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Gingerbread House

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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!

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Lil’ sweetie eating some sweet treats.

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

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Natasha starting to ice the roof with bright pink icing.

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Artists hard at work.

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Almost complete… we’re lovin’ it!

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This is what Christmas is all about.

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

Laura xo

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Recipes

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

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I just couldn’t stop baking with pumpkin that easily! Although Fall is sadly over, and we are now in the midst of the snowy weather season, I just couldn’t resist baking some more goodies using pumpkin. I had one can of pumpkin left over so I decided to whip up a batch of these gorgeous, soft & chewy Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies.

I love the combination of the flavorful pumpkin with the usual Gingersnap spices (ginger, cinnamon, & cloves). It makes for a perfect, spicy Winter cookie!
The pumpkin helps keep these cookies super moist, and really adds a nice punch of flavour.

These cookies are not hard & crunchy like most gingersnaps.. they are totally thick, soft & chewy which is just the way I like all cookies to be.. (No hard/crunchy cookies for me!)
I like to roll the cookies in sugar before baking because it adds a little more sweetness, and it also makes the cookies sparkle & look really pretty which is always a plus.

If you like gingersnaps, you will love these cookies.
They are a staple in our Fall & Winter baking, and we hope you enjoy them as well!

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Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 3 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling the cookies in)
1/2 cup pure pumpkin
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, & vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & salt together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly mix until combined. Do not overmix.
Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours. (Dough can be chilled for 1-3 days)

2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line or spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 1-2 cups of sugar in a small bowl. Using your hands, roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls than roll balls into the sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet approx. 2 inches apart. Bake for only 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, and almost underbaked. That is what you want – do not overbake. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Great Grandma Eames’ Scottish Shortbread Cookies

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Nothing says it’s Christmas time like shortbread cookies!
Okay, we also said that in our previous post about our amazing gingerbread cookies. But seriously, Christmas isn’t really Christmas without Shortbread. We say, ‘the more cookies the better!‘ We have more than enough love for every single kind of Christmas cookie!

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This recipe is from my Great Grandma Elizabeth Eames who was from Scotland. So I guess I can’t get any more authentic than that can I? However, I have changed it just a tad. (The nerve!)
My family’s traditional Scottish Shortbread has always been made and baked in a pan, pricked with a fork throughout and then cut in squares. Some family members still insist that I should be doing it that way. As that is the only way. I have changed it only in the way of rolling the dough out and cutting with Christmas shapes instead of in bars. Otherwise the recipe itself is still exactly the same as it has always been. Some family members swear the cookies taste different just because they are in cookie shapes and not the traditional bars. In any case… you can do either and I guarantee they taste delicious either way!

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Recipe for Great Grandma Elizabeth Eames Scottish Shortbread

Ingredients:
Yield 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

2 c. sifted flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. soft butter (unsalted)
1/2 c. confectioner sugar (icing sugar)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add flour mixture into butter mixture and blend well.
Cover and refrigerate until easy to handle. (approx an hour)

If making into cookie shapes, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface at approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and add sprinkles (optional) before baking. Place onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

If making into bars, press mixture into a parchment lined 9×9 square cake pan. Use a fork to make indents right through to the bottom of pan, allowing for air.

Bake at 325 for approximately 20-25 minutes.
(Just until slightly golden around the edges.)

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This recipe is now in it’s 5th generation of being passed down (on my mom’s side). It has obviously held a very special place in our hearts.
My mom and her brother (her only sibling) have plenty of stories of when they were growing up associated with this recipe. It was only made at Christmas time and it was a very big treat to even get a piece of this shortbread. It was typically reserved for the adult guests only.
Every year when I bake this shortbread I always think of these stories about my mom and my uncle when they were children growing up. This year those memories fill my heart even more as I remember my uncle and how much he loved this shortbread and how much I love him.
It is with love that we bake goodies and share them with our friends and family. I thought it would be nice to share stories of what Christmas baking means to you. What special memories do you have?

We know that you will love these Scottish Shortbread cookies/bars as much as we do!
Happy Christmas baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Gingerbread Cookies

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Nothing says Holiday Baking quite like Gingerbread!
We have finally found the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe and we are so excited to share it with you guys.
These cookies smell almost as good as they taste, and will fill your house with an unbelievable, delicious Christmas scent.

These gingerbread cookies have just the right amount of spices, and are simple & easy to make.
We had so much fun decorating these cookies & seeing the gingerbread men come to life!

Nothing’s better than putting on some Christmas tunes, getting your friends and family together & spending a cozy night in decorating these cute gingerbread cookies. (And of course the best part is getting to eat all the cookies afterwards… or during. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 50 cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
4 cups all-purpose flour. sifted
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the molasses, and egg.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger & nutmeg.
Slowly pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients & mix until combined.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface & use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Bake for approx. 10 minutes, and let cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, than transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely, decorate! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pinterest-inspired reindeer cookies! We used red m&m candies for the noses.
They turned out super cute.

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Enjoy!
Natasha & Laura

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Projects

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

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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.

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

1. THE HAIR.

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via Heather Taylor tumblr.

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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

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photo via: decorology

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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…

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3 photos via hooked on houses

3. MIDNIGHT MARGARITAS!

Enough said.

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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.

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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

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Etsy Holiday Inspiration

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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:

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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

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Recipes

Candy Corn Surprise Cookies

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!
Wishing everyone a very happy & safe Halloween.

Who’s ready for a delish Halloween cookie recipe?!

These cookies are fun, tasty & perfect for Halloween.

CANDY CORN SURPRISE COOKIES!

I used my mom’s recipe for her Cream Cheese Cookies & just added a candy corn in the center of the cookie for a little Halloween surprise!
They are soft & delicious cookies & it’s so fun taking a bite into the cookie & seeing the candy corn colours pop in the middle.

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Candy Corn Surprise Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
candy corn candies
sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

1, Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, & sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir in flour.

2. Scoop out batter by 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoon-sized scoops and roll into a ball with your hands. Press 1 candy corn in the middle of the ball, and press surrounding dough over the candy corn so its completely covering the candy. Make sure the dough is in a round ball, completely covering the candy corn or else the candy corn will leak, and melt onto the cookie and pan. Top cookies with sprinkles. (optional. i put sprinkles on some of the cookies).

3. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are just lightly golden.

(Happy Halloween from Natasha & Laura!)

Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

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