Friday, June 26, 2015

foodie friday : zucchini muffins

This recipe is tried and true.  I have never found another recipe I prefer anywhere near this one.  I have made these zucchini muffins with my grandmother and now on my own for many years and they absolutely do not get old.  It is no frills, none of that chocolate chip or nut business, just good warming cinnamon flavor.  I also almost always make them in muffin form.  They take less time to bake than a loaf, so to me, they hold moisture much better than a larger shape, and don't start tasting overdone on the en If I need them to be in a sliceable form, then I will bake them in a bundt pan instead.  So don't ask me how long it will take to bake a normal large loaf, because I have no idea.

zucchini muffins
homegrowninky style

2 1/2 C shredded zucchini
1 C oil
3 eggs
1 3/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together above ingredients and then sift together the following dry ingredients in a separate bowl:

3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Slowly combine the dry to the wet mix.  Pour batter evenly into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350F for 15-18 min, until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack completely before storing. 

You could throw in about a 1/2 C of chopped pecans or walnuts if thats your thing... but it isn't mine.  I just don't mess with a good thing.  These have always been a big hit so I try to make them on occasion for the residents (I like to send something they can easily grab on the run to their next trauma or consult) and dear friends (like Lyndsey who appreciates muffins at 3am with her new 2nd born son!).  Or just for me to have a few for breakfast.

Or lunch.

Or mid-afternoon snack.

Or all of the above.  No judgement.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

stamp it with love

Growing up, there weren't very many kids in my neighborhood.  However, one of my very first and best friends was one of the girls, Amy, on our street.  And one of the very few friends from home that I still keep in touch with.  I was in her wedding, she helped out with mine.  Then we didn't see each other for almost 7 years.  

During that time, we have kept in touch, and I have loved watching her grow her blog and her personal business: That Winsome Girl.  This chick is constantly figuring out new ways to evolve her vintage inspired jewelry line and is an inspiration with party planning and baking.  In her business, she only uses quality, beautiful materials and crafts each piece personally.  She really loves custom orders, but usually has an abundance of designs in stock at the numerous craft shows she frequents in the Lexington KY area.  

I had the major joy of getting to see her when we went back to Kentucky last month.  She and her husband just happened to be in town on their way to pick up their new puppy and we were able to visit for about 30 minutes one morning.  And man, she surprised me!  I had totally forgotten that I had mentioned eventually wanting some stamped rings by her if she ever got to doing them.  Well she didn't forget!  She had the most amazing mix of her stacking rings ready for me, with incredibly thoughtful stamped designs.  I LOVE these rings!

Here is the really awesome part... when I told her that I was wanting to talk about the rings on the blog, she was total game to offer my readers a discount in her online store.  You have to go look at the beautiful things she has there.  And then buy a bunch of stuff; at checkout just enter in the code "HOMEGROWN10" during Etsy checkout for 10% off of your total order.  No minimum purchase and no expiration.  I know you will love whatever you choose.  If the stamped look isn't for you, don't pass up the beautiful stacked sets!  

Please excuse the scuffs on them.  I have worn them every day since she gave them to me.  These rings really are some of my favorite jewelry, and I have the tan line to prove it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

foodie friday : chicken thighs

Kyle's mom found this recipe when we went to visit last month.  Honey-garlic-soy marinade and the slow cooker make these super simple.  I really don't know why I don't use chicken thighs more.  They are cheap, they are moist and extremely flavorful compared to most whole chicken breast recipes.  The recipe for these was a bit salty for me so I cut the soy sauce in half, and bone-in thighs were what was on sale so I cut the skin off and tossed them in.  

I just served them on a bed of jasmine rice and since I didn't have any sides that I thought would go with them, I just grabbed some green onion from the garden, some leftover mushrooms, and frozen peas and quickly sautéed them.  My only wish was that there had been more of all that!

I also decided to wisk in some corn starch to thicken the sauce to more of a gravy consistency.  The result was pretty great!  Kyle and Myles both really enjoyed them.  We will be using this recipe again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

what we're wearing wednesday : ripped chic

Last week I had a vacation.  Kyle's parents were here for a couple of nights the first weekend, and then they cut their cloudy/rainy beach vacation short and came back for a few more!  Kyle worked the whole time so I was the one getting to take advantage of Myles having grandparent time.  We did squeeze in a date Friday night and I was able to have lunch with him at work on Saturday.  

So in all of my adventuring, I managed two separate shopping trips!  First, I finished off my birthday gift card for Forever21 and snagged this majorly distressed pair of skinny white jeans.  I really only tried them on to find out what size I would need.  But then I loved them.  They fit really well, and though completely out of my adult-life-norm, I didn't feel like I was trying to look like a teenager.  And I had a gift card.  

Then after lunch with Kyle, I ventured up to one of my new favorite boutiques; Southern Sister's Boutique in Greer.  I have enjoyed visiting the shop on occasion and chatting with one of the sisters every time, but never made a purchase.  Until now.  I am a sucker for zipper detail and was thrilled when this top fit!

I really love how the ripped jeans add that little edge to an otherwise put-together outfit.  I am pretty sure this is a new favorite outfit indeed.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


playing :  the big addiction right now is The Secret Society-Hidden Mystery by G5 Games (Kindle).  It is a find-the-hidden-object type of game that gets progressively harder and with more twists as you go.  I'm not the only one either... My aunt and mom are both hooked.

going :  insane.  This 18 month kid is having major sleep issues the past week and a half.  Otherwise, Kyle's parents are stopping back through on their way back from the beach so we get a almost week late 7th anniversary date night Friday.  I was thinking fancy dinner downtown, but right now I'm leaning towards a Food Truck Roundup at local Quest Brewery we have never been to, followed by free donuts from Krispy Kreme on the way home.  Needs to be something laid back since Kyle will just be getting off of work and can't stay out late since he goes back the next early morning.

wearing :  Monday was my big Stitch Fix review.  Go check out what I kept!  I also managed to finish off my Forever21 gift card this weekend, during some needed mommy time off, on a not-typical-of-me outfit that I might try to share next week?

sipping :  Kyle's parents came in this past weekend, and true to 'tradition', his mom and I tried out a new-to-us bottle of wine.  This time I grabbed Yellow Tail's Shiraz Cabernet blend.  I really am no expert whatsoever on wine, and I most certainly have no idea what a Shiraz is supposed to taste like.  I really just picked it because it was $5 and said it paired well with pasta.  We really liked it!  I will most certainly be picking that up again!

reading :  I have been very slowly working on Miss Peregrin's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.  Slowly, only because it is on my Kindle, and when I am not playing Secret Society, Myles is re-obsessed with "Ishy (..Fishy)" aka Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer.  This fictional tale is really very entertaining and I will probably be re-checking it out once my library loan runs out so that I can finish it.

As always, I'm linking up with the lovely Anne in residence, and Jenna at Gold&Bloom.  Go say hi and add your links!

Monday, June 1, 2015

get your fix!

In my birthday list, I made the random request for Stitch Fix gift cards.  I never really expected to get any... but I ended up with 2!  So I broke my Pinterest hiatus and got busy pinning things that I think represent my style.  The Stitch Fix stylists use Pin Boards and your beginning style profile quiz to get an idea of how to best choose pieces for you.  Each shipment comes with 5 items of some sort for you to choose from.

Once I felt like my board had become a decent look into my typical style (or what I wish my style was...), I did my style profile, linked my board, and let them know what sort of things I did or did not want.  In my case, I told them I was ok with always having one 'date night' dressy item in my shipment, was somewhat adventurous with new styles but mostly liked classic items, and did not want any jewelry or other accessories as any of my 5 items.  I also specifically asked for white skinny jeans and a maxi skirt.  Then I was given available dates to receive my "fix" and chose the last Saturday of May.

Once your box arrives, You have 3 business days to make a decision on what you want to keep.  What you don't want goes in a pre-paid shipping bag, and mailed back to the company.  You only are charged for what you keep.  If you keep nothing, you are charged a $20 styling fee.  If you keep something, that $20 initial fee goes toward your purchase.  If you keep everything, you get a 25% discount.

You guys, I was waiting by the mailbox for this thing to come.  I could not contain my excitement!  I couldn't get Myles down for his nap fast enough so I could rip into this thing!  Inside, were 5 items of clothing, style guides with 2 ways to wear each item, a note from my stylist "Kerry", instructions on what to do next, and the bag to return things in.  My items:

The first item is a dot print fit&flare dress by 41Hawthorn.  This thing fit like a glove.  I was a little surprised at how heavy the fabric was and how dark the colors were in person for this to be in a summer box.  If I had something to dress up for, I would have kept this in a heartbeat.  You can't beat $48 for something that great.  I just really, really didn't need this right now.

Next was the Sam Hi-Lo Tee by Market&Spuce.  This was a major flop.  The fabric was screaming "I'm going to snag on everything", I was not excited by the cut, and it was majorly overpriced at $44.  It looked just like something I would not grab at forever21 for $10.

The Remmie Ikat Maxi skirt by Papermoon.  This was the biggest "almost" in the box.  It just barely was too big in the waist.  People I sent photos to really liked it, but it was just too busy of a print for me.  And the $58 price tag finalized the "no".

These are printed shorts by Skies are Blue.  These were the things I was pleasantly surprised by because I never would have even tried them on in a store, but they weren't too bad.  Just not good enough to keep.  I told my stylist that if that print had been on a normal pair of shorts I would have seriously considered them.  Not too bad at $38 either.

Last but not least, the V-Neck Heathered Dolman sleeve shirt by Market&Spruce.  I knew I would love this thing.  It fit great, I loved the neckline and the weight of the fabric.  The color is that perfect hue for summer or winter.  I can see myself wearing this year round.  The price would normally have thrown me off at $48, but I know I will get a lot of wear out of this, and well... gift cards!  Definitely the item I chose to keep.

Overall, the prices are enough for me to stop the automatic monthly subscription.  But if you hate shopping for yourself but don't mind paying around $50 or more for any item of clothing, then this is definitely the service for you.  I absolutely loved my experience.  My package arrived earlier than expected and returning unwanted items could not have been easier.  I may have opted out of automatic shipments, but I am definitely considering making this a seasonal treat for myself (actually there is an automatic 3 month subscription option available; I just want to be more mindful with my Pin Board to get the best 'fix', where I wouldn't be if it is automated)!  

I firmly recommend this service.  I was hoping to be pushed a little outside my normal choices but hoped to have a chance at adding a great staple item to my wardrobe.  I feel like they really did hit the mark and considered my desires.  There was even a note from the stylist that she just couldn't make the white jeans happen this time but to try again next month.  Sorry Kerry... I found some at the mall.  If you want to give it a try, please use my referral link; if you do then I get a credit towards future fixes!

This is not a sponsored post.  I did not receive any benefit from this review... it really is just because I wanted to share.  All opinions are my own.