DIY: Glitter Fall Candlesticks

Image

After living in LA for four years I sort of forgot what fall was like. The leaves changing, the smell of the crisp air, and when Halloween decorations start appearing in store windows it doesn’t seem quite as strange because I’m not wearing a sundress and flip-flops.

And now that I have my own apartment I am so excited to decorate it for the holidays. This weekend was the perfect crisp and cool weekend to open the windows, don my favorite sweater and play with glitter.

Image

These candle holders were inspired by this glitter vase and I thought they’d make a great autumn themed centerpiece.

The candle holders and candle sticks are from the Dollar Store and the glitter was on sale at AC Moore – so not only was it easy, but cheap!

Image

I covered the candleholder with spray adhesive. Looking back, covering them with good old fashion glue might have made the glitter hold better, but I had spray adhesive on hand. I poured the glitter in a shoe box lid to keep it all contained and then I went at it. Pouring the glittery awesomeness on every part of the candle holder. Image

While the candleholders dry, I moved onto the candles themselves. I decided to paint them just orange instead of orange and black because they can easily stay through till Thanksgiving.

I used orange acrylic paint and the opposite end of a paint brush to make the dots. Repeat for both candles.

Image

I combined the candlesticks with a vase filled with mini pumpkins and pinecones and tada! A festive fall table!Image

ImageWhat are you creating this weekend? Any fun Halloween projects? Enjoy!

monday motivation.

This weekend, as usual, I spent many more hours than necessary on Pinterest. And I realized I was pinning tons of motivational prints and as I am trying to do more with Pinterst than just have my pins sit on my imaginary boards I thought I would create a new segment here on the blog.

This first bit of motivation seemed very fitting after last week. Last week I went down to Louisiana and covered Hurricane Isaac – all by myself. I jumped at the chance when my boss said our sister station in Lafayette, LA needed additional reporters to help with the coverage. But once down there, there were moments when I was paralyzed by the fact that doing all this on my own seemed impossible. And than I did it. And it was no longer impossible.

{source}

It was truly an incredible experience and I learned a ton. But most importantly I learned that no matter what obstacles seem to be in the way (sideways rain, lack of sleep, problems with gear, navigating an unknown state), as long as you don’t give up, you can succeed. Hey, the end result may not be perfect (heck, half of my video looked like I was in a snow globe because the camera was so fogged up) but it’s better than nothing. So here’s to conquering the impossible!

{To see my stories and photos from my coverage – you can check them out on my facebook page.}

everything but the kitchen sink pizza.

The weather this week has been to die for. Seriously. It’s in the mid 60s during my morning walks, cozying up in a sweatshirt to take Miss Ellie out. Let’s be honest. It feels like fall. And not only that but in the morning meeting the other day a producer pitched a story about the leaves changing. Fall is almost here folks.

So that got me thinking – if fall’s almost here than summer is almost over (yes, brain science I know). And well I have been slacking majorly on my summer to-do list. And an easy one that I’ve been meaning to check off – making pizza!

I had every intention of 1) making my own dough and 2) making this pizza. But for the first time all summer I didn’t have any zucchini on hand. As for the own dough part…well I saw this at the store and it looked so eassssssy.


So no zucchini. But I did have about every other veggie and lots of other goodies to use up before they went bad. So here comes the pizza with everything but the kitchen sink. Because it all depends on what’s in your fridge this recipe is a mere guideline. Got some zucchini? Throw it on there. Let all the veggies hang out!

Ingredients:

  • Pizza crust (use your own recipe or cheat like me and used Pillsbury’s new artisan pizza crust)
  • tomato
  • red onion, sliced
  • assorted peppers, sliced
  • kalamata olives
  • garlic, grated
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesean
  • 1 cup apple chicken sausage
  • olive oil

How-To

Follow the instructions for your dough. Preheat the oven, roll it out, prebake for about 8 mins.

Rummage through your fridge and find the things you want to toss on your pizza. First off, check out this pepper. Have you ever seen a purple bell pepper? Yeah me either! (Unless you answered yes, and well than you live a more exciting life than me).

Slice and dice all your veggies. Grate your garlic. Chop up that yummy apple chicken sausage that has been hiding under everything else in your fridge drawer. Rub down the dough with olive oil. Pile on the toppings.

Top that all off with some cheese. I had lots of feta and parmesan. And to finish that off I dried out some oregano from my herb garden and sprinkle that yumminess on top.

Bake away! And obviously clean up while it’s cooking…or not. I made this the other night and well I just washed the pan tonight…

Now enjoy! And well if you’re like me than you’ll begin to enjoy it before you remember to take a finished photo. Whoops…

 

So what do you have in your fridge that you can top a pizza with? Let me know what you create!

happy thoughts.

You know those weeks where you have a massive to-do list and plenty of time to actually complete it? Yeah, that was this week. My boyfriend was in town last week and we made sure to spend as much time together as possible. Downside? Lots of dishes to do, laundry piled up and mundane chores like going to the bank, paying bills and grocery shopping fell to the wayside.


{flower petals}

Well he left on Monday morning and every night this week (and all day yesterday) I had all the time in the world to get those chores done – did I? Nope. And to make it worse, I didn’t do anything instead! I was simply lazy. But hey, everyone deserves a lazy week. Here’s a peek at some of the things that made me happy during my week of sluggishness.


{cupcake break at work courtesy of Gigi’s}


{my absolute favorite candle – thyme + olive leaf}


{this is actually a shot from last weekend – but a blissful moment none the less}


{twilight in Knoxville}

I hope your Sunday is filled with many happy moments! Enjoy!

cajun chicken alfredo.

Cooking for one can be tough. There are so few cooking books for single servings (at least that I’ve found – suggestions are welcome!) and for as many blogs and websites, I’ve yet to come across a good one for people cooking for one.

So I’m always stuck trying to divide everything (and I’ll be the first to admit me and math don’t get along…) But the other option is leftovers and well, I hate leftovers. I don’t want to eat the same thing two days in a row (unless it’s Mexican and in that case I can eat it every day.)

Anyway, I’m rambling. Here’s a successful math problem. Cajun chicken alfredo for one.

Cajun Chicken Alfredo
(adapted from Comfortably Domestic)

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • cajun blackening spice
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
  • 1/8 c. white wine
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream (or half and half)
  • 1 c. grated parmesan
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • chopped basil
  • 1 cup fettuccini

How-To:

1.  Cook fettuccine, set aside
2. Sprinkle chicken with blackening spice
3.  Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet. Cook chicken until brown and seared on each side.
4.  Slice chicken and set aside.

For sauce:

1. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, whisk up all the brown bits
2. Add chopped garlic and tomatoes to the pan, saute until caramelized
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour cream into the pan, stiring constantly
4. Add salt, pepper and remaining butter
5. Stir for 3-4 minutes until cream reduces slightly
6. Add the cheese and toss in pasta
7. Before serving, sprinkle with parsley.

Bon Appetit single friends!

meet ellie.

This is Ellie! I adopted her from Young Williams Animal Shelter last week and it’s crazy how much I already love her.


  {meeting for the first time – it was love at first sight}

She’s an 8-year-old poodle mix. She was seized from her owners but the shelter didn’t tell me why. From what I can tell she doesn’t seem scared or skiddish so hopefully it wasn’t something sad…

I really wanted an older dog 1) because I didn’t want to have to potty train her 2) getting a puppy implies at least a 12 year commitment and I honestly don’t know where my life will be in 5 years let alone 12 3) people rarely adopt older dogs and so I wanted to give this little girl a home.


{Farmer’s Market outing}

We went to the Farmer’s Market this week and she loved playing with all the other dogs and everybody wanted to pet her (duh – how could you resist that face!). It’s only been a week and already I feel so much happier with her in my life. It’s so much nicer to have someone (even if it’s a dog) to come home to and to cuddle with. Be prepared for many more posts of my new baby!


{now I have someone to watch True Blood with}

 

summer so far.

How can it possibly be the third week of July? Where has the summer gone? Either way it’s been a great first summer in East Tennessee.

The weather is pretty unbearable at times, taking hot and humid to the extreme. But heat be darned, it’s been a summer filled with nights out with friends for a cold beer after long days, weekend trips to St. Louis and New Orleans, and a diet filled with local, farm fresh produce. Here’s to another great two months of summer!


d{beer in a mason jar}


{{weekend in New Orleans for best friend’s wedding}


{Cardinals game in St. Louis}


{local veggies from Rhynes Farm}

Baked Chicken Fingers

So I really love fresh air. Random thought, but bear with me. I love fresh air and haaaate turning on my air conditioner. It feels stuffy and well let’s be honest it also makes my electric bill go up… so there’s that. In the morning it’s nice and cool and with the windows open and fans on it feels all cozy in my bed.

But the problem arises when I get home from work and turn the oven on. Now all of  sudden I’m cooking while I’m cooking. It’s an issue. Yet I’d rather be hot and have fresh air, so I will endure until it reaches unbearable summer temperatures (which very well might be this weekend.)

I made this garlic basil dip the other night with some sweet potato fries and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. So I based what I made for dinner around something that could be dipped in that dip. Please welcome my first attempt at making chicken fingers.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I actually ate chicken fingers and obviously I wasn’t going to fry them (I mean it is swim suit season…and I save calories for things that include chocolate) so I baked them along with zucchini fries. Yummmmmmm. And both were made even better when dipped in that amazing garlicky goodness (which I guess isn’t exactly calorie free…)

Cracker-Crusted Chicken Fingers
(Adapted from BringOutTheChefInYou)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Goldfish crackers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Splash of milk
  • Flour
  • 1 Chicken breast

Makes 1 serving

How – To:

Crush up your goldfish – or in my case Golden Penguins, also known as the Walgreens brand. These were hilarious to me. Moments when I’m laughing at animal shaped crackers in my kitchen make me miss having roommates.

Set up your stations. Flour – egg – crust (goldfish for chicken, breadcrumbs for the zucchini). Then dip them in that order.

Bake the chicken for 10-12 minutes at 400.

 

Now this dip. It came from looking for more ways to use the basil from my herb garden. And it’s so. freaking. good.

Basil and Garlic Dip
(Adapted from Food Network)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. light mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

How – To:

Chop up the basil and the garlic. Depending on how much garlic you like, you can add more or less. I looove garlic so I used a big clove for the serving size I made.

Mix it all up and dip away!

Man, it’s so good. I’m already thinking of other things I can make to dip in it…

Life Lately

It’s Wednesday. But it feels like a Monday because I’ve got a weird schedule this week. I was off yesterday and I was laaaaazy. I had a whole list of things I needed to get done and I did about 1.5 of them. My boyfriend always comforts me saying I deserve a day to lounge around, and perhaps I do, but not to the extent where I can’t even get to the bank!

Ugh. Fail.

BUT… I did make some fabulous recipes and I made a dent in my book and I visited some second hand stores and painted a table. So when I list my day like that then it makes me sound productive. So we’ll go with that. Those recipes and DIY are coming soon but here’s a quick glimpse at life as of late.

{Can’t stop listening to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcSAFRKBhs }
Image{Loving the bright colors, like these bookshelves, in this blog:}

Image{Playing pool at Barley’s with my beau on his way-too-short visit}

Image
{Gorgeous weekend for walking around Downtown Knoxville}