December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I hope everyone has a SAFE and very HAPPY New Years!!

December 30, 2010

2011 Book List is HERE!!

Well here it is my reading list for 2011 and I am so excited to get started!!

1. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons - Lorna Landvik
2. Still Missing - Chevy Stevens
3. Favorite - Karen McQuestion
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
5. Miss Match (Book 1) - Lauren Holbrook
6. Rematch (Book 2) - Lauren Holbrook
7. Match Point (Book 3) - Lauren Holbrook
8. Dear John - Nicholas Sparks
9. The Last Song - Nicholas Sparks
10. Savannah Blues - Mary Kay Andrews
11. Savannah Breeze - Mary Kay Andrews
12. Little Bitty Lies - Mary Kay Andrews
13. Deep Dish - A Novel - Mary Kay Andrews
14. Blue Christmas - Mary Kay Andrews
15. Wise Guy - Nicholas Pileggi
16. Gangsters and Goodfellas - Henry Hill
17. A Mile in My Flip Flops - Melody Carlson
18. Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane
19. Moneyball
20. The Hunger Games (1st Book) - Suzanne Collins
21. Catching Fire (2nd Book) - Suzanne Collins
22. The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
23. Last Dog on the Hill - Steve Duno
24. Chocolat - Joanne Harris
25. The Girl With No Shadow - Joanne Harris
26. The House at Riverton - Kat Morton
27. A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
28. By Invitation Only - Jodi Della Femina
29. There's Cake in My Future - Kim Gruenenfelder
30. Table Manners - Mia King
31. You'll Never Nanny in this Town Again - Suzanne Hansen
32. Mystic River - Dennis Lehane
33. Dewey's Nine Lives - Vicky Myron
34. Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love - Larry Levin
35. One Good Dog - Susan Wilson
36. Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
37. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
38. Little Bird of Heaven - Joyce Carol Oates
39. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet - Jamie Ford
40. Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult
41. July Book Club Book
42. August Book Club Book
43. September Book Club Book
44. October Book Club Book
45. November Book Club Book
46. December Book Club Book

There you have it folks! Looks like I have my work cut out for me but I am very excited to read all of these books! Anyone else created a 2011 Reading Goals List?!?

December 28, 2010

Tis the Season!

Well Ladies and Gentlemen I have now completed my 2010 reading list!!! YAY!! I may have one more addition but it's not even on the list so if I get to it then I get to it and if not then I have still achieved my goal!! After a few additions to my list I am proud to say I read 36/38 books this year! YAY!!

But back to the most recent finished book, that would be The Eggnog Chronicles by Carly Alexander!

After loving her book "The Secret Lives of Mrs Claus" I was fairly positive that The Eggnog Chronicles would be just as good, thus making it a perfect Christmas week read! While I was not entirely wrong I was a little disappointed :-( This book was pretty lackluster and I did not really like any of the characters!

If I had to pick one to like it would be Ricki, and only because she owns a shop called The Christmas Elf and it's all Christmas ALL YEAR!! I would love to own a store, making it a successful Christmas shop would be absolutely FABULOUS!! Other than that I thought all the characters were somewhat pathetic and this was defnitely an easy read with a dash of smut in it!

I am a little bummed to end my year of reading on this book so hopefully I can finish another one up before Saturday but we shall see!!
Anyone else read any good books over the Christmas holiday?

December 27, 2010


Another recipe picked up from the Two Peas in a Bucket boards! And yes it's ANOTHER WINNER!

This time I tried what is called Sopapilla Cheesecake!

You don't need much for these either, just: Sugar, Vanilla, 2 cans crescent rolls, cinnamon, butter, and cream cheese!

First you mix your sugar, vanilla, and softened cream cheese. Then roll out one roll of crescent rolls to fit a 13 x9 inch pan. Mine didn't fit exactly but close enough. Then spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the crescent roll layer.

Roll out your second roll of crescent rolls and place on top of the cream cheese mixture. As you can see I had to piece together some of the dough cause it wouldn't stay together!

Then cover with melted butter and sprinkle a sugar/cinnamon mixture over the top. I added a bunch cause I love cinnamon sugar anything!

Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then let cool!

The cut yourself a piece and enjoy!

And you will enjoy it :-) This was so good and the best part is that even though it's not better for you, it wasn't as rich as a regular cheesecake! Don't get me wrong I LOVE my cheesecake but sometimes it can be a little rich for me while this was still rich it wasn't quite as heavy! I loved it and plan on making it as a dessert for the next time I have people up! It was so easy and if you like cheesecake you will want to bake this yourself!

December 26, 2010

To DIE for!! I'm not joking!!

I belong to website called: Two Peas In A Bucket and on this site you can find some AMAZING Recipes!! I stumbled along a post that was about some Oreo Mint Brownies with a link to this recipe - I <3 Naps.

Not only was I happy to find another blog to follow (it's such an AWESOME blog), but I knew there was no turning my head to this recipe! That night I went to the store and bought the seasonal goodies you will need.

Brownie Mix (okay not seasonal), Peppermint Kisses, Mint Oreo's.

Mix your brownie mix as usual, then drop a tablespoon in the bottom of a muffin cup and place an oreo on top!

Then cover them all up with the remaing batter. I think I put a little too much on some but that's okay!

Pop those babies in the oven and wait impatiently! While I was waiting I decided to chop up my Peppermint Kisses and melt some chocolate. She calls for white chocolate but I am not a fan so I just melted some leftover milk chocolate chips.

Then I drizzled the chocolate over, and sprinkled with the Peppermint Kisses!

Oh YUM!! Check these babies out!

My recommendation is to try one after its had time to cool but is still warm! I couldn't believe what I was tasting!

There are no words that can describe how amazing this is. Even Chuck (who is a Sous Chef/Pastry Chef) had no words except that he wanted another :-) I am not joking when I say these MUST be tried! They are rich so have a glass of milk on hand and while Chuck could eat more than one I was completely satsified with just one! It was HEAVEN!! Chocolate Lovers Enjoy!

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Let your heart be light


From now on, our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

December 24, 2010

Happy Mail!!

Right before Christmas I got a mysterious package dropped off at my doorstep! Who might this package be from?? My awesome cousin Jenna!! She had sent us our Christmas card along with some goodies for our home!!

Check out all the goodies she sent! Some SUPER cute Santa oven mitts and matching kitchen towels! And some cute stamps as well as some BLING!

Check out the GORGEOUS card she made! Isn't that so pretty? I am always a little bit jealous at how talented she is (she sends my Mom beautiful cards) and wish she could rub off on me :-) Although I am not suprised at all by her talent because it runs in her genes. Her Mom, my Aunt Stacy is so talented and she has passed that along to all of her daughters.

Here's a close up the towels and oven mitts!! So cute right?

I immediatly hung them up :)

A big thank you to my cousin for providing the final touches we needed for our kitchen!!

December 23, 2010

I am so happy I can finally post about the wreath I made for my friend Alycia! I've been holding off on posting the wreath and apron because I wanted to make sure I gave it to her first!

I sat down one night and got to work!

Of course I was not happy with the original one so I ripped it apart and created this one!

Don't you just LOVE IT! I was so happy Alycia loved it because I gotta tell you I experienced major creativity block on this one. I don't know its because I've made a few wreaths now or what but I couldn't get focused on this one and it took me forever (and many supplies tossed out) to finally get one that looked pretty enough for me to give it away!

Not only did I make her a wreath for her door but since we are starting a new tradition of a Baking Day (which I'm stoked since now I have 2 baking days!!!) I thought it'd be fun to make her a christmas apron, similar to what I did for my Mom, Sister, and me! And she loved it!

I forgot to take a picture before I gave it to her but here's a pic of us on Baking Day in our aprons!

Unfortunately that's the last of my Holiday Projects for this year! I am so happy with how all of them turned out and am excited to see what next years holiday crafts will bring!

December 22, 2010

Baking Fools!

On December 12th my very good friend Alycia and I had our first annual baking day!! Now I bet you can remember awhile I posted about the Baking Day tradition I have with my family and how much I love that tradition...well now I get to have two baking days each year and I couldn't be happier!

This year we held baking day at my house and Alycia lugged all her baking tools (yes she brought her own KitchenAid, of course we needed both) and we got started at 9 AM!!

Here we are at the end of the day!! We didn't have anyone to take our picture in the AM, but we are still smiles here at 5:30 PM!

Photo taken by Chuck (thanks Honey)

Because I was worried we wouldn't get all of our recipes done (we had 12) I decided to bake up the sugar cookies on saturday and OMG these looked great! I was so suprised that they all held their shape so well!! I couldn't wait to frost them the next day!

One of our first recipes are these amazing little gems!

Photo by Alycia

They are called Choco Mint Blossoms and they are so delicious! Yes that is a Peppermint Kiss on top! I just love seasonal candy!

Photo by Alycia

These are our Suprise Cookies that we both were looking forward and it ended up being a HUGE DUD!! Neither of us were impressed!

Photo by Alycia

And then our Peppermint Chocolate Sandwiches....YUM!! Alycia whipped up an amazing mint frosting!

Photo by Alycia

Cinnamon Sugar Butter Cookies, A.K.A Snickerdoodles! I was amazed because I cannot bake Snickerdoodles but these little suckers taste just like them! YAY!

Photo by Alycia

Our massive amount of cookies at the end of the day! Can you say success?? We could definitely smell success :-)

Photo by Alycia

Our beautiful sugar cookies! If you look close you'll make out quite a few Oakland A's themed ones (hint -  anything green and yellow)

I had so much fun baking all day with Alycia and am so excited that we are making this a new tradition!!! In total we made 11 out of our 12 cookies. That amounts to 357 cookies, which equals 29.75 dozen!! Yeah we had a huge cookie overload! Even after I made a HUGE platter for work we still had three different platefuls. Then I put together a plate for Book Club and I still had a huge plate left!!

Here's a list of all the cookies we baked - Lemon Snowdrops, Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Cinnamon Sugar Butter Cookies, Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies, Suprise Cookies, Cappucinno Spice Cookies, Carrot Cake Cookies, Lemon Sugar Snaps, Chocolate Dipped Macaroons, Choco Mint Blossoms, and Sugar Cookies!!

Oh yes you could say we rocked it :-)

December 21, 2010

Sunshine and Fog = Beautiful Pictures

A couple weeks ago I had taken a Monday and Tuesday off just for kicks. Well it worked out that Tuesday Chuck also had the day off so we decided to head up to my Grandparents to visit. We hardly ever see them now that they don't live closer and with Chuck's new work schedule it's almost impossible for us to find a day off together to go up there!

Anywho on the drive up it was just gorgeous so I had to pull over and take some pictures. And I just had to share! Strictly a picture post but enjoy!

I LOVE this picture! I just wish my camera didn't have the little red marks at the bottom but I just thought this was so pretty!

This is one of my favorites! Even with sun super bright I just love how the fog is still hanging low!


It looked like this cloud of fog was literally sitting just over the top of that house but it was clear in the rest of that area.

This is another favorite because the fog is burning off but you can see the outline of the trees :-)

This is what the sky looked like on our way home!! It was really eery looking but so pretty at the same time!

Anywho thanks for checking them out! I thought they were too pretty not to share!

December 20, 2010

Rosie the Elephant

I finished our last book club book for 2010!!! YAY!! This means I am only one book away from completing my 2010 Reading List! YAY!!

I just finished reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen which has been reviewed as an awesome book.

Well the reviews are wrong I am sad to say, or at least in my opinion. I know a few people who absolutely loved this book. I HATED IT! Even at the end there was not one thing I could say I liked about it. I was actually really upset over not liking this book because even before our Book Club began it was on my list of must reads!

Sadly I didn't like any of the characters and I just can't get my head around the circus lifestyle. I absolutely hated how the animals were treated. I was extremely put off by the amount of "sexual" content in the book, the descriptions and some of the scenes were completely un-necessary. While I'm sure her book is written based on facts (she says most of it is in an interview that was included at the end) I was totally put off. I was not expecting some of the gruesome details included or the way she describes a few scenes that I felt could have been left out entirely.

Overall I give this book an F. I actually regret reading it and that just sucks! I was so looking forward to this book and to the movie they will be coming out with eventually but now I know for a fact that I won't be seeing the movie. Hopefully I'm not alone on this because most people I know really enjoyed it. :-(

December 19, 2010

I'm Melting!

For our Annual Baking Day I tried out 2 new recipes, one of those being Peppermint Meltaways. I love peppermint, to me there is nothing better than peppermint flavored ANYTHING!! And these little melt in your mouths did not let me down!

You will need - flour, milk, cornstarch, butter, peppermint extract, crushed mints (if you chose to, I chose not), powdered sugar, and red food color dye!

First things first combine the butter and flour, with a little extract, then add in your cornstarch!

Roll into balls and bake. Super simple right? 

Let them cool completely. This step will be hard as they look and smell so good! And they are very crumbly which makes my mouth water!

Once they have cooled it will be time to whip up the "frosting" to go on top. You will need to combine your milk, powdered sugar, extract, and red food dye! And then get to topping! I was generous on a few and skimpy on the others. It is a lot of frosting so next time I think I may cut it in half. You are supposed to top with crushed mints but I chose to leave those off.

Don't these look like the most perfect valentine's cookies. They were so fun and so PINK!

Not only were these super cute but they were so GOOD!! I loved them and my coworkers devoured them! Like I said though it's a lot of frosting so you might want to go easy on that and its minty! Nothing bad to me but it's not everyone's cookie! I recommend baking up a batch of these asap! And if you don't like the frosting idea then just make the cookies because they are GREAT without the frosting!

Want the recipe? get it here.

December 18, 2010

Healthy Meatloaf???

While I am always shocked to find a healthier recipe for meatloaf I am never convinced it can truly be good for you. Especially when that recipe calls for ground beef instead of ground turkey!
But I have found one that not only tastes great it is also relatively healthy, especially when you use the correct ingredients. Which unfortunately I was unable to. I had almost all of them though!

You need - 1% milk (I had 2%), whole wheat bread (I didn't have any so I used white bread), 2 egg whites, onion (I used onion powder), garlic powder, pepper, Worschestchire sauce, ketchup, and ground beef.

First get your egg whites, milk, and bread in a large mixing bowl. Let the bread soak it all up for 5 minutes.

Then add in your spices and Worschestchire sauce.

Add the ground beef and mix well. Then shape into a loaf and drop it in a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray.

Pop in the oven for 35 minutes.

Then top with ketchup and put back in the oven for about 20 minutes.

And are ready to go.

This meatloaf (actual recipe is called Flavorful Meatloaf from Taste of Home's Guilt Free Cooking) was awesome! I just added some yummy green beans and some crescent rolls and dug in!

This stuff is filling to! I knew I had too much on the plate but it really was too much! I was full after just two slices of it and this isn't a thick meatloaf. it's pretty small and compact but its great! I cant' wait to try it with the whole wheat bread which will make a difference in fat and calories but probably won't taste much difference. Meat loaf lovers jump on board with this recipe.

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