resolution 2013

New Years Resolutions


My resolutions this year are simple ones. No climbing Mount Everest on this list, just strengthening and adding some elements of health and function into my world. I know it’s already 1.23.2013, so as long as I start prior to 2.1.2013, I’ll be happy! P.S. I don’t know what it is about 2013, but I’m loving it!

  • Walk the dogs AM and PM – since moving into our house, sometimes opening up the back door sounds like a better plan than getting dressed for the elements and walking our boys. But I and the dogs are both disappointed in this decision. We both get less exercise, and the boys really enjoy it.
  • Workout – The husband started a new job and his new work schedule leaves me time after work to go running outside AND shower before he walks into the door! So, I need to pack my workout gear or wear it to work, so I have no excuses not to head directly to the gym after work! My hope is to do this 2-3x/week. The other days I have tennis or kickball.
  • Make meals – Planning is the hardest part of making meals. I love to cook when I have the supplies. 4x/week, make our meals at home.
  • Focus on the future, put away the past – I’m a dweller. Would’ve. Could’ve. Should’ve. I need to embrace the now! Because it goes by so fast.
  • Pay off debt (cc and student loans) – I took on working a couple Fridays a month to have more income to help pay off any debt we might have and to buy a couple new pieces of furniture!
  • Wash my face at night – This may seem easy to most. But I’m dead tired when I go to bed, and I’m lucky if I take out my contacts. That needs to change, I’m not a teenager anymore and need to make that a routine!
  • Go to church – Like a good workout, it feels great every time I leave church. We have, count them, four. Four different services to choose from each Sunday. 8:30,9:45,11:00, and 5:30. We must find one that will work with our schedules.
  • 8:20 am – get to work. Last year my resolution was to get to work by 8:15, and I can count on two hands when that happened. So, 8:20 it is. I can totally do that!
  • Continue 33 before my 33! It’s such a fun process and my ultimate resolution/buckle list!

dining table

Dining Table

We went mainstream on our dining table…. Yep, feel like I sold out. BUT all the people, places, and websites we visited that had or made dining tables, we just weren’t impressed. They just didn’t fit our style or well, looked too cheap or too rustic for the space. We kept going back to this one at Pottery Barn.

Our gift to each other for Christmas this year was a couple pieces of furniture, so we finally pulled the trigger on this piece after months of back-and-forth. It’s light wax pine makes a fun contrast to our dark hardwood floors, and we feel with kids (someday) in our future, it will be durable. It’s dull enough that the scratches we put on it won’t really change the look like a shiny gloss finish would. We actually (encouraged by the manager) took a fork to the table at the store to make sure it would hold up or at lease add to the rustic feel.

Dining table top

detail table end

detail dining table

I’m already getting excited for the table centerpieces and have visions throughout the year of fun collections!

Dining CenterpieceOur plan is to buy the matching bench, and I need to find some fun end chairs and two other dining chairs. These are the ideas I have in mind but nothing is set in stone.

PB Bench

PB Bench

West elm high back (for the head of the table).

WE Chairs

West Elm

Mid century modern – idea for chairs opposite the bench.

Hvidt Dining Chairs

I’m just really pleased to look out from our galley kitchen and see a dining table in there. I’m excited to sew table runners for seasons to come and hopefully have our families down to share a holiday together! Thanksgiving 2013?!? Maybe!! ;) Plus, this chalks off another 33 before I’m 33! Yay!

YHL Bloggers

Sherry WavingOn my goodness, Oh my goodness! I met these two bloggers a couple months ago now and still can’t believe it. I know, I know, super dorky of me, but this is my love! Decor and design! They do decor and design – we could be friends. They are the couple who established Young House Love an inspiring blog that helps with all things home and family. They influenced some of my decisions in our home renovations. Painting my fireplace, using Benjamin Moore’s rockport gray HC-105, painting my bathroom with stripes and the overall desire to pay for things as I go. Sherry and John are thrifty shoppers.

YHL BookThey were in Dallas signing their new book about home improvement at West Elm, and luckily for me, I was in town, too! So, I had to meet them. I spent a couple of hours in line but worth the wait… plus, it was winding through West Elm, which wasn’t a bad Saturday afternoon. Here’s the line…

West Elm Line

Sherry was as bubbly as she sounds on her blog; even after signing hundreds of books in front of me, she was still as chipper as ever. John was sweet too and liked my iPhone case! Ha. I was speechless and totally dork-ed out on saying anything cool (doesn’t that always happen)! I had all this great material before I was at the front of the line and totally lost it. All I got out was – you two have been such an inspiration. I’ve painted my bathroom, fireplace, and have my own love for Rockport gray. I’m sure it actually sounds like.. hi. you too, inspiration. I like paint and bathrooms… I guess it could have been worse! :) Here they are in all their glory, I still think I photoshopped myself in and didn’t actually meet them!

Inspiring PeopleThey have been an amazing resource. And I’m sure when I have wee-ones, I’ll check back to their family section to see what they suggest.

I suggest this yhl blog to any home improvement peeps that want beautiful home goods on a budget. They make me feel happy that Paul and I have saved up for most of our things in our house. Happy reading and DIY-ing!

christmas cut-out cookies

Cut Out Cover

I was feeling down that I hadn’t made Christmas cookies during the allotted weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Between being sick, sleepy, holiday parties and having a busy office, I didn’t have time. The weekend before New Years, I found time to whip my favorite rendition of cut out cookies and suddenly my world was complete again. It comes from an old Betty Crocker cookbook, and I love them. They come out fluffy and perfect every time.



  • 1 1/2 cups powered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Easy Creamy Frosting

    • 1-2 tablespoons half-and-half
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Start by mixing all the “wet” ingredients. Softened butter, powered sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Flour, baking soda, cream of tartar. Mix together. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and mix until combined.

Mixing Cookies (wet and dry)

Place dough in a mixing bowl and place into a refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

mixed cookie dough

Once dough is chilled, take out about 1/4 of the dough and start rolling it on a floured surface.

rolled out dough

Roll dough to about 3/16″ thick and start using your Christmas cookie cutters! I love mine; they are super old-school and make great sized cookies.

Cutting out cookies

Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 7 – 8 minutes. Pull out cookies when they look nice and fluffy and a very, very light brown on the edges. You don’t want to overcook these babies; they’re the best soft!

baked cookies

While the cookies are cooling, start making your frosting. Mine again comes from the classic Betty Crocker cookbook. Combine all ingredients and mix together until smooth.


You can frost them with just the white frosting and maybe add sprinkles?

Frosting Cookies

Or add some food coloring to make your cookies really pop! I personally like food coloring with no sprinkles, but enjoy them any way you like! Happy New Year, Friends! I may just wipe up another batch for Valentine’s day, too!

Cut Out Final

rosemary goat cheese roll

Cover Roll

My sister-in-law Lisa likes to cook as much as I like to bake. She always comes to the holiday functions with a new concoction or two. The last couple of holidays, she has brought with her this amazing rosemary, craisins, goat cheese roll, and we’ve sat at the kitchen table discussing world events, kids happenings, and upcoming plans while devouring this roll. I hope you do the same.


  • Goat cheese roll
  • Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • Pecans, chopped
  • Honey
  • Craisins
  • Wheat Thins

Start by taking the goat cheese roll and roll it in chopped rosemary and pecans. (I elected to do mine without the pecans. I’m not a fan. I just put them as a side item if others wanted them.)Rosemary

Then cover with craisins and quite a bit of honey. I just drizzled honey over the top of the roll and it worked great. Place roll on a baking sheet and bake at 250° degrees for five minutes. Just enough to soften the cheese and melt the honey!


Serve them with wheat thins or whatever suits your fancy! This is fantastic right out of the oven; the warm goat cheese is so good! Enjoy!! Mind you, I made mine with a small roll of goat cheese because I thought I was going to be the only one eating it – and left on my own, I would have devoured the whole thing. Luckily, the husband had a couple bites making me believe I only had half. I like my gorilla math. Enjoy, it’s super addicting… I’m running out this week to get more goat cheese! Yum!

Final Roll

christmas 2012


Holy Cow 2013, hold on! I still have a couple things (two more posts, to be exact) to talk about in 2012! :) 

If someone would have said going into the medical field you might not be able to take off during the holidays, I might have reconsidered. Seriously. It’s the sacrifices I have to make and I’m glad my family and spouse understand. This year we only made it to St. Louis instead of our usual Christmas festivities in both Missouri and Wisconsin. In lieu of work, we were able to squeeze a couple of days in St. Louis with our family. We spent the weekend enjoying each other’s company, ate way too much, and laughed often. On Saturday morning, everyone got up to start the Christmas excitement of opening presents and climbing on presents.

Climbing on present

Climbing on presents

The excitement of all the kiddos was so much fun to watch. It really never gets old!


Even our dogs got some love and presents!

Anna & Boston


After all the festivities, everyone went their separate ways. We drove back earlier than expected because of the weather forecast and spent Christmas day in Texas with our boys. I captured a couple more pictures of our festive house. We even got a little snow on Christmas day! White Christmas!! Yay!

Christmas Lights

Entryway Xmas

Christmas Tree 2012


I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season with your friends and family! Happy 2013, friends.

gratitude finale

  1. Favorite food – Yellow Curry ChickenFavorite Food
  2. Smile – Funny/Semi-drunk smile. A great unexpected day with the husband I won’t soon forget.Smile
  3. Happiness – My first love, Boston “Bones”, and the hubs.Happiness
  4. Leaves – Frosted Sugar Cookie Leaves! My most favorite cookies ever.Leaves
  5. Morning Sky – Dallas SkyMorning Sky
  6. Books – Tina Fey’s Bossypants is one of my favorites!books
  7. Something Funny – Pugs are always funny!something funny
  8. Favorite Color – Benjamin Moore Rockport Grayfavorite color
  9. Inspiring Person/People – Young House Love Bloggers!! So cool to meet them!Inspiring People
  10. Nature Dog Park trailnature
  11. Something Old – Bing Crosby Merry Christmas Album.Bing Crosby
  12. Hands – My nephew’s hands (and a dimple).Hands
  13. Written Words – Funny words about ordering your steak well done.Written Word
  14. Movement – Window seat.Airplane
  15. Technology – iPad & iPhone, what? …taken by another iPhone.Technology
  16. Animals – My beast Boston or Bones.Bones
  17. Memories – Visitors.memories
  18. Something New – I made a pouf! Post to follow!Cover Pouf
  19. Best Friend – My lady and my man. I like her A LOT despite the weird face. Promise.BFM BFF
  20. Seasonal – Our real Christmas tree.seasonal
  21. Where I Sleepwhere I sleep
  22. Clothing – Work scrubscloths
  23. In Your Closetin my closet
  24. Gratitude – My cup is so fullgraditude
  25. Artwork – Etsy watercolor printartwork
  26. Transportation – GMC Envoy. ‘mericatransportation
  27. Daily Routinedaily routine
  28. Nighttime – Watching TV with my boys.nighttime
  29. Lightlights
  30. Self Portraitself portrait

fruit & maple oatmeal

cover oatmeal

For our latest voyage to St. Louis, we decided to drive. We love the open road but mainly the ability to bring our two boys, (Boston & Otis) so they too can partake in the Christmas festivities with all of their cousins.

the boys

On the open road, no matter how much I pack, we inevitably end up at a fast food restaurant for either lunch or dinner. We have affectionally nicknamed most fast food stops… CrackDonalds or WacArnolds, Booger Fling, ScrubWay, Crapplebees, I could go on.

On our latest road trip, we stopped at McDonald’s, and I tried their new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. I was actually impressed. You can get it all day, it wasn’t a ginormous serving size, and it was, well, good. I opted for the without sugar variety.

mcdonalds oatmeal

Anywho, I’ve been craving it ever since. Hence CrackDonalds and decided to make my own version at home.


  • 6 oz water
  • 1/2 c old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 apple, chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons craisins and/or golden raisins

Add water, oats, maple syrup and brown sugar into a small saucepan on low heat. This is the “hard” part. Take your time, if you cook it too fast, your oats will be crunchy. Remove from heat after all the water is absorbed. When it’s cooking I chop up my apple and share the other 1/2 with the husband.


Pour contents into a bowl and top with apples, craisins, and golden raisins! (I didn’t have any golden raisins today.)

I think it’s a great rendition of McDonald’s oatmeal without all the preservatives! Hopefully you feel the same. Obviously, if you like your oats sweeter, you can add more maple syrup and brown sugar, but I think the sugar from the apples and craisins are the perfect sweetness. Enjoy!