Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Christmas Brat

Hello hello!

So the holiday season is finally winding down a bit. I had work today and yesterday, but tonight is my Friday…I have off tomorrow and Monday! Woo hoo!

As for my time in New Hampshire, it was amazing. I loved meeting so many people from both sides of Coop’s family and some of his friends from home, and spending six straight days together only made me adore him even more.

Even if his wrapping skills are sub-par. πŸ˜‰

He somehow wrapped a teapot for his mother…

After driving through 7 states to get there, we shared a room at his mom and her boyfriend’s house with these guys:

I snagged some pretty sweet gifts….I was totally the Christmas Brat. I even made out in the White Elephant/Yankee Swap exchange. Even though I went third and got stuck with eggnog soap (!!!), the group ended up having two extra gifts at the end…the one bag I brought (three seasonal beers; Magic Hat Encore, Beach Haus Winter Rental, and Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut Brown, all dressed up in festive ribbons) and one other bag. So we swapped, and I got to keep my eggnog soap AND got a Dunkin’ giftcard and a sweet Ninja Turtle pint glass.

Coop received some interesting gifts himself.

Bieber Fever!!!

Plenty of parties and houses were visited, we attended a beautiful candlelight service, and I even fit in a stretchy yoga class with his mom. We drank tons of red wine, visited a local brewpub, and noshed on eggnog, homemade gingerbread cookies, and the chocolate-covered pretzels/chocolate peanut butter Chex mix jars I made. And fresh New England oysters. And about a billion other delicious things.

Hedgehog Brown Ale & Crockett’s Corner Oatmeal Stout!

We watched Chopped and Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives marathons late-night while sipping Sam Adams Winter Lager and snuggled in blankets while snow fell outside. Basically, it was winter heaven.

Coop’s mom and aunt both hooked me up with awesome and totally thoughtful New Hampshire-inspired gifts. His aunt made a picture frame for me with branches from trees in the area.

A few of the New Hampshire thangs…

My self-proclaimed “bad gift giver,” AKA Coop, totally threw me for a loop when he presented me with a gorgeous card that announced we’d be staying in Manhattan the weekend after New Year’s for a relaxing mini-getaway, rooftop drinks and massage included. I think I’ll keep him.

Then I came home to even more presents from my family.

The Holy Grail of Blenders!

Which I promptly used to create a Cilantro-Lime Glaze for the salmon and sauteed kale/spinach/mushroom/onion/bell pepp/roasted tomato dinner I pulled together last night (after a much-needed and missed gym sesh….I was literally going into withdrawal!).

Also got this from my daddy….

Flyers Winter Classic, baby!

And this book by a really great friend of mine and fellow Arizona VisComm alum.

AWFUL cell picture, but GREAT book.
And yes, I am using my own bookmark in it. Art kids, UNITE!

Joe Brown! My dad bought it for me and had Joe sign it and ship it to me! So special. Miss you mucho, Joe Bro!!! You can buy his beautifully drawn book, How to Catch a Ghost, here on Amazon.

Yeah. Total Christmas gift brat.

Best thing of all, though, was to be able to spend so much time with lots of people I love throughout the last few weeks. Gosh, I love the holidays.

Hope yours were just as wonderful and filled with love….and sweet gifts. πŸ˜‰


By the way, if you haven’t checked out my Society6 shop yet, here is a link! It’s a great online collective of amazing talent; artists can sell their work as prints, canvases, t-shirts, hoodies, laptop skins….and what I think is the coolest, iPhone cases and skins!

SB Illustration & Design iPhone Cases!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I cannot wait to recap mine….but until then, just wanted to drop by and let you know that I just debuted a shop on Society6. It is an amazing place to buy art prints, t-shirts, and iPhone cases!

I am currently selling my hippo and giraffe illustrations as fine art prints, stretched canvases, laptop cases, and iPhone cases and skins! Kinda cool, right?

You can find my shop here, which will definitely be updated with more images to choose from.

Any suggestions of illustrations you would like to see as an iPhone case or t-shirt?


A Merry Christmas for All…

So things have been pretty festive/crazy around here.

Early Christmas dinner (since I will be in New Hampshire starting tomorrow…I was in charge of the appetizers! Recipes to come):

And a little gift giving. I got a certificate for a massage!!! My very first one (can you believe that?). And… Vitamix is in the mail as we speak. πŸ™‚ I am a happy girl.

Merry Christmas to meeeeee!

Yesterday I got my hurr did and was talking to the salon owner about how we sort of, kind of, secretly love all of this holiday hustle and bustle. Just wouldn’t be the holidays without it. Of course, I still cannot wait for all of the cooking/baking/decorating/spending/running around to slow down a bit.

And I try to remember the reason for the season, as well as give back to others who are a little less fortunate. One of my favorite yoga instructors organized an amazing Karma Yoga session last weekend….it was a HUGE turnout and afterwards she was able to deliver over 30 bags of food to a local pantry!! Something good for your mind/body, and something great for others.
(Sidebar…just found out Jimmy Rollins goes to my yoga studio. Jus’ sayin’.)

I also donated a Target gift card to my hair stylist’s neighbors; a few houses caught on fire this week and the families suffered a lot of losses, although no one was hurt, thankfully. She is collecting gift cards and clothing in this time of need for these families. Awful events like that really put things in perspective for you, and help you to really appreciate what you have.

After some last minute wrapping and packing (and a BodyPump sesh), I will be heading to Philly for a chill night before leaving for New Hampshire tomorrow for a few days, where I will have to dress like this:

I am so excited! Definitely in need of a mini vaycay. I am all ready with some homemade gifts, white elephant gifts, my new camera, and my yoga mat…going to try to practice a little bit during the break. Hope I don’t forget anything…if so, at least New Hampshire is tax-free! Woop woop. Gonna be a good time.

Oh! And the winner of the OXO Good Cookie giveaway is….Meghan!! Contact me with your address and I will get your package out in the mail!

I hope you all have amazing Christmases and Hanukkahs and Christmakuhs! xoxoxo

How do you like to give back to others less fortunate?

Any fun plans for the holidays? Traditions? Travels?

Pinteresting & Some Recent Eats

Hello, amid all of the holiday craziness!

Lots going on around here…I have a ton planned before leaving for New Hampshire for Christmas next week…and celebrating my family’s own Christmas this Sunday!

I am set on using butcher paper for wrapping this year after lots of Pinteresting.



Um, why is everyone either sold out/has no idea what it is and looks at me like a crazy person when I ask for “butcher paper”? C’mon, people. The Staples by me apparently has “brown kraft paper”…..gonna check that out.

On the hunt for mason jars, too.




Missing my art stores in Arizona real hard. They had all of this stuff!!!

Also, found out that my original NYE dress (sparkly, duh) that I found via Pinterest a while ago is backordered until the 29th and will not be here on time, even though I ordered it a month ago and it was supposedly available by tomorrow. De-nied.


So I luckily found this Free People one yesterday. Bam.


I may actually get a rewear outta both of these thanks to my VEGAS trip in March!!! Because where else is it socially acceptable to wear sequins galore when it is not December 31st? Oh, Nevada, we have been apart for much too long.

(You can find me on Pinterest here.)

I won’t exhuast you (or me) with a list of all of my other to-do’s….instead, here are some awesome eats I have had lately.

Homemade gnocchi! With spinach and roasted tomatoes, doubling this recipe.

(Mine looked similar but with the tomatoes mixed in)

The only thing I changed was that I added diced onions. Stirring the whole roasted tomato slices (I didn’t core them, and used regular vine-in tomatoes in lieu of plum tomatoes) into the pan at the end created an awesome, light sauce.

Very doughy.

Rolled out and cut into pieces!

Browning them in a pan with garlic and onion before the spinach and tomatoes were added.

Sooo cool, right?! Took way longer than I anticipated, but I would definitely make this again. Loved the flavor of the roasted tomatoes, too. I want to roast the garlic as well, next time. It is one of those dishes that makes you proud when you have pulled it off.

Also, remember when I mentioned the interview I read about Top Chef contestant and Old City dweller Jen Carroll? She talks about Cafe Ole and was eating the house special, Shakshouka, as she chatted with the interviewer. Come to find out it is super close to us, soooo Coop and I have eaten there twice recently and I am now addicted. They have a bazillion different types of chai tea (I got a soy gingerbread chai latte last weekend!) and their panini-like wraps, Mediterranean platter, and shakshouka (sort of like an Israeli huevos rancheros) are aaaamazing. Love the art and decor inside the cozy little shop, as well. I definitely have another go-to Philly spot.

Best. Hummus. Ever.

Hope you are all having a fabulous and relatively stress-free week! With lots of delicious food.


If you ordered Christmas cards from me, they should arrive today from the printer…I will put everyone’s package together and send them out this week! Next year I will have had my Etsy shop up and running for a while, making this process a little easier.

If you still want to enter my Cookies for Kids’ Cancer giveaway, remember to do so before Sunday at midnight! Also….make those cookies. Seriously. Check them out on Eating Bird Food today, they are a part of the Twelve Days of Cookies!

Sam’s S’more Cookies & a Giveaway!

After a crazy week of trial & error, I finally have a cookie recipe I can release to you guys! They are tasty, soft, and indulgent.

Sam’s S’more Cookies


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup salted sweet butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg yolk
4 sheets reduced-fat honey graham crackers, crushed
1/2 cup Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chips
Mini-marshmallows (1 to top each cookie)


Preheat the oven to 350Β°.

In a stand mixer, add flour, butter, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and egg yolk. Let mix until you achieve a breadcrumb-y consistency.

Mix in crushed graham crackers. Batter should still resemble breadcrumbs, but will be able to mold into a ball.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Put batter in an airtight container and chill for at least thirty minutes.

On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, mold your batter into 1.5″ squares. Put in oven for 4 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven, and place one mini-marshmallow on top of each cookie. Put back in the oven for 4 more minutes. The marshmallow tops will start to brown.

Remove from oven and let sit for a minute on baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Or eat gooey cookie immediately, if you are like me (i.e., super impatient and extra-hungry for cookies).

You know the batter is right when it is crumbly but moldable!

OXO Good Cookie Spatula Giveaway!

About a week ago, I received a package in the mail from OXO, one of my all-time favorite companies for all-things-kitchen. It contained two “Good Cookie” Spatulas….one for me to use, and one to give away to a reader!

Not only is it super-cute (love the green color), but it is the perfect size for cookies. I used it all the way through the baking process, from scraping the sides of the bowl, to transferring the cookies (that didn’t immediately make it into my mouth) onto a cooling rack.

Best part about it, though?

Each limited edition “Good Cookie” spatula sold benefits Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, whose mission is to help find a cure for pediatric cancer.

Up for grabs is this awesome OXO Good Cookie Spatula, as well as a 3″ x 5″ recipe card for Sam’s S’more Cookies.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below this post for each entry:

Entry Options


1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas cookie.


2. “Like” Sam Bock Illustration & Design on Facebook. (Leave a comment below if you already do…that still counts!)

3. “Like” OXO on Facebook.

4. Follow me on Twitter.

I will use a random number generator to choose the winner. Entries will be closed on Sunday, December 18th at midnight.

Just in time for holiday cookie baking, right? If you want to buy one for yourself or as a gift, you can find them at your nearest Bed Bath & Beyond,, or check the OXO Store Locator to find the nearest retail store. It will make a great gift for any baker, and will benefit an awesome cause at the same time.

Good luck! πŸ™‚