Uncategorized

Gingerbread House

Image

Yesterday was our annual Christmas Fun Day at Auntie’s! Every year I have my niece over for the day and we construct a gingerbread house.
I decided to change it up a bit and surprise her with a Barbie gingerbread house. Like how cute is that! She loved it!

Image

Image

Image
Lil’ sweetie eating some sweet treats.

IMG_213922

IMG_21352
I’m trying to construct the gingerbread house. It’s more difficult than it looks! ha

Image
Natasha starting to ice the roof with bright pink icing.

Image

Image

Image
Artists hard at work.

Image
Almost complete… we’re lovin’ it!

Image

Image
This is what Christmas is all about.

Image
Ta da! The masterpiece all complete.
What a great day spent making memories with my special girls.Happy Holidays!

Laura xo

Advertisements
Standard
Recipes

Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

047

Happy Holidays Everyone!
Today we are sharing yet another de-lish Christmas Cookie recipe. (Who doesn’t love Christmas Cookies?!)
They’re cute little personal treats that spread some tasty festive cheer.

Cookies are my absolute favorite thing to bake at Christmas. Not cakes, not yule logs – cookies.
I love them for the fact that they are easy to pack up and give as gifts to friends & family, and they’re not messy.

Okay, I’ll be honest – the real reason for my love of cookies is that I somehow feel less guilty devouring 10+ cookies, than eating one slice of cake or any other dessert, (Cake just seems so heavy/decadent.)
Somehow in my mind I think that because cookies are small, that makes it okay to eat way more than I should! (I know, I know. My cookie addiction is out of control.)

These Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies are basically Christmas in a cookie.
They are perfect sugar cookies rolled in Christmas sprinkles & topped with a Hershey Candy Cane Kiss. Numm!
You get all the goodness of Christmas (sugar cookie dough, festive sprinkles and peppermint) wrapped up in one cookie.
These cookies are super easy to bake (no chilling or rolling dough is required!) and are a sure way to add a splash of colour to your Holiday cookie tray.

Enjoy & Happy Holiday Baking!

Image
(pre-bake. candy cane kisses and sprinkles galore!)

Image

Image

Image

Image

093

Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:
(yield: 24-27 cookies)

10 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
christmas sprinkles
24-30 Hershey Candy Cane Kiss Chocolates

Directions:

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar together on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until light & smooth. Add the egg yolks & vanilla extract, mix on medium speed until all ingredients are combined. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until fully combined.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using your hands, roll the dough into balls (approx. 1 tablespoon of dough each). Roll the balls into sprinkles and bake for only 9-10 minutes. The cookies will look underbaked, but that is how they should be. They shouldn’t be golden at all – Do not overbake.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, than once slightly cooled, press the Hershey kisses into the centers of the cookies. Once you have put the Hershey kiss on the cookies, immediately put the baking sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes to ensure that the Hershey Kiss’ don’t melt.

(Note: recipe slightly adapted from sallysbakingaddiction)

Image

077

Image
Enjoy!
Natasha xo

Standard
Uncategorized

Oh Christmas Tree

002

Happy Holidays!
We finally managed to get it together and got our tree up & decorated. Typically we have the whole family come over and we decorate the tree together. Usually this is complete before the end of November. However, this year everyone’s schedule was all over the place. My sister, her husband and their 2 small children went away on an impromptu surprise trip to Disneyland, my son is working out of town and my parents had plans. So that left Natasha and I. Oh and Zeus (aka our fur baby).
I went through that dreaded chore of rummaging around in the garage to get the tree and drag it all the way inside.ย  (And yes, it’s a fake tree. Gasp!) Got it all set up and 3/4 of the lights didn’t work! I tried everything to get them to work. You know, that whole process of going over all of the bulbs, checking the extension cords, plugging and unplugging from the outlet a hundred times. The joy. One hour later, Natasha tries her magic touch and still, nothing. No magic. Like how frustrating is that?
Coincidentally my sister bought a new tree and had her old one waiting in her entrance to be recycled.
Perfect! We’ll take it!

003

Every year or 2 I like to choose a new theme when decorating for the holidays. This year we chose purple and gold. One of my all time favourite color combinations. A great design tip I follow is to try and incorporate the colours you have in your home so your tree becomes an extension of the whole room/home.ย  I love it. I have deep, rich warm colours throughout our home. Deep reds, burgundy, gold, terracotta and purple are the main colours in all of our rooms so the tree looks like it belongs and it is so beautiful.

008

We are loving how our tree turned out.

009

It’s a purple and gold Christmas!

Image

Image

We have to have hot cocoa before any decorating can begin!
With Baileys Irish Cream?
Yesss please!

Image

Mariah… being all Mariah!
We had our tv on for the first little while because we wanted to see the lighting of the Rockefeller tree in New York… and see Mariah sing her classic Christmas songs.
Infact her Christmas CD is one of the best Christmas albums ever. We listen to it every year.
Santa Baby!
Great song!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Our mantel.
I like to coordinate the mantel to match the tree.

Image

Our coffee table.

Image

Ummm… yes, we are wearing matching pajamas! ha!
Gotta love La Senza.

Image

Image

Image

Natasha is a beautiful model… Zeus, not so much!

Image

We look like crazy school teachers!

Image

Christmas picture selfies in the middle of the night? Sure, why not?

Image

It’s probably around 2 a.m. at this point.

Image

Natasha showing some love to the tree that almost wasn’t!

Image

Image

040

038

From our home to yours, we wish all of you the most magical Christmas season.
Much love,
Laura & Natasha xo

Standard
Projects

3 Reasons Why Practical Magic is the Best Fall Movie Ever.

Image

Even though Fall is nearly over, we couldn’t help but post about one of our favorite things about Fall – Practical Magic.

We ended up watching a movie called Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman a few weeks ago, and it quickly became our favorite Fall movie. We are obsessed.

Image

Here are 3 reasons why Practical Magic is the greatest Fall movie ever:

1. THE HAIR.

Image
via Heather Taylor tumblr.

ย Image
photo via beauty blurbs

Oh. my. gosh.
If you are looking for hair inspiration, look no further – you have to watch this movie.
I was literally mesmerized by Nicole Kidman’s hair during the whole movie.
Both Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman’s hair are super long, shiny and gorgeous and my mom and I couldn’t stop making comments about their hair! Serious hair envy.

Now I can’t stop thinking about dying my hair a light red colour.. (one day. it’s gonna happen).

2. THE HOUSE

Image
photo via: decorology

Image
via hooked on houses

It’s worth it to watch this movie just for the house & decor alone.
By far the best movie house ever!

The book & movie take place in New England, but due to bad weather & financial reasons they built and filmed the house in San Juan Park, Washington.
The entire house was a specially built architectural shell (the house had no actual rooms on the inside), and was built on a platform.
All the interior scenes of the house were shot on sets in LA, and the house was taken down after filming. (so sad!)

I loved everything about the grand white Victorian house in the movie but my favorite part was by far the kitchen.
This is my dream kitchen. Get ready to swoon…

Image

Image

Image
3 photos via hooked on houses

3. MIDNIGHT MARGARITAS!

Enough said.

Image

Practical Magic is all about love, family, & girl power combined with the magicalness of potions, spells and all things witches.
It’s a fun, feel-good movie that represents positivity and sisterhood & is perfect to watch during the Fall.

Grab your best girlfriends, pour some margaritas & get into the Fall spirit with Practical Magic!

I loved the movie so much that I painted a little picture of Sandra Bullock’s character ‘Sally Owens‘, & the Amas Veritas (True Love) Spell.

I found this cute print on etsy, and decided to paint my own version to put on my bookshelf.
The original print/painting is by etsy user: woodwings ,
which you can see here.

Image

Image

To conclude this post, I leave you with one of my favorite scenes from Practical Magic..

“Hang On To Your Husbands, Girls!”

Oh, How I wish I was a witch…
Natasha xo

Standard
Beauty & Cosmetics

Etsy Holiday Inspiration

Image

Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Our mission is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.

I love Etsy.

For those who are not aware, Etsy is a website which focuses on the selling & buying of handmade, & vintage items.
I like to think of Etsy as a ‘craftier‘ version of Ebay.
You can find everything on the site from paintings, prints, art & craft supplies, to home decor, quilts, beauty, jewelry, & toys.

Each item is unique, and it’s a great way to support artisans, & support smaller businesses.
Plus you can also find plenty of ideas for some DIY projects!

I’ve purchased some really cute items from Etsy previously & highly recommend shopping on Etsy. My latest purchase were gorgeous knitted coffee cozies which you can see here.

I was browsing on Etsy earlier, and started looking at Holiday gifts & decor and was blown away at all the great gift ideas.
Etsy is such a great site to do some online Holiday shopping, especially if you are looking for unique, homemade, beautiful pieces!

Grab a cup of cocoa, turn on your Christmas playlist, get cozy in your Christmas PJ’s (come on, you know you have a pair! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and browse with me on Etsy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some of my top Holiday Picks from Etsy:

Image

1. Winter Forest Wrapping Paper
from Etsy Seller: NormansPrintery

There’s few things I love more than beautifully wrapped Christmas presents under the tree. It’s almost like an art.
I love wrapping gifts, and have basically become the sole ‘gift wrapper‘ in my family. I love taking my time, and making the gifts look perfect, so I’m all about cute, unique wrapping paper.
This Forest Wrapping Paper is unique and perfectly vintage looking.

2. The Barrow – Chunky Infinity Scarf
from Etsy Seller: deroucheau

Nothing says Winter fashion like a nice, big, wool infinity scarf!
Essential piece of a girl’s Winter wardrobe.

3. Knitted Heart Fingerless Gloves
from Etsy Seller: KnitsbyVara

Cozy, homemade knitted gloves – perfect gift for her.

4. Burlap Dog Christmas Stocking
from Etsy Seller: ChristmasClaude

These doggie stockings are so adorable!
Pet’s are apart of the family, why not get a stocking for your fur-baby?

5. Glittered Acorn Christmas Ornaments – Set of 5
from Etsy Seller: AnnaBelleArts

I love the look of these glittery acorn ornaments.

6. Snowflake Christmas Earrings
from Etsy Seller: CloverPower

7. Christmas Reindeer Cushion
from Etsy Seller: CalicoandCotton

Cute reindeer pillow, perfect for a cabin!

8. Cardinals & Chickadees Christmas Wrapping Paper
from Etsy Seller: PaperandPresent

More pretty, unique wrapping paper. Love this bird design.

9. Custom Superhero Ornaments
from Etsy Seller: IttyBittyWoodShoppe

I thought these wooden superhero ornaments were so original, and creative. They would be so perfect for a kid’s tree, or a little boy’s tree!
If you’re a good painter, you could always make these yourself. I’m sure you could find plain wooden ornaments at a craft store, and paint them yourself. Would make for a great DIY & Christmas craft.

Have you ever bought or sold anything on Etsy before?
Love Etsy?
Comment & let us know! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Holiday Shopping!
Natasha Xo

Standard
Recipes

Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Buttercream Frosting

IMG_1113 good2

Is it ever too early to start baking Christmas goodies? I think not.
Since Starbucks has officially released their infamous ‘Red Cups’ today, I think it’s time for a Christmas Cookie recipe on the blog!

For our very first Christmas Cookie recipe of the year, we made Eggnog Cookies with a delicious Eggnog Buttercream Frosting.
These cookies are soft & chewy, and have just the right amount of Eggnog.
We added some spiced rum to these cookies which added a really nice, faint spice flavour, but you can leave the rum out if you prefer!

These are the kind of cookies that taste delicious with or without the icing.
I usually prefer cookies without icing, but the Eggnog Buttercream really does add to the cookie.

Happy Holiday Baking! ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Image

Image

Image

Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened slightly
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup eggnog
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon rum (optional)

For the Eggnog Buttercream:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon rum
3 cup confectioners sugar

Directions:

1. Adjust oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg & cinnamon; set aside.

2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar until light and fluffy, approx. 1 1/2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, & vanilla extract; beat at medium speed until combined. Add the eggnog & rum; beat for 30 seconds until combined. Slowly add the flour mix (dry ingredients) & beat on low speed until just combined.

3. Drop by rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, placing the cookies about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 20- 21 minutes. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, than transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, eggnog, rum & powdered sugar until light & fluffy. Add more eggnog if needed. When cookies are cooled completely, ice cookies with a small spatula.

Note: Recipe slightly adapted from http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2012/12/eggnog-cookies/.

Image

Happy Baking!
Xo Natasha

Standard
Projects

Whip It. Whip It Good!

image

I’m no Picasso by any means, but I painted this canvas for the kitchen and I think it turned out pretty cute! This was the second canvas painting I’ve done.. the first was of a pumpkin, which you can see here.

I seen a similar print for sale on Etsy, and loved the whole idea of combining song lyrics with kitchen appliances. To me, Music + Baking go together like Peanut Butter + Jelly. A perfect combo.

I think I’m going to do one more painting similar to this for the kitchen to make it a set. Either of a beater, or a rolling pin. It’s a fun & simple way to add a pop of colour to the kitchen!

Image

Image

Image

Xo Natasha

Standard