Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Treats

My dear Watson and I made some Christmas treats for some of our neighbors and my work friends.  It was a lot of work but I really liked doing it.  It took us almost 6 hours, so this is definitely not one of those quick, easy, last minute neighbor gift ideas.  BUT, I only spent $11.68 on the few items I didn't already have, and was able to give gifts to 17 people (and it could have been more). That comes out to $.69 per person.

We made peanut butter truffles, almond cremes (recipe posted on my Recipe tab), caramel brownie bites (homemade brownie AND caramel), and dark chocolate truffles.  I learned a dipping technique from The Pioneer Woman (who learned it from Bakerella - the famous cake pop lady) that involves using a toothpick to transfer the candy from the chocolate dipped spoon to the pan. I thought it helped keep the candies nice looking, and was very pleased. 

Here's some documentation, though not much.

Bowl full of chocolates.

The round chocolates are almond cremes and peanut butter; the toffee covered one is almond creme; the square one is a caramel brownie bite.

Tied up with some ribbon.
And this is the special Christmas tag I made to go on each bag. I used Adobe Illustrator, though I can't guarantee I used it correctly.  My big brother Ben showed me a few basics when he was here on a quick business trip a few weeks ago, and I've been trying to put them to use.  I still would have mostly preferred to use Photoshop, but I definitely realized some of the cons to Illustrator (and by cons I mean pros...it took me like 4 times reading through this blog to realize I put the wrong word :) oops!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Well, I just remembered that I'm NOT a fashion designer, so I'm back to Earth now.
I think Christmas lights are magical.
This is the view from my side of the bed.

Isn't it amazing? I love to look up from my reading to see the tree in all its radiance. It takes my breath away.
I wish we could keep Christmas lights on our houses all year long.

Growing up, we always had several different advent calendars all around the house. Most of them involved eating a piece of candy each day. I think we had to fight over who got to do which advent each day.  I think I also remember sneaking candy from the advent calendars a few days before the actual date. If any of my siblings ever ended up with an empty advent on their day I'd like to apologize. Don't beat me up.

Here are our only advent calendars for this year (2 more than last year).  Mom gave us this one.

And I made this one with some of my nieces.

I have informed my dear Watson that I will be collecting advents from now on so that when we have lots of kids and a house, we'll have lots of candy filled advents for our kids to fight over and steal candy from. Sigh....now that's what Christmas is all about.

*** I added a new recipe under my Recipe of the Week tab. It's delicious and is sure to be a hit at your next Christmas party!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Life as a Fashion Designer

I found this amazing blog by a lady named Kristina J. who designs and makes her own dresses. For some reason her dresses are soooo inspiring to me! I feel like I'm a fashion designer all of a sudden. SO, I have been having a lot of fun creating my own outfits on this cool website. Check out my garb! (Yes, I did just say garb....why does that make me think of Strong Bad?)

Just a few casual outfits. I LOVE those pink corduroy Toms. The teal shoes were priced at $1,297. That's a little out of my price range...in fact, they better have diamonds in them for that price.


This is my secret wish. If I ever have a reason to wear sparkle from head to toe...I SO will. I LOVE SPARKLE

Orange and Yellow
This one is my favorite. I love the handbag the most! The boot option only works if you are a one-legged person. Where'd the other boot go?
Floral Dress
I'm not sure I could pull this outfit off. I wanted to do something a little weird though, and I think it turned out pretty weird.

I wish I could snap my fingers and these outfits would appear in my closet!  That would be a really cool super power. It would probably help me fight off bad guys because I could just snap a bunch of outfits in front of their face. Maybe a zipper from something would poke the bad guy in the eye...and voila! I saved the world.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Photo Shoot

Here it is! Our Christmas Photo Shoot session with my lovely mom as our photographer. We have my mom's friend Claudia to thank for the beautiful Christmas Tree background, and my SIL Valerie for editing the photos we used in our final Christmas Card (scroll down to see it). 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sage Advice from a Wisewoman

Check out my new recipe of the week. It will make you a very happy, delicious dinner...and it's super easy. 

I went to a Relief Society dinner last night. First activity in my new ward. You know what? I had better, more meaningful conversations with the women at my table in just one night than I ever had in a whole year of my other ward. I really feel like I made some friends.

During our dinner we had a visit from the Three Wisewomen (just 3 ladies from the ward).  We wrote down some questions and had them answered by our Wisewomen.  Let me share some of the advice we received from one Wisewoman in particular. I don't know her name, but she was quite older (in her 70's probably), and boy did she have a sense of humor.

Q: My kids are picky eaters, how do I get them to eat more vegetables?
A: Pay them.  Pay them for eating their food, particularly the vegetables. Then, when they come to dinner the next night, have a menu out that breaks down the prices of each piece of the meal...and charge them for the food they want.  5 cents for orange juice, 10 cents for dessert.  You get the point.


Q: How do I make my kids stop fighting all the time?
A: Give em'  a pair of boxing gloves and tell them to 'have at it!'  She told a story about her boys who were fighting constantly, so she gave each one of them a stick and told them to 'have at it'. They just stared at her like she was crazy. She prodded them some more, so they gave each other a light whack, then dropped the stick and went off to play with each other.


Anyway, I just thought she was so funny. You could tell she never takes herself too seriously and is willing to just laugh her way through difficult things.

Stay tuned for our Christmas Photo Shoot session......coming soon!

I love this I Am a Mormon video. Another person who can just laugh himself through difficult things.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


We have two calendars hanging up in our spare room. A Watson calendar and a Porter calendar. I flipped them both to the month of December, and it hit me: we were given these calendars for Christmas last year, and Christmas is almost here this year which means......the calendars end after this month! You mean, we've flipped through a whole year's worth of months? It was shocking. Has a year really passed by already?

I walked over to the lobby at work and looked out the window at the little patio area. Sometimes, when the weather is nice, I read a book on one of the benches.  There is a tree about every 3 feet on this patio and they are usually full of beautiful leaves.  This time though, as I looked out at the trees I could count how many leaves were on them; and they weren't green or red or yellow, they were dried up and brown. Where the heck did all the leaves go? I'm serious, it was like it was just yesterday that the leaves were in full bloom.


I don't always mind that time flies by right now, because I don't particularly love the stage of life we're in at the moment.  I know eventually I'll look back and love it, but while we're in it I have a hard time wishing it would last forever. You know, the still in school, working full time, no family yet, no career path yet etc... stage of life. It's a lot of waiting around trying to figure things out.  But something tells me that when we're in a stage of life we enjoy a little better, time is not going to slow down any-- and I don't think I'm okay with that.

My brother and his fam got a dog, (a cockapoo) and I'm jealous. (Which I didn't think I would be. dogs poop.) She is the cutest thing I ever saw AND she laid her head on my shoulder...seriously. 

I added a recipe to my new Favorite Recipe of the Week tab up at the top. Check it out, because it's delicious and I'm sure you'll want to make it.


How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.  ~Zall's Second Law

Time is making fools of us again.  ~J.K. Rowling