Holiday Cookies

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I wanted to make two batches of cookies- some chocolate cookies for me and the chocolate-lovers in my life, and something for my husband and the other not-chocolate-lovers. I stumbled upon this site, which had two recipes usually substantially the same ingredients and process, one for chocolate and one for sugar cookies– perfect!

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/12/03/candy-cane-kiss-cookies/

I skipped the sprinkles, because of a shared dislike of them, and decided to make things colorful by food dyeing some of the cookies red and green.

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I also tried to spiral a few (as seen here- http://www.justataste.com/2013/10/pink-pinwheel-sugar-cookies-recipe/ ). However, spiraling cookies isn’t something you just do willy-nilly it turns out. They turned out okay, but clearly needed to actually be more carefully spiraled to turn out as pretty as they looked online.

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I followed the sugar and chocolate recipe carefully, only leaving out the sprinkles and adding some food coloring for some sugar cookies. I alternated the cookies, leaving some plain, and added the peppermint kisses to half of them.

The chocolate cookies are almost brownie-like; very moist, and super chocolatey, sweet goodness. They were good with the peppermint as well.

The sugar cookies are pretty typical sugar cookie flavor, but moist and delicious. The peppermint kiss added a unique twist to a typical sugar cookie.

Overall, I recommend both recipes, and it worked out well to make both. You can whip up the chocolate first, and let it sit in the fridge while you make the sugar cookies. I was able to get them both done pretty quickly that way. I got bags from Michael’s, to bag them and decorate with ribbons etc. to give them to friends for Christmas!

Handmade Brooch Bouquet

Like many women, I wanted a bouquet that would last well past the wedding. I finally decided on a brooch bouquet, because my mom found many of my grandma’s brooches and it was great to incorporate them into the bouquet. It’ll also be something great for my daughter to someday have, even for her wedding if she decides to.

I used Ebay to find most of my brooches, besides the ones I already owned from my grandmother. The best deal are buying them in lots- it’s great too because many sellers will sell lots of coordinating colors, and I wanted to get a good number of purple and turquoise brooches (our wedding colors). Amazon has some, Etsy sellers sell some, and some thrift stores can be good places for them as well. You can also

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I also found a peacock and peacock feather brooch, to go with our theme.

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Next, I found several tutorials. I decided to use fake flowers as my base, rather than a foam ball- I just didn’t like the foam option, based on photos I saw.

I then started wiring all of my brooches– this is a good group project, because it it tedious. There’s not really a method to this madness, because every brooch is different, some have different backs than others, and the amount of wire you use depends on the size and weight of the brooch. You’ll get the hang of it after wiring a few though.

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After wiring, I started by placing brooches on top of the flowers, taping them along the base as I went.

I used small brooches to fill in all of the gaps, and just started bending the wires to get things to fit together well, and to be well-rounded.

In the end, I made 4 bridesmaid’s bouquets, and a larger bouquet for me. My mom sewed a white wrap for mine, purple for the bridesmaids, and a turquoise wrap for the maid of honor. I tied a turquoise ribbon around the wraps, to add the other wedding color on. They turned out well!

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Wedding Programs

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Though many people skip them now, I love designing documents, so I decided to make some programs myself.

I actually used Powerpoint to design them, because I found a template with some fun aspects to it which used Powerpoint, and it’s so simple to design pages as slides, and then print that way- it’s very photo and text box friendly. The template had figures for the area where you describe your bridal party, like this:

I used the template as a starter, and switched out the colors for the bouquets and such to my wedding colors. I also downloaded some nice fonts for free from various sites, to make the calendar and “thank you” look fancier. If you want a different template or fonts check the forums on Weddingwire and such- many brides have great, free templates they share. Pinterest has some as well. If you don’t want to make them yourself, Etsy as always has people who will design them for you!

To create mine:

I found a peacock design I liked, and created the cover simply with the photo, our names, and the wedding date and location.

On the inside, we had the schedule of the day, information about the special songs that were played, and a blurb about each member of the wedding party.

On the back we had a Thank You to our guests.

Music included:

Father Daughter Dance: “I Loved Her First” – Heartland

First dance: “You’re My Best Friend” – Queen

Cake cutting: “I Like Pie, I Like Cake” – Four Chefs

Bouquet toss: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper

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We put the programs in a basket, on sale at Joann’s, with a sign tied on it with a ribbon, that was stamped with the peacock feather stamp from Michael’s, and hand cutout letters.

Fun & Simple Table Design

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During my second year of law school, we hosted a Thanksgiving for a couple friends. Thanksgiving falls right before finals, and we were cooking our regular Thanksgiving feast, plus some vegan dishes for them, so I didn’t have a ton of time to decorate. I came up with a fairly quick and simple table design that was still fun, and smelled good!IMG_1163IMG_1161IMG_1162IMG_1165

Apple candle holders- I purchased cinnamon-scented candles, and just cut holes in the apples to stick the candles it, and they smelled delicious.

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We already had this candle and holder, I just added festive cranberries to it.

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I added little place cards to each seat, that said “Give Thanks” typed in a nice font on card stock, hole punched and tied with a ribbon to the silverware.

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Fun & Simple

Handmade Christmas Cards

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Decided to send out handmade Christmas cards this year. I stocked up on scrapbook paper, stick-on stones, Christmas stickers, pre-folded cards, red ribbon and green buttons. Above are some of my favorites! Most of the designs I saw on-line and just replicated; all are easy today without instructions. I’m artistically-challenged when it comes to drawing, so I did use templates for my shapes though!