Family

Gingerbread houses, Christmas Eve, and a Wonderful Christmas

Did you have a good Christmas? I really hope you did! Mine was awesome :) I got some amazing presents but the best part was spending time with my wonderful family. And the food was pretty tasty, disease too.

On Christmas Eve day, asthma we decorated gingerbread houses.

My sisters!

Look what daddy did!

On the left is my snowy cabin (my family kept calling me an icing hog. It’s just very snowy). On the right is my mom’s house which turned out great, epidemic especially since her house was missing parts and she used graham crackers for the roof.

Here is Celina’s very artistic house.

And this is Ella and Daddy’s house. Last year my dog, Fenway, ate a gingebread house. I mean the entire thing was gone. This year we made sure to keep them where he couldn’t get them :) He did unwrap a present, though. It was reece’s pieces. But he didn’t eat any of them which is odd…

On Christmas Eve, we went to our grandparents for dinner and to open presents.

Celina got a recording system so she can sing and record songs in her room (she’s a really talented singer. Check out her singing here).

Daddy stole Ella’s skittles.

And what did I get? A Canon 5D! I was so thrilled. This was the camera I was dreaming of owning and I was really hoping that I would get a new camera before going to college. I am so thankful and happy!

We got home and left some cookies for Santa. Yes, that horse is headless…do you have a problem with that???

Christmas Eve was great, and Christmas day was wonderful as well :) After waiting for my littlest sister to wake up (we ended up getting her up at 8:45), we all went downstairs to open presents. We always do our stockings first.

We get fun little things in our stockings. I got sparkly nailpolish, mechanical pencils, dove chocolate, and the traditional silly putty and socks! Ahh socks…. :) We then opened our presents!

Ella loved her silly putty!

Celina was really excited to get two Big Bang Theory shirts!

Ella was super happy to get this piggy bank. Celina is trying stop her from breaking it…or maybe she just wanted a piggy bank, too ;)

My mom loooooves laffy taffy.

This is me making cinnamon rolls for our Christmas breakfast. Look! I’m wearing my new apron from Celina! You may recognize it from this post where I listed a whole bunch of Christmas gift ideas. I not only got this apron but a decorating kit, too! My mom said my list was very helpful ;)

Celina got a Chi and then insisted on straightening my hair. My hair is ridiculously long when it’s straight!

That’s my dog, Fenway, and my grandpa. Fenway was very excited about the two toys he got for Christmas, but the best present of all was getting to snuggle with my grandpa. It was the best day of his life.

I am so thankful for all that I have. This past year has been difficult and wonderful all in one, and I’m expecting this coming year to be one of my best ones yet :)

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Christmas Recipe Round-Up

I love the food around Christmas. For my family’s Christmas dinner, sildenafil we have ham, Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole…basically all the things we have at Thanksgiving except we swap turkey for ham, add the Swedish meatballs, and take away the stuffing. Now that I’m reading a lot of food blogs, I’m finding that not everyone does a big meal like this on Christmas…some people do big meals on Christmas Eve or have other traditions, like Mexican food, on Christmas. Interesting! I thought everyone had a meal similar to Thanksgiving on Christmas Day. What does your family do?

Well no matter what you eat for dinner on Christmas, you definitely need to finish the day off with some tasty desserts! Here are some of my favorites that I have made this year.

1. Marshmallow Pie

I know pie is traditionally eaten at Thanksgiving, but this is one of my all-time favorites. It’s very easy to make and I haven’t met anyone who didn’t absolutely love it. Definitely one to think about for your Christmas desserts :)

2. Nutella Swirl Brownie Bites

Oh goodness. Brownie+nutella=heaven. These are great because they’re really easy to make- you can use a brownie box mix to save time and just swirl nutella on the top. If you’re going to anyone’s house to celebrate or any parties, these would be really easy treats to bring.

3. Oreo Truffles

My family always makes these around Christmas…I think we’ve made them four times already. They are insanely easy to make and one of the best-tasting things I’ve ever had!

4. Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake

Are you guys over pumpkin yet? Good. Me either. I stood in the kitchen eating piece after piece of this cake..it was just that good. It’s really easy to make (even though I kept messing up when making it!) and tastes aaamazing!

5. Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars

Chocolate chip cookie dough + pretzel = heaven. The pretzel crust is buttery and salty and the chocolate chip cookie is gooey and sweet. This is the treat I mailed for the Great Blogger Cookie Exchange and loved how they tasted!

6. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cookies

These are cookies that taste like cookie dough. I’ll wait while that sinks in. Yep that’s what I said. The outside is like a soft, tasty chocolate chip cookie while the inside tastes like raw cookie dough. They’re incredibly simple to make and they are sure to impress everyone!

7. Peanut Butter and Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Keeping with the sweet and salty theme, these are, in my opinion, some of the best cookies I have ever made. They’re really easy to make, and you can add in whatever your heart desires! But I would recommend chunks of Dove chocolate and pretzel pieces. Mmm :)

8. Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies really have the “wow” factor. Everyone is amazed that a chocolate chip cookie is wrapped around an oreo! Make these perfect for the holidays by using red oreos.

9. Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Oh goodness. These mini chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting were insanely good. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe for the cupcake, and a really tasty peanut butter filling. They’re adorable, especially when topped with a chocolate chip, and kids will be sure to love them!

10. Minty Kiss Brownie Bites

Take advantage of your favorite holiday limited-edition Hershey’s kisses! I used mint truffle kisses for these super simple brownie bites. Again, make these a speedy treat by using a box mix and placing a kiss on the top.

~

Tonight my sisters, grandparents, and I are doing our traditional Christmas Eve Eve celebration. We all get in the car in our PJs, drive to Sonic, eat dinner, and then drive around and look at all the pretty Christmas lights. It’s a really fun tradition :) Happy Christmas Eve Eve everyone! Hope it’s wonderful!

 

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Things I Am Thankful For This Thanksgiving

I am so incredibly blessed and have more than anyone could hope for. It’s often so hard to remember to take time and just be thankful for all that I have when life gets crazy and stressful things happen. While Thanksgiving isn’t my number one favorite holiday (I’m kinda more of a Christmas person if you hadn’t noticed ;), disinfection it is the perfect time to just pause and give thanks. Here is just a short list of just some of the many things I love having in my life:

1. Jesus- Jesus is awesome. He puts up with me even when I ignore him or say mean things to him. He’s pretty much the coolest. Yep.

2. My Parents- They’re crazy and sarcastic and will spontaneously break out into song (well my mom mostly…Ooooooooklahoma anyone?). But that’s what makes them them. They’re supportive and wonderful and I am very blessed to have them.

3. My Siblings- They’re annoying kinda sometimes all the time…but they’re amazing :) I don’t know who I would be if I wasn’t a big sister. I love them and they make my life much happier.

4. The rest of my family- My grandparents are such an important part of my life and I’m so thankful that we live close to them and that I get to be a part of their lives. I am thankful for all my extended family, ampoule the many people (who may or may not actually be related to me) who love me and are so amazing to me. So many people have been positive influences on me and have formed me into who I am today.

5. Clean Water- Going to Haiti made me even more thankful for all the clean water I have access to. When I was there, resuscitator I had to be careful of all the water I came in contact with, from what I used to wash my hands, shower with, drink, or brush my teeth with. Right now I’m just a couple steps away from the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, and the water dispenser in the fridge. It’s something I take for granted everyday but I shouldn’t. There are so many who don’t have access to clean water, or water at all.

6. Food- Well food is probably why you’re here at this blog! I am so thankful for all the wonderful food I have access to and my parents who let me cook and bake pretty much all I want. I have struggled a lot with my relationship with food and still have a hard time with my self esteem and eating. But I should never hate the thing I am so blessed to have, that so many have to go without. So on Thanksgiving, a day that is often just as much about food as it is family and thanks, I will be sincerely thankful for the food I have access to.

7. My body- I rarely give thanks for my body but I really am thankful that I have a healthy body that works. I have my health and I should never, ever take that for granted. I am also thankful for medicine and prescriptions and vitamins and everything that helps keep me going.

8. My house- I love my house! And my room. I am so grateful my family has such a wonderful place to live.

9. School- Yes, even school makes the list. I like learning and school can be ok ;)

10. My stuff- I’m really grateful for all the things I have. My laptop, camera, phone, books, bed, and clothes are all things I’m blessed to have and so thankful for.

11. My puppy- My dog, Fenway, is cute, fluffy, and most definitely not a dog. He is allergic to beef but eats chocolate all the time. He’s loud and pees on people when he’s excited, but he really is the sweetest dog ever.

This is just a small list of all the wonderful things in my life that I could not be more thankful for. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are surrounded by people and food you love. :)

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Friday fun with Cake in a Mug

My weekdays at school are always so busy. I talked to my English teacher Friday afternoon, global burden of disease asking if I could come in Monday afternoon for some help on my essay (due Tuesday). I told him that I was sorry it was last minute but I had been busy or sick everyday after school. He said that was fine and to just rest this weekend.

I tried to hold back my chuckle.

I don’t think I was successful.

Weekends restful? I don’t remember last time my weekends were restful. That’s not to say that they’re bad, phimosis they’re just really busy.

So I thought I’d share my weekend with you :) I know you were all extremely curious. I’ll start with telling you about Friday!
My mom, sister, and I left right after I got home from school and headed to my piano lesson and my middle sister Celina’s acting class. My piano lesson was good, I really love my teacher. The only issue is that I never have any time to practice, causing me to not improve much every week on my songs. I don’t want to let my teacher down and I really love piano. I’m going to try to do better, but I’m also trying not to put too much pressure on myself either!

After our lessons, we made a pit-stop at Chick-fil-a. Ahh…the one fast food place I actually like. I hardly ever eat it but I always love it when I do. I had chicken nuggets with the waffle fries and their special Chick-fil-a sauce. Celina and I enjoyed out dinner at my grandparents house, where we were spending the night. My mom went back home and Celina and I hung out, just the two of us, as our grandparents weren’t going to be home for a couple of hours. We watched lots of Gilmore Girls episodes (love!). After a little while, we decided we needed something delicious to eat and attempted to make cake in a mug.

Cake in a mug is cake cooked in the microwave in a mug (cool huh?) I understand being skeptical that chocolate cake that has been microwaved would taste good and, after trying 3 different recipes for mug cake and having 2 failed attempts, trust me when I say I totally get it. But I made it the other night at home and it was so tasty! But the recipe I had used before used nutella and my grandparents didn’t have that. In fact, my grandparents don’t bake at all and didn’t have ingredients that I consider basic (like cocoa powder, milk, butter, granulated sugar) but they do have plenty of wheat germ, cheese slices, and crackers (note to self- don’t ever have this healthy of a pantry). So Celina and I looked up nutella-free versions of mug cake and improvised!

We tried out 2 different recipes and neither turned out good. I don’t know if it was the recipe’s fault, or the fact that we used hot cocoa powder for cocoa powder and fat free half and half for milk ;)

This was #1. The texture was a little eh, but the taste was fine. We weren’t satisfied with that one so we decided to try out another recipe.

This is what attempt #2 looked like when it was cooking. It kept rising up and down in a column. Haha it was pretty hilarious.

Attempt #2 had the texture of spongy rubber. It was one big cement rubber column. Bleh.

So we returned to number one, doused it with chocolate chips and whipped cream, and ate it!

Celina and I had a lot of fun making these, even though neither turned out great, but I wanted to make the good mug cake I made earlier this week again so she could see what they should taste like (and I could eat it again!).

So we made the nutella mug cake tonight and it turned out great again! The first time I made it, it overflowed out of the cup and even with all the cake I lost, I still couldn’t finish it! So we made one batch and split it into two cups. Now I’m not one who has trouble finishing off chocolate anything, but even this halved version was really rich! So if you want a TON of chocolaty goodness, use a huge mug and eat all this yourself :) Medium amount, split it into 2 mugs. Small amount? 3 mugs!


This is seriously good chocolate cake. It’s gooey and rich and delicious. I topped it with tons of whipped cream, but ice cream would be great too with this.

Don’t be scared of the microwave, just make this! It’s so easy and wonderful and tasty!

Nutella Mug Cake

Recipe from Live Love Pasta :)

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons self-rising flour**
4 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons Nutella
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk super well with a fork until really smooth. Pour into one, two, or three chocolate mugs (depending on how big your servings are going to be). Just remember that one serving needs a really huge mug.
  2. If making one serving, microwave for 1 1/2 minutes (time will vary for every microwave). If making two servings, microwave for a minute and 10 seconds. I haven’t made it with 3 servings but I’m guessing that it’d be about 55 seconds-1 minute.
  3. Top with chocolate chips, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or all 3 ;)

Makes 1 large serving, 2 medium ones, 3 small ones

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Carrot Cake and Thankfulness

It is November! This year has gone by so fast. November will be over in no time and then CHRISTMAS! Oh so excited :D November does have one holiday that’s, sales you know, kinda noteworthy (even if it’s not as amazing as Christmas). I do enjoy Thanksgiving. The food is good (not as good as Christmas!) but still tasty. And this year we get a whole week off for Thanksgiving break (I’ll get like 3 for Christmas!) which is very exciting. I love that Thanksgiving is a time that we are reminded to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful about. For November, I’m going to be highlighting some of the things I am especially thankful for.

First of all, I am really thankful for my family. I am surrounded with amazing people who love me, support me, and are super fun to be around (most of the time ;) This past weekend, we celebrated my dad’s birthday! We all went to my grandparents and had dinner and cake. My mom always makes carrot cake for his birthday and it is soooo good. I am totally a chocolate kind of girl, but this carrot cake with the cream cheese frosting…mmm :) There are some foods I love but that I won’t order in restaurants because I know that they won’t be as good as my mom’s…and carrot cake is one of them.

It was fun taking action shots while my mom was making the cream cheese frosting!

I love this picture! I just snapped it as my mom was walking by with the cake and I think it looks so cool.

Birthday Boy!

Ok so I don’t have a recipe to go along with this. Mostly because I don’t have good pictures of the cake. And also because I so don’t have the energy to write it all up. But someday I will definitely be nice to all of you and share it…because it really is the best!

I should be posting some more soon…after I get some sleep :)

Have a great day :)

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