December 21, 2012

DIY Lemon Coconut Body Scrub

I'm crafty (duh)!  I like the idea of giving homemade gifts to my friends!  So naturally, when I stumbled across some body scrub recipes on Pinterest, I just had to make one.

Lemon Coconut Body Scrub

1 cup Sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
lemon zest

This recipe is per person.

First find small airtight containers.  I used the half-pint size Ball mason jars.  (Hint: they were on sale at Target this week.) 

If you haven't seen coconut oil before - you can find it in the beauty department (REALLY expensive) or in the organic aisle (much cheaper) and have found that it's the same grade product regardless of what aisle you pick it up in, and usually shipped from the same facility.

Place your jar of coconut oil in a small sauce pan filled with water, over very low heat.  It takes a while for the oil to go from solid to liquid form.

In a bowl, combine your sugar, lemon juice and a bit of lemon zest.  Add in your coconut oil and stir well.  The sugar scrub should be of a sand-like texture.  Scoop your scrub into jars and they're ready to gift!


December 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Beckett!

Happy 7th Birthday, Beckett Scout! (Yes, I'm one of *those* dog moms...)

Thanks for being my little protector, my favorite road-trip buddy, the loud-mouth of my herd and possibly the most "talkative" dog I've ever met.  You're such a good boy!

Green beans with dinner to celebrate, OK buddy?!


December 17, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Very Merry Punch

Christmas Day is in a week!  YIKES!  Can I tell you that I'm just not ready this year?!  Please tell me I'm not alone...

Given that Christmas falls on a Tuesday - should I host TATT next week?  Or should I take a week off for the first time since I started?

This week I'm sharing a holiday punch.  I look at it like a winter version of sangria...that can be served hot or cold.


Very Merry Punch

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 bottles (750-ml) hearty red wine      
1 apple, sliced
1 orange, halved and sliced 
1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned      
4 whole star anise
1/2 cups orange curaçao

Place water and brown sugar in a medium pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Add wine, apple, orange, pineapple, and star anise. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in orange curaçao and cook for 5 minutes more. Discard star anise. Serve the punch in heat-safe wineglasses or coffee cups, spooning a little fruit into each glass OR chill and serve over ice.

What's cooking in your kitchen?


December 13, 2012

Etsy & A Coupon Code

I don't talk about it too much, but I still maintain an Etsy shop.  First and foremost, I LOVE to knit!  It gives me a creative outlet.  :-)

I recently did a local craft show and have just started adding 15-20 new times.  Seems like a good time to show off a few fun things...and share a coupon code!

Please come on by my shop to see if there's anything you like.  Custom orders welcome!  Coupon code: HOWLIDAYS2012 will give you 10% off now through Sunday at midnight EST.


December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Waiting For Santa Paws

This is so embarrassing...but it's worth it for toys from Santa Paws!

He is coming, right momma?!
Yes, Beckett...there is a Santa Paws!


December 11, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Peppermint Ribbon Cake

Happy Tuesday!  Everyone get their trees up & decorate, Christmas cards finished and all their shopping done?! either.  At least my Christmas cards are finished.  So I'm not a total failure...

I'm sharing another peppermint recipe this week.  What can I say?  I love peppermint.  I promise, next week will be mint-free...and likely not a dessert.  This little beauty comes from A Taste of Home and is both easy and comes out pretty!


Peppermint Ribbon Cake

1 package white cake mix (regular size)
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies, divided
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon 2% milk
Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Transfer 1 cup to a small bowl; stir in the extract, food coloring and 1/2 cup crushed candies.

Spoon 2 cups of remaining batter into a greased and floured 10-in. bundt cake pan. Carefully top with peppermint batter; do not swirl. Top with remaining plain batter.

Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine confectioners' sugar and milk; drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with remaining crushed candies.

What's cooking in your kitchen?


December 10, 2012

Newpaper Wreath

Craft time!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I got to be all craft-tastic at my temp job last week.  Who doesn't love a little DIY?!?!  This project was even more fun because the newspapers were already on-hand (my temp job is at a real estate journal) and it was an honor that they let the "new girl" in on the fun.  :-)

You need:
1 foam wreath
Straight pins
A mug/glass/cookie cutter to use as your circular template
A bow, ornaments, etc (optional)

1. Decide how you're going to hang your wreath.  Seriously.  Plan the hook, ribbon, etc that you're going to use before it's too late and you end up considering hanging up your wreath with a glue gun straight to your front door.

2. Start tracing and cutting circles.  For this 13" wreath, we used 4" circles.  The bigger the wreath - the bigger the circles.  It's all about scale. :-)

3. Fold until your hands cramp.  You need the body that paper that has been folded and unfolded creates.  I folded each circle in half, then turned some of those half moons into 1/6 pie pieces and some into 1/8 pie pieces.  You will have black hands.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

4. Start pinning.  I suggest covered straight pins because they don't hurt your fingers.  Don't get anything fancy though - you won't see the pins once you get all your circles pinned in tight.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you have a nice full wreath.

6. Add any decorations you want - Kathi (the mastermind of this project) chose a few ornaments, and attached them using fishing wire.

7. Hang your wreath.

8. Step back and admire!

*Thanks to Kristin for being Vanna White!
More fun with newspaper coming soon!!


December 06, 2012

You Found Me....HOW?!?!

It's been a while since I looked at the analytics for my blog.  Always good for a giggle!  Right? 

Following are my just a sampling of how people wandered onto ye olde blog:

  1.  Hooters.  I'm just going to presume that you were looking for a way to replicate their chicken wing recipe.  MMkay?
  2. Red Sox crap.  OK, OK...they really did have a craptastic year.  I admit it. 
  3. Super hot shirtless guys.  Well, that's pretty darn specific.  Sorry you couldn't find that here! 
  4. Happy endings.  Please, please, please tell me you were looking for the sitcom.  Otherwise...ick!  You are NOT finding that here.
  5. Real weiners.  Given my new blog name, I'm not horribly surprised.  However, I'm still having to shovel my mind out of the gutter.
  6. Thrones.  Why, yes, I am royalty!  Thanks for noticing!
  7. Visiting Boston.  Yep, that one is actually legit.
  8. How to make flip flops. Hmm...if you figure it out, let me know.  I blew out my right flip flop on Monday.
  9. Food or jewelry.  Why choose, people?!  Have your cupcake and your diamond studs too!
  10. Do dogs have thumb nails.  If you're the one that found me that way - I feel compelled to answer you.  No, dogs do NOT have thumb nails...or thumbs for that matter.


December 05, 2012

Carol of The Bells & Meadow the Elf

Today I give to you one of my favorite Christmas song, in one of my favorite vocal formats (I heart acapella)...

...and my Meadow the Elf!


December 03, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Peppermint Bark

I don't know how it happened...but it's December already! That means lots of presents, parties...and if you're like me, a few last minute guests or invites.  I like to have a few things made that store well and travel well...and are pretty darn tasty.  You can't go wrong with peppermint bark.

Reminder, I'm looking for you to find me the *worst* holiday display you can and submit it to my contest!

Peppermint Bark

12 Oreos, broken into small to medium pieces
6 oz hard peppermint candies, crushed into small pieces
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup Red & Green M&Ms

Melt the chocolate. Combine candy cane chunks and cookies with chocolate, setting a few aside. Pour mixture onto a wax covered cookie sheet, add last few cookie, M&Ms and candy cane bits, pressing them gently into the chocolate, and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm.  Break into chunks and store/serve.

What's cooking in your kitchen?


I'll Be Home For Christmas

I just love this song.  For some reason it reminds me of trips to NM and TX to see my dad's family.  That side of the family is HUGE and it was always such a joy to be surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, friends of family that I hadn't gotten to see in almost two years.... 

Maybe someday I'll get out there for another Christmas.  I miss it!

Any of you traveling for Christmas?


December 02, 2012

12 Days of Christmas

For all my pet parents. :-) I hope you giggle as much as I did!


December 01, 2012

The Chipmunk Christmas Song & I Challenge You To Find The UGLY!

Welcome to December!  My month o' Christmas music has made its return.  Hopefully I don't annoy the tinsel out of you...  :-)

I'm starting with a childhood favorite! Who doesn't love the Chipmunk Christmas song?!

I know that you all have gorgeous holiday displays!  Pretty lights, a perfect tree, and of course, nothing that could even come close to being called "tacky".  Right?!

Well, I've seen my fair share of tacky holiday displays lately and I'm challenging you to find me the UGLY!!!  Start snapping pictures of the eleven million singing Santa's on your neighbors lawn, the light displays that can be seen from space, the house two blocks away that has a flashing Santa and a house strung up with only red lights...or anything that seems horrifically ugly, distasteful or tacky!

Send me your ugly pictures by Sunday, December 16th and I'll post them all on Monday the 17th.  Then EVERYONE can vote for the ugliest holiday display for the rest of the week.  A prize (exactly what is yet to be determined) will be awarded to the submitter of the worst holiday display!


November 26, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Turkey Enchilada Casserole

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, and scored some super Black Friday deals!!


Here is my favorite recipe for leftover turkey (or chicken).  It's an easy casserole with a yummy Mexican twist.  :-)

Turkey Enchilada Casserole1 1/2 to 2 cups of cooked turkey, diced
1 package flour tortillas
1 jar (16 oz) salsa verde
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons (approximately) vegetable oil

Mix diced turkey and about 3/4 (12 oz) of the salsa verde in a bowl and set aside.

Heat tortillas in the oil, one at a time for about 10 seconds. Drain on paper towels.

In casserole dish, place a layer of tortillas. Top with ½ of turkey mixture and ½ of black beans. Place another layer of tortillas topped with turkey mixture and beans. Top with tortillas. Place the last 4 oz of salsa verde on top of tortillas. Top casserole with cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream and guacamole (optional).

What's cooking in your kitchen?

A Christmas song a day comes back on December 1st!  If you have any suggestions, let me know!


November 23, 2012

Christmas Card... Take Two

Here's the Shutterfly version of my Christmas card. I loooove it! {Dear Shutterfly, My feelings are still a little hurt that you severed a multi-year relationship. And at the holidays of all times... :-)}

It's not too late to get on my Christmas card list!! You know you want to see what kind of cuteness is printed on the inside.  Heeheehee!

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

November 19, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Sorbet

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope you have a day filled with family, friends...and food! 

Because I'm not a fan of "traditional" cranberry sauce (aka cranberry jello in the shape of a can!), I like to make the fresh stuff.  The next day, I warm up the cranberry sauce and "repurpose" it as a sorbet. 


Cranberry Sauce

1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and dried
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick (or a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 orange, zested and juiced

In a medium pot, combine the cranberries, sugar and water. Stir to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and add the cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon), allspice and nutmeg. Stir to blend and simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Some of the cranberries will burst and some will remain whole. Add the orange juice and zest, stir and allow to cool before serving.

Cranberry Sorbet

Remaining cranberry sauce
2 cups of water
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium pot, combine your left over cranberry sauce (this recipe presumes you have about half left) and the remaining ingredients.  Allow to warm thoroughly.  Using a hand blender (or a traditional blender), blend until smooth.  Sieve to remove all solids and pour into an airtight container.  Freeze for about two hours (until it starts to solidify), the remove and beat on high for 2-3 minutes.  Return to freezer and allow to set before serving.

What's cooking in your kitchen this Thanksgiving?


Christmas Card List

I'm biting the bullet and realizing that for the first time in four years, Shutterfly isn't going to help subsidize my holiday cards. (Bummer!!!)  Thank goodness an awesome friend passing along a coupon code she wasn't going to use!  You're the best, Jess!
It's time to start my mailing list!  Want to be on it?!  You know you do!

Make sure you hit "submit"! :-)


November 18, 2012

A "Conversation" With My Herd...

I spent my Saturday night doing a transport for Furever Dachshund Rescue.  My older two are used to this...but it's the first transport run I've done (outside of a few owner surrenders) since the babies have joined the family.

To say that I got accosted when I walked in the door is an understatement. Our conversation went a little like this:

Beckett: Mom!  Where have you been? Do you know what time it is?!
Me: Yes, I do.  It's quarter past one in the morning.  Now go back to sleep!
Paisley: Momma, why do you smell
Me: That's because I had to help two doggies meet their furever families.
Brady: Did you bring them home, momma?  Can I meet them?!  PLAY?!?!?!
Me: No.  They traveled all day and I handed them over to their new people.
Paisley: Were they cute?  They smell cute.
Me: Yes, Pais.  They were cute!  In fact, one of them was named Paisley!  But she was a Pomeranian that hitched a ride on our transport.  She looked nothing like you.
Beckett/Brady: Mom, we smell a boy too!
Me: That would be Rosco.  You know his foster mom, Auntie Elaina in PA.  He got a new parents and a new fur brother tonight.
Paisley: Momma, next time can I go for the ride too?  I promise not to let any other family keep me.


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