Sunday, December 21, 2014



1/2 cup peanut butter
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp shortening


  1. Mix the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. If the mixture is to dry, add more peanut butter. If the mixture is to moist, add more powdered sugar.
  2. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
  3. Press a toothpick into each ball.
  4. Chill in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. 
  5. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips and the shortening in a small microwavable bowl. 
  6. Dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate by holding onto the toothpick. 
  7. Put back on the cookie sheet, remove the toothpicks, and refrigerate until serving.  

Eggnog Cookies

These are the best eggnog cookies I have ever had!! These are flavorful and soft!! The perfect combination!! 

Cookie Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp rum extract
dash of ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 cup of eggnog (depending on the dough)

Icing Ingredients

2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, and rum extract.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with eggnog. Mix well.
  4. If you feel the dough is to think you can add up to 1 cup of eggnog. 
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. 
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool completely before frosting.

Icing Directions

  1. Combine butter, confectioners sugar, eggnog, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
  2. If the frosting is to runny add more confectioners sugar. If it is really think add a bit more eggnog. It should be easy to spread. 
  3. Frost the cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar on top. 

You can find the original recipe at:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gifts in a Jar: Spiced Tea

I made these for my coworkers for Christmas!! They're the perfect little gift!! I made 10 jars for less than $20!! 

Spiced Tea Ingredients

3 cups Sugar
2 cups Lemon Instant Tea
2 cups Tang
2 tbsp Ground Cloves
2 tbsp Cinnamon


10 (8 oz) Mason Jars
1 small roll of green ribbon (50 cents at Joann Fabrics)
1/2 yard of fabric


  1. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together for the Spiced Tea.
  2. Divide the Spiced Tea into 10 mason jars (mine actually made 9 1/2 jars).
  3. Cut out ten circles that are about 5 1/2 inches in diameter.
  4. Place the fabric over the top, and secure the lid in place.
  5. Tie on the green ribbon.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Beer / Wine Christmas Tree (Advent Calendar)

The Beer/Wine Christmas Tree!! It's large enough to hold either beer or wine bottles!! Definitely the best way to count down to Christmas!! So you might be wondering why only 10 days of Christmas...Well I couldn't make a sturdy tree with 12!! here are the steps to make your own:
1. Buy 10 feet of PVC pipe (4 inch in diameter).
2. Using a handsaw, cut the PVC pipe into 10 pieces (1 foot for each piece). If you're lucky maybe one of the Home Depot workers will cut it for you!! 
3. Using 80 grit sand paper, sand the edges of the PVC pipe. 
4. Spray paint the PVC pipe.
5. Glue the PVC pipe together one at a time using Gorilla Glue. Clamp the PVC pipes together while the glue dries. I glued the bottom row together first (7 to 8, then 8 to 9, then 9 to 10). Then I glued 4 to 5 and 5 to 6. Then I glued 2 to 3. Once I had all of the rows made, I stacked the rows and glued them together. 
6. Spray paint one last layer onto the PVC pipes. 
7. Print the numbers 1 through 10 onto scrapbook paper. 
8. Trace a circle around the numbers and cut them out.
9. Laminate the numbers. I put my numbers through the machine twice to get them super thick/sturdy. Cut the numbers out. 
10. Tape the numbers on the inside of the PVC pipes, so the tape doesn't show.

This years beer list:
Infamous IPA by Infamous Brewing
Imperial IPA by Epic Brewing
Enjoy By IPA by Stone Brewing
Cali-Belgique IPA by Stone Brewing
El Hopadillo Negro by Karbach Brewing
Maximus IPA by Lagunitas Brewing
Racer 5 IPA by Bear Republic Brewing
Space Cake Double IPA by Clown Shoes Beer 
7 Hop IPA by Rogue Farms
Green Room IPA by Uncle Billy's

Friday, December 12, 2014

Crockpot Hot Chocolate Bar

Crockpot Hot Chocolate Bar!! This is the perfect Christmas party drink!! It was super easy and yummy!! 

Ingredients for the Hot Chocolate:

1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 (14 oz) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
6 cups Milk
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 cups Chocolate Chips

Add the above ingredients to a crockpot. Cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Items we added to our Hot Chocolate:

-chocolate covered spoons
-candy cane sticks
-white chocolate chips
-andes mint chips
-whip cream

Jolly Cranberry Sangria

 1 Apple (cored and thinly sliced)
1 Orange (halved and thinly sliced)
1/2 cup Cranberries
4 cups Cranberry Juice
1 cup Orange Juice
1 bottle White Zinfandel

Mix all of the above ingredients and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Stockings

  1. Draw a stocking onto the back of your fabric. If you're not good at drawing you can always trace an old stocking (don't forget to leave 1/2 inch  or so for the hem). 
  2. Trace the same size stocking onto the fusible interfacing.  
  3. Iron the fusible interfacing onto the back of the fabric.
  4. Sew the two stocking pieces together (pretty sides touching).
  5. Sew an extra line or two just at the bottom of the stocking.  These lines are to help strengthen the stocking for all of your goodies.
  6. Cut dashes on the corners of the stocking so it has a nice curve.
  7. Cut any excess fabric off the edges.
  8. Measure the circumference around the top of the stocking.  This will be the length of the white fleece. Again, don't forget to leave about 1/2 inch or so for the hem.
  9. Sew the white fleece so it makes a loop/circle.
  10. This is the tricky part!! You will sew the back side of the stocking to the "pretty" front side of the white fleece.
  11. Sew a small loop onto the stocking.
  12. Flip the stocking so the pretty fabric is showing, fold over the white fleece, and viola your stocking is done!! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Decorated Wine Bottles

Some new decor for my new apartment!! This is a very easy craft...even for a beginner!! 

I used a sponge brush to paint the bottle with mod-podge. I only painted 1-2 inches at a time so it wouldn't dry up to fast. Then I wrapped the twine around the entire bottle. After the twine dried, I cut the ribbon to size. I then glued the ribbon onto the bottle using a hot glue gun. I also added a flower to one of the bottles for some extra color. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Knitting Loom-Head Warmer

I made my first head warmer on a knitting loom and it was sssoo easy!! I've never used a knitting loom before, so it was all new to me. I followed this video tutorial on YouTube and it was a huge help!! 

Also here's a link to the video:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Crockpot Chili


2 pound hamburger (browned and drained)
2 cup chopped onion
2 clove minced garlic
2-3 tbs chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cup beef broth
1 (28 oz) can of chopped tomatoes
1 (32 oz) can of kidney beans
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsp red pepper paste


Combine all of the ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours in a crock pot. I work in a school so I love recipes that take all day to make and don't require any stirring!! 

Also, I added some extra chili powder to the meat while it was cooking. My dad always said you can never have to much chili powder!! 

The original recipe can be found at:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fondue or Two

Fondue for Two--Date Night with the boyfriend!! I bought some melting chocolate, pound cake, apples, strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, and gummy bears!! I just filled the fondue dish 3/4 full with chocolate and lit the candle. I wasn't sure it was going to work with such a small candle, but it only took a few minutes. Next time we're just going to do the bananas, strawberries, gummy bears, and maybe some pretzel sticks!! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls


2 can Pillsbury Crescent Rounds
4 tbsp butter (melted)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

For the frosting mix the following ingredients:

4 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp canned pumpkin


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  3. Separate dough into 16 rolls and unroll.
  4. Brush each piece of dough with melted butter.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  6. Evenly divide the pumpkin filling and spread over each piece of rolled-out dough.
  7. Carefully roll up each dough, lightly pinching the seams together.
  8. Arrange the rolls about 1 inch apart in the baking dish.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Cover with frosting. 

I've made three different pumpkin cinnamon roll recipes this month. The recipe above is a combination of two of those it's the easiest!! I tried making my own homemade dough, but it's not worth the effort in my opinion. I also tried using crescent rolls, however, crescent rolls were still difficult. Using Pillsbury Crescent Rounds is definitely the me!! 

The filling recipe originally came from:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Driftwood Winery

My boyfriend and I had a nice relaxing date night at Driftwood Winery. The $12 wine tasting included 6 wine tastings and a souvenir wine glass. I sampled the Syrah, B&E Cab, Orange Muscat, Gotas De Oro, Armadillo Red, and DH Lescombes. The Syrah was more of a dry wine, but it was quite flavorful. It would probably pair well with some yummy steak!! The B&E Cab was to dry for my taste. The Orange Muscat was AMAZING!! I enjoy sweet wine, so this was definitely my favorite!! The Gotas De Oro was alright, but there was nothing special about it. The Armadillo Red, my second favorite, had a very nice sweet flavor. Lastly, the DH Lescombes just wasn't for me. I really liked the wide selection of dry and sweet wines. I had several sweet wines to choose from and my boyfriend had plenty of dry wines to sample. 

One of my favorite things about Driftwood Winery is the view!! The Winery is located at the top of a large hill and overlooks their vineyards. They have lots of seating outside where you can enjoy a nice picnic with your wine!! They also have a nice venue for a wedding!! They had a wedding while we were there, so we got to enjoy some of the band's music. Perfect evening!! 

For more information visit their website:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gruene Music & Wine Festival Round Two

The Gruene Music & Wine Festival Round Two!! This is still one of my favorite events here in the Austin area!! I just love everything about this festival!! You get to be outside while listening to music, talking with friends, eating yummy food, and tasting yummy wine!! If you bought your tickets in advance it was $20 ($30 the day of the event). Tickets included 5 tastings and a small wine glass. You could also purchase extra tasting tickets for $2. 

Some of the new wines we enjoyed:
Sweet Rose from Pilot Knob Vineyard
Smart Ass Bitch from Chisholm Trail Winery
Strawberry from Texas Mead Works
Vanilla Mead from Darcy's Vineyards
Peach from Georgetown Winery
Blueberry from Geoergetown Winery
Fiesta from Seifert Cellars
Starlight from Seifert Cellars
Sunset from Seifert Cellars
Savannah Rose from Fiesta Winery
Texas Well Water from Fiesta Winery

We also tried these wines, but they just weren't for us:
Cranberry from Texas SouthWind Vineyard
Moscato from Marker Cellars
Sparklin Peach from Maydelle Country Wines

For more information visit their website:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Buttercream Icing

Well it's fall, which means its time to try out some yummy pumpkin recipes!! I started the pumpkin season off by trying these yummy Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Buttercream Icing. The cookies themselves didn't have much pumpkin flavor, but the icing is rich in flavor making the perfect combination!! 


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½-1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½-¾can (7.5 oz) pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Add both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. 
  5. Beat in pumpkin. 
  6. Beat in the flour. 
  7. Drop dough by tablespoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
  9. Mix all frosting ingredients together and frost cooled cookies.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Texas Craft Brewers Festival

Yesterday, my friends and I went to the Texas Craft Brewers Festival. I'm not much a beer person, but I figured this would be a festive way to try something new. Tickets were $25, which included a small tasting glass and six tasting tickets. You could also purchase extra tasting tickets for a few dollars at one of the stands.

This is definitely on my to do list for next year!! The food was good, the music was good, the people were friendly, the parking was free, there was a wide variety of beer, and the event was well organized. They provided us with a map, a list of breweries, and a list with a detailed description of the beers available. The breweries were in alphabetical order and the food trucks were all in one general area. Easy, easy, easy!! The only downfall was the line to get into the festival. The gates opened at 2pm and the line was huge!! I recommend arriving a little early to beat the line, and don't forget to buy your tickets in advance!!

Here's a list of some of my new favorites:
High Esteem from Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery 
Nightmare on 1st Street from No Label Brewing
Krunkin Pumpkin from Karbach Brewing
Yellow Rose Ale from Lone Pint Brewery
Blood and Honey from Revolver Brewing
Siesta from Twisted X Brewing

For more information visit their website:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Burlap Wreath

So I am officially a "wreath person"!! I use to think wreaths were cheesy, but then I started seeing some cute, simple wreaths on Pinterest. So I decided to just spend the $13 and give it a shot!!

1. Cut about 5 inches worth of the burlap in half.

2. Using the cut part of the burlap tie a knot. It's best to do this around the middle section of one of the dividers.

3. Pull a small piece of the burlap up through the wreath form. Twist and fluff the burlap. This youtube video really helped me understand how to do this step: Burlap Wreath Tutorial

4. Repeat step 3 until the wreath is completely covered in burlap.

5. Cut the excess burlap off at the end; leaving about 1 inch to fold over one of the wires. Use hot glue to secure the burlap (see the photo above).

6. Hot glue your decorations on the front of the wreath. I bought a $4 bouquet of fall flowers at Walmart and used these to decorate the front. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stuffed Zucchini Enchilada Boats


4-6 zucchini, halved
8-12 ounces of lean turkey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced and pressed
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (if you don't want it super spicy, remove the seeds)
16 oz tomato sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
15 oz can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese (or even a combination)
chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Scoop out the center of each zucchini, discarding the seeds and leaving the outer zucchini about 1/4 inch thick, forming little zucchini boats. Sprinkle the inside of each zucchini with a little bit of salt (about a pinch for each halve). Set aside.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the ground turkey over medium heat with the salt and pepper. Once cooked all the way through, drain the excess grease. Place the meat onto a plate and set aside.
  4. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook the mixture until the union has turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, and coriander. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch glass dish with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle in about 1/3 cup of the sauce and spread across the bottom of the dish.
  7. Stir the cooked meat and beans into the remaining sauce in the skillet. 
  8. Scoop an even amount of the meat and sauce mixture into each zucchini boat, pilling it on.
  9. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and layer the cheese over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes more.
  10. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top and let the zucchini enchilada boats rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

The original recipe can be found at Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lake View Winery

My friend and I were planning on going to a wine tasting event in Dripping Springs today, but the tickets were $50 and it was raining. So we went to the  Lake View Winery instead. Lake View Winery is located in the Oasis Shopping Village. If you've never been to the Oasis, it has a gorgeous view of Lake Travis. 

The $10 wine tasting includes 5 tastings and a souvenir wine glass. If you buy 2 bottles of wine, the wine tasting is free. Also, the $8 cheese is a nice little snack to enjoy with your wine. FYI: Minnie Lee's Delight was my favorite wine. I highly recommend it!! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bell Spring Winery

My friend and I drove out to Dripping Springs, TX to visit Bell Spring Winery. It was about a 45 minute drive from south Austin, so not to bad.  We enjoyed a nice tasting for $7, $10 if you wanted to keep the glass. The tasting was different from some of the other wineries I've been to. At Bell Spring Winery the tasting includes a small list of wines. You taste ALL of the wines on the list; you don't pick the ones you want to try. This concept was both good and a bad. The good part was that we tried some wines we never would have tried otherwise. The bad part was I didn't enjoy a lot of the tastings because they weren't the type of wines I enjoy. Anyway, my favorite wine they had was Drippin Sweet-White. My friend and I bought a bottle and enjoyed our drinks on their nice patio area. It was the perfect relaxing Sunday afternoon activity!! 

For more information visit their website:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Roasted Tomatoes with Pesto


3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Basil Pesto
1/2 cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. 
  2. Core the tomatoes and slice them across into slices 1/4 – 1/2-inch thick. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. 
  3. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and oregano on top. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and spread a spoonful of Pesto over each tomato. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and cook until the Parmesan is melted and starts to brown, about 7 to 10 more minutes.

This side dish went very nicely with the Spinach Tomato Tortellini.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Date Idea Jar


Well I FINALLY made my own Date Jar!! I read all of those websites on pinterest and put all of their lists together!! So my list is AWESOME!!! 

The first thing to do is to make your categories. I had three categories: Eating Out, Staying In, and Going Out. Some other ways to organize your Date Jar would be by cost: Free, Under $20, Under $50, Over $100. I then painted the jumbo craft sticks using spray paint (each category gets a different color). I wrote on the sticks using permanent marker. SUPER EASY!! 

How the Date Idea Jar works: First, we see what we're in the mood for...a new restaurant, a night out, or a night in?? We then both pick an idea out of the jar and select the best one. Don't forget to write the date on the back of the stick before you put it back in the jar!! Or you can also remove the stick and make it a goal to empty the jar!! I like the idea of writing the dates down, and there's nothing wrong with doing some of the dates more than once!!

Eating Out
2.       Café Crepe
3.       Scholz Garten
4.       The Oasis
5.       Nutty Brown Café
6.       Red’s Porch
7.       Magnolia Café
8.       Freddie’s Place
9.       Whip In
11.   Contigo
12.   Easy tiger

Staying In
1.       Build a fort and watch a movie
2.       Take the 5 love languages test and enjoy a nice dessert
4.       Board Game Night (Challenge: Who can win the most games?)
5.       Cook a NEW meal together
6.       Complete a Puzzle
7.       Play Twister (Maybe even messy twister??)
8.       Karaoke Night (YouTube it!!)
9.       1000 Questions for Couples (Or try these for free: dating.lovetoknow.comonlyartblog)
10.   Theme Night (Italy, Greece, Germany, Mexico)
11.   Build Your Own Pizza
12.   Beer Tasting at Home. Buy ten NEW beers to sample.
13.   Video Game Night
14.   Dance off!! Youtube dance moves and give them a try
15.   Let’s get crafty (Painting??)
16.   Nerf Gun WAR!!
17.   Water balloon fight
18.   Paint fight
19.   Water Gun Fight
20.   Paper plane contest 

Going Out
1.       Stargazing (Must find 10 constellations)
2.       Contemporary Austin Art Museum ($5 per person)
3.       Tennis Match
4.       Laser Tag
5.       Umlauf Sculpture Museum ($5 person)
6.       He picks the dinner, she picks the movie.
7.       She picks the dinner, he picks the movie.
8.       Volunteer 
9.       Go for a hike
10.   Play H-O-R-S-E
12.   Fly a Kite
13.   Go to the dollar store and buy 2 presents for each other.
14.   Wine Tasting
15.   Brewery Tour
17.   Arcade Night
18.   Bowling
20.   Kayaking Day
21.   Zoo Trip
22.   Food Truck Dinner Date
23.   Roller Derby
24.   Check out the Flea Market
25.   Bar Trivia
27.   Go to a local sporting event
28.   Comedy Club
29.   Cupcake sampling
30.   Thriftstore Date (find something entertaining for the night)
31.   Random Acts of Kindness
32.   People watch on 6th Street
34.   Play some mini golf
35.   Ghost Tour ($20 per person)
36.   Jazz club (Brass House or Elephant Room)
37.   Dancing lesson
38.   Batting cages 
39.   Go Karts 
40.   Top golf
41.   Rock climbing (Main Event, AustinPark&Pizza)
42.   Museum of the weird ($8 per person)
43.   Let’s be tourists in our own town!! 
44.   Go see a Play or Musical                     
45.   Gift Card & Coupon Date (Let's save some money!!)
46.   Restaurant Hop (appetizers at one restaurant, main dish at another, and dessert at another)
47.   House Hunting (let's visit some open houses)
48.   Wishing Well Date (3 pennies, 3 wishes each)
49.   Make a boat and have a race in the creek/river
50.   Planetarium
51.   Acquarium