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Chicken and Butternut Squash Coconut Curry

chicken butternut squash coconut curry

We had a bit of a cold snap last week. Meaning that the day temps were in the fifties. Which feels sooo cold once you get used to the early, warm springs in the South. Anyway, the “cold” weather had me craving something warm and hearty. We probably eat curry (or other Indian food) at least once a week. It’s always so satisfying and three out of four of us love it. Still working on the fourth.

I think part of the reason that I make curries so often is that they help me use up the random vegetables that I have on hand. (As discussed before I HATE waste!!)  I had a butternut squash that had been in the pantry for at least a couple of weeks and was on my “use up” hit list, so that went in. As did some spinach for color. And a can of diced tomatoes. And coconut milk  So, so good.

Chicken and Butternut Squash Coconut Curry
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp paprika
1 onion, medium dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into chunks
1 tsp salt
2 cups of chopped butternut squash
1 can of coconut milk
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 tbsp sugar
handful of chopped cashews, for garnish

Directions

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add curry and paprika and warm/toast spices for a couple of minutes. Add onion, garlic and ginger, and stir until softened. Toss chicken chunks with salt and then add to pan. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, then add the rest of your ingredients. Turn heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve over jasmine rice and top with some roughly chopped cashews for added texture. (Note: I’ve served it over spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles, which is a great option if you’re serving friends with dietary restrictions)

chicken butternut squash coconut curry

 

Serena & Lily Inspired Throw Pillow

 

DIY Serena & Lily Inspired Chambray Stripe Throw Pillow
Every once in a while, a project turns out even better than you had hoped. I should note that this does not happen to me very often, as I am usually overly optimistic on my carpentry/seamstress/chef skills. But it happened this time! 
 
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m not a great seamstress. My skills are for the most part limited to sewing throw pillows and curtains (and the occasional editing of a piece of child’s clothing). And so I’ll apologize upfront for my basic and amateur vernacular when it comes to giving  you guys sewing instructions. 
 
Anyhow, back to the project. I’ve been eyeing these pillows from Serena & Lily for a long while. They are 100% my style and could work in pretty much any room in my house. But, given my tendencies to change throw pillows every few months, I knew that it would not be a wise investment for me to pay $68/pillow cover. Plus, the more I studied the design, I realized I could probably mimic it fairly simply with my sewing machine. Here’s how I did it!
 
Serena & Lily Inspired Pillow Cover
 
DIY Serena & Lily Inspired Chambray Stripe Throw Pillow
 
Supplies
 
<1 yard Chambray fabric (I found mine for a great price on Amazon. It’s wide, so you can get the 41 inches you need crosswise).
<1 yard White or Off-white fabric (same weight as the Chambray that you use). Again, you’ll be able to get the strips you need crosswise.
White/off-white thread
Black thread  (I like this brand)
 
I wanted to make a 20” square pillow, so the dimensions I provide are for this size. Note that the directions include pictures of two different twists on this pillow design, hopefully it’s not confusing. 
 
Cut chambray fabric into an 8” wide by 41″ long strip. Cut two white fabric strips 6.5” wide by 41″ long. 
 
Pin pieces together, with chambray fabric in the middle (as the center stripe). 
 
The lighter fabric is longer than the darker fabric only because I didn’t cut it yet. All three pieces should be the same length.

 
I used a basic straight stitch to attach the three pieces together.  
 

Next, iron each hem down the middle (as pictured), to flatten.
 
Now onto the fun part – the black decorative stitching. Somehow I’d never noticed before that my very basic sewing machine actually has some pretty neat stitches it can do. I experimented with a few of them to see how they looked and worked with the fabric. Ultimately I decided on the star shaped stitch since it seemed to handle the weight of the fabric best and looked kind of neat.
I used the dark fabric as my guide and sewed as straight as I could about 1/4 of an inch off the seam. A couple of times, my machine tied itself up so I had to go back and undo the stitch and then redo it, to keep with the pattern.

Repeat the stitch on the other side of the blue stripe.
Now you’re ready to fold the fabric into your pillow shape. I opted for a simple envelope style at the back (because I go for simple when sewing!), but you could certainly do a zipper as well.
Sew a hem on either end of the pillow (the parts that will come together as the envelope).
Fold into pillow shape inside out, overlapping your seams to make an envelope pillow style case. Sew down the sides

Good luck! I personally think this pillow is worth the effort. I’ve already made three!

Any other pillow designs out there that you think would be fun to DIY?! Let us know in the comments.

DIY Serena & Lily Inspired Chambray Stripe Throw Pillow
 

 

Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization Ideas

Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle Keeping the kids’ playroom clean and organized seems to be a never ending battle. Thank God our nanny is a complete Saint and ensures the kids pick it up at the end of each day – and by the kids doing it, I’m sure I should say she she picks it up. Regardless, clutter gets under my skin and it’s always haunting me at least one place in our house so any one room down is a win.
Picked up or not, keeping a playroom organized is no simple task. The boys are all boy which means there are always armies of action figures, cars, Legos, balls, etc. swarming the house. When the boys “pick up” they often pull the under the rug trick and assume out of sight means out of mind… That is until a couple days later they’re looking for a very specific toy and it’s nowhere to be found because nothing has a “home”.
A couple weekends ago I spent some serious time adding a little sense to their art of picking up with some super easy playroom organization tricks. They certainly don’t keep every toy contained but when they’re on the hunt for that one “ninja turtle bad guy that has that one weapon” I know the first place to check.
Arts & Crafts Organization
 
The boys love doing crafts or “projects” as we often call them. As a result, they have all kinds of markers, coloring books, safety scissors, etc. Their play table was typically a mess (sparing you the before photos) to the point where it wasn’t usable… Which equals markers and coloring books on the carpet. No Bueno.
I actually purchased a pegboard with the intent to use in my own craft space but in typical momma fashion, prioritized the kids’ space first.
This was so simple to put together and get up on the wall! (Not to mention the pegboard only costs about $10 from Home Depot!). I also picked up an inexpensive pack of pegboard hooks from HD as well.
Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle
Pegboard Wall Organizer

First I cut two 1×2″ boards to the height of the pegboard. (You’ll want to measure your board for this measurement since they can vary.

Using 1″ wood screws and washers, I drilled into the wood through 2 of the top edge holes at every corner.
Attach hanging hardware through the back of the 1×2″s and hang.
I found some hanging storage baskets for under $10 at Homegoods and use them to store markers, flash cards, stamps, etc.
Using a couple hooks and a wooden dowel rod cut down to size, I hung a roll of paper – one of my favorite things about the pegboard!
I hung some metal cans, purchased from the dollar section at Target, to store colored pencils, paintbrushes, etc.
I hung some scissors and added a little personalization (B & G letters from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child) and an arrow from Hobby Lobby.

The pegboard could be filled up a little more, but I’m so happy with the results so far and have already found it to be extremely useful.

Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle

Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + BelleSimple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + BelleSimple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + BelleSimple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle
Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle
Jar Storage


All those little boxes of Crayola crayons add up quickly, and the boxes, well aren’t the most durable. I purchased a handful of these glass jars from Old Time Pottery for $5 each. I filled them up with crayons and magnets. So simple and colorful!

Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle
Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle
Cars, Play Food, and Action Figures, Oh My.
 
These are the items I most often find throw a stray all of the house. In the bathroom, in the pantry, laundry room, you name it. No room left untainted.
I bought these black linen storage boxes in packs of two from Target and found these awesome burlap tags from Michaels (also used in a previous post for DIY Beverage Tags).
I sharpied on some common toy themes and filled them up. These are literally the best. They are always organized. Obsessed.
Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle
Ball Storage
Okay, this is maaaybe half of the balls we have in his household. The balance are stored in the garage – those that are more for outdoor use.
I found this large galvanized bucket from an antique store so it’s not only functional, it looks really cool.
Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle
Book Storage
My boys are also bookworms. (Yes, they sound to be interested in just about everything… Not sure at what age their interests focus a bit more. Needless to say, we love books, and we have hundreds of them.

I purchase six unfinished wooden crates from Michaels for about $10 each.

Hubs and I stained them Minwax aged walnut and stacked a couple high, and a few across for bookshelves. We chose not to nail them together so we could easily change the placement and configuration. *Note I do not recommended stacking anymore than two high without attaching for fear of them tumbling. They could also be drilled into the wall should you choose to build the stack higher.

Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle

(Find the easy no-sew DIY for the “To the Moon & Back” sign here)

Simple, Inexpensive Playroom Organization // Beckham + Belle