A Daddy's Girl


Just the other day I was in our sweet Clara's bedroom, sorting through her closet.. once again.. bagging up and storing away clothes that don't fit her any more (sniff sniff)... and making room for the new.  My hubby and Clara came in to keep me company while I was organizing.. next thing I know.. I turn around... and..

Such a sweet sight to see.  This right here.. is what makes my heart happy.

She loves her Dada... and most certainly is a 'Daddy's Girl' already.  :)

A Very Merry Christmas


We had a wonderful Christmas.  I hope you all did too.

It was quiet, relaxing, joyful... a wonderful 'first' for our baby girl.  She woke up at 6:30am -- which is normal.. she gets a 'baba' then usually goes back to bed -- except when I tried to put her back to bed, she refused.  I think she knew something was up.  She wanted to open some presents.  ;)  We skyped with my parents and opened presents with them over Skype.

Lots of ham, mashed potatoes, chocolate pie, and apple pie cookies.  Lots of smiles, tickles, cuddles, and VeggieTales.  It was a fabulous Christmas.  But I'm just happy that next year, we will be with our families for this holiday.

I'm ready for a new year.. how about you?

A few photos from Christmas Eve and Christmas..

 And one of my favorite things about Christmastime.. the 'glow' of the tree...

Clara's 'First Snow'


I've prayed and hoped and hoped and prayed.. that we would have a WHITE Christmas.. and guess what?  We do!  I was so excited to take Clara out in her 'first snow' this morning.  I don't think she cared much for it.  But I also think she was half asleep when I took her out (I took the poor girl out almost as soon as she woke up).  We'll try again tomorrow.  ;)

We weren't out there long.. but the fresh air and bright sun must have wore our little princess out..

We've had a wonderful Christmas Eve.  The little munchkin is about to be put to bed and then it's mommy & daddy time with movies and hot chocolate.  Very excited about Clara's first Christmas tomorrow... celebrating our Savior's birth!

Merry Christmas to all!



One of my favorite things about back home... is Betty Jane Candies.  They have yummy caramel apples in the fall.. peanut brittle during Christmas.. and all kinds of goodies (including ice cream!) all the time (also rock candy.. which I loved when I was younger).  But one of the things they're 'famous' for is their Gremlins.  My FAVORITE.  The inside is caramel and pecans, then covered with milk chocolate. 

And my brother and sis-in-law sent us some for Christmas (we ate some already.. couldn't resist.. but I promise we didn't open any of the other presents yet;) ...I was pretty excited when I saw this package..

My Baby is 6 Months Old!


I can't believe it!  6 months old already.  Halfway to a year.  She's getting so big... she's still a peanut, but her facial features are changing so much every day.  And it seems like she's learning something new all the time.

She loves to babble and make all those fun baby noises.  She rolls over like mad, but she can only roll one direction (lol).. so she rolls and rolls and rolls until she gets to where she wants to be.  Still working on the crawling thing, but she's getting there!  She still needs to learn how to use her arms, though.  Right now she pushes off with her feet and slides forward.. so funny.

She loves playing with her toys.. grasping things.. and putting things in her mouth.  She loves to smack me in the face while I'm feeding her a bottle and tries to grab my glasses.  But she also loves to cuddle.  ;) 

We spent the day hanging out inside.  In the afternoon, I put in her Christmas VeggieTales movie that Nana got her.  :)

She really loves her VeggieTales (I'm not gonna lie, I kinda love it too!).

She fell asleep watching it.  Sweet girl.

Slow Cooker Potato & Corn Chowder {recipe}


I've been on a roll this week with trying out new recipes.  I guess I was feeling a bit adventurous last time I went grocery shopping.  Although this is, yet again, a slow cooker recipe (and again, a comfort food-type dish.. maybe I just think most fall/winter dishes are 'comfort food').  Have I said how much I love my crock pot?!

I made this chowder to go along with some pork chops... although, you could certainly have it as a 'main dish' if you'd like (I would have, but it's not a meal to my husband unless there's meat involved).  I will make this again.  And again.  And again.  I would not change a thing.  It perfectly suited my tastes.  I have some in my freezer right now.. and I already can't wait to get it out for lunch tomorrow.

Oh.. and look at how cute my little Korean soup dishes are!  They make me happy.  Seriously!

Slow Cooker Corn & Potato Chowder

  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 3-4 medium sized potatoes), not peeled, & diced in 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 cups kernel corn (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 medium/large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 3 - 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock (you can add more as needed.. if you want to thin it out)
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half or heavy cream
  • Pepper to taste 

    Combine all ingredients (EXCEPT half & half/heavy cream) in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 9-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours.

    After cooking time has elapsed, blend about half of the soup with an immersion blender (if you don't have one.. you can just spoon it into a regular blender and then return to the slow cooker).  Add half & half/heavy cream and continue cooking, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until heated through.  Pepper to taste.  Crumbled any extra bacon on top.  Freezes well.

    Dongdaemun.. A Crafty Person's 'Heaven'


    This weekend my wonderful husband so kindly agreed to make the trek to Dongdaemun with me.  He's not really into riding the subway on the weekends.. it can get SO crowded (actually, he's really not a fan of the subway at all).  It was wonderful.. I picked up so my goodies.. I can't wait to go back.. again (I plan on making this trip many, many times before we leave Korea in the spring).

    We got to the Nambu bus station in Seoul and realized we forgot the baby carrier (uhhhh, NOT a good thing to forget!).  After that trip, I don't think I'll ever forget it again.  But I refrained from having a 'freak out session' and we made it work.  Clara was still happy as can be.. hammin' it up for the Korean ladies.

    This place is yarn heaven.  They have anything you could ever want in yarn.  There are dozens upon dozens of little 'booths' of yarn like the one pictured below.  A sweet lady that I bought yarn from even gave me a free pair of knitting needles (I don't knit, I only crochet.. but my goal for the 'New Year' is to teach myself how to knit as well).  :)

    I bought some beautiful buttons.. not sure what I'm going to do with them yet.  I think I'll save them for a rainy day, when I get the urge to create something beautiful.  :)  I also picked up a couple necklaces.  I adore them.. and I'll bet you will never guess how much they cost!  ;)

    We stopped for a 'break' to take care of the munchkin.. and then made our way back to the bus station to head back to Songtan.. 

    Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings {recipe}


    Cold winter days and comfort food go hand in hand.  And one of my favorite comfort foods (as well as homemade mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, and anything else delicious and unhealthy) is chicken & dumplings.  This recipe isn't 'homemade'  per say -- but it is still delicious and comforting.  Not only that, but it can be made in one of my favorite kitchen appliances... a slow cooker!  Anything that gives me more time with my beautiful little family gets an A+ in my book!

    Last night after my husband got off work, we went downtown get some last bits of Christmas shopping done (and get me a new phone.. I'm pretty sure mine fell out of my pocket somewhere.. and now it's roaming the streets of Korea).  It was COLD outside.  Sometimes I think I forget how cold it gets in the winter.  Anyway.  We got back.. I gave my little munchkin a nice warm bath.. and still had time to play with her before dinner was done.  I like to cook.. but sometimes it's nice to have that 'break' from it.. without having a huge mess in the kitchen.. and yet still have a yummy and fulfilling dinner.

    And the great thing about this recipe is that you can add/omit whatever you want.  Don't like celery?  Leave'em out!  Want to add mushrooms or peas?  Go for it!  Yup.. you can pretty much do whatever you want.. it will taste delicious, I promise.  :)

    Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
    adapted from BubbleCrumb

    • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (4-6 small ones, or 2 big ones)
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 cans cream of chicken soup (next time I think I will use 1 cream of chicken and 1 cream of mushroom)
    • 1 can chicken broth (vegetable broth would work too)
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Pepper, to taste
    • 3-4 carrots, diced
    • 3/4 cup celery, diced
    • 4 Grands Flaky Biscuits

     Place chicken in crock pot.  Add  butter, cream of chicken, and chicken broth.  Add onions, bay leaves, garlic powder, pepper, carrots, and celery.  Cook on high 4-6 hours.

    After cooking time has elapsed, shred the chicken with 2 forks.  Then, cut up the 4 Grands Flaky Biscuits into 9 pieces each (feel free to add more biscuits if this isn't enough for your liking).  Stir into hot chicken mixture and cook for 30 more minutes on high.  Add more broth as necessary.  Enjoy!! :)

    Perfect Hot Cocoa {recipe}


    One of my favorite things when it starts to get cold outside (besides coffee, warm blankets, and long naps... which are few and far between these days) is hot cocoa.  Seriously.  Hot cocoa + warm blanket + a good movie is a perfect night for me.

    I've noticed that everyone's preference of hot cocoa is different.  Some like it creamy and thicker.  Some like those Swiss Miss packets.. that are pretty much chocolate water (sorry.. but.. ew).  Anyway.  This recipe is creamy and delicious.  It's my favorite.  :)

    (I obviously like a lot of marshmallows on mine..)

    Perfect Hot Cocoa
    • 2 cups milk
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
    • 3 or 4 oz. finely chopped chocolate (bittersweet/semi-sweet/milk chocolate.. your preference)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
    • marshmallows or whipped topping (optional)

    Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Stir in sweetened condensed milk.  Combine sugar, cocoa, chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Add to simmering milk.  Stir well until chocolate has melted and cocoa has thickened a bit.  Split between 4 mugs.  Top with marshmallows or whipped topping.  Grab a cozy blanket and a good movie... and enjoy.  :)

    One Reason I Love Christmas..


    There are lots of reasons to love Christmas.. but there's one small thing I love..

    I am 'Mrs. Awesome'... ;)

    My husband always addresses every present differently.. and writes silly little notes on them (he wouldn't let me share the notes.. I don't know why.. they are hilarious.. mostly warning me not to shake my presents or they would blow up.. or something of the sort).

    Pretty Little Things..


    The other day, I went with some lovely friends to a place called 'Baker's Alley' and 'Dongdaemun'.  These places are little slices of heaven.. and places that I will definitely be missing once we head back to the states (good excuse to frequent them in the next 4 months, eh?:)  Baker's Alley has all kinds of fabulous baking and packaging goodies.  I could have spent hours upon hours looking at all the pretty things.  Head on over to my friend, Karen's, blog.. she has some lovely pictures up of it.

    I bought a few things.. but now that I know what's there.. my 'big' list is made, and I'm ready for another trip!

    Seriously.. how cute are these cupcake liners?  They had so many pretty ones.  I need to stock up!

    And pretty little twisty ties to help package up some holiday goodies...

    SeriouslyI could easily get myself in trouble at 'Baker's Alley'... ;)

    And no blog is complete without a picture of my sweet Clara.. right?  She got a package from Nana & Papa the other day.  It had her favorite video in it.. VeggieTales!  She loves it when I sing VeggieTales songs to her.  ;)

    Sweet Potato Casserole & Getting Ready For Christmas!


    Hi.  It's been a while.

    Things have been BUSY here the past couple of weeks.  And then my husband has a 4 day weekend this weekend for Thanksgiving, so we've been getting some good 'family time' in.. and getting our house all prepped for the Christmas season.  My FAVORITE!  :)  It's Clara's 1st Christmas.. so it's pretty special.. and I'm extra excited.

    We went to a friends house for Thanksgiving dinner.. they made turkey, ham, and some sides.. I brought sweet potato casserole, scalloped pineapple, and pumpkin lust cake.  So much good food.. I love food.. seriously.. so much.  ;)

    The day after Thanksgiving, my husband rearranged the living room so we could put up the Christmas tree and Christmas decor, danced around our living room in PJs to Christmas music, drank lots of coffee, ventured out to the store to pick up a few things, then came back home to relax and drink some vootbeer (aka, vanilla vodka & root beer).

    I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

    You know, nothing is complete without some smell-good seasonal candles.  I also picked up a big jar of 'Red Apple Wreath' and 'Mistletoe' -- mistletoe smells like a true Christmas tree.  I love it!

    We used our special glasses.. they were my Grandma's.  :)

    Dancing around the house with daddy.  :)

    And now.. one of my favorite holiday dishes.. mmm.. what's everyone elses' favorite Thanksgiving (or Christmas) dish?

    Sweet Potato Casserole

    •  3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup melted butter
    • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 1/3 cup melted butter
    • 1 cup chopped pecans
    • mini marshmallows

     Combine sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, melted butter, and spices in a large bowl.  Pour into a buttered 1.5 to 2 quart casserole dish.  Mix remaining (brown sugar, flour, melted butter, and chopped pecans) topping ingredients in another bowl.  Sprinkle over top of casserole.  Top with marshmallows.

    Bake at 350 F for 30 to 30 minutes, until hot and browned.  If marshmallows start to get too brown too quickly, cover with foil.  Serves 6 to 8.

    I Finally Did It..


    I finally made an Etsy shop.  It's what I've thinking about doing for almost a year now, and I finally did it.  It's mainly crocheted items.. mostly for babies/photography props/kids.  But I do make other things such as burp cloths, afghans/blankies, and scarves (seriously, nothing better than a chunky crocheted scarf!).  I can also do more than what I have pictured -- since I'm just starting up the shop, I don't have a lot up yet.  If you have an idea of what you want, but don't see it -- PLEASE con

    Check out my Etsy shop HERE.

    I also have a Facebook page to keep up with new additions, etc... HERE.  Please feel free to 'like' my page so you can keep up!  :)

    Thanks to Amy Killian Photography for this photo.

    Happy Veteran's Day


    Happy Veteran's Day to all those who have served and are currently serving our wonderful country.  And to those who gave everything.. the ultimate sacrifice.  Take a moment to thank a Veteran today.

    Photo by Karen Davis Photography

    Thank you to my husband.. for not only being hard-working and devoted to his work, but for also being a loving and devoted husband and daddy.  Happy Veteran's Day.. I love you!

    First Time on the Subway...


    ..for Clara, that is.  :)  This past weekend we took a little trip to a store called Daiso.  I am majorly obsessed with the cute dishes they have.  And I'm going to buy as much of it as I can before we move in the spring.. ;)  I bought some adorable soup bowls that I've been wanting for a long, long time.. and finally got them.. just in time for 'soup season'..

    Daiso isn't far away.. just a couple train stops over in a city called Pyeongtaek.. so I thought why not take her to see how she does.  And she was such a good little girl.  Of course all the older Korean ladies were loving on her... they just adore her light hair and big blue eyes!

    She was a happy girl that day.  ;)  I think she had fun!  And she loves her baby carrier.

    And then we got home.. and Clara napped for 2 hours (we seriously must have worn her out.. she never naps that long).. and so did my husband...

    And I had some 'quiet' time.  :)