Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chicken Orzo Salad Recipe + earrings!

This is what we had for dinner on Monday night and ate some leftovers tonight.  Simple and oh so delicious!

Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

{sorry for the blurry phone pic}

We used already cooked frozen grilled chicken strips that we heated up in the microwave.  We laid this on a bed of arugula and spinach mix (from a bag), added chopped basil and orgegano,  and then we cut up vegetables including grape tomatoes, red onion and red bell pepper to add in.  We added cooked orzo pasta and crumbled goat cheese.  Then mixed up salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil to drizzle over the top. Tossed and ate!  
**This is not my own recipe.  I did see this from another website, but honestly couldn't remember which one.**

I'm linking this recipe up to 33 Shades of Green for her Tasty Tuesdays Linky Party!  Click on the button below to go check out all of the amazing recipes shared.

Also, remember these earrings I talked about here??

Well, you can enter for a chance to win them over at The Girl in the Red Shoes! Seriously, she is that amazing and is hosting a great giveaway.  And while you are there, you definitely should check out the rest of her adorable blog!

Good luck!!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day


My husband and I generally don't do anything big or fancy for Valentine's Day.  We just never have.  When we talk about what we want to do it usually involves getting cozy at home, with wine and cooking something up ourselves or getting takeout delivered.  We then just want to watch a movie or hang out and get to bed early! That's a nice treat this time of year.  January and February are our busiest months of the year for both of our jobs, and we usually are working pretty late every evening and some weekends, so the thought of getting home and just being together always sounds fantastic. 

This is a quote I stumbled across not too long ago, and I think it is so sweet.  I would like to print it on canvas and put it in our bedroom. 

{source unknown - if you know, let me know!}

Hope you and your loved ones have a fabulous day celebrating today!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Girl's Night In - Ornament Exchange + Great Recipes

Yes, yes I know Christmas is over!  I get it I promise.  I just got so behind in blogging when we were traveling and spending time with family.  I don't know how some of you keep up so well!! Seriously, this girl is impressed.  :)

So this post is not just focused on the Ornament Exchange that I hosted, but more focused on FOOD and party ideas.  With the Super Bowl on Sunday, I just couldn't let you miss out on a couple of great recipes I made from other blogs, and they turned out great.  You'll definitely have to try them.

To give a short re-cap, my former roommate and I started a girl's holiday party with an ornament exchange when we first moved to Houston 6 years ago.  It was a hit, I mean mainly because how can you go wrong with food, wine and girl talk?  Ever since then it's been a tradition....well except my friend is now living in Australia for work!! So she's missed the past two years, but she WILL be here next year, right??  :) haha  Anywhoo, we all bring a wrapped ornament and then draw a number to see what order we'll go in.  The first person picks any wrapped present and opens it in front of the group.  Then the second person can either "steal" that ornament or pick another unwrapped ornament, and it continues the same way from there.  There are two steals allowed, which makes it really fun, and then at the very end, the person who went first gets the opportunity to pick from all of the ornaments that aren't frozen (meaning already have been stolen twice) at that point.  It's really fun to have a new ornament to add to the tree each year, and the girls always bring such beutiful ornaments, so it gets really competitive with lots of stealing!

Let's take a look at the refreshements I served this year.  Starting with the bar of course!
We usually stick to wine and Poinsettias (champagne with cranberry juice and cranberries), which are very festive.  This year I put a bowl out with little tags tied to ribbon, so the girls could write their names on the tag and tie it around the stem of their glass.  It was pretty and easier than trying to remember which wine charm you had!  

Now for the food, I went with a Mediterranean theme for the most part.  I purchased some of the main items from an amazing deli/store that is nearby.  Here was the menu:

Chicken Skewers with Peppers & Onions
Mini Pita Pockets
Tzatziki Sauce
Caprese Skewers
Goat Cheese Baked in Marinara Sauce w/ Baguettes
Hot Spinach Dip & 7-Layer Greek Dip w/ Pita Chips

7-LAYER GREEK DIP {click here for recipe}
Okay, I didn't remember to snap all of the pictures before we started digging in to eat, but I wanted to share this great recipe with you. It's a new twist on the traditional layer dip, and it was definitely a hit! I might just have to make this again this weekend.  It's from Natalie at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers.

To make the Caprese Mini Skewers, simply take a toothpick and put one mozzarella bite-sized ball, a grape tomato and basil leaf on it. Place them on a platter and then drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  You could also add some balsalmic vinegar as well.  They look very Christmasy don't they?!
HOT SPINACH DIP {click here for recipe}
Again, this dip was almost gone before I got a pic, so the presentation picture is awful, but it was that GOOD!  I agree that this is the best spinach dip ever.  To see what the secret ingredient is, head on over to Sweet Tea and Stilletos.

For the desserts, my friend brought over Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Yummy!  I bought Baklava.  Then I also made a Sugar Cookie Fruit Tart with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Check them out:

I left the dining table cleared off around the edges so we could sit and chat while eating, but then we also played a game called LRC, and I had some fun prizes (aka bottles of wine and other goodies) for the winners.  It was a new addition to the party this year, and I think it kept the competition flowing after the ornament exchange.  Great times!

Thanks for the bloggers that had some amazing recipes for me to use!

Now switching topics, one last MAJOR thing before I go.  Remember not too long ago I showed you an amazing camera bag?  Well, here is another one.  Look at the gorgeous colors it comes in!  For a chance to win this bag, head on over to The COLOR ISSUE and follow the 3 easy steps to enter the giveaway.

It's hard for me to decide on my favorite color, but since I already have a couple of beautiful purses in camel, I think for this bag, I would choose the stone (gray). They are BE-UTIFUL!
Happy Friday and Super Bowl Weekend!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blogger Exchange Party

Hello!  To kick off this new year right, I joined these amazing ladies, CaseyDanielle and Alycia, who hosted a 2012 New Year Blogger Party/Exchange. 


I was joined with Jill at Favor the Brave.  It's been so much fun going through Jill's blog and learning all about her.  Jill has a lot of exciting things going on right now.  First of all, she's engaged!! So, she's working on her wedding and plans to do quite a bit of DIY for the wedding, which is amazing.  She plans to share some of the projects, and I'm looking forward to seeing all of her projects and plans and how they all come together!  Jill also just got a new job, so she's been a very busy girl, with a lot of big changes going on.  I also loved seeing her purchases from thrift stores and how she organizes her closet.  She has lots of fun coordinating outfits and showing them to us.  If you haven't figured it out yet, she's very creative!!  In fact, she has her own business and makes jewelry too!  I'm always so amazed at the talent people have.  I'm very lucky to have been linked up with Jill.  She was so sweet and sent me some of her own creations.  Check them out:

Thank you so much Jill for the new earrings!!  And look at the fun pins she included too! 

The blogger exchange was great fun.  If you want to see the other ladies involved in the exchange, click here, here or here .