Thursday, December 29

Merry Christmas! (Peppermint Brownies)

Merry Christmas!  I hope that you all are in the midst of a wonderful and joyous holiday season!

Our Christmas was the most exciting one I've ever had.  As we were opening the presents with the baby on Christmas morning, my perception started to seem like a movie home video montage. It struck me, as I unwrapped bath toys and blocks and a huge stuffed Curious George, that we were actually parents.  Over the past 8 weeks, I've felt like a mom (sort of).  We've done the baby things - feeding, changing diapers, feeding, giving baths, feeding, napping, feeding, soothing in the middle of the night, feeding, reading stories, feeding, having tummy time and oh yeah, feeding.  But parents - other people are parents.  My parents are parents.  That was some holy grail of having a baby, working together as a unit for the enjoyment of a child, not just to keep them alive with their basic needs met.  Parents.  And now, after this Christmas morning experience, after this unified effort to bring joy and happiness to our child, I think we qualify.

Parents.  Wow.

Monday, December 19

Snuggles (Chai Shortbread)

One of my favorite nights of the year happened several weeks ago:  the night we put the flannel sheets on the bed.  I love flannel sheets.  There's something so incredible about snuggling down under the warmth and softness of cozy sheets.  It makes it super duper awfully hard to get out of them in the morning.  Especially when you're snuggled in flannel sheets with a cuddly little warm body.

Sunday, December 18

Beautiful People and Ugly Sweaters (Gingerbread Bars)

Last night we had an ugly sweater party, with our nearest and dearest coming together to eat, drink and be merry in their most garish Christmas attire.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of food.  One of the things that I love about our house is the entertaining that we've been able to do.  We had only been living here for two weeks when we threw our first party, Halloween 2009.  I've always dreamed about being the 'fun house' - the house where all the kids hang out, who's known for fun times and good food.  My husband is fantastic in that regard - he completely gets into the spirit, sending out the invitations, stocking the bar, cleaning up the game room and running to the grocery store 15 minutes before our guests are set to arrive because someone forget to get pepperoni for the pizza rolls she's elbow deep in cheese making.

(I do want to go on record by saying that we started the ugly sweater trend - apparently this year it's the cool thing to do, but we've been dressing ridiculously to spread our yuletide cheer for several years now.  Trendsetters to be sure.)

Monday, December 12

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap (Peppermint Kisses)

This year, I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2011 (typed in my best Madison Square Garden announcer voice), hosted by Julie at The Little Kitchen and Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil.  (Check out their blogS - love it!)  The idea was like any other cookie swap, that we would each bake a dozen cookies to send to 3 other bloggers and would receive 3 different kinds in return.  Except better, because these cookies come in the mail.  Finally, after weeks of online Christmas shopping, there's a package that comes for me!  Very exciting.

I decided to put a new twist on an old favorite cookie of my husband's, the peanut butter blossom.  For those of you not in the know, this is a peanut butter cookie with a Hershey's kiss stuck in the top.  Delicious.  Wonderful.  Traditional.

(Funny story:  the first time I made those for Bob, years ago, I forgot the baking soda, so they turned out to be peanut butter pancakes with a Hershey's kiss stuck in the top.   He married me anyway.)

Saturday, December 10

Night and Day (Dress Shirt Pillow Shams)

Our little one has decided to start sleeping longer and longer at night - last night he was asleep by 12.45 and woke up at 7.30 - which is pretty awesome, for sleeping purposes.  What this means, though, is since he eats roughly 10 times per day, we now have much less time to get those 10 feedings in.  So now, he's hungry every what feels like 6.37 seconds.  I used to be able to nurse him to sleep and do things during those 2 hours in between.  Not anymore.  Now I get about 20 minutes to run around like a hopped up Charlie Sheen, trying to do everything I need to get done before he wakes up and wants to eat again.  

Gratuitous baby pic of the day:  Steelers Baby!
Luckily, those 20 minutes are exactly enough time to make these pillow shams.  (OK, to be honest, it takes about 20 minutes per sham.  So 2 sets of 20.  But still - that's pretty fast.)  Hubby cleaned out his closet a few days ago and left me a big pile of clothes to donate.  In the pile were several dress shirts in almost brand new condition.  Hubs has a fondness for stripped dress shirts, but since he wears golf shirts to work every day, his collection tends to grow faster than he can wear them out.  I set a few of them aside to see what I could do with them.

(If you're looking to donate clothing or other household items on the East Coast, the Purple Heart foundation does a great job using donations to support veterans.  And they come to you!  You can schedule a pick up online and they come to your house and take whatever you have for them.  Definitely recommend.)

Monday, December 5

A Very Good Year... (Apple Pie Shortbread Bars)

Can you believe it's December already?  As the end of the year (and the end of my 27th year as of tomorrow, haha) approaches, I've been looking back over 2011 at all the changes and excitement we've had.  I graduated and passed the boards and started working as a nurse.  We got pregnant and had a baby.  We rearranged the entire house.  We made new friends and stayed close with old ones.  We joined a church and got involved in community service.  

So far, 2011 has been my favorite.  :-)
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