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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

Oh Christmas Tree

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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.Β  (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!

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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.Β  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.

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We are loving how our tree turned out.

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It’s a purple and gold Christmas!

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

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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!

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

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Our coffee table.

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

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

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We look like crazy school teachers!

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

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

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

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

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Recipes

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

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Thumbprint cookies are a staple during the holidays in our house.
Most thumbprint cookie recipes use the same ingredients – they’re usually shortbread type cookies, with slight variations. These Raspberry Thumbprint cookies are very similar in taste to shortbread cookies. They’re soft, with a tender crumb and the raspberry jam adds a nice sweet holiday flavour.

One of our favorite go-to thumbprint cookie recipes is very similar to this one but the cookies are rolled in pecans, and topped with a hershey kiss candy. (We’ll be posting that recipe soon!)

These Raspberry Thumbprints are the perfect Christmas cookie – they are easy to bake, & the jam adds a nice festive touch to the cookies. Feel free to use whichever preserves/jam you have on hand. Blackberry, peach etc.

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
{note: this recipe requires chilling the dough for 1 hour.}

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 37-40 cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
raspberry jam

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter & sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in the vanilla extract, salt and egg yolks and beat until blended.
Add the flour and mix until it forms a stiff dough.

2. Divide dough in half. Roll dough into 2 even sized logs, and wrap each log tightly in wax paper or saran wrap.
Chill dough logs in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Dough can be refrigerated overnight).
Remove dough from fridge and let sit for about 10 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Unwrap, and slice dough into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. (Each log should make about 20 cookies.) Using your hands, roll the pieces into balls and and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Using your thumb, make a small indentation in the center of the cookies and fill each hollow with approx. 1/4 tsp of jam each.

4. Bake for approx. 18 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the pans for about 5 minutes, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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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. πŸ˜‰ )

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! πŸ™‚

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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

Thrift Store Treasures

The other day we decided it was high time for another Thrift Store Expedition. We love, love, love going to thrift stores and garage sales. You just never know what you might find. Like my great uncle Bob used to say, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

I am a huge fan of finding treasures in the glassware, dishes and cookware section. Natasha on the other hand loves to rummage through the clothes area. I can’t be bothered searching for clothes. Natasha always seems to discover some hidden gem in the vast sea of old vintage clothing. Lots of times she even finds designer pieces! Don’t even ask me how she does it.Β  Every now and then when she discovers some amazing piece of clothing, I decide to mohzy on over and look through the racks too. Hoping that I’ll finally find that one awesome piece. After about 5 minutes I’m bored silly and head back over to the dishes. I can usually find at least one must have item in that section that speaks to me!

I am completely obsessed with bowls/plates and glasses. I have so many of both that I couldn’t possibly need anymore but I just can’t stop myself when I find something that catches my eye.

On this particular shopping trip I found numerous pieces that just had to come home with me! I mean, a girl can never have too many plates… and glasses… and bowls…

Β Just look at what I found..

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Four plates and six goblet style glasses
(10 pieces)
Total spent = $22.

You may be thinking to yourself, why does she buy plates that don’t match?
Well… we purchase certain individual plates/dishes to use for displaying our baked goods that we feature on our blog. Sometimes I get crazy and will purchase a set of plates but I am realizing I have run out of cupboard space.Β  So now I mostly buy random pieces that I love.

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Not one single chip & they look brand new!
The largest one was $4 and the other three were $2 each.

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Made in England (the real deal)

They kinda remind me of china plates that my grandmother used to have & I adore them.

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So beautiful.

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Shuttt up! Love these goblets so much!
There were only 2 of these bronze coloured glasses there and they cost $2 each.

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The four green glasses were $2 each.

It was so much fun finding all of these treasures!
We would love to hear about your thrift store/garage sale excursions and some of your best purchases!
Leave a comment & share with us.

Happy Vintage Shopping!

Laura xo

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Recipes

‘Secret’ Family Pecan Tarts Recipe

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I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys!
Why? Because it is my all time favourite. This is my ex mother-in-law’s recipe and is a family favorite. I’ve been making it forever. The crust for these tarts is the key. It’s light and fluffy and delicious. Without a great crust the tart is, well… not worth making. And this crust is da bomb! You are going to love them.
They are the ultimate holiday treat.

Natasha was playing around with the camera and ended up filming me while baking the pecan tarts last night..
Here’s a little behind the scenes of what went down; Check it out!

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Ingredients for the Pecan Tarts Crust
Yield: 3 dozen tarts or 2 pies (top & bottom crusts)

1 lb Crisco
4 c. Flour
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg (mixed in with a 1/2 cup of water)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Refrigerate covered for 1 hour.

Ingredients for Pecan Tarts Filling
Yield: 1 dozen

1 egg beaten
1/3 c. butter (melted and cooled)
1 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 c. Β chopped pecans Β (can substitute with walnuts or raisins)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together. Fill tart shells 2/3 full.

Bake at 450 degrees f. for 8 minutes then adjust oven to 350 and continue baking for 15-20 minutes.

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I hope you enjoy these amazing Pecan Tarts as much as my family does!

Happy baking!
Laura xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Laura’s Fall Wishlist

Even though I prefer Summer, when Fall rolls around and I see all the new Fall fashion, I can’t help but get excited.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

Here are my top picks for Fall…
(Click here to see Natasha’s Fall Wishlist)

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1. Classic Tall Ugg Boots in Black – $195

Even though Ugg boots aren’t considered ‘fashionable’, and always top ‘most-hated’ fashion trends for women by men, I still love them. They are so comfy and easy to wear.

2. Fit & Flare Knit Dress by Le Chateau – $99

The perfect little black dress – Every girl needs one.. or 3.

3. Hamilton MK Logo Satchel by MICHAEL Michael Kors – $298

Never can have too many purses. Gotta have it!

4. SINCLAIR Steve Madden Boots in Cognac – $229

Love Steve Madden Boots!

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5. Rose Felt Pillow from Chapters – $34

6. Comforter Bubble Bar by Lush – $10

I love absolutely everything at Lush, but this Bubble Bar has always been my favorite.

7. Cardamom Bowl by Crate & Barrel – $85

Did I mention that I have a bowl obsession? This bowl is so purty.

8. Greenwich Grove Tea Set by Kate Spade New York – $59

Did I mention that I also have a teapot obsession?!

What’s on your Fall Wishlist?! Comment & let us know. πŸ™‚

Laura Xo

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