Showing posts with label valentines day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label valentines day. Show all posts


perfect sugar cookies

If you are on the hunt for the perfect sugar cookie recipe to mix together, cut into hearts and frost for Valentine's Day, your search has just ended. I've tried dozens of recipes over the years but they have all come up short.

Until now.

I can't even describe to you how perfect these cookies are.  They are beyond exquisite.  I'm confident that the addition of powdered sugar in the dough is the secret weapon.  The cookies have the most amazing texture, and topped with a light pink butter-cream frosting lightly laced with almond flavoring, they simply can't be beat!

So, go on, whip up a batch and have one for me.  I chased the escaped herd of sheep around the block in my rain boots this morning, so I can handle the extra calories.

Perfect Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temp(please don't even consider using margarine)
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix all ingredients and chill.  Roll out nice and thick (around 1/4") on a lightly floured surface.
Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes.  
The edges might start to barely get golden.  Don't overbake! 
Cool completely before frosting. 


3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temp (again, use the real stuff)
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond extract, which I prefer)
2 teaspoons whipping cream
drop of red food coloring, optional

Beat powdered sugar and butter til well mixed, 
then add the extract and whipping cream.
Add more cream if necessary to develop a spreadable texture.

To get a perfectly smooth top, after frosting the cookies, dip a butter knife in water and lightly run it over the surface.  Works every time.

Today is my Mom's birthday.  She has been in the Philippines for 6 months now, and I miss her more every day.  I'd give anything for a hug from her, or to spend a day sewing and baking along side her.  Here is a recent picture of her in the front room of the home she and my Dad are living in for 18 months.  Isn't she so darling?

 Happy Birthday Mom.  I love you.


a winner and a door reveal

Happy Valentine's Day!  While Mia is cuddled up with her man in bed all day, I will be taking care of two little boys, sick with the flu.  It's a good thing I love them so!

  The winner of our February Giveaway 

goes to our biggest blog fan......
Entry #53, Mommy!

 Can you believe this?  Mommy is my very own mom!  She is one of the people I love the most on this planet, and today is Valentine's Day!  I was so shocked that she won, to prove it wasn't rigged, I called Andrew upstairs as my witness.  This is the first time she has been able to figure out how to enter one of our giveaways (we have been blogging for 18 months), so I think it was totally meant to be.  Congratulations Mommy!  I'm so happy you won, but I'm even happier that you are my mom. I'm excited to help you find the perfect place in your house to hang the sign.  Love you!

Remember close to a year ago when there was a major {transformation} on the outside of my front door?  Maybe you haven't been with us that long......if that's the case, let me just show you.  This is what used to welcome me home every time I pulled into the driveway.  It's a wonder I ever came home.

It made my stomach turn every single day.  So, with the help of some moulding, paint, numbers, flowers, and a brother, I turned it into something a little more appealing.

Sadly, what has been staring at me from the inside of the house for the past two years is just as appalling as what the outside used to look like!  A faux oak stained door, orange-ish shellacked trim, and cream colored honeycomb blinds.  I have averted my eyes every time I have walked by it since the day we moved in.

While Jeff was here revamping the outside of the entry, I very sweetly asked him if he wouldn't mind adding some new moulding around the door inside, as well as a nice bulky header on top to give it a little more of a statement.  I was sure to wait until after I served him his favorite dessert to ask, and then he had no choice.  All 4 of my brothers are really handy and helpful.  I'm lucky.

And that is how it stayed for almost a year.  It really looked awful because it was so unfinished.  I just didn't know what to do with those sidelights.....  I hated the blinds with a passion, however we needed some privacy, as well as some protection from the sun during the hot summer months. But I still wanted plenty of light.  I know, I was asking a lot.

I finally came up with the idea to add some wood panels in the bottom sections. My super-smart woodworking friend Melanie and I headed over to Stardust Building Supply in Mesa to see what we could come up with.  After searching the store and mulling over our options, we finally decided to get this solid wood door that very closely mimicked the panel design on my front door at home. 

Stardust is a DIY girl's (or boy's) dream store.  It is packed full of cabinets, light fixtures, doors, windows, mouldings, and all sorts of other stuff that girls like us want and need. The prices are really reasonable because it's all donated.  Kind of like the Goodwill of building supplies.  If you live in Arizona, look them up!  They have a store in Mesa, and another in Phoenix.  Lucky for us, when we got the door home we knew it was going to be perfect.  At long last, things were starting to look up for me.

Now for the pesky top windows.   I had a couple of decent ideas, but when I saw what smarty-pants Ashley from {7thhouseontheleft} did with one roll of contact paper, my sleepless nights were over.

She put up a great {tutorial} on how she cut a pattern out and applied it to her glass door.  I knew this was the perfect job for G, and she was on her way over with my other gal pals the very next week for a day of helping at my house.

Melanie got right to work on adding the wood panels.  She's a perfectionist, and I knew they were going to be just right.

G also got right after her task of covering the top sidelights with contact paper cut-outs from the pattern I chose.  She kept referring to Ashley's informative tutorial, but found that wearing a pair of surgical gloves when peeling the contact paper up was super helpful because it eliminated the fingerprints she kept seeing once she applied the pattern on the glass.  So keep this little tip in mind if you are ready to splurge on a roll of contact paper ($5) and try this super awesome technique on a window at your house.

By the end of the day, I was pretty much ready to caulk everything really well, prime and paint.  I painted the door a color I mixed up myself from three leftover paints I already had, and painted all the trim out in a white semi-gloss.  And here she is, all ready for her "after" pictures.

It's like being in a whole new house every time I pass by the front door now.  It's really quite thrilling! 

Just in case you were wondering what Mia and the other girls were up to that blessed day, a couple more reveals are well on the way!


LOVE tree + free downloads

Every Monday evening is family night in our home.  It's the one night of the week when we clear our schedules and count on being together.  Sometimes we learn about Jesus, sometimes we bake treats or do yard work for neighbors, and sometimes we get out the board games and see who will be chutes n' ladders champion.

This week I was in charge, and decided we would make a LOVE tree to put on our kitchen table.  I cut down some branches from the neighbor's yard and spray painted them white.  Then I made some circle tags for each of us to write love notes on. 

As we filled them out, we clipped them onto the tree and tied hearts onto branches with red ribbon.

My boys thought it was fun, and everyone felt good while we read them out loud to each other.

If your family wants to make a tree, go {here} for the printable, circle tags.

I found these hearts while reading a freakishly cute blog I stumbled upon, {Simple as That}.
Go {here} to download. 
Rebecca is an fantastic photographer and has lots of tips and tricks to get you inspired.  She also has a few other free printables that I'm going to use for the Nino's Valentine's Day party at school.  I love a time saver!

I don't really get into the stuffed teddy bears and heart necklaces on Valentine's day, but a few years back, my man and I started a fun tradition.  We get the kids off to school, and and as soon as they're gone, we get right back into bed.  We put a TV in our room, order take out, and watch movies in our "PJ's" all day. It's one of the perks of being self-employed, and since my love language is quality time, it's one of the things I look forward to all year.

PS. Are we allowed to sign up for our own giveaway?  Jilly painted this quote that could be so cute in my bedroom!  If you want it too, sign up {here}.


perfect gift card holster

Jilly and I have been busy making preparations for a Valentines Lunch we're hosting this week for a few of our single girls. We thought it would be lovely to serve a feast in my back yard in their honor. So many decisions...salad?...sandwiches?...pasta?...dessert? We want it to be perfectly memorable for these warrior moms.

Does anyone besides me and Oprah think a brilliant invitation is the essential beginning of a memorable event? Well here's an idea even Colin Cowie would be proud of, and I credit this stroke of genius to our very own Jilly.

Here are step by step directions if you want to make you're very own.

1. Cut the cuff off of a mans dress shirt right above the seam.

2. Take a 1" strip of fabric and sew a loose basting stitch down the center, then gather it.

3. Cut the ruffled fabric to length and sew it onto the left side of the cuff.

4. Zig zag the bottom of the cuff shut.

5. Add desired embellishments to the cuff and insert your invitation.
It's also the perfect size to serve as a holster for a gift card.

The invitation was created from a tag we featured {here}. They're free to print if you want.

Hold on to your party hats, the details of this love fest will be comin' soon.

j +m


love fest free downloads

Today officially kicks off the month of LOVE, so of course me and Jilly have been thinking about how to package up treats for friends, neighbors, teachers, and loved ones.

Here's a sweet and simple idea.....

We designed four different gift tags and thought we'd share them,
well, because....


Click {here} to download and print these tags.

Oh ya, our favorite printable card stock is simply {Bazzill White} . It has a great texture and promises to make your tags a bit more sassy
(I'm temporarily out and it's still pretty darn cute).

Although we believe in technology, we also believe an old fashioned sentiment speaks loudly. Here are a couple cards we designed that might inspire you to hand make a Valentine for the ones you love.


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