Archive | November, 2010

Thankful.

30 Nov

Thankful.

Thanksgiving is over.  And I ate too much.

And now it is November 30th…the day before December 1st.  Only a hand full of days left in 2010.

Where has this year gone?

Don’t you feel like time is flying by??

I am always checking what’s next on the calendar…just wishing my life away.

Rarely do I take the time…or have the chance…to enjoy the daily routine because we are constantly running for here to there.

Last year, I finished my Christmas shopping right around Thanksgiving…and I loved it.

And this year…on November 30…my Christmas shopping is almost complete albeit teacher gifts and few stocking stuffers.  And for that, I am thankful.

And now I can enjoy the rest of the year…cooking with my children, making gifts for friends, wrapping presents with no rush, and really taking time to appreciate everything I am thankful for like…

My husband who loves me no matter how neurotic I can be…and adores his children…

My daughter who loves reading to her little brother….

My son who loves his big sister more than anything in this world…

My Bella doodle bug who I never thought I could love more than my Josie bear…

My mom who tells me she loves me every day….

My dad for being a true father….

And my friends who never give up on me…who ‘sharpen iron with iron’…and inspire me to be a better person…

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”  Proverbs 27:17

I hope we all enjoy the rest of the 2010 and love, encourage, and sharpen eachother.

Cranberry Fest

24 Nov

Cranberry Fest

As promised, here are 2 delicious and easy recipes to start the food fest on Thursday.

The first:  Fresh Cranberry Sauce

The second:  Cranberry Thanksgiving Bread (courtesy of my 3rd grader)

Before you open that can o’ cranberry stuff…please read the recipe below.

And trust me…once you see how easy…how delicious…making your own mouthwatering cranberry sauce to go with that big ol’ turkey and broccoli casserole is…you will walk by those cans of cranberry stuff at the grocery store every year.

My parents both love to cook…especially during the holidays.  My dad always made fresh cranberry sauce so it was only natural for me to do that same once I had my own family.

And so I continued the tradition and introduced fresh, homemade cranberry sauce to my husband’s family….and they never looked back.  And my daughter literally eats a little turkey with her plate of cranberry sauce every year.

And then I changed things up a bit a few years ago:

My dad uses water…I use orange juice.

And one year we had a little Thanksgiving cook-off to see who makes it the best…

And he liked his the best.  And I liked my the best.

And I let my dad win because I love him…and because he is the original cranberry sauce maker.

But I still make mine with orange juice….

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

1 cup orange juice (or water)

1 cup sugar

1 bag fresh cranberries

Bring orange juice and sugar to a boil.

Add cranberries and return to a boil.

Cranberries will begin popping…and melting with the bubbly orange juice and sugar.

Reduce heat and let it ‘simmer down’….for about 10 minutes…

Chill overnight…and enjoy the sweet cranberries with the juicy orange juice on Thanksgiving Day!  (Confession…I will eat broccoli casserole smothered in cranberry sauce…all day long…for days on end.  I’m weird…)

Now on to Cranberry Thanksgiving Bread…

My Sweet P brought home this recipe yesterday and declared she wanted to make a ton to bring to her Nana’s house this week.  She said it was the most delicious bread she had ever had and we HAD to make it.

So off to the store I went today for some Craisins…

And we made 2 batches of Cranberry Thanksgiving Bread to share with her cousins on Thursday.

She made everything…start to finish…I was only the Sous Chef (which I love!)

Cranberry Thanksgiving Bread

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1 egg

1/2 c. dried cranberries

3/4 c. orange juice

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all the dry ingredients then the remaining ingredients.  Mix well.

Bake for 1 hour in a loaf pan or for mini muffins, bake for 20 minutes.  For large muffins, we baked ours for 33 minutes.

How simple is that!!  And they are delicious…especially when you get a big glass of milk and butter that muffin up!

To. Die. For.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your family…your children…and your friends.

Much love & blessings,

Cooking Together

23 Nov

Cooking Together

Meet Polly.  She is our official Pilgrim.  Created by a precious 8 year old.  Her design.  Her hands.

All I did was light the hot pink material on fire…at the 8 year olds request…no joke.  (More on that later)

Polly will be back Wednesday morning to introduce 2 super easy, super delicious recipes for Thanksgiving…and both would be made extra special by enlisting the help of little hands.

When Sweet P and I cook together, it opens up a whole world of communication.  I learned this from a friend years ago who had a daughter that was much older than my Sweet P.  She would tell me that keeping her daugther’s hands busy during cooking allowed them to talk openly and freely without really thinking.  Around that time, her daughter was in third grade…just like Sweet P is today.

I’ve kept that tip in the back of my mind…and have always encouraged my daughter to cook with me from a very young age…no matter how messy the kitchen would end up being.  She would stand on a step stool stirring batter with wooden spoons.  I would give her plastic knives to cut bits of  soft cheese.  She would use the hand mixer when making cookies.

I don’t know who loved those moments more…her or me.

And now when we cook together, we play “Big Chef, Little Chef” and act like we are on a cooking show on the Food Network…and of course, she is the star of the show and I am her Sous Chef.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And so this afternoon, we started making our annual pumpkin rolls…6 to be exact…

We cracked eggs.  We mixed flour and sugar.  We whipped up cream cheese and vanilla.

And we talked.

And we laughed.

And powdered sugar flew out of my Kitchen Aid mixer and everything was completely covered in white including the floor and our black dog…

But I didn’t care…because we talked.  And she shared some of her feelings just so nonchalantly…because she was so relaxed.

And I cried with joy inside because I cherish these moments with her.

And I pray she remembers these times with me…her mommy…and chooses to make the same memories with her daughter one day.

So…tomorrow I have one of my favorite recipes from when I was growing up…a recipe that to this day, my father and I have a competition to see who makes it the best.  I let him win.

And a recipe that my daughter brought home of school…that they cooked in class…and she was the helper who carried the batter to the kitchen to be baked.

She asked if we could ‘make a ton’ of these to bring to our family on Thanksgiving.

And the answer was…a resounding yes!

Happy Tuesday, friends!  See you tomorrow!

Blog {Love}

22 Nov

Blog {Love}

We are getting a lot of attention these days and want to share the love and introduce you to a fabulous new friend and her amazing DIY blog, TheDIY Showoff.

Friends, meet Roeshel.

Isn’t she adorable?

Roeshel is the creator behind The DIY Showoff, a blog dedicated to DIY projects.

How amazing is Roeshel?  She finds really cool, really creative projects and features them on her blog!  And she also is renovating a 1927 farmhouse and was featured in Better Homes & Gardens as an inspirational source.  We might be a little green with envy…but are so excited for her!

Click on over to The DIY Showoff…check out some really cool projects…and submit a project of your own!

Tell Roeshel “hi” from Angie & Carrie!

Share the love friends!

A wish…

19 Nov

A wish…

for a dear friend for whom I am thankful for daily…

she is the most giving person I know…

she is thoughtful, caring, and considerate…

she is unbelievably intelligent and creative…

and she kills me with laughter when she says “Hey Carrie…I’ve never told you this before but….”

Happy Birthday Angie!  I hope your day is as wonderful as you are!

Love you tons!

Showin’ some love!

19 Nov

Showin’ some love!

We want introduce two of our new friends at 221vision:

Cassity at Remodelaholic featured our DIY Ballard Design Bench and we love her for that!  Her motto is “reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, remodel”…she is our type of girl!

Check our Cassity’s site here…you’ll be happy you did!  It is loaded with tons of inspiration and how-to’s!

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Jane at Finding Fabulous also featured our bench a few weeks back.

Jane’s motto is:

finding fabulous designs n’ products from all across the web…for less!

Jane hosts Frugalicious Fridays and Marketplace Mondays so stop by and holla at Jane!

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Thanksgiving Printables

18 Nov

Thanksgiving Printables

I seriously {love} blog surfing.  It is an addiction…which I am sure you can relate.

Which is not a good thing when I have a real job to do…laundry to be done…and kids to be fed.

But, I stumbled upon Skip To My Lou this morning…a fabulous site with these free Thanksgiving printable.  How fun would the Thanksgiving conversation cards be at your in-laws house this year…visiting with family members you know you only see once a year?

Or the Thanksgiving trivia, which I would most definitely fail if asked those questions today which I why I plan to Google the answers before next Thursday.

Check out her 10 printable here!

Gobble Gobble, friends!

Love & Toast…not for breakfast

18 Nov

Love & Toast…not for breakfast

I usually visit Whole Foods to pick up diner 3-4 nights a week. Each time I am there II I must stop by the skincare isle and smell everything, regardless of the fact that I need nothing.  I hit a major jackpot on Wednesday night that I need to share and it is called Love  & Toast. I have seen the pretty bottles on the aisle before and had shown a brief interest as I walked down the aisle but, on Wednesday night they had moved the products to an end cap and I thought why not, I have time to kill.


As I stood there looking at the bottles of perfume and hand cream I began to get so excited, the bottles and packaging were so pretty and fun and the perfume smelled amazing. The scents in the line are Gin Blossom; Honey Coconut, Mandarin Tea Sugar Grapefruit, Pomme Poivre and Paper Flower. I would bet that I  stood there for fifteen minutes trying to decide which one was my favorite. I have narrowed it down to Paper Flower and Pomme Poivre.  All of the smells are very clean and almost exact to their name and the price point is just as nice.

What’s For Dinner Wednesday {HOLIDAY EDITION}

17 Nov

What’s For Dinner Wednesday {HOLIDAY EDITION}

Over the next six weeks, we are sharing some of our favorite holiday foods, snacks, appetizers, and more to get all of us in the holiday spirit. The week before Thanksgiving is usually the food-free-for-all around my house and it doesn’t stop til New Years!

And…we may have a guest food blogger with some of her favorite recipes!

Disclaimer:  most recipes contain butter, half and half, sugar, and you may or may not gain 15 pounds over the next six weeks.  But they are good…and you will definitely be the belle of the ball should you share one of these recipes with your loved ones.

This week starts with a favorite recipe from Cory, our contributing editor, who not only loves fashion but is an amazing cook. She is sharing a recipe from her mom, who is like a mom to Angie and I. We love you Judy!

Overnight Southwest Fondue

One Dozen Eggs
1 cup of half and half
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 T green onions ( just the green part)
6 Slices of sourdough bread cubed
1 roll of port sausage
1/2 onion chopped
2 baking potatoes cut into very small cubes
2 cups grated monterry jack cheese
*2 T green chilis (optional

Combine eggs, half and half and green onions and set aside.
Saute sausage, onions and potatoes until cooked in a skillet.
Chop bread into cubes and insert into a greased casserole dish.
Add sausage, onions and potatoes, then add cheese and add eggs on top.
The green chilis are optional (but a must!), if added they go on top.

Store in fridge overnight

Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Perfect for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. It bakes while you open presents and is so delicious with Mimosa’s!!

Need a box?

16 Nov

Need a box?

I do!

I want to convert an old wooden box into a dog bowl. I am going to flip it upside down, cut a whole it in and insert a dog bowl on top. Kind of bowl caddie of sorts.

But all the ones at the flea market were $30!  Ouch!

I love my dogs but I am not paying $30 for a box I’m going to cut up.

These boxes are nice but I need to start searching elsewhere.

DIY – Holiday {Fluffy Wreath}

15 Nov

DIY – Holiday {Fluffy Wreath}

For my friends…here is the easiest, fastest, you-can-do-this-with-your-eyes-closed wreath tutorial.  Start to finish:  less than 10 minutes.  I made this fluffy wreath on a Friday after school with kids running all round and still managed to make something absolutely fabulous and blog-worthy.

So here she is…{Fluffy Wreath}…enjoy!

The Goods:

recycled grapevine wreath:  FREE

1 yard red fleece:  $6.99 less 40% at Hobby Lobby – $4.19 (you can use any type of material but be sure it can hold its shape well)

Hot glue and lots of glue sticks

Start with this:

grapevine wreath red fleece

Cut 2-3 inch strips from your material, the length of the fabric:

I used about 3/4 of yard of the fleece…enough to make a scarf later!

Start with 1 strip and wrap around…and around…and around.  No need to hot glue this step but you can…I didn’t because I had kids running all over my house.

Then you end up with this:

Now the fun part.  Start with one strip of fabric at a time…and start bunching and curling and hot glueing and you will end up with this:

You want to make little loops all the way around:

Next you will need a small strip of fabric to make a ‘hanger’.  I totally eyeballed this:

And another loop on the back and hot glue to make a hanger:

And here she is…bright, pretty, and Christmas-y!

These would make great teacher gifts…you could hang a gift card from the center of the wreath or you use a funky fabric for your children’s bedroom doors.  We decorate little Christmas trees for our children’s rooms and Sweet P is in {love} with this wreath.  So…another fluffy wreath is in our future.

At less than $5 and 10 minutes, I hope you make a {Fluffy Wreath} too!  Please share pictures with us in the comments!

Happy Monday!

Give me a C!

15 Nov

Give me a C!

Ever watch 9 By Design?  It is the best design show and has inspired me personally.  9 By Design shows you can have it all.  This married couple owns a successful design company and even have seven children.  Yes, you read that right. Seven.

I can barely juggle a husband and two dogs.

The reality show follows husband and wife design team Robert and Cortney Novogratz, owners of the NYC based design firm, Sixx Design.  Cortney and Robert realized that they had a true knack for creating dream homes out of wreckage, and from that, their family business was born.

Cortney and Robert decorate spaces with rare and inspiring collectables.  The couple utilizes their signature mix of vintage and modern, and purchase items that are both high and low end. For example, a treasured family heirloom can be paired with a new piece from Ikea. Or maybe an old coffee table can be painted hot pink and make a fun addition to a girl’s bedroom.

My favorite thing 9 by Design does is design with overscaled typography.  Large random words or letters displayed on the wall.

I’m going to incorporate some typography in our home interior design.  It will give us a chance to include some industrial design that we love… on a smaller level.

Here are some I’ve come across at the flea market. I haven’t quite found what I’m looking for yet.

I’m looking for a large bright “C”!  It is the first letter of our last name.

Let’s hope they bring 9 By Design back for season 2!

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