Cool Summer Treats

It’s that time of year for cool summer treats. With the weather heating up around here we are in the mood for ice cream, ice pops and any cool treats we can get our hands on.

Now to wipe the dust off of our ice cream machine and get the milk churning!

Here are a few cool treats on our ‘to make immediately’ list.

Key Lime Pie Ice Pops
Caffe Latte Ice Cream
Burnt Caramel Bourbon Ice Cream with Milk Chocolate Toffee
Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Popsicles

Want more? Check out my Baby, It is cold in here Pinterest Page.


Adventures in Pinterest: Personalized Mugs

My sister and her boyfriend come over every week. I make dinner and dessert. We play board games, watch movies and do crafts (gingerbread houses for Christmas, decorating ninja cookies, etc.). Last week we decided to try making our own personalized mugs.

Pinterest is infested with pins of white mugs covered in permanent/sharpie marker designs. If you are new to the Sharpie mug phenomenon it is simple: take Sharpies, draw on a mug, and bake them in the oven for a hand crafted permanently designed mug. It sounds so easy! But if you click through the multiple sites that have tried this project you will see each using a different method with some reporting terrible results (i.e. drawings wiping off, not dishwasher proof or fading). Part of what makes the Sharpie Mugs so popular is that it is a craft that you can do immediately because you already have the supplies at home. BUT instead of going the sharpie marker way, I decided to spend a little extra money on ceramic pens to be on the safe side.  We used Decor Art Glass Paint Markers from Micheal’s (($3.99 a pen).

With ceramic pens in hand we each decorated a mug. Hearts, dots, flowers, and other interesting drawings came about. Once we finished with decorating, I set them on a baking sheet and allow them to dry for an hour. I then placed them in a cold oven (this is important! you want them to heat up with the oven), turned the oven to 375 and set a timer for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes was up, I turned the oven off, cracked the oven open a bit and left the cups to cool with the oven. Once they’re cool they’re ready to use!

Note: I have hand washed the mugs and the designs have not wiped off. We have also put them in the dishwasher and they have come out perfectly!! Success! 

Step away from the everyday to-do-lists and just relax

Something clicked a few weeks ago.

I had been working on multiple projects at work. At the end of my work day, I’d find myself coming home to cooking/cleaning/laundry/more work; it seemed nothing was getting completed and more things were being thrown on my plate. I was pulling myself in twenty different directions, on multi-tasking overload. I thrive on working hard and playing hard. But there comes a time when you just need to stop. Be it a couple of hours, a day or a week. You need to gather yourself up and step away from the everyday to-do-lists and just relax.

So we booked a spontaneous cruise to Bermuda.

Don’t get me wrong. We don’t have money to throw around on trips, but both Mr. Sweet and I knew we needed to get away. I was overloaded and he is starting a new job in just a week’s time. We agreed to take this opportunity to go on a vacation. So three weeks before the boat sailed, we booked our trip. The day before we were to sail, we packed.

The trip was pure bliss. Days of endless ocean, pinks sands, teal waters, mid-day naps, tropical drinks, laughter and falling in love with the island.

We are now refreshed.

Tuesday’s Inspiration.

As was told yesterday, K and I are going to try to experience life without television for a month.  We both love to challenge ourselves.  For us this is a pretty big challenge because we are both so used to having the television as a distraction.  Last night was our first night.  K did fine.  I, on the other hand, did not do as well.  I was bit a cranky.  I yelled at K. I yelled at Layla, our cat. I yelled at the bed when I stubbed my toe.  Hopefully it was just because of the day I had, not anything that had to do with our challenge.  Let’s see how tonight goes.

So while we have nights without television we will be doing things that inspire us -reading a great book, playing a game of scrabble, having long talks, long walks and DIY projects.  Below are a couple of projects that I have been meaning to make.  They are pinned on Pinterest and have sat there for months.  Now it is time to get the supplies out and bring them to life.

1. Scrabble coasters
2. Crayon Wreath {Perfect present for my sister who is a teacher}
3. Guitar shelving {We already have a guitar that is broken!}
4. Snowball Wreath
5. DIY: Taco Seasoning {Mmm..tacos}
6. Colorful DIY Mirror

Fill in the Blank Friday

Horrary it is Friday!

Looking forward to this weekend! So what a better way to start it then with a Fill in the Blank Friday from The Little Things We Do…

1. Something that makes me a great friend is that I am the planner. When everyone else is doing their thing and can’t think of planning something out to see each other I send out the request. I know that everyone has their own life and schedules, but I like to be the one to put a little fun in there. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming, but I enjoy it in the end.

2. I am a wife, daughter, sister, friend, lover, people pleaser, planner, baker, cook, people watcher, coffee lover, movie watcher, bunny lover, book reader.

3. I am not a summer lover, kiwi eater, tolerant of rude people.

4. If I had to describe myself in 3 words, they would be loving, comfortable and observant.

5. Something I’m really cheap about is certain products. My make-up is Cover Girl. I don’t need to have a Dior lipstick because it says Dior. My body wash is $2.99 and works just as good as any $10.00 product. I don’t mind buying food products without fancy labels, because really if you read the ingredients they are the same just in different packaging.

6. Something I’m willing to splurge on is shoes and clothing for work. If you find a good pair of shoes or great shirt/sweater/slacks why not spend the extra money? You know that you are going to wear them and they are going to last.

7. I would trade the cold winters for 70 degree weather all year around.

A new list for a new year.

I have been thinking a lot about my 101 in 1001. I have been going over it and I have realized that some of the things that I had listed in 2009 are not tasks that I still want to do. In the time that has gone by since I first started the list, thing have changed. I have gotten married, I am older and priorities have changed. I have decided that I want to do a new list. With new tasks that I will look forward to and will actually want to complete. Some have moved from the old list onto the new, some are new but all are things that I am looking forward to doing in the future.

The Mission :
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date: January 1, 2010
End Date: September 29, 2012

1. Lose 20 pounds
2. Read 30 new books (0/30)
3. Travel to 3 states I’ve never been to before (0/3)
4. Learn to drive stick-shift
5. See a production by Cirque de Soleil
6. Visit Canada
7. Go berry picking
8. Save for a house
9. Take a cruise
10. Go camping
11. Cook 25 new dinners (0/25)
12. Bake 10 new desserts (0/10)
13. Make my own cookbook
14. Give a copy my own cookbook to someone as a gift
15. Buy myself flowers for no reason
16. Stop drinking soda completely
17. Become a vegetarian for a month
18. Watch 20 movies that I have never seen (0/20)
19. Visit the botanical gardens in the city
20. See a movie at the drive-in
21. Go one week without television
22. Travel to a tropical island
23. See two musicals on Broadway (0/2)
24. Save 3 month’s salaries for an emergency fund
25. Do not eat any take out for an entire month
26. Buy a fire safe
27. Get a promotion
28. Attend the Renaissance Festival
29. Travel to a foreign country with my husband
30. Put $5 in savings for every completed goal
31. Go back to school
32. Take a photography class for the fun of it
33. Go to a concert
34. Knit a scarf
35. Refurbish dining room table and chairs
36. Go to the Guggenheim
37. Build a snowman
38. Buy everything that is still on our registries
39. Finish Christmas shopping before Halloween
40. Learn to play the piano
41. Learn to be more adventurous with fashion
42. Go whale watching
43. See an active volcano
44. Go snow tubing
45. Swing down a zip line
46. Go ATVing
47. Walk a marathon (hey you have to walk before you can run!)
48. Get published in a magazine and/or newspaper
49. Finish five DIY projects (0/5)
50. See the Northern Lights
51. Take a cooking class and learn something really great
52. Rent a convertible somewhere warm and drive with the top down
53. Start to clear debts, some if not all
54. Get my blog redesigned
55. Have three girls nights out (0/3)
56. Enter a contest of some sort (cooking, writing, photography, etc.)
57. Go to a taping of Martha Stewart Show
58. Go to the Finger Lakes Wine Festival
59. Go on a road trip with no predetermined destination
60. Get flexible enough to touch my toes
61. Find a new apartment to move into next October
62. Do something I’ve always been afraid of
63. Stop cussing for 1 week
64. Go to a book signing and get a book signed

65. Restore contact with three people I’ve lost along the way
66. Make our wedding album
67. Spend a rainy day with my husband watching films in our PJ’s
68. Make breakfast in bed for my husband
69. Watch 5 movies that my husband loves that I am not interested in (0/5)
70. Send my uncle all of the photos he has lost
71. Make a gingerbread house with my husband
72. Go on a date with K once per month (0/33)
73. Take a vacation to Disney with my husband
74. Buy 5 things off Etsy (0/5)
75. Win a contest with something I did or made
76. Love every day
77. Surprise someone with a card or gift
78. Take a photo of 101 things that make me happy (1/101)

79. Master making fresh pasta
80. Learn to make the perfect cheesecake
81. Throw 50 parties/dinner get togethers (0/50)
82. Try 15 new restaurants (0/15)
83. Learn to bake French pastries
84. Host a wine and cheese party
85. Taste 20 kinds of cheeses (0/20)
86. Make marshmallows
87. Try at least 20 desserts from the Bon Appetit Desserts Cookbook (0/20)
88. Complete every recipe in The Best Of Cooking Light: Everyday Favorites (0/500)
89. Find a new musical artist to add to my list of music every day for a month (0/30)
90. Buy a china cabinet
91. Try 20 new cocktails (0/20)
92. Try 10 new video games (0/10)
93. Establish a regular game night and/or movie night
94. Watch 5 foreign films (0/5)
95. Pick a spice every month & learn how use and prepare food with it (0/33)
96. Try 5 new teas (0/5)
97. Learn to make gnocchi
98. Attended a comedy show with friends
99. Learn to bake bread
100. Learn to make my own jam
101. Make five ice creams and/or sorbets (0/5)

So fresh and so clean.

It’s hard to believe that another year has flown by, I have to say that I’m more than ready to swiftly move into the next year and quite looking forward to 2011. I don’t know if it is because I just got married or that new things are popping up in a couple of weeks, but I feel like 2011 is going to be a good one.

Welcome, 2011, I think we’re going to get along!

I have a few New Year’s resolutions. Nothing too crazy, just a couple of things that I would like to do. If I decide later on down the line that I don’t want to do them, I won’t. But for now…

We want to have more wine and cheese parties. We want to have people over for good food, laughs and fun.

I want to make more soups. I want to cook great looking and tasting foods. This Christmas I was given two cookbooks. I think I might do a cookbook challenge and see how many I can cook from them.

We want to go on another amazing vacation. This may not happen this year, but in January 2012. We are looking forward to saving up and having fun!

What would you like to do in this new year?

Recipe Roundup

My google reader is alway filled with posts with delicious looking recipes.  I save them so that I don’t forget about them.  Here are just a few that look amazing that I wanted to share with you.

Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate all rolled up in a cute little cookie? These Peanut Butter Macarons look devine.

And peanut butter and pumpkin? Oh wow! Bakerella does it again with these Williams-Sonoma Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares!

How about these Brown Eyed Baker Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies anyone? Or her Pumpkin Cheesecake?

Or the perfect way to get rid of all of the Butterfinger’s that we have from Halloween with Annie Eat’s Butterfinger Cupcakes?

Or make more candy with these Homemade Twix Bars from Not without Salt?

All look tasty!! What should I try first?