Chicken & Peach Summer Salad –Super Fast!

I will just start with a small disclaimer:  I am not a good food photographer…yet.  I will work on this!  The photos do not do the salad justice!  While I work on my food photog stills, you should definitely think about making this delicious salad!

This recipe is great for those left over chicken breasts you made from another meal and to utilize some delicious summer peaches in a recipe that is not for a dessert!

I am big on cooking enough meat once, to be used for two meals.  It also helps when I happen to have bought some humungo-gynormous chicken breasts.  I made some teriyaki marinated chicken breasts the other night and since they were so humungo-gynormous (yes that is a real word!)  I had enough for a second night’s meal.  If you don’t have any humungo-gynormous chicken breasts (I first typed that sentence without the word chicken — haha!) then you can grill up some regular sized ones or use the already made for you rotiserrie chicken from the store!  I heart those delicious time-saving perfectly browned birds! 

All you need is:

  • Peaches, thinly sliced.  About half a peach per serving
  • Chicken Breasts (about half a breast per serving)
  • 1 bag of Mixed Greens of your choosing (I like ones with spinach)
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • sliced almonds
  • light balsamic vinaigrette*

Fill your bowl or platter with the bag of greens.  Top with chunks or slices of your chicken, sliced peaches, onions and almonds.  Add dressing when served otherwise your almonds might get soggy. 

The sweetness of the peaches with the tartness of the vinaigrette is perfectly complementing!  I have to say the teriyaki glaze on the chicken this time also added a great flavor layer.  I am not big on raw onions but the sweetness of the red onion works well here and the almonds add a perfect bit of crunch!

*If you are feeling fancy try this AWESOME Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette on this salad!  I could put cilantro in everything…like seriously…everything!

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the cilantro, mustard and lime juice in bowl and wisk the mixture while slowly adding the olive oil to create a combined dressing. Wisking is important otherwise you will have a layer of lime juice/cilantro/mustard and a layer of oil! 

Enjoy!
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Linked Up at  {Cast Party Wednesday} on Lady Behind The Curtain

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Month by Month

For a bit of added decoration for the party and to show how the wee one’s head has stayed quite large since birth…I decided to do a Month by Month of his cuteness! 

I am a die-hard Shutterfly fan! I have been using them since Michael was born in 2006 and have never looked back.  18 photo books, 12 calendars, 2 sheets of stickers, 26 cards, 1 share site and a bazillion prints later I still turn back to them for help with my decoration! 

Using the “Edit” tab in my Shutterfly photo Album, I added a simple white border to each of Ryan’s month photos I took and added text to show which month it was.  I then had these printed and shipped right to my door!

I secured each photo onto some gingham craft paper to look like picnic blankets and also used some left over tree pattern paper from the Birthday Banner.  I then strung up some craft twine and used the same itsy bitsy clothes pins from the banner to hang the photos!   Any decoration with a baby’s face plastered all over it is a sure hit!  And it was nice for all my family to see how he changed since we live away and many of them rarely get to see the chunky monkey.

If you care to see all of Ryan’s Month to Month photos up close and personal click here

And also while I whipped up my month pictures, I also whipped up some Father’s Day cards for Freddy, his dad and my dad!   How cute is this? (check out below)  This one is Freddy’s!  For the same price as a Hallmark card you get a personalized card with your own words and your OWN cute little faces plastered all over it!  What a deal.  Comes with an envelope!  Flutter right on over to Shutterfly and sign up for their emails and they will send you  great deals!   They also have the fabulous option that you can choose during check out to have Shutterfly address and mail your cards straight to your recipient!  Even better if you are pressed for time or just despise addressing cards and finding stamps and running to the post office! 

5×7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

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Teddy Bear Picnic Birthday Party

Happy First Birthday to my sweet baby boy!  

For Ryan’s First Birthday I decided to go with a “Teddy Bear Picnic” theme.  We decided to have his party in St. Louis at my parents house on  his actual first birthday.  It worked out really nicely because my whole family still lives in St. Louis.  Here’s a recap of his party.

Here is the birthday boy himself decked out in his First Birthday Onesie I made for him.    He is just as adorable on day 365 as he was on day 1!  

Everyone was asked to bring along their favorite teddy bear for our picnic.  The kiddie guests were able to decorate a party hat for their bear.  I originally was thinking of party hats for the kids themselves but since neither of my children would keep it on for longer than 1 minute I opted for hats for the bears!  Jazz them up a bit and make them birthday bears versus every day teddy bears!  I made the hats ahead of time and let the kids decorate with stickers!

 

Let’s talk decorations!  We used gingham/checkered picnic table cloths that my mom found at the dollar store for all the table cloths.  I made a “Ryan is One” banner that we hung from the fireplace above all his presents.  I chose the tree pattern craft paper because it was woodsy and just plain cute!

 I added a Month by Month decoration of pictures of Ryan at each of his month milestones.  I made giant tissue paper pom poms that we hung above the island counter where we had all the food.

  
Speaking of food:  We had picnic themed food.   Sub sandwiches, my apple cole slaw, pasta salad, watermelon and of course…ants on a log!  For the kids attending the party I made each of them their own picnic pail. 

They had a teddy bear shaped PBJ sandwich, all natural applesauce, a capri sun and a butterfly treat filled with chocolate Teddy Grahams and gold fish!   For Ryan and Goober I filled their butterfly with Peach Yogurt Melts and Puffs!  The little ones also had a grilled cheese in place of the PBJ sandwich.  I also stuffed each pail with a pinwheel I had made. 

  

I also found a cute teddy bear silicone mold which my mom and sister painstakingly filled, froze and cracked to make teddy bear ice cubes for the lemonade and iced tea!  There were only 11 bears on the mold so they made 11 ice cubes at a time!  Talk about love for Ryan!  I planned on doing this myself but since we moved the party from our house to my parents I certainly could not travel 5 hours with ice cubes! 

For cake treats, I made ice cream cone cupcakes!  Ryan of course had his smash cake!  To spice up Ryan’s high chair, I sewed together 2 checkered napkins I found at a thrift store to form a slip cover of sorts to fit over his high chair so it looked like he was on a picnic blanket! 

For favors I made cookie pops and filled small bags with gummy bears.  I placed these in a basket on a small table by the front door.   I used a picture frame filled with some of the checkered craft paper I had as a dry erase board and wrote “Thanks ‘Beary’ Much for ‘Popping’ By My Picnic!  Love, Ryan”  Guests could take the gummy bears and cookie pops on their way out.    As an added treat for the kiddos, I made a CD of Birthday/Picnic/Teddy Bear songs and made a copy for each child to take!

I think his party was fantastic!  It was “beary” nice if you ask me 🙂  Here’s to celebrating a wonderful year with a wonderful, beautiful boy!  Happy Birthday Baby!

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Tip Junkie handmade projects

Personalized “One” Onesie

I wanted Ryan to sport some sort of cute onesie at his First Birthday Party! I shopped around but really didn’t find anything in the stores that I loved. Target had a cute one in the “I’m One” end cap, but having seen this said onesie on about 16 of my friends one-year-olds this year I decided that I should just make him one! While searching etsy I found several cute onesies that gave baby a tie, that I loved! However, the cheap skate I am, I didn’t want to pay $25 bucks for a onesie that Ryan would only wear a few times and they also didn’t say anything about being ONE!  So I decided to combine the two ideas.  I had leftover material from Michael’s superhero cape so decided to put those scraps to good use! 

Items Needed:

  • Scissors
  • Pencil/Marker
  • Wonder Under (any fabric/craft store in the fabric department)
  • Onesie
  • 2 separate colors or patterns of fabric
  • Iron
  • damp cloth

First I traced out a tie pattern and a number “1” pattern on some scrap paper.   To get the tie symmetrical I just folded the sheet of paper and drew one side and then cut and trimmed until it looked the way I wanted it to.  Then I traced out a number one. 

Following the instructions on the Wonder Under I adhered the rough side of the Wonder Under to the WRONG side of both of my fabrics using a hot DRY iron, pressing for about 5-10 seconds.  I cut out a size of wonder under that would cover my pattern

 Next I traced the patterns (backwards) on the paper side of the Wonder Under fused fabric and cut out. 

Next I peeled the paper backing (carefully) from the number 1 and placed it where I wanted it on the tie.  I then covered the cutouts with a damp cloth, and turned my iron to the wool setting and pressed for 10-15 seconds until the 1 was fused to the tie. 

 I then repeated.  Removing the paper backing from the tie cut out and pressing it onto the onesie. 

 Since I don’t anticipate much use out of this onesie since Ryan grows faster than a chia pet, I left it as is.  If you were doing this same idea on a bag or apron you can use puff paint to outline the fabric or stitch a zig-zag stitch to help hold the edges of the fabric in place.  The design with Wonder Under can be washed, dried, dry cleaned and ironed.  I LOVE THIS STUFF!   I will love a certain ONE year old wearing it even more!

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Linked Up to {Get Your Craft On} at  Today’s Creative Blog and {Show and Tell Linking Party} at Blue Cricket Designs

Birthday Banner

I am a huge fan of these personalized birthday banners!  My banner would read “Ryan is one” I bought extra supplies and letters in order to be able to spell out his ages up to age ten.  

Items Needed:

  • Cardstock
  • Craft paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • glue
  • ribbon/string/twine
  • small clothespins or brads or paperclips or…some sort of fastening device! 🙂
  • Chipboard letters
  • coordinating paint (optional)

First I figured out my scheme.  Ryan was having a “Teddy Bear Picnic” however I was tired of the checkered blanket idea and wanted something that I could use again for his following birthdays.  I found this great tree pattern craft paper and decided on a brown cardstock background for it. 

I cut 9 pennants in each color.  The brown measured 1 inch larger than the patterned paper.  My dimensions coordinated with the size of chipboard letters I found.  You can adjust yours to fit what you can find or your size preferences.

 Note:  If you choose a patterned craft paper like I did, make sure you account for the direction of the pattern.  I thought I could use 12 x 12 size so I could get 2 pennants per sheet of craft paper, however then half of them would have an upside down pattern.  I had to make a trip back for more paper. 

I simply glued the tree patterned craft paper onto the brown cardstock making sure to get the points of the triangle sealed down.  I then painted the chipboard letters a shade of brown to match the card stock and when dry, glued onto the pennants.  I chose smaller sized letters for the word ‘is’ and put both letters on one flag.

 

I chose to hang the individual pennants on a length of brown ribbon that I picked up in the $1 bin, and to secure the pennants to the ribbon with these teensy little clothes pins that I found to be absolutely adorable in Hobby Lobby. 

I think it turned out great and I can’t wait to use it again next year! 
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Linked Up at:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I wanted something a bit out of the ordinary for the cake choice at Ryan’s party.  I decided on these adorable ice cream cone cupcakes!  I followed the directions on the side of the ice cream cone box. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cake batter as directed on the box.  Yes, I said the box.  I take shortcuts whenever I can get them these days!  I then filled the cones up 3/4 way full.  I used the entire bowl of batter for  24 cones.  I made a box of chocolate and a box of funfetti.  I baked for about 25 minutes.  I let the cones completely cool and then iced with white and fudge icing.  Since I was only doing cupcakes with no actual ice cream, I decided to give options so we had chocolate cake with fudge icing, chocolate cake with white icing, funfetti cake with fudge icing and funfetti cake with white icing.  I used a gallon ziploc back with 2 containers of each flavor of store bought frosting.  Yes, I said store bought.  I inserted a large icing tip in the bag, clipped the corner, filled with icing and piped onto the cupcakes in two layers so it would stack up and look like ice cream.  Topped with sprinkles, I think they looked pretty darn cute!  Not to mention tasty.

*These are not something you can make the day ahead.  The cones get soggy and the tops of the cones bend over from the weight of the cake and icing.
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Linked Up on {Show and Tell Linking Party} at Blue Cricket Designs and {Cast Party Wednesday Link Party}at Lady Behind the Curtain and {Linking Party} at Passionately Artistic and {Get Your Craft On} at Today’s Creative BlogTidy Mom