Wednesday, February 27

Spreading the Love - Pinterest Challenge

Well, I've meant to participate in the Unofficial Pinterest Challenge hosted by Katie @ BowerPower and Sherry @ YoungHouseLove, but never really got around to getting a project finished and a post written in time. 

Even though it is that nutty time of the year for school psychs, I was determined to do it.  I was hoping to show my DIY curtains... but I haven't finished them.  Then I thought maybe I'd have some wall art up in the living room...  yeah, didn't get that done either.  Okay, so what about finishing a painting of Rudder I started this summer?  Not enough time.  Kevin and I went to Talkeetna this weekend, and I've been Snotty McSnotterton with a cold since last week, therefore I had a limited amount of time (aka Tuesday night, which was already scheduled for some good ol' report writing for work...).

So, I remembered that I've been wanting to spread awesomeness.  More specifically, I wanted to spread the love.

If you know me, I'm not a lovey dovey mushy gushy type.  Not at all.  Valentine's Day is my least favorite holiday.  I'd rather celebrate Flag Day.

I'm a recent fan of Kit over at the DIY Diva.  She's hilarious and has an awesome old farm house that she's fixing up.  I'm also pretty envious of her power tools...  Anyways, she has this a Random Acts of Awesome website.  Ya know, just spreading awesomeness into strangers life.  I love that.

Pinned by me (kristalee3) via Kit
Lately I've been feeling the lack of love between people at work, that unconditional acceptance and love for people.  Ya know, that wanting the best for them, even if they aren't your blood relative or best friend.  So, feeling somewhat unsuccessful at making awesome strides in this compassion for all kiddos/people at work, I think I'm going to just spread little reminders around town.

Oh and I love rocks.

And painting rocks.

It goes back to elementary school.

Anyways, here's what I did, and what I plan on continuing to do:

1. Paint a heart and a "love _____" statement on rocks.
2. Spread said rocks around town as I'm out and about.
3. Hopefully make at least one person smile, or think about loving one another. :o)

Here's a few iPhone pictures from late last night of the last minute Pinterest Challenge project. :o)


All of my river rocks are buried in a foot of snow/ice, so I had to use little rocks I had in the house.  Future rock painting will be a bit bigger, and rounded, well loved stones.  :o)

Off to spread some love around Anchorage! :o)

Friday, February 15

Trees with Character

Have you ever looked closely at trees?

They have LOTS of character.  LOTS!

Rudder & I took a walk through the woods today, and I was a little camera happy. :o)

Warning, lots of trees with character coming your way! :oD

This little guy was my favorite.  Skinny little tree, LOTS of character!

I could have taken 100s more... but Rudder had "snow boobs" so we headed back.

I have a history of high intense levels of appreciation for trees of character (often dead, gnarly, and warped), so I'm fairly certain there will be lots more tree photography in my future. :o)

Monday, February 11

Sweet Spin on Puppy Chow!

 I love love love puppy chow.

I used to fill up on it before Thanksgiving.  It would be sitting in pretty little silver bowls, just beckoning me.  I could not resist. 

So when I saw this recipe months ago on The Smart Kitchen, I knew I'd have to try it.  Oh, and the cereal had been on sale for a cool $2, so it was clearly a sign that this was meant to be. 

First time I made it, I followed her recipe to a [near] T.  This last time I made it, I modified it a bit.  Modified recipe = my favorite, so it's what I will share with you. :o)

Carmel Apple Puppy Chow

Adapted from Miss Smart
  • 1 box Apple Cinnamon Chex
  • 1 bag butterscotch chips
  • 1-2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • powdered sugar
  1. Consider how much you might eat.  If you're not sharing this, may I recommend making a half batch?  Otherwise, you're likely to eat it all yourself.  In a day.  Just a heads up. :o)
  2.  Melt together butterscotch chips, coconut oil, and peanut butter.
  3. Pour into bowl with chex (I like to layer chex, melty stuff, chex, melty stuff... makes it a bit easier to combine)
  4. Use a spatula to combine.
  5. Once chex is coated, pour into a large gallon bag, that you can seal up, with powdered sugar.  I didn't use too much as I didn't want it to be overly sweet.
  6.  Shake shake shake! 

It's delicious.  Dee-liiii-shhhh-ous!  It's sweet, but I think the peanut butter helps cut the sweetness a bit.  You can add more or less to taste.  :o)   Let's look at it again, a little closer.

Oh, and here is Rudder, helping me write this post. ;o)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 10

Black Bean & Oats Cookies

Yup.  Black beans make for some pretty yummy cookies.  :o)

I had seen recipes for black bean brownies before, but not for cookies.  That is, until I stumbled upon Vermont food blogger Kitchen Ninja.  Her recipe is a bit different from what I ended up with, and her cookies (and pictures of cookies!) are way prettier.  [You should check out her site, good looking food on there!]  Annnnnnyways!  Having a sweet tooth, but trying to not fall into the abyss of buttery and sugary goodness, I decided I'd give a black bean based dessert a whirl.

So, without further blabbering on my part, I bring you the moist gooey delicious black bean cookie! :o) 

Black Bean & Oats Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from the Kitchen Ninja
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 T. whole wheat flour (or rice flour if you'd like this to be gluten free)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon 
  • 1/3 c. agave (or honey)
  • 15 oz. black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 T. milk (cow or soy or almond)
  • 3 T. peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. dark chocolate M&Ms
  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. In a food processor, combine: agave, black beans, milk, peanut butter, oats, olive oil, and vanilla.  Pulse pulse pulse!
  3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour,  baking powder, cinnamon, salt.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to bean mixture in the food processor.  Combine until smooth and completely blended.
  5. Stir in chocolate with a spoon/spatula/spoontula
  6. Bake on a cookie sheet (parchment paper or a silpat would have been a good idea...) for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Eat for dinner! (Well, at least that's what happened at my house! Haha!)
Yum!  They're pretty stinking delicious, and have wayyyy more protein than your average cookie. :o)

Why I'd recommend parchment paper or a silpat. :o)  Pretty though!

 Ben & Jerry's Banana Peanut Butter Greek FroYo + Black Bean Cookies = an awesome lil ice cream sandwich!!!  

Man, I wish I had some left...

Tuesday, February 5

Art Fail

There has been quite the long progression of what will grace the wall above the couch.  First it was black and white photography of mine.  I was going to do the whole architectural prints onto blue board.  Turns out that black and white photography totally clashes with my paint color on the wall...  Then it was photo canvases of some of my prints from Kennecott...  Then that was pretty pricey, and it turns out you can't custom make random canvas sizes.  So then I moved from a photography mindset to a paint-oriented mindset.

Well, in my mind I thought some tree ring art would be awesome above the couch.  First I was thinking ginormous canvas and doing a watercolor of the tree rings.  The ideas surrounding watercolor ranged from more realistic, to wonderfully abstract.

Then I totally changed my mind.

Surprise, surprise!  :o)

Clearly the next step in my filling-the-void-above-the-couch venture was plywood.

Here's what I ended up making one night while watching reruns of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (I'll admit it, and ya know what, it was funny to watch it and go "oh man, I used to wear that too...  yikes!") on Hulu.  

 The idea was to heavily white wash paint the tree ring outlines onto the thin plywood, then reinforce the back to hang it.  I thought the wood grain behind it would be kinda neat.  I also liked the idea of light colored art since it would pop more against the light gray'ish tan walls, and not make the room small feeling.  

Please ignore the frog tape.  I was planning out size proportions of built in bookshelves (coming soon'ish - hopefully!) and wall art with the wall size and couch.

Here's another shot of the room to show the slant of the wall.  Oh and the lovely papasan chair, ceiling fan, torch light, and stair rails that are just screaming awesome style.  ;o)  Work in progress folks, work in progress.  

I ALMOST like it when I see it in these pictures.  In person though, it just isn't right.  :o(  

Kevin still thinks I should hang up some of my photography and I'm CONSIDERING doing a 3x3 grid of 8x10 photos of mine... but I still am a bit hung up on the idea of LARGE art.  I have an idea for a large panel project...  I think it'd be awesome and also give me the excuse to break out the hammer and saw... BUT I'm not certain if it'd work with the room as a whole...   Who knows.  

All I do know, is that something needs to get up on this wall! 


Monday, February 4

Pumpkin + Goat Cheese + Kale = Lasagna Amazingness!

Oh yes, those just might be three of my favorite things.  Ya know, along with bright copper kettles and warm woolen mitten.  ;o) 

I saw the recipe on Kath's website and knew that I had to try it.  Kevin gave me the "you're nuts, I probably should have something else planned for a back up dinner" look... BUT he ended up liking it quite a bit!  So, it may sound wonky, but just give it a go.  :o)

My pictures aren't as nice as Kath's.  I used an iPhone in the dark.  Oh well!

Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Lasagna
Adapted from Kath Eats
  • Box of lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat, and not a whole box maybe 2/3's)
  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • 2 c. mozzarella cheese
  • ? oz parmesan cheese (I just added a bit... no idea how much, but less than the mozz)
  • 10 oz. black beans, rinsed
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • 1/4 t. garam masala
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  •  pinch kosher salt
  • kale or spinach
How to:
  1. Preheat oven to 375* F
  2. Make your lasagna noodles (if not using no-boil noodles)
  3. Mix together pumpkin, garam masala, chili powder, and salt.  
  4. Wilt your kale/spinach.  I used kale I had frozen from the garden, so it was already kinda wilt'y.
  5. Spread a thin layer of the pumpkin mix on the bottom of the pan (if you happen to have white wine sitting around, you can add a little white wine to this mix on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Layer: noodles, pumpkin, black beans, goat cheese, kale/spinach,  mozzarella.  Repeat.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.

 Next time I make this, I may add some roasted garlic.  I think it'd be a good addition.  :o)