Monday, January 31, 2011

Jam Session Monday featuring the Dixie Chicks

I know, I know, I know.  But I like them and they are incredably talented.  Even if they are twangy.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Verse for the Week

Lately I have been worrying a lot about wedding stuff, finding a job, finances, etc.

This verse reminds me that I can find peace and calm in the knowledge that God loves me greatly and will put no obstacle in my path that I cannot conquer with Him by my side.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:25-27

I am making a goal to read this verse every morning when I wake up as a reminder to put my trust in God and to not worry about the things of this world.

Happy Sunday :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011


This is a moose. 
It is dead.
Courtesy of Kipper and Savvy.


Here is the aforementioned recipe for pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 cup butter at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

15 ounces pumpkin puree


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Insert liners into medium cupcake pans.

In a bowl sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.

Cream butter and shortening with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and mix well.

Gradually add dry ingredients and pureed pumpkin to the butter mixture until incorporated into a smooth batter.

Fill the cupcake liners two-thirds full.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until cupcakes are springy to touch.  Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.


Beat 1/4 cup butter with 4 ounces of cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and mix.  Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar until incorporated. 

Ice the cooled cupcakes.

Try not to drool while icing.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Favorites!

Numero Uno:
Pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting!!!!!! 
Looking at my recent posts, it seems that all I blog about lately are carb-loaded desserts.  Hmmm. I will be continuing this trend when I share the recipe tomorrow.  My goal is to make you all fatties, muahahaha!

Numero Dos:
Jergens Natural Glow lotion.
I shamefully admit that I am using this product.  Before purchasing my wedding dress, I had planned to be one of those beautiful pale brides with dewy, translucent skin.  Then I tried on my dress and realized that it's beautiful shade of white was not making my pale skin look very dewy or translucent at all.  In fact it looked kind of gray.  So I decided that maybe a  slightly sunkissed tone would work better.
Now, I have used a tanning bed a couple times in my life and spent the entire time in a cold sweat for several reasons.  One I was afraid that the lid of the bed would never open again and I would be stuck in there forever, two I was afraid of being electrocuted, and three I was afraid of melonoma.  Now I could have gone the spray tan route and escaped these three horrific situations but right now I don't have the money for a spray tan.  Plus I am not to keen on getting the spray in my mouth or eyes.
Enter this lotion.  Relatively cheap with no risk of death by confinement in small spaces, electrocution, or cancer.  Yeah someday we will probably find out that it increases your chance of acquiring flesh eating Staph infections, but for now it is the best option to tan my colorless integument.

See this?  This is the normal color of my skin.  Cold, barren and white.  Minus all the trees and the cute little doggies.
Today I can happily say that my skin is slightly darker than on Monday when I started applying the lotion.  Of course, I could just be in denial.

Numero Tres:
Wedding shoes.
Yay for the blue converse that I will be wearing on the day of my wedding!  No heels for me thank you.  I want to be comfortable.  Also, I do not want to have to lean down to kiss my husband.......awkward.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Furnishing my (future) pad

Today I have been getting a lot of wedding prep done and this reminded me that soon I will have my very own home with Zach!

Being a person that plans waaaaaaay into the future,  I have already picked out some wonderful trinkets for said home.

This funky Paisleys Spoon Rest from Anthropologie would look great on my stove, even covered with food stains :)

The Arcadian Garden Rug from Anthropologie reminds me of an I Spy page.  "I Spy with my little eye, a dragonfly."

Hedgehogs are super cute, just like this Hedgehog Bottle Opener , also from Anthropologie.  Can you tell that I love this store?!  Too bad I'm broke.

For those of us with a little less money in our pockets, there is Ikea!  Looooove this dark gray couch.

Urban Outfitters also has some neat ecelectic stuff, like.........this pair of love bird salt shakers.

And these monkey door hangers.

Can't wait to start decorating!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In need of comfort food....literally

After a not so happy end to the week, a.k.a. I didn't get the job :( , I am feeling the need to stuff my face with carbs.  Namely, cookies.  Maybe some rugelach will do the trick.


for the cookies:

1 cup sweet butter, softened

1 cup cream cheese, softened

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

for the filling:

3/4 cup superfine sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup honey

Beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.  Beat in the flour a little at a time.  Knead the dough lightly until all the flour is incorporated.  Refrigerate until the dough is firm.  Meanwhile, make the filling by combining the superfine sugar with the cinnamon, and combining the melted butter with the honey.

Roll out half the dough into a circle working quickly because the dough becomes hard to manage as it warms up.  Cut the dough into triangle wedges.  Repeat with the remaining half of dough.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Brush the butter/honey mixture onto each triangle then sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Roll each triangle starting from the base to the point.  Place in baking sheets with the point tucked under the roll.  Brush with more butter and sprinkle with more sugar.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.

The end results are lovely, delicious pillows of buttery-cinnamony goodness that will make you forget all of your sorrows.  Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go stuff my face with every carb I can find.

*notice:  I am not endorsing emotional eating.  Sometimes you just need a cookie to boost your self-esteem.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Puppy Profile

This is how my brother shows puppy love.....

and this is how I show puppy love.

   Poor Kipper, love is such a confusing emotion :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Plenty of sunshine heading my way!

Today has been a wonderful sunshiney day, even though it was gray and rainy out.  I picked up my wedding dress!!  Sooo excited, May 7th is rapidly approaching.  Aaaaand.........


Fingers crossed!  More on this news later......

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jam Session Monday featuring Flogging Molly

My music saavy brother introduced me to this celtic-punk band a few years ago.  Their music has a bittersweet edge to it with an eclectic mix of instruments.  Great music to dance or run/workout to!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sometimes I like to pretend that I am a vegan

Here is a delicious vegan bread recipe that I have adapted from culinary savant Joy the Baker's Vegan Pumpkin Cranberry Apple Pecan Everything Bread.  Her website is chock fulla' amazing things to eat but this bread is probably my favorite creation.  There was one day I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.......and dessert.  Its got lots of fruit in it so it must be healthy, right?

So here is my version:

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons cloves

1 3/4 cups mashed bananas  (it would also be REALLY tasty if you used mashed sweet potato)

1 jar of pureed baby food carrots

1 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup water

Grease and flour 2 9x4x3 loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

In a medium bowl, combine bananas, pureed carrots, oil, maple syrup, and water.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, making sure to scrape all dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl.

Divide the dough between the 2 prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes, then invert on a cooling rack.  Cool completely, slice, and enjoy!

Here are some pics of the finished product.

Puppy Profile

Kipper loves rawhide chewies.  Its so cute how she grasps it between her paws.

And aren't her eyebrows darling?  I think they are her best feature!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Week of Favorites

Some are old favorites of mine but most are new.

This mint chocolate candle smells delicious!  The only bad thing about it is that it makes me crave sweets!

My new beautiful nail polish, Blue Me Away by Sally Hanson.  Doesn't it look summery?  Makes me wish I was at the beach.

Best.....cereal.......EVER!!!  How come I have never eaten Waffle Crisp before this week?!

The eighth season of Scrubs, which I love.  It is so hilarious!

And of course I had to throw a picture of my puppy in here.  She brightens my every day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jam Session Monday featuring Jennifer Knapp

Probably my favorite musical artist of all time.  She is so talented and her lyrics are amazing.  I especially love the song Refine Me.  When I sing it, its like I am praying, asking God to consume me and take away all of my selfish, unholy qualities until there is nothing left but His love.  If you have the time,  PLEASE look up more of her work, you will not be disappointed!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Long Time Coming

Here I am one busy holiday season, one non-compliant laptop, and one stomach virus later :(  I just might be the worst blogger ever but I can (and will) only get better from here :)

Anyway, here is a synopsis of my jaunt in California.  I was in the san Jose/San Fransisco area and absolutely loved it!  Here are some things that I loved the most.

 Muir Woods.  The most magical place I have ever been.  It felt like I had entered another world, I wouldn't have been surprised to see a fairy peeking out from behind a tree!

Insert gnome here, haha!  I wouldn't mind living there myself, amongst all of the majestic redwoods.

Sooooooo Magical!

It was a little rainy when we went but this made the atmosphere even more ethereal and a little bit eerie.

 Trolleys!  Way better than roller coasters in my opinion and the best way to get around San Fran.

 China Town.  I literally felt like I was in China.

We ate the best dim sum ever.  I had sticky rice with pork, pot stickers, bbq buns, and tea.  I dream of this meal every day since I've been back.

 Monterey.  Mountains + Ocean is the greatest combination!

 Palace of the Arts.  Unfortunately the palace was blocked off for construction when we were there, but it was still gorgeous!

And last but not least, the Golden Gate Bridge.  Beautiful!