Category Archives: Holidays

Christmas Lunch Box Note Freebie!

We are in full on holiday mode over here! We have decorations up, gingerbread house is decorated, we’ve done santa photos, Steve the Elf has arrived, Advent calendar is stocked and this morning we are off to pick out our tree…I’m exhausted already and it’s only December 2nd!!! Actually, I’m still enjoying the joy of the season and love seeing how excited my girls get with every tradition. They are at the perfect ages right now (8 and 6) and I want to soak up every moment of this age because I know it won’t last forever.

I also knocked another lunch box freebie for you guys – holidays themed of course! These little notes are some of my favorite things to design. They are fun and simple designs, and my girls love getting them in their lunch every day. Sometimes I do wonder though if they appreciate them since it IS one more thing to remember to do in the morning, so I test them every once and a while and skip a day or two…I soon get grumpy faces after school telling me I “forgot” their note. As long as it brightens their day even just a tiny bit, I will keep putting them in their lunch and coming up with new designs every now and then 🙂 Click here to download

I hope your holiday season is magical!

Sour Cream Gingerbread Recipe

I love this time of year, when it’s socially acceptable to start baking all things holiday! One of my favorites is classic gingerbread. I’m not one to mess with tradition and add all sorts of new flavors. That said, I’m not opposed to salted caramel anything!

I’ve made this straight forward recipe for years and always go back to it even after veering off to try something new. It’s super easy, comes out moist (really need another word to describe food in that way. If you come up with one let me know!) every time and is a crowd pleaser. Feel free to play with the amount of ginger in this recipe and/or add some candied ginger to the mix if you like that extra kick. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Sour Cream Gingerbread

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • ½ cup Molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour (can use a third or a half whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. ginger (or a blend of your favorite gingerbread spices)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour an 8”x8” baking pan or line it with parchment paper. I used a loaf pan this time.
  3. Cream the butter and slowly add the sugar until light and fluffy.Add sour cream, molasses. Add eggs continuing to beat until well blended.
  4. Whisk flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt and ginger and stir into the butter mixture.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. If using a loaf pan, increase baking time to 45-50 minutes.

 

Mother’s Day Card Freebie!

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Just in the nick of time I pulled this Mother’s Day card together and to offer you a free printable (Click Here to download). Just in case you are doing this last minute like me! 😉 I’m going to hold out my honesty card here for a sec. I don’t know if you are like me, but every Mother’s Day I struggle with wanting to just take the day off and coast the whole day…because let’s face it…as mother’s that’s near impossible even if your husband “takes over” for the day. My husband can be in the kitchen, and I am some where else in the house, and my girls will yell out in the house if I can get them a snack. Really?!

Back to my original point of wanting to take the day off…I also have Moms that have put in their time and more than deserve to be celebrated beyond measure. They have been at this waaaay longer than I have! Buuuut….I. AM. TIRED. What do I do? Throw on my big girl pants and put something together for the amazing Moms in my life or coast and hope that they understand this time around? In the mean time, I am popping this card in the mail. And my sentiments are true. Where ever your Mama is, it feels like home. All is right in the world. Thank you to all of the inspiring Moms that have come before me and set the bar high. We can only scratch the surface to express our gratitude for the countless sacrifices made and always having that soft spot to land when times are tough. Thank you Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day – XoXo

Easter Watercolor Name Cards – Free

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Oh man have I been lacking creativity and motivation lately. I don’t know what it is, but I’m hoping I get out of my slump soon. I’ve been meaning for over a month to post about my daughter’s unicorn birthday party details (check my Etsy shop for the super cute invitation). I’ll get to it soon I promise! But in the mean time, I’ve come up with another free printable for you all. Easter is just days away…really not sure how or when that happened…and I am hosting this year and I always think it’s fun to come up with a new name card design for the table.

I don’t know about you, but this watercolor trend isn’t getting old for me and I especially love it during the spring time. And how pretty are watercolored eggs?! Click here for the free download and just write in the names of your guests at the top…a gold sharpie perhaps?! Enjoy the season everyone! Xo, Jessica

Free Valentine Card Printable!

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Well hello there! I haven’t been on here much last month, I’m getting my mojo back and wanted to share a free valentine card with you all. No need to stand awkwardly at the store reading cards amongst other desperate strangers trying to find that perfect card, only to put it back and then try to jockey for more space. You know what I’m talking about 😉

I know “to the moon and back” is a tried and true saying, but my girls and I say it to one another almost daily. And then we try and out do one another to see how far we can “love” one another. So far no one has beat “to infinity and back again infinity times”! Kind of silly, but I love it and will probably say it to them when they are my ripe ol’ age. Because I am their mom…and it’s my right at their mom…I don’t care if they get embarrassed or think I am off my rocker. Without further ado, click here to download your free card to print out. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones!

XoXo, Jessica

Christmas Name Cards: Free Download!

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It’s almost Christmas! Yikes! I feel like I am scrambling to get things done, but at the same time…nothing is getting accomplished!! The girls have this whole week before Christmas off of school and I have been spoiled with them both in full time school and having those hours to check things off my to-do list. Plus, they seem extra cranky and messy lately (sigh). Mom life am I right?!

But I realized that with Christmas just a few days away, I better start thinking of my table setting! Given how this week is going I thought I should keep things super simple and not try and reinvent the wheel. So I whipped these place cards up to go with the glitter Christmas party crackers I found from Meri Meri (click here for free download. And there is an editable field to type your guests names!). Black, white and gold this year! And maybe a bit of greenery thrown in there 🙂 I also felt it appropriate to have the “peace, love and joy” theme this year. 2016 seemed to be more crazy and emotional in the world than usual and we could all use some Christmas joy and magic to make the world a little brighter for 2017. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. Much love to you all!

Land Rover Christmas Gift Tags…Did I say Free?!

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Happy Monday everyone. I hope your weekend was relaxing and fun filled. OUrs was all over the board. A snow day, sledding, a trip to the doctors (the little had an ear infection 🙁 ), decorating cookies, house chores, christmas parties, and some desperate bonding with our new bird who doesn’t seem to like me as much as I like her (sniff sniff).

As promised from last week, I pulled together another gift tag for the more rugged folk in your lives. And it’s free! Just click here, print and trim. Easy peasy. Just two more weeks till Christmas…gotta get crackin’. Hope your week is festive!

Xo, Jessica

Hazelnut Chocolate Shortbread Christmas Cookies

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I’m failing my early New Year’s resolution already 🙁 I vowed I would only make one Christmas cookie this year since they don’t get eaten like they used to (this low sugar thing, blah, blah, blah). I let me girls pick what kind they wanted and of course they wanted cut-out sugar cookies with all the bells and whistles of frosting and sprinkles (insert heavy sigh here). I resolved myself to say that was ok. But I should know myself better after 39 years of this. Lying in bed the other night, I was thinking about my Nana’s shortbread that I loved as a kid and haven’t made in several years. Then I thought how much I love Nutella…errrr… chocolate hazelnut butter. Hello! A marriage made in heaven I say.

So I made my own Nutella from my Blendtec cookbook. Super easy by the way. Then I set about making the shortbread yesterday. As you can see by my little post-it note, that’s all I have of my Nana’s recipe. I have no idea where it came from, but my dad grew up with them, my mom made them for my brother and I as kids and now I make them. It’s a super simple recipe with few ingredients. I think it’s the simplicity that I like. Or maybe it’s the memories I hold on to of my Nana who passed when I was young. Or maybe it’s the brown sugar, buttery, flakiness of the cookies that I love. I’m guessing it’s the whole package 🙂

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Without further ado here is the recipe for the chocolate nut butter and shortbread:

Chocolate Hazelnut butter: recipe from Blendtec

Ingredients:

  • 2   cups toasted hazelnuts
  • 12   cup coconut oil, melted
  • 12   cup cocoa powder
  • 1   tsp vanilla extract
  • 1   cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Add coconut oil and hazelnuts to FourSide or WildSide+ jar and secure lid (If making in Twister jar, decrease ingredients by half). Blend on a low speed for 15 seconds and then increase to a high speed for 35 seconds (until blended time reads 50 seconds).
  2. Stir mixture towards center of jar, then secure lid.
  3. Blend on a medium speed for 50 seconds. Stir, secure lid, and repeat this cycle two more times.
  4. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar to jar and secure lid. Blend on a medium speed for 50 seconds.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving or spreading on shortbread cookies.

*Note: To toast hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts on shallow baking sheet and toast in oven until skins darken, approximately 8-10 minutes. To ensure even toasting, stir the hazelnuts after 4-5 minutes in oven, then finish toasting. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub towel back and forth to remove most of the hazelnut skins.

Nana’s Shortbread Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cups white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions: Makes Approx. 30-40 individual cookies (15-20 sandwich cookies)

  1. Heat oven to 325°
  2. In a standing mixer, mix on medium low all ingredients until dough just comes together, but be careful not to over mix or over handle the dough!! Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out dough to approx. 3/8 inch thick. Cut circles using a 1.5″ circle cookie cutter. *I used a 2″ in the picture above, but personally they would be better smaller and would get more cookies!
  4. Bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat liner for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them the last few minutes. The bottoms should be just lightly browned.
  5. Once cooled, spread one cookie with chocolate hazelnut butter and place another on top. Store in fridge or freezer. Enjoy!

Christmas / Holiday Gift Tag Freebie

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I’m popping in twice in one day! It’s a record for me since I rarely get more than an hour or two to sit at my computer. But today, I was able to create some holiday gift tags for you to print out. Maybe I have birds on my mind because we just added a new little parakeet to our family or maybe it’s because this world feels like it could use some Peace on Earth.

Without getting too deep, I hope that during this special time of year, no matter what your faith or beliefs are, that we can all have some moments of peace in the world. A moment where we can wake up, turn the news on and not have to sensor it from our children.

I hope your holiday season is filled with peace, love and joy! Click here for the free printable gift tags.  You get 12 per page and can print as many as you need. And I’ve got an idea for a landrover one for those more rugged folk in your life so check back next week for another freebie 🙂

Christmas Kids Lunch/Love Notes: Freebie!!

lunch-notes_xmas img_6957Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend filled with loads of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, family and holiday decorating! We certainly did and what an effort it is. Every year I tell myself it’s too much, but then throughout the year I forget and get excited to do it all over again…who’s with me?!

I digress…the point of this post is to offer you some free printable Christmas themed lunch notes for your kiddos lunches this season. Why not keep the lunches festive and the cheer going while they are away at school? I came up with these cuties yesterday and my girls are getting their first ones in their lunches today. I am especially fond of the santa jolly one 🙂 I hope you enjoy! There are more general themed ones for the rest of the year in my Etsy Shop (see tab on home page). Enjoy this magical time of year and I’ll see you soon with some more holiday posts. Oh, and click here for the free downloadable PDF.