Monthly Archives: January 2016

Lumberjack Party

My little Oliver Jack is a winter baby, which was great when I was 9 months pregnant and a burning inferno, but not so great when planning a 1st birthday party.  The freezing temperatures outside really limited my options.  But I decided to embrace my inner hibernation mode and what better way than with Cozy flannel and comfort food; the key ingredients to a Lumberjack themed party.

I fell in love at first site with these invitations from Lauren Haddox designs on Etsy, she also made a gorgeous set of printables that I couldn’t resist.

 

I loved that she has matching address labels that made these invites crazy cute from start to finish.

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A couple of weeks before the party we took a little trip to the park to collect pine cones.  Which saved me about $20.

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Decorations ideas:

  • Pine cones
  • Wood stumps
  • Flannel
  • An axe or two
  • Flannel bunting
  • Lanterns
  • Mini pine trees
  • Kraft paper
  • Burlap

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Chili Bar Toppings:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Jalapenos
  • Fritos or corn chips
  • Hot sauce
  • Corn bread muffin
  • Tater-tots

 

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Waffle Bar Toppings:

  • Chick-fil-a party platter, perfect for chicken and waffles.
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple
  • Blueberries
  • White and milk chocolate chips
  • Whipped cream
  • Toffee bits
  • flavored syrup
  • Peanut butter
  • Bacon bits

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Dessert Bar:

  • Stout Chocolate Cupcakes, complete with mini ax
  • Assorted sugar cookies
  • S’more Pops
  • deconstructed Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear

 

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Beverages:

  • Hot Chocolate Bar complete with “adult add-ins”
  • Iced Tea and Lemonade for my fave: an Arnold Palmer
  • Mimosa punch
  • Water

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Oliver’s cake didn’t turn out like I had hoped, but that is what happens when you leave things to last-minute. I had a vision of delicious cream cheese whip layered between gorgeous fluffy giant pancakes.  To save myself time I ordered the pancakes from local breakfast joint we love. On the day of the party we picked up the to-go order and headed to the venue.  I was really sad to find that they gave me their small pancakes instead of their large.  I had to improvise and the good news is, Oliver Jack didn’t mind.  It tasted amazing!

I loved this party theme so much I want to throw a lumberjack party every winter.

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xoxosarah

Credits

photographer: Anissa Vegh PhotoNV

Printables:   Lauren Haddox designs on Etsy

Balloons: John with Balloon Architects 

Rosewater Coconut & Pistachio Oatmeal

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It is no secret to my nearest and dearest that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Valentines Day. Its a holiday that so many people love to hate, but I for one am totally drinking the Valentines Day punch.    Give me red, pink, and anything heart shaped.

I do get why so many hate the holiday, the romantic pressure is high and in my single years it really highlighted my loneliness. Plus Valentines Day can be expensive.

I hate to say it, but If these are the reasons you hate Valentines Day, then you are doing it wrong!

This is a day that you should focus on showing love and there are way better ways to show someone love than with $$$$. Write a love letter, give the gift of your time and service, or wake up a little early and make them a warm bowl of delicious oatmeal.

With this in mind I decided to make an Oatmeal perfect for Lovers. Its beautiful, sophisticated, and easy, everything you want in a Lover…I mean oatmeal.

For the rosewater whipped cream I added a little rosewater extract and a drop of neon pink coloring, which makes this dish almost too pretty to eat. The pistachios are a great contrast to fresh raspberries. This oatmeal recipe has a great balance of salty and sweet, perfect for all the lovers and haters out there. I hope you enjoy.

xoxosarah

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Rosewater Coconut & Pistachio Oatmeal Recipe

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 20m

Ingredients

Oatmeal

  • 1 c Steel Cut Oats (or Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats)
  • 1 c Coconut Milk
  • 1 c Water
  • 1/3 c shredded Coconut (Reserve a couple pinches for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 tbsp. Butter

Topping

  • 2 c TruWhip or whipped cream
  • 2 drops neon pink food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp. Rosewater
  • 1/2 c Fresh Raspberries
  • 1/4 c Shelled Pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Cardamom

Instructions

Oatmeal

  1. Add steel cut oats, water, and coconut milk to rice cooker, set to “brown rice” and let it do its magic.  Be sure to check your rice cooker for specific directions on cooking oatmeal.  My cooker takes about 20 minutes.  
  2. Once the rice cooker is finished, stir in butter, honey, and shredded coconut until mixed well.

Topping

  1. In a small bowl, combine Truwhip, rosewater, and coloring.  
  2. Spoon a large dollop onto a bowl of prepared oats.  
  3. Sprinkle with a pinch of cardamom, Raspberries, pistachios, and reserved shredded coconut.

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Breakfast Salads

Have you ever had a breakfast salad? I know what your thinking…a salad is NOT a breakfast food. Breakfast has rules. Why do you want to break the sacred rules of breakfast?

But if you really think about it, there are way too many silly rules we follow blindly without really thinking about the why. So many of our breakfast foods are born out of convenience.  I totally get it, its way easier to throw a bowl of cereal together for my toddler and grab a piece of toast as I run out the door for work, than to cut up fresh produce, plate a salad, and eat it as drive down the road.

That is where this post comes in.  I have designed the perfect breakfast salad that you can do prep for on the weekend, make the night before,  and travels well.

But before I get into the how. Lets talk about the WHY.

Back in 2006 my little Brother Aaron shared with me this article ( “The Men Who Live Forever,” from Mens Health) . It is a bit of a marathon to read but so worth it, especially if you are a runner or looking to lose weight. To sum up the article, there is a tribe of super athletes in south america that live crazy healthy, long lives.  They can run 100 mile distances well into their 60’s.  Their society is free of murder, suicide, and depression.  After spending time with the tribe, the author takes what he learned about their diet, philosophies, & running techniques and spent a year training to return and run a 50 mile race. To emulate their diet he starts eating salad for breakfast.

This was the first time I had heard about breakfast salads. My mind was BLOWN!!!  and I have been breakfast salad-ing it ever since.

It really is a truly refreshing way to start the day. bs6lowres

The key to a great breakfast salad is a heaping handful of spinach and mixed greens, seasonal fruit, crisp red, yellow, & orange peppers, a nut mixture that adds crunch and protein (I do equal parts dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and slivered almonds), a little feta, and a sweet/tangy dressing.

Corn and black beans would be a great addition to this salad.

 

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I start out with all of this, wash & dry it, cut up the peppers and pineapple, mix my nut mixture, and wind up with this…

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You can either put your salad together the night before or in the morning. It takes 5 minutes.  My favorite way to transport salad dressing is in a syringe.  It makes measuring a correct serving size super easy.

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I hope you enjoy a new kind of breakfast that gives you energy, is refreshing, and frankly feels like a treat.  Forget those silly rules born out of convenience, grab a breakfast salad and start making your own rules!

xoxosarah

Boho Tribal 1st Birthday Party

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Boho Bundt Cake Bar

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I was lucky enough to help my cousin Tori with her daughter Harlo’s 1st birthday party. And even more thrilled when she chose a Bohemian/Tribal theme. Beautiful florals, gold glitter, feathers, What’s not to be excited about.

Collaborating on this party was so much fun.  We spent a couple weekends crafting.  The doily dream-catcher was way easier than I though and I just love how beautiful it turned out.  We then spent the morning before the party making vanilla, strawberry, and Lemon mini bundt cakes.

One of my favorite suggestions to anyone planning a party is DELEGATE!  The less work you have to do the day of your event the better.  My cousin was thinking of doing the taco bar herself but I was really happy she decided to get it catered by Cafe Rio.  Her sink stayed empty of dishes and the Cafe Rio was really yummy.

Tori found these gorgeous invites and custom printables from the GreenDoorHandmade on Etsy.  They really set the theme for the whole event.

Tori, Thank you for letting me help and lets definitely plan another party together soon.

xoxosarah

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The invites from GreenDoorHandmade on etsy

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Harlo’s Stats poster from GreenDoorHandmade on etsy

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Tiered Bundt Layered Cake

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Welcome Table

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Bundt Cake Bar

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Bundt Cake Bar

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Gorgeous Printables from etsy

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Cafe Rio Taco Bar

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The Birthday Girl and her Smash Cake

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D.I.Y. Dream Catcher

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D.I.Y Gold glitter vases

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I have a balloon guy!

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Invites and Printables: GreenDoorHandmade

Ball lights: Brightlablights

Float My Oats #2 Bacon and Gouda

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I recently had group of darling friends over for brunch and mimosas.   I decided to experiment on them with savory oatmeal.  Unanimously they were skeptical. But luckily I have awesome friends and they gave it a try. The smell of bacon wafting through the house definitely didn’t hurt.

I am thrilled to report that it was a huge hit.  There is something so satisfying about this recipe. I chose two kinds of cheese, a really creamy Gouda and a Sharp Gouda,  mostly because both tasted so good at the store, I couldn’t pick between the two.  Definitely hit the cheese counter for this recipe.

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Bacon Mushroom and Gouda Savory Oatmeal in Rice Cooker

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 40m
  • Total Time: 55m

Ingredients

  • 2 c Steel Cut Oats
  • 2 tsp. Chicken Better Than Bouillon ( low sodium)
  • 4 c Water
  • 1/2 lb Thick Cut Bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 c Salted Butter
  • 8 oz Sliced Mushrooms
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary, finely diced
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme, finely diced
  • 1/3 lb Gouda Cheese, grated
  • Olive Oil for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Add bouillon paste to warm water and stir until dissolved. Add steel cut oats and water to rice cooker, set to \"brown rice\" and let it do its magic.  For this large of batch it took approximatley  40 minutes.  Be sure to check your rice cooker for specific directions on cooking oatmeal.
  2. Chop bacon into small pieces and cook until crisp.
  3. Place on paper towel and set aside.  
  4. Remove grease from pan.  Then add 1 Tablespoon of the butter and garlic to pan cook on medium high heat for 1 minute then add mushrooms, rosemary, and thyme.  Sauté mushrooms for 4-5 minutes or until tender remove from heat and set aside. Grate cheese.
  5. Once rice cooker is finished, add remaining butter,  grated cheese, and the mushrooms  stir until combined.
  6. Place a heaping mound of Oatmeal in dish, top Oatmeal with a drizzle of olive oil, a crack of salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle bacon crumbles on top.

I really hope you enjoys this recipe and that it changes the way you view oatmeal.

xoxosarah

A Housewarming to Remember

A few of my favorite things from our Housewarming party this spring.

1. Our guest sign in coloring page from World of Moose

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2.  This Simple Fruit Pizza Bar for Dessert

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3.  My D.I.Y.  “Instagram” wall collage

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Coming soon: D.I.Y. Instagram wall collage

4.  This Acrylic Ice Bucket

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5.  The Menu: mini Frog-Eyed Salad, hummus, and Veggie shooters, crusty french bread from Stone Ground,  a meat and cheese tray from Tony Caputos that was TO-DIE-FOR, oh and that gourmet plum jam. I’m suddenly really hungry.

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xoxosarah

Float My Oats

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My love of Oatmeal began back in 2008 when I watched Alton Browns episode on Oatmeal.  I immediately started making oatmeal in the crock-pot. I loved how easy it was to wake up to those warm, cozy oats. I noticed that very few people shared my wild enthusiasm for oatmeal but after many sleepless nights contemplating this tragedy,  I concluded that its boring image needed to change.  The days of Ooey-gooey oatmeal drowned in milk, with predictable toppings, is over starting now.

Maybe itst the wanna-be-foodie in me, but oatmeal is meant to be bathed in Olive oil, a crack of pepper, shreds of sharp cheese and perfectly steamed vegetables. Its meant to swim in luscious coconut milk, with fresh  pineapple chunks, and shaved coconut. I could go on and on..and I promise I will.

I have tried numerous cooking methods but a couple years ago my friend Heidi introduced me to my favorite method, the rice cooker.

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It is really fast and I love the texture, Its more like rice than a porridge.

I usually turn the rice cooker on when I first wake up and then come back to it when I’m finished getting ready for the day.

I use a 2 to 1 ratio of  water and steel cut oats. You can sub the water for just about any liquid. My favorite substitutions are chicken stock and coconut milk.

Here are my go-to recipes

Savory Oatmeal in Rice Cooker

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 25m

Ingredients

  • 2 c Warm Water
  • 1 c Steel Cut Oats
  • 1 tsp. Chicken Better Than Bouillon ( low sodium)

Instructions

  1. Add bouillon paste to warm water and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add steel cut oats and water to rice cooker, set to "brown rice" and let it do its magic.  
  3. (Be sure to check your rice cooker for specific directions on cooking oatmeal.)
  4. My cooker takes about 20 minutes for a small batch and 40 for a large batch.  
  5. Add toppings.

Sweet Oatmeal in Rice Cooker

How to make Sweet Oatmeal in a Rice Cooker.

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 20m

Ingredients

  • 1 c  Water
  • 1 c Coconut Milk
  • 1 c Steel Cut Oats
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tbsp. Honey

Instructions

  1. Add steel cut oats, water, and coconut milk to rice cooker.
  2. Set to \"brown rice\" and let it do its magic.  
  3. (Be sure to check your rice cooker for specific directions on cooking oatmeal.)  
  4. My cooker takes about 20 minutes for a small batch and 40 for a large batch.  
  5. Once the rice cooker is done, stir in butter and honey until mixed well. Add toppings.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to oatmeal.  You may be skeptical but that is OK.  I look forward to converting you.
xoxosarah