Friday, January 31, 2014

Favorite Foods Friday: Balsamic Chicken & Peppers

Hello, hello!  Happy Friiiiday!   It's Super Bowl this weekend, are you doing anything fun?  It's also the first in a new series for me....Favorite Foods Friday!  I love food.  I love making new foods.  I love to share recipes and ideas.  Dinners, treats, snacks, I love it all.   So what better way, then to share the foods that we are making, trying, and loving, then right here on the blog!  I wish I had a fun Super Bowl food to share with you, but the truth is, we aren't football people.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that I will be sewing or watching a movie with the kids, while the hubby and some buddies go dirt bike riding.

Lately, The Mister and I have been incorporating more chicken into our diet. We are upping our protein and what better way to do it than with chicken, right? (And fish and red meat, we've got it all covered)
However, I am bored of chicken right now.  Straight up b-o-r-e-d of it.  I decided to try and spice it up in the kitchen the other night.  Try something out of the ordinary, working with the spices and sauces I had on hand.   I had a few boneless skinless chicken breasts leftover in the fridge and needed to use them before they went south.   I am terrible at cooking skinless chicken.  Just terrible, but this...this was da bomb!   Like, can I have 3rd's da bomb!
Now, I didn't really measure out the ingredients, I just kinda, threw in a little of this and a little of that, but if I had to guess, this would be the amounts I used.

Ingredients:

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
(3-4 T) olive oil
(1) Red bell pepper
(1) Green bell pepper
(1) medium yellow onion
(3) cloves of Garlic
(3T) Balsamic vinegar
(1/4 tsp) Basil
(1/4 tsp) Thyme

Step 1:  Season the chicken with the salt and pepper on both sides.   In a large frying pan or electric skillet (which I used), add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan; warm it.   Then add the chicken and cook until a nice golden brown on both sides, over medium heat.

Step 2:  While the chicken is browning, slice the peppers into strips and the onions into thin strips.

Step 3:   Transfer chicken to a plate.

Step 4:  Saute the peppers, onions and garlic cloves in the another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Step 5:  Add the vinegar and the basil and thyme to the pan and stir around while browning it.  Add the chicken and any juices from the plate into the pan with the peppers, onions, and garlic mixture.  Cook on medium for another 3-4 minutes, until the chicken is opaque throughout.

I served with a side of french green beans, because some of my kiddos won't eat the peppers and onions. We also served with some warm dinner rolls.
One day I'll be a better food photographer.  Until then, I'll keep playing with the camera

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!   If you cook your chicken like this, I'd love to hear your feedback!

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Chairs or Benches?

Back in late fall of 2000, we got married.   With our wedding money we bought this beautiful oak dining room table along with a matching beautiful oak china hutch.   
I cherish these two pieces of furniture as it's the first thing we bought as a married couple.  We also bought the four coordinating chairs to go with the table.  Since we were already a family of 3 and it wasn't long before we became a family of 4, we never thought that we would become a family of 6.

Then this sweet little gem surprised us in 2002,  
and flash forward to 2005 when we officially became a family of 6.

I can't stop staring at our adorable babies.  I miss them at those ages.  Okay, focus, back to our seating issue...we only had seating for....4.   Now, we did have one child in a high chair and one that was a mere few weeks old.  (That little guy above us)  So this still wasn't a major issue.  It's when that final little one finally grew into the highchair and then outgrew the high chair that our problem really began.

Flash forward again to 2008-current.  Two of our poor children have been sitting at the dinner table using two hideous card table chairs.  Fold away, card table chairs.  I mean, it's not like they were sitting on the floor, but still, these were gross and icky and more importantly, they didn't match the table and its whole set.

I have been searching for years and years and years on finding 2 coordinating chairs that would work for our table.  I even contacted the manufacturer of the dining set and it was a no-go.  Sadly, they didn't make that style anymore.  My poor mother had even been searching with me, helping me look for chairs for this table.  She was always my ear when I was brainstorming ideas.   Do I make a bench?   Do I buy a settee?   What would look good, but be easy to clean, and match our dining set at the same time?  How about?  What about that?  With the help of my mom on a decision, we I finally decided that I would build a bench, but I just couldn't get The Mister 100% on board.  He just wasn't sure that look would look right with the style of the table or our house.

Now, let's back up to two weekends ago.   The girls and I were driving to exchange a Christmas gift and I told them I would like to stop into one of the Goodwill's on the way.  Just to look. You can only imagine my enthusiasm and excitement when I saw these 2 matching beauts!  With a quick snap of my camera on my phone and a text to The Mister for his opinion, it was in moments that these babies were in the parking lot and the back of my car.
I mean seriously.  Tall backs.  Neutral color.  The fact that THEY were a matching set.  The right height when you sit down.  And they would work with our current set, at the head of the table on either end, as accent chairs.  Do you want to know the absolute best part?  They were only....$14...EACH!!   People!! $28 for 2 chairs, that I swear I have been searching for, for at least 10 years!  Well maybe only 8, but still that is eons!!!

I do plan on reupholstering them so that all six of the chairs will look like a more cohesive unit.  But at this point, I'm so excited that my children are not sitting on card table chairs, I'm screaming it from my rooftop.  Not really, but I did call my mom all super excited.  :)  And I may have texted my best friend a few times about my excitement.  And I may have Instagrammed it too.  
Don't they look great?  I'm thinking maybe some nail heads down the back of the chairs to give it some character, what do you think?

Well, I'm off....to Fabric Depot, to find the perfect fabric to reupholster these chairs.   Can't wait to show you when when they are done!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's Rainy Outside but Sunny Inside!

While it may be looking a little like this outside these days...
....It hasn't stopped me from keeping busy inside.  We are currently knee deep in giving some young ladies, who are no longer little girls, some pre-teen big girl rooms.  I say big girl, because I really refuse to believe my girls are growing up so quickly.  Yes, I'm in denial and please don't take me away from it. 

I have been working on Baby Girl's room because ultimately getting her room done, actually leads into some hallway renovations that I've been wanting to get done.  So that take priority.

Not to mention that she still has her room painted from when she was a toddler.   So she is loooong overdue!

I've gathered a few inspirational ideas along the way.   
I have tackled what I actually thought was going to be the biggest pain in my neck first.   We have two of these 9-cube organizers in our house.  One in the family room and one in Baby Girl's room.   Of course, they would be two different colors.  A birch and then an espresso color.   
I have decided to make both of them, this bright, bold, beautiful Sun Yellow.  Seriously, that's what the paint is called.  
I roughed them up a bit first with some 220 grit sand paper.  (as you can see above) 
We have actually been having some beautiful weather the last two weeks, so I took full advantage of the sunshine, warmth, and lack of wind, and took these babies out back and spray painted them with some primer. 
 I did one coat of yellow spray paint but I just did not like the results I was getting.  Not to mention, I was going to need more paint and hadn't even started the 2nd cube yet.  So not exactly cost effective either.
With one quick trip to Home Depot, I found Rust-oleum's Sun Yellow paint, and I grabbed a couple of foam rollers, and flew home.  
My Friday nights can be so exciting, I tell ya!   
While The Mister was working late one night, the kids and I popped in a movie, sat in front of the fire, and I rolled on some paint.

I love the results!   So bright, so bold, so beautiful!   
It's going to go so great against her new wall color.   Here is a sneak peak of the wall color next to the Sun Yellow.   I cannot wait to get them into their new home!

What projects are you working on right now?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Wow!  What a whirlwind.  2013 flew right on in and before I knew it, it had breezed right on out!   Who else is feeling like the last 365 days (and then some) have just flown by.  I personally think it gets faster and faster, the older I get. 

2014 is already planning out to be a big year for our family.  

My cousin and his wife are expecting their first child in February, my sister and her husband are expecting their first child in May, my niece is getting married in July, and that's just what is on the calendar right now, who knows what else will be happening!  Weddings and babies, what more could you ask for in a year?

Last year, I thought that this blog would help keep me on track.   I have to say, it did help..... {thismuch}.  Folks, we are busy people.  Four kids, 2 parents, sports and lots and lots of family time camping/boating/vacationing, which didn't leave me much room for crafting, sewing, trying new recipes, or even the DIY on the house that I had envisioned we would have tackled in 2013.

Let's see what my goals were and what was tackled:

1) Redo Baby-girl's room (Big plans here, for this special girl) **Actually have started with this room, just not enough to blog about....yet  25% done
2) Redo Firecracker's room (Can't wait to work on this pre-teen's room) **We have the prep work done, moving onto the big work now....can't wait to show you all!  20% done
3) Redo Hotrod's room (Gone from child to teen in the blink of an eye, his room is long overdue)  (Just realized I never did a full room reveal on the blog)
4) Redo the hallway **Started this, super excited about it too  50% done
5) Get organized..create a working system for our family.
6) Craft Room...again (just can't seem to get it right)
7) Update the playroom...again
8) Yard...I was going to say front yard, but honestly, who am I kidding? If you've been to my house, you know the back yard needs some love (thank you to the kids, dogs, and Oregon rain!)
9) Finish up ALL the started and not finished projects

It looks like I have A LOT of catching up to do!

Last year I also posted some of my New Year's Resolutions.  They were:
 
1) Spend the most time with my little family as possible, they are growing too, too fast.  (Accomplished!  Although, this will never be complete)

2) Cook more We have cut back out eating out from 3-4x per week, to just once or 2x per MONTH!!   Huge improvement!

3) Get more organized (added that in 3x, must mean something) (This is always a work in progress)

4) Create a Meal Plan Monday routine  (Completed!)

My personal resolutions goals for the 2014 are small but will make a big impact on my family:

1)  Our word for 2014 -- Joy.   We are going to find Joy in all the things we do.  Joy with each other.  Joy in today.  Joy in tomorrow.  Joy is all around us.  There is so much negativity in this world, and our children see it on a daily basis.  Whether at school, or on the news, or just out and about; if we can show our children, Joy, then maybe, just maybe, our part of the world will be a better place to live.

2) Weight Loss.   Both The Mister and I have some weight to shed, so we'd like to do that in a healthy manner.

3) Advancement at work.   Always a work in progress but we are both ready for some growth and climbing of the corporate ladder.

I'm going to go out on a limb and post this, but here are my goals for the house for 2014.

1) Complete the hallway project
2) Start and complete the entry project
3) Finish up both Baby Girl and little Miss Firecracker's rooms
4) New windows for the kids bedrooms
5) Start the prepping and staging for a new....dare I say it.....KITCHEN!  

Outside:

1) Add fencing around the garden boxes
2) Complete landscaping in the front yard
3) Build a memorial garden for Grammie with all her favorite plants/flower/shrubs

I pray that 2014 is good to all of you and that may we all strive in our goals and resolutions.  I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us all.

 







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