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The reality of having a newborn means that most mornings I’m waking up to some cute little baby cries and need to throw on my glasses and slippers get to feeding her before a meltdown ensues. If I’m super lucky, my husband has already made the pot of coffee and I’ll grab a mug before the baby squeaks turn to screams. I’m usually starving when I wake up (feeding this kid has made me more hungry now than I ever was while pregnant!) so I have gotten into the habit the past few weeks of grabbing a granola bar to eat quickly during that first feeding of the day. It’s easy to grab and I can eat it one handed, so it’s the perfect snack to curb my early morning stomach grumbling. read more

I am not feeling so hot this week, I’ve come down with a pretty terrible cold and just can’t seem to bounce back! So I made it my mission last night to get on the road to recovery with a pot of homemade soup. I took a stab at a tortellini soup I saw in the most recent issue of Food Network magazine and made a few modification like adding in chopped onions and extra garlic to the recipe (and omitting the water they suggested). And it was just want the doctor ordered, a totally delicious soup can do wonders. Find the full recipe here.

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I tried my hand and some homemade pasta this weekend, and finally got a chance to use the pasta machine we got for our wedding — the process of making pasta seems so daunting at first, but it’s actually amazingly simple, and so worth the effort! I tried two different methods, the first was a classic all-purpose flour and eggs combination, and the second used an egg flour and water.  I also tried two different fillings with the dough variations, one was a ricotta, parmesan, and Italian sausage stuffing that I served with a red sauce, and the other was a butternut squash with maple brown sugar that my in-laws brought home to me from Vermont — I served those  with brown butter and toasted pine nuts.  I preferred the egg flour for a stuffed pasta like this, and think the all-purpose flour works better for a cut pasta like fettucini, but overall: YUM. Luckily I made about a gazillion of each, so I will be enjoying leftovers all week!

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Ready for the last installment of Handmade Holidays? There is no sweeter gift than homemade treats! 

Remember when I said this was the easiest DIY holiday present? I lied — it gets easier! Grab a package of Tollhouse chocolate chips from the grocery store and using the recipe on the back measure out all of the dry ingredients, layering them one by one in a mason jar. Next, write the recipe out on a pretty piece of paper and stick it on top of the jar, and finally, adorn the front with a personalized message and some ribbon (I printed my message out on Martha Stewart Avery Labels). How easy was that? Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Handmade Holidays Gift ideas here, here, here, and here!

Next up in the Handmade Holidays series is a set of glitter coated hangers, the perfect gift for a stylish friend!

In my opinion, you can’t go wrong when you coat something in glitter — am I right? I started this project with inexpensive wooden hangers, and painted them with a layer of mod podge. Quickly, before the glue dries, sprinkle glitter until you coat the wood.  After this layer dries, go back over with another layer of mod podge to coat the hangers and seal in the glitter — you might need more than one coat depending on the thickness of your application. And there you have it, some sparkly gifts for your favorite clothes horse! (I love these so much that I might save one to hang my wedding dress on this Spring!)

 

Next up in the Handmade Holidays series has a little bit of glitz — a decorative candle holder with gold polka dots!

I love the idea of using this handmade holiday gift for a little hostess treat when you’re visiting friends for the holidays. To start I used a craft punch to cut out circles on a piece of thick cardstock, then taped the cardstock around the candle holder to create a stencil. From there, it’s as simple as filling in your polka dots with a metallic sharpie — you can add-on an extra layer of metallic marker after the first layer dries if you’d like the color to be a bit more opaque. Then pair it was a pretty scented candle and some fun matches (I love these ones!).

 

Next up in the Handmade Holidays series is one of the easiest DIYs ever — monogrammed mugs!

I found some plain white oversized latte mugs for this project; you also need sharpie markers, and some fun treats to fill the mugs with. Draw your design on the mug with your Sharpie marker, I practiced free-hand on a piece of paper a couple of times before I started to draw on the mug or you could use a stencil. After you’re happy with your design or lettering, pop the mug in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to make set the ink. Then fill up the mug with some seasonal sweets — I chose peppermint ribbon candy– and tie it up with a ribbon, voila!