Tuesday, March 26, 2013

lets organize!

i don't know about you guys but i just love to ORGANIZE!
whether its my calendar, my desk, the kitchen cabinets, my clothes, the garage... its all organized. everything has its place. but this week i miiiight have gone a little ocd but hey, its what i do. :)
so lets talk about it.

i decided to organize the refrigerator & my coupons.

let me begin with the refrigerator.
i know what you're thinking... what?

the original idea came from an organizing queen i found on youtube - her name is alejandra & you can find her under homeorganizing. she has some pretty good ideas if you want to take a gander at her videos. 

i started by separating my foods and placing them in their appropriate bins {which i found at walmart for $2-$5}. i have four different bins: cheese & deli, grab & go, fruits & veggies, dairy & extras. i placed my milk and coffee creamer in the back, and my condiments on the door shelf.

 before and after...

the grab & go idea is seriously my favorite. i package up fruit & veggies as soon as i get home from the grocery in small snack size baggies. that way i can just 'grab' great healthy snacks throughout the week and 'go' - pretty great, huh?

ok whats up next...
i decided to organize my coupons in a new way. originally, it just put all my coupons {newspaper clippings, gift certificates, mailings, etc} in a vera bradley small zip pouch. the coupons were hard to see and often never used because of that. bummer, huh? so i made a binder for all my coupons & separated them into four different categories: food & dining, household, health & beauty, and retail. {again, the idea came from homeorganizing on youtube}.

i purchased a small binder from staples and then used martha stewart clear pockets, also purchased from staples, for all the coupons. these are the best because they have little flaps at the top that prevent the coupons from sliding out when you flip and turn the book. in each flap i used different colors so that the coupons are easy to see on each page. and yes, you guessed it - i color coded the different categories. food & dining: green, household: blue, health & beauty: yellow, retail: red. hope that all makes sense. :)

as if all that isn't confusing enough...
the martha stewart clear pockets come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. so depending on how many and what size your coupons are, you may want to get a variety of sizes. i did!

whew, no wonder ms. homeorganizing explains this via video.

well y'all, have fun organizing! share any ideas or questions. :)

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Monday, March 25, 2013

march snow day!

well folks, we have a snow day.
march 25th & we have seven inches of snow on the ground.. welcome to the midwest.

i'm not a winter gal {i'd rather be living down south} but if its gonna snow, i want it to snow. i'm talking inches. not the drizzle stuff. i like the so-thick-and-fluffy-you-can-throw-snowballs-kind. ya know, the kind we woke up to this morning. my only problem is that its march 25th. yep, almost april. what the heck!? where is spring? where are the bright cheery flowers? where is the sun? & the kids riding their bikes around the neighborhood?
i want that & i want it now. {quite demanding eh}

seriously though, where is spring?
let me tell you, i am ready.

so what does one do to get in a better mood? WE BAKE.

for st.patricks day this year, i made a variety of green treats: mini cupcakes, cake balls, pretzel mint
m&ms. and i must say, they were all mighty good! a big thank you to christi at love from the oven for
these amazingly delicious recipes and ideas. they have now become my staple treats for each holiday.
cause ya know what? you can just add in different food coloring to go along with each holiday.

brilliant i tell ya!

ok. ready? set? lets bake.

green velvet cake {original by bakerella}

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 oz green food coloring
preheat your oven to 350 & grease your cake pan. {whatever you decide to make - mini cupcakes, round cakes, whoopie pies, regular cupcakes, etc} 
lightly stir eggs in medium bowl with whisk. add in remaining liquid ingredients. whisk until blended and sit aside. place all dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together well. add in the food coloring {yes the entire bottle} to the wet ingredients. yep thought that part was kinda fun!
pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high until well combined. it will be green green GREEN! so pretty huh? now pour into your desired pans and bake! the mini cupcakes took about 10-12 minutes, and the 8" round cake about 22 minutes. as for the frosting, i used store bought. i dumped some in a bag for easy decorating & then added shamrock sprinkles i found at party city for a little added jazz. ta da, you're good to go. now share & enjoy.

want to make cake balls? its so simple.
make sure your green velvet cake is cooled. i actually made it the night before and just stuck the cake in the fridge till it was cake pop makin' time! :) cut the cake up with a fork or pop it in the food processor - both are pretty quick. then add in a couple spoonfuls of frosting, again, i went with store bought, and mix together. now start shaping the cake balls. you can use a spoon if you wish, but your hands will do the trick!

now melt your chocolate. i used green and white milton chocolate disks. i just stuck mine in the microwave on medium power for 30 minute intervals. this could vary - so keep an eye on it. now just pop one cake ball at a time in the melted chocolate and get it all smothered up! i find using two spoons to do this is the best! :) for these cake balls, i covered most in white chocolate and a few in green. and for a finishing touch, i added shamrock sprinkles!
trust me, you can't just eat one. they're sooooo gooood!
oh!  remember how i went to the thrift store and bought a really cool wine rack? well it was spray painted black this weekend - woohoo. i'll post about it later the week. :) until next time y'all.. XO

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

not on my a game.

i must say, i have not been on my a game lately. it's been.. eh, a couple weeks since i have posted? well, it feels that way at least. i sit here.. in bed.. exhausted.. but wanted to catch up with y'all. how are you?

a lot has happened.
a little of this, a little of that.

baked goodies for the fish fry at my church, participated in st. patricks day festivities, attended a pacers game, cheered on the hoosiers, relaxed, enjoyed dinner with my family...

like i said.. a lot {of little things} has happened.

i'll fill y'all in on the amaaaazing green velvet cupcakes and cake balls i made later this week, but for now, just wanted to say HI :)! and one last thing...

have you filled out your ncaa bracket yet?


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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

practice makes perfect

st.patricks day. a day covered in green.
but this year, it isn't just a one day celebration... this year, its two days.
we decided it was only appropriate to also celebrate this past weekend. cause, why not?

we like to call it {drum roll please} ...  st. practice day 
we usually spend the green weekend up in chicago {although i'm not going this year} but why not start the festivities a week early and call it st.practice day? seems clever enough. it all started with my good friend, the flair fairy, as we like to call her. she is obssessed with the holiday and fills her condo in downtown indianapolis with all the appropriate decorations. as you'll see in these pictures...

ok. let me tell you, what a fun idea! y'all should continue the trend next year. seriously.
we started the early afternoon with irish coffees, then began on the green keg 'o beer shortly after. and continued with the green beer. and continued.. games were played, pictures were taken. the flair fairy made sure our tummies were filled with irish-themed appetizers and goodies - such as a mac & cheese bar, avocado and feta cheese dip, flavored popcorn, guinness cupcakes, and a couple other dips. sounds yummy, right? cause it sure was!

most of my green fairy friends will be celebrating the holiday in chicago this coming weekend, but i will be sticking around indy. we shall see where my green feather boa and i end up for the real deal..

but i do know i want to continue this st.practice day trend in the years to come..
i think people will surely catch on. you dig?

also, want to give a big 'ol thank you to jess over at hoosier mom.me for helping me with my new design! its still a work in progress, but it'll come together {hopefully} one of these days. who knew blogging would require so many html codes? :)

happy wednesday - start looking for your best green outfit for the coming weekend!


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Thursday, March 7, 2013

lets get to cookin'

mmmm can you smell that shredded chicken in my crockpot? you may be a computer screen away, but boy does it smell scrumptious. next time, i'll make enough for all of us. {one big happy family}

but seriously, don't y'all just love crockpot meals? they're so easy peasy - you just pop ingredients in the pot in the early morning, let them cook and marinate all day, and then voilĂ  - yuuuummmmy! 

the recipe i made today is called shredded chicken tacos. and guess what! it just takes three ingredients. yup, just three. {again, easy peasy} i have made this recipe before, and since its just that good, i decided its a must have in my recipe box. annnnd! if you're a party of one like myself, you will have plenty of leftovers to use for chili or chicken tortilla soup :)

crockpot shredded chicken tacos

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast  frozen is fine
16oz of your favorite salsa  i used pace, low sodium 
package of taco seasoning  low sodium or you could make your own

combine the salsa and seasoning, then add in the chicken. i usually spoon some of the salsa on top of the chicken. cook for 6 hrs on low, 8 hrs on high. the chicken should be able to shred easily, but if needed, take the chicken and slice it up a bit.

serve with soft tortillas, low fat mozzarella cheese, lettuce, and greek yogurt as the sour cream (if you haven't tried this before, you must - it's my favorite and you get that added protein.) enjoy!

now that looks like a messy bunch of yum! :)
please please post any of your favorite tweaks to this easy peasy recipe. {i love suggestions}

ok lets all dive in and enjoy...


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Monday, March 4, 2013

the world of flea markets

hello friends. well its monday and we all survived! give yourself a good pat on the back! :) i know most of you probably hate mondays but i actually like them. it's like a chance for a do over - i'm a fan. 
{new week, new ideas}

so lets talk about the weekend.

you guys, i had my first flea market experience. i know, right?

i also went out for a friends birthday on saturday and spent sunday as a lazy day with movies & my couch. sometimes, those are the best kind of days! ok lets get back to this flea market jazz.

my momma and i decided to spend saturday visiting a few flea markets in the anderson area. i had never been and was totally up for it! {yes i packed the hand sanitizer} it was quite interesting to say the least! we went to three.. and they got worse as we went on but we kept truckin! we saw just about anything. anything i tell ya. everything was set up in booths - or actually thrown in booths. some booths were filled with junk. junk that had been sitting there for years. we even came across salad dressing.. really people?

not everything was bad junk tho. 

i found two mini mugs at our first stop.. 

see, aren't they cute?! and i found a mason jar with a handle so i had to get it of course.

my lemon and mint water looks even more delicious in this must have purchase.

i also came across an old wine rack {including a few spider webs} so i spent the ten buckaroos on it - all it needs is a little scrub & some black spray paint. i'll post a picture as soon as i get around to spray painting. i love a good, easy craft! 

so i must say, i would definitely try out some other flea markets around town. I'm not one to dig through shelves and racks to find a good deal - heck i'm not a huge fan of tj maxx. i like to walk into a store with everything sorted {easy to see, easy to shop} but something about a flea market is intriguing. you never know what you're going to find, or how a one dollar vase can become a staple piece in your dining room. 

i say, get on your creative caps and pop into a flea market or two.

wow, it just took me forever to write this entry.. i'm going to blame that one on ellen. shes just too darn funny & an easy distraction. well y'all, i'm going to pour another glass of lemon water and grab a good book. nighty night.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

so here we begin.

so here we are.. 
friday afternoon on march first and i am {finally} writing my first blog entry. life's good.

i have wanted to blog for quite some time.. thanks to my dear friend jourdan - check her out here. seriously, she has some amazingly yummy recipes. :) i just didn't know where to begin or what to actually blog about - most i have enjoyed reading are those about their children, their diy fancies, or of their always-so-inspiring personal business. since i have yet {but hopefully sometime} to be classified as a wife, momma, or business owner, i was at a loss of a blog topic. 

oh, such a crisis, i know.

so here we are..

i just couldn't wait for the 'right time' to start blogging. when is that by the way? so join me as i blog about all things jenn rae. {all things until i am blessed with that family.. and then, watch the little things turn into big things}. i'm excited for this journey, y'all. :)

all things. baking - cooking - celebrating - prepping - gifting - crafting - styling.

so join me. i hope to be entertaining. 
and don't be afraid to leave comments & suggestions- i'm still trying to figure this all out.

oh, and its biebers bday. i should probably bake a cake to celebrate, right? off to the kitchen..

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