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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Look for Less: Geometric Mirror Plaques

Last week I stumbled upon these mirrored plaques at TJ Maxx and scooped up three sets of two at $19.99/set so roughly $60 for all six.  






I started to have second thoughts on them when I got them home...I wasn't sure if they were really cool or really not cool??.  It's not that I don't love them, it's just that sometimes it's hard to get an idea of what something looks like when it's haphazardly thrown in a back corner of the store rather than displayed (I mean no disrespect to TJ Maxx).  It wasn't until I walked past my FAVE home store, Z Gallerie, and saw almost the exact same plaques  displayed beautifully on the wall at double the price that I knew I had made the right choice.  My mom also found similar plaques at Kirkland's.  I cannot wait to hang all six together in my foyer for a nice statement right as you walk in our front door.  I will definitely post when I (the bf) gets them up.  


Kirkland's Version:


Source  $50/Set
  
Z Gallerie's Version:


Source $39.95/Each




Did you find any fab finds this weekend??


xoxo,
Amanda

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wedding Wednesday

Where does the time go?  I feel like I JUST left Charlotte/Richmond for Katina's (Recipe Gurl) Engagement Party - even though that was almost two weeks ago!  I know I said I'd do this post last week, but as I'm sure all of you know, catching up on work after a vaca is the worst!  So without further adieu - here are some great pics of us and our friends at her amazing party and fun-filled weekend:


First and foremost, when Katina picked me up from the Charlotte airport, we went straight to the most amazing sushi restaurant called Eez Fusion & Sushi in the most adorable part of Charlotte called Birkdale Village. Whoever said that landlocked cities don't have good sushi has obviously never been to this place.  Hands down, the most amazing sushi I've ever had (and I've had a lot!).


Sitting outside at Eez Fushion (we did not coordinate our outfits I swear)
Katina always gets the Mad Mango-Cado Roll: Shrimp tempura and kani roll coated with tempura flakes, topped with slices of fresh mango and avocado. Drizzled with our signature sweet sauce.......divine!


Since I'm obsessed with anything that has jalapeno in it, I got the Mango Tango Roll:  Albacore tuna, yellowfin tuna, jalapeno and green onion inside. Topped with yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna and tuna mango salsa. Garnished with raspberry sauce on the plate.  Again - absolutely mind-blowing!!


If you are ever in the Charlotte, NC area, I HIGHLY suggest you visit this place and stuff your face like we did.  


Then it never hurts to top off your sushi with several glasses (or bottles) of wine with a friend:


Catching up at Katina's adorable house.  We'll have to blog on her decor and paint colors soon since she did an amazing job with her new home.


On to Richmond, VA for the party....


Katina (Recipe Gurl) and her soon to be hubby, Greg

Katina and me (in the middle) with our awesome friends!!
The weekend was so much fun and I had a really hard time coming back to Florida - but we have plenty of Wedding festivities to keep us busy over the next couple of months!  




xoxo,
Amanda 

Monday, September 19, 2011

What We Made This Weekend

Both Katina and I made two very successful yet very different recipes this weekend that we thought fabulous enough to share with everyone.....


Recipe Gurl's Buffalo Chicken Panini's:







So we recently received a panini grill as a gift for our engagement party. I think we’ve used it about 5 times and our party was only a little over a week ago. A Panini is such an easy and satisfying dinner! It’s also a crowd pleaser (esp for picky eaters). So I came across this gem on the fabulous blog over at The Grilled Cheese Social and just had to try it. I am always a little weary of blue cheese, I never like when it’s too strong. I followed this recipe to a T and it came out amazing, the blue cheese was not overwhelming at all, it was the perfect compliment to the chicken. And as always, I used a rotisserie chicken to make the recipe even easier, and lower fat ingredients whenever possible. I strongly advise cooking this on a panini grill or even a George Foreman grill would work if you had one of those, but it also works just fine cooking it in the pan. Enjoy!!
Ingredients

-4 thick slices of french bread **
-2 pads of real salted butter
-1 tbs blue cheese salad dressing
-3 tbs organic cream cheese
-2 tbs crumbled blue cheese
-1 tbs shredded cheddar
-1/2 cup cooked shredded organic chicken breast
-1.5 tbs Frank's hot sauce
Once you've got everything out, combine all the cheeses into a small bowl. Stir together until you get a smooth consistency. Now combine your finely chopped chicken with Frank's hot sauce and stir.
Ok, now you're ready to begin!  Smear on a little over a tablespoon of the mixture onto each slice of bread (or however much you want!).

Then divide half the chicken on top of each piece of the smeared bread.  Now smear the other slices of bread with cheese and put the top on the sammie.  Gently apply 1 pad of butter to the top of the grilled cheese and place it butter side down in your pan (or Panini Grill)!
This cheese mixture will melt really quick, so make sure to check the brownness of each grilled cheese about every thirty seconds or so.  It'll probably take about a minute and a half once the pans hot and you'll want to take it off when it looks like this on both sides.
You'll want to serve these immediately because they're super delicious when they're all gooey and hot.

**I used Whole Wheat French Bread just to make it just a smidgen more healthy**

xoxo,
Katina


Okay - now for my (much lazier dinner approach) One-Pot Thai Chicken and Rice:
So I went to my local grocery store and randomly picked up Taste of Thai's Seasoning Packet for Chicken and Rice.  I made it last night for the boyf and we scarfed it down like it was nobody's business.  Here's the uber simple recipe from Taste of Thai's Website:

INGREDIENTS
Salt and pepperOil for browning4 pieces boneless skinless, chicken breast (about 1 1/4 lbs)1 1/4 cups Jasmine Rice, uncooked2 cups water1-1.75 oz packet Chicken & Rice Seasoning, both inner envelopes1 red bell pepper, diced1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
Salt and pepper chicken. In a large saucepan, heat oil on high and brown chicken. Remove chicken when browned. Set aside.
Add Jasmine Rice to saucepan and stir to coat rice. Add water and Chicken & Rice Seasoning. Stir well to combine.                                                                                                                          
Top Rice with chicken and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on a low heat 10 minutes.                                                                                                           
Uncover and add peas, re-cover and cook 5 minutes more.
I made this recipe to the tee, not changing a single thing and it was absolutely fabulous - as if we got takeout from our fave Thai restaurant.
Hope you enjoy one or both of these recipes!  

xoxo,
Amanda 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Round-Up

So this weekend I ran out of a lot of my normal cosmetics (why is it that I run out of everything at the same time?!), so I went to my local CVS (my FAVE place to buy drugstore brands since I always save money with my CVS card.  If you have a CVS in your area, I highly suggest you start shopping there since they always have amazing sales and discounts on cosmetics) and picked up some old faves as well as some new items that I am loving so I thought I'd share.





1.  First and foremost - Revlon's Nail Polish in 'Gray Suede' - this is the most PERFECT NUDE.  I have to say that I got the polish because it had the word 'gray' in it...but this is not a gray polish...it is the most perfect, not shimmery (which I hate), beigy-nude.  I have already blogged several times about Revlon's nailpolishes, but I'll say it again - these are my fave polishes over most of the more expensive brands since they don't chip, last forever, dry quickly and apply easily.  (I swear I'm not getting paid by Revlon - even though I probably should be by now).

2.  Revlon's Lipglosses - a) Super Lustrous in Coral Reef - again, the most perfect coral lipgloss.  It's lightweight, yet stays on (not all day) but for a good while.  I'm sure this coral would look good on anyone since it goes on semi-sheer but can be layered to get a deeper look.  b) Colorburst in Rosepearl - I wear this gloss almost everyday to work.  It goes with any look and it just the prettiest nude-pink with a hint of gold.  Again, I'm sure this color could look good on anyone. The Colorburst lipglosses stay on quite a bit longer than the Super Lustrous since it goes on a little thicker.  Since wearing the Rosepearl to work, I have received so many compliments from my co-workers.  

3.  Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in Cloud Wine- I have to thank Katina (aka Recipe Gurl) for this find.  I usually never use Maybelline and especially didn't think my skin would appreciate a mousse-like blush - but I am loving this sheer color wash and dewy-look this gives my cheeks!  I've been wearing Nars Orgasm for the last like six years of my life but recently my make-up artist, David Frohmberg, told me that I needed to wear more raspberry-like colors instead of corals (don't get me wrong, I still LOVE Nars Orgasm and refuse to give it up)...so this Cloud Wine is that perfectly gorgeous raspberry color I've been looking for.  And I didn't think that a mousse would last, but it really does last all day.

4.  Covergirl Last Perfection Volumizing Mascara - I've always been a Covergirl Mascara kind of girl but this new mascara from them is by far my favorite.  It gives my boyish eyelashes volume and length and doesn't flake or wear off during the day - what more could a girl ask for?  

5. Olay Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream - So I've only been using this for a couple of days and thankfully I don't have major wrinkles around my eyes...yet...but I was using Garnier's anti-wrinkle eye cream for the past couple of months or so and I have to say that I just like how this stuff feels compared to Garnier.  Garnier's cream went on very thin and on many occasions burned my eyes if I got too carried away.  The Olay cream goes on uber thick and creamy and never even comes close to stinging my skin or eyes.  It then in turn, makes my under eye concealer go on more smoothly -making me love it even more.  So I can't say if I see a huge difference in my 'wrinkles' but it is a great cream for your eyes before you put on your makeup.  And hopefully I will notice a difference in the next five?...ten?.. years.

What are your favorite Drugstore Must-Haves??

xoxo,
Amanda

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

China Cabinet Progress

So I know we've been MIA the past week or so, but that's b/c both Katina (Recipe Gurl) and I were in Richmond for her engagement party!!  We will post on this tomorrow for "Wedding Wednesday".  I got back from my trip yesterday almost thinking that my China Cabinet would be magically put back together and completely finished, instead still in the middle of my Living Room and all over my poor Dining Room.  No such luck. I know I have been complaining about this project, but once I started, it's really not that bad.  It just comes down to finding the time to finish it.  I finally disassembled it and put two coats of White Primer on it.  First check out the before pics.  Here are some pics of my progress:


I'm being lazy by not painting the inside



I had to use a makeup brush to get into these crevices!
I used the Behr Undercoater Enamel Primer and Sealer and let me tell you - this is the best primer EVER because you don't have to sand your surface before applying it!  I absolutely HATE sanding and am so happy that this primer allowed me to completely skip this step.  Of course, if you have a really rough surface that really needs the sanding, then I suggest you do so anyways.  My cabinet was in perfect condition, it just had that shiny top coat on it that I thought for sure would need to be sanded off first.  


Next step:  Two top coats of glossy white; spray paint the brass hardware with brushed nickel spray paint; cover the back panels with fabric/wallpaper (did I mention that I changed my mind on painting the back panels that jade green?  I feared that it would make the china cabinet look too 'beachy' or 'shabby chic' instead of the modern look I'm trying to achieve.)


There will still be some space on both sides of the cabinet once it's in the Dining Room, so I'm thinking of getting some of these prints off Etsy to put on both sides:


Source

Source
At $10 a print, how can you go wrong??


What projects are you all working on?


xoxo,
Amanda