Monday, December 26, 2011

Until Next Time!

Hoping you and yours had a very Merry Christmas.
May the New Year bring much love and happiness!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve tradition . . . Opening one present.
Always new jammies.
Putting out Santa's cookies and Reindeer's carrots.
And while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads . . .
Santa made his way down the chimney and delivered gifts 
for a couple of very special little girls. And maybe a few for a special Mommy & Daddy.
Even Rudolph made an appearance with his shiny nose.
Looks like Santa and his reindeer enjoyed their late night treats before taking off in his sleigh.
Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a goodnight!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Teddy Bear Tea

On Sunday, Sophia and I attended the Teddy Bear Tea (event benefitting local children's charities) at the Biltmore. My friend, Nikki, told me about this darling event and I was super excited to take Sophia as a little mother-daughter outing. We also met my good friend, Jeannie, and her daughter Addy. What a delightful spread! Everything was beautiful, elegant, festive and a little girl's dream.
Sophia and her Teddy
This is a kid's type of tea ; )
Children's Tea Plate
Mommies Tea Plate
High Tea or I guess High Hot Chocolate

Next up, cookie decorating!

Stocking Time

A Visit from Santa
Addy & Jeannie


Friday, December 16, 2011

Tamale Mommies

My good friend, Marcy, put together a tamale making party book as an auction item at our children's preschool Soiree. This auction item went fast! An evening with mommies, tamales and margaritas? Who could resist?!

Perfect way to start the evening!
Cheers from Jenny & Sheri
LAPS Mommies hard at tamale making ; )
Not bad for a bunch of first-timers!
Patiently awaiting the goodness
Jeannie's first tamale!
Cheers from a bunch of fabulous moms!
Thanks again, Marcy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Winter's Soup

I love a bowl of hearty soup in the winter. It's so cozy and comfy. This was super easy to make. I threw it all together during the girls' nap time.
Roast any root vegetables you want!

This is what I roasted:
1 lb Carrots
1 lb Butternut Squash
1 Sweet Potato
1 Rutabaga
2 Parsnip
1 Turnip
1 Granny Smith Apple

Just make everything is cut into about one inch pieces to ensure even roasting. Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper and throw it in a 425 F oven. Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. Don't forget to turn them at least once.

Heat up some chicken stock, about 6 cups. Place roasted veggies in food processor and add some stock. You will need to do this in a couple of batches. Puree. Pour the soup back into pot, season and thin out with more chicken stock, as needed to your liking. 
Serve with homemade croutons or crispy bacon bits or both!

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Monday

Adult Weekend

It's not very often when our weekend is solely an adult one. But tis the season!

Ugly Sweater Party at Jessica's
Don't you love the matchy-ness? : )
Turns out the women's department has more ugly options.
Now that's love!
Marcy & Jessica & Me
I loved Marcy's red pants!

La Cumbre Holiday Seafood Dinner
Photo of Todd's first plate. Yes, first plate.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Almond Roca

Don't you just love holiday treats? Especially when they are concealed in cute packaging? Like this:

At Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law gave us the most addictive Holiday treat . . . Almond Roca. And if David hadn't seen that tin of oh-so-yummy-goodness I would have kept it all to myself. Seriously. I swear.

It didn't take long for us to polish off every morsel. Then. I. Got. Desperate. Let's just say that tin can of English Toffee from Trader Joe's didn't do the trick. I also got lazy because I couldn't even manage to take a picture of my shameful evidence in the kitchen. Google is pretty handy. : )

Picture from Love from the Oven

So then I got unlazy, yes unlazy. Got the recipe from my sister-in-law (via brother-in-law) and made my own. And it was so worth it!

Yes, I know these are pecans and not almonds. I goofed while at the store. 
It's not easy shopping with a 4 year old and 2 year old. Seriously. Try it. I dare you. ; )
But I promise you, no matter the nut it is tasty!

I'm not sure how much actually made it into the treat boxes.
It's that good!

The perfect holiday indulgence!

Almond Roca Recipe:
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds (or any other toasted nut of your desire)
8 ounces milk chocolate
Rimmed baking sheet
Candy thermometer

Melt butter then add the sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat and stir. 
When the sugar dissolves raise the heat to medium-high and cook until candy thermometer reads 290 F.
Take off the heat and stir in 1/2 of the almonds.
Pour onto lightly greased 9x13 rimmed baking sheet. (I greased my sheet with the butter wrapper)
Wait 2-3 minutes and sprinkle chocolate over the mixture.
Wait 5 minutes and spread chocolate and sprinkle with remaining almonds.
Let cool and break into pieces.

Side Note:
I actually melted my chocolate in a double broiler then poured/spread it over the candy mixture. Either way, just make sure you wait before spreading so the chocolate doesn't mix with the toffee.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The 2 Year Old Stats

Height = 33 inches (25th percentile)
Weight = 22 pounds, 12 ounces (15th percentile)

And just for fun, here is Sophia at age 2:
Height = 33 1/2 inches (65th percentile)
Weight = 26 pounds, 4 ounces (45th percentile)

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Sophia had her Rudolph ballet recital this weekend. This year she was a Snowflake. Her costume was adorable! This marks Sophia's 3rd ballet recital and each time I can see the growth. I'm thrilled she loves practicing and being on stage. I think it's a big confidence builder too.

Snowflakes in action : )

Beautiful, Sophia! We love you!