Toasted Almond & Vanilla Arancini

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Breyers for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hey yall! Hope you had a great weekend:) It was a low key birthday celebration here…which was fine by me. I did a fun Sunday project yesterday with some fabric that turned out so great….I will share it with you soon. Today….a fun Labor Day picnic treat that I made along with my friends at Breyer’s….enjoy!!

When my friends at  Breyer’s wanted to send me some free ice cream and asked me to do a post for them about their Natural Vanilla ice cream…. I jumped at the chance! It is a favorite product in our house because it pleases everybody. You can add chocolate chips to it or sprinkle it with marshmallows or put some caramel on it or just have it plain jane. It is the crowd favorite! I wanted to share with you a recipe that is on the Breyer’s website that would be fun to do for a crowd.  toasted almond and vanilla arancini

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You know how I like to make things ahead and this one qualifies. Just a few simple ingredients and it is the perfect ending to a meal. Fancy enough to serve at a dinner party and easy enough to serve at a neighborhood picnic. All you will need is a few toasted nuts and some cookies and a little bit of time. I love that it is a handheld treat just pull them out when you want to serve them.  Breyer’s is committed to using only the freshest ingredients…which is the reason it remains America’s No. 1 vanilla ice cream. All Breyer’s vanilla is sourced from sustainable farmed Rainforest Alliance Certified vanilla beans. Only the best! Plus, you can easily find it at most local grocery stores. Breyer’s now sources milk and cream from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones*. You can find Breyer’s in grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99- $5.99 toasted nuts ice cream ball @cleverlyinspired       toasted nuts ice cream ball dessert @cleverlyinspired (1)   Here is how you put it together:

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place 2 (1/4 cup) scoops of Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream on a baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine almonds, hazelnuts and cookie crumbs in small bowl. Coat the frozen scoops of Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream in the nut mixture and freeze 5 minutes before serving. (Can be made and stored in advance.)

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For more ice cream inspiration goodness be sure to check out Breyers on Pinterest Breyers on Twitter Breyers on Facebook

*Suppliers of other ingredients such as cookies, candies & sauces may not be able to make this pledge. The FDA states that no significant difference has been shown between dairy derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.

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5 for the Road: meal plan

Hey yall! Are you enjoying this little series? It is funny….I’ll be driving along in my car and think….”That is a great thing to share on Friday 5 for the road…” Hope you are finding some of these little tid-bits useful:) If you have any to share…please let me know and I will pass them on!

 

I recently shared this pic on Facebook and folks loved the idea of it. Every Sunday I post our meals for the week. I love this for a few reasons….one, no one is asking me what we are eating…two, it takes one thing off my mind during the work week when things get crazy….and three, I know what to put on my grocery list—cutting down my time in the store. Win, win, win. Here is a post I did last year about some tips to getting dinner on the table….Get yourself a chalkboard…and get planning :)

 

 

meal plan

 

I love the CleanFonts App. It makes my phone text so much more enjoyable:) As odd as that sounds….it is free and on both Google play and Itunes.

 

Locals…there is the cutest shop on Frankfort that my new friend/client Cindi told me about. I have no clue what rock I have been living under….but now I know. Urban Farmhouse LLC on Frankfort. Super cute stuff!!

 

Today I turn 42. That is all I have to say about that;) Honestly…I’m not all that into birthdays….it is not that I don’t like them…I am just kind of indifferent. I will however make it my job to stop in Gigi’s cupcakes to get me some of that goodness;)

 

Since it is my bday….I thought I would give you all a gift. You can sign up all week to win Pioneer Woman’s latest cookbook that is coming out in Oct. along with a 5 qt cast iron Dutch Oven. You’re welcome;) Pass it on mkay?!?! (Email subscribers, you can enter on the blog or on my Facebook page…look for the Giveaway Tab)

 

 

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Happy weekend! If you have time….share one post that you have loved reading on CleverlyInspired. That would be a great bday present;)

xo

3 ingredient Crusty Bread Recipe

This past weekend I posted a pic of some bread that I had just finished baking. It was so stupid crazy easy that I have to share. Your family and friends will be in awe of your wicked bread master skill….for reals…

After trying a few other bread recipes I really searched high and low for one that would produce a nice light and airy bread very similar to a good sourdough bread. The recipes that I had tried in the past have come out a bit dense..like a sandwich bread. And really what I wanted was something with a lot of air pockets and a little bit of a bite. This recipe produced both of those qualities. I think that the key to this recipe is time, yeast, and patience…and  a super hot cast iron pot.  I would suggest if you’re making it for the first time or you haven’t really experimented with bread making to do it on a weekend where you might have a little bit more time and want to experiment a little bit.

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If you put your ingredients together in the evening and let it sit overnight…you will be able to bake it the next day. The air pockets come when you let the yeast bubble and do it’s thing…allowing it to sit and bloom is key:)   I love that this bread has nothing but the basics….flour, salt, yeast and water. I did use bread flour because in my past experience it is just a much smoother flour.

 

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panera ain’t got nothin on me….just sayin…;)

 

Use a high quality King Arthur bread flour for best results. The only other two ingredients you’re going to need from your pantry are yeast and salt along with some warm water.

I researched a few recipes…and technics….deciding that this one on NYTimes recipe was worth a shot. I think the key to this bread is “no touch” and the super hot cast iron dutch oven. I bought this one on Amazon…and I LOVE it!!! A fraction of the cost of those pricey ones with enamel on the outside….but yet yields the same fabulous results….

 

 

3 ingredient crusty bread recipe @cleverlyinspired (1)

3 ingredient Crusty Bread Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 3 C bread flour (you could probably use regular too)
  • ¼ tsp. rapid rise yeast
  • 1¼ t salt
  • 1⅝ warm water
Instructions
  1. In a large glass bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast.
  2. Stir in the warm water with a wooden spoon.
  3. Combine until the dough can form a messy ball.
  4. Cover with saran wrap and let sit and get happy for 12 -18 hours (overnight is great)
  5. Lightly flour your hands and turn dough onto itself a few times. Cover with wrap again 15 min.
  6. On a lightly floured cotton towel (and old pillow case is fabulous) place bread in ball shape on the towel...sprinkle with flour and cover the towel onto the bread. Sit for 2 hours. (don't use terrycloth)
  7. Heat oven 450 and place cast iron dutch oven inside. Heat it for 30 minutes.
  8. Flip dough ball into the hot dutch oven (it will look messy...all is well though)
  9. Cover and bake 30 minutes.
  10. Uncover and continue to bake 20 minutes.

You could easily over think this recipe…that is how simple it is. Literally the hardest part is letting it sit:)

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Go forth and be a bread baker:)

DIY Printer Cover

 

This is a sponsored post. The kind folks at True Value have asked me to share a fun back to school project with you. I have been compensated for my time and efforts.

Good Monday friends! Just got in from my morning Stella walk….I feel FAALLLLL in the air and it woke me right up! I am sure it will heat up today….but this morning felt so good. We had a great weekend here…chillin and tidying up the house a bit. Sunday I made some homemade bread….I have never had good luck with bread….but I found the best recipe. I shared an instagram pic yesterday because I was just so proud of my little loaf:) And get this…just 3 ingredients…You will love it! Today’s project is really easy and a nice way to keep yourself a bit more organized:)

People still use printers right? I’m not the only one right?? They’re kind of an unsightly part of our daily routine. I set out on a small woodworking idea to hide the ugly bulky printer in the corner. I thought it would be nice to add some additional space for paper placement above my printer too. I saw a cool project online where somebody cut a basket to fit over their printer. I couldn’t find a basket that would fit over mine so I decided to make something out of wood. It took me one hour tops and turned out great!diy printer cover @cleverlyinspired (6)cv
For this month’s True Value Blog Squad project I thought that I would focus on a great back to school item to build for your family office. The thing that I like most about this project is if you haven’t tried any wood working yet this would be a great one to try. diy printer cover @cleverlyinspired (11)With very simple construction you can design it and finish it out anyway you like. I chose to stain mine because I already had some stain in the shop. I made use of some really inexpensive rustic pine boards. For my printer cover, I needed one 12 X 36 piece. All you’re going to need to do is measure the width, length and height and figure out if you need one or two boards. This piece was only $6.50.

Here is what you will need to make a printer cover:

12 x 36 rustic pine board

1 piece of 1/4¼” inch 4 by x 24” hobby wood for the front

6 wood screws

drill

wood glue

saw (or have your pieces cut at the shop)

stain or paint (I used Minwax Jacobean)

sand paper

rags and rubber gloves (if staining)

 

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Obviously every printer is unique in size so you’ll just have to measure. Be sure to take into account the three quarter inch board so that it’s not too tight on the sides when you slip it over. It kind of acts like a little slip cover for your printer….A printer cozy if you will :) It makes good use of the top of your printer to store paper and just looks a little bit cleaner in your office area.

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Here is how you put it together:

cut your two leg pieces and your top to size (mine was 17 wide, 6.5 tall, 11.5 deep)

dry fit around your printer to be sure it will fit

glue top of legs to the top piece let dry a few minutes

using a small drill bit, drill 3 holes into the top going into the legs

screw in the wood screws taking care to stay towards the middle of the legs

wipe any wood glue that seeped out

place your hobby wood on the front with wood glue and place a heavy object on top

let dry and then stain

 

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Remember that if this is your first project to take on by yourself the kind folks at True Value are always willing to give some advice. They are your local go to source for projecting…so be sure to take advantage of them! You can find almost everything for this project there too!

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xo

5 for the road: conehead

Ms. Stella has a real strong affection for area rugs….as in…”hey I’m pretty sure mom is cool with me chewing on this since it is on the floor all the time….” (I mean, she’s got a point) She has chewed the corners of two rugs…but I think I found a deterrent that seems to be working….flag football cones. I bought these on Cintz Marker Cones (Set of 10), 9-Inch, Orange on Amazon and whenever I leave for a longer period of time I line them around the perimeter (we do this at night time too.) She has left them alone so far:) Might just do the trick.

 

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I am loving this new flavor granola from Bear Naked. 1/3 C dry in a bowl…with coffee on the side. Yum!

If you are searching for an inexpensive back splash…this one that we did on lot 787 in Norton Commons is goooourgeos! It turned out amazing! We did a herringbone pattern above the sink. Pair it with white grout….looks so regal and classic…and bonus—black slate is fairly inexpensive compared to most tiles. And if you’re local….you should come and walk through this home. It turned out so pretty! House is on Kings Crown in Norton Commons:)

 

black slate backsplash

 

Last Friday I didn’t get a chance to post because I had to leave for the lakehouse early in the morning. Someone had broken in and stole our tv off the wall…and we think stayed a few days too. The place was a bit of a mess…walls were beat up…appliances were gross…I made a 911 call to my parents “hey, want to come and help me clean and paint the lakehouse…ok, we are leaving like NOW…” They didn’t hesitate. That is what parenting is all about I guess….when your kids really need you…you go….no matter if your kids are 4, 14 or going on 42:) Thank you to my mom and dad for helping me get the lakehouse looking beautiful again! I didn’t have time (and I was a little depressed about the state of it) when we first got there….but man it shined when we left! We all felt like we were on  one of those HGTV shows, racing against the clock to get it done!

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I hope you can join me this weekend over on Instagram….I am taking over the @truevalue page….stop by!

And lastly, I leave you with a few laughs. If you haven’t seen Matt yet….do yourself a favor. (watch alone…a bit of language) He is hilarious…and kind of true:)

http://whineaboutit.tumblr.com/post/127083346676/this-week-on-whine-about-it-the-worst-people-at

Happy weekending!

xo

Repurpose old fence: Make a wood Tray DIY

Busy week here getting back into the school routine. Sorry the post have been a bit off:) I think I will probably go back to my normal Mon, Wed, Friday post soon:) Hope you are having a nice end of summer:)

I scored this awesome old section of white picket fence at a local thrift shop. ( Local friends the shop is called Tickled Pink and I have talked about it a few other times.) It is a consignment/vendor kind of shop… by Churchill Downs on Taylor Boulevard. There is a treasure trove of goodies in there garage. There are several items that need lots of love. I found this section of fence in the garage for eight bucks…$8!!

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I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it until I saw our finished kitchen table and I had an idea to take the fence apart and build a trowel of sorts… I have also been collecting some vintage glass jars when I see them at a good price. The peanut and I were shopping a couple weeks ago and she found most of these at our local peddler’s mall.repurpose old fence @cleverlyinspired (3)

 

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I thought they would look pretty in this container on the kitchen table. I didn’t want the container to be too wide and I wanted it to be long enough so that when I put the extensions on the table it will still fill it out nicely. I ended up using 2 full pickets along with a third for the sides. The total length of it is 4 feet by five and a half inches wide. I like that I can kind of change the look up for fall and winter.  The construction is pretty simple and if you can’t find an old picket fence you could always use new parts. Just do some sort of distressed paint to make it look older.

 

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This fence already had some white paint on it which I caution if and when you work with old paint be sure to work in an outside area with a dust mask in case the paint has led in it. I think that this painting was most likely latex because a lot of it just peeled right off. I used a medium grade sandpaper after I pried the pickets apart. The tools that I used were a flathead screwdriver, a hammer, and some pliers to pull out the old nails. It did not take me long to get the pickets off.

 

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I then chose the boards that I wanted to use and went to work. A medium grade sandpaper on my sander I sanded the edges and some of the rough paint off. That’s about it. I didn’t want to take too much of the paint off because that was the character of it. I wipe the boards down and we got to put them together. We ended up using a new piece of pine that was 5 feet long by five and a half wide. We just cut it down to the length that we needed. With a pneumatic nailer and just popped the boards on to the new pine and that was it! I bought some large felt pads for the bottom to protect the table and make it easier to slide around for when we eat dinner.

 

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I absolutely love how this came out! I feel like it could be for sale in Magnolia shop as if Jojo and chip made it themselves! I love that it complements the new table and that I can switch out the decorations inside of it depending on the season and my mood.

So the moral to the story is never ever pass up a section of fence for a low low price of $8.00. There is always something that that fence can be made into!

 

Also, find me today over at Jenna’s talking about how I create a meaningful home:)

And….I will be taking over the @TrueValue instagram this weekend starting on Thursday evening. I hope you can follow along too!!

xo

things you may not know about me

I am a middle child. And the only girl.

I broke both of my wrist at the same time when I was in 6th grade. Gymnastics. Uneven bars. Nuff said.

My hair was short for the first 15 years of my life.

I have only been in love once…and I married him.

I was afraid of dogs as a child…until my dad brought home a golden retriever puppy from a business trip.We named her Muffin (cause preppy was all the rage:)

I lived down the street from Aileen Quinn (the original Annie) Legend has it that she had a crush on my brother.

I rarely clean my plate. Even if I love everything on it. I think it is my rebellion for having to clean my plate as a child. That is just my self-observation.

I have often thought of starting another blog that I just post nature photos on…but then I get worn out at the thought of maintaining another blog.

 

Our twins were split at midnight, so that have different birthday. My daughter is 11 minutes older…

I have a mark on my face that is permanent from being the the womb 27 days past my due date. I was due Aug. 1st and I showed up on the 28th. My finger nails were embedded in my face..and one mark still remains.

31 flavors overwhelms me so I usually just stick with Mint Chip.

I am an introvert. I think I have fought this idea for most of my life…always feeling like I should be out and about but really feel myself when I am at home with my people. I say that….but then I also love a night out with friends too….so who knows what I am:)

There are times when I think I have ADD….bouncing from one project to the next without completing anything….but I’m cool with that….it is part of my process I suppose.

People used to mistake me for her….hence most friends of my youth called me Winnie. I was once asked for my autograph…when that show was still popular.

 

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A HUGE shout out to my parents….who I called at 6:30 on Thursday and said “hey, want to leave with me at 7:30 Friday morning to spend the day cleaning and painting the lakehouse???” To which they responded…without even hesitating “of course….” I pray that I can always be as generous as they have been to me. Love you mom and pop:) Thank you soooooooo much!

 

Happy weekending:)

xo

Farmhouse Dining Table with Extensions

I told you all last week about the table situation in our dining area. We were able to bring home our new handcrafted table late last week and we are completely loving it! It fits the space so much better than the other table. We got it locally from a woodworker in Taylorsville, Kentucky. I found him at a local peddler’s mall and took his business card. If you are local….you can find them on the web at Hahn Country Woodworks . He was able to build a table exactly to our specifications. We are really loving how it turned out! Come and take a peek…..

 

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I tried to take pics of several angles incase you may want to commission a woodworker in your local area. It really is simple construction….

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He ended up using two pieces of reclaimed walnut and two pieces of maple reclaimed for the legs. I decided on a very rough whitewash finish for the legs. farmhouse dining table with extensions @cleverlyinspired (6)

 

Top is solid pine. It is stained Minwax walnut. The satin polyurethane finish makes it look older than it is—we didn’t want it real shiny. I told him that I would love to have some extensions that I could push into the ends so that during the busy holiday periods or if I had a bigger dinner party I could easily accommodate 12 people.

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What we ended up doing is creating two 18 inch extensions for both sides that literally just slide into two holes that he fit on the ends. It really is fairly simple construction. (Stella is a fan too….such a big help she is….)

 

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You might think that this is a really expensive option…but we thought the table was really affordable. We ended up selling our Pottery Barn table along with four parson chairs for $630. I bought this table for $650 dollars. And $200 of it was actually the extensions. The everyday size of the table is 90×38. With the extensions the table is 126…10.5 FEET of table for $650!!!!! Solid wood!!! Can you tell that I LOVE this!!!!

 

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I bought the wooden chairs on Amazon (these are similar… Adeco Elm Wood Woven Rattan Vintage-Style Dining Chair Curved Leg Contrasting Back (Set of 2), Tan ….they are such a nice compliment….and actually quite comfy. My plan is to have slipcovers made for the parson chairs…maybe in this blue ticking fabric….still thinking on that…

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If you are interested in having your own table made try looking at a  local thrift shop or flea market and asking for a good carpenter. Most carpenters who do trim work also know of or do furniture themselves. Might be a good place to start.farmhouse dining table with extensions @cleverlyinspired (12)

Working on a centerpiece this weekend…can’t wait to share it! PS the new rug is from Homegoods;) Wall color is Constellation Ben Moore…here is the paint post:)

xo

French Toast Sticks

sigh….summer feels like it is coming to a close…I suppose getting back to a routine is good…but I really could use a couple more weeks…I often wonder what it will feel like when my kids are off at college in a few years. Will Fall feel the same when I don’t have the hustle of back to school forms and shopping….it will be weird for sure. This time of year…around my birthday…was always back to school shopping. My mom would take us out to get a new Eagle’s Eye sweater…some uniform socks and shoes…a new lunchbox…some number 2 pencils and fresh crayons. I love the organization of it all…I suppose that is why when the calendar rounds the corner into mid August I start to miss my jeans, my long yoga pants…my comfy leather boots and scarves…Fall is a favorite….with summer a close second. I think the older my kids get the longer I wish summer would last.

I thought these make ahead French Toast sticks are perfect for those first busy mornings back to school. You can make up a large batch and bake them…let them cool and place them in the freezer. Pull them out as you need and heat and go. We like them best with some fresh berries on top with a little syrup or powdered sugar.

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French Toast Sticks
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 4-6 slices off a larger bakery style bread
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter, slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray very well and set aside. Cut bread slices into thirds then set aside.
  2. In a large shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter, vanilla, and cinnamon. Dunk bread sticks into batter, let excess drip off, then place onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, spraying the tops of the French Toast Sticks with non-stick spray before flipping halfway through.
  3. To freeze: Let French Toast Sticks cool then place onto a baking sheet and freeze in the freezer. Transfer to a freezer bag or container when hard. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

 

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Great for busy mornings:)

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Thanks for all the kind words about the new table….we love it too! I am going to give you a little update on Wednesday about it and show you a few more things I have planned….Have a wonderful Monday!

xo

5 for the Road: no mas

Hey it’s Friday! Hope your weekend plans are relaxing ones:)

I’m going to see him on Saturday….and I am already preparing my jaw for the constant laughing….Can. Not. Wait.

 

 

Think this is just the cutest lil backpack….I’m a sucker for seersucker….say that 5 times fast…

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Jeans that charge your smartphone….I don’t know about this. Call me old fashion…just not sure about this…. #hotpants #likeforreal

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This tshirt wins. Like every Monday….and I right?!?!

 

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Get a jump on back to school organizing and stick a pen in it;)

 

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Oh…one last pic….shared our new handmade table on insta…. #love…more on this next week:)

table

Happy weekend friends:)

xo

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