Cheesy Potato Soup Recipe

09.20.2013 by Sarah |

This is one of the first soups I ever made. The cheese and potatoes offer ultimate comfort on a cold night, while the chiles spice things up a bit, making a perfect match…yummy.

boxwood clippings_cheesy potato soup

.

You Will Need:

2 tablespoons of butter

4 small potatoes (cut and peeled)

1 onion (finely chopped)

1 clove of garlic (minced)

2 large tomatoes (peeled and chopped)

4 cups of beef stock

2 cans of mild green chiles

1 cup of half and half or milk (slightly warmed)

salt and pepper to taste

cheese to garnish

4 spring onions (finely diced)

.

How To Make:

1. In large heavy pot over medium heat melt butter. Stir in the potatoes and onion and saute until they begin to soften (6-8 minutes), don’t brown). Add garlic, saute for another minute or so.

2. Raise heat to med-high and add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring until quite thick, about 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and chilies. Simmer uncovered until the potatoes are soft but not breaking apart, about 4 minutes. Lower heat to very low and add the half and half or milk, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated to serving temperature.

3. Place generous amount of cheese in the bottom of each bowl, then add the soup. Top with spring onions and serve.

I’m so glad the cooler weather is finally getting here, we’ve been sweating it out a bit sipping hot soup in 90 degree weather, it’s so much better when it warms you up!

Worth the Splurge: Petunia Pickle Bottom Makeup Bag

09.19.2013 by Sarah |

For as long as I can remember I’ve used Clinque free gift-with-bonus bags for my makeup. Usually they’re pretty cute, so it’s nothing to complain about.

Even before my recent pregnancy, we’d often visit the baby department at Nordies and it was on one of these visits we fell for the Petunia Pickle Bottom cosmetic bags, something about their bold patterns and colour choices really made me want one, and I’ve LOVED  it.

boxwood clippings_petunia pickle bottom make up bag

boxwood clippings_petunia pickle bottom make up bag

We even think they’re cuter than their main product the diaper bag, and at $28 I think it’s a worth the splurge everyone should indulge in.

Find the bag that speaks to you HERE…!

 

 

Holler Dollar: Star Gift Wrap

09.18.2013 by Emily |

 

On my last trip to the dollar tree I stopped in my tracks when I saw this pretty wrapping paper…

boxwood clippings_holler dollar star wrapping paper

I am obsessed with this thick craft paper with golden stars and may have to use it in mass quantities for Christmas this year.

 10ft for only one dollar…holler!!!

Black Interior Doors

09.17.2013 by Emily |

We had a very rainy weekend with the temperature finally dropping all the way down into the 60’s! Time to cozy things up around here. Candles and extra throw blankets, check! Next up, this very white entryway…

boxwood clippings_em's hallway

Our front door is painted black on the outside and I’m dying to paint it on the back side too. Look how great these black doors look:

8b70d8afc4cbc3341d4cd6d1ed212eca

3e302f5fa7788012a6e7aa19b1c9967c

bb06403428ff1ef758e6e6ab0537cd29

…and while we’re at it I think we need to do our french doors too!

boxwoodclippings_black french doors

How do you feel about black interior doors?

DIY Googly Eye Card

09.16.2013 by Sarah |

boxwood clippings_halloweenDo you love googly eyes as much as we do? We’ll take any excuse to use them!

boxwood clippings

boxwood clippings_diy googly eye card

Perfect for a Halloween invite or an October notecard for any occasion, sticking pairs of googly eyes onto black card stock makes for a very spooky greeting card! Pick up a pack for yourself at the Dollar Tree or craft store.

Martha Stewart’s Apricot-Dijon Chicken

09.13.2013 by Emily |

Our sis-in-law, Kimberly first introduced us to this super easy and delicious chicken from Martha Stewart.

boxwood clippings_apricot chicken

What You’ll Need:

4 Chicken Breasts (tenders or thighs work too)

12 oz Apricot Jam

2 TBSP Honey

2 TBSP Dijon Mustard

Directions:

Bring jam, honey, and mustard to a boil in a saucepan on medium heat, while whisking. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, about 15 mins.

Cut chicken into thick strips, place in a baking dish and pour mixture over chicken.

Bake at 425 for 30 mins, occasionally spooning juice from bottom of dish on to the chicken.

……………………

This is one of those semi-homemade meals with major wow factor that doesn’t take too long at all. Both kids and adults love it, making it a great family dish. We hope you enjoy it too!

See Martha’s full instructions here.

Inspirational Nurseries

09.12.2013 by Sarah |

I’ve been planning our nursery in my head for the last 7 years, during that time the design has changed over and over again. Finally I decided to stop thinking about it. During our IVF cycle, I allowed myself to daydream the possibilities of ‘what if’, and these nurseries got me giddy with the possibilities…

boxwood clippings_inspirational nurseries

 (image via HERE)

This colour palette is so soft and simple, love the touches of warm wood. Ideal for both gender twins!

 

boxwood clippings_inspirational nurseries

 (image via HERE)

A little to stark for my taste, but love the crisp lines and little details.

.

boxwood clippings_inspirational nurseries

 (image via HERE)

Love stars, and soft pink. Here’s how a colour is done right!

 

boxwood clippings_inspirational nurseries

(image via HERE)

Natural elements, and cozy knits…yummy!

 

boxwood clippings_inspirational nurseries

 (image via HERE)

Liking the paint at bottom of wall, molding and little details like hanging clothes.

.

boxwood clippings_inspirational nurseries

 (image via HERE)

This nursery is both modern and cozy, love the vibe.

So everything is up in the air for the next month or so until we find out the genders, but over all I’m just loving smoky greys, warm creams and natural wood. It’ll feel modern, but with traditional elements.

Any of you care to guess the genders?

Budget Fall Porch

09.11.2013 by Emily |

With fall in the air, it’s time to get the front porch all ready! We’ve got you covered with a few low-priced items to make your porch welcoming and cozy…just like this…

bhg.combhg.com

Here’s What You’ll Need:

boxwood clippings_budget halloween pourch

1. An autumn wreath: Anything dried or leafy will work great. This grapevine wreath is a great price, only $12 after coupon.

2. Chrysanthemums aka Mum’s: Don’t you love their orange vibrancy…fall perfection! Huge tubs of mums are currently $13.99 at Costco, and only $3.95 at Walmart for a medium size.

3. Lanterns: It never hurts to add a little glow to the front porch. We use these Ikea lanterns all year round, and love their price of $7.99. If your front porch is small or huge, you may want to try this or this size. A mixture of sizes looks great all together too for any size of porch.

4. Pumpkins: Layer pumpkins in different sizes for a cozy atmosphere. For a more unified look stick with one color, or go all out with orange, white and greens to add depth and interest. We try not to pay more than $.20/lb for our pumpkins!

5. Doormat: Leave the dirt outside with this $4.99 one from Ikea.

You could go crazy-town with buying multiples of these items, but even just one of each will create a pretty and cozy porch and cost you less than $50.

Wreath + Mum + Lantern + Pumpkins + Doormat = Less than $50!

See more fall porch inspiration here, here, and here.

Affordable Baby Basics (From England, with Free Shipping)

09.10.2013 by Sarah |

The baby bug is in full swing over here. I spend my days dreaming of my two little bebe’s: how will I feed two babies at the same time, burp, change etc…my escape from all the research is online shopping, and picturing my two little love bugs all snuggled up in soft gorgeous newborn clothing…aweeeee.

boxwood clippings_marks and spencer's baby basics

I was browsing some of our favorite British shops was getting pretty homesick when I saw what cute baby products they had, and for SO cheap. I phoned Mum to tell her my finds when she told me Marks + Spencer offers FREE SHIPPING to the US….What?! Major whoot!!! Even with the exchange rate, these baby basics are way more affordable than even carters, and way cuter I must say.

Click HERE to see my favorite assortment.

Let’s compare for a moment. THESE all-in-one sleepsuits are around $26 for a set of 2 at Gap, and only around $12.50 for THIS set of 3 at Marks + Spencer, that’s about $4.12 per suit instead of $13 AND you get FREE SHIPPING.

Put simply, if your in the market for baby clothes, shopping across the pond will be your thrifty option. And that’s a holler my friends!

……………….

(To order, just go ahead and fill out all your info, and it should take off shipping automatically once it detects US address, no code needed)

DIY Spooky Halloween Houses

09.09.2013 by sarah and emily |

boxwood clippings_halloweenWe’ve always loved these little houses, but since we have no little girls we’ve had no chance to purchase them. That was until Sarah’s brilliant idea to decorate them for Halloween! :)

boxwood clipping_diy halloween houses

 

boxwood clippings_halloween houses

We simply painted them with black craft paint, added a battery operated LED tea light, and added tissue paper at the windows for extra glow…an easy spooky village to get in the mood for Halloween!

If you’d like to make your own houses don’t forget to use this coupon to buy the houses for just a few dollars in store.

Perfect Fall Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats

09.06.2013 by Emily |

It’s back to school time! For most families, gone are lazy summer mornings and casual breakfasts and back is the early morning routine of everyone rushing to get out of the door. Sound familiar?

Today I’d like to share an easy and healthy fall breakfast: steel cut oats.

Screen shot 2013-09-05 at 10.19.50 AM

These steel cut oats from from Jamba are delicious, but you can make the exact same thing at home!

I whip up a batch of these each week and zap a portion for a minute on my way out the door. It warms up my bones, is a whole grain filled with protein, fiber and iron, and costs next to nothing per serving.

For all you mothers, if your kids like instant oatmeal, they’ll love this. They tastes so much better, are much healthier and are easy to customize to your child’s taste by adding all sorts of toppings. My favorite topping combo is banana, brown sugar and sunflower seeds, but you could do anything from cinnamon to nutella..yum!

You can buy in bulk from Costco or for those that need gluten-free you can buy GF HERE. Even the more expensive gluten-free steel cut oats work out to only be $.10 per serving, which makes this breakfast one that both my body and my purse are happy about!

Ikea Family September Deals

09.05.2013 by Sarah |

Some of our favorite ‘must-have’ items are on sale this month at Ikea. Serious whoot whoot!!!

You need a member card to get these deals (see HERE), but your 5 minutes will be well worth it with these prices, (plus you get a free hot choc, tea or coffee with every visit :).

We use these boxes ALL THE TIME  in our homes, they are the cheapest and prettiest way to organize. See some ways we’ve used them  HERE, and HERE. To our surprise, they actually hold up pretty well, we’ve had some of ours for 10 plus years, no joke!

boxwood clippings_ikea boxes

boxwood clippings_ikea boxes

boxwood clippings_ikea boxes

Ahhhh and the beloved Expedit bookcase, this price for this size in unbelievable and a must for any home. See ours HERE, and HERE. Don’t make us talk about them any more, and just go see for yourselves…you’ll love em we promise. :)

boxwood clippings_ikea bookcase

(To see all of this months deals click HERE.) 

Falling For Black and White

09.04.2013 by Emily |

I couldn’t be happier that the leaves are turning orange and the stores are full of black and white!

Black and white has never been so big!! Some may think it’s boring, but I say this combo is classy and timeless.

Here are a few things I’m loving right now in my little world of affordable fashion…

I picked this top up last week at BR for 40% off.

Screen shot 2013-08-31 at 1.40.57 PMRugby Stripe Top

It fits perfectly and is the perfect weight for warm fall days or to layer on cooler days.

I also got this studio tee which is the perfect weight to wear under blazers for fall.

UPDATE: 40% coupon code for 1 full-priced item at BR for today only: PB1FQT3YR8GY

I’ve been loving this image for ages and now finally have the right top to make this combo happen!

08971df02d1035b3ed2f61ec7b76b672

This aztec b+w pencil skirt is only $20 and would be perfect paired with a light sweater.

Also on my black and white shopping list are faux-leather leggings, so I can rock the night away…or pet a cute pup.

c2844391facf09004b3d6cd2e450f3af

This $4 polka dot make-up bag may as well join the b+w party too :)

Are you loving b+w as much as me? What trends are you liking this fall?

DIY Halloween Sweater Wreath

09.03.2013 by Sarah |

boxwood clippings_halloween

Today we’d like to share a super affordable and fun way to decorate for Halloween. This sweater wreath only cost $2 and couldn’t have been easier!

boxwood clippings_diy halloween wreath

We simply cut up a few old sweaters into strips and tied them onto this wire wreath frame.

boxwood clippings_diy halloween wreath

We are pretty impressed with what a statement this large wreath makes for a mere $2, when using this coupon.

It found a perfect home for the season in Sarah’s guest bathroom that she always makes extra spooky for Halloween.

boxwood clippings_diy halloween wreath

Just wait until you see the whole room…

Happy Labor Day! (And a Surprise or Two!)

09.02.2013 by Sarah |

Hey everyone, just wanted to pop in and wish you all a great Labor Day! We hope you’ve got something fun in store. :)

Talking of Labor, guess who’s going to be in labor in about 6 months…

boxwood clippings_sarah's pregnancy annoucement

We’re so excited to share I’m expecting TWINS in February!

The quote above is what Em said when the Dr was giving me my first ultrasound. He was quiet and looking around and then all of a sudden Em yelled very loudly and slowly “OH….MY….GOSH, THERE’S TWO”.

After 6 1/2 years of trying, we’re over the moon our first IVF attempt worked. Brock and I feel VERY VERY blessed, and can’t decide if we should tag this post under “worth the splurge” or “deals” since we got the best two-for-one ever!

Let the crazy times roll…….eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

PS. Aren’t the little booties adorable? Mum (or Nanny) has been a busy bee since she heard the news. Oh the energy and excitement good news can bring! Thanks Mum x

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

08.30.2013 by Emily |

A few weeks ago, we got together with Brad’s family for a small reunion. Brad’s sister, LeeLee who is the most amazing cook brought this yummy goodness…

boxwood clippings_slow cooker tortilla soup recipe

“This is the best meal for a crowd and a wonderful quick dish for a busy lady!” -LeeLee

You Will Need:

4-6 chicken breasts

1 large can stewed tomatoes

1 can pinto beans

2 cans kidney beans

1 can black beans

1 can corn

2-3 cans diced tomatoes

1 can diced green chilies

1 envelope taco seasoning

1 envelope of powdered hidden valley ranch dressing mix

How To Make:

Blend can of stewed tomatoes and place in crock pot with chicken breasts on low for 3-4 hours. Drain crock pot and shred the chicken. Replace the shredded chicken in crock pot and add the rest of the ingredients: Do not drain food before adding into crock pot. Let heat in crock pot for 2 hours. Garnish with grated cheese and/or sour cream.

This is so easy to make, delicious and perfect for fall football games and parties! I hope you like it as much as Brad and I do! Thanks for sharing, LeeLee!

Holler Dollar: Children’s Classic Books

08.29.2013 by Sarah |

When I was little, I was not the best reader. However, my parents had a cunning plan to make all their kids love books…and that was to let us stay up an extra hour IF we were reading. I quickly learnt how to fall in love stories, and the work of reading each word eventually disappeared.

Right now at Target they have these charming classic books in their dollar spot. $1 are you kidding me? Obviously, the stories are amazing, but I’m really also impressed with the book designs, seriously adorbs!

boxwood clippings_holler dollar books

 

Not too early to be thinking about stocking stuffers! Hint hint!

Anniversary Ideas

08.28.2013 by Sarah |

Last month the Faubus and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. I feel so grown up, and quite accomplished! It’s nice to celebrate an occasion when you really like the number increasing year by year as apposed to birthdays, which one can dread.

We like keep the celebration nice and simple, and somewhat sentimental. This year Brock took me to Sundance as he did for our first date and engagement. He also got me hydrangeas, my favorite flower which was also in my wedding bouquet…little things are the best.

boxwood clippings_anniversary ideas

 

All this gift giving and celebrating got me wondering, how do other couples mark the occasion? Do you have the perfect gift or idea that you fall back on year after year? I’d love to hear.

 

As for me, these have been my favorite Anniversary Ideas:

1. Printing wedding photos, and making album

2. A slideshow of our favorite couple photos to date

3. Framing a wedding photo, or the invitation

4. A scrapbook of cards, love notes

5. Going on vacation, back to honeymoon spot

6. A mix cd/playlist of songs we listened to when dating

.

I also saw THIS idea years ago which I’d love to do someday…a balloon for every year married, attached a small gift or love letter or memory…just lovely!

I love love, don’t you?!

 

 

Simple Manly Gift Wrap

08.27.2013 by Emily |

My life has been very hurried lately. I am barely getting through each day’s tasks, and feel like I have no energy or time to get ahead!

Brad’s birthday sneaked up on me very quickly, so in a hurry I grabbed the only wrapping paper I had that looked remotely masculine and started wrapping in a frenzy…

boxwood clippings_grey and white gift wrap

boxwood clippings_grey and white gift wrap

It actually turned out looking a lot better than what I thought it was going to, thanks to a few on-hand neutral wrapping supplies (wrapping paper from Target, twine from Paper Source).

I still have to learn that sometimes you have to take each day as it comes, and keeping it simple is always the best approach!

Do you have any tips on keeping your household and life simple? We’d love to hear…

Bit’s ‘n’ Bobs Halloween Garland

08.26.2013 by Sarah |

boxwood clippings_halloween

Oh yeah…time to start blogging about Halloween! Enough with the heat already! Last week we got together, got a little giggly at the thought of the next season ahead of us, and then created this…

boxwood clippings_ diy halloween banner

We gathered a few bits and bobs from around the house; acorns, pine cones, ribbon etc, got the old can of black spray paint out and got to work.

One great thing about the heat is the spray paint dries so, so fast! No need for patience in 100 degree weather!

Then, we simply tied all of the items onto a thin piece of black ribbon…

boxwood clippings_diy halloween banner

We are in love with the all-black theme…so chic! This project couldn’t have been easier and would be perfect to do with children to get them excited for the months ahead. Yay for autumn!