Archives For Holiday Ideas

Well yesterday may have been The Nerd’s day… but TODAY…. ohhh boy. TODAY is JUSTYNN’S DAY. CINCO DE MAYO!

And for everything that knows me… even the slightest bit, know that I’m a tequila drinker. (I’ve heard that I “got it from my Mama”)

Put the Star Wars away today babe, we’re having a FIESTA! And with any good Fiesta, you’re going to need some supplies and inspiration.

 

And Tequila. Lots of Tequila.

Cinco De Mayo

ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN
EIGHT // NINE // TEN // ELEVEN // TWELVE // THIRTEEN (broken link)
FOURTEEN (broken link) // FIFTEEN // SIXTEEN // SEVENTEEN

Off to drink some tequila… cya 🙂

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Everyone has *those* recipes. You know the ones I’m talking about. The standard basic ones in the back of your head that you could whip up quickly without much forethought.

Granted, I don’t have very many. I’m not a cook. I bake.

Big difference.

I get nervous cooking for other people. Meals specifically. Like items that are supposed to supplement you throughout the day. I worry that I might eff it up somehow and then that person is short a whole meal.

Stupid, right?

I know. :/

However, in the back of my head I do have those very few recipes that I know I can pull off. These Spinach and Cheese Chicken Roll Ups are a recipe from my step-mom (Thanks Sandy!) who I think adapted it from a Rachel Ray recipe?? Maybe… I’m not 100% sure. Either way its freaking delicious.

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They are SUPER SIMPLE to make and even better don’t take that many ingredients so easy on the wallet too. Plus if you’re making them for 1-2 people there’s generally leftovers and I love me some leftovers.

Less work.

Gosh I’m a lazy cook.

PS: This recipe is for Pat, who politely asked me for the recipe today while at work and I was too lazy to text the whole damn thing to him so I told him I’d blog it instead. So there.

SPINACH & CHEESE CHICKEN ROLL UPS

2-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (estimate half a large breast per person)
2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach (I usually just buy a bag/ container and use it for smoothies too)
8oz Package of Goat Cheese (or 16oz if you love cheese… or have more than 2-3 chicken breasts)
6 Slices of Baked Ham (no flavoring, you can get this at the deli counter, and yes– you CAN just as for 6 slices… who would have known?)
1/3 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil
Toothpicks

STEP 1: Using a meat hammer (or something equally heavy) pound your chicken breasts flat. They need to be about 1/3-1/2 inch thick. Set aside. Turn on your stove and place a large skillet with 2-4 TBSP olive oil to warm to med-high heat. Turn oven on to 350° F.

STEP 2: On a cutting board chop 2/3 handfuls of baby spinach into small pieces. About 1/4 size works good. Doesn’t have to be perfect. Then mix chopped baby spinach in a medium sized bowl with the 8-16oz of goat cheese. You want this mixed really well.

STEP 3: On a plate layer a flattened chicken breast with 1 slice of your ham and multiple spoonfuls of the spinach and cheese mixture. You want it to be well covered with the mixture but still roll-able. 

STEP 4: Starting on one end slowly roll your chicken and use a toothpick or two to secure. They will be large. The put your 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs on a plate or bowl and cover your chicken roll completely.

STEP 5: In your med-high warm skillet brown the outside of your rollups. Place in a baking dish and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked throughly.

Before serving remove the toothpicks. Trust me— I accidentally chomped down on one. That shit hurts.

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Generally I serve these with green beans and potatoes, but they are almost a meal alone. Maybe a great salad?

This is the PERFECT MEAL to make for Valentine’s Day for your *person*.

PS: Does anyone else feel that way about cooking for people? It’s like a phobia I swear…

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Amour for Him

January 28, 2014

Back for more eh? Today is DAY TWO of Valentine’s Day here on the ol’ blog. If you missed yesterday’s gift ideas for her go check ’em out. There’s some cool items on that list. Today however we are talking all about the guys.

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Generally I have a hard time buying gift for any of the men in my life. And that’s not for a lack of trying. Overall I’m so selective on gifts. I don’t like buying gifts that I don’t think the person would generally love or wouldn’t continue to use or enjoy. So make that twice as hard when it comes to guys/ men… Yeah. My dad is the HARDEST person to buy for. Because when he wants something, he just goes out and buys it. Leaving you NO TIME to get it yourself.

When I asked my male friends what would make their Valentine’s day they pretty much unanimously said “booze”. So this list is definitely geared more toward that common response. That and I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that anything techy, made out of wood/ leather or contains the words “beer or bacon” and you’re good.

Continue Reading…

Amour for Her

January 27, 2014

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, avoiding all stores, or avoiding the topic entirely– you may have noticed that Valentine’s Day has officially taken over the world.

Ok, maybe not the world… but MOST retailers/ online retailers and majority of bloggers are all talking about the big V.

Not Vagina… get your head out of the gutter. Geez…

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This week it’s going to be ALL VALENTINE’S DAY here on CLA. So if you’re purposely avoiding the day, you have my permission to skip the blog this week. Just come back next Monday ok?

Now, a Hallmark holiday that it is– I actually kinda like Valentine’s Day. Yes, even when I’m single. It’s a period in time that it’s FULLY acceptable for me to eat my body weight’s worth of chocolates. I can send myself flowers and it’s not weird. And that baking addiction is generally fully appreciated by friends and family.

Even though I’m not celebrating with someone in particular this year I still genuinely like to shower friends and probably Marley with gifts and sweets. Continue Reading…

Yep. It’s Saturday and I was officially supposed to have finished this round up on Friday. So…. Better late than never right?

Last we left off with the main dishes. So we’re going to start back with the mouthwatering side dishes. Which are honestly my favorite part!

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HOMEMADE PRETZEL ROLLS

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ASPARAGUS BUNDLES

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CRISY HERB POTATOES

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CREAMY MASHED POTATOES AND PARSLEY

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ACCORDION POTATOES

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SLOW COOKER THANKSGIVING STUFFING

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CRANBERRY CATSUP

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CRANBERRY RELISH

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SCALLOPED MAPLE SAGE SWEET POTATOES

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CRANBERRY BUTTER

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Those are looking pretty yummy right?  Back tomorrow with everyones favorite course! DESSERT!!

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Well you can’t have Thanksgiving Dinner without food, so we’re moving right along to the food portion of this week’s roundup posts.

People often talk about how the Turkey is the MOST IMPORTANT part of Thanksgiving Dinner.

Well, they’re wrong, and these 10 Delicious Turkey Alternatives are about to show you why.

Dont forget to check out the Pinterest board with all the Pins in this week’s roundup!!

10 DELICIOUS THANKSGIVING ALTERNATIVE MAIN DISHES // CREATIVE LIFE ANTICS

TURKEY TAMALES WITH GUAJILLO-CRANBERRY MOLE

I’ll be honest, I had doubts when I first saw this one. But after reading that this is what she made with the leftover turkey, I’ve got to say that it sounds amazing!! Definitely worth a try. You can only have turkey sandwiches for so many days after …

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STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH:

This dish looks just as amazing as I can imagine it tastes. Plus I really love squash… so, I’m in.

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MAPLE- BRAISED PORK BELLY:

Yeah this just made my mouth water. I love the idea of a pork product for the main dish.

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POMEGRANATE BRISKET WITH CRANBERRY SUCCOTASH:

How about for the Jewish crowd out there? This just sounds amazing!!

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HONEY ORANGE GLAZED HAM:

Alright, I’ll admit. I’m not a huge baked ham person but this definitely caught my eye!! This sounds so delicious.

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LAMB MEATLOAF BAKED IN MINI PUMPKINS:

Absolutely in LOVE with this presentation. And the idea itself is just so unique. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

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SMOKED SAUSAGE STUFFED PORK LOIN:

This is another really unique idea for me. Not that stuffing things is “new”, but stuffing sausage in a pork loin is definitely new. Really love the idea.

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CORNISH HEN WITH APRICOT GLAZE:

Definitely not a turkey, but still in the fowl family these cornish hens look delicious.

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ROASTED GAME HENS:

While we’re on the topic of hens, how about roasting some of them… Love the veggies with this one…

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TORTILLA TURKEY MILANESE WITH CRANBERRY FIG REDUCTION AND CREAMY GOUDA POLENTA:

And this one, just struck a cord with me because it was a mystery bag creation that turned out amazing!!

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Now, people might say this is the most important part of the meal… but again, they’d be wrong. My favorite and to me the most important part of the meal….?

The sides. And those are up tomorrow!! YUMM

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Did you guys enjoy DAY ONE’S decorations?? Some pretty great ideas in there right?

Well today we’re moving onto one of my favorite parts, setting the table and table decorations. I feel that the way the table is set can often dictate how the meal is perceived and enjoyed. Fun and interesting settings often encourage guest to act the same way.

Dont forget to check out the Pinterest board with all the Pins in this week’s roundup!!

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FALL TABLESCAPE FROM TIDBITS & TWINE:

Kim set up this really gorgeous Fall tablescape with an old rustic box, tree branches, candles and antlers. I also love ho she used un-typical flowers as the neutral color to tie everything together.

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THANKSGIVING TABLE SETTING FROM NYLA FREE DESIGNS:

This a great way to create a modern but still warm and welcoming table for Thanksgiving.

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PURPLE AND GREEN THANKSGIVING TABLE:

Love the velvety pumpkins. They bring a richness to this very simple table setting.

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SETTING A FALL TABLE:

ABSOLUTELY LOVE using the bread as the seating chart/ place card.

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FALL TABLESCAPE FROM CALL ME PMC:

Love the mix of the pumpkins and the moss in this little table set up. Bringing some great nature elements to the table in this one.

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THANKSGIVING KIDS TABLE:

Is your family SO BIG that you have to have a separate kids table? Why not dress it up so they can enjoy the fun too? Love this cute kids table idea.

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THANKSGIVING PLACE CARDS:

If you’re going to decorate your table, it probably means you’ve thought about where you want people to sit. So, why not direct your guests with some cute place cards?

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FALL FESTIVE TABLE SETTING BY KATHE WITH AN E:

Love the combination of colored glassware, solid colored plates and the patterned tablecloth in this setup!

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THANKSGIVING CENTERPIECES BY JUST IMAGINE:

LOVE LOVE LOVING the wood slices on this table setup. I’m probably going to steal this idea for my table.

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GOLD DIPPED PEAR PLACE CARDS:

GOLD is SO HOT this year. And what a simple and SUPER CHEAP way of creating place cards. You could even get faux ones and keep them for christmas or next year.

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Alright, now that we’ve got the house decorated and the tablet set we need to get int hat kitchen and get cooking! Check back tomorrow for some alternative main dish ideas… Because we all love turkey— but sometimes it’s fun to have an alternative main dish!

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Alrighty, today is DAY ONE of my FIVE DAY Thanksgiving Dinner mini-series.

Being the crafty chick I’m going to make myself comfortable and start with what I know. And that’s crafts and decor. I rounded up ten AWESOME Fall/ Thanksgiving decor ideas that I’m so excited to share. Click on the collage below to be taken straight to the Pinboard with all these sources PIN READY. 🙂

10 Awesome Thanksgiving Decor Idea // Creative Life Antics

THANKSGIVING “THANKS” BOTTLES:

Love the recycle feature of these bottles! These could be set anywhere in the house and hold everything from flowers to fall foliage/ branches and even straws. Could be a fun idea to apply to ANY event.

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THANKSGIVING BUFFET:

Kathe has done such a wonderful job replicating her inspiration with this very festive Thanksgiving Buffet! I’m just loving those amber jugs!

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CORNHUSK FALL WREATH:

Love the simplicity of this cornhusk wreath. It looks simple to create and sets just the right mood. Not too Halloween-y and not too winter-y, which is a hard combination to accomplish.

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THANKGIVING BLOCKS (GREAT KIDS CRAFT!):

These blocks are not only REALLY CUTE, but super simple! Heather and her girls were able to pull off a fun and reusable craft for years to come.

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GIVE THANKS TABLE LEAVES:

I am absolutely loving this give thanks idea! Cut leaf shapes out of craft paper and write down your thanks for the year, then spread them out to share. Would be nice to keep them year to year to see how your thanks have evolved.

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THANKSGIVING CHALKBOARD & BUNTING:

This would be a really cute “Welcome to Dinner” sign. Below it you could write the drinks or food menu, or maybe the time dinner starts to call your family away from the football game!

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GIVE THANKS PILLOW:

Love this super simply tutorial for a quick and easy holiday pillow. Not something you’d use for every day decor, but for a quick dinner party or decoration it will do the trick!

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FALL SOURDOUGH GARLAND:

These sourdough pieces make really dimensional decorations for your fireplace or windows. Love the acorns added tot he mix of colorful leaves.

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FALL NEWSPAPER WREATH:

Although this is an Etsy item, I think this would be and easily replicated idea. Taking newspaper and painting cut out leaves and layering on a wreath form. Looks SO GOOD. But, if you’re not that crafty– the price is just right!

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FALL SIGN:

I’m going to have to get myself some of that spray on chalkboard paint. I really love the rustic look.

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How about all those projects? Loving the directions each of these are headed. Do you have any Thanksgiving decorations? Show-em!

Check back tomorrow for DAY TWO (TABLESETTINGS!)

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So Mother’s Day is fast approaching (three weeks!) and if you’re like me, you usually forget the holiday until the weekend before. Well, this year I’ making it a point to stop last-minute gift giving and put some more thought into this.

Mom, if you’re reading this now, please close your browser and ignore this post till after May 12th. 🙂

See below some options I’m considering for my own Mothers (mom & stepmom) this Mother’s Day.

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#1. I’ve been drooling over Kendra Scott‘s jewelry pretty much every week since I signed up for her email updates, and this bracelet is an item I’ve been eyeing myself. CREATIVE IDEA: get two, one for you and one for mom it’ll be a special piece that you each own (sign up for the emails to get coupons sent to you each week). 

#2. I love the color of these simple drop earrings crafted by Anugrah. Check out the rest of their Etsy shop too, worth the clicks!

#3. CREATIVE IDEA: Flowers are always a Mother’s Day staple, but liven it up this year by adding them to a pretty vase. I love this one found at Anthropologie. Plus, unlike the flowers, this vase lasts till next year.

#4. Spent the last how many years buying your Mom Jewelry? Then she probably needs a pretty box to keep it in. This glass box from Crate & Barrel is quite lovely. CREATIVE IDEA: Write out a hand written note on some pretty paper, and stick some dried flowers in the box before wrapping. Not only will she get the box, but the note and flowers will make her smile.

#5. Etsy has some really wonderful shops that have gift sets for almost every occasion. This gift set from Sweet Bee Honey caught my eye. It includes honey & oats cold processed soap, a lavender round lotion bar, a mint & cocoa lip balm, a garden leaves pillar, 6 oz. of creamed honey (yummy) and a sunflower candle. Perfect for the Mom that loves soaps and candles.

#6. I purchased these earrings for my Mom for Christmas actually and the loved them! Buy them in her favorite color and wrap up with a pretty bow. Crafted by Dorota Jewelry.

#7. These pears from SkyeArt are perfect for the Mother that loves sentimental knickknacks to display. My Mother would LOVE the handmade quality and personal message.

#8. If your mom isn’t the jewelry, soaps or decor type she’ll probably love this idea. Coupons for dinner out, household chores and for you to customize created by Pera Press. CREATIVE IDEA: Coupons pair nicely with flowers, so if your Mom is of the green thumb variety buy a plant from a local nursery and let her know that one of the coupons is good for a sunny afternoon of planting and weeding her garden. 

#9. This simple necklace created by KiraKira is sophisticated and neutral. Something that Mom will be able to wear with almost everything.

#10. When a Mom’s day is winding down help her get some extra shut-eye with this colorful and practical eye mask from Aroma Home. It’s filled with soothing lavender flowers. CREATIVE IDEA: Put this eye mask in a basket with a book from her favorite author, a candle and some lotion for the ultimate pamper gift.

What are your plans for Mother’s Day? Do you have a yearly tradition?

I’ll check back in three weeks with what I put together for the lovely ladies in my life.

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