2014Kylea & Company: 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Making the Most Out Of My New Years Resolutions

Last year I had a list of wants, not a list of resolutions. While I still want a lot of things, I also plan on bringing those resolutions back. What can I say; I change my mind a lot. 

This year I wanted to get a real live co-worker. Well turns out I wouldn’t get a co-worker, but an actual person I was in charge of. This, frankly, scares the shit out of me. I haven't had to be in charge of someone since I worked at Target, and I was not necessarily the best at it. I thought I was cursed after my first employee quit after two weeks, went another 5 months of handling far too much work by myself, and screwed up a lot. Now I have one that I am hoping works out for a while. She has never been in the field and is taking a little time to learn, but she is doing well.

I wanted to take work to another level, and it was almost like my boss read my blog posts this year. This year he made the decision to hire a web design company to revamp our website and put some serious money into it. Now we have a new website launching that is gorgeous and social media accounts for the company. Although I think we could all be a bit better updating them. Thankfully, I am taking Marketing with Social Media class this semester and look forward to learning more. 

I wanted to travel, and while this was a brave idea, it also takes quite a bit of money and time. I did get to see my mom in Texas and was able to fly her here. But I still want to travel more; I am not giving up that want. 

I wanted to learn how to cook. I will just say that requires me to do my dishes on more than one occasion. So that didn't necessarily happen, but I learned more recipes for baking, which is a passion. 

And last but not least I wanted to blog more. Compared to years past, I did blog a lot more. I think that I had thought I would be further than I am today, but I haven't found all of my voice. I know that it will just take some more time.

So now that there is less than 24 hours until this year is over here is what is going on with my 2015. 

I am not going to lie about my lack of follow through. I mean I’ve been in school for almost 8 years now because I lose patience with it. I either stop going or stop doing the homework. And you remember that 8 week challenge I was so determined to finish.... 3 weeks later and I was done.

Let's be real in saying that I just lack the drive to finish something. This is why half of my house looks like a mess. Even now I am straying away from finishing this post and putting it in the draft graveyard.

It's really easy to start stuff, but 10 times harder to finish it. Especially when you have not so stellar habits.


So here is my resolution: I will follow through with all of the tasks for each month.


Thank you for reading my novel of a post. Thank you to each of you, from the bottom of my heart. I feel like I have a very large group of friends on here. And although none of us have ever met, I feel like I have the support from all of you to finish these resolutions. I wish everyone the best of luck as we start this new year off.

Be safe, be happy, and Happy New Year!

Do you have a 2015 New Years resolution? 

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Recap- Photo style

January


February

March

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 

September

October

November 

December


48 hours until 2015! 
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Monday, December 29, 2014

10 Country Songs I Couldn't Get Enough of in 2014

It's no lie that Country is ultimately my favorite Genre of music, and this year has been Killer when it comes to amazing singles and fantastic albums. 

Here are my top 10 songs for 2014! 

Nowhere Fast- Old Dominion

Feelin' It- Scotty McCreery

Leave The Night On- Sam Hunt

Love You Like That- Canaan Smith

 Hennessee- Nashville Cast 

Trailer Song- Kacey Musgraves

Whatever She's Got- David Nail

Mandolin Rain- Josh Kelly

Night That You'll Never Forget- Love and Theft

My Baby's Guns and Roses- Brantley Gilbert


What were some of your favorite songs in 2014?

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Playlist

Today is the "company" Christmas Party. And by "company" it means we are crashing our sister companies christmas party. But it also means that vacation time is near and I will be all by myself next week. Which I don't actually mind. 

But since we are starting off the festivities of Christmas, I thought I would share my 2014 Favorite Christmas songs, that I have been Caroling along with in my car. People don't know that I am Christmas Caroling but that is probably for the best.

Christina Perri- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Also listen to the Sam Smith Version, both are quite Lovely.

The Piano Guys- Angels We Have Heard on High. Besides being one of my favorite carols, The Piano Guys are amazing! I cannot believe their talents and love all of their music.

Straight No Chaser Feat. Kristin Bell- Text Me Merry Christmas. Ok this is pretty cute, but sadly it reminds me of how technology driven we are as a society now.


Echosmith- I heard the Bells On Christmas Day. I just love Echosmith, and this is a fun new version of the song.

Frank Sinatra- White Christmas. Mr. Blue Eyes just has to be on my Christmas Playlist. I mean you cannot go wrong with Sinatra.

Elvis Presley- Blue Christmas. We are going to hit a Christmas Color Scheme with another classic, by playing some Elvis. Be aware this is a live version and there is some definite fan swooning and screaming. I mean serious swooning, look at those faces. 

Tiffany Thorton and Kermit the Frog- I believe. In my house we believe in Santa, and in my heart I believe in the magic of christmas.

Pentatonix- Mary Did You Know? Someone posted this video on Facebook and not only did it give me all of the goosebumps, but I instantly fell in love with this group.

Pentatonix- That's Christmas to Me. I told you I fell in love with them right?? Beautiful song.


What is on your Christmas Playlist this year? 
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Monday, December 15, 2014

12 Things I Love about the Holidays

Model Credit: Ghillie Monster


1.) Tamales: Okay, I may or may not be eating tamales right now to sway my judgment on what goes on the list; but these things are awesome! And you really can only get the best ones during the holiday season. 

2.) Christmas Lights: My house may not be decked out with lights but boy do I love them! Does anyone else drive around just to look at lights?

3.) Mail: Whether or not I get a bunch of mail is not the point, but at my office; we get a ton of mail and vendor gifts, because they are amazing.

4.) Christmas Movies: The moral of most Christmas movie is the gift of giving and kindness. And those two things are needed in the world right now.

5.) Christmas Music: I mean you know every word to every Christmas song, and it doesn't matter if you are tone deaf because chances are the person next to you is as well. 

6.) Traditions: We have a few traditions in my family and those are what I look forward to the most. 

7.) Live Trees: I love the smell of a live tree! Best Holiday smell around.

8.) Ornaments: Now I am getting sentimental, but I love pulling out all of the ornaments and remembering the story of how I got each one. 

9.) Baking: I love baking every day, but only during Christmas is it acceptable to bake more than 5 dozen cookies if you’re not a baker by profession. 

10.) Christmas Breakfast: We don't do Christmas Dinner at my house, instead we do Christmas Breakfast. It is always to die for! 

11.) Presents: I mean who doesn't love the chance to rip off a bunch of paper and get super excited about that wonderful sweater your grandma gave you? Ok maybe not the sweater part but definitely the paper ripping! 

12.) Giving Back: This has become a Staple in my life now. Most of us have a chance to give back either monetarily or physically to others. There were years in my life that my family couldn't afford Christmas, so I know how much it means to families when they can have Christmas because of the kindness of others. 

What do you love about the holidays? 

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

The 5 Downfalls of Being a Morning Person.

Let's face it, not everyone is a morning person. In fact, I have very few friends that are natural morning people. They would rather sleep in and stay up late, versus wake up early and start the day at the ass crack of dawn.

Ghillie and Lucy are not morning people. 


I on the other hand, am a complete morning person! That is my favorite time of the day! It is when I feel I am most productive and well coffee is always around to help me.  On a normal morning I wake up between 4:30am and 5am, willingly. On weekends, unless I am sick I am up at 6am or 7am. This is normal to me, and I'm happy. 

But here are five downfalls of being a morning person.

1.) Time Differences. 
It literally is a pain to schedule things with friends because my version of morning is different than theirs. So when I say "Hey let's go to Ikea in the morning!” I naturally am thinking 8-9am, whereas my friends and family think 11am-12pm or later. Definitions for afternoon and evening are different too. So by time they're ready to go out, I am ready to pass out. 

2.) No texting in the a.m. 
Want to talk to your BFF? Well I have to think differently because while I am up at 7am on Saturday, texting them that early would result in my untimely death. So there you are staring at a clock waiting for an appropriate time for communication. 

3.) Always being questioned. 
I always get "but why??" when I say that I wake up at 4:30 in the morning. Because I like it that's why! 

4.) Naps. 
Now naps are a curse and a blessing at the same time. I am a huge advocate for nap taking, it's in my blood. But when you wake up really early the timing to take a nap happens earlier, and surprisingly taking a nap is frowned upon in the average American work place. Crazy I know, but true.

5.) Old Person Bed Time. 
You want me to leave my house past 8:30pm? Well someone better be dying because that is way too close to my bed time. Now I will stay up but only if I am out of my house by 8:30p, but 12 am comes around and I am ready to go home or I am useless the next day. Why? Well because my body is auto programmed to wake up by 7am at the latest. So I get made fun of because I go home early and go to bed, but hey I don't waste half of the next day away sleeping. I win. 

So there you go! I love being a morning person, but there are just times when it really sucks. In the end you just drink some coffee and continue your plans for world domination cupcakes, because sleep is for the weak. Plus while all of your loser friends are sleeping away, you have had 2 cups of coffee, done 2 loads of laundry, and did the dishes; getting the dirty work of the weekend done. 


Are you a morning person or a night owl?  


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Friday, December 12, 2014

Currently (vol 7.)


So I don't know if it is actually the 7th volume, but I am calling it that. It has been a slightly quiet week, and although it is the holidays, that my friends has not been quite the reason that I have been MIA. Honestly I may go MIA for quite a bit of December, but that decision is still up in the air.

Reading..  A Christmas Carol and a book from Kindle Unlimited about Tiny Houses. This obsession runs deep my friends. 

Listening: 

Thinking.. The people in my office complain, like a lot. I mean I know I complain but this.... this my friends is nothing compared to me. I think they have made it into a competitive sport, because I seriously think they are all trying to one up each other. 

Smelling.. Is it really weird that I tell you guys what I am smelling? Like I feel it's weird. But I am smelling Clorox Spray, because someone in the office is sick and the other fools here immediately think that spraying a bunch of "sanitizing spray" is going to help.

Hoping.. My little house sitting pup Charlie pulls through this week. He is my diabetic dog and had to go to the emergency room last weekend because he wouldn't eat. He is on several different medications and his parents decided to stay home this weekend to make sure everything was ok. They are good pet parents. 
  
Wearing.. Nothing Fancy. Literally.... like I should dress better so that I could be like look at this adorable outfit! but nope it's the jeans life for me.

Loving.. But hating 3/4's of the winter finales. I mean The Arrow?!!! W.T.F. OLIVER?!!! 
But also I loved the Series Finale to SOA. I was very satisfied with the way Kurt ended it. Horribly depressed, but satisfied.  

Wanting.. More coffee, but I ran out of creamer.... Why doesn't Starbucks deliver yet? 

Needing.. To go to my "new" campus and prove that I live in the state of AZ so that I can get in state tuition. I can afford in-state Tuition. Plus it will help to defer My student loans that are already coming back to bite me in the arse. Hello 43k dollars of crippling debt. 

Feeling.. Excited that I am taking classes again. Not at UofP, but they are classes that I feel excited about and can get reimbursed by work for. I am starting to narrow down what I want to be when I grow up.

How is everyone else doing? Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Holiday Bliss Cheesecake

Every time I make a new cheesecake, I get so excited to see what it will turn out to be. I am a very self-conscious baker. I never know if it is actually going to turn out, and am very scared that it won't. But thankfully, it has almost always turned out.

Since our sister company is having their thanksgiving potluck today, I had to make a cheesecake. I mean when the CEO, CFO, GM and all other acronyms of the company ask you if you are bringing one. You bring one!

But I didn't want to do a pumpkin one, because 4 people were already bringing pumpkin pies; and I didn't want to repeat my Caramel Machiatto Cheesecake from last year.

So I decided to make a new one. One that would cross off one of my Holiday Bucket list items, make a recipe using cranberries.

May I present the Holiday Bliss Cheesecake!
  

Ok you should think of this as a cranberry bliss bar on crack, with a little bit of bourbon cooked in. Here you have a White Chocolate Cheesecake with a Bourbon Cranberry Compote.

Sounds almost too difficult to make huh? Well it was actually pretty simple!

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Holiday Bliss Cheesecake
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cool time: 1-2 hours

Here is your ingredient list:
Crust
·      1 1/3 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
·      3 tsp. Sugar
·      1/3 cup melted butter

Filling:
·      1 cup Sugar
·      4 (8oz) packages of Cream Cheese (softened) 
·      3 Eggs
·      3 tsp. vanilla
·      1/3 cup whipping cream
·      1 cup of whipping cream (yes both are separate)
·      1 cup of White Chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)


Topping: (adapted from Real Simples Bourbon Cranberry Compote) 
·      1 Bag (12oz) Cranberries 
·      1 Cup Sugar 
·      1/2 Cup of apple juice
·      1/4 cup of Bourbon
** I made 2 Servings of Cranberries by doubling the recipe for more topping to cover the cake.

Pre- Step:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, you should one rack placed at the bottom and one placed in the middle.

Making the Crust: 
Mix Melted butter, graham cracker, and sugar in a melted bowl. Spray the bottom of your Spring Form pan ONLY with a nonstick spray/ olive oil. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan, and put it in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Take out and put the pan on a cooling rack.

Filling:
You are going to want to start with your white chocolate, since it does take a little bit of time to melt it. Put about one quart of water (half) into a 2 quart sauce pan and place it on the stove on low heat. You are going to take a mixing bowl or even a cereal bowl and place it over top like a lid. The edge of the bowl should not be smaller than the pan. Put in your 1/3 cup of whipping cream and 1 cup of white chocolate. Remember to stir occasionally so that the chocolate will melt evenly. Once it is melted turn off your burner and move the bowl to let it cool.

Take your 4 packets of Cream cheese and beat it until it has a creamy texture. Slowly start mixing in the sugar. At that point it should have a fluffy texture/ look to it. Start adding in your 3 eggs one at a time, letting them mix into the batter; then add in your vanilla. 

At this point you should have melted white chocolate, if not wait until it is melted and let it cool for roughly 5 minutes.

Once your chocolate is ready, pour it into your batter and let it mix into the batter. Last but not least, mix in your remaining cup of whipping cream and pour the batter into your spring form pan.

Place a 9x13 pan of hot water on the bottom rack of your oven. Put your spring form pan on the middle, and I recommend putting the spring form pan on top of a cookie sheet while baking. Let it bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is still slightly jiggly but still firm (no liquid moving).

Once done, turn off the oven and open the door slightly for an hour. After that, you are going to place the cheesecake on a cooling rack to bring down to room temp; this takes another hour. Then cover and put into the fridge until serving. This should set for at least 4-5 hours in the fridge.

Topping: 
Take cranberries, sugar, apple juice, and bourbon and put them into a 2-quart saucepan (or larger if you are doubling) on medium heat. You are going to let them simmer, while stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped and most of the liquids have caramelized (thickened).  Let it cool, and at that point you can either top your cheesecake or transfer it to a dish to top at a later time. Place the topping in the fridge either way until serving.


For a PDF Version of this recipe go Here! 

Have you tried making something with cranberries before? 
   

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

All I Want for Christmas

If there is one thing that my parents have learned over the past few years, is that I don't want for much. I have this wonderful habit of buying my own stuff when I want it. But then you are asked the horrid question "What do you want for Christmas?"

Well sometimes people don't accept the answer nothing or I don't know. Nor does it help that I am trying to separate my life from being too materialistic, because honestly more stuff does not equal happiness; it equals unnecessary clutter. Or so the Tiny Home motto says. 

But in order to avoid sayingI don't know or nothing, here is my small carefully constructed Christmas List.






Have you already made your Christmas list?
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Recaps and Minions

HAPPY DECEMBER!!!!! I'm a few days late, but with my mom in town I was preoccupied.

I was actually supposed to get a ton done  on Sunday for the ol' blog here. But after an intense game of Monopoly, in which we won't discuss the results, it became apparent that I was going to do nothing blog related. Now that fall is visually over and there are 22 days to CHRISTMAS (!!!!) let's do a recap of my fall bucket list shall we?

1.) Buy Ghillie a new sweater. Fail- It has actually been too warm in Arizona to even think about sweaters and boots. So I haven't really worried about buying Ghillie a new sweater. I will still be buying them, don't you worry, purely for blog related activities. 

2.) Repaint my Bathroom- Fail. I found out that I will definitely be moving hopefully by January/February of next year so I am not going to paint it. Although I still hate it. 

3.) Carve a pumpkin- DONE!!!! My best friend and I actually did them together, and hers turned out super cute, while mine were amateur to say the least. But it was fun! 

4.) Bake something new. DONE- Pumpkin Cheesecake for the win! Everyone in my family loved it and my friends loved it as well. I have a feeling that I will be baking it every year. 

5.) Deep clean my house with the windows and doors open! -Kind of done? Does that count? My bedroom was spotless, my living room area is pretty clean, and my bathroom clean. So a little more than half clean especially after I had people over Sunday and my mom was here until last night. 

6.)Watch Hocus Pocus because it is the best halloween movie Ev-ER! DOOONNNEEEE!!! And I loved every minute of it. 

7.) Buy new bedding, including a fluffy comforter to keep me warm this winter. Fail- Again it hasn't been that cold. It gets cold enough at night but I have a light blanket that keeps me warm enough. That and I cannot choose a pattern!

8.) Buy more Pumpkin Cheesecake soy candles from Target. DONE- I ended up buying 2 more, and already burning them. 

I feel like this is a semi- accomplished list. I am actually pretty proud of what I got done, because it was all fun!

Now to keep working on my Holiday Bucket List! which is coming across nicely, the only thing I may not accomplish is decorating my desk since I am going to have to start packing office stuff here soon. But I have managed to Decorate my overly large window seal, once the Grinch went home. (Love you mom!) 



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