Jack's Christmas Wishlist

 {Scottie Dog Toy Set by Harry Barker}
I was going to wait until next week to post Jack's Christmas wishlist, but since some of these stores are offering some fabulous deals for Black Friday I decided to post early. Now check out Jack's Christmas Wishlist perfect for any pup!

Preppy Personalized Dog Collar by Harry Barker}

Thanksgiving Outfit

It's an old fashioned Michigan Thanksgiving this year (aka the ground is covered in snow and it's freezing). Since I spent a lot of time in the kitchen for Thanksgiving I wanted to make sure my outfit was comfortable and nothing is more comfortable than leggings, chunky knit sweater, beret and flats.
 {wishbone necklace}
{favorite travel ballet flats from OKA b.}

Thanksgiving themed cupcakes

This weekend I celebrated "Friendsgiving" I was in charge of dessert. So I made pumpkin and coconut pie as well as these chai tea cupcakes adorned with a pilgrim hat and acorn. The body of the acorn is made out of caramel while the top is a Tootsie roll while the pilgrim hat is Tootsie Roll adorned with caramel. To make the cupcakes I used a regular cake mix but added some of my chai tea mix to it and the frosting is vanilla bean.

A Christmas Tradition: Pajamas

In my family getting a new pair of pajamas is a Christmas tradition. Everyone gets something catered to their own taste and style. However this year I discovered Pajamagram you can get everyone's name on matching pajamas including the PETS! While my family isn't all for matching pajamas... Jack and I will be matching this Christmas!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

I absolutely love Christmas shopping, especially when it involves stocking stuffers. Here are some of my favorite stocking stuffer ideas from the mini's to mom and dad there is something for everyone. What do you like to receive in your stocking?

No Bake Cookie Butter Cookies

Have you tried Cookie Butter from Trader Joes yet? It’s amazing right! Personally I use Cookie Butter as a peanut butter replacement sometimes. Over the weekend I had a craving for no bake cookies and as I went for the peanut butter I decided on Cookie Butter instead. I used my no bake recipe that I received from my friend Bonita Jean while I worked at a Hallmark store in high school, and simply replaced the peanut butter with Cookie Butter and didn’t add the chocolate (I’m not a fan). The result is a perfect sweet treat.
Cookie Butter No Bake Cookies
2 cups sugar
½ cup milk (I used 2%)
4 tablespoons (1/2 a stick) salted butter
½ cup Cookie Butter (found at Trader Joes)
3 cups oatmeal (I used Quaker Old Fashioned Oats)
2 teaspoons vanilla (I used Watkins)
Note: You can add 5 tablespoons chocolate cocoa powder during step one if you would like to make these chocolate.  

1. Combine sugar, milk and butter (and cocoa if you want chocolate ones) in a medium saucepan; heating over medium heat. 
2. Stir occasionally. 
3. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. 
4. Remove from heat and stir in cookie butter oatmeal and vanilla.
5. Stir mixture and quickly spoon it onto waxed or parchment paper. 
Note: It will set up in the pan very quickly.
6. Let cool for at least one hour.

Running in the Cold

  {Lucy Reverse The Cold Jacket $128}
It’s a shame I waited until freezing temperatures arrived to get back into running. Here are some of my favorites items to wear running when the temperature drops. What do you run in when the temperature drops. 
 {Lole Glorious Leggings $65}
 {Lole Love Earflap $20}
 {Lucy E-Tip Run Glove $30}
{Lole Snugly Tube $30}

Enjoy Life: Decadent Bars

I recently found out that I have a gluten intolerance. While I don't think I could ever switch to a complete gluten free diet (GF flour is seriously expensive), I do try to make sure that at least 80% of my daily food intake is gluten free. One company who has gluten free (and they are free from a ton of other allergens) is Enjoy Life. I love their Vanilla Honey Graham and Sugar Crisp Crunchy Cookies as well as their baking chocolates. Recently I tried out their Decadent Bars and you can read my opinions below. These bars would be great for kids with any allergies. Find out where to buy here.

Cherry Cobbler: I really liked this one a lot, especially warmed up.
Chocolate Sunbutter: One of my favorites if you like sunbutter you will LOVE this bar.
S'mores: This was is great, but when you heat it up it tastes even better. I have been enjoying it with a cup of cocoa.
Cinnamon Bun: LOVED this one. Anything cinnamon is my favorite and these were nothing short of what I expected.

Canine: Apple Cinnamon Cookies

80% of the treats Jack eats are homemade by me;  you can find some past favorites (here, here, here and here). With all the pet treat recalls lately I have decided that every Thursday from now until Christmas (except Thanksgiving) I will be sharing homemade dog treat recipes that your pup big or small will absolutely love. Starting with these apple cinnamon cookies.

Apple Cinnamon Canine Cookies
2 1/2 cups flour*
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 medium sized peeled apples pureed*
1 egg
1/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla (I use a lot you can use less such as 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup cold water * (as needed)

*flour: I used 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1.5 cups crushed oatmeal (made it flour consistency in my blender). You can also use whole wheat flour (I do not because it gives Jack terrible gas).

* apples: I removed the skin from the apples, cut into pieces and pureed them in my blender. You can also cook them on the stove until they become mush.

* Water: My apples produced enough juice I only used a tablespoon of water the first time I did this recipe with honey crisp apples. The second time the apples hardly produced any juice and I used a half a cup of water so just use how much you need for a dough consistency.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3. Blend flour and cornmeal together in a large mixing bowl.
4. Mix in pureed apple, egg, oil, cinnamon and vanilla.
5. Add water as needed.
6. Flour your workspace and roll dough to desired thickness.
7. Cut treats with cookie cutters. (I used a large apple)
8. Place dog cookies on baking sheet.
9. My cookies were larger and Jack likes softer treats so I baked mine for about 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness. Just cook your until your desired crispness.
10. Once cooled add to Ziplock bags or an airtight container.

Note: I only leave out a few cookies and freeze the rest. They'll last for up to six months when frozen and under a week when left out.

** The above recipe is for treats only, and should not replace your dog's regular meal plans. Any questions about your pets diet should be directed to your vet.

Let's Talk: Christmas Cards

Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner? My Christmas cards are usually super girly, last year I designed a Christmas tree out of shoes and turned it into a card. However this year I decided that I wanted Jack to be the star of my Christmas cards and there is no better way then with Shutterfly. Even though I am a graphic designer and could easily design cards on my own I absolutely love the variety of cards that Shutterfly offers, you can easily customize them and they are so affordable! Here are my top five favorites. Do you send out photo cards? Make your own custom holiday cards Shutterfly or splurge on some photo gifts Shutterfly.
{How cute would Jack be on this card?}

For 2013 Shutterfly is offering some fabulous holiday cards and gifts. Including new card design styles in 5x7 folded tri-fold & back of card designs! Cards come in a variety of styles to match your personality perfectly.

Classic: traditional colors, iconic illustrations, aspirational sentiments, snowflakes and monograms.
Contemporary: trend forward colors, texture and layering, water color techniques, shine, glitter. Making Instagram pictures perfect for this style!
Whimsy: humor and nostalgia meet, fun sentiments.
Merry and Bright: all about color and having fun.
Religious: metallic type treatments, incorporated story ideas.
Photo Basics: multiple colors, vertical type, family name highlights.

BLT Pierogies

I lived in Pittsburgh for three years and that is when I was turned onto pierogies, Mrs. T's Pierogies to be exact. Whenever my neighbor would have a get-together to watch sporting events she had plenty of fingers foods, but also never forgot to include a pierogie dish. My favorite was her BLT Pierogies, and that's exactly what I served as a main dish this past Sunday for the Lions game. Living in Michigan Pierogies are not something you usually indulge in at parties so my friends were a little hesitant to try them, once they did they couldn't help but have seconds and thirds, not to mention I was asked to bring them to next weekends game get-together. The whole grain and mini Pierogies definitely were the crowd favorites.

Guests really liked the fact that the recipe was easy and such a time saver. They also couldn't believe that Mrs. T's Pierogies could actually be an appetizer or the perfect meal. At my get-together we ended up going on the Mrs. T's website and then creating the pierogies and apples we put some caramel on them and whipped topping and they made the perfect dessert. Making pierogies the perfect last minute meal for any occasion, last minute guest, impromptu party and everything in between.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central Consulting for Mrs. T’s Pierogies. I received a gift card to purchase get-together supplies to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

BLT Pierogies
1  (16-ounce) package frozen pierogies  (I used Mrs. T’s)
3 slices of bacon
1 package cream cheese
1/2  cup  chicken broth
1/2  cup  shredded cheese (I used colby, mozzarella and sharp)
1/2 green pepper; chopped
1 roma tomato

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Arrange the pierogies (frozen) in a glass baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
3. Spray the pierogies lightly.
4. Cook bacon in a pan until crisp; remove from pan, crumble and set aside.
5. Add cream cheese and chicken broth to the pan you cooked the bacon in (make sure you leave the grease in the pan.
6. Whisk until the cream cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
7. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over the pierogies.
8. Top with cheese.
9. Bake for 22 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated.
10. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with green pepper, bacon and tomato.
11. Enjoy

Did you know:
• Mrs. T's are the perfect pairing of pasta and potatoes.
• Flavorful whipped potatoes combined with tasty additions such as cheddar cheese and onion are gently folded into a pasta shell to create the perfect canvas for your favorite ingredients and spices.
• Whether it's game day or the season premier/finale of your favorite show (Hart of Dixie party anyone?), gather your friends and enjoy Mrs. T's Pierogies.
• Bursting with flavor, Mrs. T's Pierogies make delicious finger foods, side dishes and main dishes (always keep a box or three in your freezer).
• Mrs. T's Pierogies are available in 11 different varieties, including whole grain and mini-size!

Like Mrs. T's Pierogies on Facebook.

Zoya Winter 2013: Zenith

Zoya's winter collection Zenith is made up of icy iridescent blues, metallics and sugar plum purples that are reminiscent of the season. I absolutely love every color in collection.

Belinda is a rich royal sugar plum purple shimmer with specks of fuchsia and ice blue.

Cassedy is a celestial pewter metallic.

Dream is a deep ice blue jelly with holographic glitter.

Mosheen is an ice blue packed with iridescent glitter. This polish is meant to be a top coat for other shades as it is sheer by itself. I think it would be gorgeous over a dark blue or black (will showcase it soon).

Payton is an iced cranberry red packed with iridescent glitter.

Seraphina is a polar iced metallic silver.