Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I pray that you are able to spend today with family or friends and take the time to remember all of your blessings and give thanks to God for all He has provided. Challenge yourself this weekend to write a list of all that you are thankful for and all the special blessings that have happened in 2014. Bonus points if in the next week, you write a note of thanks to a friend to show how much they mean to you!
Enjoy your day, relax, laugh, love and remember that your body is made to handle a Thanksgiving Day binge-so eat and eat and eat!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole

This Sweet Potato Casserole was a new side dish presented at the Schuetzle Thanksgiving this year. I was skeptical, but since my dad requested this specifically, like tore the page out of the Country Living Magazine and handed it to me, I couldn't disappoint him. I didn't add the maple syrup because one, I didn't have that ingredient in my pantry and two, there is no way I could stand that much sweetness in a potato dish; however, I am sure it is lovely. The meringue topping was so fun to make and it did taste wonderful. This Sweet Potato dish got rave reviews at the dinner table and I think I will have to make it year after year! 
Sweet Potato Casserole: Recipe from Country Living Magazine found here

Monday, November 24, 2014

Homemade Whip Cream

Are you responsible for bringing the traditional Pumpkin Pie this year for Thanksgiving? If so, don't succumb to store bought whipped topping, rather whip up some of your own Homemade Whip Cream. This recipe couldn't be simpler and it will impress your family and friends of your dessert skills. Not only can you use this whip cream for this Holiday Season's pies, but you can also use it to add a little extra sweetness to your morning cup of coffee. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pumpkin Pie

Look at my Mom's Perfect Pumpkin Pie! This is my absolute favorite dessert of the season. I could eat it pretty much any time of the year. I wanted to share my Mom's perfect pie she made the other weekend for a pre-Thanksgiving meal. Usually, with pumpkin pies, you get a split down the middle, but this one turned out picture-worthy! 
I don't have an outstanding pumpkin pie recipe to share, as I have always just used the recipe on the back of the Libby's Pumpkin can. However, I do adjust the spices to my taste. I do not have the patience to wait for a pumpkin to roast to use real pumpkin in my desserts and honestly, I have never been able to tell them apart anyways--but I do usually eat pumpkin pie so fast I am not sure if I would be able to tell a difference.

Make sure to top your pumpkin pie with a fresh dollop (or several dollops) of whip cream. They don't have the saying, "you want some pie with your whip cream" for nothing! Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Morning Coffee of Choice

So, I don't mean to boast, but my Husband is amazing. He is fantastic about fixing me up a latte every morning before work. When he first started doing this, I would dump the latte out on the way into work because it was so bitter, but over the year, he has gotten GOOD! It helps we have found some great latte mixes to add flavoring. I love Trader Joes Mocha mix and of course I am a sucker for Starbucks PSL Via Latte mix. Always add a dollop of Homemade Whip Cream and if you are lucky, a little latte heart to boot.  What gets you going in the morning?

Trip to Connecticut

Before the weather took a turn for the worse, I had a work trip scheduled to visit a supplier out in Connecticut. I have never been up in the North Eastern part of the United States. I was so pleased to schedule the trip right in the heart of Fall so that I could experience the Autumn colors. My dad instilled in me the love for this type of beauty and I know it has always been his dream to go to the East Coast and experience this wonder. Even though my dad couldn't visit Connecticut with me, I hope to one day travel with him, my mom and my husband and enjoy these painted hues again.

The visit took place in Milford, which happens to be right on the Atlantic Ocean Coast. You can see the hazy outline of Long Island from the beach there. I loved seeing the signs as I was driving on the interstates that said NY City 90 miles. NYC is on my life bucket list of places to visit, and I was please to know I was so close and it is possible to get there one day. I also was a mere 3 hours from Boston and a hop, skip and jump from elite vacation spots like The Hamptons and Nantucket. 

I also took a little walk about on Yale's campus. I had to experience the prestige of an Ivy League school. It was so beautiful and this is dorky, but reminded me of Hogwarts from Harry Potter. It was interesting to find out that they randomly place you in special colleges and that is your identity for your duration at school. 

Another cool experience, was Dunkin Donuts. That coffee chain was everywhere! And their donuts were decent. Nothing compares to Pierre's Donut Shop, but it was tasty none-the-less. Also, a great pick me up after a day of meetings and trip to the beach. 

The trip was so fun and I can't wait to go back for more pleasure rather than just business. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

DIY Onsies

My best friend,Tiara, had a baby!!! I am now officially Auntie LoLo! I wanted to give her a special gift and knew just the thing. DIY top stitched onsies. Since she was waiting to be surprised by the gender, I had to be make the onsies gender neutral... no tutus or tractors allowed. Instead, I used primary colors and Berenstain Bears printed fabric.

I purchased a 5 pack of 0-3 month onsies from Target. I pre-washed the onsies and the fabric that I was planning on using for the pieces. I used some scraps I had but also cut a few pieces from my bridesmaid dress that I wore as the Maid of Honor in Tiara's wedding. Pre-washing is important, especially if you are using more than one blend of fabric. That way all shrinkage takes place prior to completing your stitching.

Create a template for the designs you want to cut out on your fabric. Mine had hearts and state outlines of Minnesota and South Dakota. Pin your template pieces to your fabric and cut out. Then arrange your fabric shapes onto the front of the onsies. Use a whip stitch with colorful embroidery floss to attach your fabric pieces to the onsie. Make sure to have enough pins to keep your fabric pieces in place or else it makes it difficult to stitch. If you have a loom that would be ideal.

Love you Tiara! Can't wait to see the little one in these outfits! So much love was put in them!

This one is my favorite! It is South Dakota, in green dress satin with a heart over Rapid City, where Tiara is from (and where her and her husband met).

Minnesota to represent where the couple live

Hardrocker colored hearts!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fitness Friday-Morning Workouts

Rise and shine!! It's time to wake up and work out! Studies show that working out in the morning is the best time to sweat. I know it's hard to get up and get out the door especially when it's cold and dark. But for me, it's even worse to go to the gym right after work hungry or eat dinner and think I'm going to go back out on the cold to workout. Here's some tips from Women's Health to help you get up early and move too! 

AM Workout Selfie

Sunday, November 9, 2014

New Smyrna Beach

One of my best friends,Ashlee, and I met 5 years ago during an internship at the Pierre Chamber of Commerce. Our offices were right next door to each other and we had so much fun going on walks, tanning and hanging out at Tia's (her Aunt's) historical Norbeck House home. Ashlee is originally from Florida and now she lives in North Carolina. We always make it a point to stay in touch and keep up with each other's family and friend's lives. Her family is like the Kardashian clan with three sisters and a younger brother and a house full of drama (I love it). My family is fun and fast so she fits right in.

The last time we saw each other was over a year ago at my wedding where Ashlee was one of my bridesmaids. So we scheduled a trip to sunny Florida to spend a weekend at the beach relaxing and catching up in the sunny rays right on the Atlantic Ocean. We booked a room thru the site AirBnB, where hosts post open rooms, apartments or whole houses for short time renting to those travelers who would prefer to not stay in a stuffy hotel. I was a little skeptical. But we found a house in New Smyrna Beach (The House on Crawford) that suited our needs perfect. It was only a few blocks from the beach and near NSB's downtown area called Flager.

Since Ashlee grew up in South Florida and went to school less than an hour from NSB, it was a perfect location to meet up and enjoy. We rode the house's beach cruises primarily to all of our destinations. The beach was literally a block from the house and we spent all day Saturday and Sunday getting bronzed. It was amazing. We also pampered ourselves with a mani/pedi at a local spa and caught some town gossip. Sunday morning, we got up early to see the sunrise over the Atlantic and it was one of the prettiest things I have ever seen. We also indulged in delicious food and sweets and had a great weekend. I hope we can try to do these girls trips every year because they are definitely worth it! Miss Florida and Ashlee already.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fitness Friday-#150byCHRISTMAS

It's time for another fitness hashtag! I have chosen to do #150byCHRISTMAS as my challenge to get me through November and December in shape. I started on November 1st and need to complete 2.72 miles per day in order to reach my goal of 150 miles of cardio by Christmas.
Feel free to stay in shape too, using the download below. I keep my card on my desk at work, so that I stay motivated throughout the week. So far, I have crossed out 22 miles.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pumpkin Bars

'Tis the season for Pumpkin flavor! I have been relatively restrained with my indulgence in pumpkin spice. But now that it is November, I feel the need to have the favorite fall flavor coursing through my veins.
My husband has been asking for these pumpkin bars for a few weeks and I was obliged to make them on our first lazy weekend this month. I was given the recipe from a previous boss at Target as a wedding gift. Kyle craves it and I can't help but make him smile with this treat. It makes enough for two 9x13 cake pans. I pour the remainder of my batter in an 8x8 to yield a thicker bar, which I like, but then I adjust the bake time to 35 minutes.
Once these bars are cooled, frost with a cream cheese icing and chill prior to serving. One pan is for immediate serving at our house and the second pan is for the freezer to pull out at a later date. These, I think I will save for Lichty Thanksgiving in Lutsen. I can only imagine they will be a hit with your family as much as they are with mine.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy November!

It's November first. October was a blur. I flew over 9,000 miles going to the east and west coast for business and for pleasure. I started a Halloween costume but ran out of time and decided to enjoy handing out candy to the little mankind in the neighborhood rather than worry about that sort of thing.  But now that it is November, it is time to get back in the workout mode, time to flip the clocks forward, time eat pumpkin pie and time to get in the Christmas spirit.

Today, we deep cleaned the house, raked up leaves and cleaned the garage. Well Kyle did the lawn and garage but I cleaned the house so it's good. We also took our little Mozzy out for a long 4 mile hike on the horse trails by the Lake. It was a beautiful start to the day and makes me anticipate this month so much. I have a list of things I want to accomplish this month and can't wait to share some of the recipes and Christmas crafts I have planned.

So many great things are happening in Novemeber too! My best friend is having a baby this month and I am so excited for her! I made her a baby quilt and some DIY onesies. Kyle and I will celebrate our fourteener (one year 2 month anniversary) as well this month. Our favorite show, White Collar, returns to USA and one of Kyle's least favorite, Scandal, comes to a dramatic end. Oh we are going to shape up our bills by cutting cable and canceling unused credit cards.

It's time to get festive and light the world up with joy!