Monday, December 30, 2013

pink and white cupcakes with silver embellishments

i am a huge fan of everything my cousin designs…these i am almost certain are my favorite!! i can't believe the detail and work that has to go into these. i'm guessing thats one of the reasons there is a waiting list for her sweets.

i posted quite a few pictures these are

Sunday, December 29, 2013

crunchy bbq roasted chic peas

i have a confession…i am a big fan of crunchy snacks! 
i also like that added crunch in some main dishes or salads.

so when i kept seeing this idea in multiple magazines i had to try it for two reasons. 
one i love chic peas and two, it's a healthier option to the chips i enjoy so much but refuse to buy.
i was not disappointed… these were great and really you can add what ever flavoring you would like. i will post the different flavors i try on here. but here is the first one we tried.

15 oz. can of chickpeas rinsed and well dried
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon bbq rub 

1. pre-heat oven to 250 degrees..i roast them slow so they do not burn. toss chickpeas with olive oil and bbq rub in a large boll. i use one with a lid so i can shake it.

2. place in a single layer on a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan and roast for about 35 minutes or until crunchy. stirring once halfway through.

tip: The dryer they are before this process the crunchier they will get in the oven.

since posting this i have tried:
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
garlic and sea salt
spicy cayenne 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

my favorite spot for design work...

i was so excited when i came across rissa from riss design. i actually was in search of some printable christmas photos so i could matte and frame them for the holidays. well i found those and also found out in the process that she does all sorts of design.
i am very excited to work with her as she designs my blog and some things for my thirty-one business. new blog design will soon be launching just after the new year.

she will customize prints to your personal preference and they are reasonably priced. 
you just order the downloadable print and then print them through your local photo lab or shutter fly.

here are the two i ordered for my christmas collection and actually would like to add a few more…

Friday, December 27, 2013

three generations

one of my favorite pictures from our wedding…
my grandmother, my mom and then my hand…
photo taken by tara of tara and sarah photography

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

christmas cookies...

so i had the opportunity to taste these little bites of wonder today!! 
they are just as tasty as they look...maybe even better!!

check out baked happy
if you missed the christmas deadline be sure to try them for your next will not be disappointed!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

roasted brussel sprouts

brussel sprouts are one of my favs! i have enjoyed them since i was a little girl when my great great grandma would make them with melted velveeta cheese...yum! i thought i would share one of my favorite ways to prepare them which you will find is much healthier than the ones smothered in velveeta cheese... although i am sure some of you were grossed out at the title of this post, this is a yummy way to prepare them.

desired amount of brussel sprouts
olive oil or coconut oil
sea salt

1. pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. toss brussel sprouts in a large bowl with desired amount of oil and salt. i use course sea salt and a liberal amount of oil. this makes them salty on the outside which gives great flavor to the entire sprout. spread 2 tablespoons of oil in a roasting pan or other sheet pan with edge. roast for about 40 minutes stirring and flipping regularly to ensure the sprouts brown evenly. leave them in a little longer to get the outside crispy. (ethan prefers the crispier parts)


pink rose cupcakes

created by lishdish from the pantry in rak

Thursday, December 12, 2013

taco pocket bake

so anything mexican is a go in our house so i concocted this little creation and received 2 thumbs up from my husband. i am pretty sure ethan would love it if he could tolerate the texture of bread...but for now no go. i believe this may have been a  Kraft recipe that i made into my own..


1-2 packages of crescent rolls (depending on how full you want them)
1 package of shredded mild cheddar cheese or freshly grated (you will not use an entire package of cheese)
1 lb. of ground beef i use at least 92 % lean beef or extra lean turkey
1 taco seasoning packet
sour cream (optional)
Taco sauce (optional)


1.pre-heat oven as directions state on crescent package. brown the beef in a medium pan and add taco seasoning as directed. drain meat.

2. open crescent roll tube and separate each individual crescent. you can roll them out if you would like a little more filling or leave them as is for just about a tablespoon full of meat. i rolled some of mine too thin so be careful. you can also cut each crescent triangle in half if you would like to make bite sized pockets which are great for entertaining.

3. place 1 to 2 tablespoons of meat in each crescent  then the cheese (desired amount)and fold corners across the center where the meat is. i folded the longer piece last. but each time i pressed the dough together. you can leave little holes, it allows steam to escape.

4. once you have done all 8 to 16 crescents (I bought only 8 crescents and had quite a bit of meat left over for 1.21 pounds of beef) bake on a cookie sheet and as directed on package of crescents or until golden brown.

5. top with desired toppings: salsa, taco sauce, sour cream

i also topped ours with a little bit of extra cheese before baking and will actually incorporate scallions the next time. this recipe is definitly one you could add and make your own...beans, jalapeno peppers, cilantro...etc


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

cuffed wedge bootie

sharing more shoe love on this cold wednesday and its perfect because they can be delivered right to your door!
these cuffed  wedge booties  from victoria secret are adorable. i really like the fur cuff and little belt accents. these could be worn with so many looks and if you like them as much as i do maybe the option to purchase two or all three colors is even more appealing.
are you like me...when i find a pair of shoes or boots that i love and are comfortable i usually take the practical route and purchase in brown and black or a fun color and black.
first choice here...gray and brown!

santa please...

what's your fav?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

chocolate pecan cookies

it's just about that time to start your holiday baking!
and these are a chocolate lovers dream...
these turned out wonderful just a little too much chocolate for me...i do not like chocolate to begin with but i still taste to see if they turn out.
mike was a fan and of course my little cookie monster loves them too.

my variation would be to use half of the chips that the recipe called for.

2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup of butter softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cup chocolate chunk pieces
1 ½ cups chopped pecans or whatever you prefer


1. pre-heat oven to 375F. combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

2. beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy. add eggs one at a time mixing them after each addition.

3. gradually add flour mixture until mixed completely. then fold in chocolate pieces then nuts.

4. drop by tablespoon full onto an un-greased cookie sheet and bake 9 to 11 minutes.


Friday, December 6, 2013

little drummer new favorite rendition.

i was blown away after clicking on a link in my facebook news feed a few days ago that featured pentatonix
how have i not heard of them??!!  they are very talented and their version of the little drummer boy is astounding...
well at least i thought so!
i searched on itunes and it's available for purchase here yes we have listened to a lot today!
this song is officially on our christmas playlist.

take a listen

out in the country...

christine posted these pics and i adored them all but this one was my favorite!! 
i am thinking christmas card...what an adorable family (minus 2)

the lee family ~ ohio
photo taken by carrie bandy photography

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

i love silver shoes...

so i'm really a fan of the entire jessica simpson shoe line! when i came across these i thought i'd share. the jessica simpson halie2 silver mesh platform pumps are a great addition to most any color outfit. silver, like black goes with just about everything. so if you are looking for practicality there you are. ; ) if i can find these in my size I'm certain to add them to my collection. these would look awesome with jeans. what are your thoughts? 

the sparkle box

i ordered this book "the sparkle box" from barnes and noble. it was supposed to be the book that ethan opens on christmas eve with his christmas jammies, hot cocoa and other fun goodies but...
a few people recently posted about this book on instagram and facebook i believe it i couldn't wait till christmas eve to read it. i pulled it out of its hiding place and read it.
we will read it as a family today. 

i absolutely think anyone who believes in the reason for christmas and the birth of jesus should read this book and make it apart of your family culture.
mike and i have decided to make christmas more about the true meaning of christmas than the emphasis on getting gifts and with all of the commercialization the meaning can definitely be lost in translation. 

this book really does a great job of illustrating what this season is all and helping those less fortunate. the illustrations are amazing and the story is so simple for the littlest one to understand.
i have always had a heart for others and my husband does as well and we are teaching ethan to have that heart as he begins to grow and understand a little more. 
he's definitely getting it i see little things he does that just make me smile.

last year at age 3,we started with going through his toys before christmas and donating them to children who may not have any toys.
we also, visit the wingfoot lake blimp hanger and donate to the toys for tots toy drive. we let him give the money to the soldier and have his picture taken with him.
this year we are adding a few more things like the mitten tree at school and going to pick out a gift for a little boy who's mom is incarcerated. 
we explain why we are doing these things and that jesus wants us to help others. 

i am excited to be adding little things to our sparkle box (pictured above, ethan picked the color of bow) this year...and really i am considering a sparkle jar!
something that can sit out all year and collect the things we did for others throughout that year...
and then read them on new years eve.

so get this book! whether it's for a niece, or a son to share with his family, maybe a grandchild...this is a book that can start a new tradition in any home.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

garlic ranch roasted potatoes

2 lbs. red skin potatoes
1 packet dry ranch dip mix
2 cloves of garlic pressed
olive oil
large bowl with a lid


1. pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. if you prefer no skin peel the potatoes first then wash and slice potatoes into 4ths. i leave the skin on. place in a large bowl that has a tight lid.

2. pour the oil over the top of the potatoes. this is a preference as to how much olive oil. i usually put quite a bit so the pan gets coated when potatoes are poured into it and then they get extra crispy. then press garlic and empty ranch packet into bowl. secure lid and toss till everything is mixed and potatoes are coated.

3. pour the bowl of potatoes into a shallow bar pan or something equivalent. just so there is only a layer of potatoes and they are not on top of each other. bake for 30 minutes or until soft and crispy.

enjoy...these are a family favorite!!

elf on the shelf mom...

there is this girl i know...shes such a fun mom, an amazing wife and her heart is pure gold.

she dressed up like momma elf...from elf on the shelf
if you have children i am sure most of you know about the crazed little elf that hides and does silly things around your house only for the children to find the next morning.

" i wanted to do something fun for the kids, " says alivia mother of 3 almost 4
i asked her where she got the elf outfit...she made it!!!
 alivia really had no intention of doing anything with the photo but getting some laughs from her kids...
 but the next day she thought she would send it into kelly and michael. realizing the likelihood of her getting her moment of fame was slim to none, so she went about her day.

she actually got a phone call from a friend letting her know you are on kelly and michael!!
alivia tevo's the show and watches it later in the day so she had no idea she was on there!

check out this catch kelly and michael's reaction!! i love it!!
"shes tiny and she fits on a mantle...and shes dressed like an elf" says kelly

Monday, December 2, 2013

oil and vinegar dispenser

finally got around to using this kitchen gadget and i love it!! i am bad...we registered for it and its been up in my cupboard...i have just been using my regular olive oil and vinegar bottles when i need dressing.

well i am super excited i took the time to open it and use it today because it works awesome!! you could easily add spices or herbs to the oil part and make infused oil.

ours was purchased from kohls and its the food network brand.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

sweet yet tangy twist on hot ham and cheese...

i was super excited to make these and they were a huge hit! i absolutely thought the flavor was amazing and simple was the best part. these little gems would be great as mini slider sandwiches or on burger buns. perfect for game day or dinner with the family. this time i chose burger rolls since there were only a few of us but will definitely be making them again as sliders!

a twist on hot ham and cheese or
(funeral sandwiches)

1 package of king's hawaiian rolls
1/2-1 lb. good ham deli meat thinly sliced
swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 c. butter, melted
3 tablespoons worcheshire sauce
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
dash of onion powder

1. cut the rolls in half and line the bottom of a baking pan with the bottoms of the rolls. layer the ham slices, then cheese and place the top half back on.
2. mix together the butter, worcheshire, mustard, brown sugar and onion powder. pour the whole works over the buns, drenching each one. cover tightly and marinade anywhere from 4-24 hours. the longer the better

3. preheat the oven to 350 degrees. bake for 15-20 minutes uncovered or until cheese is melted and bun tops are a bit golden.