March 15, 2015

Weekend Recap & Menu Planner

Happy Sunday! Gorgeous couple days are ahead of us here in RVA! I am meeting with some clients this afternoon who have been working so hard on their house. Stay tuned for a great new listing off of Forest Hill later this month! It is a good one!

Last night, we had dinner at the Mellow Mushroom. It has good kid friendly, atmosphere and we all love pizza! There was a 40 minute wait so I took C and C across to World of Mirth. I forget about this toy store such a great place to find unique birthday and baby gifts.

We are definitely cat lovers at our house but left these masks at the store! Ha!

One of my favorite food blogs is For The Love Of Cooking. I have made a bunch of terrific recipes from this site over the years. This week's menu planner includes a couple from this site. Enjoy!

Sunday...Grilled Steak with Avocado Sauce, Black Bean and Corn Salad 

Monday...Gnocchi with Sausage and Spinach

Tuesday....Mexican Lasagna

Wednesday....Kickin Chicken with Crunch, Vigo Beans & Rice

Thursday...Burgers & Fries

March 11, 2015

New House: Sunroom

Last fall when we painted the family room and foyer, we also had our sunroom and kitchen painted. Here is the sunroom before. It a really great space that I believe was converted from a porch at some point along the way. 

And here are the afters.....

We used Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt on the walls and decided to paint the dark boards on the ceiling white. It is so much brighter and I love that the space opens into our breakfast room and kitchen. I am turning into such an old lady but I love to have my coffee or a glass of wine and watch the news in here. 

The couch is the Ektorp from Ikea with the Gray Slipcover and the wicker has been around for years. It was previously on my grandmother's sunporch. I spray painted the medallion and glass top table with my favorite Rust-Oleum Metallic Gold. I had tons of green accents from my old house that incorporated into this room. I also had some new fabric in my collection that couldn't have been more perfect for the space. I bought it a few years ago when we re-did Camille's room and never used it. Yet again being a hoarder has paid off. 

I have plans to stain the breakfast table gray this spring. 

I won an Instragram giveaway earlier this year from Lindsay Cowles. Have you seen her work? She is a super talented RVA artist. I would love to have some of her wallpaper in my house one day! So amazing. I was fortunate to win this fabulous print that works perfectly on the sunroom.

I am at a good stopping point with the space however next on the list is the removal of the track lighting! 

March 8, 2015

Spring Forward! Menu Planner

We are enjoying some much needed sunny weather in RVA this weekend! Camille and Clyde along with the rest of us are ready for spring!  I think because there wasn't a high of 20 degrees today they thought it was summer and created fans to cool themselves off. The little entrepreneurs then decided to sell them to the neighbors! The set up was done completely on their own...hopefully the clean up will go that way as well. :/

Here goes with this week's menu planner....

Monday - Tuna-Guacamole Tacos, Re-fried Black Beans

Tuesday - Lasagna Soup (from the freezer), Salad, Bread

Wednesday - Italian Meatloaf, Balsamic Roasted Potato Wedges, Squash & Zucchini

Thursday - Greek Lamb Burgers, Fries

Also, as an update to last week's menu planner...the Honey Siracha Chicken was sooo delicious and pretty easy to make! You should try it! 

March 4, 2015

Our trip to Disney World!

We had an amazing trip last week to Disney World with Michael's parents aka Neena and Moe! At almost 6 and 7.5, Camille and Clyde were the perfect ages for the trip. They were so good and didn't complain or cry or fight. It was awesome to see their reaction and excitement for different attractions.

We kicked off the week with Camille & Clyde's first flight! We flew Jet Blue and the personal TV's were a hit especially with our TV-lovin' couch potato!

Once we landed, we checked into our cabin at Fort Wilderness. This was great because the space had a full kitchen and we ate a few meals there which was a nice break from dining out.

After briefly settling, we spent a rainy afternoon at the Magic Kingdom. We bought adult and children's size ponchos on Amazon prior to the trip for the water rides but ended up using them for rain the first day.

The last time I went to Disney World was in third grade and a lot has changed. This is not shocking...I am getting old!  We all had Magic Bands that gave us access to our hotel room, Fast Passes for the rides and access to any photos taken at the park. I think you could also put your meal plan on it but we didn't get one.

In terms of the rides, we pretty much only rode the rides that we could get a Fast Pass. Camille and Clyde are dare devils and loved the roller coasters. Splash Mountain was a favorite that they first rode with Michael and Moe but then insisted that Neena and me come along for the second trip.

I am as terrified as I look...I hate roller coasters! Clyde & Michael were going "No Poncho!" Too cute! 
Other favorites at the Magic Kingdom, were Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Magic Carpets of Aladdin and The Barnstormer. We also really liked Mickey's PhilharMagic show. We couldn't get Fast Passes for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Peters Pan's Flight and we would have liked to do those but the line was always over an hour long so we skipped them. If you are going and you can get Fast Passes in advance, I recommend getting them for those rides.

The next day we spent at Animal Kingdom. We loved The Lion King show there! The It's Tough to Be a Bug show was right up Clyde's alley but seemed to frighten Camille a little bit. We also got a Fast Pass for Kaili River Rapids. We used ponchos and raincoats on this ride. Camille and I got the most wet because of our placement in the boat but we dried out pretty quick! We also saw the Finding Nemo show there which I wasn't a huge fan but the kid's seemed to like it.

We had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe which I highly recommend! The food was good and the atmosphere was fun.

After lunch, we went on the Kilimenjaro Safari. This was really neat because you cruise in an open air vehicle through the "African savanna" and get to see animals up close. Another favorite from our trip!

 The next day, we went to Hollywood Studios. We started the morning with a few character viewings.

We booked a character breakfast at the last minute at Hollywood & Vine for this morning. The food was pretty good and the kid's enjoyed getting autographs and pictures with Jake, Sofia, Handy Manny & Doc McStuffins.

We really wanted to do the Toy Story ride at Hollywood Studios but the line was long and we couldn't get Fast Passes. We saw the Disney Junior show which Clyde seemed to like the best. We also saw Beauty & the Beast which was okay. And Michael and Clyde were the most into the Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt show. We also did the Star Wars ride which made us a little nauseous but I think it was a hit!

We got signatures & photos with Phineaus & Ferb! Two of Clyde & Camille's favorites!

Oh and for the bargain price of $30, Camille and Clyde got their faces painted. Clyde wanted a full face paint but we thankfully convinced him to do something a little smaller!

We stayed at Hollywood Studios until about 2 that afternoon then we took the bus to Epcot. We only did a few things there but we all really liked Spaceship Earth. And the kid's liked The Seas with Nemo & Friends as well as Journey into Imagination with Figment.

That night, Michael and I had dinner at Artist's Point at the Wilderness Lodge on recommendation from a friend. It was delicious!! Neena & Moe took the kids for S'mores with Chip & Dale at Fort Wilderness.

On our last full day, we went back to the Magic Kingdom. We rode Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain again, Tomorrowland's Speedway, Haunted Mansion. We also walked Tom Sawyer's Island which the kid's seems to enjoy...there are tree houses and fun bridges to cross. We braved the Jungle Cruise as well as Pirate's of the Caribbean which everyone we all really liked.

We saw the 3 pm daily parade that day as well!

That night we had dinner at the Grand Floridian Cafe. It was very kid friendly and no buffet. We had mixed reviews on the food.

We really had the best time! So many things to do and see and I hope one day we will be able to go back! Great quality time with the kids and Neena and Moe!

March 2, 2015

Menu Planner

We avoided Richmond's second major snow storm of the season! We spent the week in Orlando at Disney World. We had an awesome trip and I will be back hopefully later this week with all the details!

For goes with this week's menu planner....
Sunday...Cooking Light Chicken & Chorizo Stew, Cornbread (box mix), Salad (Note: I left out the saffron in the soup because it is very expensive, I used paprika instead.)

Monday...Taco Casserole

Tuesday...Pizza! (This is a busy night for us with sports activities for C, C & M)

Wednesday...London Broil, Mashed Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts

Thursday...Honey Sriracha Chicken

Friday...Kate's Italian Sausage Pasta

February 17, 2015

Minted's Art & Fabric Line

I am sure you have heard of Minted. I first heard about the site years ago as a great source for Christmas cards. They produced high quality and unique photo cards and the selection was so wonderful it was hard to pick one! They still sell holiday cards, and they also have the fabulous wedding invitations. When I got married 10 years ago, it seemed that the only wedding invite option was beige paper with black script letters. So many cooler options now!

Most recently Minted has expanded into art and fabric! The great thing about their art is not only the variety of designs by independent artists but you can purchase it in many sizes, framed or unframed and they have 11 frame selections to choose from. Here are some of my favorites prints.
Arm in Arm by Jennifer Daily

Composition 4 by Jaime Derringer

Flowers by Alexandra Dzh
Autumn Breeze Landscape by Emily Jeffords
Minted also now sells fabric by the yard in some really fantastic prints. I am on the hunt for fabric to make pillows for chairs in my home office and I think some of these would be great! I have a navy blue and orange (Go Hoos!) color scheme in the room right now.

Herringbone Incomplete by Leehan Veenker

Spirited Teen Fabric by Oma N Ramkhelawan
Polka Parade by Kimberly Morgan

Midnight Florals Fabric by Alethea and Ruth

Waiting by Amelia Allen
Brushed Herringbone by Loree Mayer

Most of the prints comes in several different colorways and there are 255 to choose from! Many cute options for kids's room as well.

I know one sweet girl with a love of elephants who might like this in her room!

We got pounded with snow in Richmond last night so it is a perfect day to stay inside and do some online shopping. Check out all Minted's fabrics here and even more art selections here.

Thank you to Minted for partnering with me on this post. I was provided a merchandise credit to Minted for sharing their site with my readers.. All opinions are my own.