Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pink Baby Shower Invitation

My friend Holly, is about to have a baby girl! I am so excited for her! Sarah is working with Holly's sister on the shower and they asked me to design an invitation. Since I'm a wannabe graphic designer, I jumped at the chance! Momma-to-be sent me a few samples of what she liked and here's what I came up with:

I can't figure out why, but blogger is uploading the front side with like a shadow over it, just imagine it as light as the back side...

As usual, I am a huge fan of postcard invitations, they give you extra room on the invitation to add a little more information and they provide cheaper postage. Win win. In this case, there will be a diaper raffle, so I was able to squeeze that information on the back so it didn't clutter up the front. 

We had them printed up at, again, a lot cheaper than kinkos! We used the "same day" postcard option and picked them up, easy as pie (actually pie is a lot more complicated to make)...

Monday, January 27, 2014

How To Spaghetti Squash

So I have been seeing this allllll over Pinterest and my gluten free mother has tried it and my super health conscious friends have tried it and they all swear by it. Call me a cynic but I just don't like vegetables in place of carbs you know? It's just never as good. So obviously I was verrrry skeptical about trying this out. However, I've been on a weird health kick in the month of January so I decided to try it. Oh. My. God. I may never eat pasta again! (Okay, that's a bold faced lie.) But that's how good it is! The squash just soaks up all this extra flavor and when I cook pastas with bacon in the recipe it's just, like, unREAL!

It is also just as easy as making pasta although it might take a liiiiiittle bit longer. It really is a minuscule difference though.


How To Cook It

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • cut your spaghetti squash in half
  • gut out the seeds
  • stab the uncut (round) side a bunch of times with a fork to create air holes
  • place the halved squash cut side down onto cookie sheet
  • bake for about 30 minutes and then check it (you should be able to stab it with a chef knife with only a little resistance)  
  • once it's out of the oven, use a fork to scrape out the pulp (you'll see i start to string up; see above)

  • I would recommend timing your spaghetti squash to just before you are done with whatever sauce you are making; mix it all in with your sauce so it has time to soak up all that flavor
  • enjoy!  

Friday, January 24, 2014


Turns out maybe I should send this white v neck through the steam setting on the dryer, get a few of those wrinkles out...

White V-neck: American Apparel
Leather Jacket: Urban Outfitters
Burgundy Skinny Jeans: H&M
Flats: Target

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Skinny Chocolate Muffins

I've been seeing a lot of these "substitute this for that" recipes lately. You know, use applesauce instead of sugar, greek yogurt in place of butter... that kind of stuff. So I decided to try it with some chocolate muffins. Overall the result was better than expected. I will admit they are not as good as original but I will make these with the substitutions from now on because the benefits far outweigh the slight drop in taste. These things are still super delicious and I'm trying not to nom them down all at once!


  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 3/4 c. oats
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt 
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 c. baking stevia 
  • 1 c. hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

How To Cook It: 

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil cupcake liners, or spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray
  • blend all of the ingredients together, except for the chocolate chips
  • blend until oats are ground and mixture is smooth
  • gently stir in 1/2 of the chocolate chips (set the rest aside)
  • scoop mixture into prepared muffin pans, filling to about 3/4 of the cup (they don't rise very much)
  • place muffins tins in the oven for 15 minutes
  • after 15 minutes, remove muffins from the oven (but don’t shut oven off), and distribute the other half of the chocolate chips on top of each muffin
  • place the muffins back into the oven and bake for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean

Monday, January 20, 2014


White T-Shirt: Nordstrom Rack
Denim Jacket: American Eagle
Scarf: Fred Meyer
Green Corduroy Pants: H&M
Boots: Nordstrom / Steve Madden

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Let me start by saying this. This isn't one of those "replace eggs with applesauce" recipes, or whatever they are. While those are great and I totally follow a few of them, but
sometimes you just need good old fashioned butter and flour. And oooohmigaw this recipe is so good in my mouth!

My Great Grandma "Bug" used to bake us banana bread for every celebration. Birthday? Here's a loaf of banana bread. Christmas? Banana bread. 4th of July? Banana bread. You get the picture. And I'm talking each family member would get their own loaf. The woman must have spent a fortune on bananas. You'd think at some point at least one family member would get sick of this. We did not. Sure, on Christmas my cousins and I would be excited about our Buzz Lightyear and our Talkboy Tape Recorder but when Grandma Bug brought out those little loafs wrapped in foil - BOOM. Cartoon dust clouds in the shape of our bodies filtered down around our new toys (that was a cartoon reference... I don't know how well it came across). ANYWAY the point is, I loves me some banana bread.

Also, I should warn you. We made this at around 11:00 at night and I was in a mood.... (3 glasses of wine deep) so the pictures are a little strange.


  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 c. mashed ripe banana (I had 4)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • (optional) however many chocolate chips you want, I used the whole bag cause chocolate is awesome (and again, I had had 3 glasses of wine...)

How To Make It:

  • preheat oven to 350 F
  • grease 9x5x3 baking pan and set aside 
  • combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg - make a well in the middle
  • in a separate bowl combine eggs, banana, sugar and oil
  • add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture 
  • stir until moistened, don't over mix it should be lumpy
  • pour batter into bread pan
  • bake for 40 minutes at first then cover with tinfoil and bake for 15 more minutes 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I just got this blazer from H&M for 50% off. It's like nothing else I have and I'm kind of in love with it. Still kind of figuring out how to style it though. Anyone have ideas for me?

Undershirt: I have no idea, it's soooo old!
Navy Blazer: H&M
Pants: Nordstrom
Boots: Roxy (purchased at Famous Footwear - originalls $70, I got them for $15)
Necklace: Forever 21

Monday, January 13, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper and Cauliflower Soup

I'm at it again, I don't know what it is with me and soups lately. I can't get enough. Thank you to Closet Cooking for this recipe (and one of their pictures because, I don't know what was going on with the lighting in my house the other day but this is the best picture I could come up with).


  • 4 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeds removed1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock (but you can use vegetable broth)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste

How To Cook It:

  • place the red peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down, broil until the skins are blackened, about 10 minutes, place in a sealable container and let 'steam' for 20 minutes before pinching the skins off and dicing
  • meanwhile, toss the cauliflower in the oil, place it in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400F oven until tender and caramelized, about 20-30 minutes, mixing once in the middle
  • heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the onion until tender, about 5-7 minutes
  • add the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute
  • add the roasted red peppers, cauliflower, broth, paprika and goat cheese and simmer for 10 minutes before pureeing to the desired consistency with a hand blender
  • season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with goat cheese

Here is Closet Cooking's photo, hmmmmm maybe I should get a little more into photography for the sake this blog....

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Copycat Etsy Unicorn Pillow

My good friend Julia looooooves unicorns. And yes, she is 28 years old. She taught our cousin's daughter all about magic and unicorns and fairies and even mailed her a "fairy house kit" (which was basically a bunch of sticks and moss and glitter). Julia is a rare soul. But unfortunately for Julia, she was born 3 days before Christmas so every year her birthday gets overshadowed but another significant birthday that month....

This year I wanted to do something special to make her birthday stand out. We were going to take her to dinner and shower her with love, but she got strep throat..... this is not a lucky girl. But anyway, I found this pillow on Etsy, but the seller has 'gone on vacation' and that was in 2012 so I was kind of on my own. Anyway, I thought Julia would just LOVE it.

Hopefully you took Home Ec, or as it was called when I was going to school, Family and Consumer Studies (FACS) and know how to sew a basic pillow. If not, you probably shouldn't be doing this project anyway.

What You Will Need: 

  • 'cross stitch' fabric - you'll find it in the embroidery section of the craft store
  • embroidery thread - I used the same colors as the example, and I only needed 1 of each
  • embroidery hoop - the size will depend on how big you want your pillow to be
  • embroidery needle - maybe two in case you bend or lose one
  • pillow stuffing - you won't need much, probably the smallest bag you can find at the craft store will be pllllenty
  • (optional) a backing fabric - you could just use the cross stitch fabric all the way but I liked the idea of a little extra color
  • iron
  • a sewing machine and thread - and knowledge of how to use them

How To Make It

  • cut your cross stitch fabric to the relative size you'd like the pillow to be
  • I traced the design out in pencil first so I could have an easy guideline

  • place the fabric on the embroidery hoop with your design in the middle 
  • I started with the pink thread, pull out a considerable amount of thread (about your wingspan) and tie a knot at the end so it doesn't pull all the way through
  • I used a back stitch (seen below) if you'd like to try another stitch HERE is a good website of basic embroidery stitches, however, I think it's best if you have a friend show you (thanks Molly) or use a youtube tutorial
Back Stitch

  • when you finish with a color don't forget to tie knots at the end so your stitches don't unravel over time
  • repeat with your other colors until you are finished, like this 

  • remove your fabric from your embroidery hoop and iron out the creases
  • cut your embroidery fabric and your backing fabric to the size your want your pillow to be, leaving a half an inch for sewing room
  • sew and stuff your pillow and BAM you are done! 

I'm pretty happy with the results of my pillow and Julia was THRILLED (or was really good at faking it...).

Monday, January 6, 2014


I asked my super fashionable younger sister if I should wear brown or black boots with this outfit. She told me the black ones made me "look like a bad ass!" You can't argue with that logic right? Black it is.

White Chiffon Shirt: H&M
Black Leather Jacket: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: Target
Black Pants: Nordstrom Rack
Boots: Amazon (found here

Friday, January 3, 2014

Beer and Brat Birthday Party

Before the Christmas holiday, I threw a birthday party for Husband. His birthday is in the month of December so I always feel bad for him because his birthday gets lumped in with Christmas. Birthdays are really important to me and I like to celebrate other peoples' as much as my own! Husband has never complained but I wanted to do a little something special to really define his birthday! I talked with him a little bit about it and he didn't really have any ideas but, after some brainstorming, I came up with this beer and bratwurst theme. He is reeeeaaally into German food and although this probably isn't the most accurate representation of German cuisine, I did my best.

I started with an invitation, I'm not a graphic designer but maybe I should have been because designing these things, for me, is SO FUN!

As always, I gained inspiration from the internet and made it myself. This time, instead of Microsoft Publisher, I used PicMonkey: a free site I found on the internet.

So then it was on to the menu. I don't cook a lot of German food so I basically looked up the menu of a local "Authentic" German food restaurant here in the NW and copied off their menu. We'll start with the appetizers: 

White wine fondue cheese with pretzels and bread was the planned appetizer and then while out shopping, Husband found these apple "crackers" and just HAD to buy them. Whatever, it's his birthday. So we added some cheese and set them out. 

Appetizers were just out while people arrived. I also wanted to make some sides to go with our bratwurst dinner. I decided some potatoes would be nice and went with mashed. The recipe can be found here. And I wanted a salad for this largely heavy meal. The German restaurant near us serves a wedge salad that Husband just LOVES! But how to serve a wedge salad to a large group of people? BAM little cups and individual wedges. I don't wanna brag (I totally do) but they were a hit! I served the wedges with bleu cheese dressing and walnuts on top.

And finally came the coup de grâce, MEAT! But you cant have German meats with out a little extra. We served it with two different kinds of spicy mustard and sauerkraut. 

I also served German spätzle noodles and red cabbage. I was AMAZED at how easy it was to cook for such a large group of people. (Admittedly, Husband and his friends grilled up the brats so that was out of my hands and off my mind). But I was at ease the whole day and everyone seemed to enjoy the meal, there were even a few left overs people were so full! 

Here's how the table was set before we devoured it all, seating and food enough for 12 people....

And here's how it looked as we ate (red solo cups because we are classy thankyouverymuch)! 

After dinner we kind of sat around and digested, then it was time for the Blazer game. Over all a really enjoyable night!