Monday, April 30, 2012

Desk Chair

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
Oh that darn desk chair debacle. I thought we were on the same page. We agreed on most items in our home, some items we compromised on but generally we we're on the same page. And then we decided to turn the library into an office and suddenly Lee's oil and I'm vinegar.
My idea of a desk chair was a beautiful slipcovered Wingback (this one is from Restoration Hardware). Lee's idea of a desk chair was a "real" Desk Chair with a swivel and wheels.
Clearly, Lee Won.

I completely understand wanting a "real" desk chair, It makes sitting for long periods of time more comfortable. But did it have to be black? ? ? hehe

Lee found his chair on craigslist, I resisted but once it was home and in it spot, I kind of began to warm up to the idea of a "real" desk chair.
The black of the chair matched the black from the frames behind it, and it had a really nice line to it, and the price tag . . . $40, I was on board with the "real" chair.
We had a little sheepskin from Ikea hanging around the house, so I added that to the back (sorry about the bad photo we had some seriously direct sunlight that day). I might pick up a larger sheepskin or maybe DIY one with some faux fur. Ideally I'd like it to drape down onto the seat, I can never resist the urge to drape sheepskin over something! Seriously I would cover my own mother in sheepskin.
So, there's our new desk chair.
The last step will be finding some super unique, really fun desk accessories. We need an inbox, and we could figure out a way to get a desk lamp with out having the cord running on top of the carpet that would be a fantastic!

Anyone else compromised only to find out it wasn't that bad?


Friday, April 27, 2012

Bacon on Friday??

I've swapped out today's Flowers on Friday post, for Bacon 'on Friday'. I know a two recipe week might be a bit overkill but there are flowers in the picture so if you don't like bacon you can look at the flowers, but seriously . . . who doesn't like bacon???

Have you ever wondered "is there anyway to make bacon worse for your health?" Yes, Yes you can, and it tastes AWESOME.
10 Slices of Bacon (we use a thicker cut bacon but it works just as well with regular cut bacon)
1/2  cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes (we use 1 Tbsp, because we like it a big spicier, if you like it milder use 1 tsp)

Oven at 400 F. Baking the bacon in the oven is the best way to make bacon, no splattering grease. For this recipe it's the only way to cook the bacon, if you fry it in a pan all of the coating will come off.

Place bacon on a baking sheet, we use a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with foil, it makes clean up so much easier. If you don't have a wire rack just bake it on the sheet.

Lay out your slices of bacon, crumble your brown sugar on top of them, and sprinkle the dried chili flakes.
Bake for around 25 minutes.
Eat, then plan an entire afternoon of high intensity exercise, to work off the fact that you just ate 10 slices of bacon with sugar crumbled on top!
But really Give it a try! It's Amazing!
 Free Printable found Here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Open Faced Tuna Melts

Personally I'm not a BIG Tuna fan, I'll eat tuna when we go for sushi, but when it comes out of a can . . . I'll usually pass.
That was until The Open Faced Tuna Melt of 2012!!

Here's how it went down, Lee loves Tuna sandwiches, so I made him one. We also had some provolone cheese in the fridge that needed using so I searched around trying to find a Tuna Melt recipe that matched our tastes. I couldn't find the perfect one so I took somethings from some recipes and other ingredients from other recipes and came up with, what can only be referred to as perfection.
 3 cans of Tuna packed in water
A 1/4 cup of mayo, Don't add more or your sandwich will go wet and soggy.
2 Tablespoons Capers
1/8 cup of very finely diced onion (red or yellow or scallions)
a squirt of fresh lemon juice (1 tbsp approx)
A big grind of pepper and a good sprinkle of salt.

1 Tomato
Some Yummy Bread (we used Dark Rye)
and provolone cheese

 We use dark rye bread because it's really dense bread so it can handle all the tuna on top of it. Also because it's so dense, you can slice it really thin.
Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a bowl. Apply onto bread in big Heaping Mounds! Top with sliced Tomatoes and Finish with Cheese.
Put your Oven on Broil, slide in your sandwich and WATCH IT. I mean watch it as closely as you would watch your toddler playing by a cliff edge! Because it will go from nothings happening to Oh "Bleep" I burnt it, in 2 seconds.
 Serve with a green salad on the side and you have Tuna Melt 2012!!!

Variations:
 1)Chopping up a dill pickle and adding it to the tuna mixture was also really good.
 2) 1/8 of a Teaspoon Dijon Mustard added to the tuna mixture was good.
 3) 1/4 diced olives to the tuna mix was a suggestion.
 4) For a crunchier sandwich 1/4 cup of finely diced celery, and a 1/4 cup finely diced red pepper.
 5) Instead of Provolone cheese, use Havarti, Swiss, or Cheddar Cheese.

Notes:
~ If you're not using a dense bread like rye, consider toasting it before you top it and broil it.
~Make sure you don't use too much mayo, it will definitely go wet and soggy.

Hope you like it as much as we do, but really, who doesn't like melted cheese??? 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shade Garden

In our TINY backyard, we have an even TINIER spot of grass that sees NO direct sunlight.

It's a weird little corner, nestled between two fences (please note the fence on the left is a temporary fence, we popped it up last year to block Max, although at this point we've got use to the idea that it doesn't match the existing fence, so we might just stain it to match and leave it up for another year).

The corner is only about 2 feet wide, and butts up to our patio concrete. The small grass patch never came in well, it was always patchy! In general it was a very small, but very unused space.
Now, because of the fence there is literally less then 20 minutes a day of direct sunlight, it had to be a shade garden, we have our full sun garden in the front of the house and the raised vegetable beds are full sun at the back of the yard, so we needed to add some shade plants . . . and what does better in the shade then HOSTAS!!!
I LOVE all the different shades they come in, I LOVE the BIG leaves, mostly I loved that they are really low maintenance.
So first things first, we took up the grass! Then we added some compost from our compost bin and a bag of soil from the nursery (being a newly built house, the soil quality is POOR, so when planting we have to amend the soil with sea soil or another naturally enriched soil).
 Next we mapped out where the plants would go. We decided to plant the hostas closer together then recommended because I like really full beds, I like it when plants are falling out of the plot and I have little to NO patience. I spoke to the plant nursery and they said that it was definitely okay to do this (possibly because it meant I'd buy more plants) but I would have to dig up and divide them sooner (sooner being 3-5 years)  then if I planted them the recommended 36 inches apart. Which sounded good to me . . . that will be Future Ashli's problem . . . . let her deal with that!! ;) We actually have another good spot for some shade plants on the other side of our house, so in 3 years we'll transfer some of them over there!
 Dig the holes, and add a sprinkle of Bonemeal! Pop the hostas in their new homes and fill with dirt.
Give'em a good water and top it all off with some bark mulch! DONE!
 Start to finish the whole thing (not including shopping for plants) took 30 minutes!!! Only 30 minutes and we'll have a beautiful shade garden to admire for years! That's a good Sweat vs. Payoff Ratio!!
Here's a future preview of how our little shady corner will look in 1-2 years:
 Image Via.

Also, if you're wondering about cost, the whole she-bang cost us $39. That's 5 Hostas at $6.98 each, One bag of Sea Soil at $4 a bag, and leftover mulch from our front garden beds Free. 

Anyone else planted anything SHADY??? ;)

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Kitchen Bar Stools

We ordered some new House Candy from Target.
For a while now the kitchen bar stools have been a thorn in my side. You might have seen me mention all the bar stool drama on Facebook or Twitter. But in January I decided that because the bar stools aren't technically in the kitchen, and were in fact in the dining room, they needed to be more formal.
We moved one of the three into the office as my new corner desk chair, and the other two we were able to sell on craigslist, earning back $100 to add towards new bar stools.  Just to make it clear, we were really happy with the quality of the Ikea Ingolf stools we had before, I just felt they weren't formal enough.
So, Here's the Short Version of what happened:
Back in January, I decided we needed new bar stools, so the first thing I did was sell our two remaining bar stools. NOT SMART! It would take until the middle of April to source, buy and ship new bar stools.

But oh, so worth the wait, here's how it looks now:
Our New stools are so comfy, thanks to the large seat for your tooshie. And I think that they are a bit more stylish then their white wood predecessors.
Like I mentioned before we were able to sell two of our old bar stools for $100 ($50 each woo hoo), so with $100 from the sale, I set out to spend no more then $200 total for bar stools (that's only $100 out of pocket). I had a really clear idea of what I wanted! Because our stools are technically in our dining room I think that they should be a little more formal. So Upholstered, parsons style stools were on my short list.
I ignored my number 1 rule, if your working with a strict budget you have to stay open to options that come up. I wasn't open, I was as closed as a teenagers text book on Friday night. I wanted upholstered chairs and I wasn't willing to settle for anything less. I did eventually find what I was looking for, in my budget, but it cost me time  . . . 3+ months to be specific.

Speaking of budget, how did I do? Well I came in WAY under budget! Each Stool was on sale for $82, then it was save 20%, and free shipping. My total came to $143.17! Subtract the $100 we sold the old bar stools for and we spent a grand total of $43.17 out of pocket!!!
With our new neutral scheme deciding on a color for the stools was easy enough, a nice neutral taupe. I think they tie into the dining room, with out being too matchy matchy.
And I like the way they work with the dark wood cabinetry we have going on in the kitchen.
My only concern is that the backs of the stools don't stick up above the counter top as much as I would like. Not because the chairs are the wrong height, they're a perfect 44 inches, but our builders seemed to have picked the height of the bar out of thin air. It's a minor detail we could always fix in the future, but since both Lee and myself are on the tall side, the slightly higher then normal bar, is actually a pretty darn good height for us.
We're both really happy with the bar stool switch up. I love the way they look and Lee loves their large size and comfy seat.
Mostly we're both just thrilled to have bar stools again, I didn't realize how much we used them until we didn't have them there anymore.
What do you think??? Worth the Wait???

btw . . . we'll be posting the winner of our "No Brainer Wardrobe" E-Book giveaway this afternoon. Make sure to pop back and see if you won.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Favorite Vase!

I LOVE a little bouquet on a side table.
Especially when it's in a favorite vase of mine. I love the little fish bowl vase. It's actually the easiest shape to work with. Because the opening is small it groups flowers close together, but the base is wide so you can angle the stems to find the perfect spot.

And lastly, we get a lot of questions about the little ant that sits on our side table. I think that a room is never complete without some whimsy and our little ant is definitely silly!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Office Art : I heart BC

I wanted some artwork for my little corner desk. I only needed a small little piece so I thought I would check out some of the great little prints on ETSY!
Since it's 'my' desk I wanted something a little bit girly, but still appropriate for the main floor of our house. I found this 5x7 for $10. It's from Poppy and Pinecone, and I love it!
It combines three things I love, PINK, watercolors and British Columbia!!
 A far away shot for perspective:
I'm loving the way my little corner of the house is shaping up, I still need to find a cuter (maybe a pattern with some PINK in it) File Box, and  a couple of desktop accessories would be great too.

You might have notice that we added an extra floating shelf to on the top, I figured it's totally unused space, so we might as well add an extra shelf and store seldom used office supplies up there. Sheet protectors and binder dividers don't get used often so that's the perfect spot to store them. As well as catalogs and reference magazines.
 I hope you're liking our little office corner as much as I am. I'm thrilled at the difference one shelf and a $10 print can make!!

 Anyone else ordered something they love off etsy lately??

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Giveaway: The No Brainer Wardrobe E-Book

We have a great giveaway for you today.  Hayley Morgan wrote a fabulous E-Book called "The No Brainer Wardrobe". You might have seen it on our side bar under 'What I'm Reading Now', I found it a few weeks ago and it couldn't have come at a better time.
I don't know if it's because of the season, but I've been itching to pare down my wardrobe . . . you've heard the saying "we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time" well that was extra true in my case!







I enjoyed reading The No Brainer Wardrobe so much, I thought you guys would love it too! So I asked Hayley if she would sponsor a giveaway for our readers . . . and she said YES!!!

She even offered to do one better, not only are we giving away a copy of The No Brainer Wardrobe to one lucky winner, she's offered to give a 50% discount to the first 15 copies sold (just use the coupon code: mimimanor)
* WE GOT THE CODE A BIT MIXED UP USE THE CODE:   MIMIMANOR 


The No-Brainer Wardrobe sells for $7.99, and I think it's $7.99 well spent. I don't know if it's the season, my age, or my stage in life but I'm really wanting to get this beast I call a wardrobe under control.

Details:
Prize: One copy of the E-Book 'The No Brainer Wardrobe' By Hayley Morgan
And remember the first 15 purchases get 50% off, with the coupon code 'mimimanor'
*THE CODE IS A BIT FUNNY RIGHT NOW, USE THE CODE:    MIMIMANOR  
It's MIMI instead of MINI, I'll let you know as soon as it's fixed but right now it should just fine like this!

To Enter: Comment below, let us know what your favorite GO-TO item of clothing is! The one item you could never give up?

Contest Open to: Everyone, Worldwide.

Contest Closes: Friday, April 20th, 2012 at 11:59pm PST

A big thank you to Hayley, for sponsoring our giveaway today!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tupperware Organization

Tupperware has always been one of the most difficult things to organize. But I think I've figured out an easier way to do it . . . you have to start from Scratch!
I think the reason that tupperware cabinets and drawers are so messy is because we all have a hodge podge of different tupperware, that don't stack up together or nest nicely within each other.  Right before we made the move to the new house (over a year ago) I decided that we should really have just one or two types of tupperware and stick to them. I started piecing together our new tupperware collection, slowly because it's not a super cheap thing to do. A year later I now have all the pieces we need!

I decided on Glasslock tupperware. A lot of Lee's lunches are leftovers that need to be reheated, and with all the concern over heating plastic I thought I'd play it safe and invest in some Glass tupperware.

Honestly, it's totally worth the extra money. The lids always fit perfectly, no matter how many times you wash them and you can store soup in them too! (and NO glasslock hasn't paid me for saying that . . . I really do love them, all on my own).

SO without further ado . . . Our Tupperware cabinet:

Here's what we've got going on:

1. Glasslock Tupperware containers.
2. Glasslock Tupperware Bowls, I swear these things might be the most useful tool I have in the kitchen. Once a week I make a large salad (Greek, Pasta, Tomato/basil) then I pop the lid on and keep it in the fridge so we always have something to snack on. They're also great for taking a dish to a potluck! We found ours at Costco, $19.99 bought you a set of 3.
3. Glass juice jugs, better then plastic, they won't get dyed from fruit juice, and you don't have to worry about leaching plastic (although BPA free plastic is considered safe). We found our glass juice jugs at Target.
4. Water bottles. BPA Free!! And his and hers TO GO coffee mugs.
5. Rubbermaid Produce Tupperware. I like to chop up vegetables and have them ready to eat, it makes it more likely that I'll snack on something healthy (more likely, not guaranteed ;). I find that the produce tupperware keeps it from going soggy, and I do think it keeps vegetables fresher longer.

We also use the back half of the cabinet for misc. party supplies, like:
A. Plastic knives and forks, and paper napkins
and
B. Some Mason Jars . . . You can never have enough Mason Jars!

So there's how I organized my tupperware cabinet. I know it's not the most cost effective way to do it, but it works. All in, I think I spent about $60 in Glass lock Tupperware and maybe another $15 on produce tupperware. Not to bad considering I spaced it out over a year. It doesn't matter what tupperware you use, as long as they all stack up and fit nicely together, it could be super expensive tupperware brand, or super cheap dollar store brands (as long as the plastic is BPA free).

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Desk

I'm not sure if I can talk about it yet. It's still a little sad for me, but I finally gave in and turned the library into an office.
Why did I change it into an office if I loved the library??
Because I'm married and that's what you do when your married, you take lovely rooms that you love but barely use, and turn them into rooms that your husband needs and uses. Bitter ? ? ? I'm not bitter at all, what makes you say that?? ;).

In all reality I can count on one hand how often we used the library in the last year. I was always in and out of there, picking out new books, putting old books away, grabbing a magazine, but I never once sat down in there and read a book. I'm what's known as a Bed Reader (not to be mistaken with a Bed Wetter). I do 90% of my reading in bed. So having a designated space to read wasn't really functional. Our house isn't big enough to have rooms that are pretty but don't function!
And lastly,
the straw that broke the camels back, the library wing back chairs looked really good in the living room! It was meant to happen!

Eventually I got kind of excited about adding a desk, something fun, something light, it didn't need a lot of storage because we had my desk which has lots of storage. It also couldn't break the bank, since this is our second go'round at this room it had to be budget friendly.
We went to Ikea, as soon as the words budget friendly came out you knew where I was headed, right?
Here's what we got:
 The base is VIKA ANNEFORS, and the top is a VIKA AMON. For a total cost of $110!! Not to shabby!
We picked this desk combination for a couple reasons:
1) I love Ikea White. It matches my little desk in the corner, and it matches the bookcases behind!
2) It had a large, work surface. Lee often has Large documents to work on so a large work surface was needed.
3) I really liked the open shelving at the front.

What I didn't like was all of the nuts and bolts holes:
As it turned out, all the holes weren't really a problem for us because the main reason we bought the desk is so that I could store books in the front, and make the desk blend into the bookcases.

To me it blends seamlessly into the room, like it wasn't an office at all and it's still a library! ;) or not!
Honestly, I'm so glad that Lee has a space to spread out and do some work. Plus it means the dining table will be paperwork free more often!!
Now if we could only agree on a desk chair we'd be set :S. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flowers on Friday: Front Yard

It's official Spring has Sprung at this manor.
I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing spring bulbs popping up. Every year I think it's amazing!

Last fall I planted 50 Purple Tulips and 50 White ones. They bloom at different times, purple first and then the white should be next. I figured since our hydrangeas don't bloom until later in the Spring it might be nice to have some color and life out there.
Here's what popped up this week:

Seriously, I think bulbs are so cool, you plant them . . . basically forget about them, and then BAM!
Here's what else has been blooming, our Hydrangeas have leaves and so do the maple trees:

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Weather permitting we'll be in the yard all weekend, cleaning up from Winter and getting started on some spring planting.
We should have a great post about our garden for you next week, as well as a fantastic giveaway and a library . . . or should I say OFFICE update!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Fashion Shopping List

Something that helps me a lot is making a type of Master Shopping List. I do it when I decorate a room, and I do it for my wardrobe!
It helps me save money. I know what I'm looking for when I go shopping. It forces me to take a look at what I have already and decide what will seamlessly fit in and makes sure I don't keep buying the same thing over and over (how many grey sweaters does a girl need?).
I have 7 pieces I'm looking for this spring, I probably won't find them all (hopefully not because I can't afford them all) but I'll be looking:
1. A yellow scarf: This one is from Kate Spade (so it might not be this one exactly at $105).
2. A great pair of super wide leg jeans. I can't do the skinny jeans thing, I blame my hips. These ones are from Levi and are $50!
3.Some great Yellow Nail Polish.
4. A new Clutch, I love this one from BCBG and at $78 I might be able to afford it this spring.
5. A new pair of flats in a color! I have lots of flats but I'd like something BRIGHT . . . maybe they match my new clutch. These ones are from H&M and are around $13!
6. Oh MY! These earrings, I would pierce my own ears with a rusty nail to wear these (thankfully my ears are already pierced so I won't have to). They are from Stella and Dot and are just under $50.
And Lastly,
7. A New Plaid Shirt! Something in a really light weight! This one is from Old Navy and is $25!

You might be wondering why there are no tank tops and shorts? Short Answer: I live in Canada. The mildest part of Canada, but it's still Canada and Spring is not shorts weather, not for me anyways.

I hope you like it! I make all of my Fashion Boards using Polyvore, Love them. Here's a link to my Polyvore page, it should have links to all of the cool stuff on my list.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

They call me Melllow Yellow . . . Pillow

Although I'm not sure if I've ever been called "mellow", what's the opposite of mellow . . . High Strung! Yup that's me!

It's now official, I should be banned from the fabric store . . . in fact, I've just banned myself! Consider me banned! I went in to buy $2 worth of interfacing for a $3 project, and I came out with a yard of beautiful yellow fabric from DWELL.
Did I need it? NOPE
Should I have bought it? Definitely Not.
Does it look good on the couch? HECK YEAH it does!

Seriously . . . .BANNED!

Anyway, Here's what I did using just over half a yard of fabric, I made a pillow.

I still have almost a half yard of fabric left, I'm thinking Bar Mops and maybe some trim on new napkins!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Newest Family Member: Goldie Hawn

In almost every home we've had together, we've had a fish tank. Maybe it's because Lee is an Aquarius and has a natural affinity to water, or maybe it's because fish are good feng shui, or maybe it's because in another life I was a mermaid!

The reason that we've waited so long to put one in here is because . . . Generally fish tanks are UGLY! There I said it!

We were at Petsmart buying birdseed for Carson, and there it was . . . a pretty fish tank. And double bonus it's also a fountain! The water bubbles out over the top and lands back into the tank. It's like the perfect feng shui tank . . . then I read the box and it's called the CHI tank it was built with feng shui principles in mind! (Tank on the right is the picture off of the box, the Tank on the left is how it looks on our console table).
There are no visible wires and obvious filters. The small square at the top holds the filter and the lights. The water gets sucked up through the bottom of the square then spilled gently over the top and back into the tank.
I also loved that there are all different accessories for it (this girl LOVES her some accessories ;).

So for around $60 we brought it home.

We chose the front hall console because:
-We can see the tank from the Library (soon to be Office) and watching fish swim is a proven de-stresser and Anxiety reducer (something welcomed and needed in an office).
&
-It's on the East side of our house which, according to feng shui, should bring energy, ambition, health and  family luck.


We filled it with water and let it cycle (run) for about a week to make sure everything is balanced and good and then we added two fish! Why is there only one fish in the tank now, you ask????
Well clearly it's because the other goldfish jumped out and Max ate it!! Seriously, I'm not joking! We filled the tank a bit too full and the fish jumped out landed on the carpet, and before we could get to it, Max ate it!
I debated telling you guys about this, I felt really bad for the fish, and I don't want to upset anybody about his terrible demise,  but we share almost everything on Mini Manor, the good, the bad and now the truly disgusting!
We now keep the water level lower and Goldie Hawn hasn't jumped out so we feel comfortable adding another one sometime soon.

Here's how it looks on the console:

And for those of you wanting to see another angle of the carpet, here's one looking at the the front door:

I hope you like our new fish tank as much as we do. I think My favorite part is the trickling noise it makes as the water bubbles out of the top, and over the rocks.
Welcome Home Goldie Hawn!!! (Sorry about your buddy).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Cake

I thought I would do something a little fun for Easter this year. Chocolate Cake, with buttercream icing, and candied pansy's on top.
I used a half flat/half ribbed bit to do the sides, kind of a lazy man's basket weave (or lazy woman's I should say).

I died the buttercream Green for the top I wanted it to look like grass, so I used a Grass Tip. The key to making grass is to squeeze then pull the tip away really quick, otherwise you'll end up with spaghetti!

Lastly Max got in on the Easter Photo's too! After we took the cake away . . .  Duh!

HAPPY EASTER!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Brunch Table Setting

Lee's exact words when he came home from work and saw our Easter Table was "It looks like Easter pooped on our table", Quickly followed by "In a good way". Not exactly the reaction I was hoping for but I'll take it!
To me, it's not Easter without Tulips! So I knew we had to have tulips, in multiple shades, and since you can't go wrong with more flowers I added some orange-y red Alstroemeria!
So in case you were wondering here's what it looks like when Easter "poops" on your table:

You can see our new little yellow bowls, I specifically chose a bouquet of Yellow Tulips to match into our yellow bowls. The yellow bowls sit on top of of two crisp white plates.
I wanted to add a little sparkle we used our crystal candle  holders, both for tapered candles and pillar candles.

I added some Spring-y Napkins I made using our napkin tutorial (the fabric is from Jo-Ann Fabrics).
Then as a bread plate I had these little Easter plates, it's a set of 4 with each one having a different animal in it, ones a bunny, ones a duck, ones a chicky and ones a birdy.

And last I added some little ceramic birdies!
And in case your wondering why there are champagne flutes on the table . . . what's Easter Brunch with out Mimosas!

I hope you like Easter Poop as much as I do!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Front Hall Carpet

We picked up a new carpet for our front hall! Well, kind of!
It is new, but you've seen it before. It's the exact same rug as our library rug. I love that rug, and the price is "just right". Now
 because the library rug and the new front hall rug are mere inches away from each other they had to play nice, more then that they had to be BFF's.

So what's closer, then twins!!!

In case you're not seeing where I'm going  . . . I bought the exact same rug from the library, for the front hall. If you didn't catch it the first time we revealed this carpet, it's a Debbie Travis Rug from Canadian Tire. LOVE the pattern and the simple neutral palette!
I hope you like it! It's a WAY better fit then our old tiny one!

Monday, April 2, 2012

1 Chicken = 1 Week of Lunches

Roasting Two chickens is just as easy as roasting One. So on Sunday Night why not throw two chickens in the oven . . . eat one for dinner and use the other one for 5+ days worth of lunches. Actually from Two Chickens I can squeeze out, Sunday Night dinner, A chicken pot pie on Monday and 5+ lunches for the week!
I would much rather roast an extra chicken then buy chicken from the deli counter at the grocery store, there's not extra preservatives and you know exactly how fresh it is!!! Plus it tastes WAY better!
Day 1:
Two Roasted Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto Mayo.
I was recently as a birthday party with sandwiches, each sandwich had a bit of Pesto Mayo on them. It was something I thought I wouldn't like . . . but they were delicious!  You can make your own pesto or you can use jarred pesto it's up to you!
We take 1 heaping Tablespoon of Pesto to every 1/2 cup of mayo (Add a little bit at a time because it can get overpowering fast!)
It takes 1 chicken breast, on crusty bread, topped with tomatoes, and garden greens.
Day 2:
Three Chicken Salad Sandwiches (5 if you use smaller Artisan Bread like we did).
You'll need about 1 cup of chopped chicken, 1 stalk of celery, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of mayo (depending how mayo-y you like your chicken salad, fresh cracked pepper and some coarse salt.

Day 3:
Field Greens Salad with 1 Chicken Breast sliced, Mandarin orange slices, red pepper and poppy seed dressing.
Day 4:
Greek Chicken Wraps (3 BIG ones). You'll need some Whole Wheat wraps, tzatziki, some white Chicken, field greens, feta cheese and *Greek Salad.
* Greek Salad Recipe
1 Red pepper (because I like red peppers more then green, 1/2 a cucumber, 1/2 a carton of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 of a red onion, a pinch of dried oregano, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar.

Day 5:
It's up to you, I say that because we had enough chicken leftover to make another Salad with chicken (I took field greens topped them with chicken, and leftover Greek salad, finished with Greek dressing!
We also had a little more pesto mayo and just enough chicken for 1 last sandwich!

I hope you can find this useful! All of the lunches were Delicious, Healthy and easy to make! Give'em a try, especially the pesto mayo!

How I Roast a Chicken: 
Take both chickens and rinse them off under cold water, dry well!
Chop two large onions, and slice 1 lemon, stuff the chopped onion and lemon slices up the chicken (the onion and lemon don't give a ton of flavor but they give a ton of moisture so that your chicken doesn't dry out!).
Cover the outside of the chicken, with a little butter, get it under the skin too!
A generous sprinkling of Salt and Pepper (be very generous)
If I have a little fresh rosemary around I'll chop that up and sprinkle that on too (I don't love dried rosemary on chicken).
Crank up the oven . . . 400 degrees or so. Cook for 10 minutes at 400, then turn the oven down to 350, and roast until the meat thermometer reads almost done, take out chickens, tent with tin foil and leave to cook the rest of the way through on the counter (chickens will keep cooking for a bit after they are taken out of the oven so take them out a little premature, or you'll have dry chicken! 15 minutes should do it). By cooking the chicken at 400 for 10 minutes you'll crisp up the skin and it will seal in all of the juices, making for a juicier chicken (have I mentioned I hate dry chicken??).
Cooking times are going to vary depending on what type of oven you have, ours is gas it takes about an hour and a half give or take! Your meat thermometer is your best friend when roasting a chicken!
And that's how I roast a chicken! No basting, and instead of trussing the chicken I just break off the wing tips that would otherwise burn! I hope that helps!!!

* If you're going to make a whole week of chicken lunches, you might want to consider freezing the roasted chicken you'll be using later in the week! Anything staying longer then 3 days in your fridge! 

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