Polka Dots Are The New Chevron

HiRes 1024x1024 Polka Dots Are The New ChevronRemember when chevron was the new big thing and it was everything? Well now it’s time for polka dots to make a long overdue comeback, which is obviously not a new pattern but it’s one that’s typically overlooked or considered childish. Switch up that mentality and embrace them!

Decor
If you don’t want to take the plunge and place polka dots all over your walls then take a more subtle approach and incorporate them into your home decor. An easy way to do this is by decorating a vase or a lamp, especially those bulbous ones that have a lot of surface. Coasters are extremely easy to do as well and a great touch to add to various tables around your home.

Main House
If you are feeling adventurous, which you all should be since it’s almost spring and we want to experience new things, you should decorate your walls and doors! Yes, I said walls AND doors. Don’t be scared to show off that hot red front door of yours by adding fun little polka dots or paint your back door blue with gold polka dots to make the back of your house stand out. An office space or your daughters room could be a great place for polka dots as well.

Kitchenware
I know it’s probably scary to think about kitchenware such as dishes and spatulas having polka dots on them but just think how much less boring they would be! The pattern might even make your kids more excited to try new foods, who knows. White plates are ideal for this, just make sure you use the proper paint that won’t wash off in the dish washer. They’re also adorable on mugs!

Miscellaneous
Now it’s time for the extremely adventurous ones. Washer and dryer. That’s right, I want you to polka dot your appliances. This would be so cute in a single girl’s apartment and a great way to decorate if you’re not allowed to paint the walls. Polka dotting the back of shelves can bring new life to some old books and trinkets or polka dotting a canvas and hanging it up is a great way to decorate as well.

Do you have any polka dotted ideas?

Posted in Decorating Ideas, DIY, Home Decor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Salads Can Be Tasty Too

iStock 000043023282Small Salads Can Be Tasty TooI know it can be quite difficult to eat salad because they tend to be bland. It’s also difficult to get your family to eat them so we’ve compiled multiple salad recipes for you to try. They’re practically a full meal!

Steak Tortellini Salad with Pesto Dressing (from Lilluna)
Ingredients:
1 pkg tortellini
Sirloin
Romaine lettuce, chopped

For the dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp pesto

Instructions:
Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Cut and grill your sirloin how you like it then slice it into small pieces. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add the tortellini to the Romain lettuce then top with steak and dressing.

Strawberry Bacon Salad (from Lilluna)
Ingredients:
1/2 head of Romain lettuce
4 cups spinach
1/2 cup toasted almonds
8-10 slices of cooked bacon
2 cups sliced strawberries

Instructions:
Wash, dry and place lettuce pieces into a bowl. Mix in almonds and bacon together then add the strawberries. This is best served with Poppyseed dressing.

Apple, Bacon and Pecan Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing (from Lauren’s Latest)
For the salad:
6 cups red leaf lettuce, washed and torn
1 fuji apple, washed and diced
4 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 tbsp toasted and chopped pecans
1 small grilled chicken breast

For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
3-4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and whisk all the dressing ingredients together in another. Once ready, toss dressing with the salad.

Chicken Taco Salad (from the Pioneer Woman)
For the salad:
1 head green leaf lettuce, shredded thin
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
2 ears corn, shucked
2 avocados, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Tortilla chips of your choice, slightly crushed

For the dressing:
3/4 cups ranch dressing
1/4 cup salsa
3 tbsp finely minced cilantro

For the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp taco seasoning

Instructions:
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl then cover and refrigerate. Then make the chicken by generously seasoning both sides and cooking how you would usually. Once the chicken is cooked, cut into cubes. Grill the corn so it has that roasted flavor then slice off the kernels. To assemble the salad, pile the shredded lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cheese, corn, avocado, green onion, cilantro, and crushed chips on a big platter then drizzle the dressing over it.

Share with us some of your salad recipes!

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pantone Colors – Spring 2015 Decor

iStock 000051908778Small Pantone Colors   Spring 2015 DecorThe spring 2015 Pantone Fashion Colors have arrived and we are going to help you incorporate these into your home! We realize spring is probably still a month away but might as well begin preparing for it, maybe it will make it come sooner.

Aquamarine

This is a great color to use for throw pillows. Whether you have a gray or white couch, it will add the perfect amount of color without being overwhelming.

Toasted Almond
This color is especially present in various woods. If you’re not feeling the whole renovation idea, find some wooden chairs that have this tint and use them for you kitchen or dining room table.

Marsala
If you’re ready to paint your bathroom or living room and are feeling adventurous, this is the way to go. It’s softer and lighter than red and has a brownish tint to it without overpowering the walls.

Woodbine
A lounge chair with this color will bring a new atmosphere to your living room, particularly if you have a less than vibrant room.

Scuba Blue
This color will probably be one of the most difficult to incorporate into your home. The ideal way would be to buy a new lampshade or some candles with scuba blue. It’s a great color if you have a beach room!

Strawberry Ice
This will make for a great kitchen table color. If you’re ready for a change but don’t want to spend a lot of money, paint your kitchen table and chairs this color and it will bring new life to your kitchen.

Glacier Gray
Grays are always great for bedroom walls because they allow for plenty of decorations without clashing colors. It will also look great on a comforter which you can then decorate with vibrant throw pillows.

Sandstone
Sandstone is close to Toasted Almond therefore you can use them for the same decorations. In addition, buy a rug to put under your living room furniture if the couch and chairs are neutral colors.

Lucite Green
This color is excellent for anything! Walls, rugs, furniture, decorations etc. It’s vibrant without being too much and it goes with pretty much anything.

Tangerine
Tangerine is a hard color to look at. Unless you like the retro look, which in that case, use it on a coffee table, pillows, or even your front door!

Classic Blue
This will make a beautiful back splash color in your kitchen or living room. Bold and beautiful is the way to go.

How will you enjoy these new spring colors?

 

Posted in Decorating Ideas, Home Decor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How To Properly Celebrate Mardi Gras

iStock 000035216870Small How To Properly Celebrate Mardi GrasMardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday and it kicks off the Lent season. It is also the most popular holiday in New Orleans and the one with the most beads. Here are the best ways to celebrate Mardi Gras by incorporating food, decorations, and fun!

The Food
Gumbo
: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/gumbo-recipe.html
Creole: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/okra-creole
Fried Shrimp: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/bayou-fried-shrimp-10000001806891/
Jambalaya: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2.html
Beignets: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/new-orleans-beignets
King Cake: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/quick-mardi-gras-king-cake/a285aa15-62d7-493b-8d34-b00038646c81

The Decorations
Everything in Mardi Gras decorations has to have jewel tones. Violets, emeralds, sapphires, ambers etc. it’s all fair game. Utilize these colors with beads, masks, table clothes, plates, lights, everything! The more the merrier, my friends. Some key decorations however, are some of the ones I mentioned above: masks and beads. Yes, beads are typically used for other reasons but they can also be for decorations! Place a bunch of Mardi Gras beads in a vase or string them around a lamp shade. There are plenty of ways to incorporate them without having to wear them. Masks are the same way. You can wear them but you can also place them throughout your house or have a plate of them by the door for you guests to grab on the way in. Feathers are everything. You can put them sticking out of the beads vase, strung over a doorway, or used as a boa!

The Drinks
King Cake Cocktail
Green, purple, and gold sanding sugar for the glass
2 oz Cake Vodka
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
Ground cinnamon, for dusting

Bourbon Street Blackberry Brut
1 1/2 oz Camarena Silver Tequila
2 oz brut Champagne
7 large blackberries (mushed into the drink and use others for garnishing)
1/2 oz agave nector
1/4 oz lemon juice

Green Jello Shots (Margarita flavored)
1 3.0 oz box Lime Jello
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup Tequila, chilled
1/4 cup Triple Sec

The Party Favors
The perfect party favors will come together in a gold box with gold streamers as a stuffer on the inside. Included in this box should be macaroons (Mardi Gras colors, of course), a mask (if you didn’t give them one at the beginning), chocolate coins, fleur-de-lis cookies, and beads because you can’t have them leaving without them!

What have you prepared for the famous Fat Tuesday?

Posted in Decorating Ideas, DIY, Home Decor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Make Your Own At Home V-Day Date

iStock 000032788570Small Make Your Own At Home V Day DateThere’s no reason for you to spend an enormous amount of money on Valentine’s Day if you’d rather just hang out at home. However, if you’d still like to have a special night with your S.O. then follow this at home V-Day date guide for the perfect evening.

The Decoration
String lights are a must. There’s no way around it as well as candles. You want to create a relax and romantic environment. Grab a small table, large enough for plates and glasses, and place it against a wall. On that wall, string the lights in a waterfall pattern so that it’s extra romantic looking and make sure there’s enough of them so you can actually see what you’re eating. Place a white table cloth on the table and sprinkle some rose petals on it as well as around the table. If you’re feeling extra romantic, sprinkle the rose petals so that they form a path from the door to table. You can also line the path with candles if you’re not afraid of burning your house down.

The Food
In our post last week, we talked about some recipes that are great for Valentine’s Day so make sure to check those out as well. Here’s an additional one from Taste Of Home for you:

Lemon Basil Chicken Marsala
Ingredients:
2 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves
2 tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 tsp minced fresh basil
Dash of salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 1/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup marsala wine
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Instructions
1. Flatten the chicken to 1/2 inches of thickness.
2. Combine the flour, basil, salt and pepper in a plastic baggie and add one piece of chicken at a time to coat.
3. In a large skillet over medium-heat, cook the chicken in 1 tbsp of butter for 4 to 5 mins on each side then remove and keep warm.
4. In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms in the remaining 1 tbsp of butter for 5 mins then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
5. Stir in the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil then cook until liquid is reduce by a third.
6. Return the chicken to the pan, sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 mins.
7. This will be delicious served over angel hair pasta.

The Drinks
If you want to keep it simple, white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay will go great with the recipe above. However, if you’d like to channel your inner bartender, try the Kir Royale. You can also have wine for dinner and this afterwards!
1. Pour 1 oz of Creme de cassis in a champagne flute
2. Tilt the glass and fill it with some champagne or sparkling wine
3. Give it a stir and throw in a couple blackberries

The Movie
Here are some romantic movie suggestions currently on Netflix if you’re a little stumped on what to watch:
-Dirty Dancing
-13 Going On 30
-Ever After
-While You Were Sleeping
-Notting Hill

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted in Decorating Ideas, DIY, Holidays, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Singles Awareness Day – DIY Gifts For Yourself

iStock 000033980356Small Singles Awareness Day   DIY Gifts For YourselfDo you feel like Valentine’s Day is really Singles Awareness Day? Well don’t despair because you’re not the only one! Instead of moping around and feeling like you should have an S.O., embrace the benefits of being alone by following the philosophy of Treat Yo Self. Here a few DIY gifts you can make just for yourself and not have to share them with anyone!

Crayon Color Block Candles
Materials:
-Wax
-Votives
-Crayons (any colors you’d like)
-Dixie cups
-Wicks
-Popsicle sticks

Instructions:
Pour some wax into the Dixie cup and partially heat it up. Remove the label from the crayon, cut it up into little pieces then add it to the wax and melt. Once the wax and crayon are melted, stir them together so that they form one solid color. Place one wick in the votive then pour the melted crayon wax into the votive. Repeat this several times with various colors so that the candle is color blocked. Wait between wax pourings so that the previous layer can solidify.

Magnetic Bowls
Materials:
-Magnetic parts holders
-Paint (any color you’d like)
-Magnets (optional)
-Glue gun

Instructions:
Simply paint the magnetic parts holders and let dry. This will make them colorful and easy to spot when you want to just throw your bobby-pins or paper clips somewhere. You can also glue gun a strong magnet onto the back of the bowl. This way you can place it on your fridge and put miscellaneous metal objects around the kitchen in it.

Jewelry Block Holder
Materials:
-Small block of wood
-Small gold metal rod
-Wood glue
-Sawtooth hanger
-Wood stain
-Hammer

Instructions:
Stain the small block of wood then, once it’s dry, hammer in the sawtooth hanger into one side of the block. Use the wood glue to glue the metal rod parallel to the opposite side of the sawtooth hanger. If you cannot find a gold metal rod, buy some gold paint and paint it. Make sure you the block of wood is in the middle of the rod so that you can string jewelry on both sides of it. You can use this for bracelets, earrings, or rings.

How will you celebrate Singles Awareness Day?

Posted in Decorating Ideas, DIY, Holidays, Home Decor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Recipes For Dinner

iStock 000018995634Small1 Valentines Day Recipes For DinnerValentine’s Day is a little over a week away so you need to start thinking about that dinner date! There are plenty of restaurants that will be doing specials and have the whole place decorated by why wait in line at some fancy place when you can make your own fancy meal? Here are some great recipes we’ve found that have hints of reds and pinks to capture the famous holiday.

Creamy Pesto Shrimp (from allrecipes.com)
Ingredients:
1 pound linguine pasta
1/2 cup butter
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pesto
1 pound large shrimp, peeled

Instructions:
1. Boil a large pot of lightly salted water then add the linguine pasta and cook for 8 to 10 mins.
2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet then stir in the cream and pepper and cook for 6 to 8 mins.
3. Stir the Parmesan into the cream sauce until mixed. Blend in the pesto and cook for 3 to 5 mins.
4. Stir in the shrimp and cook until they turn pink
5. Serve over the hot linguine and pair with a delicious white wine.

Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze (from allrecipes.com)
Ingredients:
2 (4 oz) filet mignon steaks
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine

Instructions:
1. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on both sides of each steaks.
2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and place steaks in then cook for 1 min on each side or until browned.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add balsamic vinegar and red wine. Cover and cook for 4 mins on each side.
4. Place steaks on two warm plates to keep from cooling and spoon on the glaze over each steak.
5. You can serve this wish a potato and green beans paired with red wine.

Grilled Shrimp Scampi (from allrecipes.com)
Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp minced garlic
Pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and some black pepper. Season with the red pepper and add the shrimp. Let marinate in the fridge for 30 mins.
2. Preheat the grill on high heat and thread the shrimp onto skewers.
3. Lightly oil grill and grill the shrimp for 2 to 3 mins on each side.
4. Serve over pasta or brown rice, paired with a white wine.

Posted in Holidays, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Transform Your Home Into A Green Living Hub

iStock 000030302928Small Transform Your Home Into A Green Living HubIt seems like everyone these days is changing something out for something more sustainable and now it’s your turn! Whether it’s making sure to shut off the lights when you leave the room or do air dry your laundry instead of heat dry, there’s always something you do better. Here is a list of ways you can conserve your home’s water and energy, reduce the toxic waste, and improve its overall sustainability!

The most common thing is recycling. Go to the store and buy a couple extra trash bins or even a specific recycling ones and set them up where you know you’ll use them the most. Learn about the various recyclables and to dispose of them. Rinse out every receptacle before throwing them in the bins and separate the paper, glass, and plastic into their own bins.

Something very simple you can do is buying a reusable water bottle and what would be even better is one that’s make from recycled materials! You can find these are the grocery store or a sports store. Don’t waste the water by dumping it out if you know you won’t drink it right away, instead, put it in the fridge or use to cook with.

Switch out your plastic baggies and storage containers for alternative ones. Glass jars are a great alternative! You can use all those old mason jars you have lying around and there’s plenty of fun jar recipes on the web for you to check out. Just make sure to check if you can put them in the freezer before doing so, they might explode with the freeze. Another great alternative is food grade stainless steel. These are also great to use as sandwich boxes instead of sandwich bags.

Most people don’t realize but there are plenty of toxins in the air. Houseplants are a safe and pretty way to improve your air. Aloe Vera, Areca Palm, Bamboo Palm, Boston Fern, English Ivy, and Gerbera Daisies are just a few of the plans that clean. Be sure to properly care for the plants and they will continue to properly care for you!

How have you greenified your home?

Posted in DIY, Home Decor | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bathroom Remodel Basics

iStock 000031633478Small Bathroom Remodel BasicsRemodeling a bathroom can be quite the task to take on. It can be as easy or intense as you want it to be. If it’s just putting a fresh new coat of paint then that’s easy. However, if it’s picking out a new bathtub, pulling up the floor, moving the location of the sink etc. That’s a whole new ballgame. Here are some tips to help you decide what to do and how to do it.

The Floor
Ceramic tiles are a classic choice. They’re easy to clean and extremely durable but they can be slippery as well. Choose smaller tiles instead of larger ones so that there’s more grout therefore more traction. Another option is vinyl. It’s easy to install, easy to clean, and will last a long time. If you put felt or foam underneath the vinyl, it’ll create a sort of cushion in case of slip-and-falls. Last but not least, cork. It’s environmentally friendly and water resistant. A finishing coat on top will?protect it from spills.
Just remember to take into account who will be using the bathroom, how often it will be used, and how often you want to replace the flooring when choosing it.

The Wall
Ceramic tile, like above, is a classic choice for the walls. The moisture and steam won’t be an issue but you probably don’t want to use tile on the floor and the walls. It’s just too much ceramic. When choosing paint for you bathroom, go with satin or semi-gloss paints. They will withstand the steam better and are easy to clean. Just be sure to let the paint dry for 24 hours before showering. The last wall finish we will discuss is wallpaper. This can be tricky because in the past, the steam from the shower made the wallpaper detach itself from the wall which completely defeats the purpose. Vinyl or vinyl coated wallpaper will be your best bet. Both are water resistant and self adhesive which makes for easy installation.

The Shower
You want to go all out and really give your bathroom a whole new look so you aim for a new tub. The amount of space you have in your bathroom has an impact on what type of shower you have. Shower-tub, walk-in shower, claw-foot bathtub etc. There’s plenty of options out there so choose what fits your personal preference, style, and overall theme of the bathroom, as well as practicality. Our favorite is the claw-foot bathtub because of the vintage look it puts off.

The Decor
The last step to remodeling a bathroom is the decor. Don’t go crazy. This is typically a small space so decorate tastefully and keep in mind the overall ambiance of the bathroom. Seashells, canvas artwork, candles, whatever suits you and your room!

Share with us some of your bathroom remodeling tips!

Posted in Decorating Ideas, Home Decor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Cooking With Winter Vegetables

iStock 000029919498Small Cooking With Winter VegetablesWinter can be hard when it comes to cooking. Typically you stick to soups because they’re warm and comforting. Well if you’re tired of the whole soup thing, try these new winter recipes that will keep you wanting more! The following is a list of the most popular winter veggies.

In season veggies:
Beets
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Kale
Red Onions
Shallots
Spinach
Sweet Potatoes
Turnips
Winter Squash

Mini Sweet Potato Pizza (from Love & Lemons)
Ingredients:
Sweet potato, peeled into ribbons
4 mini naan breads
olive oil for brushing on the dough
1/2 clove of garlic
Ricotta cheese
Shaved red onion
Shaved brussels sprouts
Few pieces of kale
Pinches of red chile flakes
Grated pecorino cheese

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Toss sweet potato ribbons with some olive oil and salt
3. Brush a little bit of olive oil on each piece of naan and rub it with the garlic
4. Top each pizza with some ricotta cheese, a few slices of red onion, few shaved brussels sprouts, kale, and a few ribbons of sweet potato
5. Top each with grated cheese and bake for 20 mins

Red Thai Curry (from Amuse Your Bouche)
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
250 g butternut squash flesh, diced
1 onion, cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
200 g parsnip, diced
2 small carrots, diced
2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
400 ml coconut milk

Instructions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large wok and all the vegetables. Cook over medium heat and stir often until the onion is soft
2. Add the curry paste and mix, then add the coconut milk and simmer for 15 mins until vegetables are cooked
3. Once the vegetables are soft and the sauce is at a desired consistency, serve the curry topped with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime

Savory Sauteed Leeks (from Martha Stewart)
Ingredients:
6 slices of bacon
8 cups of sliced leeks
8 eggs
Thinly sliced chives

Instructions:
1. Cook bacon until crisp then crumble
2. Saute leeks in bacon fat until soft
3. Make 4 wells, break 2 eggs in each and season
4. Cover and cook until just set for about 5 mins
5. Top with bacon and chives

Fried Rice With Kale and Scallions (from Taste Editors)
Ingredients:
1/2 pound kale, stems discarded
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 large scallions, cut into 1/8 inch diagonal slices
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Instructions:
1. Cut the kale leaves in half lengthwise then crosswise
2. Steam the kale for 7 mins
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 mins
3. Add the kale and scallions and cook for 2 mins over medium heat
4. Add the rice and cook for another 2 mins then add the soy sauce

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment