30 December 2014

Ring out the old, Ring in the new

NYE is coming fast upon us, and the Sailor and I don't have any plans! Well, that's not entirely true. We're spending a quiet night in-- That's more than okay in my book. We'll have a some apps followed by an elegant meal of canard a l'orange, which the Sailor first learned how to make here.


Our plan is being finalized at the last minute, but there's still time to decorate and celebrate! I scored a black jumpsuit (overnight delivery!) that I'll pair with my gold heels and some fun chunky jewelry.


NYE


29 December 2014

How I Spent My Winter Stay-cation

Hey, hey, hey. Long time, no posts. Like many bloggers, I've been keeping it real, trying to spend time with family and friends this holiday season. So, I've taken a little break from blog and a step back from social media too. There's a lot to catch up on though!

I've been desperate for a tropical escape. I know, I know. It's not even really winter yet. Talk to me in February, and by then I'll truly know what it feels like to need to get out of the northeast! I'm dying for the hot rays of sunshine to cure my Vitamin D deficiency and boost my mood.


On the bright side, I was lucky enough to have some time off a couple of weeks ago to rest, recharge and prep for Christmas. And, although it wasn't the umbrella-drink, toes-in-the-sand kind of vacation,  I made the most of having some time to do the things that fill me with joy.

I had a lunch date and a nail appointment with mom.



I snuggled with my sweet Lola.



I crafted and Christmas-ed to my heart's content. I had a (much, much too long) list of craft projects I wanted to tackle, but I only managed to finish two. One was a winner, and one...not an epic fail.




WINNER! 



Thirty Minute Apron...




No link to the source because the instructions were so bad that it took me about 3 hours, 30 minutes 
and 3 trips to the craft store. Handiwork only a mother could love. Not an epic fail though because we wore them to bake Christmas cookies like last year. Our recipes for coconut macaroons, peanut butter blossoms, sweet and saltines (aka almond bark) and Magic Cookie Bars (my favorites!) turned out much better than in the past. 

And add two super easy dinner recipes to the menu rotation! 




via Self.com

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

2 packages (10 oz each) frozen spinach, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
4 skinless salmon fillets (6 oz each), rinsed and patted dry

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 350°. Squeeze spinach of all excess liquid. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Add spinach, tomatoes, salt, pepper flakes and pepper; cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; let cool about 15 minutes. Add ricotta; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pack about 1/2 cup spinach mixture on top of each fillet, matching the shape of the fillet. Place fillets on a rimmed baking sheet or in a glass baking dish; bake until cooked through, 15 minutes.


via Simplebites.net

SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 inch cube of ginger (about 30 grams), roughly chopped
1 small sweet onion, peeled, quartered
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into four
2 cans coconut milk, not shaken
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 can of baby corn cobs
1 cup peas or frozen vegetables of your choice

For the spice blend
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric
1 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION
Combine ingredients from the spice blend together and set aside.
In a mini food processor, combine garlic, ginger and onion and pulse until it forms a paste.

In the bottom of a slow-cooker placed on a burner , heat olive oil and melt butter. Add pureed aromatics and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then add spice blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Move aromatics to one side of the pot and add chicken pieces to the pot. Cook chicken slightly on all sides, using a sturdy wooden spoon to move it around the pot. It should get thoroughly coated with the spice mixture.

Open the cans of coconut milk and remove the cream from the top using a soup spoon. You should have about 1 cup. Pour the coconut milk over the chicken and with both cans, it should just barely cover the chicken.

Drain the corn cobs and chop in half. Add to the slow-cooker.

Place the slow cooker in the base and cook on low for 4 hours.

Whisk cornstarch with coconut cream until smooth and add to the chicken. Stir well. Add frozen peas or other vegetables of your choice. Cook for another half an hour or until you deem the chicken cooked and the vegetables hot.

16 December 2014

Get It Done: Circuit Workout

The truth...I haven't been into running at all lately. At. All. Forget running outside. It's dark out before I go to work and dark when I get home. Add to that freezing temps, mountains of snow and slick road conditions, and running outside isn't an option. And let me tell you, it's been a real struggle to get through even three miles a few times a week these days. Maybe it's the weather and being stuck inside. Maybe it's the love/hate relationship I have with running, and I'm just in an off-cycle now.

04 December 2014

Holiday House Tour

I must admit that one of my favorite times for reading blogs is during the holiday season. So many bloggers go all out with decorating and share spreads of their beautifully decorated homes. Every day I find new inspiration for our house-- if only I had more free time, it would be a true winter wonderland over here. The Sailor is probably relieved that there's not more time for decorating though since he's not big on  Christmas "clutter", but I love the festive feel and almost wish we could keep the decorations up year round.

In honor of the season, here are some of my favorites from Jennifer Rizzo's annual Holiday House Walk followed by a glimpse into what our home looks like this season. So grab a cup of cocoa and enjoy!

Dear Lillie

This room floors me! It's the perfect combination of rustic and modern with the wooden ceiling beams, hardwood floors and gray walls with white trim, Click on over to Jennifer Holmes' brilliant Dear Lillie blog to see the flow of this open space. I love her use of paperwhites and amaryllis throughout and hope I can find some to replace our poinsettias. 


25 November 2014

Give Back with Gaia

Just popping in for a quick update. I've had computer problems galore, so posts have been few and far between lately. I couldn't miss the chance to tell you about an inspiring company/cause that I recently found though. 



 
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