Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What I Wore: Blue Suede Shoes

It seems like it has been forever since I've done a "What I Wore" post.  Part of that is because I often don't think of taking photos of outfits I like until it's the end of the day, I'm already in pajamas, and I'm not really feeling like a photo session.  Another part of that is because it's still winter and winter is just not my favorite season for fashion.  I know, I know, there are so many cute trends this time of year, and I try (sometimes) to keep up with them.  But it's cold.  And I really just want to be in a hoodie.  

And then I thought that the whole point of "What I Wore" posts is just to share the outfits or styles you're rocking any given week.  And so I made a point this week to take a photo of an outfit.  A regular, Saturday, running errands outfit.  

But, before I share the outfit, I want to talk about the best part of this regular old Saturday errands outfit.  The shoes.  

These Clark's Wallabees are probably one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own.  Hands down.  And they're my college colors, and I scored them for just $15 on eBay a few years ago.  How have these not made it to the blog yet?!

Are they sweet or what?!  I don't wear them nearly enough because I am so afraid of getting them messed up.  (And I'm not like this with most things.  But these cost just $15 in near new condition and the replacement value is over $100...)  

Oh, and the regular day outfit?  It's here:  

Regular as ever.  Skinny jeans from Target, North Face jacket (over a hoodie and t-shirt) and my blue Clark's.  

This is it, folks.  What I Wore/What I wear almost every single weekend in the grocery store.  

What are you wearing this time of year?  What's your favorite season for fashion?  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day Re-cap

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a warm and cozy weekend!  I mentioned last week that the snow is just not my thing, so I have been counting down until Spring.

But, I was super pumped that Valentine's Day was on a Friday this year!  What a fun way to end the week!

Valentine's Day is really one of my favorite holidays (and really, February in general for hubs and I.  He asked me to be his Valentine in 2008, we went on our first date exactly 6 days later on Feb. 20 where we sat for 3 hours in an ice cream shop talking, and on Feb. 29...yes, leap day, he asked me to be his girlfriend.  So, this is a fun and celebratory month around here.

And while I love Valentine's Day, it's not something that we feel like we need to do something expensive for.  So, instead of going out to a fancy restaurant, I decided (somewhat last minute, I might add) to surprise hubs and bring the fancy to the casa.  I pulled out some of the votives, vases, and left over candles from our wedding, spread out some red silk rose petals, and viola!  It was basically like a five star restaurant.

Oh, and did I mention that we got super dressed up?  Well, we did.

Dinner was pretty simple - I baked pork chops (recipe to come), dinner rolls, and yellow corn.  Simple, but so delicious.  

Hubs knew I was cooking, and because he is awesome, he called on his way home to be sure I had everything I needed.  And so I asked for the one thing that most girls want on Valentine's day - chocolate.  But the kind I could dip some of our fruit in.  And of course, he got just the perfect thing (strawberries leftover from the week): 

So after dinner I made these sweet little treats and surprisingly, the bananas in chocolate were my favorites.  Very strange, because I have always loved chocolate covered strawberries.

Perfect night.  This was our 7th Valentine's together counting the time in 2008 when he first asked me to be his Valentine.  I've loved them all and look forward to all the others.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Is it Friday already?  This has been such a crazy week with the major snow storm that hit on Wednesday.  I went in to work Wednesday morning fully expecting to leave at the first sight of snow.  And when I saw the snow, I started packing up.  And then within just a few minutes, it was sticking to the ground and roads and by the time I got out to my car and onto the road, I was in the middle of a nice, stuck, gridlock.  It literally took me about 2 hours to get less than 3 miles down the road.  It was gross and cold and yucky.

But it's Friday, so I'm excited to be sharing my top 5 of this week with y'all!

1.  I'm just happy to be warm and safe.

2.  These blue throw pillows.  Hubs found them on the clearance shelf in Target.  I wan't sure how they would work, but I absolutely LOVE how they compliment the others that we have!  

3. This new oval mirror.  Also a clearance find, but what a great update it brings into the downstairs powder room!

4.  Updated advertising options for the blog.  I recently added additional advertising opportunities to the blog.  Some of them are even free of charge.  Be sure to check out the Contact & Advertising page for more information!

5.  A good and timely reminder.
Christian Chalkboard Print. 1 Peter 4:8. Love each other deeply. Bible Verse Chalkboard. Weddings. Digital Download.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New resolve - getting fit and healthy

"Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,  for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body."
               -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Way back when, I used to post monthly goals here on the blog.  (See here & here).  And then I didn't post them anymore.  Because honestly, they were the same things over and over.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  

I was recently talking with one of my sisters who is currently training for a 5K about faith and fitness.  And the fact that our bodies are temples.  We were bought with a high price.  And I think a lot about being a good and responsible steward with our resources - with our finances and our time and our relationships.  But when it comes to my own body - it's easy to put off regular fitness (I'm not talking running for miles and miles here...just basic regular exercise) and healthy eating (again, not strict and super restrictive dieting...have you seen most of the recipes on here?! Just making good decisions.)

So, this week at the grocery store, I picked up more fruit for snacks.  We always pack fruit in our lunches, but I thought this was an easy and simple start to keep more fruit around here for snacking at home.  

And I've been browsing Pinterest for quick and simple workouts that are feasible for me to do.  By feasible, I mean easy enough that I can convince myself that I have time to do them after work and in the midst of the rest of the calendar.  So far, I've been starting on a couple below.  


And so this is my new resolve.  Another good habit that I need to get back in the routine of.  How do you make time to stay fit?  What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Design ideas, anyone?

Hey there, hi there, I hope you had a super fun weekend!  Our weekend was full of a little of this and a little of that and was actually kind of a whirlwind.  

In the midst of it all though, we were able to get our TV mounted, which is super exciting...except for the part about the cords hanging down and the old table being way too short to work in the space now.  See photographic evidence below: 

And so, I think that there are covers that can help conceal cords once I have a chance to do a little online research (I'm right about this, right?!)  And I'm brainstorming about what new piece of furniture should be added to the space.  As much as I love to have a well decorated space, I can be pretty indecisive when it comes to actually decorating.  So, here the space sits.

A friend suggested perhaps an L-shaped bookshelf for the corner, and I think that might have some promise.  I've also thought about cubby style bookshelves that would go adjacent to the fireplace, which might also have some merit.  Perhaps we could do floating shelves or build something ourselves?  So on and so forth.

I just don't know and I'm always so nervous to spend lots of money on something without being sure and loving it.

So, I'm calling out to you, my dear and lovely readers to see if you have any ideas, style suggestions, or just basic design tips.  Please please send them my way.

I should also add that I really like having the TV up higher, hubs really likes it on the wall, and we don't want to move it above the fireplace.

I should also add that between 32 and 40 inches seems like the best height for whatever piece of furniture we choose.

Don't be shy.  Please leave your comments here or shoot me an email at thriftfortoday@gmail.com.  Not even kidding a little bit here.  I want all your ideas.

In other news, we also got a new mirror for the powder room, a couple of new throw pillows, hung two shelves in the upstairs guest bathroom, and I did all the laundry over the weekend.  Things are really rocking and rolling around here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five {favorite Valentine crafts} on Friday

Hi there lovelies!  Happy Friday!  For today's Five on Friday, I'm excited to be sharing some of my favorite crafts, and projects for Valentine's Day.

I debated waiting until next week for this post, when it actually is Valentine's Day, but decided to go ahead and post it this week in case you're looking for any last minute ideas.  Just a disclaimer: lots of pink to follow.

1.  This beautiful mantel from Adventures in Decorating.  In a word, stunning.  I love the tulips so much!
Adventures in Decorating: Our Valentine Mantel
2. These drop cloth heart pillows from Posed Perfection. 
3. This love garland from a Pretty Life in the Suburbs.  I would love to add this to some of the shelves in our home.  So fun and festive.  
Easy Valentines Love Garland {A Pretty Life}
4. Marshmallow pops from Fun-A-Day.  How sweet are these little treats?  
5.  This printable from French Press Mornings.  I especially love this one.  Really love it.  
FREE 4x6 Print to Download - 1 Corinthians 16:14 - French Press Mornings
Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?  What are your plans for next week?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Parmesan Chicken

There are times when I find recipes on Pinterest that look delicious, but way too complex for my after work dinner making abilities.  And then there are times when I find recipes that look delicious and just simple enough for me to feel confident about pulling off during the week.  

And when I find those recipes, I pin them and make them immediately.  That happened this week and this Parmesan Chicken plate was the result: 

The original pin is here and links to this recipe

Chicken breasts (I used 4 chicken breasts so we'd have leftovers to pack for lunch)
2 eggs, whites only
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used about 1/2 - 3/4 cups of shaved Parmesan cheese...see photo below)
Ground black pepper (I used regular black pepper off the table)

Preheat oven to 350
Dip chicken breasts in egg whites and coat evenly
Dip in Parmesan cheese and again coat evenly
Cook in glass baking dish for 45 minutes

My version of "coating evenly"
While the chicken was baking, I made ziti on the stove top and sauteed red, green, and yellow peppers.  I served the chicken over pasta and peppers with spaghetti sauce.

De-licious.  Hubs even asked if we could add it to the dinner menu rotation.  That's a win in my book.  

I love to try new things in the kitchen and I am stoked when they turn out as delicious as this meal. 

I also want to give a shout out to the newest addition on my sidebar: Kristen from Treats & Travels!  Be sure to check out her blog for lots of great ideas and sweet treats!  

Treats and Travels

And I would just love it if you would grab my new little button over there on the side, too!  Be on the lookout for button swap opportunities coming soon!

Monday, February 3, 2014

How to clean the stove vent filter

A few months ago, I mentioned that we were on a little deep cleaning spree here at the Thrift for Today house.  That is, besides all the regular chores, we're making extra efforts to get into all the nooks and crannies around here and really deep clean our home.

Today, I'm sharing about that pesky stove hood vent filter.  You know the one that covers the fan?  The one you probably don't often look at since it's under the hood? The one that if you cook steaks on the stove top 1 too many times can start to look like this:

Oh yeah...that.  I'll be honest.  These posts are gross.  I am almost embarrassed to even share that picture because of how gross it is.  But it is what it is, and cleaning it was so simple.  So, if you're filter is looking a little bit less than beautiful, the good news is, you've probably already got the ingredients for cleaning right in your pantry?

That's a pretty sweet reflection in that pot, huh?
A large stockpot, water, and baking soda.  That's it!  I originally searched for ideas for this cleaning project via Google, and when I saw a similar post by One Good Thing By Jillee, I knew that would be the one I used.  I also used tips from her blog and others when cleaning our pillows so I was confident in her solution.  (If you haven't already checked out her blog, you should!)

This could not have been more simple.  First, I grabbed the largest stock pot that we had on hand and filled it about 2/3 with water which I then brought to a boil.  

Once the water was boiling, I added 1/2 cup of baking soda slowly since it fizzes up immediately upon touching the water (dies down quickly, too, but the initial fizz is something else...)