Saturday, October 29, 2011

Celebrate Pink

I love October. Fall weather begins, college football is on, the leaves turn beautiful colors, and of course Halloween. Halloween is just around the corner and I am definitely going to be celebrating it with my sweet baby girl and the hubby. However, today I am loving October for its colors - not orange and black- but PINK. Yes, in case you didn't know October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the color PINK is everywhere. Football players are even wearing the color pink and I love it, it makes football a little more bearable to watch and its great that they are supporting breast cancer research. I have not known anyone close to me that has suffered from breast cancer and I really hope that I never have to... but it is common and I know there are so many women out there who have it. Those women are an inspiration. I have heard so many stories of how they are strong and never give up. I hope that one day a cure is found but in the meanwhile I will pledge to take care of my body and to be aware. A few weeks ago I heard a song by Martina McBride on the radio. I listened to the words carefully and she spoke about a woman experiencing breast cancer. I couldn't help myself! I burst into tears. So I thought that I would share her song with you... grab a kleenex. It makes me cry everytime.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Super Bass

To be honest with you in Junior High and High school I was way too cool to dress up for Halloween, aka I was lame and self conscious. This year and last year though I have learned to embrace my Halloween side and dress up! Now I'm sure you are all ready to hear my great costume ideas, because if you are like me you never know what to be so you've put off finding a costume until the day of Halloween. So here it goes my three costumes that will hopefully give you an idea for this Monday.

  First up we have my costume from last year at my grandmothers annual Halloween get together. I dressed up as my mom and my mom dressed up as me. classsyyyy.

Next up.. after my grandmas party I went to a party with my friends and dressed up as the tooth fairy. Very cuuuttee. yes i know.

Did anyone else see this on Ellen the other week? Well if you didn't you missed out, because those two little girls are what me and my friend are dressing up as. Clever, most definitely. Will people have to ask what we are because they've mistaken us for ballerinas, most definitely. I'm fine with it.

And finally we have the tutu I made today to be one of the little Super Bass girls.

There you have it folks, a few of my genius ideas. Hopefully I've inspired you to think outside the box this Halloween and have an amazing costume!

Much Love,


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween - ish No Bake Cookies

I think I started making no bake cookies when I was a toddler. Seriously, they are that easy- hence the "No Bake". These cookies made almost a weekly appearance on Family Night. It is a fun, quick and super easy treat and you almost always have everything you need for them in your pantry. For some reason when I was  in elementary and junior high and I would get together with my friends we liked to make things. Sometimes that would include nasty potions (don't ask), brownies and yes - these no bake cookies. I was craving them and so I decided to try and make them look a little more holiday friendly - Black & Orange.

Quick Oats, Peanut Butter, Sugar, Milk, Butter, Vanilla, Cocoa Powder and Orange Food Coloring if you are feeling a little festive

 Have I ever told you how I have a secret love for DARK chocolate? Well, it isn't really a secret because I proclaim my love for it to anyone whenever the subject of chocolate comes up. I love the slight bitterness and 'depth' (as my hubby would say) that it has. Well, a few months ago I was making dark chocolate cupcakes and found this.... and now of course I prefer it over regular cocoa powder.
 First, color your oats.
 Look how pretty... kind of reminds me of the fall leaves that need to be raked outside.
 Add your peanut butter to the oats. No need to stir it in just yet. If you are like me you might secretly add an extra spoonful of peanut butter when no one is looking.
 Put your butter in a saucepan and begin melting.
 Add everything else and cook on medium heat. Bring to a boil and let it boil for only 1 minute.
 After it has boiled pour it onto your oats, add your vanilla and HURRY- get to stirring!! You don't want it to harden on ya.
 Then, scoop tablespoon size portions onto your tinfoil/parchment paper (Whatever you have)
 Makes about 15 little cookies. Let them cool down completely and set up.
 I was pleasantly surprised that you can actually see the orange even when they are covered in chocoloate sauce.
 If you get a wild hair you might even feel like decorating them with some melted chocolate and trying to make them look like a spider.

THEN.... gobble them up before everyone else does. These bad boys go fast!

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 C Oats
1/4 C Peanut Butter
1 C Sugar
1 1/2 T Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C butter
1/4 C milk

Combine oats and peanut butter. ( If you are going to color your oats do this before adding the PB)

In a saucepan over medium heat begin to melt your butter. Add Sugar, cocoa powder, milk and whisk together. Bring to a boil and only let the mixture boil for one minute. Remove from heat and immediately pour onto oats. Add vanilla and STIR it all together. Drop onto parchment paper or tinfoil and cool completely. This will allow cookies to set up. ENJOY.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This is it MJ

As you all know Monday night me and mother carved pumpkins, and I was struggling to come up with something original. That only lasted until about eight o'clock at night, when I suddenly decided that carving Michael Jackson into my pumpkin would be thrilling. haha. There I was searching online for MJ stuff and low and behold I found a spray paint stencil that I thought would work well. So I was off to carving that guy into my pumpkin.

I began by taping the picture to my pumpkin. I decided to carve out all the black which means the first step was to poke little tiny holes around the black to outline where I would carve.

A closer look at the poking step.

Next I removed the picture to see how well I poked MJ's face

Then I connected all the dots together with that little carving saw. Ya I know you all know what I'm talking about......

After that I scraped out where all the black was on the picture to get this lovely image.... hahahaha oh wait is that MJ? Naaahhhh.

And voila there you have it... Michael Jackson's face.

Okay fine... I'll be the first one to admit, this doesn't even look like MJ, at all. I know. But once you start carving ya can't go back. Then I realized that my friend had commented and told me to carve her face into my pumpkin.... and by the looks of that pumpkin really it could be anyone. Which means Jackee, babe. That's you, right there on my pumpkin. Looking so fine. You can thank me later for the great job I did at portraying your inner beauty.

On the upside though... I still have three pumpkins left to carve this Saturday, so I'm hoping they turn out more successful.

And on another upside, I guess... I'm going on another date tonight to Thriller, with that boy that took me to the haunted house. Yes it really wasn't even half bad, obviously because I'm going out again and I know you all are thinking I told you so, or that is why you always go into the date with an open mind. Ya, ya I got it ok, but still... wish my luck. I don't need/want another "come here" story.

Much Love,


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Scrappy Minky Quilt - (Free Pattern!)

My mom is a major time quilter. She loves it and she is pretty much amazing at it. I never understood her love for fabric or why she loved making quilts so much. Then, I had my baby girl and started to see fabric in a whole new light. When we were picking out fabric for her nursery I fell in love with fabric. Literally, my eyes were opened. I never knew I could love fabric so much! My mom made my baby girl a gorgeous minky quilt. What is Minky you ask? Minky fabric is a plush, microfiber fabric. It is incredibly soft and smooth to the touch- pretty much to die for! My baby girl loves her quilt, she kisses it and hugs it and gets excited when she sees it. One of my really good friends is having a baby girl and is due any day now! A couple of months ago I decided that I really wanted to make her something and thought... I will make her a quilt! (My very first quilt that is.) Her nursery colors are red, gray, green. I wanted something that would somewhat match her nursery but something that her baby girl would love and so I decided a minky quilt would be perfect. I put together some super cute scraps and here is the result:
I pieced it all together and then sent it to a quilter to be quilted together since I obviously don't have a quilting machine.
 You can't really tell but the black minky that is on the boder is also on the back. It has a kind of a paisley design to it.
 Up close and personal-

And here is the pattern (you're welcome!)

Minkee Quilt

1 3/4 yards- 60" Minky or orther plush fabric
2- chenille or minky fat quarters, 2 different colors (Prefer not to use chenille as it tends to bleed)
6- 6 1/2" strips mix of other coordinating fabrics
1/2 yard binding fabric

Minky: cut 1- 47"x47" for back
cut 2- 5"x36 1/2" for borders
cut 2- 5"x45" for borders
cut 11- 5"x5" squares

Chenille/Different Colored Minky:
Cut 6- 5"x5" squares

Cut 7-5"x5" squares from each of the 6 fabrics

Body of quilt is made fomr sewing 8 squares across by 8 squares down. (64 total squares). Use 1/4" seams. A walking foot will eliminate the stretching ofthe plush fabric or make sure to use a lot of pins. Then add borders.

Quilt together back & front (I sent to a quilter) Then bind together.

Monday, October 24, 2011

pumpkin night

Me and Mother are carving pumpkins tonight for family night. It's going to be a real good time, everyone be jealous. I'm still trying to decide what to carve but I've been considering these options, the air jordan logo, Audrey Hepburn, tangled, E.T., or obama just kidding mom. As you can tell my ideas this year are lacking, and there is only a few hours left till the carving begins. What am I going to do, I don't even know? I feel pressure considering the last two years of pumpkin carving have been above par, seriously. So whatever I decide on I'll definitely let you know what, when I blog on Wednesday. Until then I'll just let you marvel over my past beauties.

Went with a Stars Wars theme in 2009, way cool.

Pumpkin theme for 2010 was.... Originality. No I didn't just make that up?

Another favorite thing that comes along with pumpkin carving, is toasting the pumpkin seeds to then later eat. If you have never done this... seriously you are crazy, go and try it right now! But now I'm off to come up with some genius pumpkin carving idea. Wish Me Luck!

Much Love,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Family Pix

I have been running around all week like a chicken with their head cut off. Why? Well... Only because I was getting pictures taken of my cute little family of three on Friday (yesterday) by my cute sister in law Lindsay. I could have planned ahead a little better but of course I procrastinate as much as possible and waited until Wednesday and Thursday to try and find outfits for all three of us. It shouldn't be so stressful but it is. I didn't want us to be all matchy matchy but I wanted us to coordinate. I had certain colors in mind. I knew I wanted mustard yellow but trying to find exactly what I wanted in a day and a half was a little bit sketchy. Plus, I feel like ever since I was pregnant and became a mom I have been a little less stylish as I used to be. I mean, I am not going around sporting sweats and unwashed hair but I have not really shopped for myself a ton. If you are a mom you will relate. I have no problem spending all the money in the world on my baby girl and buying her the cutest outfits but when it comes to me... I am pretty stingy. I remember growing up my mom would hardly ever buy something for herself but spoiled me to death, now I know why. So after two anxiety filled days and a million stores later I finally found outfits that I was satisfied with. Hallelujah!!!!!!!!

So here is what I came up with... I sure hope they turn out! We went to old Main Street in Midvale and posed by some cute old buildings. I can't wait to see them!!

What I wore:
 Down East Necklace
 Down East Lace Tunic
 Down East Yellow Cardigan
 Lucky Brand Skinny Jeans
 Ankle booties from Kohls- ONLY $21.99!!

The Baby Girl Wore:

What the Mr. wore:

So... how did I do?? Not to shabby for a girl who has been out of the style game for a while. (At least I feel that way)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shake It

Date night Wednesday, went well... better than expected. I told you all that I was ready to get my awkward on if the date was real awkward, and to my disappointment it wasn't even half bad nor was it awkward. I say to my disappointment because sometimes I just like to be awkward when situations get awkward, on this date though it wasn't even awkward the kid was actually pretty cool. Wow that was a lot of awkward word usage, I apologize.

Now for what I really want to talk about. I often will do the dishes and clean the kitchen at my house when no one is around. Actually cleaning and dishes is quite fun by yourself, you get to just take your time and feel clean. This has in fact been a secret of mine for some time and now I'm ready to share. All you need to have is a little Michael Franti blasting from your ipod or computer while doing dishes and cleaning and you're ensured to have a good time. If you don't have any Michael Franti go check him out and buy his album if ya dig it. Or definitely check out grooveshark and you can make a playlist of him and play it through your computer

Seriously I used to hate doing dishes till I blasted Michael, and now I love it. I guess what I'm saying is, find some music you love that is upbeat and makes you want to move. Then listen to that music as you do the dishes. It just makes you feel good. Maybe I even dance a little when Michael's song Shake It comes on when I clean, what's it to ya? Pretty sure you'll all being doing the same as soon as you blast those tunes.

Much Love,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

How bout them apples?

On Sunday I picked these apples at my mother in laws house with the intent of turning them into some delicious home made apple sauce. Well, it is Thursday and here they still sit so I guess I better get to work! I am about to conquer this large pile of apples.  I love home made applesauce and my little one especially loves it. It is fall and I have been doing alot of harvesting from my garden. (No complaints here! - Just a lot of work!) I found this website that gives you all the tips and tricks you need to preserving all your fruits and veggies. Sorry such a short post but when life gives you apples... make applesauce!!

Oh and tomorrow is Friday! Now isn't that red delicious?


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

come here

I had every good intention possible on this planet to take pictures and blog a how-to on braiding, but like a lot of things it just didn't happen. Mostly because I've been at work all day and also because I have a date tonight.... Which means I have to fancy up, ya know shower, look descent, smell good, and mentally prepare. I'm awkward, and we are going to a haunted house they are kind of expensive for a first date so mother told me I need to not be so weird. Show some class.

I will make this up to you though. I'll link you to a braiding tutorial, and I also will tell you about my awkward dating stories from now on... sometimes my friend tells me that my life could be a soap opera. I agree.

First up the braiding tutorial I promised, This one is a how-to on fishtailing
Sometimes I wish my hair was as thick as hers.

Now for an awkward dating story. Most people know I hate feet. They are gross, please everyone keep them to yourself. Well I went on a date with a guy and it was getting late so we walked outside got into his car and off we were just buzzing down the street to my house. We pulled up in the driveway and as he walked around the front of his car to walk me to the door I looked down and saw he had no shoes on and said "you didn't want to wear shoes I see... I hate feet." Lets all be honest even if you don't like feet a guy should not take you home in bare feet. It's classless. Show some class, nuff said. Then he decided to be funny and lift up one of his feet and touch me with it but I luckily dodged it. We continued on, walking to my porch where he lifted his feet up again so I stepped back. This next part is my favorite thing that happened the whole night. We stood there facing each other far apart ready to end the night, but we hadn't hugged yet. SOOO This kid said to me "Come here" with his hands also motioning to indeed "come here." This may not seem like a big deal to you or even sound that bad, but I do not like to be told what to do by some guy without shoes on, I will come to you if I want it was such a turn off. Moral of the story please guys, don't ever tell her a girl to just "come here" it's weird. nuff said. Don't date guys who don't wear shoes.
Ven aquí // Come here

Come Here.

About my date tonight though... There is a lot of potential for awkwardness and I'm fine with. On a night such as this when I don't care about a thing, I'm actually ready to embrace it("it" being the awkwardness of course). This should be good. I'll share with you how it goes on Friday. Until then...  don't "come here."

Happy Braid Wednesday,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fabulous French Bread

I love Fall weather. The sun is shining, leaves are turning red and yellow and the air is crisp. I also love all the warm comforting foods that fall and winter bring.  When it is chilly outside nothing is better than a steaming bowl of soup and homemade bread. Last year my sister gave me this recipe for French Bread. She said it was super easy to make but I was a little weary... french bread? Really? Sounds difficult! I tried it and fell in love with it instantly. It was so easy to make and now I make it all the time, especially when I am making home made soup. Don't be frightened my friends... French Bread is your Friend!

Here is what you will need:

 Pretty simple ingredients: Flour, Rapid rising yeast (I keep mine in the fridge- it lasts longer that way), oil, salt, sugar and...warm H2O
 Mix half of the flour (3 cups) and the rest of ingredients.
 Whisk together vigorously for 2-3 minutes. This makes sure all the ingredients are well mixed and it also gives you a great tricep workout.
 The consistency will be somewhat like pancake batter
 Then add the remaining flour and mix well. At this point you will want to switch from using a whisk to a wooden spoon if you have one or a spatula will do. Then, every ten minutes you will stir down the dough. You will do this 5 times... so for 50 minutes.
 After you have stirred the dough down 5 times you will then cut it in half and roll it out into 2 loaves.
 Roll it out into a rectangle shape, approximately 9x12. But it doesn't have to be perfect people, no measuring sticks needed.
 Then, start rolling it like a jellyroll, lengthwise.

 Pinch the edges to seal and tuck under the ends like so:
 Repeat with the other half the the dough. Then, place dough on a greased cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 30 minutes. If you want your bread a little crispier you can also sprinkle cornmeal on the greased cookie sheet. I didn't have any cornmeal today! After it has risen for 30 minutes take a sharp knife and cut several gashes.

 It will look something like this:
 Lightly beat an egg and brush it onto the bread generously.
 The egg wash will help your bread become a nice golden brown.
 Then, bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Your house will start to fill with the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread. Once it is done you will have some gorgeous French Bread.
 See it wasn't that hard now was it?
 It does take a little time but the result is SO worth it.

My house smells so good right now I just might have to go cut myself a piece of bread even though it isn't dinner time yet! Here is the recipe! ENJOY!


Fabulous French Bread

2 1/2 cups very warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Cooking oil
6 cups flour
2 Tbsp. yeast-instant yeast

 Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in sugar, salt, oil, half the flour and yeast.  Beat vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining flour until all ingredients are well mixed, leaving wooded spoon right in the heavy batter. 

Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes then stir down.  Rest dough for another 10 minutes then stir down again.  Repeat this process until dough has been stirred down 5 times.   

Turn dough out onto floured surface and divide into 2 pieces.  Roll each portion into a 9x12 rectangle.  Roll up like a jellyroll starting on a long side.  Pinch edge to seal.  Arrange both loaves lengthwise on a large cookie sheet that has been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. 

 With a sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal gashes on the top of each loaf, then brush entire surface with a lightly beaten whole egg.  If desired sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.  Bake immediately at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until browned.  Remove from baking sheet and cool on a rack.  Makes 2 loaves.