Five on Friday!

Friday, February 27, 2015

This week I had a week-long business trip to Houston. I was hoping the weather would be nice like Florida but the forecast called for rain and in the 60s. Well... I arrived to the airport to find out that it was in the 30s. So this whole week it's been in the 30s and all I had was a Columbia fleece jacket. I survived and enjoyed getting to catch up with some friends who live here and getting to know the people who were in my training class this week.

Monday night, we met up with two of our friends who live in Houston. It was so great to catch up and unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. Tuesday night, we were treated to Fogo de Chao which was ah-mazing. Of course, I had to get a picture of my dessert.

Wednesday night, we met up with one of our friends at the Galleria and had dinner at a restaurant in Nordstrom which was delicious. 

I may or may not have checked out the Tory purses for my birthday...

Today, we are driving down to my brother and sister-in-laws house in Ft. Lauderdale for the weekend. We're super excited to see them again since we haven't seen them since Christmas. We'll be celebrating Lauren's birthday and Sunny's first birthday!!

This is going to sound so silly but we are super pumped because a new Publix is opening!! The one we currently have in our town is old and super tiny - like barley room for 2 carts in one isle. The new one looks amazing and HUGE. Stephen's been counting down until it opens so we don't have to go back to the awful one that's slightly further away. I'm really hoping for a sushi station.. fingers crossed!

J Crew Factory released their spring collection and below are some pieces that have me swoon. Right now, everything is an extra 30% off with the code HURRYSPRING.

Am I the only one who's holding out for the new Lilly Pulitzer line at Target? I'm super excited for it and am trying super hard to save some of my fun money for a mini spending spree ;)

Second Bedroom Redo | Part 2

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Last week I talked about our 2 bedroom apartment dilemma and how we're trying to make the best of our small space. Thank you for your kind comments on how we're trying to utilize our space - they were greatly appreciated! We finally finished the last stage of the process by creating a fabric cover for all of the items we have stored under tables.

You can read about our situation and some solutions here.

We bought 4 yards of fabric from Jo Ann's and I had planned on using fabric glue but it bled through and the colors were bleeding onto each other. My only other option was to hand sew the whole thing (I found out half way through that there is iron on fabric glue stuff), By the time I got 3/4 of the way done, I was so over the hand sewing. I'm so glad I persevered because I love how it turned out, but I did vow to never hand sew ever again. 

To secure the fabric and obtain access to everything underneath, we epoxied Velcro to the table and sewed it onto the fabric. It hides everything underneath perfectly!

Here's a quick overview

At some point I'd like to make a bulletin board to put above my desk but I'll save that for another day - I'm pretty DIY'd out right now.

Linking up with Annie.

Tuna Patties

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A few weeks ago, Stephen and I wanted to try to make something relatively simple for dinner so I turned to Pinterest and found this recipe for tuna patties. They ended up being pretty easy to make and delicious - double win! I paired them with Parmesan Couscous and roasted okra which were the perfect sides (the Parmesan Couscous is the best couscous in our minds). 

- 2 6oz cans of tuna (2 is supposed to make about 4 patties so we used 3 to make it last longer so we added just a little bit more of all the ingredients to even it out)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup of bread torn into small pieces
- 1 tsp lemon zest (we didn't have this)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water (or liquid from the cans of tuna - we used the water from the tuna cans)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 raw egg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp butter
- Optional: hot sauce (Stephen added some to his for flavor once they were cooked since I don't like hot sauce)

1. Drain the tuna cans but make sure to keep a tbsp of the liquid if using tuna with water. Mix together the tuna, 1 tsp olive oil, mustard, torn bread pieces, lemon zest, lemon juice, water parsley and hot sauce (if desired). Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the mixture and taste to make sure you don't need anymore seasoning. This is your last chance before mixing in the egg.

2. Add the egg to the mixture then form your tuna mixture into a ball/patty shape. In the original recipe, they say to put your patties on a wax paper lined tray and chill them in a fridge for about an hour to help the patties stay together when cooking. We went ahead and cooked them because we didn't have time to wait for them to chill.

3. Heat 1 tsp and a little butter (for taste) and place the patties on the pan. Cook about 3-5 minutes until browned.

Weekending with the Special Olympics

Monday, February 23, 2015

I saw this floating around on Facebook and had to post it since it's pretty funny. I've been hearing that it's down to -17 degrees for some people up north and I honestly don't understand how y'all survive - major props because we were pretty cold down here and it was only in the 30s.

I don't have too many pictures of this weekend because it was relatively low key. Friday we stayed in and enjoyed a movie and then Saturday we woke up early for the Special Olympics. We volunteered through Stephen's work and had a blast. Stephen was a volleyball referee and I helped keep score. It was amazing to see how happy and excited the athletes were to compete and just have fun playing. There were a few teams that were AMAZING - like I wouldn't even dare to step on the court in fear of a Meet the Parents moment (if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can watch the scene here). 

One big thing I really noticed and liked about this event was there was no obsessive competitiveness. The athletes just truly loved playing and if someone messed up, they didn't care. The applauded when someone finally hit the ball, whether it went in the right direction or not. Everyone had true sportsmanship. You also didn't see any crazy parents getting mad at the coaches or their kids - they just loved watching their kids have fun. I really respect and applaud the Special Olympics organization and I think it's absolutely fantastic. I cannot wait to help out again for their future events. 

After the Olympics were over, we enjoyed the nice weather out and walked around a new mall area we discovered. We're super excited to go over there for date nights instead of driving all the way over to Orlando. We turned into super old people that night - dinner before 5 and we were asleep before 9... so bad.

After church on Sunday, we ran to Target to grab a few things for the house and ended up getting a neat little swag bag FULL of cleaning samples. You also know you're old when you get excited about cleaning samples and think of ways you could totally utilize them.

I'm super pumped because we finally finished up our second room and can't wait to post pictures this week! We love how it turned out. If you want to see what it looked like before finishing it you can check it out here.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a wonderful Monday!

Linking up with Biana.

Five on Friday!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Another week has come and gone and another Friday is here! Am I the only one who thinks this is bittersweet? I feel like time is going by way to fast but I'm never upset for a weekend.

Thanks to Instagram, I realized this weekend is the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I am not a runner - I hate running actually but I know it's an amazing form of exercise and people who run look amazing. In the past, I've done a handful of 5k's but a few years ago (2013) my roommate asked if I wanted to do a half marathon with her and a few of her friends. I jumped on board because it was Disney (hello?!) and I've always wanted to say I did a half marathon. I cannot believe that I finished and actually had fun. Now, I didn't run the whole thing but I did end up running more than I thought. I do have to say, Disney does it right. Even though it is pretty pricey to do a race at Disney - it is soo worth it. You get to run through places you never knew existed and see some neat behind the scenes things. They also have areas setup throughout the course where you can take pictures with characters. If you're thinking about doing a half marathon - do this one! There were a lot of people who just walked the whole thing, but that's alright because it's all about the experience.

My only 2 regrets: 1. I didn't train hard enough to be able to run with my roommates (who ran the whole thing!) 2. I didn't have someone like my sister or Stephen to do it with because then they're obligated to stop for pictures with the characters ;)

I realized I ran the Princess 5k with my mom and a friend in 2011, then 2 years later did the 1/2. What did I do in 2015? Nothing but sit on the couch... 

I know the cold weather in Florida is nothing compared to anywhere north of Orlando, but yesterday it was COLD. I went to a job site for work, I was bundled up and it was so cold my fingers, toes, ears and mouth were numb from the freezing wind that was whipping around outside. I honestly have no clue how these guys work in places like Michigan during the winter. Very thankful for my warm desk job in FL.

I'm not a huge Ben & Jerry's fan (mainly because the price is so outrageous) but Jimmy Fallon just got his own ice cream flavor and it sounds super delish. Maybe we'll splurge and grab some this weekend (if it's even in stores yet).

On Tuesday I posted this recipe for Crock Pot Tortellini and it seemed to be a huge hit! I think you should definitely try it this weekend because it's the perfect meal for when it's cold outside and it's easy to make.

I'm sure everyone is dying to know whether or not I ended up purchasing this skirt but I bought it Friday and am super excited to get it in the mail. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll get it in time for our trip down south next weekend but I'm sure I'll find lots of other places to wear it :)

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Second Bedroom Redo | Part 1

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Right now, Stephen and I live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment so our storage is very limited and therefore we have to get creative. We currently use our second bedroom as an office, garage and storage room. It's a mess, but it works. I've been seeing a lot of office inspiration on Pinterest and decided to get our 2nd room in better order. I didn't want to spend too much money since this is a temporary living situation and there's nothing we can do with the stuff in the room.

Some of the bigger challenges of the room:
Two desks - Originally, we had 2 desks - one from my bedroom suite which has a filing cabinet and one that was passed down to Stephen that has a lot of surface area but no storage. The passed down desk was great when I was still in school, because I had tons of space to spread out and work but we don't need that space now.

Storage space - There are a lot of items that we need to keep but have no storage - i.e. Christmas/holiday decorations, Stephen's office items (cords, computer components, etc.), a safe, wrapping paper, gift boxes and my china sets.

Garage items - since we don't have a garage, we have no place to store Stephen's golf clubs, the artificial Christmas tree we purchased on major sale last year and Stephen's old DJ equipment from college that he needs to sell.

Here are some before pictures...

There is no longer a need for 2 desks and you can't even use the desk on the right due to the safe being underneath it.

This area right next to the door is where we kept all of the "Garage items". It got out of control once we added the Christmas tree.

I cannot wait to get a china cabinet once we get a house to display my beautiful china! At least the boxes are cute to look at ;)

I am very pleased with how the room turned out. There's pretty much the same amount of items but I feel like it's less crowded. 

Some of the ways we fixed the challenges:
Two desks - we took apart the desk that was passed down, separated it and used it more as a table than a desk. We made the desk that I had the primary desk again. We put the printer on one table and left the other one pretty empty. We really needed the underneath as storage and both tables fit everything quite comfortably.

Storage space - as I said above, we really utilized the taken apart desk for storage underneath it. I'm currently in the process of sewing fabric to attach to the outside of the tables so they're covered and you cannot see the items under it (I'll do another post once that's complete).

Garage items - Unfortunately we still need to keep these items but we relocated them to the corner of the room since we rarely use them. They're still an eyesore, but they fit perfectly in the corner and really open the room up since they're not sitting right in front of the door.

This is my little area of the room where I do most of my blogging so I added flowers. I made the two pillows for our wedding and we weren't using them anywhere so I thought they added to the room and made the chairs more comfortable. In the future, I really want to make a cute bulletin board to hang above my desk (like this one).

I'm definitely enjoying the room a lot more than I used to and can't wait to finish it up! It's also going to be super nice when we have a house and I can actually have an office. Check back for part 2 & part 3!

Linking up with Annie.

Crock Pot Tortellini

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It's been a while since I've done a blog post with a recipe. We made this sausage and cheese tortellini dish in the crock pot a while ago and I can't believe I haven't shared it sooner. It is SO GOOD!

- 1 (32 oz) package chicken broth
- 1 (20 oz) package of tortellini
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes (seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano)
- 8 oz. cream cheese (we used low fat)
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional - used as a topping)

1. Cook your sausage in a skillet. While the sausage is cooking, take your cream cheese out of the fridge to soften.

2. Put the sausage and tortellini in the crock pot. Pour the tomatoes, undrained, and broth over the top. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and add it to the crock pot and stir all the ingredients together.

3. Cook on low for 4.5 hours, stirring every 2 hours. Remove the lid for the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Enjoy!