Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holy Socks to Fingerless Gloves

Sometimes you have a pair of socks you really love and you don't want to throw them away even if they get holes in them.  That was me with this pair of striped knee socks.  I've had them for years and even after there were holes in both socks I couldn't part with them!

I decided to get out a pair of scissors and make them fingerless gloves!  Just a couple cuts and they're ready to go!  They are adorable and now I still get to wear my favorite "socks" as often as I want!   I see cute knee high socks on clearance all the time.  You don't even need to wait for your socks to wear out in order to do this craft... just find a cute pair of socks you want to wear on your arms, cut the feet off, cut a small circle for your thumb near the part that was the top of the sock and that's it!  Fingerless gloves!  They're perfect for wearing out under a coat or even around the house.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Molasses Cookies

I love Molasses Cookies/Gingersnaps... like a lot!  I love them year-round, not just at Christmastime, but Christmas is usually when I make them.  These cookies are so soft and delicious.  They have a strong flavor, which is fabulous!  For a milder flavor you can switch out the molasses for corn syrup.  It's a trick I learned when molasses just wasn't in my grocery budget.

Molasses Cookies

1 c. real butter, melted & cooled slightly
1 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. molasses
2 eggs
1 T + 1 tsp baking soda
1 T ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp cardamon
1/2 tsp salt
4 c. flour
1 c. white chocolate chips

small bowl of white sugar

Whip butter, brown sugar, molasses and eggs together until well blended.  Add spices and mix.  Add flour and mix well.  Stir in white chocolate chips.  Dough will be soft.  If dough is too-too soft you can add another 1/4 cup of flour.

Use a 1 teaspoon cookie scoop to make balls of dough.  Roll each ball in white sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet or baking stone.  Do not flatten balls.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Check at 8 minutes and pull out of the oven before completely set.  Carefully remove from cookie sheet as soon as they come out of the oven.  Allow to set, then place in a tightly covered container or plastic baggie to keep soft.

Thing have been getting Christmasy around our house!  I fell in love with this cute reindeer sweater!  Who cares that I've never been to a Christmas sweater party... I'll wear it throughout the holiday season!
I just love Christmas and the wonderful spirit it brings with it!  Today I'm going to a holiday potluck, This weekend is our church breakfast... I got asked to participate in the skit, YIKES!  

Next week I'm inviting some ladies over for homemade hot cocoa and cinnamon bread and next Saturday I'm hosting my family Christmas party.  I love it all!

We've been having fun so far this month attending a live nativity and looking at the lights on Temple Square.  We're going on a trip for Christmas again this year, which we're all excited for!  I'd rather make memories with my kids rather that buy them more "stuff" they don't really need.  Happy December!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Tablescape

Every November I get sad that I don't have "turkey plates" for my Thanksgiving tablescape.  They're SO expensive though and in all my years of thrifting I've never found even a single turkey plate second-hand.  This week I found a stack of 17 turkey plates at a thrift store for $25!!!  The worker said they had just come out and I grabbed them up.  They're in brand new condition and usually it would cost $25 (or more!) for just one plate!

I am the happiest girl this Thanksgiving!  It's a Thanksgiving dream come true!

I don't dare let the kiddos use the turkey plates, but they still have a fancy table.

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tea Party!

Sometimes you just gotta throw a random tea party the week before Thanksgiving... you know, because you can!  We had over a dozen people attend, about half being kids.  Everyone loved it!

I love mixing and matching teacups and china!

We had herbal tea, hot cocoa and Pero as warm beverage options.

Of course you have to have sparkling juices and wine glasses to feel extra fancy... especially for the kids who don't really like tea.

I love this silver tea pot because it goes with all my china sets!

Most of my china comes from the 1940s-1950s... I bet these dishes have seen a lot of parties over the years!

Ham & Pineapple Sandwiches (cream cheese, chopped ham & crushed pineapple)


Deviled Eggs
Cheese Cubes & Pickles on a pick (always a hit!)
Orange slices

Imported British Cheeses & Crackers
Blueberry Covered Goat Cheese

Spinach Bars

1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach (the kind in the box)
1 c flour 
1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder 
2 eggs 
1/2 c butter, melted 
1/2 onion, chopped
1 c shredded cheese

Put the frozen spinach block in a saucepan with an inch of water & simmer/stir until it breaks apart. Meanwhile mix the dry ingredients. Add the spinach (and liquid), melted butter, onion, cheese and eggs. Stir. Add just enough milk to make a thick batter. Bake at 375 in a greased 9x13 for about 30 minutes.  Cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

Meatballs in Chili Sauce

Gingerbread Scones

2 c flour
3 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c butter
1/3 c molasses
1/4 c milk
1 egg, separated

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and set aside. Combine molasses, milk and egg yolk.  Add to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Turn the dough onto a floured surface; knead a couple of times.  Roll into an 8 inch circle.  Cut into 16 wedges.  Place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Beat egg white and a teaspoon of water together until frothy and brush over scones. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature with cream.

Scone Cream

2 c whipping cream
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until stiff peaks form.  Serve on top of scones.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mean Girls

Yesterday while I was at Nina's school being a model for her Halloween fashion show Nina pointed out a girl who had taken a picture of her in class without her knowing it, posted it online and made fun of her... of course one of Nina's friends saw it and showed Nina.  Not only that, but the girl's mom even commented on the picture. Nina thinks that the girl's mom is my fb friend although I have no idea who she is.  To that mom and any other moms of "mean girls":  

I am thankful every single day that I have a beautiful, confident, fabulous daughter who loves herself and doesn't care what people think about her. She took a long hard road to get to the place she is now and I'm grateful she's here.  Women often don't gain their full self esteem until they're adults with children of their own and many never do.  A big reason for that is girls are so harsh to one another.

Girls who feel the need to put others down in order to make themselves feel better are lacking true beauty and it shows.  I watched this girl throughout the day yesterday as I sat in the hair and makeup chair.  I saw how she interacted with those around her, how she looked and spoke to other girls.  She may have been very Barbie-like on the outside, but I felt sorry for her.

The confidence and self love that shines through my daughter's eyes can't be faked or bought. She is gorgeous and it radiates from her.  Shaved head, death hawk, bihawk, crazy makeup and all I have an extremely beautiful daughter who is noticed from a block away because she doesn't want to be like everyone else.  She loves herself and wants to stand out and it shows.  Her style isn't one I would choose and I don't always understand it, but I encourage her to express herself through her looks.

Making fun of her style didn't hurt her feelings, it just made her (and I) not like the girl who did it,  but if this had happened to a less confident teenage girl, even to Nina a couple years ago it could have been devastating and had serious results.  The teenage years are a tough time for girls.  They're hard on themselves, they don't need other girls to be hard on them too and with the internet it's a lot easier for girls to be mean to each other in a very public way which makes matters worse.

I have teenager daughters... One is extreme in her looks and one is traditional.  They are both normal girls.  They make fun of other girls.  They can be jerks... BUT when I hear them talking meanly about someone or putting people down I say something.  I tell them to knock it off and quit being brats. I point out the good in others.  I try to help them to see things they may be missing.  As moms it is our job to teach our girls to treat each other with respect.  They might laugh at me when I'm listing good qualities in someone, but at least my words are there as the Jiminy Cricket on their shoulder. 

In school I didn't like the mean girls.  I didn't want to be like them.  I tried to be nice to everyone no matter what their social standing or how they looked.  I danced every dance because the nerdy boys knew I wouldn't say no to them like so many other girls did.  I was still pretty.  I still made the cheerleading squad.  I was still voted drama club president.  I still had friends.  You can be nice AND still have the full high school experience.  In the years since facebook came about I've received messages from people I went to school with thanking me for always being nice to them in high school and I've received messages from people saying they're sorry for being mean in high school.  Eventually we grow up (hopefully), which do you want your daughter to be?

Teach your girls to stand up for the outcasts, the crazies, the nerds, the freaks... They are some of the best people you can ever know who will grow up to do some of the most extraordinary things and beyond that, they are someone's daughter.  My daughter may have been able to shrug off someone making fun of her, but it hurt MY heart to hear about it.  Just like all the most important things our children need to learn, learning to be nice should start at home.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Picking

I love fall so much!  I love everything about it!  I love the look of pumpkins and I definitely love pumpkin flavored everything!   I was looking back at a blog posting from 2008 and the recipes shared are STILL my two favorite pumpkin recipes.  Hop over there are check out how little my kids were.  Crazy!  Alyssa and Caleb were so young!  Now they're teenagers!

This year we grew pumpkins in our garden.  We didn't get a ton of pumpkins, but it was still fun to pick them from our own yard.  My nephews Gabe & Baker joined Caleb & Alyssa and picked them all.  Autumn time is the best!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Butterscotch Fudge

Butterscotch Fudge?  Ummm... yum. This is a two ingredient recipe that whips up really fast!  You can mix and match flavors, so butterscotch isn't even your only option!  Know what those ingredients are?  A can of vanilla frosting and a bag of butterscotch chips.  That's all!  Melt them together and you're done! 

I poured mine into a paper-lined muffin tin, but you can just pour it into a greased pan and cut into squares if you want.  A sprinkling of mini chocolate chips can top them off, but they're good without the chocolate chips too.  Some of my favorite flavor combinations are: 

chocolate chips with vanilla frosting
vanilla chips with strawberry or cherry frosting
peanut butter chips with vanilla frosting
white chips with oreo frosting

It's that easy.  It may not taste fancy and gourmet like "real" fudge, but it's quick, easy and delicious!