Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New Look




I decided a few years ago that donating hair to programs who make wigs for cancer patients was a great cause I could contribute toward. Both mine and the Hubby's families have had someone who suffered from some form of cancer.

BEFORE
I have always been told I have beautiful hair. I make a prime candidate to donate hair because I don't color my hair and because it takes forever to dry and style, I don't use the hair dryer or straightener every day.

I took the plunge 3 years ago right after our wedding. I chose to donate 9 inches of hair and then started to grow my hair back out again.

Yesterday I took the plunge again and cut off 11 inches of hair. It feels great! I chose the Pantene Beautiful Length's charity. You only have to have a minimum of 8 inches to donate.

AFTER







I feel like it's a great way to show my support for cancer survivors or people dealing with cancer. Self confidence goes a long way for making people feel good about themselves. I'm just glad that I can help someone out by doing something as simple as cutting my hair.

Pantene has had more than 500,000 ponytails donated to them! Please visit their website for more information or to find out how to donate your ponytail!



I have no affiliation with Pantene, but am speaking based on my own opinions about a great program.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone had a great holiday! I know we were SUPER busy but it was a good busy.

Our holiday week kicked off on December 20th when I hosted the Hubby's family for Christmas. It was our nephews first Christmas and I'm pretty sure he got spoiled!

The Hubby surprised me on Tuesday with tickets to see the Indiana Pacers. I was so surprised, he is a planner and this was totally not planned! It was a lot of fun!



We traveled down to my parents house for Christmas this year, so we drove down on Christmas Eve. It was great getting to see both sides of my family. I even managed to get a good picture with my sister!



We got a ton of stuff, but one of my favorite gifts this year was from my parents (really my mom, but still). She made each one of us a lottery ticket bouquet. It was so much fun scratching them off. The Hubby and I won $17.



We came back home to watch the Hall of Fame Classic basketball tournament that our town hosts. We house the world's largest high school gym in the world, so it's always fun to watch games there.



On Saturday was the University of Louisville versus the University of Kentucky rival game. I love U of L, but we just couldn't pull out the victory. I decorated the house for the game though!



As much as I love decorating for the holidays, I am not looking forward to taking all my Christmas decorations down, it always just looks so bare afterward.

I hope you all had a great holiday season and an even better new year!

Until next time,

Kara

Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! Another Friday is here and it's almost Christmas! We have a full weekend of basketball ahead of us, so there will be no rest this weekend.

My wonderful mother bought me a new scarf. I LOVE IT! I love Olaf from Frozen. I think is cute and funny.



I hope you have a weekend full of holiday fun! Here is "Do you want to build a snowman?" from Frozen. I just think this movie is so cute!



Until next time,


Kara

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hogwarts worthy Butterbeer Cookies!

I have said before, I am an official nerd. I will 100% own up to that. In all the Harry Potter books and films, they always refer to Hogwarts during Christmas time. It always seemed like a magical place to be at Christmas. I was inspired to make a Butterbeer inspired cookie for our Christmas party. 

I also submitted this recipe into #CreativeCookieContest being hosted by Cookies & Cups and Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. I hope that Harry Potter fanatics like me can enjoy it this holiday season!
Hogwarts worthy Butterbeer Cookies


Ingredients
For the cookies:
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¼  teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon butter extract

For the ganache:
½ cup heavy cream
5.5 ounces butterscotch chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine together the flour and salt and set aside. In your electric mixer bowl or bowl with hand mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, butter extract and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the dry ingredient mixture all at once, and mix on low speed for about a minute. Wipe down the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium, and mix for another minute until a dough forms.

Use a tablespoon as your size estimate. Scoop a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball and place on your baking sheet. You can use your thumb or the back of a teaspoon to make an indention in the cookie. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and use your teaspoon to push down again on your cookie. We want to make sure we have a place to put the ganache. Return the cookies to the oven and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minute before you transfer them to cooling racks. Allow them to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, let’s make the Butterbeer ganache.

In a bowl, place your butterscotch chips. In a small saucepan on medium heat, bring the heavy cream up to scalding. Remove from the heat and pour over the butterscotch chips. Allow to sit for a minute or so and whisk until smooth. You need to allow the ganache to cool to room temperature before using.

Once the cookies have cooled we are ready to assemble our Butterbeer cookies. You can transfer ganache to a plastic squeeze bottle or zip top bag to create a piping bag. Pipe the ganache into the center of each cookie. You can drizzle the top with additional ganache if you want. Allow the cookies to set up before stacking them for storage.


These cookies are a twist on a traditional thumb print cookie. I hope you enjoy!

Until next time,

Kara



The cookie base was inspired by Ambrosia.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Favorite Christmas Movies & Quotes....

I know everyone has their favorite Christmas movies. My sister literally watches every Christmas movie she can. She has probably watched 50+ so far this holiday season. However, I don't have a tradition to watch a certain movie every year, but these are some great options if you are looking for a Christmas movie tradition. 

1. Elf

I just love this movie. It's just so funny. We just watched it the other night. If I had to pick one movie I got to watch each holiday season, it would be Elf.

Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are:

"I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite!"

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."


"SANTA! Santa's coming! I know him. I know him!"


2. Frosty

This is a classic movie. I just love it. I know the animation is way out of date, but I just love this old movie.

Our nephew is almost 8 months old, so this year he got a sing-along tape for Christmas from all the classic Christmas movies. Hopefully he will enjoy the music!

3. Rudolph

This is another classic that I love. I just remember watching it as a child.

4. The Santa Claus



This is another movie we just watched. It had been forever since I saw it, but it is a great holiday movie!

My favorite quote from the movie is:

"Believing isn't seeing, seeing is believing!"

5. The Grinch

This is another good movie to watch. It's been awhile since I have seen this once, but I'll probably try to find it to watch this year.

I know that the following movies are on people's yearly list, but I am not sure if I have ever seen them or not, but I hope to catch a few of these classics this year.







I hope you can enjoy the holiday season with your family and a few good movies!

Until next time,

Kara

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy Friday!- Baby it's Cold Outside

Happy Friday!!! I so happy the weekend is here and it's my half day at work! I am getting ready for our Christmas party tomorrow. My plan is to clean and bake today!

Here is Baby it's Cold Outside to enjoy from Lady Antebellum. I love their music and this time of year I am always listening to "Lady Antebellum Holiday" channel on Pandora.



Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Kara





*I do not own this video or the content of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Fun & Decorations

This is my favorite time of year. I love to decorate my house, to cook and bake, spend time with family and friends, and the overall atmosphere that Christmas has. We are hosting a Christmas party this weekend for our friends and then we will be hosting the Hubby's family in 2 weeks.

Last week was great. It was a short work week, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and a long weekend to relax. 

The Hubby went shopping with me a few years ago on Black Friday and said he would never go back. Well after we saw that there was an hour guarantee on a 50" TV, he decided that he would give it another shot. We actually had a great experience while shopping. We were able to get our TV, plus something for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. They didn't want to go into the madness, but if we were going...they wanted stuff from the ad. Luckily we were able to get everything people wanted. 

Here we are headed out on Thursday evening to get our TV!



Here is the TV set up at the house! We love it.



I put up our Christmas Tree Friday morning and decorated the house. I just love this time of year. 



I have most of the presents wrapped under the tree. But if you notice that the presents are not evenly placed under the tree, there is a reason. The youngest cat thinks that she needs to spend time behind/under the tree laying, so I tried to give her a path so that she wouldn't just make a path. Needless to say, I will have to re-wrap two presents who got the wrath of Socks laying or stepping on them.

The Hubby even wore a Santa hat for me... I think I'll keep him!


 

The girls were not thrilled that I woke them up at 5:30 am to go shopping at another store on Friday!



Until next time,

Kara

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tis' the Christmas Season!

I start decorating for the Christmas holidays, the day after Thanksgiving. I just love to have the tree lights on and enjoy the atmosphere! This is my favorite time of year. 

Here are a few digital prints that I have created over the past couple years to decorate our house with. I hope you can enjoy them as well.






Until next time,

Kara