Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What's For Dinner?

I was channel surfing the other night and caught an episode of
"The Pioneer Woman"
on the food network....I had heard of her but had never seen her show before
and the dish she was cooking caught my attention.
It was part of her "16 Minute Meals" series,
and she was making Beef With Snow Peas.

So in my quest to find yum out FAST dinners for week nights,
I printed the recipe and tried it tonight!
I got a thumbs up from all of the kids and it WAS fast and easy to make!

Here is the recipe:

Beef with Snow Peas
1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, trimmed of fat and sliced very thin against the grain
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 T cooking sherry
2T brown sugar
2T cornstarch
1 T minced fresh ginger
8 oz fresh snow peas, ends trimmed
5 whole scallions, cut into half-inch pieces on the diagonal
salt as needed
3T peanut oil
crushed red pepper

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Pour half the liquid over the sliced meat in a bowl and toss with hands. Reserve the other half of the liquid. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.
Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. 
Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.
Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Note....I used ground ginger instead of fresh ginger and I forgot to buy the scallions,
but it turned out fabulously and any time ALL the kids like something I fix for dinner,
it is a WIN!

Please visit the The Pioneer Woman's website to see her wonderful post
of this recipe and for many more pictures and how to instructions!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

One Room Challenge Week Six.....Better Late Than Never

Linking very LATE to Linda's One Room Challenge Linking Party,
which actually ended May 8th, 
but due to circumstances that are not worth mentioning,
I have been MIA on my blog and did not finish our bedroom on time.
Today, my window treatments were installed and I am FINALLY done!

As a reminder, here is what I started out with.....
This picture is with the previous owner's furniture...but it basically looked this horrible with our furniture too.

Here is my mood board....

And here is my finished room....
I love it!!!

I am thrilled with how it turned out!
I still have a few things to do...
such as find a few photos of me and D for the frames on my dresser,
and get the arm chair I scored at a consignment shop recovered.
I also have a few piles of "junk" in our master bathroom that used to clutter the bedroom
that need to be sorted through.
I had hoped to get a pair of matching nightstands that were taller,
but the budget did not permit and I didn't really find anything I loved anyway.
I will be keeping my eye out for a pair of them when I am out consignment shopping!
I also never found a small green and white porcelain lamp for on top of the chest of drawers,
but I shopped my house and moved my gold leaf pineapple lamp to the chest
and I decided I like it there.
As you can see from my photos, 
I lost the ceiling fan
I would have LOVED to put a crystal chandelier in, 
but sweet D would have died of a heat stroke without the fan.

I hope you visited all of the fabulous linking participants
as well as the talented bloggers who were a part of the ORC!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

One Room Challenge Week Four

It's week four of  Linda's One Room Challenge Linking Party
and I'm continuing to make progress!

My number one priority was to get the blinds hung....
I started to hang them myself,
but Teddy took pity on me and had them hung in less than ten minutes!
He takes after my Michigan dad and Virginia dad and is extremely handy!
They are room them!
My coverlet and Euro shams arrived from One Kings Lane in record time...
as in I ordered them on a Monday night and they were here on Wednesday,
and I am thrilled with the quality and love how they look!

I spent all day Saturday making the rounds at my favorite consignment shops
with Caroline and my Virginia mom and boy did it pay off!!!!!
 I was starting to feel stressed about not finding a pair of botanical prints
to hang above the headboard.
I'm on a budget but was willing to splurge a little to get the perfect pair,
but I was not finding anything I liked in any price range.
Virginia mom spotted these at a consignment shop we were at on Saturday,
and they were not only PERFECT, they were a STEAL!
I already hung them up and love them!!!
I shopped my attic and found a few other prints for our bedroom and hung those as well.

I moved a very special piece of furniture into our room when I moved my desk out....
my great grandmother's secretary desk.
It is a small desk with Queen Anne legs and a mirrored cabinet,
and I would like to fill it with crystal, sliver, or white porcelain pieces.
I shopped my home for some things and found a few more things at consignment shops.

I love this small silver canister...the shop owner said it came from a castle in France.
I also scored this cut glass vase as well...I love how it reflects in the mirror!
I would love to get a pair of small white Staffordshire dogs for the cabinet,
and I have a small rose bowl and a few other small silver pieces I can use.

After rearranging the furniture,
I decided that I needed an arm chair to fill the space next to my dresser.
I added that to my consignment shopping list and hit the jackpot again!
This beauty was $50! It's very sturdy and in great shape...just needs new fabric!
Here's what I am planning to have it recovered it in...
This will not be finished by the end of the ORC, but I plan to add pictures of it once it's done! ORC is coming along fabulously,
and the main things I need to finish are my window treatments and custom bedding.
I'm hoping those will be done in the next week!

I do have a small "to do" list....
1. continue to search for a small green and white porcelain lamp for tall dresser
2. finish sorting through "junk" that was in our bedroom
3. order fabric for chair
4. finish hanging pictures and mirror
5. help D with his mile long "honey do" list

I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting all of the other talented participants
in the One Room Challenge Linking Party.
If I am totally honest with y'all,
I feel slightly inadequate as I am not DIYing anything on my own ORC project.
I am AMAZED to see all of the skill and talent out there in blogland!
The wallpapering, painting, demolition, re-finishing of floors, the list goes on....
I am truly impressed with all of the talent displayed!
I really would have loved to tackle some DIY projects...
I used to do them all of the time when I was a stay-at-home mom.
Realistically, however, now is not a time in my life where it would be sensible
to try and add any DIY projects to my schedule....
just adding a dentist appointment to my schedule can throw me for a loop right now!
Some day I will have the time to take on DIY projects,
and I know I will miss these crazy busy days when I don't know which end is up!

Just keeping it real y'all.....
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend in Review

I had an extremely Happy Easter!
Caroline flew home from school to spend the holiday with us,
and it was a wonderful weekend.
We hit the outlets and did some shopping,
we found some treasures for my ORC while visiting some of my favorite consignment shops,
I waited until Caroline was home to celebrate my birthday so we had my birthday party,
and we went to church together and to the club for Easter brunch with my parents.
We finished off the day with my Virginia mom's traditional Easter Egg Hunt,
where the eggs are hidden so well that we are still finding them at Halloween!

 Here we are just before heading off to church...
  I'm happiest when I have all of my kids home!
 My baby is strange to have them taller than I am!
 My beautiful girls...
Half of our family!

D was in Delaware with his children visiting his mother for spring break and Easter...
and we missed them!
Hope y'all had a FABULOUS Easter too!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

One Room Challenge Week Three

It's week three of Linda's One Room Challenge 
and I am making great progress with my own ORC!
My painter came and did a FABULOUS job of patching the "painted over wallpaper" walls!
This is just a fraction of the amount of patching he did....
but you can NOT tell that he painted over the "painted over wallpaper"...the walls are perfect!

I cannot tell you how THRILLED I am with my paint color!!!!
Benjamin Moore Papaya
(it's not as dark as it looks in this picture)
This is a little more accurate and shows the contrast with the crown moulding.
The hardest part of the ORC for me so far has been this....
Moving into Caroline's room while my room was being painted.
I cannot stand living in clutter and having everything out of sorts!
I moved most of the "junk" out of my room and into hers.
Yes that is the infamous ceiling fan from our bedroom on her floor...
I am ready to surrender....the fan is staying.....sadly.

Once the painting was finished, 
I only moved back into our room what is staying in the room.
That left a lot of this...
Here is a pile of "junk" in our master bathroom that must find a new home,
because I am not going to clutter our new room!
I have also been playing musical furniture...
Here is my was in our bedroom,
but it's finding a new home on our third floor and has been sitting at the end of the hallway 
waiting for my boys to come home and move it.
I NEED to get all of this stuff sorted and put away what I'm keeping
and make a trip to Goodwill with everything else....
our bedroom really had become a dumping ground,
and I will have none of that now!

This past week I also did a little shopping....
New blinds, new outlet covers, and new light switches...
I moved back into our room but there aren't any blinds on the windows
since I took the old ones down before the painter came.
D won't be home for another week and a half,
so I may have to hang them myself...not my specialty but I think I can manage.
I've also been shopping for a few new accessories....
LOVE this lattice cachet pot I found at a consignment shop
and the topiary from my favorite HomeGoods!

I'm having a custom bed skirt and shams made in the Thibaut fabric,
and I've been looking for a coverlet and Euro shams in a white trellis print.
One Kings Lane had a beautiful basket weave coverlet and shams,
and they are on their way to me!
Here is the pattern up close...I ordered white and it should be here early next week!
Here is a reminder of my inspiration board....
Here is what's on my to do list for the next week...
1. shop for a green and white porcelain lamp
2. shop for botanical prints for above our bed
3. shop my house for crystal and silver accessories 
4. make honey do list for D
5. shop for an arm chair
6. shop for night stands
7. find new homes for the piles of "junk" that came out of the bedroom

Anyone have a good source for small porcelain lamps (I want a green and white one that is about 18"tall)?
Or a good source for botanical prints (similar to the ones on my inspiration board)?

Looks like it will be a week of shopping for me!
I'm so happy with the progress,
and I'm even happier with the colors and fabrics I selected!

Please remember to check out all of the fabulous ORC participants at Calling It Home,
and of course check out the ORC linking party!
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Renting the Runway for the Submarine Birthday Ball

D and I attended the Washington DC Area
114th Annual Submarine Birthday Ball on Friday night 
and we had a wonderful time!
Here we are at dinner....we were seated at D's corporate table.
My favorite part of the ball is seeing old friends....
this Lieutenant was a Junior Officer on the USS Texas back when D was the Commanding Officer,
and he and his wife have become dear friends of ours.
Here is a full length shot of my dress...which I loved!
And guess what?
I have three ballgowns that I have been re-running for about four years now,
and I wanted something new but did not want to invest in another gown.
My daughter, Caroline, encouraged me to try Rent the Runway 
and I'm so glad I did!

My hesitation in using RTR was that I did not want a dress that looked like it had been worn 1000 times,
I did not want a dress that was "cheap" and poorly made,
and I also was not 100% sure what size to order.
I am super picky and wanted a dress that was both classy and sensational!
I don't like to wear black to formal events....
I am a pink and green "bright colors" girl,
and I knew I wanted an emerald green gown for this event.

I did some research and RTR sends you two sizes when you order,
they guarantee your satisfaction and will overnight another dress 
if you don't like the one you ordered or are not satisfied,
and they have all designer in some of their gowns retail for well over $1000.
Here is the online photograph of my dress...
I loved this Halston dress but was not too hip on the amount of leg the dress shows.
The other nice thing about RTR is that they have customer reviews on most all of their dresses,
and customers also upload their own photos wearing the gowns so you can see it on a "real" person!
The reviews on this dress all said the slit was not nearly as revealing as this photo showed,
and the color of the dress is slightly darker in person than the photos on the web page.

I took the plunge and ordered!
You can rent for four days or for eight days,
and the dress will arrive the day before your event by overnight delivery.
My dresses arrived Thursday afternoon...
I ordered my regular size and a size larger as most of the reviews said this dress ran small.
Inside the box both dresses were on hangers, had a plastic garment bags over them, were gently folded,
and both dresses looked like new with no signs of wear and no wrinkles.
My dress hanging in the mancave before the ball...
And here is how I styled it...
I posted this on can actually rent jewelry too but I knew exactly what I wanted
and found the bracelet and earrings a Nordstrom.
Attached to the hanger was this tag with instructions on how to return the dresses...
it could NOT have been easier!
No dry cleaning or even hanging back on the hangers...
just place both dresses in the pre-paid envelope they provide and drop off at UPS!
It truly could not have been easier!

So my review on Rent the Runway is two thumbs up!
The selection, convenience, the price, and the quality of the dress were all excellent!
Rent the Runway has more than just ballgowns to rent,
so if you are looking for a fabulous designer cocktail dress,
or you would like to have a Chanel bag just for one event,
check them out!
Happy Birthday United States Navy Submarine Force!
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