Thursday, December 25, 2014

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

We hope you have the best Christmas this year!

I'll be on a blogging break until the New Year to spend time with my family. So, I will see you next year.

Be merry, be bright.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

For Days 1 to 9 click here, and for Days 10 to 17 click here!

There is only one more sleep until Christmas! I've almost got all the presents wrapped and under the tree. Gifts are shipped, goodies have been made, crafts have been crafted, carols have been sung, our Christmas Eve dinner has been prepped. We are so close to the big day, and I for one am completely excited.

But, first how we've been counting down the final stretch to the BIG day...

Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Book number eighteen was A Christmas Carol Babylit book, which Aria loves spotting the mouse in.

Our activity for the eighteenth day was the cutest owl craft Aria received from Nina! Aria helped me push down all the stickers and it is now hanging awesomely above the TV. Might be my favourite thing we've crafted this holiday season.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Book number nineteen was Bear Stays Up For Christmas, which is really cute. Aria has asked to read this one along with Clifford during most of her naps since opening it.

Our activity for the nineteenth day was Christmas goodies making! Aria helped me make oreo peppermint bark, and she didn't even lick her fingers until the end.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

Book number twenty was Room for a Little One, which I didn't remember to take a picture of when Aria opened it. This is a favourite from last year, and she is particularly fond of the mouse.

Our activity for the twentieth day was finishing up some more baking. Here she is helping me plop peppermint patties into brownie batter.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
And, then delivering freshly made goodies to friends and exchanging presents.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Book number twenty one was The Polar Express, which was a little wordy for Aria's tastes but an absolute Christmas must every year! I think it was one of the first books I read to Aria when she arrived a few short days before Christmas two years ago.

Our activity for the twenty first day was the classic Christmas sugar cut out cookies bake and decorate fun. Aria had so much fun cutting out shapes that she was pretty annoyed when we ran out of dough. She also did it at top speed. I couldn't put them on the parchment fast enough. Then after they cooled mom frosted and Aria sprinkled. I think she ate more sprinkles than ended up on the cookies, and I don't even want to talk about the floor.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Then we got to taste our creation! Aria was a pretty big fan of the frosting and just ate that off.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

Book number twenty two didn't get opened since we ran right out of time.

Our activity for the twenty second day was Disney's Christmas lights at Hollywood Studios. They were awesome as always, and as soon as they lit up and started playing a Christmas song all Aria wanted to do was spin.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Book number twenty two (the one we didn't open the day before) was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from the Little Golden Book collection. She was so excited when she saw the cover. She definitely loves those reindeer. She was also a little peeved that the trees didn't have star on top, which she pointed out for each and every tree.

Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Book number twenty three was A Wish to be a Christmas Tree, which is another favourite from last year.

Our activity for the twenty third day was having our Christmas present exchange with Aria's grandma and Uncle Jared.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Aria got Grandma a big stock pot so she can make soups and stews, and she got Uncle Jared Legos. Aria got button art that Amanda recommended, a couple new Babylit books (our fave), and a Hape stacker toy. Chris got season one and two of Game of Thrones along with The Settlers of Catan game. And, I got a whole variety of pink nail polish, cinnamon roll bath wash (yum), a couple eye shadows, and a kick ass scarf style camera strap.

Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Book number twenty four was The Night Before Christmas. When she pulled it from the wrapping paper she exclaimed 'santa'! She wasn't overly interested in the reading but it is a must read this time of year anyway.

Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
The very last Tree Advent treat! She had so much fun getting to pull out a special chocolate treat each day, and it was a great bargaining chip for mom. 'Oh hey, let's stop doing this destructive and chaotic thing and go open our treat!' Worked like a charm.

Our activity for the twenty fourth day was making cookies for Santa. I found a quick and easy, no chilling needed kiss cookie recipe on pinterest so we decided to make some fresh cookies for Santa. Although, I think more than half were gone before Santa got any. They were awesome by the way. And, we used caramel filled Hershey kisses.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

We also had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, steak skewers, and roast vegetables.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

And, then before bed we set out some milk and cookies for Santa along with a little note from Aria and a carrot for the reindeer to enjoy too. I'm pretty sure Aria was more excited about the reindeer, and in fact I think we talked it up so much she was too excited to go to bed. Plus, she really wanted to pet the reindeer.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24

A bonus activity...the traditional Christmas Eve Santa helping.
Counting Down to Christmas: Days 18 to 24
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

linking up with:
Our Pretty Little Girls

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Desserts & Tacky Sweaters link up: Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies Recipe

Today is the day! The day for a Christmas Desserts & Tacky Sweaters link up party! For all the details check out this post. But, the gist is share a Christmas dessert recipe and link up below. Easy, yes?
Aria and I have been having a messy ball in the kitchen lately baking up a storm. We've made chocolate crinkle cookies, chocolate covered gummie bears, oreo peppermint bark, lofthouse style cookies, and the recipe I'm sharing today - chocolate chip snowball cookies. These are a snap to make. The ingredient list is tiny and they bake up in no time without needing to chill.
Taste: They are flaky, soft, and covered in powdered sugar. It was my first time making them, and they may be my favourite of the bunch.
Amount: Around 40 cookies depending on ball size. I went with a rounded tablespoon ball size.
Time: Your butter will take longer to come to room temperature than it will take you to whip these up. They were the easiest and quickest of any of the desserts I've made recently.
Source: Crazy for Crust.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • additional powdered sugar for rolling
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy. Mix flour and salt together in a bowl, and then slowly add to the butter mixture until the dough comes together. Fold in the chocolate chips. If the dough is too sticky chill until it is easy to work with. I chilled all my cookie doughs because I made them ahead of time, but my dough was ready to work with without any chilling needed.

Scoop around 1 rounded tablespoon size balls of dough and place on your cookie sheet. They don't spread, so you can get a decent bunch on each cookie sheet.

Bake for 7-10 minutes until bottoms are slightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool until you can handle the balls. Fill a small bowl with powdered sugar and roll each cookie until coated. Place on a rack to cool.

Enjoy!
Sweet Turtle Soup
 So what kind of Christmas desserts have you been making this holiday season? Were there any tacky sweaters involved? Snag the button above, and link up!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sweet Sunday

December 14th - 20th
All of our simple and sweet moments from the past week.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
We've been doing a ton of Christmas book reading! Loving our Christmas Book Countdown.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
I got so many cute photos from our mini tree photo shoot. We were practicing our 'surprise' Santa came face!

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
I've been meaning to pull out Aria's Little People Nativity all month long and I finally remembered the other day. 

I was combing my hair yesterday and she ran to the door, pelted me with two of the animals, and then ran away. Gee, thanks. I've been camel-ed.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Entertaining herself for a bit putting stickers on an envelope. They are the Disney gang so it is cute listening to her name them off, particularly goofy.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Sneak peek at our Christmas baking!

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Visiting her fave bunny.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Yelling for her godfather to give her the keys to his BMW. 'Turn on, keys, turn on.' 

Have a sweet Sunday!