Gifting As The Pinterest Woman

WOW, what a week! This Christmas was absolutely wonderful – I had a TON of extended and immediate family time, loads of auntie time with the cutest little nephew a woman could have (and there is still more to come!) and nommmmmmmed on some of my FAVORITE treats, meals and snacks…I’m left feeling loved, content and FULL! 😉 Unfortunately while prepping for the holidays with a few The Pinterest Woman (TPW) recipes, I cooked my phone…whoops…so I lost a ton of photos that I hoped to blog about this week…so come with me on this journey and please excuse me for not having step by step photos!

As for this post, I want to focus on GIFT GIVING!

Gift giving was so much fun this year…not only was I more confident in purchasing gifts for people, I also had a nice time scanning Pinterest Wishlists for a few surprise gifts for people. I also received a few gifts off of my own wishlist – that was pretty cool ;-). Makes you realize who actually visits your boards! ha! As for being more confident in my purchasing of gifts, I always stress out when I need to purchase someone clothes. It is tough to know what is someone’s style when maybe it isn’t your style. As you may remember from my shopping posts with Carrie and Charlotte, Carrie LOVES to redo her look. SO, I had so much fun shopping for her gift this year.

Knowing she is a fan of AnnTaylor LOFT AND that she has loads of pants which she purchased during our most recent holiday trip, I headed to the LOFT for top options! Carrie also loves advice on how to put things together, but since my own personal style needs Pinterest, I figured, I’d pin a few ideas for her and put it with her gift…enter REAL LIFE PINNING!

Through Microsoft Paint, I made three TIP pages of the same size and put together a little three page book (sorry, I lost the final photo in the accidental cooking of my phone)

Through Microsoft Paint, I made three TIP pages of the same size and put together a little three page book (sorry, I lost the final photo in the accidental cooking of my phone)

I purchased the maroon sweater with a dark pink top (see top right photo) and gold and purple bracelet set. I then snapped a few shots of the sweater on display in store AND pinned a photo of the top online – with a few additional tips for how to pair the coordinating top with her cute new pants, this gift was a HUGE hit! While I don’t recommend gifting clothes with tips on how to wear it for everyone, it is a fun way to gift someone clothes who ASKS for the advice or tips ;-).

HAPPY DRESSING…and gifting dear readers!

XOXO, Karen

Merry Christmas Dear Readers…a Pinterrific Christmas that is ;-)

I hope you and yours are having an absolute fabulous day! As soon as the madness of my favorite holiday dies down, I promise to share the details of my Pinterrific Christmas! In addition to utilizing great Pinterest staples like the sweet potato hash, apple cider, and outfit planning, this year Pinterest gave me a go to recipe for non-holiday meals, holiday snacks that are not sugar filled AND it even helped me put together a few surprise gifts!

Our tree!

Our tree!

Merry merry…and since it is Christmas I just want to thank you all for being such supportive readers and inspiring me on a daily basis.

Xoxo, Karen

TPW’s Holiday Carol Pick – Frank Sinatra’s Jingle Bells

How can you NOT love this song…Frank+jingle bells in the background, and a catchy spin on a GREAT holiday favorite…Frank’s Jingle Bells could definitely be pegged as my favorite holiday song. I hope you enjoy it as much as me!

Today is my company’s annual holiday luncheon and we have reserved the wine room at San Francisco’s Boulevard for this spectacular event! I CANNOT WAIT and I’m thoroughly enjoying a morning filled with Christmas Carols in anticipation of the fun that is about to be had!!!

BTW, if you are looking for a nice, upbeat holiday CD, the soundtrack to ELF is pretty fabulous. It mixes up the carols with regular songs (perfect for those of us with non-carol people in our lives) YET it stays upbeat and happy the entire way. I MAY have gotten caught FULLY rocking out to it this morning on my way to work ;-).

Happy Holidays Dear Readers! “I love those J-I-N-G-L-E BELLS!”

XO, Karen

TPW 5-Ingredient Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt Pancake Recipe Review

Back in October I shared my easy, yet protein filled, breakfast ideas with you and I have a new tweak to share for the EASY 4-Ingredient Greek Yogurt Pancake Recipe. After an epic trip to Trader Joe’s (does anyone EVER leave TJ’s without a HUGE cart full of food?!) I was ready to carb-out with my bad self…I don’t know what it is about the holidays, but comfort food and delicious breakfasts ALWAYS sound good to me. After a memory jog on my “NomNomNom” Pinterest board, I knew what I was going to do with my TJ’s Greek Yogurts – PANCAKES!

As you may remember, this recipe calls for only four ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour (I use whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 container of greek yogurt (your favorite flavor – I used TJ’s Vanilla Bean)
  • 1 egg
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I used blueberry the last time I made these, but the TJ’s VANILLA BEAN Greek Yogurt makes a DELICIOUS pancake…seriously, SO good! I’ve heard Honey flavored works as well….

I took this picture to show how you mix the dry and wet ingredients separately. But if you look closely, you might be able to make out the black specks in the Vanilla Bean greek yogurt…mmm, TJ’s sure knows how to make dairy products ;-).

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This time around I added 1/4 cup of oatmeal with 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour INSTEAD of just 1/2 cup of flour…it added a nice and filling element to these delicious little breakfast delights!

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After flipping them a few times, I enjoyed them ALL – seriously, I ate two, then brought two to work…and I totally nommed them down…so bad…but OH SO GOOD ;-).

While I like my pancakes a bit crispy on top, Mr. Darcy does not. SO, my new goal is to make these look prettier AND not to make them so dark…Mr. Darcy approved ;-).

SO, in short, my recipe is now a 5-ingredient Vanilla Greek Yogurt Pancake and they are OH SO GOOD…and filling! Oh and they are EASY. I’ve made these the last two mornings before work…perfect!

Happy Noming Dear Readers!

XO, Karen

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Yes, that is a Santa toy. Even Harper loves Christmas!

Slow Cooker Holiday Apple Cider – A Great Home Scent!

Hello Dear Readers,

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! This Friday marks my last day in the office until the New Year and I could not be more excited – CHRISTMAS IS HERE!!! Last year my colleague introduced me to “Christmas Smell”:

Simmer apple juice with cloves and cinnamon on the stove for about 30 minutes prior to guests arriving to your home…and boy does it make your house smell DELICIOUS!

However, that was my problem, it smelled delicious, but the floating ingredients made it gross to drink. SO, this year I pinned quite a few apple cider recipes in hope of creating my own “Christmas Smell” – that I could consume as well ;-). Over the Thanksgiving holiday my sister-in-law introduced her special apple cider recipe tweaks that I HAVE to share with you!

First and foremost, it is cooked in the slow cooker. This cooking technique gives your home a nice holiday smell AND, if your slow cooker has a “warm” button, you can enjoy it all night long at a piping hot temperature! The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients for ONE batch:

  • 1-Bottle of APPLE CIDER
  • 2 Teaspoons- WHOLE CLOVES
  • 2 Teaspoons – WHOLE ALLSPICE
  • 2 Sticks of Cinnamon
  • A few thin slices of ORANGES (we used three to four each batch)

Directions:

  1. Poor apple cider into slow cooker
  2. Drop cloves and allspice in a tea ball  or cloth (keeping the spices from floating in the cider) into slow cooker
  3. Float cinnamon sticks and oranges on top of cider (at one point we ran out of oranges and put orange juice in. It actually worked! The straight orange is the best option, but good to have a last minute option just in case).
  4. Cook on LOW for 4 Hours
  5. Serve immediately or keep “warm” and enjoy throughout the night! (We went through it pretty quickly, so my sister in law just added more of the above ingredients throughout the night and allowed them to cook for about an hour before serving the second batch).
  6. FOR A LITTLE HOLIDAY KICK – add a shot of rum to your apple cider!
mmmm...

mmmm…

NOT ONLY does it make the house smell DELICIOUS, you can drink it too!!!

Happy Holidays dear readers! I hope you enjoy noming on this delicious drink this holiday!

XO, Karen

UPDATE: My colleague sent me, what sounds like, a DELICIOUS holiday recipe and I definitely plan on making this over the holidays…and possibly incorporating my above apple cider!

Holiday Mule

2 Parts Vodka

1 Part Fresh Apple Cider

1 Part Ginger Beer

Squeeze of Meyer Lemon Juice

Stir/Garnish with a cinnamon stick, sized appropriately to your glass

Holiday Cookie Party: Melting Moments Cookie Recipe

This afternoon my colleague shot around a note asking for holiday cookie recipes – she mentioned those that require little prep or time would be ideal…A woman after my own heart! Easy cookies!!!

My colleague shot around the following email and I had to share with you dear readers – first, because I am having a hard time pinning it, so I’m blogging so I can pin it, and secondly, because when it comes to food, this colleague NEVER steers me wrong. He wrote:

“The Santa Rosa Press Democrat does a Holiday Cookie elimination challenge every year and there are always a few winners in the batch. Here is the link to this year’s winners: http://www.biteclubeats.com/holiday-cookies-2012/

And I’ve made this one a bunch of times since it won in 2010: http://www.biteclubeats.com/melting-moments-cookies-holiday-cookies/ It may sound basic and boring, but it is ALWAYS a crowd pleaser. Super easy and steals the spotlight from everyone who spent all day scraping dough from the grooves of a cookiecutter.”

Melting Moments Cookies...mmmm

Melting Moments Cookies…mmmm

I am TOTALLY making this recipe! Happy noming dear readers!

XO, Karen