Sunday, April 29, 2012

April Happy Birthday and Earth Month

You should always anticipate to spend more money the month of your birthday. There will be your present to your self and probably a meal or a few. But there is the budgeting that is needed to have the extra money to spend for all the discounts you will be getting. Here are a few that I used yesterday and I happened to be lucky enough to be born during earth month so I got extra good deals this year. I love, love, love Aveda, I have their rewards program and I have enough points for one of their vacation prizes and half way to another.  When we have the time and money to make it worth it Mikey and I will be going here:

And Aveda will be picking up part of the tab. Anyway back to yesterday. I love Aveda's tea, see that small bottle it is $26 so I really ration myself. But when I went in yesterday the large jar there (over seven times the size of the normal bottle) was $50 and the whole amount went to a local charity. SOLD!

I am so sorry I did not know about this earlier but this sale keeps going but only until tomorrow, so if you are interested go tomorrow.  On the same premise their Blue oil, normal size $15, Earth month size $30 and all the money went to charity. SOLD!

For earth month they offered an extra 500 bonus point if you buy 2 liters. 

They also sent me a coupon for double points. So not only did I get the points for what I actually paid for but and additional 1,000 points.

I also had coupons to get all of this stuff free. Yay! I don't stick to the coupons that they send me I also take ones out of magazines.

On to Bare Minerals. I needed base and mineral veil. Which typically will run you $60 for both. I had a 15% off coupon for my birthday. When I got there they were doing a build your own starter kit for the same amount.  So I ended up getting a blush, bag and eye shadow for free. While the bag is white and not quite my color, but I love the separate compartment for the brushes. And with the 15% off it was less than I expected. 

I have loved Bare Minerals however, I recently heard about a company called Everyday Minerals. They are vegan, organic, eco-friendly, they value sustainability,  it is a Texas based company and they are half the price of Bare Minerals. They will send you seven samples for free you just have to pay shipping and handling. Right now if you buy any three big sized products you get 25% off, and their original glo bases are only $10 on farewell tour. $7.50 get out... 

Lastly DSW sent me a $5 coupon. I could not find a single pair of shoes that I could not live without. So I got some socks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Let's Get Heated Buffalo Chili ~ Tasty Tuesday

3 pounds ground buffalo
3 onions, diced
3 pounds of red, orange and yellow peppers, diced
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons coriander pods, smashed
4 jalapeno peppers cored, diced
cloves from 1 large head of garlic, minced
1/2 small can adobo chilies in sauce, chopped 
1  can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 large can and 1 small can of diced tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce

In a large sauce pot, or cast iron insert of your slow cooker if your dad and step-mom got you this for your wedding (Thanks guys!)

At a recent cooking class I was told that you really have to use salt to unlock flavors in food. I never ever do that I only use it if the recipe calls for it. I do not think anything is worse than a too salty dish, while you can always add more (each person to their liking), but it is not as easy to take it away. I decided to try it on this chili and I was not disappointed. So after I seasoned the buffalo well with salt I cooked it on medium high heat. Break it apart as it cooks and when it is done drain the meat, reserving a small amount in the insert, and put the buffalo on a plate. I did not make sure to get all the juice as buffalo is pretty healthy.

Reduce heat to medium and add the diced onions and peppers to the buffalo juices. I started with the onions adding the peppers as I diced them. I used my professional multi-chopper that the Porter's got you for your wedding. (Thanks Porter's!) This also makes quick work of pot pies.

 Continue to cook the vegetables, till the onions are translucent and the peppers will start to sweat their pigment into the onions. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander pods, garlic and jalapeno. Cook for a few minutes and then ass the chili in adobo sauce, and then add the buffalo and beans in. Stir well.  Put insert or empty pot into the slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours. 

Serve with cheese, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream if you prefer and garnish with sliced jalapeno or avocado. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chocolate & Raspberry Coffee Cake

For Easter brunch last week I was asked to bring coffee cake. I am a pin-a-sorous and I had seen this recipe over at Melangery and decided that is what I was going to do, based on the gorgeous picture she had taken, she working as a food photographer and man is she good. This was the picture that caught my eye:

·         3 cups all-purpose flour
·         2 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
·         1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
·         3 large eggs, at room temperature
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         2 cups sour cream or yogurt I used some of both
·         melted chocolate for top of the cake

·         1/4 cup granulated sugar 
·         1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
·         1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
·         1 1/2cup raspberries (frozen or fresh), plus extra for decoration

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour or spray a 9- to 10- inch Bundt pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

In the bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla.

On low speed, in 3 additions of each, mix in the dry ingredients and sour cream, alternating the dry and wet ingredients until ingredients are just blended. Be careful not to over mix batter.
Make the filling by mixing the sugars  and cocoa powder  in a medium bowl.

Scoop in 1 ½ cups cake batter into your prepared Bundt pan (I did not have one so I used an angel food cake pan and it worked fine) and spread evenly to cover the bottom. Sprinkle one-third of the filling and scatter one-third of the raspberries over the filling. Scoop in 2 cups cake batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle one-third of the filling and scatter one-third of the raspberries over the filling. Scoop in 2 cups of cake batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the filling and raspberries. Add the rest of the cake batter and spread evenly over the raspberries.

Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350F until a cake test inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack, remove pan and let cool completely before serving. I sifted powdered sugar on top and then followed her directions and followed it by melted chocolate on the top of the cake and raspberries.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I love this chair - SAFARI CAMPAIGN CHAIR

I want it. 
Well two really love how they fold and the hardware find it here...

& get these to go with them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Brunch and Adults only Easter Egg Hunt

I do not know what it has been this year but I have been hosting less and attending more. I think that the back to back New Years and Second Annual Re-gifting party was enough for a while. My friend Melissa recently hosted my murder mystery birthday party and this weekend we attended the Easter brunch at my brother and sister in-law's house. Now on to the goodies...

Sandy my amazing sister in-law is a DIYer as well, She made everything look so beautiful. I love the function of her chalkboard she can use it for any future gatherings. 

She also used the chalkboard paint on the charges, I love the way she pulled the table off, it is also a plus that she does not have serial killer hand writing like me. She got two teal tablecloths and used some leftover burlap from our wedding to bridge them.  

I love their art wall but more on that another time. 

Sandy's mother Debbie and sister Milane made them.

Strawberry lemonade and deviled eggs.

You can see Lisa's bunny pitcher that has mimosas in it,

Her beautiful bunny plate full of blackberries,

and these brie tarts with habanero jelly.

When we were getting ready I made this flower out of fruit.

Sandy also put pink tulip doilies by everyone's place setting.

Fruit to be dipped in chocolate!

Spring flowers. 

Little lambs.

Balloon Eggs.

Detail of cupcakes.

SO remember when I said we had a adult Easter egg hunt? ;) There were also lotto tickets and of course candy. I found the golden egg, what did I win?

A lifetime supply of peeps. I tried to give as many away as possible, while I like peeps as much as the next girl I do not love 22 boxes of them. 

I hope you had a wonderful Easter. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Guess who got a Campaign dresser? ---> This girl!!!

Today was off to a rough start to be honest. It was snowing when I was headed to work, I was running late. My counterpart at work was being less tolerable than usual, and one of my employees was so very much in pain from a toothache that was making the whole side of his face swell it hurt me to look at him. It did turn out to be a bit better before I left and it was a really productive day. First I was taking our camera in to Best Buy to send it to service as it has been having some issues lately, I was disappointing to be without it for a few weeks. They told me when they were checking it in that apparently they do not fix that one anymore so I got a BRAND SPANKING new one. No, it is not a DSRL, we really really want one but we are not going to get one for six months or so. This is just a point and shoot that is waterproof, shock proof and we can take it on all of our out of doors shinanagains. I will also use it for my blog till I can get my d7000. When I was driving home the sun was shining and I was talking to my mom, love her! Anyway I decided that if I was going by Best Buy that I was going to go to a thrift store that I love that I don't go to very often. That is the store that I usually have the most luck with scrabble games. I went in and saw a J Crew shirt, I usually do not look at clothes at this one but I decided to take a chance, disappointed, looked for Scrabble none to be found, walked though furniture on my way out and that its when it happened, a campaign dresser, it fit my measurements, had great hardware and was only $69.99. But then I noticed the tag was BLUE, yay $34.99. It is not solid wood, and not incredibly built but that is a third of the cost of just the hardware I was able to fine online in some cases just a single pull. Just incase you have been living under a rock for the last 6-8 months here are some of my favorites from online that are painted like I plan to:

Via Emily Henderson today no less!

Centsational Girl love the Kelly green

Cassie & Co did this totally amazing thing with starch that I will be doing!

The long and the short of it did it in white which I am considering 

I think I am going to use the painting plan from Honey and Fitz

I just wish I could have been lucky enough to find a set 

Now I just have to decide what color to paint, any suggestions?