Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Cheers to the new year! I hope all your wishes come true!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas.

We hope you have the Merriest Christmas with the ones you love!
Katie & Chloe

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DIY Crayons

I always like to make a couple handmade gifts during the holidays, and this one is one of the easiest. After some of my work events, I was left with tons of broken crayons. Why throw them away when I could make recycled rainbow crayons? My mom did this with me when I was little, and it's the first time I've made them since. I made up two bags and bought some coloring books--one goes to my cousin Avery, and the other to my boyfriend's two nephews. Here's what to do:

1. Get your crayons together--I soak them in some cold water first, this makes taking off the wrapper much easier. You can cut them into whatever size pieces you'd like.
2. Line a muffin pan with foil. Make sure there are NO holes--the crayons melt all over your trays and that is no fun to clean up, trust me. You can also use a cupcake liner. I did both--but even when I used the cupcake liner, I put a small piece of foil in the pan first.

3. Fill each space with crayons. If you're doing rainbow, make sure to mix the crayons up well--the darker crayons tend to overpower.
4. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until completely melted. Let cool and remove from tray.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas in Pittsburgh

Last Christmas I needed a break from work, took a walk around the city and began noticing all the beautiful sites of the holidays around Pittsburgh. It was my first December working downtown, so I never really knew of anything but the ice skating rink in PPG Plaza. Well, little did I know the holidays were everywhere. I decided to do the same thing this year. Most of the buildings were decorated the same, but there were a few new additions and changes. Here's my Pittsburgh Christmas post from last year. Seeing this makes you realize that the littlest things in life can brighten your day!
Gallery in the Allegheny County Courthouse 
Allegheny County Hartwood Acres Mansion
Pittsburgh's City-County Building
Macy's Downtown
Holiday Market in Market Square 
Market Square
Holiday Market in Market Square
PPG Plaza
PPG Plaza Ice Skating Rink 
Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard
US Steel Building
Beautiful Nativity outside the US Steel Building 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Getting in the Spirit.

I started my own holiday decorating yesterday! I bought the cutest gold mini tree from Target, then added my collection of peacock ornaments. I accidentally bought four new ones yesterday at Walmart--how could I not, they were $1.50 each, and super cute. One day I plan to have a big tree decorated in all my peacock ornaments, with beautiful peacock colored ornaments. Thankfully peacock has been kind of in lately, so I've been lucky finding some great decorations.

My second mini tree is for at work. I always like to decorate my office for each holiday. I figure, I spent most of my waking week hours there so why not make it homey? This tree has my Beatles ornaments and these cute little peace signs my old boss bought me! They're from 10,000 Villages and imported from Bangladesh!

Nothing crazy, but enough for me!
One of my Walmart ornaments--most of the rest are from Pier 1.
Looks much better with the lights plugged in.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Slovak Christmas Eve

My mom's side of the family is super Slovak. Like the kind who have magnets that say "Life's too short not to be Slovak," license plates with our very-Slovak last name, items around the house straight from Slovakia, you get the idea. And I gotta say, I love it. I always have. I used to sit on my pap's lap and he would teach me how to say every part of your face in Slovak--my favorite being "zuby" meaning teeth.

When I was younger, my grandma's entire family would get together for "Holy Supper" on Christmas Eve. We don't get together anymore, but I still remember walking into the hall and seeing the long tables set for dinner. Santa Claus would come, and all the Bubba's would be working hard making all the traditional Slovak Christmas Eve dishes. The dinner was so traditional, that even if you were in a serious relationship, even engaged, your significant other couldn't come to Holy Supper. We'd say our prayers and eat the wafer--something I was never excited about when I was little--I thought it tasted like styrofoam. We don't eat meat on Christmas Eve, instead we would have pierogies, mushroom soup, fish, pagachi, and many other delicious dishes.

My grandma still makes salmon patties, but the other traditional items have pretty much gone away. My mom was looking through the course book for the community college nearby, and noticed there is a "Slovak Christmas Eve" cooking class. Guess what I got for my birthday--yup, she signed me up for the class! I had it this past Saturday and absolutely loved it. I learned how to make pierogies, bobalky, pagach, and mushroom soup. Pierogies were way easier than I thought, and for not liking mushrooms, I actually liked the soup. My favorite dish was the bobalky. I told my mom yesterday that I plan on making it for Christmas Eve!

The class was very informative, and I learned more than just cooking. A lot of the students in the class were Slovak, so we talked about all the other traditions, different parts of Slovakia, and where their families came from. I would love to take the class again and have my mom and grandma come with me. I'm so happy to know that I can now carry on the traditions of our family heritage. The entire class I couldn't stop thinking about my pap and how happy I know he is that I'll be cooking some Slovak dishes for our family! I know he wishes he was here to try some, but he will be watching and helping me make sure the recipes are just right!
Pierogies pre-boil.
It gets to be a bit messy.
Pierogies and Bobalky!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giving Thanks II

I had the most perfect Thanksgiving. I was off work Wednesday-Sunday which was AH-MAZ ing. My mom and I cooked a lot of the day Wednesday and Thursday morning. We eat at my house in the afternoon, then my sister and I head up to Kittanning to enjoy a second dinner with my dad's family.

We were crazy this year and went out at ten PM to go shopping! My mom, her friend Jackie, my sister and I all went out and made it all the way until 7:30 a.m. We had a little moment when we went to Denny's around 5 a.m.--falling asleep at the table, they were out of eggs, the place was dirty, cooks were fighting--basically a big disaster. We stopped at JCP afterwards and decided to call it a day, or night whatever. I slept great until about 3 o'clock, then WENT SHOPPING AGAIN! How that even happened I don't know. Good news is that I'm pretty much done with Christmas shopping. I counted up my receipts yesterday--sjflksdjflkdsf is all I can say about that. It's kind of sad how much we spend on this holiday when it has nothing to do with the real meaning of CHRISTmas. I do love getting gifts though--and for those people who say they love giving WAY more than receiving, you're full of it. I love receiving gifts too. I appreciate how creative people can get with their gifts--creative and personal mean the most!

Anyway, here's some of the deliciousness we had on our table. I made the pumpkin pie, brussel sprouts, and pumpkin dip--oh and the crescent rolls. My mama can take credit for everything else.
The pumpkin dip was super easy--here's the recipe:
1-8 oz cream cheese
1 container cool whip
1 box vanilla pudding mix (just use the powder)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups powdered sugar
1 can pumpkin

Beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar, add the pudding powder, spices and pumpkin pie mix. Fold in the cool whip. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve with graham crackers!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Asheville, North Carolina is the most magical town. I completely enjoyed every minute of my trip. There was so much to see and do and everything was so unique and beautiful. My sorority sister and I drove down to visit another sister who is getting married in May! It was so good to catch up and the drive was easy. 

Friday night we walked around downtown Asheville, saw the infamous drum circle, had some great beers then boarded the LaZoom tour bus and got to see all the "haunted" places in Asheville. We did almost get into a fight because of these older drunk ladies who sat behind us. Later that night the tour guide said they were the most obnoxious people he's ever dealt with. Figures. We had my fav, Mellow Mushroom--I wish we had some up north! I also learned why Asheville is "Beer City USA."

Saturday was filled with shopping and relaxing in and eating P.F. Changs. Sunday we went to see the wedding site at Lake Lure, bridesmaid dress shopping, wine tasting at The Biltmore, and had dinner at the Bier Garden. We found the most perfect dress, I bought four bottles of wine, and beat 3 boys in the basketball shoot out game with a high score of 74! So, I'd say it was a successful night. 

The weekend went too fast, but it was filled with lots of laughs, amazing street music, smiles, good drinks, great food and lots of storytelling and memory re-living. It was perfect. See you in May, Asheville!
Downtown Asheville drum circle
LaZoom Haunted Comedy Tour
Ash, me and Court!
Our tour guide was the best!
Mellow Mushroom
This guy.
Pretty house--and the "L" I made them!
At L.O.F.T.
At L.O.F.T.
At L.O.F.T.
At L.O.F.T.
Beautiful day.
These guys were amazing.
Lake Lure
Bride and bridesmaids!
Wine tasting at the Biltmore