Well, Merry Christmas readers! The Mister and I took off to visit our families in beautiful, sunny, warm southern Florida for the holidays, and we had a great time. There was, however, one thing missing. It's great to see tall palm trees wrapped in Christmas lights and to be able to wear adorable sundresses for Christmas photos, but I'd trade it all for one good snow fall!

We got home a couple of days ago, and yesterday we were out and about running errands. (One of my gifts is my very own sewing "room" and I was eager to get started picking up supplies!) Sure enough, we pulled up to our local hardware store and down it came -- soft, fragile, fluffy flakes of the white stuff. Real snow! How exciting!

None of it stuck, of course, but it was fun just to see it fall. If you're from the frosty north and you've been snowed on (or snowed in!) long enough to hate snow in all of its forms, please forgive the Florida girl in me.

Anyway, the snow reminded me to get back here and get this post up. I'm not here to talk about snow, but to talk about s'mores. The treat seems to go perfectly with a backdrop of softly falling snow, especially when you add in a great mug of hot cocoa.

This is a great Pinterest find -- easy S'mores you can make at home. The recipe is over at Cooking Classy, but the only real secret is that you use your broiler to roast the marshmallows! Brilliant.

Full disclosure: I had my first s'more only a few weeks ago, at a bonfire. It was magical and wonderful but honestly, a little hard to handle and eat with gloves on. This may be sacrilegious to some of you, but I'd take this easy broiler method over the "real" technique any day.

I hope you all had a great holiday! Do you have any special treats you like to break out this time of year? Let me know in the comments below -- I'd love to try them.

Roasted Red Peppers with Couscous and Feta

In an effort to shake up our weekly routine, my Mister and I decided to spend this week meal planning without meat. That's not to say that everything we're preparing is vegetarian (for example, I used chicken stock in the soup I made last night) but it does mean that meat isn't the main focus of any meal, and they could all easily be adapted to a vegetarian lifestyle.

Tonight's dinner consisted of roasted red peppers with seasoned couscous and feta cheese. It's a great weeknight meal because it requires almost no planning, and it's super quick and easy to make!

Here's the instructions, following my order of operations. First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. As the oven warms, wash (and if necessary, de-sticker) enough red bell peppers to provide one pepper per person. Place the peppers on a foil lined cookie sheet, making sure they're not touching. Roast the peppers in ten minute increments, turning after each increment until the peppers are nicely cooked and just starting to blacken in spots -- it took me 30 minutes total.

While the peppers are roasting, prepare your couscous. Mine came in a box and, true to advertising, took only 5 minutes to prepare. I followed the box directions to make two servings, cooking 3/4 cup couscous with salt, olive oil and black pepper. Once it was finished, I added lemon juice, dried basil and just a little bit of garlic powder, to taste.

To finish the dish, I tossed feta cheese into the couscous and served the mix over the peppers. Voila, you're done! Go eat, and don't feel guilty about going back for seconds. (We didn't.)

Pantone's Color of 2013: Emerald

I'm sure you've heard by now, but in case you've missed it, Pantone released the "Color of the Year" for 2013. I loved 2012's Tangerine Tango, but I have to say that the colour chosen for 2013 is one that is near and dear to my heart...


I've got a nice collection of emerald accents in my closet and jewelry box, but I'll gladly take this as an excuse to expand. Here's a little piece I wore tonight to a pre-holiday party, along with a cream dress and maroon leggings:

Some time last year I added this "Emerald City" nail polish to my growing collection:

I've also blogged previously about my love of this Old Navy dress, especially paired with a green cardigan:

And that's just the beginning of my emerald collection! It's also snuck into my craft stash. Last Christmas (wow, a year ago!) I was gifted this skein of Caron Simply Soft in "Dark Sage":

And finally, I also picked up this pendant from the clearance section of Michaels. It's begging to be strung on some silk ribbon and worn all season long:

Have you fallen for this colour yet? If not, I recommend perusing Pantone's Holiday Look Book board on Pinterest. If you're not sure how you can work Emerald into your closet, Pantone has also released their Spring 2013 Fashion Report that helps you pair the colour with everything from poppy red, nectarine orange, monaco blue, lemon zest yellow and more -- and there's even a palette for men!

Yuletide Layer Bars

It's that time of year. The Mister and I have lined up half a dozen holiday parties to attend, and that's before we leave town to head home for the actual holiday.

Don't get me wrong, I love a great party. But I've found that a lot of the parties we were invited to this year are pot luck, and for some reason I started drawing blanks when it came to choosing recipes to bring. I really love to bake for people, but we've been unusually busy and I haven't had a lot of extra time to get baking (or laundry, or dishes, or blogging) done. What's a girl to do?

Well, today I'm going to try out the Nestle Toll House Yuletide Layer Bars. They look delicious and while, IMHO, a little expensive I think they'll go over well with a crowd of bleary-eyed graduate students coming off of finals week.

Do you have a go-to pot luck recipe? I've got a few more of these to do in the next two weeks and I'd love to hear some new ideas!