Friday, February 28, 2014

Birthday Present Card

I am totally loving my Silhouette.  It has been sooooo helpful in making fun cards.  For example, this fun birthday card today - all I had to do was buy the shape in the store and then cut it out - easy peasy.  I love it!  It's great when I don't have a ton of time and need a card in a hurry.
It's been great sharing my cards with you this month for #LetterMo.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I've been up to.  I know my card making has a long way to go, but I'm still learning.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Birthday Numbers

This morning I have another birthday card to share with you (I've been busy making birthday cards for the next few months, before I have to put my cardmaking supplies away - right now they are taking over the living room!)  I found a card similar to this on Pinterest and immediately loved it.  I thought it would be a great way to celebrate special milestone year birthdays.   
I do apologize for the bad picture.  The light was all goofy this morning and I was struggling with the black cardstock.
I cut the numbers out with my Silhouette and that's out it - it was an easy card to make!
Linking up at some of these great parties!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Light of my Life

Welcome back to todays Month of Letters/Month of cards post.  This is actually not a card that I mailed, but I did make it this month.  It was my valentine card for my husband.  He loves laterns and I thought it was a fitting card for him.  It makes a great card to let someone know how special and important they are to you.
The latern was cut using my Silhouette and an image from the Silhouette store.
The sentiment was made using my alphabet stamp.
Have a great day!
Linking up at some of these great parties!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bee Thrilled for you

A few months ago, I had a TON of people having new babies - like four in the same week!  It was crazy!  As a result, I had lots of baby showers to go to and needed lots of baby cards.
This card I sent to my best work buddy after she had her baby to congratulate her.

The love bug was cut from the Cricuit Creative Critters 2 Cartridge
Background paper from Michaels
Sentiment is Paper Smooches

Linking up at some of these great parties!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Annie's Best Sandwich Bread

The first blog I ever started to read was Annie's eats.  Her delicious food blog got me into reading cooking blogs (which lead to other blogs, which lead to me writing my own blog).  I started following Annie's Eats about 4 years ago.  If you haven't checked out her site, you sure should.  She does a great job of mixing personal stories and delicious recipes.  
This recipe for her "Best" White bread caught my eye. It's no secret that my husband loves homemade bread (true story, I love it too).  He pretty much asks for bread of some type every night for dinner.  I love to make a nice bread that (if there are any leftovers) will also make a great sandwich bread to use for the next few days.  The texture of this bread sure fits the bill.  It is less crumbly than some other homemade breads and holds its shape well and works perfectly for sandwich breads.  My husband passes on his high recommendation :)
Annie's Best Sandwich Bread
Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats


  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  •  6 Tablespoons plus 1 1/3 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted) (optional)
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

To begin, dissolve the yeast in the 6 tablespoons of water (in the bowl of your stand mixer if you have one with a dough hook).  Add in the sugar, salt, and additional water, and butter.  Mix in 2 cups of flour on low speed until the dough begins to come together.  Slowly add in the remaining flour.  Continue to mix (and add flour as needed) until the dough is smooth and only slightly tacky (but not sticky).  Continue to mix with the dough hook for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl (turning once to coat), cover and let rise until double in bulk.  This should take 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough and roll dough into a rectangle, and place in a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.  Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled - 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Brush the top of the bread dough with half the butter if desired.  Bake for 30-33 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  Bread should read 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer.  Tops should be golden brown.
Remove from oven .  Turn out to wire rack.  If desired, brush the top of the loaf with the remaining butter.  
Let cool before cutting. 
Enjoy with dinner, also makes a fantastic sandwich bread!

<-- Click here for nutrition info and a printer friendly version

Have a great week!  I'll be back tomorrow with more cards for #LetterMo again.  

Linking up at some of these great parties!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Polka Dot Cookie Bars

Hello!  Welcome back to PeanutLifeAdventures.  Remember last month when I shared these M&M Cookie bars?  If you liked those, you should love today's sweet treat.  It came, from all places, from a magazine clipping from my mother-in-law.  My mother-in-law is an extremely healthy person.  She eats very healthy, balanced meals, and I hardly ever see her take a bite of dessert.  When she gave me this recipe, I was pretty surprised, but she knows her son/my husband loves his treats and knows that I like to bake for him.  These polka dot cookie bars certainly earned my husband's approval!
Again, I love the easy and simplicity of cookie bars.  I like that they just bake in one pan, and no rolling out dough, and a lot less cleanup.  Win in my book, especially when I am pressed for time, but still want to have a treat to enjoy for the week.
Polka Dot Cookie Bars
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (divided)

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular bowl if you don't have a stand mixer), cream the butter and sugars together until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat well.  Slowly add in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Fold in 1 cup of white chocolate chips.  Spread in a well greased 15x10x1 inch pan.  Sprinkle the remaining white chips over the top of the batter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 18-23 minutes.  
If you don't have a 15x10 pan, you can use a 9x13 pan to make the cookies instead.  They will be thicker and will need longer to cook (closer to 30-40 minutes).  Test with toothpick near the center, if it comes out clean, then they are ready (be sure to do this step with cookie bars - it's important so you don't have doughy/soggy cookie bars in the middle!)
Let the cookie bars cool in the pan before cutting.

 <-- Click for nutritional info and a printer friendly version

Linking up at some of these great parties!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Birthday Candles

Happy Birthday!  Actually I don't know anyone who has a birthday today, but I just love this little card :)  I combined some ideas off of Pinterest to create it.
The candles are (obviously) just cut out of paper.  For the solid color candles, I dry embossed them using my cuddlebug to give them a wee bit of deminsion.  Although it doesn't show up real well in the picture, the black background is also dry embossed with the swirly folder. 
For the "flames" I cut those using my Silhouette, I also used some orange ink around the edges of the flames.  Have a great day and Happy Cardmaking!
Linking up at These Great Parties

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Red Cards

Welcome to another #LetterMo and Month of Cards post!  So far I haven't missed a day of mailing something :)  My first round of Valentines are going out in the mail today - so excited!
For today's cards, I'm sharing a pair of red cards.  My mom loves the color red!  These are her birthday and mother's day cards from last year. 
I know these are definitely not fancy cards by any means.  I made them all by myself last spring, they were some of the first cards I attempted without my good friend from Madison guiding me - we all have to start somewhere!
The Happy Everything card and the birthday hats are my first (and maybe only :-o) attempts at coloring with shading markers.  I have a lot to learn there!  Actually, I just have a lot to learn about card making in general. Oh well, I'm still having fun!
Happy Everything - Stamp from paper smooches, dry embossed red card stock, stamp from the Michael's dollar bin, colored with shading markers
Happy Mother's day - paper from Michaels, Cut out from Cricut Create a Critter 2 cartridge

Linking up at These Great Parties

Monday, February 10, 2014

Olympic Cookies

I love love LOVE the Olympics!  I am so excited to be watching them for the next few weeks.  One of the things I on my bucket list has always been to see the Olympics live.  I tried very hard to get tickets to the London Olympics because that would have crossed two items off my bucket list in one go, but it didn't happen as all the tickets sold out, even via the lottery system.
Every two years, when the Olympics are on, I glue myself to the TV, watching way more than I should, to catch every second of Olympic Glory that I can.  And this year has been no different.
To kick of the Olympics, I was planning to watch the opening ceremonies with some friends.  I love the pageantry and history showcased in the opening ceremonies - this history/geography girl is in her element :)
I made these cookies to have as a treat during the opening ceremonies, and while my friends weren't able to make it, my husband and I sure have been enjoying them!

Olympic Cookies
Recipe adapted from LoveToBeInTheKitchen

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • M&Ms

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add in the egg, milk and vanilla and mix well.  Slowly add in the baking powder, salt, and flour.  Mix until well combined and you have a big clump of dough.  Divide the dough in half, flatten into rectangles, and wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight).
Roll out dough on floured work surface. (I thought this dough was a bit beastly to roll out, because it was SO stiff!  I found it helped to let the dough warm up for a few minutes before trying to roll it out.  It also helped to work it in my hands some to make it more pliable.)  Roll to 1/4 in thick and then cut with a round cookie cutter.  Place cookies 1 inch apart on silicone baking mat on cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degree for 7-9 minutes until the bottoms of the cookies are just slightly brown.  Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack to finish cooling.
Once cookies are cooled completing, frost using a knife.   (Side note - I really LOVE this frosting!  It's the perfect combination and doesn't taste just like powdered sugar!) Place the M&Ms on the cookies (with the Ms facing down), to form the Olympic rings.  On the top row, place a blue, brown and red M&M and on the bottom a yellow and green.

Enjoy!  What's your favorite Olympic event?

<--- Click on the magic button for nutrition info and a printer friendly version!

Linking up at These Great Parties 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Three Thanks

Good things come in three, right?  Show a friend or family member your gratitude with this simple card.  
The stamp is from Paper Smooches
The background paper is embossed with my Cuttlebug

What are three things you are thankful for today?
I am thankful for
1. That it is finally Friday! And I can watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight :)
2. That I get to celebrate my best friend's upcoming wedding at her first bridal shower tomorrow
3. That it is NOT below zero today, seriously, after this winter, anything above 10 degrees feels ... well... warm.

Have a great weekend!

Linking up at These Great Parties 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Anniversary Card

My parents wedding anniversary was two weeks ago today.  They were celebrating 32 years of marriage - wow! 
I wanted to practice my new cardmaking skills and made them this cute little card.

The paper is from Archievers - so sad they are going out of business :(
The hearts are die cut using my Cuttlebug
And the silver embossed stamp is from Paper Smooches.
Happy Thursday!

Linking up at These Great Parties 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Balloon Cards

I love these little cards.  They make me smile. I like the clouds and the balloon floating away.  My good friend gave me a card similar to this for one of my bridal showers.  That card is what really sparked my interest in learning to make my own cards. 
The clouds are cut using a cloud whole punch from Fiskars
The balloon is a 1 inch circle punch (with a stick on rhinestone accent)
The blue paper was run through my Cuddlebug using the swiss dots folder.  
The stamps are from Paper Smooches and embossed with red sparkly embossing powder
Happy Wednesday!

Linking up at These Great Parties 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hello Card

Welcome to my first Month of Cards post :)  I'm very excited for this month!
Yes, it's only day three of mailing in February, but I have gotten a card in the mail each day, so I'm off to a good start.
Today I'm sharing this super simple hello card that I made with my Silhouette.  The hello was a free shape a few weeks ago, and I learned how to offset the grey on the Silhouette blog.  Offsetting the type worked perfect to help the words "pop" in this card. 
For anyone who knows me, this is a perfect card for me and I love my purple hello card!  I think I'm going to make more of these in other color combinations to have on hand.
Have a great day and happy card making/letter writing!

Card Specs:
Background paper - Michaels
Hello lettering - Silhouette Online Store  # 53674

Linking up at These Great Parties 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Crockpot Beef and Barley Soup

One of my husband's all time favorite winter meals is my classic Beef Stew that I make.  We had a HUGE string of cold weather in January (many many many days below zero!)  Local schools were even closed for five days.  It was crazy.  And it had me craving warm hearty dinners that could warm me up from the inside.  Of course, I don't always have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen, so I'm always looking for easy recipes and love taking advantage of my crockpot.
Ok, back on topic, my husband loves my beef stew, and I was looking to mix it up a bit.  I found some different Beef and Barley soup recipes online, and made a few tweaks, and made it more stew like (since my husband likes stews as opposed to soup) and here you have another great warm meal to make in your crock pot!

Beef and Barley Stew in the Crockpot
  • 1 pound stew meat
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 ribs celery
  • 3 cups of beef broth (3 cups hot water, 3 tsp of beef bullion)
  • 3 additional cups hot water
  • 1 cup barley
Chop vegetables and add to crockpot.  Chop/crush/or mince the garlic.  Pour in water and beef broth.  Add in the stew meat. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. 30 minutes before you want to eat, add in the barley and simmer until the barley and beef are tender.
Serve with fresh bread!
Enjoy and stay warm!

<-- Click on the magic button for nutritional info and a printer friendly version

Linking up at These Great Parties

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A month of cards

In February I am participating in a month of letters.  I will be writing a letter/postcard/something and mailing it each post office day.  If you'd like to get some happy mail during February, please message me you address - I'd love some new pen pals!
Image from 30 Handmade Days

To celebrate on my blog (and to show off my cardmaking skills) I am going to be sharing new cards each week week.  For all my foodie friends, recipes will still be posting on Monday, but I'm going to be sharing new cards with you the rest of the week.
I won't (obviously) have time to make a new card each day, but all of these are cards I have been making over the last several weeks or will make during this month.
I can't wait to share my cards with you and welcome some feedback - but try to be nice, I'm not a master yet at cardmaking!  And I'm pretty much teaching myself everything!
So enjoy a month of letters and a month of cards.  Break out your pens and paper and join me.  Everyone loves a little fun mail :)

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