Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Egg Nog Upside Down French Toast

A month ago I was browsing down the aisles at one of my favorite grocery stores 
when a sweet lady offered my son and I a sample of Egg nog and
this amazing Egg nog French Toast recipe.
She raved about it and I promised her I would make it.
Oh I am so glad I did.

It's way too good not to share and 
I know we will be making it at least every Christmas season!

Egg nog Upside Down French Toast
(* note the recipe calls for over night refrigeration!!!)
2T corn syrup
1/2 c butter, melter
1 C brown sugar
 2 eggs  beaten
1 1/2 C Egg nog
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
Ground cinnamon and nutmeg
French bread
Whipping Cream

Directions: Combine corn syrup, butter and brown sugar and melt over low heat. Pour into a greased 9X13 pan. Slice French bread into 2 inch thick slices and place on top of the syrup mixture. Mix the eggs, egg nog vanilla and salt together and pour over the bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon and  nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate over night. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-55 min. Serve with whipped cream!!!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Calendar!!

It's done!!
I am finally done with my Advent Calendar and seriously- just in the nick of time!
I sewed my last ornament last night and couldn't be happier with how it turned out!!


Here are a couple of my favs
Angel (inspired by an angel ornament we had on our tree growing up)

Ok I really love them all

 I had a hard time making my ornaments small so if there is a next time making one of these- I will make my tree a bit bigger- but overall- it works!!
It took A LOT of time and work, but I am so glad I did it and think it will make many fun Christmas memories for my children!
Thanks again Jill for the great idea!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rain Gutter Book Shelves

Over the Thanksgiving break while I had my husband's undivided attention-
 I put him to work on a project I have been wanting to get done for a long time!!

Rain Gutter Book Shelves

My friend told me about this idea she saw over at
U create and after I saw them in her home, I knew I had to have them!!!
Someone came up with the idea to use a rain gutter as a book shelf...... genius!

This would not have been an easy project if my husband didn't do everything- but since he did- it was one of my favorites projects yet!!

My boy loves his little shelf!! It's so fun to have a place to display and store some of his books
You can find all the info and directions here

(Iowa girls, I have some left over- let me know if you want one for way cheap!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

I {Heart} Pumpkin

This is by far one of my all time favorite Thanksgiving decorations
I feel like it does a pretty good job explaining my LOVE for pumpkin!
I'm pretty much obsessed with it!
 Back in nursing school, it was such a delight to find out that my 3 close friends all loved pumpkin just as much as me. One day, my friend brought a whole book of pumpkin recipes to pharmacology class and so of course we all spent the whole class period copying down recipes. I even made my other friend get a little teary eyed when describing Cold Stone's pumpkin pie ice cream combo. So great!!

So since it's Thanksgiving week, I thought I would share our favorite pumpkin pie recipe. 
It was made very clear by my dear husband that his mom's pumpkin pie was his favorite and the only one he would truly love. After 5 years of perfecting it, I would agree- it's pretty delicious.....

So here it is....
Extra Good Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 c canned or mashed cooked pumpkin
3/4 C sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t ginger
1 1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 2/3 c evaporated milk (one can)
Combine pumpkin, sugar, spices, salt. Add eggs, mix. Add milk, blend. Pour into a 9 inch pie crust. 
Bake 400 for 15 min then reduce to 325 and bake 45 min longer
 or until knife inserted comes out clean

Pumpkin pie not your thing?? (btw... I feel sad for you :) !!)
Here are some other pumpkin recipes that may fill the void.....
 Dana from the MADE blog made my life when she posted about her love for pumpkin and had a Submit your Pumpkin Recipe series- you can find SO many great recipes here

Also, we had these last night- they were very tasty!!!
here is another amazing pumpkin list
I made these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls last week- (recipe found here at Idea Room)
and they didn't disappoint!

I better stop now...

Happy eating!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Major Crush....

on this wreath!
Seen over at Oh Happy Day

Info on how to make it here at Pickles.
If I didn't have 100 things on my to do list, maybe I would attempt to make this... maybe. 
But for now, I will just have to enjoy looking at it

TuRkEy HeAdBaNd!!

My craft addiction started full force with this project last year

Like my son's skeleton costume, my inspiration came from Pottery Barn.
It was one of my first projects where I had no formal directions, just an idea to go off of.
Looking at it this year, I realize there are many things I could have done differently (like making the feathers a little bit smaller...) -
 but the fun is in learning right....
Overall, this was a fun project and taught me that homemade opposed to store bought can sometimes be more exciting!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

This soup is SO tasty and perfect for a cold fall day. 
We had it tonight and it just hit the spot so I thought I better share!!
(recipe from Favorites..like always!)

3 T butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 T flour
1 (14 1/2 oz) can chicken broth
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2"cubes
1/2 t salt
1/4 t white pepper
1/4 t black pepper
1 t dried basil
dash Tabasco sauce
1/2 t garlic salt
1 cup half & half

Garnish with:
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
Crumbled Bacon
Chopped green onions
(these are ALL a must!!)

Melt butter in a pan on medium heat. Add onion and saute for 2 min. Sprinke flour over the onions and cook about 5 min, stirring often. Gradually add chicken broth. Add potatoes salt, white and black pepper, basil, Tabasco and garlic salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 min. Stir occasionally. Stir in half and half; heat through. Serve with garnishes. Serves 4, but doubles easily


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Banner

 My mantle was looking pretty plain this year after putting all my Halloween decor down. Even though it is a short time until we will put up our Christmas decorations, I decided to make something to spruce it up.
I pulled a couple ideas I have seen recently together and came up with this

This was pretty simple, just took a bit of time to put together.
I cut each of my squares 6X8 (however now measure 5X7 after front and back pieces sewn together) 
As you can see, this is not hanging up on my little mantle- it was way too big but I like it this way- so you can  obviously adjust your square size to fit where you want it to go

My letters are felt and embroidered on using a back stitch
I originally planned
 on attaching rings onto each little panel through an eyelet
and then threading some sort of rope through but
in the end decided on using ribbon to attach everything together
-I still may change it later on, but for now, I am happy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Free Holiday Cards from Shutterfly.....

One of my many FAVORITE things about the holiday season is sending and receiving Christmas cards. It is something I think about and plan for at least 6 months out of the year. As a child, I would love opening the mail each day to see whose Christmas cards we received! 
This year, I came across some amazing cards and a great deal over at Shutterfly

Not only are these holiday cards darling and festive, they are affordable.
So many cute ones to choose from

I love the font on this one

 Fun and unique design

Can't go wrong with a little Christmas polka dots

I just love everything about this one

(I even left out some of my favorites that I may use for our family's card)

They even have super cute invites for all your Christmas parties you plan to throw!!

In the past, I have just made my own Christmas cards, 
but this year, I am having a hard time passing up this great offer

So my Blogging Friends....
Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? 
for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Advent with Jill

There is a reason why Jill and I are friends
This being one of them!!
(Jill, seriously- why didn't we just sit around the dorms and craft all day... ha!)

Check it out 
If you know me then you know I am all about
 any project involving an advent calendar and felt

Can't wait to get started!!
(p.s. and by posting this I am now obligated to complete this project, please hold me to it!!)

Oh and here is a link to the amazing Advent Jill is going off of!!!

Anyone else joining in on the fun??

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hopscotch Mat

I saw this Hopscotch Mat a couple months ago and fell in love

I love everything about it and want to just jump into the picture every time I look at it.

I decided I wanted to make one myself and thought the massive amount of felt I had left over from my felt playhouse (pics coming soon) would work great for this project!

This wasn't the quickest project and definitely took some time in the measuring, pinning and sewing departments but overall a fun and enjoyable project!

Add a beanbag using this tutorial and you are set!
Hope my son's friend likes it!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Book

This is such a GREAT idea!! I am totally starting one this year!!
Eighteen25 shared how every year on Thanksgiving everyone writes down what they are thankful for in the book of thanks. They also include a picture of the group they celebrated with that night and post it in next to the entries!
What a great way to remember the holiday and the reasons why we celebrate it!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Skeleton Costume

Awhile back, while brainstorming costume ideas for my son... I came upon this
The minute I saw it, I knew I needed to have it-
that is until I came back to reality and realized I probably shouldn't be spending $50 on a costume.
I went back into Pottery Barn Kids a couple times to check it out (always just to torture myself) and decided that I could make it myself.
And I did. 
I found some black sweats and long sleeve shirt at Walmart for cheap
and bought 1/4 of a yard of felt @ 50% off
Grand total: $7
I used Pottery Barn's costume as a general reference, cut out some bones and hand sewed them on. Took maybe 3 hrs max and I was done!!
(I liked the look of hand sewn better- think how much quicker this would be on the machine!)

It was such a fun costume to make and looks pretty stinkin cute on

Wouldn't you say!!
We had our first Halloween activity today and got to try it out
Let the fun festivities begin!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Pillowcase!!

I made this a couple weeks ago for a little Halloween present for my son. 
It was a breeze to make and such a fun gift to give!!
 I used the tutorial on the MADE  blog here which was fabulous.

This could also serve multiple purposes!!
When I was probably too old to go trick or treating I took my pillowcase out as my bag and I must say, you can hold way more candy when you bring one of these!!

 I ended up making another one for my son to use after Halloween! Not going to lie, I could have made twenty more they were so quick and easy. 
I'm already on the lookout for some Christmas fabric!!

 If you are looking for a fast, fun project, this is the one for you!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Rose Wreath

Ok a break from all the soup for a sec

I had to post this great project!
My friend showed me a wreath she had made last week 
and the minute I saw it I knew I had to make it too.
It's such a fun quick craft and perfect for the fall season
(actually, like always, I want to make one for every season!)
You can find the tutorial here
and another persons take on it here!!
{F.Y.I - For our wreaths, we used 1/4 yard yellow fleece, 1/4 yard green fleece and 1/4 yard brown felt. It was the perfect amount!!}

(just dont even mind the ridiculous amount of shine in some of these pics k!)
Happy Fall

Thursday, October 7, 2010

White Chili

Day 4
White Chili
This recipe will blow your minds, it's that good!!
You must try it out

White Chili

1-2 Tbs. olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 - 4 oz can chopped green chilies

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp. cumin

1 1/2 tsp. oregano

4 chicken breats, cooked and shredded (I like to season the chicken with salt & pepper before I add it)

5 cups chicken broth

3 - 16 oz cans of white beans, undrained

3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded (I like to use Peppered Monterey Jack Cheese for a little extra kick)

Saute onions, green chilies and garlic in olive oil and add spices. Combine beans, broth, and chicken with onion mixture. Stir over medium heat and gradually add the grated jack cheese. Stir until all cheese is melted and combined well with other ingredients. Heat to desired temperature.

Recipe from The Coterie- Any recipe my friend posts is delicious!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tortilla Soup

Day Three

This recipe is from my good friend and we LOVE it! 
I have craved this soup MANY times during this pregnancy-
It's just delicious!

Tortilla Soup

1 Yellow Onion
Cilantro (about 1/3 of the bundle)
1 t Minced Garlic
1 Can of Diced or Stewed Tomatoes
1/2 t Cumin
1 t Crushed Red pepper
4 C Chicken Broth
2-3 Chicken Breasts, Cooked and Shredded

Fry the sliced onion, chopped cilantro, and garlic in a little bit of oil. Puree this mixture with the tomatoes in a blender. Return the sauce to the frying and add the cumin. Simmer 5-6 minutes until the sauce thickens. In a separate pot bring the chicken broth to boil, add the red pepper, chicken and sauce (some people also add corn). Simmer 15-20 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve with tortilla chips and a little cheddar cheese on top. Or (our personal favorite) serve with quesadillas for dipping.