Founding Farmers in Washington DC

Founding Farmers in Washington DC on Pennsylvania Avenue is one of the four restaurants owned by the farmers restaurant group.  We went to have dinner there and their motto of 'natural and quality' rang true in our meal.

We ordered the bread appetizer with fig, prosciutto and marscopone as well as the cornbread skillet with honey butter.  The fog, prosciutto and marscopone was my fav but hubby liked the cornbread more.  

Next, we had the fried chicken salad, short rib entree and boneless rib eye entree.  For sides we chose red skin mashed potatoes, pearl pasta and green beans.  All three were delish but if we go back my picks would be the fried chicken salad and boneless rib eye over the short rib entree.

The kiddos loved the food too!  The service staff was helpful, friendly and best of all quick.  With the kids in tow I was worried about having a long wait without a reservation but we were seated quickly (less than 30 minutes) and with food on the table shortly after we ordered.  We are definitely going back to explore more of the menu!


Cute Succulent Terrarium idea!

FWe just bought a new (old) house and I have begun pinning away ideas on how I want to decorate it!  I do not have a 'green thumb' more like a 'black thumb' so house plants or herb gardens are definitely not an option.  I have seen a few of these succulent terrarium photos around pinterest and I think I will give this a try.  I love that each one is unique and beautiful but best of all easy to maintain.

How to make a succulent terrarium. This would look great in my office; it would look great anywhere; and I think it would make a wonderful gift idea, as well.

This is not my photo.  The original tutorial can be found here on bowerpowerblog.com


Make It Yourself! Lunchables

How easy is this?!

Prepping for our two week road trip out east I have been writing down ideas for homemade pre packaged food for us to eat on the road.

Here's one idea of what I had for some quick and easy lunches for the kids.  I used pre sliced tilmock cheese and cut them into 4 squares.  I reused the wax paper to hold 6 slices of cheese together.  

Using snack sized zip loc bags I filled each with 10 slices of pepperoni and 6 squares of cheese.  That's it!  Hardly any prep time and an alternative to sandwiches while we are on the road.  I have two sleeves of ritz crackers as well that I'll add in when its time to eat.  


Easy travel outfits

We are about to embark on a 2.5 week road trip that is taking us to 6 national parks and 2 national monuments so I was looking up easy travel outfits that would also mix and match easily.  Here are a few of my favorites and the best part is most of these outfits used items I already had in my closet!

Wardrobe re-design - the Mother's Day edition http://styleunearthed.com/wardrobe-re-design-update-the-mothers-day-edition/

The original post for this maxi skirt outfit can be found here

The original post for why you should pack black leggings can be found here.

This pretty much sums up the other items in my suitcase but instead of cargo pants I chose a pair of jeggings and instead of a black mini I chose to pack a pair of black shorts.  This site has so many great ideas it's hard to pick which is best!  Click here to find your perfect travel wardrobe.


DIY Hello Kitty 6th birthday Party!

My daughter loves Hello Kitty so it was no surprise that when it came time to plan her party she asked for a Hello Kitty Theme.  We chose The Jumpy Place and it was a awesome!  Inside you must wear socks and there is a party area just off to the side of all the jumpy sections.  Their party package included the table cloths, plates, napkins, and 3 balloons.  The staff was really friendly and helpful and I think all the kids had a great time!

Here are a bunch of little diy things that I did to make it Hello Kitty themed for her birthday.  (Ignore the milk carton and sandwich I forgot to remove them before taking a picture!)  I printed out 2 hello kitty images and taped one on the table and one the wall.  The little food labels were also printed on computer paper and I just wrote in what was in the sandwiches.

For the food:  I made turkey, ham, and pb&j sandwiches.  Fruit skewers were made up of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and grapes.  From costco I bought a large box of individually packaged chips, bottled water (I printed off hello kitty labels that can be found here and here), and horizons regular 2% and chocolate milk cartons.

DIY happy birthday pennant is the same I used for their previous birthdays just different colored card stock paper.  I used the triangle template to cut out the card stock then printed out the letters to say Happy 6th Birthday Kayla onto computer paper.  I cut out the circles and glued them onto the card stock triangles.  This year instead of stringing the pennant we just taped them on the wall.  (tutorial can be found here).

The hot pink number 6 is made out of hot pink tissue pom poms that I taped onto a cardboard cut out of the number 6 (tutorial can be found here).

This year I decided to make her birthday cake rather than buy one.  I did buy a hello kitty cupcake kit which had the hello kitty candy and hello kitty cupcake toppers but I used those on the sandwiches instead.

I bought a box of dunkin hines pink and yellow cake mix and just followed the directions on the box.  I used a home made brownie recipe for the third layer (recipe can be found here).  For all 3 layers I used my spring foam circular pan and let them cool.  Then starting with the brownie layer I cut off the top so it would sit flat then I added a thin layer of cream cheese frosting and worked my way up then I frosted it all around.

I used leftover red royal icing from her goody bag cookies to write Happy Birthday Kayla right onto the plate.  

These were her goody bags.  I printed off the labels to say Thank You For Coming To Kayla's 6th Birthday!  I also printed off labels for the bubbles that I purchased from the dollar section in target that said Thank You!  Kayla.  We had a pack of hello kitty tattoos at home that I threw in to give to each child.

I made round sugar cookies frosted with white royal icing and red sprinkles as well as hello kitty sugar cookies frosted with white royal icing, red royal icing for the bow, yellow m & m for the nose, and black royal icing for the eyes.  I used a black frosting pen for the whiskers.  Tutorial for sugar cookies with royal icing can be found here.

All the kids seemed really happy with their goody bags and Kayla was so happy her friends could celebrate her birthday with her.  We can't believe our little girl is now 6!


Train Table Redo - Goodwill find

I picked up this train table from the goodwill for $20!  My husband thought I was crazy since it was a bit banged up and not real wood.  I thought it was a great deal considering the $100+ price tag I've seen on new train tables!  Plus I knew our kids would love it and with a little bit of work it would be almost like new.

First, I cleaned it off all over with a rag and some soap and water.  Then I took it all apart.  Once it was all laid out I gave it a light sanding where the edges were roughed up.

Here are some before pictures:

I painted the main parts of the table with white chalk paint.  Then I painted the drawers with teal chalkboard paint.  Next, for the tops, I used a chalkboard spray paint and the other side with leftover home made teal chalk paint.  I left everything to dry and that evening I did a second coat.  Then let it all dry overnight.  

The next morning, I used the rustoleum spray paint clear coat on all the outside/front pieces of the table and on top with the teal chalk paint.  I let that wire out/dry overnight in the garage.  This project cost me only the table since I had everything else at home but if you needed to buy paint I still think the cost would be minimal and worth the effort.

The next morning, I reassembled it upstairs in their playroom.  I put all their duplo legos in one drawer and their thomas the train stuff in the other drawer.  They were so excited to see their new train table that they set up their train set right away!


Diy wooden growth chart

Here is another pottery barn knock off ..... Or another pottery barn inspired DIY project!

We have a paper growth chart in my daughters room but it is starting to fall apart after our many moves!  I saw this wooden growth chart on the pottery barn kids website and loved it but with the hefty price tag of $99, I figured I could make one myself.   

My husband picked up a wooden fence post from lowes.  It was perfect since it was only $2.50 and measured about 6" wide by 6.5' tall.  

I cut off the top to make it square and then sanded it all over.  Then I stained it with min wax red oak (215) and left it to dry overnight.

This is how to I made it and how you can make your own!

Using my computer I printed out large numbers 1 - 6 and cut them out to create my own stencils.  I took my measuring tape and started at 6" to mark the 1', 6" and 1" increments along the whole board.

Using white paint and a sponge brush I stenciled in the numbers 1 - 6 at each 1' mark.  Next taking a small brush I drew a small line at the 6" marks and finally an even smaller line to mark each 1".

Now I need to hang it 6" off the ground and start recording!  I've saved all my kids doctors visit papers so my next step is to mark, date, and write each of their names next to their corresponding heights.  My goal is to keep it up throughout the years.  

For $2.50 (or a bit extra if you don't have stain, sandpaper or paint on hand) it's definitely more reasonable/affordable than the pottery barn $99 price tag!  I love it since we have 3 kids and all of their heights can be recorded on this one beautiful wooden growth chart.  I also think this will make an inexpensive yet meaningful baby shower gift!


Diy Baby Gift - Minky quilt, bib and burp cloth

Recently I made a mink quilt blanket for my dear friend Andrea.  She had her baby boy a few months ago so I was a bit late in sending these little home hand made gifts but I'm pretty sure she will forgive me!

I picked out some flannel and matching minky colors then cut out 6" squares.  Then I laid out all my pieces to create diagonal lines and pinned the pieces in rows.

I sewed each square RST together as a row then connected them to create the blanket.

For the back, I measured out a piece of blue minky and used bias tape to cover the raw edges.  I think it turned out pretty good and I hope her little baby boy likes it!

I also made a matching bib with the leftover flannel and minky fabric.  I used bias tape around the bib to use as the string to tie behind the neck and to cover the raw edges.  Then I made a couple burp cloths with the leftover flannel and new Gerber cloth diapers that I had pre washed.


Greek Chicken Souvlaki and Greek beef meatballs

This is one of the best chicken recipes I have made.  It's quick, easy and tastes delicious!  I found the recipe on a blog called Closet Cooking and it can be found here.  I used boneless skinless chicken breasts from costco and cut them up into bite pieces.

To marinate the chicken breasts I basically used her recipe:
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 tbsp yogurt
1/4c olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

Mix all of the ingredients and put them into sealed container and marinate overnight.
The next day I took out the meat and grilled it until cooked.

I also decided I wanted to make greek beef meatballs since I had ground beef on hand.  I found a recipe on a blog called Kayln's Kitchen and the recipe can be found here.  I used ground beef from costco that I had previously separated and frozen.

For the beef meatballs I used her recipe and did the following:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped in food processor
1 tbsp greek seasoning (1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp lemon zest)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Put onion in food processor and pulse until onion is finely chopped.  Add seasonings and pulse until blended.

In a separate bowl mix onion-seasonings with ground beef.  Once mixed together scoop out and form meatballs.  Bake meatballs in the oven or cook them in a pan over medium high heat.  Turning them to brown evenly.

Serve the chicken souvlaki and greek meatballs with pitas or iceberg lettuce cups, sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, sliced onions, and top tzatziki sauce.  Enjoy!!


Diy Cars themed birthday party!

My son just turned 3 and is in love with all things cars especially Disney's lightening McQueen.  This year we threw him a birthday party at a local gymnastics place and invited his daycare/preschool class.  With a little bit of work this turned out to be a budget friendly party and he loved it!

I wanted to make it cars themed and looked online for ideas.  There are so many out there it was hard to choose!!  I downloaded a few free templates and printed out a few road signs 'Speed Limit 3', stop sign and 'Route 66'.  I also made him a 3 year old tshirt with racing flags on it.  For my first applique I think it turned out great!  If you want to see how I did this, step by step can be found

I made a happy birthday banner using the black and white racing checkered pattern for the background and red letters using adobe illustrator.  I printed the letters out onto regular paper and cut out the circles.  I used the triangle template from sweetbeanz blog to cut black, red and yellow card stock and that template can be found here.  Then I glued the circles onto the triangles, used a 2 hole punch for the tops of each triangle and threaded a white ribbon through the top part of it.

I downloaded a water bottle wrapper template for free here and used adobe illustrator to remove the nutrition label and qr logo.  Then I added in the text to personalize it with 'Aiden's 3rd Birthday'.  The other label already had the lightening McQueen image on it.  I printed this on regular paper and cut them out.  Then I ripped off the Costco label from the water bottles and taped my labels onto them.

I printed out a lightening bolt that I found here on regular paper then used a glue stick to place it onto red card stock.  Then cut the red card stock paper just a tad bigger than the lightening bolt to create a border.  I covered a small card board box with white tissue paper and taped on the lightening bolt.  I used this box to hold the snack sized packs of chips I had purchased from costco.

I found road sign cupcake toppers here and printed two of the same ones out.  Cut them all out, added a toothpick and used a glue stick as well as a piece of tape in the middle to stick the matching cupcake toppers together.  These I used to on top of the sandwich triangles to keep them together.

For party favors I made sugar cookies with royal icing.  Directions & recipes can be found here.  I decorated half of the tops with black and drew a rectangle with white icing then added m&m's to create a stop light.  The other half I decorated with white icing and drew the number 3 with black icing then added little white marks to look them look like a road.  I placed one of each into a clear favor bag and stapled on a tag.  I personalized the tags with a black and white checkered background, lightening McQueen logo and a message saying 'Thanks For Coming To Aiden's 3rd Birthday!'

Overall it turned out to be a great Cars themed birthday party and it didn't break the bank.  Not pictured, I decided to buy a Cars plastic table cover and two plain black table covers,  Cars themed napkins, and a few packs of paper plates for the food and cake.  I already had most of the items needed for the party on hand such as the card stock paper, baking ingredients for the royal icing sugar cookies, water bottles, plastic utensils, fabric, etc.  If you decided to do something similar and had to pick up those items in order to do it yourself it is definitely still cheaper than ordering all the decorations and the personalized t shirt from Etsy!