Because some secrets are just too good to keep to yourself....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Aloha & Candy Cane Vodka

You are probably going to hate me when I tell you this....but tomorrow we go to Maui for our Christmas vacation.  While there I will be blogging, but very sporadically.  We are going to take full advantage of our time with our family and soak up the warm Hawaiian rays.  Please send us good thoughts for our 6 hour plane flight :\  Preston has flown twice before, but not as long as tomorrows flight!   I have every trick in the book packed in our diaper bag, so let hope they work! I am a little nervous, but know it will work out just fine.

Here is the view from my parents house that we will be waking up to every's can be jealous ;)
And then again at sunset

Before I say, "ALOHAAAA", I will leave you with a yummy Christmas libation....CANDY CANE VODKA!! If that doesn't scream Christmas Party Cocktail...I don't know what does!
How To Make It
1. Grab your favorite type of Vodka
2. Buy Some Mini Candy Canes
3. Depending on how much you plan on making, get out a mason jar or pitcher.
4. Pour Vodka into your container of choice
5. Put a few candy canes in and soak for 12-24 hours, depending on how quickly the candy canes dissolve.
Pretty simple way to make an amazing and yummy libation. I know I will be giving a few of these out as gifts this year ;)

Once You've made your candy cane vodka you can use it for Christmas Presents or save it for yourself to make a yummy Christmas drink ;)

Enjoy....maybe you can mix some up and relax with cocktail by the fire at some point this weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Appetizers & Desserts

Happy Thursday, Friends! Are you getting ready for Christmas? Is your Christmas Shopping done? Have you decorated? Have you got your tree?  If you haven't and need some inspiration, check out my Christmas Bucket List. Are you entertaining and having house guests for Christmas? If so, below are some "Christmasy" recipes to help give you some ideas.
Christmas Appetizers
I made this for the residents at work and they absolutely loved it! Healthy and attractive.
Christmas Desserts
Another one that we tried for the Residents at the Fitness Club that I work at.  They love it! ;)

After making the Christmas Fruit tree and candy cane popcorn, the residents were raving about it. These recipes are sure to make people think you are the newest Martha Stewart on the block. I will be making some of these for my family over the holidays. Will you?

Merry baking & decorating!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DIY: Hot Chocolate Bar

This past Saturday, I'm hosted my first play date meet-up ;)  We decorated these ornaments, I thought it was a fun way to document your little ones finger prints and have a cute ornament for the Christmas Tree. I also thought it would be fun to put out a hot chocolate bar for everyone to enjoy...well most of the kids were too for the mama's enjoy :)

Supplies You Will Need:
-Variety of Hot Chocolate flavors. I am using:
*Chocolate Hazelnut
*Chocolate Mint
*Chocolate Cinnamon
*Chocolate Vanilla
*Red Velvet. To make you own recipe click here.
-Mini Marshmallows
-Candy Canes
-Whipped Cream. You can even get creative and make your own flavors of whipped cream.
- Caramel Squares
-Your candy bar of choice, chopped.
-Candy Stirring spoons
-Disposable Hot Cups

Set it up so that is accessible right after they walk in, so they can warm up from being out in the cold.

Young or old hot chocolate is something we all enjoy! Hope you can enjoy this with friends and family :) Merry Early Christmas.



Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekly Recipe Round-Up

Sorry friends....this weekend was a REALLY busy one for me. I appologize for not posting, but family and friends took up every inch of my time. I got to go out with girlfriends, sans kids, for the first time in forever. It was such a fun night! I also had book club, hosted play group (more on that in another post), attended an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, and celebrated Christmas with Jake's family early, since we leave for Maui on Saturday. We were BUSY!! But, I am back now and ready to share my weekly round-up recipes with you! I hope you all had a busy and fun weekend, too! :)

Udon Miso Noodle Soup
*12 oz pkg o Udon Noodles
*4 cups chicken broth
*Chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu
*1/2 cup snap peas
*1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
*1/2 cup mushrooms
*2 tablespoons white miso
*1/2 cup green onion
1. Cook udon noodles according to package directions. Drain and let cool.
2. In a large stock pot bring chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add carrots, cook 1-2 minutes.  Add snap peas and cook 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
3. Add miso to a medium bowl and add a ladle of broth, and whisk until completely dissolved.  Add back into pot with veggies & broth. Try not to boil the soup, as the miso gets a bit gritty.
4. Add noodles and green onions & serve!






Happy Cooking!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gifts For Guys

I am always looking for gift ideas for my husband....for Christmas...his birthday...Valentine's Day...Father's Day.  I always want to get him something unique and that he would never buy himself.  I found a website that has just that, unique presents that guys dig. Check it out.

Some of my favorites:
For The Guy with Style
For The Techy Geek:
For The Griller:
For The Beer Lover or Whiskey Connoisseur:
For The Wine-O
If your Guy is a gamer:
For the active man in your life

I hope that you can find a gift out of all these selections. I can guarantee that no one else will have gotten him the same present ;) Happy Christmas Shopping!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Family Pictures

My sweet friend, Adria Ausmus is the best photographer in the Vegas Valley. I have proof.

A few weeks ago we all bundled up and went to a spot that Adria picked out in the middle of the desert for a photo shoot. The goal of the photo shoot was to get a cute Christmas Card picture and some unique and good quality pics of our sweet little boy. We were successful in both categories!! And no, the Christmas card picture we chose is not have to wait for that one ;) We got some great pics, once again, Adria did not disappoint. Take a look:

Adria is an amazing photographer...and I'm not just saying that because she is my friend.  Not only is she one of the sweetest people I know, she is very talented. She is great for family portraits because she comes up with the most unique ideas.  She always uses us as her guinea pigs and I love it!! I leave all the ideas up to her and they always turn out great! She took our maternity pictures and Preston's newborn pictures, as well. She is great for newborn and children photography, too, because she is so gentle and patient with the little ones.  Check out her website and blog. If you like what you see it is definitely worth your time and money.  Pictures are can't ever go back in time and recapture memories.