On My Mind...Lately

March 27, 2015
Happy Friday y'all!  Is it spring yet?  It still looks like winter here in Maryland, but I know consistently warm weather is right around the corner!  Below are some of the things that have piqued my interest this past week.

1.  Golden Easter Eggs.  


I can't remember the last time I decorated an Easter egg, but these gold leafed eggs that were featured in the current issue of Southern Living make me want to guild some this Easter.

2.  A Little More Kindness.


I saw this saying on Pinterest this week and it really spoke to my heart.  All of us are doing the best we can to live happy and full lives, and it would be nice if onlookers would just be nice and less quick to judge.  Plus it's orange and pink which is always a fun color combo :)

3.  Kate Spade Luggage.



Did you see that Kate Spade is selling luggage now?  I'm IN LOVE with this carry-on bag.  It's so pretty and playful and green!

4.  Palm Beach, Florida.


I visited Palm Beach for the first time last week right before we left Miami.  I felt like a fish out of water surrounded by all those fancy people and fancy stores...but Worth Avenue sure was a pretty street to look at!  I'm really missing the warm weather and palm trees because it's still so darn cold here in Maryland!

5.  Disco Ball Succulent Planters.


Did you see Laurel from A Bubbly Life's DIY disco ball planters?  I think they are adorable and they look like they are really easy to make too!

Are you following Life with a Dash of Whimsy on Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Twitter and Facebook yet?  I'd love for you to join me there!

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Lemon Curd 5 Ways

March 25, 2015
Have you ever eaten lemon curd?  It's one of my favorite things to eat, although I must admit that before I tried it for the first time I wasn't quite sure how to eat it.  Is it like jam?  What do I put it on?  I tend to use it the same way every time (option number 1 below), so I rounded up some delicious ways to expand my lemon curd usage a bit.  If you've never tried lemon curd before or if you are searching for a new way to use it, read on for some tasty new recipes that use this delicious, lemony goodness.

1.  Waffles with Lemon Curd and Fruit.  


This is how I eat lemon curd most of the time.  I pop some frozen multi-grain waffles into the toaster and then immediately cover them with lemon curd once they're nice and toasty.  Then I top it with berries.  It's so delicious and one of the best ways to start the day!

2.  Lemon Curd Mousse.  


Doesn't this mousse by The Kitchen McCabe look delicious?

3.  Lemon Bar Muddy Buddies.  


I'm crazy about the chocolate version of "puppy chow," but this lemon version by Lemon Tree Dwelling sounds pretty amazing.

4.  Crepes with Lemon Curd and Greek Yogurt Filling with Blueberry Sauce.  


I don't know why I've never thought to mix lemon curd and Greek yogurt, but I'm definitely going to try it out soon.  It sounds like a tart, creamy match made in heaven!  These crepes by Yummy Mummy Kitchen look so good.

5.  Lemon Curd Trifle with Berries.


A trifle is my go-to dessert when I attend a potluck.  It's easy to make and it's really pretty too!  This lemon curd version by A Hint of Honey is entirely homemade (and it looks amazing!), but if you're short on time you can just use store-bought lemon curd, poundcake and whipped cream.

Inspired to make something lemony now?  I know I am!   

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Vintage Crush: Blue and White Gourd Jar

March 24, 2015

It's vintage crush time, and today I'm sharing this beautiful blue and white gourd jar!  This jar could serve as the chicest cookie jar ever, but it also looks beautiful holding a bunch of spring flowers.



If you feel like you need this beautiful jar in your life, head on over to Dash Of Vintage Whimsy on Etsy.  For just $65 you can add this beautiful and unique chinoiserie jar to your own home!  (I added 6 new items yesterday (all under $50), so don't miss the new arrivals!)

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Spring Cleaning Made Easy

March 23, 2015

Spring is finally here, which means it's time for a little spring cleaning!  To tell you the truth, I'm not a huge fan of cleaning (especially floors or bathrooms), but a little bit of cleaning and organizing can provide a huge sense of relief and accomplishment.  Below are a few easy spring cleaning suggestions that will help you clean up your life and your home:

1.  Clean up your Inbox.  How many of you get at least 50 junk emails a day?  I do, and it drives me nuts.  I don't even look at the majority of them, and because I hate seeing a little number over the email icon on my iPhone I'm constantly deleting these promotional emails.  The past few days I've been unsubscribing from these emails as the come in.  I know many of them will continue to come, but it's strangely satisfying how taking the time to unsubscribe from clutter can feel.

2.  Clean out your Car.  I'm notorious for having a cluttered car.  In my opinion it's much too cold in the winter to clean out the car so the junk has been piling up.  Lots of water bottles, too many lululemon shopping bags to count (I use them for groceries), and various winter weather clothing items have worn out their welcome.  This past weekend it was sunny and almost warm so I cleared out all the junk that shouldn't be in there and I organized the items that I like to keep in the car.  Next stop will be to get my car washed and detailed.

3.  Clean out your Coat Closet.  Coats take up a lot of space, so pack them up if space is at a premium in your home.  Rotating out your winter clothes is also a great way to make room for spring and summer clothes!

4.  Donate what you Don't Need.  It's difficult to part with clothing, knickknacks, etc....which is why many of us end up with all sorts of things that don't fit, aren't in style or simply don't "work" for you or your home.  Set aside an hour to walk through your home and pull out the things you don't need or love anymore.  Pack it all up in a trash bag and drop it off at your local Salvation Army or Goodwill before you get a chance to reconsider what you're getting rid of.  Once it's gone you'll likely not even miss it at all.         

5.  Clean out your Fridge.  You know you have some nasty old food lurking around in the back of your refrigerator.  We all do, and now is the time to clean it out!  Wash out those old tupperware containers, toss expired foods, and wipe down all your fridge surfaces.  Cleaning the fridge out doesn't take much time at all, and it'll help make your cooking experience much easier and less stressful.


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Bedroom Redo

March 18, 2015





One of my favorite things to do is rearrange furniture.  I almost always hurt myself while doing it (I'm currently writing this with a large scratch on my forehead), but I just get such joy when I finally get the furniture layout exactly as it should be.  We have lived in this apartment since mid-August and I've rearranged the bedroom countless times.  The shape is awkward, the room is fairly small, and I have too much furniture...and all three of these things make getting the perfect layout rather tricky.  I have flip-flopped the bedside tables over and over again, I've brought in other pieces to see if maybe those would look better, and then finally it came to me: use my desk as a side table!  


The desk had been in a decent spot, but it made the room feel cramped and Tom had to dodge it each time he got in and out of bed.  Now that it's used as my side table, the entire room feels more spacious and I don't get anxious each time I walk into the room.   I also scooted over my ugly brown dresser (this will be replaced eventually...hopefully by a vintage faux bamboo or campaign-style dresser), which opened up space and created a home for my beloved lucite console table.  And I did what any girly girl with a lucite table in their bedroom would do...I turned it into a jewelry table!  (Note: I had a gallery wall above the table but felt like I really needed a mirror over it instead.  The tassel garland is my way of covering up nail holes...not the preferred method but definitely an easy fix!)  What do you think about the new layout?  Anyone else struggle to find the perfect way to set up their bedroom?  

Below are a few pictures of my desk area when it was right in the way of my husband's path to bed...the rest of the room had been so cramped and ugly I couldn't bring myself to photograph it!  I liked having the shelves above my desk for extra storage, but it just wasn't practical (or kind to my husband) for me to leave my desk there.



Note:  Top 6 photos by Sarah Bradshaw Photography.
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Vintage Crush: Mini Gold Faux Bamboo Easel

March 17, 2015

You know what every desk needs?  A miniature gold faux bamboo easel.  It's the perfect little item to hold a small calendar, a photo, or a cute motivational print...plus it's gold, and you can never go wrong with gold.  I had two of these listed on DashOfVintageWhimsy and one sold immediately but this little guy is still hanging around waiting to grace a pretty desk or tabletop.


This one is 7.5 inches tall and is selling for just $24!  So if you're searching for the finishing touch for your glam desk set up, this might just be what you've been looking for.


Check out DashOfVintageWhimsy for more details and for other whimsical ways to add a little vintage decor to your home.

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

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Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

March 16, 2015

It's recipe time, y'all!  As I'm sure you've noticed, I rarely share recipes on the blog.  It's not because I don't have great recipes to share...it's because I HATE taking pictures of the food I cook (plus I'm normally hungry and eat it before I can take a picture), I don't really measure quantities, and I often just try to use what's in my kitchen rather than plan out a real recipe.  I love cooking and I cook dinner almost every night, but I just don't think I'm cut out to be a food blogger.  That being said, I have one of my favorite go-to soup recipes for you today!  


I grew up eating a soup similar to this at the Mexican restaurant my family likes to go to.  I moved away from home when I was 18 (when I headed up to New York to attend West Point), and over 10 years later I have yet to find a soup as good at any Mexican restaurant.  Maybe it's nostalgia, maybe it's just that good.  Probably a combination of both.  I have figured out how to recreate it though, because sometimes you just need a little taste of home...even if that comes in the form of Mexican chicken and rice soup when you're a girl from the Atlanta suburbs.

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups cooked rice
48 oz. chicken broth (one large box)
2 tomatoes, diced
juice of one lime
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño, diced (removed seed and ribs if you don't like the heat)
1/2 of a large onion, diced and sautéed 
salt and pepper to taste (sorry, I winged this and forgot to measure)
1 avocado, cubed
garnish: lime slices, cilantro, jalapeño, crumbled cotija cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place chicken breast on a pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with a little olive oil.  Bake for 35 min.  Shred with hands once cool.
Sauté onions in olive oil in a small pan to give the onions deeper flavor.  Or you can just add freshly diced onions to the soup.  It tastes good either way.
In a large dutch oven combine shredded chicken, cooked rice and next 7 ingredients.  Warm the soup over medium heat until everything is hot and mixed together.  Add avocado right before you remove from heat.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro, diced jalapeños, crumbled cotija cheese and a slice of lime.
Enjoy!

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