Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sweet Dreams

  There is so much out there in terms of decorating a nursery it is crazy! Pinterest has made it easier with so many different ideas out there and inspiration. Here are a few looks that I love and hope they inspire you as well. 


Carrie Signature

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Home Scents

   Time to get cozy! As the weather cools and the holiday seasons approach everyone loves warm nostalgic smells that bring to mind family and friends. Here are some easy recipes and ideas you can use in your home for holiday parties, events, or just for yourself. 
   All these recipes are very simple you essentially place the ingredients in a pot add water and simmer. You will need to continually add water the longer you use it because it will begin to evaporate and if left unattended could burn the bottom of your pot. 

Lemon Slices

 Apple Peals
Orange Slices
Cinnamon Sticks 

 You can use any of these herbs in your scents 

Orange Slices
Pine Needle Clippings 
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lemon Garlic Chicken

   This is a slow cooker recipe which I am all about. Any time I can use my crock pot it takes a load off of me and saves on valuable time. 

 This is a simple recipe and the favors can be altered to fit your taste. 

            * Clean your chicken well including the inside as well

   * Cut a head of garlic in half and one lemon placing it at the bottom of the slow cooker including some rosemary. 

   * Place the cleaned chicken on top of the above mentioned items and season the chicken as desired. I put seasoned pepper, garlic powder, and salt on top. 

   * On top of the chicken place some lemon and rosemary

    * Cover and place your crock pot on high for 4 hours minimum. I cooked on high for 4 hours and then on low for an hour. 

   The chicken was very moist and flavorful and I was able to use the left overs for a chicken pot pie the next day. Wonderful way to extend your meal to the next day and to be healthy and ultimately hands free. 

Carrie Signature

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Harvest Tips

    Now that we are into the fall season and the farmers markets and produce isles are full of fall produce and inspiration. I thought I would round up some tips on money saving ideas, tips for what to look for, and a fun new recipe that will help you as you transition into the fall foodie mentality. 

    Tip 1 - Buy in season, which should make sense, but a lot of times finding out what is in season in your area can be challenging. I found this site that you can click on your state and it will show you whats in season monthly

    Tip 2 - Not all organics are equal and all of them usually cost a pretty penny. Here is a list of produce that you won't want to skimp on when decided what to buy organic or not. 
sweet bell peppers
grapes (imported)

     Tip 3 - Here is a list of some of my favorite fall produce and why they should be items we look to add to our cooking arsenal. 
 Arugula is a cool weather peppery green harvested at different times in different places (winter in warm climates, summer in cool ones) but grows in many places during autumn.

 Brussels sprouts grow on a stalk, and if you see them for sale that way snap them up - they'll last quite a bit longer than once they're cut.

Eggplant (early fall) comes into season towards the end of summer, but bright shiny heavy-feeling specimens stay in season well into fall.

 Garlic is another produce item that we forget has a season; fresh garlic is at its plump, sweetest best in late summer and fall.

 Green beans tend to be sweetest and most tender during their natural season, from mid-summer into fall in most regions.

Kale is like all hearty cooking greens - cooler weather keeps it sweet.

Pumpkins are the most common winter squash and come into season in September in most areas.

Winter squash of all sorts comes into season in early fall and usually last well into winter.
Zucchini have a harvest season from summer into fall in most climates.

  Tip 4 - When you are at the store here are some no brainer money saving ideas. 
 * Make sure you shop with a list
 * Buy (organic) meat in bulk when on sale. You can freeze and have on hand when needed.
 * The smaller the cart, the smaller the bill
 * Splurge in the produce isle, and make veggies the star of the meal.
 * Don't throw money away, look for ways to use every bit of your food so that none goes to waist. 

   Tip 5 - Fall Cornbread Panzanella Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette - fun fall recipe from a great blog with wonderful creative ideas that inspire your taste buds. 


Carrie Signature

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


   I have just returned from visiting a friend in VA and her new precious baby boy. So my posts have been a bit sparse and I feel like bouncing back from trips takes more time then it use to. I hope to get back on track soon, but in the mean time I hope these tidbits hold you over.

       Love this retro jacket

      Nursery inspiration for the clean modern look

      Quick freezer crock pot meals

      Spend a lovely Saturday here

     I could always do with more glitz in my life

    Get some wonderful fall inspiration 

Carrie Signature

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pumpkin Loaf

       This is one of the easiest pumpkin recipes ever. If you are looking for something that is easy to remember, quick, and yummy this is it. 

1 can of pumpkin puree
1 yellow cake mix
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice 

* Mix together the ingredients till you reach a batter like consistancy 
*Then poor into a greased pan or cupcake liners. 

Bake at 350 degrees 
18-22 minutes 

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package of regular cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

(mix until you have frosting like consistency)

Carrie Signature

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Scarves

I love scarves! I like the way they add color, texture, and interest to an outfit. You can wear an outfit that is neutral and then add a scarf and the look changes. It can also balance out your body shape if you have more to your bottom half having some interest up top will emphasize your narrow waste. 

There are so many tutorials out there to give you new ideas and inspiration. I like the look of this world market tutorial hope you enjoy it.  

Carrie Signature

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October has arrived

      Beginning of a new month and open to so many new opportunities and discoveries. Sometimes it might feel like we are being dragged from one month to another and it feels like a never ending race between work, family, and just living life. Try and take some time to step back, take a deep breath in, see all the blessings that you have in your life and give thanks. See the beauty in the small things in the changing of the seasons and the time with family and friends. 

10 Great Things About October 
1. Everything is flavoured Pumpkin Spice 
2. Football is in full swing 
3. National Seafood Month
4. Fall Beers
5. Fall Festivals
6. New Season of TV shows 
7. Baseball Play offs 
8. Boots, scarves, & cool weather
9. Beautiful colors of falling leaves 
10., did we talk about pumpkin spice already :)

Carrie Signature

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cow Hide Rugs

   I have noticed in the last year or so an increase usage of cow hide rugs in more modern decor. This "look" is not new to me considering I am from Texas and the Texas chic is alive and well and has been around for a while. Despite my pride in my home state I am not always drawn to the more rustic, ranch style that you see in several Texas homes. I am however, really loving the incorporation of cow hides in more modern homes and spaces. It has such versatility and longevity and can be used from living rooms, to bedrooms, from offices to baby rooms.  

     There are some practical benefits to cow hide rugs as well, they do not shed, easy to clean, do not stain easily, wear well, last in high traffic areas, and all around hold up very well and will last you many many years. Now I know the pricing on these things can run rather high and if you are looking for something to add as an accent you might be a bit skeptical.  I did quite a bit or research and ended up purchasing one off of amazon.  I had originally looked as some while visiting my family in Texas and the quality was great and the coloring nice, but the price was around $350 which was not what I was wanting to spend. So when I found the one on Amazon that was the same brand but at $160 I jumped at it. Have not been disappointed, and it has been in our living room for four months now and looking great. 
     Here are some tips to keep in mind: they are all a bit different and not cookie cutter so when you get your rug it might have some slight color changes, you will probably want to air it out for an afternoon. There was a slight smell to the rug, but went away within a day or two. To clean or vacuum I use the hand extension on my vacuum, or take it our side and give it a few pats with the broom. There might be some spots on the rug that are thinner, that is just how a real cow hide will look since it comes from a real animal. 
     Hope this has helped is some way if you are interested in the cow hide look. Other places you might find what you are looking for is Ikea, Overstock, and Joss & Main. Happy Shopping! 

Carrie Signature

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thrift Thursdays: Coffee Creamers

     At the grocery store the other day I was doing a quick drive by past the dairy isle and noticed all the fall coffee creamers. I love all the coffee flavors that come with cooler weather like PSL, Toffee, Streusel and many others. I also love the idea of making my own coffee creamer for the peace of mind of knowing whats inside, money saver, and it also makes fun holiday gifts.
   I found some recipes that sounded delicious and turned out to be very easy and I had all the ingredients I needed on hand. The two I tried out were Cinnamon Streusel & Pumpkin Spice. 

Pumpkin Spice

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together milk, cream, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. When mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 
  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Streusel 

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. When the mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat. 
  3. Stir in extracts. 
  4. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.

 As far as Holiday gifts go you can make this coffee creamer and put it in a reused jar and tie a ribbon, or paint the top with chalk paint and write an inscription. Let your creative genius free and skies the limit. Enjoy :)

Carrie Signature

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tips for online clothes shopping

      I know shopping online is nothing new and many of you out there have it down to a science and are masters at clicking that checkout button. My online shopping journey only began three years ago and was really founded on necessity. I was living overseas and the clothing options were limited especially when you are 5'10 and living in Japan. I have always felt intimidated by online shopping, and was a firm believer in needing to touch, smell, see, and try on the item several times before I can purchase it. My mind has been opened and now that I am stateside and have the ability to shop in stores I keep finding myself snuggling up with a cup of coffee on my couch and shopping my favorite stores online. There are some helpful tips to keep in mind when shopping online that will hopefully make your experience more pleasant and rewarding. 

1. Know your size
    This may seem like common sense, but we all have a handful of go-to stores that we love, but that does not mean I wear the same size in each store and that all size 4's are equal. I know this can be super frustrating and can be discouraging, but once you acknowledge this your online shopping experience can be much smoother. For instance I know roughly how Gap sizes their items compared to J.crew and that influences what sizes I put into my cart. If you are unsure what size you would wear in that store .... go shopping! Physically go try on some items and take note of the fit and how often you are having to size up or down.

2. Read Reviews
     This helps me A LOT, that being said you can't always believe what you read. Look for reviews that have a lot of people commenting on the clothing that you are interested in. If that particular item has 5 stars and 42 reviews you are looking at an item that will most likely work for you. Read through the reviews focus on the comments by women your height, body type. Read the ones that give that item only 1 star and see why, was it a size issue, material quality, maybe they thought they were getting a different color than was advertised. I have been swayed both to purchase an item and to walk away from it based on the insight of other shoppers.

3. Wait for the Sale
      A huge plus with online shopping is the promotions and sales they offer which you might not even see in store. Now that you have a handful of go-to stores you can sign up for their email service and you will get notifications on all their online sales. This does not mean you can't shop ahead of time when you have a free weekend put the items you "can't live without" in the cart and wait for the sale to hit. I find it a wise practice for myself to shop put the items in the cart and walk away for a couple of hours and then come back and revisit my items before purchasing. 

4. Careful!
     I know you can get swept up in the fun and ease of online shopping, but you are using real money and you do have to pay for shipping so be consciences of that and you will be able to see your actual final bill before you click the purchase button. Many stores will offer free shipping if you purchase a certain amount of merchandise equalling a set price. Example would be free shipping when you spend $50.00 or more. Also, make sure you read the fine print with items that are labeled FINAL SALE. I don't want to discourage you from making a purchase, but just be aware that you might have to eat the cost if the item does not work for you. 

I would love to hear some tips from you on how you successfully shop online. Here is a website that looks awesome and might help you with your shopping


Carrie Signature

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunny Mondays

    I know Mondays can be rough and daunting because it is the day of the week when it seems like everything gets put on your plate at once and you have a view of the upcoming week and it looks insurmountable. Well, cheer up and maybe thinking about something bright and colorful might do the trick.

   We have already discussed the transition from summer to fall, and one of the colors that you can continue to use and incorporate is yellow. It can range from light, sunny tones to rich, mustard autumn tones. You can use it as the main focus of your outfit or your home or just the right pop of color to set off some of the darker tones that are used consistently in the autumn months. Whatever you decide you really can't go wrong and I personally feel this color can bring that extra "thing" to your look. 


Carrie Signature

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Like Adoption

    This is an amazing, stunning, beautiful video! Thanks Stacey for sharing. We can always use a reminder of what unconditional love is like and how beautiful it is to open your home and hearts to the unconventional beauty of adoption.

Carrie Signature

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Good Morning: Rasperry Cobbler

     Traditionally you would never consider a cobbler as a breakfast dish, but in flavor and texture it is not that far off from other fruity sweet breakfast treats. I did not set out to make a cobbler for breakfast, but had the ingredients and needed to use up some raspberries so it seemed like a good fit. This recipe comes from my Grandmother, and has been used for as long as I can remember by my mother as her go-to cobbler recipe. 
2 cups of fresh fruit 
 (Peaches, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1 cup of sugar 
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup of flower
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees 

1. Rinse the fruit, then mix the fruit and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
 (Rest of the sugar, flower, salt, baking powder) 

3. In the dry ingredients bowl mix the 3/4 cup of milk and stir

4. Take a 2 quart baking dish put the stick of butter in the pan
and place in the oven till melted

5. Once the butter has melted {10-15min} take it out of the oven

6. Pour the batter (milk + dry ingredients) over the butter DO NOT STIR

7. Final step spoon the fruit/sugar mixture over the butter & batter DO NOT STIR

8. Bake for an hour at 325 and then let it cool before serving and ENJOY

     So hopefully you caught on to the fact that you DO NOT STIR the ingredients once you place them in the baking dish which might feel weird and counter intuitive, but just go with it. 

     Also, you can use just about any fruit with this recipe so get creative and experiment with whats in season. 

    The original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar and I have reduced it to one. Half in the fruit half in the dry mixture and it comes out plenty sweet. You could probably cut it down even more or use agave as a sweetener especially in the fruit mixture. 

     Hope you enjoy this easy sweet dish and make it your own... vanilla ice cream is delish with this cobbler if you are serving it after dinner or whipped cream in the morning with your coffee. 

Carrie Signature