Monday, December 31, 2012

A Huge Announcement!

I'm pregnant!

God works in such mysterious ways sometimes.
Here's our story...

Micah and I have been married for 6 years now (wow! time flies by so quickly),
and of those 6 years we have been wanting to start a family for 5 of those years.
But after many MANY doctor appointments and a few invasive surgeries,
the only answer we kept hearing was, "It's never going to happen".
We were devastated, to say the least. So we decided to take a year off,
to re-group and re-focus on what we really wanted out of life.
No more doctor appointments, no more baby talk, nada... just rest.
Towards the end of that year we came to the realization that if we knew one thing about our life,
 it was that we wanted to be a family, we wanted children. So we began the road to adoption.
Year one of the adoption road was the paperwork, so much paperwork.
Year two of the adoption road was the waiting, the long hard waiting.
The seemingly never ending waiting. That's when the confusion set in.
Was this the road we were to take? Why has it not happened yet?
If God wanted us to adopt, surely he would have given us a baby by now, right?
I know many people who adopted so quickly, why was that not happening to us?
I began to pray, "God please let us know what to do!".
That's when one day, Micah says he thinks we should re-open the
"trying to get pregnant" door and see a new fertility doctor.
And to our amazement, utter amazement and God's gracious hand,
the only way I can explain it is that, EVERY DOOR OPENED FOR US.
The new doctor said, yes it was still a possibility. IVF was definitely a possibility.
So we started the process right away. I was not gonna waist anymore time.
I'm ummm... lets just say I'm getting up there in age, if this was going to happen,
it needed to happen now. And, like I said, every door opened.
Every testing result came back great. Every medicine reacted perfectly with my body.
And after a month and a half of all that and a two week trip to Seattle for the actual procedure,
we got the answer we had been waiting for. On November 1st we got the call that I was pregnant!
We were overjoyed and a little shocked. We thought this day would never come, yet here it was.
And sometime in the middle of July we will be adding to our family.

So my lack of blogging as of recently...
I fully blame it on the 1st trimester.
Oh that nasty 1st trimester. 
And my New Years Resolution is to start back up with blogging.

Happy New Years Eve!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


And my jewelry obsession continues.

Have you heard of JEWELIQ?
It's another bargain online jewelry store
where you can purchase super trendy jewelry at seriously low prices...
I'm talking Forever21 prices!
Seriously, go check it out... and your welcome.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Color Palette - Turquoise

I have this beautiful turquoise bracelet that use to belong to my grandmother.
I remember being a little girl and marveling at all the
beautiful jewelry that filled her jewelry box.
Thinking to myself: "One day, I want a beautifully filled jewelry box".

Ah... A girl can dream right.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dear Diary

Are you a good journal keeper?

I'm afraid to say that I am not. 
I wish I was, but every time I think to myself:
"I'm going to be diligent; I'm going to write down memories and feelings"...
about 5 days later, I have utterly failed.
That was until I received the Q & A a Day Journal for Christmas.
This journal has 1 question for each day of the year, for 5 years.
So all you have to do is answer the question of the day.
And you can be as in depth or as surface-y as your hearts desire.
Voila! That's it! Your then done with your daily recording.
Low maintenance journaling... now that's what I'm talking about.

I love this concept so much, that I'll probably keep it going
even after I've run out of room in the original book.
I'll just buy another beautiful journal, like the ones above,
and keep the question answering going!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Current Crush - Oxblood

The color... not actually oxblood. That would be gross.
But don't you agree?!? This color is so amazing for this season.
Last time I was at Sephora I tried on some Oxblood lipstick
and it was so dark, so red, and so fabulous...
I am kicking myself in the butt for not buying it.
But I do have that nail polish,
so at least I have one item in my possession that is this color.
Next item to purchase, those pants!

What has been your current crush lately?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Maple Walnut Brown Sugar Cake

Can I just say that this cake is amazing!
At first I was skeptical...
Will it really taste as Maple-y as I want it too?
Will the brown sugar make a huge difference?

Well, let me just tell you... YES!

This cake was everything that I was hoping for. 
And it is so perfect for Fall. 

Maple Walnut Brown Sugar Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

For the Cake
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup chopped walnut halves, toasted 

For the Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 cups confectioners' sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat two 9-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep) with cooking spray; set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
3.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on high until light and fluffy. 
4.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. 
5.  With mixer on medium-high, add maple syrup in a slow, steady stream. 
6.  Add flour mixture in two additions, alternating with milk, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed. 
7.  Fold in walnuts.

8.  Divide batter between pans; firmly tap pans on a flat surface several times to remove air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks, 15 minutes, then invert onto racks. With a serrated knife, trim domed top from each cake to make a flat surface.

9.  Make frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar on high until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

10.  Assemble cake: Place one layer, top side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread top evenly with 2 cups frosting. Top with second layer, top side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and around sides of cake.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My TWO Weeks in Instagrams

I just love Instagram.
I was never a very good "twitter-er".
I tried, believe me I tried.
But when it came to being spontaneously cleaver
when documenting my daily activities... epic fail.
 So when Instagram first came out...
documenting your life via pictures...
I knew I would fall in love. 

I hope you enjoy my weekly Instagram postings.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Coming to Life - Persuasion

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Tonight I am hosting our final book club meeting on the book Persuasion.
It had been over 10 years since I had read a Jane Austen book,
and let me tell you, it took me reading almost half the book
to finally get into a grove when reading Jane's writing style.
But I fully enjoyed this small book.
I totally recommend it to you all.

There are so many great characters in the story that make you either
 chuckle in laughter or want to throw the book across the room in frustration.
And the main heroine, Anne, in my opinion,
is one of the most relatable characters in any Jane Austen book. 

And of course you can't not love this famous quote by Capt. Wentworth:

"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope."

Our next book in the book club...
Wuthering Heights!  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

People always ask me why I love Halloween so much.
I don't dress up, I don't throw a party...
I am an avid Halloween celebrator because in my opinion,
Halloween is the kick-off for the Holiday Season.

Plus, to be able to hand out candy to cute kids,
sit on my sofa and watch Hocus Pocus
(yearly tradition for as many years as I can remember),
and eat the candy that was bought for the trick-or-treaters
(eat way to much of it)...

What could be better?

So enjoy this last wonderful day of October and...

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Alexandra Grablewski

I just love when I discover new artists.
Especially when they are as talented at Alexandra Grablewski.
To be able to capture such beauty in a still life photo amazes me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Color Palette - Flannel Colors

I'm back!
Thanks for sticking with me during my unexpected two week blog break.
Micah and I took some much needed vacation time to rest up after a busy summer,
and I expected to continue to blog during that time. 
But the moment I arrived at our destination, which was Seattle,
getting on my computer was the last thing on my mind.
I literally used my computer twice in two weeks.
It was a nice break.

But now that I am back, I am excited to start sharing with you
all the lovely things I find while browsing the web,
yummy recipes that I try,
and just little snippets of my life.

Something that I have been loving recently is Flannel.
I love how, in a flannel shirt, you can weave together colors,
that normally would not go together,
and it turns out so perfectly matched and stylish.
Time to start sporting my flannels!!

image via: piccsy

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My TWO Weeks in Instagram

Almost two weeks have gone by since I last blogged. Wow, how time flies!
Especially at this time of year when there is so many fun things to do.

So, what did I do within those two weeks?

1. Hosted a Harvest Party, which turned out to be a great success!
Complete with a Popcorn Bar, Chili Cook-Off, Bobbing for Apples, and Square Dancing.

2. I hosted the first book club meeting for the book Persuasion.
And I even made Homemade Pumpkin Pie and Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
I will be sharing that latte recipe soon... it was amazing!

3. I took Silas on a few of the last Fall walks of the season to enjoy all the bright colors...
before the snow hits and our Fall walks turn in to Winter Wonderland walks. 
4. And finally, Micah and I traveled to Seattle last Sunday
for a two week rest/vacation/dr.appointments trip.
And believe me, we are finally realizing how much we needed this rest. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Current Crush - Ballet Flats

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

It's that time of year again.
Too cold for sandals and flip flops, too warm for snow boots.
So what are my go-to shoes for the season... ballet flats.
The perfect shoe in my opinion, for the Fall season.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

May Books

It's that time of year again.
The time where I start to overlap my schedule
with things I need to do this year, and things that are scheduled for next year.
So I am on the hunt for a good daily planner.

I just heard about May Books and I am seriously thinking of purchasing one.
You can customize the cover and content to exactly the way you want it!
And for me, along with the daily planner, I would want a meal planner.
When it comes to cooking, I need a plan.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Color Palette - Pumpkin & Blue

Happy Monday!

Another crisp and colorful Fall week is beginning.

I am just in love with this table-scape and color palette.
Maybe this will be my inspiration for the next event/party on my schedule.
Which reminds me ... I need to start brainstorming about the Ladies Soup Swap! 

via: SNAP 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Harvest Party has been successfully completed!
Now it's time to play catch up on the other things in my life...
like grocery shopping, cleaning, and reading.

Shopping, because I woke up this morning,
craving a warm Sunday breakfast,
only to find that we literally only had cream of wheat! 
I do love cream of wheat, but when our fridge is pretty much bare
of anything other than eggs and condiments...
well, I think I need to make a trip to the grocery store.

Cleaning, because that is always the last thing on my mind
when I have a huge event in the near future.

Reading, because my first Book Club meeting is this Friday
and I need to have half of Persuasion read by then.
And can I just tell you, that after a 10 year break
from reading Jane Austen novels,
you need a bit more concentration in reading
than you would need if you were reading Twilight.
I'm just say'n.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Week in Instagrams

Fall is in full swing here in the Northwest.
And to kick it off, I'm throwing a Harvest Party!

It's going to be filled with...
Chili Cook-Off
Apple Cider
 Popcorn Bar
 Face Painting
 Corn-Hole Tournament
 and even Square Dancing.

It will be a blast...
and I am going to have some
much needed rest once it's over.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Olive Box

I know we all have heard about Birchbox by now...
but have you heard of Olive Box?

Here is a little blurb about Olive Box,
from the creators of Olive Box... 

"After an age of electronic everything,
we are finally back to being excited over beautiful, handwritten letters
and receiving a physical gift in the mail...
As a member you will receive a delightful box of
paper & lifestyle products delivered to your front door each month.
From cards to artwork to inspiring books and gifting ideas,
you never know what exciting products you will unwrap each month."

What a special treat this would be every month. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Current Crush - Figs Figs Figs

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Figs hold a special place in my heart. I guess you could call them nostalgic.
Growing up my grandparents had a magnificent fig tree on their property.
Perfectly knotty and twisted. If you've ever seen a fig tree,
then you know that they are full of personality in how each tree grows uniquely.
I have memories of climbing it, counting the ants that lived among it,
finding Easter Eggs hidden in it's secret holes;
and when I got older, and moved into my grandparents home after they passed away,
I remember reading many books under it's branches.
Funny thing is though, I don't ever remember eating any figs from that tree.
I never knew my love for the fruit until a few years ago.
One thing I wish I could go back and do differently...
take advantage of all those delicious figs.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thakoon Addition

I know were heading into Fall and these dresses say a bit more Spring,
but I couldn't help posting these Thakoon dresses.
They are just too pretty and flow-y to pass up.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Color Palette - Ombre Pumpkins

Happy October 1st!

I love this day because I finally get to dig our holiday decorations out of the attic,
give them all a good dusting, and proudly display them for all to see.
Can't you just feel the joy of the holiday's getting nearer and nearer.

I know I can.

image via: Martha Stewart

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Notice anything different?!?!?
Yep, you guessed it, finally a new blog design!
When I started blogging (going on 5 years ago),
I never really gave it a second thought when it came to blog design.
I was happy with the design blogger provided.
Plain white with different color font. It was plain and simple, but it was perfect to me.
Skip to 4 years later, me now engaged in the blogging world way more,
I was exposed to all the amazing personal blogs out there
and all the options I had to dream big on how I wanted my design to be.
So I started doing research, talking to friends, talking to bloggers, even shopping on Etsy...
(did you know you can buy blog designs on Etsy?)...
after months of that I finally found the perfect gal.
Hannah from signed, xoxohannah was able to take my vision, my personality, and my style
and create the perfect blog for me and I am more than pleased. 
So thank you Hannah for the hours of work and late nights (opps) you put into this.
I hope you were able to sleep in today.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Week in Instagrams

This weekend is going to be full.
I'm throwing a huge Harvest Party on October 6th (like 300 people huge),
so today is going to be filled with shopping shopping shopping!
Shopping for pumpkins, corn, fabric, and anything else "Harvest-y" that catches my eye.
And then, my weekend will move on to logistics...
Logistically trying to wrap my brain around how this whole thing is going to happen.

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Current Crush - Apple Desserts

Like I said before, September is the month for Apples.
And all I seem to be thinking about is what yummy apple dessert I can make next.
Mainly because I still have probably 5lbs of apples left from my picking that I need to use asap.
 But I only have two more days to get that out of my system,
because Monday is October 1st (the best month of the year in my opinion),
and October is the month for Pumpkin recipes!

images and recipes via: martha stewart

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cinnamon-Sugar Biscotti

Nothing goes better with an afternoon Americano, than crunchy Biscotti.
And cinnamon and sugar seemed to be the appropriate way
to spice up this Biscotti recipe. 

Cinnamon-Sugar Biscotti  
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in pecans.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla; stir into flour mixture. Dough will look VERY dry but will come together when kneaded... trust me. 

4. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth. Divide dough in half; shape into two logs, each about 1 inch high and 3 inches wide. 

5. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Mix the topping sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Brush with egg water mix and sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar mix.

6. Bake until logs are puffed and outside is firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.

7. Using a serrated knife, thinly slice the logs crosswise,1/4 inch thick. Lay slices on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until crisp and lightly golden, rotating pans and turning biscotti over halfway through, 20 minutes total. 

8. Cool completely before serving and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bad Girls Throughout History

I feel bad to say this...
but I am loving these handmade postcards!
Created by the wonderful illustrator, graphic designer, and writer Anne Shen.
She's got a great blog too!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Color Palette - Minnetonka

It's almost time!

Almost time to bust out my boot, scarves, and sweaters.
Speaking of boots, I would love to add these Minnetonka boots to my collection this year.

via: a beautiful mess

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was apple inspired.
September is always apple month in my opinion.
So I made an Apple Coffee Cake that was to die for!
After last weeks pear fiasco, where I had so many pears
I didn't know what to do with them all,
I am dealing with another fruit hoarding fiasco... too many apples.
Now, I don't necessarily consider this a bad thing,
I do have lots in mind for them...

Apple Butter
Apple Pie
Canned Apple Pie Filling
Apple Sauce

...the list could go on.

My only problem is finding the time
to do all of that before the apples spoil.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Week in Instagrams

I am beginning to realize that
most of my Instagram posts are food related...
and I am completely fine with that!

Have a great first day of Fall.
I hope it is full of baking goodness.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Marchesa Resort 2013

I don't really have anything in my schedule that requires me to "dress up".
 But nonetheless, I am in love with these Marchesa dresses.
These puffed and ruched sleeves are amazing!

images via: {this is glamorous}

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Current Crush - Feral Watches

I know that watches are more of a fashion statement
rather that actually something that is used to check the time
(we all have cell phones now right).
But I am just in love with these Feral Watches.
I would wear that mint watch everyday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Peach Butter

There is Apple Butter and Pear Butter...
but have you ever heard of Peach Butter?
It is divine. Truly divine. 

At this time of year,
all I can seem to think about
is baking and canning.

So here is a "must make" recipe for you to make this fall.
Oh, and did I mention that when you make this
your house will be filled with the most amazing Fall scent!
Good food and a yummy smelling house,
what more could a girl ask for.

Peach Butter
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

4 pounds peaches
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Start off by removing the skin from the peaches.  To do that, all you have to do is cut a small “x” in the bottom of each peach. Place each peach into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, and then into a bowl of cold ice water. Leave the peach in the ice water for a minute or two, then begin to peal the skin off. The peels should slide right off.

2. Remove the peach pit and dice into big chunks. Place the peach chunks and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until peaches are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.

3. With an immersion blender, puree the peaches and water until smooth. Or you could just blend it in a blender then return it back to the pot.

4. Add the sugar and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a good strong simmer/gentle boil, cooking them at this level for 1 to 2 hours minutes, stirring occasionally in the beginning and more often near the end, as it thickens up and the fruit masses risk scorching on the bottom of the pot. The peach butter should be very thick by the end.