Tuesday, November 26, 2013


A few years ago my mom gave us her food dehydrator and I knew right away I wanted to make fruit leather (fruit roll-ups) like she used to make for us when we were kids. Well, it sat in our cupboard for years and we never used it for a darn thing. During our cleaning and organizing spree we came across the box it came in along with the recipe book, so we decided to not only use it to make fruit leather, but Logan made beef jerky as well! :) Both turned out amazing. Neither of us followed a recipe in the book. We both made up our own. Here is my recipe for (simple & healthy!) strawberry apple fruit leather. Now I understand not everyone has a dehydrator, so now is a good time to add it to the Christmas list! The one we have is an American Harvest Dehydrator.

• 16 oz (1lb) frozen strawberries (I get mine from trader joes. Strawberries are one thing you should try and buy organic)
• 4 fuji apples - peeled and cut into 1 in pieces (any sweet apple will work)
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1/4 cup honey
• shaved coconut - sweetened or unsweetened (optional)

Simmer the frozen strawberries and apples in a saucepan with the 1/2 cup water for about 15-20 minutes or until the apples are softened. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend with the lemon juice and honey.  Lightly spray two of the fruit leather sheets (they come with the dehydrator) with pam and pour the mixture from the blender onto the sheets. Sprinkle the shaved coconut on top.  Set the dehydrator to 140°F and dehydrate for 4-8 hours. 

Note: Mine took way longer than that. It will depend on how thin or thick you pour your fruit puree. The recipe above makes either three thinner rolls or two thinker ones. I decided to pour mine thicker and made two and that is why my dehydrating time was longer. You just kind of have to watch it. Once you do it a few times and figure out how thick you want your fruit leather, you will know how long it takes. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013


My friend Rochelle asked if I would take some newborn pictures of her adorable son, Archer. I told her I had never done them, but I would give it a shot. I found some things around the house that we could put him in and made a little "studio" in front of one of our windows. We do not have a great window with natural light, but we made it work. Next house we build, a big window with great natural light is a must! :)

Welcome to the world Archer Robert! You are just too sweet! :)

Friday, November 22, 2013


Look! It's a blog post for the first time all week! :) Believe it or not, I am actually thankful for more than just three things. ;) 

A little life update: The holiday season is upon us, which means work is crazy for my team. Besides work being busy, I have been working on a logo for a photographer friend of mine (can't wait to share!!!), I am taking my first newborn pictures this weekend, we have been deep cleaning and organizing our house from top to bottom, and I haven't bought a single Christmas gift. :)

Anyways, I am determined to continue on with my thankful list, so here is round 2. Again, in no particular order. 

MY FRIENDS. I could not image going through life without them - my family friends, high school friends, college roommates, cheerleading teammates, the friends I met bartending at the College Pub, my current coworkers, our neighbors, my two awesome carpoolers and my two best friends in the entire world, Jodie and Kate. I love them all. Most of them are over-the-top silly and slightly weird. My friends must be a little weird - it is a requirement. Life would be boring without weird people. :) I am so thankful for each and every one of them and our friendship. I feel so lucky to have met so many good people in my life and am so excited for all the ones I still have to meet.

By bachelorette party five years ago... where does the time go?!

MY TRAMERI FAMILY. Now those of you who know me on a personal level know that my family is anything, but perfect. (I won't go into details.) I am thankful for them anyways. I grew up knowing I was loved and they provided me with all of the necessary skills I needed to become a fully functioning human being. What more could you ask for?! :) I am thankful for them and every memory we created as a family. I am also thankful for a family that never pretended like we were perfect. That alone, has taught me so much.

MY JOB. It pays the bills, allows me to be creative almost every single day, and has connected me to some of the most amazing women. They are my second family.

VACATION. Who isn’t thankful for vacation? Better yet, who is isn’t thankful for paid vacation? (another reason I am thankful for my job) Like I said earlier, the gym keeps me sane on a day to day basis, but that one vacation a year (I wish it was more) keeps me sane all year long. I am so thankful for the places I have had the opportunity to see. I truly believe what everyone wants in life is to fall in love, travel, and be happy. If I had more money, I wouldn’t buy a bigger house, no sir. I would travel this great world.

(I couldn't pick just one vacation picture. We have so many! Here are a few of my favorites.)

Bormio, Itlay

Anne Maria Island, Florida


Thursday, November 14, 2013


Do not let the 'before' picture scare you. We are really quite clean and organized 99% of the time. Have you met my husband?! Cleaning tools are just as (if not more) important than power tools. We might as well buy stock in Dyson and Swiffer. Needless to say, my crafting space lacked organization and style and needed a face lift. I was an art major in college and a craft supply hoarder, so the outcome of that is a whole lot of art/crafting supplies. Something needed to be done! 

Now that the craft room is done, my goal is to hit a different area of our house each weekend and have the entire house decluttered and organized by Christmas.  I know this is weird, but the thought of getting out Christmas decorations and plopping a tree in the middle of our living room gives me the sweats thinking that we would just be adding more clutter. We plan on hitting the basement storage room this weekend and our closet the next. Then we will do the bathroom and kitchen drawers and cupboards. It is your lucky day St. Vinny's! The Buells are cleaning house!

Anyways, here is the craft room transformations and the tutorials I used to make it happen. We are clearly a DIY family! Good thing Logan is so handy!

Now here is why is pays to thrift, grab things off the side of the road, troll craigslist, hit up flea markets/antique stores and take hand-me-downs!

• Wooden barrel that is holding all my wrapping paper - found on the side of the road - FREE
• White storage cabinet - craig's list (used to be an American Eagle make-up storage fixture) - $90
• Sewing machine - my Grandma's (I love it b/c it is so simple it can't break) - FREE
• Green chair - My grandma's (hand me down) - FREE
• Wooden Plank used behind the mason jars - from our attic - left over from building our house - FREE
• Lotta cola wooden crate & tin can - Elkhorn flea market - $5 each
• Vintage Globe - Odana Antiques - $16

Things I bought form a conventional store:
IKEA spice racks (on either side of the shelves) - $3.99 each
• The large piece of butcher block used to make the countertop - Menards (do not remember exact price, but it was under $200)
• Mason Jars (wide mouth quart) - Menards - 12 for $8.99
• Metal clamps for around Mason Jars (2 3/4 - 3 3/4 stainless steel) - Menards - $1.39 a piece
• Pegboard with spacer/mounting kit - $9.38
• 3 sets of different hooks for the peg board - $4.77 for all 3

I love to decorate spaces. Every time I decide to style (or restyle) a room, I make a pinterest board for inspiration. I then look at what we already own and how I might be able to use it or revamp it so I can use it. I love that we are saving money and up-cycling something we already have. Anyone can buy over-priced items from Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel, but it takes creativity to make what you already have, work. Plus, I love the fact that many of the things I use are one of a kind pieces. Give me an up-cycled antique any day over a piece of furniture from Steinhafels. (puke) 

Here is Ellis' room that I also designed on a dime:

I cannot say it looks that good any more. It has somehow gotten cluttered and a little messy. I guess that is what happens when you actually live in a space! lol

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I am sure you have all noticed the thankful posts on facebook lately. You know, the #30DaysOfThanks posts. Well, I have really enjoyed reading all of them and have decided to jump on the thankful bandwagon myself. When you really stop and think about it, there is so much to be thankful for. It it nice to pause and take notice. At this point I am a bit very behind on the 30 days, but that's ok! So here goes the first three - in no particular order.

LOGAN. Yes, Yes, I know everyone is thankful for their husbands. That’s kind of a given, right?! So yes, I am thankful for that series of events that allowed our paths to cross that one night in college, but what I am really talking about here is his character. He is kind, caring, always puts his family first, an amazing Father, my biggest fan and above all, he keeps me grounded and balanced. Is he perfect? No. I am? Heck no! Do we fight? Yup, we sure do, but in the end, I really couldn’t think of a better partner in life. I feel our relationship is very even and we view each other as equals. Now I know it isn’t good to keep score, but it sure is nice to know we walk beside each other, not one in front of the other. We are a team and I am so thankful for that.

ELLIS. Yup, another given. I know. Let's just say that I never, not for one second, have taken for granted that fact that I was blessed with the ability to get pregnant and carry a child. Logan and I were blessed with a happy, healthy and incredibly spunky little girl who fills our lives with love. She is truly the good stuff in life. I am thankful for her every single day.

THE GYM. Many days I feel like it is what keeps me sane. I truly believe a good sweat cures all. Whether it is a class at work (doubles as social hour) or a long run by myself where I can just think. I am thankful for the ability to get moving. Feeling strong, fit and healthy is something I do not take for granted.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Last week was my first week of a new workout/eating plan. I have signed on for a 60-day workout challenge and a 30-day paleo eating challenge with a few girls I work with. I have traded in my running shoes for weights and plyometrics and my carbs for proteins. I must say I am much better at sticking with the workouts than the eating plan. ;) A life without dairy or beans is just not a life for me! But I can do anything for 30 days, right?!  ummm... kind of.

The workouts are more intense that anything I have ever done and I do not think I could get through them without music. Here is my most recent playlist. Music makes all the difference when working out. #1- it pumps me up (Roar by Katy Perry, I mean c'mon!) and #2 - it prevents me from hearing my own breathing and realizing I am tried as hell. :)

RUNNING MIX - Vol. 3 by Katie Buell on Grooveshark

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I am over at Pretty Providence today with my November free printable contributor post! Head on over to get your free Christmas gift tags! I might be bias, but I think they are pretty darn fun! :)

Friday, November 8, 2013


So this post doesn't have a whole lot of content besides that fact that I want you to know that World Market has pretty awesome jewelry! :) I mean, really... who would've thought!? Everyone knows that World Market has awesome home goods and furniture, but jewelry??? I have gotten a couple pieces there and they are good quality and I do not think the prices are bad at all! If your vibe is slightly bohemian, World Market is the place for you! they also have some great scarves and hats!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


It has been a while since I have done an Ellis post. I suppose 18 months would have been more of a milestone, but I missed that one. :)

What we will remember about E at 19 months:
- She LOVES baby dolls - JUST.LOVES.THEM. She has been known to carry several around at once and get very upset if someone Isla (her cousin) tries to take one away. She pulls down all of our kitchen towels and swaddles her favorite doll "baby" in them. It is so darn cute.
- Her new trick is throwing her toys (yes, baby included!!!) in the kitchen sink! We always soak her sippy cups and other things in warm, soapy water in the sink, so we have had to dry out some books and give a few time-outs!
- On the subject of time-outs, she doesn't understand that they are a bad thing. She gladly goes over and sits in her 'time-out' spot and continually says "I sowey" (I'm sorry) with a big smile. ugg. Discipline is an area we struggle in. 
- She says so many things, meaning we need to watch our mouths more than ever. She will repeat anything. She will link words together and say things like "I love you, Mommy" and it melts my heart. Her little voice could not be more sweet. I love that she can now communicate with us and tell us exactly what she wants.
- Ok, this one is a funny one. I can't think of anything she is really afraid of except beards and black foam rollers!!! She is getting over the beard phobia, but man, do black foam rollers terrify her! She cries at the sight. We happen to have a few friends who own foam rollers, one being a personal trainer (Matt) and one (Luis) who just loves to roll. ;) Matt has two of them, a red one and a black one. The red one was no big deal, but forget that black one!!! That black one was clearly dangerous and very scary! The whole thing cracks me up.
- Super Why. The girl loves herself some Super Why! Our neighbors told us about the show and she just can't get enough. I think I know all the songs (and dances) by heart. Make sure to visit 'Storybook Village' if you have a little munchkin.
- The potty. We have recently introduced her to the training potty and she just likes to stick baby in it, close and top and sit on it. I guess we know her thoughts on starting potty training.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Like I have mentioned so many times before, my sister in law, Ashley, is always making the most delicious food. She is always experimenting with yummy snacks and treats for the kids and I get to sample them from time to time when I pick up E after work. (Ashley runs the Buell family daycare and yes, we are so lucky to have her!)

She found a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal breakfast cookies, changed it, gave it to me, I changed it a little more and here it is. I love them! They are fast, easy, seasonally appropriate (we are all crazy for anything pumpkin in the fall), perfect for breakfast or a snack and not overly sweet.  

1 can pumpkin

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

3 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons flax meal
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Bake 350° for about 12 to 14 minutes

Friday, November 1, 2013


I am so excited to be guest posting over at 5th and Vine today! Amy asked me to pull together style post while she is away having some fun with the fam! Here it is:

Let's start this post off by talking about pinterest. I.am.completely.addicted. I use it for inspiration for everything - projects at work, freelance design, DIY/sewing projects and style ideas!! I am not one of those girls who has a unbelievable knack for putting outfits together, so to pinterest I go! I always find these amazing style ideas, but when I click into the pin, the image came from tunblr (no links) or the blogger's wardrobe budget seems to be a bit waayyyyy more than mine. ;)

I have taken three looks I am loving right now and found some affordable items to put them together!

(inspiration picture: midwestern darling tumblr)

ONE $30.03  |  TWO $18  |  THREE $11.99  |  FOUR $64  |  FIVE (sold out - another option)  |  SIX $39.99

(inspiration pic: the day book blog)
ONE $42  |  TWO $50 (it says 'journey' on the inside. swoon)  |  THREE $33
FOUR $22.97  |  FIVE $24.10  |  SIX $12.95  |  SEVEN $7.80  |  EIGHT $99.95

(inspiration pic: mekenna bleu)
ONE $17.99  |  TWO $53.99  |  THREE $89.50  |  FOUR $74.99  |  FIVE $22.80  |  SIX $8.80  |  SEVEN $28.69