TWO Easter Bread Recipes

Easter 2020 is over and even though it was celebrated different than in past years, it was still a very memorable day. Along with being Easter, it was my boyfriend and I’s 4 year anniversary! We actually went on our first date the day before Easter 4 years ago, and the rest is history. Four years ago I made this Italian Easter Bread for the first time and it’s made an appearance every year since! This year was a little extra special as we spent the day at our new house still as dreamy eyed in love as 4 years ago (and eating A LOT of bread). With a little extra time on my hands this Easter compared to years past, I decided to make not one but TWO types of breads! The first was our families Italian Easter Bread and the other was Hot Cross Buns.

Italian Easter Bread fresh out of the oven!

I highly recommend making both! They are both yeast breads but the dough is much more foolproof. One of the reasons is the use of instant yeast, meaning you put the yeast with all other ingredients instead of placing it in warm water/milk to activate. Read on for the Italian Easter Bread recipe. The Hot Cross Buns recipe is compliments of King Arthurs Flour and can be found here.

Hot Cross Buns = YUM
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Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pie

With all of the remodeling and moving, a home cooked meal is very welcome for both my boyfriend and I. I’ve made this a few times and it has definitely been added to my go to dishes when I need a meal but don’t have tons of time. The trick? Rotisserie chicken, premade pie crust, and frozen vegetables! With how bare the shelves were around us, I was extra surprised to see those ingredients when I ran in for an emergency meal supplies during the move.

What are your go to quick meals?

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Bedroom Suite Remodel

As promised, below are the before and (almost) after photos of our bedroom remodel! The only items we have left to do is add molding where the built in used to be, around the door frame with the barn doors, and find a comforter that fits the room! I didn’t mean for the color scheme to be so beachy but after picking the blue for the accent wall, the coastal theme fit perfectly with what we wanted! I am saving the bathroom because we have a few additional items past molding to finish up. Also, sorry for the mess in the photos! Once the true after photo is ready, I’ll share that on my Instagram. Make sure to follow me on my Instagram, @take2create, for even more content.

Bedroom Before
Bedroom After
Closet Before
Closet After (pre carpet)
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Remodel Time!

I’ve been MIA on the blog for a little bit but guys it’s because I have big news… we bought a house!! We closed on February 21st and until yesterday we were doing some remodel work. It’s been keeping us very busy and between the remodel and work, I slept in for the first time today! It was all worth it though because our master suite is completely redone and beautiful! I’ll show that before and after in the next post because today I wanted to show the quickest change we made to our house that made a HUGE difference to the overall look. On our closing day, we changed out all of the handles in our kitchen from a patterned nickel to an oil rubbed bronze. This looks changed the look immensely and is way more our style!

What metal finish do you have in your kitchen?

BEFORE
AFTER
Side by Side – Before and After

DIY Succulent Pots – Employee Appreciation Day

Today is my first employee appreciation day as a manager and I wanted to do something special to say thank you. I really won the lottery with my whole team! They are hard workers and some of the most caring individuals I know. To avoid any broken diets and to give it a more heartfelt touch, I decided to make them a little gift. I’ve seen these succulent puns on Pinterest a few times and decided to give them a go!

What succulent pun would you put on your creation?

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8 Ingredient Pizza Rolls

This fun appetizer is what would happen if pizza met a cinnamon roll and it is everything good. I took these to the super bowl party and I already have a few idea to change them up a bit. The best part about them, they are super quick to make and the ingredient list is short! Most of the time we already have at least half of the 8 ingredients in the house. One of the changes I would recommend when I make them next time would be to use a glass baking dish instead of a cookie sheet. It would be more reminiscent of a cinnamon roll and it could be topped with extra cheese. The more cheese the better right??

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First Solo Trip – San Diego!

I did it! I got sent for work to San Diego and it was the first time I had traveled alone. I am immensely proud of myself. Leading up it was really nerve wracking. Thoughts like: “will I spend the whole trip alone”, “what if I don’t fit in (it was an all women’s conference by the way)”, and “I’m going to miss my boyfriend and puppy too much” were all running through my thoughts constantly. On the morning I needed to leave something awesome happened, I tried an affirmation. I reminded myself that I was adventurous and brave so why let being alone for a trip scare me so much? That helped a lot as my nerves went down significantly. I boarded that plane and had a great experience! One of the best parts was the food. Check out the place I found below that I’m pretty much obsessed about still.

Breakfast Co Flight

If you have been reading the blog for a while, it is no secret that I LOVE breakfast food. While enjoying some downtime in San Diego, I stumbled across a cute little breakfast joint in the Gaslamp Quarter. I knew I wanted to go back so on the last day, one of the girls I met at the conference and I went to the Gaslamp Breakfast Company. It was everything I wanted in a breakfast place. It was fun and unique with decorations and the food! Guys, I am still dreaming about that churro french toast, tiramisu pancake, and mashed potato waffle flight! The place opened in 2019 so it is relatively new but I would highly recommend giving it a try!

Me at Gaslamp Breakfast Company

HOME sign – Valentine’s Snoopy

I started a little tradition the first February my boyfriend and I were together where I cut out 14 red paper hearts and every day I would give him a heart with a reason why I love him written on it. For the last few years, we haven’t lived together so it would be a texted photo of the heart in the morning. This year we live together and it has made every day’s unveiling even more special! I have been taping them to the mirror in the bathroom every night so he wakes up and sees the new one first thing. I consider them my annual Love Notes to him. Do you have any traditions for your significant other to show or tell how much you love them?

If you’ve been following the blog for a bit, you’ll remember I had made a wooden HOME sign with the “O” being removable. This allows me to add a seasonal shape to our front entryway for holidays without always creating a whole new sign! I knew I wanted a cartoon character as my base so when I found this picture of cute Snoopy holding a heart, it was meant to be. Overall the hardest thing about doing a character like this is that everyone knows what Snoopy looks like. Getting details right are so important for a well-known character. To make it even harder; after my initial sketch out for the outline and details, the first white paint layer lost all my sketched details and I was now hand painting Snoopy’s eyes, mouth, ears, and toes!

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Easy DIY Valentine’s Button Sign

Ah Valentine’s Day, the perfect time to decorate our little apartment with all different shades of pink and red hearts galore. This cute little button sign was inspired by a button wreath sign I saw scrolling through Pinterest and thought, “That would be a perfect craft for Valentine’s Day”! While putting my new Valentine’s decoration up in our apartment, the history buff in me started to wonder how the heart became a symbol of love and why does this universal heart shape look different than say a human heart?

First off, thanks to TIME I found out that prior to the 13th and 14th centuries, the heart was used for only decorative reasons. The symbolism began to grow as romantic love began to take shape in the medieval period. The connection between love and the heart was more religious than romantic at the beginning. Eric Jager, a medieval literature professor at UCLA, said that “at that time period people thought of hearts as books of memory, a place where God’s commands are written, and feelings for the beloved were somehow written on your heart.” There were stories imagining “female saints whose hearts are said to be cut open after their death, and inside their hearts are inscriptions indicating their love for God or Jesus.”

So the heart shaped does tie back to actual hearts everyone! Even if it is a little bit of a dark history. The article later goes on to express that cardiologist Carlos Machado says that the familiar heart shape we recognize today does somewhat resemble the human heart in an echocardiograms but even more so the look of a bird or reptile heart. I highly recommend reading the whole article! The link is below.

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Cookies & Cream Football Cheese Ball

Super Bowl Sunday is here! It is the culmination of my family’s love of football since fall. Plus, what better reason to gather with family and friends to eat a lot of snacks and yell at the television together?? This year I don’t have any loyalties to the teams playing (my Eagles didn’t quite make the cut this year), so instead I am hoping for a great game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. This year it is at my parents’ house and they left what appetizers or desserts to bring up to us so hello cookies and cream cheeseball! This was a first attempt and it is sweet without being too sweet.

Who are you cheering for this year in the Super Bowl? Any must have snacks at your party?

Finished product photo credit goes to my super sweet and supportive boyfriend!

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