Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Hunger Games THE MOVIE

It was sooo good! We went opening weekend, and to an early show. We showed up only 30 minutes before showtime and had great seats. But the movie...the movie lived up to all the hype. And it was amazingly close to the book. A few changes were made for cinematic appeal, so I get that, but it was still very good! If you haven't, you should check it out...or wait 'til it comes out on DVD!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

{House Party!} Benefit Cosmetics Girls' Night

Last weekend I threw a girls' night party! I'm a member of House Party, an awesome site where you apply to be a host and they randomly select you to host parties for well known companies with amazing products. This was my first party and, to my surprise, I was chosen to host a House Party for Benefit Cosmetics. I was ecstatic! I could not wait to have the girls over and play with FREE makeup! They sent some cool stuff like 9 full sized bottles of  Hello Flawless liquid foundation, Benetint rose stain, The POREfessional pore minimizer, Speed Brow gel, Hervana blush, and Big Beautiful Eyes kit. The POREfessional was the favorite of the night, hands down! They also sent a long an adorable makeup bag, a book called "Raising Eyebrows," and gifts bags filled with samples and coupons for each of my guests. The girls' were surprised! We had a night of gossip and makeup!

For the party, I decided to match the decor with the classic black, white, and pink. I designed a matching banner, cupcake toppers, and signs. All went on our lovely food table. For the makeup table, I laid out all of the makeup in the center of the table. I also threw in some hand mirrors and compact mirrors for the girls to use, as well as sponges and makeup remover wipes. We had so much fun talking about the makeup and other products we used and liked, and the girls were able to take home samples of foundation that they were able to match with their skin color on the spot! I had a good time, and I think the girls' did too! I can't wait to host another party!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

{YUM!} Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Last week, I tried this recipe out, and it was delish! But I would make a few small changes. I found this recipe...on Pinterest! It's from Food Wishes with Chef John and you can find it here. I love that he offers excellent video instructions.

So, those small changes, first of all, I would NOT use large chicken breasts. It'll take forever to cook. Okay, not forever but def more than 30 minutes. Also, the recipe calls for a whole bag of uncrushed croutons. I say crush 'em! They are just a little too big. And I think it's too much of a crunch when they are whole. However, with these teeny tiny changes, this recipe would be that much more delicious! Throw in a side salad and a piece of garlic bread and YUM! I would definitely try this again!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes & A Weekend Recap

We celebrated St. Patrick's day last weekend! Jacob's school celebrated on Friday, the day before, and I was sooo excited! I volunteered in his class to help with all the festivities (aka cupcakes), and the mess the leprechauns left behind. But one hour into class, and Jacob had a little accident. He puked! I hope you weren't eating. It was so sad. For both of us. I was having fun chatting with his teacher, and there were only 6 kids in class. A quiet day. Jacob was playing with his friends until...yack. It was quite funny to see, actually. All the kids were so unfazed by it. So, just in case he was contagious or something, I scooped him up and took him home. He missed his St. Patty's day party :( Oh, but don't worry. I made up for it by making him the cutest and tastiest cupcakes. Ever. Okay, they were just REALLY cute, and pretty tasty. Other than that, Jacob only puked that once, and it turned out to be a quiet weekend due to the cold, rainy weather we had all weekend =)

Onto the cupcakes! I used this recipe from the Disney Family Fun website. I should also mention that I originally found this recipe on...You guessed it, Pinterest. I made only a few changes. Instead of regular liquid food coloring I used gel food coloring. It has a much more vibrant color. And I used french vanilla box cake mix.  By the way, these are a pain to make. I only made 13 cupcakes and the recipe calls for 16. The first few cupcakes were huge, oh well. And I suggest instead of using a spoon to fill up the liners, use a piping bag or a sandwich bag filled with the cake mix and pipe it in. I feel it might be easier to spread the layers this way. Will I do this again? I don't know. They were cute, but I don't know if they were THAT cute. Here they are in all their cuteness...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

{YUM!} Turkey Shepherd's Pie

I'm on a cooking roll! Last week I made a delish shepherd's pie out of ground turkey. I picked this recipe cause I had most of the ingredients. As usual, I changed the recipe to fit my needs. Mostly to fit what I had on hand. Here's the actual recipe, and this is not my picture because I was too hungry and my dish wasn't as pretty. But it did taste really good! This recipe is from

Ingredients:2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 - 16 ounce package organic frozen mixed veggies
1 - 28 ounce package frozen mashed potatoes
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare entire bag of mashed potatoes according to package directions. If necessary, thin the potatoes a bit with some milk. They should be the consistency of wet, but thick, mud. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and break apart with a spatula. Cook turkey until no longer pink.
Sprinkle flour, salt, pepper and thyme over the turkey and stir to combine. Stir in chicken broth, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
Stir in package of frozen veggies and simmer for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Pour turkey and vegetable mixture into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon little piles of mashed potatoes over the top and smooth out with a spatula. If desired, fluff them up with the tines of a fork for better browning. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

{YUM!} Loaded Potato & Cheese Soup

It was pretty chilly here for a few days, until it wasn't! We had almost 90 degree weather! But like I said, it was chilly and with that I was craving soup. Specifically, potato cheese soup. Yum. So, I did what I do best, searched for an easy recipe on Pinterest. I found quite a few, but I wanted easy and tasty. And I found it. I adapted this recipe from Handle the Heat. I added LOTS of cheese and some garlic. I didn't make it the healthiest, but it was sooo YUMMY! Here's my adaptation of potato cheese soup...

Loaded Potato & Cheese Soup
Yield: 4 servings
Ready in: 30 minutes

  • 4 (6-ounce) potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% low-fat milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup sour cream  
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bacon slices, halved
  • 2 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.
2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in measuring cup; add to pan then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often, being careful to not let the milk boil over. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of cheese.
3. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.
4. Scoop potato into soup and discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup using a potato masher. Ladle soup into four bowls and top with the rest of the cheese, green onions, and bacon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

{DIY} Painted Pillowcase

I've been itching to do a craft project, and this one just came to me. I recently purchased a new bedding set. I LOVED our old one. I bought it almost 4.5 years ago right after we got married. It was pretty pricey but the quality was outstanding. But after 4.5 years and two kids, it wasn't looking too hot. Holes started popping up all over it. It started ripping :( So, I went on a search for a new one and I knew I wanted cheap and cute. Hello, Walmart! I got a cute cheap in price/quality set for $50 and I'm sure it's not going to last more than a year. Oh, well. It'll give me an excuse to get a new set next year! Anywho! I wanted an accent pillow, but I'm not a crazy accent pillow lady, so I just made one. Here's how I did it...

You'll need:
Paint Brush
Contact paper

I had this pillow from way back when I bought my loved bedding set. I took apart the pillow bottom so that I could take out all the filling, and put it aside for later. Once the filling was out, I placed a plastic Target bag inside the pillowcase so that the paint would not seep through. I used contact paper, and cut out my stencil using my Cricut machine from the Songbird cartridge. I placed the contact stickers where I wanted them, and got out my paint. I used acrylic paint because it's what I had on hand, and I knew I was not and will not wash this pillow. I used a sponge bush to dab/blot the paint on the stencil. I let it dry for a few hours and that's it! I added a few dots here and there, and I stuffed it right back up! Sewed the sucker up, and done! So easy, cute, and cheap!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

I've Been Featured!

Awesome! I've been featured at The Birthday Blog! Yay! Stacy over at The Birthday Blog featured Isabella's Sweet Shoppe Soiree! And I feel super duper honored to share one of the biggest parties I've ever done!

Stacy is also a fellow SAHM who loves to throw an awesome kids' party! And the inspiration throughout her blog is amazing! I love all the ideas all of the other ladies have contributed and shared, and for Stacy giving us all the opportunity to share our hard work on her fab blog! Thank you to The Birthday Blog, now go check it out and get some fantastic ideas for your next bash!