Feb 26, 2015

Black Bean Salsa

If I had to pick one food that I had to eat for the rest of my life, it would probably be chips and salsa. I love most kinds of salsa as well as most kind of tortilla chips. Well except baked. Sorry, but if you are gonna eat them you might as well just put in the caloric effort.

This black bean salsa is insanely easy to make and will rock your salsa eating world. My sister was over when I was making it and to be honest she was more than a little skeptical as I was making it. You think by now she would just trust my salsa wisdom. But sadly, she still lacks a little faith. Since she too is a lover of all things salsa and chips, she took a leap and took a giant scoop and popped it in her cute little doubting me mouth.

Well of course she loved it. DUH. She should have just known. After all there is bacon in this salsa. Yup I said it BACON. What isn't made better with some bacon? Ever had bacon in your salsa? No. Well here is your chance.

This black bean salsa only has four ingredients. FOUR. I feel like I have exuberantly "yelled" (aka the ALL CAPS) a lot in this post. I am pretty much still really excited about this salsa.

This salsa is pretty healthy with the black beans and all the veggies from the salsa and the jalapeno. There is a little bit of bacon in it, but let's face it bacon gets a health pass because it's deliciousness trumps all that healthy mumbo jumbo.

We paired our black bean salsa with toasted black bean tortilla chips, but I would wager that any kind of tortilla chip would be good with this salsa. So whip yourself up some. Open a bag of chips. Dig on in. And smile.

It is that good.

Black Bean Salsa

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
5-6 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Eat right away or refrigerate until ready to serve (up to a few hours).

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Feb 21, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Life has been crazy busy around here. Okay, so it is always crazy. However, it just seems to have an extra dose of crazy around here. Things especially get hairy around the time the kids get home from school. Most days it feels a little like a snowball rolling down a massive mountain picking up speed as it goes, taking out trees, moose, rocks, and humans in it way. By trees I mean me. By moose, I mean me. Basically, all of the above, I mean me.

Charming story Larissa, why are you sharing? Good and valid question.

The answer comes down to this: most days if dinner isn't quick and easy and/or already pulled together that means we are having breakfast for dinner.

AKA if it isn't in a slow cooker, then eggs and toast it is. I exaggerate a tad. Sometimes we have tacos.

Since the good old slow cooker has been getting some use, I decided it was time I share a slow cooker recipe here and there. Remember when I would share a slow cooker recipe every Saturday. Remember when it was called Slow Cooker Saturday

We had this Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie a few weeks ago. Traditional chicken pot pie is delightful. However, it can also be time intensive to make. I refer back to that whole no time thing I was previously talking about.

Ain't nobody got no time for that. Any one tired of that line yet? Obviously I am not.

This Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie is packed with flavor and it is so simple to throw together.

The filling is made in the slow cooker. Just before the filling is done you pop refrigerator biscuits in the oven. When the filling is done you top with one or two biscuits. You can even sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top if you are feeling wild and crazy.

Feb 18, 2015

His and Hers Nightstands

The Hubs and I have been married for 13 1/2 years. In all that glorious wedded bliss we have never had a retreat just for us. Our master bedroom was always the last on the list. We decorated main rooms, we decorated the boys' rooms several times. In two apartments, our first house, and over three years in this house our room has been a hodgepodge of randomness.

Well friends, we are all grown up and are working on our very own wedded bliss oasis FINALLY.

I have been sharing little bits of our #projectmasterbedroom on Instagram (@larissa_anotherday). We have changed the color and brightened up the trim and doors to a nice white. Our favorite part is our new board and batten wall with shelf. Of course I will show that in more depth soon; I have to do a couple of projects to wrap up before I can show you that.

The next favorite part of our Project Master Bedroom is that we now both have nightstands. Each nightstand is different yet coordinates with each other and the general style of the room. Both old and new elements. These nightstands happily flank either side of our bed. His and Hers Nightstands, if you will.

This is a post all about laughing in the face of the idea that nightstand have to be identical to each other. Okay so this post is really about two lovely nightstands that just happen to be on the opposite sides of our beds, hence the His and Hers Nightstands.

Let's start with the His Nightstand.

This is an old nightstand. We have had this since we first got married. This is a Target nightstand from just before Target got really stylish. They were a little stylish, just not as dreamy and irresistible as they are now. I decided it was finally time to spruce it up.

I painted over the laminate honey color with a lovely white chalk paint. Then The Hubs and I attached caster wheels to the bottom to give it not only height, but also a decorative detail.

This white little clock was under $3 at The Mart. I paired them with these great vintage readers, in of course my favorite color blue.

A simple white frame holds a candid wedding shot of The Hubs and I goofing off.

One of my favorite details of the His nightstand is this vintage gym locker basket. LOVE. 

This red lamp from IKEA is a favorite and gives a pop of color. Remind me to thank The Hubs for insisting it stay red (we were originally going to paint it).

That was the His nightstand. On to the Hers nightstand.

This is a new nightstand, also from Target but circa really stylish and irresistible (obviously). I love the glass door that allow me to show off some cute storage. The white plastic baskets are from Target. The metal bin is from The Mart.

Since I am the lover of blue and white, I accessorized my nightstand with a little more of those colors. I found this glorious bowl in the kitchen section of Target. Little design gems can be found anywhere, so think outside the box.

Instead of a colored lamp, I opted for this very traditional white lamp. We have had the lamp for years and year. I simply put a new shade on top.

After thrifting from around our house, I used this clock and some amazing blue books. These books have been sitting on our bookshelves since before Oldest was even born. Now they have found a new home on my nightstand.

There in all its glory is the Hers nightstand.

With these His and Hers Nightstands we are that much closer to completing Project Master Bedroom. I smile every time I see them. Hopefully I can show you the rest of the room soon.

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Feb 13, 2015

Chocolate Covered Cherry Hearts

Valentine's Day is almost here. Like, tomorrow almost here.

Here is a really quick and easy Valentine treat you can make for someone you LUHVE. Plus these Chocolate Covered Cherry Hearts are super yummy.

These are ridiculously easy to make. All you need is--

cherry hearts
milk chocolate chips
wax paper

First melt the chocolate chips by the double broiler method. Put the chips in a bowl and then place the bowl over the top of a saucepan of shallow simmering water. The water and the bottom of the bowl should not touch. Stir the chocolate constantly until melted.

Use a toothpick to dip the cherry heart into the chocolate.

Cover the heart with chocolate and shake gently to remove excess chocolate.

Using a second toothpick, remove the chocolate covered heart from the first toothpick onto a sheet of wax paper.

Repeat until all the hearts are covered.

Let the chocolate cool and harden for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Now they are all ready. See how easy peasy it is.

You can package them up all pretty and give them away or you can just eat them right off the wax paper and say Happy Valentine's Day to yourself.

Or you can do what I did and give some away and eat some. A win win.

So Happy Valentine's Day and happy chocolate eating.

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Feb 11, 2015

Minecraft Be Mine Valentine Shirt

Last year I made this Minecraft Be Mine Valentine shirt. This year that post has gotten a lot, like A LOT of traffic. I have gotten a lot of emails asking for the image.

Unfortunately, last year I didn't have an image to give because when I made it making the image was kind of a hodgepodge of techniques. Since I have received SO many emails asking for this image I decided I probably should make one to give out.

SO here you all go...

the Creeper Be Mine Valentine shirt image.

To save the image to your computer, just right click and save the image. You can enlarge and manipulate the image as you need. 

The one I used for my shirt is slightly different in the spacing. However, this one will but just as cool for all of those Minecraft obsessed kiddos out there.

To make it like I did you just need two different colors of heat transfer vinyl and a vinyl cutter. To paint the image on just trace the image onto freezer paper and use two different colors of fabric paint.

Hope this image helps all of those wanting to make this shirt. Any questions just leave it to me in a comment or email me.


Blow My Mind Bubblegum Valentine

One last classroom Valentine idea before Friday. Whew, I am cutting close here. Can I tell you just how much I love these Blow My Mind bubblegum valentines?

Well I love them like a lot, a lot. I originally found a similar idea years ago on Pinterest. It was just a Flikr link so I took what I saw and recreated my own in Picmonkey. The whole process was pretty simple and Middle thinks his classroom Valentines are the coolest thing ever. So that was a score/score.

Here is what you need:

a picture/card with your kiddos face on it
pink balloons
double bubble
treat baggies

Let's talk about the card first.

I took Middle outside and snapped a quick photo of him making a "blow a bubble" face.

Then I made the card in Picmonkey.

I am going to do a quick run through of how I made this card. So the method is the same, the kid in the photo might be different. I forgot to save an original of the first photo.

Okay so here we go.

Go to the edit function in Picmonkey and open up the snapshot of your cute kid.

Go to the elements (the sparkly wand) function and change the photo to black and white.

Now the fun part, go to the borders/frames (the frame) function and choose the shape cutout. Drag the circle until your darling child is where you want him in the circle.

Next crop the photo.

After that, you will go into the overlays (butterfly) function and choose the circle from geometric. Each basic shape has an outline and the middle of the shape. When the overlay box pops up (the box on the right side of the screen below) Choose black for color 1 and transparent for color 2. That will give you an outline of a circle.

Enlarge the circle until it perfectly outlines your circle photo.

Now starts the tricky part. The text. I wanted my text to follow the curve of the circle. To my knowledge, Picmonkey does not have a curve text option, so I go in one letter at a time and curve out my saying. This is the only pain in the butt part. To save your self grief you can just type it on straight. If you want to curve it, here is a very brief and unprofessional way to do that.

One letter at a time, type in the letter and move the letter by the top circle to match the curve. Once one letter is done, move on to the next. Twisting and moving until they are aligned up.

The fonts I used were Ostrich Sans Inline and Futura Medium. This whole part was largely trial and error and still didn't come out perfect, but they would have never gotten done if I had tried to make them perfect. Hubby had to actually tell me to stop.

SO there is the basic on how to make this cute card.

To finish off your already adorable valentine hole punch the mouth of the photo, put the end of the balloon through. Then BARELY blow it up and tie it off at the back. You don't want the bubble to cover up the face completely. The one in this picture was my very fullest, so you can't really see his face.

Once the balloon is in place, fill the little treat bag with a few pieces of gum. Fold over the top and then staple the folded bag to the bottom of the valentine.

Now just keep repeating until all the classroom valentines are done. These are sure to be a hit in any classroom. They will blow their minds. HAHAHA. I had to.

This Blow My Mind classroom Valentine rounds out the Love You Like a Love Song and the Bag of Chips classroom Valentines and completes classroom valentines 2015.

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Feb 10, 2015

Brownie M&M Cookies

My brownie obsession has now crossed over to the Brownie M&M cookies. If someone were to ask I probably would only admit to eating one or two, not the seven I have eaten in two days. These cookies are chocolatey, obviously. They are chewy. They are brownies in cookie form. Then of course there are the M&M's. What I am trying to convey is that these cookies are good. Like really good.

I do not make cookies often. Heck I actually do not bake often. However, when I do most likely it will involve brownies and milk chocolate. Heavens I love milk chocolate. My poor Hubs is inflicted with Dark Chocolateitis. Poor, poor husband.

These cookies also make great holiday, party, or everyday cookies because you can switch out the M&M's for the specific event.

Man, don't they look yummy?

I hope you didn't just lick your screen. That can't be good for your computer. So try to avoid the licking of technology and go ahead and just make yourself some Brownie M&M Cookies. Your computer will thank you.

printable recipe HERE

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Feb 9, 2015

Amaze-BALLS Teacher Valentine

Saturday is Valentine's Day. That means that Friday is the day that Valentine's gets celebrated at school. So it is time for Teacher Valentine's. Every year I try to come up with a little something for the Little Men's teachers. Last year I even had to come up with something for all the teachers since I am over Teacher Appreciation for our school.

Last year we did the CRUSH Valentine's for the teachers. They were probably one of my favorite teacher Valentine's to date and I was totally figuring that I couldn't come up with something for this year that I liked as much.

Then I realized that I love gumballs, I love the made up word amazeballs, and I love teachers. So the Valentine pretty much wrote itself.

To make these I gathered a couple of glass milk bottles and some gumballs. I opted for these sweet pink gumballs.

I gathered a helper or two and filled the bottles with the gumballs.

I made these tags in PicMonkey. Then I printed out enough Amazeballs Tags for each teacher.

 Download Amazeballs Teacher Valentine's HERE

I tied on the tags with a bit of fabric. There ya have it. A fun, delightfully fantastic way to say Happy Valentine's Day to your kids' teachers.

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