my $3.50 art project

so, my main living room wall has always bothered me. as of now, i have 3 cheapo matching floral art things. they're pretty, but generic. they're also brown (like the majority of my living room) which i have grown to hate and am trying to escape.

so. i'm thinking i will do a sort of art wall. like so:
 [image via here]

so , i headed to a thrift store and searching for gold frames and found this bad boy. a crappy monet print with pseudo triple matting(!) the frame is poorly made and plastic, but from afar--perfecto!
 so with my $3.50 framed art and some free paint chips from the home depot, i made some art.
i had to organize them gradient from light to dark and arranged them on the back of the monet. since it was white, it made a decent "mat."

end result:

eh? there is in one white crack between two of the paint chips, but i can't bring myself to reopen the back of the frame again.


quick bathroom before & after

 i have a rinky-dink shower insert with a sliding door {yuck!} in my master bath.
so, one of the presents my mom got me for my bridal shower was a new shower curtain (and one that matches the curtains in my bedroom to boot!--more to come on that later.

i know, i know i need to throw it in the dryer to get out those wrinkles!! but i am too excited to wait. it makes a huge difference! (a stainless shower rod would help, too!) can you tell i'm excited?!



[can you spot my Madi lurking in the bathroom??]


kell's (spiiiicy) shrimp & grits

whatever seasonings you have in your cabinet

i used wayyy too much spice. i was going for that red, blackened crunchy creole look. ya know?
i added a tiny bit of chicken stock and olive oil to a pan to sauté my shrimp and added all the seasoning. (black pepper, crushed red pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, chili powder, parsley, garlic salt)
the shrimp weren't getting crispy at all so i separated the sauce into another pan and "dry-fried" the shrimp. 
i added a pinch or two of flour to thicken up the sauce and put it on top of the grits for the shrimp to sit on.

this was my first time making grits, so i was really nervous. the grits themselves took about 10 minutes & the process was like boiling rice. i added a couple handfuls of shredded cheese to them after they were done cooking. 
i gotta say, this dinner was fabulous! and jeremy was lovin' it, too. i was pretty nervous about making it, but i will definitely make it again. it was so easy!!


6 cups assorted fruit (sliced or cut in chunks)
1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
1 bottle 2 bottles of crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
3 tbs fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

 i chose a good, cheap Pinot Grigio [Barefoot]
this recipe called for Cointreau (which is $30 for  < 1 liter). No thank you! I used peach brandy, and it was really good (and almost 1/5 the price!)
i chose fresh pineapple & mangos. but once i got home i decided to throw in some frozen peaches, strawberries and mango.
add lemon juice, fruit, and brandy. mash. i immediately regretted not having a pretty glass pitcher to put this in. (something i need to register for?!) 
then, pour the wine into your ugly, plastic, gallon-sized koolaid pitcher :)
[it looked muddled and nasty so, no photo]
the night of making this, it was crazy strong but the day after, it was perfecto 

cake tasters.

it's getting closer and closer! the wedding, that is. 132 days, to be exact. and it seems even more real when the boy tags along. that way i know i'm not dreaming. 

we tried 4 different kinds of cupcakes. (for our cupcake wedding cake tiers, of course.) 

chocolate, vanilla, carrot, and lemon (for the yellow) and decided on all FOUR. 

this rose pattern is going to be the top tier for j and i to cut into!! love the swirly pattern along with the cupcake tops!


recipe #2 (jeremy)


boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 avacado
pesto (store-bought)
fresh spinach
fresh mozarella
whole wheat hamburger buns
strawberry cream cheese
dried cranberries

start by putting the chicken on the grill. 
while chicken is cooking: cut celery into thirds, apply cream cheese and 3-4 cranberries per "log." refrigerate.
after chicken has been cooking awhile, put the buns toward the outside of the heat to toast them.
apply pesto and avocado to each side of your bun. apply ingredients (sliced tomato, sliced mozzarella, spinach leaves, salt and pepper to your liking)

um, YUM!

these were so stinkin' good!! the kind of "burger" you'd have to have after reading the description on a menu (and pay 10-12 bucks for!)

thanks, jeremy, it was so, so good!

the not-so-bad-for-you side was a really cute and really yummy touch, too. 
and, can i just add--how cute is j for making these?? love him!


recipe #1 (kell)

1 lb breaded okra
1 bag frozen corn
2 yellow squash
2 bags precooked chicken
1 green pepper
1 white onion
cooking oil (i use olive oil) 

first, fry the (pre-)breaded okra. (i made the whole bag, so i had to do two batches) when done, set aside (i threw everything into one big pot as it was finished).
step 2, dice your onion and bell pepper. and sauté. believe it or not, i wanted mine pretty browned. add to pot.
dice squash and sauté along with whole kernel corn. (this step didn't take as long as i thought it would because the squash was cut up fairly small). add to pot.
in greasy okra pan, warm the chicken (2-3 minutes). 
plop it into the pot and mix everything.
to be honest, Tony Chachere's "Original Creole Seasoning" is what makes this recipe out of this world.
it's basically an intensified seasoned salt. (it has onion powder, black pepper, red pepper, chili powder, salt, garlic powder) !! it's good on anything/everything.

 this was the delicioso outcome. 
holy cow was it good! we stuffed our faces and had enough for lunch the next day!
[we ate in the backyard because it was such a nice night. there's part of my dog, mr. miles]



j and i decided to try something new.
the idea: 
find a recipe (breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, drinks).
make it.
take pictures. 
write down the recipe. 
name it.
eat it.

this will be a weekly project (taking turns--me, j, me, j...)

to stay on top of it (instead of writing them in a notebook and forgetting after week one) we decided to use the blog to document our tasty (or not-so-tasty) creations.
i'm excited!


so, i thought it was "official" when we sent our save-the dates.
cute, right? a magnet!

 but now it's getting even more real! j and i registered last weekend! it was super dorky (see picture directly below) and really fun. 

he wouldn't let me take a regular picture of him.

the more i look at it, the more i want that lampshade we didn't add.

he was posing, showing off his Target scanning skills. 

..we ended the night by indulging in chips and salsa, margaritas and fajitas. yum!

simple before and afters

just working on random little projects around the house this weekend. 

hobby lobby resin "L" (for half off of $9.99!) before
the pretty, white after.

hideous $2 thrift-store vase before:

the beautiful (and expensive-looking) after

i'm still amazed at what a little spray paint can do!


teared up just writing about him.

i just thought i should take a minute and talk about my boyfriend, ahem, fiancé. i just love him to death. i bicker at him all the damn time-but i really, really adore him. (even when he laughs in the middle of a story at a part that isn't funny because he knows the funny part is coming)
the dumb little things like that that annoy me are going to be the dumb little things i miss in 70 or so years.

i'm just super excited to marry him and i literally feel like i can't wait. 171 days to go (i got a countdown app on my phone!)

love you, j!



i really, really want a cricut expression 2. pretty sure i'm obsessed with them! i want one for wedding projects. (and afterward for scrapbooking!) :)i could make invitations, save-the-dates, rsvp cards, thank you cards, cupcake liners, favor tags, place cards, bunting, paper lanterns!, straw toppers. OMG i want it so bad!

there are so many cute ideas! i could even make labels for the food & dessert tables. or monogrammed labels for bottled water!!! too bad they cost 300 beans. :(


obsessions, currently.

besides school (of course) my mind has been stuck on wedding details and nursing school. both of which are quite a ways away. i am going pinterest (for amazing wedding ideas) and youtube (for video blogs about nursing school) crazy!! lately, i have been an internet fiend!

my most recent obsessions:
  • the doxie scanner--hooks to/powered by your computer with one usb cord. scans documents straight into your computer. receipts, schedules, douments, etc!
  • stethoscope id tags--they're all over they clip onto your stethoscope so you know it's yours. the only bad part about this is choosing which one! (exciting note: mine could say kelly laws!!!!)
  • YHL--oh my gosh! i am 100% obsessed with this blog. i've started at the very beginning (400+ posts dating back in 2007) and worked my way forward. it's so fun! it's a husband and wife (both bloggers, so cool!) writing about their home improvement projects and diy ideas. it's exciting working my way forward because i know a baby works it's way into the family in a year or two. they're a precious family.
  • wedding gift idea, anyone? these rubber stamps from are so stinkin' cute! is it okay that i am loving the idea of seeing both jeremy and my name with l-a-w-s after it? such a dork, right?
  • draw something is an app that i cannot stop playing. it's basically pictionary on your handheld and you can play with anyone else who's got it. j and i had a pretty intense game (100 pictures guessed correctly!) it's super addictive and creative.
hope i didn't start any new addictions!--or maybe i hope i did :)

good idea, nate.

so i recently started watching nate berkus and have kind of fallen in love. today he said something that was a really obvious answer that i had never really thought of.

i have a little dog that just doesn't always go to the bathroom outside. i have tile floor, so it isn't too big of a deal (easy clean-up, at least?). but i want a nice rug in the living room but not for her personal pee-pad. anyway, he suggested buying a nice OUTDOOR rug for indoors! just take it out back, wash it and hose it off.

so simple! this one's super cute:



we've had the strangest weather i've seen here in a long time. (50/60º winter) so, i guess spring has sprung.
anyway, i was really considering calling a landscaping company just once to spruce up the yard for the rest of the year (edging, trimming, cutting, mulch, etc.)

however, i have a FOUR (count 'em, f-o-u-r) DAY weekend, so i'm thinking about getting dirty myself. Plus, i am wanting to totally repaint my green house a darker and more neutral shade, so i'd like to save money any way i can.

so, i'm headed to lowes for:
rock (faux, maybe?)

i wonder if i'll be lucky enough to get (aka: have room in the budget for) the paint i want?!
i'll be sure to snap some before and after pics!


i do i have a crush on ron weasley.


oh boy!

nobody hates the ryan gosling/eva mendes relationship quite like me. but one girl i am okay with him being paired with is this one:

and they're at it again! the gangster squad (a movie about the LAPD vs the mafia in the 40's/50's comes out in October)



after seeing a video (WATCH IF YOU HAVEN'T) on Ellen, i've developed a slight thing for kristen bell. she's precious, so i was looking at some photos of her and her fiance, Dax Shepard--i used to watch him on punk'd, ssshhhh.. i like that they've kept their relationship fairly quiet.
                                                     they seem super down-to-earth.

and they're super freakin' cute.


oh, i forgot!

I am engaged!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Emily Brontë


decisions, decisions.

so, i've made a grown-up decision. i am going to be a nurse. i am also going to blog about becoming a nurse. and maybe even get a youtube channel to keep a diary of sorts. i have my blog ready to go but don't need to get too ahead of myself, i'm still in pre-req stage.

anyway, i'm way way excited and scouring the internet every single day for info. i'll let you know how it goes. on here and here.