Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{holiday parties} My "go-to" Appie

I'm sure many of you will be heading out to holiday soireé's and some of you might have to bring a little appetizer.

Well - wanna know my "go-to" appetizer?  So they are kinda fattening...but I promise - it's the good kind and so worth it.

Barefoot Contessa's Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts.  Oh my heavens - they are absolutely HEAVENLY!!  You really can't stop at ONE.  You have to have a handful.  They have the perfect amount of sweet and spice. (Just in case you missed my "go-to" dessert from yesterday - check it out here.

Don't they just look divine?

Wanna know how to make them?

serves 8 to 10
Vegetable oil
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 oz)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 oz)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 oz)
1/2 cup whole almonds (3 oz)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipolte powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil.  Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipolte powder on the sheet pan.  Toss to coat the nuts evenly.  Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer.  Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula *, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.  Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.
* I stir 10 minutes and 20 minutes and definitely use a metal spatula - nuts get super hot!
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{holidays baking} My "go-to" delight

I'm sure that everyone has favorite "go-to" cookie for the holidays.

Some might be sugar cookies...chocolate chip cookies...well...

My favorite cookie of all time is the O R E O with some added pizzazz.  I've done the chocolate chip stuffed oreo.  Most recently, the mini-oreo chocolate chip cookie.  So good.

But - these babies are by far my favorite and so incredibly easy to make.  I made them last year and named them Brownie-O's.  Well they are back again this year for your enjoyment.

I'm telling you, these are ridiculously easy.  All you need is a box of your favorite brownie mix and a package of DOUBLE-stuffed oreos.  {I've tried regular and double-stuffed.}  Mix up your brownie mix like you normally would.  When I made these last year, I would coat the oreo in the brownie mix.  This year I wanted them to be much thicker - more cake like.

I sprayed the cupcake pan with some pam and put a dobble of brownie mix, then put the oreo on top and then added another dobble.  It definitely didn't make as many it would if you coated them.  I was able to get about 22 Brownie-O's from one pack of brownie mix.

Package them up and add a cute holiday printable and you are all set for your kiddo's holiday parties or a little hostess gift.

Monday, November 28, 2011

{holidays} Free Printable Round-up

It's Cyber Monday today and that means that many of you will be shopping online.  Well - what better way to kick off the Monday with some DARLING free printables that are out in cyberland this holiday season.  You need tags for all those deals that you might have found on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and now Cyber Monday - right?

Which do you like the best?

These pretties are from Party Box Designs.  This is just one of them...they have 2 others that are just as cute.

These are really cute from Love the Day and Catch My Party.

Want a Modern Twist?  Head over to Hey Look for these beauties...

Like what you see?  Click on the links and it will take you to their sites and you can download to your hearts content!!

Happy Cyber Monday.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Pocket full of Gift Tags

TO/FROM Original Calligraphy Stamp

I don't know about you...but I'm a complete sucker for gift tags and wrapping.  I have so many gift tags...I might have a problem.  This year, I'm completely in love with stamps and all of my special little gifties with have some form of stamp.  I love this stamp above because it can be used really for any holiday or special occasion.

For some reason - this stamp below just screams sophistication to me.  It was created by Besotted Brand.  Absolutely love her style and I just ordered it.  Can't wait for it to arrive!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ho Ho Ho - it's Advent Calendar time

How many of you have advent calendars?  If you have children and you celebrate Christmas - you probably have had one and still might use it.

We got ours from Pottery Barn Kids when the little mister was 3 - he is 11 now and it's still one of his favorite things.  I head out to Target and get little sweets and other treats and individually wrap each little giftie.  It's a tradition that every morning he opens it up when he is eating breakfast.

This year, I think we're going to mix it up and create a new calendar.

Here are some of my favorites that I've found around the web.

via the Anthropology Winter Issue

Pinned Image

09 minamalist advent 25 Awesome Advent Calendars

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baking :: The Oreo and Some Chocolate Chips

We're getting into the holiday spirit.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is coming up fast and furiously.

So that means - HOLIDAY BAKING!!!

I've been in the kitchen this morning whipping some of my very favorite cookies - and I believe it might be the little misters favorite as well.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Oh yes...I made them last year.  I originally saw the Brownie Oreo post on Picky Palate last holiday season, made those and they were a huge hit.  I decided to make chocolate chip ones also.  So yes indeedy...I've made them again.  I'm going to try different variations as well.  So far, I've used brownie mix and named them Brownie-O's and Chocolate Chips.  I've used regular stuffed oreos and double-stuffed.  I hate to say it...but the double-stuffed does add that extra little umf.  Next up are mini oreos - for some bite size goodness!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Weekend!

I love fall and the changing of the leaves.  I snapped this picture a couple of weeks ago when I was in Vancouver and the fall colors were just breathtaking.

This weekend - take a moment, breathe the crisp fall air and notice all the color around you.

Weekend Happenings...

A fun free download that is for the holidays and not the one coming up - here.
Here is one for the one happening this coming Thursday.
I love festive streamers and you will know exactly how to make them after you read this.
I've been dreaming out this bag and I welcomed it into my closet last week.
Looking for some fun food serving ideas - look no further.
Next time you are in Vancouver - you need to head here and have a glass of amazine Rosè.

Have a glorious weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gift Wrapping:: Wunderlust

I absolutely love wrapping up a sweet gift using extradorinary paper, gorgeous ribbons, fabulous tissue and what ever else might strike my fancy.

Sometimes it's buying some amazing looking gift bags at target and embellishing it with a mini tissue pom to add that special little touch of goodness.

Here is a question for do you wrap your holiday packages?
Do you just choose random gift paper? 
Do you pick a theme and carry it through?
Do you have different paper for adults vs. the kiddos?

For me - every year, I select a new theme which of course means new paper.  I do have the staple solid colors that can be used year over year though. :)

I'm not sure what the theme will be this year...but here are some pretty little packages that are striking my fancy right now.

Who doesn't love Paper Source?  Here is a great little video with tips to wrap a perfect package.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The wildside:: Zebra!

I do love Zebra patterns - about as much as I love leopard and cow patterns.  Zebra is best used in small amounts,  It can really make a room.

Here are some of my favorites:

images:: chair, rug, ottoman, chair

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just Simply:: Classic Beauty

Ruffled Blog always has such gorgeous posts and her Be My Honey Bee post is sweeter than honey itself.  It's just simply:: classic beauty.

I LOVE the honeycomb shape of the menu (created by Nico and Lala) that fits so perfectly with the feel they were going for; the use of honey gold and black stripes and the place settings.  Such possibilities - weddings, dinner parties, executive dinners.

Honey hexagon wedding ideas

Honey hexagon wedding ideas

photos via Ruffled Blog.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

40-something Fashionista :: Welcome to my closet...

I've been dreaming about this bag...I know...CRAZY.  But ever since I saw it (of course I repinned twice on Pinterest)...I just had to have it.

I went to our local Zara and they didn't have it.  (Insert SAD face!)

Then while I was in Vancouver...I found the Zara there (Insert HAPPY dance!) and it was in the window.  So you see - it was just destiny!  So last Sunday morning...after brunch...I set out to Robson Street...I had to wait a few minutes because the store wasn't open yet...I felt like the lady in the meryn's open open!  Of course as soon as I went in...I spotted it right away.  I asked the sales person ever so nicely (I didn't want to look like I was a complete crazy lady) if I could please see the sequined clutch.  She had me at first touch.  Wrap her up...she was coming with me!

So welcome home my little sequined friend...I'm happy to have you and can't wait to use you. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recipe:: Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Doesn't this just look absolutely DIVINE!!

I stumbled upon this recipe via Nat the Fat Rat.  This image is from her website.  I have to admit...I'm really hungry now and I'll be heading to the store to purchase the ingredients...because..HONEY..this is what's for dinner tonight.

It's a perfect fall meal.  I'm going to opt for some grilled chicken and I think I'm going to use corn pasta vs. the whole wheat.  I want to see if I can make this puppy gluten-free. :)

I have to roll...gotta get to the store!


I made the Pumpkin Sage Pasta with Corn Pasta and added chicken.  I also added a teaspoon on nutmeg and some balsamic.  It was still needing a little something something...but paired with the chicken, it was really good.

Wanna see what mine looked like?

A Muddler, Shaker and some Strawberries

When I was in Vancouver this past weekend, our group got a mixology lesson from some crazy talented bartenders at George.  George is one of the hottest bars in Yaletown.

Now I have to admit, I'm not typically a cocktail girl.  Beer and Wine are more my thing.

Well - after this mixology lesson...I'm buying a muddler, a shaker and some other cocktail essentials.

We created this Strawberry Daiquiri that was like NO other I've tasted.  Oh so yummy!!

First you will need some very importantbar accessories for creating this little cocktail.

When done, your cocktail will look like this:

So, do you want to know how to make this beauty?  Here you go...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Pretty Little Package

Wouldn't you just love to be given a pretty little present that looked like this?  Hey Look from Finland does it again with their elegant simplicity.

All photos via Hey Look.  Click here for their full post and how to make these beauties.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Thankful Tree

Sorry I've been away from the blog for a few days.  We were up to our ears in Halloween prep for a client.

Yesterday was spent reflecting...recouping...and catching up.

I love this idea of creating a Thankful Tree.  Each day, everyone in your family adds something that they are thankful for to the tree.  At the end of the month...your tree will be a blossoming beauty!

What are you thankful for?  Right now...I'm thankful for flexibility!  It might sound funny...but flexibility leads to so many things.  I can be at my little mister's school and participate in his Halloween activities or help out with spelling.  I can go and grab coffee with a friend and catch up.  I can spend time with my hubby in the morning just catching up on life.'s flexibility.
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