Yearly Archives: 2013

New Year’s Resolutions 2014

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I absolutely love the beginning of a new year!  It reminds me to take a moment to reflect on the last year and think of the things that I have accomplished, blessings in my life and goals I want to achieve in the future.  I managed to cross a lot off my bucket list in 2013.  One big thing was starting A Little Glitter

I have a list of things that I plan to effect in 2014.  I dont regard new year’s resolutions as wishes that will happen effortlessly.  I dont do effortless.  I enjoy a good struggle.  That way when I succeed it is that much sweeter.  I dont put random things on my list like lose 30 pounds – unless I really plan to work my butt off and lose 30 pounds.  (I dont.  I enjoy chocolate too much right now.  Maybe in 2015.)  My resolutions are goals that I plan to realize in 2014 through research, trial and error, networking, asking questions and hard work.  Without further ado, here is my list of resolutions for 2014…

– I just got a new camera for Christmas.  It is a Canon SL1 and my first DLSR.  I love it but I have no idea how to use it beyond automatic mode.  I endevour to learn how it works and how to take awesome pictures with it.  I was thinking of signing up for some weekend courses at a nearby college or photography school.

– There are a few things that I want to learn how to cook flawlessly.  I want to make the best shrimp scampi, lasagna and pancakes.  Right now I am suckish (at best) at making those things.  I want to have a recipe that I have perfected and consider my go-to for all three.

– I will learn how to apply eye shadow this year.  I was thinking of taking a lesson from a professional makeup artist.  I have tried youtube tutorials and I still wind up looking like a slutty clown.  It is not a good look.

– I have a few home improvements in the hopper for 2014.  My husband and I are going to build a banquette for our kitchen (which I am really excited about).  I am going to make a tufted cushion for the back and I cant wait to get that project underway!  We also plan paint/stain our cabinets and put on new hardware, install a new sink, new countertop and backsplash and perhaps buy new appliances.  I also have some diy projects underway that I will be sharing soon.

– This year there is a new category of goals for me – this blog!  I really want to work on building a bigger social media following!  I would love to have 1000 Twitter and Facebook followers (quite a lofty goal considering I have 14 Twitter followers right now).  I am absolutely terrible at Twitter but I plan to figure it out in 2014.  Also, I would like to start doing one giveaway a month.  I am stumped right now as to what the prize for my first one should be but I hope to be struck by inspiration soon.  If you have any ideas please send them my way!

What is your biggest resolution for 2014?

Strawberry Crisp

Strawberry Crisp

I know I am probably in the minority here but Sunday is my favorite day of the week.  I sleep a little late, eat a lazy breakfast, drink my coffee and then get busy accomplishing.  I try to make a decent meal, too.  My hubby is a food guy.  It is definitely the way to his heart.  On Sunday (during my errand-running) I make sure to pick up ingredients and put together something delicious for dinner/dessert.

Yesterday, I decided to make a Strawberry Crisp because I had a whole bunch of strawberries leftover from a Santa Hat Brownie concoction that turned into an EPIC fail.  (Dont ask!)

Here’s how I made it:

Take two quarts of strawberries, wash them, slice them in half and throw them in a medium-sized bowl.  Add 1/4 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and toss them all together until well coated.

Strawberries

 

Strawberries and Sugar

Then pour the mixture into a 10 inch cast iron skillet.  I have this one and love it.

Cast Iron Skillet

 

Strawberries in Skillet

Next, you have to make the topping.  Take 1 and a 1/2 cups of quick-cooking oats, 2/3 cups of light brown sugar, 2/3 cups of whole wheat flour and 2/3 cups of softened butter and knead it all together with your hands until it becomes crumbly.  Then put it on top of your strawberry mixture.  I sprayed a tiny bit of cooking spray on top so it would brown nicely.

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Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  I threw the pan under the broiler a few minutes at the end to get more of a crispy, browned crust.

Browned Crisp

Now, wait ten minutes for it to cool a little then put some in a bowl, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Food Editted

 

Strawberry Crisp
Serves 6
A delicious and easy strawberry crisp!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Quarts Fresh Strawberries
  2. 1/4 Cup Sugar
  3. 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  4. 1-1/2 Cups Quick Cooking Oats (Not Instant)
  5. 2/3 Cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
  6. 2/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  7. 2/3 Cup Butter (Softened)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To begin, take your strawberries, wash them and slice them in half and put them in a medium-sized bowl. Add the sugar and cornstarch and toss them all together until well-coated. Then pour the mixture into a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
  3. Next, you have to to make the topping. Take your quick-cooking oats, light brown sugar, whole wheat flour and softened butter and knead it all together with your hands until it becomes crumbly. Then put it on top of your strawberry mixture. I sprayed a tiny bit of cooking spray on top so it would brown nicely.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. I threw the pan under the broiler for a few minutes at the end to get more of a crispy, browned crust.
  5. Remove skillet from oven and set it on a rack. Let it cool for ten minutes before topping with vanilla ice cream and enjoying.
A Little Glitter http://alittleglitter.com/

Christmas Wrap Up

Hey Everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!  Bannon Castle was filled with family, friends, presents, smiling faces and full bellies.

Usually on Christmas Eve we head into NYC and go ice skating at Rockeller Center.  (This is Billy and Tay last year.)

Rockefeller Center

Then, we come home and wrap the presents after Taylor goes to sleep.  It is a great tradition but this year we decided to skip it.  I brought Taylor in to work with me for a half day and the commute home took forever.  We were freezing and tired and the thought of going back in to the City sounded awful.  So, instead we hunkered down at home and watched a Christmas movie.  It was total bliss.  Sometimes the best nights involve sweatpants!

Presents were a total success!  My husband and daughter loved their gifts and I got a new camera!

Billy Taylor presents

Camera

I am beyond excited but need to learn how to use it.  I have been mostly using my phone for this blog (hence the sometimes dark and grainy pictures).

One of favorite gifts was the walker we got for my nephew!  He is the cutest, happiest, little guy and watching him scoot around in it was priceless.

Baby Greg

 

We cater in food for Christmas but I did manage to make a few things, including this wreath pull-apart cake!

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I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a pull-apart cake for a while so this was the perfect opportunity and it was so easy!

The weekend before Christmas I wandered into this adorable shop in New Jersey and found myself purchasing this cupcake corer.  Basically, you take the middle out of the cupcake so you can fill it with something.  I decided to use vanilla pudding.

I tinted the frosting for them with Wilton food coloring called Leaf and Moss.  I just added a bit of each until I was happy with the color.

Food dye

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Then, I used a piping bag for the first time!  It was much simpler than I thought.  I was nervous because Billy and Taylor ate the extra cupcakes so I had nothing to practice on.  I had to start straight in on the wreath.  I watched this youtube video and it was a piece of cake.  I do need to practice loading my icing into a piping bag so it is not so messy though.  For the piping bag and tip I used this and this. Random 122713 473

Once I was finished icing I filled In the crack between the cupcakes with my piping bag and then added some green sugar for texture. Random 122713 483

Afterwards, I decorated it with some red Sixlets and a bow I made out of my red satin double-faced ribbon.

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As you can see, it was a big hit!

Greg Turtle

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!  What was your favorite part?

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to take this opportunity before all the Christmas madness begins, to say thank you for reading my blog!  I really appreciate all the positive feedback and I have so many ideas to share with you guys in 2014!  Have a wonderful holiday!

Finished Housewarming Gift

Housewarming Presents!

We have two new neighbors moving onto our block this week and they both seem really nice.  I wanted to put together a housewarming present that was thoughtful, easy and would not break the bank.  Basically, my goal in this – and most things – is to create something that looks like it was expensive and took a lot of time but was cheap and easy, lol.  I saw something I liked on Pinterest and decided to put my own spin on it.

First, I created a cute hangtag on Picmonkey.com(I could show you how to make it with a tutorial but I decided to make a free downloadable printable for you instead.)

Housewarming Present Tag

Housewarming Present Tag

Here is a link to the hangtag.

Then, I went to the liquor store and got two bottles of Yellow Tail wine.  I think they were $7.99 each?  I just grabbed what I like to drink.

Next, I bought two hammers from Home Depot.  They were around $7 each.  Here is a link to the same one on Amazon.

Then, I secured the hammer to the bottle with 1.5 inch double-faced, red satin ribbon. I bought a spool of it from Amazon last year and I use it for everything.  It has lasted a long time and it is so handy to have around.  Here is a link to that.

Finally, I poked a hole in top of the hangtag and used fishing line to secure it to the ribbon.

I am so pleased with the results!  This is definitely my new go-to housewarming gift!  What do you guys think?

Finished Housewarming Gift