Tuesday, 12 February 2019

BEST SUGAR COOKIES


One of my favorite things to do with my kids is baking. Although it can get tricky with three young kids, I still love the process and outcome. I know my girls love baking with my as well, and I hope that as they get older we get to continue this sweet tradition.

I've always stayed away from sugar cookies as it seemed like so much work chilling the dough, rolling it out, cutting shapes and then decorating. I preferred simple drop cookies and felt most comfortable making them. But all my kids love sugar cookies and they always have so much fun decorating cupcakes. I've been on the hunt for a simple sugar cookie recipe and I can't wait to share it with you!



They are super yummy, easy to make (no need to chill the recipe!) and turned out really great.




Here's you go!

BEST SUGAR COOKIES

3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
3 cup flour

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Add in sugar and egg. 
2. Once combined, add salt, baking powder, and vanilla.
3. Slowly add in flour and mix until combined.
4. Using your hands roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
5. Bake between 7-9 minutes. 
6. Transfer to a drying rack and let the cookies cool.
7. Ice and decorate cookies. Enjoy!

My husband loves buttercream icing and requested I make it for the cookies. I happily obliged and they turned out so tasty. 

I used the recipe from Jenny Cookies and they are perfect!




BUTTERCREAM ICING

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
3 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp whole milk

Cream the butter and Crisco together. Slowly add in sugar, vanilla and milk. Continue mixing until creamy.  

I separated my icing into three colors. I got some piping bags from Amazon and they worked great for piping the buttercream. (I got the bigger size bag so I could knot the ends so that nothing would come out that end. Perfect for little hands.) 
I took some plain white icing out first. Then added a light pink color to the mix. I took half of that out into a piping bag. Then I added more pink to the remaining icing and added the rest in another piping bag. 






My kids loved making these cookies for Valentines Day and had so much fun decorating them. 





Monday, 11 February 2019

GETTING READY FOR VALENTINES DAY!




I'm so excited to be sharing some things I'm doing to make Valentines intentional and extra special for my family. 

I love Valentines Day, and I love making it seem extra for my kids. Sometimes it doesn't take too much!


Gifting

This year I decided to gift my kids a few special items the week before Valentines Day. I usually love giving books to my kids - but opening them on Valentines Day doesn't give them alot of time to enjoy them and get excited. 

So I've put together a few goodies for the kids as an early Vday present. I've included in each gift a book, temporary tattoos (they're so fun!) and some chapstick/nail polish for the girls & oreo pocky (I've never seen these before!) for Ben. Then on Valentines Day, I'll gift them some little treats and a few extra smaller goodies. I've found before that reading books really helps in getting them understand and get into the spirit of different holidays.






I love using printable Valentines as gift tags to attach to gifts and this year I've been loving the ones from The EverCo. They are beautiful, whimsical and super fun. I love that you can tape them onto anything...or attach with string. And I have so many plans to use these for other occasions as well. These printables would be perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, parties and other celebrations also. 





We did do store bought valentines for the kids because it really is so easy. And it makes it fun when we go to the store and they get to pick out what they want to give their friends and classmates. They wrote their names (or Ellie stamped her name because she can't write yet!) and we put them in little baggies with some goodies. 
But I've saved the adorable printables for special gifts and teachers gifts. This year I did $5 gift card from Starbucks as a little treat for those special teachers in our lives. They are appreciated SO much!



Valentines Snack/Dessert board

I started making a few of these dessert/snack boards over the last few months and I loved how quick and festive they were. I usually use a plain board (I like round and a star shaped one I have best) and add a couple of dishes/bowls to hold the treats. Then I add in the other items around the little bowls. For Valentines Day I used some heart bowls I got from Target. I usually start by placing the bowls where I like them best first, and then slowly add the other snacks around them.





For the Valentines one, I used candy (gummie hearts & hard chewable hearts) and raspberries in the bowls. I like to use items that may fall or roll off in the bowls to easily contain them. Then I added some digestive cookies (my kids love these), chocolate wafer sticks, shortbread cookies and caramels onto the board. 
These are so fun and they're perfect for an afternoon snack or for something more special like a movie night. I like using a little mix of salty & sweet, along with some fruits to balance it out. But the Valentines board ended up all sweet...which maybe seemed appropriate for this holiday! They're perfect for munching on. And little hands love getting to pick away slowly at the treats.



Home

I love pink, and it makes me to happy to sprinkle some pinky heart goodness around my home. I don't do too much, but love focusing on a few places where our family spends the most time. That gold heart pillow is my favorite purchase last month and it makes our family room look so sweet.





I put a simple cake stand displaying a few festive items like some little pink bowls, glass vases and gold measuring spoons. I also added a jar of holiday treats. 

A few pink tea towels also adds a bit of valentines charm.




Ever since we moved last summer, I have loved decorating our mantle with banners for the holidays. I think it's such a fun and easy way to change up a small part of your home. I added two hooks on either side of the mantle which makes it really easy to change things up. I"m a big believer that a simple garland (I get my favorites from Homesense, Etsy, Target and Michaels) can really add alot when decorating your home for holidays or seasons.








One of my favorite places these days is our book wall.  I love that the book are all facing outwards and that they can reach them really easily. And the best part is that you can easily rotate the books every few weeks. For Valentines Day, we picked out our favorite books about friendship and love. And any pink-y books may or may not have made it there as well. 





I've loved sharing a few things we've been doing around our home to celebrate Valentines Day. Most of these are simple, but offer a little extra fun and whimsy. Gather as many little pink things as you can and display them!

Thanks for following along! It's been really fun sharing a few things we've been doing at home. I love that with kids especially, its the tiny little things that they love. Those are the things they'll remember as they get older!

Monday, 17 December 2018

2ND ANNUAL COOKIE EXCHANGE PARTY!





This year was our second cookie exchange we've hosted. My kids and I loved the one from last year so much. I remember my girlfriends saying the week after that they couldn't wait for one the following year. We felt the same way! It's such a fun way to get together with girlfriends and host a simple party. And you leave with about the same amount of cookies you came with. We froze ours so we could bring them out at a moments notice when friends or family drop by. Its perfect for the holidays!

Last year I wrote a post on the how to's of planning your own cookie exchange party. Click over here if you're interested in planning your own! And here's the outcome of last years cookie party.










This year I had the same rules I sent out to our guests. But we had 1-2 more ladies, so the cookie count was just under 100. I realize it might have been crazy to ask my girlfriends to bake 100 cookies...but it all got done and they were all so yummy. I love picking a few goodies for prizes with my two little helpers. Having prizes for the cookies also allows for more socializing during the voting and tasting process. And it's just plain fun!





I set out all my white cake stands on our table and as the ladies came I asked them to pick any cake stand to put out their cookies. The table looked SO festive and fun with all the different varieties of cookies.

All my special guests are such amazing bakers! This year we had a great variety...shortbread, thumbprint cookies, sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate chip, chocolate mint, cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip, chocolate crackled mint and sugar cookies.





 















The kids also loved having their friends over for snacking and playing. I loved that this party allowed for them to do something with their little pals too.






I couldn't let my guest leave with a little something for the little ones and adults too. I made some yarn tassels to hand out to my girlfriends. And the little ones got tiny gift bags filled with candy canes, stamps, pencils and little bracelets.




Ok, hope you enjoyed this year's cookie exchange. I cant wait for next years!

Special thanks to my friends for sharing some of their pictures with me! (Thanks Mariam, Coleen and Angela from ma.vie.avec.trois )
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