Dec 10, 2010

Somewhat Spicy Chicken Soup

This cold weather has me soup crazy lately.  I only have one brothy (as opposed to chunky) soup recipe and I have been on the hunt for a new one.  

I stumbled across this one on and oh my goodness it is delicious.  I love cilantro so I add a bit extra.  The only problem with this recipe is that it only serves 6 (or 4 in big bowls).  Next time I make it (which will be soon) I'll be attempting to double the recipe.  The original recipe was for "spicy" chicken soup but I don't find this soup spicy at all.  It has maybe a little heat so I'm calling it "somewhat spicy."

Somewhat Spicy Chicken & Rice Soup

  • 1 large chicken breast, cooked and cubed (I cubed mine then threw it in the food processor so I'd have shredded chicken)
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (I used food processor on all veggies since I don't like veggies and I was trying to disguise them a little)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups water (or 6 cups chicken stock - omit bouillon cubes)
  • 5 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (I used 1/2 cup)
Cook your chicken (seasoned with salt & pepper; remove from pan and cube/shred.  If you're using already cooked chicken (such as rotisserie) you'll just add the chicken later.

In same pan cook celery, carrots, green pepper, and onion in a little oil until veggies are tender.  Add spices and cook for another minute.

Add water, bouillon cubes, rice, cilantro and cooked chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes (I followed the cooking time of the rice I used).


Dec 7, 2010

unsettled (update)

You may remember this post where I was going through a bit of a home improvement phase.  I think I am safely out of said phase now.  I got most of what I wanted to get done - done.  Plus a little bit extra too.

The plumbing problems are fixed and the holes in the bathroom wall are gone.  So is that ugly heat lamp in the ceiling.  John put up some little hooks for the kids towels too.  Caaute!

That window without curtains got some thanks to our fabulous new Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I was crafty and made some circle shelves too (thank you Nate Berkus - you are my favorite!).

The brass light fixture got a coat of spray paint and now matches the bath fixtures and the new towel bars John helped me install.

And I even managed to transform some old frames with spray paint and new mats.  Love the idea of having pictures of my bathing cuties in my "new" bathroom.

Other changes include a rearranged living room.  The television got moved out in an effort to limit our TV time.  Still need to move around some mirrors and artwork but it's nice to have so much space to play in there as a family.

And a repainted kitchen.  This wall was ivory and I am really loving the green.  I made some new curtains too and I'm going to be making some new slipcovers for the dining chairs.  The black and white was getting old.  I have some old red ones on the chairs now but I'm on the hunt for new fabric.  Not sure what color yet?

That's it for now.  The past 2 weeks have brought new tires for my car, a new lawn mower, a new car for John, the Christmas decorations, and quite a bit of rearranging around the house.  I'm ready to spend my afternoons laying in bed staring at my sweet girl.  No more projects 'til January!

Nov 24, 2010

rbt Bags and HGTV

Be sure to tune in to HGTV Friday, November 26th, at 7pm, and watch the show, "15 Fresh Handmade Gift Ideas"!  They will be featuring many great gift ideas from Etsy sellers and we were invited to submit our Oilcloth Wine Bottle Bags to the selection!  Go to our Facebook page for a chance to win one of your own wine bottle bags by watching for it on TV Friday night!

Nov 16, 2010


I am going through one of my home improvement phases.  I've felt it coming on since Emily was two weeks old but hoped the lack of sleep would hold it back.

Last night Emily slept like a CHAMP.  Next to our bed.  In her car seat.  Only woke up twice to eat.

So it's only fitting that after my very refreshing night of sleep it hit my with full force this morning.  There is something in just about every room of this house that is driving me NUTS.

I took a little walk around the house to document some of my main frustrations.

John, you may want to stop here.

We'll start with my bathroom.  When we moved in it had the grossest white mildewy grout.  John has scrubbed it numerous times (I was pregnant and incapable of scrubbing - ha) and it remained disgusting.  Having undertaken a couple of expensive and time consuming bathroom renovations we decided to just clean it and live with it.

Until last week.

John decided to scrape out the grout and replace it.  He did a great job and our powder blue tile looks like new!:

Unfortunately, the handy husband is not such a handy plumber and the new shower head he installed is leaking.  So we are using the guest bath.  Which brings me to the next problem:

Yeah.  Attractive, right?  John did that the week before Emily was born.  The tub/shower in the guest bath has had issues since we bought the house.  It started with a drip (noted in our home inspection) and turned into a leak (when John tried to fix the drip) and is now several leaks.  We can use the shower and bath but they leak.

So I have a really lovely bucket in the middle of my laundry room (below said bathroom) and all my fabulous shelves are in the downstairs closet... awaiting their return to the laundry room.

Having my bathroom(s) and laundry room in this state of upheaval is driving me bonkers.  Also, since I am spending more time in the guest bath.  I have noticed other things in there that I want to remedy.

Like the window with no curtain:

the old (not working) heat lamp (top right):

and the hideous brass light fixture (and matching towel holders).:

I have plans to visit the fabric store this week for material for the curtain.  I'm also hoping to replace the brass towel/toilet paper holder and try out a project I saw for updating the light fixture with spray paint.  I'm pretty sure I can just remove the heat lamp and put a cover over that hole.  However, the plumbing issues are beyond me.  It may be time to call in dad.

I'm trying to distract myself with laundry:

and a big pot of soup (inspired by Camille):

and staring at this sweet baby girl:

Unfortunately, the distractions aren't really working.  Tonight is John's man date night (video games) so maybe I can escape to the fabric store.  I would love to post some "after" pictures on here.  Anything that doesn't involve diapers, discipline, or breastfeeding would be a treat.

Nov 15, 2010

Great Stocking Stuffers

We want to bring to everyone's attention the great stocking stuffers that rbt Bags has to offer!  We are featuring our stocking-stuffable items now through Christmas by picturing them with holly branches in our Etsy store.  For a limited time, anything picture with a holly branch is free shipping, so stock up on stocking-stuffables while the offer lasts!

Nov 10, 2010

Wine Bottle Bags

'Tis the season...for toting wine bottles to holiday parties.  Tote your next bottle of wine in one of our stylish wine bottle bags!  At just $12.50 each, these would make great gifts this holiday season.  Available at our Etsy store in three color options this Christmas!
Come purchase one of these or choose from many of our products at a couple local markets this month.  Check out our Events section above for more details.

Oct 19, 2010

Old Navy sale.

I may have mentioned before how much I love Old Navy.  I really think I could shop only there.  Lame, I know, but I just love the convenience of shopping for everybody at one store.  Obviously I am not crazy into fashion.

Anyhow, they are having a fun sale right now and I had to share!  This only applies if you have an Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic credit card.

Buy any adult item get any kids item FREE!

I thought this sounded like an interesting idea so we went tonight (with Emily in my Moby wrap - which ROCKS by the way).  I figured the adult item could only be full price items but the sale items (not clearance) are included!   Also, the kids item can cost more than the adult item.  Crazy, right?!

So I got an $8 boatneck shirt (on sale) and got Carson new jeans ($16.50) for free.  John got some khaki pants for work (that were on sale) and we got Carson corduroys for free.

Is that not awesome?

I am wondering now if the sale applies to things like kids winter coats.  I mean could I go tomorrow and get another boatneck shirt and get Carson a winter coat for next year for free?  That seems too good to be true but I may have to go back to find out.

This sale goes through Thursday I think so check it out!

p.s.  Is it ridiculous that I feel mad that there are people out there - without kids - that are buying adult items and not getting the free kids item?  

Oct 3, 2010

The new room.

Obviously I need to work on stretching my projects out a little.  Two days after my original "need for projects" post and I already have one done.  Yay for the new room but boo that I may need to add another project to the list to keep myself occupied.

Changes to the room... a free rug from a friend, stripes on the wall (using paint we already had), spray painting picture frames and shelves red, making a bed skirt out of some leftover fabric from the curtains, and stealing an unused nightstand from my parents' house.  Now if only I could find a matching dresser on craigslist... have to keep searching for that one.

I love love it! The chalkboard paint stripe is going to be so much fun!

And because you know I love these... before and after pictures.

Before (previous owners)

With the paint up and the race car bed 
(which had to go after I couldn't get my hugely pregnant self in and out of it)

(don't you just love afters?)

Tomorrow is Carson's 3rd birthday so I thought it would be fun to take a look at Carson's rooms over the past 3 years.

The baby room in Florida

Carson's room in our apartment when we moved to TN

At our first TN house

Redo when he got his "big boy" bed.

And in the new house!

Yes, I realize I have posted the new room pic 3 times in this blog.  Forgive me.  I just love it.

Sep 30, 2010

Small Oilcloth Tote Bags, Handbags, and Purses

New for fall, our lined tote bags in two new sizes, small/medium and extra small, available now at our Etsy shop!   Though we don't offer monogramming services, these would make great monogrammed Christmas gifts this year!

Small/Medium Lined Oilcloth Tote Bag $28

Extra Small Lined Oilcloth Tote Bag $18

Add a pocket for $6 and a velcro closure for $5.  Available in many different color combinations.  

Sep 23, 2010

Oilcloth Animal Print Tote Bags and Accessories

It's all available now in our Etsy store!  Brown and black zebra print oilcloth tote bags as well as oilcloth checkbook covers, insulated koozies, binders, journals, key fobs, lanyards, and more!  Get a jump-start on your Christmas shopping here!

Large Oilcloth Tote Bag in Brown Zebra Print $38
Oilcloth Checkbook Covers $10
Zebra Print Oilcloth Snappy Wallets $14
Extra Large Camouflage Oilcloth Tote Bag, Unlined $30.  A great gift for a mom of boys this Christmas!

Oilcloth Journals in Midnight Dot $12 and $16
Oilcloth Insulated Zebra Print and Camouflage Koozies, $6.  Think stocking stuffers!

Sep 15, 2010

Fall 2010

rbt Bags is taking a walk on the wild side this fall!  Animal prints, camouflage and a new polka dot print with a rich, black background are the new colors that we are introducing.  We are slowly making these new colors available in all our products in our Etsy and Ebay stores!

Sep 6, 2010

Falling into Fall

Oilcloth works as well in fall as it does in summer!  Stay tuned and we'll introduce some new colors soon that will make the transition to cooler temperatures smooth and fashionable at rbt Bags!

Sep 1, 2010

Behind the Scenes at rbt Bags

Meet a few of the faces behind rbt Bags!  These girls offer  their creative talents when Rachel gets in over her head, which is known to happen frequently; if it weren't for Claire, Caroline, and Becky, among others, we would've had to stop filling orders long ago.    

From college students to stay-at-home moms, rbt Bags provides a great opportunity for each of us to exercise our creative skills, but still remain committed to our many other responsibilities.  

To learn more about what goes on behind the scenes, please visit our "About" section above!

Aug 24, 2010

Etsy Love.

I am sooo addicted to Etsy right now.

Why are there so many adorable girl things to choose from?  It is just killing me!  Thought I'd share some of my favorites.  I am really hoping these items find their way into Emily's room at some point in the near future.

Super cute butterflies to decorate some bare spots on her walls (only $10!).

This little hat is so adorable!

And so is this one.

And this one.

So maybe these bloomers aren't a must have but look how sweet?!

Love this little outfit.  It comes from one of my favorite Etsy stores. M.E.K.O. Kids is a company in my old home town (Lakeland) and I lust after their little pillowcase dresses.  I really need to learn how to make pillowcase dresses!