Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas presents: paintings

Now that pretty much everyone has opened their presents from me, I can reveal the (not-so) secret: I made paintings for presents! I was so excited this year about gifts. Even though, like years past, I was on a tight budget, this year I was happy to share my newest passion for painting and make personalized gifts. I think everyone seemed to like them! And, of course, I am excited to share the photos of my creations.

First off, lavender and sage for my mom...

Turquoise and gray music them for dad Chad...

Red and orange outdoor theme for dad Steve...

Turquoise, green, and gray cooking theme for November's dad and his girlfriend...

Purple "all you need is love...and a puppy" for coworker Taylor (the puppy is meant to look like her dog!)...
Gray and green with initials A and C with a heart for coworker Abi and husband Chris...

Green and gold with Jane Austen quote "if a book is well written, I always find it too short" with Jane Austen silhouette for coworker Sharon and husband Kevin...
There's a sneak peak! I'll probably be uploading some of these to my etsy store shortly. I'm excited to start using my new camera I got for Christmas to take higher quality pictures and cut out the annoying process of transferring photos one at a time from my phone via email! Hooray for technology!

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!
I'm so grateful for another awesome holiday spent with my family. I always feel incredibly blessed, but I am especially grateful for everything and everyone in my life right now. I am so excited about where I am and where I am going. I'm living in a beautiful season of abundance; I feel like I always am provided with more than enough, my work life is enjoyable, my hobbies are fulfilling, I'm overflowing with creativity, my spiritual life is flourishing, there is joy everywhere I look. But, of course, people are what matter, and what (who) make life great. I have so many wonderful family members, friends, and co-workers, and I'm wishing all of you a joyful holiday. 
November wasn't thrilled about Santa this year...but is she ever thrilled about strangers?
November snuggled up with her caterpillar she got from grandpa Steve after we opened presents.
Then we went for a bike ride and I got to play with my new digital camera!
She loves giving the stink-eye these days, but don't be offended, she thinks you're cool.

What an awesome day!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New painting: funny bathroom art

Painting available for sale here

My newest painting on my etsy store! This one is a fun pop of color with a funny saying (that I made up, as far as I know) that says European Imapoopin. Say it out loud if you don't get it! I love making art for my apartment, in turn creating art to potentially sell. I'm also busy making paintings for Christmas presents this year. It's quite a creative time for me right now!
I also have new striped initials paintings on my etsy store! I made one for a co-worker and her boyfriend. The other I made for my friend Robin and her fiancé Brett in their wedding colors! And now both paintings are immortalized as sell-able art.
Both paintings available for sale here

I can't wait to finish all my Christmas present paintings! I'll have to take pictures when they are done, but keep them a secret until they have been opened after Christmas!

My etsy store:

Sugar Free, No-Cook Eggnog

After trying homemade egg nog at Thanksgiving dinner this year, I was determined to make my own as well. I had very specific ideas of how it would taste and what I wanted to use: I wanted it to be rich, creamy and traditional tasting, I wanted to use pasteurized egg product instead of raw eggs, I wanted it to be sugar free and alcohol free. 

I was really nervous about making it for the first time so I searched for the perfect recipe. But nothing seemed good enough! Some recipes were too complicated with raw eggs, cooking, and straining. Some recipes didn't include the seasonings I wanted to use. I realized I should just make my own recipe!

I adapted my recipe from here. The result was pure heaven! Thick, creamy, and full of that traditional holiday flavor but without the excessive sweetness of store bought brands. I don't feel like pasteurized egg product is as healthy as whole eggs, but I didn't want to deal with cooking and straining them, so the egg product worked just fine! When it comes to sweetener, I used a powdered stevia that tends to be sweeter than some brands. 1/4-1/3 cup of my stevia is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar. So if you decide to go with stevia, be sure to check the ratio, or start with less, and add more to taste.

Sugar Free, No-Cook Eggnog
1 cup pasteurized egg product (like Reddi Egg)
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp stevia (or to taste, depending on brand and form) or 1/2 cup sweetener of choice
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
I cup heavy whipping cream

Place all ingredients, except for the heavy cream, into a blender and blend until smooth. Next, whip the heavy whipping cream by hand (the way I do it!) or in a mixer until it gets thick, airy and fluffy. Combine the whipped cream with the other ingredients and serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg!

November absolutely loved this egg nog! She calls it ice cream milk. I hope you enjoy it too, and wish you all a merry start to the holiday season!