Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas

Just a few ideas... but I think I might be biased... because these are all things i love :-)

The Reckoning by Needtobreathe. These men had me at "Washed by the Water". Love that bluesy soulful vibe.  I've been listening to every single album and they are all completely amazing and it's Christian! I've never come across a Christian band that i liked (besides worship) so this is a FIRST. Score.

I had to throw a candle in there :-) Spiced Apple Toddy makes my house smell sooo yummy.

'You don't know Jacques' by OPI- my new favorite color. So chic.

I heart this cardigan- I've even worn it to bed once :-) It's so comfy and warm for these cold months and
it's from Old Navy! I didn't know they had cute things haha

Something for HIM:

Tretorn shoes... Kinda like converse but cuter. I love the criss cross elastic bands.

Although what i really think he wanted was this....

Les paul. Maybe next year... maybe not.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mr. Bubbles

I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas music but I'd let Mr. Bubbles (i like Bubbles better than Buble) sing to me any day.  Fun fact: I heart Nat King Cole, Billy Holiday, Etta James, (not a big Sinatra fan) and such. Call me an old soul I guess. I also listen to Jazz radio more than any other station.  So needless to say, Michael Buble's new Christmas album is right up my alley.

We're definitely going to listen to this album while digging up the Christmas decorations :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh Fall

We are on the tail end of FALL and it's making me realize I'm going to miss it when it's gone. It has been one of the most beautiful and unusually long Fall season since I've moved back here. Isn't it usually snowing by now? Thank you Jesus that you haven't sent that upon us yet.

So to commemorate my favorite season, here are a few of my favorite fall things...

Oh my word, if Fall could be ONE thing for me- it would be the Vanilla Chai from Fusion Brew. I seriously could drink one every day and not get sick of them. My ultimate comfort food/drink.

I had one just yesterday and forgot to take a picture of it but here's a picture of another pretty drink... not sure what it is haha
 My new infiniti scarf :-) I heart scarves this time of year.

Tree trunk Luminary! I got this bad boy 50% off at Bath and Body Works. You put a 3 wick candle in it and it lets off the most cozy romantic lighting. Great for fall nights.... but don't put the "Fireside" candle in it. It smells gross. Put this one.....

Leaves! It doesn't smell like leaves, it smells like yummy fall spices. It's my favorite fall candle.

And my Fall wouldn't be complete with out  Brach's Mellowcreme Pumpkins. Oh my how I love them.

Here's to you Fall! I will miss you.

Monday, October 24, 2011

We have a Tie

Out of an overwhelming 5 votes (this blog keeps me humble haha) we have a tie between two headers. Sadly we have to say goodbye to header #1. Thanks for playing!

And now a tie breaker between 

Header #2


Header #3

Although, I couldn't think of any tie breaker ideas...

so I asked my hubs his opinion :-) Then I asked my co-workers and after getting 4 more votes there was an obvious favorite.

Header # 3 is the winner!!! yay!! shoes!

Thank you everyone for your help :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I need your help!

My fabulous friend Libby created headers for me, because my plain header just wasn't cutting it... and I'm 100% technologically challenged when it comes to this blog stuff. But anyways, I equally loved all of her headers and don't think I have it in me to choose!

So I decided, why not have my readers vote! I mean, you guys are the ones who will see it, so you should get a say :-) 

So here are your choices




Which one is your favorite?

Ps. Photo props to Tami Paige :-)

It's official!

Our bed is no longer in the middle of our living room floor!  Woo hoo!

This has actually been official for about a week now and it's been slightly life changing. Our friends and family no longer have to side step our mattress when heading for the couch. I no longer have to climb around our coffee table to get to my side of the bed. And now we actually use what used to be that empty little room at the end of the hall. Isaac and I agree that our house feels a whole lot bigger now, and our hallway from the bedroom to the kitchen feels like a mile long. With all this extra space comes.... a lot of extra space, and our living room now has a queen bed shaped... empty space, which got me thinking,

"I need chairs." 

Yep. I really need some cool chairs. Thrift stores here I come :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sensible Buys: Comforter Sets

Comforter sets... I like em. We got ours at for $100. It came with a set of sheets, shams, and bedskirt, and did I mention this was for a king sized bed? What a deal. And you know how I love deals :-)

Here are just a few I found on that I also liked.
  • Set includes: Comforter, tailored bedskirt and two shams


  • Set includes: Duvet cover and two shams

  • $98

  • Set includes: Comforter, bedskirt, and two shams

  • (this one is my fave!)
    This one is a little more pricey $177.13
    - Also comes in grey, and chocolate brown

  • Set includes: One duvet cover and two standard shams

  • Classic Creme Brulee

    My sister Tara's birthday was this past weekend, so I tried my hand at a few recipes for her birthday dinner. One of which was the Classic Creme Brulee recipe off of Williams-Sonoma's website. (Click HERE).

    I've never made Creme Brulee before but knew (after taste testing it MANY times) that there are fabulous Creme Brulees or eggy Creme Brulees... and the latter is so so so gross. Why are some Creme Brulees delicious and some so gross?

    After making it myself, I have found the answer!
    It's all in the method of caramelizing the sugar.

    I made mine the night before our dinner but hadn't caramelized the sugar yet. I had Isaac try one just to see how I did; They were amazing! No egg taste at all! The next day, it was time to caramelize, and I have a hand torch that my lovely cousin Heidi gave me but we forgot to get the gas/propane for it... so I broiled them.

    Do not do this.

    It cooks the eggs... and this is bad. Hand torching is the answer to yummy creme brulees. Yep.

    Here is the recipe I used. Definitely a good one!

    Classic Creme Brulee


    • 8 egg yolks
    • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for the brulee topping
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


    Preheat oven to 300ºF.

    In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and the 1/3 cup sugar, whisk together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended, strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.

    Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place in a water bath, and bake until set around edges, but still loose in the center, about 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

    When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 tsp. sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small hand torch to melt the sugar. If you do not have a torch, place ramekins under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards a few minutes before serving.

    Serves 6.

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    Minny's Pie

    If you haven't read this book, you should. It's one of the best books I've ever read. And this summer they came out with the movie, "The Help" as well.

    Just some background, one of the maids made a chocolate pie for the lady she worked for, kind of a pivotal moment (and I'll just leave it at that in case you haven't seen it). But oh my goodness, after I watched that movie, I craved chocolate pie for the next week. It looked so yummy.  So while browsing around online, I found the recipe they used in the movie!
    Learn more HERE!

    (the above picture is not my pie- although I wish my pies turned out this beautiful)

    I've made it twice already and it's super easy... and super yummy. I've also tried making it with out blind baking the crust and it works just as well. 

                                  This guy is mine.

    So I'm sharing the recipe with all of you! Here it is (minus the poo)
    Minny's Chocolate Pie
    1. 1 packaged pie dough crust, such as Pillsbury
    2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
    3. 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    4. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    5. 2 large eggs, beaten
    6. 3/4 cup evaporated milk
    7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
    9. Whipped cream, for serving

    • Preheat the oven to 350°. Ease the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the crust lightly with a fork. Line the crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 5 minutes longer, just until the crust is dry but not browned.
    • Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the sugar with the cocoa powder, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt until smooth.
    • Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but a little jiggly in the center. Cover the crust with strips of foil halfway through baking. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely before cutting into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Sensible Buys: Couches

    The first months of being engaged I think it hit me: We can't get married! We literally don't have ANYTHING and definitely not a lot of money to buy what all needs to go into a house! I panicked. And then I opened up a savings account (this was probably the smartest thing I have ever done) and I started to put away a little money at a time. If you're engaged out there, do this. You'll be happy you did.

    Anyways, it's for this reason (panicky brides or even new homeowners) that I'm going to start posting about "Sensible Buys". This is a new... i guess 'feature' you could say, to help others out there that are in the same position we are :-)  This is not to say that we are amazing at smart buying and maybe some of the things we post you could find cheaper elsewhere- awesome- please share!

    So Post #1... Our Couch

    When searching for couches, I knew I wanted a sectional and I knew I wanted something traditional. Quite honestly I wanted this Pottery Barn couch...

    Sigh... $3300 was definitely not in our budget. And I could see our future rug rats staining and tearing this couch up.

    That's when we checked out Ikea... and though Ikea has some great deals and maybe even some great couches, we decided we wanted quality for the money we were spending and the sectional selection at Ikea was a little less than comfortable.

    Then Isaac's parents suggested American
    They have deals all the time, and this particular time they had "for every $600 you spend, you get $300 worth of furniture free".  And although they didn't have a Pottery Barn look alike, they had this one...
    It is dark, so I'm not worried about stains or spills, and it's super comfortable, AND right in our price range. Since we spent $1200, we got $600 in furniture, which we spent on a reclaimed wood coffee table...that i LOVE.

    This picture shows it a little light- ours is a little darker (as seen in the picture above).

    So there you have it; a sectional and coffee table for under $1200.

    • Do some research so you know what you're looking for, and so you know what is and isn't a good deal for the specific kind of couch you're looking for
    • Don't be too concern with the pillows or accessories that the couch may come with; these things can be switched out easily
    • Check for specials going on or deals they're advertising at local stores
    • Look for stores that have free delivery
    • And check out stores you wouldn't normally think to check. They may surprise you!

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Bedroom floors

    What a job this was... I actually participated this time. 1) My father in-law Jerry sanded the floor, 
     2) then Isaac taped our baseboards, 3) we brushed the stain on (let it set for 10 minutes) and 4) then wiped it off.  Wow. My nostrils burned for a good... full day after we did this. After allowing the stain to dry for a couple of days, I am going to polyurethane the floors to seal them so they are safe to walk on.  In my opinion, staining was definitely a good/ inexpensive choice on our part... and i kind of love them.

    Kind of a before and after shot...


    So much better.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Fabric Fabric

    I've been searching for a while for fabric to make roman shades in our house. Our bamboo blinds are a little see through and that just isn't cutting it in our bathroom. Well yesterday, my friend Nicki and I went to Hancock fabrics just to shop around and to our surprise they were having an Anniversary Sale and almost everything was 54% off!  My ears perked up and I went on the prowl but I didn't have to go very far because I spotted the fabric I wanted right when we first walked in.

    Chevvvrooon stripes would look fab in my kitchen! Originally $17.99 marked down to $8.99!  Two yards please.

              And a funky pattern fabric in the same colors as my bathroom also marked down to $8.99.
                                                                       Two more yards...

    ...matches my awesome West Elm shower curtain that my mother in-law bought us :-)

    I am a happy girl... Now I just have to make the shades... should be easy, right?