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chicken & asparagus rolls

You know those days where you're just extra hungry for something REALLY good. When I have one of those days, it usually involves crescent rolls (or something equally yummy). Since crescent rolls on their own are not a very well balanced meal, I decided to try my hand at a new recipe. I got the inspiration for these rolls from a combination of recipes I found on Pinterest:

The first are these mini french dips. They’re quick and easy and are so yummy. My husband and I eat them about once a month (yum)! Then I saw this chicken & asparagus roll-up recipe . I'm sure these are very yummy but I thought I could tweak them to include crescent rolls. Crescent rolls are just the best (carbs = love). I know, I know...carbs are the enemy, but they’re oh so good.

Without further ado... Here’s what you’ll need to make your own batch:

Chicken & Asparagus Rolls

* recipe yields 8 rolls *

1 package crescent rolls
4 slices of provolone/mozzarella cheese
16 asparagus spears

1-2 chicken breasts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup mayo
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
pepper (to taste)
a pinch of garlic salt

[1] Start by prepping your chicken. Cut your chicken breasts in half (to thin them out a bit) then slice into small, easy to eat strips.

[2] In a large ziplock bag, combine the extra virgin olive oil and soy sauce. Mix together well then add chicken. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (a lot of times I prep this the night before). I made 3 chicken breasts because I like to have leftover chicken for salads and wraps.

[3] Now it’s time to prep the asparagus. Roast the asparagus with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper for about 8 -10 minutes @ 400. Allow to cool for a few minutes. They should still be a bit crunchy.

[4] Cook your chicken (skillet, grill... your choice). I chose to use a skillet and cooked the pieces for a few minutes on both sides until done all the way through.

[5] Now it’s time to make the mayo spread. This goes on the crescent rolls during “assembly.” In a small bowl, combine the mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, pepper & pinch of garlic salt. Mix really well.

[6] Now that all the pieces and parts are prepped [whew - a little time consuming but totally worth it, I promise]’s assembly time! Roll out the crescent rolls on a cookie sheet then layer in this order and roll up like a normal crescent roll:

[6] Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (or until rolls are golden brown). Allow to cool for a few minutes before digging in.

You know what’s great about this recipe? Not only is it yummy... but if you prepped extra chicken, you’re already halfway to your next meal (it’s like killing two birds with one stone). Don't forget to download the printable recipe card.

[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]


how we prepared for our bathroom remodel

When doing any home renovation, preparation is KEY! We knew we were getting ourselves into a huge project when we decided to DIY our 1950's bathroom. For us, a renovation was a necessity - we have duct tape in the shower holding up the old tile for crying out loud! With a solid plan of attack (and a lot of love & teamwork) we knew that we'd someday have a bathroom we could be proud of. 

Here is how we tackled planning our bathroom remodel. 

We first sat down and figured out how much money we could spend. This is never the fun part but it needs to be addressed BEFORE making any big decisions. Once we had a figure in mind, it helped us look reasonably at the choices we had to make. We were pretty much gutting the bathroom and knew that we'd need to replace everything from the bathtub down to the toilet paper holder. Being realistic with money helped us put the renovation in perspective.

Our helpful tip for this step: get a folder, zippered bag or envelope to keep all of your "renovation receipts" in. It helps to keep them all in one spot for easy access.

We also find it helpful to make a spreadsheet. Make a column for items that need to be purchased. In the next column, put your "best guess" or "budgeted" amount next to that item. After you've made the purchase, fill in the actual amount you spent in the 3rd column. This will help you see how close you're staying to your original budget.

Here is what we absolutely knew:
  • We needed/wanted to replace the old peachy pink bathtub. It was ugly and it was super slippery because it was smooth on the bottom. We looked into getting it recoated but decided that it wasn't a route we wanted to take. With the tightness of the hallway, we were unable to get a full fiberglass unit in so we opted for a new cast iron tub with new tile on the walls.
  • We absolutely hated how cramped the overall room was and decided that the closet had to go to create more space (physically & visually). We knew that we'd need to find a secondary storage option in the bathroom to make up for no closet.
  • We had to (and I mean HAD to) keep the laundry shoot that we've grown to love. Having laundry in the basement is not fun, but having a laundry shoot makes it SO much better. Plus, when Adam's in the basement and I'm upstairs it's our way of communication. It had to stay!
  • We knew we were going to tile the floors. I work in a flooring & design store so I knew I could get us a pretty good deal on tile ;)
Our helpful tip for this step: Really think about what's important and will help your space function the way it needs to for your family. Each project is different.

Once we knew what had to stay/go/change/adjust we moved onto the fun part of the renovation... DESIGN!! We talked so much about design that I swore I would see the new bathroom finished when we turned the lights on at night to brush our teeth. I could see the finished product in my head and had to get it down on paper (or computer). Using a free program called SketchUp, I came up with these basic design ideas to help us visualize the space. 

Our helpful tip for this step: If you're not into drawing, find inspiration on Pinterest, Houzz or in magazines. I always tell my clients to just start saving images they like - usually when you look back through those images you find reoccurring themes that you might not notice when first looking at an image (i.e. contemporary lines, color themes, etc). Look look look... you're bound to find a ton of inspiration no matter where you search.

At this point, we weren't sure what vanity we were going to use (although we had looked a bit) and we had NO idea what we were going to replace the closet with. We wanted something that would have a lot of storage and would also accommodate our beloved laundry shoot. At this point we knew it was time to start making some decisions...

Tile was probably the easiest decision we made. My discount at work scored us some nice, neutral 12x12 floor tiles and pretty white gloss 8x8 wall tiles for the shower. Both were very budget friendly and went along with the clean design we had planned. We knew we could spice them up a bit with the right pattern & grout color. 

With our tile in hand, our next 3 big ticket items were a new bathtub, a vanity & a storage unit to replace the closet. Here is what we came up with:

Vanity: Ikea Godmorgan/Odensvic
Toilet: keeping the one we put in 2 years ago :)
Wall cabinet: Ikea Godmorgan
Mirrors: Ikea Godmorgan
Faucet: Ikea Dalskar
Bath tub: Kohler Bellwether cast iron (not pictured)
Storage unit: Ikea Borgsjo with drawers & glass doors
We are definitely "Ikea Hacking" this to fit our laundry shoot... stay tuned!

Once we did our research and figured out what we wanted, we felt very comfortable making the purchases. We took a trip to Ikea and got everything we needed. We also ordered the bathtub. Keep an eye out for a separate post about our trip to Ikea and why we chose the items we did.

So here we are... all planned and ready to go. Since this isn't our first reno, we know there are unexpected surprises bound to pop up during the process. It's time to get our safety glasses & sledge hammers and get to work. Stay tuned!
[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]


guest post: small decor projects for the home

Hi I am Jessica Christian and I am really thankful to Shannon for letting me do this guest-post. It is all about creating small home decor projects which will brighten up your home. Enjoy!

We all want a beautiful home, but few of us can afford to walk into a furniture store and simply order a full room's worth of furniture; soft furnishings and accessories all in one go. However, with a little forethought and planning, not to mention a significant input of time and a reasonable budget; it is possible to have beautifully put together rooms. The following small projects do not cost a lot, and can help you get the rooms your desire.

Learn to Upholster

Upholster your plain furniture with leftover curtain fabric to bring it into harmony with the room as a whole. A plain wooden bedside cabinet can be improved very simply. First of all, measure the area that you want to cover. It does not have to be the entire cupboard door, sometimes there are panels that make a 'ready-to-use' space, otherwise you can simply measure an area in the middle of the door or panel. Experiment a little until you find a look that works for the room. Then carefully cut a piece of thin foam and glue it in place. Next cut and hem the fabric that will go over the panel, taking great care to make the corners exact right angles – any variation will show glaringly and make the piece of furniture look 'home-made' and awkward. Finally glue or staple the fabric cover in place, starting at the top and smoothing it tightly over the foam as you work for a fabulous padded motif. If you add these marvellous panels to your bedroom furniture, you can match it to the wonderful bedding available from – they have such a wide variety that you are sure to find the perfect bedding set for your ideal bedroom!

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You Can Never Have Too Many Cushions…

Use remnants of curtain fabric or buy contrasting or toning fabric to make a set of cushions. If you are not a brave seamstress use the simplest possible design, if you are skilled at sewing you could try something a bit more daring! Cut out large squares – slightly bigger than the size cushions you want. Place two squares, right sides together and sew around three sides. The fourth side needs to be left just open enough for you to get your hand, filled with stuffing, inside. Fill the cushion to the desired size – more stuffing makes a firm rounded cushion, less makes a floppier, less rigid one – then carefully hand-sew the opening shut, using invisible stitching. You will be amazed at the difference that perfectly matching cushions can make in drawing the décor of the room together – and at how little it cost to make them! A lot of variety of cushions is available at:

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Put up Some Defenses!

If you have a large open, but clutter-filled unit do not be afraid to literally draw a veil over it! Use curtains to hide clutter and create serenity in any room. It is a simple matter to screw in an eyelet at each end of the top of a bookcase, wall unit or similar piece of furniture (even a table, if you have lots of things tucked underneath it!) and run a piece of curtain wire between the two. Choose the fabric for the curtain to go with the general décor, perhaps even using fabric that is leftover from the curtains, or go for something different to create a focal point in the room! You can use many yards of light fabric gathered to create a pretty frilly look, or you can opt for an elegance heavy fabric that will fall straight, without any pleats or gathers. Once your cluttered shelves and half-completed projects are hidden from view the room will immediately look cool and well put-together – perfect for impressing guests!

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When in Doubt – Go Up!

Use the full height of the walls in every room, to free up the maximum amount of floor space. When choosing a wall unit or bookcase, always pick the tallest one that you can. Be sure to use the wall fixings for tall furniture as you do not want it to topple onto the floor, or worse, a person passing by… If you furniture is standard height and you have over a metre of 'wasted' space between the top of the unit and the ceiling, you can install some shelves. If you have an idea of what you want to store up there you can measure the distance between the shelves to suit. Once you have installed the shelves and have packed away items that are seldom used, but that are still necessary, you will be amazed at the transformation 'on ground level' so to speak!

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These four projects require some time and patience, but can help you to transform your house into a thing of beauty and elegance with a place for everything. Once you begin to enjoy using your hands to create useful objects for the home you will find it hard to stop until your home is the haven of beauty that you have always wanted!


ipad stand

Sometimes a pin pops up on Pinterest and I immediately feel the urge to drop everything I'm doing and make it! This was one of those instances. I saw this adorable ipad stand and knew I had to make one for myself.

I followed the directions pretty much step by step. I love it so much that I plan to make more to have on hand for gifts :)

Check out the directions here!
I wish I would have come up with this adorable idea... :)

[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]


diy boutonniere

For our wedding, we did only artificial flowers. Why? Well...real flowers stressed me out (I know, weird). I was afraid of them dying, I didn't like not knowing what they would actually look like on the day of our wedding, and real flowers can be REALLY expensive. We did a lot of other DIY projects for our wedding so we decided to tackle the flowers as well.  We made all the bouquets and centerpieces. They turned out wonderful (and I still have some arrangements in my house!):

Don't get me wrong, real flowers are LOVELY. However, I hate how guy's boutonnieres get all smooshed and wilted by the end of the night from dancing and hugging people. For this reason, we decided to make the boutonnieres as well.
Here's what you'll need to make your own:

a few flowers, twigs, etc.
a hot glue gun
florist tape
pin back

[1] Start by arranging your flowers, twigs, etc. in the way you think they'll look best. I really like a layered look. Once they are arranged, wrap the bottoms of them with florist tape. 

[2] Using your hot glue, slowly wrap the twine around the base of the flowers to cover the florist tape. 
Once you're wrapped to the desired height, make a bow with some leftover twine and glue it onto your boutonniere. Glue on your pin back and you're finished! 

With a few minutes of work, you'll have a homemade, personalized boutonniere that will look the same at the end of the night as it did when your groom first put it on. Plus, you can save it as a keepsake since it'll never die. Yippee!

[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]

[p.s.s. all photos in this post were taken by the extremely talented Heather Brincko. 
You should definitely check out her work here]
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