I know the colder months can be more challenging with little ones, then you add the Christmas break and sometimes we start climbing the walls looking for things to do. Then of course, there's flu/cold season, so there can be times we're stuck inside for days on end. Well, we had invited a couple friends over to decorate cookies around Christmas and then Stella go sick, so we rescheduled for today and it was super fun. Plus it's a great way to spend a cold day. It took a little prep to make the cookies before decorating, the girls loved it. We had 3 different frosting colors and several toppings.
Concentrating oh so hard.
And no cookie is complete without sprinkle, or whatever other topping there is to offer.
This is my first time to try this recipe and it was a hit. You can check it out here.
Dun, dun, Duh! It's that time of year again. Will you commit to losing weight? Eating healthier? Working less? Playing more? Quitting smoking, drinking, etc?
So, it's that time of year to make that resolution that tends to haunt all of up come the first of the year. I don't know what to do this year. I definitely want to lose weight after I have the baby, but that's a given, so I want to do something else. I think maybe I want to read more. NO, not blogs, twitter, and facebook, but real books with lots of pages :)
Now, as I type this I still only have one child and it's hard for me to read as it is, so I can't imagine once we add a baby to the mix. BUT I want to do it. Plus we're starting a book review on THIS blog, so that will help keep me accountable!
So what are your goals? Have you ever accomplished your resolution in the past?
I'm sorry I don't have a picture of this recipe of the week. I'll admit I had every intention of taking a picture of the Artichoke Dip at the party we took it too, but by the time I thought about it was pretty much devoured. So, that should give you an idea of how good it is.
I don't know about you, but between Christmas sweets and appetizers/dips at the various parties I needed to spice up my recipe box.
So my mom sent me this recipe and boy oh boy it was a hit. AND it was super easy and cheap to make. For those of you needing smoothing to make for your New Years party this is simple and I promise you'll leave with an empty dish.
I hope you ALL had a fabulous Christmas and are enjoying the down time before the New Year. I can't believe it's almost 2011! Crazy how time flies.
Earlier today I asked my "tweeps" (you can follow me @knwablogger) what their favorite Christmas present was this year. And oh my GOODNESS you all sound like you were good little boys and girls this year!
There were A LOT of Sugar Bowl gifts. Go Hogs. I hope all of you that are going have a blast. Cheer loud for me because I'll be home calling the hogs from the comfort of my couch.
I know that I loved getting stuff for the babies room. Now that we're less than 2 months out I'm really feeling the pressure to get things in order, so this had helped with that.
But I wanted to share what some other lucky folks got this Christmas!
Jennifer wrote, getting the chance to go home for the holidays.
Jeff said, SUGAR BOWL BABY. (this was a big trend)
Sara said, "My grown-up study Bible and Shark steam mop."
Jenna responded, "Jimmy Choo Hunter books, Kate Spade iPhone4 case, and a Polaroid printer I can hook my computer and phone directly to."
Whitney said, "DSLR camera, photoshop, Coach purse, and money!"
Julee wrote, "iPhone4, Kindle and our new blu ray player with wifi. We love technology gifts for Christmas."
Some of you also responded on Facebook...
Gregg wrote, "All my kids were here plus two sons-in-law."
Misty wrote," Justin got me a painting. Parents got us a Keurig. Kids gave us adorable hand-made goodies. Love them all (givers and gifts!)"
Kerryanne said, " My nookcolor and pandora bracelet with a charm for each of the boys."
Getting to visit and baby sit my 7-month-old nephew Mikey. Such a doll!! was Lisa's favorite present.
Lisa says her iPad.
Addie wrote, "A radio/cd player for the car from my husband! I have been driving around for about 6 months without it and it is going to be so great to finally listen to music with the kiddos in the car!!"
Bethany said," I got a robot that cleans my house! Really, I did! Gabe got me a Roomba and I love it!"
And finally, Elli wrote, "Eureka floor steamer."
That's just a handful of those who were on Santa's nice list this year!
Feel free to share your favorite gift in the comments!
Merry Christmas Eve! By now I hope all your shopping is done and the wrapping is a chore of the past, but now the fun begins. I'll start by saying it's always important to remember the REAL reason for the season, but the hallmark side of Christmas is always fun too.
After all, you probably remember the days of waiting for Santa to land on your roof and squeeze down your chimney and always wondering how it is you missed him AGAIN! The magic of Rudolph's nose and the crumbs left from Santa's cookies...for me those are some great childhood memories.
I recently talking with some "adults" about the magic that can fill the air this time of year and we all talked about if we still believed? You betcha! I might now the truth behind good ole Saint Nick, but I BELIEVE in the magic of him.
Since I'm always looking for creative ways to make family traditions I thought some of these suggestions from my friends were fun. We all want to BELIEVE as long as possible.
One friend leaves dirt marks on the floor near the tree where Santa dropped off his presents. Another has a piece of Santa's pants (a piece of red fabric) caught on a nail in the fireplace where Santa got caught up. One family turns the temperature in the house way down because Santa and his reindeer bring in Arctic air. And I loved this one because you don't hear about Mrs. Claus often...they put on super bright red/can't rub off lipstick and kiss the kids cheeks as they sleep so they wake up to find a kiss from Santa's lovely wife.
As a kid if you don't believe after that it might be a lost cause, but thought some of those ideas were super cute and original. I still believe....lets face it...if we don't believe Santa will stop visiting.
So I might hold the record for the quickest/earliest Christmas tree cleanup ever! Stella (our 2 year old) has been suffering with a cold/allergies, so in an effort to get rid of anything that was making her miserable we took DOWN our tree TODAY. Yes, we know there are only two days left, but I swear she is already feeling a little better. I think part of that is the antibiotic she is on for her ear infection and the absence of our REAL tree.
Speaking of REAL tree, I never knew people had fake trees until I moved to the south. You see in Oregon (where I grew up) there are tree farms galore and everyone has real trees. So what's this mama to do now that I have to shop for a (gasp) FAKE tree. I know there will be incredible sales on trees come December 26th. I need your help/suggestion for the best place to find the most "real-looking" tree so we don't make our little one miserable next year.
I will admit it does feel good to have all the ornaments wrapped up and put in the storage box, but Santa will have to be creative on setting up his treats tomorrow night.
Hope you're all enjoying your time off. For those of you who are still working...thanks for all you do!
It's hard to believe Christmas is Saturday! If you've driven near any malls or shopping centers then you know the last minute rush is ON. But have you noticed all the stores advertising about their great stocking stuffers. Call me the Grinch, but we're not doing them this year because Stella doesn't know the difference yet and we've got PLENTY of little toys and trinkets around the house as it is. However, there are some GREAT deals out there right now. This morning on KNWA Today the crew talked about what YOUR stockings include Christmas morning and there were some creative and traditional ideas that I wanted to share here too. PS if you don't follow KNWA Today on Facebook you should! :)
Stocking Stuffer ideas... Tina said "My Grama always used actual socks. She would put the mate in the bottom and fill the sock with fruit and candy. And after Christmas we had a cozy new pair of socks for winter."
Kelly wrote, " I always put the persons favorite snack. I also put things people use on a daily basis, like toiletry items..."
Deborah wrote, "Lottery scratch off tix."
Check out the facebook page because there are more ideas! Happy Stuffing!
Yes, you read the title right...Meat Cupcakes. I know it may sound a bit odd, but it's a super easy recipe and it was a hit at our house. Plus after the holidays I know most of us are looking for easy and cheap recipes since we've spent a lot of time in the kitchen.
I promise if I can make this so can you...check out the recipe here.
I know we've talked about Christmas traditions lately and many of you mentioned driving around to see the lights in our local neighborhoods. Of course, the Fayetteville Square is always a hit. The night we went we were trying to make our Christmas card...that FAILED. But we still enjoyed the holidya spirit.
Tonight we drove to a house in Rogers (thanks for the suggestion Jenna) and it was awesome. I'm sorry this picture doesn't do it justice because I was in the car and took it with my phone. It's close to downtown if you live in the area on 5th street.
Thanks for sharing family traditions! If you know of other great houses in the area let me know. I've heard through the grapevine that there's a great house in Springdale and another in Fayetteville. Anyone know of a great display in Bentonville?
We touched on this topic once in the past, but it seems a lot of moms I know are in this phase of life...including me. Or at least I think we're there. Several people have told to me wait on potty training until Stella is ready. Well, the other day she wanted to wear big girl panties and try things out. Since we were going to be home all I day I decided lets try this out. It went pretty well, but she was very upset when she had an accident, SO I'm soliciting advice. Several of you have already helped me out on Facebook and Twitter, but the more advice the BETTER. I thought I would share with you some of the feedback, but please keep it coming!
Tips/Advice 1.patience and bribery 2.M&M rewards and celebrate each time she goes in the potty 3.Find a book about potty training and read it over and over 4.Clearly say you're going to go on the potty and then let them run around naked all day. Make sure they attempt every hour. 5.Bribery works 6.Use M&Ms and set a timer for every 30 minutes so you can "try" on the big potty
Please continue to help us mommies out if you have advice/tips on potty training. Wouldn't that be a great Christmas present for any parent? :)
PS sorry there wasn't a post Friday...I had a sick little girl I was taking care of!
By now if you probably already have your tree up and presents piling up underneath it. But recently as I've visited people's homes or even just browsed their blogs I'm amazed at how beautiful and different a families Christmas tree can be! The top picture is ours (please ignore the toys everywhere). We always due the real tree. I grew up in Oregon and that's just what you do :) I know you can't see it very well, but we have a wide range of ornaments. It's really simple, but I've been inspired by other trees so we might spice it up next year. However, our tree this year seems to be where Stella does all her posing forpictures.
Isn't this tree beautiful! I don't even know how to make my tree look a little like that. I stole the picture from Kelly's Korner. You should check out her decorations -- they are beautiful.
I also thought this tree is perfect in shape. I got the picture from Superchikk. She too has more pictures of her decorations.
I love how skinny this tree is in the corner. This is actually Matt and Julee Turner's (Matt anchors KNWA 5,6,10) tree. Julee actually wrote on her blog she wasn't happy with how their tree turned out and I was shocked. I think it's AMAZING!
Anyway, I was just wondering what you looked for in a tree. I love the variety!
If any of you are like me then this time of year is super crazy. Well, this past weekend at my church, Church at Arkansas, they had an advent guide to help us remember why we celebrate this time of year. I know many of you have great family traditions while others of you are looking for ideas, so I thought I'd share this with you. I hope this helps make this time of year more than just parties, sweets, presents, and plays. Enjoy!
The Church at Arkansas Advent Guide
The word "advent" simply means "arrival." This is the time of year to intentionally reflect on, anticipate and celebrate the coming of Christ - both His first coming and His coming again.
So to help make the most of this Advent season, set aside an hour as soon as you can to walk through the following"
1. Decide which activities are most important to you: spending time alone with the Lord, baking cookies with your kids to take to neighbors, volunteering at 7 Hills homeless center or reading the Bible together as a family. These activities are important, but no one will ever make you do them. It's up to you to schedule them.
2. Schedule the "have-to's": study time, travel, school plays and activities, office parties, etc. You may not want to do all of these, but some can't be avoided so get them into you calendar. Just don't be too quick to call something a "have-to." It's ok to say no to some things.
3. Schedule some evenings for the family fun and traditions. Watch a Christmas special. Play a game. Read together. Listen to Christmas music as you drive around looking at lights. Take your family to the square and let the kids ride the camel. Make ornaments for your tree. Just do things together as a family. Schedule these times, so if something else comes up, you have the freedom to say you're already booked. Again, don't be afraid to say "no" to good things to protect the best things.
4.Make time for your marriage. December can be a month to actually grow closer, not apart. It just requires being intentional.
Peanut Butter...CHECK Chocolate Chips..CHECK Butterscotch Chips..CHECK Marshmallows..CHECK Ready for my favorite Christmas sweet...CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!
Please don't judge this recipe by it's looks. It was fresh and hasn't set yet, BUT I promise you if you like the ingredients listed above you wont be disappointed! This is a recipe that's been served in our family for as long as I can remember and I'm thankful it's easy enough for me to make. I promise you if you can't make a thing...you can make this! Just click here for the recipe and PLEASE ENJOY!
Hey friends! Like I told you last month Petit Jean is doing ANOTHER giveaway for one of you this week. It's the perfect gift to help you provide some food for the holidays/holiday parties. Or, better yet you could win it and give the yummy food as a gift. For details on the giveaway you can go here.
I think I'm officially the last one to get my Christmas tree and decorations up, but it's done, so bring on the wrapping! I don't know about you, but I love the hustle and bustle this time of year and all the excitement that surrounds the holiday. BUT just the other day I was wondering about (what I consider) a lost Christmas tradition. What happened to Christmas Carolers? I remember the days of bundling up and going door to door belting out my favorite Christmas songs. I can't remember that last time someone sang to me on my front porch. Do we consider it too dangerous to knock on strangers doors anymore? We do it for Halloween...why not Christmas. Anyway, those are my random thoughts. If you're planning to head out and spread a little holiday cheer with your vocals...you're always welcome at our house.
Calling all readers (and wanna be readers). I mentioned this during our Skype time Wednesday morning, but I wanted to mention it again. I'm thinking about starting up a book review. I had a chance to READ while I was out of town and I had forgotten how relaxing it can be. So, with my nose stuck in a book I thought it might be fun to start a book review with some of you on this blog. I have to admit it definitely takes me longer to flip through the pages as I chase a toddler around, but I think I'm up for the challenge. I'd love for some of you to read along with me and give your input on whatever we read. Plus I'd like book suggestions. I've already received a couple emails from you since Wednesday, so I think this could be a fun adventure. Keep them coming!
I hope to review the book I read on vacation this weekend or early next week to kick things off. I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. If you've read it I'd like your feedback too. You can email me at email@example.com I'm currently reading another book, but like I said now that I'm back to reality it's taking longer then my past reading days.
Yes, that is oil preparing fried goodies! If you've caught our skype segment lately on KNWA Today Wednesday mornings then you know I've been out of town for awhile. A couple week ago I skyped from the mountains for Montana and then later from Oregon. It was a great trip and of course it included incredible food thanks to my sister in law and mom. We had mostly traditional sides for Thanksgiving, but my sister in law also added a couple extras including these corn fritters. You need to try them out. She whipped them out super fast and they were a hit.
I know you've all been out shopping for your loved ones this holiday season, but now I've got a giveaway for you. You can check out the details here, but it's a game from LearningRx. You can register here and of course we'll talk more about it Wednesday morning on KNWA Today.
I know many of you are on twitter and you're also dog lovers...so, what about twitter for your furry friend? Yes, you heard me right! You might have seen the segment on KNWA Today about this toy, but if you didn't you can check it out here. Basically, you attach it to your dog and then you can log onto a computer and watch their tweet updates. I'll admit at first this sounded a little over the top, but after seeing the segment on KNWA Today it's pretty funny. I can see how it could easily become addicting if you want to know what Fido is up to while you're at work. Anyway, I know many of you are still looking for that perfect gift for your loved ones and I thought this was a unique gift. Happy Shopping.
I know there's been a lot of talk surrounding the Hogs, but how about our local high school teams! I'm still out of town, but I hear the cities of Fayetteville and Bentonville are laying out the red carpet for their teams headed to Little Rock to battle it out for the state title. They play tomorrow for the ultimate title. But they aren't the only 2 teams from our area. Today Shiloh Christian is playing to win it all in their division and West Fork is also hoping to win it all.
I love that NWA dominates the 7A division. Go Tigers and Bulldogs. If you have some free time tomorrow load up the car and go cheer the NWA teams on. You can also check for updates on all 4 teams from our area here.