Friday, November 26, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

It's officially the beginning of the Christmas season (at least in our house)! I'm putting up the Christmas tree during Ashlyn's nap today so it will be all set up and ready to decorate when she wakes up. She's so excited about the Christmas decorations that have been up at the Navy Exchange for a couple of weeks now so I can't wait to get the house decorated! Our house isn't the only thing transforming with some holiday cheer... I'm going to be changing the background and stuff like that on the blog, so if you come visit and things look a little funny, it'll look better soon. ;) I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have a great Christmas season! Time to plan some fun Christmas crafts and get ready to enjoy all the activities coming up!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family and I wish you and yours a very happy, blessed Thanksgiving! Have fun, be safe, and chow down!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Heeeeere Turkey, Turkey, Turkey!

So remember my list of baking I want to do in the next few weeks? Well, I completed one of them! I made Bake at 350's turkey cookies! I used her sugar cookie and royal icing recipes and they turned out perfectly! Here is the finished product.

Sorry it isn't that great of a picture. My piping/decorating skills aren't perfect by any means, but I still love my cute little turkeys! It was easier than I was anticipating and SO YUMMY! I've always been fine with sugar cookies, but this recipe is just better than the plain ol' recipe I used to use. We took some over to a friend's house the night I made them and they were impressed. Not only with how they looked, but how they tasted. My friend's husband said he isn't a sugar cookie fan, but he really enjoyed those! I already have plans to make snowflake sugar cookies for my Christmas cookie exchange coming up for people to nibble on. If you've never decorated your cookies with royal icing, I highly recommend trying it out. It is so much fun!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy 4th Anniversary, Aaron!

Today marks 4 years that I have been married to my best friend. Aaron, I want to thank you.

Thank you for making me smile every day.

Thank you for always being able to make me laugh. Even if it's while feeding me to the ducks.

Thank you for being a part of my family and being there when I need you, whether that means sharing in my joy or helping me put together my broken heart.

Thank you for being the best Daddy to our two little girls.

Thank you for supporting me in anything I decide to do like trying out cookie decorating or a new belly dancing class. Thank you for our movie nights. Thank you for showing interest in whatever I may be obsessed with at the moment, even if that is Twilight! Thank you for understanding my undying love of Disney, and even feeding that obsession.

Thank you for always looking for special things to surprise me. You know me so well and always know if I'd enjoy something.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being my everything. I love you with all my heart.

Muffin Tin Monday - Thanksgiving

It's Muffin Tin Monday!

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

This week's theme is Thanksgiving. Yay! I prefer to do our Muffin Tin Meal on Sundays, but I wanted to include my turkey cookies (which I had intended to make on Saturday) and didn't get them done until Sunday. AND we were going to a friend's house for dinner so a dinner tin wasn't possible. :) But that's okay... we had a lunch tin today!

Ashlyn had a cornucopia made of biscuit and filled with turkey and provolone cheese, apple slices, blueberry Craisins, and a turkey cookie! I wanted to make the cornucopia out of croissants, but the NEX was completely out (they were out of a lot of things this close to Thanksgiving). Can I just say that making the cornucopia with a biscuit is much harder than I was picturing it would have been with the croissants? Maybe I just didn't know what I was doing. ;)

Check out Muffin Tin Mom to see what others did this week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Toilet Paper Roll Turkey

I told a friend that I would watch her 4-year-old daughter for a couple of afternoons this week. So I decided to choose some crafts for the girls to do! I saw this toilet paper roll turkey over at Just For Fun and thought it would be perfect! Especially since I tend to save toilet paper and paper towel rolls every now and then specifically for crafts. Honestly, I wasn't feeling brave enough to have both my 2-year-old and my friend's 4-year-old paint the toilet paper rolls, so before the other little girl came over, I covered the rolls in brown construction paper.

Then I cut out the pieces for the head, wings, and face so everything would be ready (though I did forget all about the feet... I may add that to Ashlyn's).

Then both girls put the pieces all together (with a little help from me, putting on the drops of glue) and colored some paper (which was then folded accordion-style) for the tail. I thought it turned out super cute, even with the forgotten feet! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Keep Calm and BAKE ON!

One thing you should know about me is that I love to bake! I love to try different cookie recipes and decorate my creations. I have a few new things I'm going to be trying out here in the next month or so.

First of all, I am hosting my 2nd Christmas Cookie Exchange! I tried a new cookie recipe last year (Red Velvet Shortbread cookies) and am going to make a new one again this year. I have two recipes I want to try and in the next few weeks (with a short break because my husband is going to be leaving for school and he sneaks cookies as soon as I get them out of the oven is my taste tester) to decide which one to take to the cookie exchange. Choice number one is Alfajores (Argentine Caramel Sandwich cookies).

photo from Better Homes and Gardens

Choice number two is Cinnamon-Sugar Roll cookies.

photo from Better Homes and Gardens

How delicious do those look? I can't wait to try them out!

Now, I've made many batches of cake pops and have even decorated my daughter's 2nd birthday cakes (two regular cakes and two mini cakes). I LOVE making cake pops and the cakes were generally very fun to make (though I honestly did get frustrated at times since it was my first time). I also really admire all the cookies Bridget makes over at Bake at 350. I have finally decided to try out decorating cookies with royal icing! Yeah, I'm sure I'll get frustrated at times since I really have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm excited to try it out. Maybe I'll find a new passion! Then again, if I fall in love with it, I'll be making cake pops and decorated sugar cookies for every get together I go to. Not that anyone has ever complained that I bring cake pops wherever I go. ;) Anyway, since Thanksgiving is a week away, this weekend I will be making these cute treats.

photo from Bake at 350.

Well, I'll be trying to make them, at least. :) Like I always say, even if they don't turn out cute, they'll still be yummy!

Stay tuned because I will definitely be posting how everything turns out. First up... the adorable turkey cookies!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - No Theme

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

It's Muffin Tin Monday again! This week's theme is the Food Pyramid/Nutrition, and I had a slight idea of what I wanted to do, but I kinda went my own direction this week. I didn't really follow a theme at all. I just put Ashlyn's food in a cute, buggy tin.

Ashlyn had (starting from the top and going clockwise around the tin) broccoli, ranch dressing to dip, half of a turkey and provolone sandwich on sourdough, strawberries, the other half of the turkey and provolone sandwich.

Ashlyn didn't eat much, but she seemed to enjoy it. She has tried strawberries before and didn't like them, so we tried again. Hubby put a tiny sprinkling of sugar on them to help with any tartness, so I'm not sure if she liked them because of that or she has just developed a taste for them now. I'll break some more out for snack today or tomorrow and see how she likes them. :)

To see what others did this week, head on over to Muffin Tin Mom!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Get the Perfect Christmas Card or Gift from Shutterfly!

I have to say... I LOVE Shutterfly! I have ordered prints, photo mousepads, and calendars from them and everything has been wonderful quality. They even ship to APO/FPO addresses, which just makes my life (as a military wife living overseas) that much easier. We are always excited to get our new calendars. 2011 will be our 3rd year ordering one and I can't wait to finish it up and order it! And each year they change up their available backgrounds so you can make sure you have a different, awesome calendar each year (at least this has been true for the soon-to-be 3 years I've been making them). Here are a couple of shots from our 2010 calendar.

It is a blast picking out the perfect background and layout for our pictures.

This year will be the first year I'll be ordering Christmas cards. There are a ton of options and I am still deciding what to choose! Here are 3 of my favorites... which do you like best?

Retro Kaleidoscope

Get Glowing

Oh Holy Night

Disclosure: I will be receiving 50 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly for writing this post. But the opinions are 100% mine.

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ashlyn's "Hand" -ywork! (Corny, yes, I know)

I have seen this project all over the place but can't remember where I first saw it. But anyway, I wanted to do a cool fall project with Ashlyn and this seemed perfect.

I just traced Ashlyn's hand and part of her arm on brown construction paper and glued it onto white cardstock. Then I cut out some tissue paper squares. I put down a dot of glue and Ashlyn would put the tissue paper squares down. This was our first time doing a craft involving glue. She enjoyed it for a minute or two but quickly lost interest so I had to fill it in a little. I love how it turned out, though!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Tea Party

It's that time again!

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup  Overfloweth

This week there was no theme for MTM. I knew for awhile that the next no theme week I wanted to do a tea party. Well, I felt a little uninspired by the time I got around to doing it (yet again I wasn't able to do it on Sunday like we like to do, so she had lunch in a muffin tin today) so I did just a quick little meal.

Ashlyn had apple hearts, tea pot turkey and cheese sandwich, and Babybel cheese with a flower cut out. She really enjoyed it and even nibbled on the Babybel cheese! She hasn't really liked it before (maybe she ate some of it in her pumpkin tin, but not much), but I figured I might as well try it out since she's starting to really like cheese now. She used to not like any cheese at all. Weird kid, I know. :)

Head on over to Muffin Tin Mom to see what others came up with this week!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Trees, Leaves, and Harvest

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

This week's Muffin Tin Monday theme is Trees, Leaves, and Harvest! We usually do our Muffin Tin Meal on Sundays, but I didn't want to do a fall tin on Halloween. Even though the base did trick-or-treating on Saturday night, I wasn't ready to be done with Halloween yet! So today Ashlyn had a muffin tin snack.

top row: apple tree (broccoli with red M&M's and ranch for dipping... I got the idea from a MTM post awhile back by Muffin Tin Mom), apple slices, Reeses Pieces (fall colors)

bottom row: cucumber flowers, grape tomatoes, apple slices

Ashlyn tried everything. The broccoli and cucumbers were new for Ashlyn. The tomatoes were reintroduced because she didn't like them a long time ago. Well, she didn't like the tomatoes. Oh well. Worth a shot! She really enjoyed the cucumbers and you know what her favorite part of the tin was? The broccoli!!!! Yeah, I KNOW! I was shocked, too. Well, okay, the Reeses Pieces were probably her favorite, but she really did just LOVE the broccoli. :)

Head on over to Muffin Tin Mom to see what others did this week!