Sunday, November 10, 2013

Betty Crocker's old timey bread

As of late, memories have become pretty important to me.  When the leaves have fallen and the slight chill of Fall has come to stay, one of the many memories that always comes to mind is that of my mom putting together homemade, white bread.  It was always almost magical to watch her add the yeast to the warm water, to be followed by salt, sugar and flour.  She would mix and knead and form it into the magical dough ball.  Then she would cover it and set it in front of the ol' wood stove and to rise. Then...the magic began. It would grow twice its size and all I wanted to do was at least touch it.  But I couldn't.  I wouldn't dare!  But that was my mom's job.  She would punch it down and let it rise. Just. One. More. Time.  Then my mom would put the dough into the oven and the dough began to transform into bread and the smell...OH the smell, was heavenly.  And the taste of warm bread with melted butter...almost sinful.

Anyway, when it gets cold outside, I think about bread.  THE bread.  This time, I couldn't just think of the bread.  I had to make it.  I found the recipe in a revised, yet still vintage, Betty Crocker cookbook.

 Some of my grandmother's best recipes have come from cookbooks of this vintage, so I couldn't pass it up.  If you're interested in trying it out, here's a link to the recipe I found:

It made a pretty delightful smelling and tasting bread.  Try it out!  I think you'll be happy you did!  I am...

For those we've lost but will never forget

It's almost 1 in the morning and I'm sleepy, but not asleep.  I know I should go to bed, rest my messy head, but I can't.  I can't stop thinking about everything and nothing at the same time.  This post may not make any sense when I read it tomorrow, but I can't not write.

Yesterday and today, I had crazy-busy, fulfilling and productive days.  I felt like I accomplished things.  Little things and big things.  I was able to let people I both love and care about know I care in small ways through small acts.  Lately that seems to be all I can manage.  But I feel like it's more important to do that now, while I can. Also today, I went for a leisurely bike ride with Aaron, where I soaked up the last warm rays of fall before the cold sets in and had one of our chats that I've come to love.  Then, I came home and raked leaves, then baked bread from scratch.  So many of these things reminded me of moments from my past and little memories I had saved in my quickly-depleting brain.  But these memories, of crunching leaves and the smell of baking bread and the sounds of confidential talk are important.  They brighten things up a bit, you know?

It's good to be busy.  And to keep yourself busy.  But sometimes?  Sometimes all you want to do is just stop.  I don't mean this in a morbid, I want to end it all kind of way. Just a put your little, insignificant life on hold for a bit so that you can catch your breath, then really breath- deep satisfying breaths and start again, refreshed.  To pause and take time to notice the short but amazing small moments that make this life bearable.  They are called memories, and only you can make and keep them.  But really, all you can do, have to do, is just keep going.  Things will not be put on pause.  They won't even slow down.  Because, this messy, unpredictable life as we know it brings such joy and such sorrow.  Things (relationships, places, people) that were solid and impenetrable one day, are gone the next. Poof- just like that. And to this day, I'm not so sure how to handle it.  I've noticed I avoid and try not to think about these things, these feelings, because they make me sad.  But maybe that's not the best way.  Because when you stop moving, it's all there... still waiting for you.

Like my grandfather,  Papa.  He was born in 1919 so that makes him 94 now. Even though he has reached such a remarkable age, for the past couple of years, he has not been the Papa of my memory.  Slowly, but surely, he has left us.  Physically, he's still there.  But he has dementia (it smacks of Alzheimer's disease) that has ruined his once solid, detail oriented memory.  More than not, he doesn't know who my grandmother, Nanny, is anymore than he knows who I am.  Sometimes she is his sister, or my mom is not his child and I am his niece.  But we are not his "kin" or people he adores anymore. He used to tease us and torment us, but we always knew that he would give us the world if he could have. We are now strangers, always introducing ourselves to a man just as much a stranger.  We frustrate each other trying to make sense of it all.  It used to break my heart (even though I would put on a brave face and laugh it off) and I used to try to find ways to justify it one day or try to fight it the other.  But I can't anymore.  For now, it's the new normal and all we can do is wait.  All we can do is try to make the best out of the situation, take every day as it comes and just keep moving forward.  But I can never forget my good times shared with him and what a great Papa he has always been. Never.
My dear Papa, as I'll ALWAYS remember him

Another example is a dear friend in our congregation who recently lost her husband to cancer.  It moved fast and was ferocious and took him much too quickly. They were expecting it to take him, but really, who is ready to let go of a dear and loved one?  No one.  But they have good memories of him to hold on to. I have good memories of this man because he was an amazing husband and good, good man.  Again, all we can do now, is wait and cling to those memories.

Hmm? What's that you ask?  Wait? Wait for what? Wait for better times promised in the Bible.  Revelations 21:3, 4 promises that there will be a time when " he (God) will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” I believe that as much as I believe the sun will come up every morning and give way to the moon every night.  Because without that hope and that promise, then what's the point of moving ahead? 

So for now, all I can do is cling to the good memories and continue to try my hardest to make more good memories for myself and others.  All we can do is cling to the  promises held out to us and pray for the strength and comfort to cope.  After all, that's the good stuff and what it (this crazy life) is all about.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

No more sweatshirts!!

(unless they're really cute, am I right?)

So...Before I begin my originally intended post (hint: it has to do with sweatshirts and clothes) I thought I would share one little thing. You see, today is day two off trying to get crafts and things done around the house while I have a couple days off from work. Yesterday, I showed you one of my completed crafts: the new and improved gumball machine! I also happened to make a pair of anchor earrings.  I like simple jewelry and  I've always loved the nautical theme, so these turned out to be just what I wanted.

And here is the end result:

So now that I'm finished showing you my second finished craft, I'll get to my original post idea.  Besides crafts and getting things done around the house, I've also been watching a lot of  What Not To Wear, much to Aaron's chagrin.  He hates the show with a passion..but I digress. I, on the other hand, love the show and have since my dear friend Amy and I used to watch it together.  For those not familiar with the show, I'll catch you up.  It teaches women (who need a little/ a lot of help) to see what clothing, hair and makeup decisions they should and shouldn't be making via a wardrobe and physical makeover. I've always loved clothes and shopping, and have A LOT of clothes busting out of my closet.  But this show holds a special place in my heart because I've never really been sure what I should and shouldn't be shopping for. It's simple.  I buy a lot of what I like (like sweatshirts...) and have noticed I have a lot of repeats in my closet (like sweatshirts). But, because of this show, I'm finally figuring out what I should AND shouldn't be keeping in my closet and shopping for. What I mean is, I need to find more age and body appropriate clothing to wear for me instead of what looks great on everyone else.

At this point, my closet is bulging at the seams because I love so many of my clothes and have had them for years.  Some of them don't fit.  I'm sure some of them aren't even in style anymore, but I can't seem to get rid of them.  Because of that, my closet really is stressful and overwhelming!

So, I've decided that it is time to raid my closet (AGAIN) and be critical, but in a good way! I will ask myself: Does it fit? Does it flatter me? Does the color look good on me? Have I worn in within the past 12 months? Is it age-appropriate? The last question is a big one for me, because I'm used to dressing "cutesy".  But just recently, I realized that not all of my clothes work for me anymore. I'm 32 and still have some outfits that make me look 12.  Oops.

So, in an effort to simplify and unclutter and de-stress my life, I'm off to clean my closet so that I don't end up in a humiliating and amazing future episode of What Not To Wear.

I'll cover my hair and makeup on another day.  That's a whole other issue!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gettin' my craft on!

Not much to report here, as I have been sick the ENTIRE MONTH! What is that all about? I had a few days here and there where I thought I was getting better, only to get worse in a couple days. So I did A LOT of lying around and catching up on past series of TV shows of years past on Netflix. I had no oomph and no desire to do anything at all.

But finally, FINALLY, it is over now. And I just bored myself to tears (probably because I didn't blink for like, a solid minute) while I wrote the last paragraph! So I'll cut it short by reporting that I have felt much better the past two days and even embarked on a crafty project or two! My first craft project? An antique-style gumball machine makeover. 
First, a little history on why I chose a gumball machine. One day I was wasting an afternoon on Pinterest (surprise!!) and stumbled upon this picture of a gumball machine that had been painted white instead of the traditional red.  It even had white jelly beans inside.

How cute!!  It was love at first sight!  I knew I had to find a gumball machine to make mine so that I would have a constant supply of snacks as I crafted!! I don't ask for much, do I?  So I started to search. First I searched Ebay and the likes, but it was difficult to find one under $50.  I really didn't want to pay that since I knew the lady from the blog (mentioned above and where I got the idea) had only paid $25 for hers.  There was also the fact that I was going to take it apart to repaint it anyway.  So my search continued.  Then, earlier this year I spotted one for sale on a neighboring town's Cragslist a co-worker snagged for me for....TADAH!.... only $25!!

The top portion was in pretty good shape, but the base and feet were a little dinged up. So I took it apart, cleaned it and painted it. I liked the idea of painting the entire machine white, but chose to stick with the original black base and feet for more contrast and flexibility of where the ol' gumball machine could be placed.  Right now, I'm planning on putting it in my craft room, but who knows where it will end up!

 And.... Here is my version:

Also on Pinterest, I saw the idea of putting Jelly Belly's or pistachios instead of gumballs (which I don't really like anyway...). I'm so excited to actually start AND finish a craft project! It has been too long!

Next up for craft projects? Earrings.....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Outfits of the day

 Thought of the day: It turns out I have a lot more clothing in my closet than I thought (surprise!), but because of Pinterest, I've been able to put pieces together that I never would have thought: brown boots with black?  But when you look at it all together, it is still very reserved (almost boring?)...just like me.

Blazer: Lauren Conrad- Kohls; Tank and skirt: Old Navy; Blouse:Rue 21; Boots:Payless Shoes; Tights:Target

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I think it has to be said, that I am indeed getting worse at this blogging thing. I mean, it's been two whole months (AGAIN) since my last entry. Throughout this time, I've thought many times that maybe I should give this blog up, since I'm not really doing the job. But then I decided that since Fall is already here and Winter is right around the corner (it is already cold!) I will have plenty of time to do projects, make improvements on the house and possibly, just maybe write about them! And it's not a job for me. After all, it's supposed to be fun.

So today I felt like reconnecting with you and my blog. It's not because I have a lot to say and not because I have a lot to share, but because I miss keeping an account of what I've done: both small and large. And I miss hearing from my friends and family that I don't often get to see or talk to face to face. So this is my "Hello, how ya' been ?!" to everyone and everything.

You see, I think a big reason I've been quiet for quite some time is because I've been in a funk...An I- don't -want -to -do -anything funk. My life has been (and felt) very mechanical and boring, and who wants to share that. Lately, something has changed.  I don't even know what.  But now I want to move ahead and make as many improvements in as much stuff as possibly can. Talk about a 180!

As I haven't done anything (project wise) just yet to write about, I decided instead to catch us up (at least on my side). Since we last left off, I had injured my leg riding bikes. That actually rendered me pretty useless for close to 3 weeks. I had a lot of swelling, I had a lot of pain and I was not a nice person to be around. Needless to say, it hurt to move and I so I did as little as possible. That caught up to me. It's amazing the terrible shape you can get into by sitting around and eating everything (okay, no it's not...). So now I'm a little heavier(like I needed anymore weight added to my short stature...), a little more scared of riding bikes (mountain biking specifically brings me to tears) and have a pretty good size scar on my calf (I'm sure you'll see it in future outfit posts).

A couple of weeks ago, we took our bi-annual trip to Portland, this time to see the Lumineers.  It was one of the best, if not the best concert I have seen yet! They were so entertaining and GOOD live! They even came into the audience, set up a makeshift stage and played a song that way.  They even played some new songs from their new album they will be releasing. But first, there were two opening acts: Nathaniel Rateliff (pretty good!) and Dr Dog (not good at all....hated it!).  By the time the Lumineers got on stage we were ready, but sadly, my camera was not. I was only able to snag a couple pictures before it died. Here are a couple I did get (although one is blurry...)

 On that same trip, we also met up for brunch with my cousin, her hubby and new baby, went to several breweries (there are SO many in Portland!) and visited the Portland Japanese Gardens. Those gardens were amazing!

The gardens were peaceful and beautiful and made us want to incorporate some Japanese art and arrangement into our house and we'll see how that works out! Haha.

Then, just last weekend, Aaron participated in a bike race, called "cyclo-cross." Wikipedia explains it as this: " Cyclo-cross (sometimes cyclocross, CX, CCX, cyclo-X or 'cross) is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the international or "World Cup" season is October–February), and consist of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5  km or 1.5–2  mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount.[1][2] Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium (Flanders in particular), France and the Netherlands."

It looks a little like this:

 It was rainy and cold, but a lot of fun to watch. Aaron had fun riding as well. I think we will both be there next year again.

And that is it for now! Today I'm home from work because I'm already sick and trying to get better before this weekend! I have things to do! Take care until next time.....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Where has my memory gone to?

Away. The answer is that my memory has gone..AWAY! In my update post, I mentioned several things we had been up to and places we had gone to. We, then I, actually went several other places than previously mentioned and can't believe I forgot! How could I?! One visit was to visit my dearest friend Amy (who, if you remember cheered me up with this basket) Everyone needs a Friend Amy (she deserves a title) and I have one! And guess what else? At the beginning of the year, Friend Amy and her sweet hubby moved to a small town on the Oregon coast, (a little over 3 hours away) and ever since, we haven't seen as much of each other. Anyway, we were able to go visit them and their cute coastal town in May and it reminded me how much I miss my Friend Amy! It was soooo good to catch up with each other and to explore that part of the Oregon Coast. Poor Brent had to work a lot that weekend, so Friend Amy was our bonafide tour guide most of the time. She took us to see some of the local coast, then the beautiful Umpqua lighthouse (where you can stick your head inside the light of the lighthouse.....BEAUTIFUL!!), along with a pretty good museum and an awesome, hole-in the wall bakery (don't remember the name but Amy and I bought pink pigs that were like homemade twinkies!!). Then we went four wheeling on the beach, built a bonfire and caught up some more (along with some hot dogs,beer and marshmallows.)

The Umpqua lighthouse (coast guard housing is stationed around it)

Friend Amy and I!!

Aaron and I

The view from inside the lighthouse lamps
The piggy twinkies...mine is on the right :)

My beautiful, sparkly nails- compliments of Friend Amy

Hanging out around the bonfire after four-wheeling

So that was one awesome trip I failed to metion, BIG TIME! Again, how could I? I can't wait to see them again!

Another one I spaced was a few weeks after that. I went with my family to a graduation party of a little girl I used to babysit. We camped out in my parents new travel trailer (nice!) and then went to a "grunguation party." What's a grunguation party? Well, we were told the theme was to dress grunge (like Nirvana-90s-grunge) or so we thought. My family went all out and dressed the part. However, we were the ONLY ones dressed up in grunge. Embarrassing and funny and never again!
My version of grunge

My sister and I hanging out as 2 of the 4 grunge members at the grunge party...haha!

My cute parents

My sister and I dressed in real clothes

And there you have it! Two more trips done in the time I was away!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

It was the best of times, it was the worst timing

I think I failed to mention in my update post that Aaron is now a bicycle mechanic at a local shop. As a result, he is able to keep his finger on the pulse of what bikes are available. Luckily, he picked out an awesome Giant bike for me and we've been riding a lot lately. I told him I wanted to try trail riding and so we've been doing a lot of that lately too.
Yesterday we went on a (wait for it) 15 mile trail ride at a Lake 45 minutes from our house with some of the same friends we did the Dirty Dash race with.  It was hard for some of us (ME), especially since there were a lot of hills.
Just the same, it was also a lot of fun....until the very last stretch. I'm no sure what happened. I could have been going too fast and one of our friends said I had been standing pedaling, sat down and let go of my left handlebar. At that moment, though, I hit some loose sand and gravel and ate front of everyone. The result? This guy:

The worst part is that I had survived the entire ride and I only had possibly 1/10 of a mile to go on the flattest part of the trail and I ate it.  I think my pride was hurt a bit too.  But today, my leg hurts a lot worse than my pride and looks worse to me too, but what do I know? I'm kind of a drama queen when it comes to my own injuries and this is pretty dramatic/traumatic. So I took the day off and have been resting up. I've read it can take up to two weeks for the pain to stop and I can't wait.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Outfit Post

I'm so rusty with posts, I can't even think of a witty post title (sigh). But in my opinion, here are a few things to write about: For only the second time this summer, I actually did my hair. Because I never do my hair, I was actually surprised with how much it has grown. I also remembered to take a picture of an outfit AND I'm posting that's not nothing, right?

Shirt: Maurices
Skirt: Boutique from a trip
Sandals: Ross

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hallo there! Where have YOU been?

Let me get this's been TWO WHOLE MONTHS since I've posted anything? You mean I didn't even bother to stop by and let you know I'm still alive?! Well, rest assured. I am alive (as most of you who know me and have probably seen me in person already know...) and kicking- with some bouts of screaming involved...but that's another post. So how bouts a quick update, hmm? First off, my "personal" computer is still broken. I guess it hasn't been as much of a priority as I originally thought, and so other things have filled its' place. To be honest, the break from blogging has been nice and I hadn't missed it at all until I decided to stop by and check things out. Then the guilt of not keeping up slapped me in the face and I got to writing!

Since May we've managed to keep somewhat busy, mainly plugging along with work and day to day activities (my goodness! It's been so long since I've blogged that I can't remember where I left off...excuse me while I catch myself up with what I've done in my life lately).

Okay! I'm back. Now I know where to begin. Since my last post in May, I've tried out several new recipes. Some have been bad and others good: eggless cookie dough for pure, unadulterated consumption, anyone?! Don't worry, I plan on sharing the ones that turned out.

I also went wake-boarding and actually STOOD UP!! on the board/water after more tries than I'd like to admit to.  I could hardly make a fist or pull up my pants for a couple days (too much info?). I've stopped by Goodwill and scored a few finds, but only a few since I'm still trying to simplify.

We just got back from a trip to Fort Bragg, CA where we visited some amazing friends.  We played on the beautiful beach and ran into the turquoise ocean's waves. We also ate some amazing food (Piaci Pizza and Cowlick's Hand Made Ice Cream) and sampled some equally amazing beer: Kilt Lifter and our friends' very own homebrew. All was delicious!  I think I have a crush on that little coast town now!

Last, but not least, Aaron and I entered and completed the Dirty Dash race.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the race, it's a 3.5 mile run/obstacle course with a whole lot of mud involved. It was SO much fun!! Our team was loosely based off of 'Monty Python and the search for the Holy Grail.' Our team name was "Muddy Python and the search for the muddy trail." Aaron was the "Famous Historian" and I was his bewildered wife. We are the two on the lower left, in the front row.


After the race...SO muddy!
After the race, I had mud everywhere. We walked to a nearby river and just bathed in it instead of using the available showers! But it was so worth it!

This week I'm getting ready for a yard sale for next weekend. It's all part of me trying to get rid of as much unnecessary stuff as possible, and make a bit of money off of it too!

Well! That's it in a nutshell!! I will keep you posted (MUCH sooner than later this time!)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stinkin' technology

And now for a completely different excuse for my absenteeism...

No. My dog did not eat my computer. (To be honest, I don't even have a dog.)  Okay, okay. I can't even come up with anymore lame excuses, so I'll just get to the real reason, and quickly.  You see, my computer flat out died. It turns on and flashes an error something or other, but that's it. For now, all of my pictures and other "secret stuff" is stuck in the not-so-little-laptop-that-can't anymore. It does make me a little sad. But at the same time, it's a little refreshing to step away from the technology once in a while.  I guess we need to take it to the computer Dr but I haven't had time. But in the meantime, I try to borrow my Hubby's laptop and do what I need to do, quickly. That's because I don't love it so much. I keep hitting random buttons on the smaller than average keyboard, deleting get the idea!

In the meantime, please be patient while this major/minor glitch occurs. Have a good one!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On the treadmill (again)

There are a lot of ideas floating around out there about body image, health and the like. It's hard to know what to think...what to believe. One idea is that no matter what your size, you should be happy with it. I both agree AND disagree with that statement.  I agree that you should never be ashamed of yourself, that what really matters is what is inside. But, when you get to a certain size or shape and have reached an unhealthy weight, things need to be reevaluated.  The latter is where I'm at.  I'm tired of feeling the way I do and have finally owned up to it that patterns and habits in my life need to change. I'm not super happy about my appearance and I also know that I am at an unhealthy weight.
So to start things up, a friend and I agreed to become accountable to each other. We report back and forth to each other about what we ate and the exercise we did for the day. We also have a weekly weigh in to keep us on track. We did this same routine back in 2011 and it worked really well!

Also to help me out, I signed up to do another 5K at the end of June with a group of friends.  It's my "fitness goal."  This race, the "Dirty Dash," also has obstacle courses so its something where I really need to get into good shape, but can also have fun with. I'm looking forward to it!
It's only 8 weeks away, so I've started an 8 week training program and have started (finally) to clean up my diet.  So far, so good. I've already managed to lose 3 pounds!!

I'll keep you posted with my progress!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Where I've been and what I've seen- Part 4 (Ashland)

A couple of weeks ago, we needed to get out of town soooo bad.  So we quickly went to Ashland. This time around, we decided to try a few new places out (don't you now that virtually all of our trips revolve around food?!). So, we did!
We left town early enough to eat breakfast in Ashland and Morning Glory.  I read about it on Trip Advisor and the ratings were pretty high, so why not? We found it pretty easy and only had to wait 15 minutes or so to be seated. According to the reviews,  there is always a line. We got inside and it was cheery and bustling with happy/fed people. And guess what guys? It was deliciously amazing! I ordered the lemon ricotta stuffed french toast with raspberry syrup and Aaron chose the Alaskan red crab omelet with artichokes, parmesan, smoked garlic cream and scallions (what?!)

After breakfast, we were stuffed! So we ( okay, I) decided to visit a few of my favorite shops. Prize, a lovely shop of French descent (my description all. the. way) was the first stop. Most of everything in there is so lovely, but a little out of my price range, so all I can do is window shop and dream. But it's a great place to do so!
Then we walked to Paddington Jewel Box, a great place with unique jewelry and some pretty cool, vintage clothes. The clothing brand is Darling and I decided that one day, I will own at least one article of clothing from Darling! But instead, I bought some earrings (the only purchase made by me that day!)
By that time, we (okay, I) worked up an appetite for something to drink in the way of a memorable Bloody Mary. The reason I said memorable was because years ago, I had that same drink at Standing Stone Brewing and thought it was the best. one. ever. I've been on a bloody mary kick lately, so I wanted to give it a try! We stopped by, and gave it a try. Drum roll please............It was good, but not the best one I've ever had... (sorry Standing Stone!) Aaron gave the "I <3 Oregon" beer a try and liked it! Their water was also delicious, as it was served to us ice cold in adorable milk jug type carafes! Overall, a success!

We had plans of moving on to Caldera Tap house, but it ended up being closed. It also started raining while we stood by the door and tried to decipher the Open/Close hours. Oops. So we just snapped some random, self-portraits.

Because we had no real plans, we decided to move on to Medford. Aaron had been wanting to stop by a newer brewery called Bricktowne. He tried a sour beer (his newest love behind bikes and moi) and I ordered a cider and cajun tots! The brew-master was super awesome and showed Aaron around his establishment and talked about yeast-strains (it went over my head, but I was happy with the tots!)
We stuck around Bricktowne for a while, then realized we had better get ourselves back home so that Aaron could attend a work-related meeting! It was a quick trip, but so very enjoyable and exactly what we needed.
Thanks Ashland!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Fudge

Who doesn't love fudge? Sadly, it seems like a lot of people don't. But not my people.
I always loved when my Grandma made this fudge (and so did my Grandpa...) In fact, I begged for this recipe from my Grandma. She agreed to give it to me,  but then she told me she got it off the back of a Marshmallow Puff jar.
Oddly enough, I could have cared less, it's that good!
Here is the recipe that my Grandma gave to me, but again, there is a similar one on the back of the Marshmallow Creme jar too!

Peanut Butter Fudge
3 cups sugar
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) *DO NOT USE SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK
1 package chips (chocolate or peanut butter)
1 tsp vanilla
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
* Incidentally, I used condensed milk and cut out half the sugar. It did not turn out as well as it could have.

On the stove top mix sugar, butter and milk in a heavy 2.5 - 3 quart saucepan. Bring to boiling on medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes or until 125 degrees, still stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in chips until melted.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into foil lined pan and allow to set before cutting into small squares. Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Songs of the moment..

I'm pretty much obsessed with these songs.  The first is a cover of "Let me love you."  Believe it or not, it has a pretty incredible message!

(sorry for making you listen to this over and over and over again, Aaronius!!)

The second song I heard on satellite radio at work. Okay, really it was during lunch, at I had a few minutes to listen to the lyrics, jot some down on a scrap piece of paper and google the pulp out of it.  This is what I found...I'm so glad I did and I feel that it is soooo cute!!

Woo-hoo! Hope you enjoyed at least one of the songs...'cause I sure do!

Monday, March 25, 2013

My outfit Monday

What can I say? I'm still obsessed with Pinterest, and  was thus "Pinspired" yesterday when I picked out my outfit.  I saw two outfits that resembled pieces I already own and thought I would borrow inspiration from the two photos to make one outfit. Mission accomplished!
via I believe in unicorns

via A Devine Life
Necklace: Maurices
Cardigan: Rue 21
Lace top:Rue 21
Skirt: J. Crew
Tights: Rue 21
Boots: Bass Outlet

Friday, March 22, 2013

K.I.S.S. means...

 Keep It Simple, Stupid! This is something I think of often. Too often. Oh! When am I going to be done with this "simplify project"? When am I?!.....
I just finished another shameful purge of my closet, where several piles of clothes that were in perfectly good condition were either consigned or donated. I always feel a little bad doing so, because I feel wasteful and/or greedy or because something has so many memories associated with it that I just hate to get rid of it, even though it no longer fits and never will. I simply have too many clothes and can't bear to get rid of most of them OR keep buying new ones (although not as much.....)
So on that note, I've been trying my hardest (Scout's honor) to not purchase any more clothing.  It's not fun. In fact, it down right stinks, but it just makes sense....common sense that is.  In fact, we went into a store today and I just stood there in the bra section (the least tempting section..I HATE bra shopping) and waited for Aaron while he tried on some things.  It wasn't fun either.  Again, it stunk. But it felt good too! I simply need to wear more of my clothes before I flippantly get rid of them.
I'm also still sifting through my entire house, evaluating and getting rid of things(again via consignment or donation) that are no longer loved or useful.  It feels so good to get rid of things and see spaces open up in our little house. It's also so much easier to keep clean! Oh, and lets be honest, shall we? It's nice to make a little extra spending money on random stuff collecting dust!
It's been a good lesson in my little life to try to keep things simple.  I'm finally coming to see the simple truth that I don't need every new thing out there. I need what I need. That's it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery

In 2007 we had the chance to visit Magnolia Bakery in New York.  I fell in love with the place the instant I set foot in its' doors.  At that time, it was decorated like a little girl's tea room and there were cupcakes (cupcakes!!), cookies and other delicious desserts as far as the eye could see.  What I didn't know at the time we visited, was that they also make a killer Banana pudding (okay, maybe I knew but I was not convinced that it could be as good as my Nanny's recipe.) The only way I found it out was by finding it on Pinterest.  I then hearing from a friend that she had made it.  Then she brought it to work.  Then I tasted it.  The rest was history.  Ever since then, I've craved the deliciousness that is the Banana Pudding.

Here's the recipe if you would like to try it!:
Magnolia Bakery's Banana PuddingFrom The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
Serves 12
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 3.4 ounce box Jell-O instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups heavy cream
1 12 ounce box vanilla wafers
4 cups sliced ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
In a medium bowl (or using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) whisk together sweetened condensed milk and water until blended.  Add pudding mix continue to whisk into fully incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set, about 3 hours (or you can leave overnight).
Once pudding has set, whip heavy cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Fold pudding into the whipped cream until completely blended.  In your serving bowl (or individual serving jars), begin layering vanilla wafers, then bananas, then pudding.  Repeat 3 times, or as many times you need/like to fit your desired serving dish.  Garnish pudding with additional wafers or wafer crumbs, cover with plastic wrap and chill for an additional 4 hours.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My outfit Monday

 Because I'm usually running late and running around like crazy, I love outfits that are easy and don't need to be ironed.  Enter the best. outfit. ever.  This one:

White shirt: Eddie Bauer
Vest: Old Navy
Scarf: Thrifted
Skirt: Kohls
Boots: From a friend

Monday, February 18, 2013

My outfit Monday

An outfit post to prove to you that I do wear pants...most of the time.

Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: Ross Dress For Less
Shoes: Born

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Finds

Aaron has created a monster.
Yes, I will blame him this time.  You see, despite the fact that I have far too many clothes already, it was still his idea to stop by Goodwill.  Who was I to say no?
Okay, I can't really blame the poor guy for creating something that wasn't there.  I've always loved to shop and can really never get enough of it.  So now I channel it into thrift shopping, where the cost is low and good things can still be found!

Here's what I found:
An Old Navy cardigan in the perfect shade!

Another Old Navy Gem- perfect for Spring/Summer

A tan blazer! I've been looking for one for so long!

Yet another striped shirt from Land's End.  I can see this becoming a favorite!
Have you ever tried thrift shopping? If so? Are you hooked?
I am....