Saturday, February 9, 2019

Valentine's Day Cookies From Kookie Fairy is A Great Idea

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays since it is an excuse to eat delicious treats. Who doesn't love having a day once a year where it's encouraged to eat goodies? I know I look forward to this occasion yearly.  It's even better when all of the candy is reduced in price the next day, my tummy says yum! Make sure you indulge in your favorite sugary treats this February 14th.

Kookie Fairy is an Etsy shop ran by owner Krystal.  When you surf into her online shop, you'll be met with the most beautiful cookies you've ever laid your eyes on.  Krystal's young children hand-decorate each sugar cookie in themes including snowmen, footballs, Valentine's Day, paw prints, and so much more.  Can you believe a 7 and 10 year old can decorate so well? The cookies are truly a work of art and will definitely be remembered when served at an event.  If you're looking for a specific theme for a cookie, Krystal will be happy to work with you to create a custom cookie that fits your needs.  Keep Kookie Fairy in mind for Valentine's Day, birthdays, and any other occasion that calls for cookies!

Since Valentine's Day is just a few days away, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to get into the spirit early with cookies.  I'm fond of those gorgeous heart shaped cookies decorated with fabulous detail that I wish I was skilled enough to do.  Luckily, Kookie Fairy will make your cookie dreams come true.

Don't you just love these Valentine's Day cookies made with royal icing? If you're a lover of soft sugar cookies, these are the cookies for you.  

When you sink your teeth into these soft beauties, you won't be able to contain how tasty they truly are. Each freshly baked cookie is decorated in a different way whether it's solid colors, lines, or a flower motif.  The decorating handiwork for each round circle of heaven is surely noticed and appreciated.  I was happy that the cookies weren't extremely sweet, but sweet enough to curb your sweet tooth.  Be prepared to not be able to control yourself, just a fair warning! Don't forget a tall glass of icy cold milk to wash these lovelies down with.

I loved how bright and vivid the royal icing colors on the cookies were.  My confectionery treat decorating skills are on a very low level, so I always appreciate when others possess that talent.  Maybe one day I can get better! 

The rest of the cookies are in my kitchen, but it's only a matter of time before I attack them.  Trust me, it won't be long.  I haven't had a sugar cookie this delicious in a long time, and I welcome it wholeheartedly! 

If you're looking for fabulous cookies that will make you smile, it's time to visit Kookie Fairy's Etsy Shop.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Kookie Fairy for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Friday, February 1, 2019

Adding a 2nd Child to The Mix

It's been close to 8 weeks now since I found out that Scarlett will be getting a sibling.  Initially we thought that we'd be a one child family after some issues, but it seems like this second child was meant to be! 

After I went to the doctor for the first time and the baby looked good on the ultrasound, we decided to tell Scarlett the big news.  At first she wasn't too thrilled, but eventually warmed up to the idea.  I try to talk to her everyday about the baby so she doesn't forget, and we ask her thoughts and opinions on many things regarding the baby.  It's important to me to have her included so she feels special and knows what she has to say is considered.  We've gone shopping to buy a few things for the baby so far and she picked out a muselin blanket and rattle set and a stuffed polar bear.  She said the baby will love it!

Since I've been a stay-at-home-mom to Scarlett for over four years now, I'm used to it just being me and her.  It's so easy to just have her put her jacket on and get into the car and go to the trampoline park or head to Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  Our time together is undivided and interrupted since it's just us.  I know it'll be strange to have her split her time between me and her new sibling when the time comes.  We're also very close since we spend so much time together.  I hope she will have minimal or no issues adjusting to the new little person in her life.  If she does, my husband and I are here to help her.

It's been four years since I've had a newborn.  When I stop to think about it, I feel like I don't remember how to take care of a newborn like I did when I was in the prime newborn stage.  I've been told that everything comes back to me, and not to worry.  Also, any questions I have I can ask my pediatrician or the nurses when I'm in the hospital.  Obviously, I like to be prepared ahead of time though. I'll surely have to get used to a new normal when the baby eats every 2-3 hours around the clock.  I hope Scarlett will be able to help me and bring me things for the baby when needed.  The 4.5 year age gap will hopefully be easy in terms of taking care of her and a newborn.

I'm lucky that I've had an easy pregnancy so far.  I am not sick at all, but had slight nausea in the beginning.  I have energy and only get tired occasionally.  Since Scarlett is so active, it would be difficult if I wasn't able to keep up with her everyday.  I've shown her ultrasound pictures to keep her informed every step of the way.  It's hard for her to understand time, and she will sometimes ask "is the baby coming today?" I say no, not for many months! She knows the baby is coming in the summer, when it's hot outside.  I'm sure it seems like light years away for her! 

One thing that I can't wait to see is how Scarlett is with her sibling.  I hope they will be close and will be excited to be a big sister.  Since I am an only child, I truly always wanted my child to have a sibling so they could grow up with someone else.  I'm sure Scarlett will want to show the baby her toys, her stuffed animals, and teach them many things along the way.

I am very looking forward to when the baby is born and having a new little love in my life.  All of the firsts and what's to come is very exciting! Only 6 months to go. :) 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Bring The Joys of Cracker Barrel Into Your Home!

As many of you know, I grew up in the south and lived there for 17 years. Due to this, it's made me no stranger to classic Southern fare like mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, biscuits, and of course sweet tea.  Now that I live in New England, there's not many restaurants that cater towards southern cuisine around.  There's just something so comforting about digging into a plate of something warm and delicious that reminds you of childhood.

Cracker Barrel is an American chain of a combined restaurant and gift store that has a Southern country theme.  You'll enjoy bringing the whole family to this eatery where you can make your belly happy with such menu choices as grilled pork chops, hickory smoked country ham, rainbow trout, or even roast beef.  There's something for everyone including sandwiches, salads, soups, and even breakfast all day! Don't forget the delicious sides like mac and cheese, buttermilk biscuits, fried okra, country green beans, fried apples, and so much more.  You can't leave without finishing the meal with a sweet treat such as fruit cobbler with ice cream, a slice of pie, or even double chocolate fudge coca-cola cake!

As much as I love Cracker Barrel's restaurant, I am equally fond of their country store.  We just got back from a 3 week road trip and I was lucky to be able to stop at two different Cracker Barrel's for lunch and dinner.  There's always something uncommon and interesting to see in the store.  You'll love the housewares, unique food and candy options, as well as clothing and toys.  It's next to impossible to walk into the store without buying something.  I found an adorable dress for Scarlett that I bought and there were plenty of other things I had to control myself from buying!

Since I don't live close to a Cracker Barrel I don't get to go too frequently.  Luckily, you can bring the convenience of their store into your home with their online shop.  Anyone's kitchen would be thrilled to receive a Cracker Barrel Large Breakfast Basket as well as a cast iron skillet.

The basket contains CB's famous natural syrup, buttermilk pancake mix, apple butter, fried apples, a bag of coffee, and strawberry preserves.  Not only would this be a fabulous gift for yourself, but for a loved one too.  You can never go wrong with pancakes, syrup, and coffee anytime of day.  Fried apples are a treat that I don't have very often, so it was exciting to have them featured in the basket.   The apple butter and strawberry preserves on toast would be perfect on toast any day.  Don't forget to pair your breakfast with a fabulous cup of coffee!

I've heard wonderful things about cast iron skillets but surprisingly have never owned one. The one I received is on the smaller side which is perfect since it doesn't take up much room.  I got to work making Cracker Barrel's pancakes.  I have not tried their pancakes in the restaurant previously, so it was exciting to have the opportunity to do so at home. Breakfast for dinner was on the agenda and it was a great choice if you ask me.

Using the cast iron pan for cooking made the pancakes turn out wonderfully fluffy and golden brown. I'm not always the best at making pancakes perfectly round, but they came out round and beautiful tonight!

I served our pancake dinner with bacon, strawberries, and fried apples.  Of course you can't forget a generous drizzle of Cracker Barrel's fabulous syrup which was fantastic.  The pancakes tasted very similar to their biscuits which I wish I could have on a daily basis.  I loved how fluffy and light they were.  Since they were so quick to make, I certainly will keep the pancake mix in mind on busy nights when I have no time to cook a big meal.  Breakfast for dinner is always a hit in my household.

Everyone enjoyed the dinner and my husband Jay gave the coffee two thumbs up too. I'm looking forward to sampling the strawberry preserves and apple butter in the very near future.

If you need to buy a friend or a loved one a gift, the large breakfast basket would be a fantastic choice.  Who knows, maybe they'll even invite you over for breakfast?

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Cracker Barrel for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.