Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kitchen Mix Up #3: The Tasting

Welcome back to the third Kitchen Mix Up!


We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and holiday season and could maybe even incorporate this month's ingredients into some holiday baking!

Do you have ideas for ingredients?  Send them our way!  Even if you might not want to participate yourself, definitely comment or email us with what you'd like to see us cook or bake with!  This month, our "popcorn" and "chocolate" ingredients came from Heather!  

The Guidelines:
- "Open The Basket" on the first Tuesday of the month to see your ingredients and sign up.  
- Cook/Bake/Fry/Grill an original recipe using the four ingredients.
- Use any other ingredients you wish.
- Link up with our "Tasting" on the last Tuesday of the month with your recipe and/or photos of your creation.
- Use our button if you wish!

Here's what I made:
Shadow was a big fan of these ingredients

Recipe #1: Sweet and Salty New Year's Confetti Cookies

Recipe #2 [left]: Mint Chocolate Popcorn Bark
Ingredients: 1 bag of Nestle Winter Dark Chocolate and Mint morsels, 1/2 bag natural flavor popcorn, MMs, and sprinkles
Directions: Melt Nestle chips and spread onto bottom of cookie sheet.  Top with popped popcorn, candy, and sprinkles.

Recipe #3 [right]: Christmas Candy Corn
Ingredients: 1 cup of Nestle Dark Chocolate morsels, 1 cup of Nestle White Chocolate morsels, 1/2 bag natural flavor popcorn, MMs, and sprinkles
Directions: Melt morsels.  Spread popped corn onto wax paper-lines cookie sheet, drizzle dark and white chocolate onto morsels.  Top with sprinkles and MMs.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Northeast Bloggers Holiday Swap Reveal

I don't usually post twice in one day, but I just to link up today with Northeast Bloggers!

Like I said last weekend, I participated in two Christmas swaps this year.  I love giving gifts and I love the holidays, so signing up for two definitely sounded like fun.  I'm thinking three next year!

For this swap with Northeast Bloggers, I had the opportunity to meet two great ladies: Rachel @ You Just Can't Google Everything and Alex who unfortunately isn't blogging right now so she can focus on writing her book, but I do really like following her on Instagram

Alex sent me the most thoughtful package!  She surely must have been reading my blog because just about everything in the package was on my wish list!  
- Bath & Body Works Car Freshener Visor clip with 3 different scents
- "All You Need Is Love" decorative block
- Sparkling Cinnamon Yankee Candle
- White Chocolate pretzels and a super cute gift bag

Check out everything in use!
Thank you, Alex!!

Here's a sneak peek of what I sent Rachel; head over to her blog to see everything! 

The Perfect Winter Weekend

I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful my long weekend was.  For the second time in two and a half months, I traveled to Camp Calumet in New Hampshire with Mike's family.  You might remember that I went with Mike's immediate family to bring his mother's ashes to their memorial chapel, and this time, we returned back, as an extended family, to simply spend time together, without the distraction of the 21st century, in this beautiful place.  We got there just after lunch time on Friday afternoon and came back last night.  There were a total of 17 family members, and we all stayed in the camp's Winter Lodge together playing cards and games, telling family stories, playing frisbee golf, and, of course, climbing Jackman's Ridge and just playing in the snow.

beautiful drive up

where we stayed for the weekend

Mike and my bunk

view from our bedroom

 a walk to the lake at sunset

 and a visit to the memorial chapel

 morning frisbee golf around camp

 family hike up to the memorial chapel

and the rest of the way up the trail

instead of taking the photo on the right back down, Mike, his cousin, and I trail blazed down the mountain!

most importantly, we beat everyone else to the toboggan hill

 future cousin fun!

morning church service

relaxing and reading

And last but not least, all weekend wouldn't be a family vacation without games... tons and tons of games!
Cribbage /// Cranium
The Logo Game /// Ping Pong

I hope you all had a great weekend!!! 
What's your favorite thing to do with family?  Are you game people like us?!
Are you lucky like me and don't have to work until Thursday? [Sorry, Mike!]

Linking up for Funday Monday and This Weekend I...!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Snowflake Swap Reveal

I participated in two swaps this Christmas - seriously I love swaps.  I love getting the opportunity to "meet" other ladies and find new blogs!  The first I signed up for was with one of my favorite ladies, Jane.  
Snowflake Swap

I was paired with Alex at Radiating Sunshine.  She is just a delight!  I had such a fantastic time getting to know her, and I really enjoy reading about her college life and reminiscing!  Check out the amazing package she sent me:
- warm socks
- handmade scarf
- pink and purple bangle
- chocolate chip cookie mix

Thank you, Alex!!
The bottom right is a sneak peek of what I bought Alex - head over to her blog to see everything! 

Oh, and if you couldn't tell, we very much enjoy snap chatting each other.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Five's Letters: Christmas

Let's play a fun game: combine as many link ups together as possible and post as many Christmas photos as possible without making this post unbearable.  I already shared a few Christmas Eve photos, and you can see those here, so here is our Christmas!  Let's start with our Christmas morning stairs photo, another one of Mike's family traditions:
Now onto the link ups - wish me luck!

1. Dear Mom, Thank you for all of your amazing cookie recipes and sharing your love of baking with me.  I love giving the gift of homemade love [and delicious treats!].

2. Dear Roxy and Shadow, You both had a hysterical Christmas!  You make us laugh so much and we are definitely "those" cat people!
every time someone got up from the table, Shadow grabbed his/her seat to get in on the action

Roxy did all the stocking-opening for her and her sister!  She really did "open" most of it!

Can you find Miss Ruxin? 

3. Dear Mikey Man, Thank you for bringing out the kid in me this Christmas.  You always find such fun ways to surprise me!

4. Dear Santa, Thank you for spoiling all of us!

5. Dear Future Family, I am so happy we got to spend so much time with you all this year!  You are so much more than "in-laws," and I am so thankful for how much you've accepted me into your family!  I've always had such a small family, so it's so fun to be a part of such a big one now.
working on crossword puzzles

Mike and his goddaughters

the great-grands


Linking up with: Friday's Letters, H54F, Friday Five, and InstaFriday!

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