actually liked how they looked.


I bought some floral wire at Dollar Tree and tied some around the middle of the stems to hold them in place, tight to the wreath.


I then added a striped ribbon from my stash to hide the wire and add some more color.


Perfect for spring! 


I do have a covered porch, so it is protected from the elements!  Don’t forget to shop your own stuff and get creative!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

$5 Side Table

I found this cute little table at Goodwill a long time ago for $5.  It made the trek with us from TX to KS (my husband probably tried to throw it out several times, but it survived!) and I finally got a chance to give it a little TLC.

It is a very small, half-moon shaped table with sweet lines.  I tightened the screws, cleaned it up, spray primed it, and painted 3 coats of the most amazing shade of blue/green/turquoise that I already had on hand.


It is so small that is it not very functional, so I placed it in my kitchen/open area, next to a large built-in hutch and underneath the large framed pictures of my kids (which I need to update, by the way).


The pot is from TJ Maxx (3.99) and the bowl is also from TJ’s (a little gift from my sister).


Before shot:




I don’t think I will ever tire of seeing old furniture come to life with a little paint!!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

You must try these if you love buffalo wing sauce.  I made these last week and Steve and I loved them!  So easy.  Served in a corn tortilla with ranch and avocado!  Yum!
Original recipe found via  I altered the recipe slightly.  Here is my version…
Buffalo Chicken Tacos
1 pound chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, cut into 1 inch pieces
⅓ cup flour
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
⅓ cup buffalo wing sauce (Frank’s Buffalo Wing)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Corn tortillas

Shredded lettuce
Avocado slices
Ranch dressing
Shredded cheese

Heat 1 Tablespoon EVOO in a  large pan over medium-high heat.  In a large bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, and garlic powder. Season the chicken pieces with pepper, then dredge in the flour mixture.

Add chicken to oil and cook on both sides – about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Once the chicken is done, set it aside in a bowl and toss with ⅓ cup buffalo wing sauce.
For the corn tortillas, I like to cover the bottom of a shallow pan with vegetable oil and let it get hot.  Place tortilla in the oil and cook for about 1 minute then flip over and cook another minute.  Place on a napkin or paper towel and fold over to form a taco shell (helps remove the oil and forms the taco shell).
Assemble your tacos with whatever floats your boat! The avocado slices really topped them off!
Friday, April 6, 2012

Fabric Scrap Bunting

I whipped up a little fabric bunting to hang across Kate’s mirror in her bedroom.  Are you sick of all the “Kate’s room projects” yet??  I just can’t stop!! 

Buntings seem to be everywhere…here is my version…


fabric scraps
cardboard template (I eyeballed a triangle onto an old cereal box)
hot glue



I wanted this to look very homemade and not too perfect and the twine is my favorite part.


Measure how much twine you will need and find the center point.  I tied a small knot at the center point and worked my way out.  I tied a small knot in between each triangle.  Put some hot glue on the twine and fold over the top edge of the triangle.


I adhered the bunting to the back of her mirror with two small pieces of duct tape.  Really sophisticated, right?!


Since she isn’t actually tall enough to see in this mirror, her view is not obstructed.  I am loving the added pop of color it provides on the opposite wall of her pink bed.  I had all supplies on hand so this project was the best price:  FREE!  Total time, from start to hanging, took me about 15 minutes.


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