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Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Treat Tutorial.

Last week I had the pleasure of having a Christmas party for all the volunteers at my job. Anyone that knows me, knows I love to throw a party and so we did. We asked everyone to bring treats (myself included) and the first thing that came to my mind was the chocolate covered pretzel rods I made for my birthday. I got SOO many comments about them, and I just knew they'd be a great treat. So, today I am showing everyone else how to make these fun creations. I will say having made them twice now, that they are easy to make, but also very time consuming if you prepare them alone, last time I had help from my friend Brandi, that was the way to go.

All my ingredients. If you notice there, these chocolate pretzels have a modification, they have a layer of caramel first... YUMMY


First prep an area to lay your rods. I used wax paper and sprayed with cooking spray, the first time I did not spray and the caramel stuck to the paper. Not fun. Once you're all ready melt your caramel


Dip your rods into the caramel as far as you can, leaving just a little stem, Let the excess drip off.


Lay them out beautifully for all to see (and of course dry).


After the caramel is firm, dip your rod into chocolate. Pictured here I used white chocolate Wilton melts, but I also did a tray of dark chocolate too.


After you have dipped in chocolate and scraped off the excess, roll in a tray of sprinkles to cover, you can also sprinkle them on, this just takes longer.


And here is the pretty finished product. Last time I had them, I thought I liked the white chocolate better, but this time dark chocolate definitely won.


Crowd pleaser for sure!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hey Buddy!

Every year the Coast Guard has a Christmas party. In San Diego Jake and I never attended because apparently the rescue swimmers were "too cool" for it, but here in NJ things are different. Not only do the swimmers attend, they apparently attend in style. By style I mean they all buy matching Buddy the Elf costumes (and one Santa) and show up in a big group like the cool kids making a late entrance. I will say it was fun though.



Jake and me


All the swimmers right after they walked in...


About 2 min. after we got there, the fire alarm went off. It was mass chaos and it persisted for at least 15 minutes. Yes, we exited the building in the freezing cold.


Hitting the dance floor. The elves were not inconspicuous as you can see.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

30 something

My honey doesn't like celebrating on his bday. This year I conceded, and he got the only thing he wanted ribs and a lemon meringue pie.



After getting my KitchenAid mixer this fall, I have really not enjoyed using it as much as I thought, but I will say, it does an awesome job on some meringue. Yum, Yum. Next year, I'm making a double batch.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The day before the most wonderful time of the year.

Thanksgiving that is....

This year we had friends from Dallas visit and it was such a sweet time. Both clans really like to cook, so we had some seriously AWESOME Thanksgiving food.
We started off by brining the turkey, which in my opinion is the only way to go, so juicy! But our guests also did something amazing, they made green bean casserole with fresh crispy green beans. And my lovely husband Jake made our stuffing with bacon and bacon grease. To say the least it was not a light affair, it was more like gourmet, which we all know means delicious, but totally fatty. Aside from my somewhat soupy pecan pie (which I still licked to the pan) it was delicious and a true celebration of how blessed we are as Americans, but most of all Christians.




That's one pretty plate.

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Jake is working at Christmas tree farm this year, so I have the first real tree I've had in probably 10 years. It's so full and pretty, I love it. Unfortunately the cats do too and have been eating it. I will try to take a picture of that, but for now... just the tree...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Birthday Banner Tutorial

I did make my own birthday banner from an idea/source I found online. It was really cool to make and probably a lot cheaper too. I got cardstock scrapbook paper on sale, and only used 6 sheets total. It was probably $3.00 or so to make.
I found this article from Martha Stewart, that gave you the font print to start.
I downloaded it and then actually veered a little from the original project, because instead of printing the entire alphabet and making copies, as suggested. I zoomed in to make the letters a little bigger and then took screen shots of the letter I needed. You can do this on a mac by holding apple+shift+4 at the same time. Then you move the arrow to take a photo of whatever you want. So, I literally took photos of the letters I wanted and then moved them into Word and printed them. After, I printed them. I cut them out. And then Jake actually made tiny slits in the top of each one with a utility knife. He placed the letters on a small piece of cardboard while he cut, so as not to bend the letters. Then I strung them on a string, and since you made double cuts in each one, they move where you want and stay there too. It was really easy and I can maybe even use this again, I will definitely save it for awhile and see if I can.

It's no..... Martha


But it's me... And I like it all the same.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

26 in Twenty Ten

Yes, that's me turning 26 in twenty ten. And on this 26th birthday I decided to have my first go at a dessert table. I have followed Amy Atlas for a long time and watched her put together many fabulous dessert tables. I finally decided there was no time like the present to do my own. And I had so much fun. I wish I was more of photographer to get up close shots and show you the process along the way, but I'm not... So, here's what I have. My own little version, it was lots of fun!





We had a full house, it was good to host again, now that we have a couch for people to sit on.


Blowing out those candles. Another year has come and gone.


P.S. I made all those treats myself, and you can see my crete paper streamers as well. I used this tutorial. It's nothing fancy, it just makes your streamers a little more pronounced and secure. 26, here I go.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthdays are sew fun

I mentioned in previous posts that Jake's parents visited for a few weeks in October. While they were here, Jake's mom dropped off her amazing sewing machine to me because she says her sewing days are done. You may remember, I took a sewing class at the beginning of 2010, but I was borrowing a sewing machine from Jake's work, so I haven't had one since June. It's so good to have one around again.
I wasted no time putting it to use, though not in the way you may be thinking. I started sewing not fabric, but paper for my 26th birthday party.


You know I don't need an excuse to throw a party, decorating details to come. I love being crafty!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Muy Delicioso

We went to the best dinner last week with Jake's parents. If in Atlantic City, go to...


Buddakan is a really interesting fine dining restaurant. They had AMAZING FOOD, but this blog is all about....


Their dessert. They had these cinnamon donut things with cream inside, that I've been dreaming about since, and this dessert literally called the Chocolate Box, with 6 desserts inside. We started with this...


And within minutes we had this....


Visitors beware, we need excuses to go here, so get ready. Yum, Yum!
Donut things I love you. Their pork, fish, and lobster were good too!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tile Floor in Process

Torn Down to Nothing


Backerboard and mortar


Almost Finished


Kitchen Complete


Can't Finish without a Before/After

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sooo CLOSE

I will have finished tile pics soon. The guys did amazing, but now we are waiting for the sealer coat. I can't believe I've been so patient with my house is disarray. But soon, I will lots of finishing pics, as we move into a more settled stage. In other news, this fall weather in Jersey is gorgeous. And the Rangers have somehow made the World Series. Granted they are loosing, but they made it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Project Home

That's right no dishwasher, no stove and mass chaos for 7 days and counting.



However, soon enough you will see the after photo of my beautiful new ceramic tile and it will all be worth it!
Major props to my husband and father in-law!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

my husband is officially handy people

So, I know I showed all of you THIS.
This annoying, gaping hole cutout that appears in 4 different spots in my house.



Here it is in perspective of the room.



Well, my hubby (with lots of help from me of course), turned that hole cutout into this!
A beautiful bookshelf. I told you in this post that we'd be working on it and got the idea from another blog. And we are finally done. It was a lot of work and a couple hundred dollars, but TOTALLY worth it. Because we kept the cable outlets open and made a hole in the bookshelf, so if future homeowners wanted a TV there, they could put one.



Doesn't it look SO perty? Good job honey, you are SO handy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NYC



Since, I am now a Jersey girl. I only live a 100 miles from NYC. And I am making my first trip there in 10 years. My BF from Texas Brittany is already there and I will be joining her tomorrow.
You can expect lots of pics soon, as well as a pic of our finished built-in bookshelf. Jake did amazing by the way! I can't wait to show you, it should be done tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

iN betWeen ProJects

I mentioned to you before that we have several strange cutouts in our house. Well I am turning one of them into this. Well a bookshelf, but something very similar.



This image was actually taken from Mandi who did the same to one of her own cutouts. We actually already bought the cabinets, and soon I hope to show you what we've Jake has been doing to turn it into a bookshelf.

We also recently went to Ikea. And came home with all this


Apparently when you buy an island at Ikea, you get 18 boxes to put it together. Look close there are a ton of boxes in that room.
So, many in between projects. I hope to show them off soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Holy Marshmallow

Did I tell you about these??? Well, let me just say. They were Jake's idea.... Now, I will say the jumbo sized marshmallow was my addition to the plan. And while they tasted amazing... One was all I could eat a time. The jumbo sized campfire marshmallows were out of control... Take a look.



"Giant Roasters"


The size compared to Jake's ginormous hand.


First cover with chocolate. Then roll in crushed graham crackers.


Jake's monster marshmallows.


Any my pretty ones.


These were SOOO easy and fun to make. If you have kids or are throwing a party for kids. I definitely recommend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Argonne Rug

I have totally been feeling bright colors lately. Which really comes as no surprise to me, because my favorite color throughout most of my childhood was orange. I feel bright colors express happy feelings. However, as I've been decorating my first home and reading a million decorating blogs, magazines and websites. I also know that a put together home is one that exudes calming colors and color palettes that don't overwhelm. So, for every bright color I choose, I'm trying to choose a few more that are neutral.
So, I leave you with my new yellow rug and later you'll see the rest of the room somewhat covered in neutrals.

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