Monday, July 30, 2012

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

I promised you last week I would share this salty and sweet recipe so here you go:

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat peanut butter and butter until combined. Scrape down bowl, add sugars and beat until combined. You should be able to roll the mixture into balls without sticking to your hands. If needed, add more powdered sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.

Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 teaspoon of mixture for each ball, and place on prepared baking sheet. Sandwich the balls between two pretzels and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat. Dip each pretzel bite halfway into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set. After chocolate is set, I place them in a container and put them back in the fridge. I think they are better cold.

Pinned from Rumbly In My Tumbly

I dare you to eat just one :)

xo, Erin

Friday, July 27, 2012

High Five for Friday

This week was pretty awesome. I babysat a little, had time to work out everyday and got some projects checked off the list around the house.  I am very sad that I go back to work in three short weeks! I have enjoyed my summer relaxing and running errands at my leisure. I am making the most of my last few weekends of summer, starting with friends from Chicago coming tonight and visiting all weekend!

But before I get too excited for the weekend, I am linking up with Lauren to share my 5 favorite things from this week:

1. The no-sew curtains in the office are done!

2. More master bathroom updates

tiled the shelf, still needs grout

added a handle to the cabinet, we went with a LANSA handle from IKEA

3. My new colored skinnies I added to my collection this past weekend. The coral and gray pairs are from the Gap Clearance Center and were $7 total.  The blue pair came from Gap on super clearance, only $10. How can you pass up those prices? Now the weather just needs to cool down a bit so I can wear them :)

4. More time to 'bake' in the kitchen. These taste similar to a Take 5  bar, recipe next week!

5. The Olympics start today, who isn't excited for that? Go USA!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

No-Sew Curtains

The office is under construction and the first item on my to-do list is almost crossed off. I don't know what took me so long, but I have lots of motivation to get things done before I head back to work in a few weeks.  I am starting my Master's this fall and it's an online program. I want to complete the office so I have a space where I can get work done without the distraction of a TV. I also feel working at a desk would be a better option than the couch :)

Anyways.. back to my progress. I began making no-sew curtains last night and am loving the results so far! Here is my step-by-step process (that is super simple!)

1. Hang up your curtain rods using a level and strong enough screws to hold the weight of your curtains

2. Lay your fabric out on the floor and fold in half 

3. Cut the fabric along the fold to create two smaller panels, I suggest using very good scissors for a clean cut

4. Fold over your hem and iron it down

 5. Cut a piece of hem tape the length of your fabric, I have had the best luck with the brand below (super strength)

6. Iron it down following the directions. Hang up one end on your curtain rod and measure the bottom, just skimming the carpet. Repeat steps 4 & 5

7. Cut off the edge of the fabric that has no design (this can be done before or after the hem)

8. Hang the curtain up and repeat for the other panel

I ran out of hem tape so I couldn't complete the other window! I will grab some when I am out today so I can cross it off my office to-do list.  I love all the color it has already added to the room.

Have you ever tried no-sew curtains? I would highly recommend it. They are so simple, anyone could do it!

xo, Erin

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Office.

It doesn't really serve a purpose. Greg and I both have laptops and we sit on the couch most nights surfing the internet. The only reason I go in there is because I have some clothes and almost all my shoes in that closet. Besides that, I could go weeks without entering.

I want that to change. I want a reason to work in the office. There is such a large desk available with so much surface area. The room has potential, but needs some sprucing up... starting with a light. There is currently no light in that room so it can't be used at night. I want Greg to install some recessed lights above the desk and also by some sort of floor lamp for the other side of the room.

Before I share my to-do list, let me show you what it looks like now:

The view from the hallway, trying to sell the current sleeper loveseat
TV stand and storage between the windows
Shoe boxes contain hundreds of pictures

These shoe boxes contain memories from our seven+ years together (ticket stubs and such)

The desk.. an IKEA closet door converted into a large table

This space needs help!

Cricut storage

Yearly frames used at our wedding

More frames...

Cheap plastic organizer turned cute!

More shoe boxes... more memories

Future curtain fabric

The space needs some help. To-do lists always help break it down and allow me to work on one project at a time. Here are some things I would like to do:

  • Create no-sew curtains (have had the supplies since February, how embarrassing)
  • Add lighting
  • Create a bulletin board in the blank wall space above the desk, next to the shelves
  • Sell loveseat
  • Buy chair or some type of seating
  • Mount TV on the wall
  • Wall art
  • Organize crafts and scrapbooking supplies

Hope to get the curtains knocked off the list this week, stay tuned!

xo, Erin

Friday, July 20, 2012

High Five for Friday

So happy it's Friday and the weekend is here. I'm headed to the infamous Gap Clearance store in Kentucky today, hoping to find some great deals. This post may be a little boring because I was slacking on pictures this week.. here are my top 5:

1. I finished the first book in the Fifty Shades of Grey  trilogy. It was pretty good. Should I move on to the next one?

2. We got rain... and a lot of it... and then some more! Who would have thought I would be so stinkin excited to see rain?

3. My friend Laura had her baby and we finally found out the gender. It's a sweet girl named Cora, can't wait to meet her!

4. Had time to paint my nails OPI Mod-Ern Girl, a new summer fave. It's a mix of coral and orange

5. I got my hair cut and highlighted this week. Yay for a new summer style :)


Happy Friday everyone! Hoping to have some office updates for you next week... a room I have never shared!

xo, Erin

Thursday, July 19, 2012

White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies

I love having time to bake. I definitely have a sweet tooth, not just for chocolate. One of my favorite cookie recipes I found on Pinterest was White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies. What doesn't sound good about that? I adapted mine slightly and use strawberry mix instead of raspberry. I'm sure the result is equally delicious.

White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies
2 (7 oz) packages of strawberry muffin mix
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, butter, shortening, and brown sugar, until just combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the muffin mix and using a wooden spoon, mix until incorporated. Stir in the white chocolate chips and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. 

Picture c/o bakergirl. Mine had bits of strawberry

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets and roll dough into tablespoon-size balls. Place 2-inches apart on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until just turning golden around the edges.

Cool five minutes on baking sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Yum! Just look at the texture, and they are so soft!

I just ate one for breakfast... they are that good! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

While I Was Away...

Feels good to be home! I wandered upstairs to check out the bathroom updates and this is what I found:

Patched and painted old electrical box

Cabinet installed, door painted and mounted

Electrical fixed, extra switch for exhaust fan and shower light

Caulked between shower and wall

Beginning to patch the ceiling... where the wall used to be

Hooray! My hubby is such a hard worker when I'm gone.

xo, Erin

Monday, July 16, 2012

What Weekend?

I haven't been home since Thursday at lunch. I had a fun, busy weekend with the cutest girls... and dolls. They even had to wear their seat belts in my car and make sure they were dressed properly for the rain. 

 According to Greg, he has been busy at home working on some projects. I will be back tomorrow with an update!

xo, Erin

Friday, July 13, 2012

High Five for Friday

This week was very relaxing. I finally had time to read, work on my tan, take a few naps and bake. Sounds like a perfect week to me. I almost finished the first book in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I can't believe how quick of a read it is. And yes, it is much better than I thought it would be, I can barely put the book down. If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, do it, you won't be disappointed.

It's Friday, so I'm linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk to share my 5 favorites:

1. My jewelry organizers from our closet remodel were featured on iheart organizing. Eek! So exciting!

2. Sushi date with my hubby. Soup, salad and spicy rolls. Yum! Afterwards, we checked out the live band playing outside, Naked Karate Girls. We listened to a few songs and ate some shaved ice.


3. Had time to bake some delicious chocolate chip cookies. Check out the recipe here

4. I may be biased, but could this dog get any cuter?! He was my napping buddy and got lots of attention this week since I was home almost everyday.

5. Homemade yogurt parfait: vanilla yogurt, fresh strawberries and granola. Yes please.

I am spending today and the weekend with some fabulous girls I nanny for. Their parents are on vacation so I am enjoying playing barbies, legos and dress-up. To be young again...

xo, Erin

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cookie Heaven

Pinterest did it again. I found an awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe a few weeks ago that I was dying to try.  Mine doesn't look as good as theirs, but I'm sure they taste pretty similar :) Original pin from here

Paradise Bakery and Cafe Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually beat into butter/sugar mixture. Add chocolate chips and stir in. Spoon and drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen

Try and refrain from eating a dozen in one sitting. They are chewy, chocolatey and delicious!

xo, Erin

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lights and Mirrors

I showed you a few weeks ago how we framed simple IKEA mirrors for our bathroom here. Well, things got busy and we finally got around to installing them on the wall. It was a very simple procedure: find the center of the sinks, measure, and drill holes.

The lighting installation was not as simple. We started with one box in the center and we wanted to split it, so there were two separate lights, one above each mirror. Good thing I have a handy husband :) He followed similar procedures by finding the center of the mirror, measuring and cutting a hole in the wall. The wires were easy for him to access and split.


Our bathroom is almost there! I love how sleek the vanity, mirrors and lights look together. The bathroom storage cabinet has since been put in. Greg also has patched the old electrical box hole and we just need to paint it. Finishing touches are last on the list. I can't wait for everything to finally be done and enjoy it. So far, we are loving all our choices. The double sinks are awesome and surprisingly, we have plenty of room to both stand at the vanity.  

I wonder what we will work on once the bathroom is finished? The possibilities are endless...

xo, Erin

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Challenge: Bathroom Storage

I thought it would be fun to take part in the seasonal Pinterest Challenge hosted by Young House Love and Bower Power. Last time I participated, I framed some sporting event tickets. This time, the challenge was our bathroom. We have been remodeling our master bath since January and are almost to the finish line. Our bathroom didn't have any storage to start with and we knew it would be nice to add some.

Before we started the bathroom, I scoured Pinterest looking for inspiration. I came across some designs I liked for the shower, tile and paint choices. I also started looking at some storage options. Here were a few that sparked my interest:

       master               Small Bathroom Ideas

  storage between studs       so pretty

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 }

I loved the idea of built-in storage within the walls because it makes the bathroom looks so much bigger. We don't have a very big master bath to start with, so the goal was to make it feel bigger.

Here is what our bathroom looked like before we started:

Right when you walked in the door there was the light switch and a wall that served no purpose, it closed the small room off even more. Our original plan was to make it a half wall and build some storage on the bottom half.  Once we started demolition, we liked the idea of the whole wall out.

Fast forward six months and this is what it was looking like. We tiled the shower from floor to ceiling, tiled the bathroom floor, painted the walls and installed a new toilet.

Our plan was to add some sort of storage where we knocked the wall out. We didn't want to close the room in too much because we loved how much bigger it was feeling. I thought it would look nice to make it like a built-in and have it go from the floor to ceiling. This would maximize space since it wasn't going to be that deep.  We took measurements and drew up a rough sketch then handed them off to a guy Greg works with. He did an awesome job of building us a cabinet and it was exactly what I had in mind. Greg got to work painting it white.

The painting is done on the frame, we just need to paint the door and shelves. It is so awesome. It takes a little getting used to in the space since there has been no wall for so long. I can't believe how much storage we added in such a small space. The bottom two open shelves fit baskets perfectly. We plan on putting a full length mirror on the inside of the door along with towels, toilet paper, etc on the adjustable shelving. We left one open shelf on the top. I plan to put some vases or something along those lines to add a little color, I'll see what I can find :)

It's really hard to take a picture now that the vanity is up.
There will be a door in the middle section with adjustable shelves


Greg also had to move the electrical from the wall, to the side of the cabinet

Will update soon with a finished picture once the door is painted and trim is up.

xo, Erin