Sunday, December 9, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Things: {Christmas Trees}

Its not the holidays without a Christmas Tree. The tradition of going to a tree farm, hunting & cutting it down, bringing it home and decorating it. Then my favorite thing to do is to lay underneath the tree with the lights on and looking up into the tree while pillow talking. Seriously, try it. Its so fun and its especially fun to see my little boy do it. I love the different trees they have out there though. I gathered a few of my favorites below that you could add to your Christmas Decor. They are so fun and all made out of different things.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Double Chocolate & Toffee Brownie Bites

I am not a baker by any means. You can ask anyone who knows me well, especially my husband. I have to work at it. So I like to stick to simple recipes that are very forgiving. Like brownies. I saw this recipe for Toffee Brownie Cookies and thought..."mmmm, two of my favorite things wrapped in one!".  So I started with that recipe and tweaked it a little to my liking and doubled it so I could give it to families for Christmas. I love how chocolatey and moist they came out but still had the flakey brownie outside with a little toffee crunch! So Yummy!

Double Chocolate & Toffee Brownie Bites

Makes about 8 dozen (you can half it if you are not planning on giving them as gifts)

8 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 oz of milk chocolate chips
8 tbsp of butter
2 cups of suger
6 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla
3 cups of flour
6 tbsp of cocoa powder
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 - 8 oz bag of toffee bits
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325*. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Carefully melt chocolate chips and butter in the microwave or on the stove until well blended.
  3. Beat sugar and eggs with a mixer. Add vanilla and beat again.
  4. Next, add melted chocolate, baking powder, cocoa, and flour into the bowl until well mixed.
  5. Stir in toffee chips reserving 1/2 cup for topping the brownies.
  6. Fill the cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 10 min.
  7. Pull out of oven and immediately top with bits of toffee and let sit for 5 min.
  8. Place on baking rack and let cooler for 15 min longer before packaging.

I just got these Chinese-take-out boxes on clearance last year after Christmas and packaged them in those. My kinda gift...simple, homemade and easy.

As you can tell my son enjoyed them a lot too!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pantone Color of the Year: EMERALD

I can't even tell you how excited I am about the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013. It is EMERALD! EEEEK! I love this color. I am pretty sure this color became uber popular after the Wizard of Oz and the famous Emerald City. I mean...its the first thing that pops into my head when I hear the word emerald.

My Uncle would always call the refineries at night, down here in the south, Emerald Cities so that is the next thing I think of when I hear the word. =) Anyway...its a beautiful color. I am a lover of all greens, especially this one. Here is what Pantone has to say about the color chosen to set trends for 2013...

"PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, is the Color of the Year for 2013.
The 2012 color of the year, PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward. Emerald, a vivid verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight as well as promoting balance and harmony."

"Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. Also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity, no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity."

"The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today's complex world. This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors."

I have put together some of my favorite emerald items from around the web for you below. Here's to seeing more of this fabulous color in fashion, interiors and design.
RugPlush Pillow, Retro Pillow, Sequin Dress, Earrings
Wallpaper, Pillow, Heels, Jeans, Pouf

What do you think?!

Monday, December 3, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things {Christmas Advent Calendars}

I love advent calendars for any holiday but especially at Christmas time. What a great way to make sure you are doing something Christmas-y with your kids and family everyday until the 25th. I have been slightly obsessed with them this year since my little boy is getting old enough to understand it. Below are some of my favorite ones! I am gathering inspiration to make my own in the next day or two.
1 -2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9
Which one is your favorite?