Friday, December 19, 2014

1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls

What to make for Christmas morning breakfast that won't take hours to prep/bake/frost?! 1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls! I found this recipe and decided to try it out. I made these cinnamon rolls the night before I was going to bake them, so I let them rise as directed in a warm oven and then let them come to room temperature, covered them, and placed them in the refrigerator. I thought they would continue to rise, but I think they shrunk a tiny bit. Next time I will bake them after letting them rise and just reheat them in the morning, as not to compromise the dough. In the end, they were still delicious and I had a very happy family during our "Early Christmas" celebration!

*Also, maybe I need different dental floss - but mine did not help with slicing my rolls. I ended up using a knife.

1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls

- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 packet Rapid Rise instant yeast
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup whole milk (I used Egg Nog!)
- 1 tsp. salt

- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract

Vanilla Glaze:
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp. milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla

1. To make the dough, place your flour, salt and yeast in your mixer.
2. In a microwave safe bowl, place your butter, water, milk, and sugar. Heat for about 1 min 30 seconds on HIGH, or until all ingredients are hot and butter is almost melted.
3. With your dough hook on your mixer and on the lowest setting, slowly add your milk mixture to your yeast mixture. Mix until a sticky dough forms on the hook.
4. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
5. Knead your dough and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.
6. Once your dough has rested, lay it out on a floured surface and roll it out to 16"x9".
7. Mix your filling up and spread it on your dough.
8. Roll your dough up lengthwise and cut 12 rolls out of your dough.
9. Grease a 13"x9" baking dish and place your cinnamon rolls in it.
10. Turn off your oven. Place a piece of foil on top of your baking dish and place your cinnamon rolls in the warm oven for 25 minutes.
11. Take out your rolls (they should have doubled in size) and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
12. Once preheated, bake your cinnamon rolls for 15 minutes.
13. While your cinnamon rolls are baking, mix up your vanilla glaze and drizzle on top of your cinnamon rolls when they come out of the oven.

 Dough rolled out with filling

Dough rolled up and cut in 12 rolls

 Top: Cinnamon rolls before placed in the oven
Bottom: Risen cinnamon rolls (not sure what happened in the bottom right corner)

 Vanilla Glaze

 Baked cinnamon rolls with glaze

Christmas Breakfast

Merry (Early) Christmas selfie from my family to yours!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DIY Vanilla Latte Scrub

Now that I made the Gingerbread Scrub - I had to try my hand at a scrub with coffee in it! I found this scrub on Pinterest and it even explains why each ingredient was selected for the scrub. Sounds like a nice healthy scrub to be using if you ask me! I used Dunkin Donuts Vanilla ground coffee and this scrub smells delicious! This can even used as a nice to gift to give a coffee lover or a sweet friend for the holidays.

Vanilla Latte Scrub

*Free printable

- 1/4 cup coffee - reduces inflammation, gets rid of cellulite, and has been linked to reduce skin cancer.
- 1/4 cup brown sugar - moisturizes skin, breaks down cells, regenerates skin, and exfoliates!
- 1 tsp. baking soda - adds to exfoliation and cleanses the skin.
- 1 tsp. vanilla - for the scent!
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon - spice known to prevent infection and kill bacteria.
- 1/4 cup olive oil - known to moisturize your skin, protect it from sun damage, and most people are not allergic to it.
- jar with a lid

1. Mix all ingredients, but olive oil, together.
2. Slowly add olive oil to get the consistency you like.
3. Store in a jar with a lid and add the label!

 Ingredients before adding olive oil

 Vanilla Latte Scrub

Cute gift with a printable!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

DIY Gingerbread Scrub

What to get that teacher who spends patient hours with your child a few times a week for the holidays?! Gingerbread Sugar Scrub is here to save the day! This was easy to make and looks so cute in the little mason jar. I even used a holiday cupcake liner in the lid of the mason jar. Our school even provided the teachers a questionnaire that answered where they like to eat/shop/hobbies etc. So that helped me figure out what gift card to attach to their sugar scrub. Gift complete!

I did not use almond oil, instead I used extra coconut oil. I got a nice consistency and the ingredients smelled like Gingerbread until I added the coconut oil. I really think if I scooped some out and used it, I would smell more of the gingerbread. But who doesn't like smelling like coconut oil?! No complaints here! This recipe made enough for 2 of the mason jars showed below.

Gingerbread Sugar Scrub (makes 2 1/2 cups)

- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. all spice
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- lid with a jar

1. Mix all ingredients but your coconut oil together.
2. Slowly add your coconut oil to get the consistency you want in your scrub.
3. Place in a jar with a lid.
4. This link has an adorable free printable that I attached to my jar that reads "Gingerbread Sugar Scrub."

 Dry ingredients

 Gingerbread Sugar Scrub

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grinch Cookies

Every year I get a group of friends together and their kids for our annual 'Christmas Pajama Play Date.' Well this year was a tad different because everyone has another kid and our 'little' group grew a little more! 13 kids total. So my sweet friend bought a new, bigger house this year, and we threw the play date at her house! What a blast the kids had - chaos, cookies, and SUGAR! Of course all the kids wore their Christmas pajamas. I love traditions and this one is my favorite to do because I am a mommy now and my kids love this time of year!

I've been trying really hard to teach my 4-year-old that Christmas is more than just about presents. It's hard to understand this, so we have been reading/watching "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas." My kids love the book! I think it has a really valuable lesson to teach about Christmas meaning more than just about stuff. So, for the play date we had the kids decorate graham cracker gingerbread houses and decorate a cookie with frosting and sprinkles. I also made some "Grinch Cookies" that turned out delicious!

*Disclaimer: since it's not Valentine's, it's really hard to find heart sprinkles, so I ordered mine off of eBay.

As a take home party favor, I made "Grinch Dust" out of sugar and food coloring with a poem.

Grinch Cookies

- 1 box white or vanilla cake mix
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 drop green food coloring
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- heart sprinkles

1. Mix cake mix, eggs, flour, oil together.
2. Add your food coloring.
3. Allow dough to firm up in your refrigerator for 10 minutes.
4. Make 1 inch balls with the dough and roll in powdered sugar. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
5.  Place one heart sprinkles in the middle of each dough ball.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.


 Green Dough

 My little cookie helper

 Grinch Cookies about to go into the oven!

Grinch Cookies

"Grinch Dust"

 Palmer and Vaughn decorating gingerbread cookies

 Babies in pajamas!

 Big kids in pajamas!

Goofy faces!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Eggnog Waffles

Looking for something festive to start your day with? You need to make Eggnog Waffles! So heat up your waffle iron and whip up the ingredients below and enjoy! I topped mine with a little butter, syrup, and a small dollop of Cool Whip.

Eggnog Waffles

- 2 cups flour (extra flour included for high altitudes, original recipe called for 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups Eggnog
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil (added for high altitudes, not included in original recipe)
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
2. Mix all your wet ingredients together.
3. Pour wet ingredients into your dry ingredients. Pour onto waffle iron.
4. Top as desired. Serve warm!

 Batter and Eggnog

 Waffle Iron

Eggnog Waffles!


Monday, December 1, 2014

It's a Whimsy Christmas

This year I have been wanting to change up my holiday 'color scheme' to something more fun! In the past I have pretty much stuck to the traditional gold/red scheme. But this year, I saw this amazing tree on Pinterest in these fun bright colors and I just had to try it out. Bright blue, pink, and green are my colors this year! I bought a lot of my decor from Hobby Lobby, and ALL of their Holiday decor is 50% off. We have a small 4-5 ft. tree this year since we will be traveling during Christmas, so there wasn't too much extra room to work in a lot of decorating. I bought some extra ornaments in my color scheme and honestly, there just wasn't any room left on our tree to include them, so those went back to the store.

I made these two huge bows with blue, pink, and green ribbon and tied them at the top of the tree. Then I used extra pieces of ribbon and tied them with this 'twisty tie' stuff I found at Hobby Lobby to create cascading ribbons on the tree. I love it!

As for my mantle, I bought paper mache letters to spell "NOEL" and painted them with acrylic paint. Then, I just taped them onto our stocking holders. I made another bow out of the ribbon and attached it to one side of the garland. I found some clear and inexpensive (also 50% at Hobby Lobby) candlestick holders to display my Gumdrop Christmas Trees better over the garland. I also found some fun 'whimsy' extra decorating stuff to stick in my garland (as shown).

For my bar area, I made my own Ornament Wreath to hang in front of my mirror and purchased a semi-matching ornament tree at Target. My kids made a Gingerbread House to display. For my "Grinch Quote" Canvas, I painted an old canvas (from a Painting & Wine place) white and green and free-handed the quote with red acrylic paint. Easy to do!

We are so excited for the Holiday Season and I hope these decorating ideas help you out! Happy Holidays!

 Our Small Tree


 "Snickers" the Elf is watching you... so you better be good!

 Ornament Wreath, tree, and Grinch canvas

 The Mantle: bow, gumdrop trees, "NOEL," and stockings hung with care

 Bow and gumdrop trees

NOEL (Merry Christmas in French)


Gumdrop Christmas Trees

It's December 1st, so I can now share with you all my decorating ideas for this Holiday Season! These cute gumdrop trees were super easy to make. I've had a few people ask me if I made them with toothpicks... these trees are much bigger in person and that would have been a LOT of toothpicks - I used my glue gun! You can make these 'candy' trees with any type of holiday candy such as peppermints, red/green gumdrops, marshmallows, fruit o's, etc. Have fun with this and decorate! I hope to get some candle holders to place my trees on top of to make them even taller on my fireplace mantle. Stay tuned.

Gumdrop Christmas Trees

- foam cone forms
- glue gun
- lots of gumdrops

1. Hold cone in your hand upside down and make a line of hot glue.
2. Stick on your gumdrops.


 Foam cones and gumdrops

 Gluing gumdrops

Gumdrop Christmas Trees!