Thursday, December 13, 2012


We have very special news!

We're expecting another baby!

So basically what this means is that I will be kind of MIA for the next month or so, till the morning sickness subsides (IF it does, let's hope). Lots of excitement in the following months and I'll update when there's something to talk about!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Scrabble Letter Coasters

I saw these Scrabble Letter Coasters on Pinterest and immediately wanted to make them.

It was no easy task collecting the materials, let me tell you. I was trying to find an old Scrabble game at a thrift shop, but I guess no one likes to give those sucker up. After a few months of looking, I finally came across a brand new game and bought it for $1! Sweet! Since then I found another game and have obtained many letters to make as many coasters as I want!

Here's what you'll need:
At least one Scrabble game's worth of letters, if not more.
(I was only able to get four coasters in the "drink" theme with one game)
Cork for the backing
All purpose glue like E6000

First, figure out the words you want and how many coasters you'll make.

Arrange one coaster on your cork.

Outline on the cork the size you'll need for the backing.

Cut it out.

To save time, mark all the other cork pieces using the first one you cut out.

Now glue your letters to the cork.

And there! It's that easy! Home made coasters that make a statement!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Up The Mountain and Down the River

We've been having so much fun up here! There's a lot of things to do, and we've been trying to do as much as we can in the small amount of time we'll be here.

Nick and I joined the family skiing one day. It's been three years since the last time we were here, and I only skied two days that time. Thankfully I remembered how to do it!
Like my ski suit? it's great but it ended up not fitting. Too snug.

Jessie with her contraption for filming the girls' first ski adventures.

Pat following Gracie. Both girls did so well and had a blast!

Missy followed Ava.

Riding the lift.

It didn't take much to wear me out.

The next day we went hiking near a river.


There are beautiful mountain views everywhere you go.

Ryder checking the snow out by the river.

 Little adventurer.


Icy hills. Lee helping Gracie up.

Ava licking the icicle.

Gracie's turn.

Ryder leading Daddy along.

Later that day we went to a wildlife refuge where we saw wolves, elk, goats, mountain lions and more. I didn't get any pictures but it was fun.

Today we took a little trip to Durango. We basically just walked up and down the streets in downtown looking at shops. It was enjoyable, there was lots to see and much more than we had time for.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I imagine we'll be hangin' around the rooms since most places will be closed. Time for turkey!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chillin' In The Springs

Beautiful snow-capped mountains, chilly weather, duck filled ponds.

This can only mean, we're in Colorado.

For Thanksgiving this year, we're spending a wonderful week with Nick's family up in the Rockies.

Ridin' along in the car. It was a looooong drive.

Stopping for lunch.

Nick had to check out the roof at the rest area.

Ryder looking at the windmills.

We took it easy the first day. The rest of the family hadn't made it yet. Ryder got his first contact with snow!

Geese are everywhere! Nick and Ryder were feeding them some crumbs from Ryder's carseat.

So many ducks and geese! Ryder is just beside himself watching them!

When everyone else arrived, the cousins decided it was time to have fun!

We have a great view of the sunset.

Incredible views.

Ryder striking a pose.

Most of the family went skiing today, but we stayed back. I needed to obtain some ski clothes, and succeeded in my endeavor saving some money. Tomorrow we're planning on going up the mountain, and Ryder will stay back with his Grammy and Poppy. Looking forward to a great week!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Drying Herbs

It's that time of year. The weather is starting to get colder (or well, trying to at least) and the plants will soon be finishing their run for the season. Why not capitalize on what's left of your fresh herbs by drying them before they die of frost?

I found a link to website with good info on drying herbs properly. It's a very simple process, but it's good to know little tips and tricks.


 Start by picking your herbs by the stems. Wash and dry thoroughly.


 Then, tie them to string and hang them somewhere they can dry without being disturbed.

Here are mine after a couple of weeks. The sage wasn't quite crispy enough so I'll give it some more time. However the basil was crispified.

 You can either leave the leaves whole or grind them up with your fingers like I did. I'd suggest doing it over something like a paper towel or wax paper to make sure you hang on to everything.

Now just store it in your preferred container.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Beautyberry Jelly...Wait, What?

Have you seen those berries, growing randomly around your house? You know, the ones your mom specifically told you not to eat because they would kill you?

Well, turns out, they won't.

In fact, they're quite edible. My son is slightly obsessed with eating them.

They are called beautyberries, and it's a good name for them because they are quite beautiful. Especially this year, they're really doing well. But let's not make any mistakes, they're not tasty.

My husband has been looking into websites and books for learning about what local plants you can eat, and came across this awesome website that teaches you all kinds of things about plants you would never think twice about. They had a recipe for beautyberry jelly.

Now, I'm going to share it with you.

Beautyberry Jelly

1 1/2 quarts or 5 c. beautyberries
2 quarts water
1 envelope fruit pectin
4 1/2 c. sugar

Start by making sure berries are thoroughly washed and cleaned of stems etc.

Cover with 2 quarts water and boil for 20 minutes.

Strain to make infusion. (For me, I had enough to make two batches of jelly.)

Take 3 c. infusion and bring to a boil. Add fruit pectin and sugar, bring to boil again and boil for 2 minutes. You may have to stir constantly to keep mixture from boiling over. Remove from heat and let stand until foam forms, and skim off foam.

Pour into sterilized jars, cap.

Ta-da! Something almost anyone can make because these bushes are everywhere! So cool to know!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Orange Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie?

Um, no thank you.

ORANGE Sweet Potato Pie?


It may sound like a weird combination, but this orange-y tasty goodness has now become a reason for me to buy sweet potatoes in bulk. Thanks to Nick's Grandma, I have obtained a delicious recipe.

I was given a sweet potato grown by my husband's grandfather, and decided this was the best use for it. This thing was huge!!

Dude, seriously, that is a big sweet potato!

This is a recipe for the filling only. It doesn't include the bottom crust or crumb topping.

Orange Sweet Potato Pie

1 recipe bottom and top crust
3 eggs
2lbs sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
5oz milk or yogurt
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
4 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth.
(note: I used the yogurt in this recipe because I was out of milk. The original recipe actually called for evaporated milk, but I think mine came out just fine.)

Pour into prepared crust. Bake for 30 minutes.

Add top crust. Bake 15-20 minutes more.

Oh. Yeah.