Monday, October 05, 2015

Pumpkin Praline Bundt Cheesecake


Today was one of those very productive days, you know, one of those that you literally get everything done on your to-do list plus bake a cake. Those are good days if you ask me! I knew I wanted to make a bundt cake of some sort and of course pumpkin everything is currently still happening. So I combined a pumpkin cake and cheese cake together and then I had a fancy taste for pecans so I made a fun praline topping! Nothing too over the top but perfect for a Fall treat. Happy Baking!




Cake batter:

3 cups flour
1/2 sugar
1/2 light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree

Cream cheese filling: 

1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp flour

Praline topping: 

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice



Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Generously butter and flour bundt pan and set aside.
In the standing mixer with a paddle attachment add cream cheese, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat everything together until creamy. Add flour slowly and beat until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In the standing mixer add wet ingredients; egg, vegetable oil and pumpkin puree. Mix until well combined, at least a minute. Next, add dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients.

Pour about 2/3 of the pumpkin batter into the bundt pan. Layer the cream cheese mixture on top of that and spread it evenly throughout. Try to leave an inch of the pumpkin batter bordering the sides. (Note: you can take a butter knife and give the cream cheese a little swirl in the batter. Do not over do the swirl though!) Lastly pour the remainder of the pumpkin batter on the top!

Bake for 50-60 minutes!

While it's baking, heat butter on low for the praline topping in a small sauce pan. Once butter has melted add the brown sugar. Whisk constantly for about a minute or until the mixture starts to thicken. Add pecans and pumpkin spice. Give it one last quick stir and remove from heat.

Pour over the cake once it's cooled and removed from the bundt pan. And ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

currently



Thinking about: My brain is a whirlwind lately so I thought I'd just spew out all things on my brain because why the hell not! So to begin with, I'm hoping to try to get back into the blogging swing of things. I miss my space which I feel like is always said when I've been MIA. Here's to trying to bring my blog back from the dead. Our house is amazing and I'm so in love with how well we've settled in. Now it's all about the projects that we want to accomplish and being that I'm not a very patient person, it's hard not to just go and try to make all these projects happen all at once. I've sort of become a thrifting queen lately and have been able to find my very own power tools to aid in my projects. Asking to use power tools from Bobby is not something I like to do because not only does he try to baby me with the use of them but then I feel like I need to baby the power tool because it's his! HA. No thank you. So I bought my own and I'll do what I please with it. The end. Slowly this blog is going to become a DIY blog! 

Looking forward to: Well, mostly we are looking forward to our Haunted Housewarming party in the middle of October. Naturally we wanted to combine our housewarming with Halloween! I can't wait for everyone to come over and see our new place and just let loose and enjoy the company of our framily. We are also excited for a new addition to our family at the end of October (and no, I'm not pregnant!) so stay tuned for the news later on in the month! 

Watching: Okay so we all know the Fall is my favorite because all of the new shows that start as well as old ones come back on. Some new ones that I've become hooked on are; The Bastard Executioner, Limitless, Fear the Walking Dead, Heroes Reborn and Scream Queens. I've been counting down the days until these shows started! Heroes Reborn is going to be great! Limitless is based on the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper and it seems like it's going to be a very action packed show, this both Bobby and I are watching together. The Bastard Executioner is made by Kurt Shutter who also made Sons of Anarchy so I have high hopes for this one! So far so good. Very bloody and gruesome, two thumbs up! Fear the Walking Dead is another zombie apocalypse show, never too many of those in my life and then Scream Queens is just a fun & corny added in between the rest. Still waiting on American Horror Story: Hotel to come on and then I'll be set! What have you been watching??

Doing: I get to go rent a car for a few days all due to someone breaking into my car this past weekend. I had it parked in a parking garage next to my work. Some terrible human being used a pry bar to scatter my passenger front window. It sucked having to deal with that during my work day but thankfully I have some amazing co-workers who had my back. Funny thing is that I had nothing of value in my car. Sebastian's booster seat and his toys scattered around the car. That's it! Nothing was damaged other than the window and door. So now we have to deal with insurance and a body shop to get my jeep up and running again. Oh well, also grateful for a husband that is knowledgeable in all things cars. So it's easy, not much I need to do! 

Loving: FALL! It's finally here! There's always that post about Fall. It's like a blogging clique but I don't give a dang-a-lang. It's here and I love it oh so much. We have two fireplaces in our house, one being a wood burning stove that is upstairs and a pellet stove that's down in the family room. So having a fire crackling in the chilly evening has literally become my favorite thing. So therapeutic to come home to at the end of a work day. I can't help lounge on the couch with a hot cup of tea to end my day. Love baking in my new kitchen! My oven is my new best friend and have found that it bakes better then a few of the ovens I've had to use in the past. My pies are coming out extra delicious. Also loving, being a homeowner, learning new things, future planning, a little boy who forever keeping me on my toes and testing my super mom powers, a husband who is always there for me and never doubts my dreams, a dad that comes and visit and helps with projects and a beautiful thing I call life. Amen. 


Friday, August 28, 2015

Our New Home



August 6th, 2015 was when a new chapter in our lives open up. I can't believe it's been just about three weeks in our new home. We are head over heels in love with the house, the neighborhood and with the surrounding Lake Stevens area. It's a beautiful thing, owning your own house. We have done so well in these three weeks already and I'm pretty proud of us! Lots of painting, furniture shopping, bargain shopping/thrifting, and decorating. Everything is coming together and feeling more and more like our space. 

When the time came to finally move into our home I felt super nervous. It was scary for me to have this 1600 square foot house with four bedrooms that I was going to have to manage. All the cleaning and organizing that was going to have to happen. I am a super organized person and when everything is organized and clean I am at my happiest! It weird, I know! But that's just how I roll. So, it was totally overwhelming to think about this huge space that is going to have to be neatly kept in order for me to feel right about my space. But honestly, none of those feelings have come about. It's been such a positive move forward for me and my little family and I can not wait for all our new memories to be had in a place that we are going to call move for many many years. 

It's been interesting to move back to around the area that I had grown up in. It's change dramatically since I was last around, and it's been nice getting back out there and exploring. 

Let's see, what else can I tell you. Well, we have a beautiful backyard with lots of tall trees! I am so happy with it, and it almost feels like you are in the forest. Bobby has a huge two car garage to himself which at the moment is still filled with boxes however will eventually be his man cave where all the car shenanigans will be taking place. 

I'll be remodeling the fourth bedroom in the basement to be my little at-home hair studio! Yay! It's going to be a wonderful thing to have my own space to do hair in. So many people have requested me to do their hair but are not able to make the drive all the way to downtown Seattle so this will give me a chance to enjoy having people over to beautify them. My amazing dad has already taken some time off of work to come and help with completely transforming and installing everything. He's pretty nifty and since I am not a plumber it's much appreciated. It's going to be fun! 

Sebastian starts second grade(!) on Tuesday at his new school! He is beyond excited. It's nice to have a kid that is so outgoing as he is because I don't have to feel nervous about him doing well socially in school. He already has a gang of friends on our street! Made those friends even before we even moved in. Not surprising at all honestly. The twin boys down the street are the same age as Sebastian and are over at our house constantly during the week. 

All in all we are thankful for all the hard work, patience, tears, frustration, loved ones and sweat. It all worked out in the best way possible! We really couldn't of made any of it happen if it weren't for our lovely relator. She's amazing! And of course my husband for dealing with all the paperwork and headache while I used my finger on an app to find houses. Hey! That's hard work too! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

through my lens








I love capturing stitches in time with my lens. The two things that come so easy to me when I shoot are people and food. This week has been a crazy one but now that I have had the time to look back on all the moments, they are treasured. So many of them. And I am thankful. For each and every one. All the interactions with people from all walks of life. People who come to me and my co-workers to make them beautiful. I get to capture those first moments of them leaving the salon and feeling like a million bucks. I mean just look at them! Beaming.

To be around a group of people that are doing just what I am and who are reveling from the same benefits of seeing their clients leaving feeling like a new person, to most even their lives are changed. If even for just those first three winks in the mirror. It's a beautiful thing.

I'm constantly feeling lucky to be a part of the village of creative people who I see five days a week. So many exciting things happening in the next few weeks and also lots of ideas for the future to insure that the evolution of our industry is forever growing.

Take those moments and capture them. And don't let go.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dancing Brush



We had a gift card to Dancing Brush that we needed to use up and so we made a special visit to have some fun. Have you heard of Dancing Brush? It's an amazing place to visit when you are feeling like being an artist or to spend some right-brain time with your friends and family. We have had a few different experiences with Dancing Brush and with every visit we leave wanting to hurry back! 

Dancing Brush is located in Poulsbo. Pretty convenient for us! There is another location in Ballard. The space itself is huge, very open and inviting. So many colors and things to look at. When you walk in you are instantly invited in by the girls that work there. Super friendly and laid back. The first step is to choose from the collection of plates, mugs, bowls, and special pottery pieces. It's great because you can find things as cheap as $8 all the way up to $30. All depending on what you decide to paint. 

You get to choose where ever you'd like to sit. There are many tables to pick from, some smaller tables or longer ones if you end up coming with a group of friends! Each table is already set up for you to begin, with paints, brushes, a bowl of water, a sponge and a place mat. You don't even have to fill the bowl up with fresh water! It's all there. 


Once you've chosen the pottery piece you want, you start painting! It's so fun. There's a little ceramic tile with dots on it for you to squeeze out dime sizes of the your chosen paints. It allows kids to stay neat and to be able to stick with just enough colors rather than getting too carried away with all of the selection. This visit Sebastian picked out a Wolverine piggy bank that he's had his eye on since the last time we were in. 



There's tools at your disposal. Things like stamps, templates, screen prints, and glaze colors. You can even walk around the space to check out other peoples art work to get inspiration from. The girls who work there just hang out doing their thing and only really assist if needed. We love that about it because whenever we go it feels like it's our little art studio that we have all to ourselves. There's good music playing with other families gathered around the tables.



Sebastian had a blast painting Wolverine! He wanted to make sure that he was painted as close to the real thing so we ended up looking up photos of him on my phone to replicate the right colors. Once we were done, we gave Wolverine to one of the girls who then took it to the back where they will apply a clear glaze on it and then put it in a kiln to be fired. It usually takes about a week for the process and they just give you a call when it's all done to get picked up.



With life being as busy as it is we typically always forget so it's nice to get that call to remind us and because we do forget it's fun to go pick it up and see the reveal of the finished product.



I plan to go back one last time to make something for myself. A mug I think! I'll post an update once we pick up Wolverine to show you all how it turned out. It will be nice to visit Dancing Brush whenever we are back in downtown Poulsbo once we move! I recommend you visit it too. Fantastic way to use your right-brain, be creative and artistic and take home something that you made yourself!


Our visit was a success. xoxo

This post is not sponsored by Dancing Brush. Thanks for reading!

Who I am


I am...

+ getting more and more excited to be a homeowner. We've been (well, when I say "we" I mean me!) picking out paint for most of the house. The kitchen, dining room and living room are an open style concept so picking paint wasn't as easy as I imagined. But I think we found a pair that are going to look fantastic. Of course Sebastian had no trouble at all picking a color for his bedroom. Because we're cool like that and totally let him peruse the wall of colors and choose for himself. Why not! So, that's all said and done. Our room is all decided on as well. Which, to be honest, was a surprise because I totally thought Bobby and I were going to have trouble coming to an understanding. No. It was way easier than the main part of the house. There's also another bedroom that's going to be made into a guest bedroom, a laundry room, another spare bedroom downstairs, as well as the family room. But we aren't going to venture into doing all of that just yet. Just the main parts for now. Let's not get too crazy!! Furniture has been a different story. Furniture scares me. It's an investment because have you seen what couches are going for nowadays?? Holy Smokes. And it can be a little daunting to make such a purchase with the understanding that it has to stay. For a long time. Like, no takey backsies. It's okay though, I'm starting to realize that the furniture is going to take some time. And I'm fine with that.

+ trying not to go into a tailspin of emotion about the fact that Sebastian is going to be turning seven years old in a few short weeks. It's mind blowing to me. I can't even express the feelings that I feel. I've never been a person to say that I feel old but suddenly now that he's turning seven my age has been brought to my attention. I know, I know. I'm no where near being "old" and all and it's not really about that. It's simply the fact that my age as never even crossed my mind. Birthdays have come and gone and I've been content with it. Now that I'm going to be a mom to a seven year old, whoa, things have changed. I'm not even the slightest sure what I've just said even makes any sense. Either way, it's there. Oh you feelings.

+ constantly surprised with how overwhelming my industry can be. In a good way though. The hair industry is an amazingly creative outlet. There's so much to learn and create and achieve. It gets me so excited and I am still forever thankful that I have been able to pursue my dreams and jump head first right into it all. Not to mention that there are so many ridiculously talented people in my industry that I am regularly collecting inspiration from them. Not just within my salon but all over the world. Which brings me to social media! Holy. Cow. Am I so glad it's a tool for us to take advantage of. Otherwise I would not be able to be involved in all the great hair stylist's work out there!

+ excited to be living closer to my little sister, Michelle. I feel like she has really become my best friend in so many ways. It helps that she's matured tremendously! Boy does that help! I'm looking forward to making more memories with her.

+ trying to figure out a way so that I can do more blogging. I love blogging and can't imagine stopping or getting rid of it. It's just the time thing. Until we move and right now with the way I commute I do have loads of sporadic time to be able to write posts but it's hard to be able to carry my laptop around with me, since I do a lot of walking. It can get heavy! So, I'm hoping to maybe invest into an iPad with a keyboard. Does anyone else have this sort of problem? What do you do? Help. Me.

+ looking forward to a handful of weddings I'm going to be doing these last couple months of summer. A few of them are with Jennifer, my partner in crime at the salon and a couple that I'll be doing solo. Did you know that I absolutely love doing wedding hair and pretty much any up-do styling?! Well, I do. Can someone just land me a gig with a fashion magazine so that I could do editorial styling for all eternity. K thanks!

+ loving the new season of True Detective. Any one else out there totally hooked on it? Also the nerd in me has yet again become twisted up in the super natural world that is Teen Wolf. Oh no. Just me. I figured.

+ ready for scarfs, cardigans, pumpkin-y beverages, spending hours in the kitchen churning out baked goods without sweating profusely from every crevice of my body, and watching Hocus Pocus back to back to back. Yeah. I'm ready for that.

+ in need of the Amazon Echo. It shall be mine. I can already foresee Alexa becoming my sidekick in life. Oh the things we can achieve together!

+ finding it very stressful to have to break the news to our local coffee shop Cups that we are moving to the other side of the water. Wanda, the women who owns Cups is basically the sweetest lady in all the land. We are all on a first name basis and she knows are drinks. She gives hugs to Sebastian whenever we come in and I think she secretively gives him an extra scoop of ice cream when I'm not looking. The shop has become a huge part of our lives so I believe it's going to be the most missed thing in Poulsbo, other than my parents of course! Ugh. I'm already thinking about putting together a little basket to hand her as I quickly blurt out that we won't be regulars anymore. Tragic. It really is.

+ thankful for all the good people in my life. For my skinny boyfriend jeans that have nice gapping holes in them that keep me cool and that I seem to wear everyday lately. For my step-mom who is a very organized hoarder and who has stacks and stacks of big plastic containers that are so very helpful for packing our things in. I might forget to bring them back over the ferry. Thankful for the people I work with who keep the fire lit inside of me. Amen.

xoxo


Monday, July 06, 2015

Blackened Tilapia Sliders


These might be my husband and father's favorite thing to eat! Well, at least for the time being anyways. I mean, come on, don't they look awesome?? Just imagine how they taste.  The best part is that they are a little bit smaller than an actual burger size but not quite as small as some sliders out there. You can totally be satisfied with eating one unless you are my husband and my dad who just had to have a second one! They are done in no time at all and there is no need to heat up your kitchen this summer because you can make them on your grill.



Also these are fool proof. I bought a bag of simple sesame asian chopped salad mix. It's basically a coleslaw mix that has a packet of sesame ginger dressing that you dump on it and stir it well. I mixed my bag up before I started on everything so that it allowed the salad to soften up and absorb the dressing just enough. Another little secret is Trader Joe's Tartar Sauce. Guys, if you haven't tried this tartar sauce well, do it! It's amazing. We are huge supporters and won't ever eat any other tarter. Ever! The dill livens it up while the jalapeƱo gives it just the right amount of kick. You can bet your bottom this bad boy is spread on these sliders.


Blacked Tilapia: 
6 tilapia fillets (cut in half) 
1 egg
lemon to taste
slider buns 
slaw of your choice 
tarter sauce 

Spice Rub: 
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons paprika 
1 tablespoon onion power
1 teaspoon cayenne 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 teaspoon lemon pepper 


Take the pieces of tilapia and dip in egg and then over to your spiced breadcrumbs. Once they are all coated, place them on the grill or you can fry them in oil. Whatever you choose to do. I used the grill so that I didn't have to use any heat in our house. It's hot here!! Once they are cooked until a dark brown (blackened). then you are ready to construct your sliders. Keep your grill on, we're not done with it.


Take a bun and spread some tartar or sauce of your choice. Lay a piece of fish done, next a slice or two of tomato and then another piece of fish.  For some added flavor squeeze a lemon on top! Place them on the grill for a few minutes to warm or toast the bun while heating the sliders up. Once they are to your liking all you need is to scoop some slaw right on top. 



Nothing like that cool crunch of slaw as you bite into the slider with those flavorful tilapia fillets. Oh and the tartar. All those tastes swirling in your mouth all at once! Pure bliss. Yet another fast and easy dinner to make. Great for any dinner with your family or even a big get together. Just grill the tilapia up and let everyone put their own sliders together adding this or that. Fabulous recipe for your next BBQ.


xoxo!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

let's talk // life lately


Life has been quite an adventure lately. It's been so many things. Lots of emotions running through us. Sebastian is off for the summer and has finally hit the boredom stage of the program. He's done about everything at least three times and now it's trying to figure out things to keep him busy. Luckily  we have some friends who live close by and play dates are a life saver. All in all he's the same old chipper Sebastian. We're now in his birthday month, and you can imagine he's counting down the days, and you can imagine I'm over here in shock that I'm going to have myself a seven year old. Big
sigh.





The days have been super hot here. Hotter than our typically Pacific Northwest weather. We don't mind it too much however we cannot resist taking a walk to downtown Poulsbo to our favorite coffee shop, Cups, to get an iced toddy for me and a heaping cup of ice cream for the little dude.



Salon life has been a blessing. I'm coming up to my six month anniversary and for being there less than a year I'm doing pretty well! Although my schedule isn't as jammed packed as some of the senior stylists, I have a really amazing steady amount of clients in a week. I'm constantly learning and growing! When I first started out in the industry I would have never thought I could be where I am at now. Of course, it helps that I really am pushing myself to the limit and not letting myself back down to anything that comes my way. Well, because, that's how I roll as most of you already now. I hope by the end of my first year I'll be up there with all my fellow stylists and rocking and rolling.



So off to the BIG NEWS for my little family. After what has felt like a good two years but really the last few months have been the worst, we have finally purchased our first home!! We are in the beginning stages of it all. It just happened a few days ago when we found the perfect home for us and put an offer in on it. It took some fight but we did it! It's been such an emotional few days and I'm still in awe of it all. I just can't believe we are finally going to be homeowners! It's scary and exciting all at the same time. But most of all it's a relief to be able to start our new beginning in a place that we can call our own. Shout out to so many people that have been involved! Photos will be coming as soon as we close on the house.


Life is great my friends. Busy but so great! I can't wait to be on the other side of the water where we can be close to friends. Life is just going to get better and so much sweeter. 
xoxo!

Monday, May 18, 2015

where the day took us

With no definite plans it's fun to see where the day takes us...Today we jumped in the car and heading to Port Angeles. There are so many places we have yet to explore on this side of the water! What better time then on a day when Sebastian is off of school and the weather is as beautiful as it is. 



We drove down to the heart of Port Angeles. It was a great place to walk around with many shops and restaurants. We spent time taking it all in and browsing some of the little shops. The book store was our favorite and the one place we ended up spending way too much time in! I mean. Come on, how cool is that wall! And the hats! Harry Potter and a not too thrilled Viking man :) 





It ended up to be a quick trip due to the fact that Bobby had work later in the day, which didn't matter because we enjoyed the time we had together and ended up stumbling across the visitor center where an older women told us about lots more places to visit and explore in the future! 




There are so many beaches and camping areas not only in Port Angeles but all along the drive to get there. We plan to take many more mini trips and even try to visit the Olympic Mountains. Since we are hoping to buy our first home this summer we want to take advantage of living on this side of the water. Good times will definitely be had! All in all, days like today make me so happy to be alive and thankful for this beautiful world we live in.
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