Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Little Love from the Husband

Hey All - I just got home from class and Chandler had written a blog post for me to post because life's been hectic and he wanted to help me out. He's so sweet. Anyway, if any of you are men reading this, what he did is a dang good way to make your wife happy! :) I'm a little embarrassed to be posting this because of all the cutesy stuff he says about me, but here you go! I hope you enjoy  ~Allie

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Crock Pot Chili

This chili is perfect for a blustery fall day like this one! It's super delicious with crackers, in a bread bowl, or on top of a scone. It's one of the easiest recipes ever which is an extra awesome bonus! :) We made this two weeks ago for a ward Halloween party and it was a favorite for many. Whenever I get lots of compliments on something I make I feel super awesome because I don't cook much - and this got me plenty of feel-goods for hardly any work. :)

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Crock Pot Chili
Recipe from: My mom's kitchen

1-2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (16 oz) cans tomatoes, cut up
2 (16 oz) cans dark red kidney beans, drained
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce3
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a large pan brown hamburger, onion, green pepper, and garlic together. Drain the fat out of the pan once it's all cooked. Dump the contents of the pan into the crock pot and stir in un-drained tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low for 8-10 hours. (You can also add all of this into the pan if you want to cook it faster on the stove. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Failed Failure Friday: A good thing?

Well this is pretty sad. I failed Failure Friday! I was sick most of this week so I didn't have time to make anything to put up on here. Last week was midterms and a whole lot of other craziness so I guess I worked myself almost to death. It's always good to have a slow down and heal week though. There's a lot that I should have/could have done this week while I was laying around the house but I didn't. I think that even though I "failed" at getting things done this week that I should have, I also "succeeded" at something else... We ALL need to take a break and slow down from time to time to keep ourselves healthy. If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of others.

One of my favorite books is by Jeffrey R. and Patricia T. Holland. In this book (On Earth as it is in Heaven) Patricia says this:
"Anyone who reads a newspaper or magazine is constantly reminded that proper diet, appropriate exercise, and plenty of rest increase our daily capacities as well as our life span. But all too many of us put off even these minimal efforts, thinking our family, our neighbors, and our many other responsibilities come first. Yet in doing so, we put at risk the thing that people need most from us: our healthiest, happiest, heartiest self."

Isn't that such a great quote?? I love it because it reminds me of how important it is to take care of myself and make sure I'm healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This week felt like a detoxing week for me. I was sick and tired and needed some time off. There was so much that I just needed a break from and hopefully after this slower week I can hop back up and have more motivation and energy to finish out this semester strong! So this is my challenge for you: Take some time for yourself this weekend. Eat something healthy and do something you love. Take time to work out. Watch a movie or take a nap! Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

Don't look at not getting things done as a failure, look at it as a triumph for yourself because you took time for yourself - and that in turn will help you do more for others.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

This has been a tradition at my house longer than I can remember. We always made these deliciously moist sugar cookies, frosted them with orange frosting, and decorated them with chocolate chips and candy-corns to look like jack-o-lantern faces. We'd help my mom frost and decorate them and she'd take them to neighbors and friends. And we were always allowed to decorate one or two for ourselves to eat. Mine, of course, had every inch of cookie covered in candy-corns because if they were on my cookie, I could eat them :) This is super fun to do with kids, or just with friends! It's such a delicious recipe and it's fun to make because you get to feel all artistic!

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Rolled Sugar Cookies
Recipe from: My mom's kitchen

1 1/2 cubes butter
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar (white)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream together butter and shortening for 30 seconds; add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients, beating until well combined. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Working with 1/2 the dough (or less) at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8" thickness. *Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.

*To get a round cookie, we always used a cup. That way you don't have to buy round cookie cutters. :)

The butter cream frosting recipe can be found here. This is the best homemade frosting recipe ever and goes great with these cookies!!

Enjoy! -Al

Friday, October 18, 2013

Failure Friday: 7 Crock Pot Tips for making the Best Meal

To learn what failure Friday is click  here

One thing I consistently fail at is cooking. I'm really not that great at it and am always learning things I need to change to improve the meals I make. Usually when I make something new I call my mom and ask her about all the little things she does that I don't think about doing. So hopefully these crock pot tips can help me and you!

I love how people are always coming out with new crock pot recipes and freezer meals to save the food maker some time. SO great and definitely my kind of recipe. Since this is the new thing I thought I'd do a post about some crock pot tips so that your (and my) food will turn out the absolute best it can!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Candy Corn Centerpiece

Do you remember this? I did a tutorial on how to mix paint and mod podge to add color to glass here. This is the project that came out of that tutorial. The only other thing I did to this was add candy corns and a black table cloth! This is what I planned for and why I painted it with orange and yellow. I think it turned out awesome for Halloween, don't you? (Plus it was a great excuse to buy candy corns!) :)

Check out my tutorial and tell me what you think!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween "BOO" Sign


Not too late to Decorate! And this baby is so inexpensive and easy you won't be able to resist making it to hang on your door. Plus it's freakin adorable, right? 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Failure Friday: Homemade Mild Salsa

So I wouldn't call this a complete failure. It's only the second time I've made salsa. It tasted pretty good and we ended up eating most of it! It's a great starter recipe but, it was a little bitter and I feel like it could be a lot better. So I'm going to tell you what we did and maybe you can help us out! :)

This whole ambition of making salsa started with Chandler and I going up to my Aunt and Uncle's for dinner. They had a bunch of extra tomatoes in their garden and asked us to take them off their hands - they had so many that they even made ketchup with them! Apparently it takes a lot to make a little when you do ketchup. So we picked a good bunch of them and headed home.

Then next day was our date night. We went out to dinner and were trying to figure out what to do with the rest of our night. It's hard thinking of new things to do on dates without spending too much money. I'm sure you know the feeling. . . We talked about going to a movie but there weren't any good ones at the dollar theater. Then we remembered our tomatoes! Hey - Cooking together is fun - let's make Salsa!

We called up the master cook, Chandler's dad, and got to it. My father-in-law helped us figure out what to buy since we didn't want to have to go home to find a recipe and come back into town. What we did:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ham Fried Rice

This is a recipe my husband has been working on perfecting for about 2 years now. It's so easy so we love having it all the time - probably at least once a week. It's great also because it can be really cheap and you can add pretty much anything you want to it! : ) If you want to check out the recipe head on over to Beauty Through Imperfection. I'm a new contributor over there and will be putting up recipes once a month on Paula's blog.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Feather Nails

There's only one thing I love more than painting my nails, and that's having someone paint my nails for me! Especially when its a super cute design. Look at these adorable feather nails my sister-in-law, Shelby, did for me! :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Failure Friday

Have you ever felt like a failure? Have you been excited about doing something that you thought would be super easy and fun and you'd be great at? If you haven't, you must not be a living breathing human being with a heartbeat and a soul.  Cuz I know all of us have encountered this at SOME point in our lives.

Now, as I have made this transition into becoming a blogger I've figured out that all of us bloggers try to put our best foot forward and show off all the great things we can do. Its kind of like dating. We hide all our flaws so we won't get dumped before we have a chance to impress. Only with dating you eventually find out all those quirks and weird things - if not through dating, you discover them through marriage.

But ...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

DIY Halloween Hanging Spider

So I've got this giveaway going on for these adorable Halloween Spider decorations and I thought that for those of you who'd like to make your own I'd provide a DIY tutorial! If any of you are interested in the giveaway click here for the details.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hanging Halloween Spider Giveaway

(Giveaway details are at the bottom of this post) 

Ok, I must say that when I started this project, I had NO idea they were going to turn out so ADORABLE! I mean look at this little guy: