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.