10.02.2014

Caramel Apple Nachos

click here for a caramel apple recipe


I'm quite certain we all possess a hidden superpower.  Mine?  I can take the healthiest of things and kick it up a notch.  Or maybe I should say down a notch.  Yep.  My power is the ability to make something so good for you into something that loses all nutritious value.  Have no fear though, the taste is usually pretty amazing.

By now you all know I love anything caramel.  This post speaks to that as well as the notion mentioned above (apple cider now becomes that much more tastier and less healthy.  Go me!).  So it should come as no surprise that I am here with another caramel recipe.  

Ready to experience a little bit of heaven on an apple?

Gather your ingredients....apples, a Snickers (I have also used crushed M and M's before), and caramel sundae syrup.

click here for caramel apples


Get ready to cut and chop.  





I like a chunkier cut for my Snickers so I left them a bit bigger.




Lay your apples down, squeeze some caramel over them, and toss on some Snickers.

click here for caramel apple nacho recipe


It doesn't get any easier than that.  Seriously simple right?  You'll be a hit with a crowd of kids and/or adults.  Be sure to remember to wipe the caramel off your chin.  



My apologies to the health nuts out there.....

Linking up with The Grits Blog and Treasure Tromp.



Ember Grey
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10.01.2014

Friendship and Khaki Pants


I often find myself wondering how my friends actually see me.   What do they view as my strengths and weaknesses?    If I stopped to think about it, would I be friends with someone like me?

I tend to describe myself as shy until you get to know me.  In large groups, I am often the one that may be quiet, adding things here and there, but generally observing and taking it all in.  In smaller groups, surrounded by friends, I am a different story.  I quickly can add my two cents on a topic yet I do avoid conflict at all cost.  Perhaps it may come across as wishy washy to some, but I feel that we are all entitled to our own opinions and it is not up to me to make you see things as I do.  Debating can get heated in some topics and I value my friendships too much to go head to head with someone over their views.

One thing I definitely am though is sarcastic.  I get that from my father.  Does this come across as snarky?  Maybe yes to some people.  It is not my intent.  I just find that sarcasm flows freely from me. I do try to reign it in online though...sarcasm is not always read well and people can totally misinterpret things.  

I am loyal.  Maybe to a fault; hurt me or my loved ones and friends and I will not easily forgive you. Forgive and forget is not a notion that comes easy to me.   I am well aware of this and it's something I am trying to work on.  I'm taking baby steps to let go of grudges.

I am not what you would call adventurous.  I do not like to test the limits or push myself outside of my comfort zone.  I am all for you trying new things and saying the sky's the limit.  I won't hold you back but do not expect me to be following right beside you in a crazy adventure.  I'll be cheering for you on the sideline.

I am book smart (with time to study and prepare) but not always street wise.  I learn best by doing and redoing.  If you're going to be friends with me, patience is key.

I am not easily impressed and not one to feel the need to keep up with the Joneses.  You go on beautiful vacations 2 times a year and live in an amazing house?  Wonderful...so happy for you!  I'm not about to try to one up you though.  Chances are I can't and I'm ok with that.  I like my life just as it is.  I figure as long as my family is happy and healthy I'm good to go.

I can be moody at times.  If I am overtired and stressed I get easily annoyed.  When you see me in a mood like this, it's best to just let me be.  Within a few hours I usually come to my senses.  And hopefully I remember to apologize to you for my ill temper.

I lack follow through; not with my family and friends, but with myself.  If I tell you I will do something for you I will.  As my friend, get ready to hear me whine that there isn't enough time in the day for everything I want to do.  The list of things I want to learn is long, the time I have to tackle said list is too short.  Oddly, we all have the same amount of time in our days and other people have no trouble getting things done.  Perhaps less time spent lamenting the fact there's not enough time would make me more productive.  Just a thought.

I need reassurance.  I doubt myself.  I am a worrier.  I have a self image that leans more towards the negative side than the positive side.  It's not that I want my friends to fluff my feathers so to speak.   What I do want is a friend to tell me that things will be ok; maybe not the way I want them to be or need them to be;  but in the end, it will all work out.

I tend to have an obsessive personality.  I become fixated on something and tend to focus on that. Nothing bad mind you....more along the lines of I want it and I want it done now.  I guess you could say slightly impulsive.  You may want to think about something and sleep on it; even research your options. Me?  I just choose the best option that is before me at that moment.

The question is still there.  Would I be friends with someone like myself?  My wish for today is that I can be the type of friend that my friends would be proud to have by their side, flaws and all.

Before you tell me your wishes for Wednesday Wishes I'd love for you to meet Trish, someone I would gladly call a friend.



Trish is a woman who loves what she does and isn't afraid to of hard work and giving 110%.  She is a physical therapist who works tirelessly for her patients and strives to be the best PT she can be.  On top of all of that, she's a blogger too.  She's pretty amazing.  Here's a bit about Trish in her own words.

How did you come up with the name for your blog?
I'll admit, I have a funny blog name.  Beyond the Khaki Pants  was born because I really do wear khaki pants.  And you guessed it, Beyond the Khaki Pants is not a fashion blog.  I'm a physical therapist, and I wear khakis at work.  Wearing khakis is definitely part of a PT stereotype (just google image "physical therapist" or see what every PT character on TV usually wears).  I find it kinda funny that I actually do wear khakis too.  But never polo shirts.  Never.

My blog is about life outside of work for me (or when I 'm not wearing my khaki pants) so I decided to call my blog "Beyond the Khaki Pants".  Even though I don't blog about my work specifically (HIPPA laws etc.) I like to talk about work and career related topics so I wanted a name that gave reference to my job.

What are two words you would use to describe your blog?
Authentic.  Relatable.

You can go anywhere in the world...where are you headed?
I've been fortunate enough to travel at a young age and I have a special place in my heart for Paris.  I would keep going back to Paris again and again.  I love big cities, and Paris has amazing food, architecture, and culture.  My husband speaks French so we loved exploring through the different neighborhoods of the city of light. 

Name two favorite things about yourself, one physical trait and one personality trait.
My favorite physical trait are my green eyes and my favorite personality trait is my ability to listen well.

What's the best advice you can give a new blogger?
In full disclosure, I would completely classify myself as a new blogger, I started blogging in April this year.  There is SO much advice to be given to a new blogger, but depending on your blogging goal the best advice I would give is to ask for help.  Too hard to do this alone!

You can follow Trish on Twitter, Bloglovin', Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

What are you wishing for today?  Link up and tell me!

Love the Here and Now





Ember Grey
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9.30.2014

20 Awesome Things



As you may know, I work in a library.  I am surrounded by books.  I make no bones about the fact that I read primarily fiction.  Something about non-fiction screams school to me and I do not want to read it. Occasionally I will come across a book that challenges that perception and I read it.

Last week I came across a book that I immediately fell in love with.  It literally made me stop and read it for a few minutes.  When that wasn't enough, I went and ordered every book by this author.  What was the book? you may be asking.


The book is full of awesome things.  Seriously.  Just everyday random things that are awesome.  On those days when you are down, feel overextended, or just blah a quick few pages of this book will have you smiling and thinking of something, well.....awesome.

So please allow me to share 20 things that I think are awesome.

The smell of a new book.

The crackle of a fire.

The first sip of an iced cold beverage on a hot day.

Holding a hot cup of tea or cocoa in your hands on a cold day.

Lingering in a bubble bath with a good book.

Sleeping with the window open a tad on a chilly evening.

A day with nothing planned and all the time in the world to do whatever you want.

The smell of blueberry muffins cooking in the oven.

Dunking crusty Italian bread in homemade marinara sauce (fresh from the pot).

Getting an "I love you" text from you significant other when you least expect it.

The wagging of your dogs' tails when you arrive home.

The smell of fall.

Getting into bed after a day where you accomplished everything (and more) that you set out to do.

Massages.

Sharing an inside joke with someone.

Good night kisses and good morning hugs from my daughters.

Caramel anything.

The first day of a vacation.

Creating something you are proud of.

Laughing til you cry.


I'm curious; what are some things you find awesome?  

And because you can never have enough awesome, I'd love to know your honest opinion.  Would you consider a link up (perhaps once a month) where we share 20 awesome things (you know, the mundane everyday things that you find to be awesome, much like my list above.).  Please let me know!

And now go have yourselves an awesome day!


Ember Grey
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9.29.2014

Volunteers



This past weekend was wonderful....gorgeous weather, productive, and fun-filled.  Doesn't get any better than that in my opinion.  Sunday morning found us at a pancake breakfast fundraiser for the Soccer Booster Club at our school.  

As I sat there enjoying pancakes that were served by the varsity boys and girls soccer teams and looked around at the adults that were in charge of the event, it hit me again, as it often does at events like these, that I am so grateful for people that volunteer.

In my everyday life I come across people that are so generous with their time and their abilities.  

I work in a library where volunteers are such an asset.  They gladly come in to shelve books, pull holds for patrons, and contact patrons that their books are available for pick up.  In a setting where budget issues are a concern, these volunteers free up our time since we are often short-staffed.

In sports I see volunteers stepping up to the plate to coach, referee, and organize events and fundraisers.  

At school, volunteers help out in a myriad of ways that are beneficial to the students and staff.  

Everyone is busy.  We all have more than enough to keep us busy.  Volunteering though is an amazing experience that benefits both the volunteer and the organization.  It sets a wonderful example for our children that we can and we should give back.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when complaints are made about how something is done or organized without offering a helping hand to change something.  Some are quick to criticize but unwilling to actually put in the work needed to make a change.

For this Grateful Heart Monday (thank you Emily from Ember Grey!) I salute the volunteers that make a difference in the world.  Thank you for your self-less acts and your generosity.  Thank you for being positive role models to those around you.

What are you grateful for today?

Ember Grey



Ember Grey
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9.27.2014

A Hundred Tiny Wishes / Tiny Wishes Creations

Happy Saturday everyone...today I am handing over Love the Here and Now to Tabitha, one of Love the Here and Now's sponsors.

Hi Love the Here and Now readers, I’m Tabitha & I blog over at ahundred tiny wishes. If you follow Anne on Twitter or Insta, you have seen the custom wine glasses and coffee mug that I have designed for here. I really think she has 3 or 4 now, because she loves the glasses and she loves me. :) So, when Anne gave me the chance to guest post, I knew I had to tell you guys about a little endeavor I started back in March: my Etsy shop


I have always been a creative and crafty individual who loves to make things, so when I was drinking a glass of wine one night, I thought to myself: this can really use something. That was two years ago, and I really didn’t jump on it. I did however make my step-brother and his wife some glittered champagne toasting flutes and decorated the wedding party glasses, but I didn’t see my hobby as profitable.

At the beginning of 2014, I was doing a swap box, and the lady told me that she loved wine. I didn’t have a whole lot of money at the time, so I took to Pinterest (the holy grail of DIY) to figure something out. What I came up with… my painted wine glass. I showed my mom, and she LOVED it. She told me that it was unique and maybe I should try to sell them. I decided to do a “cheers” themed wine glass and a polka dot candle holder for my partner, and she LOVED it.


After my swap, I painted some glasses for friends and other swap partners, and I realized that I enjoyed painting wine glasses. So in March 2014, I finally got the courage to open the shop and listed a few painted wine glasses and an array of jewelry. I had already been blogging for about six months, so I thought I had a great platform for free advertising. My idea was to put my efforts into the jewelry- since they were easier and less time consuming, but little did I know, the wine glasses would be the money maker. Truthfully that statement is coming from a business standpoint of view, but don’t get me wrong- I absolutely LOVE painting the wine glasses.

I currently feature over five designs (including the Love, Dream, Blog wine glass you have seen floating around bloglandia) and get all warm and fuzzy inside when someone asks for a custom variation of them. To keep costs down, I do everything myself- and that includes hand painting EVERYTHING. Yes, that means that I don’t use decals. But don't worry, as I heat-cure everything I paint, and that means that your custom design WILL NOT wash off as long as you hand was gently.


I also love coming up with new designs that I know I would love. And that's how the new Princess Wine Glass collection was born!


Shipping is also another area I do myself. Each glass is wrapped in bubble wrap, then in tissue paper, and finished off with curling ribbon. My view is that I want my customers to view me as a friend above all. A friend that is sending them a very loved item. Which is why I still hand address every package, and make weekly trips to the post office.


Are you interested in a custom wine glass or coffee mug? I am currently offering a sale to celebrate Fall, so use code HELLOFALL25 for 25% off your entire order! I also announce sales on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so be sure to follow me! 
 photo new-signature-222_zpsf1512a7d.png





Ember Grey
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9.26.2014

Standing O's














Welcome back Friday!  Happy to have you here for a few reasons.  One, you officially start the weekend, and two, I get to share some of my favorite posts from this week.  Meagan from All the Joys created this amazing link up, Blogger Love - Friday favorites where we gather and share some of our favorite posts from the week.  It's a great way to find new blogs to follow as well as giving praise to the awesome bloggers behind the blog.

Seven Reasons I'm Not Sure What I'm Doing in Blogland by Life, KV Style.  C'mon....you know the stereotypes that follow bloggers...you know you do.  Kacie does not have any of them.  Hence, wondering what she's doing in Blogland.  It's refreshing to find someone that doesn't follow the crowd and isn't afraid to admit it!

My Life in Emoji's by All the Joys.  Emojis can express so many things...words, emotions, thoughts...you name it.  And I am a sucker for using an emoji to get my point across.  I have my favorites as I'm sure you do too.  Love that Meagan's and my texts always have an emoji or two or three.  

Sh*t Not to Say to a Blogger by Whispering Sweet Nothings.  I love reading Shane's posts.  She cracks me up.  This one is no different.  As bloggers we can all relate to most, if not all, of these statements.

Becoming the Woman I Want to Be by Beyond the Khaki Pants.  This post by Trish is wonderful; learning to accept yourself for who you are and embracing you.  Love this!

The Best Day: The First look by Chits and Giggles.  Kristyn shares some beautiful photos from her wedding.  These photos are of the first look that she and her husband had before the wedding ceremony. They are absolutely priceless.  I'm a sucker for all things romantic so I had to share them with you.

What posts did you love this week?  Link up with Meagan and share them!

All The Joys Friday Favorites


And just because it's the start of the weekend let's celebrate with an Epiphanie Camera Bag.   I've been obsessing over these gorgeous camera bags from Epiphanie for a while now, and some lovely bloggers and I want to give you a chance to win one!  
Epiphanie Camera Bag giveaway
The giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on September 25th until 11:59 pm EST on October 1st. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Entries will be verified, so please don't be a stinker about your entries. Just be honest. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is selected. Lastly, good luck! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Ember Grey
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9.25.2014

The Uncorked Canvas Party


If there is one thing I wished I had more of it would be creativity.  I would love to be able to pick up something plain and make it into something beautiful.  I lack any artistic talent but I have yet to let that hold me back.  When my friend called to invite me to a sip and paint party I could not say no. Tuesday evening found me at a local wine bar ready to tap into my nonexistent artistic ability.


Our instructor had a Master's in Art Education and taught at a private elementary school, which she felt if she could handle classes of small children she would surely be able to teach 30+ women (and 1 male). She was amazing and walked us through the canvas step by step.  Our design was a field of sunflowers at sunset.


Her directions were easy to follow and she went slow which was great since there were about 35 artists in training attending. 


Slowly but surely, with white, yellow, orange, and brown paint my canvas began to assemble a sunset. If you don't see it, just humor me.   It was then time to add stalks for the sunflowers.


  



Leaves are not my forte.   And guess what, petals weren't either. 


But I can honestly say that the artwork above is 100% mine; no other hands touched it or created it.  It was a fun night and I will be returning to make another painting next month.  

Have you ever been to a sip and paint event?  If not, I highly recommend it!

Linking up with The Grits Blog and Treasure Tromp.


The Adventures of Bug and boo
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