[worth Giving] just because they’re yummy

Tis the season of giving. Fa la la la la la la la la!

I love a good Christmas cookie. Especially a soft sugar cookie that my mom makes.

Of course learning from the best (my mom), I make a double batch of these at Christmas time and keep them in the freezer to have handy to take with me anytime I go to a friends, a neighbors, or a party.

They are always welcomed with an open mouth…haha! I crack myself up! LOL!

Here is the yummy recipe:

Fabulously Soft Sugar Cookies
3/4 C Real Butter, softened
2 Eggs
1 C Powdered Sugar
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Cream Of Tartar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Almond Flavoring
4 C Flour

Directions:
Cream together butter, eggs, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar. Add remaining ingredients in the order listed. Mix real good and refrigerate overnight. Place cookies onto a chilled cookie sheet with a small cookie scoop. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. It is very important that all cookies are placed on a cooled cookie sheet before baking. Keep cookie dough chilled between batches.

Frosting
1/2 C Real Butter, softened
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 tsp. Almond Flavoring (or more to taste)
Powdered Sugar
Milk (a few drops)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients. Use enough powdered sugar to achieve desired and spreadable consistency.

Tint to your desired color and top with your favorite sprinkles.

And voila! There you have it. Melt in your mouth heavenly yummyness that’s totally worth giving! (yes I make up words)

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something new this year…

This year for Christmas we adopted a new tradition that I hope to carry on for many years to come!

We got The Elf On The Shelf!

There was such a buzz going on about this little elf that I had to go check it out for myself. I love the idea of this tradition, and how it engages the whole family.

If you’ve not heard of him, here is the basic idea. Santa sends an elf to your home to sit and watch and see who is being naughty or nice. Then at night when the kids go to bed he reports back to Santa at the North Pole. The next morning he will reappear in a different spot waiting for the kids to find him again. You can’t touch the elf, but you can talk to him all you want and tell him everything you love and want for Christmas.

He’s so cute and brings a whole bag full of fun right to your home. Some days he behaves and some days he gets himself caught in a pickle or a little trouble.

Here is where Samuel found him this morning. He colored the milk pink with food coloring.

I wonder where we will find him next…

[worth Giving] for the birthday Girl…

double layer spice cake & winter jammies

I have a few friends who know how to give the best gifts. I don’t know how they do it, but they do. They must have some special “super gift” skills. Their gifts are random and unsuspected or they’re not your typical “I’ll run by Target” gifts. Their unique and purposed.

I need these skills! Bad. I love to give, but most times I feel a day late or a dollar short. I want my gift to bless like that. I want to give creatively and thoughtfully.

After much contemplating of how to give the most perfect gift it dawned on me, just be deliberate.

 

Talk about eureka! Really, that’s it? Deliberate.

"splurge on shoes"

For example, the birthday Girl gave me this little unexpected gift. Just for organizing a much needed girl’s night out. How sweet right? I’m gonna get some of those little things to have on hand.

I can do deliberate. So lately, each morning I wake, I ask myself, “who can I bless today?” And then do it…or prepare to do it in the near future.

With my new found love of baking and cooking I believe I have found my niche. It works well for me too. With a 7 month old crawling at my feet I need my “deliberate gifts” to work within my already crazy schedule and where I’m already gonna be…the kitchen. Cool how God worked that out.

birthday girl ♥ such a sweetie ♥

The pictured spice cake and jammies were for my dear friend, Charla. I had never given her a birthday gift so that made this all the more fun.

I was at her house the night before her birthday and she mentioned that she really wanted a fall dessert for her birthday, and how she planned to get some pumpkin frozen yogurt after dinner with her family the next night.

I took that information and left with a mission to make her my favorite spice cake that my mom makes in the fall. It is heavenly! I have not personally made this cake before, not that I have made much of anything until now. It’s my new love remember…to bake?

But I put my neck out and thought, “this is how I’m gonna learn.” Plus my mom being a great cook and a good teacher made this a win-win for me.

After my second batch baked and a dozen phone calls (that’s a part of my recipe any time I’m cooking) I had a winner.

Tastes great! Looks great! And what girl doesn’t like a comfy set of jammies? Throw them in too, and this is the perfect gift. And I’m doing the Happy Dance because I’m about to bless someone!

Deliberate gifts are perfect gifts regardless of what the actual gift is, and they say so much. Gifts that say, “just because you’re special”. I like those. And I believe everyone else does too.

Most people wear an invisible sign around their neck that says, “make me feel important.”…or beautiful, seen, loved, etc.

I want to respond to those invisible signs, and I hope you’ll join me.

[DIY] Monogram Christmas Deco


So glad you came by to see this nifty little craft.

With Christmas being my favorite holiday I am always thrilled when I have the opportunity to make a Christmas craft.

So of course I found this idea over at Pinterest.

(((Love that site!))) Almost as much as a good pair of slipper-socks. (hint, hint)

It’s a monogram door hanger. How cool is that? Different from traditional decorations yet still classy.

I took a trip to my local Michael’s store and purchased my letter “K”, some berries, and burlap. I kept my letter white, but you could paint it first if you want.

Simply cut your berries off the stem either with a pair of scissors or a wire cutter. Hot glue them to the letter. This part takes some patience; hopefully you like puzzles. Tie your burlap on and hang.

Voila! There you have it. Super simple.

Or so I thought…

As I was completing this project I ran into a snafu. My letter is not exactly a good letter to hang with the burlap. I tried a few different things, but with a 6 month old baby crawling at my feet I quickly came up with an alternative.

I decide to make it a shelf decoration and not a door hanger. Partially because that’s where it landed and I ended up liking it. Slight bummer that I don’t have something for my front door now, but I really like my alternative.

and here it is sitting in its cozy spot…