Friday, December 28, 2012

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake {Foodie Friday}

I usually try to stay about 4 weeks ahead with the recipes, but being pregnant this fall, having Christmas season craziness and the giant speed bump that just hit our life set me back, so it's no joke when I say that this just came out of my oven.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies {Foodie Friday}

I’m always on the lookout for a great new dessert. While I was perusing the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook I knew I had to make these ASAP. I started out rolling them and cutting them into snowflakes. It worked well, but just took a long time and resulted in lots of cookies. I pulled out the new cookie pans that my aunt got me and just pushed the dough in. It worked great and was fast, but resulted in significantly fewer cookies (which was good, because DH and I ended up eating almost all of them!)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake {Foodie Friday}

Run to your kitchen. Now. This cake is the best all day, any event, make it all the time cake. Crunchy on the outside and moist and delicious on the inside. I’m not sure how I lived my whole life without it. I brought some to work and it was gone in a flash. Similar to the Snickerdoodle pie I made for Pi day, this tastes similar to a coffee cake, so that means you can eat it for breakfast. Cake for breakfast? I’m always up for that!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting {Foodie Friday}

My friend Melissa posted these cupcakes on Facebook and DH saw them. Since then he has done nothing but talk about how I should make these cupcakes.  It’s not like I took a whole lot of convincing, so within a couple weeks I made them. And boy are we both glad I did. Pumpkin plus cream cheese plus maple= AWESOMESAUCE. The original recipe has a little different Maple frosting recipe that called for maple flavor. I wanted one that used real maple syrup so I visited my trusted source: Glorious treats.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Skillet Cheesy Chicken & Rice {Foodie Friday}

What is funny about this recipe is that I found this recipe in an ad for Cream of Chicken Soup. I make my own, so I just stole the recipe ;) We made a couple of tweaks to the original version, but this is a fast one skillet dinner. Less dishes makes this taste even better.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup {Foodie Friday}

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I have suddenly become a DIYer. Even though my mom cooked a lot while we were growing up, we still ate a lot of processed foods. Cream of Chicken Soup is something that I have made a couple of times on my own for use in recipes (i.e. mom’s beef stroganoff), but I thought it was time to make it official. I think you will agree that it’s easy to make and takes a whole lot better than the stuff out of the can.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars {Foodie Friday}

You know why fall is my favorite season, right? It’s because I get to make all the pumpkin goodies I want.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Creamy Fettuccine with Ham and Peas {Foodie Friday}

Photo Updated 4.22.14
For the longest time we had alfredo out of a jar. As you can imagine, it was never very good. I tried a couple of different recipes, some regular, others claiming to be on the lighter side, but I was never satisfied. I wanted good Fettuccine alfredo, rich, creamy and decadent. Well, folks, I finally found it! This recipe has ham and peas, but the base is the same, add chicken or broccoli. Whatever your heart desires.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pasta with Chickpeas and Broccoli {Foodie Friday}

In love. That is how I would describe my relationship with this dish. Easy to make, decently healthy and super yummy. My sister would make a dish like this with chicken instead of chickpeas. If you like garlic, I would suggest adding a touch more, otherwise, STUPENDOUS!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Caroline is TWO Sweet

Well they say better late than never, so I hope you agree. Now that you are all in a sugar coma from Halloween, I know all you want to do is look at some more yummy goodness!!

Caroline's birthday party was in January, and I am just getting around to posting. Geez. It's basically time to start the planning for the next party. Can you believe she is going to be 3 in 2 months already! Dang!
And I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do for her party until I ended up pregnant with twins. Now I am thinking I will be too miserable to want to deal with it in January. Anyway, back to the party.

The theme was "Two Sweet" and we had it at my MIL's house.
It's the perfect theme since her name is Caroline and she is pretty darn sweet.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Broiled Parmesan and Lemon Chicken {Foodie Friday}

I have been trying really hard to find dinners that are 1) quick, 2) easy 3)delicious and 4) new to our family. I don’t have a lot of time to get dinner ready after work, and I would like to not spend the entire evening in the kitchen when the weather is so delicious! I  think I had this on the table in about 20 minutes. I just served it with a side of canned green beans (fancy!), but I think it would also be excellent served on rice. Regardless, this recipe is definitely a keeper. *Note I used chicken tenderloins not chicken breasts, because that’s what I had. Just be sure to change your cooking time accordingly.

Friday, September 21, 2012

60 Second Chocolate Chip Cookie A la Mode {Foodie Friday}

I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. I’m pretty sure they will be serving these when we all get there anyway. I am starting to become a big fan of these single serve desserts. No leftovers is great for avoiding temptation. It started with the 60 second chocolate cake. But my opinion is that the cookie is wayyy better!!!! I made this in one of our small ice cream bowls and took it out of the microwave when it was starting to overflow the top. It was deliciously gooey. If you like it more done, use a bigger bowl and 10 additional seconds in the microwave. If you plan on eating it with ice cream (and you should!!) I would recommend using a regular sized bowl so there is enough room to put the ice cream on top. Mine did not have enough room for ice cream on top, but that’s ok because I didn’t have any vanilla ice cream (Shocking, I know.) Seriously this is to die for—and I just ate it plain.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pasta Carbonara {Foodie Friday}

I’m more of a fettuccine kind of girl. If we’re eating Italian, that’s what I am having. I am generally not very adventurous when it comes to food. I like to keep is simple and stay between the lines, if you know what I mean. I came across this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. Everyone always rants and raves about her recipes so I decided it was about time for me to give it a try. Let me say, they were right, this recipe was delicious! If you are looking for a new recipe to add to your dinner rotation, let me suggest this…

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Perfect Pizza Crust {Foodie Friday}

DH has been very determined that homemade pizza just does not cut it. We tried making crust a couple times from a box and it never turned out well. So now we just buy frozen or order out. So when I told him I wanted to make a pizza from scratch he told me not to.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dairy Delicious Dip {Foodie Friday}

Have you ever purchased the fruit dip from the grocery store? I always loved that stuff with apples, pineapple, and especially strawberries. Due to my frugal nature I started making this dip a couple of years ago. It’s much better and cheaper than the stuff from the store. I challenge you to make this and not an entire container of strawberries.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Modern Art Prints

Here's the story: One day I got bored and I saw a pretty picture. I said to myself, "Self, I bet you could make one of those." So I did. I started to see things that I liked and enjoyed the challenge of trying to make them on my own. Some people charge a lot of money to make these, and some of them are difficult, I won't like. Now that I can do it myself, I can save all kinds of money and have lots of great gifts!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad {Foodie Friday}

I LOVE Chicken Salad. A lot. A lot a lot. I have never made my own chicken salad before and when I did this weekend I honestly didn’t use a recipe.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Garlic Rice Pilaf {Foodie Friday}

Do you have problems boiling? I always seem to make a huge mess on my stove when I am trying to make pasta, rice, or what have you. I am just too busy doing other things in the kitchen that don't involve watching boiling water. Enter oven baked rice pilaf. Hallelujah! So easy, so delicious! It takes a little longer to make it this way, but I like to do it in the oven on the weekends when I have more time. Try it! I promise you will love it too!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies {Foodie Friday}

It's been a month of dinners so far, so how about dessert? It was my birthday on Monday, so chocolate is on the brain. I'm telling you whoever invented the idea of baking cheesecake on top of brownies is my hero. Seriously. These were beyond amazing. Do you have a 'love' related holiday coming up? These would be perfect. Our anniversary is in a couple of weeks, and these may be making an appearance. They are supposed to be swirled on top, but I didn't swirl enough. Regardless, they still tasted amazing. I will be making these frequently. VERY frequently. YUM!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rain, Rain Come our way

I don’t know if you have been living under a rock or not, but a large part of the Midwest is in a severe drought. Here is a local map that shows how extreme it is. We live where the yellow dot is. I think they are saying that the drought started around Memorial Day. It is no exaggeration when I say we have had NO rain. There have been pop up showers within the past month, but none have brought anything more than sprinkles to our house.

That is until last Thursday night. It finally rained. POURING RAIN. It’s the first time I haven’t had to water the flowers in over 2 months!! Forecasters are predicting that the drought will last through October. Not good news.

There are only a couple of good things about having no rain:
No cancelled plans due to the rain
No humidity—it’s just plain hot
No mowing the lawn!

I can’t really think of anything else, can you?

Monday, July 23, 2012

27 {Monday Me}

Today is my birthday. The big 2-7. I guess now I can say I’m pushing the big 3-0.

This past year wasn’t particularly exciting. It ended on a pretty high note though:

A new car

Friday, July 20, 2012

Strawberry Banana Muffins {Foodie Friday}

Last Friday night I went to bed at 7:30 PM. It was amazing. I woke up at 6 AM, but still consider that success. Needless to say, I had plenty of time to make breakfast before the rest of the house woke up.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Don't Miss This!!

If you are involved in the crafting world at all, you know of the crafting craze that is baker’s twine.

Today Pick Your Plum has a great deal where you can get a 240 yard roll for only $4.95! There are six beautiful color options.

That’s a crazy amazing deal, folks!! Normally this amount of twine is about $14.95 a piece!!

I ordered one of each color. I think you should do the same =)

But you have to hurry!! This deal is only good today!

If you need some inspiration, click here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lemon Thyme Chicken {Foodie Friday}

Monday, July 2, 2012

Update to 12 Goals for 2012 {Monday Me}

You can view the original post here.

It’s July 1st, that means we are half way through the year already!! Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?!

How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions? Did you forget about them? I have to say when I revisited my goals in April I had forgotten about a couple that were on the list.

I thought that now would be a good time to provide an update of my progress and kick start me again for the second half of the year.

2012 Goals
1.           Scan all my photos.
This is not going so well. I sat down and worked on it for one night and haven’t done it since. It’s a very time consuming project. I would really like to complete some of my other projects listed below before coming back to try to tackle this one. This might turn into a 10 year plan.

2.           Along with this I need to reorganize all the pictures of our house.
I kind of forgot about this one, but it really needs to be done. Now that D is working on the rentals there is less work going on at our house. This is the perfect time to get ahead!

3.           Caroline’s second year photo book. Completed 5/17/2012
Whoo hoo! I actually got this done in May and it feels so good! This year I used Shuttefly instead of Snapfish, and I have to say I loved the usability of the Shutterfly application a lot more.

4.           Learn how to use my camera in manual mode.
I have certainly been working on this. I have photographed 2 weddings, lots of food for Foodie Friday and millions of pictures of Caroline too! I don’t feel like this is something that I can really cross off the list as I continue to learn and grow every time I shoot.

5.           Make photo movies of:
a.       Engagement trip to Gatlinburg (2005). Completed 1/11/2012
b.      Our Wedding (2006)—this will have to happen after I rescan all the photos of course.
c.       Mom and Dad’s 25th Anniversary PowerPoint and party photos (from 2008)
d.      Trip to Europe (2005)
When I wrote this goal I was really excited about photo movies. I love the idea of putting the photos to music, but I don’t know that I need one for all these things. I still like the idea of making them for Caroline’s birthday every year, and will continue to make those. The others I will probably do as gifts or something as the need arises. Also I have heard that you can make these movies through Powerpoint and that might be a good idea for the Europe video. Adding text to the photos can take a long time without a real photo editing program. It might be easier to make that one in PowerPoint if I can figure out how to do it.

6.           Bake once a week.
Well this doesn’t happen every week, but I have been able to incorporate a lot more cooking and baking into my schedule than normal. I consider this to be success.

7.           Shop Target Clearance
I had intended to do posts on this based on my purchases, but I’m thinking that it really isn’t that exciting. Let’s just say I have gotten lots of deals and my earring collection has practically doubled this year. I’ve also been getting great deals at Macy’s and Plato’s Closet. Who knew?!

8.           Graduate with an MBA
Check. Check. It feels sooo good.

9.           Have a Baby
Well this just didn’t work out. Maybe next year? Or should we wait for 2014?

10.       Make this blog MORE
Can I get an A for effort? I really struggle with just finding the time to sit down upload photos and come up with something interesting to say. It’s also really difficult not having consistent, reliable access to internet. (Christmas gift idea, anyone?)

11.       Read a book a month.
So far so good. You can read my Book of the Month posts here.

12.       Finish Caroline’s First Year Scrapbook
At this rate I will be lucky to finish her scrapbook by the time she is 12. I really just need to buckle down for a couple of hours and it will be done. I don’t know why it is so hard to just sit down and do it!

I decided to add another:

After the Oscars I decided I wanted to watch all the movies that won or were nominated for Academy Awards (a.k.a. Oscars). Most of the movies have been available from our local library so I can get them for free and keep them for 2 weeks (love that). I will probably put this on my list every year going forward. It’s fun to watch the movies and to try to get them from the library when they are in high demand. A couple that I have seen so far include: Rio, The Help, Drive, Midnight in Paris, Hugo, The Muppets and ’If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

It’s your turn now! If you managed to make it to the end of this post, leave a comment and tell me how you are doing with your New Year’s Resolutions.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas {Foodie Friday}

Enchiladas at our house usually involve a can of enchilada sauce. I’m not a big fan of Mexican anyway so I try to keep it simple. As an avid reader of Annie’s Eats, I hear a lot about her famous enchilada recipe. Her husband loves them so much that she named them ‘Benchiladas’ after him. I decided that it was time to try them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blueberry Crumb Cake {Foodie Friday}

If you haven't noticed, I have a thing for breakfast. This is mostly because I have time to bake on the weekends, and first up is Saturday morning breakfast. This was a nice twist on the traditional blueberry muffin. Since pie is the new cupcake, I suppose that pie is also the new muffin when it comes to breakfast.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Erika and Jason 6.16.12

This weekend I had the pleasure of shooting another wedding with my friend Kim, of Kim Harris Photography. This is Jacob and Erika. They were a great couple, with a beautiful wedding. Here are a couple of photos from their day.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Basic Blondies {Foodie Friday}

I don't know why I have such an addiction to butterscotch, but I do. I was looking for a quick and easy dessert to make and when I saw that this one had a butterscotch option, I jumped up off the couch and made them immediately. I brought them to class one night and one of the girls asked me if she could pay me to make her some...uh ...yea. They are that good. They are so ooey gooey. You will love them.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reminiscing {Monday Me}

Two weeks ago I told you about going to my cousin’s wedding. Going to a wedding when you are married is a lot different than going to a wedding when you are single. When you are single you are collecting ideas and taking notes so when you meet your prince charming you can use those details to make your wedding day perfect. When you are already married, you do two things: 1) compare your wedding to theirs (how yours was so much better, of course) and 2) reminisce about your own love story.

It’s nice to have things like this written down so I thought I would share how D and I met. I have a terrible memory now, so I can’t imagine trying to remember this stuff when I am 80. Maybe one day if I get really adventurous I will do a post about our wedding, but our pictures were so terrible I am embarrassed to show you.

Here goes:

When I decided to attend Anderson University, several people from my home church who had spent time in Anderson told me that I should attend Bethany Christian Church. So I did. There was a college age/young adult Bible study on Sunday nights that kicked off at the end of September and that is where D and I met. I don’t remember the first time that I saw him, so I can’t say that it was love at first sight, but after a few weeks I noticed that he wore the same sweatshirt to Bible Study every week. I made a comment to him about wearing the same sweatshirt and so he kept wearing it because he knew he was getting my attention. I was reminded of this again last Tuesday night. One of the presenters in my Master’s class read this article about how children view the meaning of love. My jaw dropped when she read this:

OMG! I guess I am not the only one. And that was how it all began… We started bumping into each other on campus and emailing back and forth. Our first date was on Veteran’s Day 2004. We went to see The Polar Express. It was a Thursday night and I don’t think the movie even started until 10PM. Needless to say, we were the only ones in the theatre that night. I was in the habit of bringing carrots with me to the movies instead of eating popcorn. I really love carrots, but this gave D the impression that I was a health freak..Haha. Just one of my quirks I guess. When I went home for Thanksgiving two weeks later, I told my little brother and sister that I was going to marry him. It happened that fast.

And the rest they say…is history.
Early December 2004

How did you meet the love of your life? Was it love at first sight?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes {Foodie Friday}

Monday was my last day of class. That’s right. My LAST DAY EVER!! I am so pumped. In some ways it seems crazy to be done already and in other ways it seems like an eternity.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Help! {Monday Me}

I can’t make a decision to save my life. I have $275.00 to spend and I can’t decide if I want to buy one big ticket item or several small ones. So I need your help. Listed below are the two options I am looking at right now. Originally I wanted the Camera Bag. Then I got some more money and decided to go for the lens. Now that it’s time to buy, I can’t make up my mind!!

*Prices already include shipping and tax.

Option 1: Total $226.62

Rose Sugar Plum Camera Bag $104.95

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Soup {Foodie Friday}

Last week I posted about the rolls I made for this soup. It is really amazing to dip the rolls into the soup. I dare you to dip it and not like it. Go ahead.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend Recap {Monday Me}

This weekend was marked most notably by my cousin Jake's wedding. I tried not to get too trigger happy, but here is a picture of the lovely couple that I stole from facebook:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweet Dinner Rolls {Foodie Friday}

OOooh... aren't they pretty? When time allows I try to make homemade bread as side for our dinners. I made these on a night I made an awesome chicken soup recipe that I will be sharing with you shortly. Yes...I know it's not soup season, but trust me you will want to make these rolls and the soup anyway. You'll thank me later.

Monday, May 21, 2012

trying...{Monday Me}

I’m trying to keep up...I really am. I know that all I have really posted lately is for Foodie Friday-- A girl still has to eat! The only time I usually have to post is at 10 PM and I am just not in the mood. I have lots of ideas…they usually just get stuck in my head.  I am sure you know the feeling.

The good news is that classes are almost done! I have 7- 4 hour class sessions left until I officially get my degree! I am hoping to spend much more time watching Oscar winning movies, baking cupcakes, planning parties and taking pictures!
I still have editing to do from the wedding I took pictures at earlier this month. Whoops!

What do you like to do in your free time!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bacon and Broccoli Quiche {Foodie Friday}

 My mom cooked for us all the time when the four of us kids were growing up. I hardly remember eating out at all. She never made us quiche. I have forgiven her for that. Her cooking taught us that things don't always have to be pretty to taste good. The running joke at our house for a while was that the uglier the food was, the better is tasted. Things fell apart or didn't set and we still ate it like crazy because it tasted so good. We learned that things don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Graduation Photo Card {Monday Me}

Have I mentioned I'm graduating? Oh yea, I have. Yay!
Hip Hat Graduation
Click here to see our exclusive graduation announcements.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Banana Pancakes {Foodie Friday}

If I haven't already said this (and I am sure that I have) I don't like bananas unless they are baked in something. My mom says that I used to eat bananas all the time when I was a little girl and she must have burned my out on them because I can't stand to eat them plain. This is a problem for me because bananas are super cheap and really good for you. The best way for me to get all that yummy potassium is to put them into food. I love pancakes (and who doesn't) so when I saw this recipe on Annie's Eats I made them ASAP. I am an big fan of them, but let me tell you...Caroline loved them even more. She still eats bananas plain so we haven't completely ruined her yet!! She also really loves the banana crumb muffins. Have you made those yet? You should!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ashley Loves Brandon

On May 3rd I had the distinct pleasure of taking pictures of a co-workers wedding. This was the first wedding I have been able to take pictures at and pretend I am a real photographer. =) I was shooting in conjunction with another co-worker, Kim who has been amazing at keeping me on top of my photography...but anyway. The point here is that I made this banner for Ashley's bridal shower and bachelorette party. It said ' Ashley loves Brandon' and was by far the longest banner I have made to date. I don't have any pictures of it in action as I was not able to attend the shower, so here is the best I could do.

What will your banner say