Category Archives: Entertaining + Celebrating

A Sweet Valentine’s Day

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No matter how – or with who – you celebrate the day, I hope it’s filled with sweetness! How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?

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2015: New Year, New You

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Every year, we all make ourselves New Year’s promises that we’ll do better. And many of us set goals of consistency. We tell ourselves that we’re giving up gluten for the entire year, or that we’ll work out five days a week without fail.  Something that I’ve done the last couple years is set a goal for myself that I’ve either completed or haven’t by the end of the year. In 2014, my goal was to have taken care of my skin to the point that I felt comfortable leaving the house for the day without makeup on. Within the last month or so, I’ve been doing that more and more. I’ve found that when I’m working toward something positive and the focus is on improvement, instead of staying on a strict I always did this or I never did that, I tend to do a lot better and actually achieve my goals. There wasn’t a resolution to break, just a continuous goal to work toward. I was striving for progress, not perfection. Among my goals for 2015, I’ve decided I want to be consistent with taking care of my body, and by the end of the year, I want to feel like I look great no matter what I’m wearing – even sweatpants. Because if you feel great in sweatpants, you’ve gotta always feel great, right? What are your goals for this year? Do you make strict resolution or set goals? What works for you?

Christmas Cookies

Every year, I look forward to Christmas. The lights and decorations, the love of family and friends, giving and receiving of gifts, the general spirit. Each Christmas Eve, we go see my Granny for dinner and gifts.  Then go to my parents’ house for our traditional cheese, summer sausage, crackers and sparkling drinks. This year on Christmas Eve, I decided to add in a little something different. We made gingerbread Christmas cookies to decorate.

I’ll have you know Christmas cookie cutters are much more difficult to come by than I ever would have thought. After asking around though, Williams-Sonoma came to the rescue, and they have them in all shapes and sizes. Just a tip for gingerbread cookies and cookie cutters: gingerbread tends to be a little softer and oily than other doughs, so I had to add flour to each little ball of dough so that it would keep the mold of the cookie cutter, and I could peel away the edges.

For the royal icing, I combined a mix of confectioner’s sugar, milk, almond extract and food coloring in a mixing bowl to taste and consistency. I preferred only a capful of almond extract. I separated the icings into ziplock baggies and snipped a tiny hole in one corner so that I could outline each cookie and fill it in before designing on top of the base color.

How fun are these cookies? And how beautiful is this carerra marble?!  Thank you to Granite Countertops Fabricator for all your help getting my marble! It’s beautiful and been quite a treat!