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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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Uncategorized

Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Vancouver

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It’s officially Christmas time! Woo-hoo!
Living in Vancouver there is never a shortage of fun things to do. We prepared our list of activities and/or places to check out during the holiday season well in advance.
Up next on our list was to go and visit the 23rd Annual Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
The 40+ gingerbread houses were absolutely spectacular to see. The workmanship and detail that went into them is incredible.
This beautiful one pictured above won first place.

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Replica of Vancouver’s Gastown Steam Clock complete with real steam!

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This elaborate piece is Vancouver’s largest gingerbread house made by Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich. It stands 11 feet tall and 16 feet wide. It consists of 1400 egg whites, 400lbs of icing sugar & 500lbs of gingerbread dough!

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‘A Very Minion Christmas’ created by Karen Lowe (Vancouver, BC)
So cool!

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Christmas at the French Laundry‘ created by Oliver Bernardino from Richmond, BC.

We loved this gingerbread house! It was in our top 3 favorites.

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Okay, how cute are these?

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This one is so fun! And the detail!

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A Christmas Palace‘ created by Katherine Murray from Coquitlam, BC.

This gingerbread house won first place. It was our favorite too.
The designs and details are so gorgeous!

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Outside the Vancouver Hyatt Hotel.

If you’re in Vancouver, definitely check out the gingerbread houses on display at the Hyatt, open until December 27th.
This event is in support of Make-A-Wish foundation so be sure to make a donation as well as vote for your favourite gingerbread house!
Every year this annual event hosts approximately 20,000 visitors and has raised tens of thousands of dollars.
We highly recommend stopping by and checking it out!

Happy Holidays!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Music

Listen: Wrapped In Red by Kelly Clarkson

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Album: Wrapped In Red
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Release Date: October 25, 2013

We are big fans of Christmas music around here!

Kelly Clarkson’s latest album, ‘Wrapped In Red‘ is a beautifully recorded Christmas album that will instantly put you in the Christmas spirit!

The album has a great blend of new, original songs mixed with covers of classic Christmas songs & the whole album through is really solid. Definitely a great Christmas CD to add to the collection.
(Kelly never disappoints!)

Get into the Holiday spirit & check out Kelly Clarkson‘s new album ‘Wrapped In Red‘!

Album highlights (Natasha’s faves):

Wrapped In Red
Underneath The Tree
Every Christmas
Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)
Just For Now

Fun Facts:

Β – Kelly co-wrote on each of the 5 original songs on the album
– Artist Imogen Heap wrote the song ‘Just For Now’
– Kelly Clarkson filmed a Christmas Special called ‘Kelly Clarkson’s (Cautionary) Christmas Tale’ which will air on NBC in December! (Can’t wait to check that out!)
– ‘Underneath the Tree’ is the album’s lead single; released on November 5th, 2013
– ‘Wrapped In Red’ is Kelly’s first Christmas-themed album, and her sixth studio album release

Check out one of my favorite songs from the album: Wrapped In Red:

Natasha xo

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Recipes

Martha Stewart’s Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

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Tonight I made a quick, easy recipe by Martha Stewart.

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies!Β 

They turned out moist, chewy and delicious. The oatmeal and cranberries taste perfect together.
This recipe is from Martha’s ‘Holiday Cookies 2001’, and they definitely are Christmas cookies but who says you can only have cranberry cookies at Christmas?! I love cranberry and wanted to try them out.Β These cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie though, and I’ll definitely be making these again in December… maybe add some white chocolate chips next time!

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Notes:
I followed her recipe exactly except for the following…

– I added 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
– I did not use the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookies out. I prefer the cookies a bit thicker.
– I only baked them for about 11 minutes each, (instead of 16-18 minutes like stated in the recipe) to keep them chewy.

Martha Stewart’s Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
http://www.marthastewart.com/342189/oatmeal-cranberry-cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

STEP 1:Β In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, milk, and eggs. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, gradually add milk mixture, and beat well. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Remove bowl from the electric mixer, and stir in the oats and cranberries. Place dough in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

STEP 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Shape 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball; place on one of the prepared sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing 3 inches apart. Press with the bottom of a glass to flatten dough into 2-inch-diameter rounds.

STEP 3: Bake until golden but still soft in center, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from oven; transfer with parchment to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

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