Thursday, November 29, 2012

...and we are off for the weekend!


Husband and I are headed to the beautiful little Bavarian Village of Leavenworth, WA for the weekend!
I hear it is a 5 to 6 hour beautiful scenic drive from Portland and that it might snow
**Please let there be snow!**
I'm excited to spend three whole days in Christmas wonderland drinking hot coffee, singing Christmas carols, visiting with good ol' St. Nick, seeing all the Christmas lights and eating lots of good food!
I'm especially excited to share this all with my husband.
(and another couple we love are joining in on the fun too!)

Sorry little Norman, you don't get to tag along this time but we'll be back soon!

A very wonderful weekend to you & Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On a hunt for that perfect tree...

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Our annual family Christmas tree hunt happened this past weekend.
This is one of the things I look forward to every year.
See last years Christmas tree hunt here.

Christmas time is my favorite.
I'm so happy it's finally here again!

Below are two pictures from my Instagram showing our decorated tree!
(you can find me on Instagram as "denisepacurar" or "allthingsnewblog")

instagram pics

{A stocking on the mantle for Jason, me & of course we can't forget little Norman!}

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

(In case you are from Oregon and want to know the location of this fabulous tree farm, here is the website:

Monday, November 26, 2012

It was a very happy Thanksgiving

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So much joy.
So much to be thankful for.
Family. friends. my savior, Jesus. our ~home~. health. peace. the city I live in. freedom. our jobs. Norman. food on the table. my beloved husband. marriage. sunshine. beautiful creation. clean air & water. {love}. technology...
and so much more.

This year my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house... it was a blast!
{A HUGE thank you to my sister in-law Jenn for all the amazing table decor! Checkout her blog here.}

I am so so so blessed.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
This gang sure did!

(See pictures of our big family Thanksgiving last year here.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Autumn Wreath

So.. I promised to do a DIY of this Autumn wreath I made a few weeks ago.
I took pictures of all the supplies and the step by step process of putting it together and cannot find those pictures anywhere!
I think I may have accidently deleted them, so sorry!

Here is the pictureless DIY version:

~one grapevine wreath {I used the same grapevine wreath that I used on my Christmas wreath last year. See it here}
~one burlap roll
~fake decorative pumpkins {they need to be soft so you can poke through them}
~one artificial moss roll
~some sort of sign you can paint and write on
~chalkboard paint & chalk
~about 10 floral pins

Step 1: Wrap the artifial moss around part of the grapevine wreath and use the floral pins to pin it in place
Step 2: Place the pumpkins where you want them on the wreath and use the floral pins to hold them in place. I just poked the floral pins through the pumpkins and into the moss. I had to use 2 floral pins for some of the pumpkins.
Step 3: Paint your chalkboard sign and allow it to dry completely - I got my little sign from JoAnn Crafts. All I had to do was put one coat of chalk paint on it.
Step 4: Hang the wreath using the burlap roll
Step 5: Put your chalkboard sign up and write "Autumn" or whatever you please and your done!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section and I will get back to you!

Also.... Christmas is just around the corner! {yay I LOVE Christmas!}
Here are two of my Christmas DIY projects from last year:
{click on the pictures below for DIY instructions with pictures}

And... if you want to see some more of my DIY projects thay are all listed in the DIY tab at the top of my blog!

Hey, have a happy Friday!
{We are only one week away from Thanksgiving & a four day Thanksgiving weekend for me!}

Thursday, November 15, 2012

brocolli cheese goodness

The other day I had a serious craving for some Broccoli Cheese Soup
I love broccoli and I love anything cheesy; so this soup is the perfect combination.

Here's the recipe in case you are as crazy about Broccoli Cheese Soup as I am!

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup flower
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh Ingredients:
1/2 an onion
1 lb fresh broccoli florets {frozen works fine too, but I prefer fresh}

Wet Ingredients:
6 cups chicken broth or (3) 14oz cans of broth
 2 cups half & half mixed with 1 cup milk {I used non-fat milk, but you can use any percentage}

Other Ingredients:
8 ounces shredded cheese

Cooking Directions:
Heat olive oil in a soup pot and saute onions until they are tender. About 5-7 minutes.

Add 1/2 of chicken broth and all of broccoli. 
Cover and let the broccoli steam for about 7-10 minutes until soft.

While the broccoli cooks, mix the dry ingredients with the half and half & milk.

Use a whisk and mix together until creamy and not clumpy

Once the broccoli is soft enough, use a spatula or pizza cutter {a pizza cutter works really well!} to chop up the broccoli into smaller pieces.

Add the remaining chicken stock, half and half with milk and dry ingredients and continue cooking on med-low for about 10 minutes until the soup thickens. 
Stir frequently.

After about 10 minutes, start adding cheese by the handfuls. 
Stir constantly until the cheese is melted evenly. 
Stirring constantly is important so the soup does not get clumpy. 
{If soup is too thick after all the cheese has been added, you can add some more chicken stock}

Serve and enjoy 
with some cheese and chives sprinkled on top. 

Creamy, cheesy goodness!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

peppermint tea & lemons


Yesterday and today I am home sick.
I caught a bad cold or flu or something. My throat feels like it is the size of a peanut!
I made myself a hot peppermint tea with lemon, my favorite, and am going to snuggle on the couch with little Norman for a while. 
Catch up on some good reading.
I'm then going to attempt to go out for a walk to get some fresh air and maybe even run a few errands if I feel better.
I don't know about you but I get bored really fast if I'm home alone which means that sick days aren't my favorite thing.
1) I'm sick
2) I'm unable to do much and there is always, always, always something to do.
{Shouldn't I be doing something productive? Like editing and printing pictures for those empty frames above my couch?}
My idea of a "day off" is to clean my entire house, do some crafting, run a bunch of errands, and have dinner on the table when my husband gets home.
Sick days don't allow me to do much of this since I am well.....sick.

Hey, at least I have all of your awesome blogs to keep me company!
and gmail chat.... husband? Can I distract you while you try to work?

xo, Denise

Sunday, November 11, 2012

more of the simple life

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I came home after a long Friday to find my husband cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
He made the most delicious tilapia and blackened brussel sprouts for dinner.
I love him.
Much of our weekend has been spent close to home catching up on our favorite shows & raking LOTS of leaves in our front yard.
This morning we woke up and despite the rain, went for a long walk around our neighborhood and sat inside a cozy coffee shop where we had silly conversations & laughed for close to an hour.
I told my husband while we were there that I want to remember these moments forever.

I love the simple life.
I love who I spend it with.


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