christmas cookies

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holidays for me have always been about tradition, mainly family traditions. for as long as i can remember one of my favorite christmas traditions has been making our families italian cookies. when we were little my mom would make what seemed like a million then a and i would decorate them all, it was always so fun plus the cookies and the frosting are so good. its a tradition i’ve continued even when i’m not home, this year is no different! in preparation of my office christmas party tomorrow i thought i’d make a bunch to share with everyone in the office (plus a few to keep at home because they’re so yummy!)

cookie recipe:

4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

4 tsp baking powder

4 tsp of vanilla (or a little more if you like them really vanilla-y)

4 eggs

1 cup crisco (i really like the buttered flavor it makes the cookies much better)

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DSC02043these might be the easiest cookies ever! preheat the oven to 450 degrees first blend together the sugar, crisco, vanilla and eggs, slowly add the flower and baking powder until a dough forms. then just roll the cookies into 1″ balls and bake for 12-14 minutes!

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frosting recipe:

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter

3-5 tsp of vanilla

1/4 cup milk

mix till smooth, add more milk or powdered sugar to acheive desired texture!

when you’re done frost with vanilla buttercream frosting and decorate with crystal sugar and crushed walnuts and anything else your heart desires and spread the christmas cheer!

decorating for christmas

love the holidays and i think my favorite part is decorating the tree. i’ve been collecting ornaments since i was little, my parents always encouraged us to pick out ornaments whenever we traveled and a and i always exchange ornaments at chrismtas- she gets winnie the pooh ornaments, i get disney princesses, the tradition started when we were really little…

this year unfortunately i don’t have all of my ornaments but we made do with what we did have and decorated our little tree. i think it came out great

Christmas Tree

our little christmas tree

stockings

the stockings

Mickey Ornament

my favorite ornament from 2013

deck the halls

top: loft skirt: j.crew shoes: nine west

Garland and Snow

thankfully we put our garland up the other day because its a very snowy day today. the perfect kind of day to stay inside and bake dozens of christmas cookies….yummm

snow days

who doesn’t love a good snow day? in honor of all the kids in the d.c. area who are lukcy enough to have snow days today (i wish i was snuggled up in my pj’s watching movies rather than sitting at my desk) i decided i’d share how i spend my “snow day” yesterday.

there are few things better than sleeping in late and having a lazy sunday but when i sleep in late and wake up to a fresh layer of snow outside i can’t help but to feel elated. the first thing i always do when it has just snowed is open all the blinds in the apartment so no matter where i am i can see the snow falling. there is something so peaceful about watching it snow, i don’t know what it is but it’s almost like time stands still for a while, don’t you agree? i was slightly disappointed as in d.c. it rarely truly snows, usually its a snowy/rainy mix but yesterday we had a couple hours of pure snow and it seemed like even the pesky hum of metro and busses outside my apartment windows stopped so i could enjoy my first snow of the season.

hot chocolate, yoga, comfy clothes, baking cookies, a good book and movies. these are my snow day staples and yesterday was no different except we threw decorating for christmas into the mix too!

how many of you have snow days today and how are you planning to spend it?

national christmas tree lighting 2013

friday night was the national christmas tree lighting on the white house ellipse. i have been trying to get tickets for this event since I moved to d.c. in 2009 and my awesome boss i, was able to get me 2 tickets to this years!! you have to enter your name into a lottery to get tickets and after 4 years of having pretty much every one of my relatives enter their names in hopes of me getting one, i had still not been. when i first started my new job i asked my boss if he knew anyone that could help and thankfully he did!!

the lineup for the performances was great, jane lynch hosted and the performers included train, aretha franklin, mariah carey, arturo sandoval, joshua bell, and the avett brothers. it was so much fun, we had great seats so we could see the obama family light the tree up perfectly. the only downside of the whole night was the rain. it was so cold and it rained so hard the entire time. we were icicles by the end of the night but it was definitely worth it! because of the weather i didn’t get too many pictures but here are the ones i did get!

Train

train

National Tree and Aretha Franklin

aretha franklin

National Tree

the national christmas tree all lit up!

National Tree

me and the national tree

overall, even with the cold and terrible weather it was such a great time! i can’t wait to go again next year (hopefully i’ll be so lucky!) if you get the chance next year definitely try to work it into your holiday plans!

wednesday words of wisdom

part of the reason i’ve always loved my birthday so much is that in my head it always kicks off the holiday season, with thanksgiving a couple weeks later then the christmas season starting, i’ve always loved this time of year because it means family time, celebration and adorable outfits.

this weeks wednesday words of wisdom are in honor of the upcoming holiday season!

1. “be dazzling” -kate spade

i love this quote. i think it’s so fitting with all the sparkle that is surrounding us this holiday season. i feel like everywhere i turn i see something covered in sparkle and i love it. i’ve already picked out a few different dazzling dresses to wear to various holiday parties coming up. my motto for this holiday season is most definitely to be dazzling not just in what i wear but also with my attitude.

2.“blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”      – Hamilton Wright Mabie

i think what i adore so much about the holiday season is that everywhere you turn everyone seems to be happy and in the mood to celebrate. even when people are feeling stressed and allowing the chaos of the season get to them it doesn’t take much to remind them what the season is about- love. you see more people helping others, more volunteering and donations to charities, and just a general cheeriness.

3. “As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.”     – Donald E. Westlake

similar to the last quote, this one is along the same idea, that no matter what is driving us crazy, frustrating us or causing anxiety in our lives the holidays remind everyone to cherish the ones closest to us, because they are worth the world.

4. “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell

between the good food, time with friends and family and warmth of the fire and a hot cup of cocoa this pretty much wraps up all my feelings about winter time in one line. for me winter has always been about friends and family because of the holidays but especially since going to college winter truly is the time for home. my friends and i have a tradition during Thanksgiving to get together and watch Love Actually, and at during winter break we all go skiing together and spend the evenings by the fire catching up and spending time with each other.

5. “baby it’s cold outside” frank loesser 

with this cold weather finally hitting the d.c. area i’m starting to get very excited for the holidays. i’m especially excited about all the warm clothes i get to start wearing again to bundle up! i’m probably the only person in the city who’s actually excited that it’s 40 degrees

that’s it for this week, what are your favorite holiday/winter quotes?