Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Best BBQ Tips for Summer

Summer is coming for us on the east coast, and I couldn't be more excited. And with summer comes the best things - warm, sunny days, outdoor gatherings with friends, and of course BBQs! My absolute favorite way of cooking is on the barbecue. If I could do it all year round, I would; however, because we get such terrible winter weather (as much as I love it, I'm not standing at a BBQ in a blizzard), I always take full advantage of the months when barbecuing is possible.

Even though L and I barbecue on a regular basis every summer, we are by no means professionals...things still smoke and occasionally burn, and usually we stick with old faithful barbecue options - burgers, hot dogs, sausages. This year, I've decided to expand my barbecue horizons, and learn how to 'cue properly. I've toured around the blogosphere and gathered up some of my favorite all purpose barbecuing tips that will certainly be put into practice this BBQ season!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Summer Reading List - June 2015

As long as I can remember, I have always been a reader; I love books, all kinds of books, and can read anywhere and everywhere. I am also most definitely a collector of books. Between L and I, we have three bookcases full - and overflowing - with more books somehow making their way into our house all the time! This year, I've decided I'm going to make time to read more, and now seems like the perfect time to start, with the weather improving all the time and reading outside is an option again! Here are some of my picks - from my bookcases at home - that I can't wait to dig into this summer.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Summery Iced Tea Lemonade

It took a long time to get here, but it seems like warm summery weather has finally arrived! While there are still some chilly and damp days, the warm, sunny days certainly outnumber the yucky ones. One of the most important things to do during the summer is drink lots and lots to stay hydrated...buuut water can certainly get boring after a while.

My absolute favorite drink for summertime is that shaken iced tea lemonade they make at Starbucks. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately! Haha), there is no Starbucks in my town; the closest one is about an hour away!! And realistically, who wants to spend $5 on an iced tea anyway? So, clearly I decided that I needed to figure out a way to make this super refreshing summertime drink at home. It's so super easy that everyone can make it; also, its easy to customize to your own personal taste - it tastes delicious with just about any flavor of tea you can think of!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Lemon-y Vanilla Cheesecake

My whole life, I have never really liked cheesecake. I couldn't stand the taste of cream cheese, and since that is the main ingredient in cheesecake, it really puts a damper on enjoying it. However, over this past holiday season, there was a lot of the stuff around, and I thought I'd give it another try. I've been trying to really expand my food world lately, and since everyone else seems to love cheesecake (and to think I was crazy for not liking it), it was near the top of my list for trying.

So, over Christmas I tried all of the cheesecakes. Seriously. Every where I went there was a different type of cheesecake, so I just tried them all. And all of them were pretty freaking delicious. So, with my new found appreciation of this classic dessert, the next logical step was to figure out how to make one of my own.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

DIY "Welcome Spring" Flower Arrangement

Although there is still snow on the ground, the weather has been warming up outside lately. This makes me so, so, so happy. The winter weather didn't start here until later than normal - about early December - but once it started we got pummeled by crappy weather; I mean, feet of snow, day after day. It was one of the worst winters I remember in the recent past. BUT, on a much happier note, spring will officially be here in just over a week, and I am pumped!

So, to get myself even more in the mood for the changing of seasons, I started decorating my Spring/Easter mantle over the weekend! You may remember my rambling story about the first mantle I have ever had, and how inspired I was to decorate it for every major holiday. And since I only started this on-going project for Valentine's Day, I'd say I'm doing a pretty good job, haha!!

I kind of struggled with what I wanted my Spring mantle to look like, pretty much because there are so many great ideas out there sometimes it's difficult for me to narrow things down to what I like the most and what I think will work for my house. I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with this...I can't be! So, this time, I started off slowly. I went out shopping one day and found a lot of things I liked, but only a few things I absolutely loved. One of the things that I decided I really wanted was a spring flower wreath or arrangement; eventually I decided on a simple flower centerpiece, mainly because wreath forms are so expensive! So, I popped by the Dollar Store, picked up a cute mini metal wash tub, picked out a bunch of lovely flower stems from Michaels (at 40% off!!), and went home and got to work.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Apple-Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Lately, I have been working a lot of night shifts. I don't usually mind it, but I do find I crave really unhealthy snacks - chips, chocolate, candy, yum yum yum - when I'm up all night. I totally support indulging occasionally, but working 2+ night shifts a week, this snack pattern has been seriously impacting my diet, and my waistband, in a baaad way. So I decided I was going to bake a little something to take with me that was a little sweet, but also pretty healthy.

I started out with a banana bread recipe I found in one of my handwritten cookbooks. Its a great recipe that I've made many times before, but sometimes plain ol' banana bread is a little boring. So, I added in some oatmeal, diced Gala apple, and baked it in a muffin tin, and created a breakfast feel - exactly what I was looking for! For a little something extra, I added streusel on top - just enough sweetness to trick my brain into thinking it's getting some of the candy it so craves at 3am. This recipe is a win-win in my books and I couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Hitting the Reset Button...Already

One newbie blogger's personal experience with starting a blog, facing and dealing with early roadblocks, and conquering self-doubt.

March is here already. I honestly can't even believe how quickly this year has started out! The days are passing quickly, and each day I am learning more and more about myself, and this crazy little adventure I began early in the year.

I started Burlap & Breadcrumbs at the end of January this year, and my oh my, did February ever present a steep learning curve for me. I had thought about starting a blog for a few months before actually getting up the courage to put pen to paper, so to speak; however, in those few months, while I did do a lot of researching on starting a blog, I didn't ever really come up with a "game plan" for when things got rolling. I strugled through my first few posts, and then disappeared for a few weeks. Things got busy in life and at my "real job", and because of my lack of pre-planning, B & B fell by the wayside.

With the beginning of March brings a sense of a new season...I know spring doesn't technically start for another few weeks, but the weather around here has actually been pretty great, and I'm getting the first tastes of sun and warmth - my favorite things about spring. With the changes in the weather, I am inspired to pull up my socks, and bring about some change to other aspects of my life. It's time to buckle down, literally put pen to paper, make a plan, and succeed!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Easy, Last Minute Valentine's Day DIYs

Still looking for that perfect gift for your loved one or Galentine? Here's a list of 14 quick & easy DIY Valentine's Day gifts and treats that you can whip up, even at the last minute!

Valentine's Day is tomorrow...TOMORROW!!! This year, L and I have decided that we are just going to give each other homemade gifts, and that we aren't going to spend a lot of money - we are saving for a wedding, and L is getting ready to go back to school, so there isn't really a whole lot of extra cash just floating around for expensive, store bought gifts. Regardless, I have always preferred giving personalized, handmade gifts; they just bring a little something special to the occasion, and show the person that you actually know them and what they love.

Are you still looking for that perfect gift for your special someone? For me at least, the first part of this year has just flown by, and Valentine's Day has totally snuck up on me, so I am definitely on the last minute train this year. I've been all over my favorite blogs looking for some last minute inspiration and here are my Top 14 Picks (one for each day of the month leading up to the day of love) for quick and easy DIY treats and gifts!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

XOXO Felt Garland

The Valentine's Day decorating continues! Ever since I decided that I wanted to decorate for Valentine's Day, I've been scouring Pinterest for ideas. I came across this one Pin that I added from over 2 years ago of a wonderful garland that perfectly fit in with my personal decor style; the pin came from an Etsy shop...that unfortunately is now closed! So, obviously I had to make one of these perfect garlands for myself!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Style Inspiration: Craft Rooms

I walked into my craft room/spare bedroom/cat room today and was waaaaay overwhelmed at all the chaos that is currently going on in there.

In recent weeks, I've gotten my hands on so many great deals on craft supplies, which makes me so happy. I also have been working many weird hours at my "day job" (I don't usually work days, but it sounds wrong to say my "night job" haha), and am short on storage in my craft room, so needless to say it looks like a tornado has ripped through my space.

Obviously the thing to do was to browse through Pinterest and some of my favorite blogs to come up with inspired solutions for organizing my space, instead of, you know, actually organizing my space!

Here are some clever organizing tips, storage solutions, and some of my overall favorite spaces!

Friday, 30 January 2015

I Love You Canvas DIY

Ahh, Valentine's Day. The day of love, excessive PDAs, and overpriced meals at over-crowded restaurants. Out of all the holidays, Valentine's Day is probably my least favorite...but, I do still celebrate every year.

L & I moved into a new apartment just before all of the hub bub of the Christmas holidays, and we are still trying to get totally settled. One of the best things about the new place is that we scored an awesome electric fireplace with a perfect mantle that is just constantly begging to be decorated!! I agonized over how to arrange everything just perfectly for Christmas, but in the end it looked so awesome that I decided I needed to keep it decorated for every season and holiday. Of course, never having had a mantle to decorate before, this means a lot of seasonly DIYs for me this year...and I couldn't be more stoked!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Easy, Delicious Ground Turkey Burgers

I miss summer. There, I said it. Yes, I know that it is only the end of January, and I still have several months to go before summer is actually here, but a girl can wish, can't she?? One of my favorite things about summer is that you can pretty much make all of your meals without ever having to turn on the oven. Also, a lot of my favorite foods are "summer" foods: potato salad, corn on the cob, and of course BBQ'd burgers. Yum!

Even in the middle of winter, I still love to enjoy these foods. One of my favorite kitchen "tools" is a grill pan that  I inherited from my uncle when he cleaned out his kitchen; it's awesome and I get to at least pretend that the burger I'm eating is straight off the 'Q. So, on this particularly sunny day when it's easy to ignore the fact that it's winter, I decided to whip up a batch of one of my summertime favs: turkey burgers! These are moist, a little spicy, and absolutely delicious. Keep reading on for the recipe!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

New Year, New Adventure

Welcome to Burlap & Breadcrumbs! Having just recently started a brand new year, I thought I would push myself to try something new (and a little scary!); something that would allow me to explore my creative side, and see just what I am capable of!
I want to say Thank You for joining me on this journey. Let's see what we can create together!