Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Crayon Snowflake Gift Exchange

One of the exciting things about having a school-aged child is all of the little gifts that we get to put together for his classmates. I know it sounds very Martha-Stewart but I absolutely LOVE creating little things to give away.

When I received the flyer saying that Henry's class was going to have a Christmas gift exchange in order to share in the spirit of the holiday, I was super excited. I immediately started brainstorming and together we came up with this idea: snowflake crayons!

Making snowflake crayons is really quite simple. Find a silicone mold that you really love, obviously in this case we used snowflakes.

Find some old broken crayons or buy some new - unwrap of paper completely and then put them into the mold, being sure not to overfill so it doesn't spill over. This is when you can have the most fun. Henry and I really enjoyed mixing different color combinations and seeing how they turned out. We came to find that adding a little piece of white or cream created our absolute favorite crayons because i stuck out just so much.

Bake at 250 degrees until completely melted and then remove and let them cool completely before removing them. The more intricate designs were a little harder to remove, but most of them came out pretty easily.

Paired with a small coloring page (CG, Henry's favorite of course) and a few other small trinkets and you have the perfect little gift to give away. Making 18 to share was little work at all and we had a ton of fun doing it!

Be sure to share your crayon creations if you decide to make some!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Let it Snow, Let it Snow

We got our first real snow this past week and Henry and I were more than excited to get the opportunity to play.

In this house we do snow, and we do snow all. day. long.

I'm sad that the temp has been dropping so low that we haven't had any opportunity to get out lately, but I'm sure we'll have more opportunities through out the winter months. In the mean-time, enjoy these photos of my little snow-boy. Tell me, what is your favorite thing to do in the snow? Isn't it so magical and lovely?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Easiest (last minute) Cookies Ever

I spent a good portion of my Saturday making the fluffiest sour cream cookies for our work cookie exchange this week. Henry and I mixed and blended and chilled and rolled and cut and baked and iced for hours on end. They were gorgeous and delicious too, you can find the recipe here.

Someone(s), however, has been eating those cookies all week and come Thursday, I found myself looking at a small little plate of maybe eight cookies. I was in a bind with very little time and I really didn't want to be the flop of our cookie exchange.

Now typically I like to share some made-from-the-heart, fresh-baked goodies. Handmade and homemade is 100% my style. But with work and school and everything else in between, I just could not make the time.

Cue the Hershey-drop cookies and the easy-peesy savior of my cookie dilemma. Seriously the easy save-the-day cookie recipes that I could come up with:

1) Purchase your favorite break and bake sugar cookie dough and a bag of Hershey kisses.

2) Bake your cookies according to the package.

3) Unwrap and plop one of those delicious cookies right into the middle of a hot cookie and enjoy.

Couldn't get any easier, right? I plated them with a few extra Hershey kisses and now they're all ready to go. The best part? It took me less than a total of 30 minutes. You really can't beat that in the realm of cookies!!

Do you have any super simple go to cookie recipes when you're in a pinch?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fluffy Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

If there's one type of cookie that Henry likes for us to roll up our sleeves and make together, it's any kind of cut-out cookie. Real talk though: what kid doesn't like rolling out dough and picking out different fun shapes to cut cookies that they then get to decorate? I mean, what's not to love?

I recently found this recipe on Pinterest for old-fashioned sour cream cookies and we have already made it four times in the last month. It's that good. Plus side is that it's not super complicated and I swear these big, fluffy cookies are a no-fail, we haven't had ONE turn out wrong. They last a good while and they're perfect for fun personalized gifts this holiday season.


5-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

I'm going to try to simplify the recipe but if you want detailed instructions, check out the link above.

1.) Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another then slowly mix the two together. The dough will be super sticky and will likely have to be mixed by hand towards the end.

2) Separate dough in two parts, flatten and wrap in saran wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.

3) Roll out on a WELL floured surface to about 1/4" thick. If your dough sticks, add more flour. Flour your cutters, flour your rolling pin....just add flour. ;)

4) Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. If you want them to be super fluffy and soft, make sure you don't over bake them. Ours were just barely brown on the bottom and you can bake a few and decide how long you need to bake yours based on your shapes and such by how long the first batch takes.

5) Cool and then top with your favorite icing or glaze. We tend to stick to good old fashioned powdered sugar with a little milk and almond extract. It hardens up and is the perfect amount of sweetness to pair with the big, fluffy cookies.

6) Eat, share, and enjoy!!

I'd love to hear about you and your littles favorite recipe to make together!

Friday, December 09, 2016

Friday Five

Five things I've loved this week: 

1. Snow, home, and the sparkle of Christmas lights. 

2. Purple filled with hints of red and pink. Proof that beauty can hide until you take the initiative to look deep.

3. Homemade gifts that are completely unique and carry with them a part of me. 

4. Innocence in a too-fast growing boy when he sleeps. My heart skips a beat. 

5. A surprise for my husband that I can't wait for him to see. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Every great now and then Jeremy can catch lunch together and we typically hit up the soup and salad buffet at Big Boy. I love their veggie soup but on the days that they have tortilla soup, I typically go back for seconds because it is SO good. 

It's gotten cold here in Ohio and I haven't felt very well the last few days so this soup was calling my name. I knew it would be pretty simple to come up with something similar so here is my own version. 

2 chicken breasts - shredded
4 cans of black beans
1 frozen bag of corn
1 can of diced tomatoes with chiles
1 container of Swanson Mexican broth
1 package of taco/fajita seasoning

Mix all ingredients until warm.

I've made this in a half hour on the stove top or thrown all of my ingredients in the crock pot and let it simmer all day. Most of the time I just throw in a couple of frozen chicken breasts, let it cook, then remove and shred them right before we eat.

We usually have tortilla chips or strips and shredded cheese with ours but any sort of taco topping would be delicious!