Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Plates of Penrose: Momfessionals Recipe Club

Today I'm linking up with Momfessionals for the Recipe Club exchange.

I'm sharing my Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese, and I can't wait to see some great recipes from all of the other ladies!

My original post on this recipe a few weeks ago can be found here.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni & Cheese

--Chicken (I used tenderloins but you could also use breasts)
--Hot sauce
--Dry Ranch seasoning
--Chili Powder
--Onion Powder
--Macaroni noodles
--Velveeta Cheese package

*If you are able, marinate your chicken in some chili powder & dry ranch seasoning overnight. No worries if you don't have time for that though!

On your stovetop, put cut-up chicken in a pan and season with chili powder, onion powder, and dry ranch seasoning.  A light dusting of all three is enough, just to cover the tops :)  Mix together with some hot sauce and continue cooking.  Boil your water in a separate pan and then add in macaroni noodles.  Once macaroni is cooked, drain water then put back on the stovetop over medium heat with half of a Velveeta cheese package, some more hot sauce (to taste) and a little bit more dry ranch.  Combine your chicken in and mix all together, once cheese is melted into a nice sauce, lower heat.  Enjoy!  Serve with some carrot or celery sticks, or throw a steamer bag of veggies in your microwave for a nice, balanced meal!

Of course, if you like onion and celery you could also sauté them with the chicken then throw them into the mac & cheese, or get fancy and top it off with some bleu cheese crumbles.

Follow me on Pinterest if you want more of my recipes and some great ones that I've tried from others!

Plates of Penrose: Quick, Easy & Filling Breakfasts

I'm someone who definitely needs to eat breakfast in the mornings, but typically never sit down to eat it. It has to be something "on the go" or something I bring to work and eat at my desk while checking morning emails.

About a month ago my cousin, who is a Beachbody coach, sent me a sample of chocolate Shakeology.  I have been wanting to try it for a while, but haven't made the splurge.  Which in reality, it comes out to about $4/shake which isn't that bad but the $129 lump purchase made me want to try a free sample first to make sure (1) it actually tasted good and (2) was as magical as it claims to be.

Well, I was really impressed with Shakeology.  My usual breakfast (granola bar, greek yogurt, or bag of cookies) would only sustain me until around 11 when I wanted a snack to hold me over until my 1pm lunch.  I mixed the chocolate Shakeology sample with my iced coffee and it was pretty darn good. I wish that I had my blender at the apartment so that I could've made a smoothie but that is packed away so I made due.  What I was most impressed with is that I drank it on my way to work and did not get hungry at all --like, did not even think about food--until lunchtime.

Another great breakfast option that I came across recently is Refrigerator Granola--perfect because it is made in advance and is a good grab & go solution for busy weekday mornings while I'm more focused on packing Ryleigh's lunch for the day.  #workingmom #needmorehoursintheday
Easy, no-cook oatmeal with make-ahead convenience; packed with nutrition to get your day off to a healthy start. Make it in individual mason jars for a perfect serving size and an easy grab-and-go breakfast. From
The Yummy Life blog

There are so many great flavors that she gives recipes for:  Mocha, Cherry Chocolate Chunk, Peach Raspberry, and one that I think will be a favorite this fall--Pumpkin Pie.  

I'm a chocolate lover and if I get to incorporate some dark chocolate into a healthy breakfast, it will give me my fix for the day so that I don't find myself with candy for a mid-morning snack.  #sweettooth4life #moderation

If you try any of these, or have other ideas to share, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Leaving our Mark.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw me post these last night.  
I got the idea a few weeks back from a blog that I follow, Grace and Love.  She's currently building a house and I instantly loved the idea of writing Bible verses in the house before drywall goes up...adding a little of our foundation to the foundation, so to speak.  Her family also buried a Bible under their concrete slab the day it was poured, which I thought was a fun idea!

We decided to write two verses, one near the middle of the downstairs and one near the middle of the upstairs.  We chose this one for the first floor, which is on the dining room column...

And this one, which we had read during our wedding ceremony, for the heart of the upstairs...

Forgive the messy handwriting, that's what happens when you're holding a toddler that's trying to wrestle the marker out of your hand....

....we also ended up with a lot of this, because well...Ryleigh wanted to participate too.

Excited that they will be starting drywall soon!  I can't wait for it to start looking more and more like home.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pinning for Penrose: Bedroom Decor

I am so excited about decorating our new house.  I know, duh, anyone would be.  But it's just something about this house, I guess building it from scratch, that makes me feel so much more like it's ours and I want to decorate every room.  Our last house we sort of decorated as we went, some rooms never event ended up with art on the walls, because we hadn't needed to use them yet.  This house I have so many ideas for every single space.  I can't wait for it to all come together!

We chose Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray as our whole-home wall color.  It's a nice warm gray that I think goes perfectly with espresso wood, which we have a ton of.  We will end up with some accent walls, because that's how I know this if  you were at our last house ;)

Here are some ideas I'm gathering with some Pinterest inspiration for bedroom decor.

Ryleigh's Room:  Bright colors & Puppy Dog theme
Anyone who is around Ryleigh knows how much she loves her dogs!  She requests to give them goodnight kisses every night before bed (or else she will refuse to go to sleep!) and she carries her stuffed "Puppy" around all the time.  She's also obsessed with Bubble Puppy from the Bubble Guppies show, her favorite!  So, baby girl gets a puppy-themed room :)

Master Bedroom:  Deep, Earthy colors with Navy & Green
I just can't seem to steer away from my favorite color, green. I love it for accents and I feel like it matches everything!  I try to not go too girly in "our" spaces because I want Jake to feel comfortable and like it's just as much his space to relax as mine.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Parenting Penrose: Independence Day Sales!

I'm big into shopping a size up on the clearance racks.  I can confidently say that I have never purchased clothing for Ryleigh that was not on sale, on a sale rack, clearance, or hand-me-downs.  Nothing wrong with it if you do, but I just can't reason with myself to purchase at full-price when it will be worn for 6 months at best.  It was even worse the first year because Ryleigh would only wear a size for 2-3 months and with all of the clothes that she somehow accumulates ;) she would only wear an outfit maybe 5-6 times max.

So, I was very excited about this loot that I picked up thanks to some July 4th sales--online of course, where 85% of my shopping is done these days.

She's still wearing 12-18month clothes, but these are all purchases of 18-24 or 2T size....

I thought those peplum tops were so sweet, and I am in love with the sandals!  All of the items above I purchased in 2T size so she should get great use out of them during Spring, Summer & Fall next year.  The sandals I purchased in size 6, which was a little bit of a gamble but Ryleigh's feet don't seem to grow that rapidly (she's still a size 3-4 in sandals at almost 17 months) so these should hopefully get her through Spring & Summer 2016 :)

Normal Retail Total:  $131.04          Sale Purchase Price:  $47.63

I mean can we talk about a deal?!  Everything was $4 or less per item, and if you are a parent you know how insane that is for PJ's let alone name-brand PJ's.  I felt like I hit the jackpot with these items!  I got a mixture of sizes 18-24m and 2T.  I'm pretty much dying over the milk & cookies PJ's!  Such fun patterns.

Normal Retail Total:  $161.20          Sale Purchase Price:  $43.91

I can't help but think back to my baby shower when I find deals like this...The guests filled out "wishes for baby" cards and under "I hope you always..._______________" one of Ryleigh's silly Aunts wrote "shop the clearance rack first" which always makes me laugh.  So true!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pinning for Penrose: Kitchen Lighting

Gorgeous light fixtures make my heart beat faster :)  And that's not just a saying, it's really one of those things that makes me squeal with excitement and ache to have such a beautiful thing as mine!  Maybe that's a designer thing? I don't know.  What I do know, is that I need to find something outstanding for over our kitchen island.

The island is roughly 3'x4', although when we do the granite counters I'm thinking to stretch it to 3'x5' so that it overhangs the back and one side of the island cabinetry.  There is space for it, we will just need to figure out extra supports for the countertop and a couple brackets should do the trick.

So, with a good size island and 9ft ceilings, I need a sizable light fixture.  I want it to coincide with our brushed nickel cabinetry hardware and I want it to make a statement.  How I approach our home decor is kind of like this...."common areas" such as living room, hallways, bonus room, dining room, etc are the family spaces so they should be decorated in a way that the whole family would like.  The master bedroom & bathroom are both Jake & my areas so they shouldn't be overly girly.  Jake typically always defers decor decisions to me anyway, but he does appreciate when things fit his taste and are a color palette that he likes.  However, the kitchen is mine.  It's the one area of the house that I claim as my own and I will decorate it however I want.  

This kitchen is a totally different color scheme than our last house.  The last house was an earthy granite with grays & tans, and the cabinets were a crimson cherry finish.  This house I'm going for something with a little bit more pizazz...Maybe a touch more girly?....Let's use this Pinterest picture as the inspiration picture of the Espresso cabinetry and white granite counters...

Kitchen with island seating.  Love the seating on both sides.

Now imaging the above kitchen with something eye-catching over the island, a la something like this:

View the Kichler 2943 Circolo Single-Tier Linear Chandelier with 8 Lights - Stem Included - 36 Inches Wide at
This is one of my favorites. I keep eyeing it for a sale.  It just makes my heart happy :) I love the style, love the number of lights, and I love that it has diffused light (frosted around the bulb) so that you don't get blinded looking at it. Dare I call it sexy?

Progress Lighting Gather Collection 3-Light Brushed Nickel Foyer Pendant-P3928-09 - The Home Depot
I'm also a fan of the lantern style fixtures.  I think they give a room so much character and bring in beautiful lines.

This giant lantern is gorgeous but wayyyyy over budget at about $1500! Yikes!

The framing of this one is really fun.

I'm hoping to keep my eye on some of these and pray for a labor day sale just before we move in to seal the deal!