Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New Look




I decided a few years ago that donating hair to programs who make wigs for cancer patients was a great cause I could contribute toward. Both mine and the Hubby's families have had someone who suffered from some form of cancer.

BEFORE
I have always been told I have beautiful hair. I make a prime candidate to donate hair because I don't color my hair and because it takes forever to dry and style, I don't use the hair dryer or straightener every day.

I took the plunge 3 years ago right after our wedding. I chose to donate 9 inches of hair and then started to grow my hair back out again.

Yesterday I took the plunge again and cut off 11 inches of hair. It feels great! I chose the Pantene Beautiful Length's charity. You only have to have a minimum of 8 inches to donate.

AFTER







I feel like it's a great way to show my support for cancer survivors or people dealing with cancer. Self confidence goes a long way for making people feel good about themselves. I'm just glad that I can help someone out by doing something as simple as cutting my hair.

Pantene has had more than 500,000 ponytails donated to them! Please visit their website for more information or to find out how to donate your ponytail!



I have no affiliation with Pantene, but am speaking based on my own opinions about a great program.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone had a great holiday! I know we were SUPER busy but it was a good busy.

Our holiday week kicked off on December 20th when I hosted the Hubby's family for Christmas. It was our nephews first Christmas and I'm pretty sure he got spoiled!

The Hubby surprised me on Tuesday with tickets to see the Indiana Pacers. I was so surprised, he is a planner and this was totally not planned! It was a lot of fun!



We traveled down to my parents house for Christmas this year, so we drove down on Christmas Eve. It was great getting to see both sides of my family. I even managed to get a good picture with my sister!



We got a ton of stuff, but one of my favorite gifts this year was from my parents (really my mom, but still). She made each one of us a lottery ticket bouquet. It was so much fun scratching them off. The Hubby and I won $17.



We came back home to watch the Hall of Fame Classic basketball tournament that our town hosts. We house the world's largest high school gym in the world, so it's always fun to watch games there.



On Saturday was the University of Louisville versus the University of Kentucky rival game. I love U of L, but we just couldn't pull out the victory. I decorated the house for the game though!



As much as I love decorating for the holidays, I am not looking forward to taking all my Christmas decorations down, it always just looks so bare afterward.

I hope you all had a great holiday season and an even better new year!

Until next time,

Kara

Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! Another Friday is here and it's almost Christmas! We have a full weekend of basketball ahead of us, so there will be no rest this weekend.

My wonderful mother bought me a new scarf. I LOVE IT! I love Olaf from Frozen. I think is cute and funny.



I hope you have a weekend full of holiday fun! Here is "Do you want to build a snowman?" from Frozen. I just think this movie is so cute!



Until next time,


Kara

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hogwarts worthy Butterbeer Cookies!

I have said before, I am an official nerd. I will 100% own up to that. In all the Harry Potter books and films, they always refer to Hogwarts during Christmas time. It always seemed like a magical place to be at Christmas. I was inspired to make a Butterbeer inspired cookie for our Christmas party. 

I also submitted this recipe into #CreativeCookieContest being hosted by Cookies & Cups and Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. I hope that Harry Potter fanatics like me can enjoy it this holiday season!
Hogwarts worthy Butterbeer Cookies


Ingredients
For the cookies:
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¼  teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon butter extract

For the ganache:
½ cup heavy cream
5.5 ounces butterscotch chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine together the flour and salt and set aside. In your electric mixer bowl or bowl with hand mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, butter extract and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the dry ingredient mixture all at once, and mix on low speed for about a minute. Wipe down the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium, and mix for another minute until a dough forms.

Use a tablespoon as your size estimate. Scoop a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball and place on your baking sheet. You can use your thumb or the back of a teaspoon to make an indention in the cookie. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and use your teaspoon to push down again on your cookie. We want to make sure we have a place to put the ganache. Return the cookies to the oven and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minute before you transfer them to cooling racks. Allow them to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, let’s make the Butterbeer ganache.

In a bowl, place your butterscotch chips. In a small saucepan on medium heat, bring the heavy cream up to scalding. Remove from the heat and pour over the butterscotch chips. Allow to sit for a minute or so and whisk until smooth. You need to allow the ganache to cool to room temperature before using.

Once the cookies have cooled we are ready to assemble our Butterbeer cookies. You can transfer ganache to a plastic squeeze bottle or zip top bag to create a piping bag. Pipe the ganache into the center of each cookie. You can drizzle the top with additional ganache if you want. Allow the cookies to set up before stacking them for storage.


These cookies are a twist on a traditional thumb print cookie. I hope you enjoy!

Until next time,

Kara



The cookie base was inspired by Ambrosia.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Favorite Christmas Movies & Quotes....

I know everyone has their favorite Christmas movies. My sister literally watches every Christmas movie she can. She has probably watched 50+ so far this holiday season. However, I don't have a tradition to watch a certain movie every year, but these are some great options if you are looking for a Christmas movie tradition. 

1. Elf

I just love this movie. It's just so funny. We just watched it the other night. If I had to pick one movie I got to watch each holiday season, it would be Elf.

Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are:

"I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite!"

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."


"SANTA! Santa's coming! I know him. I know him!"


2. Frosty

This is a classic movie. I just love it. I know the animation is way out of date, but I just love this old movie.

Our nephew is almost 8 months old, so this year he got a sing-along tape for Christmas from all the classic Christmas movies. Hopefully he will enjoy the music!

3. Rudolph

This is another classic that I love. I just remember watching it as a child.

4. The Santa Claus



This is another movie we just watched. It had been forever since I saw it, but it is a great holiday movie!

My favorite quote from the movie is:

"Believing isn't seeing, seeing is believing!"

5. The Grinch

This is another good movie to watch. It's been awhile since I have seen this once, but I'll probably try to find it to watch this year.

I know that the following movies are on people's yearly list, but I am not sure if I have ever seen them or not, but I hope to catch a few of these classics this year.







I hope you can enjoy the holiday season with your family and a few good movies!

Until next time,

Kara

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy Friday!- Baby it's Cold Outside

Happy Friday!!! I so happy the weekend is here and it's my half day at work! I am getting ready for our Christmas party tomorrow. My plan is to clean and bake today!

Here is Baby it's Cold Outside to enjoy from Lady Antebellum. I love their music and this time of year I am always listening to "Lady Antebellum Holiday" channel on Pandora.



Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Kara





*I do not own this video or the content of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Fun & Decorations

This is my favorite time of year. I love to decorate my house, to cook and bake, spend time with family and friends, and the overall atmosphere that Christmas has. We are hosting a Christmas party this weekend for our friends and then we will be hosting the Hubby's family in 2 weeks.

Last week was great. It was a short work week, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and a long weekend to relax. 

The Hubby went shopping with me a few years ago on Black Friday and said he would never go back. Well after we saw that there was an hour guarantee on a 50" TV, he decided that he would give it another shot. We actually had a great experience while shopping. We were able to get our TV, plus something for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. They didn't want to go into the madness, but if we were going...they wanted stuff from the ad. Luckily we were able to get everything people wanted. 

Here we are headed out on Thursday evening to get our TV!



Here is the TV set up at the house! We love it.



I put up our Christmas Tree Friday morning and decorated the house. I just love this time of year. 



I have most of the presents wrapped under the tree. But if you notice that the presents are not evenly placed under the tree, there is a reason. The youngest cat thinks that she needs to spend time behind/under the tree laying, so I tried to give her a path so that she wouldn't just make a path. Needless to say, I will have to re-wrap two presents who got the wrath of Socks laying or stepping on them.

The Hubby even wore a Santa hat for me... I think I'll keep him!


 

The girls were not thrilled that I woke them up at 5:30 am to go shopping at another store on Friday!



Until next time,

Kara

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tis' the Christmas Season!

I start decorating for the Christmas holidays, the day after Thanksgiving. I just love to have the tree lights on and enjoy the atmosphere! This is my favorite time of year. 

Here are a few digital prints that I have created over the past couple years to decorate our house with. I hope you can enjoy them as well.






Until next time,

Kara

Monday, November 24, 2014

Random Update!

Wow it has been forever since my last update!


We are busy, busy, busy! Basketball season is in full swing and so are the holidays! The Hubby's team is currently 1-1. I'm dressed for the game. I love that his team's colors match my favorite college team U of L. Makes it easy to have double duty with my clothing!



One thing that I can say is that I am completely done with Christmas shopping! I don't know if I have ever completed shopping before Thanksgiving, but I did this year! Online shopping is a life saver. I pretty much bought everything that way this year!


The Hubby and I went on a date night this past weekend. We went to eat at Firehouse Subs and to see the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. 


It was a great night. I had never ate at firehouse subs, but it was really good. Then how can you go wrong with any of the Hunger Games movies? Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress. I just love her in all her movies! I cannot believe I have to wait another year to see the conclusion... at least I read the books, I know what happens. I cannot say the same thing for the Hubby, so he is just left wondering! We are both #TeamPeeta. 

Don't mind the dark picture. It was me being sneaky with pictures in the movie theater!


I have been working on some crafts. When the Hubby is watching football, I usually like to have something to do. If not I end up falling asleep whether I want to or not... so needless to say not only am I done Christmas shopping, but everything is wrapped. I have also made two fleece tie blankets and this Sunday I worked on some coffee mugs and plates.

It's a super easy craft to do and it is inexpensive. I buy coffee mugs or plates from the Dollar Tree and use permanent markers to decorate them. Then you bake the item in the oven at a low temperature for an hour and you can hand wash the dish.

Here is a Harry Potter inspired coffee mug I created!


Until next time,

Kara

Friday, October 31, 2014

Final Pictures from the Rental Property!

The Hubby and I are determined to set ourselves up for the future. Times have changed and raises are hard to come by now. We want to plan for our future, which requires some effort and planning on our parts. We set a goal to have a rental as one of our future investments. Now we can check this off our list.

We are officially done with the rental property....well I say officially, but we still have a few things left to do, but our renter moves in tomorrow. The other changes can wait.

This has been a long journey. I feel like the house now reflects the potential we saw in it.



When you walk in the front door, you enter the living room. A reminder to what the house was before: smelly, dark, musty, and dirty. No we went for modern, fresh and clean.



Once you are in the living room, you will see the connecting dinning room. You still had the dirty carpet and dark paint.



Once you are in the dinning room, you can walk directly into the kitchen. The kitchen had old wall paper border on the walls. The walls were caked with dirt and grease. I feel like now we have a bright kitchen, that you would actually want to cook in.



The back entry was very small, but we painted the walls, pantry and also laid a new floor. 


This house has one bathroom. It is small but useful. The before pictures do not do it justice. It was disgusting. I also believe that the wall paper border was super glued on. Never will I ever put up a wall paper border!!!



This house had two bedrooms. They were both a good size. We just needed to clean them both up with new refinished floors and new paint.



The second bedroom is a little smaller, but it got the same treatment! 


One of the biggest changes was the flooring. We ripped up the carpet and chose to refinish the hardwood floors. It was a great decision. If we refinish hardwood floors again, I don't think I would go so dark, but I love the concept.


We are so happy with the results. I think we did a great job overall. It's hard to believe it is the same property. 

Hopefully you enjoy the results as well!

Until next time,

Kara




Monday, October 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Digital Art

While everyone is busy with last minute Halloween plans, I'm already thinking about Thanksgiving being just around the corner. 

I don't have too many Thanksgiving or fall decorations, because I go straight from Halloween, to a short time period of Thanksgiving decor, and then on to my favorite holiday, Christmas. 

I love to add new pieces of digital art each year. Here is a printable piece of digital art I created! Enjoy!


Until next time,

Kara

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Round Up!

We haven't had much going on since getting back from Las Vegas, but I thought I would do a quick post to catch everyone up!

1. We have been trying to relax before the Hubby starts coaching basketball again. This year he will be coaching 8th grade boys. This should be interesting to see, because he also teaches these kids. 



This year it seems that I will trade in my stat sheets for the game book. We will see how this transition goes! But I would rather go to all the games, keep the book and see my husband, rather than go home and wait until 10:00 pm to see him. Let's hope that I'm a fast learner!

2. The rental property is in the last stretch of completion. We move our renter in next week. I am hoping to get all the tools and supplies out of the way this week in order to do my final walk through pictures! I can't wait to post the results. I think the property looks fantastic. I am so proud of our results.

3. The Hubby has always been fascinated with Las Vegas architecture. He decided he wanted to do a 4D puzzle of Las Vegas....let me just say it is hard! This isn't something we are going to get done quickly. Every piece looks the same.

4. We have started watching a new TV show on Netflix. It's called the Blacklist, I believe Season 2 is running on NBC currently. It is intense, but I really like it. It's been awhile since a series has really caught my attention.



5. Christmas is just around the corner, so I am in full Christmas shopping mode. I have gotten a couple people done already. I picked up supplies to make a couple gifts last night. Hopefully I can post the results when I am finished!

So until next time, enjoy these sweet faces!




Until next time,



Kara