Sunday, October 21, 2012

No Bones About it...its Almost HALLOWEEN!

I love Halloween - not just the dressing up or because my birthday is right before BUT all of it!  The sweater season, the cold/cloudy days, SOUP, etc.  So I decided to celebrate this time of year with making some candy to share with my friends.  Found this cute recipe (on Pinterest, original site here http://inspireco.blogspot.com/2011/10/dem-bones.html ) and thought I would try it out!

Bone Candies

What you will need:
Bag of Marshmallows
Bag of 'sticks'' pretzels
1 lb of white almond bark

Sauce pan
Metal bowl (that fits in your sauce pan)
Wax paper
Pan
Fork 
Mason Jars

Start with getting your marshmallows and pretzels out.  I would suggest pulling the marshmallows apart because it helps speeds things up.


Take and put one marshmallow on either end of the pretzel.  As I was making them I put them onto wax paper so the marshmallows did not stick to anything else. I made about 160 of these, which only used about 1/2 of both bags.  If you have kids this would be a great job for them to do!


When you have all of the pretzel/marshmallows put together start to heat your chocolate.  I do not have a double boiler so I made a make shift one.  Use a saucepan and put in water so it will just touch your bowl.  Bring the water to a boil, then turn it down.  Put your bowl in the pan and put the chocolate in and let it melt.  Keep stirring it, it will help melt it.  (NOTE:  If your bowl keeps bubbling up and steam keeps escaping turn down the heat on the water - it doesn't have to keep boiling just has to keep the bowl warm)


When the chocolate is melted drop in one of the pretzel/marshmallow's in and use a fork to cover it.  Once it is full of chocolate pick up the bone in the middle using the fork and let the excess chocolate drip off.  (You can put more than one bone in at a time, but I found if I did it one at a time I only covered the bone with as much chocolate as it needed and didn't waste any of the chocolate)


After the excess chocolate dripped off put the covered bone on a pan with wax paper.  


When the pan is full I then moved it over to my table and slid the wax paper full of bones there to dry and covered the pan again with wax paper to continue dipping my bones.  Continue this process until all of your chocolate is used.

    

The bones dried pretty quickly, I would say about 20-30 minutes.  I then put them into mason jars (that I got for a $1 at the Dollar Store) and gave them to my friends!


I hope you enjoy making these (and eating them!) as much as I did!  They were a big hit!  This is a fun, easy and cheap project to do if you are in a 'crafty' mood like I was.  I hope you have a great Halloween!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Allure Studio

My Mom owns two studio's back in Wisconsin.  Maybe I am a little biased but she does GREAT work!!!  My sister now works with her and she does hair and makeup for some of the photo shoots.

When I went home last week and they put me to work!  Our photo shoot was inspired by Zooey Deschanel - who just happens to be one of my style icons!  Here are some photo's that we did!




Do yourself a favor and check out their Web site (http://www.nowandthenphotography.net/), their Blog (http://blog.allure-studio.net/) and/or their FaceBook page (http://www.facebook.com/allurestudio314).  If you are in Wisconsin or Minnesota give them a call!  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dollar Store!

I saw a post on Pinterest the other day about things you should and should not buy at the Dollar Store - I thought it was a great post!  I myself go to the Dollar Store more often than I thought I ever would!  In my younger days I thought it made me look cheap or poor, but now I think it makes me look smart!  As a single gal trying to budget, shopping at the Dollar Store is a great thing!  Why pay $4 for a thing of baggies when I can get the same thing but for $1!

So the last time I was shopping I decided to take some pictures of things that I buy on a pretty frequent basis or things I now usually buy from there.

You can get 6 clothes hangers for $1 - that makes each hanger .16 cents!


I don't have kids or usually have to clean up real messy things so these off brand paper towels and napkins work great!


I love buying cards from the Dollar Store!  They are cute and you can get some really nice ones - best part is they are TWO for a $1!


I now only buy gift bags and wrapping paper from the Dollar Store.  They have a great selection and I don't feel like wrapping a gift costs as much as the present!


I have a cat, which means I have a litter box.  Air fresheners are something I need!  Again the Dollar Store pulls through and for a $1 I can make that closet smell like an Apple Orchard instead of poo.


Same brand as the grocery stores - but a heck of a lot cheaper!  I used to only use baggies when I absolutely needed them because I hated how much they were.  Now since I can get them for a $1 I don't feel guilty when I use them!  (Side note: Don't get the "Sandwich" baggies they are very thin - keep to the storage ones)


Reynolds Wrap is about $3 at Walmart - here it is the same thing for $1!


Lets say you are going to a party and you are bringing some food, but you really don't want to use one of your nice plates.  Go to the Dollar Store and get a plate that will get the job done for $1!  And this way if you end up leaving before the party is done you won't feel bad leaving the plate there.


In college I acquired most of my tupperware through thievery - what I mean is if people gave me food to bring home their tupperware didn't usually make it back to them…(Sorry Mom!)

The Dollar Store has some great choices for good tupperware!  If you are sending cookies to a deployed solider you can spend more on the cookies and not have to worry about spending too much for the tupperware!


I have a dishwasher so I don't tend to use dish soap that often, so I really could not justify pay $3-$4 for it.  But for $1 I can use all my hearts desire when I do have to hand wash things!  (Side note:  Stick to the name brands on dish soap.  The off brands here don't work as well) 


So whether you are a college student living on next to nothing or just someone who is trying to live on a budget to save money, the Dollar Store is a GREAT place to go!  Its a great feeling when you go to the check out and the 10 items you got comes to $10 and not $30!  Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July!

I went home this past week to help with my Ma's Open House for the new studio!  We worked the Open House a good portion of the time but we had some fun in-between working!  It was also our town days (coupled with the 4th of July) so there were things going on around town.  I thought I would share some pictures of the good times we had!

I got to spend some good quality time with my puppies Ben and Beame!


My Dad and Brother competed in the Annual Canoe Races and got 2nd out of 15 teams!


Went fishing!  Gave Vivy her birthday present for her 2nd birthday - She loved her Cabbage Patch baby doll!


Had some great family time!  It was good to be home and surrounded by loved ones!


It is always sad to leave home, but I know I have a loving family that supports me and my decisions (even if they want me to live closer!) and I know they will be there no matter what.  And because of that I am the luckiest girl in the world : )

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Healthy-ish food?

I have been on a bit of a health kick lately - mostly trying not to have too much bread in my diet, exercising, cutting back on pop/soda and junk food, etc…And I have found a lot of great recipes on the internet (Ahem..Pinterest..Ahem…)  Today I made some Oatmeal muffins for my breakfasts for the next week and a lovely side dish made of tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini and squash to go with my chicken.  I thought I would share the yummy albeit healthy meals!  And these are 'heathly' to my standards : )

Oatmeal Muffins
Instead of making oatmeal for breakfast every morning I can now just have an already made yummy oatmeal muffin!  I made three different kinds (the batter makes A LOT) chocolate chip, apple and butterscotch.  The other variations I used were that I used honey and almond milk, added some peanut butter and I let them cook for 35 minutes.



Summer Vegetable Tian

What does one eat with plain chicken?  Lately green beens would have been my answer, but now this lovely summer vegetable tian will be!  It was quick and easy to make, and very filling!  I made one change - I didn't have Thyme (and didn't want to spend $5 on a jar of it) so I put Rosemary and Sage on it.




I really liked these two recipes and love that food can be good for you and taste good!  It is hard trying to eat well and it is easy to run out of ideas to what to cook instead of going out for fast food, but I hope you decide to make a healthy dish next time instead of going to McDonald's!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dang you Pinterest!

O Pinterest why do you put ideas in my head?  I was supposed to be falling asleep but instead I was browsing Pinterest and found a pin on "DIY Maxi Skirts" (here is the blog the pin went to: http://individualrivalry.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/its-here-diy-maxi-skirt-tutorial.html)…Its like a short person's dream to have a full length skirt that actually fits!!!  I didn't really have any plans for my Sunday - so dress making it was!

Am I a great sewer?  Nope.  Am I an average sewer?  Not really…that would be pushing it.  Am I a beginner sewer with a sewing machine?  Bingo!  Actually the dresses where not that hard to construct (w/ a lil phone help from my mom who does sew), but making them fit just right seemed to be my problem.  I made one skirt a bit small and the other one a bit big.  Here they are:



The one that was a lil big, I took in a little bit (the top picture) so it is now wearable.  I am excited to wear it tomorrow to work!

Find me on Pinterest at: http://pinterest.com/llaraem27/

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I did it!!!

OK so I have not been on here that much lately - working 2 jobs, volunteering and training has takes up a lot of time!!  So I apologize.

I ran the Ogden 1/2 marathon today!!!!!  It was a ton of work and I can't say it was easy - but was it worth it?  Absolutely!  The path we took for the 13.1 miles ran down the length of Pine View reservoir, through the Ogden canyon, down by the Riverpark trail and then to historic 25th St.  The prettiest scenery the run could have had!

My time for the 1/2 marathon was 2 hours and 16 min!  I was trying to run it in under 2 1/2 hours and I did! I believe I was in the top half for females in my age group.

The GOAL foundation did such a great job with the event!  As a runner I could not have asked for anything more.  So thank you GOAL foundation for putting on great even that I enjoyed thoroughly! The atmosphere of all the volunteers, spectators and runners was such a positive one, that even when I was on mile 12 I could not help but smile.


If you are in the Ogden area or you run I would definitely recommend this race!  And if you are not a runner than you should see about volunteering for the event!

I would like to thank everyone for the kind words and encouragement I have received during my training!  Especially I would like to thank Emy, Megan, Amanda and Carly - Thank you for all that you did!

AND I would love to thank the wonderful person/people that decorated my apartment door!  Words can't express the love I felt when I saw it when I got home : )  It meant a lot to me that someone took time and thought of this and did it!  So THANK YOU to whoever did it - I appreciated it with my whole heart.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Get to know…The Audition

One of my favorite bands that you might not know is The Audition.  I first saw them at The Warehouse (in LaCrosse, Wisconsin) back in college.  I totally dug their sound and they had great charisma on stage, afterwards I got a chance to chat up the band and got to know them.  They were very interactive and personable with their fans - which is a total plus with me!  Since that show in 2005 they have released 5 albums, went through some lineup changes, left their record label, have toured with a multitude of bands and kept plugging away making fantastic music.  Below is a video called "You Ruined This" from their fourth album Great Danger.


They just released a new album called Chapter 2 and you can get it on iTunes, I reccomend "You Gotta Believe This".  Danny Stevens is an amazing lyricist and that man can write one hell of a ballad.  I just got my tickets to see them with Eve 6 next month and can't tell you how excited I am to see them again!  If you would like to see if they are coming to your area check out their FaceBook page at http://www.facebook.com/theauditionband.  The Audition is an amazing band that I believe do not get enough attention.  Please do yourself a favor and check them out!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Training - Week 2

I have been training for about 2 weeks now for my 1/2 marathon and everything seems to be going great!  For my longer runs I have been at 10:30 per mile and for my shorter runs I have been at 10 min per mile.  I have been feeling really good after all of my long runs and feel like I could go on for longer!  And this morning I actually cut a minute off my 3 mile run!

The other day I was going to my friends the Foo's house and decided to see how far my house was from theres, out of curiosity.  I was stunned - it was exactly 13.1 miles!!!!  Sh**.  It takes me about 20 minutes to drive that, how am I going to RUN that!!  Don't worry it didn't dismay me too much.  I am still loving training and as soon as the nice weather comes and this wind goes away I will be outside as much as possible!

My sister had texted me this picture awhile ago, since I run, and I am pretty sure I am the bottom picture!  Thanks Tamara!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pi day + St. Patricks day

Happy St. Patricks day and belated Pi day!  In the spirit of both holidays I decided to make a mint chocolate pie.  On Monday we are having our annual Pi competition (yeah its a lil late) and I decided to make a practice pie today, on St. Patty's day!  I am at least 1/4 irish so I feel as though I have to eat something green and have a beer.  I found a great recipe for a super easy mint oreo pie at http://iowagirleats.com/2010/03/14/st-patricks-day-chocolate-mint-pie/.  

Ingredients:
1 package instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon mint extract, divided
1 1/2 cups cool whip
Green food coloring
12 mint Oreo cookies
1 pre-made Orea cookie pie crust



Take 12 mint oreo cookies...



and put them in a bag and crush them till they are chunky (about the size of a dime)


In a bowl, whisk the milk and the pudding together and until it is blended.  Then fold in 3/4 cup cool  whip , 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and 1 cup of the smashed Oreos


Pour the mix into the pie crust


In a different bowl mix together another 3/4 cup cool whip, 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and green food coloring.  After that is mixed together spread the mix evenly on top of the pie


Top the remaining Oreo crumbs on top of the Cool Whip mixture and chill for at least 1 hour before eating



I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I did!  Hopefully I can keep my reign as cream pie winner in our Pi competition…after winning a pie last year and the last chili competition people are going to expect I know how to cook!  Enjoy your St. Patty's day as well - be sure to have some beer to celebrate the day!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Get to know…The Maine

I love music - if you know me you know this!  So I thought I would start posting videos of songs I dig, songs that motivate me or if I find a new band people might not know yet.

I decided that my first video I would post is "Misery" by The Maine.  I discovered this great band from my Alternative Press magazine App for my iPad (if you love alternative music this App is a MUST!).  The magazine has a feature that you can listen to the different bands they are talking about and a song from The Maine stuck out to me immediately and I had to have their album!    I hope you dig this song as much as I do!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1/2 Marathon…Who Me?!?!?!

I entered my name in a drawing a few weeks ago at an event I was volunteering at to win a free entry to race in the Ogden Marathon or Half Marathon.  The Ogden Marathon is supposed to be a fantastic race to participate in and the race sold out in a matters of hours.  So I thought why not put my name in the hat to see if I win?  Now how many drawings do you enter your name in and you don't win - a lot!  Well sure enough I was picked as their winner!!  Awesome - right?!  But..O wait…THAT MEANS I HAVE TO RUN A HALF MARATHON!  The race in on May 19th - that's not quite 10 weeks!

I have been running over the last year and a half but the most I have ever ran was 5-6 miles.  A half marathon is 13.1 miles.  Today I went to a girl in my office, Emy, who has ran multiple full marathons and asked her if 10 weeks was enough to start training and she said absolutely!  She said it won't be as bad because I do run already.  She was also kind enough to offer to make me a training schedule!  So hopefully with the Emy and some determination and will power on my part I will be able to not only run a half marathon, but finish!

There you have it.  Half marathon..YES ME!  I will start training next week (I have a pretty nasty cold right now and just breathing seems to be a success) and am looking forward to not only working towards this goal but achieving it as well!

Monday, February 20, 2012

No more hoarding quarters...

A few weeks ago I thought I had come into a bit of luck.  My friend was moving into a new house and the previous owners were trying to get rid of an old pair of washer and dryer.  After a bit of conversation with the lady we agreed I would purchase them for $250.  What a deal!  Well to make a long story short - no it ended up not being such a good deal…(if you want the full story ask me!)

But it did motivate me to purchase a new pair of washer and dryer.  That meant no more using the crappy apartment provided laundry room and no more hoarding quarters!!!!  The new washer and dryer were delivered this past weekend and I was like a kid in a candy store!  I have been doing laundry nonstop!  I purchased the Maytag 6000 at the advice of a friend's husband.


I have decided that me being this excited for a washer and dryer means that I am officially an adult...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dew Tour!

Last weekend it was the Dew Tour up at Snowbasin.  I went up there and watched a practice at the super pipe and got some great pictures and video!

O. My. Gosh. that pipe was HUGE!!






Here is the video:


I had a great time up there watching the snowboarders!  Next year I plan on going up there for some of the actual events and if you live in the area I would suggest to go!  The event is free and totally worth the time - but dress warm!