Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The One Room Challenge: Week One

It's that time of year again for the One Room Challenge. I had so much fun last spring making over my office space that I've decided to join in again this time around. I contemplated a few rooms in my own home but eventually decided to ask my friend/client from this past project if she wanted me to work on her daughter's room for the challenge. We had been talking about giving it a makeover for a while now so we both thought this would be the perfect push to get it done.
Ava is about to turn 8 and requested horses, pink, and princesses, however her mom wants it to be a space that will grow with her over the next few years and beyond. Here are some before pictures...

We will work in a new paint color, such as a neutral grey that will work down the road as she gets older, some new bedding, a new rug, some storage pieces including a new dresser, and baskets to hold her favorite toys, artwork, and a new nightstand. The accessories will be the fun part and bring in the things she loves the most. The board below is what we are working off of. I've called it an Equestrian Princess design. I think it fits her perfectly.

Ava's Equestrian Princess Room

Ava's Equestrian Princess Room by winderandmain featuring a hat coat rack

The best part of all of this, is her mom wants to keep the whole design a surprise for her (it's part of her birthday gift). She knows her room will be made over but she doesn't know any of the details. I will try to capture a video of the reveal and share it with you on here if I can figure it out, if not I'll post it to instagram. I can't wait to see her face!

Next week I'll share some of the pieces we've found already! Follow along on Instagram for some sneak peeks!


click here to check out the rest of the ORC.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Recipe: Chicken Pasta in a Creamy Wine Sauce.

Back in High School I went to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant here in DownTown Disney and being a vegetarian, I ordered my favorite dish of Fettuccine Alfredo. It was the best Fettuccine Alfredo I had ever had! It tasted like there was maybe some chicken broth to it or something but it was definitely different from any other I had had in the past and I was hooked. I've tried homemade Alfredo sauces before but I couldn't get it to come out right and the heavy whipped cream called for in so many of them always makes me feel sick afterwards. So about a month ago I decided to give my hand at my own made up recipe and it happened to be one of the biggest crowd pleas-ers for my family that I have ever served them, maybe still second best to McDonalds but I'll take it! Everyone had seconds and some had thirds!

Chicken and Pasta in a Creamy Wine Sauce:

ingredients: 2-3 chicken breasts tenderized and cut in half
1 lb of pasta (I prefer penne rigate)
3 tbs of minced garlic
olive oil (enough to cover bottom of pan your using)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine (I usually use chardonnay)
1 1/2-1 3/4 cups of regular whipping cream
6 oz of shaved, shredded, or grated fresh Parmesan cheese (I prefer the shaved)
Italian seasoning (or just oregano, salt, and pepper)
1/2 tbl of butter per chicken breast half

The first time I made this I eyeballed things and just kind of threw things in the pan I thought would taste good, this is pretty much how I do all of my cooking which is why I'm probably not the best chef but it's more fun for me. However I know some people have to have measurements or it drives them in sane so I did my best to measure everything the other night when I made it so I could share the recipe with you all.

Pour the olive oil into a large pan, enough to cover the bottom, and add the minced garlic over medium heat until it begins to caramelize.

Place chicken in the pan and brown both sides, about 4-5 mins each side.

Once each side is browned, place chicken in an oven safe dish and turn oven to 350.

Season both sides of chicken with Italian seasoning and place in oven once the oven is ready. Bake for 25 min. (you may have to bake longer depending on how thick your chicken is)

In the same pan as you browned the chicken, add the chicken broth and white wine to the garlic and oil that is leftover and simmer around medium heat. I burnt my garlic a little so your liquids shouldn't turn as brown as mine have, but if they do it still tastes just as good! (Also isn't my new whisk adorable??!! I found it on clearance at Anthropologie for less than $8... go get one!) Right about now you'll want to put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Once the water is boiling, add a good amount of salt and then the pasta, and cook until pasta is done.

After the broth and wine have simmered for about 5 minutes, add the whipping cream. You can use the heavy stuff if you prefer but I have found the regular is much lighter and we prefer it over the heavy in our home. Keep whisking it throughout while you wait for the pasta to cook. If you want the sauce to be a little thicker, you can add a couple tablespoons of flour to it but I don't think it's necessary.

Once pasta is cooked and drained, poor it into the pan with your sauce and mix it together.

Then add the Parmesan cheese to the top. You can either mix it here or leave it and begin dishing it out. Also if you don't have any vegetarians, this would be where you can cut up the chicken and add it to the pan as well. Since I don't eat meat or chicken, I serve it on the side and whoever wants to mix it together can and those who like to eat each separately can (I have one son who has to have each in a separate bowl... he gets that trait from his uncle!)

Serve with some crusty bread and a salad. 

If you end up making this let me know how it turns out and if you added anything to it! Bon Apetit!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Our Vermont Trip Part 3- On the Town.

We did quite a bit during our trip to Vermont. On our first day we went to my favorite place, up top of Mt Mansfield  in Stowe, which happens to be the tallest mountain in Vermont. We have always taken the gondolas up but because there were so many of us and it's too cheap of a ride, we opted to take the Toll Road which was an adventure in itself. Very very narrow roads and very very winding. I'm so glad I left the driving to daddyo, especially when we met another car coming down!

That's a cliff just outside the window there. 

Once we drove as far as we could, we decided to take a quick hike on the trail.

We didn't really dress for the occasion of hiking as we had all expected to take the gondolas up until my dad mentioned last minute that we should drive. We may have been the first ever to climb part of the mountain in sandal and flip flops!

Our whole crew at the top.

Liam and Evan have never been to the top of the mountain, and Ian was only 5 months old last time we went up so I was so happy to get all of my boys to my favorite place on top of the world! There used to be Alpine Slides which we always visited when I was growing up but a few years ago they did away with them. They now have a zip line... We almost did it and then I chickened out. Flying down a mountain didn't exactly sound like my kind of thing, maybe next time.

There was still a little bit to go up but would have been too hard for the babies so after everyone began back my aunt suggested we ditch them and finish climbing. So we did!

We would have stayed up there all day but were afraid they'd all send a search party looking for us. And here's proof I wore sandals... Only a Florida girl!

No trip to the Stowe area is complete without a visit to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. The house we rented is just 5 minutes from here... that made it dangerous!

Every time we go I get a picture of the kids on these steps. I now have 4 pictures, each time with a new child in it.

This guy doesn't even like ice cream but he did like my mom's Mango sorbet. I think he ended up stealing most of it!

He loves coins so he had to add this imprinted penny to his collection.

Somewhere I have a picture of the 2 of us in this exact photo op taken 10 years ago, except I was very very pregnant!

The babies did it the best though!

One day while our parents and hubbies were golfing, my sister and I took the boys to Main St. Stowe which is about 15 minute car ride from the house. If you don't know about Stowe, it is voted one of the quaintest towns in America. It is perfect!

Full of bed and breakfast lodging places, cafes, and general stores.

This church steeple is the iconic symbol of the town, and seen everywhere on art and souvenirs.

We ate lunch here at the Cafe on Main. I had a chipotle black bean burger which was delicious! It's a tiny place but so good! Lots of good shopping here too!

 For Hubby's birthday date, I stole him away from the farmhouse and we traveled back to Stowe where we rented some bikes. We've never taken a bike ride together but I think it's made us want to do more scenic bike ride dates in the future. My family and I used to rent bikes and ride the trail when I was younger. It's so much fun and you can see things you can't from just riding in a car.

We stopped a few times to visit the banks of the river that flows through the town.

In the background you can see Mt Mansfield.

On the trail you see lots of river scenes...

And lots of fields with the mountains or lodging resorts in the background. Also all of the restaurants that happen to back up to the trail have back entrances for those coming from the trail instead of by car, with a place to park your bikes and everything.

For lunch we ate at Grazers which boasted gourmet burgers. I had a black bean burger again. I debated between that and the salmon burger but after having a salmon burger at Cow Fish, I'm usually disappointed in others. We ate outside with this view.

And since we didn't have any kids around we got us some ice cream cones at The Scoop Shop next door and could actually finish them before they melted!

On our way "home", we stopped at Cold Hollow Cider Mill to pick up some apple cider donuts as a thank you to our family for watching our monsters boys. Soooo good!!! I wanted to buy more before we left to bring home. The lady there said they freeze well but we never ended up getting there. This was actually less than 5 minutes from the house we were staying in. There's also a restaurant which I didn't know about otherwise we probably would have eaten there for lunch. But seriously if you go to Stowe/ Waterbury area, make sure you pick up some donuts!!

On our last day we visited another favorite stop, Emily's Bridge. It's a popular haunt in Vermont. The story goes that Emily was left at the alter on her wedding day. She was so devastated that she ran off and jumped off this bridge and died (she must have hit her head because it's not deep at all). Anyway, she haunts the bridge looking for an eligible bachelor to spend the rest of her life with. Some say their car has stopped in the middle of the bridge without explanation and others say after driving on the bridge they notice hand prints all over their car. Make believe or not, I had one who was not too happy about walking or driving over the bridge. I may have had to bribe him to stand there to take a picture.

Below the bridge along the creek bank.

My dad really wanted to take the older boys hiking so we found a trail near by that wasn't too long called Sterling Falls Gorge. This cobblestone house was near the trail start. Not sure if it is a private home or what but it was adorable and took all I had not to walk over there and explore more!

At the bottom of the trail near the small waterfall.

The larger waterfall.

We had to pass this bridge on the way up to the trail and it asked me to take it's picture.

Our last night there we were recommended The Blue Stone for dinner. I thought it was pretty good as well as everyone else I think. This was located in Main St. Waterbury.

While we waited for the pizza, Ev was getting a bit crazy so we went for a little walk and discovered some train tracks just down the street.

And then we had to bring brother back to show him too.

And like I said before, our house was very close to Ben and Jerry's so we made one last stop there afterwards for dessert.

Peace, Love, and Ice Cream... it should be everyone's mantra!!!