Close the year with a round up of your favorite recipes from 2014. I added a list of my favorites as well!
Another year, another 300-some recipes. While the name of this blog does include “cookie” I try to rotate my blog posts between sweet and savory. This was appropriately reflected with the favorite recipes of 2014 being fairly evenly distributed between sweet and savory, both for the reader favorite list and my list. I was excited to see a single serving recipe pop up in there as well. What were your favorites?
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Make your own homemade word magnets to express yourself on your fridge or favorite magnetic chalkboard. It’s easier than you might think!
Did everyone have a wonderful Christmas? Hopefully you had a better time than I did, as I played the role of a snotty boomerang. You see there has been some illness spreading around lately that I thought I managed to avoid. But while cooking dinner on Christmas Eve, the night before I planned to head up to Rochester, I started sneezing a lot and by the end of the night was stuffing tissue up my nose (so hot).But still I set my alarm to depart early the next morning. Upon waking I realized my health had not improved (hence snotty) but told myself I just had to get to Columbus (6 hours away) where I would then carpool the remainder of the trip (another 6 hours). In the end I managed to get a little over 2 hours out before turning right back around and promptly falling into bed again (hence boomerang). I got the flu for Christmas and at the rate I’m going I’m not sure when or if I will make it up to Rochester before the big move to Columbus. Evidently Santa thought I was so bad that he gave me the flu instead of coal.
But I digress. Let’s talk about these word magnets (which would look great with your DIY cookie sheet chalkboard) and how they are easy, yet tedious, to make. To make these I used several different colors of polymer clay (I bought a pack from JoAnn Fabrics but later discovered it’s cheaper at Walmart), ~1/2-inch wide magnetic tape, ~1/4-inch alphabet stamps, rolling pin, craft blade (I used a pizza cutter instead), scissors, cookie sheet, and parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
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Having your own personal stylist isn’t just for the rich and famous. Sign up for Stitch Fix and get real style advice for real people.
The first time I heard about Stitch Fix over a year ago I signed up immediately. Haven’t heard of it before? Simply put it is an online styling service. You create an online profile by answering questions to help define your style, link to some of your Pinterest style boards so they know what your tastes are and then leave the rest to the stylists! Based from this information, they send 5 items that get delivered right to your door either once a month or whenever you want one – there’s no subscription. For example, after 5 fixes I hadn’t ordered another fix in a year but this month I jumped back on board for fix #6 with the prospect of my new job and to snag a couple new items for the colder climate to which I am moving.
Once the items arrive, you have 3 days to try everything on and figure out what you want to keep. Want to send a few things back? Toss everything into the provided prepaid USPS envelope and drop it in the mail. Want to keep a few things? Log onto your stitch fix profile and check out. The total amount gets deducted off your credit card with a receipt sent to your inbox. And if you keep everything you get 25% off the total!
Great things about this service:
I tend to get bored with what retail stores have to offer and it’s refreshing to find new items that I cannot find anywhere else.
Online shopping is already my primary method of shopping, and it’s so easy to return any unwanted items.
You can leave comments about each item, and the more feedback you leave, the more info the stylists have to use, the better your box gets.
You can pick your price points. I selected the “the cheaper the better” price option. But if you are looking to splurge on a particular item you can choose what you are most comfortable with.
The stylists really do look at your Pinterest style boards if you provide one. I pinned a couple items from the Stich Fix blog and actually received one of those very items in my next box!
Things to be aware of for this service:
Before your fix is shipped, you do pay a $20 styling fee. This is the cost for the stylists to pick clothes, box them up and ship them. But that money is not lost! If you decide to keep anything from your fix, $20 gets applied towards your total. I have yet to not like at least one thing in my box and therefore have never seen that $20 go wasted.
Sometimes you get hits, sometimes you get huge misses, and sometimes they have been so spot on I already owned something similar and had to return it anyway. This is where the feedback when you checkout is very important – tell your stylist what you did or did not like.
The only thing I don’t like it not being able to exchange items for a different size. While they do a great job sending things in your indicated size, some brands fit differently. It doesn’t happen often but so far two items I have really liked were not quite the right size. There’s a slight chance they might have the other size in stock, but so far no such luck. Of those two items, one I kept anyway and the other I had altered.
Ready to see what I got this month? This months box is the best I have received thus far (which is why I joined in on the trend of sharing my fixes on my blog like many others). Here goes…
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I was recently tagged by Kaylin over at her blog, Enticing Healthy Eating, to complete a survey. She was actually the winner of my recent 4th blogiversary giveaway so it was fun to learn more about her from her answers. Since I have been meaning to do a “random things about me” post for awhile now I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon and do this survey. Oh and Happy Thanksgiving!!
After fattening myself up in Seattle I flew south to LA to meet my newest nephew for the first time, Griffin! Unfortunately both he and his older brother Luke were asleep upon my arrival but that didn’t stop me from sneaking a peak and instantly melting. I had to resist the urge to snap photos right then and there. Little did I know how many opportunities I would have to capture Griffin’s angelic face while he slept. Exhibit A: captured while at the grocery store. So much hair. So much eyelashes. So much cuteness!
My nephew Luke turns two today! We last saw them in August at my cousin’s wedding and it’s amazing how much he has grown and learned since then. He knows all of his colors and animal noises, giggles like a madman on a swing, loves milk and fruit, and is just adorable overall.
His first birthday occurred while living in Boston but now they live in LA so we ventured off to the other side of the country to celebrate – Little Blue Truck style!
The dessert table spread: pig cupcakes, blueberry-blue velvet cake, “cow pie” cookies, Oreo and chocolate covered doughnut “tires”, Chocolate “mud” pudding, and all kinds of fruit because he’s a fruit fanatic!
“Bounce bounce!” Adult tested, kid approved.
My brother even made little wooden trucks for the kids to paint.
Look at him playing well with others.
Blueberry-blue velvet truck birthday cake! (I think I did a pretty good job despite the spontaneous nature of it’s creation.)
Upon completion of singing “Happy Birthday” he proceeded to feed me a sprinkle and had me lick the frosting off the #2 but unfortunately the only photo captured was from behind. It’s okay, it still melted my heart picture or not.
One year ago: Inedible Favorites – Luke’s 1st Birthday
Two years ago: Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Pizza
It’s almost time to turn over another year, which means it’s time to reflect on this year that is coming to an end. Just like in past years, I have compiled a list of the most popular recipes posted during 2013. You guys have great taste, because many of the most viewed recipes were also favorites of mine. I was impressed and excited to see my chocolate chip cookie recipe on your list as it was only posted a little over 2 weeks ago! I went ahead and also did my own top 10 recipes other than the ones you were most drawn to.
P.S. Apparently I like taking vertically oriented photos.
5. Lip Balms
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! As usual I met up with family and friends in my hometown Rochester, NY. We had our holiday dinner yesterday and today we are attending a movie (The Hobbit), as tradition dictates. Unfortunately my brother and his family were unable to join us this year, but here are a couple adorable, festive pictures of my nephew for your viewing pleasure! Aahhh he’s so cute!!
Three years ago: Hoey Cakes (Italian Almond Squares)
I know I was just complaining about the heat being back, but with rain predicted the rest of the week it’s actually staying below 90 for a few days, hooray! I’m really loving this milder summer Memphis has had thus far because that means I can turn on my oven guilt-free (and high-bill free). I should probably bake a bunch this week just in case it’s never cool again, but that also means I need to clear out some space in my freezer to store them. The three ice cream flavors I currently have in there are not being devoured fast enough! Who wants to come over for an ice cream party??
But today’s post isn’t about ice cream or baked desserts, is about baked meat! Some people are a little weirded out by fruit and meat combos. I happen to thoroughly enjoy things such as hawaiian pizza, orange beef and chicken, kebabs, pineapple fried rice, and the first offender is likely my mom’s pineapple burger. Fruit and meat entrees are especially desirable during the summer and this recipe hits the spot. A (not-dried-out) pork loin chop is topped off with an avocado-mango salsa and served with a spinach quinoa. It’s a light yet filling meal, but if for some reason you need a little more try scooping up some of the salsa with corn chips! I actually had a little bit of leftover salsa and ended up doing that exact thing the next day.