DIY Polka Dots

3 Feb

Since I’ve had quite a few days off recently because of the frigid weather, I’ve had the time to do some fun DIY crafts and sewing projects!

I’ve been loving polka dots lately, and have been pinning lots of things that I figured I could make myself.

The first one was this top-

I thought it was super cute with all the colorful dots. When I was at Target a while back I picked up a 3/4 sleeved boatneck white shirt, and I thought it would be perfect to try and replicate this project!

Here is how mine turned out:

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It’s kind of wrinkly, and it looks much better on. The only photo I have of me wearing it isn’t a very good one, because there is a scarf in the way. (Another DIY! I told you, I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands)

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Either way, I love it! It was pretty easy, I just used Martha Steward Multi-Surface paint and dipped the end of a small hot glue stick in the paint, then pressed it on the shirt. (I put cardboard between the layers of the shirt so it wouldn’t bleed through.)

The second polka dot craft I posted on Instagram a while ago. I’ve been eyeing patterned tights for a while, but I just have soooo many plain colored ones I couldn’t really justify buying another pair. I have 3 pairs of black tights, so I just decided to put a pattern on them myself!

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I literally used the exact same method that I used for the shirt. I can’t remember where exactly I got this idea from- but it’s all over the internet and pinterest.

Here are a few other polka dot crafts that I have on my list of things to make, but haven’t gotten there quite yet:

With this, you could either take an infinity scarf that is already made and add polka dots, or sew the scarf yourself!

I don’t claim to be fashion savvy in any sense, but I love this bright neon skirt with the polka dot top! I have tons of sweaters that I think I could easily add polka dots to, now all I need is that skirt!

I’m sure there are other polka dot inspired things on my Pinterest boards, but these are the ones that are near the top of my list.

Are you more of a polka dots or stripes person? Or maybe just solid colors? 

Red Potatoes with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

31 Jan

I mentioned on my Appetizer Roundup post that I would actually be posting a recipe today, one that you could definitly serve at a super bowl party. The men in my family loved them, so to me that automatically means Super Bowl food. (That may be kind of sexist… my brother doesn’t even like football.)

The recipe I used was from the same book as my Maple Glazed Carrots. I switched it up a little bit though, obviously I didn’t add any bacon.

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Yum! Don’t they look good? The potatoes get all crispy and the filling is super creamy and cheesy. The walnuts adds a nice crunch as well, and the chives add a pop of color!

I apologize, some of the measurements are by weight. : (

Red Potatoes with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Red bliss potatoes- 10 ea.
Salt- to taste
Pepper- to taste
Thyme, fresh- 1/2 teaspoon
Olive oil- 1 tablespoon
Cream cheese- 2 oz.
Gorgonzola cheese- 1/4 cup
Liquid smoke- 1/4 teaspoon (A little goes a long way, but it adds a nice smoky flavor to give a bacony feel)
Sour cream- 1 oz.
Walnuts, chopped- 2 tablespoons
(vegan) worcestershire sauce- 1/2 teaspoon
Tabaso sauce- to taste
Chives, fresh, chopped- 3 tablespoons

Preheat the oven to 400*F.

Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out a portion of the inside with a melon baller. (If you don’t have a melon baller you can just use a regular old spoon.

Toss the potatoes with the salt, pepper, thyme, and oil. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until brown and cooked through (but not mushy) about 15-20 minutes.

For the filling: soften the cream cheese, add the gorgonzola, liquid smoke, sour cream, and walnuts. Mix using a hand mixer, stand mixer, or your hands/a spoon.

Once the potatoes are done, take them out of the oven and arrange them on your plate/platter with the flat parts that have been scooped out facing up. Spoon about 2 teaspoons in each one.

Sprinkle the tops with chives and enjoy!

Do you have any fun recipes you like to make for the super bowl? Are you planning on watching it, or do you have other fun plans for the weekend? I’ll be watching the puppy bowl myself : )

Appetizer Roundup

29 Jan

So… the super bowl is coming up! And of course, me being me and having no clue about sports related things, didn’t even know until this week. oops.

I was thinking about all of the appetizer like recipes I’ve made over the time I’ve had my blog, and I figured I would do an appetizer round up. All of these recipes are something I would serve at a super bowl party. If I ever went or had one. haha. I’m more of a puppy bowl kinda gal.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy! I’ll have an actual recipe posted on Friday!

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Peanut Butter Banana Bites- These were a huge hit on the blog, and somewhat healthy too!

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Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels- Here is another chocolate covered treat!

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Lemon Meringue Tartlettes- I don’t know if mini pies are really a super bowl treat- but I always think of mini things that are easy to eat when I think of the super bowl. And these are just that!

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Whole Wheat Soft Pretzel Bites- It’s super easy to make since you use store bought frozen bread dough. And it’s whole wheat, so it’s healthy, right? (haha)

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Sun Butter Bites- Great if there are peanut allergies! I made these for Christmas (Obviously) But you could add sprinkles in the colors of your favorite team!

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Vegan Slutty Brownies– Because, obviously.

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Corn Salsa- My aunt makes the best corn salsa! it’s filled with corn, beans, red pepper, onion, avocado, and more! It’s the beeesstt with tortilla chips.

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Baked Veggie Egg Rolls- I love me some egg rolls, but I hate deep frying things at home.  These baked ones are a great, healthy alternative!

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Sundried Tomato Bean Dip- Definitly a healthier dip, instead of using chips you could serve it with a plate of veggies.

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Taco Dip- I have both a vegan and vegetarian version of this, it’s probably one of my most favorite foods on the planet.

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Brie and Candied Walnut Flatbread- This is another one of my favorites. So many different flavors in this one! A lot of people think this one may not be a dudes cup of tea- but my brother looooves it.

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Ginger Limeade- And obviously you need something to drink, besides alcoholic beverages, of course ; ) The ginger flavor in this limeade adds a little somethin-somethin.

After looking at all these recipes, I realized that I don’t have a lot of “manly’ recipes in my repertoire. But they are delicious, and that’s all I care about!

Do you watch the Super Bowl, or are you like me and prefer the version with the cute puppies? 

#SnowDay

27 Jan

Snow days for days, is what we’re getting. They aren’t even actual snow days- but just cold days. The school district I work in posted this on their site over the weekend-

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(Name of district blurred out for obvious reasons)

So far this semester has been ridiculous, and I’m sure a lot of you are experiencing the same weather. The first week back after the break was all snow days, then we had one week of actual school, and then last week every day was canceled except for Wednesday, which had a 2 hour delay. It’s looking like we’ll get tomorrow off as well, and at least a delay on Wednesday. I’ll get to student teach someday I guess!

Anywho, my plan for posts this week was a compilation of quick breakfasts I eat before work and lunches that I take with me, but since I haven’t been going to school I haven’t really needed a quick breakfast or a sack lunch.

While I have been eating my peanut butter greek yogurt, I’ve also been craving smoothies lately. Which is odd, since it’s so cold!

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This one has frozen blueberries, strawberries, banana, almond milk, and because all those frozen fruits made it wayyyy to icy, I added a few spoonfuls of what else- greek yogurt. I normally like to add silken tofu to my smoothies, but I didn’t have any.

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I also made this Smashed Chickpea Greek Salad (Recipe here!) to hopefully take to work- but that never happened. I left out the olives and feta cheese, and just added some cut up grape tomatoes to the mix instead of putting them on the sandwich separately. I love greek salad, so this was perfect.

I put it on bread with lettuce for a few days (I packed my lunch up the night before… then ate it at home the next day, haha) but then switched over to lettuce ‘wraps’. The wheat bread I have is really good, but it’s really heavy, and I wanted something a little lighter.

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Served with some cucumber slices. And my favorite Trader Joe’s caesar dressing. (Vegetarian!)

Also another breakfast eat, some scones my students made in class last week!

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This isn’t the more classic scone recipe I’m used to, that has heavy cream in it. This one had buttermilk and sour cream, so they came out with a super tangy flavor. They had dried cherries and chocolate chips in them, yum!

I’ve been thinking about how to do a dairy free version of these, and I know I can just use Earth Balance (Or some other non dairy butter/margarine) and for the buttermilk I can use almond milk with a little vinegar, but I’m at a loss for the sour cream. They do make soy versions, but those I feel like are more protein and not as much fat (I could be mistaken though) and cashew versions are all fat but they don’t have that tangy flavor I’m looking for.

If you have any ideas I’d love to hear them! I definitly want to veganize this recipe and share it on the blog one day soon.

Welp, that’s it for today, I’m not sure how I’m going to spend the rest of my day, (I didn’t think to bring home all the things I’ll need to plan my next unit- I didn’t think we’d have so many snow days!) but I’m sure it will either involve food or a fun DIY project! (Or binge watching netflix….)

Have you been enjoying snow days, or do you live in warmer weather?? 

A Favorite Breakfast

22 Jan

Howdy Ya’ll! (Apparently I’m from the south today…)

Thank you so much for your kind words on my last post, student teaching can get super stressful, especially when I’m trying to stay in remission for my UC. We actually had a snow day yesterday, so it was fun. (Fun Fact: We’ve had more snow days than actual school days so far this semester!)

I just stopped by really quick to share a breakfast that I’ve been loving lately. It’s super easy, and I normally prepare it the night before when I’m getting my lunch ready.

You only need a few ingredients!

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Peanut Butter Yogurt
Yogurt of choice- about 6 oz.
PB2- 1 heaping tablespoon
Stevia or other sweetener- to taste

To make, you literally just mix everything together! You can use dairy free yogurt, soy yogurt, regular yogurt, or greek yogurt, which is my favorite. (I’m a HUGE Chobani fan!) You can buy the individual containers, but the bigger ones are cheaper.

You can also use the plain PB2 or the chocolate kind, I’ve used both and love them both. I have little stevia packets, and I normal add half a packet per 6 oz. of yogurt. The PB2 does have a little sugar in it, and I don’t want to mask the tang of the greek yogurt. You can use regular sugar, but it’ll be gritty. I’m sure honey or agave would do nicely!

If you don’t have PB2 near you, you can melt peanut butter and mix it in, but that just adds another step and I’m lazy.

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It doesn’t necessarily look the greatest, especially in photos, but it’s amazing! I’ll keep making it until they come out with a peanut butter yogurt, haha. If you use greek yogurt, there’s also quite a bit of protein in it, combined with the peanut butter powder.

I’ve definitly been known to eat this for breakfast, and then take it for lunch as well… It’s that good!

Welp, I’ve got lesson plans to finish up, so I’m off. Have a lovely Wednesday everyone!

Is there anything special you like to mix with your yogurt, or any fun toppings you think I should add to this?

 

Student Teaching and Ulcerative Colitis

20 Jan

Hi Everyone, I hope you are all staying warm! Thank you so much for your comments on my DIY Jewelry post, I haven’t been doing as much fun crafty stuff this past week because I’ve been super busy student teaching!

The teacher I’m working with teaches all foods classes, so it’s a lot of fun. I take over one class this week, and we’re starting with the cake baking and decorating unit, so I’m pretty excited.

I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have Ulcerative Colitis. I wrote two posts about my diagnosis and struggle to find a medication that works, you can read them here and here if you want.

I’m happy to say that I’ve finally found a medication that works- Remicade. I’m currently taking Asacol HD with it (4 pills per day) because I get crazy joint pain and that seems to be the only thing that keeps it away. Remicade is nice because it’s not a pill you have to take everyday, but it kinda sucks because I have to go to the hospital every 8 weeks to get it pumped into me.

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Super lame. BUT, it does give me 3-4 hours to read a book or do something fun. I try not to take actual work with me, because the situation is kinda sucky enough- so I like to do something enjoyable.

The first time I went they tried sticking me 4 different times until they finally got the IV in. It was not fun. Since then though, it’s only taken one try each time!

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I’ve been waiting and waiting for the 3rd Divergent book to come out, and finally put myself on the hold list for it on my library’s e-book system. When I finally got it and started reading it, I had no clue what happened in the second book it had been such a long time. So, I reread the first two super fast, and just started the third one. I’m so excited.

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More super lame hospitalness. The sucky thing about remicade is that they have to take your blood pressure every 15 minutes. I know some people get Benadryl before they take it and they just pass out the whole time they’re there, but I haven’t shown any signs of allergies or reactions, so I don’t get any.

Overall it’s working great, although when I’ve got about a week before my next infusion I start to feel a little sick. Cramps, nauseous feeling after eating, not being really hungry, etc. It’s during that week that I try to watch what I eat more, I try to stay away from trigger foods, or foods I know will upset my digestive system. Besides that, the Remicade really allows me to really eat what I want which is nice.

Speaking of food, this is a recent dinner my mom made the other night…

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Breakfast for dinner, the greatest thing ever!! (Also, could this be an Earth balance commercial or what? lawlz.) She found a recipe for these amazing almond butter pancakes, and they’re probably my favorite pancake ever. They don’t really taste like almond butter, but I bet they’d bee good smeared with more almond butter on top! That’s morning star veggie sausage on the side, if you’re wondering.

Welp, I should get going, I’ve got to put some finishing touches on my lesson plans for this week, I just wanted to stop by! I’m really trying to blog 2-3 times a week, even with student teaching. I’ve also been slacking on reading and commenting on blogs, but they’re all in my google reader (Ok, so it’s not google reader anymore, but I like calling it that. Does anybody else miss GR like crazy?) so I’m going to try and catch up on them tonight!

Do you like eating breakfast for dinner? What’s your favorite breakfast food? When I was in college sometimes I would eat dinner for breakfast (leftovers- which are the best thing ever besides bagels when you’re hungover) and my roommates thought I was weird.

DIY Crazy

13 Jan

Howdy everyone!

I’m super busy with my first full week of student teaching, so I’ve scheduled a couple of posts (or more likely, knowing me, just this one) for while I’m at school!

I know everyone is addicted to Pinterest, and so am I, but I’ve found myself even more addicted to DIY jewelry that I find on Pinterest. As a poor college student, who is literally working a full time job without pay, I see lots of pretty things that I can’t necessarily afford. So I turn to the next best thing- making my own! I posted a photo in instagram (I just got instagram, I don’t understand it yet, but lets be friends!!)

Below are some of the photos of things I’ve made, as well as the links to where I got the idea/tutorial. (As opposed to making my own tutorial, because we all know I’m terrible at that.) Enjoy!

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Aaahh… I can’t find or remember where I found this one. : ( But it definitly isn’t my own idea. It’s a bracelet made out of that clay you bake, then painted copper. If you’ve seen this around, let me know so I can credit it!!

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This necklace didn’t really come from any one particular source (Although I’m sure there are some out there that look just like it) but I got the idea for clay necklaces from The Lovely Drawer.

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I also made some earrings using the same technique! These two aren’t my favorite, so I may make different shapes/colors and put the new ones on the hooks. I’m not sure yet.

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I posted about these fabric button earrings a few weeks ago!

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And finally, this necklace. I got the tutorial from Oh The Lovely Things. Mine turned out a little different, I think my colors are less blended which isn’t exactly what I was going for, but I like it none the less.

And here are a few things I’m excited to make in the future:

Glitter Post Earrings
Twine Bow Ring
Beaded Necklace
Clay Rings

There are a ton more, but I won’t post them all! I hope you are all having a lovely Monday!!

Have you been bitten by the DIY bug? Have you pinned anything recently that you’re dying to make? 

Recent Eats- Winter Break

8 Jan

I know today is Wednesday and that a lot of people do that What I Ate Wednesday thing, but I’ve never really gotten into it. A lot of bloggers (Not ALL bloggers, obviously, but there are some!) post everything that goes into their mouths, and there is a lot of talk over it, surprisingly. People say oh, you eat too much of this, all you eat is this, you don’t eat enough food, and blah blah blah. Needless to say, I don’t want to be a part of that.

I do however love taking pictures of what I eat, and have a phone full of random veggie wrap photos and such, so I’m going to share what I’ve been eating recently with you. No, this is not everything I eat, or all I eat. I also consume a lot of cookies that go unpictured. But vegetables are more colorful to take pictures of!

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First up is this veggie filled sandwich. I got some onion and chili tortilla wraps at Trader Joes a while back (You’ll seem them later in this post no doubt) and I ran out. So I bought this whole wheat bread from Krogers. It’s good. But like all store bread it’s filled with junk probably. Anyway, sandwiched between the bread is veganaise (vegan mayonnaise), lettuce, onion, tomato, avocado, cucumber, and a small sprinkling of parmesan cheese. (on a kick ass super old Lion King plate.)

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I made Beth’s Mostaccioli bake and it was amazing. Very cheesy. I’m lactose intolerant, but you’d probably never know it from how I eat. Those lactaid pills do help a little bit, but I think my stomach and digestive system have been out of whack for so long I’m just used to it. I really need to get back in the swing of eating dairy super sparingly like I used to though. Regardless, this was delicious. (Also I didn’t add the spinach because I don’t like cooked spinach.)

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Huge salad bowl. It kind of looks just like lettuce, but I promise you there are veggies and beans in there. They all seem to settle to the bottom. I should have taken a photo before I mixed it all up.

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This was my New Years Eve dinner plate. (Yes I am a looser and have a big special dinner with my family on NYE. But it’s my favorite meal of the year so I’m ok with it.) We do a big appetizers spread. We had veggie dogs in a blanket, deviled eggs, pasta salad, veggie meatballs, Brie and walnut flatbread, veggies, bbq tofu, potato bites, and taco dip. There was a few more things but they wouldn’t all fit on my plate!

I wanted to post the recipe for the potato bites, but I didn’t get any really good photos of them so I don’t know if I will. I may wait till I make them again so I can get some good pictures.

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Veggie plate!! Cucumber, tomatoes, and Trader Joe’s romano caesar dressing. (It’s vegetarian!) Also from Trader Joe’s sweet and spicy pecans.

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More veggies and pecans and dressing, (I could put that dressing on anything I think) as well as some pickles and a wrap. It’s just filled with more veggies and beans.

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Breakfast! Both of the things from this bowl also come from Trader Joes. Quiona steel cut oatmeal, from their frozen section. It’s really convenient, because you just have to microwave it, but it’s a little too much quionoa for me in the morning. On top is a blob of their chocolate cookie butter swirl. (OMFG amazing.- although the chocolatey part feels a little like shortening in your mouth.)

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And finally this. I bought this from Kroger, and it is greek yogurt cream cheese. They also sell it in cream cheese bricks. I love it. It actually has less calories (but also less protein I think, which is odd) than regular cream cheese if you’re interested in the stats. But I love how it’s got that greek yogurt tang to it!

I’m sure I have more photos but I don’t want to bombard you with them all at once!! Are there any foods/snacks/meals you’ve been loving lately??

Maple Glazed Carrots

7 Jan

I feel like since it’s been so cold out the last few days I need to post a hot chocolate recipe or something, but I don’t have any. What I do have, is a recipe for some delicious carrots. (I pre-apologize, I only have one, terrible photo of them.)

The original recipe comes from this book, the same one that my gravy recipe was inspired from. I actually had my students make these twice in class because I love them so much!

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One thing I do not recommend is using cilantro in place of the parsley. A few of my students made that mistake and it was just no bueno. Also, don’t get too heavy handed on the syrup. What it calls for is just enough in my opinion, or maybe even a little bit less.

Maple Glazed Carrots
Adapted from On Cooking
Serves 4

1 pound carrots (I used baby carrots)
1 oz. Earth Balance (You could use olive oil, but I love the “buttery” flavor)
To taste- salt and pepper
3/4 fl. oz. maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley

The first thing you want to do is cut your carrots. I just sliced mine. If you are using normal carrots, peel them first.

Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove, and place the carrots in the water for about 5 minutes. You don’t want to really cook them, you still want them firm. Remove from the boiling water.

Saute the carrots in the Earth Balance (olive oil, butter) until they are tender. (The time will vary, depending on how you cut them).

Once they are tender, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle on the maple syrup. Stir, so all the syrup is evenly distributed. Sprinkle with parsley.

And you’re ready to eat!

If you wanted to speed up the process, you could just roast the carrots in oil and add the seasonings at the end, but I just love how these come out sautéed on the stove. They almost have a creamy texture.

I hope you’re all having a good break (If the snow has prolonged your winter break that is!) and are staying warm!! I’ve been taking advantage of the extra time off to prep for teaching a college baking class this semester as well as getting ready for student teaching, which I start on Friday!!! I’m excited and terrified at the same time.

I also want to thank everyone for your kind comments on my last post, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s an awesome recipe for Brie and Candied Walnut Flatbread!!

 

Brie and Candied Walnut Flatbread

2 Jan

Happy 2014!! 

I had a whole post written and scheduled to go up yesterday, about goals and my own personal new years resolutions, but it was kind of all over the place. I love making goals and lists, but at the same time, a long list of longterm goals like that that doesn’t always work for me, and I tend to forget about them within three months.

Madison over at Eating 4 Balance has a really awesome way of doing it, she just picks one overall idea or goal and focuses on that for the year, and I think that’s something that I might try this year.

Anywho, onto a fun new recipe. About two years ago I went to Mackinac Island for vacation with my family, and we ate at this little restaurant where I had one of the best things ever. It was a flatbread pizza with brie cheese, candied walnuts, arugela, granny smith apple slices, and a drizzle of honey.

All of the flavors went so well together, the sweet crunchiness of the walnuts, the sour of the apples, the spiciness from the arugela, it was perfect. And I knew it was something I could recreate at home, and have done so a few times, but I’ve never remembered to take pictures, until now. And even now, they’re not the greatest, but I don’t care. It tastes amazing, and that’s all that matters.

Brie and Candied Walnut Flatbread
Makes about 12-16 small slices

2 Udi’s gluten free pizza crusts (You could make your own dough or get a different brand, but even though I’m not gluten free, this crust is super chewy and really reminds me of the original dish.)
1 brie wheel (the smaller ones, not those huge ones that cost the same amount as a car.)
1/2 granny smith apple, sliced thinly.
1/2 cup candied walnuts (you can use your favorite recipe, or see the one I posted below)
1 cup arugela (I used baby arugela… is there such thing as adult arugela? Either way, it doesn’t matter.)
2 tablespoons honey (optional. I’ve used agave syrup or gone without it before.)

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The crusts I used.

Brush the crusts with olive oil or spray with a mister. Place in a 400*F oven for about 6 minutes. This will help it get a little chewier. If your crust is super duper thin, less time is probably required.

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Right before putting it in the oven…

Once it comes out of the oven, you’ll want to put the cheese on. You don’t need to cover it completely, that would be way too much and overpower it.

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Then, you’ll want to put it back in the oven until the cheese starts to melt. Brie cheese is weird, it will kind of stay in it’s shape when melty, but it will look kind of glossy.

Once it comes out of the oven, you’ll want to put on the apples. I cut it after I put the apples on, then put on the rest of the toppings. It’s just way easier to cut that way.

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Now for the candied walnuts, arugela, and honey:

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I normally put a little more arugela on than this, but my grocery store sucks and the arugela was looking a little past it’s prime when I bought it, so I had to pick through it to find the good stuff.

Like I mentioned previously, all of the flavors go so well together, it’s crazy. This is definitly one of my families favorites. It’s definitly something I’d serve warm, but I’ve eaten it cold before and it’s still yummy.

If you want my candied walnuts recipe, here it is:

Candied Walnuts
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon corn syrup (A lot of people don’t like corn syrup, but I find it coats the nuts really well.)
1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
pinches of salt and cayenne pepper.

Mix the corn syrup, brown sugar, and spices in a bowl. Microwave for 15 seconds, just to get the corn syrup a little more liquify so it coats the walnuts.

Add the nuts to the mixture, and make sure they are evenly coated. place on a parchment lined sheet pan. You don’t have to get them completely separated, but try and spread them out a little so they’re not in one huge clump.

Place them in a 400*F oven and cook for about 5 minutes or so, when you start to smell roasted nuts, you’ll know their done. Let cool, and enjoy!!

What are your thoughts on new  years resolutions/goals? Any tips on keeping up with them throughout the year? 

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