Valentine’s Day has always been a favorite holiday of mine. I believe I’ve written before about how my mom always managed to make it special day for me. Because of this, growing up I was a firm believer that Valentine’s Day wasn’t just for couples […]
It’s early Friday morning and I’m sipping on some delicious lavender kombucha, indulging in a bit of honey drizzled toast just taking in all the calm surrounding my house. The boys are occupying each other for one of the first times ever and it is […]
It’s Christmas Eve morning and although I must spend a few hours at the store before we can fully get into celebration mode, I am starting off the day on a special note. I’ve always wanted to make and decorate Christmas cookies for the big guy in red aka Kris Kringle. To be honest I was intimidated by all of those time lapsed videos, you know the ones. They make it look like a breeze but you and I both know it isn’t. I mean who has those tools on hand, short answer, no one. Especially not me, but recently I was gifted the most adorable set of cookie cutters from Target’s Hand & Hearth collection so I’m going to try. A few little cutters in the shape of houses,their signature home for their first collection from the line. As well as a hammer, old fashioned pick up and a goat! Of course I still don’t have those special royal icing tools but as always we will wing it! With two little boys who are all about helping mama in the kitchen, I know these cookie cutters will be a hit, which means it’s time for this mama to put her fears a side and get to baking. Recipes Below!
Gingerbread Cookies (Preheat to 350 and bake for 8-10 minutes)
- 10 Tablespoons (2/3 cup; 145g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (200g) unsulphured molasses
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 and 1/2 cups (437g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger (yes, 1 full Tablespoon!)
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 2 – 2.5 Tablespoons (30-38ml) room temperature water
- pinch salt
Quick & Fun Pie Crust Cookies (Preheat to 425 and bake for 10-12 minutes)
- 1 pre made pie crust
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
I love having the boys come down to a fun Christmas Eve event. As a little girl my mom and I would always doing something special together on Christmas Eve morning. I always loved that, it made christmas seem longer. I look back fondly on those memories and hope to create some like that with my boys. Sometimes we would make lasagnas for that nights dinner or maybe just go out and get last minute items together before the guests would arrive. Either way we always did something together before the hustle and bustle of the festivities. Right now the toddler is currently screaming “No cookies for me” at the top of his lungs, but thats okay. G isn’t a morning person so I give it twenty minutes before he gets on board! Happy Christmas Eve Y’all!
To keep up with my detoxing theme for the new year, I’m diving into a my New Year’s resolutions or life resolutions as I’ve named them. I’m not interested in doing the same thing we all do every year. You know what I’m talking about, so […]
2018! A new year is quickly approaching. Soon we will all be embarking on a new journey, I am ready. The new year symbolize so much for all of us. If you haven’t noticed I, myself, have been working with a constant theme of changing things up, especially this month. I’ve just felt the need for change, whether it’s my priorities, style or diet I’ve had it all under the microscope. Which is why it didn’t actually surprise me when I found out that this coming year is “predicted” to be a terrible one for myself.
Let me elaborate a bit with a silly story! I was having fun reading one of those “What Will 2018 Mean For Your Zodiac Sign” reports, when I stumbled upon the Chinese New Year predictions for each Chinese zodiac. Well this coming Chinese New Year (Starting Feb 16th) will become the year of the earth dog. Apparently, the earth dog H A T E S the earth Dragon, this is my sign. So what does this mean for me? Nothing of course, I’m a big believer in astrology and that the universe puts out warning for us. But the more you dwell on something like that the more it becomes some sort of, self-fulfilling prophecy. So while I will definitely heed such a warning I will as they say, keep calm and carry on!
But that doesn’t mean I won’t be changing a thing or two for the new year. The last year has really brought much self-reflection into my life. 2016 brought with it a lot to celebrate and a lot of less desirable and more dramatic moments as well. Then I have 2017, which was one of those dust settling self evaluating years. Now I’m hoping to turn 2018 into the year of new beginnings. I feel like as I get closer to my thirties I’m understanding a little more about myself and what I expect for myself. I now know what I will and will not tolerate. I’ve become more assertive when it comes to my life outside of work and I’m stacking my priorities in the correct order. Of course family is numero Uno! I must say I am grateful for every bit of drama and stress that came my way, it really forced me to take a good hard look at myself. In a way I’ve come out more humble than ever and am ready to wipe the slate clean and throw away those memories of anxiety, self-doubt and negativity the past two years have brought my way.
So how do I start? Well after taking some time to really thinking about a realistic way to change things up I’ve come up with a list to detox my life, slowly but surely I’ll be working a few of these pointers into my daily life!
- Cut One Bad Habit & Add a Good Habit: Pick something, whether you decide to cut out junk food from your diet or vow to never bite your nails again. Sometimes just cutting one bad habit out can be the tiny snow ball that turns into an avalanche of change.
- Social Media: Detox your friends list. Whether it’s Instagram or Facebook, I suggest you go take a look at your friends/followers list. If you haven’t talked to that person in three months or more there is no need to be Facebook buddies. If the only reason you’re fiends with one another if for likes and like backs, STOP! I know as a blogger that may sound funny, but the best thing I did for myself was ignoring the numbers. So I suggest you do the same. Think about it this way, was your wedding day any less amazing because you only got 10 likes on that Instagram post, NO. Was the birth of your baby any less of a miracle because someone didn’t shout it from the Facebook roof tops, that would be another NO! So my advice is that we all as a group, deflate our social media egos and numbers in the new year.
- Drink More Water: h2O is the way to go! I’ll admit I love water and would drink a gallon a day if I could but even I forget sometimes. Just think water means better skin and nails. My suggestion fill up a reusable water bottle in the morning to drink throughout the day. When you finish you’ll be more inclined to refill it as it will be staring right at you! I know what you’re thinking, “Meg this could have be apart of #1 BUT I strongly believe that water just makes you feel better throughout the day. The better you feel the more positive you are, the more positive you are the better off you and I are! So what do you have to lose? The answer is nothing, besides weight, which is another benefit of drinking more H2O! (see what I did there)
So far I’ve started on number one and two. Heres how I did it!
- Delete All Personal Instagram Accounts – This is the account I had for my personal Facebook but I notice a lot of my friends were following me on Happily In Style’s Instagram handle (@meghanckatz) So I decided it was time to say goodbye and downsize to one account. Originally I had the idea to peek through my following list and unfollow anyone not following me aka company accounts like, Honest Co., Skiphop etc. Turns out I was following 700 random company accounts. Why? What is the point of that?
- Comb Through The Facebook Friends List – I went through and unfriended anyone who I haven’t spoken to in more than 3 months. I’m sure they won’t miss my constant mom joke statuses and all the food posts I share!
- Take Stock Of Who You Follow On My Blog Account – Okay so I’ve realized that just because I may buy products from a certain brand or two doesn’t mean I have to follow them. Now let me be clear it has nothing to do with numbers. My newsfeed as become clogged with ads. I’m sure my followers can relate, we all have Instagram and lately it feels more like a constant stream of “buy this” or “check out my gift guide”. It is too over whelming. And It is a big reason why I’m so selective with the amount of collaborations I do now a days. I don’t want to be another blogger trying to make money off you, that isn’t why I started and that’s not how I intend to operate.
- More Fruit – Fruit is something I constantly forget to add into my diet. Which is funny considering I love sugar. So to live life a little healthier I’m cutting out…chocolates…for…fruit. I know with the holidays literally here and it being out first year celebrating Hanukkah you’d think I’d be waiting till the chocolate coins were all eaten. Alas I’m an idiot and trying to pull this one off now while the temptation is R E A L.
- Read and DIY more – I used to love working with my hands. But then we had children and I’ve been scared to craft ever since. I was worried if I made jewelry they would choke on a wandering bead or if I’d leave my scissors out accidentally, one of them would chop off a finger. My list of what if’s went on and on so I quit that and eventually started blogging which was something clean and easy. I could put my hands to go use! But it’s silly to be scared of the “what if” situations so I’m letting go of my fear. So you can look forward to lots of fun DIY’S and maybe even some book reviews in the near futures!