Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Resolute Year


Every year, I make resolutions and every year, I tend to fall off the wagon by about week 8, but everyone once in awhile one sticks. Last year, I decided to start a blog. At first, I did not tell any of my friends, I wanted to make sure I could actually do it before I started spreading the word. Turns out I can, mostly. Yay! This year, I gained 43 official followers and scores more who follow it at their own pace! I’ve learned a lot and how I like to do things. I love all the great feedback I have gotten on my blog, and suggestions. Along the way, I have discovered a ton of other cool new blogs to follow as well and learned to procrastinate even more but such is life. This hasn’t been the easiest year for me, I’ve had to deal with several road blocks but this blog has kept me going. Instead of writing what I plan to do this year personally, I wanted to let you know what I plan to do this year for all my readers (or occasional browsers). This way, hopefully, you can help keep me going!

1) Do a few giveaways.

Because I love to give gifts and everyone deserves a little more cheer even if it’s just a baked goodie and a gift card.

2) Blog 4 times a week or more.

I know this is one that you guys will have to stay on me for, sometimes I get to wrapped up in life to remember to take some photos, but luckily I got a new lens for christmas so hopefully this spurs me on to take more photos.

3) Get a little more personal

I want to inject a little more “Katy” into my blog, which can mean either OCD color coded things or glitter. Take your pick.

4) Balance things out

Some weeks, I feel like all I do is write about cooking, other weeks all I do is decorate. I want to start making sure everything becomes more balanced. Also balance out vegetarian/desserts/drinks recipes

5) First Things First

Tutorials on simple things, that every person should know how to do. From juicing a pomegranate to how the internet works to removing stains. I think everyone including myself, could benefit from learning some of the great tricks out there.

So there you go, any other suggestions? Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with a  cherry on top. I will never know I am heading in the ‘write’ direction unless you let me know!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls


     My grandparents are from West Virginia and no, they are not cousins. Anyways, in West Virginia, they make something called pepperoni rolls. My whole family is obsessed, we will call up our favorite bakery and have them shipped to us all over the US. If anyone we know is going up there, we beg them to stop by and get us about 3 dozen of them.  Yes, 3 dozen per family. They are that good, so the other day my grandparents and I decided to try out making them. Ours weren’t perfect but they were pretty darn good.




Pizza dough (bread dough might be better)


1) Preheat oven to 350.

2) Slice pepperoni into small sections then quarter it.

3) Cut the dough into sections and wrap around the pepperoni. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

4) Enjoy!





P.S. I know I promised more vegetarian recipes and I will start with some great ones in the new year! Soon! I promise!

P.P.S. Sorry my posts haven’t been as regular, coming home for winter break hasn’t been a break at all, I have been busier than ever and it’s been kind of tough. Anyways, look for better posting next year (it’s one of my goals)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gracious Gifts: Cookbooks for the Health Conscious

Here’s another cookbook idea for the holiday season.


      I have to admit, I bought this cookbook because a girlfriend of mine had it and made the tortellini recipe. That recipe was to die for and when I found out it wasn’t half bad for me, I knew I needed this book. I am also a book hoarder, mainly just cookbooks and coffee table books. I freely admit it, along with a lot of stuff, I own like 12 different cook books. I love pictures and this book has a pretty picture with every recipe and they are easy to follow. 5 fresh ingredients in 15 minutes, sign me up!  Anyways, enough about my hoarding tendencies. This book would be great for your health conscious friend who still likes really good food!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bedroom Art Update: HELP!

Okay, so I have finished the artwork but I can’t decide how exactly to hang it. I decided to do what any smart person would do and ask my lovely readers! Do we like the left where the small ones overlap or the right where they do not touch? Here’s how I did the art.


What do you think? Please comment with your vote!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It’s A Wrap: Takeout Boxes Plus Satin Ribbon


       I love wrapping presents, and there are always so many innovative ways to wrap presents these days . One of my latest obsessions has been Kraft paper. I absolutely adore the brown paper with brightly colored ribbons. I babysit for this adorable couple and for the holidays, I made Rice Krispy Treats (recipe to follow) and put them in the take out box (from micheals) and just tied it with a double faced wide satin ribbon (NO WIRES). The lady couldn’t stop raving about how cute it looked. Definitely going to carry this over for presents this year.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gracious Gifts: Cookbooks for Beginners


Here’s a gift idea for a recent grad or for someone starting out on their own. How To Boil Water cookbook is fabulous. It has tons of great simple recipes and the best part is has helpful tips throughout. There is a chart for how to cook different vegetables, and good toppings for each one. What are good food and wine pairings? And answers the age old question of what’s the difference between chopped and diced.  Anyways, its one of my favorite cookbooks and I constantly refer to it when I have a question of what to make or need some ideas for different ways to spice up my vegetables. Great for a beginner cook.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Peppermint Bark


I love peppermint bark and the best part is I can make it in 10 minutes flat plus it only takes three ingredients. I make it as a little gift for my professors and they are always so touched. It’s the perfect gift that shows you are thinking of them without having to spend too much money.



1 3/4 cup Rice Krispies

11 oz White Chocolate

Peppermint Candies



1) Place the peppermint candies (about 1/4 cup) in a plastic baggie and SMASH THEM into crumbs.

2) Melt the white chocolate. (I am lazy and use a glass bowl in a microwave, at 30 second increments to not burn it)

3) Stir in the rice krispies.

4) Pour the mix on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Flatten out and sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies on it.

5) Place in fridge for 5 minutes to harden then cut or break apart.

6) ENJOY but not too much otherwise your waist will not thank me.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weekly Wonderings: December 7th, 2011

Last week, I showed you gifts I wanted to make, this week I think I will highlight some of my favorite gifts I have made or received this year!


1) Pretty Notebooks

Pin 2

2) Cranberry Compote

Pin 4

3) Brownies

Pin 3

4) Sugar Scrub

Pin 5

5) Glitter Candles

So what are your favorite homemade gifts this year? Got any good ideas? Please share!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Buttermilk Cornbread!


         So that buttermilk tip I shared yesterday, yeah it totally got used to make this cornbread. And we used the butter to make honey butter for the cornbread, it was delicious. I used to just buy cornbread mix (FYI, Krusteaux is the BEST) but I am kind of liking this whole homemade thing, and it doesn’t take too much extra time to make each recipe, maybe 15 minutes but the results seem to be worth it. Anyways, this was the perfect touch to a quite Friday night with friends!



  • 1 1/3 cups Corn meal
  • 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
  • 6 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1  1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt



1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease a loaf pan. (be warned, ours filled a medium loaf pan and a small one)

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. (EASY)

3) Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown! Top with HONEY BUTTER (Seriously, you will love it)


P.S. There aren’t any more photos because we ate it too quickly, sorry! But, hey, it was that good!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Handy House Tip #7: Buttermilk


So the other day, I decided to make cornbread. At 10pm. On a friday. I’m cool like that. Also because of my whole making things from scratch kick, I decided cornbread would not come from a mix. Enter my dilemma: I had to buttermilk. I refused to let closed grocery stores stand in my way of yummy cornbread. So I did what every person  does these days: I googled it. Turns out there are two ways to substitute buttermilk-

1) Actually make it.


Pour heavy cream in a jar (or just mix it with a mixer, but where is the fun in that?). Screw on the lid, and shake it. And shake it. ANDDDDDDDD SHAKE IT. It takes about 10-20 minutes, but me and Lotti would switch places and you get BUTTER out of it too. So we had butter for our cornbread! You have to shake it past the whipped cream phase, until it becomes yellow and part of it hardens. Simply pour out the buttermilk, you get about 2/3-3/4 of a cup for every 1 cup heavy cream PLUS YOU GET BUTTER. ( P.S. you need to wash the butter after you pour so the buttermilk doesn’t make it go bad) Seriously, making butter was so cool. We were simply enamored with it the whole time.


2) Okay, not as cool but simply add lemon or white vinegar to regular milk.


Add 1 tablespoon lemon OR vinegar to one cup milk. Let stand for 5 minutes. Done. 


      The first method does take more work, but come on YOU GET BUTTER too! How is that not worth it? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Bulb Headbands or THE GREATEST THING EVER

My mother is a third grade teacher, I think I need to say that to better explain why we are always doing arts and crafts projects. Or at least, it gives us an excuse. So when one of her fellow teachers received a Christmas bulb headband, my mother knew she had to have one too. I should also point out, I got my love of all things sparkly and glittery from her. This project was right up our alley over Thanksgiving. It was so much fun to make and the more ostentatious they look, the better. We went crazy with making them, and since showing her other teacher friends, we’ve got orders to make a few more! We have now expanded to make them for all holidays so come check us out on Etsy

Check out our etsy shop!

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Weekly Wonderings: November 30th, 2011

      The holiday season is almost upon us, which means time to start hunting for gifts. In my love of all things homemade, like food or projects; this year I am embracing the idea of homemade gifts for my friends and professors. (Yes, I give professors  a little holiday gift, normally food of some sort, kindness never hurt anyone’s grades).  Here is what I am thinking of attempting this year:


1) Peppermint Bark!

Pin 2

2)Bath Fizzies

Pin 5

3) Book Plates

Pin 4

4) Candy Cane Marshmallows

Pin 3

5) Spiced Nuts (I made these last year and they were a hit!)


Extras might have to be made of everything so I can try it! All of these wonderful ideas and photos are from Martha Stewart, I love looking at all the great homemade gift ideas she has! You can find my compellation of gracious gifts here!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handy House Tip #6: Onions


Lotti cries, a lot. Well okay, only when cutting onions but still, we eat onions often. I, on the other hand,  wear contacts, so it keeps the onion stuff from making me cry, phew! Anyways, having a crying roommate when trying to make dinner, isn’t always fun so we (okay, Lotti did) for a few ways to solve the problem. Here are our two favorite ways:

1) Place onions in the freezer for about 15 minutes before cutting them.

      - This one works, you just have to remember to do it 15 minutes before you want to cut them, which is always tricky in our house. We tend to have spur of the moment dinner ideas.


2) Burn a scented candle near you, while you work.

      - We love candles, so it doesn’t even matter if it works that well, but the two things together does tend to help keep tears at bay.

Do you have any tricks when it comings to cutting onions and not crying? Is anyone immune to it like me?

Monday, November 28, 2011

50 Dollar Fix: Buffet Tables


       So in the midst of planning for our lovely potluck, Lotti and I realized we need somewhere to set all the delicious food, like Hank. We wanted to use our normal dining table for people to sit at and our kitchen is too tiny for doing the buffet there. My first thought was to rent a table, because a 8ft table will normally only cost 6 dollars to rent, which isn’t too bad on the bottom line and normally you get to keep it for three days. I called a party rental store near us but they only had an 8ft by 30 inches, which was way too deep for a buffet. We wanted it to be tall and skinny (about 20 inches wide we estimated), like a traditional buffet. Quandary.  Well, as I was anxiously looking around the apartment for some piece of furniture that could double as a buffet (none found), I stumbled upon some relegated wood, Lily and I had bought two summers ago in the a Home Depot frenzy. Relegated wood, as we refer to it, is wood that is leftover from bigger pieces Home Depot cuts for people. And normally its SUPER CHEAP. It’s great for little projects, like these frames.They were just about the right depth, so now the question was how to make them a table. I went and sat in my living room to ponder while watching Martha Stewart. By the way, love the new layout of the show,  its seems so modern! While there, I saw my bookshelves I built this summer. PRESTO! Idea!


I could stack two of the crates on top of each other and form a tall structure for the wood to sit on! So now we had one 4ft table figured out, but we wanted a second one, hmmmmm… As I went into our third room (Lotti’s study, my craft room), I saw Lotti’s keyboard. ON A STAND.


The perfect sized stand to balance another piece of wood. Buffet table born! After craftily covering it with a table cloth, no one was the wiser.



All and all this buffet table cost me nothing, but I bet if you were to do it on your own it wouldn’t cost you more than 50 either. Most people have some odd furniture that could double as the base of a table so all you really need a piece of wood and just look at the reclaimed wood section at your home improvement store for that! Have you ever had to be ingenious with your furniture to get it to meet your needs?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gracious Gift: Funeral Style

      I know normally I talk about cute housewarming gifts or the like but I just had to share this gift we received from some lovely people. Days before the service, we received this basket of goodies for the two kids. It was filled (though already eaten when this photo was taken) with candy and movies for each child. A girly movie for Aurora and a boy one for Brandon. Books for them to play with, and games for them to play by themselves with were in the box. It was the most thoughtful gift we received, yes the food was nice but this gift kept the kids entertained for hours which was so much better! I will definitely be using this idea for future.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So what am I thankful for in 2011…

I am thankful for many things in 2011, so excuse the pictures of people you don’t know but people I love dearly. This is my family, and I love them more than anything in the world, this year has been tough on us but I know we will survive. I am missing pictures of my two uncles but I love them just as much, we are such a tight knit group.


Clockwise from Left: A, Dad, Austin, B, Mimi, ME, Gramps, Mom


A & B on the first day of school! Don’t they look so happy? Look at B’s handcuffs (Don’t worry we took them away before school)


My boyfriend: This is the look he gives me pretty much all the time, I may take too many random photos without giving him notice….

I am also so thankful for the love and support of my friends this year (and yes, even those in the blogosphere), I always know there are people around me to turn to a support. I would post photos, but I don’t want to bore you guys with too many photos!