Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holly Jolly

A very merry Christmas to all! I cam across this and couldn't help but sharing!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blogger app

Just got a new phone and excited to have a Blogger app! Now I can post on the fly!

Carnival Wedding

As we started wedding planning we were coming up with different ideas on how we could have an affordable, fun, self planned wedding. I knew one thing. We were going to have a candy buffet. I scoured the internet, and eventually came up with the idea to do a carnival wedding. I convinced the hubs of this, and then we started telling our family and friends our plan. Some jumped right on board, others were a little more skeptical. I would explain that it would involve carnival games and food, such as hot dogs, cotton candy, and popcorn. Eventually they would understand, or they would at least leave it be. :) So, what does a vintage carnival themed wedding look like? Here you go!

My wonderful mother-in-law made these awesome signs to go around the site announcing where we were.
We were outside, with minimal decor. We did basic white chairs and attached pinwheels around on some of them.

And down to the reception...
Long, family style table and seating with red paper table covers, burlap runners, and pinwheels.
The candy buffet, full of vintage style candy and simple paper bags to fill with the goodies.
And of course carnival games. First off, a game of strength, tug-of-war. The bridemaids and groomsmen had a little competition, and my girls won it! (We won't mention that they just let go, and made the boys fall down) :)
Balloon dart toss. There was also toss the ping pong ball in the fish bowl, and sack races
Cupcakes with swirl frosting, and a cake reminiscent of a big top or popcorn tub. 
What is a party without some food? My photographer said he thought it was awesome that there is a picture of hot dogs in our wedding pics. I'd have to agree.
That adorable little candy machine being used as a fork holder is a pinterest project I did a while back.
Don't forget the cotton candy! There was also popcorn, whole pickles, and peanuts to complete the carnival  array.

And last but not least is my in my boots! 

Hope you enjoyed my little foray into a vintage carnival wedding. This would make a great party theme for anytime!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Paula Deen’s French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping

When most people think of Paula Deen they think of butter. Lots and lots of butter. That comes to my mind, but not first. The first thing I think of is beans. In college, my roommate and I were watching some of our beloved Paula and she was using beans in a recipe and exclaimed, “I’m Paula Deen the bean queen!” We said that to each other for many years to come, and it will still come up every so often. But my mind always thinks of the Bean Queen when I hear Paula’s name, and then I think about butter. 

Before we went and saw Breaking Dawn, we had breakfast together. My mom makes a great French toast casserole, and as I was looking online for variations I came across this recipe. I first saw the title, and thought it sounded great. Then I saw it was a Paula recipe, and that sealed the deal

It is actually a fairly simple recipe, but you do have to prep it the night before. And be warned, it takes awhile to cook. I got excited and took it out of the oven too soon. The sides were amazing, and the middle was a mush pile, but a little longer in the oven would cure that. It is a yummy, indulgent Paula recipe, complete with lots of butter and cream! On the recipe page there is a video of Paula making it, and in it she says “This is too good to be true. Pralines and bread in one dish, I can't hardly stand it!” I’d have to agree Paula.

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

I wasn’t just excited for this recipe, I was also super excited to get out and use this awesome baking dish that my mom made for me for my bridal shower! I love it and think I may need to have all of my glass dishes with etched designs. Think of which I did just get a new set of Pyrex…

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chai Spice Cookies

We are doing a cookie exchange at work tomorrow and I wanted something new and unique to make. I have been loving chai lately, and recently saw a recipe on pinterest that was a chai cookie with pumpkin Hershey kiss on top, similar to the peanut butter blossoms that are so good. Problem was that I couldn't find pumpkin kisses anywhere, I think it was just too late to be looking for them. So, I started looking for different chai cookie recipes. There was nothing out there that really grabbed me, so I took bits and pieces of a couple different recipes and created my own. Here it is! 

Chai Spice Cookies
1 c butter, softened
1 c white sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
3 chai tea bags (remove contents from the bags and discard bag)
3 tps pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
dash salt

Cream together butter, sugars, chai tea, pumpkin pie spice until light & fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well combined.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt.  Add to creamed mixture and blend until combined. The dough will be very thick, this is a good thing. :)

Cover & refrigerate for 1 hour

Heat oven to 350. Roll cookies into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet, flatten slightly and bake for 10 min until edges begin to brown. Cool on wire racks.
While I bake I always have some sing-a-long music on so I can do just that and dance around the kitchen a bit. I thought I'd share what I listened to while making my goodies. For these cookies I was in the mood for a little county love. So, off it was to Last.Fm and the modern country station. Some of the best songs while I was baking were: Lady Antebellum - Need You Now, Chuck Wicks - Stealing Cinderella, Zac Brown Band - Chicken Fried

Linked up at:
Thirty Hand Made Days

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Craft fair at work tomorrow. So much creating happening in my apartment. The hubs said no more craft supplies being bought for months after this because there is a craft explosion in my little apartment.

Can't wait to share what I've made!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gobble Gobble

My lovely boss has a window in her office. It looks out onto the backside of  some cubicle. :) Last Thanksgiving our team decorated her office window with hand print turkeys. We have kept it decorated all year long. Sometimes we get creative, and we do some crafted item and sometimes it's just those gel cling things. We didn't have any easy gel clings for Thanksgiving on hand, so we had been thinking about what we were going to put up on the window. One morning, I saw this post from A Girl and a Glue Gun. Have you been over there yet? Love her!!

I was inspired! This was a crafty project that even the least crafty on our team could get behind. I headed into our lounge, and grabbed an assortment of severely outdated magazines. (People magazine from March anyone? It has Kim K's engagement on the cover!) I gave everyone a magazine and assigned them a color. We went through and made a collage of that color, cut out a feather shape, and then created this masterpiece!