Monday, February 28, 2011

Faith Hope & Love {but the greatest is love!}

As you know, I got a Cricut for Christmas (I seriously love it!) and have already created some gifts with it.  My latest tile I made was for my FMIL for her birthday.  I love how this one turned out too...

Faith Hope Love...but the greatest is love

My FMIL loved her tile!

I was inspired by one of my favorite bible versus, 1 Corinthians 13, 1-13.  I love it!!  It was really easy and inexpensive.  The tile was maybe $1.50 at Home Depot, 1 sheet of vinyl (didn't even use a whole sheet) was approximately $3.33 (got it from Wal-Mart, I need to start ordering it from somewhere else that's cheaper), and I already had the cartridge (Inspired Hearts for the wording, Accent Shapes for the shape things, and Plantin SchoolBook for the "but the greatest is love").  I think the main words I did at 3" (I think I did LOVE a little bit bigger).  I can't remember how big I did the bottom words.  The stand is from Hobby Lobby.

I'm currently working on finishing up a Subway Tile for Spring...I can't wait to show you!!

I'll be linking up too...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
The Shabby Chic Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Paisley's Passions
Lovely Crafty Home
Just a Girl

Friday, February 25, 2011

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

When I make Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, I normally use the Alfredo sauce that comes in the jar (like Newman's or Ragu), but this time I wanted to try to make it from scratch.  So I did a little browsing on the internet and came across a couple, and then narrowed it down to this one.  It sounded simple and yummy!  I'd have to say that this Alfredo Sauce is the best I've ever had!!  It was so rich and creamy, you can bet I won't be buying the stuff that comes in the jar next time around!!  I tweaked the recipe a little, added some more seasonings, garlic clove, and milk on top of what the recipe called for. 

Basic Ingredients (minus milk, and other seasonings)
1/4 cup butter (per Thrifty Mom is has to real butter or it will get really oily)
1 cup heavy cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese (from other recipes I've read it needs to be the shredded kind not the powdery kind that comes in the shaker. I used the Italian Blend (Parmesan and Mozzarella), worked perfectly)
1/8 teaspoon Pepper (I used a lot more than that, I like a lot of pepper in my Alfredo Sauce)
2-4 tbsp Milk (more or less for your liking, it was too thick which is why I added Milk)
1 Garlic Clove, minced (my addition)
Italian Seasoning (maybe 1 tbsp, but mainly to taste, my addition)
Garlic Salt (to taste, my addition)
Salt (to taste, my addition)
Favorite Noodles, cooked
Chicken Breasts, cut and cooked as desired

1. Cut and cook Chicken Breasts as desired (I seasoned mine with Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning, and Garlic Salt), and set aside.
2. Boil Noodles and cook until done
3. While Noodles are boiling, put the minced Garlic and Butter into pan on medium heat(I used the same pan as I cooked the Chicken, it was already hot and ready to go), add Heavy Cream, Cheese, and Pepper. Stir it together until its well blended (must be on medium heat or it won't set up right).
4. Continue to stir it and once there are a couple of bubbles, take the pan off the heat (don't let it come to a full boil or the oil will separate.
5. If it is too thick for your liking, this is where you'll add in the milk, continue to stir.
6. Add in the remaining seasonings to taste (salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning).
7. Once you have the sauce to where you want it, add in your chicken, stir together.
8. Serve over your favorite pasta!
Chicken was added and almost ready to eat!

I'm telling you, you must give this a try!!  The sauce is so rich, nutty (from the cheeses) creamy, cheesy, that you'll fall in love with it!!

And yes, that is a toasted english muffin with butter and garlic!

Linking up to...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
The Shabby Chic Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Paisley's Passions
Not So Homemade 
Just A Girl

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Colorado Getaway!

D and I left for Denver on Thursday morning.  We wanted to have a long weekend to celebrate his birthday, visit his best friend Blake, and go skiing.  Blake actually lives downtown Denver, which is such a cool area.  We were within walking distance to local breweries, bars, and nice restaurants.  Every time we walked downtown we went right by Coors Stadium where the Colorado Rockies play!

I can see the mountains...getting closer to Denver!
Closer and closer!

Thursday when we got there, we went to get our ski's and some ski gear (gloves, pants, goggles, etc) downtown.  It didn't take me long to realize that everyone drives crazy there!!  After that we went back to his condo and got ready to go out for dinner and drinks.  D's college friends (Dustin and Felicia) live in Aurora so they came to meet up with us.  We went to Ling & Louies, which was this amazing Asian Restaurant...similar to PF Changs.  After supper we headed back to Blake's condo to hang out for a bit, and then it was time for us to hit the sack.

Downtown Denver
Friday we got up at 5:30am to make sure we were up and ready and left at 7 to head up to the mountains.  We went to Keystone Mountain and skied from 9am until 4pm.  I am so bummed that I didn't take any pictures.  I guess I was too busy trying to work up enough courage to make it down the mountain, back up, and down again several times.  Actually to be honest, D had the camera the whole time and skied ahead of me most of the day.  The first time down the mountain Blake didn't actually realize how bad I was and how terrified I was, so he decided that taking me down a blue would be a greaaaat idea.  Yeah...not so much.  It took like a good 1.5 hours for us to get down.  It was really scary for me.  After that, we made sure to stay on the greens.  We ate lunch at Kickapoo Tavern on the resort, which had some of the best nachos I've ever had.  After lunch I went back down a few different times, and I was done.  I was cold, tired, sore, and ready for a beverage.  Felicia and I sat in the Inxpot Coffee Shop.  This place was cool!  They had coffee, beer, mix drinks, and food.  I've never been in a coffee shop like that before.  D, Blake, and Dustin decided they were done at about 5:30.  By then the temp had dropped, wind picked up, and the snow was starting to ice over.  Back to Denver we went, it took us about 2 hours to get home.  We picked up some awesome pizza (can't remember the name of the place) on our way home, showered, and all were asleep by 10pm.  We were so tired!!

Invesco Field where the Broncos play

Mountain shot

Saturday we went and ate lunch at Highland Tap and Burger, which was probably one of the best burgers I've ever had.  D and I both had the Bacon Cheese was it juicy!!  The weather was so nice we sat out on the patio, I drank Bottomless Mimosa's for $9, and D and Blake had their Bloody Mary bar.  The Mimosa's were sooo yummy!!  After that Blake took us to a flea market, which was very interesting to say the least.  Saturday night we walked downtown and went to Blake Street Tavern where we ate supper, and had a few beers.  D and I had the French Dip Sandwich, and it was deeelish!  From there we went to Brothers, which used to be The Real World Denver home (don't believe me, read here).  And across the street was Cowboys.  Both places were super packed, but we had a lot of fun.  Here are some pics from Saturday...

Yummy Mimosa!

D and I heading into the Flea Market

Group shot at Blake Street Tavern

D, Blake, and Wade having a little fun at Brothers!

Sunday I wasn't feeling the greatest, which probably had nothing to do with everything I drank on Saturday and had everything to do with the elevation!  D and I went to eat at Jack-N-Grill, and ordered their famous 7lb burrito to split.  This 7lb burrito was featured on Man vs Food, and I don't think Adam ever finished it.  It has 5lbs of grilled tators, 12 scrambled eggs, 1/2lb ham, 1/2 of cheese, onions, and choice of green or red chile sauce!  We split it, Dustin ate his half and I barely touched it.  It was a mammoth!  It was good, but it would have been even better if there was more meat inside.  Here is our progress (or should I say Dustin's progress?!)...

7lb Burrito in all its GLORY!

showing a little progress

And we're throwing in the towel!
D made it about half way, notice my side is barely touched!
 After that we went to Castle Rock outlets.  I just haaaad to go to the Coach Outlet store.  They were having a haaaauuuuuggge sale!  Their clearance was an additional 50% off, and then they gave everyone a 30% off your entire purchase coupon.  I was in love!!  But I was also ready to get the heck out of that place, there was lines everywhere.  I did wind up getting their Signature Sling Pack for about $59 (originally $128).  I was stoked!!!  We fell in love with Castle Rock and can't wait to go back!

Just like this, only bronze instead of pink!
 On our way back to KS, we took a scenic route for about 1.5 to see some pretty country!  God is amazing!

One last shot from Castle Rock
So open and beautiful!

God sure is amazing, isn't he?

Sorry for the novel, but I wanted to share our experience with all of you!!!

Here are some "next time" musts...
-lots of Dramamine (for the nauseated feeling from elevation and crazy drivers)
-must get up early enough to eat at SNOOZE in downtown Denver(heard it's the best place for brunch, and the long lines have to stand for something)
-make a day trip out of the outlets
-make it over to the famous Cherry Cricket (also featured on Man vs Food)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wahoo {and 7 random things about me!}

So I've received 2 awards and I thought I should do a little shout out to those 2 fun ladies!!  Erin over at Making Memories gave me my very first award awhile back, but I never did anything with it (I wasn't sure what to do!).  So THANK YOU Erin for being an awesome bloggy friend and giving me my very first award!! :)  (Sorry I'm just now doing something with it!)  While D and I were away up in the Mountains this past weekend, my very awesome/funny cousin from Washington gave me my second award!!  Alicia, all of your posts make me laugh until I pee my pants...well not literally, but pretty darn close!!  We have gotten into lots of trouble together over the years when she comes back to's just what we do!! :) And again, THANK YOU!

Ok so I guess this is where I get to tell you 7 random things about me (and I'm going to go ahead and clarify this for all of you, I'm NOT very good at this type of stuff!).

#1 I'm not a very good skier.  Yep, we were just up in the mountains skiing and I proved to myself that I'm not a very good skier.  Matter of fact, there was a few (ok more than just a few) times that I was scared out of my mind to go down the mountain, and it was really frustrating.  Especially when you see all of those little 5-6 year olds flying down with no poles without a worry in the world.  Here I am 24 years old and could barely bring myself to go down alone.

#2 I don't like to sleep alone in our bed.  I sleep the best when D is laying next to me.  If I go to bed earlier than him, I don't fall asleep until after he's in bed snoring.  It doesn't matter how tired I am, I just can't do it.

#3 I secretly would love to open up my own bakery shop!  I would also want to sell coffee and fun home decor and gifts in my bakery shop.  Our small town needs something like this, however someone is getting ready to put in a coffee shop that will also have lunch.  I just want to have a bakery and maybeeee coffee, that has fun gifts!

#4 I love to cook and bake!  D  calls me "BETTY CROCKER ON CRACK", because I'm always cooking or baking something.  I love to try random recipes that I find in cookbooks and throughout blog land.  The ones with pictures are wayy better than the ones without...just make the food sound that much better!  That also kind of goes along with me secretly wanting to have my own bakery!

#5a I dislike the following foods: Seafood (yes, anything that swims or resides in the water), Salads (yeah like lettuce, spinach, etc), Oranges (though I like Mimosas and Screwdrivers!), Tomatoes (however I'm in love with salsa, ketchup, and rotel though...weird I know!), Sauerkraut (I'm German and I can't stand it...if I have to eat it there better be an abundance of mashed tators near), and a really long list of veggies and other fruits.  In all reality I'm totally a meat and potatoes kind of gal!
#5b I love the following foods: Beef, Chicken, Potatoes, Zucchini, Jalapenos, Sweet Red Bell Peppers (Orange and Yellow are yummy too), Green Beans, Spaghetti, Pizza, Greek Yogurt, Peanut Butter, Pancakes...I like a lot of unhealthy foods! 

#6 I'm the only granddaughter on my dad's side of the family.  I grew up with 2 brothers and 9 boy cousins.  Growing up I was a tomboy, but not so much anymore.  I still like to do "tomboyish" things, but I'm more of a girly girl!  They taught me all sorts of stuff and would always try and get me into trouble...however, it would usually backfire on them, because I was the  only granddaughter and the baby!! 

#7 I love to travel.  I've been to a lot of states in the US (Off the top of my head: CO, OK, TX, NE, SD, ND, WA, WY, MT, AZ, CT, FL, GA, IA, MO, NM, TN, and allover KS).  I've also been to Europe (Germany, Poland, Austria, and Czech Republic).  I'd say my favorite place in Europe was Krakov, Poland!  The people were super nice, everything was cheap, beautiful country, and had some of the best pizza I've ever eaten there (random, I know!).  I would love to go back to Europe!!

Ok so there you have it...there are some random facts about me!

Now it's my turn to give out some awards...I'm going to do 2 since I never did anything with my first award until now!!

First award goes to...MICHELLE over at CRAFTS AND CRAP!!  I stumbled upon her blog awhile back and I fell in love!!  She has yummy recipes that she posts, and she does a lot of fun crafts with her Cricut.  Not too mention she is a Kansas girl!! :)  Go check her blog out!!

Second award goes to...HALEY over at AT HOME WITH HALEY!!  Haley is always making something very yummy and blogging about it!  She also hosts a weekly linky party called "Recipes I Can't Wait to Try".  Be sure to go check out her blog!!

Michelle and Haley, it's your turn!!  Grab your award above and pass it on if you'd like!! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today is D's birthday and I wanted to give him a little shout-out on my blog!!
This morning we're off on a little get-away and won't be back until Sunday!! We're going to Colorado to stay with D's best friend, going skiing, maybe tour a local brewery, maybe go to an improv show...who knows exactly!  It should be a good time, and it's very much needed!  We haven't been on vacation for almost a year.  Sure we go out of town a lot, but there is always something fun that we have to attend.  This is a "just for fun" trip, nothing is really planned (just the skiing part). 

Here we are jumping waves in South Beach, FL last March!

Though we won't be sitting on the beach, we'll still have a lot of fun!  I haven't been skiing since highschool, and before that I was like 6...should be very entertaining!! I hope to get a lot of awesome pictures to share with all of you!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Valentines Day & a fun gift for D!

I hope you all had a happy Valentines Day!!

Yesterday morning  I was getting ready to leave for work (and I was actually going to be on time too!), and I hollered at D to tell him I was leaving.  Come to find out he was in the basement doing something and told me that I couldn't leave just yet.  I told him I had to get going or I would be late (he would be late too!), but he told me again that I couldn't leave yet!  Next thing you know he's running up the stairs, around the corner, and has these gorgeous flowers in his hands and some candles!!  Yes, it really was sweet and unexpected!  So yeah I was a few minutes late to work, but in the end it was totally worth it!  I LOVE the flowers and the candles!

Pretty flowers from D!
Close up!
I couldn't wait to get off work yesterday, because I needed to make a quick (and simple) card for D and set out his gift.  I barely had his card finished and here he came walking in the door.  So I told him to go shower and cleanup while I get his stuff ready, and told him to take a little bit longer than normal so I would have time to get everything together.  Here is the everything together (candles, flowers, cookies, and D's gift)...

D's gift, simple card,
Vday Cookies with conversations hearts
(btw, what happened those things aren't as fun as they used to be?!),
and the everything together.

I know you can't really see it, but D's gift is a variety 6 pack of Samuel Adams beer, with some fun/loving/cheesy labels on them.  I found the idea over at Make the Best of Everything; Kristen made these for her hubby and I thought they would be perfect for my fiance!  So thank you Kristen for inspiring me!  I used some of her fun sayings and came up with a couple of my own.  The beer was like $15 for a 12 pack, so the other 6 I just put in the fridge without being decorated.  So not only was it a cheap gift, but he LOVED it!  He loves craft and mircobrew beers!  I didn't have a little 6 pack holder thing so I had to become creative and found one of those pop-up gift boxes and I wrapped it in Valentines tissue paper.  Kristen used craft foam and I used cardstock that was sticky on the back (worked perfectly!), and I also used some non-stick card stock for the base of my card. I used my Cricut to cut out the labels and letters, and used a sharpie to do some of the decorating.  I also used my Cricut to make the heart and letters for his card.  I found some L-O-V-E suckers at wal-mart, along with the candy on the front (some of his fav candy!) that I taped on.  Check it out...

D reading his card (aww...!)

Love Lager (Boston Lager)! and Happiness Enhancer (White Ale)!
(he doesn't need beer to be happy, but its funny!)

I Love U "Beery" Much (Scotch Ale)! and Rye Ale for My Fav Male (Revolutionary Rye Ale)!

Kiss Me I'm Irish (Irish Red)! and Noble Pils for My Noble Man (Noble Pils)!

Here they are again!
Love how this turned out!

He ended our Valentines Day by grilling up some steaks, zucchini, red peppers, and potatoes for supper.  He enjoyed trying a couple of his new beers and I enjoyed a glass of Relax wine (if you haven't tried it and you like Riesling, you must give it a try!).  I love my fiance!!! :)

Linking up to...
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sugar Cookies and Buttercream Frosting (and FMIL Bday!)


Yesterday was D's moms (my future mother in-law!) birthday!  I had asked he what kind of dessert she wanted and she decided she wanted sugar cookies instead of cake!  That was perfect, because I found this awesome Sugar Cookie recipe over at Nifty Thrifty Things and I wanted to make some for Valentines Day.  So late Saturday night after getting home from a really quick trip to my {small} hometown I whipped up a batch of the cookie dough and chilled it overnight.  And then on Sunday morning I rolled the dough out, cut into shapes (hearts, I <3 U, puckered lips, etc...).  The lips were for Penny, because she's always leaving lipstick kisses on anyone and everyone!  It's her trademark!!  I also made some homemade  PINK buttercream frosting, a recipe from my old co-worker (shout out to Sheila if you're reading this, miss you girl!!), it's the best frosting I've ever had on sugar cookies, I think!!! 

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:
2 sticks Butter, softened (or 1 cup)
3 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
pinch of Salt
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Almond Extract (optional) - I didn't have any, so I left it out
3 cups Flour

1. Cream butter and cream cheese together until fluffy
2. Add in Sugar, mix well
3. Add in Egg, Salt, Vanilla and Almond Extract, mix well.
4. Slowly add in flour (1 cup at a time) and mix well.
5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight
6. Roll dough out on a floured surface (you want them to be on the thick side, maybe 1/4") and cut out cookies.
7. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet (or line cookie sheet with parchment paper, then add cookies - cookies will come right off and less cleanup!) at 375*F for 12-15 minutes.  Cookies should barely begin to have brown edges.
8. Let cool and frost as desired!

Ingredients for ButterCream frosting:
1/4 cup White Shortening
1/2 stick Butter (or 1/4 cup), softened
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 to 1-1/2 tbsp of Milk (I actually didn't measure and I ended up adding more in the end, just depends on how you like it)
Food coloring (optional)

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and butter until fluffy. 
2. Add vanilla; mix well. 
3. Slowly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape bowl often. 
4. Add milk and beat until light and fluffy.  Mix in food coloring if you want.
5. Frost cookies as desired!
Side Note: Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.  Store any leftover frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Beat again before using.  Spread w/ a bent icing knife.

Here is Penny with her cookies (I also made her a tile that says "FAITH HOPE LOVE - the greatest is love"...I post that later):

Mmm...birthday cookies!
 Here are the cookies I made just for D and I for tonight, for our Valentines dessert (I'll do a seperate post on what I made D his vday gift!)...don't they look YUMMY?!

<3 <3 <3 Love Love Love <3 <3 <3

Our Valentines dessert! :)

Linking up to...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
Peas & Crayons - What I Ate Wednesday
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jalapeno Boats...Proceed with caution, very addicting!!

Yes, I'm telling you these things are addicting!  Whether you're making them for a party or just because, you or anyone else will NOT be able to eat just one!!  Some are spicy and some are not, but you just gotta dive in and take your chances!

My friend Ashley (yes, the one you always hear me talking about!) gave me this recipe a couple of years ago, and D and I have been addicted ever since.  They are really easy to here you go, have at it!!

Gloves or Baggies (for your hands, these are a must unless you want your little fingers to burn - speaking from experience!)
Jalapenos (as many or as few as you would like)
8oz block of Cream Cheese, soften (if you aren't making that many, you can always use the kind that comes in the tub)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Bacon Bits (the kind you buy or regular bacon cooked and chopped into little pieces)

1. Put on gloves or baggies on your hands (remember this is a must!)
2. Slice Jalapenos in half (length wise)
3. Scoop seeds and guts out (I use a regular tablespoon)
4. In a bowl combine Cream Cheese, Shredded Cheese, and Bacon Bits.  I don't have amounts, but you'll know when the mixture is good.  Don't be shy either!!
5. Using a spoon, fill Jalapenos with the cheese mixture
6. Put them into a either a grill basket, foil, or directly on the grill and cook until cheese is gooey melted and sides look cooked (best method!). OR you can line them on a cookie sheet with foil and bake them in the oven at 350* for 25-30 min or until cheese is gooey melted and peppers are shriveled a bit. 
7. Wash your hands well before touching your face just in case you got some Jalapeno juice on them (it burns, trust me!)

Scoop out the insides of the Jalapenos

Combine Cream Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, and Bacon Bits in a bowl
there is a lot of cheese in there, but you can't really see it

All mixed up!

Stuffed and ready to go into the oven!

Ready to be devoured!

Try not to eat the whole pan when they are finished!!  These are a crowd pleaser, everyone will love 'em!

You can wrap the Jalapenos in a slice of uncooked bacon and cook until the bacon is done and cheese is melted, however I use bacon bits...much easier!  Also if you have any filling left over, it's really good spread on some crackers or even to just eat right off the spoon!!! :)

Linking up to...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
Peas & Crayons
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
The Shabby Chic Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Paisley's Passions
Not So Homemade

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weekend Randoms and Snow!

A little late, but here is some weekend randoms...

My mom came to visit D and I for the weekend!  It was her birthday Monday, but we celebrated it all weekend long!  Friday we had supper at our place with D's parents, and gave her this awesome Faith Family Friends Decorative Tile that I made, and made her a GIANT Cupcake.  She loved everything!!  Then we went out with some friends and had some fun out on the town!  Saturday we went to a Bridal Fair and got some fun ideas!!  We tried some cake, tried some catered food, and even got to get our picture taken in a photo booth (props and all)!  My mom was able to meet up with one of her long lost besties that she hasn't seen in years.  It was really nice to see her again.  Saturday night we came back and went to a Ladies Fair thing, had bottomless Margarita's for $5 (yeah I'm serious!), won some prizes, and then we went out again afterwards!

Mom with her GIANT Cupcake!

Some photo booth fun!!

Mom and her long lost bestie!

Me and Mom at the Cozy...apparently we match the walls.

Sunday, Mom headed home and we were pretty lazy most of the day.  I made some Jalapeno Boats (recipe to follow tomorrow) for a Super Bowl Party that we went to Sunday night.  We ate so much food, played Blitz, and watched the game/commercials.  The Dorrito's commercials were my fav (the Pug Attack and the Finger Lick)!!!  Which ones were your fav's?

Before the Super Bowl
 Tuesday morning it started snowing here.  At first it wasn't too bad, and then about 9am it really picked up.  It was the most snow I've seen since last winter when we lived in the big city.  At 5 o'clock when I was ready to go home, I measured the snow on my car...there was 9.5" just on my car.  There was probably 1.5'+ in front of my car.  The wind was blowing pretty good, so the drifts were crazy!  I could barely get into our driveway because they scooped the snow and made a big pile right in front of it.  We even had to scoop out a little area in our backyard for Bernie...he would've gotten lost if he would've walked into those drifts...they were huge! 

During our snow

My poor old car buried!

had to measure it before I cleaned it off!

Bernie on his pathway!