Saturday, December 25, 2010

The 2010 Christmas Holiday Season

Merry Christmas!
The Christmas holiday came in a flash! Even being 7-8 months pregnant and busy with baby preperations, I manged to squeeze a lot of my favorite holiday activities in this month. Here are a few of my holiday activities....

Handmade Christmas Cards
My girlfriends and I have been making handmade Christmas cards for the nursing home for a few years. We get together for an afternoon and bring out all of our scrapbooking and craft supplies. We cranked out aprox 80 cards this year!

The Cookie Exchange
I hosted my 2nd cookie exchange for 10 of my close friends. We each had to make 6 dozen cookies. I am always nervous to try out new cookie recipes for occasions like this so I stuck to a cookie that's always been a hit, I made the Cranberry Pistachio Mexican Wedding Cake Cookie.
Here is the completed tray of cookies after the exchange. Cookies featured this year were: Peppermint Cocoa Kiss Cookies, Triple Ginger (using crystalized ginger, fresh ginger, and powdered ginger), Red Velvet Cookies, with Cream Cheese Icing, Potato Chip Cookies, Lemon Volcanos, Oatmeal Cinnamon, Butterfinger, Snickerdoodles, Pecan Triangles, and Noels. All so good!
Stocking Stuffers
I have a huge family and a lot of cousins. We usually draw names and do a secret Santa gift exchange, but I also like to give each cousin a little stocking stuffer. This year I have sweet treats packed in paper cones for the guys, and a pair of gloves for the girls. I love how these turned out. Simple cuteness!

Well, I am off to celebrate Christmas with the family. I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I am looking forward to sharing another year with my blogger friends!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Easy No Bake Thin Mints

Tis the season for cookie exchanges, office potlucks, and holiday parties. If you're like me, it can mean you are on a baking overload. So I thought I'd share an easy no bake cookie that's always a hit for the holidays (or if you're craving Girl Scout Thin Mints on the off season).

You only two ingredients:

•Ritz Crackers (I like using the "hint if salt" Ritz Crackers)
•2 pkgs of Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips (I have tried Nestle's mint and chocolate swirl morsels and they don't melt as easily)

Yields aprox 64 cookies (about 1/2 box of Ritz Crackers)

On med-low heat, place your baking baking chips in a double boiler for melting. If you don't have a double boiler (like me), add a couple of cups of water to a pot and place a heat resistant mixing bowl in the pot.

Slowly you chocolate will melt and stir until completely smooth.

Once your chocolate is smooth, dip your Ritz Cracker covering both sides in chocolate.

Place cookies on foil, parchment paper, or even freezer paper and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Once cooled, peel each cookie off the foil and redip the top of the cookie in chocolate. I suggest that you peel all the cookies first, then redip.

These cookies cool really quickly and you can easily make and plate them in 30 minutes. They also freeze beautifully and taste great right out if the freezer.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Fabulous Baby Shower!

This weekend my sister, cousin, niece, and closest friends threw me the most fabulous baby shower! I love all of the little details that went into the shower. Here are a few of my favorite pics...

The Ultimate Diaper Cake
The diaper cake was made by my Uncle Ron. He's so amazing! He's also the same uncle who does the upside-down Christmas tree (see the previous post). Can you believe this is the first diaper cake he's made? I love the sock monkey and the G ornament (it lights up). The cake also has little rabbits around it since my baby should be born the year of the rabbit.

The Decorations
The decorations were done by my good friend, Holley. She knew I was sewing these cute elephants and using earth tones in the baby's nursery. She made these cute elephant prints and I just love how she pinned them up on a clothes line with the adorable clothes.

The Sign In Sheet
My friend, Erin, created this clever sign in sheet for the guests. Each guest placed their thumb print on the tree and signed their name. I love how this turned out and will be framing this in the baby's room.

The Cake
My friend Melissa picked out this wonderful vanilla cheesecake cake. Delicious!

The Baby Game
I'm not the biggest fan of baby shower games so my friend, Veronica, came up with the celebrity baby name game. She knows I love my celeb gossip! The craziest name on that list...Pilot Inspektor (really?). It was actually a tough game. Good thing I read US Weekly because I actually won the game!

The Party Favors
My sister made these cute rice krispie treat lollipops that spells out Cora (the baby's name). I love how they set them up in the beautiful bassinet. Thank you Tammy for the beautiful bassinet!

The Hostess With The Mostess
Here I am with the talented ladies who threw this beautiful shower for me. I am truly blessed to have such loving people in my life!