Friday, November 25, 2011


I was such an adult and hosted my first Thanksgiving! I LOVE hosting dinner parties and I mean, Thanksgiving is like the ultimate one right? I had Mike's family (parents and 3 siblings, my parents, and Mike, Emily and I -- obviously) all over. Here are some of the things I made..

yes, I chose my desserts before anything else

i threw in fresh crans instead of dried.. delicious & sweet

this one takes the cake. enough said.

I bet you're wondering... where is the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes? Yes that was all there, but I have all my own recipes for everything else and I was running like a tornado that I didn't use my camera once. Boo for my failure to record my first official holiday dinner.

The whole day there was this little knot in my stomach. As I was listening to my dad laughing and "hanging with the guys" and spending time in the kitchen with my mom, mother-in-law, and "sister in law", I was simply happy. I felt joy in having all these people that I love so much in my home. I wish days like this were not so few and far between.

I've been so stressed out these past few weeks, between finals and schedules and worrying about jobs, that I haven't sat back and enjoyed being a mom, wife, and friend. Friends? What are those? I can't wait until I am able to spend some time painting nails and drinking coffee with my gfs. That time is so needed and important. With Thanksgiving fresh on my mind, although I may feel resentment when I miss girls night out, or when Mike and I can't spend the whole day together, I am THANKFUL for the opportunity I've been given. I am thankful that Mike is so patient and loving; that he has supported me financially and emotionally for the past 6 long years. Because of him, as much if not more than my own efforts, I am able to live out my dreams.

So thank you Mike :) keep on rocking on!

Emily and I are beginning to decorate for Christmas. Her reaction to me opening the box of ornaments gets me every time. Her ear-to-ear smile, the way she claps her hands, quick with excitement and how she slightly jumps up and down, like her feet are glued on a trampoline. It never gets old.

Here is my inspiration for the yarn trees

Oh oh oh
Here is her Christmas dress. I want to wear it with a fluffy headband and dance to the Nutcracker..

I am so excited to write more when finals are over...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Doesn't Hurt to Dream...

of a big, pretty dining room

Linking up with Gussy Sews again!
This week the prompt is "The Dining Room"

Unfortunately, my little ranch does not have a separate dining room.
Oh how I long for one....
So, without a dining room, or even a large eat-in-kitchen, I volunteered ((well kind of begged)) to host Thanksgiving dinner. Where was Mike to knock some sense into me? My mother-in-law makes amazing Thanksgiving. Ugh. I guess it's part of growing up and starting a family. I feel like hosting a holiday is a step into the "adult" world. And I also think it would be really great for Emily, because we all know... She will throw on the apron and pretend she cooked the entire meal.
When can I actually recruit her to cook me dinner?
sans play-dough

Anyways.. here are some things that really lit up my eyes.
Literally! Here are some great lights I would love right over my giant wood-slab table (wishful thinking)


I also have an odd obsession with table runners. This wood one is pretty awesome.
The flowers and table scape just make it that much better.


Perfect addition of color without going overload...


This last one reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.. Tea Party anyone? I could use a drunk mouse and wild Mad Hatter to spice up my day.


What would your dream dining room look like?
Any advice on what functions best for your family?
I'm digging the creative ways to add chalk boards and "mailboxes"

Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ps... I almost forgot

I officially opened my Etsy Shop {yes please click}

Emily is such the little Diva.
Next time I'll actually use her as a model. Her hair was much too wild this morning.
{and I didn't have time for coffee}

So this venture is basically to serve as an outlet to create things I love.
I'm not expecting much, rather just to showcase some of my favorite things and the ways in which I am inspired daily.

But I mean, if you feel an urge to purchase something... well then I can't argue with that.
and it would totally offset what can turn into an expensive hobby
So put your hands to rest and let mine do the work...

Again -- HappyisPretty


Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice

I just ate autumn.
Slathered in sugar, cinnamon, cloves and butter.

And it was sooo good.

Rustic Apple & Pear Tart

1 pie crust - It was a busy week night. Pillsbury won.
3 Apples (I used local Macouns, but I imagine any firm apple will do - esp. granny smith. yummm)
3 Bosc Pears -Yes, the ugly, brown skinned ones are the best.
Pinch of salt & allspice
Heaping tsp. of cinnamon
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
Butter - totally up to you how much to add
Lemon juice or tsp of Ball Fruit Fresh - to prevent discoloration, or just to ease your mind that maybe the fruit won't get all gross looking

Roll out your pie crust on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Yes if it's refrigerated all you have to do is literally unwrap and roll.

Oh how easy life can be.

Chop up your fruit as thick or thin as you'd like. If decision making at this point is difficult (my dear October babies) then opt for thinner cut fruit. It cooks quicker.
Oh yeah, Pre heat to 350
That might be important; I always seem to forget that step.
Toss with salt, spices, & lemon juice (fruit fresh)
Pile fruit in the center of the crust, leaving a few inches on the side to fold dough up.
Fold crust over the fruit, leaving a big circle in the middle exposed. Pinch to seal edges around fruit.

I dug in before I photographed. Don't judge.

Place small pats of butter all over the top of the apples. As much as you'd like depending on how guilty you'll be afterwards. Because if you made this with wheat crust and light butter (or very little butter) it would be pretty healthy.
Melt half a tbsp. of so of the butter and brush sides of crust.
Pop in the oven until golden brown.
Maybe you should wait until it cools to dig in.
Or you could be a slob like me. Warmer is better right?

One tip -- It was a bit runny. Not that I really minded because I sopped up the liquid with crust. Classy.
Next time I might toss the fruit in cornstarch or a little flour.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Linking up with Gussy!

Today I'm linking back up with Gussy Sews


This week's prompt = Flowers

How appropriate. I just spent a few minutes earlier this week mourning over the loss of the only 2 flowers/plants I have been able to keep alive.
Thanks October Nor'Easter ::sigh::

So I decided to share some flowers that brighten my day
Peonies are my favorite. I never knew about them until I was jealously gazing at my neighbor's yard. There were these puffy, light pink balls of petals that looked so enticing. All I wanted to do was jump in the middle of these "mystery balls" and nestle in the silky softness. And then... like he was reading my mind... Emily came running back with an armful! I was hooked.

I clearly can't get enough of them.


And it's not like these ones are awesome or anything...

or these...

3, 4

It simply amazes me how these incredibly gorgeous, intricately delicate bundles of beauty can be born out of a tiny seed with just a little sunshine and rain. I'm also a sappy, girly-girl who cries when Mike brings me home flowers.
::hint, hint::
Lately it's been Emily bringing me flowers.
Well, dandelions... from the curb.. or dead mums.. ((thanks again Nor'Easter))

But I sure do love seeing how sincere she is with her "flowers for mommy"