For the Love of Lists – Week 19

Lists for Days | December 18, 2016 | By

I can’t believe I almost missed a week!  I still might if I don’t publish this before Sunday.  Which, from where I stand is definitely a possibility.  

I always seem to remember that I need to make about 100 things for Christmas a week or two before Christmas.  Am I crazy?  Must you ask?  The answer will have to be a resounding yes.  

It’s true.  I’m a bit crazy.  Ask my poor hubby. 

I had about a zillion food post ideas for Christmas, but they just haven’t come together.  Time and energy are waning.  I am going to try to pick my favourite idea and have it ready for you mid-week, just in time for Christmas, okay?  For now, enjoy this compilation of random things that I call my List.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy putting it together.  

The list:

  1. Do you talk to yourself?  I do…  Super interesting article on the conversation in your head.  
  2. A few  last minute gift ideas.  Candles are always great.  This one is called Fir and Firewood.  Betcha it smells pretty great.  
  3. Anthropologie always has the prettiest bakeware.  This baking dish and rolling pin.  So pretty.  
  4. Holiday Pillow Covers from West Elm.  One for me, and one for you.  (Isn’t that how you’re supposed to shop?)
  5. I’m going to participate in this online retreat, “Hibernate“.  It looks really cool.  Cheese making, soap making, knitting, cooking.  All sorts of cool tutorials and ideas.  You should definitely check it out.  Get some inspiration rolling on these cold winter days. 
  6. Did you know Toms makes slippers?!  I saw some when we were Christmas shopping.  They look pretty amazingly comfy.  
  7. These Cookie Dough Balls are a MUST MAKE for the holidays.  They’re a definite hit.  Who wouldn’t want to much on chocolate covered cookie dough?  (They’re egg-less, no worries.)
  8. I know a few people with owl obsessions.  These pinecone owl ornaments look so cute!  Something to do with the kids!
  9. And lastly, Pan Seared Salmon with Roasted Vegetables.  To get some kind of healthy in there.   

I hope you all have a great week leading up to Christmas.  Hopefully there will be a post before then, but if not, have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

*Briar was being really quiet one day this week, and I came to find her like this.  It’s such a great thing when they’re being quiet and good.  Because much of the time quiet=mischief.  

Dark Chocolate Espresso Shortbreads

Squares and Cookies | December 16, 2016 | By

I know, I know!  Christmas is coming and you need some darn-tooting-awesome cookies up in yo mouth.  These are they.  

Chocolate.  Like, very chocolate.  Plus coffee.  Chocolate + Coffee = Love .  Or something like that.  Mostly fireworks on my taste-buds.  So good.

These are sweet as a dream to whip up.  Wooden spoons only, people.  Only a handful of ingredients, and there you have it!  Really great Christmas cookies.  

I’ve used Nescafe for these cookies, because I love it.  And I would definitely recommend using it.  But any other instant coffees or espresso powders would work fine too, I’m sure.  

Just try to make sure your two year old doesn’t get a hold of them right before bed.  They do have coffee in them, and they might make that kid a little bit crazy.  (Take it from me, I’ve been there.)  😉

Dark Chocolate Espresso Shortbreads
A deep chocolate mixed with coffee combo, in a really great, traditional shortbread.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups butter, room temperature
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 3 cups flour
  4. 1 cup cocoa
  5. 2-3 Tbsp espresso powder, or instant coffee
Instructions
  1. With a wooden spoon, mix together butter and sugar. Add in flour, and cocoa. Rub the coffee between your hands to make it into a powder, and add that too. Mix until everything is combined well.
  2. Preaheat oven to 350.
  3. Roll dough out into a 3/4 inch thick square, on a lightly floured surface. Cut into squares. I used a pizza cutter. You could definitely use a cookie cutter too. Put on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and prick a few times with a fork (for that traditional shortbread look).
  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. The middle should feel soft, but not dent when you touch it lightly.
  5. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

I hope you make these and love them. Try not to eat all of the dough. It’s pretty yummy.

Here are some progress pictures.



For the Love of Lists – Week 18

Lists for Days | December 8, 2016 | By

Hey hey hey!  I feel like it’s been forever, but it hasn’t.  Every day just seems so jam packed with things to do that each day seems like a week.  I wish I could tell you a story about something that happened this week, but I really cannot remember.  Anything.  There’s a blank slate in there.  

Oh!  Remembered something.  We went to a White Elephant-type gift exchange (the kids had their own one too).  Jude knew what I had wrapped up for the kids.  So when I went to see what they had each gotten, I discovered that he had chosen his own gift.  Gummy worms.  Smart kid.  😉  

I will post a recipe very soon.  I have one ready to go – promise.  

Your list for the week.  Christmasy, and lovely. 

  1. The kids and I made these easy ornaments the other day.  Super cute.  They may have added googly eyes.  (Which kind of takes away from the Christmasy look, but they’re funny!)
  2. Another holiday dress for you.  Gold.  It would look great with this bracelet.  
  3. Don’t you hate it when you take the time to make cutout cookies, and they lose all their shape in the oven?  And end up looking like Flubber…  We made this gingerbread cookie recipe this week – and it’s a winner!  No Flubbers in the whole batch.  Just nice, neat gingerbread men, trees… and a snail or two (Jude had to be different).  
  4. While we’re on the topic of Christmas baking, how about these Easy Christmas Peppermint Patties?
  5. That chill in the air?  It calls for Salted Caramel Eggnog.  No doubt, no doubt.  Get it on!
  6. Or this Pumpkin Nog.  It looks A-maazzing.  
  7. Need a super yummy appetizer to bring with you to a Christmas Party?  CRANBERRY BRIE PULL APART BREAD.  No more words are needed.  Just go get the brie. 
  8. We need a little reality here.  We do still have to make supper.  Even though it’s December.  So how bout this White Garlic Pizza?  Or this Irish Pub Spinach and Artichoke Melt?  (<—I know that might sound weird, but wow – I think it would be pretty dang awesome.)
  9. Have you guys discovered Spotify yet?  It’s a great way to listen to music, and find new music.  Love it.  Anyhow.  I have a Christmas playlist, if you need some o dat Christmas music – head on over and follow it.  

That’s all for now, folks!  Hope you have a productive, and joyful week!  

*The boys decorating their little tree in their bedroom. 

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Dear Moms – Part 2

Motherhood | December 5, 2016 | By

Mom-ing is hard.

This may not entirely fit in perfectly with the last Dear Moms post, but it’s definitely a continuation. 

This is not a “pity me” post.  It’s simply an “I can resonate with you – you are not in this alone” post.  

I just wanted to confirm to you all that being a mom, well, it’s the hardest job there is.  

I know I would have scoffed at that sentence before I had kids.  Even during my first pregnancy.  But wow.  It’s literally 24/7.  Even when they aren’t home, you’re washing their clothes, cooking their meals, or worrying about them.  Do you know what I mean?  It takes a toll on your brain.  I think that’s probably why I can’t seem to remember which day is what, or why I walked into the dining room in the first place.  Why am I here?  What am I forgetting?  So many times!  I know other moms feel the same.  I’ve listened to them about it.  It’s not just me.  And it’s not just you.  

The last post was about moms with newborns.  This is for moms who are moving past that stage, and are trying to figure out how to have some normalcy in life.   Each stage is hard.  Just different kinds of hard.  Having three kids in about three years – I was exposed to all of the earlier stages at once.  I can honestly say that I can’t remember so much of the last 5 years.  I was either so tired, frazzled, or busy with the little ones that my brain just decided that it couldn’t keep with inputting memories.  It was too busy trying to stay awake, or to focus on any one thing (instead of trying to think of everything all the time – which happens more often than not).

Dear Moms - Part 2 | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

From having a literal line up at the change table (why would two of them decide to poop at the same time?), to nightmares (“Mommy is so tired, can you please try to stop thinking about bad things?” <— Do I sound/feel selfish much?  Yes.  I will reiterate that last Mom post.  Motherhood shows you how selfish you really are, and bring out lots of other less-than-lovely things about yourself, that you may not have realized.).  We’ve got spills happening at least 3 times a day, sometimes more.  The patience it takes to not explode when someone spills the fifth cup of whatever (or somehow manages to slop their entire bowl of stew on the floor before taking a single bite), is immense.  So much patience required.  

There are so many things that try our patience, that help us grow, to become better parents along the way.  And the best part?  Our kids love us.  No matter how many times we might lose our patience a little bit too quickly, they forgive and forget.  They don’t understand how hard it is, but  they do have little innocent hearts, that love quickly, and immensely.  They know we will not stop loving them if they somehow manage to spill every drink in one day.  They somehow have this great mechanism for forgetting that we were mad at them.  Especially if we humble ourselves enough to ask their forgiveness for exploding a little bit too much.  Those little hearts are so precious.  

We’ve been tasked with the care of those little hearts.  To guide them and to guard them.  It is oh-so humbling to remember that every day.  That we’ve been blessed with these littles, not burdened with them.  Sometimes that is a hard thing to bring back to the forefront.  I know that sounds horrible.  But it’s truth.  They feel like a burden at times.  Mostly when they’re all screaming at crying and you want to go hide somewhere and cry too.  If you haven’t had kids yet – don’t let that scare you.  Every day is not like that, every moment is different.  You can go from screaming and crying to having a special kitchen dance party, or seeing your littlest ones sharing ever so nicely.  There are so many beautiful moments that happen.  When you see your oldest trying to help your youngest, or explaining to his brother why doing something was wrong (their logic is hilarious sometimes, listen closely to what they say).

Kids are actually hilarious.  They have the funniest senses of humour, and say the darndest things.  Quite literally, they are the best form of comedy.  And lame, though my jokes are, they think I’m funny too.  They also think that I’m a pretty special person.  Even though it may seem like they don’t hear you or see you (I think this happens a lot to stay-at-home-moms who are always with their kids), as soon as you are out of their sight for an hour, they are more than excited to see you when you get home.  They need a break from us sometimes, even as we need one from them.  

I laugh more being a mom then in anything else I’ve ever done.  Yes.  It’s hard.  I will never ever tell anyone that parenting is easy.  It’s heart-wrenching sometimes.  I actually don’t like it when people say it’s “rewarding”.  I didn’t have kids to be rewarded.  But there are moments that you wouldn’t change for the world.  Little spots in a day that you want to etch in stone.  Write those down.  Remember them somehow.  Then on the hard days, you can look back and remember that these are kids.  They aren’t just little crazies that are out to get you all the time.  They are little hearts, trying to figure out the huge, crazy world we live in, and how they fit in it.  Hopefully they are learning by watching you.  

You are not in this alone, Mama.  We’re all in this together, regardless of the different ways we approach things.  We’ve all got a few things in common – We love our kids, and want to do right by them.  We are human, and make mistakes.  We don’t know what we’re doing.  I will take every prayer, listen to advice (not necessarily use said advice), and love to talk to moms about what they’re doing with their kids – what works, and what they need help with.  Bounce ideas off of one another.  It helps so much.  

Enjoy those kiddos this holiday season, see the wonder in their eyes as you put up trees, as you pass beautiful light displays on the road.  Remember that they are the most amazing gift.  Those sweet children, who aren’t always all that sweet.  Remember the moments spent.  

Sorry if this was hard to follow at all – my brain is a bit scattered.  (Probably an understatement.)  I hope you were able to glean some encouragement from this.  Merry First Week of December!

 

 

Deuteronomy 6:5-7
 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

 

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