Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Easy Minestrone Soup

Fall is on the horizon, and soup has been sounding so good! The other night I wanted something that was light, but also hearty with vegetables.  I've never made Minestrone soup, but I thought it sounded really good. So off to Google I went and found this 30 min recipe from Taste Of Home (click for the original recipe), it sounded perfect to me! Of course I didn't have every single ingredient, so I adjusted it to my likings and what we had on hand. I didn't put any meat in it, and D actually loved it! So this my friends is a keeper recipe, and I can't wait to make it again. I also made a batch of simple biscuits to go with it. Yummm!

Here is the definition of Minestrone Soup from wikipedia:
Minestrone (literally big soup) is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.
The great thing about Minestrone soup is you can adapt it to your likings, and even make it completely vegetarian by using Vegetable Stock/Broth instead of Beef.

Easy Minestrone Soup - (adapted from Taste of Home)
serves approx 6
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons canola oil
5 1/2 cups water
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can green beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
2/3 cup cooked elbow macaroni or favorite pasta (I used spiral)
Salt & Pepper to taste (be generous with both)
Italian Seasoning to taste
Shredded Italian Cheese (optional)
1. In a large saucepan, saute carrots, onions, and garlic in canola oil for 5 minutes.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients, except for the pasta: Water, Beef Bouillon cubes, Diced Tomatoes, Green Beans, and Kidney Beans.
3. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are soft.
4. In the meantime boil noodles until al dente.
5. Add in noodles, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning (to taste).
6. Pour some in a bowl, sprinkle with some italian cheese blend (optional), and enjoy!
This soup was just as good the next day as it was fresh! You can see from the original recipe that I had to add in more water & bouillon cubes. There wasn't enough liquid for it to be a soup.
Are you ready for fall, and for all of the yummy food that it brings? I can't wait!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Aimee's Bridal Shower Recap

Aimee's shower was last weekend, as you noticed from the last 2 posts that had some of the decoration details.  Here is a snapshot of the invitations I created on Vistaprint...

I think they turned out really cute, and stayed within the theme of Purple, Silver, & Damask Print. Aimee loved how they turned out!! And Vistaprint is always have super bargains, so we got them pretty cheap too!

Here are some pictures from Aimee's Bridal Shower....

Welcome Chalkboard
Instead of a Guest Book, we had the guests leave some Marriage Advice
for Aimee or well wishes. I going to put them in a little mini scrapbook
album and give it to her for her to keep.
The Bride with her Bridesmaids
Melanie, Tasha, Aimee (the bride), Me, Michelle, and Julia

The Bride & her Mom

The Bride & flower girl Ella

Matron of Honor (me) & The Bride!

Aimee reading each wine bottle. Us Bridesmaids created & gave her a wine occasion gift basket.
This was spotted on Pinterest with a thanks to
The link posted has a free printable so you can create your own!
All of us again, with the cute basket! She loved it!!

Her Mom, Aimee, and Future Mother-in-Law

Eiffel Tower Centerpiece

Pretty cupcakes 

Drink & Cupcake Set up with Miss to Mrs Banner

Overall the shower went really well! Aimee got a lot of great gifts from her registry, and some personalized ones as well. We didn't play any games, as requested by the bride (we aren't a fan of them either!), but we did go around the room and introduce ourselves and say how we knew Aimee. It was nice for me, because I only knew the bridesmaids, and a couple other people in the room. It was nice to finally put names to faces.  We are now getting ready for the bachelorette party which is October 6th, except we aren't doing any fancy decor. However, I was in charge of creating the invitations, which should arrive any day.  I am so excited to show those to you!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DIY Bridal Shower Centerpieces: Eiffel Tower Vases & Glitter Tulle Poms

The next project from Aimee's shower that I'm going to share with you are the centerpieces. These were fairly simple, and pretty inexpensive. 

Aimee loves anything "Paris" and I wanted to bring in a few touches of Paris to her shower. At Hobby Lobby they had these colorful Eiffel tower shaped vases, the orange ones were actually on clearance, but the others weren't. So I picked up those 2 for $1.20 each, originally $5.99. The next time I went back they only had 1 pink one on the shelf for 50% off (on sale), making it $2.99. The store manager wasn't sure if they were getting anymore in, so I ordered the other 3 online, getting them 40% off, total of $15.57 for all 3. I didn't care what color they were when I bought them, because I had plans to spray paint them silver, since her colors are purple & silver. They turned out so cute, I just love them and so did Aimee!! She is going to try and reuse them at the wedding, which I think will be perfect!!

To create the "poof" that is sitting in the Eiffel tower vases, I used the same method I used to create the DIY Tulle Poms at Maycee's 1st Birthday. I purchased the glittered purple tulle from C.O.D. Wholesale, and I think I am a little bit obsessed. Seriously, too pretty! Anyways, back to the project. :) After I created the pom-pom, I wanted it to sit on top of the Eiffel tower vases, so I ordered 2 wooden dowels from Hobby Lobby. In all honesty you could purchase these at your local hardware store, but ours didn't have any. I had my hubby cut them down to the correct size, put a little hot glue on the end and stuck the poof on the dowel. Viola! They turned out to be so cute and sparkly, and I LOVE sparkly!! I was able to make 6 pom-pom's out of 1 roll of tulle for $4.95.

add a little hot glue to the dowel, and viola!

all 6 finished!

Breakdown of the centerpieces:
Eiffel Tower Vases = 6 for $19.76 (normally $35.94)
Silver Spray Paint (only used half, will use for other projects) = $5.99/2 = $3.00
Glitter Tulle = $4.95
Dowels = 2 for $1.18
Total cost for each centerpiece (6) = $4.82 each

all finished at the party!

I'm glad I found the 2 Eiffel tower vases on clearance, that helped saved some money. And I'm so glad I found that glitter tulle, I think it's my new fav!! :)

Linking up too....
It's A Blog Party
Today's Creative Blog
The Shabby Chic Cottage
Somewhat Simple
Lovely Crafty Home
The Sisters of the Wild West
Polka Dots on Parade
Ginger Snap Crafts
How To Nest For Less
Six Sisters Stuff
Sugar Bee Crafts
BruCrew Life
Semi Homemade Mom

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Miss to Mrs Bridal Shower Banner

Sorry for the little hiatus, I've been pretty busy lately! One of my best friends, Aimee, bridal shower was this past weekend.  Everything turned out great, and I couldn't be more happy for her!

I was in charge of the decorations & invites for the shower, and today I wanted to share with you the banner I created. It is a Miss to Mrs banner, and I think it turned out so cute!  I created it similar to Maycee's 1st Birthday Banner, but it's also a little different.

Her wedding colors are Purple, Silver, with pops of damask print. So I went with Purple, and Silver Damask print scrapbook paper. I cut out the purple a little bit bigger, and then cut out the silver a little bit smaller than the purple and the letters in the center. So instead of using vinyl for the letters, I cut them out of the 2nd layer of paper. After everything was cut out, I glued it all together and taped it to a piece of clear fishing string. I didn't have any ribbon on hand, so the fishing line worked perfect! I used my Sophisticated cartridge for the shapes, chandeliers, & the letters.

upclose of the 2 papers I used for the banner

Linking up too....
It's A Blog Party
Today's Creative Blog
The Shabby Chic Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Lovely Crafty Home
The Sisters of the Wild West
Polka Dots on Parade
Ginger Snap Crafts
How To Nest For Less
Six Sisters Stuff
Not So Homemade
Sugar Bee Crafts
BruCrew Life
Semi Homemade Mom