Thursday, December 20

We Went to Boise, Idaho!!

Some of you might not know this about my family... but we're huge Utah State Aggie fans.

Like big time.

And the biggest fan of all is this little girl right here.

So when the Aggies officially accepted an invitation to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, reservations were made, tickets were bought, and we anxiously looked forward to the end of the semester.

The game was a blast! Obviously most of that is due to our awesome team that beat Toledo 41-15, but it was so fun to take our Baby Girl to one more game this season and to hear her cheer on her team in her little 2-year-old voice. (Wasn't it nice for creeper in the back there to smile?) :)

I was NOT looking forward to watching the game on Boise State's blue field, but it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. It looks much more obnoxious on ESPN.

So excited for the game to start! Santa was nice enough to drop off a new hat and mittens for Coco early so she wouldn't freeze.

My sister and her little boy came along for the ride, too. This poor kid was not digging the loud, rambunctious duo that was sitting directly behind him.

Love our Aggies!

A big, big thanks to Grandpa and Grammy for letting us tag along!

And thanks for letting Coco borrow your binoculars...

...and for all the great memories from the weekend!

Next year... The BCS! :)

Tuesday, December 18

Turkey Burgers

I know, I know... Turkey burgers tend to get a bad rep.

But it's only because most of the time they're dry and flavorless.

Enter my sister, Erin.

She introduced my family to the wonderful world of juicy, flavorful turkey burgers. And I'm ready to reveal some of our secrets.

These burgers are super easy to make, healthy, and will ruin all other turkey burgers for you. :)

So let's begin.

*Quick disclaimer: This is not the exact recipe my sister taught me. In fact, I switch it up almost every time I make these. The key to delicious ground turkey lies in the following secrets I'm going to share. Be creative! The point of a burger is to create it the way you like it.

**Also: This post is kind of long so if you know all you want to about how to make a good turkey burger, or if you're feeling like "I don't care why I make a garlic oil, just give me the recipe, dang it!", the recipe is at the bottom.

I didn't get a shot of all of my ingredients, but for these turkey burgers I used:
- 1 20 oz. package of Jennie-O super lean turkey (99% fat free)
- About 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 4-6 oz. Feta cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Montreal steak seasoning
- Kosher salt
- Sandwich thins
- The usual burger condiments and toppings

Secret #1: Add fat. This is the most important secret! Whether it's olive oil or butter or bacon fat (which would be awesome but defeats the purpose of a healthier burger), ground turkey doesn't have a lot of fat so you need to add some to create moisture and flavor.

We often add chopped sauteed garlic to our ground turkey, but tonight I instead created a garlic oil. The bonus here is that I wasn't tasting garlic the rest of the night. So if you don't care what your breath smells like the rest of the night, go ahead and chop up the garlic and cook it in the pan for a minute.

If you want to infuse the oil with garlicky goodness and avoid the aftermath, put the garlic cloves in the cold oil then let it all heat up together. Remove the cloves once they're a pretty golden brown. Add the oil to the ground turkey.

Secret #2: Add lots of flavor! I highly recommend adding lemon to all things, but it was so yummy in these burgers. Just a touch of freshness. I only added the zest of one lemon to the turkey (about 1 teaspoon or so) but next time I'd double it. But I like lemon. You can judge based on your own lemon preference.

Secret #2.1: McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning. Life changer. About 2 tablespoons into the ground turkey.

Secret #2.2: Add cheese to the ground turkey. We're partial to Feta, but bleu cheese crumbles are also divine. Note: It's best to use a cheese that doesn't melt so easily, that way it holds its shape in the burger while it cooks.

Mix all of that goodness up with a fork. If it isn't coming together or still looks a little dry, add a little more oil.

Create your patties. I hope you notice that mine are not perfect or necessarily uniform sizes. I usually make a little baby one for my Baby Girl. Make sure they're thin and pretty big because they shrink a lot while cooking.

And, Bobby Flay style, poke a little well in the middle of the burger because the middle tends to rise more while cooking.

Right before you put them on the grill (or griddle, in my case) give 'em a good sprinkling of kosher salt.

I cook mine at medium-high heat. Sprinkle the other side with salt since they're right there in front of you.

Note: There is a lot of oil in this meat, so it will spit a little. Keep little ones away.

Here's where a grill would come in handy... Just pretend that my burgers are really pretty with grill marks. Depending on the heat you cook them and the size, these burgers usually take about 5-7 minutes to cook completely through. Just make sure they are completely done!

In the meantime, fix your toppings. We're a Roma tomato and butter-leaf lettuce kind of family.

I recommend using sandwich thins for these burgers because the bread won't compete with the yummy deliciousness of the turkey. But if you prefer hamburger buns (we've even used plain bread) then, by all means, do what you want! Just remember the star is the turkey.

In the last couple minutes of cooking, sprinkle some more cheese on top (this might be where we lose a couple healthy, low-cal points).

Top it off with your favorite fixins'. I like a little mayo and a lot of Dijon mustard. But the turkey is the best part! It is so juicy and flavorful! The lemon adds a nice little burst of freshness with each little salty kick from the Feta. Make them soon for a guilt-free (or less guilty) burger!

Here's the recipe...

Turkey Burgers


- 1 20 oz. package ground turkey (99% fat free)
- About 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 4-6 oz. Feta cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Montreal steak seasoning
- Kosher salt
- Sandwich thins
- The usual burger condiments and toppings

Place olive oil and garlic cloves in a cold pan. Turn on heat to medium-low. Once garlic is toasted and aromatic, remove and throw away. Turn off heat.

Place ground turkey in a bowl. Add garlic oil, lemon zest, steak seasoning, and cheese. Mix together with a fork and form 4-5 patties. Sprinkle with kosher salt and cook at medium-high heat until the turkey is cooked through and juices run clear.

Place on sandwich thins and desired condiments. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 15

The One Where I Won a Giveaway {Part Two}

This post isn't nearly exciting... but I wanted to give a shout out to all of the amazing sponsors that made the Smash Ball possible and show off my super crafty powers.

So my smash book...

Baby Girl nicknamed herself "Coco" (short for Colbie) and it's kind of stuck. I love using unexpected colors for little girls and then incorporating more feminine patterns and textures with those colors.

Besides the wobbly handwriting, this is my most favorite page. I'm thinking about turning it into a Valentine printable...

I would've never pinned myself as a flowery kind of gal, but as I am starting to pin down my style a little more, I'm finding I love sweet florals with a bright pop.

Possible baby shower ideas. (I was kind of running out of steam at this point.)

Now the swag... oh, the swag! Lots of fun pretty jewelry and a sweet pattern and really yummy candles.

An up close look at some of my most favorite things I got. (Baby Girl is also very excited for everything pretty and girly).

A HUGE shout out and thank you to all of the sponsors!


Spark the Event Online

Carina Gardner

GC Candles from Amy Burchfield

Hoop-La Jewelry

Ellie Collection Jewelry
Facebook: @Ellie Collection Jewelry

Whippy Cake

Friday, December 14

The One Where I Won a Giveaway {Part One}

So... you guys remember me blogging about this awesome giveaway over at Whippy Cake?

I won the ticket! I've never won a giveaway before (except a week's membership to my home town's sports club with I was 10... but that's another story) and I had all sorts of adrenaline the night that I found out my good luck.

Anyway, so I got to go to the Smash Ball in Provo last Saturday.

What's a Smash Ball, you ask? Well... Smash books are basically books filled with lots of pretty paper just waiting to be filled. What you fill them with is up to you. A lot of girls there were using them as scrapbooks and then trimming them with pretty ribbons, washi tape, fabric, and paper. I used mine to create inspiration for future stationary designs (check out my work samples page for some of my favorite works). 

So... on to the Smash Ball and the picture overload!

This pretty sign was done by Rhonna over at Rhonna Designs. What beautiful handwriting!

There were pretty lights and fabric garland on the outside... so romantic! 

There were so many fun crafting and embellishing tools there... and so many great colors. How couldn't you feel inspired? 

Ribbon and washi tape station. 

Lots of fun paper, buttons, die cuts, tags... just waiting to be used. 

My messy station. (That Diet Pepsi isn't mine, I swear!) 

 We also all received envelopes with gorgeous fabric trim. I just wanted to save it all to put in Baby Girl's piggy tails rather than smash it. 

The Smash Ball was held at the Historic Southworth Hall... it was awesome! I'm a sucker for that brick.

Ah, the tulle... 

...and feathers. 

One more huge thank you to Becki at Whippy Cake for the awesome night!

Besides the super nasty snow storm that I hit on the way home, it was so much fun and I came home with all sorts of fun ideas for new freebie designs! Can't wait to show you in the next couple of weeks.

 See what I made and the awesome swag we all got in the post tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 12

Andes Mint Cookies

Hi, guys! So happy to be back blogging and under a new name and a pretty new design (and now with a degree under my belt! yay!). I wanted to kick blogging off again with these delicious cookies that I originally posted this summer. They are the perfect holiday treat. I hope you'll try them out and share them with someone you love.


These cookies are so good I feel like it's my civic duty to share this recipe. It's so simple. My sisters and I bake them for showers, for parties, for Christmas, for birthdays... basically whenever we can find a reason to whip up a batch. They freeze like a dream (actually they're best straight out of the freezer) and are a perfect minty-chocolate fix. Also, they are super affordable to make since there's only four ingredients.

I was first introduced to them by my sister in law when she was throwing bridal shower for my sister (one of the nicest things about families coming together- the sharing of delicious recipes!).

One more thing: They are addictive. I do not hold any responsibility for diets blown over these cookies once made.

So the cookies. You will need:

- 1 Devil's food cake mix
- 3/4 cup shortening or softened butter*
- 2 eggs

*Note: I prefer shortening for these cookies. It's a much better texture. Unfortunately, I forgot my preference until I'd already put the softened butter in. So if you use shortening, your cookie batter will be a little bit lighter and less glossy.

Mix the ingredients together.

See how the dough's sticking to my fingers? You don't want that. If you use shortening you won't have this problem. If the dough is sticky, add about 3 Tbsp. flour. That should do the trick.

Also- I usually don't write on my hand, but I guess that book title was too important to forget. I swear I washed my hands several times before I started baking.


This is much better. See how the dough's sticking together? When you touch the dough it should come cleanly off your fingers.

Take about 1 Tbsp. of cookie dough at a time and roll it in your palms until it forms into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet. (Be sure to put enough space between these cookies because they spread!) Repeat until you have lots of pretty little rows of cookie dough balls.

Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes.

They will look and feel underdone... because they are. Here's where the magic happens.

These little puppies will be your new soulmate. You can use a package of Andes mints if you'd like (just break them in half), but if you use the baking chips then you don't have to unwrap all of the individual mints and these are a lot cheaper!

Sprinkle the chips on to the underdone cookies. Put them back in the oven for another 2 minutes.

See how lovely and melty the chips have become? The cookies will be cooked through. Carefully spread the melted mint chips onto the cookie using an offset spatula (I use my mom's offset butter knife) or a knife. The cookies are still hot so be careful!

The mint chips turn into a very pretty swirled frosting.

Now, you might be tempted to slide one off the pan right now and bite into the warm, minty, melty goodness and, obviously, that would be a good idea. But set some aside and let the mint chip spreading cool and harden. It turns into almost a ganache-type frosting. So yummy.

Step back and enjoy the cookies!

Here's the recipe:

Andes Mint Cookies
Yields 2-2 1/2 dozen

1 Devil's food cake mix
3/4 c. shortening or softened butter
2 eggs
1 package Andes mints or Andes mint baking chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix, shortening, and eggs. The dough should pull together and shouldn't be sticky on your fingers. Take 1 Tbsp. of dough at a time and roll it into a ball. Place on a baking sheet, leaving about an inch to 2 inches between each ball. Bake for 7-8 minutes.

Sprinkle baking chips on cookies and put back in the oven for another 2 minutes. When cookies are done, spread the melted chips across the cookies. Remove from baking sheet to cool.