Monday, November 29, 2021

Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Sugar Cookies

December is almost here which means it's time to start the holiday baking! One of my favorite memories as a child was making Christmas sugar cookies with my mom and sister and decorating them afterwards. Because I have such fond memories of that activity, I always make sure to set aside time to bake and decorate sugar cookies every Christmas with my children.


I scoured the internet for years looking for the perfect Christmas sugar cookie. I wanted a recipe that was easy, didn't require refrigeration of the dough beforehand and that made a ton of dough for plenty of cookies. Luckily I found the perfect recipe and I wanted to share it with all of you. Below you will find what is, in my opinion, the best Christmas sugar cookie recipe.

I'm also teaming up with some other bloggers to share their favorite Christmas cookie recipes. You will find links for those recipes at the bottom of this post. Be sure to check back this week, as I will be updating this post as more bloggers publish their recipes. And MAKE SURE to head over to instagram and give me a follow there, as we will all be sharing our recipes in our instagram stories.

Sugar Cookies for Christmas


Christmas Sugar Cookies


Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (don't skip this part - it is the best part!)
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups all purpose flour

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.) In your mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth.
3.) Beat in the extracts and egg.
4.) In a separate bowl, mix together baking powder and flour.
5.) Slowly add in the flour mixture to the wet mixture. The dough will get tough, but keep mixing.
6.) Once completely mixed, flour your counter top and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick (Not-so-professional tip: if you don't have a rolling pin, use a wine bottle!)
7.) Cut the cookies using any cookie cutters you desire.
8.) Bake for 6-8 minutes (my oven is on the hot side, so 6 1/2 minutes worked great!).
9.) Let the cookies cool before transferring them to a cooling rack or plate.
10.) Decorate and enjoy!

This recipe was originally posted on In Katrina's Kitchen. Be sure to hop over and check out her site, I also highly recommend her frosting recipe too.

Sugar Cookie Dough
Best Sugar Cookies for Christmas



Here are some more yummy cookie recipes that you
should check out too:

Vegan White Chocolate Macadamia


Ginger Snaps
Ginger Snap Cookies from Aratari At Home


Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies
Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies from The Okayest Moms



Boozy Hazelnut Truffles


Soft And Sugary Christmas Cookies
Soft And Sugary Christmas Cookies from Caitlin Houston 


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Gift Idea - DiscountGlasses.com

Thank you DiscountGlasses.com for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed below are completely my own.

Sunglasses Holiday Gift Idea

I am full swing in gift guide mode over here. I hope you've found the gift guides I've shared the past few days helpful. I've got even more to share! When I shared the Ladies Gift Guide, I included the Flower Eyewear Sophie Sunglasses that I just received from DiscountGlasses.com, but I felt like DiscountGlasses.com deserved their own blog post because there is SO MUCH goodness on their site. Definitely add this website to your list for your holiday shopping! Keep reading to find out why!

To start with, DiscountGlasses.com is an online optical retailer that makes stylish and high-quality eyewear all at affordable prices. I know the past year and a half has really hit some families hard and I love that DiscountGlasses.com is making their trendy eyewear affordable for everyone. Yes, I ordered sunglasses, but they have eyeglasses, reading glasses and accessories as well. One thing that I love, in particular, about DiscountGlasses.com is that they are committed to providing trendy eyewear to help show off your own personal style. They have so many different styles to choose from - there is definitely something for everyone. Their color selection is incredible; I'm sure you will find just what you are looking for in eyewear on this site.

Now the real reason that makes shopping DiscountGlasses.com a no brainer this holiday season is their return policy. They have a 365 day return policy! Yes, you read that right! You get an entire year to decide if you want to keep the glasses or accessories you ordered. Talk about buyer confidence when shopping for someone else this holiday season. DiscountGlasses.com offers free return shipping (in the U.S.) making it so you don't have to worry about gifting someone the wrong size, color or simply just getting them something they don't like. You won't have to worry about rushing around during the holidays to get an item returned. I've never seen a 365 day return policy, but I'm pretty impressed with that feature. I guarantee that their return policy will makes things a lot easier on you as you shop this holiday season. They even have a 365 day kid proof warranty, offering you a full year of protection on glasses you buy for kids.

Another great feature that they offer is their virtual try-on. What a perfect way to see how all of their different frames and styles will look on your face. The directions for the virtual try-on are very helpful and specific, so I am confident that you will be able to select the perfect frames for your face. 

Be sure to check out DiscountGlasses.com as you do your holiday shopping. With the numerous styles and colors of their frames, you will be able to purchase a unique set of glasses for all of the unique people in your life. They have styles for men, women and children - something for everyone! 

I picked out a few accessories and glasses on their site that I think would make a great gift for anyone:
1.) Visor Clip - so you don't lose your sunglasses in the car. What a perfect idea for a stocking stuffer!

2.) Eyewear Organizer - for the person in your life who loves their eyewear and needs a way to display it.

3.) CalOptix Double Vision Case - this is perfect for someone who needs both eyeglasses and sunglasses. They can store both pairs in one place!

4.) Men's Eyeglasses - I love the classic look, these would be perfect for just about anyone.

5.) Women's Eyeglasses - a perfect neutral with a pop of something extra.

6.) Kid's Eyeglasses - such a cute pair with several color options.

DiscountGlasses.com has all of your eyewear needs covered this holiday season!

Discount Glasses

Discount Glasses Sunglasses

Sunglasses as Gift
Sunglasses
Sunglasses Discount Glasses










Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Girls Gift Guide

Girls Gift Guide

For this gift guide, I enlisted the help of my 8 year old daughter. She is very much into electronics and video games right now, but still has a taste for a few toys and other fun things. This gift guide would be perfect for girls between 8-10 years.

1.) Squishmallow Plush Toys
More than a stuffed animal, a squishmallow serves as a squishy pillow and is available as all sorts of different animals. The owl comes recommended from my 8 year old.

2.) Echo Dot
If you allow your kids to have electronics in their room, an echo dot is a great item. My daughter will use this at night to play Audible books so she can listen to stories as she falls asleep. We use echo dots as a family all over our house for our intercom system and it is very convenient to "drop in" from another room to ask a question or chat. There are so many uses, we love them in our house.

3.) Glitter Girls Horse Set
I feel like horses are a toy that most girls love playing with. My daughter has always loved horses ever since she was 2 years old. This set comes with a posable riding doll, the horse, clothing and some accessories.

4.) Kindle Fire Tablet
The perfect first tablet for your child. With a Kindle Fire your child can stream tv/movies, listen to Audible books, play games, listen to music and more - all for an extremely reasonable price.

5.) Instax Mini Camera
This camera was a gift that my daughter received for her birthday, but it is something that she loves to use, especially when her friends come over. It is the polaroid camera for the current generation. The link I provided for you here not only comes with the camera, but a twin pack of instant film, frame stickers and hanging frames.

6.) Light Up Rock and Gem Collection
Comes with 29 different, beautiful rocks and gems. You can use the agate slice that comes with it to make an LED display lamp.

7.) Strip Lights
Turn your daughter's room into the coolest place in the house. These strip lights can sync with music and you can change the color with a remote. Available in 25 or 50 feet.

8.) Mickey and the Beanstalk Game
For the girl who still loves Mickey and loves to play games. My daughter (and our family!) is game obsessed and this is a different game that she's never played before. This game brings the animated film to life.

9.) Rainbow Sequined Slippers
How cute are these slippers? With rainbow sequins and faux fur, the girl in your life will feel so fancy wearing these. This brand does have the slippers available in several styles and colors.

10.) VTech Kidizoom Creator Cam
The perfect camera for your wannabe YouTube star. :) Kendall received this last year and plays with it all the time. It comes with a green screen and animated backgrounds so your child can create fun videos.

 

Monday, November 8, 2021

Boys Gift Guide 2021

 

Boys Gift Guide

This year, my 3 year old has already given me LOTS of ideas for gifts for him. He is very excited about Christmas and playing with all sorts of new toys. If you are at a loss for what to get a younger boy for a gift this year, let this gift guide be your helper.

1.) Excavator or other construction vehicles
My son has fallen into his gender role completely on his own and has a fascination with all things construction equipment. Also, watching Blippi has made him fall in love with excavators. This excavator is super affordable.

2.) Work Bench
Another favorite of my son is anything having to do with tools (especially a drill!). This cute work bench is the perfect addition to any little boy's play room.

3.) PJ Masks Headquarters Playset
If you have a young child, chances are they like PJ Masks. This HQ playset will bring all of their PJ Masks dreams to life!

4.) PJ Masks Vehicle Set
To accompany the headquarters, your little one will love the PJ Masks vehicle set. It comes with all three characters, a car for each, removable hero vests, traffic cones and a stoplight.

5.) Grill
We actually bought this grill for our little guy last year and he has loved playing with it. It comes with plates, utensils, lots of grilling items, a toy lighter and charcoal that actually "lights" and "crackles" when touched with the lighter. Such a cute gift!

6.) Toy Sink
This is such a cute gift idea and I'm sure will be hit as young kids love to "help" around the house. This toy sink actually has a working water pump and plenty of sounds to mimic cooking and cleaning in the kitchen.

7.) Inflatable Dome
If your children love building blanket forts, this might be the perfect gift for them. It inflates in under 30 seconds and no assembly is required. We actually bought this for our children this year and currently it is on MEGA sale. So hurry, I'm not sure how long the sale will last. Clean up time is much easier than folding tons of blankets, so this might be the best gift ever!

8.) Scooter
Kids love playing outdoors and this 3 wheeled scooter is perfect for little ones who can't quite ride a bike yet. The 3 wheels help them to balance and my son absolutely loves his!

9.) Magna Tiles
The gift that will keep them entertained for years! My kids have played with magna tiles so many times over the years, I love watching their creativity come to life. Magna tiles are durable and have lasted countless play times with both of my children. These are perfect to keep them entertained for more than 5 minutes.

10.) Marshall Fire Truck
My son likes Paw Patrol as well and went crazy when he saw a commercial for this fire truck. Shhh don't tell him, he is getting it. :) It features a really tall rescue ladder (apparently taller than any other Paw Patrol vehicles with ladders), has a water cannon launcher, lots of realistic sounds and tons of lights. 



Boys Coveted Gift

I have a bonus gift idea that I wanted to share. For some reason not known to me, Knox has decided that this bubble gum machine maker is THE gift he has to have this year. He has told everyone that this is what he wants! When he saw a picture of it, he saw it assembled and loved it. The toy is actually a maker that you put together yourself, so do not be fooled by the picture of the gumball machine itself.

I wanted to share though because it is slightly hard to find. With shipping delays being an issue this year, I figured I better find it sooner rather than later. It sells out often on Amazon, but keep checking as they constantly restock. I found it on Hobby Lobby's website, but then I went into my local store and found it there as well. 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Guys Gift Guide 2021

 

Guys Gift Guide

Ladies, today I've got you covered with a gift guide for the man in your life. All but one item included is something that Tolar (my husband) personally owns. The one item that he doesn't already own is something on his wish list, so rest assured that these are man approved. :) To shop any of these, just click the links in pink.

1.) Multiple Device Charging Station
The perfect gift for the tech guy in your life. This device charges six devices at one time and keeps everything neat and tidy (so maybe this is a gift for you too!). It is compatible with both Apple products and Androids. We use ours to charge tablets, phones, portable chargers, smart watches and more.

2.) Smart Garage Door Opener
This garage door opener is Alexa and Google Assistant compatible (meaning: you can control it with your voice!) plus very easy to install. There is an app that you can use which sends you alerts when your garage has been opened or closed. You can open and close your garage even when you aren't home. 

3.) Meat Thermometer
If you have a man in your life who loves to grill or smoke meat, this is a great thermometer for him to have. It has a rotating display making it easy to use for those hard to reach angles and it is also great for left or right handed people. It has motion sensing and powers on when the probe is opened, giving a fast and accurate reading.

4.) Key Finder
My husband is likely rolling his eyes as he reads this, but this key finder is great for anyone who might have a tendency to lose things. It comes with six different fobs to attach to keys or other items you might misplace and it also includes a remote to help you locate the missing item. Just be sure you don't misplace the remote. :)

5.) Dude Perfect Trick Book
For everyone who loves to watch Dude Perfect YouTube videos, here is a book that teaches you how to achieve the trick shots they perform. This is a terrific book for Dad and kids to work on tricks together.

6.) Ratchet Dress Belt
This is my husband's favorite belt, he wears it daily. He bought it in Summer 2020 and it is still in perfect condition because it is so durable. No more adjusting his belt with holes, the ratchet provides 38 different adjustments for a comfortable fit. It has such a sleek look and goes with everything.

7.) Cordless LED Workbench Light
Here is the one item that my husband doesn't own, but has on his wish list! This work light offers bright and powerful light to help see better when working on a project or in the garage. Providing up to nine hours of light, you can adjust the arm to be able to see virtually anywhere.

8.) Anker Bluetooth Speaker
A speaker so nice, we bought three! Tolar is a musician and an audio/visual technician so quality sound is important to him and this Anker Bluetooth Speaker gets his seal of approval. It is waterproof, offers stereo sound and can work with your phone/tablet/smart device to provide exceptional clarity and zero distortion. Plus it is very reasonably priced and available in multiple colors.

9.) Wyze Watch
Our family has many of the Wyze products and we have loved everything we've bought from Wyze. Wyze offers smart devices with tons of features at a price that is accessible to all. Does the guy in your life want a smart watch with all the bells and whistles but doesn't want to pay the high price tag? Get him this watch and he won't be disappointed. Tolar knows a lot about tech gadgets and this watch gives him everything he needs. 

10.) 6 in 1 Grilling Utensil
This is the swiss army knife of grilling utensils! This compact utensil features a fork, spatula, knife, tongs, bottle opener and wine corkscrew. He will have everything he needs right at his fingertips while grilling up dinner for everyone.