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. :)