Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Treats

I got to bring dessert to Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's house this weekend. First I made this yummy yummy pumpkin crunch cheesecake. The recipe came from the same place as the spider cookies (a Betty Crocker mini-mag that I picked up at the grocery store before Halloween and is proving to be a great purchase!). 

My favorite part of this dessert is the pecan topping. I don't usually like pecan pie but this topping was just enough sweet, maple-y, crunchy perfection. The cheesecake flavor wasn't too pronounced so I think next year I'll buy a store bought pie and make the same topping to add at the last minute. Same flavor - a lot less dishes and time! 

As yummy as this pie was, not everyone in my family (ahem, Wes) is a fan of cheesecake or pumpkin! So, I also made these special little treats. 

This recipe came from the Rice Krispies website and boy are they ugly! I said that to Wes after I had assembled a couple and he reminded me that real turkeys aren't that good looking either but they sure are delicious!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

can't deny it

... Christmas IS coming! I'm not in a huge hurry to take down my autumn leaves, but I have started knitting Leila a Christmas stocking (well, really I picked up what I started last year but never finished) to go with the ones I made for Wes and I many years ago.

I'm making pretty good progress on it (this picture is actually from a couple days ago and now I'm down to the toe already!) so I might even attempt to make one for baby brother too since I could add the name later. I have a feeling that next Christmas I won't really have a ton of time to make new things. 

Also, earlier this week I got an email from shimelle to announce that it's almost time to start this year's edition of Journal Your Christmas! 

I am super excited about this because I feel like I sort of know what to expect whereas last year I was a little overwhelmed. Also, I am accepting the challenge to make this a non-expensive (maybe even free?) project. Since this class is a one-time fee, and I paid last year, I don't have to pay to participate ever again (which I think is a really really sweet thing for shimelle to do!). Plus, I have a lot of stuff leftover from last year so depending on what format I decide to go with, I might not need to buy anything other than the actual album ... we'll see. First I need to finish up my album from last year! I got as far as December 21 before houseguests arrived and things got crazy. I'm not going to do every page, but I want to pick out my favorite photos from the family celebrations and at least get those in the album so in 20 years I can remember what we did for the actual celebration and not just the stuff leading up to December 25. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

welcome autumn

I don't really care for the spooky Halloween decorations, but I love autumn! Our new house doesn't have a ton of room for knick-nacks and accessories, but I've put up a couple of things with a fall leaf theme: 

Kristen and I made cute leaf garlands out of felt and embroidery floss a few months ago. They're based on something we saw on elsie's blog ... she never posted an official tutorial so we just winged it. 

Our picture wall is mostly rectangle and square frames so I wanted to make a fun wreath to compliment the clock at the other end of the wall. This was super easy to make with strips of fabric and a wreath frame. I made it in a naptime and still had time to eat lunch and do laundry. I love that it's totally autumn with the orange and the leaves, but since I have splashes of orange throughout our living room, I could keep it up year-round. But I think I'll definitely make a new one with Christmas fabric next month to swap out for a little while :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween at our house

Halloween is pretty quiet around here since Wes has to work all weekend. Tonight I took Leila trick-or-treating with some other friends from church but mostly it was just for me to be social and out of the house since she's too little to eat all that candy. 

But we've had some fun around here celebrating the season ... 

last week we took Leila to Underwood Family Farms in her costume (just like last year! so weird to look back at those pictures) ...

and I made these yummy spider cookies!! They're peanut butter with Rolos, Reese's Pieces and Red Vines. so good. 

I've been working on some other autumn-y projects for the house too which I'll share soon! Happy Halloween! 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

fun at Renegade

rather than fight traffic and search aimlessly for parking, we took the train to Union Station! 

then we only had to walk a few blocks to get to the park and all the fun goodness.

for a while we all stuck together, but there was so much to see and everyone had different interests so we spread out after a short time.

but we came together for fun tutorials, like this one at Sew LA's booth. we all made reusable fabric coffee cozies. Ashley used a sewing machine for the first time! (Kristen and I are in the background putting the final, finishing touches on our cozies.)

another favorite tutorial was these cute feathered hairpieces. on the return train trip, Michaela and I had fun pretending to be Indians! 

we thought we should be serious for this one, but it was too silly.

Kristen and I each think that we have the best husband in the world - I know that I do, but sometimes I let Kristen think she's winning :) 

Monday, July 26, 2010


had the best day on Saturday at the Renegade Craft Fair!! Kristen, Michaela, Noelle, Ashley and I met early to take the train to Los Angeles and spent the rest of the day applying sunscreen, taking tutorials, grabbing business cards, paying $3 for water, losing each other in the crowd, finding each other again, people watching, sweating, meeting look-alikes, winning free stuff, buying cuteness and taking photo booth pictures!!! later this week I'll share my favorite purchases. xo.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Katie & TupperWave

so that post title isn't as charming or alliterate as "Julie & Julia"but that is how I am feeling right now. I just finished reading J&J last week and just as Julie cooked her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," I am cooking my way through the TupperWave microwave cooker recipes. Ok, so maybe it's not just as Julie & Julia, but so far we are 3-for-3 in delicious microwave meals! whoo! 

A few nights ago I made rice and beans in the cooker using Tupperware's Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend to accompany my (not Tupperware) skillet fajitas and oh gosh it was delicious. that seasoning blend is super spicy though - I need to make a note and recommend at parties to start out with half the recommended amount. or maybe I'm just a wuss! 

Last night we had a steak, cheese and prosciutto omelet and also banana bread baked simultaneously in the TupperWave. to pour over the bread, I sautéed canned pineapple rings in a sauce made with Tupperware's Cinnamon-Vanilla Seasoning Blend and that was another knock-out-of-the-park meal! yum! there was even enough leftovers for breakfast this morning which was a nice change from cold cereal and milk. I really loved how the eggs turned out in the TupperWave cooker because I hate runny eggs so I often end up over cooking them and getting some of that icky brown crust on the bottom. but last night's eggs were fluffy and firm, not runny and not at all rubbery or weird. 

Tonight I was a little nervous because I have never cooked chicken in the microwave before. I've heated up leftovers lots of times, but never cooked from raw. I crusted the chicken with Italian breadcrumbs and some other seasonings and also cooked orzo pasta with chicken broth. When it was done cooking, I tossed the pasta with come grated parmesan (not the powdered stuff) and wow, was it all good!! the chicken was cooked all the way through and so juicy! and pasta+parm is pretty much the best thing ever in my opinion so it's hard to screw that up. the only thing I missed from oven baking the chicken was that good crunchy crust, but the overall flavor and the juiciness of the meat definitely made up for it. also, not having to turn on my oven late in the afternoon in the middle of summer is a real bonus!! 

with my most recent party, I ordered the colander insert for the TupperWave which will make it even easier to get a complete meal done all at once in less than 30 minutes because I'll be able to steam veggies! that order is in transit now and I can't wait!! 

so, in case you haven't guessed yet, YES, I am a Tupperware consultant and please forgive the sales pitch, but I would love to make all your Tupperware dreams come true! Parties are still the #1 way to order products and I travel most anywhere in central and southern California. Online ordering is also available and we even have gift registries and e-gift certificates! Check it out!!

Monday, July 05, 2010

celebrating America

growing up in Huntington Beach, it was impossible to be unpatriotic on the 4th of July. of course, I thought patriotic was what it meant to put on every red, white and/or blue article of clothing I owned, go downtown, get my face painted by the YMCA Indian Guides and eat as many cherry, coconut and blueberry Jelly Bellies possible over the duration of the largest Independence Day parade west of the Mississippi. 
Every year we set up camp on the curb outside Esther's house on Main Street and thanked the Good Lord above that we went to the same church as someone who lived on the parade route and lovingly opened her home to the congregation!
Since getting married and moving north, I've missed the parade but this year we decided that Leila needed to experience an HB 4th for herself. She and I wore our new outfits that I sewed Friday night while Wes was working. It was a little cold in the morning, but by the halfway point of the parade, it was plenty warm enough to bare our shoulders!
It's so easy on a beautiful day at the beach to focus on the sun, bike rides and beer selections but I hope that most people took time yesterday to pause and appreciate how blessed we are in our country. 

Saturday, July 03, 2010

late night

tank done! now off to bed!!!

Friday, July 02, 2010

rare opportunity

tonight Wes picked up an extra shift so after I put Leila to bed, I decided to spend my night alone with my sewing machine! I've had One Yard Wonders for a few months now and have bought lots of fabric with the intention of making some cute things, but living my life as I do in two- or three-hour increments between naptimes I rarely sit down to sew, especially in the last couple of months during the remodel. so since there isn't any artificial light in my "craft" room yet, I dragged the machine out to the living room and made this romper for Leila to wear on Sunday! the smallest pattern size given was 2T and Leila is just barely starting to fit in 12-18 month clothes now so I took an inch off the pattern all the way around and am hoping for the best! she's a tall girl and instead of elastic, I put in a halter tie at the top so hope that will make it fit. 
it's hard to see in the poor light (one of my many projects I need to finish before I consider our home "finished" ha ha), but the fabric is lots of different patterned stars scattered across navy fabric. I never sleep well when Wes is working night shift, so rather than go to bed and lie awake for the next two hours, I'm going to tackle one of emma's tank tops from RVA summer camp using the leftover fabric from the romper. whoo!! 

Friday, June 25, 2010

volunteer photography

this week was Vacation Bible School at our church and I volunteered to be the photographer. I took over 1,900 pictures over four nights. Here are a few of my favorite shots: 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

perfect day

Kristen (a.k.a. Mrs Harmony) came over yesterday and we shared some of our favorite things! 

(image from weheartit.com)
Cha-cha-chai lattes

wish I could say we made this cute banner, but it's from weheartit.com - however, I am totally inspired to make one of my own soon! But we did spend time poring over Song of Solomon for inspiration for crafty gifts for our husbands.

delicious pasta salad - yay Trader Joe's!

and in addition to all the chatting, sharing and general catching up we did - we also made cute hair clips inspired by Elsie's project from RVA summer camp! such a fun idea and now I am on the lookout for more cute fabric patterns that I can turn into hair clips to spice up my daily "mom" hairdo of a messy bun!

Monday, June 21, 2010

why father's day is the best

yesterday was Father's Day! Father's Day is great because all guys really want to do with "their" day is relax and watch TV (or at least that's all Wes really wants!) so the agenda yesterday was: watch some World Cup soccer then go to church. After church Leila took a nap, Wes went to hit some golf balls and I got started on my gift to Wes of a clean BBQ, then we had lunch and took Leila to the park. while she took her afternoon nap, Wes settled down to watch some golf on TV and I had some time to start on my next project from RVA summer camp! 
I got five t-shirts cut and wound before Leila woke up for dinner and then after she went to bed for the night I started turning the "yarn" into a welcome mat for our back door! I love this project because other than buying a huge crochet hook (less than $2), it's free! As a runner I have an abundance of white tshirts from different races and events, many which don't fit because they decide that the one-size-fits-all for runners is XL. Once I finish with my all-white mat, I think I'll make a multi-colored mat (race tshirts come in colors other than white, sometimes) for the garage door too. With the new wood floors, we're trying hard to keep as much dirt and dust outside as possible, so these mats are perfect for trapping a lot of stuff before we get too far inside the house. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Leila's Daddy

We love you so much!