A couple of days ago a friend from our ward asked me if I could help her design and sew a blessing dress for her daughter. She wanted something modern, with lots of ruffles and that wasn't going to cost much. I rummaged through our closet and found some scraps of white fabric from making Stephen's white shirt, and a onesie that he had left over from a silkscreening project. Once the design was sketched out, we went to work. A couple hours later (we only had a few hours to make the dress since Stephen and I planned to leave town the following day), this is what we came up with-
It's definitely not your typical blessing dress, but it is unique and designed especially for her.
The other day Katie came over to bake cookies for her cookie exchange. We didn't have a recipe in mind, so she looked through a magazine and found a chocolatey chunk one, which we altered a bit by adding salt and espresso powder to it. I took that recipe and tossed in Andes peppermint chips to make cookies for a Christmas party that we went to the other night. Needless to say, they were a big hit. Three dozen cookies were gone in a matter of minutes. If you can't find the peppermint chips, you can crush up Andes peppermint thins, Andes creme de menthe thins, peppermint bark, or even add Guittard green mint chips.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies Ingredients
1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened ¾ c. granulated sugar ¾ c. packed brown sugar 1 tsp. baking soda 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla ¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. espresso powder 2 c. all-purpose flour ¼ c. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder ½ c. white chocolate chips ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips ½ c. Ande's peppermint chips
DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 375° F. 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. 3. Beat in eggs, vanilla, salt, cocoa powder and espresso powder. 4. Add melted chocolate, then flour. Mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. 5. Drop dough on to ungreased cookie sheet in 1 ½ “ balls. 6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are crisp. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. 7. To store: layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (makes 36 cookies)
Now that our ward's Christmas party is over, we've finally been able to bring our little tree home and decorate it- with real ornaments, our ornaments. It's a little scraggly (mind you it's been around for a couple of years and has survived one giant fall and a couple of moves) but I think it's the perfect size for us.
This weekend I had the opportunity to volunteer at the 35th Art & Antiques Show that hosted the Wolfson Children's Hospital fashion show. There were about 20 children (who are current patients at the hospital) that participated and about 75 volunteers that helped things run smoothly. I was in charge of passing out programs, setting up the frames (picture below) and making sure that the "special guest" was where he needed to be, when he needing to be there. It was a fun opportunity for me to get to know people in the community as well as serve others. The kids were incredibly happy to be there and so were their parents. Hopefully I'll be able to start volunteering at the hospital in January.
I helped move the frames from the lobby to the reception area, where people could look at them after the show. They each had a portrait of the child, their artwork and a small biography and paragraph about their hopes and dreams.
Teddy bears for each of the participants. They were all so excited to get one.
There was a cupcake reception following the fashion show and autographs by the "special guest"- Jaguars mascot, Jaxson de Ville. He's definitely not as cool as Cosmo... or as clean, but the kids loved him.