Oh My Goodness! Week Night Chicken-

Okay, a quick question- do you have a Pinterest account? Probably. Have you pinned recipes that looked delicious and then for whatever reason, you never got back to testing it? Uh-huh, me too. Do you have 100s of pins but become a deer in a headlight when you try to think of what’s for dinner? Story of my life… but, I am working on putting those hours and hours I spend pinning recipes to good use. So, when I sat down to do my last round of menu planning I went back to those old pins. And among them was a pin for a chicken recipe titled “OMG Chicken.”

I would gladly and happily give you the link to that recipe except for whatever reason, the link attached to the pin was MIA. And for the record, I am meticulous about checking to make sure that there is always a link attached to the pin so, I don’t know what happened there. However, in the pin description was the recipe! So, all was not lost!

yogurt and parmThe title was OMG Chicken- I was thinking something along the lines of knocking my socks off— and honestly, my socks were not knocked off. However, this is an easy and good recipe and will most certainly make its way back on the menu in the future. But. I am downgrading it from OMG! to Oh My Goodness Chicken.

To begin, you lay your chicken out in a baking dish and mix 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt and a 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. You can use sour cream and as you can see I used more than 1/4 cup of Parmesan- it was a big pinch. Salt and pepper your chicken to taste and put a big dollop of the yogurt-cheese mixture on each piece of chicken. Next you sprinkle with Italian bread crumbs. In my case I sent 2 pieces of whole wheat bread through the food processor. I sprinkled this over the chicken and then sprinkled with an Italian seasoning Mrs. Dash.

before the oven

Bake this uncovered for 20-30 minutes on 350F until the chicken is cooked through— And what emerges from your oven is an easy and delicious week night chicken dish!

OMG Week Night Chicken

Oh My Goodness! Week Night Chicken-
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/-2 to ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken in baking dish and salt and pepper to taste
  2. Mix yogurt and cheese and spread over chicken
  3. Sprinkle with bread crumbs
  4. Bake on 350 F for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through

Do you have any quick and easy week night recipes? Do you get caught in week night dinner ruts? Do share how you beat the rut!

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A Gift Wrapping Lifehack

I have inherited my mom’s flare for presentation. I love setting a beautiful table or putting together a beautifully wrapped present. But, in the last couple of years, as I have looked at the pile of wrapping detritus from a post-Christmas unwrapping frenzy and found myself kind of disgusted by what a waste decorative wrapping is. If it is going to be sitting under a tree for weeks, or going to a friend or acquaintance, then YES– beautiful gift wrapping is a thing. But, for the things that just need to be wrapped, the less effort the better.

This old dog loves learning new tricks… especially ones that make my life easier. Someone on my Facebook feed posted a video from the Meredith Vieira talk show right before the holiday season purporting a gift wrapping lifehack. You know how I love the lifehacks. Although I’ve never watched her show, I enjoyed Meredith Vieira’s stint on the Today show. I cannot speak to the quality of her show, but this lifehack is amazing. Peep this video, yo.

This one became my go-to wrapping method for anything that wasn’t rectangular. It took maybe two times of me doing this before I really got the hang of it and was able to eyeball how much paper to really cut to make it the shape and size I wanted, but by the end of the gift wrapping season, I was using this method to wrap everything from clothes to stuffed animals.

One thing I will mention is that really cheap wrapping paper makes it a little harder as the sack can be punctured easily in the softer, less-structured spots. But, like in most things, you get what you pay for.

So, next time you gots to wrap an awkwardly shaped birthday gift, or need to create gift bag from scratch, remember this!

Do you origami? Are you a fan of the aesthetically artful? As always, let us know!

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No-Sew T-Shirt Infinity Scarf

 

2015 New Year celebration

Happy New Year! Can you believe that we have turned the page on 2014 and have opened the door on 2015?!?!! Each new year I have this same feeling- that the years go so fast. Are you wondering if I have a list of goals for the year? The the answer is absolutely! However, my list looks a little different this year- here is a sneak peak

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I have a little something in mind for this year that involves some intentional de-cluttering, cleaning out and organizing. I am not quite ready to share about all that yet but I will be before too long. I will tell you this, Bub and I have decided to do a bedroom shuffle and there is some work that has to be done before that can happen. So, stay tuned on that.

But, today. I have rediscovered an old obsession of mine- Stumble Upon. Have you ever heard of it and or tried it? It is an app I have on my phone- at one point I had it on my desktop computer (that I no longer have). The gist of the app is that you answer some basic, broad stroke questions about your likes and interests and then the app helps you stumble around the internet to some really cool sites that you might not have found otherwise. So, I have been a stumbler for a while.

Anyway, I was stumbling the other day when I came to this t-shirt mod. (Leigh and I love a t-shirt mod) It was comparing a homemade scarf to a store bought one. And I thought it was cute but I did not really think much more about it because it seemingly required sewing which… I don’t do. So, I stumbled on. But then, it hit me! I could totally make that scarf! I would just have to use my trusty no-sew skills!

Once I realized that I did not necessarily need to be able to sew to make the scarf I got down to business. I found two shirts that I was ready to part with-

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I cut the hem off both shirts and then cut two rings from each shirt and then I cut each ring in half.

strips

 

And I then used my sewing adhesive tape to bind the strips of t-shirt just following the directions on the package- And then I made a circle with the strips. Iron it upMy one caveat is that I would have alternated the two colors but it still turned out great.

no sew scarf

I think it is pretty cute! And the one that I saw in the original stumble- it retailed for like $45! Wha?!?!! Free, yes. $45, no.

What have you got going on at the start of this year? Have you whipped up any modifications for old pieces of clothes? Please share.

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… and a Happy New Year: a Quality Direction for 2015

 

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I’ve had an extra week to think about what direction I want my 2015 to take. I started out my New Year with a sinus infection which morphed into the flu (it’s reached epidemic proportions in Georgia). I hope the adage about how you spend your New Years eve/day sets the tone for the upcoming year isn’t true… if it is, then I’m spending 2015 bed-bound and watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I didn’t even get collard greens and black eyed peas! But, while lying there, mentally flagellating myself for not posting sooner, I was able to really reflect on the whole resolution concept, in general.

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Have you ever made a New Years resolution to which you have stuck? For a whole year? In looking back on my 34- year history, I can’t remember a one. I’d like to think that I have the fortitude to do anything to which I set my mind… but, judging my track record finds me often coming up a little short. With that in mind (and not wanting to immediately set myself up for failure/disappointment), I wanted to throw out some general directions in which I want my life to move this year, instead of staunchly specific. This year, I wanted to focus not JUST on things I wanted to do, but also things I wanted to STOP doing. Bare with me.

My continuously stunning friend Erica used a word on her blog in her New Years post that really resonated with how I was hoping this new year would proceed. That word is, “quality.” Quality time. Quality experiences. Quality activities. Quality nutrients. Quality over quantity. The word (to me) connotes a state of mindfulness that I want to strive to achieve in all things. Life is full of a lot of down time… and sometimes down time is the most quality of time… but, this year, I’m choosing to keep this word in my forefront- to strive for quality Leigh.

I want to make writing a focus. All successful writers attribute setting a designated time everyday to focus on their craft. There are times when writing for the blog takes my writing momentum away from other projects on which I should be focusing. I want to change that this year. Now that Coralie and I are on a once-weekly schedule, this should be easier. I want to schedule more posts in advance as I greatly dislike living under a deadline- although often the deadline is the only thing that provides results. Looking back at the breakneck schedule that dominated the first year of our blog, I am grateful for this new, less-stressful framework.

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I want to be a better photographer. I got an amazing camera for Christmas this year (Nikon D3200) and am really going to try and up my photography game. Not just for the blog (though mainly for the blog) but also to better document MY life. I have mentioned before how good Coralie is at being the one with the camera and how that is an attribute I wish to cultivate. This year, imma gonna try and do it. Any recommendations on DSLR guides for idiots are appreciated.

 

 

jimThis past year has seen some pretty big medical calamities for my brood. One positive thing about that, though, is it really brings a new state of perspective; making priorities crystal clear. Taking care of myself, preventively, is going to be a focus this year. I’m not going to resolve to lose 400 pounds this year, because it seems that when I do, there is a lot of back-sliding with no long-term success. I want to find a better outlet for my feeling than repression through food. As this is a lifelong problem, it will not easily be resolved. But, I resolve to work on it… for future Leigh.

This year, I want to focus on the “-ers”. To be kind-er. Smart-er. Healthi-er. To pull out existing attributes and hone them. I want to focus on the “mores”. More thoughtful. More available. More honest with myself and others. More me. Isn’t that what life is about? Striving to be a better YOU?

Happy New Years, y’all. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for all of us! Cheers!

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Do YOU make resolutions? Have you ever successfully kept one? Do you have any photography tips? As always, let us know in the comments!

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Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!

Seasons Greeting

One of our most cherished parts of this time of year is getting caught up with our friends and family and carried away with the lights and decorations and holiday treats. Just as schools dismiss for a couple weeks at this time of year to enjoy the festivities, we are going to dismiss for a couple weeks to enjoy the festivities too. We will be back the first week of January 2015 with stories of our holidays and goals for the coming year. We hope that you have the most joyful Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year.

Much Love

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Homemade Kahlua made with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

Y’all. So, I mentioned last week with the Bourbon Bacon Jam that my mom and I were getting together baskets of goodies for Christmas for our friends- mostly my friends. One group of people that I like to give to is the group of managers that Bub works with- just a little something yummy. Earlier in December when I was cruising through Pinterest I came across a recipe for homemade Kahlua. A light bulb went off in my head!

I remember my Dad and Step-mother making Kahlua when I was a little girl- and I remember it being pretty easy to do- coffee, vodka, sugar and vanilla… so, I opened the pin and this recipe was made with rum. Stop the presses! Rum- well, it turns out that Kahlua is a rum based coffee liqueur. In a matter of seconds, it hit me that Kahlua would be awesome if I made it with Sailor Jerry.

It is here that I must let all the world know that I looooooooove Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. I love it. I love it. I love it. I mix it with diet root beer. Yep. That’s my jam. Sailor Jerry is 92 proof spiced rum and roughly the same price as Captain Morgan. So, I found it wildly appropriate to make homemade Kahlua with Sailor Jerry to give to a bunch of restaurant managers and chefs. And I did make a little extra for Bub and I to have too- and we have been slurping up Colorado Bulldogs for the past week! (Colorado Bulldogs are White Russians with a splash of Coke.)

Now, on with the show- here’s the recipe: 4 cups of sugar, 2 1/4 cups of Sailor Jerry, 2 1/2 cups of fresh coffee and 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

Mix it Up

 

I made strong coffee and while it was still hot, I mixed it with the sugar and then I let it cool down to room temperature. It did not take too long- 30 minutes maybe. And then I added the Sailor Jerry and vanilla. I want you to brace yourself- this is delicious!

Homemade Kahlua

Homemade Kahlua made with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 2½ cups of coffee
  • 2¼ cup of Sailor Jerry
  • 3 Tablespoons of Vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Brew coffee, mix with sugar and let come to room temperature
  2. Add Sailor Jerry and Vanilla

 

If you are looking for something special to give your friends, family or neighbors- think about this homemade Kahlua made with Sailor Jerry because it is so good- not only in White Russians but also over ice cream or cake or just over ice! Yummy.

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