Friday, November 21, 2014

Did someone say Christmas Stovetop Potpourri?

Yes indeed it's that time of year...when the leaves have fallen, the air is crisp and you can almost taste the smell of homemade potpourri... Okay, wait rewind. Growing up my mom LOVED anything that made her house smell good. From candles, and incense to baking and cooking...if it smelt good it was a no brainer. So I guess I have inherited this way of thinking. I can always tell if something is off in my home just by the way it smells haha.

So anyways, my mom use to make this homemade potpourri and burn it over and over until the oranges barely had any more color to them. It's such a beautiful scent and one that always helps make it feel like the holidays. It's amazing to me how smells can bring back a flood of memories...who knows maybe that's why I love this stuff so much.
1/2 cup cranberries
1 bay leaf
1 orange
1 green lemon (they have a stronger lemon scent then yellow)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin spice
2 TBS cloves (or more if you'd prefer)
2 1/2 cups water

put over stove top and simmer on the lowest level until all water has evaporated. Refill and re-simmer (not sure that's even a word but it totally works here so there ya have it...)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Orleans Part Dos

Remember when I posted about our trip to Alabama and New Orleans ?! Well, I'm happy to say that I am FINALLY getting around to posting the last bit of our stay. New Orleans, with its ornate architecture and colorful little shops and art galleries, was like nothing I'd ever seen. 

I wish I could give you a big, long list of things to see and places to eat. However, to be honest we didn't eat at any fancy spots or go do anything out of this world spectacular. Having kids makes traveling a bit different.  We did a lot of exploring, walking, and just being together. 

I will say that the market downtown is awesome and so is the children's museum! It was out of this world. My little four year old actually asked me if we could live there to which I replied, "well where would we sleep and shower?" She then said "Oh, we can just pretend."

Sounds good to me! :-)

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The merriest of merry go rounds

Hey friends! I decided to take a little bit of an unintentional hiatus from this here bloggy. It seems that time just literally flies cliche, but so true! We have been going on small business trips with my husband; which sort of messes with my routine. Right when we get into the groove of things we pick up and tag along once again! I figured I might as well enjoy this time of our lives when we can be more spontaneous, with no school or practices or whatever else holding us back.

Anyways, one of the trips we joined my husband on was out to Northern California. My sister lives there so I figured it was a perfect excuse to go visit her and the cousins! It was far too short and I wish so bad she lived closer...but we had so much fun exploring her neck of the woods.

One day we went up to Berkley to  Tilden park where there's the most beautiful antique merry go round; one of the fewest left in the United States! It was built back in 1911. The craftsmanship is what amazed me...the detail in the paintings, carvings and vibrant colors! I mean the horses had tails made with real horse hair for crying out loud! Anyways it was so fun and the kids loved it so if you're ever in this area you should make the trek to this place!
  ^^^and this photo I just couldn't help but post. We got to dress up once again for their church trunk or treat...any excuse to get extra candy is a good excuse, right?! Luckily, I was able to be a cat alongside my sister who was the best cat lady I ever did see! 
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Swig Cookies

What better way to celebrate the upcoming festivities of Halloween than with a copycat recipe of the infamous swig sugar cookies?! Except, for this recipe, I made a few adjustments. Instead of vanilla frosting I made chocolate frosting; and instead of white dough I made orange dough because well ya' know that's how I ro' (I try people, I try).

Caution: These cookies are extremely addicting and as a matter of fact we gave them ALL away (well, okay not ALL but MOST) because the husband is on a "clean eating kick". Totally kills all the fun. 

***recipe is at the bottom of the post!

  • Cookie Dough:

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened
  • ¾ C Vegetable Oil
  • 1¼ C Sugar (plus ¼ cup reserved)
  • ¾ C Powdered Sugar
  • 2 T Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ t Baking Soda
  • ½ t Cream of Tarter
  • 1 t Salt
  • 5½ C Flour
  • 8-10 drops orange food dye

  • Frosting:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ C Sour Cream
  • 5 Cups powdered Sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • ¼ C Milk
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil, sugar (1¼ C), powdered sugar, and water. Add in eggs and food dye.
  3. Slowly add in flour mixture until combined. Roll the dough into golf sized balls and place onto a non stick cookie sheet.
  4. To give the cookies their signature rough edge, dip the bottom of a glass into the reserved ¼ cup sugar and press onto the cookie ball to flatten the cookie. You still want the cookie to be thicker so don’t press them to thin.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is lightly brown. The cookies stay soft so do not over bake.
  6. To make the frosting: Cream together butter, sour cream, and salt. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa. Add in the milk to the desired consistency. Spread over cooled cookies and store in an airtight container.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

colorful fun in the tub...

Oh bath time. It's kind of one of my favorite things...not just for my kids but for me too. I LOVE baths; I actually take one every.single.night. Some people don't understand that, but it's just something I do before bed. It's my "wind down time".

Anyways, now that I gave you some unwanted information about my bed time routine here's some information you might actually want to know...bath time can be just as fun for your kids as it can be for you!

Here's how:
Take a shallow pan, fill it up with a little milk, and than add a few drops of food dye. Give the kiddies a popsicle to eat in the bath, and when they're done they can use the stick to swirl the milk around. 

It makes for a beautiful display of twisted tye-dye colors. Then, just when you think the fun is over they start painting the tub walls and themselves (which normally, I'd be a little OCD about but since it's in the tub I couldn't care less). When they're done, it's a simple scrub away from being clean again; including their little bodies. We've been using this new soap and love it!

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