20 under $20 – Kitchen Fun

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Today I’m sharing 20 fun finds for your kitchen – all under $20! It’s important to show your personality in your home and the kitchen is a great space to do so. I’m a big fan of cute tea towels (I bought a new one as a souvenir from Montana) plus I love my colorful knife set. Chopping onions is slightly more fun when you’re using a purple knife! I also have a cute owl utensil holder and an “ain’t nobody got thyme for that” cross-stitch from my friend Michelle (plus a few other fun items) that make me smile while I’m cooking. If your kitchen is currently lacking some personality, I’ve pulled together 20 items that will instantly add a pop of whimsy to your space. These items would also be great hostess gifts for an upcoming dinner party!

I only own one of the items on the list below, but I want all of them! All of the items are available on Amazon…2 day shipping FTW! The links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage commission at no additional cost to you. If you’re uncomfortable with that, just use the Amazon search to find the items – no worries!

1 – Every day utensils don’t have to be boring! This Jaime Oliver knife set is so bright and fun. Like I said before, chopping onions is slightly more fun when you are using a colorful knife! 
2 - Show your state pride with this bamboo cutting board (looks like all of the states are available)! If you don’t want to use this for cooking, you could just lean it against the backsplash or hang it on the wall to bring some warmth to the kitchen (especially if you don’t have wood cabinets).
3 – Like I said above, utensils don’t have to be boring. There’s also a matching spoon that says “Stir Crazy”…too cute!
4 – Pot holders and oven mitts are a must in the kitchen, so they might as well have some personality. My favorite oven mitt is shaped like an alligator and I bought it while we were in New Orleans. I also have a set that I bought in Paris.
5 – These Mason jar measuring spoons are so cute! They’re also available in light blue and yellow. I know I’ve seen the light blue ones at World Market, but I don’t remember seeing the other colors. You might want to check prices in stores before ordering online. They’re probably cheaper, especially if you have a coupon!

6 – I mentioned before that I’m a big fan of tea towels and this one would be perfect for my BBFF Meaghan. She has long, beautiful red hair that always reminds me of Ariel. I’m definitely sending her this for her birthday.
7 – I don’t drink coffee and I rarely drink any other hot beverage, but this coffee cup made me laugh out loud.
8 – Speaking of laughing out loud, this tea towel is hilarious. As I write this, it’s only $6! I’ve already ordered one for my kitchen. I know my boyfriend is going to laugh too.
9 – As a Parks & Rec fan, I wish this said “Treat Yo Self” but it’s still cute, so I’ll let it slide.
10 – This brand has so many cute/funny utensils, but I love this serving set. They are kind of hard to read in the picture, but they say: Oh My Gravy, Get Saucy, and Just a Dollop.

11 – Elephants are one of my favorite animals, so I have a soft spot for this tea pot. Plus the neutral color will look great in any space.
12 – I have a confession to make…I’m scared of birds. The real ones freak me out, but I love bird items in decorating. This owl cookie jar reminds me of my owl utensil holder.
13 – I need a butter dish and I love this cute whale one. It would look so cute on the kitchen counter…or do you store your butter in the fridge? I keep mine in the fridge, but I know some people leave it out. I would guess it depends on the temperature of the room?
14 – Dachshund ice cubes! These would be so fun to make for a party, especially with kids. One of my friends has a wiener dog and her kids would go nuts for these ice cubes.
15 – Salt and pepper shakers are one of the easiest ways to add some personality to your kitchen. I like this set of blowfish shakers, but there are sets for everything and anything you may be interested in. Personally, I have an owl set and a tea pot set that was my grandma’s.

16 – This list is mostly focused on the look of your kitchen, but how about the smell? A scented candle is an easy way to liven up any room. Grapefruit thyme sounds like the perfect kitchen scent, but anything would work.
17 – How cute are these glasses? It would be too pricey to buy a full set of these, but I love the idea of fun drinking glasses.
18 – My mom bought me this spoon rest for Christmas a couple years ago and I still love it. It’s a fun pop of color on my black stovetop and it’s super handy. She bought it at World Market, so check there first if you have one nearby. I’m not sure if they are still available in store or not, but if so, it’ll definitely be cheaper that way.
19 – This eat sign could be left as-is or painted whatever color your heard desires. You could also add patterned paper or a fun design to the letters.
20 – This sugar jar is the same brand as #9. The whole kitchen line is adorable. Unfortunately, all of the reviews are sponsored and a few are even negative ones, so it’s hard to judge the quality. Has anyone seen these pieces in person? I’d be interested to know if they are as cute as the pictures.

OK, so what’s your favorite item? I love the Namaste tea towel (which I’ve already ordered) and the fun serving spoons (which I probably won’t order because I already have LOTS of serving utensils).

Pinterest Recipe Week #7 Review

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last Monday I announced that I was going to cook dinner for the whole week based only on recipes that I’ve pinned on Pinterest - aka Pinterest Recipe Week.  Everything turned out pretty good, but not all earned a spot in my recipe binder. Before I crap on any recipes I want to say that these are just our opinions. You might like something we didn’t like or vice versa. That’s what makes food fun; everyone is different. Oh, and sorry for the non-staged food pictures. I was more concerned about eating the food while it was still hot rather than getting good pictures. OK, let’s get to the reviews (in no particular order):

Caprese Stuffed Garlic Butter Portobellos

I’m not sure what to say about this recipe. It was good, but nothing special. Although I think I would consider making them again. I know this review isn’t super helpful, but I just can’t decide how I feel about this dish.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

We really liked this except for the homemade enchilada sauce. Maybe it was just the brand of chili powder that I used, but the flavor was overwhelming. I would definitely make this again, but I’ll use store bought sauce next time. Also, I halved the recipe and made it in an 8x8 dish instead of the full pan since there’s just two of us. Avocado on top is a must!

Shrimp and Avocado Taco Salad

This recipe is so perfect for summer. It’s light, fresh and only requires a few minutes working near on the stove. I added green onion to the salad and doubled the shrimp, but other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and it was a winner.

Black Bean Dip

no picture =(

This recipe was super easy to make and really tasty. The directions don’t say to warm it up, but I definitely recommend doing so. I thought it tasted a lot better warm vs. room temp. I would definitely make this again for a quick snack or as an easy party dip. 

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cupcakes

Mmmm, so yummy! My boyfriend’s favorite desserts are carrot cake and cheesecake so obviously he was a big fan too. My only mistake was not letting the ingredients of the cheesecake come to room temperature as directed so it turned out a bit lumpy. Patience is not one of my virtues! I also forgot to add the pecans, but didn’t notice until I saw the bag of them in the pantry a couple days later! Whoops!

Black Bean Burgers

This was my first time making (and eating) a black bean burger, so I don't really have anything to compare this recipe to, but I thought it was really good. We topped ours with the chipotle mayo from the recipe, plus our favorite burger toppings. I'm still partial to beef burgers, but this is a good substitute for our meatless nights.

Pineapple Avocado Green Smoothie

We been drinking a lot of smoothies lately, but this ended up being one of my favorite flavor combinations. I loved the sweetness of the pineapple and the creaminess of the avocado, so I'm going to be adding those to more of my smoothies!

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

We both really liked this recipe. I only marinated the salmon for 15 minutes because I was running late with dinner. I didn't read the directions fully beforehand and the prep time ended up being a lot longer than I thought. I would definitely recommend making the teriyaki sauce the day before so you don't have to wait for it to cool before marinating the salmon. I'm not a huge fan of sriracha, but I really liked the cream sauce. I thought it went perfectly with the teriyaki sauce. We ended up saving the leftover Sriracha cream sauce for chicken teriyaki bowls this week.

Pinterest Recipe Week #7

Monday, July 18, 2016

It’s Pinterest Recipe Week! Can you believe it’s been almost two years since the last one?!?! For those of you who are new, Pinterest Recipe Week is my plan to cook a week’s worth of dinners (plus a few bonuses) only from recipes I’ve pinned. You can read the previous six recaps here.

Every weekend I meal plan for the upcoming week. We usually eat out of Fridays and Saturdays, so I typically plan five dinners each week. We’re trying to eat less meat so two of those dinners are usually meatless dishes. This week I’m also adding a smoothie recipe for breakfast, an appetizer, and a dessert!

Today I’m sharing my plan for the week and next Monday I’ll be back with my reviews. Let’s hope everything tastes as good as it looks!


Pineapple Avocado Green Smoothie


Black Bean Dip


Caprese Stuffed Garlic Butter Portobellos

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

Black Bean Burgers
Shrimp and Avocado Taco Salad


Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cupcakes


Don’t forget to check back next week to see how everything turned out!

2016 Mid-Year Review

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I know I say this every year, but 2016 is flying by! I can’t believe it’s already July! Now that we’ve hit the halfway point, it’s time to check on the progress of the goals I made back in January (see them here). Original comments are in italics.

#1 Finish 2015 Projects

Last year two of my goals were to landscape the backyard and finish at least one of the rooms I’d already started (living room, laundry room, office, craft room, and master bathroom). I didn’t complete either of those goals, so I’m carrying them over to 2016.

After years of no progress on the backyard, it’s finally done! Although I’m back to battling the weeds and trying my hardest to keep my new plants alive in the heat. Regardless, it’s done and we are loving it. I haven’t finished any of those rooms listed, but I still have time to cross them off my list this year…

#2 Crafts/Small Projects

Another goal from last year was to do more crafts and small projects. I didn’t do very well on that goal last year, but I’m bringing it back this year because I really want to spend more time crafting and creating this year. I really do enjoy project time and want to focus more on it this year.

I don’t think I’ve done any crafts or small projects this year, so this one is a big, fat fail so far.

# 3 Be Healthy

Like most people, my goal this year (and every year) is to be more active/eat healthier. Last summer I got a gym membership and started taking Zumba classes a couple times a week. I slacked off during the holidays, but I want to get back into that. This isn’t just about traditional exercise and gym time though. It could be anything from hiking to walking the dogs around the neighborhood. For example, on Saturday I went to the zoo with my friend and we walked at least a couple miles. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon and get some extra steps in. I also started walking on the treadmill while I talk on the phone with my mom. It’s been a great way to get an extra mile worth of steps in my day.

And of course eating healthier has to be on the list…I say this as I’m eating a cookie…Anyway, I really want to find the balance between eating healthy, but still making it enjoyable. I love food and I really enjoy going out to restaurants and trying new dishes. It’s one of my favorite things, but I also enjoy fitting in my jeans. So I’m really going to work this year on finding healthier alternatives and eating smaller portions of those unhealthy dishes that I love, but probably shouldn’t eat. This will also be a great chance to try out some new healthy recipes. I have a few that I really love, but I need more of a variety.

Ooof, as a whole, I have not done well on this one. I’ve been pretty good about eating healthy the past month or so (not so good before that), but I’m definitely lacking exercise. I think I’ve been to the gym once this year…I know. Luckily there’s still time and if you saw my ‘30 for 30’ list last week, you might have noticed that there were a lot of physical activities on there so hopefully that’ll be good motivation.

In summary, I’m making progress on my goals, but definitely need to step it up in the next six months. Let’s get crafty/healthy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...