Archive for October, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

October 29, 2010

No, these cookies don’t have any real pumpkin in them, they just look like cute little pumpkins. I wanted to make some sugar cookies to take to a friend who we’re staying with this weekend and I decided to get creative and make them a little fun and festive.

They were so easy to make; I just used my usual sugar cookie recipe, added a little yellow and red food coloring to the dough and shaped the dough into two logs which I stuck in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Then I cut the cookies about a quarter of an inch thick, pressed down on one side a little with a wooden spoon to make them more of a pumpkin shape rather than a circle and laid them on a cookie sheet. Lastly, I took a small, round lid from one of my spice containers and made the two curved indentions then added a chocolate chip on top to serve as a stem.

Voila! Adorable {and super easy} Halloween pumpkin cookies!


Friday Funny

October 29, 2010

A while back I came across this site that has every Garfield comic ever made listed by date; what a gem. Whenever I have spare time and I need a laugh I browse through a few months’ worth and save my favorites in a folder on my desktop. Eventually I’m hoping to make it through all of them and then I’ll have a collection of my all-time favorite Garfield comics.

These are a couple that I just had to share…

Garfield’s going green, haha.

Autumn Apple Pie

October 28, 2010

My first Autumn Bucket List item has officially been checked off! After making that list I quickly realized that visiting a pick-your-own apple orchard in Texas wasn’t going to happen because they simply don’t exist this far south; I’d have to live in Washington or some northwestern {or northeastern} state to get the full experience. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to visit an apple orchard like this one {as seen on b*spoke} but for now I can still bake a yummy apple pie!

Last week while I was picking up some milk for my parents at Dyer Dairy I bought some fresh Cameo apples from north Texas. They were so wonderfully crisp and delicious, I just knew I had to make a pie with some of them.

In the past my apple pies have always turned out a bit watery so I did some looking online for a solution and I think I found it. After mixing the sliced apples with the sugar and spices I let them sit in a bowl for 30 minutes to an hour, this allows the sugar to pull the juices from the apples before baking; then I drained the liquid and microwaved it until it was a thick, syrup consistency. Then I mixed the syrup back in with the apples before putting it in the pie crust.

I cheated and bought the pie crusts from the grocery store, it’s so hard to justify making your own when a 2-pack of crusts only costs around $2. I wanted to make it look pretty though, so I cut the top crust into strips and made a lattice top.

I think it turned out pretty darn good and Mark declared it the best apple pie he’d ever eaten; counts as a win in my book!

Here’s my approximate recipe {I say approximate because I kind of made it up}:

Apple Pie

4-6 medium apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced

2 unbaked pie crusts

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 Tbsp. butter

drizzle of dark maple syrup {if you want}

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and take your pie crusts out of the refrigerator.

Toss the sliced apples with the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup. Let rest in a bowl for 30 minutes to an hour {don’t put in the refrigerator}.

Drain the liquid into a small bowl and microwave for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it reaches a syrup-like consistency. Be sure to watch the liquid carefully because it might boil over.

Mix the syrup and apples back together and pour into pie plate lined with first pie crust.

Top apples with butter cut into small pieces.

Cover apples with second pie crust, brush with water and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1hour. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

A Wonderful Birthday

October 28, 2010

This past Tuesday was my 24th birthday, I guess I’m officially in my mid-twenties now. It’s so strange, I don’t feel old at all, yet when I was in my teens I viewed twenty-somethings as being so old {yet still cool}. I guess it was because I didn’t personally know anyone who was that age that I could relate to. Nevertheless, I now believe that my twenties are my favorite decade of life; there’s so much that happens within these short ten years and I’m overly happy to have more than half of them left ahead of me.

I took the day off from work with little planned and no agenda and that’s exactly what I wanted, nothing to do and all day to do it. Sleeping in until 8am started the day off right, followed by some catching up on blogging and experimenting with the new CS5 Photoshop and Illustrator that we just installed on our new Macbook Pro. Then I drove downtown and met Mandy for lunch at the South Congress Cafe; I can’t wait to go back, I would definitely recommend eating there. After having a yummy {and free!} dessert I ran by Whole Foods to pick out a pumpkin for us to carve later this week. I spent the rest of the afternoon window shopping and scoping out picture frames at Salvation Army and Goodwill. I snagged a few good ones and I’ll be sharing here soon what I plan on doing with them.

The day ended with some quality time spent with my favorite man and, though I’d like to say we’re more interesting than this, we crashed and went to bed early. I’m not hard to please, I just like to relax and enjoy the moment…what a great day.

Living Room Makeover

October 26, 2010

The new slipcover for our sofa came in the mail last week! I was so excited to get the package {I love getting mail} especially because I knew that it would come with a couple of PB catalogs to look through.

I snapped a quick before shot of our lovely red and green plaid sofa; don’t the colors complement the light blue wall so well? haha

I decided to go ahead and put the cover on before ironing it to save myself the trouble if it didn’t fit at all so this is the cover pre-iron.

I was sooo not in love with it. The color was way better than the plaid but I wasn’t quite feeling the look. But I decided to give it a chance to grow on me, so I ironed it and went out and bought the rug I liked from Target plus a couple accent pillows.

The rug grounds the sofa and coffee table and really pulls the whole space together, I am very happy with how it turned out! The next step will be to paint that wall a soft olive green color {similar to the green in the rug}.

Oh, and did you notice my little pinecone arrangement on the table? That spot was just begging for a little something decorative so I grabbed a rectangular platter that we don’t use very often, stuck a couple of pillar candles on it and surrounded them with some pinecones from my collection. It adds a perfect little touch of fall to our living room. I’m not quite sure if I’ll allow myself cross off the pinecone craft from my Autumn Bucket List, this was just too easy!

Autumn Bucket List

October 6, 2010

If you know me at all you probably know about my love of list making; grocery lists, to do lists, packing lists…the list goes on and on {mwahaha}. You might have also caught on to the fact that Fall is my favorite season {sorry Summer, I liked my tan but not the sweat and 105 degree heat}. Today, I am combining my love of the third season with my love of lists and brainstorming 10 things that I hope to accomplish in the next couple of months.

:: Britney’s top ten list of must-do’s this Fall season ::

– Pick apples at an orchard and bake a pie {check}

– Collect pinecones and use them for decoration {half check}

Build something with my dad and bake something with my mom {half check}

Carve pumpkins with the husband {check}

Take an extended weekend camping trip {check}

– Drink hot chocolate while wearing warm socks

Cook a big pot of stew or chili and bake cornbread {check}

Go to an Aggie football game in College Station {check}

– Wear boots, sweaters and scarves

Wrestle with Sadie in the leaves/cuddle with a warm kitty {check}

What Fall-inspired fun makes your list?

Making Our Apartment A Home

October 5, 2010

This past weekend Mark and I {with the help of some family and friends} moved into a smaller apartment; yes, I said smaller. We dropped down a couple hundred square feet in order to save an extra $130 per month on rent so we can reach our goal of paying cash for a house more quickly. Having a second bedroom for over a year allowed our “stuff” collection to expand into the unused space so when we decided on downsizing we sold a few things on craigslist that we knew we could live without and we both purged our closets and drawers. After moving everything into the new place, I honestly didn’t think it would all fit, but after a day or so of rearranging and organizing {a day of heaven for me} everything found a place to live.

Since we’re pretty dead set on this being the last place we live before moving into a house, we know that we’re going to be here for a couple of years; and since we’re already a good ways ahead on our savings outline, we decided that it would be nice to spend a little $$ on decorating. As soon as Mark agreed to this, the wheels in my mind started turning with ideas for our new place…

Over the years past since I discovered Google Reader I’ve been saving images of spaces that peak my interest; I call it my Inspiration Folder. It’s fun to look back through them every now and then and realize that I gravitate towards a particular style…very clean, lot’s of light, rich hardwoods and a touch of country.

Using my inspiration images as a spring-board, I’ve been searching online for items that will help make our new apartment feel more like home and here’s what I’ve come up with:

The two most important things that will pull this room together are the sofa slipcover and the rug; I’m just praying that the Pottery Barn cover will look decent on our sofa because as of now ours is red and green plaid and a new sofa is definitely not in the budget. I absolutely love the rug that I have in the mood board, the downsides are that I’d have to order it online {pay shipping $$}, it’s nearly half my budget, and the reviews say that it’s scratchy because it’s made from wool. Three strikes, you’re out.

Then I ran across this rug at Target yesterday:

I give it 3.5 stars; it’s nice and soft, has red, green and brown in the design, the price is good, but I’m just not 100% in love with it…I set the bar too high by finding that green rug first, grrr.

Lesson learned from hours of online shopping? It’s good for helping you figure out what you do and do not like BUT shopping in a store is way more productive {and fun}. My mom and I are going to do a little shopping together this weekend so hopefully I can make some headway on the decision making front. Most likely our decorating purchases will be spread out across the next couple of months but I’ll be sure to share updates as progress is made!

Anyone have suggestions for places to shop for reasonably priced rugs?