Culinary Challenge Week #15

Another week has passed and the votes are in… Iceland was a very interesting place for our palettes to visit. The word I kept coming back to describe their cuisine was earthy. And I mean that is the very best sense possible. It wasn’t overly spiced and yet it wasn’t ballad. It was hearty and geared to the colder months, but wasn’t heavy. I don’t know if that makes sense at all.

Let’s get to it!

Cod+Potato(Plokkfiskur) Stew 9 out of 10

This was probably the favorite recipe of the week! A very thin stew with just potatoes and cod fish, but it was delicious. Again not super spicy or flavorful and yet it left you wanting another bowl.

Spiced Cabbage+Blueberries(Kryddao Rauokál meo Bláberjum) 7 out of 10

This was amazingly weird. It acted kinda like a pallet cleanser. It’s berry notes and tart aftertaste complementing whatever dish it was paired with. Great over salads, fish or all by itself. Such a unique way to prepare cabbage.

Rye Bread 7 out of 10

So I liked this bread, Tay not so much. It’s definitely different and stands away from all the other breads we’ve made this far. Dense and earthy(there’s that word again) are the two best words I can think of to describe it.

Kleina Fried Iceland Donuts 10 out of 10

On second thought these were the best part of this week! The absolute perfect combination of donut and funnel cake!! We were in heaven. The only downside of course for anything fried is that you have to eat it hot and right out of the oil. No leftovers(ah the sadness) But man did we eat well that night.

Icelandic Caramelized Potatoes 8 out of 10

Kind of like the cabbage these sugar coated potatoes added a cleansing sweetness after some yummy baked fish. Such an awesome idea to pare so much sweetness with a traditionally savory dish.

Baked Cod in Buttery Egg Sauce 7 out of 10

Speaking of savory, this baked cod was pretty good. Not earth shattering good, I have had other fishy recipes I enjoyed more. But not bad. Again on the bland side without ever actually being considered bland.

Icelandic Cinnamon Rolls Toffee and Chocolate 10 out of 10

These were arguably the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had in my life!! Soft, gooey, totally bad for you rolls from heaven. They were gone in a day(spilt among eight so don’t everyone freak out) and I miss them already.

And that concludes another exciting week of eating. What has been you’re favorite week so far? Have you given any of these amazing recipes a try?

Next week is my little sister’s birthday so I am letting her pick the food! She can pick from old recipes or something new and daring. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

Lots of love,


Pittsburg 2021

Hello all my wonderful readers! As I write this post(which you will get next week as perusal) I am laying in my bed on my yearly work trip to Pittsburg, PA.

A pics from last year’s trip. Read post here.

We usually visit the Steel City in the summer, but because of the crappy year formally known as 2020 it got pushed back all the way to 2021… yay…

Being a live-in can require traveling with the family you work for, which I have covered here. As well as a bonus post about being a nanny when just the parents travel(here) This is probably one of my favorite things about nanny hood. I have always been up for adventures and exploring new places and to do that for free? And to get paid to boot!(not that there’s not work involved- there is) Such a cool and rewarding experience.

So without further ado here are some of the picks from the trip. Hope you enjoy!

We brought the snow with us from WI.
Macaroons from Oakmont Bakery… to die for!
When in Rome late night snacks are allowed.
More baked goodies from Oakmont Bakery.

Not a lot of pics mainly because the family I work for just visited family and everything else was pretty much on lock down. But it was a really nice trip.

Also guys be sure to check out my “Nannyhood” section on the website for even more info on my dream job. Or if traveling is more your thing(wanderluster over here) then check-out all my many travel blogs and look books.

Lots of love,


DIY Christmas Touches

Last post I am gonna try to squeeze in before the season is over. Yikes! I meant yesterday’s and today’s for last week but I was rushing around meeting up with friends. Trying to squeeze them all in before the holidays. Anyway all that to say that is way this week you are about to be overloaded with Christmas related content. Let’s go!

Painting my canvases… a project in and or it’s self.

This year(like back in March when the world ended) I decided, mainly because my fingers needed something to do, I decided to make homemade ornaments for everyone for Christmas. I try to make a least one gift. Last year I made those big hand knitted blankets for my coworkers. (My adult coworkers to be clear) I find that homemade gifts are more special and meaningful than something store bought.

My inspiration!

These gorgeous hand embroidered ornaments were a joy to make and took me since March till last week to finish. I think I made a grand total of seven… I think. They all kind of blur together.

I started by painting the canvas so I had some kind of pattern to go off of and then went into stitch after stitch. I really think they turned out well.

My handiwork. Not bad right?

This might be a tradition I continue. By making a homemade ornament every year. Though now my embroidery project is over I miss the hand work and need a new project to pick up. Obviously I need to decide what next year’s ornaments will look like(thinking of trying needlepoint) And then my other two grand ideas are fancy rag dolls and/or a quilt. A hand sewn quilt. That might be too ambitious but we shall see. I am going to be doing a lot of research into this one before I just jump into it. Quilting can get expensive along with being time consuming and taking up space in my apartment.

Rag doll inspo. Aren’t they adorable?

Anyway do you have any homemade gifts to give this year? Or ever received a homemade gift?

Merry Christmas!


Nannying at Christmas

Oh what a wonderful, crazy time of the year! This is true I think in every aspect of life, but nanny hood can get especially chaotic.

I thought I would do a very brief and grand overview of what a Christmas Nanny looks like! (Ya know since I don’t have time for an in depth look)

Christmas Traveling

First thing you should be aware of if you are thinking seriously of pursuing that #thatnannylife, is that some families will actually want you to work during the holiday season. If this is a regular thing for them, because they travel every year and need that extra help, they should explain this either in their want ad or during the hiring process.

Most families however like to have the possibility of you being willing to work a holiday. So they’ll say that in their ad. Something like “must be flexible” or “willing to work some holidays”. For instance I will be working New Years this year. So just be aware of this when applying for a job.

Wrapping, wrapping, wrapping…

I don’t know if every family will ask their nanny to wrap Christmas presents, but my family does. And it never fails that at the beginning of the season I am all excited to pull out the paper and the scissors. But wrapping for six kids quickly gets to you and by the end I don’t care if the paper has sharp edges or not! As long as they have something to pull off the thing on Christmas. When people ask me what I did at work today I say I wrapped… for an hour and half… I don’t know if everything will be wrapped by Christmas.

Everybody’s Home

The Christmas season is also challenging in the fact that everyone is home. This year hasn’t been quite as noticeable because of COVID. But everyone is on Christmas break and the parents are home wanting to do activities with the kids. Plus relatives come to visit(I have done a post about the awkwardness of this here) and the house can get very full, very fast. Don’t get overwhelmed and just focus on your job as best as you can. Much like being on vacation with the family(covered here) nap and bedtime schedules and other daily routines will get shifted around or thrown out the window. Just do the best you can and know that is only one time a year that this happens.

Never ending Christmas Programs

Of course this looks a little different this year. With many events having been canceled and/or done virtually. But this time last year it seemed every night there was some Christmas party, program or what not to get the kids ready for. Normally I would just make sure they were clean, dressed and as ready to go. But sometimes I would take them and drop them off early for whatever Christmas themed program was needed. Then there were cousins and family members’ events to get to. It can quickly become a lot. But like everything else on this list, just remember that you can only control so much. Do what you can and let the rest go. You’re only human after all.

And that’s it my lovelies! If you still aren’t satisfied and what to learn more about nannying at Christmas here is last year’s post; plus a link to my very first nanny related post if ya want to start at the very beginning of my crazy journey.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas,


Why is Christmas so Stressful?

I don’t know about you guys but this time of year is either all or nothing for me. Either it is crazy busy, bubbly and none stop go; or really lonely. There is like no in between. Last year was kind of “eh” time. And like at the totally other end of the spectrum this year has been the most Christmas-y Christmas I have had in a long time. I think that is probably because my baby sister is living with me. (So thankful she’s staying with me)

We’ve listened to Christmas music none stop since November 29th and we have basically watched a Christmas movie every night. (I think Tay is getting slightly tired of the music) We got our first ever real tree, made gingerbread houses and threw a Christmas party.

And the most lovely part is we haven’t been forcing any of this. We’re just doing it because we want too and not because we feel like we have to.

What’s the point of all this? Great you’re having a wonderful Christmas. So happy for you, but what does that have to do with me?

I just want to “give you the permission” not to do all the things. Christmas doesn’t have to fill some list or Instagram goal. It’s okay. I don’t know, maybe it’s super presumptuous of me to even write that. But I know I really need people to tell me it’s okay not to do everything. Don’t put that stress on yourself. Why should you? Who said Christmas was supposed to be perfect or trend worthy?

Anyway I just thought I would put this out there for those of us who need that permission. I hope this makes sense(it probably doesn’t) Oh well.

Merry Christmas!


Party Planning

Hello everyone! I hope you had just fabulous holiday weekend. With the jump into a busy and festive couple weeks I thought I would give a few tips on how to throw an awesome holiday party. (Pics will be from a Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving Party I helped planned) but can be easily applied to a Christmas get together as well.

My apologies- the party I planned for Thanksgiving and talk about in this post. I didn’t have time to take pictures so here are a few throw backs.

Okay so first off I love planning and staging a party. Going to and/or running said party not so much. I love make things look pretty and over the top(which ya will see) fun, but hosting… Yeah can someone else do that? But in the end my desire to plan a party normally overrides my introverted-ness. Not always(looking at you Pumpkin Carving Party- ah maybe next year) but sometimes.

My Checklist for over-the-top-party- mania!

I mean why wouldn’t I write this post like my others… checklists, bullet points… I like lists. Moving on!

  • Pick a theme or activity

This is normally my first step in party planning or else I drive myself crazy with options, because I want to do all the things. So really just focus on narrowing down your options. Examples of a Christmas Party Theme could be:

  1. Ornament Making Party
  2. Gingerbread House Party
  3. Christmas Movie Night
  4. Victorian Themed Costume Party
  5. Christmas Cookie Night
  6. Christmas Art Night
  7. Christmas Caroling Party
  8. Tree Trimming Party

So these are just a few options to tumble around in your brain. And just because you pick one doesn’t mean you can’t combine it will another. You could have friends over to go caroling in your neighborhood or apartment building and then come back for hot cocoa and reading of your favorite Christmas books. And though while I am specifically talking about parties at your house(or apartment) you could skip having people over and go ice skating with friends or to look at the Christmas lights. See my mind is already overflowing with all the things.

Once you have your theme/activity picked out it really helps narrow down your other planning details. Let’s tackle my favorite point next…

  • The Fixings-

Anytime you have a group of people together ya need food. Now this(like picking a theme) can be overwhelming, because there are so many options! So again really narrow those options down. Do you want to serve a full fancy meal?(Victorian Costume Christmas Party anyone?) Or do you want something more laid back? Just do little weenies and meatballs and other o’derves? And if food really ain’t your thing you can always do the “everyone bring something to share” routine.

But don’t be afraid to go over the top here folks. I personally love tying my food options into my theme. So like the Thanksgiving Party I knew we were doing a fancy catered meal, which translated into laying a very fancy table spread.

So like a Christmas party you may want to do a Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board. Or any kind of Charcuterie boards really. Cheese and crackers, build-your-own sugar cookie board, Christmas cookie board, etc. Pinterest had so many gorgeous ideas. And no only do these boards taste amazing, but they look amazing and almost decorative. Below are two boards I have done in the past(one for Thanksgiving and one for my sister’s baby shower. Again I go over the top so these are a bit extreme)

I honestly could go on and on talking about food. I mean I love to cook so I tend to try and make my things homemade, but even if you(like my sister) can’t cook or bake to save your life by a prepared try or meal at the store. Both Sam’s Club and Costco have really cool options. But let’s move on or we’ll just stay here forever.

  • The trimmings and trappings

So probably my second favorite thing to plan for a party after food is the decorating. Growing up my Mom loved to decorate! In that over the top way I have learned so well. Our house was called the “decorated house” since it literally looked looked like a Better Homes and Gardens catalog. But at now time did my Mom decorate more than at Christmas time. Our whole house became stuffed(in a good way) with the Christmas season. I have followed my Mother’s footsteps happily(as have all my sisters- it’s a blessing and a curse)

That being said decorating is just natural to me. For the Thanksgiving Party I literally used my own decor from my apartment. But I realize that might not be everyone’s strong suit, so here are just a few small tips to hopefully help with the confusion of staging and decorating:

  1. Little details add up-
  2. Everyone loves a party favor-
  3. Music sets the mood-
  4. Candles and smells bring warmth-
  5. Food can be used as decor-
  6. Use what you already have-
Party favors!
  • Just Be You!

My final and probably most important point is just do you. You do not have to throw the most amazing Christmas party ever. Even if you did no body might show up or the food may burn or your tree fall over. The point is it is not going to be perfect. And you’ll only ruin the party for yourself if you try to make it perfect.

If big groups aren’t your thing don’t have a crap ton of people over. Just a few friends for hot cocoa and puzzles and Christmas music can be just as good as a big group for ornament making, food eating night.

If you don’t have money to spend on the trimmings and trappings skip them. Turn on your favorite Christmas playlist and bring on the snacks and games.

Stop setting yourself up and trying to be that perfect host. Just enjoy the friends and the fellowship. Let’s do this!

Lots of love,


Yellowstone Packing List

Did you just read that right? Did I really write packing list? It feels like forever(and frankly it has been forever) since I have been on vacation. And man do I need it.

This was supposed to be a family vacation, but of course life gets in the way so it ended up just being my parents, my younger sister and myself, who braved Yellowstone in October. Look out next week(or the week after) for a trip round-up post or two. But for now here is what I packed for Yellowstone

Four ultra warm knits. I think it goes without saying that unexpected snows can happen unexpectedly up against the Rockies, so packing warm apparel is just common sense. Plus I love a good knit as you well know.
This was an 11 day trip, so I packed four pairs of pants to be worn on rotation. Again I went for durable and warm.
Next are just a couple of nice tops. That can easily be worn causally or be dressed up if we went out for the night.
The all importance of outerwear cannot be over stated. I packed both of my warmer fall coats(plus my light jean jacket not shown here) to protect against the chills.
And finally foot wear. Right up there with coats in importance. From a nice pair of loafers for loading through the shops of Jacksonhole, WY. to my Hunter boots in case it snows and/or floods. I think I am well covered.

Well that’s it! I can’t wait to show you guys the pictures from this much needed get away. Until next time,

Lots of love,


Stitch Fix: March 2020 Unboxing

It’s already time for another Stitch Fix Unboxing? Dang time is flying! It is remarkable how as a child, time just used to creep by and all you wanted it to do was rush past all the boring school days and be summer already! I know a lot of you hate winter, but I don’t. I actually love the cool days and snowy nights and I think God’s color palette this time of year is spectacular.

But I think what I really want, is for time in general just to slow down a little bit. Or maybe just for me to slow down. What am I rushing for anyway? Why can’t we just enjoy what’s going today? Right now. Why does life have to be perfectly figured out this exact second? I mean I am as guilty of this as anyone. “Only if only I was older and wiser…” “Only if this would happen.” “Or this.” Nah thank you. I like being young and somewhat aimless right now. (Somewhat I mean I am working my dream job #nannyproud)

Sorry for the rant but hay it’s honestly what I was thinking about. Anyway getting to the post…

What was in the box?

Yes I want to be young and accept that my mirror is still filthy… And will always be filthy! #filthymirrorproud

The first thing in the box were these Studio Blue Sophia Utility Pocket Pants in olive($58) My stylist wanted to attempt to break my addiction with denim. These were super cute and fit perfectly but were not me so I returned them.

Next up was the above and below Brina&Em River Ruffle Sleeve Tie Front Blouse in burnt orange($38) I loved this top but I had just literally- like three days before- purchased something similar… So yeah this was a return as well.


…was this Sophie Rue Demeter Cardigan in light grey($48) Was not a fan of this at all. I have a grey cardigan but it is over sized and it is literally one of favorite pieces of clothing. This was an easy no for me. Moving on.

This is a Madwell(I love shopping from Madwell) Tara Single Pocket Pullover in red($68) I really liked this sweater… But I didn’t love it, ya know? Yeah so that was another no for me. If you remember last month’s box I kept every item except one. And now this box is so far a resounding no. But wait! There’s one thing left in the box…

Yeah I didn’t keep this either. Don’t hate me! If you all remember in my first every stitch fix I received something similar and kept it. Oh this is a Pink Clover Ameya Blush Knit Top($38) by the by.

So I didn’t keep a single thing from this box, but I’m not too bummed about it. I had a feeling even before this box arrived it was going to be a dud. Maybe because last month’s was so amazing. Maybe because it’s March and it is kind of hard to style this month. Who knows! I can’t wait for next month though. The grand total of this box was $250 for those you who are bad at math(like me) Until next time!

Lots of love,


Needle Art

Okay post #2 on my hobby 2020 theme is all about sewing. Now over the months of November and December I did a lot of knitting, which my Mom had taught me to do when I was younger. My Mom is like the craftiest person I know and has definitely passed it on to us girls. I mean she has done everything: painting, knitting, cross stitch, needle point, hook rugs, etc. Any time I call her and say I am thinking of trying such and such she’s like, “Yeah I think you’d like that. I remember doing that and really enjoying it.” It’s like what has this woman not tried! But it’s actually really nice because if I have questions or need critiquing she is literally a text away.

Getting back on track; I knitted hats for friends and family and those big fluffy blankets as Christmas gifts. Once the Christmas season was over I missed my knitting. I could have obviously kept knitting, but I didn’t want to knit for knits sake. I wanted to create something!

Running with this I started to toy with the idea of embroidery. I had been thinking of trying my hand at this gorgeous art(cause some of it is literally art worthy- see below) but what really got me excited was some posts I read by one of my favorite bloggers Carly the Prepster. In these posts she talked about taking up, specifically needle point. That was it. I decided to try my hand at the needle.

I rushed to Hobby Lobby and then Joann’s and purchased a beginners kit for cross stitch and embroidery. (I incidentally couldn’t find a needle point beginners kit. I have sense found one on Amazon but I thought that was kind of weird that neither store had anything. Is there somewhere else I should try looking?)

I have since started work on my cross stitch and have made a few… mistakes. I didn’t realize how twisted your thread can get and so the back of my work is an ugly, sloppy mess. And I miss counted a row, so I had to fudge it. But other than that I have been greatly enjoying it. Last night I sewed well past ten o’clock(which is something for me as you know I’m normally dead to the world by 9:30 pm) I just had to finish my mushroom!

I know compared to the above sampling not the best, but I love it anyway.

Kind of like my craft coffee craze, sewing can easily turn into an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to. Like anything you can learn the tricks and tips of the trade and bypass all the overpriced crazy crap. I have created a Pinterest board(link at the top of the page) called “needle art” where I am pinning all my inspiration. Plus be sure to follow the old instagram(link is also at the top of the page) to see some of my own meager contributions to the sewing community.

That’s another thing about hobbies. You stick your little pinky toe into the water only to find out it’s not a kiddy pool but an ocean of people and ideas and tools. It’s actually really cool when you stop and think about it. Anyway…

Lots of love,


Trying Stitch Fix

So for Christmas my employers gave me a gift certificate to Stitch Fix “an online clothing shop designed to provide personal styling services for women at an affordable cost”. My boss has been using Stitch Fix for probably six or seven months and has greatly enjoyed it. Thus she decided to share the joy.

I must admit there was something fun about filling out their online style survey. It was cool to put your fashion choices under the microscope and to be really honest about what you actually wear. Like yes those heels and mini skirt combo is darling, but will I actually wear it? Yeah no! There are also mini tests on their app that just show you different articles of clothing and ask whether it’s your style or not. See super fun, right?

Their subscription process is also very user friendly. You can cancel whenever and have your profile set up to send you a box every week, every month, or every three moths. Which is super cool! I’ll probadly (if I continue the service) switch it to send me something new every three months. There is a flat $20- styling fee plus whatever clothing articles you decide to keep. (Bonus they accept PayPal- That’s like my unofficial check for an online store. “You don’t take PayPal? Then I’ll be shopping somewhere else”) You have three days to decide what you like and what you don’t, then just send it back in the pre-paid mail slip. Super easy and convenient.

Also if you let them know of a special event that’s coming up they will send you clothing specifically geared toward that event. Like in two months I’m going on a girls only trip to New Orleans for my sister’s birthday. I let my Stitch Fix stylist know and am excited to see what she sends next month. (Which I will of course share with all of you)

Without further ado- What was in the BOX…

Pardon the poor quality of the photos- It was early in the morning and kind of over cast 😦

They give you a styling card to give you some ideas on how to style the different pieces they send you. Plus a receipt of how much everything costs, which I will be sharing with you so you can see how much everything cost. Bare in mind that on their website when you are setting up your profile they ask you how much you typically spend on clothes and what kind of brands and quality of clothes you prefer. Okay the first piece was…

Oh look my mirror is dirty… Shocker. Anyway this is a Market&Spruce Jillianne Button Down Top($44-) and Just USA Hanna High Rise Skinny Jeans($58-)
So obviously super cute. I didn’t end up keeping either of these items however because plaid button downs are not my jams. And though the jeans fit perfectly and were ridiculously nice and comfortable… I already had a pair similar to them and I couldn’t convince myself that I needed two.
Next was this soft, creamy Nine Britton Dalia Colorblock Brushed Knit Top($44-) This ended up being the only thing from the box I kept. I’m a sucker for sweaters and the blush color palette was totally me. But there were two more articles in the box…
A Girly Joyce Infinity Check Scarf($34-) and the equally cute Eden Society Holly Contrast Hood Cargo Jacket($78-) Making the grand total of the box after they take their 25% discount off= $193.50

I am not a scarf person so that was an easy no for me. And I have soo many jackets. So yeah it wasn’t very hard for me to send it back.

So what are my closing thoughts? I am so far enjoying it and am excited to see what they send next month. I feel like that they got my style choices pretty spot on for the first box. And while the prices are a bit more than I like to spend (not that I haven’t spent that kind of money on clothes, but I do try to shop mostly sales racks or at resale stores) remember that if you don’t want to keep any of it you don’t have to. You can send it all back! They either send a new box that month(if you want) or save it for the following scheduled date. Yeah so I think it’s a wonderful service, but it might not be a necessity for me a shop alcoholic. At the same time maybe it will curb my buying habits since I know the latest fashions are coming in the next post. That would be lovely if it wear true. I really think I could learn to love this site. I really do.

Lots of love,