Tuesday, December 31, 2013

12 of '13

1.) January- Our first trip to Seattle. 

2.) February- The Experience Music Project Museum.

3.) March- Emerald City Comicon.

4.) April- Cake Internship.

5.) May- A best friend's visit.

6.) June- Lovely cabin.

7.) July- Logo.

8.) August

9.) September- Alice In Chains concert!

10.) October- Pumpkins.

11.) November- Thanksgiving.

12.) December- Our cozy, snuggly Christmas. 

Cheers to a New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Snow Day

On December 20th, the day after my birthday, I awoke to the sweet sight of it softly snowing outside. I meant to post these pictures earlier (.... like the day it happened) but forgot about it. The snow only hung around until the next day but it was beautiful while it lasted. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's That Time Of Year...

Happy Monday! I'm more than past due to share our Christmas decorations. I've been waiting for 1) a day off (because it gets dark at 4:30) and 2) a decently bright day to photograph. 

We've been done decorating for a while now and I think it turned out really cute and cozy!

This is our $20 Big Lots tree that we've been using for the last four years. The star on top we got from Walmart this year for $10.99 and Mom was the only one who could get the thing to keep from flopping over like a wet noodle. 

This little mini tree was $5.99 and I used some ribbon I got from Dollar Tree and some already owned ornaments. 

I loved this idea from Pinterest for the window. I really wanted to use those large balls from Dollar Tree but when I went out to get them they were out at both locations I went to. These are from Walmart for about $10 and the ribbon was about $4. I was also considering hanging large snowflakes if I couldn't find the balls that I wanted and I think that would have been cute too. 


I thought that our little clock could use some Christmas spirit as well so I switched a few things out. 

(Pardon the blurry pictures, my camera would not cooperate for the close up shots today for some reason!) I got the angel and Nutcracker at Dollar Tree and the cute silver reindeer at Walgreen's for $4.99(! That would have been double anywhere else!). I simply added some small bows that I bought from Dollar Tree on the reindeer and my little Kleenex box faux present. 

I saw the original stocking hanging idea on Pinterest and thought it was brilliant: two stocking hangers and a cheap curtain rod. I spent a total of $12.96 on this little arrangement. We also bought the green and red stockings at Dollar Tree as well.

Those brass candlesticks on the mantel I bought this last Fall at Target on clearance for about $3.96 each and added the bows to jazz them up a little bit. Those trees on the left I also got on clearance at Target back during the 2011 season. 

The Christmas cheer spread to our little kitchen window as well. The sign I bought at Big Lots in 2010 for about $9 and it has held up pretty well. 

Then there's Mom's Charlie Brown Christmas tree (from Walgreen's) and the little mini European tree I bought at Fred Meyer because it was unbelievably adorable. It's real and you can plant it in a pot or the ground and it'll grow to 8-14 feet! Though now, it's just a baby and I hung some cheap Michael's mini ornaments on it so it wouldn't feel so naked. 

The gingerbread man was a gift from my grandma and he looks perfectly dashing now with his new little red bow.

And those painted ornaments I did back in 2011...

They still look great! There's one where they paint has cracked a little but it is pretty unnoticeable and I think it adds to the charm. 

Only 9 days until Christmas! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pinterest Recipe: Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

It's been soooo chilly here the last week or two that I thought it would be a great time to try out a soup recipe that's been simmering on my Pinterest board for quite some time. 

Since Russ loves cheese tortellini I thought I'd start with this one. In retrospect, I'd probably do a double batch because we only got about five decent bowls of it and I would have liked to have had some leftovers. 

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup from recipeswagger.blogspot.com

2 whole large Cloves Of Garlic Minced
2 Tbl Olive Oil

2 10 3/4 oz Cans of Condensed Tomato Soup
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped or 2 Tbl Of Sun Dried Tomato Paste
2 cups Half-and-half
2 cups Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Tbl Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 whole 9 Oz Package Of Cheese Filled Tortellini
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese, for garnish

Saute garlic with the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat until golden brown.
Be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too brown or burnt.
When the garlic is done, add tomato soup, tomatoes, half and half, chicken stock and spices.
Bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, drop tortellini into the soup. Cook according to the package directions.
After tortellini are cooked, ladle soup into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.

Friday, December 6, 2013

I Am The House In The Box

I haven't made one of these in about three years and I thought it was time to bring back the tradition of making one. I thought about how interesting it would be to make one from scratch (and I still might try...) but this Wilton set was wonderfully easy.

The house was already together! Mind = blown. I'd been putting this thing off for a few days just because I didn't want to deal with gluing the sides together with icing and then meticulously decorating it only to have the sides fall apart and ruin everything. This set would be perfect for kids and anyone who hates one of the most irritating things in life, crumbling gingerbread houses. 

Even though I'm a cake decorator and have an arsenal of icing tips and such, I really wanted to make this just as Wilton intended and just used everything they provided in the box which was plenty. 

I think my favorite part is the roof. I used the 'reverse shell' icing method on the roof with the round icing tip they provided (side note: I remember when I just had to use the corner of the icing bag it came in as they only recently provided disposable icing tips!). 

Next week I'll share more of our Christmas decorations that we've got around the house... I've just been waiting to photograph on a day where there's still light so I've been waiting for  a day off work! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Low Key Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Oh, wait. That was last week, huh? 

We had to celebrate our holiday a little early to accommodate everyone's crazy schedules. 

I bought a white tablecloth from Target to begin a new tradition of writing what we're thankful for on the tablecloth with fabric marker so we can reuse the cloth every year and add to it. I think it'll be a fun thing to look back on in a few years. 

I got that faux flower arrangement at Target on clearance for about $9. It looked very "autumn-y" to me so I thought it would be cute on our Thanksgiving table. The cups are also from Target and just happen to go perfectly. 

We had a hodge podge dinner full of anything we felt like eating. It was fun but made for some interesting combinations like... chili queso dip with a side of yam casserole, haha. 

Our lovely feast attracted the attention of the cats and Gizmo tried to sneak up on the table to sample a few tasty items. 

We followed our meal with a card game and a piece of pie or cheesecake. Very low key and relaxing... which is exactly what we all needed after this crazy month. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I think it's important to tell everyone reading this that I haven't abandoned the blog. Here it is, the 27th of an entire month that I have been silent. I haven't been taking a break from the blog, reclining back and putting my feet up. I've been extremely busy and right now is pretty much the first time I've had this month to take a breath. 

Source- Washington Sunset

On November 4, I found out one of my friends had suddenly and tragically died. By the 7th, I was on a plane to Arizona to be there for my best friend and to attend my friend's memorial that Saturday the 9th. 

That Saturday, right before his memorial I found out that my grandfather had passed away. I was crushed by grief. 

Saturday was a hard day to get through and on top of it all, my brother called me to tell me that the outlet in his room had caught on fire and he had to race to turn off the electricity before the house went up. If he hadn't been home, our house would have most certainly burned down. 

After spending a day organizing my next trip to Kentucky on the phone and countless hours attempting to get Russ off his ship for the funeral (to no avail), I was on my original flight back to Seattle on the 12th only to come back to the airport four hours later for my next trip. 

On November 14th, we laid "Crazy" Pawpaw to rest.  

Unfortunately my childhood is only punctuated with memories of Pawpaw because we lived a state away from them for the first half of my life. Despite the few times we were able to visit, I'll never stop feeling his warm presence in my life. Any sweet memory of him (and there are many) makes me smile and seeing his picture makes me laugh (because he was always doing something crazy). Mom has told my brother and me stories of him throughout our childhood so often that it almost feels like we had lived it alongside his five children. He was a beautifully silly man with a child's heart and a sense of humor that is unmatched and he will be forever missed by everyone who had the good fortune to know him.

Russ got to fly home early last Thursday because his leave was denied the first time. That same night half of our house went dark after I dared to run the vacuum. Three electrician visits later and we still have half power. The dark half of the house has all of our televisions and internet so... it's been quiet and boring around here. So yeah, we're going to try to move in the coming two months or so because this house, despite being cute and homey, feels a bit dangerous as far as the wiring goes. Not cool. 

What a month. I'm glad we've only got three days left of it.