Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Happy Wednesday! I was transferring some of my iphone pics from my phone to my external HD and wanted to post a few. I have been having way to much fun with the new phone ap.

Top to Bottom - left to right
1. Oliver snuggles    |    2. Pink ruffled sweetness
3. Me as a toddler    |    4. Giant heels that didn't end up happening (of course, I went the practical route)
5. Summer livin'    |    6. Concert on the Square
7. Princess pops made by my sister-in-law (craftiness runs in the fam)    |    7. Cheap-O scarf & a little phone app fun

1. My little spider monkey    |    2. Girl cousins
3. No more of that Johnson & Johnson crap    |    4. Snuggles before bed
5. All the littles at Miss Isla's 2nd Birthday Party    |    6. Storm sky
7. Work outfit    |    8. Deliciousness

1. Brixton giving E a lift    |    2. Playing with our new phones a work 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Good Morning and Happy Tuesday to y'all! The wedding was fantastic, but more on that later this week. For now, here is a DELICIOUS quinoa recipe for you...

I was thinking about my diet the other day and I really need to step up the veggies. I tried this recipe b/c it is packed full of 'em! It isn't exactly a quick weeknight meal unless you food prep that morning of the night before. I always find myself saying "If you want to eat heathy, you are going to have to chop sh!t up!" and sometimes all the darn chopping can be time consuming. Oh, and for those who are gluten free, this recipe is too! :)

¾ cup uncooked quinoa
1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup diced green onions
½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

For the dressing:
¼ cup all natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
1 tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
Water to thin, if necessary

Chop up ingrediants

Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
MAKE DRESSING: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.
Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. (I added it all)

Next mix the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6th of recipe Calories: 260 Fat: 13.5g Carbohydrates: 27.7g Sugar: 7g Fiber: 4.3gProtein: 8.6g
Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

Food prep - chop up veggies

Make the dressing 
Add the dressing to the quinoa

Add in the chopped veggies


Another picture of my little kitchen helper. :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

BRB and a sneak peek...

I am going to take a little mini blogging break - only for a few days. I am up to my eyeballs in freelance work and I will be spending the weekend celebrating this beautiful couple. Wish me luck on my MOH speech! :)

Photography - Blue Dandelion Photography    |    Save the Date: me

Oh, and here is a sneak peek at a little freelance project I am working on.
Wait until you see the rest of the pieces! TOO CUTE!

BE RIGHT BACK! See you on Tuesday or maybe Wednesday!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


This is one of my favorite snacks to pack in my lunch for work and my go-to appetizer to bring to a pot-luck when I have no time at all to make anything. It is fast, super-duper easy and mostly healthy!

For the Dip: Mix 1 cup greek yogurt with one heaping tablespoon nutella. (add less or more nutella for desired taste)
Cut up some apples and serve.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Yup, this is seriously how I shop. Glamorous, no. Necessary, yes.

Since Miss Ellis was born, we have found ourselves living on a budget. They weren't lyin' when they said KIDS AIN'T CHEAP! :) Besides having to tighten the belt on my clothing budget, I have no longer have any time to shop in stores. Besides not having time, I don't really like shopping in the stores anymore. Well...maybe... if I a am with one of my friends and we aren't on any kind of schedule. But let's be real, I am always on a schedule.

Now here is the thing. My husband thinks clothes are a waste of money and you know what, he is right. They are completely material objects that, in the end, do not matter at all.

butttttt...... I guess don't really care what he says b/c I am a girl and I like to have something new to wear to a wedding or out on a date night and that is that. There isn't any changing it. Really, there isn't. It is one of those things were we just agree to disagree on. Plus, I could say golf is a waste of money. Oh that is a whole other conversation..... ;)

So this is how I shop. I am an extreme sale shopper. I shop the clearance (usually juniors) section at department stores because:
1 - PRICE - They have the same kind of dresses that you will find at little boutiques like Francesca's, Page 6, and Red Dress Boutique, etc., but they are about 1/3 of the price when they are on sale and, unlike many of the little boutique stores, the dresses actually go on sale.
2 - FREE IN-STORE RETURNS - You can return in store for free. On-line shopping is in no way prefect. I end of returning half the things I buy b/c they do not fit right, but I just swing by the store and return them for free instead of having to pay to ship them back.
3 - CONVENIENCE - I like shopping at home on my computer in my PJs.

Note: Obviously these are not super high-quaity pieces. They might not be staple items in your closet that stand the test of time, but they WILL satisfy the need of, every now and again, having something fun and new to wear. :)

I shop the clearance section on-line at Old Navy, Macy's and JC Penny. My most recent purchase was from Macy's. I bought the three top dresses shown below. They should be here today! :)

Note: I found a 20% off coupon code on-line. That is why the prices are not matching up exactly.


Other great website to shop for more high end fashion at discounted prices are:

They run different sales that usually start while I am at work, so by the time I get to look at them, half the stuff is sold out. They do have some SUPER great deals though!
Darn work! Gets in the way of my bargain hunting! ;)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Here we go! My first FREE printable! Yippee!

I made this simple banner for Ellis' 1st Birthday and now you can have it too! I made it a neutral color so it will work for any occasion and I have included every letter of the alphabet so you can print whatever message you want.

I added color in with the ties. I actually cut up an old floral print dress that didn't fit me anymore and used it as the ties to connect the letters. I am weird and save things like that. I loved the fabric of the dress and wanted to use in on something. I guess this fit the ticket! You can use fabric, ribbon, whatever you want!

All you have to do is:
•  Click the letter you want (below)
• Print each letter on a piece of 8.5x11" card stock on your home printer
• Cut out the banner pieces with some scissors
• Punch a hole in the top corner of each letter with a hole punch
• Connect the banner with fabric, ribbon, etc. and hang up!


Monday, July 22, 2013


Happy Monday! Here is a playlist of a few of my favorite tunes at the moment. 
Easy Listening - Vol. 1

Easy Listening - Vol. 1 by Katie Buell on Grooveshark

Oh, and a quote. I am in love with this quote. It would be perfect for Ellis' room.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I make this ALL OF THE TIME to bring to grill outs, picnics, or just to have as a quick lunch on the weekends.  Like I said in this post, I prefer to make my own hummus. Here is the recipes I use.

One 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans (I usually use uncooked chick peas in the bag and quick-soak them)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.

Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and the salt to whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.

Open can of chickpeas, drain liquid then rinse well with water. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth.

Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.

To Serve: Scrape the hummus into a bowl then drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika.

To Store: Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

(original recipe from inspired taste - go to for more pictures and a video.)

To make a quick appetizer, I spread the hummus (if in a pitch, you can just grab some store bought hummus) on a plate and throw some chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and feta on top!  Serve with chips or even better, carrots!


Thursday, July 18, 2013


Yes, another post from the Saturday morning routine! Found these deals last Saturday and I just had to share. I am, without a doubt, most excited about the kids books! I about died when I saw that they were $1 each! They are all the classics - adapted and fully illustrated for kids 7 and up! I know I have a 15 month old and she will not be reading for quite some time, but I am so excited to give these to her when she is older.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


As many of you know my good friend, Nora, is getting married this month and I have the honor of being her Top Maid. (aka - Maid of Honor... no, wait.... MATRON of Honor. Yes, that makes me sound very old. Let's just go with Top Maid ;)

Nora and Pat requested a joint bachelorette/bachelor party of canoeing down the Wisconsin River and camping on a sandbar. So no, not your typical high-heel wearing, panty-line, bar hoping, penis decorated, cab ride home kind of night. That kind of night wouldn't have been very 'Nora' and it most definitely wouldn't have been very 'Pat.' ;)

It took some planning, researching, and learning how to read a map, but all in all it was a FANTASTIC day of celebrating Nora and Pat. It was a 23-mile canoe trip down the Wisconsin River with about 30 people.  The plans were to camp on a sandbar half way, but b/c the river was so high, we couldn't find a suitable sandbar until we had canoed about 19 miles. eeeek! Let's just say we had some ladies with sore arms at the end of day one.

Here are some pictures from our canoeing adventure, followed by a few tips for the rookie canoe-trip-planner. I guess it is just a list of what I would have liked to know before I started planning.

representing ;)

YES! She is making hummus, avocado, sprout and roasted red pepper sandwiches for all of us! I about died I was so excited!

The Bride & Groom

Not sure what is going on here

It was pretty beautiful that next morning. Too bad I felt like death! UGG!


Each person needs to bring:
- A tent
- Sleeping bag INSIDE A TRASH BAG in case anyone tips
- Bug spray
- Swim suit... duh!
- Something to cover up - the sun will cook you 
- Long sleeves and pants for night
- Sun screen
- A hat (if you want one)
- Sunglasses
- Some sort of cup to keep your drink cold - like one of these or a koozie
- A cooler with whatever you want to drink - beer, hard alcohol, whatever floats your boat... or canoe. ;) 

  Just remember - NO GLASS on the river - buy cans
- Snacks and food to eat for breakfast on the next day (we only organized dinner on day one)
- Toilet paper
- A plastic ziplock bag for your phone, wallet, camera, etc.
- Water shoes (nice, but not a necessity)

- Extra garbage bags for your trash - you need to carry out all of your trash
- Drinking water - the recommended amount is 2 gallons per person

One person needs to bring:
- Firewood, lighter fluid, lighter, and s'more fixin's of course!
- A small grill (if you decide to grill for dinner)

Things I wish we would have known:
- We were given the recommendation on putting our sleeping bags in a garbage bags, but I wish we would have put EVERYTHING in a garbage bag.  Even though we didn't tip, water still gets the the canoe from rowing and all of Logan's clothes and most of mine got soaked.
- If you have a group as large as 30, make sure you have a canoe dedicated to being the HEAD of the group and one canoe dedicated to being the TAIL.  We kept losing people because they kept thinking they were behind everyone when they were really ahead of everyone. It made it hard to stop and hang out all together when we wanted to take a break or to all decided on the camping location.
- This one comes from personal experience - If you are going to use a clip-on bug shield, do NOT shut yourself in your tent with it running and forget to open up the windows. I am pretty sure I killed a few brain cells and it was the cause of my puking sessions. Or was that the vodka? Maybe it was both. Either way, learn from my mistake and don't do it.

The canoe rental company we used:
Blackhawk River Runs
They were so helpful! I called them several times with questions and they even sent me a hand written letter about the trip with a map! 

The trip we took:
23 miles down the Wisconsin River
Started in Mazomanie - ended in Spring Green
They will pick you and your canoe up and shuttle you back to your car

How we organized dinner:
I had the groomsmen take care of bringing the grill, meat, buns, condiments, plates, napkins and eating utensils and each of the bridesmaids made a side - fruit, pasta salad, chips and dip, etc.

$60 a canoe (2 people to a canoe - $30 per person)
I had one person buy all of the alcohol and each person pitched in $20.  You can do that or just have everyone bring their own. If you are going to buy a barrel, bring a back up tapper.

Ok, I think that is all my canoe-trip-planning knowledge summed up in one every long blog post.  It really was a great time! I hope this helps if anyone decides to plan a trip!