Sunday, February 27, 2011

What is your favorite ring?

I received a compliment on this ring today.  Which one of my rings is your favorite?

Monday, February 21, 2011

My apologies Anthropologie

I've always heard so much about this store, and yet I did not even realize we had one in Nashville until a few months ago.  Oops!!  So I finally had an opportunity to stop in there and look around for a few minutes.  Very, very pretty stuff!  Both clothing and home decor items.  The prices are a bit high for me, but they do have a clearance section!  So maybe the next time I have a little spending money, I can take some time to dig through those racks.  I personally cannot justify spending $78 for ONE top.  I just can't wrap my mind around that (just think of how many tops I can get from TJ Maxx for $78!!!!!)

I saw this dress inside and thought it was pretty, so I tried to snap a photo as we drove by (I did not dare try and take any photos inside the store, I am sure I would've been busted!)  Unfortunately I will not be purchasing this dress anytime soon, it costs $228. :)  But you can see a better photo of it below.

So now that I know we have an Anthro in Nashville, I will make a point to stop in every so often to look at the latest fashions.  And hit the clearance racks in search of that "gotta have it" deal!

Rachael Ray weekly menu planner- meal six

Tilapia with bell peppers and parsley spiked couscous

One 7.6 oz box couscous
1/2 cup plus 2 TB chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper
3 TB oil
4 skinless tilapia fillets
2 lemons cut into wedges
2 bell peppers cut into thin strips
1 onion thinly sliced

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil, remove from heat, stir in the couscous, cover and let stand for 5 min. Using a fork, stir in 1/2 cup parsley, salt and pepper. Keep warm. In a large skillet heat oil. Season fish with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter, squeeze a wedge of lemon over each fillet and tent with foil to keep warm. Using the same skillet, heat the remaining oil, add the bell peppers and onion and season with salt and pepper, cook until softened and golden brown. Spoon the veggies over the tilapia and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve with couscous and lemon wedges.

YUMMY!!!!!  A mild tasting fish with sauted peppers and onions is just fantastic!!  And very quick to make as well.  Five stars from both of us, and even the leftovers were good!

Rachael Ray weekly menu planner- meal five

Orzo risotto with spring greens

2 cups orzo pasta
1 TB oil
1/2 onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1 pint half and half
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 cup packed baby spinach
6 scallions, thinly sliced

In large pot  of boiling water cook orzo until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil and add the onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until just golden. Stir in half and half and 3/4 cup parmesan and simmer until just thickened. Stir in the cooked orzo, reserved pasta water and the peas. Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until warmed through. Remove from heat and fold in the spinach and scallions. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Yet another very quick and easy meal to make! And super tasty as well!  We both gave it five stars. :)

Imported my old blog

I finally imported the posts from my other blog, The Simple Life, that I started back in 2007.  I decided that it is much easier to just have one blog for both my life and my business, so I am finally going to delete The Simple Life blog and just have this one.  You can look back on my archives to see the old posts if you are just bored and looking for something to do.  LOL!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A fun-filled family day!

Ron took Friday off from work, so we spent the day out just the four of us.  We had a great time as usual!  While we were at a mall, Ronnie saw the carousel and wanted to ride on it.  We told him we couldn't this time, and just as we were walking past it, a very nice lady told us she had three tickets left over and wanted us to have them.  I was just amazed at her kindness, the tickets were $2.25 each!  I was going to ride with the kids and the lady running the carousel said that parents don't require tickets, so we all rode it together. :)  Ron took some photos with his iPhone and I edited them on Picnik for some special effects.  I like how they turned out!  I promise I will finish posting my last few recipes in the next day or two.  Its been a busy weekend, so I just did not have time to blog about them.  But I will!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Needing inspiration for my new beads!

I picked up these cute, pale green beads that resemble pearls.  I think they are perfect for spring!  So, what should I make with them?  Earrings?  Wrap rings?  Bracelet?  Use them with some vintage pieces?  Give me some inspiration, and you might win something from me!

Rachael Ray weekly menu planner- meal four

Stewed white beans with spinach and bacon

8 slices bacon
1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
1/2 onion, chopped
two 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
2 TB fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 cups packed baby spinach
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook bacon in large skillet until just crisp. Drain on paper towel. Return skillet to heat and cook potatoes until golden brown. Stir in the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the beans, broth and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed. Stir in the spinach and cook just until wilted. Crumble bacon on top and sprinkle with scallions and parmesan.

Everything is simmering together and I just added the spinach.

Topped with bacon, scallions and parmesan.  Ready to eat!!

This was yet another great meal!  We both loved it!  So tasty with the bacon and cheese on it.  Very hearty and filling with the beans and potatoes.  We both gave it 5 stars for sure!  We are not picky eaters at all.  We love food and eat just about everything.  Our two main exceptions are pork and shellfish, and that is for healthy reasons, not religious reasons.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rachael Ray weekly menu planner- meal three

Beef and mushroom tacos with avocado salad

3 TB oil
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 avocados cut into cubes
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (1 1/2 limes)
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 small flour tortillas

Heat oil in skillet. Add the beef, half the onion and the jalapenos; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the beef is browned and the onion is softened, 7 to 10 min. Transfer to bowl; reserve the skillet.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining onion; the avocados and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. In the reserved skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat, add the mushrooms and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden, 7 to 9 min. Stir into the beef mixture and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet and return to medium heat. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, lightly toast on both sides for about 1 min. Stuff the tortillas with the beef mixture and avocado salad.

We LOVE Mexican food!  We have it often in our house.  This was a bit of a different spin on our usual Mexican fare, but we LOVED it!  Both Ron and I gave it 5 stars for sure.  Super tasty, very easy to make, and we will add it to our meal menu. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rachael Ray weekly menu planner- meal two

Chicken and orzo soup

1 cup orzo
1 TB olive oil
1 pound chicken cut into 1/2 inch pieces
salt and pepper
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
2 ribs celery chopped
15 oz can cannellini beans (rinsed)
7 cups chicken broth
3 TB fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

In large pot of boiling water, cook orzo until al dente, 8 to 10 min; drain.
Meanwhile, in a large pot heat oil and add chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until just cooked through. Add the mushrooms and celery and cook until the chicken is golden brown.
Stir in the cooked orzo, the beans, chicken broth and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium and simmer until heated through. Stir in the parsley.

Cooking the chicken, mushrooms and celery.

Added the broth, orzo, beans, and lemon juice and now simmering.

Added the parsley.  SO GOOD!!!!

This was very quick, very simple, and VERY tasty!!!  Ron and I both gave it 5 stars!  I will be adding this  to our meal menu for sure!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Homemade Valentine's Day chocolate

As you may have figured out by now, we do like to eat healthy.  So I am always on the lookout for fun, healthy, yummy snacks and treats for our family.  I learned about making some awesome healthy chocolate a couple years ago, so now it has become tradition for me to make some for Valentine's Day.

All it takes is 3 simple ingredients.  Cocoa, coconut oil, and honey (or your choice of healthy sweetener).

1 cup cocoa powder, 3/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup solid coconut oil, and 1/2 cup melted coconut oil.  Pulse until just blended, if you over mix it may separate.

Pour into a mold, or a wax paper lined pan and place in refrigerator until solid.

Be sure to taste it for quality control. :)

This chocolate needs to stay refrigerated due to the coconut oil.  But it is SO tasty!!!

My littlest Valentine. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rachael Ray weekly menu planner- meal one

Baked buffalo chicken with blue cheese salad

8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
1 onion cut into 1/3 inch rings
1/3 cup buffalo sauce, plus more for serving
1 TB olive oil
salt and pepper
4 oz container blue cheese crumbles
6 TB sour cream
2 TB fresh lemon juice
2 cup chopped celery
5 oz bag mixed greens

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl combine chicken, onion, 1/3 cup buffalo sauce and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring the onion and turning the chicken halfway through, until the onion is softened and browned and the chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, in a salad bowl, whisk together the blue cheese, sour cream and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Add the celery and mixed greens and toss. Top the salad with the baked chicken and onion. Serve with more buffalo sauce on the side.

This meal was very simple to prepare, and did not take much time or planning ahead to do.  Which is great for a quick dinner in a pinch, especially if you are craving some hot wings but want something a bit healthier.

Rather than bake it in the oven, I decided to cook mine in a skillet on the stove.  It took a little less time to cook that way.

Mixing the blue cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, pepper and celery.

Voila!! The finished meal!!

It was very tasty, we both liked it.  The rating system we are going to use is 5 stars.  One star being the lowest rating, and five stars the highest.  Both Ron and I gave this meal 4 stars.  We would've given it 5 but we felt the blue cheese was a bit overpowering.  It was hard to really taste the other flavors too.  So I think if I use a bit less blue cheese next time, it will be a 5 star meal! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's for the grandparents

Dad, if you are reading this, don't tell mom about.  Let her be surprised. :)

I posted on my Ida & Mae Facebook page the other day asking for ideas for crafts I could do with my kids. One gal posted a link to a blog with a very cute idea using the kids handprints.  So I went and bought some of the washable paints and we did this yesterday.  I did two sets of these, one for each set of grandparents.  I hand wrote messages to them around the kids handprints.  I think they will like them!  I mailed them out today.

What fun crafts do you do with your kids for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Following Rachael Ray's menu planner for a week

I am very excited to give this a try!  I've always wanted to do it, and now I am going to!  And I will take photos and blog about the whole experience.  I subscribe to Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine.  I have made several of her recipes and they have all been great.  I just received the March issue last week and I really liked all the recipes that were listed in the weekly menu planner.  So I am going to tear out the shopping list and buy everything I need for it this weekend and start the first meal on Sunday.  Here is the list of meals I will make:

Sunday- baked buffalo chicken with blue cheese salad
Monday- chicken and orzo soup
Tuesday- beef and mushroom tacos with avocado salad
Wednesday- stewed white beans with spinach and bacon
Thursday- orzo risotto with spring greens
Friday- tilapia with bell peppers and parsley-spiked couscous
Saturday- peppers 'n' potatoes beef skillet supper

Yummy!!  I will blog about each meal I make with photos included, and of course the recipe and our reviews of it.

Just as a disclaimer: I am not receiving any compensation from Everyday with Racheal Ray for doing this, I just simply wanted to do it for myself and share it with you all. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

We have a winner!!!!

The winner is Jamie Noiles!  Who said: My summer color usually ends up being plums.Last year thats all I had really.This year I am going to try yellow.

Congratulations Jamie!!  Send me an email with your mailing address.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We reached 100 fans on FB! {Time for a giveaway!}

It was hard for me to decide which piece to giveaway.  I usually do rings or earrings, but this time I decided to splurge a bit and giveaway a vintage recycled necklace!  Yes, I am!  This necklace is more of a choker length, it is 13 inches at the shortest setting, and 16 inches as the longest setting.  The necklace is vintage costume jewelry and I added a rosette to it.

So here is how you can enter to win it!  First, you MUST be a Facebook fan of Ida & Mae, so if you aren't yet, go ahead and "like" my page!  Then come on back and enter to win. :)

Now that you are a Facebook fan, all you have to do is leave a comment answering this question: what color do you have the most of in your summer wardrobe?

One entry per person.  I will draw a winner on Monday, February 7th.  Have fun!

Me wearing the necklace at The Strawberry Patch fall barn sale.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Come check out Frostings blog! {I'm doing a featured giveaway!}

If you like hand stamped jewelry, you will love Natasha's work!  I've seen her at a couple craft shows here in Tennessee.  I picked up her business card and found her blog and Facebook page.  And today I am featured on her blog along with a giveaway!  So come on over and check it out and be sure to enter to win!

One of Natasha's beautiful pieces.