Thursday, February 27, 2014

About Me Made Easy By The Blogmopolitan Quiz

So since I'm sure that you have all been dying to get to know me a little better...and because I love an easy blog post...I decided to join in on the fun that Two Thirds Hazel has created and take The Blogmopolitan Quiz. It also made me feel a little celebrity-esque to answer questions like I always read in magazines (ha!). So I'm keeping it simple today and hope that you learn something new about me!

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Friday Five - Music To Take You Into the Weekend

Today is dragging by. Like having 5 minutes pass before I look at the clock again for a millionth time is a serious win this Friday. It's one of those days where I treat work like a workout and I just listen to a pump-me-up kind of playlist just so I can make it to the end of my run work. I have a feeling I'm probably not the only person out there feeling this way so my Friday five are a list of five songs to help you make it to the weekend.

1. Happy by Pharrell Williams - You can't listen to this song without feeling, well, happy....And it's Friday so I have to smile.

2. The Man by Aloe Blacc - That's right everyone. I'm the (wo)man. And well this song just makes me think of Tom Brady and his good looks.
3. Whatever She's Got by David Nail - This song just makes me happy. I think it's a love song and I just want everyone to find what/who they're looking for...even if it's just for a weekend.

4. Original Don by Major Lazer & The Party Squad - Was I the only one wondering what song was being played in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas commercial? Because this is it.

5. Damn Girl by Justin Timberlake, - In honor of his concert next week that I will attending I'm starting the JT binge a week early. 

Hopefully you all have some songs to take you into the weekend now. TGIF (Gawd I miss the days when TGIF shows and popcorn were the best start to the weekend)!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Baked and Breaded Apricot Chicken Recipe

It's cold out. It's going to snow. You're only going to the grocery store once this week to avoid having to shovel your car out more than once. Sound familiar? Or has that become only my life during this Boston winter? Time to start planning a menu for this week and this delicious recipe should definitely be on it. 

What You Need: 

6-8 Boneless Chicken Breasts (not pictured because you all know what chicken looks like)

1 10 oz Jar of Apricot Preserves

1 cup Bread Crumbs

1/4 cup Lemon Juice

2 tsp Soy Sauce

1/4 cup Margarine

1/2 tsp Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Prepare the chicken by trimming the fat and rinsing it under cold water.

3. In a shallow dish, combine the apricot preserves, lemon juice, soy sauce and salt and thoroughly stir the ingredients together.

4. Dip each chicken breast into the preserve mixture making sure to fully coat each piece. This is what you will use to bind the breadcrumbs to the chicken.

5. After each piece is coated in the preserves, roll the chicken in a bowl of breadcrumbs so the chicken is covered. Set aside any extra preserves mixture.

6. Arrange the chicken in a pyrex dish  (greased) and drizzle the melted margarine along the top to help the chicken crisp up as it cooks. Bake uncovered in the over for 50-60 minutes (or until tender). Heat the remaining preserves and serve with the chicken. 

Remove from the oven once the chicken is thoroughly cooked and enjoy for dinner. It's easy to cut the recipe in half but I recommend keeping the sauce part the same if you like extra sauce. The dish goes great with rice and a vegetable since there's enough of the preserves to use as sauce for your sides!

Friday, February 14, 2014

5 Things I'd Rather Be Doing

Boy have I had writer's block lately. I swear I do more than just eat so I don't want to always be bombarding you with recipes...but I don't want to just completely unload the random trains of thought that chug through my brain on a daily basis either. So, aside from my normal day job and cooking when I can I started to think about other things I could do and jobs out there that would be amazing.

I can honestly say that I have no interest in being famous or in the public eye so I can easily rule out being a singer or actor (although I'd take the millions that the stars make). Thinking about it further, these are the jobs that I came up with.

1. The Google Doodle Creator. How much fun would it be to research and find something to celebrate every single day? ...And then create an image or game that millions of people enjoy. You get to learn something, teach something and entertain people all at once.

2. The Essie Nail Polish Color Namer. I feel like there are just no rules for the person naming nail polish colors. E-nuf Is E-nuf and Big Spender are two of my favorite colors but Meet Me At Sunset, Clambake and Demure Vixen sound worth trying just for the name alone.

3. The Jauntaroo Chief World Traveler. You get paid to take amazing vacations - that are paid for - and blog about them and volunteer all over the world. I legitimately cannot think of anything better than that.

4. Fortune Writer for Fortune Cookies. Again with the no rules thing. Fortunes in fortune cookies are usually hit or miss; but, at best, they give you a real fortune and sense of optimism and at their worst they hilariously don't make sense and put a smile on your face. Win-win.

5. Vanna White's Replacement. I know I said I don't want to be famous...and I don't...but this is the one position that I'd accept that involves a little bit of the spotlight. My friends can attest to the fact that I seriously love game shows & contests so to be part of one every day would be sweet. Add in a few trips to Hawaii and other destinations that are sounding really good right now during this cold New England winter as well as a new dress every episode and you don't need to twist my arm.

Don't get me wrong. I'm lucky to be employed and love my co-workers and the company that I work for but a girl can dream, right? What would you rather be doing?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

DIY: Chevron Canvas Art

I am on a constant quest to find new and affordable art for my bedroom walls. Additionally, the art needs to match the teal curtains and pillows that already give color to my room. For this reason, I decided to take matters into my own hands this weekend and use the leftover canvas I had from my previous DIY wall art project. Here is what I came up with: 

What You Need:

1 White canvas
1 Can of metallic spray paint
1 Can of spray paint in a different color of your choice 
Painter's tape

To start, spray paint the entire canvas with the metallic paint color. I recommend doing at least two coats of the paint and making sure to let the canvas dry completely in between each coat. To avoid making a mess and all of the fumes I laid the canvas across the top of a box and did the painting outside.

Once the metallic paint is entirely dry - I let mine dry overnight just to be safe - lay out the painter's tape in the pattern of your choice. I love the chevron pattern and chose to use that pattern for the design. I used two strips of tape for each section to get the width that I wanted. 

Next, spray paint the canvas with the other color that you chose. Cover the canvas entirely, including the tape, in order to have the design come out well. I did two coats of this color, too. 

Finally, peel the painter's tape off of the canvas once the paint is completely dry. The metallic color should shine brightly and you will have a sharp pattern made on the canvas that's now ready for hanging on the wall. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Simple Craft for a Long Distance Valentine

My boyfriend currently lives 2+ hours away in a different state and while the distance is certainly doable it does make seeing each other often a bit more challenging than if he was right down the road. Add in his busy law school course work, my work schedule and weekend commitments and it's easy to understand the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder."

I try to send funny cards when I can but for Valentine's Day I wanted to send something a little more fun to open. Besides, I usually spend 30 minutes in the card aisle at CVS and still end up walking away with a card that I don't actually find that funny or that is way too sappy. For this project, I'm keeping it simple and sending all of these reasons he means so much to me on little heart cut outs.

What you need: construction paper in shades of reds, pinks and purples; heart stencils; scissors; colored pens and a box.

On shades of red and pink construction paper, cut out an assortment of different sized hearts.

On each heart, write one thing you love/like/admire about your significant other. I went for a mix of serious and sily to keep it interesting.

Fill the box with all of the hearts - the more the better - so your loved one has a great surprise to open when they all spill out. I plan on including my peanut butter pretzel treats in the box (recipe here) as an added bonus.

Hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day with loved ones near or far! 

Valentine's Day Sweetheart Blog Hop & Giveaway

Valentine's Day Giveaway 2014

Welcome to the 
2014 Sweetheart Blog Hop & Giveaway!

Enter to win a 

$100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash!


Browse & link up your Valentine's Day related 

posts in the linky below! 

February 1st - February 14th, 2014



Ready to Party? Great, let's get started!

Enter the Sweetheart Giveaway 

for a Chance to Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash!

Disclaimer: VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Must be of legal age to enter. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Rafflecopter and other social media sites are not related to, or affiliated with this giveaway in any way.  So Simply Stephanie is responsible for winner notifications and prize delivery. One winner will be selected via the Rafflecopter and will receive their choice of a $100 USD Amazon Gift eCard or $100 USD PayPal Cash. Winner will be selected on February 15th, 2014, and announced on Winner will also be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond another winner will be selected. 

Now it's Time to Link-Up Your Valentine's Day Blog Posts! 

Please be sure to visit others and comment to let them know you stopped by. Your submissions can include crafts, recipes, romance books,  activities, Top 10 lists, and anything else Valentine's Day Related! Plus, browse other great posts, and vote for your top 3 favorites!

Thanks for stopping by! If you haven't already, be sure to visit our Sponsors! They all donated to the giveaway to make this event possible!