Tuesday, September 30, 2014

breakfast burritos, two recipes


It's the school year, y'all. And for those of us with school aged kids, that means scrambling in the morning to get everyone out the door in time, and if you're really super extra organized you might have time to throw a granola bar at your kids on the way out the door. My own kids frequently eat in the car, on the way to school.

I'm not super organized, I won't lie.

My solution to this was freezer breakfast burritos. The most amazing, delicious, easy to make in massive bulk and easy to reheat on the go in the morning. Or, if you're me, at 9pm as I write this.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos (makes about 50 burritos) 

2 lbs sausage
2 dozen eggs
2 green peppers
1 red pepper
1 whole onion
1 lb shredded potatoes
1 lb shredded cheese
between 45-50 fajita sized tortillas*

*note on the tortillas, these will work WAY better if you use real, actual tortillas. Nothing against the grocery store brands, but tortillas made by actual people who know how to make them will microwave much better. It's because of the lard. Real pig lard makes for excellent tortillas that re-heat like magic.

  1. Cook your sausage in a (very) large pan. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, cook your peppers and onions. Once they're starting to get a bit done, toss your frozen hash browns on top. 
  3. In a separate pan, cook all two dozen eggs over medium low heat, scrambling them as they cook.
  4. Mix together your eggs and sausage mixture, get everything really good and incorporated. 
  5. Spread about 1/4 cup of toppings onto the center of your tortilla as shown. Top with cheese.
  6. Roll up your burritos by folding in the sides, then folding in the top and bottom. This makes for a really good seal on the burrito that won't come undone when you're microwaving it. 
  7. Stick your burritos into individual snack sized ziploc bags. They should fit pretty much perfectly, and this is by far the easiest way of packaging them. Originally I had thought to use plastic wrap, but that was a miserable sticky failure. It's a bit tedious, packaging them all individually, but totally worth it in the end.
To reheat these babies, stick them in the microwave for 1 minute on one side. Flip, and microwave 30 seconds on the other. And you're done!

There's another variation to these which I actually greatly prefer. The original version is awesome for my kids, because they'll actually eat them. But the second one involves jalapenos, which make this girl very happy.


For variation 2, you'll need salsa (to taste), about six jalapeno pepper, and hot sauce of your choice. What I did was set aside about four cups of my sausage/eggs/pepper/onion mixture for this part.


  1. Slice fresh jalapenos and cut out the membranes and seeds.
  2. Chop them super finely, then add them to your sausage and egg mixture.
  3. Add roughly a cup to a cup and a half of salsa, and about 1/2 cup hot sauce. Mix well, then place into tortillas and fold as shown above. Prepare for your taste buds to be blown off!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, we've eaten through about half of these bad boys so far, and I made this first batch a month ago. A huge hit!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Make over boring cork boards!

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

Today I'm going to show you step by step how I went from the ugly, stained cork boards above (from the thrift store, of course!) to the fun, bright wall art below:

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

I started by spray painting the whole cork board with white spray paint. I was not careful about sanding or cleaning off the wood like Hilary, and I probably should have been, because it took me twice as long to paint as it should have...mostly because I kept having to wipe away dust in the middle of painting...

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

...but I finally got it all white and pretty! There was some speculation between Hilary and I about whether or not the cork would be able to hold paint, or if it would simply absorb the paint and need six coats. It turns our that cork can be painted effectively! And it only took two coats to get it fully covered:

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

Once I had let them dry for six hours or so, I covered the cork board by layering newspaper and brown packaging paper over it, then taping it down with painter's tape. I left the white frames exposed:

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

I then sprayed the frames turquoise, using about two coats to fully cover the white. Also, look! You can totally see my toes in this picture:

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

The designs on the frames were made using Sharpie paint pens from the hardware store. I used orange and lime green:

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

I just free-handed the design of the green lines on the larger cork board (which of course didn't show up on camera, boo) and the orange polka dots on the smaller board. I both love and hate how this turned out. I'm a perfectionist and these aren't perfect, identical dots by any stretch of the imagination. But I do kind of love how they look fun and wonky. I think it works in a playroom setting.

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

I chose these colors to match the tissue paper poofs that we already have hanging in the room. These poofs are left over from our boy's first birthday party! Can you believe they've held up so well? We showed you how to make your own when we threw their monster-themed party in march.

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

Here's the final pic of the large board, hanging in our playroom. The light in that room isn't great, so please excuse the sub-par picture:

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

The letters above the larger board were a stroke of genius. I have a tutorial for this super easy and fun kid's craft coming up soon!

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

And here's the small, polka-dotted board:

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

The smaller signs were just some polka dotted cardboard scraps that I free-handed words onto and let the girls color. I wasn't even careful cutting it out, so they're really uneven around the edges, but the kids really got a kick out of being a part of the creative process for the artwork in the playroom:

DIY make over an old cord board with spray paint

These aren't perfect, I didn't follow all of the careful steps like Hilary did when she spray painted her shadowbox, but I think for a play room the slightly wonky cork boards are a fun touch. And now the kids have a place to put their own artwork on the walls, and not on my refrigerator door!

~Jessica
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coffee Bean Makeup Holder

So a little backstory first...I had just purchased a bag full of coconut cream-flavored coffee (yum!) and was making a pot of coffee.  I went into the back of the house and heard a crash!  I walked out to my kitchen to see my son dumping out the. entire. bag.  I looked closely and saw that my brand new coffee beans were now mixed with the old cheese from last night's dinner.


Gross!  I hated the idea of throwing a pound of yummy coffee away, so on a whim I made this:


This was the easiest project ever.  I've seen the idea of using coffee beans to hold up makeup brushes floating around for a few years, but I was skeptical.  Did it work?  Did it really release a yummy coffee smell when you grab your makeup?

I grabbed a teal container I had laying around ($1 at the Dollar Tree!) and filled it with the beans:


I stacked all my makeup in it:

(See the Mary Kay blush?  I wasn't kidding when we talked about how much we love Mary Kay makeup in our Mary Kay giveaway post!)

And voila!  The easiest project ever.  So what about my skepticism?  The beans do release a nice coffee smell whenever I grab my makeup.  Now my brushes and lipsticks and eyeshadows smell like coffee, which always makes me smile when I use them!

Since I only filled the container halfway with beans, only a few have popped out onto my dresser.  They stay contained for the most part.  I set mine on my dresser, just in case it got knocked over.  I definitely wouldn't put this on a tiny bathroom counter with young kids!

Overall, I am happy with the project and although I didn't get to drink my coconut cream-flavored coffee, its nice that I didn't have to throw it away and I get to enjoy the smell.  Its been several weeks and it still smells pretty!

Do you want some makeup to put in your coffee bean holder?  Don't forget to enter our Mary Kay makeup giveway ($100 Visa debit card + a collection of Mary Kay makeup) open until October 7, 2014!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Style: Amanda

Today I (Jessica) get to introduce you to one my favorite young women I've met here in Idaho, my friend Amanda. This gorgeous girl and I met when I complimented her dress...she was wearing a floor length formal dress in a very casual setting with low-key accessories and was pulling it off. My kind of girl! And that kind of style takes guts when one is only seventeen and living in small town Idaho, and I do like my friends to have some guts.

As it turns out, creative fashion is kind of her thing. She's always rocking either fun, quirky clothes, daring makeup, or both. So when we decided to do a "back to school" post, I knew I wanted to showcase her independent style.


This dress was her favorite, because of the sheer black overlay, a slightly different take on the current high/low hem trend. "I LOVE it!" She told me, "It's so simple and elegant." I loved that she added her signature fun eye makeup art, it kind of looked like a butterfly heart to me. Gorgeous!


To make it more casual, she threw on a black cardigan and flat sandals. Because why not? Now it's something she can wear to school!



I knew when we started shooting, that I wanted to photograph her in front of this awesome mural of a mustached man, which is on the side of the Puffy Mondae's building in downtown Nampa, Idaho. This was so perfectly Amanda, quirky and fun. This outfit is about as basic as Amanda gets, which is to say not basic at all!


I had to get the combination of the gigantic eyeball in the background and her creative eye makeup.


This last dress was my own favorite, because it's a dress after my own heart! She found this black dress with white embroidery at a thrift store, but it had terrible boning in the top, and was an unflattering mermaid shape. Rather then let such pretty details go to waste, she cut off the top and turned it into a classic knee-length dress instead! She made it more casual with a knit cardigan and knee high boots.


She managed at the same time to look both so sweet and so unique!


I had so much fun shooting this amazing girl! There's nothing I love more then spending an afternoon having fun with good friends, and showing off the talents of people I love. Amanda always inspires me with her choices and her risk taking, and I'm so glad I could share that with you all today!



Monday, September 8, 2014

Another love letter to Target...plus a giveaway!


As you all know, we LOVE Target.  There is one super close to us and we go there all the time. Sometimes we shop for clothes and home decor (remember when we shared our favorite Target finds in March?) and sometimes we buy things for our homes (like toilet paper, beauty supplies and home decor).

One of the best parts of Target (besides their gorgeous clothes and quieter atmosphere than other stores) is their up & up product line.  Up & up is Target's generic store brand, and over the last few years, we've noticed that Target has expanded the number of items under that brand.  This excites us since we are always looking for lower-cost items for our homes and children!  Hilary used up & up formula for her children (on her pediatrician's recommendation!), we both use the up & up diapers, and most of the medicines in our cabinets are up & up brand.

Just for a laugh, Hilary took pictures of just a few of the up & up products she uses at home:

As you can see, we're not kidding. We love Target.  The products are as good as their brand-name alternatives and they are always really affordable.  So when we found out that Target was adding new products to their up & up line, we jumped at the chance to review them!  We literally go to Target about every second day around here. Our kids even get excited to go, mostly for the $1 popcorn. Check out this cuteness, Jessica's son Ender (yes, that's his real name!) eating his "Pa-corn."


I (Jessica) got to test out a couple of newer up & up products Target provided for us. But I have to be honest, some of this stuff is actually things that we already use around here! The mouthwash and the children's body wash are things I've purchased before:


I was however, super excited to try out the nail polish drying spray! Our local Target hasn't had this product in stores yet. I painted my nails especially to test it out, and it worked perfectly. Score!


My daughter was also really excited to try the "new octopus body wash." Previously we've only used the bubble gum flavor, and a different sea creature on the front was a huge selling point for her.

And since we love Target so much, we are excited to giveaway a $100 Target GiftCard® to one of our lucky readers! Are you excited? Because WE wish we could enter too! To enter, simply leave a comment and let us know what your favorite Target product is!
Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#OnlyAtTarget” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher.com email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/8-10/22.
Be sure to visit the Target up & up brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Trendy Makeup Tutorials and a Mary Kay® Product Giveaway!


Even though we don't talk about it much on the blog, we love makeup.  We find inspiration everywhere for makeup (magazines, TV, and celebrities), but lately we've been inspired by some of the makeup techniques we've seen on Project Runway.  As you all know, we. are. obsessed. with Project Runway.  Sewing + Fashion + Makeup = Joy, so when we were given the opportunity to use Mary Kay® (who is the official makeup sponsor of Project Runway Season 13) and recreate some Project Runway-inspired looks at home, we said yes!

We got to try out two different styles.  Jessica tested out the Graphic Eye--a totally modern two-tone cat eye (in TARDIS blue!) and Hilary tried out the Emerald Smoky eye which made her green eyes pop!  We love tutorials around here, so we thought we'd show you how we created these dramatic (but still totally wearable) looks.

Plus, since we had so much fun playing with the Mary Kay® makeup, we wanted to share some with you!  Check out both of our looks and let us know in the comments which one you like best (Jessica's Graphic Eye or Hilary's Emerald Smoky Eye) for an entry into our giveaway.  One of our lucky readers will win a $100 Visa gift card plus a collection of Mary Kay® products to create one of the looks featured + some beauty essentials!


Jessica: So it may not be exactly common knowledge around here, but I like to dress up. And by "dress up" I don't mean fancy-dress-and-heels dressing up, though I do that as well. I mean the kind of dressing up that includes costumes. So I was really stoked to see this amazing Mary Kay® Blue My Mind eyeliner, (or, as Hilary mentioned above, TARDIS blue. And I'm so proud of her for knowing that). There are many events in which TARDIS colored eyeliner would be appropriate, right? And what better combo then funky blue eyeliner and an Alex Vause-style graphic 1960's cat eye. Because Alex Vause + Doctor Who seems like an obvious combo, right?


1. I started out by applying two shades of taupe on my eyelids, Mary Kay® Mineral Eyeshadow in Moonstone over my whole lid, and Driftwood on the crease and under my lower lashes.

2. Next I applied the awesome blue eyeliner in a thin line across my entire upper lash line, and followed up with a gel eyeliner in Jet Black, starting at the center of my eye and sweeping outward into a cat eye, and lining the inner part of my lower eyelid. 

3. The last step was, of course, about 12 coats of mascara. I'm kidding! It was two coats of Mary Kay® Ultimate Mascara in Very Black. Which actually didn't irritate my eyes at all the way most mascara does. I wear contacts and have horrible seasonal allergies, so most mascara is just impossible and makes my eyes red and itchy. This was great!


The final step was bronzer on and under my cheekbones, and a swipe of neutral lip gloss (I used Mary Kay® NouriShine® Plus Lip Gloss in Au Naturel). When you're doing an eye this bold it's pretty important to keep the rest of your face neutral! Otherwise you just look like Dr. Frank N. Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which actually would be fine if you're attending a midnight showing of said movie (which I have, of course! With newspapers and toast.) but if you're just hanging out seems a little overboard.

That being said, the season 8 premier of Doctor Who will be in theaters here in Boise on August 25, and the TARDIS blue may in fact get busted out then, possibly along with my DIY Circular Gallifreyan t-shirt. Fun will be had. And actually I got quite a few compliments on this look while I was just wearing it around for the day as well! 

Hilary decided to try a completely different kind of look, one that involved her favorite color, lime green (seriously, she's obsessed!)!


Hilary: I got to try out the Emerald Smoky eye which I was thrilled about.  Often I don't wear a lot of green eye shadow because green eyes + green eye makeup can be a lot, but I decided to experiment and see if the green shadow would make my green eyes stand out.

I started with Mary Kay® Cream Eye Color in Meadow Grass all over my eyelids and in a thin line under the eye as a base (1).  Then I layered Mary Kay® Mineral Eye Color in Emerald all over the lid.  I used Mineral Eye Color in Lime on the inner third of my eye lid to create a natural highlight (I always use a lighter color on my inner eyelid to make my eyes look bigger!) (2).  I lined the top line with Mary Kay® Eyeliner in Black and swiped on two coats of Mary Kay® Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in Black (3).  Sooo easy and yet totally dramatic.

I finished off my look with a light layer of Cream Blush in Cranberry and True Dimensions Lipstick in Mystic Plum.  The original look used a lipliner, but it was a little dark, so I used a light layer of the plum lipstick and I topped it off with some of the Au Naturel lip gloss Jessica used for her Graphic Eye look!  After looking at my before and after pictures, the Emerald Smoky eye TOTALLY made my green eyes look bigger and brighter!  I'm a fan, especially of that Lime Mineral Eye Color.

So what do you all think?  Which look are you wanting to try? The Graphic Eye or the Emerald Smoky eye?  Leave a comment and you will be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card and a collection of Mary Kay® products to create one of the looks featured + some beauty essentials.
Still confused?  You can visit Mary Kay® on Project RunwayFacebookYoutube, and of course, their website for more ideas and information! 


Sweepstakes Rules: 

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1.  Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2.  Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3.  Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4.  For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/4/2014-10/7/2014.
Be sure to visit the Mary Kay brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

pumpkin pie pancake recipe

So around here, we love us some pumpkin. Last year we went a little crazy on pumpkin recipes, it's true. And mostly because I (Jessica) start hoarding pumpkin the second it hits store shelves in the fall and obsessively bake with it all year long. I also have been known to buy enough pumpkin spice coffee creamer to last me the full nine months until next pumpkin season. At one point I had no less the 30 cans of pumpkin in my pantry, because God forbid I go without pumpkin during the summer months.

Given my love of all things pumpkin-y, if you follow us on Facebook it probably come as no surprise to anyone that I celebrated the first official day of September by making pumpkin pie spice pancakes for breakfast, and posted a luscious picture of the resulting goodness.

pumpkin pie pancake recipe

And then I topped said pancakes with melted cream cheese frosting, cinnamon, raw sugar sprinkles and chopped walnuts. Because the official beginning of pumpkin season requires beginning with a luscious, creamy, sugar overloaded bang.

pumpkin pie pancake recipe

And because I'm a blogger who loves you all very much, today I'm going to share my recipe with you! So you, too, may enjoy the pumpkin-y goodness.






Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1  tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a bowl. combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. In a second bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together gently.

Heat a pan over medium heat, and grease with cooking spray (or butter, if you like). Scoop batter onto the pan using about 1/4 cup for each scoop. Cook until one side is done, then flip.

I garnished my pancakes with cream cheese frosting using this recipe from Not So Humble Pie, which turned out amazingly creamy and perfect with the pumpkin flavor! But you could also use syrup, in a pinch.

At this point, the only thing to do is eat them.

pumpkin pie pancake recipe


I hope you enjoyed this, the first pumpkin recipe of the season! Don't worry, there will be many more to come. And in the mean time, if you're looking for more of our delicious recipes you can check those out on our recipes page!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

End-of-month Recap: August Edition!

Whew!  We made it to September!  August was a crazy month for us, lots of travel (some unexpected), family issues, the kids started school and we both worked!  Our posts were a bit light around here in August, but we did share some fun things.  Here are a few of our favorites!

Our kids went back to school (hooray!), but with school comes things like packing school lunches!  We both try to feed our kids healthy foods, but its often easier to buy processed/very sugary foods for lunches.  Jessica rounded up some healthy and easy school lunch ideas:

10 healthy fun quick and easy school lunch ideas

Our kids being in school meant we had some more time for sewing projects!  Jessica showed you how to create adorable doll leggings:

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

As well as how to alter and take in a too-big skirt:

basic alterations 101, taking in a skirt on the side seams tutorial

Hilary's been on a natural cleaner kick, so she shared her favorite way to clean a microwave with one ingredient (and no chemicals!):

How to Clean a Microwave Naturally

And she got back from an amazing vacation to Mexico and shared some pictures and tips for visiting there:

Tips for Traveling to Los Cabos, Mexico

We have some great things coming up in September - makeup tips, fashion (hooray for leggings and sweater weather!), crochet, jewelry and more PLUS two HUGE giveaways!

Want to see more?  Don't forget to follow us to see all of our posts!



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