Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Song for the Seasons

Fall is here.  A new season has come.

For some reason, I didn't want it to come this year. 

I guess it's just that this changing of the seasons is bringing about a pretty big change in my life...  ushering in a new season of life for me.

Done with school.  Starting my career.

It's scary, and wonderful, and terrifying, and exciting... all at the same time.

This song is an older one.  But it fits perfectly right now.


video


Just wanted to share because it's so beautiful.

"Every Season" by Nichole Nordeman 

Monday, September 27, 2010

StarStruck

Last month, I stumbled across this post/giveaway on Young House Love.

I was instantly enchanted by the images from an Etsy shop called The Starcraft.  Hand-folded moravian paper stars are incorporated into beautiful hanging mobiles -- each based on actual constellations.






When Phil and I decide to have kids, { which will not be anytime soon, mom : ) } one of these mobiles will be the first thing to go up in the nursery.

They are beautiful... colorful... whimsical.  I love them.

Anyways...

After browsing through The Starcraft shop I was inspired to make my own moravian stars.

Here's the results...




I found an online tutorial -- here -- that had really simple instructions with step-by-step, pictures, and video.

I made mine using all different sizes of curling ribbon.  And I love how they turned out.

Right now I have them all in a big vase next to our bed.  I think I want to make some more blue ones and do a monochromatic star vase. We'll see though... anything's possible : )


Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Favorite Breakfast {at the moment}

I have always been a lover of peanut butter toast.  For breakfast... for dinner... for a snack.  I'll eat it any time.  It's so simple and so yummy.  Especially alongside a big glass of milk.

So, I've been on a nutella kick lately.  Ok, it's more like a craze.  I'm crazy about nutella.

One morning, I reached in the cupboard for the peanut butter, and right next to it was the nutella.  I thought, "Ooooooo. That would be good."  So I added some to my peanut butter toast.  Yum.

Then, a few weeks ago, a revolutionary breakthrough occurred.  I'm laying on the couch reading a book when Phil walks into the room with a sandwich.  The following scene unfolds:


Me:  What'cha got?
Phil:  (with a mischievous grin) Something good.
Me:  Can I have a bite?
Phil:  Maybe.  (walks over to the couch and gives me a bite)
Me: (chewing) It's peanut butter and nutella... with... hmmm... with... cinnamon!!!  Heaven in my mouth!!!
Phil: (grinning) Yeah.  I know.  I just made it up.


I was amazed.  You see, Phil's idea of being creative with food is throwing a can of cream of mushroom soup in with egg noodles.  {Uuugggghhhh.  Gross.  No offense, honey.}  But then he completely amazed me with his culinary  brilliance :) and created what is now my favorite breakfast.

Whole wheat toast.  A layer of peanut butter.  A thin layer of nutella overtop.  And a sprinkling of cinnamon.






Along with a cup of milk {or coffee, depending on how my morning's going}. 





Oh so delicious.  Try this.  You won't regret it.

 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Let the Countdown Begin - HP7

I LOVE Harry Potter.  I'm talking love as in... I've read each of the books at least three times (some of them more), I wish I was J.K. Rowling, I have a crush on Rupert Grint (Ron), Phil bought me the LEGO HP video game for valentine's day, and my next dream vacation is to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.

I know it might be kind of lame that I love HP so much -- but it's like the books and the movies transport me right into another world.  It's so enchanting and captivating!!

So, I am very excited to start my countdown to the new movie --





I cannot explain to you how excited I am!

 
Here's a few sneak peaks...







There's lots more pictures, interviews, and trailers at MuggleNet -- the #1 HP fan site -- if you're interested : )

Part 1 will be in theaters November 19th -- less than two months away!!

Let the countdown BEGIN!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peach and Strawberry Crumble

I've never made a Giada de Laurentiis recipe that I didn't like.

My husband is a huge fan of her baked tortellini... but that's a post for another day.

I made a new recipe of hers this weekend.  I watched the video on the food network site, and thought it would be perfect because peaches are so yummy (and so cheap) right now.  I bought some last week for 39¢ a pound!




__________________________________________________________________________________
Giada's Peach and Strawberry Crumble

Filling
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot flour
1 pound strawberries, halved
1 1/2 pound peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Topping

2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and arrowroot until smooth. Add the strawberries, peaches and brown sugar. Gently toss until the fruit is coated. Pour the fruit mixture into the prepared pan.

For the topping: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pulse until mixed. Add the butter. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Sprinkle the mixture over the filling and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is light golden. Cool the crumble for 5 minutes.
___________________________________________________________________________________

I tweaked the recipe a little.  Instead of arrowroot flour (who knows what that is anyways, right?) I used cornstarch -- which worked perfectly.  I also added a little bit more brown sugar to my filling because the peaches I used were a little tart.



The almonds added a nice crunch to the typical crumble topping, and I loved the peach and strawberry combination.  I put a big scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside mine.  Delish!!

Here's a link to the recipe and the video.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pretty Prints

I recently ran across an Etsy shop called The Wheatfield...

And I was instantly enchanted with all of her pretty prints.











I love all the beautiful colors and sweet sayings.

They're just so whimsical... and I love whimsical!

I'm definitely getting one of these soon!  Check out The Wheatfield to see even more!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

¡Vámanos a México!

That means let's go to mexico!

Phil and I went to Mexico on our honeymoon and we loved it!  So, when Phil found this song over the weekend and played it for me, I instantly fell in love with it.  {The fact that Coffey Anderson has a beautiful voice doesn't hurt either}

Take a listen...

video


It brings back wonderful memories of beautiful beaches and mariachi bands!  And makes me want to go back again!!  Here's a few pictures from our trip... (sorry about the quality. these were taken on my 35mm so I had to scan them in)






Our hands, our rings, our ten peso bracelets


I love how music can bring back such wonderful memories!!

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

DIY Onesies

My cousin's son just turned one and his birthday party was this past weekend.

I love buying gifts for people.  But, buying gifts for a one year old who has everything can be very difficult.

We had been to another one year old's birthday party the weekend before -- one on Phil's side.  Phil picked him out a cute toy and we were all set.  By the time we got to the party, the gifts were piling up.

And every single one of them was some kind of toy.  There were even multiples of some toys. 

So, for this party I felt like I should do something different... babies need clothes too, right?  And for inspiration, I headed into blogland (of course).




My original idea was to make an iron-on canvas tote, like the one above on Imperfect, and then fill it with iron-on onesies.  However, my attempt to make the tote completely failed... it was all very ugly and very frustrating.  Enough said.  Moving on...

I was really excited about the way the onesies turned out, however.  And they were super simple.






I created each graphic using Word and Paint.  I found a lot of free clipart images online and copy and pasted them into Word.

Then printed a mirror image of each graphic onto fabric transfer paper.


Then, I ironed each graphic onto a onesie.  After reviewing the fabric transfer product online, I found that a lot of people said to use a pillowcase between the iron and the transfer paper for a crisper image transfer.  It worked really well for me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Quick {and tasty} Dinner

I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen, which is part of the Pioneer Woman's site.

It looked super easy and tasty, so I tried it out last week.


Hot & Sweet Drumsticks

  • 1 cup Apricot Preserves
  • ½ cups Ketchup
  • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 3 pounds Drumsticks (about 12)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small saucepan, combine preserves, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until preserves are melted.

Arrange drumsticks in a single layer on a 13 x 9″ baking pan. Pour sauce over drumsticks, turning to coat. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is done, spooning sauce over drumsticks while baking. Serves 6.













It was deliciously sticky/sweet/hot/tangy... and so simple!

The drumsticks I used were gigantic so I ended up multiplying the recipe by 1.5 and increasing the cooking time by 30 minutes.

I made sour cream smashed potatoes and corn to go alongside, but it would be really good served over rice as well.

That's all for now.  Just thought I would share some yummy-ness with you!  Have a wonderful rest of the holiday!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things I Love... Lately

1.  When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin



 This book was wonderful.  I was hooked by the end of the prologue...  and read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours. 


2.  IKEA


Yes.  The 2011 catalog came out last month.  They have so many cool things.
So I got on their website and made a wish list... just for fun.
This was the resulting conversation.

Me: Hey, hunny.  Guess what?  I got on ikea's site and made a wish list.
Phil:  Really?  Sounds cool.
Me:  Yeah.  Guess how much my wish list totals?
Phil:  Ummmm... $300.
Me:  (smirking) How about $3400?
Phil:  (smiles and shakes head)

Hey- it's fun to dream, right? : )

3.  Gungor



A cool band that I just happened upon.  
My favorite songs?  Beautiful Things, Call Me Out, and The Earth is Yours.
I just really like their style.  It's really unique.  
Here's a link to a video of an acoustic version of The Earth is Yours:



4.  Nutella



"Nutella is a tasty hazlenut spread that contains ingredients such as skim milk and a hint of cocoa."
I first heard of nutella on Giada de Laurentiis's show on Food Network.
And I thought I would hate it.  Hazlenuts are not my thing.  I just don't like them.
Then I tried it... and I love it.  



Jealous.

5.  Etsy



Lots of pretty handmade things to buy.  Quilts, bags, jewelry... pretty much anything you can think of.
If you've never been, you have to go check it out.
Here's a link for you -- Etsy

6.  whatever





A new favorite blog.
I like that it's so real.  
Lots of pretty things, great pictures... and lots of real life "stuff".


I think that's all for now.
Just wanted to share some things that make me happy lately. 

What are some of your favorite things?  What have you enjoyed lately?  Share them with me and maybe I'll love them too!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ode to Summer/Moments in the Garden

It's the first of September and fall is looming closer and closer every day.  Ok... I'm in denial.  It's practically on top of us.

I love fall... but summer is my favorite. 

So, in honor of summer, here's some of my favorite pictures from my garden this year.






My mom is a gardening freak perennial gardener. 

(She's intense -- I mean this woman will stop in the mall parking lot and weed their landscaping) 

I grew up in the garden.  To this day my sisters and I have to take "garden tours" around her yard while she quizzes us about the names of each plant.  We always complain about the mandatory "tours", but I think each of us has inherited a little bit of my mom's love of flowers. 

My middle sister works on a lawn/landscaping crew during the summer when she's home from college.  She has now inherited my mom's embarrasing habit of weeding in public places (heaven help me). 

My youngest sister is a graphic design student.  She loves to take pictures... especially of my mom's gardens.  She always has.  I remember her being in middle school and running out to the garden with my dad's camera.  Her skills have greatly improved since then... a few examples for you...


                           


                            


And then there's me.  I like all flowers.  But when you grow up in the garden, like my sisters and me, you quickly develop favorites.  So, when I moved away from home, my mom gave me cuts of all my favorites.  And eventually they became the beautiful flowers you saw from my garden (up there at the top).  I think that's pretty cool. 

Hyacinths, lilacs, lilies, hydrangea, and sweet pea.  These are my favorites.  What are yours?