December 23, 2018

Sugar Plum Fairy Sugar Cookie Recipe

Our regular sugar cookie recipe this year was brought to the next level by turning them into, “sugar plum fairy cookies!” Which basically means Abby and I colored 4 different shades of pink our butter cream frosting recipe (listed below) and decorated them in everything and anything pink!!

The Nutcracker ballet has been long standing tradition in my heart both on and off the stage. So even though a true sugar plum is purple, I will always think of the sugar plum “fairy” being pink. As this was always the color of her costumes for me growing up in a dance studio which I now teach in!

These are SO good, people always think I buy them from a bakery (as will yours!) ; )

Sugar Cookie Recipe

1 egg
1 cup of sugar
3 cups of flour
4 oz soften cream cheese
3/4 cup of butter soften
1/2 tsp. lemon powder
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt


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Preheat ove to 350 degrees

||  2  ||
Mix in large bowl; butter, cream cheese, sugar and egg.

||  3  ||
Leave the flour aside, and add in rest of ingredients mixing all together. 

||  4  ||
Add in flour and mix all together.

||  5  ||
Roll dough out onto heavy flour surface.

||  6  ||
Cut out cookies and lay on top of parchment paper.

||  7  ||
 Bake for 8 mins. Then let place on cooling racks.

Pink Buttercream frosting

1 box of confections sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick of butter


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In a medium sized bowl mix together all ingredients with a kitchen aid, mixer or whisk until completely smooth. 

||  2  ||
Using 4 small bowls, divide frosting mix equally into each bowl.

||  3  ||
Start with 3 drops of pink all natural food coloring in the first bowl and continue to add 3-5 more drops than the previous so each bowl is a shade darker than the last. 

||  4  ||
To turn your pink frosted cookies into, "sugar plum fairy cookies" add all the pink, silver and white sprinkles, gum drops and candy you can find!

We wish you a very merry + bright Christmas! 
And may this recipe help add to your holiday!!

Warmly, Steph

December 18, 2018

Toddler Girl Stocking Stuffers

Toddler Girl Stocking Stuffer Guide
For the first time ever, I purchased ALL my stocking stuffer items online! Including these pink cherry flavored candy canes. I LOVE online shopping so, I decided to start changing how I spent my week before Christmas. Usually you’d find me gathering items up and down the isles of Target (which I love it there) though starting this year, I wanted to focus on what I love the most about this week… baking!

And since Christmas is officially a week away (Ekk!) I decided to use every mom’s best friend, Amazon in creating a last-minute Toddler Girl Stocking Stuffer guide.  

For under $13 I got Abby these pink and white striped jammies and a pair of darling reindeer slippers to go with it! I swear she could live in those jammies and slippers all week if I let her however, we love our bath time, specially bubble bath! So naturally this bubble bath is making its way into her stocking.

Also, this pom-pom hat Abby has been wearing all season long which is even cuter in person, I swear! So I had to add it!

When we go out to eat, these magnetic stacking blocks are a favorite pass time of Abby’s and it’s so fun to see her create towers and structures. (While at the same time teaching her about patience and persistence.) We are headed on a snow vacation next month so I found these organic snow mittens which I really love because they are attached! No lost mittens in the snow!! Amen. 

Then lastly, I put these felt fruit and veggie baskets in her stocking last year to go with her DIY upgraded all white play kitchen. So, I had to add these since we play with ours daily over here. You can find both cheaper at Ikea although, it's also really nice the week before Christmas to have them delivered! : )

I hope this Toddler Girl Gift Guide helps you with your last minute shopping! And check back soon, I have another blog post coming later this week!!!

Warmly, Steph

December 1, 2018

DIY Chalkboard Sign // Merry Little Christmas

DIY chalkboard sign
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, is one of my favorite holiday songs! (well one of 300 to be accurate). And it was this time last year, I made a chalkboard sign to help display one of my 300 favorite ; ) Christmas songs in our living room. 

I love the sign so much… I haven’t decided exactly where to keep it in my house! It’s been proudly displayed above our dining room table since last Sunday and I think… it might just stay there. However, I’m also tempted to put it above Abby’s play kitchen too. So well see!

The project took two days to complete only because you need the black chalkboard paint to dry. However, on the second day, I was able to finish everything during nap time. And hang it!

DIY chalkboard sign

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How I made it: Chalkboard Sign

DIY chalkboard sign

Step 1
 I ordered a blow-up version of this graphic, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" from Fedex to cover a 36" by 36" inch board. 

Step 2
Next, I ran two errands. I stopped in at Home Depo to have them cut me a 36" by 36" size wooden board about .5 cementers thick. On the way home, I picked up my blown-up graphic, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," from Fedex.

Step 3
At nap time, I painted the board with black paint. 

DIY chalkboard sign

Step 4
Using the graphite, I scratched the entire back surface of my blown-up graphic.

DIY chalkboard sign

Step 5
Next, I placed the blown-up graphic on top of the wooden board (completely dry). Then I taped down the edges to keep it secure.

Step 6
With a number 2 lead pencil, I traced around every letter and design of the poster so it would leave a stencil on the other side. Then I removed the blown-up graphic.

DIY chalkboard sign

Step 7
Using a white chalk paint pen, I traced my design and filled everything in. Lastly, I added my own boarder design. TIP: You can use a wet paper towel and or wash cloth to help wipe away any graphite thats left over.

DIY chalkboard sign

To hang my chalkboard, I added these  sawtooth hooks  onto the back.

We truly love ours and always get tons of compliments when friends and family visiting our home during the holidays! When you make yours, let me know if you have any questions below!

This weekend we are embarking on our good old fashion family Christmas by getting our Christmas tree! And we also have our very first holiday party of the season to attend!

Love this time of year.

So many fun and festive things happening, I hope you are enjoying the kick-off to the holiday season and may everything be merry and bright for you!

Warmly, Steph

November 20, 2018

Baby & Toddler Girl Gift Guides

Tis the season for turkey, family and holiday gift giving!

I'm so unbelievably excited it’s the week of turkey day! I also love the overnight shift that happens from gobble to everything merry and bright the day after Thanksgiving. 

Because there's just nothing quite like sipping on your favorite holiday mug filled with fresh brewed coffee and shopping online. These little "mom moments," give me life, and when the time comes to add an item into my chart... I generally follow this guideline for getting Abby gifts. 

2 Need
2 Want
1 Educational
2 Wear

So all of the following gift guides (3 total) are designed with this idea in mind. Most items we already have and or LOVE, and a few are upgrades because they just keep on making the cutest stuff year after year!

And as requested over in Instagram, let’s start with our little girl gift guide for 2-3 year olds!! 

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Items with special deals, promo codes and or sales:

Small Shop Saturday Nov. 24th
$10 off orders of $49 or more (code: SAVE10)
$20 off orders $99 or more (code: SAVE20)
$40 off orders $199 or more (code: SAVE40)

50% off your entire purchase Nov. 21st - 22nd

Black Friday deals Nov. 22nd - 26th (25% off Friends & Family Sale) We upgraded this play kitchen to make it a fancier and all white which you can find  here.

40% off with code: ADD2CHART = $19.80!

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Items with special deals, promo codes and or sales:

50% off your entire purchase Nov. 21st-22nd

These dolls feed 10 meals to a children in need for every doll sold. 
And this is by far Abby's softest toy!

25% off with code: GIFT25

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Items with special deals, promo codes and or sales:

Small Shop Saturday Nov. 24th
$10 off orders of $49 or more (code: SAVE10)
$20 off orders $99 or more (code: SAVE20)
$40 off orders $199 or more (code: SAVE40)

Currently %28 off and free shipping available w/prime membership

20% off price as marked for Black Friday event Nov.22 - 26th

I hope these gift guides were equally fun as they were helpful to you! 

And I don't know about you, although I'm reaallly looking forward to all the turkey-cranberry left overs I can gather for making sandwiches this weekend!! Oh the good food and times we all have ahead of us...

Happy Thanksgiving week friends!!!

Warmly, Steph

November 7, 2018

7 Tips on Hosting Thanksgiving // The Holidays

tips on hosting thanksgiving. the holidays

If there was female version of Clark Griswold, I would be it.

“If I’m out in the cold and committed to decorating the house, I’m going to do it right, and I’m going to do it BIG.” This is my gobble and fa-la-la motto for myself year after year over the holidays. Especially ever since I got married and became a mom. 

However, the last two years of hosting have taught me to start toning down the festive confetti and remember that there is only so much I can do with a little one around. : ) 

So, the story I’m going to share with you today is about my first Christmas hosting AND putting on a Christmas fest for allll 25 family members, as a new mom. 

tips on hosting thanksgiving. the holidays

In November of 2016, right before Thanksgiving, suddenly Abby wasn’t sleeping which meant I was up all night. So, the days leading up to hosting Christmas… there were lots of tears.  Except they were only my tears. : )

We live out in the middle of nowhere and slowly…. over the last two years our new construction area has grown into a suburban neighborhood among the evergreen trees. So, running errands did and still does take up a good portion of the day. Abby was 6-months-old at the time and even with breastfeeding in the car, we could do maybe two errands a day, if that.

Steve was slammed with a major work project that year, so I was on full time duty to get out and shop for gifts, wrap, breastfeed, decorate, clean, breastfeed etc. Did I mention breastfeed enough? Because it felt like that.  ; ) 

Things got especially stressful when we found out more family was coming a week before Christmas. Which put us in the position to rent a table and 6 chairs, so everyone could fit at the table. Along with me rushing out 5 days before Christmas to get those extra family members place settings.  And yes, many alllll of my friends thought I was crazy to house people for the holidays AND on top of it, make and host Christmas dinner as a new mom.

And they were right. It was challenging, too big, and too much with a non-sleeping baby. Yet, it also felt sort of magical to have all our loved ones in a big, warm, and happy home.

The Clark Griswold in me prevailed. Like it always does this time of year because I love to create. I love to host, and I love my people.  

And honestly, even though it was a major challenge to take on as a new mom who wasn’t getting any sleep…  I think I made things too stressful on myself by not adjusting a few details.

Which is why I’m happy to share today on what Steve and I have learned over the last two years about hosting family for the holidays. Especially the day of the big meal, Thanksgiving or Christmas! Here are our best tips for hosting as new parents. 

tips on hosting thanksgiving. the holidays

7 Tips on Hosting the Holidays as New Parents

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Ask AND assign

The second year we hosted Christmas dinner, I first looked at what we could realistically make without being in the kitchen all day and then, I made a list of side dishes in which I felt others could bring. The week before the big meal, I checked in to see if they needed anything like serving tools, toppings, if there meal needed to stay heated, etc.. because the first Christmas I hosted, we had wayyyy too many cooks in the kitchen!

||  2  ||
Count supplies

Between our move from the apartment to the house a few plates and cups broke, and I didn’t recount our supplies until AFTER everyone RSVP’d. I wish I would have been more realistic that first year of hosting for how many people we can have at the table, especially with Thanksgiving as the main event is to sit down and eat. And for us, we had to end up buying a lot of stuff and even renting a table and chairs.

tips on hosting thanksgiving. the holidays
Pumpkins are painted from left over paint from this blog post.

||  3  ||

For the second year of hosting, I passed out cute paper plates and fancy plastic forks for pumpkin pie so all we had to do was dump everything once it was finished. People were so full and happy by the time dessert came. No one really cared if it wasn’t on a fancy plate. They were just happy to have a piece of pie.

||  4  ||
Crock pot

Breakfast the day and or dinner the night before. Whatever frees up your time in the kitchen before the big meals helps keep it fun! While also being able to part be of the social aspect in hosting family or friends. Going out to eat is totally acceptable if your hosting and cooking the next day! It was important for me that with all this work, I get to enjoy the day too. 

tips on hosting thanksgiving. the holidays

||  5  ||
Hold your ground.

It’s your kitchen, your home. If you want help, ask. If you don’t, ask them to go sit down. You're the host. Does that sound a little mean? No, you got a show to run! You got this!

||  6  ||
Invest in You.

I have yet to do this for our own home! However, if we hired a maid right before hosting our first sleepless Christmas, then I would have been able to have more time to balance everything by being able to relax at the end of the day and sleep. Instead of us folding linens and towels for the guest bedrooms at 9:45pm at night.

||  7  ||

Ask your spouse, and or a close relative (of your choice) to come early and help you. Having Steve help with the mash potatoes really saved me! He took over entire dishes that first year and was so calming and helpful in the kitchen. We would have eaten an hour or two later if I didn’t have my amazing teammate.

tips on hosting thanksgiving. the holidays

I hope our story and tips help you and your family enjoy the holidays a bit more, and or at least feel like you're not alone in hosting. As everyone at the table deserves to take joy in the day. Especially you!

And if you liked this post, you might also like the matching pumpkin porch decor which compliment this center piece,  here. 

Warmly, Steph

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November 1, 2018

2 Scoops Please! // Ice Cream Halloween Costume

I can’t believe Halloween has come and gone already! Wasn’t it just the end of September like, yesterday?!?!

Halloween was such a busy day for us, though also, so good! We stayed close to our neighborhood with family and delighted in Abby really getting the whole, “trick-or-treat” thing this year. 

And all of us were dying of cuteness the whole night because the cherry on top would slightly wobble when Abby walked. 

So. Dan. Fun.

This year’s family Halloween costume was super easy to make because I gun glued the sprinkles during nap time, and Steve's spoon took me all of 10 minutes to make from start to finish! Completely do-able! And last minute! : )

If you’d like to see how I made her two scoops of costumes (along with a handful of fun photos) I'm happy to help with that, as all of you know, I live for this kind of stuff.

DIY Two Scoops Of Ice Cream // Halloween Costume

Step-by-step Directions
Step 1 

Cut out a rectangle shaped piece of felt 1 inch by 2 inches. Then glue gun the middle section of the rectangle.

Step 2

Roll the bottom to the top and add a bit of glue to secure your roll/sprinkle.

Step 3

Place your sprinkles on top of your child's tutu skirt and arrange as preferred. 

Step 4

Next, glue gun all your felt sprinkle pieces to the tutu skirt. Front and back.
Step 5

For the cherry, I borrowed this idea from one of my favorite websites  Studio DIY,  although I made my own twist to the cherry on top. First, I blew up a red balloon to my desired shaped, then glue gunned a hair clip to the bottom of the balloons knot (I promise you it won't pop!).
Step 6

Next, I cut out a stem shaped from red card stock paper (we want it to stand up nice and firm!)

Step 7

Then I taped the stem to the balloon by flipping a small portion of the bottom slightly back with scotch tape.

Step 8

Add gold tights and shoes to represent the ice cream cone, a pink tutu for the second scoop of ice cream and viola! 

Step 9
Lastly, don't forget to add the cherry on top for that final touch. : )

Two Scoops Halloween Costume sources:

gold shoes // gold tights // pink tutu (sold out) similar here // cream tutu (sold outsimilar here // cream sweater // My  pink apron // My  jerk hat

I hope you had a safe, happy and yummy Halloween! 

Warmly, Steph