Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cubicle Decor

My love of decorating & organization extends far past our home. In fact, when I started my new job and learned that I'd be spending 7.5 hours a day in a cubicle, I was {strangely} excited to decorate my new work space! I went right to Google & Pinterest looking for cubicle inspiration--but sadly, I didn't find much of anything. Could this be because no sane person likes to sit in a cubicle all day? Maybe.  Or is it that I'm the only person on Earth who's googling Cubicle Decor? Probably.

BUT here is what my 5'x5' "corner office" looks like today!

cubicle decor
Erin Condren Life Planner   DIY Dry Erase Board  Gold Frame, Hobby Lobby  Magazine Holder  
Seagrass Snack Basket, Home Goods

cubicle accessories chevron cup

cubicle decor organization
Cork tiles, Walmart Wall Pocket Files  Frame and Letter, Hobby Lobby

cubicle decor custom quatrefoil mouse pad

Ikea grundtal containers cubicle organization
Ikea GRUNDTAL Containers   DIY Dry Erase Board    Gold Frame, Hobby Lobby

I consider myself lucky to be at the end of the row, so I do have an actual wall next to me---instead of being surrounded on all sides by padded cubicle walls.  I figure I sit there all day, I may as well enjoy the view.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

World's Easiest Pumpkin Bread

Today, as I was procrastinating at the office making my list of things to pack for our Thanksgiving trip, I decided that I should bake something to take to O's sweet grandfather on Thursday.  In case you decide last minute to take a little something along to your Thanksgiving feast, try this: the world's easiest Pumpkin Bread.

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Bread
recipe adapted from my awesome co-worker, Mary and The Nesting Game

three ingredient pumpkin bread

1 box yellow cake mix & 1 can of Pumpkin

That's it.  Those are the ingredients--all two of them.  I decided to get a little crazy and add in some vanilla and a few spices like Molly did over at The Nesting Game.

easy pumpkin bread

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. Ginger, 1/2 tsp. Allspice, 1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix it all up, and spread into a loaf pan {greased and floured} Don't be alarmed--this is a THICK batter.  Good use for your electric mixer...

If you're feeling really adventurous you can make a crumble topping:

1 tbsp. flour, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 3 tbsp. butter.  Mix with a fork until crumbly and sprinkle over the batter before popping your pan into the oven.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  While that bakes, finish up packing or cleaning orrrrr Pinterest-ing......what?

easy pumpkin bread

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Life Group Dinner

We are so lucky to be a part of an amazing Life Group through our church!  Our families don't live close by, so having this wonderful support system of great friends has been a huge blessing for us.  I think its safe to say that all six couples look forward to our weekly get togethers for so many reasons.  Among them?  Food!  WE. LOVE. FOOD.

This past week, our primer directed us to have a fondue night--we took our own spin on this and decided to have a night full of different dips!  Because, really, who doesn't love a good dip?!

Our delicious dip-fest included cheddar cheese fondue with lots of dippers, pub cheese with pretzel chips, Blaire's bagel dip, Dunkaroo Dip, and Caramel Cheesecake Apple Dip.  Everything was SO good!

I couldn't wait to make Blaire's yummy bagel dip at home this week--how easy is this?

-8oz block of cream cheese
-1 jar Old English cheese
-a few shakes of garlic powder

Mix it up and serve with "everything" bagels, cut up.
SOOOO good!  I love anything cheese :)

I love our time together each week, and I can't wait to see what other yummy creations we come up with!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
serves 6ish; adapted from Girlichef

vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 small corn tortillas, cut or torn into strips
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika 
1 "shake" red pepper flakes
1 can Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1/2 can of tomato paste
1 box (quart) of chicken stock
2 cooked, chopped chicken breasts
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
3/4 c. half & half
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

sour cream
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
fried tortilla strips

Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a dutch oven, or heavy pot over medium heat; add onion and cook until they are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic, and cook an additional minute.  (at this point, I removed half of the cooked onions, and reserved to add back in after I blended the base, for some extra texture.) Mix in spices and tortilla strips, stirring constantly for a few minutes.  Pour in the can of Rotel (juice and all!), box of chicken stock and the half can of tomato paste; whisk to incorporate.  Reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes.  I turned off the heat and used my immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth (you can also do this in batches in the blender.)  Girlichef recommends that you let the soup cool before blending.  I threw caution to the wind--with T-minus 7 minutes until the trick-or-treaters would be beating down the door for the mini Snickers that I already ate, I needed to get dinner on the table.

After you puree the soup, add in the chopped chicken, black beans, half & half, shredded cheese and reserved onions.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Let everything warm through, and then you're ready to serve!

I took a few extra corn tortillas, sliced 'em up, and fried them in vegetable oil until golden & crispy.

We topped our soup with sour cream, fried tortilla strips & (lots) of shredded cheese!

I declare this a new Halloween dinner tradition!  I love that this is SO easy to make and SO festive with the orange soup and black beans.
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