Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Bookends

As most of you know I have quite an obsession with white ceramic items. I have been in love with faux animal busts for a while now. Last year Z Gallerie started carrying deer, moose,horse, ram, and rhino busts and I have wanted one so bad. They have a small version that's about $50 and a large one that is $250. Both of which are out of my price range for some decor for our apartment. Maybe when I live in a house that I'll be in for a while I can venture out and buy one but for now I only gaze at them online.
Look how cute they are. No animals were harmed in making them either. :)

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Well, today I was browsing a local antique store to price some things that I found last weekend when two little gems caught my eyes. They were brass gazelle bookends. They were on a rather dark shelf off to the side that I'm sure I've passed many times on my trips there but today they said, "hello, look at us and take us home." So I quickly picked them up and purchased them for the small price of $10. Now, you may think ten bucks is a lot for some bookends but I've been looking for some and the ones I've liked have been at least $10 a piece!

Since I love painting things white, I stopped by Lowes to grab some white, high gloss spray paint.

I first cleaned each piece and laid out some paper on the porch. Then I sprayed away.
Now I have a "fix" for my craving of a faux animal bust. I'm really excited to have these little guys. I'll probably move them into the "office" eventually but for now they greet you when you come into the apartment.

I just love what a little spray paint can do! :)
I hope all is well and wonderful with you today.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Has anyone seen or heard of this before?

I just visited and saw an animal called Pudu. I've never seen this before but it's like a mini deer. It has stolen my heart. Seriously, how cute?!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cake Dessert Balls

Here's my strawberry-ish dessert I said I would post. This recipe is really easy and very tasty. There are different versions of this recipe too. I'll post them at the bottom.

Here's what you need:
Cake mix (and ingredients to make cake), 1 tub of icing, almond bark

First make the cake according to package directions. You can put it in any type of pan but I usually use a 9x13 pan.

After your cake has baked allow it to cool a bit. Then crumble the cake into a large bowl.
Now pour the full container of icing into the bowl.
And mix the cake and icing until well combined.
Now you will need to shape the mixture into small balls and place them on a baking sheet. I like to line my sheet with some wax paper. Stick the balls into the refrigerator for a while to cool. This will help keep the mixture together for the next step.
Melt the almond bark according to package directions.
Now dip the balls into the almond bark. I like to use a fork for this process.

After you have dipped all of the balls allow the coating to harden. Don't put these in the fridge or it will cause them to sweat. They can be stored at room temp.
I added a little color to make them look "Valentine-y".
I also dipped some Oreos in some chocolate and added some pink to them as well.
Then I boxed the dipped treats up and gave them to my grandparents for Valentine's Day and also sent some to Cory's work.
Like I said you can try this recipe in different ways: (basically any cake and icing combo works)
  • Chocolate cake mix & any chocolate frosting or coconut pecan frosting
  • Red velvet cake mix & cream cheese frosting (I like to make these at Christmas)
  • Butter recipe cake & coconut pecan frosting
  • Lemon or orange cake & vanilla frosting
I hope everyone has a happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Found: Inside Out Bowl

If you love Anthropologie dinnerware like me, then you need to go to T.J. Maxx now! For a while now I have pined over some Inside Out Bowls from Anthropologie but didn't feel like paying $8 per bowl.
Well tonight I went to T.J. Maxx and found some bowls very similar to the ones from Anthropologie and half the price! There were lots of colors to choose from and also some matching plates.
See? They're inside out because the print is on the inside too.
I only snagged two of them because we don't really need that many bowls. I have wanted some smaller bowls though because the ones we usually use are rather large. I'm excited to have some bowls to eat a small bowl of cereal or to put some dip in. I may even go back and get a few more.
I can't promise that these bowls will be at every T.J. Maxx (you know how that goes) but they are at the one in Florence right now. There were plenty when I left.

Chicken & Dumplings Casserole

Here's a recipe that my grandmother gave me a while back. It's way easier than making old fashioned Chicken & Dumplings and it tastes just as good.
Here's what you need:
Chicken (I use three chicken breasts)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
2 TBS margarine, melted
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

First cook the chicken until done and then cut it into bite-size pieces. Place the chicken into a lightly greased 11x7 inch baking dish. I had to use a larger one (Pyrex dish) because my other dish had some leftovers in it, and it worked just as well.

Whisk together the flour, milk, and margarine.
Then pour it over the chicken.
Now whisk the broth, cream of chicken, salt, and pepper together. You can use the same bowl you used for the flour mixture.
Now pour this mixture over the chicken and flour mixture.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Yeah, so I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.... I'll warn you that it doesn't look "beautiful" but it tastes really good.
I hope everyone is staying warm. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Strawberries on the Knees

So I'm posting this picture from Halloween a few years ago because I couldn't find any other picture of me with my knees in them except for beach pictures and I didn't feel like posting that on here. I'm sure if I looked longer I could find some more but don't really feel like it...
Anyway, I haven't blogged in a while so I thought I would tonight. I don't have any crafts to post or recipes to share right now so this will have to do.
Today we had monitors coming to our school to look around and I wanted to look extra nice/professional so I wore some my nicest pair of pants that I rarely wear because I have to wear taller shoes with. I picked out a favorite "teacher" shirt and headed out the door with my apple juice in hand. Do you know those days when you feel you look nice or important? Well, wearing this outfit made me feel pretty cool. As I walked down the steps of our apartment I felt like I was playing a part in a play, like a business woman. I noticed Mustang man (an older guy who smokes in the morning) propped on his car (as usual) and he looked up at me probably thinking that I was an important business lady and so I had to walk with a purpose and look cool all the way to my car. I made it all the way to the side view mirror when I found myself falling to the ground landing on both knees and my apple juice flying in the air. It happened so quickly that I'm not sure what caused me to fall. I don't think I tripped over anything. Well, off course I pop up quickly and check my pants, which are black on both knees, and pick up my empty apple juice cup and run back into the apartment...very non-businesslike. I run to the bedroom and that's when it hits me that my legs are throbbing. As I grab some new pants I see that both my knees have the skin scrapped on them. I put my new pants on and head out the door again, this time walking with a limp and my head held down. That is what I get for thinking I was "all that". I'm clearly not and got humbled very quickly this morning. I wish I could see a recording of how it all went down this morning because I'm sure it was hilarious.
Another thing that has happened lately that is slightly embarrassing and semi relates to the above picture is mistakingly buying a maternity dress. Right after Christmas, my friend Ruth Ann and I went on our traditional "shop for sales after the holidays" trip. I found the cutest dress at Target on the sale rack and when I tried it on I fell in love. Not only was it a nice color but it fit so well. It was actually a little past my knee length (which is hard to find now a-days) and was not clingy at all, which was surprising because it was a jersey knit. I bought it with no regrets or reservations...and apparently no knowledge. As I got dressed for church the next morning and ripped the tag off I noticed that it read "maternity". As soon as I saw the word I could tell there was a place for a pregnant belly to go. I asked Cory and my mom if it looked like I was suppose to be expecting and they both said I didn't so I kept it on. That day during lunch at my grandmother's house I let them in on my little mistake. I've worn the dress two other times since then because I haven't moved all my dresses to the apartment yet and also because it really is comfortable. I have also seen my sweet grandmother each time I've worn it and Sunday she made the comment that she thought I was going to make an announcement soon. I guess with wearing maternity dresses and gaining some weight because I have a huge sweet tooth has led my grandmother to think I'm expecting. I totally am NOT. I'm also totally not going to wear that dress for a while.
Oh well, I will stop for now. Sorry for the rambling. I will post a strawberry-ish dessert soon, though.


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