Monday, December 8, 2014

Gingerbread Houses 2014 + Free Printable Pattern

Making gingerbread houses is one of our favorite Christmas traditions. Last night after the Christmas Devotional we had some friends over for a little friendly competition. The couples were split and the teams were set.... boys against girls. The results are still to be determined. ;)

We all had a blast. Over on the girls' side we were joking we needed to record our husbands as they discussed different piping techniques and color schemes. It was adorable.

We used our favorite gingerbread recipe to make the houses. Also this was the first year we have used royal icing for our houses and oh my goodness it made a huge difference. It's a must from here on out!

You can download the free printable pattern for these houses by saving the images above or by clicking HERE. Or if you want to do smaller individual houses I have another free pattern over HERE.

Happy decorating!!

Shared HERE.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Candycane Cocoa Popcorn + Christmas Party

Every year Tyson's grandma hosts this big annual Christmas party. In attendance are her children, and their children, and their children's children. It makes for a room full of lots of great grand-babies and lots of laughter and this year was no exception. We so missed having my in-laws there as well as some other family spread out across the country. 

As far as extended families go, mine is pretty small. Growing up it was just two cousins for me so I love getting to experience having a big family. 


As always Santa and Mrs. Claus made their appearance and gave a gift to all the cute little cousins.

Typically everyone brings a couple dishes to share so this year I brought a soup... which had some cooking issues... (are al dente potatoes a thing?!) and this candycane cocoa popcorn.

Thanks Grandma for giving us all a reason to get together and celebrate every year!

Candycane Cocoa Christmas Popcorn
Recipe by: Shannon, ikneadtobake

1/4 c. white popcorn kernals
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
1/2 c. andes peppermint baking chips
1 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 tsp sea salt
Christmas sprinkles

Directions: Air-pop popcorn. Set aside. In a double boiler melt chocolate chips and andes baking chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and drizzle with about 1/3 of the melted chocolate.

Spread popcorn out evenly gently press into the chocolate. Evenly distribute the marshmallows and then drizzle with the remaining chocolate. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and Christmas sprinkles. Allow chocolate to harden and serve.

Shared HERE.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sick Baby, Tired Mommy

Sometimes I feel like I have a glimpse of what it will be like once I finally feel like I'm no longer treading water. Two babies. The good days are so fun, and joyful, and messy -- in the best ways. But the hard days? They are rough. This week has been chocked full of the latter.

Our favorite big sister has had a rough go with an ear infection and with it has come tantrums like you wouldn't believe. Today is the second day she has screamed until she fell asleep. I can honestly say for the first time I am at a complete loss. It seems like I'm trying every behavior management tactic in the book and.... no luck.

I feel like I'm entering this new stage of parenting. Up until now with these babies my focus has been making sure they are safe, fed, happy, healthy, and loved. But as this little girl grows I'm quickly learning there is so much more that the Lord needs me to focus on as her mama... and honestly, I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. Parenthood is such a daunting task at times, especially in the midst of weeks with sick toddlers.