Wednesday, December 30, 2015

One word Wednesday Wordle

I got a little off-count with my One word Wednesdays, so this is actually #50...


For fun, I made a wordle out of all of the words I chose during the year.  I noticed that there are happy and sad ones, combo and simple ones,  hello's and goodbye's,  opposites and alikes...It was a challenging year for us at Camp Rustown, but we managed to make it through, good times and bad.  And as usual, I am happy to bid goodbye to this year.  
I have plans I want to get started on. 
How about you?
******
Happy New Year from the Cannary Family!





Monday, December 28, 2015

This year's Christmas cookie

It's fun to find a new cookie recipe you can try our for the holidays.  If you are still looking for one that's not all fancy schmancy but tastes wonderful, I have a great one  Introducing the "I want to Marry You" cookies from this blog.  I found them by scrolling through Pinterest and they did not disappoint.
The recipe made enough to fill these two containers for our cookie exchange at work, plus another container for the neighbors PLUS a couple sampled along the way!

I Want to Marry You cookies 
      
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1 egg, plus one extra egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled (or old fashioned) oats - not quick oats.
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, extra for garnishing, if desired*
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, extra for garnishing, if desired*
  • 1 cup roughly chopped, toasted pecans, extra for garnishing, if desired*
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until melted. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the brown sugar and whited sugar and stir until sugars are incorporated and smooth. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, and cinnamon and mix together.
  5. Stir in the white chocolate chips, chocolate chips and pecans.
  6. Roll by hand into medium-size balls or use a scoop, and place on sheet pans. If desired, tuck extra chips and pecans over tops of dough mounds for a lovely appearance.*
  7. Chill, on sheet pan for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and bake for 14-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for several minutes on pan, then transfer to cooling rack.
*Here is where mine differed.  I froze the dough til the day I was going to bake.  Then thawed it, cut it with a knife into "cubes" and baked them at 350 for 11 minutes.  
Same same.
Except mine look a lot less like a Pinterest pin and more like something that came out of your neighbor's oven.
I admit it was odd to melt the butter and sugar, but the resulting butterscotchy taste to the dough was WONDERFUL.  To package up the neighbor's cookies, I used the liner of a cereal box to help keep them fresh in the container.  I just filled the bag then folded down the excess into the container.
Then, once again, I will freeze them, as the neighbors will not be home until Saturday.  
At which point their cookies may or not inspire a marriage proposal....but I'm pretty sure they will enjoy them!





Shared with:
Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Chrismtas morning 2015!

Bubbie, The Girl, Firstborn, and Scout!
The best gift at Christmas: A family all wrapped up in each other

******

Merry Christmas to your family from our family!



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tiny simple Christmas tour at our house!

Welcome!
{Instead of one word Wednesday, let's take a tiny tour of Camp Rustown}
This year I am soooo happy to be able to do all of my own shopping and decorating, no matter how stressed I feel.  But, in any case, I kept it simple.  And I used a lot of what I already had.
I have used the same wreath form for years and just recycled the picks and sprays and whatnot.  This year I bought red burlap ribbon to spruce it up.
The tree was cut by Hubby and the boys from Elgin Tree Farm - they chose a 8.5 footer, so I ended up buying a 48 piece ornament set from Wal-Mart to fill in the empty spaces. Had I been able to shop at the end of the season last year, I would have bought more ribbon to trail down from the topper.  Next year, friends...next year...
Beautiful Pier One inspired candle holder from my friend Carol.  I am really loving those LED candles since they can go just about anywhere!
China cabinet is prettied up with red ribbon, candles, berry sprays...
Card holder from Firstborn - made in Scouts years ago, 
and button pillow made by me many years ago.  I didn't make any crafts this year, but I have a LOT of ideas for what I want to make next year, and I swear I will get started early!
The kids' tree. And the den:

So not fancy.  And a bunch of it could be left out through January.
I added some vintage yarn ornaments to a small tree in the boys' bathroom.
The soldier was made by The Girl.
Even my bathroom got a small tree and candle.
And the bedroom shelves got tiny trees and a Santa.
I hung a wreath in the kitchen window, added the tiny pinecone trees in pots, and we light a candle at the kitchen table most every day.  It's such a peaceful place to sit.
I'm finding I really love the simple decor.






Monday, December 21, 2015

Getting 'er done

I had planned to do a post on decor today - just pics of how we Christmas'd up the house for the holidays.  But today I am playing major catch up on a much needed day off.  As of this writing, I have finished all of the gift shopping, done 99% of the wrapping, made cookies for a friend tomorrow, loaded the dishwasher, bought groceries, and worked out menus.  After lunch Bubbie and I are going shopping for a few last minute gifts he wants to buy.  Then I will NAP.  Seriously.
For the first year since we've had kids, Hubby and I have put gifts under the tree before Christmas Eve.  It usually takes that long for the tree to stop drinking water, plus when the kids were small, it discouraged too much curiosity...
I'm feeling pretty good about the rest of the week - there'll be lots of time for relaxing.  And maybe tomorrow I will post a mini Christmas house tour!






Friday, December 18, 2015

5 thing Friday - Eating and drinking OUT, beautiful Texas, more ornaments, band concert, dishwasher

I have discovered that Happy Hour makes us considerably more happy than it should.  
Recently, we went as a family to Happy Hour after our photo shoot.  Two of the six enjoyed a soda, and all of us enjoyed the queso bar.  My new favorite thing ever is the Mexican Martini.  
 Trust me, they were happier in real life than they appeared in these pics.  {Though I am sorry to say, the service at Chuy's in the bar is abysmal.}
 But you would never know it.
(Hubby is smiling on the inside)
People who think it's never Fall here, probably don't live here.  True, it's very mild, and as I type its much like Spring outside, though we are days away from Christmas.
 On a recent Sunday Hubby and I went to a wine partay shindig at Driftwood Estates.  Beautiful weather, great live music, fabulous scenery, tasty snacks, and great wine were enjoyed.  We had a wonderful afternoon - can't wait for the next one in February!
 I added about 48 more ornaments to the tree.  I'm done now, promise.
The Winter Concert at the high school.  My kid is always the one looking away from me.  Sigh...their group played Chanukah is Here, Sun Cycles, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.  It was a looong evening but a great end to the fall semester.  Hooray for finals ending and winter break beginning!
A new dishwasher was purchased for Camp Rustown.  (things are dying here left and right - the Escape, my blow dryer, the iron...) It's super quiet and the dishes come out sparkling.  I LOVE IT.  The old one sits sadly in the garage awaiting the next Big Trash Day.
Hubby and I have enjoyed two days off together, filled with Christmas shopping, eating breakfast out, and his office Christmas party for tonight.  Then, it's back to the grind for me tomorrow.  This morning we ate a plate of migas here.  Followed by me sluggishly trying to get my Friday chores done.  Lest you think all we do is drink and eat, take note:  Hubby has lost a lot of weight and had a great check-up at the doc's this week.  Onward, to Christmas!





Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

New family photo

Something fun, a little bit different.  Thanks to Scout who works as a photographer - and thanks to all of my peeps who thought it important enough to be at the right place and the right time - no small feat nowadays!

Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.-Brad Henry





Friday, December 11, 2015

A recipe for a better week

It's been a rough few days at Camp Rustown.  We knew it would be - we had a lot of stuff going on.  But that's the way it is with holidays right on top of real life, right?  And there's not much we can do but keep moving forward, no matter how bummed we might feel right this minute.  The holidays are going to happen, regardless! 
So, moving forward...along with all of the other things I want to buy for Christmas gifts, I want to create some, too!  I bought The Girl a clear lucite recipe card holder similar to mine, ordered some nice dividers from Amazon, and have been filling out a few tried-and-true recipe cards for her each day from my own collection.  I kept a few blank cards out, too, so I could send her one now and again.  Most of them are very easy recipes that she can adapt to a couple of people, instead of six...
I don't want to get on the other side of the season and wish I'd had more time for this or that.  This year is much improved over last year, when I was basically homebound.  It's a blessing to be tired each day from all of my going and doing.  And juggling the finances to take care of the big things we've had going on this week has also been a blessing - after all, no money to juggle would have been far worse.  I guess it's all in how you look at it!  And next week can only be better...





Shared with:
Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

The hot chocolate bar is open!

This is the third or fourth year I have put together this little arrangement in the kitchen.  Not only does it make the kitchen a little cozier, but it's such a treat for anyone who wants a warm cup of sweet something on a cold day.
Last year I used items I found at Dollar Tree - no idea where those have gotten to.  I probably purged them when I organized the kitchen in January.  I did use the same big round tray from years' past - this one was $2 from Academy.  I laid one of my mother's crochet doilies in it for pretty.
Rumaged in the cabinets and found various mason jars and a decorative apothecary style jar for mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and those melting candy cane sticks. (you can find those at Target and they are great in hot drinks!)
 I found this mix at Trader Joe's - sounds delightful.
The Girl bought some instant hot chocolate at Thanksgiving, so I added that, plus the Pumpkin Spice Kahlua I got for my birthday.  So good in hot chocolate!  One of our many Christmas mugs from over the years holds stirring spoons.
We have a lot of Christmas mugs - lots of sentimental value here.  Some of them date back to when my kids were in elementary school.  My peeps have all loved coffee and hot chocolate.
My late MIL sent us this Santa years ago - last year he held greenery, but I usually put candy canes in him, just for fun!
I cleared a big spot on the coffee counter, under the soft glow of a lamp.  It makes me want a hot cuppa right now...





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