Sweet and Sour Chicken

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that we made sweet and sour chicken last night for dinner. Well, let me tell you - this is the second time we've made this recipe in one month and it blew me away again last night just as much as it did the first time we had it. This recipe is so easy and tastes better than any Chinese take out I've had. I knew this was definitely one to share with ya'll.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water

First, prepare the sauce by combining sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and onion powder, and ketchup. Bring to a boil and add the cornstarch mix. Mix until dissolved and sauce starts to thicken. Reduce to low heat.

Add chicken pieces and corn starch to a large ziplock bag. Seal and shake to coat the chicken. Drizzle a large pan or skillet with oil. Add chicken and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until slightly cooked. Add peppers and onions and continue to saute until chicken is cooked through.

Add sauce to chicken and peppers. Stir to coat well. Serve over rice.

*** We doubled the sauce recipe because we LOVE it so much!

Weekend Recap

Another fun weekend in the books! Friday I treated myself to a raspberry green tea from Starbucks and a new gel fill. We spent the night rewatching Nerve and devouring a large take and bake pizza from Panino's.

Saturday we celebrated St Patrick's Day with some festive cinnamon rolls and coffee. 

We headed downtown with Bosco in tow for a walk around Stone Arch. We had a brewery in our minds that we were going to check out, but decided to grab some Izzy's ice cream instead.

We had friends over that night for a grill-out and some drinks. We ended our night at Tony Jaro's for their famous "greenies" and Betty Danger's. We tried numerous times to get good pictures but this is all we could get.

After lots of rehydration, grocery shopping, and an awesome brunch buffet at Tavern Grill, Andy and I parked ourselves on the couch for 8 episodes of house hunters, naps, and delivery. It's rare for us to have a full day of lounging but it felt glorious and I am so ready to tackle this week!

Coffee Talk

If we were having a conversation over a Starbucks' blonde cold brew (a new favorite of mine), I would say..

I found the holy grail of drug store lipstick, and it's Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick. I was trying so hard to be a fan of Lipsense but just couldn't get through the "detox" phase of dry and peeling lips. Plus it never stayed on me as well as it did other people, which I was super bummed about because I know how many people love it! This stuff is around $10 and wears super well all day. It's the perfect combo of matte but not drying, and it's easy to fix mistakes but it takes forever to actually wear off. I got one in the color Top Tomato.

Speaking of Lipsense - I did manage to snag a white concealer and I am a huge fan. I've always struggled with dark circles no matter how much sleep I get, and this really brightens that area. I can't wait to get my hands on other Senegence products!

Andy and I finally finished some items on our house to-do list that I've been putting off for seven months. We hung curtains in the master bedroom, put up a curved shower curtain, re-painted our bathroom cabinet and bedroom TV stand, reorganized the entire laundry closet, and added some organizational bins and such to our bathroom drawers. Now, excuse me while I go think of more things...

- You NEED to try this new Trader Joe's dressing. Go now.

- Bosco got FIXED today and I'm feeling that (dog) mom-guilt 100%. Hopefully he heals up fast so we can get back to our daily walks.

- Let's all just pause for a moment and take a look at this fabulous chocolate cake from our brand new Portillo's. So worth the 40 minute wait.

Spring Around Our Home

We are officially in desperate mode for some signs of spring here. It's now March 1st which gets my mind into all things pastel, floral, and bright!

We added a few simple spring decorations around the house to ring in the season. Our town home is teeny tiny so it's easy to vamp up the space.

Spring chalkboard art.

I put some faux moss in my apocrathy jar with some pastel eggs, added this cute bunny and some cloth carrots (Target's dollar section was on point), and this cheap sign from Hobby Lobby.

Another cheap bowl from Target's dollar section with some greenery and more eggs.

Our shelves above the couch with a few spring touches, and my favorite jellybean sign from Home Goods.

Also on this shelf, I picked up some flowering branches from Trader Joe's. I can't wait to watch the little flowers bloom!

Flowers (courtesy of Trader Joe's) and Easter Candy!!! (which doesn't last long in our home).

at lastly, this DIY spring wreath that was super easy and inexpensive to make.

Now don't be fooled, we still have our light-up snowman outside because he is literally frozen to the ground. Fingers crossed for warmer days so we can pack him away until next year!

Girl's Weekend in Alexandria

Myself and my two best girlfriends skipped town this past weekend and road tripped up to Alexandria for a weekend of wine, girl talk, and spa appointments.

We headed out bright and early, got some coffee, and made our way up north. We stayed at Arrowwood Resort Hotel, which had some phenomenal views on a lake. Luckily we got up there right before the big snow storm hit (projected up to eight inches in some parts of MN!). After a necessary stop at Target (duh) and the liquor store for Angry Orchard Roses, we grabbed some lunch at DJ's Tap House. The girls each had a burger, and I had an amazing sweet chili chicken wrap that was to die for.

{the goods}

After lunch we headed to Carlos Creek Winery for a tasting. They had so many wines to choose from, but naturally we all decided on the fruit wine tasting. We got to taste 7 wines, and some highlights included their Ruby Minnescato and their Raspberry wine.

By this point the snow was coming down super hard, so we nitched our plans of shopping downtown and headed back to our resort to utilize their hot tub. This actually turned out to be a horrible idea because there were a zillion children jumping in and out and it actually felt more like a group bathtub with luke-warm water. So we headed back to our room to get ready before dinner.

We went to the resort's restaurant for dinner, and then made our way back to our room for drinks, card games, and lots of girl talk. 

Sunday morning we were up and at 'em ready for our spa appointment. When we arrived, we got to change into some comfortable robes and grab a glass of their cucumber-melon infused water while we waited to head back. Chelsea and Emily both got the package that included a facial and 50-min massage, and I opted for the package with a 50 minute massage, a detoxifying foot treatment, and a steam treatment with a honey facial massage. It was every bit of incredible as that sounds.

Our last meal was at Zorbaz before heading back home. Their pizza is fabulous!

Until the next girls weekend!

Homemade Raspberry Muffins

This week has been nothing short of hectic and a tad stressful, so today instead of the typical Five on Friday post - I'll leave you with one of my new favorite recipes! These were simple and so so yummy, and were amazing alongside cup of coffee every morning this week. I'd love to try these with blueberries next!

The Best Homemade Raspberry Muffins

1 cup whole milk
1 tbsp. white vinegar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup frozen raspberries (Trader Joe's has the BEST deals on frozen fruit)
6 tsp coarse sugar

Preheat over to 425 degrees F. Line muffin cups with muffin liners, or lightly coat with cooking spray.

Combine milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Milk with thicken or curdle, making buttermilk.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, combine brown sugar, white sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Slowly add milk/vinegar mixture and mix until combined. 

Add dry mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in frozen raspberries. Batter will be thick!

Scoop batter into muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Sprinkle coarse sugar on the top of each muffin. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, and then reduce temp to 350 and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Me, Myself, & I

Andy was out of town in Chicago all weekend for a bachelor party which meant I had the entire house to myself (and Bosco)..

I started off the weekend on Friday night with some much needed girl time. I had my friend Lisa over for pizza and wine, and we sat up and chatted all evening until around 9:30ish.

Saturday morning called for some waffles.

I took Bosco on a super long walk and we were still home before 9am. I packed everything up and headed out to do some shopping, and spent a little more than intended but hey - tax season is here!

I scored some awesome deals at Hobby Lobby (spring decor is all 40% off!), Home Goods, and Marshalls.

I knew I wanted to spruce up the bathroom a little and was kind of unsure how full-out I wanted to go. I knew we needed new rugs and a new shower curtain, and I also wanted to add a shelf above the toilet. We are just staying in a rental for now, so my DIY projects are limited - but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I plan on replacing the greenery in the jars with something a little lighter and florally, but it works for now.

Just ignore our atrocious floors! In a perfect world, I'd love to stain our vanity a dark brown to match the rest of the wood and put in new floors. But Andy is quick to nix any elaborate plans... sigh.. we can't wait to have our own house.

I also made a few spring wreaths - one for our door, and one as a gift for a friend! These were super easy to do. The grape vine wreaths were $5 at Hobby Lobby, and the flower stems were all 50% off. So I made two wreaths for under $25!

I also decorated for spring (too early?) and had a lunch consisting of Cadbury Mini Eggs, whoooops.

Later that night, I settled in for a Red Wine face mask, some leftover Chinese food, and the movie Wonder. Highly recommend this one!

Sunday was another early morning, and like the previous one - consisted of another walk.

I grocery shopped and tried the skinny Smoked Butterscotch Latte. Sooo good but really anything butterscotch is my favorite.

I tried a new salon and got my nails done.

And made a pot of chili for dinner, some raspberry muffins, and patiently waited for Andy to come home.

Even though I enjoyed a relaxing and productive weekend, we are so glad to have him back home!

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