Thursday, February 28, 2013

Baked Zucchini Pie

I have been trying to find as many ways to smuggle veggies into Hunter's diet.  Since Hunter loves eggs and cheese, I figured this quiche-like entree would be a hit, and it was!  Hunter ate all of it (zucchini included) while JEGs and I were damn near arm wrestling each other for the last slice.

1 package (8 ounces) refridgerated crescent rolls
2 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 teaspoons parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cups cubed, fully cooked ham
1 medium Roma tomato, thinly sliced.

Separate crescent dough into eight triangles; place in a greased 9-inch pie plate with points towards the center.  Press onto the bottom and up the sides to form a crust; seal seams and perforations.  Bake at 375 for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute zucchini and onion in butter until tender; stir in seasonings.  Spoon into crust.  Combine eggs, cheese and ham; pour over zucchini mixture.  Top with tomato slices.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Das HOVAS Review

There is no doubt, that the biggest form of traffic I get to this blog is people looking for reviews of IKEA's HOVAS.  

If you aren't caught up on this modern day love story, JEGs and I fell in love with the HOVAS in December 2010.  However, we decided to hold off on purchasing it since we were not sure if it would fit in our soon-to-be home.  A year later, we bought it as a Christmas gift to ourselves.  

We purchased two white slip covers; the first for me to attempt to dye a smokey charcoal, and the second in case the dye job didn't work.

It was a good thing we did we bought two.  It was a marbled hot mess.  

Granted, I was trying to dye it in a small washer and dryer, but even our bathtub was not large enough for these slipcovers.  I probably could have taken them to the laundromat and gave that a try, but I wasn't about to get fined for screwing up an industrial sized washer.  No ma'am.

So to those asking about my dye job, the answer is:  It didn't work.  

Whomp whomp.

So how do I live with a toddler and a white couch?  I cheat.

I snagged a cheap queen size sheet set in white and use the fitted sheet to cover the bottom cushions of the couch.

The pillow cases go over the arm rests

 and the flat sheet is tucked around the back cushions.

Yeah, I know.  I have a slipcover over my slipcover.  But with Hunters goldfish-and-strawberry-crusted hands climbing all over it, you would too.  

We are incredibly happy with our HOVAS.  I was concerned about it's massive size in our teeny tiny living room, but it's low profile and clean lines seem to minimize it.  It is comfortable enough for JEGs to lie down and I can still sit comfortably on the end.  If we have accommodate a guest, removing the back two cushions makes it about the size of a twin bed.  

My only issue is the back cushions tend to get smooshed after someone has been sitting.  A quick fluff or flip fixes that problem, however.  

Over all, I think this is a good couch at a really good price point.  If IKEA would come out with a couple more colors, I would be even happier.

And yes, that is a new coffee table.  No, it is not nearly blog-worthy yet.  I have a lot of work to do with it still, but I am waiting for warmer temperatures.

Always & Forever,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Winter Mantle: barren but sparkly.

I hate decorating post-Christmas.  During Christmas everything is lush and extravagant and full.

And then you take down all your holiday decorations and everything just feels... empty.  The air feels empty. The trees are empty.  Ugh.  I just hate winter.  

For my winter mantle decor I decided to tap into that empty, monochromatic feel.  To keep it feeling too depressing, I added some sparkle.  

I snagged this tree bark-detailed vase from Target when all their Christmas decorations were 70% off-- I think it came down to $1.50.  I collected a couple twigs from the yard and hung some leftover snow flakes from Jenna's birthday party and hung them with string.

The mason jars for Jenna's party were borrowed from my collection and returned with the Epson salt still in them.  I took out the candles and placed evergreen sprigs to appear as trees in the snow.


The feather wreath was another Target clearance find for $9.  I added my favorite mercury glass candle sticks and a gifted silver tray for a little sparkle.   What the hell... let's throw a thrift shop painted bird in there for kicks and giggles.

I really dig the tone on tone look, but I am so ready for spring.  SO ready.

How about you?  Do you struggle to decorate after Christmas?

Always & Forever,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day, Toddler Style

 If you follow me on Instagram (and you should be), you probably saw this picture of Valentine's Day cards I was working on for Hunter's class.

Here is the final product.  And we are going to pretend like all of these pictures were not taken with my iPhone.

When Hunter was at his original daycare, I didn't have to worry about holidays.  I dressed him in a cute shirt and sent him on his way.  Well now I have other parents to deal with.  And other parents bring in cards and treats for the other kids.  And honey, I am not about to be the 'that parent' that doesn't participate.  They got me at Halloween, they aren't going to get me this time...

Anyway, I got a lot of compliments on them, so I thought I would write up a quick tutorial, in case anyone needs a last minute snacky for their youngin.  Or you can file this away under "next year".

Here is what I used:

Red paint
White paint
favor bags (bought from Michaels)
paint brush (I used foam because that's what I had.  You can use any kind)
cookie cutter
pattern scissors
cardstock (not shown.  Oops)

I should note I used Valspar sample paints because they were $.50 from the return cart.  I am sure any kind of craft paint would work just as well.  But I'm cheap.

I cut 6x3 strips from the card stock and folded in half to make a 3x3 tented card.  Next I used the paint brush and took a couple haphazardly swipes across the paper.  Seriously, there is no science to how I painted.

After the red paint dried, I dipped the cookie cutter in the white paint and pressed it over the  red at an angle.

For the mix, I tried to use some toddler-friendly, semi-healthy food.  I figured everyone would be bringing in cupcakes and cookies and such.  So to keep the sugar overload to a minimum, I mixed up some frosted shredded wheat, Cheerios, yogurt covered raisins and strawberry yogurt drops

Next, employ your husband to fill each bag.

Finally, I folded the bag down a little and placed it between the folds of the card, securing it with two staples.

If you are interested in how much of each ingredient I used, I did one sample pack of Cheerios, one sample pack of Frosted Mini Wheats, one bag of yogurt drops and about three handfuls of the yogurt covered raisins (purchased from the bulk candy section of my super market).  We used 1/4 cup for each bag and were able to fill 10 bags.

...and Hunter got to share one with his special lady friend, Jenna

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Oh friends, it's that time again.

It's Ash Wednesday, which means it's time for me to give something up, proclaim it to the interwebs, and instantly regret it.  

In years past I've given up alcohol and coffee.  (p.s... the year I proclaimed I wouldn't give up alcohol ever again, I was 11 weeks pregnant.  Whoops. )

This year, I am giving up my one true love.

Make up.

I don't wear A LOT of make up, but I do wear it every day-- to the point that my friends tease me about my love affair with my eye lash curler.   But I've decided to give my skin a break for the next 40 days and let it breath.

..ok, truth gun to my head, it will be 39 days.  JEGs and I are having a fancy schmancy date night on Friday for Valentine's Day, so I might pop on some mascara and blush for the restaurant   I don't want to embarrass the poor guy in public.

Otherwise, until Easter, you all have to deal with this face every day:

freckles, tired eyes and blotchy skin.  Oh my.

Always & Forever,

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Winter ONEderland

On November 28th, my favorite little ladybug (aka Hunter's future wife), Jenna Mae turned a year old.  Her parents, our dear friends Cara and Rob, threw her a lovely birthday party with the theme of Winter ONEderland.

Cara decided to keep it simple and only serve a couple munchies, but focus mainly on desserts and a hot chocolate bar.

...and I was all 'well hell.  Why didn't I think of that?'

The entire set up was just so... pretty.  I cannot think of a better way to describe it;  everything was feminine and white with slight touches of pink here and there.  

In the living room hung a banner with Jenna's monthly photos backed by pattern paper

Nestled in the corner was a gigantic number one with made from cupcake liners and sprayed a gradient pink.

In the center of the dining room hung three white tissue paper pomanders, centered perfectly with the dessert table below.

In front of her gorgeous vintage gold mirror she hung snow flake shaped twinkle lights, and covered the dessert table with a lace cloth.

On each table were mason jars filled with Epson salt and tea candles and wrapped in raffia that hung one delicate snowfake per jar.  

The dessert table was filled with goodies such as fruit, brownie bites, and red velvet cupcakes.  Each food was identified with a tented card that had a snow flake graphic in the corner.

The cake.  Oh. THE CAKE.  First off, I was completely obsessed with it's beautiful simplicity.  White frosting with pink marshmallows between the first and second layer.

What I really loved about it, though, was it sparkled.  Not only were there little pink pearl-like details in the icing, but it seemed the icing itself was iridescent.

The hot chocolate bar came complete with peppermint, marshmallows, cinnamon  caramel and nutmeg to add to your beverage.  

There was also a big pot of spiked apple cider which I *ahem* may have partaken in.  Noms.

 Jenna's high chair sported the same pretty banner  from the living room

The little lady was very conservative with her cake smashing.  Perhaps in true lady like fashion, she didn't want to mess up her outfit.

 I seriously cannot get enough of her beautiful little face

Cara and I used the same real estate agent, Kim and continued to stay close with her.  Kim gave birth to a son in July and this was the first time we had all the kids in one room:
Me & Hunter-13 month, Cara & Jenna-12 months, Kim & Ethan- 4 months
The beautiful family;  Cara, her husband Rob and their little girl, Jenna

Cara, thank you for getting knocked up two months after me;  there is no way I could have made it through this pregnancy and first year with out you.  You have been a little bit of sanity in whirlwind of parenthood. I adore you, your family (especially your mom!) and I hope to call you a life-long friend.

Always & Forever,

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wedding Crashing: Very Pinteresting

 On July 21, 2012 I was very honored to be bridesmaid in my best friends wedding.

The ceremony and reception took place in the Currents Ballroom at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ.  The ceremony decorations were minimal and your eye wandered to the beautiful ceiling that looked like ocean waves

The bride and groom, Connie and Joey, obtained a self-uniting marriage license which allows a couple to get married without having a third party officiant.  Instead of a member of the clergy, our friend Phil stood in front of family and guests and spoke kind words about the couple.  He even appropriately added a quote from Superman.

Connie's dress was show-stopping.  The bodice was ruched organza with a shell-like detailing along the sweetheart neckline.  Her A-line skirt was a sea of flowing ruffles.  She customized the dress by adding a jeweled strap to one shoulder, making it both romantic and modern. Her long black hair was pulled back just at the crown, while the rest fell in soft curls.  I was so proud of her for not pulling it back in a ponytail, like she often does.  

The bridesmaids wore matching Grecian-style dresses in Wisteria.  Our one shoulder strap had a floral detailing similar to the ruffles on Connie's train.  We held simple bouquets of silk hydrangea.

The gentlemen looked sharp in their crisp black suits with ties and vests to match the ladies' dresses.  The groom wore all black.

In lieu of flowers, the men had boutonnieres of crystals that showcased a Superman emblem.  Can you guess Joe is a fan of super heroes?

The answer to that is Yes.  Yes he is.

Joe is also a huge fan of movies; a former Blockbuster employee, his collection of unopened DVDs is the envy of all who see it.   As a nod to his love of movies, the escort cards were designed to look like ticket stubs.  Tables were named after a movie that came out in each year of their life.  

The corresponding table not only had the movie's name, but also a picture of Connie and Joe from that particular year!

The centerpieces were simple hurricane vases with flowers and a floating candle.

Not a whole lot of fuss because you didn't want to distract from the pièce de résistance.. the shark tank.

That's right, as guests walked into the reception area, they were shocked to see the entire back wall was the aquarium's shark tank (Mr.Wonderful  not included).   It was kind of bad ass.  The guests also had exclusive access to other exhibits of the aquarium, including the shark tunnel.

After the couple danced their first dance to Michael Morrison's version of "Sway", we sat down to a buffet dinner.

Can we discuss the cake?  It was provided by local baker, AndieKakes and it was gor.  ge.  OUS.  I have never seen such a beautiful cake.  It was four tiers with beautiful edible sugar flowers.  I wish I could tell you the flavor, but I was too busy drinking cosmos and running around the shark tunnel to notice they served it.  Whomp whomp.  


The whole event was beautiful, down to every pin-worthy detail.  Connie and Joey, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your day. I love you both so much and I wish you a life time of love, tolerance and happiness.