Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Winter…

This is a little poem I wrote a few nights ago. It wasn’t really inspired by anything in particular. I was actually just playing around on Ommwriter… which is one of the very best discoveries I’ve made lately!

If you’ve never heard of it allow me to give you quick summery,  their website describes it as a “writing environment”, it’s designed to get you to write without any other online distractions. It gives you pretty fonts, backgrounds, and even plays soothing music to write along to. I’m kinda sorta in love with it! The music they play seriously makes me feel like I’m writing at a spa! Every writer should give it a shot… you won’t be sorry! :)

Now back to the poem, as I was playing around on Ommwriter, my creativity was sparked and I just started typing. This poem just kinda came out… I like it when that happens. It’s always a joy when you don’t set out to write anything in particular, you’re just writing, and all of the sudden a picture starts to take shape. :)

The Winter



On a cold winters day, I stopped at the end of a icy river bank to pray. "Come" I said, "come what may". Walking home in the silent, peaceful snow... no one but me and my thoughts as I go. I see my breath flowing in icy white circles in front of me and feel my face freeze , pink nose and rosy cheeks. Something about this snowy isolation is sweet and soothing to me. Solace, oh sweet solace, serenade me.

Oh there was a time the bitter cold threatened to ice out my soul but comfort came not a moment too late and wrapped its arms around me and walked me all the way home.



With you I don't fear the cold winter days and nights anymore. I let them be. I let them pass right by me. I choose to see them as beauty in waiting, new life waiting to leap, spring in a deep sleep. I just have to wait ... wait silent, still, unafraid.

For in you I am unharmed as you keep me from frozenness. Your warm love and blinding light melts away all the ice.

© Krystal Celeste

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hang Doilies In Your Window & Smile!


Sometimes when life gets hard and you feel stressed out, you just need to hang doilies in your window and smile! Agreed? I thought you would! :)

I saw this adorable doily garland on Pinterest last week and decided it was something I needed in my life… or in my bedroom. It was beyond simple to make and took no time at all to put together; as the only things you need are doilies, yarn, and double sided tape. I already had white Christmas lights strung up so I just draped the garland right over them. I think the lights look so lovely peaking through the doilies!


It added such nice dose of warmth & whimsy to my bedroom (am in love with whimsy where ever I can find it). It also added a healthy, much needed dose of happy to my heart and has been making me smile. Funny how much it cheers you up to surround yourself with things you love. Even simple things like doilies and white lights. It’s the little things, folks.

And what girl doesn’t heart doilies? They’re so pretty and feminine! How can you not smile with doilies hanging in your window? Impossible! I highly suggest making one for yourself! :)

Here’s the link:  Doily Garland Tutorial

And while I was at it, thought I would include a couple photos of my vanity area that I added a couple new touches to!


Clipboards with print outs for some much needed new wall art!


And a pretty cake stand that I found hiding in the back of my mom’s kitchen cabinets. She’s had it for years but forgot about it, which is just all kinds of wrong in my opinion. But out of sight out of mind, right? So I thought I’d give it new life again by dusting it off, putting a doily on it (seeing a theme here), and using it to hold all my perfumes, lotions, ect. Not to mention my cute new little owl figurine… she deserves a special place after all. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Homemade Pizza & Cupcakes


Hey lovelies! What’s better than spending your weekend in the kitchen cooking up some delish recipes? And what says weekend better than pizza?! This Saturday my mom & I felt like spending the day with our aprons on cooking & baking up some yummyness (is yummyness a word? …it should be :)). We made what I think is a great weekend meal combo, homemade pizza & chocolate cupcakes! Yes, it may be a little indulgent, but the weekends are for going a little crazy, right? ;)



(Recipe found @

I tend to be picky about my pizza but this was a great recipe for dough and it made the pizza so good! We had never made homemade pizza crust before but it was really simple and fun to make. You just have to wait patiently for the dough to rise and do it’s thing. We piled on tons of sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and generous sprinklings of basil, oregano, & red pepper (can never have too much red pepper). We made it in a cast iron skillet since we don’t have a pizza pan and turned out great that way! It made for a delightful Saturday night meal!




4 cups bread or all purpose flour (white)
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 packet active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil (any good brand), but extra virgin is best
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar, or 1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup milk or 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven 450°F.


Using a large ceramic mixing bowl, or any suitable food safe bowl, add the flour, make a "well" in middle, and put in 1 teaspoon salt, stir to combine well. Set aside.

Prepare the starter: In a liquid measuring cup pour in 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon sugar or honey, and one package of active dry yeast. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes. Allow to foam up (or proof).

Next, mix the starter (yeast water) and the milk in the bowl containing the flour with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir together using a wooden spoon or clean hands.

Note: You will need additional flour to knead on the surface that you're working on. Knead for about 8 minutes or until you get a smooth elastic rubbery dough ball.

Set aside in bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil to keep the dough from drying out. Let dough sit covered lightly with plastic wrap or use a plate or damp clean towel to cover it.

Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes to an hour. Flatten dough and press out into a circle to fit the pan it will be baked in. Spread it out evenly, don't be afraid to lift underneath to stretch the dough. Sprinkle baking pan with yellow cornmeal or Farina. If you don't have these on hand you can use flour or simply grease the pan with olive oil using a paper towel.

Top with your favorite spaghetti sauce, spreading out using the back of a spoon, then add shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese, and jack or Parmesan cheese.

Layer on some cooked meats, and add pizza style vegetables, such as mushrooms, sliced peppers, and chopped onions.

Bake for about 12-14 mins, but watch it!

When the bottom looks slightly browned and the pizza looks bubbly, remove from oven.

Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake -
(Recipe found @

And then … after pizza…

We made these beauties for dessert!


I was in a cupcake mood (when am I not), and I felt like being creative & coming up with a new and delish cupcake combo… but alas, supplies in my kitchen were limited so I stuck with what I know, and made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. But they were still stellar if I do say so myself!

This recipe by Hershey is my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It’s the best made from scratch cake recipe I’ve come across. It’s always so moist and chocolaty. My family & I have been using this recipe & the One Bowl Buttercream Frosting (recipe below) since I was a kid. But this time I did make a few tweaks.

I happened to have a bar of Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate lying around the kitchen so I melted half the bar & added it to the batter, along with a few tablespoons of coffee granules. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it made extra rich and chocolaty. And then when I made the frosting, I mixed in some mascarpone cheese. I’ve done this a couple times before, and let me tell you, it's now my favorite way to make frosting! It comes out so creamy and velvety!

After the cupcakes came out of the oven I added in a couple candy kisses in the center of each one.. now I know that’s a lot of chocolate in one cupcake but if you’re feeling a little crazy give it a shot! Hey, it’s the weekend after all. ;) Pipe on the lovely frosting, top with pretty sprinkles, and devour!  


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired. 8 to 10 servings.

One-Bowl Buttercream Frosting -
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa or Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Hope you all had a fun & relaxing weekend! :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Wreck



Oh “Where are you?”, I called out. After the collision we both blacked out. When you answered back you didn’t sound, sound like yourself and I knew without a doubt, things were different now. Oh we’ve succeeded at only one thing, breaking each other hearts endlessly. The fate I saw in a bad dream has now become a cold hard reality.


But how do you handle a wreck but to feel your way through the dirt and debris? In the dark of the wreckage we stumble, falling clumsily to our knees. Is there still time to escape or is this break beyond repair? Oh if I could I would reach out my hand to rescue you, wouldn’t mind falling to the depths if I knew you were there.

Oh too much damage, the wreckage has pulled us under. We both found a way to pick ourselves up by pushing the other one down. But as dust flew around we both hit the ground. And we’re all to blame, we’d be liars to try and save face. Oh we’ve succeeded at only one thing, breaking each other hearts endlessly. The fate I saw in a bad dream has now become a cold hard reality.

{Repeat Chorus}

In the end it’s our own selfish pride, our need to be right, that was our demise. In the end it’s what we feel we deserve, the hurtful words we hurled, making ourselves the center of the world. In the end it’s our taking instead of giving, holding grudges instead of forgiving, yeah, we both did the wrecking.

{Repeat Chorus 2x}

©Krystal Celeste

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feature on “The World Needs More Love Letters” Organization

"Through, requesting, sending, leaving, and writing the love letters, this site won’t ever stop asking these questions to its visitors: Could you script a letter of love to someone you will never meet? Is there someone in your own life who could use a love letter? Where could you leave a love letter today?"

Has someone ever sent you a sweet letter of encouragement when they knew you needed some cheering up? A letter that seemed so perfectly timed that helped give you some hope in the midst of the struggle? If you have ever received or written a letter to let someone know they are not alone, you know how much of an impact it can make. Well that's exactly what "The World Needs More Love Letters" organization aims to do; only these love letters may find themselves in the hands of people you've never even met.

When I stumbled upon their website recently I was in tears reading about what they do. It truly touched my heart and I knew that it was something special. Now, I know when you hear the phrase "love letters" you think of the mushy letters you would send to your significant other ... but this is a different type of love letter.

"More Love Letters" was started by a girl named Hannah Brencher from New York City, when in October 2010 she started writing letters to complete strangers on the subway. Just fresh out of college and feeling lonely in the big city, Hannah poured her emotions into letters of encouragement to strangers who might be going through the same things she was. She started leaving these letters in random places such as the subway, cafes, and libraries. Hannah found that investing love and encouragement into others through these love letters was actually helping to heal her own heart. Soon enough she had written over 400 love letters and in September 2011, created "The World Needs More Love Letters" website so other people could start spreading the love. The overwhelming response to Hannah's idea is amazing, in the short time this website has existed people have stepped up to plate and written over 1, 600 love letters! It's easy to see that this idea has really struck a chord with many.

If you want to add to the love getting involved is really simple; start by writing your love letter! They recommend using your best stationary as this letter is special, (it's a love letter after all) decorate it and make it lovely; but most importantly, make it heartfelt. Also, be sure to write somewhere on your letter or envelope so the person who finds it can also get involved. Next, leave your letter somewhere creative where it's sure to be discovered, take a picture of it and send it to the fine people at More Love Letters!

A couple more awesome ways to get involved; you can request a letter for someone you know who's going through a really tough time and could use some hope and encouragement. They will receive a bundle of letters from sweet people who want to brighten their day. You can also adopt a love letter bundle and get together with family and friends to write lots of letters for a special request.

I have yet to write my first love letter but I'm so excited about getting involved! I think the reason this idea has resonated with so many is because we all feel these same emotions; we all know what it's like to feel depressed and alone. We've all been there and we need to remind each other that things will be good again and that there is hope. And maybe because often times the fastest way to get out from under the dark cloud is to focus on how we can help and be there for others. Maybe when we take the focus off ourselves and reach out to others who are hurting is when, like Hannah, we will find our own heart being healed in the process.

This Valentines Day how about we take the focus off ourselves and write a love letter to someone we will never meet?

Below is a video of More Love Letters founder, Hannah Brencher sharing her heart on how it all got started:

For more info on how to get involved with The World Needs More Love Letters:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tiramisu French Toast

Ah, yes, the signs are everywhere you look; red paper hearts galore, cheap boxes of candy, and cheesy cards let us know that the day of love is just around the corner. And whatever your opinion is of this holiday, you are still probably looking for something to give to the special person (or people) in your life.

I've always been a fan of Valentines Day. I mean yes, love should be expressed all year round, not just one day a year; but to me it's always felt like a happy day. It's a day you should bake cupcakes with pink sprinkles and hand them out to everyone you know. In our family, my dad has always been notorious for going all out on this holiday (much to my mom's objections as she'd rather just save the money) and getting not only my mom a gift but my sister and I as well. It's a sweet tradition that I doubt very seriously he'll ever stop. Maybe that's why I like to look at this holiday as not just being about romance, but as a day to appreciate all of the people in your life who you love. When focusing on that no matter what your relationship status is, it still leaves you feeling blessed. :)

And if you're looking for something special to make for the people you love on Valentines day (as the best gifts are always the ones you make yourself) might I suggest putting this Tiramisu French Toast on the menu? :)


Tiramisu French Toast -

(Recipe & photo found @

My sister and my mom actually made this french toast for me on my birthday a few months ago and it was the most delish and sweet birthday surprise ever! Thick bread, creamy mascarpone cheese, flavors of coffee and cinnamon, topped off with a drizzle of honey and a dusting of cocoa powder.. oh and don't forget the strawberries! Tiramisu for breakfast? Oh yes, that's love to me baby! ;)

1 loaf challah bread
8 whole eggs
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoons butter
maple syrup for serving
sliced strawberries for serving

Sliced one loaf of challah bread into 1-inch thick slices. In a large baking dish, combine eggs, cream, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee powder and whisk together. Lay bread in dish and let soak in the egg mixture for about 30 seconds each side.

Heat a skillet on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Add french toast and fry until golden brown. Flip (adding more butter if needed, use your judgment) and fry on other side. Repeat with remaining slices of bread and tablespoons of butter.

Mix mascarpone cheese with honey and remaining coffee powder and spread on french toast slices while warm. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and serve with syrup and strawberries. Serves 4.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter Music Playlist & Reflection


Hey lovelies! Thought I’d stop in tonight and share some thoughts and my winter music playlist with you guys!

Usually I’m not a fan of winter… even though Tx winters tend to be pretty mild, it just always seems like such a gloomy time of year. I’m more of a fall and spring type of gal. But there has been something about this winter that has sort of charmed me, if that makes any sense.

I know it’s cliché, but life really is like seasons … some are so cold and gloomy while others are sunny and warm. This season of life has been such a weird one for me. It’s had its share of cold and gloomy moments…it’s been a season that I’ve prayed to God to just be over. It’s been a season of lots of tears (probably more tears than I’ve ever cried), anger, and learning what it means to let go and move on. And I’m sure it’s probably not over yet. But somewhere, somehow in the midst of it all, I’m beginning to feel something new and beautiful growing in my heart.

I had gotten so lost in all the pain that I had sort of stopped dreaming and forgotten what hope felt like… but this is changing. Thank God! I feel like I’m starting to let myself dream again and hope again, and it’s really beautiful. Like air is being pumped back into my world little by little. I feel like God is planting new dreams in my heart and giving me new things… new interests, new loves, new hopes and desires. It feels like a season to explore.

This past January and February haven’t been the easiest to say the least, but there have been little pockets of joy, hope, peace, discovery, and wonder. In some ways I feel like it’s been such a season of self discovery. Discovering more of who I am, what I want, and where I want to go. I’ve never felt more aware of all of my weaknesses and strengths. I’ve never felt so totally aware of my junk that needs to be taken care of, how far I have to go, & how much I NEED the Lord. I need to speak with him and be in his presence daily.

But I’ve also discovered that God wants to do some beautiful things through me if I will let him, that he is far from finished with me yet. That he has a plan and a purpose for the pain. That when it feels like the end it’s really just the beginning. I’ve discovered that I really am stronger than I thought, I am special and talented, that I am capable, that I can do things on my own, and be things on my own, that I can accomplish things, and that I can be the woman God made me to be.

So yes, winter you have been wrought with some icy winds and gloomy gray days, but you have also charmed my heart with new & beautiful things…little treasures in unlikely places.

Winter, you have been:

*twinkly white lights

*the comfort of sweet friends

*good conversations

*sweet daily times with the Lord that are healing my heart

*good music that makes me dance (even though I have two very uncoordinated left feet)

*soft & pretty folk music that makes me swoon

*charming thrift & antique stores full of treasures 

*scrapbook paper and paint and modpodge and a new hobby of crafting along side my mom

*coffee as often as possible

*art journaling

*writing & blogging

*cooking soup

*baking cookies

*breezy 70 degree weather that’s perfect for afternoon walks at the bay or doing a little painting outside

*paint stained jeans


*dreaming, hoping, doing, being

A little bit of mystery and a little bit of magic in the midst of the chaos.

My Winter Music Playlist:My Winter Music Playlist by Krystal Rodriguez on Grooveshark

These are the tunes that have made up the soundtrack to my winter and there are a few that just sound like winter to me. These have been my songs lately. In fact, I’ve rarely gone a day without listening to most of them. Somehow I think these songs will always remind me of this time of my life. Hope you enjoy! :)


On the chilly nights we’ve had recently all I want is a warm beverage. Here’s a couple photos of the hot chocolate I made the other night (in my new owl mug that I just bought at a thrift store in my town, so in love with it).


I didn’t use a recipe for this but I just made some chocolate ganache by melting some semi-sweet chocolate chips with some heavy cream; mixed it into warm milk, added in some sweetened condescend milk, a dollop of whipped cream on top, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and cocoa powder. It turned out sooo delish! It was thick, rich, & chocolaty. My mom and I drank it up so fast.

Don’t ask about the calories cause, while I don’t know what they were,… I’m sure it wasn’t good lol. But it was a nice little indulges. Nothing like some hot chocolate on a cold winter night! :)