Friday, September 30, 2011

Random Thursday and an Awesome Giveaway

Contrary to all that autumn should be, this week has been hot, humid, rainy and cloudy. The past couple days have felt like it's 4 o'clock all day. (y'know, darkish, quiet, and boring) I made a trip to Trader Joe's yesterday after Bible Study (since I was already like 1/2 way to the store) and bought...........(drumroll) AN OREGANO PLANT!!! Yay, one more herb to add to my 'garden' (haha, pots on my porch). So far I have basil, chives, and oregano. What other herbs should I add? Mint? Lavender? Give me some ideas, folks!
Ok, so enough about that for now. (i'll include pictures of 2 awesome new items i bought at TJ's at the end of this post) 
What about that giveaway? Long story short: it's time to do something fun and get more feedback from you!  :)  One of these awesome totes will be given away to you! I'm trying to build up my etsy shop and reopen it with some exciting and new items. These totes will be available once I reopen my shop, but for a special preview, I'll be giving one away! The winner will be randomly selected using an online number generator and will get to choose one of the 4 totes below. (you can specify if you would like black or flamingo for the words)

also available with flamingo lettering (as are all totes)

doesn't he? 

perfect for toting around the necessities, y'know, like music.... ;)

So are you ready to enter the giveaway? Here's how to enter:

:: you must be a follower of fifteenevergreen (it's super-super simple if you have a gmail account) and leave me a comment telling who your favorite composer is right now.

:: for additional entries you can post a link to this post on your blog or facebook account

be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do!

The winner will be announced on Monday, September 8th!

Now for my 2 happy purchases at Trader Joes: 

These things are seriously good. like your eye brows go up and your eyeballs pop out when you taste them.

way better than I expected.  what's a day without coffee? oh yeah, one where your eyes are closed the entire day. 

Happy Friday folks, and dont' forget to enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday)

This week I'm linking up (once again) with Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy. I haven't done my best taking pictures every day, but just so you know, my yoga pants were in the laundry for  the better part of this week. This week is a little bit crazy and busy, and I will be glad once it is over! And because my brain is currently fried, dipped in batter and then fried again, that's all for now.

you can't see it by the top has gathered sleeves and a lace back. it's one of my favorites! (its also a cream and beige stripe, but you can't see that either. here's to taking better pictures!)

Sunday- lace top H&M via goodwill $3, tank f21, skirt f21, shoes nine west via shoe carnival

can't get enough of this top! looking forward to pairing it with lots of lovelies!

tank: DD
white top: f21
jeans: loft
cardi: old navy via plato's closet
shoes: gift
necklace: gift

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yummy Orzo Salad

Do you ever just wish you could take something out of the fridge and eat it for lunch instead of having to cook? or even make a sandwich? The middle of my days usually get really busy so making a big salad that I can just pull out of the fridge and into a bowl really works for me. I also try not to eat meat more than once a day. The flavors in this salad don't even make me miss my meat! (which i love)

to make this salad you will need:
:: 1/2 lb of orzo cooked according to package 
::handful of crasins
:: 1/2 a green or red bell pepper (really any you have on hand will do)
:: feta cheese, crumbled
:: 1/2 chopped onion
:: 1 clove minced garlic
::1 tbs. chopped chives
:: 4 chopped mushrooms (i used mini portabellas) 
:: salad dressing (i use my own homemade, but you could also just to olive oil and balsamic)
:: salt & pepper to taste

this recipe is really easy to double (which i will next time since i only got 2 lunches out of this). if your pasta is still hot, run some cold water through it in a sieve until it's not steaming.

in a large bowl, combine crasins, pepper, feta, onion, garlic, chives, mushrooms and about 1/4 cup of dressing. add orzo and toss to coat. add salt and pepper to taste, and add more dressing as needed.


Monday: I'm Blessed

I am blessed in so many ways I fail to truly and sincerely thank God for. You know, big things like good health and having all my needs met, as well as a lot of my wants.(and who doesn't like a couple of 'extras' thrown in?)
This week I am thankful for some little 'extras' God threw in to my already blessed life.

- pumpkin spice creamer.
- the $8 fossil watch I found at goodwill in new condition (I have been looking for a watch for about a month now)
- playing with the symphony this week. Even though it's a long drive, I enjoy playing great music with a good conductor and friendly musicians. (oh as well as the stellar snacks and goodies they give us during our breaks)
- also music related, I'm so thankful we're doing an all- Beethoven program this week.(last time it was all French music. Don't even ask me to list all the reasons why I hate playing french orchestra music)
- waking up earlier in the mornings. We used to be able to sleep in till 9 some weekdays, but this year 7:30 mornings are the norm. I used to hate it, but now I can get a lot more accomplished in a day.

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

German Pancake Breakfast

Since we are not morning people (repeat NOT morning people) we hardly ever wake up extra early to make breakfast. Which is kiiind of unfortunate since we both love breakfast foods. (i'm not talkin' cereal here, i'm talkin' bacon, eggs, english muffins, pancakes, waffles, sausage kind of breakfast food) But making a nice big breakfast hardly ever happens because we always sleep in until the last minute and then run out the door with a banana squished into a purse or pocket. Unless it's a weekend morning and we have nowhere to be on time and wake up responsibly before 11 am. (and sometimes even that rarely happens since our weekends are usually busy with weddings, teaching, grocery shopping, errands, etc.)
BUT. This Saturday, we woke up early enough to make a delicious breakfast and eat it by 11am. (so i guess it was technically brunch) Karl had the idea to make this german pancake recipe and it turned out so delicious! (why go out for breakfast when you can make one at home that is soooo much more tasty?)

To make a German Pancake, you will need:
::1 cup milk
::4 eggs
::1 cup flour
::1 tsp. vanilla
::2 tbs. butter

::oven proof skillet

~preheat oven to 400F. put the butter in the skillet and place in the oven to melt.
~ in a blender, pour in the milk and let it run on low speed for about 1 minute. the more froth and bubbles you get, the more puffy your pancake will be.
~add the eggs one at a time and blend until smooth
~while the blender is still running, add the flour and vanilla
~take the skillet out of the oven and pour the mixture from the blender into the hot skillet
~bake in oven for 20-25 minutes
serve immediately

for the strawberry sauce:

::5-10 strawberries
::1/4 cup sugar
:: 1 tsp. vanilla
:: 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in a bit of water
combine all ingredients and heat in a saucepan over low heat until thickened and juicy.

this stuff is actually better than nutella. and it has less sugar. and it comes in a glass jar, not plastic. oh, and did i mention its like $2 cheaper?

a peek through into the oven!

it's ready!


What are some of your favorite breakfast foods?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Welcome To Mi Casa: Living Room

Finally, the post everyone my mom and in-laws have been begging  kindly requesting! We moved into our new digs about a month ago on a soggy, rainy, cloudy Sunday. By Tuesday we had all our boxes unpacked, our clothes put away and our photos/art hung on the walls. (Yep, I'm kind of obsessive compulsive about having everything in it's place asap. makes life a little less stressful sooner. plus I hate when I can't find the 1/4 measuring cup.) And now, a month later, I've taken a couple snapshots- which I know I should have done sooner. We haven't gotten any new furniture since our last place (which you can see here, or at least partially) yet I wanted it to feel like we did. I switched out the area rugs from our bedroom and living room and created a different color palate and feel.

This is the living room. The door leads out to a balcony, not an entrance. (remember there was a green/leafy rug in our last living room? oh and we had yellow walls that cast a strange glow. white is so much better)

opposite wall of the couch. on the right is one of the built-ins.

the built in. houses crafts, books, games and miscellaneous, "i don't know where else to put it" items.
love the doors though.

entry door. built-in right next to door. bookshelves on the right. (and below)

our books. karl did all the shelf styling- i'm so proud of him :)

a book written by karl's great-grandfather in norwegian (front copy,1926 ed). his grandfather translated it into english (back copy) 

cool cloth-bound children's books by an english artist. picked them up at a bookstore going out of business for 90% off.

some more of our older books. i love old copies of classic children's books. i'm weird like that.

even though we've only been living here a matter of weeks, i've already switched the furniture around. which is hobby/obsession of mine. 

the coffee table i picked up at goodwill for $10. still need to sand and repaint it.

my poor succulent that i had to replant and almost all of her leaves rotted away. 

our little balcony. my basil plant is doing well. can't say as much for the rest of them. i always forget what plant i should water which days and which one i just watered. poor things. they've been through a lot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday)

Linking up with the Pleated Poppy today. It's something she started to help us get out of our yoga pants and t-shirts. Which I seriously would wear everyday. (is there anything more comfortable than that?) To see Lindsey's post and to see hundreds of other ladies linking up for the partaaay, click on the box above. (which says WIWW)

tee: target
sweater: AE via tj maxx
skinny jeans: f21
ballet flats: nine west via thrifted!
belt: thrifted
flower: ny&co

my least favorite outfit this week. so blah. but so comfortable! (i love my brown cords)
white lacy top: thrifted
mustard tank: f21
teal cardi: gap via thrifted
brown cords: old navy super sale
necklace: annie sez

brown sweater: target 
blue blazer: marshalls
pink skirt: loft
flats: thrifted nine wests

comfy sweater and necklace from target (via some awesome dollar store)

grey tee: f21 ($2)
white dress: thrifted ($1)
orange sweater: benetton ($2)
belt: came with the brown cords from old navy (love little freebies like that)

necklace: vintage from church bazar ($2)
earrings: flea market (.75)
tights: gift
shoes: gift 
Total for this outfit: $7.75! 

Started taking picts of the apartment today for an apartment post. So look for that coming up soon! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday, Late -Night Style

Is late night even a style? Not really sure. I think it's just my excuse for any typos or lack of cohesion you may find in this post. Anyways, its Tuesday and as I am suuuuuuuuuuuuuper tired and pooped (which is just a more intense version of tired) so I thought I'd share a couple picture from this week. Mainly food, which has not made nearly enough appearances on my blog as of late. :)

The food we got to take home from a wedding we did at the Mark Twain House. Favorite: the dumplings. You can't eat just one. (and I didn't)

Spring rolls. dumplings. fried rice. fried crab dumplings. veg. noodles.

My West Coast Burger (fried egg, avocado, and olive mayo) with a deeeelicious pickle and parmesan fries. (which were a waste of the $2 upgrade from regular fries)

The Irish Soda Bread I made the other morning. As you can see, I cut the "X" too wide and ended up with 4 pyramid-like corners. Lesson learned.

Last night's dinner: fresh corn chowder, salad and soda bread. 

That's all for tonight! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday: I'm Blessed

Just like every week before this one, time has flown by. I mean really flew away and didn't even give me time to think about autumn arriving. Today I have a lot to be thankful for. So adjust those reading glasses and let's plow ahead!

-I am so blessed to have a fairly easy, no- big- stresses- in- sight life right now. When I stop to think about years gone by, I remember being so stressed out about certain issues and problems that I couldn't sleep at night and developed some health problems. Maybe it doesn't make sense to you. So to sum up: God has been so good to us, providing for our needs financially, spiritually, and physically. It's a place we haven't always been.

- the leaves are starting to change colors! I don't think there is any prettier place in America in the fall than the northeast. It also means we'll be going to B.F.Clyde's cider mill soon for some fresh apple cider and doughnuts.

-two years ago today, Karl asked me to marry him. (I probably should have listed this first) though the story is too long for today's post, it was a wonderful, long day full of surprises and fun. (which ended with him asking me to marry him right by the lighthouse on baltimore's harbor) (actually, it didn't end there, because we went back to my apartment and called our parents. My mom already knew what he was fling to do that weekend, but I prank called her and told her I said "no".) (oh and after that we called Karl's parents and they sounded pretty surprised. Which you should translate as 'shocked'. Haha, a quiet, conservative, Minnesotan, Lutheran family now must come to grips that a crazy, wild, sassy, speak-her-mind, latina, New Yorker was going to be a part of their family!) (wow, that was a lot of parenthesis)

- the apartment is chilly so I've been making bread more often to heat up the place. This morning I made Irish soda bread for the first time.

- the great time we had with some friends eating dinner at Plan B and then coming back to our place for dessert and a game of Greed.

-a super comfortable bed that begs and pleads with me every morning to stay just 5 minutes longer.

- time this morning to finish a book a started last night. (wonderstruck) yes, I know it's a kids book, but it is over 600 pages and is about a boy from Minnesota and a girl from Queens, NY, so I just Had To read it.

- a viola lesson on Friday. It will help me kick my viola butt back into shape.

- reaching over 1,000 page views this month. I know that's just a little thing, but it makes me feel good to know that even though you don't comment, you're reading.

-flowers and a box of tea. One of the other violin teachers I work with came over last week and brought beautiful flowers and a box of delicious tea for me. It's those little unexpected things that really make my day.

-a coffee table I don't feel guilty putting up my feet on. Yay thrift store!

- the coffee I spilled this morning on our white couch came off.

And with that, I end today's 'I'm Blessed' post. What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Flowers Are Bloomin!

If you live in the Hartford area of Connecticut, you know about Elizabeth Park. It's only a GIANT ROSE GARDEN. It's pretty beautiful. There's a ton of roses, a greenhouse, a rock garden, a gazebo, a pond, a stone bridge, a restaurant with it's own name it, it's probably there!

But if you don't live in the area, you've probably never been there. Fear not! You won't have to miss out- here is some of the beauty:

If I were a risk-taker, I might have had my wedding here. But I always worry about weather.

The vines are just dripping with roses.

 Ivy covered gazebo. Is there anything more romantic than that?

Happy-almost-friday everyone!