Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I signed up to bring in a dessert to my daughter's school for a teacher appreciation luncheon.  I love to bake, but this time I decided to go with chocolate covered strawberries.

I bought two bags of the Wilton Candy Melts (on sale for $1.99 at Michaels) and a three pound container at BJ's for $2.99.  I already had the cupcake liners and sprinkles.  So for three pounds of dessert... around $7 isn't bad to spend.

I love making these for get togethers. People assume they are tedious to make, but they are so easy.

First I melted the milk chocolate; which Wilton refers to as light cocoa.  I just emptied the bag in a small pot on the stove over low heat and whisked until they melted.  Then I whisked a bit more. 

Earlier I had rinsed off and hand dried my strawberries and set them out to be room temperature.

Just simple dip and swirl each strawberry, then lay on a sheet of wax paper.  Immediately after dipping I covered some of them with sprinkles.

Then I melted the white chocolate and dipped those.  I took some leftover white chocolate and attempted to drizzle it over some of the chocolate dipped ones. 

I was more pleased with the white chocolate ones with the chocolate lines on them.  I simply took a bit of melted chocolate in a sandwich size ziploc bag, snipped off the corner, and then squeezed lines over the strawberries.

Once they were all done and and the chocolate had hardened, I placed each one in a cupcake liner and arranged them on a tray.

Linking up at -

Somewhat Simple
Happy Go Lucky - Shine on Fridays
Six Sister's Stuff - Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Recipe - 285 Calorie Breakfast Sandwich

My husband and I have been eating these breakfast sandwiches just about every day since we started using My Fitness Pal. 

This one comes in at 285 calories. 

It consists of -

1 Pepperidge Farm deli flat (100)
1 serving (2oz) of Canadian bacon (60)
1 Sargento slice of ultra thin mild cheddar (45)
1 fried Eggland's Best egg cooked in Pam cooking spray (80)

*You can also use a lean deli ham in place of the Canadian bacon for roughly the same amount of calories.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Miscellany Monday

I am linking up at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday.

{1} I added the cutest new custom Instagram magnets to my etsy shop this week.  You can use coupon code, FREESHIP to get free shipping off of any order from now until the end of June.   If you have your own blog and would love a free magnet to blog about and a chance to offer a chance for one of your readers to receive 2 free magnets,  send me an email at instamagnet {at}

{2} I took a three day weekend (minus a thirty minute team meeting this morning) from work and it was much needed and fabulous.

{3} We had a busy, fun, and productive weekend. Saturday we went to Connecticut where we went outlet shopping, mall shopping, Home Goods shopping, and out to lunch. Sunday I did stuff around the house while Chris and Maddie went hiking and then we grilled out, went to Target, and then watched a movie. Today we CLEANED like crazy people and I know have a bag of clothes to donate to my cousin's daughter and two bags of assorted clothes I need to find some local organization to donate to. I also cleaned out our washer and did laundry; we went out to dinner, and went grocery shopping.

{4} Saturday night I ordered new bedding. I cannot wait for it to arrive. We went with a new duvet, duvet cover, fitted sheet (we don't use a top one) and pillow cases. I googled a promotion code and ended up getting 20% off. My goal this week is to work on a piece of art which will go over our bed once our new bedding arrives.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Our Weekly Meal Plan

I think we eat better meals when I meal plan in advance. I am loving this free meal planner download from the Project Girl.  You can even add your text into the pdf file and then print it out. 

Our Weekly Meal Plan

 Monday - Bangin' Grilled Shrimp (making extra sauce for fish tacos later in the week) and Grilled Chicken with a mango marinade I picked up at BJ's.

Tuesday - Bubble Up Enchiladas - made with Trader Joe's enchilada sauce (the best) and lean ground turkey. 
Wednesday - Fish Tacos - I am going to use some of the leftover sauce from Monday's shrimp, corn, black beans, cabbage, and tilapia which we picked up at Costco and have had in the freezer
Thursday - Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad
Friday - Out to Eat - We are going to go to a local place which is like a Mediterranean subway of sorts.  You can have salads made with gyro meat, grilled chicken, and/or felafel.

I am linking up to -

Menu Plan Monday

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SO WHAT Wednesday

I am linking up with Shannon over at "Life After I Dew".

SO WHAT if ... I will be leading my 3 pm conference call today in my mismatched pajamas.  I doubt I will be showering and changing beforehand.. and if for some reason I shower before, I will just put another pair of ridiculously mismatched pajamas on.  By mismatched... I am currently wearing pumpkin pajama pants and an orange t-shirt from Old Navy with a giant peace sign on it.

SO WHAT if ... even though I swore after the MOVE FROM HELL last August I would DIE in this house, we have been talking about moving.  Basically this move hasn't been the magical hopeful change we expected it to be.  Basically we have family ten minutes away we have seen ONCE since moving here.  Basically as I told Chris the other day, if my car broke down I have NOBODY but him to call.  It sucks.  I miss having friends to go to dinner with, to go shopping with, to actually SEE.  Another move may be in our near future... most likely not until 2013, but it's being considered.

SO WHAT if ...  from February of 2007 to February of 2008 I lost 72 pounds (and looked and felt amazing) and have gained it all back and then some.  My husband I started using My Fitness Pal on Sunday and so far so good.  I knew once I started again, I could do it.  I just needed to no pun intended... get my ass in gear.  I know we can do this.

SO WHAT if ... I am loving all of the "wives" shows.  I watch them all.  Mob Wives, Basketball Wives, and all of the Real Housewives series.  I know it is trash reality... but I cannot stop watching.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Randoms...

Chris has been working a different shift at work and going in at noon. So this morning since I didn't have to work until 2, we went out for breakfast at a dive.  I love going there because the food is great and so inexpensive.  I always get the $5.75 special which includes a Belgian waffle, two eggs, two slices of bacon, and two sausage links. I never eat all of it... but it's cheaper to just order this combo.

Speaking of work... I really love my job.   I am a lead help desk analyst for a small company. After teaching middle school for nine years, this job was a welcome change.  My last few years of teaching weren't the greatest and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to have this work from home job.  It doesn't hurt that last night my boss told me I was "fantastic" and "she wished she could clone me". That was definitely nice to hear.

Yesterday after work I was exhausted.  So I got in bed pretty early to catch up on some shows on my DVR.  I am shocked every week on 16 & Pregnant when these pregnant girls are allowed to have their baby daddy move in with them.  Never in a million years would my parents have allowed for that.  Am I the only one who thinks that is crazy?  Then I watched Private Practice and bawled my eyes out.  I love that show.  It is always so emotional to watch; but I enjoy it every week.  I am sad this week was the season finale.

I am so glad the weather is nicer here.  I love having the windows and doors open all day long.  I am sure in another month I will be hot and complaining because we have no central air.

After plowing through the first two books in the Shades of Grey series and the first two books in the Hunger Games series... I now need to finish Bloom, read Mockingjay, Fifty Shades Freed, and Skinnydipping by Bethenny Frankel (a Mother's Day gift).  I better get going...

I ordered this new iPhone case today.  Rue Lala had them on sale for like $13, but I wasn't about to pay a $10 shipping charge for a case that weighs less than 12 oz.  I found the same case on the Lilly Pulitzer website for $19.95, but with free shipping. So I ordered it there.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Miscellany Monday

1. My 34th Birthday

Today is my 34th birthday.  I remember when I thought that was old.  I certainly don't feel old.  I don't feel like I think 34 should feel... if that is even possible. To celebrate my birthday I took the day off of work.  I have no idea how I will spend my day... other than I will spend it not working.  Yay me.  With that said, I will probably spend an hour meal planning and grocery shopping.

2. Mother's Day

Thanks to Chris and Maddie I had a great day.  I would say my favorite thing was the beautiful card I received from my husband.  Maddie and Chris brought me breakfast, flowers, cards, and a book.  Madison even made me a hand painted flower pot at school.  I was so surprised they made stuff at her new middle school. Then we spent the afternoon at the mall (Maddie needed new bathing suits) and had a fabulous lunch at PF Changs.  It was a great, yet bittersweet today... I cannot help but think how different today should have been. 

3. Blogging Blah

I am sort of in a blogging rut.  I am still following and reading tons of blogs every day, but my own inspiration to write frequently is definitely lacking.  I am hoping to get it back sometime soon.

I am linking up with Carissa over at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WILW / Oh, How Pinteresting!

I ordered this fun print from etsy via Pen and Paint on Monday.  I am going to frame it and hang it in our guest room/office/craft room for now.  I follow the artist on Facebook and this morning she posted she had listed it and within 8 minutes I had purchased it.  She even shipped it out on Monday... Then of course on Tuesday I saw she was offering a % discount on a blog I follow.  I messged her and she honored the discount!! What great customer service... I will definitely be a repeat customer.

Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

I have heard mixed reviews about the Shades of Grey series.  But guess what? I hardly ever read anything that you would consider great literature... so this to me is a great series. In the evenings I like to unwind with gossip magazines, reality TV, or these books. Yes... they aren't the best written books and they are far from quality literature, but they are fun and I am enjoying reading the story of Christian and Ana.  I am now on Book III.  I am hoping to end up with my own "Shades of Grey Baby".

Source: via Avis on Pinterest

I have made this iced lemon pound cake twice.  It is easy and amazing.  I highly suggest you make it ASAP.  You will not be disappointed.

I am linking up here -

Monday, May 7, 2012

Our Weekend

Friday afternoon after work I met Chris and dropped off Madison.  He took her back to his work for a bit and I rushed home.  My sister had mailed me books II and III in the Fifty Shades series and I was eager to get started on book II.  After they left Chris' work they made stops to Michaels, the book store, and the liquor store to get some Skinny Girl Sangria for me.  By the time they came home, it was late, so we opted for Chinese food and TV in the living room.  Then I baked iced lemon pound cakes and made a cheeseball for a graduation party on Saturday.

Saturday we got up, got ready, and realized we were starving before we left to head to Connecticut.  We stopped at a little diner in our small town on our way to the highway, sat at the counter, and had a quick bite to eat before getting on the road.  We ended up at my cousin Danny's college graduation party in Connecticut.  I was the flower girl in Danny's parents' wedding when I was a little girl.  This was a special graduation party because all of my mother's siblings were in attendance.  My mom is the oldest of 8 children - 4 boys and 4 girls.  Here they are at the party (my mom is in the front in the blue shirt) -

We had a great time at the party.  My Aunt Mary made homemade cream puffs - lemon and chocolate raspberry ones.  They were amazing.  I am hoping to get the recipe so I can recreate them at home.  It was nice to catch up and see everyone.  My mom came up from Virginia, her sister, Denise from South Carolina, and her brother, Tom from Georgia. After the party we stopped by Marshalls and Kohls for a little shopping before heading home.

I had to work on Sunday for a few hours.  Madison had a friend over.  My husband took them to see The Hunger Games for the third time. Madison went to the movies with $20 and came home with $0.  Afterwards we had a nice chat about not spending every dime.  After the movie the girls came back to the house and made a video.  After Madison's friend left she uploaded it and created this movie.  When she showed me last night I was floored.  She is pretty tech savvy and did all of the "movie making" and "editing" on her own.  Sunday evening we grilled out and I had some wine... three glasses full.  We ended the night with Chris watching a movie and me plowing through Fifty Shades Darker.