What’s Cooking Wednesday: Cucumber Salad

This is one of my FAVORITE things to eat. I first had it at my mother-in-law’s house, and now I always look forward to visiting the in-laws because she usually has a batch of cucumber salad on hand. When we went to their cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains for Father’s Day weekend, they thought I was weird because I ate it as a midnight snack. It’s just that good. And, it’s super simple to make.

First, chop up three cucumbers and half an onion. I actually didn’t use the full half onion in the mixture because I didn’t want it to overpower the cucumbers.

Put the veggies in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of sugar, 4 tablespoons of water, and dashes of salt and pepper.

When the sugar is completely dissolved, pour the mixture over the cucumbers  and onions.

The end result? Yummy cucumber salad! Seriously, this whole bowl might be gone before my husband gets home from work!

Ingredients:
3 cucumbers
1/2 onion
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
4 TBSP water
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Slice cucumber and chop onion. Combine in bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
3. Pour liquid over cucumbers and onions. Store in refrigerator.

Princess Party Plans

We are ALL princess in our house (we like them all – we don’t discriminate), so obviously we’re  having a princess party this year for Lucy’ 4th birthday party. In fact, all her little friends are having princess parties this year, so I’m trying to really differenciate her party from all the others. I want it to be chic, pretty and fun.

Since Lucy’s birthday is in November, we’re having it at our house, which is fairly small, so I have to figure out how to work with what I have when it comes to decorating.

So, here are some ideas I’ve picked out so far from Pinterest:

birthday decor

{Photo Credit}

I LOVES THIS TABLE. Seriously. I know it looks really busy, but I’m thinking I’ not going to have the “Happy Birthday” banner hanging on the front, and I’m going to move the frame to the side table in our living room. I love the background board, which I’m planning on hanging in Lucy’s room when her party is over. I found a black crown and, while I was thinking about spray painting it white, I think I might leave it black. Or, I might spray paint it pink. I only want to do white if it can have a distressed look and, since I’m not good at that kind of thing, I may opt for a different color.

party decor ideas 1

{Photo Credit}

I’ve always loved tissue paper pompoms. I tried making them for one of Lucy’s prior parties, but I kind of sucked at it, so I’m thinking about ordering a few – a mix of pink and yellow since we’re going with a Beauty and the Beast theme – off Etsy. I’ve been told it’s easy to fluff them out, so I’m hoping I won’t mess them up too much!

party decor ideas 2

{Photo Credit}

I’m also loving this table decor, so obviously I need a way to have two tables! The first table pictured will be the food table; this one will be the decor/possible present table. I think we’re going to move the side table out and use our folding table for this one. I love how it looks like Belle’s dress, which will go so perfectly with the theme!

party decor ideas 3

{Photo Credit}

How cute would this be as a decoration?? I just need to find a carriage like this! After the party, this can go in Lucy’s room for decoration.

party decor ideas 4

{Photo Credit}

This is what I want for the front door! And, after the party, it can also be reused on Lucy’s bedroom door!

party decor ideas 5

{Photo Credit}

How cute is this as another decoration?? It looks fairly simple to make, though I will probably use a red rose. Love it! And, again, something else we can put in Lucy’s room later.

party decor ideas 6

{Photo Credit}

And, of course, the cake! I am loving this one! I’ll probably make cupcakes with lemon frosting to go along with it.

So, those are my ideas so far. I totally see this in my head, and it looks awesome; I just hope I can make it work the way I envision it! And, I love that most everything can be reused in Lucy’s room – that totally makes them worth the money!

Five on Friday: Working and Cooking

Whew. It has been a CRAZY week! I am SO glad it’s the weekend, and I can just relax and think about NOTHING! I decided to link up with Five on Friday today to give you a taste of what’s been going on this week since, you know, I’ve been so crazy busy that I’ve been slacking on my blog. Seriously. I WILL start posting more regularly again SOON!

ONE
Work has been crazy. As you may or may not know, I work from home now as a blogger VA (virtual assistant). I’ve been meaning to write a post dedicated to this but, well, I just haven’t had time. I work for several blogs and post various numbers posts per blog per day. It’s fun, and I’d be looking up the deals anyway, so why not get paid for it?

I try to get most if not all of my work done at night so I have the days with Lucy. But, for the last few weeks, I’ve been freelancing for a news website, so I have been SLAMMED trying to get everything done – especially since I’ve had a big story pop up over the last day. I’m liking the extra money, but I’ll be glad when my life returns to normal.

IMAG3354

TWO
I tried a new recipe this week – this one, to be exact. Joe took a look in the crockpot and said, “By the way, I cleaned up cat throw up this morning. I don’t know why your dinner made me think of that.”

Seriously. For the record, it was great. My lentils could have been a little more tender, but I’ve never been good at cooking lentils for some reason.

IMAG3353

THREE
We saw Beauty and the Beast on Sunday! My kiddo was SO enthralled, even though the performance was 2 1/2 hours long. And, she met Belle! Best moment ever. Until, you know, her birthday party, that is!

IMAG3332

FOUR
Speaking of her birthday party – I’ve been doing some serious planning this week. Yes, I know her birthday isn’t until November, but I’m a planner! I have been working on coming up with the decor scheme I want to do and figuring out what I need to order off Etsy. I’ll have a more detailed most coming soon with more pictures!

birthday decor

 

{Photo Credit}

FIVE
I am LOVING the Ipsy Glam Bags I’ve started to get! I’ll be doing a post on last month’s box soon – hopefully before this month’s box comes! If not, I’ll show them both to you at once. Last month was my first month, and I seriously cannot wait to get this month’s! I love the variety of beauty items I get and the low price – only $10! And, they come in a cute makeup bag rather than a box!

IMAG3276

What have y’all been up to this week??

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Spanish Rice

One of our favorite nights is taco night. We usually make tacos once a week or so because they’re so easy, filling and relatively healthy (we use beans instead of meat).

Obviously, we like to have rice with them, but I got to the point where I didn’t like some of the packaged versions of Spanish rice. They just didn’t turn out right. So, we decided to try to make it on our own. And, boy, is our version FANTASTIC! It’s super easy to make (think as easy as making instant rice), and so yummy and spicy.

First, boil 1 cup of water. Then, add 1 cup salsa and 1 cup rice.

Leave on heat for about three minutes, then stir, cover and take off burner. Let rice sit as you would if you were making instant rice. The end result? Yummy, spicy rice!

One cup makes a TON of rice. My husband and I usually can’t finish a pot between the two of us. It’s really good reheated the next day, though!

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup salsa
1 cup rice

Directions:
Boil water, then add salsa and rice. Leave on heat for three minutes, then remove and let sit as you would instant rice. For ingredienst find the deals from weekly ads.

Tips for Selling Online

With online stores, you have to be careful about how you design your product catalog and the way that you organize products to complement one another. If you have plans to sell online with an ecommerce site, you’re already ahead of many businesses that don’t have an online store as part of their advertising and marketing strategy. However, there are quicker and easier ways to get an ecommerce site set up. For one you, you can sell online with 1ShoppingCart. This is a store builder which usually can get a store online and set up within a matter of hours depending on the amount of items that you have to list online. You can organize your store the way that you want, create categories and search functions, install a secure shopping cart, use SSL certificates and take advantage of mobile ecommerce. If you’ve ever shopped online with your phone, you know how much of a convenience it can be to work with sites that have a mobile interface.

When setting up a store for the first time or even if you are planning a complete redesign, it’s important to consider how you’re going to use marketing tools to increase sales and understand your target audience. With social media and sharing options, it’s easy to see how audiences are viewing and liking your content, but marketing tools take it a step further. These tools allow you to create poignant marketing campaigns based on customer buying and viewing patterns on your store. This is essential for getting ahead in the competitive online marketplace.

Beauty and the Beast

On Sunday, we took Lucy to see Beauty and the Beast, performed by the Senior High Theatre Camp in town. Lucy had been looking forward to this and talking about it for like a week leading up to it, so we were all pretty psyched.

Of course, she went dressed as Belle. Everyone there just “oohed” and “aahed” over here because, well, she was ridiculously adorable!

Beauty and the Beast Collage

The play was 2 1/2 hours long (apparently, the theatre version includes more songs than the movie. I totally didn’t notice that when we saw it performed in Atlanta), and Lucy was a trooper. She was enamored the whole time, and our favorite part was when she looked at Joe with a HUGE smile on her face and said, “Belle LOOKED at me!” We both kind of teared up at that. So freaking cute.

After the play, we went to the Encore Room to meet Belle! Lucy was SO excited, and Belle just gushed over Lucy’s dress. Lucy said, “You did good job” and hugged her, which Belle loved. So stinking cute!

IMAG3332

Also, if she was excited about that, she’ll probably die at her birthday party. I’ll just say this: someone wearing that exact Belle dress will be making an appearance!