Friday, January 27, 2017

Five on Friday [1.27.17]

 Happy Friday!!  What a week it's been!  Lots of meetings, craziness at school, and tennis hoopla.  I'm so ready for the weekend!  Here's this week's five:

Did y'all know that Kendra Scott offers a birthday month discount??  I had no idea.  Just visit a store during your birthday month, show your ID, and you will receive 50% off!!  I've been trying to narrow down the options.  It's proving difficult, but I love this necklace. I must admit, if I had pierced ears these might be a front-runner. 


Earlier this week I shared my secret to what's helped me stick with at least one of my resolutions so far.  The Garmin Santa brought is my latest obsession.  So far, so good.  It's working beautifully.

Another resolution that's been easy to stick with was inspired by fellow blogger Ron at The Uptown Acorn.  (If you don't already follow him, you should!!  He has impeccable taste and a beautifully stunning home!  Be sure to hop over and say hello!)  Ron started a new series this year What Makes Me HappyIt's reminded me how easy it is for those little things that make you happy to get lost in the shuffle of everyday life.  I've started a little journal for 2017.  Each night I try to record one or two little things that have made me happy that day.  Such a terrific way to keep things in perspective.

Last week my team was in charge of payday treats.  It was penguin awareness day, so this little igloo cheese ball with black olive penguins fit the bill perfectly.  It would also be the perfect appetizer for the Super Bowl.  You could just leave it in a regular 'ole ball if you don't want to go the igloo route.



Wishing y'all a wonderful weekend!  
Today I'm linking up with:

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Stove Top Potpourri

Growing up every winter my mama would make our home smell just lovely with this stove-to potpourri.  Now, every year, I whip some up in my own little hive and think of her all day as it simmers.  It's amazing how much something so simple could make my heart smile so much.

Stove-Top Potpourri

  • citrus peels, lemon, grapefruit, orange, clementine
  • vanilla, a glug or two
  • dried rosemary, crush in hand to release oils
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Add all ingredients to a pot and fill with water.  Simmer slowly on stove, uncovered.  
  • Additional add-ins: cloves, cranberries, nutmeg.
  • Add water as needed. 
  • I'm sure you could use a sprig of fresh rosemary, we just never have any this time of year :).
  • You could put all of this in a crock pot, bring to temperature, and then remove the lid.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Igloo Cheese Ball and Black Olive Penguins

Every pay day each grade level takes turns bringing in "payday treats" for the staff.  It's such a fun little way to celebrate and certainly makes for a nice start to the day and end to the week.  Some grade levels do a really bang up job (think made to order pancakes in a 50s diner) and others just throw some bagels on the table.  Ive been a part of both styles, but last week we were fortunate enough to be paired with the school's art teacher.

She did a bit of research and discovered it was Penguin Awareness Day, so we ran with it as our theme.  I so wish I had some pictures of the adorable little penguins she whipped up as centerpieces, but I wasn't able to capture them. For my contribution, I made an igloo cheese ball and black olive penguins.  While this sounds a little complex and complicated, it really was pretty simple and straightforward and turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.  (These pictures are terrible.  I took them in the wee hours of the morning while it was pitch black out I'm so sorry for the poor quality.)

Igloo Cheese Ball and Black Olive Penguins
(adapted from Betty Crocker)
Ingredients for all steps:
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz pkg of blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 blocks cream cheese, 1 softened, 1 firm
  • 1/4 cup bacon crumbles (I used chopped fresh bacon - original recipe calls for bits)
  • 1/4 t. red pepper sauce, plus a couple shakes, to taste
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 can jumbo black olives
  • couple carrots for garnish
  • Put cheddar and blue cheeses, softened cream cheese, bacon, and red pepper sauce into a food processor or stand mixer and blend until well combined.  
  • Line a small bowl with plastic wrap.  Add mixture to bowl, making sure to press firmly so that it reaches all points to form the dome fully.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  (I did overnight and it was perfect).
 Cream Cheese Icing Mixture and Door Ice Blocks 
(When ready to assemble the igloo.  Also used for penguins.)
  •  1 block cream cheese
  • 1 T milk
  • Cut 6-8 ice blocks of firm cream cheese block and reserve for the doorway.
  •  Mix remaining cream cheese with milk.
Assembling the Igloo:
  • Once cheese ball is set invert on serving platter. (You can ice the plate to make it look even more realistic.)
  •  Ice the igloo with cream cheese mixture, smoothing with a spatula.
  • Using a tooth pick draw ice blocks into the icing.  Start by making a circle on the top of the dome.  Draw another slightly larger circle just below the top circle.  Continue until entire igloo is completed.  Add lines connecting the circles to make the blocks.
  •  Make curved, arched doorway with blocks of cream cheese.  
  • Add penguins.
Making the Penguins:
  •  Slice one jumbo olive in half horizontally (like a hamburger fold for those of you with little ones :)...) for the heads. Using a toothpick, poke two holes in each for eyes and a hole for the carrot beak.
  • Make a vertical slit in the other olives only on one side.  Stuff with cream cheese mixture and close olive, leaving a bit of white peeking out.
  • Slice a carrot into coins.  Cut a notch into each carrot coin to make the flippers. Use the notch for the beak.
  • Put all the pieces together and slide a toothpick through the top of the head all the way to the feet. (I would have loved to use the frilly topped toothpicks, but they didn't have them at the two stores I tried...)
I promise while this is rather wordy, it really is simple to pull together.  It would be so fun for a sledding party or anything Frozen (I promise I won't sing). 

Happy Cooking!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sip and Shop Sunday [New Year's Resolutions]

Happy Sunday!  Just like everyone else, I'm sure, two of my resolutions for the new year are eating healthier and getting more exercise.  This week's sipping and shopping were chosen with those resolutions in mind.

Lately I've been sipping spinach smoothies.  So yummy.  I promise, you'll never taste the spinach.  I've been mixing it up by replacing the berries with the frozen cherry mix from Costco. 

I'm shopping (or shopped, if I'm being honest) for fitness trackers.
Yesterday was 67 degrees here in Indy.  67!!!  That's unheard of in these parts. (Just to put it in perspective the average high is 33.)   I strolled around the neighborhood enjoying the sunshine on my face.  When my Garmin indicated that I had met my step goal I decided it was time to share my new favorite toy with you.

Santa brought me the Garmin Vivosmart HR and I'm absolutely loving it!  To compare, I had been using the Fitbit Flex until it quit working properly not long after I got it (possibly because I wore it in the pool a few times).  Before jumping right in with another one, I did a bit of research and am so glad that I did.

Like the Flex the Garmin tracks steps and sleep.  However, it also tracks and records your heart rate, stairs, and individual workouts, too, all of which sync with their app.  Additionally, it operates as a smart watch, with text message and email alerts.  What actually led me to the Garmin in the first place though is that it's waterproof.  I've been doing a lot in the pool lately, which the Flex was unable to track as it can't get wet.  I haven't noticed any difference in it's ability to track either the heart rate or steps (strokes) in the water.  In fact, Hubby liked it so much he got one for himself, too!

Happy Sipping and Shopping!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Five on Friday [1.20.17]

Happy Friday!! Let's just get straight down to this week's five:

I have a big birthday coming up and it's inspired me to start a new night cream.  I love every Korres product I've purchased (the guava body butter is my very favorite) and am anxious to see some results with the wild rose.  I'd love to hear about any and all products you just can't live without!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What's for Dinner [Barbacoa Beef]

Santa brought an Instant Pot for Christmas and I have to tell you, I'm in love.  We have the 6 quart version and so far it seems to be the perfect size.  We've used it for corned beef, pot roast, broth, soup, rice, and beans.  While I'll be sharing all sorts of recipes soon, today I'm sharing this delicious barbacoa beef.  Chipotle is a favorite in this hive, and although I've tried to recreate it in the slow cooker, I've been unsuccessful.  This, however, is incredibly yummy and makes a ton for nearly the same price as a couple bowls.  Add in the beauty of the Instant Pot - you really do just throw it all in the pot and let it go.

Monday, January 16, 2017

On My Bookshelf [The Nightingale]

My first mistake was picking up The Nightingale a bit before Christmas.  I just couldn't put it down.  At one point, Honey even came in the room and asked if we would be having dinner that night 😳.  The book is terrific and had completely garnered all my attention.

My grandmother lived through the German occupation of France, was from Vichy, and de Gaulle was a favorite of hers.  Throughout the book I found myself wishing she were here so so we could discuss it.  It certainly makes you ponder what you would or wouldn't do, given the circumstances.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sip and Shop Sunday [Dreaming of the Beach]

The past few weeks we've had sub-zero temps, snow, freezing rain, high winds, and dreary skies.  I've been dreaming about a week at the beach for Spring Break coming up soon and am so excited I can hardly stand it.  As I currently gaze out the window at all the gray, I'm yearning for all things Lilly, bright, and sunny.  So, with that in mind, this week's Sip and Shop has a decidedly beachy theme.

We'll be sipping on Sweet C's Whimsea Fizz....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...