Monday, September 30, 2013

Super Easy Dinner

I'm going to share something amazing. . .

It's one of my go-to dinners that I found over a year ago using the all-recipes spinner app at the grocery store.  I love it because it has only small amounts dairy (kind of an important thing for me) and fresh produce. Plus, it looks really pretty on a plate.

Don't believe me. . . take a look. . . you will probably want to rush out and make this for dinner tonight. . . or tomorrow.

Linguini with Peppers and Sausage
adapted from

3/4 a box of stick pasta
1/2 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 small bottle of Moscato (or any other kind of white wine, but I think the moscato adds a sweetness to the pasta that complements the red peppers nicely).
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh basil, cut chiffanade style

Cook Pasta according to package directions.  
While water is coming to a boil, cook sausage in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until light brown.  Using, your favorite spatula or this break meat into small chunks.  Add peppers, onion,and garlic.  Saute until tender.  Add wine and simmer for about 6 minutes, or until slightly reduced.  
Drain pasta and add to skillet.  Toss with meat/veggie mixture.  Add cheese.  Sprinkle with basil.  

Serve and eat.  It's yummy!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Paper Pumpkin: Welcome Kit

Possible unknown fact:  I used to be a Stampin' Up Demonstrator.  I loved it!  I don't think I made any money. . . because it just paid for my addiction.  But, soon after I got married, I decided that between teaching, commuting, and being married. . . it was too much.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who lets me indulge in my hobby every so often.  

Possible unknown useless fact: I think that all those companies selling things that come to your door in boxes every month are really cool. . . seriously cool!  I'm talking companies like the Babba box, or those snack boxes, or say. . . boxes with stamps in them.  I think they have something going for them.  Like, say, something awesome delivered to your door than junk mail, bills, or propaganda.  I just wish they all didn't cost an arm and a leg!
 But, then Stampin' Up went and did it.  They made a box and brought magic into my house for just a mere $20.  (Don't worry. . . there was a lot of budgeting going into me subscribing).  They did it in a way that touches every woman. . . time alone. . . creating.  It's like magic.  And this magic includes everything to make the card (except tape, but a lot of it is adhesive).  The paper is already cut. . . so there is virtually no clean up.  Seriously. Awesomeness in a box (for me anyway).  Creating is a way that refuels me and that combined with time alone make it some of my favorite times!
 The Welcome Kit came my first month (August) and it came with everything to make the above card including the clear block for all the clear mounted stamps that will come each month.  I was completely in love with the yellow, grey, and green color scheme and the ombre polka dots.
 After doing one the way I was supposed to, I decided to let my brain free and try other layout possibilities using only what came in the kit (well... I may have added some string).
It was definitley a nice escape. . . without even leaving my house!  September's came last week and I can't wait to start working on the cards! Wahoo!!!!

How do you escape?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ethan turns 5: Monster Bash Extravaganza

My oldest is 5.  I have been a mom for a half a decade.  Seriously, I am in a state of shock at how quickly this has gone.  I am not ready for the years to come.  I am so excited for what is going to happen in the years to come.  God is going to do some amazing things with this boy!  
 So, Happy Birthday to my first born!  (notice my smile?  it's my "the party's over and the kids are in bed" smile!).  The poor guy wasn't at the top of his game at his party. . . there's a nasty cold going around and it hit our house hard!

 These Chocolate cupcakes are my favorite!  There's nothing really else to say.  They are filled with a marshmallow cream filling and have a ganache frosting.  Have I mentioned that I am in love with ganache?

 I made a felt banner and bunting for his backdrop and it ended up looking like this.  So my husband (he can be a bit creative, too!) decided it looked like a monster's mouth and added eyes.  It turned out kind of cute.  

Since the party was a mid afternoon party, we just did snack-y foods.
:: I bagged cheddar bunnies into monster treat bags that I found at the Target Dollar Spot
:: Snicker's Caramel Corn
:: Deviled eggs (monster eyes)
:: Spinach Dip and Pita Chips
:: Chips, salsa, and Guacamole
:: Veggie cups
:: crescent dogs (not pictured)
:: Cake Balls
:: Cupcakes

 I did a lot with this party using my Creative Memories software.  Loving the way it all came out!
 They eyeball picture frame was one of my favorite things! I found the idea on Pinterest and went with it.  Target had a ton of eyeballs in the dollar section at the beginning of the summer, and I sort of raided it knowing I was going to be having a monster party.

The Letter E is a cardboard letter from JoAnn's and I wrapped it with some fun yarn.  I was going to put eyes on it to make it sort of monster like, but it never happened. . . and I don't think anyone even noticed.  So, it's all good.
 I did baby cups of veggies and ranch.  They were quite tasty.
 More fun digital stuff.

 What's a monster  bash with out a photo booth?  I found these ones here. I think that people had a lot of fun with this.
 I bought some fun monster kids through Oriental Trading for the kids to work on.

To end the party, all the kids got to pick out a monster (each one was different) and fill out this adoption form.  This may have been my most favorite detail about the whole party. 

The Invitation. . . with the important stuff covered up. :)
So, Happy Number 5 to my first born!  Even though your shoes are everywhere, we still love you! ha ha!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Meanderings

It's fall (officially!).  And believe it or not, the weather is starting to act like it!  Happy dance commencing. . . now!  I think something pumpkin-y will have to me made this week!  I've been burning Honey Pear Cider and my house smells like fall. . . it hasn't completely felt like it, but it has smelled like it. . . and that's a start for this California girl! 
 Last week, I officially got back into the groove and started this Bible Study.  I think it's going to be awesome!  I had a wake up call last night. . . don't wait until the last minute to get it done. . . Beth goes deep!  This is one of her older ones. . .and I think she's actually wearing shoulder pads in the videos. . . kind of funny!
 Our family has been hit hard by this horrible cold bug going around.  Just when we thought it was over (with the exception of our coughs that haven't gotten the note to leave), this guy came down with a double ear infection.  Blah.  We are done.  Ready to be healthy, functioning people once again.
 And, these have been up for about 2 months.  Our goal for 2013 has been our bedroom and bathroom and we are starting to run out of time. We should probably pick out a color since I was given the go ahead to start the project this week (YEAH!).  Right now the walls are a horrible mint green that you can hardly even see.  The two top colors are going to be our accent colors and I think we are going with the Pantone turquoise that is darker for the walls.  I think it will be super cute!  What's your favorite?
I hope you are having a great day recovering from your weekend.  See you later!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

a long awaited recipe

Don't worry.  I didn't forget.  I just ran out of time during the day last week.  I've been sewing monsters and creating monster themed birthday and there just weren't enough minutes in the day to do all that I wanted to do.  But, to make up for it. . . I am presenting you with that recipe that I so teased you with a few weeks ago.  And perfect timing, because I believe that fall may have started to sneak into my sunny California heat wave (Feelings of relief. . . joy. . . jumping up and down in excitement!). 
These cookies were amazing.  Probably the best pumpkin cookies. ever!  I'm not exaggerating either. . . they really are.  Have you made pumpkin cookies before?  They normally come out more like a cookie shaped little cake.  These don't.  I think it's because there is a rather large amount of flour in the ingredients. . . almost 4 cups.  That's a lot of flour!  I even double checked and read the comments.  It wasn't a typo. . . it was real.  I went with it.  And it was worth it!  Trust me!  Then, when they get finished a wonderful Caramel filled Hershey Kiss is smooshed into the yummy warm cookie.  The combination is amazing!

But, I really think that you should make these for yourself.  It will make your day A.mazing.  Trust me!  Maybe even go grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte to get in the mood.

Pumpkin Caramel Kiss Cookies
from Something Swanky

3 3/4 cups flour (REALLY!)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup shortening (aka. . . crisco)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
cinnamon and sugar to coat the cookies like snickerdoodles
Hershey Caramel Kisses

Cream together the butter and shortening.  I like it nice and fluffy, don't be afraid to do this a long time.  Add the brown sugar and sugar.  Beat well.  Add the egg, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and pumpkin puree.  Mix until combined.  Then gradually add flour until incorporated.  Scoop out with your favorite spoon and roll into a nice ball.  Dip it into the sugar mixture and then on too the cookie sheet.  Gently press down with your palm to slightly flatten the cookie.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  When they are done, remove from oven, add Hershey kiss in the center of each cookie by pressing them into the warm cookie.

Note:  I feel like I should mention this since everyone else does:  Pumpkin Puree is not canned Pumpkin Pie Mix.  They aren't the same.  Libby's makes both of them.  Don't confuse them.

And if I had to mention that, I should probably mention this, too: unwrap the kisses before putting them on the cookie.  It makes them easier to eat.  just sayin'.

Okay, off to wake up my sleeping boys!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Birthday card

Oh my goodness, this week is busy!  The hubby is away at a conference (a tad jealous that he has time to go exploring with out me) and it's birthday party week!  Birthday party week is full of Spring Cleaning-like chores and craft craziness!  I can't wait to show you the pictures!  My kids are living off of chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinners this week (don't judge me).   But, my kitchen is staying fairly clean!  I call that a win for me!

Are you following me on Pinterest?  I have a huge inspiration board that is full of party ideas. . . check it out! (if you click on the word Pinterest. . . it will direct you to the "Let's throw a party" board.

Are you following me on instagram?  You can find me here.  I'm going to be posting some fun sneak peaks as the party draws near! (My username is jolieklassen).

But, despite all the things going on, I somehow found a few minutes to do a little non-party related crafting.  It had to be done. . . a cute little boy turned 3 this weekend!  He needed a card.
I used Stampin' Up's Party this way stamp.  (It might be retired. . . not sure).  I layered the card stock colors and on a separate sheet of paper, stamped the balloons in 3 different colors.  From there I cut them out and mounted them on some dimensional (awesome, by the way!) and then drew on the strings with a thin sharpie.  Under I stamped it with a coordinating Happy Birthday stamp.  Super easy!  Very simple!  I will definitely be going back and stamping some more with this set!

Okay. . . time to get back to work and start checking some more items off my list!  Have a great week everyone!

Friday, September 06, 2013

The post that has take a week to write (seriously!)

I am back from an incredibly relaxing vacation.  I got to take my husband to see one my favorite spots. . . Hume Lake.  We spent the day eating corn dogs, apple pie, and cotton candy.  I may have even raided their children's book sale.  We even had time to stop by Grant's Grove to see the Big Trees.  The boys were loving running around being free, and being dirty . . . very dirty!  

Needless to say, I am well rested and after today, finally feeling like I am getting into a groove with having a child in school.  I made my list and I accomplished a lot of it.  I rarely accomplish all the things that I set out to do because I am constantly adding things.  I am sure I am not the only one out there who does this. . . right?  
Anyway,  sometimes when I bake, I don't like to make things that take too much time.  I want something quick, easy, and delicious.  Sometimes, I have to look in my baking box to see what kind of chips I have and sometimes I get really sad that there are no chocolate chips.  I apparently have been buying butterscotch chips and not baking with them, so I really needed to use them up.  I saw this recipe float across my Pinterest feed and I knew that this was going to be good. . . brown butter and butterscotch.  You had me at brown butter (seriously, ever since I made these I have been addicted!).
So, these take a bit longer than the traditional blondie recipe (my favorite will still be this one), but are completely worth the extra step to blonde the butter.  I usually do it while I prep dinner stuff, while still keeping a good eye on it.  Once it gets to the point that it turns golden, you don't want it to go too much more than that, or else it burns. . . VERY QUICKLY.  You will know when it has a pretty color to it and a nutty smell. . . a smell that I love (like I said, I have a fond liking for things made with brown butter!).
So, here's the recipe.  Don't go crazy when you see the amount of brown sugar. . . it's kind of what makes blondies so yummy.  And don't feel too guilty. . . unless you eat all of them.  It's okay if you do. . . I just don't recommend it.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Blondies
from Jellibean journals via Pinterest

2 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
10 tbs butter
3 eggs
1 cup butterscotch chips (I may have used the whole bag)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish.
In a small saucepan over medium low heat, brown the butter, stirring occasionally.  Set aside to cool.
Whisk together eggs and butter, then add dry ingredients.  Stir to combine.
Stir in butterscotch chips and pour into baking dish.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Eat one. . maybe two.  . . go share with a friend. . . they are yummy!


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