Miel et Cannelle

Romans 8:38. Nothing can take away this joy.

Delicious Thumbprint Cookies

Finally, I’m home. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as hot outside as I had hoped it would be. So I’ve been spending my days reading for fun (and not for nursing), writing, crocheting more headbands (buy them at my Etsy store!) and cooking. The other night we had Chicken Tostadas at Casa Thomsen, paired nicely with some gourmet Thumbprint Cookies whipped up by yours truly.

I'm ready to bake!

What I really love about making Thumbprint Cookies (besides the fact that they’re yummy) is that they are so simple. Often times I decide to make them and find that I have all the ingredients in the house already, which makes me feel like I’m cooking for free. I just put on my Gipsy Kings album (my preferred cooking tunes), forget to wear an apron, and get cracking in the kitchen. From starting ingredients to finished cookies, it only takes about 30 minutes–and your house smells awesome afterward! After doing some research online I found that there are (gasp!) even simpler recipes for these cookies out there–however, these cookies are so perfect that I wouldn’t dare to put anything less into them.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of softened butter

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup of sifted flour

2 tablespoons of milk (I use lowfat or nonfat, and they come out just fine)

Preserves of your choice (this time around, I did half apricot/peach, half fig)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until fluffy. Blend in flour and milk with a hand mixer (or your own arm and whisk, if you’re strong–I’m too wimpy for that). Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Make small indentation with thumb in center of each ball, then use a teaspoon to fill the indentation with your preserves. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or longer, depending on your oven. I usually check on them after about 12 minutes and give them more time as necessary. Yields about a dozen and a half cookies, depending on how much cookie dough you eat.

Voilà!

Not to be bragadocious, but can I just say that these cookies knock those Knott’s Berry Farm ones out of the ballpark. I could eat them all day, everyday. In fact, they just need a whole new food group. The apricot/peach ones are absolutely divine and the fig were even tastier than I thought–sort of an uppercrust Fig Newton, only better. Here’s to simple recipes that make you look like a pro chef! Now go whip up a batch of your own, will ya? I have more cookies to eat.

I Love It When

And so begins a new series of posts I’ll be sharing called “I Love It When.” Inspired by this blog, I wanted to begin an itemized list of things that I love. Most importantly though, I want to give thanks where thanks is due–God. So, here it goes.

I love it when someone illegally copies my debit card to buy over $500 worth of gasoline in six days.

No, that’s not sarcasm. And yes, you read it right. As some of you may have heard, last night I was checking my online banking statement (which I rarely do) in order to retrieve my account number to pay a bill. To my surprise, there was significantly less money than I expected there to be. I don’t know how many of you have experienced something like this—but I would be lying if I didn’t say that my immediate reaction was to panic. I could feel the blood pumping extra hard, extra fast through my heart and I stood up immediately, my thoughts going a gazillion miles an hour. I racked my brain–no, I didn’t lend anyone my card. I didn’t leave it anywhere. It’s in my wallet for goodness sake!

After a few deep breaths and talking myself down from the proverbial tree, I began to see a little more clearly. I figured out how many charges were fraudulent, so that I could clearly explain what happened to the fraud specialist. I prayed when I was on hold with Chase’s fraud department. I asked God to give me the strength, wisdom and maturity to handle the situation. I was cool, calm and collected, as they say. I was going to be an adult about this. Hey, I’m twenty years old now. No more teenage tears to cry…right??

As soon as I heard the fraud specialist’s friendly, “How can I help you?” I immediately burst into tears. I might as well have been six years old again. Thankfully, she was very kind and reassuring, informing me that I most likely ran my card through a skimming device while trying to pay for something. Unbeknownst to me, the machine copied my card to be used by a thief later on. With my card closed and no more fraudulent charges to fear, I began to take account (no pun intended) of what had just occurred. I decided it was time God and I had a little chit chat.

And then I realized that as angry and as hurt and as violated as I felt by that stranger (probably a taxi driver, as far as I’ve figured based on the timing and the fact that all the purchases were for gasoline)–I still have so much to be thankful for. All the money I lost is being refunded to my account by Chase–by the way, their fraud services are amazingly helpful so if you bank through them and this happens to you, do not fret.

More importantly though, I realized that God didn’t let that happen to me to make my life a hassle. He didn’t do that to prevent me from studying for one of the 4 exams I have before next Thursday. And he didn’t do it to make me angry. He did it to quell my fears–fears that I can’t take care of myself, fears that I am too immature, fears that when the chips are down, I’ll just fold. I realized–for the first time–that I CAN take care of myself. I didn’t call my mom first, or my dad first, or my boyfriend first, or any of my friends. I just called the bank, prayed, handled it. And you know what? I’m going to be ok.

I love it when God is faithful, because you know what? He promised.

Today’s the day!

My Etsy store is now officially open for business! Ah, feels good to get something accomplished. I don’t have a TON of items for sale just yet, but it’s a start. I just needed to get it out there. The link is on the right hand side of this page, or you can just click here

Happy shopping!

Busy little bee

Since my birthday is later this month and since I will be back in Chicago by then, my trip home so far has been a lot of birthday fun. My mom surprised me with this beauty:

Love it!

And, as an added bonus, my grandma gifted me a 3 hour private sewing lesson! It ended up being a HUGE help because as much as I love teaching myself new things and figuring them out myself, I realized after the instructor taught me how to operate the machine that there was little to no chance I would’ve figured that out alone.

For the past couple of days I’ve basically been sitting in my sew-happy isolation, trying to become an expert as quickly as possible. It’s really been fun and has definitely been a lesson in patience. For my first project, I made my mom a little purse for her birthday, which is nine days before mine.

Mom's purse--tan with light blue lining and a bow

I’ll admit, it didn’t come out quite as I had planned. Mom picked a chiffon fabric for the lining so it was too delicate to sew in the interfacing (thicker material that gives the purse some weight) and the cardboard into the bottom. So it’s just a different look than the pattern called for, but I think it’s pretty good for my first project.

After I finished that, I used that top sheet I had bought at  Salvation Army to make a little makeup bag. I really like how this came out, especially since it was my first time sewing in a zipper. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

Putting my thrift store buy to good use

Mom liked mine, so she asked me to make one for her too. So we headed over to Joann’s fabrics and she picked out a liner and an outside fabric. I picked out a few new fabrics too for my future makeup bag endeavors. You’ll just have to wait till those are done to see them though :)

Here’s Mom’s makeup bag:

Mom's pink makeup bag

I inverted the top a little so you could see the pink lining. The outside is white with a cute pink embroidered design. She wanted a thinner zipper so it didn’t come out quite as sturdy. I also made it a little bigger than I intended to so it’s almost the size of another purse! Oh well.

The sewing machine is all packed away to make the trip back to Chicago with me. I’m back to crocheting for right now. Tonight I decided to try a new headband pattern I came across a few weeks ago. I think it came out pretty cute, and wasn’t too time consuming.

Modeling the new headband--super comfy!

It ties in the back with a delicate little bow

So that’s what I’ve been up to the past few days. Busy busy busy. But, I like it. Can’t I just get my Bachelor’s of Crocheting and Sewing? Sigh.

Swap-meeting and Teacup Candle-ing

First and foremost, I am SO happy to have a break from school. I haven’t had any time to craft lately so my mom and I are taking this time to create as much as possible. So this morning we got up early and made our way over to the Westminster Swap Meet to find some long lost treasures. After wading through discarded beanie babies, old VHS tapes and what must have been a million mismatched earrings, we happily rushed home to begin creating. Aside from 5 antique teacups (2 of which came with the matching saucers), I am very excited to inform you that, for only $1.75, I also got…

My very own lavender plant!

I know, very exciting. Come May, I may just have some new lavender-themed crafts. Perfume? Tea? Sachets? Oh the possibilities are just endless. But I digress. What we did today was upcycle the antique teacups into some cute, anthropologie-esque candles.

Let me tell you, it was quite a process. The measuring cup is still coated in wax, sitting in the sink. My wrist hurts from scraping the wax off of it in between colors. But, I am happy with the results! I think they came out pretty cute.

The end result

These are two of the finished ones, with the blue candle still setting in the background. I think the brown is my favorite.

Another of my favorites

Still need to cut the wick on that one, but I love how it looks next to the bright lemons from the backyard!

Puppy watching intently

The little one liked to watch us make a mess of the kitchen. She finally stopped trying to rip the donut toy up and posed for a cute photo op.

Perfectly portable

These two candles are actually in those tiny single serving jam containers you can find in hotels and such places. My mom loves to save cute containers, which may explain my container obsession. But how cute are these?? We could only find one of the lids, but I think they look just fine without them. Perfect for a little spontaneous candlelight.

All of the candles together

So here’s all the candles together, nine in all. This took about 3-4 hours–most of which was spent waiting while the old candles melted so we could reuse the wax. Definitely a fun way to kick off my creations this week. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store–stay tuned!

Electrolyte Disorders Votive Holder

This one goes out to my fellow nursing students. I went thrift shopping round two with Ligin today. We tried a new place and weren’t that impressed. However, I did find this awesome book:

I was destined to find this bad boy

Somehow I waded through the hodge-podge of musty sweaters and used pantyhose (people buy that?) to find a book on Renal and Electrolyte Disorders, which coincidentally is what we’ve been covering so far in Pathophysiology. About 50% of the book is on stuff we’ve covered already, such as hypernatremia, hypokalemia, etc. Fascinating stuff, really.

I knew once I flipped through it and saw all the pretty graphs, flowcharts and histology pictures that I had a purpose for this book: a new votive holder. And ta-da! After  about an hour of hunching over on my bedroom floor with my mod podge, I present to you my very own Electrolyte Imbalance Votive Holder:

Isn't it grand?

Sure to help you study--by candlelight!

In case you need to remember the structure of aldosterone

This votive holder features your favorite imbalances, such as: Hyponatremia, metabolic and respiratory acidosis and alkalosis, with a guest star appearance by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system!

Happy studying!

One step closer…

to opening my Etsy store!

I finished making this tutu the other night and finally took a picture of the finished product. I might make a few minor tweaks but I’m pretty satisfied with the result. I hope you like it!

 

Handcrafted tutu, elastic waistband fits 24" to 36" waist

If it sells in my shop I’ll definitely make more, and take requests for specific colors. This one is burgundy with some mauve accent.

All things to do with love

February 14th, 2011

8:30am: Wake-up call, way too soon

10:25am: Anatomy lecture begins

10:26-11:14am: Proceed to search for crafts on StumbleUpon and muffle my own laughter while browsing Regretsy

11:15am: Anatomy lecture ends

12:20pm: Andrew’s train should arrive

1:35pm: Andrew’s train does arrive

2:48pm: Andrew arrives at my apartment. We exchange Valentine’s cards and then leave for Shedd Aquarium

3:52 pm: We arrive at Shedd Aquarium in time to hear an employee explain to the man behind us in line that he “can’t purchase tickets for the water show in until the day of the show,” because they’re “live animals” and sometimes they “don’t feel like performing.”

3:53pm: Andrew gets excited about poison arrow frogs

4:01pm: Andrew gets excited about anaconda

4:05pm: Andrew secretly decides to make it his personal mission to photograph everything in the aquarium

4:35pm: Andrew finds a new buddy

4:40pm: After a billion tries, we get a picture of us together

4:59pm: I sneak a quick photo-op with my favorite little guy

5:05pm: Hugs and kisses

5:12pm: Andrew mourns the loss of his beloved Bears

6:15pm: We arrive at Adobo. Andrew scarfs down his chicken mole enchilada, then works on mine

Fin!

To round out this little lovey dovey post, here’s one of my favorite poems by e.e. cummings:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


 

 

Sew much fun

Pardon the cheesy title, but I just completed my first two sewing projects today. I’m building up a store of handmade things in preparation of launching my own Etsy store. So stay posted because that should be up soon, provided I can keep up this level of crafting. Last night I started making an infinity scarf out of some of my Salvation Army t-shirts. Don’t worry–I washed them first! It actually came out pretty neat although I haven’t finished all the detail yet. I also decided to add a little flair to one of my plain headbands. If you know me at all you know that I am a headband fool. I wear them almost everyday as an alternative to ponytails because my hair tends to get in my face a lot.

My new headband!

I just used an old skirt and scraps from the shirts I used to make the scarf and after a little bit of logistics I fashioned a flower! I think it adds a little something special. I’ll probably make a few more to put in my shop so if you like headbands as much as I do look out for them once I launch my store. Let me know what you think!

Crafting Craze

I’ve been in a crafting frenzy lately. For the past three days, I’ve been on StumbleUpon (check the links) looking at craft sites and drooling over repurposed t-shirt fashions. So much so that today after class, my friend Ligin and I braved the freezing cold (and snow) to make the trek over to Salvation Army. It was her first trip (cute!) and I was on a mission: find cheap, reusable t-shirts, bedsheets, fabrics, etc. I just love thrifting. For $15, I bought: one absolutely adorable shabby chic bedsheet in perfect condition, 5 shirts, a brown leather belt (I just wanted it), a glass votive holder and a vintage book. I have a zillion crafts coming up and it would take me forever to explain them all–so I won’t. Suffice it to say that I will be having some great posts coming up, some tutorials and some shots of the finished products.

 

One of my finds–isn’t this pattern just fantastic?

In other news, I received a care package today from my mother dearest. We had found this dress on ebay while I was home for Christmas break and it finally arrived, so she sent it out in time for me to have for Valentine’s day.

 

I feel like a ballerina!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to wear it outside seeing as it was only 7 degrees the last time I checked. But, I told my mom that I love it so much that I’ll try and find a way to wear it. I’m not above wearing it over jeans. I’ll do it. So if you see some short little girl prancing down the streets of Chicago in a tutu over jeans and snowboots, give me a shout.

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