Saturday, December 28, 2013

Zen Entertaining and the art of faucet repair.

I hosted my first Christmas this year for my family, because my brother just wanted everyone together, and I am too pregnant to travel comfortably. It was going to be great. Perfect. Beautiful. The menu was set, much was preped ahead of time so I could relax instead of cooking, the decorations were beautiful, the house was clean, so what if the paint wasn't all touched up, and the closets completely cleaned out, faucet was a little loose, it's an old house. I could get to all of that later.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sweets for my sweet, sugar free chocolate cheesecake crepes

As some of you know, The Personal Assistant is not allowed to have any sugar. None. Zip. Zelch. But... 'tis the season of cookies, and pie, and candy canes, and hot chocolate. And he's two, so it is extra hard to watch him forgo all of the sweet treat fun. And as a bonus, I am allergic to eggs, so breakfast casseroles are also out. Oh, and I am hosting this year, so I probably shouldn't just serve toast and cereal.

But I think I found a solution...for Christmas breakfast we will be dining on Chocolate Cheesecake Crepes! They are divine, and easy, and make ahead and freeze-able, and totally egg and sugar free, but no one will know but you and me.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Greens: Simple secrets from a former florist.

Have you ever wondered how florists and decorators put together those beautiful displays of over the top holiday greens?

Turns out it is easy, and cheap! Follow along to learn how...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

As you know by now, my son eats very little variety, and I'm working on not being crazy about that.  One thing he never fails to eat is mashed sweet potatoes.  While my Cooks Illustrated recipe was delicious, I've been tinkering with a way to reduce the massive amount of heavy cream in that (admittedly heavenly) recipe. What I've come up with is incredibly decadent tasting, but much lighter.  And the best part is, my son has no idea that I've changed anything!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cinnamon Ornaments


I believe in crafts. I do. I believe they are not only fun, but they encourage us to see potential in everyday objects and encourage creative problem solving. I also believe they are messy, and messy=awesome.

We try to do craft time at least once a week. The Personal Assistant is 2 (almost 3) and his skills include gluing, mashing, and cutting shapes from dough. If you are looking for a fun craft to do with your toddler this season, this one is by far my favorite.

Cinnamon ornaments have been a tradition in my family since I was a kid. They are cheap and easy to make, require no advanced skills, look great on the tree or tied to packages, and make your house smell DIVINE. What more could a girl ask for?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DIY little boy stocking stuffer round up

Christmas around here is a DIY fest, and I love it. I might be crazy, but I grew up getting DIY gifts made lovingly by my parents and I think it is a great tradition to carry on. We have a rule that Santa gifts should be conceivably hand made, if not by us (me) then by some one else. It is a great way to support local (and ot so local) artisans and give simpler toys to our kiddo that leave lots of room for open ended creative play-the kind that builds imagination and inquisitive minds.
That said, stocking stuffing can get pricey fast! A little DIY spirit can also stretch the Christmas budget with out skimping on fun! Follow the jump for my picks for toddler friendly stocking stuffers any boy is bound to love!