New Additions to My Room

So remember back in ‘11 when I was redoing my room, and I posted photos of the various developments?  If you didn’t, you can check it out here, here, here, and here.

(Not that you have to.)

Well, recently, I have been adding some more fun touches to my room.

The first was inspired by some sticky jewels that my mom had.  They were my favorite colors, but I wasn’t sure what I should do with them.  And if I couldn’t find anything to do with them, she was going to get rid of them!  (OH NO!)

So I stuck them in a random pattern all over my fan.  And I LOVE it!  But then the little sticky jewels started falling off and sticking to the floor, so I had to reattach a WHOLE bunch, but I think I have most of the ones that are going/did reattached.  Basically, I hope that there are no more that are going to fall off.

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I love quotes.  I wanted some way to put quotes on my wall, but I am not that great at fancy handwriting, and I don’t always care for typed-up quotes (they have to be just-so).  I can’t remember where I had the idea, but I got a bunch of old magazines from work and cut out TONS (and I mean TONS) of letters.  Then I found several quotes I liked, and started taping up the letters.  I am not totally sure about the outcome.  What do you think?

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All the quotes

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Top – from “The Valley of Vision”
Bottom – can’t remember

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-Booker T. Washington

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Don’t know

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Top –  American Authors
Bottom right – Charles Spurgeon

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My Reading Nook and an Amazing “New Food”

I discovered an amazing “new food.”

It’s not totally new, since I am familiar with all the ingredients.  But the combination is new.

Are you ready?  Two words:

Stuffed Onions.

That says it all.

They are one of the most amazing things. Ever.  So simple and delicious.

I hadn’t really thought of onions as a side dish on their own until recently, when Mom was chatting with someone at the grocery store who would just serve sautéed onions with dinner, as a side.  I wanted to try that sometime – a big pile of onions.  Mmmm…

Then the other night I had some time, and I remembered the stuffed onion recipe that I had seen several years ago (I know, I know) in a cookbook I own, and I had to try it.

I altered the recipe a bit, since it originally called for bread, and I didn’t want to add any.  Well, really since I wanted to eat an onion.

They are SO TASTY.  The outside is a baked onion – cooked plain, not to talk it down – and the filling.  Oh the filling.  It is a combination of the centers of the onion that have been scraped out of the onions that have been sautéed, along with some bacon and cheese.  Delicious.

Stuffed Onions
Adapted from Fresh Flavor Fast (an AWESOME cookbook)

3 large onions (mine were very big), peeled
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into one-inch pieces
1/2-3/4 c. shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack, which was very, very good)
1/2 c. chicken broth.

Preheat the oven to 400*F. (See note)

Using a melon baller,  hollow out the centers of the onions, until the sides are about 1/4-1/2 inch thick (I just hollowed mine until the cave in the middle looked sizeable).  Place the onions in a pan (I had to split mine into two pans – an 8×8-inch pan would work, as well as a 9×13-inch pan.  Whatever your onions fit comfortably in).  Pour the chicken broth in the pan (not inside the onions), and cover the pans with foil.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the onions are soft when pierced with a paring knife.

Meanwhile, chop up the onion middles that have been scooped out.  Fry the bacon over medium heat until started to get crispy.  Add the onion, and sauté until soft, 10-15 minutes.  Drain off the fat.  Right before you stuff the onions, mix the cheese into the filling, reserving some to top the onions.

Pour the chicken broth out of the onion pans (reserve this, especially if it is bone broth!  It is now onion flavored).  Fill the onions with the filling, and top with cheese.  Bake at 450*F for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned.

Notes:  The original recipe had you bake the onions (before they are filled) at 450*F.  I baked two of my onions at 450*F, while I baked the other one at 400*F.  The one that I baked at 400*F had a much better color, and I liked how it came out more than the other two.  Either temp should work.

Next time I think I will stir some parsley flakes into the filling.  I was going to this time, but forgot. 🙂

 

On Thursday I cleaned up my room.  This wasn’t just a straighten-up-the-stuff clean up, but a real cleaning.  Going through drawers, and relocating accumulated junk stuff that has just been sitting around for WAY to long, and just needed to be put away.

(Really, there is a point to this.  Just bear with me.)

I cleaned out my vanity and moved it downstairs.  In the corner where it used to be I put a chair and a small table.  It is my new little reading nook! A comfortable spot to do my schoolwork.  Drake and I are sharing the chair, so I get it part of the week, and he gets it the rest of the time. I am really enjoying it!

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My cozy reading nook

 

Have a lovely Lord’s Day!

~Allison

‘Tis the Night Before Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you all had just as lovely of a Christmas Eve as we did.  We continued our tradition of having the W.’s over.  We had an awesome time! We talked, played a game, and stuffed ourselves with ate our traditional prime rib dinner.

I love our Christmas Eve tradition.  It is so fun, so laid back, that there is very little stress involved.  It makes for a great time.

Melissa and I decorated the table, which we did last year.  This year Mom had purchased a new candle centerpiece.  (I’m not sure where I was going with that.  But we’ll just leave it there anyway.)

Before the W.’s got here, I pulled the gingerbread cookies out and frosted them.  I must confess that I *sigh* ate a few.  *Sob*  I will try better next time. 

Voice #2:  BUT IT IS CHRISTMAS, right?  Do I get ANY cheating around Christmas?

Voice #1:  If you hadn’t been cheating as often, yes.

Voice #2: BUT…

Voice #1:  Oh, don’t even go there.

Voice #2:  Just…whatever.

 

Never mind. Sometimes these things just happen.

As I was saying, *cough* I decorated the cookies today.  I was trying to be artsy and creative (which, although I can be the latter, I am NOT the former by any vast stretch of the imagination).  I tried several different things (swirlies was my best), but then I got stuck on words.  Words are so fun.

I kept trying to write “twinkle” on a small star-shaped cookie, but all that would fit was “twink.”  I tried to get it to fit twice, but only ended up with “twink” both times.  Later, as I was looking at them, I realized that I had gotten confused as to where the “i” was, and had dotted the first stroke of the “w” both times.  So I ended up with “tiwnk,” or probably more like *tries to find letters that look like what she wrote* nope.  They don’t have the letters I was using on the keyboard.  How did that happen?

 

Wow.  Maybe I should write my posts this late at night all the time.  It might make things a bit more interesting.

And who knows what I will come up with?

Maybe it is better that I don’t.

 

So I had lots of fun with words.  You’ll see in the pictures.

 

Do you see how long (and how many interruptions – FROM MY OWN BRAIN) it took for me to say that?

 

Anyway, now for the pictures.

 

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Like you really have to write this on a cookie.

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This too

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Again, this was pretty obvious

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It turns out, “yum” is really fun to write in cursive in frosting.

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I started thinking about Christmas carols, and thought about “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”  Well, when there is white, it is often on a tree, right?  So I put white on a tree.

Sometimes I’m not sure that I make a whole lot of sense.  Or that if I do, it is a rather silly sense that I make.

Whatever that means. 

(I really should write my posts this late at night!  I’m much more fun!)

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When I showed this to Melissa, she said that I should have written “wish”  on it (when you wish upon a star).  I completely agree.  I will have to do that next time.

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Again, another very obvious one.  But I think this one is quite cute.

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An M&M!  Love those things.  Have you seen the Chocolate Mint ones?  Anyone tried them?  I haven’t, but they sure sound good!

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This next set of cookies was inspired by my sister’s piano theory book.

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They often have things to decorate with notes, rests, and such, and they tell you which thing gets which symbol with numbers.

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Kind of a “decorate-with-music-symbols-by-number” thing.

(I am sure they have a more official name, but, as has been previously stated, it is late.)

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So I decided to try decorating cookies with musical symbols.  I should have tried to do the bass clef over again.

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But treble clefs are just so much more fun to do.

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They fit really well on the tree cookies.

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I then started writing the titles of Christmas carols out on cookies.

(Ding Dong Merrily on High – I am going to put what each one is, since they are all not super easy to read.)

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One of my favorite Christmas songs (When Love Came Down)

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Christmas doesn’t fit on one cookie, or at least I didn’t think it would.  I didn’t try.  I might have ended up with something similar to “twink.”

(Sing We Now of Christmas)

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I love doing exclamation points!

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(Joy to the World – with an exclamation point!)

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(We Wish You a Merry Christmas)

 

And my grand masterpiece…

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This was SO FUN!

Thank you for putting up with all the cookie pictures.

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Our Christmas Eve table

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The centerpiece

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Reflection

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Beauty on a plate (what else can I say?)

 

Oh, and one more thing…

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Merry Christmas!  May you all have a lovely, lovely Christmas!

 

Much love to you all,
Allison

Thanksgiving

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!  I certainly did!  We spent the day at our friends’ home, with another family from church and a few other people. 

It was a lovely day – nice and warm, so we were able to be outside.  Our friends had set up an obstacle course outside, and we enjoyed running it, seeing who could get the best time.  I ran it with my little friend.  🙂

We had an early dinner, followed with a time of Thanksgiving and singing.  After that we had pie and visited.  The evening was wrapped up with a game of Scattergories (I LOVE that game!).

On a food note, the day before I made a grain-free apple pie for our celebration.  I was worried that it wouldn’t turn out, but I was quite happy with the outcome.  I based it on my regular apple pie and pie crust recipes.

And now, for the photos.  🙂

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The night before – making the grain-free apple pie

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The grain-free apple pie – when I was taking this picture I was thinking, “Let’s hope this works!”

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A little hot cocoa made with coconut milk, served in a pretty cup with a pretty spoon.  Ahhh….

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On Thanksgiving – my photographer friend 🙂

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*Smile*

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Mom running the obstacle course with Meimei

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The LOVELY table – Sarah, you did and AWESOME job!

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View from above

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With the candles lit and the cups filled

Confession:  Usually when I am at some sort of get-together, I take a bunch of photos at the beginning, then don’t take many more after that.  So, at this point in the evening, I put my camera down, and didn’t take any more photos until dessert.

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Pie time!

 

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

A Few Fun Finds

We went to a thrift store this week, and while we were there, I found some things for myself.  I usually don’t find that much, but I was blessed to find a book and a curtain/window treatment/thing.  I really don’t know what it is called.  All I know is that it is cute, purple, matches my room, and is cute.  (Did I mention it was cute?)

So I found a curtain thing.  It was only $1.50, so I decided to take the chance of it not matching and brought it home.  Thankfully, it matched!  I took it and looped it above my window, with both of the ends hanging on one side.  You’ll see much better in the picture.  I will probably change it some, as I put it up at 10:30 last night, just to see how it looks.

The book I found is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I have heard about this book, but have never looked at it.  I found it for $1.50 in practically new condition.  I made one of the recipes for wheat bread yesterday, and I am planning to bake some on Monday.  I’ll tell you how it turns out.

Those were my finds for the week.  I just love getting great things at the thrift store.  It takes some patience, but can be quite rewarding.

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My window (Hi! Can you see me in the window?)

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And my book (Mmmmm)

And don’t forget, if you haven’t yet entered the giveaway, go here to enter!

Christmas Decorations and Traditions

Something that my mom likes to do is buy fun candles at thrift stores.  We have been saving some Christmas candles since this summer, and today Mom and I went to some thrift stores and found some more fun candles, most of them for Christmas.

With those candles, Christmas lights, and some leftover branches from our Christmas tree, I have been having lots of fun decorating around the house.  Of course, Christmas decorations have also proven to be quite fun to photograph.

I also cut out some gingerbread cookies today.  They are one of my dad’s favorites.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?  We have a few – outside of the traditional opening gifts and having a tree.  We usually have our big dinner on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas day.  This tradition comes down from my mom’s side of the family.  They always celebrated on Christmas Eve, having their big meal and opening gifts then.  Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is Prime Rib.  I can’t remember ever having anything else.

Another tradition has to do with our pickle ornament.  On Christmas morning (or whenever we are opening gifts) Dad hides the pickle, usually on the tree (although last year he hung it from a light fixture:)).  Whoever finds the pickle first gets to give the first gift.

A rather new tradition is that the week of Christmas we watch a movie series.  This started the year my grandma passed away, when my mom was out of town, so Dad and the children watched all the Star Wars movies that week.  It was so fun, we did it again the next year.  This year we aren’t watching a series.  So far we have watched some DreamWorks Christmas shorts, “Tangled,” and yesterday we saw “Hugo.”  They’ve all been good.

Something that I’m hoping will continue being a tradition is having Mr.W. and his daughter over for dinner on Christmas Eve.  Last year when they came over we had SO MUCH FUN!  It will be fun having them over tomorrow for dinner.

I am looking forward to our Christmas.  I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

 

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Rolling out the cookie dough

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Holly

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All ready to go into the oven

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Ready to be frosted

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An ornament on our tree

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I love out of focus lights

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I wrapped our bunk bed with lights

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More lights on our bed

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This is one of the candles for our centerpiece

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One candle like this will be  on each side of the centerpiece

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Some of the candles we bought today

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Lit for dinner

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