27 December 2011

Holiday Joy

Holiday Joy

Wishing you all the joys the holiday season can bring!

The Night Before Christmas



Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Brent's Christmas Quilt

Brent's Christmas Quilt

Brent's Christmas Quilt

Boys will be ...



Dave, Carhart Model

Christmas Karaoke

Christmas Table

Mom and Dad


Christmas Party

Ahoy thar, wee niece

Barbie Cruise Ship

Nickelodeon Dance Wii Game

21 December 2011

Holiday Dance Recital

We were so excited for this year's dance recital--both girls are in dance this year!! It made for a very challenging A/V assignment. But it turns out I only had to hockey check a few parents out of my way and lay on the floor like a sniper to get a clean shot.  Piece of cake.

Here they are all ready to go. SQUEAL! so cute.


(pay no attention to their little match girl shoes)


Holiday Dance Recital from Peppercam on Vimeo.

11 December 2011

Cozy Christmas Gingerbread Cottage

A masterpiece of holiday cheer! A Gingerbread Cottage!

This is one of my favorite holiday traditions. It involves baking and good smells and lots of candy and you can drink Bailey's and coffee the whole time. Whee!

Gingerbread House

Just in case you want to make a crazy awesome house too, here is the recipe!
Gingerbread House Doughmakes 1 house 
2 sticks butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
5 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup butterscotch candies (crunched up, for windows) 
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and mix on low. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together and add to the butter mixture. After that is mixed in, add the water. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Roll out about 1/4 inch thick (I roll the roof a little thinner). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, fill in the window holes with the crunched up butterscotch, and bake another 10 minutes, or until the windows are set and the gingerbread is dark brown.

Butterscotch Windows

Royal Icing for Gingerbread House 
5 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon + 1.5 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup egg whites 
Mix together until combined, then beat on high for 5 minutes, or until white and fluffy.

This  year we decided to go high tech and threaded a light bulb into the middle. I hope that puppy doesn't burn out, because there's no changing him.

Gingerbread House 

Here are the girls anxiously awaiting the starter pistol.

Gingerbread House

Mimi actually said, "Let's get this party STARTED!" 

Gingerbread House

Pretty good spread, right? Brent and Bella went to the grocery store and came back with an epic assortment of materials. My favorite were the mint M&Ms.

Mimi just stuffed herself with candy during this activity. Not really that unexpected if you've ever met her ("I'm two can I have a tic tac caaaaaaan Iiiiii?"). She did manage to decorate her side of the house quite a bit. Bella put all her concentration into decorating and needed several refills of frosting.

Gingerbread House 

Bella did such a cute job on these gingerbread people. Hello little guys! Aren't you looking delicious.

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

We had some extra dough so the girls made ornaments. I had sort of lost interest at this point and was completely amazed when I turned around and they had actual ornaments ready to bake. Not just globs of dough but recognizable shapes! Way to go, girls!

Gingerbread House

 Mimi hung the ornaments on the tree.

Mimi's Tree Decorating

Did I say tree? I meant branch.

Oh how I love holiday traditions with my little holiday helpers!

08 December 2011

Christmas Decorating

Let it Snow

Of all our Christmas traditions, the one the girls like most is "snowing" the snow village. Really, who doesn't love sprinkling snow? Pretending to be a snow fairy? Whipping it around into a mini blizzard? Using your fingers to make little snow angel handprints? We went through two bowls of snow this year. I thought it was so cute that the girls plowed little paths to each door. teehee.

Here's the post-Snowpocolypse Village. None the worse for wear.

Snow Village

Pretty cute actually.

Snow Village House

Some other holiday decorating...

Saint Lucia dolls. Another popular decoration with the kiddies. These girls have been violated six ways to Sunday, let me tell you. I debated putting them up high to try to protect them, but where's the fun in that. Tough it out girls, those smiles are painted on!

St Lucia Dolls

Embroidery my mom made (!!) like 100 years ago. Back when avocado green embroidery fabric was cool THE FIRST TIME.

Santa Embroidery

A new red lantern from IKEA. Now there's a store that knows how to do Christmas. I think I wouldn't mind just having Christmas morning right there in the store.


The fireplace all decorated (I put the stockings up later to avoid burning them up--which yes I would so totally do).


And of course, the tree!

Picking out the Christmas Tree 

I thought this pic of the girls is so cute. Bella is all like super model gorg-ee-oso and Mimi is so... cranky.

The Christmas Tree

And here it is.... Tah Dah!

Christmas Tree

The girls helped decorate it. Which is why there are a lot of ornaments in the front about 2 feet off the floor. I had set the scene for a big evening of decorating... Hot cocoa! A fire! Christmas music! They were done in 10 minutes. TEN MINUTES! Which is an ornament hung approximately every 5 seconds. FIVE SECONDS!

Seriously people. How am I supposed to work this into a magical family tradition?!
At least stand by the tree and pose for the scrapbook, dammit.

Christmas Tree

And I thought I'd share our super festive, guaranteed to take the bah out of your humbug, holiday playlist! Enjoy!

Winter Playlist by Amy Baker on Grooveshark