Monday, July 30, 2012

Destination Disney: Disney in Pink

 
Think PINK!!!!
In honor of my favorite color, I dug a little deeper to find lots of pink!
 






 

you say tomato.....

Our evening ritual.....out in the backyard, picking tomatoes and watering the plants. Peter got 19 from the vines tonight. We are sharing with friends and neighbors, but we still have a counter full!




this dinner is a winner!

We have a winner!! I mentioned in my previous post about wanting to try a new slow cooker recipe. A pin on Pinterest led me to an awesome blog that I'm now following. The recipe is not only super easy to whip up, but super yummy as well! It was a huge hit with my family!
Slow Cooker Ham & Potato Casserole

Ingredients:
1 (30 oz) package frozen hash brown potatoes, cubed or shredded
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 (10.75 oz) can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked chopped ham (ham leftovers are perfect for this recipe!)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (6 oz) package, herb-seasoned stuffing mix

Directions:
Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Combine hash browns, dried onion, salt, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cheese, and ham and place in slow cooker. Sprinkle stuffing mix over top, then drizzle melted butter over stuffing. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high 2-4 hours.

I fully intended to get some pictures of the finished dish......but the guys seemed to be starving and it didn't stay on their plates long enough to photograph! I also took dinner to my MIL, and shared the rest with Mom & Dad.
source: blog: Six Sisters' Stuff

Misc Monday

Summer..............hmmmm..........I love summer, really I do, but it is such a busy time, it's pretty much all work and no play for me, and the heat, does it have to stay at 100 degrees all summer???? I'm not complaining, it is what it is, summer {for me}= work & hot weather. I'm ready for a little break though, I need a little break, after all it's almost August, and I haven't had a full day of work off since May! I've taken the morning off a few times this summer, only to spend it cleaning & cooking, and getting caught up on laundry and other stuff here at our house. But I want a day off....I want a little getaway.....I have the calendar out, I'm trying to make some plans......but my weekends are limited....I better hurry and fit it in because in 5 short weeks, Nathan will be back to school!

other random things going on at our house:
  • Logan renewed his lease on the apartment for 6 more months. He is still house hunting, but he hasn't found what he wants yet, so he decided to stay there for a few more months while he looks.
  • It's Nathan's senior year.....we are trying to take care of some things before school starts....we really need to do some shopping...senior portraits are next!
  • I haven't seen Logan since May......Peter and Nathan have seen him a few times over the summer, but not me....I miss him! Hopefully, he & Lindsey can come home for Homecoming the end of Aug. :O)

  • Peter's garden is overflowing! The tomatoes are the size of your hand! One of the things I love about summer: a tomato sandwich everyday for lunch....sooooo good!
  • Hotels in August=$$$$$$$ I'm trying to book a hotel for our overnight getaway, but the rates are ridiculous!
  • The lady that does our website was here this week. I always get some good ideas from her concerning the b&b. She always gives me some constructive criticism which I appreciate, but she also listens to my ideas and gives me her thoughts on them. Between her visit and watching "Hotel Impossible" I'm ready to take our b&b to whole new level!!! LOL Actually, I am seriously thinking about starting another blog....a b&b blog! :O) I'm kindof excited about that!
  • I love Pinterest! However, my boards have gotten a bit disorganized. So, that's my latest organization project.....re-categorizing my pins.
  • Our Summer Bucket List still has a few items left to check off....maybe we'll soon get to do a couple more.
  • I love to cook and I love trying new recipes. Today, I'm going to try a new crock pot recipe: Slow Cooker Ham & Potato Casserole. Check out the link....while you are there check out the blog too......Six Sisters' Stuff. Yesterday, we tried sausage/peppers/onions. After we cooked it up, we put it on a toasted sub roll w/ mustard...yum!!!
peppers from our garden :O)

There is lots more going on here at our house, but I'll have to share more later....I need to stop blogging for now....and you guessed it.....go to work!!



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Travel Channel Favorites


Two of my most favorite things: taking a vacation and running an inn.... both just happen to be the topics of two of my favorite shows on tv right now.

On Monday night @ 10 pm est tune in to Hotel Impossible on the Travel Channel.

About the show: "Anthony Melchiorri's tough-love style can be hard to swallow and overhauling a business is a painful and often emotional task, but the potential reward of a fully booked hotel with excellent customer reviews makes it all worth it.

Each episode features a hotel that is having problems or is not living up to it's potential. Melchiorri secretly scouts the property and identifies its biggest problems. He then meets with the staff from front desk receptionists to housekeeping to the owners themselves to determine the key operation issues. Some owners could risk losing their hotels if Melchiorri’s renovations do not work. After coming up with a plan and prescribing the changes that need to be made, Melchiorri revamps and re-motivates the staff and transforms the hotel. Whether it is demonstrating the proper way to pour a glass of wine or gutting and redecorating a lobby, Melchiorri knows how to turn a struggling hotel into a bustling tourist destination."


I love this show! Although it can be an eye opener to things that we could be doing differently at our b&b, it is very informative, giving me some new ideas and that little push to fix or redo a few things that are not working for me. I quote daily that it's the little things that make the difference, so I need to practice what I preach and make sure everything is perfect, even the little things. Another big part of running an inn....."that first impression". Most definitely! As hard as I try to make a great first impression, usually that initial phone call when the guest is making the reservation, it is also important to make a great first impression once they actually check-in as well. I work hard to make our guests feel welcome and try to be as informative and helpful as I can, so that they have a memorable stay with us, and want to return. I am definitely taking notes from this show, it is very motivating, you get an "inside scoop" on the "how-tos" of inn keeping! It's fun to see how others run their inns ....I'll definitely learn from this show! It was encouraging though, to see that I already do many of the things the host suggested. :O) My favorite episode so far was The Vermont Inn . Melchiorri helped to turn this almost bankrupt inn into a picture perfect wedding venue.  Check out the link and tune in on Monday night!
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I love to travel....so I just had to check out the show....Trip Flip! You can catch this on the Travel Channel as well. Tune in Thursday night @ 9 pm est.
Bourbon Street in New Orleans
About the show: "In each episode of Trip Flip, professional fun-seeker and travel expert Bert Kreischer convinces two random people to spontaneously agree to a 3-day surprise vacation. Kreischer delivers an action-packed itinerary stacked with the kind of v-i-p access, accommodations, gourmet food, unexpected twists and celebrity appearances that only Travel Channel can deliver. And forget about guidebooks and tour buses, because every Trip Flip is designed to get vacationers off the beaten path, out of their comfort zones and into the mind-blowing, life-changing experiences that inspire us all to travel in the first place."
Pick me! Pick me!! I would love to go on a free 3-day vacation with my very own personal tour guide!!! Love this show!

In another life, my dream job would be a vacation planner/travel agent. Actually, my dream is more on the level of travel guru...think Samantha Brown level. :O) A girl can dream!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pin It Tuesday....7/24

Crazy About My Baybah
I finally had a chance to look through a huge stack of magazines I had accumulated over the past few months. I like to jot down things in my little notebook as I go through them, ideas or recipes, or things I might buy, or items I might add to my wish list. My recent pins have been some of these things.
big faced watches....I love the look {and I could actually see what time it is!}

Pinned Image
a fruit tart........blackberry would be yummy!
Vintage Minnie Mouse OPI Nail Polish Line
fun OPI colors....I love pink!
Chevron and Burlap.burlap & chevron

<3 this dressI'm in love with this dress! <3

my birthstone: aquamarine
my birthstone: aquamarine
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I should get a bike....I soooo need the exercise!
Driftwood Stained Ikea Vika Lerberg Desk
gorgeous workspace...love the Ikea desk!

Monday, July 23, 2012

cake.....cake......and more cake

I love to cook......I don't love to bake, but I think I broke a record last weekend for number of cakes baked in a 24 hour period in my kitchen! We were having a "Cake Bake" fundraiser on Saturday morning, so on Friday night I whipped up 2 cakes to donate to that.
Chocolate Cake w/cream cheese frosting
Fudge Ribbon Cake {chocolate cake w/cheese cake filling & fudge glaze}

Then, I spotted 4 over-ripe bananas on the counter
and remembered a recipe for Banana Cake
w/Cream Cheese Frosting
that I had pinned on Pinterest. Why not?
So I made cake #3. 
I cut a few pieces to take next door to our
neighbors who had just brought
their new baby boy home from
the hospital. :O)
It was so simple, but so yummy!
I'll share that recipe in case
you want to give it a try!
Banana Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large ripe bananas
1/4 cup milk

For the frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons chopped toasted nuts (optional)

Instructions





To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 375°. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, oil, and sugar. Beat in eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mash bananas with milk. Set aside.
Gradually mix half of dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix in bananas. Mix in remaining dry ingredients. Pour cake batter into prepared baking pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack.
To make the frosting:
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and vanilla. Reduce speed and gradually add confectioners’ sugar.
Spread frosting on cake. Sprinkle with nuts.

Then, on Saturday night, Nathan and Kayla took
over the kitchen and made cake #4. 

Nathan's first try at
baking a cake,
it turned out pretty good
don't you think! :O)

Linking up with Kelly for Show Us Your Desserts.

Destination Disney: Disney in Orange

Destination Disney: ORANGE


Thursday, July 19, 2012

good things thursday....

What {or should I say who} could possibly change the mind of a teenage boy who once considered some things soooo lame to now think they might actually be quite cool? you guessed it!!! A teenage girl! Nathan and Kayla decided to join in on the bucket list fun last night.

I had dug out some Mason jars, but Nathan opted to use his "cool" Chicago Bears cups instead.... :O)

......make root beer floats.....check! :O) Let's see what's next on the list!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Mantel

Okay, so I tweaked my 4th of July mantel and I think it should take me through the rest of the summer. As fast as time is passing though, it won't be long before we are pulling out the pumpkins! Here's what I came up with:
I took down the old window and used a grapevine wreath, adding a simple banner.

I used a brown pillar candle, wrapped with a little jute rope and added a starfish.


a framed summer printable

apothecary jar full of shells


I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner for Show Us Life: Show Us Your Mantels! and The Simple Woman's Creative Journal: http://thesimplewomanscreativejournal.blogspot.com/


Wordless Wednesday - July 18 vacation dreamin'

a roadtrip thru the keys.............an article I tore out of one of Mom's Coastal Living magazines....this has me wanting to start planning a future trip to Key West....

We Want To Know Wednesdays: Grocery Edition

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Linking up for WWTK Wednesday! This week is all about favorite things at the grocery store.
{1} Walking down the cookie aisle at the store, what do you pick?
I don’t buy prepackaged cookies very often, but the last time I did buy some {just for me} I bought Keebler MintCreme Middles. I {love} {love} thin mint GS cookies, so I just had to give these a try. Pretty good!
{2} Would you rather eat chips or crackers? Which kind? I like both.....my favorite cracker is Nabisco Chicken in a Biskit {a childhood thing}:O) ...but I want them with Onion Dip {my recipe: in mixer bowl, beat together 1- 8 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese with 1 envelope dry onion soup mix. Add 1- 8 oz. sour cream, beat until smooth.}
and chips, well, I haven't met a chip I didn't love. Herr's Crab Chips are a favorite!
{3} What kind of pickles do you like? all pickles...but kosher dill are my first choice.
{4} What is your favorite candy? candy bar: Milky Way or Carmello.
{5} What’s your soda preference? Diet Coke is quite an addiction!
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Destination Disney: Disney in Blue

Destination Disney: BLUE




Beautiful Beach Club!!!
In February 2011, Peter & I drove to FL for our 4th trip to WDW. We stayed at our very first deluxe resort- Beach Club, where we spent 8 nights/9 days. What an awesome vacation!!