Easter Side Dish Roundup

Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter is on Sunday and I’m officially in holiday mode. I didn’t put out any decorations this year, so I’m focusing my energy on food for Sunday dinner. I usually spend Easter with my boyfriend’s family and his mom cooks most of the meal, but I like to help out a bit and bring a side dish. She’s a great cook, so I always try to bring something as yummy as the rest of the delicious food she prepares. Last year I made scalloped potatoes and they turned out great, but I’m looking for a new idea this year. I figured some of you might be looking for a new recipe too, so I thought I’d share some of my side dish ideas for Sunday.


*Please pin from original source – thank you!*

I made potatoes last year, so I’m trying to come up with a different idea, but both of these recipes are so good! I’ve made the roasted potatoes a couple times and they are delicious, but I always have to cook them longer than the recipe says - just a heads up. And those mashed potatoes from the Pioneer Woman are the best! Of course anything with lots of butter and cream cheese is going to be good.

http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/23/garlic-parmesan-roasted-potatoes/
 
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/11/delicious_creamy_mashed_potatoes/

My boyfriend’s mom makes the BEST baked beans ever, so I won’t be bringing these, but it might be a good option if you are looking for a side dish. Baked beans seem to pair well with ham. I think these creamy garlic shells would also pair well with ham or any other meat for that matter.

http://threemanycooks.com/recipes/salads-and-sides/moms-famous-southern-style-baked-beans/
 
http://iowagirleats.com/2013/03/06/creamy-garlic-shells/

I really don’t care for asparagus, but I’d be willing to try it again if it’s covered in cheese. Maybe it’s one of those foods that grows on you? I used to hate mushrooms, but now I love them. I think these roasted mushrooms would be a great side dish option as well.

http://apronappeal.blogspot.com/2011/06/asparagus-gratin.html
 
http://cakescottage.com/2014/05/24/roasted-mushrooms-garlic-thyme/

Or if you are looking for something healthier, this broccoli salad would be a good option. It would also travel well. You could mix everything together and just add the dressing later. Deviled eggs are also a good option if you are traveling to another house for dinner. Obviously they don’t need to be reheated, so you don’t have to worry about stealing your host’s oven space for your dish. Bacon and jalapeno sounds like a fun twist on a classic dish.

http://www.skinnymom.com/2011/11/22/skinny-broccoli-salad/?_szp=166494
 

http://realhousemoms.com/bacon-jalapeno-deviled-eggs/

Lastly, Del Monte has a few #10minutewow side dishes that would be great options for Easter. This cheddar corn casserole sounds super easy. If you are preparing a full Easter meal, it’s always nice to have one quick dish that you don’t have to worry about.  This green bean dish also sounds super easy. We’ve been eating a lot of green beans lately, so if I don’t make this for Easter, I’ll probably end up trying it another night.

 
http://www.delmonte.com/recipes/detail/lemongarlic-green-beans-with-crispy-crumbs/


What are you making for Easter dinner? Any other side dish suggestions?


Disclaimer: I received an Easter Cooking Kit from Del Monte in exchange for including their recipes in this post. However, all opinions and food cravings are mine and mine alone. And I really am going to try that Lemon Garlic Green Beans recipe!


New Around the House

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Today I want to share a few of the items that I’ve bought recently. None of them are exciting enough for their own post, so I decided to put them all into one “look what I’ve bought” recap.

Let’s start with my favorite item – this organizer from Michael’s! I’ve been battling clutter on our kitchen counters for years and I think this organizer is the solution for our mail mess! #1 is my boyfriend’s mail, #2 is my mail, and #3 is the mail that hasn’t been sorted yet. I usually just drop everything in the bottom section when I get home and sort it all over the weekend.



I decided to hang it in the laundry room because I usually come in the house through the garage/laundry room, so it’s easy to drop off the mail plus it’s out of the way. As I mentioned, it’s from Michael’s and it’s normally $69.99, but it was on sale for 50%-off and I had a coupon for an additional 25%-off, so I only paid $26.24.


Next up is my new EAT sign. I bought it at an antique store (Merchant Square) for $13. I like how it looks on my window sill with my herbs, but it might end up elsewhere at some point.


The booth that I found this sign in had some really cute reclaimed wood signs and they were all pretty reasonably priced. I can definitely see myself buying more signs from there in the future. For the price, it’s worth it to just buy instead of DIY.


Now let’s move into the living room to see my new frames. I’ve been slowly replacing some of my spray painted frames with pretty new ones. I ended up replacing the three 8x10 frames on the entertainment center shelves with frames from Target.


I really like how they add a little more color to the unit than the plain white ones did. They are from the Threshold line and were $12.99/each. I’m also replacing the mats with double ones from Michael’s. They make the framing look a little more custom for only a couple bucks more.


Lastly, I finally found some accessories for my master bathroom. How cute is this bird set? I ended up buying the tissue box cover, tray, and tumbler. As you can see, I’m using the tumbler for Dixie cups. I think it looks so much better than the plain one I used to have. They just don’t make cute ones anymore (or maybe they never did). I still need to get a candle for the other end of the tray.


The set is from HomeGoods. The tissue box cover was $12.99, $9.99 for the tray, and the tumbler was $5.99.


OK, who else has been shopping lately? What’s new in your house?


The Friday Five

Friday, March 20, 2015

One – Sick


If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the picture of Ringo giving me cuddles while I was home sick last week. I left work early on Wednesday to go to the doctor and he told me I had a chest infection. I ended up staying home from work the rest of the week and spent the weekend recuperating. Thankfully I’m feeling better now and just have a bit of a cough left. Being sick sucks!


Two – 201


I bowled 201 during one of our league games a couple weeks ago! It was by far my best game ever and I went completely crazy. I’m pretty sure the entire bowling alley could hear me yelling. Previously, my best game was 170, but my average is like 114, so bowling over 200 is pretty amazing for me. My friend Scott had to take this picture for me because my hands were shaking too much!


Three – The Brush Bar


On Saturday I went to The Brush Bar with some friends for a bachelorette party. As I mentioned above, I was pretty sick over the weekend, so I missed all of the other bachelorette party events, but I had already paid/registered for the painting class and I didn’t want to miss all of the festivities, so I forced myself to go…and I’m glad I did! It was so much fun! I’ve always wanted to do a wine/painting class and it didn’t disappoint. The painting we did was called Midnight in Paris and mine turned out surprisingly decent (thanks to a great instructor and easy to follow directions). I had a great time and would love to do it again!


Four – The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust


I was looking at cute pictures on the Aww subreddit the other day and came across a story about Daphne Sheldrick and her work with orphaned elephants. Long story short: I’m now “fostering” a 3 year old elephant named Zongoloni! You can read more about the organization here and more about fostering here. Oh, and read the orphan stories with caution – they are heartbreaking…I might have teared up a lot a bit while reading Zongoloni’s story.


Five – One Room Challenge

Lastly, I just want to remind you all that the next One Room Challenge starts April 2nd! It’s only a couple weeks away, so start planning! I highly recommend joining the challenge if you need some room makeover motivation. I made SO much more progress in my laundry room and master bathroom than I ever would have without the pressure of the challenge. I think for this challenge I’m going to work on my dining room. I shared my master plan last month and haven’t done anything since. The ORC is just the motivation I need to get moving!


http://farmerbell.blogspot.com/     http://www.northcarolinacharm.com/ 
 
 
 
 

Get to Know Me - Favorites

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Last week I was tagged in a Get to Know Me post by Dagmara from Glamista Home. I think it’s always fun to get to know the person behind the blog, so today I’m here to share my answers. I’d like to pass this on to my blogging buddy Erika from This Crazy Thing Called Life and anyone else who is interested in participating. I’d love to know more about y’all!

OK, here we go…what’s your favorite -

City - London


Book - Too many to pick just one, but I love Harry Potter, anything by Sophie Kinsella, the Robert Langdon books by Dan Brown, and Water for Elephants

Movie - Jurassic Park or Pride and Prejudice

TV Show - of all time – 24, currently – Game of Thrones


Perfume - Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture has been my favorite for years, but I like to mix it up so I have a pretty sizable perfume collection. Don’t laugh, but a new fave is Our Moment by One Direction…I bought a set after Christmas for 50%-off and I kinda love it. Don’t tell anyone ;)

Nail Polish - I’m boring. I only paint my toes and it’s usually just a shade of red.

Skincare Item - PCA Skin BPO 5% Cleanser, PCA Skin Clearskin, and PCA Skin Weightless Protection 45 SPF – the only skin care products that keep my face clear from zits! They seriously changed my life!

Lipstick - I usually just use eos lip balm or gloss.


Food - I love food, so it’s hard to pick one dish, but I’d say grilled shrimp dipped in garlic butter or anything with avocado. Seriously, I'd eat just about anything if it has avocado or guacamole on it.

Dessert - Any form of chocolate cake, preferably with ice cream

Place to eat in Mesa, AZ - Teharu Sushi - it’s one of those conveyor belt sushi places. It’s so fun and a great way to try different rolls plus it’s pretty cheap.


Alcoholic Drink - Sangria or anything fruity…but I usually just order a Blue Moon or a screwdriver because I’m cheap and fruity drinks are overpriced

Non Alcoholic Drink - Cherry Coke

Actor/Actress - I don’t really have a favorite, but you can’t go wrong with Leonard DiCaprio.


Singer/Band - currently - Taylor Swift


Painted End Table...Again

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Yep, I re-painted my living room end table!


You might remember that last year I painted it navy to match my console table…and then a couple weeks later I bought a new console table. Whomp whomp whomp…


Luckily paint is an easy fix! I ended up using the same paint as my chalkboard, Americana D├ęcor chalky finish paint, to paint the table. I have a love/hate relationship with chalk paint. I love the finish, but I hate that it shows brushstrokes. I think it might be just this brand, but I’m not sure. I had to sand the hell out of this piece to get a smooth finish, which kind of defeats the purpose of using chalk paint in the first place. No prep (sanding) is one of the biggest selling points. And just as an FYI, after some trial and error, I think the cheap foam brush worked better than my nice Purdy brush, but I still had to sand down brush marks. Has anyone else had this same problem? It seems like every other DIY blog loves chalk paint…maybe it’s just me? Or is it just because I’m a little OCD and most other people don’t care as much about brushstrokes?


Anyway, once the paint was dry I added a new knob from Hobby Lobby and done! I love how it turned out…hopefully I don’t have to paint this piece again =)




Flashback Friday: March

Friday, March 6, 2015

Next week I’ll be celebrating four years as a homeowner! I can’t believe I’ve already been in this house for four years!  I’ve made some great progress over the years, but there’s still so much more to do. I have a lot of plans for the house this year and I’m excited to see how they all play out. OK, now let’s take a look back at March over the past four years:

OK, let’s kick this off with a flashback to March 2014 –


This US/World pin map is still one of my favorite projects. Since the original post we’ve added a pin to Alaska and this year I’m planning on adding pins to Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Italy!


I’m pleased to announce that the glass top is still in one piece. Yes, it’s survived a whole year of Ringo craziness. I still like this table, but I’ve been thinking about replacing it with the coffee table to match my console table (Everett from World Market). Although, it looks like it’s no longer available online, so my indecision might have made the decision for me. 


Let’s rewind another year and look at March 2013 –

I still love my owl utensil holder, but the rug has seen better days. A light colored rug just doesn’t hold up well in the kitchen. It has quite a few stains now and probably needs to be replaced. I’ve tried cleaning it, but the dark marks just don’t come out. It’s a shame because I specifically ordered an outdoor rug so it’d be easier to clean…so much for that!



My menu board is no more…my KitchenAid mixer now sits in that spot. I still do weekly meal planning, but now I just write it on a piece of paper. I did prefer the dry erase menu, so maybe I’ll try adding magnets to the frame and hanging it on the fridge instead.


Time to go WAY back to March 2012 –

This DIY herringbone picture is probably the most popular project on my blog. Unfortunately, it’s just collecting dust in the back of a closet right now. I would love to hang it again, but I don’t have a place for it right now. One of these days…


Man, I loved this desk, but it just didn’t work for our space. I was totally bummed when I sold it, but it went to a good home so I’m happy about that. Plus I love the farmhouse desk that we built, so I can’t complain.


And finally, let’s go back to March 2011 – my first year of blogging!

As I mentioned above, four years ago I bought my house! I closed on March 11th and moved in a few weeks later. One of these days I’d love a house with a couple more rooms and no HOA, but it’s perfect for us right now, so I don’t see a move anytime in the near future.


My boyfriend tore down the built-in entertainment unit before I moved into the house and it was such an improvement. It really opened up the room. We patched up the wall and had the tile repaired, but we still haven’t added baseboards…I know…I have no excuse…one of these days…


So that’s what I’ve been up to in March for the past four years. It’s been fun looking back to when I first bought my house and the progress over the years. Here’s to a big 2015!


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