Monday, December 26, 2011

A Lesson Learned

There's a lesson that I'm still trying to learn when it comes to little kids: they do not need a lot of expensive toys for Christmas. How many of us have emptied out Toys R Us thinking that the kids will love all that stuff? Then when all of the presents are opened, they just want to play in the empty boxes, not with the toys! This morning, Gavin raided my drawers and played with some shampoo bottles that I got from a hotel. After all the toys he received yesterday, he wanted to play with those? I'm confused.

Christmas in the Bunbury home was nothing short of fantastic. My favorite part was watching the kids' excitement as the day progressed. It's true: Christmas is way more fun with kids! I hope you had an exceptional holiday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 Days of Christmas for a Mom

The countdown to Christmas is on and it's got me singing:

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
12 deadlines for free shipping
11 things to re-gift
10 overbaked cookies
9 unmailed Christmas cards
8 yards of scotch tape
7 secret santas
6 dessert potlucks
5 ugly Christmas sweaters
4 tangled light strings
3 loooooooooooooong wish lists
2 kids with the sniffles
And a pedicure for me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yummy Holiday Goodness

This year, I've decided to bake Christmas gifts for friends and family. Giving baked goods is very personal, cost effective, and provides so many options. This Martha Stewart recipe is the newest addition to my recipe collection. If you love lemon, you will enjoy this recipe. However, if you're not so keen on lemons, you can modify the cookies to be lime or orange flavored.

Lemon Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lemon Glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture.
  2. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons 1 inch apart on two baking sheets. Bake until edges are golden 15 to 20 minutes rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool 2 minutes on sheets then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread cookies with lemon glaze and let set, about an hour. 

Lemon Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice until smooth.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is here and it's time to go shopping. If you're looking for inexpensive stocking stuffers, I've got a couple ideas...

  • If you have an iPhone or iPad, tell your child that they can pick an app that they want. Cost $2-$3. 
  • I'm not a connoisseur, but the best play dough comes from Dollar Tree.Cost $1 (of course) 
  • The front section at Target has a bunch of cute stuff for a dollar. They carry hats, gloves, pencil sets, slinkys, etc. 
  • Stock up on their favorite snacks. I got a small box of Pepperidge farm goldfish and an 8-pack of Reese's cups for $1 each. 
  • An 8-pack of crayons is less than a dollar and oh so fun. I would take them out of the box and bound them with ribbon or raffia to make them look more special. It's all about the packaging.
  • If you're giving crayons, then you have to give a notepad to draw in. Those two items go together like peanut butter and jelly.
  • A box of snaps is great for boys. They're the little things that you throw on the ground and they make a popping sound. Each box contains 50 snaps and loads of fun. Cost $1