Sunday, February 27, 2011

Perfect Roast Chicken

Let me just begin by telling you that this recipe was without a doubt a learning experience:
1. A whole chicken will not defrost quickly. If you think that it is defrosted, the inside is in fact not
2. My dutch oven finally has a use! Woohoo!
3. You do not want to know what giblets are. I was praying for strength today as I removed them from my chicken. I feel that what does not kill me only makes me stronger. Next time as I remove the giblets I will not scream like a little girl...
4. I got to use our meat thermometer for the first time.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to this super yummy recipe. I saw it on the Little Kitchen that Could and she had found it on the Food Network from Ina Garten.

Perfect Roast Chicken
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
2-4 small red skinned potatoes, quartered
Olive oil
Other tools
A roasting pan or pot (I used my dutch oven)
Kitchen string (I did not have this, so I use a wooden skewer that I cut down to size)
Meat thermometer (optional, but extremely helpful)

Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets from inside the chicken. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and pat the outside dry. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, potatoes and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer register 160 in the breast meat.Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

*I did not take a picture of the beautiful chicken (sad day), but look at the Little Kitchen that Could's pictures of her beautiful chicken!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


So I might've gotten a little obsessed with crafting these past few weeks. I did warn you though when I was posting about my burlap wreaths. I've made a few things lately for my niece and nephew...
For my niece, Erin I used the great Jones Design Company tutorial site (I think I might end up trying to make everything on their tutorial page....)
The first thing I made for Erin was these hair clips that were super easy! You just use metal clips, 3/8" ribbon and glue (I used my glue gun, she suggests fabric glue). Check out the tutorial!
For the flower clip, I used the flower pin tutorial to make the same kind of flowers that are on my wreaths.

I also made a flower mobile to hang over her teeny toddler bed : ) Here is the tutorial for that.
For sweet baby Alex, I made a book canvas. On her website, she uses black and white book pages, but I wanted the book to have meaning for him and as his room has trains, I used "The Little Engine that Could." Can I tell you that as a kindergarten teacher, it was REALLY hard to tear the spine off of the book to rip out the pages (it almost didn't happen...). I did however make sure that all of the important parts of the book are visible in either word or picture : ) Here is the tutorial.
The finished product

Hanging in his nursery

I also loved my friend Gina's valentine craft and thought the idea might work for Alexander. I used letter tiles from Hobby Lobby that had sticky backing (basically like stickers), scrapbook paper and the train that I had originally bought to embellish the book canvas (that would have looked WAY too busy!)

(had to sneak a pic of him in...)
Have a craftastic day! : )

Monday, February 21, 2011


We finally got to meet our sweet little nephew!! Saturday we drove up to Waco to spend the day with Jen, mom, dad, Alex and of course be entertained by our close to 3-year-old (omg cannot believe she is already that old) niece, Erin!
Things I discovered about Alex
1. Almost 9 lbs is not that big (I know Jen that you may disagree)
2. That boy is super snuggly! Love it!
I'll leave you with some precious images to brighten up your Monday : )

Mommy and Alex

With our precious niece and nephew

sweet little snuggle bug

Friday, February 18, 2011

Almond Power Bars

My blog stalking led me to a new "running" recipe from the Little Kitchen that could. I made these Almond Power Bars last week to take with us on our NOLA trip. 1. They are really there's not a picture of them, because we ate them all.. 2. I'm pretty sure they made us run faster : ) 3. They're gluten free
They are now going to become a staple in our house.

Almond Power Bars

Adapted from Elena's Pantry
2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup unsalted creamy almond butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
a drizzle of honey
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 bar of dark chocolate (73% cacao)
Place almonds, flax meal, shredded coconut, almond butter and salt in a food processor. Pulse for 10 to 20 second. Melt coconut oil in a small sauce pan over low heat. Remove oil from heat, add drizzle of honey and vanilla. Stir oil to combine.
Add coconut oil mixture to food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms. Spray 8x8 glass baking dish with a bit of cooking spray. Press mixture into dish. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour, until hard. Melt dark chocolate in a small sauce pan, stirring frequently to not burn. Drizzle chocolate over bars and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (I basically ended up completely covering bars in chocolate..think scotcharoos but a very thin layer of chocolate).

Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars and serve. Served best right out of the refrigerator.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


For my 4th half marathon, we were looking into different races to do and found the Rock N Roll New Orleans. We ended up planning a girls trip and the four of us all ran the half.
Saturday we headed out to New Orleans early in the morning. Unfortunately on I-10, an 18-wheeler had caught on fire causing us a 2 hour delay of sitting still in the car barely even outside of Houston.

This delay and a few other short ones got us to New Orleans at 4:50...10 minutes before the expo (where we picked up our packets) closed. Thank goodness we made it!

After hitting more traffic on the way to our hotel, we ran and got pizza from Vieux Carre Pizza and passed out from our long day.

Saturday started EARLY. We left our hotel by 5:45 to walk to the start line.

Our 3rd half together!

We had a blast running, enjoying the music, the signs and talking. This was my best time yet, I finished in 1:52:54! Woohoo!

After the race, we headed back and got ready for the day. We had lunch at Royal House.

Spent the afternoon walking around New Orleans and shopping,

and the evening at the Court of Two Sisters for an amazing dinner.

Monday we woke up and enjoyed some yummy beignets from Cafe Du Monde before heading back to Houston.

I arrived home to find two happy puppies, a dozen roses and my handsome husband : )
What a perfect weekend!

Friday, February 11, 2011


I have been on a craft kick lately. One of my friends put up a link to the tutorials part of the Jones Design Company Website. I am in love!! SO many fun, inexpensive crafts with step by step picture instructions. I started out making these wreaths. I had a lot of burlap left over from the S-A-G-E pillows upstairs and some green ribbon left over from something, so I just bought the wreath forms and a little felt for the flowers (I used the tutorial for the flower pin, but just did not attach a pin to the back. At first I wasn't even sure where to put them, but then I remembered the stepchild of a room called our office. I feel so bad for it, it kind of gets this brunt of our stuff. Its the catch all, so I thought that a few wreaths could make it seem a little bit cheerier. These wreaths did not take long AT ALL to make!

More crafts to come! : )

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Welcome Welcome!

Welcome to the world Alexander Scott Brown!!
My sweet sis-in-law and brother welcomed a precious baby boy into the world Monday. He is 8lbs 13 oz and is absolutely beautiful! I have not yet gotten to meet the sweet little stud but am looking forward to that day soon!

Mommy and Alex

Daddy and Alex

Big Sister Erin and baby Alex

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Like anyone else, I like to find a good deal. For that reason, there are a few websites that I watch:

1. The Look for Less
This is a blog, but she gives outfit ideas that are not too costly.

2. Ruelala
Ruelala has different boutiques each day with items that are greatly discounted from what they normally retail. The boutiques are only up for 2 days and there are limited quantities, so if you find something, you need to get it when you see it. My favorite boutiques so far have been the Vera Bradley and Saucony.
I recently bought a pair of $95 Saucony running shoes for $45!
One thing to know is that shipping is $9.95 regardless of what you purchase, so for smaller items this may seem kind of steep. They will however allow you to add anything to your order the day that you order until 10pm with no additional shipping charges.

3. Groupon
You've probably already heard about this, but groupon sends out a daily email with coupon for something in your city. Some days they are great and some days I just delete the email. My favorites have been $25 for $50 at GAP and $30 for 30 fitness classes.

4. Living Social
Its basically the same thing as groupon. They occasionally literally offer the same deals a few days apart. I have used this one to go to a cooking class and $10 for $20 at

What are you favorite saving tips?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Snow, Snow Day

We were excited to get the day off on Friday and had high hopes for snow. Snow covered a good majority of Texas, especially in the places most of our families and friends live....we however only got ice. I hope my kiddos weren't too disappointed. Thanks to yesterday, I do now have a very clean house and it feels like two Saturdays to boot! Woohoo!
Last night we went to the Randy Rogers concert! It was fun to get out of the house : )

I also thought I'd share my go to Saturday outfit. Now let's remember that Saturday is the casual day. For me it is not about looking good, but rather being comfortable.

The leggings and boots are the ones I have. I usually wear a big long-sleeve t-shirt (when you wear leggings, your hiney has to be covered!) and my jacket is this North Face that I absolutely love!
What is your Saturday go to outfit?
Enjoy this beautiful Saturday! What a gift from God this beautiful weather is!