Monday, October 13, 2014

The Best Fall Cookies EVER!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
Makes about 24 Cookies.


The original recipe (which I tweaked a little bit) is from:

1/2 cup of butter (1 Stick)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree ( I used organic caned pumpkin)
1/2  tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/2  tsp of ginger
1 tsp of cinnamon
3/4 tsp of baking soda

Cinnamon-Sugar- Spice-Topping:
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon 

Baking Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix/cream together the butter and the sugar until it's fluffy. Whisk in the egg, pumpkin, and vanilla one at a time. Dump the remaining ingredients into the bowl and stir until they are combined. I used a kitchen aid mixer which makes combining the ingredients easy. About 3 minutes. Tops. :)
Once the dough is ready, roll into tablespoon sized balls/handfuls as you roll and dip them into the topping. 

In a shallow dish/plate, combine the topping spices. Take a ball (about a tablespoon) of dough, roll it around in the cinnamon, sugar mixture until coated and then flatted and place on the cookie sheet. I used Silpat mats on my cookie sheets to prevent the cookies from sticking. Parchment paper would work well too. 

Bake the cookies for approximately 10 minutes. They will come out lifted, fluffy, and cake-like. 

Have fun baking & try not to eat them all in one sitting. 
-Nicola & the little pup

Friday, October 10, 2014

The cutest souvenir...

I've been traveling quite a bit the past few years. I just love going new places and learning about other cultures and people. The food, the art, the hobbies, and best of all, the beaches. I am a total beach lover. I could spend the rest of my life on a sunny beach and feel pretty happy about it. 

I haven't been great about collecting treasures from all of my travels, but I began to notice that I had a collection of sandwich bags filled with cute souvenirs from some of my trips.  I always think that beaches are so interesting. They all have different shells, wood, seaweed, birds, and sand. I like to collect a thing or two to take home to remember my trip by. Don't be mad. 

I decided that I needed a cuter display than sandwich bags... so out came the bottles!

My Beach Bottle Collection
You can really use anything you want. I think small Ball jars could be cute. Or old baby jars (for all those Mama's out there).  A little string and a tag and you're on your way.

I lived in California for most of my life, and visited a lot of beaches. I wish I had collected a thing or two from some of my favs...Carmel, Pismo, and a bunch of southern CA spots. But we go back a few times a year (to see our families), so I am going to fix that in a few months! And funny enough, my family has a timeshare in Maui... we have gone every year since I was about 12 years old. And I haven't collected and sand from there either. What is wrong with me?! All my favorite spots have been forgotten. I guess I'll have to go back. 

I have SO many other beaches to visit to really feel like I've completed my collection... although, I don't really feel like it will ever been complete. 

-Nicola & the little pup

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

15-LOVE... (see what I did there)

A fun little D.I.Y

Add a little color to your home with some homemade Rainbow Rackets. 

A few months ago I made my tassel bag with my friend Emy (see previous blog post).  I had a bunch of left over embroidery thread from that project that I wanted to put to good use. Emy had just finished a cute racket of her own (that inspired me-obviously) and with my  3+ hour drive from DC to NC, I figured I had time to waste tying knots and wrapping thread. I started with the "heart" racket... which was super easy and just takes some planning before you start.  This DIY can definitely be done while watching TV in your PJ's. Trust me.  I think they would be so cute hanging in a kids room! And I love that you can create whatever you want.  

1.  I found the rackets at a thrift shop for about $1. Can't beat that! I prefer older looking rackets (all wood). Plus, I like reusing!
2. Embroidery Thread (Michaels or Joann's fabric has a bunch). 

My embroidery thread. I like lots of options. 

How to:
1. Gather your materials.
2. Choose a design... you can create anything that you can visualize in squares. 
3. Choose your starting point and tie your embroidery thread in a knot in that location. 
4. Wrap the thread until you get to the desired stopping point. 
5. Tie another knot to end the color. 
6. Move to the next color and/or design.

The heart.
Modern plus signs.

 The finished products...

Have fun!
-Nicola & the little pup

Friday, October 3, 2014

Let the holiday season begin...

The Chalkboard is up! It's official... summer is over and fall is here.  
This last year we moved from CA to NC. We used to always go trick-or-treating with our friends and their kids. Each year, I loved giving them each a little bag filled with all kinds of halloween goodies. What kid doesn't like that?! This year, I decided to send a little box of Halloween fun across country to make up for the fact that I couldn't give it to them in person. Plus, they're my pen pals, and we mail things back and forth quite a bit. I'm sure they'll love receiving a box that is just for them.


I collected all kinds of Halloween treasures from Target, the Dollar Tree, Homegoods, and Michaels. They always have lots of little things that cost a few dollars near the check out or in the holiday section. I figured that I should go small since I need to ship it across country (and I hate paying to ship things).

1. A little trio of things that make for a good halloween... "Glow Stick or Treat, Smell my Feet". I couldn't really find or think of a trick off the top of my head, so glow sticks were the next best thing.

2. A few jokes were thrown in the mix... "what animal is best at baseball... A bat!" Get it?!
 3. Other random Halloween goodies to make the month more fun.
**I'd like to apologize in advance for the noise makers ;)

I packed all these goodies in a USPS box and filled it with confetti... and sent it on it's way.  It's a surefire way to cheer up some kids and have them jumping for joy when the package arrives with their names on it. 

-Nicola & the little pup