Craving Coral!

I know that coral has been popular for a few years now, but for some reason I've really been attracted to the color lately.  I think it might have something to do with the fact that I'm ready for spring.  If I could convince the husband, I think I'd try out a coral bedspread.
Like this one...
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or this one...
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or this one!
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Since that's not happening any time soon, how about these cute napkins from West Elm?
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At least I can dream! What colors have you been drawn to lately? 



Baby Shower Gifts

I don't know about you, but I feel that this spring is the season for babies.  Two of my co-workers are due in March and one of my cousins is due this April. My cousin's shower is this weekend, and our family is going together to give them a car seat. However, I wanted to give her a little something extra.  Since I'm not in the baby stage and I'm not especially close to my cousin, it was hard for me to figure out what to give.  However, I saw this little Burt's Bees gift set from Target, and I couldn't resist.
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I just love how it's packaged!
I really hope that she likes it!  I think it's absolutely adorable and all the cotton is organic, which I know she cares about.  I'd love to know what baby gifts you enjoy giving/receiving!

What's Cooking Wednesday: Lobster Mac and Cheese

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I'm sure a lot of you have already made Ina Garten's lobster mac and cheese, but I mentioned on Monday that I tried Ina Garten's lobster mac and cheese out for myself for the first time last week!  My father-in-law had made this for us a year ago during the holidays, but the husband hadn't been a huge fan, so I kind of forgot about it.  However, I need to make a meal for someone at work later next month, and I thought I would give this a practice run.  Of course, this dish isn't cheap because of the lobster and cheese, but I halved it, and it easily yielded 6 servings.  It reheats great, and I loved that I had dinner for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It was also our Valentine's Day dinner, so that helped justify the splurge!  I found this a really easy dish to make, and pretty quick too.  I'm definitely going to be making this again!

Ingredients:
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil
1/2 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni
2 cups of  milk (I used 1%)
4 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pound cooked lobster meat
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster and stir well. Place the mixture in 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lobster-mac-and-cheese-recipe.html?oc=linkback

A Little Weekend Organizing!

At the beginning of January, I sat down and wrote a list out of everything that I wanted to get done around the apartment.  I made a little progress, but for the most part, it's stayed stagnant. For some reason with the usual weekend chores, it just seems so hard to get to anything extra done.  With two snow/sick days, I wanted to try to get a few things done around the house, but I wasn't really up for much. 

We have a little shelf behind our loveseat which stores a decent amount of random things.  It was on my list to go through everything, with the hope that we'd be able to donate most of it.  Unfortunately, I went through everything again and only had a few things that made sense to donate.  However, to make it feel more organized, I decided to label the bins. I had these Martha Stewart labels from Staples on hand, so I just printed them up, stuck them on some card stock and then ran some thread through them.
I'm not sure if everything will stay orderly, but hypothetically it should. At least the it looks like organized chaos and makes me feel slightly better.  The truth is that we have way too much "seasonal decor" for people living in an apartment.
Have you been doing any organizing projects?  It seems that I re-organize things every few weeks because it just keeps getting messy. I think it might just be part of the joy of living in a smaller space!

Valentine's Day Recap

As I mentioned, I was under the weather for Valentine's Day, so everything was pretty low-key. On Wednesday night the husband trekked to CVS in the snow to get me some Dayquil/Nyquil, and that pretty much seemed like the greatest Valentine's Day gift ever.  I was extremely thankful for the medicine.  And it never hurts to bring me a magazine and some peanut butter M&Ms aka "magic beans".
With the medicine, I was feeling a little bit better on Thursday, so I made Ina Garten's lobster mac and cheese.  That was our "fancy" Valentine's Day dinner.  Since I had the snow day and some extra time on my hands, I tried to make it a little more special by using our wedding china and some candles that my mom had given me awhile ago.

I was going to make macarons, but felt too poorly, so I bought these cake pops from Starbucks instead.
 No champagne for us, just some sparkling grapefruit juice (which I love) and milk.
Even though it was really low key, we were both happy.
The husband wasn't too happy that I took a picture before he could eat this cake pop, though.
However, he was happy with his medley of Krave beef jerky.
And I was happy to be feeling better!
My sister sent me this beautiful card with such a kind note. I just love all the sparkles.  I'm always so thankful that we are sisters. I really am so blessed.
However you spent Valentine's Day, I hope that it was lovely.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentines Day!  The husband and I are both getting over colds, so this Valentine's Day will be low key, but I wanted to wish you all a lovely day and weekend!

Blogging Break: A Little Trip to Florida!

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I'm taking a blogging break this week!  The first part of the week has been just so busy with work and my grad class. The husband and I are taking a long weekend and heading down to Florida.  We're hoping to spend some time with my sister, his grandma and of course some time at the beach and Disney World!  After all this cold weather, I have high hopes for this little break.  Take care and see you next week!