Thursday, December 27, 2012

White & Gold

Sooo I did another little project using gold paint, someday I may have to venture outside this color...gasp! But hey, I had the paint so I am making it last, got to be economical these days right?

I had these red Ikea Blomster candlesticks ($15 for a set of 3) in my storage closet for 2 years now, just taking up space. I bought them for a Christmas party one year but I'm thinking that white and gold is something I'd like to look at all year long, sorry red lovers!
P.S. on my last trip to Ikea I see they have these in glossy white now, but I wanted it to be a flat white anyway so here it goes...

I used a Kilz Spray paint primer, and then some Rustoleum Flat White over the whole thing. Then I taped it with painters tape and painted the bottoms by hand with gold acrylic paint (Outdoor Metallics #1654 Pure Gold to be exact). Before the gold paint dried I was a little skeptical because it looked not so great and all streaky, but it dried beautifully!

Can you dig it?

These were pretty much inspired by all the gold dipped loveliness I've been seeing, like this flatware...
                                                                                      Source: via Bel on Pinterest

Milk bottles...
                                                                          Source: via Mikal on Pinterest

                                                                                Source: via ile on Pinterest

Or gold leafed like this tray...
                                                                                      Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

I'm also excited because I just hit 60 followers...woohoo! Not sure why that number is relevant but anyway, also not sure how many of ya'll actually come back after following (yes I just used the word ya'll) but I'm grateful for you and through mingling back I have found so many great blogs to follow along with and that inspire me!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a precious Christmas with your families!

O Holy Night

All is Calm

Christmas in Quebec City, Canada

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cream Cheese Comfort

I wanted to share with you this easy, husband approved. crockpot meal! It involves a block of cream cheese, so of course how bad could it be? I first saw it on Look Who's Cookin' Now a long time ago, but its been in my arsenal ever since, especially on these cold lazy days when you want something warm. 
So here in southern California, it dipped to a rigid 65 degrees recently and I got this going....

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili 
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, not drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 Ranch dressing packet
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
8 oz cream cheese
2-3 chicken breasts

Spray your crock pot with non stick spray ( i always do this, it makes it so much easier to clean!)
Place chicken at bottom of pot, followed by corn, rotel, and beans.
Top with seasoning and ranch mix and stir together.

Place the cream cheese block on top, cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Then stir the cream cheese into the chili and cook for 30 more minutes.
I serve it over rice or egg noodles.

And what is some "chili" without some cornbread?? 

Want to know my secret?....

That's right baby, this stuff is like 40 cents. You can add all sorts of things to it, but I just make it according to the directions on the box for "Johnny cake", all I add is maybe 1/2 tsp of sugar. 

Anyway, hope your tummy stays warm!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What I do know...

My heart has been so very heavy since last Friday's events, I'm sure for all of you too. This kind of violence is shocking and disturbing to anyone with a heart I'm sure, but when I listen to these moms and dads, and I think of my own little ones, one almost the age of the victims, I don't know if it pierces just that much deeper.
I don't write a lot about my faith here on my blog, I am pretty outspoken about it on Facebook but I guess my blog is more reserved for my style ideas and adventures and daily life. Not that my faith isn't part of my every day life, because it is, but hopefully that makes sense.

An event like this happens and I feel compelled to write about my Christian faith, especially with people asking why. I don't have all the answers (obviously) but when I can't explain things that happen, I focus on what I do know, which is that God is good, He is our only hope, everything good comes from Him (whether you believe in Him or not) and this world is fallen, it is full of sin, and sin brings suffering. When I pray for this tragedy, I'm praying for the families but I'm also praying for people to run towards God because of this, and not away from Him.

We can't say why God allows something like this, except that we live in this fallen world, and that even when we try our best to live "good" lives and not sin "that much", that we can still be forced to deal with the terrible effects of humanity's sin. We are still in the line of fire.

But this is the core of the Christian faith, that Jesus suffered the consequences of other's sin on the cross, when he didn't have to, He was innocent. He deigned to come down to earth and become a man, God in human flesh, and suffer agony to identify with us, instead of just looking down from His throne and pitying us and leaving us to fend for ourselves....what kind of love is this? It is not something that is born in the human mind, it is a completely holy and perfect love!

Last Friday's suffering is so immediate and close to us here at home, but the sad thing is that innocent people are suffering like this every day, around the world, its just not plastered in our faces 24-7. But I still think its important to listen to these parents remember their sweet children, to appreciate how precious life is, to appreciate that our kids are here to annoy and exasperate us...what would one of these parents give to feel that again?? To remember to be compassionate and to love each other.

Pastor Alan Hawkins described it so well last weekend,
"God's answer to man's agony is not an explanation. It is his own agony. In Christ he meets our confused tragedies with his own passion on a tree. It is not that God does not answer the problem of evil. He answered by his cross. It is rather that we do not like his answer in the face of our immediate demand"

We do not have our innately immediate demand met, for evil things to stop happening, for death to cease, but I stand on the promise in Revelation 21:5, "Behold, I make all things new."

Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Joy to the World

This is my first venture into modge podge, and it is really quite wonderful people.
I used these cardboard letters from Paper Source along with gold and silver paper from Michael's.
This really was so easy to do, but the key was buying one of those craft blades to get the lines right.
Although the O was not easy for me, I didn't cut it right so I had to add in a little patch to cover up one of the gaps. Oh well, it is imperfectly perfect! 

First I traced the letters and got to cutting. I didn't have any cardboard so I used an old album cover to cut on top and not scratch the table....whatever works!

I set up shop on the kitchen counter since its the only place my kids won't climb on. I painted the sides of the letters with gold acrylic paint because I didn't want to deal with cutting out the paper for the sides, but it turned out really cute.

I didn't take a picture of the actual modge podge process but basically I just brushed it on the back of my letters with a sponge brush and then carefully smoothed them out on top of the letters...after the gold paint dried of course. Easy!

I love them! Now time to go find a place for these bad boys in my living room.

Counting down to Christmas...

We've been doing the Christmas advent calendar every day (ok almost every day) and its been great!
Carys looks forward to the activity and she learns about the Christmas story at the same time. I can't wait until Charlie is bigger and they can enjoy it together. Actually maybe I can wait, she is in such a cute stage right now...

So one of the things we did last weekend is go to this thing called the Ice Kingdom at the Queen Mary. It ended up being sort of a bust because the line was sooo long. Which needless to say is torture with a toddler, but I digress. They give you parka's to enter because its 9 degrees in this ice locker, so that ended up being the best part about it, seeing Charlie waddle around in her big parka like a penguin!

My little icicles

This Queen Mary made our of ice was pretty cool...sorry I couldn't get a better picture, my fingers were frozen!

Baby Jesus on Ice

Much happier at room temp!

Here was something else we did on a different day. It was a Sticky Wall Christmas Tree craft, idea from No Time for Flashcards. I got all the parts at the Dollar Tree: clear contact paper, tree wrapping paper, pom poms, and foam animal shapes. I already had the painters tape.
This was a cool activity for both of them since Carys liked it and Charlie could participate too by sticking things on the tree. 

11 Days until Christmas!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Animal Style

I came across these cute little hedgehog measuring cups at Anthropologie and was inspired to round-up some of my favorite animal goodness I've seen lately, all under $100!

Animal Style

1. Black, gold, and horses....yes please/ASOS leather handbag
2. Cats dressed up like famous people, aka the greatest coffee table book ever!       Famous Faces By Takkoda
3.  Hedgehogs are the new owl....or something..../Anthropologie Measuring Hedgies
4. I love this fox print top under a black blazer/Zara top
5. Cat burglar sweater, so cute! /Topshop Jumper sweater 
6. Did I mention I love horses? /Urban Outfitters printed scarve
7. Anthropologie Fox Forestry Hook
8. ASOS cat ring/Lazy Oaf gold jewelry
9. Shout out to our Oscar!/Anthropologie Dachshund Letter Holder

Linking up over at YOLO Mondays!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Block Buster

I am having total blogger's block! There is just so much going on, with my family, and Christmas and bible study....and wanting to sleep...I seriously don't know how so many mom's have consistent, awesome blogs or how they do it, so props to you all!...... I'm thinking lately that maybe I am not as good of a multi-tasker as I thought I was...haha....not that I am giving up on my blog, but I have to be realistic about it I suppose. 

I also just started doing an advent calendar with the girls (better late than never!), and I am trying to plan cute activities or treats for each day, so of course that is taking up a little chunk of time. But its so fun and worth it! Speaking of my family, here are some of those family pictures we took a little while back. After my whole saga of looking for a green outfit, I just ended up wearing black and white, can't lose with that right?

All photos were taken by the amazing Jeremy of Lucero Photography. He is also a close friend, and a huge blessing to us! There are a couple more that I didn't add since they are on our Christmas card we're about to send out...but anyway here are some of my favorites....

Of course I wish Charlie was smiling here, but I just love this one aside from that!

My heart is full!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


We had a nice Thanksgiving last week, once at our house for lunch and again at my dad's house for dinner. Twice the food, twice the fun! And going up a pant size in one day...awesome! I did take a few shots to remember the day...

Love these gold foil napkins from Target along with my Grandma's china plates and flatware

Easy, diy banner

I caught my nephew Derek smiling..,yay!

What my husband is thankful for and I am SO thankful for him!!

Everyone filled out a card to hang on the tree

Here I am with my lovely bearded husband!

Carys showing her step-auntie her favorite Barbie movie

Here she is dancing with my dad after dinner....this was so cute!

Looking forward to decorating the house and getting the tree this week.,
Christmas time is here!
This year I am going for a little metallic, gold, silver, and burlap action....
(Yes, I think I am obsessed with gold, among other things..)

Pinterest Inspiration:

                              Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

                                 Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

                                Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

How Sweet it Is

Here it goes...I am sharing my not-so-secret sweet potato recipe! This thing always gets oohs and aahs and happy people all around. And there are no marshmallows involved....just some pecan buttery goodness on top. Even if you are a novice cook you can pull this off, trust me.

I found this on All Recipes several years ago, here. The only thing I like to do different from the original recipe is use half yams (the orange ones), and half sweet potatoes (the light brown ones). I like to think that makes a difference, but I'm not even sure.

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups sweet potato, cubed (I usually use 4-5 large potatoes, almost completely peeled)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1.         Preheat oven to 325. Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
2.         In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish. (I use a 2.5 qt round baking dish)
3.         In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
4.         Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

Oh Lord have mercy, this is so good!
Photo from All Recipes

And for even more yummy side dishes, Pioneer Woman just posted her all time favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, here. I may have to try her Butternut Squash Puree....

Linking up at:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lovely Leeks

OK friends, for anyone looking for something a little different for your Thanksgiving spread this year, I present to you, creamed leeks with parmesan crumbs. One of my favorite things to eat are leeks, is anyone with me? They are a fun little vegetable that looks like this...
The trick is you pull off the dark green outside to get to the light green and white parts on the inside. They taste like very mild, sweet onions. Even easier, Trader Joe's sells them in packs of 2 already trimmed, so all you have to do is slice them.

Recipe originally from Martha Stewart magazine:

Creamed Leeks with Parmesan Crumbs

2 Tbsp butter
8 medium leeks cut in to 1 inch slices (white and light green parts only)
¾ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 ¼ cups heavy cream

Parmesan crumbs:
1Tbsp melted, unsalted butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated parmesan
¼ tsp black pepper

  1. Heat oven to 450
  2. Melt butter in a 12” straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer leeks to a shallow 2 qt. baking dish and pour cream over the top.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for Parmesan crumbs.
  4. Sprinkle crumbs over the leeks and bake until cream is bubbling and crumbs are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
 *To prepare ahead of time, refrigerate the leeks and parmesan crumbs in separate containers for up to 1 day. When ready to make, warm leeks in microwave, then continue with step 4
*it says the recipe serves 8, but my people like to eat so I double it on Thanksgiving

Seriously, this stuff is delicious!

P.S. One of my other favorite leek recipes is this one from Pioneer Woman, its super easy and wonderful. And you can just add some kind of italian sausage on the side to make it more husband friendly: 

P.P.S. For more side dish ideas, here's a link to Martha Stewart's Best Christmas side dishes, here!
After all, Thanksgiving really is all about the side dishes isn't it?