Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To Craft:

In lieu of currently being on winter break for almost a full month, I have been on the hunt for some craft ideas to attempt over the break. Now that the Christmas bustle has finally settled I think that I just may have the time. Here are a few of the projects that I plan to attempt this month before student teaching, school, wedding planning and life reclaim my time...

These super cute felt flower clips are from Tatertots and Jello and look fairly easy to make. I have been looking for some new hair accessories to jazz up my hair routine and I think that these will do just the trick. Plus, I have a feeling my girlfriends may want one as well... and how cute is the ear-warmer with the felt flower clip on it?! Adorable.

I must make this adorable cowl neck scarf asap. Not only is it chic but it will also take me much less time to knit than a scarf does (scarfs take me weeks to finish because I can only sit still for a few rows at a time. I am all about instant gratification). You can buy this here if you can not knit yourself... but really it is so simple. Youtube it. :)

Since I have a wedding in my future... I thought that this was a cute idea. Love the monogrammed hangers. Plus, what better way to keep your bridesmaids organized? Easy and cute... enough said. You can find this tutorial on Little Miss Momma.

I this this word board (not sure what to call it) is so fun. Not sure that I would use the same colors or the same fonts... but I really like the quote on it. I would maybe go with more neutral/lighter colors. You can find the link to this web tutorial on Little Miss Momma also. 

How shabby chic is this? So cute... and I may be wrong (I will let you know) but it doesn't seem too difficult to make. I would love to have all white bedding with fun lace pillows like this for pops of color someday; that is IF I can keep my dog from sleeping at the foot of the bed and getting his dirty paws on the bedding.

We will see how/if I get to all of these this week... but they are inspiration at least. :) Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Board Bunnies!

Yesterday Adam and I took our first trip to the mountain of the season. I was able to get Adam some lift tickets to Crystal online. The site is super easy to use and once you purchase them you can print the tickets out at home. This might be a good gift idea for the ski-bunny on your list. 

Originally, I had planned for Adam and I to head up to Crystal on Saturday, but with a gigantic windstorm and the power blown out... we decided to push it off until Monday. If there is one positive outcome of the Pineapple Express that has been pelting Washington with extreme weather; it is that the mountains are nice and powdery and just begging to be skied! 

I was a bit nervous when we got up to the mountain because I am more of a spring skier... I am not a fan of having icicles dangling from my hair. It wound up being a perfect day though. We bundled up enough to keep warm, packed some turkey sandwiches and spent the day enjoying the mountain (and Adam spent some time waiting on me since he is practically a professional... what a patient guy). 

We are sooo lucky to live in the Northwest where we have such beautiful, snow-covered mountains to enjoy! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Later this week....

Chicken and Dumplings: the Semi- Homemade and 98% Fat-Free Way.

- My childhood favorite! This is my soul food.

- and -

Pizza in a Bread Bowl: A Kid Friendly Treat.

- Pizza is hands down my favorite food, so this is yet another spin on the same ol' thing.

Peppermint Bark

Here is a recipe perfect for adding a festive splash to your Christmas dessert spread. Peppermint bark is simple to make (as long as you don't burn the chocolate like I did last year), delicious, and makes a perfectly delectable gift for anyone on your list.

Last year I made peppermint bark and ran into some complications. I had never had experience with tempering chocolate before and I overheated the chocolate as I was melting it in the double boiler, which made the chocolate impossible to spread and I had to scrape that batch and start over.

This year I came to the kitchen with more knowledge and boy did that make all the difference! I wanted to make some Christmas treats for some of the teachers that I am student teaching with and peppermint bark seemed just perfect.

What you will need:

2 bags milk chocolate chips
2 bags white chocolate chips (The chocolate makes all the difference so I would recommend splurging on the nice chocolate at the store).
2 tbs oil (half for the dark chocolate and half for the white)
1 tbs peppermint extract
8 drops of red food coloring
8 regular sized candy canes (crushed)


* Begin by lining a cookie sheet with some wax paper; this will make it easy to remove the peppermint bark when it is finished.
* Set up a double broiler on your stove by filling a pot halfway with water, bringing it to a simmer and placing a glass bowl on top (be sure that the water does not actually touch the bowl... this is how mine burnt last year).
* Pour into bowl 1 tbs oil, 1 tbs peppermit extract and 1 1/2 bags milk chocolate chips. stir slowly until chocolate is smooth. Remove it from the heat, add in other 1/2 of chips and continue to stir until all are melted. 

* Pour melted chocolate onto cookie sheet and spread and smooth with a spatula. 

* Place cookie sheet in the fridge to harden while you complete the same steps for melting chocolate for the white chocolate chips.

* Once white chocolate is melted, layer the white chocolate on top of the dark chocolate (move quick, the white chocolate seems to cool more quickly).

* Drop 8-10 drops of food coloring randomly on top of the white chocolate and use a fork to create swirls in the chocolate (simply for looks).
* Sprinkle crushed candy canes on to the white chocolate and lightly press them into the chocolate so that they stick once the chocolate cools.

* Place back into the fridge for at least one hour.
* Slice however you would like and enjoy!

There you have it. Such an inexpensive way to treat your family, friends and neighbors.

I decided to make treat packages for some teacher friends, so once the chocolate had cooled and hardened, I found some cute Christmas gift boxes at Target, placed some sparkly red tissue paper in each box, filled them with peppermint bark and folded them up. I then made Christmas gift tags with my embosser, wrote a thank you note to each teacher and snuck them into their mailboxes in the office at school. 

Such an easy way to let people know that you are grateful for them during this season of giving. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sleepy little Santa puppy.

A little something to warm your heart during this cold and rainy winter month! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Best Stuff Around..

Bat Those Lashes! ;)

This is the best mascara around. Hands down. I am a very picky mascara user and after using some waterproof mascara over the summer, my eyelashes were dried out and thinning. My mom turned me onto this mascara and after just one week of using L'oreal extra extend with the conditioning serum my lashes are no longer dried out and already look thicker. I don't usually blog about products, so if I do you know it's good stuff. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Blogaholic Designs”=

     I am so very blessed to have such a supportive, fun, enjoyable, healthy family to spend the holidays with. There is no better way to spend a day than to chow down on grandma's homemade cooking and play cards with the people that I love and adore! My family, fiancee and friends are the things that I am most thankful for this year! - Of course Kona, my pup, is part of that "family" category... just FYI. :)

     I apparently did a poor job of getting photos of my family on Thanksgiving because it seems like my camera went MIA at some point and I missed getting photos of my dad and cousins.... but obviously I am very thankful for them as well!! Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!!

Christmas Tree from Scrapbook Paper

Blogaholic Designs”= 

     Here is a very fun project to do on your own or with some kiddos around Christmas time! I made this tree while watching some football and it took about 30 minutes, maybe less. All you need is:

* A styrofoam cone (I found a green one which makes any gaps less apparent).
* Several sheets of scrapbook paper
* Straight pins
* Ribbon or some type of chipboard star (just some thing to place atop the tree). 


1. Select several sheets of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper in coordinating colors. Cut the paper one inch wide and three inches long. Each 12 x 12 paper will yield 48 pieces.

2. Fold the paper strip so the ends meet but do not crease the paper.

3. Poke a straight pin through the center of the paper (I used a thimble on my thumb so that the pin was easier to push through the thick scrapbook paper). It helps to put the pin at a downward angle through the paper. Beginning at the bottom of the cone, push the pins into the styrofoam cone. Start high enough so that the cone is sitting flat and the paper is not raising the cone off the table. Overlap the second row to cover any gaps and continue working in rounds until the tree is covered to the top of the cone.

4. Make a bow out of ribbon or some type of tree topper and use another push pin or hot glue to secure it to the top of your beautiful paper tree! :) 

Apple Crisp

     This year I was so blessed on Thanksgiving to get to spend a lot of quality time with many of the people that I love and am very grateful for. Adam joined me this year to go "house hopping," as Landon and I call it, which is how Landon and I spend most of our holidays. We tend to jump back and forth between mom and dad's houses to make sure that we don't miss seeing our whole family, anything exciting or any big meals.
     The grand finale of our Thanksgiving day was dessert at dad's house with my lovely cousins, cousin-in-law, aunt and uncle, and our best friends/neighbors. Since everyone makes pumpkin pie on Turkey Day, I decided to try something a little different and opt to make Apple Crisp. Adam helped me to peel and core the apples and get the topping all mixed up and we had the crisp in the oven in about 20 minutes flat. This recipe was very easy and turned out delicious. We added about an extra 1/2 to the recipe since we were feeding more people and we had the perfect amount.


Serves 8
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 3 pounds apples, such as Empire, Gala, or Braeburn, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. Transfer to freezer to chill while you prepare apples.
  2. In another large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Here is the finished product! Very delicious! I would highly recommend serving apple crisp nice and hot and with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Soup

     This week my brother, Landon, came home for Turkey Day from Boise State University and just for him, Seattle decided to turn into a bit of a winter wonderland. While icy roads always make me feel like I have a bit of cabin fever coming on, it was sort of nice to be snowed-in with my family and get to spend time with them while forced to take a break from work, school and random business. Adam came over in his big Jeep and took Landon and I to the Do-It store - if you live in Maple Valley you know that this is the local hardware store- to pick up some craft supplies and some towing gear for Adam's Jeep (so he can pull stuck cars out of the snow). Adam also took us to the grocery store so that we could find something delicious to make, and pick up some movies. 

     After a chilly but very fun day of playing in the snow with my dad, Landon, Adam and, of course, Kona, I thought that roasted red pepper and potato soup with some toasted sour dough bread on the side sounded like just the meal to warm our bones. I hadn't made this before on my own but Carol, my best friend Jenni's mom, used to always make this for us on snow days and I always crave it when the weather turns icy. Not only was this soup delish, but it was not at all hard to make. 

Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup Recipe


  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic (fresh garlic adds the best flavor if you have it).
  • 1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk (I used Fat Free milk and about 1/2 cup instead).
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste (I also added Cumin and it made a world of difference).


1 Roast the red bell peppers by placing them over or under an open flame until they blacken on all sides. (You can use a grill, cooktop gas burner, or oven broiler.) Place the blackened peppers in a bag, close the bag and let the peppers steam for 10-15 minutes, or until the skins feel like they can easily be slipped off. Remove the peppers from the bag, peel off the blackened skins, remove the seeds. Chop the peppers roughly. (I actually do not put them in a bag. If you just put the peppers in a baking dish and fill it with about an inch of water and then stick them in an oven with the broiler on high and rotate them as they char on each side, you will be able to easily slip the skin off with a fork once each side is done).
2 Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and cook another 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic and roasted peppers. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
3 Add the stock, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft.
4 Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Fill the blender about halfway with the soup. Start the blender on low and keep your hand on the top, in case the lid wants to pop off from the rising steam. Once everything is well chopped, turn the blender to its highest setting and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. You might need to do this in batches (I couldn't find our food processor but used our blender and it worked wonderfully. Do this in about 2 batches if you do it in a blender because if the blender is all the way full  the soup can not fluff or thicken as it acquires air).
5 Return to a clean pot set over low heat. Add the cream (I just added Fat Free milk... and actually used about 1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup), stir well and taste. Add some cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6.

And Voila!!! YUMMM!

Enjoy! If you would like left overs for the week just double the recipe! :)