Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Morning

Good morning readers, how has your week been going? I hope your holiday season is going well and you've found the right gifts for all your family and loved ones. If you're flying into your home town to stay with family, safe travels and have a lovely weekend and we'll catch up next week :)
(image via home dezen)

this week's favorites...

This weekend is dedicated to finishing decorating around the house and setting up the wrapping station and getting to work. The Christmas movie marathon is on and I'm also hoping to make a few batches of sugar cookies. Happy Friday :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide Part iV

Get your dad something nice and cozy like this sweater from Brooks Brothers and treat him to the best men's cologne out there and my personal favorite to give away. He'll go nuts over the new Cosmos and this great book on writing and alcohol will definitely be a winner. Happy last minute shopping :)


Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup

My mom found this Paula Dean recipe years ago that is fantastic. It's the one thing that everyone in the family likes and is a favorite every time she makes it. When I stumbled across this recipe, it reminded me of the spicy tortellini soup my mother makes so often. Now its time for a new family favorite, hello creamy tomato basil tortellini goodness! 

1 1/3 cup diced carrots (3 medium)
1 3/4 cup diced yellow onion (1 large)
2 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 (28 oz) cans whole Roma tomatoes
1 (32 oz) carton vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
16 oz refrigerated three cheese tortellini
Parmesan, shredded, for serving

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion and saute 3-4 minutes, add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Pour mixture into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker along with tomatoes, vegetable broth, basil, bay leaves, sugar. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover slow cooker and cook on LOW 6-7 hours or HIGH 3-3 1/2 hours.

Remove bay leaves then puree mixture well with an emulsion blender (or carefully in small batches
in a blender. If your slow cooker doesn't keep all the moisture in well while cooking, you may need to add in 1/2 cup water or so at this point so the soup isn't too thick). Stir in tortellini, cover and cook on HIGH heat 15 minutes longer (or until heated through). Reduce heat to warm, stir in heavy cream. Serve topped with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. 

(image and text via cooking classy)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide Part III

Your mom deserves some comfy and festive pajamas and lazy time after all the hard work she's been doing between gift shopping, cooking, baking and more cooking, wrapping everyone's presents, decorating the house and front yard and finding time to relax. Treat her to some new plaid shoes because that is all she's been wearing, a nice and simple bracelet and a new and pretty crossbody. 


Winter White

White is the official color this season! Every shop I step foot into and every woman on the street is dressed in a slightly off white colored coat and I have yet to find something that suits me. Once the holidays are over and the shops are not as crazy as they are now, I'll be on the hunt for a little something for myself. Like thisthis  and even though this isn't some shade of white I am loving it! 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Be Happy

In these last weeks of the year, I always feel very stressed. Anxiety kicks in and I feel exhausted most of the time. Maybe it comes from being in school most of life. The anticipation of finals, studying like crazy and finishing paper assignments the night before... it's easy to say that between undergrad and graduate school I've written at least two books worth of information. With the holidays  and all my family members birthdays crammed in between these last six weeks of 2014, all I want to do is hide underneath the covers and hibernate. With Christmas less than two weeks away, the memories of spending the holidays with my grandmother floods my memory and all I can feel is sadness that she is no longer with us. 

So for now, maybe a take a day or two off from work to dedicate forty-eight hours to only you. Stay in bed all day, take an hour to drink your tea and read a book or do something you have not done in awhile that makes you smile or laugh.  Do laundry all day or bake snowman sugar cookies, whatever you do-be in the moment, do something you love and be happy.