Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are You Pinterested in a Challenge: Clothespin Picture Frame

It's time. Time to share my Fall Pinterest Challenge project! Are you excited?

Some lovely ladies (Sherry and Katie) from a couple of my favorite blogs have been hosting a pinterest challenge each season. As you saw last week, I've finally decided to jump on this wagon. 

So here it is, my pinterest challenge project.

My Doyle Life's Clothespin Picture Frame

You will need:
1 picture frame - size of your choice, bigger will hold more pictures
picture frame wire
mini clothespins

Here is some of my inspirations from Pinterest.

DIY Clothes pin picture frame (like the one at Pier 1)

Clothespin picture frame

I absolutely love Ten June's.

My walls needed some pizzazz. A little somethin' somethin'. And voila! 

We love it! It's great because the photos are easy to change out. I also thought it would be a cute way to display all of the family Christmas cards we get around the holidays. Great idea, huh?

Has anyone else participated in the pinterest challenge? I am loving going through all the great projects over at Young House Love and Bower Power

The Doyles

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kale and Apple Salad

As promised, here's the recipe for the kale and apple salad we had with our pot roast for Sunday dinner yesterday. My husband announced that it was his new favorite salad, so I'd say it was a hit. Plus, this is coming from the guy who doesn't like salad so major bonus points for me, not that I enjoy giving myself props or anything. Who am I kidding, I LOVE it! :) HA! 

This recipe was inspired by one of our favorite Greek restaurants. Before seeing it served there, kale wasn't really on my radar. I am so glad it is now, because like my husband, this might be my new favorite salad too. And it is super healthy and good for you. Check out the benefits of kale here.

So here's what you'll need:

1 bundle of kale (look for younger leaves that are soft)
2 granny smith apples, sliced very thin then diced
4oz plain goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup golden raisins 
1/2 cup walnuts

For the dressing:
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp olive oil 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp pepper

Thoroughly wash and dry the kale. Pull apart the leaves into bite-size pieces, making sure  to cut out the thicker stems. Add to salad bowl.

Thinly slice two apples then dice into 1/2 to 1in. pieces. Add to bowl with kale. 

Add the golden raisins and walnuts. Crumble goat cheese over salad. Toss to combine ingredients. 

To make the dressing, zest and juice two lemons in a separate bowl. Add in olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat all ingredients. 


The Doyles

Sunday Pot Roast

Happy Monday everyone. I hope you had a great weekend! It was a pretty dreary weekend in NC. Great weather to snuggle up inside and watch some football. But don't even get me started on my Wolfpack who had a terrible loss to those awful Tar Heels on Saturday. 

Anyway, I made a pot roast yesterday. The Pioneer Woman's perfect pot roast to be exact. I also made a delicious kale and apple salad inspired by one of our favorite Greek restaurants. I'll post the recipe later today. 

Okay, back to the pot roast. I should probably begin by telling you about the newest addition to the Doyle kitchen. My beautiful 5.5 quart food network dutch oven from Kohl's. I am in love. $69.99 people! It's amazing! The Le Creuset 5.5 quart dutch oven retails for $265.00 at Williams-Sonoma. 

Isn't she a beauty?! Did I mention I'm in love? The perfect pot for my Sunday pot roast. :)

So here are the guests for the pot roast party. 

Sunday Pot Roast


1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 whole Onions
6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste
1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste


First and foremost, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else. Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).
Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
Add a bit more olive oil, if needed, to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of the flavor up.
When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

Recipe from the Pioneer Woman

It was out of this world delicious. Perfect Sunday evening meal. Did anyone else cook any great Sunday meals? Any recipe ideas I can try in the new dutch oven?

The Doyles

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Are You Pinterested in a Challenge?

Does anyone else get completely lost on Pinterest? You go on for just a few minutes to see what's new and two hours later you come up for air?! I love it ad you can see here). It is so fun to see all the great ideas out there for recipes, crafting, home decorating and much more. I also love it because you get introduced to new blogs to read and I'm always up for adding to my blog list!

Yesterday I saw this post from Sherry at Young House Love, for the Pinterest Challenge, Fall Edition. I have been reading about this challenge that she and Katie Bower do every season for a while now. I've decided its time to stop watching and actually get in the game. 

I'm still shuffling through my pins to determine which project I want to tackle. Isn't this fun!?! I can't wait to get started on my project and share it on Tuesday! 

So is anyone else pinterested in a challenge? Any other Pinterest fans out there that want to join in on the fun?

The Doyles

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A New Look at the Doyle House

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend! 

Things are looking different at the Doyle house these days. We got ourselves a face lift. Actually a new hairdo. Well, whatever you want to call it, we got a new roof! 

Yes, I do get super excited over a new roof. Oh the life of a homeowner. This new roof is especially exciting because it was covered by our insurance company. Thanks to a strong hail/wind storm that came through back in July, the Doyle casa is sporting snazzy new slate gray GAF architectural shingles. 

Our home is 17 years old and the roof was original. We have been saving up because we knew when we bought the house that a new roof was in our future, maybe 3-5 years down the road. We recently had the roof inspected and they found hail and wind damage on all sides of the roof. As the shingles were older, they were beyond repair. 

We used a company, Weatherguard Roofing and Restoration that had been in our neighborhood for a few months now as many houses were effected by this storm. They did a great job, if I do say so myself! :)

For all you homeowners out there, hail and wind can cause serious damage to your roof and the older the roof is, the worse the damage can be. Weather damage is typically covered under you insurance. They may be able to cover repairs if you don't need a new roof. It is definitely worth having it checked out. 

Note: You do have to be the current owner of the home when the storm occurs in order to file a claim. If you purchase a home that was affected by a storm prior to your ownership, it is considered a pre-existing condition and you can't take action on it through your insurance. 

Here is a before and after for ya. 

So, that's our roofing story. Maybe it will be helpful to some other homeowners out there. 

If you have any questions regarding the process, feel free to ask. :) Has anyone gone through a similar experience?

The Doyles

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Inspired by the Frontier

I absolutely love Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman. Ree and I hang out every Saturday morning. The only weird thing about this friendship is - she isn't aware of it. :) Does anyone else watch her show? It comes on at 10:30 ET on the Food Network. I just love to grab a cup of coffee and see what yummy things she's going to whip up. 

This past Saturday when my parents were in town, my mom and I watched Ree make rib eye steaks with onion blue cheese sauce, restaurant-style smashed potatoes, corn with pasilla butter and strawberry sparkle cake. We were inspired. Guess what we had for dinner that night? 

Hubby took care of the steaks, he is the meatatarian of the family after all. He also cooked the corn on the grill, minus the pasilla butter. We are not pepper/spicy people so plain grilled corn is fine by us. When cooking grilled corn we typically pull back the husks, remove the silk and then rub on butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then pull the husks back over the corn for grilling. 

Here are the recipes we used for the steak sauce, smashed potatoes and sparkle cake modified from the Pioneer Woman.

Onion Blue Cheese Steak Sauce


  • 4 rib eye steaks 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 stick softened butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese


Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and then saute the onions until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Pour in the cream, a dash of salt and pepper and the Worcestershire sauce. Let it bubble up, then add the blue cheese and stir together to melt, adding more pepper or Worcestershire sauce as you wish.
Spoon the sauce over the top of your steak.
Restaurant-Style Smashed Potatoes


  • 5 whole large red potatoes
  • 1 stick butter, softened and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 whole green onions, sliced, plus more for topping
  • Salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 


Poke a few holes in the potatoes bake in a 400 degree F oven until fork-tender (45-55 minutes). Add to a large bowl and smash with a potato smasher.
Immediately add the softened butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon and green onions, and stir with a rubber spatula. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Great with steak!
Strawberry Sparkle Cake


1 store bought angle food cake

1 tub of Cool Whip


  • One 3-ounce package strawberry gelatin
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pound package frozen strawberries


For the filling: Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water and add the strawberries, stirring to break up and mix the berries.
To assemble: Place the cake, wide-side down, on a serving plate. Cut a 1-inch layer from the top and set it aside. Cut around the cake 1 inch from the outer edge to 1 inch from the bottom. Cut around the cake 1 inch from the inner edge to 1 inch from the bottom.
Gently remove the section of cake between the cuts and pour in the strawberry mixture.
Place the cake layer back on top and spread the Cool Whip all over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with whole strawberries.
Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
The Pioneer Woman made her cake and icing from scratch. Here are her recipes if you'd also like to make yours too. The store bought cake and icing are a quick and easy option and are still very delicious! 

  • 15 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake: Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until 

stiff. Sift the superfine sugar three times and add slowly to the egg whites.

Sift the cake flour and salt five times, and then fold slowly into the egg whites. Sprinkle in 

the vanilla and fold.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes in an unbuttered angel food cake pan. After the cake rises and 

begins to brown, cover with buttered paper. Remove the paper in the last 5 to 10 

Set aside to cool completely, inverted on a bottle or jar that fits the cake pan.


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Whole strawberries, for decorating

  • For the icing: Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until thick.

  • Unfortunately, I was too busy eating the sparkle cake to take a picture of ours. But you can check out Ree's here. Her photography is way better than mine anyway. :) 

Have you made any of Ree's recipes? I'd love for you to share if you have! 

The Doyles

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Not-So-Stained Staining Project

Happy Monday friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend! We had a fabulous time with my parents this weekend. I'll have more on our weekend activities later. 

I've been working on a photo/picture frame project that I found during my daily blog reading. Is anyone else obsessed with hooked on blogs? I absolutely LOVE reading design, crafting and baking blogs to finding new ideas that I'd like to try out myself. I came across this blog post for a diy vintage wood stain. Her's turned out great. It was beautiful and inspiring. Plus, I wasn't super excited about the original color of the frame I purchased so this would be the perfect solution.

I went out the next day and bought the steel wool and vinegar and used coffee I already had at home. I added these three ingredients to a mason jar and let it sit overnight (actually about a day and a half). 

I used a scrap piece of wood before using it on the actual frame. I brushed it on the frame and....nothing. I rubbed some more on. Nothing. Maybe it needed to soak in and dry. I left it for 30 minutes and came back. Nothing. 

Can a girl admit when she's had a diy flop?? I'm just being real folks. I need some help; some pointers from my friends in the blog world. Has anyone tried this? I'm definitely willing to give this another try in hopes that if I tweak something, it might work for me the second go round. Plus, every story of defeat needs a story of overcoming and victory, right? :) 

The Doyles

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Decor Link Party

Hi Y'all! Happy Friday! 

Today I am over at Ten June participating in Michelle's Fall Decor Link Party. Head on over and check it out! You'll see my fall decor, fashions I'm loving for fall and some yummy comfort food recipes over there as well as many other great ideas for this lovely fall season that's upon us, Halloween, and Thanksgiving too. I'd love to hear your thoughts, so check it out and let me know what you think!

Hope y'all have a fabulous weekend! 

The Doyles

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spick and Span

Happy Wednesday everyone! 

So, my parents are coming into town this weekend to visit. I am super excited for some quality family time! We have some good food, fun entertainment (the state fair!) and great company in our futures! Plus you just can't beat the late night talks with your mom once the guys go to bed. :)

Now there's just one thing that has to be accomplished before they get here...the house obviously has to be spotless, right?!? Please tell me I'm not alone in these feelings! My house is always pretty clean cause I'm kind of a neat freak. But hey, family visits are a good reason to give it a little more elbow grease to the cleaning department if you ask me. 

There are things that I always do every day and week to keep the house clean. I have found some helpful blogs and checklists on cleaning that can be a big help. The key is to keep it up and consistently do a little bit so it doesn't turn into a huge overwhelming mess. 


1. Make the bed every day - it makes the room look nicer and neater.
2. Never go to bed with dishes in the sink - if the dishwasher isn't full enough I don't run it, but at least the dishes are in there.
3. Make sure everything is put back in it's place before leaving a room or before going to bed. 


1. Vacuum all carpets/rugs
2. Sweep/swifter all hard floors - several times a week if needed
3. Wipe down all surfaces: kitchen and bathrooms
4. Empty all trashcans
5. Dust all surfaces
6. Clean all toilets
7. Laundry - towels and sheets, clothes typically a couple times a week

Currently I'm only cleaning for two, me and the hubs, but I know these tips would be extremely helpful for busy moms with kids and will become even more important for me when we have kids (and no, this is not a baby announcement!) 

I Dream of Clean is a great blog to check out for cleaning tips and ideas.

Martha Stewart also has a bunch of cleaning checklists that you can use for daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal cleaning. 
Clean Mama is currently in the middle of 31 days to a clean house. She provides free printables which is great if you want a list to check off. Don't you feel great about yourself after you check something off your list! 

Habits of a Clean Home -- Pretty good list, but some are pretty obvious. I do more than this though lolHow to Organize the Linen Closet

Anyway friends, hope you find that info helpful. Sorry to come at you with a boring cleaning post on a Wednesday. This probably isn't the excitement you were looking for to get you through the day, but that is my reality this week. I do have a couple of crafts that I'm trying to finish up that I'm excited to share with you soon. I also will have some recipes and an update from our family weekend coming soon! 

Enjoy the rest of your day!

The Doyles 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Happenings at the Doyles

Hello everyone! Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I am happy to report that the Doyles had a wonderful weekend filled with new restaurants, football, dinner with friends, the parade of homes and some yummy pumpkin treats.

Friday night was date night. We tried out a new restaurant that just opened call BurgerFi. If you have one near you, I recommend trying it out. They have really good burgers, fries, onion rings and custard. Isn't it fun to splurge every once in a while with a good burger?! Unfortunately I was too busy eating and forgot to take a photo, but you can check out their website here.

Saturday night we went to our friends' house for dinner. I made pumpkin whoopie pies to take over using the recipe I found on Annie's Eats blog. These are delicious, although mine did not turn out as perfectly round and wonderful looking as hers. Mine were more abstract. :) I think this might be because she used a pastry bag and piped out her cookies onto the cookie sheet and I used a spoon to drop scoops onto the cookie sheet. That definitely makes a difference in the shape, but they were tasty none the less. 

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
For the pumpkin cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup canola oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the maple cream cheese filling:
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, cold
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the pumpkin cookies, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, whisk sugars and oil together.  Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly.  Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

Transfer the cookie batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip.  Pipe small rounds of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1½-2 inches in diameter.  (If your dough seems to thick to pipe, you can drop scoops of it onto the baking sheet.)**For nice round cookies, it really is a good idea to use a pastry bag if you have one. I did not and the result is more abstract, less uniform cookies. If you don't have a pastry bag, try using a plastic bag and cut one of the bottom corners off. Looking back, I should have used this trick.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining batter.

To make the filling, combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-heat speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Be careful not to over beat the filling or it will lose structure.  Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. 

To assemble, pair the cookies up by size.  Pipe filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich together with the remaining cookie.  ** I used a plastic bag and cut one corner off the bottom and used this to pipe the icing onto the cookies. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm before serving.

Recipe from Annie's-Eats.

On Sunday we went to the annual parade of homes. This happens is a way for the local builders to showcase their work and homes that are for sale. I look forward to going in all the beautiful houses to get decorating inspiration or make mental notes of things I like architecturally in case we ever build a home down the road.


Aren't they beautiful? Big, maybe even too big. But isn't it so much fun walking through mansions?! At least I think so. :)

It was kinda rainy and cold on Sunday so after hitting the parade of homes, we headed back to our humble abode and to relax and watch some football.

Speaking of football, I have to put in a plug to my NC State Wolfpack who beat #3 FSU on Saturday night!!!! It was such a great game! GO PACK! :) Duke also won their game on Saturday vs. UVA, so hubby and I were both happy campers!

Anyway, that's out weekend at a glance folks. Hope everyone had a great one! Let me know what you got into this weekend!

The Doyles 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Fashion...Things I'm Loving

It's still pretty warm here in NC, but since its October, I think its safe to transition to the fall wardrobe. When we enter into a new season, especially the spring and fall, I seem to forget what clothes I have that I wore the previous year. I obviously wore something. Does anyone else have that problem??? Maybe I'm subconsciously finding an excuse to go shopping?! :) That's what I'll tell the hubs, I need new clothes. I'm sure he'll understand. 

So, since I'll be going on this big shopping spree because I have no clothes (ha, I wish), I thought I'd share some things that I'm loving for this season. 

Collection crepe shawl blazer


Isn't this pink blazer adorable? Cute with jeans or could dress it up for work too. 

Toothpick ankle jean in pitch black wash


Black skinny jeans.  Love the leopard shoes too.


Colorful cords. LOVE! One of each please.

Jules dress in Italian paisley

Paisley dress from J.Crew. Maybe paired with the boots below. 

Boots from Aldo. And I'll need a new purse. Duh!

Aren't I going to have a ball shopping? And I'll be looking might cute too! What fall trends are you into? Let me know what you are loving! Maybe I can add to my wish list. :)

Happy Wednesday everyone! 

The Doyles  

Monday, October 1, 2012

New and Improved!

Hi Y'all! Hope everyone had a great weekend! 

You might notice things look a little different around here. Can you guess what it is??? Well let me tell you...

We're settling in with our new name, My Doyle Life! We were in need of something a little more unique and original and we're excited to move on, new and improved! :)

It's been a cold and rainy Monday here and I'm thinking about grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. Doesn't that sound delicious, especially on a day like today?! 

We still have a bunch of tomatoes growing in the backyard, so I think I'm going to try out a homemade tomato soup recipe tonight. I'll let you know how it goes! Does anyone have a good homemade tomato (or any) soup recipes?


I made tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner and it can be summed up in one word, YUM! It totally hit the spot! Here is the recipe I used:

Homemade Tomato Soup


3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (1 onion)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 4 cups chicken stock, (32-ounces)
  • 5 small/medium tomatoes (puréed) or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. If using whole tomatoes, purée tomatoes in a food processor.  Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently. For chunkier soup, serve as is. For creamier soup, blend soup in blender or food processor until smooth. 

The Doyles 
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