Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wrap It Up!

I'm pretty obsessed with brown paper & bright ribbon for wrapping gifts!  And there's no need for a gift tag...you can write right on the paper with chalk! The best part is I bought a 30" by 15' roll at the Dollar Tree for $1, and already had ribbon at home!  I'll be keeping this in mind when Christmas comes back around too! Frugal friends, this calls for a happy dance! ;)

Sprinkle Rimmed Mason Jars With Stripey Straws: The Life of the Party

I'll be gradually posting bits and pieces from Kollyns' party on here that I captured with my phone until my camera decides to cooperate and let me download all of the good ones!  I went into DIY mode in the weeks leading up to this party and just decided to go for it.  And by 'go for it' I mean 'work myself ragged & spend too much money.' Yeah, I will be needing a full year to recover from this birthday extravaganza...and maybe even longer than that.  In the end though, it was ALL WORTH IT.  And although Kollyns won't remember any of it probably, we have all of the precious memories captured to remind her of her big day.  The things we do for our kids, I tell ya.  One of my favorite things I did for this party that was a huge hit with our guests were the sprinkle rimmed Mason jars with bright stripey straws.  It was super easy and made a big statement!  And my strawberry punch (recipe & pics to come), which turned out a pink peachy color completed the look perfectly! And I couldn't help but smile when I saw people eating the sprinkles and white chocolate off of the rim!  YES!

If you like this look...make it happen!
Mason Jars from Kroger
Stripey Sorbet Straw Mix from Shop Sweet LuLu
1 Bag of White Ghirardelli Chips (Melted)
Sprinkles of your Choice

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Treats!

Oh yes, today is the day that you can overindulge in all things sweet without the guilt.  You can make up for it later with an extra butt kicking workout. ;) After being together almost 8 years, buying each other material things is just plain lame.  It's the thought and the effort that counts.  Beth & Emily came over last night and helped Kollyns and me make some banging Valentine's Day cookies!  The sugar cookies were straight from the Betty Crocker bag with Betty Crocker Strawberry Icing.  But the strawberry sandwich cookies included a homemade icing that was swoon worthy.  Here's the recipe that I used.

For the cookies:

1 Box Pillsbury Strawberry Cake Mix
2 Eggs
Crisco Shortening (3/4 cup)

For the Frosting:

1 block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 stick of softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
Mix Cake Mix, Eggs & Crisco in a Large Bowl
Roll out the dough until 1/4 inch thick
Cut Dough into heart shapes (or whatever shape you choose)
Bake for 8 Minutes

While the cookies are baking...
Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
Slowly add in the powdered sugar.
Stir Stir Stir

Cool cookies on a rack.
Spread icing on bottom side of one cookie and sandwich it with another cookie!
They are like little oatmeal creme pies except they are strawberry cream cheese cookie pies! 

Talk about a party in your tummyyyyy. Yummy Yummy. 

For the mom's that have kids...yes, that was most definitely a Yo Gabba Gabba reference. ;)

I'm So Ready For Summer...

Nothing like bathing suit shopping at Victoria's Secret to get a girl motivated.  Pretty weather is right around the corner...and pretty weather is bathing suit weather!  Heck yes!  And if you don't feel quite ready for bikini weather you still have time, so get your butt to the gym!  It's never too late to get in shape!  My favorite summer workout is soon to be detailed in a post, so stay tuned!  VS has this cool new feature on their website called the Bikini Mixer.  I love mixing and matching so I was THRILLED to stumble upon this today.  I totally just ordered myself 3 new bathing suits (shhh, don't tell Devin).  Happy Valentine's Day to me. ;) 

Here are my favorite combinations that will soon be gracing my closet with their perfect pops of color.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Easiest Cube Steak EVER!

Who doesn't love good ol' southern comfort food?  I don't eat stuff like this all the time for obvious reasons.  But some days I splurge and really enjoy myself.  I went to mom's house last night for dinner and someone had given her a super easy cube steak recipe!  Cube steak is most definitely not a 'pretty' dish, but it sure is GOOD.  I've never made it before in my life because when you get into making gravy and all that jazz I get intimidated.  Well, this is one recipe for the books...and I will make it at least once a month from now on!  It was a hit with Devin too which makes it even better!  It was so tender and the flavor was praise worthy!  I really couldn't get over it.  Not to mention it is fairly cheap to make, and I guess the bisquick topping fills you up really quick because I could only eat 1/2 a piece...which means the recipe goes a long way!  Yay!

Pam Baking Spray (Optional)
Bisquick (Regular, Heart Healthy, or Gluten Free...your choice)
Light Ranch Dressing
Cube Steak
Butter (We used Parkay Squeeze Butter)

Spray your baking dish with Pam (I've cooked this without greasing the dish and the breading on the bottom came off but it was still good, that's why it's optional ;)!)
Coat Cube Steak in Ranch Dressing (Both Sides)
Sprinkle Bisquick on both sides of steak
Place Coated Cubed Steak In a Baking Dish in a Single Layer
Squeeze a little butter on top of each piece of steak
Bake at 375 for 45 Minutes

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spring Picks for Kollyns!

Everyone knows I'm a BabyGap fanatic....and I am so over winter.  Maybe by posting some sweet spring duds, I'll help bring the pretty weather on a little sooner!  I love baby clothes that look like classy grown-up clothes, and BabyGap always has just what I'm looking for! Here are a few of my faves that Kollyns will most certainly be getting!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Flashback to Kollyns' 1st Birthday!

Since we are just 2 short weeks away from my sweet girl's 2nd birthday (Wait, what?), and it's throwback Thursday on all other social networks...I think it's appropriate to do a little throwback post on Kollyns 1st birthday celebration.  It certainly doesn't feel like it was a whole year ago, and it's just a glaring reminder that time with my little one is something to be treasured because she won't be little for long.  Here's a look at her 1st birthday party to be followed soon with a post detailing her 2nd birthday party!  Happy almost birthday KollyBelle!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kollyns' Outfit of the day!

I love dressing my kid.  Like I seriously live for it.  The Lord knew I wouldn't know what in the world to do with a little boy so he gave me this precious little girl to raise.  And part of the raising is dressing her up and playing with her hair and teaching her girly things!  She loves to play dress up and change outfits, and she isn't even 2 and can put lip gloss on like a pro!  Oh yes, I'm on the right track with this one.  Here's a little look at my sassy girl today rocking her Baby Gap ensemble.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crafty Kelsey: Chalkboard Invitations

Everyone that has ever planned a party knows that if you don't watch it, you will quickly develop an irreparable hole in your pocket.  The little stuff adds up super fast and before you know it you've dropped hundreds on just a small family get together.  Well as you know, Kollyns 2nd birthday is fast approaching and as I was spending and spending and spending...my inner frugalista was crying and crying and crying.  So I started thinking.  And then I made a list of the things I could get away with using an 'el cheapo' approach versus the things that I would just have to splurge on.  Guess what?  The first thing that came to my mind were the invitations.  Of course I could go on Shutterfly and order some cute photo invitations at $1.49 a pop x 40.  Which adds up to about $60.  OR I could channel crafty Kelsey and get creative.  Oh yes, I was on a mission and boy did I get lucky.  I randomly popped in the TJ Maxx this past Tuesday and hit the jackpot.  I had been looking for glass apothecary jars with tops to use for Kollyns' candy bar and online they were running at about $16- $32 a piece plus an outrageous shipping and handling charge because they are so fragile.  Well you wouldn't believe this but my favorite store had a huge shelf of them in an assortment of sizes for $6.99-$16.99(for a HUGE jar) and I didn't have to pay shipping!  Jackpot!!! So then I start browsing the stationary aisle and they had these ridiculously adorable brown paper thank you notes with a neon K on them!  $3.99 for a pack of 50!  Are you kidding me?  I literally squealed with excitement.  I brought those bad boys home & started trying to figure out how I could make them super cute.  I tried a white paint pen which faded out and looked cruddy.  Then I tried metallic silver and gold pens and they barely showed up on the paper.  I was getting so sad.  Crafty Kelsey loses again. Wahhh. Then I opened the cabinet and saw my leftover quart of RustOleum Chalkboard Paint and a fab idea hit me.  I made myself a little heart stencil and painted a heart shaped chalkboard on each thank you note and wrote the info in chalk on the invitations.  They turned out super cute.  But now I can only hope that it doesn't rain when my little jewels are being delivered or no one will know when the actual party is haha!  It's a good thing everyone that's invited has my number so they can call and ask what the heck the chalky mess is supposed to say!  Even though there are risks with this little bright idea, I'm going for it!  At less than $0.08 per invitation...what do I have to lose?