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Earlier this week, my husband and I were doing some last minute Christmas shopping, which included as stop at one of my sister-in-law’s favorite stores.


Next door, stood a grocery store – but not just any grocery store.  No, this grocery store describes itself as a “boutique, gourmet market” and it has the prices to match.


My husband wanted to go inside to see what types of food they had – I think he was hoping for samples.  He is also much more adventurous than I am when it comes to food and gets excited when he hears the word ‘gourmet’.


So we ventured inside to the fancy grocery store, which looked like anything but a grocery store.  There were pine scents being wafted about and I saw about thirty Christmas trees decorating all the aisles.


What really got my attention while walking through the store was the produce section.


This section of the store was rather dark, except for the produce, which had bright lights showing the perfect-looking vegetables.

I’ve never thought of the produce section of a grocery store as beautiful, but this certainly was.


The vegetables were perfectly displayed and I must confess that I almost wanted to eat kale because of how nicely it was arranged.

Seriously, there was not a single wilting leaf or blemish to be seen.  It was almost as if the vegetables were airbrushed and Photoshopped.


The other side was arranged with brightly colored citrus fruit.  

I would be afraid to pick any fruit, or vegetables for that matter, in fear that I would cause a cascade of produce falling to the floor.

Needless to say, we didn’t see any samples and the prices were so high that we walked out after looking through the store.

I did enjoy seeing how fancy a grocery store could be.

How about you?  Have you ever shopped at a “boutique, gourmet supermarket”?

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The baby countdown has officially started!

My second-oldest daughter is having her first baby in January and we are so excited.

She is going in for weekly monitoring right now since the baby is underweight from where it should be.  But, the doctor isn’t worried and as long as they are monitoring her closely, I’m not too concerned – just a little bit concerned 😉

Sadly, our daughter can’t come home for Christmas (she is in the Navy and stationed in California), since she is too close to her due date.  But, we sent off her packages to her and my aunt and her family, who lives near the base, will have her over for Christmas.


In the meantime, I am getting ready for my annual Christmas cookie baking with my kids, granddaughter and nieces and nephews.

Every year, we make and decorate cookies that we serve at our family Christmas celebration.  The kids love showing their parents the cookies the decorated.


Last year, we make sugar cone Christmas trees.  The kids loved spreading buttercream frosting on sugar cones and then decorating them.

This year, we will be making chocolate, peanut butter Christmas trees – Yum!  I’ll be sure to post photos and a ‘how-to’ next week!

I love Christmas…


Not just the day itself and celebrating our Savior’s birth, but I love all the preparations and celebrations that occur this time of year.


At this point, I can usually take a deep breath and sit back and enjoy the coming days.  Gifts are wrapped, the house is somewhat clean and desserts have been made.


If you haven’t realized this before – I love making desserts.  If there is a birthday to be celebrated, I am often asked to bring the cake.  Of course, the holidays bring a whole other slate of desserts – pumpkin bread, cinnamon sugar monkey bread, snickerdoodles, toffee bars AND Christmas sugar cookies.


Every year, I invite my nieces and nephews over to join my kids and I in making Christmas sugar cookies.


This year was extra special because my granddaughter, Lily, joined us for the first time.


Making sugar cookies is always a bit messy.  However, when you mix in a bunch of young kids, the mess is amplified.


My son Kai, and nephew Oliver, had fun choosing their favorite cookie cutters.


Lily was excited to see that there was a snowman cookie cutter.  After watching “Frosty the Snowman” for the first time this year, she is obsessed with snowmen.


Ready for the oven.


My nephew Finley and daughter Ruthie, got to work with frosting their cookies.


Lily decided to use a fork to spread the frosting with.


You really shouldn’t wear black if you are working near flour 😉

Oliver was determined to put as many sprinkles as his cookie would hold.


Finley made a gingerbread man wearing shorts.


I remember doing this when my two oldest daughters were young.  Now they are grown, but it was so nice to have my granddaughter take part in our annual tradition.


We have a rule that the kids each get to pick one cookie to eat and the rest will be saved until Christmas Day when we all gather together.


It is fun to see the kids show off their finished cookies to their parents on Christmas.


After the cookies were finished, I thought that we would try something new that I had seen on Pinterest.

These are sugar cones that have been frosted and sprinkles added to make miniature Christmas trees.


We used buttercream frosting on the cones.


Then the kids got to decide which sprinkles they wanted to ‘decorate’ their trees with.

It is so much fun to see my oldest daughter all grown up and making desserts with her daughter 🙂


Finley’s tree is finished with a mini-chocolate chip as the start on top.


Oliver had to make sure that the frosting tasted good.


I think that the kids really enjoyed making the sugar cone Christmas trees.


You could use them for decoration or eat them.  The kids decided to eat theirs.

My husband (who has a huge sweet tooth) filled the inside of his cone with frosting and then frosted the outside before eating it.


Making Christmas cookies is fun, but awfully messy.  I am glad that I used paper plates, bowls and plastic knives.


After a busy morning of making cookies, Lily decided to take a little rest next to her aunt Gracie.

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The sugar cookie recipe that I use makes soft cookies and I am often asked for the recipe. 

 It starts with a sugar cookie mix (I use Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix).  

4 oz. softened cream cheese
17 oz. bag sugar cookie mix
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together and bake following the directions on the sugar cookie mix package.

You’ll love these cookies!

For the frosting, I used royal icing.