Author Archives: Anne

About Anne

Family: my wonderful husband, Adam, and our amazing little girl, Isla Dwelling: a small Cape Cod in the suburbs Real job: Human Resources Coordinator and Office Manager for DeskArmor, LLC. Homemaker tip: Even the simplest food can look elegant if you serve it properly. Presenting food on adorable platters is an easy way to impress guests. I am ashamed to admit that: I have never used a lawn mower. (I am blessed with a husband who takes pride in his yard) Three foods I can’t live without: cheese, olive oil, and chicken fingers Most important lesson learned: being a mom is the hardest job you’ll ever love One thing I am afraid of running out of: Clorox anywhere spray…and diapers

Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple Rice

I absolutely love chicken cooked on the grill.  We have been eating it so often that I am starting to try new sides to keep it fun and new.  I came across this recipe for pineapple rice on Our Best Bites.  The pineapple give the rice the perfect amount of sweetness and the cilantro adds a wonderful flavor.  The best part is my kids love it as well.
grilled chicken

Teriyaki Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Rice

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
2 cups store bought Teriyaki Marinade

2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
2 Tbsps butter
Juice of 1 lime
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained.
½  Cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the chicken in a plastic bag and cover with the marinade.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

In a large bowl, mix the warm, cooked rice with the butter, lime juice, pineapple and cilantro.  Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Heat your grill to medium high.  Remove chicken from the marinade and discard any leftover marinade.  Cook chicken until no longer pink, about 5 – 7 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the breast.  Let rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve over rice.

grilled chicken2



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Filed under Grill, Main Dish

Sweet and Simple Birthday Party

My daughter turned 1 a few months ago. I knew that I wanted to make her first birthday special, but wanted to keep it simple so I could focus on her big day and not be overwhelmed with all of the details.  I ordered a few wonderful decorations on etsy and kept the menu easy with food that both adults and kids would love.

invitationInvitation from Penelope and Lala.

buffetI set up a simple buffet table and added little gold flags and bunting.  The rag garland was also a beautiful touch and stayed hung in my living room for weeks after the party.  Rag garland and flags also from Penelope and Lala.

buffet close2We served a variety of muffins, pigs in a blanket, bacon and broccoli quiche, apricot and cheese crescent bites, and a salad topped with barley and roasted sweet potatoes (elin’s favorite).

cake and smash cakeWe served caramel cake with salted caramel icing along with a mini smash cake for Miss Elin.

sweet birthday girlThe birthday girl looked adorable in her party outfit!  (Shirt from B. Swanky and bloomers from Bloomin Bloomers)

yay cake!Everyone had a blast and Elin especially loved her first taste of cake.

the aftermathHappy Birthday Sweet Elin!  We love you so much!



Filed under Birthday, Entertain

Simple Roasted Vegetables

My 1 year old daughter is a true veggie lover.  She especially loves anything that is roasted.  After making her many batches of roasted veggies I realized that I almost forgot just how good a simply roasted vegetables can be.  Sometimes we get so consumed by making a recipe unique, adding all kinds of sauces or spices, that we forget that a vegetable in its truest form is actually very delicious, and good for you!  I have found that using coconut oil helps to bring out the sweetness.  I understand that this recipe is not necessary earth shattering, but hopefully it will inspire you to rediscover the simplicity of roasted vegetables.


Roasted Carrots and Zucchini

4 large carrots, pealed and sliced into even sized pieces.
1 medium sized zucchini sliced into evenly sized pieces
2-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Sea Salt

Preheat your oven to 400 deegrees.  Place your cut up veggies in a bowl and drizzle with the melted coconut oil.  Toss until all of the veggies are coated.  The coconut oil will probably harden slightly onto the carrots and zucchini and that is ok.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

carrots and zuchini pre baking

Lay out on parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes turning every 10 minutes.

Remove when brown around the edges and tender.


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Filed under Cook, Kid Friendly, Sides

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Salted Caramel is all the rage these days.  I honestly had never really tried the combo but after hearing about it over and over again I decided to go for it.  I made a basic vanilla cake very similar to Katie’s Lemon Cupcake recipe except I added caramel creamer instead of lemon and played around with the icing until I got it just right.  One bite of these salted caramel cupcakes and I instantly figured out what all the fuss was about.

salted caramel cupcakes

Seriously, the addition of salt is genius.  It makes all of the flavors pop.  I was somewhat hesitant to add sea salt on top of the cupcakes, but once I did and gave it a try I was hooked.

salted caramel cupcake

Salted Caramel cupcakes

Caramel Cupcakes
1 1/2 Cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
4 eggs
2/3 Cup Caramel Coffee Creamer (you could use half and half if you don’t have the creamer)
1/3 cup Half and Half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 standard sized muffin tins with 24 liners.  Combine flours together and whisk.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then the vanilla.  Add the flour in 3 batches, alternating with the the half and half and creamer as you go.   Spoon the mixture evenly into the lined muffin tin.  Bake for 15-17 minutes.  Let cool.

Salted Caramel Frosting
1 cup softened butter
1 cup caramel topping
6-8 cups powdered sugar
3-6 Tbsp milk

cupcake topping
1/2 cup caramel topping for drizzle
Sea Salt

Blend the butter and caramel topping together until creamy.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, adding small amounts of milk as you go in order to reach the right consistency.  Beat until creamy.  Frost the cooled cupcakes.  Drizzle with caramel and top with a pinch of sea salt.

up close




Filed under Cook, Treats

And the winner is…

Thanks to everyone who entered our Chasing Paper giveaway.  We wish we could give you all some stylish, removable wall paper but unfortunately we can only have one winner!

Congratulations to Nicole who loved dot in grey and white!  You will receive a $50 credit towards you next Chasing Paper purchase.

Winner chosen using Blog giveaway sponsored by Chasing Paper.

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{Giveaway} Chasing Paper

As a homeowner, I have painted almost every room in my home.  Some more than once!  I have looked into hanging wall paper and love the pop of color and pattern that it brings to the walls, but have always been hesitant to jump in and go for it.  It just seems so permanent and complicated. I have also scrapped the glue off one too many walls to ever want to do that again!

Enter Chasing Paper.  A company that creates removable wallpaper that is both stylish and easy to use.  You can get the look your going for without the commitment.  And it isn’t just for walls!  The removable paper can be used on tabletops, closet doors or any other smooth surface.  Chasing Paper was founded by Elizabeth Rees and launched it’s new website today.   We are thrilled to be able to offer our readers a chance to win $50 to use towards a Chasing Paper purchase.   I had the honor of interviewing Elizabeth, the mastermind behind Chasing Paper.  Read on to learn more about this wonderful company and for details on how to win!



Give us the one-minute bio of yourself.
I am a Midwestern gal that has found her home all over the world in the last 10 years.  Working, studying and finding my way through tiny towns and big cities, I have been cultivating my entrepreneurial spirit along the way.  Since I grew up in the printing industry, it was important for me carve out my own place and conquer my own territory, and so Chasing Paper was born: stylish removable wallpaper for the urban home.

Tell us a little bit about Chasing Paper.

Chasing Paper was created in the conversations with serial-movers, stylish mamas who get exited with the idea that a room could grow with their babies, renters who feel like anything but, those with a hate-hate relationship with white walls and of course, DIYers.  High design meets no-commitment, no-hassle, change-your-mind-as-many-times-as-you-want-to. Whether you are subletting for the summer, changing your teenage daughter’s room with every mood or just been staring at that white wall one week too long, with Chasing Paper transformation is just around the corner.



What has been your favorite Chasing Paper creation?

It’s hard to choose a favorite since Chasing Paper can be used in so many different ways.  When preparing for our photo shoot I put the black and white stripes up horizontally in my bedroom.  It took 10 minutes to do and the effect was so dramatic!  

Enter to win!

To enter our giveaway, check out the Chasing Paper website, then leave a comment below letting us know your favorite pattern and how you would use the stylish removable wallpaper.  The giveaway ends Thursday at midnight and the winner will be selected at random and announce on Friday March 25th. Good Luck!



Filed under Uncategorized

Mini Chip Blondies

Unlike Katie and Stef, I am a huge chocolate lover.  However, when it comes to things made with chocolate chips, like chocolate chip cookies for example, I always prefer them with fewer chips than the recipe calls.  This recipe form Our Best Bites is for Triple Chip Blondies.  My husband loved the fact that each bite was packed with lots of chocolate, however I found them a little too rich. I made the next batch with mini chocolate chips instead and I thought they were perfect.  More blondie, less chips. Just the way I like it.

cookie bars

Mini Chip Blondies

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1-2 cups mini chocolate chips

Mix the first four ingredients until well combined.  Add the flour and stir.  Finally add the chocolate chips .  Pour into a 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Cool completely and slice.

cookie bars up close

What I love best about this recipe is that you really can cater it to your tastes. Don’t like chocolate, add white chips and pecans instead!


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Filed under Cook, Treats

Cinnamon Honey Butter

For Christmas this year, I made and delivered Cinnamon Honey Butter to neighbors, family and friends.  The butter was very easy to make and turned out to be delicious.  I have received so many requests for the recipe that I figured I should post it on HAP!

cinnamon honey butter up close

This is supposedly the recipe for the Texas Road House honey butter.  You can find variations all over the internet, but this combination is my favorite.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

1 cup butter, softened (not melted)

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Blend all of the ingredients together with a mixer until smooth.  Store in jars and refrigerate.

cinnamon honey butter

We have used this on everything from toast to sweet potatoes.  The possibilities are endless and so delicious!




Filed under Christmas, Cook, Quick & Easy, Treats

{Cookie Week} Mint Chocolate Cookies

If you are in a hurry and need to whip up an extra batch of cookies to get on your cookie plate this year, here is your go to recipe.  These chocolate mint cookies are delicious and the best part is they can be made quickly thanks to the use of a chocolate cake mix.  Mint not your thing?  Change up the recipe by adding white chocolate chips or raspberry chips for a totally different flavor.


Mint Chocolate Cookies

1 chocolate cake mix
1 egg
1 stick of butter, softened
3 tbsp water.
1 bag mint chocolate chips

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until combined.  Drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

quick. easy. delicious.



Filed under Christmas, Cook, Treats

{Cookie Week} Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

My mother-in-law always has the best cookie plate every year.  She makes sure everyone has their annual favorites and takes the time to make dozens of batches.  Last year, I couldn’t get enough of these Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints.  They are somewhat time consuming, but make the most delicious cookie!


Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

For the cookies, combine butter, sugar and  almond extract in large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until creamy. Reduce speed to
low; add flour. Beat until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes). Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly). Fill each indentation with about 1/4 tsp jam.

Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute, remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, stir together all glaze ingredients in small bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. Makes 3 1/2 dozen


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Filed under Christmas, Cook, Treats