Tuesday, December 18, 2012

'tis the season...

....to start blogging again!!

geeze. where the heck have I been!?!

I have a laundry list of explanations- but ultimately my lack of blogging is really just attributed to my lack of desire to do it. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't pour into it as traffic from Pinterest has really picked up. And I really missed the most wonderful time of blog season: Christmas! Most surprisingly, despite the usually encouraging prompts from my #1 fan/cousin Kim to post, I just couldn't get my act together! 

But I'm here now.
Let me say a sincere "HELLO" to all my new friends and followers.

I don't have a fun project to share today. Although, I'm really excited because after work tonight I'm going thrifting with my friend Cait. I'm sure it'll turn up some awesome inspirations. Cait just got married and we had a big craft night to work on decorations and all the cute little touches for her big day. I usually craft by myself in my icebox of a basement- there is something so beautiful about a group of women getting together to create!

So, for the record, here are some of the things I have been up to:

I got a promotion!
(For real, this is such a blessing!!)

And I picked up some hours at Famous Footwear
(my old high school and college J.O.B)
We sell blue suade shoes....
come on!
We enjoyed another successful Black Friday.
It is, perhaps, my favorite 'holiday' and tradition of the year.
{Don't judge!}

I've spent some quality time watching Christmas classics.
And, though I haven't shared, I've had my creative moments.
I decorated for Christmas. Believe it or not,I have some very beautiful and classy things, but these two will forever and always be my favorite!
And then, of course, there has been plenty (but never enough) time spent with family and friends.

Now, I can't make any promises....
but maybe you'll be seeing more of me and my projects again soon!

Until then, I wish you joy, love, and peace during this last week of Christmas preparations!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

caramel chex

We really call it CARMEL chex but apparently, everyone else (according to Google) is fancy and calls it Caramel Chex. So after I published it- I changed the name!

It's so good. chewy. sweet. I wish you could taste it right now!!
There's a copy of the recipe and instructions below-


My mom came over and helped me out. She's a much better baker than I am- for sure.
(I just mistook powdered sugar for flour and ruined a whole match of muffins this morning!)

1 Large box rice cereal
2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 tablespoon vanilla
(1 tsp baking soda)

Empty cereal into a large brown paper bag. Set it aside.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, and brown sugar in a sauce pan.

Turn the burner on medium (or slightly hotter) to mix the ingredients.

Work it together until it looks like this:
This is where it starts to get a bit tricky and being precise is important.
Turn the heat up and bring it to a boil.
As soon as it looks like this:
turn a timer on for exactly 2 minutes and stir constantly.
Remove from heat and immediately add 1/2Tsp of baking soda. 

It will bubble up and look like this:
As soon as it reaches the brim, dump it into the bag.
Use a large spoon or spatula to coat the cereal.
Then roll the paper bag down tight and place it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
I have a tiny little microwave. (I think we used it in our college dorm.) It doesnt' lend itself well to projects like this. We almost had a catastrophe, but were lucky enough that only a few pieces burns and it didn't ruin the whole batch.
I'm sure you won't have any issues though!
After the first two minutes are up, you'll take the bag out, mix the cereal thoroughly, re-roll the bag, flip it upside down, and put it back in the microwave for another two minutes.
Here's where it gets easy again.
Unroll the bag and dump the Chex onto a cookie sheet.
*It works best to cut the top/excess off the brown bag before doing this.
Use your spoon/spatula to spread the Chex out into the pan/pans.
You want it to be a think layer- so use more pans if you need too.
Once the Chex is cool to the touch, break it up into individual pieces.
After it's completely cooled, you can store it in baggies or any airtight containers.


I think it would be really good for Fall with Reese's pieces and nuts added after it's cooled. Or colored M&Ms at Christmas. There are definitely more ways to make it.
It's so sweet and chewy that all by it's self it's delicious too.

Here's a copy of the recipe:

OOPS! There are a couple typos!
*it should say "Remove immediately and MIX thouroughly.
pour on dry cookie sheet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

living, loving, losing

Last Saturday, I decorated for fall.
I made everything last year- pre blog. So there aren't any fancy tutorials. But I think I love my fall decorations the most.

Then Sunday, I was finally going to sit down and write about how awesome my vacation to Colorado with my cousins was.

See?! Good times. Great times. We were in Denver, Colorado Springs, Estes Park, and at my sister's house in Loveland. It will most likely be my last trip out that way for quite some time. My sister and her husband will be moving back to Kenosha within the next year to plant a church here. Our vacation was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. We were often shocked that we were making such good adult decisions---until we'd remember that we are adults now.

Last Sunday afternoon my mom and I made a favorite recipe too. I'm excited to write it up and share it with you.

 I stopped at my sister's house for the end of the Packer game before meeting a friend back at my house for a good 'ol fashion gab session.

It was a perfect day- until I heard the sirens. I always pray as my first grade teacher Mrs. Coffee taught us. "Dear Jesus, please help the people who need your help." Living next to Mary and Emil who are both in their 90s, I always tack on a quick, "keep going- keep going -keep going."

Last Sunday night, they did not keep going.

Emil had collapsed at the top of the steps on his way up to join Mary in bed.

My dearest friend, adopted grandpa, and lifelong neighbor passed away Tuesday morning.

He had just celebrated his 95th birthday & I wrote this. Little did I know that my tribute would become a eulogy of sorts.
There's something so surreal about death. It's hard to believe he's gone. 

We shared a lot of memories (and cake!) over the years. I was fond of him and he of me. I will forever cherish the impact he's had on my life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

friday finds

I realize it is, sadly, no longer Friday. I started this post last week and, dang it, I'm going to finish it!

After my 8am dentist appointment (WHY do I do this to myself!?) I did a little treasure hunting.

Remembering I had am in-store credit (Thanks, aunt Marie!) I ran into Kohls to just look. Maybe get a new shirt for vacation or some much needed new work pants. 
 I found 2 pairs of work pants and new dress jeans. 
 I'm slowly putting my guest bedroom/office together. While I'm a fan of a good DIY area rug, I couldn't pass this up. It's pretty much exactly what I had in mind. 
 I hardly turned the car off before I ran in and unfurled it! 

After Kohls I found a couple rummage sales. The season is slowing down, but there are still plenty of treasure to find. 
For starters- this brand new, super cute, exactly what I would buy in a store, purse:
I know that's what you just said!

I also found this very trendy, had been eying the same one at Hobby Lobby, exactly what I was looking for but too cheap to buy jar:
For $1
You know what they say"
 One man's trash is another DIY blogger's treasure!

Here it is in all it's re purposed glory:

Another simple organizer with endless possibilities. I can see it holding flour, or candy, or supplies, or craft junk, or change...

It just dawned on me I could have named the post "tuesday treasures." 
I'm a sucker for a good alliteration. 
Maybe I should have just gone with "cheap thrills."
Do you know how hard it is to name blog post?
Well, it is. 
Am I rambling? Sure am!
My to-do list is a million miles long today & my motivation is brewing because:
I'm officially on VACATION! 
Fly to Denver tomorrow. 
I'm sure you'll read about it later! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

a very special birthday

Today is my friend's birthday:
He's 95!

We've been neighbors my entire life.
He was 68 when I was born.
We're birthday buddies.
When I was young he taught me how to tie my shoes, play ball, and let me jump around and mess up his hair. 
He entertained me with games of checkers and episodes of People's Court & Jeopardy. 
And he always gave me Andes Candies. 
Sometimes he'd give me money--for good grades.
He was always around when I needed air put in my bike tires. 
He came to school for grandparent's day and
we even got tatted together in the early 90s.
You know A League of Their Own?
He was an actual umpire for the league:
He's traveled the world and lived quite the life.
He's been married to Mary for 73 years.
His Birth date is 9.10.17
Can you even imagine?
I try to. 
I try to think about what it was like to live through all the things he's lived through. 
But I can't even begin.
He's one of the most patient and disciplined people I know. 
He still drives a minivan:
even though I try to insist I can chauffeur.
And he can still put away the Tremendous Twelve at Perkins:

All of these random facts are simply to say-
It's an honor to know someone like Emil and I'm proud and excited to celebrate him today.