Monday, September 26, 2016

Happy Fall

Taking a walk in Eagle Idaho. My baby isn't a baby anymore. 

You can see more of our Idaho adventures at my Instagram page Hello Meridian

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Friday, May 13, 2016

15 Years

In news. I'm still alive. 
I now work as a Social Media Strategist so blogging is kind of a sad sometimes affair. 
Working from home as a Stay at home mom is a challenge. Naptime is everything. 
Shane grew a wicked beard. I think it may be here to stay. 
We celebrated 15 years of marriage. 
Marriage is awesome. I wrote a post about maintaining a good marriage here.
I still get really great emails about it, so thanks. 

People should take more anniversary photos. Why should engaged people have all the fun?

I really love being married to this guy.









xoxo

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Spa Birthday Party!

Lydia turned 10 this weekend! So she invited 9 of her friends over for a fantastic Spa Party.


Photo booth to show off cute jammies. 



To make manicures a little more fun, we played "Manicure Spin the Bottle". Each girl picked their favorite bottle of mail polish. Then we spun an extra bottle, and whoever it landed on decided what finger everyone would paint using her color. 10 girls for 10 fingers and everyone ended up with identical manicures. 

We did pedicures and the girls painted mud masks on each other's faces. Cucumbers on eyes, Pandora spa station and battery candles set the relaxing mood. 


Lastly appetizers, fancy drinks (watermelon lemonade with a hit of sprite), and a big naked cake made by Daddy. 

Perfectly lovely for our lovely girl.

Happy Birthday Lydia Jane!





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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kind of Famous Pumpkin Muffins

Forever ago I had this idea to make a cooking blog just for myself to save all my favorite recipes. Well, then along came Pinterest and I didn't need it anymore. I kind of forgot about it until I started getting random messages that people were loving my pumpkin muffins. Huh?

Come to find out, this recipe on that tiny blog has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. What? And it's pinned all over Pinterest. Who knew! Well, might as well post this on my "real" blog then.  Especially since I've developed the process just a bit more.


I must say, they are seriously yummy. It's my mom's recipe with just a few adjustments. 

It's best to double the recipe. You'll want to share. Enjoy! 


Natalie's Pumpkin Muffins


1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice 
1/2 cup milk ((room temperature
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled but not solid.
1 egg (room temperature
1/2 cup raisins (opt)

Mix all wet ingredients. 

(Having everything room temperature insures that the butter won't solidify. If you add hot butter, you will curdle the eggs.)


 Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to wet ingredients.


Stir until batter is just lumpy. Do not over mix. 


Spoon into cupcake liners, sprayed with cooking spray, or into a well greased muffin tin.


Sprinkle 1/4 tsp sugar on each muffin just before baking to create a crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 mins. I start checking at 15 minutes. 

I think they are best hot with butter. 

Yum. Fall, you rock my world.


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Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall Flower Arrangements - less calories than chocolate!




If you follow me on Instagram (@natssentiments) you may have noticed I like to "Stress Bake". When I get stressed, I immediately turn to my pantry to come up with something to fill the house with baking smells and tastes of dough (usually chocolate). However, I am trying to quit my sugar addiction. This is not easy, in case you were wondering. 

Luckily, my second favorite way to de-stress is flower arranging. (Calorie Free.) And guess what? I got the best happy mail last week, huge box of Fall flowers from ProFlowers. I also had a little event I needed some festive decor for, so I decided to clean out a pumpkin, stick in a mason jar and make a little pumpkin arrangement. I could have also used floral foam, but with such a deep pumpkin, it didn't seem necessary. I wanted it up high so it could be seen above the food on the serving table, so I found an old candle holder (I'm pretty sure I bought in Israel over a decade ago!) removed the glass holder and just used the base. The mason jar was a little too high to be completely hidden, so I tied a large silk ribbon around the base to hide it. I used a similar color as the greenery since I didn't want to distract from the pumpkin.




Or straight on the table works too right?

But what to do with extra flowers???


Just a few mums and a cluster of berries, and some greenery. 
Terra-cotta pot (hobby lobby) plus a bit of wet floral foam.

Wet Floral foam makes arranging flowers really really easy. Really. 



Same idea, just greenery instead of berries. 



I've seriously had this pot (urn?) for years and never known what to do with it. 
This seemed to work nicely. Again, used floral foam.
I added a gourd from the grocery store. I just put it on a wood bamboo stick I normally use for grilling kabobs. I added a few plastic berries so I could shape them.


Just look at all the calories I saved arranging flowers all afternoon! 
Now I must go bake the goodies for the party. 



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Monday, September 14, 2015

Cookie Cake!







It was my birthday last week, (Happy Birthday ME!) so when I went in to do some marking photos, I had birthdays on the brain. I love how this simple cookie "cake" turned out. You don't get much easier than this. I used cookies from Entreat Soda and Cookie Shop, but store cookies or similar cookies from Sodalicious or Swig would work perfectly.  
I may need to experiment with many more cookie cakes. I owe it to the culinary landscape. 

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