holidays

Christmas Card Picture Inspiration

Some of you may remember several months ago when I posted pictures of a picnic photoshoot I was hoping to do for mine and Ben's one year anniversary...well somehow time got away from us and that never happened. So here we are...almost to Thanksgiving and no good pictures of our little family other than those taken professionally at our wedding.

Well that presents a problem seeing as we used wedding photos last year for our Christmas cards, and it has been over a year since the wedding. So I got to thinking, dreaming, and brainstorming ideas for our pictures, and then randomly text Lauren of Sincerely, Lo about taking the pictures for us. You see, Lauren lives just minutes outside of the city my in laws live in, and Ben and I are spending Thanksgiving with his family...so we will be right down the road from Lauren! I thought it was a shot in the dark, but had my fingers crossed hoping we could make something happen in the little window of time we would be in town. 

Well, a few texts and lots of emojis later, we were all set with a price, locations ideas and a date! EEEKKK! So then of course my wheels really started turning, and I wanted to share some inspiration I have pulled. We are hoping to do our session outside, and include Piper of course. We really want to incorporate traditional Christmas colors, and some coziness as well. 

Can you tell I am a tad bit excited? 


I have so many plans. I am hoping to include a pretty quilt or blanket, some cozy white mugs and my heart shaped marshmallows, a big read bow for Piper, and some red lipstick of course for myself! 


Do you do Christmas cards? What are you and your family doing for pictures this year? 

The Bread & Wine Project / Homemade Marshmallows

Yesterday I shared about how ready I am for Christmas...I am super ready! So this month's Bread & Wine Project recipe really reflects that! :) Welcome back to the Bread & Wine Link Up for those of you who have joined us before, and for those of you that are jumping in for the first time...so happy to have you! This link up is all about sharing recipes and a heart for others in the form of hospitality! 

This month's co host is Natasha of Natasha Red blog

Natasha has such a huge heart for Jesus and the Gospel which is made so evident from her blog. She is a fellow foodie, and is gifted in the kitchen for sure. Just follow along with her Instagram for a few days and you will see how talented this lady is! :) Meet Natasha friends!

This month's prompt was short and sweet -

How do you approach hospitality and the holidays? 

For me this really goes back to my post yesterday quite honestly. I love opening up my home and feeding friends and family because this is one way I can tangibly be the Gospel to those around me. I get to play a role in showing those around our table a picture of the Lord's provision and love for us as his children. So the holidays are prime time for doing this! And I LOVE that! 

What about you? How do you view these two things and how to you make them co exist? 

Speaking of holidays...who doesn't love a super yummy mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows to get you in the holiday spirit? There is something so nostalgic about this classic winter drink for me. It takes me instantly back to being a little girl and ripping open those powdery packets of instant hot chocolate with the rock hard (Lucky Charm like) "marshmallows". I loved that stuff when I was younger. 

Now that I am older...and more mature in the ways of good food and drink, I have said good bye to the powdery instant stuff and opened my arms to the world of homemade hot chocolate and marshmallows. Not the rock hard kind, but the pillowy, soft, melt in your mouth goodness kind. 

These mallows are divine. They are literally perfect, and you will not believe how simple they are to make friends! So so simple. Which was a surprise to me, seeing as I thought marshmallows had to require some type of magic to conjure up in the kitchen. 

INGREDIENTS - 

  • 3 (1 oz) packets of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • vanilla extract (a teaspoon or so)
  • vanilla bean seeds (scrapings of one vanilla bean, optional)
  • powdered sugar
  • corn starch

DIRECTIONS -  

Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attached. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to soften. 

Add 1/2 cup cold water to a medium saucepan along with sugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to high and cook until you reach 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and slowly pour syrup into the gelatin while the mixer is on low speed. 

Increase speed of mixer to high and allow it to whip for 15 minutes. Meanwhile scrape the beans from the inside of one vanilla bean and add the seeds to the mixture. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and salt. 

Once thoroughly whipped. Pour into a WELL OILED pan, and smooth top with a wet spatula. Coat top with oil and allow to sit for 6-8 hours at room temperature until firm.

Once set, remove from pan, cut into cubes or use cookies cutters to cut into shapes. Toss in powder sugar and corn starch (1/4 cup each) and store in air tight container for up to 2 weeks. 

ENJOY!

Told you! Easy as pie, and so so worth the time you have to wait for the finished product! I cannot wait to try some awesome flavor combos next time with these little pillowy confections!