Santa! I know him!

First off, thank you all for your kind words about my puppy, Lucy. She was 17 when she passed, so she lived a long life and we have so many good memories of her. I really appreciate all your sweet words.

On a happier note, can you believe Christmas Eve is tomorrow?! I love Christmas. I’m pretty much done wrapping (just need two tiny gifts I ordered my mom to arrive and then I’ll be DONE) and the apartment is all decorated.

I realized I never showed you pictures of my kitchen decorated, besides my cookie cutter craft. How rude of me!

Inspired by Pinterest, I put ribbon on my kitchen cabinets and hung our Christmas cards from it. I love how it looks. It’s fun to be able to see all the cards nicely on display.

The other side of the kitchen is our table, which in this picture is all decked out with alcohol for our party. Usually doesn’t so predominately display our love of wine and spirits…

You’ve seen our decorated living room before, but I figured I’d send you a little reminder.

I have to say, I love having the apartment decorated for Christmas! It’s so homey and warm in here. Why can’t we decorate like this all year long?

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL Christmas! I will chat with you all on Monday. xoxo

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Because Sometimes Baking is Hard

I am thankful for Pinterest. Seriously. I love poking around at new recipes, DIY ideas, decor concepts or even outfit inspiration pictures. Everything is located at one place and beyond easy to organize. That’s important to me, because I can’t tell you how many times I find something I love, and then completely forget where I saw it. But above all this, it just has the most awesome things on it. Like the no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies I made this weekend.

No, I’m totally not kidding.

And it was super easy. Just like no-bake cookies are supposed to be.

The ingredients were pretty simple: sugar, cocoa, butter, milk, vanilla, 1-minute oats and peanut butter.

First, you heat the cocoa, butter, sugar and milk until there is a rolling boil.

Then you add the peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal.

Once the ingredients are all mixed together, not only will it smell like heaven on earth, but it will look a little like this gloriousness.

Remove the pan from heat, and start spooning the mixture on a tray that is covered with parchment paper. Once I had finished spooning everything, I popped the tray in the fridge so they could really harden up.

Final product was a super sweet, super chewy treat.

Next time I make this (and you better believe there will be a next time) I think I might lessen the amount of sugar in the recipe. Don’t get me wrong, they were good…but VERY sugary. Perfect paired with a cup of tea while watching TV on the couch. AKA…every single night of the week.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar (again, next time I’m going to make it with less…probably 1 or 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 4 Tbsp Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 3 1/2 cups Quick cooking Oats
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla

Directions

  1. Combine butter, sugar, milk and cocoa ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Bring ingredients to a rolling boil, and let boil/combine for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in peanut butter, cooking oats and vanilla.
  4. Once ingredients are completely mixed together, let sit for one minute.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat source.
  6. Drop mixture onto wax/foil paper.
  7. Let cool until set; if they aren’t setting, put cookies in refrigerator until they are hard
  8. BON APPETITE!
Hope you enjoy!

Surf & Turf Saturday

Oh, Monday. We meet again, unfortunately.

Did anyone else have the world’s fastest weekend? Mine just flew. Even with the extra hour of sleep (which I am so very thankful for) I’m wishing we had a few more days to relax and unwind. A girl can dream, right?

John and I had a really nice Saturday night. I wanted to try out a new recipe, so we decided to pair the new with an old favorite — marinated skirt steak. The marinade is from my mother-in-law, and she can be super secretive about her recipes, so unfortunately I can’t share it. I don’t want to make her mad only 5 months into my marriage!

But I can share the new Cilantro Lime Shrimp recipe I found. It was extremely flavorful and different, but if you don’t like spicy, this is probably not the recipe for you.

First, I chopped a few cloves of garlic, an onion and jalapeno and threw it into my pan with some butter and oil.

Once the onions started to appear a little cooked, we added red pepper flakes and oregano.

While the onions were cooking, I chopped up two tomatoes. When the onions looked translucent, I threw the tomatoes in.

After the tomatoes cooked for a bit and seemed soft, I added a pound of split and deveined shrimp.

During this time I stirred the shrimp in the pan with the other ingredients, so they were able to soak up all the juices. When the shrimp seemed to have cooked through, I added salt, pepper and lime zest and juice. I stirred everything together, and removed the pan from the heat and added chopped cilantro.

While I was doing this, John put his steaks on our “indoor grill.”

The final product was amazing. How good do these shrimp look??

They were crazy flavorful. The jalapeno definitely packed a punch though, so if you aren’t into eye-watering meals I would suggest you skip this one. As for us, we’ll definitely be making this recipe again!

Ingredients

  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 tblsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, split and deveined
  • 2 tblsp. chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Melt butter and oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic, onion and jalapeno.
  3. Cook, stirring until the onion begins to wilt, approximately 3 minutes.
  4. Add the red pepper flakes and oregano.
  5. Continue cooking until the onion becomes translucent, approximately 3 additional minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes.
  7. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft.
  8. Add the shrimp, zest and lime juice, salt and black pepper.
  9. Cook until the shrimp are just opaque.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
  11. Eat ’em up!

Enjoy!

Magnetized by Love

Yea, this post is about magnets. What? Not thrilled?

I’m in desperate need for some new magnets. Who knew cute ones would be so hard to find? My niece loves to draw, and is always giving me pieces of art to display, so the three magnets I currently have are just not cutting it.

I know some people don’t like clutter on their fridge…but I’m not one of those people. I love throwing cards, invitations and the latest family masterpiece on there. Makes our apartment feel more cozy and “lived-in.”

But back to the problem at hand. I need magnets and can’t find any good ones anywhere! So I decided to do some internet searching, and found a couple really cute DIY ideas:

via Martha Stewart

via Etsy

via Pinterest

Buttons, corks, flowers…oh my!

My creative juices are definitely flowing and I feel a little magnet project in store for this weekend. So stay tuned for next week to see what I come up with!

I know displaying things on the fridge isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. What do you do? Do you prefer to hang things like artwork and invitations on your fridge, or do you like to keep things clean and clutter-free?

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

My Pinterest Challenge: Fall Edition DIY!

So I have a confession: I stalk Young House Love and the Bower Power Blog like it’s my job. So obviously I was very excited when they both posted that the Pinterest Challenge was happening again. I hadn’t started this blog when they held the last one, so this was my chance to get involved (and subsequently hope Katie and Sherry become my BFF’s).

Of course, deciding to participate was the easy part. The hard part was deciding what to make. Can I even make something? I’m not crafty! I can barely walk and listen to my iPod at the same time.

I’ve made a bunch of recipes from Pinterest before, but I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone and try to be the DIY expert that I so dream of becoming. So I decided to go for it.

I saw this awesome keyring holder on the blog My Sweet Savannah. Melaine actually saw this keyholder on Pinterest as well, but from an Etsy shop. It didn’t look too complicated, plus it’s something we genuinely need at the apartment. I’m constantly losing my keys (in my jewelry box, in the seat cushions, under the couch), so I need a place that I can put them whenever I come home from work or running errands.

So, there was my inspiration. Time to turn inspiration into real-life.

I started by going to Michael’s. I didn’t have any scrap wood lying around (I live in an apartment, so renovation scraps are hard to come by in these parts) and bought a cheap wall plaque. I also didn’t have any old baby blocks and didn’t want to spend money on buying a set just to spray paint, so I bought cheap wood blocks and letters. I had the stain already, so the items I needed to buy were limited. So I guess my overall theme for this project was “keep it cheap.”  Just how I roll.

To keep with the decor of my lovely mansion apartment, I decided to veer off My Sweet Savannah’s design and put a little Lewis in Love spin on it. I gave the wood a light sanding, and stained the plaque a dark brown.

Lookin’ good, right?

I then glued the wood letters to the blocks. Unfortunately, I did this a little sloppy (and was annoyed with how it looked after I painted), so if you end up doing this, I would suggest use the glue sparingly.

I gave the blocks a light sanding around the edges, and had my handsome husband screw cup hooks in the bottom of each block. Hey babe!

After that was done, I sprayed each “baby block” white.

Ooh, pretty.

Then, I used liquid nails to glue the blocks to my plaque. Obviously make sure you are happy with the location of each block before you do any gluing.

After the blocks were dry, it was time to hang up on the wall! I decided my new keyholder would live on the wall next to my front door.

We LOVE it. It goes perfectly with our decor and we needed it BIG TIME. With four cars between the two of us (only one of them is mine) it’s nice to finally have one spot where all the keys live.

Hooray! I actually made something!!

How did your Pinterest Challenge go? Thank you again to Sherry at Young House Love, Katie at Bower Power Blog, Ana of  Ana-White and Erin at House of Earnest for hosting this season’s Pinterest Challenge. I’m excited to see what you all created!

Oreo Heaven

Today’s post comes to you courtesy of my favorite website ever, Pinterest.

I recently found a recipe from Dinner with the Donnells for Oreo Truffles. Yes, you heard me right. OREO TRUFFLES. I obviously had to try this recipe out, especially after I saw how easy they were to make.

I try to avoid complicated recipes at all costs. Obviously. You’re talking to a girl who can screw up a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

Anywho, I digress. Back to the Oreo truffles.

To make these bad boys, you only need a few ingredients. Oreos, cream cheese and chocolate baking squares. With three ingredients, it can’t be that hard, right?!

The first thing I did was take the Oreo’s and pulverize them using my food processor.

Create a fine crumb out of the crushed Oreos.

I let the cream cheese soften, then mixed it with the Oreo crumbs. I found this difficult to do with a spoon, so I mixed everything together with my hands.

I took the mixture and formed little truffle balls.

I put the balls in the fridge, just to harden them a little bit. This is when I heated the chocolate squares.

When the squares were completely melted, I took the balls out of the fridge and covered them all in the chocolate-y goodness. At first I tried to be super neat about it, but got impatient with it. I’m no Martha Stewart over here!

Once all the truffles were covered with chocolate, I set them in the fridge to harden.

One more..

I let the truffles sit for about one hour and took a few out to sample. I personally thought it could sit in the fridge just a little more to get more of a crunch, but John thought they were fine just like that. And can I say…WOW.

Looks good right? Well, they didn’t just taste good…they tasted AWESOME! I think I impressed my husband, which is always a good thing. He even said he liked them better than the professional truffles we bought as favors for our wedding. And those truffles were incredible.

The best thing about this recipe is that it tastes like it took a lot of hard work, when really, it’s pretty simple. Gotta love treats like that.

 

Now excuse me, I have some truffles to go eat.

I just realized that this could sort of count as a Pinterest Challenge: Fall Edition submission! Since I cook recipes from Pinterest often, my official “entry” is going to be a DIY project for the apartment. I know…me? DIY something?? Well, I’m going to give it a whirl people! Not sure what exactly I’m going to make just yet, but I’m excited to do it!