Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nick and Katie Halloween 2011

Westley and Princess Buttercup from The Princess Bride
(Nick insists he was the Dread Pirate Roberts and nothing more)
We didn't win the Costume Contest or the Donut on a String Race, but we claim 2nd in both categories
I made Nick's mask and Do Rag no sew style, which I was very proud of.  



Nick doing his ultimate super hero stance

Me decorated in curtain fringe, nbd

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Starbuck's Caramel Apple Spice Cider, Amazing!

I'll start this off by saying I am not a huge fan of 'normal' Apple Cider, but when I tried Starbuck's Caramel Apple Spice hot drink, I changed my mind.  Maybe this is because it tastes nothing like normal apple cider.
I used a few recipes and melded them, so I can claim this recipe as my own.
Katie's Caramel Apple Spice
Ingredients:
Mott's Apple Juice - original
Whipped Cream
Hershey's Caramel Topping
Cinnamon Sugar Syrup

Here's how I made the Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. White Sugar
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Cup Water
Put all dry ingredients into small saucepan on medium and stir together, then quickly add wet ingredients, and bring to a rolling boil (medium-medium high) until a syrupy consistency (about 3 minutes), let cool a few minutes before using.

For the Caramel Cider,
Blend about 5 tablespoons of cinnamon syrup (more if you want it sweeter) per serving with apple juice (about 8 oz. to a serving).

Put it on the stove or 1 minute in the microwave per serving, add whipped cream and caramel sauce to top, and enjoy this ridiculously yummy hot drink, you deserve it!
Reposted on:

Snowing in New York

It is snowing in New York City, does this mean I can decorate for Christmas, listen to Christmas music, and plan Holiday Parties? Please say Yes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

So this is the first time I’ve tried this, other than journaling.  Today was pretty average, with the ups and downs of normal life.
I usually opt to hear the bad news first, so I’ll start with that.
Bad news, my license is expired, and that caused a whole lot of drama for myself today. 
I hate it when one bad thing happens, and its on my mind all day, and it ruins how I feel about everything, do you know what I’m talking about?
But good news totally outweighs the bad today, as on most days.
Good news:
I got a 92 on my Chronic disease test.
Ok now confession time: this is the second time taking that class. I got a D+ when I took it from a teacher that didn’t speak English, well, let’s just say, at all.  I couldn’t pay attention, so it was hard for me to, well, attend. When I finally realized that everyone else seemed to be doing O.K. with her accent, it was too late.  Oh well, that bridge has burned. 
On the bright side, I now have a really nice, blonde, in more ways than one, teacher.  She’s awesome.  And super understanding. 
Also, thought of Nick and I’s Halloween costume.  Went to DI and they had a 75% match to what I wanted, so I declared it good enough, came home and made tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  World’s easiest dinner.  Seriously Yumsters.

Enough with news, onto random thoughts of the day.
I turned 21 one month ago, that makes me an official adult.  I’ll be honest, I feel 14.  
Here's me at 14, I don't look any different, do I?

So where does this leave my brain in regards to hierarchy among my superiors.  I was raised where you always call someone “Mrs.” or other appropriate titles, and I am clearly stuck in this state. I live in a sea of peers, but what happens when I go home.  My mom’s friends, Sunday school and Elementary school teachers, what of them?  I know their first names, but do I use them? Will I sound dumb calling them “Mrs. Armstrong” or “Mr. Buchanan” since I am an official adult, married and all?  I have a feeling I know the answer, but who knows, maybe I won’t be able to change. 
Does anyone have a solution to this, or am I on my own? 

Well, I suppose I will go watch BYU lose to TCU some more, not that I want that, it just seems to be happening here in the halftime break.  We will see.
Have a good night,
Katie A

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Easy DIY Canvas Wall Picture Display



An idea I found on Pinterest that was for sale, and I decided I could do it myself! This is a cute, easy idea for a wedding gift for under 10 dollars, or for a small long wall/space that just needs a little extra something.  I used mine for the end of my kitchen cupboards for a little reminder of our wedding while I'm cooking.

Supplies Needed:
4 - 4"x4" canvas mounts from Joann's
1- 3-4' preferred color piece of ribbon
8 safety pins
Spray adhesive or glue dots
measuring tape
 4 - 4"x4" photos or 4"x6" photos with top or bottom 2 inches cut off
Directions:
1.  Use glue dots/spray adhesive to post pictures on canvas
2.  Poke safety pins through ribbon and back of canvases 1-2 inches apart.
3.  Tie bow on top of ribbon and hang on wall, using more glue dots to secure canvases to wall if necessary

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Cornbellys at Thanksgiving Point: A Review

Last night for Date Night, Nick and I headed off to Thanksgiving Point, which we knew was overpriced, but for us its the sentimental value that brings us back.
You see, the Cornbellys was were Nick and I went on one of our first dates.
Here we are 2 years ago:
Then
Then
Now
















                                                                         Now

This time around Nick and I chose not to go on the scary, spooky mazes.  Maybe this is because he doesn't need an excuse to hold my hand anymore?
Either way, we did still hold hands in the non-spooky maze, which I still got spooked a few times anyways. We still kissed in remembrance of our second kiss, which just happened to be in the maze.

Though we missed out on the spooky mazes, we did manage to
See BYU's women's A Capella group, Noteworthy, perform
Race Ducks
Watch Pig Races
Watch Pumpkin Launchers
Go on a hayride
See lots of parents take their babies around and wish we had some of our own
See a huge 20-foot-tall Jack-o-lantern tree with hundreds of pumpkins on it
and think back to all the wonderful things that have happened since the last time we visited.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Carving Pumpkins and Pie - Fall Bucket List

The Whole Family Before the Action
Kitty Posing by my 29 pound Pumpkin

Senor Chang the Cat carved into my pumpkin
Batman carved into Nick's Pumpkin

Our Creeeepy Jack-O-Lanterns in the Dark

Altso, I made my first Pumpkin Pie.  
Unfortunately, it was not from the pumpkins we carved, I used leftover pumpkin from when we made Pumpkin Roll.

It was super fluffy as I used Paula Deen's Pumpkin Pie recipe that called for Cream Cheese.  Soooo Yumsters

Halloween Thoughts Plus Tucanos

Ogres and ghouls, creep through your souls,
Maggots and leeches crawl up your nose.
You are now in the power of hags
This is the place where you'll die.

Eatens and fiends sharpen their teeth,
While witches and orchnies smack their lips.
Children run out and cry for their lives,
As ghosts and goblins chase for their cries.

This is a Halloween poem/song Jill Buchanan and I wrote in the fifth grade.  I wish she and I still kept in touch.
Living in a different state and being married does something to friendships.

I am really excited for Halloween, but haven't come up with any cute ideas for a couples costume...
Part of my mindblock could be that Nick keeps insisting that he is going to be Batman, and I keep insisting I'm not going to wear spandex black tights to go along as batwoman. Well, we'll see...

Also, my mom sent me a box today with decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving, as well as a cute mouse catnip toy which has made Kitty insane all night. She also sent treats, and other awesome things!
Thanks Mom!!!

Also, Nick and I went to Tucanos this week since we had a free coupon.  Here's us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Roll

I've had the craving for Pumpkin since October 1st hit, so here is my first stab at the famous Libby's Pumpkin roll.  I decided to make it crazy and add a few ingredients that say "Fall" to me.  
Here's the recipe I followed but I didn't add cloves, but added 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger.  
ingredients:

  • CAKE
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • FILLING
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions

FOR CAKE:
PREHEAT
 oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes). Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack. 

FOR FILLING:
BEAT
 cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

COOKING TIP:Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds - Game Time!

Last week at BYU's football game against Utah State University, where we had seats in the fourth row, and stormed the field after we scored the winning goal in the last 11 seconds, Nick bought me Cinnamon Roasted Almonds.  Those of you at these football games that think you are smelling churros when you walk around behind the bleachers in the stadium, wrong! You are actually smelling these delicious almonds that I had never tasted until last week.  
Nick was appalled that I hadn't had them, so though the prices were astronomical, we splurged on 12 oz of these almonds for 7.50.  


When I came home from the game, I decided I couldn't say goodbye to this delicious snack, so I found a recipe on allrecipes.com.  But after reading the reviews, I tweaked the recipe by adding a half cup more brown sugar and vanilla extract instead of water.  The results were fabulous.  We managed to make 16 oz. for only 5 dollars, plus the fun of knowing we can make it ourselves!!


But blast it all, we were too busy scarfing them down that I forgot to take a picture, so here is the best picture of them I could find.  
I have a feeling these will become a favorite Fall and Christmas treat for us!
Here is my own unique tweaked recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F . Lightly grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll (this means cookie sheet) pan.
  2. Lightly beat the egg white; add vanilla, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the brown sugar and white sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring every 15-20 minutes, until golden and dry. Allow to cool, then store nuts in airtight containers. Or just munch until gone as soon as they are cool enough to not burn your tongue.

Fall Caramel Apples - Bucket List

From one of my new favorite semi-social networking sites, Pinterest, I found this Fall Bucket List.
I have already made leaf art with the small decorations around my house and our door wreath, and yesterday, when a few cousins came over before the football game, we made caramel apples! 
And these weren't just caramel apples, These were granny smith-caramel covered-chocolate covered-oreo covered caramel apples!
So delicious!!!!

After the caramel apple fun, our cousin Brian continued the fun with caramel covered, chocolate covered, oreo covered with crushed oreos on top!

Apparently that didn't turn out quite as good as the apples were.


Nick and I have already made plans to continue our Fall bucket list with going to a pumpkin patch, decorating our pumpkins, a picnic, and who knows, maybe a few others, this week!

I love Fall, and even though I thought we were skipping this season as it already snowed in Provo this week, it looks like we will still have a long, fulfilling Fall season ahead of us.

DIY Wall Art

Ever since Nick and I moved in to Union Square, our bedroom has suffered from a case of The Double Personality.  One day it is totally normal and under control, the next there is no place anywhere to store anything, clothes are scattered across the floor, and the bed is a wreck.

So when Brooke thought to do this super simple DIY project together, I excitedly took hold of the idea thinking it could be the key to helping me make and keep up our room.


Brooke and I had a super fun time, including some slight hiccups with Michaels, spray adhesive, and our foam boards.
When it was all over, we had some super cute foam tiles covered with 12x12 inch scrapbooking pages with edges painted and antiqued with brown paint. You can check out Brooke's at liningthecloudswithsilver.blogspot.com.

But before I could put the beautiful project up, something had to be done with our room! We have a few large items that don't fit in the closet of our one bedroom apartment, including a twin mattress, a large memory foam pad to that twin mattress, and a big tent.

As Nick and I mulled over some ideas last night, we decided that we needed to raise our bed and stuff these items underneath it.
So in true college dorm room spirit with a lot of laughs, a few, ok many, cement blocks later,

...it worked! We now have a much less crowded room, and some beautiful wall art to help us feel at home and comfortable in our completely new (at least that's how it feels) room!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Grandma gave me peaches last week, the last of the season, and boy are they sweet! I think this recipe goes perfectly with the Fall weather, as it is a very warm, comforting treat.
I decided to surprise hubby with this, as he grew up in Brigham City, home of the famous "Peach Days," and he can never get enough of them.  


Its a little bit of a different take on Peach Cobbler, but I like the lightness of it.  
Here is the recipe:
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: App. 40 minutes




Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup margarine, melted
eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups peeled sliced fresh peaches
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
1. In a small bowl, combine the 1 cup flour and powdered sugar. Add the melted margarine and stir until well mixed. Pat this mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the granulated sugar, 1/3 cup flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and cinnamon; mix well. Spoon mixture over the baked crust. Spread the peaches over the top.
3. Return to oven and bake for approximately 1 hour. If top starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover with foil.
4. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Fall Comfort Food - Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

The weather in Provo is finally getting a little cooler, with rain and thunderstorms on the way.  Last night we started off the our fall festivities with homemade chicken pot pie.  Trust me, this doesn't taste ANYTHING like Marie Callendar's frozen pot pie.  


Here's the recipe:


Chicken Pot Pie
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes


1 package (2 crusts) refrigerated pie crusts (I use kroger)
2/3 cup milk
2 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 can (1 1/2 cups) chicken broth

1.     Heat oven to 425. Put one pie crust, stretched out slightly with hands, into bottom of either deep pie dish or 9x9 pan

2.    Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes or until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper; stir until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.
3.    Add chicken and mixed vegetables; mix well. Remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; flute and seal the edges. Cut slits in several places in top crust.
4.    Bake for 30  minutes or until crust is golden brown. 






For me, there's nothing better than the ultimate comfort food of pot pie in the fall

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Union Square Curb Appeal - Fall is for Planting

Living in an apartment, a person doesn't exactly have a lot to work with landscaping-wise.  Our apartment looks pretty boring outside, and I had wanted to put some flowers out, but I just couldn't do it knowing they would die so soon from the coming cold.  I've been wanting trees, but didn't know how it would work with so little room to work with, and not a very big budget for decorations.
So in three serendipitous moves, I was able to get some green that will last through the winter for our apartment's curb appeal (ok fine we don't actually have a curb).
1. Finding one dollar pots at DI
2. Nick saying we could go look at Home Depot once he noticed I had a hard day at school/work.
3. Finding out that Home Depot had a sale on trees!

So less than 20 dollars later,
I have two Dwarf Alberta Spruces, which will grow over 6 feet tall eventually, and will definitely last me through a Utah winter with their -40 degree Fahrenheit tolerance.



The coolest part about these is I will get to decorate them for Christmas soon!


Wordle

Brooke showed me a website last night called Wordle, which displays words in a creative "wordcloud" way, using all colors, fonts, angles, and designs you can imagine.  Brooke did a montage of things that her and her hubby were thankful for, so I of course had to copy her.  Here is my wordcloud:


Another cute wordcloud I found on Wordle was key words from The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  Here it is:
If you have a word that you want to have a larger font than the others, just type it into the box more times.  Such as "Thankful Thankful Thankful Love Love Beatles Family Family Family."  In this way, "Family" and "Thankful" will be about the same size, "love" will be large, and "Beatles" will be the smallest on the page.

I plan on framing our Thankful poster and displaying it for Thanksgiving.

Some good wordle ideas would be to
Put on a present for mom or dad, with all the reasons you love them
Put on a notebook cover, with all the things the class will entail, such as English, Writing, Essays, Words, Grammar, etc.
Make Art
Put in a poem or quote with certain words emphasized
etc, etc, etc
Have Fun.