Chicken Spinach Pasta Dish

continuing with my really good food pictures...
I had spinach, pasta, and chicken and just googled the three and adapted the below recipe from this recipe.  Here's what I did:

1 lb of pasta
approx 6 tablespoons of Olive Oil
6-7 cloves of garlic (I like garlicy foods)
1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes (or two packets from a pizza place)
2 chicken breasts cut up
12 oz. of spinach (I used frozen and just thawed and drained it a little)
Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta normally
2. Put the olive oil in a bowl.  add garlic and red pepper flakes.
3. Heat olive oil mixture in microwave for 1 minute (to absorb flavor)
4. Put 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan to cook the chicken... cook chicken
5. Add spinach to the chicken pan until spinach is heated up. (2-3 minutes)
6. Put spinach/chicken in bowl with pasta.  toss in rest of the olive oil mixture.
7. Top with desired amount of Parmesan cheese



Balcony Makeover

My mom felt bad for my lack of patio furniture (puhlease, I do have a folding chair) so she gave me this table.  It was a little rusted and she thought it would be a good project for me.  I was going to go with a safe black or white, but I decided to go out on a limb and aimed for a tropical/Miami beach inspired balcony.

First, I had to take care of my hibiscus tree that has been sitting in the plastic container it came in when I bought it.  I purchased a large pot that was approximately $9.  I taped off the top and spray painted the bottom with Rust-oleum Satin Lagoon, and added a clear coat.

Something went wrong in the process... Lack of prep, not letting the turquoise spray paint dry before I put the clear coat on,  not letting it all dry before I potted the tree, the humid day and damp night.... whatever happened, I had a bunch of bubbles under the paint.  I just flattened them out with my finger and there is a little texture left over.  Like all my screw ups that result in texture, I like how it turned out so I'm not really worrying about it.

Next, I turned to my table.  I scraped, brushed, and sanded the table down.  I primed the rusty spots, but didn't really want to spend time priming the whole thing.

For the color, I drew inspiration from a jacket I have from Gap that is very similar to this one.  Mine is last years version, a little thicker, but the same color.  I purchased some Glidden Pink Salmon paint and started painting.  As you can tell, I'm super good at painting.

I moved inside because I wasn't sure how the humidity would affect the paint... and the AC was nothing to complain about.

I put about three or four coats on and then added a clear finish at the end.  Throughout the process I wavered between liking the color and not liking the brightness of it.  Now that it is finished, I'm really liking the tropical feel.  Here is the final balcony:

 What do you think of the coral and turquoise color combo?

Linked to Flower Hill Design for Outdoor Extravaganza, check it out!

update :: here is a new picture from the outside:



The other day, Boppa and I were talking about eye color in our family and he mentioned my grandma and this is what he said:
I'm super lucky to have a lot of very strong marriages in my family.  Boppa and Grandma (pictured above) were married for over 60 years when my Grandma passed away, my other grandparents are coming up on their 60th soon, and my parents are celebrating their 26th anniversary today!  I am so grateful to be surrounded by such loving and wonderful relationships.

Happy 26th Anniversary to my parents!  xxoo!


Dog Park

I found the best dog park near my house.  This is the only dog park I've ever been to, but we love it.  It is also free!  I take Clove to it every couple days and she has so much fun running around and playing with all of the dogs.  It's interesting to observe all of the different personalities and social dynamics of the dogs and owners.  Clove is more of a wanderer where she plays with a dog for a little and then will run off and find another dog to play with, but she makes friends with almost everyone there.  Here is a shot of her after a muddy day last week:



Lately, I've been obsessed with getting plants.  I've been looking up all different types of plants that would fit my needs (i.e. not very high maintenance, some for my very sunny balcony, etc.).  I started out buying some succulents because I didn't want anything that was very high maintenance... I also like all of the different pics of them on Pinterest.  I got these from Home Depot along with the blue pot and yellow water catcher (all together approx $15).
For containers, I used the pot from Home Depot, a small cup from my grandparent's place, and one of the votives I bought for when I made candles.  I put little rocks in the bottom of the containers that didn't have holes.  I'm not a very clean person so I made a huge mess planting them even with the paper I put down.
I put one in the bathroom on the unused toothbrush and cup shelf (pictured above in the myspace-ish bathroom mirror picture).  Now whenever I'm brushing my teeth or getting ready, I'm reminded of my family.  I'm pretty sure the humid air from hot showers should sustain it and I won't have to worry about watering it much.  I guess we'll see.
Next to my DIY milk glass jars
I'm really liking the look of these plants scattered around the house adding a little life to the place.  What do you think?


I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle

After work Friday, I took Clove to the dog park near my house and played for about an hour.  On my way home, BC called and said he had a surprise for me.  For some reason, I've really had bikes on the brain today.  Small day dreams of riding my bike to work in the summer (like that will happen), biking around town, and somehow tying Clove's leash to the handlebars so she can run along next to me on the bike trails (America's Funniest Videos hopeful).  Because of these daydreams, I was really hoping it was a bike, but practical me was figuring it would be something like a chair or some other home good that I could makeover (last time he had a surprise it was a couch).

Of course, I get to my place and Ben has a bike for me!!!  I was beyond excited.  I was so ecstatic because I hadn't even voiced that I was interested in getting a bike and he just showed up with one.  It is an older bike and needs a little fixing up, but that makes it even better because I get to acquire some new skills and make it my own style.

It will probably take me a year to get around to fixing it up... but make sure you stay tuned because it is going to be AWESOME!


Saturday Play Dates

My Saturdays for the next couple weeks will be spent hanging out with my grandpa before he goes to Wisconsin for the summer.  Boppa told me he had something for me to do this weekend, but it was a surprise.  I got to his house and he had some paint and one of his birds set up.

My grandpa has been carving for a long time and has a lot of birds that are beautiful.  Both the carving and the painting are very detailed.

He had me help him paint one of his carved birds.  I was very honored that he would choose for me to paint them.  We did this bird all black and he has a more detailed bird for me to work on next week.

I'm looking forward to the adventures we're going to have in the weeks to come!



I'm so ready for a vacation!  To pass the time, I've been daydreaming about my beach trip at end of June.  I've also been really feeling the nautical look.  Coral (the color and the animal), navy and white stripes, sea creatures, etc...

Navy & White Stripes
 Uh oh!  Do you think this will clash will all of my black and white stripes inspiration?
Nautical stationary
Faux coral
Sea Creature Accessories
I originally liked this black (or navy?) and white pillow, but I went to the site and found all of their bright colored pillows.  I love them all!
Colorful Sea Creature Accessories
Coral artwork
This coral artwork looks like it would be pretty simple to make... and it's beautiful!  I mentioned it earlier, but coral is technically an animal.  I guess I thought it was a plant before, but I looked it up before I put it in writing and found out it's an animal.  I learn something new every day!  Find more info and a good video here.
Have a great weekend!

p.s.  I'm sorry some of my sources aren't that great.  I wish Pinners would pin to the original post instead of the blog.  I will be searching for the original posts for some of these.
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