Colorful Meals = Healthy Meals!

    We love fruits and vegetables in our house but we are consistently trying to eat more and more of them (thus eating less of other things) We have been making an effort to make our meals as colorful as possible, which as long as the colors are natural, makes the meals healthier.

One thing we have been doing for quite some time is roasting vegetables. You can roast just about any veggie and the process completely changes them into something delicious! If you don't care for most vegetables and you have only had them boiled or steamed, try them roasted!

Tips for Roasting Vegetables
1. Higher heat for a shorter time period is the way to go. I roast the veg at a minimum of 415' F for at least    15 min. Stir, and then keep watching about every 7-10 minutes.
2. Try to cut your pieces of similar size to ensure that you don't have some barely done and then others burnt on the same pan.
3. Don't over crowd the pan. Use two if necessary. You want the air to circulate around your vegetables. It's okay to put them very close together as they will shrink, but only have one layer. Pieces that overlap will not brown properly.
4. Don't over season. I always start with Olive Oil, Kosher Salt and Ground Pepper. With something like carrots, I seldom add any other seasoning because they have such a nice sweet taste when roasted!

Here's a photo of one of our recent "Rainbow Meals!"

 Also in the picture, is a recent Pinterest find: Buttermilk Roasted Chicken, we have made this twice and loved it. Since we use chicken legs, they roast in 30 minutes. Fast and delicious!

Okay so this is totally upside down. I've tried fixing it three times and it keeps putting itself upside down. My computer is from my FIRST year of college and it is on it's very last leg. It is about to be thrown out in the back yard, I'm afraid. But, here it is: Buttermilk Roasted Chicken, Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad. See what I mean? Colors! And every bit of it REAL FOOD!

Speaking of Pinterest, I really must do a Pinterest post. 
I have tried so many recipes and loved most of them.
I hardly cook out of my cookbooks anymore. 

Except for last night, we made a Beef and Barley Stew in the Crock Pot and WOW. It was delicious! (recipe to follow) We made it in celebration of the Downton Abbey Finale. After having watched DA, I'm so mad at Julian Fellowes, Dan Stevens and the lot of them that I wish I would have opened a can of beenie weenies instead of making an 8-hour stew. Hmph.


Sprucing Up Our Nest

One of our recent house projects has been a re-do of our foyer. We painted it a beautiful soothing grey (It took WAY longer than we planned because of the condition of the walls--but then doesn't everything home-related?) Lance did an AH-Mazing job and I promise to post more pictures of the Foyer once we finish hanging everything on the walls!

And then there was this little unwanted night stand I procured from family-- the little drawer made it perfect for a foyer table!

So I started sanding... and sanding. And sanding. And I did end up priming the piece even though I failed to snap a photo of that.

Before.. or rather, during. 

                    Then came the paint. Valspar's Golden Spell at Lowe's. There was actually a slightly different shade I wanted but Lucy put her 3-year old foot down once she heard the name of this color, she said it sounded "More Magical!!" So, we went with Golden Spell and I really love it. I had trouble finding a handle to fit, as in I went to Lowe's THREE different times with a tape measure and the measurements, but each one I chose was either too big or too small. So, I'm considering taking the original handle and spray painting it. But what color? Should it be yellow to match? (I know you all have tons of time out of your day to ponder this silly little question. Ha!) So without further ado, 

Magical Indeed. 
I posted the *Ginormous* size because I Love it. 

My "New" Wreath
                        I bought this large Oval grapevine wreath because I loved the different shape and had intentions of making a fall wreath... in 2011!!!! Since then, I have done the extent of attaching a Red and Green Plaid bow at Christmas and taking it off the rest of the year. Sad. So a few weekends ago when a lifelong friend who is practically my sister came to visit for the weekend, she helped me do this wreath. And when I say she helped me, I mean she did it. While I watched her and fixed us sweet tea in Mason Jars... And I oohed and aahed. And every time she said, "Do you want it like this?" "Or like this?" I said, "ummm... whatever you think, I trust you." I knew I wanted the chevron bow. It's Chevron Burlap. Love. (One of these days when Burlap goes out of style, I'm going to be out of luck. I loved it way before it was chic and it. is. everywhere.) Have I mentioned I love this wreath? Not as much as the amazing girl who made it all happen, but almost. I smile every time I pull in the driveway.

             A few other little newer touches in our home:  On a recent weekend trip to Wake Forest, where we as a family began,  I picked up a few little cute souvenirs.
 I do. I really do. I am a firm believer in "a little bit of the real stuff" is so much better!
This little wooden sign is green and yellow and matches my kitchen perfectly.
 (Note to self: clean windows would match even better.)

Ahhh! this little one was a gift our sweet friends who still live there and have (since we left) given birth to the most adorable Red headed baby boy. We love them! And I will always treasure this sign! Although, I must say, I have recently come to the realization that Home is where you are. Period.
 It's a beautiful thing in the life of this girl. God has been doing great things in our hearts
and we are SO thankful!!!

And... our other little souvenir from NC, Curtains for our Kitchen!!
The photo is a bit dark but I'm so happy with the way they turned out.

So.. here are the details should you want to replicate (or completely avoid at all costs) our look.
Foyer Wall Paint: Valspar Grey Tempest
Foyer Table: Family Cast-off
Table Paint: Valspar Golden Spell
Orange Lamp with Burlap Shade: Hobby Lobby
(whose lamps are great but WAY overpriced unless you go on the weeks they are half off!)
Grapevine Wreath, Chevron Burlap and Flowers: Hobby Lobby
(The wreath was maybe $5.00 regular price? I love their wreaths.)
Signs: Old Magnolia Trading Company and Cotton Company in Wake Forest, NC
(Both stores are amazing for unique gifts!)
Floral Kativa Curtains: World Market-- They were 50% off so snatch them up if you want them!