Poofy Cheeks: December 2013

December 31, 2013

Simple Sparkling Raspberry Mocktail

This year I won’t be ringing in the New Year with a flute of champagne because I’m preggers but I have the perfect mocktail that I honestly enjoy drinking more than any glass of champagne anyway! Since this is baby number four I am no stranger to sparkling grape juice around the holidays – I should literally take stock in it because I have gone through a dozen bottles the past few weeks. Pair the grape juice with a few other ingredients and you have an elegant non alcoholic drink on your hands!

Sparkling Raspberry Mocktail

One part that makes this drink pretty and tasty are the ice cubes. If I don’t make the more than a day in advance I make them in the morning or early afternoon so that by evening they are definitely ready.

Sparkling Raspberry Mocktail

INGREDIENTS:

  • Frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
  • 3 cups cold water
  • Frozen raspberries (or fresh work too)
  • Sparkling white grape juice

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a small pitcher mix frozen lemonade concentrate and three cups of water.
  • For ice-cubes sprinkle raspberries into an ice cube tray and then slowly pour the raspberry lemonade mix over them. Set the remaining drink mix aside until later. **(If you are using deep ice cube trays I recommend only filling 1/2 way high so they will fit in champagne flutes).
  • When ready to serve add ice cubes to each glass and pour about one tablespoon of the raspberry lemonade in the bottom of each glass.
  • Top off the glass with sparkling grape juice and toast!

**If you don’t have enough time to make the ice cubes just sprinkle in frozen raspberries and add a bit more of the lemonade mix to the bottom of the glass instead!

Sparkling Raspberry Mocktail

Sparkling Raspberry Mocktail

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I picked up my first cast iron skillet and some filet mignons to have a small celebration here at home with my family. As I mentioned the kiddos will be entertained with countdown balloons!

Enjoy,

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I party HERE

December 29, 2013

Ring in the New Year Balloons

Last year my husband had to work 6pm to 6am on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. What a way to ring in the New Year! I decided to make it a fun party for the kids like my mom used to do for my brother, sister and I every year. The only difference is that my mom bought candy, rented a movie, bought frozen pizzas and popcorn and left us with a babysitter while her and my dad always went out to celebrate with friends!

Since I wasn’t going out and I WAS the babysitter I also wanted to make it an easy evening on myself where there was something constantly keeping the kids busy. I had seen balloon countdown ideas on Pinterest and decided that would be the perfect way to keep the kids busy and give me chances to surprise them with little games and activities.

New Year Balloon Activity Countdown - Perfect for a kid friendly party!

I blew up six balloons and stuck a bell and tag into each balloon – we were literally RINGING in the New Year! The balloons started at 6pm and the last one was for 12pm. Each tag had an activity or game written on it. We had tags for-

  • Movie and popcorn
  • Silly string fight
  • Pots and pans band – (go outside and bang on pots and pans with wooden spoons – something I did as a kid)
  • Sparklers
  • Make a toast – we toasted with sparkling grape juice
  • Ring in the New Year! – we watched the ball drop on TV and used our noisemakers.

There are tons of ways to create big memories with your kids that don’t involve a lot of money or extravagant parties. This year my husband has to work on New Years from 6am-6pm but has New Year’s Eve off and when we were talking about what we were going to do (we are celebrating at home as a family since he has to be up early) the boys recalled trying to pop the balloons by trying to sit on them last year. Doing the balloon countdown is definitely something we are going to do again this year and I am sure we will do it for years to come!

New Year Balloon Countdown - Perfect for a kid friendly party!

New Year Balloon Countdown - Perfect for a kid friendly party!

Enjoy,

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December 12, 2013

Help Pick our 2013 Christmas Card

I know there are only 13 days until Chistmas and I am really slacking in the Christmas card department. I just took photos of the kids this evening, edited a few of my faves and now I am rushing to find the perfect card. Thankfully I was introduced to Minted. and I don’t think there is one design on their site that I DON’T love!

At 4pm I was rushing to get the kids into their Christmas pajamas only to find that Mason’s were in the washer. I quickly stuck them in the dryer but they weren’t completely dry by the time I needed to get the pictures. I got everything set up in the backyard – the toddler bed, blanket, little props and the kids’ Santa sacks. Then the hard part was getting them all to smile at the same time, look at the camera, stop making faces, and out of the many pictures I took there were only a few that made the final ‘maybe’ cut.

Vote for our 2013 Christmas Card Design from Minted.

Vote for our 2013 Christmas Card Design from Minted.

Vote for our 2013 Christmas Card Design from Minted.

Once I narrowed it down to three pictures I had my husband help me pick the winning photo to use for our photo Christmas cards. I though the decision making process was over until I plugged the picture into Minted. and fell madly in love with multiple designs! This is where I need your help! Out of the 20+ pages of designs there were to pick from I narrowed it down to five and now I’m leaving the final decision up to you! Just leave a comment telling me which design (#1-#5) you like the best!! On Friday I will be adding up your votes along with those I get from my facebook fans to place my order!

Vote for our 2013 Christmas Card Design from Minted.

Oh and might I add that they also have lots of options to customize your card including adding scalloped edges! I think the scalloped edges add such elegance and uniqueness to a Christmas card! Seriously doesn’t the picture below look awesome with those scalloped edges?! I can not wait to see which design you pick and get them next week!

Vote for our 2013 Christmas Card Design from Minted.

Enjoy,

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Minted. where I was compensated in a product for review. All opinions and thoughts are completely my own.

December 9, 2013

2nd Annual Cookie Exchange Link Party

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Cookie Exchange Link Party! If you’re feeling hungry you might want to grab a bite to eat before looking at all of these drool worthy cookies! Over the past few weeks I have had eleven bloggers join me in sharing their favorite Christmas cookie recipes and today we are inviting YOU to join us by sharing your favorite recipes too!

Cookie Exchange Link Party

One of my family’s all time favorite cookies around the hoildays are Homemade Thin Mints – my husband always asks me to make extra so he can give them to the guys at work.

Cookie Exchange Link Party

We also LOVE double chocolate mint chip cookies! Do you see a trend with the mint here!?

Cookie Exchange Link Party

So – what sort of Christmas cookie do YOU make each year? In my family one of our traditions is for my brother and sister to come over and bake cookies with my kids and I. We didn’t think we were going to be able to arrange it this year but I just found out today that my brother will be able to make it home a few days earlier for Christmas. I am so excited and can’t wait to start making a list of the cookies and treats we are going to make! (I’m waiting to make the list until I see what awesome cookie recipes you guys link up!)

Link Rules:

  • Link up as many recipes as you would like as long as they are Cookie Exchange worthy! Fudges, nuts and candies work!
  • No need to link back but we would love for you to spread the word!
 
Enjoy,

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December 8, 2013

Banana Cookies from Britches & Boots


I am so excited to be here with y'all! Hi! My name is Aleisha, but my friends call me Leish. I blog over at Britches & Boots. I am a mama of 4 blessings ranging from ages 7 to 8 months. People often tell me I have my hands full, I always respond with no. I have my heart full. I am a small business owner of Bliss Baby Designs where I love to create one of a kind pieces to add a little bliss into every memory. Now grab a cup of joe or a mason jar of sweet tea. Sit back and turn your smell-o-vision on while I share a recipe handed down to me by my grandmother!


1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg

I start with the shortening and the sugar. Mixing well then add in the egg. Now my grandma used to separate each part into multiple bowls. I simplified this recipe by figuring out the proper order of ingredients! 


Mush up 3 bananas in a separate bowl and combine into your bowl. I love to let the kids mush the bananas for me! They get a real kick out of it! Once this is combined you will add in:

1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg


Mix completely and then last you are going to dump in 3 1/2 cups of flour. When you are finished place your bowl of dough into the refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake 11 minutes. Let cool and enjoy! My grandma would place these in the freezer with wax paper in-between each layer. I used to sneak them out by the handfuls and eat them frozen! SO delicious! Please, stop on by and say hi!

You can follow me on Facebook or Instagram as well! Have a blessed day!


Enjoy,

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