Building Our Story

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lovely Handmade Christmas Gifts #DIY

Who has started making their shopping lists for Christmas?  I have and a lot of my gifts this year will be handmade and DIY projects.  I love doing these projects and frankly handmade usually means more cost efficient.  

Here are some of the things I will be making for my family and friends.  Make sure you check out these great and easy ideas!  Happy Crafting!! 

Lovely Handmade Christmas Gifts #DIY. Easy DIY Christmas Gifts. DIY Gifts.  Handmade gifts.  Herb Infused Olive Oil DIY. Rosemary Mary Mint Shaving Cream. Bacon Salt Recipe.  Lavender Vanilla Salt Scrub.  Handmade Soap.  Lemon Soap.  Wine Cork Coasters.  DIY Coasters.  Chalkboard Serving Platter.  Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub recipe.  Bird Seed Ornaments.


Herb Infused Olive Oil - Building Our Story

Rosemary Mary Mint Shaving Cream - Food for my Family

Bacon Salt - Not Quite Nigella

Lavender Vanilla Salt Scrub - Building Our Story


Wine Cork Coasters - Horrible Housewife 

Bird Seed Ornaments - Building Our Story 

Chalkboard Serving Platter - Wit & Whistle 

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub - Building Our Story


Are you planning on doing any handmade gifts this Christmas?


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give Thanks - Give Love - Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Printables.  Thanksgiving Quotes.  Thanksgiving printable quotes.  Favorite Thanksgiving quotes.



This year has been full of reasons to be Thankful and one of those many things include all of you! Thank you for being my support, my readers and my friends!  


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lasagna Soup #Recipe

With the cold rolling in I have been having some fun in the kitchen with some cold weather dishes.  I love Lasagna but honestly, I hate taking the time to make homemade Lasagna so I decided to do a twist on a favorite dish and make it into a soup!  Yes, Lasagna into a soup!  It was a hit and way easier than making traditional lasagna!  

Lasagna Soup #Recipe.  Lasagna recipe.  Lasagna casserole recipe.  Easy Lasagna recipe.

Lasagna Soup 

Free Printable Recipe Here.

Lasagna Soup #Recipe.  Lasagna recipe.  Lasagna casserole recipe.  Easy Lasagna recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 pound of Rotini Pasta
1 TBSP Olive Oil
16 ounces ground Italian Sausage 
1 onion, diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil 
4 cups chicken stock
28 oz canned fire roasted diced tomatoes 
3 TBSP tomato paste 
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Lasagna Soup #Recipe.  Lasagna recipe.  Lasagna casserole recipe.  Easy Lasagna recipe.

Directions:

1.  In dutch oven, heat oil on medium heat and brown the Italian Sausage.  

2.  Add the diced onion to the dutch oven and saute until onion is translucent.  Add garlic and stir for a couple of minutes.   

Lasagna Soup #Recipe.  Lasagna recipe.  Lasagna casserole recipe.  Easy Lasagna recipe.

3.  Stir in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  The pasta will cook as the soup simmers.  

4.  Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.  Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes.  

Lasagna Soup #Recipe.  Lasagna recipe.  Lasagna casserole recipe.  Easy Lasagna recipe.

5.  Preheat the broiler on high. 

6. Make the cheese topping by combining the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese in a medium bowl.  

Lasagna Soup #Recipe.  Lasagna recipe.  Lasagna casserole recipe.  Easy Lasagna recipe.

7.  Spoon the cheese topping onto the soup.  Broil for 5 minutes.  

8.  Serve hot!!  

Lasagna Soup #Recipe.  Lasagna recipe.  Lasagna casserole recipe.  Easy Lasagna recipe.


This recipe pairs well with Garlic Bread and a nice fresh salad.  Also, this would be a perfect freezer meal - simply store in a freezer safe container and heat up in the oven on low for later.  Delicious and kid approved!  


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hope for the Holidays - Survive the Season: 10 Tips to Self Care

I love the holidays but when January 1st rolls around I think I am always ready for the normal.  Sure getting together with family and friends for dinner, exchanging gifts, having bad sweater parties, staying up too late, eating too much and enjoying all the decorations is a ton of fun but let's be real, it is also exhausting!  Depending on your relationships it can also be a very difficult time.


Now I am not going to go into any of my details because I am pretty sure we all have the same sorts of situations that we all have had to learn to deal with.  

Well friends, there is Hope for the Holidays.  You will survive this - but while you are surviving make sure you use the 10 Tips to Self Care during the Holiday season!  

Hope for the Holidays - Survive the Season:  10 Tips to Self Care Holiday Survival tips.  Holiday Self Care Tips.

1.  Let Go of Expectations:  
Focus on what is realistic - not ideal - or you risk facing major disappointment when things do not go as planned.  Treasure traditions, but be open to new ones as well.  Experiment with different culture's customs or invite new friends and family over to  start some new traditions.  Take a look at how your life has changed in the past year.  Be flexible and willing compromise.  Holidays are about more than what you eat and where you eat it or about the gift's price point.  Sometime the holidays do not look exactly how we remember and that is okay!  

2.  Go Tech Free:
Constant cell phone notifications and alerts keep us feeling on the edge and in constant flight or fight mode.  This is exhausting but also contributes to stress levels.  Turn those gadgets off at your holiday get together - enjoy spending time with your family and friends with out worry and distraction!

3.  Eat Breakfast and Limit Alcohol Intake:
Good nutrition helps keep the body healthy which in turn keeps the spirit more healthy.  Experts recommend limiting your alcohol intake to one or tow drinks a day.  Eat nutritious foods, drink lots of water and get some exercise.  With these tips you will be feeling less irritable and have more energy!

4.  Don't Over-schedule:
If you are are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your holiday agenda do not over schedule your time and take on more than you can manage.  Take care of yourself by saying no more often.  Enjoy those items on your agenda more by not feeling rushed or over-booked.  Do not go overboard just to please others!

5.  Ask for Help:
It is tough but this is the season to ask for help if you need it.  

6.  Don't Mask Your Mental Health:
Being open and honest about your emotions ahead of time will take some of the pressure off of staying cheery.  Talk with family members before the holiday 
and decide which traditions work best for you.

7.  Get Some Rest:
Sure your list of things you need to achieve is long but staying up late and missing out on much needed sleep will not be helpful in the long run.  Skimping out on sleep can leave you stressed and tired, through off your diet, and increase your risk of colds, depression and even car accidents!  Make sleep and rest a priority this season!

8.  Savor a Spicy Meal:
Yikes - not a tip I am thrilled about (I am such a baby)!  Hot foods trigger the release of endorphin's - the natural chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being!  

9.  Stick to your Daily Routine:
Prioritize your workouts, book club and other activities that benefit you.  Do not try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle.  

10.  Laugh Hard:
Laughing reduces stress hormones; which in turn helps immune cells function better!  So keep laughing all season long!


What tips would you add to this list? Any Holiday Survival Tips that are crucial to you?

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food

Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SeasonedGreetings #CollectiveBias


The holidays are here.  This week we will all be sitting down to some delicious party food and enjoying the company of family and friends.  Thanksgiving Day kicks off the upcoming holiday fun and I know if you are like us we already have a calendar full of parties and events to attend. I was trying to get creative with a drink recipe that I could share with our guests over the next couple of weeks and I instantly thought of a trip that we took 3 years ago to Barcelona Spain.  

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

There was only one alcoholic drink that I enjoyed on that trip and it was Sangria.  Oh, it was the best Sangria I had ever tasted, I will never forget it.  There was something different about this Sangria, it was bit spicy or more Tangy but the best part, it was filled with fresh fruit that gave the drink a natural sweetener!  Amazing!  While I know I can never replicate that treat we shared in Spain I was determined to make something that tasted great but also brought the perfect holiday colors to our table. 

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

Tangy Sangria 

Free Printable Recipe Here


Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

Ingredients:  

1 large navel orange
1 lime
1 lemon
1 gala apple
10 strawberries
1 bottle Red wine
1/4 cup Brandy
1/4 cup Triple-Sec
1 TBSP Sugar
2 tsp Tabasco brand Original Red Pepper Sauce
Ice
Sparkling Water

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

Directions:

1.  Cut the Orange, Lemon and Lime in half.  Squeeze the juice from one half of each of those fruits into a large pitcher.
 

2.  Slice the remaining halves of the Orange, Lemon, and Lime.  

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

3.  Core and Slice the apple, clean and de-stem the strawberries.  

4.  Place all of the sliced fruit into the large pitcher.  

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

5.  Add red wine, Brandy, Triple Sec, Sugar and Tabasco Sauce to the fruit mixture.  

6.  Stir well!  

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

7.  Chill the wine and fruit mixture for at least 1 hour before serving.  

8.  To serve fill large wine glasses with ice and then fill the glass to about 2/3 full with the wine mixture.  

9.  Top off wine mixture with sparkling water and enjoy!

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

I have never been a fan of overly spice foods and drinks but with the addition of the the Original Red Tabasco Pepper Sauce I was brought back to the open market of Barcelona.  This Sangria is perfect for any time of the year.  Sure, it would be refreshing in the hot summer but with the fresh oranges and dark red wine I can see this being the perfect Christmas drink.  Everything about it screams the holidays.  Plus, it tastes amazing!!  I must disclose - this Tangy Sweet Sangria can be deceiving, do drink responsibly!  

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

One of my favorite Party Food Tips is to prepare everything you can ahead of time and this drink is the perfect example of this time and sanity saving tip through the busy holidays.  Prepare this drink a couple hours before your party or dinner and then surprise your guests with the perfect holiday Sangria when dinner is served.  

While I wish I could have taken all of my friends and family to Barcelona with us - especially to taste the Sangria - there was no way to do that, so this Christmas I will be bringing the Sangria to them!  Although, now that I have tasted this beautiful drink again, I might be breaking out the Tabasco at Thanksgiving for an early drink screening!  Yum!!  

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

Honestly, I would have never thought of adding Tabasco to any drink recipes but now that I have tried it I know that I could use this pepper sauce for some great seasoning on all kinds of holiday favorites.  Tabasco sometimes gets a placed in a 'hot sauce' category but it is so much more than that. Tabasco products are quickly becoming my go to seasoning addition when I am in the kitchen.  These smoky and savory sauces totally enhance your food.  

Tangy Sangria #Recipe - Delicious Party Food holiday party recipes, delicious party food, party food tips Sangria Recipe.  Easy Sangria drink recipes.  Berry Sangria

I have been able to find all of the Tabasco products at my local Target in the "sauces" aisle next to the mustard and BBQ sauce.  Recently, we have gotten even more daring and stepped away from the Original Red and jumped to the Green JalapeƱo Pepper, and Chipotle flavored sauces!  Yum!  Think outside the box and enhance your recipes this holiday season.  


Can you think of any of your traditional holiday recipes that you could season with any of the Tabasco Sauces to make some delicious party food?


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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Enter to Win $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Need some holiday spending money??  Enter today!  

amazonblast 

Makobi Scribe is bringing you this Amazon Pinterest blast where one lucky reader will win a $100 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is open to everyone and provided by Makobi Scribe. Good Luck!


 If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.




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The Magnolia Hotel Denver

Disclosure:  We received a complementary stay in return for our honest review.  As always, all opinions are my own.  

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.


Once a year we attend a black tie event that benefits my agency and we usually make it a big night out and the best date night of the year.  Getting dressed up, hanging with friends, dancing and enjoying a night in Denver.  This year we even went bigger and decided to stay downtown at the Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Denver.  This meant we got to get dressed with out the rug-rats running around our feet and even got to come home late and sleep in on Sunday morning!  Oh and not to mention - sleep in a king sized bed with out kids!!!  

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

History of Magnolia Hotel Denver:
Old world charm meets modern Magnolia style in our downtown Denver hotel, formerly the American National Bank Building. Restored to reflect its original appearance, terra cotta details and a replicated corner clock adorn this 13-story landmark edifice built in 1910. Opened in 1995, this boutique hotel in Denver, Colorado has 246 gorgeous guest rooms and suites as well as 10,000 square feet of corporate meeting rooms and event space.

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

The Magnolia is in the heart of downtown and I love it.  You can feel the history in the building.  Sure the rooms aren't HUGE but I love the lay outs.  We were lucky enough to stay in a lovely suite with a kitchen, living room, amazing bathroom and bedroom.  The views are amazing from the rooms as well.  I love our city!  

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

Something that I will always remember about the Magnolia Hotel is that you get Milk and Cookies every evening.  from 8pm to 10 pm!  Seriously!  What a great way to cap off the evening before hitting those super comfy beds.  

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

I was absolutely in love with the shower and garden tub!  I took two showers just because I loved it so much!

About Magnolia Denver:
Magnolia Hotel Denver is a hotel near Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies; the Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche; and the Sports Authority Field, home of the legendary Denver Broncos. This downtown Denver hotel is also conveniently located near the Denver Museum of Art, the Colorado Convention Center, and all of the city's major corporate headquarters.

The hotel's location just off 16th Street Mall makes us a short walk to over 100 restaurants, entertainment venues, restaurants and Lo Do. Take in a show at the Temple Buell Theatre, enjoy a short walk to Larimer Square, or take a five minute drive to the ever-popular Cherry Creek Mall.

Amenities:

  • Complimentary breakfast service during the week (6:00am-9:00am) and (7:00am-10:00am) on the weekend
  • Complimentary downtown transportation
  • Complimentary high speed Internet access (wireless and wired)
  • Overnight valet parking ($26 per night)
  • Complimentary evening reception (5:30pm-6:30pm)
  • Complimentary cookies and milk (8:00pm-10:00pm)
  • Business Center with computer access and high speed Internet ($5.95 for 20 minutes)
  • Full-time concierge desk
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • Conference Center (Up to 200 people)
  • The Lounge featuring a flat screen television, billiards room, bar and dinner menu
  • Starbuck's Coffee Shop
  • On-site ATM machine
  • Harry's Bar serving cocktails, lunch and light dinner fare
  • In-room dining
  • Valet parking
  • Same-day dry cleaning


The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

Another plus is that you do get a great complementary breakfast in the mornings.  Most "downtown" Hotels do not offer this - and it isn't a small breakfast - you will leave full and satisfied!  

I would recommend this Hotel for anyone wanting that downtown experience but with a high class flair.  I wouldn't choose the Magnolia when traveling with kiddos but for a great evening out with a sig other this is perfect!  


Anyone planning a trip to Downtown Denver soon?  


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