You can't be good at everything...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You can't be good at everything.
One of my weaknesses: The ability to wrap presents.
Seriously, you'd think I'd be good at it. But I'm not. At all.
I spent this afternoon wrapping presents, and after lots of struggling and frustration finally finished.
They look decent from a distance, but up close, it's kind of a mess.



Normally I like to get a variety of wrapping paper, but my hubby didn't feel it was necessary. I suppose he was right, we didn't even use the entire roll. Still, I like having options.

I decided to take down all of the ornaments from the tree before we leave for the holidays. The branches on our tree are drooping, and it's only a matter of time before our ornaments start falling off. I didn't want to risk it.

Apparently, it really is necessary to make a fresh cut after you choose your Christmas tree (Jacob and I both knew this, why we didn't speak up is beyond me). The guy we purchased ours from claimed that he could "drill a hole in the middle" and it would do the same thing. Nope. It doesn't. Our tree barely drank any water, but I'm pretty happy that it's still hanging on for dear life.
One of my favorite ornaments from this year was one that my parent's gave us while we were at their house this past thanksgiving:



It's a Lenox "Our first Christmas" ornament. I love it.
Technically it's our 3rd Christmas that we will be spending together, but the first one that we will be married for :)
My hubby was OH SO HELPFUL as I was removing all of the ornaments from the tree.



I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas!

Cookie Mission Accomplished

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time to play catch up! I've been meaning to post, but the hubs was home a lot last week (he doesn't really have to work much till after the new year now), and it's hard to get a free moment when he's around!

I finished all the Christmas cookies last Tuesday. Whew. That sure turned into quite a task! I love baking though (would I love it as much without my "cinnamon" Kitchenaid? probably not...) and I'm already thinking about maybe trying out some new cookie recipes before we leave for Orlando.
I put together about 10 plates of cookies for all the guys in Jacob's shop, and still had some left over for us.



I made 4 more types of cookies to add the the Rudolph and spritz cookies that I already blogged about.
Pumpkin Ginger cookies (AMAZING. Probably some of the best cookies I've ever baked)
Choc. Chip shortbread sticks



Sugar Cookie cut-outs
Peppermint bark (Both milk chocolate and white chocolate)



Message me if you would like any of these recipes!
Thursday night was the holiday party. To be completely honest, I don't remember much and neither does my hubby. The general consensus was that this party was going to be pretty boring (it was basically on a farm, and not a neat one), so we met up with a few people to have drinks beforehand.
Here's Jacob and I before the party:



This week will most likely be full of some last minute shopping, and lots of free time to just enjoy ourselves. And maybe a project or two to keep myself entertained...

Rainboots

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I don't know why, but recently I'm obsessed with rainboots.
I really really want a pair.
For some reason I feel like I just need them for Europe.
I was looking on Piperlime and decided that I want a pair of classic Hunter rainboots:



Purple or traditional black? I can't decide. I just know that I need a pair.
I have this image of myself walking around various cities in Europe, rain or snow, in some rainboots.

I also like these not so traditional rainboots from Kate Spade:


I have a feeling this "I need (fill in the blank) for Europe!" is going to be a re-occurring theme...

Christmas cookies: Day 1

Saturday, December 11, 2010

So to both of our surprise, Jacob actually doesn't have to work this weekend!
I forgot what it felt like to not wake up at 6am and spend the whole day by myself. We ran some errands in the morning, and then after lunch I got down to baking (while Jacob got a little camera happy).



I started off easy, and since the hubs was home decided to make one of his favs. Spritz! Probably the easiest recipe ever. I made them this past Halloween in pumpkin shapes, and this time around made trees, candy canes, and stars.



1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar, and then add the rest of the ingredients! Voila! Fill up your cookie press and make whichever shapes you wish! I added some green food coloring to the dough for my trees :)

Next I made Rudolph cookies. These are SUPER easy, yet very time consuming.



You need:
Pretzels
Graham crackers
Chocolate chips
Red hots (candies)
Frosting (powdered sugar, whipping cream, vanilla extract)

The graham crackers need to be cut in half, and then cut again diagonally in order to form a triangle. The pretzels must also be sawed in half to make the antlers.
Cover 2 graham cracker triangles in frosting, and place them together like shown.



I think the rest is pretty self explanatory.



Voila!
My cookies for the day!

Ciao!

Just some updates

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wow I can't believe it's already been a week since my last post!
I have to admit, lately my mind has been on all things Italian.
One of my goals is to become fluent in Italian by the time we leave Italy. That gives me about 6 months now, and then another 3 years once we get there. I thought this sounded totally achievable. We got Rosetta Stone the other day and I've only done a couple of lessons so far...
But I don't know.
Learning another language is going to be more difficult than I thought. I'm good at the reading and writing portion.
Not so good on the speaking, which would be the most IMPORTANT part.
There's certain sounds I just don't know how to make.
I also didn't realize how much of my French education I held onto, which is NOT helping as I try and pronounce these Italian words.
Jake's having no problem of course.
I wanted to learn everything before him. That was my dream. To arrive in Italy and have to explain to HIM everything that's being said and whats going on. He's always such a know-it-all, I just wanted to beat him :)
I still have time.

His crazy work hours should be over soon! Hooray! The inspection ends next Wednesday, and then the Christmas party is Thursday.
I've been told the Christmas party is in a barn-type setting. I've actually been there before, Jake and I got our pumpkins there this year, and went on a hay-maze there last year.
Not only is it in a barn, but it is also BYOB. So that means people are going to be carrying around coolers full of beer and what not.
Then Jake comes home to tell me that they were told to "dress nice" to this barnyard/BYOB event...
Really?
I'm going to be drinking out of a cooler, on a farm (or whatever you want to call it), and you don't want me to wear jeans?
Seriously?

I'm beginning my Christmas cookie bakeathon either today or tomorrow. I'm making about 6 or 7 different cookies. I'm doing them a bit early so that I can send some to work with Jake for all the guys in the shop, and also have time to mail them to some of Jake's deployed friends.
I love baking, but I cannot have that many cookies sitting around the house.
Look for some cookie posts coming soon!

Life is pretty crazy...

Friday, December 3, 2010

One thing about life is for sure, you never know what's going to happen.

JACOB AND I ARE MOVING TO ITALY!!!!!!!


Jacob came home Wednesday night with orders to Aviano Air Force Base.


Our original plan was that Jacob wouldn't be re-enlisting and we would move to Portland, but once we were given this amazing opportunity we certainly couldn't pass it up.
We leave in June and will be living in Italy for 3 years! We will be in the Northern part, about 3 hours from Venice.
I'm extremely excited, but at the same time everything feels so surreal.
I think it will take a while for it to really hit me.
I've got about 6 months to work on my Italian!

Ciao!