The Simplest Chicken Tikka Masala Ever

02.20.2015 by Emily |

Indian food is our absolute favorite! We love it so much we are always looking for new recipes trying to mimic our favorite dishes. For anyone else that has attempted this, you know this is a hard task!

Our good friend, Kumari shared with us the best find ever! Indian Essentials Tikka Masala seasoning mix from Costco. The recipe found on the spice mix is amazing! So tasty, so easy and so inexpensive! We’re in love!

boxwood clippings_simple chicken tikka recipe

INGREDIENTS

3 large chicken breasts

1 onion

2 TBSP butter

2 TBSP olive oil

1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup seasoning mix

DIRECTIONS

Dice onion and cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook your chicken on medium heat until no longer pink. Set aside. Melt butter and and a tablespoon of olive oil and cook onions. Add tomatoes, seasoning mix and chicken and cook for 10 mins. Mix in cream and simmer for 10 more minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite rice.

The best part about this recipe is you can exchange ingredients to your liking. We added diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce and used plain yogurt instead of cream. We also love it with potatoes.

boxwood clippings_simple chicken tikka recipe

Give it a try, we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Faking It Greenery

02.19.2015 by Emily |

I have a really hard time keeping houseplants alive, it is the bane of my existence!

I saw these leaves at Michaels a few weeks back and at $1.79 a stem thought they might add a little color to our mid-winter home.

boxwood clippings_fake greenery

I placed a stem or two in white pitchers and dotted them around the house. They are really working to brighten things up around herre and for a few dollars they are almost as good as the real deal!

If you like faux greenery, these $1.79 ones are a must!

Party Favors for Mummies and Kiddies

02.18.2015 by Sarah |

Since the twins party was held for both Mothers and Children we thought it’d be cute to do separate favors.

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The first, were honey jars for the mummies. They went perfect with our Winnie-the-Pooh theme, and were just adorable in miniature size.

I found the jars HERE, and the local honey from a vendor.

Very effective, and very easy!


boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

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The kids party bags were just as fun. I took inspiration from my British childhood and each guest left with candy, book and stickers.

Lucky for me, I’d had the theme in my head when the girls were 6 months old, so when the dollar spot at Target had a bunch of Winnie-the-Pooh books and toys, I knew I should stock up early to get the good prices.

boxwood clippings_twins birthday favors

 

The miniature board books were my favorite and a steal for $1.

The cute sticker bags and candy boxes were of course from Gygi who always are are go-to for packaging. (See HERE and HERE).

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Don’t forget to use our exclusive coupon at GYGI if you’re planning a party anytime soon.

And don’t worry if you don’t have a theme or a plan yet, stop by for visit their site (HERE) for great ideas!

Boxwood-Clippings- Gygi Coupon 1

The Twins’ First Birthday Party: Classic Winnie the Pooh Theme

02.17.2015 by Sarah |

Can you believe Sarah’s twins are one?!

What a year we’ve had since the arrival of Elizabeth and Hannah! A year full of smiles, giggles, and more diapers than we can count.

A little party for their birthday lunch was in order! Sarah chose a classic Winnie-The-Pooh theme which was perfect for our little pooh-bear and piglet.

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

For the ladies, we served our favorite strawberry salad (HERE) and Victoria sponge cake (see HERE).

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

We decorated with white and florals, stuffed animals and building blocks.

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

For the littles, we made a picnic lunch. Gygi came through again with everything we needed for our little guests.

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

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Our sister, Helen made tiny fondant honey bees for the cupcakes as well as pooh bear and piglet for the girls’ cake.

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

The girls took licking every ounce of their frosting very seriously. Our little pooh-bear Elizabeth..

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

…. and our little piglet, Hannah with her tiny little pigtails :)

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

We couldn’t imagine life without these little girls…”it’s so much friendlier with two!”

Simple food and decorations made for a very easy and enjoyable party for everyone.

Be sure to check out all the products we used on Gygi’s blog HERE and don’t forget to use our coupon for 15% off purchase your next Gygi purchase!

Boxwood-Clippings- Gygi Coupon 1

Costco’s Gluten-Free Super Salad

02.13.2015 by Emily |

Our new favorite discovery is Costco’s bagged Sweet Kale mix salad.

Topped with a little rotisserie chicken and we have a new favorite lunch!

boxwood clippings_easy and healthy costco salad

 

It is SUPER for many reasons…

No.1 It contains 7 superfoods, pre-washed and ready to feast on… broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts just to name a few. It also comes with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and poppyseed dressing (gluten free) all ready to mix in.

No.2 It is delicious!

No.3 It lasts for about a week in the fridge, which is AMAZING! It is also fantastic the day after you’ve mixed in the dressing as it marinades overnight, much like a traditional broccoli salad would.

No.4 It only costs $4.79 for a large bag!

Healthy, delicious, easy and inexpensive meals is what we’re all about, and this passes with flying colors!

Time for a Costco trip!

New Night Stand Lamps. On sale this month at Ikea!

02.10.2015 by Sarah |

For those of you following us on Instagram (see HERE) you may have noticed that I started my bedroom makeover way back in October. It’s taken us longer than expected (we’re only half way into it) but I’m telling myself there is an up side…extra time to mull over details!

One of the little changes I wanted to make was new lamps on our nightstands. The original ones worked perfect, other than the fact they look up way too much space leaving our nightstands constantly looking cluttered and over worked. I knew I wanted something more ‘airy’.

We debated mounting something on the wall (like THIS), but found a similar look with this lamp from Ikea (see HERE) for less than half the price! The better news is that this month they are on sale for only $19.99!

That was all I needed. The thrifty option won, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

boxwood clippings_ikea night stand lamp


boxwood clippings_ikea work lamp

Offer ends March 3rd so hurry in if you’re interested!

I’m too excited at how the room is turning out. Hopefully full details and reveal soonish :)

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries + Marshmallows

02.09.2015 by Sarah |

We are thrilled to be guest posting over at one of our favorite store’s blog today.

Gygi is our first and often one-stop shop for any holiday, party or event we are planning and we’re so excited to be sharing these ever so easy perfect valentine treats HERE.

boxwood clippings_chocolate covered marshmallows

boxwood clippings_chocolate covered marshmallows

Gygi is currently offering Boxwood readers 15% off their online shop AND in store with this coupon!

Yippee!

Thanks Gygi!

Boxwood-Clippings- Gygi Coupon 1

 (Click on image then print for coupon, or shop HERE for online store.)

Easiest Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies EVER!

02.06.2015 by Emily |

I have had several people give me this recipe over the years, because it is the is the easiest peanut butter cookie recipe ever!

boxwood clippings_easy gluten free peanut butter cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 c peanut butter

3/4 c light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Beat peanut butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt and mix until incorporated. Shape into balls, and roll in white sugar. Flatten with a criss-cross pattern with a fork, place on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for 7 minutes at 350. Allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet.

These are sure to be a hit with any peanut butter lover whether living gluten free or not!

Baby Jane’s Closet: Organizing Hand-Me-Downs

02.03.2015 by Sarah |

Baby Jane is a very lucky lady. She is the youngest of many little girl cousins and therefore is the recipient of LOTS of hand-me-downs.

The only downside of lots of clothes, is keeping track of them all! I have a few systems in place to help make sure that cute little 6-12 mo dress, or those size 3 shoes will be worn without being lost at the back of a drawer.

My friends bought Jane THESE adorable totes from Target. These keep together things that I have lots of…sleepsacks, crib shoes, hats, and one designated for Jane’s memory box.

boxwood clippings_jane's nursery closet

I try to keep the hanging space to things she is currently wearing or will be shortly. It really helps me to see all of her outfits in one space rather than folded in a drawer. The left side of the closet is every day clothes, and on the right we keep cardigans, coats and dresses.

boxwood clippings_jane's nursery closet.png

I put a storage cube at the bottom of the closet to add extra storage. I’ve been loving the open shelving when I only have one hand available to grab a blanket. This cube is discontinued, see similar HERE.

On top of the cube we keep her current shoes and fancy socks and tights in the little boxes. Again, it really helps to have them out and lined up so none get forgotten about. So many hand-me-downs.

boxwood clippings_jane's nursery closet

boxwood clippings_jane's nursery closet

Any hand-me-down that won’t fit for another year gets labelled and stored in a large tote in the basement.

Thanks family for dressing our baby girl, she wouldn’t be as nearly as stylin’ without you!

Simple Heart Artwork and a Mini Makeover

02.02.2015 by Sarah |

This post was suppose to be a DIY of this heart artwork I whipped up for Valentine’s Day. But I literally drew a heart on a scrap piece of wood and painted it with white craft paint. It took about 5 minutes tops, so there was really no need for a tutorial.

I do think it’s fun. How about you?boxwood clippings_black and white powder room

Anyhow, lately I’ve been really really loving the whole Scandinavian look. They do simplicity and style at it’s best.

So I thought I’d have a little play around in our powder room to see if I could mimic the look.

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boxwood clippings_black and white powder room

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boxwood clippings_black and white powder room

 Natural elements along with strong metals and lots of white space were key.

It’s still not quite there, but I’m enjoying mulling it over.

Any suggestions?!

Gluten Free Cauliflower + Cheese Soup

01.30.2015 by Emily |

Can you tell we’re on a soup kick?

If you’re looking for the ultimate comfort food for a cozy night in, you’ve come to the right place!

Cauliflower + Cheese Soup

boxwood clippings_califlower soup

Ingredients

one head of cauliflower

one can chicken broth (14oz)

one onion

2 tsp diced garlic

2 tsp butter

2 c milk

2 c sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 c flour (we use THIS GF favorite)

Directions

Dice onion and chop cauliflower into small pieces. Melt butter and cook diced onion and garlic until translucent. Add flour and mix creating a paste texture. Whisk in milk and chicken broth. Add cauliflower and cook until tender (about 20 mins on medium heat). Salt and Pepper to taste. Blend with an immersion blender if you would like a smooth texture, but we like leaving chunks of cauliflower. Stir in cheese.

This soup is simple and delicious. Let us know how you like it!

Adapted slightly from THIS recipe.

Drab to (almost) Fab Bathroom

01.29.2015 by Sarah |

Our kids bathroom is awfully drab. There is no exterior light and it is pretty bare bones. We haven’t even hung towel rails yet!

Some major trim work is in need, but for now Valentine’s Day has given me an excuse to add a few pink accents.

It’s amazing how an ounce of color can brighten things up.

boxwood clippings_bathroom

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I’m a girl that cannot pass up pretty glassware. This powder pink, faceted vase was a thrift store find for $1!

The floral hand towel is from World Market.

Mrs Meyers Peony soap is my absolute favorite, have you tried it?

So glad I brightened this space up while we’re figuring out permanent plans!

$4 Bobble Hats for the Lil’ Ladies

01.28.2015 by Sarah |

In England, we like our pom-poms on our babies extra large!

We discovered it was hard to find bobble hats (knit hat with a massive pom pom) in the states, so decided to make our own!

boxwood clippings_bobble hats

Isn’t Jane so funny with her massive pom-pom?!

We found knit beanies for $.97, as well as extra bulky yarn for $2.97 at Walmart.

Here are the supplies we used:

boxwood clippings_bobble hats

Two sheets of cardboard for pom-pom template (we used a cereal box)

Compass or two round objects for template (we used salad plate and a cup)

hat

 30 yds of yarn

scissors

We followed THESE instructions to make the pom-poms.

Because we wanted such a large pom pom and had such a big template we cut our yarn into 10 yard pieces to make it easier to work with.

boxwood clippings_bobble hats

Last, we attached the pom-pom to the hat by cutting two little slits at the top of the beanie and tying two pieces from the pom pom in a double knot on the inside of the hat.

One hat took about ten minutes to make, and because we could make 2 pom poms from one ball of yarn only ended up costing $2.50 per hat!

What’s not to love about a warm and cozy baby?!!!

Valentine Bits and Bobs Garland

01.26.2015 by sarah and emily |

 

Happy Monday!

We’re starting the week off right by making our homes a little cheery for Valentine’s Day.

boxwood clippings_valentines day garland

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Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 6.03.08 PMboxwood clippings_valentine's day garland

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 6.03.08 PMboxwood clippings_valentine's day garland

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 6.03.08 PMboxwood clippings_valentine's day garland

We made these garlands with simple string and tying all sorts of ornaments, ribbons and ‘bits and bobs’ in pink, gold and silver.

This is the easiest and cheapest way we have found to make each holiday a little special in our homes!

Hope you all have a lovely week,

Sarah + Emily xoxo

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup

01.23.2015 by Sarah |

Brad’s niece, Nicole introduced us to this amazing soup combo. It’s zesty, brothy, and creamy all at the same time and we could eat it all day long.

Zuppa Toscana Copycat Soup

boxwood clippings Italian sausage and kale soup

Ingredients

1 lb mild minced Italian sausage

3 large potatoes

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 cups kale

2 cans of chicken broth

1 quart water

1 c whipping cream

Dice onion, mince garlic cloves. Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes. Brown sausage in large pot. Add water and broth. Place onion, garlic and potatoes in pot and cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cream and add kale and simmer for 10 mins before serving.

We hope you enjoy this amazing soup!

Original recipe HERE.

Thanks for sharing, Nicole!

The Twin’s Valentines Nursery

01.21.2015 by Sarah |

The girls nursery is one of my favorite rooms in our home (see more HERE). We purposely planned a neutral grey background so we could switch out a “pop” colour depending on our mood or girls preference when they get older.

To spruce it up for valentines, I’m simply pulled out their books with red, pink or purple covers and all their white and pink soft toys. By grouping like items together, you can create a display without having to go out and buy festive items. Putting existing things to use is always a good thing because it feels and looks and IS effortless!

boxwood clippings_twin nursery

boxwood clippings_haba heart toy

boxwood clippings_twin nursery

 

My mum bought our little valentine babies these adorable Haba heart toys (click HERE) when they were born. For the longest time they were hanging from their stroller basinets, but this valentine’s they’re all grown up and using them as a teething toy.

Do you or your kids have a birthday near a holiday? I only think it adds to the festivities and so far we’re loving it!

Target Tuesday

01.20.2015 by Emily |

We are big into pink right now with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.

As always, trusty Target has all of our needs and wants covered!

boxwood clippings target tuesday january 20151|2|3|4|5|6

1| We will never tire of pretty white dishes. THIS etched bowl is adorable.

2| We are huge fans of Orla Kiely, and now we really want to get our booties in gear with THIS cute exercise mat.

3 | Couldn’t resist THIS ribbon-detailed pillow for Jane’s nursery.

4 | Also couldn’t resist THIS tote. Perfect for little ones to grab and pull toys out without getting hurt like with plastic or baskets.

5 | A new pretty water bottle every once in a while gives us an extra little incentive to stay hydrated.

6| Cream + knit = always a winning combo.

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Janey is sure loving the nursery spruce up, but not as much as her momma ;)

DIY Peg Coat Rack

01.19.2015 by Sarah |

The twins turn one next month. Gone are the babes swaddled safely in my arms, here are independant little explorers roaming free and keeping me on my toes!

Baby proofing has gone beyond safety gates, as we realize a safe home is a relaxed home. At this stage everything is going in their mouths so it’s essential things are out of reach, but still totally accessible to Brock and me.

This past weekend, Brock whipped up this new peg coat rack. Not only does it look totes adorbs (he he) but it holds much more than coats. We’ve been hanging everything in sight, from shoes to recycling to mail and keys. It’s so handy and looks great! We’re wondering why we didn’t think of doing it before, and it only cost about $11 to make!

boxwood clippings_diy peg coat rack

I had every intention to shoot the process, but my hands were full with the ladies, so I’ll just have to explain it!

You Will Need:

1 plank of wood, 3.5″ width (primed, cut to desired length)

1 or 2 dowels, 1″ diameter (number of dowels depends on desired length)

Saw

Drill and 1″ drill bit (same size as dowels)

Wood glue

Sand paper

Paint

Wood screws (for mounting to the wall)

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How To:

Measure out your space and decide the length of the peg rack and the distance you want between each peg. The Shakers did their pegs 6″ apart, so we went with their school of thought, along an 8-foot rack (16 pegs). Measure out the distance between each peg along the wood plank, making sure to measure from the middle of the plank (so you don’t end up with a peg only one inch from one end and 6 inches from the other end).

Mark the center point where each peg should go, making sure to keep all pegs along the centerline of the plank. Brock made a template out of an old scrap of wood the same width as the plank to make sure the distance between pegs and distance from the edge was uniform.

Next, drill 1″ holes for each peg, making sure not to angle the drill (if you know someone with a drill press, this would be the best way to do it; otherwise, just use a steady hand). Brock drilled all the way through each hole, but if you’re using a drill press, it would be best to drill only 3/4 the distance through the plank to allow more surface area for the wood glue to bond. Whichever way you do it, it needs to be uniform to make sure the peg lengths are the same across the plank.

Cut the dowels to your desired peg lengths (ours were 5″). Dry-fit the pegs in the holes to make sure they fit snuggly. If they are loose, don’t worry; you can use a household caulk to fill in the extra space prior to painting. Glue one end of each peg into place using a very strong wood glue and leave for 24 hours to fully cure.

Sand any sharp or splintered edges as needed, making sure to remove any excess glue, then paint (and caulk if needed). Once the paint has dried, you are ready to mount your new peg coat rack! To do this, use a stud-finder to find the studs behind the wall, then simply drill small holes into the plank for your screws. Use a level to make sure your new rack is positioned correctly, and then screw it to the wall. Lastly, use some caulk to hide the screws, and the re-paint over the screw holes, and you’re done!

boxwood clippings_diy peg coat rack

 Ours is placed between our garage door and kitchen. Even in narrow hallways it works great and helps maximize the space.

boxwood clippings_diy peg coat rack

 Here’s how the hallway looked before. Functional and tidy, but not baby friendly.

boxwood clippings

Has January been an organizing month for you, too? We love a fresh space for a fresh year!

Simple Tomato Soup

01.16.2015 by Sarah |

Soups are one of the easiest things you can make, and we loveee this one because it has to be

THE EASIEST!

boxwood clippings_simple tomato soup

 

You Will Need:

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

4 Cloves of garlic

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, chopped and juice

3 cups of water

salt, pepper, cheese and fresh basil to taste.

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How To:

Over medium heat cook oil, garlic and pepper flakes until garlic begins to turn golden. (About 5 minutes.) Add tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper and let simmer until dinner.

Garnish with cheese (mozzarella is perfect), and basil.

This goes perfect matched with this Easy No-Knead Bread, or a simple grilled cheese sandwich,

YUM!

5 Mommy Time-Savers!

01.15.2015 by Emily |

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There are never enough hours in the day, right? This year I am working on maximizing time doing things I love and becoming more efficient at the things I don’t love (cooking, cleaning etc). Here are a few things that have been helping…

boxwood clippings_5 mommy time-savers1|2|3|4|5

No.1 Clorox Detergent

There is nothing I hate more than stained clothing. Ugh! THIS detergent is amazing! No more spraying everything before it goes in, soaking or re-washing. Time saver! This is on coupon at Costco right now so I make sure to stock up!

No.2 Dry Shampoo

There have been a few times since having Jane, I am simply too exhausted to get in the shower to wash, dry and style my hair. THIS product that Melanie at My Sweet Savannah recommended buys me one more day. Works wonders and is so inexpensive.

No.3 Gel Nails

Having a lick of nail polish on my fingers helps me feel a little more put together when I am covered in drool. I am loving the 2-step gel polish from Sally Hansen which I can do at home. So much quicker, cheaper and easier to maintain than going to the salon. It lasts about a week and comes off with regular acetone! ‘Blacky‘ and ‘Birthday Suit‘ are my current faves.

No.4 Double and Freeze

Cooking healthy, fast, thrifty and delicious meals is something I am working on this year. Lately I’ve been doubling whatever I’m making and throw half in the freezer. Nothing beats zapping a meal in the microwave and having dinner on the table in 5 minutes flat. Freezer bags are essential to keeping food at its prime. Ziplocks are also on coupon at Costco right now.

No.5 Quick Cleaning Sessions

Cleaning the house is the never-ending job right? Rather than getting overwhelmed I’ve been trying to do 30 mins a day and make sure to pick up and do the dishes before bed each night. Two separate 15 minute sessions are working pretty good. I set the timer on my phone and see how much I can get done. Lovely Mrs Meyer’s products really help me enjoy cleaning. THIS lavender all-purpose spray is my favorite.

Do you have any great time-saving tips? Please share!