Saturday, January 28, 2012

High Five for Friday

Welcome to my High Five for Friday ...err...Saturday post.  That doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it?  Due to minor technical difficulties I was unable to access anything on my laptop, so I am a day behind.

The High Five for Friday ..ahem..Saturday post will list five of my favorite things for the week. Just a reminder that you always have something to be thankful for.

 You know those weeks that never seem to end? Like every day is a Monday?  I had one of those weeks.  I am pleased to say that when I arrived home from work today I crawled into bed and went straight to sleep...for two hours!  I totally planned it, and I loved every minute of it!  I think you should all have a nap this weekend...that's the way I see it...get it..The way I see it??  Ok...that's too much..Moving along...

Another pair of Elisabeth Ashlie earrings.  I can't help it, I LOVE their jewelry line.  I wore these a few times this week.  One day I thought I lost one, and called my husband to whine about it. His solution was to contact the EA girls and ask them to make me just one of the earrings..haha! Well, I did not contact them, but my husband is brilliant, I tell ya! Later that evening I found the missing earring stuck in my scarf.  Such a relief!  These were a pair of custom made earrings.

I apologize for the poor photo quality, but I was so excited to get this that I had to share.  Last Spring I fostered a sweet, little Cocker Spaniel through the Humane Society. She was found abandoned and left for dead.  Overtime, I nursed her back to health, and she was eventually adopted by a lovely family in our town.  Her new family donated a brick for the Humane Society's Spay/Neuter Clinic in our honor, and I received the certificate in the mail Thursday. I was very moved by this special gift.  I am a proud Foster Mom for sure!
You can buy a brick for yourself, a friend, or loved one at:

I had a very specific Christmas list in 2011. This was unusual for me because normally I do not have much of a list.  Just a few things that I jot down so my husband will stop telling me he doesn't know what to get me.  I asked for Bath and Body Works Sleep Aromatherapy with lavender and chamomile. Only one word to describe it... dreamy!! Bath and Body Works has an entire line of this product...from lotion to pillow spray, and thanks to my amazing husband I have it all.  This is why it is important, ladies, to make wish lists..and hand them out to the appropriate people!  This is the bubble bath. You and your bathroom will smell divine..not to mention you be relaxed, and rest comfortably.
Last, but certainly not Toms!  I love my Toms!  If you don't have any, you need to get some today! I was sold on them when I read a review that a girl had a red pair, and she wore a hole in them.  They were so comfortable that she still wore them and painted her toe red with a marker.  Most people would think..nah..they wore a hole in them, but I took from that review how comfortable they were.  So, I picked up these Ash Grey Toms at this adorable little shoe store in NYC while I was there at Christmas time. They were on my Christmas list that I mentioned earlier, so I thought..why not.  Plus, they were on sale, which practically made them irresistible.  I also have a red pair that I recently purchased, and I have made a list of other colors I would like to have.  (There I go again with the list.)  You can buy Toms in almost any color.  They are not only adorable, but trendy, and the absolute most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever owned...and mine do not have any holes worn into them!
What color will you get?

I hope you enjoyed reading this High Five post as much as I enjoyed making it.  Last week your comments were much appreciated.  Please feel free to leave more, and tell me your thoughts.  Besides the fab ideas I have given you today I also hope you all decide to start making lists! 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Loaded Potato Soup

Happy Monday! Today I would like to share the best potato soup I have ever tasted.  It is incredibly easy to make, and often a requested meal at our house.  I love a recipe that does not take up all of my time, don't you?


Loaded Potato Soup


12 slices bacon
2/3 cup margarine
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
7 cups milk
4 large potatoes peeled and cubed
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (I tend to add more cheese 1.5 -2 cups)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

I like to add 3 teaspoons of dry ranch dressing for additional flavor.  This is 
optional according to your taste preference.
  Feel free to cut the butter...I prefer to use 1/2 cup of butter, rather than 2/3 cup.

Place bacon in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain, 
crumble, and set aside.
In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the margarine over medium heat. Whisk in 
flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until thickened. 
Stir in potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat, and simmer. Mix in bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. 
Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.  

I find the soup tastes best when it sits for several hours.  I normally make it 
as directed and keep it covered on low for 3-4 hours before serving.  Stirring 
occasionally to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

This soup is great left over, but I would not recommend freezing it.

I hope you all get the chance to enjoy this delicious soup.  Please leave me a 
comment and tell me how it worked for you, and as always let me know if you have any 


Friday, January 20, 2012

High Five for Friday

This may end up being my favorite weekly post. The High Five for Friday post will list five of my favorite things for the week. Just a reminder that you always have something to be thankful for.

For a year now my neighbor and I have been walking in the mornings. Four days a week at 5:30 A.M we walk a few miles in our neighborhood.  I am thankful that she motivates me to get moving, and the conversation is always good! It is a great way to start our day off on the right foot.  It feels good to have a healthy habit!

My new favorite earrings from Elisabeth Ashlie!!  Love them!!  You can find their shop on Etsy.  They have an amazing collection, and even take custom orders.  So, if you see something you like, but it sold..chances are if you ask they will be able to make a pair for you.

My January Birchbox.  My love!  Words cannot express how excited I was to get this little gem in the mail.  Birchbox is basically like a monthly subscription; similar to a magazine, but instead of a mag you get a box full of high-end products.  It is only $10.00 a month.  Ahhmazing! I cancelled all the magazine scripts that ended up untouched in my recycle basket, so I could justify this each month.  If you get something you don't like for yourself then put it in a basket in your guest bathroom, or pass it on to a friend or neighbor.  I will dedicate a blog just for my monthly Birchbox, so watch for that soon.  Meanwhile, check out their website.   Use this direct link from my own Birchbox account to sign youself up. 

 This is my polish of the week.  I got it at Walgreen's for less than $2.00.  Can you believe it?  It is a beautiful color that goes well with anything.  Believe it or not, I did not get what I paid for. It is actually a strong polish.  The color is Vacation Time.  We all need a little vacation time, right!

Anyone that knows me knows I habitually apply gloss, or chap stick every ten minutes or so.  This stuff is the bomb diggity! Apply this renewal therapy before bed, and you will wake up with baby soft lips.  My son gets dry, cracked lips in the winter time, and this stuff has been a miracle worker for him.  Try me!!  I bought it for $4.09 plus tax at Target. 

Well, that's it for my first ever High Five for Friday.  Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Life since Pinterest - Plus TWO Recipes...

Thanks to my new found Pinterest addiction it appears that my family will be well fed from now on. They have always eaten very well, but now that I have Pins in my life I am able to change up my normal kitchen routine. Tonight I made a delicious cracked pepper turkey breast tenderloin, cheesy hash brown casserole, green beans, and for dessert we had homemade chocolate chip cookies. We should all sleep well tonight with full bellies.

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole


2 lbs frozen hash browns
3/4 cup butter - melted and divided
1 t salt
dash of pepper
1/2 chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz)
2 cups shredded cheddar (I use mild)
2 cups crushed cornflakes


Stir together potatoes with 1/2 cup butter, salt, pepper, onion, soup and cheese in large bowl.  Por potato mixture into 9x13 baking dish.  Top with cornflakes and remaining melted butter.  Bake uncovered for 1 hour.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup Crisco
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I love milk chocolate chips in mine)


Preheat oven to 375

Stir together flour, salt and baking soda until the ingredients are mixed evenly.  Set bowl aside for later.

In a separate bowl cream the butter and shortening on high until light and fluffy.  Approx 1-3 minutes.  

Add both sugars to the mixture and mix on high for about a minute.  Then add eggs and vanilla, mixing until the mixture is one big happy family.

Stir in the chocolate chips..

Add the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring until you can no longer see the white specks.

Do not over mix!

 oll the dough into balls.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Bake for about  8-10 minutes, or until they show signs of browning, then move to a cooling rack for a few minutes..and then try your hardest to share!

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!!