Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chalk Frame

Two Christmases ago, Santa did a complete overhaul of our basement. He and his elves built a stage, complete with curtain and lights, rearranged our furniture for a stage viewing area, and transformed the corner of our basement into a school with a magnetic whiteboard and a giant chalkboard wall. Yes, Santa and his elves were busy!! Ever since then, chalk and chalkboards have kind of become a thing around here. No, we don't have chalkboard walls in every room (although we've considered it!)...but we did just paint one in our kitchen and have talked about another one in our front entryway. What can I say....I guess Santa had a good idea.....!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Check It Out!

A few weeks ago I was invited to become a monthly recipe contributor for a great blog called Or So She Says. exciting!! (Thanks, Mariel!) And guess what? Today is my first day on the job! Check out my first post - a delicious spring recipe for Lemon-Raspberry Phyllo Tarts that look a little something like this:

Aren't they sweet? I'd love it if you'd stop by and show me some love....and see what else Mariel and her lovely team of ladies are up to....!

And while you're here, have you  linked up your latest creations to the Pinterest Power Party I'm co-hosting this week? It would be great if you joined in the fun!

Hope you are having a great week!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pinterest Power Party!!

A Fun Thursday Pinterest Power linky Party with recipes and crafts
Welcome Back to our weekly Pinterest Party! Every Thursday we will be hosting a linky party that focuses on YOU, the readers! Do you have an amazing DIY project, a frugal gift idea, or even a delicious recipe that you want to share? Well, we want to see them and share on our Pinterest Board’s too!

Mango-Berry Smoothie

Wait no longer....warm weather is here! (Or at least the taste of it.....) This smoothie combines the flavors of mango, mixed berry, and banana in one delicious glass. Because we want it (need it) deserve it!

I was walking around my house yesterday morning....making some feeble attempts at housecleaning.....when I noticed one of the most dreaded of all things to notice: the bag Ellia forgot to take to school. Again. She has developed a real knack for forgetting things lately....and although she's only in first grade, and I understand it's at least partially my responsibility to help her remember, I'm finding her forgetfulness quite annoying.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Asparagus Crescent Squares

Fresh, seasonal asparagus paired with creamy parmesan-peppercorn cheese and crescent bread - perfect or Easter or springtime - and just fancy enough to feel great about sharing!

I couldn't help myself. When I saw this asparagus at Trader Joe's, I had to buy it! First, to use as the finishing touch on my Spring Mantel (you never know where you'll find inspiration!).....and second, because it looked too perfect to pass up. As someone who loves making and eating good food, there is nothing better than using the produce of the season to come up with delicious new recipes. In-season produce has the best color, texture, and flavor....and because of its abundance, it usually has the best price, too!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Okay, I'll admit it. My kids are hooked on treats. I have no idea where they get it from (definitely not from me.....!) but they are in love with the sweet stuff. They ask for it after every meal, and usually in between....and I'm pretty sure they would eat candy for breakfast if I let them. Certainly it has nothing to do with the fact that I bribe Nora to sit in the cart by giving her suckers (?)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chili Cheese Potato Skins

Are you as pumped as I am that Marquette is playing in the third round of the NCAA tournament tomorrow? No?? You haven't been keeping up with college basketball?? Even though I'm not a huge sports fanatic, there is something I love about March Madness. Is it the brackets, the excitement, the fast pace of it all.....? Yes, that too.....but let's be serious. What I mostly love is that it's an excuse to make (and eat!) yummy food! (I'm always looking for a good reason to do that.....isn't everyone??)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter Mantel

With Easter just over a week away, I thought it might be time to pull out some decorations! I've been all over Spring decor, with my Spring Basket Wreath and Fresh Green Spring Mantel...but Easter deserves its own decor, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sundried Tomato Pasta

One of my favorite foods of all time is salad. Yep, you heard me right. Salad! I eat it for lunch nearly every day, in a giant mixing bowl so I have plenty of room for toppings (I like to really load it up!) On most days, I just use whatever I have in my fridge....usually lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, avocados, cheese, and turkey....and always honey mustard dressing. Greta, who won't even touch lettuce, looks at it every day in disgust and asks me why I am eating salad.....again......!? At which point I look at her and ask why she is eating mac & cheese.....again....and we both agree that we eat what we like :) And, although my "everyday salad" is pretty consistent, I also LOVE to mix it up and try new combinations. Which is exactly where the inspiration for this dish came from.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fresh Green Spring Mantel

Did you know that spring is just 4 days away...!? And that, apparently, that means absolutely nothing??? I know I've been complaining a lot about the lack of spring around here....but if you had snow flurries starting at Halloween and continuing through St. Patrick's Day, you'd be complaining too! I am doing my best to be patient, but at some point patience goes out the window and desperation strikes....

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dad's Peanut Butter Frosting Crackers

#Kids' #Snacks

Growing up, Dad's frosting crackers were one of my favorite treats. Creamy, sweet, peanutty frosting sandwiched between Saltine crackers....yummmmm!! It was one of the few things my dad was known for, along with his homemade pizza, brown sugar sandwiches, and fried egg sandwiches. I have great memories of watching him mix up the ingredients....he never used a recipe, but always mixed it to perfection. I remember we would choose our crackers carefully in hopes of getting the ones with the most frosting...and then we would gobble them up and wish we could have just one more......

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

{No-Bake} Malted Milk Fudge

#No-Bake #Desserts

I have always been in awe of people who make awesome fudge....or toffee, or caramel, or really any type of sweet confections involving a candy thermometer.....because, for me, those things have never turned out well. Case in point: cookie making day this past December at my friend Meaghan's house. The recipe? English toffee. The process? Grueling. The result? Rock hard sugar and a ruined pan......or so I hear...! By the time we got to the point of cutting and dividing, I had already left. Meaning my friends were left to deal with the mess. And to decide the most important question of all: whether or not to tell me about it! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sriracha Tuna Pretzel Bowls

#Tuna #Melts #Sriracha

Around here, Sriracha is a bad word. Or it was....for a long time....before I broke down and finally tried it! See, ever since Jorden discovered it a few years ago, he has been putting it on everything! Eggs, soup, casserole, pasta, potatoes, you name it.... And since I'm the one in charge of cooking, I haven't necessarily taken kindly to him dousing all my hard work in hot sauce!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Co-Hosting Saturday SHOW-Licious Craft Showcase #22!

How exciting! I was chosen as "blog of the week" and co-host for this week's party by the lovely Marti at Sew-Licious Home Decor! The only problem.....? I didn't know about it till just now! (My fault!!)

So...better late than never...I'd love for you to link up your latest creations with us below! Thanks!!

Spring Basket Wreath

Is it just me....or is the closeness of St. Patrick's Day and Easter this year making you crazy!? I feel like I just finished making my St. Patrick's Day wreath....and now it's already time for Easter! What's a girl to do?? Take down my St. Patrick's Day decor before St. Patrick's Day? Or wait till the day after, and then quickly put up my Easter things? Or maybe just skip Easter, altogether? (Important questions, I know...) I haven't been able to if you come to my house right now you will find St. Patrick's Day and Easter decor sharing the same wall space...I guess we're going for a both/and approach :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Macaroon Nests

Have you ever noticed how, so often, the things that we are initially drawn to are the same things that end up driving us crazy!? Like our husband's sense of humor.....? Or the challenge of a new job....? Or, as the case may be, a house on a wooded lot...? Those of you who have been following me for a while know that, almost 2 years ago now, we moved from our cozy starter home on a city lot to the home we live in now - the home we lovingly refer to as our Lemon Tree Dwelling.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spring Straws

I'm trying to get into spring.....really, I am. It's just that it's not easy when you look out your front door and all you see is snow!! We're on week 37 of snow here (okay, not really....but it sure feels like it!) and I cannot believe that Easter is just 3 weeks away. I am definitely NOT in the spring spirit....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homemade {Skinny} Irish Cream

#Yummy #Drinks
I had one serious relationship in college. His name was Nick, he was from Seattle, he played guitar, and he was super sensitive. Need I say more?? (Yes, I do.) Nick and I met through our school's Campus Ministry program sophomore year, and were immediately drawn to one another in a way that can only be described as admiration. We admired one another's ideas and depth and faith; we talked about philosophy and theology and moral issues; we both wanted to change the world, and we admired one another for the ways we thought we would. You know....all the stuff of normal college relationships...  :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Re-Framed Mantel

Long before I started blogging, when home ownership was a novelty and home decor was sparse, I was known among my friends as the one with the put-together house. Of course, it didn't take much back then - we were all just out of college and easily impressed! A fresh coat of paint and anything other than posters on the walls was reason for celebration....and by those standards, I was a top notch decorator.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

No-Bake Mint Oreo Meltaways

There is approximately one day of the year that I really get into minty desserts....and that day is St. Patrick's Day! It's almost impossible NOT to get into them at this time of year, seeing as how they are everywhere!! For a sweet tooth like me, it's hard to pass up any sweets craze, even one I'm not typically so crazy about. So...even though the last thing the world needs right now is ANOTHER mint chocolate dessert Irish blood just wouldn't let me resist!

Friday, March 1, 2013

1000 Words #3

Hello, friends..... happy Friday! I am happy to say that order has been restored here at our Lemon Tree Dwelling. Jorden was on a work trip all week and got home last night.....what is it about having him home that feels so much more settling? Anyway, aside from the excitement of a sparking transformer in our backyard and a visit from the electric company and the fire department, we had a pretty good week. I even got to forced myself to go outside and play in the snow with my kiddos....not my favorite thing to do (I hate the cold!), but I did get some cute (priceless) pictures - each worth at least 1000 words!

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