Dare to Make Cookies!

HERE is a dare I can handle! Making cookies, I got this! Welcome to Week 3 of the Dare to DIY blog party!

This one was quite fun because I totally kicked the recipe and just did my own thing. Some of my friends may remember my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Oh. My. Gosh. If you want decadent, chew-it-slowly-while-you-savor-every-tiny-morsel cookies, you NEED these. (Warning: they are cookie crack! You will eat them too quickly, then dream about them at night, think about them during the day when you hit that 3pm crash at work and need a sugar rush, then think of them again on your way home when you’re mentally scanning the pantry thinking “What can I whip up for dinner tonight?” and then you’ll remember the cookies and think “Who needs dinner? We could just jump to dessert, I mean they have pumpkin in them so that’s a fruit…!”) (<—-not kidding, make them now!)

Due to the sad sad addiction, I decided to make another batch of these and ‘healthify’ them!! I had some ideas and when I got started I realized that I used ALL of my canned pumpkin making cheesecake. OPPS! But I certainly can’t regret that one! So I rethought my plan and improvised. In the end I ended up with:

(Click on image for full size to print or right-click to copy and paste into your fav program to resize and print!)

Now these are good. They are quite healthy! We have a fruit (banana), some most excellent omega-3’s (flax seed and walnuts), fiber (wheat germ!) and anti-oxidants (I used dark chocolate morsels). I substituted the oil from the original recipe for Sunsweet Lighter Bake, so no fat there!

The result is pretty yummy and Terry is LOVING them! I’m very happy with them (although with the less chocolate…they’re not the same!). I think they are even healthy enough that since I didn’t go to the grocery this weekend, they may be breakfast in the morning!

I also made some turkey chili today that was really fast and easy. Here is the recipe for that one also, I made some individual serving sizes for our lunch this week 🙂


On the needles: Bella’s Mittens

Soooo, I’ve been a Twilight fan for quite a while. I discovered the book series after I finished up the Harry Potter series and was searching for something new. Of course I saw the Twilight movie last year and I’m going this Saturday with my friend Mel to see New Moon (Mel and I kind of support each other’s addictions because we share so many, like the crafting bug!). Anyways, after suffering through cold numb hands in Salem last Sunday when we took the puppies out, and after seeing Kim’s New Moon Party decor (so impressive! Check it out NOW to learn how to ‘themify’ a party!) I decided….gifts be d@mned! I’m tackling some selfish knitting now! After a really long time on my knitting queue, I started Bella’s Mittens!

Bella's Mittens by Marielle Henault

This pattern is FABULOUSLY replicating these puppies:

I really like these because the ‘cuffs’ are long, so no nasty gap between your mitten and coat sleeve! I’m making mine in navy blue since I already had the correct weight yarn in that color. Here is my progress so far:

Pattern and current work
Close-up of the cable work!

I am SUPER excited about these also because they are my first ‘magic loop’ project! For knitting in the round I’ve always been a DPN girl, but I have graduated now to the magic loop method. It’s SO EASY, I’m just blown away! I can’t wait to see how these come out!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Whew! I am STUFFED! Although we were home all alone this Thanksgiving, it was a great day! Last night we made a trip to Lowe’s and bought supplies for kitchen cabinet we are adding to the kitchen. Since it’s a long weekend for Terry (I have to work tomorrow) we thought this was the perfect weekend for tackling a project Weekend Warrior style! Today Terry worked on that while I cooked and baked! Here’s a little trip through our day:

I started my day off making our cheesecake, since it needed to chill a few hours and I didn’t get to make it last night. Here is the recipe I used (click on image to enlarge and print, or right click to copy and paste into your fav program to print your recipe card!):

This is my first ever cheesecake but it was really easy!!

Crumb mixture for crust
Ready for the oven!
The final product!

So yummy, I think this will definitely be on future holiday menus! The biggest problem now….this thing is going to be in my fridge until we eat it. Me and Terry. That’s it. Want to come help? My hips will thank you if you do!

I didn’t really have a Thanksgiving ‘menu’ or anything, but I did plan for green bean casserole and I got rolls and turkey tenderloins. A quick spin in the kitchen and we had this for dinner:

Mmmmm, dinner...

Outside of the kitchen, much was accomplished. Here is the current state of our future cabinet:

Cabinet (can you tell we were on a coffee break when this picture was taken?)

The tiles on top are not actually adhered yet, just there for our visual inspection. YES, we measured PERFECTLY!!!!!! Notice we are working in the office. This is how we DIY when the weather is crummy. Here is what it really looked like all day:

What a mess!

The hall and office are completely off-limits to the puppies, which means of course that they are more determined than ever to go back there! I can’t wait to see this done! Terry is blowing me away with his handiness and ideas!

Lastly I decorated my Christmas tree, YAY! We haven’t put up a tree the last two years so I was really jazzed! The puppies were REALLY into it, especially Jasper who kept stealing ornaments!

Jasper checking out the ornaments while I chat with my Mom
Ooooo, what's this Mommy?
I think Mickey takes after me with his love for coffee.

I hope everyone out there had a fabulous Thanksgiving!!!

DIY-Dare to Entertain!

OK, so we are NOT entertaining anyone this year for the holidays. Poo. Woe is me 😦

But, for the Dare to Entertain DIY Challenge this week, I decided to whip out all the dishes and set the table anyway, just for fun! I even decided to do a ‘casual’ setting and a setting with my ‘formal’ china, since I hadn’t had it out since we moved earlier this year. Also, I’ve never really posted pictures of the inside of the house since we’ve moved in, so you can see that too. Here goes (please click on pictures to enlarge):


1. Meet our tiny dining room. It’s a little bigger than it looks…but not by much. Our front door currently opens into the dining room, so it usually serves more as an entry way than a dining room and the table is usually pushed up against the windows. SAD. However, we’re planning to move the door to the center of the house (see this post for house pic and future plan, idea #2), where it will open into the living room instead of the dining room. I can’t wait! Until then…ho hum, but hey, it looks great when the table is out in the center! Also note the temporary curtain tie-backs I made with some wire-edged ribbon and berries. I think it looks great for $3 🙂

2. Place setting. This is our casual everyday dishes, the Noritake Colorwave collection. I ❤ my wire pumpkin (gift a few years ago) and my candlesticks (bargain buy a few years ago at a Hobby Lobby…I think I got them both for under $20) I got the fabric runner this year on sale for $7.50 and it’s been up since October (combo Halloween/Thanksgiving autumn decor!)

So, my ‘formal’ china is the Lenox British Colonial set in the Bamboo and Tradewinds patterns (they’re mix and match). My husband loves ships and when I was planning my wedding I saw this china on a wall from across a department store and pointed it out to my Mom and said that will probably be our china, and it is! We love everything coastal and it suits our style so perfectly! When not in use it lives in a pretty cabinet:

which is 2/3 of this cabinet (the middle and right pieces, Crate and Barrel):

Anyway, here is the table set with the china:


3. I set out the crystal beverage glasses (Lenox Firelight Gold) and our china’s coffee mugs, because in my house, you must have dessert and coffee!!!

4. I also made a little centerpiece using a glass vase I had (free! came with birthday flowers from my in-laws), left over ribbon from the curtains, and I made a quick monogram design in autumn colors that I printed out. A few dabs of hot glue….I filled it with scented pinecones from the craft store and Voila! Insta-centerpiece! (pine cones cost $2.50 and I have LOTS left over for Christmas decorating!)

So there is my bargain budget use what you have autumn placesettings. I can’t wait until the door gets moved and we can use the dining room as a dining room all the time cuz I think it looks fab! Even DH was impressed!

In the meantime, I do have some champagne I could chill (and you haven’t seen my Christmas Mikasa Champagne flutes, GORGEUS!) Who wants to come visit so I have someone to entertain?!

How did I do with my weekend list?

  1. Weekly House Cleanup & Laundry Almost done…2 loads of laundry to go!
  2. Couple time We post-poned the movie to have some quality family time with the puppies! We walked all around Salem Common and went to Derby Wharf for the return of the Friendship of Salem! It was a great (but cold!) afternoon, the puppies are wiped out! Here is a pic of DH and the puppies in the Common (I couldn’t resist a picture of all my guys!)
  3. Complete new kitchen ‘built-in’ design and purchase supplies – Still working on this
  4. Crochet a baby hat!Done! (see below)
  5. Buy ornament for annual swap Done!
  6. Scope out Christmas trees Done! In fact it is already up (but not decorated!)
  7. Do this week’s blog party project and photograph Done! Coming in a post SOON!
  8. Plan Thanksgiving menu and grocery shop Done! The grocery was a madhouse!
  9. Buy the ‘I got an awesome deal, this is the perfect rug for my craft room’ rug!! Done! I can’t wait for it to get here!

Wow, what a great weekend! I can’t believe I got so much done! If only I could always be this productive!!

OK, so here are the hats I’ve been working on! A friend of mine how has a cute little 6-month old saw these online and asked if I could make something similar. I think she will love these, I really hope they fit!

My gauge was totally off on this one, but rather than frog it, I kept going and made an adult size that matches the little one. I consider this one a bonus and Mom or Dad and the baby can be matchy cute!

Second is a cute little hat with earflaps and tassels:

So stinking cute, I have to make more of these!!

Oh My, Busy Weekend!!

There is SO MUCH to do this weekend! I’m kinda excited and pumped up about it! And best of all, there is enough to do to warrant list making! Yes, sirree….I am making a list to make sure it all gets done!

  1. Weekly House Cleanup & Laundry – can’t let the usual stuff get behind
  2. Couple time – yes, we are scheduling this in! Time for the rare date and we will be doing dinner and a movie, going to see A Christmas Carol in IMAX 3D (no New Moon yet, maybe next weekend)
  3. Complete new kitchen ‘built-in’ design and purchase supplies – YAY!! After planning this again and again and finally leaving it off my November list so that I would not earn a big fat FAIL yet again, WE’RE GETTING IT DONE!!!! As many home-owners with project lists know….long holiday weekends equal “get ‘er done” weekends. I can’t wait to see if we pull this off!ook forward to plans soon!
  4. Crochet a baby hat! – I have everything, I just need to sit and do this!
  5. Buy ornament for annual swap
  6. Scope out Christmas trees (at the craft store or Target while ornament shopping…this one is a multi-tasking bonus)
  7. Do this week’s blog party project and photograph
  8. Plan Thanksgiving menu and grocery shop
  9. Buy the ‘I got an awesome deal, this is the perfect rug for my craft room’ rug!! I’m so excited!! I’m keeping it a surprise until I get a full inspiration/mood board worked up. It’s totally not the rug I picked previously but it fits the color scheme, is the casual look I want and I love it!

That’s what I’ve got folks. I’ve got to get started!! What are you up to this weekend??