DIY Poinsettia Centerpiece

I love Christmas.  If I could, I’d start celebrating in October.  But, Thanksgiving wont allow that.  So, usually the weekend before Thanksgiving we put up the tree and start the festivities.  How can you not be happy with all of the music, decorations and treats around?

This year I wanted to add some fresh florals to my decor.  But, didn’t want to spend a ton of money (story of my life).  I found some cute little poinsettias at Home Depot and remembered I had some pine branches on the back deck from when we put the tree up a few days ago.

I figured I could put something cute together! I found a small, rustic looking wooden crate from the craft store and was ready to go!


This was as simple as simple could get.  First, to get the poinsettias at the right height, I put some empty Tupperware in the bottom of the crate.  I cut smaller branch pieces about 6-8 inches long.

I arranged the branches in a fan like design around the poinsettias until it looked full enough.  Any branches that stuck out I simply snipped them.



And, voila! A fresh, festive centerpiece that will last through out the season…..made for under $20 and in 15 minutes!

Easy Peasy Sunday Pot Roast

I love to cook.  Before having kids I could spend a whole afternoon looking through cookbooks and creating a special, intricate dinner.  Now, often I am looking for shortcuts. Quick, easy and yummy things to get on the table for dinner.

But, sometimes on Sundays I like to take my time and make something special.

Just imagine, a pot roast simmering in the crock pot all afternoon as you curl up on the couch watching football and putting up the Christmas tree.  That was our day today.  These days make my heart happy. Everything seemed to align.  The baby, Henry, had a long nap and Charlie was so excited to decorate the tree.

This is a recipe I have come up with and tweaked it over the years.  My dad first showed me how he makes his pot roast, and from there I have adjusted it and it comes out tender and flavorful (if I do say so myself). Honestly I will tell you my not-so-secret ingredient.  Steak Sauce! It really makes it special.  And, it is really easy to do!

Easy Peasy Sunday Roast

1 Chuck Roast (Mine was 1.8 lb)

3-4 russet potatoes

2-3 carrots

1 yellow onion

beef broth

worcestershire sauce

steak sauce (such as A1)

red wine (I use cabernet)

salt

pepper

garlic powder

roast

Turn on your crock pot to high.

Start by seasoning the meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder,  My rule of thumb, once you think you are done, add a little more.  Remember it’s a big piece of meat.  It needs more then a little sprinkle.

Heat up a large pan with a few tbsp of olive oil. Once hot sear the meat on each side for about four minutes until there is a nice crust formed.  I find this helps develop the flavor and gives it good texture to the finished product.

img_7828

Next, place in crock pot.  Cut up the onion into small wedges and place on and around it.  Add 1 cup of beef broth, 1/2 cup of wine and several large shakes of worcestershire and steak sauce. Don’t add the potatoes or carrots yet.  If you do it this early- they will turn to mush!

Now……go make some hot chocolate and watch a movie on the couch……or take a nap.  You will leave it on and not touch it for at least two hours (depending on how large the piece of meat is).

Once you start smelling those delicious smells two hours later, get up off the couch and peel your potatoes and cut those and the carrots into about 1.5 inch pieces.

Now you can finally open the pot! Add potatoes and carrots and give it a gentle stir….your meat should be starting to fall apart. Add another generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

img_7847

 

Wait two more hours…….until the veggies and meat are fork tender.  At that point I usually add several more large shakes of steak sauce…..trust me on this.  It adds amazing flavor! Let simmer ten more minutes after the final shake of steak sauce.

 

Once ready, dole onto a plate and add some fresh crusty bread.  Dinner (and lunch the next day) is served!!

img_7863

 

 

 

 

 

Breezeway Refresh

After our we made the decision to build a house, we then came the realization that our current home needed a bit of work before we put it up for sale.  Those little things that you don’t like just become invisible after staring at it every single day our lives.  The obvious start: Our boring breezeway.

Many, many moons ago a previous owner decided to enclose the entrance from our kitchen to the garage.  In theory it was a great choice.  Extra storage is always a plus.  But, my vision of a cute little nook for us to keep our jackets, shoes and umbrellas quickly turned into a dumping ground.  Kings sized package of toilet paper from Costco that does not have a home? Throw it in the breezeway! Two months worth of empty cans waiting to be recycled? There is PLEANTY of room in the breezeway!

So this was it.  I was going to make it cute right before we sell our home (that’s what always happens, right)?

breezeway-before
Yawn. This is our breezeway that we have looked at every day since we moved it.

Matt and I decided we didn’t want to spend a ton of money, but it needed some work.  So, first thing first.  The floors.  At first, we were going to have pergo hardwood floors installed.  But, our handyman confirmed that the floors were very uneven concrete.  So, we would have to use something that had a little ‘give’ to it.  He suggested laminate! (My first thought was EWWWWW.  I pictured ugly eighties bathroom floors).  But, laminate has come a long way!  Together we picked out a pretty light colored self-adhesive tile.

Then, I wanted cubbies to put our stuff in, but was not going to dole out the cash for custom lockers.  I found the perfect substitution on wayfair.

Then came the ‘cute’ part.  Indoor/outdoor carpet? Check.  Pillows and accessories? Check.  I also painted a old canvas painting with blackboard chalk and the frame a bright yellow for quick messages.

It came out bright and cheery like I had wanted!

breezeway-after

Bumpdate: 16 weeks!

With both Charlie and Henry I did NOT take bump pictures.  I was self conscious of what I looked like and I kind of regret it..  So, with my last pregnancy, I want to celebrate the bump!!

bump15

So, there it is! It’s not much, but seems to be growing faster and faster everyday!

FEELING: Great! Finally the nausea is starting to go away.  I have continued to work out about five times a week (running/walking about two miles and light weight training).  I really hope this will keep me feeling good throughout.

WARDROBE: Leggings!! I am just starting to get into maternity clothes.  The cute plaid top is from Target.

CRAVINGS: Nutella……So bad! But, it is just so good.  Also, I don’t really want to drink coffee.  Usually I can drink about three cups a day.  Now, all I really seem to want is about a half a cup.

GENERAL THOUGHTS: I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact, we are having a girl! Slowly we are starting to brainstorm name ideas. Stay tuned.  And, starting to look at nursery ideas.  I am thinking wallpaper!?!?! Trust me, it will be cute.  Or course, I’ll be posting once I get some better ideas.

 

 

My First Post!!

Hello everyone!

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to step in and take a look what my new blog is all about! First things first:  I’d like to take a few minutes to introduce myself for those who I don’t know!

I am a mid-thirties mama of a crazy, but adorable four-year-old boy, Charlie, my ‘little love muffin’ sixteen-month-old Henry and wife to my rock and  best friend, Matt.  We met and fell in love while living in Chicago, but after the birth of Charlie, we made the move back to Metro Detroit where we both grew up. Here we had Henry and are getting ready for a couple of exciting thing in 2017.

f

First, we are pregnant with a…….GIRL!!! Holy smokes! I cannot believe it! I just assumed I was meant to be a boy-mom.  I have grown a deep love for monster trucks and fart jokes, but cannot wait for all of the pink, sparkles and bows that are on the horizon. She will make her arrival right around Easter.

girl

Second, we are just starting the journey of building our dream home.  We absolutley LOVE our current home (1924 rehabbed white Dutch Colonial), but are growing out of it quickly.  So, after searching casually for about a year, we saw a model home a few months ago and fell head over heals.  I am a bit of a control freak (this might not suprise some people) and I could not find exactly what we wanted in our price range…..this was the perfect solution. As Matt has said to me…..I won’t be happy unless it is exactly the way I want it.  Now it can be!

house

So, this blog will be able to chronicle many of my favorite things and things that are a huge part of my life.  Decorating, DIY, Cooking, and most importantly my life as a wife, stay at home mama, aspiring fitness freak, pretend wine and coffee conissour and dedicated friend.

Gymboree Sale On Now!