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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

May your day be filled with love, laughter, and fun! Happy Valentine's Day, friends!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Perfect Pot Roast

A good pot roast recipe is something everyone needs in their cooking repertoire, and the recipe I will be sharing with you today is the perfect addition! Pot roast is a favorite meal in our house. I love it because it is so simple to make. It's one of those "fix it and forget it" meals, so you can whip everything up and binge watch Netflix. Have I convinced you to make pot roast for dinner this week yet?

Before you hit the grocery store, you want to make sure you have the right cut of meat. My very favorite is the chuck roast. It has a lot of fatty tissue which makes the meat melt in your mouth delicious when cooked for a long period of time at a lower temperature. I have used rump roasts in the past with no complaints from my picky eater, they just never turn out quite as tender as a chuck. 

Now let's get cooking! 


- Chuck Roast (about 4 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Red Onions (cut into fourths)
- 6 Carrots (cut into 1-2 inch long slices)
- 1 cup Red Wine (optional)
- 3 cups Beef Stock
- 1 Tablespoon Rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon Thyme 
- Salt and Pepper to taste 


1. On your stove top heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Once the Dutch oven is warm, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat.

2. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking) add in the onions. You will brown one side, then the other. Remove the onions to a plate as they just start to become soft and fall apart. 

3. After you remove the onions, add the carrots to your Dutch oven and toss for about 1 minute. Remove and place on the onion plate with they are slightly brown and just start to become soft. 

4. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the Dutch oven. Place your roast in the pan and sear on all sides. You want the roast to be nice and brown all over. You may want to grab some tongs to make searing the sides easier. Remove the roast to a plate. 

5. With your heat still on medium high, pour in 1 cup of red wine to deglaze your pan, use a whisk to get all the yummy "brown stuff" off the bottom of your pan and mixed in with your wine. If you wish to omit the wine (for some crazy reason) you can substitute 1 cup of beef stock. 

6. Once you are done deglazing your pan, place the roast back in and add beef stock to cover the roast halfway (about 2-3 cups). Add in the onion and carrots to the sides of the roast. 

7. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of rosemary and thyme over your roast. I say about because I almost never measure my seasonings into my roast. So this is a pretty accurate guesstimate. If you would prefer to use fresh thyme and rosemary, use about 3 sprigs each. 

8. Salt and pepper to taste. I recommend using a course salt such as Penzys Grey Sea Salt. Kosher salt would also be a good choice!  

9. Put the lid on your Dutch oven and roast in a 275 degree oven for 4 hours (4-5 pound roast). For a 3 pound roast plan on about 3 hours. Now go fire up Netflix. 

Be prepared for your house to smell heavenly while you are waiting for your roast to be done. Try to fight the temptation to open your oven and peek at your roast. Trust me, just let it be! In about 4 hours your timer will go off and you will open your Dutch oven to find this little piece of Heaven awaiting you.

Yummy. To insure the roast is cooked thoroughly, use a fork to open the roast. If the meat falls apart easily, it's done. As a side note: A lot of people like to throw in potatoes while they cook the roast. I am not totally against that, however I find that the potatoes turn out lacking in flavor and very soggy. For this reason I prefer to make roasted or mashed potatoes, the latter being my favorite. 

I normally serve this straight out of the pan. That way everyone can pick how much meat and veggies they want. But if you are having a fancy dinner party (roast is always an awesome dinner choice for a dinner party) serve the roast on a platter with the veggies separate. Be sure to have a small serving bowl with extra juice so guests can drizzle it over their meat and potatoes as well! 

Good luck! 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

Winter weather has finally hit the Portland area! On Thursday morning snow began to fall, and by the afternoon it started sticking, and so began Snowpocalypse 2014!

It has been a long time since I have seen it snow like this so I was super excited about it! The snow kept falling through Friday night/Saturday morning and then it turned to freezing rain, yikes! Now our beautiful winter wonderland has taken a turn for the worst. Slowly but surely everything is beginning to thaw out, but until then we are officially stuck in our apartment (which I am in no way complaining about). 

Here are some pics from when we ventured outside! 

As you can see, there are some pretty tall drifts of snow due to the crazy winds we had! The wind made it difficult for us to tell how much snow actually fell, but I think it's safe to say we had 6-8 inches. 

Tifa loved the snow before the freezing rain hit. She had a blast "fetching" snow balls! I love how adventurous and fearless she is! She is small, but mighty! There is a video of her playing in the snow on my Instagram if you are interested! I have decided corgi's in the snow are extra adorable, check it out and see for yourself. 

Like I mentioned earlier, we had freezing rain most of last night so everything is just a layer of ice. Hopefully the roads become safe soon so we can go to the grocery store! ;) 

Stop by later this week for a classic recipe to add to your recipe box! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Good Ideas - 14 DIY Valentine's Day Cards

Valentine's Day is upon us! I would be bluffing if I said I loved this holiday. The truth is, it really isn't a big deal to me. I will not be disappointed if I don't receive any flowers or jewelry. Tom and I have never really done anything elaborate for the holiday since we both feel like it isn't worth all the hustle and bustle. Instead we normally make dinner with each other at home (which is normally a heart shaped steak we split in half, yummy) and give each other a card with love notes inside. Quite honestly, that is all I need to be satisfied on v-day. 

Speaking of love notes, I usually make the cards I hand over to Tom for the day. For some inspiration I hopped on Pinterest and started searching for some DIY card ideas. You can check out my Valentine's Day Board for more DIY card and craft ideas. Below I have included my top 14 favorites. I may have to make some (or all) of these and send them out to loved ones and friends, since I totally forgot to send out our Christmas cards last year, oops! 

On another, unrelated note. Tomorrow is the SUPERBOWL!!! GO SEAHAWKS! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIY Dog Training Bell

Tifa is now almost 9 months old.. So crazy to think about. These past few months she has been challenging to say the least. Within the first month of us being in our new apartment she had chewed a hole in our carpet, the molding around the bathroom door, countless socks from our laundry basket, and a whole roll of toilet paper. We also discovered she can jump over baby gates! :/ Boo.  

I think it is safe to say she is finally coming out of this rebellion stage (knock on wood). She is turning out to be a great dog though. One thing I absolutely love about her is her willingness to learn new tricks. She is hands down the smartest dog I have ever met! In about 10 minutes Tom taught her how to roll over. Pretty awesome if your ask me, but then again I am a little biased. 

I have always wanted a dog who told me when they needed to "go outside". So after doing some initial research, I decided it was time to make her a bell and get started! If you want to learn how to train your dog to use a bell, {this} was my favorite article I found! 

And now without further interruption, here is how you can make your own dog training bell! 


- Bell 
- Wire Edged Ribbon 
- Scissors
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks


1. First things first, you want to make sure your pooch can reach the bell so she can tell you she has to go outside! Once you have your dog handy, measure the length of ribbon you will need and then cut. 

2. If your ribbon is too wide to fit around the door handle like mine, fold the middle of your ribbon in half "hot dog style". Then take your hot glue gun and glue the halves together so they stay folded and will fit nicely over your handle.

3. Bring the ends of your ribbon together so you can attach your bell. I used a bell from a bird toy I found at the pet store. It was way cheaper than an actual "dog training bell", $6 as opposed to $30. Yay for being cheap! Hot glue the ends together and hook on the bell. 

4. Next you will want to make a pretty bow. Cut an appropriate length of ribbon and tie away. I had to fiddle with the knot for a few minutes so it wasn't twisted up. Then I cut triangles to make the bow a little more fancy. 

5. Hot glue your bow over the bell hook. If you want you can sew in a couple of stitches for extra support. I will say I only used hot glue and after two months of being up it is still very secure! The choice is up to you! Hang your bell over the door and you're done! 

I am super happy with the way my bell turned out! For me, burlap was the perfect choice as it is durable and will go with any decor for any occasion. The best part about this project was after only two short weeks Tifa was ringing the bell to let us know she had to go outside!

This picture was taken a couple weeks before Christmas, so she is a little bigger now and bulked up a little bit. Send me pictures of your finished dog bells with your furbabies, I would love to see them! You can find my email address under the "say hi" section of the blog. Or tag me on Instagram or Twitter using @upstairscrafter :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Good Ideas - 10 DIY Winter Projects

Things around here have been pretty average which is awesome. I feel like we have been going and going since we moved back to Oregon and things are finally starting to slow down. I was in need of a few mundane days to be honest. 

If you read the blog regularly or "Like" me on Facebook you will know that I have been working hard to get organized as one of my 2014 resolutions. I am happy to report it is going really well! I am keeping up with my planner (which is making my life so much easier by the way) and this past week I had all our meals planned out and actually followed through on my schedule! More on that later! The kitchen has stayed super clean, with little to no dirty dishes hanging out around the house. I must admit this is a success because Tom is really helpful in the dishes department! I wish I could boast about conquering the laundry pile, but that would be fibbing. Maybe next week? 

This past weekend I took down all of our Christmas decorations (boo), so now our apartment is looking a little sad and dull. In hopes of making our home feel a little "festive" still I found a few great ideas on Pinterest that I wanted to share with you all! I even threw in a couple of tutorials for you to wear and show off while on the go! 


I ended up leaving my snowflake decorations up because I like them and they are the perfect post-Christmas decoration.