Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!

This year I had a plethora of cookies I wanted to bake, and boy did I make a lot! Here's the cast of characters.

A whole lotta butter. I got a Costco membership as a wedding gift last year and I like going and eating samples and buying jumbo sized packages of things. I ended up not need as much butter as I thought, but hey, it freezes well.

Next up, some good recipes... I use a delicious sugar cookie recipe that was D.'s grandma's and I found a recipe last year for gingerbread boys that I like to make. I also made marshmallows, yes I know back a couple of years ago I made a horrible batch of gloopy marshmallows but I found a new recipe from Ina Garten and they turned out great!

Fixins for spritz cookies and sprinkles for the sugar cookies.

Cookie stamps that you can customize, these are fun but a little difficult to cram the little letters into place.

See, my marshmallows turned out just right and they were the yummiest topping for chocolate surprise cookies, I just didn't add the chocolate frosting that would actually make these cookies a surprise.  Delicious nonetheless, recipe here.

The final product: spritz.

I made some "fancy" sugar cookies which means I bought meringue powder and iced them. It was labor intensive but they turned out pretty cute.

I couldn't help myself.

I passed these out to our neighbors, but D. was afraid I was giving too many away. Don't worry D. we still have about 4 dozen left! Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, homemade marshmallows are scrumptious on hot chocolate. 

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's A Wonderful Life

That's true, it is a wonderful life. Little baby will be here any day, D. is going to graduate this Saturday (good job!), and Christmas is right around the corner. 

The other night while we were watching It's A Wonderful Life, an annual favorite of ours, I couldn't help but take note of the illustrations used during the opening credits of the movie. I am such a fan of vintage illustration, that I had to pause the movie every few seconds and take screen shots of the artwork. 

I can imagine making the tree into a felt applique with sequins and glitter, how cute!

More glitter bells, I am a fan of glitter.

Festive poinsettia with fern embroidery stitch. 

I think it's funny how some people watch movies to get ideas from the set design, others because they like the costumes while I watch movies and get craft ideas from them. In fact I think I am going to whip up a felt applique for little baby's Christmas stocking right now!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Christmas DIYs

I just can't help myself, whenever I come across Christmas DIY projects I feel the need to share them on my blog, so here is another round of festive projects from around the web. Enjoy!

1. Christmas Pyramid Cake // 2. Tinsel Garland Wreath // 3. Hot Air Balloon Ornament // 4. Falling Stars Advent Calendar

Do any of you have any wonderful DIYs to share? I would love to see them, just link them up in the comments. In other news, today is little baby's official due date, we'll see if he comes today!

Double Date Day

Knowing that little baby is soon to arrive, D. and I took advantage of our last few days together as just the two of us. On Sunday we had two yummy dates, and this never happens in one day! Oh what fun we had. First off, Panera Bread. 

Yeah, yeah I know Panera is a chain but one just opened within walking distance from our apartment, and their breakfast is my absolute favorite. I just can't say 'no' to a scrumptious bagel breakfast sandwich.  I suppose technically I could, but I don't want to.

While it is true that I spent 2.5 years of my life working at Panera Bread, I still enjoy eating there. Consequently I perfected my ideal breakfast sandwich. What does this consist of, you ask? It's an egg and white cheddar cheese on a jalapeno bagel with tomatoes, peppadew peppers and ancho sauce. For a long time, we (the employees of Panera) all thought 'ancho' meant there was anchovies in the sauce. This is because we are all little dorks. We later found out that ancho is a type of pepper and that's when I started eating it. No way was I going to eat anchovy sauce!

I realized this picture looks kind of disgusting with our trash, but I just wanted to show you how much we enjoyed our sandwiches (I got D. hooked on my sandwich too!)

On to the next scrumptious little date at Anh Hong Pho...

This place is so good, if you have never had pho before, you really must try it. It consists of a ginormous bowl of broth with rice noodles, veggies and in our case tofu. You top it off with mint, bean, sprouts, jalapenos (if you're so inclined, and I always am) basil and a squeeze of lime, and then they have a myriad of spicy sauces to add to the broth. Oh man, so good and inexpensive.

Mmm, we like pho! See that little cup with the metal thing on top? We got Vietnamese coffee, which is strong brewed coffee with sweetened condensed milk. Doesn't that sound rich and decadent? I think I could eat here every day. Too bad there are about a million traffic lights from the time you get off the freeway to the time you reach this little gem, but it's worth it! Little baby will be making the rounds here with us in no time, of this I am certain.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas DIY Roundup

The blogosphere really is an inspiring place, here are a few things that have been striking my fancy lately.

Glitter Nails Maegan

I love the sparkle, I believe I am going to try this out today.

* Activites Advent Calendar by Jordan Ferney

I've always wanted one of these little wooden hutches, and what a cute idea to fill it with advent presents and activities to do.

* Advent Calendar Iron On by Oh Happy Day

I'm a little late to make this for 2011, but I am definitely keeping it in mind for next year!

*Hand Made Gift Giving Guide by Design*Sponge

I especially like the sound of the Home Spa gift, I've been on an essential oils kick lately, there's just so much you can do with them!

* Paper Bows by Creature Comforts

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nesting To Do List

Saturday was my last official day of work, which means I have some time to do some things around the apartment before little baby comes. So being the list maker that I am, I decided to make a to do list to keep me on track.

(source with added text by me)

1. Laundry.

 Uggh, no fun. Let me tell you, that little baby has enough clothes for me to not have to do laundry for a long time after he's born. That's the hope anyway! And of course I used this laundry detergent.

I also have one of these handy guys that help with the laundry (I hang dry almost everything and this laundry octopus from IKEA saves a lot of space, I have named it the Under-Octo).

2. Make Copious Amounts of Food and Freeze It. 

This is probably one of the most important things to do, so that all of us can eat in the days following little baby's coming home. D. was so nice and went on a ginormous shopping trip with me last night to pick up groceries. I've been a busy little bee in my teeny weeny kitchen cooking up food. Last night I made a big batch of minestrone soup following the recipe in the book above. Then I made a huge pot of beans so I can make these scrumptious sounding freezer burritos by Shutterbean. And the food list goes on and on, but I shan't mention any more.

3. Finish Up School

So this doesn't really fall into the "nesting" category but, finals are on the Monday, and little baby's due date is Tuesday---eep!

4. Clean the bathroom

I ate-hay eaning-clay the athroom-bay. I really, really do. I'm going to use this recipe for a bathroom cleaner spray, and try using this idea as a scrubbing method.

5. Mail out Christmas packages.

I like the way this one sounds, nice and fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Things I Will Eat When I'm No Longer Pregnant

Hard to believe that my little bun-in-the-oven is due in less than two short weeks. At that time I will safely be able to consume the following...


Eggs benedict with smoked salmon.

I have informed D. that this would make for a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast, I get excited just thinking about it.

Mimosas, hmmm I think this would go nicely with the eggs benedict.


Sushi. Yum. I will have to eat this on a different day than the two aforementioned items. Sushi and mimosas sounds a little weird.
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