Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table



For this week's Tuesdays At The Table, as hosted by the lovely Cole, I am sharing a recipe that I got from a South Beach Diet Cookbook a few years back. I haven't made it in ages (mostly because of hubby's intestinal issues), but I'm in the mood for it right now! We were quite fond of this recipe and we normally paired it with sauteed or roasted vegetables and a slice of whole grain garlic bread. The best part is that it's healthy but it certainly doesn't taste healthy!

Chicken Capri
Ingredients
- 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese.
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 4 slices reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Directions
In a blender or food processor, combine the ricotta with the oregano, salt, and pepper. (I don't have a food processor...yet, so I just use a handheld blender and it was super easy and quick.) Process to blend. Rub the chicken with the garlic powder. (I also seasoned the chicken with onion powder because we use it in just about everything.) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 12 minutes per side. Place the chicken breasts, side by side, in a large baking dish and allow to cool. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spoon ¼ cup of the cheese mixture and ¼ cup tomatoes onto each chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of a breast registers 170°F and the juices run clear.

Now, mosey on over to Cole's blog and see what everyone else is cooking.


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Friday, May 21, 2010

Beachin' It

We're headed here again this weekend.



I just can't get enough of the beach! Which is saying a lot because I have always abhorred the sand. No, really. But I'm getting a lot better about it. It no longer makes my skin crawl...much. Ha ha. The Munchkins seem to enjoy it a lot too. They love laying in the sand and the sun. You can see pictures I took last weekend at the beach HERE.

We spent Saturday at IOP and Sunday at Breach Inlet on Sullivan's Island. I imagine we'll be doing the same this weekend. Hubby has begun insisting on going to Breach Inlet so he can fish. Typical. I like it though because not very many people go down there since you can't get in the water. I had the whole beach to myself for a good 45 minutes or so. It was SO nice! I wouldn't mind a repeat. We can't take the Munchkins there though. :(

Other than beachin' it, we probably won't be doing too terribly much. I'm sure we'll hit up the new Harris Teeter because they are having a fantastic sale. How said is it that a good grocery sale gets me excited??? Yeah, I know.

So we'll probably be taking it pretty easy this weekend since next weekend will most likely be crazy. We are going to hometown for my SIL's fiance's sister's high school graduation party. It is also Memorial Day weekend so I'm sure we'll be spending some time at the river or the pool.

Some friends of ours got engaged this week. I haven't heard the whole story yet but I'll definitely be getting it soon! They are from Northern Georgia but live here on James Island now. They are such a sweet couple and have very similar personalities to Dru and me. Zack has had the ring since a couple of weekends ago. The ring is an antique that was in her aunt's shop. She noticed it missing the following weekend and was SOOOO upset. It was so hard for everyone who knew to keep it a secret because she would tell anyone who would listen that her ring was gone. But she quickly figured it all out on Wednesday night. He took her down to the pineapple fountain (it's a Charleston thing). Her parents are in town for the week too so they were there roaming around (but not right with them). He asked her there. She is so excited that she has already started planning. I couldn't be happier for her and I can't wait to see the ring. I KNOW it's fab.

It seems like there are so many ladies out there in bloggy-land and here that are engaged. It makes me reminisce about my own wedding. This may spark a host of wedding-related posts...just so you are warned! Ha ha. I need to check in with my SIL to see how her planning is coming and see if there is anything she would like to delegate to me. I can't wait to go dress shopping with her!


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Friday, May 14, 2010

Recent Finds

Do you remember back when I did this post about our "Wedding Weekend' in Sumter back in mid-April? And do you remember that I mentioned finding some cute stuff for the house in TJ Maxx & hubby's aunt's antique store? Good 'cause that's what this post is about! Ha ha.

First, the frame. As we were looking around hubby's aunt's antique store, I saw a lot of adorable things that I wanted to bring home with me. But, I was a good girl and refrained from picking anything up and asking how much for it. I walked around with hubby, saying "Oh that would be perfect for (insert room)." When I saw this frame, I instantly fell in love. I don't know what it was about it that drew me in, but I couldn't stop talking about it. There's no picture in it, no paiting, it is just an empty frame. Hubby asked his aunt how much it was and she gave it to him. How nice was that? He surprised me when he walked out of the store with it and put it in the car. But now here is my dilemma...what on earth do I do with it? I don't want to put a picture in it and use it in its traditional manner. I want to do something fun with it. Now I know some of you ladies will have some ideas for me and I am ALL ears!

Sorry, the natural lighting in my house is terrible!


Here's a detail shot.

After the antique store, we went with MIL and SIL to TJ Maxx. I always like to hit up a TJ Maxx when I'm traveling because they all have different stuff and some of them are SO awesome! In the home goods section, I found this adorable decanter.


Sorry the picture is so bad. It isn't easy finding a place with enough light AND a solid background to take a picture of something clear.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with the decanter either, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. I would like to fill it with something cool and display it somewhere so it looks even cooler. Any ideas?

I also found an apothecary jar. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I could NEVER have enough of these. I love them but it is so hard to find them at a good price. They have tons of them in Michael's but they're $15 a piece. I'd rather spend less money and get a bunch of them than have to spend that much and only come home with one.

It took me a little while before I could decide what I wanted to fill it with. I wanted something colorful and springy to go inside of it but I just wasn't sure what. When I went to buy all the supplies for my Mother's Day wreaths, that's when I decided to fill them with silk flowers. I can always use the flowers later for more wreaths. Right now I have this in my spare bathroom (because it doesn't really match my living room), but I am thinking of moving it into my bathroom. I love how bright and cheery it is.

The flash distorts the colors a bit, but you get the idea.

And the last thing I found was this wire basket. I knew I could use it in a million different places for a million different things so I snatched it up. I wanted to put it in my spare bathroom to put rolled up hand towels in, but the only place to put it is on the back of the toilet and that space just isn't big enough. So for now I'm still trying to decide where I want to use it first, but I'll definitely do something with it soon. Ideas are welcome!


The frame was free, the decanter was $5, the apothecary jar was $5, and the basket was $10. Not too bad, especially considering most of them I can use many different times for many different things. I like things with multiple uses!

If you have any ideas for any of these items to share with me, I would be so grateful to hear them. Have a great weekend ladies. TGIF!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table



For this week's Tuesdays At The Table, as hosted by the lovely Cole, I am sharing a recipe that hubby and I adore. I am always looking for a healthier alternative to junk foods that we ocassionally enjoy. When I stumbled across this recipe for healthier chips, I fell in love. We love to slice up an eggplant and make these chips to eat with an assortment of different dishes. And they NEVER disappoint. The best part is, they are super easy! Give 'em a try and I'm sure you'll love them!

Eggplant Chips
- 1 eggplant, unpeeled
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasonings

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour olive oil on cookie sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder. Swoosh the cookie sheet around to mix and coat the sheet well. Slice eggplant into 1/4” or 1/8” thick rounds, depending on your taste and kitchen tools. Place the eggplant slices on cookie sheet. Rub each slice into the olive oil and garlic powder-coated cookie sheet, then turn each slice over and rub around to coat the other side. Sprinkle lightly with half of the Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Turn over gently and sprinkle with remaining Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness, on each side. (Turn over when brown on the bottom.)

Now, mosey on over to Cole's blog and see what everyone else is cooking.



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Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend

Boy was my weekend full! I am exhausted but it was so nice to see everyone this weekend. We drove to the hometown on Saturday morning, dropped the munchkins off at my Mom's, and then headed to the reception site. We were helping my MIL cater a vow renewal. We worked diligently all morning trying to put everything together until we all had to leave to get ready for the wedding. Hubby and I barely made it to the wedding on time. It was a short and sweet ceremony. It was very nice to see a married couple renewing their vows after 25 years together.
After the ceremony, hubby and I hurried over to the reception site to help finish up and set everything out. My MIL had been there the whole time and hadn't had a chance to go home to change. She ended up dropping her phone in the toilet so it wasn't even functional. It was craziness but we managed to get everything together and set out by the time the guests arrived. The food was yummy but it was A LOT of work and it was so HOT out.

Sunday hubby took me to breakfast. We ran into my dad and brother there and had breakfast with them. They were on their way to the golf course. After breakfast we headed back to my Mom's wait for her to get home. She and my stepdad were in Myrtle Beach for his high school reunion. She knew I had made her something for Mother's Day but she didn't know what. She was anxious to see it so I handed it over shortly after she got home. This is it:


This first picture was taken with natural light so you can get a better idea of the colors.


This was taken with the flash so you can see the details better.

I thought I got the idea for the wreath from simpledaisy, but I can't seem to find the post. So if you are reading this and you posted about a wreath similar to the one above please let me know so I can give you credit! Thanks.

This wreath was a VERY time consuming project. I had no idea just how long it would take me to wrap the warn around the wreath enough to cover the whole thing. I bought all the supplies for it on April 24th and I didn't finish it until May 5th. I did a little bit every night until it was finally finished. Then all that was left was to pain the E and attach the flowers. I definitely had fun making it, but it did take quite a long time. Next time I'll start even earlier.

The next two wreaths were born out of a lack of time. Because the first wreath took so much time (and because the craft store only had one wreath form when I bought the supplies the first time), I had to figure something else out for my MIL and my stepmom that I could finish in only a couple of days. That's when I got the idea to do a ribbon wreath. Here is the outcome:


Taken with natural light.


Taken with flash.


Taken in natural light:


Taken with flash.

I was very pleased with the effect of the two ribbons overlapping. It turned out better than I could have planned for. All three were well-received and I hope I see them hanging the next time I visit. I'm already trying to come up with new ideas for more wreaths. I had so much fun making them that I would love to continue making gifts for people. It's so much more satisfying than buying something in a hurry.

So, what's the verdict ladies? Do you like? Any suggestions on way to change it up for the next ones? I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions you have for me. :)



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Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

Saturday was the Charleston Dog Show in Marion Square (downtown Charleston). Of course you know we HAD to go and take Bentley and Lexi. Any opportunity to do dog-related stuff and socialize the munchkins and we are so THERE. We went last year and I posted about it on the munchkins blog. You can go over there and read about it if you are interested. I forgot to take my camera along last year but I didn't forget this year!
We didn't get there until around 12, after spending nearly 30 minutes trying to find parking. We went a bit earlier last year but since it goes from 8am-3pm, I wasn't about to go and stay all day. A few hours was plenty of time to see everything.
Hairy Winston was there of course. That was our first stop. We swung by to say hello to Jennie before checking out all the vendors. There were A LOT and I can't even begin to remember them all! There were a ton of people there and nearly as many dogs. It was craziness.
Shortly after we got there we ran into our friends Melissa and William and their teensy weensy Chihuahua Rigby. Ya'll when I say this dog is tiny, I mean he is tiny. I first "met" Melissa through a Chihuahua forum I am an active member of but then we met in person at last year's Hairy Winston Fashion Show. We have been in love with little Rigby ever since!


Here is Rigby. Notice his handsome PADH!



Here is Bentley and Rigby together. Do you see the size difference? This is 2.5 lbs versus 5 lbs of Chihuahua!




Chihuahuas sharing the love.




We met up in front of the show ring just in time to watch the toy breed competition. Of course i took some pictures!




A Papillion getting judged.


A Pomeranian waiting to be judged.




Cute puppy but he had a little trouble walking. He was all over the place.




Sitting pretty.




How awesome is this girl? She was beautiful and reminded of just how tiny my little ones are!
I didn't catch this little girl's name but she was nearly as small as Rigby!




Miss Drama Queen was very well-behaved. Only a couple of grumbles because some kid with no parents tried to hit her in the head with a balloon.



Rigby with his Mama.



Would you look at that handsome boy sporting his PADH?


This little guy's name is Bentley too. I think his owners said he was around 10lbs so here is 10lbs versus 2.5!








I had a lot of fun at the show and I think Dru and the munchkins did too. It was so amazing to see all of the different dogs and it was such a great opportunity to socialize the munchkins more. The only bad part of the day is when some little girl, whose parents apparently weren't doing a lot of actual parenting, tried to pet Bentley and Lexi, WITHOUT ASKING, with the had a balloon was tied around. She hit them in the head AND she proceeded to come back by later and hit me in the head! And no, she wasn't not alone. Her dad was right there with her. I can't even begin to stress enough how important it is to teach your children about animals and the proper way to approach them. Yes, most dogs are very people friendly, my two included, but there are dogs out there that aren't and will snap or bite. And too, even very friendly dogs can be in a situation where they feel overwhelmed and the only person who can read that is his/her owners. So it is ALWAYS important that adults and children ask before petting. We saw both extremes at the dog show and it was so nice and refreshing to hear parents directing their children at how to approach the dogs.

We stayed around for a couple of hours and then we were all exhausted and ready to go home. We had a little bit of walk back to the car but once we got there, the munchkins settled in their carseat and went right to sleep. We still had yet to each lunch so we grabbed a salad at home and then had to go to Hairy Winston (the store this time) to pick up some sunscreen for the munchkins for our beach trip the following day.

You can see more pictures from the Dog Show at the Munchkins' blog.


Sunday morning I woke up and wasn't feeling quite right. But, I thought maybe if I got out and got a little sun, I might feel better. So we got our stuff together and headed to the beach. It was cloudy that morning but the clouds were supposed to clear and leave us with a beautiful, sunshine-y day. The temperature while it was cloudy was glorious. It was THE perfect temperature but it turned HOT quickly once the sun came out. I swear we skipped right over spring and headed right into summer. Ugh.

There were a lot of people with dogs on the beach. Since it's been a while since our last beach visit, Bentley and Lexi weren't too thrilled with the "intrusion" but once we start going regularly again, they'll get over it.


I took this shortly after arriving at the beach. It was still cloudy.


My handsome boy!



Lexi loves laying and rolling in the sand. She is such a character.







Some friends kept peeking out of their holes at us.






Another view after the sun came out. The munchkins love laying in the sunshine!
These dogs were sitting near us. Their owners were letting them run around off-leash which isn't exactly allowed but they were pretty well-behaved.



Lexi was saying "It's hot out here Mom!" We always take an umbrella for them and for hubby to sit under. He burns easily.



Watching the waves.

Snuggling on Mama's towel & cover-up.

Right before we decided to leave, Dru took the munchkins out to the water. They normally don't like the water "chasing" after them. They'll run up to it, but when it starts to come back they take off! It is so funny to watch.





Please excuse hubby's glaring lack of a suntan. He burns easily even when he uses SPF50. So he normally hangs out under the umbrella.


"Time to go back to Mama. Coming Mom!"

I was feeling progressively worse, so we decided to go home shortly after that. I think it was around 1:00pm or so. We both needed to eat anyway so we packed up and made the 2 minute drive back to the house. After a quick shower, and a quick bath for the munchkins (it was bath day for them), we got lunch from Ye Old Fashioned and then I laid down for a nap. I couldn't really sleep for longer stretches than like 20 minutes. At some point I thought I might have a fever so I checked it and sure enough, I had a slight fever. I felt awful, especially since I was sweating one minute and freezing the next.

I just took it easy the rest of the day and the munchkins were sweet enough to snuggle with me. I NEVER skip a meal, I LOVE food, but I felt so bad I couldn't even eat dinner. That is SO not like me, but thankfully after getting some rest Monday afternoon (I left work early), I began feeling much better. I'm pretty much back to my normal self now! Yay!

If you want to see more pictures from the beach on Sunday, you can check them out HERE.

Now onto this coming weekend. We have a full weekend ahead of us. We are going to our hometown for the weekend to celebrat Mother's Day with our moms. On Saturday, we have a vow renewal to attend. My MIL is catering the reception so I will be helping out with that. The vow renewal is for my SIL's boyfriend's parents. That will be a full day's worth there. My mom and stepdad will be in Myrtle Beach for his class reunion. Don't ask me why they scheduled it for Mother's Day weekend because I can't even begin to tell you.

Sunday we have a full day of visiting and food. We have to spend time with my Mom, probably go see my Mom's mom, go eat with my Dad's mom, and go to Dru's grandmother's with his whole family to eat with them. And then somewhere in there we have to find time to pack up and come home. Boy is it going to be an exhausting weekend!

I am hand-making all of our Moms' gifts. I can't tell you what they are or show you pictures yet because I don't know who will be popping in here, but I promise to post about them after Sunday. My Mom's is finished. I finished it on Wednesday night. It took forever! I've been working on it for over 2 weeks and never dreamed it would take so long. Unfortunately when I picked up the supplies, they didn't have what I needed for the other two so I have to pick that up tonight. I am only missing one piece for those but it is a crucial piece. Thankfully these two won't take very long at all. Next time I'll know to start a month in advance instead of two weeks in advance!

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I hope that all you mothers out there have a wonderful Mother's day and I hope all you daughters out there get to spend some time with your Mothers and make their day special.


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