Thursday, February 27, 2014

Things I Never Blogged About - Part 2

I'm continuing on with my quest to catch up on all the things I never blogged about! Today's post is going to be a little Kristen-centric. Kristen is my little sister, and her life is WAY more exciting than mine. I keep telling her she should have a blog, but we'll just use her life events as blog content for Spirals & Spatulas instead. :)

Kristen's 23rd Birthday!
Kristen turned 23 the same night that Tim & Emily got engaged, and we celebrated with a big group of her friends with dinner at Gloria's and a night out at Howl at the Moon. Jeff and I decided we're officially too old to stay out until 2:00am with a bunch of 22-year-olds. Haha!


Kristen's Going-Away Cake
Kristen moved to New York in January (we miss her, but it's very exciting!). We were going to host a going away party for her, but she ended up leaving sooner than planned so she could attend a funeral in NYC, so we never had the party. I still made her cake though - a "yellow rose of Texas" cake!


I found these yellow sugar flowers on clearance at Hobby Lobby, and I immediately pictured the whole thing in my head. I was so excited when it actually worked!


This is one of my favorite cakes I've ever made ever. :)


Kristen's Departure
When it came time to take Kristen to the airport for her one-way flight (aaah!!), we all (except Jeff, who was on a business trip) went to say goodbye.


I clearly wasn't very ready to say goodbye. Haha. 

And just like that... she was off!

Now Kristen's all settled in NYC with a new job and a new apartment, and we can't wait to visit her!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Things I Never Blogged About - Part 1

It's no secret that this blog hasn't been updated super-frequently since I started work last September. It turns out that BigLaw lawyering kind of takes over your life. I experienced my first "all nighter" at work last week (and it came after a string of nights including a Saturday and a Sunday and a President's Day that weren't technically all nighters but were well-after-midnight nights, so basically... totally exhausting).

Jeff and I are trying to balance everything and I think we're doing pretty well (Jeff is becoming quite the chef lately!), but the blog seems to have fallen pretty low on our priority list and it just doesn't get updated like it used to.

But there are so many things I do want to document and share, so I'm going to try to do a little series of catch-up posts, starting with three special events from over a month ago!

New Year's Eve
We hosted our third New Year's Eve party! It ended up being a really eclectic group of people (friends from church, neighbors, our siblings, friends of our siblings, my coworkers, Jeff's coworkers, etc.), and it was really fun!


While I was in law school I was accumulating reward points with a legal research website I used a lot (I had a free membership as a student), and right before I graduated I spent all my accumulated points on the best thing I could find in their little point redemption store — a chocolate fountain! We broke it in on New Year's Eve with some dark chocolate - yum!


It was a fun night!


Tim & Emily's Engagement
A few days into 2014, Jeff's little brother Tim proposed to his girlfriend Emily! They've been together since high school, and we are SO excited for them to finally be married!


I'm particularly excited that I'll officially have a sister-in-law soon! Emily and I were friends even before she started dating Tim, and she's just the sweetest, and I am SO excited!

Beautiful, right?!?!

Jeff, Matt (Jeff's other little brother), and I were out celebrating my sister's birthday the night Tim proposed, so we were waiting for the phone to ring all night. When it finally did ring, we could hardly hear them because the bar was so loud, so we sent them this picture to make sure they knew how excited we were:

I wish it wasn't blurry (iPhones don't focus too well in the dark), but I kind of love it anyway.

We can't wait for their wedding next December! 

Julianne & Ben's Wedding
Also in January, my cousin Julianne got married! The wedding was so fun, and it was really great to get to spend some time with my grandparents and extended family. I wish we had a family wedding at least once a year!

All dressed up!

My grandparents, great aunts, sisters, and parents!

Such a pretty dress, right?!

(with my parents and sisters)

(my Gran and Grandpa)

So now I'm only... oh six weeks or so behind on the blog? Slow and steady. :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Valentine's Pretzel Kisses

Here's another Valentine's Day treat! These pretzel kisses are super quick-and-easy, and they're perfect for little gift bags!


Recipe idea from my friend Jennifer. 

square pretzels
Hershey's hugs, unwrapped
Valentine's Day M&Ms

1. Place square pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
2. Place a Hershey hug on each pretzel.
3. Bake at 200 degrees for 5 minutes, or until chocolate is softened (NOT until it's melty and messy - take them out before you get to that point!)
4. Place an M&M in the center of each hug and push down a bit to spread the chocolate. 
5. Cool completely.


(Hershey hugs)

(M&Ms on top!)



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Strawberries & Cream Whoopie Pies

Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without adorable baked goods, right? I think half the fun of Valentine's Day is getting to make treats that are pink or red or heart-shaped, or just plain sweet! These adorable little whoopie pies are perfect for your sweetheart! :) 


Recipe adapted from here.

1 package Pillsbury Moist Supreme strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
3/4 cup shortening
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

1. Mix together cake mix, eggs, and shortening until well combined (dough will be thick). Roll dough into balls (about 25-30 of them), and place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
2. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
3. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth. 
4. Once cookies have cooled, make whoopie pies by spreading the cream cheese mixture onto cookies and sandwiching cookies together (try to pair each cookie with another that is close to the same size).  

(cake mix)

(thick dough)

(out of the oven!)