Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hey there Little Mama!!

I just love sweet smelling things, but I also don't like a lot of preservatives either. Well these soaps are just the cure.

Back in at least 2003 (I've lived in the 'balmy' Midwest since 2004 when I took a TV reporter job in Lincoln NE...another post, another day) I was at the Tempe Arts and Crafts fair when I came across the cutest booth with best smelling soaps and lotions in the world! The place: Little Mama Products. Being the non-impulsive buyer, I just purchased some chapstick. It's the best chapstick ever, I mean you just can't get enough of it. So I decided to try the bar soaps since the chapstick was so good. I never buy bar soaps, in fact I hate any other bar soaps. They leave a nasty film on my skin and toe nail polish. Well these soaps are the exception! I love the way they smell and since they're from AZ, I love them even more. The Arizona ones really make me feel at home.

Sue, the woman who owns and makes these soaps is the sweetest ever! She makes them in her home in the Arizona Foothills and they are simply divine.
Look she even sends them to me 2k miles away and they still look cute!

I've tried nearly every scent of her soaps, scrubs, and body butters and I've never been disappointed by any! If you want any suggestions on favorites or product recommendations or reviews, just leave me a comment and I'll answer. Oh and P.S., there is no bad scent, all are wonderfully fragrant.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autumn Apron

I am just loving my new sewing machine and I've been making everything I can't find out in the real world. I was at Hobby Lobby on my lunch hour last week and found this cute argyle print in fall colors and just had to have it! So after several attempts at perfection and making good use of my seam ripper, the apron is done! It took me about a week to make but I think it's so cute.

Autumn Apron

I am just loving my new sewing machine and I've been making everything I can't find out in the shopping world.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Do You Forget Stuff When You Travel?

Well it's almost no fail for me, I am always forgetting something when I travel. Whether it be the right underwear or pajamas (I'm always forgetting those) it's always something. Since I fly several times a year to visit my mom and dad in Phoenix, I dig out that suitcase much too often to not think of a plan to eliminate my problem...in addition to needing something to help me pack better and faster. That's how my travel packing list was invented. I simply put everything I need to take with me, print it out when I start packing, and just check it off as it goes in the suitcase.

Another problem I have is that I always pack too many clothes and shoes (yes me, shocked are you?), so on this packing list I write down what I will be wearing each day. Now obviously I don't wear it always on the exact day I wrote it down for, but at least it helps me plan out what I need from socks and underwear to shoes and bras. We all know our underwear are determined by what we are wearing that day.

Feel free to change it to your needs but this is mine.

Oh and since this is a packing list for me, you'll need a big suitcase...I don't pack lightly.
This is the second page of the packing list. Just click on the photos and they'll comet to full size for printing. If not, leave me a comment and let me know. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sew Your Own Yoga Mat

I always tell my husband that I have a big need to be creative. I just love creating things, it's relaxing. I guess I get that from my mom, since she is the best sewer in the world. She can sew anything! I can still remember my mom asking me every year in September what I wanted to be for Halloween. I was everything from a mermaid to Mini Mouse to an Oreo Cookie! (Maybe she'll be nice enough to scan some cool photos of her work and put them on her blog ;-) She also sewed all of my outfits for dance and anything else I ever wanted.

Well now that I'm out of college, I actually have some time to spend on sewing. I live like 2,000 miles away from my mom now--which makes asking for help all the more difficult, but I seem to find a way somehow. I'm a big fan of Amy Butler. I just love her fabrics and designs, they're so cute and vintage at the same time. On her website she has several free sewing patterns and last week I decided to make her yoga bag. It's a fairly simple pattern but your measurements need to be precise, and I did bend a needle on my last stitching so patience is a virtue.

Isn't it the cutest thing ever. I can't wait to take it to the gym for yoga tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

The fall and holiday seasons really get me in the mood for home baked goods and cooking (don't ask why)! The crisp air and and comfy hoodie just get me motivated.

One thing I really like doing this time of year is bring in treats for my co-workers. I work mainly with men so it's pretty easy to please them and they're always wanting more. Since I just LOVE cheesecake I decided on making a pumpkin cheesecake. The problem is that cheesecake isn't grab and go food like a cookie, so that's where the "mini" came in. I was hesitant to try this recipe and adapt it to individual size because in the past I've had bad luck with mini cheesecakes. Usually they sink in the middle and don't look very cute, but I really lucked out on this one.

Adapted from: Gulf Coast Gram (who got the recipe from Paula Deen, I invented the mini)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick melted butter

In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press into large cupcake pan compartments that have been sprayed with Pam. Set aside.

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (not the pie filling)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
(I just used 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and the spice. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined. Pour into crust and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (depending on your cupcake pan and oven). Remove from oven when slight cracks develop and let sit for 15 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges and remove from pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Garlic Basil Aioli

(**sorry for the pic, it's not ranch dressing, I swear**)
About two years ago, I became a big fan of sweet potato fries and garlic basil aioli. I already had a love for regular fries but the flavor of the sweet potato fries brought on a whole new meaning. I first tried these at a cafe but I thought I could make them on my own for a lot less. Well one day at the grocery store, I fould frozen sweet potato fries ready to go, just pop them in the oven, but I was still yearning for that yummy dip for my fries. That's when I came up with this yummy mixture. It takes hardly no time at all and is just yummy.

Garlic Basil Aioli
serves 1

2 tbsp Mayo
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh minced basil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together with a mini spatula and voila--done.