Monday, January 26, 2009

My latest obsession

Damask! I can't stop thinking about it! I love it! I want to wallpaper every room in my house in it, reupholster every piece of furniture I have in it, throw out all of my clothes and make an entire wardrobe out of damask fabric! Okay, maybe that last one was a little outrageous. But it seems like every couple months I find a fabric or color pallete that I love and want to do my whole house in. When we moved to our apartment it was toile. But as I began decorating and painting toile fell by the wayside and I ended up not using it in any room. If you asked me today if I liked toile I would say "eh" if you asked me 6 month ago if I liked toile I would have said "Like toile? I love toile!" So my new obsession is damask. I have been meaning to do something with my bedroom since we moved in but it just seems like the lowest room on the priority list. Its not a room that is usually seen my company and we are really only in there to sleep. But with my upcoming birthday and an influx or cash I have decided that now is the perfect time. So I have been searching the web and have finally came up with some ideas. I already have brown curtains that I will be using until I die because they were somewhat pricey and I also have a brown hotel collection quit and pillow set. So instead of throwing them in the linen closet and getting ALL new stuff I have decided to use them along with a few new pieces to make a different look. Here is my inspiration room...

Alot about this room already reminded me of my own room. I have brown curtains, neutral walls, beige carpet, four post bed, etc etc. But then when I saw the damask pillow it was love! So I will basically be stealing this exact bedding idea except I will be folding my quilted coverlet down and putting it at the end of the bed.

My birthday is still a month away though so I have time to look at the damask and either fall more in love with it or fall completely out of love with it (as in the case of the toile). But the nice thing is that its not going to be a huge investment and even if I get sick of it I can alway just replace the throw pillows for a completely new look.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog Neglect!

I have been very neglectful of my blog lately! But in my defense I have also been busy doing a whole lot of nothing in particular. But to make up for my lack of commitment to my blog I have given it a face lift. As you can see I changed the name, I think the old name reflected the mood that I generally feel (like im swimming in jello). This one is just pretty (like the new background) and so I decided to keep it after much experimentation.

So anyway... Jason has been in New York for a week now and I am slowly being depleated of life. When I was in college I took a philosophy class and my professor told us about a writing by Aristotle that said that people are just one arm and one leg and life is difficult for them. But when they meet their soul mate they become whole and life is prosperous and joyful. Well thats basically Jason and I. When he's out of town life is harder. But I have been keeping very busy! I have been going out with friends and shopping and selling stuff on craigslist (Yay for getting rid of my futon from college!) So my friend is having a party this Saturday and it has a tropical theme. I told my friend I would bring a dessert and started racking my brain for something that is 1. cheap 2. easy 3. yummy! So finally I remembered the easiest yummiest and semi cheapest dessert I know how to make...
Tropical Fruit Salsa!

You will need...

  • 2 Kiwi's
  • 1 Container of blueberries
  • green or red grapes
  • strawberries
  • 1 can of dole tropical fruit medley
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • Tsp of Vanilla
  • 1 Lime

Drain the can of fruit medley and set juice aside. Dice all of the fruit, except bluberries (which remain whole) and put into serving bowl.

Next combine sugar vanilla and fruit juice and stir until sugar disolves. Pour mixture over fruit. Cut lime into wedges, use 2 wedges to squeeze over salsa and 2 for garnish...

And Voila Fruit Salsa!

I serve it with tortilla chips that I cut into strips sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake for 10 mins at 350 degrees. This recipe is so easy and great. Everybody always loves it when I take it to pot lucks and parties.

I have noticed that this blog has taken on a food theme. Thats mainly because I eat everyday and I really enjoy it! But soon I hope to add some posts about my house and design, upcoming trips I will be taking, things I love and am inspired by, and possibly even some daily doses of cuteness via my dogs paco and heidi. But until then I hope you enjoy the recipes!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The weather outside is frightful!

With the weather outside being a chilly 4 degree's today I decided to make a crockpot ratatouille that will use of all of my leftover vegetables that are currently turning brown in the fridge. Its so easy to make and really yummy with couscous!

You will need...
Eggplant (cubbed)
Fresh tomatoes (diced)
Green peppers

Put it all in a crock pot and cook it on low for about 8 hours. And thats it! Like I mentioned above, it tastes great over couscous but pasta, rice, or some crusty bread is also really good.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shoe addiction

So I was perusing the aisles of my local goodwill store when I turned a corner and staring at me was a huge rack of identical shoes in a huge variety of sizes... and they were cute! I, like many women have  a serious addictions to shoes, clothing, jewelry, and pretty much anything else that I wear on my body in public. So far I have kept my problem in check by buying shoes for around 25 dollars or less. But today was the best of both worlds- amazing shoes that I LOVE for only 4.99! Thats right, less that 5 dollars!! So without further ado I would like to introduce you to my latest lovelies...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Zucchini Lasagna

I make this dish a couple times a month and it is a favorite at my house. I have taken this dish to pot lucks and have gotten tons of compliments as well. It tastes like you slaved away all day in the kitchen and used your culinary expertise! Meanwhile, Its inexpensive to make and is as easy as assembling ingredients in a baking pan! I generally make 2 at a time and freeze the second.

Zucchini Lasagna

3 medium zucchini
2 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh or dried basil

2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs, divided
1 3/4 cups preshredded mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.

  • Roast zucchini in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes

  • Combine the cottage cheese, parsley, and eggs in a medium bowl.

  • Arrange zucchini slices in a shallow 3-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the zucchini with half of the breadcrumbs. Spread half of ricotta cheese mixture over breadcrumbs; cover 1 cup mozzarella.

  • Repeat the layers with the remaining breadcrumbs, ricotta cheese mixture, and mozzarella. (I generally end up with 3-4 layer of zucchini)

  • Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This Weeks Menu

So I have decided to do my grocery shopping on Fridays nights now. 1. because the stores are less crowded 2. that way I don't waste a whole Saturday morning/afternoon grocery shopping 3. that way I am well stocked for the weekend and can do prep work for the rest of the week.

So here is this weeks menu and an approximation of what I will be buying at the store tomorrow.

Saturday- Broccoli cheese soup
Sunday- Stuffed cabbage casserole
Monday- Vegetable pot pie
Tuesday- Spaghetti
Wednesday- Roasted winter vegtables and mashed potatoes
Thursday- Portabello burgers
Friday- Egg noodles with peas and onions sausage

Can of Cheese soup
Head of cabbage
Yellow squash
hamburger buns

It should be a fairly inexpensive trip this time! Yay!


So in an attempt to save money and stick to a budget I have decided to take inspirations from The Grocery Cart Challenge. I LOVE this blog! Every week she sticks to a $60 budget for groceries and household items. When she returns from the store she takes a picture of the groceries and gives you a list of everything she bought along with the price. This blog has inspired me to be more efficient and make lists and spend less! So this week I will be trying to stick to a $50 budget which will amount to about $200 a month. I hope to come in under budget the second 2 weeks of the month since there is only Jason and I, and we should be stocked from the first 2 weeks of shopping. I probably wouln't be taking pictures of what I buy just yet number 1 because I am lazy and number 2 because when I get home from the store I just want to put the stuff away and move on to something else! But hopefully sometime in the future I can organize myself and work up the motivation to actually take some pictures and tell you exactly what I bought. But in the mean time I will tell you a general idea of what I got, how much I spent, and what meals I plan to make.

So last night we had 2 friend over for dinner. I didnt find out they were coming until I was leaving work to come home! But it was a great time and I ended up making one of my stand by dishes that is fast to make and tastes like you slaved all day in the kitchen and used your expert culinary skills. Meanwhile it takes about a half hour to make and is as simple as throwing stuff in a baking dish! Look for my zucchini lasagna recipe in my next blog!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A New Year

The new year began with some good old fashioned fun- ice skating! For 2 years now I have been asking Jason to go ice skating and finally after much pleading and pouting he agreed! We went skating at the PPG rink in downtown Pittsburgh. It was beautiful and cold and everything I have been waiting 2 years for (and by the way Jason loved it)! So in the spirit of doing things out of the ordinary I have decided to make New Year's resolutions. I generally don't make resolutions because its so cliche and you're just setting yourself up for failure. But this year I am taking the plunge. So my New Years resolutions are as follows:
1. Loose 20 pounds
2. Be more organized! At work, at home, everywhere!
3. Support my local humane society more, with donations and volunteering
4. Speak more kindly of others
5. Set aside 2 days a month to spend time with my grandmother
Not so lofty goals I know, but these are things that I have been putting off and not making time to accomplish. But 2009 will be the year!

My First Blog

Instead of a long into intro my life and deepest thoughts lets pretend we're great friends who havent talked in a while. You already know I'm 22 and live in Pennsylvania. I'm a social worker for the elderly. I love animals and advocate for animal rights. I don't eat meat but generally don't scream from the roof tops that I'm a vegetarian. Sometimes I test the waters but usually I dive right in. Since you know all this it will make for a much easier transition and the more I write the more you will get caught up on my life! Its like a sit-com except without the commercials, and no matter how bad it is I can't get canceled!