Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lefse.


Posted By: Anna

One more Christmas post for me - and then we'll move on to...2013!  A little background on this one...my family is Norwegian, and very proud Norwegians at that.  (I can tell some mean Ole and Lena jokes!)  We eat lutefisk every Christmas Eve and have krumkake, rosettes and pizelles as cookies for after dinner.  But my favorite tradition of all is making lefse with my grandma and cousins on Christmas Eve morning.  I have been making lefse since I was in elementary school I think.  Grandma did almost all of the work that first year  and we just got flour all over the kitchen.  However, times have changed a bit and now we are in charge, and Grandma can relax a but while we roll out and grill lefse for about 3 hours Christmas Eve morning.  

For those of you that don't know what lefse is - according to Wikepedia (the always trusting source) - "Lefse is a traditional soft, Norweigian flatbread.  Lefse is made out of potato, milk or cream and flour, and cooked on a griddle"  It looks a lot like a very think large pancake or tortilla when it is all rolled out.  

Sadly, I forgot to take pictures on Christmas Eve morning (still blaming this on beginning blogging!) so some of the pictures below are actually of another lefse making event this year at the Northfield Retirement Center.  My grandma organizes a group, both family and friends from her church, to come and make lefse and krumkake for the residents of the retirement center.  We all whip out the lefse and serve it to them nice and hot with coffee. 

First you have to roll out the dough - the thinner the better!


Then grill the flatbread - 


Then comes the best part - the toppings.  I personally like butter with either brown sugar or cinnamon sugar.  Others like jelly or white sugar.  Its all up to you.  


Finally you roll it up and eat - yum!!
   

Truth be told, eating the lefse isn't even my favorite part of the process, its more about the tradition of spending time with some of my favorite people.  But isn't that what makes most traditions great?!  

Talk soon!
Anna


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Keri Noble.

Posted By: Anna

I don't know about you guys, but nothing puts me more in the Christmas spirit than Christmas music.  Some of my favorites include....

Amy Grant - Tennessee Christmas

 Mariah Carey -  All I Want For Christmas

and of course NSYNC - Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
(sidenote:  Even after all these years of listening to this song, I had NEVER watched the video!!)

However, this year I started the Christmas music season off with a different note (no pun intended :)...Keri Noble.


Keri Noble is a very talented singer/songwriter in the Twin Cities area.  She actually has a very interesting background, being born in Fort Worth, Texas, raised in Detroit.  Her father is a Southern Baptist minister and she has grown up singing in church.  She is also a co-host on the Cities 97 radio show.  She has a fantastic personality that goes along with her beautiful voice.  I was joined by 4 other friends at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis to see her Christmas show.



It was a great way to start the Christmas season out!  If you haven't heard her music before, click here for a sample.

I hope you all had a great Holiday season as well and enjoyed by those that you love the most!

Talk soon!
Anna

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry moments.


Posted By: Kristin

Merry Christmas to those that celebrate!  I thought I would take a minute to spread some holiday joy by sharing the below link.  I guarantee that it will add smiles to your evening!

26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year

Anna and I wish everyone love, laughter, and good health in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Focusing on happiness.


Posted By: Kristin

Can you believe it is only Wednesday?  I’ve felt emotionally drained this week from the Connecticut school shootings and some tough work cases, so I’m determined to focus this post on things that make me HAPPY!

Last night, our wonderful friends came over and gave us the best housewarming gift!!  She is a talented artist and painted this beautiful painting for us after I fell in love with a similar one at their apartment a few weeks ago.  It could not be more perfect for our house!




I am so amazed at her impressive skill and excited to have more original artwork in our home!  I haven’t quite decided where to hang the painting, so am anxiously waiting for my mom to come over so we can walk around and thoroughly discuss each option! 

On another happy note, this is our first Christmas in our new house!  Our living room is decorated for the holidays, but I was not planning to decorate our upstairs family room.  And then I went to Goodwill.  I was wandering around the store while chatting on the phone with this fun girl.  Thank goodness I was paying more attention to her than anything else because I unconsciously ended up in the holiday section and spied a beautiful, unopened garland from Target for $3!  I immediately recognized it from Our Fifth House and grabbed it!  I was already planning to stop by the craft store, so I decided to copy Carmel’s window d├ęcor.  I picked up the holiday cards from the dollar section at Michaels and a felt tree ornament for .49 cents. 

I started crafting as soon as I got home.  I found it was best to hot glue the cards onto the ribbon because otherwise they all slid into the center.  These were super easy and simple decorations that quickly added fun holiday cheer to the room.  I love it!  I’m planning to pick up some holiday pillows during after-Christmas sales so I can spruce up the couch next year. 









Six days until Christmas!  Can't wait!

Kristin

Monday, December 17, 2012

Houzz.

Posted By: Anna

Have you heard of Houzz.com?  I just recently discovered  it and am totally hooked! It is fantastic!!  It's like a "Pinterest for Houses on Steroids".  The website contains tons and tons of pictures of ideas for differant areas of your house.  It's like a big idea book for all things house design.  You can filter by style (contemporary, modern, asian, tropical etc) or by room type (bedroom, bathroom, garage, porch etc) or you can do both!  For example I searched for tropical bedrooms and found the following results...




They are all so different yet, still tropical!  It's a fun site to just check out, especially if you are doing any sort of home design!  

Talk soon!
Anna



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Containers.

Posted By: Anna


Today I went to the greatest store in the entire organizational world…the Container Store!  


The store actually overwhelms me.  There are so many ideas, options and products.  They have an entire aisle of square open bins to choose from...


And even an aisle devoted to trash cans!


(They do make a trash can look pretty though, don’t they!?!?)
But today I was on a mission (cue the Mission Impossible theme song) - to tackle the horrifying cupboard I call the spice cabinet.


I know...it's horrible. 

But with a little help from this gem I found for $12 at the Container Store...


 My spice cupboard now looks like this....



They actually had lots of different spice rack options to choose from, but this one looked like the best choice for the cupboard space and spices that I have.  After taking more time than I thought it would, I have a newly organized spice cupboard.

I think the best part about this particular spice rack, is that you can easily take it out and put it on the counter if you know you will be using many spices when cooking.


I wouldn't say it’s perfect, but definitely an improvement!


Talk soon!
Anna

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm no chef.


Posted By: Kristin

In our house, chores break down two directions.  My husband handles the meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.  I do all of the cleaning and remaining errands.  Yes, I realize how lucky I am.  Especially because he makes amazing food!

Oh and the point of this post is how I'm in charge of packing lunches, so that is on my chore list too!  Hubby and I keep it simple and almost always have salads for lunch.  Occasionally, we eat leftovers.  Those are really easy because I just toss the Tupperware into the lunch box.  Salads are simple too, but I have recently caused some disruption in our kitchen by grabbing ingredients that were designated for certain meals by the hubby.  Whoops!

Months ago I saw an idea on a blog or Pinterest that showed a container in the fridge specifically for lunch items. At the time, I thought it was a complete waste of space.  Fast forward a few weeks and it is the perfect solution for our dilemma.  So, off to the store I went! 

I purchased a handy basket and piled in our lunch items.  Ta-daaaa!



I love it for a lot of reasons.  Most importantly, I am no longer messing up our meals, but also because it is so quick to pull everything out of the fridge at one time instead of going back and forth (you know, the whole six feet between our fridge and counter).



It's also really easy for my husband to look into the basket and see what we need for lunches when making the grocery list each week. 

I love solving problems when the answer is organization!  Tell me, what fun solution have you applied to a household dilemma? 

Kristin

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pin It.

Posted by: Anna

Hi.  My name is Anna and I have a love - hate relationship with Pinterest.

LOVE IT because you find some very delicious recipes...
Boyfriend Cookies
HATE IT when you realize most of the food that looks good would kill your diet!

LOVE IT because you find inspiration for super cute outfits...
Nice work outfit.
HATE IT when you realize you can’t afford all the new clothes!

LOVE IT because you find inspirational workouts…
Mini morning workout- right before the shower
HATE IT when you realize that you will not look like that after the workout!

LOVE IT because you find very creative ideas with simple items...
Sew these on shirts. This is brilliant.
HATE IT when you realize you didn't think of the idea first!

LOVE IT because organization looks so easy....
Organization Idea – Bobby Pin Storage
HATE IT when you realize you still haven't purchased the $1.39 Tic Tac storage container seven months after you pin the idea! 

LOVE IT because you find the cute craft ideas that look simple...
burlap tree skirt
HATE IT when you realize after completing the same craft, it looks nothing like the picture!

LOVE IT because sometimes a great quote can just make your day....
Really good advice.
So I guess in the end….I LOVE IT!   

My last class of the semester was tonight!  Woo hoo!  No more night class until February - so a few things on my to do list:
#1 - Celebrate with a glass of wine.  Check. 
#2 - Create a list of my Pinterest to-do list for January.  Will post soon!  

Talk soon.
Anna

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fab Five.


Posted By: Kristin

I am always looking for new blogs to read, so I thought it might be interesting to share my five favorite blogs – also known as the blogs that I hope show up in bold when my Google Reader refreshes! 

Blog #1 / Young House Love
Umm… not really sure what to say about these folks except that I think Sherry and John are the coolest humans on earth.  Seriously.  Everything they do impresses me- I love their writing style, consistency and frequency of posting, design ideas and colors, and the fact that they shop at thrift stores!  My favorite YHL project is the amazing gallery wall in their hallway.  It literally makes me drool.  Okay, not literally.

I can't describe how excited I was when YHL announced they were coming to Minneapolis for a book signing.  Anna and I left right after work and waited in line for hours to purchase their book and meet them.  We were so nervous to talk to them but they were just how you imagine they would be... incredibly friendly and fun!


Anna is on the left and I am on the right.  Meeting John and Sherry was such an awesome experience!

Blog #2 / Bower Power
I got hooked on Bower Power because Katie is best friends with Sherry from YHL.  Then I fell in love with her house, decorating ideas, and photography.  She is really creative and has a beautiful family.  I think one of my favorite projects is her son’s first nursery.

Blog #3 / iHeart Organizing
I love, love, love to organize so it should come as no surprise that Jen is my idol.  Her projects almost always inspire me to try the idea in my own house!

For instance, take a second to check out Jen’s post on organizing under her kitchen sink.  My pictures below do not look nearly as cute, but my supplies are now o-r-g-a-n-i-z-e-d!  I even rearranged all my drawers so that I could have a “sink drawer,” but then forgot to take a picture.  #newbloggerfail


That is my puppy, Joey.  He was determined to stay in the picture.  Most likely because I rarely take a picture without him front and center.  

Let's get a little closer, shall we?


In case you didn't click over to Jen's blog, I copied almost everything (the hanging gloves, drawer for linens, and bucket for kitchen cleaning supplies).  I really wanted to include a recycling can, but there was not enough room.  I just love organized and practical cabinets!

Random tidbit: The cleaning supply bucket and Borax jar were victims of my labeling frenzy last weekend.

Blog #4: Skinny Runner
I like to read SR because she is funny and motivational.  I am seriously in awe of the number of miles and marathons that she runs! 

Blog #5 / Our Fifth House
This is a relatively new blog to me but I love her design style.  I adore her master bedroom and would give my right arm for her holiday storage closet.  Seriously, check them out! 


So, those are MY five favorites!  I would love if you shared your favorite blogs in the comment section!

Kristin

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let's Get Organized.

Posted By: Kristin

While Anna was busy designing beautiful holiday cards, I took the opportunity to use her Cricut to make vinyl labels.

My husband and I recently- is six months still recent?- moved into a new home.  Since day one, I have been creating a mental list of items that could benefit from a label.  Ok.  Honestly what I should have said there is stuff that would look pretty with a label. 

A lot of the labels ended up in our laundry room closet.  Until a few days ago, I was struggling to reach frequently used items from the upper shelf.  I finally decided to just put it all in a basket on top of the dryer.  Unfortunately, having a bunch of stain remover and original detergent packages in my cute basket was just plain ugly.  The solution?  Cheap glass containers from Target!  They just needed labels!


What do you think?  I also slapped a label on our lint bucket. 


You know, just in case the hubby felt the need to try the dryer out.  No confusion as to where to put that lint.  Oh- and look at these two buckets!


Cleaning supplies will eventually end up in them but for now their purpose is to make me smile because they make me think of Dr. Seuss each time I do the laundry.  

So those are my initial, minor changes to the laundry closet.  {Sorry there were not any “before” pictures.  This whole blogging thing kind of snuck up on me.} 

What else is planned for the space?  Nothing official yet, but when I sit and procrastinate folding clothes, my brain goes here...  new wall paint with possible stencil action on the back wall, an ironing board with fun fabric, homemade art, and improved organization for the shelf. 

I am challenging myself to use a lot of color in this laundry closet.  Thus, the buckets.  And perhaps why they immediately make me think of Dr. Seuss!  One thing that I love about following design blogs is that it gives me insight into my design style (newly learned fact: I am reeeeally comfortable with neutral colors).  Design blogs almost always expose me to colors and styles that I would never have previously considered.  Will they ever end up in my home?  We'll see how brave I am!

Kristin

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jolly.


Posted By: Anna

And so the journey begins….on a bit of a bumpy road!  After a day of productive crafting and thoughtful brainstorming, Kristin and I decided to start this blog.  Not thinking too much of it, I sat down to write my first post and immediately found that I have a lot to learn about blogging…

#1 – You need pictures, and they can’t be all pictures of the finished product
Said pictures of our crafting day will be all of the finished product.

#2  – Taking pictures can be difficult – taking GOOD pictures is even MORE difficult
Said pictures will not be very good, let's say that my picture quality could be a place where the blog "needs improvement”.  I mean we can’t start out as star bloggers right away!  J

When taking pictures you have to think of the background, the lighting, and make sure the actual product looks just as good as it does in real life – and let me tell you, it is NOT easy. 

I should have known this, I mean blogging is really all about the pictures.   Even if I was the most eloquent writer (I mean better than Shakespeare) a blog still needs pictures…so here goes my story of trying to take a picture of the Christmas Cards I made.

First, I thought the shelf would be good...


Too dark.  Then I tried the brown bar stool...


Still too dark and uncentered.  Clearly didn’t learn from the first try.  Third attempt was on the stair railing...


No good.  This just looks like a blurry card on a stair railing. But to keep in the Christmas spirit, maybe the stockings would work...


Nope.  The focus clearly has left the card, and went to the cute stocking holders.  So I went to something that would display the card as its focus – the kitchen floor...


No. Didn’t work either.  As beautiful as the floor is, no one wants to look at the floor.   So we went to the kitchen counter...


I am not sure this was a success either, but I was running out of places to put the dang card and thinking I was being ridiculous as I wandered around the house looking for someplace to “get a good picture” with it. 

The card is cute.  I promise.

That’s all I have for today! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hello.

Posted By: Anna & Kristin

We are so excited to start our blog and more than thrilled that you are visiting us! 

We were introduced to the blogging world a few years ago and have been fans ever since!  It's safe to say that we follow more than a few blogs!  We are constantly updating each other on new blog finds and talking about recent happenings in the blog world.

During a recent conversation, the idea came up to start our own blog.  Eeeek!  We figured that even if we are our only readers, it is bound to be a fun adventure.  We are not crazy, exciting, roller-coaster-riding type of gals, but we certainly find life entertaining!