Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Tablescape

Being a Christmas Baby (thats right I was born on December 25th), I feel like I have a right to go crazy at Christmas. I mean who doesn't love their birthday, especially when its paired with a wonderful holiday such as Christmas?

So I decorate, bake, and say "I love Christmas!" (If my husband had a dollar for every time I have said that THIS YEAR ALONE, he would be a very rich man!). These are the ways I celebrate and prepare for a wonderful season of rejoicing over the birth of a Savior (this is a great article on the true meaning of Christmas).

Over the next three weeks you'll see a bunch of my holiday creations. This week I want to share with you my Christmas Tablescape.  

Making a cheerful table doesn't have to be expensive, just use what you have, add some candle light and you are good to go!

This is my table for Christmas (and yes, I do eat like this everyday.... just kidding). But I love the Burlap and Lace! They are so different, yet they go SO WELL together!

I made this table runner using stuff I had around the house. Some extra burlap, a fat quarter of snow flake fabric (from last year), and a strip of lace - ribbon would work well too!

 And then add little touches of things you have around. Like upside down wine glasses, votive candles, Christmas ornaments - or in my case those plastic apples that I got from a thrift store for $1.

These are actually my everyday plates, they go so well with the blue on the table!

Head on over to Centsational Girl and check out other tablescapes!

The Lettered Cottage
Also check out TLC's Link Up Party! (Click the Picture Above!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Give A Little Thanks

This was my second year hosting thanksgiving. It was even better than last year, with even better food (all gluten free, of course).

We enjoyed the warm weather they week offered and lovely company of family. Our table was simple, yet plentiful (just finished off the leftovers today with turkey soup!).

(And no this isn’t my house, my friends went out of town and offered their home, and their amazing kitchen to us! THANKS! )

I am so thankful for this past year. Its had ups and downs, but in the end I am thankful for all that has happened. This year I decided to start a new tradition,  a Thanks-Garland. I saw this idea on Pinterest, and I loved it. Its great to take the time to write down things that I am thankful for over the year, it helps me see the things that Lord has done over this year. He is oh so faithful.

This is now hanging on our Christmas Tree! I hope to make this a tradition and keep each Garland, and one day be able to look back and see the things that God did over the years.  (You can have your own too here!)

And what is a visit to Chattanooga without a little bit of hiking?

I forgot to get a picture of the whole family, but it was a good time! So thankful for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Garlic Shrimp & Spinach Pasta

G-Free Fridays JPEG Webiste

Boy do I have a good one for you all today! This meal was amazing. I used brown rice noodles, and (dare I say it) it was even better then whole wheat noodles, and more filling! So glad I made this twice this week!


All you need is

  • Big handful (or 2) of spinach (chopped)

  • 6 oz of brown rice pasta

  • Half of bell pepper (red looks cooler for this meal), Chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons butter

  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic (or three cloves chopped)

  • 1/2 lb shrimp, pealed (cooked or uncooked)

1. Cook brown rice pasta according to directions. Drain, set aside.

2. Chop up the ingredients


3. Put uncooked shrimp and peppers with butter and garlic in a pan (or if using cooked shrimp, put in once peppers are soft Рabout 5 minutes) saut̩ until shrimp is pink and peppers are soft.



4. Add cooked pasta and chopped spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted and soft (less than 2 minutes!).


Then enjoy this meal! It was amazing!! I’ll be making this a staple in our house!

Pasta 6

As far as this week goes I have not had any gluten! YAY! I am getting a little bit sick of rice (we have it at almost every meal) – but thankfully rice pasta is really good and potatoes are always an option too. Thanks for all the encouragement throughout the week.

This next week I am attempting Gluten-Free Lasagna…… Oh yeah! Tune in next Friday to check that out.

For more of my favorite recipes (both gluten-free and gluten-full), check out my FOOD page!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DIY Wood Letters : EAT Your Heart Out!


To those of you who know me, you know that I love to eat, cook, and bake. It is a great stress reliever and I love making up recipes and amazing dishes.  And I love sharing these dishes with friends, as well. One day in a friend’s house, I saw on their kitchen wall they had the word EAT. I loved it ever since – I means its not like I need to be reminded to eat when in the kitchen, but I just love how it fits with the theme of a kitchen (some of you are like “Duh, Mindy!”) . So simple, yet so beautiful. ahhhhh ;-)

So I set out to make these letters! It was simple.

I printed out large letters on a sheet of paper, traced it on to my piece of luan from Lowes for $4, cut it out with my handy jig saw, and painted!



They are far from perfect, but I love them. And I still have half of sheet of luan left to use for another project! HEY-O!

Here they are up in my kitchen.


I painted it using my Chalk Board paint. One day I might move them over the benches, and I might want to write a shopping list on them or something, too!

What are some other ideas of kitchen decor? I am in need of it, I still have a huge blank wall!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Twine Wrapped Vases

I love fall decorations. I love using oranges, maroons, burlap, twine, and all things that are rustic! I just love the look of it.

One day on Pinterest (how many sentences start like that?) I saw these amazing twine wrapped wine bottles. They looked amazing as decor and as center pieces!

Here are some of my favorites:

via PrairieMod

via FrugaliciousMe

via MoreDesignPlease

So, when I had a couple bottles of hard cider (classic fall drink), I knew I had to use it for this project! It was the easiest project - maybe took me 20 minutes to clean and wrap all three bottles!

{ Plus a glue gun! }

I can't wait to use these for centerpiece for my Thanksgiving Table-scape! :-) Projects like these are so satisfying, they are easy, cheap, and done in under thirty mintues.

What are your go-to projects when you need to accomplish something creative?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gluten-Free Goddess: Lime Chicken Tacos

One week down! Kinda....

This week went pretty well for gluten free! I ended up getting a stomach bug that knocked me off my game for two whole days, and then when I was ready to eat the only thing I could imagine putting in my mouth was hot wonton soup. So I caved and got wonton soup. But that was my only gluten indulgence for November... so far!

This past week I made these amazing Lime Chicken Tacos. Try them!

(I forgot to take a picture opps)

Lime Chicken Tacos Recipe

"I like to marinate the chicken overnight. But if you only have an hour or two- go for it. Marinate, kick back and sip a margarita with someone you love.

For the marinade:

4 split organic free-range chicken breasts (boneless saves time)

4 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons agave

A pinch of cumin, to taste- or some chopped cilantro, if you like

Fresh ground pepper

For the taco fixin's:

4 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped

2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar, Jack or dairy-free cheese

8-10 fresh and soft white corn tortillas (Mission are gluten-free)

3-4 fresh limes cut into wedges

Rinse the chicken briefly in cold water and pat dry. Place in a shallow glass or non-reactive dish.

In a small bowl combine the garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, cumin and fresh ground pepper. Pour the marinade over and under the chicken breasts. Cover tightly and marinate for at least an hour; overnight is even better.

When the grill is hot, remove the chicken from the dish and discard the marinade.

Grill the chicken over medium-high heat until it is cooked through and is no longer pink inside- about 12 to 15 minutes.

Assemble and ready your remaining taco fixin's.

Place the cooked chicken on a clean cutting board and slice thin.

Serve your tacos at a room temperature, if pliable and very fresh; or heat them gently. Here's what I do.

In a clean skillet or griddle, heat a scant amount of olive oil and briefly heat the white corn tortillas one or two at a time, coating them with just a scant amount of oil to soften them; remove to a tortilla warmer lined with a clean, warm towel.

Have everyone assemble their own tacos.

Serves 4."

Thanks Karina for this great food, and great website!
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