Christmas 2011

Have been wanting to get this post up all week.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday week between Christmas & New Year’s.  We’ve been busy playing with all of the girls’ new toys and getting all of the Christmas décor packed up and put away until next year.  *Warning – Picture Heavy Post AHEAD*

The Girls’ opening their presents to one another on Christmas Eve.

Santa always leaves new PJ’s for the girls’ Christmas Eve, while we had company their was a knock at our door from one of his elves dropping them off. 

Santa & our presents to the girls’ have arrived.

Girls’ partaking in another tradition, they each have their own tree in their rooms and Santa leaves a wrapped ornament hanging on them, they were opening them up to see what they got this year.

Their “big” presents from Santa.

SO excited she got Start the Party like she asked for.

Brynlee checking out one of her new toys on her new blanket (we made each of the girls a new sew fleece blanket) – AND right after this, Little Miss rolled 3x’s from her belly to her back, what a great Christmas present for us!

Older two playing with their new outdoor toys from GG & Gramps.

My Sister-in-Law put Miss B to sleep.

This is the Hubs Dad’s side of the family – 4 generations!

And to keep it real, this is what my house looked like morning of the 26th.  Spent the whole day getting things organized.

Everyone’s new clothes that I had to de-tag.

Toys more organized under the tree.  And it only stayed like that for another day, because by Tuesday night I had all of the decorations their toy area, pulled old toys for storage and put away all of the new stuff. 


Christmas Photo Session

Normally, I spend an hour on the phone just trying to get through to Portrait Innovations, make our appt, and then we sit there forever waiting as they are always running behind.  This year a fellow mom friend, used a local photographer who comes to our house and highly recommended her, so for 1/2 the price I figured we’d give it a try as well!!!

Hmm…let’s just say it was an EPIC FAIL where Middle Child was concerned.  She wanted nothing to do with photo’s and would just cry and run away.  3 shots is what we got of her, and my favorite is actually without her looking, lols. 

Now for some overload of my perhaps biased opinion be-a-ut-i-ful girls!!! 








Thanks for looking at my cuties!!  Do you go somewhere for your photos, hire a photographer on location or take them yourself? 


2 New Recipes

With all of the “pinning” I do on Pinterest, I’ve actually been trying out a couple things.  2 of them were new recipes to add to my normal holiday baking.  Both were absolutely delish and I highly recommend!!

First up, Apple Cider Caramels – seriously, heaven are in these little bites of sweetness! 


Apple Cider Caramels
Recipe from Our Best Bites
2 cup high-quality apple cider
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup real butter, cubed

- Pour cider into a medium saucepan and boil on high for about 20 minutes or until the cider is reduced to 1/3 c. Keep an eye on it...it might try to run away. Set aside to cool.
- Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1" hanging over the edges for easy removal. Coat with a bit of vegetable oil and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and reduced apple cider. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 c. whipping cream + enough water to reach the 1/2 c. line on the measuring cup, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Add the cubed butter and stir until the cream and butter are fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 248 degrees.
- Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. I covered the top of the pan loosely with saran wrap and left it out overnight. You could cut the caramels into 1/2" squares and wrap each caramel in wax paper, but I'm lazy so I cut the caramel into 1/2" logs, which meant that I had exponentially fewer pieces to individually wrap. Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but I can guarantee that they won't last that long. These things are delicious!

Next recipe is for Cream Cheese filled Snickerdoodles by Cookies & Cups.  These are big cookies and so yummy, they were gone pretty quickly! Sorry I don’t have a picture of these.

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup room temp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. Make the cream cheese filling by mixing the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla. I used my hand mixer for this.
  2. Cover the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°
  4. Cream butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix until combined.
  6. On low speed mix in your flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set dough to the side.
  7. In a small bowl combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon, set that aside as well.
  8. Remove the cream cheese mixture from the refrigerator.
  9. For each cookie you will need 2 flattened balls of dough, 1 Tbsp each. (The flattened disk will be approx 2″ in diameter)
  10. Place 1 tsp of the cream cheese mixture on top of one of the flattened dough disks. Then place the other flattened dough on top of the cream cheese. Pinch the edges together to seal.
  11. Carefully form into a ball and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a plate as you finish making each and refrigerate. Before baking the cookies they should chill for 15 minutes.
  12. When the dough is chilled bake on a parchment lined baking sheet 2″ apart for 8 minutes.
  13. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Makes approx 24 cookies Adapted from

If you are already finished with your baking for the season, definitely file these away to try next year – I promise you won’t be sorry!!!


Catch Up Post

Man oh man I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve last posted.  Something had to give in my everyday life and the computer has been it.  Unless I can do it from my phone I don’t have time to sit and type.  I’m glad to say I’m finally starting to figure out a new normal for our every day routine.

Here’s to the highlights and mishaps of the past month.

- B is 2 1/2 months old now.  I honestly can’t believe it.  Even when she’s up through the night, I just snuggle her and smile through the lack of sleep the following day, because I know she is our last baby and one day *even though it’s hard to believe* I’m sure I’ll miss these moments.


- The Hubs and I have really been focusing on our parenting style and figuring out what works the best for E & A.  We’re doing a combo of 1-2-3 Magic and praising decision making for E.  I’m really glad we have been focusing on this part of our lives as I have fallen even more in love with my kids and motherhood. 

- Thanksgiving was a very horrible day.  1st the Hubs *who works for a  satellite tv company* had to work.  That was a big bummer, it just didn’t feel the same doing our rituals with the kids without him.  After he got off work he was on his way to meet us at my grandparents and a doe came running across the highway.  Daisy, aka van, is in the shop and will hopefully be fixed by the 14th of next week.  Plus the older two were sick with horrible coughs and A was miserable crying everytime she coughed.  I was glad to just get home and have the day over with.

3 girls tday


- And now we are in December and all the fun that happens, decorating, advent calendars and the daily activities, christmas music, homemade presents plus some retail shopping.  Have tons to share this month.  :o)