Monday, December 9, 2019

Cookie Extravaganza 2019

Our annual cookie extravaganza was on Saturday.  We had a potential hiccup on Friday night when Esme suddenly developed a weird rash on her face.  I decided to take her in to urgent care just because of the location.  As rashes are want to do, it was almost completely gone by the time we were seen.  She still had some swelling and I am glad we went in.  She even got a popsicle as we left.  It hasn't come back yet, so here's to hoping it was a one time thing.
I decided to try doing it at our house this year.  Our kitchen is much larger than our old house, so I thought we could make it work.
Parker was very interested in the mixer this year, so I let him help me out a bit.
This year's menu included:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Laurie's Frosted Sugar Cookies
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Chocolate Ritz
Gluten Free Fudge Cookies
Gluten Free Raspberry Thumbprints
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Citrus Egg Yolk Cookies
Gingerdoodles
Oatmeal Carmelitas
Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Marshmallow Fudge
It was dark when we started and dark when we finished.  My best guess it about 900 cookies plus fudge.  I've frozen most of them for later in the month and can't wait to share our goodies.

Friday, December 6, 2019

A Start to Advent and Trek for a Tree 2019

We began the season of Advent on Sunday with a couple family traditions.  We all got our first stocking gifts before chruch.  Esme got a mandrill monkey plush (like Rafiki in The Lion King, she's been loving it lately.) Parker got a bag of hot cocoa Goldfish.  At bedtime, we began our Jesse Tree journey.  Esme is really excited about the ornaments this year, it's going to be so fun!
With the snow that came in on Sunday, we needed to wait a couple days for the sidewalks to get cleared so we could make our annual trek for a tree!  We went on Tuesday night and found a good candidate pretty quickly.
 I neglected to notice that a large branch that filled out much of the bottom would need to be cut off.  Sometimes you just have to make it work and that's what I did.  I put the bare side of the tree in the corner and it looked a lot more full once the lights and ornaments were on it.
 I spruced up our fireplace recently as well.  We've had an ugly gold trimmed screen and logs sitting in it since we moved in over 2 years ago.  I finally removed all of that and cleaned it out.  We aren't wood burners, so I went hunting for some candle options at Home Goods.  I've been eyeing up the flameless LED variety and found a great 5 piece set.  I also found 3 coordinated candle stands to set them up on.  It already looks 100 times better and we will still be painting the inside black.
 Our final addition was some Christmas village houses My grandma gave me.  This place is really starting to shape up nicely!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Let's Get Ready to TUMBLE! {a laundry themed birthday party}

Parker turned 8 on Saturday!  He has loved spinning things for years and his current items of focus are washers and dryers.  It seemed logical to throw him a laundry party to celebrate.  Pinterest failed me and I wasn't able to find any ideas for a laundry themed kids birthday party (there will be at least one now!)

As usual, I incorporated a picture of Parker in his Halloween costume on his invitation.  I was struggling with the design beyond that when I decided to google laundry puns.  This brought me to these adorable art prints that had just the words I needed.  I used blue and orange as a nod to Tide Pods and the main font on top is called Turkey Sandwich.

Our annual 12:10am picture, officially 8 years old!
I used twine, clothespins and paper cutouts to make a clothesline banner.
For the kitchen, I reused our props from Trunk or Treat as a backdrop.
Goodie bags included a sock puppet, cookies, apple sauce, and "dryer lint" cotton candy.
I made a chocolate birthday cake that looked like a washing machine.  I baked it in larger sheets, cut and stacked rectangles.  I used candy melts for the black on the door and white piped words and details along with white and gray buttercream.
I used Summer's Clothesline font for the table cards.
Our specialty drink was Tide Pod Punch.  It was Hawaiian Punch Polar Blast, ginger ale, orange juice ice cubes and orange sherbet.  It looked great at the start of the party, but turned to a bit of a muddy green by the end (still great tasting!)
Sloppy joes and meatball subs were on the menu.  You might have to do laundry when you get home if you aren't careful!
Some of the guests hung out and chatted while others participated in our activity.
We had a tie-dye station set up for the kids (and adults) to create some fun garment!  We have lots of leftover supplies and I am excited to try some more designs again soon.
We chowed down on some tasy food before having cake.
You may remember that Parker blew his own candles out for the first time last year.  He one-upped himself this year by singing "Happy Birthday" as well.  He was so excited!
Chocolate is his favorite!
Nana helped him open presents.  He got a bunch of fun cards, cash, and some new clothes.
He also opened a couple of gifts on Thanksgiving from Jimmy's sister's family that wasn't able to attend.
We love this little group of friends Parker has had since he was a baby.  Thanks to them and all of our family that came to celebrate Parker!