Friday, April 27, 2012

My Anthro Wishlist

I Love, Love, LOVE Anthropologie. If I had a million dollars, I'd go out and buy each of these things today. And probably a lot more.

Scattered Heartsease Blouse: $168

Ampay Necklace: $58
You Are My Sunshine Pillow: $158

Upward Petal Curtains: $208 - $268
Celestial Coasters: $32 

Core Sample Stopper: $58

Dotty Match Pot Holder: $12

Just Picked Recipe Cards: $14

Sedge & Rush Necklace: $58

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Most Delicious Chicken Spaghetti

I mean it when I say it, this is the best Chicken Spaghetti recipe known to man.

A good friend of ours, William, ended up living with Greg in college for a summer while taking some summer classes. After coming back from visiting his mom for the weekend, William's mom sent him back to school with massive serving of this delightful little dish. After graciously sharing his meal with Greg and I, I told him that I HAD to have the recipe because it was scrumptious and unlike any chicken spaghetti I had ever had.

I cooked this spaghetti earlier this week and got rave reviews. Not to mention, when I ate it for leftovers the next day in the office, the girls I ate with were extra jealous of my delicious smelling lunch. They too asked for the recipe which hence spurred my decision to share it with the world.

You can thank me later....

Picture: Compliments of Taste of Home
This is NOT the same recipe, but by the time I realized I could have used a pic of my
own recipe, it was ALLLLL gone.
Oops. :)

Chicken Spaghetti
Serves: 6

2 ½ cups cooked spaghetti
3-4 medium boneless chicken breasts – cooked & shredded
½ cup diced pimentos (2 oz)
1 small onion – finely chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups chicken broth
1 dash garlic, salt & pepper
3 ½ cups grated Cheddar Cheese (or Monterey jack, or Velveeta)
            -Save ½ cup for the topping
1 can Rotel (tomatoes and green chiles)
1 package French fried onion rings

Mix broth and soup in a large bowl (everything is going to be added to this bowl so make sure it’s a big one!). Mix in everything else. Pour into 9x13 dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Put cheese and French fried onions on top and bake 10 more minutes.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dreaming of the Beach

With the recent warming of the weather, Greg and I have been dreaming of the beach. Dreaming of a vacation where we can get away from the J-O-B, spend some good quality time with each other, talk about life, celebrate a year of marriage (what?! already??) and not to mention, spend some time in the sun. Turns out, working 8-5 for five days out of the week doesn't exactly allude to that perfectly golden summer glow.

One of the biggest pieces of advice that I've heard over and over again by those who are both older and wiser and been married for a bit longer is to TRAVEL. Doesn't matter where, just find the money (whether its a little or a lot) and just travel. Get away. Go see the world. A lot of people I know that are married and now have children, wish they would have done this more. They wish they would have prioritized this and made a way for it to happen, because its not that easy to travel once you have little kiddos running around.

Not that Greg and I have kids anywhere in the near future forecast, but we've been dreaming of the places we want prioritize and save for.

St. John
The Bahamas
Seattle (again)
Colorado - for skiing!
Lake Tahoe
New York City
Washington D.C.

The list could go on and on forever, and its always changing. Well, we've scraped up some money (by going without shopping for new clothes, or spending money on extravagant dates, and really just learning to live simply) and we're ready to go. Since we are newlyweds and the money we've scraped up is pretty meager, we're thinking Mexico. Close enough and relatively cheap in comparison to the other destinations on our list. So, that's what we're going to do! Head to Mexico. Haven't booked anything yet, but we are on the lookout for good deals!

Have you traveled to Mexico recently or are you planning on visiting in the near future? Have any places you could recommend? We'd love any and all insight! Reviews from friends we trust are the best!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm Getting Brave

So for about 3 years now, my bestie, Neely, has been trying to convince me to cut off my hair. Well, my friends, I think that time is dawning. My hair is longer than its ever been, its heavy, and I tend to feel like a hippy. Not to mention, since I have oddly wavy hair, it's getting to be a pain to fix every time I want to leave the house. With a hot summer quickly approaching, I think I'm finally going to take the dive. I think I'm chopping my hair off. I think. EEK! I would be lying if I told you I wasn't nervous, because I literally haven't had semi-short hair since 6th grade. I love long hair and think other people's long hair always looks beautiful, and I definitely might regret this upcoming venture, but it grows back, right? Right. It's JUST hair. If I die, it doesn't go with me, so why am I so attached? Because I'm a big weenie. That's why.

So, after perusing Pinterest, here are my new haircut inspirations. Like I said, I'm getting bold!

Love her. Love her hair. 
Who doesn't love Jennifer? And her locks are always gorgeous.
Not sure how I feel about the bangs, mainly because I'm awful at fixing bangs. But I do like the length.
Love the layers in this one. 
Soft and Casual. 
Love this one!
Again, Love her.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bedroom Facelift: UPDATE!

A while back... and I mean a while back, I shared a plan of a Bedroom Facelift that I had been envisioning. Slowly but surely, we've been trying to make it happen. We are in the interim phases and I'm just so excited about it that I had to share everything Greg and I have accomplished thus far!

First, I really wanted to hang up some curtains, but couldn't find any that I loved that weren't about $200. Womp Womp. Since when are curtains so stinkin' expensive?! So, I took matters into my own hands and enlisted the help of my mom, her sewing machine, and her sewing skills and we crafted some curtains that were long enough and lined. I saved SO much money by making them on my own and couldn't be happier in the way they turned out!

My inspiration:

The Fabric of Choice.

The outcome. I'm obsessed.
I decided to go ahead an buy enough extra fabric to make two 16x16 inch pillow covers for some throw pillows for our bed. This is on the list of crafts to complete!

The other "big" change that we've made to our room is to the decor above our bed. So this is what we had before:

We made some old decor that I had from college work until we could afford/decide what we really wanted to do. As of last night, this is the newest change to what's above our bed:

It's only in the beginning stages, but I'm so excited about how it turned out! The mantle is actually one that I found on Craigslist for $20! It was in pieces, and we did have to drive to a really sketchy part of the country to get it, but with a little bit of work, it was totally worth it! Not to mention, we found out that it was removed from a historic mansion in Highland Park that was being remodeled. How cool is that?

The decor on the mantle is no where near done or set-in-stone, but I was just so excited about it, I had to share. Plans: add lots of candles, hang and frame the letters on the wall, add some baby's breath to the bottles, and maybe even sneak an owl up there. We shall see!

So appreciative of this man and his hard work figuring out how to hang this thing.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two New Blogs I'm Obsessed With

I have recently come across two new blogs that I am absolutely obsessed with.

 The Dating Divas should be a blog added to every girl's Google Reader. I know their slogan is "Strengthening Marriages One Date at a Time", but this website is full of blogs applicable to any woman.

If you're married, you'll see why I love this blog. It's all about being creative to keep the romance alive both in and out of the bedroom. They've got TONS of cheap date ideas that are perfect for those of us trying to survive by pinching pennies! Not to mention, if you're like me and like thinking out of the box, then their overflow of creative ideas will never stop to entertain you. I came across this blog late last week and cannot wait to start incorporating some of these ideas into the weekly date nights in the Foster Home.

If you're not married and either single, dating, or even engaged, their are still tons of good blogs for you to check out. While it's fun to read all about the "intimate moment" ideas that you can honor your future husband with, they have tons of posts about new make-up tricks, birthday gifts for guys, and even recipes to try. Enjoy!

Six Sisters' Stuff is another blog that I've found myself spending a lot of time on. With my love of food (both eating and cooking), crafts, and decorating, this blog has got it allllll covered. I can't wait to try some of these recipes, especially these Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes! Mmmmm, Yum! As you scroll through their posts, you'll find that I have this blog to credit for finding The Dating Divas blog above. Again, I love blogs that can point me to other blogs that I can fall in love with.

Both of these blogs have the  business models that I would someday love to copy. A bunch of friends (or sisters) all coming together to create a dynamic blog that has posts about food, crafts, dates, cool finds, helpful hints, reviews, etc. Maybe this is where life will take me eventually. Anyone want to join?! 

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sauteed Chicken with Mushrooms & Asparagus

Photo courtesy of

This has been a week of good eats in the Foster Household. I love branching out and trying new recipes. Some have been disgusting, some have been okay (but probably won't make again), and some have been fantastic finds. Like this little gem we tried last night. Best of all, this is a super lean meal that is incredibly healthy!!

***Disclaimer: I get weary of trying "super healthy" meals, because well, I'm from the South, and I like to eat Heavy Whipping Cream and Butter. To me, most "healthy" meals are uneventful and rather bland. Not a fan. Have no fear, this is one that you'll be sure to love. I fed it to my used-to-be-non-veggie-loving husband and the first words out of his mouth.... "Now this is delicious!". So enjoy! Not only am I providing you with a safe way to branch out from the typical meals you might tend to always make, but I'm also helping you with that not-so-new New Year's resolution of being healthy! You're welcome....

What You Need:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch bite size pieces
  • Coarse Salt and ground pepper 
    • **Spring for actual "Course Sea Salt" next time you're at the store if you already don't have some. I usually think that normal salt will do the trick, but I finally caved and made the purchase, and boy did it work wonders!
  • Italian Seasoning (or really any kind of seasoning that would just add a little something extra to your chicken. Not a kitchen pro? Try lemon pepper, a table blend, etc.)
  • 1 carton button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 bundle of asparagus, tough ends removed
    • **Know how to effectively remove the tough ends? My friend Erin showed me a neat trick! All you have to do is bend the asparagus and it snaps off in the perfect place! Genius!
    • **The original recipe says to cut these into 2-inch lengths. I missed this and just cooked them whole. Personal preference!
  • 1 cup water
  • Cooked noodles or Rice (optional)
    • **I used a package of egg noodles and found it to be quite fitting.
What to Do: 
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper once cut and before placing in the skillet. If you have a lot of chicken, or a smaller skillet, cook in two batches, turning occasionally, until browned (6-8 minutes). Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Without turning the heat down, add the mushrooms, asparagus, and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper as you see fit (I also added some "Italian Seasoning" that I found on our Spice Rack. The original recipe didn't call for this, but again, I'm from the South and love my food to have flavor and was nervous that the salt and pepper wouldn't cut it). Cook, tossing once and scraping up browned bits, until vegetables are crisp-tender (or the mushrooms have browned and the asparagus is a good shade of Kelley Green). This should take about 4-6 minutes. Add the chicken back in with the veggies, cook, tossing, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Serve on top of noodles or rice, if desired!

What We Paired it With:
Since this is an all-encompassing meal with your carbs, lean meats, and veggies, we just paired it with a massive delicious fruit salad filled with a banana, strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges and even some tiny marshmallows. (The marshmallows was how my mom tricked us into eating fruit salad when we were younger. Yes, I am an adult and still love eating it that way. Don't judge me.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grilled Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Photo Courtesy of

Last night, Greg and I took our first adventure in grilling a pork tenderloin. I was a little intimidated as it was a more expensive cut of meat and all the reviews say that if you do it right, its one of the juiciest and tender pieces of meat that ever existed. Eek! No way I could mess that one up! Therefore, I pawned the job off on my grilling stud of a husband. Seriously, he has mad skills. And needless to say, he cooked the meat flawlessly. So flawlessly, that the meat was indeed some of the juiciest, tender, and melt in your mouth meat that has ever been cooked in our tiny humble abode. SO good, that this recipe will be one that is written on a recipe card and filed away in the recipe box. And shared with the world, naturally. 

Again, found this recipe on Pinterest (surprise, surprise) and it was SO easy! Not to mention, it can either be grilled or baked, depending on your access to a kitchen/grill. 

What You Need:
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/4 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil 

What To Do:
Stir together garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub the paste all over the pork. If you like or have the time, marinate overnight. If not, no worries, it will still be great!
      ***I chose to marinate mine all night and just dumped everything in a large Ziploc baggy. Once I made sure that everything was mixed, I put the pork in and made sure that it was covered. If you're going to be putting it in a baggy to marinate it, make sure that all the air is out of the bad completely before you seal it. It also won't hurt to double bag it in case you spring a leak. Put it in the fridge and let it sit! 

Grill Preparation:
Sear the tenderloins on all sides then grill for about 20-30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Try to let it rest before slicing.

If you're a grill novice like me, then you might wonder how to "sear" the meat properly. So I looked it up. Lucky for you, I'll give you the brief run-down of how it goes:
  1. Clean your grill
  2. Oil your grill with Canola oil (not olive!). It's easiest to just put some on a paper towel and rub it over the grate.
  3. Turn your grill on its highest setting
  4. Let it Pre-heat
  5. Put your meat on, and quickly close the lid. Rotate it after a minute until all sides are seared.
  6. Turn your heat down to commence the rest of the grilling. We had to turn ours down to almost our lowest setting in order to not over cook the meat.
Oven Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat canola oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add pork, and brown all over, about 4 minutes. 

Transfer pan to oven. Roast pork, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, and try to let it rest 10 minutes before slicing. 

What we paired with this meal:
  • Sweet potatoes (we chose to load ours us with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows. Reallllllll healthy. We know.)
  • Boiled Broccoli
  • Sister Shubert's Wheat Dinner Yeast Rolls. A regular dinner favorite at our house. 

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