Monday, April 25, 2011

Recipe Roundup 2- Chocolate Bark

I have a favorite dessert that is my go to recipe for parties and potlucks.  At my house we just call it Chocolate Bark, but it is also known as toffee or heath bars.  One of friends has lovingly named them after me in her recipe book:)  It is super easy and DELICIOUS!  I have seen it made a variety of ways, but this way is my personal favorite. 

yummy chocolate bark!!

1 sleeve club crackers
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use light)
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 16 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Spread out club crackers on a standard size cookie sheet, leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch empty on the edges.  I break crackers smaller to fill in spaces if there is not enough room for an entire cracker.
3. On the stovetop in a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat.  Once the butter is really melting, I start stirring frequently.  The butter and sugar should start to look creamy and will be a light brown color. 
4. At this point, add in the baking soda and stir.  The mixture will get frothy. (**Don't leave the sugar mixture on the stove long after this point or it will start to burn)
5. Pour mixture over the crackers and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for 7 minutes or until crackers are golden.
6. Take crackers out of the oven.  Immediately pour the entire bag of chocolate chips over the hot bubbly crackers (I try to evenly disperse over the crackers as I dump them out). Wait about 30 seconds-1 minute for the chocolate to start to melt and then begin spreading the chocolate evenly over the crackers.
7. Refrigerate tray for 4 hours or freeze for 45 minutes.  Break apart into bite size pieces and enjoy! (If waiting to serve, keep refrigerated.  The crackers begin to thaw and become sticky:)
Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stella & Dot favorites

I had a request for pictures of my favorite combinations of Stella & Dot pieces (thats my other day job) and I have been too busy lazy to take actual pictures, so this is the next best thing!  I thought I would highlight a few of my obsessions....starting with necklaces!

Statement Necklaces:

              Bamboleo                                     Marakesh Bib                                  Revival Tassel

 Metropolitan Mixed Chain                        Sofia Cluster Bib                          Turquoise Sea Necklace

These necklaces can be worn with dresses for work or weddings or even with jeans and a simple Target shirt.  I love statement necklaces because it makes getting dressed pretty darn simple!

Delicate Necklaces:

               On the Mark                                     After Midnight                                Pave Clover

            Signature Clover                            Chelsea (in Hematite)             Personalized Charm collections

I love to layer the delicate necklaces.  I tend to wear the Pave Clover and the On The Mark necklaces together often, as well as the Signature Clover with the Chelsea in gold.  I also combine my charm necklaces with other delicate pieces.  That is one great thing about Stella & Dot pieces is that they are very versatile...can be dressed up or very casual!

I would love to hear what necklaces are your favorites, so go take a look at my website ( and tell me your picks in the comments!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Recipe Roundup Part 1

We had our wonderful church home group over last night for a cookout and to celebrate one of our friends giving his heart to Christ (PTL!)
(**On a side note, he is a super funny guy.  His name is Saulo and when he was telling us that he had accepted Christ, he said maybe his name shall now be Paulo.  We were cracking up- too funny! Maybe his spiritual gift is humor? He also said that our BBQ should be a "saulo"bration....)
 Anyways, we were having almost 20 people over so to cut down on the cost of food, I decided to make homemade salsa and a dessert from 'scratch'.  They both seemed to be a big hit so I thought I would share them here too!

Restaurant Style Salsa- Pioneer Woman Recipe
(Her directions are way more detailed and she photographs every step.  It will not hurt my feelings if you just go to her website.  Really, its ok.)


*1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
*2 cans (10 oz) Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles)
*1/4 cup chopped onion
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin
*1/4 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp sugar
*1/4 tsp cumin
*1/2 cup fresh cilantro
*1/2 whole lime juice
(I have made this numerous times now, and to be honest I do it a little differently each time.  I also quit measuring and do it all to my taste preference.)
You will either need a food processor or some type of blender to make the salsa.  I use a hand blender but that is really only because I gave away our blender during our last move because I didn't want to pack it. But all you need to do is combine all the ingredients in your blender/food processor/bowl and blend until it is the consistency you prefer.  Then taste your salsa and adjust ingredients as needed.  I typically add more lime juice and salt to mine, but thats just me:). 
**Side note, this recipe makes a very large batch so its great for parties or for people who really LOVE salsa!

I will post the Chocolate Bark recipe later in the week, so keep an eye out for it soon! Happy Monday:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

stirring of the heart

I can definitely feel the Lord stirring my heart....I just am not sure what for just yet.  Do you ever have times like that?  Where you know something is coming, a lesson or a change of some kind, but you aren't sure what yet?  That is where I am at.  It's been going on for a few weeks now and getting progressively stronger.  Honestly, it makes me nervous, but I am excited at the same time.  What could the Lord have in store for me? What is he preparing my heart for?  I am going to be doing a great deal of prayer in hopes of sorting through the mess of thoughts in my head and the feelings in my heart because right now its all a bit jumbled. 

On a different note, we added to our family yesterday!  No, I am not pregnant.  We sponsored a Compassion child!  He is 8 years old and lives in Ethiopia and I think my heart grew the moment I saw his sweet picture.  I am really excited about this relationship and the opportunity to show the love of Jesus to this boy across the world from me.  The husband and I have already starting brainstorming what we want to send him in his first letter/package.  One thing is a definite- he is going to be overloaded with pictures of the pups because I am a crazy mom with all my picture taking of them.  For example:

 Bo sporting his 3d glasses

 clearly this is old...Tallulah is now almost 4 years old! But is this not the sweetest picture? Precious.

 Bo at Halloween a few years ago....dont you think he loved his costume??

 best friends

This picture is here for two reasons: 1)Do your pets not sit on dining room chairs? No? Just ours? Bad dog.
2) I finally am figuring out photoshop so hopefully my pictures will improve.  We shall wait and see.

I look forward to updating you on our new family member in the months to come and how the Lord is using him to teach us!  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, I highly recommend visiting Compassion International's website.  They are an amazing organization that is sharing the love of Jesus to all the nations!

Have a blessed week!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

P is for projects

I had noticed a new Pottery Barn knock off DIY floating around blog land recently and decided to give it a whirl. Have you seen these in a recent PB catalog?

Live Moss Letters

I LOVE the moss letters.  They are so cute for Spring and Summer and when do I not love using a monogram?? Well PB was charging like $75 or some crazy town price that I was not about to I decided that I too could have this super cute spring decor the DIY way.  So off to Hobby Lobby I went to hunt for the perfect materials.  I was in luck!  I found everything I needed and on SALE too! 

Here is what you will need:

(ignore the mess in this picture...I haven't mastered the cute staged blog photo yet:)

-hot glue gun
-glue sticks
-Letter of your choosing: I chose the cute gold letters that Hobby Lobby has that are 3D and have more of a type style font.  It was on sale so it only cost $5!
-1 bag of Reindeer moss (in the floral section at HL)
-ribbon (optional)

How to make your own mossy monogram:
1. Cover your work space so that you dont get bits of moss and hot glue strings all over the place.
2. Using small bits of moss (I found quarter size to be best), hot glue the moss to the front of the letter piece by piece.
3. Repeat method on to sides/edges of letter.
4. Fill in any holes where you can see the gold of the letter peaking through.
5. When you are content with the moss coverage of your letter, you can attach the ribbon to the back of your letter.  I used wire gold ribbon because that is what I had leftover from Christmas, but I am sure any ribbon would work:).  I looped the ribbon around the letter and tied it in a bow at the top.  I then hung it from a door hook.  If your letter does not have a circular part, you could easily hot glue your ribbon ends to the back of the frame.  Just make sure if you want a bow to tie your bow BEFORE glueing the ends!

Here is how mine turned out:

Tada!! Cute right? It took less than an hour from start to finish (while watching TV sporatically) and it cost around $10! It makes me happy:) 

Happy crafting!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fashion Security Blanket

Do you have a fashion security blanket? Something that you wear (possible frequently!) that makes you feel comfortable and better about yourself? I do...THE CARDIGAN. 

Single Sheet Cardigan
(anthro the mustard color!)

I was so thankful when these came back in style and were no longer designated for dorky librarians (no offense to anyone who knows a librarian who has sported these awesome sweaters...they were just ahead of the times...).  There are so many different options- colors, patterns, lengths, etc.  I probably wear some sort of cardigan at least 3 times a week.  They are perfect for covering up flabby arms and any unsightly bulges, without having to give up any style. You can wear them with skirts, dresses, pants, jeans, ANYTHING! I am going to have find some lightweight cardigans for the summer because I can't imagine life without the security of my cardigan sweater!!  What is your fashion security blanket?? I know you have one- jean jacket? spanx? Fess up!