Thursday, December 26, 2013

setting the bar

Some people set the bar high- in fact I do too usually but not for 2014. No my friends, you see after a short reflection it was decided that 2013 was mostly a big flaming pile of poo for us so there's nowhere really to go but up, up, up. Now I won't go into the nitty gritty here but it was pretty bad folks. You may remember we had to put our beloved siamese mix Peyton to sleep back in April and just last week we lost our 15 year old calico Laya too and that's really just scratching the surface on our troubled year but you know what thats the beautiful thing about a new year and clean slate. Nick and I have each other, our two beautiful happy and healthy children, our family and friends and we count our blessings for those things especially in the bad times. Now it's time we give ourselves permission to start fresh this new year and that's exactly what we intend to do. 

Yeah ignore how its says 2013 on the bottom. I am. - See that's me already not being so hard on myself for not catching that.

So as 2013 draws to a close I'm reminded of this quote:

And I'm drawing inspiration from this one for 2014:

For those of you out there that they may have had your own share of recent bumps in the road, hang in there and smile. I'm thinking about you, all of you, and I'm sending positive energy your way whoever you are. We're all in this together. 

Happy 2014 my friends!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

very, merry

It's truly crazy Christmas is already here. We've been trying to soak up every last craft, get together, movie and family time we can but it still didn't feel like enough time. One of the best things we did was yesterday when I got to take Lucy to see her cousin perform in The Nutcracker. We met up with Nick's mom, sister and my other niece and a great time was had by all. Lucy was smitten with the little girl that played Clara. At the meet and great after she ran right up to her and threw her arms around her like she was a Disney Princess. It was pretty much the cutest thing. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours, friends!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

christmas jubilee

This past Saturday was a day I've been looking forward to for soooo long. My dear friend Jen hosted her Christmas Jubilee. Our mission was simple: eat good food and to make pretty things with copious amounts of glitter. Mission accomplished. 

Each of us brought a dish to share, handmade gifts and project kits for each person. It was such an inspiring little bunch and I feel so lucky to call each of them a friend.  I'm already dreaming about next year! I now truly feel ready to kick this holiday season into high gear. 

It's not a party until you start doing each others hair.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

slow cooker potato soup

On Sunday after a long holiday weekend we were ready to just hang around the house all day and do nothing. Just before lunch I started thinking about what to make for dinner and taking mental inventory of what we already had on hand. Turns out we had about 90% of what the potato soup called for so after a quick run to the store for some whipping cream and a bag of potatoes we were in business. 


7 cups of potatoes (or roughly 6 medium)
1 cup of yellow onion
3-5 cloves of garlic
3 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 cup of heavy cream
4-6 slices thick cut bacon
monterey jack or cheddar cheese


Pre-heat oven to 375. Prepare potatoes by peeling and chopping into small chunks, roughly 1" in size. Chop onions and mince garlic. Add all vegetables to slow cooker bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in chicken stock. Cover and cook on high for 3 1/2 hours (or low 6).
Put bacon slices on a lined cookie sheet and place in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove and chop bacon. Add the extra grease from cookie sheet to the slow cooker. 
Remove 1/3-1/2 of the potato chunks to a blender with heavy cream. Blend until smooth. Return to slow cooker. Stir and cover, continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.
Garnish with shredded cheese and bacon. 
** we opted out of the bacon this time but I have made it with the bacon before and it's very good. This time after blending and returning the pureed potatoes I also added some steamed and chopped brocoli florets. You can come up with countless variations and toppings to this recipe. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

shop small

Saturday was Small Business Saturday. You could say our family is pretty heavily tied to small business. Nick has worked for the past going on 7 years with his dad at a business he began over 40 years ago. And I of course have had this going on for a little over a year now. 

In the spirit of #shopsmall we had breakfast at Shapiro's Bakery and Deli (legendary!) and then went to LUNA Music to pick up a few fun things. It's always nice to support local and small businesses whenever possible. You can learn more about the #shopsmall movement here. Happy Hunting. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


After a couple days spent in the kitchen the feast was finally ready. I love to cook every minute of it. Even when my legs get tired I just pour a glass of wine and forge ahead. It was funny though because by the time it was time to sit down and eat I was ready to just take a nap. 

On the menu: 2 turkey breasts, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac n' cheese, green bean casserole, cheddar biscuits, marshmallow salad,  Tennessee whiskey fruit cake, pumpkin pie and a chocolate cake per Lucy's request. I think I only tasted about half those things before I threw in the towel. It was a great day and the house with filled with lots of laughs, giggles and good energy- just what you want on Thanksgiving. 

This picture cracks me up- before my mom took Lucy to see the new Frozen movie I asked her to take a picture with me. She just wanted to go get in the car and was not in the mood. These are the moments memories are made of. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you 

Monday, November 25, 2013

warm food on a bitter cold day

On Saturday the temps took a nosedive plummeting into the mid 20's. We didn't have much planned besides lunch with Nicks mom and his sisters after that we stopped by Trader Joe's to pick up a few things and headed home in time for the kids to take their naps. I then got to work in the kitchen and made our favorite chicken noodle soup. This particular recipe calls for it to be done in the slow cooker so it would also be great to have going one night during the week too.


  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium cooking onion, peeled and sliced 
  • 2 slices ginger (approx. 1/4 inch thick each), peeled
  • 2 stocks of fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled and pressed
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 carton chicken broth (approx: 980mL—if not using wine add additional broth)
  • 1 cup white wine (optional but highly recommended)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups egg noodles

Spray crockpot with non-stick spray
Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, ginger and rosemary
 Arrange chicken on top of vegetables
Add broth, salt & pepper
Cook on low for 8 hours (don't try to cut corners and cook on high for 4 hours because your veggies will not be done- trust me I know)
Discard rosemary and ginger and remove chicken. Shred chicken with two forks and put back into pot
Add noodles and cook on high for another 20-30 minutes

Serve with a rustic bread or the classic grill cheese 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

thanksgiving table setting

thanksgiving table setting

Microwave safe dinnerware / CB2 table linens placemat / Stripe placemat / Drinkware / Drinkware / Capri Blue handmade home decor

It's that time again when we get down to the nitty gritty of Thanksgiving planning. Making grocery lists, wading through the crowds at the stores, inevitably realizing you forgot something after you get home. Oh well at least you have setting a pretty table to look forward to if you like that kind of stuff like me. We're keeping things really small this year but that doesn't mean it can't be special. If I could set a dream table it might look something like this.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

kickin' it old school with rainbow macaroni

The other day after breakfast while I still had the kids attention I decided to break out the rainbow colored macaroni. I used a pretty simple recipe of rubbing alcohol and food coloring to toss the dried macaroni with in Ziploc baggies. I let them soak for about an hour in their baggies before lining a couple cookie sheets with paper towels and then dumping them on there to dry overnight. 

Lucy was thrilled to say the least since she's all about rainbows right now. She went to town sorting  and gluing them down. Gray had fun watching his big sister work. I eventually gave him a couple of cups and he happily poured his assortment back and forth. All in all it was a big hit and I'm already planning on doing it again with different types of noodles to shake things up. 

It's always the simplest things isn't it? ; )

Sunday, November 10, 2013

treading water

Ever have a week where you just try to maintain? That was us this week. As soon as one person was on the mend the next victim fell prey to the fall sickys. Happily we all seem to be fine and dandy now and we were able to have quite a fantastic weekend. All's well that ends well. Cheers to a fresh week!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

for fun

Who remembers the MySpace days? You know where you drained a million hours filling out ridiculous surveys? Those were fun!

I am...

making : big messes in my studio.
cooking : lots of chicken based dishes and soups.
drinking : coffee, cider with a splash of spiced rum, and the occasional diet coke
reading : I just finished this book- yeah I admit it. 
wanting : to get to a yoga class. 
looking : through my scratched lenses, lord do I need new glasses. 
playing : beauty shop with Lucy tonight. 
wasting : time on tumblr. 
sowing : seeds for next spring in my head. 
wishing : for some peace and closure surrounding a difficult situation. 
enjoying : seeing my kids play together. 
waiting : for a snow day! 
liking : my new boots
wondering : how old Gray will be when he passes up Lucy in size. She's dreading it. 
loving : fires in the fireplace. 
hoping : Lucy feels better tomorrow. It's so hard seeing your little under the weather. 
marvelling : at Gray's growing vocabulary. He's really taking off with his communication. 
needing : another kitchen timer The kids sent ours flying down the slide over the summer and it's dearly missed. 
smelling : this candle
wearing : lots of layers. 
following : the weather this week as I'm hoping to get some work done. 
noticing : that I am writing a lot of lists - lists of things to write, supplies to buy, clothes to pack. 
knowing : it will all be OK. 
thinking : If it weren't for Day Light Savings it would be 11:30pm right now not 10:30 and I'm tired. 
bookmarking : good children's book ideas on amazon for Christmas gifts. I love my little book worms. 
opening : a fresh bottle of wine. 
giggling : at the things Lucy says. 
feeling : happy, hopeful, loved and lucky. 

Happy Sunday night- I hope you have a great week!