September 27, 2013

For Your Listening Pleasure


To say my taste in music is eclectic would be an understatement, although I'm sure we all have that song on our iPod that makes us happy but we're slightly embarrassed about. Lately I've really been into the singer/songwriter genre of music.

Here are 5 of my most recent iTunes music downloads in that category -

1. February Seven - The Avett Brothers

2. I've Been Accused - Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons

3. Windows Are Rolled Down - Amos Lee

4. If you Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot

5. Baby Can I Hold You - Tracy Chapman


September 20, 2013

Scrapbook Layouts

I've found time to put together a few scrapbook pages recently. It seems the first layout takes a while but once I get going the rest come together a bit faster.

I have a Pinterest board of scrapbook layouts I like to refer to for ideas. This Squirrel Hunter page idea came from this Sketch Saavy sketch.

September 18, 2013

How to start a coffee habit

I can't even believe I'm writing this. It was only a year ago that I though coffee smelled horrible and tasted even worse.

It all started with a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. I saw all the ads and heard everyone rave about this seasonal, limited time offer beverage, I had to try it for myself. It was disgusting. I couldn't get over how much it tasted like coffee and not so much like pumpkin.

Then a friend told me to try a venti white chocolate mocha latte. She explained that the coffee to milk ratio was lower so it would have less coffee taste. She was right - it tasted more like sugary white chocolate mocha than coffee. 

I have been drinking tea for several years but it doesn't have nearly the caffeine coffee does. The energy  it gives me is amazing...obviously I'm on my way to a caffeine addiction.

Things were going well but really, this was more of a dessert than a cup of coffee. I justified it with the fact that since Starbucks was a 60 mile drive I didn't really have one that often. That all changed when I started ordering them from the local coffee shop. So now I was spending $5 a pop a couple times a week but worse, I was drinking all that sugar.

I started cutting back on the syrup flavoring, which is where most of the sugar comes from, from 3-4 pumps to just 1. Then I added an extra shot of espresso to get more coffee flavor and less milk flavor. My how my tastes changed in a year!

I now make my own latte's at home using this stovetop espresso maker.

Isn't it cute?!

It makes 3 perfect shots of espresso (I use this Lavazza Caffe Espresso). I pour this into my mug and add whole milk or coconut milk that I've heated up in the microwave. 

It tastes great and gives me that extra jolt of energy I need in the morning!

September 15, 2013

Wildcats Football

Jake started football this year and is loving it! For the next few weeks our Saturday mornings will be spent going to his games. Go Wildcats!

September 12, 2013

Do it Yourself Photo Ledge Shelves

I've had this blank wall in my livingroom that I've wanted to do something with but just haven't been sure what. Originally I thought it would be cool to put some sort of photo gallery there like these ideas from Pinterest.

I've also been looking at these tchotchke shelves from The Container Store thinking I could do something like this...

I decided on the shelves so I'd be able to change out the pictures plus have less holes in my wall. Since I'm married to a handy guy I showed him the photos and asked him to make some. I picked up a piece of crown molding at Lowe's and Tim had all the other materials in his shop.

They came together in no time! (I have no idea how much time they took but compared to some other projects this one was quick - ha!) I put two coats of white paint on them and they were finished.

It needs a little work but this is how it looks on my wall. Each shelf is 3 inches deep. The top shelf is 3 feet long and the bottom is 4 feet 6 inches long.

The great thing is being able to move things around, add items, remove items and just change things up!

September 9, 2013

Do it Yourself Roasted Almonds

I love almonds and eat a ton of them. I buy the big containers of Archer Farms raw almonds from Target then separate them into baggies to keep in my purse and at work.

Sometimes though I'm in the mood for the oily, salted, roasted variety. Rather than purchasing them already roasted, usually in unhealthy oils plus other ingredients, I make my own. It's super easy! Just put a couple tablespoons of coconut oil on a baking sheet and add your almonds and some salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. That's it!

One thing I've learned is that you need much less oil than you might think, so start with very little, you can always add more during the roasting time. I used about 3 Tablespoons for a 12 x 17 inch pan.

For something salty/sweet these pumpkin pie roasted almonds sound awesome. I think I will try those next!

September 8, 2013

Oversized Chunky Knit Scarf

I received a custom order request last week to make one of my knit infinity scarves in an oversized style. She sent me a photo of what she had in mind and after studying it I got to work.

This is what I came up with.
I shipped it out earlier this week. I love how it turned out and I hope she does too!