Friday, December 26, 2014

Our Christmas Recap 2014

Christmas has come & gone.. and it is another year of waiting for my favorite time of the year to come. This Christmas, just as always was wonderful. I love spending time with family and enjoying everyone's company. On Christmas Eve, we had a small dinner at my moms house. Every year she makes Italian foods, the stuffed shells are always a huge hit! After dinner my mom, sister, husband and I open our gifts for one another, which is always fun! Oh yeah, Beary girl opened some gifts too & she loved each & every one of them. 
Don't mind the baby gates, they are to keep the dryersheet-sock-lovin'-fur-ball out of our rooms.
On Christmas morning we watched the Christmas Story for the millionth time (my husband loves it!) and watched Beary girl play with her toys before we set out for a busy Christmas Day. We went to my K's moms house for an early lunch & opening gifts. And then we went to my Auntie's house for dinner, drinks (My uncle & husband played bartender) & lots of laughs. 
My crazy sister & mom- weirdos I tell ya! 
Now it is time to put the gifts away & take down the Christmas decorations until next year. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Decorations

The count down is on... Can you believe that Christmas is just days away?! I feel like the holidays this year, as every year, have flown by. This year was a little different for me, since we sold our house. So all my festive decorations are piled high in our storage unit. 
Luckily, my mom loves to be festive just like me, I got to enjoy her super cute decorations. And I decked out our little space with some lights, mini Christmas trees & my favorite prints from Garvin&Co
There are so much about the holidays that I love & I will be sad for them to be over until next year. I personally, think that our homes are much more cozy when they are decked out in Christmas decorations. If it were up to me, I would keep them up all year long. 

So what are your most favorite Christmas decorations that you wish you could keep up all year?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Lovely & Oh-So-Pinteresting- Christmas

There are so many aspects of this season that I love. Decorating homes, festive Christmas trees, yummy holidays cookies, and the wonderful cold weather. Everytime I look at Pinterest, it always puts me in this dream land. Dream land full of white, fluffy snow & cold breezy air. On one hand, I wish that Florida had a snow white winter. And on the other, I am thankful that I don't have to deal with snow & all the clean up. And if I ever want my fix, all I need to do is look at these beauties on Pinterest.
One of my very favorite parts about Christmas time is decorating the tree. When we had our house, we had two Christmas trees because I could never decide on one particular theme that I wanted to go with. I called them the "Hallmark Tree" & the "Pottery Barn" tree. I loved them so much! Last Christmas, I went shopping the day after Christmas & scooped up about fifteen different ornaments from Hallmark. They were all on sale, so it was definitely worth it- I can't wait to use them next year!
Yummy cookies & festive drinks are something else that I look forward to when the seasons rolls around. This year I am determined to find a good gluten/dairy dessert that doesn't have a thousand ingredients & doesn't taste like cardboard. Until then, I will drool over the some delicious gluten/dairy filled goodies that the rest of my family will be indulging in. 
So what are some things that you love about the Christmas season!?

All sources can be found here.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cookies Galore

Today, my mom and I decided to start our Cookie Baking Marathon & I would say we were pretty successful for one day. It is times like this that I truly love being at home, so I can enjoy these moments baking up a storm with my mom. My mom's plan was to make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies & Pecan Crescent cookies. We ended up making over 6 dozen of the oatmeal chocolate chip & they look scrumptious! As for the pecan crescent cookies, we made the dough & are going to work on them tomorrow tonight. (If you want the recipes for these, let me know in the comments.)
Since I am unable to eat any of the cookies that everyone is most likely to bake for Christmas. I decided to choose some of my own gluten and dairy free cookies that I wanted to make, I decided on Lemon Meltaways, Chocolate Crinkle cookies, & Sugar cookies.
We baked over two dozen lemon meltaways using this recipe. I love any & everything lemon, so I added a little more zest & lemon juice then the recipe called for. It was definitely a good idea because these are one of the tastiest cookies I have had in a long time. I also made them into tablespoon little blobs, instead of slicing in the log. This modification did not affect the time cooked at all. 
As for the chocolate crinkle cookies, I used this recipe from Williams-Sonoma. I followed the recipe from top to bottom. They were super easy to put into balls, cooked well & look super delicious. This was the first time trying this recipe & I will be honest, they are super dry. I am not too sure what to add to this recipe to make them moist- if you have any tips, send them my way. Overall, they were easy to make, smell good & moving past the dryness..the flavor is tasty. 
Tomorrow we will also be making some sugar cookies. I bought lots of Christmas cookie cutters at Target a few weeks ago & I cannot wait to use them. I plan on decorating them with some simple homemade icing. If you follow me on Instagram, I will be posting some yummy photos of them tomorrow. 

So what are some of your favorite cookie recipes that you use every season? Do you have any gluten & dairy free ones? 
Leave comments in the section below, I would love to hear all about them :) 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vacation Part III- Cruisin' Around

The days we weren't at the beach we ventured out all around St. Augustine. It truly was so nice to be able to wake up when we want, stop by Starbucks everyday, drive around town & just be together doing fun stuff. We stopped by downtown St. Augustine one afternoon- took some pictures, strolled through some old shops, & took pictures of houses I loved (Creepy, I know!)
We also went stopped by some "off road hillbilly place", so my husband could fish. It ended up being pretty cool, despite the fact that we had to trek through mud. 
Our last stop that we went to was a nice park, I cannot remember the name but it had gorgeous views of the ocean. 
Vacation always flies by so fast & I don't want to forget the good, peaceful, alone time that we had over the week. I always cherish time with my husband because I know someday we won't be able to do it much. The good times like this really make me realize what life is all about. 
Until next time... I will be dreaming about the beach daily. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vacation Part II- Vilano Beach & Anastasia Beach

During our week long vacation (take me back, now!) we my husband fished a lot! In most instances, I would've died from boredom but this time it was very enjoyable. The weather was super chilly, but I loved it! Since it wasn't hot we were actually able to be outside without sweating to death. The beaches were peaceful, with barely any people around. 

We visited Vilano Beach & it was so gorgeous! This beach allows you to drive your car on it, which was nice. The sand at this beach was pure shells, so pretty but oh-so-painful to walk on! It also has huge rocks throughout the water & it is so beautiful the way the waves crash over them. We also saw some more dolphins which! 

We also went to Anastasia Beach, which is where the beach condo is located. There is a boardwalk that goes to this beach from the condo or you can drive on it as well. This beach was a little more crowded then the other places we went to during the week. It was still super nice and there were tons of birds, shells, & for some strange reason there were a lot of jelly fish & crabs that came on shore.
And I forgot to mention, K and I bought our dream New England cape style mansion on the beach while we were there. Ha! In our wildest dreams, right !? ;)