When it snows, I cook. It just feels like the right thing to do. Tonight, I made a Queso Taco Pasta Bake. You can find the recipe here at the Picky Palate! You literally make your own queso. I took advantage of that with some tortilla chips.
As a small thank you to some colleagues who helped me put on a Valentine's Day dance at one of my schools, I assembled a little gift. I discovered the idea on Pinterest and wanted to pass it on to you! Enjoy!
I made this candy bark over Christmas break. The nice thing about a recipe like this is its versatility! It works for every holiday or occasion. Just change out the M&M color scheme! These make perfect little gifts, too.
1. Lay out parchment paper.
2. Crumble some oreas and spread out evenly on the parchment paper.
3. Add M&Ms and pretzel sticks to your oreos.
4. Melt a pack of white chocolate and pour over the oreos, candy, and pretzels.
Teenage girls love donuts. After tonight, I have to say that they like donuts better than cupcakes. Now I know and will do better in that regard. They even knew that the optimal time to heat a donut is precisely 8 seconds. I think it's weird they know such things, but it was endearing and made me love them more.
We celebrated Valentine's Day as a small group. On my way home from Maxie B's, I raced by Krispy Kreme and into Walmart to capitalize on the 50% off Valentine's Day sale. I was able to find enough to throw together a quick little spread. I also made punch, because punch is their thing. One of my sweet girls brought rice krispy treats. Shaped as hearts. With sprinkles. I adore her.
A couple of them even brought me my own special Valentine. Are y'all ready for this? They gave me a heart shaped bamboo plant. I needed one of those.
My instructions were to bring a Valentine to share with everyone. I made mine last night. I've been eyeing a couple of ideas on Pinterest for weeks, and it turned out perfectly! It was the perfect evening. I made chili, watched a movie, and crafted.
First, I printed off these tags. How appropriate and 21st century-ish to convert scripture into conversation hearts! If Jesus "hashtagged," this is what he'd say. Love it. The girls couldn't move past "Fax Me." I mean who faxes anything?! So, we changed it to "Text me." Subsequently, we were able to move on. Crisis averted.
Next, I assembled all my craft supplies and candy to make my Valentines.
Next, I cut out hearts from white paper, and using a white crayon, I wrote a verse on each one. I set up a watercolor painting table for the girls to brush over the heart in order to reveal a verse. Each girl took a turn, decoded their verse, and read the verse aloud.
I could not have asked for a sweeter group of Valentines. It is by grace alone that I have the honor and pleasure of serving these girls. God romances me through them. In knowing and serving them, I can't help but love Him more. It is also true of the alternative: In knowing and serving Him, I can't help but love them more. It's profound really; A love that is so seamless.
The past three days have been so lovely. Snow blanketed Greensboro, and time slowed. The weather carved out space, allowing me to make my home beautiful and neat.
At 31 years old, I finally used a crock pot. It's official. I'm grown. I made a made a new dish: Tortellini soup. You can find the recipe here.
And for dessert, I made Valentine's Day brownies!
The best part of the whole snow event was making snow cream!! The last time I had snow cream was as a child. I remember my parents making it during a significant snowfall at the log cabin I grew up in. Lulu had some snow cream as well.
I caught up on the "Call the Midwife" series and watched "Austenland." Jane Austen would probably do a somersault in her grave, but I absolutely loved it. It was silly and cheesy; Too much so in my opinion, but I related in a weird way! For any of you who love Mr. Darcy, who tend to be a tad idealistic, and who are convinced you were born in the wrong decade, this movie is worth watching.
And of course I got in some reading!
I hope your snow days were filled with simple pleasures! Enjoy your weekend!!!
I believe in a beautiful home, whether it be an apartment, a mansion, or anything in between. A beautiful home should smell lovely, and this evening, mine has never smelled more so.
Candle buying days for this girl may be over. For good. A homemade batch of potpourri is boiling on the stove, and I am convinced this is how heaven will smell. It captures the perfect scent of Christmas with its blend of spice and fruit.
After reading several recipes, all pretty much including the same ingredients, I pulled together whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cranberries, an orange, and a lemon. For the mixture, I added around 2 TBSP of cloves, 4-5 cinnamon sticks, 4-5 bay leaves, around a cup of cranberries, and several slices of an orange and lemon. All this was placed into a pot with around 4 cups of water. Set the temperature to boil, and you will never be the same.
The best part is that each batch lasts for several weeks! You just add more water. I can't even take it. And on top of everything else, it just may be the most aesthetically appealing mixture of ingredients I have ever seen.
Messy came over on Saturday. Messy meaning 7 teenage girls, a sleepover, and Christmas. It was the best kind of mess, because it meant these girls felt comfortable being themselves in my home. No one worried about eating in the living room or leaving wrapping paper strewn across the floor. Inviting messy is inviting living. And that is an invitation worth extending and accepting. Every. Day.
I wanted to sneak in a belated Fall and Thanksgiving post. I had the best time crafting and baking.
For Thanksgiving, I made these peanut butter turkey cookies. I discovered the idea and tutorial here. It was time intensive but easy. This could easily be modified for any holiday. How cute would a Christmas tree be?!
The following wood/log craft has been featured on so many blogs. I had to have one for myself. You can find the tree slice-wood thing at Michaels!
And now that it's Christmas time, I've changed out the design!
This past fall, I made caramel apples and decided to make friends with nature by finding real twigs for the sticks.
Lulu and I invite you on a mini holiday tour of my little apartment. I decided on a colorful and whimsical theme for this year! This year's theme is much different than years past. But. so. much. fun. It's a happy little place to be!