Monday, September 29, 2014

Coffee Craze - International Coffee Day

One of my self-proclaimed mantras is, "Coffee is my friend."

And that is as true as ever. Coffee opens my eyes in the morning. It cools me in the summer and warms me in the winter. It makes me a coherent person in the mornings. It goes with breakfast and dessert and any meal in between. It can be drank a little bitter or a little sweet. Coffee is a must have daily indulgence.

Today is International Coffee Day! Did you know that there are 100 million Americans who daily have a cup of Joe? Or did you know that the annual amount of money spent on specialty coffee is about 18 billion dollars? (Both stats found here)

Tip for Healthier Coffee Drinking

Keep the sugar content low.

The added sugar in coffee can actually cause you to crave more sugar. Coffee with a little added natural cream is actually a low calorie drink and quiet delicious. But the added sugar is not good for your system and multiple cups a day causes an unhealthy habit. Also, stay away from artificial sweeteners!

But make sure to indulge in that frothy mocha or latte every once in awhile so that is a special treat.

Coffee Tips to Perfect your Cup of Joe

One wonderful little tip is to warm up your mug before brewing your coffee. The coffee stays warmer longer and you immediately feel cozy when you sit down to enjoy your cup of brew.

And don't forget to clean out your coffee maker periodically with white vinegar. Your coffee maker will thank you as will your morning schedule and best of all, your delectable cup of coffee!

DIY Idea for Coffee Lovers

It wouldn't be a TITC post if I didn't leave you with a DIY idea. Try filling a vase or container with coffee beans to hold pens, makeup brushes or a candle. Coffee is a great odor eliminator and of course, leaves an amazing smell.

Happy Coffee Day to my fellow coffee obsessed friends!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mini Meatball Sandwiches

These meatball sandwiches are to die for!  Super easy to make. Tasty too and the fact that they are mini makes them even better.  Easy to serve for lunch or dinner and depending on the size of the family you're cooking for could also make multiple meals. 

The recipe makes you 12 mini meatball sandwiches.  I stuck to the original recipe the first time around and we really liked the sandwiches.  Realized the ones that I scooped out some of the bread from the bun made it easier to eat, by preventing the meatballs from scooting out of the bun.

I also tried an open faced method which makes you 24 open faced mini meatball sandwiches.  Make it by halving the meatballs and placing a half meatball with sauce onto the cheese and half a bun.  Although it was a tad messier, it might be an option you'd lean towards for kids needing smaller bites.  

Whichever way you eat the sandwiches, these make a comforting filling meal that's easy on the wallet, fast on cook time and satisfying for the family. 

Mini Meatball Sandwiches
Recipe from  Pioneer Woman
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 16 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


1 lb ground chuck or beef
1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 whole medium onion, diced
1 jar (large) marinara sauce
12 whole dinner rolls (or slider rolls)
4 slices Provolone cheese (cut into 4 wedges each)


1. Mix meat with bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper and milk.  Knead together with hands.  Roll into heaping tbsp sized rolls.
2.  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and cook for 1 minute.  Add meatballs between onions and brown for 1 minute.  (cook in 2 batches if needed)
3.  Pour marinara, shake pan to mix.  Put lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Slice the rolls in half.  Place wedge provolone.  Spoon the meatball with sauce then add the top bun.
*Note: I dug a small hole in the top bun to better situate the meatball in the sandwich.
Another option is to make open faced meatball sandwiches.

Other meatball recipes:
Braised Lamb Meatballs

Click and see the other recipes that have become staples in our home from Ree:
Frito Chili
Grilled Veggie Burritos
Crash Hot Potatoes
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Pioneer Pasta Salad
Frozen Fruit Cups

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monogram DIY Projects

Being recently married, I have this ridiculous desire to monogram everything with my new initials. I was giddy over the monogrammed hot pads that a family friend knit us for our kitchen and I have enjoyed rocking my "M" necklace that was a gift from my fiance shortly before the wedding. I recently posted my monogram cork project but wanted to also explore a couple other ways to bask in the simple beauty of one's initials.

Monogram Clothing:

These days, you can get cute monogrammed t-shirts, tank tops and countless other accessories from Etsy. I decided to go a different route and have my mom use her nifty sewing machine for monogrammed tank tops for my bridesmaids and attendants for the morning of my wedding.

It was easy to find some comfortable, dry-fit tanks in a bright, blushing pink online. I laid out all of the tanks with the corresponding initials and we picked out a nice gray color for the stitching. We decided to keep the font on the medium setting so that the monograms were subtle and classy.

The end result was adorable and all the girls looked great! I purchased a matching style tank in gray and my mom sewed "Mrs" onto it so that I complimented the other ladies. It made for the perfect thank you gift to the girls and it is something that they can wear again and again!
Helping with Marie's makeup on my wedding day!

Monogram Letters:

There are probably a hundred different options but these two are my recent favs. These would be especially cute in a little girl's bedroom.

Flower Letter: Your local craft store should have hollow cardboard letters. Use a sharp knife to cut the top off and fill with flower foam. Fill with silk flowers for a dramatic and colorful effect.

Fabric Letter: If you are ambitious, you could cover a cardboard letter with fabric yourself. I purchased a pre-covered letter from the craft store. I used paper flowers to create a sweet and simple decor on the letter. You could add a matching ribbon to make it wall-hanging friendly.

Fabric Letter with Paper Flowers for my Niece's Baptism