Friday, January 31, 2014

glazed sausage bites

I'm not much of a sports person. I prefer to leave the game watching to the hubster and retreat to the kitchen. But sometimes being the wonderful wife that I am, I sit down and watch a game with the hubster. I watch a play or two. Then a commercial. Then another play. Then I get bored. So I begin a running commentary on the players, the fans, the rules, the commercials.... Thankfully, I'm married to a man that finds my random musings hilarious [or so he tells me]. It probably also helps that he isn't an extreme sports fanatic. Of course, quiz him on the stats for any random NBA or NFL player sometime in history and odds are he'll answer correctly. A man's mind. I don't get it.

What I do get is food. Dips. Wings. Cheese. Game day food is something that I can get excited about. And that's where these little glazed sausage bites come in. They are the perfect appetizer for any party and especially wonderful as a quick, sticky, and meaty superbowl appetizer.
The glaze on the sausage bites is sweet with little kick of spice. A simple and delicious alternative to the artery-clogging game day foods that are traditionally found at the game day table. I'm not saying these are completely healthy - merely a better choice. Nor am I saying you should skip the nachos and wings. It's one day - make it count!

Here's the game plan: make a sweet, spicy syrup, add the sausage, cook it a little and almost like magic the sausages are transformed into a glistening, glazed bites worthy of a wedding reception, but humble enough for a superbowl party. Now that I've sufficiently convinced you to make these on Sunday - let's get cooking!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

january life and a move

A little glimpse of life lately in photo moments. Food. Snow. Fun. Food. Repeat. 
Oh sweet, sweet goodness. Words fail me.
Pa's birthday bonfire!
An easy peasy egg recipe coming soon.
I know so many of you miss the green, but truly there aren't many things more lovely than a still, quiet snowfall.
If you like experimenting with whole grains and love breakfast, read Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons! Find her blog here.

And the real reason behind my silence lately....
Moving madness in all its ugly glory.

We've moved to a little old farmhouse apartment! It's quaint and old with vintage glamour. The real truth: peeling floral wallpaper with pheasants (why???), a lake view, a crackerbox kitchen with barn wood cabinets, real heat, tiny bathroom, limited cell service (read: the closet has become our office), and no dishwasher (eek!). We've optimistically decided this will be quite an adventure. I'm pretending I'm living in a vacation cabin. It makes me feel better about not being able to squeeze our mattress box springs up the inky, dinky staircase. And the other day, when the pipe to the sink broke and sprayed the kitchen (and us) with water, my mom told me to think of it as fuel for my writing. Thanks Ma.
And so friends, expect some interesting stories and certainly more decor diy project solutions for our little vintage, storage-less place. Back to unpacking!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

link inspiration for a cold, snowy day

Is it gray, cold, and/or slightly snowy in your town too? Let's not allow the winter blues to conquer our Saturday! Here's a few links to help inspire a creative day of diying, decorating, and culinary adventures:

Three words: snow ice cream!!! Add a puzzle, an afternoon of sledding, homemade snickerdoodles and you have the recipe for a perfect snow day! No excuses.

Make some winter white diy candle votives. I love the simplicity of these votives.

Spruce up your kitchen with some lovely stenciled kitchen towels.

Create your own wrapping paper for an upcoming birthday or shower. Because believe it or not, spring is coming!

Perhaps today is the day you finally try your hand at making homemade marshmallows!
What can't you do with Sharpies?

Give an old frame an "aged" look - this is on my to-do list!

Skip the hot chocolate and go straight for the chai!

Be inspired by these 20 DIY home decor ideas and then get to work on re-purposing, painting, decorating, tidying, organizing...

Brighten up your snow day with Joy the Baker's classic lemon bars.

If all else fails, curling up in a cozy blanket with a cup of warmth and watching the snowfall (or reading a book) is a perfectly acceptable way to spend a January Saturday.  Happy Saturday, friends!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

printable: love birds valentine's day card

Have you noticed the slow creep of hearts and every shade of red into your blog feed lately? Perhaps it's because Valentine's Day is exactly a month away! Are you one of those people that plans elaborate displays of affection for the day of love? Or do you panic on February 13th when someone reminds you Valentine's Day is tomorrow?  Love it or hate it, it's coming! Oh and if you hate it, spare yourself the trip to the craft store right now...unless you're prepared for a pink, purple, and red explosion.

Today I'm sharing the love early to all of you by offering a free printable Valentine's card. No more searching the day before for the perfect card in a picked-over card aisle with twenty other procrastinators. Stay home. Print the card on cardstock. Fold. Write a little note. Put in an envelope or leave it as is. Ta da - done!

I was given Photoshop as a Christmas present and I've been busily experimenting. Oh the wonders of Photoshop. I'm enjoying the whole editing and creating experience. Expect more printables in the future! Anyway, using the incredible editing tools I turned this photo I took years ago of a flowering tree in Hong Kong...
...into a cute, but simple love birds Valentine's Day card!
Choose which format you'd prefer: 4x6 notecard or 8.5x11 folding card. Note: a link to Dropbox will open and from there you'll be able download the printables (for personal use only please). Let's not discuss how aggravating it is that blogger does not have an easier option to share downloadable files...

You can choose to leave the printable as is or give it a little extra something. I added some silver paint embellishments with a tiny paintbrush and a small clay tool. I painted silver wings on the love birds and added a sprinkling of silver dots. I love the extra pizzazz the silver brings, but if you're in a rush - forget the paint.
Happy printing!
P.S. If you're single and V-Day makes you want to hide under the covers and watch re-runs until it's over, I will not judge if you go Mr.-Bean-style and send yourself this card and some chocolates. Promise :)
P.P.S. Check out other Valentine's Day ideas at Skip to My Lou's Made By You Mondays, the Party Bunch, and Link Party Palooza!
The 36th Avenue link-party-palooza-button

Thursday, January 9, 2014

it's a new year - let's review!

Hi friends, did you think I forgot about you? I promise I would never ever do such a thing. The combination of the holidays, visiting family, weddings, and some sort of cold/flu/germ has left this little space of the blog world rather quiet. Thankfully, today I am back in action and silent no more, so Happy New Year to you all (a week late)!

I thought about doing a 2013 favorite post recap, but since many of my favorites are already found in the Top 10 list it seemed unnecessary to create another. Instead, I've rounded up a collection of my own personal favorites that aren't included in the Top 10. Oh and if you're looking for this Top 10 list I speak of, look to the right in the sidebar and you shall find the top viewed projects and recipes on the blog.

More 2013 favorites:
Introducing: news from the book nook: the rant passion that started it all

A trip to Shenandoah and how to travel frugalishly: trees, mountains, and wide open sky - let's go back

 Frugalish day trip to Cape May: another favorite destination

Barn sale window transformation: what a view to wake up to every morning

Dresser turned kitchen cabinet: this cabinet has revolutionized our dinky, but well-loved little kitchen

 Fall wreath inspiration: love how welcoming this wreath turned out

Butternut squash, feta, and sage galette: an easy, but impressive weeknight dinner

Clementine crate gift box: I'm brainstorming other ways to use the crates I've gained during Christmas...stay tuned!

Ready for another year of recipes, projects, ideas, and inspiration? I hope so. My plans for this little blog-of-mine remain the same in 2014 - frugalish tips, tasty and tempting food, inspiring decor, easy upcycled projects, and a sprinkling of book nook posts. If there's something you'd like to see on the blog this year, leave a comment and let me know - I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas! And thanks for reading, commenting, sharing, encouraging and being such wonderfully, fabulous readers!