Friday, November 29, 2013

Life Lately

I took another wine and painting class, this time at Carlos Creek Winery!
1) Frost on the leaves of our tree in the backyard
2) Autumnal cupcakes for a fun girl's night in
3) Pretty flowers, can't resist!
4) Caribou Coffee's hot chocolate: my must-have every winter :)

This month has been about embracing the last days of autumn, getting crafty, and enjoying delicious Thanksgiving food :)  In Minnesota, a big deal is made out of deer hunting weekend.  So much so that various places have special events for the "deer hunting widows" (aka, the wives of the men who hunt all weekend long).  Although John isn't a hunter, I definitely took advantage of the events!  My mom and I spent a day shopping at an outlet mall that has crazy sales every hunting season opener.  The next day, I went up to a winery with some friends for a painting class!

Besides enjoying time with friends and family, I'm also wrapping up another semester of school.  I have bunches of papers to write, but no exams (thank goodness).  After this semester ends, I'll have a nice winter break followed by 8 weeks of classes, and then student teaching!  I'm so excited :)

Right now, though, I'm most excited about all the winter and Christmas blog posts I'll have coming your way!  I absolutely love Christmas, so I'm super eager to share some ornament ideas, home decor DIYs, and of course an occasional recipe.  Have a happy weekend!!
1) Homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner
2) Endless edits for final papers
3) The turkey!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On Being Thankful

Well, Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  I love the chance to pig out without remorse, but more importantly it's a time to be with family and friends, to be thankful for the great things you have.  I think that Thanksgiving is especially important to reflect on since it is directly followed by the most consumer driven holiday of them all: Christmas.  Now, I love Christmas probably 100 times more than your average bear, but I think that it's always important to remember and recognize the gifts we already have.

I am thankful for my husband, John, who will go to a masquerade dressed in a Luchador mask:

I am thankful for my smiley, happy, puppy, Inga...

who humors us by letting us do things like this to her:

I am thankful for my family, who as I am putting this post together, I realize we don't have a picture of from this year.  Thankfully, Thanksgiving will give us a chance to remedy that :)

I am thankful for this blog, because it keeps my creativity going and I've gotten to meet so many wonderful blogger friends.

I am thankful for so many many things, and I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving that helps you remember all the things you're thankful for.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipe: Granny's Green Bean Casserole

Well, after last week's series of super simple dinners (I think my favorite might be the pizzas), I figure it's about time for some Thanksgiving food!  So I pulled out Granny's green bean casserole (or "caserole" as she writes it) to make.

You will need:
  • 1 can (10 3/4) ounce cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • dash of pepper (which I always leave out- I have a sensitivity to black pepper!)
  • 4 cups cut up green beans
  • 1 1/3 cup french fried onions
Mix the soup, soy sauce, pepper (or not), beans, and 2/3 cup onions.

Put into a casserole dish.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Stir the casserole and top with the remaining onions.

Bake another 5 minutes, and enjoy!

I hope you are having a happy Monday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Leftover Chicken Quesadillas

It's less than a week until Thanksgiving!  Where has the time gone?!?

Since this week is all about easy dinners, I decided to end with leftovers.  Take the chicken from Wednesday's recipe and make it into tasty quesadillas.  Delicious!

Just add chicken, cheese, and any other filling you'd like between two lightly buttered tortillas.  Grill until golden brown.

I hope you all have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crockpot Chicken

This week, it's all about the super simple dinner.  Today, I've got some yummy chicken for you to try.

Variations of this have been floating around Pinterest for a while now.  This is my take:

  • 5-4 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Crock pot.
Simply dump your chicken in the crockpot, pour in your seasonings, and cook on low for 8 hours.

SO EASY!  When it's done, you can shred it with a fork and it makes the absolute best taco meat.

Totally doable :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Favorite Pizzas

Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese
It's the week before Thanksgiving, and let's be honest - the last thing most of us want to do is cook anything!  Thanksgiving dinner looms in the distance, and drive-thru sounds so tempting...  But there are some quick and easy dinners that you can whip up when the cooking gods just aren't speaking to you.  This week, I'm going to share some of my go-tos.

Today, I've got a bunch of perennial pizza favorites to share.  Pictured above is a recent pizza I made with store bought crust, canned artichoke hearts, bacon, tomato, and mozzarella.  Yum!
Fig and Prosciutto

What I love about pizza is that you can make my quick and easy crust in ten minutes, or just buy a couple thin crusts at the grocery story.  Slap on some toppings and dinner is basically done!
Tomato, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic reduction combine for a caprese pizza
What are your favorite toppings?

Friday, November 15, 2013

DIY "Be Grateful" Sign

I've got another DIY for you to try!  This month it's all about giving thanks for the things we have in our lives, and I thought that this simple sign was a perfect little reminder.

You will need:
  • Small board or plaque (I got mine at the dollar store and just painted over the design)
  • Brown paint
  • Cream paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil
  • "Be Grateful" print out
For the print out, I used the free font, Always Here.

First, paint your whole sign brown.  Mine took a few coats.

While it dries, scribble your pencil over the back of the "Be Grateful" printout. 

Then, once the paint on your sign is completely dry, lay the print out with the pencil rubbing face-down.  Trace the outline of the words.  The pressure of your pencil will transfer the graphite to the sign!
It's a little hard to see, but the outline is there!
Use the cream paint to trace over the letters.  This will likely take two coats.

Finally, use the handle end of your paint brush to add dots all around the edges. 

To make your dots evenly spaced, put one in each corner and one in the middle.  Continue adding dots to the middle of each section until you're happy with the spacing.

Ta da!

A totally doable reminder to be grateful for what you have.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Teacher Feature: A New Blog!

Hi everyone!  Happy Wednesday :)

As some of you know, I'm currently in school (again...), this time to become an English teacher.  I've decided to start a teaching blog to help organize some of my ideas for activities.  So, occasionally I'll have a teacher feature here on to show you something from the new blog, Kvinglish.  It definitely won't take the place of my regular blogging, though!

The first post with some content over there is all about a class I co-designed that explored the ways art and poetry can overlap, intersect, and converse with each other.  Check it out! :)
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