Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Recap

Hiya lovebugs! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, whichever you celebrate, filled with love and cheer and just wonderful things!

This year, Christmas was literally the quietest Christmas I've ever experienced in my 20some Christmases. Growing up being very close with my mom's side of the family and my dad's side being ginormous (seriously. I'm the oldest of 20 grandchildren on dad's side), I'm used to big, loud holidays with just a touch of crazy mixed in. And it's totally awesome. This year, however, most of our friends have PCSed to new duty stations, we didn't have anyone flying out for the holiday, and we weren't going anywhere. So a quiet Christmas it was. And while I missed my usual Christmas crazy, it was a completely lovely and cozy holiday with my men :)

Christmas Eve we spent eating freshly popped popcorn from the Whirley Pop I had newly received from one of my best friends. It was warm and crunchy and awesome. We watched Christmas movies with Conner and I drank Pinot Grigio while Derek sipped his own concoction called a bloody mimosa which consists of Brut Champagne (we used Barefoot Bubbly), Tropicana Trop50 orange juice and a squirt of cherry blackberry Mio. They were AWESOME. And totally dangerous...you could easily suck them down like they were water...but better ;)

And before bed, Conner hung the stockings up...


And we set out cookies and milk for Santa, along with our North Pole Communicator so that we could call Santa in the morning and thank him for our presents!

P.S. The tutorial for how to make this plate can be found HERE :)

Christmas morning was pure magic. Santa decorates the tree when he visits our house, so you can imagine the delight on our three year old's face when he came down the stairs in the morning to a brightly lit tree surrounded by presents, and cookie crumbs left on Santa's plate.


Having kids at Christmas just makes the holiday even more rad.





Our day was filled with smiles and delight from our sweet boys. Conner played with all of his new toys with daddy, and I enjoyed a snuggly nap with Jackson. We facetimed with family, we watched A Christmas Story and we enjoyed a yummy dinner of Steak Oscar, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies and cookies for dessert.

Quiet Christmas was a winner :)















Monday, December 22, 2014

Jackson's Baptism!

We had Jackson baptized yesterday in a sweet little ceremony at our base chapel. It was particularly special because my youngest brother flew out for the weekend to be here for his godson! Here are a few highlights from the day :)

Our christening gown is really special...it's made from my mom's wedding gown! She had it made for me when Conner was born. His initials are embroidered in blue at the bottom of the gown and Jackson's will soon be added, too. My hope is to make this a family heirloom...pass it down so that my children will use it for their children and so forth, and for the initials of each baby baptized in it to be added to the gown :)


Jax's godmother, Derek's sister, couldn't be here for the day so she sent Jackson a beautiful blanket to be wrapped in and to memorialize the special occasion!


My little man :) Stinker decided he needed to nurse for most of the service, but he did break for a pic with his momma :)


And he did not mind the water at all! He just gazed at us with his sweet little eyes.


Conner was really more interested in trying to blow out his brother's candle than anything...


My men!



Our little family ❤️


And of course there were cupcakes...



Have a great Christmas week, all!












Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Cookie Time: Taylor's Peanut Butter Blossoms

Cookie time...day two! Today I'm featuring a recipe from my girl Taylor over at Not Just Another Teen Mom. Her cookies look kind of ridiculously delicious. Enjoy!

Taylor’s Peanut Butter Blossoms


48 Hershey Kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup JIF Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg or egg whites
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. Mix shortening and peanut butter together.
(Tip: Spray your peanut butter measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray. This makes it slide out, and ensures you don’t miss any peanut buttery deliciousness!)
3. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup of brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla;mix. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned (mine took exactly 8 minutes). Immediately press a chocolate into center of each, and place into the fridge to cool!


About Taylor


I’m the writer over at Not Just Another Teen Mom. I’m wife to Andrew, mother to Aiden, and spend my spare time being a writer/artist/crafter extraordinaire. Lover of Jesus and Tarheel Football. I pray a lot, write a lot, swear a lot, and say what I think when I know that I shouldn't. Aspiring world-changer. Teen, now twenty-something Mom. Living life backwards and enjoying the ride. Visit my blog here! (www.notjustanotherteenmom.com)

Not Just Another Teen Mom | a teen, now twenty-something mom. wife. artist. optimist. living life backwards.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Cookie Time: Heidi's Peppermint Stuffed Cookies

Yay for more cookies!! Today's post is brought to you by the absolutely fabulous Heidi over at Best Dressed Babes. Enjoy!

Hi! I'm Heidi, mom to trendy tots Ari & Giada and a giant Goldendoodle named Breslin. I blog over at Best Dressed Babes.  I love to dress my babes in the latest fashion without breaking the bank. You will find trendy outfit inspiration, diy crafts, and kid friendly recipes on my blog.


Who has time to make cookies from scratch?  Certainly not me!! While making cookies is a fun tradition its just so tedious and time-consuming.  I tend to gravitate towards little to no baking recipes.  Between normal holiday hustle and bustle, working full time, and battling some sickness around here I actually contemplated NOT making any cookies this year.  Lucky for me, during one of my daily Target trips, I found this recipe in a coupon book at the register! Target had all 5 ingredients practically sitting next to each other so it didn't get much easier than that.  I decided to go for it!

These cookies are not only delicious, but they really are super easy to whip up in under 30 minutes! I have big plans to make different variations now!  The candy you can stuff inside a sugar cookie is endless!


Peppermint Stuffed Cookies
*Stolen from my homegirl Betty Crocker

1 pouch Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix                
         
Butter and egg called for on cookie mix pouch for Cutout Cookies                        

24 HERSHEY’S® peppermint bark bell candies, unwrapped                        

1/3 cup HERSHEY’S® semi-sweet chocolate chips   
                     
1/4 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy canes (10 miniature)                        

       

Directions

Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, make dough as directed on pouch for Cutout Cookies.                           

Shape dough into 24 (1-inch "ish") balls. Press 1 HERSHEY’S peppermint bark bell into center of each dough ball, covering completely. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.                           

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, place chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave uncovered on High 30 seconds; stir until melted and smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Immediately sprinkle with candy. Let stand until set, about 1 hour. Store cookies in tightly covered container.

Enjoy!


Holiday Cookie Time: Brittany's Boyfriend Cookies

Hey all! With the Christmas holiday coming up quickly, I thought I'd throw a little YUM your way! I'll be featuring some rad cookie recipes made by fellow bloggers over the next week and today's cookie is brought to you by the fabulous Brittany. Enjoy!

Much Love, 
V

Boyfriend Cookies 


Hi everyone! So these may not be 'holiday cookies' so to speak, but they are my go-to cookie recipe that everybody loves at any time of the year! Take them to potlucks, cookie exchanges, and even when visiting friends and relatives over the break and people will go nuts over these!  They make a great present for the holidays as well, especially for that special man in your life! He's going to die over these, and if he hasn't proposed yet, watch out because he may drop to a knee as soon as he tastes them! 

Ingredients:
  • One softened cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces of instant vanilla pudding mix (YES, the entire package of the dry pudding mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • one teaspoon vanilla extract (or a couple drops of pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • one teaspoon of baking soda (the fresher the baking soda the better, or else your cookies may not hold together as well)
  • One cup of milk chocolate chips
  • One cup of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup of M&M’s, any kind you like (you could definitely make these the 'holiday' aspect)
  • 1/2 cup of Reese’s Pieces (the orange and brown M&M looking candies)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.
3. Add the pudding mix, eggs and vanilla and cream together again.
4. Combine the flour and baking soda and add to the creamed mixture. 
5. Fold in the chocolate chips and candy. *This is going to be tough as there's going to be a lot of candy so I try adding a little at a time just to make sure it is evenly distributed amongst the dough.

6. Drop tablespoonfuls (or an ice-cream scoop or muffin scooper works best) onto baking sheets.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned (Always make sure to watch whatever you are baking throughout because every oven tends to be different).
8. Cool on wire racks. 

These cookies are awesome to reheat in the oven or microwave for a few seconds to make them gooey again. They also make great ice-cream sandwiches! 

I hope you enjoy! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me or visit my blog.
Brittany