Saturday, December 24, 2011

To Santa, Love Lily.

As dictated to our babysitter while Tyler and I were out to dinner the other night...

" Dear Santa,
I would like the following: Hello Kitty Sewing Machine, Bratz, Earrings, Motorcycle, Pixie Dust, ears pierced. Thank you! I love you Santa! Hope you eat the cookies and the milk they are good. We have reindeer food. Please Santa sign in please. Tell me you're real because my best friends say you don't exist.

Lily  "

Have you checked out the Portable North Pole ? Free personalized Santa video message for your little ones. I wish I had found it and posted the link sooner. Lily and London watched Santa speak to each of them tonight before tucking into bed, messages filled with personal details and all! I really think it was more magical for us to watch their little faces. Honestly, Tyler and I had to try to keep from crying while we watched their reactions.

Christmas is especially awesome this time around. I know I say it all the time but really: children are the most wonderful wonder of wonders.

Love to you all and 
 best wishes for 
a Very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Recipe Two: Wanna Cookie?

These are simply the best sugar cookies on record.

Really. They are like the homemade, fluffy, soft, delectable version of those generic sugar cookies you find in the bakery department covered in high fructose corn syrup neon frosting.

You know those cookies?

They're the ones you take in your cart to the back corner of Walmart and devour at the end of a bad day while reading the tabloid magazines you're too cheap to purchase and too hypocritical to admit you love.

(What? You don't do that?)

 {Don't worry: hands are scrubbed clean and counter thoroughly cleansed, disinfected, and dried before any dough touches the surface. Wouldn't want you gagging at this point if you were delivered a batch.}

{Love this face she's been making lately...}

{Awesome cookie, London. 14,000:1 sprinkles/cookie ratio.} 

Thanks to Aunt Nellie! This recipe comes from her home, where many of my earliest baking memories come from.... 

Aunt Nellie's Sugar Cookies

{This makes a big batch, half the recipe if you're not planning on sharing}

3 cubes butter - softened
1 1/3 cups shortening
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp. milk
4 tsp. vanilla

8 cups flour
6 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

First combine all wet ingredients. Cream together until well blended. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add flour mixture to cream mixture and mix until dough forms. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight*.

Roll, cut, and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes

*We don't always refrigerate our dough before baking. It won't make a difference in your end product, but will make the dough easier to cut and work with.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Two gifts for you!: Recipe 1

This is what the neighbors will be receiving for Christmas. We have a good street. I need to make sure I send a peace-offering annually to reconcile the lawn damage or landscape rock confiscation attributable to my children in search of treasures. Oh yeah, and for all the as-of-yet-undiscovered times Lily has shown up half dressed on people's doorsteps 'just to chat'.

It has been a family Christmas favorite for years. Remember the old Jolly Rancher Fire sticks? Why did they ever do away with those?!! I used to love sucking on them and molding them to the roof of my mouth pretending I had a retainer.

These taste just like the real thing, only better in my opinion. 


An affordable, do-able gift that is easily mass produced.

Plus the kids LOVE it, 
because they get to BREAK it.

I love the jagged red pieces of different shapes and sizes. 
Throw 'em in a Mason jar, tie a ribbon, and you're done!
Plus, your house will smell all kinds of amazing and cinnamon-ish.

Cinnamon Hard Candy

3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon or Peppermint Oil*
Red or Green food coloring*

Combine sugar, syrup and water. Bring to boil.
Boil until candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage).
Remove from heat, stir in oil and food coloring but keep face away from mixture as the odor is very strong (but WONDERFUL). 

Poor into a greased baking sheet. 

Cool, crack, and store!

*You can make cinnamon/red candy or green/peppermint candy. Or you could half the batch and do a little of each...or you could double the batch and do one of each...or you could quadruple the batch and do TWO of each...or you could use apple flavoring or spearmint flavoring or strawberry flavoring or...or! or! or!...ok fine. Got a little carried away there.

Yummiest Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever 
up next tomorrow!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It was a Party.

 Would you like to see the details of Miss London's Big 4th Birthday Bash?

You can't name your daughter London without
one day having a Tea Party.
And you can't have a Tea Party without Hats.

Lundy girl and I hit up the local thrift stores and bought out every dingy hat in sight.

Grabbed some 60% off sparkly Christmas foliage at the craft store...

And after a solid evening spent with a glue gun and channeling our inner Lady Gaga....

Party Hats were created! (Which doubled as party favors)

What little girl do you know who doesn't love a fancy hat?

Each girl arrived and first selected a hat...

Got their nails done...

And took part in a glamorous photo shoot.

{The set - wrapping paper makes a good CHEAP backdrop}

And yes, it is fun to be this insane. Why do I put myself through such madness?

Because, just look at these darling guests!:

Isn't this just hilarious and splendid?

During lunch, each girl selected from an assortment of  Pink and Purple Teas 
(all flavored steamed milk dyed pink or purple)

What a good Dad. 
Honestly, I will give my girls the following solemn question to ask a potential future spouse.
 This. is. Serious.

"Boyfriend, are you prepared to possibly have four daughters plus a house full of fifteen little girls and brew them a selection of pink teas while peeling the crusts off of their heart shaped  peanut butter sandwiches?"

If the answer is run run!

It takes a REAL man to put up with such frills.
(and a follow-up much deserved 'man night' watching the game with fellow males to fully detox)

How lucky we are to have this one special guy in our house is not lost on us ladies.
 We sure love him so.

We had excellent additional help too:

My good friend Jamee is responsible for printing the adorable menus and signs for the party. 
Thanks Jamee!!!

As you can see, I think Miss London and her little friends had a grand time. 

Tyler and I plopped on the couch after the party and fell asleep tangled in each other's limbs as our girls played around us on the floor with all the presents and devoured leftover cupcakes.

To be surrounded by girls is pretty special.

And we sure love our Lundy much.

Happy Birthday you four-year-old wonderful little stinker.