Monday, January 3, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

It has been waaay too long since I've posted. I know. Don't worry. I will be better this year! The past few months have been crazy! I hosted Thanksgiving for both my family and Chris's family. It was a great time of fellowship and really good food (if I do say so myself!).

The "adult" table

The "Kid" Table - We are all kinda wondering when we get to graduate to the adult table, since the youngest person at the table was 20!

Super cute decorations
Matt (Chris's Brother) and Zeppelin
During the first week of December, I had the privilege to go with Kim to the Ladies Christmas Tea at her church. It is a great time of Christian fellowship and all the tables are decorated for Christmas and are all different! It was a really fun day!

During December I made the decision to take a few weeks off work and spend them in Nashville with my family. It was a great relaxing time and I enjoyed being able to help my mom with so many things around the house. I cooked dinner every night, did lots of laundry, and spent some quality time with my grandparents, parents, and sister. During this time I also did a lot of soul searching and really focused on getting back to the basics with Christ. I am really excited to share some of the upcoming changes in my life, but that will be a later post. One night my mom, dad, and I went to Opryland Hotel to see all the Christmas lights. It is soooo pretty!

For the first time in 4 years, I was home for Michelle's birthday! It was great to celebrate her special day with her!

Michelle had found this awesome cake that had a filling in the shape of a heart. Her and mom started making it, ended up needing my help, and we learned alot about cooking this cake! Most importantly, purple food coloring and white frosting do NOT equal blue! Hahaha! It tasted really good though.

Chris and I spent Christmas Eve with his family. We had a great day of food, laughs, and presents!
Chris and Matt with some presents
We drove to Nashville to spend Christmas with my family. We woke up to a white Christmas!

Zeppelin in his jingle bell collar. He loved it.
Zeppelin was actually really good! He laid down and slept during most of the present opening. Much better than last year!
Opening awesome new dishes from Grandparents
On my birthday, Mom and Michelle came down to spend the day with me. I don't know why I don't have any pictures, but don't you worry. I will find them. I also got to see my BEST FRIEND who lives super far away in Michigan. It was great to get to see her!
I am so thankful for all of the time I got to spend with friends and family this Christmas season. I know that God has great plans for 2011 and I can't wait to see where He takes me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

YoYo, YoYo, A Tasty Pumpkin Treat

Prepare yourself. This might be the yummiest fall treat on the planet. Yeah, its that good. Pumpkin YoYo's. Or Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Call them what you want, they are the perfect fall treat.

I had a very handy helper! He made them from start to finish, with help from me of course! He was a great sport and we both enjoyed making them and spending time together.

Looking yummy...hurry up and bake!

Cooling down. We made ours too big. WHEN I make them again, they will be smaller so there will be plenty more to enjoy.

Make the Cream Cheese filling and put on cookie! Check. I'm good at that!

Smush two cookies together and Voila! A sweet little taste of Heaven.
I'm sure you are dying for the recipe. Not so sure I want to share it...just kidding. Get to baking these treats! I guarantee they will not disappoint!
Pumpkin YoYo's
Pumpkin Cookies
-2 eggs
-2 cups brown sugar
-1 cup oil
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 can pumpkin
-3 cups flour
-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. cloves
-1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I left this ingredient out and they were still amazing)
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-3/4 tsp. salt
Cream Cheese Filling
-4 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-2 tsp. vanilla
-4-5 cups powdered sugar
Beat eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pumpkin. Add spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat again. Add flour and beat until smooth.
Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Filling: Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time until frosting is thick, but spreadable.
After cookies have cooled completely, spread a generous amount of cream cheese filling on one, and top with a second cookie.
Happy Baking!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Built to Last

This past weekend, Chris and I had the privilege of going to see my cousin Adam get married. His bride, Anna, was absolutely stunning and their love for each other was so evident. The music for the wedding was perfect and I am so glad that we got to spend time with all of my family and be there for such an important occasion. It was definitely a long drive, but my super sweet man did majority of the driving!!!!

On Thursday, we spend the day in Nashville with my grandparents. It was so good to get to spend some time with them and just relax. Then on Friday we got up early and headed out for Collinsville (near St. Louis). We spent some time with my family before heading to the rehearsal.

Chris and I at the rehearsal.

Mom and Michelle

The entertainment! I'm so impressed that no one cried. Uncle Gary started out with the sweetest song called "I'll Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman. Then my dad played guitar and Uncle Gary, Uncle David, and Aunt Sheri sang "My Wish" by Rascall Flatts and then Aunt Sheri and Uncle David sang "When God Made You." The songs were are so perfect and the music was gorgeous!

The Bride and Groom ~ They wrote their own vows and Adam sang Anna a song with his vows.

Wedding Day! I love my daddy!

My perfect family. (I picked out mom's pretty dress)

Mr. and Mrs. Adam Linnell

I am so glad he came too!

Trying to get a Christmas picture.

Dad, Michelle, and I with Aunt Sheri and Uncle Gary.

LOVE HER!!!! Andrea was so pretty!

Papaw and his kiddos

One of the most precious men alive. I will be the luckiest girl ever if I marry someone half as awesome as he is. He made sure to call Mamaw all weekend and was so excited to get back to take her out to lunch. Too cute!

They kinda rock for making me!

Adam and Anna did most of the reception themselves. It was so pretty! Aunt Sheri made 300 cupcakes that were amazing. I helped frost a few of them. We had a blast making a mess at 5:30am.
Two Beautiful Mommys

So happy for them!
I am so blessed to have such an amazing family. I am happy that Chris was able to come and meet them and I realize more and more how lucky I really am. It was a perfect weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Fools

Chris and I decided to carve our first pumpkin together. For some reason or another, we didn't carve one last year, but this is definitely a tradition we want to keep up! Chris was like a little kid in a candy store, and was adament that the pumpkin needed to look "perfect." Which means he ended up fixing a bunch of the places I cut out because apparently, I am no good at pumpkin carving. Who knew!?!?! Haha! Zeppelin enjoyed being outside with us and barking at the pretty fall leaves blowing around in the wind. He was great, and mostly sat on his chain, just like in this picture.

Have you ever seen a cuter puppy?

Our "Perfect" pumpkin before surgery

Chris took care of most of the guts, cause I don't like to get my hands messy :)

He was really excited he got to carve the mouth.

I carved the eyebrows and 1 eye.

Our Pumpkin, after surgery (it looks way cooler at night)

A cute fall family photo! Love my boys!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trick or TREATS

Happy almost Halloween! I am enjoying these last few days of peace before I get back into the real world of work. Zeppelin and I have been taking long walks, playing with tennis balls, and eating lots of food. Yesterday my best friend Whitney and I got together to make some adorable Halloween treats. We made a ton, so after we each took some, I delivered the rest to a local nursing home, where the residents loved them! They are super cute and decently easy to make so I wanted to share our baking adventure with you guys! And the fact that they turned out okay, that's awesome in itself. Just ask either of our moms how many batches of soupy blueberry muffins Whitney and I made when we were younger ;)

The first thing we made were eyeballs. I originally found them here. Those looked way better and cooler, but we did pretty well for our first time. They were pretty easy and fun to make, however, we had problems with the candy coating. I would like to try to make these again and get the coating right, but they taste great and were fun to make!

These are the ingredients.

Make the cake per the box directions, and let it cool completely.

Crumble the cake into a large bowl.

Mix in one container of cream cheese frosting and mix together well.
It's messy, but it's easier to do if you use your hands.

Told you it was messy! Roll mixture into small balls and place on cookie sheet(cover with foil or wax paper).

Place in refrigerator for a few hours or the freezer to speed things up.

Melt your vanilla candy coating and generously pour over balls.

Add lifesavers and use red gel icing to make veins. We had the wrong red icing, and couldn't get the candy coating to cover the way we wanted. The residents at the nursing home didn't seem to mind the way they looked though!

Then goof off with your best friend!
The next we made adorable mummy cupcakes! I originally saw them here. These were pretty easy to make, and these have to be my favorite so far!

These are the ingredients. We opted not to use the chocolate chips.

Make the cupcakes per box directions.

Let the cupcakes completely cool.

Ice the cupcakes with regular vanilla icing.

Add gummy eyes.

Roll out the fondant. Except, apparently that is the one thing I'm missing in my kitchen. So we pulled, flattened, and rolled with a soup can. Talk about being resourceful!

Slice the fondant in long thin pieces and apply to cupcake.
Done! And yummy to boot!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this girl!

My loot!
We had an awesome time creating these. Hope everyone can enjoy a fun project too!