Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Recap

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. I know we did.  On Christmas Eve we went to tour the lights around the city.  4 Generations in one car from 18 months to 100 years.  Now THAT'S impressive.

I'm sure those of you know how it is with an 18 month old.  This is my dad doing the traditional "Night Before Christmas" reading.  This year was... well... very moving.

It was fun to play Santa Claus for the first time.  Baby J LOVED her rocking horse and shopping cart... although she didn't understand at first why she didn't fit as well as the ones at the store.

Now its time to think about New Years! 2015... is that even possible?

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cut-Out Cookies and Royal Icing Recipes

These are the recipes that I use for our cut-out cookies and royal icing.  The cookies are buttery and soft.  Perfect and you don't need to refrigerate the dough which is a huge plus.

Sugar Cookie Ingredients
  • 1 c. {two sticks} of REAL unsalted BUTTER, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tsp flavoring {pick what you like, I prefer almond}
  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Cream together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and add the flavoring. I use emulsions, but extract also works well. Add that to the butter sugar mixture and mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. I can tell the dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. When I touch it, it has a little give, but does not stick to my fingers.
  2. Roll out on parchment to about 1/4 an inch thick, use flour for dusting as necessary. Then, cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. This version makes 2-2 1/2 dozen, doubled, it makes 4-5 dozen.

Royal Icing Ingredients
  • 2 pounds {one bag} confectioner's sugar {907 grams}
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder {approximately 53 grams}
  • 2-3 teaspoons oil-free extract or emulsion
  • 1/2-3/4 cups warm water
  1. Begin by stirring the flavoring into half the water.
  2. Using a paddle attachment, gently mix the sugar and meringue powder. It's not necessary to sift the sugar beforehand, but you can if you like.
  3. With the mixer on it's lowest setting slowly add the water/flavoring mix to the dry ingredients. As the water is added, the icing will become thick and lumpy.
  4. Continue to add the remaining water {this may or may not be the entire amount} until the mixture reaches a thick, honey like consistency. At this point, turn the mixer to medium speed and whip 2-4 minutes until this icing is thick and fluffy. Mixing time can vary greatly so watch carefully and stop mixing when the icing is this enough to form a soft peak.

If you're new to royal icing make sure to visit Sweet Sugar Belle's site with lots of tips and tutorials!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Trolley to the North Pole

We had a great weekend even if it was pouring down rain and we're in the midst of an 18 month sleep regression.  We got up Saturday morning and headed downtown to see Santa on the Christmas Trolley. The Trolley we rode was built in 1928. The conductors were dressed up, we sang carols (which all of the children loved) and got to meet Santa.  Baby J was more interested in the Gingerbread cookie...

After Baby J went down for a nap the hubs and I decorated Christmas cookies or at least started too... they aren't finished yet.  Hopefully by New Years!

With Jessy going through her 18 month sleep regression with the picky eating and tantrums (which I'm really fortunate that its not as bad as other moms have been going through) but you really just do whatever it takes to have a good day. I keep reading that it can last from 2 to 6 weeks and things will go back to normal... you just have to hang on and make it through.  So sometimes we wear funny hats... apparently it makes us better eaters... and blanket forts are the best for calming us down in the evenings.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas week!

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Free Gift Tags

I know its the busy time of trying to get everything wrapped and under the tree, the cookies baked and the Hallmark movies watched (well that may just be me!) So I wanted to make it a little easy on you and give you these gift tags that you can print out on Cardstock and throw on your packages.  After all I'm always scrambling for tags at the last minute!

I also found these adorable "Special Delivery" tags from Three Little Monkeys. Just in case you've been Naughty or Nice!  Click here to download them from Pinterest

Happy wrapping!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Family Photos and Recipe

I found this recipe today and thought I would share.  I haven't tried it yet but since we'll be having Ham on Christmas Eve I figured I would get the ingredients to make them... it will go great with my potato soup recipe!

We had our photos done for the Holiday Christmas cards my husband sent out to his clients. These are some of the photos from them.  Jessy was such a good baby, every time she sees a camera she grins really big!


I'm really hesitant to take her to see Santa... after all she doesn't like men and a huge one wearing a red bathrobe might scare her even more.  Plus, who is it for?  It's not like she'll remember.  So we aren't doing it again this year.  Unfortunately last year when it would have worked, we stood in line for almost 2 hours and she puked on herself and her cute Christmas outfit.  So no photo last year either! Ah the joys of the holiday season.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Recap - Last Day for the Beauty Bundle Giveaway

We had a great weekend.  We actually got a date night which was awesome.  I love having a reason to take the time to do my hair and makeup.  We checked out a new restaurant in town, had some great food.  Of course watched some football yesterday (Go Hawks!)

And you can bet the makeup I'm wearing is the same stuff we're giving away this week... Make sure you've entered HERE.

I finished up a few projects that I had been working on.  I made a feather wreath for Baby J and she loves it!  She points to it every time she walks in her room. I love how it turned out... unfortunately the pictures just don't do it justice.  I also made a kissing ball, I just haven't found a place to put it yet.

The feather wreath is so easy to make.  Just get two boas and a foam floral ring.  I used a 12 inch size. Hot glued one end and wrapped!  So easy.  After Christmas I'll just switch up the ribbon and leave it in her room. After all shouldn't every girl have a feather wreath?

The kissing ball and foam ball (Mine was 4.5 inches) and hot glue moss onto it.  So simple its ridiculous. I attached the ribbon using a paper clip. Just made it a U shape and poked it into the foam.

And of course we made some Christmas cookies while daddy was away at a meeting.  I gave her the eggs to play with.  What?  OK so maybe not the best idea but I like having my girl be able to learn by doing and what's a better way to learn than crashing two eggs together?  You should have seen her face...

Hope you have a great week!

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Beauty Must Haves - GIVEAWAY!

So I'm sure that you all have heard about this 3D Lash Mascara... aka Lash Crack.  Well I FINALLY tried it. I know, I know, I'm a little slow to this stuff.

Now, I love lashes... I'll even wear fake ones from time to time, especially for pictures or date nights.  But with this mascara, you don't have to mess with falsies.  We recently had our family photos taken and in the middle of the session my husband says to me "Hey, your wearing fake lashes, I love them!!".  No I wasn't.  I was wearing this mascara... that's it.  It's definitely my new favorite!

Amber from Younique is giving away a generous Beauty Bundle to one lucky reader! (I'm seriously jealous of the person that wins this bundle).

It includes:
Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes
3 Piece Eye Brush Set
Moodstruck Mineral Pigment in Sexy
Illuminate Cleanser in Clear
Lucrative Mineral Lipgloss in Lavish


To order the 3D Mascara or any of their makeup line visit here.  It's 100% guaranteed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

These are my other must have beauty stocking stuffers for the holiday season.
Mally Beauty 24/7 Illuminating Blush, Light 0.26 oz. (7.4 g) This highlighter gives you that J-Lo effect.  My absolute favorite blush.
Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion  Of course who can live without this product?
Urban Decay 'Naked Skin' Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup  This is my favorite foundation.  I've tried them all, trust me.  It's amazing, great coverage yet VERY light.  Pick up a Beauty Blender Sponge to apply and its perfect coverage.
Urban Decay 'Naked2' Palette  My husband got this for me on my birthday and I LOVE it.  I use it everyday and it makes packing for travel a breeze.  All the colors you need in one convenient case.

Go get your beauty on!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

IKEA Kids Table and Chairs DIY

I purchased these table and chairs at Ikea for Baby J.  I wanted to get heavy duty chairs that we would be able to sit on with her.  I got the Sundvik table and chairs.

I wanted to have a nicer chair to sit on then just hard wood.  So I purchased some fabric and 1.5 inch foam.  Just put the chairs together except for attaching the seat.  Trace your seat top on the foam and cut it out.

Place the fabric on the floor (good side facing down) the foam and then your seat top (good side facing down) and using a staple gun, staple the fabric around the edges while pulling tight.  Attach the seat to the chair and you're done!!  It was really simple to do, I've never done this kind of thing before and it turned out great!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday House Tour - FREE Chalkboard Prints

I love how a house transforms after being decorated for the holidays.  There is something so magical about sitting on a couch in front of twinkling lights and breathing in fresh pine. First lets grab a cup of hot cocoa and a donut, then follow me!  I'll show you around.


Thank you for stopping by.  It's been a very hectic year and I have lots of announcements coming soon.  I can let you in on a little secret now though.  For Christmas I asked Santa for a blog makeover and with that comes a name change. We'll be doing a lot of exciting things including more giveaways starting Thursday.  Hang tight!  It's gonna be fun.

As a thank you for stopping by I wanted to give you the Chalkboard print above as a FREE download. You can get these printed any size and pop them into a frame.  Costs under $5 to print the 24x36 at Office Max.  Just print on basic paper so it gives it that chalkboard look. 

I have a ton more in the store so stop by and get 50% off this week!!

As for the JOY display... I got three french galvanized buckets and added the patina JOY letters to them with a hot glue gun.  Everything can be found at Hobby for under $15.  Just pop in some fresh greens and you have a nice compliment to your decor.

Have a great day!

JOY Letters and galvanized pails - Hobby Lobby
Ribbon - Papermart

Friday, December 5, 2014

Looking Like an Angel

Looking for Holiday outfits for baby J.  I'm so in love with all of these choices and so many on sale!  She is getting to that stage where she likes putting on her clothes and picking out what to wear.  It makes a girl smile!

And not to forget the boys!

Mini Boden 'Play Set' Cotton Top & Pants (Baby Boys)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jessy's Christmas List + COUPON

Well as you know we got her a teepee for Christmas along with the rocking horse.  I can't wait to set it up on Christmas Eve!  I purchased a grocery cart for her so she can play with her own food instead of getting into the pantry all of the time... no, I don't think its gonna work either but it was worth a shot!  Plus maybe we can teach her to pick up her toys at the end of the day with it!

We also got her a trunk and I've been buying cheap little costumes when I see them for dress up play.  I know in a few months she'll be all over that and I'm pretty excited about it.  She's at the age where she wants to get dressed herself and does a pretty good job (with a little help in the pants department).

Be sure to use the coupon code DASHER at Kohls if you get the grocery cart.  Its on sale 50% off PLUS an additional 20% off.  Totally worth $15!!