winter wardrobe sos

I spent a few minutes this weekend reminiscing over old posts and realized I have not posted an outfit in a long long time.  Yeah, sorry about that.  To be frank I have totally fallen into hermit, unwashed ponytail hair, yoga pants wearing, mom with baby mode.  I could blame it on nursing.  Or the winter.  Or the fact that Sticky travels a lot this time of year…but I won’t.  I have simply been lazy in the “put myself together” department.  And it is undoubtedly taking it’s toll.

I told Sticky there is one big thing we need as soon as humanely possible.  A legit, no making a run for diapers, date night.  (I’m in desperate need of a pedicure as well but I feel like that’s asking a bit much.)  In my head it goes like this: A table for 2 in one of our favorite restaurants.  We’ll drool over food we hardly ever get the chance to eat anymore.  Finished with drinks at the bar while sitting dangerously close to each other.  We’ll talk about our dreams, flirt a little and I’ll check him out when gets up to go to the bathroom.  (He’s so handsome, I can’t help myself.)  Just typing all that out plants the biggest smile on my face.  Hopefully Mr Rammel can take a blatantly obvious hint.

If said date night happens I will do an outfit post.  Promise.


Tired of winter yet?  Not me, but only because I realize it will not be over any time soon so I might as well have a positive attitude.  I do however dislike the annoying little things that come with winter…like my gorgeous boots covered in nasty salt.  Here is a quick guide to winter defense for your wardrobe:


 Static Guard/Conditioner/Vinegar/Fabric Shaver/Lint Roller



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love day gifts

I’m just going to come out and say it.  I love my husband but he is sort of terrible at holidays and gift giving, a trait he will openly admit.  The way I see it, there are far worse qualities a person can have, therefor I over look it.  Two years into marriage and I’ve realized that if I ever hope to improve this little quirk I’ve got to be not so subtle about what I want.  This year he has received a few forwarded emails, I’ve blatantly showed him things, and seriously, I am above nothing at  this point.

If your guy, too, needs a few hints- or vice versa- here’s a good place to start.


1. Uncommon Goods has this super adorable and borderline cheesy book that you can fill out and go through together.  (Add a bottle of wine and I feel like it would make a good conservation starter!)  2. These bowls are dreamy. 3. This dish is simple and sweet for any girl who needs somewhere to place her rings.  (We all need a few spots!)  4.  A cozy throw blanket is my favorite companion in the winter.  Love these!  5.  Ever since finding a teacup dish towel that I’m obsessed with I have been crushing on pretty towels.  6. Imagine serving up Valentine’s Day dinner on these lovelies.  Swoon!  7. Okay- I actually already have this book- but I wanted to share it with you all.  It’s romantic and such a good coffee table book!  8. A gift for him, this shaving kit bag is the perfect gift that is not only functional, but also adorable.  

Have a great weekend!


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roasted red pepper hummus

roasted_red_pepper_hummus_1Patriots or Seahawks?  Seahawks or Patriots?  I can’t bring myself to route for either so I am pulling for the commercials.  Or maybe Katy Perry.  One of them is bound to be good for a few minutes of entertainment.  (For anyone who is lost right now I am talking football, more specifically the Super Bowl.)

What almost never lets me down is the delicious food served during a big game.  Lots of dips with lots of things to dip in the dip – a snack lovers paradise.  While I can go for a good cream cheese based recipe any day of the week (like our jalapeno popper dip) there are times when something lighter is nice.  Enter hummus.  Chickpea base, punch you in the face with flavor hummus.  Sure you can purchase perfectly delicious hummus in the supermarket.  But this is just as easy, with the bonus bragging rights that you made it yourself.

roasted_red_pepper_hummus_2I’ve heard and read a few times that in order to achieve the creamiest hummus you should pop the chickpeas out of their skin.  Yeah, I don’t do that.  I’m sure it’s totally worth it, just not enough to make or break the recipe for me.  Super creamy or not this is some yum hummus.

roasted_red_pepper_hummus_3If you have never made hummus before this is a great base recipe for playing around (minus the roasted red pepper of course).  Basically it’s all about your taste preference.  Like spicier?  Add more cayenne.  Need some added zip?  Squeeze another lemon.  Want garlic breath?  Throw another clove in.  Just don’t forget to have lots of things to dip in your hummus.  (Pita bread, veggies, chips – it’s all good!)

Football fan or not make yourself a batch of hummus, grab a drink and enjoy the biggest game of the year (with hopefully the best commercials and a fun halftime show).




roasted red pepper hummus
Recipe type: Vegetarian
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 red peppers roasted and sliced (Throw whole peppers in 400 degree oven until skin turns black. Remove from oven and place in bag and let set for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove peppers and discard skin and core.)
  • 3 tbsp tahini paste
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • tsp cumin
  • tsp cayenne
  • 3 tbsp minced parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping down sides in between pulsing. Adjust seasonings as need be.
  2. Put in dish and place in refrigerator covered for at least 2 hours. Take out of fridge before serving at least an hour in advance to allow hummus to come to room temperature.
  3. Server with warm pita bread, veggies or chips.


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salted dark chocolate coconut balls


salted_dark_chocolate_coconut_bites_1It’s crazy to think about how many posts we have published here on Pretty Plain Janes, and where we are now compared to where were when we started.  I remember when I sat down to write my very first post I stared blankly at the space on the page thinking “what the heck am I suppose to say about these Valentine’s Day fortune cookies?!”.  What if I sound stupid?  What if I don’t have anything interesting to say?  What if no one takes the time to read this?!

In two years we have really come so far.  Reading those very first posts feels odd- like I am reading someone else’s writing.  Finding my “groove” was something that took time, and then I realized that to be a good writer, a good blogger, you have to constantly be re-finding your groove.  My goal is to always be genuine, to always be transparent, and to  always fill these pages with the words that are on my heart. Last year was filled with plans, hopes and prayers.. words that effortlessly fell from my fingertips and onto the screen.  And now this year… this year feels messy.  Grief is full of highs and lows, and moments that I can’t find words for.  Grief is messy.

I didn’t do New Year’s resolutions this year because they didn’t feel right for me.  I laugh looking at last years list because little did I know my year would not at all be about my plans.  So this year I decided I would pledge one thing, and one thing only.  I would try my very hardest to write out my mess, because as unpretty as it can be, it is real for me right now.  It is the transparent truth, another leg of our journey.. and I hope you’re still along for the ride.

Maybe sometimes, the mess makes sense.


Like my very first post, Valentine’s Day is upon us again, and we are dipping things in chocolate again (because what else do you do on Valentine’s day?!) These yummy treats are ridiculously easy to make, no baking required- and package up so perfect for your Valentine.  (Assuming that your Valentine likes coconut.  If they do not- your options are 1. Find a new Valentine, or 2. See here, here or here for more tasty ideas!)

Creating perfectly symmetrical balls is not my strong suit- but hey.  It doesn’t really matter.  They still taste yummy!  This recipe came from Port and Finn, which I followed exactly except for adding some sprinkles!

salted dark chocolate coconut balls
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 36 balls
  • 4 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • sprinkles and sea salt for topping
  1. Combine shredded coconut and condensed milk in a bowl, until mixture is completely incorporated. On a baking sheet lined with wax paper, roll and place 1 inch balls.
  2. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to a half hour, until the get a bit firm.
  3. Using a double boiler or a microwave safe bowl, melt down your dark chocolate,
  4. Using two forks, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll to coat. Immediately sprinkle with salt and sprinkles (they dry pretty fast!).
  5. Return to wax paper to set completely- which takes about 20 minutes.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week!



salted_dark_chocolate_coconut_bites_4 salted_dark_chocolate_coconut_bites_5
These amazing tags are also yours, for free (courtesy of Brandy)!  Simply print on bright white card stock, punch a hole, and add festive ribbon or twine.  You can find more Valentine’s designs at the PPJ Shop.  (And if you do not want to make your own sweets check out Flour Loves Sugar!)




Posted in freebie, holidays, recipes, something sweet | Tagged | 1 Comment

Diy double length ponytail

Truth be told I never wear my hair in a ponytail. For starters, it usually gives me a headache.  More than that, it looks pretty pathetic- especially now that I have entered the dreaded post-baby-hairloss stage. (There is hair everywhere in my house.)

This quick, simple trick adds so much to a plain pony tail!  It doubles your length and makes that pony look full and happy.



First, tease your hair like crazy to give it some volume. Gather the top half into a pony tail that is placed at the crown of your head.

Next, gather the remaining hair into a ponytail a few inches below the first one, being sure it is positioned so that the second hair tie is completely hidden.

Last, tease and arrange the top pony to match the fullness of the bottom and assist in hiding it.

Voila! You’ve got a long, full ponytail!





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