Wednesday, November 30, 2011

gift guide under $50 :: for him!

for some reason, i always think that guys are so hard to shop for... but as i was putting this guide together, i realized that there's a lot of 'guy' stuff out there, you just have to be creative. i totally understand that not all guys are the same and thus having different interests and tastes but i think this little round-up will {hopefully} help you think of something other than the standard shirts and socks gifts. :)

1. for the coffee lover :: chemex coffeemaker makes amazing coffee & creates more of an experience than just hitting the 'brew' button on your cuisinart, starts at $35 // or maybe just buy them a bag of some freshly roasted beans like stumptown, $14 / 12oz.

2. for the outdoorsy :: opinel knives can be personalized with engraving {and come in cool gift boxes}! $34.95

3. for the traveller :: headphone splitter $10 {so he can enjoy and share that favorite youtube video with his fellow bandmates or travel buddies} // cool canvas backpack to carry on the plane $32 // timex watch {just in case that iphone craps out} $40

4. for the leather lover :: leather keychain $34 // leather camera strap for the wrist $49

5. for the music lover :: bon iver {or whatever his favorite band is} LP $14.99, $9.99 on itunes

6. for the inner child :: back to the future trilogy blu ray $19.99 // mini walkie talkies $15 // buy credits on the wii shop channel then purchase his favorite childhood game so it's ready to play on christmas morning! starting at just $5

7. for the wood shop lover :: wooden desk caddy $35 // chalkboard tablet $22

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

gift guide under $50 :: for her!

i loooove shopping for people, but i know that some of you don't... or maybe you do, but you just have a hard time finding that 'perfect' gift. so i've decided to put together a couple gift guides this week to help with that. now, i'm not saying that my little round-up is a list of perfect gifts, but it's really just to help you get the gift-giving juices flowing! :)

1. a go-with-everything accessory :: leather wrap bracelet $44 on etsy or $12 at urban outfitters

2. music :: the civil wars / barton hallow $16.99 for LP, $11.99 for CD, $7.99 for digital download {cheaper than itunes!}

3. books :: design*sponge at home $35 {but $17.50 on amazon right now}, penguin classics: pride & prejudice or little women $13

4. fancy posts {that can also work casual} :: $48 at anthro or $5.80 at forever21

5. desk accessories {they'll brighten up any office space!} :: personalized gold pencils $7 (for 24), leather/gold mousepad on etsy $25, keep calm eraser {because who doesn't need that reminder at work?!} $3.95

6. magazine subscription(s) {it's the gift that keeps on givin!} :: vogue $15, whole living $10

Monday, November 28, 2011

monday pick-me-up: sweet potato fries!

what better way to tackle a monday than to indulge in some fries?! the only difference is, these are baked, not fried, yay! i might have made these twice in the last week... oh wait, yes, i definitely did. this is such an easy, healthy snack, side or appetizer... especially during this time of year!! yumski.

2 sweet potatoes {washed}
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp. curry blend {mine had curry, cinnamon, cumin}
1/2 tsp. parsley {plus a little more for garnish}

 - preheat oven to 375 degrees. cut potatoes lengthwise into skinny wedges.
 - combine oil and spices in a large bowl, add wedges and toss until evenly coated.
 - arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. sprinkle salt over the wedges to your liking.
 - bake for 30 minutes.
 - serve immediately, garnish with parsley + salt... enjoy!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


it's the number of years the husband and i have been married today. so crazy. that number represents so many travel adventures and nights in, tea + coffee dates, bike rides to the beach, last-minute d-land trips, endless amounts of time listening to music and talking about it, and everything in between.
husband, i am so thankful for you. the last five years spent with you have been, well, above and beyond amazing. amazing. honestly that word doesn't even feel adequate........ i love that i've never laughed so hard or shed as many tears with anyone else in my life..... i love that, through life's elations and tragedies, you're constant... constantly having a servant's heart, constantly encouraging, constantly loving me and everyone around you. i can't believe i have you, that i'm the one that gets to call you "husband" and all the other 'nic'names, that you're my leader, my best friend, my perfect perfect perfect match. like we've always said:: no one has it this good.
and it just keeps getting better.
happy anniversary.
i love you.
p.s. so much.

nic and ashley. from Brittany Fay on Vimeo.

Friday, November 25, 2011

rosemary + olive oil drop biscuits

being GF has had its good days and bad days... luckily the last year has been pretty good - haven't had too many "i wish i could have..." moments... but i had to have biscuits this thanksgiving, i just had to! so i found a recipe for almond flour drop biscuits a few weeks ago and pinned it for this very occasion. and then, just a couple days ago, i remembered having some amazing rosemary + olive oil bread long before my GF days and thought 'yeah girl!!' so here's my simple recipe for just that. :)

  2 1/2 cups almond flour
  1/2 tsp. salt
  1/2 tsp. baking soda
  2 eggs
  1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1/4 cup honey
  2 tablespoons fresh rosemary {about two sprigs - chopped}

   - preheat oven to 350 degrees.
   - whisk dry ingredients {flour, salt, baking soda, rosemary} together in one bowl, mix wet ingredients in a larger bowl then combine dry mixture to wet. blend until thoroughly combined {i used a spatula when it started to thicken up}
   - drop heaping spoonfuls {just shy of 1/4 cup} onto parchment lined baking sheet.
   - bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the biscuits look golden brown.
   - serve immediately and enjoy!! {makes about 10 biscuits}

{a snapshot of our first montana thanksgiving... it was magical.}

Thursday, November 24, 2011

giving thanks today...

... for my family.
... for my friends.

i truly thank God for you guys and i love you all so much...
happy thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thanksgiving dessert: pumpkin muffins + cream cheese frosting

instead of making the traditional pumpkin pie {as delicious as it is}, i decided to make something different for t-day dessert... ok, i had no other choice as someone else was already bringing the pie. but needless to say, i'm really glad i had to get creative. so after little debate, i decided to make pumpkin muffins {changed the recipe slightly from the recently posted bouchons to something slightly sweeter} with cream cheese frosting and a little cinnamon/sugar dust. mm mmm mmmm! can't wait to have another one tomorrow :)

pumpkin muffins
  1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  1 1/4 cups all-purpose GF flour
  1 cup almond flour
  1/2 cup agave nectar
  1/2 cup apple sauce
  2 large eggs
  1 tsp. baking soda
  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  1 tsp. cinnamon
  1/2 tsp. ginger
  1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  1/2 tsp. all spice
  1/4 tsp. salt

cream cheese frosting
  4 oz. cream cheese {i used light cream cheese}
  4 tablespoons butter
  1 tsp. vanilla
  1/2 cup powdered sugar

  1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  1 tsp. cinnamon
  handful of slivered almonds, broken up

 - preheat oven to 350 degrees. cut 5" parchment paper squares for muffin pan {or use regular muffin cups}.
 - whisk together dry ingredients {flours, baking soda + powder, spices}. blend wet ingredients until combined {eggs, pumpkin, agave, apple sauce}. slowly add dry mixture to wet, blend until thoroughly combined.
 - spoon into parchment paper cups, fill nearly to the top.
 - bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. while the muffins are baking, blend ingredients for frosting in one bowl, and mix dust ingredients in another.
 - transfer cups to wire rack, let cool. frost and dust to your liking... enjoy!!

happy thanksgiving eve!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

monday pick-me-up: easy, hearty tortilla soup!

mmm... there is nothing better than homemade soup on a cold, snowy night! especially if it's an easy soup... which is what i'll be sharing with you. most soups on the internet call for cups of chicken broth, which i don't like to use because i have yet to find a chicken broth/stock at the store without msg, natural flavorings (which are not natural at all!), and high amounts of salt... all of which are so bad for you. so i've been making soup without it, just adding water instead to avoid all those unhealthy ingredients... and it tastes great!! husband was raving about this one in particular. :)

(i use all organic ingredients- they always taste best!!)
  1/2 lb. of organic ground beef
  3/4 jar of salsa
  2 celery stalks (chopped)
  1/2 onion (chopped)
  3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  3 tbsp. olive oil
  1 cup of brown rice
  1 can of black beans (strained)
  1 jalapeno (finely chopped)
  tortilla chips + cilantro for garnish
  salt + pepper to taste

   1. saute chopped garlic, onion, and jalapeno with 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot (over medium-high heat).
   2. once the onion looks translucent, fill pot 2/3 with water, bring to a boil.
   3. add rice, salsa, celery and black beans. set timer for 45 minutes.
   4. in a separate pan, cook ground beef in the remaining olive oil then add to the soup, reduce heat to low, so that the soup is simmering.
   5. once the timer goes off, serve and garnish with tortilla chips and cilantro! if the soup isn't as spicy as you thought it would be, just sprinkle some crushed red peppers on top {i did it and tastes great!}.
{p.s. refrigerate the remainder of the soup}

enjoy! :)

a week's worth

i know. i haven't been posting every day. so sorry. i've got to get into a habit!
working on lots of ideas i have for illustrations, patterns, and prints!! i'll keep you posted! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

monday pick-me-up: pumpkin {bouchon} muffins

'tis the season to bake!! i don't know about you, but i've been in a baking flurry ever since the calendar read november 1st. and i have no complaints or regrets for my recent convection obsession (and i don't think the husband does either!). i found a great recipe from one of my fave bloggers - roost - for butternut squash bouchons (which, if you didn't know, are sort of like muffins but a little taller and a little skinnier) but i don't have little bouchon baking cups so i just used a good ol' fashioned muffin pan... they turned out great and i was immediately inspired to make some pumpkin bouchons (or muffins... i just like using the word bouchon as much as possible!) so i changed up the recipe a little bit and am completely happy with the results!
i feel like i should warn you fellow sweet-toothers: these are not cupcakes, they are not super sweet, nor will they leave you feeling guilty after partaking... you'll notice the recipe doesn't call for butter or oil, or cups upon cups of sugar! so, if you'd rather have something more decadent for dessert, you could save these for fall mornings paired with your morning cup of caffeine . :)

   2 1/2 cups of GF flour {i'm sure normal flour would work fine too}
   2 cups of pumpkin
   1/2 cup of applesauce
   1/4 cup of honey
   1/3 cup of brown sugar
   2 eggs
   1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
   2 tsp. cinnamon
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. baking soda
   chopped walnuts + raw sugar for sprinkling {optional}

{makes 16 bouchon muffins}

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • whisk dry ingredients together {flour, spices, salt, baking soda}.
  • add the other ingredients and stir until combined.
  • drop into parchment paper lined muffin pan.
  • sprinkle with chopped walnuts + raw sugar {optional... but highly recommended!}
  • bake for 30-35 minutes
  • enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

a loved chair

{sitting in the studio while the husband works and this chair caught my eye. love this chair.}

Saturday, November 12, 2011

christmas card elements

this week i've been focusing on playing with different elements for our first-ever christmas card {yes, we've been married for 5 years this month, but have failed to send out a christmas greeting all those years}. so here is a sneak peak of what i've been working on::

Thursday, November 10, 2011

christmas inspiration

it's that time of year (almost). i'm already humming christmas tunes and thinking about christmas gifts... and apparently, anthro is too! it really is the most wonderful time of the year. :)

olive tree + happy bear

{i think this bear might be one of my faves (after wall-e of course:) but there's something about this little fuzzy guy that makes me smile... maybe the fact that he's smiling? i'm gearing up for the children's book illustrations so i drew this bear with some emotion - to test the waters - and i can already tell that it's going to be so fun to draw animal characters with cute facial expressions. :)}

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

animal kingdom

{i've been researching various animals for a children's book i'm working on at the moment... i'm really excited about this one!!}

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

catchup part 2

i sketched two things today because i completely forgot to do one yesterday!!! forgive me? i hope so. :)

{this banner was a quick sketch for a project i'm going to be working on... i love the brainstorming/inspiration process}