Tuesday, February 28, 2012

oatmeal raisin bites

Oatmeal Raisin Bites


1/2 cup rolled oats
Scant 1/2 cup applesauce or over-ripe banana (mashed)
1/4 cup nut butter (I used almond butter)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 pure vanilla extract
3 T dried raisins (or other dried fruit)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Mash the banana with the nut butter (I forgot the banana, oops!)

Add all other ingredients

& mix well

Shape in to balls & bake for around 15 minutes

The finished product. Even though I forgot to add the banana, these still turned out very tasty. Eat a couple for breakfast or have a few as an afternoon snack. Enjoy!

[ via http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/01/11/oatmeal-raisin-breakfast-cookies/ ]

Monday, February 27, 2012

an apple a day

Baked Apple Chips


3 apples


Thinly slice the entire apple & remove core
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper & place apple slices on it
Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon
Bake at 275 for 2 hours. At the end of 1 hour, flip over slices so they cook evenly

[via http://www.delightedmomma.com/2011/09/baked-apple-chips.html]

Sunday, February 26, 2012

weekend wrap-up


My r̶o̶o̶m̶m̶a̶t̶e̶s̶ parents had been out of town since Wednesday, & by the time Friday came around, I was ready for some company. After a couple nights of being home alone, which I hate, Marcus and I had a sleepover.

First on the agenda, a bath.

Next up, Rio.

A movie night is not complete until chocolate with a splash of milk & popcorn is served.

After we got our PJ's on and our treats ready, we headed to the basement to start the movie. That's where the "troubles" start. The DVD player was not working. We went back upstairs & the sound on that DVD player was not working. Let's just say Marcus was less than thrilled to have to watch Rio on the tv in my room.

We both laughed out loud during the movie, always a good sign that it is a good flick. When tucking him in for bed, he wanted to talk.

Marcus: Carrie, can we just sit & talk?
Carrie: Sure, what do you want to talk about?
M: I don't know what I want to be when I'm older. Either an inventor or a train conductor, I just can't pick?!
C: Marcus, don't worry, you have quite a few years until you have to think about that stuff.
M: Yeah, I think I have like 18 years left to figure it out.

Had to sneak in a pic of little sister. The girl was rockin' a swimsuit, just because.


Since my family had not gotten together to celebrate my birthday yet, we met at Tutti Frutti to enjoy some frozen yogurt. & enjoy it we did.

The following 3 pictures are priceless.

Take 1

Take 2

Take 3

Hope you had a great weekend!


White. Sure, it's a color. It surrounds us. & when I look outside, it's the most present color I see.
But for me, it's more than all that. It's a new beginning. A fresh slate. A Sunday if you will.

Sunday's are right up there with Friday's & Saturday's as my favorite days of the week. There is something about waking up & knowing that a new week is upon us.

No matter what the past week was like, whether it was horrible or amazing, you have 7 new days waiting for you. A "second chance". You have a piece of white paper, sitting in front of you, ready to be colored on. Much like a new week.

Grab your crayons & leave your mark. Make your white piece of paper colorful & embrace the next 7 days.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

thank you

While walking along the ocean with Aaron in Myrtle Beach this past weekend, we stumbled upon this. My first thought, this is perfect for my blog!

Thank you to whoever wrote this in the sand. You must read my blog & know I would love this : )

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

my turn!

While on vacation, I got a tweet from a former soccer teammate, Abby, over at aboggsjohnson.wordpress.com, saying that she tagged me in her recent blog post. I read the post & was asked to answer the following 11 questions. On a side note, if you are looking for healthy recipes & book recommendations, mosey on over to Abby's blog!

First things first, 11 random things about yours truly.

1. I don't have a favorite book, song, or movie. Too many to choose from!
2. I am running my second half-marathon this May.
3. I cringe at the word burrito.
4. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July.
5. I didn't meet my best friend until our sophomore year of high school after we realized we didn't hate each other after all.
6. Pizza Corner pizza > every other frozen pizza
7. I'm a full fledged planner. Bring on the color coding & paper clips!
8. I get sick of certain things easily. Therefore, I change my nail color at least 2 times a week.
9. I love road trips, spontaneous trips, planning trips, short trips, long trips. Any kind of trip.
10. I don't like to read books that everybody else is reading & freaking out about i.e. The Hunger Games, Twilight, etc.
11. I have never broken a bone in my body. I am either a superhero or don't take enough risks to increase my odds to do so.

Now, onto the eleven questions that I was told to answer.

1. What is your earliest childhood memory?

I have many childhood memories, but my earliest would probably be from pre-school. I remember my classroom, sitting at the table coloring, & stealing markers from Amber Anderson.

2. Where have you always wanted to visit but you haven't?

In the United States, NYC. Outside the United States, Norway.

3. N*Sync, Backstreet Boys, or 98 Degrees?

N*Sync. Justin Timberlake, curly locks, helloooooo!

4. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

It was always a toss up between an interior designer & a teacher. To this day, I still try & think of a job that would combine these two. In my dream world, I like to think that I will be a teacher by day & decorator/DIY-er by night.

5. Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

Heck to the no! I don't believe in them only because I don't want to think they are real. Make sense?

6. If you had to change your first name to something else, what would it be & why?

Hmm, let me get back to you.

7. Coffee or tea?

I like both, but I'm going to go with coffee. Something about waking up, eating breakfast, sippin' that cup of joe, & reading the paper (I swear, I really am 23 years old, not 63).

8. Which animal would you be if you had choose?

A dog. Who wouldn't want a daily walk outside, constant back scratching, & treats when you are good?

9. What's your favorite trait or physical feature about yourself?

One thing I take pride in is that I'm genuinely down to earth.

10. Are there any foreign languages you'd like to learn yet in your lifetime?

Based on my attempts to learn Spanish in high school, I'm going to say no. English is good enough for me!

11. If you had a set of triplets tomorrow, what would you name them? (Boys, girls, or any combination)

Uh-oh, whoopsie, & oops.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


From blogging in MN to my first blog post from NC, here I sit. After walking in the rain (Aaron is at work, therefore, his car is there) to get here, I cozy up in a corner, wipe the water from face, power up the MacBook, & begin.

While sitting in the Chicago airport between flights yesterday, I wrote down a list of things I have yet to blog about. Whenever I start something new, whether it be decorating a new room or starting a new blog, I decide what kind of mood I want it to be. Some blogs I read are all about their family, kids, husband, work, while others I read are all about photography. I'm not sure if I have found my specific "mood" yet. So, like some people in this world, maybe my blog will be bi-polar. From my weekly thoughts about "the unknowns" to displaying my amateur photography skills, I will blog. Some posts will grab your attention more than others, & some will make you stop reading halfway. Whatever the case may be, I love doing this. I love being random & letting people know that. I love sharing my thoughts, recipes, crafts, pictures, etc.

I have always loved making things. Especially things that are sold in stores & I know I can make the same thing, if not better. Cards are an example of that & I have found my mood when making them. Simplicity.

Make a cup of coffee, turn up Pandora, pick my paper, & watch me go. They may not be uber fancy. Nor expensive. But they are sincere. They are my way of saying, take that Hallmark.

In a world where thank you's & happy birthdays are said more often through e-mail & text messages than snail mail, giving handmade cards are important to me. I want people to know that I think about them. Design the card. Take time to use my creativity in a way that will make a person feel important. Because really, who doesn't like to feel special?

If you know of an occasion (birthday, anniversary, or a "just because") coming up where you would like a handmade card to give someone, shoot me an e-mail or message me on Facebook. I would I love to help you make someones day special!

E-mail: carrie.stavenger@me.com

Sunday, February 12, 2012

why i hate hobby lobby

I was bored. I wanted to do something. Go somewhere. So I zipped up my coat, turned on the car, & drove. I had no final destination in mind, no clue of where I would end up.

I ended up in Fargo. Naturally, I was by the mall. Being that I was just at the mall the previous day, I kept driving. My final destination? Hobby Lobby. & boy, do I love me some Hobby Lobby.

After 20 seconds of walking in to the store, I decided I hate Hobby Lobby. Why? Because ever since I can remember I have been obsessed (ok, let's take it down a notch, anxious) for the day that I have my own home to decorate. Make mine. Add my own "touch."

Every aisle I walked down, I easily found at least one thing I wanted to buy. & then my common sense knocked on my front door. Carrie, do you really need a towel rack? Is a huge painting of wine bottles for your basement bar that you don't have, necessary? Where would you put that nightstand? Oh, next to the other bedroom furniture that you don't own?

For now, I will just have to settle with decorating my imaginary home on Pinterest. Ahh....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

saturday morning sentences

In the past 2 days, I have had "friend dates" with 3 different friends. From grabbin' a beer to grabbin' coffee, there were certain things that were evident in all our conversations. We are growing up, we question the future, we wonder what happened to past friendships, & we either have a love or hate relationship with where we are at in our life.

These dates made my heart happy. It gave me a sense of comfort knowing that I'm not the only one who questions these things. Maybe that's how it's suppose to be? I mean, not having answers to everything & having to "find the pieces" to our puzzle by ourselves.

These friends have grown up with me. One a former soccer teammate, one I've known since elementary school, & one was my next door neighbor ever since I had missing teeth & refused to take showers. I cherish these friendships because I know that these are the friendships that no matter the distance, or time passed without talking, I can pick up the phone & we will pick up right where we left off.

I'm here to remind you that some friends may come & go, but that's because we let them go. It's work. But honestly, if you have time to paint your nails or watch the latest sports highlights, you have time to talk to a friend. I know I am guilty of being lazy with my friendships, too, but after having these great "dates" with my friends, I am realizing that friends get things that our families don't. The friends you have are more than likely going through the same challenges (or high points) as you, & it is important that we have them in our lives to share these moments with.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

7 candles

You were the first child to call me their aunt. My name evolved from "Kiki" to "Carrie" to "Care."
If you only knew how grown up you sound when you blast through the front door saying, "Hey Care!"

7 years later, I still remember the day you were born. I remember your Grandpa Dale coming in to my math class, telling me that "it's time", and driving me to the hospital (I keep forgetting to thank you for getting me out of my least favorite class). Everyone was so anxious & excited to meet you. Waiting outside the door, waiting to hear your first cry, waiting to hold you.

Our "Carrie Days" are my favorite thing to do with you. We have gone to Space Aliens more times than I would like, rode the ferris wheel, gone sledding, played at the park, seen a movie, licked down ice cream cones. You probably think little to nothing of our dates, but I hold those memories very close to my heart. I look forward to many more "Carrie Days" with you!

You are now entering that stage of "I'm too cool for my aunt to even hug me." As much as I miss your sweet hugs, I understand. I'm almost 23 & cringe at the thought of having to hug my own brothers. For now, I'll have to settle with the quick wave or smile you give me.

Happy 7th birthday Marcus Robert! I love you & am so proud to call you my nephew!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

throughout life

When you think you just won't make it through, smile. Smile for all the great people in your life, smile for being blessed with the things you own, smile for being given this day.

Laugh until your cheeks hurt. Laugh until tears fall. Laugh with friends or laugh by yourself. Simply, laugh.

Be giddy. Get excited. Do something that will give you butterflies. Plan something in advance just so you know you have something to look forward to.

Lastly, why be anything but happy? If you don't like something, change it. If you know you would be happier somewhere else, move. YOU get to decide if you want to be happy.

Think about the past (& future) & smile, surround yourself with wonderful people & laugh, plan a trip that will make you giddy, & with every new day you are blessed with, be happy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's Not Delivery, It's...

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


1/2 large head cauliflower
1 large egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
1/2 tsp onion salt


1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
toppings of your choice (I used spinach, onion, & chicken)


1. Shred the cauliflower using a cheese grater. Once you have more than 2 cups (it shrinks in the microwave), place cauliflower in the microwave for 8 minutes. Let cool.

2. Prepare the crust. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray (or use a nonstick surface). In
a medium bowl, mix the cauliflower crumbles (about 1 1/2 cups since they shrink after cooking) with the remaining crust ingredients. Pat the "crust" into a 9 to 12-inch round on the prepared pan. Spray the crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes (or until golden). Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to broil.

3. Prepare the pizza. Spread the sauce on top of the baked crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on top. Add the bacon and pineapple, spreading it out around the pizza. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Broil the pizza 3 to 4 minutes, or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Want more recipes like this one? Head on over to recipegirl.com!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

tick me off thursday

If you live in the Fargo-Moorhead area, I'm sure you have seen the "Spray Your Fat Away" commercials. I truly don't understand our society when it comes to losing weight. I get that many Americans are overweight & obese, but spraying our fat away? Come on.

What ticks me off even more is that in the commercial, there is a young girl telling viewers that "you can lose 1 pound a week." What is this telling that girl? That when she grows up she can just skip working out & eating right, and simply use a spray to stay fit?

America, is it really THAT hard to eat healthy, work out, & get enough sleep? No. I understand some people have health problems that prevent them from being in shape, but what's the excuse for the rest of you? Swap those potato chips for an apple, skip the pop & drink water, split a meal with a friend when you go out to eat, have 5 m &m's instead of 3 handfuls.

Something that has helped me be healthier (& also hold myself accountable), is the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone. You can see how many calories you should be eating daily, track your calorie intake for each meal/snack, add in your workouts, etc.

So there we have it, my first tick me off Thursday. Ahh, I feel much better.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

zucchini chips

Every Monday night I get together with some girls to watch the ever-so-classy show the Bachelor. Each week, we rotate houses (or basements of your parents house for my week), and we each bring a little appetizer to share. Thanks to pinterest, I (successfully) made zucchini chips for the first time.


1/4 C bread crumbs
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 whole wheat flour
1 cup cold milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 C sliced zucchini


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees
2. In a separate bowl add flour, milk & vinegar. Gently stir until combined but do not over stir
3. Dip zucchini slices in flour mixture & then dredge in breadcrumb mixture
4. Place coated zucchini slices on a baking sheet (I lined mine with non stick foil) & bake for 30 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through cooking, or until browned & crisp


Finished product! Yum!

One thing I would suggest if you are going to make these, is to eat soon after you take them out of the oven. The longer you wait, the more soft & less crispy they get. One last thing...