Sunday, December 24, 2017

Cookies for Santa!

It's the most magical night of the year and the little ones in our house are patiently waiting for the big man in red to make his arrival. We are looking forward to a wonderful couple of days with family and soaking it all in together. 

It's not too late to make cookies for Santa! My baking assistants went a little sprinkle crazy, but I don't think that Santa will mind one bit! They also insisted that he get a dinosaur and a unicorn on his plate. 

This sugar cookie recipe from Everyday Annie is my go to and never fails. The lemon zest gives them a little something extra and is my favorite addition. I skipped the royal icing and just did a simple frosting with 1 cup of milk + 2-3 Tablespoons of milk. I separated frosting into a couple of bowls and then colored each one using this gel food coloring

Simple Sugar Cookie Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. whole milk
gel food coloring

In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and milk and stir until it reaches the right consistency- make sure it isn't too runny! Add more milk or sugar as needed. Divide into bowls and add food coloring- then you are ready to decorate! 

P.S. Sprinkles are necessary.

Wishing you all much joy, peace and love as you celebrate this Christmas! Merry Christmas Eve!!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Faves

Checking in on this wintry afternoon with a little edition of Friday Faves. It's such a cozy day here which is always welcome at the end of the week. I'll take any excuse to snuggle in for the day. 

I cannot get enough of these Bulletproof Peppermint Mochas! I'm normally not a sweet coffee drinker, but Starbucks Peppermint Lattes call my name this time of year. It's the best festive treat. Thankfully, this homemade version is so easy to whip up and much healthier, too! A perfect mid-afternoon treat. Plus with the addition of collagen- PROTEIN! (and good hair, skin and nails, too)

Attention moms and dads...World Market sells pre-built gingerbread house kits! I seriously love these people. All we had to do was decorate, which really is the best part of it all anyways. 

Look at all of this beautiful, fresh greenery! We are team real tree in our house and over the past few years I've started using more and more fresh greenery during the Christmas season. I added fresh eucalyptus to my pine garland last year and loved it so much that I recreated it this year! I usually do a refresh halfway through the season but Trader Joe's makes it easy. 

I'm ready to do some Christmas cookie baking! I think I may have been Santa in a past life because this time of year I ALWAYS want to end the day in my pajamas, sitting by the Christmas tree with a glass of milk and some cookies. Sally's Baking Addiction is my go to for ALL THE TREATS. 

Stuffed Mushrooms are never a bad idea. 

If you're local to Charlotte, here's a link to 25 Picks for where to see Christmas lights in Charlotte! And here's my own little list of favorites that I posted here last year. 

We have a giant magnolia tree in our backyard and I've always had grand plans of using the leaves to make beautiful things. I finally got a little crafty with them and now I can't stop. I made swags for our garage lanterns and a big wreath for inside. I also did a swag for our mailbox and added some greens from our tree. Maybe I'll attempt some garland next!? I got a ton of questions about the wreath when I posted a picture of it on Instagram stories so maybe I will post a tutorial next week.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Apple Cider Mules

I know. Another apple cider cocktail. But I swear I haven't been sitting around all season enjoying happy hour! We are full on Christmas over here and enjoying every minute. We've decked the halls and every corner of our house just seems extra cozy and festive this time of year. We've built a gingerbread house, constructed a foam Nativity and enjoyed special cups of hot chocolate. Tomorrow we'll make snow angels, go ice skating and eat a whole roll of tollhouse cookie dough. Just kidding. Sort of. 

It is no secret that I LOVE this time of year and these little ones of ours certainly make it extra special. I want to bottle up their excitement and joy with it all. Every day of this season is just so much fun with them. 

This cocktail though. In case you have some cider sitting around from Thanksgiving, MAKE THIS. Or even if you don't, go to the store and MAKE THIS. I love Moscow Mules- 50% because they are delicious and 50% because the mugs are just fun to drink out of. The best part about a mule is that as long as you have ginger beer and good vodka, you can basically add your own mixer and call it a mule. 

Holiday Happy hour is calling! 

Apple Cider Mules

2 oz. vodka
2 oz. apple cider
2 oz. ginger beer
sliced oranges + cinnamon sticks (for garnish)

Mix these right in the glass! Combine all ingredients, stir and finish with ice! Garnish with a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick.