Friday, November 4, 2011

I Am Thankful ~

I was going to say that I am thankful for God. And I truly am. Maybe you are judging me for not putting Him on Day 1. I just feel like I can't spend 10 minutes on a blog about God that does Him justice and I really don't have much brain power left today. So today, will be about DOG instead of GOD. Come to think of it, my dog has taught me so much about God. You can see more about that in this blog. For now, let me show you what makes me so thankful for my little Tuglet. This is going to be cute overload, so get ready!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3 ~

Ok so I have a confession to make. Day 1 was my dad, day 2 was my mom. Day 3 was a tie between my brother, Jeff, and my dog, Tug! (Sorry Jeff!) I just kept thinking about Tug's furry little cute face. Then I would think about my brother's furry little, um, face... decisions, decisions! But guess what? My brother would definitely win out if it came right down to the line. Probably.... well, yeah, he would. 

My brother is absolutely the best brother in the world. And I'm not just saying that because Christmas is coming up either! He really is. When we were little... LOOK! We really were!

Ok, you can stop laughing at my bird legs now. Anyways, when we were little, we used to fight like all brothers and sisters do. Like all siblings do. But we had some really good times too. I remember once when we were both sick, my mom gave us a hot toddy. (She's gonna kill me for telling that). Anyways, we both then started pretending to be drunk.
I'm pretty sure we were pretending.

When it snowed outside, we used to get all bundled up and go make snow forts. I tried to get a few snow angels in here and there between getting pelted with snowballs but we mostly made forts.

We also used to go crawdad fishing. Again, I bet you can guess whose idea that was. Oh, and periodically we would drive our bikes to the school and play a little one-on-one basketball.

You might think I was a tomboy after hearing me talk about all those things. Nope! I've always been as girly as they come! On the other hand, I always wanted to be around my big brother. And if crawdad fishing and snowball fights were what it took, I was all for it.

This is Jeff now with his beautiful wife, Dallas. (I'm thankful for her too).

Awww! SO cute!

I'm so thankful that my brother and I have stayed close and haven't drifted apart like some siblings.

Love you Jeff!

November 2 ~

I know, I know! I am a bit late for November 2nd. It was kind of long and busy though and I just couldn't get it in. But I will definitely catch up today on being thankful!
On the first day, I said I was thankful for my father. I'm also thankful for my mother.

She is my best friend and I don't know what I would do without her. Whenever I have a problem, she is the first person I call. I think she can fix anything.

I know she has tried. From hamsters to hearts, she can fix them all!!

I have precious memories from the time I was a little bitty girl - showing me how to tie my shoes, teaching me the ABCs, sewing and baking...

Ok, so she did the baking, I licked the bowl. Same thing.

There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am for my mother.

Time to get a new picture of us!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November ~

Ok, so one of my friends had a GREAT idea. She stated that since November is the month of Thanksgiving, she will give thanks every day for God's blessings. I just wanted to get right in on that because so many times Thanksgiving is skipped and we go right on to Christmas. Last night I took a walk (ok, I was really chasing the dog when he got out!) and one of my far neighbors had Christmas lights on in their front yard. WHAT?! I love Christmas, it is my favorite holiday of the year by far. But I do not want to skip over Thanksgiving.

So I've decided to choose one thing each day that I am thankful for and blog it. I'm not promising anything long and introspective. Just something I'm thankful for. So here is the first thing I am thankful for:

On Father's Day 2011
I could have said "family" but I am especially thankful for my daddy today. He is such a character, always making us laugh and being corny. He takes teasing pretty well also.

This is us when I was much, MUCH younger! See what a good dad he is?? I treasure this picture.

So today, I am thankful for my dad.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Treats for All! ~

My roommate and I share a lot of the same interests. So when she asked me if I would like to make treats to give to some of our neighbors, I was all for it! We looked for idea for a few days and here is what we came up with -

These are pretzel sticks. We originally wanted to dip them in yellow, orange, and white chocolate to look like a candy corn. However, stores are out of all the Halloweenish colors of candy melts except for ghoulish green. So we went with it. Just melt the chocolate, spoon it over the pretzels and then put sprinkles all over. Cute, huh?

These are Candy Corn sugar cookies. The recipe for them can be found here.
And a few other places on the Internet.

These are caramel apples. Megan bought the caramel pieces that come in a bag and look like chocolate chips. Much easier than unwrapping all those caramel candies! 
Just melt and dip!

Here are some Cookies n Cream apples. Just melt your white chocolate with a tiny bit of shortening and dip your apples. Sprinkle them with crushed Oreos. They look kinda messy but I'm sure they are delish! This recipe came from Woman's Day magazine.

This is the supervisor of the whole operation. He literally had to see everything that was going on in that kitchen before he finally got so tired he laid down in a chair. LOL! Don't worry, he never got near the food!

We packaged them up in these really cute bags.

I couldn't find any Halloween gift tags so I made my own. I don't own any of those scrapbooking punch thingamabobs so I just traced around some cookie cutters and cut them out with scissors. I thought they looked good for a rookie.

Each bag had 1 caramel apple, 1 cookies n cream apple, 20 cookies (they are very small), and 4 chocolate covered pretzel sticks.

We chose 5 houses to visit. Our next door neighbors are the best and always there when we need anything so they were the first we visited. They weren't home. I thought it would be so fun and the neighbors would all want to know our names and say how kind we are. And we would take pictures of this momentous occasion. I know, I have crazy dreams!
SOOOO, we went on to the house on the other side of them. We don't know these people but they were home. The little boy who lives there let the dog out and my dog tried to start a fight with him...
Anyways, so after we got the dogs calmed down, we introduced ourselves and went on. 
The next house was across the street and the couple happened to be in their garage. We went over and said hello and gave them their Halloween treats. They said thank you but looked at us like we were crazy. I'm not sure they speak English...
The next 2 houses had lights on but nobody came to the door so we just left the cute little bags hanging on the door knob. Hopefully they do come out through the front door sometimes.
Anyways, we still had a fun time traipsing around making fools of ourselves. And while they sort through their candy apples and cookies looking for needles and razor blades, we will be at home feeling good about our good deeds!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies ~

I know you have all seen these cookies on Pinterest.

I LOOOOOVVVEEEE candy corn. So. Much.
I know, I know! It is pure sugar but I just don't care. Every once in a while I have to haul myself over to the gift shop and buy a 50-cent bag of them. And not just at Halloween either! 
Anyways, this is a very good idea but I put it on the back burner because every other cookie has the stripes going in the wrong order. 
Everyone knows that white is never the color on the big end. Right? 
Yellow is on that end. For all time and eternity. So the fact that half of these cookies is wrong, well, that just held me back.
But then, PTL (Praise the Lord)!  I saw that Sweetsugarbelle had figured out how to make all the stripes be right. She simply dipped the ends of all the cookies in yellow candy melts! I swear, she's a genius!

So I headed to Hobby Lobby and picked up the only bag of yellow candy melts they had left.
Close call.
So, that's how you do it and this is one of the treats we packaged up in our neighborhood treat bags. Yes, that's how we roll and our neighbors are gonna be so happy!
Here is the recipe I used to make the sugar cookie dough. It is a bit different from most recipes that I've seen because it calls for 6 egg yolks and no whites. But hey, that's what makes them so chewy! I wouldn't use any other recipe.

Thick Sugar Cookies
6 egg yolks
4 eggs2 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups white sugar
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Cover dough and chill for at least one hour.  Roll the dough out on parchment paper to 1/2 inch thick and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters.  Leave the cookies on the paper and put them in the freezer. After they are frozen, pop them out of the extra dough and either put them in a freezer bag or bake them. To bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place some parchment paper on cookie sheets. Place frozen cookies 2 inches apart on to the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Obviously, for these, you don't do the rolling out part. I made 1 recipe and it was enough for 2 9X5 loaf pans. If you want just one, then you can halve the recipe. (Duh). Also, do not skip the freezing of the dough part. Unless you just want round candy corns for some reason...

So here is what my dough looked like before I put it in the oven. I just cooked them for 8 minutes because they are really small. 

Here is what they looked like after I dipped them in yellow chocolate on the correct end.

I know they aren't as pretty as Sweetsugarbelle's but I know they taste as good!