Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spread the love!

Tomorrow is the day of love, Valentine's day!  There's a couple of simple things I've done this last week to spread the love to family and friends. 
I handmade Valentine cards to send off to family and friends near and far.  Even if our loved ones aren't close, we want them to know that we heart them! 
For a couple of friends close by, I made heart sugar cookies to let them know I'm sweet for them. 
So what are you doing this Valentine's day to spread the love? 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Welcome 2014!

A little delayed, as we're 2 1/2 weeks into the new year, but I figured I'd catch up on what I'm up to now that the holidays have passed and 2014 is in full swing and I finally have a chance to slow down (by force, not by choice, thanks to coming down with a cold this week).
I'm trying this year--well at least this month-- to make almost a full month dinner list so I can spend less time at the grocery store.  So far, this plan has worked out great! While it required a bit of time to get a meal calendar planned out and long grocery list together, I think it truly has saved me time since I haven't done my major grocery shopping since New Years day! And, I still have a weeks worth of dinners planned (with the groceries for the dinners too).  Of course with the calendar, we have some flexibility and if we end up not eating one of the meals that is on the schedule, I just mark it down at the bottom of the calendar to be made on a later night. 
After New Years we moved everything out of our home office and our guest room and made a switch!  The smaller previous guest room is now the office and the previous office which is the larger of the two rooms is blank and ready to be painted.  This room is getting ready to be the baby room!  No progress has been made as of yet, other than clearing out the room and prepping it for painting, but I'm hoping in just a few short weeks the room will be ready to welcome our baby girl that is coming this Spring.  Once the room is done I'm sure I will share, but for now it is just a blank slate.
And last, but not least, there are a few things that I'm certain this year will bring...
I hope to have more fun crafty and cooking things on the blog this year, so stay tuned! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas banners

Can you believe Christmas is only 10 days away!  How did that happen?!  The month has gone by so fast and I have to admit I haven't done all the Christmas stuff I would like to do (like getting lights hung on the outside of our house), but I was able to do a little craft to add to the Christmas d├ęcor at our house before the month flew by. 
I've had some vintage music sheets in my craft stash for a while and finally decided to do something with them.  I just needed a little ribbon and glitter from the craft store and a few other tools I already had on hand to make banners!
I first made a mini banner to drape across the Christmas tree.
 With all the other "natural" and glittery decorations, I think the banner adds a little extra vintage charm
I then made a banner that was a little bit bigger to hang in the living room and add a little extra shine to our entry mirrors.
It's just a little craft, but cost only a few dollars and I think adds some great sparkle and vintage style to our Christmas.
Have you done any crafts this Christmas season to add a little shine to your home? 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A "little" announcement

There's some exciting stuff going on at our home these days...we're getting ready for a baby!  That's right, we're expecting our first baby in April!  Throughout the last two months we've slowly been breaking the news to family, friends, and co-workers so it seemed like it was finally time to make the announcement to the masses. 
Of course the first people we told were our parents.  We told my parents over a game of Scrabble, which is a family favorite game to play together. 
Our first ultrasound of the baby made me say, "we're having a gummy bear!" since the ultrasound looked less like a baby and more like a little gummy bear in my belly.  So, for about the first month we called the baby our gummy bear.  It was fitting when I saw this huge gummy bear at a store in the mall to take a picture of it with my "gummy bear".
And just this week we found out that we're having a girl!  It felt like Christmas that day being able to see an ultrasound of a cute little baby and finding out we're going to have a little girl this Spring!   Our pictures for our Christmas cards this year catch our growing baby girl (aka my growing belly). 
So, that's a little update on the big change that is going on with our family as well as the reason I've been slacking a little with blogging in the past couple of months!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fall at home

With it finally getting colder in our neck of the woods, I am getting more jazzed about the upcoming holidays.   It makes me think of hanging stocking on the fire place, layering up, listening to Christmas music and eating treats that only seem to come around this time of year; but I have to take a step back to try to enjoy the brief moments of fall before I get completely engrossed in the Christmas spirit.  So here's a look at what fall is looking like at our house.  Of course while I write this I'm still contemplating when I can get the Christmas decorations up, but for now, let's take in the beauty of fall! 

The big tree in our front yard is the vibrant red-orange.  It makes me grateful for the beauty of fall with all the natural colors that grace the trees and start to line the streets and yards with fallen leaves

I still love coming home to the collection of pumpkins/gourds that flank or front porch.  I especially love that all of the pumpkins/gourds (except the white one) were autumn gifts from our family and neighbor, such a great reflection of what the season is all and celebrating family & friends. 

The gigantic mulberry tree in our back yard has dropped about a third of it's leaves so far, making the entire backyard blanketed in golden flecks.  While it gets a little frustrating to have all these leaves to rake up (the one down side of having a big backyard), I have to be grateful for the majestic tree because of all the great shade it provides us all summer and the fun tree fort it sports year round.  

I'm not one for doing a lot of fall decorations in the house (probably because I anticipate Christmas so much), but I try to make sure to have my dining room chalkboard provide a reminder for this fall and Thanksgiving season.  I truly have so much to be grateful for, especially to be able to enjoy fall in this little space I call home! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cooking up...Young women in excellence

It's been a few weeks now (I've been slacking!) but I was able to put on an event along with the girls I work with at church.  Every year the girls from youth group at church (we call it Young Women) present what they have been working on in their Personal Progress and the girls that have completed all of their personal progress get honored.  The special night is called "Young Women in Excellence".  Personal Progress is a program kind of like the Boy Scouts program where there are certain skills and activities the girls have to complete, but many of the skills and activities focus on building their faith in Jesus Christ through eight different values.   
With the girls, we put on a night that had a cooking theme emphasizing all of the the values as if they were "ingredients" or "cooking utensils" that were necessary for every cook.  
We sent out save the dates about 2 months early to make sure all of the Young Women and parents knew about it.

About a month before the event we then sent out the actual invites to get the girls excited!

It was a great event with the girls impressing me with the program we worked on and a special musical number that sounded angelic!  I only wish I had taken more pictures of the night, but I do have this great picture of the girls..they did such a great job!  It was really a great night of cooking up Young Women in Excellence! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Copy that--Williams Sonoma inspired pumpkin seed brittle

Over a year ago I ordered one thing from Williams-Sonoma (special cookie cutters for a party I threw) and ever since then I have been getting their catalogs.  While it's fun to peruse their catalog when it comes in the mail, I haven't purchased anything else and really can't imagine myself buying anything since they are quiet pricey.  The October catalog however peaked my interest when I saw they were selling a unique Halloween/fall treat...Pumpkin Seed Brittle! 
I knew I wanted to try making that especially since I saw the price tag, nearly $30 for 1 pound...yowzers! 
So I did a little hunting and thanks to the internet, I found this simple and tasty Pumpkin Seed Brittle recipe.  I had all of the ingredients already in my cupboards except for the pumpkin seeds, light corn syrup and the candy thermometer; so those items had to be purchased.  Those items cost me around $10 or less and I have left over seeds and plenty of corn syrup to make more batches! Although Williams-Sonoma has their cute tin and all for their pumpkin seed brittle, I was glad I could make the treat at home for way less!
It's a unique alternative to peanut brittle and just the perfect goodie to share with family and friends this season!