Sunday, February 27, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Updated to add: In case you didn't win here at my blog, please visit my friend Kai's blog for another chance to win!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Mine was filled with shopping, cooking, movie watching, and just enjoying some time at home.

I wanted to thank everyone who entered my giveaway and everyone who blogged or tweeted about it. I really appreciate it. Now, onto the winner!

The winner is Colleen!

Please email me at with the address you would like me to send it to and CONGRATULATIONS!

I'll have a few early peeks at some cards I am making for spring later this week and a quick and easy meal for Tasty Tuesday, so make sure to stop back by. Have a great week!

Peace out *g*

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Best Thing

Thursday nights are always low-key around our house. We usually stay up later than we should, but tomorrow is Friday, right? That means it's okay.

I am always interested in seeing what other people are currently reading or listening to, so I thought I would take a moment to share some of the things I am doing. Every Friday, over at Pop Candy, Whitney lists her (and the readers) best pop culture picks of the week. I am going to start doing something similar here, but yeah, I'm totally stealing the idea. I don't claim it to be mine! LOL! I don't know if I'll have a set day of the week that I'll do it or not. Maybe sometimes on Fridays, but maybe sometimes you'll get it early and it will be on Thursdays (like today). Maybe I won't do it every week, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. For now though, onto the best things I watched, heard, and read this week.

Best thing I watched: The Legend of Billie Jean. I had never seen it and I have no idea why. It was full of 80's goodness, and Lisa Simpson.

Best thing I heard: Adeles' new album 21. I love Adele, and I have not been disappointed with her newest album. There are some other new albums I need to check out too, but I just can't stop listening to this.

Best thing I read: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. I read the entire story when The Pioneer Woman originally posted it on her blog, but that was a while ago, so it's been nice to go back and read it all through again, without the waiting in between chapters. The extra stuff that she has added in has also been enjoyed.

That reminds me! You have one more day to enter my giveaway for your very own signed copy of Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Make sure to be entered by tomorrow night at midnight EST.

Hope everyone has a nice Friday!

Peace out *g*

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Originally, I had this recipe planned as a good one for cold winter days. Then, it got warm. So warm here in fact, that I thought I had packed away my winter coat for good and the heat could be turned off.

I was wrong. 

The temperatures plummeted and it snowed and iced here over the last day. Which stinks for me, but makes this recipe relevant once more. Still stinks though.

This was originally a recipe for Beef Chili Mac, but in our effort to eat more healthy, I changed it and made it Turkey Chili Mac. 

You will want to chop up one medium onion. I always peel them inside the bag they came in (or some other plastic bag from the store). It helps keep it all tidy and neat, and since my kitchen isn't that big, I like to keep it as clean as possible as I cook.

You will then want to saute the onions in a large skillet. I just tossed them in with a little extra virgin olive oil. 

Once the onions have cooked a little, add in about a pound and a half of ground turkey. This was actually only a pound and a quarter, and it was plenty for just the two of us. 

Once the meat has browned....err..turned white (??) and the onions are translucent, you will want to drain off any fat that you have. By using turkey instead of beef, there was very little.

This is a slow cooker recipe, so now that the meet is cooked, everything is going to be thrown into the slow cooker for the rest of the day. Here is what you need: 2 10 oz cans diced tomatoes (I used one with green chilies and one just plan tomatoes), 15oz can of chili beans, 1 cup beef broth, 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 

You will want to mix the meat and onions together with all of the other ingredients. You can just dump in the cans and not drain off any of the juice or liquid. Just mix it all in together...easy peasy! Then let it cook on low for 6-8 hours. really looks good and probably could be enjoyed as is, but I'm not done just yet. 

Once it is getting close to being done and you are getting ready to eat, you will want to cook 8 oz of pasta, preferably macaroni. I cooked up a whole box, which was 16 oz. Once it is cooked and drained, you will want to add it into your slow cooker.

Doesn't it look good? We decided that next time, we would probably buy a block of Velveeta cheese and mix that in as well. For this time, though, we just topped it with shredded cheddar cheese and a little sour cream. Since there is only two of us, we had lots of left overs and it made for a great lunch to take to work. 

I love slow cooker meals, especially during winter and this one was a success. I'll definitely be making it again. I just hope not until next winter. 

Peace out *g*

Monday, February 21, 2011

Meeting the Pioneer Woman

So, I mentioned in my previous post that my Saturday was pretty packed. "Why?" you may ask. Well, I spent the majority of my time hanging out to meet this lovely woman.

(source photo by Bill Nygard)

The Pioneer Woman.

I have been a huge fan of her blog for the last few years and when my dear friend Kai told me she was coming to our neck of the woods to promote Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, her new book, I knew we had to go.

I had never been to a book signing, and neither had my friend, so we didn't know what to expect. To be honest though, I don't think the book store had any idea the amount of people that would turn out. They did a good job handling it though. When you arrived, you went to the checkout counter and got a color coded card for your little group. Once the signing started, they would line up two colors at a time, in ROYGBIV order. We stopped in about 3 hours before the signing was set to start and got a green card. The middle of the pack. We left, got lunch, then came back and found a spot to just sit and wait.

They gave us post-its to put in each of our books so she would know how to spell our names and how we wanted them personalized. We found a good spot, right by the front, near the register and close to window.

See way out there? Thats OSU and just the top of the Horseshoe.

Like I said, I don't think they had any idea what they were getting into. There were people everywhere.

I don't think he was there for the signing. I think he just came on a bad day.

When we were sitting near the registers, we quickly saw that the bookstore had made their way through all of the original colors for the cards they were handing out and were now handing out neon cards instead.

By the time the signing actually began, they were handing out white pieces of paper with letters on them.    This photo was right after she walked by us and up front. I came out of an aisle and almost ran into the event coordinator who was leading her through the store. Talk about a possible bad first impression.

After about an hour and half from when the signing officially started, they called our color to line up. The goal was to make it to the tile. When you made it to the tile, it was pretty much your turn.

About half way there...we were so close.

The tile! We made it!

By this point, I'm starting to get nervous.

I had all my books, ready to be signed. They had a person going through them, putting them in the correct order and making sure your post-it notes were on the right pages. Since I had never done any of this before, I was glad for the help.

And then finally, two hours into the signing, I made it. I met her! If it was possible she was even sweeter in person and it was such a great time. I complimented her manicure and asked the same questions I am sure she had heard from everyone else, but she was wonderful and nice and made me believe that she was really answering it for the first time that day. For my first book signing, I couldn't have asked for a better experience, for real.

Since I had such a wonderful time, I wanted to share the fun with you guys, especially if you haven't been able to make it to one of her books signings before.

Remember that photo of all the books I was having signed? Well, one of them was to giveaway here!

The contest will run until midnight EST on Friday, February 25th.

To get one entry, either follow my blog or follow me on twitter and leave me a comment here letting me know which one you did.

If you would like an additional entry, follow me on both, leave a comment here letting me know and tweet about the giveaway. Sample Tweet: Enter The Pioneer Woman #giveaway from @christinaherum over at

Make sure to check back to see if you won!

Peace out *g*

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Where Do the Weekends Go?

I had plans to make some new cards for the shop this weekend. Since I had made ones for Valentines, I had been kind of on hiatus, due to other stuff in life creeping up.

After a long day out with Kai, though, I was pretty darn tired when I got home yesterday. I took a nap and then just hung around the house getting caught up on shows on the DVR and my recent arrivals from Netflix. I know, I suck.

I plan on getting some new stuff started this week and into the weekend, but I did make a quick card tonight that I am shipping off to the in-laws tomorrow, and I wanted to share it here.

I liked it so much, I plan on making a few for the shop!

Hope you all had a more productive weekend than I did, ha ha!

Peace out *g*

Thursday, February 17, 2011

White Castle Valentines

We had reservations. Did you?

Valentines Day at White Castle was something we had seen advertised before, but one of us would be working or we would forget about it until it was too late. Then we moved to Pittsburgh, and there weren't any White Castles there, not that the husband would have been able to be home anyways (yeah, he traveled a lot). 

So, this year we actually remembered fairly early and were able to get a reservation at our second choice location (our first choice was already full). 

When we got there, one of the women working took our name and showed us to our reserved table. We're pretty important people, didn't you know?

They had all the tables decorated with red table clothes, white place mats and a fun sparkly center piece. Each table also had plastic White Castle vases especially for Valentines, which we were able to take home with us. 

The menu was pretty much the same as their every day menu, but they did have some special combos, including one perfect for a couple on Valentines; 10 sliders, 2 drinks and 2 fries for like $12. While that is a good deal, we decided to pick a few different things. 

I had a couple cheeseburgers and some chicken rings while the husband decided on a few cheeseburgers  and some bacon cheeseburgers as well.

We didn't really know what to expect, but I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. Most of the people there were other couples, some young and old, and whole families too. There was a man that came in with two women, who were all dressed like they were straight out of the 1800's. We never did hear the full story behind that. White Castle even has a flickr page, where you can see photos of the Valentines Day celebrations from all over. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day, and if you live any where near a White Castle, I would suggest giving this a try for your Valentines Day celebrations next year.

Peace out *g*

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

While Valentines day has come and gone, I had one more special dessert that I wanted to make using a cute heart-shaped whoopie pie pan that a friend gave me for Christmas. Since whoopie pies are good any time of the year, I figure this would be a fun recipe to try out.

These are the ingredients needed for the pies themselves. Butter, flour, brown sugar, buttermilk, salt, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, an egg, and dutch cocoa powder.

You'll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray your whoppie pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, you will want to beat 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup brown sugar until it is light and fluffy. Roughly, about 3 minutes. 

You will then want to add in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix them in until they are well combined. 

In a separate mixing bowl, you will want to mix together 2 cups of flour, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. The original directions say to sift these items together. Since I don't have a sifter, I mix them together with a whisk, and that seems to work pretty well.

You will want to gradually mix in the dry ingredients in with the butter mixture and mix on a low speed. 

When all the dry ingredients have been added in, you will want to add in 1 cup of buttermilk and mix on low until combined. 

Once it has all been mixed together, it will look like this. looks good just like that, but, we're not done. If you want to stop here and just enjoy the batter, feel free, I'm going to continue. 

You will want to then fill each heart with 2 tablespoons of batter, they should be about 2/3 the way full. I overfilled mine a bit, but that is okay. 

You will want them to bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched. While those are baking, we can start on the filling. 

We just need a few ingredients for the filling. Butter, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and marshmallow creme.

In a large mixing bowl, you will want to beat 6 tablespoons of butter with an electric mixer until creamy. 

Once the butter is creamy, you will want to add in 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of salt; mix well. Then, add in one jar of marshmallow creme and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and blend well. 

By now, your whoopie pies should be ready to come out of the oven.

You will want to let them cool for about 8 minutes in the pan, and then move them to a rack to let them finish cooling completely. While I waited for this to be done, I just put the filling in the refrigerator. 

By the time my pies were done cooling, I was so excited to get them filled, I neglected to take a photo of the finished filling before I started filling the whoopie pies, but you can get a pretty good idea of what it should look like. 

See? It should be slightly shiny and pretty thick. It is wonderful, I know that for sure. To fill them, I just used a decorating bag and cut off the end. I didn't even bother with any type of decoration tip.

Here they are all finished. Since I filled my whoopie pie pans with a little too much batter, my pies are a little thicker than they probably should have been. It doesn't matter though, they are delicious. 

Hope everyone had a happy Valentines day!

Peace out *g*