Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas Cookie X-change Week 4 & Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is the final installment of my Christmas Cookie X-change. Thank you all for joining me on this little adventure of sweet things :)

My final recipe is considered THE Christmas cookie in my opinion.

Christmas Cookie Cutouts


From 2 to 102, people love cutout cookies!
Especially at Christmas time :)
Yes, they are a little more time consuming,
but they are completely worth it!

Cookie Ingredients
4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cookie Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, 1/3 at a time to make a stiff dough. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll out a portion of cookie dough to a 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Place on lightly greased or non-stick cookie sheet. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes, rotating cookie sheet half way through baking. Cool completely on pans, about 5 minutes, transfer to cooling racks to cool completely before decorating.

Colored Icing Ingredients
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
3-4 drops food coloring, plus more as needed
Colored sprinkles, optional

Directions for Icing
In a small bowl, mix sugar and water to form a thick, smooth icing. Stir in food coloring to reach desired shade. Drop icing onto cookies using a small spoon and smooth with the back of spoon. Make additional bowls for additional colors.


Now it is your turn!
Grab my button and don't forget to link up below!
X-Tremely V


Thanks for joining this past month!
Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!
What cookies are you looking forward to making?
Are you shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

eShakti Dress

I was contacted back in October by eShakti to write a product review for one of their new Fall designs. eShakti is an online clothing store for women that offers not only regular size  (0-36W) clothing, but custom sizes as well.
I have never had an item custom made for me, not even my wedding dress,
so I jumped at the chance!


The decision was really tough because I liked so many of the items that eShakti offers. In the end I picked out a dress that I thought I could wear throughout the year. I then had the ability to enter my exact measurements to have the dress made specifically for me. eShakti even gives you the option to change the neckline, length, sleeve option, etc. You truly get a custom dress just for you!

This is how I styled the dress just a couple of weeks ago for work.
Simple white cardigan and tall black boots! Perfect for Fall weather in Ohio!


My dress arrived about 2 weeks after I submitted my order and I really like it! It is a smidge longer than I would like, but it still fits really well and looks great :)

The only thing I changed from the original dress was I had them remove the pockets. While pockets are nice, I didn't need them on my dress. Too much bulk for me!

I love the idea of a sleeveless dress because it can be worn during all seasons! During the Fall and Winter months I can throw on a cute cardigan and boots (w/tights for the winter). For the Spring and Summer I can wear it as is with some cute flats, cowboy boots, or sandals.
The color combo is great, and the red
"Cardinals" on the dress make it perfect for this Ohio girl! (State bird and my HS mascot)

If you haven't heard of eShakti you must check them out!
Visit them on their website, Facebook page, or Pinterest page.
All new visitors to eShakti can register now and receive a $25 gift coupon!

Here are some of my other favorite items...

http://www.eshakti.com/Product/CL0029590/Belted-dupion-skirt
How perfect is this for the holiday season?

http://www.eshakti.com/Product/CL0029423/Beaded-shawl-collar-plaid-dress
I love the retro feel of this dress!

http://www.eshakti.com/Product/CL0026683/Seamed-stretch-sheath-dress
What a great dress if you work in a office! Super easy to style for all seasons too!


Thank you to eShakti for the opportunity to receive and review one of their items of clothing.



Have you purchased anything from eShakti?
What are some of your favorite items?


Don't forget to link up with me tomorrow for
X-Tremely V



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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Favorite Christmas Movies

Christmas is so close I can taste it!
I mean it is less than a month away people!
I look forward to this time of year for so many reasons....

It's socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music all day long -- even though I like to listen to it all year long :)

My normal TV shows take a holiday break so I have time to bake, decorate, and hangout with the ones I love :)

And Christmas movies are played non-stop from Thanksgiving day to the end of December! :)

I seriously would watch Christmas movies all year long if I could!
They just put you in such a good mood!
And X is starting to pay attention to the TV (bad mom moment here) longer, meaning I will get to share all these wonderful movies with him as well!

So in no particular order (maybe the first 2 are), I give you...


X-tremely V's Favorite Christmas Movies

The Grinch
I own this movie and must watch it every year starting on Thanksgiving night! I even had a birthday party with the Grinch theme one year (My birthday is December 16th)! I turn it on every time I see it is airing during the holidays. I just can't get enough of it!


The Christmas Story
Up until the Grinch was made, this was my ALL.TIME.FAVORITE.MOVIE!
Who doesn't love this movie? And it was filmed in Cleveland :) You can actually visit the house they filmed the movie in too! That is on my short bucket list to do :)


Elf
This movie just puts the spirit in you when you watch it. And that shower scene/song is my favorite part!


Fred Claus
I am a sucker for all Vince Vaughn movies, so this one is no surprise that is high on my list. And Hello! Ludacris! :)


Four Christmases
Again another Vince movie, but this time you add Reese to the mix :) Honestly, I can relate to this movie quite a bit since we always have a million places to visit for the holidays.


The Christmas List
I found this gem awhile back and I just fell in love with it. Every year I search the TV listings for when it will be on :)


The Family Man
It's one of those movies that makes you realize that the grass isn't always greener.


A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa
I.LOVE.THEMUPPETS!
I could easily name all the Muppet Christmas movies to this list! I am seriously a kid at heart :) The last movie I saw in the theater was The Muppets with Jason Segel and Amy Adams.


Honorable Mention

Bad Santa
Die Hard
The Family Stone
Santa Baby
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation


Side Note:
I have never seen Polar Express or Miracle on 34th Street.


What are your favorite Christmas movies?
Do you agree or disagree with me?
Are there any movies I must see?

Remember this Thursday is the last time to link up for
X-Tremely V



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Monday, November 25, 2013

The Weekend

Other than Sunday afternoon from about 1-4pm, the weekend was good :) And honestly, I was still pretty productive during those above mentioned hours (that happens when your football doesn't show up to play AGAIN!).

This weekend was productive, but still fun!

Friday we spent the evening at home organizing, doing dishes, etc.

Saturday the 3 of us ran a few errands in the morning. I knocked out a few Christmas gifts out too!
I picked up a plate and some colored sharpies at Target and made this for X :)
Thanks for the idea Cari!
(Another Roberts girl - no relation)

There are 2 times a year I will eat Oreo's...
Halloween for the orange creme and Christmas for the red creme :) Not sure how, but they just taste better!



Shrek 2 was on while we were pulling out our Christmas trees. Who doesn't love Gingy?!?!


Enjoyed a nice fire in our new fireplace on Sunday evening :)



How was your weekend?

Linking up with Sami
Sami's Shenanigans


And don't forget that Thursday is the last day to link up your Christmas recipes!
X-Tremely V



Have a Magical Monday! :)
 
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Friday, November 22, 2013

A week of X!

This week seemed to be all about X,
but then again almost every week is all about X!

Linking up with

and Lauren for High Five for Friday!


We cleaned off my old rocking/bouncing horse for X.
HE.IS.IN.HEAVEN!!!
So glad my mom saved it all these years :)


Running errands with Mommy and Daddy means a stop at Skyline Chili for dinner :)
Always a good time!


Wednesday  morning was school pictures at daycare,
but X wasn't feelin' it :(
This melt down is typical these days...Terrible Two's Suck!
However, I did hear that he did very well during his pictures :)


X had a great time playing at a friend's house Wednesday evening. I think I now have an idea for a Christmas gift for him as well :)


X's new winter coat and overalls arrived last night.
Can't wait for him to wear this while playing in the snow!


So how was your week?

It isn't too late to link up with me for
X-Tremely V

Thanksgiving will be the final link up, so get your recipes ready to go!


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Cookie X-change Week 3

This month is flying by!
I can't believe Thanksgiving is next Thursday, and that we are in our 3rd week of
my cookie x-change!
Today I bring you a couple of Christmas cookie staples.

Snowball Cookies
Snowball cookies were always one of my favorite cookies to make as a kid, and even now as an adult. They are super easy, and they please just about everyone :)

Ingredients
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans/walnut (optional)
Additional powdered sugar

Directions
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fully mixed. Add flour with salt to creamed mixture, blend thoroughly. Add nuts and mix well. Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and bake 8-10 minutes. Do not brown. Cool, then roll in additional powdered sugar before serving.

Peanut Butter Buckeyes
These little bites of goodness go quickly at the holidays in my house, as well as many other homes. If you live in Ohio, you probably already make these every year. If not, what is wrong with you?! :)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
6 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside. Using a wooden spoon, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. (The dough will look dry.) Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Set them on the prepared cookie sheet and insert a toothpick into the top of each of them. Chill them in the freezer until hard (about 30 minutes). Melt the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl atop a pot of simmering water over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat. Using the toothpick as a handle, dip the balls into the melted chocolate leaving a small circle at the top uncovered. Place the dipped candies back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate is set (about 2 hours). Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.


There you have it!
Two crowd pleasing recipes that will be sure to go quick at all of your holiday get togethers :)
Don't forget to link up your recipes below and grab my button as well :)
X-Tremely V

Thanksgiving will be the final day to link up your favorite Christmas recipes.

Are you baking anything special for Thanksgiving?
Go ahead and share that recipe as well!
The more the merrier :)


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Etsy Love

I have mentioned my friend Jessica and her wonderful Etsy shop here. If you are looking for some amazingly good handmade items you need to check out her shop today!


She has so many cute items for the little ones in your life.
Perfect for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, etc. :)
And she will customize items depending on size, color, etc.

This is the most recent item she has made for me/X


Is that hat not absolutely adorable?!?!

Another shop that I will be submitting my order to this weekend is owned by a wonderful women I coached in cheerleading many years ago :) She is super talented just like Jessica. Her name is Amy and you must visit her shop AmysSewFun!
She has some great bean bag/ottomans for kids and some neat items for the new moms in your life as well.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/166342997/bean-bagottoman?ref=related-7

Super cool right?!?!



And the last shop I will mention just recently did X's birthday invitations.

They were delivered early this week and I couldn't be more happy with them! They are just so X! And they were super cheap!!! Most places I looked into cost more for just the digital image! They printed them for me and included envelopes :) I will post a photo of the invite when I recap his birthday party in a couple weeks :)

So what are your favorite Etsy shops?

Don't forget tomorrow is
X-Tremely V


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Life Lately - Music Edition

Music is a huge part of my life.
Between listening to it every single day to and from work,
while sitting at my desk at work,
while playing with X during the evening and on weekends,
and it even carries over into the shows I watch...
Glee, Nashville, and The Voice.

So today's "Life Lately" update is all about the music I am currently listening to.
The stuff that gets me dancing in my car like a fool to the songs that bring a tear to my eye,
to the ones that just make you feel like you received a big hug :)

In no particular order...


 


 

 

 

 

 


 
This list is already changing daily due to the fact that I have been listening to Christmas music all day long for the last week!

What have you been listening to lately?

Don't forget to join me Thursday for
X-Tremely V




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Monday, November 18, 2013

It was a weekend

The weekend was the weekend.

Friday I had to leave work early to head up north to attend calling hours for my godfather's dad. Afterwards, I enjoyed a short but enjoyable dinner with my dad :)

Saturday was super lazy! X and I caught up on Glee and The Voice while Mic got some work done. I LOVE that my little guy enjoys all things music with me :)

Nap time cuteness :) Hand on chest and eyes half open! lol!

Saturday evening Mic and I enjoyed some adult time with friends at Lagerhead's.

First time playing Cards Against Humanity and I kicked butt!
I still prefer Apples to Apples though :)

Sunday was super productive!
Laundry, dishes, rearranging furniture, and putting up one the of Christmas trees :)

Still need to decorate it, but at least one tree is up! :)

The Cleveland Browns were supposed to play the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday, but Joe Haden was the only one who showed up :(

At least we were comfortable while we watched the game.

How was your weekend?

Linking up with Sami @ Sami's Shenanigans
for Weekend Shenanigans :)
And don't forget to link up with me on Thursday for

X-Tremely V

 
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