Saturday, December 28, 2013

{christmas 2013 recap}

I'm going to try and keep this as short as I can.  I took tons of pics {are you surprised?} but will choose only my favs :)

Christmas actually started for us last Sunday, when we celebrated Christmas at my dad's.  They always go above and beyond for Christmas.  They gave each of us $100 to spend where we want and we have to take a picture of it to send to them once it's spent.  And no Christmas over there is complete without lots of KU/MU gifts and scratch off lotto tix.....

On Christmas Eve, I set up an impromptu Hot Cocoa bar, with stuff we alreayd had {you know we always have graham crackers and marshmallows for s'mores}.  I thought it would be a fun and festive way to kick off the holiday and warm ourselves throughout the day.  I wanted it to last through Christmas day, but it did not.  Too much yum.  Of course, Landon had some and pointed to what he wanted, graham crackers...oh weird.

We lounged around a bit and let Landon play with his mini-choo choo before heading over to my mom's for the next celebration. 

My mom always does a great job decorating for the holidays! This Christmas was no exception.  I mean look at the Christmas table! Out of a magazine, seriously! If you're wondering what was in those presents, it was personalized mugs for our hot buttered rum!

My mom surprised Landon and us with this crazy cool Restoration Hardware tent.  She will be keeping it at her house until we move, and have room for it, but I love it so much & Landon took a minute to warm up to the idea, but he seems to love it too! We put some twinkle lights from RH on there too - so sweet!

We didn't go to sleep until 11 pm that night! We were zonked! But the next morning it was up and at 'em for our 3rd Christmas.  We did get some immediate family time after Landon woke up, he LOVED his choo choo! This is a quick video Mike snapped on Christmas morning - sorry about the quality, he used his iPhone 5 and it never shows up videos well on my 4:

Mike's dad and brother came over that morning for a few hours and we had some yummy cinnamon rolls & opened gifts with them.  It was a nice relaxing morning at home.

The 4th Christmas celebration was at my in-laws house.  Luckily, everyone lives so close, so there really isn't too much running around. This is definitely the loudest Christmas, Landon has 13 cousins at this one.  Never a dull moment! But it is a joyful noise at least! We snapped a quick family selfie before we left, which is actually becoming quite the tradition on Christmas...

I loved my outfit on Christmas, and didn't get a better pic of it.  Darn! This one is a little more clear, wish I could figure out how to do that belt thing I did again. And yes, we were snapping selfies while Mike was loading presents into the car....

Then the craziness began....

Of course after all that fun, it was time for a nap......zzzzzzZZZZZ

And once we got home, some twice baked spaghetti and hot buttered rum for the adults!

 Cheers to another Christmas!  I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas too, and that the excitement of the holidays continues in the new year!

{two thousand thirteen}

This is our year in 15 seconds and 100 photos.....

Isn't that so awesome!?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

{holiday baking}

Although, not sure that I would call this baking....Eh, just go with it.

When your house smells like sugar cookies and fudge!  The best smell ever is holiday baking.  Wish I could bottle it up and sell it!

I do have a small problem with Holiday baking though. 

You see, I made this YUMMY, crunch-then-melt-in your mouth Reindeer Bait the other day for my co-workers. My poor co-workers ended up almost getting jipped! I literally could not stop eating it! I mean it was so bad that I had to make another batch. 

Addicting to say the least.  It's all over Pinterest! Here is the recipe if you want to come to the dark side. But you have been warned......:

Equal parts rice chex, stick pretzels, and popcorn {not a buttery flavor - I used Newman's Own Organic 'Pop's Corn'}. Mixed together and laid out on wax paper or a cookie sheet with wax paper for a little more containment. I just did it on the countertop. Melt your almond bark - enough to coat the popcorn/ chex/pretzel mixture, and pour it on top, then with your spoon mix it all together.  Once it's mixed I pour some festive sprinkles on top! I used the same recipe for my Halloween mixture, just with candy corn and Halloween sprinkles instead. 

It hardens quicker in the fridge but I didn't put mine in there this time. Once it's hardened, you can break it up and put it in Christmas baggies or my all time favorite gift bag: the mason jar :)

We also made some sugar cookies {using this recipe} last week and decorated them as a family. They turned out super yummy - I mean perfect after they were baked, stayed together but were still soft & easy to decorate.  I ran out of flour so ended up using powdered sugar to roll the dough out. Let's just say it didn't ruin the cookies - if anything it made them that much more yummy! 

Also, on Thursday night I made my all time favorite, Peppermint Bark! It turned out so good! I did however get a little impatient and poured the white chocolate on top of the dark chocolate before the dark had hardened. It didn't effect the flavor at all just made it a little marble looking. Who cares? It's chocolate, can you really go wrong? Here's the recipe for that:

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips, melted over steaming water on the stove (make sort of a double boiler out of a bowl & a saucepan with water)
The  mix in 3/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract.
A little bit more than 12 oz of white chocolate chips, melted also mix in 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract with this. 

Pour the chocolate into a 9x3 pan covered in foil. Let harden - can take up to 30 min! Be patient if you care about the separation of the dark and white. 

Then pour the melted white chocolate on top of the chocolate & immediately pour 3 crushed candy canes on top. 

Pop it in the fridge to harden, eat and gain about 15 pounds!  :) At least your taste buds and tummy will be happy.... your dentist probably won't be.

Merry Christmas Week everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

{favorites friday}

1. Candy Cane Christmas - Sweet as it can be.  The song that is! I have been annoying my husband listening to this song on repeat {with some other songs mixed in between}.  It's my perfect Christmas song! Isn't it just the cutest? Not to mention, I've always LOVED Darius Rucker. That, and the newly discovered Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Lady Antebellum! Love that one too.  They have been playing non-stop once I overplayed got sick of my other playlist! I'm getting so excited for Christmas, you guys! It's next week!

2. Peppermint Bark - I made this yumminess last night for a Christmas treat for my coworkers! Delish -  the addicting kind of delish!  I of course used the Williams-Sonoma recipe that I found on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and totally pinned the shiz out of, however mine turned out a bit "marble-y' due to the fact that I was being impatient and didn't totally let the dark chocolate dry before pouring the white chocolate on top.  And you know what, I just don't care, because it still tastes every BIT at good as the WS version.  And I like it better because it didn't cost an arm & a leg :) I will do a baking post this weekend - although it's not really baking, other than the Christmas sugar cookies - about the recipes I used and such for the treats that we've made lately. 

3. PJs - OK, you can never have enough Comfies.  Can I get an AMEN? It seems lately for some reason, I'm obsessed! Maybe it's the cold or maybe it's finally the casual mom in me coming out - either way, I like them!  I think the VS Fireside Long Jane's are my all time fav & they're on sale NOW!

4. Mason jar s'mores & girls nights- so I brought these to our girls night last Thursday. They looked adorable. At the last minute I added a fun festive red paper straw under each of the cups string. We pulled them out and put them in our sherbert champagne! 

And girls nights, well sometimes you just need 4 hours of dumb careless, slightly tipsy laughter with your best friends, some champs, lasagna & cupcakes all in your pjs on a Thursday night. My best friend had gotten engaged the night before and we were also celebrating my birthday :) It was a great night. Thank you, God, for girlfriends. And girls nights... :)

I hope you are getting excited for the Christmas fun that's coming your way shortly! It sure snuck up this year, right? This weekend will surely be a weekend of hustle & bustle for us! And I love every minute! Our first Christmas at my dad's is actually this Sunday! I can't wait - Also, my holiday baking/Christmas treat making will be next up! Can't wait to share my yummy snacks with you!

Tis the season! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

{santa, baby}

I really feel like I have everything I need and don't like to take any blessings for granted, but because I get asked for Christmas gift ideas, here it is.  First off, isn't it all so pretty? Looks like I have a thing for black, white and gold lately.  When we move, I'm going for a whole new look, a more modern, simple look at the new house & I think it has funneled into my clothing and things that I'm drawn to!

  A Christmas Wish List FULL of comfort and joy! That's exactly what this list is.

one   /   two   /   three   /   four {can't find anymore}  /   five   /   six   /   seven  /   eight   /   nine  

The bracelet has already come home with me, I just couldn't resist the price point! I LOVE it so much! The West Elm bag is awesome but they have a couple cheaper options too, that I may like better & you can get them all monogrammed! Always a plus in my book!

I hope you enjoyed it and maybe this will give you some ideas for yourself or someone you know :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

{weekend recap}

Let me begin by saying there are lots of pics in this post, I got out my big girl camera FINALLY again this weekend - mainly because I always use it for the Santa visit -  and love the way photos turn out with it, but the phone is just so convenient. 

Friday night, we came home to a completely cooked meal in the crockpot! Chicken tacos! They were delish, seriously.  3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 jar of picante sauce, and 1 taco seasoning packet.  The house smelled so good! I chopped up some lettuce and we sprinkled cheese and tons of sour cream, and you have yourself a simple little meal.  We didn't want to use our energy that night making dinner, we needed to save it for THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING! 

Yes, I used a kit.  Yes, I will always buy a kit.  It was perfect and $10 by Cobblestone Kitchens at World Market.  Came with the candies the icing that you just mixed with water, the icing bag and a tip to use and all the sides/roof of the house! We had  At first Landon was a bit fussy, but we found out it was because he wanted to participate, duh.  Once he was able to put some candies on eat some candy he was fine.  He kept trying to destroy my sidewalk, though.  Come on, man!

Such a good helper.  He was loving every minute.  For sure a tradition we will do every year. 

Saturday morning we let daddy sleep in, and we snuggled and ran around the house like crazies.  We even had a snack and dance party on the kitchen floor. 

Some details of the Christmas vignette in my kitchen - this tray is normally in the middle of the kitchen table, but the gingerbread house took it's place until after Christmas.  Love the live evergreen from my birthday bouquet from my husband :)

I can't get away from the iced coffee, so I made some on Saturday morning.  For some reason even though there is snow on the ground the iced hazelnut coffee is so good! I make it in the Keurig reusable cup into a stainless steel alcohol shaker, stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes, pour it over ice with some milk and sugar and voila! Yum in your mouth.  

Sunday, oh Sunday. I actually saw this quote on Facebook on Sunday and I loved it so much!

I have to agree & this past Sunday was definitely well spent! Went to church and then after we went to the Staley Country Club - where my in-laws, and hopefully soon we will belong - for Breakfast with Santa.  Landon didn't have a nap {and it turns out, he decided early on that he was going to totally boycott a nap on Sunday}.  He wanted to observe Santa but wanted NOTHING to do with sitting on his lap.  Meltdown city. Maybe next year......

He did have a fun time playing with the golf balls though or as he calls them "Aa BAWWL"

But he was still sweet with his daddy....

 & we got a really good family phone picture out of it :) I'm passionate about the good family pics....but you know that by now.

Have a great week, friends! 

I have some holiday baking planned this week to blog about and maybe a Christmas wish list for the ladies in you life {hint hint, Mr, Bozarth}

Thursday, December 12, 2013

{A Toddler's Christmas List}

I don't like toys! It can't be just me, right? I am slightly crazy when it comes to toys in the house. If a stranger were to walk into our house, they probably wouldn't know that a child lives here. Baskets. Everywhere. Seriously. Hide the toys! So if at all possible, I try to get him little to no toys. Trust me, he gets along just fine.  For storage, we have 1 huge basket in the corner of the living room basement now because of the Christmas tree and 2 small baskets in the entertainment center, full of toys.  All hidden. Amen!

He's not being deprived of his childhood, not one little bit!  We're from the school of: "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read".  It keeps things simple and sweet.  Just the way we like it!  It's a good philosophy to follow for all kinds of gift giving.  Of course we will do stockings as well with small gifts but just as a general gift buying guide and to keep from going overboard, we stick to this. 

This is a glimpse of what Landon's Christmas List looks like this year, from mommy and daddy {Santa} :) He will get totally spoiled by all of his grandparents, just like he always does. It pays to be the first grand baby... Just a few nights ago, I heard both grandma's say, wait until you see what you're getting for Christmas....uh oh.....

Many of the things on here Santa has already had his elves make for Landon the others are on his wish list :)

Looking good, right? I plan on totally revamping the Ikea play table & chairs, painting it all white and maybe a chalkboard top or a roll of paper on the underside that can roll along the top for coloring. Maybe white with gold dipped legs! Can't wait for the finished product! And I can't believe we don't already have these Dr. Suess books with all the ones we do have.  We love Dr. Suess here and of course, you have to read it in a super silly voice to get the right effect! Nothing beats Landon looking up at us with that ear-to-ear Charlie Brown grin when we are reading to him. We've got a little book worm on our hands, methinks!

Of course, you and I both know the gifts aren't the true meaning of Christmas {we did get Landon the book The Christmas Story, just like the The Easter Story one we got him at Easter & we plan to read him the Nativity Bible verses out of our Bible} but the gifts really do make it so fun for a child & you don't have to spend a lot.

I'm loving the "Want, Need, Wear, Read rule for gift-giving! Less is more. Happy Holidays! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

{birthday weekend recap}

Neither Mike or I worked on Friday, so we woke up, chilled at home, I did some shopping while Landon slept. Ran out to get some festive paper straws & washi tape {because I love both of them} at JoAnn, and some more PJs. It seems I can't get enough of the darn PJs lately! It's all I want to wear! Can't wait to wear comfies all day long! We then went to Metro North and let the baby run around and ride the choo choo! We closed out the night by watching the 'Yes, Virginia' special and then Frosty the Snowman while Landon devised a tree destruction plan in between watching said movies...

My hubby made a delicious dinner and we made a pallet on the floor which is becoming more and more of a nightly thing for us. 

Saturday, morning, my birthday! Flowers from Landon, a candle from Calvin & my favorite pear cider from my honey {I always tell my husband to get me nothing for my birthday - it's so close to Christmas and we are running out of ideas!}. I also made some yummy peppermint mocha {with way too much whipped cream, but not for ME!}

Landon was a super strange sleeper that day. Slept from 9-7 {normal} then a nap from 8:15-10:45ish then out to brunch at 54th street, then another nap from 3-6! He never sleeps like that! He's either going through a growth spurt or getting sick. Let's hope it's not the 2nd one, but we have no fever! Such a pretty sleeper....

Then we had dinner reservations at LaBodega {favorite!} for my birthday! It did not disappoint! We had our normal tapas, a couple pitchers of the yummiest Sangria, and topped it off with the deconstructed cheesecake and a couple Spanish coffees for dessert - which were extra good, might I add! I think it was the extra cinnamon the waiter added.
Landon loved watching the making of a Spanish coffee as we all do {and the smell is delish}! 

I can't wait to celebrate again on Thursday with my girlfriends in our PJs for the VS fashion show, which we are taping and watching then because my bestie came down with a nasty case of Bronchitis :(

 Sunday morning, church, then home into our cozies! 

While Landon napped we watched the game at our house, then went over to my moms at halftime for Chili! Yum! She had Christmas music playing on the record player, and it was decorated to the 9s for the upcoming holiday. 

We proceeded to build a pallet on the floor and watch A Cristmas Story! I also got some time to sift through the Williams-Sonoma magazine! I have officially decided that my work friends are getting homemade Peppermint Bark using the WS recipe for Christmas! Yum!

 The end {of a fun weekend}!

Friday, December 6, 2013

{favorites friday}

My favorites from the past couple of weeks:

1. This pop-up popcorn bowl by Orville! Have I literally been living under a rock? This is genius & like I said on my Instagram "No more buttery knuckles!":

2. This is a 2-for-1: The Starbucks RED cup for winter! Yay! My first one of the season I am having right now! Can you believe it? Also, my red festive nails. This particular color is especially my favorite. It is OPI Red My Fortune Cookie! Love this simple red for the season.

3. Washi tape - to make your Christmas envelopes festively Christmas of course! I added a cute piece of tape to every one of our Christmas cards that went out today! And of course went a little overboard with the doodling.....

4. Victoria's Secret - newest obsession - the fireside long jane pajamas from Victorias Secret! I've got to give them credit. With the fashion show {and a girls night with wine and yummies in our pjs} coming up on Tuesday, I can't help but express my love for this brand and their Pink yoga pants and comfies {jammies}. Softest ever pjs! My husband bought me these ones for an early birthday present and I got the yoga pants and another set of flannel jams from my in-laws. Love!

I hope you enjoyed your week & we're on to another weekend! Getting closer to Christmas! We are planning on celebrating my birthday at La Bodega {my fav} with some tapas and a Spanish coffee tomorrow night! Can't wait!