March 28, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

1. Oh how this is so true!

2. Would you just look at how simple, inexpensive and ADORABLE this is? Binder clips with a mix of photographs and embroidery. Oh, Natalie, I just love your style.

3. Adore this pillow.

4. Okay, I went to Drugstore Princess and found the drugstore dupe for Benefit's They're Real - the expensive, yet fabulous mascara... it's L'Oreal Voluminous (Original). Big plans to try this stuff out!

5. White leather? Oh my. Actually, what I love most about her outfit is the rolled boyfriend jeans with snappy shoes.

6. Black and white is always unstoppable. Always. 

7. I'm pretty sure if I had a neon pink dress, I, too would be unstoppable. I would love to wear this sexay thang on a hot date with my Jedi.

8. Mabel and Hayley will both be getting some leather sandals this spring. Just need to decide on colors...

9. Bobbi Brown's nude palette is my fave.

10. I know that Ikea has a darling, blue cart just like this. I prefer the raw metal look myself. One of these might have to come live in my pantry immediately.

11. I'm SO making this skirt.

12. I think every home should include this jar.

13. I love Lisa Leonard's chevron necklace. *Mother's Day COUGH-COUGH*

14. Wasabi edamame? Oh, lawsie.

15. Blueberries with biscuits and ice cream? Yeah, I showed this to B and his eyes rolled back in his head.

All images are Pinned for sources.

March 25, 2013

Tomato Soup, Minerva's Style

We felt a little under the weather a week or so ago. It wasn’t the cold and snot and sneezing we were all passing around, oh no. I think it was the utter disgust and depression that comes after 2, 60 degree days in March, which are then followed by hallowing 45 mph winds, and a weekend full of dreary gloom and 30 degrees. Again. Ugh, Winter, please go on your way. We’ve had enough for this year. We don’t need another week at 25 degrees. Mmm-kay?

Mabel had the sniffles and a cough first, then Trevor and Andrew both started to complain of a sore throat, and then my husband got all snotty and headachy. Even the cat was acting more lethargic than usual.

So that Saturday, I decided to take care of my family in one of my favorite ways: I cooked for them. I had all of the ingredients necessary for my tomato soup, plus an additional ingredient that is incredibly hard to come by: TIME. I took advantage of that, and made my soup the long way. I thought you might like to read all about it because EVERYONE – including Trevor who NEVER eats anyone’s tomato soup – commented that this was the best tomato soup ever. Lulu, it tasted like Minerva’s! I can’t wait to tell you what I did differently.

1 family size can of Campbell’s tomato soup (I use this specifically because of the sugar content)
1  16 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with the juice
½ of a sweet yellow onion, cut thin
¼ C flour
½ C parmesan cheese
4 tbsp olive oil (OR  ¼ C butter)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 C half & half
2 C milk
1 C water
8-10 fresh basil leaves that you chiffonade

Begin with a large soup pot. Add the olive oil and caramelize all of the onions. Add pepper, but not the salt (yet). Turn heat down to medium low and sprinkle in flour slowly, stirring the whole time. After it is combined and pasty, add the parmesan cheese and the half & half, a little at a time. Whisk continually as it thickens. Don’t stop or it will burn! Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer as the parmesan melts into the liquid. It will thicken quickly. Add your salt and one cup of milk before it binds, whisking again until smooth. After a few minutes, add the last of the milk, most of the basil, and the diced tomatoes. Turn the heat back up to medium and let the flavors marry together and make flavor babies. I let this sit and get delicious for 10-15 minutes. Finally add the can of tomato soup, half at a time, stirring and stirring to combine. I tasted and added more salt and pepper. Finally, I added the last cup of water and the rest of the basil to make the perfect consistency.

I served it alongside homemade bread, cut on the diagonal, which I made into crusty, gooey grilled cheese. Everyone’s eyes rolled back in their heads, I swear.

March 22, 2013

Things I Love Thursday, Supersized. Again!

1. I love this print. It feels very 80's rocker to me.

2. I may always be a sucker for rain boots. I don't yet own a pair of Hunters, but a girl can dream.

3. I love the idea of using washi tape on the side of a frame to kick it up a notch!

4. What a wonderful summer work uniform. I see comfort and structure, with vintage or handmade pieces. This outfit doesn't have to be costly.

5. Mabel has a pair or two of these coming her way. What a wonderful and easy way to make leggings!

6. I own this tee. Palmer Cash has had it for a year or two and I stared at it for a good 500+ days, in longing. It's not expensive, so I don't really know what the holdup was. But finally a week or two ago, I snapped it up. I have worn it 5 times since and I am not ashamed. It's like buttah.

7. Arm party!

8. I love this little boy room. The afhan and the wall prints are my favorite parts.

9. What a wonderful great room. The bean bags are actually.... tasteful! Ha. I love this. It has so many different elements.

10. I think this is a great way to showcase instagram or polaroid photos. It's also a way to use up an empty corner in your home.

11. Allllllll we need is the lakehouse. This is to die for. Well, once you stick a hammock up there, too.

12. I'm hoping that I can find a similar coat in one of my favorite vintage stores soon. It's way too big, made out of faux fur, and is enough to make me pass out with deliciousness.

13. Love the idea of putting instagrams into a book! Scrapbooking a la 2013.

14. Wow. The hardwoods, the midcentury chair in black leather, the plants and rug, and that flipping wall hanging is... just wow.

All images are Pinned for sources.

March 21, 2013


Last week while standing in the kitchen, my husband said, “I wonder if there is Bible Study this week. I feel like I want to go catch up.” Within moments he obeyed what God put on his heart and made plans with IT Jesus to join them for the lesson. He took his Concise Theology book to gymnastics and read almost half of it in preparation. Let me tell you all something: I love watching God move within my man. LOVE. And later my man told me that he loved me because I encouraged him to go to Bible Study. God is good.

There was lots of wrestling this week. The littlest one is now the most aggressive. She wants to wrestle every day and she uses her new gymnastics muscles when she goes about it. Since it’s not my head she’s clinging on to, I couldn’t tell you for sure, but it sounds as though #4 packs a wallop.  I think I might try to send her along on her big sibs’ dates in the future, just in case someone tries something out of line.

Andrew earned his DS back this weekend because his grades came up to A’s and B’s. We are so proud of him. He even used his planner to capture the upcoming testing his school is doing, WITHOUT prompting. That’s huge!

My husband told me that he listened to Christian radio all day recently, instead of sports radio or country. I am so proud to belong to a King, who so relentlessly pursues our love back. This gives me big, warm fuzzies.

Rika Studios sent me an email this morning. My beloved Iron Girl sweatshirt has been restocked. Rika only sells directly in Europe and only a few of the international websites will deliver to the US. In other words, WAY European cool and very hard to get. I was so excited… until I saw the price in euros. Holy shit, Batman. I’m going to have to save up for so long that the stinkin’ thing is going to be backordered again before I have enough dollars. Sigh. Maybe instead I will design my own iron-on image and do it myself. For way cheaper. Where there is a will, there’s a way, right? I have lawyers to pay instead.

Bryon and I met some friends out for St. Patrick’s Day. I did not partake of any green liquids, but it was flowing. The best surprise was that our favorite band was playing at one of our favorite places, AND they sang The Heat of the Moment for us. While also asking me to lead the entire place in a choreographed clapping-drum session along with the music. I am totally not kidding. It was AWESOME.

Because everyone was a bit under the weather this weekend, we also laid around and watched movies. Pitch Perfect has become a family favorite. There are a few naughty words (lesbihonest) and so forth, but we make them plug their ears. I have half the soundtrack downloaded to my iPod, which is going to become unbearable at the office. Sorry, office peeps!

Oh, Misha Lulu, why can’t you be more affordable?!

You guys, I finally did it. I made a black infinity scarf last week! I am genuinely proud of myself for making time to do something creative. I also pulled out the red, moleskine notebook that I bought weeks ago and began dumping the contents of my brain onto its pages. Lists of sewing things and fashion things, and home things, too. It’s been a LONG time since that happened. Look out!

We work in a small town out in the country with more pigs than people. And definitely more corn than pigs. So two-lane highways are the way in and the way out. On the way home last night we saw flashing lights ahead of us. As Bryon pulled to the curb to allow the emergency vehicle to go past he wondered out loud, "Is that a firetruck?" I noticed that my husband wasn't wearing his glasses. Before I could clarify the vehicle, Mabel shouted from the backseat, "Look out! IT'S DA COPS!"

March 19, 2013

Spring Fashion Pour Moi

This Spring won't bring a ton of new wardrobe pieces for me. But I'm hoping it will bring a few. That and hundreds of ideas on how to reuse what I have and what I find in my local thrift stores. I'm lucky because they're great ones, if you take the time to dig.

I want to focus on easy pieces that aren't sloppy. Great graphic tees, flowing skirts and shorts, boyfriend jeans and shorts, and layered necklaces. For work, I'll add blazers and killer heels.

More to come on this as my brain percolates.

PS:  It's driving me nuts how my blog title scoots past the right edge of my screen. Does that happen for you? I've resized it about a billion times and that's not fixing it. I can't figure out how to make it look purdy. Any ideas?