Tuesday, August 21, 2012

S'mores Milkshake

We've finally started to have some cooler weather this week, but it's still warm enough to want a cold yummy drink. So why not combine summer time milkshakes and a camp fire classic-s'mores...no fire required.

Turn your oven's broiler on low and put about a dozen marshmallows on a baking sheet. They don't have to be too close to the coils or these little guys will burn super quick. They only take a couple minutes, so don't walk away.

While your marshmallows are in the oven, scoop vanilla ice cream into a blender. (As usual, I don't measure.)

Add some milk.

Resist eating them off the pan! I've done very well about that...so far...

Pile those little babies in there!

Now just blend it all up.

Rim your glass with crushed graham crackers, drizzle with a little chocolate, add a toasted marshmallow on top or just drink it straight from the pitcher. No matter how "fancy" or plain, it's some good stuff =)


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Just a smidge of Helter Skelter

I'm so glad to not be in training anymore at work! Its been much better to really get to interact with the brides and be the one helping them pick their dresses as opposed to standing back and more or less observing. I feel like I must be doing pretty well since my brides have been so surprised that I had just started. It confirms for me that its definitely where I need to be and that I have a natural eye or "talent" for it. =)

The kids have done great adjusting to going to daycare too. So luckily we've all gotten into the groove of this whole me working thing. I think the best day was the day I got my first paycheck. It was so rewarding to finally be earning my own money after so long. The only stinky thing over the last week or two has been not getting to see my man very much at all. I'm working, he's working crazy, crazy hours, and my parents have been playing and conducting in the orchestra for the show my brother is in...so they haven't been able to keep an ear out on the kids after they've gone to bed so he and I can get a little us time.

On a totally random note, I am two pounds away from the ultimate goal weight that I set so long ago...and I really don't know how! I certainly haven't been trying to lose any after reaching my last goal mark because I was pretty pleased with it. Now that I'm here....I'm really not sure if I like it! I've even been feeling overall unattractive. Gah! There's always a catch 22, am I right? I almost feel too skinny, like I'm losing my curves..and that's not what I wanted. I cant say I've really heard any woman say, "Hmm, I think I want to gain a few pounds back." But here ya go, I've said it. I suppose it is time to go bake a cake....

Now that I'm more accustomed to the work schedule and have a bit of a balance going on, I really really hope to be able to get back into my projects and new recipes!!! I know I haven't been keeping up with I.i.O very well the last couple months, but keep checking back! Any thoughts on what you, my awesome readers, want to see??


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Finally, Finally, Finally! I get to FINALLY cross off number two from my * Goal List *.

2. Get daycare taken care of and get a job

In a whirlwind yesterday I managed to get daycare picked and registered for the kids in order for my first day at Bridal Warehouse this morning. =) I'll be honest, I was totally scared about putting my babies in daycare and even broke down crying about it last night because you just never know if you've chosen the right one or not. It's just a leap of faith and a chance you have to take though. The kids really seemed to have enjoyed themselves when I picked them up this evening and even said they wanted to stay. I guess I couldnt ask for more than that right now.

As for my day, I was really anxious and excited to get in there and get started. Anyone who knows even the littlest bit about me know that a bridal shop is PERFECT for me. It'll be a while before I'm on my own on the floor, but I got to shadow a couple of the ladies today and still help clients pick and try on dresses. It will also give me a little practice in learning to do some altering on the dresses or tuxes...helping with number 12 on my list a bit.

There's a few more things I'd like to have work out- some small things, some pretty dear to me- but I'm hoping things continue to pan out and fall into place.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

My DIY Bird Cage Fascinator

Having an affinity for almost anything vintage, head ware is something that went by the way side long ago. You look back at the women of the past and it was their hats, their fascinators that made their outfits complete and polished...and lets say it...totally fabulous! These days, yes they're making a little bit of a come back but lets be honest; it really depends on where you live and who you are. Where I live, its definitely not something you see people wearing and you'd most likely get hit with good shock or bad shock. I know you aren't supposed to care what others think of you, but come on. Who wants to be the "town freak", especially when it causes people to accuse you of trying too hard and being pretentious. (Yes, you did detect a hint of bitterness there.) But anyway! Moving on!

I decided I just had to make a little bird cage fascinator for myself. I saw other feathers when I made my * DIY Feather Headband * and then at the fabric store I saw they actually had the bird cage material. The two totally clicked and I just had to put them together. I was so anxious to see how it even would turn out I didn't even do step by step pictures. You will follow the same instructions as on the feather headband except you will want to replace the elastic head band with an alligator clip. It'll take a little while to get the bird cage adjusted exactly how you want it so be patient, play around with it. =)

Once you have your bird cage set, carefully apply hot glue to the felt attached the the feathers. While holding it in place, quickly cover the remaining area with hot glue and cover with a second piece of felt. To attach the clip, I applied a slip strip of glue to the back of the clip and pressed it onto the felt. Then with the clip open, I took a small strip of felt and glued it to the inside of the back of the clip and carefully let it dry. 

That's all! Super easy for a simple little bird cage fascinator. Now....I need some place to wear it! I've got a couple little ideas, so keep your fingers crossed that I'll get to do them and I'll post pictures asap if I do!!

Happy Creating!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Simple Yumminess!

Corned Beef can be an easy and simple dinner option, so definitely don't forget about it! I made some just the other day, and I was looking forward to what I was going to do with the left overs even before it was done cooking in the crock pot.

 A super simple sandwich of strips of Corned Beef, slices of provolone cheese, a little Lawry's Garlic Salt and a good hoagie bun. Toss it all under a broiler for just three or four minutes. To keep your top bun from getting a little well done like mine did that time, try leaving it out for a minute or two while the beef warms and the cheese melts and browns slightly then toss it in. And if it still ends up toasting more than you like, it's easy to take a butter knife and gently scrape off the darker areas.

Super duper easy! AND if you have gluten free bread or hot dog buns, this can work for you! Just keep in mind that when buying prepackaged Corned Beef from the grocery store that has the spice packet included, the cut of the meat will determine your cost. (Aside from the weight.) There is flat cut and point cut. Point cut is often cheaper. When you put it in your crock pot, put it fat side up so the fat will melt and trickle down and flavor the meat. Then all you do is cover it water and add the spice packet and turn on the pot! The cooking instructions on the package I got said 2-3 hours cook time...I prefer mine much longer, easily pulling apart in the pot. A good six hours or even overnight. Leftovers are easily stored in the fridge. =)

Happy Eatin'!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Style is this Morning's Coffee

Since a certain someone sent me sweet texts to wake up to...and for a rare occasion they woke me up...I am up for the day a few hours earlier. BUT this gives me a chance before the kids get up to write a post I've been thinkin' about the last day or two. =)

I thought I'd share some of my favorite sites; mostly adorable clothes, but there's some others in there too. Some I've shopped often, and some totally brand new to me!

* Modcloth *
Anyone who has read my blog knows I have a little love affair with Modcloth. I love their selection of clothes (of course) and their shoes range from super classic to almost Lady Gaga wild. There's a hundred dresses I could write about, but it's * this little dude * that has gone in and out of stock and slipped through my fingers twice!


Anyone who is into the pin up type style knows her some Bettie Page. 40's hair and wiggle skirts, a nod to when a woman was practically the "ultimate" woman? What's not to love?! You get to sorta get into a fantasy, play dress up. Mixing and matching your modern style with these retro classics are super easy and very in. (Thank you Mad Men!!) And I just have to say.... how cute is * THIS * ??    

If there was even a place I could wear that, I so would! But oh my goodness would my girls look too cute in the mini version!

I believe I found Unique-Vintage before I found Modcloth a few years back. They have a wide variety of vintage style clothes and accessories but they also have special occasion dresses such as for prom or pageants.

           * These * Black crochet shorts are an adorable alternative to a bathing suit cover up!  
Yes, it's a furniture and home decor store, but it is one of my favorite stores ever! I've even crossed Kyle over into a Z Gallerie lover as well =) I have never sat on a chair or couch in there that I didn't totally melt into and want to take a nap. Their decor...chic and yet I can still find a lot of it to be adorable, if that even makes any sense. There's a slight humor to some of their product.

We have discussed * this * rhino head a zillion times and I think we're pretty determined to have it in our home!

This site to me comes across as a go between or middle of the road of Modcloth versus Bettie Page. You get subtle hints of both while instilling its own quiet, modest appeal. I definitely cant wait to get something from here! =)
Shop Refined Retro

 (Most of the sites now have the zoom already on the product picture, so I had to steal their banner to show the dress I dig =/ oops!) * Here * is the dress itself. I have a dress with a similar textured pattern which is probably why I'm so drawn to this one.
I found this vintage and contemporary jewelry shop a year ago and about went nuts. I have pretty much never seen such one of a kind pieces, both new and old. The vintage pieces almost look contemporary and are just so stunning. I only wish they weren't so pricey! But they are high quality pieces and could make any plain T-shirt look fab.
                                             VINTAGE CRYSTAL & BALL CLASP NECKLACE

* This * piece is super simple, I know, but it's one of the ones I've coveted since I found it. I enjoy the outlandish, big pieces, but I am always much more likely to go with something clean and simple.
Ok, I totally admit it. I have spent HOURS on this site attempting to pick out my perfect fantasy engagement ring! Kyle has had his fair share of "Oh honey, look at this one, isn't it amazing?!" =) I just look at the rings on here and think how they just don't make things how they used to. The beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail with things like filigree...yeah. Amazing. (Luckily its making a come back!)

* This * is just an example of some of the beautiful antique jewelry Fay Cullen has to offer.
Going along with the theme of engagement, Ruffled blog is a beautiful wedding blog. You get to see photos from weddings to draw inspiration from, as well as check out DIY tutorials for things to do for or at your wedding. There isn't much you can't find on this site! There's a link to help you find vendors, they offer their own shop now, and even give you the option to "recycle" your wedding. I mean, what ARE you going to do with all those wedding specific decorations?? Send them off to another will-be-bride and help her out on her big day.

               * Here *  is just a quick example of the pictures and ideas you can look through!
Electric Frenchie has a more boho feel to their clothes and accessories. I am new to this site as well, but there are quite a few things that look very promising. =)

(Yup...my being technologically challenged has struck again and I couldn't get a picture of the dress to post. I'll figure it out, promise!)

* This * dress really caught my eye. I don't exactly have anywhere to wear a cocktail dress, but the beading is so pretty and clever giving the illusion of a drop waist.

* Spool No. 72 *
When the page first loaded to 72, I instantly knew I'd love it. I think it's the simplicity of their look, even just slightly rustic maybe? i genuinely cant wait to order something from this site!

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Yet again, I pick something simple, but * this * dress made me think, "oh my gah! I MUST wear this on 4th of July!" I simply must.

* Shabby Apple *
This site is a bit more well known, especially having been featured in magazines and the like. What draws me in the most is their photography. I could scan through and just enjoy the pictures themselves...and totally forget that I'm supposed to be looking at the dress or the shoes. But it doesn't distract from the product either. The tipping point is that they offer maternity and kids clothes. Pretty much every momma wants her kids to look presh and every pregnant woman out there still wants to feel and look great.
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It is totally in part to the platinum blonde and the beehive...but I'm very drawn to the * Twin Palms * Collection.

I hope you enjoy these shops as much as I do!!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dizzy Relief

I hope it isn't thought to be tacky...but the most emotionally daunting of my *Goal List* is finally crossed off. There doesn't have to be much else said about it:

8. Finalize divorce

I feel like that dark cloud is no longer hovering over me. =)

On a totally different note, I received my first bikini bottom (since I was in high school) today, and I am actually pleased with how I look in it! A pool is soon to be in my future! I am going to be much more comfortable and confident in *this* than a regular bottom, especially after having children. I love having that retro feel and look while still having some modesty =)

Still hoping for ONE more bit of good news today..so keep your fingers crossed that I get to cross one more thing off my list!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Holy Moly...

It’s been quite some time since I posted! I.i.O. has been on the mind daily, but everything has been such a whirlwind for me that I just couldn’t find the time to sit and make a proper post. I have practically done nothing but job hunt this whole time, yet sadly employment still hasn’t pulled through yet. It’s taken a pretty big hit on my ego and even my positivity at times, but I’m still goin at it and being optimistic that it’ll happen for me soon. (Keep your fingers crossed and maybe even say a little prayer for me!)

Number 4 on my *Goal List* can finally be crossed off!
4. Have all possessions put in storage
It’s such a relief to have all my things accessible to me again after a year and a half. I’ve been going crazy the last two weeks organizing and basically purging as much as I can… Trust me, I’m about to have a massive yard sale!! The sheer volume of baby clothes and items alone is astounding. Although I still have my big pieces of furniture left to get (since I haven’t had a truck to be able to fit them in) I’m counting it as crossed off! =) I’m so pleased to see my goal list getting smaller and smaller.
Not even close to all of the baby clothes!!!

Another from my goal list is my weight loss goal. I stopped obsessing over the exact amount of poundage I’ve lost, but I know I’ve hit the goal of 20 pounds. I think I’m more pleased with my body than I ever have been…and I think a bathing suit is very close on the horizon ;) I may have tons and tons of stretch marks from my babies, but I feel I am finally at peace with them and don’t absolutely hate them anymore. My belly was their home for almost a year and every home gets gashes in the walls and scuffs on the floor boards; it’s what shows they were lived in.
(Yeeeaaah...I haven't exactly kept up with the goal to take pictures of myself or not always be the one TAKING the photos....oops!)

And one more thing: my girls are potty training! So far Lydia is definitely way ahead of Bridget, but hey, she’ll catch up here soon. They’re also in big girl beds now. They turn 2 in just 3 weeks…so they really aren’t babies anymore at all. Makes me sad but I am proud of my girls =)


Monday, April 23, 2012

Outback "Bushman" Bread

The bread from Outback is often overshadowed by Red Lobster's * Cheddar Bay Biscuits *. It may take more effort than the biscuits, but it is still well worth the work.

Add 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar and 1 package (2 1/4teaspsoons) yeast to1 1/4 cup warm water.
2 cups bread flour and 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour.
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
Here's a peek at how the yeast foams after a few minutes
2 tablespoons butter, softened. Ok, so I usually nuke mine in the microwave because I am impatient. Soo mine is usually softly melted..
After combining all the dry ingredients, make a well in the center.
In the center add 1/4 cup of honey
And 2 tablespoons of molasses.
To get the rich color of the bread, add 1 1/4 teaspoons of red food coloring, 1 teaspoon of yellow, and 1 teaspoon of blue to the yeast and sugar mixture.
Pour the yeast mixture in the well in the center of your flour.
Start mixing and incorporating the dry ingredients from the inside out.
Not long after it starts to get real doughy, you'll have to start kneading the dough by hand.
Once kneaded, form the dough into a ball and set it somewhere warm for 1-1 1/2 hours
It will have doubled after the time elapsed. If it hasnt doubled, you may need to start over because the yeast may not have activated correctly.
Separate dough into 6 even portions.
May be kinda silly, but its nice to actually have something made/produced here in town.
Lay out a little corn meal onto your work surface. Roll your 6 portions into mini-loaves.

Rub a little water on the bottom and gently roll in the corn meal.

Carefully tap off excess corn meal.

Arrange your loaves on your baking sheet

Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for another hour.

Uncover- they will have risen a little more- and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

They may not look exactly like at the restaurant...
But they sure eat the same =)

Happy Eatin'!