Tag Archives | holidays

Christmas 2015

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Christmas was so special this year. Eleanor was at the age, that she kind of knew what was going on. We began by reading her a few Christmas stories, leading up to Christmas, and cheated a bit, and gave her presents to open the week leading up to.  She loved all of the bows and wrapping. We probably could have just wrapped wrapping, and we would have been good. It’s so fun to watch those little eyes light up at everything, and watch those little hands pull at all of the bows.

Now, it’s time to get back to all of the healthy eating, and staying on track. My body wasn’t feeling so hot after putting stuff in it that I normally don’t eat. Of course, at the time it seems like an awesome idea, but I paid for it later.

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season!

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Filed under: Children, Family, Holiday, Home

Holiday Baking

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The baking continues over in our household. I came across this amazing vegan sugar cookie recipe (yes, it’s amazing), and wanted to share it with you.

I hope everyone is enjoying this season as much as I am. Having a little one, really makes it that much more special.

Also, I made a promise to myself, that I am hitting the gym after the holidays. UGH! I have never liked the gym, like not even a little bit. Send some good gym juju my way, please. Ha!

On that note, here is the amazing vegan sugar recipe…

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soft but not melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, soymilk, or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut, soy, or almond milk
  • sprinkles or sanding sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, coconut oil, 1/4 cup coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed to combine. Stir in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and cream of tartar until blended. If dough is too crumbly, add a little more milk until it comes together. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with cooking spray. Divide dough in half. Roll each dough half to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface cut out with cookie cutters. Dough may need to warm up a little before it’s easy to roll out. Place shapes on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake 7-8 minutes until edges just begin to turn golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  3. To make icing, place powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Spread on cooled cookies or use a piping bag to make designs. Use sprinkles or sanding sugar to decorate. adapted from Betty Crocker

Yield: 12 cookies depending on size 
Prep Time: 10 mins. Cook time: 8 mins.
Total time: 18 mins.

Recipe from here.

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Filed under: Food, Holiday, Home

Gingerbread cookies + essential oils

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We have finally been getting into the groove of Christmas around here. I know, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but we like to start early. Who doesn’t?!

We’ve been trying to engage Eleanor in the kitchen a little more.  She loves the refrigerator, and she loves to get out all of the pots and pans, but, we’re trying to engage her in the cooking aspect of it all. She’s still a little young, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

The other morning I had a huge craving for gingerbread cookies, and of course, if you know me, you know that they had to be healthy. I remember a while back looking on the internet and coming across a somewhat healthy, and a very easy recipe, via My New Roots.

Here is the recipe I followed…

Healthy Holiday Gingerbread
Makes at least 2 dozen medium-sized cookies

Ingredients:
2 ½ / 350g whole spelt flour
¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt
½ tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. ground ginger (or less if you prefer more mild gingerbread)
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
½ cup / 70g coconut sugar
½ cup / 125ml unsulfured blackstrap molasses
3 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Sift the dry ingredients together.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, then whisk in the molasses, applesauce, and vanilla.
3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and fold to combine – you may need to use your hands to mix this, but don’t overwork the dough. Fold just until the ingredients come together evenly. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, make a ball, then flatten into a large disc. Wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap and cut in half. Wrap one half and return it to the fridge. Place the other half of the dough between two pieces of baking paper and roll out (if it is very stiff, you may need to let it warm up just slightly). Remove top half of the paper and cut out desired shapes with a cookie cutter or a knife. Slide a knife or thin egg lifter under each shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Ball up the scraps of dough, roll it out between the parchment and start again. Once the dough becomes too warm, return it to the fridge and repeat the entire process with the other half of the chilled dough.
5. Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes (7 minutes produces a softer, chewier cookie, while 10 minutes produces a crispier one). Remove from oven and let cool on pan.

For the frosting, that I drizzled lightly across each cookie, I used a recipe adapted from here.  I really wanted to incorporate essential oil some way. We used orange for this recipe, and it was divine!

Enjoy!

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Filed under: Holiday, Home, Recipes

midweek links

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Happy midweek!  Christmas is only 7 days away. Yay!  We are scurrying around to get some last minute shopping done. Also, this weekend we will be baking up a storm, making lots of holiday cookies.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. It may get a little quiet around here, as we are having family in town for Christmas.  I love this time of year!

Until then, here are some links for you to check out…

The best holiday beauty gift sets.

13 things mentally strong people avoid.

3 signs you are too creative for 9-5 job.

The most expensive leggings that people work out in.  This baffles me.

Love threads is having a big sale on lots of their items.  I love this piece.

Did you see the gorgeous Casey Wiegand wearing our funky bohemian pant?!

Gift wrapping: color block presents.

Printable letter to santa.

The perfect little stocking stuffer for your little one.

And finally, we are planning on a big trip after the baby is born, this is where I’m thinking.  Looks amazing!

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Filed under: Links

christmas lights

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It’s that time of year when you grab a cup of hot cider or hot cocoa and drive around and look at all of the pretty Christmas lights.  We have some friends in town who happen to own a trolley company, and they do the “tour of lights” every year. Dave started driving for them this year, so the other night we tagged along for some of the fun.  Let me tell you, there are some devoted light people.  One of the homes, which you will see in the pictures, has so many lights I cold hardly make out what anything was.  It was pretty funny.

You’ve heard it once and you’ll hear it again, I love this time of year! Family starts arriving this week, which means lots of cookie baking with mom.  Yay, Can’t wait!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

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Filed under: Holiday

Dressing for the holidays.

I love the holidays.  It’s a time for family, food, friends, gift giving, and dressing up.

We happen to live in a place where you don’t ever really leave your flip flops and casual clothes, unless you’re going to a wedding.  The holidays are always fun for me, because of all of the holiday parties we get to dress up for. Here are a few things for the ladies, and they happen to be budget-friendly.

xmas collagePictures top, left to right: Isabella top/Faux leather accent top

Pictures bottom, left to right: Animal print dress/Cesile dress

 

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Filed under: Holiday