Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Wedding Dress Went to Goodwill

Our friends were coming to town a few days after Christmas, so Dave and I wanted to tidy up the place since we hadn't been home all weekend and then some. I left my sweet husband a honey-do list, and he honey-did. I came home to a lovely, clean apartment after working the day after Christmas. As I sat down to unwind with my guy, I realized that this box that we had by the door was gone. In my mind, I knew that that box contained both things to keep and things to purge. Well, in my things to keep list wedding dress!

I failed to communicate to Dave that I hadn't sorted through the box yet, and since he was on such a roll with cleaning and stuff, he decided to take a car load of stuff to the local Goodwill. Needless to say, I had a meltdown for fear that i'd lose my wedding dress to someone who wouldn't understand why it meant more than the normal amount to me. Our wedding photographers pursue to inspire forever, covenant, and "Don't Give Up" into the couples' marriage for whom they photograph. They have each couple pick something on which they want to write the word "prevail." In our case, we picked my dress. We would have picked the treehouse, but we weren't sure how realistic it would be to always have that with us wherever we would end up. Who knew that Sharpied fabric would become to dear to me.

Now the only thing I could see was my dress wadded up in a sad ball-- a needle in a haystack post crazy Christmas donations. Dave zipped out the door as soon as I confirmed that my dress just got handed over to unknowing strangers and drove back to see if he could get it back. When he got there, there were different people working and no one recognized him from the earlier drop off and vice versa. He came home--hands empty. The manager told him that they would keep an eye out for my dress (which was for whatever reason really hard to believe). That began the just-in-case grieving process--tears flowing.

I kept on telling myself, "If it's meant to be, i'll get my dress back." I, along with a few friends, said some prayers, and hoped for the best.

Friends, beyond good news!! I don't have to just remember my dress by way of photos. I can keep it and show our kids and maybe even our grandkids one day. Thank you Goodwill for your goodwill. They called Dave to let us know that they'd come across the bag with my dress, in a box, in a pile. Thank you, love, for making it your mission to get that back for me. I love, so much.

That...was a close one.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Brittle-icious: An Easy Toffee Brittle Recipe

Buttery, flaky, nutty, chocolatey goodness. Yeap, that is what you get once you've completed the easy steps for making this toffee brittle. I found this recipe on one of my favorite sites which I frequent on an almost daily basis and adapted it just a smidge. Darling Magazine is not only one of my favorite websites, it's also now one of my go-to magazines and movements because of their mission. Lady friends (and gentlemen too if you'd like), you have got to check it out if you haven't already.

Now to get to these beauties: 

 (Adapted just a bit by me)

- 2 sticks of butter
- 1 cup of sugar (white or brown)
- 12 oz of chocolate (a bag of choc. chips)
- 1 cap full of vanilla extract
- 40 saltines (one sleeve)
- toppings (I used dark Almond Roca for one batch and peanuts for another)


Step 1 Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place saltines on the cookie sheet.
Step 2 Melt butter and sugar over medium heat in a small pot, whisking a few times. When the mixture comes to a boil, add in the vanilla. Stir.  Pour it as evenly as you can over the saltines.
Step 3 Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.
Step 4 Take the toffee out of the oven and sprinkle chocolate over it. Spread with a spatula to cover. The chocolate should melt immediately, but if it doesn’t, pop it back in the oven for 30 seconds to a minute.
Step 5  Let it cool and then place the brittle into the fridge for at least two hours. Then, take the trays out and break the toffee up with your hands or with a serrated knife.

These made the best somewhat last minute gifts (not just for Christmas--they'd be great to bring to a party, potluck, etc...). They're dangerously tasty. Enjoy!

Christmas 2012

I didn't do the best job of documenting our Christmas gatherings this year, but there were plenty. We were in Simi Valley twice, Santa Clarita, Arleta, and Santa Barbara. There was no shortage of family, friends,  sugar, napping, catching up, or good conversations. Ever since Dave and I have been married, we've had the joy of getting to learn and celebrate the different expressions of family between our families.
What we used for our Christmas "card."
At my parents' house after the annual Christmas Eve service.
 My parents :).
 The Swedish Fish candy cane ornamented tree @ Sam's right before
we opened gifts with mom and sister-in-love.
Oh, aside from great family time, there were plenty of four-legged friends too!
(Pictured furry friend: Biscotti)

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. 
Can you believe it'll be next year next week?!
Are you doing anything exciting? 
We're going to San Fran with some friends (yippeee!)--pictures to come :D.

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