Archive | November, 2011

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! So I feel like I need to be ringing a large bell.

25 Nov

Kick the turkey off the table and grab the tinsel and the Christmas lights! Well, unless you have a hungry pup hiding under your table that might not be the best idea. Turkey is really great frozen in bags for sandwiches later and the carcass is really great for turkey stew! I’ll be posting my recipe for turkey stew with sweet potato dumplings a little later in the week. But, since now we are really in the beginning of the Christmas season, it’s time to get down the brass tacks.

 

Have you already taken your Christmas family photo that will be sent to all of your family members?

Oh, you haven’t? Is that because yesterday was only Thanksgiving and you think you have more time? Well, let’s break it down. Christmas is 30 days away. You still need to take your family photo with everyone wearing matching reindeer sweaters in front of a crackling fire, or snow capped mountains, or maybe even your Christmas tree. So that’s going to probably take you about three days to set up, we are now down to 27 days ’till Christmas. Then you don’t upload it to your computer for several days. Now you have 23 days till Christmas. You look on tinyprint.com and find your perfect holiday card, and order it. Let’s say it takes on average nine days for tinyprint.com to create, and mail you your cards. I mean, you ordered at least 50 cards for all your loved ones this season so that’s pretty fast. Now you have 14 days till Christmas. Then they sit there for 2 days because you are in the middle of throwing holiday class parties for your kids and running around making sure everything is perfect. 12 days till Christmas. You address all your cards and get them in the mail. The USPS website says that standard mail delivery can take anywhere between 2-9 days. Let’s go with nine days so we make sure that all your relatives get the cards. IT’S THREE DAYS ‘TILL CHRISTMAS! Wow, so you DO have enough time! It’s the PERFECT time to take your holiday family portraits!

 

Now that you are all excited because you have enough time to take photos, I’ll show you a few of my favorite options from tinyprint.com

 

I always put the wonderful Holiday cards we get on the Christmas tree (making sure they are far away from any light that might catch them on fire) and at pleasing levels. Now, Tiny Print has done one better; they have made the photo card into an ornament!

Isn’t this great? I’m sure that everyone in the Wellington family was excited to receive this and hang it on their tree, just like yours will be.

P.S. It comes with the satin ribbon to tie at the top. And I also don’t actually know this delightful Wellington family that is pictured here. But I’d like to pretend we are greeting card kindred spirits.

 

In high school I thought about being a graphic designer. I love bold clean type and font’s that inspire you and remind you of things you love.

This card is perfect for that. The Holly Jolly Christmas song is really one of my favorites. Especially because I grew up watching the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie every single time it played on CBS. Nothing gets better then good old childhood memories.

 

Now, sometimes I know that people don’t put things on their Christmas tree. Everything has a certain place and reason for it. In our house growing up, the wicked witch ornament had to go on the opposite side of the tree from Miss Gulch, and this was not to be messed with. Otherwise the ornaments would realize that they had an alter ego in Oz and it would probably all go down hill from there, little fights on the tree, the tiny Christmas raccoons jumping in the corvette ornaments and speeding to the other side of the trees while the angel bears flew and protected the nativity scene at the foot of the tree. For that reason Tiny Prints has created this gem!

This would go great on anyone’s hearth, Christmas table, coffee table, or book case. A great option if you want to share several photos as well.

 

It’s a great time to plan ahead and be less stressed, and getting your holiday cards in order now is a great way to start. You can browse the selection of Tiny Print holiday cards here and see any of the above cards by clicking the pictures above.

 

Happy jump start on the holidays!

Caitlin

Apparently I wasn’t too busy for cupcakes tonight! Go figure!

19 Nov

I’ve been on a post hiatus. Oh yes, I hear you say “How can you be on a post hiatus if you never post in the first place?” and to that I say “HA!” and then run away because I really don’t have a rebuttal for that. So, tonight I worked on something extra special. A recipe!

A recipe you say? Well that’s really putting ones self out there Caitlin. I can’t believe that you have the courage to put something so wonderful and special and part of you out on the internet! I’ve worked very hard on this one. Mulling it over in my head for the last week. Will it work? How much time will I need? Can I take pictures that actually show you but not bore you? I’m going to assume that I failed at at least one of those, but I’m okay with that. In the mean time, here is the recipe!

This started because I love cupcakes. Yes I know that everyone loves cupcakes, and everyone likes to put their own spin on it, but I just like cupcakes. They are easy to eat on the go and I can pack them in my husbands lunch. Now, my sister’s favorite pie is pumpkin pie, and my husband is more of a pie man himself. He will eat cake though, I’m lucky that he doesn’t hate cake, just loves pie. I am surprisingly not a huge pumpkin pie person. I like it plenty but it gets to a point that I’m texturally bored and I just want something else. So, this is what I made.

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First, I made the pumpkin pie filling off the directions on the back of the Libby brand can of puree of pumpkin. I didn’t have cloves though, so I tossed in some nutmeg. I love nutmeg.

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Then I made a box of Duncan Hines yellow butter cake or some whatever. Except I wanted something with more fluff, because I didn’t want it as dense as most boxed cakes are. I added two teaspoons of meringue powder when I creamed the butter and sugar together. It made it stiffer and very fluffy. I love it!

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I scooped the cake batter into pre prepared muffin tins, and the topped it with the pie filling.

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Now, the time and temperature for cooking the pie and the cake are totally different. I took a gamble and cooked them at the temp and time for the cupcakes. It worked great! Kirby loves to watch things bake. Maybe he will take after his mom! I wish, considering Harold can’t cook a sandwich with the same flare and magic that I can.

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The pie filling sunk to the bottom and the cake rose to the top, but it made it so the pie filling didn’t soak through the liner. I was very thankful for this. I also did it the other way where I put the pie filling on the bottom and those cupcakes are very hard to handle.

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Then I made the best frosting ever, but with eggnog! It’s your basic stove top butter cream. Take five tablespoons flour and put it in a sauce pan with one cup whole milk (I used eggnog), and whisk until smooth. Turn the heat on to medium and keep stirring until the mixture gets very thick. Whisk in one teaspoon vanilla extract. Then I threw in some more nutmeg (mmmmmmm nutmeg) and mixed it around till you can barely move the whisk. Then I transferred it to another bowl because I’m impatient and you need it completely cool for the next step. Cream one cup room temperature butter with one cup sugar and when the flour eggnog mixture is cool (completely cool or you will RUIN your frosting) cream them all together. I used my Oster hand stick blender thing for all this because I didn’t clean my mixter yet. Blend until fluffy like whip cream. Then I piped it onto my cupcakes using my piping gun and sprinkled some nutmeg on them.

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These cupcakes are amazing. They are so rich and smooth but fun and exciting. Harold likes to eat his upside down, and Kirby just likes to shove them in his mouth.

Tomorrow I am going to my town’s Holiday Bazaar, and I will probably catch the crafting bug there. I loved making these cupcakes and I can’t wait to do more recipes and share them. Stay tuned!

 

Happy weekend moms!

Caitlin

A menagerie, sequins, and early mornings; the signs of an enthusiastic mother

8 Nov

Autumn is in full swing. The maples are golden oranges and crisp yellows, the chill in the air takes the breath right out of you, and there is always an extra scarf in the car. This month, everyone is thankful for things, new things, old things, superficial things, and deep meaningful things. I am thankful for October ending on a high note, for a little girl who would willingly give me her candy for a batch of monster cookies, and adoptive family that have your best interests at heart and want you to succeed in the real world.

Here is a recap of our October.

When I look at this the song from Saturday Night Fever plays in my head.

My little Halloween mouse!

The obligatory picture of babies in costumes.

The menagerie.

We are lucky enough to have a town that closes the streets and opens their doors on Halloween, making a fun and safe evening for all who participate. Sadly, this meant that we got no trick or treaters at our place, but I’m okay with that. More candy for me!

One of the reasons I love this time of year is it’s party dress time. I try to buy one fun party dress to last me through New Years. With fun holiday parties and going to the Nutcracker, it’s always a fun time to dress up. I like to look at dresses that are fun, sparkly, and can be paired with different accessories to mix it up. If I’m buying one dress to get me through three holidays and at least five functions, it needs to be versatile. If I can pair it with different blazers, tights, and a scarves, then I’m happy, especially if I already own the accessories. Here are the front runners for this year;

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This is the front runner. I love the small circle sequins, almost like fish scales, and the gold is divine. I love gold. I’m a gold person.

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This is fully lined, and would work for different things besides holiday parties. I love the sleeve length and the lace detail.

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I love this, and it borders on ice skater ish because of the mesh top, but the sweetheart neckline is great. One of the things I dislike is that I’d need a sweater with it, and I’m not a big silver person. I’m a rosey gold person. I do love it though, very 50’s cocktail party.

Maybe I should think about which dress would be easier to bend over in and not shame myself…hmmm

Happy Tuesday!