Rainy weekend

If you had told me my second ever blog post would include cooking I would have said you were crazy! Cooking is NOT a passion of mine. But with Hurricane/tropical storm/Frankenstorm Sandy rolling through, I’ve been trapped inside for a few days. We’ve been really lucky, we’re just getting heavy rain and some wind, so thankfully we still have power. And I figured it might be nice to have something yummy to eat if the power did go out.

Cooking was really the last thing I wanted to do. Of course, I had been dying to go shopping. I even called to see if my favorite store was open–it was but I just couldn’t let myself be “that girl”. You know, the one who is so obsessed that she will go out in a hurricane, snowstorm, etc., just so she can browse shoes or try out some new makeup. I always hated “that girl” when I worked in retail in college–I remember always thinking, ” Just go home already so we can close this place!”

So anyhoo, I had to do something to keep myself from going stir crazy. So first I made my favorite lasagne recipe. And I took my time with it, since for once I had plenty of time. I actually enjoyed it. And it was so completely delicious once it cooled off. I was trying to save it to eat with my husband for dinner but I couldn’t resist eating a ginormous piece.

Mozarella heaven!
I’ve been making my lasagne for a few years now and I’ve got it down to a simple science. I start by chopping an entire yellow onion and browning it with 1lb of lean ground beef in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once the meat is brown I drain it and then add 1lb can of crushed tomatoes, 2 small cans of tomatoe paste, 2 cups of water, a tablespoon each of salt, sugar, minced garlic, and oregano leaves. Then I add 1 teaspoon of black pepper and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until it thickens.  I spray a large pan with cooking spray and I layer the thickened sauce with pre-cooked lasagne noodles. Seriously, taking the boiling of the noodles out of the equation makes this whole thing so darn easy. I like a lot of cheese so I used about 2 cups shredded mozarella per layer. The one above had three full layers.
 
Once I was done with the lasagne, I started part two of my plan to not lose my mind, crafting! Now I actually love crafting. It literally lowers my blood pressure and I can zone out for a bit. I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year (AHHHH!) and I want everything to be wonderful. I wanted something small but pretty to use as a table arrangement and I saw this idea online.  I just used small craft pumpkins from Michael’s, two small candles, a few faux leaf branches and a hot glue gun.
Ta-Da!!

I just cut the top out of the pumpkin so that the candle fits snugly inside. Then I used craft pliers to snip off the silk leaves and hot glued them around the base of the candle, adding the berries in last so they would cover up any clumps of hot glue.  And voila!! I can light the candles and add these to my table runner for a pretty arrangement that I can say “I made myself!”

The small craft pumpkin is perfect for a centerpiece so I won’t have to crane my neck to see my guests! Now I just have to worry about the turkey…….

 
 
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Country Roads, Take Me Home!

I grew up in a small town in the mountains of Virginia. While you will hear me complain that there were no fun places to shop/pretty much nothing to do, I will also quickly admit that what Luray lacks in enertainment it makes up for in beautiful scenery. I went home this weekend for a housewarming party and I lucked out–this weekend just happened to be “peak weekend”, meaning the leaves are at their most colorful before they fall off the trees and it suddenly becomes barren until spring. It was a totally gorgeous weekend.

The view outside my sister’s home

I actually really enjoy going home. I get to see family, visit my old haunts, AND I get to break out my fun casual outfits. I always feel like Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama. She’s all business in the wardrobe department until she gets home, and then it’s all dresses and cowboy boots! The crisp weather and the country-fied location made it the perfect place to break out my awesome new wedge boots [from J. Crew Factory store]. 

Rocking the wedge boots with a casual dress and jean jacket. I’m a sucker for a broken-in jean jacket. So comfy!

Lace up Wedge boots

Did I mention the versatility in these babies?? The look equally cute with jeans and skirts. And they’re soooo walkable.

The evenings are a little too cold for bare legs. I love these boots with skinny cuffed jeans.

I so enjoyed my weekend in Luray and the perfect weather. It’s impossible to capture the vibrant leaves in photos, you kind of have to see it in person. 

My mom and I like to go walking on the “Greenway”.