Thursday, October 28, 2010

Funny Cards

I bought I card for my sister from my favorite card shop, known as twosided (sisters with the awesome framing store foursided) and fell in love with these hand typed, Chicago made cards. The card company is called Ravensgoods, and are created on simple stock paper and are designed as college rule paper. The inside is blank, and the envelope is made out of (what seems to be) brown paper bags. PERFECT! sometimes, it's simplicity that works best!

Send a card to someone you never know just what kind of impact you may have.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let the pumpkin love begin! For the rest of Fall, I will try to find as many fabulous recipes for pumpkins, squashes, and root vegetables as I possibly can. Pumpkins are filled with fiber, and are an easy additive to so many foods!
Word to the wise...if you are not pureeing your own pie pumpkin (different from carving pumpkins) the canned pumpkin work just as well. But be sure you are buying pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling!

Pumpkin Pancakes


  • 2 cups pancake mix (choose your favorite!)
  • 3 Tbsp dark-brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for the griddle
  • pure maple syrup

- In a large bowl, mix together pancake mix, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
-In another large bowl, mix togetherthe milk, pumpkin, egg, vanilla extract, and oil. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.
- Heat up a lightly oiled pan or griddle on medium/high heat.
- Pour the batter onto the griddle (using approximately 1/4 cup per cake)
- Cook pancakes until bubbles form and sides begin to brown, than flip, and finish when the pancake is golden brown.
- Serve pancakes with maple syrup

Recipe Coutesy of MensHealth Magazine

P.S. I have found a great idea for making pancakes the perfect size without the mess! Rinse out and save your ketchup squeeze bottle. Fill up with your pancake mix, and you will have no mess, and perfect control on pancake size! (Find more simple ideas on Real Simple!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Seeds

Two of my dear friends decided to have a pumpkin carving contest as their birthday party theme this past weekend. They bought an array of pumpkins in various shapes and sizes, laid out knives, sharpie markers, bowls, and paper... that was all it really took to have a very successful pumpkin carving party. Creative minds mixed with friendly competition, and with the help of a little candle light, an assortment of jack-o-lanterns came to life.

After, we roasted the extra pumpkin seeds, which came out fabulously and were an immediate hit. If you are carving pumpkins this year, PLEASE save those seeds! Pumpkin seeds ( also called pepitas) are one of the most nutrient dense seeds around, and their peek season is in the fall. Why so great you ask? These little seeds are rich with zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and copper, making them a power house of healthy, energy boosting goodness.

Here are (just a few) tasty ingredients that can be added to pumpkin seeds:
  • garlic
  • sea-salt
  • allspice
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • cajan seasoning
  • hot pepper flakes
  • oregano
  • pepper
  • season all
  • onion powder

Also, I want to leave you with a basic pumpkin seed recipe for roasting:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

-preheat oven to around 250 degrees

-rinse and dry around 2 cups of seeds, and place them into a bowl with a tablespoon each of melted butter and olive oil (or just two tablespoons of olive oil)

-add your seasonings (you can combine as many as you like! I did garlic, paprika and season all)

- lay flat of a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for about a 1/2 hour. Give them all a good toss with a spatula, and leave them for another half hour, or until golden brown.

Let cool and enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Crumby Situation

Cooking is where my creativity flourishes...where artistic expression can explode with every sweet of savory creation. Anyone who really knows me can attest to how much I love food and how cooking, eating, and learning about food is always on the forefront of my mind. Lately, I have been cooking at my boyfriends apartment (bigger kitchen!) and have run into a bit of a problem...I am not the neatest of cooks! For some strange reason and without failure, by the time our meal is ready to eat, crumbs always speckle the counters and floors.

(cooking in my tiny kitchen was not so fun. What you see in this picture was all the space I had!)

This was never a problem until now, because my small kitchen did not allow for a mess... I would have to clean up while I was cooking. That was before I started cooking in John's spacious kitchen (where there is enough space to spread out and clean later). Thus, a situation has risen...
You see, my boyfriend has a bit of an obsession with clean floors and counters...I mean, of course he is obsessed with cleaning the two things I tend to dirty the most! Now that I am cooking with so much counter space, my attempts to be like Martha Stewart seem to be diminishing with every crumb left behind.

...What to do, what to do...

This may seem like a simple problem to fix, but this is where things get a bit complicated. When I try to make less of a mess, my focus leaves what I am making and our meal suffers (which I consider a sin), and when I leave the mess to clean later, John's focus tends to wander between me, the meal and the crumbs that landed on the floor (thus a very distracted conversation with our meal). Our predicament is wild really. Wild because it's like these damn little crumbles silently and consistently beckon John to get that broom and sweep them away.

Before this dilemma reaches a point of ridiculousness, I have decided to figure out a solution that will help to keep our kitchen crumb free, but still allow my creative juices to mix, measure and stir freely. (great website!)

The first fix I have found is a fabulous cutting block that is made with two pieces of bamboo. The top is made with lines of wood that leaves empty space for bread droppings to fall, while the second solid bamboo block catches and consolidates the mess until you are ready rid it away. I love this block because it is eco-friendly, easy to use, makes my cooking style more like Martha's, and keeps my boyfriend happy. In life, it's about the little things.

Stay tuned for other clean-up quick fixes... what works for us, may just work for you too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I have sat at my computer for hours wanting to write about the wedding I was blessed to be a part of this weekend. Unfortunately, I have been at a complete loss for words as to how I should attempt in capturing the essence of what I have experienced. Words once again fail my heart, but I will do the best I can with what I have:

You see, this is my do I sum up into words what I felt when I saw one of my best friends in the entire world put on her snow white wedding dress? How can I explain the emotions that ran through my body while I stood on the alter, watching her groom well up with tears as he stare's into the eyes of his newly announced bride...

John and Annie have such an incredible bond, and I am extremely fortunate to have had the honor of watching their love bloom into something so rare, simple and true. They have been my example of what love can be...what love should be...what we all should expect, and what we deserve.

As I do not want to dull my memories with dilluted attempts in explaining just how I felt about my friends wedding, I will leave you with three simple words that (I think) sum up what Annie and John do best:


Sesame Street: Healthy Foods

If you have any children, little cousins, nieces, nephews, or are around children at all, please pass along this song! One of the easiest ways for children to learn is through music, and I love the message Sesame Street is sending!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our Education

On most Fridays, my boyfriend and I go out on a date. Last Friday was no different. After a bike ried, dinner, some drinks and frozen yogurt, he surprised me with tickets to a movie I've been wanting to see: Waiting For Superman. Unfortunately for him, I cried through most of it and came out of the theatre boiling from frustration and anger....I know that does not sound like a positive response to a movie, but I promise you it was. Please Please Please go check this documentary out!
Education is so vital to society. Neighborhoods, financial stability, health, happiness, families, futures, careers, lifestyles, violence, stature, everything...yes, everything is affected by education.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Junk Be Gone

It's official...I have finally moved all of my many belongings into a new apartment! The move was long, tiring, and presented more than a few dilemmas, but most of them were corrected without too much of a headache, and I am now in the process of putting the decorating-pieces back together again.
Now, one of the main tasks that comes with moving is purging. I have decided to throw out belongings that no longer can be used, would be wanted, or lack in purpose. Let me give you a few examples:

-My lead pencil collection
-Directions to a friends old apartment
-March 2008 edition of Cosmo magazine
-A chipped bowl
-Cell phone, computer, and camera boxes
- Empty jars (that stack up because I never throw jars away)
-Picture frames with sayings (such as friends forever, love, and summer swimming)
-Pants that are too big, too small, and too ripped
- Anything from eighth grade (including pictures of me dunked in sun-in and spray tan)
- Headbands from second grade
- Extra no-match socks
- Pens that don't work (seems I collect them too)
- Really stupid key chains (like a pig that snorts and pretend poops)

Now that the useless belonging (that most people would have tossed years ago) are gone, it is time to minimize my material product life; I will do this by buying products that will last, work for multiple situations, stay current, and age gracefully.

For instance, I found these great key chains on, and I just love how they are classically designed, while personal in message. Now, this is a perfect gift to give anyone...something you know will never end up in the "purge pile".

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Halloween Scene

Every year around this time, my television habits tend to dwindle. I have learned my lesson the hard way with October commercials, and believe me when I say, it took many-a-nightmare to create a new Fall game plan. Now, there are some parts of the Halloween festivities that I truly adore: trick or treating, creating, brainstorming and dressing up in funny costumes. Oh how I love the trading of candy with family and friends, making spooky themed cookies and baked goods and watching neighborhoods come together in participation. On the other hand, I am not a fan of everything else Halloween brings: Ghosts stories, bloody/gory costumes, Haunted houses, scary movies, and those terrifying commercials that cover the airwaves for the month leading up to the hallowed eve. It is not a secret that I do not watch scary movies. In fact, I have not seen a single scary movie in my entire life (excluding the cult classic Donnie Darko, in which I had to psychologically break down for a college theory paper). Yes, some may label me as a bit of a baby, but, we all have to make decisions in life, I have chosen to surround myself with love stories and comedy. If I want to watch something really scary, I can always turn on the evening news.

If your Halloween thoughts are aligned with mine, I will leave you with some fabulous websites that can help spook up your festivities in the most light hearted of ways!


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