Thursday, January 31, 2013

surprise email

The last three years our living community has hosted a decorating contest in December.  

The first year, there were detailed instructions that the judging would be based on decorations on the balcony space of each apartment.  Our specific apartment layout includes an enclosed balcony with large windows the whole length. This meant that if I wanted to decorate, I would need to get creative using the window space!  And creativity came.  I freehanded 10" letters on black cardstock that read "the stockings were hung" and then I used tons of glitter to outline/decorate the letters.  I hung our stockings with suction cups and used many strands of lights to highlight the area. Finding glitter on everything for the following month was totally worth First Prize and the $100 credit to our rent!! Woohoo!  And did I mention I was 6months pregnant?

Some not-so-great photographs of the window display. 

We did not participate in the decorating contest in 2011.  I going to blame mommy brain as I don't even remember receiving information about it!

Now that brings us to this past December 2012.  We received the information about the decorating contest but I decided there was enough already going on to celebrate Christmas that I was not going to devote special time to brainstorming a fun window display. 
We did however decorate our front porch enterance with garland, lights and wreaths as we have done all the years we have lived in our apartment.

  Our porch decor for Christmas with a fresh covering of snow.
You can imagine my surprise last week when I received the following email:
Dear Faye,
I wanted to let you know that you were the second place winners in the patio decorating contest! $100.00 credit was posted to your account and you can deduct that from your next rental payment!
Have a great day!

Why yes, that just made my day!!  Celebrate!! We decorated with no intentions of winning a contest but to enjoy the Christmas spirit and we won $100 credit towards our rent.  I love how when you least expect something great to happen; it does x10!  

Have a great night, my friends...
I'm off to write my February rent check for $100 less than usual!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

{MWW} KRAFT - Fresh Takes

I am constantly on the look out for new recipes that are quick, easy and of course tasty! Back in October 2012, I was grocery shopping and came across the following item next to the cheese in the diary section:

 KRAFT has created the Fresh Take product used to season and garnish meat for a new amazing taste.  The KRAFT website includes descriptions and recipes using the Fresh Take product.  I purchased the Southwest Three Cheese and explain how I used it to prepare our dinner below.

The product is packaged with two individual pouches with a seal down the middle. The Southwest Three Cheese  included breadcrumbs on one side and shredded cheese on the other.  What I love is the packaging included 3 different recipes to use with this product.  I decided to keep it simple and make the chicken tender strips.  

When you're ready to use the product, you first open the seal and mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together.

I used 3 chicken breasts and cut them to become more like tenders.

The second step was to coat the chicken with the seasoning mixture.  I opted not to coat with egg before dipping into the cheese and breadcrumb mixture.

The third step is to bake the meat.  The packaging gives a great detailed chart on the temperature and cook time length appropriate for the recipe chosen.

The KRAFT Fresh Take: Southwest Three Cheese product got very positive reviews from my family.  It definitely seasoned the meat well and gave it quite the kick!  What an easy product to purchase that can transform your meal...with little cost or time! I will definitely be purchasing this product in the future!

To check out the product visit the KRAFT Fresh Take website by clicking here.

All opinions are my own based on my experience after purchasing this KRAFT product.

If you have used KRAFT Fresh Takes, please leave a comment and give me your review!

Monday, January 28, 2013

{Monday Motivation} God's love 

Thanking God for his unconditional love today!  His mercies are new this morning!
May this day be a day of productivity where I am focused on serving others before myself and doing all things for the glory of the Lord!  

Do you know the extreme love God has for me...he has for you too?!

Friday, January 25, 2013

{Fun Find Friday} phone wallpapers

Last night husband, little love and I went to Verizon to get my new iphone!! I am very excited to own this new gadget! {Although husband would probably say differently since I basically handed it over to him after little love when to bed to get everything set up for me}.  That's what helpmates are for, right?!  One feature I knew that I would be setting up in a hurry would be some super cute wallpaper for my phone! Forget the technical stuff, I wanted to make it cute asap!

Earlier this week I was reading one of my favorite blogs, eighteen25  and came across the post: February's Phone Wallpaper .  I knew as soon as I saw the images I would be downloading them quick-like once I got my new iphone.  

So, here she is all cute and chic ready for Valentine's new iphone!

Want to have cute wallpaper on your phone too?  Click here to head over to eighteen25 and download yours today!  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Random thoughts...

Today's post is a glimpse into the real life happenings of me!  The meals, projects, quotes and whatnot are definitely part of who I am but the posts are very informative regarding the subject matter but not about me; what I'm feeling and experiencing in this season of life!  So, cheers to sharing more of life!

Here are the top 3 topics being discussed in my home this week:
{in no particular order}

Potty training
Little love has demonstrated an interest in using the toilet so we went with it and purchased a toilet insert for the little guy! Monday was the first day I asked if he wanted to pee on the toilet and he successfully went every time I put him on toilet....4 times!  He has continued to show interest this week and I'm taking his lead for now.  Little love is just under 2years old and I suspect that full-on potty training with underwear, etc. will occur at a different time. But for now, bring on the Skittles! If he wants to pee on the toilet, I'm not going to stop him!

Board Certification Exams
In June, my husband will complete his 5-year residency program in general surgery.  We just received the packet of information to register for the written board certification exam this week.  A sure sign that this season of life is ending and God has something perfect planned for my husband's career.  And the praying begins for the completion of and passing score on his certification exams!

The time has come where I am eligible for a new cell phone through our Verizon account! {wahoo} I currently have a Samsung Intensity II which has served me well.  I have done my best to be financially responsible and not upgrade to a smartphone with a data package since I have other options at home to be on the internet, etc.  Well, my loving husband is purchasing me an!  I am very thrilled to upgrade and be the proud owner of an iphone.  We are proactive and have already ordered a lifeproof case for it. I will share more details about it once I receive the product.

If you have any advice or tips regarding these topics, please leave me some lovin' in the comment section!!  App recommendations are always welcome, too! 

Thanks for reading! May you recognize God's blessings today!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{MWW} Chicken and Roasted Vegetables Dinner

Today's featured recipe, Chicken and Roasted Vegetables Dinner, is from my trusty Pillsbury Slow Cooker book.  The recipe can be found on the Pillsbury website here or read below for my directions and commentary!

Pillsbury photo documentation of meal:

Chicken and Roasted Vegetables Dinner

My photo documentation of meal:

Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Dinner

All information is directly from my Pillsbury Slow Cooker Cook Book except for the sections described as 'my commentary'

Servings: 6
1lb unpeeled small potatoes (6-8), cut into 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
2 cups ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots
1 cup frozen small whole onions (from 1lb bag), thawed, drained
I was unable to locate frozen small whole onions so I used frozen chopped onion
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 1/4lb)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 jar (12oz) chicken gravy
1 1/2 cups Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers frozen sweet peas, thawed, drained
I did not have any peas in the house so they were omitted


Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  
In cooker, place potatoes, carrots and onions.

 Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; place on vegetables in cooker.

 Pour gravy over top.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8-10 hours.

 Stir in peas.  Increase heat setting to High.
Cover; cook 15minutes longer or until peas are tender.

 Serve and enjoy!

My commentary regarding the directions:
Very easy to prepare.  Smelled delicious while cooking. The only step I did not follow was adding the peas and increasing heat since I did not have any peas!

I made this meal to bless a friend who was enduring some medical issues with her mother.
Therefore, I transferred the meal components into a foil container and deliver the meal to the family hot and ready to eat.  Definitely and nice warm meal to consume on a frigid day like today!

Friday, January 18, 2013

{Fun Find Friday} etsy store

Wecome to Fun Find Friday!!
Do you enjoy having your children wear clothing that promotes holidays and special occasions?  I sure do!  I am not always fond of the attire sold in stores, so I began to create special attire for my son and some dear friends and now include some of the items in my store.  I thought today would be the perfect day to feature the Valentine's Day attire sold in my etsy store.

  Each are a fun find that will have your little love looking adorable in the month of love!
You are welcome to place a custom order for tie
to be created on any onesie or shirt. 

Valentine's Day Tie Onesie/Shirt
Available in 5 fabric choices.

Once again, you are welcome to place a custom order for L-0-V-E applique
to be placed on any onesie or shirt.

Red glitter L-O-V-E onesie  Red glitter L-O-V-E onesie
Click on any of the images or links to be taken directly to my etsy store to place your order or look at other items for sale.  Enjoy and please spread the love!
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