Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tropic Tan!!

Our vacation couldn't have come at a better time! We have been so busy this month that we're ready to relax! Hubby has been flying to interviews, running a Bschool conference and taking finals. I have been (thankfully) busy with filling orders, making jewelry and traveling for jewelry. It's been a great month for both of us BUT that doesn't mean that we haven't been counting down the days since the 1st of February! We are leaving for Punta Cana, Dominican Republic this coming Tuesday! We're calling it our "honeymoon" even though we did take a honeymoon when we got married but everything was such a whirlwind that this will probably feel more like a honeymoon. (For those of you who don't know the story, we got engaged, married and moved to a new city all within 3 months) It was busy! So now we're going to celebrate, and celebrate we will! Eat, drink, sleep, tan and did I mention eat?!?

I'm so excited about the resort we're going to next week! It's all-inclusive and adult only, so it will be quiet and relaxing. I won't have to worry about how much that drink costs as I'm becoming dehydrated on the beach. And yes, I will be wearing SPF 50. So I might not get a tan but I think I made up for that growing up in Florida at the beach - without wearing any SPF. Yes, my mom did tell me to put it on but I was young and stupid. Here are some of my new items I will be taking to the tropics...
Face shade hat and new bathing suit

"Winning Star" SMD necklace...remember that little starfish pin from yesterday's pic? This one sold today but I'll be making one more!

1. for each of you who read this blog!
2. that a little cold is JUST a little cold.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jewelry and Baby

This past weekend was so great!! I got some great vintage pins/brooches and some very cool old chain! My sister and little nephew came with me and helped scope out some finds. It was definitely a fun but tiring day. Spencer couldn't have been better. He waved to everyone he saw and talked to them "Bah bah ba." My parents came down for a few hours on Sunday night. The weather was amazing and we were able to cook out and play in the yard with Spencer. I was ready to get back and see Hubby but not ready for the busyness at home. I'm now trying to get orders out and new pieces made before our BIG trip next week!!! I can't wait but more on that tomorrow!

I only have one picture right now of a few pieces that I bought. I'll get more later for you. However, I have lots of pictures of little Spencer for you to enjoy! Also, sister is doing something really cool and I'm going to join her... to write down all the ways in which we are blessed from God. Check out her blog since she explains it better. But I'll be ending each post with something I'm thankful for!
Just a few of the pins I found!
Spencer in his new cool sports car- aka new stroller since he hates being confined in a stroller
Pushing his cart to show mommy
I love playing in the dirt!!
Don't take me from the dirt
Isn't my mommy pretty!
After the fun bath!! (had to get that dirt off)
In my ducky PJs with papa!
2 handsome men!

Things I'm thankful for...

A hubby that sleeps on my side of the bed when I'm out of town because he misses me.
A sister who is my best friend and always has been!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weekend Travels

Happy weekend! No more recipes today. However, I'll share a couple of pictures of what else I've done this week besides cook. Tonight I am having a night in (by myself, since hubby is out) and packing for my bright and early morning tomorrow. I'm flying to Orlando for a jewelry extravaganza. (I also get to see my sister, bro-in-law and nephew!!) I can't wait to sift through the mad house of the extravaganza this weekend (my sis and nephew are going to join me!) I have so much to find and buy... besides the normal inventory I'm also doing 4 weddings in the next couple of months so that means serious stocking up. Can't wait to share my finds with you!

Have a great weekend and I'll see you back on Tuesday!
Feeling Romantic
Everyday Pretty
Calm My Heart

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chex Check

This recipe is so much better than the store bought version- Chex Mix! My mom used to make this along with many many other goodies during Christmas time. So as I got older I helped with this easy task (probably since she knew I couldn't mess it up) Thanks, mom! :) It's a great recipe to make for when people are coming over or an afternoon snack for the kiddos, etc. And it's Hubby approved! He loves it!

Today I'm making rice krispie treats for Hubs to take on his men's trip this weekend. (Check out the link.) I won't be posting about the treats since all you have to do is look on the box.

Chex Mix:

3 cups of corn chex
3 cups of rice chex (I add more of these since Hubs likes them the best)
3 cups of wheat chex
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup garlic bagel bites (break up)
1 cup bite sized pretzels
6 tablespoons of butter or margarine
2-3 tablespoons of Worcestershire
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt (then give a few more shakes - I don't measure these, just guess)
3/4 garlic powder (then a few more)
1/2 onion powder (few more)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt 3 tbls butter in oven while mixing all ingredients in separate bowl EXCEPT the spices and Worcestershire. Melt the other 3 tbls of butter in the microwave. Cut the spice measurements into half and pour in the melted butter. Then stir in 1/2 of the chex mix mixture into the butter mixture. Then add the remaining chex mix mixture into the pan. Pour the remaining butter and spice mixture over the top and stir.
Place in oven for an hour but every 15 or 20 minutes give a little stir. Really easy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Eggs Please

Here's to you sis! This is a really easy egg salad recipe. I've never been a big fan of egg salad but my sister always loved it. So I grew up having bites of hers but liking my chicken salad better. However, I could be changing my mind. Especially since this recipe is super super easy and quick. I don't really have exact measurements so here are the non-specifics... :)

Egg Salad:
Ingredients- (double these if you have kids, but we are only a 2 person household)

4 eggs
Mayo (I use the olive oil kind-heart healthy :)
Either honey dijon mustard or you can use spicy mustard per your preference - I love the honey dijon
sweet pickle relish
salt and pepper

Boil the eggs around 10 minutes. Peel and mash up. Around 2 or so large spoonfuls of mayo. A couple of squirts of mustard and relish. A few shakes of paprika. Salt and pepper to taste. That's it!!! This should only take 15 minutes with the boiling of the eggs! So easy. Don't forget to refrigerate.

Warning- You might want to light a match, open a window or light a candle to diffuse the gross egg toot smell!
Finish product!
I'll be eating it this during my quick lunch break of making some new jewelry!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chocolate and Orzo

I've been asked about a couple of recipes and decided to begin the recipe week with these requested. They don't actually go together but I guess you can argue that chocolate can go with anything. Or at least I always argue that point. I'm not sure how many servings I have of chocolate in a day but it's way more than the suggested amount. Although, I will say that I do alter recipes to reduce the sugar intake (like the cake below) since diabetes run in the family. Hubby and I had a taste test with the cake full of fat/sugar and the reduced sugar/fat and neither one of us could tell the difference. It's so rich that it's impossible to tell the difference. I would challenge anyone to the yummy test.
Okay, so the 2 recipes are Easy Chocolate Chip Pound Cake and yesterday's Asparagus and Chicken Orzo. I 1st got the cake recipe from my mother-in-law and fell in love. You can also find it here. The Chicken orzo recipe is one that I took from a couple of different recipes and created the one from yesterday.

Asparagus Orzo:
2 cups asparagus (cut in 1 inch lengths)
1 red pepper (or tomato per your liking - mom) diced
1 cup orzo pasta
1/2 cup green onions
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
shredded parmesan cheese to top of for taste

Prepare orzo as directed on box (normally 6-8 minutes) Drain. In pan saute onions, asparagus and pepper in the butter until tender. Combine the orzo, salt, pepper and cheese. Serve warm.

Chicken - Turn oven to 325 degrees. Place chicken in pan with chicken broth covering the bottom of the pan (Keeps the chicken from drying out) Bake for 1 hour or until it's not pink in the middle. (This is from my papa!)

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake:
1 package of yellow cake mix (I use the reduced sugar pillsbury)
1 (3.9 ounce) package of instant chocolate pudding mix (also use the no sugar added)
8oz sour cream (yes, I use fat free)
3/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of veggie oil
3 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix cake mix and the next 5 ingredients for 2 minutes. Add vanilla. Add chocolate chips and stir. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until toothpick is clean. If you want to get fancy, sprinkle confectioner's sugar before serving.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend Fun

How was every ones Valentine day/weekend? Ours was basically like any other weekend for the exception of actually going out to dinner! But not on Valentines but on Saturday night. One fun and out of the ordinary thing that happened was it snowed yet again beginning Friday night! We only got 2 inches this time, but it still covered everything which made it all so pretty.

I also did a lot of on-line shopping... Since I decided it was going to be a lazy weekend with the snow I resorted to the computer. I bought a (hopefully cute) bathing suit...we'll see in about 5 to 7 days if it actually is and if it fits. :) Then while waiting for our reservations on Saturday night we ran into JCrew and bought a large straw hat to go with the bathing suit. Obviously, I'm extremely excited for our trip to the DR! More on that in a later post. Here are some pics from the weekend.

Stay tuned this week because it's going to be a recipe week!

My mom sent me this yummy picture of our favorite - Krispy Kreme doughnuts! They're the best!
Tree outside our was very bright!
Chicken, asparagus and orzo pasta
I did not plan for it to be heart-shaped...

Friday, February 12, 2010


Yesterday was quite the productive day! I made 5 new pieces and almost finished a custom necklace. I also made yummy egg salad, chex mix, and a chocolate cake. (recipes will come next week) Since today is the last day for the Vday sale I'm working on new items to replenish the stock, which has gotten a bit low. I'm very excited about Spring and all the fun colors to come! Here are some of the new pieces...
Nature Lover
Secretly Simple
Royal Elegance
Natural Indulgence

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Heart

Well, I have finally decided to do a post on the amazing book I am reading. It's called "Calm My Anxious Heart." I've read multiple books pertaining to women, contentment and relationships however this one has done a number on a great way! I can't explain why it is different but it is. Women have such a way of worrying about things that are out of our control and yet we're still the worrywart. It also makes me realize just how blessed my life is and how silly it to complain about things. Anyway, for all of you women out there - go out and get this book! Let me know what you think or if you have ever read it.

Now to start on jewelry. I bought a lot of good stuff yesterday so hopefully I'll get some done so I can show you tomorrow!

I love this quote!
Front of the book...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Romance is in the Air

Since it is Valentine's week I decided to take a chance on red. Red is the color of the moment which is appropriate since I have always wanted to paint a room a deep red. Of course I have always chickened out and therefore I just have lots of red accents in various rooms. I once had a red couch that I absolutely loved! Here is a lovely simple room accented with reds. It just looks like a awesome country getaway.
I don't even know why I like this???
I love this table setting! If only hubby and I were having a Vday party- this would be perfect!
Clean lines with the red
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and finally - I love the purple accent through the flowers...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spending Spree

Wow oh wow am I in a spending mood! For the past couple of weeks I've been drooling over all the new Spring clothing. (Keep in mind that I am still on a tight budget) However, Hubby gave me the go ahead to buy a new outfit for our upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic in the beginning of March! So I've been looking and looking and everything that I've found has been quite pricey! So I decided on a simple nude long strapless dress I found on ebay. I figured that the price was definitely right and I could dress it up or down. The perfect outfit! I also bought a tank top for $8. Yep, $8! But I am definitely still on the lookout for another little dress number, so if you see any let me know! So here's what I bought and a couple of other things on my wish list although I couldn't find the items that I've been eyeing in the boutiques...

My ebay purchase
My $8 tank
Ella Moss lace top
Rebecca Taylor "Scarlet Poppies" One-Shoulder Silk Dress
Rebecca Taylor dress

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blizzard weekend

My oh my! Well, I last left you heading to DC for the National Prayer Breakfast. Hubby and I got there on time Wednesday evening ready for an encouraging and family fun weekend. The DC week/weekend turned into family fun in North Carolina. Thursday afternoon after the actual Prayer Breakfast the thousands of guests started to disappear (or were trying.) Not because of the Prayer Breakfast (although it was definitely way more political than ever and Jesus was hardly ever mentioned) but because of the blizzard that was quickly approaching! Late Friday morning called for the beginning of the historic DC snow storm. All flights were cancelled and rental cars were disappearing like ghosts. This would not have been a problem for Hubs and I since we drove from North Carolina BUT my parents, sister, bro-in-law and baby had to get back to Florida. We finally decided to pile into our car and drive back to NC on Friday morning... after listening to Tim Tebow and Danny Wuerffel speak. :) (However, we still were able to go out with some friends and catch up!) But so we didn't get to spend the weekend in DC but all 7 of us (including a 9 month old) did get to pile into our cozy little apartment for a night which was totally worth it! (Did I also mention that sis-in-law and her boyfriend also got to stop by on their way to Atlanta from DC?)

So more on the actual Prayer Breakfast and weekend... Wednesday night we went on a very awesome private tour of the Capitol led by David Barton. He owns more than 100,000 original copies of US historical documents. (check him out!) The keynote speaker for Thursday's actual Prayer breakfast was Hilary Clinton which was interesting from a political view. (follow the link if you want to hear the speech) She's a great speaker! After Hilary, President Obama spoke and was more like another State of the Union than anything else. A great speaker later on that day during lunch was Tony Campolo. He was hilarious and straight forward! Like I said earlier, we listened to Tim Tebow and Danny Wuerfell in a side meeting. They were incredible and not scared to stand up for what they believe. Danny Wuerfell has a great ministry going on down inNew Orleans. (Go Saints?) Tim also has started a very cool organization. Even if you don't particularly care for these men, you have to agree that it's great to see people actually stand up for what they believe- even when it's not popular! (Anyone see Tim's Super Bowl commercial? What was the big deal?)

Last night, we went to a Super Bowl party over at some friend's house and ate way too much food. Yet again, it was totally worth it! If only I had thought to take a picture of the massive spread...

This is basically the only picture I have from the weekend. It's in NC of the little guy playing in what's left of last week's snow... (1st time he's seen snow)
Just some of the people for the lunch...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Suiting Up

We leave for Washington DC in a couple of hours for the National Prayer Breakfast! If you're really interested then you can tune in and watch the festivities on CSPAN. Which brings me to my next point... everyone is dressed in extreme business attire. I mean, straight up business suits, hose and heels. Normally, I can pack for any trip under 30 minutes. Not the case for this one. I'm struggling. My black suit doesn't fit me anymore and now that I work from home I haven't updated my "work" attire in a year and half. So I guess this trip will just have to be about the jewelry instead of the clothes! I can't wait to share all that happens with you all next Monday. Have a great week and weekend!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jewelry and Snow

Well, there's still snow covering the ground and it's still beautiful! It's actually calling for more snow tomorrow. Hooray! Most of the schools were cancelled and the roads were apparently quite icy. It made for a very productive day of jewelry making and designing. Being snowed in was great since Spencer Morgan Designs has been very busy with Valentine's day and all the custom bridal jewelry we have going on here. Here's a little of what I've been getting done...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow Days

I felt like a little 5 year old little girl this weekend. Why you ask. Because it SNOWED!!! I know, I know, some of you are are reading this and thinking, "why would she be excited about snow?" Well, because this girl grew up in Florida. Seeing snow to Floridians is like seeing a beach to Minnesotans. So you see, I was praying that it would actually snow..and it sure did! Around 6 inches (I think.) As soon as we ate some breakfast, hubby and I pulled on the warmest clothes that our southern closets could find and began the glorious winter walk outside. We started by throwing snowballs at our friends windows, then watched little kids sled down the big hill with their parents and ended by writing on another friends car windshield in the snow. However, the day wasn't over! Since southern roads can't really handle the snow, we weren't driving anywhere. So a couple of us decided to have a home-made spa day (sans the guys.) We painted our nails, watched a chick-flick, colored some hair, and ate lots of treats! To finish the most perfect day off, all of us who live in the apartment complex got together for a homemade dinner and a movie. Needless to say, I went to bed a very happy girl!
Can you see the kids in the background sledding?
Hubs looking out to the covered road
How deep it was when we started the winter walk
The pretty street
Wonderful spa day!
Same day, just taken 9 hrs. south in sunny Florida (short sleeves and no socks.) Yes, this is our adorable nephew and awesome bro-in-law walking to breakfast.