Monthly Archives: December 2011

What are you doing for NYE?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Zooey Deschanel cover “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” by Frank Loesser

How lovely is that? Her voice is incredible.

For New Year’s Eve, we’re hosting a dinner for over twenty people at our house. Our house that we’ve lived in for less than four weeks.

Andrés’ aunt Miriam suggested we host it when we told her about the house. We agreed, thinking it’d be the usual crowd – around 8-10 people. Boy were we surprised when a family of distant cousins drove up to surprise everyone for Christmas & ended up staying in the area for New Year’s Eve instead of going up to New York City.

The more the merrier, right? That’s what I keep telling myself…

Miriam & my parents are helping us tremendously, for which I am extremely grateful.

We have dishes & glasses for sixteen after picking up a couple FÄRGRIK dinnerware sets from Ikea & some large glass tumblers from Target (in addition to what we already had). Miriam is supplementing much of the rest, along with blankets & pillows, because apparently a bunch of people are going to crash on our floor, too. That’s better than them driving drunk or tired.

Our huge STORNAS dining table is currently stretched out with all the leaves in & has twelve STEFAN chairs sitting at it. We stopped by Ikea & picked up four more earlier this week to add to our eight. Check it out:

I got those candles at Walmart & the big one is from Ikea. They’re just white candles, but I love how they brighten up the huge black table cloth from Target.

I chose a black table cloth (with a pad underneath) after trying light colored place mats that would show too much wear & didn’t protect the table enough. We probably won’t leave the table cloth on all the time, but for big dinners, we’re going to use it.

The other eight people will be sitting at a large plastic folding table with borrowed chairs. That’s all coming on Friday/Saturday from my parents & my sister B. That table will be set up in front of the mirrors where the purple chair is now, & the chair is going to move over near the stairs. I added a house tour (that needs to be updated with current pictures badly!) if anyone needs help making sense of that.

We also added a tray to the ottoman/footstool in the living room & picked up a whole bunch of cork coasters (& some cork trivets for the table) for added protection.

Since we just had the carpets cleaned a week & a half ago, we’re only serving light & clear liquids like Sprite, Ginger Ale, water, white wine & champagne. I hope no one is a serious red wine or grape juice drinker!

Wish us luck as we flex our hosting muscles in a BIG way for the first time!


Surprise! We bought a house.

Andrés’ mom arrived last night. She had no idea that we bought a house & that we moved. He drove her here, without telling her anything until they walked up to the door.

Here’s her reaction:

Skip to about 00:45. It took them a little longer to get out of the car than I thought, but if you watch it from the beginning, the suspense is thrilling.

Also, not sure why Andrés locked the car like 3 times.

PS: If you can’t watch the video on Vimeo, it’s right over here on YouTube.

Cinnamon Bun Eggnog Martini

Serves: 2
  • 4 ounces Cinnamon Bun Bite infused vodka
  • 4 ounces non-alcoholic eggnog
  • 2 ounces Irish cream liquor
  1. Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice.
  2. Shake for 30-40 seconds & pour into chilled martini glasses.
  3. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or skewered Cinnamon Bun Bites

For the Cinnamon Bun Bite infused vodka: Combine 6 ounces good quality vodka & 1/4 cup Cinnamon Bun Bite candies in a clean mason jar. Close jar tightly & store in a cool dry place for 3-7 days. Give it a good shake once or twice per day.

Recipe by:

Very Good Things

This week I’m grateful for:

  • Andrés felipe
  • Four day work week!
  • Lots of rum balls & rum
  • Getting my dream blender for only $199 (!!!)
  • Skyping from my iPhone with my sisters in Latvia & Scotland
  • A peaceful, joyous Christmas
  • My paleo cookbook
  • Talking with Andrés’ padre
  • Rum cake
  • Fresh mountain air
  • Long walks with Andrés
  • Cuddling with my parents’ pup
  • Snyder’s of berlin chips
  • Amazing views from the mountains
  • Having an awesome support system
  • Looong weekends

Trees of Green

I saw these adorable Christmas tree gift tags made from paint swatches on Pinterest & I wanted to use the idea in wrapping our gifts.

I grabbed a whole bunch of green paint swatches from Home Depot & had my parents save up brown paper grocery bags from the commissary.

Here’s how they turned out:

They’re absolutely adorable & even better: they were completely free.

We’re heading up to the mountains tonight to spend Christmas with my family. Can’t wait!

Balls of Rum

I made Rum Balls to bring into work. Since these call for rum (big shocker, I know) I usually end up slightly drunk because I play a made up drinking game with the mixing bowl. I win. Always.

Before I post the recipe I wanted to share the conversation I had with my mom after I made them:

She didn’t respond until the next morning, hah.

Here’s the recipe that’s been handed down for generations:


4 cups of finely crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T. baking cocoa
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4-1/2 cup of rum


Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl. Roll into balls in the palms of your hands then roll in powdered sugar. Let them rest for an hour on a cookie sheet. Re-roll in powdered sugar & store in an air-tight container with wax paper between layers. They get stronger the longer you let them sit, so you can make them several weeks in advance for full flavor.

Here’s the email I sent my coworkers:

From: Candice
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 10:52 AM
To: errybody
Subject: Rum Balls in the Kitchen

I made rum balls!

For clarification, they have rum in them.

Unfortunately, there’s not nearly enough rum for anyone to get tipsy or even buzzed. I added ¼ cup for the whole batch and I brought in 2/3 of the batch.

You do the math. Any office shenanigans cannot be blamed on said rum balls.


Candice :)

They gobbled them up.