Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Five: Winter Skincare

To say that I am not so much into cosmetics would be an understatement. I don't keep up with makeup trends and I barely know how to apply foundation and coverup. My go to tends to be plain black eyeliner, long wear mascara, and lip balm. Sometimes I get brave and throw on some colored lipstick.

Despite my general lack of interest in most cosmetics, one thing I do care about is caring for my skin during winter. Where I live we have cold, dry, harsh winters. Even when it snows it is pretty dry. It makes wanting to cake on lots of products a pain and undesirable. Today, I am sharing five products I rely on in the winter months to help me love a little more radiant!
Friday Five: Winter Skincare

Monday, February 8, 2016

Around Here

Around here we are getting the odds and ends squared away in the new house. We still have plenty of boxes to get through but the most important things are in place. Above, you can see a little photo walk thru slideshow that we shared with our families the day we got keys.

Around here we are trying new things. We have been watching Nurse Jackie in the evenings after the kiddo is in bed. I know, I know. We are so late to the game with this one, but wow! this show is great. "Totchos" are now a staple! We've been experimenting with toppings. So far our favorite combination is BBQ Bacon Dog Totchos.

Around here we are celebrating a work promotion for Berkeley! We really weren't expecting it but it is so very welcome. Thankfully, this promotion has us in the White Mountains for plenty of years to come. It is so comforting to know that we won't have to move again for awhile now unless we want to. And believe me after two moves in 6 months, I am ready to plants some roots.

Lastly, I am on the hunt for a new planner. I had been using a Moleskine 18m weekly notebook but they aren't available for 2016-2017 yet so I am considering switching to something new. What do you use?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

BBQ Bacon Dog Totchos

The summer before starting this blog I worked at a 1950's style hot dog and ice cream joint! The dogs were steamed all beef franks and the ice cream was hand scooped with loved. One of my favorite weekly specials was our BBQ Bacon Cheese Dog! It was so good that I often try to recreate the flavors at home. When Influenster tasked me with create a unique nacho recipe using some OreIda tots, for some reason all I could think about was using the ingredients for my beloved BBQ Bacon Cheese Dogs.

Some grilled dogs, crispy bacon, gooey cheese, salty OreIda Tater Tots, and a drizzle of BBQ makes up an awesome platter of Totchos! I prefer the OreIda brand Tots to other brands because the flavor is perfect. It is the best balance of crispy, salty goodness on the outside and soft potato-y inside.

This Totchos recipe was an instant hit around here! It is super simple and a quick weeknight dinner idea. The first night we ate these was during a hockey game while enjoying beers. It is for sure to be a great dish for the upcoming "Big Bowl Game"!

BBQ Bacon Dog Totchos
  • 4 hot dog franks (I prefer all beef)
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 pkg OreIda TaterTots
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • BBQ sauce
  • 1 medium onion
  • sour cream (optional for serving)
  1. Preheat oven to 425*F and prepare the Tater Tots according to the package directions. 
  2. While the tots are cooking pan fry and crumble the bacon, then set aside. Cut franks into half inch chunks or "half moons" and brown. Set aside. 
  3. Once tater tots are finished cooking, arrange half in the bottom of a oven safe dish. Layer on half of the meats and onion, and then 3/4 c. cheese. Drizzle with BBQ sauce. Repeat saving 1/2 c. of cheese. 
  4. Return the oven and bake for another few minutes until the cheese is melted. 
  5. Remove from the oven sprinkle on remaining cheese and serve! Garnish with optional sour cream if desired. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Five: Polish For Winter

I have always lived in places where the winters are cold and either raining or snowing regularly. That means lots of layers. Being a practical person I tend to buy jackets and coats based on functionality first and then fashion! My favorite way to add a little bit of a pop to an otherwise boring outfit is a fun at home manicure. Below are a few of my favorite nail polishes for winter!
Friday Five: Polish For Winter

Pure Ice Home Run / Essie Imported Bubbles / New York Color Big Apple Red Creme /
 OPI Make Light of the Situation / Julep Vivienne

Friday, January 15, 2016

January | Currently

packing all the things... again (more to come later)
moving deeper into the woods
loving our impromptu DIY Christmas Card photos
hoping it get it framed and hung once we move into the new place
finishing up a holidays themed minibook
keeping after a very curious, fully crawling TinyKrueger
adoring the 8 month baby stage 
taking on his first (and hopefully only) ear infection
eating hearty and healthy winter meals
celebrating my youngest sister getting engaged
counting down the days until their wedding
having fun helping her find ideas for their big day
making lots of travel plans for the coming year
trying to get back on track with healthy eating
starting a new reading list
planning to thrive

Monday, December 14, 2015

Around Here

Around here we are settling in after an extended trip to visit my family in Northern California. We spent the first half of the trip camping for Thanksgiving. My heart is so full sharing some of my favorite holiday traditions with Berkeley and the little one.

Around here we are celebrating Berkeley's 30th birthday with homemade cakes and a baby-free dinner date! We got a delicious dinner at The Hotel Ledger in Mokelumne Hill, Ca, followed by a stroll through historic downtown.

Around here www are doing all the holiday related things! The second part of our trip to California aligned perfectly with a lot of their holiday events. Now that we are home we have been slowly putting up the Christmas decorations. I am slowly getting back in memory keeping with a seasonal minibook.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Handmade Christmas Invitations

One of the best things about living in a real house, as opposed to an apartment, is having reasonable space to host holidays for my rather large family. This year, we are hosting Christmas! And, to kick things off I wanted to make some handmade invitations.
All the materials and supplies I used were things I had here already. I'm in a bit of a "stash busting" season currently so it worked out perfectly. I started with a few sheets of an off white 12x12 piece of cardstock. I used a simple tree rubber stamp and a few shades of green and stamped a random "pattern" all over the page. Then I cut the paper to approximately 5.5in x 8inches and scored them so that the pattern was on the inside of the card.
Next, on a 5.5x4 pieces of subtly patterned paper, I used the same tree stamp to stamp trees in a row using the different inks. Then I got to work writing out the greeting. After all the trees were stamped and the writing was done, I adhered these front pieces onto the folded cardstock. On the inside, a little stamped and cut out banner label and more handwriting with all the details in black pen. I played around with a few different styles of writing.
After the cards were done, I had to figure out some kind of envelope. Again, I really wanted to use just what I had on hand but I didn't have any envelopes that reasonably fit. So I made them. We had a ton of brown paper sacks leftover from our wedding. It was as simple as measuring the length needed, stitching one end, putting in the invitation, and stitching the other end. I trimmed the excess, addressed and stamped them and sent them out.

So that's it! A small pile of handmade invitations done in a few hours time. It was a simple project that had a big impact that has me totally pumped for the holidays! I am so excited to have our new home filled with our loved ones this Christmas!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Five | Things I Am Looking Forward To This Season

Tis the season! It is the most wonderful time of the year! Deck the Halls! Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow!

Since I was little, I have always waited for this coming weekend with bated breath. Growing up, we were in year round school. Each "track" was in school for 3 months and then had a whole month's vacation with a two week summer vacation between school years. The track we were on had December vacation but with the holidays we were out of school the day before Thanksgiving and didn't go back until the first week of January. Who doesn't love having 6 weeks off of your job (or school in this case)?!

Of course as the years go by you get older and have other obligations that don't allow you to just take six weeks off. As such, the magic of the season had faded a little. It got muddled by everything else that has to be done in between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This year is different though. I haven't been this excited about the winter holiday season for quite sometime. I am sure motherhood has something to do with it. Let's be honest. It has a lot to do with it. However, there are some other things that I am looking forward to and I am going to share a few of them below.

Thanksgiving Family Camp // My family has been doing some variation of a Thanksgiving Camping trip since my dad was a kid and this year we are joining them. I am so excited for this. I haven't been able to do this trip for over 10 years! Now it is something I get to share with both Berke and the baby. This usually ends up being a trip with several of our family and friends' families being there. Nothing makes it feel more like the holidays than being surrounded by those you love!

Baking // Our holidays were always marked by the baking of very specific recipes. These are treats that are only made this time of year. I am hoping that while we are visiting family we can do a great deal of baking. Also, Berkeley's 30th birthday is coming up and I have an awesome surprise in the works!

Seasonal Lay Off // I used to dread Berkeley's lay off at the end of Fire Season which could be any time between late September and early November. With his promotion in this past spring came the possibility of a longer season. He has worked later this year than any year previous and will be starting early than ever before. We were able to get enough saved to cover our needs during his seasonal lay off that he won't need to find a winter job unless he wants to. It will be the first time for us as a couple that neither one of us is dictated by having to work holidays. Once Berkeley is laid off, the rest of the year will be ours to what we want, when we want!

The Food // There is just something about winter to food that makes it so much better than food any other time of the year. No matter how fatty or healthy it is every fall/winter dish seems so warm and filling!

Christmas Morning // Between having the baby and not having to work Christmas this year, I am looking forward to Christmas Morning so much! I can not wait to pass along our traditions and family traditions to the baby.

That's my list. How about you? What are looking forward to this season?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November | Currently

keeping warm as winter is knocking on the door
preparing for the epic snow and wind that is forecasted
wearing flannels and leggings with boots
using our new library cards
bringing home piles of books for us all
loving our nightly baby bedtime routine
chasing the little army crawler back and forth across the living room
marveling at how fast he is growing up
celebrating TinyKrueger's half birthday
practicing new recipes
working on a couple different paper projects
excited to be sharing them soon-ish
drinking black coffee in the morning and red tea in the evening
looking forward to next week's festivities
searching for rugs for various rooms in the house
rearranging furniture to best host guests
writing Christmas lists
decking the halls with holiday decor
welcoming our first winter and holiday season in the White Mountains

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Around Here

Around here autumn has been shaping up to be one of the best yet. Teddy is just about 6 months and it has been the funnest age so far! He is moving all over the place between rolling and his little army crawl.

Around here Berkeley has reached the slow part of his work year which means he is getting home early allowing me all sorts of time for working on creative projects. Weekends are spent relaxing and slowly getting the odds and ends unpacked. Recently, we have become slightly addicted to playing Rummy.

Around here, Halloween is a big deal in the area, so we dressed Teddy up and braved the town-wide Trunk R Treat. The temperatures dropped suddenly so I gathered all the pieces for a handmade Hobbit costume. It was quite fun!

This has been such an awesome season for us, but I am looking forward to the magic of winter and the winter holidays.
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