November 2014 archive

The ‘EYES’ have it: the 4 best beauty products to brighten eyes and conceal dark circles

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Believe me when I say I’ve done my homework on this.  I’ve been on the search for 12 months to find products that brighten my eyes and conceal the dark circles.  And along the way, I’ve picked up some great tips I’ll share with you today.  Here are 4 products to show off your best self, especially on those mornings when you could use a few more z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-s.

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Soapy Secrets & Dirty Laundry: 4 Clothes Management and Cleaning Tips from the Laundry Room

Today I’m sharing my soapy secrets and dirty laundry (literally) for clothes management and cleaning tips for the ugliest of stains.  Let’s face it, we spend a LOT of time in the laundry room, and if you’ve been following along with my blog you know I’m all about saving time and using items we already have to simplify life.

So here are four secrets I’ve learned along the way.  You won’t believe how inexpensive and easy they are.

1) Use a shower curtain rod for air-drying clothes. 

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So, I stumbled upon this trick by complete accident.  I hang a lot of our clothes to dry, especially the girls’, because I’ve found they keep their shape so much better and look nicer for longer.  Also my laundry room is pretty small so I need to maximize every inch.  One night I was bathing the girls, looked up, and thought… let’s move it to the laundry room, and so I did.  I keep moving it up a few inches every couple of months as their clothes get bigger.  And once I can’t reach any longer I’ll continue using it for tops, pants, and skirts.  This has been a great solution for us, and any tension rod will do.

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A Peaceful & Balanced Retreat: Master Bedroom Design

After a day full of activity I want a master bedroom that is a peaceful and balanced retreat, designed and furnished with my very favorite things so I can relax. I follow 5 key design tips that I want to share with you in pictures from my own home and from other master bedrooms I think are lovely and inviting.

1) Tranquil colors and lots of layers help me to relax.

  50 Shades Of Style - Style Estate - http://blog.styleestate.com/style-estate-blog/50-shades-of-style.html

Source: blog.styleestate.com

When I think of relaxation I think spa!  This gorgeous room from homebunch.com is so elegant.  I love a beautifully made bed.  For some reason it’s more comfy to crawl in when it’s  made.

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Heart Warming Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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With the temperatures finally dropping I love to make a hearty soup for dinner, and this soup is the most comfort of comfort foods.  I have two favorite soups – this Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup and my mom’s Broccoli and Cheese (coming soon on the blog).  Both equally delicious.  My precious friend Stephanie gave me this recipe a couple of years ago, and in addition to making it about once a week during the fall and winter, it’s also become our pre-Thanksgiving meal.  You know, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when all of the family arrives, but it’s not quite turkey time.  My amazing family gobbles it up.

I also really like this soup because it’s made in the crockpot.  I leave for work in the morning, turn it on, and arrive to my home filled with the wonderful smell of a good meal, ready to eat.  That’s great news for a busy mom.

I’m so mushy sentimental, so I also like serving this soup in my favorite brown Spode dishes that came from Aunt Marguerite.  I’m sure it gives the soup extra spice, just like her.

Here’s the recipe for this great meal.

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Ingredients

  1. 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  4. 1 package rice-a-roni long grain and wild rice (this is the secret weapon)
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper
  7. 1/2 cup flour
  8. 1/2 cup butter
  9. 2 cups half and half
  10. 1 cup diced carrots
  11. 1 cup diced celery

Directions

Combine broth, water, carrots, celery, chicken, and rice (with seasoned packet) in crockpot.  Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.  Take out the chicken and shred it.  Return it to the pot.  In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour.  In a medium saucepan melt the butter.  Stir in the flour mix by tablesppon to form a roux.  Whisk in the cream a little at a time until incorporated.  Stir the cream mix into the cooker and let cook on low for 15 minutes.

I like to serve this soup with a great blue cheese salad and warm baguette.  It’s sure to warm you up and keep the conversation going over a special dinner with friends.

If you are interested in more fall recipes and decorating tips, you can find them here and here.

Enjoy!

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