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Monday, December 30, 2013

New Holiday Memories

Hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday Season! I've been busy, well, working. But also making some new holiday memories. Even though this time of year is always so busy and crazy, we have had some time to just sit back and enjoy life, enjoy the twinkly Christmas tree, go out with friends, and spend time with family.


Trent and I exchanged presents on Christmas Eve, since we had a busy Christmas Day, and Trent had to work Christmas morning. I think it's safe to say we spoiled each other!

Nothing beats opening presents next to the Holiday Yule log...



Our tree with all of the presents underneath:


I got so many cute presents from Trent, including these cute socks from Victoria's Secret:


And this owl vase - Lurrrrvee! Not sure where it's from! - 


I also LOVE my Emily Rickard pillow from Society 6. Trent stalked my Pinterest and knew I've wanted one for a while! He definitely did good on that one!


I got Trent a few movies, some beer glasses, and a big kettle to start his Beer-making out right.


Christmas day we went to Trent's aunt and uncle's for a bit, then to my family. We opened presents with my mom and dad, then went to my grandparents' to have dinner and open more gifts!


I got so many cute things this year - sweaters, boots, jewelry, and multiple gift cards! Too generous, people!!


We also spent a pretty good amount of time watching the kiddos open presents, and play with their gifts. Always entertaining! Below is my cousin's daughters Maddie and Makenzie, a handful of Trent's nephews, Landon, Joey and Sam, and his niece Ellie.






This past weekend we got together with Trent's brother Shane's family, saw Anchorman 2 (very funny), and went out with a few friends. Safe to say it was an eventful Christmas, and I'm hoping New Year's will be fantastic as well...even if I have to work tomorrow! Hoping to post a lot more in the New Year. I've been slacking lately! 

Cheers to 2014!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours.....


May your day be MERRY and BRIGHT....


May All your Christmases be WHITE!

xo,
Trent, Whitney & Saleen

Friday, December 20, 2013

Saleen, The Cookie Bandit

So, remember those delicious peanut butter kiss cookies I made last weekend? Well, just in case you hadn't heard yet, the night after I made them, somebody was caught red-handed eating them all!! 

She looks so innocent, doesn't she? 

I had 2 whole plates full of cookies - around 30 or so. And being the second day that we had said cookies, Trent and I had only enjoyed a few of them. Of course I left them on the table with some plastic wrap draped over them. And when I walked into the kitchen...Miss Saleen had eaten one whole plate full, along with probably half of the other plate. Leaving us with maybe 5 cookies total.

 

So glad I made those cookies just for her! She's ok, by the way. Never got sick from cookie overload, fortunately! We were pretty mad, though. Remind me to always put the cookies into the cookie jar RIGHT AWAY next time!

(Wanted poster made here.)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Puppy Chow Recipe

Last Halloween, I made puppy chow for the first time. If you don't know what puppy chow is, you are not American it's a yummy finger-food dessert also known as "muddy buddies." I've just always known it as puppy chow. It is basically delectable goodness! And it's really easy to make. Which is good for me, since I bake/cook/prepare food pretty rarely.


Today I thought I would share the recipe, though it's been a while since I've made it. I can't remember where I found the recipe, but it turned out really yummy. Plus, I'm just in the recipe-sharing mood lately, and this is a perfect snack for holiday get-togethers and parties! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 9 cups Chex cereal
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Ziplock freezer bag

Directions:

  1. Combine peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir to blend all ingredients thoroughly. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir well.
  3. Place 9 cups of Chex cereal in a very large bowl.
  4. Pour the peanut-butter chocolate mixture over the cereal and toss evenly, making sure all the cereal gets a good covering.
  5. Place the powdered sugar in a large Ziplock bag.
  6. Add the peanut butter-chocolate cereal mixture to the bag, leaving enough room for it to be shaken. (You may have to divide the mixture into smaller batched, coating 1 batch at a time.)
  7. Shake the bag vigorously to evenly coat each piece of puppy show with powdered sugar.
  8. Once the mixture is fully coated, dump into a large serving bowl.
Prep time: About 10-15 minutes
Servings: 1 large bowl (party size)


Linked to: Tatertots & JelloThe Pin JunkieDomestic SuperheroLiz Marie Blog

Monday, December 16, 2013

DIY Necklace Holder

I'm pretty excited today to share the project I've been planning on making for a long time and finally was able to make this weekend. A while back I shared how I made my earring holder. That project has been one of my favorites to date, and it's been an awesome life saver! Instead of having to dig through drawers to find a matching set of earrings, I now have them all paired up right in front of my eyes. It's a major time saver in the morning and whenever I'm getting ready.

So I've been wanting to make something similar to hold my necklaces, as I've found myself having the same issue. I looked around on Pinterest and have seen so many different versions of necklace organizers. In the end though, I went with a simple board-with-knobs version. Here's how it turned out:


I love it! Trent helped with a lot of the sanding, staining, drilling, etc. I just supervised and made the design choices! :) We hung it in the bedroom, and it blends in perfectly with the dark wood in there.


Here are the supplies and the steps we took to make it.

Supplies used:
  • Oak board (1" x 6" x 3')
  • 6 drawer knobs (a variety)
  • pencil, ruler and tape measure to mark and measure where the knobs will be and where to cut the board.
  • a drill
  • a saw
  • sandpaper
  • newspaper to put down when staining
  • stain and brush with a paper towel to wipe the stain
  • sawtooth hangers

It was pretty cheap - the only things I had to buy were the board, the knobs, and the sawtooth hangers. The rest of the supplies we already had on hand. The board was around $8, and I got the knobs all on sale at Hobby Lobby 50% off - they were about $2-$3 a piece. The sawtooth hangers were around $2.


I picked up the board from Menards - a 3' wide by 6" tall oak board, that was already sanded down. I just cut about 8" off because I only needed 28" as opposed to 36." 

Here's how we made it.

First I lined up my knobs on the board, in the order that I wanted them to be in to get an idea about the spacing I wanted. I decided I wanted to cut off 8" from the length of the board, because I had 6 knobs and I wanted them to be about 4" apart. I measured where the center of the board was, and with a pencil, made a line to cut off 8", then marked a dot every 4 inches where the holes would have to be drilled for the knobs.


Trent used a saw to cut off the excess part of the board, then drilled holes for the knobs.


Even though the board was already sanded and didn't have a finish on it, the corners and edges were pretty sharp, so Trent sanded them down a little.


Then we wiped the dust off the board and stained it. I just used some stain that we had leftover from other projects instead of going out and buying a new one. It was Minwax "Red Mahogany."


We tested it out on the part of the wood we had cut off, just to make sure it was what I wanted.


Luckily it wasn't too red, and I liked the dark look of it. So Trent brushed on the stain with a small brush, then after a minute or so, wiped off the excess with a (soft) paper towel. We used two coats, letting it sit in between coats, then overnight just to make sure it was fully dry.

Once it was dry, we just screwed the knobs into the holes, then attached a couple of sawtooth hangers to the back. Then we just had to saw off the ends of the screws that the knobs were attached to.

 

And voila! We hung it in the bedroom, and I now have a place to hang my necklaces so that I can see them and grab them really easily before I walk out the door.


And best of all, they won't get tangled in my jewelry chest anymore.



I love it! :) Definitely my new favorite DIY project!

Linked to: Tatertots & JelloThe Pin JunkieDomestic SuperheroLiz Marie Blog

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Last night I did a little baking. It's a rare occasion, but I've been wanting to make cookies for a while, and I decided to make peanut butter kiss cookies - one of my favorite Christmas cookies!


The recipe I used was this one from Chef-in-training.com. I also posted the recipe below - Perfect for the holidays! They turned out delicious!



Trent helped me mix a little bit and put them in the oven. Always nice to have a little help, especially for me, considering I haven't made a lot of cookies from scratch in my day. ;)



Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 bag Hershey's chocolate kisses

Directions:
  1. Place butter in microwave about 15 seconds to soften to room temperature. Cream butter and sugars together in a large bowl.
  2. Add peanut butter and mix well.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  4. Add baking soda, salt, and flour, and mix until well-incorporated.
  5. Roll into 1 inch balls, then roll each ball into sugar.
  6. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. 
  7. Immediately when done baking, gently press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie.
  8. Place on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
I unwrapped kisses while I was waiting for the cookies to bake. Saves a little bit of time when you're having to put the kisses on the cookies while they're still warm.


The mixture made around 32 or so cookies. But I did save a little bit of the dough to eat out of the bowl..I have to say, the leftover dough was quite delicious! :)

Linked to: Tatertots & JelloThe Pin Junkie, Domestic Superhero, Liz Marie Blog

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Night out at TSO

Thursday night we saw TSO (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) live! We were debating about going, then decided just to buy the tickets because we really wanted to go, and I wanted to see them perform The Lost Christmas Eve. I listen to their music every Christmas, and how often do you get to see something like that?

We were pretty high up, but we could see the entire stage and could even feel the warmth from the fire on stage!


We both really enjoyed it. The lights, lasers, and fire all went along with the music, and it was really cool. It told a story, almost like a musical, too.


Here is one of the videos that Trent took on his phone:

You don't really realize how talented those people are, until you see them perform all of the songs live. One girl was a really good singer. I told Trent she would definitely win American Idol. :)


It was a fun night out. I'm glad we went!


We got another round of snow last night, so Trent was out for a few hours this morning shoveling and snow blowing walkways and people's driveways. I plan on spending the weekend watching Christmas movies, crafting, wrapping presents, and baking cookies (yes, I said baking). I'm not leaving the house!
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