Sylus: a Christmas surprise

If you already follow me on Instagram then you will have already seen this special gift of mine. If you don't, you should, because I link it ever so nicely for you right there. But for Christmas this year, I got quite a surprise when I came into work one day. It was Kid's Workshop at Home Depot so I was busy stopping children from eating paint or smashing their finger with a hammer. While my coworker and I were cleaning up, my supervisor called me over and said she had something for me.

Being someone who loves getting things, I ran right over with a smile on my face. She pulled out a big ol' box wrapped to the nines in wrapping paper. I was so shocked at first, thinking how nice and thoughtful she was for getting me a Christmas present. She handed me the box and in 2 seconds my face went from having a huge smile to my heart almost beating out of my chest. The box meowed and I started crying.

After that moment, I realized just how nuts I am about cats. Who cries when given a cat? I pulled the little guy out of his box and he snuggled right into my arms. I could feel his heart beat beating just as fast as mine. I was given a kitten for Christmas, one of the most surprising gifts I have ever been given. The other being a ham from the Christmas before. No one has ever gifted me a ham before.

So everyone, meet Sylus. He's a maniac, but he covers it up nicely with his sweet little face.

Recipe // Holiday Candies

 Merry after Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful and beautiful holiday and were able to spend some quality time with those loved ones. I have an exciting post coming up where I'm going to show you a special something I got for Christmas, but today I'm sharing with you one of my favorite holiday treats. These little goodies are so addicting and sometimes difficult to pry your hands away from. Christmas may be over and done with, but you can stay in the holiday spirit with these or even make them for a New Years bash. Or just make them for yourself as a after Christmas present to you.

I partnered with Tiny Prints to bring you this deliciously inspired recipe today. After being contacted with Tiny Prints I began to notice their cards everywhere. While at my family Christmas, I swear my Grandma had over 10 cards that were printed from Tiny Prints. They have beautiful holiday cards that can be personalized to your liking and trust me, you can get very creative with these cards. Tiny Prints has so many cards to choose from and not just holiday cards.... I'm ordering my birthday cards the second I'm done writing this post.

Enjoy the sweets my lovely bloggers 

(disclosure: Tiny Prints provided me with greeting cards for this post) 

winter scenes on the farm

After stuffing my face with turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, I snuck outside to snap some pictures. It was a beautiful snowy afternoon and my Grandmas has an even more beautiful backyard, that happens to be a several acres large. The horses were up close to the barn and the second I started snapping away at them, they became very intrigued and got closer. I love getting close ups of horses, their eyes are so darn gorgeous. After a while my hands became numb, but I continued to grab some close ups of things around the farm. Then I went back inside and ate more pie. 

Kaden & Cooper

This past week I had the opportunity to build my portfolio even more and add some experience under my belt. My friend from work, Melanie wanted some pictures of her handsome boys for Christmas cards and I jumped at the opportunity. Her boys were so nice to photograph and her little one, Cooper, was just a big ball of smiles the whole time. I just wanted to show you a couple of my favorite shots from the day. These two are my favorite because of the lighting, it was literally perfect and it made me not only happy, but it also made it extremely easy to get a great shot. The second has to be my number one favorite out of the whole shoot.

Ladies of the sidebar

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to reintroduce myself. I'm Kelly and I'm the author of this blog. I've been away for a while because I've been banging my head on my desk for the last few weeks due to school. It has consumed my life and I don't have a single minute to even think about an idea for a blog post. So forgive me and it's nice to meet you all again. I am waiting for finals to be over and to have winter break be here. I am in great need of a break right now. 

I'm going to keep it short and sweet right today, because I want to introduce some gorgeous ladies and I would hate to take the spotlight away from them. Also, like I said I'm fully out of anything to say. So without further ado, here they are! 

Hi there! I"m Erin and I live on the internet over at Hooley with a "z". In the real world, I live in Minnesota, a.k.a. the tundra. My blog is a place where I can squawk about my life, where I share both my the everyday silly and the not so silly stuff. I am a big fan of my husband ( I call him Mister Man), baking delicious things and using proper capitalization. I'm so happy to meet you all, and hope you stop by and say "hello!"
My Thanksgiving favorite: sweet potatoes! Not the kind with marshmallows on top, that's too sweet for me, just plain old mashed sweet potatoes with butter and salt. There is something about the orange color maybe? All I know is that somehow half my plate gets filled up with that particular dish.

Hi! I'm Zia! I'm a college student and blogger from Indonesia who has a passion to travel the world.  Ispent a year in Minnestoa when  I was 17 as an exchange student and right now I go to a university in Germany. I'm passionate about technology and business and aspiring to have a career that combines these two aspects. On my blog, I write about my life here in Breman, occasional culture shocks, random silly things that happen around me, my dreams, things that interest me, and my musings of life. I hope you stop by and stay a whole! 
I've only experiences Thanksgiving once in my life, at my host dad's family. I remember that we had a lot of food and  I really liked the turkey! The most memorable experience though. Before we ate, we formed a cirlce and everyone took a turn saying what they were most thankful about for the year, and it's really nice to feel the gratitude atmosphere in the room! 

today is a celebration


Happy 24th birthday to this handsome devil. 
Love you

Recipe // Caramel Apples

I wanted to share these caramel apples I made a couple weekends ago. My wonderful step mother sent me a surprise gift that was a whole caramel apple kit. It came with a bag of caramels, bags of toppings, skewers, and six perfectly packaged apples. I almost died, the package was so cute. I made them straight away the next day because I was just too excited to wait. As always the caramel and toppings all fell to the bottom, I don't know why I have this problem every time I make caramel apples. Any tips for preventing that? 

The recipe to these apples is pretty simple. Melt your caramels, dunk your apples, throw your favorite topping at them and done. In the box, I was given m&ms, nuts, and sprinkles which I ended up using all three. I've also been the only one to eat these apples since I made them. I have one left. Well, they always say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. I'm not sure how the doc feels if the apple is covered in caramel and sprinkle though... 

Check out my caramel apples I made last year here, with three different ways to make them!

And thank you to Jenni for gifting me this amazing gift! It made my Halloween 1000x better. :)


Recipe // Dark Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

What a mess that drink looks like right? Well it's a delicious mess and I will be making this over and over during the winter season. It is the richest and the creamiest hot chocolate drink I have ever had. I really wanted to share to all you dark chocolate lovers, so enjoy!

2 c almond milk (or preferred milk)
1/4 c pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 TBL unsweetened cocoa
dash of vanilla
marshmallows and chocolate syrup for topping

1. On the stove in a saucepan, whisk together milk, puree, cocoa, and spices. Heat over medium heat and heat just until its about to boil.

2. Remove from heat, add a dash of vanilla and top off with marshmallows and chocolate syrup. Serve immediately.

Just a quick tip, if you have pumpkin pie spice in your spice cupboard, use 3/4 tsp of that instead of adding all the individual spices. I just didn't have any pumpkin pie spice, so I used what it was made off. Also, add more or less cocoa powder to your liking. With 3 tablespoons, it makes the drink quite a dark chocolaty flavor, which I didn't mind.


My First Photo Shoot // Kevin and Bria

and a blooper for the road...

I had the pleasure of capturing these two on camera a few weekends back and I loved every moment of it. Some of you may know the name Bria here on the blog and that's because I mention her every now and then. She happens to be my beautiful best friend and that handsome fella there is her man. I should mention that they've been together since we were awkward and smelly teenagers. That love you see in these pictures cannot be faked.

This also was my first "photo shoot" and I really hope it's not my last. I had so much fun behind the camera, snapping pictures left and right. Truthfully I had no idea what I was doing and I'm glad Kevin and Bria didn't mind me fumbling with my camera every now then or bossing them around to get the shot I pictured in my head. I can't wait for the next opportunity to capture so much love on camera.

What do you guys think of the pictures!? Let me know your thoughts and any tips you may for me in the comments below!


yes, this is another post about cats...

Isn't she a beauty? Snickers has been by my side ever since Patches left. I swear her personality gets bigger and bigger with every death of a feline in this house. I also am convinced that she took apart of Patches' soul, because some of the things she does now is freakishly similar to the things Patches did. For example, the drooling, the following me around everywhere I go, the meeting me outside the bathroom door every morning, or my favorite...non stop meowing. Like, where did this cat come from. A couple years ago it was lucky if we saw her twice a week.

I'm not against it though. Just look at that face.


Recipe // Individual Apple Pies

I made these cute little mini pies this past Friday and was so happy with how they turned out. They're the perfect portion and can be eaten on the go. How great is that!? Since it was my first time trying out mini pies, it took me a couple batches to tweak them to perfection, but the last couple of batches came out great. 

I would definitely recommend using the egg wash on top of the pies to give them that great shiny brown top. Compared to the pies who didn't get it, there was a big difference in a appearance. No difference in taste, so don't worry about that if you don't care to do the egg wash, it's mainly for looks. These little guys are perfect to give as gifts to. Just wrap up in some bags and tie with a ribbon and you got a super easy gift that no one will be able to turn down. 

Ingredients and Directions


2 cups flour
1 cup lard (Crisco)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg + 2 tsp vinegar + water

Mix together dry ingredients. Cut the lard into the flour mix until crumbly mixture forms. Break egg into a measuring cup and add vinegar. Fill to 1/2 cup with water and mix. Add to flour and mix until a dough forms. The dough will be a bit sticky, use extra flour to handle. Form into a ball and set aside. 

Apple Filling:

A handful of apple slices (i didn't measure!) Macintosh apples work best
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves

Toss apples in the spices until fully coated. Set aside. 


1. Roll out pie crust evenly and relatively thin. Use a circle cookie cutter to cut out shapes, set aside access pie crust for next batch. 

2. Place several apple slices (or however many fit in the middle without overloading) in the middle of the crust. Use an egg wash and brush along the outer rim to act as glue. Place a second circle on top and use a fork to secure down the sides. Cut a x in the middle, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. (the egg wash on top of the crust will create a really nice shiny brown finish on the pies. It's certainly not necessary)

3. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until edges have browned and the middles are oozy. 

4. Repeat until all dough and apples are used up. I ran out of dough first and just ate the left over apples as is. :) 


Recipe // Pumpkin Pancakes with Toasted Pecan Topping

It's Fall. I had to make something pumpkin flavored or the season just wouldn't have been the same. I've been craving pumpkin flavored pancakes for week and I never even had them before. How does that work? So one night I did some food gawking and put together a recipe for these amazing pancakes. I used a basic pancake recipe and just added some spices and of course pumpkin puree. They turned out pretty damn good, if I don't say so myself. Just take a look...

Pumpkin Pancakes 

1 1/4 cups flour
2 TBL brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of ginger
1 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 TBL melted butter
1/4 cup toasted pecans
Maple syrup and butter for topping


1. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Put wet into dry and whisk together until batter forms. Don't overmix! A few lumps is perfectly fine.

2. Heat up your skillet or frying pan and add some butter to prevent sticking or just use some cooking spray. Take a 1/4 scoop to scoop the batter onto the skillet. Helpful Tip: I found that the batter was a bit thicker then normal pancake batters. When I scooped the batter onto the skillet I used the scoop to spread out the batter into a larger circle to make the pancake thinner and also so that it would cook more evenly. Make sense?

3. Let pancake cook until small bubbles form on top and then flip to the other side and let cook all the way. During the same time of cooking the pancakes, I popped some pecans onto the skillet to toast them up a bit. Transfer pancakes to a wire rack or keep them in the stove to keep warm until ready to eat.

4. Serve with maple syrup and warm toasted pecans. So good.

its friday friday, sponsor feature friday

Welcome back everyone! It has been quite some time since I sat down in bed and typed something on here. I have been a good 3 weeks into school and it is kicking my butt. I have met more with my professors in the past 3 weeks then I have in the 3 years I've been in college. At least they all know me by name now! Today I didn't have any classes and so I took the day off from anything school related and just relaxed, which is exactly what  I needed. 

I also have some wonderful ladies here for you all to get to know. You may have seen their buttons over to the left this past month. Since fall has officially arrived and pumpkin everything is being baked, I asked these gals what they're most excited about fall for. So keep reading and enjoy!!


Hello, Kelly Followers! I'm just like our awesome blogger Kelly Elizabeth, I love love love the fall! We recently moved from Kansas to Texas so this our first year without the windy, cold weather we're used to. Fortunately, I've been knitting away (although I'm not sure it will ever get cold enough to use knits!) to make the season feel more like home. 
I blog over at Oodles of Time, exploring life in the great state of Texas and all of the surprises the future is likely to bring. 


Hi everyone! My name is Jordyn and I blog over at Pretty Lovely, my personal style blog. Fall is my ABSOLUTE favorite, so its safe to say I love everything about it. A couple of things stick out though. The fashion. Layering is my favorite, tights, oversized sweaters and boots. Can't get enough! then there is the weather. I live for storms, rain and wind. Changing leaves, pumpkins, and coziness. This season always seems to be the shortest when I wish it was the longest!  


I'm Michelle and I blog over at Permanent Daydream. My absolute favorite thing about autumn has to be the crispness. What's that, you ask? That feeling in the air, that feeling where you no longer have to breathe through your mouth with your lips looking like a goldfish because the oppressive summer air is long gone. My favorite crispy times are those when it's not raining (good luck with that Vancouver) but just clear, sunny/cloudy and refreshing. Where you can still go outside with just a light coat, but you can wear a scarf for style purposes without getting sweaty cleavage. So yeah, scarves sans sweaty cleavage -- that's my favorite thing about fall. 


Hello! My name is Natalie and I blog over at Revel+Design. It's nothing special really, just a little place where I talk about my love for design and some things about my life and what not. I offer tutorials and will be giving out blog freebies too! So stop on over and say hello!
I am looking forward to cooler weather and tons of treats! But mostly I am excited for Halloween this year and all the spooky movies coming out!



play a little tune

This weekend I had Saturday off so Friday night after work I took a quick trip to visit Chris. It was a wonderful last minute decision, because I have been craving some much needed boyfriend time with him. We ate lunchables, watched zombie movies, and I listened to him play his ukulele. We also watched The Bling Ring with my big girl crush, Emma Watson. The movie made me wonder if it really is that easy to break into Paris Hilton's house, because if it is, I might just have to try. That is if I ever make it to California.

As always, I hated saying goodbye to that handsome face and taking my hour and half drive back home. Now it's back to the books and back to sitting in classrooms. Until next time.


favorite little places online

I have so many favorite online shops that I could spend hours scrolling through pages of stuff to buy. Today I narrowed it down and kept it strictly to my favorite Etsy shops. Etsy just fascinates me with the endless amount of goodies they have. I love finding new shops and seeing the different types of jewelry or clothing items people create. 

These are my favorite...

Leftover Studio // I bought my camera bag from this shop (the first bag) and it could not have been a better purchase. They make some of the best quality bags I ever seen and I know my bag will be lasting me more then several years. 

Laura Laurent Salon // This gal makes the cutest art pieces that one day will be hanging in my bathroom.

OceanTime // I recently got my belly button pierced and I've been obsessed with stalking this site for new rings when I'm able to change it out. That Harry Potter one? Need it!

Abra Kadabra // We all know I'm a cat lover and this adorable little jewelry shop has these cat pendant necklaces that I just adore. I mean, come on.

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