Google+  with milk and sugar blog: 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

JOY to the world! the Lord has come.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; 
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
{Isaiah 9:6}
And the angel said to her,
Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor
with God. And behold,
you will conceive in your womb
and bear a son, and
you shall call his name 
{Luke 1:30-31}
And being found in human form, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death
on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and
bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that
at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth
{Philippians 2:8-10}

Friday, December 21, 2012

High Five for Friday

Linking up with Lauren from From My Grey Desk today. Everyday this week has felt like Friday. It’s been pretty awesome actually.
We did Secret Santa this week in my office, so throughout the week I was sneaking presents over to the person I had and having things magically appear on my desk when I turned my back. It was so fun! It felt like Christmas came early. The person who had me clearly knows I have a baking obsession – here is my new mini muffin/cupcake pan with reusable silicone liners.

This week, like this season is general, revolved around eating. Snacked on these sweet and tangy jalapeno peppers. They are amazing atop a cracker with cream cheese.

Wednesday we had our party for the high school small group I lead. 10 teenage girls, cookie dough, Just Dance 3, Quelf (hilarious board game), a jar of onion dip and a bag of potato chips. That pretty much sums up our night.

My new rose gold watch from the Red Circle Boutique (aka Target). Wore it yesterday with a fitted plaid button down under a dark grey cashmere sweater. This this may be my Christmas outfit this year.

Lastly, the enormous Christmas tree in the student lobby of my work. It is at least 11 feet tall and just gorgeous.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles {w/ recipes}

hellos dears. Five more days.... yay!

Today I had the privilege to guest post over at Chelsea's Culinary Indulgence as part of her 12 Days of Christmas Treats. I made these delicious Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles.

These were surprisingly easy and so delicious.
Perfect for that special holiday party or to give as gifts!
{A bit better than the 7 Swans-a-swimming you'd normally receive on the 7th day}

So go say hi to Chelsea (she's adorable!)
and let me know what you think about the treat I shared.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ornament Gift Exchange {w/ gifts}

Last week I received my ornament from the Ornament Exchange over at Henning Love.

This is the first exchange I’ve participated in and I had so much fun! It was fun to get to know my swapping partner, Stephanie from Big Mario Life, and go shopping for that perfect ornament for her. You can see what I got her over at her blog today. Of course, the other fun part of doing an exchange is actually receiving a gift! Getting my ornament in the mail last week really made it feel like Christmas is here!

Monday, December 17, 2012

silence. tomorrow.

Like many, the tragedy in Connecticut has been weighing on my heart since the moment I first heard the news. I see the pictures and read the stories and am just physically consumed with pain for these families. The innocent children so senselessly taken from this world and the brave adults whose lives were spent teaching and helping children, also lost them trying protect them. 

Tomorrow, there will be a blogger day of silence. We will post the button below and nothing else.

Funds are also being raised to help the families affected by this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service:

 "Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential.  NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Weekly update.
So, if you haven't noticed, I've been MIA this week.
I have a bad habit of taking on more than I can handle. If you can believe it, a few months ago I thought I would post every day in December. I was going to call it Daily December (creative, I know). But truth is there is just way too much fun stuff going on this month! Too many dinners with friends, too much baking Christmas goodies, hours spent enjoying a cozy fire, gallons of gas used driving around looking at lights, way too much being merry at holiday parties - and hardly any time preparing blog posts.
So here are a few mini updates for you....
 Next week I am guest posting on Chelsea's Culinary Indulgence. She has a cute series set up, The 12 Days of Christmas Treats. The series started today with Spiced Eggnog Donuts (yum!) and will continue through Christmas day. Be sure to check it out to see all the fun treats that are planned. I will be posting on the 20th with a decadently rich, holiday chocolate treat.

12 Days of Christmas Treats
Yesterday I got my ornament from the HenningLove Christmas Ornament Swap. I was so excited to get something in the mail I almost ripped it open right away. But then I remembered, I am a blogger. So I must first document with pictures. That post is coming next week, December 19th.
Also, next week I will be sharing some home-made gift ideas. Perfect for your palate and budget. Expect to see soup mixes in jars and sweet breads in snowflake ceramic baking dishes.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

20 more days... {w/ crafts}

hello friends.

Can you believe Christmas is less than 3 weeks away? Positively insane. Today I am guest posting over at Wannabe Green. I'm sharing some fun Christmas ornaments I made, like the ones here:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Spicy, Smoky Chipotle Mac & Cheese {w/ recipes}

hi guys! happy Friday! If you have not yet entered the GIVEAWAY, you can do so here. All you need to do is comment with your entry and I will be picking a winner next Wednesday.

So, today is a very special day. Today, is my sweet husband's birthday. We are celebrating with dinner tonight at the Melting Pot. I've never been before, but I've heard that it's amazing. I'm ready to chow down and have my first real fondue experience. Mmmm... cheesy!

Speaking of cheese, this spicy chipotle mac & cheese is pretty amazing. It's got a kick, that's for sure. It's a really simple recipe, and surprising healthy. At least, it's healthy for macaroni and cheese. In fact the original recipe came from Cooking Light. I adjusted the recipe quite a bit though, given my opposition to bell peppers and onions. But the end result is pretty tasty if I can say so myself. It's also husband approved.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

GIVEAWAY...A few of my favorite things... {w/ gifts}

**Giveaway Closed**

If you were brave enough to go shopping yesterday morning - my hat's off to you. I stayed inside, worked on a few crafts, and pretended not to be home when people came to my door to sell things {did I just admit that? (In my defense, I'm a bit paranoid and never answer the door when the husband is out.)}.

So whether you got up at oh-dark-thirty yesterday to shop, or stayed home like me, here is a way to get a steal of a deal without leaving the house.

In celebration of 50 GFC followers, I am hosting a little giveaway to show my appreciation.

I've put together a few goodies that are sure to come in handy this holiday season...

1.Food Made Fast One Pot meals by Williams Sonoma. This small, hard cover cook book has tons of great meal ideas that are easy to make, and use one pot (easy cleanup, hurray!).

2. I don't know about you, but I am in love with all those cute little paper straws I've seen on blogs and around Pinterest. These red and green striped ones will be perfect to celebrate in style this holiday season.

3. Brrrr! It's cold out there. Cozy up to the fire with this retro hot cocoa mix. I LOVE the Rudolph movie and couldn't resist this cute little tin. 

4. Lastly, in the true nature of this blog, I had to include something baking related. Considering my latest party go-to has been cupcakes, I found these adorable snowflake and reindeer cupcake liners and little flags. 

Keep everything for yourself, or give something away, it's your choice. I have no qualms with re-gifting :) 

Here are the deets:
There are up to 4 entries available per person. Leave a separate comment for each entry. I will use a random number generator to get our lucky winner.

1. Follow w/milk & sugar via GFC.
2. Like w/milk & sugar blog on Facebook.
3. Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.
4. Mention and link this giveaway in a blog post, tweet, or on your Facebook page.

This giveaway will end Wednesday, December 5th. 
A winner will be announced below and contacted by email. 

** This giveaway is only open to US residents of the 48 contiguous states. 
Apologies to my friends living outside those boundaries.**

Good luck! And again, thank you so very much! Reading comments and getting to know fellow bloggers has made this whole experience so much more fun. I didn't expect that when I started. I thought I would photograph my projects, write a little blurb, and be happy knowing that I had cataloged my domestic adventures. I never imagined the sense of community I would feel. It's been incredible.

UPDATE: The lucky winner is Karri. I will be emailing you for your address tonight :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

giving thanks {w/ reflection}

give thanks.


Today, as you sit around the table and prepare to indulge in the annual favorites - sweet potatoes with marshmallows, mashed potatoes with extra butter, cornbread sausage stuffing, pumpkin pie, and of course the crème de la crème , turkey – I hope you take time to consider what it really means to give thanks.

Being thankful is not reserved for a particular Thursday in November. Nor is it just something you think about before a meal, or maybe at the end of the day. Gratitude should be reflected in the way you think, act, and react, everyday

In my life I am loved by so many wonderful people. I have always had more than what I needed. And I’ve never had more than I could handle. I know I haven’t earned even half of the blessing in my life, which leads me to believe that there is someone to be thankful to.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Even when I face struggles, I choose to give thanks continually. 
May your day be filled with joy as you celebrate with loved ones.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

it's a major award.... {w/ blogger awards}


Source: via Kristin on Pinterest

A few things... First, a big THANKS to everyone who follows this blog. I just hit 50 followers! And while that may not be much to some people, it seriously means a lot to me. Second, in thanks for everyone who has followed my little blog, I will be hosting a giveaway very soon. More to come in the next few days. Third, I was recently nominated for a blogger award by my dear friend Katie at Unwritten.

I feel so lucky to be nominated for the Liebster Award. "Liebster" means darling or beloved person in German.

The rules are as follow:

1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.

11 Facts:
1. I LOVE the color green.
2. I am very competitive (although most people don’t think so until they play a game with me).
3. I lived in the same house until I was 18.
4. I don’t particularly like cake, but I love cupcakes.
5. I lead a small group of high school girls at my church.
They make me feel young and old at the same time. 
6. I was the captain of my varsity tennis team in high school.
7. My husband and I met at church, nearly 7 ½ years ago. 
8. I am {not-so-secretly} celebrity obsessed.
It is my guilty pleasure.
9. I love the smell of asphalt after the rain. I also just love the rain.
10. I put garlic on {nearly} EVERYTHING.
11. I would love to have my own business… someday.

Katie’s Questions:

1. What was your first car?
A 1996 Forest Green Volvo sedan. We just sold it last year.

2. What is your drink of choice at Starbucks (or anywhere)?
I change it up a lot. In the summer I love unsweetened iced green teas or upside down iced caramel macchiattos. In the cooler months I like vanilla soy lattes or other flavored lattes (lately I’ve been getting Pumpkin Spice but with not as much pumpkin)

3. What is the first thing you do when you turn on your computer?
I check my email. Even though I check it a bunch on my phone throughout the day. Then I go to Blogger. Then Facebook. Then Pinterest.

4. What is your favorite cake? White or Chocolate cake? Or are you a Carrot cake fan?
Well given my random fact #4, I don’t particularly care for cake (even though I bake all the time). But I prefer chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, or red velvet. My husband is a carrot cake person.

5. What is your favorite verse or quote?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be renewed by the transforming of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Romans 12:10-13

6. What song can you listen to over and over again?
Anything by The Shins.

7. Ross, Chandler, or Joey?

That’s a tough one, but probably Chandler. I did name my dog after him.

8. What is a perfect day for you?
Waking up naturally, “pinning” on the couch or in bed while watching t.v., making a delicious breakfast.
Followed by a few hours of crafting, cooking, baking, and/or blogging. Going for a walk with my husband and pup.
An hour at a coffee shop for a little bible study, then meeting up with friends for dinner and game night. A perfect day!

9.Where did you get married/want to get married?
I got married outside at a golf course in northern San Diego. You can read about it here.
It was in front of a gazebo and completely surrounded by flowered hedges.

10. Which do you prefer-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?
Fall is my favorite. Along with smiling.

11. What has become your favorite thing about blogging?
I love that it gives me the motivation to try new things and actually do stuff
so I can post about it on my blog.
It’s also been wonderful “meeting” so many great people.


My Questions

1. What is your favorite holiday food?
2. What would your dream house/apartment/condo look like?
3. If you could live a day in the life of another person (any time, place, etc)
who would it be and why?
4. What is your favorite childhood memory?
5. Salty, sweet or savory?  
6. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
7. What places are on your travel bucket list? (Places you just have to see someday)  
8. What is your funniest cooking story?
(pizza box catching on fire, putting ½ cup oregano instead of ½ tablespoon, etc)
9. Do you have/want children? If so how many?
10. What is your all-time favorite movie?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Life lately {w/ fun}

My life lately, according to Insta.Gram.

You can follow me here.

Lunch time bible study, trying to prepare a new small group series
for my high schoolers on a Proverbs 31 woman.
Anyone know any good resources? 

Spent a day learning how to grade pearls -fun!

Poor Chandler has been freezing lately. Any given night you
will find him bundled up in his Christmas sweater in front of the fire.
He is constantly pushing his bed closer and closer to the fire.

A few weeks ago we visited some friends up in LA and
went to the famous Porto's Bakery. This mango mousse was delicious.
And lastly, my new mason jar candle from the project I did last week.
Creating the perfect ambience for Thanksgiving is key.

How are your holiday plans coming along? Only 2 more days until Thanksgiving...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Mason Jar Candleholder {w/ crafts}

Last night the smell of vanilla candles filled my small condo. It was cold outside, and my pup Chandler was buried beneath a throw blanket on the couch. Cupcakes were baking in the oven and I was mixing up some salted caramel butter cream frosting. I was in my element.  

I love my alone time when I am working on a project – baking, crafting, even blogging. It’s relaxing but because I am doing something, there’s a sense of accomplishment.

The candles burning last night were in my new mason jar candle holders that I made last weekend. I did this same project last year and liked it so much I knew I had to make another one. It is such an easy craft and I think it is adorable.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Iced Pumpkin Cookies {w/ recipes}

I've taken these delicious pumpkin cookies to several different parties over the years and they are always a hit. They're not quite cookie texture - some people have called them scones since their shape is similar, but these are very moist and almost cake/bread like. They're not overly sweet, but still a perfect treat for a cool fall day. Drizzled with a little icing and they're not bad to look at either. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Resolutions

You know those things you talk about doing but never actually do? You’ve tried time and time again, but somehow each time you always fall a little bit short. Yet no matter how many times you’ve tried (and failed) you keep at it, each time saying, “This time will be different. This time I will actually accomplish my goal.”

 Well folks, I’m here to tell you, this time will be different. This year, I am going to accomplish my goal: complete my Christmas shopping before December. I say it each and every year. And not because I am one of those super-organized people who like to have everything done ahead of time. Believe me, I’m not. When it comes to work, yes sometimes most of the time. But in my day to day life I am a last minute, put makeup on in the car, buy the gift on the way to the party type of gal.

No, I set this goal each year because I know finishing my shopping early would hugely de-stress my life. Let me explain, I am horrible at getting gifts for people. Every once in a while I will come up with a great gift idea. Usually at the most inopportune time, like smack dab in the middle between the person’s birthday and Christmas. But most of the time I am at a complete loss for what to get people. It seriously stresses me out. 

Last year I did not even come close to accomplishing my goal. In large part because I was so busy planning my husband’s surprise birthday party and my bestie’s bachelorette party. It was a very busy time of year...

 But this year, I am giving myself a deadline. I can do it… right?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Hope you are having a "spooktacular" day.

I’m loving… that today is October 31st. I’m not a huge fan of Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against it. I used to love dressing up to trick-or-treat or going to parties. This year I dressed 80s style -  big hair, lots of eye shadow, fuchsia lipstick, the works.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Simple Kale Salad {w/ recipes}

Have you noticed that kale has been all the rage lately? It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is raving about the benefits of kale: everything from lowering your cholesterol to preventing cancer.

And what's not to love? Kale is nutrient rich and delicious. It is packed with calcium, vitamin A, C, and K, and fiber.

I love to add it to my morning juice, hearty soups, sautee it with a little olive oil, bake it to make dried kale chips, and use it in a salad, like my recipe today.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kittens!!! {w/ cuteness}

Having a rough day? Feeling a bit blue? Well hopefully the pictures below will put a smile on your face.

Our friend's cat had kittens recently. They were an "accident", but adorable none the less. They all piled into the dog's food dish for snuggle time.

Poor mama Rosie, she's got her paws full. 

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Raw Carrot Ginger Soup (w/ health}

This past weekend the husband and I visited our friends in LA. They took us out to their favorite places, which, when you're visiting two foodies, pretty much revolved around eating. We ate, and ate, and ate some more. I'm still stuffed. The food was delicious - but today all I want to do is eat fresh fruits and vegetables, to try to make up for the exorbitant amount of meat consumed at Korean BBQ and a Dim Sum brunch.

And while I can't pretend like I am always a healthy eater, because you can find evidence of the contrary herehere, and here, I do try to have balance. I love fruits and vegetables, and try to make them the centerpiece of a meal when possible, like here.

Tonight for dinner is a recipe I found a few weeks ago, when my hubby and I decided to follow a 5 day meal plan for a Reboot. Have you seen the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead? It's all about the benefits of juicing and a journey to regain health. Despite the film's name, it's not one of those stomach churning, hard to watch films. It is thought provoking, informative, but also encouraging.

The meal plan we followed had tons of great "clean" recipes for juices and meals, including a delicious roasted acorn squash and this raw carrot ginger soup.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting!

Honestly, what did we do before Pinterest?
It is without a doubt, my favorite social media site.
I learn more about my friends by their pins than what they post on Facebook.
Thanks to Pinterest I know how to rock a sock bun, bake bread in a crockpot, and clean everything with vinegar.

Here are a few of my favorite pins from the last week:
Butternut Squash Soup (w/ bacon)
 Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
New uses for bottles
 Essie's "Smokin' Hot" polish
 I could live here...
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