Don’t tell me you’ve never wanted to make pasta?!? Sign me up for that ravioli stamp. I’m thinkin’ dessert ravioli’s for Christmas?
I wouldn’t consider myself a Workaholic but there is something about buying office supplies that makes me want to pay a bill or file something away. When a new year comes, I can’t wait to go and pick up a new planner or calendar. This is why I love this gift guide. The donkey adds a nice touch I thought too. Who said barn animals can’t be in the work place?!
It may not be hiking season up here in the north, but doesn’t mean you can’t get ready for it now! Here are a few items you or the outdoorsman in your family may not want to forget.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a few years since I’ve been camping but I am really considering getting some of those enamel mugs. Makes me feel like I’m sitting in front of a bonfire drinking hot cocoa!
I know what you’re thinking. Some of these are a little on the weird side. But I’m sure you can find someone on your list who would like to change the TV channel with a wand remote or listen to music while in the bathroom. I know I would!
So what do you think? You may not be much of a gadget geek but you must admit that some of this yrinkets are pretty cool! Sign me up for #4! Your toes can never be too warm in my opinion…
The gift guides continue with an array of kids items you may just need to get for you niece, nephew, granchild or even your own little one. I love these items because they are unique and not your typical toy store items (although I love those too). Let me know what you think!
I always wanted a teepee when I was a kid and was so excited to see these ones (#5) at a reasonable price. Also the globe is great because kids are playing AND learning. And who doesn’t want a cape on them 24/7?!?
I don’t know about you, but there are some people on my Christmas list who are downright difficult to shop for. So lately I’ve been keeping track of people who I’ll need to shop for and I’ve decided to share my “thourough” research with you! For the next 12 days I’ll give you someone to shop for and something to get them. Happy shopping!
First up is the man in your life. Whether it be a husband, brother, boyfriend, dad, or close friend, there is always that guy that is a little more difficult to shop for than others. Below you just may find something for the man in your life!
There are some very good deals in here but my favorite is probably 4, 6, and 8. Hope you find something or get some ideas for the men in your life.
I have officially crossed the line from dreading cooking to actually enjoying cooking. I’ve been baking since I was a kid and have had that under my belt for some time but it was always the cooking that freaked me out. With that, I don’t know if this falls under baking or cooking but whatever it is you need to make it because if you like cheese, you will LOVE this.
I got the recipe here!
It’s an Artichoke Mustard Brie. I needed something to bring for Thanksgiving and this looked interesting enough. There has been a brie cheese with cranberries at the past several holidays and when I found out no one was bringing any, I decided to step in. And soon after I ran into this new-favorite.
It was much easier than I was anticipating and was a huge hit. So much flavor and not too heavy.
Here’s what you’ll need (it differs from what original recipe says-here- but only because I counldn’t find a few things so I substituted. And it was a good decision that I did):
- 1 (19.6oz) brie cheese
- ½ C artichoke heart quarters, diced
- 2 onions, diced
- ¼ C shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 oz softened cream cheese
- 1 tsp Mustard
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 rolls of Pillsbury Croissant Rolls
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 baguettes, thinly sliced on an angle
- 4-6 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 tsp Colman’s Mustard Powder
First thing, cut the rind off the brie. This will the most tedious part but if you have a good knife, it will just take a few minutes.
In a medium-large bowl, mix the artichokes, onions, parmesan cheese, cream cheese, mustard and salt until fully combined. Well that was easy..
After, roll out your croissant rolls flat and lay the brie on top with enough room to be able to pull the croissant over and on top of the brie (don’t pull over yet). Spoon the artichoke mixture on the brie. Fold the outer corners of your croissant until all the filling/brie is completely enlosed in the pastry. Brush it quickly with egg and pop in the oven on 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Once completed, it will have spilled out quote a bit but that is okay. Move onto your bread. Thinly slice your baguettes, brush them quickly with olive oil then sprinkle dry mustard on it, and pop it in the oven (before or after the brie is done, not during) on Low Broil for 2-3 minutes or until lightly crispy.
^^ I used a dougnut shaped brie but you can really use whatever is available to you in terms of size.
Spoon some cheesy pastry onto your bread and enjoy the salty, creamy richness of this incredible appetizer. Pass it on.
So this is a post I’ve been meaning to post for quite sometime. With my wedding being still fresh in my memory, I’ve been reminiscing about a lot of little details. One of my favorites is the gift I got for my bridesmaids. If you are looking for a unique and one of a kind gift or statement piece in your home, I’ve got the thing for you.
A dear friend of mine’s mom makes these signs by hand and will custom make them to your liking. You have a favorite quote you’d like to hang in your home? A monogram or maybe a cute picture? Kathy Smith paints these and deisgns these by HAND on a wooden plank. She was wonderful to work with because she was very concious of what I wanted and sent me sample ideas before she completed the project. The projects are incredibly reasonable and now I’ve gotten everyone in my family to order some. All you do is Facebook message Kathy (don’t worry, she incourages it) and let her know where you heard about her. She’ll work with you to create something you’ll love and be able to cherish forever.
Above are the signs I had made for my girls, a different quote for each girl. The second is a little bonus sign she threw in for my wedding. What a doll. Below are some photos of her other work. Just check out her Facebook pictures showing all the different work she’s done. They are incrdible and a great Christmas or anytime gift.
Let her know I sent you and enjoy shopping!
What a whirlwind week it’s been. There is something about the holidays that makes life a little more enjoyable and a little more hectic. But thanks to some much needed browsing and a lot of input from you all, I was able to decorate the apartment a bit more, make some new recipes for Thanksgiving, and all in all enjoy the few days I’ve had off from work.
For Thanksgiving, I made an Artichoke Mustard Brie Cheese and David made an awesome Waldorf Salad, these were far better than I anticipated, especially compared to the Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie I made that came out fine in taste but more like soupy-melted pie in look…. Not gonna try that one again, defintly not my best. I’ll have the Brie Cheese recipe up soon, as I will probably be making it for every holiday in the near future [Thank God it was a hit because my pride may have been dented after the pie-soup scenario].
The best part of the week has been Black Friday though. Today, my mom, sister and I all went out at 5:00 a.m. (yes we are those people who participate in mass consumerism/copious amounts of coffee intake the day after being Thankful for all the little things). We spent the day shopping, drinking coffee, shopping, eating, shopping, talking for an hour, shopping and talking some more. The best was the talking though. It’s rare that we get to all three be together just us girls. And now that I think about it, this is the first time we have all been together hanging out after I’ve been married.
Since I got married, I feel like I joined this exclusive club. The club of married ladies. At least when I was a kid I looked at it like a club..We can talk about married things and tell maried stories and laugh about married things. Sounds lame but it’s like the three of us have this new kind of relationship. We are all in a way on a similar level, or at least in the same club (can’t really compare mom and dad’s 30 years to my almost 2 months). I’m enjoying this club and everything that goes with it.
So although most people who were out as early a us were knocking down people or looking for gifts on their lists, we were the ones who were wandering, getting in peoples ways, stopping for 30 minutes to look at something we’d never buy, and buying a few items here and there. Being part of the club is probably what I am most thankful for this year.
Oh, and I’m also thankful for buying the sick amount of Christmas decorations I stocked up on that David and I will cover the apartment with this weekend.
I hope you all had a great (and safe) Thanksgiving and Friday. Enjoy your leftovers and depleted wallets from the past few days! Or at least that’s what I’ll be doing…
I couldn’t be happier about it being the weekend. It comes at the perfect time. So with that, I’ll start my 7 Quick Takes with Jen!
1. Tonight is one of my favorite nights of the Christmas season. I know everyone says Thanksgiving should kick start the Holiday Season but tonight is my version. It’s the annual Christmas Tree Lighting in downtown Detroit. David and I will be staying downtown for the evening, grabbing dinner in Greek Town, and enjoying all the vendors, shops, and music as thousands of others around us do the same, all in anticipation of the Christmas Tree in the center of downtown being lit. Grab me a hot cider and some mittens and I’m in for a fun evening!
2. We’ve gotten soooo much decorated in the past week. And by “decorated” I mean shelves hung. But it helps because with every item hung or framed, the place feels so much more homey. Of course my head is elsewhere so I don’t have any pictures of anything yet, but let’s just say Ikea has become our new best friend!
3. The photos are in! I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our wedding photos and they are here! I’ll be posting most of them on my Facebook page this weekend but here is a glimpse at a few more we have gotten since the previews.
4. What are you all doing for Thanksgiving? Friends? Family? David and I will be going to the Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Detroit and then off to my parents to stuff our faces with exsessive amounts of turkey and pie. Although, I have to come up with a dish to make and naturally I’m gonna bake something but I want to bring a side or appetizer too! Any ideas you wanna lend a learning cook? What tasty treats does your family indulge in?
5. I wanna do this to my little coffee station at home:
6. There are SO MANY things I want to get involved in. I have this running mental list of all sorts of programs or small groups or volunteering I want to do (small groups, volunteering for Right to Life of Michigan, volunteering at church, etc.). And I was about to sign up the other day for some stuff when I realized I needed to take a step back. As good as getting involved in things is, I kind of realized I can’t do it all. So instead, I’m gonna take this time to pray about it and see where (if anywhere at all) God wants me to be. I’m sure there is something I would be more suited for/ would get more out of/could give more to so I’m gonna wait till I find out what that is.
7. I have been ALL ABOUT Buzzfeed latley. I know I know, everyone and their mom is posting Buzzfeed posts on Facebook but most of them make me laugh so much. Here are a few of my favorites so far:
It’s so easy to get a little nostalgic this time of year. Everyone is walking around asking you, “What are you thankful for?” to which you are caught off guard so you respond with the first things that come to mind: family, friends, etc. While those are wonderful things to be greatful for and we should take a moment to be grateful for those EVERYDAY, I was thinking about it, like realllly thinking about… What am I actually thankful for?
Sometimes it’s just the little things!
I just hope I’m not one of those people who only reflects on what I’m thankful for during this season. I hope I can be someone who is able to notice the small things that make me smile all the time. Like fuzzy slippers, watching your favorite show on Netflix, date nights out on the town, waking up and actually being able to roll out of bed at the first alarm without hitting snooze, a not-so-busy day at work, being healthy.
I hope you all have at least a few little things that make you smile today. Even if you are having a crappy day, sometimes the less-crappy parts of the day (even if they are still somewhat crappy) can be the moments to be thankful.
What are YOU thankful for today?
It’s that time of year again! Hunting season :) Tomorrow my dad will continue the tradition of many before him and go and “harvest” off the land to get some tasty venison for us meat eaters back home. (Warning: If you are an animal activist, this post may not be for you)
In honor of the start of hunting season, the other night I made some Bambi-stuffed-peppas’ (aka Stuffed Peppers with Venison). Good eats.
Here is what I got for you. It’s very easy, I prepped it in about 15-20 minutes and cooked it for an hour.
All you need:
- 2 Servings of rice (I used the whole grain “rice in a bag”, only takes 10 minutes)
- app. 2-3 cups of venison, ground beef, or really whatever meat you’d like to use
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- any other veggies you prefer
- seasoning to taste (I used garlic powder, oregeno, basil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a little paprika)
- marinera sauce (homemade or store bought, don’t matter)
- 2-4 Large peppers (I used red for no reason at all. They pretty much all taste the same to me)
First I cooked the rice as instructed. The rice-in-a-bag is great because it only takes 10 minutes and is already the perfect serving size.
Once the rice was done, put the rice, uncooked meat, seasonings, onion, garlic and veggies in a bowl. That’s the best part. You just toss all the ingredients (except the sauce) in one bowl and start mixing with your hands until everything is nice and incorporated.
From there, set that bowl aside and turn to your peppers. Cut out the stem and start coring out the seeds until your pepper is an empty little cave from the top.
Start filling your peppers with your meat and rice mixture until there is a small amount coming out of the top hole. Place the peppers in a baking dish (casserole type). From there take the sauce and spread over the peppers, letting a generous amount spill into the pan (I spoon extra sauce into the pan anyways to pour over when they are done baking).
Once the sauce is on, place in the oven lightly covered with aluminum foil and cook on 350 for an hour.
I had some left over meat mixture so I placed it into small casserole dishes to use for leftovers later (it’s awesome mixed with eggs in the morning).
Go about your business for an hour, and then TA DAaAaAA!
Super easy and healthy and tasty. My favorite combos. On that note…