Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas.

(Their picture.)

Last week I took a break from Try-It Tuesday because I had to work the late shift at work. (P.S. Did I tell you I got a new job? All sorts of changes in the life of Abby...) But this week I'm back. It's 11:30 and I've been in the kitchen all night. Let me tell you what I made...

For dinner, I made Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde. There's no point in a big build up... it was just plain good. I found the recipe on what is possibly my new favorite food blog: Skinnytaste. The recipes are lighter than your average and they all look so good. Tonight's dinner had a lot of lighter alternatives in it but you couldn't even tell. It was delicious. I would recommend you check out the blog... and this recipe... right now.

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde

As I mentioned above, I got a new job. I'm still with JPMorgan but I'm now a "team coordinator" over a team of people who are doing the job that I used to do. It's an exciting change and I feel like this new position is using my gifts better than my old one did. I got the position at a hard time though... Our company has been requiring all sorts of overtime the last couple of weeks, and my team's overall spirit is just low. People are discouraged... and the light at the end of the tunnel is unfortunately no where near. Anyway, I wanted to do something to encourage my team. To say thanks for all of the hard work they have been putting in. So I baked for them tonight. I made two things. (Yes, I realize these two recipes are the opposite of what I am encouraging above... healthiness. I'm taking them to work and leaving them there. Don't you worry... Operation Bridesmaid is still on.)

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites

(My picture.)

I may have snuck a little taste of both, because, you know, I can't serve something to people if I don't know it is edible. Both of these recipes were indeed edible... for sure.

Monday, July 30, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 8.

Day 58.

Only two more days of navy! And then I'm on to August's color... "turquoise." My friends and I have decided we're going to call it teal because teal is easier to spell than turquoise. Yep. We're awesome.

This week in navy... Day 53: really expired half and half that was in our fridge. Day 54: my beloved Timbuktu... maybe someday I'll have a job that actually requires me to use a laptop bag like that. Day 55: Le Creuset aka the first thing I register for should I ever get married. Day 56: navy nails... don't judge me for the mistakes. Day 57: some cool windows in the West Bottoms in downtown Kansas City. Day 58: my alma mater's domination. Day 59: a skirt of mine.

Day 53.

Day 54.

Day 55.

Day 56.

Day 57.

 Day 59.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How To: Wall Mural

I've been meaning to post about this for quite some time, but am just now getting around to it... Ever wanted one of those tree murals that are all the rage? Never wanted to spend the money on it? Guess what... you don't have to! (I should totally be an infomercial actress.)You may remember that a little over a month ago I went down to Oklahoma City to visit my cousins Julie and Anthony and help decorate their nursery for their baby girl-to-be (well, I suppose she exists currently, just not on the outside of her mama's belly.) One of our projects was to paint a tree on her wall. And honestly... it was a piece of cake. Anyone could do it. Julie, being a non-crafty (she says it, not me) person, even could do it. Let me show you how...

First you choose a tree. We chose the picture above and decided to alter it a little bit... We took out the birds and simplified the leaves. (It would have been 40 euro, y'all. That's $49.12 in American moolah. We probably spent, well, I don't know how much the paint was, but I'd say less than $10? And we get to brag and say, "You love it? Well, thanks, we did it ourselves." Which is priceless...)

Then, you print off the picture of the tree, insert it in a plastic page protector (here's a ridiculous website to help you with all your page protector needs), and use a Sharpie to trace around the image. The tricky part? Finding an old overhead projector. We just happened to have a hook up (thanks, Aunt Cindy!) so it was a piece of cake. You just project the image on the wall.

Next, you trace it with a pencil. You could trace it with whatever you wanted really... crayons, red lipstick, you name it... But pencils are safe and less scary. And they have erasers. Which are great when you make mistakes. (Not that we made any... we're awesome.) P.S. I like this girl... a lot.

Then you paint it. We had to do a couple of coats. But it wasn't too painful...

Finally, you add really cute things: like a beautiful crib, a rocking chair, and owl themed bedding. The room isn't finished yet... this project was just the beginning. But check it out! It was so easy. And I'd say the whole project took 3 or 4 hours tops! Try it out! And if you need a mural painting partner, and live in the Kansas City area... I loved doing this and would love to do it again. (Pardon the crappy pictures... I took them with my phone.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dreaming of cooler times...

109. 104. 96. 100. 102. 104. 103. 102. What are all of these numbers, you ask? That would be the temperatures in Kansas City for the last week according to the Weather Channel. We have had 13 days above 100 degrees so far this month. It is gross out there, y'all. I can't take it anymore... Instead of complaining about how much I hate it out there (because, I really do hate it, I suppose that's complaining though...), I've decided to put my mind on better things. Fall-type things. Things that are cool, fresh, crisp, and autumn-colored. How I wish it was fall. Right now. But it's not... So I'll just dream about it in the meantime...
I'm dreaming about pumpkin recipes. (For this pumpkin roll recipe, go here!)

I'm dreaming about football games. (I don't even like football.)

I'm dreaming about scarves.

I'm dreaming about fall-ish movies like You've Got Mail.

I'm dreaming about Pumpkin Spice lattes.

I'm dreaming about pretty leaves.

I'm dreaming about boots.

I'm dreaming about Halloween.

I'm dreaming about Thanksgiving.

I'm dreaming about candy corn.

I'm dreaming about cool breezes.

The list goes on...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So... I have news. It's actually not new news, but I was thinking about it, and I don't think I've told you yet... So, now's the time... I'm moving out of my parent's house! It's actually a pretty bittersweet thing. I really enjoy living with my parents... They are my best friends and coming home to them is a pretty great thing. But... I'm 24. I have had a full time job for almost 2 years now. And it's time. It's time that I grow up. So I'm moving out!

I'm moving into a cute house in a cute area of town with two cute (just felt like I needed to continue with the cute theme) girls. With a new house comes a lot of exciting things... one being a blank slate to decorate! I'm sooo excited for this. So. excited. One of the things that my brain has been dreaming up is a wall of pictures in my bedroom. Here is what I'm thinking... (at least some of these ideas, probably not all of them because my wall would be craaaazy.)

Thrifted Art.

Random pattern. (I don't really know where this came from, but I think I should easily recreate it.)

Multiple Canvas Art. (I wouldn't do a whale, but maybe a tree or a kite or something?)

Embroidery Circle Art.

State Heart Art. (Being from Kansas and Missouri, I would like to do something along these lines.

Tape Painting.

Might as well apologize ahead of time that this blog will likely turn into a DIY design blog over the next few months. I'm pretty stinking excited at the chance to decorate a new place!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 7.

Day 47.

Another week of navy is in the books! I was actually told by my friend Kim today that the blog that we are basing this project off of actually says that the color is royal blue for this month and not navy blue. The picture looked navy to me... Woops! Oh well... I suppose a lot of my pictures have been borderline royal anyway.

This week in color: Day 46: Quik Trip Diet Coke, I get these WAY too often. Day 47: my outfit one day at work. Day 48: Cory's t-shirt design. Day 49: bag of 3 Musketeers that I turned into cupcakes. Day 50: blue toned beer at a gas station (no, I didn't get any.) Day 51: Royals game to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday in 100+ degree heat... yuck. Day 52: trip to the grocery store. 

One more full week of navy (*ahem* royal blue)... Let's do this! 
Day 46. 

Day 48.

Day 49. 

Day 50.

 Day 51.

Day 52.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

365 Days of Hand Lettering.

Fact: one thing that I love is something beautiful that is created just for beauty's sake. Does that make sense? If it doesn't, I'm sorry... I saw this blog referenced on Joy the Baker and checked it out myself... and it is full of beautiful things that are just beautiful... and it just makes me smile. This blogger is doing a project called 365 Days of Hand Lettering where she does a work like the images above and below every day for a year. They are pretty great. And encouraging. And beautiful. I just like them a lot...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Royals Contest. VOTE NOW!

I'm one of my brother Cory's biggest fans. He's a great guy, and a wonderful brother, and on top of all of that... he's a killer graphic designer.

Our beloved (and always struggling) Kansas City Royals have T-Shirt Tuesdays where they give away t-shirts at the occasional Tuesday game. The Royals put on a contest for fans to submit t-shirt designs for a shirt that will be given away at one of the T-shirt Tuesdays and my brother Cory submitted a design and it's great!

Cory was selected to be one of the top five designs that people can vote on and he's currently in 3rd place! And basically... you should vote for it. You can vote from every computer, browser, and phone that you own... so feel free to vote any and every way possible. :) You've got until July 27th to vote like crazy. (And if you want to see more of Cory's design, you can visit his blog here.)

Please and thank you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Tonight I made Taste of Home's recipe for Spicy Stuffed Peppers. I subscribe Taste of Home magazine but for some reason rarely cook anything out of it even though it has tons of tasty-looking recipes. So the other day, when I got the most recent issue in the mail, I decided I would be intentional to choose a recipe for Try-It Tuesday from the magazine. I came across the recipe for Spicy Stuffed Peppers. It looked pretty easy and pretty healthy (the two things I seem to be going for lately) so I decided to try it out.

The verdict? I really liked it! The rice, sausage, and jalapeƱo was a great combination of flavor and bite.  The tomato juice was a low-cal way to keep the rice from getting too dry. And like I mentioned above... it was easy... and healthy (I replace andouille sausage with turkey breakfast sausage.) Definitely a do-over, if you ask me!

Spicy Stuffed Peppers (with Andouille aka Turkey Breakfast Sausage)

Peppers... pre-stuffing. My post-stuffing pics didn't look so appetizing.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 6.

Day 40.

Another week of navy is complete! I'm not going to lie... this week's pictures were pretty lame. About week 3 of the same color and I just hit this wall... I think I hit it this week. But I'm going to keep going. Don't you worry...

Day 39: my second favorite kind of pop to Diet Coke. Day 40: cookie cutters for the cookies for Julie's baby shower. Day 41: "window shopping" at Anthropologie. Day 42: flight to Houston for Valeria's bachelorette weekend. Day 43: the remnants of sushi and soy sauce. Day 44: pedicure with the ladies. Day 45: flight back to KC after a great weekend.

So... sorry if this week seems a little uninspired. I'll work harder next week.

Day 39. 

Day 41. 

 Day 42.

Day 43.

 Day 44.

 Day 45.