Thursday, October 29, 2009

fabric-softner sheets

I have to apologize for the lack of "Wednesdays with Kyle" this week. He decided to go and catch the piggy flu, so he's been couch-ridden since Sunday. He is starting to feel better, and the fever is finally gone, thank goodness!!

I always think its interesting to find new uses for old things, especially around the house. So, when I came across this list of "25 Alternative Uses for Fabric-Sofener Sheets" from, a DIY design community, and Real Simple's "10 New Uses for Dryer Sheets," I was pretty excited to see what their ideas were.

Here is Real Simple's list. Have you ever tried any of these? I have always just used the sheets for laundry, static cling and getting rid of fly-aways, but several of these are new to me. Let me know if you find any of these to be a major success (or failure!)

1. Freshen smelly shoes. Insert a dryer sheet into the offending pair and let sit overnight.
2. Remove static from clothing, hair, TV screens, and computer monitors. Wipe the surface with a sheet.
3. Clean pet hair from the floor or furniture. Rub a dryer sheet over the spot where Fluffy left her fur.
4. Replace a sachet. Keep a dresser drawer smelling fresh and clean by placing a dryer sheet on the bottom of it.
5. Loosen caked-on food from a pan. Place a fresh sheet in the bottom of a dirty pan, fill with lukewarm tap water, and let sit in the sink overnight. The pan will be easier to clean in the morning.
6. Tackle suitcase and gym-bag odors. Place a dryer sheet in your suitcase or gym bag so your clean clothes won’t take on the odors of the dirty ones.
7. Prevent old books from smelling musty when in storage. Stick a dryer sheet between the pages of your beloved copy of Pride and Prejudice.
8. Wipe up sawdust after working in the garage. Rub a dryer sheet over the fine wood particles.
9. Prevent thread from tangling when sewing. Run a threaded needle through a dryer sheet right before you begin your handiwork.
10. Dust venetian blinds. Close the blinds, then wipe up and down with a dryer sheet.

Monday, October 26, 2009

chicken tetrazzini and halloween treats

Before tonight, the most I knew about Chicken Tetrazzini came from this Maury clip I once saw Joel McHale making fun of on The Soup.

But after tonight, my Chicken Tetrazzini knowledge has expanded, and I can say that I have now baked and eaten Chicken Tetrazzini. I'd say it was good, but certainly not so incredibly delicious it would have the power to steal a man away from his woman, but there are some craaaaazy people out there. I have been searching around online, however, and have found some recipes I think I would like a lot more. Like this one...yum! Here is the recipe I used:
  • 1 whole chicken, boiled and de-boned (I bought a cooked rotisserie chicken to save time.)
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • 10 oz. spaghetti, cooked
  • 1/2 lb. Velveeta, cubed
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/4 c. Chicken Broth
  1. Boil chicken and de-bone
  2. Cook spaghetti in remaining broth (Since I didn't have broth from the chicken, I just cooked the spaghetti in chicken broth.)
  3. Mix everything together and place in a greased 9" x 13" dish
  4. Bake at 325F for 40 minutes or until bubbly
I think the thing I didn't like about this dish was the Rotel, but I'm also not big on spice of any degree. For instance when I go to get Thai, I order with a spice level of ZERO. When I buy hot sauce, it's mild. Chicken wings? Honey Glazed please. You get the picture. So the spice of the Rotel threw off me enjoying the tastiness o the chicken, spaghetti and cheese. I'm definitely not shelving this recipe, and I'll actually eat the leftovers (unlike chicken n' ritz,) but I think next time I'll try a different variation of the recipe.

I definitely feel like I am finding my way around the kitchen more and more every day. And I love the time I spend making dinner for three reasons
  1. It's kind of my alone time for the day. Even though I work for myself, and am alone most of the day, my mind is on work during those hours. My time in the evening cooking dinner is my time to think about whatever my I want or need to think about and process.
  2. I know that when I'm cooking, even if it doesn't turn out amazingly, the Mr. is going to like it, and be thankful he has me to cook for him. Plus, it's kind of like my special little thing I can do for him every day, and food really is the way to his heart.
  3. I learn more and more every time I cook. Whether it's about what certain ingredients do, or what I do and don't like, or even doing things for the first time (i.e. de-boning a chicken.)
To get in the halloween spirit, I made orange rice krispie treats yesterday. They are delish! Make a little Halloween inspired treat for you, your friends, your family or your co-workers! Not only is it fun, but they will love you for it. Here's a website to get you started. Last year, my sister and I made a Halloween cupcake graveyard. They were a blast to make, and yummy too! I'm eying those Daddy Long Legs Cupcakes for this year if I can figure out somewhere to take them!

Beyond what I've been up to in the kitchen, I have to share this link my mom sent my way. How gorgeous is this cottage? The inside reminds me of a cute, little antique store, and I love those vintage settees. After seeing more and more photos from home remodels, I've decided I really am partial to gorgeous white kitchen cabinets with stainless steel appliances. I can't wait to have a cute cottage the Mr. and I can rip to shreds and make our own. Someday, I hope :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

move over martha

So that might take it a little too far, but I made dinner the other night, and I'm pretty sure it's my favorite thing I've made so far. It came out of the same cookbook I've been using all week, and the recipe is Parmesan Chicken topped with a Lemon Vinaigrette salad. I did a little searching, and found the recipe originally came from the Food Network, so you can see all the ingredients and instructions here. I am a presentation girl. Meaning, I'm more likely to buy something because I like the package it comes in, not necessarily because of what is inside the box. I've often been given gifts where I like the box and wrapping just as much as the present. So, I think part of why I loved this recipe is because it looks so fancy when you put it all together. Here's the set-up for making the chicken, after I rolled it out to thin it.

Then I put the chicken in a skillet on med-high heat. The recipe said I could do two pieces at a time, but my skillet is too small for that. I'm starting to see an item being added to my Christmas list. Large skillet, check!

After the chicken was done, I put it in the oven on 200F to keep it warm, and put the salad together. This was super fun for me because I FINALLY got to use this juicer thing my sister insisted I needed. I kind of fought her on it, but ultimately got it. And lookie there! It got put to good use :)

And after all the preparations were done, it made a pretty little dinner for the Mr. and I to chow down on.

See, I told you it was pretty!

Around Tulsa, the leaves have really started showing their fall colors, and it's absolutely beautiful. This has to be one of the prettiest times of the year. So, in honor of the color change, and the cooler weather rolling in, I put together a Fall Scarf round-up! I put together some of my favorite scarves of the season to keep you warm for those fall bonfires, football games and marshmallow roasts. I absolutely love Anthropologie, but their prices usually keep me rom buying anything. I was happy to see they have a few that are reasonably priced (and I threw in a more pricey one, because I'm just really in love with the wrap!)

Hope you find a pretty little scarf to keep you warm for the next few months! Have a fabulous weekend. We have Oktoberfest to look forward to. Pictures to come soon!

P.S. I almost forgot! I surprised my hubby with this yesterday morning. He loved it! (And I have to admit that I did too.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

wednesdays with kyle, part 2

Well it's Wednesday so I'm back for more. To be honest not a whole lot has happened since the last time I wrote. Oh wait wait... now that I think about it something did happen, brittany and I were put in charge of her parents two most prized possessions. Their two other children who happened to be named Happy and Holly and who also happen to be dogs, but anyway we babysat the dogs last weekend, and I'm happy to report that other than on small mid night throw up incident everything went well. In other news my wife is, in my opinion, the best wife a guy could ever have. She has worked all day everyday this week and has some how found the time and energy to make a fantastic dinner for us to eat together every night. I honestly don't know how she does it but it is so great. I'm used to my single guy days when I lived on tacos, pizzas and ramen noodles. Brittany has been doing things with food that I didn't even know you could but it is so good and I love it. Well that's about all I have so until next week...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

new week, new recipes, new ways to burn down my kitchen

This week I began my attempt at a few new recipes, and right now I'm sitting at about a 50% success rate as far as whether I liked the meal, and a 100% success rate on not burning the apartment down! (hip! hip! hooray!) Seriously, no flames so far this week. That's got to be a good sign, right?

Monday night I made quiche, and served it with a strawberry and almond spinach salad. It was delicious. Not only did I think so, but the Mr. did too! Here's the recipe I used (it's from a custom recipe book I got from a sweet girl at church as a wedding gift). I did customize it for our tastes a little bit (look at me altering recipes!) The original recipe called for spinach, but I used ham, turkey, bacon, mushrooms and chives instead.

1 Pillsbury Pie Crust, pre-baked 4-5 minuts
1 pkg. Plain Cream Cheese, softened
3 eggs
Garlic Powder to taste
Salad and Pepper to taste
2-1/2 c. shredded cheese (I used a Colby mix)
Sliced Ham, Turkey and Bacon
Green Onions, diced
Mushrooms, diced

  1. Arrange pie crust in a 9" pie plate
  2. Sprinkle 1 c. shredded cheese on bottom of pie crust
  3. Mix together everything but cheese with electric mixer
  4. Spoon mixture over the top of cheese already in the crust
  5. Smooth out and top with remaining cheese
  6. Bake on 350F for 35-40 minutes until slightly golden on top
  7. Allow to set about 10 minutes before serving
After I got that in the oven, I started getting my salad together. In a bowl I mixed together spinach leaves,  cut strawberries and about 1/4 cup of almonds. For the dressing, I used:
2 c. sugar
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

I placed the ingredients in a small saucepan, and heated together on med-high heat. Once I took the quiche out of the oven, I poured the dressing over the salad, and mixed together (I waited so the leaves wouldn't get too soggy.)

If your mouth is melting about now? One thing I love about this is we have lots of leftover quiche (a whole pie for two people is a lot!) so we have built in breakfast and dinner for a few more meals. It was also pretty easy clean up. Since the quiche had to bake a little while, I was able to clean the kitchen before it was even time to eat!

Tonight I made something called "Chicken n' Ritz." It's essentially a casserole with chicken, sour cream, green beans, brown rice and cheese, and topped with crushed wheat ritz crackers. I didn't really care for it. My favorite part of the meal were the cheese biscuits I made to go with it, and the strawberry cheesecake ice cream I'm going to have a little later for dessert. Ice cream is truly the way to my heart. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

paper and brownies

One of my favorite stationery company's has been closed for the last few months, because the owner was out on maternity leave with her precious new baby girl. But this morning, my e-mail box greeted me with a cute little e-mail that Nicole Balch has opened Pink Loves Brown back up for business! One of my favorite of her items are the little paper suitcases. How cute are these? Go over and check out her site. And if you need a special little personalized gift, Nicole has several cute stationery sets to choose from.

I actually aspire to have a little stationery/invite/paper goods store myself someday, but until then, I can't help but gawk at the beautiful prints from stationers online.

Last night, the Mr. and I made a trip to the grocery store. I don't enjoy grocery shopping too much, but it has to be done, so there really is no avoiding it. We were in a hurry, but I grabbed a cook book I got as a wedding gift, and pulled some recipes from there. We shopped based on those recipes, and all of them are new things for me. Dinner tonight will be my first attempt, and I am crossing my fingers for everything to come out great. The recipes have all been tested and tried, so at least I know they should be great, unlike some brownies I made this weekend.

On Saturday, the big OU/Texas game was on, and Kyle and a couple of his friends were watching the game. We had a great spread of burgers and hot dogs for lunch, but later on, I decided to make some brownies for the guys. I found a recipe online, and went with it. They were awful. I promise I followed the recipe to a T, but they lacked flavor, and were just crumbling and falling apart. What did I do wrong?! I would share the recipe with you, but I can't find it again. They had butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, cocoa and eggs, but something was not right. I bought some more cocoa at the grocery store last night. I have to redeem myself.  Seriously, having to tell some 20-something guys they don't get to have brownies is not a good thing. And to add to it, OU lost. Sad day.

So here's to a week of new recipes and delicious brownies. Hope it's a good one for you too!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

puppies, pillows and place settings

In just a few short days, I feel like there is so much to share. First of all, we are dog sitting my parents dogs. Two bichon frise's (Happy and Holly). It's to help my parent's out, but also to kind of have a trial run on having a dog in an apartment. Other than barking every time a leaf blows by, it's been pretty good. And even if you don't like small dogs, or fluffy dogs, or just dogs in general, you really can't deny these dogs are cute.

Also...I finally got my last pillow! I really like them. The colors are great, and they are the perfect amount of chic without the Mr. thinking I am trying to girl-ify the whole apartment. Holly wanted to model the new pillows for you.

On Tuesday night, my best friend of over 11 years and her man came over for dinner, and we had a great time. Kyle and I served up a shrimp and crab boil, and it was delicious, if I do say so myself. It's also my favorite meal, so I guess I am a little partial, but for our first ever homemade boil, it was super tasty. We went the traditional route, and threw the food on the table. I did set the table all pretty though, even though we really needed bibs more than pretty plates. We had crab dip as an appetizer, and hard cider and iced tea to drink. Tasty, tasty. Meredith brought dessert, and I don't know what to call it, but whatever it was, it was delicious. After dinner we lounged around and watched ridiculous reality shows. My kind of night.

This weekend is the big OU/TEXAS(sucks!) game! I hope my Sooners can pull out a W. I'll be kicking domestic skills in high gear to feed some good food to some hungry, football-loving guys. Pictures and stories to come. Let's hope I can keep the smoke and flames from appearing this time. Have a great weekend!  GO OOOOOOOOOU!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

wednesdays with kyle. take one.

So I'm starting a new little segment here. Introducing....(drumroll please)...Wednesdays with Kyle! My super sweet, super cute hubby is going to deliver the news on life every Wednesday. Take it away, Mr. (xoxo)

Well hello everyone this is Kyle aka the hubby. This is the first, and possibly the last time I will ever blog, but I have decided to do this for Brittany. So I guess the way this works is you just kind of talk about current happenings and what not so I will start with what's new with me and some thoughts I have.

First off, Brittany and I have been kicking around the idea of getting a puppy. We both love animals, but the real reason we want a puppy is to prove to ourselves we can keep another creature, who must depend on us for food and shelter, alive cause one day we may have an actual human to take care of (scary thought, I know.) I have learned one thing from our online puppy search, and that is this: poodles are about to take over the world. No joke. Poodles are mixing with every other dog; you can get everything from a golden doodle to a boxer doodle. I have to be honest, poodles are not my type of dog. They seem so fancy and high society. Saying that though, I must admit that Brit has her eye set on a cockapoo, which if you haven't heard of is a cocker spaniel/poodle mix. I am more of a manly dog guy, like a lab or retriever, but we live in an apartment so we have to get a smaller dog. I have it admit once I saw the picture of a cockapoo puppy, I decided I could go with the idea. They really are cute. I was also happy to learn that poodles are actually one of the smartest breeds, which should workout well when I teach it to get me a beverage from the fridge. Anyway, that's really all I have right now, so I hope you enjoyed my insights on puppy searches. I may talk to you all again next week, or maybe I won't (if Brit decides to discontinue this little feature or something), but either way, watch out for the poodles. They are trying to breed us out.      

Monday, October 12, 2009

new love.

I have to share something with you. I have a new love. A mag love that is.

Remember the days of Domino? OK, think back a little further, how about Blueprint? I was entirely in love with both of these magazines. I had a Domino subscription for a long time, and I searched the magazine aisles for each new Blueprint. They had such great tips, and mostly, great photos. It was so relaxing to sit back with a new magazine and just marvel at the beautiful rooms, fashion advice, and other lifestyle tidbits. Then it all came crashing down. Martha Steward folded Blueprint, and Condé Nast pulled Domino from circulation, all within about a year of each other.

But, I have good news. There is a new piece to fill the void. It's Lonny Magazine! Check it out (right it!) It's an e-magazine (no printing=helping the environment,) and it has everything from home design to fashion finds, arts and a plethora of gooooorgeous photos. I'm so thankful to the editors who got this off the ground, and can't wait to see what they come out with. I know I will be relying on this for finds and ideas to make my humble abode even more lovely. I love the drink carst on pages 87 and 111. How perfect would that be for entertaining?!

Have fun looking. I promise it's worth the time. And while you're at it, don't miss page 171. That airy antique look is beautifully chic.

Oh, and here are some pics of the Mr. and I at the fair this weekend. It was all you can expect from a state fair...tacky, calorie-loaded, and all sorts of fun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

painting, take 1

So this last weekend the Mr. and I attempted to paint the mirror and lamps (we actually chose a different mirror to paint for this time around.) We went to good 'ol wally world and picked up some spray paint and a sanding sponge, and off to paint we went. The process actually worked perfectly. The lamp bases are ceramic, so I was a little worried on if it would work or not, but we didn't have any problems. After we painted everything, we were so excited. Everything looked great!

Then we got home. And realized the blue we picked didn't really match at all (wah. wah.) The cap on the can looked perfect, but I guess it came out a little brighter or something. Still not really sure. But I do know we will be attempting the process again in the near future. At least now we know what we are doing, it should be a pretty quick project.

This is what the lamp looks like on my side table. Looks like it would look great, huh?

But then when you look at it with my comforter and curtains...not so good.

And in the kitchen, the mirror looks like a nice pop...

...but compare it to my kitchen stuff. Not quite a match.

So, I am on a mission to find spray paint to solve this little problem. Until then, I will just have to sit back, and enjoy this.

P.S. Anyone see NieNie on Oprah today? Very touching and a little bit sad, but so good to see.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Anyone else seriously happy it's Friday? Not that I feel it's been a crazy long week or anything, but I'm really (and i mean reaaaaaalllly) ready for a Saturday to sleep in.

Last night I wanted to do a little something special for the Mr., and the way to his heart is none other than food. Here is the menu :

It actually turned out really well...once I got the oven to FINALLY stop smoking. Our oven is "continuous cleaning" so I am not supposed to use anything but a hot rag to wipe the junk out, and the oven cleans itself by burning the junk off. Heat+junk=lots of smoke. I had all the fans going, doors open, everything I could to air out the apartment, and we finally got some clear air.

I didn't do a very good job of taking pictures last night, but the table was all set, including a sweet card for my hubby, and the dinner was delicious. Here are a few pics I snapped.

I can now say I have made steak and crab...a first time for both, and now I won't be afraid to make it again!

That's all for today! Oh, check out a little DIY tutorial I put together for Jessica over at Budget Savvy Bride today. She asked me if I could put together a tutorial for her readers, and of course I was happy to! Anything to help brides save some bucks.

Have a happy Friday!