Webcam 101

22 Sep

I stumbled on this hilariously endearing clip today and just had to share. I really hope it’s real, otherwise these “seniors” are great actors! What a sweet couple!

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It’s (Almost) a MOP!

28 Aug

It’s no secret these days that I have a minor obsession with babies, and a lot it is fueled by my dear friends & co-workers getting pregnant right and left! One of my favorite people ever, Megan, just happens to be one of the lovely ladies about to pop. She and her husband Martin asked Tom & I to do their baby announcement, and of course we were thrilled to! (Oh, and I call her baby mop, because those are her initials.)

While I’m not going to show you the winning announcement, here are of a few of the designs we did for them. 🙂 (Note: the baby shown is NOT baby mop, since baby mop hasn’t been born yet.)

What a little love bug

 

Meet Mady!

Wishing you a fast, healthy delivery Mego! Can’t wait to meet your little lady!! xoxo

 

Sweet Feet

24 Aug

Someone got new shoes delivered to his work.

I wanted to see them NOW. So I asked for a picture message.

And this is what I got 🙂

Fall in August?

14 Aug

Not exactly, but pretty darn close. Today the high in Chicago topped off at a breezy 71 degrees, and it was gloooorious! It truly felt like a fall day after all the heat we’ve had. I was half expecting football to be on our TV all day, along with a spread of fancy meats & cheeses adorning the coffee table (Tom watches football in style).

Because it felt so much like Fall, I decided to use the small amount of energy I had left after a looong work week and make some Fall comfort food. Banana bread & pizza puffs. Sooo cozy.

The pizza puffs were a new recipe and they were delish (and very easy) – so I had to share the recipe:

Photo by Lick the Bowl Good

Pepperoni & Green Pepper Pizza Puffs (originally from Rachel Ray, then Lick the Bowl Good, then me!)

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (I used egg beaters)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup cubed pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper (my addition)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (or however much you want for dipping)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan (original recipe calls for a 24-cup mini-muffin pan, but I wanted them to be bigger). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes (if using); whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Stir the batter and divide among the muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

These little guys are so airy and light, but with most of the taste of an actual pizza. I’m excited to try it again with different mix-ins. Maybe an all veggie one next time!

European Adventure: Stop #2

8 Aug

Trip countdown: 24 days! That means my new passport has 23 days to get here… I’m only *slightly* nervous about that 🙂

So. After we leave Barcelona stuffed full of tapas, wine and the Catalonian version of birthday cake, our next destination is Cinque Terre, Italy! We hop on a little puddle jumper plane and fly to Pisa (home of the leaning tower), then catch a train out to Cinque Terre (cars are a no-no, not that we would drive anyway). Cinque Terre, pronounced chink-wa tear-ah, translates into “the five lands.” It’s a rugged area along the Italian Riviera made up 5 small villages, with much of the development built right into the bluff. There is a trail that connects all of the villages, so most people hike between them. We’ve been warned that some segments are easy peasy but others contain upwards of 400 steps (gotta earn that pasta!). We’re staying in the village of Corniglia – as you can see from the little map, it’s smack in the middle of all of the cities.

We will be here only one night, so the walks will be brisk, but it was a must-do according to all of our friends and family who have been.

In preparation for our trip, we’ve purchased our “packs” – basically large duffel bags with backpack straps. I’m really unsure about packing everything into this ONE bag, but I’m sure going to try (WHAT am I going to do with all my shoes!?)! What sold us was that we can carry them on the plane – one less thing to deal with!

To Europe we go!

27 Jul

It’s official. Team Drennen is packing our bags and crossing the pond for 9 days of adventures, split between Spain and Italy. This will be my second overseas trip, but the first for Tom and I think I’m just as excited for him to have the experience as I am for us to go.

We depart September 1, which means I’ll ring in my 25th 29th birthday in Barcelona on the 2nd and I can’t imagine a better place to be! (I’m already having anxiety about turning 2-9, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.) All I can think about is the massive amounts of amazing, authentic food & wine I’ll consume. Nom nom nom. Also, this means that baby girl Philpot needs to make her grand entrance either a week early or a week late, so that I can drool over pictures/squeal in her momma’s ear on American soil (I’m assuming that she’ll take after her mother and she’ll be VERY late 😉 ).

We are flying into Barcelona and out of Rome, with a puddle jump to get us from one country to the other. We’d love to take a train to see more sights, but because of our lack of vacation time, we can’t afford to lose a whole day to travel.

Stop #1 on our trip is Barcelona. To get smart on the city, we downloaded an interactive iPad app with maps/hotel suggestions/areas to avoid/things not to miss, etc, and have been learning all we can about the city. I was slightly bummed to discover that they don’t actually speak Espanol in Barcelona, but they speak Catalan. We were finally looking forward to using our Spanish 101 skillz (lapiz, bano, bibliotecca, hola, muy bien) but they will have to wait.

A friend of a friend went to Spain on her honeymoon last year and put together a very thorough spreadsheet during their planning to detail where they were staying, costs, other travelers’ reviews, etc among other details. (Sidenote: I have a great appreciation for spreadsheets, but this topped everything I’d ever seen. Ever.) We were passed said wondrous document and are staying in one of her “recommended” hotels: The Praktik Hotel, in the heart of downtown.

Now I just have to change the name on my passport….

Next stop: Cinque Terre, Italy!

Gluttony at it’s Finest

17 Jul

Today I finally took a break from my two most recent obsessions (Pinterest & Google+) to spend some quality minutes in the kitchen baking. It’s been a while since I’ve covered myself and my counter in flour, and I’ve been eying this recipe for a while so I figured now was the time!

My friends, this is worth the extra 15 minutes on the treadmill. Trust me.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (from a great blog Buns In My Oven… and the the baby kind)

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package Oreo cookies – I used Double Stuff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (I used a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugars. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the wet mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for 15 minutes to make it easier to work with and to keep the dough from spreading when baking.

Using a cookie scoop place one scoop of dough on top of an Oreo cookie. Place another single scoop on the bottom of the Oreo to create a cookie sandwich. Seal the edges together to completely close in the Oreo.

Place the balls of cookie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 9-13 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Go make this NOW. And you can thank me later.

Nom nom nom!

 

Happy 4th!

2 Jul

Have a safe, relaxing & wonderful holiday weekend! Mom & Mark are on the train heading to the windy humid city for 4 days of Cubs games, cook-outs, fireworks, long walks & good eating!

Breakfast to kick-off the long weekend!

Wait, that’s what!?

1 Jul

I always thought I had a sweet tooth. And then I met my husband, and discovered that my sweet tooth pales in comparison to his. So as you can imagine, we always have some kind of sweet treat on hand for nightly consumption. And with it finally being summer, we’ve been buying ice cream. Lots of it.

The only problem with ice cream is that eating it every night is reeeally bad (well, it’s really good…but ultimately it’s really bad). So in an effort to save both our teeth and our waistlines, I went hunting for a more healthful option.

And I found it! Only warning is that you have to like bananas…

Banana “Ice Cream”
2-4 bananas, just ripe (1 person = 1-1.5 bananas)
Parchment paper lined cookie sheet
Food processor
Optional toppings (or mix-ins): choc chips, peanut butter chips, peanut butter chips, graham crackers

1. Slice bananas into .5-1 in slices
2. Place sliced bananas on cookie sheet
3. Place cookie sheet (uncovered) in freezer for at least 3 hours
4. Once thoroughly frozen, place banana slices into food processor for ~2 minutes
5. Add any toppings (totally optional)
6. Voila!

The consistency of what you will get is so much like ice cream it’s scary… and all it is is BANANAS! See picture proof (bad picture quality – sorry):

In my mini food processor, I did 2 batches

I added choc & pb chips

Ice cream! (sorta)

When I brought Tom a bowl, he loved it. He actually said that he could easily trade his nightly ice cream for this! We’ll have to experiment with different mix-ins, but this was a great start. Highly, highly recommend for a low-cal summertime treat!

Milkshake

29 Jun

Remember that trashtastic summer song a few years ago about a milkshake? “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…”

Yeah, that one. That you’re humming in your head now. (sorry)

Well, I found this today while perusing Pinterest, my new obsession, and find it hilarious.

That’s all.