Tag Archives: special days

2012 Highlights

Greetings to one and all!  I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas with loved ones.  We were blessed to have enjoyed a white Christmas with Hubs’ family. It was beautiful. Our girls have had many, many snowball fights with their aunt and uncles and built a tiny snowman.  After having a snowless winter last year, this was really special for them. God sometimes answers even the tiny wishes of our hearts, doesn’t He?

I cannot believe that 2013 is already here.  2012 flew by in so many ways and yet in others, it seemed very long.  Did you feel that way?

Today I’m going to share a recap of  highlights from 2012. Join me for a quick stroll down memory lane of popular posts of 2012.  🙂

1) I began the year with my Word for 2012 post. Do you remember that? Long time ago, huh?!  I’ve thought about that post often throughout this past year.  Gifts.  It was a tremendous word to reflect on over the past months. It was not always easy to see things as a gift, as something that was for my good. But in hindsight, I have peace and rest in the grace that God has been and still is working in my life.  My faith was tested just a few short weeks later after writing that post when I miscarried our baby at three months.  Half of a year passed before I was able to share my heart’s secret in a letter. Nearly six more months have slipped by and I still tear up at times.  However I truly do thank God for the gift of that little one in my life and for the overwhelming love of my husband and family.

What gifts were you given last year?  Did you struggle with any of them?

2)  “O” storage for the kitchen has been a lifesaver for us.  I love having it easily available on the kitchen counter and it has been filled with more than Cheerios over the past year.  Golden grahams was a really special treat and of course, goldfish is an absolute staple.

 

3) My easy dinner rolls is not only a family favorite but also has been very popular for my readers.  It is so incredibly delicious and simple to make.  If you have not tried them, you really should.  I plan on making several batches over the next few days and freezing them for quick and easy dinners.

 

4) I absolutely love these wraps.  Oh, so good.  They are on my to-make list again for this next week.  Yummo.

 

5) Easy and safe was the motto on my quest for jewelry cleaner.  This recipe fit the bill for sure.

 

6) I fell in love with mini pumpkins this fall when I made this wreath for my door.  What’s not to love when it comes to adorable, petite reminders of fall?!

 

7) My journey for cleaner eating began earlier this year.  We had already made several changes in our home over the past two years or so and we were continuing to press forward to a healthier lifestyle.  Following the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen was definitely a new experience for me. It has revolutionized the way I purchase my fruits and veggies.

 

8) I’m still using my homemade furniture polish and I love it.  Buff, buff, buff is the key to success.  Knowing exactly what was used on my furniture makes this momma happy.

 

9) For the holidays, I compiled a few of my favorite homemade Christmas ornaments into one post.  Having your faves all together makes life easier, does it not?  I need to follow the same rule of thumb in other areas of my home. ha!

 

10) Last, but certainly not least, I finally made my PB knock off poinsettia pillow.  It has been WILDLY popular and was by far my most viewed post of 2012.  Guess what?  I love it too. I’m really looking forward to removing the pillow insert and folding my pillow cover flat when I store it in the attic.  What a space saver that zipper makes!

 

I enjoyed going back through the archives and browsing through past recipes and projects.  So fun.  It made me excited about the new adventures in 2013.  I’ll be back tomorrow to share my Word for 2013…so stay tuned.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading.

My Merry Morning Menu

Welcome back, y’all.  We are beginning week two of our “A Homemade Christmas” and I am loving it.  I love learning new things and I especially love Christmastime.  For those of you that are new to the series and maybe even to Thrifty Stories, I am so glad that you are here.  You can find out a bit more about me here.  As for rest of you ol’ timers, howdy and happy Monday.  😉

Today we are going to delve into some Christmas planning.  *Gasp*  Did I just say that word?!  Out loud?  Forgive me, but with how busy the season gets, I am more than ever determined to “plan” my Christmas this year.  Why?  I am tired of saying, “Oh, phooey, I forgot about that recipe, gift idea, or family memory inspiration…maybe next year.”  Only I forget again the following Christmas season.  There are certain things that I want to to try now -while my kids are still young.

So I’m planning my menu for Christmas morn.  It’s gonna be good.  And easy.  And halfway healthy.

I’m sharing the sinfully, sweet side of “My Merry Morning Menu” .  It is really naughty.  Are you ready??  I am.

No,…wait let me lick wipe the stickiness off of my fingers before I get serious about my typing.  Yes, I’ve been guilty of sampling.  {blush}

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I’m all good now.

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Can I share a weakness of mine with you?  I love sweet breads.  Donuts, cinnamon rolls, muffins, and mmmm, sticky buns.  I’ve been dreaming of sticky buns.  Nay, I’ve had visions of sticky buns dancing in my head.  With pecans.  They would be perfect to enjoy on Christmas Day.

So I began searching.  Believe it or not, I couldn’t find one, not one, on Pinterest that appealed to me.  Shocking, I know.  I needed one that whispered,

“Make me.”

And I found one {here} that I tweaked a bit.

Only it wasn’t the picture that had me drooling {usually it is}, but rather it was the title.

Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns.

I was a goner after reading the “ooey-gooey” part.  Yep, turn off the screen and close the cookbooks.  That’s the one.

Ooey Gooey Pecan Sticky Buns
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Sweet bread swirled in cinnamon and nestled in a bed of caramel and pecans. Add a dollop of cream cheese frosting and these rolls taste just like Cinnabon. Can be stored in fridge overnight and baked the next morning. Yum.
Ingredients
  • For the dough:
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package of active dry yeast
  • ½ c. warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • ½ c. milk
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • For the filling:
  • ¾ c. butter
  • ¾ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ½ c. pecans
  • For the caramel:
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • ½ c. pecans (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let it stand for about 10 minutes until foamy. While you are waiting on the yeast mixture, warm milk in a saucepan until bubbly, remove from heat. Add ¼ c. sugar, ¼ c. butter, and salt; stir until melted. Allow milk mixture to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the milk mixture, the yeast mixture, eggs, and 1½ cup of flour, stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix cinnamon into the last addition of flour. Use your heads to incorporate the additional flour if necessary. When the dough has formed a ball, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place ball of dough in greased bowl, turn over once to oil the both sides of the dough. Cover with a slightly damp towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm place, for about one hour or until doubled in size.
  4. While dough is rising, melt ¾ cup butter. Add ¾ cup of brown sugar in a saucepan, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with ½ cup of pecans. Set aside.
  5. Punch dough down and roll out onto a floured surface. Form a 18x14 rectangle. Spread softened butter, Combine ¾ cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, and ½ cup pecans. Sprinkle over the softened butter. Starting at the long side, roll the dough up tightly and pinch to seal the seam. Using dental floss, slide floss under the roll of dough and criss-cross quickly across the top. (Perfect slice every time.) Slice fifteen rolls. Arrange rolls on caramel and pecans in the 9x13 pan. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. (You could also let them rise in the refrigerator overnight.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a nice, golden brown. Let cool in pan for 3-5 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Top with cream cheese frosting, if desired and serve warm.

This is what your yeast mixture should look like after ten minutes.  It should be nice and foamy.  If not, your water was either too hot and killed the yeast or it was too cold and didn’t activate the yeast enough.  Believe me, I’ve done both over the years.

After you’ve mixed all of your ingredients together and kneaded your dough, place your ball of dough into a greased bowl.  Turn over once to coat the other side with the oil and cover.

During the next hour while your dough is having its first rise, have fun and make a special serving plate, just for the holidays.

You will need:

  • a big bag of peppermints
  • parchment paper
  • willing helpers  😉

Unwrap some peppermints.  And then unwrap some more.  Enlist your spouse or your kiddos to help.

Preheat your oven to 350 °.  To make a circle like mine, you will need 61 peppermints.  (Mine was nearly the size of a dinner plate.)  Arrange on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet.  DO NOT forget the parchment paper or you not be able to get the peppermint serving plate off of the pan in one piece.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on pan (on a cooling rack) for approximately five minutes.  Carefully remove from pan and place the peppermint plate onto the rack to cool completely.  Use the festive plate to serve all sorts of delectables this season.  Like Ooey-Gooey Pecan Sticky Buns.

After making and slicing your cinnamon stuffed dough into slices, nestle them onto the bed of caramel and pecans.  Cover and let rise.  If you are making them for that day, let the sticky buns rise in a warm spot  for an hour or so.  However, if you are like me and you want to be able to relax Christmas morning, make them Christmas Eve and for the second rise, put them in the refrigerator to rise overnight.  Bake them fresh Christmas morning and serve warm.  Yum.

You can see the teaspoon of cinnamon that I added to the last addition of flour as I stirred it into the dough.  It brings additional flavor to the bread itself and looks pretty as well.  The cinnamon in the dough smelled delicious as I kneaded it earlier.

Bake, whether right away or the next morning, for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Let it cool in pan for five minutes.  Invert onto a serving platter or tray.  If you have neither one in a rectangular shape, your cutting board will do in a pinch.  😉

Ooey-gooey goodness.

My dancing visions of pecan stickiness.  Are you licking the screen yet??!

Cut them, frost, and arrange on a cake stand for your holiday family brunch.

Your family will not believe that you actually made them.  Kneaded them your own hands even- a definite labor of love.

Cinnabon just lost business.  They are that good.

Don’t you just want to eat that lone pecan that’s sliding off?

The peppermint serving plate turned out adorable, don’t you think?  I love it.

Very sweet.  {pun intended}

For those interested I will share my cream cheese frosting recipe with you soon.  Check back later today.  These rolls are delicious as is, but they are delectable with the addition of the frosting.  It’s a good recipe to have for other baked goods and deserves a separate post.  😉

I am so excited about this year’s Christmas breakfast menu.  Here’s the run down…

My Merry Morning Menu

Here’s a sneak peek at another dish that I’m pworking on…check back for the details on lil’ Frosty on Wednesday.  Tomorrow I’m sharing my Christmas mantle decor here on Thrifty Stories.

Do you fix a special breakfast for Christmas morning?  Plan ahead?  Ever created a serving plate for your food -made out of food? Tell me, were you tempted to lick your screen at any point?  Let’s share ideas and thoughts.

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Christina (The Frugal Homemaker) will be hosting the project for tomorrow in our series.  Be sure to check it out tomorrow.  With how creative she is, it can’t help but be good.  Don’t miss it.

Blessings and have a happy Monday.

Missed any of the series?  Maybe new to “A Homemade Christmas“?  Get caught up here:


He Said Please

Yesterday marked ten years.

What began as an innocent birthday party for my boyfriend ended as one of the most precious days of my life.

7-8-02 will always be special.

The man of my dreams was on one knee before me.

He said “marry me please”.

I said “yes”.

For the past decade.  For the rest of my life.

Happy Monday.  (How long has it been since your sweetie proposed?)

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Life

Life is full of milestones.  Happy occasions that are meant to be enjoyed.

So we have.

Bunny and her classmates eagerly receiving their certificates for second grade.

Bunny is our first born child.  Our big girl.  Momma’s little helper.

On the last day of school, Hubs and I were like most parents, watching with wonder at this tall child of ours as she received awards and certificates for second grade accomplishments.

Second grade, people.

Some of you are laughing and shaking your head. Perhaps your child is a senior, already in college, or maybe even married and on their own.  Yet you understand the feeling…how did this happen?  And so quickly!

However, your heart is warmed as you smile at their achievements and at the person that they have become.

And if you’re like me, your eyes fill with tears and maybe even fall unchecked as you gaze with love on your child.  You see the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth in their life.

It hits you like a ton of bricks to realize that your little baby is not so little anymore.  Before you stands a gangly child on the brink of “teenhood” in a mere couple of years.   It’s all happening so fast. *sigh*

If I could hold the hands of time, I would.

But on second thought, I don’t know that I really want time to stand still.  I look forward to seeing my children mature into adulthood, marry the love of their life, give Nana many grandbabies to love (yes, I’ve already picked out my title) and most importantly, serve the Lord with their whole heart all their life long.

And this is what allows me to slowly let go as the years go by.

I am not alone in letting go.

We had the joy of watching my baby brother graduate from high school this past weekend.  My parents were so sweet as they spoke at the graduation.  Their twenty-two year homeschool journey had come to an end.  This was their last child.  I know that it isn’t easy for them, but letting go is part of the process of parenting.  It is a bittersweet experience.

It was another moment, another milestone to celebrate.

As I reflect on celebrating life, this dear woman is very precious to me.  She is my mamaw and today is her 89th birthday.  I praise God for her and for the life that He has given her.  I have many, many fond memories of Christmas gatherings at her house, Easter egg hunts on the lawn, walks into town, working in her garden, and my, but the list could go on and on.

It was an honor to be there for this special occasion rejoicing with her over another year of life.

And she is now reaching the next generation, her great-grandchildren.  It makes me smile.  I am so thankful that God has allowed her to be a part of my children’s lives.  And I pray that God continues to bless her with good health and strength for years to come.

Happy Birthday, Mamaw.

 

Growing up.  Letting go.  Celebrating life.

Life.  It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?