hello friends! it's been a while. these past few days have been so busy fun that this corner of the internet has been ignored. i hope that your holiday season was great and was spent with good food and family! i have been fully taking advantage of not having classes or work last week. i read quite a few books, spent lots of time with my  family (especially my sisters!) and friends, and had quite a few holiday parties. it has been so great, though i am a little tired because all of this socialization has dramatically reduced my sleep, but not complaining because it has been so great!  the majority of my time has been spent with my sisters laurel and rosie, since laurel is visiting from colorado. we have been shopping, drinking coffee (an obvious thing to do when you are an anderson sister), and just hanging. the other day, minnesota hit a warm front and it was in the 40s. it was so beautiful out that laurel and i went on a long walk downtown. downtown minneapolis is filled with old buildings and beautiful paths. we spent a good few hours just taking it all in. like i always say, minneapolis is one of those little cities that people forget about, but it is gorgeous ( however i do recommend visiting in the summer, winter can be a bit chilly!).

 we were walking around in the golden hour, the sun was so bright! the snow made it even brighter! it really got me to thinking about how beautiful minnesota is. and though i do talk about moving, minneapolis you have a special place in my heart. especially when you have 40 degree days in december!

**the beautiful coloradian** 

as 2013 ends i just want to extend thanks to all of my family and friends who have helped me make it another year. this year has been one of many changes and challenges but i have to thank everyone for all of the support i have received.  2013 has been the craziest year to date for me, i got married to my favorite guy on the planet, started my second year of graduate school  (which left me little time for much else), and began to explore adulthood.  i have grown tremendously and as a result of all of the changes and challenges i feel that i have gained a better understanding of who i am and the different roles i have as wife, sister, daughter, and friend. 

 thank you family, friends, and readers, for being there for me and helping me evolve as a person in this year. i hope that the rest of your 2013 is safe and well, and i cannot wait for 2014!

merry christmas from our family to yours!


merry christmas from our family to yours! i hope that you spend this holiday season with those you love, surrounded by good food. i don't always talk directly about my faith as a christian but i hope that despite whatever your religious believes are that we can all reflect on how this season is about giving. i am personally thankful for how generous god is to send his son into the world so that we may live eternally with him.

isaiah 9:6 "for to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty god, everlasting father, prince of peace!"

anyway, i hope that everyone has a safe and merry holiday and that it is filled with joy! merry christmas!

the weekends were made for spending time with family and eating treats


three things from the weekend...

... my sister laurel came home from colorado thursday evening, so i spent the majority of my time with my sisters. which is perfect in every which way. we were extremely goofy and giddy, ate gingerbread, baked a whole lot of cookies and went christmas shopping. 

... the rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful and laid back (the best types of weekends if you ask me). chad was not so lucky and came down with a pretty nasty cold friday morning, so while i was off with my sisters he watched netflex, relaxed, and drank lots of tea.  in all of this r&r time, i finished two books! i love christmas break!

... then on sunday, chad began to feel a little better so we ventured out to a late lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, parka. it was there where snapped these little photos. minnesota is extra snowy lately and it is quite beautiful. it makes me so happy because it looks fluffy and makes it feel even more christmasy

how was your weekend?

nothing says christmas like gluten free gingerbread

 there are few foods more comforting in the holidays then gingerbread. i can remember times when i was just a little girl, going to macy's santa land, and getting a gingerbread cookie at the end. i think it is one of those foods that encompasses all of the flavors of the season, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, it all screams wintery foods. this year i decided to get a little creative and create my own gingerbread recipe. because i am a newer cook, i always am a little hesitant to do this but i was feeling very confident thursday evening. i wrote it all out,tested it, and was amazed at the results. it was so good that i am now going to share it with you, though it may be a tiny bit late because christmas is only a few days away (hooray!). however, i do think that this bread would be a tasty treat any of the winter months, its hearty, moist, and truly wholesome. i made it gluten free, but for those of you can eat all the gluten you like (lucky you!) you can substitute the gluten free flour for regular flour and omit the xanthan gum

gluten free gingerbread

1 1/2 cup gluten free flour, i used king arthur baking flour which worked great
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 large eggs

1. preheat oven to 350. prep a 9x5 breadpan, grease with butter and flour.
2. in a large bowl, combine gf-flour, xanthan gum, soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. in a smaller bowl mix yogurt, milk, and vanilla. set to the side.
3. combined butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. beat until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). add and beat molasses. add eggs, one at a time until everything is mixed well.
4. add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 the milk mixture. taking turns with one another until the batter is well combined. however, be careful to not over mix!
5. once batter is well combined, pour into 9x5 pan and bake for 45 minutes.

on friday, i made this and added cream cheese frosting. it was quite tasty but i didn't apply it to the entire loaf because chad isn't a fan of the frosting. so, if you are feeling extra festive, try adding some of that in!

if i were to host a christmas party it would look a little like this...


if i were to host a christmas party, it would look a little something like this.

1// there would be lots of pine and garland everywhere you turn. giving the party a beautiful, classic look.

2// the cutest invitations would be ordered from tiny prints that would fit the nights theme

3// there would be  lots and lots of christmas cookies for everyone to share. gingerbread, peanut butter blossoms, thumbprint cookies. the whole bit.

4// a beautiful table arrangement would be made, accompanied with rosemary seating cards

5// there would be lovely seasonal food and cocktails. and because it is winter, lots of pomegranate

6// the food would be lovely. the drinks delicious,  there would be lots of toasts, and the night would end with conversation by the fire

.... frank sinatra's holiday album (who i love), would be playing in the background, lots of candles would be burning, people would stay late. and once again, there would be lots and lots of good food.

what would your perfect holiday party look like? i hope that next year, chad and i will live in a space that will allow us to host one! until then, i will just plan this party in my head ;)

**hover over number to find image source**

lunch on the go: greek quinoa salad


before reducing my gluten intake i had never eaten quinoa before. i don't know what turned me off from it, but i was just a little taken back by it. a nutty, seedy, rice-type thing? no thanks. but, after not having other carbohydrates in my life anymore, such as pasta, i realized that this grain is a great substitute for these carbohydrates and a great way to fill you up. so for the past six months i have been on a major quinoa kick. i was looking back on my recipe post and trying to re-do a lot of them (a very long process that will hopefully be coming in the next few months) when i realized i didn't have a single post on quinoa. so- i am going to start off with a simple one. but a good, basic one that anyone can make. i find that i often make quinoa salads for lunch. i will prep them the night before and grab one in the morning to ensure i have a hearty lunch. as my love for tomatoes has grown over the past several months (like really grown, see here), my love for greek flavor food has grown as well. here is a recipe for one of my favorite quinoa salad, great for a quick lunch, or a side for dinner!

greek-tomato quinoa salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 pepper (any kind will do) diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1/3 cup feta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh parsley

1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons dried oregano
freshly ground salt and pepper

1 . cook quinoa to package instructions (usually take 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa, boil water add salt, add quinoa and reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes)
2. in a bowl prepare the vinaigrette. whisk olive oil, lemon juice, water, honey, and oregano. then season with salt and pepper
3. in a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, peppers, cucumbers, onion, feta, parsley, and vinaigrette. stir until everything is combined and tastes lovely! then add the tomatoes, it is best if you fold these in so the juices don't get everywhere!
4. enjoy ;)

short and sweet


sunglasses// madewell shirt// madewell skirt// madewell watch//nordstrom shoes// target

so if you haven't seen it yet on instagram, i cut my hair. nine inches of it. and got bangs. i don't really know what i was thinking walking into the salon, all i knew was that i wanted a change. and a change i got. its slightly comical because i just wrote about my long hair last friday and that same day i cut it al off, ha oops! i do like the change but i am not in love with it.. and may be wearing my hair in a itty bitty pony tail until a little bit of length comes back. sometimes you just gotta let go of all that old stuff and start new, almost like a little new years resolution ;) and this little change helps out with the "save more money" resolution because i am now going to be using way less shampoo then i used to. 

 off with the old on with the new. the only problem with this new is i am in need of styling tips. short haired friends, any suggestions? what do you do aside from wearing it down and wearing it in an itty bitty pony tail?

winter in minnesota, my to-do list


oooh minnesota winters, i have a bitter sweet relationship with you. the snow is so pretty, but it gets so so cold. its easy to let it get you down. the days are short, the sun isn't always around, and have i mentioned it gets cold? but... i have to face it, i live here. and though it does get so cold there are some great things about winter. the snow is so beautiful. your bed has flannel sheets that you get to cozy into every night. you always have an excuse to drink coffee. you get to wear cute mittens and hats. and there are some fun activities exclusive to this time of year.  this list maker in me had to make a winter to-do list for 2013-2014 :)

 go ice skating on the beautiful lakes or in rice park
get a cup of coffee on a chilly day! a great excuse to stop at some of my favorite coffee shops. like spyhouse, or kopplins (they makes a mean cup of hot cocoa!)
go see the holidazzle light parade
. attend  the winter caravel hosted in st. paul and see the ice sculptures 
...  go snow shoeing at lebanon hills ( I always say I want to do this every year, but never do! Chad isnt a fan of the whole snow shoeing idea, I dont see why?! Maybe I can convince him)
. celebrate our first wedding anniversary, January 19th!
go to minihaha falls and see the falls, frozen.
. make a snow angel
... wear more hats 


winters are long here, but they still are beautiful. what do you have planned to do this winter?

hair care 101

hair care 101

i have some long hair. and it can be hard to maintain. but with the proper tools, anything is do-able. you may not know this, but my hair has  a slight curl and is pretty curly when my hair is shorter however with the length it is now, it just kinda looks like a wavy mess. i used to not really care about the products in my hair until i started using the good stuff, i really do notice the difference of using a higher end product and now they got me hooked!

redken shampoo&conditioner/ this is my favorite shampoo. due to my wavy hair, my hair tends to be very knotty when i am washing it. this shampoo/condition works through the knots and leaves me with beautiful shiny hair

little hair clips/ i think these are the best way to mix up your hair do. i feel like i gravitate towards the same styles over and over again, but with a clip it looks kind of new

HANAair blow drier
/ i got this blow drier courtesy of misikko and it has been awesome. it used it take me over twenty minutes to blow dry my hair in the morning. the result, a frizzy static look. i got this blow drier about a month ago and it has changed my hair. first off, dries my hair in half the time, and it makes it actually look smooth. i really don't know if i will ever be able to use another blow drier again. it is THAT good. (this would be a GREAT gift for a friend, sister or mom- especially if they have long, thick hair!)

chi straightener/ what more do i need to say?

aveda damage remedy/ with dying and all the styling i do to my hair, it leaves it pretty damaged. i use a couple forms of aveda damage remedy line and it works wonders

bumble & bumble prep/ this helps just get my hair ready for styling. it helps protect against the heat of the straightener and leaves a smooth, shiny finish. 

hairspray/ my number one friend. another thing that will change your life, a good hair spray.

i did forget one majorly important hair care tool, my dry shampoo! i also use this product every day, it helps extend the days that i don't have to shower and leaves my hair more voluminous. its great!

what types of products do you use? any favorites?

**this post contains affiliate marketing links, all opinions are truthfully my own**

whats for dinner / 02


winter cooking may be my favorite. i am not sure if it is the combination of the cold temps and craving for hot meals, but i feel like the best foods are wintery foods. like soup, you can really have soup any time of the year, but in the winter months it is the prefect food. and roasts! with potatoes! all of it tastes divine in the winter. another reasons why i love winter cooking is the simplicity of it. you can basically throw anything into a crock pot or cast iron pot (which you dont have, you should invest, i used mine everyday last weekend!!), and it will turn out good. the food is hearty, filling, and warm. when i eat it, i really feel the warmth spread to my entire body. because i try to eat seasonally as much as possible i start to gravitate towards root vegetables this time of year. carrots, potatoes, squash  you get the idea.

last week i was on a soup kick, just craving it like crazy. i tired this chocolate turkey chili and lentil soup, both were so good and will be classics in the kirsebom home.

the internet and pinterest truly changed how cooks operate. Instead of having to search through cookbooks and recipes (not to say I dont do this, it is actually one of my favorite hobby), you can go to google and search whatever you want to make, and a list of hundreds of recipes come up. so as i have been browsing lately, i keep finding more and more wintery recipes i want to try. the four above are some that i have been itchy to try and am planning to attempt some this weekend (especially the bottom right one). its a good time of year. a hearty one. 

how do you find your cooking inspiration? any good winter recipes? 

three for the weekend !


a few things about this weekend:

1. the start of the weekend was slightly stressful with my final paper due at 11:59 pm saturday evening. the entire work week i hardly slept (thanks finals week!) with me literally waking up at five am every day. i got off work friday afternoon and all i wanted to do is cuddle up in my nice comfy be. the "worst part" was chad got off work early on friday and he decided to take a short nap. somehow, i gathered enough self control and continued to work on my paper. with no nap. however, because i resisted the desire to nap, i finished my paper early on saturday afternoon.

2. it was chad's grandmas 91th birthday on saturday. i think she is the cutest lady and i hope that i can live to 91. imagine the stories and life experience you have after 91 years. truly inspiring.

3. the weather in minnesota was frigid the entire weekend. so cold that i, the extrovert that i am, did not want to leave the house. i really wanted to have some type of celebration for finishing another semester of graduate school but i kept looking at that thermostat and decided the partying could wait until the temp reached at least zero ;) what did we do instead? we cuddled up, boiled water for tea, made a fire, and watched breaking bad. and not just a little breaking bad- we watched 9 episodes! i don't think i have ever watched so much television in my life. i am slightly proud ;)

how was your weekend?

ps: outfit details shirt// gap pants// american eagle shoes// clarks bag// coach scarf// h&m

marshmallow world


this song makes me too happy not to share with you for a friday afternoon pick me up. i thought it would be appropriate to share because minneapolis is covered in snow (or as dean and frank say, whip cream!) and has become quite cold. this is the song is my pick me up anytime i get the winter blues. and to be honest, if you stop by my house anytime between now and february, there is a high likelihood that i am humming away to this tune :).  i hope you have an excellent weekend staying warm... and have a yum, yummy day ;) (listen to song for reference)

scenes from a snowy morning


minnesota has turned into minneSNOWta overnight. that fluffy white stuff made it's first grand entrance last night. the beautiful white stuff is quite fun (aside from the crazy things it does to traffic) instead of trying to venture out on our daily activities we decided to have a low-key. you know one of those days where you read all day and hang around the house in your comfys. this weather makes me want to cuddle up by a fire and be as unproductive as possible. and though that would be great... i have my final paper due this saturday, so turns out i will have to be extra productive. however, come saturday evening (or as soon as that paper is done) you will find me, with nothing on my agenda, sipping on some hot tea, and watching the snow fall. 

hip hip hooray to the first of many massive snow falls! 

oh christmas tree...!


instead of trying to race the crowds on black friday, chad and i decided to start a new little tradition of our own called green friday aka christmas tree friday. this year green friday started by waking up friday morning (very well rested after all of that turkey the night before) had a nice morning of drinking coffee and listening to christmas music, before heading out to the tree farm. upon arriving at the farm i was giddy and had a hard time containing my excitement. it has been years since i have had a real christmas tree (about 17 years ago!). chad and i decided because we only have a little place, that we were going to find the perfect, little tree. we figured, little family, little tree. ;)
**down the rows we go, searching for the best tree around!****we were so lucky, this past weekend the weather was perfect in minnesota. it was in the 30s (and no snow, a little odd for being december!) we just had to bundle up in a few layers, but remained warm the entire time! at first i was pretty nervous, thinking that it would be so uncomfortable being outdoors for so long, and even considered bring a thermos of coffee to help warm up ;)**

we got home from spending the morning at the tree farm and placed our tree in our room, so we can make sure we see it as much as possible ;). there truly is something majestic of a christmas tree, or maybe it is just the holiday spirit that is more apparent during this time of year. this spirit makes me so giddy i become child like. i become ecstatic baking christmas cookies and decorating the house. it will be interesting when chad and i have littles because i really don't know who will be more excited about christmas, me or the little ones ;) anyway- our experience of getting our first christmas tree together was so lovely. i hope that chad and i can continue doing "green friday" for the years to come. i love our little family, our little tree, and this little life we live together. (also, there are some more photos of our christmas tree adventure via instagram if you would like to see them, user names heathermariebee & ckirsebom)

caught with plaid


top// american eagle bottom// american eagle shoes// target purse// coach
the look above is my everyday look of fall/winter 2013. black pants with some type of plaid. i wear some variation of this every single day. dress it up, dress it down. black pants and a plaid shirt are the perfect combination to wear to school, nannying, or even out to dinner with friends. a year ago, i don't think you could have caught me in plaid. it just wasn't my thing. but after being married to chad for a year(a good ol' lover of plaid for several years), i have started to find much more plaid in my life. the shirt above does belong to me, but the majority of my plaid i wear on a weekly basis comes from that lovely man i share a closet with.  

... good thing mens wear is in ;)
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