Tuesday, August 5, 2014

No Fuss Movie Night Decorations

This post got up a little late this morning, bad planning on my part-and you know, life happens. But all that is behind us and I'm excited to share today's post with you. 

I love to host parties, I love picking a theme, deciding on colors, and going hog-wild with the decorations so everything is perfect. I love that, but I also love having spur of the moment get together with very little planning. 




Of course I still want it to look great, even when I decide to decorate just a couple hours before the party starts. Which was the case with this Movie Night, decorations were bought and put up just hours before people started walking through the door. 





The original plan was to have this outside, but Mother Nature refused to cooperate and decided to have an epic summer storm that night. It still turned out fantastically and everyone had a great time. 




Today is picture day, on Thursday I'll share my tips and tricks for decorating for a hassle free party that still looks amazing! Hope to see you then, and have a fabulous Tuesday! 

Kari

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guest Posting over at Love to Be in the Kitchen

Hey friends, I'm guest posting over at Love to Be in the Kitchen sharing one of my favorite recipes to date. My easy way to make ice cream without an ice cream maker!


Check out all the details on this amazing treat over at Love to Be in the Kitchen

Next week I'm sharing our Movie Night Party and some tips on how to throw an awesome last minute party. Enjoy your weekend, be safe, and I'll see you next week! 



Kari

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We bought another house!

A pink house to be exact! We closed on it yesterday afternoon. So as of today we officially have two mortgage payments, scary! 



This one has been in the works for months, 10 months to be exact. Since October of last year I have looked at countless potential rental properties and we finally found one. It's perfect for what we're looking for. An older home, in great condition, easily updated, and in a prime location. The plan is to rent for the next 5-7 years then either tear it down and build our dream home or sell it, and use the profits to buy our dream home. 

It's dated, really dated, hence the blue carpets, paneling and a stove/oven from another world. But all of it's updates are easy and the important stuff, AC, furnace, water heater, and roof were all replaced fairly recently. It also has copper pips, instead of galvanized steel which can be hard to find in older homes and saves lots of moola in the long run.




The plan is to rip up the carpet and refinish the hardwood unearth, put tile in the bathroom, take out cabinets to put in a new stove (isn't that one epic?) and a dishwasher, paint, and put in some new blinds. 




Thankfully we'll be hiring out for the majority of the updates. 





It's a 4 bedroom 2 bath house in an amazing neighborhood in Salt Lake. It's a big undertaking, becoming landlords is no easy task. But we've done a ridiculous amount of research and feel that we're as prepared as we'll ever be. 

Wish us luck! I'll share some after pictures when all the updates are done. 


Kari

P.s. I'm still trying to find a good general contractor so if you know of any let me know in the comments below! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Greek Chicken Skewers

The plan for today's post was to show you a fun project I've been working on, however this week didn't go according to plan so I'm sharing one of my new favorite chicken recipes. 


Morgan and I have recently discovered skewers, not that we didn't know about them before but we've just started making them and we are loving how easy and delicious they are. And these ones are by far the best I've made yet. So so good. 


I got the original recipes from Classy Clutter, and if you're looking to make gyros that is the recipe to make it's amazing! So amazing that I didn't change her sauce for this recipe, I just couldn't mess with that kind of perfection. 


Also grill pans are my new favorite things. We ran out of propane for our grill weeks ago and we keep forgetting to pick it up, so it's nice to be able to whip this baby out and still have that grill flavor, because is there anything that screams summer more than food on the grill? I think not. 


Greek Chicken Skewers {Print Recipe}

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
2 clove garlic (I use dried)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
½ cup cilantro chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 package Cherry Tomatoes
1 cup red onion, cut into large chunks
6-8 wooden skewers, soaked for 15-20 minutes

Directions:
  • In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, thyme, ¼ cup cilantro, and salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken in a gallon sized ziploc bag and pour marinade over it.
  • Let marinate at least one hour
  • Place wooden skewers in a bowl, or a sink, cover with water and let sit for 15-20 minutes
  • Assemble skewers (I did tomato, onion, chicken but you can do whatever order you’d like)
  • Grill skewers 3-4 minutes each side
  • Serve with Cooking Classy Tzatkiki Sauce and remaining cilantro for garnish

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

I hope you try these out, and if you do I'd love to see it! Post a picture on instagram and tag #newlywedsonabudgetblog. Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day! 

Kari

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BBQ Chicken, Feta, and Lime Quinoa Salad

Now that you've learned how to make perfect quinoa, it's time to start using it to make fabulous recipes. This recipe is one I've shared on instagram before and it's a regular in my weekly lunch routine. There are some weeks were I have it for lunch every day, it's just that good. Seriously. 




Morgan and I recently started another round of the Game on Health Challenge and as such we're both watching what we eat. To make eating healthy easier I like to create quick meals that come together easily with a little prep ahead of time. 

This salad fits the bill perfectly. It's low in calories, high in protein and fiber to keep you full, and comes together so easily. Not to mention all the flavors mix perfectly so your taste buds will never know your eating something that's actually good for you. 


This salad is so versatile that you can play around with it a lot until you find what works for you. I personally like to load mine up with cilantro and green onions so I usually put extra of both on my plate. But you could add more red onions, more lime juice, or less if you'd like. These are my favorite kinds of recipes, the ones where they can be catered to you and your tastes. 


BBQ Chicken, Feta, and Lime Quinoa Salad {Print it Here}
Serves 4 Serving Size: 1 cup Nutrition: Calories: 225 Carbs: 35 g Fiber: 4g Protein: 12g

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • 1 cup chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped Spinach
  • 2 cups cooked Quinoa
  • ½ cup chopped Red Onion
  • ¼ cup chopped Green Onion
  • ¼ cup chopped Cilantro
  • ¼ cup Feta, crumbled
  • ¼ cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 lime
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:
  1. Cook Quinoa according to package directions, or this recipe. Note: I use pre-cooked chicken or leftovers
  2. Combine chicken, romaine lettuce, spinach, quinoa, red onion, green, onion, cilantro and feta in a large bowl
  3. Whisk together BBQ sauce, lime, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Drizzle over salad, toss to combine, and serve.

*Inspired by Eat Yourself Skinny

I hope you'll give this recipe a try! I know you'll love it. Thanks for stopping by! 

Kari

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Making Perfect Quinoa Every Time

Quinoa, the new super food that everyone's talking about. It's high in protein, fiber, and magnesium, not to mention-it's delicious! 

But the key is making it. It took me a while to fall in love with Quinoa, mainly because I wasn't making it right. And I'm guessing you might be in the same boat. 

So for all you self-professed Qunioa newbies this ones' for you-


There's a couple steps that make perfect Quinoa every single time-

Perfect Quinoa Recipe: {Print it Here}

  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Liquid (water, chicken broth, beef broth, etc.)

  1. Rinse and drain the quinoa in a mesh strainer.
  2. Toast  Quinnoa in a saucepan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until remaining liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add liquid and bring to a rapid boil. Cover  and reduce to simmer.
  4. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, keep covered, and let sit for 5 minutes
  5. Fluff with a fork and serve.



I hope you give Quinoa a try, it really is delicious. Look for an amazing Quinoa recipe coming next week.

Also, can we talk about how hard it is to photograph plain quinoa? I mean, it's delicious but all on it's own it's a little plain for photography purposes. 

Kari

I'm linking up to these great places: Artsy-Fartsy Mama

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DIY Party Invite [PicMonkey Tutorial]

I love parties. I love planning, decorating, and hosting parties. They are so much fun and we do a lot of them. We have a fun movie night party coming up, we host our annual neighborhood block party, and this year will be our fifth year hosting a murder mystery party as well as a Christmas Party. Like I said, I like parties. 

That being said, I like parties that don't break the bank. Having magazine worthy parties doesn't mean you need to hire a party planner, buy every single decoration, and have someone else create an amazing invite. I'm all about hosting DIY parties that I enjoy creating and putting together. 

The first step to an amazing party is the invite, it's the first glimpse your guests have of what's to come so you want to wow them. I'm not a graphic artist or professional by any means but I have learned a few things over the year. One of my very favorite sties for designing invites, or really any type of graphic, is PicMonkey.com. They offer some really great services that anyone can use, and the best part-the majority of their services are FREE. Who doesn't love free?  By the way, I'm not being paid by PicMonkey I just really love this site. 

I wanted to do a quick PicMonkey tutorial for those who might feel a little overwhelmed by all the possibilities. I made a quick invite to a Dinner at Twilight party. I'm not actually hosting such a party, but after making the invites I'm really wanting to. Doesn't it sound like fun? 



The best new
 aspect of PicMonkey is that they allow you to design your own cards now. You used to have to upload your own picture and do a whole bunch of random stuff to try and get it to work-not anymore. Now you can design your own card with tons of different options. 

Head on over to PicMonkey and chose "design" 


The toolbar on the left side is where you'll work your magic. First choose your color-


If you're like me, you'll change the canvas color what feels like a thousand times until you're happy with it. Can I get whoop whoop for all us perfectionists? 


To create the star effect I headed to the butterfly, otherwise known as the shape section, and headed down to the Elements section.


Just like the invite background, the wording is all about finding what works for you. I like to head to Pinterest and search "party invite" for inspiration. 


I used the geometric rectangular shape create the light blue outline. It just takes some finagling to find the look you're going for. 


You can use the percentage on the lower right hand corner to zoom in and out of the design to make small changes-


I hope this helps you create some really awesome invites and banners and hopefully this tutorial helped makes things a little easier to understand. The best advice I can give is to head over to PicMonkey.com and play around with the different fonts and features. The more familiar you become with it, the better you'll be. 


Kari

P.s. Would you be interested in more tutorials like this one including Photoshop? Let me know in the comments below! 
I'm linking up to these great places: Artsy-Fartsy Mama