Saturday, December 31, 2011

Splendid Saturday

What a fabulous day to send out 2011. Up early...took a *brisk* walk downtown, had some tasty food, and spent a few hours w/ Sister & Miss Addy doing some thrifting (pics to come later...had to wash everything fear of bed bugs is great).

Tastiest donut in all the land...creme-filled from Dahl's. This one was hot from the oven...ohmygoodness!

It was a chilly one out there, folks. Kept warm w/ my pretty new Christmas scarf from Stacie.

I thought this lamp was so pretty. It may or may not be on the federal court house...I was kind of afraid I shouldn't be taking pics there...but I risked it all for the blog. ;)

World Food Prize Building (used to be the Des Moines Public Library) happy someone decided to give this beautiful place new life, instead of tearing it down. Gorgeous!!

Double b'fast?? Okay! I know I just showed a pic of the delightful donut I had...but then we were out walking in the East Village, it was so cold out...Baby Boomers just beckoned! The biscuits & gravy? Amaze!

Hellllloooo, Miss Addy! She was sporting the cutie outfit from her cool Aunt Hilary. As we were taking the pic w/ my Ipod Touch, using the reverse feature...she could see us and kept asking,"Who's that?" adorable!

Busy day calls for a refuel...Mocha Frappe from McD's...yumm!

Now...a low-key nite planned w/ snackies, Harry Potter, and some fam. Wishing everyone a fun, safe New Year's Eve!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Linking up over at My Messmerized should too! :) I couldn't get the button to just go here.

Crispy Shrimp Pasta

My addiction to Pinterest really is paying off...well, maybe not paying (as I seem to be doing a lot more projects/cooking a lot more recipes)...but it's broadening my horizons, at least.

I was on a search for a 'something special' dinner for the hubs' birthday and happened across this delightful recipe (found here). Not only was it superfantastically easy to make, and amazingly was a very cheap date! Shrimp $5.99; pasta $1.09; cream $2.39; Cajun seasoning $4 (but now I have it on hand); chicken broth $ = $3.84 per serving (4 total).


4 oz fettuccine pasta
3/4 lb raw shrimp (I bought the frozen kind)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning

*I doubled the recipe...just b/c I like left-overs. I don't know if it's b/c I did this, though, but the sauce was a wee-bit I just added a little corn starch to thicken. Worked like a charm.

1. Rinse and pat-dry shrimp, coat with 1 tbsp. flour (mix), add 1 more tbsp. flour (mix again).

2. Melt 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium-high heat pan. Add shrimp, cooking 2-3 minutes per side...until golden brown. The next time I make this tasty dish, I will cook the shrimp in 2 batches. I think I had too much in the pan, so it didn't get as crispy as I would have liked. It was still worries.

3. Remove shrimp and set aside. Add chicken broth to the pan to about 5 minutes.

4. Add whipping cream, reducing pan to medium heat, and stir constantly...we don't want any scorching here. Sauce will become thick, bubbly, and delish!

5. Add Cajun seasoning...I used Old Bay...but there are a zillion to choose from. I'm sure any of them would be just as nummy.

6. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and toss in a few shrimpies. (I saved a few of the shrimp to add on top once it was plated.) Served here w/ a side salad...a perfectly hearty meal.

This recipe would surely be good w/ chicken instead of shrimp...I know not every one is a fan of the little critters ( that gross to call 'em that??).


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crash and Burn

Maybe it's the excitement of Christmas being over...maybe it's a tremendous sugar crash from all of the holiday treats...but I hit a wall today. Couldn't focus, wasn't productive...and, oops, was a wee-bit crabby (sorry, hubs).

Topping off the superamazing day, I was pumped that I managed to get all the groceries on my handy-dandy list (I seem to usually miss something). A list is only as good as its contents, however, and I forgot to add baking cocoa to mine. Remembering this as I drove away from the grocery store (where I
fa-reaking work)...I had to stop at a 2nd store *groan.*

Deciding to celebrate my little pity party...I treated myself to these beauties...I haven't bought fresh flowers in foreverandaday (I may or may not have had a teeny, tiny problem w/ buying flowers...had to quit...cold-turkey)

So pretty... :)

Ok...I'm done w/ my rant. Life really is good...just one of those days...

P.S...the little owl in the pic is my creation from Glazed Expressions. He's so cute, I think! I already have 2 sets of plans to go back there...and get my paint on.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Makeup Brushes Revamp

The holidays have been cutting into my crafting big time. While it's always sad for the celebrations to be over...I'm really looking forward to starting some projects I've been dreaming of.

One thing that's been on my mind is what to do about my collection of mis-matched makeup brushes. They've come from a variety of places...but have one thing in common...boring!

All I needed to spruce them up was a fancy roll of duct tape...every girl has some, right??

*Before: nothing too special...and a million different colors.

*In walks in a damask-print roll of duct tape (and a pair of scissors)

I just kind of eye-balled how long the pieces of tape needed to be. I didn't care if they covered the same amount of space on each brush...just made sure that it at least reached a bit over the silvery part. Once I cut each piece of tape, I laid the brush down with the end of it touching the end of the length of the tape. Then, I gently rolled one side over toward the other, then gathered the opposite side and rolled it back over. A bit of tugging here and there got the tape pretty smooth against the brush...especially toward the end where it's rounded.

*There you have it...a fancy, schmancy set of brushes.

Hopefully this little crafty will tide me over until I get through the holiday madness...and organized w/ my next list of projects. Also...can't wait to get all gussied up the next time I use these pretties...even though it'll mean I'm headed to work...


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Linking up over here...meeting some new bloggers and getting great ideas!

Sunday Snapshots (Christmas--Round 2)

No rest for the weary? Not always true. Christmas Eve was a lot of prep work...for 2 family gatherings...but we actually got some really great down-time b/f Chrismas (take two)

*The contents of my stocking...can you say all pinkandred Starburst?? Also, in the mix, some SlimJim's (they're ok just once a year, right?), Cheetos, Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes....and....scratch tickets (I heart them).

*Got some fresh air (and shook off a bit of the food coma) at Waveland Golf Course. Milo had the time of his life running wherever he wanted...he was pooped by the end of the walk...tongue wagging out the side of his mouth.

*Miss Addy opening one of her supercute presents from Grandma. This little chickie cleaned up in the doll department. If it's pink...she probably got it.

I seem to have been too busy enjoying the day to get very many pics of the celebration. Needless to say, it was a great family Christmas. Noisy, chaotic, and filled w/ love. After the craziness died down...we enjoyed a few more snacks and a viewing of Elf.

I must admit...I might have closed my eyes a few times during the was a long couple of days.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas--Round 1

Christmas festivities started first thing Christmas Eve in this house. Actually ventured out to the an effort not to feel entirely guilty endulging in the amazing food in my future. Was it enough of a work-out to make a difference? Probably not...but I feel better thinking I did the right thing. ;)

*Cinnamon pull-apart bread w/ cream cheese frosting for b'fast...yes, please!

*Homemade meatballs for Christmas nite...they were tasty, tasty. I'll be sharing this delicious recipe soon...and for the accompanying marinara sauce, as well.

*Our lovely presents had to live on the window seat until it was time to open. Two pets are not good on the wrappings...*sigh.*

*Can't you just feel the toasty, warm goodness from our fire??

*One tradition from my childhood is putting small gifts right on the tree. I try to get as many as I can on there...I think it's old fashioned and wonderful.

*Ended the nite on a funny note. Sister-in-law, Stacie, crocheted these silly hats w/ beards for the gents. Hopefully they won't be wearing them out in public...

First Christmas celebration: a tremendous success! We all enjoyed some laughs, good food, and thoughtful gifts. Once the 'grown-ups' 'young folks' stayed up and watched Super 8...and it was fantastic! After the movie wrapped up, a good nite's sleep was a must. Round 2 would be here soon, after all.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011


Sitting here listening to my all-time favorite Christmas c.d. (well, it's on an ipod, but used to be a c.d.) by Mariah Carey...
and waxing nostalgic...

Now...I'm not an overly sentimental person, as far as 'things' go...much to the disappointment of my mom...but there are certain trinkets I always have around. Gentle reminders of trips, experiences...
life moments.

*I may keep a few little treasures here & there...but they must, must have a home. Mason jars seem to do the job quite well!

*Tags from our first pup, bandit; hand-written place cards from the hubs' great-aunt Norma's @ thanksgiving a couple years ago (what a romantic notion); buttons from the fall festival in Kalona; strawberry pin cushion

*A tiny pic of Bandit (and all his siblings) after they were born. Idk why, but it kind of lives in my milk glass collection, moving from time to time...but I always know that it will be around, in some vase or cup...and it makes me smile every time I happen upon it.

*Again w/the jars! The completely rad miracle whip one is legit vintage...from my grandma's house. It now holds an ever-growing shell collection. The other blue-tinted Ball jar has rocks from all of our off-road, crazy adventures.

*Bouquet I carried in Sister's hangs in my kitchen...and reminds me of a happy day!

The fun part of my mish-mashed collection of 'souvenirs' is having them stashed all over the house. Nothing's too big, or has too many I can have them here & be discovered all over again.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cozy Sweater

Thrifting...I love it! Ventured in to Goodwill recently, hoping to find a grandpa cardi (no luck)...but did walk out w/this super long, comfy & cozy grayish sweater. At $ was a total score!

*sweater: thrifted; shirt: old navy clearance; leggings & boots: target; necklace: lia sophia

You just never know what you'll find when you roll up your sleeves and dig in to the thrifting world...


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Be You!

hey you.

yes, you. Stop being unhappy with yourself. you are perfect. stop wishing you looked like someone else or wishing people liked you as much as they like someone else. stop trying to get attention from those who hurt you. Stop hating your body, your face, your personality, your quirks. love them. Without those things you wouldn’t be you. And why would you want to be anyone else? Be confident with you are. smile. it’ll draw people in. my happiness will not depend on others anymore. i’m happy because i love who i am. i love my flaws. i love my imperfections. they make me me. And ‘me’ is pretty amazing. -- quote found here

*shirt: gap; sweater: cj banks; skirt, tights, & boots: target; necklace & bracelet: vintage

Confidence & 'feeling' good about myself are 2 things I struggle with...daily. We'd all benefit by remembering how unique and wonderful each of us is. So do it...ok?? (and I'll try, too.)


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Glazed Expressions

I have driven by Glazed Expressions a gazillion (slight exaggeration) times over the years...never ventured in, though. That all changed over the weekend...I got my crafty on AND *bonus* got to use a Living Social deal.
Katie (who graciously endulged my need for crafts) joined me on this little adventure. I was totally in my element...tons of paints, brushes, stencils, and idea books to choose from...may have experienced nirvana...

Apparently I was too excited to start painting...didn't get a pic of this little guy in his natural state. Just picture him all white...tabula rasa.

My color palette...turquoise, gray, bright green, orange, purple, and black. It was tough to narrow down, though...sooooo many choices!

My creation (nearly finished) still has to be fired...and can't be picked up for 4 more days...oh the humanity! When I get him back...he'll be all shiny and handsome.

Thanks, Katie for a greatly fun time (and a super delicious dinner @ Sam & Gabe's).


Monday, December 19, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch

Spent a won.der.ful day w/ friend from waaaayyy back. We can do nothing together and have the bestest time. This day, however...we had a schedule. Lots to do...pampering, shopping, eating...pretty important stuff here.

Jill and her good friend, Mary...I met them @ Starbucks for an a.m. pick-me-up. Then, Jill and I were off for our fun day!

Let's get real here...Mary was the only one grown-up enough for the coffee...the other two red cups: hot cocoa--straight up!

Shellac nails @ Anani Salon...better than a normal manicure b/c it lasts for up to 2 chips...amazing!

Didn't just do run-of-the-mill polish, though...we decided on ombre (hard to tell here). The salon had a huge bin of Martha Stewart glitter to use over the shellac polish *ohmygoodness*...mine are cool blue and Jill got royal purple.

Sampled some of themostdelicious cupcakes EVER made! Julie from Sugar Plums has some serious mad skills...

Lots of laughs shopping for some vintage finds @ The Brass Armadillo!

So happy w/a full tummy of Mexican food.

Brussels sprouts at Trader Joe' food art.

What an enjoyable day w/a good friend! Very thankful for our silly time...and our serious talks, as well.


I think it's really important to make time for friends. It doesn't always have to be a full-day extravaganza (although those are the bomb-diggedy)...a lunch or dinner out can be just as meaningful...or even just a hot cocoa break. Thanks again for the super fun day, Jill!