Welcome to my blog! I will write some random thoughts and ideas and fun updates about things going on in my life-or great items I've purchased on Etsy...and oh so many fun topics!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I Can't Stop Eating This Pasta Salad

My latest culinary creation, and I can't stop eating it!! That is why I've decided to name this "I Can't Stop Eating This Pasta Salad"!

I do not like using recipes; mainly because I am so bad at following directions!  I do love the prep work!  I love chopping veggies!

This is a pasta salad you can make your very own, add what you love, leave out the stuff you cannot stand!

I am a bit partial to using vintage bowls, like this cute Pyrex Spring Blossom mixing bowl!  If you need a vintage Pyrex bowl, head to http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com for a huge selection of retro bowls!  All of your salads will taste better!

Here's what I did:

Boil elbow noodles (make sure to salt the water!).

Chop up veggies into tiny pieces (so you don't get a big chunk of just one flavor).  I used cucumber, radishes, red onion, green onions (scallions), red and yellow pepper, celery, green and black olives, and I think that's it.  I also cut up tomatoes but did not add them directly to the salad, since they would get kind of "mushy", so just add that to the separate bowls of pasta salad.  I added olive oil, red wine vinegar, italian seasoning, dijon mustard, salt & pepper, garlic salad, lemon zest, dried dill weed, dried parsley flakes (only because I didn't have fresh).

I let my pasta cool a bit and then added olive oil, red wine vinegar, a tiny dash of sugar, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt.  After it's completely cooled you can add the veggie mix.

It's all about making it pretty! Beautiful color and textures, since we eat with our eyes (which would be really weird if we really ate with our eyes).

Make it your own!  It's a refreshing salad, and since we're having seafood for dinner tonight, I thought this would be the perfect accompaniment to the meal!

Have fun in the kitchen!!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014


What's in Jenscloset!?

Milk Glass
 Well, this pretty milk glass vase is in my milk glass shop!

Vintage Dinner Plates
 and these awesome vintage dinner plates are from my china shop!

Awesome Pyrex!
Jenscloset on Etsy is full of a wonderful mix of vintage, perfect for your retro home!

Mad Men Style Glasses
 I love just about anything pink!

Vintage Sandwich Server 
 And vintage teacups make the perfect gift!

Pink Pink Pink!
And yes, Jenscloset has more than pink!! Check it out!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Featured Etsy Shop

I love Etsy and the awesome talented artists there (not to mention fantastic vintage shops!!).  Today's featured Etsy shop is "VallonDesTresors".   So many gorgeous handmade items by Aisha!  I love lace and I love pearls, so this Beaded Lace Peter Pan Necklace with Faux Pearls is the perfect way to add a little something extra to your favorite black dress!  I also think it would be great with jeans and a t-shirt!

I love aprons, and have quite a large collection of my own!  This half apron with red cherries and the cute heart pocket, is just what you need to feel like a fancy chef!  I swear I cook better when I'm wearing an apron!

I would grow my hair long just to wear this lovely blue hairstick with an artisan bead!  Aisha has a great selection of this wonderful hairsticks!

Pretty pillow

And, for a special treat- a 10% discount for everyone using the code JENSBLOG2014, good until April 30th!  Be sure to check out
Vallon DesTresors on Etsy (link above) for more handmade items, perfect for gifts, or a little something for yourself!

Happy weekend!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sweet Katherine

Sweet Katherine is my favorite youngest child!  My baby will turn 21 tomorrow.  There was a crazy snow storm the day we brought her home from the hospital.

fun bike rides together
 That should have been a sign that Katherine would always bring a bit of excitement to everything!

so silly!
 Katherine is silly, fun, intelligent, insightful, thought
provoking (it takes a lot to provoke my thoughts!), inspirational, fashionable, athletic, funny, and so much more!

My awesome kids! Katherine, Lindsey & Mark
I see a theme here with the legs!
I wonder where she got her silliness from!?

Yes, I do have a favorite child!  I have three, actually!  I have a favorite son, Mark, a favorite older daughter, Lindsey, and a favorite baby, Katherine!

I am a lucky girl!!  Happy 21st birthday Katherine! 

Love, Mom

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jen's Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

I just whipped up a so-delicous broccoli cheddar cheese soup, so I thought I would share it!

Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup
I started by melting 3-4 T of butter, add a tablespoon, or so, of flour, cook on low for a minute, add approximately 2 cups of whole milk, on medium high, stirring occasionally until thickened.  Add a dash of nutmeg, dry mustard, and salt & pepper.  Then dump in as much shredded cheddar cheese as you like (I also had a mix of italian cheese that I added).  Stir until all mixed.  I then added about 2 cups of chicken broth to that mixture.

This actually should be stop one! Take a head of broccoli and chop it up (I use some of the stalk too), next time I will chop mine a bit smaller.  Boil, then put a lid on it and take it off the heat (I don't like to overcook the broccoli).  Let that sit for about 5 minutes.  Then take a cup or so of the cooked broccoli, add to the blender with (okay I am going crazy with my font-not on purpose), with about a cup of chicken broth and blend.  Add that to the cheese mixture, and add the rest of the cooked broccoli.  Taste test to see if it needs more salt & pepper.  It's quick and easy and delicious! Did I mention it is not fattening at all!!?  No, I did not, because that would be lying!  I guess I should have worked out more than an hour this morning!



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I can't remember what font Katherine told me to use, but anyways, Happy Valentine's Day!

I picked out some things (from Etsy) I personally would love to receive (hint hint).  Here are just of my favorite things.

cute heart bowls  
Subtle bling
lovely scarf
I love charm bracelets!

Monday, February 3, 2014

What's for lunch!

I love cooking - and eating!

Fresh and crispy broccoli salad  
 I chopped broccoli into tiny pieces, along with chives, radishes, red onion, celery, and carrots.  I topped mine with bit of ranch dressing, but you can be healthier and just add a bit of olive oil and one of your favorite vinegars!

Potato soup and more
 If you read my blog (well thank you very much-I love you!), you know I love to make soup, and most of them are made the same way, just different ingredients, depending on what I have in the kitchen that day.  This was started with a bit of olive oil and butter, some red onion and chopped red potatoes (chop them small enough that they won't take forever to cook).

I also added diced carrots and celery.  I still had a ton of broccoli left, so after I had cooked the other ingredients for awhile, I tossed in the broccoli.  I cooked that a bit longer, and then added yummy baby portabella mushrooms, and just cooked about 5 more minutes.  Season as you go along, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, thyme.

I added some chicken broth, but you could also use veggie broth.  For some protein I added garbanzo beans, and I also added elbow noodles.

For the finishing touch, why not a bit of heavy cream!?  It sweetens it up and makes it creamy (you just need about 1/4 cup).  Oh, I also added chives when everything was cooked, for some color and freshness.

That's it!  Try it, it is delicious!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy-almost-Valentine's Day!

I had to share my latest Etsy purchase!  I bought the cutest pink heart garland, and loved it so much, I had to buy another one in blue!

Here's a few other cute finds from DoesMeadow

 I put one on the back of one of my sofa's in the living room:

 And one in my kitchen (I need to fix it so the pins not showing, but you get the idea!):

It's so much fun decorating my house now that I have it cleaned and organized.  Although, I do call my house "the house of shelves".  Shelves are everywhere in my house, with all of my Etsy shop, so it does look like a store, but at least there's not a bunch of stuff on the floor anymore (okay, maybe a few random things!).


Tuesday, December 31, 2013