My Style

My Style
My Style


In The Kitchen



The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Around

Best Christmas Sugar Cookie

One of my favorite Christmas memories as a child was making sugar cookies and cutting them out with fun Christmas shaped ornaments. My mom, sister and I did this each year when I was younger and always had a blast! After we baked the cookies, we would then decorate them with icing, leaving lots of fun cookies for us to eat over the holiday. I realized last year that Kendall was old enough where she could help with the cookie making and decorating; unfortunately my mom couldn't find her sugar cookie recipe. So I scoured Pinterest looking for the perfect sugar cookie recipe.

After reading through lots of recipes, I settled on one that I will share below and let me tell you - it is the BEST Christmas Sugar Cookie.

There are multiple reasons I love this recipe:
-one batch makes a lot (at least 3 dozen)
-the cookies take barely anytime to bake
-there is no chilling required, you can make the dough and immediately start rolling everything out
-the cookies hold their shape REALLY well and don't expand when baking
-there is a hint of almond extract in these cookies that makes them taste so good
-they are the perfect amount of sweet, and definitely not too sweet
-the cookies are soft and just plain awesome with perfect edges every time
-they taste great with or without icing

Preparing for Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

Pursuit of Pink Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

During November and December when we focus on being thankful and gift giving to those we love, I also want my daughter to focus on spreading kindness around like wildfire. We have been very blessed in so many ways and it is my hope that my child will learn this at a very early age so she can spread cheer to others always.

Last year, I introduced Kendall to 25 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACK) in December leading up to Christmas Day. I got the idea after following fellow blogger, Molly, and decided immediately that my family would take part. I chronicled our 25 acts on facebook for everyone to see. I certainly hope we encouraged others to perform random acts of kindness as Molly did for us!

As I prepared for this year, I started talking about the Random Acts of Christmas Kindness with Kendall at the beginning of November. I reminded her of some of the fun things we did last year and asked her what she wanted to do this year. Her first thought was to take some of her own money out of her piggy bank and buy toys for kids who don't have any. You better believe that tears sprang to this mama's eyes! Do you see how easy it is to get your kids to care and want to give? You just have to show them.

This year, I thought it would be fun to share in advance our plans for Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. I would LOVE IT if lots of you loyal readers would take part in RACK this year. My entire life's mission is to make people feel loved and to spread happiness, so why don't we all participate together?

Below is our schedule for each random act. You can follow along exactly or create your own list. The point is just to bless others! I'll include an image at the bottom of this post that you can save to your phone to refer back to later.

If you participate, I'd love you to share it on social media. Use the hashtag #PursuitofPinkRACK so I can see who is joining in on the kindness.

Bumpdate - 20 weeks

20 Weeks Bump Update

So many people have messaged and asked how I am doing with my pregnancy so I figured it was about time I shared an update! I have always heard that you show much earlier with your second than your first, but that has not been the case with me. I'm still wearing my regular clothes (though I think maternity jeans will be purchased soon) and only in the past week and a half did I really start showing. In case you didn't see this post, we are happily having a BOY!

How far along: 20 weeks and 1 day! My week always begins on Thursday.

Thoughts: I am amazed that we are already at the halfway mark! Although, if this baby is anything like his sister and decides to come early, then we have already passed the halfway mark. I'm so excited for another baby, I've waited a long time on my second child. I can't wait to snuggle and cuddle with him when he is a newborn. My memories are a bit fuzzy from when Kendall was a newborn, but I'm excited to experience it all over again. Being completely transparent, I do sometimes get a bit overwhelmed when I look at Kendall and think of a lot of the milestones we have successfully completed (sleeping through the night, separation anxiety, potty training) and realize we have to do that all over again. But the thought of a precious little boy completing our family makes me not focus on the tough parenting things that lay ahead (and I know there are more to come once we get to the teenage years).

I've shared this with some of my friends, but I feel it bears repeating here. When we moved out of Northern Virginia to begin a brand new life and allow Tolar to go back to school, we knew that a second child would be put on hold for awhile. I did mourn the fact that my children would not be 2-3 years apart as my sister and I are 2 1/2 years apart and extremely close. However, God always knows the right plan and took care of us. You see, I'm a neat freak through and through. A clean house makes me feel in control. Well, when I imagined life and birthing my second child, I never imagined building a brand new house! But God knew! Can you imagine how out of control I would feel moving into a new house with a messy toddler AND a newborn? I would have gone crazy!!!! Luckily by the time we move, my Kendall will be just a few months shy of 5 years old and she is already able to help me out with lots of things around the house. And she is old enough to know that she too also likes things to be neat and tidy. God is so awesome; I love how He takes care of even the tiniest details in our lives.

Advice Received: Surprisingly I don't think I've received any baby advice. I guess people assume that since I've already gone through this once that I know what I'm doing (ha!)?!?! I've already given myself some advice...and that is that I'm going to hold my baby as much as I want. When Kendall was a newborn I had so many people tell me that I shouldn't hold her all day because she would get used to that. And yes, I held her quite a bit, but the thought that I was "spoiling" my child was always in my head. Well, I'm ignoring all of that and will hold this baby as much as I want. Because here I am with a 4 year old wondering where my newborn went! One of my favorite things to do with Kendall was have her curl up and fall asleep on my chest as a newborn. The last time she did that, I had no clue it would be the last time and I miss that feeling! So I'm going to snuggle my baby and hold him because I know the newborn months will be over in an instant.

Baby: I have been tracking the baby (we call him Blueberry) in two apps: Ovia and Baby Center. I prefer Ovia the best so I will tell you the stats from there. Baby is the size of a Belgian Endive and likely about 10 inches tall. He also likely weighs about 10 1/2 ounces.

Movement: My doctors told me I might start feeling the baby move around 14 weeks, but I only felt one tiny flick about 15 weeks. For the past week I've really been feeling the baby move. I feel very light thumps on both sides of my abdomen. Unfortunately they aren't strong enough to be felt from the outside yet, and I cannot wait for Tolar and Kendall to be able to finally feel the movement. I wonder how Kendall will react.

Sleep: I wish I could say I'm sleeping like a champ right now, but I'm not. I wake up often throughout the night to readjust my position and attempt to get comfortable. Since I am in my second trimester, it is important for me to sleep on my side from here on out. I'm normally a back sleeper so this is a huge adjustment for me. Luckily, one of the fabulous midwives I see told me I don't have to fully sleep on my side so I've started sleeping with a pillow tucked under my right hip. This adjusts my body just enough so that the baby is shifted to the left but I still feel somewhat like I'm sleeping the way I prefer.

Food: This pregnancy I haven't really had any aversions to a particular food or smell. During the first trimester, my appetite barely existed and I preferred very bland foods. If I felt like eating, which was not often, I usually wanted bread. Now that I'm in my second trimester, my appetite is back though I'm not ravenous by any means. I feel like I eat exactly the same now as I did before I got pregnant. I have not noticed a need for an increase in food yet. Just like my pregnancy with Kendall, grape tomatoes taste amazing! I'm always a fan of grape tomatoes, but they taste even better when I'm pregnant. I don't have any cravings and really eat a very normal diet.

Weight Gain: When I was pregnant with Kendall I gained 33 pounds and unfortunately did not lose it all right after she was born. I lost about 20 of those 33 pounds. Just before I got pregnant, I got serious about losing weight and had lost 7 pounds. Since I do not want to gain 33 pounds again, I've talked with my doctor about a safe amount of weight to gain and we both decided on 15-20 pounds (though I'm focusing on 15). According to the scale at my last doctor visit, I've gain 3 pounds so far this pregnancy.

Preparing for Baby: Since this is our second child, we are a bit more laid back with our preparations. I think some of that is attributed to the fact that this baby will likely arrive before our new house is built, so I'm not rushing to set up a nursery. I have decided to decorate the nursery with a mustache theme - I'm still deciding on colors. I did go through all of Kendall's old clothes last week to determine if anything could be passed down. My sister had given Kendall some of my nephew's gender neutral clothes, so all of those are being kept for Blueberry. I love that Blueberry, Kendall and my nephew will all get to wear some of the same clothes. I kept everything from when Kendall was a baby, so I don't think we are going to have to purchase a ton of stuff. Luckily the majority of the bigger items (pack n' play, bouncy seat, activity mat, crib) are gender neutral so we won't have to purchase those again. Tolar and I plan to create an official list of everything we need once we get through Halloween.

Prayer Request: My prayer will always be that this baby is born completely healthy and with no complications. If you could join me in praying that I'd be ever so grateful. We give all praise to The Lord that we have had great test results so far throughout the pregnancy. Because I am 35 years old, I'm considered "Advanced Maternal Age" which means I've gone through a bit more testing and monitoring than last time. I'm not considered high risk though because the only "risk factor" I have is my age. Since I don't have high blood pressure, gestational diabetes or anything else at this moment, my doctors do not consider me high risk.
One other prayer request I have is for the delivery. Even though I've successfully delivered one child I'm still anxious (a lot anxious) to do it again. I'm most nervous (again!) about the epidural. There will be no talking me out of it, I know I am getting an epidural because I do not handle pain that well. I received one with Kendall and I plan on receiving one this time too if I am able. However, I'm still very nervous about it. So please pray for calmness for me.

Pumpkin Patch Fun

Pumpkin Patch Family

Every year since Kendall was a baby, we have visited a pumpkin patch around Halloween and always have an incredible time. Halloween is Tolar's favorite holiday and has fast become Kendall's favorite too, so I have a feeling we will be "pumpkin patching it up" for many years to come.

Each year Thornspring Farms adds more and more activities to their Fall Festival making a day at the pumpkin patch so much fun. From slides and slingshots to tractor train rides and a bounce pad, fun is sure to be had. I love watching the pure joy on my daughter's face as she experiences one thing after another. And I guess you can consider us lucky that Virginia has temperatures of 76 degrees in October so we could enjoy a full Saturday outside.

Pumpkin Patch Slide

Entertaining with Greet & Gather

Entertain at home with Greet and Gather
Thank you Greet & Gather for the complimentary box. All opinions are completely my own.

The older I get, the more I realize I absolutely would choose a fun night of staying in at our house instead of "hitting the town." Staying in doesn't always mean that I want to be in my jammies and binge Netflix (although that is quite nice a lot of the time!). Often times, I'd love to invite our friends or family over and entertain. Something about enjoying a nice glass of wine with fine cheeses and spreads, surrounded by those you love just feels right.

Lucky for us all, there is a brand new subscription box company that can help us entertain like pros! Greet & Gather was specifically created and curated for those who love to entertain. You can sign up to start your monthly subscription and receive a box full of 4-6 items that you can use the next time you host an event in your house.
Greet and Gather