Friday, July 27, 2012

The Chicken Place

If you ever find yourself in southern Indiana, particularly the town of Ireland and have a hankering for fried chicken, The Chicken Place is the place to go!

My parents live down the road from this fine establishment, however, I have never been before this past year. Dan has always wanted to go, but every time we visit my parents we have dinner engagements and aren't able to go. This past weekend we finally went for dinner.

I've never seen Dan smile so much eating anything. Who knew fried chicken was the way to his heart?!?

Good food, big beers!

Summer Memories

I grew up in Tennessee and then moved to Indiana in middle school. We moved the to same small town my Dad grew up and my grandparents lived in. Growing up my parents would drive us to Indiana and leave us with our grandparents for the week. It was the best week of the summer! My Grandma was THE best! She stocked her cabinets with sugary cereal, her purse full of candy, and freezer full of ice cream snacks. It was a sweet tooth's heaven! She let us watch as much TV as we wanted and she even had a TV in every single room (including the bathroom) in her house. We were allowed to stay up as late as we wanted too. All things we could never do at home.

My grandma always had lessons planned for us every year including horseback riding, tennis, golf, art, etc. We spent the days out at the lake or the country club. My grandma was a sun goddess and loved tanning.

There was never- ending fun at my grandparents house. They had plenty of fun closets with clothes to dress up in or play hide and seek. The whole week was a blast. Most years my cousins would come too. I'm not really sure how my grandma kept up with us.

My grandma passed away a few short years after my family moved to town and my grandpa passed away last year. It's with great sadness that their house recently sold. So many memories attached to the house and the summers we spent with my grandparents there.

This past weekend my Dad and his siblings were in town to clean out their parents house before closing. Dan and I drove home as well. We were able to take some cool vintage chairs from their house and some other odds and ends. It's definitely sad seeing the house so empty and knowing that I will never return to that house again.

But, I now have some furniture, jewelry, and purses along with my summer memories to remember my grandparents by.

I really wanted to find some great pictures of the weeks we spent there during the summer, but unfortunately they had already been packed away. I did find a few to share...

Judging by our clothing, I assume this wasn't the summer.  My grandmother was a beautician for 50 years and often gave me perms. How funny is my little smile? :) 

One summer we went to the filming of the movie Blue Chips. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

BBQ Pork Chops

I saw this in Kraft magazine and have made it twice! I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it less salty. It's amazing though and pretty easy. I have made this inside on a grill pan, but I'm sure it would be even better on the grill! You can use any BBQ sauce you like, we prefer Sweet Baby Rays "Sweet and Spicy" for a little kick.

BBQ Pork Chops 
Serves 2-4 Time: 1.5 hours

2 cups of water
2 Tbsp of sugar
2 tsp of sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
2-4 Bone in pork chops
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp BBQ sauce of your choice

-Combine water, 2 Tbsp of Sugar and 1 and 1/2 Tbsp of Salt. Mix until dissolved. Pour onto chops and marinate for 1 hour. Try not to marinate longer as it gets too salty.

-Meanwhile mix remaining sugar and seasonings in small bowl

-Remove chops from marinade and rinse slightly.

-Season both sides of pork chops with seasoning mixture

-Grill on both sides

-In last few minutes before grilling brush on BBQ sauce. Remove from grill.


Friday, July 20, 2012

To sell or not to sell

...that has been my question for some time now. I have considered taking special orders or opening an Etsy shop. There are pros and cons. Mainly, I am afraid I will get burnt out making clothes for others. It is special for me to make my own clothes and clothes for people I know as gifts, but if I was doing it for someone I didn't know would it be as fun and exciting? Would they cherish it the way I do? There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into each item I make. Well, mostly just time, stress and sometimes tears. So, I am torn. Some days I dream of having at Etsy shop and maybe selling items in boutiques around Indy. Others I'm content making dresses for myself.

Still pondering...

Friday Happenings

This has been a long and lame week for sure. I can't believe how long it took to get to today. I had a lot of work stuff going on this week, plus day long headaches and for some reason fell asleep super early a few nights making me a super lame wife. But, finally it's Friday! We have a big weekend planned and even bigger next two weeks.

We close on our house on Monday! Woohoo!!! I can't tell you how excited I am to start painting and moving. It seems like this home buying process took forEVER! And it did. Almost 8 months to be exact.

Here's some photos to sum up my week. Again, kind of boring!

 Fabric I found with some colors in our new house. Pillows maybe?

 Cute rain boots at Target. 

 50 Shades of Grey, literally. Probably more. Narrowed it down
 and finally decided on 2 for the house

Wild Blue Beer. Pretty tasty. Doesn't like a thing like beer, but it's 8% and will do the trick! 

 Green and gold nails.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Zig Zags and Stripes

I have been loving chevron for a while now, although besides a few baby dresses I haven't had a chance to use it much. I'm dying to use it for something in our new house, but can't decide on just what. I don't want to over do it and will probably only use it in one area. I'm also loving a big stripe. Here are some of my favorites.

This is really bold, but one or the other would be fun! 

Love this duvet! 

I really like the whole color scheme and of course the shower curtain! 

Accent wall



Mostly likely I'm looking at doing a rug or a shower curtain, something not a bold as a whole wall. But, there are such fun ideas out there! 

I don't have the sources for these pictures. I pulled most from Pinterest, so if you are interested look me up on there. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Super Easy Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

I'm calling this a salad but it probably is classified as a coleslaw. Rest assured slaw haters, it is no slaw! I, myself, do not prefer coleslaw (ugh heavy mayo). Anyway, I saw something similar to this on Pinterest and I thought how easy it would be to make.

While you can probably make your own dressing and candy your own pecans, but for times sake what's the point?

I was a little nervous about this concoction, but I ended up liking it so much I wanted more. Surprisingly Dan liked it too! Try it out, I promise it's really good and I'll be making it often!

Super Easy Strawberry Poppy seed Salad
serves 2

2 cups of shredded cabbage (bagged coleslaw works great)
2 handfuls of blueberries
6 large strawberries (sliced)
2 handfuls of glazed pecans (found in baking aisle at grocery)
1Tbsp Poppy seed salad dressing

Directions: toss dressing and coleslaw together in medium bowl. Separate into 2 salad bowls. Add 1 handful of blueberries, 3 sliced strawberries and 1 handful of glazed pecans to each bowl. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grilled Garden Salad

I made this the other night and I was pretty happy with how it turned out! I used an indoor grill and it took much longer than recipes states. I think it would be pretty quick on a real grill. Also, I cut back on the Italian dressing as it was overpowering in original recipe. 

Grilled Garden Salad
adapted from Kraft Food and Family

1 ear of corn on the cob
2 small yellow squash
2 small zucchini
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/8 c of Italian dressing (or less)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 garlic cloves crushed
Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle of basil
Salt to taste

Heat Grill to medium high. 

Remove silk and husks from Corn on the cob.  Cut squash and zucchini lengthwise into 3-4 slices.

Grill corn on the cob for 15 minutes until brown and tender. Turn occasionally. Meanwhile grill squash and zucchini until tender. Remove from grill. Cut kernels off cob and chop vegetables.

Combine with tomatoes, dressing, lemon juice and seasonings. Sprinke with parmesan cheese and basil.


**Note: grilling time will vary upon type of grill.  Serves 8 people.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Polka Dot Peplum

I saw this top on Atlantic Pacific and I loved her entire outfit. I  knew it would be pretty simple to make and I already had the black capris. The top is from ASOS and I could have easily just bought it, but why not just make it??

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fun Furniture

Ever since our offer was accepted on our new house we have been scouring the internet for decor ideas. It has been really fun sitting on our laptops showing each other things we like and searching for furniture to buy. We have been all over Pinterest pinning like crazy, ideas for everything.

We have been hitting Craigslist pretty hard too. Gotta stick to a budget, and you can find some great stuff on there! It's hard because I want it all and I want it NOW! I've also been checking out TJ Maxx and Homegoods for some great deals as well.

It's a little overwhelming going from a condo to a house. We will have so much additional space. My mind races everyday with ideas for the kitchen, my sewing room, 2 living room areas, etc!! It's really fun and exciting but also overwhelming with the amount of work we will need to put into it. We have definitely been trying to prioritize what we need versus want.

We don't even get the keys for a few more weeks, but the anxiety is killing me. I just want to start decorating right now! Here's some iphone snapshots I've taken of things I like while browsing my favorite bargain places.

Patio chairs 

Crate and Barrel and Urban Outfitters

Love the current bedding at Target. 

bright artwork

Ceramic bulldogs and Knitted Poofs 

 wish this was black (not brown)

Neutral couch, bright chairs!

Aqua pillows

As you can see there are some common themes. We like bright colors, chevron, some new, some old. Mostly modern looking.

One more month Ashley, one more month!

Restaurant Review

On Tuesday night we checked out a new restaurant in our neighborhood and we loved it! Bluebeard opened a few weeks ago and it's pretty nice! Bluebeard has contemporary Italian-Inspired cuisine featuring local produce and meat. It also houses a wholesale bakery.

The menu had a lot of items we had either never heard of or couldn't pronounce, but that only intrigued us more! We both started out with drinks that we each loved. Dan had the Reverend Palmer and I had the house Gin and Tonic. It was much sweeter than regular gin and tonics, which I really liked!

sipping my drink

We then had the house bread, which isn't something I normally love, but the butter, OH MY GOSH, the butter!  (whipped lardo, anchovy butter, roasted garlic oil) It's embarrassing how much bread and butter I ate.

We then split two entrees. We had the oyster mushroom pizza and the grilled octopus. We have had calamari before but this was a whole new level of seafood and it was delicious!!

I have to admit I had a hard time getting over the tentacles but once you got it in your mouth it was amazing! I would highly recommend trying it.

 the pizza 

 the octopus

Overall it was an excellent experience! We are sad we will be leaving the neighborhood soon, but we will definitely come back to visit often.