New Year, New Blog Layout!

This little cutie pie has been keeping me company on the couch this week, giving lots of snuggles and loves while I tinkered with my blog! (And folded laundry...)

As you can probably tell, this little ol' site of mine got yet another makeover!

For those of you who are bloggers, you know that the struggle is real! Especially if you try to go the diy route. It's caused me nothing but headaches over the last few years to try and create a site that looked professional and clean. There are boat loads of templates and layouts I could have purchased, but I was just too stubborn! I know a small amount of css and html and I told myself that I should be able to create a unique (if simple) site, instead of one that other people would be using too.

Well, I finally had enough and went with a pre-made template, and I'm pretty happy with how it looks!

There are a few little buggy things that I need to fix still, but aside from that I think it will stay as is for a while. Unless I can't fix the bugs...we'll see.

So, I'd love to know! What do you think of the new look? Do you think it suites the style of my business? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S.- I also have something exciting happening coming up for you all in the next few days, so be sure to keep on the look out for that!

What Winter Blues? Snowy Mountain Photoshoot with Home Sweetly Home!

Usually January seems to drag on forever, bleak and dreary and cold!

I found the best way to battle those winter blues is to go up into the mountains and play in the snow! And a fun photoshoot doesn't hurt either ;)

These were taken by one of my best friends, Toni, who blogs over at Home Sweetly Home. She shares all kinds of stuff, like recipes, decor and cleaning tips, and her growing photography skills! Since I needed some new images for my branding, and we were up in such a gorgeous location, it was a win-win situation!

We had so much fun being silly and romping through the snow to find the best shots, and we both were over the moon with the results! It was snowing the entire time we were out, so my curled hair lasted all of about three minutes, but it made for gorgeous snow speckled photos. Since I typically rock a top knot most days, it seemed fitting that I had to throw it up for these.

I'll be using these images to update my shop, blog, and social media very soon, and everything will be getting a little facelift! So, keep an eye out for that in the near, near future!

Toni did such an awesome job with these photos, and you can see more from the shoot over at her blog!

Thanks for stopping by all!

Wit & Whistle Drawing Challenge: Part 1

A couple weeks ago, Amanda from Wit & Whistle announced that she was kicking off the new year with a new drawing challenge! She is one of my favorite bloggers/hand letterers, and the last time she did a challenge was right before I started reading her blog. This time I'm super excited to get to join in!

Drawing things besides letters or simple illustrations is not something I do very often, so I thought this would be a good way to branch out and help improve my drawing skills overall.

I'll be honest, when I'm not working on new designs for a holiday, I'm bad about sitting down and practicing my lettering, much less drawing at all. I figured this would be a good way to keep me in form! Even though I need to be getting a couple more Valentine cards in the shop right now.....

Anywho, she gave two prompts per week, which is proving to be a perfect pace. Last week I spread them out and this week I did them both on back to back days, but it's nice not to feel stressed about it. A daily challenge would probably have been way too much!

The four prompts so far were:

1. Your favorite childhood toy
2. Monster
3. Your favorite letter
4. Something that makes you laugh

So far it's been a lot of fun, and I've been sharing them all over on Instagram! But, in case you don't follow along there, here's a round up of them all.

My favorite toy is a doll my grandma made me when I was a little girl. She looks pretty rough now, but she was so well made that I know she's going to last a long time still, if not for the rest of my life. It's one of the few toys that I still own from my childhood, so it was a pretty easy choice!

For monster, I tried to do something cartoon-y and type-y, because anyone who knows me knows that I don't do scary. I thought it turned out ok, even though I apparently can't draw fur very well. The tentacles were fun to do though!

 I don't have a particularly favorite letter, so for this prompt I chose a few of my favorite things and based the letters on them. The pattern on my 'K' is supposed to be knitted, but I'm not sure if you can tell? I was pretty happy with the swirls behind the 'L' though! I have never been able to do pretty swirls like that, but for some reason that night it clicked.

Lastly, when I saw this fourth prompt, I knew it was going to be a challenge! I decided to do a recognizable image from one of my favorite sit-coms, and I chose this New Girl for two reasons. One, we're watching new episodes of it right now, and two, it seemed easier than the couch/coffee shop of Central Perk from Friends ;)

So far I've been really surprised at what I've been able to do! It's been so long since I've drawn like this, I wasn't sure anything would even turn out. It's definitely been a boost to my confidence, and I'm hoping to keep practicing drawing other things besides letters after the challenge is over.

If you would like to join the challenge, it's not too late! There's still two more weeks and four more prompts to go! You can head over to Wit & Whistle to check out the whole list, and to see what she's drawing every week. You can also check out the tag #wwdrawingchallenge on Instagram to see what everyone else is sharing.

I hope you enjoyed this post, it was fun to write about something a little different for a change. I'll post the rest of my drawings here when the challenge is done, and I have another item to check off my 26 before 26 list later in the week!

I hope your week is treating you all well. Thanks for stopping by!

26 Before 26: Soda Cracker Candy

Hello! I can't believe it's already almost half way through January, but I'm finally back. I hope you all had a happy Christmas, and that your new year is off to a bang!

I wanted to share a bit of a cheat from my 26 before 26 list today. I say a bit of a cheat, because I wanted to make some almond roca candy at Christmas but I was too busy. It has always been one of my favorites, and my mom makes it every year!

Dane however, has always asked me to make soda cracker candy, which is very similar, and as I found out this year, SO much easier!

Since I was short on time, I opted to make soda cracker candy instead, and maybe next Christmas I will do the almond roca. I'm counting it on my list though, since I've never made either of them before. And it's my list, I can do what I want I guess ;)

So today I thought I'd share how easy this soda cracker candy is! Like stupid easy. And quick! Once you find out how simple it is, you won't be able to NOT make it. Plus it's that salty/sweet combo that is so addicting, so if you like those kinds of things, you will love this stuff!

For this recipe you'll need:

  • A cookie sheet
  • Foil
  • A spatula
  • Baking spray or oil
  • Approx. 1 tube of saltines
  • 1 cup (2 cubes) of butter
  • 1 cup +2 Tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 bag (2 cups) of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of sliced or slivered almonds

First, preheat your oven to 350 F.

Next, you'll start by laying foil over your cookie sheet, and greasing it, either with spray or a little bit of oil on a paper towel. Then lay out all of your crackers in one layer to fill the sheet. You can break some in half if you need to, to fill all the space.

Next, melt your butter, add your brown sugar, and bring to a boil on the stove, stirring with your spatula the whole time. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes (I did about 2 1/2) still stirring, and then pour over your crackers on the sheet. Spread to distribute evenly, and don't worry if some gets underneath the crackers. Just try to keep them as flat as possible.

Put your cookie sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the top looks all bubbly. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle your chocolate chips on top. Cover with foil and let sit for 3 minutes. Then, remove the foil and use a clean spatula to spread the melted chocolate around evenly.

Next, sprinkle on your nuts, and then re-cover with foil. Put in your freezer for 20-30 minutes until the chocolate is hardened.

Pull it out and break into pieces and serve them up!

It goes so fast, and half of the time it takes to make is just freezer time! This makes a great dessert if you're having friends over, or you could take it as a hostess gift if you're the guest.

Now that I know how simple it is, I'll probably make it regularly, and maybe more often than just Christmas.

Do you ever make candy around the holidays? Or any other time of the year? Let me know! I'd love to know what your favorites are (and if there's anything else I should try!).

Thanks for stopping by!

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